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Posts tagged ‘Joe Lieberman’

Ex-Sen. Joe Lieberman: Hillary Will Be Democrat Nominee in ’16.

There’s little or no doubt that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the next Democratic presidential nominee, although she could face some early competition, according to former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

“If she runs, and I guess she’ll run, then she’ll be the nominee of the party,” Lieberman told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“Interestingly, there could be somebody from the left who will take Hillary on because they think she’s too moderate.

“Unless something really agitating is happening, I don’t think that will be successful – something like a war that she’s supporting … So my guess is she’ll be the Democratic nominee. She’ll be formidable, but it depends on who the Republicans nominate.”

Story continues below video.

Clinton will likely have to answer questions about her role in the lack of security at the consulate in Benghazi, where terrorists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Lieberman believes.

He and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were among those who conducted an early Senate investigation into the attack.

“Our conclusions were very close to what the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation reported last week,” he said.

“We called our report ‘Flashing Red’ because, looking back, you look at the intelligence reports about the terrorist extremists gathering in Benghazi, you see that there is a consulate there with very little protection and it just seems inevitable that there’s going to be an attack on that consulate.

“Also, that there was no real ability of a defense department to get help to our people out there. So our conclusion was …. the U.S. government — State Department, in this case — should have provided more security at Benghazi or should have closed up the consulate.”

Lieberman says his probe never found “any specific proof that Hillary Clinton sort of made a decision not to provide more security. So the real question … will be to what extent is she culpable for things that happened in the State Department?

“She’s answered that to some extent, but I’m sure she’ll be asked it more and more over the next couple of years, particularly if she runs for president.”

Lieberman finds it “unusual” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not bring a House bill calling for additional sanctions against Iran — which is in nuclear disarmament talks with the United States — reportedly at the request of President Barack Obama.

“When it comes to Iran, the threat to the United States, to our allies in the Middle East particularly Israel, is so clear that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it changes the world for us, for our kids, for our grandkids,” he said.

“I don’t get why the administration opposes this … I just have a confidence that in the end, Sen. Reid’s going to have to bring it up and when he does it’s going to pass … and I got to tell you that I don’t think President Obama will veto it …

“Incidentally the Iranians threaten to leave the negotiations if this legislation passes… I don’t believe that either. They’ll hang right in there because so far the negotiations have worked to their benefit.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


By Bill Hoffmann

Joe Lieberman: US Should Halt Iran Nuclear Deal.

Image: Joe Lieberman: US Should Halt Iran Nuclear Deal

Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 10:41 PM

By Greg Richter

Calling Iran‘s interpretation of the temporary agreement to lift sanctions “bad news,” former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman said the White House should “put the brakes on.”

The United States should not start to carry out any of the reduction of sanctions agreed to over the weekend in Geneva, Lieberman told Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” on Tuesday. It also shouldn’t unfreeze the billions of dollars in Iranian assets that were part of the agreement.

The negotiated deal freed $4.2 billion for the Iranian government, and the United States says the Iranians agreed to stop enriching uranium for the next six months.

But Iran says the agreement reads otherwise.

“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva, and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action [the title of the Iran-Western powers deal], and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham was quoted as saying Tuesday by the English-language version of the FARS News agency.

“There’s not an agreement,” Lieberman told Fox News. “Unless you have an agreement, no part of it can be implemented.”

Iran, he said, seems to be disputing whether it has a right to perform nuclear enrichment.

“That’s critical,” he said, adding that Iran has been “chronically deceitful” for so long that it should not be allowed to enrich uranium until it has proved for several years that it can keep an agreement.

“We gave away something really big here if that’s, in fact, what happened,” he said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Napolitano: US Will Suffer ‘Major’ Cyber-Attack in Future.

A large-scale cyber attack against the United States is bound to happen and the nation must prepare to deal with it — quickly, outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warns.

“Our country will, at some point, face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy and the everyday functioning of our society,” Napolitano said in a farewell address at the National Press Clubreports The Hill.

“While we have built systems, protections and a framework to identify attacks and intrusions, share information with the private sector and across government, and develop plans and capabilities to mitigate the damage, more must be done — and quickly,” she continued.

“For every attack we experience, every threat we face and every piece of intelligence we come across, we learn; we assess our preparations and capabilities; we make changes; we become more flexible in the actions we take; and we get stronger and more nimble.”

Napolitano also said that her successor, who has not yet been named by President Barack Obama, must move to a “more risk-based, intelligence-driven security system” to strengthen air-travel safety.

Possible candidates include New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, former Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Lute, and Bill Bratton, who has served as police commissioner in New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffman

Reid: Obamacare ‘Step in Right Direction’ Toward Single-Payer.

The nation needs to “work our way past” needing insurance to access healthcare and toward a single-payer national plan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

Reid, appearing on a Las Vegas PBS program “Nevada Week in Review,” said he thinks the Obamacare-approved insurance plans, which will be offered through new healthcare exchanges in about seven weeks, will eventually become obsolete, the Las Vegas Sun reports. 

“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” the Nevada Democrat said Friday.

In 2009, when Reid was negotiating Obamacare, the idea of having a single-payer system was pushed aside by opponents, but Reid claims the idea had its supporters as well.

“We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said.

However, then-Sen. Joe Lieberman and others opposed the public-option idea, and eventually, Reid decided the single-player plan wouldn’t get a majority of Senate votes.

The country hasn’t been able to work its way out of employer-backed health insurance, which became prominent after the post-World War II labor negotiations in the auto industry, Reid said.

While putting healthcare under the complete control of the government is opposed by many people, one study released Friday indicates the country could save $592 billion in 2014 alone if Medicare paid for everybody’s medical needs.

But the study, performed by Dr. Gerald Friedman, an economics professor at UMASS Amherst, said in order to switch the country to Medicare, taxes will need to be raised on the top 5 percent of income earners, as well on capital gains, stock trading, and other key items,reports EHR Intelligence, a top online resource concerning electronic health records.

“A single-payer system would reduce barriers to access for the currently insured by eliminating burdensome co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket spending for medical care,” argued Friedman. “It would eliminate inequity in the treatment of less-affluent patients by paying providers the same fee for each patient regardless of income or employment.”

But physicians are not likely to support such a move. Three times more doctors are refusing Medicare patients than three years ago, many citing Medicare’s increasing rules and lowered payment rates.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the program, even doctors who still see some Medicare patients are limiting the number of Medicare patients they will treat.

The declines are in addition to the growing number of doctors who won’t accept new Medicaid patients, and come just as millions of Americans are poised to become eligible for coverage under Obamacare.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Joe Lieberman: Iran ‘Most Dangerous Challenge to US Security’.

Image: Joe Lieberman: Iran 'Most Dangerous Challenge to US Security'

By Dan Weil

While the tumultuous events in Egypt and Syria have focused the public’s attention on civil strife in those countries, Iran remains the biggest threat to the United States in the Mideast, says former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

“The most dangerous challenge to U.S. national security brewing in the region continues to be the Iranian regime‘s pursuit of a nuclear-weapons capability,” Lieberman, who served in the Senate as both a Democrat and an independent, writes in The Wall Street Journal.

The most important recent development in Iran is last month’s election of Hasan Rouhani as president and reaction to that result has generally been divided in two ways, says Lieberman, now senior counsel at the law firm of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman.

“The first sees the victory by Mr. Rouhani — reputedly the most moderate of the approved candidates — rekindling hope of a diplomatic breakthrough over Tehran‘s illicit nuclear program,” he writes. “The second holds that Mr. Rouhani’s election won’t alter Iran’s nuclear strategy.”

Those holding the second view say either that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who has shown no interest in compromise, is Iran’s true leader or that Rouhani isn’t really a reformer, Lieberman says.

“There is, however, a third possibility to consider: that the Iranian regime under Mr. Rouhani will shift its international behavior, but that Tehran, rather than abandon its goal of a nuclear-weapons capability, will instead simply adopt a shrewder, more effective approach,” Lieberman says.

“The risk with Mr. Rouhani is that the Iranians will adopt a smarter strategy that accepts tactical compromises at the negotiating table, but only to buy the time and space necessary to push ahead with the most important elements of their nuclear program,” Lieberman wrote.

Rouhani boasted in a 2004 speech that this is exactly what he did as Iran’s nuclear negotiator – “suspending enrichment as a sop to the international community, even as Iran moved forward on other fronts,” Lieberman says.

“The Obama administration reportedly is interested in reaching out to Mr. Rouhani,” Lieberman says. “That will be worthwhile — if the administration also quickly tests his seriousness and doesn’t allow him to play for time. The U.S. and its allies should refuse to offer any sanctions relief unless Iran immediately stops all activities that could lead to a nuclear-weapons breakout.”

Rouhani’s election already has demonstrated one encouraging truth, Lieberman says. “The majority of Iranians clearly showed that they ranked improved relations with the rest of the world, and the economic prosperity this could bring, over nuclear weapons and a foreign policy of ‘resistance.'”

Lieberman hopes Rouhani delivers on this promise. “But in light of the undemocratic and extremist character of Iran’s regime, and its past patterns of behavior, we must also prepare for the worst case — that Tehran under Mr. Rouhani will become an even more devious and dangerous adversary,” he says.

The Obama administration apparently already has begun to take action to engage with Rouhani. The State Department quietly offered to have bilateral talks with Iran based on “mutual respect,” State Department spokesman Alan Eyre told Iran’s state-run media last week, Fox News reports. He said Iranian and U.S. officials could negotiate one-on-one or through the “P5 +1,” which includes the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Alaska celebrates statehood as two others consider options.

It was on January 3, 1959, that Alaska became the 49th state after a long road to the union. Today, two others are considering a similar path, and likewise face big obstacles.

It took Alaska, despite its impressive size and rich history, about 13 years to become a full-fledged state after World War II, and it needed help from Hawaii.

Recently, voters in Puerto Rico decided to ask Congress to consider its petition for statehood after a November referendum. And last month, there was again talk that the District of Columbia should seek to become a state.

Those two options seem long shots at the moment, because of the complicated process—and politics—of becoming a state.

In the case of Alaska, it started its legal quest for statehood in 1946, when voters approved its referendum. It took years and years of lobbying in Congress to get serious consideration for Alaska’s admittance to the union.

Prior to World War II, Alaska suffered from a bit of an inferiority complex and its own internal politics. Originally called Seward’s Folly after its 1867 purchase from Russia, Alaska came to national attention after its Gold Rush period.

It became a territory in 1912 and started making noise about becoming a state four years later. And its strategic importance became obvious during World War II.

The Democrats during the 1950s favored Alaska as the 49th state, while the Republicans wanted Hawaii admitted by itself. The reason was that each new state gets two U.S. senators and at least one new House member, and the admission of a new state can swing votes in Congress.

The Constitution is vague about the whole process of how a territory becomes a state, delegating the task to Congress.

In Article IV, Section 3, Congress is given the power to decide what states and territories are, but state legislatures would have to approve any act that would combine two existing states or form a new state from parts of other states. (So reuniting Pennsylvania and New Jersey, or Virginia and West Virginia, would be a very difficult task.)

Hawaii both helped and complicated the approval process for Alaska, but a congressional compromise was brokered. Alaska became the 49th state in January 1959, and Hawaii became the 50th state in August 1959.

Puerto Rico’s referendum passed in November and on the surface, it faces bigger challenges than Alaska’s did.

For starters, Puerto Rico has a much bigger population than Alaska or Hawaii did in 1959.

With its population of 3.7 million people, Puerto Rico would be entitled to eight congressional seats, including six seats in the House of Representatives, if it were granted statehood today.

Unless Congress agrees to add the six seats to the House, they would need to be taken from other states.  So an elected member of Congress would need to surrender their seat and agree to redistricting.

Puerto Rico is seen as a Democrat-leaning region, so if the House were to add six new seats, it would also add six new seats in areas controlled by Republicans.

The numbers of seats in the Senate can’t be expanded in the same way, which makes it highly unlikely that a GOP-controlled House would approve of a statehood measure for Puerto Rico.

And Puerto Rico would get eight electoral votes in the next presidential election, which isn’t going to be popular with Republicans.

In the case of the District of Columbia, it already has three electoral votes, thanks to the 23rd Amendment, which was passed in 1961. The District is heavily Democratic, and its admission as a state would tilt the scales more to the Democrats’ liking in Congress.

Outgoing Senator Joe Lieberman introduced a District of Columbia statehood bill last month that would leave a small federal district intact in the Mall area near the White House and the Capitol, and make the rest of the region the state of New Columbia.

In addition to the politics of adding a new state with three Democratic members of Congress, the District of Columbia could face an unusual legal issue.

Since new states are entitled to three electoral votes and the District of Columbia already has three electors under the 23rd Amendment, another amendment may be needed to repeal the 23rdAmendment. Otherwise, the new federal district, consisting of historic buildings, wouldn’t have any full-time residents, but would still have three electoral votes.


By NCC Staff | National Constitution Center

Lawmakers see ‘fiscal cliff’ deal as elusive.

Lawmakers worry ‘fiscal cliff’ deal elusive; some predict small-scale patch may be only option

WASHINGTON (AP) — With anxiety rising as the country lurches towards a “fiscal cliff,” lawmakers are increasingly skeptical about a possible deal and some predict the best possibility would be a small-scale patch because time is running out before the yearend deadline.

Sen. Joe Lieberman predicted Sunday: “We’re going to spend New Year’s Eve here, I believe.”

Even those who see the possibility of a deal don’t expect a lot.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said she expects “it is going to be a patch because in four days we can’t solve everything.”

With the collapse Thursday of House Speaker John Boehner‘s plan to allow tax rates to rise on million-dollar-plus incomes, Lieberman said: “It’s the first time that I feel it’s more likely we’ll go over the cliff than not,” meaning that higher taxes for most Americans and painful federal agency budget cuts would be in line to go ahead.

“If we allow that to happen it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in American history because of the impact it’ll have on almost every American,” said Lieberman, a Connecticut independent.

Wyoming Sen. Jon Barrasso, a member of the GOP leadership, predicted the new year would come without an agreement, and he faulted the White House.

“I believe the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. He senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff,” he said.

Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, was incredulous at Barrasso’s assertion that ‘there is only one person that can provide the leadership” on such a matter vital to the nation’s interests.

“There are 535 of us that can provide leadership. There are 435 in the House, 100 in the Senate and there is the president, all of us have a responsibility here,” he said. “And, you know what is happening? What is happening is the same old tired blame game. He said/she said. I think the American people are tired of it. What they want to hear is ‘What is the solution?'”

President Barack Obama and Congress are on a short holiday break. Congress is expected to be back at work Thursday and Obama will be back in the White House after a few days in Hawaii.

“It is time to get back to the table,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., “And I hope if anyone sees these representatives from the House in line shopping or getting their Christmas turkey, they wish them a merry Christmas, they’re civil, and then say ‘go back to the table, not your own table, the table in Washington.'”

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said he expects something will be passed, but nothing that will solve the nation’s growing financial problems.

“I think there’s unfortunately only going to be a small deal,” he said, but added “it’s critical we get to the big deal.”

Obama already has scaled back his ambitions for a sweeping budget bargain. Before leaving the capital on Friday, he called for a limited measure that extends George W. Bush-era tax cuts for most people and stave off federal spending cuts. The president also urged Congress to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that would otherwise be cut off for 2 million people at the end of the year.

The failure of Boehner’s option in the House has shifted the focus.

“The ball is now clearly with the Senate,” said Lieberman.

He said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky “have the ability to put this together again and pass something. It won’t be a big, grand bargain to take care of the total debt, but they can do some things that will avoid the worst consequences going over the fiscal cliff.”

It was only a week ago when news emerged that Obama and Boehner had significantly narrowed their differences. Both were offering a cut in taxes for most Americans, an increase for a relative few and cuts of roughly $1 trillion in spending over a year. Also included was a scaling back of future cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients — a concession on the president’s part as much as agreeing to higher tax rates was for the speaker.

Lieberman was on CNN’s “State of the Union,” while Barrasso, Klobuchar and Conrad appeared on “Fox News Sunday.” Hutchison and Warner were on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”


Associated Press

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