Archives for News

Poll hands out bad news for everyone

A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll is bad news for everybody: Democrats, Republicans, President Barack Obama and the ever-growing field of those who want to deny him a second term. National gloom stands at an all-time high with most Americans believing the country¬† is headed in the wrong direction and headed at full speed into another recession. “The public is incredibly pessimistic about the future,” says Peter Hart, the Democratic pollster who teams with Republican Bill McInturff to conduct the poll for the network and business newspaper. McInturff says President Obama “is still in for a difficult race.” Obama’s poll
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Obama’s Libya report fails to soothe an angry Congress

The White House is vigorously defending President Barack Obama’s right to keep the U.S. military engaged in Libya without seeking congressional approval, a move that appears to have done little to soothe anger among Republican lawmakers and anti-war Democrats over the president’s consultations with Congress during the nearly three month-long campaign. In a report sent to Congress on Wednesday, administration officials argued that because the U.S. is in a supporting role in the NATO-led bombing mission, American forces are not facing the “hostilities” that would require the president to seek congressional approval under the War Powers Resolution. That 1973 law
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House Dems set to meet on Weiner mess

House Democratic leaders are planning to meet Thursday to consider the next step in handling the scandal embroiling Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has resisted calls to resign in the midst of a sexting scandal that has been a major distraction for his party for nearly three weeks. The scandal got even stranger Wednesday, when a former porn actress who exchanged emails and messages with Weiner said he asked her to lie about their interactions Weiner has acknowledged sending sexually explicit messages and suggestive photos of himself to various women and then lying about it. The New York congressman has taken
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Porn star: ‘Weiner told me to lie’

A porn actress said on Wednesday that embattled Representative Anthony Weiner asked her to lie about their email relationship in the hope an Internet sex scandal surrounding him would die down. Ginger Lee, who is also a stripper, said her exchanges with the Democratic lawmaker from New York began with political discussions of abortion rights and healthcare but Weiner kept trying to sexualize the conversation. She said she never reciprocated his lewd messages. Weiner denied for more than a week that he sent a close-up photo of himself in boxer briefs to a woman in Seattle on May 28, claiming
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CIA web site hacked

The public website of the Central Intelligence Agency went down on Wednesday evening as the hacker group Lulz Security said it had launched an attack. Lulz Security has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on the Senate, Sony Corp, News Corp and the U.S. Public Broadcasting System television network. The CIA site initially could not be accessed from New York to San Francisco, and Bangalore to London. Later in the evening service was sporadic. “We are looking into these reports,” a CIA spokeswoman said. Lulz Security has defaced websites, posted personal information about customers and site administrators, and disclosed the network
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Playmate dumps Hefner at the altar

Heartbroken Playboy founder Hugh Hefner said on Tuesday his wedding this weekend was canceled because his 25-year-old fiancee, a Playmate from his magazine, changed her mind. Hefner, 85, and Crystal Harris were due to tie the knot in front of more than 300 guests at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Saturday. It would have been Hefner’s third marriage. “The wedding is off. Crystal has had a change of heart,” Hefner wrote on Twitter. “The breakup is a heart breaker, but better now than after the marriage,” he added later. He also denied a report on celebrity website TMZ.com
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Republicans back down on farm subsidy cuts

Republicans have quietly maneuvered to prevent a House spending bill from chipping away at federal farm subsidies, instead forging ahead with much larger cuts to domestic and international food aid. The GOP move will probably prevent up to $167 million in cuts in direct payments to farmers, including some of the nation’s wealthiest. The maneuver, along with the Senate’s refusal Tuesday to end a $5 billion annual tax subsidy for ethanol-gasoline blends, illustrates just how difficult it will be for Congress to come up with even a fraction of the trillions in budget savings over the next decade that Republicans
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Bernanke: Crisis coming if debt ceiling is not lifted

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned on Tuesday that a failure to lift the government’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling risks a potentially disastrous loss of confidence in America’s creditworthiness. In comments that could give fresh impetus to talks on raising the legal limit on the nation’s debt, Bernanke said the United States could lose its prized AAA credit rating and the U.S. dollar’s special status as a reserve currency might be damaged if Congress fails to act soon. “Even a short suspension of payments on principal or interest on the Treasury’s debt obligations could cause severe disruptions in financial markets
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Biden predicts up to $2 trillion in budget cuts

Even as Vice President Joe Biden gave his most optimistic assessment yet of budget talks he’s leading, President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies in the Senate signaled Tuesday a harder line on Medicare. That stance is complicating any effort to produce a deal to cut the deficit by $2 trillion or more over the coming decade or so. Biden said that he’s confident that the talks will produce an agreement on cutting the deficit “well beyond” $1 trillion over 10 to 12 years. The talks are aimed at finding spending cuts to accompany must-do legislation allowing the government to continue to
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Democrats hope Weiner will just quit and go away

House Democratic colleagues of scandal-scarred Rep. Anthony Weiner are looking for him to step down this week amid a growing chorus for him to resign. Even President Barack Obama has suggested he should leave. Adding to the drama, Weiner’s pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, returned Wednesday from a trip to Africa with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. A fellow member of Weiner’s New York Democratic delegation, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, said she’s heard from Weiner’s friends that the congressman is waiting for his wife to come home before making any decisions about his political future. McCarthy also cited talk
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