National Journal Online

U.S. Casualties Trending Down in Afghanistan

As 2011 comes to an end, a little-noticed statistic bears positive news for the U.S. military in Afghanistan: For the first time in recent memory, U.S. casualties -- while still significantly higher than in earlier years -- may be trending down.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 7:40am

Last U.S. Troops Leave Iraq—Report

The last U.S. troops left Iraq on Sunday morning, according to news reports. 

Soldiers were "whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief," as they crossed into Kuwait, the Associated Press reported.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 1:40am

What We Learned: Book Smart

What we at The Hotline learned this week:

-- Herman Cain was rightly criticized for using his White House bid as a vehicle for book sales. When Newt Gingrich takes the weekend off for a book signing at Mt. Vernon and a French horn concert just two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, it's hard not to compare the two.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 10:40pm

Des Moines Register Endorses Romney

The Des Moines Register announced Saturday its endorsement of Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, giving the ex-Massachusetts governor a potential boost as he seeks to overtake front-runner Newt Gingrich in the polls.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 10:40pm

Did Perry Overstate Budget Cut?

SPENCER, Iowa – As he discussed his plans on Saturday to remake Washington, Rick Perry pledged that he would put forward a budget that cut $5 trillion from the one President Obama has offered, in part by eliminating or downsizing congressional agencies.

That’s a bit of a tall order. Obama’s proposed FY2012 budget is $3.7 trillion.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 6:40pm

Gingrich Talks Up Fighting `Judicial Supremacy’

Newt Gingrich is seeking to steer the political conversation away from attacks on his past and into more comfortable intellectual territory for him –- challenging the idea of “judicial supremacy” and making the U.S. court system fairer by getting tougher on judges.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 5:40pm

Perry Pledges to Cut $5 Trillion

SPENCER, Iowa – As he discussed his plans on Saturday to remake Washington, Rick Perry pledged that he would put forward a budget that cut $5 trillion from the one President Obama has offered, in part by eliminating or downsizing congressional agencies.

That’s a bit of a tall order. Obama’s proposed FY2012 budget is $3.7 trillion.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 5:40pm

Perry Pledges to Cut $5 Trillion from Obama's $3.7 Trillion Budget

SPENCER, Iowa – As he discussed his plans on Saturday to remake Washington, Rick Perry pledged that he would put forward a budget that cut $5 trillion from the one President Obama has offered, in part by eliminating or downsizing congressional agencies.

That’s a bit of a tall order. Obama’s proposed FY2012 budget is $3.7 trillion.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 4:40pm

Romney Renews Freddie Mac Charge Against Gingrich

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Seeking to cut into Newt Gingrich’s support among tea-party backers in this deeply conservative state, Mitt Romney on Saturday joined the criticism the former House Speaker has received about his consulting firm getting paid $1.6 million from mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 4:40pm

Congress Passes 2012 Spending; Senate Moves Payroll Bill

The Senate on Saturday passed the final spending bills for 2012, eliminating the risk of a government shutdown until next fall, but Congress is poised to almost immediately resume the fight over a payroll tax cut and jobless aid after lawmakers failed to agree on anything longer than a two-month extension of those benefits.

The Senate passed the spending bill 67 to 32, and it now goes to President Obama for his signature. It funds the government for the final nine months of the 2012 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 4:40pm