TAMPA — Mark Rosenthal remembers the first time he saw Jill Kelley and her identical twin in action. It was at a dinner party at then-Gen. David Petraeus´ house, and he was appalled. "They took over the whole conversation," he said. While the man responsible for overseeing two wars nodded politely, Kelley and her sister, Natalie Khawam, talked nonstop about shopping and traveling. "To me it was out of line." Rosenthal, a retired developer, was a civilian liaison to military leaders at MacDill Air Force Base. It´s the same unofficial job that Kelley performed until she triggered
CHAPEL HILL -- Starting next fall, students at UNC-Chapel Hill will be able to live in dorm rooms and apartments with roommates of the opposite gender. The UNC-CH Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed “gender-neutral” housing after a yearlong push by students who said the move was necessary to give gay, lesbian and transgender students a place free of harassment. Chancellor Holden Thorp said the housing option would be implemented next fall. Students will be able to apply for the option of choosing roommates of either gender in campus dorms and apartments.
Most reporters haven’t been following Ambassador Susan Rice’s performance at the United Nations since her appointment in January 2009. To many journalists, Rice’s misleading interviews on the five Sunday Shows the weekend after the 9/11/12 terrorist attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were one of the first times they had heard from her. To veteran foreign policy observers, Rice’s shameful performance that Sunday was one of many blunders over the last four years. Rice’s refusal to answer questions about why she blamed the Benghazi violence on a YouTube video was
Anyone who thinks Barack Obama is finished as “Divider in Chief” ought to think again. It’s his modus operendi, and he credits the “divide and conquer” approach with any and all of his successes through the years. The strategy is simple: Rather than trying to rally the nation around a cause, a policy proposal or a philosophy, stir them up in hostility to the “enemy.” Foment and encourage anger, resentment and bitterness, and then ram through whatever radical agenda you want. Mr. Obama knows this strategy keeps him from having to defend his own ideas,
Sen. John F. Kerry’s name has been linked to the Florida family at the center of the CIA sex scandal, but his office yesterday dismissed any suggestion it could cast a shadow on the veteran Bay State pol’s leadership ladder as “preposterous.” Kerry’s connection to the Petraeus sex scandal arose in court documents that reportedly showed that former CIA chief David Petraeus and USMC Gen. John Allen weighed in on a nasty custodial battle involving Natalie Khawam. Khawam’s twin sister Jill Kelley is the Central Command socialite at MacDill Air Force base in Florida
It looks as if a youthful ebullience is in the capital’s air. That seems to be the message of Obama’s re-election and of the scandal at the CIA, which bespeaks a similar enthusiasm. For older folks, there remains the pleasant possibility that someone else’s youth will rub off on us. I recently had such an occasion when I spoke with Paula, a political enthusiast in her early 30s, about a now-remote series of events known as the Cold War. “Oh, there was nothing to that,” Paula said confidently. It looks as if a youthful ebullience
As news spread that Mitt Romney received no votes in about 3 percent of Philadelphia voting divisions, many Republicans expressed surprise, outrage and disbelief. Michael Meehan, the city´s GOP party leader, wasn´t one of them. "It´s not something that is new," he said. He has seen such patterns before, most noticeably in 1999, when Sam Katz, who ran as a Republican but has since returned to the Democratic party, lost to Democrat John Street in an election divided along racial lines. "Do I like it? No," Meehan said Thursday.
During his press conference yesterday, President Obama was asked about the statements by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who said if Susan Rice is nominated to be secretary of state, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination, and they simply don’t trust Ambassador Rice after her misleading accounts about the lethal attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11. In response, the president, after lavishly praising Ms. Rice, said this: As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was re-elected on Nov. 6 despite being both under ethics investigation and in rehab at the Mayo Clinic. He has not actually been on the job in Congress for the better part of a year. Now that the ethics investigation seems to be heating up again, he’s negotiating for a way out that would put him on the dole, forever. Sources tell FOX 32 News that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is willing to give up his 2nd Congressional District seat if he’s given disability when he steps down.
Los Angeles County court officials announced sweeping cuts in the judicial system Wednesday, including the closure of all courtrooms in 10 regional courthouses. The cuts are expected to delay some trials, cause longer lines and result in more layoffs, but officials said it was the only option for closing a shortfall of $50 million to $80 million in the court budget. Courtrooms will be shuttered in such landmark courthouses as Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Malibu, Avalon, Huntington Park, Whittier, Pomona and San Pedro. The courthouses will continue to handle some administrative matters, such as ticket payments,
A few days ago, one report on l’affaire Petraeus had CIA Director David Petraeus thinking that he would survive the exposure of an extramarital sexual relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell. That idea received a round of mirthful derision, but a new report about Petraeus’ last days at the CIA suggests that his resignation had a lot less to do with sexual and e-mail indiscretions than first thought, too. The Wall Street Journal’s look at the fall of Petraeus focuses on the singular and noteworthy CIA timeline issued to defend itself
Two booms were head in Tel Aviv following an air raid siren Thursday evening, just an hour after rocket from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open field outside of Rishon Lezion. The attacks mark the first hit in the center of the country in renewed violence from the Gaza Strip. The incident was the first time that a real siren was sounded in Tel Aviv since the Gulf War in the early 1990s. Palestinian Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the rocket on Tel Aviv. The rockets, among over 250 fired from Gaza into the South
The Obama administration named Holly Petraeus--wife of retired Gen. David Patraeus, who resigned last week as CIA director after revealing he had had an extramarital affair--to a $187,605-per-yer job in the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB, created by the Dodd-Frank law, was placed by that law under the umbrella of the Federal Reserve. The funding of the CFBP, which comes from the Federal Reserve, is not subject to congressional oversight. Mrs. Petraeus became a member of the CFPB Implementation Team on Jan. 12, 2011.
Paula Broadwell, the biographer with whom former CIA director David Petraeus had an extramarital affair, abandoned her bid for a doctorate from Harvard in 2007, failing to advance to PhD candidacy after four semesters at the Kennedy School of Government, and now faces the prospect of an ethical review at King’s College London, where she has resumed pursuit of a doctorate. The revelations about her mixed academic record add to the portrait of a principal figure in the Petraeus scandal who has refused to respond to multiple Globe requests for comment and hasn’t spoken publicly since disclosure
AS BIPARTISAN negotiations over avoiding the “fiscal cliff” draw nearer, many of President Obama’s core Democratic supporters are urging him to fix the debt through defense cuts and tax increases rather than by tackling Social Security, Medicare and other federal entitlement programs. It’s a reprise of progressive resistance to the entitlement trims Mr. Obama contemplated during the abortive debt-reduction negotiations with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last year. (Snip)Nevertheless, on this he must tell his political base no. Any serious debt-reduction plan has to include revenue and defense cuts. But no serious one can exclude entitlements. Headline split by staff
The Obama administration is calling on Hamas leaders in the Gaza strip to halt the rocket attacks against Israeli targets — affirming the Jewish state´s right to defend itself. "Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a Wednesday statement. "We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties," he said. Israel launched a series of airstrikes on Hamas
The Israeli army says a rocket has reached the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv, by far the farthest strike by Gaza militants in two days of fighting. The rocket landed in Rishon Lezion, a city just south of Tel Aviv, some 60 kilometers, or 40 miles north of Gaza. Although the rocket landed harmlessly in an open area, it illustrated the significant capabilities that Hamas militants have developed in recent years. The city, Israel´s fourth largest with a population of some 228,000, lies about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the Gaza Strip
The American Civil Liberties Union is giving President Barack Obama no time to kick back and celebrate after he won reelection last week calling on the president to keep promises that were ignored or undelivered in his first term. The group took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times, congratulating the president on four more years, but saying it´s time for Obama to “meet unmet promises” and “lead America into an era that expands freedom.” Specifically, the ACLU lays out three areas of focus: closing Guantanamo, standing up for a woman’s right to have an abortion
A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday. The contents and amount of the classified material - and questions about how Broadwell got it - are significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly.
With CIA director David Petraeus and International Security Assistance Forces General John Allen enmeshed in sex scandals, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is conducting an ethics review of the nation’s top military leaders to promote “a culture of stewardship” among generals. “This week, the Secretary directed General Dempsey to work with the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review how to better foster a culture of stewardship among our most senior military officers,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement. “Their initial findings are due to the Secretary within the next few weeks.
The Justice Department´s muddled probe of the Benghazi, Libya embassy attack, now caught up in the FBI´s investigation of the CIA sex scandal, was compared Wednesday to Richard Nixon´s Watergate cover up by a lawmaker seeking a select House committee to look into the issues. "There are serious questions surrounding the Justice Department´s integrity, similar to those raised during the second term of the Nixon administration," said Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf in a letter to Speaker John Boehner seeking a select committee to investigate the issues. Wolf said Justice and the administration
Most of Sen John McCain’s opposition to the idea of Susan Rice as Secretary of State comes from her defense of the Obama administration’s response to the attacks in Benghazi. But Rice has criticized McCain repeatedly, especially while serving as Obama’s senior foreign-policy adviser for his 2008 campaign. Rice, a Clinton administration veteran, became Obama’s senior foreign-policy adviser, after she chose him over Hillary Clinton early in the presidential race. That put Rice squarely in opposition of McCain, each time the war veteran tried to challenge
On Tuesday, Grover Norquist walked back his comments about a possible carbon tax swap (which would reduce income taxes while taxing carbon emissions), one day after the staunch anti-tax advocate suggested it would not violate his famed Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Norquist now says there "is no conceivable way to add an energy or VAT tax to the burdens American taxpayers face that would not violate the pledge over time." He added, "it would be [a] foolish and economically destructive thing to do." "The creation of any new tax such as a VAT
A complicated and costly provision in President Obama´s health care reforms has area jurisdictions at odds on how best to move forward as a critical deadline looms. States have until Friday to declare whether they plan to operate a state-run health insurance exchange -- an open market for uninsured residents to purchase coverage -- or let the federal government run one for them. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter Wednesday to Obama asking for an extension and criticized his administration´s timetable for complying with the law since it passed in March 2010.
Saying, “I didn’t get reelected to bask in reelection. I got elected to do work,” President Obama on Wednesday set out his stall for the first months of his second term. But he gave no clear hint about whether he would tack to the left or to the center now that he has run his last election campaign. On several big issues, including the fiscal cliff, immigration reform and climate change, the president’s comments at his first press conference since winning a second term in the Oval Office contained enough to
It’s movie night at the White House on Thursday, as President Obama catches the new film that’s creating Oscar buzz: “Lincoln.” Obama will have some company at the sneak peek of the Steven Spielberg-directed flick, which hits theaters nationwide on Friday. Cast and crew members from the movie will be there for the private 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. screening. Actor Daniel Day-Lewis plays the 16th president in the historical film, which chronicles Lincoln’s final months in office. Obama has long voiced his admiration for Lincoln, taking the oath of office at his 2008 inauguration using the same Bible