If the recent election taught us anything, it´s that Barack Obama certainly knows how to campaign. While to many of us his speeches were full of seemingly small-bore issues like Sesame Street and contraceptives, these turned out to be perfectly calibrated to appeal to low-information voters. He is continuing this successful approach with the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff." He´s even cut a campaign-style ad making his case for tax hikes. Two things about the video below are noteworthy. First, Obama is framing his position as a tax cut for middle class families. He claims
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Tuesday that she thinks House Speaker John Boehner’s purge of conservatives from powerful committees is a sign the GOP establishment is out of touch with America. “We send good conservatives to D.C. to fulfill the promises they made to the electorate, and yet when they stay true to their word the permanent political class in their own party punishes them,” Palin said in a Facebook comment. “This won´t be forgotten come 2014. Right now the GOP establishment is more concerned about the opinion of the media and the Georgetown cocktail circuit than
After the Republicans´ counteroffer on the fiscal cliff today, ABC´s Jake Tapper tweeted a response from a senior White House official: "if GOP doesnt agree to higher rates for top 2%, we´ll go over the cliff and the American people will hold them responsible." This is a hugely irresponsible threat from President Barack Obama´s administration. As Ezra Klein puts it, the fiscal cliff is really an "austerity crisis" -- without congressional action, automatic forces will bring too much fiscal austerity, too fast. So why is President Obama threatening to block any solution to the austerity
President Barack Obama said in a Bloomberg Television interview that a Republican offer on averting the so-called fiscal cliff doesn’t go far enough and won’t raise the revenue needed to shrink the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. “We have the potential of getting a deal done,” Obama said at the White House today in his first television interview since winning re-election. “Unfortunately,” he said, House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal “right now is still out of balance.” The primary obstacle to a compromise is Republicans’ refusal to raise marginal
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran claimed Tuesday it had captured a US drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf— even showing an image of a purportedly downed craft on state TV — but the US Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the region were "fully accounted for." The conflicting accounts still leave the possibility that the drone claimed by Iran, a Boeing-designed ScanEagle, could have been plucked from the sea in the past and unveiled for maximum effect following escalating tensions over US surveillance missions in the Gulf.
Ashley Judd vs. Mitch McConnell? It might not be as far-fetched as you think. The Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on the powerful Republican leader, four people familiar with the matter tell POLITICO. In recent weeks, Judd has spoken with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about the possibility of a run, has discussed a potential bid with a Democratic pollster and has begun to conduct opposition research on herself to see where she’s most vulnerable in the Bluegrass State, sources say.
President Obama gave himself some wiggle room on the issue of whom he’ll nominate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, saying that he will not appear weak if he chooses not to appoint Susan Rice. “No,” Obama told Bloomberg TV when asked if he would appear to be caving in the face of Republican opposition to Rice. “I don’t really spend a lot of time on what folks say on cable news programs attacking highly-qualified personnel like Susan Rice.” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., attacked Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, for describing the terrorist
The number of teenagers of working age in New Hampshire who have a job has fallen by nearly 40 percent since the year 2000, a study by a private foundation has found. Just 35 percent of the state´s 16-19 year olds worked in even part-time employment in 2011, according to the report prepared by researchers at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Reasons for the dive in the employment rate include the loss of entry-level manufacturing jobs, improved workplace productivity and automation, according to Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and data at the foundation.
Americans for Tax Reform chief Grover Norquist joined Alex Wagner on MSNBC’s NOW to discuss the current status of negotiations between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans to avoid the upcoming fiscal cliff. Norquist told the MSNBC host that he thinks President Obama is overplaying his hand in these negotiations, as he did in his first term, and Obama will cede the political advantage to Republicans because he “doesn’t have the mandate he thinks he does.” Wagner asked Norquist if he supported the plan put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
The auction for a private one-hour online “strategy session” with women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke ended two days early because the auctioneer, a charitable website BiddingForGood, deemed some responses to the auction as unacceptably “harassing.” “We had a wonderful opportunity to make Sandra Fluke available for a consulting session with the highest bidder in this auction, but unfortunately, due to a disturbingly high number of harassing responses to this item, we have decided to close the auction two days early,” BiddingForGood said in a special note on the webpage for the auction.(Snip)The winning bidder was apparently RosieR,
The question at the center of a new legal debate is, should the Second Amendment right of veterans be taken away? It’s being asked as a sticky issue in the Defense Bill is being tackled about whether or not vets should be allowed to carry guns. Judge Andrew Napolitano calls it a natural right and one that should be protected. “It’s not a gift from the government,” he said. “You don’t need a permission slip to defend yourself.” This legislation would permit bureaucrats in the V.A. to make an evaluation as to whether or not a
Only a Fedzillacrat could possibly think raising taxes on the wealthy could accomplish anything toward restoring sanity in the financial insane asylum known as our federal government. Let’s be honest; we are not close to going over the “fiscal cliff.” We drove off that cliff a long time ago. We can only hope the crash doesn’t demolish the republic. Raising taxes on the wealthy, closing loopholes and eliminating deductions is analogous to seeing Michelangelo’s very first short paint stroke on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and claiming it’s a masterpiece.
A major defense-spending bill hit an unexpected bump on its journey through the U.S. Senate over an amendment on veterans’ gun rights, which devolved into a heated floor debate and foreshadows a potential battle over Democrats’ vows to tweak the filibuster rules in the clubby, traditionally collegial body. Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, wants veterans who have been deemed “mentally incompetent” to have their cases adjudicated by a judge — rather than the Department of Veterans Affairs, as happens currently — and argued that veterans who simply cannot support themselves financially are needlessly given the label and, as such,
D.A.R.E., the national nonprofit that has promoted "Drug Abuse Resistance Education" to elementary, middle, and high school students since the early 1980s, will all but drop anti-drug material from its curriculum for younger students, according to a state chapter leader. "D.A.R.E. America has determined that anti-drug material is not age-appropriate," the state affiliate leader, who asked not to be identified, told Reason. "The new curriculum focuses on character development." News of a major curriculum change was first reported in early November when an elementary school resource officer in Kennewick, Washington told KNDU25, "The new curriculum starts as of December
Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren is expected to receive a coveted assignment to the Senate Banking Committee in a major coup for her liberal backers and a blow to the financial industry which had opposed her election, according to a source. “It’s happening,” said a Democratic source. The ultra-powerful Banking Committee oversees the implementation of financial regulations, and Warren — touted as the godmother of the Occupy Wall Street movement — is expected to use it as a platform for her reform agenda. The banking industry has vehemently opposed the assignment, while Warren’s progressive backers have exerted strong pressure
On his Monday show, conservative talker Mark Levin reacted to pleas for stricter gun control laws from some sports media figures, including NBC’s Bob Costas, in the wake of last weekend’s murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher. Levin’s verdict? Most sports broadcasters are “really stupid people.” “I could never stand that little hobbit Bob Costas,” Levin, author of “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America,” said. “He’s a liberal. Looks like he’s had some face work, his hair’s been dyed. So he’s all rework. One thing these surgeons can’t give him is height.”
Let´s begin with the unpopularity, then move on to the substantive issues. Sooner or later, the latter will impact the former. A new poll reveals that the same people who re-elected this president by a three-point margin still oppose his signature "accomplishment" by double-digits. Independents remain particularly sour on the law, the worst bits of which are slated for implementation over the next two years. In Jeffrey Anderson´s write-up of CNN´s poll, he explains why voters didn´t unequivocally embrace Obamaism on November 6th (via Mary Katharine Ham):
Arnold Schwarzenegger is reuniting with director James Cameron for a new documentary series on climate change. The series, “Years of Living Dangerously,” will air on Showtime in 2013 and “will explore the human impact of climate change,” according to a statement from the network. It will consist of six to eight one-hour episodes. As California’s governor, Schwarzenegger emerged as one of a handful of prominent Republicans who called for measures to address climate change. Schwarzenegger is an executive producer of the series, along with Cameron, film producer Jerry Weintraub and Joel Bach and David Gelber,
President Barack Obama’s latest round of appointments includes the head of a nonprofit that gave tens of thousands of dollars to a group run by a convicted domestic terrorist. Obama nominated Lisa Green Hall to the Treasury Department’s Community Development Advisory Board last week. She is the president and CEO of the nonprofit Calvert Foundation, which gave $30,000 over three years to the Justice Through Music Project (JTMP). Brett Kimberlin is the director of the JTMP, which “uses famous musicians and bands to organize, educate, and activate young people about the importance of civil rights, human rights, and
The vast majority of faculty and staff members from the nation’s top Catholic universities donated to President Barack Obama’s campaign over Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s this cycle, according to a new report. Ninety-one percent of the employees at 23 different Catholic schools gave to Obama, according to Federal Elections Commission data available on OpenSecrets.org and analysed by the conservative college site Campus Reform. Much has been made of Obama’s Affordable Care Act mandate requiring employers to provide contraception coverage, a requirement that church officials say conflicts with Catholic religious doctrine,
Workers at The New York Times are facing more lost jobs, as the paper of record initiates a new round of staff cuts in a cost savings move. In a pair of leaked memos written by The Times´ executive editor, Jill Abramson, management informs employees of the goal of eliminating thirty more newsroom staffers. "The economic environment has grown more difficult in the second half of the year and I must reduce costs in the newsroom," Abramson told employees. I hope the needed savings can be achieved through voluntary buyouts but if not,
Once heralded as the key to kicking America’s foreign oil addiction by Republicans and Democrats alike, ethanol’s political fortunes have faded and the industry’s future is unclear amid a growing chorus of critics. The industry lost more than $6 billion in annual tax breaks along with a valuable import tariff when Congress declined to renew the subsidies at the end of last year. Several trade groups are now attacking ethanol’s last federal redoubt: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates oil producers blend a certain amount of ethanol with traditional gasoline.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin apologized Monday night for describing some Congressional Republicans as “wusses” who are being “wobbly” on conservative principles in the fiscal cliff debate. “Well I guess I shouldn’t call politicians names, so I apologize for calling the wobbly ones wusses,” Palin said on Fox News. (Snip) “The point is that we are a bankrupt country,” she added. “There isn’t enough money in the world to pay back the future generations that we have stolen from and foreign countries that we have borrowed from and, through quantitative easing,
YEREVAN, Armenia—Reporters stake out Tigran Petrosian´s home. Fans seek his autograph. His image is splashed across magazine covers, and his youthful face beams from posters on teenagers´ walls. The sturdy 28-year-old isn´t a star athlete or a movie star. He is a chess grandmaster. In this chess-crazy country, that makes him a king among pawns. "Chess here is like soccer in Brazil or football in America," Mr. Petrosian said over coffee at the Yerevan Chess Academy ahead of a concert to honor the country´s top players. The concert featured musicians and singers performing in front
With the election safelly over, the Obamas are sparing no expense as they enjoy life in The White House. Look, no one detested it more than I when the Carters sought to downplay the magnificence of The White House, serving hot dogs to visiting dignitaries and the like. It´s also completely understandable that, as the nation´s first African American First Lady, Mrs. Obama would be invested in demonstrating what should be clear to all -- namely, that skin color has nothing to do with one´s ability to be tasteful and elegant.