First things first. At 12:00:00 a.m., we go over the fiscal cliff. And at 12:00:01 a.m., most Americans will be talking about the new year, not the new fiscal regime. That´s entirely appropriate. In theory, midnight will usher in huge policy shifts: The tax code will return to what it was in the Clinton era, while a series of automatic spending cuts will begin to take effect. (snip) It’s as if President George W. Bush finally won—the tax cuts he’d always wanted would be staying on the books indefinitely, "starving the [government] beast" of the resources it needs to survive.
Comments: Jonathan´s point is that Bush won by making most of his tax rates acceptable by both sides. The question is, would it have been better to negotiate budget cuts and the debt limit increase with or without the deal.
Add to the "idiot list" all those who continue to perpetuate the myth that these are tax increases on the rich (or the wealthy). They are not. They are tax rate increases on income. Income and wealth are not the same thing even if the Democrats, The New Republic, the GOP, and Fox News don´t know any better. When are we going to stop using the Left"s lexicon? It is no wonder that the "low-information" voter doesn´t get it.
G.W. Bush´s reign as the worst president in American history was shortlived with the inaugauration of Barack Obama. Of course, one could argue that Bush´s brand of big-government, big-regulating, big-spending brand of liberalism made a monster like Obama possible.
A large banner hangs from the front of the stadium-size building that houses the world´s most powerful array of lasers: "Bringing Star Power To Earth." For the past four years, physicists at the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, in Livermore, California, have been trying to harness nuclear fusion, the same reaction that powers the sun and the stars. Supporters of the $3.5 billion facility believe that a successful outcome to the experiments could help usher in an era of nearly limitless energy. But the ambitious fusion research program at NIF now faces an uncertain future, both politically and scientifically.
A week after George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin, the backlash continues, with nationwide protests and calls to boycott Florida. President Obama spoke some undeniable truths when he noted that the African-American community’s reaction must be seen in the context of a long, terrible history of racism. But there is another context too: that of an ideology-based, media-driven false narrative that has distorted a tragedy into a racist outrage. This narrative has transformed Zimmerman, a man of racially mixed heritage that included white, Hispanic and black roots
Last night, the Obama administration announced that it would delay the “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act, which requires businesses of 50 employees or more to provide health insurance or face a penalty. The reason for the delay, as Sarah Kliff reports for The Post, is that the administration has heard “significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it.” As far as policy is concerned, this isn’t a huge blow to the ACA. “The employer mandate is both weaker and less important than most people realize,” writes Jonathan Cohn for the New Republic.
Global warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted. Nate Cohn of the New Republic reports: "Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming; they’re perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections".
It was the first time in recent memory that the Iowa GOP Lincoln Day Dinner sold out nearly two weeks in advance, and it was on the strength of its headliner, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (snip) "They say the Federal Reserve has been robbed. And we said, really?!” Paul said, his voice nearly cracking in mock disbelief. “They said, ‘Yeah, but we caught the thieves. They got in front of the safe, they had the big safe open, but they were perplexed. They were flummoxed. They didn’t know what to do with minus sixteen trillion dollars!’ ”
Just get on a bike. It works. It really does. It doesn´t matter if you´re exhausted by the bike debate, or the alleged bike debate, or whatever this supposedly acid conflict should be called, because I´m pretty sure bikes are nowhere near as divisive as they are sometimes portrayed. I don´t know anyone who would identify themselves as ´anti-bike.´ I don´t actually know what ´anti-bike´ means. It sounds more miserable than being ´anti-beer.´ Anti-bike? Really? I believe there are some worthy issues about the growing role of the bicycle in daily lives,
Keith Olbermann, the talented but difficult talk show host, has had a rather checkered resume. ESPN. Fox Sports. MSNBC. Current TV. His departures have generally been unpretty, including his last gig with Al Gore´s network (soon to become Al-Jazeera). But he has found new employment at Turner Broadcasting. And it´s not CNN. Rather, he´s joining TBS as a studio host for its baseball coverage during the post season with Hall of Famer pitcher Dennis Eckersley. In other words, he´s going back to his roots as a sports guy.
In a bizarre op-ed in The Charleston Gazette last week, journalism professor Christopher Swindell argued that the National Rifle Association “advocates armed rebellion against the duly elected government of the United States of America.” Stirring words, to be sure, but Swindell was hardly done — not even close. He also said that the NRA is guilty of “treason” “worthy of the firing squad.” “To support the new NRA president’s agenda of arming the populace for confrontation with the government is bloody treason,” Swindell charged in his wacky essay.
A Mars rock that bears a passing resemblance to a rodent is scuttling across the Internet with gusto, even inspiring some fans to set up a Twitter account in its name. UFO buffs spotted the purported "Mars rat" in a panoramic photo snapped in September 2012 by NASA´s Curiosity rover. Zooming in on a portion of the image reveals what appears to be a rodent crouching between two rocks, its nose to the ground. "It´s a cute rodent on Mars. Note its lighter-color upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach,"
In an email to LAObserved.com, our erstwhile antagonist Cynthia Rawitch responded yesterday to our Friday reminiscence of our long-ago college free-speech dispute. Here are her comments in their entirety: Writing more than 7,000 words about an event that took place in college nearly 25 years ago seems to represent a level of obsession that I can´t understand. James leaves out a number of salient facts because they don´t fit the narrative he recalls.
The vice provost of California State University, Northridge, retires today. Ordinarily that would be unworthy of a national newspaper´s notice, but Cynthia Rawitch was a formative figure in your humble columnist´s professional and intellectual development. (snip) Her time as publisher was busy and marked with a lawsuit regarding free speech. Former student James Taranto, now editor of OpinionJournal.com and a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, sued for being suspended after he printed a cartoon on the paper´s opinion page.
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap on Wednesday and said he was unlikely to allow it as long as he is governor. (snip) On the night of Dec. 14, 1993, he hid in a bathroom until the restaurant closed, then shot and killed Crowell; Ben Grant, 17; Colleen O´Connor, 17; and Margaret Kohlberg, a 50-year-old mother who was on her first day on the job. Each was shot in the head. A co-worker Bobby Stephens, then 20, was also shot in the head, but he survived and testified against Dunlap.
White House insiders say President Barack Obama is in “a funk” about what he sees as increasing stagnation and failures surrounding his second term and some worry that the President is becoming more distant and distracted. “He’s not the same Obama that came to the Oval Office after the 2008 elections,” a senior White House aided confided to friends in an email recently. “I’m worried.” Chicago Mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel tells friends that the Presidency has changed his longtime friend Obama and many of those changes are “not good.”
In warning about possible al Qaeda attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials may have provided too much detail about intercepted chatter and the source of the information, and that may make it more difficult to get such tips next time, former and current intelligence officials say.On Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert for Americans, citing an unspecified al Qaeda threat. The bulletin said that the highest threat levels are the Middle East and North Africa, “and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arab Peninsula.”
Washington - President Barack Obama´s top national security advisers met at the White House on Saturday to discuss the potential threat of terrorist attacks that caused Washington and its allies to issue travel warnings and close embassies throughout the Middle East. The United States issued a worldwide travel alert on Friday (Snip) Obama is spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat after playing golf earlier on Saturday. His birthday is Sunday. The White House said Obama had received regular briefings about the potential threat and U.S. preparedness measures all week.
Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze gave some ambiguous and potentially dangerous self defense advice Friday on “Hardball.” Glaze, speaking in opposition to “Stand Your Ground” laws, said in a circumstance where someone “comes at you” with an axe handle one should attempt to either “talk,” “fight with your fists,” “run away,” or “deescalate the situation,” but not shoot the attacker: MARK GLAZE: Very often somebody will come at you. They might want to have a fistfight. They might come at you with an ax handle. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Would you consider the guy with the ax handle armed or not?
[Video] Rapper Jay Z appearing on HBO´s "Real Time" with Bill Maher says that the black community wants upward economic mobility rather than a stronger police presence. In a conversation with former Congressman Barney Frank about police tactics such as stop-and-frisk, Jay Z suggests the stagnant economy and wealth inequality could cause widespread social unrest: "The real problem is there´s no middle class, right? So the gap between the have and have-nots is getting wider and wider... It´s gonna be a problem that no amount of police can solve, because once you have that sort of oppression
Common sense tells me that cops don´t need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man. When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he´d end this way? Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.
Not only should President Obama cancel a bilateral summit with "schoolyard bully" Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday on "Face the Nation," but considering the country granted asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, U.S. allies should try to move next month´s G-20 gathering from St. Petersburg. "President Putin´s behaving like a schoolyard bully, and in my experience, I´ve learned, unless you stand up to that bully, they ask for more and more and more," Schumer said. "He´s always going out of his way, President Putin is, to seem to poke us in
Several skills that every kid once learned in school are going the way of the dodo in a hurry. Diagramming sentences is practically an extinct art, for example. Cursive handwriting and memorized multiplication tables look to be swiftly headed that way. Apparently, the next thing that kids will no longer need to learn is spelling and grammar. Sugata Mitra, a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University in northeast England, announced that traditional language rules are out of fashion, reports the Daily Mail. Kids don’t need to waste time on those things, see. State-of-the-art computers and mobile phones can make
You don´t have to be gay or even Russian to feel the wrath of the Russian government´s homophobia. You could go to jail if you are "pro-gay," whatever that means. And that´s under just one of a growing number of hate-infused bills becoming law at a time when, as it happens, Russia is preparing to host the world in the next Winter Olympics. The perverse anti-gay legislation is inflaming an atmosphere of persistent intimidation and at times deadly violence against Russian gays and lesbians. The question now is: What should the rest of the world do?
I have a suggestion. How about an exhibit on Tawana Brawley? If the purpose of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian is to remember racial controversies, as the proposed Trayvon exhibit seems to confirm, then how about an honest look at the phenomenon of hate crime hoaxes? Particular attention should be paid to the role of the media in both the Trayvon and Tawana materials. Unquestionably, the media stirred up racial animus, and these incidents both contributed to raising racial tensions.
An odd dark vertical line that was observed in the sky over Florida earlier this week has left meteorologists puzzled. The shadowy apparition was spotted and photographed by Mike Weight at Honeymoon Island State Park near Dunedin, Florida, Wednesday. Weight was walking on the beach at around 12.30pm. The day was bright and sunny, but there were thunderheads forming to the east. ‘I was looking North when I observed what looked like a ray of dark light coming down from a small cloud to the surface of the Gulf about a half-mile away,’ the 73-year-old man wrote in an email
Police shot and killed an armed teen in the South Bronx early today after the suspect opened fire and refused to drop his gun, police said. Two rookie cops heard shots fired near East 151st Street and Courtlandt Avenue around 3 a.m. and ran in the direction of fire, police said. The uniformed officers saw Shaaliver Douse, 14, of the South Bronx, chasing another person through the streets, according to cops. Douse, who was arrested in May on attempted murder charges for shooting a 15-year-old, fired at the man running on East 151st Street this morning, police said.