Steve Harvey got the chance for a one-on-one interview the President of the United States this week, a rare opportunity for a journalist let alone a comedian.
Harvey made one item clear up front about his exclusive chat--he didn't ask President Barack Obama any political questions.
With that messy business out of the way, Harvey threw Obama a series of holiday-themed softballs according to the comedian's recap of their Q&A. Later, Harvey described the interview to the press and even defended Obama from taking a "selfie" at a great leader's memorial service, an action so tacky even Jon Stewart said it was "kinda fucked up."
Harvey said he asked the president about gifts he plans to give this holiday season, family and how he feels about his daughters dating. "He has developed some theories about dating," Harvey told Muse. "I was pretty proud of my president on that one."
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported that tunnels along the southwest border are a growing and significant threat to security.
According to a report by the DHS OIG released December 11, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, charged with protecting the U.S. borders, lacks the technological capability to detect subterranean tunnels.
“Illicit cross-border tunnels along the southwest border are primarily used by criminals to transport illegal drugs into the United States, and they are a significant and growing threat to border security,” noted the report. “In an effort to counter this threat, CBP has modified its operations through patrols, intelligence gathering, and closing of illicit cross-border tunnels, but it does not yet have the technological capability to detect the tunnels routinely and accurately.”
“To best address this capability gap, CBP needs to develop and acquire tunnel detection technology, but it has not been able to identify existing technology that functions effectively in its operating environment,” the IG added.
“CBP is creating a Tunnel Detection and Technology Program to address capability gaps in countering the cross-border tunnel threat,” noted the IG. “As part of this effort, CBP is drafting the documents required by DHS to fund, develop, and acquire tunnel detection technology. Additionally, CBP plans to establish a Program Management Office to provide leadership, strategy, and organization to department-wide, counter-tunnel efforts.”
On Friday, Media Matters for America announced victory in its longtime war with Fox News. The George Soros-funded organization announced to Huffington Post that “in the coming years, Fox will no longer be the center of Media Matters’ universe.” Vice President Angelo Carusone explains, “The war on Fox is over. And it’s not just that it’s over but it was very successful. To a large extent, we won.”
How, exactly, did Media Matters win if Fox News remains a prohibitive ratings monster against competitors MSNBC and CNN, and retains far more of the public trust than either of those networks? Carusone does not say.
Nonetheless, Media Matters says it is now moving on to smaller targets in the new media. According to Huffington Post, Media Matters wants to center in on “new, increasingly influential targets, including Spanish-language media, social media streams, alternative online outlets and morning and entertainment sources.”
Presumably, that means bringing its media thug tactics to bear on new media sources. Of course, Media Matters has already jumped into the business of monitoring and demonizing those in the online right (including a huge amount of attention for Breitbart News and its various writers and editors). So what Media Matters frames as victory looks significantly more like a “Mission Accomplished” moment for an organization desperately seeking its next battle – with somebody less powerful than Fox News.
With the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary murders arriving tomorrow, more terrible news hit today with another school shooting, this time at a high school in Centennial, Colorado. Early reports indicate that a shooter injured two students before shooting and killing himself.
One sordid ritual that's become commonplace, even as events are still unfolding, has been the media's exploitation of these tragedies to push for tighter gun control laws. That will be more difficult for the media this time. In July, Colorado enacted much of the media's gun control wish list.
In reaction to both Sandy Hook and a mass-shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the year prior, the Democrat-led state legislature in Colorado passed laws requiring universal background checks and limiting the size of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bills into law, and both were enacted 6 months ago.
After Sandy Hook, Democrats and the elite media spent months on a deeply cynical and partisan crusade to pass Manchin-Toomey, a law that would have required background checks on all commercial sales but did not address the size of ammunition magazines.
Another way to put it is that the gun control laws passed into law in Colorado are even stricter than the law the media and Democrats worked so hard to, but ultimately failed to see passed.
In the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook, the media and White House had hoped to see bans on what they falsely describe as "assault weapons." To prove the Administration wasn't anti-gun, but only interested in banning the "assault weapons" they blamed for these mass-shootings, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that Americans "get a double-barrel shotgun."
According to early reports, today's school shooter used a shotgun.
Susan Sarandon has a secret for keeping composed while waiting to learn if she has won a major acting award.
Many stars indulge in a little alcohol before--or even during--events like the annual Golden Globes gala. Sarandon confessed to her awards show indulgence during an interview this week on the Bravo show Watch What Happens Live.
When host Andy Cohen asked her to name one major Hollywood event she showed up to stoned, Sarandon replied, "Only one?" and slapped her knee as the two shared a hearty laugh. "I would say almost all except the Oscars," she replied.
Adam Carolla says living in Hollywood means displaying the American flag leaves one open to ridicule.
The California resident recently moved out of Hollywood and near the home of actor Vince Vaughn. The Wedding Crashers star proudly flies an American flag on his property, something that would cause him grief had he called Hollywood home.
“I just moved from a place where if you hung an American flag in front of your house they’d make fun of you for being corny," Carolla tells Breitbart News. “I hate that it’s come to that.”
Carolla supports both the flag and the troops who defend it, and this weekend he’ll emcee a show to thank the men and women of the U.S. Military for all they do on the country‘s behalf.
Carolla will crack wise while Kevin Costner’s Modern West band provides the music to both a seven-course meal and silent auction.
The SEAL - NSW Family Foundation raises awareness and funds for special programs in direct support of the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) families on a local, national and global scale.
The podcast king says supporting members of the military is something stars on both sides of the ideological aisle--for the most part--can embrace.
“I do like the idea that most people gather around the troops and put their political leanings aside," he says. “These guys are heroes."
Of course, not every star is willing to salute the troops. Carolla name checks both Ed Asner and Oliver Stone as celebrities who say they love their country but can’t stop cooking up “wacko" conspiracy theories to slam it.
“There’s a definite distinction between the people who are left-leaning and right-leaning, and then there’s the people who don’t like this country and use all these excuses like, ‘I just want people to know the truth,’” he says. “It’s like the people who say to your wife, 'I thought you should know Adam was at a strip club last night.’”
Carolla is one of the few comics who held President Barack Obama to the same comedy standard as his predecessors. He’s not surprised that some of his peers, like Will Ferrell, refuse to mock Obama for his various, sizable missteps like Benghazi or the disastrous ObamaCare rollout. Carolla says stars have become like attorneys for the current administration, willing to argue on behalf of their “client" rather than address the facts.
“A lot of people in the Hollywood community, because they fought so hard for Obama [to get elected], feel they’re assigned to defend him,” he says. “It’s a form of narcissism.”
The coming year could be dubbed the Year of Carolla given the crush of projects coming from the Ace Broadcasting Network's CEO. The comedian’s second major film, Road Hard, will hit theaters in 2014. Other 2014 projects include a documentary detailing Paul Newman’s racing career and a book dubbed President Me.
“It’s just a 'making hay while the sun shines' mentality,” he says, an aggressive approach he takes, in part, because he still doesn’t have a boss now that he runs his own podcast empire.
Carolla is as cavalier about his charitable efforts as he is concerning his career arc. He simply checks his calendar when a nonprofit reaches out to him for a hand. If he’s free that day he’ll share his time and sharp comic mind as needed.
“I never looked at it as work,” he says of his good deeds.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that the USS Cowpens was ordered to stop, and when it refused the order—because it was in international waters—a Chinese Navy vessel "sailed in front of Cowpens and stopped, forcing the [U.S. vessel] to abruptly change course in what officials said was a dangerous maneuver."
Pentagon officials warned that this type of confrontation would be more likely in light of China's new ADIZ.
Most of the South China Sea is claimed by Beijing and "territorial disputes" with various other countries continue to feed tensions in the area.
Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old airport avionics technician, was charged with planning a suicide bombing at the passenger terminal at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas. He tried to gain access to the tarmac with his security pass while driving a vehicle he thought was loaded with explosives. Because the authorities had been watching him, however, the explosives were not real.
According to the Department of Justice, Loewen was “radicalized after reading extremist Islamic material on the internet.” Loewen is white. He was caught after having online interchanges with an FBI employee masquerading as a radicalized American. He wrote, “Let me preface the bottom line by saying I have become ‘radicalized’ in the strongest sense of the word, and I don’t feel Allah wants me any other way.”
Loewen was reportedly inspired by Osama Bin Laden, according to the criminal complaint: “Brothers like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki are a great inspiration to me, but I must be willing to give up everything (like they did) to truly feel like a obedient slave of Allah (swt).
He faces life in prison after being charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, another count of attempting to damage property with an explosive, and a third count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Iran has already achieved a major coup in negotiations with the P5+1 (the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Russia, and China) by winning the fact of, if not the right to, nuclear enrichment. Now it is out to eliminate all of the sanctions it has suffered for carrying out its secret nuclear program in the first place. That was made clear Friday when Iranian diplomats abruptly walked out of "technical" discussions between the parties.
There was no legitimate basis for the walkout. The excuse was that the U.S. announced that it would continue to enforce existing sanctions, regardless of the six-month deal that rolls back some sanctions starting on Jan. 15. That may reinforce the arguments of Obama administration officials who argue that adding new sanctions, as some in Congress want to do, will only prompt the entire diplomatic process with Iran to collapse.
Yet these were not new sanctions. Iran wants to send a clear message that the existing sanctions themselves are a problem--even those not covered by the deal--and that it wants those to be entirely eliminated. That is certainly an expectation that Iranian leaders have laid out for the final deal, and they are emphasizing it by walking out of talks. They also know that the Obama administration would agree to even more lopsided terms.
The Iranian walkout fulfills the warning made by former Bush administration official Douglas Feith last month, who noted that democracies keep international agreements but dictatorships often violate them. The Iranian regime knows that the Obama administration will do everything it can to avoid conflict, and therefore will do everything it can to save a deal, even a bad one. Hence it is altering the deal, in actions if not in words.
A shooting incident at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado has injured two and forced the lockdown of nearby schools in the area, according to local reports. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said that there were two victims and that the suspect was still inside the school as of 1:32 PM MT.
Local reports state that there are over 20 police vehicles at the school, and that law enforcement has arrived in full riot gear.
Last weekend the NY Times published a "Sunday dialogue" which included a letter to the editor by a Connecticut bookseller and some responses. The topic was media bias. Both the letter--and some of the responses to it--present a perspective on media bias one might not expect to find in the NY Times.
Relying on one source, or even on several sources with the same bias, will leave you with only part of the story.
That’s why the much maligned right-wing media is just as important as the so-called mainstream press. Fox News and others on the right certainly have a deeply embedded conservative bias, but the liberal bias on the other side is just as pervasive. Taken together, they roughly fill each other’s omissions.
Fairness in journalism requires not that every story or point of view receive equal weight but that every valid position receive equal respect. Thus the pro-life position should be treated with the same validity as pro-choice; small-government conservatives with the same respect as tax-and-spend liberals; Republicans as more compassionate than they sound and Democrats as less omniscient than they think.
But since journalists and news organizations are partisan at heart, one must sift through the best reporting and punditry from each side of the journalistic divide and take all the biases and agendas into account to arrive at an informed understanding of any story.
It's unclear where Godburn himself comes down politically, but his defense of the right and Fox News was too much for some readers. Steve Nelson responded, "When one perspective is true and the other is propaganda, they should not be presented as equally valid." Naturally, the one he finds to be true is the one presented by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.
There is also an interesting response from Christopher Daly, a professor of journalism at Boston University. Daly sets up his letter as if he is rebutting what Godburn wrote but, in fact, he only seems to confirm it:
In his lament about bias in the news media, Mr. Godburn assumes that unbiased journalism is possible and desirable. History suggests otherwise.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American journalism was highly political, often polemical and openly biased. That was the kind of journalism in which the likes of Sam Adams and Thomas Paine gloriously argued for liberty, and it was the form of journalism that was on the founders’ minds when they enshrined the doctrine of a free press in the First Amendment.
Did Godburn assume unbiased journalism is possible? He actually said the opposite. Godburn said so himself in a response:
Professor Daly’s claim that I assume unbiased journalism is possible and desirable may have been a good lead-in for his journalistic history lesson, but that’s not what I said. The problem is not that journalists are biased — it’s that they claim they aren’t.
Well said. One wonders what the Times' editors think of this advice.
This really has gone from a bizarre, comic sideshow to a serious scandal, albeit still hilarious. How in the world was this allowed to happen? What the hell is going on with the Secret Service?
It's bad enough that Fake Sign Language Guy was allowed to make a mockery of the memorial service. That's something Obama himself tried hard to do with his frat-boy selfie antics, but his political operation desperately wanted this to be a Big Huge Statesman Moment for him. It certainly hasn't been. I don't think even the most Obama-friendly media outlet made any effort to paint the Mandela event as a milestone in the Obama presidency, or make any hay about his big speech. I don't think they've even bothered trying to quote from his speech.
Most of what we're getting is walkback and spin from a White House that seems to be wishing that Obama had never gone to South Africa, and the sooner everyone forgets about it, the better. But they sure didn't go into this thing believing it would become a massive P.R. liability. A fake sign-language interpreter is the sort of thing a reasonably savvy advance team would be on guard for, no matter how inept the local government might be. Is part of the problem here that everyone merely assumed the sanctified government of post-Mandela South Africa must be competently managed?
But now we learn the guy was potentially dangerous, his criminal case files "mysteriously empty," with a tendency towards hallucinations and violence by his own account... hired by a shadowy fly-by-night firm that promptly flew by night and disappeared... and yet he managed to get onstage with the President of the United States. The Secret Service must be having some interesting closed-door meetings right about now. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit wonders if the advance team was off chasing hookers again. I can't remember a time when the Secret Service did this many faceplants.
The Obama administration is attempting to create a new rule that would legalize the abuses of power that it committed during the IRS scandal, when Tea Party and conservative non-profit groups were targeted. The Treasury has proposed a new rule for 501(c)4 groups that would, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journalnotes, "isolate and shut down the same tea party groups victimized in the first targeting round."
President Barack Obama, having pretended to have been outraged by the IRS abuse when the scandal broke, is now endorsing it. The rules would not apply to unions (organized under Section 501(c)5 of the federal tax code) or to pure non-profits (organized under 501(c)3). Rather, they would target 501(c)4 "social welfare" groups, which the Democrats fear because they have been effective vehicles for conservative advocacy.
Meanwhile, there has been precious little accountability for the IRS scandal, which the mainstream media has all but forgotten. It is still unclear whether the White House was involved, but the frequent visits of senior IRS officials to the White House have yet to be explained, and the old excuse--planning for Obamacare--no longer holds water, given new revelations about how rarely the President met with senior officials responsible for it.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stopped a plot by three Mexican cartel members to kidnap San Diego, California-based drug dealers for unpaid debts and then torture them. The cartel members will now spend time in U.S. federal prison, according to Susan Shroder of the San Diego Union Tribune.
The three will serve sentences ranging from ten to seven-and-a-half years for conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
At least one of the three Mexican cartel members entered the U.S. illegally in their plan to kidnap the drug dealers, bring them back to Mexico, torture them, and then dissolve the victims' corpses in acid, according to Shroder.
The three Mexican cartel members are Carlos Alberto Andrade De La Cruz, Luis Miguel Salas Rodriguez, and Antonio Zermeno Garcia. Though Rodriguez and Garcia are reportedly from San Diego, De La Cruz is from Tijuana, Mexico. A search of court records reveals that De La Cruz has illegally entered the U.S. previously and was convicted of using another person’s passport. It is unclear if his illegal re-entry was done alone or with the others.
Shroder reports that the FBI used a wiretap to disrupt the plan of the cartel members. After illegally entering the U.S., the three ended up together at the home of one of the intended victims. FBI SWAT stopped the kidnapping effort and arrested the three cartel men. Shroder’s report reveals that the FBI learned of the plot and then obtained approval for a wiretap, but no information was provided regarding how the FBI initially uncovered the plan.
Court documents for this case were not publicly available at the time of this article’s publication.
The convictions and sentencing come on the heels of an incident several days ago in Texas where a man’s body was found near the U.S./Mexico border. In that case, the victim showed signs of having been tortured. This story was first reported by Nadia Galindo of ValleyCentral.com and then covered by Breitbart News.
Another recent case that was first reported by Breitbart News involved a Chicago kidnapping of a woman and her children in retribution for a matter involving cocaine from a Mexican drug cartel. This case was unique in that the official court documents specifically stated the cocaine belonged to a Mexican cartel.
As humiliating as Politifact's panicky walkback of their previous Obama defense may be, for my money they're still spinning like crazy. The premise of this year's "Lie of the Year" award - is that normally given for things that were actually said several years ago? - is that the whole "like your plan, keep your plan" thing was some kind of inscrutable mystery that nobody could have figured out until events actually began proving that it wasn't true.
That's hogwash. Politifact was dead wrong, and everyone of their ilk was openly hostile, even contemptuous, toward people who were right all along. And the people who were right, including Mitt Romney, did not merely "guess" right. They didn't put their chips on ObamaCare failure and get lucky when the roulette ball of current events stopped bouncing around. They understood the reasons Obama was lying, and correctly explained why it was impossible for most insurance plans to continue unchanged, as President Obama swore they would.
Everyone other than the Politifact stooge crowd also knew that Obama knew the truth. Some of the more mild castigation he gets from former allies today implies that he was mistaken when he made the "like your plan" promise, or that he spoke with excessive confidence. On the contrary, he knew he was lying. He was privy to studies that predicted what was going to happen.
And a lot of this retroactive "lie of the year" stuff misses the most crucial point: insurance cancellations aren't just an unfortunate side effect that Obama should have been more up-front about. They're a feature of his scheme, not a bug. This was supposed to happen. It was vital to blast a huge number of people into the ObamaCare exchanges. The sheep had to be lined up for shearing.
The current crisis did not come about because Obama tried to "boil down the complicated health care law to a soundbite," and he didn't apologize for it. He made one of those arrogant non-apology "sorry you misunderstood me" speeches. He claimed we all should have known what he really meant. And deep down, he doesn't view any of this as a mistake. Obama doesn't think he told the Lie of the Year. He thinks he told the Lie of a Lifetime, because that's how long it will take the American people to recover from it.
Six of the eight House Republicans running for Senate voted against the budget deal on Thursday that was brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), while five of the eight Republican senators who are facing primary challenges have already said they will vote against it in the Senate.
The budget deal, which increases federal spending beyond the sequester levels, passed the House on Thursday by a 333-94 vote.
As The Hillnoted, six of the eight House Republicans who are running for Senate voted against the bill. They included: Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AK), who is challenging Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK); Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT); Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston of Georgia; and Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who will primary Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Two House Republicans--Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)--who are running for the Senate voted for the bill.
In the Senate, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Susan Collins (R-ME) face primary challenges.
Five of these senators---Enzi,Roberts, Cornyn, Graham, and McConnell--have said they would not vote for the budget. Alexander, Collins, and Cochran have not indicated how they will vote yet.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member on the Budget Committee, said he intends to filibuster the Ryan-Murray budget, which means five Republicans would have to cross over for cloture to be invoked. Sessions, who said he was not consulted on the budget deal, said the agreement was "not a budget" because it was not crafted or even considered by conferees from the House and Senate.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whom former South Carolina Senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said had the most influence in Republican primaries, wrote in an exclusive op-ed for Breitbart News on Thursday that "no one can argue with the fact that Paul Ryan’s compromise budget bill raises taxes and increases spending. Show me one Republican who got elected on that platform."
"Spare America the Orwellian word games. If the government is taking money out of your pocket to fund its growing Big Brother operations, it’s a tax," she said. "Whether money is taken from you via your phone bill, your airline ticket, or your income, it’s a tax. If politicians can’t be honest about this, it’s time to go home."
Palin said "if any member of Congress thinks raising taxes and increasing wasteful spending is a winning strategy to run on, then by all means they should vote for the Ryan budget."
In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, affirmed the Tea Party's adamant opposition to the Ryan-Murray budget deal that passed the House Thursday night.
House speaker John Boehner has criticized conservatives and Tea Party activists for opposing the budget compromise, referring to them as “outside groups” that are getting in the way of congressional progress.
“Tea Party Patriots oppose this budget deal and are calling on Members of the Senate to vote against it,” she said. “However, there is little doubt of the outcome. Senators who are facing a primary challenge (McConnell, Graham, Alexander and Cornyn) will vote against the budget because they know their constituents oppose it."
"However, because there is a 60 vote threshold, their votes will be irrelevant and they know they are safe to vote against it so they can tell their voters they did the right thing," Martin explained.
“This deal really exposes the true colors of several in the GOP establishment and their Washington political games," she stated. "It seems that during the ‘Defund Obamacare’ or ‘Exempt America’ battles, Speaker John Boehner and the House GOP played ‘good cop’ by standing with conservatives, while the establishment in the Senate played ‘bad cop.’ Now that so many established members of the Senate are facing primary opposition it comes as no surprise that they are now supporting the conservative cause, while Boehner and the House trade places,” continued Mrs. Martin.
“The fact that Boehner attacked ‘outside groups’ is a telling sign that neither the House or Senate are interested in listening to the American people but doing whatever it takes to get re-elected. The GOP establishment created this battle by backing away conservative principles,” Martin declared.
When first approved by the El Paso City Council in September 2012, the price tag was $50 million. In June of this year, the price tag rose to $60.8 million. By September, it was up to $64 million, but that number is now likely to increase by an additional $10 million to $74 million.
The team is owned by the MountainStar Sports Group ("MSSG"), which purchased the Tucson Padres in 2012 for a reported $20 million. The team played in Tucson in 2013, but changed its name to the El Paso Chihuahuas after the season in anticipation of the move to El Paso. Four very wealthy El Pasoans own MSSG: Multi-millionaire heiress and businesswoman Alejandra de la Vega Foster, her husband, billionaire Paul Foster, Josh Hunt, and his father, Woody Hunt. The elder Hunt owns a $13 billion real estate empire.
MSSG persuaded the El Paso City Council to approved a deal to borrow the proposed $50 million to finance the stadium in a narrow 4 to 3 vote in September 2012. That same month, El Paso Mayor John Cook chose not to exercise his legal authority to veto the deal. At the time, the price tag was purported to be $50 million, $14 million to $24 million below its currently anticipated actual cost.
Cook defended his decision not to exercise his veto days after the vote, telling local television station KVIA that "[r]ealizing this has been something that has divided the community, I don’t think it would be in the best interest of El Paso for me to veto this particular action."
In November 2012, voters in El Paso approved Proposition 3, a "quality-of-life" bond referendum "which called for the designation of the ballpark project as a sports venue and the use of hotel occupancy tax dollars to finance it" in a 60% to 40% vote. A proposed increase in the city's hotel tax authorized by that referendum was intended to finance interest and principal payments on the $50 million in debt it was thought at the time would fund the entire cost of the stadium.
But in June, the price tag of the project jumped to $60.8 million. That month, the outgoing El Paso City Council quickly approved the addition of the extra $10.8 million cost to a now $60.8 million debt offering by the city in a 5 to 3 vote.
In response, the MSSG offered to increase the amount of payments it would make under a proposed 30 year lease by $12.1 million, but the four owners pointedly refused to personally guarantee the additional payments. The annual lease payments had originally been only $200,000. Under the new agreement, those payments increase to $400,000 with an inflation adjustment that kicks in after five years.
Those revised lease terms are still quite generous for MSSG. Assuming an average of 70 home games per year, the lease cost per game in the stadium that will seat 7,000 fans will still be less than $6,000.
According to an El Paso Times article from June, "[t]he $60.8 million in bonds will cover the cost of the design and construction of the ballpark, the demolition of the former City Hall building and the Insights El Paso Science Center, public art on the ballpark as required by city ordinance and the cost to sell the bonds."
Officials with the city of El Paso claimed then that "hotel occupancy taxes will now pay for 80 percent of the ballpark, and that the MountainStar lease and ticket and parking revenues will pay for the rest."
Newly elected Mayor Oscar Leeser, who took office the week after this vote, also chose not to veto the City Council's approval of the $60.8 million in bonds it was thought at the time would be sufficient to build the new stadium.
The Timesreported that "[c]ity officials said no property taxes will be used to fund the ballpark itself, and added that under the new lease, no general fund revenues such as sales taxes would go toward the ballpark. About $28 million in extra revenue is projected to be generated, which could go back to the city's general fund or pay off the ballpark debt early, city finance officials said."
In July, Eddie Holguin, Jr., one of the three El Paso City Council members who consistently voted against the stadium deal, wrote a blistering guest columnist op-ed piece published by the Times in July criticizing the owners of MSSG for refusing to guarantee the increased costs. "Despite being the wealthiest families in the region, they apparently cannot guarantee they will make good on $8 million in increased costs to the stadium in the event of bankruptcy because they believe the rules that apply to ordinary taxpayers when they make a major purchase do not apply to the rich."
Holguin was skeptical of the revenue projections for the new stadium. " [I]f the attendance projections dreamed up by MSSG and city staff do not meet expectations," he wrote, "sales tax revenues that fund city services will need to be used. El Paso property taxes will have to be increased to cover any shortfalls."
He noted that "[a]lready, the city manager is recommending a $26 dollar tax increase to this year's budget to cover some of the costs for imploding a perfectly good city hall and moving city council officials and departments to the former El Paso Times building."
Holguin found "[m]ost disturbing . . . the fact that according to the previous mayor, the MSSG and the city manager conspired to deprive taxpayers of the right to vote on the project in order to ram it through. In this deceptive process, automatic penalties were built into the contract so they could not be changed, even by newly elected officials."
In September, Holguin's skepticism about the stadium's cost and revenue projections were borne out when MSSG wrote a letter to Mayor Leeser, warning him that the final expenditures for the stadium could be as much as $10 million more than the $64 million previously projected.
KFOX TV reported that "both the city of El Paso and MountainStar have started discussing ways to come up with that extra money. . . With the prospect of even more money being needed, some El Pasoans say enough is enough, while others say it's a necessary investment. "
Nancy Silva is one of those El Pasoans who think enough is enough. "I think that it's way too much, at first they said it was gonna be a specific price, now they're saying its going to go up $10 million more," she said after news broke of yet another cost increase. Silva has changed her mind about the merits of the stadium, as well. "I used to be for the ballpark, now I'm against it," she stated, "because they keep increasing the price so much, and I don't think it's going to bring in revenue, because knowing people in El Paso, they show up for the first three games, but as soon as a team starts losing, they stop going."
Despite the stadium's ever climbing cost over runs and growing public dissatifaction, the Chihuahas are scheduled to take the field for the first time in their new stadium in April. Earlier this month, Chihuahas general manager Brad Taylor told the Times that construction of the new stadium is nearing a close, though the final installation of the seats will not take place until February, a little more than a month before the 2014 season begins.
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who is running for Congress as a Republican in Maryland's Sixth Congressional District, wants a divorce from the Republican establishment.
"Consider yourself served," he wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday after those in the GOP establishment, like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), slammed conservatives for opposing the budget deal that would raise spending beyond the sequester levels.
In "An open letter to the establishment GOP," Bongino wrote, "I am serving you with divorce papers. For those who are unaware of what happened, the establishment wing of the Party has openly declared war on the grassroots."
He continued, "As for the GOP, we used to stand for something; a lean, effective government, vibrant and robust individual liberty, and a passionate defense of the value of hard work and a commensurate respect for your wages by consistently fighting for your right to keep more of them. Where do you stand now? I know where the grassroots does."
Bongino said that "this is our party and we will demonstrate to the people we hope to represent that there is a group of people out there who refuse to be part of any 'managed decline.' We will only be part of a spectacular American resurrection."
The congressional candidate then served the political establishment notice that "America's best days are ahead and you and your fellow insiders and cronyists and 'Party before country' loyalists, on both sides of the aisle, can bathe in your titles and power now but understand that I, and many others, have dedicated our lives to draining the dirty water from the bathtub."
Recently, Bongino refused to go on Martin Bashir's show after Bashir said that someone should defecate and urinate in former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's mouth:
"In light of these comments I felt it only appropriate to cancel my appearance on the show. Governor Palin took a principled chance on me during my U.S. Senate campaign when few would," Bongino told Breitbart News last month. "She put herself out there for me, risking her political capital, and chose to endorse me because she believed in me.
"In a political arena filled with bad actors it was refreshing to know that Governor Palin was willing to fight for the underdog. She deserves better than the treatment she received by Mr. Bashir and I cannot, in good faith, appear on the show, regardless of the number of books it may or may not sell."
Dan Bongino, a Secret Service agent under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is the author of Life Inside the Bubble.
On Thursday, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he voted against the budget deal brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) because the spending spree will be paid for with higher taxes.
"Some of the discussion has focused on how much of the spending spree will be paid with higher taxes. The answer is, 'all of it,'" McClintock said. "Once government spends a dollar, it has already decided to tax that dollar – the only questions that remain are who gets the bill and when."
The deal, which increases spending beyond the sequester levels and raises so-called "fees" on airline travelers, passed the House by a 333-94 vote.
McClintock said the "House Republican leadership pushed through a two-year budget that will allow the federal government to spend an additional $63 billion more than current law allows – money that our country does not have."
He also said that "sixty-three billion dollars of new spending – and therefore new taxes in some form – is not a small amount of money. It averages about $570 of added burdens for every family in America."
McClintock then blasted the deal for its "lie" that requires Americans to believe that "Congress will magically summon the fiscal discipline that has eluded it in the present" before quoting former Reagan budget director David Stockman, who said that the budget deal was a "a joke and betrayal."
"It's the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that's hurtling down the road," Stockman had said earlier in the week.
McClintock, the fiscal conservative who was a part of the Tea Party before it existed in California, emphasized that the "budget is a mistake at a time when we can’t afford many more mistakes."
"The path of least resistance, even if paved with good intentions, is not a path America can afford to travel any longer," he said.
South Africa's eNews Channel Africa revealed today that Thamisanqa Jantjie, the fake sign language interpreter who famously stood near President Barack Obama and other world leaders during the Mandela memorial, had faced charges of "rape (1994), theft (1995), housebreaking (1997), malicious damage to property (1998), murder, attempted murder and kidnapping (2003)." The case file on the murder charges is gone.
The White House tried to minimize the incident, calling it a distraction and referring questions to the Secret Service or the government of South Africa. South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, said that it was not responsible, despite the fact that Jantjie had worked for them in the past, and said that the decision to assign him translation duties during the Mandela memorial had been a separate, "state" decision.
Not only was Jantjie apparently not a certified sign language interpreter, but he had a troubling criminal record. The White House shows a disturbing lack of interest in the fact that he was allowed to stand a few feet away from the president. Thankfully, nothing happened, but the worst certainly could have. Is there a collapse of professionalism within the Obama administration? At what point does the buck-passing stop?
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:25:33 -0600 - Nather & Kenen, Politico Why do Republicans even bother trying to delay Obamacare? President Barack Obama’s doing it all by himself.On Thursday, the Obama administration gave customers permission to pay their premiums as late as Dec. 31 for coverage that starts Jan. 1, and officially gave customers an extra week — until Dec. 23 — to sign up for January coverage.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:38:28 -0600 - Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine One of the more amusing developments in the Obamacare debate has been watching conservatives turn from denouncing the health-care law for its lack of high-deductible insurance to denouncing the health-care law for its high-deductible insurance. I wrote a bit about it a week ago, and Ezra Klein describes it in much more detail today. Insurance plans with low premiums and high deductibles were a major centerpiece of conservative health-care thinking. Until quite recently, conservatives seemed to believe that Obamacare prevented such plans from existing, which was totally false. As theyÂve...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:38:42 -0600 - Yuval Levin, National Review As usual, itÂs hard to tell just whatÂs going on inside the administration regarding Obamacare, but I donÂt think we can really take the steps announced by HHS yesterday as anything but a bright, red, flashing warning light about the internal expectations regarding January.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:39:57 -0600 - Michael Cohen, Guardian One year ago this week, a seemingly unimaginable event took place in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, a disturbed and isolated young man took guns that were legally purchased and kept in his home and drove to the Sandy Hook elementary school. He shot his way inside with an AR-15 assault rifle and proceeded to kill 26 people – 20 of them young children. It was a crime that, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, spoke to America's deadly and debilitating fascination with guns. Here was the sickness of this nation's gun culture on vivid display.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:27:39 -0600 - David Harsanyi, Federalist For more than 20 years, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has been measuring how voters feel about Congress.And "perhaps unsurprisingly," writes Ezra Klein, "a majority of Americans -- a new record -- thinks the current Congress is one of the worst ever." Klein, like many other liberal pundits, has written numerous pieces about how Congress is the worst/laziest/rottenest ever, so this works out well for him. Not getting your way all the time can be frustrating.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:47:22 -0600 - Steve Erickson, Am. Prospect Barack Obama is given to the long view, which comes in handy for a man at his particular nadir in this particular moment. More than the vexing and inexplicably botched launch of the Affordable Care Act, the president has been undone by ten words uttered enough times so as to feel exponential: If you like your health plan, you can keep it. This is the first time that reasonable people have caught the president telling an explicitly incontestable untruth, however small a percentage of insurance policies it may actually apply to, and therefore our wince-threshold with Obama is distinctly lower...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:49:20 -0600 - David Wasserman, Cook Political Report If the Murray-Ryan budget deal amounts to a small lurch forward, the last few months' politics have sure felt like a roller-coaster ride. And, we aren't just talking about GOP Reps. Trey Radel (FL-19) or Steve Stockman (TX-36).For the first sixteen days of October, the government shutdown generated conditions that felt a lot like 2006, with independent voters ready to vent their anger at Republicans. Soon thereafter, the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act generated an atmosphere that felt similar to 2010, when President Obama and Democrats got routed. As Charlie Cook pointed out, gyrations...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:59:32 -0600 - Ari Berman, The Nation A federal judge in Winston-Salem today set the schedule for a trial challenging North Carolina’s sweeping new voter restrictions. There will be a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction in July 2014 and a full trial a year later, in July 2015.This gives the plaintiffs challenging the law, which includes the Department of Justice, the ACLU and the North Carolina NAACP, a chance to block the bill’s worst provisions before the 2014 election. Earlier this year, in July 2013, the North Carolina legislature passed the country’s worst voter suppression law, which...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 14:14:08 -0600 - Gordon Chang, The Daily Beast The North Korean state media has reported that Jang Song Thaek, once thought to be the No. 2 leader of the country, was executed. A special military tribunal had found him guilty of treasonous activities and other crimes. Never before has Pyongyang announced the execution of a member of the ruling Kim family. Jang, 67, was married to the aunt of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.Why did Kim have Jang killed? It may have been personal. Jang introduced Kim to his eventual wife, Ri Sol Ju. According to a growing number of accounts, Jang also had an affair with her. Furthermore, there are...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:44:16 -0600 - Paul Krugman, New York Times The pundit consensus seems to be that Republicans lost in the just-concluded budget deal. Overall spending will be a bit higher than the level mandated by the sequester, the straitjacket imposed back in 2011. Meanwhile, Democrats avoided making any concessions on Social Security or Medicare. Call this one for Team D, I guess.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:44:54 -0600 - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that Âwe have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.ÂAn interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:37:33 -0600 - Timothy Egan, New York Times Mario CuomoÂs dictum Â campaign in poetry, govern in prose Â had it wrong. Kennedy had it right: ÂIf more politicians knew poetry,Â he said, Âand more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a better place.Â
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 03:44:02 -0600 - Megan McArdle, Bloomberg The Department of Health and Human Services held a conference call for journalists this afternoon with Kathleen Sebelius and other members of the Obamacare team in which they announced yet another round of fixes.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:40:48 -0600 - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post WASHINGTON -- The unusual display of reasonable behavior by House Republicans this week should be seen as a retreat -- a change in tactics -- but not a surrender. Democrats had better note the distinction.Sooner or later, it had to dawn on the GOP that repeatedly re-enacting Pickett's Charge was not advancing the party's agenda or enhancing its electoral prospects. In martial terms, President Obama and the Democrats held the high ground; they were the ones visibly making an effort to govern, while Republicans did nothing but throw themselves into battles they were sure to lose.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:05:38 -0600 - Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard In Washington, folks are celebrating a new bipartisan budget deal that saves us from another full round of reductions in federal spending mandated by the Âsequester.Â Far fewer are lamenting the dwindling of the sequester itself. As usual, Washington has things upside down.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:15:36 -0600 - Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics John Boehner ended a legislative year rated the least productive in history by doing something that may have surprised both his supporters and his detractors: He showed some spine.The typically reserved House speaker turned heads on Capitol Hill this week by twice berating conservative outside groups that have continually tormented his tenure. ÂFrankly, I just think they've lost all credibility,Â he told reporters Thursday after those groups decried the spending bill he and other GOP leaders had backed.That evening, the House of Representatives passed it Â the first bipartisan budget...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:56:33 -0600 - Joan Wickersham, Boston Globe THERE THEY were, just below Martha Stewart and Paula Deen and Allure in the magazine rack at the supermarket: the gun periodicals.I bought three.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:57:14 -0600 - Charles Cooke, National Review Earlier in the year, as the gun-control movement tried clumsily to transform an abomination into a cudgel, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker distilled its problem into a single sentence. “Nothing proposed in the gun-control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Parker contended plainly, “and everybody knows it.”
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:57:53 -0600 - Morgan Whitaker, MSNBC A pair of polls show Americans are largely unhappy with both the GOP and the tea party wing of the party.Tea party favorability has fallen to an all-time low according a Gallup poll released Wednesday, which found a slight majority (51%) of Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party. The poll finds 30% of Americans feel positively about the tea party, down from a high of 39% in 2011. Republicans are most likely to support the movement, with 58% seeing it favorably, and unsurprisingly Democrats overwhelmingly dislike the tea party – 74% to 10%.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:04:22 -0600 - Michael Barone, DC Examiner Democratic National Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says that Obamacare will be a vote-winner for Democrats in 2014. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the same thing.Perhaps they really believe that. But the numbers in polls conducted since Oct. 17, when the end of the government shutdown put the spotlight on the rollout of Obamacare, tell a different story.Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win a majority there.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:00:24 -0600 - Michelle Cottle, The Daily Beast Let’s give it up for Marco Rubio! After months of getting his butt whipped in the rabid-obstructionism department by Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Florida emerged the hands-down winner in the race to trash the Murray-Ryan budget deal. The entire political chattering class expressed awe this week at just how quickly Rubio’s team pushed out his “this deal sucks” statement. It was as though some poor staffer had been assigned to sit around 24-7 with his finger hovering over the “send” button, just waiting for the deal to drop.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:00:59 -0600 - Doug Schoen, Wall Street Journal President Obama isn't the only Democrat who has had a difficult few weeks. The past month has also been particularly challenging for the woman who has all but declared her 2016 presidential campaign: Hillary Clinton. If this winter is any guide, to win the nomination Mrs. Clinton will have to master her two-step: sticking close to a president still beloved by the Democratic base—as she did this week, flying on Air Force One with Mr. Obama to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's memorial service—while distancing herself from his unpopular policies.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:01:42 -0600 - Charlie Cook, NJ Some political analysts suggest the encouraging economic numbers released last week are a sign that the economy is improving enough to diminish the anti-incumbent mood that has seemed likely to become a dominant factor in the 2014 midterm elections. On the surface, that assessment would seem warranted. The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that unemployment dropped from 7.3 percent in October to 7.0 percent in November, with the economy creating 203,000 new jobs. The so-called U-6 unemployment rate— measuring the normal (U-3) unemployment rate, plus those working part...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:15:06 -0600 - Matt Naham, RealClearHistory When Margaret Thatcher passed from this world on April 8, myriad books followed. Consequently, an exclusively eulogistic feel characterizes many of these works. Catalogues of the Iron LadyÂs rousing successes, lasting impact, and life story predominate Â as is expected and appropriate Â the books dedicated to her memory.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:13:55 -0600 - David Remnick, The New Yorker In Vladimir Putin’s Russia—official Russia—there is no controversy about the rights of gays and lesbians. Controversy suggests a serious clash of ideas and opinions; controversy suggests points of view that are in opposition and, potentially, subject to change. This is not the case when it comes to the human rights of homosexuals in Russia. In the Kremlin, in the parliament, in the courts, in the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, and on television there reigns a disdainful and intimidating unanimity: homosexuals are a threat to morality, to the family, and to the...
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:15:31 -0600 - Apuzzo & Goldman, AP WASHINGTON (AP) — In March 2007, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson flew to Kish Island, an Iranian resort awash with tourists, smugglers and organized crime figures. Days later, after an arranged meeting with an admitted killer, he checked out of his hotel, slipped into a taxi and vanished. For years, the U.S. has publicly described him as a private citizen who traveled to the tiny Persian Gulf island on private business.But that was just a cover story. An Associated Press investigation reveals that Levinson was working for the CIA. In an extraordinary breach of the most basic CIA...
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Add another name to the list of potential GOP presidential contenders for 2016. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses, who took a pass on the 2012 presidential race — says he might be willing to give it another try.
The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means todecode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day.
Don’t be surprised that a new Beyoncé album just fell out of the stars without warning.
Be surprised that it’s the splashiest cannonball of her career. Be surprised that it’s quirky, and candid, and weird, and raunchy, and so many other things that Beyoncé has never been. Be surprised that she uses “Monica Lewinsky” as a verb. Be surprised that it’s great.
JERUSALEM — A full and final peace agreement overcoming the obstacles that have foiled past negotiators is still possible within the nine-month calendar set for U.S.-brokered talks, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday.
KIEV, Ukraine — With tense days ahead, President Viktor Yanukovych sat down with opposition leaders Friday afternoon and said he wants to provide amnesty to all those arrested since massive protests broke out three weeks ago over Ukraine’s future direction.
After a major vote in the House of Representatives Thursday, a bipartisan budget deal that would keep the government open into 2015 appears likely to become law. You might not really be all that interested in the effect this compromise will have on the economy or in the feud between Republican leaders and the conservative faction in their party. You might be too jaded to ask whether this compromise marks the beginning of a grand new era of cooperation on Capitol Hill or whether it’s just a fluke. But you should still know what’s in the deal. Here’s why:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Mike Huckabee had wrapped up his speech Thursday night to an audience of politically active pastors and turned to questions. The first one came from a woman near the front: “Are you running?”
The man with the gun burst into the apartment and opened fire. The first victim was a young woman, dead at 21. The second victim was her 25-year-old roommate. But it was the third victim who would cause the most anguished screams when the bodies were discovered. Shot in the head, he was a 6-month-old boy.
The Obama administration has decided to preserve a controversial arrangement under which a single military official is permitted to direct both the National Security Agency and the military’s cyberwarfare command, U.S. officials said.
JOHANNESBURG — The sign language interpreter who gestured meaninglessly at the Nelson Mandela memorial in South Africa on Tuesday has faced charges of murder, rape, theft, breaking and entering, malicious damage to property and kidnapping, according to eNCA.com.
KIEV, Ukraine — The thousands of Ukrainians who have committed themselves to the long-running protest on the Maidan, as they call it — Independence Square — are quite proud that no one is giving orders. It’s a three-week-old boom town bursting with egalitarian yet individual initiative: everyone and anyone shoveling snow, tending fires in barrels, building barricades, passing out cups of tea, standing guard duty.
SEOUL — When Kim Jong Un became leader of North Korea in 2011, he was surrounded by advisers who were two and in some cases nearly three times his age. Most had decades of experience in the Workers’ Party or military. Two were members of Kim’s family.
BEIJING — Four days after the U.S. government expressed concern about his imprisonment, Chinese prosecutors have filed charges in court against leading activist Xu Zhiyong, his lawyer said Friday.
Xu, a legal scholar, founded the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of activists seeking to promote the rule of law and human rights. In March and April, several members unfurled banners in Beijing demanding that Communist Party officials publicly disclose their assets, and many members of the group have since been arrested as part of a broad crackdown on dissent under Chinese President Xi Jinping.
SEOUL — North Korea announced Friday that it had executed the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, calling him a “traitor for all ages” who opposed Kim’s rule and plotted his overthrow.
Jang Song Thaek was executed after admitting to his crimes before a military tribunal Thursday, the North said in a statement released by the state-run news agency. The North said Jang, 67, in attempting to realize his “wild ambition” of supreme power, was “despicable human scum” and “worse than a dog.”
After years of placating conservative groups that repeatedly undermined his agenda, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) took direct aim at some of his tea party critics Thursday, accusing them of working against the interests of the Republican Party.
The Obama administration announced Thursday it will give some Americans more time to buy health plans through the federal insurance marketplace and urged the insurance industry to make it easier for consumers to make the transition to the new coverage.
The federal government on Thursday moved closer to allowing cellphone use during flights, but with a catch: Passengers won’t be able to use the devices to make calls.
If approved, the new rules would mean consumers could use their data plans to surf the Web or send e-mails and texts once a plane reaches 10,000 feet. But flights would remain free of the cacophony of people jabbering into their phones.
Sooner or later, it had to dawn on the GOP that repeatedly reenacting Pickett’s Charge was not advancing the party’s agenda or enhancing its electoral prospects. In martial terms, President Obama and the Democrats held the high ground; they were the ones visibly making an effort to govern while Republicans did nothing but throw themselves into battles they were sure to lose.
In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.”
In a sign of how the Senate is adjusting to a new set of procedural rules, senators will be summoned again Friday and over the weekend for a series of votes on lower-level nominees amid sustained Republican objections to the changes.
The Obama administration cracked down Thursday on oil and shipping companies accused of helping Iran evade economic sanctions, a move that came as the White House appeared to gain ground in its fight to keep Congress from enacting even tougher restrictions that threaten to derail nuclear talks with the Islamic republic.
SANAA, Yemen — Missiles fired by a U.S. drone slammed into a convoy of vehicles traveling to a wedding party in central Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, three Yemeni security officials said.
An American man who disappeared in Iran more than six years ago had been working for the CIA in what U.S. intelligence officials describe as a rogue operation that led to a major shake-up in the spy agency.
With deadlines fast approaching and some HealthCare.gov shoppers still stuck, the Obama administration is proposing new ways to guarantee coverage to those hoping to gain insurance in January.
Health and Human Services announced Thursday some additional flexibility for those still hoping to buy coverage -- and many more steps that the agency urged, but did not require, health insurers to take.