YEREVAN, Armenia—Reporters stake out Tigran Petrosian´s home. Fans seek his autograph. His image is splashed across magazine covers, and his youthful face beams from posters on teenagers´ walls. The sturdy 28-year-old isn´t a star athlete or a movie star. He is a chess grandmaster. In this chess-crazy country, that makes him a king among pawns. "Chess here is like soccer in Brazil or football in America," Mr. Petrosian said over coffee at the Yerevan Chess Academy ahead of a concert to honor the country´s top players. The concert featured musicians and singers performing in front
With the election safelly over, the Obamas are sparing no expense as they enjoy life in The White House. Look, no one detested it more than I when the Carters sought to downplay the magnificence of The White House, serving hot dogs to visiting dignitaries and the like. It´s also completely understandable that, as the nation´s first African American First Lady, Mrs. Obama would be invested in demonstrating what should be clear to all -- namely, that skin color has nothing to do with one´s ability to be tasteful and elegant.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Monday honored four members of a Marine special operations team in a rare public ceremony for the covert forces. In a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California, Mabus awarded Marine Sergeant William Soutra Jr. the Navy Cross, the Navy´s highest honor and the military´s second highest honor, for tending to the wounded while guiding the platoon to safety during an attack in Afghanistan´s Helmand Province in July 2010 that spanned over two days. Three others on his team, including a Navy corpsman, were given Silver Stars. Scroll down for video
Some commentators wonder why President Obama always engages in brinksmanship. Why can´t he meet Republicans halfway, like Clinton did, they ask. Let me try to respond. The blogger suggests that Obama prefers to play chicken, taking the nation right to the edge of a fiscal disaster because it will increase the likelihood that the GOP will cave. Perhaps, but there´s more to it. Many of us warned that Obama is not, by nature or ideology, a conciliator. He is not a centrist, and he´s not someone who is interested in the other side´s ideas.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians can’t go anywhere good. Both Arab and Jew know it. President Obama poses as the honest broker, but he too knows that talk of a lasting resolution of differences is 100-proof moonshine. The Palestinians won’t settle for anything less than all Israelis dead, or shipped off to somewhere far away. The Israelis, unreasonable as they may seem in the salons of the West, are determined not to settle for anything less than survival. The fashionable opinion in the salons of the West is that the dispute is all about land, territories and borders,
"The president is not going to negotiate with himself," White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer insisted last week. As Tom Friedman, the New York Times´ Maestro of Mixed Metaphors, might put it, it´s hardball time, the clock is ticking, and the GOP had better come to the table before we go over the fiscal cliff. The good news for the Republicans is that President Obama is probably overinterpreting his "mandate." The bad news is, as Obama has shown over the last four years, he´s willing to work his will unilaterally and has nearly unprecedented powers to do so.
Well, that was fast. After spending all weekend telling anyone who would listen that President Obama’s $1.6 trillion tax hike fiscal cliff offer was laughably unserious, Republicans immediately legitimized Obama’s offer Monday by countering with an $800 billion tax hike offer originally outlined in super committee testimony by President Clinton’s Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. RedState‘s Daniel Horowitz explains Negotiating 101 to House Republicans: “First, when you begin negotiations agreeing to 60% of the demands of the other side and fail to offer a bold contrast on the other 40%, you are headed for an outcome that is 80-90%
Republicans will cave on the question of raising the tax rate for the highest-income Americans. The only question is whether they do so before or after the government goes over the so-called fiscal cliff. First, many in the GOP do not believe that raising the rate on top earners from 35 percent to 39.6 percent (the rate before the Bush tax cuts) would seriously damage the economy. Second, they know that most Americans approve of higher taxes on the top bracket, and President Obama, having campaigned and won on that platform, seems dead-set on higher rates.
An investigative piece in POLITICO on Monday features a number of prominent left-leaning political commentators breaking their self-imposed moratorium on criticism of President Obama following his reelection. The political columnists that POLITICO quotes note that, with the election over and Obama safely guaranteed his place in history as a two-term president, it is time for journalists to press the president to explain why he failed to deliver on the promises he made to progressive in his first term. On issues close to the hearts of progressives since George W. Bush’s presidency, including the closure of the
Is there any reason for today´s Americans to care about what happens to tomorrow´s Americans? After all, what have tomorrow´s Americans done for today´s Americans? Moreover, since tomorrow´s Americans don´t vote, we can dump on them with impunity. That´s a vision that describes the actual behavior of today´s Americans. It would be seen as selfish, callous and ruthless only if it were actually articulated. Let´s look at it. Businesses, as well as most nonprofit enterprises, by law are required to produce financial statements that include all of their present and expected future liabilities.
A U.N. conference that kicked off today in Dubai has sparked fear of Internet censorship in the U.S. -- something U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer said he is doing everything in his power to prevent. “Nothing regarding the Internet do we want subject to U.N. review and regulation,” Kramer told FoxNews.com. Monday marked the first day of an 11-day conference. Kramer, who leads the U.S. delegation at the conference, said that the first day had “gone well” and so far delegates are “still in the early stage, talking about what should be reviewed when.”
A construction crew was forced to remove their ´Men Working´ sign at a community college in Ohio after it was described as ´sexist and non-inclusive.´ The builders were also made to stop working until the sign was removed. A college administrator complained about the wording at Sinclair Community College in downtown Dayton. The female employee complained about the sign and, according to Fox News, she also suggested several alternatives to the crew, such as ´Construction Zone.´ While builders complied with the demands, work was stopped until the sign was removed.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner´s opening bid to Speaker John Boehner, a demand for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, was not meant as a serious offer. It was an ultimatum couched in an insult. Translation: "We won the election. We have the whip hand. Not only are you going to sign on to higher tax rates and higher tax revenues, we are going to rub your Tea Party noses in your coming capitulation." That Boehner did not throw the offer back in Geithner´s face and tell him, "Give me a call, Tim, when you´re serious," suggests that the speaker feels
Lots of public officials and Washington, D.C., insiders do not want U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be nominated as secretary of state. Most of these critics think she irrevocably lost credibility by going on five Sunday-morning television shows on September 16 to deny any connection between radical Islamic terrorists and the fatal assaults on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi. We know now that when Rice voiced the administration talking points five days after the attack, she and others in the Obama administration already had access to intelligence sources
Anyone with an Internet connection will be able to take free classes at Wellesley College next fall. The women’s liberal arts college outside Boston will offer free online classes through the nonprofit venture edX. Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology teamed up to fund and launch edX this year. Massive online open courses, known as MOOCs, that are available now include computer science and chemistry courses. Edx officials say Wellesley will diversify the venture’s offerings by adding liberal arts courses. Wellesley officials say the partnership is a way to educate students around the world.
A progressive foundation and a labor union have combined to pour millions of dollars into a “racial justice” group that was hostile to voter ID laws during the 2012 campaign season, according to a conservative watchdog group in Wisconsin. While True the Vote and other right-leaning campaigns were promoting ID requirements for voters and monitoring the implementation of ID laws at the state level, the Applied Research Center (ARC) was pushing back with claims that photo ID requirements at polling places were thinly veiled expressions of racism. Media Trackers, the conservative Wisconsin group,
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has long struggled to imagine a successor with the combination of star power, experience and grit to fill his shoes. But not long ago, he was struck by an inspiration: Hillary Rodham Clinton, the retiring secretary of state. In a phone call confirmed by three people, Mr. Bloomberg encouraged Mrs. Clinton to consider entering the 2013 mayor’s race, trading international diplomacy for municipal management on the grandest scale. She would, he suggested, be a perfect fit. Much about the call, which occurred some months ago, remains shrouded in mystery.
Now and then I try to imagine what it would be like if I were wrong. I know — the very thought is absurd. But bear with me. After all, it’s one of the contentions of us right-wingers that leftists, by monopolizing the news media, by framing every debate as an argument between their opinions and some sort of hatred, and by blacklisting the opposition from the entertainment business as well as academia, have put themselves in a position where they never have to defend their policies logically. By avoiding true discussion, they have given
Bob Costas´ gun control rant was bad but made worse by one key point -- he lives much of his life with the benefit of armed security. (i.e., men with guns). If you´ve ever been to an NFL game this point is academic. The number of armed policemen you pass between the gate your seat is incredible. And if you get behind the scenes, in certain corridors, the armed presence can be just as strong (or stronger). Those policeman and security personnel are there to preserve order and to protect their assets, be they football players,
Attorney General Eric Holder’s chief of staff, Gary Grindler, plans to resign his post at the Department of Justice on Wednesday. Grindler was directly involved in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. Congressional investigators from House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley’s offices detailed Grindler’s involvement in a recent report. They say Grindler, with other senior DOJ officials, “attended a detailed briefing on Operation Fast and Furious in March 2010.” “Despite the evidence presented at the briefing of illegally-purchased firearms being recovered in Mexico and
The New York Times said that the mayor was not entirely happy with the calibre of candidates competing to replace him and thought the Secretary of State, who has announced her intention to retire soon, would be the ideal replacement. Mr Bloomberg, founder of the eponymous data services firm and the 10th richest person in the US, must stand down at the end of next year after 12 years. Mrs Clinton is a former senator for New York, but her fellow Democrats in the city said the idea of her seeking office there struck them as improbable
I love walking into people´s homes in December, when the smell of freshly cut Christmas trees hangs in the air and fills me with seasonal joy. When it comes time to buy my favorite Scotch pine, Douglas fir, or Norway spruce, I use my nose to guide me. I want the freshest, most fragrant tree I can get my hands on: I need that aroma to jump-start my holiday spirit. If my apartment were big enough, I might even consider getting two trees this year! Only recently did I discover that it´s not just sentiment
NARCISSISM UPDATE: When we left Barack Obama, the devout self-worshipper had just had the White House website add mentions of him to the online biographies of most presidents from the last century. Not that anyone in particular had asked how the one-time pot-smoking teen related to hallowed White House chief executives from the nation´s past. But obviously the fellow who grew up with an absentee father wanted the world to see some kind of connection to these more accomplished men.
A month after Hurricane Sandy struck New York City, unexpectedly shutting down several hospitals, one Upper East Side medical center had so many more emergency room patients than usual that it was parking them in its lobby. White and blue plastic screens had been set up between the front door and the elevator banks in the East 68th Street building of that hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. The screens shielded 10 gurneys
FORT WORTH, Texas— A military judge has been thrown off the Fort Hood deadly shooting case after an appeals court found that his treatment of the suspect, including an order to have the man forcibly shaved, indicated a lack of impartiality. It was not immediately clear what impact the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruling Monday would have on the long-delayed military trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. The Army psychiatrist is charged with 13 counts of murder in the 2009 shooting rampage. Hasan appealed after Col. Gregory Gross ordered that he must be clean-shaven or forcibly