Just days after the U.S. election in which President Barack Obama and his policy to leave “all options on the table” when it comes to military action against Iran was reelected, the Pentagon announces that a U.S. drone has been shot at by an Iranian warplane over the Persian Gulf. Military officials claim the drone was in international airspace when the “attack” occurred, engaged in “routine maritime surveillance.” But the details don’t quite add up so easily. Despite the repeated insistence from the Obama administration that the drone’s flight was “routine,” the mission was listed as classified and details of the confrontation were withheld for days after the actual incident.
Other than style of rhetoric and maybe whether or not “Big Bird” should live, there were very few differences of substance between President Obama and failed GOP challenger Mitt Romney when it came to the specifics of what government should look like for the vast majority of working Americans. The first painful reminder of Obama’s “conservative-lite” affliction is likely to come in a fight with congressional Republicans over the looming “fiscal cliff.” Conventional wisdom and a few subtle choices of language by White House advisers hints at another try at a “grand bargain” with the GOP — a euphemism for sweeping proposals to gut both Social Security and Medicare. The president’s attack on the government safety net protecting the security of tens of millions of citizens threatens to break the electoral coalition of progressives that helped Obama attain a second term. Drawn in by his faux populism on the stump, these supporters are in line to be dumped in favor of more “compromise” with an uncompromising GOP House majority.
Record gains in races decided on Tuesday means the next Congress will include the largest number of women in American history. Nearly 100 female legislators will be convening in Washington next January, a total boosted by some unexpected victories from “underdog” women candidates over entrenched male foes. The media is quick to label the 2012 election a landmark event the “year of the woman” in politics. But recent setbacks mean the gains made in 2012 could very well be short lived. The 2010 campaign actually saw the number of women in Congress decrease, as had some previous elections. And even with a record number of women set to serve on Capitol Hill, the United States continues to lag far behind its friends in the developed world in terms of female representation After the 2010 elections, the USA ranked a dismal 78th — tied with Turkmenistan — in percentage of women making up its national representative body.
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