GOP senators are eyeing another opportunity to squeeze a few more facts from the White House about the jihadi attack in Libya last September that killed four Americans. That’s because Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Libya, to take the place of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed when he briefly visited the lightly protected diplomatic compound.The appointee is a career State Department official, Ambassador Deborah Jones.She has worked for decades in embassies throughout the Muslim region, in Syria, Abu Dhabi, Turkey and Kuwait. She was also a top-level policy officials in Washington from 2002 to 2004,
Democratic strategists are increasingly worried about the decline in President Obama´s job approval ratings. "We aren´t panicking but it´s a source of concern," a senior Democrat told me. The latest example is Wednesday´s Washington Post/ABC News poll, which finds that 50 percent of Americans approve of Obama´s job performance, down 5 percentage points from January. The decline is especially apparent among independents. Two months ago, 54 percent of independents approved of his job performance; today only 44 percent approve. A new McClatchy-Marist poll is even worse for Obama. Only 45 percent say he is doing a good job
Harris County added more residents than any other county in the United States for the second year in a row, the Census Bureau reported Thursday, as thousands of people drawn by job opportunities flocked to the Houston area. Between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012, Harris County grew by about 80,000 people to more than 4.2 million. In the same time period, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area increased by 125,185 residents to about 6.1 million, second in the nation behind the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area, which grew by 131,879 people.
The desire of intellectuals for some grand theory that will explain complex patterns with some solitary and simple factor has produced many ideas that do not stand up under scrutiny, but which have nevertheless had widespread acceptance -- and sometimes catastrophic consequences -- in countries around the world. The theory of genetic determinism which dominated the early 20th century led to many harmful consequences, ranging from racial segregation and discrimination up to and including the Holocaust. The currently prevailing theory is that malice of one sort or another explains group differences in outcomes. Whether the lethal results
Update 11:07 p.m.: The gunman wanted in the deaths of four Herkimer County residents Wednesday remains at large, believed to be inside an abandoned building surrounded by police on North Main Street in the village of Herkimer. Trooper Jack Keller said state and local police would watch the building all night under the assumption that Myers was still alive, The Associated Press reported. Earlier: Herkimer, NY -- A Herkimer County man sought in the shooting deaths of four people is believed to have fired at officers from an abandoned building in the village of Herkimer
PHOENIX - State senators voted Wednesday to allow a teacher, administrator, custodian or even a cafeteria worker at rural and some suburban schools to be armed. Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, said SB 1325 would improve student safety. He said while better mental-health screening and more police officers at schools are important, it is also necessary to provide schools with a "self-defense component." Crandall joined with other Republicans to beat back an effort to require that whoever is designated to carry a gun must report to police if the weapon is lost or stolen. That brought derision from Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix.
The man who secretly filmed the infamous ’47 percent’ video of Mitt Romney has finally come forward and explained why he decided to wade into the presidential dogfight. Scott Prouty publicly admitted that he was the bartender who released the footage of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser and he said that the motivating reason behind the move was so that all Americans could see the ‘true’ Romney. ‘Frankly the people that were there that night, they paid $50,000 per person for a dinner. I grew up in a blue collar area of Boston,’
There were few complaints at the Woodruff polls as South Carolina´s new voter photo ID requirement was enforced for the first time in Spartanburg County. The re-do election for mayor in Woodruff is the first Spartanburg County election since the photo ID requirement went into effect Jan. 1. The law requires voters to show a S.C. driver´s license, Department of Motor Vehicles ID card, voter registration card with photo, federal military ID or a United States passport to cast a ballot. (Snip) The law was passed in 2012 as a measure to combat voter fraud, according to proponents.
While extending the payroll tax cut through the end of last year, members of Congress last fall took what many feel was a long overdue whack at the cost of their retirement plan. They bumped up the rate at which federal employees contribute to their pension plan, saving an estimated $15 billion over the next 11 years. They also made sure that none of the increase applied to themselves. Anyone in service before the law went into effect would pay into the pension plan at the old rate. (Snip) Congress has a retirement plan that would make any Fortune 500
Latin America´s first pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, will be known as Francis, rather than Francis I, until such time as a future pope chooses the same name. "Cardinalem Bergoglio qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum," the Vatican´s proto-deacon said as he presented the new leader of the world´s 1.2 billion Catholics to the world on Wednesday, crucially without adding the world "Primum" (the first). He will remain a plain Francis until a successor calls himself Francis II, if any should choose to do so, at which point he will go down in history as Francis I.
On one side of the Capitol, President Obama sought to convince House Republicans on Wednesday that he is serious about reining in the rising cost of federal health and retirement programs. But on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Democrats rolled out a 10-year spending plan that sent a different message: Not so fast. While Democratic leaders are offering quiet support for Obama’s renewed campaign to strike a grand bargain with Republicans that would include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, a significant number of Democratic lawmakers are digging in their heels and vowing
So it was a good meeting. House Republicans welcomed the chance for a frank exchange of ideas with President Obama on Wednesday. Outreach is always positive, and more Republicans in this town need the opportunity to have an open dialogue with our president. I hope these discussions continue. Yet, while this may have been the first time some of my colleagues have heard the president’s arguments so personally and directly, I’ve heard them all many times before. If we’re going to find bipartisan solutions, the president will have to move beyond the same proposals and Democratic dogma.
THE DECISION to drop White House tours always had a whiff of what’s known as Washington Monument syndrome. The ham-handed tactic is employed when government is faced with budget cuts and officials go after the services that are most visible and appreciated by the public. It’s a kind of bureaucratic hostage-taking, so the pushback that the Obama administration has encountered is a proper comeuppance. The popular tours have been suspended indefinitely as part of the response to the so-called sequester that went into effect March 1, mandating
In 1977 at a Denver hotel, Don Kates paced a conference room lecturing a small group of young scholars about the Second Amendment and tossing out ideas for law review articles. Back then, it was a pretty weird activity in pursuit of a wacky notion: that the Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm. “This idea for a very long time was just laughed at,” said Nelson Lund, the Patrick Henry professor of constitutional law and the Second Amendment at George Mason University
VATICAN CITY — The man who will move into the 10-room papal residence inside the vaulted gates of the Holy See lives in a simple, austere apartment across from the Cathedral of Buenos Aires. In a city with a taste for luxury and status, he frequently prepares his own meals and abandoned the limousine of his high office to hop on “el micro” — Argentine slang for the bus. A staunch conservative and devout Jesuit in Latin America’s most socially progressive nation, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is an almost Solomonesque choice by the princes of the church.
"Before we slice and dice every political statement this Pope has ever made during his entire life....breathe, take it in." That was NBC News´s Luke Russert at 3:36 p.m. Eastern on Twitter. But a mere 14 minutes later, on an MSNBC blog page, the cradle Catholic and son of the late Tim Russert set about to lecture the new pontiff on how to do his job. And, as is to be expected from a liberal journalist, it was chock full of the predictable liberal talking points about priestly celibacy, the role of women in the church,
Mark Levin sat down with Sean Hannity tonight to dismiss President Obama‘s attempts at outreach to the Republican party as no more than a stunt, and also too little too late, considering his past harsh rhetoric against the GOP. Levin took the Democrats to task for piling on Paul Ryan‘s budget while proposing a budget of their own that Levin called far more catastrophic and said the Democrats are “trying to take the country over the cliff.” Hannity mockingly wondered why “the anointed one” didn’t get chosen as Pope before asking Levin about
UPDATE, 4:54PM: A day after a deal was reach in Keith Olbermann’s $50 million lawsuit against Current TV, the former TV host and his former employer have issued a short joint statement officially confirming the settlement: "The parties are pleased to announce that a settlement has occurred, and that the terms are confidential. Nothing more will be disclosed regarding the settlement.” PREVIOUSLY, TUESDAY PM: Looks like Bay Area mediation worked where LA litigation could not for Keith Olbermann in his $50 million lawsuit against Current TV. A daylong session in San Francisco at the
New Pope Francis I is an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage, in coincidence with traditional Catholic belief. In 2010, he wrote, “Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” The media remains aghast at the fact that Francis I is a Catholic. They should get used to it.
On Wednesday, every GOP senator voted to defund Obamacare on an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that funds government for the rest of the fiscal year. The amendment from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz failed to pass, as all 52 Democrats voted against it. The fact that all 45 GOP members in the upper chamber voted for it, however, is a stark contrast to the way House Republican leadership has led Congress’ lower chamber on the same issue. House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor rushed the CR to the floor for a
There are many explanations for President Obama’s popularity: his personal charisma, demographics, Republican bungling and dependency on government. Yet rarely is culture invoked as the reason why so many Americans have embraced his agenda. To many, talk about culture evokes classical art and music, and often prompts blank stares, but if we define culture as the predominant beliefs and behavior of a society, what can be said about 21st century American culture? Few believe that culture really matters in a society where millions of voices are competing for attention and notoriety, but
President Barack Obama campaigned on a new era of government transparency and crusaded against deep-pocketed special interests, so it’s highly disappointing to see him now blatantly sell access to the White House. The conversion of his campaign into a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization mocks the very campaign finance laws the president argued needed to be strengthened in the first place. Organizing for Action, which is raising millions of dollars to support the president’s legislative agenda, is walking the finest of lines between a “social welfare” organization and a
Whites will become a minority in America long before 2043, the expected shift year, and the flip will come as soon as 2018 for 18-year-olds, according to a shocking new University of Michigan analysis. "We are quickly becoming a more racially diverse society, beginning with our youth," said University of Michigan demographer William Frey. "More than 70 percent of today´s baby boomers and seniors are white, and they grew up during a time when the nation´s minority population was relatively small and consisted mainly of African Americans," added Frey, with the U-M Institute for
As the fight over Obamacare raged in the House and Senate Wednesday, a new worry emerged that has the potential to push 146,000 high-paid, high-skill American jobs overseas. Former Bush economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth told a House panel that the tiny provision in Obamacare that puts a 2.3 percent tax on "medical devices" such as heart valves, insulin pumps and dental fillings will stifle development of the devices and push production overseas since no other country taxes the items. Testifying before the Energy and Commerce Committee, she said that a 10 percent shift in production
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., held a hearing on the first budget proposed by Senate Democrats in four years, and the significance of the moment was not lost on her. “I understand we have a new pope and a committee hearing to mark up a budget; that’s history twice, so that’s good,” Murray quipped at the outset. Murray, who irritated Republicans by not releasing her budget until after the hearing, proceeded to review the Clinton presidency to make the case for raising $975 billion in tax revenue by
President Obama, speaking at his campaign-turned advocacy group, contradicted media reports that his primary focus right now is setting up House Democrats to retake the majority in the 2014 midterms. “It’s not about 2014,” Obama told Organizing for Action this evening, per the pool report. “I actually wanna govern, at least for a couple of years.” He added that “If a senator or congressman from a swing district is about to take a tough vote on immigration or guns, they need to feel supported.” Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional