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Politics News
Exclusive: White House considers former banking lawyer for Fed board - sources

The facade of the U.S. Federal Reserve building is reflected on wet marble during the early morning hours in WashingtonBy Jonathan Spicer and Emily Stephenson NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former lawyer with the American Bankers Association is being considered by the White House as a possible nominee to the board of the Federal Reserve, according to sources familiar with the efforts The lawyer's name emerged as the White House weighs candidates with community banking backgrounds to fill gaps on the Federal Reserve's powerful but depleted board, the sources said. People familiar with the White House's process said administration officials may fill one of the remaining openings with someone with banking experience, as opposed to an economist. Two sources said the administration is considering Diana Preston, a lawyer who recently left a post at the American Bankers Association, which represents many small banks.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:06:06 -0400
Hagel begins first trip to Latin America as U.S. defense chief

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hands out commander coins before leaving Pope Army Airfield in Fort Bragg, North CarolinaBy David Alexander ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday his first trip to Latin America as Pentagon chief would add "muscle and sinew" to growing North American defense ties and highlight the importance of helping partner nations improve their militaries. Hagel, who will meet his Canadian and Mexican counterparts in Mexico City before traveling to Guatemala, said the three-day visit will give him an opportunity to focus on relationship-building in a vital area that often receives little attention. "The region is important to America," Hagel told reporters aboard his plane to Mexico City. "I don't think over the years we've probably ever done enough to reach out to our Latin American partners." He said part of the reason was that U.S. relations in the region have been stable and good in recent years, so Washington has tended to focus its attention on the world's trouble spots.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:36:33 -0400
Democratic governors challenge Connecticut campaign finance law

Dozens killed in shooting at elementary school in ConnecticiutThe U.S. Democratic Governors' Association on Wednesday sued the state of Connecticut, saying its laws on political spending are unconstitutionally broad and limit the ability of political groups to buy independent ads backing candidates. The lawsuit said the state unfairly treats independent money spent on ads and other political messages by the national group as contributions to particular candidates, and thus subject to campaign finance limits. "Connecticut's campaign finance laws ... conflict with Supreme Court First Amendment precedent and place a cloud of uncertainty over what DGA may say or do without fear of prosecution," the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut said. It asked a judge to block the State Elections Enforcement Commission from enforcing its rules.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:49:44 -0400
Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy

Afghan prisoners walk outside the Parwan Detention Facility after their release in Bagram AirbaseSome are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda. As the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan winds down, the White House will soon provide Congress a dossier on about 50 non-Afghan detainees in a U.S. military prison north of Kabul. Their uncertain fate presents sensitive security and legal problems for the Obama administration in an echo of Guantanamo Bay.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:38:25 -0400
Vote delayed on loan guarantee for World Trade Center developer

World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein speaks at an event to update the public on the pace of development at the site in New YorkBy Hilary Russ NEW YORK (Reuters) - The board of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey on Wednesday delayed a scheduled vote on whether to provide $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, the latest holdup for the project. The request from Silverstein, who needs Port Authority backing to secure a construction loan for 3 World Trade Center, the complex's next skyscraper, recently became entangled in a debate over the agency's mission after the "Bridgegate" scandal rocked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration. Wednesday's delay came after the Port Authority's chief of staff told the board he had not yet brokered a good enough deal to recommend approval. The loan guarantee is meant to be part of an agreement that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars more to the Port Authority and allow it to foreclose on the $2.4 billion tower if Silverstein cannot pay debt service costs.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:52:56 -0400
Nate Silver or Not, GOP Looks Good

Nate Silver or Not, GOP Looks GoodThe tempest over his projection that Republicans will take the Senate forgets probability isn't prediction and that the White House party usually loses in its sixth year.



Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:00:00 -0400
Yes, Lincoln Would've Done 'Ferns'

Yes, Lincoln Would've Done 'Ferns'Bill O'Reilly attacked President Obama for making a viral video, saying the Great Emancipator wouldn't stoop so low. History proves the opposite.



Wed, 12 Mar 2014 13:48:00 -0400
For Obama and Boehner, just maybe, a way forward

Boehner & Obama in the Oval OfficeThe latest snowfall was a bigger story in Washington this week than Tuesday's private meeting between the estranged president and House speaker - their first in more than a year. Since Barack Obama recently signaled he has all but given up on legislating with Republicans, and since John Boehner has flat out said he can't trust the president, the assumption in Washington is that the chances for big legislation anytime soon are basically zero, whether the White House breaks out the good china or not.



Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:12:34 -0500
John Kerry finds his calling

U.S. Secretary of State John KerryTen years ago this week, John Kerry barely held off John Edwards in Wisconsin's Democratic primary, prolonging for another few weeks his plodding, uninspiring march to the party's presidential nomination. Kerry went on to lose an eminently winnable election, after which most Democrats in Washington expected him to disappear, like Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis.



Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:53:54 -0500
In New York, real populism and real choices

NY Cuomo di BlasioDemocrats in Washington don't have to worry much about the kind of fratricidal disorder that plagues the modern Republican Party. But neither should they take too lightly the intraparty breach that seems to be widening in New York, where the mayor of the nation's biggest city is staring down the governor of its third largest state.



Thu, 13 Feb 2014 06:55:34 -0500
Obama offering Japan security, economic assurances

Office workers try to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama as Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have dinner in Ginza district in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Opening a four-country swing through the Asia-Pacific region, Obama is aiming to promote the U.S. as a committed economic, military and political partner, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine threatens to cast a shadow over the president's sales mission (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)TOKYO (AP) - Facing fresh questions about his commitment to Asia, President Barack Obama will seek to convince Japan's leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges, even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:45:18 -0400
NTSB head: Action needed now on oil train safety
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration needs to take steps immediately to protect the public from potentially catastrophic oil train accidents even if it means using emergency authority, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said Wednesday.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:48:41 -0400
Rail safety effort marred by squabbling

FILE - This Dec. 30, 2013 file photo shows a fireball going up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D. An effort by government and industry to make the tank cars used to ship crude oil and ethanol safer, spurred by a series of fiery train crashes, is becoming mired in squabbling and finger-pointing. The Department of Transportation, concerned about the potential for catastrophic accidents involving oil and ethanol trains that are sometimes as many as 100 cars long, is drafting new tank car regulations aimed at making the cars less likely to spill their contents in the event of a crash. But final regulations aren't expected until the end of the year at the earliest, and it is common for such government rulemakings to drag on for years. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)WASHINGTON (AP) - Spurred by a series of fiery train crashes, a push by government and industry to make safer tank cars used for shipping crude oil and ethanol has bogged down in squabbling and finger-pointing over whether they're needed and if so, who should pay.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:40:32 -0400
Defense: FBI probe in 9/11 trial has implications
FORT MEADE, Maryland (AP) - The defense team for five people facing trial before a war crimes tribunal stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks claimed the implications of the FBI's questioning of one of its members are "staggering" and called on the court to probe the incident aggressively, according to a motion unsealed on Wednesday.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:19:48 -0400
Hagel seeking to deepen US-Mexico ties

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel boards his plane en route for Mexico City, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at Pope Army Airfield in Fort Bragg, N.C. (AP Photo/Shannon Stapleton, Pool)MEXICO CITY (AP) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday he is exploring ways to deepen U.S.-Mexican defense ties, including the possibility of training exercises with Mexican forces.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:57:47 -0400
Washington Insiders Say Chris Christie Won 2013
After a whirlwind year of crippling partisanship, bungled policy rollouts, and a government shutdown, most public figures are leaving this year with quite a few more chips to their image than they had in January. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie-a growing puzzle for Democrats and continuing headache for his fellow Republicans-emerged as the winner of 2013 on the political stage, according to a National Journal Political Insiders poll. Sixty percent of Democrats said Christie had the best 2013 of political figures, while 71 percent of Republicans said the same. The runners-up were barely any competition, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scoring 24 percent from Democrats and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pulling a mere 11 percent from GOP insiders.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:40:05 -0500
Sorry Pope Francis, 2013 Was the Year of Quinoa
This year has seen tanking approval ratings for just about everybody in Washington, thanks to bungled policy initiatives, stalled legislation, and a government shutdown. It's quinoa, a highly nutritious, centuries-old grain, at least according to the United Nations. In February, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization declared 2013 the international year of quinoa, not for the grain's place in Western society as a healthy, even upscale ingredient that's tough to pronounce, but for its impact on food security around the world. The price of quinoa, often called "the miracle grain of the Andes" for its origins, has tripled since 2006, The Guardianreported early this year.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 10:56:47 -0500
2013 Was Actually the Year of Quinoa
Between bungled or stalled policy initiatives and a government shutdown, moving the needle on progress on either side proved nearly impossible. According to the United Nations, 2013 was the year of quinoa, a highly nutritious, centuries-old grain. In February, the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization declared 2013 the international year of quinoa, not for the grain's place in Western society as a healthy, even upscale ingredient that's tough to pronounce, but for its impact on food security around the world. The price of quinoa, often called "the miracle grain of the Andes" for its origins, has tripled since 2006, The Guardianreported early this year.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 09:41:49 -0500
Republican Insiders to Tea Party: You're Not Helping Us
For Republicans, the group is something akin to a flesh-eating virus that threatens to chomp away at the GOP. The civil war between establishment and tea-party Republicans intensified this week when House Speaker John Boehner slammed outside conservative groups for "ridiculous" pushback against the bipartisan budget agreement, which cleared his chamber Thursday. Sixty-five percent of Republican influencers on the Hill called tea-party challengers to Republican lawmakers "very unhelpful" to the GOP, according to a National JournalPolitical Insiders poll published Friday. Their presence on the campaign trail leads to further splintering of the Grand Old Party, whose widening rift between establishment and tea-party members has not gone unnoticed by both Democratic opponents and the general public.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:31:57 -0500
Republican Look-Alike Sites Mocking Democrats May Violate Rules
The National Republican Congressional Committee proudly launched a faux campaign website for Democratic candidate Domenic Recchia this week, mocking him as a "career politician . asking for your vote." They even bought Google ads to direct New Yorkers to www.domenic-recchia.com, designed at first glance to look like it could be Recchia's own, down to the same yellow star replacing the dot in the 'i' of his last name. The problem is such a look-alike site, with a banner blaring "Domenic Recchia for Congress," may violate Federal Election Commission regulations for confusing the public, election lawyers say. (Screengrab) "This doesn't even strike me as a close call," said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign watchdog group. The Recchia site is just the latest in a series of mocking microsites the NRCC has put online to attack, taunt, and otherwise annoy Democratic congressional candidates from Montana to New York to West Virginia.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 04:30:06 -0500
Bashar al-Assad's Deadly Loophole in Syria Deal

Bashar al-Assad's Deadly Loophole in Syria DealThe Obama administration's top accomplishment on Syria - a deal in which President Bashar al-Assad would surrender his chemical weapons - risks being undermined by substantial, potentially deadly loopholes in the agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry touted on Tuesday the fact that Syria had...



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:04:04 -0400
Young Money Talks an Old-School Game in Washington

Young Money Talks an Old-School Game in WashingtonThe heir to a billion-dollar hotel fortune, Patrick Gage, is an avowed warrior in the global fight against human trafficking. But ask him out for a beer to talk about it and he would, by the letter of the law, be compelled to turn down...



Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:05:01 -0400
Obama: 8 Million Health Care Sign-Ups a Boon for Democrats
President Obama has many times declared victory for the Affordable Care Act, most recently with the announcement earlier this month that 7 million people have signed up in the law's inaugural year. Today, with a slight grin, he added a big exclamation point. Now, 8...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:34:15 -0400
Was Madeline McCann One of Many?

Was Madeline McCann One of Many?A new development in the formerly closed case finds detectives scrambling to uncover new leads stemming from the revelation that a suspect in 18 other nearby break-ins fit the same description.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:35:00 -0400
Cuban top diplomat meets with attorney of jailed American

Cuban policemen stand by the municipal court where US citizen Alan Gross, charged with espionage, was on trial, on March 4, 2011 in HavanaCuba's top diplomat has met with a lawyer for jailed US contractor Alan Gross who is serving a 15-year term in Cuban prison, his defense team said Wednesday. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met with Gross's lawyer Scott Gilbert on Wednesday in Havana, stressing Cuba's willingness to speak with the United States on the case, Gilbert's team said in a statement released in Washington. Rodriguez emphasized that Cuba would place no preconditions on such a negotiation," the statement explained.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:24:06 -0400
Zohydro: Ticking Time Bomb?

Zohydro: Ticking Time Bomb?FDA-approved Zohydro is raising red flags in medical circles and consumer protection groups.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:45:00 -0400
US rejects Lavrov's 'ludicrous' Ukraine claims

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a press conference in Moscow, on April 22, 2014The United States dismissed as "ludicrous" Wednesday claims by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that it was funding or running an offensive in Ukraine as Washington and Moscow again traded barbs. "I think many of the claims he made in his interview are ludicrous and they're not based in facts of what is happening on the ground," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. In an interview with state-controlled RT television, Lavrov had issued a blunt warning that Russia would respond if its interests were attacked in Ukraine, in a sign Moscow was upping the ante in the crisis. Ukraine's acting president Oleksandr Turchynov late Tuesday ordered a new "anti-terrorist" operation against separatists holding a string of eastern towns after the discovery of two "brutally tortured" bodies.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:13:29 -0400
First troops land in Poland as US beefs up Baltic presence

The first American troops arrive at the airport in Swidwin, Poland on April 23, 2014, after Washington said it was sending a force of 600 to the Baltic states as the crisis over Ukraine deepensSwidwin (Poland) (AFP) - The first American troops arrived in Poland on Wednesday, after Washington said it was sending a force of 600 there and to the Baltic states amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine. Some 130 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade -- nicknamed "Sky Soldiers" -- touched down early afternoon in Swidwin, in the northwest of the country, and were welcomed by Poland's defence minister. "Every day we work on the defence of our country but in a world that is changing, and that is full of threats, we need strong and steadfast allies such as the United States and NATO," Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said under a cloudy sky.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:04:58 -0400
Palestinian unity may 'complicate' peace bid: US

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (2nd-L) waves as he arrives for a meeting with Palestinian foreign minister Riad al-Malki (C) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 23, 2014The United States on Wednesday warned that a deal to form a Palestinian unity government could seriously hamper its already floundering efforts to forge a peace deal with Israel. Any Palestinian government must commit "unambiguously" to the principles of non-violence and to the existence of Israel as well as to already agreed treaties, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, restating a long-held US position. "It's hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist." Washington was both "disappointed" and "troubled" by Wednesday's announcement of a rapprochement between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) -- internationally recognized as the sole representative of the Palestinian people -- and the Islamist Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip, Psaki said.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:42:59 -0400
US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

An Indian worker sprays water onto panels of India's first 1MW canal-top solar power plant at Chandrasan village of Mehsana district, some 45 kms from Ahmedabad, April 22, 2012Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change. The World Trade Organization's dispute settlement body in Geneva has scheduled Friday to hear the US case for a panel against India, which has some of the world's most ambitious plans for expanding solar power. US Trade Representative Michael Froman, announcing the move in February, said President Barack Obama's administration would "stand up for US workers and businesses" to break barriers to the Indian market.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:37:06 -0400
South Sudan sacks army chief after rebels seize oil hub

This picture taken on April 15, 2014 and released by the the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) shows debris outside a mosque in the town of BentiuSouth Sudan's President Salva Kiir sacked his army chief on Wednesday after rebels seized a major oil hub, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter in which the UN says hundreds of civilians were massacred. Rebels loyal to sacked vice president Riek Machar seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week. The United Nations says they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, in a wave of ethnic killings. The president gave no reason for removing general James Hoth Mai, a move announced on national television, but sources attributed the decision to recent military setbacks in the oil-rich north of the country.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:53:50 -0400
US top court rules on damages in child porn cases

A view of the US Supreme Court seen from the top of the US Capitol dome December 19, 2013 in WashingtonThe US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that victims of child pornography should be able to receive financial compensation from one or more recipients of their pedophile photographs. Two of the pictures were found in the possession of Doyle Paroline, who the victim is suing for $3.4 million, an amount corresponding to the total cost of psychotherapy and loss of income resulting from the sexual abuse. A US appeals court in the southern United States found in her favor, but Paroline took the case to the top court. A minority, consisting of conservative Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said Paroline should pay nothing at all, because the amount of the damages were arbitrarily set.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:56:28 -0400
Inside Oprah's Bizarre Love Triangle

Inside Oprah's Bizarre Love TriangleWinfrey's stepmom gives an unfiltered Daily Mail interview about the former queen of daytime's unusual relationship with her boyfriend-and even stranger one with her best friend.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:31:00 -0400
Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit

Malaysian Muslim activists hold placards during a protest against US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Malaysia, outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on April 18, 2014Barack Obama will this weekend become the first US president to visit Malaysia for nearly 50 years, seeking to put decades of uneasy relations behind him as both cast wary eyes on a rising China. Mindful of America's perennial image problem in the Islamic world, Obama -- who visits Saturday-Monday -- is expected to tout the US friendship with the economically thriving moderate Muslim nation. As one of several rival claimants to parts of the South China Sea, Malaysia is also an important partner in the US "rebalance" of its strategic attention to Asia, where concern is rising over Beijing's territorial assertiveness. Obama will "highlight the growing strategic and economic relationship" with Malaysia and its "credentials as a moderate, Muslim-majority state and emerging democracy", said Joshua Kurlantzick, a fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:14:12 -0400
James Buchanan: Why is he considered America's worst president?

James BuchananApril 23 marks the birthday of James Buchanan, the man regarded by many historians as one of the worst-if not the worst-presidents of all time. So what did Buchanan do to earn the disrespect of so many people?



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:00:35 -0400
Obama fulfils dreams of sushi on first night in Tokyo

US President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo on April 23, 2014US President Barack Obama dined Wednesday at a tiny Tokyo sushi restaurant -- a revered spot with three coveted Michelin stars but only a handful of seats -- ruled with an iron rod by its redoubtable 88-year-old owner. The world's most powerful man, dining at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was entirely at the mercy of Jiro Ono, whose exacting standards and tireless work ethic have made him legendary among global foodies. Sukiyabashi Jiro -- Wednesday's venue -- has only 24 seats, sits in a slightly scruffy basement of an ageing commercial building and is connected to a Tokyo subway station. Obama made the pilgrimage to the restaurant just after touching down in Tokyo at the start of an Asian tour, and took along US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and his national security advisor Susan Rice.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:39:39 -0400
Why America Needs Mary Cheney

Why America Needs Mary CheneyMary, the proud Republican lesbian sister who emerged from Liz's Senate debacle looking like a total ass-kicker, is a behind-the-scenes operator-but it's time for her to run for office.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:45:00 -0400
Fargo's Breakout Star

Fargo's Breakout StarAllison Tolman was plucked from relative obscurity to star alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman in the TV adaptation. And she's brilliant, don't ya know.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:45:00 -0400
How to Make Doctors Irrelevant

How to Make Doctors IrrelevantAfter a simple, modified Paleo diet reversed her multiple sclerosis, one doctor is exposing health care and big pharma's dirty secret: Prescriptions don't make you well.



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:45:00 -0400
MIA in the War on Cancer

Why America Needs Mary CheneyBig Pharma's focus on blockbuster cancer drugs squeezes out cheaper treatments. The result, one researcher says: 'If we're winning the war on cancer, we're not winning that fast.'



Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:45:00 -0400

 

 
 
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