Archives for News

Feds issue warnings on small plane terrorism threat

The FBI and Homeland Security have issued a nationwide warning about al-Qaida threats to small airplanes, just days before the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Authorities say there is no specific or credible terrorist threat for the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But they have stepped up security nationwide as a precaution. According to a five-page law enforcement bulletin issued Friday, as recently as early this year, al-Qaida was considering ways to attack airplanes. The alert, issued ahead of the summer’s last busy travel weekend, said terrorists have considered renting private planes
Read More

Illinois Congressman says ‘nada’ to Obama’s job speech

An outspoken Republican congressman from Illinois is defending his decision to boycott President Barack Obama’s jobs speech next week. U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh said Saturday that Obama is abusing his power as president by calling a joint session of Congress for the address. Walsh said at a meeting of Republicans in his northeastern Illinois district that such a move should be reserved for “momentous” topics like war, not what he called a political speech. Walsh had said earlier in the week that he would not attend. He said he will still read Obama’s speech and comment afterward, and he plans
Read More

Battle-weary lawmakers avoid town hall meetings

Too much yelling, not enough listening. Facing organized, often raucous confrontations at political events, some members of Congress this summer abandoned the long-time tradition of open meetings with the folks back home. It was goodbye to one of the few remaining opportunities for voters and lawmakers to talk face to face. Some cited security in the aftermath of the shooting that severely wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a meet-and-greet event in January. Others blamed grass-roots groups for commandeering the town halls. Still others opted for smaller, sometimes private or paid events. Whatever the explanation, the dearth of meetings sparked
Read More

Religion and politics: Always a volatile mix

Rick Perry dived right in. The Texas governor, now a Republican presidential candidate, held a prayer rally for tens of thousands, read from the Bible, invoked Christ and broadcast the whole event on the Web. There was no symbolic nod to other American faiths, no rabbi or Roman Catholic priest among the evangelical speakers. It was a rare, full-on embrace of one religious tradition in the glare of a presidential contest. Looks like another raucous season for religion and politics. And yet, there was a time when all of this was simpler. Protestants were the majority, and candidates could show
Read More

Obama caves in to Republicans on clean air regs

In a dramatic reversal, President Barack Obama on Friday scrubbed a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who complained the rule would kill jobs in America’s ailing economy. Withdrawal of the proposed regulation marked the latest in a string of retreats by the president in the face of GOP opposition, and it drew quick criticism from liberals. Environmentalists, a key Obama constituency, accused him of caving to corporate polluters, and the American Lung Association threatened to restart the legal action it had begun against rules proposed by President George W.
Read More

Did NASCAR drivers diss President Obama?

Four NASCAR stars will take a pass on meeting President Obama at the White House. It doesn’t have anything to do with politics. When word got out that Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards wouldn’t be going to the White House next Wednesday, it sparked plenty of chatter on talk shows and social media networks. There was speculation the four were making some sort of protest about Obama’s policies on behalf of a generally conservative sport. Nonsense, insisted Biffle, who said he has to go to a two-day retreat in Minnesota for 3M, the major sponsor of
Read More

GOP leaders oust tea party-backed New Hampshire chairman

A tea party-backed chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party — under fire for lackluster fundraising, election losses and inexperience on the job — resigned just minutes before fed-up GOP leaders could remove him. Jack Kimball — who became chairman just seven months ago as part of the much-heralded “tea party revolution” in New Hampshire — stepped down, telling supporters “I am not going to become an obstacle for this party.” His forced resignation is widely viewed as another sign of the tea party’s declining fortunes and a move by Republican leaders who are trying to take back control of
Read More

Earthquake risk to U.S. nuke plants higher than thought

The risk that an earthquake would cause a severe accident at a U.S. nuclear plant is greater than previously thought, 24 times as high in one case, according to an AP analysis of preliminary government data. The nation’s nuclear regulator believes a quarter of America’s reactors may need modifications to make them safer. The threat came into sharp focus last week, when shaking from the largest earthquake to hit Virginia in 117 years appeared to exceed what the North Anna nuclear power plant northwest of Richmond was built to sustain. The two North Anna reactors are among 27 in the
Read More

Condoleeza Rice unhappy with Cheney’s attacks

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she resented what she viewed as an attack on her integrity by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his just-published memoir. Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Rice rejected Cheney’s contention that she misled President George W. Bush about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. “I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans,” Rice said in her first public comments on the matter. “You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know,
Read More

Republicans play politics with Obama speech scheduling

President Barack Obama on Wednesday agreed to unveil new jobs proposals in an address to Congress on September 8, bowing to pressure from Republicans, who objected to the original date set for his high-profile speech. Obama’s long-awaited proposals could set the agenda in Washington for the coming months, but his preferred date of September 7 had an unpalatable political edge for the opposition party: Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to hold a televised debate on the same evening, at the same time. Thus began a new round of conflict between the Democratic president and Republicans in Congress. The White House
Read More