Clandestine Government: During his first full day in the White House, Barack Obama promised he´d brought with him "a new era of open government." Yet again, we have a promise that hasn´t been kept. Among the administration´s many violations of public trust to recently become public is the Environmental Protection Agency´s apparent attempt to keep some of its correspondence hidden from the light of day through the use of aliases. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, for instance, has reportedly used the name "Richard Windsor" to cover her tracks in private emails.
Sometimes taking the wrong lesson from defeat can be worse than not learning anything at all. While Republicans are scrambling to do damage control in the wake of this month’s election, they should keep in mind that their presidential candidate only lost by a couple percentage points in the popular vote. The 2012 presidential election was not a repudiation of Mitt Romney or the Republican brand, but rather the result of a confluence of factors: the Obama campaign’s expert execution of its attack strategy, the Romney campaign’s flubbing of its get-out-the-vote effort, and a hurricane.
When David Petraeus told Congress on Friday that he knew almost from the get-go that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in a terror attack in Libya, the former CIA director was contradicting information put out by two prominent Obama appointees. The first is United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. The Sunday after the attack, Ms. Rice took to the talk shows to blame everything, falsely, on an Islamic mob outraged by a blasphemous YouTube video. Mr. Petraeus says the CIA´s original talking points mentioned al Qaeda. If this was edited out, we ought to know who did it—and why.
As many wait to see whether Jesse Jackson Jr. will agree to a plea deal in the investigation of allegations that he misused campaign funds—and as Jackson himself reportedly awaits news on whether he’ll get disability pay if he indeed does resign—an even larger question looms for the voters of Jackson’s 2nd congressional district in Illinois. Where do they go from here? Jackson was elected to his 10th term in Congress last week, even as he struggled with health issues and an ongoing ethics investigation. Though he didn’t campaign for reelection as he was receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic
In its 65-year history, the Defense Department has been led by people of various political stripes. But never has the nomination of any Secretary of Defense been a direct insult to the men and women who served our nation in uniform. That will no longer be true if, as is rumored, President Obama nominates Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to succeed Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. (Snip) What makes Kerry different, especially for defense, is that he built his entire political career on his anti-war activities, including his leadership of the radical Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
The explosion in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis that killed two people and severely damaged dozens of homes last week was no accident. Local Homeland Security officials, along with the ATF, admitted as much on Monday night when they announced that they´d opened a criminal homicide investigation into the incident. Before you jump to any conclusions, though, there´s been no mention of big words like "terrorist" or "attack." So far, the very mysterious case of the exploding subdivision appears to be a case of arson gone wrong. At the center of the investigation is a white van that was spotted
Folks on the right doubted that the coalition of young people, women and minorities, particularly African Americans, that put President Obama in the White House in 2008 would show up to keep him there in 2012. As the exit polls show, they most certainly did — big time. But will they show up when he’s not on the ballot? It’s a question that shows up in stories about the intense soul-searching underway among Republicans. Today’s New York Times story on conservatives in Wyoming “feeling left behind” by the election results raised the issue.
Supporters of President Obama have dubbed those who question administration statements about Libya as either partisans or conspiracy theorists, on the premise that the administration had no reason to dissimulate. But in fact, it had plenty of political reasons not to be candid, as the following questions make clear. Why was the administration hesitant to beef up security at the vulnerable Benghazi consulate ahead of time, or to send in military assistance during the seven-hour attack on the consulate and the CIA annex, or at least to be candid after the attack? The Obama reelection campaign had established
Under current law, the U.S. economy will tumble over the so-called fiscal cliff at the start of the new year, when roughly $500 billion in across-the- board tax hikes and $100 billion in spending cuts are scheduled to take effect. Numerous economists predict the automatic tax increases, the result of expiring Bush tax cuts and other tax laws, will cause another recession. Pentagon officials say the spending cuts, part of the 2011 debt ceiling deal, will “hollow out” the military. President Obama and congressional leaders declare they’re committed to striking a deal to avert a fiscal fall.
The story of Malala, who is recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, has touched millions of people around the world since she was attacked by a gunman on her way home from school last month. She had dared to defy the Pakistan Taliban by promoting girls education and by documenting their abuses in a blog written in 2009. Later this month, hardliners plan to gather at the notorious Red Mosque in Islamabad to denounce her as an apostate, accusing her of turning her back on Islam. Anjem Choudary, who lives in East London
Beverly Hills in one of the the richest zip codes in America, but the overall poverty rate in California is now the highest in the country, new U.S. Census Bureau figures show. The Golden State’s poverty rate is a whopping 23.5 percent – higher than the District of Columbia, at 23.2 percent, and even Florida, and 19.5 percent. California’s shockingly high number came after the Census Bureau changed how it measures its data. For years statisticians have based poverty rate calculations on the cost of food – but over the years this methodology has drawn increasing criticism. The Census Bureau wasn’t getting
Some fringe conservatives seem perversely determined to turn a stinging electoral defeat into an epic, sweeping disaster. That’s the deeper meaning of current talk about impeachment, secession, third parties, civil disobedience, and onrushing apocalypse. The Conservative Majority Fund has announced a new robocall campaign to build support for impeaching President Obama over mishandling of the affair in Benghazi, Libya, and alleged malfeasance on a host of other issues. Meanwhile, petitions demanding the secession of Texas, Alabama, and at least a half dozen other states have already gathered tens of thousands of signatures, while perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes
When Chicago public school teachers started the fall semester by turning down a $400 million contract offer that would have boosted pay by 16 percent over four years, my first concern wasn’t for the children. It was for the Democrats. Sure, the walkout by Chicago Teachers Union members caused havoc for kids. But I’ve been to public school, and I can tell you they didn’t miss much. The strike’s lasting damage was to the party that since at least the early 20th century has been labor’s best friend. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Since the election, some fatalistic Washington conservative elites have accepted — and Obama operatives have rejoiced in — a supposedly new and non-white-male ethnic electorate: Americans will be categorized, and collectively so, on the basis of largely how they look and, to a lesser extent, how they sound. Republicans, then, better get with the new tribalism and remarket themselves to address the new minority monolith. Accordingly, the enlightened and redeemable liberal elements of the otherwise now played-out old white majority, when combined with the new ethnic minorities, will result in a permanent progressive majority — one that rejects the archaic,
The race might be over, but it hasn´t all been paid for. Presidential campaigns still owe millions of dollars to consultants, former staffers, phone companies, software vendors, database management firms, direct-mail firms, sign printers, event-productions companies, and banks; in other words, nearly every kind of entity with which a campaign does business. (Snip)Half of the failed GOP presidential primary candidates have clean balance sheets. Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Rick Perry have zero debt, according to their FEC disclosures. For the other half, some of the debts are complicated.
These are some of the world´s largest trees, rising majestically out of the snowy slopes along the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Photographer Michael Nichols spent two weeks capturing images of the ´President´ - the world´s second-biggest tree which is at least 3,200 years old in Sequoia National Park, deep in the southern region. Sequoias only grow on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range which runs 400 miles through Nevada and California. Giant sequoias can reach 247-feet - the height of a 20-story building.Scroll down for video
They have lent money, at a theoretical profit. They have issued a fistful of guarantees to Europe’s twin bail-out funds, covering Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and soon Cyprus. They have taken on opaque and potentially huge liabilities through the European Central Bank. Yet little has disturbed the illusion that the euro is a free lunch for the surplus powers. An assumption persists that the creditors will--and should--be spared the consequences of flooding Southern Europe with excess capital. All the losses in Greece until now have been concentrated on those pension funds, insurers, and banks that stayed to the bitter
OKLAHOMA CITY –A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.´s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills. In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company´s Christian owners consider objectionable. The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates
Anderson Cooper had a close call on the Gaza frontline when a rocket exploded just a few blocks from where he was reporting live. The CNN anchor was speaking to the camera in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Sunday night when a rocket exploded close to where he was standing, causing the veteran journalist to duck for cover. He was discussing the death toll--which includes ten members of the same family--on the Gaza trip as Israel continues to hit Hamas strongholds. So far, 96 Palestinians and three Israelis have died since the conflict began last Wednesday.
On Thanksgiving week in 1954, NBC aired a holiday-themed “Father Knows Best” that ended with the family praying before their meal, including thanking God “for the privilege of living as free men in a country which respects our freedom and our personal rights to worship and think and speak as we choose.” The Nov. 21, 1954 show featured the Anderson family: Jim and Margaret and their three children, Betty, Bud and Kathy.(video) In the program, the family decided to forgo a Thanksgiving meal because of scheduling conflicts. But in the end, the parents and children decide
Santa Monica may bar Nativity and other seasonal displays in public spaces, a federal judge tentatively ruled Monday. In a case that has drawn national attention, Judge Audrey B. Collins of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles denied a church coalition´s request that the court require the city to allow Nativity scenes to be displayed in Palisades Park this year, as it has for nearly 60 years. "The atheists won on this," said William J. Becker Jr., an attorney for the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, a coalition of 13 churches and the Santa Monica Police Officers Assn.
Two of the men charged in Southern California with plotting to join Al Qaeda and the Taliban allegedly posted terrorist videos on Facebook and communicated via Skype, federal authorities said Monday night. In all, four men with Southern California ties were charged in the international terrorist plot that authorities say stretched from the Inland Empire to Afghanistan. Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, a former Pomona resident, allegedly left the United States last year and traveled to Afghanistan in July to set up terrorist training with Al Qaeda and Taliban members, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday in federal court.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia- President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Middle East in hopes that she can help mediate an end to bloody conflict in the region. A deputy White House national security adviser says Clinton will depart Tuesday from Cambodia, where she had accompanied Obama on a visit to Southeast Asia. Clinton will begin her Mideast diplomacy by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. She also will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah before heading to Cairo to meet with leaders in Egypt.
There´s an excellent article in the Copenhagen Post which I´m going to reprint here in full. It´s by a retired high court judge called Peter Rørdam. I´m reprinting it because apart from the place names, every last detail applies to the UK wind industry too. And--from what I´ve seen personally--the Australian one. And the US and Canadian ones as well. The reason the industry is so corrupt is quite simply that without the lies it tells as a matter of course and without the cosy stitch-ups it arranges with regulators and politicians at taxpayers´ expense, it simply would not exist.
What would you do if in the middle of a job interview someone asked you, “How old do you think the Earth is?” Not wanting to look a fool, chances are that you’d give an answer as banal and evasive as this, “I´m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that´s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” That’s what Marco Rubio offered when asked
Federal authorities say four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans overseas and in the United States by joining Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says the defendants are under arrest for plotting to bomb government facilities and public places. According to the federal complaint unsealed Monday during initial appearances, 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir introduced two other California men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased Al Qaeda leader. Authorities allege Kabir traveled to Afghanistan and