BERKELEY, Calif. -- An explosion has been reported on the University of California at Berkeley Monday evening and the campus has been ordered to evacuate, emergency officials said. A power outage was reported earlier in the evening and classes were canceled and students were told to suspend lab activity and leave the academic buildings, campus emergency officials said. Then shortly before 7 p.m., an explosion was reported near Sather Tower, Berkeley acting fire Chief Gil Dong said. Four ambulances are responding to the incident but Dong did not have information about how many people had been injured or what the
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) late Monday rejected the House’s plan to appoint conferees for House-Senate negotiations on a new short-term spending plan. “We like to resolve issues, but we will not go to conference with a gun to our heads,” Reid said. “I propose that the House passes our clean CR, and we’ll sit down and discuss funding for the balance of the year. That’s it,” he said. House Republicans “want to close government,” he added. “This is all a subterfuge to satisfy the tea party-driven Republicans. And it’s very, very strange, this agenda is so hurtful
PITTSBURGH - L.C. Greenwood, the relentless defensive end who made up one quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers´ ´´Steel Curtain´´ defense of the 1970s, has died. He was 67. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner´s office said Greenwood died Sunday from undisclosed causes just before noon at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. A six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Greenwood played for the Steelers from 1969-81, helping Pittsburgh win an unprecedented four Super Bowls in a six-year span. Greenwood, Joe Greene, Ernie Holmes and Dwight White formed the bedrock of the defense that helped turn a perennial loser into a dynasty. ´´L.C. was one
This afternoon I got a voicemail at AEI from someone who’d heard me on NPR earlier in the day. I’m leaving out her phone number and name and just sharing her thoughts. Yes, we’re calling from North Carolina having listened to your comments on NPR in the afternoon. And we were just quite stunned to hear you begin your comments with the comment, ‘I am a friend of Ted Cruz.’ Well, I can tell you in all the years that I have been listening to NPR, I’ve never heard any journalist begin commenting about an issue with the — making
WASHINGTON—Senate Democrats quickly rejected the latest House Republican plan to delay part of the health-care law and keep the government running as Congress edged the U.S. closer to its first partial government shutdown in 17 years. By a 54-46 party-line vote, the Senate killed a proposal that would have kept the federal government operating into the new fiscal year, which begins Tuesday, and delayed the 2010 federal health-care law´s individual insurance mandate. The move extends a partisan standoff between the GOP-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate. The short-term spending bill, to fund the government until Dec. 15, now heads back
The Office of Personnel Management ruled Monday that members of Congress and their staffs will be able to buy health care plans that pay for abortions, even though the premiums are funded largely by taxpayer money — a move that conservatives say breaks federal law on abortion funding. Under the terms of Obamacare, lawmakers and their aides are required to ditch their government-sponsored plans and buy insurance on state-based health care exchanges, though unlike most people on the exchanges, the staffers and members will have most of the costs of their premiums paid by their employer — in this case,
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Monday the Justice Department is suing North Carolina over its new voting law, the latest effort by the Obama administration to intervene on behalf of minority voters after the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. “By restricting access and ease of voter participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access to the franchise,” Mr. Holder said. “Allowing limits on voting rights that disproportionately exclude minority voters would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation.” Mr. Holder and the assistant U.S. attorneys from North Carolina are asking
Today Republicans won a major victory against the mainstream media. When NBC and CNN announced their plans for pro-Hillary productions, the RNC voted to ban them from presidential primary debates. Conservatives united in calling out their blatant liberal bias and support for Hillary Clinton’s all-but-announced candidacy. Even liberal commentators’ eyes were opened to the network’s partisan actions. After all that pressure and bad publicity, both CNN and NBC announced they were canceling their productions today. The director of the CNN film, in explaining why he canceled the documentary, made it clear that the RNC’s actions made it more difficult to get
With lawmakers seemingly deadlocked and a federal government shutdown just hours away, President Obama on Monday afternoon bluntly laid out the consequences if Congress fails to act — and accused House Republicans of trying to “extract a ransom” to keep Washington up and running. “A shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people right away. It would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction,” Mr. Obama said. “Veterans who have sacrificed for their country will find their support centers unstaffed. Tourists will find every one
If you can judge people by the quality of their enemies, one quality shared by many opponents of the tea party is their conservatism. Like many ideological factions, tea-party activists display a special intensity in fighting the “near enemy” — other elements on the right that don’t share their tactics. President Obama may be their ultimate foe, but conservative pragmatists are their rivals. And rivals are the more immediate problem. So the Senate Conservatives Fund runs ads against Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and other solid Senate conservatives for opposing a counterproductive strategy to defund Obamacare. The circle of
THE AFFORDABLE Care Act’s marketplaces open Tuesday, whether there is a government shutdown or not. A lot of people don’t know what the opening means, let alone how the broader law is supposed to work. The political debate doesn’t help: It has become increasingly distorted since the law passed three years ago, culminating in inflated Republican claims in recent days that the system will harm, rather than improve, health care for many Americans. That’s not only bad for President Obama’s signature policy achievement, it’s also bad for the health-care system. To state the obvious, Obamacare is not a panacea. But
There is a very interesting quote from Chuck Schumer as Senate Democrats emerged from a private meeting today in an article in The Hill by Alexander Bolton datelined 2:30 PM: "Look, the bottom line is very simple. You negotiate on this, they will up the ante for the debt ceiling and the full-time CR," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). "You cannot negotiate when they take hostages and when they extort, period." Do you see it? Chuck never expects to negotiate on the budget! Not exactly a surprise. On our side we all suspected this. But Chuck has let it out
Why do Dems need Debbie Wasserman-Schultz when they´ve got Andrea Mitchell? There was no mistaking Mitchell´s anger on her MSNBC show today as she scolded Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz . "Get real," reprimanded Mitchell, twice telling Chaffetz the Republican bill delaying the implementation of ObamaCare was "dead on arrival." For good measure, Mitchell put the onus on Republicans to cave in order to avoid "hurting people." View the video after the jump. Watch Mitchell make like the Chairwoman of the DNC. ANDREA MITCHELL: Congressman, Congressman: the bill you are going to pass is dead on arrival. We know that.
President Obama on Monday evening called congressional leaders to urge them to pass a funding bill to avoid a government shutdown at midnight. “This evening, the President placed separate calls to Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi,” according to a readout provided by the White House. “The President made clear that Congress has two jobs to do: pay the bills on time and pass a budget on time. Failure to fulfill those responsibilities is harmful to our economy, small businesses and middle class families across the country,” the White House added.
The House has passed its latest government funding proposal, which would also delay Obamacare’s individual mandate by one year, and cancel taxpayer subsidies for health insurance for Congressmen and their staffs and senior political appointees in the executive branch. This latest measure passed on a 228-201 vote. For what it’s worth, the Republicans are now picking up a few more Democratic votes. Nine Democrats voted with the majority this time. Still, the Associated Press reports that it is Republican unity that is fraying. What’s the end game? I assume House Republicans will eventually throw in the towel, either by tomorrow
There was no shadow of doubt at the White House as the clocked ticked down to midnight Monday. Officials suggested that a refusal to negotiate over funding the government was the winning strategy. White House officials expressed confidence they wouldn’t have to back down in the slightest, while aides close to Obama, former administration officials and top Democratic strategists who confer with the White House say the chances of them negotiating with Republicans are slim to none. Sources said the White House believes GOP divisions, and polls showing more people would blame Republicans in Congress for a shutdown, mean Obama
The House on Monday narrowly advanced a new Republican counterproposal to both rein in ObamaCare and fund the government, with just hours to go until a midnight shutdown deadline. Senate Democrats have already warned that they will not consider any measure that targets ObamaCare. But the House is proceeding now to a vote on their latest bill. The chamber advanced that bill in a 225-204 vote. The new counterproposal would delay the health law´s individual mandate by a year, and also prohibit members of Congress, their staffers and other officials from receiving additional government subsidies for their health care.
Could ObamaCare, the goal of which was universal health coverage, actually increase the number of uninsured? If it does, the blame will fall almost entirely on provisions in the law, not Republican opposition to it. ObamaCare has three key parts intended to greatly expand the number of Americans with health coverage: (1) The individual mandate requiring nearly every American to have insurance or pay a penalty tax; (2) health insurance exchanges, where people below 400% of the federal poverty level will get federal subsidies (i.e., tax dollars) to help pay for coverage, and (3) a massive expansion of Medicaid up to 138%
Between 1998 and 2012 the global economy more than doubled in size—to some $71 trillion in GDP from $30 trillion. That´s the good news. Over the same period the world pumped more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is supposedly the bad news. Yet global surface temperatures have remained essentially flat. That´s the mystery: If emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes global warming, why hasn´t the globe been warming? That´s the question we would have liked to see answered by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which Friday published the summary of its fifth
As the budget histrionics continue, both parties are slyly doing what Congress does best—spend more money. We reported last week that the GOP House has already agreed with Senate Democrats to raise spending in 2014 by $19 billion over the Budget Control Act caps—to $986 billion from $967 billion. But now Senate budget experts have identified in the spending bill some $18 billion more of mostly phantom savings from "changes in mandatory spending programs," also known appropriately enough as Chimps. Here´s how it works. While the budget caps cover mostly discretionary spending, they include a few mandatory programs. The House
SEATTLE -- A rare tornado damaged industrial buildings south of Seattle as an early winter storm dumped record amounts of rain and knocked out power for thousands in the Pacific Northwest. The tornado at 7:20 a.m. Monday hit the industrial area of Frederickson, tearing a hole in the roof of the Northwest Door factory, blowing out car windows at a nearby Boeing factory, and damaging a building where sections of a downtown Seattle tunnel project were being assembled. A team from the Weather Service office in Seattle went to the scene and confirmed the tornado from eyewitness accounts, meteorologist Johnny
President Obama is bracing Americans for inevitable problems as the Affordable Care Act rolls out this week, but what he calls "glitches" are hardly routine. Information technology is ObamaCare´s Achilles´ heel. The faulty IT will expose Americans to lost data, attempts to enroll online that fail and the risk of fraud. There are two key technological flaws in ObamaCare. First is the "hub"—the software to link servers at the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security and state agencies to verify the income and health-insurance status of enrollees and ensure that they are eligible for subsidies. The other flaw is
Chew on this. A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour. [Snip] in Mexico, where a population of roughly 4 million live in slum conditions with widespread malnutrition. "We will be starting with grasshoppers," Ashour said. He noted that the insect is already familiar to the local diet and currently sells at a premium because of a three-month harvesting season and because grasshoppers are typically
Rush Limbaugh took the media to task Monday for foisting all the blame of a potential government shutdown on Republicans. He mocked pieces like The Washington Post‘s “You will no longer be able to watch this baby panda online if the government shuts down” and this Associated Press articlefor basically saying Republicans want a shutdown and “hate the zoo” and all the rest of it. Limbaugh predicted in the next few days the media would write piece after piece about all the programs getting shut down during the shutdown and blaming Republican intransigence on the whole thing.
President Barack Obama plans to sign a last-minute bill authorizing paychecks for troops and some Defense Department workers and contractors if the government shuts down, the White House said Monday. The House-passed bill to ensure the military is paid was approved without dissent in the Senate on Monday — a rare bipartisan agreement as Congress stumbled toward midnight when the fiscal year ends and current appropriations expire. The measure would also ensure continued pay for civilian employees of the Defense Department and Pentagon contractors whom Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel determines “are providing support to members of the Armed Forces.”
The chief executives of large banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) will meet with President Barack Obama tomorrow as Wall Street urges Congress to end the budget stalemate in Washington. The White House visit, confirmed by three people familiar with the schedule, was set up by the Financial Services Forum, a trade group representing the CEOs of the 19 largest banking and insurance firms. The executives are also set to meet with Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and several lawmakers. The CEOs plan to discuss the White House’s negotiations with Congress over funding