At the start of his February 22 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered a tribute to deceased reporters Marie Colvin, Remi Ochlik, and Anthony Shadid, all of whom had given their lives, he said, “in order to bring the truth about what’s happening in a country like Syria to those of us at home and in countries around the world.”--
Three of the four remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have spoken out against planned reductions in future defense spending. Both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have urged President Barack Obama to prevent the sequestering of $600 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years as required by last summer’s debt ceiling deal. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stated categorically that he “would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending.”
Late in 2011, U.S. funding for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was cut off because the agency had conferred legitimacy on Palestine as a nation. Two U.S. laws, one passed in 1990 and another in 1994, mandated that such funding could not be directed to UNESCO or to any UN agency that recognized statehood for the region controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization. This action delivered a heavy blow to the UN agency that receives 22 percent of its budget from the United States. But the Obama administration has stated its intention to have America's taxpayers again be forced to pay tens of millions each year to the organization.
Once again, a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act is being cited by Washington as justification for a new policy position.