Republican Sen. Rand Paul electrified many in his party last March when he staged an old-fashioned talking filibuster against U.S. drone policy. It wasn´t so much Paul´s position that excited Republicans — many approve the use of drones to kill al Qaeda terrorists in foreign lands — but the fact that Paul took such a high-profile stand to explore the limits of Barack Obama´s presidential powers. Paul was joined by fellow GOP lawmakers Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and others. Together, their actions energized Republicans who were still deeply distressed over the results of the 2012 elections. Now the same
One of the most amazing stories right now is the failure of either President Obama or Congress to address the monetary crisis. This is the crisis Joe Six-Pack feels when he fills his car with gas or fetches up at the supermarket checkout — or when he has a hard time finding a job. Even as our money doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to just a few years ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke keeps insisting that inflation is low. Yet the hottest story about Obama’s naming of a new Fed chief has been what a New
The same company that investigated alleged Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis for his security clearance also did a 2011 follow-up investigation of Edward Snowden, the former NSA systems analyst who leaked documents about the National Security Agency. The company, USIS, said in a statement Thursday it conducted Alexis´ background check in 2007 for the Office of Personnel Management but that it couldn´t elaborate. "Today we were informed that in 2007, USIS conducted a background check of Aaron Alexis for [the Office of Personnel Management]," spokesman Ray Howell said. "We are contractually prohibited from retaining case information gathered as part of the background
WASHINGTON — Outside the capital the prospect might seem unthinkable, but inside it seems increasingly likely, and to some inevitable: In less than two weeks, the federal government, from the Agriculture Department to the Weather Service, may shut its doors. Agencies already have contingency plans for stopping all but essential work. Soldiers would be required to report for duty but would not be paid. National parks would be closed and overnight campers would be given two days to leave. Social Security checks would go out, but the agency would stop updating people´s earning records. The State Department would stop issuing most
CHICAGO -- Thirteen people have been shot late at a park on Chicago´s southwest side, including a 3-year-old boy who was in critical condition. Officer Amina Greer said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday. A witness, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men fired at him from a gray sedan before turning toward Cornell Square Park in Chicago´s Back of the Yards neighborhood and firing at people. He said his 3-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.
The leaders of the State Department’s Benghazi probe defended their inquiry into the 2012 attack, but they acknowledged to Congress on Thursday that their mission was limited in scope and faced questions over why they gave Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton an advance look at their findings. Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, vice chairman of the accountability review board, also acknowledged that he had warned Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff not to send a particular official to Congress because he thought “she would be a weak witness” who might have hurt the State Department’s stance. Republicans said those moves called
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday a “tea party resolution” set for a vote on Friday to avert a government shutdown would devastate health care reforms and investments in jobs, education and research. Congress must act quickly to pass a continuing resolution that funds federal operations past Sept. 30, but House Speaker John A. Boehner bowed to the right wing of his caucus this week by allowing the chamber to include a provision that defunds President Obama’s health care law. Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said House GOP leadership is being held hostage by its tea party faction — shorthand
The Environmental Protection Agency will move Friday to strictly limit the amount of carbon that future coal- and gas-fired power plants can pour into the atmosphere, the first such restrictions on greenhouse gases imposed by the agency. The limits in the proposed rule will be difficult for any new coal plant to meet without incurring the substantial costs of additional technology to limit carbon dioxide output or developing new methods of cleansing emissions. The industry almost certainly will challenge it in court. For the administration, the revised rule is the first major domestic initiative since President Obama laid out his
In the liberal remake of “Casablanca,” the police captain comes upon the scene of the shooting and orders his men to “round up the usual weapons.” It’s always the weapon and never the shooter. Twelve people are murdered in a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, and before sundown Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for yet another debate on gun violence. Major opprobrium is heaped on the AR-15, the semiautomatic used in the Newtown massacre. Turns out no AR-15 was used at the Navy Yard. And the shotgun that was used was obtained legally in Virginia after the buyer, Aaron
Three months ago, my platform of “prudence and hope” gained a broad, popular mandate. Iranians embraced my approach to domestic and international affairs because they saw it as long overdue. I’m committed to fulfilling my promises to my people, including my pledge to engage in constructive interaction with the world. The world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities. The international community faces many challenges in this new
Obamacare is before the U.S. Supreme Court again. On Thursday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyers filed the first viable petition for Supreme Court review involving Kathleen Sebelius’ HHS Mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-related insurance coverage, even if those employers have a religious objection to abortion. Section 1001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) requires all large employers to offer “preventive services” to their employees or face enormous financial penalties. With President Obama’s approval, Sebelius issued a regulation that defined preventive services to include access to birth control, including those that cause abortions after conception. The regulation
An Ohio clinic that was touted by Obama while he was speaking on health care reform is now blaming ObamaCare after it was forced to cut $330 million from its budget. Fox 8 reports the Cleveland Clinic, which is the largest employer in Northeast Ohio with about 39,000 workers in the region, announced the cuts to its 2014 budget at a meeting Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the clinic tells Fox News the clinic is being forced to cut back to prepare for increased costs and decreased revenue under the health care reform law. These changes will include offering early retirement to
Hillary Clinton, a likely presidential-race frontrunner, quietly slipped into Miami to address a travel agents’ convention Thursday in which the former secretary of state said little about troubles abroad or her future ambitions. When the event moderator asked what it would take for the United States to elect its first female leader, Clinton was quick with a joke. “Well, it’ll take a crazy person,” she said, drawing laughs from the crowd at the American Society of Travel Agents’ global convention “I hope we break that final glass ceiling,” she said, adding nothing about her plans. Though ostensibly not political, Clinton’s address had the makings
Scientists working on the most authoritative study on climate change were urged to cover up the fact that the world’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years, it is claimed. A leaked copy of a United Nations report, compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and the United States raised concerns about the final draft. Published next week, it is expected to address the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record and world temperatures have not yet exceeded it, which scientists have so far struggled to explain. The report is the result of
Members of a Washington DC Swat team who the BBC has learned were ordered not to respond to Monday´s Navy Yard shootings have yet to be contacted by the authorities. The Capitol Police tactical response team was told by a supervisor to leave the scene instead of aiding municipal officers, sources told the BBC. Meanwhile, the department has installed a new leader of the elite unit. No reason has been given for the decision. [Snip] The BBC has also learned that four members of the highly trained team have applied for temporary leave, as they "grapple" with the aftermath of
The leaders of the Administrative Review Board that investigated the attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, appeared before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Thursday, and offered testimony that further undermined the already-tattered credibility of their own probe.In descriptions that emphasized their friendly, even collaborative dealings with the top State Department officials who were ostensibly among the subjects of their investigation, Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen defended their work and shrugged off criticism from Republicans on the panel. But the substance of the responses from Pickering and Mullen, respectively chairman and vice chairman of the ARB,
Former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) made a celebratory return to his old stomping grounds on the House floor Thursday after seeing his criminal conviction overturned in court. The former majority leader, whose 2010 conviction for money laundering was tossed out on Thursday morning, was in the lower chamber during the close vote on legislation that would cut $39 billion from food stamps. Fifteen Republicans defected during the food-stamp vote, but there was no sign "The Hammer" — which was DeLay´s nickname for his hard-charging style of leadership — was lending a hand with his famous whipping skills. "He was just
WASHINGTON – With a nasty showdown looming, congressional Republicans are broadening their assault on Obamacare, offering up their own less costly plan as an alternative while insisting the massive healthcare program championed by the White House presents a golden opportunity for scammers. Implementation of critical aspects of the Affordable Health Care Act are slated to occur on Oct. 1, the beginning of the federal fiscal year, and GOP lawmakers are pulling out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to see that it never happens. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who consistently maintained it would be a mistake for Republicans
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said Democrats are unified in their efforts to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government including Obamacare while Republicans are split on whether to support a bill that defunds Obamacare but funds everything else. “As these fiscal deadlines approach, we Democrats are standing strong. We’re standing together, and we’re sending a strong message to the House: We will not blink,” Schumer said. “Don’t make it part of your strategy that eventually we’ll cave. We won’t. We’re unified. We’re together. You’re not.” Schumer said judging by the body language of House Speaker John Boehner
The effort to use the debt ceiling as leverage to defund Obamacare will come to naught, National Review editor Rich Lowry said tonight. During an appearance on Special Report’s All-Star Panel, Lowry predicted that the House would eventually pass a “clean” debt limit raise despite drama in the Senate related to the effort to defund Obamacare. “It goes to the Senate, there’ll be some theatrics, Harry Reid will strip out the defunding from the [continuing resolution], it’ll go back to the House and probably end up passed in a clean version,” Lowry said.
President Barack Obama is reportedly trying to "establish an early narrative" to blame Republicans in case of a government shutdown or another financial crisis. However, Obama also said he would not negotiate with Republicans on raising the debt ceiling. As The Hill noted, Obama is "targeting" House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in an attempt to try and divide and conquer Republicans and insulate himself from potential criticism and blame. Though Obama´s job approval rating is only at 47%, The Hill noted that a recent Economist/YouGov poll found that Congress´s is at 11%. On Wednesday, Obama said Boehner seeks to "fundamentally
OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to decide whether Hobby Lobby and a Christian bookstore chain have to provide a wide range of birth control options for workers as part of the federal health care law. The 251-page appeal was filed Thursday by U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli and other government attorneys. The Oklahoma businesses have operated under a court order that allows them to avoid fines while they challenge a portion of the new law requiring them to provide the coverage. Company attorneys object to offering such plans based on religious
WASHINGTON — Democrats accused Republicans of starving children, veterans, and seniors with the passage of a bill to reform the food stamp program to the tune of $39 billion in savings. The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act hit the House floor for a vote today under a sharply worded veto threat from the White House. “The bill would result in millions of Americans losing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is one of our nation’s strongest defenses against hunger and poverty,” the Office of Management and Budget said on Wednesday. “These cuts would affect a broad
During the second portion of a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing about Benghazi Thursday on Capitol Hill, the majority of Democrats on the Committee left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Patricia Smith and Charles Woods. Ms. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in the 9/11 Benghazi attack. Charles Woods is the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was also killed. The far side of the room, shown empty in the photo, belongs to the Democrats. The only Democrats who stayed were Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Rep.
A Birmingham woman is telling of an unsettling encounter at a Norfolk, Va., airport with Aaron Alexis, the man accused of killing 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard this week. Glynda Boyd told ABC News Thursday that she and her family were traveling home to Birmingham from a family reunion in Virginia on Aug. 4, when a man confronted them as her wheelchair-bound aunt laughed loudly at a joke with her family.