Rome - Italy´s general election produced a stalemate, with Pier Luigi Bersani´s centre-left alliance failing to win a working majority in parliament and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi´s centre right saying the vote should be declared "too close to call". Bersani´s alliance looked set to come first in the contests for the both the Senate and the Lower House, with almost all the votes counted early on Tuesday, although the difference with respect to the centre right was less than 1% in both cases. (Snip) But neither of the two biggest coalitions was close to the 158 seats needed in the Senate
The Steering Committee of the Alabama Republican Party has taken the rare step of officially demanding that one of the state’s two GOP U.S. Senators change a publicly announced position in a high-profile Washington battle. Specifically, the state party leaders have passed a resolution demanding that Sen. Richard Shelby “reconsider and reverse his decision to support Senator [Chuck] Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.” The resolution, passed early this afternoon, blasts Hagel for statements “favorable toward” countries “that we believe to be enemies of the United States of America,”
Hollywood: Michelle Obama´s appearance at the Oscars to announce the best picture award raises the ugly specter of a state political stamp of approval for the arts. No wonder Americans are turning away from movies. It´s no secret that President Obama and his glamorous wife Michelle have worked hand in glove with Hollywood´s power structure for years — from the White House´s unauthorized access of classified information for the makers of "Zero Dark Thirty," which was nominated for Best Picture, to the vast fundraisers President Obama holds in Beverly Hills.
In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, some political commentators have written political obituaries of the "red" or conservative-leaning states, envisioning a brave new world dominated by fashionably blue bastions in the Northeast or California. But political fortunes are notoriously fickle, while economic trends tend to be more enduring. These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.
Media Bias: Now that the voters have made their choice, big voices in the dominant media are exposing President Obama as their manipulator. But it´s too late to cut the puppet strings without crashing hard. Longtime media critic and Daily Beast Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz calls the White House press corps "self-involved and whiny" for complaining about not being allowed to cover a presidential golf outing with Tiger Woods the way they wanted to. And appearing on Kurtz´s CNN program, veteran CBS News correspondent Bill Plante says the media are "used to being called whiny lap dogs.
President Obama is almost breathless predicting "devastating" consequences if the sequester trigger is pulled. He warns the cuts "will hurt our economy ... add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls. ... The unemployment rate might tick up again." But will a $44 billion cut in spending out of a $3.8 trillion budget, a mere 1%, really be a "meat cleaver approach" that will "eviscerate" government programs? Obama frightens people by pretending that the $1 trillion cut takes place right away rather than being spread out over 10 years.
Throughout the day on Monday, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane took sharp criticisms from members of the media for his performance as host of the Academy Awards Sunday night. But conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh had the opposite reaction, deeming MacFarlane worthy of an “attaboy.” Limbaugh explained on his Monday show that he sent a personal note to MacFarlane, giving him props for his performance. “Seth MacFarlane was the host of the program,” Limbaugh said. “As you know, I have appeared on the ‘Family Guy’ TV show three times
Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop died peacefully at his home on Monday, Dartmouth College said. He was 96. Koop served as surgeon general from 1982 to 1989, under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was outspoken on public health issues and did much to elevate the office of the surgeon general. He died at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire, the college said in a news release. "Dr. Koop did more than take care of his individual patients -- he taught all of us about critical health issues that affect our larger society," said Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt. Author corrected by Staff.
An Investor´s Business Daily editorial on Friday confirmed a couple of items which seemed intuitively obvious but which I didn´t prove on Thursday in my post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about the Department of Labor´s outrageous decision to grant unionized workers at now-liquidating Hostess Bakeries "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA). The first is that it will cost a lot of money, totaling an amount which appears to have a chance to come within striking distance of about half of the annual profits in the entire commercial baking industry. The second is that there is little if any evidence supporting DOL´s finding
RUSH: Listen to this. This is from the AP, and they´re mad about this. The NRA has found a Justice Department memo, and they are using it to accuse the Obama administration of wanting to commandeer your guns. They are furious here in this AP story. "The National Rifle Association is using a Justice Department memo it obtained to argue in ads that the Obama [regime] believes its gun control plans won´t work unless the government seizes firearms and requires national gun registration..." Now, when everybody makes that accusation, what happens? I
RUSH: The sequester, ladies and gentlemen. Have you stocked up your food? Have you bought all your water? Have you got all the batteries that you´re gonna need? Have you made plans to do without for months and months and months? I´m telling you it´s going to be brutal out there. I heard a media person today saying the reason why... Get this, now. The reason why they think this time the sequester´s gonna happen -- the reason why there will not be a last-minute solution like there always is -- is because there are no talks.
House Republican leaders returned to Washington in attack mode on Monday, accusing President Obama of being a “road show president” days before automatic spending cuts are set to take effect. “The president proposed the sequester, yet he’s far more interested in holding campaign rallies than he is in urging Senate Democrats to actually pass a plan,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a brief Capitol news conference with the House GOP leadership team. Obama is scheduled to travel to Virginia on Tuesday to rally public support for his approach to replacing the $85 billion in sequestration cuts, but Republicans
With the Falklands referendum just two weeks away, the Obama administration still refuses to recognise the referendum and the right to self-determination of the Falkland Islanders. At a news conference in London today alongside Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Secretary of State John Kerry made this point very clearly in response to a question from the press.[Snip]Well, let me be very clear about our position with respect to the Falklands, which I believe is clear. First of all, I’m not going to comment, nor is the President, on a referendum that has yet to take place and hasn’t taken place.
In response to Finke: Michelle at Oscars ´unnecessary and inappropriate´: According to Clear Channel’s Steven Gregory on Twitter: Obama fatigue - it´s not just for righties anymore. Also, this morning it´s being reported that the Michelle Obama hijack, last night, was part of a failed effort on the part of Harvey Weinstein to get Hollywood´s Obama voters to vote for Silver Linings Playbook for Best Picture. Naked DC has that story. The Academy told US Weekly that they approached the First Lady for a part in the annual telecast, but that’s not the whole story.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd criticized Monday the new fundraising efforts of President Obama’s dark money group, Organizing for Action, calling a scheme for high donors to meet regularly with Obama “the definition of selling access.” Todd was describing the quarterly meetings that will be enjoyed by OFA’s $500,000 donors, the New York Times reported over the weekend: But those contributions will also translate into access, according to donors courted by the president’s aides. Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a “founders summit” at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager,
The pope has forced the abrupt resignation of Britain´s most senior Roman Catholic as the church made a frantic attempt to minimise the impact of allegations of "inappropriate acts" committed by Cardinal Keith O´Brien against fellow priests. O´Brien stood down as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh the day after the Observer published accusations by three serving priests and a former priest about his conduct towards them during the 1980s.(Snip) Already due to retire next month, the cardinal stated: "The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today."
RUSH: Just a year ago actually almost to the day, February 23rd, 2009, President Obama said, quote, "And that´s why today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half at the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges that we have long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taking responsibility right now in this administration for getting our spending under control." That was Barack Obama on February 23rd, 2009.
If you´re a reporter at the Washington Post and you aspire to write unsigned editorials, just send an email to the ombudsman. That´s a lesson one might draw from yesterday´s extraordinary column by Patrick Pexton, the veteran journalist who, according to the Post´s website, "represents readers who have concerns or complaints" about "accuracy, fairness, ethics and the newsgathering process." One such reader wrote to both Pexton and a Post reporter to complain that the paper´s coverage of same-sex marriage gives "short shrift" to "the conservative, pro-family side of the argument." Headline split by Staff.
The scrutinizing of Manti Te’o continued Monday, after a less-than-dazzling performance at the NFL Combine. Plenty of linebackers ran faster. Plenty of linebackers jumped higher and farther.(Snip)Before Te´o ran, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said on air that Te´o needed to run a 4.70 to lock up his status as a first-round pick in April´s 2013 draft. His official time read out as 4.82. Now the concern is whether the undersized linebacker (6-1, 241 pounds) has the ability to cover enough ground to be an every-down inside defender, especially in a 4-3 scheme.
A historic blizzard on pace to become the second-snowiest event recorded in Amarillo made travel nearly impossible Monday and left some motorists stranded as emergency crews struggle to reach them, the National Weather Service in Amarillo said. Wind gusts have averaged between 50 and 60 mph, with hurricane-force gusts of 75 mph recorded at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, the weather service said. Conditions won’t improve until the storm passes, and the weather service has extended a blizzard warning until 3 a.m. Tuesday. The weather service said a Feb. 25 record of 17 inches
DALLAS — The four-alarm fire that engulfed the DFW Gun Range at 1607 West Mockingbird Lane in Dallas Sunday afternoon was apparently triggered by unauthorized tracer rounds. By Sunday night, the concern had shifted to the weapons that remained in the smoldering wreckage of the one-story building. Heavy black smoke was visible from downtown Dallas soon after the first alarm was sounded at 2:37 p.m. About 50 people were inside the gun range when the fire broke out, but all were able to escape safely. The company´s Web site listed a number of classes on Sunday, including an "Introduction to Handguns" scheduled at 3:15 Headline split by Staff.
Silicon Valley investors that helped build the solar industry are shifting cash into electricity-grid technology and energy-storage developers after bets on panel manufacturers failed to pay off. Companies including VantagePoint Capital Partners and Khosla Ventures are stepping up funding for systems to manage electricity, which are typically less capital intensive than solar-panel factories. Venture capital and private-equity financing for renewables dropped to its lowest in at least six years in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.(Snip) Investment flowing from private equity and venture capital firms into renewable energy fell 34 percent to $5.75 billion last
New US Secretary of State John Kerry today refused to back Britain´s stance in the battle with Argentina over the future of the Falklands, after starting his first overseas trip in London. Mr Kerry pointedly refused to support next month´s referendum among Falklanders on whether they want to remain British. The issue is thought to have been raised by Foreign Secretary William Hague after Mr Kerry held talks in Downing Street with David Cameron. Scroll down for video - At a press conference in the Foreign Office, standing alongside Mr Hague, Mr Kerry insisted the US position
Raleigh, N.C. — A strategy memo circulated recently among liberal-leaning groups prescribes "crippling" legislative leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory with bad press and pressure tactics. The memo, which was first reported by The Charlotte Observer, details communications strategy, political tactics and polling data that progressive groups can use to push the policy agenda in Raleigh, where Republicans control both the governor´s mansion and the legislature. According to documents included with the memo and interviews, the strategy outline was produced by Myers Research and Strategic Services for Project New America. It was originally provided to Progress North Carolina, a liberal nonprofit
NEW YORK Retailers are preparing for a triple whammy as the restoration of the payroll tax, surging gas prices, and stagnant employment and wages take a bite out of consumers’ disposable income, leaving them with less cash to spend on clothing, groceries, and eating out. As a result, more than three years after the recession officially ended, American consumers might be preparing to downshift again, if only slightly, with low-income consumers hit the hardest. Sensing consumer trepidation, retailers are scrambling to adjust. Retailers, restaurants, and consumer goods companies like Wal-Mart are lowering sales forecasts
Republicans do badly with young voters, and one of the main reasons is that they’re seen as uncool. This is probably unfair — it’s not Republicans who are imposing college speech codes on students — but it’s the perception. As a reader of my blog named Jeff Wimble wrote: “Everything comes down to the movie ‘Footloose.’ For a large majority of people, the political question is, ‘How would the sanctimonious preacher from the movie ‘Footloose’ feel about this subject?’ They answer the question, and then take the opposite position.