2:18PM EST December 10. 2012 - As "fiscal cliff" talks exit the public posturing stage and real private discussions begin, this would be a good time to take a step back and look at the whole fiscal forest, instead of the trees. The biggest problem we´ve had in our economy for the last several years is a lack of job growth. We officially came out of the recession more than three years ago, but our economy is still not growing fast enough to create enough jobs for everyone
Nine years ago, California Democrat Gray Davis became the first U.S. governor in 82 years to be recalled by voters. The state’s 20 million taxpayers still bear the cost of his four years and 10 months on the job.(Snip)“California spends most of its money on salaries, retirement payments, health care benefits for government workers, and other compensation,” said Schwarzenegger, 65, who replaced Davis as governor.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- Hillary Clinton is not the only member of the Clinton family who is generating a good deal of buzz these days. The former first daughter, Chelsea, has been increasingly talked about in New York political circles. As Chelsea Clinton steps out more and more, speculation that she may be laying the groundwork for a possible run for office has ramped up.(snip)Despite Clinton´s growing role in the public eye, she still shies away from unscripted moments with the media. An aide to Clinton said she would not do any interviews after the event.
Minnesota´s two senators sought Monday to delay a tax on medical devices that was expected to add $28 billion over the next decade to help pay for health care reform. Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken pointed to thousands of high-paying jobs that device companies support in Minnesota, headquarters to such giant devicemakers as Medtronic and St. Jude Medical. The industry has painted the tax as a job killer that would hurt innovation.
It´s the kind of news that makes anyone sick, especially parents and especially around holidays when families are supposed to be reunited, not shattered. And when it´s the death of just one person, the fatal event allows those watching to personalize this awful Afghanistan war, which is ignored at home and has descended into a meaninglessness drift after a decade of deaths. Nicolas Checque was a 28-year-old, much-decorated member of the hallowed SEAL Team 6.
Opening Christmas Day Briefly, former dentist Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), recently turned lucrative pre-Civil War bounty hunter, buys the freedom of slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), training him in finding, hunting and killing the wanted villains he has been hired to bring to heel.(snip)We are, again, under a different director, being toasted over an Oliver Stone goblet of faux history. History as rewritten by nihilist jokers with an agenda.
While everyone gathers around the water cooler Monday-morning quarterbacking Speaker Boehner on the execution of his game plan for the Cliff Bowl before it is even played, let us spare a thought for the hapless Democrats. After all, who would want to be a Democrat as we go into 2013? Don´t be fooled by that tough-guy act. Yes, yes, we know that the Democrats own the future with the educated, the young, the black, and the Hispanic.(snip)The new Democratic majority has gone about as far as it can go.
As the din of America’s falling headfirst over the fiscal cliff reverberates across the nation, the Obama administration is quietly killing a key economic metric that tells how, and how many, people are voting with their feet. Since 1991 the Internal Revenue Service has been compiling statistics on filers’ addresses, which the agency’s Statistics of Income division uses to show who is moving into and out of every county and state in the nation. As you’d expect, the IRS also knows the aggregate income levels of those who move. So the movements of the most fundamental productive components
Barack Obama may have won in November, but more voters think Santa will bring Mitt Romney gifts this Christmas than his Democratic opponent. Most interesting is that this was reported by the left-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling: PPP’s new holiday season poll sees voters in giving moods towards both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - voters believe both men will be receiving presents from Santa this holiday season rather than a lump of coal, with Romney perhaps getting some sympathy presents. Voters say Romney will get presents by a 63/37 margin compared to 51/49 for Obama.
Thousands of union protesters are expected to descend on the Capitol in Lansing today as both the state House and Senate are expected to pass, and Gov. Rick Snyder to sign, legislation making Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state. President Obama, in Detroit campaigning for his $1.6 trillion tax hike Monday, said the bills “don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics.” But as Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh explains, that is just not true: Public employee unions opposed Snyder’s moves to put more teeth into emergency manager laws
A coalition of 238 environmental, ethnic and other groups sent a letter to President Obama Monday recommending Rep. Raúl Grijalva as the next interior secretary. Additionally, a petition on WhiteHouse.gov urging Obama to appoint Grijalva to the post had 1,474 signatures as of Monday afternoon. Grijalva,, who was considered a leading contender for the post four years ago, when Ken Salazar was appointed, could not be reached for comment. He is now seen as one of several possible candidates to succeed Salazar, if Salazar steps down, which isn´t definite but is widely expected.
White British people are now in a minority in London for the first time, it emerged today as census data revealed that the immigrant population of England and Wales went up by 3million over the past decade. Just 3.7million Londoners described their ethnicity as ´White British´ in 2011 - down from 4.3million in 2001, and making up 44.9 per cent of the city´s population. (Snip) Another major change to the nation came in the decreasing number of Christians - 4million fewer people claimed to belong to the faith as a quarter of Britons said they had no religion.
WASHINGTON — An unarmed American military surveillance drone now flies virtually every day over Benghazi, gathering information and poised to respond at a moment’s notice if any of the suspects believed to be behind the attacks last Sept. 11 on the American Mission in the Libyan city are located.But three months after the assault that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, the investigation into the attacks has been hobbled by the reluctance of the Libyan authorities
In the scramble to make the GOP more diverse, a lot of people are looking at Asian Americans, whom many believe are a natural constituency for the party. I would love it if Asian Americans converted en masse to the Republican Party, but the challenge for Republicans is harder than many appreciate. President Obama did spectacularly well with Asian Americans, garnering nearly three-quarters of their vote. This runs counter to a lot of conventional wisdom on both the left and the right. On average, Asian American family income is higher and poverty is lower than it is for non-Latino whites.
Four more years! Four more years! And we thought last month´s delayed foodstamp data was bad. The just reported foodstamp number for September was a doozy, with 607,544 new Americans becoming eligible for foodstamps, as a record 47.7 million Americans are now living in poverty at least according to the USDA. The monthly increase was the highest since May 2011, and with August´s 421K new impoverished America, over 1 million Americans made the EBT card their new best friend. It is unclear just which atmospheric phenomenon will get the blame for this unprecedented surge in poverty,
Emma Foden, a mother of three from West Sussex, is just one consumer who is feeling increasingly alarmed by soaring food prices. She says: “Eighteen months ago a big supermarket shop including a bottle of wine would have been about £70, a year ago it crept up to £100 and now it’s regularly £130 and sometimes with no wine."[Snip]Her observations are borne out by the statistics. Shop food prices in the UK have risen on average by 37.9 percent in seven years according to the Office for National Statistics as the demands of an increasingly affluent and growing
Washington - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says in her upcoming memoir that her lifelong battle against diabetes and the fear that she might die early played a big part in her decision not to have children. The 58-year-old Sotomayor says in an unusually personal book for a Supreme Court justice that she feels an occasional tug of regret at not having borne or adopted children. (Snip) Sotomayor also defends affirmative action — under which she was admitted to Princeton University and Yale Law School — as needed to get disadvantaged students to the starting line of a race to success.
At the end of another lavishly-funded U.N. conference that yielded no progress on curbing greenhouse emissions, many of those most concerned about climate change are close to despair. As thousands of delegates checked out of their air-conditioned hotel rooms in Doha to board their jets for home, some asked whether the U.N. system even made matters worse by providing cover for leaders to take no meaningful action. (snip) The rich nations of the world promised two decades ago to halt their rise in greenhouse gases. They failed. Next, they promised a sequel to Kyoto by 2009. They failed again.
Looking at the concrete barricades the Egyptian military have thrown up around the presidential palace in Cairo, you get the distinct impression that the country´s top brass have President Mohammed Morsi precisely where they want him. Until the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak nearly two years ago (an event I lamented at the time), Egypt´s military establishment had effectively run the country since Abdul Gamal Nasser came to power in the 1950s. During that period the military not only took care of Egypt´s security concerns, it also seized control of much of the country´s assets. Indeed, it seems to
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has publicly declined to join the Obama administration in the new year after a rumoured offer for the post of Treasury Secretary. [Snip] Mr Schmidt´s rebuttal was swift, however, as he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview yesterday: "I said last time and I´ve said again that Google is my home. I have no interest in working for the federal government". Mr Schmidt played in a key role in the re-election of President Barack Obama last month, helping to oversee Google´s $700,000 donation to his campaign. Since Mr Obama took up the US presidency
Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers. Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a “sleeper issue” with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers
U.S. regulators dealt a blow to First Lady Michelle Obama´s anti-childhood obesity campaign by announcing they are relaxing school meal rules. Mrs Obama had supported new rules that would restrict calories and limit portion sizes in school meals but some students, parents and lawmakers complained that new stricter policies left many children hungry. Under the adjustment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would suspend daily and weekly maximum amounts for grains and meat or meat alternatives. That means school districts this year can serve larger portions of those items without penalty. USDA officials said late on Friday they were
The U.S. government is investigating whether software companies that make cellphone apps have violated the privacy rights of children by quietly collecting personal information from phones and sharing it with advertisers and data brokers. The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that such apps can capture a child´s physical location, phone numbers of their friends and more. The FTC described the marketplace for mobile applications--dominated by online stores operated by Apple and Google--as a digital danger zone with inadequate oversight. In a report by the FTC´s own experts, it said the industry has grown rapidly but failed to ensure the privacy
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a milestone in many ways, marking previously uncharted territory in federal arrogance and overreach. As health-insurance policy goes, it promises to prove catastrophic, but its constitutional implications are more worrisome still in that it is among the most insidious attempts yet to reduce the states to mere administrative subdivisions of the federal government. Led by Oklahoma, many states have pushed back by declining to comply with the law’s demand that states create health-insurance exchanges. We encourage those states to hold their ground, and we hope that others will join them.Backers of Obamacare want
A professor at the University of Texas has sparked outrage by claiming black and Hispanic students are failing academically because they have been raised in single parent homes usually by females. Law professor Lino Graglia was talking to the BBC when he said he could ´hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent, usually female, uneducated and without a lot of money.´ He said the average black performance on SAT test is 200 points lower than that for the average white student and that among the black population almost three-quarters