Ana and I picked up nine year old Stefan from school one October day, a gorgeous Indian summer day before the winter chill. A musical prodigy, little Stefan is a genius with a penchant for Italian food. Half a block from the art school is a restaurant called Da Vinci’s, always bustling with patrons dining under the grape vine pergola. I was happy to see so many people out to lunch, able to afford food and particularly restaurant food, previously considered a luxury under communism that only the ruling elite could afford and felt entitled to have and enjoy.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) had some harsh words Sunday for Barack Obama´s proposal to avert the looming fiscal cliff. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Boehner said, "The president´s idea of a negotiation is roll over and do what I ask." Chris Wallace, Host: So, you´ve been around this time a long time, you´ve been in a lot of negotiations. What is their game? What is their thinking as to how they´re going to work -- well, they just figure they won, they´re going to get what they want? John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House: I have no idea, Chris. If I knew, I would share it with
Joint Base Andrews, Md - Fore — 42 and 44 are playing 18. Former President Bill Clinton — the 42nd president — is joining President Barack Obama — he´s No. 44 — for a round of golf at Joint Air Base in Maryland. Also in the group, according to the White House, are U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and longtime Clinton backer and strategist Terry McAuliffe, who´s running for governor in Virginia in 2013. Clinton was a big help to Obama in the president´s re-election campaign — an exceptional surrogate who made dozens of appearances for the incumbent and vouched for his economic
Grover Norquist says Republicans will emerge victorious from the “fiscal cliff” fight if they put television cameras in the negotiating room and smoke out Democrats over their reluctance to cut entitlement programs — the biggest drivers of federal spending and the national debt. In a meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Times, Mr. Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform and father of the group’s influential “no new taxes” pledges, said Republicans are at a tipping point after 20 years of building their anti-tax brand, and the most disastrous thing lawmakers in the GOP could do
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner pushed back Sunday at Republican attacks on the Obama administration’s proposal rolled out four days earlier to avoid falling off the “fiscal cliff,” saying if GOP leaders don’t like it, they should come up with a plan of their own. But while Mr. Geithner says he is still optimistic a deal will be worked out before critical year-end deadlines, House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Sunday that talks with the administration are going nowhere and accused President Obama of trying to ram through the White House plan without negotiating in good faith.
As the White House and Republican leaders enter the final month of negotiations to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff,” both sides struck an uncompromising tone Sunday, as warnings mounted that they will be unable to forge an agreement to stop an automatic series of deep spending cuts and large tax hikes that could push the economy into recession. Following private meetings last week, the senior negotiators for the White House and the Republicans took to the airwaves Sunday to accuse the other side of intransigence and to demand that the opposition concede on the central question
Put Social Security on the table — clearly and irrevocably. Protecting retiree benefits is the left’s political equivalent of the right’s “no new taxes” pledge. Congressional Republicans are abandoning their untenable position. Now it is time for President Obama and congressional Democrats to do the same. As long as they don’t, they aren’t bargaining in good faith, or in the national interest. Supporting retirees is now the federal government’s main activity. There’s a huge redistribution from young to old — a redistribution that will be made worse if retiree programs are largely excluded from deficit reduction
Barbra Streisand, noted political scholar and high school graduate, cannot shut her yap when it comes to waxing eloquent on politics. At her favorite watering hole, The Huffington Post, Streisand castigates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for “fueling the flames of a supposed cover-up by the White House, Secretary of State and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.” Streisand likely had someone ghostwrite her article, as she is notorious for not knowing how to spell. Remember her infamous memo describing George W. Bush as a “C” student, where she misspelled 11 words, including four in one sentence?
Finally, those in the West can take their blinders off. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has taken off the veil and articulated what the real war is between Islam and the West: not a war over the land of Israel but the religious war between radical Islam on one side and Judaism and Christianity on the other. In his celebratory speech after his return from the UN, Abbas threw down the gauntlet: "One day, a young Palestinian will raise the Palestinian flag over Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the state of Palestine!” By claiming Jerusalem will be the “eternal” capital of “Palestine,” Abbas
Democrats and Republicans elevated their political brinkmanship Sunday on fiscal negotiations in Washington, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner challenging Republicans to improve on his offer and Republicans dismissed as “non-serious” and an attempt to undermine negotiations.Geithner, now President Obama’s chief negotiator with congressional Republicans, told “Fox News Sunday” the White House plan has “balance” and “detail” but he’s willing to hear suggested improvements. “But what we cannot do is figure out what works for them,” said Geithner, who appeared on all five
Yesterday, Obama-approved Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi declared that he would have a referendum on December 15 to greenlight the newly rammed-through draft constitution that enshrines Shariah law in Egypt. Morsi has bought the support of the military via the new constitution, which prevents the military from having any civilian oversight, and allows the military to prosecute civilians. Now Muslim Brotherhood protesters have shut down the Egyptian Supreme Court, forcing them to postpone their ruling on the legitimacy of the constitutional assembly that originally
Vienna - A leaked diagram suggesting that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon is scientifically flawed, diplomats working with the UN nuclear agency conceded Friday. However they insisted that it still supports suspicions that Tehran is trying to build a bomb, especially when combined with other documents that remain secret. The Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing the document leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran’s atomic program, that it indicated that Iranian scientists had run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the
A national coalition of U.S. business groups is urging an end to a strike at the twin California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach amid fears that a prolonged stand-off will cost the American economy many billions of dollars, and could even spread to the east coast. Trade groups led by the National Retail Federation have sent letters to U.S. President Barack Obama and leading members of Congress asking them to intervene and help end the strike at America´s two busiest container harbor facilities. Those industry groups say the strike, which entered its sixth day on Sunday,
Anchorage, Alaska - A man charged in the death of an Alaska barista has killed himself, and authorities said Sunday they had linked him to at least seven other possible slayings in three other states. Israel Keyes was found dead in his Anchorage jail cell Sunday morning. He died of an apparent suicide, U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler told reporters. Keyes was facing a March trial in federal court for the murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who was abducted from an Anchorage coffee kiosk last February. He was later arrested in Texas after using the victim´s debit card.
UPDATED (8:25p EDT): I just spoke again with my contact in the FBI Phoenix field office (who is not authorized to speak on behalf of the FBI office) that it is highly unlikely that Aldosary will be charged with any terrorism offense. While they are internally treating it like a domestic terrorism investigation, including looking at if he had any help constructing the explosive device, the FBI is saying very little and and will prosecute this as a simple explosives and arson case because of “the political sensitivities involved”. Original Post: The typically quiet town
The NFL star who shot dead his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself was a member of a group which campaigns against violence towards women, MailOnline can reveal. Jovan Belcher - who was raised by his own mother - was part of Male Athletes Against Violence and had pledged to develop deep-held beliefs against attacking females. Among the promises he would have made is one to ‘look honestly at my actions in regard to violence and make changes if necessary’.
Keeping spirit with the millions of Americans fearful of the fiscal cliff, President Obama is slated to take part in Kennedy Center festivities today honoring celebrities including three members of Led Zeppelin. The Kennedy Center is honoring Obama flack and faux-comedian David Letterman, as well as Dustin Hoffman, Chicago blues musician Buddy Guy, and ballerina Natalia Makarova. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be hosting a dinner for these luminaries on Saturday. When President Obama said he’d be willing to go anywhere and do anything
WASHINGTON- Open your notebooks and sharpen your pencils. School for thousands of public school students is about to get quite a bit longer. Five states were to announce Monday that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. The three-year pilot program will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 schools, with long-term hopes of expanding the program
U.S. Rep. Allen West came to Washington as part of the 2010 wave of Tea Party-backed candidates. He became known as aggressive and outspoken, but his tenure in Congress was short-lived. He recently conceded a close race for Florida´s 18th District. West sits down with host Michel Martin to reflect on his term and his outlook for the future. MARTIN: So what´s next for you? WEST: Look, you know, God closes a door so that he can open up greater doors. I will continue to, you know, stand up and fight for this country. That´s my goal.
How is it that the GOP is so feckless and ineffective that it can´t even convince the 48% who voted for Romney that raising taxes on those making over $250,000 is both pointless and bad policy: Sixty percent of all Americans back higher taxes on higher incomes in the new Post-ABC data. Earlier this month, an identical 60 percent of voters in the presidential election said income taxes should be raised on income over $250,000, according to the national exit poll.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Thousands attended an anti-Nazi rally Sunday in Hungary organized by Jewish and civic groups to protest a far-right lawmaker´s call to screen Jews for national security risks. The rally was unusual because politicians from both the government and opposition parties shared a stage outside parliament. Marton Gyongyosi of the far-right Jobbik party said Monday in the legislature it was time "to assess ... how many people of Jewish origin there are here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament and the Hungarian government, who represent a certain national security risk."
The San Francisco Housing Authority, which runs more than 6,000 units of public housing for the city´s poor, is headed by an executive director who discriminates against white employees in favor of African Americans and regularly employs offensive, outlandish language and behavior in the workplace, according to a lawsuit filed by the agency´s own lawyer.
Feeding the dolphins at Sea World was a dream come true for 8-year-old Jillian Thomas, until one of the marine mammals bit into her arm, nearly dragging her into the water. Jillian´s mother took video of her daughter, who says dolphins are her favorite animal, feeding them at the theme park´s Dolphin Cove. Jillian was in the middle of her second visit of the day to the friendly looking animals when she made a crucial mistake, lifting a small plate of dolphin food in the air out of excitement, something the park warns people not to do. The dolphin
The toll hikes taking effect Sunday on the Port Authority’s Hudson River crossings are unlikely to be embraced by many motorists, but they are especially unwelcome by truckers, who will see the most dramatic increases. “It’s out of control. I’ll never cross the George Washington Bridge again in my entire life,” said David Irwin, a Michigan-based driver who must now pay $75, up from $65, to drive his five-axle truck across the one-mile span. Only five years ago, the cash toll for his truck was $30. Further increases already approved will push it to $105 by late 2015.
CHINO HILLS, Calif. – Residents of a Southern California suburb are protesting against a hilltop home that they say serves as a maternity center for Chinese mothers paying thousands of dollars to give birth to so-called "anchor babies." Dozens picketed a Chino Hills intersection on Saturday, holding signs that read "No Birth Tourism" and "Not Here! Not in USA!" The city´s mayor tells the San Bernardino Sun that rooms in the house have been rented out to pregnant Chinese women until they give birth. Protesters say they don´t want to see a business in a residential area.