If you´re settling in to watch the Oscars tonight and want to genuinely enjoy the experience, best not to think of the fact that those Hollywood celebrities do their best to suck the government of all the tax subsidies they can get while simultaneously advocating that taxes be raised - just, you know, not on the movie industry. Peter Schweizer over at Forbes writes: Consider a few of this year’s Oscar nominated films. According to a new report by the Government Accountability Institute, Quentin Tarantino’s controversial spaghetti Western, Django Unchained, featuring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio
Should the Senate confirm as treasury secretary a man who was paid $1.1 million by Citigroup after it was bailed out and whose employment contract gave him favorable stock option treatment if he left his job for a high federal government post but not for another governmental or nonprofit job? That’s the question raised by the nomination of Jack Lew, according to Bloomberg News’s Jonathan Weil, who got hold of the first three pages of Lew’s Citigroup employment agreement and interviewed a Citigroup spokesman about it. One inference you could draw is that Robert Rubin,
In 1968, America was literally over the moon. Apollo 7 had just made the first manned lunar orbit and the nation would soon witness Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk. The United States was winning the war in Southeast Asia and the Great Society was on the verge of eliminating poverty. I remember my father taking me to the Buick dealership that summer in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, where he bought a 1969 Electra. As we drove home I asked him why we had bought the 1969 model when we had the 1968 one, which seemed equally good.
Trenton - For a man who championed the Republican brand as keynote speaker at its national convention last year, Gov. Chris Christie has been spending a lot of time making nice with Democrats. Most famously, Christie was complimentary of Democrat President Barack Obama’s response to Sandy just before last year’s election. He then almost as famously ripped House Speaker and fellow Republican John Boehner about the same superstorm. Early on, his re-election campaign has consisted of endorsements by two unions and a Democratic mayor and council, followed by fund-raisers
The White House on Sunday detailed how deep spending cuts set to begin this week would affect programs in every state and the District, as President Obama launched a last-ditch effort to pressure congressional Republicans to compromise on a way to stop the across-the-board cuts.But while Republicans and Democrats were set to introduce dueling legislative proposals this week to avert the Friday start of the spending cuts, known as the sequester, neither side expected the measures to get enough support to pass Congress.
A good Samaritan braved the freezing waters of Lake Michigan risking his own safety to rescue a confused dog wandering on ice floats. Spotting Pifas, a three-year-old stranded golden retriever mix half-a-mile out on the lake, Dave Kehnast, 37, didn´t think twice about donning his wetsuit and jumping aboard his kayak to rescue the stricken dog on Friday. As the Chicago Fire Department went through safety procedures, Kehnast cut through the ice with his raft and herded the dog back to shore through the perishing waters of the lake off the Loyola Park section of Chicago. News cameras captured
Farewell Raymond Cusick, who has returned to the great mothership in the sky.[Snip] Cusick, however, insisted that he wanted to recreate the shape of a man sitting in a chair and only used a pepperpot as an example of how it might move. Either way, the design was revolutionary because it was so uniquely alien--a monster without humanoid shape is infinitely more terrifying than something you can shake hands with. It did, however, come with a handy plunger, which suggests that even Daleks can get blocked sinks. These angry pepperpots were basically Nazis on casters. In The Dalek Invasion
As my colleague Christopher Hope reports: Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been forced to admit that his office knew for years of claims that a senior party figure might be sexually molesting volunteers and staff. The Deputy Prime Minister changed tack in a statement on Sunday evening over the sex scandal which is engulfing his party. He broke into the end of his holiday to admit for the first time that his office had been aware of the allegations surrounding his former chief executive Lord Rennard since 2008. [Snip] [But see our update here. Blimey.]
Ever since then-Senator Barack Obama first took a lead in the 2008 Democratic primary, the political news media has faced the accusation that they are “in the tank” for the now-second term President Obama. On Sunday morning’s Reliable Sources, the press got a qualified defense from a surprising source: Mitt Romney chief strategist Stuart Stevens. Host Howard Kurtz asked Stevens if ” much of the media is in the tank for Barack Obama,” to which Stevens replied, “In the tank? I would say no.”
Police say the man responsible for the Thursday shooting attack that left three people dead on the Las Vegas Strip is armed, dangerous and still on the loose. Ammar Harris, 26 -- also known as Ammar Asim Faruq Harris -- was identified by authorities Saturday night as their primary suspect. Police think he got into an argument with a rapper, Ken Cherry, at a valet stand and later shot Cherry in a roadway attack, which resulted in a collision that killed a taxi driver and his passenger. Harris has previously been arrested in Las Vegas
KABUL, Afghanistan -Afghanistan´s president says all U.S. special forces must leave eastern Wardak province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans. Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi says Sunday´s decision was taken during a meeting of the National Security Council because of the alleged actions of Afghans who are linked to the U.S. special forces. He said the government wants the individuals, whom he did not identify, to be handed over to the government. Wardak is a restive province next to Kabul and has been the focus of counterinsurgency efforts.
HARTFORD, Conn.- Some letters come from church groups, others from parents who´ve lost children of their own. One came from a police officer who responded to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. They´re some of the estimated 175,000 cards and letters of support and condolences that have poured into Newtown from around the world since December´s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school, and volunteers are working to preserve them and say thank you to as many senders as they can, one handwritten note at a time. The archiving project is the brainchild of resident Yolie Moreno,
The parents of Trayvon Martin entered the room to a standing ovation. The waves of applause marked the bittersweet beginning of the inaugural "We Remember Trayvon" dinner, held in honor of the 17-year-old who was killed last Feb. 26. The Feb. 10 event was a fundraiser for the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation, launched by his parents. (Snip) This unwanted job began a year ago when Fulton’s son was shot in the chest by George Zimmerman, a Sanford neighborhood watch member. Trayvon was visiting his father, Tracy Martin, who lived in the townhouse community with his girlfriend.
Havana - Cuba´s parliament reconvened Sunday with new membership and was expected to name Raul Castro to a new five-year-term as president. All were watching whether younger politicians might be tapped for other top leadership posts, providing hints of a possible future successor. Castro fueled speculation on Friday when he talked of his possible retirement and suggested he has plans to resign at some point. It was unclear whether the 81-year-old leader was joking, but he promised his speech Sunday would be "interesting." If a fresh face is named as one of his top deputies,
Major banks have quickly become behind-the-scenes allies of Internet-based payday lenders that offer short-term loans with interest rates sometimes exceeding 500 percent. (Snip) While the banks, which include giants like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, do not make the loans, they are a critical link for the lenders, enabling the lenders to withdraw payments automatically from borrowers’ bank accounts, even in states where the loans are banned entirely. In some cases, the banks allow lenders to tap checking accounts even after the customers have begged them to stop the withdrawals.
Our immigration system is already plagued by protracted delays, red tape and limited resources, and sequestration would exacerbate some of those problems. ABC News singles out some of the many ways that the automatic budget cuts would hit our immigration system, affecting everything from visas to deportations. (Snip) There’s already a massive backlog in the country’s immigration courts, requiring an average 550-day wait to get a case resolved. The budget cuts would make those waits even longer, ABC News explains, quoting Attorney General Eric Holder:
The effort to attract firearms companies has escalated in the wake of gun-control efforts that followed the murder of 20 children and six adults in December in Newtown, Conn. States claiming to be friendly to the Second Amendment are trying to poach gun and ammunition makers and related manufacturers from other states, especially those that have passed or are contemplating tougher gun laws. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, this month has written at least 13 manufacturers in states from Oregon to New York saying his state would not impose "unwarranted government intrusion into
Daytona Beach, Fla. - Danica Patrick finished eighth in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. She appeared to check up on the final lap when a crash erupted behind her. NASCAR did not throw a caution flag. "You needed a hole. You needed people to help you out," she said. "I had a feeling I was going to get freight-trained (if I went low)." Jimmie Johnson won the race. Patrick led a lap at the Daytona 500, not quite halfway through the 200-lap event. She ran in the top 10 most of the day, and was running third toward the end of the race. Patrick, the first woman to ever win the pole for a Sprint Cup Series race,
Nicosia - Cypriot conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades won an overwhelming victory in a presidential run-off election on Sunday, promising to quickly finalize a financial rescue to stave off the island´s bankruptcy. (Snip) Anastasiades immediately pledged to hammer out a quick deal with foreign lenders and bring Cyprus closer to Europe, in a shift from the policies of the outgoing Communist government that first sought aid from Russia before turning to the EU. "We want Europe on our side. We will be absolutely consistent and meet our promises. Cyprus belongs to Europe," Anastasiades told
The Senate will approve the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) this coming week, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) predicted Sunday, but with so many “no” votes that he´ll be an ineffective secretary of Defense. “He doesn´t have the confidence of the vast majority of the Senate, which weakens him in that position,” said Coburn, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “The fact is that in modern times we haven´t had one Defense secretary who´s had more than three votes against him.
Deadline contributor Ross Johnson reports that Beverly Hills Hotel security kept a handful of members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West well back from guests arriving for Saturday night’s 11th Annual ‘Night Before’ Oscars Party. It’s the fundraiser for the Motion Picture and Television Fund thrown by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Union personnel were prohibited from setting foot on hotel property, demarcated by blue tape on the sidewalk next to the main entrance and on the traffic island outside the hotel.
Boy, the anti-gun goobers were out in full force this past week giving us plebeians the down low on what we “need” to protect ourselves during everything from home invasions to rape situations. It was like listening to Obama talk about economics or Roseanne Barr gloss smoothly on the importance of Southern etiquette in marital conflicts. I heard so much horse scat coming from the left last week regarding self-defense that I am now befuddled as to whom I should give my “Are You Blanking Kidding Me” award to. Damn you, tyranny of many options. Damn you!
Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius crushed his girlfriend’s skull with a cricket bat before shooting her dead, police have told her family. Details of the post-mortem examination of South African model Reeva Steenkamp were withheld from last week’s bail application hearing. But grieving relatives who saw her body before Tuesday’s cremation in Port Elizabeth described horrific injuries from the cricket bat, and entry wounds from 9mm bullets fired by Pistorius.
In close consultation with President Obama, two of his top political strategists are designing an ambitious new organization funded by donations from wealthy individuals and corporations aimed at making political and legislative gains at the federal and state levels. The fledgling Organizing for Action says it will be nonpartisan and steer clear of election activity. But the line between issue disputes and electoral politics can be a fuzzy one. The first of an expected wave of ads on gun control, for example, has targeted only Republicans. And OFA board member Jim Messina, who managed Obama’s reelection
During a discussion about President Obama’s lack of transparency about the drone program, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on MSNBC this morning that he was ordered to never acknowledge the existence of the drone program. “One of the first things they told me was, you are not even to acknowledge the drone program, you are not even to discuss that it exists,” Gibbs said frankly, explaining why he could never be forthcoming about the issue with White House reporters. Gibbs added that in his opinion, the Obama administration’s denial of the program “undermines people’s confidence overall
Public schools across California have assigned thousands of teachers to classes without the proper credentials or legal authorization, a persistent problem that state and local education officials blame on mismanagement, budget shortages and a limited pool of qualified specialists. Untrained teachers have been assigned to a variety of difficult classes, including those filled with English-language learners and others with special intellectual and physical needs. In many cases, these teachers lack training in a particular subject that they´ve been assigned to teach, such as English or math.