The National Jewish Democratic Council said it was confident Chuck Hagel would follow what it called President Obama’s “unprecedented” pro-Israel record. The statement Monday morning came before Obama’s formal announcement expected later Monday nominating Hagel, a former Republican senator, for defense secretary. “President Barack Obama’s unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the president,” said the statement, which was not attached to the name of an NJDC official. “While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Senator Chuck Hagel will follow the President’s lead of providing unrivaled support
It would seem, at this point, that former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson probably has a vacation home in Pyongyang. He’s visited Stalinist North Korea more than a half a dozen times, and has often boasted of his close relationship with “the North Koreans.” (Presumably, he means “the North Korean regime,” as it’s highly doubtful that the portly former New Mexico governor has had many dealings with the starving, oppressed North Korean people.) So it’s not altogether surprising that Richardson arrived, once again, in Pyongyang last night, openly defying the wishes of the State Department, who declared
Bank of America agreed on Monday to pay more than $10 billion to Fannie Mae to settle claims over troubled mortgages that soured during the housing crash, mostly loans issued by the bank’s Countrywide Financial subsidiary. Separately, federal regulators reached an $8.5 billion settlement on Monday to resolve claims of foreclosure abuses that included flawed paperwork used in foreclosures and bungled loan modifications by 10 major lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citibank. About $3.3 billion of that settlement amount will go toward Americans who went through foreclosure in 2009 and 2010, while $5.2 billion will
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) was elected by Republicans on the Senate Committee on Armed Services to serve as the new ranking member. The seat became open following Sen. John McCain’s (R., Ariz.) term limit. Inhofe accepted the role offering his top five priorities: 1. Missile Defense and Nuclear Modernization: Ensure our nuclear programs are on track for modernization and that our missile defenses are adequate to secure the nation and our allies. 2. Acquisition Reform: Define program risks upfront and balance R&D and procurement funding; ensure accountability for programs; pursue contracting reforms,
I’m not anti-Hagel, I’m anti-anti-anti-Hagel!Slate‘s Fred Kaplan, defending Chuck Hagel, writes: More disturbing to some conservatives, he opposed President Bush’s 2007 troop surge in Iraq. The surge and its accompanying shift in strategy did help significantly tamp down the violence in Iraq and allowed, five years later, for a dignified U.S. exit. In that sense, it “worked.” But it only bought time for the Iraqi political factions to settle their differences.
Good Morning America´s Martha Raddatz on Monday seemed perplexed as to why conservatives would oppose Chuck Hagel´s nomination for Secretary of Defense. According to the journalist, one might think the former Republican senator is the "perfect choice," a man who "dared [to] speak out" against George W. Bush´s troop surge in Iraq. Raddatz mentioned concern about Hagel´s stance toward Israel, but didn´t explain what his "controversial" votes were. Instead, she blurbed, "You might think that a Republican Vietnam veteran, former senator with all kinds of foreign policy experience would be the perfect choice to ease the
MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough is unhappy with the “mainstream” media for giving Senate Democrats a “free ride” on never proposing their own budget. After declaring for the rest of his show’s hosts that what Washington has is a “spending problem,” Scarborough took exception to Mika Brzezinski saying “we’ve got to get the two parties to seriously talk about spending,” saying: You say to get the two parties to talk about it, let’s look at what’s happened. Paul Ryan put a budget out. What did we hear about Paul Ryan’s budget after he put it out
Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending. . . . The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes. This sets up tax reform as one of the biggest fights of the 113th Congress, which began on Thursday. Headline repaired and split by staff
If media reports are true, Barack Obama will soon nominate Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. If so, it may prove the most consequential foreign-policy appointment of his presidency. Because the struggle over Hagel is a struggle over whether Obama can change the terms of foreign-policy debate. Understanding what that means requires understanding the state of foreign-policy discourse in the two parties today.(Snip) At the heart of the opposition to Hagel is the fear that he will do what Republicans have thus far largely prevented: bring America’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan into the Iran debate.
Buried at the bottom of a New York Times piece might be the real reason to explain why New York´s Journal News did something as sensationally stupid as publishing the names and addresses of over 30,000 legal gun owners living in two New York counties. In just five years, the Journal News´ Monday through Friday circulation rate has plummeted almost 40%, "from 111,536 in September 2007 to 68,850 in September 2012." What the paper did with respect to law-abiding gun owners might have been morally wrong, and it most certainly created a ripple of
The gun-control debate gives us Obamanomics in a nutshell. Government regulation of commerce is often expanded to the benefit of – and with the cooperation of – the biggest business in the industry being regulation. The Washington Post reports on Obama’s efforts to regulate the sale of guns: One potential strategy would be to win support for specific measures from interest groups that are normally aligned with the NRA, according to one person who works closely with the administration on gun-related issues and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity.
He claims that he had no idea that a gun was in his bag when he went through LAX Airport back in October, leading to his arrest. The 62-year-old actor has now been hit with two misdemeanor weapon charges - including carrying a concealed firearm and taking a prohibited weapon through the sterile area at the airport, according toTMZ.(Snip)TSA agents found an unloaded 9mm Glock and a novelty police badge in Scalia´s carry-on bag when he went through security at Los Angeles airport last October. Following the bust, Scalia said he knew nothing about what was found
Russell County High School student Derek Shrout, 17, will be in court this afternoon facing a felony charge of attempted assault after he was arrested for allegedly planning to use homemade explosives in a terrorist attack on fellow students at the school in Seale, Ala. Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Sunday a search of Shrout´s home Friday found about a couple dozen small tobacco cans and two large cans, all with holes drilled in them and containing pellets. He said other ingredients to complete the small bombs -- such as black powder, butane and fuses -- were not
On her Saturday program on Fox News Channel, host Jeanine Pirro tore into the New York-based paper, The Journal News, which recently outed her and many other local residents as gun owners. Pirro said that the paper’s actions have made them look weak and scared. The fact that they have had to hire armed guards for their protection after publishing the map is striking hypocrisy. (Snip) “The firestorm began when The Journal News identified gun owners in a pedophile-like, interactive map,” Pirro said. “The battered woman, hiding from her abuser, whose address has been protected by the courts.
Rapper Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, said in an interview with GQ magazine that he would “love” to show his kids “the right way” to smoke weed, but he wouldn’t push it on them. "It´s not that I would ever push weed on our kids," said Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, in the January issue of GQ, "but if they wanted to, I would love to show them how, the right way, so that way they won´t get nothing put in their s*** or overdose or trying some s*** that ain´t clean."
Are Democrats done raising taxes on the American people? "No," says House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "We can raise more revenue," says Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). And Sen. Dick Durban (D-Ill.) says "there are still deductions, credits, special treatments under the tax code which ought to be looked at very carefully." The three Democrats took similar questions about additional tax hikes on different Sunday talk shows. Interviewed Friday by Bob Schieffer, host of CBS´s "Face the Nation," Pelosi was asked if the "revenue side" of the fiscal cliff is finished. Revenue means higher taxes to Democrats.
Until recently, falconry—the ancient art of hunting small game with trained birds of prey—was just a hobby for Michael Gregston, who makes a living leading canoe trips down the Missouri River. But to supplement his income, he has been toting four of his rare hawks and falcons in the bitter cold to an unusual destination for a bird enthusiast: an oil refinery. "The battle begins when the sun goes down," said Mr. Gregston, 60 years old. Donning a bright green hard-hat and fireproof suit on a recent afternoon, he prepared to fly his prized birds into the labyrinth of pipes and towers
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III limped around for much of Sunday´s playoff game against Seattle, and was finally forced out of the game when his knee gave out fielding a low shotgun snap in the fourth quarter. The injury already brought up questions and comments by FOX announcer Troy Aikman, who cited controversial remarks by well-known orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who told USA Today that he did not clear Robert Griffin III to return to the Redskins´ Dec. 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens after he sprained his right knee. "I´m the one that
LOS ANGELES — Conversations must begin honestly. It is perfectly legitimate to analyze leaders with critical lenses. People fight and die for this freedom. Times are serious, and Obama may not be. The question of whether OBama is lazy evokes everything from discomfort to rage. Yet asking and answering questions provokes "national conversations" that President Obama cherishes. Racism exists (thankfully, such views are marginalized) and in the past. Calling blacks "lazy" is one way for racists to spread their message. Denying the connotation denies history. So how can calling Obama lazy not be racist?
WASHINGTON — Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny K. Davis told The Daily Caller that President Obama should have the power to raise the nation’s debt ceiling without congressional approval, citing the example of President Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation as a good use of presidential authority. “Sometimes when we’ve gotten great answers is when presidents have had enough authority to take some actions,” Davis told TheDC on Capitol Hill Friday. “I mean, remember that we just celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and if Abraham Lincoln had not had the power, authority and
A retired Portland city administrator made more than $22,000 a month last fall after being awarded no-bid contracts with the city and the school district, the Oregonian reported Sunday. Officials said they generally prefer competitive contracting, but added that no one else offered Yvonne Deckard´s expertise.The pay wasn't out of line for specialized work and contracts didn't violate any policies, but the deals raise questions about competition among contractors _ particularly when a former employee is involved. Content added by staff
Los Angeles—Actor Thomas Gibson has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in downtown Los Angeles. CBS2's Art Barron reports that Gibson was arrested about 1:37 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of 11th and Grand Avenue. The Los Angeles Police Department — Traffic Division took the 50-year-old star into custody after he allegedly drove through a barricade that had been set up for the first-ever half-marathon “New Year’s Race — Los Angeles At Night.” No one was injured.(Snip)The Julliard-educated Gibson is known for his roles on CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” “Chicago Hope” and ABC’s “Dharma and Greg.”
WASHINGTON (AP) - In Connecticut and Colorado, scenes of the most deadly U.S. mass shootings in 2012, people were less enthusiastic about buying new guns at the end of the year than in most other states, according to an Associated Press analysis of new FBI data. The biggest surges in background checks for people who want to carry or buy guns occurred in states in the South and West. (Snip) Nationally, there were nearly twice as many more background checks for firearms between November and December than during the same time period one year ago.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released a video of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi delivering racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American remarks . The incendiary rhetoric becomes relevant now that the Obama administration plans to give 200 Abrams tanks and 10 F-16 fighter jets to the Morsi government. Morsi expounded on his anti-American and anti-Zionist views in 2010, as a member of the Guidance Office of the Muslim Brotherhood.
A war-toughened, 90-year-old Merchant Marine veteran and his steely 89-year-old wife have moved back into their storm-savaged home in the Rockaways — no thanks to the heartless naysayers in Congress. True grit, hard work, a loving family and the boundless determination of selfless New Yorkers put Larry and Yetta Eichen back in their Queens home of 40 years Saturday — while Washington windbags played politics with desperately needed Sandy aid. “Don’t stab us in the back!” said an emotional Eichen as he returned to his two-story attached home on Beach 120th St. after two months living
President Obama wants to get credit for bipartisanship, so he picks a Republican defense secretary who will garner few if any Republican votes. He walks away from a politically loyal African American woman for secretary of state (whose nomination would open up his political liabilities) but goes forward with a white, Republican man (whose nomination puts gobs of Senate Republicans in an untenable spot). The two groups of Democrats (gays and Jews) who turned out in droves for him watch a nomination proceed with someone who had tried to exclude gays from government and accused Jews of dual loyalty.