HOUSTON — The companies operating the gas facility in the Sahara that was attacked last week had chosen not to deploy armed guards inside the sprawling compound, leading security analysts to question whether the assault by more than 30 Islamist militants might have been slowed if security had been tighter. Until the siege on the remote In Amenas facility last Wednesday, dozens of North African desert camps were thought to be virtually impregnable, with steel-wire fences, long-range reconnaissance equipment and army patrols amid the sand dunes.
Did we need 6,600 words about the utterly irrelevant John McCain? Somebody thought we did. In the last couple of years, every time something John McCain says makes "news," my immediate reaction—sometimes on Twitter, sometimes just in my head—is, "Remind me again why anybody should give a crap what John McCain thinks about anything?" I´ve never been able to get a satisfactory answer to this question. And here comes star reporter Mark Leibovich, author of the well-received This Town, with a 6,634-word cover profile of McCain for next week´s New York Times Magazine. Do we need another one of these?
Small details tell big stories in the political world and Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent Byron York has a master´s eye for detecting them. Take his column today on how Jeh Johnson, President Obama´s new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, thumbed his nose at Senate Republicans. In Harry Reid´s nuked Senate, only 51 votes are required to confirm — or deny — presidential nominees for cabinet posts. That fact changes everything about the Senate. No more compromises For example, as York notes, "If Johnson could be confident that he had at least 51 of the Senate´s 55 Democratic votes
Let’s start with the crossbow, because the crossbow is huge. I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a camo-painted ATV, rumbling through the northern Louisiana backwoods with Phil Robertson, founder of the Duck Commander company, patriarch at the heart of A&E’s smash reality hit Duck Dynasty, and my tour guide for the afternoon. There are seat belts in this ATV, but it doesn’t look like they’ve ever been used. Phil is not wearing one. I am not wearing one, because I don’t want Phil to think I’m a pussy. (Too late!) The crossbow—a Barnett model equipped with a steel-tipped four-blade
My life’s work is devoted to cutting the federal government in half.(Snip)In fact, I’m probably the only person in Washington who thinks the legislation that would have that effect over the long run can and quite possibly will be enacted within the next 10 years (politics operates in cycles, like a pendulum, thank you Barack Obama). And I have worked directly on that project with Paul Ryan — he is one of the few people in America who understands that if these reforms are done right, the poor, seniors, those in need of health care, working people, America, and the
London — Saudi Arabia has been friends with our Western partners for decades; for some, like the United Kingdom where I serve as ambassador, for almost a century. These are strategic alliances that benefit us both. Recently, these relationships have been tested — principally because of differences over Iran and Syria. We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East. This is a dangerous gamble, about which we cannot remain silent, and will not stand idly by. The crisis in Syria continues unabated. There have been over 100,000
I was invited to speak at a law school symposium in November at the University of Connecticut. I was there to speak about the connection between mental illness and mass murder. (If curious, my presentation starts at about 2:20:00 in this video stream.) It was an interesting experience, and a reminder of how much trouble the gun control movement is in, and of how dishonest their arguments really are. Richard Aborn, formerly chairman of Handgun Control, Inc. (now the Brady Campaign), spoke at the symposium. Aborn claimed that he supported reasonable gun control laws. Aborn even argued that the U.S. Supreme
Under ObamaCare, smoking, obesity and other health conditions sometimes penalized by wellness programs can force even those with employer-provided insurance to pay more, an officer of the National Union of Healthcare Workers said Tuesday. "I run five miles a day, I don´t drink, I don´t smoke. And by the Kaiser wellness program that a number of employees we represent are covered by, I´m two pounds from being overweight," said John Borsos. Kaiser said in a statement late Tuesday that its program is voluntary and does not penalize those who don´t meet the program´s goals, although that is not true for other programs. Borsos
Is this man simply expressing his beliefs or spewing bigotry?Either way, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E´s "Duck Dynasty," won´t be duck calling on air anytime soon. The network suspended him after slamming gays in a magazine interview. In the January issue of GQ, Robertson said homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. "It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man´s anus. That´s just me. I´m just thinking: There´s more there! She´s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know
A&E broke its silence on Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments late Wednesday. The cable network announced Robertson is off the hit show for the time being. The network issued the following statement to EW: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is — and isn’t — sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics. Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games. Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning “gay propaganda.” Though the White House did not specifically address
The gay and lesbian rights group GLAAD is slamming ´Duck Dynasty´ patriarch Phil Robertson for comments he made about homosexuality to GQ magazine, and challenging the show´s network, A&E, to take action against its most popular star. In a wide-ranging interview, Robertson shared his thoughts on homosexuality and religion. After stating in very graphic terms his preference for heterosexual sex over homosexual sex, Robertson launched into more thoughts about homosexuality and sinning. “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong... Sin becomes fine,” he said.
Yes, she really said it. On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn´t say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary): PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?
Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama. Writers and reporters agree he’s had his worst year ever. I infer from most of their essays an unstated but broadly held sense of foreboding: There’s no particular reason to believe next year will be better, and in fact signs and indications point to continued trouble. I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management. One reason I worry is that I frequently speak with people who interact with the White
O ne year removed from re-election, President Obama´s approval rating has sunk to the lowest level of his presidency. Furthermore, Obama´s popularity among the Democratic Party base — whose rejuvenated support proved crucial last November — took a huge hit this past year. Only 54 percent of self-described liberals "very strongly" approve of Obama´s job performance, according to a Pew survey released this week. That´s down from an all-time high of nearly 90 percent, and a significant decline from the 73 percent who strongly approved of the president back in June. Why the steep drop? Well, the first year of Obama´s second term