In a battle of crazy conspiracy theorists who think everything is an Illuminati plot, far right — I mean really far right — radio show host Rick Wiles is attacking Alex Jones for helping promote a rally of armed gun owners marching on Washington, DC scheduled for July 4.
Trunews radio host Rick Wiles today denounced the upcoming Open Carry March on Washington scheduled for July 4, 2013. The march is organized by Adam Kokesh. Participants are urged to carry loaded firearms to Washington and walk across the Memorial Bridge in a show of defiance against demands by the Obama Administration to the Congress to pass stricter gun control laws…
“This call for citizens to march with loaded firearms across the Memorial Bridge is highly irresponsible and dangerous,” said Wiles. “No responsible citizen should participate in an event that has a high risk of ending in a violent shootout with federal law enforcement officers. This proposed march borders on being an incitement to instigate an armed mob.”
Michael Kelly let go of another employee last month.
As chief executive of a small Michigan military contractor, Nanocerox, he had already cut his work force by one-third. But it was not enough. And if the government spending cuts mandated by Congress continue, he said, more people will go in the coming months.
The squeeze Mr. Kelly is facing is one reason markets are jittery about what the Labor Department’s latest report on unemployment and job creation will reveal about the economy on Friday. After a strong start to the year, several economic indicators beginning in March have pointed to much slower growth, largely because of the fiscal headwinds from Washington, economists say.
Job cuts like the kind at Nanocerox remain the exception, rather than the rule. On Thursday, the government said weekly unemployment claims were at a five-year low.
The problem is that companies have not been hiring. This week, a survey of private sector hiring in April came in well below expectations, while indications for everything from retail sales to manufacturing have also been soft recently.
Whatever the data ultimately show for April, economists like Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago, say the economy would be showing much more momentum if it were not for the combination of higher payroll taxes that went into effect in January, as well as the process of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration that began to bite last month.
When President Obama took office in 2008, he promised to curb the influence of special interests. Yet his new lobbying rules and a Bush-era law passed in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal appear to have done little to curb lobbying—and may have created new loopholes for influence peddling. Even as the number of lobbyists has decreased, spending on lobbying has gone up, which experts attribute to a growing number of lobbyists operating under the radar.
A recent report by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) found that there were close to 15,000 officially registered lobbyists in 2007; by last year that number had dropped to slightly more than 12,000. In 2007, total spending on lobbying approached $3 billion, and by 2012 it had jumped to around $3.3 billion. “An amazing amount of money continues to go up, even as the number of people [lobbying] goes down,” says James Thurber, a professor of government at American University who has served on the American Bar Association’s lobbying reform task force. (The report attributed a small decline in lobbying spending in the past two years to a number of factors, including the economy.)
What’s happening here? Monte Ward, the president of the American League of Lobbyists (ALA), estimates that lots of folks are still lobbying; they’re just not telling the government. “With all the restrictions the administration has placed on lobbyists, I think some have decided it’s not worth registering,” he says, adding that they’re doing the same job, but just “getting in under the radar.” Tim LaPira, a political science professor at James Madison University who focuses on lobbying law, says the well-intentioned Bush and Obama policies “actually created a gross disincentive to want to be open and public about what it is you’re doing.”
In 1970, Washington became the first — and remains the only — state in the country to legalize elective abortions by a popular vote.
A generation later, and 40 years removed from the landmark United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling that extended abortion access nationwide, Washington is once again poised to stand out.
With 21 states having adopted bans or severe restrictions on insurance companies from paying for abortions, Washington is alone in seriously considering legislation mandating the opposite.
The Reproductive Parity Act, as supporters call it, would require insurers in Washington state who cover maternity care — which all insurers must do — to also pay for abortions.
The bill passed the state House earlier this month by a vote of 53-43, though it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. A similar bill in the New York state Assembly has been introduced each session for over a decade but has never received a public hearing.
“As a country, as a society, we live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance, whatever the religion, and political freedom and political tolerance, whatever the point of view,” Kerry told the students in Berlin, the second stop on his inaugural trip as secretary of state.
“People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it’s the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another,” he added.
“The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech. In American you have a right to be stupid - if you want to be,” he said, prompting laughter. “And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.
“And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for,” he added. “The important thing is to have the tolerance to say, you know, you can have a different point of view.”
Kerry made the comments on his first foreign trip since becoming secretary of state on February 1. After one-night stops in London and Berlin, he visits Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha before returning to Washington on March 6.
Throughout the weeks of intense coverage over the scheduled end of the Bush income tax cuts and the Obama payroll tax cut, reporters routinely cited dollar estimates in the millions, billions, and trillions. Such big and abstract-but-scary numbers tend to challenge normal human understanding.
But there are ways to make such numbers real—an increasingly important skill as we move deeper into the tax and budget debates, and as the discussion in Washington moves to the spending side.
Bill Marsh, a graphic artist for The New York Times, has shown one way to reduce huge figures to meaningful numbers. Marsh produced a particularly clear and useful graphic to accompany a Sunday opinion piece about what the authors say the government fails to include in its calculations: how much increased lifespans are expected to add to the cost of providing Social Security benefits.
Two professors—Gary King of Harvard and Samir S. Soneji at Dartmouth—came up with a cost of $801 billion by 2031. In an attempt to give meaning to the number, they point out that this is about 30 percent of the current Social Security Trust Fund of $2.678 trillion. (Details are in their academic paper.)
The Syrian government’s former spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, is co-operating with US intelligence officials who helped him flee to Washington almost one month ago, the Guardian understands.
Makdissi became one of the most prominent regime defectors in late November when he left Beirut after first crossing from Syria. The Guardian reported at the time that he had fled for the US, possibly in return for asylum. This has now been confirmed.
The latest development comes after almost a month of debriefings, which have helped intelligence officials build a picture of decision-making in the inner sanctum of the embattled regime.
Syrian officials have denied that Makdissi has defected, saying he had instead taken three months of administrative leave. However, at the time of his departure, Hezbollah’s television network in Beirut - not known to be out of step with the regime line - announced that the spokesman’s views had strayed from official positions and that he had been fired.
The state department did not respond immediately to requests for comment, and the CIA was unwilling to discuss the story.
Makdissi is the most senior member of the regime to defect since Syria’s prime minister, Riyad Hijab, fled with his family to Jordan in August. While not a member of the inner sanctum, Makdissi was central to shaping the regime’s message and privy to many of its most sensitive communications.
Relax, America. You can put your parachutes away. Washington isn’t likely to take the country over the dreaded “fiscal cliff.” Even a capital city as deadlocked and dysfunctional as Washington has been in recent years is not likely to risk a move that has so many economic and political ramifications, according to a wide range of experts.
That is not to say the journey won’t be contentious and perhaps a cliffhanger. Don’t forget, the same cast of characters is starring in this big-screen epic - either a dark comedy or a thriller, take your pick - that has brought Americans to this point before: Democrats ruling the White House and Senate, and Republicans, including a clique of unyielding conservatives, in power in the House.
Yet analysts on both sides of the aisle believe that doing nothing, which on Jan. 1 would trigger the beginning of $600 billion in tax increases and large cuts to the federal budget, would inflict too much damage on individuals’ wallets, on the economy, and on America’s standing in the world.
Bomb threats to 30 courthouses and other government buildings across Tennessee forced many to be evacuated Tuesday, including the federal building in Memphis, but authorities said no explosives were found.
Tennessee became the fourth state to deal with similar bomb hoaxes. One targeted 28 courthouses in Oregon and similar threats were reported in Nebraska and Washington this month.
Nine threats were reported in West Tennessee counties — including the Memphis federal building — seven in Middle Tennessee and 14 in East Tennessee, said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security spokeswoman Dalya Qualls.
No arrests have been made in Tennessee and authorities had searched about 14 courthouses by Tuesday afternoon.
Regardless of how confident you should start sending your congressional delegation cards, letters, emails, and petitions now.
President Barack Obama expressed confidence that he and Congress would reach an agreement that will avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to occur at the end of the year.
‘I am confident we can get our fiscal situation dealt with,’ Obama said at a news conference in Bangkok, where he began a three-nation trip that will include the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to Myanmar.
Before Obama left for Asia, he began on a new round of deficit-reduction talks with top Republicans and Democrats in a bid to avoid the combination of $607 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts that threatens to throw the country into a recession next year.
He arrived in Asia today on his first foreign trip since re-election, underscoring the region’s importance to U.S. growth. The Nov. 17-20 trip is built around a summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where Obama will meet with leaders from China, Japan, Russia, India and other Asia-Pacific countries.
Speaking in a region where some nations are still moving toward allowing greater political and economic freedom, Obama said the squabbling in Washington is an outgrowth of one of the key strengths of the democratic system because it ensures that all sides are heard.