It was the tax cut that nobody noticed two years ago. And it was rarely mentioned in the fight between Congress and the White House last year over the expiring Bush-era tax cuts. But this month, the payroll-tax cut suddenly registered on everybody’s radar screen — when it went away. The Jan. 1 expiration of the 2 percentage point cut in the tax every worker pays to finance Social Security has prompted a huge drop in consumer confidence, wiping out all the gains registered in 2012, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. Though long expected and not much discussed
The commander of U.S. Special Operations Command said Tuesday that his unit’s budget would lose $1 billion this year as a result of the defense budget stalemate in Washington. During an annual National Defense Industrial Association conference for special operators, Navy Adm. William McRaven noted that the Defense Department is operating on a continuing resolution, which limits spending to 2012 levels, even as automatic, across-the-board spending cuts called sequestration are set to begin March 1. “The continuing resolution … in all honesty puts a greater constraint on us than sequester
According to Gallup, President Obama is tied with George W. Bush for most unpopular re-elected president since Gallup began measuring presidential job-approval in 1945. In fact, Gallup found that apart from Bush, "every president...has had a higher job-approval rating in the January following his reelection than Obama has." Obama´s approval rating is at 52. Think about it this way--following reelection, President Reagan´s approval numbers beat Obama´s by 11 points, President Eisenhower´s beat Obama´s by 21, and a much-derided Republican President named Richard Nixon
On his BlazeTV show last night, Glenn Beck dressed as a doctor and declared the death of the establishment Republican Party, celebrating with an appropriately-themed cake and footage of actual elephants dying. With co-host Pat Gray lying on a gurney — a metaphor for the “dead” GOP — Beck explained that “the media is celebrating the fact that the GOP is on its death bed and the president did some excessive GOP-is-dead celebrating at the inauguration as well, ignoring the 60 million Americans who voted against him.”
General Colin Powell has been very critical of the Republican party in recent years, and tonight he appeared on Bill O’Reilly‘s show to defend his criticisms of the GOP. O’Reilly grilled Powell on why he continues to support President Obama despite the bad economic numbers and made him defend his claim that the Republican party has a problem with minorities. O’Reilly also brought up a criticism that Powell is just bitter with the party because they made him look bad following his 2003 speech before the United Nations on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
There’s plenty about Girls to annoy conservatives, yet this often creepy, usually skeevy, critically-acclaimed HBO series is also a test for conservatives. Will we finally heed Andrew Breitbart´s warnings about the importance of taking pop culture seriously or just keep fiddling as the culture burns? If conservatives are going to be in the popular culture – and act to change it – they can’t simply ignore shows like Girls that capture the zeitgeist, even if the zeitgeist makes their skin crawl. Season two is well under way, and conservatives need to participate
Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel protested what he called the “completely distorted” record on Israel that his critics are promoting in an interview earlier this month with his hometown newspaper. The former Nebraska senator said an accurate assessment would show “unequivocal, total support for Israel.” Yet a decade earlier, the same newspaper–the Lincoln Journal Star–quoted Hagel making a startling accusation against Israel in a Jan. 12, 2003 article. Israel, Hagel declared, was “keep[ing] Palestinians caged up like animals.” Hagel does not elaborate on the claim or explain how Israel keeps Palestinians caged up like animals
Earlier today, I posted on why I thought it was unlikely that immigration reform would actually pass this year. But there’s another reason why it will be difficult for Republicans to back legislation as currently outlined – immigration reform could represent a massive expansion of Obamacare, potentially costing hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. As the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff details, legalizing immigrants who are currently in the country illegally could make millions of them eligible for Obamacare. Though the exact number is difficult
An event this past Wednesday at Loyola University Chicago featuring former Obama administration official Van Jones strayed far from the marketed title of “2013 MLK Celebration,” instead encouraging students to embrace a “new patriotism” and the “ugly-unequal founding” of America. Several students reported that they were compelled by their “environmental sustainability” professor to attend the radical lecture—students who up until that evening told me they had no prior familiarity with Van Jones. One student interviewed said approximately thirty students attended this class.
Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, said that same-sex “marriage” is so contrary to nature that legalizing it would be like “legalizing male breastfeeding.” In a Jan. 28 interview with Mary O’Regan for the Catholic Herald in England, Arbp. Cordileone cautioned against using the term “gay marriage” because it is a natural impossibility, and to keep using those words only perpetuates a charade. He likened the impossibility of same-sex marriage to another biological impossibility: “Legislating for the right for people of the same sex to marry is like legalizing male breastfeeding.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says that he believes President Obama in his second term will drive the progressive agenda forward with a more aggressive use of executive power. “We’re going to see a president of the United States use his executive powers as much as he’s allowed to under federal law and under the Constitution, in a more aggressive way than last time,” Brown said in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Brown added, “You’re going to see the president use the executive powers that are within his constitutional
Another dog treat manufacturer is recalling their products across the U.S. this week after more than 500 pet deaths and thousands of illnesses were linked to similar treats that were all made in China. [Snip]Among the recalls were from Nestle Purina PetCare Co. which recalled their popular Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats. Del Monte Corp. also recalled their Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky, as well as their Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats. Hartz says no illnesses have been reported by pet owners directly connected to their treats.
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton. “Last year, I joined with my colleagues at a press conference with the top representatives of the nation’s rank-and-file immigration law enforcement officers,” Sessions said on Tuesday. “The president with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office and the Border Patrol. Those associations or unions elected to serve as the voice of their fellow officers gave a chilling report at that press conference right over in the Senate building with several other
As the country moves toward the effective start date of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the operational and economic elements of this vast legislation are becoming clearer. Yet one likely outcome of the act that will directly affect the quality of patient care, and could affect its cost, has gone virtually unnoticed and unreported: the increasing trend for physicians to become employees, rather than self-employed. This development represents a potentially radical factor in the transformation of health care—the doctor as union worker.
Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad´s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country. A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme ´approved by Washington´ is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons. Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against
Federal Judge Reed O’Conner ruled on Friday that 10 ICE agents and officers indeed do have standing to challenge in Federal court the so-called Morton Memo on prosecutorial discretion and the DREAM directive on deferred action. The agents filed their complaint in October, charging that unconstitutional and illegal directives from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton order the agents to violate federal laws or face adverse employment actions. This is a major first step for the ICE agents in their case against the administration!
Recently in an interview with the liberal magazine the New Republic on “his enemies, the media and the future of football,” President Obama took aim not just at his antagonists on Capitol Hill but also those in the press, particularly Fox News. He told the New Republic: One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them
SINTON, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector rescued 14 illegal immigrants who were confined in the back of a cargo truck Tuesday. The immigrants, 12 of whom are from Mexico and two from El Salvador, were rescued after agents assigned to the Corpus Christi Station pulled the vehicle over. Once the vehicle stopped, the driver and two passengers jumped out and fled on foot. Agents opened the cargo area of the truck and rescued the immigrants from the unventilated, confined space from which they had no means of escape. Agents then offered
The former prime minister was given the award at the annual Polish Business Leaders´ Awards in Warsaw. Mr Blair did not attend the ceremony and his award was accepted on his behalf by Robin Barnett, Britain’s ambassador in Poland. Mr Blair was given the award for backing the country’s efforts to join the EU and well as opening up the British labour market to the country in 2004. A message of thanks featuring Mr Blair was reportedly screened at the ceremony in which the former prime minister said he has “a lot of admiration for Poland and the Polish
President Obama, looking for a high school with a majority Hispanic population to use as a backdrop for his demagogic speech on immigration reform, settled on Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unfortunately, the same children to whom Obama spoke of opportunity are deprived of it at Del Sol, which dramatically underachieves academically. According to Del Sol’s 2010-2011 School Accountability Summary Report, 54% of Hispanic students attending Del Sol were “non-proficient” in math. The school lags behind both the statewide standards and the standards of the school district on reading, writing, and mathematics
Experience, C.S. Lewis tells us, is "that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." I have been getting more than a few e-mails as of late whose gist runs in the vein of intense dissatisfaction at what has occurred since November. It seems that many a patriot has gone to his house, locked and pulled shut the blinds and is awaiting that cattle car ride to the district FEMA camp. Many have eschewed the news like a plague and have instead opted for an intellectually diabetic diet of "Storage Wars" and "Pawn Stars."
Conservative talk radio host and scholar Mark Levin assailed MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Monday for slamming Sarah Palin and implying that Palin--and the Tea Party--was fading away and losing influence. On Monday morning, Scarborough joyously claimed on MSNBC´s Morning Joe that Palin and the Tea Party did not represent the future of the conservative movement and implied those like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did. On his talk radio show, Levin said Scarborough "can´t hold a candle to Sarah Palin." Levin said Scarborough´s attack on Palin represented "cowardice," was "cheap," and symbolized
Europe: France´s labor minister got himself into hot water for admitting his country is "a totally bankrupt state." No kidding, given his government´s bull-forward socialism. It´s an old story with socialists: They just don´t learn. Fresh after May 2012´s election, President Francois Hollande wasted no time raising government spending, hiking tax rates to 75% on those above $1.3 million in income, hiring 60,000 bureaucrats, cutting the retirement age for public pensions to 60 and undoing fiscal reforms by his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. During his campaign, Hollande declared himself "the enemy of finance." France today proves it.
The 21-year-old grandson of wealthy oil and gas titan T. Boone Pickens died today from a suspected drug overdose. Thomas Boone Pickens IV was taken to a hospital in Fort Worth, Texas from his off-campus apartment in a private vehicle around 9:30 a.m. The friend who drove him there said Pickens wouldn´t wake up and it´s possible he had been dead for hours. Sources told NBC Dallas that an overdose was thought to be the cause of death after witnesses told police that Pickens injected heroin and took the prescription pill Xanax in the hours before his death.
President Obama’s remarks on immigration reform, delivered Tuesday at a campaign-style event in Las Vegas, were not overtly partisan. However, his message to congressional Republicans was perfectly clear: Get with the program, or suffer politically. Republicans are wary of the president’s call to “finally put this issue [of immigration reform] behind us” by not allowing it to “get bogged down in endless debate.” For one, they are eager to have that debate, which they believe has only just begun. Obama’s remarks did not inspire much enthusiasm. Republicans in both chambers remain cautious in their approach
I know the president likes the sound of his own voice, but, really, what was the point of his immigration speech today in Las Vegas? He didn’t deal with any of the hard issues — like guestworkers or spousal immigration rights for homosexual couples or how many millions more people a year he wants to admit — and just regurgitated the usual boilerplate about how we’re a nation of immigrants and our system is broken, etc. In fact, he’s become self-parody. I always point out that the DREAM Act was never designed