Both parties are seizing on the bank in big races, including in North Carolina, where Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan — one of the most vulnerable senators in the country — is touting her success in adding a representative of the region’s textile industry to the bank’s advisory board.
Hagan’s rival, Thom Tillis, says he wants to eliminate it — a view in line with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, which is pumping millions into the race.
(Also on POLITICO: Ex-Im bank may be tied to funding bill)
The emergence of the Export-Import Bank as a hot topic this year is a reminder of the growing polarization between not only Democrats and Republicans over how much government should be involved in the market but also within the Republican Party, where the fault lines between the pro-business and the anti-establishment wings are getting deeper.
Eliminating the bank is “not as cute as everybody thinks,” said Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue to reporters on a conference call. He promised he won’t let the bank “fade quietly into the sunset.”
Republican candidates for governor around the country have built an unexpectedly strong position for election this fall, helped by an improving economy, disaffection with President Obama and a national fund-raising machine that is leagues ahead of the opposition.
Four years after an economic crisis and opposition to Mr. Obama’s health care law propelled Republicans to capture a lopsided majority of statehouses across the country, they are faced with a staggering political task: defending 22 of the 36 executive mansions that will be up for grabs in November, led by a governor who is trying to rebound from a scandal.
While the sheer scale of Republican gains four years ago offers Democrats a wealth of opportunities to win, the political environment appears to be tilting again in the Republicans’ direction.
But the spending bills have been derailed in the Senate by election-year politics and a war over Republican amendments that range from thwarting curbs on power-plant carbon emissions to restoring potatoes to a government nutrition assistance program.
With a new fiscal year looming on Oct. 1, a stopgap funding measure of the type that has kept the federal government afloat in fits and starts for five years looks increasingly likely, along with the risk of another government shutdown.
Congress starts a five-week recess on Aug. 1 and has about 10 work days in September before lawmakers break for a month of campaigning for November congressional elections.
“Prospects don’t look good at the moment” for the 12 spending bills, said Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This is an election year and this is tough politics.”
A firebomb was hurled at a synagogue near Paris, part of a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe coinciding with Israel’s assault on Hamas in Gaza.
The firebomb went off Friday night at the entrance to the synagogue of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a northeastern suburb of the French capital, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA. No one was hurt and the fire resulted in minor damage, Le Monde reported.
On July 8, the day that Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza, a man described as having a Middle Eastern appearance assaulted a Jewish 17-year-old girl on a Paris street near the Gare du Nord train station by spraying pepper-spray on her face, BNVCA also reported.
More: Synagogue Firebombed Near Paris in Fresh String of Violence - St. Louis Jewish Light: National and World News - Synagogue Firebombed Near Paris in Fresh String of Violence: National and World News
His name is Walter Munk, now in his 90s and a professor emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. About 60 years ago, he was anchored off Guadalupe Island, on Mexico’s west coast, watching swells come in, and using an equation that he and others had devised to plot a wave’s trajectory backward in time, he plotted the probable origins of those swells. But the answer he got was so startling, so over-the-top improbable, that he thought, “No, there must be something wrong.”
His equations said that the swells hitting beaches In Mexico began some 9,000 miles away — somewhere in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, near Antarctica.
“Could it be?” he wrote in an autobiographical sketch. Could a storm half way across the world produce a patch of moving water that traveled from near the South Pole, up past Australia, then past New Zealand, then across the vast expanse of the Pacific, arriving still intact - at a beach off Mexico?
He decided to find out for himself. That is why, in 1957, Walter Munk designed a global, real life, wave-watching experiment.
Last week, Varga also became a wanted man. A $300,000 bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to show up twice in San Francisco court on criminal charges of stalking and harassing an attorney who obtained a subpoena to question him about his ties to the Hungarian website.
Varga’s family told neighbors he is in Canada, where he is a citizen.
The Fitch Mountain Villas townhouse where he lived with his wife Judit Pesti and their sons, 18 and 20 years old, is now empty, scarred from an upstairs fire on June 16. The cause appeared to be electrical malfunction, according to the Healdsburg Fire Department.
Human rights groups say the website that Varga allegedly registered, kuruc.info, regularly disputes the Holocaust and organizes hate campaigns against Hungary’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Roma communities.
Webb, who is also a comedian and retired musician, wasn’t about to miss his opportunity to say whatever he wanted to a sitting president. So, after he had introduced himself and the president was signing a reportedly $300 bill, he slammed his hand on the counter.
“Equal rights for gay people!” he exclaimed.
Obama reacted without missing a beat. “Are you gay?”
Taken aback by the directness of the question, he said, Webb responded, “Only when I’m having sex!”
The president laughed, then, realizing there was a group of children near the two, said, “Not in front of the kids!”
Moscow threatened Kiev on Sunday with “irreversible consequences” after a man was killed by a shell fired across the border from Ukraine, describing the incident in warlike terms as aggression that must be met with a response.
Although both sides have reported cross-border shootings in the past, the incident appears to be the first time Moscow has reported fatalities on its side of the border from the three-month conflict which has killed hundreds of people in Ukraine.
Ukraine denied its forces had fired across the border and suggested such an attack could have been the work of rebels trying to provoke Moscow into intervening on their behalf. The rebels denied they were responsible.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and fellow foreign ministers are adding their diplomatic muscle to try and advance troubled nuclear talks with Iran, with a target date only a week away for a pact meant to curb programs Tehran could turn to making atomic arms.
Deep differences separate the two sides and six world powers and Iran appear set to extend their talks past July 20. That would give more time to negotiate a deal that would limit the scope of such programs in exchange for a full lifting of nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Tehran.
“Obviously we have some very significant gaps still, so we need to see if we can make some progress,” Kerry told reporters before a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is convening the talks.
We are constantly reminded of our human fallibility.
The agency that manages the dormant US military draft has apologised after sending conscription registration notices to men born in the late 1800s.
The Selective Service System (SSS) said the error occurred after a clerk neglected to select the century in a search for newly eligible young men.
It sent 14,250 notices to Pennsylvania men born 1893-97 in addition to 1993-97 before discovering the error.
The men are all almost certainly dead, as the youngest would be 117.