a 6 year old boy untied a balloon and released it while he was in the basket. It is flying freely over Colorado. The boy’s father was testing the balloon when the kid in the basket untied it. Let’s hope someone does not shoot it down as an UFO. MSNBC Now! noon western time.
For Republicans looking forward to the first Bush-free election in a decade, the book publishing schedule is the bearer of bad news: Between New Year’s Day and next November, as many as five Bush administration officials — including the former president himself — will rehash history in hardback.
The literary luge ride down memory lane shoves off with a return to the economic collapse via former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s “On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System,” due out from Business Plus in January.
Former first lady Laura Bush’s White House memoir tees up next, expected from Scribner in the spring.
Joe Biden met with CENTCOM chief Gen. David Petraeus this morning to talk about Afghanistan — an issue that has pushed the vice president into the spotlight, landing him on the cover of the latest Newsweek.
I have an idea for how he can capitalize on all the attention, and do what generations to come will always be grateful for: resign.
The centerpiece of Newsweek’s story is how Biden has become the chief White House skeptic on escalating the war in Afghanistan, specifically arguing against Gen. McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops to pursue a counterinsurgency strategy there.
It was once said that the sun never sets on the British empire. And that was certainly the case back in 1776, prior to the American Revolution.
The first one, anyway…
Empires typically, and the British one certainly, treated their colonies poorly at best. These American colonies were no different, aside from the fact that most other conquered lands were inhabited solely by less advanced indigenous people, or the British conquered another country and took over their enemy’s colony of less advanced indigenous people. These people essentially became slaves to the empire, their lands and resources plundered.
As the White House and Congressional leaders turned in earnest on Wednesday to working out big differences in the five health care bills, perhaps no issue loomed as a greater obstacle than whether to establish a government-run competitor to the insurance industry.
One day after the Senate Finance Committee approved a measure without a “public option,” the question on Capitol Hill was how President Obama could reconcile the deep divisions within his party on the issue. All eyes were on Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the Maine Republican whose call for a “trigger” that would establish a government plan as a fallback is one of the leading compromise ideas.
In its assaults on a Democratic health care overhaul bill, the insurance industry uses facts selectively and mixes accurate assertions with misleading spin and an embrace of worst-case scenarios.
Take the 30-second TV spot that America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group, was running this week in six states as the Senate Finance Committee approved overhaul legislation.
With a series of beleaguered-looking elderly people on camera, a soothing female voice says accurately that Congress has proposed cutting more than $100 billion from Medicare Advantage. The program, administered by private companies that provide extra services like eye and dental care, serves about a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries, more than 10 million people.
Growing by leaps and bounds, the Pentagon’s secretive Information Operations budget keeps tripping over some basic information — like how much it costs.
Just months ago, the Defense Department said it needed $988 million to help win hearts and minds in the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. When the House cut this by half in July, top-level officials landed on Capitol Hill, pleading their case but also making a startling admission: Their budget needs for 2010 are actually $626.2 million — more than one-third less than first estimated.
New cracks are opening in the relationship between President Barack Obama and his liberal allies in Congress over his desire to continue Bush-era tactics against terrorism and his opposition to protecting reporters from revealing their sources in national security cases.
Some supporters are grousing that Obama, just like President George W. Bush, is too willing to cite national security as a reason for invading Americans’ privacy and restricting their right to know what the government is doing.
In recent weeks, the administration has asked Congress to extend key provisions of the USA Patriot Act that expire at year’s end, sections that allow roving wiretaps on multiple phones, seizing of business records and a never-used authority to spy on non-Americans suspected of being terrorists even though they have no known connection to a recognized terrorist group.
Consumers may be slowly regaining their appetite to shop, as the prices they encounter in stores remain low.
One benefit of the recession is that inflation is nowhere to be seen, as consumer prices have barely grown in months. Rising unemployment, stagnant wages and tight credit have restrained consumer demand, making it difficult for retailers to raise prices.
Most economists expect that pattern to continue when the Labor Department on Thursday reports the September Consumer Price Index. Economists forecast that consumer prices rose just 0.2 percent in September, after a 0.4 percent gain in August and a flat reading in July.
The number of households caught up in the foreclosure crisis rose more than 5 percent from summer to fall as a federal effort to assist struggling borrowers was overwhelmed by a flood of defaults among people who lost their jobs.
The foreclosure crisis affected nearly 938,000 properties in the July-September quarter, compared with about 890,000 in the prior three months, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc. That puts foreclosure-related filings on a pace to hit about 3.5 million this year, up from more than 2.3 million last year.