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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Senate Democrats Delay Hagel Vote After Desperate And Unprecedented GOP Stall Tactics

Senate Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin (D-MI) will reportedly delay the committee’s vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next Secretary of Defense.

Republicans are demanding that Hagel produce the texts of private speeches he made and disclose the financial dealings of private companies he is associated with. A spokesperson for Levin told ThinkProgress that the committee is “working on their concerns.”

The vote was expected to take place as early as Thursday, but Republicans — led by Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) — asked that the vote be delayed after Hagel — citing legal and logistics issues — said he could not give the them everything they’re asking for.

“It’s up in the air,” the committee staffer told Politico. “Levin isn’t interested in pushing it through against their will. We’re trying to resolve their concerns, and hopefully we can get it addressed by tomorrow,” a committee staffer told Politico on Wednesday.

But now it seems like those concerns won’t be met and it’s unclear just how they can or should be addressed at all, seeing that Hagel has said he doesn’t have the texts of all his private speeches and the business dealings of private companies and organizations Hagel is affiliated with is, as the Atlantic’s Steve Clemons points out, “going to be a really fun slippery slope”:

The entangled relationships of all US senators and spouses would be screened to see what they might be able to cough up about firms they have some connection to but don’t run.

I don’t think we should go down that road — but if Senator Cruz compels it, it should be interesting.



Senate Panel Postpones Vote On Hagel Nomination Amid Republican Calls For More Information

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A Senate panel on Wednesday abruptly postponed a vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary amid Republican demands for more information from President Barack Obama's nominee about his finances.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, had hoped to vote on the nomination on Thursday during a separate hearing on Libya, but Levin issued a statement late Wednesday saying no vote would occur this week.

"The committee's review of the nomination is not yet complete. I intend to schedule a vote on the nomination as soon as possible," Levin said.

Hours earlier, committee Republicans said they were dissatisfied with information Hagel had provided the panel after his confirmation hearing last week and no vote should occur.

Read more: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/48fbeff93ba84dc9bdca1045a6f9ce8e/US--Hagel-Vote

Snowstorm Friday Has Potential To Be Historic (New England, Boston, etc)

BOSTON (CBS) - The snowstorm Friday will be big, but will it be historic and rival some of the legendary storms of Boston’s past?

The short answer is it just might.

I think it is safe to say that Friday’s storm will easily be the biggest one of not only this season but last season as well.

In fact, Boston has the chance to see as much snow in this one storm as they have seen in total from this winter and last!

Only six times in Boston’s weather history (more than 100 years) has more than 20 inches fallen in one storm. You truly need the atmosphere to set up just right for a blockbuster snow event.



Budget Strains To Cut Carrier Fleet In (Persian)Gulf To 1

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say that budget strains will force the Pentagon to cut its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf area from two carriers to one.

Officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has formally approved a plan to keep just one carrier in the region. There have been two aircraft carrier groups there for most of the last two years.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Gulf but was brought home in December for maintenance. It will return later this month, but plans for the USS Harry S. Truman to deploy to the Gulf this week have been canceled.

Read more: http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2013/feb/06/budget-strains-cut-carrier-fleet-gulf-1/

White House: No New Peace Plan On Israel Trip

February 06, 2013 18:50 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says President Barack Obama won't be unveiling a specific new peace proposal when he visits Israel this spring.

The White House announced Tuesday that Obama would travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, raising the possibility the U.S. would launch a new push to revive the stalled peace process.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney says that's not the purpose of the trip. He says Obama's visit is timed to coincide with the start of new terms for Obama and for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.



Of course not, couldn't have THAT now...could we!

Michigan: Former Delphi Flint East Work Is Going To Mexico After GM-Delphi-UAW Agreement Ends

FLINT, MI -- The work to make instrument clusters at the former Delphi Flint East plant is going to Mexico, UAW officials said they were told.

The closing of the former Delphi Flint East plant came as a result of a 2007 agreement coming to an end between General Motors Co. and Delphi, said Lindsey Williams, vice president of corporate affairs for Delphi.

The local union, as well as the regional an national leadership, will begin negotiations to take care of members, either with a soft landing elsewhere, or finding new work as an alternative, Reyes said.

Reyes confirmed that the union was told the work was going to Mexico.

"While this is devastating news, it is not the final word, nor does it mark the end of our responsibilities to our members," he said." As a taxpayer, I am personally offended that less than four years after we helped keep them from liquidation, they show absolutely no regard for the financial well-being of these families in our community."



Gov. Snyder Urges Michigan Legislature To Approve Medicaid Expansion

Source: Lansing State Journal

Lansing State Journal-12 minutes ago

A day before he delivers his budget message to the state Legislature, Gov. Rick Snyder will headline a press conference Wednesday afternoon with groups supporting the federal expansion of Medicaid.

The expansion will allow roughly 470,000 more uninsured low-income Michiganders to be covered by Medicaid. Currently 1.9 million people received Medicaid benefits. But under the Affordable Care Act -- often referred to as Obamacare -- nearly half a million more people will become eligible for the assistance. That’s because the ACA would expand coverage to people within 133% of the federal poverty level -- $11,702 for a single person with no children and $23,021 for a family of four.

The expansion, however, is optional. So while Snyder’s appearance at the press conference signals his support of the expansion, it still has to go through the state Legislature, where it will face many skeptics who don’t believe in supporting any aspect of Obamacare.

Read more: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20130206/NEWS04/302060023/Snyder-urges-Michigan-Legislature-approve-Medicaid-expansion

Shocker here except that Snyder is trying to butter up the Dems so he can get his road project approved./b]

Turkey Has Stopped Israel To Be A Observer Member Of NATO

Turkey definitely does not want to make a partnership Israel with NATO, so the organization’s invitation to Israel blocked by Turkey.

Turkey blocked North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) initiatives taken toward the inclusion of Israel in the organization, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 5 to the reporters during his flight to Hungary.

Erdoğan was speaking on the possibility of cultural differences as the cause of the European Union’s five-decade delay, when he said it was possible that the union was “hesitant because the members will not be able to do everything they want when Turkey gets in,” likening the situation to that of NATO.

“We, as Turkey, would stop wrong steps in NATO. Thus, we saw such steps toward Israel’s inclusion in NATO. We prevented that,” Erdoğan said. “We have our own red lines. For us, to be involved in NATO with Israel is never considerable. To be with such a cruel understanding would conflict with our structure, history and culture.”



Panetta: Defense Budget Cuts Will Damage Economy

Source: Associated Press

Associated Press
Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013

WASHINGTON Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is laying out a grim list of spending cuts the Pentagon will have to make in the coming weeks that he says will seriously damage the country's economy and degrade the military's ability to respond to a crisis.

He is slamming members of Congress as irresponsible and willing to push the country off a fiscal cliff to damage their opposing political parties.

He says if Congress doesn't pass a budget the Pentagon must absorb $46 billion in spending reductions in this fiscal year and will face a $35 billion shortfall in operating expenses.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/06/3836997/panetta-defense-budget-cuts-will.html#storylink=cpy

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/06/3836997/panetta-defense-budget-cuts-will.html

History Won’t Forgive ‘Spoiled Child’ Israel, Turkey Says

Turkey’s prime minister berated Israel Sunday over its alleged air strike on Syria and likened the government in Jerusalem to a “spoiled child.”

In his first response to last Wednesday’s apparent attack on Syrian targets, which was widely attributed to Israel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the raid was illegal according to international law.

“Anything could happen in the region,” he told members of the press at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. “Those who treated the Israeli government like a spoiled child should know that history will not forgive Israel’s state structure.”

The attack “is unacceptable to us… It is against every international law,” added Erdogan, whose country has been a staunch opponent of the Assad regime throughout a civil war that in two years has claimed the lives of some 60,000 Syrians.


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