PHNOM PENH, Cambodia- President Barack Obama arrived in Cambodia on Monday having just won four more years in office, but that is nothing compared to his host, Hun Sen. The 60-year-old Cambodian prime minister has held power since Ronald Reagan was in the White House, and says he´s not stepping down until he is 90. Hun Sen is known as one of Asia´s most Machiavellian politicians, with a knack for making sure his rivals end up in jail or in exile. A laudatory biography is subtitled "Strongman of Cambodia," and some would say that´s putting it mildly.
Groups backing an extension of unemployment benefits have launched a new round of lobbying to convince Congress to extend federal benefits to the long-term jobless. A coalition of advocates including the National Employment Law Project (NELP) held more than 40 meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the first week of the lame-duck session to make their pitch for a $30 billion extension of the program. The assorted labor union, civil rights and anti-poverty groups face a tough path to winning the extension at a time when lawmakers are looking for ways to reduce the budget deficit.
Former employees of Hostess Brands Inc. are now hoping that a buyer will save pieces of the liquidating company and put them back to work. Hostess set a 5 p.m. Nov. 15 deadline for workers involved in a union-organized strike to return to work. The company warned that if the ongoing labor strike continued it would force the company into liquidation, and it wasn’t bluffing — having announced plans to liquidate and lay off 18,000 employees. But now those that are out of work, including nearly 200 in Jacksonville, are hoping that someone will buy the
As aerial fighting continues between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sharply criticized President Obama´s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called for a "high-ranking" American to lead negotiations. "I would find someone even as high-ranking, frankly, as former president Bill Clinton to go and be the negotiator," McCain said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "[W]e need a person of enormous prestige and influence to have these parties sit down together as an honest broker." McCain offered his suggestion
Last week it was Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blaming Mitt Romney´s loss on conservative "loons and wackos," this week on Sunday´s NBC Meet the Press, fellow Republican strategist Mike Murphy joined the media chorus demanding the GOP move left: "...if we don´t modernize conservatism, we can go extinct....we´ve got to get kind of a party view of America that´s not right out of Rush Limbaugh´s dream journal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Murphy explained how to "modernize" the party: "We alienate young voters because of gay marriage, we have a policy problem.
It´s rare that we take on liberal newspaper columnists. They´re entitled to their opinions and no one expects them to adhere to a standard of objectivity. But on those occasions when a columnist transgresses the bounds of decency, we have to take note. The Miami Herald´s Leonard Pitts Jr. is one such opinion writer. In his November 17 column he argued some of the blame for a suicide in Key West, Florida, should be laid at the doorstep of conservative talk show hosts: Unfortunately, for every [Kathleen] Parker or [Gov. Bobby] Jindal,
In a piece of obvious stunt-casting, Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels chose Jane Fonda to portray Nancy Reagan in his new film "The Butler" -- the story of a black man who served eight American presidents during his long White House career. Naturally, because this is Hollywood, we all knew where this was going from the start, and now it´s confirmed that Ms. Reagan´s going to be portrayed as "mean": "I thought the part was too mean," Fonda told NBC 4 anchor Robert Kovacik in a Q&A at the Millennium Biltmore hotel,
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is having his John McCain moment in the media. It´s hard to forget how eagerly the press and entertainment outlets like "Saturday Night Live" cozied up to Sen. McCain not too long ago. He was a maverick, a war hero who repeatedly butted heads with the GOP establishment. For that, the Arizona Senator received favorable coverage, an invitation to appear on "SNL" and generally more positive press than most of this peers. Then McCain dared to make a run for the White House. And the media love fest screeched to a halt.
The Twinkie, it turns out, was introduced way back in 1930. In our memories, however, the iconic snack will forever be identified with the 1950s, when Hostess popularized the brand by sponsoring “The Howdy Doody Show.” And the demise of Hostess has unleashed a wave of baby boomer nostalgia for a seemingly more innocent time. Needless to say, it wasn’t really innocent. ... in the 1950s incomes in the top bracket faced a marginal tax rate of 91, that’s right, 91 percent, while taxes on corporate profits were twice as large, relative to national income, as in recent years. The
Less than two weeks since the last presidential election, campaign advisors, lobbying firms and conservative activists are already holding meetings to mull which of the potential 2016 Republican candidates to bank on. Several GOP activists and sources said that of all those who might enter the race, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are on top, with the B-list including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and
At Fox News Channel, diversity and opportunity are vital parts of creating an environment that develops careers in broadcast journalism. The Ailes Apprentice Program was created by Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes as a way to provide just that to those joining the company at entry level positions. Last week, Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner co-hosted the annual graduation ceremony, and today shared highlights from some of the key moments, including thoughts from speaker Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Apprentice graduates, Mr. Ailes himself, and many more. Take a look at all of the behind-the-scenes action:
At the start of a three-nation tour of southeast Asia, President Obama joked Sunday with a Buddhist monk in Thailand that he could use some prayer to help reach a budget deal with Republican lawmakers to avert a fiscal crisis back in the U.S. "We´re working on this budget, we´re going to need a lot of prayer for that," Mr. Obama told a monk while touring the Wat Pho Royal Monastery. Later, at a joint press conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the president tried to explain his quip. "I always believe in prayer," Mr. Obama said.
WASHINGTON— Paula Broadwell is telling friends she is devastated by the fallout from her extramarital affair with retired Gen. David Petraeus, which led to his resignation as head of the CIA. A person close to Broadwell said Sunday she deeply regrets the damage that´s been done to her family and everyone else´s, and she is trying to repair that and move forward. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. A group of friends and neighbors welcomed Broadwell, her husband, Scott, and their young sons back to their home in Charlotte, N.C.,
The Church of Scientology spent at least $30million to have a criminal investigation into the death of one of its members in Florida dropped by local authorities, a former church leader alleges in a new lawsuit. Marty Rathbun claims the church used its influence to sway judges and the medical examiner in Clearwater, Florida, to stop investigating the 1995 case of Lisa McPherson. Her family claims church leaders watched her die after they took her to a hotel room following a minor car crash. Scientology leaders have not commented on the allegations.
The Petraeus sex scandal didn´t just reveal the former CIA director´s bedroom secrets. It´s also shined a spotlight on a romantic facility in Berryville, Virginia, 65 miles from Washington where David and Holly Petraeus´ daughter Anne married Matt Mauney last month in a picturesque setting the couple celebrated with pictures on her blog, fannetasticfood.com. Rosemont Manor owner William Genda told Secrets that he is sad about how the publicity came to his facility, but happy for the new business it is bringing from the Washington area. "It´s probably been good," he told Secrets.
A cluster-balloonist who became the first person to fly the English Channel has launched a house into the sky just like in the Disney movie ´Up´. Intrepid Jonathan Trappe, 38, took off just like the 78-year-old character Carl Frederickson in the hit movie. Trappe, from Raleigh, North Carolina, stepped into the cartoon themed home before soaring above the Leon International Balloon festival in Mexico yesterday. Scroll down for video- Trappe was using the event as a warm-up for his planned trans-Atlantic flight scheduled for next summer. He aims to complete the 2,500 mile journey across
President Obama on Sunday played down the notion that the conflict between Israel and Hamas has been complicated by “Arab spring” transitions in the Middle East. Despite warnings from various Arab leaders and Turkey that Israel faces a new environment in the changing Middle East, Obama pointed out that conflict between Israelis and Palestinians had been going on long before what he described as “democratization in the region.” Speaking in Thailand on the first day of a Southeast Asia tour, he reiterated the administration’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Brand-new express lanes on the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia -- praised by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as a "model for American infrastructure" -- opened with a bang on Saturday: multiple collisions involving multiple vehicles. On Monday, the first rush-hour test of I-495´s high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes, police were investigating a four-car collision at the start of the morning rush. "The cause of the crash has not been determined but Virginia State Police are urging drivers to be careful and not back up if they mistakenly enter the Express Lanes," the Washington Post reported. News-radio WTOP
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday that Congress should stop placing legal limits on the amount of money the government can borrow and effectively lift the debt limit to infinity. On Bloomberg TV, “Political Capital” host Al Hunt asked Geithner if he believes “we ought to just eliminate the debt ceiling.” “Oh, absolutely,” Geithner said. “You do? Will you propose that?” Hunt asked. “Well, this is something only Congress can solve,” Geithner said. “Congress put it on itself. We´ve had 100 years of experience with it, and I think only once--last summer--did people decide
President Obama visited a 2,000 year old Buddhist pagoda in Burma, where he put his own spin on a traditional ritual of bathing a Buddha statue. The Shwedagon pagoda contains individual buddhas that “correspond to the day you were born,” the pool report explains. Obama approached a Friday Buddha for the bathing ritual, but he didn’t pour as much water over the statue as he might have. “I’m going to do it 11 times,” Obama told reporters, rather than the 52 that tradition would have seemed to require. Per pool: The spokeswoman said that
Funny how quickly some principles collapse when given the right kind of shove. One day, the Republican Party is rock-ribbed restrictionist, dedicated to the proposition that unauthorized immigrants are an invading army of job stealers, welfare moochers and criminals whose only acceptable destiny is to be caught and deported — the border fence forever, “amnesty” never. The next day: never mind. The party suddenly discovers the merits of a working immigration system. Senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who once bravely supported bipartisan reform but slunk away late in the last Bush
Seeking to reassure victims of Hurricane Sandy following a tour of the damaged boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J., Vice President Joe Biden told residents Sunday that he spent a lot of time on the New Jersey shore while growing up and that they’ve got a “homeboy” in the White House who “gets it.” Here are Biden’s remarks, from the pool report: “If you’re not an Easterner it’s hard to understand that the ocean to us is the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park and everything else combined. It is a gigantic part of not only our economy but who we are.
During a lengthy speech at the University of Yangon in Burma, President Obama signaled the important traits of American democracy, particularly his limited powers as president. “As President, I cannot just impose my will on Congress — the Congress of the United States — even though sometimes I wish I could,” he stated. “The legislative branch has its own powers and its own prerogatives, and so they check my power and balance my power.” Obama also mentioned his responsibilities as Commander-In-Chief of the United States Military were limited by civilians.
President Obama wants to go on a golf trip to Ireland, but Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t want to take him. (Snip) “I turned to him, I said, “Barack, now that this election’s over, I’m going to Ireland,” Biden told the patrons of Benny Tudino’s Pizzeria, per the pool report. “You know what he said to me? He said, ‘would you take me with you? I want to play golf.’ I said, ‘I’m not so sure. But I’m going. I’m going to see where my mother is from and my mother’s father and my mother’s mother.’”
Hate preacher Abu Qatada issued orders to kill British and American civilians after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a secret MI5 report seen by The Mail on Sunday. The Security Service document has raised questions as to why Qatada – who the British Government has tried and failed to deport to Jordan – has not been put on trial in the UK for inciting murder. The report is marked ‘secret UK eyes only’ and claims Qatada is the author of a fatwa that ‘encourages Muslims to take part in jihad against the West’.
A man who listed his address as a homeless shelter has been charged with stabbing a 67-year-old man who was dining with his family at a restaurant on North Michigan Avenue, police said. Jimmy Harris, 56, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with intent to do great bodily harm and aggravated unlawful restraint, police said. Harris is accused of attacking Mir Jafar Shah, of Oak Brook, in the restroom of a restaurant in the Westin Hotel around 8 p.m. Saturday officials said.