Maybe the most disturbing news in “American Turnaround,” Ed Whitacre’s new book that describes his stint as head of General Motors, is how naïve he was about what it means to run a company that’s been bailed out by the federal government, and is now regulated by the anti-business types who populate the Obama administration.(Snip)In fact, their true goal wasn’t to maximize profits to ensure GM survives for the long term, but to keep control of the company as long as possible (the feds still hold a 26 percent stake today) to both keep its union allies fat
Cotton, conscience, and Karl Rove. It’s time for a family discussion within the Republican Party. A serious conversation intended to be respectful conversation, and yes perhaps at times a tough-love kind of conversation. A conversation among friends. A conversation about politics, history, the Republican Party and America. Karl Rove, the former Bush 43 White House aide, has jump-started such a conversation with the announcement in the New York Times of the formation of something called “The Conservative Victory Project.” Described thusly in the Times:
WASHINGTON- The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays, but continue delivering packages six days a week. In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the service is expected to say the cut, beginning in August, would mean a cost saving of about $2 billion annually. The move accentuates one of the agency´s strong points - package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010. The delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email
When Robert Menendez arrived in the U.S. Senate in 2006, he was a relative pauper in a chamber often called a millionaires’ club. The New Jersey Democrat ranked 97th out of 100 senators in terms of his personal wealth, according to financial records filed that year and compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. So Menendez’s decision last month to use his personal funds to reimburse a prominent political contributor $58,500 for two flights to the Dominican Republic came at a major cost.
The usual suspects pushing immigration reform have a new ally in the fight this time — the religious right. Christian conservatives, who stayed on the sidelines in 2006 or opposed reform outright, have sprung into action for the cause. They’re talking to their congregations from the pulpit. They’re urging lawmakers in private meetings to support reform. And they’re even calling for change publicly. The efforts have dramatically changed the dynamics of the debate, so much so that Republicans anxious to vote yes on a deal might have the political cover to do it.
Tuesday night, Karl Rove went on Fox News’ Hannity to deliver a mea culpa for a New York Times article which reported that the “biggest donors in the Republican Party” were working with him and Steven J. Law, president of American Crossroads, to “recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s effort to win control of the Senate.” Rove led off by directly contravening the Times article.
Republicans hold a weak hand in Washington but a stronger grip in states where voters have entrusted them with power. Performances there can boost not just the Republican image but bring the party back to power in Washington. More importantly, they can show conservative principles work. The "Red State Model" can, in the Wall Street Journal´s words, "Drive Republican Revival." Walter Russell Meade, one of our most brilliant thinkers, has written quite perceptively about the collapse of what he calls "the blue model." These are states that have been firmly in the hands of the Democratic Party and
More than 35,000 homes and small multifamily buildings in the Chicago area completed the foreclosure process last year, the highest number since the housing crisis began, and the vast majority of them became bank-owned. An increase in foreclosure auctions was expected since lenders shelved many foreclosure cases while state and federal authorities investigated allegations of faulty foreclosure processes. Still, the heightened level of auctions — 35,244 in 2012, compared with 20,281 in 2011 — along with an increase in initial foreclosure filings, shows the local housing market has a long road to recovery, according to the Woodstock Institute.
The most illegal immigrants in the United States are concentrated mainly on the western region of the country, a new estimate revealed. According to data from the Pew Hispanic Center, California has the most undocumented immigrants, with 6.8 percent of the population (or roughly 2.5million people) living in the country illegally. But it is Nevada--with an estimated 180,000 illegals out of the state’s 2.65million population--that has the highest percentage of illegal immigrants.[Snip] New Jersey also has a fairly high percentage of undocumented immigrants, with around 550million out of a state population of 8.7million.
During Sunday’s Super Bowl, the advertising and programming executives in Hollywood and New York graced us with their version of what we want to see. And if it’s any reflection of reality, we’re becoming a coarser, stupider, and less value-oriented nation. Let’s start with the halftime show. For years, the Super Bowl halftime show has been a repository for shocking performances, including the pre-staged Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson boobgate in 2004. But Beyoncé’s pelvic-thrusting marathon session, accompanied by her doxy backup dancers, wasn’t so much shocking as it was jaded and cynical. It wasn’t sexy; it was tiresome, in-your-face, boring.
It’s time to dust off Ronald Reagan’s old “11th Commandment,” spiff it up, and give it a new and more useful set of clothes. Reagan’s famous commandment, dating from his 1966 campaign for governor and repeated during the early contests of his 1976 presidential bid, was that “thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” (Snip)Conservatives almost certainly spent more time bashing John Boehner—who, despite his flaws, is the most attitudinally conservative House Speaker since at least the Great Depression—than they did making a more creative or convincing public case about why conservative positions would produce a better economy,
NEW YORK — The mud and floodwaters that ravaged the East Coast when Superstorm Sandy roared ashore three months ago have been supplanted by a sea of red tape, leaving thousands of residents and businesses in limbo as they await insurance funds or help from the federal government. Some have used savings or loans to get back into their homes or reopen businesses. Others remain in temporary housing, hotels or face the winter in frigid, unfinished housing, resulting in a staggered state of recovery that bodes ill for a region trying to make itself whole again.
President Obama has put salvation from dreaded climate catastrophes on his action agenda hot list. During his inaugural address he said: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” He went on to shame anyone who disagrees with this assessment, saying, “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and powerful storms.” This sort of scary presidential prognostication isn’t new. He previously emphasized at the Democratic National Convention that global warming
On one level, there were not too many surprises in the newly disclosed “white paper” offering a legal reasoning behind the claim that President Obama has the power to order the killing of American citizens who are believed to be part of Al Qaeda. We knew Mr. Obama and his lawyers believed he has that power under the Constitution and federal law. We also knew that he utterly rejects the idea that Congress or the courts have any right to review such a decision in advance, or even after the fact.
King Richard III, whose severely wounded body disinterred from under a parking lot in the British Midlands was confirmed by DNA testing this week, was the last of the 14 Plantagenet monarchs who ruled England from 1154 until Richard´s death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The Plantagenets are only usually in the news when an ambitious theater director with a big budget chooses to stage all eight of Shakespeare´s “Plantagenet plays,” from Richard II to Richard III via two parts of Henry IV, Henry V, and three parts of Henry VI. Sometimes written off by historians
Love him or hate him, you’ve got to feel just a little for Joe Biden. He brokers a deal for President Obama on the “fiscal cliff.” He revives Democrats on the debate stage. And what thanks does the vice president get? A “Ready for Hillary” Super PAC. A swooning “60 Minutes” interview where Obama makes goo-goo eyes at his former secretary of state. And now, the political world is agog over a new website, hillaryclintonoffice.com, that features nothing but a glowing picture of Clinton and a link to contact her. Just a few days after she resigned
A great stage career went into hiatus Friday, when Hillary Clinton left her foreign policy gig for an undisclosed future, not telling where that future would take her or if there would be one at all. In her life on the stage, she has had a career framed by two episodes of "60 Minutes" that aired 21 years apart. The first took place in February 1992, when she appeared with her husband to help him deal with the mess made by Gennifer Flowers. The second occurred Jan. 24, 2013, when she appeared with Barack Obama (her office husband),
On the advice of the Horde, I took up George Orwell´s "Politics and the English Language." This passage seems especially appropriate today: In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism,
President Obama’s proposal to delay the $1 trillion sequester with a “balanced” package of spending cuts and tax increases should come as no surprise. Since its initial conception back in August 2011 (it was Obama’s idea), the sequester has always been viewed by Democrats as a mechanism with which to exact higher taxes from Republicans. However, at this point, that strategy appears likely to fail. From a post I wrote at the time: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) warned that if new tax revenue was not included in the [super]committee’s proposal, the [sequester would be enacted]
Eighteen people have been charged in what federal prosecutors in New Jersey called one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever uncovered by the U.S. Department of Justice, spanning 28 states and eight countries. "The defendants are part of a massive international fraud enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than $200 million in confirmed losses," FBI Special Agent James Simpson said in court records. According to court records, the scheme involved three basic steps: The defendants allegedly created thousands of fake identities, pumped up the credit histories of those fictitious people
It was a picture dredged up to prove the assertion the President had made in January to the breezy effect that the President is indeed acquainted with firearms, since, as he stated (roughly paraphrased), We´ve often shot skeet when we´re at Camp David. It took a few days, where conservative media baited the press secretary Jay Carney, for proof, any proof, and where the Democrats either pooh-poohed the need for proof, since the President rarely turns out to have accuracy as his first arrow out of the quiver
What a holy mess. The married founder and former religious leader of the controversial Ground Zero mosque project allegedly embezzled millions from his Muslim charity to lavish gifts on a special lady friend, buy a sports car and vacation around the globe, according to a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled financial backer. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf treated his Cordoba Initiative and Shariah Index Project, nonprofits meant to promote religious tolerance and fight anti-Muslim bigotry, like a personal piggy bank, the suit filed by Westchester businessman Robert Leslie Deak alleges. Over several years, Rauf had accepted $167,000 from Deak,
President Obama hit the road Monday on a nationwide gun-grabbing tour. His show doesn’t have many fans inside the Beltway, since being seen favoring gun control can be the kiss of death for senators with rural constituencies. So Mr. Obama is trying to shore up fence-sitting members by bringing his community organizing skills to their districts. His first stop was Minnesota. “I need everybody who’s listening to keep the pressure on your member of Congress to do the right thing,” said Mr. Obama, surrounded by uniformed officers at the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations Center.
Fox News has decided not to renew its contract with political commentator and pollster Dick Morris, an industry official tells POLITICO´s Mike Allen. Morris, who was on contract with Fox News throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, had not appeared on the network for almost three months after Fox News president Roger Ailes decided to keep him off the network. He is scheduled to appear on CNN on Wednesday. Morris served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton but later became one of the Clintons´ staunchest critics. He was an adamant supporter of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney
Needy U.S. borrowers are defaulting on almost $1 billion in federal student loans earmarked for the poor, leaving schools such as Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania with little choice except to sue their graduates. The record defaults on federal Perkins loans may jeopardize the prospects of current students since they are part of a revolving fund that colleges give to students who show extraordinary financial hardship. ale, Penn and George Washington University have all sued former students over nonpayment, court records show. While no one tracks the number of lawsuits, students defaulted on $964 million