WASHINGTON — The North Korean army warned the United States on Wednesday it has been cleared to wage nuclear war using “smaller, lighter and diversified weapons.” In a speech earlier in the day, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel noted that North Korea has both the nuclear weapons and the delivery system “now.” It’s the latest round in an escalation of rhetoric and actions that began with a North Korean nuclear test in February. Still, military officials and experts don’t expect North Korea to launch an attack on the United States.
Looks like troubles come in threes for CNN lately. First the cable news company had its worst single primetime in over a year on October 30, then it had its worst week since Jeff Zucker took over and now the relaunched Crossfire has hit new lows. Resuscitated on September 9 after eight years off the air, the political debate show pulled in just 233,00 viewers overall and a mere 59,000 among adults 25-54 between 6:30 PM and 7 PM on Monday. Full-hour time-slot rivals on Fox News Channel and MSNBC did a lot better — to put it mildly. FNC’s
New York awoke Wednesday morning to find a new frog in the Democratic political pond. How will the old one take it? Most likely, not well. That’s because, in Andrew Cuomo’s eyes, he’s the Big Frog. Tadpoles need not apply. But here comes Bill de Blasio, mayor-elect of New York City, with a convincing electoral mandate and an agenda sharply at odds with the governor’s. So the political and policy conflicts now percolating just below the horizon promise to be epic. That’s ironic, because there’s not a lot of ideology separating de Blasio and Cuomo — each is more liberal than the other, and each
An art haul confiscated from a Munich flat includes previously unknown works by Marc Chagall and Otto Dix, and original pieces by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, Bavarian authorities have revealed. The art historian who has been studying the collection since its discovery gave a first glimpse of the treasure trove, which includes modernist works as well as older pieces dating back as far as the 16th century, at a press conference in Augsburg, southern Germany. Treasures discovered during a raid on Cornelius Gurlitt´s flat in Schwabing include a total of 1,406 works – 121 of them framed – by Franz Marc;
It might not seem possible that President Obama could do more harm to his credibility and the public´s faith in government than misleading Americans about health insurance reform. But he can. The president is now misleading the public about his deception. In a speech last night to his political team, Obama said: "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn´t changed since the law passed." No, no, no, no, no -- that´s not what the
Many of the president´s supporters are in barely concealed panic over the fact that he didn´t tell the truth when he was selling the Affordable Care Act. In an oft-repeated vow, he told the country that "if you like your health care plan, you´ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what." This was, by any common-sense measure, a lie. It was a lie because President Obama understood that one of the central aims of the Affordable Care Act was to squeeze out the individual insurance market (and the small business market),
Yes, President Obama faces a major political problem explaining his promise, now proven false, that if Americans like their current health coverage, they can keep it. But beginning next year, as Obamacare truly becomes a fact of American life, the president may have an even bigger problem: reconciling his pledge to make the health care system "better for everybody" on the one hand, with the redistributive nature of Obamacare on the other. Obama often promised that his national health care scheme would benefit all. "What we will do is make insurance work better for everybody," he told the Congressional Black Caucus
He’s a fugitive from justice. Google and Yahoo must make sure with Obama they don’t end up in the same boat. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was lost to history after it ignited the Chicago Fire because the fire was vastly more important than the cow. Having ignited a global fire around the U.S. intelligence community, NSA leaker Edward Snowden is inevitably being condemned to the same fate for the same reason. He isn’t at all happy about it. Apparently frustrated by the lack of hospitality he’s receiving in Moscow, Snowden gave a letter to Hans-Christian Stroebele, a German “Green” politician, last Thursday in
“I have never seen anything that flopped the way this thing did.” So said CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the ObamaCare website Sunday (video follows with transcript and commentary): BOB SCHIEFFER: As I´m listening to you, it brings me to Jan, and I´m thinking I guess it´s a little unfortunate they didn´t let the NSA put together the website for ObamaCare, because if we talk about on this side of the table how wonderful and these great capabilities. I mean, I have never seen anything that flopped the way this thing did.
Bill Fullner has reached his breaking point. It started with the letter from his health-insurance company informing him it was canceling his plan and offering him a new one that’s nearly twice as expensive. Then the 60-year-old retiree from Mount Vernon heard about more people like himself with canceled plans and soaring premiums. Finally, he spent hours on the phone and computer trying — and failing — to find a new option that he likes. “This whole experience has converted a lifelong Democrat into a foot soldier for the Republican Party,” Fullner said. He’s not alone in his frustration. In Washington, most of the
"When your opponent is committing suicide, don´t shoot him." That´s advice Speaker John Boehner frequently offers to House Republicans, and it appears especially timely in the GOP battle to defeat Obamacare. Amid the drip-drip-drip of problems surrounding the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans appear to be seriously considering the notion that the best course may be to pipe down and allow Obamacare supporters to continue bleeding. "To put it in context, we should just try to get out of our own damn way for now," said one House GOP leadership aide. House members left Washington on Thursday and are out this week, giving
The tragedy of Paula Deen, I believe, is not her heart-rending choice of pink liquid cosmetics on the occasion of her famously damp sua culpa (my term for blaming current shortcomings on one’s social origins). Nor is it her provocative defense against accusations of racism: “I is what I is” plays as badly on the electronic media as it does in ESL classes. Well, maybe years ago it would have gone down passably on Mayberry RFD, but morning television doesn’t coddle tautological idiots.
About 1,500 modernist masterpieces – thought to have been looted by the Nazis – have been confiscated from the flat of an 80-year-old man from Munich, in what is being described as the biggest artistic find of the postwar era. The artworks, which could be worth as much as €1bn (£860m), are said to include pieces by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Max Beckmann and Emil Nolde. They had been considered lost until now, according to a report in the German news weekly Focus. The works, which would originally have been confiscated as "degenerate art" by the Nazis or
The Virginia governor’s race was supposed to prove how the Tea Party destroyed the GOP. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was supposed to be too extreme and too much of a right-winger to be competitive. McAuliffe, who had a double-digit lead as late as two weeks ago, was coasting to victory on the strength of the national disgust over the government shutdown that hit Northern Virginia with its large number of federal employees hit. But once the shutdown ended and the country began to take notice of the ObamaCare rollout fiasco, the dynamic in Virginia changed. While liberal pundits will probably
President Barack Obama told his enthusiastic supporters Monday night that he never promised what video recordings show him promising at least 29 times. The videos show Obama promising 300 million Americans that “if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period.” But that’s not what he really said, Obama announced Monday in a speech to about 200 Organizing for Action supporters, gathered at the St. Regis hotel in D.C. “What we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,” he told Obamacare’s political beneficiaries and contractors. That claim is not
How the heck did that happen? Most public polls leading up to Election Day had Democrat Terry McAuliffe coasting to victory, some by double digits, in the Virginia governor’s race. Instead he squeaked by, beating Republican Ken Cuccinelli by less than 3 percentage points. The much-closer-than-expected outcome blunts the narrative that this was a clean win for Democrats going into 2014 and guarantees an intense blame game among Republicans about what might have put Cuccinelli over the top.
They said he was “unelectable.” The RNC put only $3 million into this race. Ken was outspent by a margin of something between 4:1 and 10:1, if you believe the Associated Press. The Democrats poured everything into trying to lie to voters and portray Cuccinelli as an extremist — and they barely pulled this one out. Would another $3 million have swung 50,000 votes? The Republicans, starting with Bill Bolling, who undercut Cuccinelli as unelectable have egg all over their faces. This was a winnable election. How did we give this away to Terry McAuliffe? Some serious soul-searching should be
Hillary Clinton of all people knows how political fortunes turn on a dime. But she must be puzzled nonetheless, and spooked, that over a six-month period when she made no big news whatsoever, her popularity took a double-digit tumble. A poll released last week by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal charted the decline. It found that the percentage of Americans who view her favorably had dropped to 46 from 56. The percentage with unfavorable views had risen, less strikingly, to 33 from 29. Here we go. The beginning of the end of her inevitability. It’s about time, because
Democrat Terry McAuliffe is projected to win the Virginia gubernatorial race, defeating Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli in a surprisingly close victory. Fox News projected McAuliffe as the winner Tuesday night. The closely watched raced pitted a Tea Party-backed Republican and an establishment Democrat locked in an expensive, ideological battle whose outcome is expected to set a course for the 2014 and 2016 elections -- in large part forcing the GOP to consider whether a strong conservative candidate is the party’s best pick to win a national election. Cuccinelli, trailing late by single digits, tried unsuccessfully to use voter dissatisfaction with ObamaCare to stage
Yesterday’s exit polls from New Jersey won’t easily be forgotten. They will be cited and repeated endlessly by pundits and Governor Chris Christie’s supporters to bolster his case for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Any Republican who can get 60 percent of the vote in a blue state is bound to become the subject of presidential speculation. But when a Republican who is pro-life and has fought a running battle with labor unions and Democrats over taxes and budgets does so, he parachutes into the first tier of any discussion of future candidates. That Christie did this while winning
Many insurance executives whose companies are offering plans on the federal exchanges are frustrated with the realities that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have laid bare. They’re talking about it, yes, but prying a quote from them on the record is a different matter. Health care consultant Larry Thompson says that for them, speaking up would be “suicide.” “They are afraid to say anything because they don’t want HHS all over them,” he says. ”A lot of the carriers to Medicaid and Medicare work, they are afraid of retribution.” Last week, health care consultant Bob Laszewski told CNN
Voters elected Bill de Blasio New York’s 109th mayor Tuesday in one of the most sweeping victories in history — returning City Hall to Democratic control for the first time in 20 years. De Blasio, who at 6-foot-5 will become the city’s tallest leader ever, breezed in after waves of voters embraced his progressive vision and vows to move the city in a new direction. And according to the mayor-in-waiting, those changes could come right out of the gate. “We will have things to say tomorrow,” de Blasio said after casting a ballot with his family near their Park Slope,
Think back to the fall of 2008. Congress was asked to pass a $700 billion taxpayer bailout for Wall Street. We were told it had to be passed, or else the economy would collapse, perhaps into another Great Depression. House conservatives voted it down. The stock market fell hundreds of points in response. In the ensuing panic, Congress went along and passed the bailout. That bailout, and the insane, nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill passed just a few months later as Obama’s first act, gave birth to the Tea Party revolution that gave Republicans a 63-seat landslide in the House in the
There is an apocryphal story about the origins of neoconservatism in the 1960s. Some liberal professors at Harvard were sympathetic to the New Left and such radical groups as Students for a Democratic Society. But one day one of these professors heard the radicals suggest burning down the Harvard library as an act of protest, and the professor suddenly realized that he had nothing in common with them at all. He organized some other professors into a vigil to protect the library at all cost. Today, the problem isn’t the New Left, but the radical right, which has dominated American
Are you racist if you have a gun in your home? According to a study by foreigners, yes. Researchers in England and Australia randomly dialed phone numbers until they found white voters willing to take part in their study. Those who agreed to participate were paid $10 a month from January 2008 to September 2009 and provided Internet access if they didn’t have it. Respondents were quizzed to gauge their level of racism. Here’s a few of the questions: • How well does the word ‘violent’ describe most blacks? •How much do you agree with the following statement? “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions