First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are headed out West this weekend for their annual ski trip with family friends, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday. Last year, they went to Aspen, Colorado. In 2011 and 2010, the first lady and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, stayed in Vail. The president, meanwhile, travels later Friday to West Palm Beach, Florida for Presidents Day weekend after he makes a visit to Chicago
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have fiercely defended the nomination of Chuck Hagel, despite advisers and Hill Democrats who questioned the move and predicted a firestorm, according to Democratic sources. That opinion was validated, at least for the moment, by events Thursday as Senate Republicans narrowly blocked cloture on Hagel’s nomination. Obama immediately slammed the filibuster — which could be broken after a 10-day congressional recess. But an irked Obama is dead set on installing his pick at the Pentagon — even though the bitter battle over his confirmation is likely to leave lasting scars on his nominee
James Carter—an opposition researcher and the grandson of President Jimmy Carter—met President Barack Obama backstage before an education event in Georgia on Thursday. James Carter´s cousin, Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter, told Politico that President Obama jumped at the opportunity to meet the man responsible for filming and releasing the "47 percent" video that helped President Obama during his campaign against GOP candidate Mitt Romney. Upon being introduced and told of James Carter´s role in the 47 percent video, Obama jumped forward to embrace him. "Thank you, thank you so much,"
This evening, after I write this piece, I will be voting in the Oscars, for the first time online. (I have been an Academy member since 1985 and we have always voted during that period on written forms mailed directly to Price Waterhouse.) The Academy discourages us from revealing our votes – so I won’t. (At least not here. Watch the next Poliwood and you might get some idea.) But I will tell you one film I will not be voting for — Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s version of the hunt for Bin Laden.
Commerce: In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced talks with Europe for the most ambitious trade partnership ever attempted. So how come it doesn´t include the words "free trade"? bfgs´Tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union — because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs," President Obama said in his State of the Union address. It´s hard to think of any greater tonic for two stricken economies than free trade with one other.
Federal prosecutors are now ready to file their plea agreement with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., CBS 2 has learned. Jackson’s wife, Sandi, faces legal troubles under the arrangement. Formal charges against Jesse Jackson Jr. could be filed as soon as Friday and Tuesday at the latest. His plea has also implicated his wife, leading to tax fraud charges against her. Source corrected by staff
The late Ted Kennedy became known as “the Hero of Chappaquiddick” for leaving a young lady to die after accidentally driving his car off a bridge on the night of July 18, 1969. Kennedy, who swam free, said nothing to police until 10 a.m. the following day. In the subsequent inquest, John Farrar, a professional diver and the captain of the Edgartown Fire Rescue unit on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, discovered the body of Mary Jo Kopechne in the well of the backseat of the overturned and submerged car. He said in his testimony:
So says The Hill, with good reason — Congress has taken a break with just two weeks to go before the deadline. The House and Senate won’t return until February 25th, which only gives them three days to cut a deal to avoid it. That won’t be nearly enough time, and is out of the question if John Boehner sticks to his pledge of normal-order budgeting. The question now will be how long it lasts rather than whether it hits: The question in Washington is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will be implemented:
WASHINGTON- President Barack Obama will spend the long holiday weekend in Florida, relaxing with friends. The White House said this week that Obama would head to the West Palm Beach area on Friday, after a stop earlier in the day in Chicago, his hometown, to discuss economic proposals in his State of the Union address.(Snip)Earnest did not mention Obama´s family, which suggested that the first lady and their daughters would not join the president on vacation in a state he narrowly won on his way to re-election. Mrs. Obama´s office did not respond
Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard, formerly the Obama White House political director, appears to be the administration’s pick to be the next ambassador to South Africa. Gaspard, a major player in New York City politics — he worked on former Mayor David Dinkins’ campaign, for example, — was a top operative of the Service Employees International Union and a political organizer. He also was actively involved in organizing efforts in the 1980s and ’90s to topple South Africa’s apartheid regime. While in the White House, Gaspard, a Haitian American, was also a key player in U.S. relief
Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who helped lead the first surgery separating twins joined at the head, has received a fair amount of attention in his 61 years. But none of it before begins to compare to the response he has gotten since he spoke at the February 7 National Prayer Breakfast with President Obama sitting five feet away. While most of his remarks were motivational or spiritual, he made some pointed political comments about the need for freer markets in health care and a less complicated tax code
State Farm is keeping the move quiet so as not to alarm employees. But the Dallas Morning News reports that it is a “major business relocation” already underway and that this is “one of the biggest stories in the Dallas-area real estate market and will ultimately involve thousands of workers.” Texas-based real estate expert Bob Gibbons notes in a blog post that State Farm’s Dallas office space lease--about 2.5 million square feet of workspace in a few different places--is the Dallas area’s largest-ever office space lease by a single company. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week,
Thousands of passengers erupted into cheers Thursday night as the crippled triumph finally pulled up to the dock. As they stepped onto dry land, and into the arms of their loved ones some couldn´t contain their excitement. Carnival then chartered a caravan of buses to transport folks out of Mobile, Ala. To add insult to injury, at least one of those buses became stranded on the way to New Orleans, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. The nightmare started Sunday, when an engine fire knocked out power.
A cafeteria food fight turned into a riot at South High School in Minneapolis yesterday. The school’s security officers were insufficient to the task. Police officers dispatched to the scene sprayed mace and placed the school on lockdown to get a handle on the situation. Three or four students and a staff member ended up in the hospital. What’s going on? The Star Tribune discreetly reports that parents and students ascribe the hostilities to “racial tensions between Somali-American students and others.” Who might those others be?
MOSCOW A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia´s Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 500 people, many of them hurt by broken glass. Fragments of the meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region, the Emergency Ministry said in a statement. (Snip) A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry, Irina Rossius, told The Associated Press there was a meteor shower, but another ministry spokeswoman, Elena Smirnikh, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteor.
A presidential library has released a Valentine´s Day present: Lyndon Johnson´s love letters to Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor during their whirlwind, 10-week courtship in 1934. In fact, LBJ — then a 26-year-old congressional aide — asked Lady Bird, 21, a recent University of Texas graduate, to marry him just days after they met. "It is an important decision," Johnson wrote to his intended. "It isn´t being made in one night ... but your lack of decision hasn´t tempered either my affection, devotion or ability to know what I want." Lady Bird replied that his sudden proposal
TALLAHASSEE | Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush returned Thursday to the state capital, where he was showered with high praise and urged by fellow Republicans to run for president. Bush was making his first visit to Tallahassee in more than two years. His last visit came when he attended Gov. Rick Scott´s inauguration. He made stops in the Florida Capitol, where he talked to legislators about education and immigration — while stopping short of rendering his opinion on such items as Scott´s own pitch this year to give teachers an across-the-board $2,500 pay raise. "The Legislature is about ready to start,"
For the last several weeks, as you are no doubt aware, the Washington Free Beacon and other news outlets—most of them conservative—have been investigating secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel’s positions, finances, associations, career history, and utterances. Which seems to us to be precisely what you would expect an intrepid and creative and entrepreneurial press to do when the president of the United States nominates a controversial former senator to one of the most important cabinet posts in the land. Apparently, though, and without our knowing it, you and I have passed through an inter-dimensional portal and have entered
Footage of the United States Department of Agriculture’s compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program reveals USDA employees being instructed to refer to the Pilgrims as “illegal aliens” and minorities as “emerging majorities” — at “a huge expense” to taxpayers. The video clips were made public Thursday evening by the conservative government accountability group Judicial Watch, which obtained them through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made on May 18, 2012. Footage of the United States Department of Agriculture’s compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program reveals USDA employees
Weary but jubilant passengers finally set foot on dry land on Thursday after five days stranded at sea aboard the crippled Carnival cruise ship. The Triumph finally docked in Mobile, Alabama at 9.30pm local time after a slow crawl into port, battling head-on winds and strong currents. As the ship inched alongside, loud cheering and strains of the song Sweet Home Alabama could be heard from the decks as the vessel blew her horn. Some passengers had written Valentine´s Day messages while another had scrawled: ´The ship´s afloat, so is the sewage.´
On Wednesday, a private yacht sailed slowly and quietly up the Hudson River and docked near midtown Manhattan.This wasn´t just any yacht, however. It was Eclipse -- the largest private yacht in the world. And its presence is sure to touch off a frenzy of speculation about its owners and future. Seeing Eclipse docked off the midtown piers is the boating world equivalent of seeing a blue whale swim up the Hudson in the dead of winter. It just doesn´t happen -- or hasn´t happened. Eclipse´s owner, the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is famously private and averse to publicity.
A troubled young man plans to go on a shooting rampage at a local mall. A devoted fan of other mass murderers, he gets pleasure watching videos of cruel and graphic violence: actual beheadings, disembowelments, maimings. He hates his neighbors and wishes for their deaths. He´s been taught to hate by religious extremists who dominate his community while intimidating their opponents into silence. The FBI catches him before he can go through with his plan to machine gun shoppers at the mall, though the Bureau ignores the people who indoctrinated him.
The big guy is coming to Chicago, and that can´t be good for the not-as-big guy on the fifth floor of Chicago´s City Hall. In politics, stuff rolls downhill. The big guy on Pennsylvania Avenue doesn´t want stuff on his shoes, and neither does the not-as-big guy on LaSalle Street. What´s rolling downhill now is the aftermath of the slaying of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old innocent shot to death a mile from Obama´s Chicago home in Kenwood. In the short term, the politics have indeed been masterful.(Snip) Yet it is the street crimes happening right now that plague
Smell ya later! Bedraggled passengers rushed down the gangway off their crippled Carnival cruise ship Thursday night, grateful to disembark from the stinking boat after it finally reached land. (Snip) We are partying and celebrating,” tearful passenger Kelly Miller said. But the 3,143 guests who endured a four-day nightmare aboard the Triumph — confined to sweltering quarters without working toilets after an engine room fire knocked out power on the ship — also voiced their fury with the rancid ordeal. “Let us off! Let us off!” some chanted during a tiresome disembarking process
Mitt Romney may have lost the election, but he is the clear winner when it comes to the number of grandchildren. On Thursday, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts and his wife welcomed their 19th and 20th grandkids born to their youngest son, Craig. Craig and Mary Romney, who already have two older sons, added a pair of twins to their growing brood. Ann Romney announced the joyous news on Twitter Thursday evening, posting a photo of her son and daughter-in-law in the hospital happily posing with their two new bundles of joy.