Archive for December 31, 2012

Are Congress and Obama deliberately embracing the fiscal cliff, even as they jockey for spin?

White House

So do both parties actually want the federal government to go over the so-called fiscal cliff, to slash the budget deficit without having to go on record voting for tax increases and spending cuts? One gets that impression. To be sure, in the process the great passive consensus to raise taxes and slash spending is being accompanied by finger-pointing and posturing.  But the spin is

US Congress to Reconvene Monday, Continue Fiscal Talks

U.S. Capitol file photo

(VOA – Kent Klein – Dec. 30, 2012) WHITE HOUSE — The drama over the U.S. government’s so-called “fiscal cliff” enters its final day before the deadline on Monday, with no agreement between Democrats and Republicans.  Americans will face tax increases and deep government cuts on Tuesday if no agreement is passed and signed before then. In a prayer at the opening of Sunday’s Senate

NEWSLINK: Pessimism Abounds as White House Calls Cliff Meeting

U.S. Capitol file photo

[Pessimism Abounds as White House Calls Cliff Meeting – Roll Call – Steven T. Dennis - Dec. 27, 2012 – click here to read full article] Roll Call covers White House and Congressional efforts to readdress the looming “Fiscal Cliff,” automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, if Congress and the White House do not act to

Treasury Department announces sanctions against persons and entities linked to Iranian WMD programs, as well as military support for Syria’s Assad

iran-map-200

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Dec. 21, 2012, that it was “designating” four companies and one individual under Executive Order 13382 that targets weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferators and their supporters. The action prohibits U.S. parties from doing business with the parties designated, freezes any U.S. assets of the parties and potentially cuts off access to the U.S. financial system for any foreign

Gulf War Commander Schwarzkopf Dies at 78

Norman Schwarzkopf file photo

(VOA News -Dec. 27, 2012) Retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died.  He was 78. Schwarzkopf died Thursday in the southern city of Tampa, Florida, where he lived in retirement.  There is no word yet on a cause of death. A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Dies at 78

Norman Schwarzkopf file photo

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, USA (Ret.), has passed on at age 78, reportedly of complications from pneumonia. Schwarzkopf led allied coalition forces in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm to expel Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces rom Kuwait in the first Gulf War in 1991. A native of New Jersey, Schwarzkopf was a West Point graduate who also attended the U.S. Army War College and earned

NEWSLINK: Obama, congressional leaders to meet

U.S. Capitol and Environs at Twilight

[Obama, congressional leaders to meet – UPI – Dec. 27, 2012 – click here for full article] UPI, citing Politico, reports on a possible meeting between President Barack Hussein Obama and Congressional Leaders set for Friday, on looming automatic spending cuts and tax increases known as the “Fiscal Cliff”: U.S. President Obama will meet with leaders of Congress to try to avert tax hikes and

Bhengazi Attack Under Review in Washington; Congressional Hearings Continue

U.S. Capitol file photo

In the wake of a scathing Administrative Review Board (ARB) report, Congressional hearings continue on security lapses leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.  The attacks, including fires from arson, killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens. Part I: State Department’s highest ranking foreign service officers, William Burns and Thomas Nides before House Foreign Affairs Committee Part