Archives for News

News groups to Holder’s off the record meeting: ‘No way’

A number of news organizations told Attorney General Eric Holder to, in effect, “go to hell” when invited to an “off the record” meeting to discuss the Justice Department’s guidelines on so-called guidelines governing security leak investigations of reporters. Angry over Holder’s harassment of the Associated Press and secret monitoring of Fox News reporter James Rosen, representatives of the AP, the New York Times, Reuters, Fox, CNN, McClatchy and the Huffington Post said “no way” to a meeting unless it was on the record. “I’d be happy to participate if the meeting were on the record.  I also offered bring
Read More

Obama’s second term shrouded in mistakes, controversies

President Barack Obama’s second term, so far, has been a frustrating reminder of the limits of presidential power and the durability of the Washington political apparatus he disdains. Obama has yet to achieve a significant second term legislative victory, a task that will only get harder as the calendar inches closer to next year’s midterm elections. A trio of controversies roiling Washington have emboldened Republicans eager to gain an advantage over the president and revealed a Democratic establishment willing to publicly second-guess the White House. And Obama, who ran for office as an outsider pledging to overcome Washington’s bitter partisan
Read More

American soldier admits massacre of Afghan civilians

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was “crazed” and “broken” when he slipped away from his remote southern Afghanistan outpost and attacked mud-walled compounds in two slumbering villages nearby. Next week, Bales will recount what happened next — the slaughter of 16 villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war. He’ll give specific details in open court as he pleads guilty to the massacre to avoid being put to death. His attorney, John Henry Browne, told The Associated Press that although his client’s state of mind should be considered in sentencing, it didn’t rise to the level of a
Read More

Obama set to nominate former Bush aide to run FBI

President Barack Obama is prepared to nominate James Comey, a former Bush administration official with bipartisan credentials, as the next FBI director. In a possible warning sign, the top Republican on the Senate committee that would review the nomination said Comey would face questions about his ties to Wall Street. Three people with knowledge of the selection said Wednesday that Obama planned to nominate Comey, who was the No. 2 at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. Comey was general counsel to Connecticut-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates from 2010 until earlier this year and now lectures at Columbia
Read More

For motorcycle riders, no helmets mean more injuries, deaths

The average medical claim from a motorcycle crash rose by more than one-fifth last year in Michigan after the state stopped requiring all riders to wear helmets, according to an insurance industry study. Across the nation, motorcyclists opposed to mandatory helmet use have been chipping away at state helmet laws for years while crash deaths have been on the rise. For more than 40 years, Michigan required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. State legislators changed the law last year so that only riders younger than 21 must wear helmets. The average insurance payment on a motorcycle injury claim was
Read More

Michele Bachmann calling it quits in Congress

Tea Party centerfold Michele Bachmann is leaving Congress. The Minnesota right-winger announced Wednesday she will not seek a fifth term in the House but would not elaborate on why she is leaving. Some think Bachmann, who has ventured off into strange — and voter alienating — territory by aligning herself with tea party extremists and who also faces ethics questions over her questionable 2012 Presidential campaign, could have faced a serious challenge for re-election. If that is the reason, she is not admitting it.  She claims neither her re-election chances or the ethics investigation had anything to do with the
Read More

John Boehner: A non-relevant and failed Speaker of the House

When the clockers and watchers gather in Washington to talk about failure, a name that pops up most often is House Speaker John Boehner. Using terms that range from “disappointment” to “massive failure.”  Boehner can’t seem to do anything right.  He ability to reign in the rowdy Republicans in the House is lacking, to say the least.  He shows no interest in building coalitions with the Democratic party or President Barack Obama. Boehner claims anyone who dismisses him is missing the point. “I’m a reality-based Speaker,” he says. “You’re missing my style, all right?” Those who often attempt to work
Read More

Gun advocates fund recall efforts in Colorado

In Colorado, where legislators actually had the nerve to take on the pro-gun lobbyists and pass new laws curbing the glut of weapons sales and use of deadly arms in crimes, those who voted for the new laws now face recall efforts. Pro gun advocates, who see any legislative attempts to curb gun sales as some sort of anti-Constitutional conspiracy, want to make the point that anyone who attempts to use the law against gun owners faces dire consequences from those who think anyone and everyone should be armed. The message from gun fanatics is simple:  “Mess with us and
Read More

GOP paradox: Attracting enough voters to win without pissing off the rabid right

The Republican Party, having lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, confronts a dilemma that’s easier to describe than to solve: How can it broaden its appeal to up-for-grabs voters without alienating its conservative base? There’s no consensus yet on how to do it. With the next election three years away, Republicans are tiptoeing around policy changes even as they size up potential candidates who range from tea party heroes to pragmatic governors in Republican- and Democratic-leaning states. There’s a partial road map, but it’s more than two decades old, and the other party drafted
Read More

Republicans want Obamacare at front of 2014 races

If Republicans were writing a movie script for next year’s congressional elections, the working title might be “2014: Apocalypse of Obamacare.” The plot: The rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law turns into such a disaster that enraged voters rebuke him by rewarding the GOP with undisputed control of Congress. But there’s a risk for Republicans if they’re wrong and the Affordable Care Act works reasonably well, particularly in states that have embraced it. Republicans might be seen as obstinately standing in the way of progress. The law already has been a political prop in two election seasons, but
Read More