There´s another budget crisis in Washington, and it´s unfolding inside the Democratic party. The Democratic National Committee remains so deeply in the hole from spending in the last election that it is struggling to pay its own vendors. It is a highly unusual state of affairs for a national party -- especially one that can deploy the President as its fundraiser-in-chief -- and it speaks to the quiet but serious organizational problems the party has yet to address since the last election, obscured in part by the much messier spectacle of GOP infighting. The Democrats´ numbers speak for themselves: Through
For Republicans, the cliffhanger over a government shutdown is a win-win. If they manage to extract a concession from Senate Democrats in exchange for voting to approve a continuing resolution to fund the government’s operations, then they’ve won. The House Republicans are asking for a repeal of ObamaCare’s tax on medical devices and a one-year delay of the implementation of the health care law. If they get either one, they’ll have achieved something that they wouldn’t have achieved had they been as pliant as President Obama wanted. And — here is the underappreciated point — if the Republicans fold and
The con is on, folks. Although a new CNN poll shows that across-the-board everyone will be blamed and damaged should the government shut down tomorrow, that is not the spin coming today from CNN or the rest of the left-wing media. Desperate to replay the ´90s, even though today´s poll says differently, the media are working together to terrify the GOP into caving when what we really have is a situation wherein Obama is going to be much more damaged than a Republican Party that doesn´t have much to lose. According to the CNN poll, 58% believe congressional Democrats are
Even before she retired last week, scandalized IRS official Lois Lerner´s compensation was already attracting attention. While on administrative leave, federal rules allowed her to keep collecting a salary, one that reportedly totaled $177,000. So it was no surprise when speculation arose over how much Lerner could collect in federal pension benefits. Unfortunately, that speculation, which initially projected a benefit of over $50,000, might be off by about half ... and in the wrong direction. National Taxpayers Union calculations show that Lerner could qualify for a starting pension at the annual equivalent of as much as $102,600, and up to
Conservative groups advising Americans not to sign up for the Obamacare exchanges “are guilty of murder,” according to Maine independent Sen. Angus King. King, who caucuses with the Democrats, told Salon in an interview published Monday that efforts to dissuade young people from signing up is a “scandal,” and a deadly one. “That’s a scandal — those people are guilty of murder in my opinion,” King said in a Friday interview with Salon’s Brian Beutler. “Some of those people they persuade are going to end up dying because they don’t have health insurance.” “For people who do that to other
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Sunday that ObamaCare insurance exchanges set to go live this week “are being held together right now with duct tape and chicken wire.” The physician said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that consumers are in for a case of sticker shock, adding that Americans will have difficulty finding a doctor to care for them. “The president made a couple of promises. One with the exchanges, and he said it would be cheaper than a cellphone bill. And I don´t expect a lot of people to be able to find something less than $71 a
We may view Spam as a cut-price, unsavoury product. To the South Koreans, however, it’s a luxury consumed at festive events and even presented as a gift. During the Korean War in the Fifties, food was so scarce rations (including Spam) smuggled out of U.?S. army bases were highly prized. Spam spokesman Shin Hyo Eun says: ‘Anyone who gets a Spam gift-set gets a warm feeling in their heart.’ South Korea is now the biggest consumer country of Spam outside the US and since the product was launched in America before WWII, over seven billion cans have been produced.
Father Thomas Reese, S.J., former editor of the Jesuit biweekly America, has made a curious confession: He’s happy again. Or so he told the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn, who reported Father Reese’s good cheer in her September 27 “On Faith” column. Father Reese is happy, and Sally Quinn is happy for Father Reese, because, as Tom told Sally, “I haven’t been this hopeful about the Church in decades. . . . It’s fun to be Catholic again.” I’m happy that Father Reese, an old acquaintance and occasional sparring partner, is happy. And I’m glad that Father Reese is having fun
In defiance of reality illustrated in numerous polls, on Sunday’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer scolded Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn when she correctly asserted “there is only partisan support” for ObamaCare. Schieffer cut her off: “Well now Congresswoman, that’s not entirely true. The polls don’t suggest that. Polls say that most people favor it.” (VIDEO)
WASHINGTON — Contentious from its conception, President Barack Obama´s health care law has survived the Supreme Court, a battle for the White House and rounds of budget brinkmanship. Now comes the ultimate test: the verdict of the American people. A government shutdown could dampen the rollout Tuesday as insurance markets open around the country. But it won´t stop the main components of "Obamacare" from going live as scheduled, glitches and all. The biggest expansion of society´s safety net since Medicare will be in the hands of consumers, and most of their concerns don´t revolve around ideology and policy details.
As Monday turns to Tuesday the U.S. government will lose its authority to spend money on non-essential services, unless House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the Democrat occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue strike a budget deal that hinges on the future of President Obama´s controversial health insurance overhaul. House GOP leaders offered and passed last week a budget resolution that would fund the government, but without providing money for Obamacare. But now Republicans are working on a compromise measure that would delay the health care law´s implementation for a year instead.A competing plan would chip away at Obamacare more modestly by eliminating a
The federal government´s personnel office finalized rules Monday dictating how lawmakers and their staff will purchase health insurance through ObamaCare´s new exchanges. The rule finalizes a "fix" allowing the federal government to continue to contribute to the healthcare costs of lawmakers and staff. Many Republicans have labeled the policy an "exemption" from ObamaCare, although lawmakers and their aides are not exempt from the requirement to buy ObamaCare policies. (Snip) Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) had tried to attach an amendment to government funding bills that would overturn the OPM´s ruling, forcing lawmakers and their staffs to
In a speech at a Maryland community college last week promoting his namesake health reform law, President Obama mentioned the word "benefits" 10 times. Free preventive care, coverage for children up to age 26, a better drug plan for seniors. "We´re giving more benefits and protections," he said. But there was one word Obama didn´t mention once in his entire 51-minute talk. And that word was "mandate." That´s despite the fact that a central feature of ObamaCare is the requirement that all those adoring young people buy insurance or pay a fine, and is the key to whatever chances of
A novice Republican running in a rural state has shattered fundraising records campaigning as the "anti-Obamacare candidate."(snip) "I am the anti-Obamacare candidate," Sasse said cheerfully. "Not only have I read the 2,300-page bill, I have actually spent years studying it and I understand just how devastating this will be to American businesses, families and taxpayers." It was Sasse´s health care expertise and his outspoken opposition to Obamacare that inspired former Nebraska GOP chairman Mark Fahleson to draft Sasse to run for the open seat left by Sen. Mike Johann´s retirement. "2014 and probably 2016 will be about one thing more
President Obama could be hanging his hopes for productive nuclear negotiations with Iran on a hoax, according to one Middle East-focused think tank. On Friday, Obama cited a “fatwa,” or religious edict, from Iran’s all-powerful Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, banning the pursuit of nuclear weapons. “I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution [because] Iran’s Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons,” Obama told reporters. But although talk of such a fatwa has been around for at least eight years, there’s no evidence it was ever issued, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute,
Animal fans around the region were overjoyed to hear about the birth of the National Zoo´s panda cub almost six weeks ago. As news hit Monday that the zoo´s Panda Cam would go dark in the event of a government shutdown, readers took to Twitter to vent their frustration, poke fun -- and post reminders that there are many more serious concerns. The National Zoo would remain closed to the public Tuesday morning in the event of a shutdown because the zoo´s animal cams require government resources which are not deemed essential, a zoo spokesperson confirmed to NBC Washington Monday
The Senate voted Monday afternoon to kill House Republicans’ latest stopgap spending offer, holding firm in their demand that Congress continue to fund Obamacare as part of any government-funding debate. The 54-46 vote officially tabled both proposals the House GOP passed early Sunday morning, one of which would have funded the government while delaying the health law for a year, and the other of which would have repealed one of the Affordable Care Act’s tax increases. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid bundled both of those proposals into a single vote, which made it easier to round up the support to
A two-decade family feud came to a violent end when a man shot dead the two home invaders that killed his wife and son, not knowing the assailants included his long-estranged daughter, authorities said Sunday. Though the investigation of Friday´s shootings continues, authorities said it appears Josephine and Jeffrey Ruckinger planned to murder her family at their rural central Pennsylvania home — but it remains unclear what exactly led to the deadly confrontation. [snip] Police say Roberta, 64, answered the door, and cried out something like "Oh my God, they have guns!" before her daughter shot her at point-blank range.
All that running on Baywatch has finally paid off. Pamela Anderson announced her plans to run the ING New York City Marathon on her Twitter account on Sunday – all in the name of a good cause. "I´m running the New York Marathon this year and raising funds for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization," she Tweeted. Spanning across the five boroughs, the Marathon takes place Nov. 3, leaving Anderson just over a month to raise funds to support J/P HRO, an organization that aims to save lives and bring sustainable programs to the Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.
The way Charles Ferguson tells it in a Huffington Post piece, he wasn’t stymied by the initial, negative reaction to the news that he’d be directing a CNN film on Hillary Rodham Clinton. He wasn’t stymied by the refusal of Clinton herself to make herself available for a private, off-the-record conversation. He wasn’t stymied by the work of Philippe Reines, who, he says, “contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor (as nearly all documentaries and news organizations are).” Nor was he stymied by disapproval
This is damn crazy. Isn´t it about time for President Barack Obama to say that? Or something like that? Once again, a rump group of Republican radicals in the House are throwing the US government into chaos, threatening a shutdown of federal agencies (unless Obama agrees to smother Obamacare in the crib) that could harm the economy and setting up another showdown over the debt ceiling that could cause a financial crisis that stretches from the United States to markets around the world. The president has denounced this obstructionism gone wild. On Friday, he decried House GOP "grandstanding," noting that
As musical genres go, Greek anti-fascist rap is one of the more niche ones, and it´s probably fair to say that until recently, not many folks outside of his home country had heard of Pavlos Fyssas. A 34-year-old who sang under the name Killah P, his lyrics railed against the Greek Far Right --not the military junta who ruled from 1967 to 74, but the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, whose MPs goosestepped their way into parliament last year on an anti-immigrant ticket. Since earlier this month, however, Mr Fyssas´s face has been all over Europe´s TV screens, having become a martyr
Washington -- The latest report on job creation and the unemployment rate, set to be released Friday, could be delayed if the federal government shuts down this week, the Labor Department said. "All survey and other program operations will cease and the public website will not be updated," Erica L. Groshen, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said in a Sept. 10 memo that is part of the department´s contingency plan for a shutdown. But Groshen said timing is important in determining whether economic data would be released during a shutdown, which would begin Tuesday if
A pack of bikers pummeled a driver in upper Manhattan on Sunday, after a wild chase that began with a fender bender on the West Side Highway, cops said. The brawl erupted after the victim — who was driving his wife and their young child — became surrounded by a swarm of motorcycles on the highway and accidentally hit one of the bikes near W. 125th St. about 2 p.m., police said. But when the driver stopped, several of the bikers began to damage the man’s black Range Rover — so he hit the gas and plowed through three motorcycles before speeding away, cops said.
The Washington region, home to the largest concentration of federal workers and contractors in the nation, could lose an estimated $200?million a day and could see more than 700,000 jobs take a financial hit if the federal government shuts down Monday night, according to a local economist’s projections. And that’s not counting the blow to tourism, one of the region’s economic mainstays, if the Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, Civil War battlefields and other federally funded attractions are shuttered, said Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. “This is serious,” Fuller said. “The national economy may