Washington -- The chairman of the House Budget Committee says Republicans will oppose tax increases and, as a result, deep, unpopular budget cuts will likely take effect. Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told NBC´s "Meet the Press" on Sunday that automatic spending cuts are scheduled to take hold because, quote, "Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others." Democrats have insisted taxes be part of the equation to dodge across-the-board spending cuts that are set to hit the Pentagon and many domestic programs.
It is not bad, but it would be better to cut specific programs which either serve no function the federal government should be involved in, or which accomplish no measurable good. Of course there is a lot of overlap between those two.
The games politicians play: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. It’s a variation on the grade-school ritual of “you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.” President Obama is not a bad poker player, but the man with all the chips always starts with the advantage (and he gets all the aces). He has closed Washington down as tight as he dares, emphasizing the
We´re all paying more at the pump. It´s hurting consumers and dangerous for the fragile economy. And, it´s because of a Washington handout to corn farmers and big Wall Street banks - all disguised as a measure to promote renewable energy and clean-burning fuels. The Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) mandates an ever-increasing floor of ethanol be mixed with gasoline. The bill, which was expanded under President Obama, ensures a baseline level of demand for ethanol, distorting the market and sending the price of corn substantially higher. That´s because gasoline refiners have to purchase ethanol, regardless of the price. So, corn prices tripled,
Every time there´s a shooting tragedy, there are more calls for gun control. Let´s examine a few historical facts. By 1910, the National Rifle Association had succeeded in establishing 73 NRA-affiliated high-school rifle clubs. The 1911 second edition of the Boy Scout Handbook made qualification in NRA´s junior marksmanship program a prerequisite for obtaining a BSA merit badge in marksmanship. In 1918, the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. established its own Winchester Junior Rifle Corps. The program grew to 135,000 members by 1925. In New York City, gun clubs were started at Boys, Curtis, Commercial, Manual Training and Stuyvesant high schools. With
With a government shutdown just hours away on Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama still plans to go to Asia this weekend. "We don´t have any changes to announce. We plan to make this trip," Carney told reporters at the White House Monday. "The president, as president, looks forward to and believes it is important to travel to Asia in order to promote our economic interests in Asia and our strategic interests in Asia." One of the Republicans´ criticisms of Obama is his absolute refusal to negotiate on a stopgap funding bill and the debt limit, even when he´s
After the federal government shutdown for 21 days from mid-December 1995 to early January 1996, the percentage of Americans who said they approved of the job Congress was doing increased, according to the Gallup poll. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who said they approved of the job then-President Bill Clinton was doing remained the same, and the percentage who said they approved of the job then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich was doing dropped by only two points. The government shutdown from Dec. 16, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1996, occurred when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was trying to get President
Merck & Co. (MRK), the second-biggest U.S. drugmaker by sales, will fire 8,500 workers and revamp its research and development after seeing new medicines delayed by U.S. regulators. The positions eliminated are in addition to 7,500 job cuts Merck had already announced, the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey -based company said in a statement today. The firings now equal about 20 percent of the global workforce, and will cut across the entirety of Merck, including R&D, sales and management. The overhaul, to save $1 billion next year, is part of a strategy being set by Chief Executive Officer Ken Frazier and R&D chief
The cornerstone of ObamaCare — the new insurance marketplaces at the heart of the debate over a government shutdown — opens for business on Tuesday. The rollout of America’s new healthcare system is a pivotal moment for both President Obama and his Republican critics, and that’s a core reason why it has brought the federal government to a grinding halt. Republicans have fought fiercely to delay, defund or partially repeal the healthcare reform law in exchange for funding the rest of the federal government — proposals Obama and Senate Democrats have flatly rejected. Obama on Monday said, “The Affordable Care Act is moving
Bob Woodward of The Washington Post said if there is a “downturn or a collapse” resulting from the failure of CR or debt ceiling negotiations it will be on President Obama’s “head” Monday on Morning Joe. Woodward noted he respected President Obama’s objection to negotiating on the debt ceiling, but criticized the administration for failing to initiate any dialogue that could result in a deal on funding the government. “It’s on the president’s head, he’s got to lead, he’s got to talk” Woodward said: BOB WOODWARD: Can I enter in here just for a moment because I think it’s a good question. And
Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton in the pantheon of romancers and boudoir bandits, but he is the president, after all, and his vain search for love in all the wrong places is enough to break a heart of stone. He just can’t believe that Hasan Rouhani, the new president of Iran, is just not that into him. (Isn’t everybody?) Not since Jimmy Carter chased Teddy Kennedy around the platform at the Democratic National Convention in 1980, begging for the traditional hands-above-the-head gesture of acclamation by rivals for the nomination, has an American president been so publicly scorned, rebuked and humiliated.
Washington — Time running short, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed legislation Friday that would avert a partial government shutdown early next week. But the measure faced a swift demise in the House at the hands of tea party conservatives who are adamantly opposed to funding included for the nation´s three-year-old health care law. The Senate´s 54-44 vote was strictly along party lines in favor of the measure, which would keep the government operating routinely through Nov. 15 and prevent a shutdown that could cause delays in some services. The bill´s passage masked a ferocious struggle for control of the Republican Party pitting Speaker
Here’s a shot of Sen. Ted Cruz praying in front of The White House yesterday. No, he’s not praying that Barack Obama will overturn Obamacare and no, he’s not praying that he will occupy the presidency one day. Instead, he’s alongside Rev. Rob Schenck (from Faith and Action) and Rev. Frazier White (a Democrat and Obama supporter) praying for Saeed Abedini, who has been in an Iranian prison for one year. He is being persecuted for his faith to Jesus Christ. Who says Ted Cruz isn’t bipartisan? I have not only interviewed Ted Cruz many times, but I have spent time with him
Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that he does not need chemical weapons to “challenge Israel” and “blind [it] in an instant,” according to recent remarks reported in the Arab media. As Western inspectors prepare to enter Syria next week, Assad renewed his threats on Israel and boasted of weapons that are “more sophisticated than chemical weapons,” according to remarks published by Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar news site and carried throughout the Arab media. “We now possess deterrent weapons that are more important and more sophisticated than chemical weapons,” Assad was quoted as telling visitors to his presidential palace late Thursday, according to Iran’s
Some Catholic priests under contract or GS (general schedule) to the military are not allowed to offer Mass or perform weddings, baptisms, and other religious functions on military property during the government shutdown, and if they do, even on a volunteer basis, they risk being arrested, according to the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. About 25% of the U.S. military is Catholic, some 275,000 service members, but there are only 234-active-duty priests. To fill the gap, contract or GS priests are brought in. But under the rules of the shutdown, many of those priests cannot
National Park Service rangers are being ordered to “make life difficult” during the government shutdown, according to the Washington Times. After the shutdown began, park police have been barring tourists from a number of popular attractions nationwide, including the WWII memorial. Even privately-owned landmarks, such as Mount Vernon, are being told by the National Park Service to close their doors. The Times reported: The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred
President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to one of the lowest levels in two years. Since the government shutdown Tuesday, Obama’s approval rating has slipped 3 percentage points to 41 percent, while his disapproval went up to 52 percent, according to Gallup’s daily numbers. Reuters also polled a 41 percent approval rating in the same time period. Rasmussen Reports said he had 46 percent approval, and Fox News recorded it at 45 percent. Gallup hasn´t recorded that low an approval rating for Obama since 2011. The pollster´s surveys in September showed 44 percent approved of the president’s job. The federal
Many celebs have taken to Twitter to voice their support for ObamaCare, but “Vampire Diaries” star Nina Dobrev took it one step further on Thursday, tweeting a topless photo to promote President Obama’s healthcare coverage plan. Nina Dobrev, who stars in the tween-friendly, supernatural CW series, wrote to her more than 4 million followers on Twitter: [Tweet,pic] While she appears to be the first to drop her top, the actress, 24, is the latest in a string of high-profile stars to get the word out about the controversial healthcare program, which opened for online enrollment Tuesday. Other Hollywood regulars who
Washington - President Barack Obama says that if he owned the Washington Redskins, he would "think about changing" the team name, wading into the controversy over a football nickname that many people deem offensive to Native Americans. Obama, in an interview with The Associated Press, said team names like the Redskins offend "a sizable group of people." He said that while fans get attached to the nicknames, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place. "I don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people
Via William Jacobson, NBC´s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday. After one group of veterans went around the barricade, "the park ranger told them the wall was closed," NBC´s Mark Seagraves reported. "Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That´s when police came and moved everyone out." The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a black granite outdoor wall on which the names of the
According to Politico: Ted Cruz faced a barrage of hostile questions Wednesday from angry GOP senators, who lashed the Texas tea party freshman for helping prompt a government shutdown crisis without a strategy to end it. At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said. The
ObamaCare is attracting lots of window shoppers, but not that many buyers. Figures from the handful of states releasing information show that only a tiny fraction of the people inquiring about President Obama’s controversial, government-mandated insurance have actually agreed to buy it since the policies went on sale Tuesday. In Connecticut — where ObamaCare was predicted to send prices for individual policies soaring — 498 residents had completed applications for coverage as of midday Thursday, out of 85,000 unique visitors to the Access Health CT Web site and another 4,000 calls to its help line, spokesman Jason Madrak said. That works out to
President Barack Obama, already embroiled in a battle over a government shutdown, jumped into another dispute on Saturday - a long-running fight over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team. Obama said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name, which American Indians and others have long pilloried as racist. "I´ve got to say if I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they´ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizeable group of people, I´d think about changing it," Obama said
Blocking access to trails and programs at South Dakota’s most popular attraction was one thing, but state officials didn’t expect Congress’ budget stalemate to shut down a view of Mount Rushmore. The National Park Service placed cones along highway viewing areas outside Mount Rushmore this week, barring visitors from pulling over and taking pictures of the famed monument. The cones first went up Oct. 1, said Dusty Johnson, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff. The state asked that they be taken down, and federal officials did so with some of them. The state was told the cones were a safety
Helen Thomas covered 10 presidents, from Eisenhower through Obama, in her time as a White House correspondent. She also went on a date with one of them, it emerged during a memorial service attended by about 500 people Saturday at the National Press Club for Thomas, who died on July 20 at age 92. As told by Suzanne Geha, Thomas’s niece, who presided, Thomas arrived in Washington in 1942, at age 22, shortly after graduating from Detroit’s Wayne State University. United Press (later UPI) hired her in 1943. While working for UP, she went on a date with John F.
A PLACE ONCE CALLED WASHINGTON - AN ape sits where Abe sat. The year is 2084, in the capital of the land formerly called North America. The peeling columns of the Lincoln Memorial, and Abe’s majestic head, elegant hands and big feet are partially submerged in sludge. Animals that escaped from the National Zoo after zookeepers were furloughed seven decades ago migrated to the memorials, hunting for food left by tourists. The white marble monuments are now covered in ash, Greek tragedy ruins overrun with weeds. Tea Party zombies, thrilled with the dark destruction they have wreaked on the planet, continue