It’s no secret that the White House carefully scripts its press conferences, and a new study from the University of Minnesota has quantified just how much President Barack Obama plays favorites in the press briefing room. The analysis, published on Wednesday by the Smart Politics group at the university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, took a look at all of the president’s press conferences in his first term, and determined ABC, CBS, the Associated Press and NBC were favorites of Obama. “Over the course of the president’s first term, he has generally maintained
The Food Standards Agency was criticised after admitting it had never carried out tests for horse meat on food sold in Britain. Seven of the leading supermarkets have cleared their shelves of frozen beefburgers after a supplier sold Tesco products which were 29 per cent horse meat. The supermarket took out newspaper advertisements to apologise to customers. The discovery was made by Irish authorities, leading to accusations that the Food Standards Agency in Britain had been taking a “light touch”. The concerns emerged as:• ?David Cameron said the discovery of horse meat in burgers was “disturbing” and “completely unacceptable”.
In a conference call today with a small group of journalists, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that President Obama was “arrogant and presumptuous” in saying in recent weeks that Israel “doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” “That’s an arrogant and presumptuous point of view and doesn’t further progress on anything,” the senator said, and he returned to that view throughout the call as he discussed the location of Israel’s capital and Israeli settlements. Paul decried U.S. politicians who display “this flippant and arrogant” attitude about internal Israeli affairs,
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be the opening act for President Obama´s inauguration while Beyonce will close the show. The fact was pointed out by Brent Colburn, communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, at a media briefing on Wednesday. “I just love the idea of any show that opens with Chuck Schumer and closes with Beyonce," he said. Schumer, the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, will make the opening remarks for Obama´s swearing-in on Monday while Beyonce will be the final act at the ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol — singing the National Anthem.
WASHINGTON- President Barack Obama is featuring eight Americans as "citizen co-chairs" of his inauguration, a new role created to highlight his first-term accomplishments with examples of lives that have either been improved by his actions or inspired his presidency. Inaugural planners say the honorees include a woman with a brain tumor who no longer is denied health care for a pre-existing condition; an autoworker who got her job back after the General Motors bailout; and a gay pilot-in-training kicked out of the Air Force before the president repealed the military´s "don´t ask, don´t tell" policy.
Rick Perry has presided for some years now over America’s most successful state. His track record of success is unmatched, so his voice should be listened to. This is what he had to say about Barack Obama’s gun control pronouncements: The Vice President’s committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there. Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons
President Obama unveiled his proposals to combat gun violence today, and they turned out to be anti-climactic. There were no surprises, unless you expected him to mention the culture of violence fostered by Democratic-party donors in Hollywood and the video-game industry. He didn’t. The administration’s gun proposals turned out to be retreads. Obama could have tried something new, perhaps something more sweeping: a ban on all semiautomatic rifles, perhaps, or even a ban that includes some handguns. Instead, the White House paper that explains the president’s proposals says the administration wants to ban “military-style
As House Republicans head to Williamsburg, Va., to talk strategy at their annual retreat, a top Democratic pollster warned Wednesday that voters think the GOP has fallen outside the mainstream on everything from taxes to gay rights. Pollster Stanley Greenberg, a former adviser to the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, released a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll that found the GOP is losing ground with voters of all stripes. “The fact is that we have a set of cultural and economic issues, and budget issues, in which [Republicans] are seen as extreme and out of touch,” Mr. Greenberg said.
President Obama’s plans to curb gun violence focus heavily on firearm restrictions and on mental health, but video games and movies — two cultural issues that many Americans blame for violence — got little attention Wednesday. Mr. Obama said he would ask Congress to pump $10 million into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a study on the relationship between video games and violence, but didn’t ask for any additional controls. “Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds,”
Islamist militants seized at least 20 hostages, including as many as seven Americans, at an Algerian natural gas complex Wednesday in a brazen attack linked by the assailants to France’s military intervention in neighboring Mali. At least one foreign worker was reported killed in the early morning assault on the vast In Amenas gas field near Algeria’s eastern border with Libya. The attack, attributed to a unit of al-Qaeda’s offshoot in North Africa, raised concerns about a broadening of Mali’s civil war five days after French forces joined the country’s fight against Islamist insurgents.
Last July was a good month for factory workers in Anderson, Ind., where a Honda parts supplier announced plans to build a new plant and create up to 325 jobs. But it was a grim month in the Cleveland suburbs, where an industrial plastics firm told the state of Ohio it was closing a plant and laying off 150 people. Nearly all of the Ohio workers belonged to a labor union. Workers at the Indiana plant don’t. Their fates fit a post-recession pattern: American factories are hiring again, but they’re not hiring union members. U.S. manufacturers have added a half-million
In state capitals and city halls nationwide, the National Rifle Association is demonstrating its enduring ability to thwart new firearms regulations and expand rights for gun owners — even after a school massacre in Newtown, Conn., gave the gun-control cause new momentum. Just last week, Illinois state House members declined to consider proposed limits on assault weapons amid a surge of negative phone calls and e-mails from NRA members and other gun owners. In Wisconsin last week, legislators wary of provoking the NRA backed off a proposed ban on loaded firearms
The gun-control agenda that President Obama unveiled with urgency on Wednesday now faces an uncertain fate in a bitterly divided Congress, where Republican opposition hardened and centrist Democrats remained noncommittal after a month of feverish public debate. By pursuing an expansive overhaul of the nation’s gun laws, Obama is wagering that public opinion has evolved enough after a string of mass shootings to force passage of politically contentious measures that Congress has long stymied. Yet there was no indication on Wednesday that the mood on Capitol Hill has changed much.
While Obama´s media predictably gush and fawn over the President´s anti-gun initiatives Wednesday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer not surprisingly had a different take. Appearing on Fox News´s Special Report, Krauthammer said, "The things he signed today, the executive orders are useless" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary): CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I give the President credit for sincerity on this. There’s not a lot of political advantage in this as there is in a lot of other stuff he’s pushing. He didn’t have a plan to do this. This was not what he campaigned on last year.
Carmine Franco, the aging Bergen County trash-collection baron who has been banned from the industry in New Jersey, was arrested Wednesday along with 29 other reputed mobsters and associates in the latest crackdown on Mafia control over waste-hauling in New York and New Jersey. Franco, 77, of Ramsey, was the lead defendant in a 16-count indictment unsealed in federal court in Manhattan charging a dozen people with conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise that exercised illegal control over waste haulers in Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey and Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties in New York.
Governor Christie praised the House of Representatives for passing a $50.6 billion superstorm Sandy relief package Tuesday, but told attendees at his 100th town hall-style event that it will take weeks before the money arrives. Once the Senate signs off and sends it to President Obama for final approval, there will be a process for releasing the funds, Christie said. “There’s a little bookkeeping that needs to get done when you’re talking about $60 billion,” Christie said. Christie said he expected aid to come within weeks, not months. He detailed plans to create grants for homeowners and small businesses struggling
Seung-Hui Cho, who committed the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, had been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder as a child and placed under treatment. But Virginia Tech was prohibited from being told about Cho’s mental health problems because of federal privacy laws. At college, Cho engaged in behavior even more bizarre than the average college student. He stalked three women and, at one point, went totally silent, refusing to speak even to his roommates. He was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for one night and then unaccountably unleashed on the public, whereupon he proceeded to engage in
Jeremy Irons has taken a swipe at Downton Abbey, slamming it as the ´Ford Fiesta´ of television. The actor could barely disguise his disdain for the period drama that has taken both Britain and America by storm. But after appearing to dismiss the show he admitted that he had never watched a single episode of the award winning drama, which is now in its third series. Irons' attack came as he joined a panel in California to help promote a series called Shakespeare Uncovered that will be shown on the same PBS channel as Downton Abbey. He said: 'What I'm very excited about with Shakespeare Uncovered
To judge from his surly demeanor and defiant words at his press conference Monday, Barack Obama begins his second term with a strategy to defeat and humiliate Republicans rather than a strategy to govern. His point-blank refusal to negotiate over the debt ceiling was clearly designed to make the House Republicans look bad. But Obama knows very well that negotiations usually accompany legislation to increase the government´s debt limit. As Gordon Gray of the conservative American Action Network points out, most of the 17 increases in the debt ceiling over the last 20 years have been part of broader measures.
A Wappingers Falls man was sentenced to one to three years in prison for selling stolen property, a Dutchess County Court official says. Anthony Poliandro, 24, of 24 Top O’Hill Road was convicted of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony. Poliandro’s brother, Vincent Poliandro, 29, was burglarizing homes in the Wappingers Falls area. On one occasion, Anthony Poliandro sold a computer to a police officer. (Snip) Anthony Poliandro, a leader of the Occupy Poughkeepsie movement, as well as the Occupy New York movement, admitted to selling numerous items of property
On President Obama’s proposal for curbing gun violence, I have several thoughts. 1. Even when I agree in substance with the president, as I do in this instance, I find his combination of self-righteousness and demagoguery to be off-putting. In his remarks earlier today, for example, the president once again took to the task of demonizing his opponents, something he does more promiscuously than any president I can recall. For Mr. Obama, it’s never about honest differences over policies. His political opponents have to be painted as morally obtuse, cruel and motivated by the basest considerations.
President Obama announced his plans for gun control just before noon today. He put 23 executive actions in place immediately following his speech, and called on Congress to take additional measures. There are useful small steps in the president’s agenda, but his boldest proposals are misguided — and unlikely to pass the Republican House. The announcement — during which Obama was accompanied on stage by four children, and which he frequently punctuated with emotional appeals — was primarily an act of political theater. Many of the actions the president has taken or proposed are unremarkable.
As I’ve already said, I neither think having armed guards at schools is a crazy idea nor think Wayne LaPierre was right to advocate some national legislative push for their installation. But I was both a-mused and b-mused by the president’s endorsement of more guns in schools (on the persons of “school resource officers”) during his speech today, coming as it did after all of polite society has spent the last month calling for LaPierre to be fitted for a straitjacket for proposing the exact same thing. The NRA should recut
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal interviewed my colleague Chuck DeVore (formerly of the California legislature) on his new book, The Texas Model. Chuck joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation about a year ago after packing up his family and moving to Texas, as so many other Californians are doing. Chuck makes a great point here, namely that the Texas model resembles what America used to be like: light taxation and regulation and an environment that encourages risk-taking, innovation, and entrepreneurship. California, on the other hand, has become the very model of high taxation, high spending