Rumor has it that President Obama is considering Vogue editor Anna Wintour to be his second-term nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. After World War II, well-known public figures and intellectuals such as W. Averell Harriman, Walter Annenberg, and Kingman Brewster, Jr., have held the post. In recent decades, however, presidents have transformed the top slot into a plumb reward for top donors.(Snip)As editor of Vogue, however, Wintour published the infamous and groveling profile of Asma al-Assad, Bashar’s wife. She defended the piece for months, even as Assad’s forces committed the most grizzly abuses
The first legal challenges to Obamacare rested on constitutional principles, but a new effort out of Oklahoma goes after the cogs that make the law function. State attorney general Scott Pruitt is trying to block the Internal Revenue Service from imposing fees on employers and individuals who don’t comply with the law’s mandates. In doing so, he may create a way for other states to fight back against the federal government’s top-down management of health care. If the suit succeeds, the law will not be invalidated, but if enough states choose to opt out, the resulting lack of funds
The CIA removed references to al Qaeda in the talking points it drafted for United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in what critics say is part of a broad pattern of politicization of intelligence under the Obama administration. Current and former intelligence and policy officials say that the politicization in the case of Benghazi appears to have involved policies that were designed to minimize the threat posed by Islamist terrorists in general and the al Qaeda terrorist group in particular prior to the Nov. 6 presidential election.
With word out from NBC last night that Syria loaded chemical agents onto bombs, the potential human rights crisis became a bit more grave. Of course it was an unnamed source who filled NBC in, but word has it that Syrian troops are simply awaiting word from Al-Assad on when to deploy chemical weapons against the Syrian people. Most people reading about this are so far removed and without a genuine context that we thought we´d take a moment and offer some perspective on a chemical attack.While the troubles facing the Syrian people now can´t be neatly summed up,
Do you think Al Sharpton appreciates the irony of his being invited to the White House Tuesday to talk taxes with President Obama? That is, to talk about Obama’s plan to ram through steep tax hikes on the “rich” to resolve the fiscal-cliff crisis? Sharpton’s all about taxes — for others. For himself, well, maybe not so much. As The Post’s Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein reported last year, Sharpton “owe[d] the IRS $2.6 million in income tax, and nearly $900,000 in state tax.” And his personal pride and joy National Action Network owed more than $880,000.
When the Rolling Stones take the stage at Barclays Center on Saturday for the first of three US concerts marking their 50th anniversary — which follow a pair of similar shows in London last month — it’s a safe bet that few of the fans who witnessed the group’s first American appearance in 1964 will be there to greet them. In those days, the audiences for the self-styled “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” were made up almost entirely of screaming teenage girls. When the group appeared at Carnegie Hall, a matinee performance
President Barack Obama spoke to the White House Tribal Nations Conference of Native American groups at the Interior Department Wednesday. The chairman of the conference, Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Nation, reportedly suggested that Obama is the first "American Indian" president. "Think about it for a second," Cladoosby said, according to the pool report. "The president loves basketball. He has an Indian name, he knows what it´s like to be poor and he hasn´t forgotten where he came from. And his theme song is ´Hail to the Chief.´ I think he definitely qualifies as the first American Indian president."
President Obama and the Democrats won last month’s election because they were able to turn out voters who are dependent on the government, former New Hampshire governor and Mitt Romney adviser John H. Sununu said last night. “They aggressively got out the base of their base, the base of their base that’s dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs,” Sununu said during a forum with two other Republican former governors, Steve Merrill and Craig Benson, at Concord’s Grappone Conference Center. For example, Sununu said, Democrats ran up big majorities in some parts of Cleveland
With their enthusiastic backing of President Obama and the Democratic Party on Election Day, the bluest parts of America may have embraced a program utterly at odds with their economic self-interest. The almost uniform support of blue states’ congressional representatives for the administration’s campaign for tax “fairness” represents a kind of bizarre economic suicide pact. Any move to raise taxes on the rich — defined as households making over $250,000 annually — strikes directly at the economies of these states, which depend heavily on the earnings of high-income professionals, entrepreneurs and technical workers.
One of the front-runners in the race for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s vacated seat was arrested on felony gun charges on Wednesday, adding yet another twist in an already unusual contest for a Congressional district with a history of troubled representation. South Side State Sen. Donne Trotter, previously seen as a top-tier candidate for the open 2nd Congressional district spot, was charged with attempting to bring a firearm onto an airplane on Wednesday. Trotter’s arrest and charges brings the number to three sitting state lawmakers who are currently facing criminal charges.
We conservatives have analyzed the presidential election from multiple points of view, seeking to explain the loss. Possible factors frequently discussed include: Dependency on big government handouts on the part of some pro-Obama voters Mainstream media bias Romney’s refusal to respond to negative ads Democrats outperforming Republicans in get-out-the-vote efforts All these reasons are surely key to Obama’s reelection. Romney only lost by 400,000 votes in four battleground swing states; the absence of any one of the above three factors could have resulted in a win for Romney.
On Friday, the Japanese space agency announced it is investigating a possible leak of data about its Epsilon rocket due to a computer virus. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said the virus, in a computer at its Tsukuba Space Centre, north-east of Tokyo, was found to be secretly collecting data and sending it outside the agency. “The data stolen from the space agency included information about the Epsilon, a solid-fuel rocket still under development,” Fackler said. “While the Epsilon is intended to launch satellite and space probes, solid-fuel rockets of that size can also have a military use as
The moon took quite a beating in its early days, more than previously believed, scientists reported Wednesday. This surprising new view of the moon comes from detailed gravity mapping by twin NASA spacecraft, which slipped into orbit around the celestial body earlier this year to peer into the interior. Researchers have long known that the moon and rocky planets - including the Earth - suffered heavy bombardment from asteroids and comets during their formative years billions of years ago. Now they are just starting to realize the extent. The moon is ´far more broken up and shattered
San Francisco - This spectacular night-time view of Earth is called Black Marble. It has been assembled from a series of cloud-free images acquired by one of the most capable satellites in the sky today - the Suomi spacecraft. The platform was launched by the US last year, principally to deliver critical meteorological data. The Black Marble dataset shows off one of Suomi´s key innovations: the low-light sensitivity of its VIIRS instrument. VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) can discern a range of phenomena of interest to weather forecasters - cloud, snow, fog, etc - even when the
Citigroup’s announcement that it will slash 11,000 jobs worldwide underscores its major contraction since nearly collapsing during the financial crisis and its continuing battle against high operating costs and persistently sluggish markets. The cost-cutting fervor, including tens of thousands of Wall Street jobs slashed in recent years, is expected to continue at Citigroup and other banks as they combat sagging stock prices, lackluster revenue and new regulations that damp profits. The cuts at Citigroup, many coming from its global consumer banking business, reflect a new emphasis on aiming at commercial
Houston - In a finding that could help create a new industry of natural gas exports in the United States, a government study released on Wednesday concluded that the national economic benefits of significant natural gas exports far outweighed the potential for higher energy prices for consumers and industrial users of the fuel. (Snip) The Obama administration has been cautious on whether to embrace large exports of gas out of concern that consumers who rely on gas for heating and cooking could see their utility prices rise. Higher exports could also raise costs to manufacturers
Los Angeles - Port clerks returned to work Wednesday, jubilant in the knowledge that an eight-day strike that paralyzed the nation´s busiest shipping complex had won them - at least for now - guarantees that their jobs won´t be outsourced to China, Arizona or other places. The 600 clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union won only modest increases in wage and pension benefits over the life of a new four-year contract. (Snip) "The key issue in this whole strike was the outsourcing of good jobs, Link repaired by staff
Peshawar, Pakistan - A U.S. drone fired a pair of missiles at a house in Pakistan´s northwest tribal region near the Afghan border Thursday, killing three suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The strike hit Mubarak Shahi village in the North Waziristan tribal area, the main sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban militants in Pakistan, said the intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The exact identities of the suspected militants were unclear. The area is dominated by prominent local militant commander
Friday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 80,000 jobs in November—substantially less than the 171,000 added the prior month. As budgets talks are progressing disappointing jobs reports could likely continue into the New Year. (Snip) The economy must add more than 349,000 jobs each month for three years to lower unemployment to 6 percent and that is not likely with current policies. Most analysts see the unemployment rate inching up to 8.0 percent, while a few see it remaining steady. The wildcard is the number of adults actually working
A British mother who beat her 7-year-old son to death after he failed to memorize excerpts from the Koran was found guilty of murder. Sara Ege, 33, was convicted of beating her son Yaseen to death with a stick at their home in Wales, then burning his body to hide evidence. Police originally thought Yaseen died in a house fire. Ege initially claimed her husband, Yousef, was responsible for the 2010 death and only confessed to the crime for fear he would kill her, too. (Snip) Ege reportedly confessed to police that she beat her son because he had not learned the Koran.
Mexico City – Mexico´s Supreme Court has ruled that a law in southern Oaxaca state that bans same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex couples to marry in that state and possibly in the rest of Mexico. In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, the tribunal struck down a Oaxaca state law that declares that "one of the purposes of marriage is the perpetuation of the species." The court said in its ruling that to condition marriages to the union of one man and one woman "violates the principle of equality." Currently, same-sex marriage is only legally allowed in Mexico City,
More than 300 people have died and hundreds more are missing in the wake of Typhoon Bopha, which cut a swathe of devastation across the southern Philippines. The Civil Defence Office said at least 325 people were confirmed dead and another 379 missing. People were killed in eight provinces but eastern Mindanao was worst-hit. In Compostela Valley province alone at least 184 people died, many when flash floods hit emergency shelters. "We have 325 dead and this is expected to rise because many more are missing," civil defence chief Benito Ramos told a news conference early on
Guatemala City - Software company founder John McAfee was arrested by police in Guatemala on Wednesday for entering the country illegally, hours after he said he would seek asylum in the Central American country. The anti-virus guru was detained at a hotel in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood with the help of Interpol agents and taken to an old, three-story building used to house migrants who enter the country illegally, said Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla. It was the latest twist in a bizarre tale that has seen McAfee refuse to turn himself in to authorities in Belize, where he is a person of
Is Karl Rove´s media career kaput? This question arises as a result of reports that Mr. Rove has been benched by his main television outlet, Fox News. According to New York Magazine, top Fox officials have ordered that producers must get permission before putting Rove or fellow GOP pundit Dick Morris on air. It’s all part of an effort by head honcho Roger Ailes to freshen story lines and change the network’s cast of characters, writes New York’s Gabriel Sherman. It didn’t help that Rove and Mr. Morris both predicted a big election victory for Mitt Romney. Both were way off compared with
Antakya, Turkey - International attention has once again turned to Syria’s chemical weapons supply following new information that may indicate President Bashar al-Assad’s military is preparing to use the weapons. The revelation prompted warnings from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the use of such weapons would elicit an international intervention. Presently it remains unclear what, if anything at all, the Assad regime is planning to do with its chemical weapons – just as likely as readying them for use, it could be that the regime was moving them to a more