The Newtown, Connecticut massacre of children has changed the gun control debate to an extent no other event has in decades. One of the reasons it has had such an effect is that it came at the time when liberals are at the height of their power and conservatives — and Republicans — are at their lowest ebb. It also came at a time when the maneuvers between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama over solving the “fiscal cliff” crisis fell apart, leaving Boehner severely weakened. The Newtown children hadn’t even been buried
GHENT, N.Y. — If you’re searching for the Frank Serpico of the ’70s, the whistle-blowing hippie cop of cinematic renown, pay a visit to Netflix. The real thing is now 76, his famous beard close-cropped and gray. Wiry and fit, Serpico sports tinted glasses and a Keith Richards-style skull ring with ruby red eyes. He lives alone in the woods upstate, far from his Greenwich Village haunts of yore. But despite the distance and the decades, Serpico is never too far away from his NYPD past. “I don’t know if there are ghosts,” he offers over coffee at an upstate farmers’ market.
Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes and We three kings of Orient are — to say nothing of if thou knowst it telling: Have you ever observed just how peculiar the grammar and syntax of Christmas carols can be? Or maybe that should run The songs of Christmas, noticed thou, / the strangeness filled with are — and how? The oddest may be “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” whose phrasings are now so alien that even the first line gets regularly mangled — punctuated (and sung) as God rest ye, merry gentlemen,
“We Could End Homelessness With The Money Americans Spend On Christmas Decorations,” announces a headline from Think Progress blogger Adam Peck. So far as we can tell, Americans haven’t exactly been taking to the streets demanding that people trade Christmas ornaments for welfare programs, but Peck’s article is interesting for what it reveals about those who are fighting to expand America’s welfare state. According to Peck, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says it could end “homelessness” if only its annual budget to fight the problem ballooned from $1.9 billion to $20 billion.
President Obama used the six weeks after his election to remain in full campaign mode and attack the GOP relentlessly with the intent of marginalizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as an effective leader of the Republican opposition. He succeeded. Decisively. And thus defined his second term as a bitter grind before it even began, just as he signaled to the Republicans that there is zero upside to negotiating with this most partisan president. How amusing will his second Inaugural address be when he reaches for the grand words about leading one nation
Just hours after Syrian forces bombed a line of starving residents waiting in line for bread, reports came out near Homs that government forces have finally started using chemical weapons on rebel forces. While there is no official confirmation The Times of Israel reports six rebels are reported dead and 60 injured after opposition forces say "poison gas bombs" were dropped on the rebel held town of Homs. There is video here on YouTube of exposed victims explaining and exhibiting their reported symptoms. Al Jazeera reports seven people have died in Homs after inhaling a poisonous gas
As the year winds to a close, here’s one name we haven’t heard in a while. Do you remember the Occupy movement? You know… those folks that were going to be the much needed counterweight to the Tea Party? Seems like they sort of disappeared there for a while. But at least out on the Left coast, they’re back. And they’ve brought their lawyers. Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators are suing the city for what they said was an unlawful “shock and awe” attack on their civil rights when 1,400 police officers
As godless secularism becomes more and more entrenched in our culture, the Christmas season is one of the most contentious times in our calendar. Every year, there are stories in the news of banned Christmas trees or of Christmas trees renamed "holiday trees." Christmas concerts at public schools draw threats of a lawsuit (even when the poor in Africa are the beneficiaries!), and U.S. congressmen are barred from wishing their constituents a "Merry Christmas" in their official mailings. This year, even Charlie Brown is creating controversy.
House Republicans left town in disarray on the evening of Thursday, December 21, after rejecting Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B.” That bill would have avoided the tax cliff in January even as it allowed tax rates to rise for millionaires. (A separate bill, which did pass the House, would turn off the “sequester” as it applies to the defense budget.) If Plan B had passed, House Republicans could have told their constituents that they had approved a bill to prevent a massive 2013 tax hike on most taxpayers
SOUTH CAROLINA´S conservative Republican governor, Nikki Haley, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab. US Representative Tim Scott of Charleston, a Tea Party hero who was raised in poverty by a divorced single mother, is South Carolina´s first black Republican lawmaker in more than a century. To anyone who shares the ideals that animate modern conservatism – limited government, economic liberty, color-blind equality – it stands to reason that Haley and Scott are conservatives. And their Republican affiliation should surprise no one familiar with the GOP´s long
President Barack Obama is in Hawaii for Christmas. Right now, he´s golfing with White House chef Sam Kass, staffer Marvin Nicholson, and friends Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb, according to the White House pool report. Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu last year for soliciting a prostitute. As ABC reported at the time of Titcomb´s arrest: One of President Barack Obama´s oldest friends has been arrested in Honolulu on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. Robert "Bobby" Titcomb was one of four men arrested in an undercover prostitution sting operation Monday evening
Revolutionary fervor in seizing the barricades for change makes for great theater and grand cinema, but seldom produces the positive results that young idealists desire. Those constructive consequences come much more reliably from middle-aged, middle-class virtues, patience, planning, deferred gratification, hard work, incremental improvement—with far less flash and glory. That’s the problem at the very heart of the magnificent new movie version of Les Miserables, an obvious front-runner for nominations in every major category in this year’s Oscar race. In faithfully adapting the hit stage show,
I ´ve worked in hotels for more than a decade. I´ve checked you in, checked you out, oriented you to the property, served you a beverage, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service (before and, sadly, after), cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&M´s out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. From New Orleans to New York, I´ve played by hotel rules and, in the process, learned every aspect of the industry.
Besieged by criticism from right and left, and considerable skepticism from his former Senate colleagues, Chuck Hagel appears to be following the path of Susan Rice as a trial-balloon nominee who finds himself quickly losing altitude in Washington. And as happened with Rice, the White House is now signaling that it may soon puncture Hagel´s hopes. Just as occurred with Rice, the U.N. ambassador whose prospective nomination as secretary of State—leaked to the media—flamed out in the face of widespread criticism of her, President Obama appears to be rethinking his choice for Defense secretary. A senior administration official
It’s “Merry Xmas, not” for Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and Tea Partiers, etc. Losing the November election was bad enough, but it’s gotten worse since, considerably worse. The party, and consequentially its ideas, is in freefall. As of last week, 57 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of Barack Obama’s performance as president. Pretty soon he’ll be as popular as Roosevelt — or Reagan. (Snip)The kneejerk response of many is to go back to pure conservative principles — a kind of Maoist ideological purge.
My wife and I ran across Christmas Vacation on the television last night, and realized that we hadn’t started our Christmas movie viewing season yet. We’ll probably get cracking tonight, with some annual favorites like A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and maybe even White Christmas – which I haven’t seen in years, but glimpsed while channel-flipping last weekend. We will watch The Nativity Story on Christmas Eve, probably after attending Mass, and hopefully can squeeze a few more in, too. This time of year brings a familiar debate among Christmas-movie aficionados:
"The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner said Saturday in his weekly address. He cited the measure that passed Thursday, which would reorganize the automatic spending cuts to protect the defense budget and cut deeper elsewhere. He also pointed to legislation that would stop all tax hikes on Jan. 1. Boehner said the president "refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation." But he did not mention his proposed "Plan B,"
The British nurse who killed herself after transferring a hoax call from Australian radio personalities to Kate Middleton’s hospital room earlier this month reportedly had attempted suicide twice before. Jacintha Saldanha, 46, who was found hanging by a scarf three days after the prank, attempted to overdose on pills during a family visit to India last winter, according to Indian newspapers quoted by the UK’s Daily Mail. Nine days later, the reports said, she attempted to jump from a building and was admitted to a psych ward. The family of Saldanha, who was prescribed anti-depressants after the failed attempts,
No matter how he has played, Tim Tebow has always been regarded as the paragon of sportsmanship and never-say-die persistence. But according to an ESPN report after the Jets’ loss to San Diego on Sunday, Tebow asked out of the wildcat package because he was frustrated with his role in the offense. The report, which cited several unnamed Jets sources, said Tebow’s frustration reached a boiling point Tuesday when he learned he would be passed over for the starting opportunity when Mark Sanchez was benched. Greg McElroy got the start and was sacked 11 times in a 27-17 loss to the Chargers. Source and link corrected, and text added by Staff.
If this is the time when people sit back and relax and, hopefully, even read, spare a thought for the greatest biography ever written, a commanding work of research, insight and narrative power which sheds light on why, on both sides of the Pacific and both sides of the Atlantic, politics is currently at such a low ebb and debt is at such a high tide. The Passage of Power, by Robert Caro, the fourth volume of a 3000-page masterpiece collectively called The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was released this year and such is its command of the workings of politics that it illuminates why America is on the
Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo was arrested a charge of driving under the influence early today after he allegedly ran a red light in Alexandria, Va., police said. The Idaho Republican was arrested without incident after he failed a field sobriety test, Alexandria police spokesman Jody Donaldson told ABC News Radio. Crapo was released on a $1,000 bond, and has a court date scheduled for Jan. 4, 2013. Crapo released a statement apologizing for the incident. “I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family,
ATLANTA — Last-minute shoppers crowded into malls and stores to scoop up discounted clothing and toys during the last weekend before Christmas, but many didn´t seem to be in the spending spirit. This holiday season, Americans have a lot on their minds on top of the now familiar job worries. Consumers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which account for 24 percent of retail sales nationwide, were tripped up by Superstorm Sandy. The storm hit in late October and disrupted businesses and households for several weeks.
The National Rifle Association does not plan to support any new gun control measures in the wake of the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., the head of the organization said Sunday, arguing that the government should vigorously enforce laws already on the books and reiterating the group’s push for more armed guards in schools as part of the solution. Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, answering questions for the first time since the Dec. 14 shootings, said legislation to impose restrictions on clip sizes or bans on so-called assault weapons
Two blog posts today should shred the credibility of Meet the Press´s David Gregory in making arguments for gun control and against appropriate armed staff or security personnel at schools -- or they would, if journalists had the least bit of interest in exposing lawbreaking and hyprocritical behavior by their professional colleagues. During the show, as reported at the Patriot Perspective, relaying a point first brought out by a member of the AR15.com forum site, Gregory "decided to wave around a 30-round AR-15 magazine" in direct violation of the District of Columbia "DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines"
Republican Mitt Romney´s family had to convince him to make a second bid for the presidency because he was reluctant to run again after failing to secure his party´s nomination in 2008, Romney´s son told the Boston Globe on Sunday. In an article that examined what went wrong with Romney´s losing 2012 presidential campaign, Tagg Romney said his father Mitt said he had no intention of running again after he did not become the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. Arizona Senator John McCain secured the Republican nomination that year and lost to
Moscow - Arms sales will be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India on Monday to court a country that has traditionally been a top client. Putin´s trip, his first to India since he started a new Kremlin six-year term in May, is a chance to reaffirm Russia´s interest in India, long a regional ally and now a partner in the BRICS group of emerging market nations. (Snip) The Kremlin said it expected the signing of "a number of large contracts in the area of military-technical cooperation", a term referring to weapons sales, licensing and servicing.