Updated 1043 PST
Ukraine Pledges to Protect Deposits as Kiev Rally Called
Ukraine is weighing measures to stem cash withdrawals after as much as 7
percent of deposits were taken from banks during last week’s bloody
uprising, underscoring the need for action to fend off a default.
Withdrawals peaked with as much as 30 billion hryvnias ($3.1 billion)
Feb. 18-20 as police and anti-government demonstrators fought in the
center of Kiev, Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy Governor Stepan Kubiv, 51,
said in his first interview since being appointed Feb. 24.
Putin Rattles Sabers
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a test of the
“battle readiness” of military forces deployed in the western and
central areas of the country, a likely show of Kremlin muscle to
reassure ethnic Russians in Ukraine that their rights and interests will
The announcement of the “immediate and thorough” readiness exercises was
made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and reported by the
Interfax news agency.
Rand Paul Is the GOP's Early Presidential Front-Runner
While the establishment hopes for a governor to emerge, he is quietly putting together a formidable operation.
Republican strategists like to say the party's next nominee needs to
hail from the GOP's gubernatorial ranks. It's a response to how
unpopular Washington is—particularly the party's congressional wing—and a
reflection of the party's strength in holding a majority of
governorships. But another reason for the gubernatorial focus is to
sidestep the one formidable candidate that gives the establishment
heartburn: Sen. Rand Paul.
Make no mistake: The Kentuckian scares the living daylights out of many
Republicans looking for an electable nominee capable of challenging
Hillary Clinton. At the same time, he's working overtime to broaden the
party's image outside its traditional avenues of support. The 2016
Republican nominating fight will go a long way toward determining
whether Paul is the modern version of Barry Goldwater or at the leading
edge of a new, more libertarian brand of Republicanism.
IRS Warns: Obamacare Tax Must Be Paid with Tax Return
Agency employs Orwellian term “Shared Responsibility Payment” to describe Obamacare individual mandate tax.
President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service today quietly released a
series of Obamacare “Health Care Tax Tips” warning Americans that they
must obtain “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by the federal
government – or face a “shared responsibility payment” when filing their
tax returns in 2015. The term “shared responsibility payment” refers to
the Obamacare individual mandate tax, one of at least seven tax hikes
in the healthcare law that directly hit families making less than
$250,000 per year.
Your 2014 tax return will ask if you had insurance coverage or qualified
for an exemption. If not, you may owe a shared responsibility payment
when you file in 2015.
Sebelius Denies 7 Million Was Obamacare's Target
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday
that the administration never had a 7 million enrollment target for
Obamacare, backtracking on comments she made last year volunteering that
"First of all, 7 million was not the administration. That was a CBO,
Congressional Budget Office prediction when the bill was first signed,"
Sebelius said in an interview with HuffPost Live.
"I'm not quite sure where they even got their numbers. Their numbers are
all over the board, and the vice president has looked and said it may
be closer to 5 to 6."
The Clinton library's secret files
A trove of Clinton White House records long processed for release
remains hidden from public view at the Clinton Presidential Library in
Little Rock — even though the legal basis initially used to withhold
them expired more than a year ago.
The papers contain confidential advice given to or sought by President
Bill Clinton, including communications with then-first lady Hillary
Clinton, and records about people considered for appointments to federal
Under the Presidential Records Act, such records can be withheld for up
to 12 years after a president leaves office. However, at the 12-year
mark, those broad restrictions fall away and the once-secret
presidential papers are generally subject to disclosure. For the Clinton
files, that milestone came and went in January 2013.
Pressure mounts on Arizona governor to veto bill dubbed anti-gay
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer came under mounting pressure on Tuesday from
other prominent Republicans and consultants to veto a controversial
bill described by critics as a license to discriminate against gays and
others in the name of religion.
Brewer has yet to say publicly whether she will sign or veto the bill,
which would allow business owners to cite their personal religious
beliefs as legal justification for refusing to serve same-sex couples or
any other prospective customers.
Supreme Court ruling expands police authority in home searches
The Supreme Court decision, based on a Los Angeles case, says
officers may search a residence without a warrant as long as one
Police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as
one occupant consents, even if another resident has previously
objected, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a Los Angeles case.
The 6-3 ruling, triggered by a Los Angeles Police Department arrest in
2009, gives authorities more leeway to search homes without obtaining a
warrant, even when there is no emergency.
The majority, led by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., said police need not
take the time to get a magistrate's approval before entering a home in
such cases. But dissenters, led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, warned
that the decision would erode protections against warrantless home
searches. The court had previously held that such protections were at
the "very core" of the 4th Amendment and its ban on unreasonable
searches and seizures.
Hezbollah takes lead in pounding Syrian rebels
Hezbollah fighters have prevented a takeover of Damascus by rebels and now appear to be tipping the scales in Assad's favor.
Forces of the terrorist group Hezbollah say they are winning battles to
defeat a three-year rebellion against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad by
pouring fighters into remote regions where the Sunni Muslim rebels have
The latest may be in Ghouta, a region just east of Damascus where 175
rebels were killed in an ongoing battle, according to SANA, the Syrian
state-controlled news agency.
Boehner: Tax Reform Plan Is Just Beginning of Conversation
John Boehner said he's happy to have Congress discuss a proposal for
comprehensive tax reform, but signaled that the GOP is a long way from
pushing legislation through Congress.
blah, blah," Boehner said in response to a question about the specifics
of a proposal expected to be released Wednesday by House Ways and Means
Chairman Dave Camp, The Washington Post reports.
conversation that needs to begin," Boehner said. "This is the beginning
of the conversation. The idea of tax reform is to get our economy going
again, provide better, more economic growth, more jobs, and higher
wages. The way you do that is you bring down rates."
How to Fix Our Appaling Tax Code
Every year Americans spend more than six billion hours and $168 billion to file their returns.
There have been
so many changes to the tax code over the past decade that it is now 10
times the size of the Bible, but with none of the Good News. That
factual statement usually gets a good laugh back home in Michigan. What
isn't funny is the effect that constant tinkering with taxes has had on
the people who pay them, and on the economy.
Nina Olsen, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, Americans
overall spend over six billion hours and $168 billion every year to
file their returns. This is stark testimony to the complexity of the
tax code. Meanwhile, owners of small businesses face tax rates as high
as 44.6%, while the total (state and federal) U.S. corporate rate,
39.1%, is the highest in the industrialized world.
Why those in power should act like adults
Thwarting excessive government intervention is key
Most of us can
remember feeling that someone had done us a great injustice. On those
occasions, we want nothing more than to exact revenge. I remember being
unfairly treated as a lowly ROTC cadet by one of the sergeants who
resented the fact that my brother had been promoted to captain and
company commander over him.
I was very
ambitious and worked extremely hard, resulting in my promotion in
record time to the rank of colonel and city executive officer. This
individual was now firmly under my command and I could have wreaked
havoc in his life. Instead, I chose to give him extra responsibilities.
Responding to the challenge, he proved himself to be quite capable,
earning further promotions. Because I resisted the urge to retaliate,
we both won. This same principle can apply in politics.
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
Armed Services of the United States.
to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to
JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made
September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been: •
3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
Sgt Dakota Meyer
US Marine Corps
Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members
of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and
Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with
village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by
more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars,
and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes
above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off,
Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving,
Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as
they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to
disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding
intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal
Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns
and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver
made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips,
he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom
were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a
return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third
trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported
the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out
of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made
two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by
four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and
search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire,
he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate
and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer's daring
initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle
significantly disrupted the enemy's attack and inspired the members of
the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast
devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain
death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest
traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.