Bobby Jindal’s got a funny way of showing how much he hates Obamacare and Washington bureaucracy: The Louisiana governor’s about to invite the feds to set up a health insurance exchange right in his backyard. So is Rick Perry in Texas. Ditto for John Kasich in Ohio. And Scott Walker in Wisconsin. These Republican governors, and more than a dozen others in red states around the country, have decided it’s better to have Obamacare forced on them than to legitimize it by setting up their own exchanges, even if that means empowering the federal government at the expense of the states.
I was doing a post-doc and living in Jerusalem during the 2001-2002 terror campaign that preceded Operation Defensive Shield, a military campaign best remembered for the media’s false accusations of a “Jenin Massacre.” As the campaign ramped up, many journalist friends came to Israel to report for CNN, BBC, and other major networks. Sometimes we’d meet up for drinks afterwards and talk about work. I was surprised to learn that most paid “fixers” to work in Gaza. Producers explained—privately—that the implication for not hiring a fixer was that not only would Fatah
What book is on your night stand now? “Kearny’s March,” by Winston Groom. The author of “Forrest Gump” has become a wonderful military historian and tells us how, as a result of the Mexican War, we acquired not just Texas but New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and — every silver lining has its cloud — California. When and where do you like to read? Every evening by my living room fireplace in a splendid Eames chair, giving thanks to my bad back for excusing this extravagant purchase. What was the last truly great book you read?
Sen.-elect Ted Cruz believes Mitt Romney got a little too close to Barack Obama in the third presidential debate. “I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama,” Cruz said in a speech at the Federalist Society’s annual conference Friday.Cruz said that conservatives failed to make their case to the American people, leaving Romney no choice but to move toward the president. “We didn’t win the argument, we didn’t even make the argument” throughout much of 2012, Cruz said. But in the first debate, he argued, that changed. “It was the one time we actually contested ideas,
BANGKOK, Thailand — Taking a break from deficit negotiations for a whirlwind tour of southeast Asia, President Obama joked this afternoon as he toured a sacred Buddhist temple that he could use some prayer to help reach a budget deal. “We’re working on this budget, we’re going to need a lot of prayer for that,” the president told a monk at the Wat Pho Royal Monastery. Shortly after arriving in Bangkok, Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, toured the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha, one of the most famous sites in Thailand, and the Eastern Viharn Phra.
Chris Christie has a reputation as a politician who is more willing than most to laugh at himself - and he lived up to that image during a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live last night. The governor of New Jersey played himself during the ´Weekend Update´ segment of the iconic sketch comedy show, and drew big laughs with his self-deprecating performance. The witty and good-natured act could boost his national profile and help his ambition for a run at the White House in 2016. Christie, notable for his large stature as much as his tough-talking demeanour,
The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board suspended its recount of all early voting ballots late Saturday night, saying members would return at 8 a.m. Sunday to complete the job. The board made the announcement at 10 p.m. that it will continue tabulating write-in and provisional ballots Sunday after counting votes late into Saturday night as supporters for District 18 congressional candidates Patrick Murphy and Allen West watched the process. Poll workers finished entering in early ballots for all precincts on Saturday evening, but the data has to be put into the computer system for the final count.
Have you ever been robbed? I don´t mean burglarized. I mean robbed -- ambushed by armed men, your valuables taken by force. I have -- in broad daylight in downtown San Francisco -- and that´s what happened to conservatives in the recent national election. We can analyze and rationalize all we want, but the basic act was a crime that took decades to set up and only a day to perpetrate. Hurrying, I rounded a corner and met a "homeless" man looking straight into my eyes holding a knife to my stomach.
Washington--When President Obama lands in Yangon on Monday, he will be the first sitting American president to visit the country now known as Myanmar. But he will not be the first Obama to visit. The president’s Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, spent part of World War II in what was then called Burma as a cook for a British Army captain. Although details are sometimes debated, the elder Mr. Obama’s Asian experience proved formative just as his grandson’s time growing up in Indonesia did decades later. “His roots go through Burma,” said Timothy Parsons, an African history professor
You´re a recently retired senior government official and you´re looking forward to a drive in the country. France, maybe. What is your choice? What car would you choose if you were on the run, in Europe, with two federal pensions and about, oh, a month or two to kill? For the sake of the hypothetical and purely as a matter of speculation, assume you are not alone, you old dog. Me? My answer is always the Hennessey Cadillac CTS-V wagon with a six-speed stick. Duh. However, I recognize there are other good candidates. They are both named Porsche.
Republicans are seeking to oust Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who is up for his first reelection after his narrow 2008 win. Franken will be a tough candidate — he’s worked hard to ingratiate himself in the state, and his poll numbers look fairly solid. But Republicans hope with the right candidate they can topple the first-term senator. Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and John Kline (R-Minn.) are two early mentions for the race. “I´d put Congressmen Paulsen and Kline at the top of the list, they´d both be very strong candidates,” said Brian McClung,
GENERAL DAVID Petraeus seduced the press long before he seduced Paula Broadwell. And perhaps not coincidentally, it was Broadwell who seduced Petraeus, according to how the media frame the story. That preferred narrative is a sign of deep mourning over the passing of Petraeus from fawned-over military genius to disgraced ex-CIA director. As they dish the latest Petraeus dirt, TV anchors and commentators shake their heads sadly over the affair that brought down the man who always answered their e-mail.
A PERSON IN PAIN is a pariah. Misfortune always strikes twice: there is the calamity itself, and there is the marginalization that comes in the aftermath of the calamity, as the rest of society, all the lucky people who were untouched by the flood or the fire, the war or the famine, continue to live according to the customs of the normal world, and are disinclined to have the satisfactions of normality complicated or disrupted by the adjacent misery. They are not mean or selfish. They are merely creatures of their mild experience.
Allen West is challenging the vote count for his congressional seat. I think I see why: The elections office has admitted making mistakes in counting the ballots, saying that there was an error in feeding memory cards from voting machines through the vote-counting system. At a press conference earlier this week, the office´s supervisor, Gertrude Walker, said workers had acted in "haste" to get results out to the public on election night and that "mistakes were made." The Florida Secretary of State´s office said it was "concerned" about the situation
WINNING an election doesn’t just offer the chance to govern the country. It offers a chance to feel morally and intellectually superior to the party you’ve just beaten. This is an inescapable aspect of democratic culture: no matter what reason tells us about the vagaries of politics, something in the American subconscious assumes that the voice of the people really is the voice of God, and that being part of a winning coalition must be a sign that you’re His chosen one as well. (Snip)Maybe it’s too soon to pierce this cloud of postelection smugness.
On a stretch of road near Austin, Texas, there is an actual speed limit. Or at least, close to one. You can drive up to 85 MPH on Texas Highway 130 -- and not worry about receiving a "reckless driving" ticket. Or even a "speeding" ticket. It´s a start. Almost 60 years ago -- during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower -- construction of the Interstate Highway System began. Inspired by the German Autobahn, it was specifically intended to be a system of superhighways -- with traffic flowing at speeds of at least 70 MPH. Much higher speeds were anticipated --
The real fiscal cliff is the nation’s $16 trillion debt, slated to rise to over $20 trillion if President Obama’s budget–for which not a single member of Congress voted–is the de facto blueprint for the next four years. Obama, as far as I can tell, has never once in his life taken responsibility for a problem, let alone solved one. So he doesn’t care about our impending financial collapse, except insofar as he can demagogue it for political advantage. Hence his absurd position, that all he cares about in negotiations with Congress is that upper-income taxpayers–
The word “foreign” in the name French Foreign Legion does not refer to faraway battlegrounds. It refers to the Legion itself, which is a branch of the French Army commanded by French officers but built of volunteers from around the world. Last summer I came upon 20 of them on a grassy knoll on a farm in France near the Pyrenees. They were new recruits sitting back-to-back on two rows of steel chairs. They wore camouflage fatigues and face paint, and held French assault rifles. The chairs were meant to represent the benches in a helicopter flying into action—
Israel said that it will install a fifth "Iron Dome" battery before the end of the year, adding another installation to the country´s missile defense system, which has proven itself this week, intercepting more than 150 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. The missile defense system, which can identify enemy rockets, determine if they pose a threat to populated areas, and destroy them within a matter of seconds, has been praised by Israel´s leaders for saving hundreds of lives. The system, however, comes with a steep price. Each interceptor missile, which includes a radar guidance system, costs $40,000.
When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pointedly warned young troops last spring to mind their ways, he may have been lecturing the wrong audience. The culture of military misconduct starts at the top. At least five current and former U.S. generals at the rank of one-star or higher have been reprimanded or investigated for possible misconduct in the past two weeks -- a startling run of embarrassment for a military whose stock among Americans rose so high during a decade of war that its leaders seemed almost untouchable. From adultery and malfeasance to potentially inappropriate emails, the four-star foibles
Until Friday, there were two possible explanations for why the White House failed to immediately call the Benghazi attack an act of terrorism. One was incompetence, the other was worse. Now there is only one, and it is the worse one. Based on the persuasive testimony of ex-CIA boss David Petraeus, it is clear the Obama administration made a deliberate decision to mislead Congress and the American people. The repeated claim that the attack was spontaneous and grew out of a demonstration against an anti-Islam video —
New York- At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—"a bizarre, parallel dimension," as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak.
President Obama had a rare “bring-it-on” moment when ABC News’s Jonathan Karl asked him about threats by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham to block the confirmation of Susan Rice, should he nominate her for secretary of state.(Snip)Obama’s over-the-top defense of Rice was surprising, particularly in contrast to the president’s relative indifference in accepting the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus, one of the most capable public servants. And it was disappointing, because McCain, even if wrong on the particulars, is right about Rice.
WASHINGTON — Driving from Michigan in his Ford F150 pickup truck, David Curson arrived in Washington a week ago. He set up an office last Sunday, was sworn in as a congressman on Tuesday and by Friday had logged his first votes and given his first floor speech — one that stretched a bit past the one minute he’d been allotted. The 64-year-old Democrat has no time to waste. In six weeks, he’ll be gone. In Congress’ packed lame-duck session, Curson is a curiosity. He was one of four members of the House sworn in this past week
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is taking its first legal step to stop months of protests and rallies outside Walmart stores, targeting the union that it says is behind such actions. Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, asking the National Labor Relations Board to halt what the retailer says are unlawful attempts to disrupt its business. The move comes just a week before what is expected to be the largest organized action against the world´s largest retailer, as a small group of Walmart workers prepare to strike on Black Friday,