Washington - Vice President Joe Biden is set to deliver the keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign´s annual dinner next month. Biden will be speaking to an influential group of gay and lesbian activists who were among President Barack Obama´s most loyal supporters during the 2012 campaign. Biden will headline the Oct. 5 event with 3,400 people at the Washington Convention Center. The organization is the nation´s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group. The vice president has built strong support within the gay community and was credited with pushing Obama to support same-sex marriage during the
Biden will surely avoid addressing the murderous war on Christians by Muslims in his Human Rights speech. He´ll also ignore the Islamist threats to wipe Israel off of the map. He definitely won´t mention the law suit against his regime by the Little Sisters of the Poor, nuns who don´t want to be forced to accept the ObamaCare mandates on contraception and abortion. And, he will not mention the continuing repression of the citizens of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe, to name just a few anti-human rights regimes. Instead, his human rights speech will herald all of the wonderful things that our first bisexual president has done for the 4% of the US population that is LGBT.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will take one of the biggest hits of any federal agency if the government shuts down this week, operating with under 7 percent of its employees, according to guidance issued by the agency. Among those furloughed would be most workers at the Office of Air and Radiation, which is in charge of writing and implementing most of the EPA´s major air pollution rules. The clock would also stop, for now, on the EPA´s eagerly-awaited proposal on renewable fuel volume standards for 2014. The EPA said its plan for dealing with a shutdown would classify 1,069
The House on Tuesday night rejected three appropriations resolutions that would have funded the District of Columbia, veterans programs and national parks, after House Republicans set them up in a way that required Democratic support for passage. GOP leadership decided earlier in the day to advance smaller spending resolutions as a way to ease the impact of the government shutdown that started today. But Democrats held out against this tactic, and most voted against the three bills in order to keep up pressure for a comprehensive spending package. (Snip) House Democrats were backed by their Senate colleagues and the Obama
Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday said he would support a short-term funding measure “to keep the government open while we negotiate.” “I think what we could do is pass a very short term, maybe not six weeks, but what about one week, so we could negotiate over a week,” the Kentucky Republican told CNN’s “New Day.” “I think a continuing bill to keep the government open while we negotiate is a good idea. I do agree that negotiating with the government closed probably to [Democrats] appears like strong-arm tactics.” But it does need to be short-term enough “that we are
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is splitting with House Democrats, urging them to support a Republican-backed measure that would appropriate funding for the District of Columbia but allow other parts of the government to remain shut-down. Democratic leadership is arguing that the three GOP-measures — which would also fund national parks and programs for veterans — are a tea party-backed ploy to reopen the most noticeable pieces of government while leaving the remainder of the government closed while a fight over the federal health-care bill grinds on. Because of procedural rules, the measures must get a 2/3 vote of the
Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he supports new Environmental Protection Agency rules on carbon emissions, taking a clear stance for the first time on an issue that has become a key flashpoint in the Virginia governor’s race. The EPA unveiled guidelines two weeks ago that would limit the amount of carbon that future coal- and gas-fired plants can emit into the atmosphere, likely making it difficult for any new coal-powered plants to be built. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, the Republican nominee for governor, has said the rules would be devastating to Virginia’s coal industry,
A patriotic Russian group on Tuesday called for President Vladimir Putin to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his Syria diplomacy, claiming he was more deserving of the award than laureate US President Barack Obama. A group that lists senior Russian officials among its members announced at a news conference that it had written to the Nobel prize committee backing Putin for the prize awarded to Obama in 2009. The group says Putin deserves the honour for his efforts in brokering an agreement for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons under international control, a plan the group says
The Obama administration broke the law when officials decided to delay a crucial provision of the president’s signature healthcare law, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court. The lawsuit, filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch on behalf of an orthodontist from Florida, seeks to block a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate. The provision requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance to their workers or pay penalties. The mandate, a major pillar of the ACA, was to take effect in January 2014, under language in the law.
Adopting a strategy first suggested by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), House Republicans are pushing a new approach that would break up the federal spending bills into small pieces and move them separately over to the Senate. According to a senior GOP aide in a closed-door huddle in the Capitol basement, Republicans hope to approve three bills Tuesday that would fund the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia. This is an attempt to move the appropriations process through regular order, but Senate Democrats have rejected such a move as too late.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the world community not to be fooled by the new Iranian president´s conciliatory words, using a U.N. address to decry him as a "wolf in sheep´s clothing." Netanyahu, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly session on Tuesday in New York, sought to counter the positive reviews Iranian President Hassan Rouhani got over his debut at the international gathering. (Snip) "Rouhani didn´t sound like Ahmadinejad, but when it comes to Iran´s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was the wolf in wolf´s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep´s
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says Democrats are willing to include ObamaCare’s medical device tax in a spending bill that would keep the government funded. “We can work out something, I believe, on the medical device tax. That was one of the proposals from the Republicans,” Durbin said on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning. “As long as we replace the revenue so that we don’t put a hole in our deficit and respond to this in a responsible fashion. That’s one thing the Republicans want to talk about it. Let’s sit down, and put that on the table.”
Senate Democrats on Tuesday rejected negotiating with the House on government funding, leaving no clear path for ending the federal shutdown that began overnight. The Senate voted 54-46 to table a House request for a conference committee on a continuing resolution (CR), marking the third time that Democrats have voted down legislation from the lower chamber since Monday. "The government is closed," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. "All over America federal employees are getting furloughs this morning … because of the irrationality that is going on in the other side of the Capitol." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Stocks rebounded from yesterday’s slide, while commodities and Treasuries retreated, as investors assessed the potential economic impact from the shutdown of the American government. The dollar pared earlier losses. (Snip) The standoff that may be a buying opportunity for stock investors, if history is any guide. The S&P 500 has risen 11 percent on average in the 12 months following past government shutdowns, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on instances since 1976. That compares with an average return of 9 percent over 12 months. In all the cases, the U.S. equity benchmark was higher by the end of the
The federal government lost its checkbook at midnight, and it may not find it for days or weeks. As the zero-hour drew closer on Monday, with other avenues exhausted, the White House´s Office of Management and Budget told federal agencies that they ´should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.´ House Republican leaders on the Rules Committee had discussed the procedures for both parties to appoint ´conferees´--negotiating representatives--for a joint House-Senate conference committee empowered to hash out a compromise of the budget battle that has consumed Washington for days. The House GOP scrambled all
Like most members of the Congress that passed it and, undoubtedly, the president of the United States who signed it, I have not read the entirety of the ill-named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yet there is one aspect concerning that legislation of which I am certain: I will not comply. I will not comply because I am a free citizen of the United States, not a subject of its government. I consider non-compliance with this monstrosity and the tens of thousands of pages of regulations that are to be enforced by an unelected bureaucracy, and that have left a
Perhaps no historical figure is more deeply mired in legend and myth than Jesus of Nazareth. Outside of the Gospels — which are not so much factual accounts of Jesus but arguments about His religious significance — there is almost no trace of this simple Galilean peasant who inspired the world’s largest religion. But there’s enough biblical scholarship about the historical Jesus to raise questions about some of the myths that have formed around Him over the past 2,000 years. 1. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The first Christians seem to have had little interest in Jesus’s early years. Stories about His
A meteorologist who has covered weather for the Wall Street Journal tweeted that he has decided not to have children in order to leave a lighter carbon footprint, and is considering having a vasectomy. He also vowed to stop flying after the world´s recent climate-change report made him cry. Eric Holthaus was reacting to the findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which released a report on Friday that found it was ‘extremely likely’ that humans are causing warming trends seen in the last several decades.
Today, more than three and a half years after the Democrats passed Obamacare into law, the overhaul’s exchanges — its East German–like government marketplaces — will finally, sort of, open for business. The Democrats fully expect their fellow Americans to be so excited about buying government-approved insurance through these government-run exchanges that they’re choosing to shut down the government rather than delay the individual mandate for a year. Better to shut down the government, it would seem, than let Americans freely decide — even for a year — whether or not to buy Obamacare-based insurance. Alas, the individual mandate’s penalties
Democrats and their media allies have spent the past week labeling Republicans “anarchists,” “fanatics,” “radicals,” and “terrorists” who are wholly to blame for the situation that we are told will soon lead to a government shutdown. (Snip)For three consecutive years — 2010, 2011, and 2012 — the Democrat-controlled Senate did not pass a budget bill because Reid knew that it would be a political liability to do so. Passing a budget that detailed the Democrats’ plans for spending and revenue as official policy would have exposed the “something for nothing” swindle that Reid and his colleagues are perpetrating on the
First lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that her Twitter account will see fewer updates due to the government shutdown. Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited. #Shutdown 12:55 PM - 1 Oct 2013. In 2009, FactCheck.org found that the first lady had a staff of 24 people. It is unclear whether any of the first lady’s staff have been furloughed as a result of the government shutdown.
“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” — Barack Obama, October 30, 2008 “We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.” — Michelle Obama, May 14, 2008 There certainly is no question that Barack Obama wants to change the United States. And there clearly is no doubt that such fundamental transformation is difficult, given our tripartite system of government — even though Obama entered office with large Democratic majorities in
If President Obama were really clever, he’d jump at the Republicans’ proposal in the continuing resolution to delay Obamacare for one year. A one-year delay is perhaps the only chance to prevent the Obamacare exchanges from becoming a disaster. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Kevin Counihan, chief executive of Connecticut’s exchange, Access Health CT: “It is highly complex , it’s unprecedented and it’s not going to be smooth…. This is a two- to three-year implementation we’re doing in 10 months. I wish we had one more year.” The problem is that the test runs have revealed the exchange websites aren’t
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
A group of World War II veterans in an Honor Flight group Tuesday knocked over barriers imposed during the government shutdown at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., to get inside. As part of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed. But the group of veterans continued to the monument Tuesday, as reported by Stars and Stripes.
Come 2014, the government´s damaged brand will reflect poorly on president and his party. So last week, while most of the country was talking about football or fears of a government shutdown, Rasmussen released a poll that should worry everyone -- but especially incumbent Democrats in Congress. According to Rasmussen´s survey, most Americans think the IRS broke the law by targeting Tea Party groups for harassment, but few expect it to be punished. Fifty-three percent think the IRS broke the law by targeting the Tea Party and other conservative groups like the voter-integrity outfit True The Vote; only 24% disagreed.