In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a divided federal appeals court in Chicago Tuesday tossed the state’s ban on carrying concealed weapons and gave Illinois’ Legislature 180 days to craft a law legalizing concealed carry.
Ambling through a museum exhibition is a favorite pastime of CultureMappers. We appreciate art, the quiet introspection of looking at works crafted hundreds of years ago and imagining the back stories of the characters, subjects and locations of yesteryear. Though some paintings may look a tad formal, there´s always a juicy tale behind each priceless artifact. As Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado prepares to open on Dec. 16 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, we wandered with Edgar Peters Bowron, the Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art,
What´s up with John Boehner? Has he lost his mind or something? There are a lot of conservatives who think he´s gone around the bend. He´s done precious little to convince anyone otherwise. He sounds more like a Democrat than a Republican these days, and he´s giving credence to those who believe,"There´s not a dime´s worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats." Boehner on Taxes Here are some of the more egregious quotes: right after the election, from an interview with Dianne Sawyer of ABC news.
If you spend any time on the Internet, celebrity news is basically unavoidable, so you might as well hop in and join the mess, right? In recognition of that grim fact, every morning we bring you The Smart Set, our take on the big gossip of the day — done in a refined and always tasteful manner, of course. In doing so day in and day out, we eventually came to love certain paparazzi-flecked stories this year.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has a recurring daydream. In Friedman’s daydream the United States adopts the highly efficient Chinese Communist mode of government under the leadership of “a reasonably enlightened group of people” — such as Friedman finds the Chinese Communists to be. Friedman finds enlightenment among the Chinese Communists in their collective pursuit of “electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power.” GE chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt sounds like an acolyte of Friedman, but Immelt at least has the cash nexus to excuse his deep thoughts.
We have new evaluations of David Petraeus this week, in New York Magazine and the New Yorker. The New Yorker piece is by the great war correspondent and author, Dexter Filkins. The New York piece is by former theater critic Frank Rich. They couldn’t be more different. Filkins sees the world from the streets up; he is not only a great reporter, but also a fine writer and military analyst. Rich sees the world from 30,000 feet and in only one way: everything is theater. There is, of course, a little bit of the theater critic
WASHINGTON — Forget the post-Election Day tradition of a more upbeat America in the weeks after voters go to the polls and make clear what they want from their leaders. A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that people are gloomy about the economy and Washington’s ability to make it better anytime soon. And they’re not optimistic about the prospects for meaningful compromise between the White House and congressional Republicans during President Barack Obama’s second term.
Suppose you saw a building on fire. Would you seek counsel from the arsonist who set it ablaze for advice on how to put it out? You say, "Williams, you´d have to be a lunatic to do that!" But that´s precisely what we´ve done: turned to the people who created our fiscal crisis to fix it. I have never read a better account of our doing just that than in John A. Allison´s new book, "The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure." Allison is the former CEO of Branch Banking and Trust, the nation´s 10th largest bank.
As you might have heard, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has narrowed the list of candidates she’s considering to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint down to five. (Snip) There is little doubt that Jenny Sanford is intelligent and charismatic. So is my wife. Should she be governor of Virginia? To be sure, she was clearly wronged by her husband (Mrs. Sanford that is — not Mrs. Lewis!). But should that be enough to put her on an equal plane with people who, you know, have actually been elected to the U.S. Congress?
Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon took out a full-page ad in the New York Times Monday to protest natural gas fracking in New York state. “Governor Cuomo: Imagine there’s no fracking …” the ad states and urges New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “give clean energy a chance.” Ono and Lennon are part of “Artists Against Fracking,” a loose coalition of celebrities united in their opposition to hydraulic fracturing, a process by which natural gas is extracted from the earth. Other artists in the anti-fracking group include Grumpy Old Men actress Daryl Hannah and transcendentalist fraudster Deepak Chopra.
After weeks of warnings and several stops and starts, North Korea launched its long range rocket on Tuesday night. It crashed into the waters off the Philipines just a few moments later. The reports, if true, are sort of a miracle since just 12 hours ago, North Korea´s space-bound missile was experiencing some pretty serious malfunctions and was being dismantled. That´s why they pushed the launch back a week. Did we mention this major malfunction happened 12 hours ago? Well, it sounds like the North Korean rocket scientists should´ve stuck with the earlier plan, since pieces of the rocket
One of my great hopes for a Barack Obama administration — and thus one of my personal disappointments — was that he would use his bully pulpit to emphasize the importance of a two-parent family, and especially of fathers, to children’s well-being. Few understand better than the president the value of a present and involved father. Much of his literary work and his examined life pertains to his own absent father. By his example, he has certainly demonstrated his own commitment to parenting — and his family is a source of pride for all Americans.
Union bosses are fuming at the prospect of a Michigan Right to Work law, but New Yorkers concerned about protecting employee freedom and reviving their state’s flagging economy should consider Michigan’s example. It’s hard to imagine the Empire State adopting a Right to Work law — but it would be right for businesses, taxpayers and workers. Big Labor’s top officials huff and puff about Right to Work laws, but they never tell you what they actually do. That’s because nearly 80 percent of Americans support the Right to Work principle when it’s presented to them in straightforward terms.
Elliott Abrams criticizes Senator Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R., Mo.), and other politicians who leave office before their term has expired to take other jobs. It may well be that Ms. Emerson can do a lot of good at the Cooperative Association and that Mr. DeMint will serve the conservative cause well at Heritage. Nevertheless there is something deeply offensive about walking away from the job you so ardently sought from the voters. That act diminishes the significance of elections and indeed of representative democracy,
There is a lot of talk about whether Republicans should "give in" on raising taxes on the top 2 percent of income-earners. But the question isn´t whether Republicans should "give in," but how they should react to a situation in which tax rates on that portion of Americans are going to rise whether Republicans want them to rise or not. If no deal is struck to keep us from going over the inaptly named "fiscal cliff"—only in Washington could a step designed to slow the rate of increase of our $16,000,000,000,000 debt be coined a "fiscal cliff"—
Former President Jimmy Carter said he is in favor of legalizing marijuana during a public panel that CNN aired Tuesday. CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux asked Carter whether he supported marijuana’s legalization during a forum hosted by The Captain Planet Foundation on Friday in Georgia. Former President Jimmy Carter said he is in favor of legalizing marijuana during a public panel that CNN aired Tuesday. CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux asked Carter whether he supported marijuana’s legalization during a forum hosted by The Captain Planet Foundation on Friday in Georgia.
The 28-year-old Navy SEAL who was shot and killed rescuing a kidnapped American physician from his Taliban captors in Afghanistan over the weekend visited the 9/11 Memorial with his team just six months ago. Nicolas Checque was just starting his senior year at Norwin High School in Huntingdon, Pa., when the World Trade Center was attacked. He had followed two-hour workouts with the wrestling team by swimming laps for an hour and going on four-mile runs. He even got corrective eye surgery so he would have the 20/20 vision he heard he needed to become a SEAL.
The irony could not have been thicker: the New York Post reported Sunday that one year after the notorious Park51 “community center” opened “with great fanfare,” it was “now an empty space with no community programs.” Park51, you may recall, is the official name of what is more famously known as the Ground Zero mosque. The entire controversy over the Ground Zero mosque is an illuminating example of how the media manipulates public perceptions. Now the central deception – that the Ground Zero mosque was never really a mosque at all — has been fully revealed.
Some conservatives I know think libertarianism is less a serious ideological commitment than an affectation of certain social liberals who relish the idea of political independence. Why be something as banal as a Democrat when you can embrace Democratic social policies while leveraging the romantic intellectual outsider libertarian brand instead? This won’t change their minds, I’m thinking:(Snip for graphic)Obvious caveat here: The voters described as “libertarian” didn’t self-identify that way. They’re presumptive libertarians based on the fact that they prefer small government and legal weed — not a bad rough gauge of political sympathies, but surely not foolproof.
President Obama’s spokesman cited the ambiguity of the statement, “there will be blood,” as he avoided condemning the remark made by a Michigan Democrat who opposes the imminent state’s right-to-work legislation. “The president believes in debate that’s civil,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today. “I haven’t seen those comments and I’m not sure that they mean what some would interpret them to mean. I just haven’t seen them.” Speaking on the state House floor today, Democratic state Rep. Douglas Geiss said “There will be blood” as a result of the bill’s passage.
Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into "civil war" after the state legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions´ power. "This is just the first round of a battle that´s going to divide this state. We´re going to have a civil war," Hoffa said on CNN´s "Newsroom." The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers
Los Angeles - Sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar, who helped introduce the sitar to the Western world through his collaborations with The Beatles, died near his home in Southern California on Tuesday, his family said. He was 92. Shankar, a three-time Grammy winner with legendary appearances at the 1967 Monterey Festival and Woodstock, had been in fragile health for several years and last Thursday underwent surgery, his family said in a statement. "Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful
Events seem to be changing rapidly in Syria, and we know that the operations in Benghazi played a very important role in Syria. Please update the readers on the current situation, but first give a brief recap for context. Okay, but we’re running out of time. The world is running out of time. Remember when we first began this lengthy interview process? It was in response to your report on September 15, 2012, just four days after the attack in Libya.
Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez´s cancer operation in Cuba on Tuesday was a success, his vice president said, adding that the complex surgery had lasted more than six hours and he would be recuperating for several days. The 58-year-old socialist leader´s third bout with cancer in the past 18 months has thrown his presidency into jeopardy and upended politics in the South American OPEC nation. "Once again, our comandante has shown his strength," Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a broadcast on state television as members of the government alongside him applauded.
A U.S. congressman is complaining that the Pentagon has ignored his inquiries into whether the U.S. is helping facilitate the movement of arms from Libya to the Syrian opposition. (Snip) Sources told Fox News last week that the movement of arms from Libya to support Syrian fighters is well-known in Benghazi and began almost immediately after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi. Following a report in Britain´s Sunday Times that the Obama administration was facilitating that movement, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland flatly denied the charge. "It was a false report," she said. Nuland later added: "We are providing nonlethal assistance.
Israel is trying to increase its intelligence gathering efforts vis-à-vis Iran and is now using Eritrea to that effect, a new report by Stratfor Global Intelligence said Tuesday. According to the strategy consultancy firm, Eritrea, which sits on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, has become an arena of operations for both Israel and Iran, as both are trying to bolster their influence on the Horn of Africa. "In exchange for resources, possibly including modest amounts of cash and weapons, Eritrea has exhibited a willingness to become a base of support for Middle Eastern powers," Stratfor said.