The case for women in combat units has been, on the whole, a case made from ideology ("Equality requires it!") and from authority ("The Joint Chiefs signed off on it!"). Ideologues and authoritarians tend not to welcome debate on whatever issue it is they´re applying their ideology to or invoking their authority on behalf of. The question of women in combat units is no exception, as the proponents have gone out of their way to discourage honest debate on the question. But it is a question. It deserves to be debated. And one good thing about America
North Korea: After successfully testing a missile capable of launching a satellite, Pyongyang works toward a nuclear warhead small enough for it to carry an electro-magnetic-pulse weapon of our worst nightmares. When North Korea orbited a failed satellite in December aboard an Unha-3 long-range missile, it was treated in some quarters as a stunt of no real significance or threat. The last Stalinist regime on earth had no deliverable warhead small enough to place on this missile which itself had no great accuracy. Serious observers, however, noted that any nation
A powerful group of senators from both parties has reached a deal on the outlines of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, a development that will drive an emotional debate on a hot-button issue unseen in Washington for more than half a decade. The group is expected to unveil the basics of its proposal at a Monday news conference on Capitol Hill, essentially laying down a marker on the issue one day before President Barack Obama heads to Las Vegas to unveil more details about his own immigration proposal. According to a five-page document provided to POLITICO, the sweeping proposal —
Republicans took another step toward taking back the U.S. Senate when Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) announced this weekend that he would not run for re-election in 2014. While Harkin likely faced a close race, he was the candidate most likely to hold the seat for Democrats. Now his party faces a real prospect of losing the seat. The Rothenberg Political Report notes that without Harkin on the ballot, "the Hawkeye State now moves far up on GOP target lists." Combined with Sen. Jay Rockefeller´s (D-W.V.) retirement announcement earlier this month, it´s a real blow to Democrats.
Construction of California´s high-speed rail network is supposed to start in just six months, but the state hasn´t acquired a single acre along the route and faces what officials are calling a challenging schedule to assemble hundreds of parcels needed in the Central Valley. The complexity of getting federal, state and local regulatory approvals for the massive $68-billion project has already pushed back the start of construction to July from late last year. Even with that additional time, however, the state is facing a risk of not having the property to start major construction work near Fresno as now planned.
The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, decided last week to use the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos to make some observations about women in the workplace. She said that companies should be able to ask women employees whether they intend to have children.[Snip]At the very least, it surely merits a discussion with her employer. But such is the equality madness, so absolute the prohibition against speaking about such matters and so great the opprobrium directed at anyone who does, that when someone actually says the blindingly obvious like this it comes
Norman Stone is the bad boy of British historians. Whereas most British history profs are of pinkish hue, politics-wise, Stone is an unrepentant Right-winger.[Snip]Pithy, opinionated, preposterously readable, an afternoon on the sofa should see you through from cover to cover and Stone´s book fires off illuminating facts as a Catherine wheel showers sparks. Could there be a better anecdote to illustrate the technological brilliance but economic bankruptcy of Hitler´s Thousand Year Reich than this? In 1945, to save fuel, the Luftwaffe´s jet fighters had to be towed to the airfield by oxen. The anecdote that the civil servant who officiated
Over the weekend, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer spoke at the National Review Institute Summit in Washington, D.C. During a question-and-answer session, he was asked if he thought President Barack Obama would attempt to hand-pick his successor in order to help guide the country down a path to “socialism.” Krauthammer began his response by advising against using that term. “I would just caution you about using the word, ‘socialism,’” Krauthammer said. “The reason is it is too broad a term. It encompasses all kinds of socialism, including the nasty totalitarian examples — the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, Cuba, Korea.”
Oil and gas companies have become a go-to punching bag for politicians looking to score easy political points. Many lawmakers and pundits routinely paint America´s oil and gas companies as poster children for corporate greed -- suggesting that these firms earn outsized profits that only benefit an elite group. That´s a powerful story. It´s also false. Research shows that the bulk of economic rewards reaped by the oil and gas sector are actually flowing back to everyday Americans. Their success is boosting the financial futures of millions of working families all across the country.
As one side sees it, President Barack Obama’s first four-year term of President Barack Obama was a disaster, and the second promises the same. Last time around, they argue, the president muscled through costly and ineffective health care reform. His vast economic stimulus program aggravated the deficit without adding “real,” private-sector jobs. Ballooning debt will plague the nation for years. And Obama’s solution to everything it: tax and spend. (Snip) The only place Obama wants to “economize” is defense. Well, that’s one view. In the anti-Obama echo chamber, the president barely
Riyadh - Visa applications from Saudi nationals to the United States doubled during the last four years, US Ambassador James B. Smith told newsmen yesterday. He was addressing the press on the performance of the consular department at the embassy. (Snip) There are 70,000 Saudi students currently studying in the US, he added. “We are delighted to see Saudis visiting the US for various purposes,” he noted. Around 10,000 of the applications were refused due to failure on the part of the applicants to convince the visa officers of the real purpose of travel to the US.
New York - The legal challenges over religious freedom and the birth control coverage requirement in President Barack Obama´s health care overhaul appear to be moving toward the U.S. Supreme Court. Faith-affiliated charities, hospitals and universities have filed dozens of lawsuits against the mandate, which requires employers to provide insurance that covers contraception for free. However, many for-profit business owners are also suing, claiming a violation of their religious beliefs. The religious lawsuits have largely stalled, as the Department of Health and Human Services tries to develop an
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who has emerged as the leading proponent in Congress of tough new gun regulations in the wake of last month´s Newtown, Conn., school shootings, defended her proposed assault weapons ban on Sunday. Mrs. Feinstein, in an interview on CNN´s "State of the Union," conceded that the assault-weapons-ban legislation she introduced in the Senate on Thursday faces long odds. "This has always been an uphill fight ... this is the hardest of the hard," she said. She said her new gun-control proposals have broad-based support among mayors,
In the first months of the Obama presidency in 2009, Chuck Hagel, who had just finished two terms as a U.S. senator, went to the White House to visit with the friend he had made during the four years they overlapped in the Senate. So, President Obama asked, what do you think about foreign policy and defense issues? According to an account that Hagel later gave, and is reported here for the first time, he told Obama: “We are at a time where there is a new world order. We don’t control it. You must question
"If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you´ll see more of them doing it." So said Barack Obama in an interview just published by The New Republic: FRANKLIN FOER, EDITOR NEW REPUBLIC: Are there any forces for reform within the Republican Party, people you´ve been able to establish some sort of working relationship with? PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, look, I´ve always believed that there are a bunch of Republicans
Activists from the infamous hacker group known as Anonymous have disabled the United States Sentencing Commission´s website and have vowed to release classified government information in revenge for the death of Internet freedom advocate Aaron Swartz. The hackers replaced the website of the commission, an independent agency of the U.S. Justice Department involved in sentencing, with a video denouncing the government and praising the 26-year-old activist, who hanged himself two weeks ago as his trial date for allegedly hacking into a computer network neared.
President Barack Obama and, for that matter, most of America seem woefully ignorant about a scandal unfolding at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As hard as it is to believe, outgoing Administrator Lisa Jackson actually appears to have had agency personnel create a fictitious employee by the name of “Richard Windsor” so that Jackson could appropriate the Windsor’s email address for her own purposes. We’re not talking about some alias to be used for personal correspondence but a totally false identity in whose name official business was allegedly conducted created specifically to
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that all Muslims should mobilize their resources to uproot Zionism. He made the remarks in his speech to the 26th international conference on Islamic Unity, saying that the prime goal of the Muslims should be terminating the issue of Zionism. (Snip) The only leader who can guide the Muslim world is the prophet Mohammad, he underlined. “All differences and discords among Muslims have roots in our misunderstanding of Holy Quran and the guidelines of the prophet Mohammad,” said Ahmadinejad. “Today we need leadership similar to the
Forget about pens, paper clips and Post-it notes — the real money is in printer ink. Brazen office clerks have created a multimillion-dollar black market for toner cartridges they steal from their employers. Law enforcement officials busted Adrian Rodriguez in December for allegedly swindling more than $376,000 in excess copy machine toner from the downtown law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Rodriguez, 39, began ordering excess ink in 2010, while working in the duplication room. He would then sell the cartridges — worth $80 to $259 a piece
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday declared a state of emergency in three provinces hit by rioting which has left dozens dead, warning he was ready to take further steps to confront threats to Egypt´s security. Emergency measures would come into effect in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia "for 30 days starting at midnight (2200 GMT Sunday)," Morsi said in an address on state television which was quoted by AFP. (Snip) Morsi´s comments came after rioting sparked by death sentences being passed on soccer fans for deadly violence in 2012 rocked Port Said for a second straight
The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation’s ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries, according to U.S. officials. The move, requested by the head of the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, is part of an effort to build an organization that until now has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force. The command, made up of about 900 personnel, will expand to include 4,900 troops and civilians.
Jerusalem-Israel could launch a pre-emptive strike to stop Syria´s chemical weapons from reaching Lebanon´s Hezbollah or al Qaeda inspired groups, officials said Sunday. The warning came as the military moved a rocket defense system to a main northern city, and Israel´s premier warned of dangers from both Syria and Iran. Israel has long expressed concerns that Syrian President Bashar Assad, clinging to power during a 22-month civil war, could lose control over his chemical weapons. Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said Sunday that Israel´s top security officials held a special meeting last week to discuss Syria´s chemical weapons arsenal.
The U.S. Postal service is now charging Americans a penny more for stamps and postcard mailings. The price of a first-class stamp for domestic mail rose Sunday from 45 cents to 46 cents, while postcards cost 33 cents to send. The USPS rolled out the pricing changes alongside a new stamp – the Global Forever – which lets people mail one-ounce letters to anywhere in the world for $1.10. Other new services include free tracking for packages and the option of receiving a signature upon delivery
A Security Council team pledged support for Yemen´s political transition in a rare visit to Sanaa Sunday that drew thousands to the streets to demand the scrapping of immunity for ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh under a UN-backed deal. (Snip) "The people want to put the killer on trial," chanted the demonstrators, referring to Saleh who was eased out of office in February 2012 after three decades of rule following the UN-backed and Gulf-brokered deal. Demonstrators also called for a "return of funds stolen by the former president and his family." The Youth of the Revolution, a group that was the main
This week, Hillary Clinton appeared on 60 Minutes in a joint appearance with the president of the United States. (Her accessory of choice was a much-discussed pair of glasses). Twenty years ago, she made her first appearance on 60 Minutes in very different kind of joint interview (and a different accessory: the demure headband.)Back then, the man beside her was Bill, then governor of Arkansas and a first-time presidential candidate, and she was simply "his wife, Hillary." The purpose of the interview was to answer allegations that Bill had engaged in a 12-year extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — As Illinois becomes the fourth and most populous state to issue driver´s licenses to illegal immigrants, there are still nagging concerns that the measure doesn´t have enough safeguards to avoid the identity fraud and other pitfalls faced by the three other states with similar laws. Backers of the proposal, who tout it as a public-safety measure, argue that required facial recognition technology is reliable enough to prevent fraud, but opponents point to hundreds of fraudulent cases in New Mexico, Washington and Utah after those states began giving illegal immigrants permission to drive. Illinois will not require