Archives for News

Obama’s inner cirlce: A shield from political storms

They golf with him, they vacation with him, their kids and his kids hang out. To them, he’s Barack, not Mr. President. He can be teased and tease back. They form the trusted circle of tight-lipped friends who’ve sustained Barack Obama through good times and bad since his days in Chicago, from Hawaii to Washington to Martha’s Vineyard and back again. For the most powerful man on the planet who nonetheless may have one of the loneliest jobs, a close band of buddies — Eric Whitaker, Martin Nesbitt and Valerie Jarrett form the core — has become a second family,
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Voters are mad as hell at Congress

Memo to Congress: The American public is mad at hell and a lot of that anger is directed at Capitol Hill. The same goes for the tea party. A new Associated Press–GfK poll finds a whopping 87 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress and much of that anger is directed at Republicans and the phony grassroots tea party that pulled GOP strings during the recent debt crisis debacle. And, for a change, voters aren’t just mad at Congress as an institution but also at their own representative — a surprising statistic.  Those interviewed in the poll expressed doubt over the
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Rick Perry on Washington: ‘A seedy place’

Washington, current GOP Presidential frontrunner Rick Perry says, is a “seedy place” and needs his “plain speaking” style to clean things up. That’s what the Texas governor told radio host Laura Ingraham Friday. “Look, I am not an establishment figure — never have been and frankly I don’t want to be. I dislike Washington. I think it’s a seedy place.” Perry’s shoot from the lip style has generated headlines and brought criticism from the political establishment. Perry now holds a double-digit lead in polls over former Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney and drove Iowa straw poll winner Michele Bachmann out of
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Obama’s poll numbers continue to slide but many still blame Bush

A new poll shows 86 percent of Americans think the American economy is a mess and more than half still blame former President George W. Bush for the hard times. The Associated Press-GfK found 51 percent blaming Bush for the nation’s poor economy while 31 percent say it is Obama‘s fault. American confidence in Obama is slipping, especially among Democrats.  His re-elect numbers dropped another point to 47 percent.  Among Democrats, his rating as a “strong leader” has dropped nine points since May — down to 76 percent from 85 percent.  Among Americans overall, Obama’s “strong leader” rating has dropped
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Dick Cheney: A legend in his own mind?

In Dick Cheney‘s myopic view, he was the sole voice of reason in the chaotic administration of George W. Bush. Cheney, in his soon-to-be released memoir, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,” Cheney says he alone urged Bush to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria and that he — and only he — knew how to govern. Bush rejected Cheney’s advice. Others in the Bush inner circle, Cheney writes, were inept, incompetent and disloyal. Secretary of State Colin Powell? Undermined Bush “by criticizing administration police to people outside the government,” the former Vice President writes. Condoleeezza
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With CIA help, NYPD spies on New York Muslims

In New Brunswick, N.J., a building superintendent opened the door to apartment No. 1076 one balmy Tuesday and discovered an alarming scene: terrorist literature strewn about the table and computer and surveillance equipment set up in the next room. The panicked superintendent dialed 911, sending police and the FBI rushing to the building near Rutgers University on the afternoon of June 2, 2009. What they found in that first-floor apartment, however, was not a terrorist hideout but a command center set up by a secret team of New York Police Department intelligence officers. From that apartment, about an hour outside
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Earthquake rattles buildings, nerves in Washington, East Coast

The most powerful earthquake to strike the East Coast in 67 years shook buildings and rattled nerves from South Carolina to Maine on Tuesday. Frightened office workers spilled into the streets in New York, and parts of the White House, Capitol and Pentagon were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of deaths, but fire officials in Washington said there were at least some injuries. The National Cathedral said its central tower and three of its four corner spires were damaged, but the White House said advisers had told President Barack Obama there were no reports of major damage to the
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Republicans use politics, redistricting to save House majority

The odds of getting re-elected have gotten better for Rep. Renee Ellmers and other Republican freshmen in the House — thanks to GOP calculations in redrawing congressional maps. The 47-year-old nurse who ousted seven-term Democrat Bob Etheridge by fewer than 1,500 votes last November will be running next year in a newly drawn North Carolina district that’s less swing and more Republican. The outlook is brighter too for Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, a conservative talk radio host who edged 14-term Democrat Solomon Ortiz by just 797 votes. Farenthold will find more Republicans in a Corpus Christi-based district that now stretches
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America now a food stamp nation

Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, but her wages aren’t enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son. Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation. Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That’s an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led
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Say what? Republicans want to raise taxes?

News flash: Congressional Republicans want to raise your taxes. Impossible, right? GOP lawmakers are so virulently anti-tax, surely they will fight to prevent a payroll tax increase on virtually every wage-earner starting Jan. 1, right? Apparently not. Many of the same Republicans who fought hammer-and-tong to keep the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts from expiring on schedule are now saying a different “temporary” tax cut should end as planned. By their own definition, that amounts to a tax increase. The tax break extension they oppose is sought by President Barack Obama. Unlike proposed changes in the income tax, this
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