Archives for News

Gas price up, Obama re-election prospects down

With gas prices climbing and little relief in sight, President Barack Obama is scrambling to get ahead of the latest potential obstacle to his re-election bid, even as Republicans are making plans to exploit the issue. No one seems more aware of the electoral peril than Obama himself. “My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis, and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people,” he told Democratic donors in Los Angeles this past week. In fact, Obama raised the issue unsolicited in a series of town meetings in Virginia, California and Nevada that were
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Emma Watson leaving Brown

A spokeswoman for Harry Potter star Emma Watson says she will be transferring from Brown University to another university in the autumn. Vanessa Davies denied reports that the 21-year-old actress was “bullied out” of the Rhode Island university, saying there was no truth in reports by a number of online publications who cited classmates and “insiders”. Davies said Saturday that Watson, who plays Hermione in the wizard movie series, has decided to pursue a different course not offered at Brown. She added that the star “has absolutely loved her time at Brown” and made many good friends there. Watson has
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Amazon struggles to fix computer problems

Amazon.com is still trying to restore computers used by other websites as an outage stretched into a third day. Besides selling books and DVDs, Amazon.com Inc. rents out space on computers that run other websites and online services. One of its data centers in Virginia began having problems on Thursday morning. Amazon said Saturday that it is making progress fixing the problem, but more slowly than it had hoped. News-sharing site Reddit appeared to be functioning again. On its website, Amazon said it removed some bottlenecks that prevented connections from its Virginia center, but an additional issue was holding up
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Uh oh! The Donald didn’t vote in primaries for 21 years

Donald Trump says he’s considering running in the primary for the Republican presidential nomination, but the real estate mogul didn’t vote in primary elections for more than two decades, according to the New York City Board of Elections. The possible GOP candidate voted in a primary election in the 1989 New York City mayor’s race — when Rudy Giuliani beat businessman Ronald Lauder — then didn’t vote in a primary for 21 years, board spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said Saturday. The report on Trump’s voting record initially appeared on TV station NY1 a day earlier. Records also show Trump skipped the
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Iowa GOP activists not sold on Trump

Donald Trump says he would embrace the rigors of campaigning in Iowa if he decides to run for president, but Iowa Republican leaders say they doubt the celebrity businessman really knows what it takes to compete in the state’s presidential caucuses and wonder if he would commit the time and effort needed. Although some state Republican Party leaders have welcomed the attention Trump’s presidential ideas have brought to the 2012 race and look forward to a giant fundraising dinner he will keynote in June, they also express skepticism about him as a candidate that borders on contempt. “‘The Donald’ will
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Ensign’s resignation raises questions

The resignation this week by U.S. Sen. John Ensign raised questions about what an ongoing Senate ethics probe has uncovered, while also muddling the field of candidates for congressional seats now held by the GOP headed into a key election year. The decision to step down marked an unexpected change of heart for the Nevada Republican who as recently as last month said he would remain in office until his planned retirement from politics because he had not violated ethics rules. “If I was concerned about that, I would have resigned, because that would make the most sense, because then
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Popular Alaska cop is illegal immigrant

For years, the man known as Rafael Espinoza was widely respected as an exemplary police officer who was popular among his peers in Alaska’s largest city. All that ended this week when authorities discovered he was really Mexican national Rafael Mora-Lopez, who was in the U.S. illegally and stole another man’s identity, officials charged. “His reputation here is one of a hard-working officer, one who was very professional,” Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said Friday at a news conference announcing Mora-Lopez’s arrest. “The problem, obviously, is he is not Rafael Espinoza.” Soon after the announcement, Mora-Lopez appeared in U.S. District
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Birthers: The lunatic issue that just won’t go away

In a political environment where nutcase theories take root and won’t go away, the “birther” movement has become an albatross for the Republican Party. Based on the debunked belief that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, the birther movement now forces GOP candidates and leaders to take sides and walk a tightrope because the sudden — and some think inexplicable — popularity of flamboyant real estate mogul Donald Trump and his embrace of the birthers has forced them into taking a position. Like a boil that needs lancing, the birther issue won’t go away.  It has forced
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Reform? New Congress members learn to use pork

Didn’t take long for the new wave of so-called reformers swept into Congress in the 2010 elections to learn how to play the Washington game of piling on the pork. West Virginia Republican freshman Rep. David McKinley, one of those who campaigned on tea party themes of cutting spending and ending waste, needed only three weeks to drop a bill to help a big campaign contributor, Arch Coal. McKinley’s bill, Politco reports, would help the coal company by overturning an Environmental Protection Agency ruling.  Then McKinley would introduce another bill, doing after an EPA regulation that places restrictions on architectural
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The teapot boils over: Americans pissed about Medicare cuts

In a poll that tea party extremists should read, a clear majority of Americans clearly oppose the drastic deficit reductions proposal of Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan and his fellow right-wingers in Congress. The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds most Americans want Medicare left alone and oppose cuts in Medicaid and defense. The only thing they do support is President Obama‘s plan to raise taxes on the rich. The poll shows eroding support for Ryan’s budget plan, which calls for major restructuring of Medicare and Medicaid, with even a majority of those that align themselves with the tea party say
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