Barney Frank, Moderate (?)
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
“This is Attorney General Eric Holder. We are working hard to protect our communities by reducing gang violence and organized crime and there is an important and simple way that you can help. Some street gangs and organized crime groups are selling counterfeit products, such as fake watches, DVDs and purses, as an easy way to make money. And they use that money to fund other crimes, like trafficking in drugs and guns.”
“When you buy knock-offs on the street or online, although it may not be obvious, you could be supporting gangs, putting money in their pockets and helping them to engage in other illegal activities that put our communities at risk,” said Holder in the radio ad.
Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder today demanded The Daily Caller stop publishing articles about the growing calls in Congress for his resignation because of the failed Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.
As Holder’s aide was escorting the attorney general offstage following his remarks Tuesday afternoon at the White House, a Daily Caller reporter introduced himself and shook Holder’s hand. The reporter asked him for a response to the growing chorus of federal legislators demanding his resignation.
Holder stepped towards the exit, then turned around, stepped back toward the reporter, and sternly said, “You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it.”
Frank "talks often of the need for a 'grand bargain' between business and liberals."
People in the U.S. opposing TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline are being “naïve,” said Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
“It’s a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don’t build that pipeline,” said Goolsbee, speaking today in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada. “Eventually, it’s going to be built. It may go to the Pacific, it may go through Nebraska, but it’s going to be built somewhere.”
Frank's relationships with men did matter, when those men were running prostitution rings out of his house, or when he was getting them jobs at a housing-bubble-inflating Government Sponsored Enterprise Frank was supposed to be regulating, but was instead trying to protect from all regulation.
Much of the coverage of Frank's retirement glosses over the unethical blending of his sex life and his congressional privileges. That might be because Frank is gay, and bringing up his sex-related scandals seems like gay-bashing to mainstream liberal reporters. Sex scandals are only relevant if you're conservative or a Christian, I guess.
Lewis: "Yeah, I mean, look. This whole things that's been going on, I mean [with] McCain, I mean, Cain -- you know, the big deal he had was with the Godfather's. But with all these things going on, he's lucky to be, I don't know, a doorman. Bada-bing! He's gone."
Olbermann: "I think that's the next job."
For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.
All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will not seek reelection in 2012, and will announce his retirement in a press conference Monday afternoon.
Frank’s spokesman, Harry Gural, said in a statement that Frank will hold a conference at 1 p.m. at Newton City Hall in Newton, Mass., to “formally announce and answer questions about his decision not to run for reelelection in 2012.”
More than 5,000 documents have been leaked online purporting to be the correspondence of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia who were previously accused of ‘massaging’ evidence of man-made climate change.
Following on from the original 'climategate' emails of 2009, the new package appears to show systematic suppression of evidence, and even publication of reports that scientists knew to to be based on flawed approaches.
And not only do the emails paint a picture of scientists manipulating data, government employees at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are also implicated.
One message appeared to show a member of Defra staff telling colleagues working on climate science to give the government a ‘strong message’.
California's increasing use of renewable power will come at a price, pushing up electricity bills across the state.
And while it's impossible to tell how big the cost to consumers will be, some experts fear the total cost of renewable energy in California will be in the billions of dollars.
In the next three years, many long-planned solar plants and wind farms will come online, bringing California closer to its goal of getting one-third of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As soon as they start delivering power to utility companies, the utilities' customers will start paying for that electricity.
But the public doesn't get to see the prices the utilities are paying. And without that information, assessing the impact on consumers is difficult at best.
[W]e're in the process of shutting down a number of products which haven't had the impact we'd hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward," wrote Google Senior Vice President of Operations Urs Holzle in the blog post.
Google said that it believed other institutions were better positioned to take its renewable energy efforts "to the next level."
Google began making investments and doing research into technology to drive down the price of renewable energy in 2007, with a particular focus on solar power technology.
In 2009, the company's so-called Green Energy Czar, Bill Weihl, told Reuters that he expected to demonstrate within a few years working technology that could produce renewable energy at a cheaper price than coal.
"It is even odds, more or less," Weihl said at the time. "In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there."
A Google spokesman said that Weihl had left Google earlier this month.
Goldman Sachs made a prediction on Sunday, September 11, that the United States will become the world's largest oil producing country by 2017. This significant production boost will occur as a result of utilizing a new definition of oil and generous estimates for the amount of liquids-rich shale production that can occur, The Oil Drum reports.
The investment bank has claimed that the country's daily production of oil will grow from 8.3 million to 10.9 million barrels of oil per day (Mbopd) by the year 2017, according to the media outlet. This level of production would exceed both Saudi Arabia and Russia, which is currently the top oil producer.
The fallout from the Solyndra debacle is, in many ways, sadly predictable. Republicans are pointing fingers at the Obama administration for giving the now-bankrupt solar company a $535 million loan as part of its stimulus program. Democrats note that the loan-guarantee program was first established by former Republican President George W. Bush and his Department of Energy (DOE). The upshot: The possibility of any kind of government support to future clean-tech companies is now at risk, just as private investors are becoming even less likely to fund such projects themselves.
What else do you need to know about "mainstream" climate science?
“The science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run,” laments one scientist, Peter Thorne. While Professor Jagadish Shukla, a lead IPCC author, IGES founder, and one of the most senior climate experts writes that, “It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability...”
...To their credit, some of the climate scientists realised the dangers of the selective approach politicians demanded, which meant cherry-picking evidence to make it suitably dramatic, and quietly hiding caveats. “We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest,” pleads Thorne, in another email from 2005. Thorne noted that a telltale "signature" of greenhouse gas warming was absent. “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”
TAPPER: — You at one point seemed to have optimism that Assad was a reformer.
CLINTON: Well we had hoped so because there was a lot at stake, we wanted to see an agreement, for example, between Syria and Israel. That was something that people have been working on for 30 years. We heard what Assad said about what he wanted to do for reform. But when it came to it, in the Arab Spring and as people actually demanded some freedom and their rights, he responded, as we have seen, very violently.
But he’s not going to be able to sustain what is a unfortunately growing armed opposition apparently fueled and maybe led by defectors from his army. It’s probably too late for him to change course, but there needs to be a change at the top of that government and there needs to be an effort to engage in genuine dialogue and start on the path of reform.
President Obama's United States Department of Agriculture has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months by cancelling a mineral lease auction for Wayne National Forest (WNF). The move was taken in deference to environmentalists, on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing.
“Conditions have changed since the 2006 Forest Plan was developed," announced WNF Supervisor Anne Carey on Tuesday. "The technology used in the Utica & Marcellus Shale formations need to be studied to see if potential effects to the surface are significantly different than those identified in the Forest Plan." The study will take up to six months to complete. The WNF study reportedly "will focus solely on how it could affect forest land," despite the significance of hydraulic fracturing to united proponents of the delay, "and not how it could affect groundwater."
After a Pelosi staffer left to lobby on behalf of credit-card giant Visa, Pelosi delayed bringing to the House floor a bill to end lucrative "swipe fees" for Visa and other credit providers.
The bill couldn't have come at a worse time for Visa. It planned to launch an $18 billion public stock offering, so stalling Hill action became a priority. The San Francisco-based company curried favor with Pelosi by pumping cash into her re-election efforts, earning its CEO a rare one-on-one meeting with the speaker.
At the same time, Visa offered her husband a VIP cut of the IPO. Paul Pelosi jumped at the offer, buying 5,000 shares at the $44 initial price. In a couple of days, the shares soared to $64. Pelosi later bought 15,000 more, raising the total value of his investment to about $5 million. In the end, the legislation Visa fought starting in 2007 was forestalled two full years.
Publicly, Nancy Pelosi has been a frequent critic of the financial industry. The commission she impaneled in 2009 to investigate the root causes of the crisis summarily indicted Wall Street honchos, while exonerating guilty Democrats, including several who had their hands in the subprime pot.
Whereas many physicists have generally interpreted the wavefunction as a statistical tool that reflects our ignorance of the particles being measured, the authors of the latest paper argue that, instead, it is physically real.
“I don't like to sound hyperbolic, but I think the word 'seismic' is likely to apply to this paper,” says Antony Valentini, a theoretical physicist specializing in quantum foundations at Clemson University in South Carolina.
Valentini believes that this result may be the most important general theorem relating to the foundations of quantum mechanics since Bell’s theorem, the 1964 result in which Northern Irish physicist John Stewart Bell proved that if quantum mechanics describes real entities, it has to include mysterious “action at a distance”.
Action at a distance occurs when pairs of quantum particles interact in such a way that they become entangled. But the new paper, by a trio of physicists led by Matthew Pusey at Imperial College London, presents a theorem showing that if a quantum wavefunction were purely a statistical tool, then even quantum states that are unconnected across space and time would be able to communicate with each other. As that seems very unlikely to be true, the researchers conclude that the wavefunction must be physically real after all.
If the university is sued and found civilly liable, students and their families could face higher tuition to offset the damages or settlements. Tuition increased this year because of cuts in state funding.
"When something bad happens, sometimes civil liabilities follow, so it's certainly not out of the question that somebody could sue not just Sandusky, but the school and others," said Jessie Allen, who teaches civil procedure, legal ethics and civil rights at University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Sandusky is charged with sexual assault against a minor. A grand jury report detailed eight separate incidents in which the former football coach is accused of abusing boys as young as 8 years old between 1996 and 2005.
The team behind the finding in September that neutrinos may travel faster than light has carried out an improved version of their experiment - and found the same result.If confirmed by other experiments, the find could undermine one of the basic principles of modern physics.
Claiming success in the pipeline battle, environmental groups now have their next target: natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin. And again, Obama is the focus of their outrage.
“November 2011 is Obama’s moment of truth on extreme energy. It’s ours too,” Mark Ruffalo, actor and founder of Water Defense, wrote to supporters this week.
Ruffalo, a New York native and Academy Award nominee, is urging supporters to petition Obama to stand against the development “and fulfill his promise to free us from the tyranny of fossil fuels.”
SESSIONS: And in the next 10 years, since you’re carrying that debt and paying interest on it and the stimulus value is long since gone, it would be a continual negative of some effect?
ELMENDORF: Yes, it would represent a drag on the level of GDP beyond that, if no other actions were taken.
The Keystone XL pipeline would have created at least 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. Much of this would have been well-paid work for craftsmen, not jobs as hod carriers to repave the Interstate.
On a recent trip to Omaha, Neb., Mr. Obama signaled where his head was on the pipeline during a TV interview: "Folks in Nebraska, like folks all across the country, aren't going to say to themselves, 'We're going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health." Imagine if he'd been leading a wagon train of workers and farmers across the Western frontier in 1850.
Within days of the Keystone decision, Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, said his country would divert sales of the Keystone-intended oil to Asia. Translation: Those lost American blue-collar pipeline jobs are disappearing into the Asian sun. Incidentally, Mr. Harper has said he wants to turn Canada into an energy "superpower," exploiting its oil, gas and hydroelectric resources. Meanwhile, the American president shores up his environmental base in Hollywood and on campus. Perhaps our blue-collar work force should consider emigrating to Canada.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu will accept full responsibility Thursday for the decision to risk $535 million on Solyndra, the government-supported solar panel manufacturer that shut its doors earlier this year laying off 1,100 workers, and is now the subject of multiple federal investigations.
"As the Secretary of Energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind," Chu has written in testimony prepared for his first appearance before Congress to answer questions about the failed loan.
"I want to be clear: over the course of Solyndra's loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political considerations," says Chu's prepared testimony, which was made public by his aides late Wednesday. "My decision to guarantee a loan to Solyndra was based on the analysis of experienced professionals and on the strength of the information they had available to them at the time."
Two dozen “patriotic millionaires” traveled to the national’s capital on Wednesday to demand that Congress raise taxes on wealthy Americans.
The Daily Caller attended their press conference with an iPad, which displayed the Treasury Department’s donation page, to find out if any of the “patriotic millionaires” were willing to put their money where their mouth is.
“The DOE really thinks politically before it thinks economically,” a Solyndra board member wrote in December to George Kaiser, an Obama fundraiser whose family funds owned a third of the company.
The new details come from e-mails released Wednesday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, whose Republican majority has been investigating Solyndra’s collapse since February. The documents were provided in advance of Chu’s testimony, scheduled for Thursday before the committee’s investigative panel.
Committee Republicans have said that President Obama used his clean-energy initiative to steer loans to campaign donors. Solyndra’s biggest investor is Argonaut Equity, an investment firm for Kaiser’s family funds. Kaiser, a Tulsa billionaire, has said he played no part in helping Solyndra win a $535 million federal loan.
The new documents depict Solyndra and its investors as far from passive recipients of the Energy Department’s money. Instead, they show executives making demands, striking tough bargains and not shying from criticism of the agency that was fueling the company’s growth.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) on Wednesday night said Republican governors and legislatures are purposefully pressing for the enactment of voter identification laws in order to suppress Democratic voter turnout in the 2012 election.
"State legislatures are attempting to impose voting restrictions that are the modern day equivalent of poll taxes and literacy tests," she said on the House floor. "We cannot allow state legislatures to drag our nation backward in what is nothing more than a political quest to protect their governing majority's interests."
No. Data from "experts" did not justify Obama's illegal Gulf of Mexico oil exploration moratorium. The Obamatons made it up.
America, in the view of President Barack Obama, is not a happy place. It is a dark region where people cheat each other; corporations brutalize the public, and opportunity is out of reach.
Obama’s relentless reelection focus on America’s demons is a communications error that could haunt his bid for a second term.
Americans want to be told the truth. They don’t want their president to pretend that the economy is thriving.But what they probably won’t abide is a message that there is something fundamentally wrong with the nation that Obama, like some prophet preaching through Gomorrah, was sent to fix.
The last Democratic president to win reelection, Bill Clinton, mimicked Ronald Reagan’s feel-good “Morning in America” theme to coast to a second term.
But Obama is trying out a reelection model that posits a broken country which needs him to “finish the job” he started.
Five people at the Occupy L.A. encampment have been charged with separate crimes, including a man who allegedly exposed himself and commited a sex act in front of a child, officials said Tuesday.
Angele Chaidez, 21, faces one count of lewd conduct and one count of indecent exposure for allegedly exposing himself and masturbating in front of several people, including children, Friday on the south steps of City Hall, said prosecutors with the L.A. city attorney's office.
"It's not so much a safety issue. It's a social conflict issue," said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with Interior's Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres. He adds that urbanites "freak out" when they hear shooting on public lands. [Read about the subpoena issued as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.]
If the draft policy is finally approved, some public access to Bureau lands to hunters would also be limited, potentially reducing areas deer, , and bear hunters can use in the West.
Conservationists and hunting groups, however, are mounting a fight. One elite group of conservationists that advises Interior and Agriculture is already pushing BLM to junk the regulations, claiming that shooters are being held to a much higher safety standard than other users of public lands, such as ATV riders.
"They are just trying to make it so difficult for recreational shooters," said Gary Kania, vice president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. His group is one of several, including the National Wildlife Foundation, Cabela's and Ducks Unlimited, on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Council fighting the new rules. During a two-day meeting ending this afternoon, they are drafting their own changes to the BLM rules.
Under fire from gun owners concerned about draft guidelines that could limit areas for target practice on western public lands, the Interior Department today said it would make sure shooters still have access to lands long available for firearms recreation.
"Our goal is to leave lands open to shooting," said an Interior official for the Bureau of Land Management, which is drafting guidelines to deal with the growing clash between skittish urbanites moving to western wilderness areas and America's tradition of letting gun owners shoot targets on public lands.
By this book if only to drive Maher down.
Ever been watching Morning Joe, and wished you could stop the steady stream of liberal blather? Simple. Say the magic word—Solyndra—and watch the gabby guests fall suddenly silent.
Today's show offered a prime example of the phenomenon. For the first ten minutes, the panel had a great old time cackling and crowing on the theme that the Republican presidential field is a mass of morons. They laughed at the mere mention of Herman Cain, likened the GOP field to a vaudeville show, dragged out the shopworn "bar in Star Wars" simile, and called the Republican candidates "jokes," "clowns" and "stupid." But then, 13 minutes in, Mika Brzezinski mentioned a story reporting that the Obama admin had suppressed the announcement of layoffs at Solyndra until after the 2010 elections. Despite Mika looking around the table at her guests as she wondered out loud "why this story hasn't picked up more," there wasn't a peep out of the quickly clammed-up crew and Brezinski breezed on to another topic.
Oil industry leaders and their Capitol Hill allies complained Tuesday that the Obama administration’s plan to hike the minimum bid for offshore drilling leases and shorten the duration of those contracts will discourage companies from making bets on marginal fields in the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately curb domestic energy production.
At issue is the Interior Department’s decision to boost the minimum bid companies must offer for deep-water tracts from $37.50 per acre to $100, while simultaneously shrinking the length of most of those leases from 10 to seven years.
Pelosi’s husband, Paul, a major investor in California, got a lucrative phone call from his personal broker—a pre-screen invite in March 2008 to take part in Visa’s $17.9 billion public stock offering, at the time one of the hottest stock offerings in an otherwise soft market. The initial-public-offering price was $44 per share and was limited to institutional investors and a group of specially selected individuals. Almost $18 billion was made available in public stock to preselected investors. Paul Pelosi made the cut.
One of about 40 financial institutions to facilitate the public sale was Wells Fargo Shareholder Services, a bank where Paul Pelosi, a seasoned investor, held an account. Before the IPO, Pelosi's financial adviser at Wells Fargo alerting him that he had been approved to purchase Visa stock and, considering the public buzz around the stock, recommending he buy, according to Pelosi’s office.
Paul Pelosi initially bought 5,000 shares at the $44 initial price. Within a couple of days, the shares' value soared to $64. Paul Pelosi purchased 15,000 more shares over the next three months, at much higher prices. The total quantity was valued as high as $5 million, according to the then-speaker’s financial-disclosure form. In late 2008, when the stock market soured, Pelosi sold 1,000 of the first IPO shares for a meager profit of $2,500 to $5,000, records show. He has kept the other 19,000 shares, which now are valued at $95 each.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Last night at the Republican debate, some of the hopefuls, they hope to get your job, they defended the practice of waterboarding, which is a practice that you banned in 2009. Herman Cain said quote, “I don’t see that as torture.” Michele Bachmann said that it’s quote “very effective.” So I’m wondering if you think that they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?
To recapture some of his 2008 magic, President Obama attacked Republicans while assuring a hometown Hawaii crowd that he has delivered "change that you can believe in" during his first term in office. He acknowledged, however, that not all Americans wanted that change at the time, and that the last three years have seen some "false starts."
After greeting a crowd that included his tenth-grade teacher, Obama contrasted his campaign with the "narrow, cramped vision of an America where everybody is left to fend for themselves" that he implied Republicans hold. "That was what the campaign was about -- the belief that the more Americans succeed, the more America succeeds," Obama said. "We knew it wouldn't come easy, we knew it wasn't going to come quickly, but three years later, because of what you did in 2008, we've already started to see what change looks like."
“The president’s fourball at the Mamala Bay Golf Course includes his long-time friend Robert “Bobby” Titcomb who was arrested and plead no contest in May to soliciting a prostitute, Marvin Nicholson, and White House advance man Pete Selfridge,” the report read.
In April, Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu and charged with a misdemeanor for soliciting a prostitute after he approached an undercover police officer. Titcomb's attorney, William Harrison, said at the time that Titcomb did not fully agree with the facts of the case, but plead no contest because he wanted to take responsibility.
He was fined $500 and the conviction was expunged from his record in October, following six months without further incident.
Canada has stepped up its lobbying after the Obama administration delayed a decision on an oil pipeline critical to the country's economic future.
Canada's prime minister said he made it clear in a weekend meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama that Canada will step up its efforts to sell oil to Asia since the Obama administration delayed a decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Meanwhile, Alberta Premier Alison Redford, the leader of the Canadian province that has the world's third-largest reserves of oil, visited Washington on Monday and said she'll meet with U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner and other officials to discuss the pipeline's future.
Congressional and industry investigators have combed the EPA's rule-making docket that contains hundreds of thousands pages of electronic documents. Many of these files are for some reason not "smart" PDFs (i.e., they're unsearchable). But lo and behold, they uncovered one 934-page EPA draft that was circulated within the Administration sometime before the utility rule was formally proposed.
In a "What are the energy impacts?" section, the EPA concedes that it "is aware that concerns have been expressed by some, even in advance of this proposed rule, that this regulation may detrimentally impact the reliability of the electric grid." The agency admits that what it calls "sources integral to reliable operation" may be forced to shut down—those would be the coal-fired plants the EPA is targeting—and that these retirements "could result in localized reliability problems." The EPA insists that it knows how to balance "both clean air and electric reliability," but all along in public it has denied that reliability is in any way at risk.
The draft document also "strongly encourages" the people who run the grid, like regional transmission operators and state regulators, to start planning "as soon as possible" for "potential retired units." The EPA recommends "transmission upgrades, targeted demand side management strategies, and construction of new generation." This helps to explain why even the EPA admits the utility rule is the most expensive it has ever proposed.
[A]large proportion of the winners were companies with Obama-campaign connections. Indeed, at least 10 members of Obama’s finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money. At the same time, several politicians who supported Obama managed to strike gold by launching alternative-energy companies and obtaining grants. How much did they get? According to the Department of Energy’s own numbers ... a lot. In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers—individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party. The grant and guaranteed-loan recipients were early backers of Obama before he ran for president, people who continued to give to his campaigns and exclusively to the Democratic Party in the years leading up to 2008. Their political largesse is probably the best investment they ever made in alternative energy. It brought them returns many times over.
By the time the Harvard M.B.A.’s from Bain were finished, sales at the medical company, Dade International, had more than doubled. The business acquired two of its rivals. And Mr. Romney’s firm collected $242 million, a return eight times its investment.
But an examination of the Dade deal shows the unintended human costs and messy financial consequences behind the brand of capitalism that Mr. Romney practiced for 15 years.
At Bain Capital’s direction, Dade quadrupled the money it owed creditors and vendors. It took steps that propelled the business toward bankruptcy. And in waves of layoffs, it cut loose 1,700 workers in the United States, including Brian and Christine Shoemaker, who lost their jobs at a plant in Westwood, Mass. Staggered, Mr. Shoemaker wondered, “How can the bean counters just come in here and say, Hey, it’s over?”
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.
Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.
The government support – which includes loan guarantees, cash grants and contracts that require electricity customers to pay higher rates – largely eliminated the risk to the private investors and almost guaranteed them large profits for years to come.
The beneficiaries include financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, conglomerates like General Electric, utilities like Exelon and NRG – and even Google.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the subject of a report on the stock investments of members of Congress that is to air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes."
The San Francisco Democrat and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, were questioned separately at their weekly news conferences Nov. 3 by reporter Steve Kroft. Neither had granted Kroft's previous requests for interviews.
Kroft asked both leaders about stock transactions they made while Congress was considering legislation that could affect the financial and insurance industries. Pelosi and Boehner vigorously denied any connection.
Laws against insider trading - making stock bets based on information the public doesn't have - do not apply to Congress. Studies have shown that stock portfolios on Capitol Hill outperform the market. Legislation that would ban insider trading by members and staffers has languished.
Kroft asked Pelosi why she and her investor husband, Paul Pelosi, bought an initial public offering of stock in Visa, the San Francisco-based credit card company, in March of 2008.
The same month, former House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the Credit Card Fair Fee Act, which would have given merchants the power to negotiate lower fees with credit card companies. The bill, hostile to the credit card industry, was passed by the committee but never brought to the floor. Pelosi was speaker at the time, and controlled which legislation came to a vote.
Politico reported Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder sent a “private letter” to the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, apologizing for his death. But friends of the Terry family have told The Daily Caller that no such letter has made it to the Terry home.
“Eric Holder has told the grieving family of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry that he is ‘sorry for the loss of your son’ and offered to meet with them,” reporter Tim Mak wrote.
Holder’s letter, Mak wrote, praised the fallen Border Patrol Agent: “Brian was a hero who served his nation bravely and made the ultimate sacrifice. I agree with you that the tactic of allowing guns to ‘walk,’ as was permitted in Operation Fast and Furious, is completely unacceptable.”
The Holder letter may exist, but Politico hasn’t published it. And friends of the Terry family told The Daily Caller on Thursday that they haven’t received it.
Either Holder never sent his “private letter,” or the Justice Department leaked it to Politico before the Terry family received it.
“He never sent a letter,” Lana Domino, a Terry family friend, told The DC on Thursday.
The State Department on Thursday announced that it’s punting a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline until at least the first quarter of 2013 — pushing off a no-win decision for President Barack Obama until well after the 2012 election.
The State Department said it needs more time to "undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska."
Obama said in statement that he supports delaying a decision.
It has become clear that for administration apologists, the favored approach for dealing with the “Project Gunwalker” fallout is to loudly shout “Bush did it too!” (as if that would somehow mitigate the atrocity of our government aiding in the murder two of federal law enforcement officers and hundreds of Mexican citizens). If this had not been obvious before yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder, it certainly is now, with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) enthusiastically beating that drum.
In 75 seconds of pointed questioning of Attorney General Holder (see sidebar video), Senator John Cornyn has perhaps left the excuse makers scrambling for something better. In that time, he asked Holder if he knew that Operation Wide Receiver (the Bush-era operation) actually did involve an attempt to track the firearms, while Fast and Furious did not. Cornyn then asked Holder if he knew that Operation Wide Receiver was run in conjunction with the Mexican government, while Fast and Furious was kept secret from not only Mexico, but from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) attaché to Mexico, Darren Gil. Gil, in fact, after discovering on his own what was going on, was basically pushed into retirement when he balked at the near act of war of “walking” guns into Mexico without the Mexican government’s knowledge or permission.
Holder was eventually forced into the position of having to put the “Bush did it too” excuse out of its misery himself:
Senator, I have not tried to equate the two–I have not tried to equate Wide Receiver with Fast and Furious. . . . Again, I’m not trying to equate the two.
The White House’s immigration lawyers have issued yet another bureaucratic order that will curb the election-year deportation of illegal immigrants, and perhaps spur the supply of Hispanic voters.
The new memo will shelter many illegals who have not committed violent crimes, or who are not suspected of being a national security threat, from routine deportation efforts by professionals in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. There are roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, including roughly seven million in the workforce.