Today the Senate will make history, swearing in a record-breaking 20 female senators – 4 Republicans and 16 Democrats – in office. As the 113th Congress is sworn in today on Capitol Hill, ABC "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer has an exclusive joint interview with the historic class of female Senators. Diane Sawyer´s complete interview will air on World News this evening. "I can´t tell you the joy that I feel in my heart to look at these 20 gifted and talented women from two different parties, different zip codes to fill this room," Sen. Barbara Mikulksi, D-Md., said
Iranian officials have instructed residents of Isfahan to leave the city, renewing concerns that a nearby nuclear site could be leaking radioactive material. An edict issued Wednesday by Iranian authorities orders Isfahan’s one-and-a-half million people to leave the city “because pollution has now reached emergency levels,” the BBC reported. However, outside observers suspect that the evacuation order may corroborate previous reports indicating that a uranium enrichment facility near Isfahan had been leaking radioactive material.
Facing a storm of outrage, House Speaker John Boehner did an about face Wednesday and promised to quickly pass $60 billion in Hurricane Sandy aid - a day after abruptly canceling a vote on the package.Officials from New York and surrounding states had spent much of the day blasting Boehner for initially yanking the Sandy aid from consideration. Some of the fiercest criticism came from fellow Republicans. His voice shaking, Rep. Pete King (R-Long Island) took to the House floor Wednesday morning to launch an extraordinary attack on Boehner, his political leader.
In praising Congress´s huge new tax increase, President Obama said Tuesday that "millionaires and billionaires" will finally "pay their fair share." That is, unless you are a Nascar track owner, a wind-energy company or the owners of StarKist Tuna, among many others who managed to get their taxes reduced in Congress´s New Year celebration. There´s plenty to lament about the capital and income tax hikes, but the bill´s seedier underside is the $40 billion or so in tax payoffs to every crony capitalist and special pleader with a lobbyist worth his million-dollar salary.
Conservatives have lost the messaging battle on taxes. The public has bought into the notion that they exclusively care about keeping taxes on the rich low (at the expense of the middle class) and that the growth effects of disguised spending (tax credits) are the same as marginal rate reductions. But stepping back to survey the larger picture, it looks like conservatives have won the war. Beginning with Ronald Reagan’s Economic Recovery Tax Act, conservatives have waged a 30-year war over low tax rates. Consider that in 1979
Al Gore may not have to worry about global warming destroying the earth after all. As it turns out, his massive hypocrisy may destroy the universe before global warming can fully kick in. Gore, an ardent proponent of raising taxes, just sold Current TV, his highly unsuccessful TV network that lost hundreds of millions of dollars, to Al Jazeera – a fitting end for a network that features terrorist-friendly programming. Gore was in a rush to finish the deal, which netted him $100 million as owner of 20 percent of Current TV. Why the rush?
HONOLULU - Passing legislation to avoid the "fiscal cliff" -- and undo income tax increases for most Americans -- was hardly automatic. But signing the bill was. President Obama on Wednesday authorized the use of the "autopen" to enact H.R. 8, the compromise bill approved by lawmakers in the 11th hour after a long stalemate to avert the set of tax increases and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff. House aides said the American Taxpayer Relief Act was delivered to the White House on Wednesday afternoon, well after the president had left to resume his holiday vacation
Americans take great umbrage whenever they, as a society, are portrayed by the residents of other nations as self-centered, avaricious and overbearing. While an egregious exaggeration in the past, is it an accurate description now? Who are the American people today and what sort of country is the United States in 2013? How does one describe a society wherein a majority of the people, and their elected leaders, have embraced the following mindset? •a) The United States can commit to unlimited government spending as the long-term future of the nation is immaterial and will
WASHINGTON- Housing is rebounding. Families are shrinking debts. Europe has avoided a financial crackup. And the fiscal cliff deal has removed the most urgent threat to the U.S. economy. So why don´t economists foresee stronger growth and hiring in 2013? Part of the answer is what Congress´ agreement did (raise Social Security taxes for most of us). And part is what it didn´t do (prevent the likelihood of more growth-killing political standoffs). By delaying painful decisions on spending cuts, the deal assures more confrontation and uncertainty, especially because Congress must reach agreement later this winter to raise
A stunning photograph that captures the moment when a newly born baby emerges from her mother’s womb has become one of the first viral hits of 2013 after the proud parents posted it on Facebook for friends and family to share. Alicia Atkins of Glendale, Arizona gave birth to daughter, Nevaeh, via Caesarean section on October 9. Her husband Randy snapped this touching image of a baby entering the world for the first time and grabbing hold of the doctor’s fingers. ´The doctor called me over and said, "Hey, she´s grabbing my finger,"´ Randy told 3TV News.
Under pressure, Speaker John Boehner allegedly lost his temper and screamed at another politician for the second time in just a few days. Boehner snapped at Frank LoBiondo, the Republican representative from New Jersey whose district includes a significant amount of beachfront that was wrecked in the October storm. This comes just days after he told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ´go f*** himself´ while standing just feet away from the Oval Office. ‘I was chasing the Speaker all over the House floor last night, trying to talk to him and his staff,’ Republican Congressman Peter King said.
It is still Ol´ Man River, but it´s hardly ”rollin´ along” any more--and the US and the world may be about to suffer as a result. [Snip] Like Huckleberry Finn, coal and crude oil, steel and cement all get carried along this liquid super highway--as does about half of the US corn, wheat and soybean exports that help feed 100 countries--and this is its peak time of year. But one boat has already gone aground as water levels fall, giant barges have been bumping against the bottom, and traffic is forecast to grind to an effective halt this month.
Demographics buffs get a special Christmas present every year courtesy of the Census Bureau: its annual estimates of the populations of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This gives demographers a chance to see where the nation is growing and where it is not, and to get an idea of the destination of immigrants and of the flow of people into one set of states and out of another. Nationally, the Census Bureau estimates that the United States has grown from 308 million people when the Census was conducted in April 2010
WASHINGTON — I wonder, as we begin 2013 and look forward to four more years of this insufferable poseur in the White House, where Sandra Fluke might be. Miss Fluke is the lady who made birth control a matter of national security, in particular her own personal supply of pills and God knows what else. Prior to her appearance on the national scene I always thought it was a male’s responsibility to supply condoms, as the occasion warranted. Yet Miss Fluke enlightened me. Actually she never told us what she used these items for.
Come back, Mr. President. With the fiscal cliff behind him, the president left Washington for the shimmering rainbows and golden beaches of Hawaii as the people left homeless by the Hurricane Sandy-ruined beaches of Rockaway, Midland Beach, Breezy Point, the Jersey Shore sit waiting for a moribund Congress to approve their $60 billion aid package. As the president hopped Air Force One, thousands of people of the storm he promised to help were still trapped on the edge of a fiscal cliff. Not much has apparently changed since four years ago, when I wrote here
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have charged a disbarred Miami-area lawyer and three other people with hatching a scheme to sell a cache of stolen guns that once belonged to the family of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Prosecutors say David Ryan, 48, a one-time personal injury lawyer from Pinecrest, obtained at least seven guns that had been smuggled out of Iraq and then tried to sell them, with the help of others, through a New Jersey sporting goods store. Officials with Iraq’s embassy in Washington confirmed that the guns had been taken from Iraq,
HADLEY, Mass.—The Green Library at Stanford University houses William Saroyan´s mustache clippings. Timothy Leary´s Nintendo Power Glove has been acquired by the New York Public Library. At the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin, Norman Mailer´s bar mitzvah speech is preserved in perpetuity. Authors, take notice: Remember those crates of scratch pads and tax returns in the garage? The trunkful of hotel bills and childhood doodles in the garden shed? Don´t junk any of it—not before you call up somebody in Ken Lopez´s line of work.
President George W. Bush made bipartisan deals with Democrats on education, energy and, shortly before leaving office, the bank bailout known as TARP. President Reagan got together with Democrats on tax reform and Social Security. President Clinton reached agreement with Republicans on welfare reform, balancing the budget and Nafta´s free trade. Mr. Clinton also negotiated reform of Social Security, a landmark compromise that died (before being announced) when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. "Each president defined these deals as success, as principled compromises,"Keith Hennessey, Mr. Bush´s chief domestic policy adviser, noted recently, "and both parties shared the credit."
Oh, that one doesn’t work for you all of a sudden, lefties? How about that. Associated Press: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. (Snip)I asked to see the medical report. I didn’t accuse her of faking her injury. I didn’t call it a hoax. I merely showed skepticism about the claims of a career politician who was missing her second opportunity in a row to testify
Fortunately for film director Oliver Stone, there is no "truth in the title" requirement for television shows. Stone´s latest directorial effort is a series of one-hour documentaries called "The Untold History of the United States." The programs run on the Showtime network. I only needed to view the first two shows to determine what the title should actually be: "A Left-winger´s Biased, Tendentious and Highly Partisan History of the United States." In the very first show, Stone and its writers presumed to lecture Americans about the Soviet Union´s contribution to defeating Germany in World War II.
Taxes are going up on almost everyone. The government is trying to extract additional revenue from the economy in the most economically damaging way possible, with tax-rate increases that undermine incentives to work, save, and invest. This is happening at a time when economic growth has been weak, and when many credible observers are concerned that its trend level has permanently declined. The federal debt, meanwhile, is sure to keep rising, largely as a result of the out-of-control growth of entitlement programs. Elected officials are barely trying to restrain that growth, let alone succeeding.
Phew, that was close! Like cartoon characters, our elected officials brought the country at full speed toward the now-infamous “fiscal cliff” before jamming on the brakes. The Republicans and Democrats were like Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. Wasn’t that exciting!? At least we now have another two months before the next financial crisis — the country’s crash into the debt ceiling. Hopefully someone will come up with a colorful catch phrase before that historic event. But do we really have two months before the debt ceiling crisis?
Senator Scott Brown today took on a possible opponent in a special election to succeed his colleague John F. Kerry, questioning whether US Representative Edward J. Markey is actually a resident of Massachusetts. Markey later hit back, hinting at a reprise of the political nastiness that permeated Brown’s recent election battle against Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Brown has suggested he would compete in the special election that will be triggered if Kerry is confirmed as President Obama’s second-term secretary of state, but he has not made a formal commitment to a race. Markey has already said he will run.
PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN — A pair of U.S. drone strikes in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border killed 13 people Thursday, including a senior militant commander who had a truce with the Pakistani military, intelligence officials and residents said. Five Pakistani security officials said the commander, Maulvi Nazir, was reportedly among nine people killed in a missile strike on a house in the village of Angoor Adda in the South Waziristan tribal region early Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
On the day of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., we published a chart showing the Sisyphean nature of the national gun control discussion. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, such as the one that took place in Aurora, Colo., mentions of the term "gun control" spike in the news media. In a matter of days, that discussion all but disappears. This time was supposed to be different. "It is hard to believe this will not be a watershed moment when we start to talk about, deal with and even perhaps legislate on guns,"
If you thought the Benghazi saga ended last month when a State Department review concluded that a handful of State Department middle managers failed to provide adequate security for the U.S. mission, think again: it may no longer be dominating headlines, but with multiple active congressional investigations and an ongoing attempt to hunt down the perpetrators, the story of Benghazi is far from over. The biggest recent development—which was overshadowed by the fiscal cliff negotiations—came on New Year’s Eve, when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a report