WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is dropping its investigation into whether David Petraeus’ mistress, Paula Broadwell, stalked a romantic rival online. Broadwell’s lawyer, Robert Muse, gave The Associated Press a letter from U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill that says no federal charges will be brought in Florida related to “alleged acts of cyberstalking.” A retired general, Petraeus resigned as CIA director in November after acknowledging the extramarital affair, which was exposed after Broadwell emailed Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, allegedly warning Kelley to stay away from Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
A Big Mac probably isn’t your idea of Christmas dinner, but McDonald’s is asking its franchisees to stay open on Christmas Day — a day when even Wal-Mart, which caught flack for opening on Thanksgiving evening this year, closes its doors. “Our largest holiday opportunity as a system is Christmas Day,” McDonald’s COO Jim Johannesen wrote in one of two memos that was sent to franchisees and obtained by Advertising Age magazine. “Last year, [company-operated] restaurants that opened on Christmas averaged $5,500 in sales,” he wrote. Johannesen also said one reason behind the improvement in the chain’s November sales figures
Dick´s Sporting Goods, in response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre, announced this morning that it has suspended sales of a popular form of modern hunting rifle in its stores nationally. The sports retail chain, which has 15 stores in the Philadelphia region, said it has halted sales of the "modern sporting rifle," a semi-automatic weapon which is used primarly for hunting and target shooting. Dick´s also removed all firearms from its store nearest the school where 20 children and six adults were gunned down Friday morning. "We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week
The White House has come out against the ‘Plan B‘ proposed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), which would raise taxes on income over $1 million a year. The president “is not willing to accept a deal that doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. ”The Speaker’s ‘Plan B’ approach doesn’t meet this test because it can’t pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle class families, and does little to address
A group of parents in Missoula, Mont. are upset over the religious nature of Christmas songs performed at a local elementary school – alleging the songs about the Baby Jesus is unconstitutional and a “form of bullying.” (Snip) The parents, who declined to be identified, are threatening to sue the Missoula County Public School District unless songs like “Joy to the World” and “Good Christian Men Rejoice” are replaced with secular tunes. “Bullying is such a hot topic, yet that seems to be what is occurring here,” the parents wrote in a letter obtained by The Missoulian.
New York state relies on gimmicks and nonrecurring revenue to pay for rising pension costs and the most-generous Medicaid benefits in the U.S., said a group led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch.. Annual pension contributions may increase 31 percent .. Retirement obligations and health care are outdistancing revenues at an ever-increasing pace .. To balance New York’s budget, state officials have relied on about $25 billion in nonrecurring, or “one-shot,” revenue actions, over the past 10 years Headline resplit to site style by staff
It was inevitable that the mourning of Friday’s massacre in Connecticut would be accompanied by a discussion of the ills of American society. It was to be expected, as well, that the horror of the 27 people shot dead — 20 young children, six adults, and the murderer’s own mother — would lead to renewed calls for stricter gun-control legislation. Other topics examined since the shocking mass slaughter at an elementary school in a crime-free neighborhood
The powerful gun lobby’s iron grip on Washington showed signs of loosening Monday in the wake of the massacre of 20 children in Connecticut, but President Obama faces a long, difficult and contentious struggle if he wants to see any meaningful changes in the nation’s gun laws. In a stirring speech on Sunday in the community devastated by the school slaughter, the President assured the nation he would deploy the full power of his office to make it harder for madmen to kill innocent people with firearms.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) said Tuesday, “I do think the respect for life is something that we were built on certainly in our country and that means – obviously different things to different people.” In the context of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., a caller on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program said the legalization of abortion, and taxpayer funded abortions, have led to a “culture of death.” The shooter murdered 26 people, 20 of them were children, mostly kindergarteners. The caller to the program said, “Roe v. Wade took away the right to life.
NBC News’ Richard Engel and his two colleagues, producer Ghazi Balkiz and cameraman John Kooistra, are fortunately safe after being kidnapped and held for five days in Syria. On Tuesday morning, speaking from Turkey, the three recounted their experience. “We weren’t physically beaten or tortured. It was a lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed,” Engel said on Today. “They made us choose which one of us would be shot first, and when we refused, there were mock shootings. They pretended to shoot Ghazi several times. And when you’re blindfolded, and they fire the gun up in the air,
House Speaker John Boehner said the House would vote this week on a tax-only measure to keep rates low for most Americans. Two congressional sources said the vote would probably be held on Thursday. The tax-only measure is being called "Plan B" by Republicans and they are looking at it as an alternative to a broader plan that the speaker has been negotiating with the White House. Talks between the White House and House Republicans have not yet yielded a broad deal, but the two sides have moved closer together in recent days.
Adam Lanza, the shooter who massacred 20 children and six adults last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, spent hours in the windowless basement of his home playing violent video games like "Call of Duty" and obsessing over "guns and military equipment." Peter Wlasuk, a plumber who worked at the Lanza home, told The Sun that Lanza "lived in the basement" and he found it "strange." "He had a proper set up down there — computers, a bathroom, bed and desk and a TV," Wlasuk said. "There were no windows.” Wlasuk said he went down to the
Obama’s response to the tragedy at Newtown has been admirable in tone (boy, this guy can give a speech) but actually quite light in content. “These tragedies must end,” he said, implying serious action to reform access to guns – and the White House has promised that he will act "swiftly". But his rhetoric has been just as misleadingly ambitious in the past. After the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, Obama wrote that it was a time for “a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people.” The discussion never happened.
They won the campaign handily and even had $14.2 million to spare, but the Obama-Biden campaign is still raising money, this time off the president´s comments about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut. In email from chief campaign advisor David Axelrod that urges supporters to watch President Obama´s moving address to the community of Newtown, there are two links that open a page with a video player featuring the president´s speech and two donate buttons asking for $15-$1,000 for his campaign. "The next chapter begins today. Stand with President Obama
Small business owners who prepare tax returns for a living every year must either seek additional training or close their doors due to a new Internal Revenue Service regulation set to take effect at the end of this year. “Despite a federal lawsuit filed in March by three independent tax preparers and the Institute for Justice (IJ), the IRS refuses to budge on its December 31 deadline for roughly 350,000 tax-return preparers to comply with a mandatory continuing-education requirement, which will be followed next year by an IRS-mandated exam,” IJ’s Dan Alban writes at Doublethink Magazine (which I edit).
Health Reform: If ObamaCare is such a great idea, why are so many governors — including several Democrats — refusing to play along? What do they know that the administration isn´t telling the rest of us? So far, not one part of ObamaCare has worked as planned. Almost immediately, the administration had to distribute huge numbers of waivers to companies because its initial rules would have forced them to drop their low-cost plans. ObamaCare´s high-risk pools promised to cover hundreds of thousands...
Newly announced changes to Instagram´s terms and conditions give the Facebook-owned photo-sharing site ´perpetual´ rights to all images uploaded, and allow Instagram to use them for commercial purposes without identification. "You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such," the new terms say. That may let advertisers use teenagers’ photos for marketing, raising privacy and security concerns, Jeffrey Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, told Bloomberg. Facebook itself was sued by users angry that their images had been used as part of ´sponsored stories´, and settled the case
During a Sunday morning panel discussion on the potential political impact of Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer put forth the idea that if the shooter had an Arab name, people would be much more inclined to revamp public policy to address such gun violence, much like how government fundamentally changed its role after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Schieffer’s comment came in response to panel guest James Peterson suggesting that addressing the “proliferation of guns” in America “should be a new front in the ‘War on Terror.’”
Bill O’Reilly brought on Bernard Goldberg tonight to take on the almost immediate politicization of last Friday’s tragic shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Both O’Reilly and Goldberg agreed that the liberal media was very quick to jumpstart the gun control debate, but Goldberg acknowledged there was a fair amount of politicization on the right from people who he said want assault weapons not because of the Second Amendment, but because of their paranoia over the government coming to take away their guns. (Snip) O’Reilly was amazed at how it “took minutes” for liberal pundits to direct
The husband of one of Susan Rice’s top deputies at the United Nations intimated on Twitter on Saturday that he would prefer someone other than John Kerry be appointed the next secretary of state, now that Rice is out of the running. Bruce Jones, a senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution and the husband of Ambassador Elizabeth M. Cousens, the U.S. Representative on the U.N. Economic and Social Council and Alternate Representative to the U.N. General Assembly, tweeted two comments seemingly disparaging the prospect of a Kerry nomination.
We´ve been hearing a lot about religion lately. It is the holiday season for such things in America. And, sadly, we´ve suffered another gaping wound from a sick outlier wreaking incomprehensible revenge on the most innocent of innocents and their caregivers. Despite the sacred separation of church and state in American governmental tradition, religion is an everyday fact of life for most Americans and is reflected in the operations of its government. [Snip] Now, the smart folks over at C-SPAN have given us a peek into the religions of Congress´ everyday operations.
In the wake of past mass shootings, when the “national conversation” has focused exclusively on guns, I have argued that our appallingly inadequate mental-health system was a better subject of reform. At least half of the shooters in the rampage killings that are ripping our hearts out are young men with serious mental illnesses, and our system has neither the legal nor the financial resources to get them the treatment and restraint that they, and we, desperately need.This time, mental-health reform has received passing mention, along with the usual pleas for gun control
The gun control debate, like all debates with the left, is reducible to the question of whether we are individuals who make our own decisions or a great squishy social mass that helplessly responds to stimuli. Do people kill with guns or does the availability of guns kill people? Do bad eating habits kill people or does the availability of junk food kill people? To the left these are distinctions without a difference. If a thing is available then it is the cause of the problem.
Most Americans want President Obama and congressional Republicans to compromise on a budget agreement, though they, too, are unhappy about the options that would avert the “fiscal cliff,” according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The strong support for compromise belies widespread public opposition to big spending cuts that are likely to be part of any deal. Most Americans oppose slashing spending on Medicaid and the military, as well as raising the age for Medicare eligibility and slowing the increase of Social Security benefits, all of which appear to be on the table in negotiations. Majorities call
We’re told she collapsed and hit her head and got a concussion, and that’s why she can’t testify about Benghazi this week. And we’re supposed to just take her word for it.Investor’s Business Daily editorializes: Outside the frothy bubble of U.S. political concerns lie only the hard realities of the real world. That’s why hard questions should be asked — and real answers demanded — of U.S. secretaries of state and those who would be them. That’s not the case with either Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,