President Obama’s top aides secretly considered replacing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, undertaking extensive focus-group sessions and polling in late 2011 when Mr. Obama’s re-election outlook appeared uncertain. The aides concluded that despite Mrs. Clinton’s popularity, the move would not offer a significant enough political boost to Mr. Obama to justify such a radical move, according to a newly published account of the 2012 race. The idea of replacing Mr. Biden with Mrs. Clinton had long been rumored, but the journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, in their new book, “Double
A federal appeals court on Thursday issued a ruling reinstating most of Texas´ tough new abortion restrictions in a decision that means as many as 12 clinics won´t be able to perform the procedure starting as soon as Friday. A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling three days after District Judge Lee Yeakel said one provision serves no medical purpose. The panel says the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit moves forward. The restrictions could take effect Friday. The panel left in
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) expressed cautious support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) currently nearing passage in the Senate. He also lambasted the recent government shutdown and called for reforms at the National Security Agency, during a wide-ranging television interview. McCain said he was leaning towards a vote in favor of ENDA, which would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The law has the backing of every Senate Democrat but Republicans are much more wary. McCain himself emphasized that he still has outstanding concerns regarding the law’s possible effect on religious organizations. He likened
LOS ANGELES — A judge has denied a Southern California factory town´s attempt to shut down production of the popular Sriracha chili sauce over complaints about the pungent smell of pepper and garlic fumes emanating from the factory. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O´Brien rejected the city of Irwindale´s initial bid Thursday to cease operations at the Huy Fong Foods plant until the company can reduce the odor. "You´re asking for a very radical order on 24-hour notice," O´Brien told attorney June Ailin, representing the city. (Snip) The sprawling 650,000-square-foot factory processes some 100 million pounds of peppers
Senate Democrats vented their frustrations over the faulty rollout of the Affordable Care Act in a meeting Thursday with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior officials. “There’s a lot of frustration, everywhere,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said after the meeting. McDonough tried to assure angry senators he is personally taking charge of the disparate federal offices in charge of implementing the massive law, which has been plagued by technical errors. “He gave us the impression that he’s taking charge of the different elements and cracking the whip. He said to let him know if we had concerns,” said
With his signature health-care law under fire, President Obama flew to Boston Wednesday in an effort to remind the public that ObamaCare is modeled on the plan of his former GOP opponent and Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. “Your law was the model for the nation’s law,” Obama told supporters in Faneuil Hall on Wednesday. “Health-care reform in this state was a success. That doesn’t mean it was perfect right away. There were early problems to solve. There were changes that had to be made.” Recalling the birth of RomneyCare, Obama said, “Enrollment was extremely slow. Within a month, only about 100 people had
In light of a recent report, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) fears the National Security Agency may be spying on President Barack Obama. “They could well be spying on the president, for all I know,” Paul says, in an interview with National Review Online. “He has a cell phone, and, in fact, my guess is that they have collected data on the president’s phone.” Paul also believes the federal government may be tracking Pope Francis. “The most important question we need to ask the NSA is, ‘Are you telling us you’re collecting no data on the pope?’ And, ‘Did you
Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell vowed that President Obama would use executive authority to create more national monuments to protect lands if Congress doesn´t pass legislation to do so. "If Congress doesn´t step up to act," Jewell said during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, "then the president will take action." Obama has used the more than century-old Antiquities Act to establish national monuments nine times, with six coming in the last year. The administration has said it would use the law only if local communities can demonstrate there is significant support for such action. Those moves have invited
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wants to make sure that both benefit recipients and stores are held to account for the recent run on groceries during an outage of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system in his home state. Shoppers cleared out shelves Oct. 14 when the system went down, with deluged Walmarts deciding to let transactions proceed despite the outage showing no spending limits for the cards. Vitter said those who went on food grabs should be disqualified from receiving benefits. “Food Stamps have more than doubled in cost since 2008 and continue to grow in an unsustainable way, and
She’s out! A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked Manhattan federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s controversial ruling requiring restrictions on the use of stop-and-frisk by cops but didn’t stop there — the three-judge panel also took the extraordinary step of booting her from the case altogether. In a scathing rebuke, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that Scheindlin exhibited bias in the case that ran “afoul” of the code of conduct for US judges. The panel said Scheindlin’s August rulings will be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal by the city. “Upon review of the record in these cases,
Obama administration official confirms to CNN that Israel attacked missiles and equipment it felt might be transferred to Hezbollah; Al-Arabiya reports Israel destroyed SA-8 missiles in Damascus and Latakia. Israel conducted air raids against a Syrian missile base near the port city of Latakia early on Thursday, according to an anonymous US administration official. The official, speaking to CNN, said Israel targeted missiles and related equipment out of concern that they would be transferred to Hezbollah. It is unclear why the US would leak such information, as it could increase the pressure on Syria to retaliate against Israel.
Israel conducted air raids against a Syrian missile base near the port city of Latakia early on Thursday, according to an anonymous US administration official. The official, speaking to CNN, said Israel targeted missiles and related equipment out of concern that they would be transferred to Hezbollah. It is unclear why the US would leak such information, as it could increase the pressure on Syria to retaliate against Israel. (snip) Israel has repeatedly warned that it is prepared to use force to prevent advanced weapons, particularly from Iran, reaching Hezbollah through Syria.
More than 8,000 federal workers and contractors with security clearances owe $85 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO warned that individuals who have significant debt and access to classified documents pose potential security risks. “About 8,400 individuals adjudicated as eligible for a security clearance from April 2006 to December 2011 owed approximately $85 million in unpaid federal taxes, as of June 2012,” according to a report released Thursday. The GAO examined individuals who have been approved for security clearances in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE),
Unnamed U.S. officials have told CNN and The Associated Press that Israeli warplanes destroyed a shipment of Russian missiles at a Syrian airbase. But officials in Tel Aviv won´t comment on the reported attack near the port of Latakia overnight on Wednesday. "We´re not commenting on these reports," a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry told Reuters. Reuters also reported an explosion in the area and said one Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought that Israel had carried out a strike, but stressed that he was not entirely certain. NPR´s Emily Harris, reporting from Jerusalem, says: "Israel has long made
Seven correctional officers have pled guilty in a racketeering conspiracy involving the notorious Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) prison gang in Maryland. Narcotics and other contraband were smuggled into multiple correctional facilities for the gang by at least seven correctional officers. The facilities, both men’s and women’s dedicated centers, were operated by the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore. In one instance, a female corrections officer was engaging in sexual relationships with two BGF inmates and smuggling drugs in for the gang members to sell inside of the corrections facility. The female officer, Kimberly Dennis, pled guilty on October 29th
Unrepentant domestic terrorist and President Obama’s “friend from the neighborhood” Bill Ayers has received a warm welcome for his new book, Public Enemy, on MSNBC. On October 14, he appeared on Morning Joe, where the hosts fawned over him; on October 16, he stopped by Now with Alex Wagner. Sadly, Public Enemy bombed, according to Bookscan numbers, which track book sales through traditional bookstores and Amazon.com. From October 6 through October 20, Ayers sold a grand total of 467 copies of his book. By contrast, Mark Levin’s Ameritopia sold 56,756 copies in its debut week in 2012.
I’ve been quite critical of President Obama over the course of his presidency. Earlier this week, for example, I wrote a piece in which I accused Mr. Obama of mendacity.(snip)I had in mind what Jimmy Carter, who ranks with James Buchanan and a few others as among America’s worst and most inept presidents, said about Obama. When asked by Parade magazine how he would evaluate the Obama presidency so far, Carter said this: He’s done the best he could under the circumstances. His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.
Affordable Care Act: When a few Republicans used the shutdown to try to tie up ObamaCare, its supporters said it was settled law, get over it, deal with it, move on. But it´s not. It´s merely a statute and courts are still looking at it. The individual mandate provision of ObamaCare is the pivotal piece that many thought would fail the constitutional test. But the Supreme Court said the mandate is a tax and therefore falls within constitutional limits. The ensuing re-election of President Obama further emboldened ObamaCare supporters, who, after the election, said it was a referendum on the Patient Protection
Iran is on the brink of obtaining full nuclear weapons capacity. According to a top former deputy at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tehran’s current nuclear infrastructure has the capability to build "the bomb" in two weeks. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned the attention of the international community, warning that Iran was dangerously close to developing nuclear weaponry and reminded the nations of the world to be mindful of falling prey to psychological disarmament via Iranian President Rouhani’s "peace and friendship" initiative. Before his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in early October, Netanyahu suggested that
Industrial Policy: Four years ago, the insurance industry decided to get in bed with President Obama to help him get his health reform passed. But as soon as things started to go wrong, guess who Obama blamed? Soon after President Obama won the 2008 election, the big insurance industry lobby laid down its arms. Instead of fighting a government takeover of health care as it did in 1994 — it announced it would partner up. "Universal coverage is within reach," said Karen Ignagni, head of the America´s Health Insurance Plans trade group. And just as the president signed Obama-Care into law, AHIP
Delaying Obamacare — the once unthinkable — has now become a potential reality. And it´s not just a Republican idea any longer. Ten Senate Democrats, all in vulnerable seats, have proposed extending the healthcare law´s enrollment period because people still can´t sign up at Healthcare.gov. More precisely, they seek to delay collecting the tax penalty for failing to buy insurance under Obamacare´s individual mandate. However, this congressional retreat raises a difficult political question for the president and congressional Democrats: They must now admit that Obamacare´s individual mandate is actually a tax, something they´ve resisted doing in public for years. The
Scandal: The person who leaked the confidential data of a conservative group to its political foes has been identified by investigators. But he´s protected by the very law he broke and an attorney general who doesn´t care. In March 2012, someone at the Internal Revenue Service released the confidential donor lists of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which supports traditional marriage, to its political opponent, the liberal Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a supporter of gay marriage. At that time, Joe Solmonese, a left-wing activist and Huffington Post contributor, was the president of the HRC. Solmonese also became a 2012 Obama campaign
Vice President Joe Biden, famous for his malapropisms and missteps in front a microphone pulled another one today as he called called U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) "Frank." The move came as Biden prepared to swear in newly elected Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on the floor of the US Senate and the three men were situating themselves on the dais for the swearing in. After telling Menendez to "Come on up here, Frank" Biden quickly corrected himself and addressed Menendez as "Bob." Booker was elected last month to fill the term of the late Frank Lautenberg, who died in June.
(Detroit) As Ndamukong Suh gets fined not just for crunching opponents’ knees, but also for touching his helmet to another player’s chest, it’s safe to say the NFL is softer than it was in years past. Let’s sum it up this way: Victoria’s Secret makes NFL sleepwear for college girls. In this case, the secret’s out of the bag. The NFL is working to broaden its fan base, and many believe that’s one of the reasons the game is changing, evolving as it tries to maintain its hold on the hearts and minds of Americans. Efforts at marketing to women
TROY, N.Y. - The upstate New York home of former NFL star Brian Holloway that was trashed during a party attended by hundreds of young people has been sold at a foreclosure auction. The Times Union of Albany reports that Holloway´s 200-acre property in rural Stephentown sold for $400,000 during Tuesday morning´s auction in the Rensselaer County courthouse. The only bidder was Berkshire Bank, which bought the lien on the house. The newspaper had reported that Holloway owed more than $1 million to the bank.