In November 1995, a National Journal reporter boldly went where no member of the mainstream media had gone before: the Washington, D.C., conference room of Americans for Tax Reform on a Wednesday morning. That’s where—and when—ATR’s president, Grover Norquist, had been convening a weekly confab for various conservative operatives for the past couple of years. “Jackets are off and participants devour bagels and cream cheese,” the article relayed. “The goal of the Wednesday meetings … is to make sure the leaders of all the major conservative organizations know what everybody is up to.
The novel sensation that unites any trip—business or pleasure—is how quickly the hotel becomes home. You swipe your keycard, flop face down on the bed, root around the minibar for snacks you won’t eat, and assess the shampoo situation. Within moments you’ve memorized the contours of your suite as though it were a childhood bedroom, and you treat it as such—leaving laundry in piles and neglecting to turn the TV off. This is common sentiment. Wayne Koestenbaum refers to the hotel’s “sluttish core,” and Geoff Dyer, in his fantastic essay on sex in hotel rooms, writes that in a hotel
The worst drought in decades may shut down the Mississippi River to barge traffic this month costing thousands of jobs. KMOX reported: It’s an issue that has plagued states along the Mississippi River for months and has now landed squarely on the desk of President Obama: how to prevent the imminent shutdown of commercial traffic along the nation’s largest waterway. A nationwide drought, the worst to hit the U.S. in decades, has lowered water levels along the river, threatening barge traffic. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday
Although Mitt Romney took flak for his statement that he lost the election because President Obama bestowed "gifts" on key parts of the electorate, what he said is basically true. We´re stuck in a deadly spiral where economic growth is retarded because the economy is larded with enormous and ever increasing government spending and debt. Yet, more and more Americans want the lard. President Obama got re-elected by promising to continue to serve it up. Romney´s failure, and the failure of the Republican Party, is not that Obama is pulling this off but that they can´t get their act together
President Obama, fresh off his victory lap, is about to overplay his hand. The most recent proposals from the White House aimed at averting the fiscal cliff included not only the president’s cherished tax hikes, but other demands that will strike any neutral observer as absurd. Even the liberal media couldn’t swallow the fantasy launched by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; the New York Times described the plan as “loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts.” Mr. Geithner, acting as the president’s missionary, proposed extending the payroll tax cut (something both parties earlier opposed),
It seems hard to fathom now, but only 15 months ago, Gen. David H. Petraeus stood at attention on a sunny Fort Myer parade ground, listening to his peers compare him to the most accomplished generals in American history. Cannons boomed, sending clouds of white smoke billowing into the air. A band played patriotic marches. The moment was heady, the words intended for the ages. “You now stand among the giants, not just in our time, but of all time, joining the likes of Grant and Pershing and Marshall and Eisenhower as one of the great battle captains,”
Hostess Brands is set to liquidate its 82-year-old company because it was unable to meet the salary demands of its unionized employees. Roughly 18,500 workers will lose their jobs because 5,500 members of various bakers’ unions can’t appreciate that a tightening economy, stiffening competition, and an increasingly health-conscious America mean fewer Twinkies for all.(Snip)Private-sector firms can do things like that. But what happens when one’s core business is educating 55 million young Americans via the public schools? They have unions, too, unions that typically make demands that are as damaging to educational quality and affordability
Speaking at a forum at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington on Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Israel is suspicious of Palestinians and doesn’t care enough about their plight. “I’m not making excuses for the missed opportunities of the Israelis, or the lack of generosity, the lack of empathy that I think goes hand-in-hand with the suspicion,” Clinton said, after praising the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for working with her in 2009 to offer a moratorium on building new Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
People weren’t paying attention. Those are the people now surprised that President Obama is still stridently campaigning instead of doing the real work of governing. Even some who voted for him last month are puzzled as he threatens to take the nation off the fiscal cliff if Republicans don’t give him the tax hikes he demands now and puts off entitlement reform until later. He even wants to increase spending. I’ve talked to people who supported him, and their surprise is surprising. “I thought he was going to move toward the center after the election,” one stunned Obama backer
It wasn’t long after General David Petraeus’s affair was revealed that progressive types started queuing up to explain that the real problem wasn’t the CIA director’s lack of moral judgement it’s the repressive nature of military culture. The Scrapbook wasn’t shocked to see this argument rear its head we always look forward to the requisite eruption of Puritan-bashing and/or France-envy from the chattering classes during a Washington sex scandal. But we were mildly surprised to see the form it took in the pages of the Washington Post. Laura Cannon, who like Petraeus and Paula Broadwell is a West Point graduate,
How about a little government economic stimulus? That may sound incongruous considering the budget deficit and the push from Republicans to cut government spending. But President Obama’s first offer to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff" holds out the hope of at least some stimulus. This would include extending the 2 percentage point Social Security payroll tax cut, boosting a tax incentive to businesses, establishing a $50 billion bank for long-term infrastructure projects, and extending unemployment benefits.
Does ideology shape life experience, or does life experience determine ideology? The future direction of American politics depends on our response. In response to the disappointing results of November’s elections, I have argued that conservatives should take heart from the undeniable aging of the electorate, which will tilt future contests toward Republicans. 2012 exit polls showed Mitt Romney sweeping voters 65 and older in a 12-point landslide, and among all those above age 30 (81 percent of the voting public) the Republican nominee prevailed by a solid margin. President Obama won the overall vote solely on the strength
For five decades, the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Enterprise plowed the seven seas to protect the freedoms of American citizens and guarantee freedom of the seas for all. From the Cuban missile crisis through its participation in conflicts arising out of the 9/11 attacks, “The Big ‘E’” was the tip of the spear of American foreign policy. Today, in front of 12,000 former crew, their families, and friends, the United States Navy formerly retired Enterprise from active service. Reuters: The 1,123-foot (342-metres) long Enterprise was commissioned in 1961 with eight nuclear reactors on board
We, unfortunately, are getting used to living at the edge of a steep cliff, going about our everyday business pretending the fatal drop to the abyss doesn´t exist. Culturally, one needn´t be what´s called a "social conservative" to be appalled at excesses in Europe where Zurich is creating outdoor booths to facilitate prostitution and Germany has many "erotic zoos" where patrons pay for the right to engage in bestiality with the penned-in farm animals.
… but if it is, I’m going to laugh anyway. From RightLinks blog. (But I’d still like to see some verification.) Johnstown, PA (GlossyNews) – Local and state police scoured the hills outside rural Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after reports of three animal rights activists going missing after attempting to protest the wearing of leather at a large motorcycle gang rally this weekend. Two others, previously reported missing, were discovered by fast food workers “duct taped inside fast food restaurant dumpsters,” according to police officials. “Something just went wrong,”
President Barack Obama’s next campaign is about to begin. Even though his second inauguration is still weeks away, the work of his presidential library starts soon: Libraries take years of planning and decisions by the president and his inner circle, from choosing a location, to picking achievements to highlight. It’s a chance for Obama to begin shaping his legacy, and has in the past been an increasingly large priority during presidents’ second terms. But it requires the kind of personal fundraising that Obama clearly dislikes, full of potential pitfalls that led his predecessors into trouble. Add more complications for Obama:
This just in — compromise to a liberal really does mean compromising your principles, and you don’t have to believe me. Just read what liberal columnist David Brooks had to say about the new film “Lincoln"[SNIP]The film “Lincoln” depicts the absolute opposite of real compromise. Lincoln does not give an inch in his negotiations with slavery supporters. He has a principle that he is committed to, and he crushes his opposition both with his skillful maneuvering AND his refusal to succumb to arguments about why he should meet in the middle.
The debate on Iran and its nuclear program does little credit to the U.S. foreign policy community, because much of it rests on dubious assumptions that do not stand up to even casual scrutiny. (Snip) The obvious question to ask is this: did prior acts of nuclear proliferation have the same fearsome consequences that Iran hawks now forecast? The answer is no. In fact, the spread of nuclear weapons has had remarkably little impact on the basic nature of world politics and the ranking of major powers. The main effect of the nuclear revolution has been to induce greater caution
Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) just announced that he is gay, and in doing so, became the first and only openly gay Republican state legislator in the United States and the only openly gay lawmaker in all of Pennsylvania. Fleck relayed his story to Pennsylvania’s local Huntingdon Daily News. Acknowledging the difficulty of his decision to come out, partially due to his devout catholicism, Fleck underscored to his constituents that he was “still the exact same person.” He went on to note, “Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye
Zarozje, Serbia —Get your garlic, crosses and stakes ready: a bloodsucking vampire is on the loose. Or so say villagers in the tiny western Serbian hamlet of Zarozje, nestled between lush green mountain slopes and spooky thick forests. They say rumors that a legendary vampire ghost has awakened are spreading fear — and a potential tourist opportunity — through the remote village. A local council warned villagers to put garlic in their pockets and place wooden crosses in their rooms to ward off vampires, although it appeared designed more to attract visitors to the impoverished region bordering
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is Catholic, indicated on Friday that she supports forcing St. Mary’s Medical Center, the oldest continuously operating hospital in her San Francisco-based congressional district, to provide health plans to its workers that cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs free of charge even though the Catholic faith says this Catholic hospital may not do so because these things are intrinsically immoral. "We are committed to furthering the healing ministry of Jesus," says the hospital´s mission statement.
Sanaa, Yemen – Yemen´s Interior Ministry says police have arrested an Al Qaeda leader who is one of the country´s most wanted fugitives. The ministry, in a statement late Friday, said Suleiman Hassan Mohammed Murshed Awad was arrested in Zinjibar, the capital of southern Abyan province, once an Al Qaeda hotbed. It did not say when he was arrested. Awad, also known as Abu Osama al-Abi, was "one of the most dangerous criminal elements in Al Qaeda who is involved in killing security men and joining others in terrorist attacks on foreign targets in Sanaa."
Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghan officials say joint US-Afghan base has been attacked in eastern Afghanistan. Blasts sounded inside the military airfield at the edge of Jalalabad city early Sunday morning. Afghan officials briefed on the situation say helicopters were firing down into the base at what appeared to be militant gunmen inside. The officials spoke anonymously because fighting was still going on and details were unclear. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an email to reporters.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer´s antipathy toward the Obama´s administration is evident: We´ve seen her wag her finger at the president on the tarmac, and we´ve seen her state defiantly defend a noxious state law that intrudes on the federal government´s authority to regulate immigration. Now it seems Brewer is renewing her fight with the administration, this time over the president´s decision to grant some young undocumented immigrants temporary protection from deportation. Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, those young immigrants who qualify can also
The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said. The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units. When the expansion is complete, the DIA is expected to have as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world, an unprecedented total
In my National Review print edition article right after the election (behind a subscriber wall, alas), I suggested the House pass a bold tax reform bill right away, and send it to the Senate. Heck, I added, “the House GOP could even just pass Simpson-Bowles, and rightly say they are passing the plan President Obama’s own commission recommended.” I am happy to see this idea is catching on. Mary Katherine Ham likes the idea over on Hot Air today. I agree with MKH that Simpson-Bowles is not perfect, but let us always remember