Video footage of the AFL-CIO�s Richard Trumka boasting about his close ties to the Obama administration is going viral. In the video, Trumka leans back, drapes his arms over the chairs, and reports that he is a weekly visitor of the White House, sometimes as often as a couple of times a week. �I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or in the administration,� he proclaims. �Every day.�
Government debt � the amount of money borrowed by the federal government, state governments, and subdivisions of those two levels of government � is now greater than the entire economy. This obligation or debt of the government is now a dizzying 122 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the nation. The only other time that debt has been this high in America's history was at the end of the Second World War, when wartime spending included a huge slice of the entire economy. The post-war boom and the explosion of pent-up consumer demand quickly generated revenues, however, which reduced that public debt substantially.
The Mississippi House has passed H.B. 608 providing for the establishment of a longitudinal data system to track education and student outcomes in the workforce which will require a multi-agency database. According to the PPJ Gazette for Feb. 21, this means tracking Mississippians from cradle to grave — almost.
A police captain in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will file a lawsuit against the city police department today because it reassigned him after he refused to order his subordinates to attend an event at the city’s mosque on March 4.
When newly elected Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposed cutting aid to Israel, the howls of protest from all across the bipartisan political spectrum were painfully revealing. Matthew Brooks, executive director for the Republican Jewish Coalition — an organization with several former Bush administration officials on its board of directors — considers cutting the $3 billion a year that the United States gives to Israel to be off limits. “We share Senator Paul’s commitment to restraining the growth of federal spending, but we reject his misguided proposal to end U.S. assistance to our ally Israel,” he said. New York Representative Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee that deals with foreign aid, put it more bluntly: “Using our budget deficit as a reason to abandon Israel is inexcusable.... I call on all those who value the U.S.-Israel relationship to make it clear that our nation will not abandon our ally Israel.”
Massive street protests erupted in Tunisia in late December, which ended the 23-year reign of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Fueled largely by an Internet-connected youth movement, the protests were partly a reaction to the publication by WikiLeaks of documents from U.S. diplomatic cables that revealed pandemic corruption by the ruling party, as well as government oppression that included arrests of lawyers, journalists, and political opponents. Another spark helped to ignite the revolt was the dramatic protest by Mohamed Bouazizi, who publicly set himself on fire on December 17 because of frequent government confiscation of his produce in his street vendor’s business and the government’s refusal to issue him the required vendor permits.
An operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) known as Project Gunrunner has been implicated, albeit indirectly so far, in the December 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by alleged bandits in Arizona, reports the president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council Andy Ramirez in a new piece for the Liberty News Network. Now, Agent Terry’s family wants answers and the Justice Department is apparently engaged in what critics are calling a “cover up.”
In a developing story, Fox News has learned that four Americans aboard a yacht hijacked by Somali pirates have been killed. Two of the Americans, Scott and Jean Adam, were the owners of the yacht, and the other two, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, were their friends. The Adams were running a Bible ministry and distributing Bibles to schools and churches in remote villages in a number of areas.
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck has recently made assertions on his Fox News program that Google played a significant role in the Egyptian revolution. Naturally, he was labeled a conspiracy theorist and rumors spread that he advocated boycotting Google, though he has explicitly stated that it was not his intent to provoke a boycott against the company.
Last week, the Arizona State Senate passed a bill, in a 21-8 vote, that could make Arizona the first state to challenge federal overreach into the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It also penalizes federal agents attempting to violate the law. S.B. 1178 states that all goods grown or made in the State, and all services performed within it “are not subject to the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the several states."
Even with only modest cuts in the continuing resolution bill offered by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, it is highly unlikely to see the light of day when the Senate returns from recess, just before the March 4th deadline. Despite strong rhetoric from House Speaker John Boehner who said �When we say we�re going to cut spending, read my lips. We are going to cut spending, � this reminded one of the identical words (�read my lips�) uttered by Republican Presidential candidate George H. W. Bush in 1988, which cost him his chance for re-election in 1992 when he voted for higher taxes the year before. Boehner�s words also generated a protest of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who accused Boehner of threatening to shut down the entire government unless the House�s agenda was accepted.