South Korean ministry of defense officials warned on Tuesday that North Korea could be close to obtaining the technology required to miniaturize nuclear warheads and mount them on ballistic missiles, which could potentially threaten the United States.
The ministry said in a report that North Korea is "presumed to have (missile) capabilities that could threaten the U.S. mainland, having fired off long-range missiles five times."
The report added that North Korean researchers have achieved "a significant level" of the technology required for such a move, and have obtained more than 88 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium. more >>
Now that Republicans have control of Congress, they could possibly keep their promise to repeal ObamaCare—except for two immediate obstacles. One of course is the threat of the Presidential veto. Another is the already apparent willingness of craven politicians to surrender pre-emptively.
Once a government benefit is given, it becomes politically suicidal to take it back—at least in a way that people can see. There are likely a million or more Americans who are reveling in "having healthcare for the first time in their lives." Or so the Administration's messaging would have us believe. People are not yet onto the difference between having an insurance card and getting prompt medical attention. It may be years before a new beneficiary develops a serious illness and finds out that his policy is worthless. But he will know immediately if his subsidy is taken away, and the plan demands several hundred dollars every month. And the media will be on it instantly.
Lots of articulate and influential people are making out well: navigators, consultants, administrators, insurance plans, some doctors and hospitals. They don't want to lose their benefits either. Every dollar that the government takes from a taxpayer is income to somebody. more >>
A whopping 71 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction the country is going in, and less than half of those polled, 49 percent, believe this year will be better than 2014, while 42 percent actually believe it will be worse.
"The public remains deeply dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Just 26 percent are satisfied with national conditions, while 71 percent are dissatisfied," according to a poll released by the Pew Research Center this week. "The current ratings are more pessimistic than in recent years, as the public generally takes an optimistic view of the year to come."
News isn't any better for both political parties, as Pew found that the percentage of Democrats who believe the new year will be better than the year before has taken a nose dive. more >>
The Rev. Billy Graham was named the fourth most admired man by Americans in a new Gallup poll, and President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also topped the lists.
The survey, conducted by Gallup, asked the public which living man and woman they admire most. Graham, along with Pope Francis, were the only two religious leaders to make the top 10 list.
Graham, who has made Gallup's top 10 list a total of 58 times, came in at No. 4 with just 2 percent of the vote. The 96-year-old influential Christian evangelical preacher came in after the pope who landed at second place. more >>
President Obama's Christian faith has "deepened" during his second term, despite him rarely attending church on Sundays, so say his two closest spiritual advisors.
On Christmas Day, the first family didn't attend a church service in Hawaii, where they are on vacation. Instead, they sang Christmas carols at their vacation home, visited troops and spent quality time together at the beach at the Bellows Air Force Station in Oahu.
A petition posted on the Obama administration's "We the People" page in late November calling for the federal government to legalize gay marriage nationwide has failed.
In order to get an official response from the White House, the petition had to garner 100,000 signatures by Dec. 26, but attracted fewer than 600 supporters.
The petition was created by a resident of Albany, Georgia, and reads in part: "This petition is to get Congress to review a federal law allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 U.S. states and territories. ... And to vote on legislation protecting the rights, liberties, and the pursuit of happiness of LGBT American citizens as per the United States Constitution." more >>