So the secondhand tale of House Speaker John Boehner’s assessment that President Obama “can’t make a decision. He’s got balls made out of marshmallows” … has a certain precedent, as Exurban Jon reminds me: “If Hillary gave him [Obama] one of her balls, they’d both have two,” Democratic strategist James Carville told the Christian Science Monitor at a breakfast on Thursday morning. The editorial board of the Washington Post uses nicer language, but reaches the same conclusion: … why is Mr. Obama not leading the way to a solution? From the start, and increasingly in his second term,
A rocket launcher and warhead have been discovered by police investigating dissident republicans. Officers made the dramatic find while searching a house on Hawthorn Street, West Belfast, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland said that the launcher and warhead were intended to kill. A police spokesman said: ‘These weapon systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives.’ Dissidents have been linked to a series of attempts to kill members of the security forces, including soldiers, police and a prison officer.
Now that President Obama will finally have the defense secretary he wanted in Chuck Hagel, the question arises: Was the anti-Hagel fight worth it? Why did Republicans decide to fight it if they weren’t going to win? The question presumes that the voices raised in opposition to Hagel’s nomination did so as a political tactic — to hand the president a defeat just after his moment of triumph in November. That notion is a willful misunderstanding. The opposition arose spontaneously among thinkers and activists long familiar with Hagel’s views and the stands he took throughout his career.
PHILADELPHIA- It sounds more like a restaurant order than a school lunch menu: baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon apple rice pudding. But that´s one of the meals offered in the cafeteria at People For People Charter School in Philadelphia. And it´s served family-style. Students pass serving dishes around circular tables, where they eat off plates, not cafeteria trays, and use silverware instead of plastic utensils. People For People is one of four schools participating in the "Eatiquette" program, which was designed by local chef Marc Vetri to provide
Energy: In yet another green folly, the lawless Environmental Protection Agency continues to fine gasoline producers for not using cellulosic biofuels in quantities that don´t exist, making only more pain at the pump. Last month, a federal court dealt a serious blow to the Environmental Protection Agency´s renewable fuels push by ruling that the agency exceeded its authority by mandating refiners use cellulosic biofuels, which aren´t commercially available. The EPA´s lawless response in a lawless administration was to raise its requirements. In 2005 and 2007, Congress twice amended the Clean Air Act to establish
With a toothy grin and prominent ears it may not be the most flattering Royal portrait. But Prince Harry was delighted with the sketch on a South African classroom chalk board. As a royal you have to take everything in your stride and his morning´s work included a lesson in sign language, cooking up a batch of doughnuts - and proving something of a storm on the dancefloor. The third in line to the throne was a natural with the children he met today at the Kananelo Centre for the Deaf in Lesotho, which is supported by his charity, Sentebale.
The horse butcher in my Paris neighborhood never has a line outside his shop, but he does a steady business with an older clientele. I’ve passed the entrance on the market street, Rue Poncelet, many times—it’s unmistakable, with its thin red neon tubes outlining like halos three horses’ heads that might once have graced a small carousel—but I´d never been in. When I stopped by Tuesday morning to pick up a horsemeat steak, a gray-haired gentleman in a fedora and cloth coat was just purchasing a horsemeat sausage. A familiar clochard, or bum, stopped by to chat.
At a shipyard in Virginia, President Barack Obama pointed the finger at the GOP for the impasse over the automatic spending cuts set to hit on Friday — even as he insisted he’s not interested in playing a “blame game.” Obama said he’s not out for political advantage. He said he told the nation’s governors on Monday that he’s run his last campaign. “I’m not interested in spin, I’m not interested in playing a blame game. At this point, all I’m interested in is solving problems,” he said. But Obama earlier said the GOP is at fault
Shortly before U.S. troops stormed Iraq to oust its dictator, Saddam Hussein released thousands of prisoners from Iraqi jails. Some were petty criminals, some were hardcore, some were terrorists. Hussein unleashed them to build his own popularity and to sow chaos. Today, Barack H. Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is doing this: The sequester is officially still three days away, but the Obama administration already is making the first cuts, with officials confirming that the Homeland Security Department has begun to release what it deems low-priority illegal immigrants from detention. The move is proving controversial. Immigrant-rights groups say
He’s not random, though. A truly random man wouldn’t have earned the sturdy liberal support that Hagel’s Israel-focused Jew-baiting and left-of-Obama foreign policy brought him. In the end, despite weeks of dirt being dug up, not a single Democrat voted against him at any stage of the process. (That’s not including Reid’s no vote last week, as that was purely procedural.) Which is not to say he’s a bad guy. It may be, as Chuck Schumer believes, that he’s just … slow. Congrats, America.The final vote: 58-41, which is a bit closer than the 71-27 margin on cloture earlier today.
CHICAGO -- The newly-elected Democratic nominee to replace disgraced former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. vowed to become a leader in the fight for federal gun control and directly challenged the National Rifle Association in her victory speech. But it remains to be seen if Robin Kelly´s primary win Tuesday night in the Chicago-area district, aided by a $2 million ad campaign funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg´s super PAC, would fuel the national debate.Kelly, a former state representative, emerged early as a voice for gun control in the truncated primary season after Jackson resigned in November.
A federal appeals court panel has branded a Northwest anti-whaling group "pirates," ordering a halt to attacks on Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters. The outspoken opinion, which reads at times more like "Moby Dick" than a court decision, hands a victory to Miller Nash, a Portland law firm that took the controversial step of representing Japan´s whale hunters.
When Marissa Mayer became queen of the Yahoos last summer, she was hailed as a role model for women. The 37-year-old supergeek with the supermodel looks was the youngest Fortune 500 chief executive. And she was in the third trimester of her first pregnancy. Many women were thrilled at the thought that biases against hiring women who were expecting, or planning to be, might be melting. (Snip) Now Mayer has caused another fem-quake with a decision that has a special significance to working mothers. She has banned Yahoos, as her employees are known, from working at home
The first lady has come under criticism for her recent media blitz, with some lambasting her for her unprecedented number of appearances on entertainment and programs. Michelle Obama has certainly made the rounds in the past week, from promoting an anti-obesity campaign with late night host Jimmy Fallon to her surprise Oscars appearance announcing the Best Picture winner. Critics complain that Mrs Obama is overstepping her reach and risks losing favor with the public for being overexposed.
Former state Rep. Robin Kelly won the Democratic primary Tuesday night in the race to replace the disgraced Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress, helped by millions of dollars in pro-gun control ads from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political fund. A snowstorm and lack of voter interest kept turnout low as Kelly had 53 percent to 24 percent for former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and 11 percent for Chicago 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale with more than three-fourths percent of precincts counted. Kelly will formally take on the winner of the Republican primary in an April 9
Birmingham, Alabama is considered by many to be the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Today, African-Americans in Birmingham benefit from a numerical majority in the population, corresponding majorities in government jobs, and political control of the city. But civil rights won´t address what ails the city now. Birmingham is recognized as one of the most violent and poorly-run cities in the nation. The city runs a massive deficit, and is county seat of Jefferson County, which recently cut a deal with a European bank as part of the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. Underlying this fiasco
TRENTON, N.J. — Get ready for betting in your jammies, at work, from the kitchen table, or at the beach: New Jerseyans — and possibly many others — will soon be able to gamble over the Internet. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Tuesday legalizing Internet gambling, hours after the state legislature passed a revised bill that made the changes he wanted. They included setting a 10-year trial period for online betting, and raising the taxes on the Atlantic City casinos’ online winnings from 10 to 15 percent. New Jersey became the third state in the nation
Almost a million children were given a swine flu jab which put them at increased risk of the sleep disorder narcolepsy, say scientists. New research shows the Pandemrix vaccine carries a 14-fold extra risk of triggering narcolepsy, in which sufferers can fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly. For every 55,000 doses delivered, it is estimated around one child developed the condition. Pandemrix was the main vaccine used in the UK during the swine flu pandemic three years ago. It was given to six million people in high-risk groups, including children and those with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease
Negative interest rates could become a reality in an ‘extraordinary’ move by the Bank of England to kick-start the economy, one of its senior officials revealed yesterday. Deputy governor Paul Tucker said a reduction of the base rate to below zero should be considered four years after it was cut to a record low of 0.5 per cent. But the very suggestion that million of savers should suffer fresh hits to their hard earned nest eggs caused outrage last night. Critics said prudent savers and pensioners have been punished enough by rates kept deliberately low to help support borrowers
Top Republican legal officials say the Obama administration is reneging on key duties such as border security while overstepping its role through health care mandates and tight regulation of the energy industry, a trend that has led states to heighten their defenses against federal intrusion. As states brace for cutbacks from the sequester standoff between President Obama and congressional Republicans, several of their elected attorneys general contrast that gridlock — and not in a good way — with Mr. Obama’s precedent-setting use of executive orders and federal rule-making. “You just see it all over the place
Employing campaign-style tactics, President Obama told shipyard workers in Newport News, Va., on Tuesday that Republican lawmakers and their opposition to higher taxes are to blame for looming economy-damaging budget cuts. “There are too many Republicans in Congress right now who refuse to compromise even an inch when it comes to closing tax loopholes and special-interest tax breaks,” Mr. Obama said at Newport News Shipbuilding, where several projects would be delayed if the $85 billion in cuts begin to take effect Friday. “That’s what’s holding things up right now.”
In Killeen, Tex., where the country’s largest Army post drives the local economy, automatic federal budget cuts would furlough about 6,000 of Fort Hood’s civil service workers for one day each week. Mayor Dan Corbin predicted home sales and construction would grind to a halt; restaurant and shop owners, he said, are “worried sick.” Of those who think the reductions wouldn’t have a painful impact, the Republican said: “I don’t know what planet these people are living on.” That planet is about 200 miles north on the interstate in Collin County: sprawling and well-to-do suburban Dallas. Sure
The Israeli tourists on Arkia Airlines Flight 161 from Tel Aviv could not have known it, but their arrival in Cyprus July 6 was watched closely. A pair of trained eyes counted each passenger as the group exited the plane and boarded a shuttle, headed for resorts that had also been carefully studied and mapped. The bearded foreigner who silently tracked the Israelis had done his work well. He knew where the visitors would sleep, shop and eat. He knew how many security guards patrolled their hotel parking lots and how long it would take police to arrive
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has enacted a major reform of the education system that includes new standards for hiring teachers. Under the changes, a census is to establish the exact number of schools, teachers and pupils in the country. The reforms appear set to weaken the powerful teachers´ union, led by Elba Esther Gordillo, which has largely controlled access to the profession. The union has argued that reforms could lead to massive lay-offs. Critics also say the changes could signal the start of the privatisation of education in Mexico.
Elba Esther Gordillo, a former Institutional Revolutionary Party leader who has headed Mexico’s biggest teaching union for more than two decades, was arrested and charged with using workers’ funds to pay personal expenses from a private plane to plastic surgery. Attorney General Jesus Murillo said Gordillo and others are charged with misusing as much as 2.6 billion pesos ($200 million) in union funds. Gordillo, leader of the 1.2 million- strong National Education Workers Union, was taken into custody today at the airport in Toluca, about 40 miles from Mexico City, he said. “We’re facing a case of illegal diversion of resources
"There once was a place called America," our children´s children will one day write, "a bright and shining city on a hill, divinely placed by God to serve as a beacon of hope to the entire world. A land filled with generous-hearted souls who showered the needy the world over with their abundant blessings." You see, America was founded by a handful of God-fearing patriots who didn´t always agree but believed certain things like life, liberty and the personal pursuit of happiness were worth dying for.