‘The Republican brand is deeply damaged” was a painfully common assessment after the election. A lot of Republicans were eager to blame the party’s thoroughly lousy performance on the presidential nominee, but there is considerable evidence that the unpopularity goes well beyond that: Romney won more votes than GOP Senate candidates in almost all of the swing states — and in some fairly red states, including Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Conservative ideas, though, won in distinctly Democratic-leaning states once the word “Republican” was no longer associated with them. In Michigan, where Obama won handily,
Few things can make you appreciate home like staying in a hotel. This includes not only low-budget, bare bones hotels but also sweepingly large and ornate luxury hotels. What many hotels seem to have in common are needless hassles. Since most people who stay in hotels do so while traveling, and stay only a few days in a given hotel, you might think that those who run hotels would want to make it easy for someone who arrives a little tired (or a lot tired) from traveling to use the various devices they find in their hotel room.
Hamilton — Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo was convicted today of accepting $12,400 in bribes from a health insurance broker in exchange for his influence over a lucrative school board contract. The verdict of guilty on all counts came after four and a half hours of deliberations by jurors at the federal courthouse in Trenton. Bencivengo, 58 faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on the bribery and extortion counts. The corruption trial hinged on the testimony of Marliese Ljuba, a former health insurance broker for Vineland-based Allen Associates who became an FBI cooperating witness
Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, has voted to rescind the honorary degree it conferred on embattled bicyclist Lance Armstrong, a university spokesman confirms. "The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rescind the honorary degree awarded to Lance Armstrong at Commencement in 2006," Kimberly M. Thurler, director of public relations at Tufts, writes in a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "While continuing to respect the significant work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the board concluded that, in the wake of the recent report of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and its acceptance by the International Cycling Union,
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pressed State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland at Monday’s briefing to comment on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assertion that “Israel is a terrorist state” and is carrying out a “massacre of children” in Gaza. Adhering to longstanding administration policy of never criticizing the Islamist regime in Turkey, she refused. “You’re not telling us anything,” Lee said. “When the leaders of Turkey come out and say that Israel is engaged in acts of terrorism and you refuse to say that you don’t agree with that — or maybe you do agree with it —
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke implored Washington policymakers Tuesday to get the nation´s fiscal house in order for the good of the economy.The head of the nation´s central bank used a high-profile speech to outline a "must-do" list for Congress and the White House in the comings months: avoid the "fiscal cliff," raise the debt ceiling and come up with a long-term plan to bring down the deficit. Finally, Bernanke said it´s important do so with as little drama as possible. "Coming together to find fiscal solutions will not be easy, but the stakes are high,"
The Obama administration issued new rules Tuesday that require insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions — one of the most popular provisions of President Obama’s healthcare law. The Health and Human Services Department also began to implement other popular, but expensive, parts of the Affordable Care Act. Regulations released Tuesday will prohibit insurers from charging women a higher premium than men, and will require plans in every state to cover certain services.
Clark — The cost of a large-scale police search for a Clark teen who faked her own kidnapping will not be passed on to her family, the mayor of the town said. Township officials never put a dollar figure on their hunt for 16-year-old Kara Alongi, who became a global sensation after tweeting in September that someone was in her house. But Mayor Sal Bonaccorso said the amount, which includes overtime for police officers, was not "exorbitant" and that there was no need to burden the girl’s parents. "We´re not going to sit there and pass the costs along,"
Warren Rudman, who died overnight Tuesday, was a “sledgehammer” senator who packed a lot into just two terms in the Capitol. Swept in by the Reagan landslide in 1980, the New Hampshire Republican stole a step on his classmates by taking office weeks before the new Congress had convened and never seemed to stop in the ensuing 12 years. He was lawyer smart with a mix of bombast and moxie that ingratiated him with older Senate colleagues, while also making headlines with his famous deficit-reduction schemes and leadership of the Iran-Contra and Keating Five investigations.
Appearing on Saturday´s NBC Today, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood completely dismissed the scandal surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack as merely leftover campaign politics: "...what we´re seeing in the Petraeus scandal and the Benghazi issue being prolonged is an extension of some of the conflict and the bitterness that we had during the election campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Harwood predicted the whole controversy would just go away: "I´m not sure what the resolution of that is going to be. I think ultimately
The news media industry is turning a new page. For residents of Prince William County, just outside Washington, D.C., this means they won´t be turning pages at all. At least, not the pages of The News and Messenger, their 143-year-old local newspaper. The life of the five-day-a-week, 10,000 circulation newspaper serving the county´s more than 420,000 residents has met its fate. The last edition of the paper will be printed on December 30, at which point its 105 employees will be out of work. Just last year, World Media Enterprises, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet´s Berkshire Hathaway Company, purchased
A ceasefire between Hamas and Israel will be announced tonight, almost a week after the assassination of Hamas´ top military commander led to the worst violence between Gaza and Israel in four years. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told ABC News the news would be announced at 8 p.m. in Cairo (1 p.m. ET), where Egypt has been trying to broker a peace deal. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian mediator would make the announcement, Barhoum said. Earlier, an Islamic Jihad website reported that the ceasefire would go into effect at 9 p.m. local time.
A spirited exchange between an Associated Press reporter and spokesperson Victoria Nuland marked the U.S. State Department´s daily briefing Monday on the continued violence between Israel and Hamas. Transcript below. MATTHEW LEE, AP: How do you – this whole thing of saying nothing, I’m not sure I understand why you think that that’s helpful to the situation. You say that it would not be helpful for you to discuss any of your conversations, that quiet diplomacy is the way to de-escalate that. Well, you’ve been doing your quiet diplomacy now for almost a week. How’s it going so far?
The Department of Homeland Security is promoting welfare benefits for immigrants on its website WelcometoUSA.gov despite a law that seeks to prevent new immigrants from becoming dependent after entering the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act, under section 212, states, “An alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.” Section 212 also addresses the health status Source name must be spelled out
When government gets bigger, big business typically benefits at the expense of smaller competitors, consumers, and taxpayers. Obamacare is demonstrating this rule. Bloomberg reports today on how Medicare payment rules have led to hospital consolidation, with small practices selling out to big hospitals. The article notes about consoldation: Simon Gisby, a principal in the life science and health care practice at Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC in New York, said the trend fits with changes starting to take place under the 2010 Affordable Care Act designed by the Obama administration to overhaul health care.
After almost ¾ of a year the president finally holds a press conference but the press fails to show up. I mean they physically showed up but not journalistically. In the world of politics and press when the press fawns over someone they find a way to either not ask a probing question or they simply ask a non-consequential one. That is what happened on Wednesday when the president was served up a bunch of softball questions that made for one of the dullest press conferences in recent memory. When queried about Benghazi and...
A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans´ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law. CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans´ e-mail, is scheduled for next week. Leahy´s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission --
Why is president Obama yawning in this photo? Perhaps it’s because he was up late talking on the phone to negotiate a truce between Gaza and Israel. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is traveling to the region this morning, the White House confirmed today, while the president continues to negotiate over the phone with Egyptian President Morsi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. “The President is going to do a lot of work on the phone,” explained deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. “He was on the phone until 2:30 in the morning last night;
President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board asked a judge this week to force a Connecticut nursing home to re-hire employees involved in a labor dispute, including the workers who sabotaged patient homes as they went on strike. The Service Employees International Union members who worked at HealthBridge went on strike after rejecting the company’s final offer in contract negotiations. HealthBridge cut benefits, pensions, and raises wages 2.2 percent. “The [NLRB] says those unilateral changes were illegal, and wants the judge to reset the clock so that the union members can continue to
WASHINGTON - CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to "al Qaeda" and "terrorism" from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack - with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes. There has been considerable discussion about who made the changes to the talking points that Rice stuck to in her television appearances on Sept. 16 (video), five days after the attack that
What’s the least defensible special break in the U.S. tax code? With so many distortions to choose from, it’s hard to name just one. If forced to pick, I might say the deduction for state and local taxes, which cost $67 billion in fiscal 2011, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. This one overwhelmingly benefits upper-income households in a handful of upper-income states, while rendering the entire nation’s finances less transparent. It’s also a potential source of friction in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations between President Obama and the Republicans (but we’ll get to that in a moment).
Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) is questioning the Treasury Department’s withholding of thousands of pages of emails concerning a potential carbon tax bill from a nonprofit conservative think-tank. Vitter said in a letter sent Tuesday to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner that he was “troubled” by the claims the agency is using to stonewall a Freedom of Information Act request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) seeking emails about a carbon tax. CEI filed a FOIA request on Aug. 8 seeking about 7,300 emails the agency has acknowledged to exist concerning “carbon” from the Treasury Department
The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday ripped conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat for a piece that argued Hispanics were flocking to the Democratic Party because they were not “assimilating successfully.” Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) called Douthat’s column “a rambling piece which reflects his lack of understanding of the diverse Latino community and reaffirms the obvious reasons that Republicans lost Latino support,” in a statement. President Obama took 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, surpassing his 2008 margin
GAZA - Israel and militants from the Gaza Strip have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that will come into force at midnight local (2200 GMT), Hamas official Ayman Taha said, speaking to Reuters from Cairo. "An agreement for calm has been reached. It will be declared at 9.00 p.m. and go into effect at midnight," Taha said.
The White House announced the federal government will spend $6 billion over four years for a “sustainable energy future” plan with Asian countries that involves loaning tax dollars to other countries to increase their purchasing power for U.S. technology, services and equipment. “Recognizing that energy and the environment are among the most pressing issues confronting our region, President Obama, in partnership with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, today proposed the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for