By Abby D. Phillip
“He’s a traitor,” the highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives said in an extensive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it’s a giant violation of the law.”
Boehner endorsed President Obama’s characterization of two programs, which allow the NSA to gather information about phone calls made in the U.S. as well as information on foreign suspects collected from major internet companies, as critical to the government’s ability to fight terrorism. He said that there are “clear safeguards” built into the programs to protect Americans.
“The president outlined last week that these were important national security programs to help keep Americans safe, and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face,” Boehner said. “The president also outlined that there are appropriate safeguards in place to make sure that there’s no snooping, if you will, on Americans here at home.”
Snowden, a 29-year-old contractor with the National Security Agency, admitted that he was the source of several leaks of top secret NSA documents to the British paper, The Guardian, and the Washington Post.
“We do not have an immediate debt crisis,” Speaker John Boehner said on ABC’s This WeekSunday, echoing both Rep. Paul Ryan and President Obama in a rare point of agreement on the nation’s fiscal issues.
Last week, Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopolous that “we don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt,” and, “in fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.” The president’s remarks provoked an outcry from those who thought a blasé treatment of the country’s deficit would harm the chances of a grand bargain.
A major Republican contention is that growing debts pose a threat to economic growth. In exchange for modest reform on entitlements–the key drivers of the debt–Republicans would concede (in theory) on what Democrats want: new revenues. But if Obama doesn’t see danger in the deficit, the thinking went, what’s either party’s incentive to make a deal?
Now Boehner and Ryan are conceding that point as well, that there is no immediate debt crisis–but with a qualifier: a crisis is on the way.
“We do not have a debt crisis right now,” Ryan told CBS’s Face The Nation Sunday. “But we see it coming. We know it’s irrefutably happening. And the point we’re trying to make with our budget is, let’s get ahead of this problem.”
By Kari Rea
In his first interview since returning to the U.S. from an unprecedented visit to North Korea last week, former NBA star Dennis Rodman said he bears a message for President Obama from the country’s oppressive leader, Kim Jong Un.
“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Rodman told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me.”
The athlete also offered Kim some diplomatic advice for potential future talks with President Obama.
“[Kim] loves basketball. And I said the same thing, I said, ‘Obama loves basketball.’ Let’s start there,” Rodman said.
Rodman’s comments come just days after the basketball star shocked the world with an unexpected trip to Pyongyang, North Korea, becoming the first known American to publicly meet with the mysterious Kim since he assumed command of the totalitarian nation after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il in 2011.
The young leader has defied U.N. sanctions by continuing to develop North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile program, which he says is aimed at the U.S.
Kim is often regarded as one of the world’s most oppressive leaders, presiding over prison camps and allowing millions of his own people to starve.
Rodman likely now has more firsthand impressions of Kim than any other American. He offered some insight to Kim’s personality this morning.
“He loves power. He loves control,” Rodman said, of his new “friend.” “But guess what? He doesn’t want war. That’s one thing he doesn’t want.”
By Jeff Spross
This morning on ABC’s This Week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated what has become the go-to Republican talking point in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal: That the issue of taxes and new revenue is finished, and will not be re-opened. “Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future,” McConnell said.
But this time host George Stephanopoulos pushed back. He pointed out that since last year Congress has already cut $1.5 trillion in spending, without any counter-balancing hikes in tax revenue until the fiscal cliff deal… FULL ARTICLE
The choice for middle-class and low-income families
Over the past four years, President Obama has been dedicated to strengthening the middle class, and making sure everyone who is willing to work has the opportunity to climb out of poverty and into the middle class. But Mitt Romney has a different plan — he’d return us to the same failed economic policies of the past that benefited a wealthy few, let down the middle class, and crashed the economy. Check out campaign policy director James Kvaal’s post about what each candidate’s economic plan would mean for middle-class and low-income families, and pass it along.