The first rule about traveling between America and England aboard the Queen Mary 2, the flagship of the Cunard Line and the world’s largest ocean liner, is to never refer to your adventure as a cruise. You are, it is understood, making a crossing. The second rule is to refrain, when speaking to those who travel frequently on Cunard’s ships, from calling them regulars. The term of art — it is best pronounced while approximating Maggie Smith’s cut-glass accent on “Downton Abbey” — is Cunardists. The third rule, unspoken, is to not fling your Champagne flutes
Comments: Just once, I´d like to experience an Atlantic crossing on a majestic liner.
We did January crossing on QE2 in ´06. We discovered, as is oft said, there is nothing to do, and not enough time to do it. I highly recommend the experience aboard an ocean liner, not a two-week cruise barge repositioning. Trust me, it´s not the same.
An English gentleman pulls up at a petrol station. As the Irish attendant cleans the windshield, he asks, "Where are you coming from, then?" "London," answers the gentleman. "And what do you do, if I might ask?" "I work for Cunard," says the gentleman. "Well so do I," says the attendant, "but you don´t have to swear about it."
I did a crossing in 1952 on a Navy transport as a child--wonderful memories; three repositioning cruises on the NORWAY (formerly FRANCE) in the past 15 years and loved it. It´s a little different than my two years on the FORRESTAL (an aircraft carrier). I love being at sea in reasonable comfort which includes warships.
The Federal Election Commission declined on Thursday to grant a tea party group the same exemption from disclosure that it has long granted to left-wing political parties. The panel voted 3-2 against a proposal that would have allowed the Tea Party Leadership Fund to shield the names and information of their donors from public scrutiny. The measure needed four votes to pass the six-member panel. Federal courts have recognized that minor party candidates and other political organizations can be entitled to exemptions from disclosure on behalf of their donors, if they might face government retribution or private harassment.
Some of Obamacare’s most damaging political narratives will be getting a fresh look right before next year’s midterms, thanks to delays in the law’s implementation.Canceled insurance plans are the most obvious example. President Obama said last week that insurers can un-cancel certain policies for another year, a move largely designed to appease nervous Democrats. But a one-year delay simply means that cancellation notices will resume next October—just weeks before many of those same Democrats will face voters for the first time since voting to pass the Affordable Care Act. And that’s not the only political threat lurking just ahead of the
For the White House, November has been the cruelest month, with increasing worry among Democrats that a year from now could mean another midterm electoral disaster, similar to the results in 2010 when Republicans picked up over 60 House seats to gain control and netted six Senate seats as well. Each day produces a new poll with terrible numbers for the president and his policies. The Obama approval level has dipped below 40% in several surveys in recent days, and yesterday hit an all-time low of 37% in a CBS poll — a survey that in the past has often
Here’s the inevitable follow-up on the election of a Socialist to the Seattle City Council — although perhaps sooner than anyone would have thought. Boeing has tried working for years with its unions in the state of Washington, but still cannot reach agreements on labor contracts for its manufacturing facilities. The aerospace giant has looked for other regions in the US to build its planes, which has angered the unions and the Obama administration. It’s also provided an opportunity for Seattle’s newest councilmember to launch her anti-capitalist agenda, and she’s wasted no time in doing so … even before officially
Nearly every poll about the 2016 presidential race shows Hillary Clinton scooping up about two of out every three Democratic primary voters and leading every possible Republican contender. As a mainstream left-of-center Democrat, she would extend Obama´s policy legacy, and in turn, help facilitate a generational ideological shift. At the same time, the bitter 2008 primary allows her to avoid being perceived as an Obama clone, so she can distance herself from any unpopular aspect of Obama´s tenure. As a woman president, she would be a historic first. She has as complete a resume as anyone could possibly have before becoming president,
Liz Cheney just wanted to enjoy her milkshake. It was a Friday afternoon in early November, and the shadows were growing longer over the flat expanse of eastern Wyoming as a hard week dragged on. There had been hundreds of miles to cover and just as many hands to shake before Cheney, who was traversing the state in a road-worn SUV, sank into a booth across from me at a McDonald’s just off Interstate 25, in the town of Douglas (population: 6,280). Now, she was relishing a chocolate milkshake as she gladly held forth on her family’s new home, her
In the weeks following the 2012 elections, the post-mortems revealed how tech-savvy Obama’s re-election operation had been. The campaign built a revolutionary data-sharing platform and had more than 300 technologists and analysts on staff. In October of 2012, polls were showing a very close race, and the president’s approval rating hovered near 50 percent. So on election night, when battleground states began falling like dominoes into Obama’s column, and when Romney came up 126 electoral votes short, many people right of center were stunned. Virginia’s gubernatorial elections just weeks ago offered the first test of whether the GOP had learned its
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) crossed the Capitol today to urge House Republicans to stand firm against efforts to ease across the board spending cuts, at a time when House-Senate negotiations to replace those cuts have stalled. Many Republicans are nervous about allowing the next round of cuts — known as a sequester — to take effect as scheduled mid January because they hit the Pentagon particularly hard, but Mr. McConnell has argued that it is better to let them stay in effect than to replace the sequester with a budget deal that would allow overall spending to increase
Ever felt like your daily commute was lacking a connection to failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin? Well, you´re in luck! Her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska is selling the SUV it purchased for her in 1999 when she was its mayor on eBay. The Ford Expedition with just over 74,000 miles is being sold "as is" for a minimum of $10,000, despite the fact that the Kelly Blue Book value for such a car in excellent condition, according to the AP, is $2,318. And it´s not in excellent condition, really: according to the listing it needs new brakes, new wheel seals
The word of the week seems to be “Schadenfreude.” We have Obamacare, or, rather, what appears to be the unravelling of Obamacare to thank for that. “Schadenfreude”: “hurt,” “damage,” “detriment” plus “joy.” Is there any more perfect German word? Taking malicious glee in the misfortunes of others. It is not an attractive emotion, though it is (to allude to a German philosopher who knows all about these things) a human, all-too-human one. I’m not sure what aspect of the mess is producing the most glee. The display of technical incompetence on the part of those who spent some $650 million of
The worst state poll of his presidency? It’s his worst Quinnipiac state poll for sure, by their own admission, which is significant for two reasons. One: Colorado is, of course, a famously purple state and bellwether, one which helped Bush to the presidency in 2000 and 2004 and then broke for Obama in 2008 and 2012. The One is used to seeing his job approval 20 points underwater or more in red states, but Colorado hasn’t been a red state at the presidential level in nearly a decade. Lots of rehab work to be done by Democrats before the midterms. Two:
When I first started hanging out with moms in the New York suburbs, I remember being surprised at the number of people who would tell me about their IVF. In vitro fertilization seemed to me a very private matter, and the fact that this was how your child was conceived (not to mention all of the poking and prodding that led up to that) was not something I thought would be shared with people you had just met. But like so many aspects of modern life, the private (for better or worse) has become public. Indeed, there are clear benefits to
´´Knockout´´ attacks have been reported in several states around the country and now investigators believe three people have been attacked in our area. Police in Lower Merion are investigating two attacks in the area, and Philadelphia detectives are investigating an attack in Northeast Philadelphia. It’s a violent crime that in other parts of the country has proven fatal. Videos from cities around the country show people being punched and beaten at random.
It´s no secret that Sarah Palin is mighty steamed at MSNBC and Martin Bashir over his despicable remarks about the abusive treatment he imagines for her. And now she´s doing something about it. The former Alaska governor and Fox News contributor was scheduled to sit down with Matt Lauer for a Christmas season interview. That´s now toast. Palin has now canceled Lauer´s scheduled trip to Wasilla, a source close to her tells me. It´s not because Palin is upset with Lauer or the "Today" show, but as a protest against NBC for not taking action against Bashir. In fact, Palin once sat
MICHELLE OBAMA: I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was really little and then I wasn´t that great at math and science so I switched to law because my mother told me that I like to argue a lot. But I realized in high school and in college that you don´t have to exactly know, you´re kind of always discovering yourself. So I studied law, I went to law to school, but was pretty clear I just wanted to be a good student. I wanted to know how to read and write and communicate, be able to
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid´s finger is hovering over the big red button that will launch the Democrats´ nuclear attack against the United States Senate. By which we mean that, having secured 51 votes, Reid reportedly plans to advance a change to the body´s voting rules that would facilitate the approval of presidential nominees. KABOOM. That rules change, the much-discussed "nuclear option," is not an insignificant move for Reid. It´s not as bad as what happened in, say, Hiroshima in 1945, but it upends a long-standing tradition in the chamber. The problem in the Democrats´ view, as we´ve noted before,
In an interview on BET last night with Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama. "He’s got a little swag." The audience applauded. Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States "sings all the time." She continued, "Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing." She also praised her husband. "[H]e has got a good voice." Here´s a transcript of that exchange:
Well folks, it looks like Arizona Senator John McCain will "be one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off.” According to the Arizona Republic, McCain is set to attend a glitzy fundraising for his 2016 campaign in New York City. Sen. John McCain has scheduled a December fundraiser in New York City, the surest sign yet that the veteran Arizona Republican is serious about possibly pursuing a sixth term in 2016. According to a copy of the invitation obtained Tuesday by The Arizona Republic, McCain is asking supporters to join him 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at the midtown St. Regis Hotel
President Barack Obama told a gathering of corporate executives Tuesday he´s confident that his model of health care will work in the end, but he said he´s going to have to "re-brand" it to sell it to a skeptical public. He didn´t use the word "Obamacare" once on Tuesday in talking about his health care law, but he mentioned the "Affordable Care Act" seven times. "So, look, I am confident that the model that we built, which works off of the existing private insurance system, is one that will succeed," Obama told the Wall Street Journal´s CEO Council Annual Meeting
The White House has admitted that it was wrong to promise that people would be able to their health care plans under Obamacare. "With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I’ve said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient," President Obama said
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says although some Democrats may be voting politically to distance themselves from Obamacare, they were still supporting the law and working in their districts to implement it. "This is history and the future and progress," she stated emphatically, "It stands right there as Social Security, Medicare, affordable health care, as a right, not a privilege for the few, but a right for the many." She was speaking Tuesday at an event sponsored by BuzzFeed. Pelosi acknowledged she was "really disappointed" that the technology behind the website failed, but said she was excited to see the program fully
President Obama’s approval rating has sunk to 37 percent in a new poll released Wednesday — the lowest of his presidency — and his disapproval rate is at 57 percent, a new high for him in CBS News polls. His approval rating has dropped 9 points since October, according to the CBS News poll. Approval of his health care overhaul, commonly known as Obamacare, is now at an all-time low of 31 percent and disapproval is at 61 percent, a high for the poll, as his administration scrambles to deal with the fallout from a rocky rollout of major parts
Appearing shell-shocked by the Harry Reid’s abrupt move to pass the “nuclear option” through the Senate, Republicans there issued ominous warnings to reporters outside the chamber. “When you start, it’s like wars — there’s no end to this. I don’t know where it goes,” says Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “In my view this is the most important and most dangerous restructuring of Senate rules since Thomas Jefferson wrote them at the beginning of our country,” Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says. Democrats have been open about wanting the change so President Obama’s regulations, executive actions and other unilateral decisions enjoy a
Representative Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) announced she will fast for a day as part of a push for amnesty. She will join an effort by activists on the National Mall who began fasting over a week ago. “I’m so inspired by the fasters and … how they’re willing to put their bodies on the lines, their health on the line to raise attention to an issue that is really tearing at the fabric of our country,” she said. Schakowsky, who has planned her fast for Thursday, encouraged her colleagues to join her in her day-long fast. Schakowsky, who has planned