The Republicans are doomed. Conservatism is over. President Obama is conducting a mop-up operation at this point. That’s the basic consensus in places like New York City; Washington, D.C.; and other citadels of blue America. And let’s be fair, liberals have every reason to gloat — a little. The GOP has its troubles. Long-term demographic trends; often-irrational animosity from Hollywood, the media, and academia; a thumbless grasp of the culture on the part of many Republicans: All of these things create a headwind for the party and the broader conservative movement.
As the government exits the business of using chimpanzees for scientific research, taxpayers just might go bananas over the animals´ retirement tab. The National Institutes of Health, the government´s medical research arm, is spending about $12 million annually to care for the chimps formerly used for research, some of it for a retirement sanctuary in Louisiana where the animals are housed. And the agency is soon in danger of reaching a $30 million cumulative spending cap that Congress set for the retirement home, dubbed Chimp Haven. That means NIH will need to go to Congress or another source
‘I’ve said many, many things over many, many years,” said Chuck Hagel, the president’s nominee for secretary of defense, in a Senate hearing yesterday. He was trying, for the umpteenth time during his testimony, to explain away another of the many, many impolitic statements that have come to light over the past couple of months. Well, as a result of this confirmation hearing — the most disastrous of its kind since another veteran senator, John Tower, blew himself up in his pursuit of the same post back in 1989 — Hagel has probably lost many, many votes
If you thought Al Gore was a media darling, you haven’t seen his latest book tour. Although Gore has been selective in which outlets he appears on to promote his new book, “The Future,” they haven’t treated the former vice president with kid gloves. From “Today” to “Morning Joe” to “Late Show with David Letterman” to “The Daily Show,” Gore has come under attack by his interviewers for his decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera. [video]
Ever since outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a week ago that the U.S. military would lift its ban on women in combat roles, the debate, which has been simmering for decades, boiled up again. Much of the argument has centered on cultural, social, and morale-related effects that such a change would bring about, though other practical issues have been raised as well. However, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released just this week may bring some other considerations to the fore, among them, the financial impact. According to the introduction to the GAO report,
Conservatives are always told they don´t do enough to reach across the aisle. We´re divisive, obstructionist and hostile to bipartisanship. So in the spirit of unity and comity, I´m announcing the formation of a new social justice group: Ladies Against Senator Sleaze-Bob. Now all I need are some principled Democratic ladies and liberal media lionesses to step up to the plate with me to protest the vulgar, sexist behavior of Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez on Thursday announced dramatic actions in response to the priest abuse scandal, saying that Cardinal Roger Mahony would no longer perform public duties in the church and that Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas J. Curry has stepped down. Gomez said in a statement that Mahony -- who led the L.A. archdiocese from 1985 to 2011 -- "will no longer have any administrative or public duties." Gomez also announced the church has released a trove of confidential church files detailing how the Los Angeles archdiocese dealt with priests accused of molestation. Gomez wrote in a letter to parishioners
Did you hear that a high-profile ad scheduled to air on this Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast was rejected because of its explicit content? No, I’m not talking about the curvy Kate Upton BMW ad. That’ll air. I’m talking about an ad for SodaStream, a carbonated-water maker. The ad’s offense is explicitly taking on Coca-Cola and Pepsi, two of the largest and most iconic U.S. advertisers. CBS rejected the ad, reportedly because of its direct assault on the big two carbonated beverage makers (CBS didn’t return calls for comment). As the music from the movie Deliverance trills,
President Obama has cast the widest possible net for criminality in the financial realm, a net that he might come to regret, as he himself falls easily within its coverage. Indeed, according to the reasoning offered by this most famous president of the Harvard Law Review, he may, by a Sophoclean twist of fate, turn out to be the great criminal he has set out to find. Obama used his weekly radio address of January 26 to introduce Mary Jo White as his new chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
One person broke into a cold sweat yesterday during Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing for secretary of Defense — Chuck Schumer. At least he should have. (Snip)What we learned on Thursday is that Chuck Hagel is less qualified to be secretary of Defense than most of the students in my daughter’s high school history honors class. Not to mince words, the former Nebraska senator is an uninformed nitwit. He’s confused about practically every issue and doesn’t even know what the administration’s policies are. (Didn’t he study for the hearing? If he did, it’s even worse.)
Yesterday, as Barack Obama called for a bipartisan immigration bill in Las Vegas and Senator Marco Rubio called for one on Rush Limbaugh’s program, the chances for passage looked surprisingly good. But from some quarters — mostly from the right, but also from liberals such as blogger Mickey Kaus — comes a complaint that deserves to be addressed. We tried this once already, they say, in the 1986 immigration act. We were told that in return for the legalization of illegal immigrants we would get tough border control and strict enforcement against employers who hired illegals.
Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye surgeon, has always been happy to help out his friend, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. (Snip)Two years ago, Dr. Melgen, despite an apparent lack of experience in border security issues, bought an ownership interest in a company that had a long-dormant contract with the Dominican Republic to provide port security. Mr. Menendez, who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that holds sway over the Dominican Republic, subsequently urged officials in the State and Commerce Departments to intervene so the contract would be enforced, at an estimated value of $500 million.
NEW ORLEANS -- When Mary Matalin heard a baby cry during a Super Bowl news conference this week, she paused midsentence, peered in the direction of the fussing child and asked: "Is that my husband?" Matalin, the noted Republican political pundit, isn´t shy about making jokes at the expense of Democratic strategist James Carville, who went from being her professional counterpart to her partner in life when they were married - in New Orleans - two decades ago. This week, though, and for much of the past few years, the famous political odd couple
The U.S Government has issued a controversial video telling office workers what to do should a crazed gunman storms their building. Issued by Homeland Security, the video, called Active Shooter Situation: Options for Consideration, tells workers to flee if it is safe or find a hiding place if trapped should a gunman storm the building. The video even advises using scissors as a weapon to defend yourself if your are caught in the open. The four minute clip begins with chilling images of some of the most deadly public shootings in recent U.S history including the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre
New Jersey’s outspoken governor is bringing his motor mouth to Letterman. Gov. Chris Christie’s first visit to the “Late Show with David Letterman” airs at 11:35 p.m. Monday, CBS said Thursday. Christie is a GOP heavyweight who gave the keynote speech at his party’s 2012 national convention. But Letterman and other comics often crack jokes about the rotund Republican’s bulk. “I’m a public figure, so they can make fun of it. All I care about is that they actually are funny, you know, so that I can at least laugh about it,” Christie has said.
President Obama´s special large-donor campaign vehicle, which can accept donations of more than $100,000 — far more than individuals can give to standard campaign committees — continued to take in money weeks after the election, raising $1.8 million between November 27 and December 31, record show. The Obama organization, which is in the process of transitioning to a nonprofit entity called Organizing for America, transferred $5.5 million to the campaign itself, which will employ the campaign´s assets, including its valuable supporter databases, to advance the president´s legislative agenda. That nonprofit will be able to take contributions in unlimited amounts
Two House committees are investigating whether the IRS illegally implemented an important provision of Obamacare. House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) and Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) sent a letter on Tuesday to the acting secretary of the Treasury Department and the acting commissioner of the IRS requesting documents and interviews with specific officials. The two committees are investigating how the IRS decided to implement a specific tax credit created in the Obamacare legislation.
Darn that economy. Why won´t it behave? Doesn´t it realize that Barack Obama has more important things to do than worry about its health and well-being? That´s the tone I get from a story headline at the Associated Press, aka the Administration´s Press, about how "ECONOMIC JITTERS COMPETE WITH OBAMA AGENDA." The poor guy; he has to pay attention to something he must have thought he could keep at bay with continued but consistent tepid job and economic growth. Trouble is, yesterday´s report from the government indicated
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Shirley Chambers of Chicago had four children - three boys and a girl. Now they´re all gone. Chambers will bury her son, Ronnie Chambers, on Monday. He was the last of the single mother´s children - all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years. "I was in shock, truly, because I´m just knowing that Ronnie´s going to grow up and be an old man. That was in my heart," said Chambers, 54. The loss of four siblings to the same fate illustrates the depth of Chicago´s stubborn gun violence problem
Is Texas turning blue? (Don’t think so.) Is Texas turning purple? (Check back in 2014.) But if you believe the latest poll from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm with a track record for accurate surveys, Hillary Clinton could make the Lone Star State competitive in the 2016 presidential race. According to PPP, the soon-to-be-former Secretary of State holds a 1 percentage point lead over Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (46 percent to 45 percent) in Texas, a 2 point lead over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (45 percent to 43 percent) and a (comparatively) massive
Mexico City - A huge explosion rocked the Mexico City headquarters of state-owned oil giant Pemex, killing at least 15 people, injuring 100 more and leaving rescuers scrambling to find survivors. Smoke billowed skyward as people fled the 54-floor skyscraper with some of those hurt in the blast being carried out on stretchers and office chairs, as witnesses recalled how a huge rumble shook the floor like an earthquake. (Snip) A spokesman for the civil protection agency told AFP there was an apparent "accumulation of gas" in an electrical supply room,
Some Americans feel like they live in a police state, others are discouraged by a sense of waning opportunity or flagging optimism. Do we have national malaise? Yes. It’s called “federal government,” suggests some new research. “Overall, 53 percent of Americans think that the federal government threatens their own rights and freedoms,” says a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which also reveals that 70 percent of Republicans feel this threat, as do 76 percent of conservative Republicans. In contrast, 38 percent
Rising tensions over whether to give illegal immigrants a chance to pursue full citizenship could ruin what President Obama and congressional leaders agree is a pivotal moment in resolving long- simmering problems in the country’s immigration system. Immigrant advocates and their Democratic allies insist that now, at long last, is their time. After various failed proposals over the past decade, they finally feel they have the leverage to accept nothing less than a path to full citizenship for the millions of people living illegally in the country.
The Post reports that the odds are increasing — perhaps to the point of near certainty — that the so-called “sequester” will take effect March 1. This would be a pity. For non-budget wonks, the sequester mandates about $1 trillion in government spending cuts over nine years, divided between defense and non-defense programs. These would be the wrong cuts, done in the wrong way. There’s a better approach. First, some background. The sequester was never intended to take effect. It was designed as a sledgehammer to force congressional leaders to negotiate deficit reductions.
New intelligence on al-Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa indicates that the militant group is seeking to carry out attacks on other Western targets in the region after its deadly assault on a natural gas complex in Algeria, senior U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday. The push to mount follow-on strikes is seen as evidence that al-Qaeda was emboldened by the Jan. 16 raid and subsequent battle with Algerian security services that killed dozens of hostages and militants. A senior U.S. intelligence official said that new streams of information have surfaced