TRENTON — The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that a Cape May County mother did not abuse her child by using cocaine two days before she gave birth since the infant was born unharmed. The decision by the justices underscored its belief that only a child that has been born — and not a fetus — can be protected by New Jersey´s child protection law. All child abuse cases weigh a parent´s right to "raise a child without undue interference by the state" and the state´s "responsibility to protect the welfare of children," Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote.
Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel faces another obstacle in his already contentious fight for confirmation as the Obama administration’s next secretary of defense. According to Foreign Policy, the Senate Armed Services Committee is investigating a sexual harassment allegation by a former Hagel staffer. The unnamed staffer has been interviewed by the committee about an incident that took place in 2007. The staffer, whose allegation was found credible by committee staff, does not involve Hagel directly. Instead, the investigation appears to center on whether Hagel knew of the incident and whether it was handled appropriately.
The offices of Dr. Salomon Melgen raided by the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services last week served as the postal address of 11 mysterious companies linked to the ophthalmologist, who is now the subject of two federal investigations into allegations of Medicare fraud and public corruption. The wealthy donor to Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) runs his eye center from offices at 2521 Metrocentre Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida. That address is also listed in the Florida secretary of state records for seven active companies and four now-defunct businesses.
HARTFORD — As Rep. Joe Courtney watched the Oscar-nominated "Lincoln" over the weekend, something didn´t seem right to him. He said Tuesday he was shocked that the film, about President Abraham Lincoln´s political struggle to abolish slavery, includes a scene in which two Connecticut congressmen vote against the 13th amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery. "´Wow. Connecticut voted against abolishing slavery?´" Courtney recalled hearing audience members ask. "I obviously had the same reaction. It was really bugging me."
Washington-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, already deeply immersed in high-profile domestic policy, is finding that his clout extends to foreign affairs as well, as he plays a top surrogate role for President Barack Obama in the early days of their second term. Biden is now in many ways viewed as Obama´s "Mr. Fix-it," who struck a crucial budget deal in January and who is able to navigate his way comfortably through Washington´s complex power structure with a back-slapping joviality that Democrats find endearing despite the occasional verbal misstep. The 70-year-old former senator has often been viewed as gaffe-prone, Headline updated by staff
Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will join the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as a distinguished fellow. Geithner left the Treasury at the end of January and will rejoin an organization where he previously served as a senior fellow in 2001. "We are thrilled to welcome Tim back to the Council on Foreign Relations," said CFR President Richard N. Haass. "Both at Treasury and at the New York Federal Reserve, Tim was a tireless, creative, and responsible custodian of the public trust. His coming to CFR only strengthens our capacity to produce thoughtful analysis of issues at the
On today’s Your World, fill-in host Stuart Varney got into a heated battle with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) over the issue of “fairness” in increasing taxes on the wealthy. Ellison’s revenue plan includes closing tax loopholes that mainly affect wealthier Americans — estate tax deductions, stock option loopholes, etc. — which prompted Varney to bluntly ask whether this plan was purely aimed at squeezing more money out of the rich. “We go a little further than that and we say we’re going to close loopholes for fossil fuel companies likes Exxon Mobil and Chevron.
The Congressional Black Caucus is lobbying President Obama to name Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., as his new Transportation secretary. Rep. Marcia Fudge, the Ohio Democrat who chairs the caucus, told National Journal on Tuesday that she had sent a letter on behalf of the caucus to recommend Clyburn, who has long worked on transportation issues. The advice comes as Obama has faced criticism for a lack of diversity in his Cabinet, exacerbated by the departures of a string of female and non-white officials.(Snip)The caucus last month recommended Rep. Barbara Lee,D-Calif., for Labor secretary and Melvin Watt,D-N.C., Link repaired by staff
Staff writers Scott K. Parks and Haley Thayer report: The Boy Scouts of America board has deferred any decision on its controversial membership policy that bans gays and lesbians from Scouting. Daron Smith, a spokesman for organization’s national headquarters in Irving, released a statement this morning saying that the national board won’t make a decision today on altering the policy. Instead, he said, the Boy Scouts will gather more information and opinions from its stakeholders around the nation and then reconsider the membership policy at its annual meeting in May. The Boy Scouts’ statement follows in full:
Americans who are concerned about traditional freedoms and the Second Amendment have no difficulty understanding the message of the popular bumper strip: "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." It should be just as easy to grasp the corollary: If nukes are outlawed, only terrorist countries will have nukes. But somehow, Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel don´t get it. In a 2007 campaign speech, Obama promised: "Here´s what I´ll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons."
It´s the job of government, not families, to take care of grandma, says Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. McDermott, appearing on C-SPAN Tuesday, said he opposes cuts to Medicare, the government program that paid his own parents´ medical bills: "Now we have a Medicare program, where my father -- and my father lived to 93, my mother to 97 -- and my brothers and sisters and I did nothing for them, except pay their taxes." McDermott said there is no reason to cut Medicare benefits for senior citizens, even though spending will
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he hopes extending equal immigration rights to same-sex couples does not become a “central issue” as lawmakers weigh measures to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. "I think if that issue becomes a central issue in the debate it´s going to become harder to get it done because there will be strong feelings on both sides,” said Rubio in an interview with Buzzfeed on Tuesday. (Snip) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who signed on to the Senate proposal, said that including that provision would sink Republican support. On Tuesday, a group of Democratic lawmakers reintroduced
According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion. In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion. (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and "other" spending listed by the CBO under healthcare.)
On Jan. 30, the Obama administration unveiled a long list of exemptions from the ObamaCare insurance mandate. Flaws and contradictions in the law will cause millions of people to be uninsured. The administration also estimated that the cheapest family plan will cost $20,000 by 2016. This new information indicates that the Affordable Care Act is failing in both goals: making insurance affordable and covering the uninsured. Children are the biggest victims. The hastily drafted law, passed before it was read, overlooked them. The law says that beginning in 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time
Complying with the raging tsunami of new Obamacare rules and regulations will cost American businesses and families 127 million hours annually, enough time to carve out another 1,039 Mount Rushmores which took 14 years complete, according to a new House report. Based on figures from President Obama´s own Office of Management and Budget and Internal Revenue Service, the new report provided to Secrets reveals that the health reform law set to fully go into effect in 11 months will be the most costly federal burden to hit American in generations.
Annapolis, Md.—Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., had stern words for the White House and its nominee to take over the CIA on Wednesday, threatening to “pull out all the stops” in his effort to get legal analysis for targeted killings of U.S. citizens suspected of being terrorists. “I want it understood that because this is such a central [issue], you have an individual with enormous influence who is really the architect of the counterterror policy in the Obama administration that I am going to pull out all the stops to get the actual legal analysis because with out it,
A decision on whether the Boy Scouts of America will keep its policy that excludes gay members and leaders will not be voted on until the organization´s annual meeting in May, the national executive board said Wednesday. Deron Smith, the BSA director of public relations, said the executive board will prepare a resolution to be voted on by the 1,400 voting members of the national council. "After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization,
Iran already has nuclear capabilities but is not interested in attacking Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview published Wednesday in the Egyptian media. Ahmadinejad arrived in Egypt on Tuesday on the first trip by an Iranian head of state since the 1979 revolution, underlining the thaw in relations since Egyptians elected an Islamist head of state last year. The president´s visit to Cairo is for an Islamic summit due to begin Wednesday. The world must now relate to Iran as an atomic power, Ahmadinejad told Al-Ahram Headline split by staff
Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is joining the Council on Foreign Relations, the president of the organization tweeted Wednesday morning. “[Former] sec of Treasury Tim Geithner joining #CFR as distinguished fellow. Thrilled to have this leading [practitioner] & thinker in our midst,” tweeted CFR President Richard Haass. Geithner, the former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was a senior fellow at the Council in 2001 and will be based in New York, at the organization’s headquarters, according to information published exclusively in POLITICO’s Playbook, by Mike Allen. “We are thrilled to welcome Tim
US President Barack Obama´s upcoming visit to Jerusalem - the first of its kind since he entered the White House in 2009 - will be without precondition, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio on Wednesday morning. Obama will discuss three main issues with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: restarting the peace process with the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear program and the civil war in Syria and the risks it poses to Israel, Shapiro told Israel Radio. "President Obama very much respects the Israeli political process," he said. "He won´t intervene in elections or coalition talks,
While Hollywood liberals such as Jim Carrey mock gun owners in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre, Bruce Willis on Wednesday strongly came out in support of the Second Amendment. Speaking to the Associated Press, Willis said, "I think that you can´t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it´s all going to become undone."´´If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn´t they take all your rights away from you?" Willis rhetorically asked. Yet the star of the upcoming film "Good Day to Die Hard" wasn´t
"Mr. Orr, this is the White House operator." As a White House spokesman, I received phone calls like this all the time. But this was the first time the president´s secretary had ordered me to report to the Oval Office immediately. Before 7 a.m. on a Saturday. It was December 2003. Iraq was all over the news. We were closing in on the capture of Saddam Hussein. But — and the nation should be thankful — this wasn´t my domain. President George W. Bush had another reason for calling for me now. Barney Cam. How it happened - Whenever I'm asked to speak about my tenure in the White House,
WASHINGTON- House Republicans cast doubt on a citizenship path for the United States´ 11 million undocumented immigrants, with some calling for legal residency and no more. "Are there options that we should consider between the extremes of mass deportation and a pathway to citizenship for those not lawfully present in the United States?" House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asked during the first of several hearings on immigration reform. He asked the question of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a hearing witness. Castro, a rising Hispanic star in the Democratic Party, said he didn´t
REI, the popular outfitter run by President Obama´s choice to head the Interior Department, cited the impact of global warming as a reason for poor profits in its most recent annual report. "We experienced strong sales in 2011. However, because winter weather failed to arrive, our profitability was impacted," said Brian Unmacht, executive vice president of Recreational Equipment Inc., which has three outlets in the Washington area. Obama´s pick is REI CEO Sally Jewell, who has run the firm since 2005. Under Jewell, REI has blossomed while pursuing a green agenda aimed at cutting
As an adolescent, I was a limousine liberal in my dad´s house in Great Neck. I felt compassion for all the needy of the world and admired the communists who were trying to spread the wealth in equal, fair shares to people of unequal talents, efforts, and ambitions. (snip) I´ve been a limousine liberal twice in my life: in the sixties in my dad´s Lincoln, in the eighties and nineties in my Rolls-Royce