Legislation clearing the way for states to collect sales tax on consumer internet sales -- long off limits -- is picking up steam with the support of Republicans in the Senate and conservative governors. On Thursday, Wyoming Republican Sen. Michael Enzi and Tennessee´s Lamar Alexander are joining Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin to unveil the "Marketplace Fairness Act" which would let states compel online and catalog merchants, no matter where they´re located, to collect sales tax. Their move follows demands from Republicans governors, struggling to balance budgets, that Washington end the practice of letting online retailers ignore collecting the
The official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address last night was from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But the Republican Party is a house (partially) divided now, with a self-conscious rebel wing, and the semi-official “Tea Party” response came from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Paul won his Senate seat on a Tea Party anti-establishment wave in 2010, defeating establishment favorite Trey Grayson for the GOP nomination. (He wrote about it in his campaign memoir The Tea Party Goes to Washington.)
Borrowing a grading system based on the “Star Trek” franchise, the University of Virginia´s Center for Politics warns on Thursday in its latest breakdown of the 2014 Senate races that Senate Democrats should be on high alert in seven states in which they hold seats.. The political Trekkies — Kyle Kondik, Geoffrey Skelley and Larry J. Sabato — write in the latest edition of The Crystal Ball that Democrats are on “red alert” in Louisiana, South Dakota and West Virginia, and on “orange alert” in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa and North Carolina.
Dark horse Oscar contender “Beasts of the Southern Wild” got a high-powered endorsement for its Academy Award campaign on Wednesday from First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady screened the indie sensation for a group of students at the White House on Wednesday, calling it "one of the most powerful and important movies that has been put out this year — or in a long time, quite frankly." The White House event for Black History Month included students from Washington, D.C., and some from the New Orleans area, where "Beasts" was filmed.
Remember Anita Dunn, the former White House Communications Director who famously went to war with Fox News back in 2009? Wednesday afternoon, she was back in action, talking with HuffPost Live about why the decision to battle with the most-watched cable news network was a “simple” decision because of Fox’s persistently negative coverage of President Obama, adding that she believes the network’s “alternative reality” is “crumbling.” Readers may recall back in 2009 that Dunn generated controversy when she told TIME magazine that Fox is “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” The comment fueled an already-tense battle between the
Buxton was treated to the world´s most coveted endorsement when the US President, who was answering questions with Mr Brown at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, turned down his hosts´ offer of a glass. Displaying the cool demeanour for which he has become renowned, Mr Obama took several leisurely sips from the bottle, displaying its logo to viewers watching the event around the world. The move, unusual for a head of state, was welcomed by the Nestlé, which owns Buxton. Paolo Sangiorgi, the managing director of Nestlé Waters said: "We´re delighted that President Obama is keeping healthily hydrated with bottled
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was hoping today would be his last day at the Pentagon. The White House was hoping it would have a new Defense Department secretary by Friday. Not so fast. It now looks like Democrats don’t have the votes to get Hagel confirmed, at least not yet. (Snip) Panetta has made no secret of his desire to get back to his home in Monterey, Calif., but a senior Defense Department official told ABC News that Panetta is prepared to stay in office until Hagel is confirmed. It looks like Monterey will have to wait.
Iran recently sought to acquire tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, according to experts and diplomats, a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability. Purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 of the ring-shaped magnets — which are banned from export to Iran under U.N. resolutions — from China about a year ago, those familiar with the effort said. It is unclear whether the attempt succeeded.
Authorities in Chicago are naming a drug kingpin in Mexico as the city´s Public Enemy No. 1 — a label first given to gangster Al Capone and one that hasn´t been used since Prohibition. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is being singled out for his role as leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, which supplies the bulk of narcotics sold in the city, according to the Chicago Crime Commission and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
WASHINGTON -Secretary of State John Kerry has chosen the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, as the site of his first foreign policy speech since joining President Barack Obama´s Cabinet. State Department officials say Kerry will speak to students and faculty next Wednesday about the importance of robust U.S. diplomacy and connections between it and the lives of ordinary Americans. The address will be the first in a series Kerry plans to give to domestic audiences to explain what the public gets out of government investment in foreign affairs, which accounts for about 1 percent of the federal budget.
Democrats lack the votes — at least for now — to move forward on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next defense secretary, leaving President Obama’s pick in limbo. A top Democratic aide said they have been told there are not enough votes to overcome a GOP filibuster. On Thursday morning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Mr. Panetta was leaving his post at noon that day, meaning the country would be without a defense secretary. “In less than two hours, our country will be without a secretary of defense at a time when we have a war
Are we witnessing a strange kind of symmetry? In his first presidential election Barack Obama constantly talked about taking measures to combating global warming all the time--as, indeed, did his Republican opponent, John McCain. But, once in office, he did little or nothing about it.[Snip]And this week he devoted a sizeable chunk of his State of the Union address to promising he will “act soon to protect future generations”. As mentioned here before, the US President privately regards the lack of effective action on climate change to be his biggest first-term failure and, prodded by his daughters, has thought “long
VATICAN CITY—The looming retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, who will soon become the first living ex-pontiff in some six centuries, has created a quandary for the Roman Catholic Church: What to make of a former pope who will continue to live under the roof of a new one? Wednesday provided two examples of how the former officeholder could cast a shadow over his successor´s work. Pope Benedict was likely to take the sensitive step of appointing a new chief of the Vatican bank, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said—a move that would leave the next pontiff
Boys and girls at a Massachusetts elementary school have been banned from bringing Valentine’s Day candy or cards over cultural equality issues and federal guidelines regulating candy. (Snip) Parents of students at Salemwood Elementary School in Malden, Mass, received a letter informing them of the policy – that impacts not just Valentine’s Day – but all holidays. “We have many different nationalities, cultures and languages spoken,” Principal Carol Keenan told Fox News. “Because of that we don’t honor specific holidays.” Keenan said she did not want some students feeling left out.
Poor man had no choice: Sen. Marco Rubio had to be deceptive when describing his immigration plans last night–otherwise he’d have little chance of making the sale. Here’s what Rubio said: We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws. This makes it sound as if Rubio would take action to “secure our borders and enforce our laws” before offering to legalize “those who are here illegally.”
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had a misunderstanding with Transportation Security Administration officials at JFK International Airport in New York on Tuesday, but apparently the whole thing wasn´t their fault. Chalk that one up to being rich and famous and likely to get favors. The reality TV starlet and her rapper boyfriend/baby daddy were on their way back from Rio de Janeiro, where they were attending Rio Carnival. They were trying to catch a connection from New York to Los Angeles when things went sideways: An airline greeter allowed them to skip a security
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is the first Republican supporter of a bill that would allow U.S. citizens to bring their foreign same-sex partners to the country for legal residency. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Collins (R-Maine) will introduce the bill, which Leahy has introduced every year since 2003 and insisted should be part of any immigration reform deal. “More than two dozen countries recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes,” Collins said. “This important civil rights legislation would help prevent committed, loving families from being forced to choose between leaving their family or leaving their country.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) filed for cloture on the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense late Wednesday afternoon as Republican senators continued to call for additional disclosure of material from Hagel. Among the requested materials: the full text and details of several speeches Hagel failed to report to the Senate Armed Services Committee that have since been uncovered. Fox News Channel on Tuesday reported on two speeches Hagel failed to disclose as requested, including one given in 2008 to the annual conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
Fasten your seat belts, the ride for airline passengers is going to get if not bumpier, more expensive. Completing this stage of the consolidation of the legacy airline sector, American Airlines, currently in bankruptcy, will merge with US Airways. In a short period of time, United has merged with Continental, Delta with Northwest, and now we have three giants, each aligned with one of the three global "alliances" that seek to consolidate and tame the world´s air transportation markets. (A fourth big player in the domestic airline industry, Southwest Airlines, remains unaffiliated with a global alliance
Republican Senators have the necessary 41 votes to block the confirmation of Chuck Hagel from coming to a vote this week, and will be able to stage a filibuster, according to an interview given by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to Breitbart News editor Larry O´Connor on Washington, DC-area WMAL radio this morning. "The cloture vote is gonna be very close. It´s gonna be today or tomorrow. We may very well defeat this first cloture vote," Vitter said. ABC News´ Jonathan Karl confirmed that Democrats do not yet have the votes to
President Barack Obama’s top 2012 campaign strategist is attacking a fiery op-ed that was written by National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and published in The Daily Caller. “Hard to believe this is real,” David Plouffe said in an early-evening tweet on Wednesday. “Every GOPer should read and decide if this delusional person will call the shots.” In the op-ed, LaPierre used alarming images to rally gun-rights supporters against what he described as “the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia.” “Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity.
Here are five reasons why Dr. Ben Carson, the famed Baltimore pediatric neurosurgeon and American patriot, should run for president. 1. He has a real job. Dr. Carson is no street volunteer or professor cloistered in an ivory tower. He has dedicated his life to medicine and has saved the lives of countless children plagued by unimaginable maladies. And as a practicing doctor, he understands the marketplace and how unchecked government interference can bring about catastrophic, if unintended, consequences. 2. He lives the American dream. Growing up in dire poverty in Detroit as the son of a
Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has some parting shots for Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors. They have all "really walked away from Social Security," he says, leaving the program "fraying because of inattention to its problems." Instead of making the hard choices to fix Social Security´s financial problems, policymakers "use it as a tool of political rhetoric," Astrue said. Astrue, 56, has headed the federal government´s largest program since 2006 -- he was nominated by former President George W. Bush. By law, Social Security commissioners serve six-year terms,
If you´re looking to get a "bang" out of your Facebook friends on Valentine´s Day, there is an app for that. Bang With Friends is a controversial app that, as the name implies, is supposed to be no-nonsense way to learn which of your friends is interested in having sex. The app´s logo and introductory screen shot leave no doubt about its intent. Since launching on Jan. 23, the app has "already hooked up over 100,000 couples," according to an e-mail from the three California college students who created the app.