WASHINGTON – Several members of Congress are calling for an investigation into an embarrassing series of blunders made by the Milwaukee arm of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after a newspaper reported this week that the agency conducted a months-long undercover operation that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and netted very few results. (Snip)the agency conducted a deeply flawed sting operation that resulted in a still-missing machine gun being taken from an agent’s car, thousands of taxpayer dollars being lost in merchandise and angry residents saying that ATF officials reintroduced crime into their neighborhood.
When longtime character actor Stephen Tobolowsky first read the script to “Groundhog Day,” he thought it was just another comedy; nothing special. Then the movie changed, even as they were shooting it 20 years ago in Woodstock, Ill. — and it became, in Tobolowsky’s words (and mine), “one of the greatest comedies ever created.” Tobolowsky, who played persistent insurance man Ned “Needlenose Ned, Ned the Head” Ryerson, will host a special Groundhog Day screening of the film at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown.On the phone last month, he remembered the winter chill of Woodstock —
Timbuktu, Mali-Malians chanting "Thank you, France!" mobbed President Francois Hollande on Saturday as he visited the desert city of Timbuktu, retaken from Islamist rebels, and pledged France´s sustained support for Mali to expel jihadists.(Snip)Hollande has said that the French operation, which has 3,500 soldiers on Malian soil backed by warplanes, helicopters and armored vehicles, aims to make way eventually for a U.N.-backed African force, which is still being deployed. Drawn mostly from Mali´s West African neighbors, this force is expected to number more than 8,000. But its deployment has been badly hampered by shortages of kit and airlift capacity
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday slammed both Israel for reported strikes in Syria earlier in the week, as well as Syria for its failure to respond to the attacks, Turkish daily The Hurriyet reported. "Why didn´t [Syrian President Bashar] Assad even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace and playing with the dignity of his country?" The Hurriyet quoted Davutoglu as saying. "Why didn´t the Syrian Army, which has been attacking its own innocent people for 22 months now from the air with jets and by land with tanks and artillery fire, respond
UNION CITY, N.J.- To his critics, Sen. Robert Menendez is the bad guy who always wiggles away. To defenders, he´s a respected figure persecuted in whispers and investigations. The New Jersey Democrat finds himself in familiar territory as his office acknowledges he flew on a donor´s plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010 -- but says he did not engage in sex with prostitutes there, as a conservative website reported. In his gritty, immigrant-heavy northern New Jersey hometown sometimes called "Havana on the Hudson," Menendez is revered as the Cuban-American who has risen the highest in politics
Our major public policies are based on the assumption that America will continue to enjoy growth. Economic growth and population growth. Through most of our history, this assumption has proved to be correct. These days, not so much. Last week, the Commerce Department announced that the gross domestic product shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. And the Census Bureau reported that the U.S. birthrate in 2011 was 63.2 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, the lowest ever recorded. Slow economic growth and low population growth threaten to undermine entitlement programs
In his weekly address, President Barack Obama blamed the economic problems on "bad decisions."(Snip) The president did not name which decisions were "bad," and who specifically was to blame for those "bad decisions." But he did blame Washington. "2013 can be a year of solid growth, more jobs, and higher wages. But that will only happen if we put a stop to self-inflicted wounds in Washington. Everyone in Washington needs to focus not on politics but on what’s right for the country; on what’s right for you and your families.
Lincoln—Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy resigned his post abruptly Saturday after questions were raised by The World-Herald about improper cell phone calls to four women, other than his wife, during the past four years. An investigation by The World-Herald discovered that Sheehy made thousands of late-night telephone calls to the women on his state-issued cell phone, many of them long conversations held in the wee hours of the night. Gov. Dave Heineman announced the resignation at a 10 a.m. press conference. "I´ve got a knot in my stomach. I´m deeply disappointed. He´s done a lot of good things
Iran yesterday revealed its most recent indigenous fighter jet — the “Qaher 313?. The prototype Q-313 was presented to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a ceremonial gift during the country´s Ten-Day Dawn celebration. The festivities commemorate the 1979 revolution when the U.S. embassy in Tehran taken by force. In the previous days, the Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi had said, “The aircraft will be different from the other fighter jets Iran has already made.” Indeed, based on the first photographs released by the FARS News Agency, the new stealthy jet has a peculiar design.
You can´t make stuff like this up. The Huffington Post reports that a new study, led by Scott Loss of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, is calling attention to the baneful problem of domesticated cats chasing mice, birds, and other prey to kill and eat them. Oh, the horror. Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals
Iowa is about to have an openSenate seat for the first time in twenty-nine years. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) decided to bolt from the U.S. Senate, as did Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). However, why are safe Democrats retiring from the U.S. Senate? Rockefeller and Harkin, for example, could’ve been there for life. Is it because Sen. Harry Reid is making things so miserable that stalwarts of the left, like Harkin, are crying “uncle?” The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin thinks so, and said to watch for three more retirements as 2014 draws nearer.
Police sources tell 7 Action News that a women´s basketball coach from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School shot two men who attacked him as he was walking two basketball players to their cars in the school parking lot.Police sources say the coach was walking the two girls to their cars when two men allegedly approached and one pulled out a gun and grabbed him by his chain necklace. The coach then pulled out his gun and shot both of them, according to sources. The man who shot the attackers was 70 years old, according to police. One of the attackers was found dead in the median
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is sad to say that nearly 50 years after his moving speech in our nation´s capital, the day Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed for his children has not yet arrived in our nation. In fact, we are probably further from his dream today then we were on the day he gave the speech.
Lately there have been a number of analogies made between various liberal political positions and the abolitionist Union side in the Civil War. No doubt this is a result of the 2012 Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, and its notoriety, and the universal need to identify with the virtuous side of any historical struggle.[Snip]As a gun owner, I resent the comparison. But if there are any credible analogies to be made with today´s political movements and Abraham Lincoln, it is between the Union side of the Civil War and today´s Republican Party.
I made a deal with myself a long time ago: My column needed to capture the things I discuss with my friends. Last week, I realized that wasn´t totally happening anymore. Something of a disconnect had emerged between my private conversations and the things I wrote for Grantland/ESPN. In essence, I had turned into two people. There´s Sports Fan Me, and there´s ESPN Me. Sports Fan Me is candid, jaded, suspicious of everyone. Sports Fan Me repeatedly gets involved in arguments and e-mail chains centered on the question, "Do you think he´s cheating?"
The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday set the stage for a massive showdown between the federal government of the United States and American Christians who believe the government has no right to force them to act against their faith by mandating that they buy, provide or facilitate health-care coverage that includes sterilizations, contraception, or abortion-inducing drugs. HHS released a new proposed regulation under the Obamacare law that the department presented as an accommodation to religious “organizations” that object to providing sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans.
Former White House senior adviser David Plouffe took to Twitter to preemptively mock those who might believe the photograph of President Obama shooting a firearm is fake: [Tweet] White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer also added to the teasing from his official Twitter account: [Tweet] On Saturday morning, the White House released the photo of Obama shooting at clay pigeons at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland.
White House: In this week’s address, President Obama called on Congress to work together on a balanced approach to reduce our deficit and promote economic growth and job creation. Our businesses created 2.2 million jobs last year, and we just learned that our economy created more jobs over the last few months than economists originally thought. Our economy is poised to expand in 2013 if Washington politics doesn’t get in the way, and the President called on Congress to work together to keep moving us forward. PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hi, everybody. In the coming weeks, we face some important decisions
In response to skepticism of President Obama’s statement that, “Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” the White House has released a photo of the president firing a shotgun. Former top Obama campaign aide David Plouffe linked to the photo in a tweet that read: “Attn skeet birthers. Make our day — let the photoshop conspiracies begin!” Headline corrected by Staff.
The union representing immigration officials who protect the border against illegal crossings, drug smuggling and human trafficking blasted the White House and the nation’s top labor boss this week for denying their concerns about dangerous border conditions even existing. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka this week angered the rank and file members of the National ICE Council when the labor giant denied the contentious issue had divided many members. “Unions did have at one point some differences on the [immigration] issue, but the entire labor movement is entirely behind this now.
This is the moment a volcano erupted in the snowy wastes of Russia´s remote far east. The stunning pictures were captured by a Russian film crew who swooped across in a helicopter and braved roasting hot pyroclastic flows on the ground to create an immersive, interactive panorama. Plosky Tolbachik is one of four volcanoes, all within 110 miles of each other, that have been active simultaneously on the peninsula in Russia´s far east since late November. Scroll down to try the incredible panorama for yourself
It is the time of year again, when America’s largest retailers release those critical holiday season figures and disclose their annual sales. A review of these numbers tells us a great deal about how most of the companies will do in the upcoming year. And while successful retailers in 2012 may add stores this year, those that have performed very poorly may have to cut locations during 2013 to improve margins or reverse losses. For many retailers, the sales situation is so bad that it is not a question of whether they will cut stores, but when and how many. Most recently, Barnes & Noble Inc.
Good career move by ex-U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. And Scott, thanks for giving the Herald the scoop. You promised we’d get the news first, and we did. Not that his decision to take a pass was unexpected. Two weeks ago tomorrow, he and I were doing another one of our joint book signings at Willow Books in Acton. We had a good crowd, and after it was over, he told me how much he was enjoying the appearances. “Want to do some more of these?” he asked. Well, sure, I said. But aren’t you going to be … busy,
Massachusetts Republicans are desperately scrambling to find a strong Senate candidate to replace Scott Brown, with some even trying to persuade Mitt Romney’s wife or son to jump into the race to avert another electoral disaster. The former GOP senator’s decision to stay out of the June 25 special election surprised and angered some Republican leaders, who said it will make it much harder to beat a Democratic opponent without Brown on the ballot. “I’ve had several people call me and ask about Ann Romney,” Ron Kaufman, a longtime friend
Hello, my name is Susan Brooks. It’s a pleasure to speak to you from Hamilton County in my home state of Indiana. I’ve lived in Indiana just about all my life. [Snip] And starting last month, one of the Hoosier State’s voices in the U.S. House of Representatives. I’m proud to live in a state that spends less than it takes in, has earned a AAA credit rating and a budget surplus that will be partially repaid to taxpayers. The secret to our state’s success has always been a value system that promotes a strong sense of responsibility and accountability.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) fended off questions about Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) at a press conference about immigration reform. (Snip) Reid defended the Menendez as a “friend” and “outstanding senator” but declined to discuss any details he may have had with the New Jersey lawmaker about media reports of allegations that he had sex with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. “First of all, Bob Menendez is my friend. He’s an outstanding senator. Any questions in this regard, direct to him. I don’t know anything about it,” Reid said. The purpose of the press event