In what might loosely be described as the "spirit of the season," the Congress of the United States will likely put together a huge grab bag "with a lot of stuff in it," including tax- and debt-ceiling increases, and drop it down the nation's chimney before adjourning for its Christmas recess, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) predicted Monday.
According to European Commission documents released Tuesday by WikiLeaks, two high-ranking U.S. politicians are responsible, at least in part, for a financial blockade that the organization claims has cut off 95 percent of its revenue. Those politicians are Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), both of whom pressured MasterCard, and possibly Visa, into refusing to process payments to WikiLeaks, the documents reveal.
The "pendency plan" just passed by the San Bernardino, California, city council includes "renegotiating" its pension liabilities with CalPERS, the country's largest pension plan.
While the U.S. economy is said to be en route to go over the so-called "fiscal cliff" on January 1, Congress has made little headway in the process of reaching a solution, though there were indications of compromise over the weekend. Unless a compromise is reached, the American people will experience an onslaught of tax increases and spending cuts that the Congressional Budget Office says will set the economy on a downward spiral.
Since Senator Saxby Chambliss' defection on Thursday from his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, two other senators and a member of the House have also bailed, claiming now that tax increases must be "on the table" to solve the fiscal cliff crisis.
Jesse Jackson Jr., Democratic congressman from Illinois and son of the “civil rights” agitator, has resigned his House seat, citing ill health and an ongoing federal investigation for what Jackson referred to as “my share of mistakes.” While the investigation reportedly involves the misuse of campaign funds, “Jackson was also under a House Ethics Committee investigation over dealings with imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich,” reported the Associated Press. Although the committee could still release a report into its findings, Jackson's resignation will prevent Congress from taking any action against him should it be revealed that he committed any wrongdoing.
President Obama's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has embraced the “Buzz Lightyear” debt strategy to overcome the fiscal crisis known as the “fiscal cliff”: to infinity and beyond. Geithner told host Al Hunt on Bloomberg TV's Political Capital on November 16 that he favors elimination of the statutory debt limit.
Citing “a pattern of behavior directed at subverting transparency,” the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is requesting information from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson concerning secret e-mail accounts she and other senior EPA officials are allegedly using to circumvent federal openness laws.
Following his office’s publishing of his annual Wastebook last month, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has now released another oversight report, this one exploring waste and “non-defense” spending in the Department of Defense (DOD), entitled the “Department of Everything.”