Archives for News

Rand Paul wins the latest meaningless CPAC straw poll for President

Right-wingers at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference found a new lost cause to support Saturday, backing Kentucky Senantor Rand Paul in a straw poll for President. Paul rises to the mantle of his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a frequent winner of the CPAC straw poll, who ran for President three times but ever came close to winning. Rand Raul’s win was hardly a landslide.  He captured just 25 percent of the vote in a crowded field that saw Florida Sen. Marco Rubio come in a close second, followed by another failed Presidential candidate — Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum
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John Boehner: His homophobia will not change

Ohio Senator Rob Portman may have switched his position on gay marriage but his change of heart means nothing to lifelong homophobic John Boehner, the Speaker of the House. Boehner, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” says he is, and always will be, opposed to gay marriage. Said Boehner: Bob is a great friend and a long-time ally.  I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe.  It’s what my church teaches me.  And I can’t imagine that position would ever change. Portman, who was opposed to
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Supremes will decide on requiring proof of citizenship to vote

The Supreme Court will struggle this week with the validity of an Arizona law that tries to keep illegal immigrants from voting by demanding all state residents show documents proving their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in national elections. The high court will hear arguments Monday over the legality of Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law that doesn’t require such documentation. This case focuses on voter registration in Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues
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Paranoia, panic among gun owners leads to shortages in firearms, ammo

Panicky gun owners, paranoid that the government is going to take away their firearms and ammo, are going on spending sprees for both guns and bullets, creating shortages and driving up prices. “It’s nuts,” Jonathan Simmons, a gun owner from Roanoke, Virginia, told Capitol Hill Blue.  “I can’t find any .22 long rifle.  The last time I checked, no proposed new gun laws outlawed 22 cartridges and while there are proposals to limit the size of magazines, I haven’t seen any plans to restrict ammo sales.” Gun shops ranging from independent operators to national chains like Gander Mountain have placed
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FBI’s privacy-invading ‘National Security Letters’ gag orders ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge in California Thursday ruled that the FBI usages of secretcy in so-called “National Security Letters” is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment of the United States. The decision comes as good news to the publisher of Capitol Hill Blue because the agency attempted to use such a letter to obtain records of the news site through its web host in 2006. That attempt by the agency failed because it failed to realize that the publisher, Doug Thompson, owned the data facility that hosted Capitol Hill Blue and was aware of the letter when it was served. Under
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Obama’s ‘charm offensive’ on budget is turning sour

Over dinner at a swank hotel a few blocks from the White House, Republican senators wanted to know if President Barack Obama would support a gradual increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare, set at 65 since the program’s inception more than four decades ago. The president hedged, according to several at the event, recalling the discussion on a cost-saving change to Medicare that most if not all leading Democrats in Congress adamantly oppose. One later recalled that Obama “drew no bright line” in opposition, but the lawmaker came away believing that the president “would be very resistant” even
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Grand jury investigating Sen. Robert Menendez

Sen. Robert Menendez is being investigated by a Miami federal grand jury for his role in advocating for the business interests of a wealthy donor and friend, The Washington Post reported Thursday. A story on the newspaper’s website said that as part of the probe federal agents have questioned witnesses about the interactions between Menendez, D-N.J., and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. The newspaper said the grand jury also issued subpoenas for Melgen’s business and financial records. The newspaper cited unidentified people it said were familiar with the probe. Federal agents have not contacted Menendez, one person told the newspaper. The
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Pay raises for political employees raises ire in Louisiana

Lawmakers bristled Wednesday over pay raises handed out by Louisiana‘s statewide elected officials while the state struggled with continuing budget shortfalls and repeated cuts. Members of the House Appropriations Committee said they were frustrated as they learned that Treasurer John Kennedy, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell have given salary bumps to various employees in their offices in the current budget year. Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, said taxpayers wouldn’t be happy to know that raises were given when the state had to make midyear cuts to services. “It’s hard to sit here and
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CPAC bringing Romney, Ryan back onto center stage

The Republican Party’s 2012 presidential ticket is returning to the national stage as thousands of conservative activists gather outside Washington to examine the GOP’s future. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday afternoon, the second day of a three-day conservative summit. It’s the first time he’ll deliver public remarks since his concession speech last November. But at a conference focused on the next generation of conservative leaders, Romney’s 2012 running mate, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, is scheduled to speak first. He’s expected to discuss his recently released budget blueprint. Friday’s program also features
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A third of American counties are dying

A record number of U.S. counties — more than 1 in 3 — are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere. New 2012 census estimates released Thursday highlight the population shifts as the U.S. encounters its most sluggish growth levels since the Great Depression. The findings also reflect the increasing economic importance of foreign-born residents as the U.S. ponders an overhaul of a major 1965 federal immigration law. Without new immigrants, many metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and St.
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