Archives for News

Bachmann plans presidential announcement in June

Republican Michele Bachmann is making plans for a presidential campaign announcement next month in Waterloo, Iowa, the city where the Minnesota congresswoman was born. Bachmann trickled out the details in a conference call with reporters Thursday night but said she could still reverse course and sit out the 2012 White House campaign. Bachmann was supposed to speak in person at a GOP dinner in downtown Des Moines, but a vote in Washington turned the appearance into a video message. Hundreds of Republicans watched her via a blurry, choppy Internet feed, where she profusely apologized for her absence and offered a
Read More

Congress faces midnight deadline on Patriot Act

Congress is rushing to extend the life of three anti-terror tools, including the use of roving wiretaps, before they expire at midnight Thursday. The Senate was set to start voting on the legislation, including possible amendments, Thursday morning. Final passage during the day would send it to the House for quick approval and then onward to President Barack Obama in Europe for his signature. The rapid-fire action on key elements of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act comes after several days of impasse in the Senate and results in part from the prodding of senior intelligence officials, who warned of the
Read More

GOP excesses may redefine 2012 races

Jubilant Democrats demanded Republicans abandon their sweeping plans to remake Medicare on Wednesday after casting a House race in upstate New York as a referendum on the popular program and emerging victorious. “The top three reasons for the election of a Democrat in one of the most conservative Republican districts in America are Medicare, Medicare and Medicare,” declared New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the party’s congressional campaign committee. House Republicans made little if any attempt to demonstrate widespread support for their controversial proposal during the day. And the National Republican Congressional Committee offered no explanation for having let
Read More

Palin’s presidential plans: Will she or won’t she?

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has authorized a feature-length film about her rise, added staff and recently said she has “that fire in the belly” for a presidential bid — all steps that fuel speculation she’s inching toward a White House run. Her supporters are putting together a campaign-in-waiting in Iowa, the lead-off nominating caucus, in the hopes the Republicans’ 2008 vice presidential nominee decides to join the race. There are even reports she bought a home in Arizona, not far from her daughter’s, which aides have suggested could be a campaign headquarters if she goes forward. Clearly Palin will
Read More

John Edwards under criminal investigation

Multiple reports say former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards will soon be indicted by the Justice Department on criminal charges for allegedly violating campaign finance laws in an effort to cover up his extramarital affair. Overnight reports cite sources close to the investigation who say that the government is preparing to indict Edwards, though a plea deal could still be reached, perhaps in the next two weeks. The plans were first reported by ABC News. Months after bowing out of the 2008 presidential race, Edwards admitted to having an affair with Rielle Hunter, who was at one time hired
Read More

Tea Party pushes right-wing propaganda on schools

America’s kids will be learning about the U.S. Constitution this coming school year with help from a decidedly conservative Idaho publishing house, if a tea party group gets its way. The Tea Party Patriots, Georgia-based but claiming 1,000 chapters nationally, are instructing members to remind teachers that a 2004 federal law requires public schools to teach Constitution lessons every Sept. 17, commemorating the day the document was signed. And they’d like the teachers to use material from the Malta, Idaho-based National Center for Constitutional Studies, which promotes the Constitution as a divinely-inspired document. The center’s founder, W. Cleon Skousen, once
Read More

Tea Party is over: Democrat takes New York race

Democrat Kathy Hochul drew on voter discontent over Republican plans to revamp Medicare to score an upset win on Tuesday in a special election to represent a conservative upstate New York congressional district. Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin in a three-way race that also included self-described Tea Party candidate Jack Davis. The outcome did not affect Republican control of the House of Representatives. “Tonight the voters were willing to look beyond the political labels and vote for a person, and vote for message that they believe in,” Hochul told cheering supporters minutes after taking a phone call from Corwin, a
Read More

Congress set to vote on Patriot Act extension this week

The Senate voted Monday to open debate on the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act — the Bush-era anti-terrorism law passed by a shell-shocked Congress in the days following the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.   Critics of the act argue that it violates several sections of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to spy on Americans without oversight or review. In a 74-8 vote, the Senate approved debate on the bill. A final vote on extending the law for four years is expected later this this week. Extending the law represents another flip-flop by
Read More

Pawlenty has plenty of problems with the truth

A parsing of Pawlenty’s opening-day statements shows they were not the whole truth. Here is a sampling of his claims Monday and how they compare with the facts. ___ PAWLENTY: “The truth is, people getting paid by the taxpayers shouldn’t get a better deal than the taxpayers themselves. That means freezing federal salaries, transitioning federal employee benefits, and downsizing the federal work force as it retires.” — Campaign announcement. THE FACTS: A federal pay freeze is already in effect. Obama proposed and Congress approved a two-year freeze on the pay of federal employees, exempting the armed forces, Congress and federal
Read More

Budget talks resume: Don’t expect much

Talks to avert a potentially catastrophic U.S. debt default resume on Tuesday after signs Republicans might soften their stance over a key obstacle to a deal with Democrats, but hopes for a breakthrough remain slim. Vice President Joe Biden leads senior lawmakers in their third round of negotiations to lift the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt limit before an August 2 deadline for action. Top Republicans say Biden’s talks are laying vital groundwork for an eventual compromise on measures to reign in growth in the U.S. budget deficit, but President Barack Obama will ultimately be required to seal the deal. No
Read More