Think back to the dark days of 2009, when school districts in California and across the nation faced dire budget shortfalls. States would have done almost anything for extra money, and when the Obama administration dangled Race to the Top grants in front of them, many of them did indeed race to adopt the policies that would win federal approval — such as including student test scores in teachers´ performance rankings and adopting common curriculum standards. Because public education falls almost entirely under state authority, this sort of arm-twisting was the only way the administration could persuade states
The House of Representatives is scheduled Tuesday to consider a bipartisan bill to add new seasonal flu vaccines to the IRS definition of taxable vaccines. The Senate has already reached an agreement to vote on its version of the bill without further debate if the House passes an identical version. If passed into law, all new flu vaccines would become subject to the 75¢ per dose vaccine tax, and also become eligible to be included in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). A summary of the bill provided by the House Republican Conference
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is still nursing presidential aspirations, despite Republican unease about the “comprehensive immigration reform” he whole-heartedly supports, after losing an argument with himself and immediately backpedaling from a book he had only just published. Bush chose to deal with this unease by attacking the uneasy, referring to them as “chirpers” in a CBN interview following his appearance before the Faith and Freedom Coalition. ”I will be able to, I think, manage my way through all the ‘chirpers’ out there,” he said,
On ‘Morning Joe’ this morning, the slightly thinner Gov. Chris Christie R-N.J. dodged 2016 presidential speculation by announcing that he would not wear a Speedo swimsuit on the Fourth of July. “I can announce I’m not wearing the Speedo on the Fourth of July, that’s something I’m happy to announce” Christie joked after MSNBC’s Willie Geist pressed the governor for his political aspirations. Christie has reportedly lost 40 pounds after a successful lap-band surgery earlier this year. Later in the show, Christie explained that during a visit Jersey Shore on Monday, he was approached by several young women
On Wednesday, at two rallies bracketing the Capitol, Tea Party and conservative activists will again take center-stage on two issues dominating the national political dialogue. Reps. Steve King, Michele Bachmann and other members of the Tea Party Caucus will host a nearly day-long dialogue and discussion on immigration reform. On the other side of the Capitol, Tea Party grass roots organizations will hold a rally to "Audit the IRS," in response to the agency´s efforts to intimidate conservative organizations. The immigration event hosted by Rep. King begins at 9am on the East side of the Capitol.
A Houston man is accused of threatening to burn U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his father unless the senator paid him $3 million, according to the Harris County District Attorney´s Office. Nick K. Gates, 37, has been charged with making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, court records show. He was being held Tuesday at the Harris County Jail under a $10,000 bail. An intern at Cruz´s Austin office told investigators that a man called the office on June 5, saying that Cruz "owed him money or a bomb would explode," according to an arrest warrant
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) claimed Monday that if the pending Senate immigration bill becomes law, illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes would not qualify for legalization, a statement that is partly true at best. “They have to register with this government and then submit themselves to a criminal background check,” Durbin said. “If they’re found to have a serious problem in their background, they don’t have a chance to become legal in America.” Durbin’s comments are not backed up by the actual text of the legislation. As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) detailed as
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on two cases about marriage. But regardless of what the court decides, marriage cannot be redefined. Its meaning cannot be changed. And the real meaning of marriage matters to everyone, especially children. Father’s Day was this past Sunday. As the father of six, I can’t imagine raising my children without their mother, my wife for life. We’ve been blessed with many children, and this gift has taught us much. One thing we’ve learned is that a mom and a dad aren’t interchangeable,
As the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act moves to the floor of the House for a vote, President Obama is already taking cues from feminist groups to veto the legislation and is again letting his true pro-abortion, pro-infanticide stances show. H.R. 1797 bans abortions after 20-weeks. Some babies have survived as young as 21-weeks. Babies can hear things from inside the womb as early as 16-weeks. Mark Knoller ? @markknoller WH issues veto threat against "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," on grounds it´s "an assault on a woman´s right to
LOS ANGELES – Rap star Lil Wayne was filmed trampling all over the American flag while shooting a new music video for the song “God Bless Amerika" in New Orleans this past weekend, but the rap star says anyone offended may want to change their tune. In footage obtained by TMZ, Lil Wayne, 30, is doing his rap thing in front of the American flag, which is then dropped to the ground as he continues to perform the song, which includes lyrics like “My country ´his of thee / Sweet land of kill ´em all
NEW YORK -- At perhaps a bad time in U.S. employment, it seems there´s a "perception gap" between what workers think they´re worth on the job and how employers see them. Analysis by Bryant & Stratton College with help from Wakefield Research from a survey among U.S. adults age 18 to 34 found that 80% of workers believe they are "job ready and possess all the skills, experience and education needed to advance in their desired career path or obtain their next job." Yet 40% of U.S. employers say most entry-level job candidates lack even the basic skills needed
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is calling for a criminal investigation after a huge mob of illegal alien supporters surrounded his private home Saturday and held a rally on his front porch. At least 200 members of Sunflower Community Action were bussed into Kobach’s Kansas City-area neighborhood on Saturday – to protest his staunch anti-illegal alien views. “I was just appalled,” Kobach told Fox News. “They have a right to protest at my office or at public places – that’s fine. But they don’t have a right to enter someone’s private property and engage in this
Washington - A key committee in the Republican-led House has taken up a tough enforcement-focused immigration bill, but the proceedings were immediately interrupted by protesters shouting "Shame, shame!" More than a dozen protesters began chanting as soon as Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia gaveled the committee hearing open Tuesday. Goodlatte stopped the proceedings until the protesters were ushered into the hall, where their shouts could still be heard. Goodlatte said the bill under consideration, which empowers local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration
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.