The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, in 2015, is fast approaching, and we should do it justice. Forty years ago today, the United Kingdom joined what was then called the European Economic Community. [Snip] For our part, we were more interested in the economic than the community bit of the EEC. With an economy seemingly in terminal decline and with continental Europe enjoying faster growth and lower inflation, the Common Market seemed like the route to prosperity until the oil price shock of 1974 dished that prospect. So, did we sell our sovereignty for a mess of pottage?
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was being monitored closely at a New York hospital Monday night, although doctors said she was making “excellent progress” toward “a full recovery” from a blood clot inside her skull. Doctors discovered the clot Sunday during a routine MRI as part of a follow-up exam to a concussion Mrs. Clinton sustained in mid-December after dehydration from an acute stomach virus caused her to faint and hit her head. “The scan revealed that a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis had formed. This is a clot in the vein that is situated
Congress careened over the edge of the “fiscal cliff” Monday, even as outlines of a deal emerged on Capitol Hill that could quickly close the hole and keep rates low for most taxpayers, and delay deep spending cuts for several months. The White House and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican negotiator, settled on the outlines Monday evening, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden was at the Capitol to sell the deal to reluctant Democrats. Democratic leaders were holding out hope for a late-night Senate vote to try to create momentum
President Obama and Senate leaders struck a bipartisan agreement late Monday to let income taxes rise sharply for the first time in two decades, fulfilling Obama’s promise to raise taxes on the rich and avoiding the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff.” The agreement, brokered by Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), primarily targets taxpayers who earn more than $450,000 per year, raising their rates for wages and investment profits. At the same time, the deal would protect more than 100 million households earning less than $250,000 a year
There may be a last-minute compromise reached today in the negotiations over the fiscal cliff, but not if President Obama has anything to say about it. Even as Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were believed to have led the effort to have the structure of a deal in place for the two houses of Congress to vote on later today, the president emerged to make a statement that seemed geared to scuttling the negotiations. In a campaign-style event, the president spoke of a possible accord
Right now the political landscape is grim for Republicans–and in the short term, thanks to the so-called fiscal cliff, things may get grimmer still. But moments like these can pass, often quicker than we think. And next year may turn out to be one in which the pernicious effects of the Affordable Care Act–aka ObamaCare–really begin to kick in, from higher premiums to the loss of employer-based health insurance to the start of enrollment in insurance exchanges. It will become more and more clear to the public what a nightmarish law
Robert Costa has the details below of the tax deal that was just supposedly agreed upon in the Senate. From the sound of it, it seems that we would get certain tax increases and spending increases such as the unemployment-insurance extension and other tax credits, in exchange for no spending cuts. I understand now why the president seemed so happy during his 1:30 p.m. press conference. Regarding the press conference, I thought the level of inconsistency coming out from the president’s talking points was even greater than usual. For instance, he talks
Seoul - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for an end to confrontation between the two Koreas, technically still at war in the absence of a peace treaty to end their 1950-53 conflict, in a surprise New Year speech broadcast on state media. The address by Kim, who took over power in the reclusive state after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in 2011, appeared to take the place of the policy-setting New Year editorial published in leading state newspapers. Impoverished North Korea raised tensions in the region by launching a long-range rocket in December that it said was aimed at putting a scientific satellite in
Washington - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s blood clot formed in her head, her doctors said on Monday, a potentially serious condition from which they nonetheless stressed they expect her to fully recover. Mrs. Clinton was hospitalized Sunday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for the blood clot — in a vein between the brain and the skull and behind her right ear — and doctors said on Monday that it had not resulted in a stroke or neurological damage. They said they were treating her with blood thinners to try to dissolve the clot. “She will be released once the medication dose has been
For the first time since President George W. Bush began the country’s long slide into debt by cutting taxes in 2001, a tentative agreement was reached Monday between Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate to raise income taxes on the rich. That’s what makes the deal significant: assuming it is quickly approved by Congress, it begins to reverse the ruinous pattern of dealing with Washington’s fiscal problems only through spending cuts. (Snip) Given that the Bush-era tax cuts expire on Jan. 1, Republicans were forced to give ground on their philosophical opposition to higher taxes,
TOPEKA — Some call him “Pastor Sam.” He occasionally evokes a preacher’s tone while citing lengthy Bible passages to a crowd of worshippers. And he openly embraces the Lord in the Capitol, praying with lawmakers, priests and ordinary Kansans. Through his bold promotion of Christianity and faith-based programs, Gov. Sam Brownback has brought religion into the public sphere more than any governor in generations. It has heartened some, while drawing criticism from others who see it as a threat to the separation of church and state.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told Congress that the U.S. hit its statutory debt limit, necessitating emergency steps announced last week as a way to keep funding the government and avoid default. Geithner said he had issued a “debt issuance suspension period” for the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, effective today and to last until Feb. 28, 2013. The letter said the Treasury was taking similar action for the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund. “Federal retirees and employees will be unaffected by these actions,” according to Geithner’s letter. It said the funds “will be made whole”
A historian looking back on the public battle over Barack Obama’s second-term appointments might very well scratch his head as he struggles to explain the fight over the president’s next Secretary of Defense. He will look at the columns written for and against the leading nominees and see something very strange. He will notice that liberals, by and large, are rallying behind a conservative Republican, and that conservatives are pulling for a liberal Democrat. The candidate usually cited as Obama’s back-up pick—the understudy, should his first choice prove too hard to confirm—is Michèle Flournoy.
Economic innovator, Republican stalwart, Middle East hardliner - Ronald Reagan wore many hats during his two terms in the White House. Hopeless romantic wasn´t one of them. However the 40th president of the United States proved himself a dab hand in matters of love when he penned a letter to his son Michael, days before the the 26-year-old´s wedding in 1971. Posted to his son´s home in Manhattan Beach, California, Reagan senior has some sage advice for a long and happy marriage. He opens by telling his adopted son that despite all the cynics, marriage can be
DENVER -- Recreational marijuana clubs are open in Colorado. A marijuana den in Denver opened Monday for members-only group smoking, The Denver Post reported. Reggae music was on the stereo and a projector showed "The Big Lebowski." Another club opened Monday in Del Norte, in southern Colorado. The clubs are not open to the public. An attorney for Denver´s new Club 64 says the clubs are permissible under Colorado´s new constitutional amendment on marijuana. Marijuana will not be sold at the clubs. He said Club 64 has 200 members
An enormous firework display in central London has kick-started Britain´s New Year celebrations in style. About 250,000 people lined the banks of the Thames to witness the incredible display of pyrotechnics and lights. Up and down the country, millions of people packed into town´s and cities to celebrate 2013 following the astonishing success of 2012.The spectacle in London saw a quarter-of-a-million people gather on the banks of the Thames to watch the 11-minute firework show which followed the traditional counting down of the final seconds by Big Ben.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Texas won a court victory on Monday in its effort to stop state funds under a health program for low-income women from going to clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood, a group that provides abortions at some of its facilities. A Texas judge allowed the state to go ahead with a revamped program for poor women, the Women´s Health Program, that does not include Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood said it does not provide abortions at clinics that participate in the state women´s health program. But it is the nation´s leading reproductive health and abortion provider
WASHINGTON - The Manassas News & Messenger is no more. The paper printed its final edition after 143 years of covering the news in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park Sunday. The paper´s parent company, the Warren Buffet-owned World Media Enterprises, decided to close the paper and its website InsideNoVa.com in November, saying the paper was losing money, was in a competitive news market, (Snip)Two local weekly print newspapers were created within weeks of the announced closing to fill the void left by the News & Messenger.
On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer voiced his displeasure over President Barack Obama’s New Year’s Eve press conference, which came during intense fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill. “I found it astonishing,” Krauthammer said. “Here he is — coming out to speak to the nation at a crucial moment in very delicate negotiations — and he comes out there with incredible arrogance. He ridicules the Congress. He spikes the football on the Republicans.
Iran plans to relocate an airport in the southwest of the country after discovering oil deposits under its runway, media reported on Saturday, according to AFP. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) "intends to buy Ahvaz airport due to the existence of oil deposits under the airport´s tarmac," the state broadcaster´s website quoted Mohammad Rasoulinejad, managing director of the Iranian Airports Company, as saying. "The government has approved the relocation of the airport," Rasoulinejad said, adding that the new airport will be built 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city. He did not give any
Welcome all Ldotters, old and new. If you are not yet registered do so, it takes but a minute, and join our annual virtual New Year´s party. 2012 has not been a terrific year. We want to hear from you about 2013 and what you are hoping for. If you have a covered dish. Put it on the buffet. Igor is behind the bar and will get you whatever your heart desires. Relax, you are among like minded friends.
In the wake of his reelection victory last month, President Obama has enjoyed a steady rise in his approval ratings. According to Gallup´s daily tracking poll, Obama´s approval rating reached 58% on December 21st, a 52-week high. Election winners typically see a rise in their approval ratings in the weeks following victory. Over the last week, however, Obama has shed most of his gains. In Gallup´s latest tracking poll, Obama´s approval rating has dropped 5 points to 53%, a considerable drop in just one week, especially considering it was a holiday week.
My, my, how far lawmakers’ ambitions for the fiscal cliff negotiations have fallen in the past two weeks. President Obama said at the White House on Monday that a deal was "within reach." That means the most likely scenario now is that the two parties will reach a small-bore compromise to appease markets and to try to combat a growing perception among consumers and investors that Washington politicians favor political ideology over the health of the economy. Such a deal would extend Bush-era tax cuts for household income below $450,000; patch the alternative minimum tax permanently; extend unemployment insurance benefits;
Update: Piers Morgan is taking a cue from Mitt Romney´s pre-election immigration platform and threatening to deport himself if the U.S. fails to crack down on guns. In a Sunday column for the Daily Mail, Morgan responded to some viewers unhappy with the British CNN anchor´s vocal pro-gun control stance: The concerted effort to get me thrown out of the country – which has so far gathered more than 90,000 signatures – struck me as rather ironic, given that by expressing my opinion I was merely exercising my rights, as a legal US resident, under the 1st Amendment, which protects free speech.
The deal in the works would raise tax rates on families making more than $450,000 a year to 39.6pc, AP reported. The tax on estates worth more than $5m would increase to 40pc from 35pc. Unemployment benefits would continue for one year. Without that extension, 2m people would lose benefits beginning in early January. In a press conference on Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama said a "deal is within sight but not done". "The fiscal cliff is my top priority," he stated. "Our economy can´t afford [tax rises]. A deal is within sight but not done. We are hopeful Congress
WASHINGTON — The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the "fiscal cliff." House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day.President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts — the fiscal cliff — that take effect with the new year.