T O GRASP HOW unlikely it was for Gloria C. MacKenzie, an 84-year-old Florida widow, to have won the $590 million Powerball lottery in May, Robert Williams, a professor who studies lotteries, offers this scenario: Head down to your local convenience store, slap $2 on the counter, and fill out a six-numbered Powerball ticket. It will take you about 10 seconds. To get your chance of winning down to a coin toss, or 50 percent, you will need to spend 12 hours a day, every day, filling out tickets for the next 55 years. It´s going be expensive. You will have
Years ago I was on a Special Federal Grand Jury focusing on a particular "street gang" of the Chicago mob. Their boss of gambling operations advised the jury, after completing his testimony, that they should NEVER, EVER buy a state Lottery ticket because the odds were so astronomically stacked against you. I´ve followed his advice faithfully ever since.
The Rev. Al Sharpton has retail bigwigs shaking in their fine leather boots after giving them a drop-dead date of Monday to appoint a special task force on racial profiling. Or else. The ultimatum came after an intense, three-hour meeting Friday involving Sharpton, other community advocates and top retail executives, including Barneys CEO Mark Lee and Macy’s vice president Bill Hawthorne. “I feel like I’m holding my Christmas shopping money until I see what happens,” Sharpton said after the meeting at The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Midtown. “People should not be spending their money where they are treated as suspects rather than prospects.”
The “widespread, massive strikes and protests” targeting Walmart on Black Friday will almost certainly fall flat, says one union watchdog closely monitoring the labor group planning the pickets. OUR Walmart, a close affiliate of the massive United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), is threatening the big-box chain with crippling strikes and angry crowds during next week’s crucial Black Friday sale unless the company raises worker wages. The planned strike, along with a series of smaller pickets preceding it, have been heavily hyped in the left-wing media. “We do expect [the protests] to be larger than last year because we have so
WASHINGTON — Two Californians proposed for the federal bench and two Texans offered as U.S. marshals are collateral damage, at least for now, in the suddenly escalated Senate confirmation wars. Expect more of the same. Senate rules provide other ways beyond the now-curtailed filibuster to obstruct nominees. Hearings can be boycotted. Routine procedural approvals can be withheld. New Capitol Hill ambushes can be plotted, perhaps with tactics not yet seen. For a truly motivated minority, losing one weapon means it’s time to pick up another. “My sense is the Republicans are going to be putting up whatever roadblocks they can,
An American girl who was abducted by her non-custodial mother as a baby almost two decades ago has been found ´safe and healthy´ living with her mom in Australia. Savanna Harris Todd has been listed as a missing person for the last 19 years after disappearing from South Carolina in 1994 when she was 11-months-old. Her mother, Dorothy Lee Barnett, has remained the prime suspect after losing custody of her daughter to ex-husband Benjamin Harris Todd, after a court determined Barnett suffered from bi-polar disorder. Barnett, who split with her husband before the birth of her daughter, had picked up Savanna from her
The Kennedy assassination is one of America´s where-were-you-when moments. But with its 50th anniversary on Friday, there are fewer and fewer Americans who can say where they were. In fact, Census data suggests that only about a third of America´s current population was alive on that day in 1963 — and less than 30 percent might actually remember. To figure this out, we pulled the Census Bureau´s projected population tables that extrapolate likely population from the 2010 Census out to 2060. For the year 2013, it offers an estimated count of every American of every age: there are just over
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
Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme. To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in
Fear swept through Borough Park, Brooklyn, as soon as the news got out: A young man was randomly assaulted by strangers early Friday morning, and the attack was possibly part of the so-called Knockout Game. Four men were arrested, but on Friday night only one was charged and the others were released. The attack added to a growing log of reports of such crimes in the Northeast and beyond. Young assailants were randomly picking unlucky targets and trying to knock them out with just one punch. Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted
JERUSALEM -- Israel´s prime minister has criticized the international community´s nuclear deal with Iran as a "historic mistake." Speaking to his Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is not bound by the deal and reserves the right to defend itself. That is a reference to possible military action against Iran. Israel believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, although Tehran denies that. Netanyahu said the deal would not adequately stop Iran, while also giving it relief from sanctions. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world
“For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted parts of Iran’s nuclear program” announced a jubilant Barack Obama after the news of the just-signed Geneva six-month interim agreement with Iran. But the American goal for the accord was that the Iranians not “advance their program” of building a uranium nuclear bomb (and perhaps a plutonium bomb too); the apparent deal exactly permits such advancement, plus sanctions relief to Tehran worth about $9 billion. This wretched deal offers one of those rare occasions when comparison with Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 is valid. An overeager Western government, blind to
Bankrupt and hemorrhaging population, the city of Detroit is banking on greener pastures to lead its rebirth. A private company is snapping up 150 acres on the Motor City´s East End -- property where more than 1,000 homes once formed a gritty neighborhood -- and turning it into what is being billed as the world´s largest urban farm. Hantz Woodlands plans to start by planting trees, but hopes to raise crops and even livestock in the future, right in the midst of the once-proud city. “We are interested with moving into different types of agriculture,” Mike Score, president of Hantz,
The sounds of Christmas in the Obama White House mean James Taylor, Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole. “The kids tease me that they know it’s Christmas when I pull out my playlist,” First Lady Michelle Obama tells Ladies’ Home Journal. The holiday tunes are accompanied by hot chocolate and a fire in the Yellow Oval room as President Obama and his family decorate their tree. “Christmas has always been a special time in my household,” Michelle Obama says in the December/January issue. “Growing up, we lived in a little-bitty apartment, but my mom put her heart and soul into decorating that house.”
Let me be the first to ask: Did the White House know that employment reports were being falsified? Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command. On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election. There’s now a congressional investigation
If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday. A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted
America has long had two embassies in Italy: One for the country, the other for the Holy See. Barbie Latza Nadeau on why soon there will be only one. Citing security concerns without naming a specific threat, the U.S. State Department is planning to shutter its embassy to the Holy See inside the lush Villa Domiziana overlooking the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill in central Rome. The embassy, which has been in operation since 1984 when Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II signed an accord, will essentially be swallowed up by the larger, more influential U.S. embassy to Italy.
"I cannot tell a lie." That´s the signature line from a classic American story. When the nation´s first president was asked as a boy if he had chopped down his father´s cherry tree, he didn´t say "I can neither confirm nor deny those reports," or "it depends on what the meaning of the word ´is´ is." George Washington told the truth even if it got him in trouble. The moral of the story -- Washington was a great leader because he would not lie, and all presidents should be as honest as our founding father. Well, guess what? That story about
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans”- President John F. Kennedy. There is no family in American politics who is quite on par with the Kennedy’s. Fifty years after the assassination of JFK, the family’s presence in American politics has dwindled–they’ve experienced many ups and downs– but they’ve carried on. Each generation seems to pass on the proverbial torch, and America’s interest in the Kennedy clan, whether they’re running for office or battling public relations snafus, has continued with that passing.
Mike Convente, a left-wing Daily Kos diarist and a representative on the University of Pennsylvania health care committee, took to the pages of Kos to complain about the "law of unintended consequences" of ObamaCare. Convente is also upset that Obama´s "marketing slogans … turned out to be not so correct." It looks as though the students at UPenn will be paying a lot more for their health insurance policies, thanks in large part to the fact that ObamaCare is forcing them to pay for coverage they do not need. Not only that, Convente is probably not buying the propaganda from