WASHINGTON — California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein staged a dramatic press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with 10 weapons at her side and unveiled legislation instituting a government ban on more than 150 types of firearms, including rifles, pistols and shotguns. Flanked by other anti-gun liberal lawmakers, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Feinstein announced the introduction of the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.” The legislation being pushed by Feinstein — who has long history of calling for gun bans — would prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of certain firearms.
A few thoughts on filibuster reform: 1. The reason there wasn’t root-and-branch reform of the filibuster is that most Senate Democrats didn’t want root-and-branch reform of the filibuster. (Snip) The reason it doesn’t is that time is precious. The talking filibuster had many virtues, but at its core, it got the causality of the problem backwards. The reason the minority doesn’t burn time on the Senate floor talking isn’t because they don’t want to. It’s because the majority doesn’t want them to. 3. The reform idea that held the most promise was the “41-vote rule.” Right now, breaking a filibuster requires the majority
New York has yet to receive an estimated $30 billion from Washington for Hurricane Sandy relief, but Governor Andrew Cuomo already knows one way he plans to spend it. (Snip) “There are some parcels that Mother Nature owns,“ he said earlier this month in his official State of the State speech. “She may only visit once every few years, but she owns the parcel and when she comes to visit, she visits.” To deal with such intrusions, the governor wants to give homeowners in these areas a choice. New York will help them rebuild a better house — on stilts, for example, higher than future floodwaters.
First there were near-tears, and then a protester had to be forced out, but Sen. John Kerry took it all in stride. Kerry choked up at his secretary of state confirmation hearings this morning when discussing his father’s history in the U.S. Foreign Service, and how he was “equally proud” of both that history and his own as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “If you confirm me, I would take office as secretary proud that the Senate is in my blood, but equally proud that so, too, is the Foreign Service,” the Massachusetts Democrat
2013 has just started, but a slew of new education studies and reports have already emerged. It´s intimidating to sort through all the numbers and percentages and wonder what it really means — and more importantly, what it means for kids in Michigan. But a new study from the Center for Michigan focuses on what citizens would like to see in schools. It´s a refreshing perspective. (Snip) Residents gave the K-12 system an average score, which meshes with the state´s lackluster test results when compared with others states. Looking ahead, most residents want to ensure teachers
The State Department has only ´advised´ Americans against traveling to the Libyan city of Benghazi even after Britain, Germany and the Netherlands today urged their citizens to immediately leave the in response to what was described as an imminent threat against Westerners. The US pointed to a travel advisory issued earlier this month and did not strengthen its warning even after the European countries issued statements variously describing the threat as specific and imminent but none gave details as to its exact nature. The warnings come a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified to Congress about
Washington - The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into possible contract rigging by the general counsel at the government agency that distributes foreign aid, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Memos from the inspector general of the U.S. Agency for International Development also reveal that the IG is investigating whether Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg tried to interfere with the internal investigation. (Snip) The original investigation focused on whether Lisa Gomer, USAID general counsel, may have "wired" a contract last May so the winner of the solicitation would be the agency´s retiring chief financial officer, David Ostermeyer.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla are hosting a fundraiser for New Jersey´s governor Chris Christie, adding their name to the long list of friends that the Republican is collecting in his bid for re-election. The Facebook billionaire has become close with the governor since he donated $100million in 2011 to help improve public schools in one of the state´s toughest cities. A fan with that kind of money could undoubtedly be helpful for Mr Christie as he evaluates his presidential prospects for 2016. ´They admire his leadership on education reform and other issues and look forward to
A plant grown inside a sealed glass bottle is still thriving despite not having water or fresh air for more than 40 years. Gardener David Latimer, 80, from Cranleigh in Surrey, first planted his bottle garden in 1960 and finally sealed it tightly shut 12 years later - yet it´s still going strong. He recently took a picture of the 53-year-old bottle garden along to Radio 4 Gardener´s Question Time, where it was hailed as an amazing example of plants recycling their own waste by members of the programme´s expert panel. Scroll down for video
Even for Nevadans, who have in recent years seen a governor accused of assaulting a cocktail waitress and a senator acknowledge a career-ending affair with his best friend’s wife, the latest spectacle is still riveting.The slow, public hara-kiri of one Steven Brooks has unprecedented elements—and that’s saying something for Nevada. The story of the Democratic assemblyman, arrested and accused of threats to a Democratic speaker after being found with a .357 revolver and 41 rounds in a shoebox in his trunk, has transfixed a state where politics inhabit a spectrum from weird to outrageous.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry breezed through a relatively easy hearing as senators quizzed him about the growing Iranian nuclear threat and President Obama’s actions following a terrorist attack in Benghazi before they vote on his confirmation as Secretary of State. “My sense is your confirmation will go through very, very quickly,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn), the ranking Republican on the committee, later adding, “I know you’re going to be confirmed in the next very few days.” The most heated questions from members of the committee on foreign relations seemed to focus on other political players rather
A long time ago, “Bolivian marching powder” meant cocaine. Now it could mean quinoa. Quinoa is a massive crop that for millennia has honed its extraterrestrial nutritional powers in the dizzying altitudes of the Andes. In recent years, this curious substance—like coke before it—has also become a major export for Peru and Bolivia. But, as the Guardian recently reported, the foreign market for the good seed has driven the street price of quinoa up so high that most Bolivians and Peruvians can no longer afford their homegrown staple. For the people who used to live on it, protein-dense quinoa
United Continental Holdings Inc. will cut about 600 front-office jobs through voluntary and involuntary cuts, the company said Thursday as it announced disappointing financial losses for 2012. The world´s largest airline did not detail where cutbacks will take place, but Chicago is likely to be most affected considering the corporate headquarters and network operations center are in downtown Chicago and that Chicago O´Hare airport is one of the airline´s largest hubs. The job cuts were announced Thursday morning during a conference call about the airline´s profits. United officials said they were disappointed in the airline company´s 2012 performance
One of the first stories I came across this morning was the news that the New York Times is once again in financial turmoil. By 5PM today, thirty senior staffers must agree to voluntarily resign. If not, terminations will ensue. This is the fourth time this has happened to the Times in just five years. Yeah, that is a shame. It´s no coincidence, either, that this day of downsizing occurs just a few days after a NYT editor Andrew Rosenthal, not only slobbered all over Obama like teenage groupie, but publicly accused the GOP of racism for daring to
The long Election Day lines around Florida may have turned away more than 200,000 frustrated would-be voters who gave up and went home before they cast ballots — or else saw the lines and elected not to join them. Analyzing data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen estimated last week that at least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration on Nov. 6, based on research Allen has been doing on voter behavior. His preliminary conclusion was based on the Sentinel´s analysis of voter patterns and precinct-closing times in Florida´s 25 largest counties,
After President Obama’s second inaugural address, Van Jones, former Obama White House "green jobs" czar, praised the speech, calling it “Djobama Unchained” (after the controversial movie Django Unchained, about a freed slave taking revenge). On Wednesday night, during a lecture at Loyola University Chicago, I asked Jones what he meant. He explained that while President Obama is not a socialist, he is, in fact, a "communitarian." After a long recapping of the first four years of the Obama’s presidency, Jones elaborated: It’s very interesting to see him now, actually, free. Watching this man for four years,
Seoul - North Korea said on Thursday it would carry out further rocket launches and a nuclear test that would target the United States, dramatically stepping up its threats against a country it called its "sworn enemy". (Snip) North Korea is not believed to have the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States, although its December launch showed it had the capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles), potentially putting San Francisco in range, according to an intelligence assessment by South Korea. "We are not disguising the fact
Tripoli & London - European countries urged their nationals to leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday, with Britain citing a "specific and imminent" threat to Westerners days after a deadly attack by Islamist militants in neighboring Algeria. Officials declined to give details, but Britain has warned of a growing militant threat in North Africa, which Prime Minister David Cameron has called a "magnet for jihadists". (Snip) He just said there are threats of attacks on foreign institutions run by foreigners and that schools and hospitals are on the list."
They are the most unlikely contestants in a verbal battle over conservation – a 14-year-old schoolgirl and arguably the world´s most powerful woman, Hillary Clinton. Bindi Irwin happens to be the daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and the teenager is now snapping at the heels of the U.S. Secretary of State after an essay she wrote for Mrs Clinton´s e-journal was savaged by the editors. Although it is unlikely that Mrs Clinton had a hand in drastically editing Bindi´s 1,000 word essay on conservation, the Australian teenager is furious about the re-worked presentation and has
Energy: With a clean bill of health from the Cornhusker State´s governor, only the president´s green base and the State Department´s shared belief in nonexistent climate change stands in the way of jobs and growth. As we noted earlier, Nebraska´s Department of Environmental Quality recently gave the revised Keystone XL pipeline route from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, through that state a thumbs up. Not surprisingly, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved the revised Keystone XL pipeline proposal through his state, seemingly removing the last excuse for the Obama administration to delay the economy-boosting pipeline.
A massive boycott sparked by the NRA and other gun-rights groups outraged that the nation´s largest outdoors show banned the exhibition of assault weapons has caused the show´s organizers to abruptly cancel the week-long event in Harrisburg, Pa. The successful boycott was the biggest demonstration of support by the outdoors industry and outdoorsmen yet against gun control efforts being pushed in Washington and in several states. "Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone, for now, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show given the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles
SACRAMENTO -In a strident and sweeping State of the State address, Gov. Jerry Brown declared Thursday morning that "California did the impossible," bouncing back from the precipice of fiscal collapse to emerge as an economic leader. With references to the Bible, the history of the California republic and Irish poet William Butler Yeats, Brown mapped out a vision for the state that includes big investment in its water and rail systems and schools free of regulations that he says inhibit flexibility and creativity. Brown also called a special session of the Legislature for implementation of President Obama´s healthcare law,
List of Firearms Prohibited by Name Rifles: All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK-74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR-47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK- 47, VEPR, WASR-10, and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS; All AR types, including the following: AR-10, AR-15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15-T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR-70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R-15 rifles,
McDonald’s, one of the largest single buyers of fish in the country, said all of its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and Fish McBites snacks will be made of Alaskan Pollack sustainably fished in the wild. And the company is willing to pay to prove it. The fast-food giant will pay annual fees and royalties to the Marine Stewardship Council for the right to slap the group’s so-called ecolabel on its product packaging in its 14,000 stores nationwide. Mega-retailers such as Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and Walgreens already carry products bearing the blue label.
The girl turned out to be fake, but the emotions Manti Te´o felt at the time of her supposed death were real, the Notre Dame linebacker said. Te´o spoke to ABC´s Katie Couric for his first on-camera interview since news broke last week that his supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, did not exist. Segments of the conversation have been released in advance of the full interview, which will air Thursday on Couric´s daytime talk show. Te´o had spoken to reporters repeatedly about his supposed girlfriend and her battle with cancer, a story that captivated college football fans
The brief honeymoon between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama appears to be over. The Republican lawmaker slammed Obama´s second inaugural address earlier this week, calling it excessively partisan. “Instead of trying to bring people together it was a manifesto for, ‘Hey, it’s my way or the highway,’ ” Christie said during a radio interview reported by PolitickerNJ. The governor added that he hoped Obama would make more of an attempt to unify the parties in his second term. “We’re going to see how he acts moving forward,” Christie said. The comments were some of the first critical