New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he´ll "probably" make a decision about running for president sometime in 2015. The Republican, who is seeking a second term in November as governor, has taken heat recently for appearances with President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Christie said on MSNBC´s Morning Joe program that he´s not concerned with how appearances with high-profile democrats might affect his political future. "My job is to do my job," Christie said, as he defended his appearance last week at the Clinton Global Initiative
WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Tuesday make their most concerted effort of the year to change federal abortion law with legislation that would ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches the age of 20 weeks. The "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," expected to pass by a comfortable margin late Tuesday, would be a direct challenge to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions up to the time a fetus becomes viable. Fetal viability is generally considered to be at least 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) announced Tuesday that he will officially challenge Sen. Mark Begich (D) in 2014, transitioning from an exploratory committee to a full-fledged campaign. “This intense exploratory effort has convinced me that I have the support necessary to build a winning campaign,” Treadwell said on his Web site. “Today I’m taking the next step by announcing that I will not seek re-election as Alaska’s lieutenant governor and have begun to file documents required as a candidate for the United States Senate in 2014.” Treadwell launched his exploratory effort
Thanks to a John Podhoretz tweet (by the way, if you don’t follow him, you should. His Twitter feed is constantly engaging and insightful), I came across a horrifying, sad article by blogger and career advice columnist Penelope Trunk. It chronicles her two abortions — her first when she was in the midst of a professional volleyball career (it was relatively late-term) and the second when her post-volleyball career was “soaring.” Before the first abortion, she learned she was pregnant relatively late — 14 weeks in.
Amid all the heated cross-currents of debate about the National Security Agency´s massive surveillance program, there is a growing distrust of the Obama administration that makes weighing the costs and benefits of the NSA program itself hard to assess. The belated recognition of this administration´s contempt for the truth, for the American people and for the Constitution of the United States, has been long overdue. But what if the NSA program has in fact thwarted terrorists and saved many American lives in ways that cannot be revealed publicly?
States and environmental groups are delaying litigation to force carbon emissions rules for power plants, citing reports the White House will soon unveil plans to address climate change. “Due to public reports that the President will be announcing major action on climate change very soon, the Attorney General has decided to postpone a lawsuit on this matter for a short period of time,” said Melissa Grace, spokeswoman for New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. New York is one of a dozen states and cities that on April 17 threatened to sue the Environmental Protection Agency
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry extolled the tax policies and regulatory climate of his state as he courted gun manufacturers that have threatened to leave Connecticut since the state passed new gun-control laws in response to the Newtown school massacre. Perry shot at a firing range at Connecticut´s venerable Colt Manufacturing Co., one of the plants he toured, and met privately with company owners and other businesses at a downtown Hartford restaurant. At a brief news conference afterward, the Republican offered a conservative policy blueprint in a state run by Democrats.
U.S. and Taliban representatives will meet soon for the first time to begin what are expected to be long and complex negotiations for a peaceful settlement to the war in Afghanistan, senior Obama administration officials said Tuesday. The officials told NBC News that the meeting will take place in the next several days in the Qatari capital of Doha. The Taliban will open an office there for the purpose of negotiating directly with the Afghan government, the officials said. The negotiating conditions require the Taliban to break their ties with al Qaeda, end the violence and accept
Aetna Inc. said it would stop selling individual health insurance policies in California next month, and nearly 50,000 existing policyholders will have to find new coverage by January. The company´s announcement Monday comes a month after it opted not to participate in California´s new state-run insurance market for consumers, a key component of the new federal healthcare law. Aetna was a distant fourth in the state´s individual health market with a 5.2% market share in 2011, according to Citigroup data. Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California dominate that business with a collective 87%
A series of recent polls show President Obama’s approval rating at about 46 percent on average. This is somewhat lower than it was in late May, when it averaged 48 percent or 49 percent. Has the shift been caused by the dominant news story of the last two weeks — the disclosures about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs? That’s tough to say since presidential approval ratings rarely provide unambiguous interpretations as to cause and effect.
With a new poll showing falling support for the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced an accelerated schedule in which the Senate would take a final, up-or-down vote on passing the bill by the end of next week. "I’m just telling everybody that we’re going to either file cloture on this on Friday or Saturday or Sunday or Monday,” Reid said as the Senate opened its morning session. Filing for cloture means that a final vote would be held three days later. So if Reid filed for cloture
Michelle Obama and daughters had lunch with Irish rock star Bono on Tuesday. The first lady, Sasha and Malia joined the U2 frontman for a meal at Finnegans’ pub in Dublin, according to reports in Irish newspapers. Joining Bono was his wife Ali and their two sons.He told the crowd in front of the pub: "I thought this was a secret." The rock star, known for his political activism, is a fan of President Obama.
WAKE FOREST — When politicians like South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham adamantly declare that “the Republican Party will not have a chance in the 2016 Presidential election if the GOP does not pass comprehensive immigration reform,” they are only sharing conventional wisdom banalities, not deep insights backed by hard evidence. Hispanic Americans are non-monolithic. Many are insulted by the suggestion that they would condone the carte blanche waiving of legal consequences for illegal activity by anyone. To suggest that they will universally embrace the Senator’s conventional wisdom
Los Angeles- The greatest free agent the New York Yankees ever failed to sign was a skinny redhead from the Bronx. He spent two years as an outfielder on his college team, hit only one home run and never played again. And he ended up in the Hall of Fame. Today, Vin Scully is the voice and face of the Los Angeles Dodgers. At age 85, he´s in his 64th consecutive season as the team´s play-by-play announcer, a record streak for a broadcaster with one team. He is widely regarded as the greatest sportscaster of all time.
It’s amazing that there are those — including The New York Times — that continue to prop up the flawed finger-pointing of the Internal Revenue Service, blaming a couple of rogue agents out of its Cincinnati office for the unlawful targeting of conservative groups. The New York Times — along with the IRS — is simply wrong in their assertion that this scandal is based in, and limited to, Cincinnati and not Washington, D.C. We know Washington was deeply involved. We have letters from Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations, and IRS attorney Carter Hull, and Cincinnati officials
Marco Rubio. Paul Ryan. The IRS. Illegal immigration. And fraud to the tune of billions.. Now there’s a combustible mix. Let’s start with the IRS, illegal immigration and fraud. We’ll come back in a minute to Senator Rubio and Congressman Ryan. For those who came in late, a year before the IRS scandals burst onto the scene in early May of 2013, an alert investigative reporter for WTHR-Indianapolis (Channel 13), Bob Segall by name, produced a stunning piece of journalism. Segall’s video report is found here and we will quote from his story for the basics.
Apparently, it’s lucrative work to be “entrusted to safeguard the president’s image and legacy.” The Washington Post “Reliable Source” gossips Monday reported that White House spinner Dan Pfeiffer has bought an almost-million-dollar penthouse condo. Of course, in another cozy exchange between liberal elites, Pfieffer is buying the swanky condo from a senior correspondent and associate editor at the Post: City records show Pfeiffer closed this month on a penthouse condo in historic Logan Circle. Two bedrooms, fireplace, soaring ceilings, stunning views, according to the listing. (Small world: Records show he bought it from our Washington Post colleague Rajiv Chandrasekaran.)
The IRS´s spending scandals, in which officials spent millions of taxpayer dollars on lavish conferences from 2010-2012 and forgot to properly record the expenses, may jeopardize funding for the implementation of Obamacare. President Barack Obama has sought a 14% increase to the agency´s budget next year and "about $440 million would go toward implementing the health care law." The funds would be used for "hiring nearly 2,000 employees" to "administer subsidies" through the tax code to help people buy insurance or fine individuals who have not purchased insurance. The IRS is "expected to spend $11.2 billion" this year,
Marco Rubio was not amused. The senator from Florida had listened patiently as a panel of hand-picked conservatives, lined up across a long table at the front of the room, took turns speaking about the prospects of immigration reform.(snip)Referencing a Jay Leno one-liner, Burgess questioned fellow conservatives about the wisdom of giving citizenship to "11 million undocumented Democrats." Laughter, some of it nervous, spread throughout the room. But not everyone found Burgess´ crack funny. According to several people who attended the June 5th gathering, Rubio glared at Burgess.
Elections: Iran-watchers and, for that matter, Iran´s voters, were ecstatic at the surprise election of an apparent moderate to Iran´s presidency Friday. But hold the celebration: Hassan Rowhani still answers to the mullahs. Iran´s voters stunned Tehran´s hard-liners as results of the presidential election showed Rowhani, a supposedly moderate Muslim cleric, winning with 50.71% of the vote with a record 73% turnout. The margin was high enough to avoid a runoff, and was a sweet victory for all the Iranians who were crushed during the Green Revolution of 2009, the protest movement around the last election in Iran
The U.S. is to give more than $300 million in additional “life-saving humanitarian assistance” to Syrians caught up in the country’s civil war, Barack Obama has announced, taking the total amount given since the conflict began to nearly $815 million. The extra money will be used to pay for food, medical care, clean water, shelter and other relief supplies for people in Syria and some of the 1.6 million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. The president announced the extra money during a meeting with world leaders at the Group of Eight summit
A new poll on newspapers and television news shows that Americans´ confidence in the news industry continues to erode in this era of mass communications, reaching a low not seen since 2007. The Gallup polling firm finds that trust in newspapers has fallen to 23 percent. This is down from 25 percent in 2012 and 28 percent in 2011. The previous low was recorded in 2007 when trust in newspapers reached 22 percent. Trust in newspapers has steadily declined since its 1979 high of 51 percent, Gallup reports. Television news fares no better in the estimation of
Washington- The director of the National Security Agency was expected on Tuesday to reveal two previously classified cases in which secret surveillance programs thwarted terrorist plots, a congressional source told CNN. Gen. Keith Alexander is scheduled to testify at a House intelligence committee hearing. Last week, Alexander said the secret surveillance programs revealed in leaks of classified documents helped foil dozens of terror plots -- but he offered no specific details. At the urging of the leaders of congressional intelligence committees, he looked into declassifying information on some cases in order to provide a stronger public defense
BERLIN/FRANKFURT - European car sales plunged last month to their lowest May level in two decades, eroding manufacturers´ hopes for a recovery this year after a rebound the month before. Figures on Tuesday from the Association of European Carmakers showed Germany, France and Italy, accounting for about half of the embattled region´s sales, suffered declines at or near double-digit percentage levels. Registrations across the 27-nation European Union dropped 5.9 percent to 1.04 million cars from 1.11 million a year ago, the lowest since May 1993 when sales fell below 1 million, the Association said.
Michelle Obama´s fringe was the subject of debate on Twitter after she appeared to have trouble keeping it out of her eyes while giving a speech. The First Lady had a blunt fringe - or bangs as they say in the U.S. - cut in January earlier this year. But in May she reverted to her longer, side-swept look after the President spoofed the look in some Photoshopped pictures shown during his annual speech at the White House Correspondents´ Association Dinner in April.
James O´Keefe is back to muckraking, with a new book and fresh "Obamaphone" scandal as the "Ashton Kutcher of the Conservative movement" reaffirms his commitment to guerilla journalism. Having paid his debt to society after his 2010 arrest, he is now ready to pick up where he left off in his crusade to expose corruption in the halls of power, beginning with footage that shows shady practices in the government-subsidized cellphone program. On Monday night, family, friends from his Rutgers days and members of Team O´Keefe squeezed into a club in West SoHo