President Obama said in his victory speech last week that “elections matter.” On Wednesday, he made clear how much the election matters to him — and to the way he intends to govern in his second term. Appearing in his first post-victory news conference, the customarily cautious Obama spoke like a politician with nothing to lose after winning the last race of his life. Over the course of an hour, he struck an unabashedly populist tone in characterizing his second-term “mandate” to help the poor and the middle class, and he warned his partisan rivals
In the late 1950s, the famous nuclear strategist Herman Kahn facetiously suggested building what he called a “Doomsday Machine.” A computer would be wired to detonate a vast array of nuclear bombs if the Soviet Union took an action defined as intolerable. Kahn was joking. The point of his black humor was that official U.S. nuclear strategy was as crazy as his Doomsday Machine, in that it posited a war from which there was no rational escape. The alternative, wrote Fred Kaplan in his book “The Wizards of Armageddon,” was finding strategies short of all-out annihilation. Indeed, Kahn proposed 44
“Obama will feel pain,” Michael Needham predicted. Needham looked as though he were angry enough to administer the pain himself. The 31-year-old chief executive of the conservative group Heritage Action gripped his coffee cup tightly with both hands as he spoke to reporters over breakfast Wednesday. When he reached for his water glass, there was a slight tremor in his hand. But the ones feeling the pain from Needham right now are Republicans. His group, funded by the Koch brothers and anonymous donors, is the one that joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to rally opposition to Obamacare this summer. Together,
Problems with the federal government’s new health-care Web site have attracted legions of armchair analysts who speak of its problems with “virtualization” and “load testing.” Yet increasingly, they are saying the root cause is not simply a matter of flawed computer code but rather the government’s habit of buying outdated, costly and buggy technology. The U.S. government spends more than $80 billion a year for information-technology services, yet the resulting systems typically take years to build and often are cumbersome when they launch. While the error messages, long waits and other problems with www.healthcare.gov have been spotlighted by the high-profile
Seeing our government and our creditworthiness held hostage to the demands of a right-wing minority is infuriating. It’s also heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking because the only thing keeping our country from being its growing, innovative and successful self is genuinely and unnecessarily stupid politics. The United States emerged from a horrific global recession in better shape than most other countries. Our recovery was slower than it had to be because of too much budget-cutting, too soon. Nonetheless, we avoided the more extreme forms of austerity and our economy has been coming back — at least until this made-in-the-House-Republican-caucus crisis started. It’s
Key GOP figures on Wednesday sent their clearest signals that they are abandoning their bid to immediately stop the federal health-care law — the issue that forced the government to shut down — and are scrambling for a fallback strategy. Republican Party leaders, activists and donors now widely acknowledge that the effort to kill President Obama’s signature initiative by hitting the brakes on the government has been a failure. The law has largely disappeared from their calculus as they look for a way out of the impasse over the shutdown and for a way to avoid a possible default on
The Obama administration insisted Tuesday it had no choice but to withhold death benefits to relatives of 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, a 25-year-old soldier born and raised in San Diego, and four other soldiers killed since the partial government shutdown began Oct. 1. This is ridiculous and perverse. President Barack Obama has used an expansive — and some legal scholars believe extreme — interpretation of his powers to unilaterally rewrite key provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, the sweeping 2002 measure that drastically reshaped federal education policies. In similar fashion, the president has unilaterally rewritten key provisions of
Cracks in the monolithic wall Democrats have put up against reopening any individual part of government unless all of government is funded in one bill are starting to show. Today, Washington, D.C., mayor Vince Gray and D.C. House delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton crashed a news conference being held by Senate majority leader Harry Reid on the Capitol steps. Reid didn’t appreciate the company. As Gray leaned into Reid and demanded federal money start flowing so the District can pay its bills, Reid responded, “I’m on your side. Don’t screw this up.” Reid was probably nervous because at the mayor’s earlier
NEW YORK — Another man has been arrested in connection with a fight that left a motorcyclist critically injured and an SUV driver badly beaten on a New York City street. Police arrested Clint Caldwell on gang assault and other charges Tuesday. He´s the sixth person arrested following the September melee. It´s unclear if he has a lawyer. There´s no phone listed for him at his Brooklyn address. An undercover detective apparently seen on video pounding on the SUV during the melee is among those arrested. Two people familiar with the case say the detective was on a motorcycle and
PRINCETON, N.J. — Gunshots have been reported at a historic building on Princeton University´s campus. The New Jersey Ivy League university says on Twitter police cordoned off Nassau Hall on Tuesday after public safety officials got a report of gunshots there. No injuries have been reported. Nassau Hall is Princeton´s administrative center. Princeton´s website calls Nassau Hall the centerpiece of its campus and a university and national landmark. It says it moved classes from Newark to Nassau Hall in Princeton when the building was completed in 1756.
For three years, Congress and the White House have been building to this moment. Not the debt limit or Obamacare specifically, but this clarifying moment of Washington dysfunction. President Obama has led us here by continually thwarting the will of Congress and dismissing its role in our constitutional republic. This must end. The president not only has refused to negotiate on issues of debt and spending but also has mocked the very idea of engaging with Congress. President Obama has repeatedly made clear that he feels it is beneath the office of the presidency to work in a bipartisan way
Major insurers, state health-care officials and Democratic allies repeatedly warned the Obama administration in recent months that the new federal health-insurance exchange had significant problems, according to people familiar with the conversations. Despite those warnings and intense criticism from Republicans, the White House proceeded with an Oct. 1 launch. A week after the federal Web site opened, technical problems continued to plague the system, and on Tuesday people were locked out until 10 a.m., although some applicants were able to sign up as the day went on. Officials said they were working 24 hours a day to improve the system
In a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel obtained by CNN, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, shares the news that Fisher House Foundation has stepped in and offered an advance grant to families of the fallen during the government shutdown, “to ensure there is no funding gap during the most difficult of times, with the understanding that reimbursements would be made at an appropriate time.” The Pentagon has said it cannot pay death benefits to families of troops killed in Afghanistan. This afternoon Manchin spoke to Fisher House CEO Ken Fisher to discuss what could be done to help these
Families of fallen military service members usually receive a "death gratuity" of $100,000 for interment and expenses within days, but not during government shutdown. They paid the ultimate price serving their country — but their government can’t spare a cent to cover their funerals. The stooges on Capitol Hill added insult to tragedy Tuesday when it was revealed that the families of four soldiers and a Marine who were killed in Afghanistan have not received a $100,000 “death gratuity” because of the government shutdown....
Over the first four days the new online health insurance exchanges were open last week, more than 8 million people visited them, according to the Obama administration. At the very least, this casts doubt on the Republican claim that Americans hate Obamacare and want it repealed. It seems millions of people desperately want the coverage the law will allow them to get, regardless of their medical histories. Alas, the administration managed to turn the experience for most of those visitors into a nightmare. Websites crashed, refused to load, or offered bizarre and incomprehensible choices. Even though the system was shut down
From its earliest days, the Obama Administration has operated from a “community organizer” worldview, characterized by an “us” against “them” perspective. The President has repeatedly and in a variety of circumstances said, “Elections have consequences, and I won” as an excuse for yet another executive order, non-Constitutional decision, or “in-your-face” arrogant action. The President goes through the motions of listening to others: he claims to be bipartisan; he hosts White House confabs and talks about the need for compromise, but he always ends up saying, “I won,” and ends any pretense of discussion or negotiation. He explains that, as President,
WASHINGTON — Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043. And eventually the whole world in 2047. A new study on global warming pinpoints the probable dates for when cities and ecosystems around the world will regularly experience hotter environments the likes of which they have never seen before. And for dozens of cities, mostly in the tropics, those dates are a generation or less away. "This paper is both innovative and sobering," said
I was at a dinner recently where I happened to be seated at a table with new acquaintances of the liberal political persuasion. We went around the table introducing ourselves. As I said that I work for a "conservative website," a man at the far end of the table made his displeasure known by booing. He wasn´t kidding. These were professional, accomplished, senior members of the community. They had never met a conservative before. Their first reaction was hostile. No one chided the man who booed, or apologized on his behalf for his rudeness, or laughed to break the tension.
I’m tempted to call it a clown show but that would be insulting to clowns:(Snip for graphic) It ran for one hour and six minutes, with 12 different reporters being called on — although, notably, not Ed Henry of Fox News — and between them they couldn’t muster one question about the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov or the spectacle of National Park Rangers locking senior-citizen tourists out of war memorials and/or inside their hotels. I admit that, near the end of it, when Twitter was already starting to buzz about the oh-fer on this week’s two unhappy topics, I started
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney intends to buy a $9million Park City, Utah ski chalet to complement his family homes in California, Boston, and New Hampshire. The 8,730 foot vacation mansion is in the ski destination´s Deer Valley resort and, while it doesn´t have a $55,000 car elevator like Romney´s La Jolla home, the chalet does rest right on the slope and may be skied into and out of. The six bedroom home´s most noticeable features is its prevalence of wood. The lodge-like home features wooden floors, walls, and furniture that brokers call Utah rustic. The home was once featured
Top political strategist turned CNN anchor, Stephanie Cutter is pregnant with her first child at the age of 44. The Washington Post notes that there is no early word on who the father is and the blonde is thought to be single. A source told the publication that Ms Cutter, due in March, is ´very excited´ about the prospect of motherhood and otherwise, ´not dishing about the details of the pregnancy at all.´ Ms Cutter apparently announced the news of her pregnancy to her CNN colleagues on Monday. She will take maternity leave and return to Crossfire next spring.
Tyranny, being as endemic to the human condition as other similar privations of the human good such as ignorance, vice, or sickness, is as old as mankind. What may be new, however, is the uniquely intractable form of tyranny that is currently metastasizing throughout the world, namely the rule of an authoritarian plurality of societal parasites. Our next thousand years of darkness, if such be our fate, will begin under the governance of a "parasitocracy." The modern West has defied ancient wisdom on so many fronts, introducing new modes of existence and coexistence, spreading prosperity and promise in hitherto inconceivable measures,
While the U.S. has always been a beacon of medical advancement for the world, American women today are expected to live shorter lives than their mothers. Two recent studies found that life expectancy for women have decreased the last two decades. ´Health care is far from the whole story,´ David Kindig, co-author of one of the studies, told the Atlantic. ´More and more people are beginning to realize that the non-health-care factors are at least as important.´ [Snip] Kindig said he was so shocked by it´s outcome, that he and his research partner went back and did the numbers again
I am just wondering if Miriam Carey, the mentally ill mother who drove her black Infiniti down Pennsylvania Avenue after she rammed a White House barricade, was read her Miranda rights before she was shot dead in a fusillade of gunfire by a gang of well-armed police who surrounded her car at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The information has not been released, though as I write almost a week has passed since the lethal event. Why could not those crack shots have aimed at her car’s tires. Then they could have waited for her next move. It looks
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I also told [Speaker Boehner] that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations, shouldn´t require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people. Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don´t get a chance to call your bank and say, ´I´m not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox.´ If you´re in negotiations around buying somebody´s house, you don´t get to say, ´well let´s talk about the