WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit widened sharply in July from a four-year low in June, as companies exported fewer goods and imported a record number of foreign-made autos. The larger trade deficit could dampen economic growth in the current July-September quarter. The Commerce Department says the trade gap rose 13 percent to $39.1 billion. That´s up from June´s $34.5 billion, the smallest since 2009. (Snip) A wider deficit could hold back third-quarter growth because it means companies are selling fewer goods overseas while importing more foreign-made products.
Well, we always knew the Democrat leadership would fall in behind the Prez on Syria--and Nancy Pelosi led the pack. [Snip] A) Nancy discusses foreign policy with 5-year olds. B) They know more about it than her. But it turns out that the GOP leadership is supporting Barack Obama, too. Sigh. We might have always expected John McCain (“Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”) and Lindsey Graham (Republican By Rumour Only) to come out strongly for war, but it’s disappointing to note that John Boehner and Eric Cantor were quick to follow. At least these gung-ho Americans are all being
St. Petersburg, Russia -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared the world’s credibility “is on the line” when it comes to punishing Syrian President Bashar Assad for his regime’s purported use of chemical weapons. Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, ahead of a global economic summit in Russia where he will seek to rally support for a U.S. military strike against Syria, Obama said the “red line” he set against a year ago against Syria’s use of chemical weapons isn’t his, but an international standard. “I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” Obama
Bashar Al-Assad launched the chemical attack which killed hundreds of people because he ´lost his nerve´ in a moment of panic and worried that Damascus would fall to rebel troops, according to new intelligence. In a telephone call which was tapped by German spy chiefs, a senior Hezbollah commander told the Iranian embassy in Lebanon that Syria´s president intended to tilt the balance of power towards the regime in the battle for control of the country´s capital. However, it appears that the chemical attack backfired, as it looks set to prompt a major intervention from American and French troops aimed at
Charlie Baker, the Swampscott Republican and the GOP´s best hope to take back the Corner Office, is taking a more personal and positive take on his gubernatorial candidacy than he did in his failed bid three years ago, telling supporters in a video to "aim high" in announcing his intentions to run in 2014. “Let’s aim high," Baker says in the clip released this morning. "Let’s be great, Massachusetts.” The announcement makes official what GOP party leaders have long anticipated, putting Baker -- who lost to Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010 -- into a wide-open gubernatorial field that is expected
WASHINGTON- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was expected to vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution authorizing a U.S. military strike at Syria. Here is the text of the committee´s draft resolution, worked out by Democratic and Republican committee leaders, giving President Obama authority to carry out a strike against Syria for up to 60 days, with a possible 30-day extension. SYRIA JOINT RESOLUTION FOR MARKUP- JOINT RESOLUTION -To authorize the limited and tailored use of the United States Armed Forces against Syria. Whereas Syria is in material breach of the laws of war by having employed chemical weapons against
President Obama said in Sweden today that he personally "didn´t set a red line" on Syria: [snip video] "First of all, I didn´t set a red line," said Obama. "The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world´s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability
HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning is seeking a presidential pardon for leaking reams of classified information that her lawyer says did not merit protection. The Pvt. Manning Support Network released documents Wednesday that defense attorney David Coombs filed a day earlier with the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of the Army. Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, has declared her desire to live as a woman while serving a 35-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In her petition for pardon and commutation of sentence, Manning writes: "The decisions I made in 2010 were made out of
At least eight people are dead and more than 25 others were wounded in shootings over Labor Day weekend in Rahm Emanuel´s Chicago. The shootings were widespread, from the far south and west sides of the city and spanning north into neighborhoods that see far fewer shooting incidents normally. At least one shooting occurred in one of the city’s newly created “Safe Passage” routes, designated to provide a gun-free zone for Chicago students to get to school. In the midst of Chicago’s bloody holiday, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy continued to tout the city’s overall decline in murders from 2012 and
The advocates of congressional backing for an Obama strike on Syria claim that America would be weakened if the president is rebuked. Unfortunately, America already is weakened, and backing a dangerously incompetent president´s pinprick won´t do anything to help. President Obama has no credibility with the tough guys. Our deterrent power is already sapped of vigor. With each day, it gets worse for Obama and for America.(snip)The problem with Obama´s behavior is that it is dangerous. Through his rhetoric and by degrading our military capabilities through budget cuts and morale-sapping sexual social-engineering policies, Obama has ended the de facto Pax
That is Sarah Palin´s succinct argument against U.S. intervention into Syria. And I have to be honest: I´m impressed with Palin on this one. Not with her horribly callous recommendation, made via Facebook late last week, but because she appears to speak some Arabic. I´m not saying Palin is fluent in the language, but she did use the Arabic word "Allah." She could´ve simply used the word "God" instead of Allah since it has the identical meaning. (Christian Arabs use the word Allah when speaking of God in Arabic.)
Look out Free World: Here Comes the USA—the newly minted ‘United States of al-Qaeda’. The ‘United States of al-Qaeda’ is the first hard evidence of President Barack Obama’s Fundamental Transformation of America, which in effect throws all U.S. citizens in with the terrorists known as al-AQaeda; a new kind of military of which no one can be proud. It was in 2008 when running for the presidency, that Barack Obama declared he would someday soon lead a civilian army of his very own: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives
The U.S. Department of State has known for decades that inadequate security at embassies and consulates worldwide could lead to tragedy, but senior officials ignored the warnings and left some of America´s most dangerous diplomatic posts vulnerable to attack, according to an internal government report obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera´s Investigative Unit. The report by an independent panel of five security and intelligence experts describes how the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, exploited the State Department´s failure to address serious security concerns
How much of a mess has Obama made of the Middle East? The following two maps tell the story, five years ago versus today. (Maps courtesy Martin Weiss, Weiss Research) As you can see, five years ago, the Middle East was mostly stable, with theocracies and military dictatorships prevalent, paid for with piles of U.S. taxpayer dough:
WASHINGTON — It’s a bewildering time here. Nancy Pelosi is the hawk urging military action. Britain refuses to be our poodle. The French are being less supercilious and more supportive militarily. Republicans are squeamish about launching an attack. Top generals are going pacifist. The president who got elected on his antiwar stance is now trying to buck up a skittish Congress and country about why a military strike is a moral necessity. Donald Rumsfeld doesn’t want to go to war with the Army Chuck Hagel has. John Bolton is the dove who doesn’t think we should take sides, or that it
According to the latest on-demand legend of this White House, President Obama was thoughtfully walking the White House grounds with a senior aide the other day. When it suddenly occurred to the former constitutional law lecturer that he could ask Congress for permission to start a war with Syria, as required by the nation´s Constitution. This from the former member of Congress who, as president for the last 1,688 days, has gone around that equal branch of government whenever convenient.
Chris Matthews appeared on MSNBC´s "Morning Joe" Wednesday morning to analyze the political ramifications of the congressional debate to support President Obama´s call for a military strike against Syria. Matthews said the President had put the Democrats in congress in a "wicked position" forcing them to support the president even if they may genuinely oppose the military action. “I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this. They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your
Rush Limbaugh speculated that perhaps the Syrian rebels affiliated with Al Qaeda used chemical weapons to frame Bashar Al-Assad and to draw the US into the effort to topple the Assad Regime. On his Tuesday morning program Rush asked the provocative question: "What if Bashar didn’t do it? What if Bashar is being framed?" "The rebels nerve gassing their own people to create exactly what is happening– us mobilizing to get rid of Bashar. They use chemical weapons on their people– it gets blamed on Bashar. We go in and take Bashar out, or do something– and end up on
AUSTIN, Texas -- A Texas judge is pushing Lance Armstrong closer to his first sworn testimony on details of his performance-enhancing drug use, ordering the cyclist to answer questions about who knew what and when about his doping, including possibly his ex-wife and his attorneys. Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance Holding is seeking the information in its lawsuit to recover $3 million in bonuses it paid Armstrong from 1999 to 2001. A judge previously refused to dismiss the case. Acceptance is trying to prove a yearslong conspiracy and cover-up by Armstrong to commit fraud. It wants to know when several of Armstrong´s personal and
A new program developed by FemTechNet and titled “Storming Wikipedia” will apparently hit fifteen universities, including Yale, Brown, and Penn State, beginning this year. The program gives students college credit for writing “feminist thinking” into Wikipedia entries. There are 300 students registered for the course, according to course facilitator Alexandra Juhasz, professor of media studies at California’s Pitzer College. Juhasz explained, “A woman’s point of view or feminist point of view is not yet expressed in relationship to women in technology in Wikipedia. We hope that people engage in this project in respect to other themes as well.” It’s an
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president’s top military adviser, told the Senate on Tuesday that U.S. plans for attacks on Syria were made more difficult by leaks to the press and the president’s delay in ordering the strikes. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman, said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that despite those setbacks he is confident military strikes will be effective in degrading the Syrian military’s chemical warfare capabilities. Dempsey appeared before Congress with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense
The AFL-CIO has just lost 40,000 of its most militant members, and it´s not news at the Associated Press´s national site (there is a regional AP story at the Seattle Times) or at the New York Times. It is getting virtually no other establishment press coverage (results at the link are primarily center-right blogs and similar outlets). The departing members are those in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. In a three-page letter to AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, ILWU President Donald McEllrath laid out concerns over picket-line crossings and encroachments by other AFL-CIO affilliates, but also cited Trumka´s "overly moderate,
When the history of the Christian church of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is written, at least one volume will no doubt be devoted to the persecution of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. For the moment, however, their plight receives too little media attention, leaving many American Christians ignorant of, and thus unmoved by, the suffering of their fellow believers in the places that saw the birth of their faith more than two-thousand years ago. This ignorance has many causes.
Who are the two happiest people in the world this week? Bashar Assad and Jimmy Carter. One week ago, Assad was a war criminal awaiting certain retaliation from the most powerful military force the world has ever known; and Jimmy Carter still owned the title “Worst President Ever.” Not anymore. Whatever keeps a brutal dictator like Assad up at night (fear of another dinner invitation from the Kerrys, perhaps?), it’s certainly not Barack Obama. America’s commander in chief has made it abundantly clear that he won’t support any military action vigorous enough to cause a Damascus traffic jam. The Los Angeles Times quotes a U.S.
Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man sentenced last month to life in prison for holding three women captive in his home for a decade, was found hanging in his prison cell on Tuesday night after apparently hanging himself, officials said. He was later declared dead at the hospital. Mr. Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, at 9:20 p.m., JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said in an e-mailed statement. Mr. Castro was housed in a cell by himself and a guard was required to check on