Any Republican refusal to accept President Barack Obama’s fiscal plan may ruin Christmas for the nation’s retailers, the White House claimed in a report released Monday morning. “The National Retail Federation is forecasting that holiday sales will grow 4.1 percent this year … [but] if Congress does not act on the President’s plan to extend tax cuts for the middle-class, it will be risking one of the key contributors to growth and jobs in our economy at the most important time of the year for retail stores,” says the report, which was prepared by the Obama White House’s
JERUSALEM – Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday abruptly announced he was quitting politics, shaking up the country´s political system just weeks ahead of general elections. Barak, a decorated former general and one-time prime minister, said he would stay on in his current post until a new government is formed following the Jan. 22 balloting. "I didn´t make this decision without hesitating, but I made it wholeheartedly," he told a hastily arranged news conference, saying he had been wrestling with the decision for weeks. Barak´s resignation could mean the departure of the most moderating influence
Collectivists of the Washington establishment, representing both major parties, have analyzed the 2012 election results and come to a lovely conclusion: old white men are the problem. The only difference of opinion between the two factions regards how one ought to handle it. (snip) Republican experts, as the reluctant stewards of these cantankerous fogies, are more circumspect: they merely want to leave Grandpa ranting in the corner with his talk radio shows
Washington - The White House could finally have its chance to close the books on its Benghazi public relations disaster, as key Republicans signal they might not stand in the way of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to become the next secretary of state. "I think she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain herself and her position," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told "Fox News Sunday." ´´But she´s not the problem. The problem is the president of the United States," who, McCain said, misled the public on terrorist involvement. Rice is widely seen as President Barack Obama´s top pick
For a number of years now, a number of critics of the American system of higher education have rightly insisted that there is a "bubble" in the system, with more and more students running up loans in amounts they will find difficult to pay back. This bubble has been fueled by the federal government´s lavish subsidization of the student loan program (which was nationalized four years ago), in a way similar to how the housing bubble was fueled by government agencies pushing subprime mortgages. This extensive government largess has produced a number of unintended
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has called for a "decisive lead" from the United States in seeking a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Some good" could come out of the Gaza crisis, he argued, if it was possible to open access in and out of Gaza and halt weapons smuggling into the area. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to ask the UN to back a bid for non-member observer state. Israel opposes the plan which it says breaches the 1993 Oslo Accords. Mr Abbas´s departure for the UN on Monday comes days after the end of hostilities between
Let the Blood Games continue. Only weeks after election 2012 and years before election 2016, in a routine interview, a glossy pop magazine popped Florida Senator Marco Rubio with an oddball question: How old do you think the earth is? Rubio responded a bit clumsily and noncommittally. Smelling blood and opportunity, the wolf pack bared fangs and chased. Their game is either to force Rubio to affirm a personal belief the earth is 4.5 billion years old—disturbing some of his religious supporters--or to mock and stigmatize him and others who could harbor any delusional uncertainty
In a recent interview, Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican front-runner for 2016, was asked, "How old do you think the Earth is?" It´s a ridiculous question of utter irrelevance to the status of the country and whether Marco Rubio would be a good president. Rubio´s answer was excellent: "I´m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that´s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.
Arms and explosives search dog Treo has saved countless lives in Afghanistan. His handler David Heyhoe tells his story. Setting off into the dawn sunlight, Treo and I are out front doing the lonely walk. We dog handlers say that emotions run up leash and down again. We had just lost our first soldier--killed by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED)--and Treo could sense that I wanted payback. Treo was hyper-alert and raring to go. It was a good thing. We´d been out for several days now and the Taliban would know the paths we´d use to get back to base.
Israel´s Defense Ministry and the US´s Missile Defense Agency have completed the first round of tests on the Magic Wand system. The test was reportedly successful raising the chances of future investment. The interceptor missile system is being developed for the Defense Ministry by Israel´s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the US´s Raytheon Co. It was designed to intercept Hezbollah missiles fired from Lebanon. Israel is counting on the system to become the centerpiece of its air defense layout and provide a solution for a variety of short-range ballistic missiles, large caliber rockets and cruise
Republicans in Congress are under tremendous pressure to cave in to President Obama’s demand for tax hikes by December 31. These tax hikes are projected to generate $823 billion in additional revenues, and save another $127 billion in interest payments, for a cumulative reduction of $950 billion in the national debt over 10 years, according to the left-wing Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Ten-year budget projections are notoriously unreliable, but the White House estimates budgets for five years. By 2017, the administration projects that the national debt will be more than $21 trillion
Who says that there are no great investments anymore? Sure the Stock Market might be uneven, but while free enterprise might be going to the dogs, there’s still one solid investment. Obama (OBM) whose shares just keep rising until the bubble bursts and he runs out of Chinese money to buy off his donors with. Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, said President Barack Obama had a “recycling” program that used crony capitalism to reward its campaign contributors, who would then funnel money back to the Obama campaign.
This year may mark Oreo’s 100th birthday, but 2012 will go down in Oreo infamy for another reason: the Candy Corn Oreos. The much buzzed about limited time-only cookies tricked, or treated, those who dared to try them. Back in the beginning of October, I tried unsuccessfully to get my hands on those elusive Candy Corn Oreos, but it seemed that I had missed the boat. During my search, I noticed that there were more varieties of Oreos than just Double Stuffed and Mini Oreos. A significant portion of the cookie row
Ukip leader Nigel Farage today rejected a deal aligning his party with the Tories and launched all-out electoral war with David Cameron. Mr Farage declared there would be "no deal with the Tories" in reaction to proposals by Conservative vice-chairman Michael Fabicant to launch an electoral pact with Ukip. Mr Fabricant, who is in charge of parliamentary campaigning is today set to urge Prime Minister David Cameron to make a commitment on a referendum on membership of the EU in return for a promise from Ukip not to field candidates at the next general election. He argues that the Tories
Although the intelligence community knew from Day One that al-Qaeda terrorists were responsible for the deadly Benghazi consulate attack, someone cut references to “al-Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the overview they released on September 14th. Instead, those talking points said that: “…demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault.” And just who was that “someone”? Well, while we still don’t know exactly who pushed the delete key, we apparently do have a fall guy. According to CBS News,
Problems in society are rarely solved by Washington bureaucrats yet they seem to have taken the adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ to heart. Accordingly, the government is addressing the nation’s growing obesity epidemic with a regulation: Section 4205, the menu labeling provision attached to ObamaCare meant to “aid consumers in selecting more healthful diets.” As currently written, however, the regulation will likely have job-killing effects and result in little, if any, significant reductions in obesity rates and/or improved health. The provision requires chain restaurants with 20 or more locations,
Having four children 10 and under offers plenty of intimate, hands-on lessons on human nature. Sometimes, for example, in spite of Michelle´s and my best efforts, good parental instruction is ignored and hard lessons have to be learned. I´m not talking about situations that lead to enforced discipline, but rather those that result in sad and tough natural consequences. A good recent example for us is one that many families have experienced: the misplaced bike.
More congressional Republicans are breaking a long-standing pledge to oppose tax increases before returning to Washington on Monday to avert a looming fiscal crisis with a deal that increasingly appears impossible to reach without changes to the tax code. The decades-old pledge from the Americans for Tax Reform group has been signed by 238 House members and 41 senators in this Congress and has essentially become inescapable for any Republican seeking statewide or national office over recent election cycles, especially in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.
Defiant parishioners waging tireless vigils for the churches they love — now eight years and running — are being warned by their archdiocese that the end is near, but they still vow to fight on. “We paid for this church,” said Maryellen Rogers, a parishioner at St. Francis X. Cabrini in Scituate. “We built it. The archdiocese took out a mortgage in the 1970s we paid off. And we believe we are the rightful owners of this church.” But the Archdiocese of Boston has signaled the rogue worshippers are testing the goodwill of the hierarchy.
What should Republicans in Congress do right now about the "fiscal cliff"? Everyone has advice, almost none of which squares with reality. Republicans have only two levers of control: the House of Representatives and filibusters in the Senate. Consider the options. Option 1: Do nothing. If no new legislation gets passed we hit the so-called "fiscal cliff." That means all "Bush tax cuts" would expire, for rich and non-rich alike. It means other tax cuts and credits added under Obama (payroll tax cuts, child tax credits, etc.) would also expire.
In a report speculating that former Florida governor Jeb Bush may run for president in 2016, the New York Times observes, “When Senator Marco Rubio of Florida held a strategy session here to discuss his own political future last week, the question of Mr. Bush, a mentor, hung over the room; a decision by Mr. Bush, 59, to seek the Republican nomination would almost certainly halt any plans by Mr. Rubio, 41, to do so or abruptly set off a new intraparty feud.” The reporters don’t identify a source for that proposition,
It’s now a year since the special congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a deficit-reduction plan. But with the dismal progress made since on its agenda, that milestone took even one of its own members by surprise. “Was it that long ago? Time flies,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told POLITICO. With the nation’s debt problems at the top of the to-do list in 2011, Congress created the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and gave it a Nov. 23 deadline to hammer out a deal to balance the budget or face automatic,
As protests continued to rage in Tahrir Square and pretty much every political party in the country united in opposition to his newfound power, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is surprised. It was three days ago that Morsi issued a decree that grants him immunity from the country´s courts, an aggressive move that practically gives the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood unchecked authority and earned him the nickname "Pharaoh." To us folks stateside, this all sounds quite unbelievable, since last year, the Egyptian people rose up in fury to oust Hosni Mubarak whom they believed had too much power.
Breaking with tradition, this election cycle bypassed the “October Surprise,” unless you count finding out that Donald Trump is a complete idiot. (His “shocking news” on President Obama was his announcement that he was offering $5 million for the release of all drawings the Kenyan native did in kindergarten.) In the end, there wasn’t even a “November Surprise.” Americans, happy with their free stuff from the federal government and fully content to go $1 trillion in debt to get it, stuck with the status quo. The first post-partisan president divided America by class, sex, race, religion and America said, “Eh, whatever.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced his intention to quit political life Monday morning in a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Barak thanked the public for its continued support and said he will remain in his position as defense in minister until a new government has been formed following the coming Knesset elections in late January. (Snip) "I have exhausted politics and I want to dedicate more time to my family," Barak said. Barak reiterated that the Iranian threat would remain a central issue for Israel, exiting politics with the topic he is most famous