Netanyahu Allocates Almost $3 Billion for Iran Attack; Carney Denies Seeking Russia Post; Feds Collect Record Taxes

Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 02:25 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Anti-Incumbent Sentiment Nears 70 Percent
2. Jay Carney Denies Russian Ambassador Talk
3. Netanyahu Allocates Almost $3 Billion for Iran Attack
4. Feds Collect Record Revenue — Still Run a Deficit
5. Poll: Americans Little Concerned About Climate Change
6. We Heard: Republican Lawyers Award, News Sources
 

1. Anti-Incumbent Sentiment Nears 70 Percent

A record 68 percent of respondents in a new poll say they are inclined to look for someone to vote for other than their current representative in Congress.

Just 22 percent say they are inclined to re-elect their representative, according to the ABC News/Washington Post survey.

In a poll by the Pew Research Center, 38 percent of respondents said their representative in Congress did not deserve to be re-elected in 2014.

And a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey found that just 34 percent of voters think their members of Congress deserve re-election, while 55 percent are willing to give a new person a chance.

But the anti-incumbent sentiment is not likely to bring about sweeping changes in Congress, according to Alan Abramowitz of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, who said the fall elections "are likely to result in minimal change in the party balance of power."

The Rothenberg Political Report rates 383 House seats as safe and 13 as having a clear favorite, while the Cook Political Report has 358 seats safe.

It is a curious fact of politics in the United States that Americans say their representatives don't deserve re-election, then go ahead and re-elect them.

"It's one thing to say your representative doesn't deserve to be re-elected, or even that you're open to voting him or her out, and actually doing so," Pew observed.

"Americans have been more favorably disposed toward their own representative than to Congress as a whole."

Pew pointed out that in 2000, when Republican George W. Bush replaced Democrat Bill Clinton in the White House, fewer than 10 House incumbents were voted out of office. And in 2008, when Democrats won back the presidency with Barack Obama, fewer than 25 representatives lost their jobs.

Editor's Note:



2. Jay Carney Denies Russian Ambassador Talk

No sooner did the rumor begin circulating in Washington that White House press secretary Jay Carney was seeking to become the next U.S. ambassador to Russia than Carney flat-out squashed the notion.

The chatter started with a Daily Beast report that Carney was "rumored to be lobbying to replace former Ambassador Mike McFaul as the next U.S. ambassador to Moscow."

Noah Pollak, executive director at the Emergency Committee for Israel, also fueled the rumor when he tweeted that Carney — who covered the fall of the Soviet Union for Time magazine — was "lobbying hard for ambassador to Russia job," according to the Huffington Post.

And The Daily Caller reported that Carney had told people he would be leaving his post soon.

But Carney declared in an email to the Huffington Post that the claim he was seeking the Moscow job "is false."

The ambassador post has been vacant for more than three weeks, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice would like to place a woman in the job, The Washington Post reported.

Among possible nominees, according to the Post, are Sheila Gwaltney, the current deputy chief of mission in Moscow, who served as consul general in St. Petersburg from 2008 to 2011, and Pamela Spratlen, the State Department's ambassador in Kyrgyzstan, who previously served as consul general in Vladivostok, Russia.

The Post also cites Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security and the main U.S. negotiator for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Editor's Note:



3. Netanyahu Allocates Almost $3 Billion for Iran Attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon have reportedly ordered the military to continue preparing for a possible strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Three Knesset members who were present at Knesset joint committee hearings on Israel Defense Forces plans said that at least 10 billion shekels ($2.89 billion) of the defense budget would be allocated this year for preparations for the strike on Iran, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

After an interim accord between Iran and six world powers was reached, Netanyahu stressed that Israel will not consider itself bound by it. Netanyahu in fact is again making implied threats about a possible unilateral Israeli strike.

"My friends, I believe that letting Iran enrich uranium would open up the floodgates," Netanyahu said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington earlier this month. "That must not happen. And we will make sure it does not happen."

Ya'alon said in a recent speech at Tel Aviv University that he is now likely to back a unilateral strike on Iran in light of his assessment that the Obama administration will not do so, according to Haaretz.

"We think the United States should be the one leading the campaign against Iran," he said. "But the U.S. has entered talks with them and unfortunately, in the haggling in the Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better.

"Therefore on this matter we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves."

The second round of nuclear talks opened in Vienna on Tuesday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in attendance along with senior diplomats from the six powers — the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany.

Zarif wrote in an opinion piece for Britain's Financial Times that the six powers have agreed to seek a "mutually acceptable agreement" after realizing that "coercion, pressure and sanctions only result in more centrifuges, more resentment and deeper mistrust."

Editor's Note:



4. Feds Collect Record Revenue — Still Run a Deficit

The federal government collected $1,104 billion in the first five months of fiscal 2014, an all-time record for the period of October through February — yet still managed to run a deficit of $379 billion.

Total revenue was up $94 billion from fiscal 2013 and broke the previous record of $1,076 billion set in 2007, before the recession began and took its toll on the American economy.

Individual income taxes rose by $15 billion or 3 percent during the first five months of fiscal 2014, and social insurance (payroll) taxes rose $54 billion or 15.7 percent, according to a Congressional Budget Office report based on Treasury Department statements.

The increases were due in part to the expiration of the 2 percentage-point payroll tax cut and increases in tax rates for income above certain thresholds. A tax bill signed by President Obama in early 2013 also boosted the capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent for higher-income taxpayers.

Corporate income taxes rose $12 billion to $83 billion, a 16.7 percent increase compared to fiscal 2013, while "Other Receipts," including receipts from the Federal Reserve, rose $13 billion to $106 billion, a rise of 13.6 percent.

Federal outlays over the five months decreased by $21 billion to $1,483 billion, the CBO reported.

Total spending for military activities of the Department of Defense dropped $15 billion to $246 billion, and Department of Agriculture spending decreased by about $10 billion largely due to reduced spending for crop insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps. And interest on the public debt fell $3 billion to $97 billion.

But outlays for Social Security increased $16 billion to $345 billion, Medicare rose $17 billion to $221 billion, and Medicaid went up $8 billion to $116 billion.

Despite the decrease in outlays and rise in tax revenue, the government still ran a deficit estimated at $379 billion over the five-month period. That was down from $494 billion in fiscal 2013.

In February alone, outlays increased $12 billion compared to February 2013, adding $195 billion to the deficit.

Editor's Note:



5. Poll: Americans Little Concerned About Climate Change

Despite the best efforts of global warming alarmists, just 24 percent of Americans say they worry "a great deal" about climate change, a new Gallup poll reveals.

In fact, climate change and the quality of the environment (31 percent worry a great deal) rank at the bottom of the list of 15 problems cited in Gallup's annual March survey of Americans' concerns, ahead of only race relations (17 percent).

Another 25 percent worry about climate change a "fair amount," but a majority, 51 percent, say they worry about it "a little or not at all."

And the 31 percent who worry a great deal about the quality of the environment is the lowest percentage since Gallup began the survey in 2001. Concern peaked at 43 percent in 2007.

Among Democrats and those who lean Democratic, 45 percent worry a great deal about the quality of the environment, but just 16 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners share that concern.

The top concern cited by poll respondents is the economy — 59 percent worry about it a great deal — followed by federal spending and the budget deficit (58 percent), the availability and affordability of healthcare (57 percent), unemployment (49 percent), and the size and power of the federal government (48 percent).

Only 11 percent are "a little or not at all" worried about the economy, while 42 percent feel that way about illegal immigration.

The top concerns of Republicans are federal spending and the budget deficit (74 percent worry a great deal), the size and power of the federal government and the economy (both 67 percent), and the availability and affordability of healthcare (57 percent).

Among Democrats, healthcare is the top concern (57 percent), followed by the economy (54 percent), hunger and homelessness (53 percent), and unemployment (52 percent).

"Twenty-eight U.S. senators held an all-night 'talkathon' [on March 10) to call attention to climate change," Gallup observed.

"It is unclear whether or to what extent the senators' actions will raise Americans' concerns about climate change or the environment. But unless Americans' concern increases, the likelihood of the public's support for significant legislative action on environment matters is small."

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard . . .

THAT the Republican National Lawyers Association has bestowed its annual award on Thomas Spencer of Coral Gables, Fla.

Spencer received the 2014 Betty Murphy Award at the RNLA National Policy Conference on Friday. The honor is presented to an "unsung hero, member, trailblazer, with entrepreneurial spirit, a community service leader, an organization builder who inspires others' efforts," according to the RNLA.

With the RNLA, Spencer has served as Florida Chapter chair, national vice president for membership, and first vice president. He was one of the founders of the RNLA's Florida Chapter.

Spencer is a former Executive Committee member of the Republican Party. He served on the Bush/Cheney campaign's finance committee, and was co-counsel for Bush/Cheney in the Florida recount in 2000.

THAT computers and laptops have now surpassed radio and newspapers as the source Americans turn to for news.

A survey by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that nearly 70 percent of respondents said they had used a laptop or computer to get news in the last week.

About 65 percent said they had gotten news from the radio, and 61 percent cited print newspapers or magazines.

About 30 percent said they had used a tablet to access news.

The survey also disclosed that nearly half of Americans with Internet access have signed up for news alerts.

Note: Newsmax magazine is now available on the iPad. Find us in the App Store.

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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