Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who earlier Sunday said there was an “exceedingly good” chance of getting at least a small fiscal cliff deal done, has apparently changed his mind. Graham is now predicting that cliff will not be averted. “I’m incredibly disappointed we cannot seem to find common ground,” Graham said on his official Twitter feed. “I think we’re going over the cliff.”
To many Americans, what’s going on in Washington looks like a circus show that isn’t the least bit entertaining — the nation’s leaders seemingly unable to come up with a deal that keeps most people from paying higher taxes. But there is a logic to it. For all the posturing of the last few weeks, both sides see a measure of political upside in going over the “fiscal cliff” — or, at the least, an advantage in waiting until the last minute, since they want to avoid drawing the ire of their most loyal
Amid the last-minute wrangling over a “fiscal cliff” deal, it’s important to remember one overlooked fact of the 2012 election: Republicans in the House and Senate have absolutely no political incentive to compromise with President Obama. The numbers are stark. Of the 234 Republicans elected to the House on Nov. 6, just 15 (!) sit in congressional districts that Obama also won that day, according to calculations made by the Cook Political Report’s ace analyst David Wasserman. That’s an infinitesimally small number, particularly when compared
Washington D.C. lawmakers in both chambers left the capitol on early Sunday night after negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff fell apart in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) said there is "still time left to reach an agreement.” In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will continue negotiations on the phone tonight with Vice President Joe Biden. McConnell told reporters, “There’s no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. The sticking point appears to be the willingness and interest or frankly the courage to close the deal.
Washington - The top leaders in both parties on the House and Senate Agriculture committees have agreed to a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired in October, a move that could head off a possible doubling of milk prices next month. (Snip) In addition to the one-year extension that has the backing of the committees, the House GOP is also considering two other extension bills: a one-month extension and an even smaller bill that would merely extend dairy policy that expires Jan. 1. Expiration of those dairy programs could mean higher prices at the grocery store within a few weeks.
Caracas, Venezuela - Hugo Chavez has suffered "new complications" following his cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said Sunday, describing the Venezuelan leader´s condition as delicate. Vice President Nicolas Maduro spoke with a solemn expression in a televised address from Havana, saying he had spoken with Chavez and that the president sent greetings to his homeland. Maduro did not give details about the complications, which he said came amid a respiratory infection. "Several minutes ago we were with President Chavez. We greeted each other and he himself referred to these
The results of the 2010 elections raised the question of what the president’s role would be in the legislative process in a period when the two houses of Congress were run by two different parties. It could have turned out that such a situation would give the president more power—making the Democratic senate irrelevant and creating a dynamic of direct engagement between the Republican House and the chief executive. Or it could have turned out that such a situation would give the president less power—making it so difficult to get legislation through congress
With its heavy concentration of military facilities and defense companies, San Diego could be one of the hardest hit regions in the country by the fiscal cliff. The process called sequestration calls for automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years, split equally between military and domestic programs. The effect of sequestration on the Defense Department wouldn’t be immediate, however, giving the military time to avert a worst-case scenario. Funding for active-duty military personnel will be exempt from the cuts. Longer term, if no deal is reached, the impact on the local economy would be
In an attempt to seize total control over national security and bypass congress, a frightening new step by the Obama Administration is coming into play. As noted in Friday’s Wall Street Journal in an op-ed by John Bolton and John Woo, a State Department advisory group that is run by former Secretary of Defense William Perry is advising that the U.S. and Russia both reduce nuclear weapons without a treaty, as a treaty would require ratification by Congress. This would allow Obama and his executive branch to unilaterally cut our nuclear weaponry and ignore the treaty clause of the
The editorial staff of the Washington Post surely meant well. They wanted readers to think that Sen. John Kerry´s vast experience in foreign policy over four decades equips him to serve as Secretary of State in the second Obama administration. (Snip) As to his qualifications for that role, we´re reminded of Frederick the Great´s response when he was urged to make a less than stellar general a field marshal. Reminded the only-occasionally victorious general had been in every battle for years, Frederick pointed to his mount: "So has my mule. Must I make him a field marshal, too?"
Time magazine’s Joe Klein can’t get his basic biographic facts straight, but he’s sure the “fiscal cliff” impasse should be blamed on Grover Norquist on Rush Limbaugh for leading a conservative culture “removed from reality” and “extreme in the most egregious way.” On CBS’s Face the Nation, after Peggy Noonan regretted how President Barack Obama allows “dreadful enervating dramas” while Ronald Reagan was big enough to make deals with Speaker Tip O’Neill, Klein sputtered: “When Ronald Reagan was President, Grover Norquist was in diapers and Rush Limbaugh was a disc jockey,
Anaheim, CA - THE doctor was dumbfounded: a drug that used to cost $50 was now selling for $28,000 for a 5-milliliter vial. (Snip) How the price of this drug rose so far, so fast is a story for these troubled times in American health care — a tale of aggressive marketing, questionable medicine and, not least, out-of-control costs. At the center of it is Questcor, which turned the once-obscure Acthar into a hugely profitable wonder drug and itself into one of Wall Street’s highest fliers. At least until recently, that is. Now some doctors, insurance companies and investors are beginning to have doubts about
Washington - President Obama, in his most detailed comments on an independent inquiry’s report on the attack against the American diplomatic compound in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, said Sunday that the security and management flaws identified were “huge problems” that reflected “sloppiness” in how the State Department safeguards its missions abroad. (Snip) “My message to the State Department has been very simple, and that is we’re going to solve this,” Mr. Obama said. “We’re not going to be defensive about it; we’re not going to pretend that this was not a problem —
Tehran, Iran - A small American commercial plane left Iran Sunday after it was repaired following an emergency landing at an Iranian airport this month, state TV reported. The plane was forced to land 16 days ago at the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, told the TV station. Rasoulinejad said three passengers left Iran for Arab countries in the Gulf, but the plane remained under repair in the airport. He said the plane took off from Iran Sunday upon arrival of needed spare parts and completion of
Up to 60,000 patients die on the Liverpool Care Pathway each year without giving their consent, shocking figures revealed yesterday. A third of families are also kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment from loved ones. Despite the revelations, Jeremy Hunt last night claimed the pathway was a ‘fantastic step forward’. In comments that appeared to prejudge an official inquiry into the LCP, the Health Secretary said ‘one or two’ mistakes should not be allowed to discredit the entire end-of-life system. But Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of Alert, an anti-euthanasia group, said: ‘The Pathway is
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital in New York with blood clot stemming from a concussion she sustained several weeks ago. Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Philippe Reines said in a statement that during a follow-up exam, Clinton´s doctors discovered a blood clot had formed. She is being treated with anti-coagulants and is at New York-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours. Doctors will continue to monitor Clinton´s condition to determine if further action is necessary.
Wind farms have just half the useful lifespan which has been claimed, according to new research which found they start to wear out after just 12 years. A study of almost 3,000 turbines in Britain--the largest of its kind--sheds doubt on manufacturers claims that they generate clean energy for up to 25 years, which is used by the Government to calculate subsidies. Professor Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University and former energy advisor to the World Bank, predicts in the coming decade far more investment will be needed to replace older and ineffective turbines--which is likely to be passed
CORPUS CHRISTI — The brown boxes sat like building blocks stacked 15 feet high in endless rows of towering metal shelves at a University of Texas research campus in Austin.Hidden here was the final piece of the puzzle that would change South Texas forever. It lay in shards in one of more than a half million of the cardboard boxes. It was an infinitesimal clue, a mere smattering of dust in a sprawling warehouse the size of three football fields, a staggering library filled with volumes of solid rock. Only Gregg Robertson knew where to look.
PENDLETON, Ore. – At least five people died after a passenger bus slid off the ice on Interstate 84 and crashed 200 feet down an embankment Sunday morning, police said. Another 20 people were injured in the crash and taken to hospitals. State Police spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings said the bus slid off the westbound lanes east of Pendleton at around 10:30 a.m. The bus crashed through a guardrail and slid several hundred feet down an embankment before coming to a stop. Hastings said rescuers are using ropes to pull people from the crash scene back to the highway.
It is exactly 40 years since a cautiously enthusiastic Britain joined the Common Market. Today, few are celebrating. In the first week of 1973, the week Britain joined the Common Market, the Government put on a festival of European culture so that the British people could share what their Prime Minister, Edward Heath, called his “heart full of joy” at their country’s shiny new Euro-future. [Snip] A plan to borrow the Bayeux Tapestry and show it in Westminster Hall was dropped after it was pointed out that the butchery of Saxons by Normans was hardly a suitable theme
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dismissed Republicans’ attempt to bring Social Security reform into “fiscal cliff” negotiations as “desperation.” “Here’s the situation,” Reid told reporters as he came out of a nearly two-hour meeting with fellow Democrats.”I hear that some Republican senators of the caucus said that they shouldn’t have done CPI and that’s true, they shouldn’t have done that in the first place, it was desperation. We’re still left with a proposal they’ve given us that protects the wealthy and not the middle class. I’m not going to agree to that.” Asked if he was going to
Of all the gushing, fawning, sycophantic things uttered by Obama-loving media members in 2012, David Gregory´s fiscal cliff question posed to the President on Sunday´s Meet the Press has to be on the list of the year´s top ten. "Is this your Lincoln moment?" (video follows with transcript and commentary): PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Winston Churchill used to say that we Americans, you know, we try every other option before we finally do the right thing. After everything else is exhausted, we eventually do the right thing. And I think that that´s true for Congress as well.
Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen is offering a bounty of gold worth $160,000 to anyone who kills Gerald M. Feierstein, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen. According to the Associated Press, the group announced that it will pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country. The group offered 3 kilograms of gold, worth about $160,000, for killing Feierstein, and said it will pay 5 million Yemeni riyals ($23,000) for anyone who kills an American soldier. The offer is valid for six months, the AP reported.
Laws are made by men, not gods — but you’d never guess that from the talk coming out of (and about) Washington these days. Democrats behave as though the Clinton tax rates were carved into stone by lightning on Mount Sinai. Republicans want you to believe the same thing about the tax rates enacted just a few years later under President Bush. And the Fiscal Cliff? “Why, that’s a geological formation — an act of God if there ever was one. It’s not our fault if we’re going over it!” Right. And I’m the Pope of Siam.
Watching David Gregory interview Barack Obama on “Meet the Press this morning, I wondered if Obama might have offered to wash Gregory’s feet after the show. Gregory appears to be a disciple of his Lord the President. Gregory seeks to disseminate the Obama gospel. “Is this your Lincoln moment?” Gregory actually asked him. And that may not have been the worst of it. Gregory should have prefaced the broadcast of his taped interview with a warning: Watching this interview may cause motion sickness.
The president never quite sounds like a man who wants a deal. He instead invariably sounds like a pol seeking advantage over opponents, which is peculiar given that he faces no future election but will face a GOP House majority for at least two more years. He wants the other side to lose more than he wants a substantial deal to improve our fiscal situation. The Post reports that Senate discussions on a fiscal cliff-avoiding deal have experienced a “major setback.” Presumably, Democrats won’t include any serious spending cuts to accompany revenue hikes. This predictable result