No surprise that Iran is admitting that they have been developing or possess a nuclear weapon, is it?
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that while Iran is already a nuclear state, it has no intention of attacking Israel. Ahmadinejad was interviewed on the eve of his visit to Cairo, where he will attend the 12th Islamic Summit Conference, due to open there on Wednesday.
Before his trip, he gave a long interview to the editor-in-chief of Egypt’s newspaper Al-Ahram. Although Al-Ahram ran the entire interview only in its print edition, excerpts appeared on Egyptian websites.
Ahmadinejad said the world must now treat Iran as a nuclear country. “They want Iran to go back to what it was in the past, but they won’t succeed. They assume we’ll give in to pressure; such thoughts are misguided. We’re already an industrial and nuclear country, a country that has conquered space. For years we have been thinking about sending a human being into space, and we will do that, with Allah’s help. We must ensure development and growth and bring them to pass, and the world must acknowledge our progress,” he said, adding that the best solution was cooperation with Iran.
Mentioning the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, Ahmadinejad said that while it might be easy to launch missiles or attack using fighter jets, Iran’s response and defense capability were important in this context.
Interesting, isn’t it that on the eve of the third and last Presidential debate there is a “leaked” report or an October Surprise about Iran?
The New York Timesreports (and the White House denies) that “The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.”
Two of the three assertions in that lead paragraph are demonstrably false. One-on-one negotiations have been going on for years (most recently, according to my friend “Reza Kahlili,” in Doha, where, he was told, Valerie Jarrett and other American officials recently traveled for the latest talks). The only news here is that the talks would no longer be secret. And the notion that only diplomacy can avert “a military strike on Iran” is fanciful. There are at least two other ways: sanctions may compel the regime to stop its nuclear weapons program, or the Iranian people may find a way to overthrow the regime, thereby (perhaps, at least) rendering military action unnecessary.
I rather suspect that you don’t have to do anything to avoid an American military strike on Iran. I can’t imagine an Obama administration authorizing a military attack. An administration that can barely bring itself to fly air cover in Libya, and can’t bring itself to take any serious action in Syria, strikes me as very unlikely to unleash our armed forces against the mullahs.
Even as the debate approaches, remember you can fool some of the people ONLY some of the time.
Anyone want to bet how many times Obama spikes the football regarding the demise of Osama bin Laden tonight?
These are my links for September 10th through September 12th:
Attack Planned: US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and 3 other Americans killed in protest over film ridiculing Prophet Mohammed– Tuesday night’s deadly assault that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was planned by attackers who used protests as a diversion, sources told CNN today.Earlier reports said the Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the US Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it in outrage over a film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.Libya’s new president apologized Wednesday for the attack, which underlined the lawlessness plaguing a region trying to recover from months of upheaval.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
By the end of the assault, much of the building was burned out and trashed. Stevens was the first US ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
A Libyan doctor who treated Stevens said he died of severe asphyxiation, apparently from smoke. In a sign of the chaos of during the attack, Stevens was brought alone by Libyans to the Benghazi Medical Center with no other Americans, and no one at the facility knew who he was, the doctor, Ziad Abu Zeid, told The Associated Press.
Stevens was practically dead when he arrived close to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, but “we tried to revive him for an hour and a half but with no success,” Abu Zeid said. The ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries, he said.
Peggy Noonan: Romney not ‘doing himself any favors’– The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan is criticizing Mitt Romney’s response to the death of a U.S. diplomat in Libya, telling Fox News today she doesn’t feel that the Republican presidential nominee “has been doing himself any favors” in the past few hours.“I was thinking as he spoke, I think I belong to the old school of thinking that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happened to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” Noonan said. “When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.”In a statement last night, Romney slammed the Obama administration for sympathizing “with those who waged the attacks” rather than condemning the attacks outright. Romney doubled-down on that attack today during a press conference, telling reporters the statement was “akin to apology” and that it was “disgraceful to apologize for American values.”But Romney’s effort to politicize the violence in Libya was met with blowback not just from the Obama administration but from the media. “[Romney’s] doubling down on criticism… is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign,” Time magazine’s Mark Halperin wrote on his blog.
The Insane MSM Questions Romney Faced at Presser– So if a presidential candidate gives remarks about a foreign-policy crisis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that in the Q&A held immediately afterward, reporters would ask him about . . . foreign policy. But when Mitt Romney took questions today after talking about the situation in Libya and Egypt, the dominant theme of the questions was all about process and politics. Here are the seven questions asked:1. Reporter brings up that Romney had a “toughly worded statement last night,” and asks, “Do you regret the tone at all given what we know now?”2. “Do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded over night was appropriate, to be weighing in on this as this crisis was unfolding in real time?” Follow-up: “What did the White House do wrong then, Gov. Romney, if they put out a statement saying they disagreed with it?”3. “The world is watching. Isn’t this itself a mixed signal when you criticize the administration at a time that Americans are being killed? Shouldn’t politics stop for this?”
4. “Some people have said that you jumped the gun a little bit in putting that statement out last night and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all of the things that were happening?”
5. “If you had known last night that the ambassador had died, and obviously, I’m gathering you did not know . . . if you had known that the ambassador had died, would you have issued such a strongly-issued statement?”
6. Reporter comments that Romney is running on his “economic know-how and private sector experience,” and adds, “but now that foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East has been thrust into the presidential campaign, can you talk about why specifically you think you are better qualified than President Obama to handle these issues?”
7. “How specifically, Governor Romney, would a President Romney have handled this situation differently than President Obama did? You spoke out before midnight, when all the facts weren’t known. How would you have handled this differently than the president did?”
Only the last question even addressed what Romney would have done if he was in office. None of the questions asked Romney to give details or be more specific about what he thinks the United States should do going forward.
Open mic captures press coordinating questions for Romney “no matter who he calls on we’re covered”– Before Romney issued his statement today, an open mic capture the press coordinating questions to ask Romney, with one saying “no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question”. I’ve transcribed it to the best of my ability but the audio is below for verification:I’ve labeled one as the CBS News reporter as I believe it is Nancy Cordes who works for CBS News. If I’ve gotten that wrong I apologize and will correct.UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: …pointing out that the Republicans… *unintelligible* …Obama….CBS REPORTER: That’s the question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: *unintelligible*
CBS REPORTER: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your question? Your statement?
CBS REPORTER: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*
CBS REPORTER: You can’t say that..
CBS REPORTER: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?
Dead Ambassador dragged through streets, MSM furious at Romney criticism of Obama– If there ever were a doubt, no matter how small, that the mainstream media is deeply in bed with the Obama campaign, the reaction to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and several other Americans should put such doubt to rest.Beginning early this morning, when news was just breaking, the left-blogosphere and mainstream media, led by MSNBC, has attempted to shift the focus from the Obama administration’s failure to protect our embassies and for its apologies (both before and after the attack on the Cairo Embassy) to whether Mitt Romney was wrong to criticize Obama last night.No, I’m not kidding.
No Record of Intel Briefings for Obama Week Before Embassy Attacks – According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing–known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)–in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff:
Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze on Dish TV– Glenn Beck is set for a TV comeback with his online channel TheBlaze launching on Dish Network Wednesday.“TheBlaze has helped revolutionize television over the Internet and now we are excited to bring the revolution back to traditional television,” Beck said in a press release. “TheBlaze will be home to news, information and entertainment programming with the facts and stories people care about most and we look forward to kicking things off with DISH.”The 24-hour online network will be available to Dish viewers starting on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. Viewers with Dish’s America Top 250 package will be able to watch the channel, or can purchase it separately for $5 a month. TheBlaze — which celebrated its one-year anniversary on Wednesday — will continue to be available online, the release noted.“After being phenomenally successful with his online streaming network, we’re pleased to host Glenn Beck’s return to broadcast TV, especially during this exciting and important political season,” DISH CEO and President Joseph Clayton said in a press release on Wednesday announcing the launch. “With Glenn’s return, DISH is truly th
Obama, Romney locked in tight race in Nevada– President Obama travels to Nevada on Wednesday to further his attempt to win the state’s six electoral votes in the face of the country’s worst unemployment rate and a sputtering housing market.The conventional wisdom around the Silver State is that while Obama faces significant headwinds to repeat his 2008 victory in Nevada, he remains the favorite given his slight but steady lead in polls.“With 56 days to go, basically both campaigns would privately acknowledge that Obama is ahead,” said Jon Ralston, one of the state’s top political commentators. “The question is, how far ahead? The Obama folks think they’re above the margin of error. And the Romney folks think they’re within the margin of error.”
Obama Announces Letterman Appearance on Day He Snubbed Netanyahu– President Barack Obama will be visiting one of his biggest fans soon – late night talker David Letterman.The president will chat with the “Late Show” host during a trip to New York City next week, according to the National Journal. Letterman’s nightly monologues mostly spare the president from satirical ribbing, saving his most cutting remarks for the Romneys … or even former President George W. Bush.The news comes on the same day Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he couldn’t meet with him due to a scheduling conflict.
United States and Israel Engage in Public Spat Over Iran Policy – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel inserted himself into the most contentious foreign policy issue of the American presidential campaign on Tuesday, criticizing the Obama administration for refusing to set clear “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear progress that would prompt the United States to undertake a military strike. As a result, he said, the administration has no “moral right” to restrain Israel from taking military action of its own.
Polls: Ryan beats Biden in popularity– Paul Ryan has had a higher favorability rating than Vice President Biden in every major nonpartisan national poll since the Wisconsin lawmaker was picked for the GOP vice presidential slot.In these polls, Ryan averaged a likability factor 7.5 percentage points higher than Biden, and he even bested President Obama’s favorability rating four out of six times.
Poll Shows Allen Up 5 Over Kaine in Virginia Senate Race – The same Gravis Marketing Poll released today that showed Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama by 49-44 in Virginia showed Republican George Allen leading Democrat Tim Kaine 47-42 in the Senate race. For Allen, today’s 5 point margin reflects a 2 point increase from a poll conducted a month earlier by the same firm
Noonan’s Blog: Everyone Will Watch the Debates– 1. People will be watching. Convention viewership may have been down, but almost every voter who can, will watch at least some of the debates. Three reasons. First, nothing else has moved the needle, the race has been neck and neck for months. Second, a lot of people will use the debates to test and double-test their preliminary judgments. Is Romney really strong enough for this job? Is Obama really who I want to stick with? Third, it’s a contest, it’s combat. Someone will cross the goal line, one of them will beat the other. Someone will emerge the champ, or at least an undamaged contender. Unlike a convention, a debate is something a candidate can win right before your eyes.So: everyone will watch. What do they hope for? They’d like to think by the end, “That guy is a president” and turn it off and go to bed, resolved. They will also accept, “My guy didn’t screw up! It was a tie, but he didn’t lose, I’ll watch the next one.”
Depending on Dependency – – Thomas Sowell– The theme that most seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was that we are all responsible for one another — and that Republicans don’t want to help the poor, the sick and the helpless.All of us should be on guard against beliefs that flatter ourselves. At the very least, we should check such beliefs against facts.Yet the notion that people who prefer economic decisions to be made by individuals in the market are not as compassionate as people who prefer those decisions to be made collectively by politicians is seldom even thought of as a belief that should be checked against facts.Nor is this notion confined to Democrats in America today. Belief in the superior compassion of the political left is a worldwide phenomenon that goes back at least as far as the 18th century. But in all that time, and in all those places, there has been little, if any, effort on the left to check this crucial assumption against facts.
White House pushes back on claims from Woodward book– Bob Woodward’s new book on the collapse of the grand bargain has put the Obama White House on the defensive on economic policy just as the 2012 campaign enters its most crucial phase.Republicans have seized on The Price of Politics as evidence President Obama is in over his head on the economy.The White House on Monday pushed back against Woodward’s latest conclusions: that weak leadership by Obama worsened last year’s debt-ceiling crisis and led to the failure to enact a deficit grand bargain.Obama’s leadership during the crisis was “significant,” according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, and reflected a “sincere and deliberate” effort to compromise.
Washington Post-ABC News Poll Among Likely Voters: Obama 49% vs. Romney 48%– Last week’s Democratic National Convention helped President Obama improve his standing against Republican Mitt Romney, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but did little to reduce voter concern about his handling of the economy.The survey shows that the race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions.But among a wider sample of all registered voters, Obama holds an apparent edge, topping Romney at 50 percent to 44 percent, and has clear advantages on important issues in the campaign when compared with his rival
California ranked 4th worst in business legal climate– California ranks 47th in the nation in its courts’ “fairness and reasonableness” regarding business lawsuits, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform.Not only is the state’s legal climate as a whole ranked fourth worst in the nation, just ahead of Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia, but Los Angeles County has the second worst lawsuit climate among local jurisdictions and San Francisco fourth worst..Delaware, the legal home of many major corporations, ranks No. 1 in business legal climate.The rankings are based on a survey of corporate general counsels and senior attorneys, conducted by Harris Interactive.The annual survey has been conducted for the past decade, and California’s standing has declined during that period. The survey report called California courts “havens for class action lawsuits because judges certify cases for trial that wouldn’t be certified in most other parts of the country.” It noted that the largest asbestos verdict in the nation this year – $48 million for one plaintiff – came in a Los Angeles jury trial.
GM’s Volt – The ugly math of low sales, high costs – loss of $49K each– General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August — but that probably isn’t a good thing for the automaker’s bottom line.Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher. There are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.And while the loss per vehicle will shrink as more are built and sold, GM is still years away from making money on the Volt, which will soon face new competitors from Ford, Honda and others
9 states where the race will be won– The presidential race has narrowed to a core of nine states, a collection of margin-of-error battlegrounds spread across nearly every region.From New Hampshire in the Northeast to Nevada in the Rocky Mountain West, there is little disagreement between the two campaigns about the places where the election will be won and lost. Aside from those two swing states, there are seven others: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.Some of them are familiar presidential battlegrounds, accustomed to playing a pivotal role every four years. Others are relative newcomers to the swing state roster. Every one of them was carried by President Barack Obama in 2008.According to interviews with campaign officials and strategists, here’s the state of play and the forces at work in the nine states:
Romney going up in Wisconsin with TV ads– Mitt Romney’s campaign will be launching TV ads in Wisconsin, reflecting its belief that the state is within its grasp. It was not an easy or risk-free choice to spend money there.The last two months of a campaign are when political consultants earn their keep. There are only so many hours in a day, so much airtime to be bought and so much money (even in an election with as much money already sloshing around as was spent in the entire 2008 race). One of those is where to try to expand the map for your candidate.A senior Romney adviser told me the spate of ads rolled out Friday in eight states was shipped before the Democratic National Convention and before the rotten August jobs numbers were known. But the campaign guessed right in making the ads intensely focused on jobs (even breaking down the number of jobs each state could hope to add under a Romney presidency) and emphasizing that Romney has a jobs plan. That economic message will be pounded home throughout the fall. There was a reason Obama was so glum in Charlotte on Thursday; the economy was and remains critical in the election and we are at best going sideways at a time the economy should be rolling full-steam ahead.
Re: Romney and Obamacare – Pre-existing Conditions?– I reached out to the Romney campaign for clarification about Mitt Romney’s remarks this morning about liking some parts of Obamacare. An aide pointed out that Romney first said on Meet the Press that “I say we are going to replace Obamacare. And I am replacing it with my own plan.”In reference to how Romney would deal with those with young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”UPDATE: In reference to pre-existing conditions, a Romney aide responds, “Governor Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited,” and refers me to these remarks Romney made in Florida in June:
The Incredible Bain Jobs Machine– Did Mitt Romney and Bain Capital help office-supply retailer Staples create 88,000 jobs? 43,000? 252? Actually, Staples probably destroyed 100,000 jobs while creating millions of new ones.Since 1986, Staples has opened 2,000 stores, eliminating the jobs of distributors and brokers who charged nasty markups for paper and office supplies. But it enabled hundreds of thousands of small (and not so small) businesses to stock themselves cheaply and conveniently and expand their operations.It’s the same story elsewhere. Apple employs just 47,000 people, and Google under 25,000. Like Staples, they have destroyed many old jobs, like making paper maps and pink “While You Were Out” notepads. But by lowering the cost of doing business they’ve enabled innumerable entrepreneurs to start new businesses and employ hundreds of thousands, even millions, of workers world-wide—all while capital gets redeployed more effectively.
Wisconsin offers California lessons on balancing budget– Now that three California cities have declared bankruptcy, perhaps it’s time to consider the lessons of Wisconsin.One of the reasons Wisconsin Democrats couldn’t unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the state’s recall election was that his challenger exemplified how Walker’s narrowing of collective bargaining privileges for government workers benefited the state.
Hillary Clinton: Romney ads featuring her a ‘waste of money’– She’s been featured in two negative television ads from Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the spots would have little effect on voters who already know the story of the 2008 Democratic primaries.Speaking in Jerusalem at the tail end of a two week diplomatic trip, Clinton said in an interview with CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott the spots were a “waste of money.”
Romney Video Mocking Obama’s Singing Pulled Over Copyright Issues– The Romney team’s ad showing President Obama at a fundraiser singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” has been removed from the campaign website and YouTube, where visitors were greeted with a message saying, “this video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by BMG_Rights_Management.”A Romney spokesperson said the campaign plans to fight to get the video back up, telling the Huffington Post: “Our use was 100% proper, under fair use, and we plan to defend ourselves.”The video was a response to a stinging ad over the weekend from the Obama campaign showing Romney singing an off-key “America the Beautiful.
Oil Pipelines bypassing Hormuz open – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have opened new pipelines bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, the shipping lane that Iran has repeatedly threatened to close, in a move that will reduce Tehran’s power over oil markets.
The quiet opening of the pipelines comes amid heightened diplomatic tensions over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Iran’s oil production has fallen to its lowest in more than 20 years due to the impact of US and European sanctions, prompting Tehran to repeat its threats to shut down the strait, the conduit for a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade.
These are my (Flap) links for June 18th through June 19th:
A White House mess– One little-known fact about the world of journalism is that news organizations prepare obituaries of famous people while those people are still alive, so that packages of material will be ready to go when a death is announced.Over the past week, journalists have been writing articles that have the quality of these sorts of pre-obituaries — only the event they’re anticipating isn’t the last breath of an individual but the defeat of President Obama’s re-election bid.Even more striking, these journalists aren’t conservatives indulging in their deepest wish, but rather liberals who admire Obama and want to see him win a second term.Al Hunt, who was for decades the voice of liberal conventional wisdom as the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, declared yesterday in his Bloomberg column that Obama “needs an intervention.”
The Sad Demise of the Occupy Movement– Remember when the Democratic Party saw the Occupy movement as the Left’s equivalent of the Tea Party? That lasted until it became obvious that 1) Occupy wasn’t actually much of a movement, and 2) to the extent it existed, it was an embarrassment. Occupy is in the process of fading away, not with a bang but a whimper, and with more criminal prosecutions to its credit than normal citizens converted to the leftist cause.But, much as a dead frog’s legs will continue kicking for a while, a few remnants of Occupy cling to a fitful existence. To see what the “movement” is up to these days, check out this online diary that documents the Occupy Caravan. The Caravan is a group of nine leftists who are driving, in two minivans, from California to Philadelphia. The diary, by one James Jennison, is hilarious but sad. You can’t help feeling sorry for this ragtag band of misfits who evidently think they are making some kind of political statement
Another Ridiculous Lie From Liberal Media – Distorting Romney’s “WAWAs” Hoagie Speech– Another example of how ridiculous the media is in their uncompromising struggle to distort the truth in order to make sure Obama wins and Conservatives lose.Today it’s being widely reported that Romney had a moment were he was amazed at the existence of WAWAs, a convenience/gas store, and the electronic touchtone ordering of sandwiches. They have spun this to make it seem like he’s out of touch – BUT THE VIDEO IS EDITED DECEPTIVELY:
MSNBC mischaracterizes Romney remarks– MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
Will GOP demand Plame-style leak investigation?– A lot of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are angry about the damaging national security leaks that have come out of the Obama administration. But Republicans are probably angrier, and their feelings can be explained in two words: Valerie Plame.The Plame affair was a complicated, tortured episode in which the George W. Bush White House was accused of having deliberately leaked classified information — the identity of an undercover CIA agent — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the Iraq war. Now, many Republicans believe the Barack Obama White House has deliberately leaked classified information — among other things, details of the U.S. cyberwar against Iran — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the presidential campaign.
Dem hopes of taking House dim– Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach.The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given her party a better than 50-50 chance of wresting control of the lower chamber — but missed opportunities in specific races and increasing economic worries have put that prediction in doubt.“The environment certainly isn’t as good as it was six months ago for Democrats,” a senior Democratic strategist who works on House races told The Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment candidly.“Democrats are way off track of where they need to be to regain the majority,” said David Wasserman, the House race editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate– Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
After spat with former construction management company, officials get projects back on track– Months after the El Monte Union High School District cut ties with its former construction management company, details are emerging about related issues that have come at a hefty expense to the district.A construction update last week revealed that the district is paying the price for design plans that didn’t have the required state approval before the construction work began at several campuses.In one case, work began on a new two-story classroom building without the plans getting state approved, resulting in the district being forced to make extensive revisions.In another a much publicized case, the state didn’t sign off on plans for new heating and air conditioning systems in two high school auditoriums before they were installed. The buildings have been closed for months as officials work to rectify the issue.The projects are part of a $148 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. After parting ways with its construction management company Alsaleh Project Management (APM) last year and hiring another firm, officials have been working to get projects back on track. But it hasn’t been easy, or cheap.The costs of some construction projects under the bond measure have increased by up to 36 percent over what was originally budgeted, according to last week’s construction update.
While some of the rising costs were the result of upgrades desired by district leaders, part of the increase is related
A Guide to How Obama’s New Immigration Policy Will Work, And a Word of Caution– The policy memo directs ICE and Customs to begin using their on-the-ground discretion immediately. Citizenship and Immigration Services is ordered to implement what is known as “deferred action” for this category of immigrants within 60 days. It’s a good sign that the administration is moving quickly. But bear in mind, deferred action is exactly what it sounds like. It means the federal government isn’t placing you in removal proceedings now. In fact, the memo says specifically that the deferral is good for two years before the next re-evaluation. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. “The question becomes: What if the person is granted deferred action and then they turn 30,” Schwamkrug asks. “Does that mean it won’t be renewed?”If it isn’t, and that person doesn’t have some sort of legal status, current policy is to automatically forward them to immigration court for removal proceedings. Two years-worth of work authorization may be small recompense for imminent deportation.Perhaps the biggest wild card here is the November presidential election. Obama’s policy is just that. It doesn’t amount to citizenship, nor is it law, enacted by Congress. You can bet one of Mitt Romney’s first acts as president would be to rescind Napolitano’s memo. And then what? Young people who have lived their lives as Americans announce their presence as undocumented immigrants and become subject to removal proceedings. “You’re luring people out, dangling a carrot of employment authorization in exchange for putting themselves on the radar,” Schwamkrug says. “As attorneys, we’d have to lay everything out to our clients and let the clients make the choice. We can’t tell them what to do. But I personally think there’s cause for concern.”In other words, the undocumented American may rejoice, but must remain mindful that there’s no permanence to Obama’s extended hand. And in just five short months, it may be snatched away altogether.
Scalia and Ginsburg Drop Hints about Obamacare’s Fate at the Supreme Court– The Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on the epic Obamacare case, Florida v. HHS, at the end of June. Two of the High Court’s justices, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dropped hints this weekend as to what the Court might do. Between what they said, and the scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing, we can start to think about what the Court may do—and when.On Friday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the annual Court review of the American Constitution Society, a group “dedicated to…countering the activist conservative legal movement.” Ginsburg said that she was quite aware of the controversy surrounding the Obamacare case. “Some have described the controversy as unprecedented and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”