On Friday, a 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously declared President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to be unconstitutional. The judges rebuked Obama both because the Senate was actually in session when he made the appointments, and because two of the three positions in question became open months (in one case, more than a year) before the president implied an urgent need to fill them during a “recess.” The NLRB, however, is now ignoring the court’s decision — thereby suggesting its members
Siberian summers do not last long. The snows linger into May, and the cold weather returns again during September, freezing the taiga into a still life awesome in its desolation: endless miles of straggly pine and birch forests scattered with sleeping bears and hungry wolves; steep-sided mountains; white-water rivers that pour in torrents through the valleys; a hundred thousand icy bogs. This forest is the last and greatest of Earth´s wildernesses. It stretches from the furthest tip of Russia´s arctic regions as far south as Mongolia, and east from the Urals to the Pacific: five million square miles
"Unless you were one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else, somebody brought you," President Barack Obama told the assembled throngs in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Perhaps to make sense of the empty phrase "Native American," Obama seems to have overlooked the most contentious debate in modern archaeology: when did the first waves of humanity reach the Americas and where did they come from? The only real consensus among archaeologists is that everyone in America came from "someplace else."
We keep trying to understand the enigma of California, mostly why it still breathes for a while longer, given the efforts to destroy the sources of its success. Let’s try to navigate through its sociology and politics to grasp why something that should not survive is surviving quite well — at least in some places.Conservati delendi sunt The old blue/red war for California is over. Conservatives lost. Liberals won — by a combination of flooding the state with government-supplied stuff, and welcoming millions in while showing the exit to others. The only mystery is how Carthaginian will be the victor’s peace,
Earlier today, the Washington Post reported that Barack Obama would try to bigfoot the Senate’s Gang of Eight and put forward his own, more liberal plan for comprehensive immigration reform — which Allahpundit couldn’t quite believe. When Obama finally arrived in Las Vegas, though, he gave an unremarkable speech that boiled down to er, yeah, what they said. (Snip) The question is whether Obama got duped about the progress of the Senate talks. The trip to Vegas had to have been in the works for a while. The announcement over the weekend of an agreement in principle
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan will be leaving prison and heading to a halfway house after serving more than five years for corruption. His departure from prison follows a rich, if ignominious, history in Illinois of ex-governors arriving in and departing from prison. Of Illinois´ last seven governors, four have ended up going to prison. They are: —Rod Blagojevich — Governor from 2002 through 2009, when he became the first Illinois governor in history to be impeached. Convicted of numerous corruption charges in 2011, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama´s old Senate seat.
To much fanfare, a bipartisan group of eight Senators on Monday announced they had agreed on a blueprint for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws. Despite the optimistic tone to the news conference, Monday is likely to be the best day of the year for proponents of comprehensive immigration reform. It’s relatively easy to agree on broad outlines balancing border security and employer enforcement with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The difficult part is what comes next — putting everything into detailed legislation, grappling with the logistics and trying to win a critical mass of votes.
Jeff Zucker’s reign of shock and awe has only just begun. Well, maybe not “shock,” since the new president of CNN Worldwide has made no secret of his intention to shake up the ratings-challenged cable network from top to bottom. Zucker launched his makeover Tuesday by announcing the imminent arrival of ABC News anchor Chris Cuomo to take over the troubled 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. slot currently occupied by Soledad O’Brien. According to network sources, Cuomo, who was said to be unhappy at ABC’s 20/20 since being passed over
Online dating is awash with deviance. There are perverts, scammers and misanthropic entrepreneurs all hellbent on profiting from loneliness. But then there are women like Laura Brashier, a 37-year-old hairdresser from California and a survivor of cervical cancer. Her treatment left Ms. Brashier unable to have sex. Rather than endure the anxiety of conventional dating she decided to set up a dating site for people like her. 2Date4Love describes itself as the site for "people who cannot engage in sexual intercourse to meet and experience love, companionship and intimacy at its deepest level."
Republican dissidents are plotting a terrorist outrage in the run-up to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland this summer, British sources have warned. Ministers are said to be alarmed by the resurgence in hardline republicanism in recent months, with hundreds of youngsters signing up to join the shadowy ´New IRA´, which has vowed to continue the armed struggle to create a united Ireland. Two recent attacks also indicate that extremists have now obtained access to former IRA weapons, which were meant to have decommissioned as part of the peace process. Semtex plastic explosive supplied by Libyan dictator Colonel Gadaffi in
Prince Charles must sometimes wish he could go Dutch. Aged only 74, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has just chosen to hand over the throne to her 45-year-old son, Prince Willem-Alexander. Meanwhile, our 86-year-old Queen shows no signs of passing on the top job to her 64-year-old heir, the oldest ever Prince of Wales. Is there any chance our Queen will follow Dutch precedent? Not an earthly, is the consensus among royal insiders. “She won’t abdicate,” says Sarah Bradford, author of Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times. “That’s not what she does, or what the British monarchy
There’s an interesting piece in today’s Washington Post Reliable Source blog. As The Post’s Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger write, Foreign Secretary William Hague hosted a dinner last night in honour of Hillary Clinton at the British Ambassador’s residence for a glittering crowd of the Washington political and social elite, which featured several top Obama administration officials plus John McCain. Oddly, the farewell event for the Secretary of State featured a “special video tribute” to the former First Lady. According to The Post: It was a pretty elite crowd at the very private (no press) dinner
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Monday $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Syrian People, bringing America’s total humanitarian aid to Syria to $365 million, the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people. (Snip) American aid means medicine and treatment for hundreds of thousands of patients in Damascus, Dar’a and Homs,” Obama said. Obama´s aid announcement came ahead of a donor´s conference in Kuwait on Wednesday aiming to raise $1.5 billion for around five million Syrians facing hardships from their country´s 22-month conflict.
U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told the U.N. Security Council Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be able to hold to power for now but warned that Syria is “breaking up before everyone´s eyes.” (Snip) Syrian state TV said the men were killed by members of Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaida-linked group that the Obama administration has labeled as a terrorist organization. It said the men were killed after they demanded members of the group to leave their areas. Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, put the number of bodies found at 80.
The U.S. government has approved the sale of U.S. taxpayer-backed A123 Systems to a Chinese company, despite security and economic concerns about sensitive technology changing hands. A representative with A123 Systems confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that Wanxiang America Corp. has gotten approval from a Treasury Department agency to take over "substantially all" of the non-government business assets of the lithium ion battery manufacturer. (Snip) The new tech could also be used in key military operations and to power satellites and unmanned military drones.
Let´s expose presidential prevarication. Earlier this year, President Obama warned that Social Security checks will be delayed if Congress fails to increase the government´s borrowing authority by raising the debt ceiling. However, there´s an issue with this warning. According to the 2012 Social Security trustees report, assets in Social Security´s trust funds totaled $2.7 trillion, and Social Security expenditures totaled $773 billion. Which is the lie, Social Security checks must be delayed if the debt ceiling is not raised or there´s $2.7 trillion in the Social Security trust funds? (Snip) they are both lies.
On Jan. 25, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rapped the president´s knuckles for disregarding the constitutional limits on his power. If the court´s unanimous opinion, Noel Canning v. NLRB, is upheld on appeal, it will reverse the centurylong trend toward unfettered presidential power and breathe new life into the checks and balances the Framers devised. The president picked this legal fight when he made three appointments to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Jan. 4, 2012. The date is important, because the president claimed to be making "recess appointments."
The House, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, has precipitated a postponement in the debt ceiling fight until May. (Snip) Dealt a weak hand, Boehner managed to 99% outfox, on tax policy, a president who had the massive apparatus of the executive branch, the Senate majority, and a left-leaning national elite media whooping it up for a whopping tax increase. Even more impressively, Boehner pulled it off with steady nerves while under heavy pressure from the anti-spending hawks in his own caucus.
MONTERREY, Mexico — Police pulled 17 bodies from a well in northern Mexico and 14 of them have been identified as members of a musical band kidnapped by gunmen last week, an official said Tuesday. Investigators have finished searching the well but are still trying to determine a motive in the killings of the Kombo Kolombia band members and crew, said a Nuevo Leon state official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the case.
This afternoon in Las Vegas, President Obama reminded most American citizens that they were descended from immigrants themselves. Obama warned that the issue was an emotional one, but that it was important for Americans to not view it as “us versus them.” “It’s really important to remember our history,” Obama continued. “Unless you were one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else, somebody brought you,” he said.
Senators from every other state voted to confirm John Kerry as Secretary of State. Once again, Texas stood alone. Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were among the three dissenters as the Massachusetts senator (and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) was approved as the replacement to Hillary Clinton. The third “no” vote: Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe. Needless to say, all three naysayers are Republicans. The final vote was 94 to 3.
An Elmwood Park man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring with his brother to violate federal election law by steering $21,400 in illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. Benedetto Bigica, 45, admitted that he worked with his brother, Joseph, of Franklin Lakes, from April 2005 to April 2008 to make the illegal contributions, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. As part of the scheme, Benedetto Bigica, an owner and president of Open MRI and Imaging-Newark, agreed to serve as a straw contributor along with two other family members for Joseph Bigica, who then reimbursed them for their
Ashley Judd has split from her husband of 13 years Dario Franchitti. The 44-year-old U.S. actress and the Scottish racing driver, 39, announced they were ending their marriage in a joint statement on Tuesday. They told People.com: ´We have mutually decided to end our marriage. ´We´ll always be family and continue to cherish our relationship based on the special love, integrity, and respect we have always enjoyed.´(Snip)The couple did not have any children together, with Judd telling Scottish newspaper Sunday Mail in 2005: ´It´s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.´
Even as President Obama travels to Las Vegas Tuesday to call for legalizing illegal immigrants, the latest numbers from the U.S. Border Patrol suggest that the flow across the nation’s southwest border jumped by 9 percent last year. The Border Patrol made 356,873 arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2012, up from 327,577 in 2011, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press and confirmed by The Washington Times. Border Patrol officials estimate that apprehensions are a good proxy for illegal crossings, so when the numbers go up
It was the tax cut that nobody noticed two years ago. And it was rarely mentioned in the fight between Congress and the White House last year over the expiring Bush-era tax cuts. But this month, the payroll-tax cut suddenly registered on everybody’s radar screen — when it went away. The Jan. 1 expiration of the 2 percentage point cut in the tax every worker pays to finance Social Security has prompted a huge drop in consumer confidence, wiping out all the gains registered in 2012, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. Though long expected and not much discussed