President Obama returned from a long weekend with his golfing buddies on Tuesday to take up his by now familiar political stand: If Republicans don´t raise taxes in return for more spending, the world will end. We wish he´d stayed on the putting green. Flanked by emergency medical personnel, Mr. Obama made his usual threat of Armageddon if automatic spending cuts go forward on March 1. Americans can expect more such melodrama in the coming days, so as a public service we thought we´d break down the President´s three biggest political tricks.
Bias: As of Tuesday, U.S. gasoline prices had increased for 32 straight days. The media, however, aren´t interested. They would be, though, if a Republican — particularly a Bush — were in the White House. According to the American Automobile Association, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.748 Tuesday, up from $3.730 on Monday and about 15 cents higher than a week ago. A month ago that same gallon cost $3.304 and a year back it was $3.565. It was $1.83 a gallon the day before Obama was first inaugurated.
Some of you may have caught an impassioned, frustrating and despairing piece I wrote the other day wondering why I bother. It was a variation on the point I made in this blogpost on Obama´s mendacity, which I´ll repeat because it seems to me a pretty accurate diagnosis of just how deeply we´re in it: I´ll tell you what I fear. I think we have now reached that stage of last-days-of-the-Roman-Empire intellectual and moral depravity where almost no one in our dominant corporate/political/financier/lawyer class believes it´s worthwhile or even possible to do the right thing any more.
Is that a note of desperation creeping into Barack Obama’s voice as he stages another carefully-choreographed event at the White House to berate Congress for failing to live up to its responsibilities to the American people? Flanked by rows of uniformed "first responders" Mr Obama warned that the so-called sequester--the $85bn of cuts that kick in a week on Friday--would “jeopardize our military readiness [and]…. eviscerate job- creating investments in education and energy and medical research.” All true, but this grandstanding already becoming a habit of the Obama second term: abandon the business of actually cutting a deal
An armed couple who stormed a business in Michigan wielding guns were forced to flee when a member of staff pulled out a semi-automatic rifle. According to police, the pair entered the tax preparation business brandishing their firearms but little did they know the security guard was carrying an AR-15. After sudden panic, the guard ran at the attackers and let off two shots resulting in the terrified duo running out of the premises before they could harm anyone. The gunfight was caught on surveillance video and has once again sparked the debate on gun ownership in the U.S.
The GOP´s chances of winning the White House in 2016 are linked more closely to the political fortunes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie than those of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio is the Tea Party wunderkind who was tapped by Republicans to give the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union Address. He began his retort with a dusted off reference to his parents' emigration from Cuba to the United States. During his political ascendancy in Florida, Rubio often talked of how his mom and dad fled that Caribbean island after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.
Boston & San Francisco - Apple Inc was recently attacked by hackers who infected Macintosh computers of some employees, the company said Tuesday in an unprecedented disclosure describing the widest known cyber attacks targeting Apple computers used by corporations. Unknown hackers infected the computers of some Apple workers when they visited a website for software developers that had been infected with malicious software. The malware had been designed to attack Mac computers. The same software, which infected Macs by exploiting a flaw in a version
Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel said Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state during an April 9, 2010, appearance at Rutgers University, according to a contemporaneous account by an attendee. Hagel also accused Israel of violating U.N. resolutions, called for U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas to be included in any peace negotiations, and described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “radical,” according to the source. Kenneth Wagner, who attended the 2010 speech while a Rutgers University law student,
Who’s the most conservative House member from Texas? It’s a spirited competition, given the true-red conservative nature of the Texas Republican congressional delegation. But, since it’s awards season, the National Journal has just come out with its list of the most conservative (and liberal) members of CongressThe envelope, please. And the winner is …We have a tie. Reps. Mike Conaway of Midland and Jeb Hensarling of Dallas are tied for first in the Texas delegation with a conservative index of 95.8.
DETROIT— A state-appointed review team has determined Detroit is in a financial emergency, paving the way for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to appoint an emergency manager. The team released its findings Tuesday, saying in a report to Snyder that "no satisfactory plan exists to resolve a serious financial problem." Detroit faces a $327 million budget deficit in the current fiscal year and chronic cash-flow issues that have threatened to leave the city without money to pay its workers or other bills. The review team pointed to the city´s ongoing cash crisis.
CRANSTON, R.I.- A U.S. pickle maker says it has agreed to stop calling a variety of small pickles "midgets" following a complaint by a Rhode Island woman. Chelley Martinka of Cranston began her campaign in December after she spotted a jar of Cains Kosher Dill Midgets in a supermarket, The Providence Journal reported Tuesday. Martinka has a 10-month-old daughter with dwarfism, which means she will be very short of stature. Martinka called and wrote Gedney Foods, the Minnesota company that owns the Cains brand, created a YouTube video and launched a blog.
A three-time deportee from the Dominican Republic who’s been charged with trafficking heroin in Massachusetts will be arraigned in federal court today for illegally reentering the United States for a fourth time. Juan Miguel Laboy, who is believed to be 38 or 39 years old, was spotted in Lawrence last month by a special agent from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, according to court documents. He was traced to an apartment complex in Methuen, where authorities allege he used money orders to pay rent for two units. Laboy was first deported from Louisiana in 2006, and then
An 80-year-old woman was knocked off her scooter when she tried to fight off a man robbing her of her purse in Gloucester City. Police allege that 22-year-old John E. Reed approached the woman from behind while she was riding her electric scooter on the 500 block of Cumberland Street at about 11:15 a.m. Sunday. Reed grabbed the woman´s purse and tried to flee, but the woman wouldn´t let go, according to Gloucester City police. He then pushed the woman, knocking her off the scooter, and ran away with the purse.
RUSH: Folks, what is paramount and obvious to me is here´s Obama, and he gets back from his vacation, and immediately -- with no provocation, by the way. There isn´t anybody outside of Jeff Sessions, maybe, hitting Obama. But Jeff Sessions isn´t really, either. There was nobody on the Republican side trying to pick a fight with Obama. Nobody´s insulting him. Nobody on the Republican side is doing anything other than mild -- mild, even by political standards -- criticism.
Six years after he succeeded fellow Republican Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate, Nebraska’s Mike Johanns announced on Monday that he would not seek a second term in 2014. In becoming the second Republican senator after Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss to call it quits, Johanns surprised quite a few observers on both sides. The former governor of the Cornhusker State and secretary of agriculture under George W. Bush had been considered a cinch to win a second term. Johanns, interestingly, made his retirement announcement not long after he became one of two Republican senators to say he would vote
RUSH: Well, folks, this is incredible. This is incredible. There is a story in The Politico today written by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, called "Obama, The Puppet Master." They are so ticked off over this golf weekend, being shut out. They´re talking about Obama just mistreating them in the media and denying them access, how he´s a master at limiting and shaping and manipulating media coverage. These guys are just a bunch of puppets and Obama is the puppet master. It´s incredible,
RUSH: This is David in Decatur, Illinois. I´m glad you called, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello. CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I appreciate it. RUSH: You bet. CALLER: Hey, the sequester, it´s gonna take effect, they say, next week. And I hear Obama say today that the unemployment rate´s gonna tick up. My question to you, sir, is this. When did it tick down? Aren´t we still hovering around 7.8, 7.9%? RUSH: No, it ticked down right before the election. You know, it was
"Powerful Democrats" subjected a top Obama administration health-care official "to withering criticism" last week, notes Walter Russell Mead. When Gary Cohen, head of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee, chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Maria Cantwell (Wash.) "tore into him." The hearing didn´t attract much journalistic attention; the only stories we could find about it were from a legislative trade publication (the Hill) and a health-policy one (Kaiser Health News). Here´s a summary of the senators´ complaints:
Washington - Vice President Joe Biden says Americans don´t need semi-automatic weapons to protect their homes because a couple of blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders. The vice president encouraged those worried about defending themselves to buy a shotgun. He was speaking Tuesday in an online video as part of a Facebook Town Hall hosted by Parents Magazine on the administration´s strategy for reducing gun violence. Biden says he keeps two shotguns and shells locked up in a metal safe in his home. He said he's told his wife, Jill, that if she needs to protect herself,
It would appear the press cares more about getting access to info on President Obama playing golf with Tiger Woods than it does about getting answers on Benghazi, American deaths and an apparent cover-up by the Obama administration. While many have shown relief and glee that the press is finally showing a degree of outrage at the lack of transparency and access to information by the Obama administration, it is tragic that this newfound sense of freedom of the press is due solely to Obama shutting out the media from his round of golf with serial adulterer Tiger Woods.
EU bosses are to crack down on Google for failing to comply with privacy laws, France´s data watchdog has said. Google has been combining data from across its sites so it can improve they way it tailors its advertising to individuals since March. However, regulators see the scheme as ´high risk´ to people´s privacy, and last October, the firm was given four months to revise its policy.[Snip] ´At the end of a four-month delay accorded to Google to comply with the European data protection directive and to implement effectively (our) recommendations, no answer has been given,´ it said in
President Obama warned on Tuesday that ´people will lose their jobs´ and ´the unemployment rate might tick up again´ if steep budget cuts take effect next week. He urged Republicans to agree to a plan proposed by Senate Democrats that would partially offset $85 billion in ´sequestration´ cuts scheduled to take effect next week through new tax revenues. ´So far at least, the ideas that the Republicans have proposed ask nothing of the wealthiest Americans or the biggest corporations,´ Obama said. ´So the burden is all on the first responders, or seniors or middle class families.´
On Tuesday, #LiberalTips2AvoidRape began trending on Twitter. Here´s the backstory: On Monday, Colorado´s House voted to pass HB 1226, which would prevent anyone—including people with permits—to carry concealed weapons on campuses of public universities. State Rep. Joe Salazar came under fire for statements he made during the debate over the bill, which indicated that he felt that fear of rape on campus should not be the motivating factor for the House to vote against the bill. “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles," Salazar said.
Nearly every working American pays into the Social Security program, but not everyone understands the benefits they qualify for due to their contributions. And most workers will no longer get paper statements that explain how much they have paid into the system and what benefits they are likely to receive in retirement. Here are 10 things everyone should know about Social Security: You contribute 6.2 percent of your income. Workers pay 6.2 percent of their earnings into the Social Security system, up to $113,700 in 2013. Employers pay a matching 6.2 percent for each worker. Self-employed workers must