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John Kerry: Next Secretary of State?

Dec 18, 2012, 7:19 pm EDT
John Kerry: Next Secretary of State?

President Barack Obama’s choice for his next Secretary of State may be the worst-kept secret in Washington right now — or one of the biggest surprises ever, if the presumptive nominee isn’t selected.

Hillary Clinton’s likely successor? Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Sources have told both CNN and ABC News that Kerry will be Obama’s choice, and that it’s only a matter of time before Obama makes the announcement.

Kerry seems to possess the foreign relations experience necessary to thrive in the role. Originally from Denver, Colo., Kerry spent much of his childhood overseas. He lived in Berlin, and attended a Swiss boarding school at 11 years old. He is also a Vietnam War veteran who earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts during his tour of duty. He has been a senator since 1984, and currently serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Read 

Domino’s Founder Sues Gov’t Over Contraception Mandate

Dec 18, 2012, 10:23 am EDT
Domino’s Founder Sues Gov’t Over Contraception Mandate

Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), is suing the federal government over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Monaghan’s suit claims that the mandate that employer-provided health insurance covers birth control violates his right to religious freedom. He calls birth control “gravely immoral,” The Hill reports.

The suit is brought by Monaghan not on behalf of Domino’s Pizza, but on behalf of Monaghan himself and Domino’s Farms, an office park owned by Monaghan. The suit was filed in federal court last Friday. Read 

Hillary Clinton Recovering From Concussion After Fainting

Dec 17, 2012, 7:21 pm EDT
Hillary Clinton Recovering From Concussion After Fainting

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be spending this week at home after suffering a concussion after fainting last week.

According to her office and State department spokesman Philippe Reines, Clinton has been suffering from a stomach virus, which caused her to cancel a trip to Morocco last Monday. She became dehydrated from the virus and fainted as a result, which led to her sustaining the concussion.

Clinton will work from home this week, which means she will miss the congressional hearings on the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Attending her in place will be Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Deputy Secretary of State for Management Thomas Nides. Read 

Beyond the Rates: Navigating the Fiscal Cliff

Dec 14, 2012, 12:42 pm EDT
Beyond the Rates: Navigating the Fiscal Cliff

Sick of the phrase “fiscal cliff” yet? Well, me too — but it still matters. And the issue that everyday citizens should care about isn’t even getting any press.

As we read the tea leaves this week, all signs are pointing to no significant deal between President Obama and House Republicans that would forestall a trip over the cliff on Jan. 1. Although there are some signs of Republican acknowledgement that rates will have to rise (and limiting deductions won’t be enough to satisfy Obama), the president himself has upped the ante by insisting that any deal on the fiscal cliff include essentially doing away with the debt ceiling. The president also included $200 billion of additional stimulus in his proposal that actually made some Republicans laugh.

What does this mean for Republicans? They have an extremely bitter pill to swallow if they choose to compromise with Obama. They will be raising taxes on the wealthy, appearing to concede on the debt and handicapping themselves in future negotiations. While the GOP is clearly bruised from its electoral defeat this year, it does not yet appear weakened to the point of concession on all three of these measures. Read 

Senate Wants to Make Spouse-Tracking Apps Illegal

Dec 14, 2012, 11:15 am EDT

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would make it illegal to sell software that enables the tracking of individuals.

The legislation against so-called “stalking apps,” introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), also requires that an app disclose its existence to those being tracked, the Associated Press reports.

While stalking is illegal already, and older technologies are already barred from tracking or disclosing information about users, Internet-based systems are not yet covered by federal law. Currently, mobile devices can communicate via email, web links or apps and disclose a user’s location to suspicious spouses or advertisers and marketers. Read 

Susan Rice Withdraws From Secretary of State Consideration

Dec 13, 2012, 7:25 pm EDT
Susan Rice Withdraws From Secretary of State Consideration

Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State.

According to an interview with NBC News, Rice said she withdrew because she “didn’t want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive.” She added that she didn’t want to interfere with the beginning of President Barack Obama’s term, when he would begin setting the agenda for the next four years, and that there were more important issues facing the country than her nomination.

In a letter sent to Obama and written with White House assistance, Rice said much the same as she did in her NBC interview. Read 

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