U.S. debt jumped a record $328 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week. The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday. The $328 billion increase shattered the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.
Democrat Barbara Buono’s campaign claimed the morning after Wednesday’s special election that thousands of voters in the governor’s race are being disenfranchised by confusion over mail-in ballots. At issue are mail-in ballots for both Wednesday’s special U.S. Senate election, in which Newark Mayor Cory Booker defeated Republican Steve Lonegan, and the general election, which is headlined by Buono’s challenge to Governor Christie, a Republican. Some voters erroneously submitted their general election ballots in the same return envelope as the one used for their special election ballot. The Attorney General’s Office confirmed the confusion but said it was limited to
The charter buses that BART sent to nine East Bay stations early Friday offered free rides into downtown San Francisco. But for those who lined up to catch the coaches, the freebie was little consolation. Outside the station in West Oakland, commuters who began arriving at 5 a.m. said they were grumpy, tired and frustrated about the workers´ strike that shut down the region´s backbone train system.
If there´s one thing just about everyone can agree on, it´s that the Republicans lost this fight—and badly. They surrendered on every point, except for a minor antifraud measure that will not alter the course of the Obamacare juggernaut by an inch. They are in such political disarray that even though John Boehner will almost certainly survive as speaker, he´s so thoroughly lost control of his caucus that there is, effectively, no one running the House anyway. All in all, the Great Shutdown Showdown was "a dead end for the GOP," ran the headline of a gleefully funereal postmortem by
Former Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer is considering a 2016 presidential bid, a new report says, offering the possibility of a populist candidate who would lay out the case against Hillary Clinton. “There’s a whole lot of America that looks at each other and says, ‘Well, there’s 340 million people living in America. Isn’t there somebody other than a Bush or a Clinton who can be president in these modern times? Isn’t there hope for somebody who’s running a business or who has served overseas or comes from a different occupation to become president? Are we now in the era of royalty
To fully understand the state of play in the Republican party, look no further than Sens. Mike Enzi (WY) and Pat Roberts (KS). Both are reliable, mainstream conservatives, yet neither have a record of seeking a fight or standing on principle. Think Orrin Hatch, without the tab-collars. Both, however, stood with Ted Cruz in the fight over ObamaCare. Not coincidentally, both face serious primary challengers. Sen. Mike Enzi is being challenged by Liz Cheney, who criticizes his "go-along-to-get-along" approach to government. Sen. Pat Roberts, who helped guide HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius through the nomination process, is being challenged by doctor, and
The White House is reportedly considering a plan to unfreeze billions of dollars in Iranian assets if Tehran is prepared to show it is taking credible steps to dismantle its nuclear programme. The plan would not scale back the international sanctions regime designed to strangle Iran´s oil industry but would allow for money to be returned to ease the sanctions´ economic damage. A senior White House official briefed the New York Times on the proposal after talks in Geneva between the Iranian government of new president Hassan Rouhani and the six-nation bloc known as the P5+1. While the talks in
The hits just keep on coming with Obamacare enrollee tales of disaster, with the latest joke that more people have actually completed an online application to journey to Mars than successfully signed into the White House’s websites for health reform exchanges. The Daily Mail reported that Twitter exploded on Thursday after it was revealed that 202,586 individuals had successfully signed up for the Mars One colony project to populate the red planet as soon as the technology becomes available. By comparison, the analytics firm Compete.com found that only 36,000 have registered for Obamacare via the official government site, Healthcare.gov. The Department
Washington - Both of Western New York’s Republican congressmen find themselves backpedaling furiously from the tea party strategy they supported that led the nation to a 16-day government shutdown as well as the brink of default. Both Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence and Rep. Tom Reed of Corning said in response to questioning that it was a mistake for House Republicans to tie the funding of government to defunding of Obamacare [Snip]. Collins, in an interview, blamed the failed strategy on Sen. Ted Cruz [Snip]. “I think Sen. Cruz has done a disservice to the Republican Party,” Collins said.
SPOTTED: Michelle Obama sitting down for a meal at a downtown Washington Italian restaurant on Wednesday, just hours before Congress passed legislation to fund the government and avert a default. The first lady was seen dining with two companions at Bibiana, arriving at 7 p.m. and staying for nearly three hours. While there was no word on what Obama treated her palette to, some of the fine eatery’s dishes include a “grilled ecofriendly pork chop” and “black spaghetti with Maryland jumbo lump crab.” In a late-night vote, the House passed the Senate’s bill
President Obama’s victory over congressional Republicans is likely to have a short shelf life. Even the president’s staunchest allies are skeptical that his triumph in the debt-ceiling battle has produced much capital for the White House to spend on priorities like immigration reform. “I don’t know that this changes anything,” one former senior administration official said. “I don’t think the president has new mojo from this.” “What did they really do? They brought the country to the same place where we were a few weeks ago,” the former official said. “This isn’t like he passed healthcare. He ended a government
There were a few times in recent weeks when Sophia Casey found herself mindlessly walking toward her laptop, ready to scan for new work messages as she’s always done at nights and on weekends. Then she would see the computer — powered down, closed and unplugged. And she’d remember: furlough. The Pavlovian twitch to constantly check e-mail had begun to ease just when Congress voted Wednesday to send Casey and her colleagues in the federal government back to work. Back to the office — and whatever mountain of messages lie waiting in the inbox after 16 days away. Casey’s total:
NEW YORK- A collection of Dr. Martin Luther King´s artifacts sold for more than $130,000 at an auction in New York, Heritage Auctions said. Maude Ballou, King´s close friend and personal secretary, had possession of the documents before they were sold Thursday. The artifacts included King´s handwritten outline of his 1960 Dexter Avenue Church Farewell Address, which sold for $31,350. Two letters that King wrote to Ballou from India while he was studying Gandhi´s philosophy of non-violence sold for $18,750 and $17,500. Two autographed chapters from his first book, "Stride Toward Freedom," sold for $8,125. "This was simply an unprecedented
Newark — Newark Mayor Cory Booker plans to officiate at least 10 same-sex weddings Monday morning, according to a report on BuzzFeed.com. Booker, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election on Tuesday, hopes to marry the couples in the first-floor rotunda of City Hall beginning at 12:01 a.m, the report said City spokesman James Allen told the Star-Ledger that while Booker is pushing hard to make the ceremonies happen next week, nothing official has been scheduled or confirmed.? "There are still some legal obstacles to be ironed out," he said A judge decided
On Thursday morning, I sat down with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, in his Capitol office. We discussed his role in brokering the recent fiscal deal, his outlook on future talks, and Republican expectations for divided government. He also spoke firmly of his commitment to keep the government open. “A government shutdown is off the table,” he says, looking ahead to a possible impasse early next year. “We’re not going to do it.” Costa: When did you know this standoff was finally ending? McConnell: I can tell you when I knew that we’d end up here —
DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera hobbled through a stop sign, gently colliding with the catcher for an easy out at home. Anibal Sanchez showed none of his no-hit stuff, Detroit´s first shaky outing from its rotation in the AL championship series. And yet the Comerica Park crowd had a chance to roar Thursday night when Prince Fielder came to the plate in the fifth and seventh innings. But each time, Fielder failed to come through and cheers quickly turned to jeers for the slumping slugger.(Snip) The rotund first baseman doesn´t deserve all the blame, but he´s going to get a
BOULDER, Colo. - A secret indictment in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey should be made public. That´s the ruling Thursday in a challenge to the secrecy of a 1999 indictment that never resulted in a prosecution in the 6-year-old´s death. Weld County Judge Robert Lowenbach ruled Thursday that releasing the indictment wouldn´t violate grand-jury secrecy rules. The release had been challenged by the Boulder County District Attorney´s Office. The judge ordered District Attorney Stan Garnett to show why the document should be kept secret. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit from a reporter from The Camera newspaper and the Reporters Committee
Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing about the closures of national parks and monuments during the government shutdown, proved one thing: Under President Obama, The traditional “Washington Monument Strategy” of closing popular services first has become the “Washington Bully Strategy.” Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, a former prosecutor, almost drove National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis into incoherence with his relentless questioning. Gowdy wanted to know why Jarvis had allowed “pot-smoking” Occupy Wall Street protesters to camp overnight illegally in Washington’s McPherson Square park for 100 days, yet put up barricades to keep veterans out of war memorials on the first
The NYPD has made three arrests in connection with the fire that forced a nun to leap from the second-floor of her convent in Arrochar, a police spokesman has confirmed. Among them was Vincent Calder, 19, of Lincoln Place, Fort Wadsworth, who was charged with arson, reckless endangerment, burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass -- all as hate crimes -- police said. Christopher Sasso, 19, of Normalee Road, Grasmere, and Diego Tuso, 19, of St. Mary´s Avenue, Rosebank, were both arrested on charges of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief, the NYPD spokesman said. Sister Regina Gegic continues to make
It seems both sides in the Obamacare fight have their positions exactly backward. The Republican National Committee is tweeting #FireSebelius and their website homepage features a petition demanding that President Obama sack the head of the department in charge of carrying out his signature health reform initiative. The petition calls the glitch-ridden rollout of Healthcare.gov a “systemic failure” and says Sebelius should be held accountable for ignoring “red flags and repeated warnings that Obamacare wasn’t ready for primetime.” The White House said Tuesday it has no plans to get rid of Sebelius. If you think Sebelius is a blitheringly incompetent leader and manager,
Presumably, the healthcare.gov website will be more or less operational after a few months. But that´s not even the biggest problem with the program. Insurers are getting bad information from the enrollments. The federal data hub that is supposed to tell consumers how much of a subsidy they will get is so dysfunctional that insurers have no confidence in the data. And come January 1, insurers believe there will be lots of outraged consumers who were misquoted on coverage and cost.
Tom Foley, the Spokane judge´s son who became speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is dead. His wife, Heather, confirmed his death Friday morning in an email to seattlepi.com. Foley, who had been in declining health, was 84 He will be remember as speaker of the House in days when Congress still got things done, but never saw the speaker´s chair as his life´s greatest honor. Instead, it was that voters in Eastern Washington chose him for 30 years to represent them in Congress. Foley stood tall (6´3"), gave straight answers and saw his job as working out society´s
In a highly unusual move, the House Intelligence Committee voted this week to deny an outspoken Florida lawmaker access to classified information supporting President Barack Obama’s call for a military strike in Syria. The committee’s decision Wednesday to deny the sensitive materials to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) was driven in part by a heated House floor speech he gave in June (text/video) in which he displayed and discussed a “top secret” PowerPoint presentation National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked to the Guardian and the Washington Post, a Hill staffer familiar with the situation said. Under rules pertaining to classified information, people
Since the day the Affordable Care Act passed Congress, the state of Maryland has been among the most eager to implement it, and among the most likely to launch an exchange smoothly. It’s a thoroughly blue state populated by politicians who pride themselves on the state’s hefty and experienced health care bureaucracy. Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’Malley, a presidential aspirant happy to charge forth with the Obamacare banner, held a press conference the day after its passage proclaiming the Old Line State’s intention to tow the line. In 2009, as the Obamacare debate raged, he declared Maryland uniquely suited to the task:
The Los Angeles Times, in its effort to support the unionizing of the fast-food industry, quotes a report by economists at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that asserts more than half of families of fast food workers get financial aid totaling $7 billion yearly from the federal government. The Times writes that the report was “distributed by a group that has been pushing for union representation and higher wages for fast food workers.” So which group was that? The Times does not say, and there is no link to the group or the report. According to the
The Senate and House had not even settled the final details of ending the government shutdown before President Obama was on to his next priority. "We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system," Obama said Wednesday evening as Capitol Hill scrambled to end the standoff. In case anyone missed it, the next morning he declared: "We should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system." There´s no doubt the president wants an immigration deal; he´s talked about it for years, and now can´t put it off until another term. But could the Republican-controlled House