Sen. John McCain is furious about the al-Qaida surge in an area where 1,300 U.S. troops lost their lives during the Iraq war, and the Arizona Republican says the troops that fought in battles there are now left wondering whether it was all in vain. He says the total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq left a vacuum that's being filled by America's enemies.
An email thread released Wednesday is raising more questions about whether lanes were closed on the George Washington Bridge as political payback. The emails indicate that top officials in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration are involved in the closures — motivated more by politics than a traffic study, as originally claimed.
The New Jersey governor has said neither he nor his staff were involved in the closing of some key lanes leading on to the George Washington Bridge into New York. Democrats have said the governor's office may have been trying to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who's a Democrat.
In a tally that surprised even its sponsors, a half dozen Republican senators gave Democrats enough votes to move forward with a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits for another three months. The proposal likely faces an even tougher hurdle in the Republican-controlled House.
After the Senate voted on a bill to temporarily extend emergency insurance for the jobless, President Obama held a White House press conference to pressure Congress to keep the momentum going. But Republican leaders say they need to spending cuts or job-creation plans in return.
In Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Robert Gates says the president was unsure the Afghan surge would work and was openly distrustful of military leaders. "I never doubted Obama's support for the troops, only his support for their mission," he writes. The book is scheduled for release Jan. 14.