Archives for News

If Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager is ‘holding his nose,’ how can he help the Senator?

  Mitch McConnell‘s campaign manager for what is shaping up to be a serious fight at both the primary and general election level is not helping his candidate. In a phone conversation secretly reccorded, Jesse Benton, who may not be running McDonnell’s campaign much longer, said he is “sorta holding my nose” when it comes to working for the bombastic Kentucky Republican Senator. His remarks brought the sharks out of the woodwork over the weekend. “I think Jesse spoke for Republicans here in Kentucky and all across the country when he said he had to hold his nose to support
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When all candidates and elected officials are losers, how can America win?

A lot of discussion here on Capitol Hill Blue lately about partisanship, degrees of unethical or criminal behavior and whether or not one political party is better than another. Some have suggested that I am trying to avoid alienating sources on either side of the fence by laying equal blame on Democrats and Republicans, liberals or conservatives or whatever term one chooses to use to describe their position or point of view. Democrats, of course, say Republicans are to blame for the gridlock and/or myriad of problems that America faces.  Republicans claim it is all the fault of the Democrats. 
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NSA tightens security to hide more of spying program

The National Security Agency is reducing the number of those with system administrator access to its computers by 90 percent — a move that will not cut back on the agency’s questionable spying on Americans program but till eliminate many of those who know about the program and can leak it to those who should know. Of course the NSA claims the move is “automating” much of its work to “improve security.” What is really happening is a series of crackdowns to keep Americans and Congress from finding out just how much information the NSA is gathering on citizens and
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Congress, staffs get more protection from Obamacare costs

While the real cost of Obamacare remains a huge unknown for millions of Americans, Congress as usual found a way to exempt itself from parts of the threat that could force 535 members and their staff to face the same problems as the rest the nation. In a glaring example of how the health care “reform” law is riddled with unknown risks, those who work on Capitol Hill found themselves facing loss of healthcare benefits and sharply higher costs for premiums. The problem came from an amendment to to the 2010 Obamacare program that took the generous Federal Employee Health
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In a rare Congressional compromise, student loan bill hits Obama’s desk

At a time when compromise appeared impossible in a gridlocked Congress, a bipartisan deal on the student loan program somehow emerged from Capitol Hill and is set for signing Friday by President Barack Obama. The compromise, which will save college students who borrow money for get an education thousands of dollars in interest charges, on Obama desks a signing deal. The legislation emerged from an often gridlocked Congress just before the August recess and will result in lower interest rates for some 11 million students  just before they start in Congress this fall. Rates on new subsidized Stafford loans doubled
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Ryan, Cantor appear secretly at Koch gathering in New Mexico

Charles and David Koch, the ultra conservative energy brothers who already control the Republican Party and want to control the nation as well, brought in the usual suspects to deliver the standard right-wing lines to their following of rich conservatives who gathered covertly just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico last weekend. Among those who spoke and laid out plans for the upcoming mid-term elections next year and the Presidential contest in 2016 were tea party puppets like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and failed vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. What details did they provide to the right-wing
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Pentagon revising same sex benefits

The Pentagon is poised to extend health care, housing and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members by the end of August, but may reverse earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married. According to a draft Defense Department memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the department instead may provide up to 10 days of leave to military personnel in same-sex relationships so they can travel to states where they can marry legally. While no final decisions have been made, the memo from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to top defense leaders would reverse
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IRS manual revealed how to doctor facts

Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years. The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department. Two high-profile Republicans have also raised questions about the procedure. A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied
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Al-Qaida remains a major terrorist threat to America

Far from being on the brink of collapse, al-Qaida‘s core leadership remains a potent threat — and one that experts say has encouraged the terror network’s spread into more countries today than it was operating in immediately after 9/11. President Barack Obama, who ordered the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has described al-Qaida’s headquarters as “a shadow of its former self” and his spokesman Jay Carney has called it “severely diminished” and “decimated.” The bravado, however, didn’t match the Obama administration’s action this week. Nineteen U.S. diplomatic outposts stretching across the Eastern Hemisphere remain closed, and nonessential
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Fannie, Freddie shutdown?

Homebuyers could feel the pinch if Congress follows through on plans to shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage guarantee giants that were rescued by a $187 billion taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis. Borrowers would probably end up paying slightly higher mortgage rates under House and Senate bills that would phase out Fannie and Freddie over five years and shrink the government’s huge role in guaranteeing mortgage securities. Fannie and Freddie teetered under a crush of massive losses on risky mortgages before being bailed out. The House Republican bill would virtually privatize the mortgage market. The
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