Five years ago, toward the tail end of the Bush era, Jim DeMint, a first-term South Carolina senator, teamed up with J. David Woodard, a political scientist at Clemson, to write a book about the limits of politics. The book was called, “Why We Whisper: Restoring Our Right to Say It’s Wrong,” and its ominous front cover depicts Uncle Sam with his index finger to his lips.(Snip)In the years since, DeMint has spent less time talking about culture war, and more time talking about the federal budget. He emerged as one of President Obama’s most implacable opponents in the Senate,
Reports of the death of the tea party are greatly exaggerated. For about two years now, certain observers have been declaring the demise of this insurgent tendency within the Republican Party. However, despite recent headlines, we should expect to hear more from the tricorn-hat crowd, especially if they continue to raise money. The news of late suggests that establishment Republicans are staging a counterinsurgency. Speaker of the House John Boehner has removed four tea party darlings in the House from prominent committee positions. It´s punishment, pundits say, for their lack of loyalty to GOP establishment positions.
With a late Saturday night concession, President Mohamed Morsi tried to contain the largest sustained public uprising since the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of anti-Morsi protestors have occupied both Tahrir Square and the streets outside the presidential palace calling for two main demands: the revocation of the Nov. 22 decree that Morsi used to grant himself sweeping new powers, and a delay of a Dec. 15 referendum scheduled on a controversial and hastily completed draft constitution. Other (but not all) protesters have been adding a third demand that echoes the Tahrir revolution
For some time now, liberals have been demanding—their visages positively aglow with sweet reasonableness—that “the rich” should pay their “fair share” in taxes in order to help the government meet its expenses. Let’s leave aside the fact that they often make up the numbers and manipulate the statistics to suit themselves. (For instance, last year President Obama said that closing loopholes, etc., could produce $1.2 trillion in taxes, now he says it couldn’t produce $800 billion, so only raising marginal rates can force the rich to disgorge their fair share.)
Imagine spending your life savings to design your dream home, only to discover your blueprint was too small to fit all your furniture and family. That´s essentially what the Energy Department´s National Nuclear Security Administration did, leaving taxpayers with a jaw-dropping bill and nothing to show for it yet. NNSA, which oversees the nation´s nuclear arsenal and nuclear weapons research, already has spent a half-billion dollars mapping out a new uranium processing building at its Y-12 weapons plant in Oak-Ridge, Tenn., only to discover the 340,000 square foot building it designed wasn´t big enough to house the equipment it owns.
On the strength of a capitalist economic system, America created a material standard of living for the world to envy while providing its citizens with high levels of personal freedom. But today capitalism, and attendant freedom, are being systematically dismantled in America (and being depth-charged in Europe), while understanding and appreciation of these things are receding. Gallup provides proof of this, and confirms conservatives´ fears and suspicions. Loyal elves in the media wing of the Democratic Party establishment -- aka the mainstream media -- hyperventilate when Barack Obama is identified as a socialist,
The Post reports that ”the national unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent, and the nation added 146,000 jobs, not the mere 85,000 that forecasters had expected. . . . The jobless rate dropped in large part because the labor force fell by 350,000, suggesting that people gave up looking for work. The number of people saying they had a job actually fell by 122,000. And the Labor Department revised downward its estimates of job creation in September and October by a combined 49,000 jobs.” One way to get that unemployment rate down, I suppose,
On Thursday, Jonathan Alter took to the pages of Bloomberg to bear solemn witness to the “cruelty, fear, cowardice, xenophobia and disrespect” that have “invaded the inner sanctum of the U.S. government . . . bringing embarrassment and dishonor to what was once the greatest deliberative body in the world: the U.S. Senate.” Alack! What twisted perversions of justice, what dark new reign of tyranny have these one hundred set loose upon the republic? Have the Alien and Sedition Acts been renewed? Have the internment camps been reopened? Has the 13th Amendment been repealed? Worse, friends:
This was a week of some surprises and some perfectly foreseeable consequences of forces which have been in play for some time. The fiscal cliff talks have gone nowhere, to the surprise of only the most daft who do not realize that the President does not want a pragmatic solution. He´s fixated on soaking "the rich", stirring up class hatred and trying to drive a wedge between his opposition forces. Among the surprises is this: Michigan, long seen as the showplace home of America´s industrialized unions, has voted to become a right to work state.
An American doctor who worked for an NGO in Kabul and had been kidnapped by the Taliban was rescued today in a raid by U.S. Special Operations forces in Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials. Dr. Dilip Joseph, who was abducted Dec. 5 by Taliban insurgents in the vicinity of Sarobi District, Kabul Province, was freed today during an operation in eastern Afghanistan. “Today’s mission exemplifies our unwavering commitment to defeating the Taliban,” said Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of USFOR-A. “I’m proud of the American and Afghan forces that planned, rehearsed and successfully conducted this operation.
Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year "Long Count" Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them. The precise manner of Armageddon remains vague, ranging from a catastrophic celestial collision between Earth and the mythical planet Nibiru, also known as Planet X, a disastrous crash with a comet, or the annihilation of civilisation by a giant solar storm.
ALBANY, N.Y. — More than three decades before Superstorm Sandy, a state law and a series of legislative reports began warning New York politicians to prepare for a storm of historic proportions, spelling out scenarios eerily similar to what actually happened: a towering storm surge; overwhelming flooding; swamped subway lines; widespread power outages. The Rockaway peninsula was deemed among the "most at risk." But most of the warnings and a requirement in a 1978 law to create a regularly updated plan for the restoration of "vital services" after a storm went mostly unheeded, either because of tight budgets
It’s not just Benghazi anymore. One of the most controversial energy projects in the nation also has become a flash point in the drama surrounding who may become the next secretary of state – and it’s coming from the left instead of the right. Back on Nov. 28, “OnEarth,” published by the Natural Resources Defense Council, dug into U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s financial disclosures and found that she and her husband have a stake in TransCanada, the company pushing for the Keystone XL Pipeline to be built.
WASHINGTON — Despite hints in recent days that President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner might compromise on the tax rate to be paid by top earners, a host of other knotty tax questions could still derail a deal to avert a fiscal crisis in January. The math shows why. Even if Republicans were to agree to Mr. Obama’s core demand — that the top marginal income rates return to the Clinton-era levels of 36 percent and 39.6 percent after Dec. 31, rather than stay at the Bush-era rates of 33 percent and 35 percent —
Much has been written about the hypertrophic growth of the nanny state and its unremitting assault on the dignity and independence of the responsible individual citizen. Its ill effects are seen everywhere in the devitalized West as an increasing number of people, approaching critical mass, have come to rely on government welfare and special entitlements while progressively abiding by the dictates of political correctness. Everyone is considered equal regardless of personal initiative, natural talents, or the extent of one’s contribution to the economic and cultural life of society. Everyone is empowered. Indolence is a right.
For U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, the U.N. global warming conference in Doha, Qatar, is not about climate change. It´s about money. Integral to Inhofe´s assertion that climate change theory is a hoax is his belief that the issue is being used to funnel money from wealthier nations, including the United States, to poorer ones, through mechanisms such as the U.N.´s Green Climate Fund. In a video recorded for climate change theory opponents at the Doha conference, Inhofe referred to the Green Climate Fund as the "United Nations Green Slush Fund"
As the nation heads ever closer to the so-called fiscal cliff— the January 1 deadline at which, absent congressional and presidential action, taxes will go up and (on January 2) spending will go down—both sides are bandying about accusations, counter-accusations, and counter-counter-accusations. Democrats are convinced that the GOP is not negotiating in good faith, as it is in hock to supposedly extreme antitax activists. Republicans are similarly convinced that President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are bad-faith actors, content to drive the nation over the cliff because it will advance the left’s long-term agenda
Last week, the world was told that Syria’s President Bashar Assad is poised to use chemical weapons against his own people in a last-ditch effort to retain power despite his growing unpopularity.[SNIP]In fact, there has been a story around since 2006 that Syria inherited a large chemical weapons stash from its neighbor Iraq when Hussein tried to rid his country of evidence of WMDs just before the 2003 invasion that toppled him from power.That story has received blessed little attention over the years in large part because it would have given credence to the claims of the Bush White House
Washington - Fiamma Nirenstein, vice president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, has submitted a resolution to the committee urging Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi Sant’Agata to push to outlaw Hezbollah. The move comes as discussions are being held among the 27 EU member countries about placing the Lebanese Shi’ite group on its list of terrorist organizations. The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy last week of the draft resolution, which was formulated in late November, and is slated to be voted on by the Foreign Affairs Committee. It calls on Italy’s Foreign
Fears of the worst possible scenario in Syria have been confirmed in a video released by rebels that shows victims of chemical warfare. (Snip) The Obama administration is bound to be tested this week on its treat to intervene militarily if signs continue to show that chemical weapons are already being used in Syria. If President Barack Obama thought that his warning would be enough to stop Assad, he apparently is mistaken. Assad knows that if he does not defeat the opposition, his fate is death, and probably in a way no more humane than his brutal suppression of the uprising if not in a way similar to
Italian authorities have thwarted a weapons smuggling attempt involving rocket launchers in the Port of Naples, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Saturday. One Egyptian citizen was arrested. According to the report, Israeli authorities provided Italian security forces with information on the containers that carried the weapons which were destined for Egypt.
Is a third intifada unavoidable? The recent Palestinian success in the UN, the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the achievements noted by Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense have prompted greater agitation in the West Bank, and the IDF is concerned that the area is on the verge of a boiling point. According to Shin Bet data, the unrest in the area is ripe for the development of the infrastructure that could potentially support a third intifada – prolonged and violent unrest the likes of which Israel has had to deal with in 1987 and 2000.
Olympia, Washington - A judge on Friday rejected a request by a medical marijuana user to block Washington state from enforcing tougher "stoned driving" rules after it became one of the first U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. (Snip) The new rules, which for most marijuana smokers would put them over the legal driving limit for a couple hours after taking two or three hits from a joint, took effect on Thursday. The legal challenge came from Arthur West, an Olympia-based lawyer and medical marijuana patient who said the ballot initiative´s title wrongly left out
Guatemala City - Software guru John McAfee, fighting deportation from Guatemala to Belize to face questions about the slaying of a neighbor, said on Saturday he wants to return to the United States. "My goal is to get back to America as soon as possible," McAfee, 67, said in a phone call to Reuters from the immigration facility where he is being held for illegally crossing the border to Guatemala with his 20-year-old girlfriend. "I wish I could just pack my bags and go to Miami," McAfee said. "I don´t think I fully understood the political situation. I'm an embarrassment to the Guatemalan government
U.S. Representative Charles Boustany defeated fellow Republican Representative Jeff Landry on Saturday in a runoff for a U.S. congressional seat in Louisiana. Boustany won a fifth term, capturing 61 percent of the vote in the southwest Louisiana district, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State´s office. Landry lost his seat after only one term. "Thank you! We couldn´t have done it without you!" read a note on Boustany´s campaign website late on Saturday. The two lawmakers were forced to vie for a single House of Representatives seat after Louisiana's seven
Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that his cancer has returned and that he will undergo another surgery in Cuba. Chavez, who won re-election on Oct. 7, also said on Saturday night for the first time that if his health were to worsen, his successor would be Vice President Nicolas Maduro. "We should guarantee the advance of the Bolivarian Revolution," Chavez said on television, seated at the presidential palace with Maduro and other aides. The president said that tests had shown a return of "some malignant cells" in the same area where tumors were previously