With the fiscal cliff averted at last on New Year´s Day, President Barack Obama returned to his vacation spot on Kailua Beach in Oahu, Hawaii Wednesday morning for some much-needed R & R. Obama had previously cut the vacation short to deal with the fiscal crisis. Each U.S. president has found his own way to unwind from the stresses of leading the free world, including Harry Truman, who once called the White House the "crown jewel of the federal penal system" because he felt so confined there. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both escaped to ranches out west.
The trust responsible for selling and cleaning up former General Motors properties has reached an agreement to sell the shuttered GM plant near Shreveport, La., to a start-up carmaker that plans to hire 1,500 new workers. An ultra-small carmaker called Elio Motors signed a deal to buy the former GM Shreveport Assembly and Stamping plant in Caddo Parish from the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust. (Snip) A Shreveport TV station quoted a local politician saying the plant would not be unionized. On its website, Elio doesn’t list information about its investors
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents announced today they have rescued 44 children from sexual abuse as part of a child pornography investigation that netted 245 arrests over five weeks late last year. Agents have identified an additional 79 individuals who have been abused as children including 24 victims who now may be adults and are seeking the public´s help to identify individuals who are alleged to be sexually abusing young children, with the images posted on the Internet. "Many times, our investigations into people who possess and trade child pornography reveal new
Belleville — Police Chief William Clay has banned all on-duty police officers from eating at Denny´s Restaurant on South Illinois Street after a detective was asked to remove her gun or leave the restaurant on New Year´s Day. "All sworn (uniformed/non-uniformed) officers have been prohibited from entering Denny´s Restaurant at 1130 South Illinois for any meal or coffee breaks while on duty," Clay said in a released statement. "Additionally, no officers may enter the restaurant off-duty if in uniform." Calls for service by Denny´s will continue to receive the appropriate law enforcement
Detroit officials this morning said the city had 411 homicides in 2012, including those termed justifiable homicides. The city reported 386 criminal homicides, compared to 344 in 2011. Including justifiable homicides, there were 377 homicides in 2011, the city reported. Detroit Police Inspector Dwane Blackmon, head of homicide, said criminal homicide is defined as the willful taking of another person’s life. He said justifiable homicides are murders “not done in a criminal manner” and can include an officer taking someone’s life in the course of his or her job. (Snip) Last year was one of the bloodiest in
Democrats, facing a challenging fight to retake the House of Representatives in 2014, see a promising new line of attack rising out of the fiscal cliff follies: casting the Republican congressional majority as a terminally dysfunctional body that cannot perform the basic functions of government, let alone lead the country through difficult times. It’s a meaningful shift from the Democrats’ message in 2012, when President Barack Obama’s party gained a modest eight seats in the House attacking Republicans as ultraconservative allies of the super-rich. After the past two weeks of tumultuous
2012 was a rough year for the Republican Party’s relationship with women. From Missouri Senate nominee Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments to the party’s efforts to cut funding for preventative care (particularly important for women seeking cancer screenings and the like) to Rep. Darrell Issa’s all-male panel on contraception mandates and religious liberty — and the subsequent attacks from Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing voices on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, whom Issa had barred from the hearing — the GOP repeatedly showed a less-than-impressive concern for women’s
Time Warner Cable minced no words when it announced on Wednesday night that it was dropping Current TV, just hours after Al Jazeera acquired the channel. “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service,” the distributor said. “We are removing the service as quickly as possible.” Critics of the distributor’s decision didn’t hold back, either, calling it cowardly, shameful and just plain dumb. On Twitter and Facebook, many people assumed that Time Warner Cable was expressing corporate opposition to Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant,
Trenton — A Linden man pleaded guilty today to various weapons charges for selling two assault rifles, an assault pistol and a revolver to an undercover detective and an informant, the state Attorney General´s Office said. Andre Doss, 31, also admitted to conspiracy to distribute various illegal drugs, the office said in a news release. Prosecutors will recommend Doss be sentenced to 10 years in prison, including five years of parole ineligibility. Sentencing is set for April 15. Doss admitted that in July and August 2011, he arranged, and with the help of co-defendant Duquan Wells,
Trenton - In the 36 days since Gov. Chris Christie confirmed he would run for re-election, his campaign has raised $2.1 million. That means, if he were to participate in the state’s public campaign financing program, he could stop raising money today and still take full advantage of the program. The primary is June 11. “This is unprecedented, the speed at which the governor raised the maximum,” said Bill Palatucci, a longtime adviser who ran Gov. Tom Kean’s wildly successful re-election campaign in 1985. Word of mouth, the internet and direct mail drove the giving.
She may be going through personal dramas all of her own, but Hillary Clinton´s early life could soon be appearing on the Silver Screen. A script about the Secretary of State in her 20s and how she chose her husband over her career has become the talk of Hollywood. The husband in question is future President Bill Clinton, and her job was as the youngest member of the House Judiciary Committee trying to impeach President Nixon. In one scene the young Mrs Clinton--who was released from hospital yesterday over a blood clot on her brain--is shown kissing her husband
Officials say they have broken up a smuggling ring in which narwhal tusks from the Canadian Artic were brought to Maine in a trailer with a secret compartment and then illegally sold to American buyers. Andrew Zarauskus, of Union, N.J., and Jay Conrad, of Lakeland, Tenn., will be arraigned in Bangor, Maine, next week on federal smuggling and money laundering charges. An indictment says two Canadians for nearly a decade smuggled the whale tusks into Maine, where they were shipped via FedEx to Zarauskus, Conrad and other American buyers. Narwhals are known as the unicorns of the sea for their spiral,
Vice President Joe Biden “guaranteed” Mayor Thomas M. Menino — a leading national gun control advocate — that President Obama will pass sweeping firearms reforms by the end of the month, the mayor said today. “He said, ‘Tommy, I guarantee you, we’ll get it done by the end of January,’” Menino said at City Hall today. “They’re going to get it done.” The mayor, who has been recovering from a host of ailments for the past two months, said Biden called him several times while he was in the hospital, including a call after the Newtown school massacre
Hormel Foods apparently has a hankering for a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. The company primarily known for Spam and other cured, smoked and deli meats said Thursday that it´s buying Skippy, the country´s No. 2 peanut butter brand, in its biggest-ever acquisition. Skippy, which was introduced in 1932 and is a staple in American pantries, is intended to increase Hormel´s presence in the center of the supermarket where nonperishable foods are sold. It also gives the Austin, Minn.-based company a stronger footing in international markets. Skippy is sold in about 30 countries and is the leading
NEW YORK- George Washington, first president, said this: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." Eldridge Cleaver, civil rights leader, said this: "Americans think of themselves collectively as a huge rescue squad on 24-hour call." Toby Keith, populist country singer, said this: "This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage - and you´ll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A." Now: Place those three divergent sentiments in a large bowl. Whip vigorously until blended. There you´ll have, in one curious, often contradictory recipe,
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