The insider-account of the damaging divisions between the White House and the State Department comes as diplomats around the world wait to see if John Kerry, the new US secretary of state, can persuade Mr Obama to greater engagement on Syria, Egypt and the wider Middle East. Vali Nasr, a university professor who was seconded in 2009 to work with Richard Holbrooke, Mr Obama´s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, records his profound disillusion at how a "Berlin Wall" of domestic-focused advisers was erected to protect Mr Obama.
Holbrooke had been in Clinton´s office on Friday when he collapsed. He was rushed to George Washington University Hospital, where he went through 20 hours of surgery. His wife, along with their children and other family, were in the hospital room when he died. Just an hour before, they had had a private meeting with Obama at the State Department. The president praised him as "a tough son of a gun." from : abcnews.go.com/Politics/richard-holbrooke-american-diplomat-dead-69/story?id=12373323
Susan Patton, the Princeton alumna who became famous for her letter urging Ivy League women to use their college years to find a mate, has been denounced as a traitor to feminism, to coeducation, to the university ideal. But really she’s something much more interesting: a traitor to her class. Her betrayal consists of being gauche enough to acknowledge publicly a truth that everyone who’s come up through Ivy League culture knows intuitively —
A New York hedge fund manager allegedly swindles $12 million from a prominent Baltimore family. An Indiana couple is accused of bilking hundreds of customers by charging for free trials of cosmetic products. A financial manager in Texas promises 23-percent returns but absconds with $33.5 million of his investors’ money in a classic Ponzi scheme.All three cases have one thing in common: money that ended up in offshore accounts and trusts set up in tax havens around the world.
Former News Corp president Peter Chernin has bid around $500 million for Hulu, the online video streaming service he helped create in 2007, according to two sources with knowledge of Hulu´s sale process. The website, jointly controlled by News Corp and Walt Disney Co, reached out to potential buyers in March after initially contemplating a deal in which one would buy out the other. It is not clear whether that transaction is still being contemplated.
After lengthy investigations, the Pentagon has determined that three Army generals committed misconduct in separate incidents, adding to an unusually long list of senior military commanders who have been censured over the past year.On Friday, defense officials confirmed that Army Maj. Gen. Ralph O. Baker, the commander of a strategic counterterrorism force on the Horn of Africa, was fired March 28 on charges of sexual misconduct. Two officials familiar with the case said Baker was investigated for allegedly groping a female civilian employee after he had been drinking.
The Obama administration appeared eager Thursday to downplay the North Korean military’s latest threat that it has the final authority to carry out “cutting-edge, smaller, lighter and diversified” nuclear strikes on the United States.“This is just the latest in a long line of aggressive statements,” (Snip)the recent tension between Washington and Pyongyang “does not need to get hotter.”The remarks were the first public reaction from the Obama administration since Wednesday’s claim by the North Korean military that the “moment of explosion is approaching fast” with the possibility of war breaking out “today or tomorrow.”
President Obama´s biggest gaffe yesterday when speaking of California Attorney General Kamala Harris was not in flirtatiously complimenting her as "the best-looking attorney general," but in introducing an observation from the system of beauty into a forum that was about the system of power.What´s that, you say? Irin Carmon does a great job in Salon in laying out the bounds of propriety for when it´s appropriate to talk about a woman´s looks as a general matter. But I´ve long felt we lack a solid theoretical underpinning for easily discussing these issues, and why precisely it is that
Political scientist Charles Murray has never backed away from controversy, but usually his opponents have been liberals. Friday, however, he managed to upset conservatives at the annual conference known as CPAC, where thousands of bewildered Republicans gathered to figure out the way forward after their party’s 2012 electoral defeat. Murray ditched his prepared remarks on “America Coming Apart” in favor of an impromptu admonition to fellow conservatives to accept the legalization of both gay marriage and abortion.
VATICAN CITY—It took Jorge Mario Bergoglio four minutes to convince fellow cardinals he was their leader. Speaking in the Paul VI grand hall of the Vatican, the Argentine cardinal warned the Catholic Church against focusing too much on matters close to home—advice that came against the backdrop of a papacy that had been consumed by infighting among Vatican officials, a dwindling flock in Europe and secular trends in the West. The 76-year-old Father Jorge, as he is known back home, said Roman Catholicism needed to shift its focus outward, to the world beyond Rome—rather than being "self-referential," he said.
When President Obama gets to Jerusalem next week, one of the signals to listen for is an indication of what country he thinks he’s in. Normally this is clear when the President — any president — goes to the capital of a foreign country. He’s in whatever country the capital is capital of. But Mr. Obama has been refusing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Not only that, but he has been refusing to admit that Jerusalem is even in Israel.
Approaching his first presidential trip to Israel, President Obama offered a fresh and foolish — if not feckless — assessment of the Iranian nuclear threat. "Right now, we think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually deliver a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close,” the President told an Israeli television interviewer, in the process cutting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off at the knees and giving the mullahs breathing room to keep enriching uranium.
I hope I´m not too late to the fight.Last week, freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held an old-fashioned filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. Paul´s stated reason for taking to the floor and talking for 13 hours was that the Obama administration wouldn´t give him a straight answer on the question of whether the president can unilaterally order the killing of American citizens on American soil with "lethal force, such as a drone strike … and without trial."
An unfortunate story on CBS New York Thursday carried this headline: "Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read." It´s a shocker, but it´s also untrue. And to make things worse, the story that followed was riddled with typos. According to the New York Post, which reported the same story earlier on Thursday, "79.3 percent of city public-school grads who went to CUNY’s six two-year colleges arrived without having mastered the basics" of reading, writing, and math, and had to take non-credit remedial classes to catch up.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., responded to Monday’s tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard with another plea for Congress to take action against gun violence. “This is one more event to add to the litany of massacres that occur when a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons — including a military-style assault rifle — and kill many people in a short amount of time. When will enough be enough?” asked Feinstein. “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless
Leadership sources tell me the House GOP will soon vote on a continuing resolution that simultaneously funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are expected to announce the decision at Wednesday’s closed-door conference meeting. This means the conservatives who have been urging Boehner to back a defunding effort as part of the CR have won a victory, at least in terms of getting the leadership to go along with their strategy. But getting such a CR through the Democratic Senate and signed into law will be very difficult — and many House Republican
Washington -- The White House defended President Barack Obama from criticism that he was tone deaf in his reaction to the mass shootings at Washington Navy Yard. For a second straight day, White House press secretary Jay Carney faced questions about a Monday afternoon event that occurred as the situation at the Navy Yard was still unfolding. Obama touched on the tragedy before forcefully criticizing conservative Republicans who are threatening to shut down the government. "I understand that some Republicans are trying to make something of this," Carney said
They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport of killing innocent people, and killing them fast. So it takes nine months and two days from Newtown, from 20 dead children and six adults, for someone else to carry the same kind of AR-15 that Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary School into the Washington Navy Yard. They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport of killing innocent people, and killing them fast. This time the shooter is reported to be a Navy reservist named Aaron Alexis and when he is shot dead
For the last few weeks, House Speaker John Boehner has been trying to find a way to convince his caucus to vote for a bill that keeps the government open after Sept. 30 without picking a fight over Obamacare. But a minority of his caucus has been insisting on defunding Obamacare, egged on by outside conservative groups and a handful of far-right Republican Senators, most importantly Ted Cruz (Texas). This has been pretty annoying for a lot of House Republican members and staff. Jonathan Strong and Andrew Stiles of National Review got an anecdote out of a closed Republican Study Committee
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged House Republicans to not shut down the federal government. “I hope my colleagues in the House who believe we need to shut down the government will understand that that’s not want the American people want,” McCain said on CNN. “They hate government, but they don’t want it to stop functioning.” President Barack Obama and Republicans have to agree on another resolution to fund the government before the current resolution expires on September 30. As The Hill notes, at least a third of House Republicans want the Republican leadership to use the next round of budget
President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to "vetted" opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad´s regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah. The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would "waive the prohibitions in sections 40
Suffice it to say, it’s hard to do a deal when the only thing the other guy wants is the one thing you can’t give him. This null set scenario is, unfortunately, precisely where we find ourselves in the debate over funding the government beyond September 30th. House Republicans are insisting that any funding measure simultaneously de-fund Obamacare, while Democrats have rightly proclaimed this idea preposterous. And there appears to be no wiggle room in the GOP position. According to The Wall Street Journal, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked House Speaker John Boehner what else on the entire
If you have any doubts that President Obama’s handling of Syria is an utter debacle, witness the embarrassing spectacle this morning as his top aides scramble to place blame for it at their boss’s feet. In today’s Wall Street Journal, senior officials leak how they desperately tried to talk Obama out of his “head-spinning reversal” on airstrikes and his decision to go to Congress. “He received swift — and negative — responses from his staff,” the Journal reports. National security adviser Susan Rice, we learn, warned that “he risked undermining his powers as commander in chief.” Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday wearily lamented “yet another mass shooting,” this time in the nation’s capital where the debate that raged earlier this year over tightening firearms laws has stalled amid opposition from gun-rights advocates. The shooting at the Washington Navy Yard came a week after voters recalled two Colorado legislators who supported tougher gun measures, illustrating the strong political headwinds faced by lawmakers seeking to respond to the violence. Obama, for one, has been powerless to get legislation passed despite a string of mass shootings during his presidency. In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama
The University of California has leased an Oakland residence for incoming system president Janet Napolitano for $9,950 a month, officials said Monday. Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs. Napolitano is scheduled to begin her UC presidency Sept. 30, with her office at UC system headquarters in downtown Oakland. The two-year lease for the 3,500-square-foot residence began Sept. 1.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin exploded over the Obama administration’s anti-coal policies Tuesday. “We’re getting the living crap beaten out of us,” Manchin said during a Senate hearing with President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the country’s top energy regulator. “There has been nothing more beat up than coal.” Manchin voiced his frustrations with rules put forward by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency which have made it more costly and difficult for coal plants and coal mines to operate. “They just beat the living daylights out of little West Virginia, but they sure like what we produce,” Manchin added. “We