In a purge as dramatic as that of Saudi Arabia or the Hollywood-media industrial complex, Venezuela has booted the most powerful names in its oil industry, with 65 officials arrested for corruption. Unlike the other purges, this one isn´t about change or lawbreaking – just gang warfare to consolidate President Nicolás Maduro´s socialist grip on power. Powerful names in Venezuela´s oil industry, people who´ve been in and out of the picture for years, went down like bowling pins in Venezuela this week. Nelson Martínez, Venezuela´s chief of the state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), was one. Eulogio del Pino,
Maduro is getting rid of the last remaining experts in oil extraction, the only remaining export Venezuela has. Maduro is cutting his main source of income off. I hope he and his whole family suffer the same fate as the former communist rulers of Romania.
SAN CASIMIRO, Venezuela — Kenyerber Aquino Merchán was 17 months old when he starved to death. His father left before dawn to bring him home from the hospital morgue. He carried Kenyerber’s skeletal frame into the kitchen and handed it to a mortuary worker who makes house calls for Venezuelan families with no money for funerals. Kenyerber’s spine and rib cage protruded as the embalming chemicals were injected. Aunts shooed away curious young cousins, mourners arrived with wildflowers from the hills, and relatives cut out a pair of cardboard wings from one of the empty white ration boxes that families increasingly depend
For the moment, passage of the tax reform bill looks probable, with 52 votes from all GOP senators. But two remain hospitalized, and one cannot rule out all contingencies, ranging from transport difficulties to last minute changes of mind. As it turns out, there is, and has been, an unspoken fail-safe option. My friend Norman Rogers thought it up, and queried Congressman Dave Brat about it. Here is the correspondence: On Dec 14, 2017, at 12:11 PM, Norman Rogers wrote:?? Dave,?? If the conference bill is defeated in the Senate, could the previous bill passed
Exiting her White House communications job in a huff, Omarosa Manicault Newman, vowed to tell a reality-TV-worthy tale. She should be careful what she wishes for. It ended badly for the former reality-TV star who featured prominently in Donald Trump´s earlier television endeavors, came out to support him during his presidential campaign and then got herself a plum job as ´Director of Communictions for the White House´s Office of the Public Liaison. She seemed to have been fired or was allowed to resign under pressure for getting on Chief of Staff John Kelly´s nerves or maybe not being willing to follow
To hear the media tell it, tax cuts are Bad For You and you won´t like the result. Pay no attention to the fact that the cost of living is up, the government is bigger, incomes have stagnated, large corporations are no longer creating jobs, and the U.S. hasn´t had a major tax cut since 1986. Somehow, we are all supposed to believe tax cuts which put more of our own money in our pockets, will make us ... miserable. It´s the most fallacious collection of up-is-down arguments ever assembled. Pity when the press doesn´t have facts to go on, I
On the heels of its multiple failures to repeal Obamacare, the troublesome Senate has finally gotten its act together enough to pass a $1.6-trillion tax cut. If it passes as expected, Americans can finally get the tax cut they elected a Republican Congress for, following years of Obama-era tax-harvestings and stagnation. But it was a close call. One name stands out as a stinker here, and it still stands out as a stinker even though he´s now voting yes: Senator Marco Rubio. The supposed conservative from Florida was willing to derail the whole thing for all of us and cost the
Politico has published a long, anonymously sourced piece reporting that House speaker Paul Ryan is planning to leave office after the 2018 midterms. Coming with perfect timing against a similar Huffington Post piece, it has the look of a media hit job. The goal is for the swamp to think Ryan is a lame duck so he can no longer be effective as House speaker. According to the piece, Ryan wants out to...spend more time with his family. That´s a hackneyed reason, all right, and usually reserved for someone who´s going out in disgrace. Politico supported it a little by citing
The Democrats backed away from their threat to shut the government down if Congress didn´t amnesty Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. This should be a clue to DACA recipients that they have been used as political tools all along. Because for a while there, nothing was more important to Democrats than getting these foreigners the benefits of U.S. residency and citizenship. They wouldn´t budge. Border control had to go, too. They´d never bend, they said. It was baffling. They were willing to shut the entire government down if DACA recipients didn´t get to stay here, even though there were only
One of the more obvious things about the Trump economy is how much better it is than the Obama economy. Yet incredibly, President Obama, as if jealously looking on at this night-and-day difference, is trying to claim credit for it. From the Washington Times: Former President Barack Obama is taking credit for the robust economic growth that is taking place under President Trump. At a conference of mayors in Chicago, Mr. Obama congratulated himself Tuesday for strong employment numbers in the U.S. this year, saying his climate-change policies have contributed to growth.
Jerry Brown is at it again. Blaming Californians for the devastating series of California wildfires month, he went Full Moonbeam and declared the problem a function of global warming, calling it a new normal about which nothing is to be done. As if wildfires that sweep away homes in California´s unique Mediteranean microclimates have never happened before this past week. Compare and contrast to President Trump´s gracious tweet on the matter, which was the classy thing to say: Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of California’s wildfires. I encourage everyone to heed the advice and orders of local and state
Since its inception in 1994, the Vanity Fair Oscar party, long hosted by Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter, has become the must-attend bash for Hollywood A-listers. Everyone who’s anyone poses on the red carpet: The night’s big winners inevitably stop by before or after hitting their own studio-hosted affairs; and stars not attending the awards ceremony show up here to watch it on big-screen televisions. The only other annual party that’s as star-studded is the Met Gala in Manhattan. In 2018, those two events could look more similar than ever, as tongues are wagging that Anna Wintour — editor-in-chief of Vogue, editorial
LOS ANGELES – A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California´s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday, as wind-fanned flames churned through canyons and down hillsides toward coastal towns. Crews with help from water-dropping aircraft saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning deeper into foothill areas northwest of Los Angeles that haven´t burned in decades. New evacuations were ordered in Carpinteria, a seaside city in Santa Barbara County that has been under fire threat for days. "The winds are kind of squirrely right now," said county fire spokesman Mike Eliason. "Some places the smoke is
After more than a decade of studying wildfires, San Diego County took its final exams last week. Did we pass? Authorities say the region is far better equipped to handle swift, wind-whipped flames than it was during the firestorms of 2007 and ’03. “We’re about $460 million more prepared,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said Friday, “both on the ground and in the air.” Officials cited better communication between fire agencies; more fire engines and air tankers on the front lines, day and night; and better tracking of the flames. Despite these advances, the Lilac Fire’s first 24 hours consumed 4,100 acres
Over 700 employees at the Environmental Protection Agency have quit or taken early retirement during the Trump administration so far, bringing the agency close to employment levels not seen since Reagan. ThinkProgress, whose senior editor is scared of his plumber who he fears may have voted for Trump, is warning that the exodus will lead to "dirtier air" and "dirtier water." "Since Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt took over the top job at the agency in March, more than 700 employees have either retired, taken voluntary buyouts, or quit, signaling the second-highest exodus of employees from the agency in nearly a
An MSNBC spokesman confirmed Saturday the company made a separation-related payment to one of Chris Matthews employees after the woman complained about sexual harassment. Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package. The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company
There’s bad news and there’s worse news for President Donald Trump in new polls released this week. First comes the latest round of polling showing that Trump is the most unpopular president on record. Just 32% of respondents to a new Associated Press-NORC poll said they approved of the job Trump is doing as president, while an overwhelming 67% they disapproved. Among those who don’t think the president is doing a good job, more than half say they “strongly disapprove” of his work. The poll — conducted earlier this month — also suggests that nearly 70% of Americans believe the United States is “heading
I don’t know whether this is comedy or a sign that in rural America, Democrats really don’t have anyone to run in statewide races. There were rumors that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) could become the next director of the CIA, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo would become secretary of state, and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be asked to take a hike. Talk about some unwelcome Thanksgiving news if you’re Tillerson. The Trump White House has rejected the notion that this plan is in the works. Tillerson himself said he’s never considered leaving his current post.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) suggested Thursday that Americans need to have more babies or risk a collapse of popular entitlements like Medicare and Social Security. “This is going to be the new economic challenge for America: people. Baby boomers are retiring — I did my part, but we need to have higher birth rates in this country,” Ryan, a father of three, told reporters as he riffed on how Republicans will tackle entitlement and welfare reform in 2018. “Baby boomers are retiring and we have fewer people following them in the workforce.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is returning to Arizona and will miss the final vote on his party’s tax bill this week, CBS News reported Sunday. McCain, who has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center suffering from the side effects of his treatment for brain cancer, reportedly left Washington, D.C., on Sunday to return home for the holidays. This means he will not be in D.C. for the GOP tax bill vote, which is expected to take place early in the week. Republicans have won over two key votes for the measure, meaning they should still have the razor-thin majority needed to
For much of the year, Kirsten Gillibrand’s critics — sensing a presidential aspirant in their midst — had assumed that the New York senator could not hear enough about herself. For one day at least, it appeared she had. It had been about 10 hours since President Trump accused her of “begging” for campaign contributions that she “would do anything” to secure, and the Ms. Gillibrand, driving with her 14-year-old son on Tuesday evening, flipped on the radio looking for an update on the Senate race in Alabama. The top story, instead, was her. The radio went off again. What, exactly,
Democrats hate her (#Tolerance)... Feminists despise her (#GlassCeiling)... Progressives want her silenced (#Diversity)... And the liberal media dreads her. Who is she? She’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In case you’ve been hiding under a freshly broken shard of glass from one of the ceilings being broken all over Washington D.C. lately - keep reading, it gets better. She’s the 3rd female to ever hold the office of the White House Press Secretary. - Dee Dee Myers was the first under Clinton (1993-1994) - Dana Perino was the 2nd who served under Bush in 2007 And it’s no surprise that Trump put her there because she’s perfect for the job.
Democrats, who have a monopoly of power in California politics, are proposing to spend $1 billion a year to provide health care to illegal immigrants living in the state. Medi-Cal, which is the state’s Medicaid program, would eliminate legal residency requirements.The proposal was offered as part of a $4.3 billion proposal from San Francisco Democrat Assemblyman Phil Ting, the head of the Assembly budget committee. According to NBC Bay Area, 7% of people residing in California lack health coverage, many of them illegal immigrants. California has already eliminated legal residency requirements for Medicaid coverage for
Hillary Clinton responded to a "Saturday Night Live" actor who showed off a new tattoo in the former Democratic presidential nominee´s likeness.Pete Davidson posted an image of his new Hillary ink on his Instagram page, saying it was a "gift" for the 2016 runner-up."Wanted to get @HillaryClinton a Christmas gift so I got a tattoo of my hero," Davidson, 24, wrote on Instagram. "Thanks for being such a bad-[expletive] and one of the strongest people in the universe," he wrote. (Tweet) Clinton later commented on Davidson´s post, thanking him for his support."Thanks," the former first lady wrote. "This makes it
Spurred by the multitude of sexual abuse scandals, top Hollywood executives have tapped Anita Hill to chair the newly formed Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. The commission made the announcement Friday following a meeting convened by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Nike Foundation founder and co-chair Maria Eitel, Nina Shaw, and venture captialist Freada Kapor Klein. “The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power,” said Kennedy.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is “worried” the House Intelligence Committee is about to pull the plug on the Russia investigation. In a Friday Tweetstorm, the Committee’s ranking Democrat fretted about the future of the probe — which Schiff believes is something of a sham. “Republicans have scheduled no witnesses after next Friday and none in 2017,” Schiff wrote. “We have dozens of outstanding witnesses on key aspects of our investigation that they refuse to contact and many document requests they continue to sit on.” The California Democrat added, “It appears Republicans want to conduct just enough interviews to give the