President Barack Obama on Sunday called security issues that led to the deaths of four Americans in the Benghazi consulate attack "a huge problem," although he continued to defend U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as a victim of political scapegoating by Republicans who have suggested an administration coverup of the situation. "We´re not going to be defensive about it," Obama said of the State Department review of the attacks during an exclusive interview on NBC´s Meet the Press.
Regular readers here know of our fondness for things spatial, as in beyond Earth´s atmosphere. Way beyond. Here´s a newly-released photo from NASA, a combination of readings of NGC 3627, another galaxy like our own Milky Way. NGC 3627 is, indeed, a galaxy far, far away. We publish the picture here today to perhaps help make the nation´s returning holiday travelers feel just a little bit better. Or less burdened.
When it comes to foreign policy, John F. Kerry is no John F. Kennedy. In his 1961 inaugural address, the 35th president of the United States declared that Americans would “pay any price, bear any burden” in their ongoing defense of liberty and human rights “at home and around the world.” Like other presidents before and since — Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush — JFK believed that it was America’s destiny to advance freedom and democratic self-government, and oppose the world’s tyrants. This is the “idealist” approach to US foreign policy. Kerry sees America’s role differently.
It is hard to overstate the cynicism and cruelty of Vladimir Putin. He is willing to use orphans as his pawns in his public-relations battle against the West. That’s no exaggeration, given that he has just signed a law forbidding Americans to adopt Russian children. Approximately 650,000 of them live in orphanages and foster care including a substantial number who are sick or disabled and are unlikely to ever find a permanent home. Russian orphanages have a reputation for terrible conditions and rampant abuse. They are some of the grimmest places to live in the industrialized world.
A caller identified as Lawrence from the Bronx, New York, asked C-SPAN guest Brendan Doherty Saturday whether he believed the constitution could be amended so that President Obama could run for three terms. If that wouldn’t be possible, Lawrence continued, could the Democrats “overwhelmingly” take back the House in 2014? Doherty recently authored, “The Rise Of The President’s Permanent Campaign,” a book that examines whether a President’s time spent campaigning can be separated from time spent governing in recent years. He fielded the caller’s question as best as he could, answering honestly, “The prospect of amending the Constitution
Fiscal cliff. Every time I hear that phrase ricochet in the Washington, D.C., echo chamber, I think of my mother. There she is with the bills piled on one side of her at the Formica kitchen table and a thin pile of currency — singles, fives and tens — in another stack. When House Speaker John Boehner said that “God only knows” where these “fiscal cliff” talks between him and President Obama were heading, I could see my mother rushing to now defunct St. Stanislaus on 14th St. in Brooklyn to kneel and light a candle before the statue
After the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the erosion of our military’s moral principles, regretfully, continues. A recent Wall Street Journal article described the U.S. Army’s final-draft handbook, which indoctrinates our military personnel heading to Afghanistan in how to be sensitive to and accept Muslim and Afghan 7th-century customs and values — or possibly be killed by our Afghan partners. Unbelievable. This is being done to prevent the so-called “green-on-blue” attacks, which have cost 63 American lives this year.
Chicago has a long tradition of padding its vote totals by placing homeless and deceased persons on its voter registration list. Jim Laski, who once served as the City Clerk of Chicago, second in power only to the mayor, noted in his book My Fall From Grace that fraudulent voters were registered to addresses that included cemeteries, municipal buildings, and taverns. The taverns, at least, are understandable: politically connected city workers spent so much time on bar stools the Board of Elections thought they lived there. Other voters who had died or moved away were also
I have fired guns only once in my life, on a stag party to the Czech capital Prague a few years ago when part of the itinerary included a trip to an indoor shooting range. For three hours, our group were let loose on everything from Magnum 45 handguns and Glock pistols, to high-powered ‘sniper’ rifles and pump-action shotguns. It was controlled, legal, safe and undeniably exciting. But it also showed me, quite demonstrably, that guns are killing machines. Rarely has the hideous effect of a gun been more acutely laid bare than at Sandy Hook elementary school
A modern artist has caused huge controversy after placing a statue of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees in the former Warsaw Ghetto. Some Jewish groups have expressed fury at the ´senseless´ decision to install the provocative artwork in the area where thousands of Jews were forced to live during the rule of the Nazi regime. In total, around 300,000 Jews from the Ghetto died or were sent to their death in concentration camps. The statue by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, entitled ´HIM´, has attracted a large number of visitors since its installation last month.
MIAMI- The lingering devastation of Superstorm Sandy has prompted the U.S. government to give Haitian nationals more time to register for extended residency and employment benefits in this country. Temporary protected status for Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake in their Caribbean homeland was extended through July 2014. Haitians previously approved to temporarily live and work here originally had until Nov. 30 to register for the 18-month extension. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services this week pushed back the registration deadline until Jan. 29. Officials say that´s due to "the impact Hurricane Sandy has had on regions were Haitians reside."
City health czar Dr. Thomas Farley is warring with a noted scientist over sodium in the same medical journal where Farley trumpeted the city’s war on salt. “We cannot extrapolate that lowering sodium consumption would reduce cardiovascular risk or premature death,” declared Dr. Sean C. Lucan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in this month’s American Journal of Public Health.
The city streets are teeming with thousands of mentally ill homeless people capable of psychotic acts of random violence if left untreated, experts warned yesterday.As many as 11,000 of the city’s 33,000 homeless adults have some form of mental illness, said D.J. Jaffe, executive director of the Mental Illness Policy Organization.“When untreated, they’re capable of horrific acts,” said Jaffe. “The danger is that they’re so sick that they don’t know they’re sick, and their brain is incapable of regulating their own behavior.”
A lawyer who´s asking to sue Connecticut for $100 million on behalf of a 6-year-old Newtown school shooting survivor who heard violence over the school´s intercom system says the potential claim is about improving school security, not money. "It´s about living in a world that´s safe," New Haven attorney Irving Pinsky told The Associated Press on Saturday. "The answer is about protecting the kids."
The two Senate leaders were trying Saturday to hash out a tax-and-spending deal to avert this “fiscal cliff,” even as both sides took to the airwaves to try to assure voters they want to get something done. President Obama used his weekly radio address to warn that every taxpayer’s paycheck is about to “get a lot smaller” if Congress doesn’t act, while Republicans said Mr. Obama must play a role in any final deal.
I am sitting in the front of a heavily armoured truck. The handgrip of an SA80 rifle rests against my knee and the top gunner, manning the General Purpose Machine Gun on the cab’s roof, stands against my right shoulder.[Snip] But my briefing from the cheerful Marine sergeant before we set off is succinct and gloriously matter-of-fact. ‘Strap yourself in tight. If we encounter small-arms fire, keep your head down. But if the truck goes over, the top gunner will drop into your lap. Make sure you catch him and hold on.’ I had been rolled in
In America, established rights such as religious liberty and the right to bear arms are currently under attack. Liberals are in charge and they seem to feel that straightforward Constitutional precepts require alteration or eradication. Take for instance the "right to privacy" -- the left has had no problem broadening the meaning of "privacy" to include the right to kill an unborn child. As for religious liberty, unless you´re a Muslim demanding a Ramadan meal, liberals like Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor
The $60.4 billion emergency-aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims that the Senate has passed now faces an uncertain, final vote in the Republican-controlled House, which has expressed a desire to pass a less-expensive bill in the final days of the lame duck session. The measure passed the Democrat-controlled Senate on Friday by a 62-32 vote, after Republicans failed to pass amendments that would have cut the package to $24 billion. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that only about $9 billion of the $60.4 billion would be spent over the next nine months.
Last week, we pointed you to a PSA from Mayor Bloomberg´s gun-control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in which the rich, famous, and pretty decried the need for stricter gun control (or something not quite specified). Some, like YouTube user Mike Hunt (ahem!), blame those very same people for perpetuating a culture of violence in the first place. In his own biting video response, he peppers in hyper-violent, trigger-happy footage against video of each celebrity wearing black and speaking in a hushed tone, respectively.
"The organization doesn´t exist without belief in the candidate," White House senior adviser David Plouffe told Politico after November´s election. "They turned out for Barack Obama. It was all because of him." "All because of him." That comment may sting the hundreds of Democratic candidates who spent countless hours working on their own campaigns, but it is also probably true. Obama is a fantastically popular political figure whose personal connection with voters led to record turnout among many demographics. But Obama´s appeal probably will not last much beyond 2016, if it even lasts that long.
In the midst of a grueling, final-hour push by Congress to rescue the economy from the looming fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner sought brief reprieve with an evening of margaritas and Mexican fare in Arlington, a source told Mail Online. Dressed in a festive, bright red sweater, a cheery Boehner arrived through a side door at Guapo´s in Shirlington around 7:15 p.m. Friday - about three hours after he left stone-faced from a meeting at the White House with other congressional leaders and President Obama -
We think we know the chicken nugget: small, salty, and spongy, derided by Michael Pollan and reviled by Jamie Oliver, who recreated them on camera by whizzing a chicken in a food processor and forcing it through a sieve. We know that children adore them, that parents are conflicted about them, that public-health campaigners despise them for sparking an epidemic of obesity. We know we can’t get away from them: There are nuggets at almost every fast-food chain, on almost every restaurant kids’ menu, and in almost every supermarket freezer: breaded or naked; fried or grill-marked;
Scientologists may be facing their most daunting court case yet, and all it took was for someone to stop calling them a cult. After a years long legal battle, federal prosecutors in Belgium now believe their investigation is complete enough to charge the Church of Scientology and its leaders as a criminal organization on charges of extortion, fraud, privacy breaches, and the illegal practice of medicine. "The decision follows years of investigation that was triggered by a complaint by the Labour Mediation Service in the Brussels Region. Labour mediators were unhappy with a number of labour contracts,"
Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with RT to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration’s disregard for the rule of law. (Snip)According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.” RT’s Abby Martin in the program Breaking the Set discusses the Showtime film series and book titled The Untold History of the United States co-authored by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.
Late yesterday afternoon, the Seventh Circuit granted an emergency injunction against the HHS mandate — preventing its enforcement against an Illinois business and its owners. My colleagues at the ACLJ represent Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., a family-owned, full-service construction contractor. The company is located in Highland, Ill., and employs about 90 workers. The brief opinion is worth a read in its entirety, but two parts stand out. First, the court disagreed with the Tenth Circuit’s recent decision rejecting Hobby Lobby’s request for a similar injunction. In a key paragraph the court stated: