During the lull between Christmas and New Year’s, Barack Obama’s Hollywood donors were peppered with e-mails offering what might be called an “a la carte” approach to joining his Jan. 21 inaugural celebrations. A mere $15,000 nets a ticket to the Benefactors Brunch, while well-wishers can cruise the inaugural ball’s VIP Reception Room for $2,500. Tops is $110,000 for two to the Candlelight VIP Reception, which includes a photo with the president. The bargain is a general viewing seat at the inaugural parade for $250.
Illinois Senate Democrats advanced legislation late Wednesday to restrict semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, pressing forward with new gun control measures in the waning days of the session over the objections of firearms groups. Amid the developments, the Illinois State Rifle Association issued an “urgent alert” to its members warning them that Democratic legislators were trying to push through last-minute anti-gun legislation.
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the director of Central Intelligence, and vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. He is widely credited as having been the first senior official to predict the fall of the Soviet Union. He’s also, written a number of good books (including How to Analyze Information: A Step-by-Step Guide to Life’s Most Vital Skill, and The Cure for Poverty: It’s the Free Market: History’s Greatest Invention), plus he often speaks to groups of business executives. Recently he took time out of his busy schedule
Just in case you were under the impression that the fiscal cliff debates were carried out with a high level of respect and intellectualism, Politico reports how nasty things got on Friday. It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a "dictatorship" in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal. "Go [redacted by poster] yourself," Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has been assigned to the Senate committee that oversees taxation, trade and certain health programs. The Pennsylvania Republican said Thursday that the action makes him one of only two freshman senators on the Senate Finance Committee. He´s giving up his seat on the Commerce Committee, but will remain on three other committees.
Today’s installment of “Just How Bad Were Fiscal Cliff Negotiations?” features one Harry Reid. According to a report in the Washington Post, Reid disliked one proposal so much that he tore it up and tossed it into the fireplace.The point of contention, it appears, was Social Security. The Post reports: There were now less than 36 hours until the deadline. “The clock was ticking and we were not moving.” They weren’t moving because Democrats had decided that they had gone as far as they could. Reid and Obama had disagreed privately about what their next offer should be.
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was re-elected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt. Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted "present." Two years ago, Boehner won all available 241 GOP votes. In a vote that opened the 113th Congress, Justin Amash (R-Mich.) voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to leave the administration at the end of January, even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, according to two people familiar with the matter. After giving in to Obama’s previous entreaties to stay as long as needed, Geithner has indicated to White House officials and Wall Street executives that he is unlikely to change his departure plans this time, increasing pressure on the president to name his successor at Treasury, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the private discussions.
Every time you turn on the lights, you may be putting yourself at risk, according to a disturbing new study. Energy efficient bulbs are eco-friendly and can save you big bucks, but experts say that they could also have a dark side. “When there is something in your house, you don’t perceive any danger, you wouldn’t get that close to an x-ray in a doctor’s office,” explained Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science at Stony Brook University in New York. Link repaired by staff
He squired some of the world´s most beautiful women - from Princess Diana to Elizabeth Hurley. But billionaire Teddy Forstmann left no doubt who was the true love of his life after he offered to raise Padma Lakshmi´s daughter Krisha as his own, according to a new report in Vanity Fair. The financier, who died from brain cancer aged 71 in November 2011, offered to bring up Krishna as long as Padma never revealed her daughter´s true paternity - not even telling the little girl´s biological father. However, he was left ´heartbroken´
A 19-year-old woman accidentally shot dead her brother while posing with a gun for Facebook photos on New Year´s Eve. Manuel Ortiz died instantly after being shot in the head at about 6am on Monday morning. Family and friends wept as his body was carried from his apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, where the shooting took place. Police said 22-year-old Ortiz and his sister Savannah Ramirez arrived back at the home they shared on New Year’s Eve after spending the night drinking. They were with two other people when someone in the group pulled out the handgun to take photos with it. Source location added by staff
Casablanca — Although Ahmed Boukhtala is the main suspect in the September 11th terrorist attack on US consulate in Benghazi as well as a suspect in assassination of Libyan rebel commander Major General Abdelfattah Younis, he continues to live freely in Benghazi. Conflicting reports have claimed that Boukhtala was imprisoned while others have said he escaped from prison and is now a fugitive. However, sources in Benghazi told Magharebia that Boukhtala remains at large and that the Libyan authorities have not arrested him. "Boukhtala is not detained, and no official charges were made against him," political activist Samir al-Jahani told
This is the haunting sight of a ´car graveyard´ nestled in a Belgian forest, where vintage motors sit rusting among the fronds. The old-fashioned vehicles are thought to have been left in the wood near the village of Chatillon by US soldiers who were stationed in southern Belgium during World War II. When the war ended, military troops were sent home, but could not afford to ship the cars they had bought and hid them in the forest. Since then, other cars have been added to the cemetery, many by soldiers stationed in the area after the war.
The Speaker of the House will be elected today and some conservatives believe they have the votes necessary to oust John Boehner. In an appearance on CNBC, American Majority Action spokesman Ron Meyer said there are more than 20 House Republicans willing to vote for someone other than Boehner on Thursday when the 113th Congress convenes to elect a Speaker. Another source from a different organization has similarly confirmed that more than 20 have planned to oppose Boehner.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel´s prime minister, has ordered a campaign shake-up amid plummeting poll figures that show him haemorrhaging support ahead of this month´s election. He is said to have demanded an end to bickering within his Likud party and a bigger role for grassroots workers after successive surveys and a series of embarrassing publicity flops following his decision to merge with Avigdor Lieberman´s Yisrael Beiteinu party. His intervention comes after the latest poll – published by Haaretz newspaper – showed the Likud Beitenu bloc poised to win just 34 seats in the Knesset
The Left´s love affair with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie continues ... so long as the outspoken pol is trashing his own party. Christie made headlines today by blaming the death of a Hurricane Sandy relief bill loaded with pork squarely on the GOP. “There is only one group to blame,” he ranted. “The House Majority and John Boehner. Last night, the House Majority failed the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state. It was disappointing and disgusting to watch. Shame on you, shame on Congress.” That sentiment earned kudos
WASHINGTON -More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the winter holidays likely distorted the data for the second straight week. The Labor Department says weekly applications rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 in the week ended Dec. 29. The previous week´s total was revised higher. Many state unemployment offices were closed last week for the New Year´s holiday. As a result, the department relied on estimates for nine states. Two weeks ago, the department estimated 19 states because of Christmas closings. In a typical week, the government estimates only one or two states.
If you´re a liberal and you don´t like the questions you´re getting in a TV interview what do you do? If you´re Leo Terrell on Wednesday´s Hannity, you simply cover your ears to pretend you aren´t listening. [video] Of course, we say pretending to not listen because when you are engaged in a remote interview like Terrell is in this clip, you have an earpiece to hear the host. You can see the earpiece in his left ear as he pulls his dramatic move on camera. We don´t blame Terrell for pretending he couldn´t hear
NEW YORK— Stocks are falling in early trading on Wall Street as retailers report weak sales and a new fiscal fight looms in Congress. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 47 points at 13,366 shortly after the opening bell Thursday. The Standard & Poor´s 500 was off three points at 1,459 and the Nasdaq composite lost six points to 3,106. Some retailers struggled during the most crucial time of the year as shoppers held out for deep discounts.
Sen. Mark Kirk says he´s ready to climb the 45 steps of the U.S. Capitol to the Senate´s front door when he returns to work Thursday nearly a year after suffering a major stroke. "I imagined myself walking to the building and to the entrance that I would see," Kirk, R-Ill., told The Daily Herald in his first extended interview about his ordeal. "That thought would sustain me ... as long as possible." (Snip) Kirk, 53, talked about deepening his faith and his exhausting rehab with the suburban Chicago newspaper.
And the No. 1 person David Letterman blames for his sex scandal: David Letterman. Although a former CBS producer went to jail for extortion after trying to sell for $2 million his silence about the late-night host´s illicit affairs, Letterman says he holds himself responsible for the fallout. "I have no one to blame but myself," Letterman tells Oprah Winfrey in an interview with the media maven airing Sunday on her OWN network. "And now, I feel better about myself, my relationship with my wife is never better, and it´s just
Hillary Clinton has gone Hollywood. One of the hottest political screenplays in Tinseltown is about the outgoing secretary of state, and it’s by a 39-year-old newcomer writer from South Korea. Dubbed “Rodham,” Young Il Kim’s screenplay follows a 20-something Hillary Rodham as she’s trying to decide between her career and boyfriend. This is, after all, the Clintons, so the stakes are of historic proportions. Her job? The youngest attorney on the House Judiciary Committee working to impeach President Richard Nixon. Her boyfriend? Bill Clinton, who was trying to launch his political career in Arkansas.
In 2008, Barack Obama promised that he would not use signing statements, but last night he released when to accompany his signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Here´s Obama´s pledge: (video) He said that signing statements are a presidential power grab, and made clear he believed it violated the Constitution. Overnight, however, Obama released this signing statement, in an attempt to try to change the meaning of the defense bill Congress sent to him for his signature:
WASHINGTON — Furious GOP lawmakers unloaded on fellow Republican House Speaker John Boehner yesterday for spiking a bill to provide $60 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief — prompting a stunning about-face that puts the disaster aid back on a fast track. Boehner had told lawmakers late Tuesday night that the bill wouldn’t get a vote before the end of this Congress’ term — without offering a specific reason — triggering outrage within the New York and New Jersey delegations. Lawmakers in both parties immediately concluded that Boehner, who is up for re-election as speaker today,
WASHINGTON — Northeastern Republicans, long outnumbered and overshadowed in their own party nationally, erupted in fury on Wednesday after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives blocked a measure that sought to provide billions of dollars in aid to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.The depth of the anger was extraordinary and exceedingly personal, with one Republican after another venting their outrage at one man in particular, Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, who quietly moved to keep the bill from coming to the floor early Wednesday