Archives for News

For first time, federal budget cuts affect Washington, DC

To get a sense of just how much federal government spending influences the Washington metropolitan area, all you have to do is listen to the ads on an all-news radio station there. Instead of promoting happy hours and nightclubs, WTOP’s commercials are replete with buzzwords about cloud computing and fulfilling mission statements — pitches by IT consultants and contractors trying to land business with federal agencies. And the storm that was heading for the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday? It’s been dubbed “snowquester,” a play on the D.C. wonk jargon that is used to describe the $85 billion that must be cut
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Ashley Judd’s potential run against McConnell scares the hell out of Republicans

Actress and Democratic activist Ashley Judd says she is considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and that thought alone is sending reactionary Republicans into convulsions. The GOP attack machine is in full gear, denouncing Judd as a flake with outlandish views and doing anything they can to defend McConnell, a lackluster Senate leader with a history of racism and his own off-the-wall comments. The campaign, spearheaded by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and funded by right-wing fatcats, showcases the length the party will go to tar and feather anyone who thinks of taking on one
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Dominican woman recants sex claim against Sen. Menendez

A Dominican woman who previously stated in a video that she was paid to have sex with Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey now says the allegations were false, according to a sworn statement released by a lawyer on Monday. The notarized affidavit was distributed by a prominent Dominican lawyer and friend of Menendez, Vinicio Castillo, who said it had been handed over to prosecutors. Castillo is not acting as the lawyer to the woman. In her sworn statement, the woman, Nexis de los Santos Santana, denied ever meeting Menendez and said she never agreed to be filmed. Menendez, a
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The NRA’s new threat: ‘We will fight gun control laws in the courts’

Wayne LaPierre — the National Rifle Association honcho who doesn’t believe any court in the land should ever have jurisdiction over those who own, carry and use guns — has one use for the legal system:  He intends to use courts to fight any gun control laws that pass Congress. Said LaPierre when Field & Steam magazine asked him about how the pro-gun organization might react to any new laws: There will definitely be legal challenges. The Second Amendment is one of our most basic freedoms and we’re going to stand up for this freedom in every way possible, whether
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Republicans propose funding measure to help Pentagon, avoid government shutdown

Republicans controlling the House moved Monday to give the Pentagon more money for military readiness while easing the pain felt by such agencies as the FBI and the Border Patrol from the across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect. The effort is part of a huge spending measure that would fund day-to-day federal operations through September — and head off a potential government shutdown later this month. The measure would leave in place automatic cuts of 5 percent to domestic agencies and 7.8 percent to the Pentagon ordered by President Barack Obama Friday night after months of
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Former Obama staffers try their hand at influence peddling

President Barack Obama learned in his first term that he couldn’t change Washington from the inside, saying in the heat of his re-election race: “You can only change it from the outside.” Months later, his former White House aides and campaign advisers are embracing Obama’s words as a call to action. Obama veterans are building a wide network of deep-pocketed groups and consulting firms independent of government, the Democratic Party and traditional liberal groups, a sweeping — if not unprecedented — effort outside the White House gates aimed at promoting the president’s agenda and shaping his legacy. From campaign strategists
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Politics: Black and white labels in a shades of gray reality

From an early age, Americans are conditioned to see the world in sharp contrast — black-and-white labels in a society where the reality is many shades of gray. The details, the subtleties? Well, those be damned. Look at Walt Disney World, which attracts visitors by reducing a complex national heritage to its most basic elements.There’s so much more to Main Streets throughout America — much more to frontier times, visions of the future and even other nations — than the narrowly-conceived scenes at the theme park. This thinking extends beyond its gates, and is endemic today in Washington, where Democrats
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Biden helps stage voting rights march re-enactment

The vice president and black leaders commemorating a famous civil rights march on Sunday said efforts to diminish the impact of African-Americans‘ votes haven’t stopped in the years since the 1965 Voting Rights Act added millions to Southern voter rolls. More than 5,000 people followed Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma’s annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The event commemorates the “Bloody Sunday” beating of voting rights marchers — including a young Lewis — by state troopers as they began a march to Montgomery in March 1965. The 50-mile march prompted
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Sen. Mitch McConnell’s own history of racism

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who claims recent Tweets about his Asian-born wife are “racist attacks” should know a thing or two about racism because he has come under fire for his own racist remarks about President Barack Obama. Last year, an advance text for a McConnell speech said: “For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems.  He hasn’t been working to earn reelection. He’s been working to earn a stop on the PGA tour. McConnell’s comments surfaced in late 2009 in The Atlantic Magazine, leading some top Democrats and pundits to call for his resignation
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Mitch McConnell claims racism in Tweets about his Asian-born wife

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lambasted a liberal group on Saturday for criticizing the Asian heritage of his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, calling its Twitter messages “racial slurs” and “the ultimate outrage.” “They will not get away with attacking my wife in this campaign,” McConnell told about 100 home-state supporters at a Republican dinner in Winchester. “This woman has the ear of @McConnellPress — she’s his #wife,” the group Kentucky Progress tweeted on Feb. 14. “May explain why your job moved to #China!” McConnell forcefully defended Chao, who was born in Taiwan and who moved to the U.S.
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