NEW YORK (AP) Economists are increasingly, but still cautiously, optimistic about growth in the year ahead with the hiring expected to pick up in coming months.
A quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics released Monday shows half of the economists polled now expect real gross domestic product the value of all goods and services produced in the United States to grow between 2 and 4 percent in 2013. That's up from 36 percent of respondents who felt the same way three months earlier.
About half expect sluggish or negative performance, down from 65 percent in October.
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/Economists-growing-more-upbeat-about-year-ahead-4227850.php#ixzz2JIHgxZxk
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
Updated 9:25 am, Monday, January 28, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose sharply in December on strong gains in volatile aircraft orders. But companies slowed their orders of goods that signal investment plans, indicating manufacturing could stay choppy in 2013.
The Commerce Department said Monday that overall orders for durable goods increased 4.6 percent in December compared with November. The gains were led by a 56.4 percent increase in military aircraft orders and a 10.1 percent increase in commercial aircraft orders.
Orders rose in other major categories, including machinery, communications equipment and primary metals.
A more closely watched gauge of business investment plans increased just 0.2 percent. Economists were encouraged that orders for so-called capital goods kept rising in December after gains of 3 percent in both November and October.
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/US-durable-goods-orders-rise-4-6-pct-on-aircraft-4228766.php#ixzz2JIH7wvg8
Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk told the Israeli media on Monday that while US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu do indeed have chemistry, at the moment it is "bad chemistry."
Speaking to Army Radio, Indyk called it a "mistake" for Obama not to visit Jerusalem on his pre-election trip to Israel in 2008, and that he erred in not visiting Jerusalem since. It is "very important" that Israelis come to see Obama as "a man that is deeply committed to Israel's security."
With regard to Obama's state of mind, Indyk said that he believes, "President Obama is feeling quite frustrated because he rightly feels that he has done the right thing by Israel, but Israel is not responsive."
Indyk suggested that once Netanyahu has formed his new government, he should "reach out to President Obama and try to turn a new page." He added that the "relations between the United States and Israel are more important than the differences between the two leaders." Referring to these tensions, which have been widely reported, Indyk said that the two heads of state "need to overcome them."
Females may be included in the Selective Service and qualify for a potential draft should one be ordered by the president, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.
The U.S. militarys civilian leader lamented that he didnt know who ran the Selective Service, but whoever does will have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did, Panetta said at a Pentagon press conference Thursday.
On Thursday, Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lifted the official ban on women serving in combat roles, removing gender barriers from jobs in the military.
Congress established the U.S. Selective Service as an independent federal agency in 1940, one year ahead of the start of World War II. Presidents had drafted men in previous wars, but this was the first time it was established in peace time. In Americas history, the military has never drafted a woman or ordered her to register for the Selective Service.
In a special message to the annual anti-abortion protest March for Life, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) vowed that ending abortion would be one of the top priorities of Republicans this year.
Defending life, of course, is about much more than voting the right way or saying the right things, he said. Its about promoting a culture of life. Its about understanding that abortion is a defining human rights issue of our time. Because human life is not an economic or political commodity, and no government on Earth has the right to treat it as such.
With all thats at stake, it is becoming more and more important for us to share this truth with our young people, to encourage them to lock arms, speak out for life, and help make abortion a relic of the past, Boehner continued. Let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year.
Boehner said the Republican-led House would again seek to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which sparked controversy in 2011 because of how it defined rape. The bill was approved by the House but died in the Senate.
Raw Story (http://s.tt/1z0js)
In something of a parting gift, President Obama is making abundantly clear his deep support and fondness for outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is leaving wide open a possible presidential run in 2016.
Sitting together for their first joint interview, you could almost forget that they once politically bludgeoned each other in the 2008 Democratic primary.
Im going to miss her, Obama told CBS News Steve Croft. Wish she was sticking around.
A few years ago it would have been seen as improbable, Clinton admitted, before explaining that she ultimately agreed to take the position as secretary of state because we both love our country.
Ill tell you what I finally thought. You know, if the roles had been reversed, and I had ended up winning, I would have desperately wanted him to be in my cabinet, Clinton said.
It sure looks like, if Harry Reid wanted to, he could have found 51 votes, especially if he used pressure and negotiation, to pass real filibuster reform-- the Mr Smith Goes to Washington kind, the elimination of single senator holds.
But he didn't. Now, he gets to use the filibuster as an excuse for not getting anything done.
Of course, the argument people use to defend him is that he fears the time when the GOP controls the senate, and wants to reserve the filibuster for Democrats when they are in the minority.
More with source site poll... http://www.opednews.com/populum/page_poll.php
The Sunday Times marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a less-than-traditional manner, running a virulently anti-Israel cartoon depicting a big-nosed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians.
The cartoon included a caption beneath the image entitled "Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?" Drawn by Gerald Scarfe, the cartoon appeared in the national paper on Sunday.
This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset, said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor. This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the papers editors.
Amazingly, as this cartoon was published days after the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, underwent fully democratic elections, as others in the Middle East were being butchered by the tens of thousands, the Sunday Times focuses its imagination solely on the Jewish State. This contravenes many of the criteria laid out in EUMCs Working Definition of Antisemitism and is part of a worrying trend to legitimize the growing assault on Israel by opinion-shapers.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking credit for defeating filibuster reform and preserving the GOPs ability to block legislation.
The Kentucky Republicans 2014 re-election campaign fired off a fundraising email to supporters after the finalization of the bipartisan rules change agreement, which passed Thursday night. The agreement negotiated by McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) leaves the 60-vote threshold in tact but speeds up the legislating process.
The email, subject line We Beat the Liberals, bragged that President Obama was furious after liberal senators and left-wing groups failed to pass their dangerous scheme to break down the checks and balances in the Senate.
You see, they had been pushing a plan to end the filibuster, allowing Harry Reid and the Obama Democrats to pass their agenda with a simple majority, wrote Jesse Benton, McConnells campaign manager. Well, Mitch McConnell stood strong and stopped that scheme dead in its tracks.
Instead of going to a full-scale war with Iran over its nuclear program Israel may be satisfied with a US-led operation, says Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Previously Tel Aviv was determined to resolve the issue on its own, if the US refuses to help.
Apparently after the Knesset election this month left the Netanyahu cabinet weakened, Israeli hawks are toning down their war drumming rhetoric. In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Barak said the Pentagon had prepared a surgical operation that can be used as a last-ditch measure to slow Iranian progress.
I used to tell them [American friends], you know, when we are talking about surgical operations we think of a scalpel, you think of a chisel with a 10-pound hammer, Barak joked as cited by The Daily Beast. But thats not the case with the plan, he noted. The Pentagon prepared quite sophisticated, fine, extremely fine, scalpels. So it is not an issue of a major war or a failure to block Iran. You could under a certain situation, if worse comes to worst, end up with a surgical operation.
Such an operation will delay [the Iranians] by a significant time frame and probably convince them that it wont work because the world is determined to block them, Barak said.
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