National Journal Online

QUICK TAKE: Obama Defends Israel Record at Jewish Assembly

Speaking to members of the Union for Reform Judaism at their 71st general assembly, President Obama reaffirmed his support for Israel and attacked GOP presidential candidates who have called that support into question.  

Obama claimed his administration had done more for Israel’s security than any in recent history.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 6:40pm

WikiLeaks' Collateral Damage

When the curious case of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning began Friday, his attorney argued in a pretrial hearing that little harm was done by his client’s alleged transfer of hundreds of thousands of classified documents and cables to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

“All this stuff has been leaked,” attorney David Coombs said. “A year and a half later, where’s the danger? Where’s the harm?”

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 4:40pm

Whose Pants Are On Fire?

"People should have facts before they make wild accusations,'' sniffed Newt Gingrich in Thursday's debate in Sioux City after Michele Bachmann accused him of lobbying on behalf of Freddie Mac.

Bachmann didn't back down. "Well after the debate we had last week, Politifact came out and said that everything I said is true.''

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 4:40pm

Texas Tribune: Perry Retired Early to Get Pension Benefits

Texas Gov. Rick Perry boosted his gross annual salary nearly $100,000 by formally retiring in January, which allowed him to collect pension benefits and his governor’s salary at the same time, according to a story on Friday in the Texas Tribune.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 4:40pm

QUICK TAKE: Medal of Honor Recipient Settles Lawsuit with BAE

Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the latest recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, settled a lawsuit Friday with defense contractor BAE, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 3:40pm

In Wisconsin, Fitzgerald Stays in the Recall Mix

Last week, my colleague Kevin Brennan took a closer look at Jeff Fitzgerald's Senate candidacy in Wisconsin. The Republican state Assembly Speaker is the lesser-known, but potentially formidable candidate in a field that includes a former governor and congressman. Part of Fitzgerald's strength lies in his close ties to Gov. Scott Walker and his involvement in the first round of recalls earlier this year.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 3:40pm

Where Is Congress With Appropriations?

Almost three months into the fiscal year, Congress is on track this week to finalize funding for federal agencies and programs for the year. They are a little behind, but it's not unusual. Most years are like this.

The first graphic below shows what stage each chamber has reached in the 12 major appropriations areas. Note that some bills were considered together as a package, but are separated out here. Also, some bills that were introduced at the subcommittee level aren't the same ones that were passed on the House and Senate floors or agreed to in conference.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 3:40pm

House Approves $915 Billion Spending Plan

The House voted 296-121 Friday to pass a $915-billion spending package to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, likely staving off a threatened midnight government shutdown.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 3:40pm

The Congress Mess and the Presidential

This would not be a good year to be running as Bob Dole or even Barack Obama '08. If you were a sitting member of Congress and your party's nominee, how on earth would you explain the mess at the Capitol--the constant "Perils of Pauline" near catastrophes with shutting down the government, blowing the debt ceiling, and hiking the Payroll Tax. The major contenders for president--Romney, Gingrich, Obama, Perry--don't have to apologize for Congress. Bachmann and Paul are such outliers that no one is going to blame them for the machinations of John Boehner.

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 3:40pm

Republican Presidential Debate Highlights -- VIDEO

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Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 2:40pm