IF nothing else, the debate over the “fiscal cliff” has dramatically illustrated the true cost of President Barack Obama´s fiscal policies. If the president and Congress don´t reach an agreement, roughly $671 billion in tax increases and spending cuts would take effect — yet the nation would still continue to run a deficit nearly twice the size of the pre-recession 2007 deficit.(Snip)Falling over the fiscal cliff also could result in nearly 30 million additional filers being hit by the alternative minimum tax, including some earning as little as $33,750, according to the IRS.
Retired General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein´s forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. The 78-year-old succumbed to complications from pneumonia on Thursday in Tampa, Florida, where he lived in retirement. His large personality and public prominence during the nation´s first live-broadcast war made him the the most recognizable, and acclaimed, military commander since Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur. A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly as ´Stormin´ Norman´ for his notoriously explosive temper.
The State Department’s Accountability Review Board last week issued a devastating report on the events leading up to the Sept. 11 assassination of four Americans at our Benghazi consulate. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has still not faced questioning by Congress or the media more than three months after the tragedy. A series of excuses has conveniently allowed her to escape cross examination until after the ARB report was released. Clinton sails right along, now preparing the first steps for what is widely expected to be her 2016 presidential campaign. Last week, however, Sen. Bob Corker asserted
FBI files on Marilyn Monroe that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star’s acquaintances who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage. Among the secret records is one from 1956 in which the FBI documents an anonymous call to the New York Daily News claiming playwright Arthur Miller was a communist and Monroe had ´drifted into the Communist orbit´. The files had previously been heavily redacted, but more details are now public in a version of the file recently obtained
Promises: Social Security ran a $47.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2012, drawing in even less than it paid out last year, with just 1.67 workers supporting each retiree. But instead of confronting the truth, the left still denies reality. According to official Social Security Administration data this week, the program´s incoming cash from the working population and their employers came to $725 billion in fiscal 2012 while it paid out $773 billion in cash and overhead. That´s as the number of retirees and disabled using the system grow 10,000 a day to more than 57 million people currently,
President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders Friday afternoon at the White House just days before the so-called fiscal cliff deadline, when taxes are slated to increase. Obama will host Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to a White House official. (Snip) The sitdown at the White House also comes as GOP leaders announced on Thursday that the House will come back into session on Sunday, just hours before the deadline.
President Obama summoned congressional leaders to a Friday summit at the White House in a last-ditch effort to protect taxpayers, unemployed workers and the fragile U.S. recovery from severe austerity measures set to hit in just four days. Also Thursday, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he would call the House back into session this weekend. And in perhaps the most significant development, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for the first time was engaged directly in talks with the White House. He signaled an interest in cutting a deal.
U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey became the first Bay State congressman to jump into the U.S. Senate special election yesterday, with an announcement that gleeful Republicans called a late Christmas gift for Republican Scott Brown. “This is a huge positive for Scott Brown,” said GOP consultant Rob Gray, noting that Markey, in Congress for 36 years, is seen as a consummate insider. “This looks like the first in a series of non-bigfoot candidates that Democrats are putting forward.” Markey, a 66-year-old Malden Democrat, said he is running to replace U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry because
Gave Bates smiled through tears as she swiped her hand across her phone, flipping through pictures of her cousin playing around and striking goofy poses. "He was a lot of fun, very good at imitating people," Bates said of Nathaniel T. Jackson, 40. "He just had so much fun all the time. And we all grew up together in the same house."Jackson was standing outside a store in the Austin neighborhood around 9 p.m. Thursday when someone walked up and shot him in the head, police said. His death was apparently the 500th homicide in Chicago this year,
A dog whistle makes a sound or sends a command that only a canine can hear. A rhetorical dog whistle is a coded message for select listeners, usually the politically correct. Euphemism is the breath that blows rhetorical dog whistles. A few examples suffice to make the point. "Affirmative action" usually means racial or gender quotas. "Revenue" usually means taxes. Calling "addiction" sickness is a dog whistle that allows drunks and addicts to think they are ill, not irresponsible. Glaucoma treatment has become a dog whistle for legalizing pot.
Washington’s Democratic and Republican power brokers have sent the message to the nation that going over the fiscal cliff is a worst-case scenario. But they’re not acting that way, not at all. Instead, many of them have calculated that it’s better to go over the cliff — at least temporarily — than swallow a raw deal.For many Republicans, a cliff dive means blaming President Barack Obama for a big tax hike in the short term and then voting to cut taxes for most Americans next month.
I carried a gun in New York City for more than a decade -- back when there were thousands of murders a year and the Bronx led the nation in killings. On at least four occasions, that gun saved my life, and in a couple of instances, the lives of people who were with me at the time. For 13 years I had a New York City full carry permit. For a number of years I concealed and carried a gun in my son´s grammar school as well.
WASHINGTON – Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn´t care much for his popular "Stormin´ Norman" nickname.The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander´s reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 from complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: "The Bear."
Washington--A last-gasp effort Thursday to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts got off on the same convulsive, partisan tone that marked congressional attempts to resolve the impasse before lawmakers left Washington to go home for Christmas. (Snip)Reid charged Thursday that the House was “being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. John Boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on sound financial footing,” the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor.
In 1980 Secretary of State Cyrus Vance had resigned due to his opposition to the proposed "Eagle Claw" military mission to rescue the U.S. hostages being held in Iran. Operation Eagle Claw (The first ever use of the U.S. Delta Force) proved to be a complete failure and claimed the lives of six servicemen. U.S. prestige in the world was at an all time low due to the hostage crisis and the USSR flexing its muscles in Afghanistan.
The 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina caught PM Margaret Thatcher by surprise, newly released government papers have shown. The then-prime minister only saw it was likely after getting “raw intelligence” two days before the Argentines landed. Papers released under the 30-year rule show Mrs Thatcher were acutely worried about retaking the Islands. One historian said the documents were among the “most powerful material” declassified in the last three decades. In October 1982, a few months after the war ended, Mrs Thatcher gave evidence behind closed doors to the Falkland Islands Review
Francey Freeman has seen the cost of doing business go sky-high. Prices for buying helium to fill balloons and rental tanks at her Balloons Fantastique in Fort Worth have dramatically increased in the past year, because of a worldwide shortage of the lighter-than-air gas.(Snip) Texas is home to the country´s only Federal Helium Reserve, a site outside Amarillo where more than one-third of the world´s helium supply is produced, and the federal government has worked for years to deplete that supply. Congress more than 15 years ago created a law requiring reserve officials to sell off
Donna Kristofak was terrified and letting the court know it. John S. Kristofak, who was her husband for 19 years, had been arrested six months earlier as he chased her in a Wal-Mart parking lot. In his car were a butcher’s knife and what police called “a suicide note.” During a court hearing Oct. 12, Mrs. Kristofak begged a Cobb County judge not to release him from jail. “I fear for my life,” she told Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs, telling the judge that a court-issued order of protection would not stop her crazed ex-spouse.
AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin police officer who helped stop Charles Whitman´s 1966 sniper rampage from atop the University of Texas tower has died. Houston McCoy fired two blasts from his shotgun to bring down Whitman, who killed 16 people during nearly two hours of terror on the UT campus. Wayne Vincent, president of the Austin Police Association, said McCoy died Thursday in the rural West Texas town of Menard. McCoy was 72 and had been battling a terminal illness for the past year. Whitman wounded dozens of others before McCoy and fellow officer Ramiro Martinez
A hero to the environmental movement and a constant thorn in the sides of Republicans and the energy sector, outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson presided over one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in the agency’s history. She made her mark by helping craft new automobile fuel standards, imposing a ban on new coal-fired power plants, and being among the loudest in calling for action to combat climate change. But Ms. Jackson, who announced her resignation Thursday after four years at the helm of the EPA, also sustained several legal defeats
Thousands of dockworkers from Baltimore to Houston are threatening to go on strike Sunday over their pay, a move that could throttle an array of key ports and disrupt commerce at a critical juncture for the economy. Nearly half of the nation’s ocean-bound container traffic runs through the 14 threatened ports on the East Coast and the Gulf Coast, and a work stoppage would crimp imports of household goods, clothing and frozen foods, among other items. The biggest hub, in the New York area, handled $208 billion worth of goods last year. A widespread strike
Wall Street is finally waking up to the troubling prospect that lawmakers may not reach a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” before the new year, with stocks swinging dramatically Thursday in response to news from Capitol Hill. Financial markets had been climbing in recent weeks on the expectation that President Obama and the Congress would reach an agreement, adding further momentum to an economy that has been gaining strength. But with the final days trickling away before the year-end deadline, the markets Thursday experienced their greatest volatility since the summer.
Infantryman Josh Odom was seven months into his first tour in Iraq when someone lobbed a grenade over the gate at the combat outpost he guarded. It exploded six feet from the Rockwall native, driving three chunks of shrapnel deep into his right shoulder. One pierced his lung. (Snip) Delays in the processing of disability claims are a familiar problem at the VA, one that federal officials have long vowed to solve. But in fiscal 2012, the average time to complete a VA disability compensation or pension claim
Even as news that Sen. Dianne Feinstein´s (D-CA) "Assault Weapon" ban is really a ban on some of the most popular civilian-owned handguns in the U.S., details of her promised legislation also show that it will require gun owners to register their guns with the government. Feinstein´s legislation does this by banning the import, possession, and transfer of hundreds of different weapons, but making special allowances for gun owners who already own the weapons on the ban list. On first read, the owner of an AR-15,