Archives for News

GOP budget plan: Cut everything in sight

House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of programs across the face of government Friday night in a $61 billion savings package toughened at the last minute at the demand of tea party-backed conservatives. From education to job training, the environment and nutrition, few domestic programs were left untouched — and some were eliminated — in the measure, which is expected to reach the floor for a vote next week. Among the programs targeted for elimination are Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In contrast, spending on defense and veterans’ programs were protected. The measure marks an initial down
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Obama’s budget: Where’s the cuts?

President Barack Obama’s budget submission on Monday will take a surgical approach to a deficit problem that his Republican rivals say warrants a meat ax. As Obama seeks $53 billion for high-speed rail over the next few years, House Republicans are trying to pull back $2.5 billion that’s already been promised. He’s seeking increases for his “Race to the Top” initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools; Republicans on Friday unveiled a five percent cut to schools serving the disadvantaged. Monday’s release of next year’s budget plan will be likely ignored by resurgent Republicans intent on cutting $100 billion from
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The 2012 GOP field: Big promises, little reality

Republicans who want to be the one to make Barack Obama a one-term president are promising big changes should the GOP win the White House in 2012. “Economic growth, job creation, smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, rational regulation and a stronger presence in the world,” as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour put it Saturday — echoing a slew of others also considering running. These grandiose pledges sell well to the die-hard conservatives who play an outsized early role in determining the GOP nominee. But would — could — Republicans do all they say? Probably not. The realities of governing often
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Ron Paul wins CPAC conservative straw poll (again)

Texas congressman Ron Paul won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference for the second straight year Saturday and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished second. Paul got 30 percent, while Romney got 23 percent of the votes of those attending the conference in Washington. Others were grouped far behind. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson had 6 percent along with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 5 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels were at 4 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got
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Is Mubarak’s outster a win for Democracy?

Western leaders hailed the toppling of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak as a historic victory for people power and democracy, while China, Russia and Saudi Arabia called for stability on Saturday. Messages of congratulation to the Egyptian people flooded in after Mubarak handed over power to senior army officers following 18 days of mounting protests against his autocratic 30-year rule. US President Barack Obama said the people of Egypt had spoken and would settle for nothing less than “genuine democracy.” The armed forces would now have to ensure a political transition that was “credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people,”
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Egyptians hopeful over an uncertain future

Egyptian protesters jubilant over their success in ousting President Hosni Mubarak vowed Saturday to stay camped in a central Cairo square until they are confident the military will meet their demands for democracy. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces banned ex-regime officials from traveling abroad and relaxed a nighttime curfew, according to officials and state TV, but it had yet to release a much anticipated statement on its next steps. Mubarak surrendered power to the military Friday after an 18-day uprising by millions of protesters demanding his ouster and the introduction of sweeping democratic reforms, leading to euphoric celebrations
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Mubarak steps down; Military takes control of Egypt

“The people ousted the regime,” rang out chants from crowds of hundreds of thousands massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and outside Mubarak’s main palace several miles away in a northern district of the capital. The crowds in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and other cities around the country danced, chanted “goodbye, goodbye,” and raised their hands in prayer in an ecstatic pandemonium as fireworks and car horns sounded after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall. “Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abou Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at
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Muburak’s slight of hand fails to appease angry Eqyptians

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave the country and instead handed his powers to his vice president Thursday, remaining president and ensuring regime control over the reform process. Stunned protesters in central Cairo who demand his ouster waved their shoes in contempt and shouted, “Leave, leave, leave.” The rapidly moving events raised the question of whether a rift had opened between Mubarak and the military command. Hours earlier, a council of the military’s top generals announced it had stepped in to secure the country, and a senior commander announced to protesters in Tahrir Square that all their
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WikiLeaks founder: A would-be emperor

A tell-all book by a former WikiLeaks insider casts founder Julian Assange as an “emperor” who has become just the kind of public figure he is trying to expose. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former WikiLeaks spokesman who left the secret-spilling website after a bitter dispute with Assange, writes about his euphoria at the website’s spectacular rise as well as his disillusionment with a leader he describes as delusional and power-crazed. He said one of his motives for writing the book was that he wanted to clarify the events that led to the falling-out. “We need to set the record straight before
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Washington’s new game: Who’s the new top threat in town?

Amid criticism that intelligence services missed the signs of Arab revolt in Tunisia and Egypt, the nation’s top intelligence official will tell Congress that the threat from al-Qaida and its affiliates remains his No. 1 priority, U.S. officials said. In testimony scheduled Thursday before the House Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will stress that counterterrorism to keep Americans safe is the focus of the intelligence community, according to one of those officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence. Clapper is expected to defend how the intelligence community tracked the revolts that have
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