December 2012

Dec 18, 2012

Long-Time Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye Dies at 88

With Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii died Monday evening in Washington, D.C., after suffering respiratory failure. WSJ's Naftali Bendavid looks back at Sen. Inouye's life that spanned the WWII battlefields to almost nine consecutive terms in the U.S. Senate.

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Dec 17, 2012

The GOP's Electoral College Scheme

By Reid Wilson, National Journal's Hotline

Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party's path to the Oval Office.

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Fault Lines Also Appearing On Democratic Side In Fiscal Debate

By Christi Parsons, Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

For weeks, Democrats in Congress have been relishing the division and sniping within Republican ranks over whether to raise tax rates. But as negotiations over the budget crisis wear on and shift to a debate over spending cuts, the tables are turning.

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Boehner Offers Debt-Ceiling Increase In Cliff Compromise

By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, The Washington Post

House Speaker John A. Boehner has offered to push any fight over the federal debt limit off for a year, a concession that would deprive Republicans of leverage in the budget battle but is breathing new life into stalled talks over the year-end “fiscal cliff.”

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Americans Tried to Buy 2 Million Guns in November Alone

By Pierre Thomas, ABC News

The awful shooting in a small Connecticut town has raised disturbing questions, but has also placed a spotlight on America's thriving gun business.

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‘These Tragedies Must End,’ Obama Says

By Peter Baker and Mark Landler, The New York Times

President Obama vowed on Sunday to “use whatever power this office holds” to stop massacres like the slaughter at the school here that shocked the nation, hinting at a fresh effort to curb the spread of guns as he declared that there was no “excuse for inaction.”

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Tim Scott to Be Named for South Carolina Senate Seat, Republicans Say

By Jeff Zeleny and Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina has chosen Representative Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, according to three Republican officials. The move will make Mr. Scott the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century.

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Dec 14, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Tells Us About Iran's Role

By Tom Gjelten, NPR

U.S. officials say the satellite put into orbit by North Korea's rocket launch this week is wobbling, but that doesn't necessarily mean the launch itself was unsuccessful.

U.S. analysts say the North Koreans' main goal was not to put a satellite into orbit, but just to see all three stages of their rocket work, to show that the rocket could carry its payload a long distance. That it did. In the last test, in April, the first rocket stages worked as designed, but the third stage failed. Charles Vick, a missile expert at GlobalSecurity.org, credits the North Koreans with learning from their past mistakes.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad's Regime Near Collapse

With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Martha Raddatz looks at the latest developments in Syria.

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States Face Double Fiscal Whammy: Federal Aid Cuts and Spiraling Health-Care Costs

By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post

Just as state governments are healing from the deep fiscal wound inflicted by the Great Recession, they are confronted by the dual threat of reduced federal help and ever increasing health-care costs, according to a new report.

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With Gap Wide and Time Short, Obama and Boehner Meet

By Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times

With time running short to work out a deal to avert a year-end fiscal crisis, President Obama called Speaker John A. Boehner to the White House on Thursday evening to try to move talks forward even as pessimism mounted that a broad deal could be struck that bridges the substantial gap between the parties on taxes and entitlements like Medicare.

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Behind Closed Doors

By Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair

The most encouraging news in Washington in ages was the word that Barack Obama and John Boehner were talking—by themselves, and to each other—about how to avoid the series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that could send the country over the so-called fiscal cliff. Boehner went to see the president at the White House last Sunday for their first solo meeting since the November election.

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