Looking at the concrete barricades the Egyptian military have thrown up around the presidential palace in Cairo, you get the distinct impression that the country´s top brass have President Mohammed Morsi precisely where they want him. Until the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak nearly two years ago (an event I lamented at the time), Egypt´s military establishment had effectively run the country since Abdul Gamal Nasser came to power in the 1950s. During that period the military not only took care of Egypt´s security concerns, it also seized control of much of the country´s assets. Indeed, it seems to
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has publicly declined to join the Obama administration in the new year after a rumoured offer for the post of Treasury Secretary. [Snip] Mr Schmidt´s rebuttal was swift, however, as he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview yesterday: "I said last time and I´ve said again that Google is my home. I have no interest in working for the federal government". Mr Schmidt played in a key role in the re-election of President Barack Obama last month, helping to oversee Google´s $700,000 donation to his campaign. Since Mr Obama took up the US presidency
Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers. Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a “sleeper issue” with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers
U.S. regulators dealt a blow to First Lady Michelle Obama´s anti-childhood obesity campaign by announcing they are relaxing school meal rules. Mrs Obama had supported new rules that would restrict calories and limit portion sizes in school meals but some students, parents and lawmakers complained that new stricter policies left many children hungry. Under the adjustment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would suspend daily and weekly maximum amounts for grains and meat or meat alternatives. That means school districts this year can serve larger portions of those items without penalty. USDA officials said late on Friday they were
The U.S. government is investigating whether software companies that make cellphone apps have violated the privacy rights of children by quietly collecting personal information from phones and sharing it with advertisers and data brokers. The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that such apps can capture a child´s physical location, phone numbers of their friends and more. The FTC described the marketplace for mobile applications--dominated by online stores operated by Apple and Google--as a digital danger zone with inadequate oversight. In a report by the FTC´s own experts, it said the industry has grown rapidly but failed to ensure the privacy
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a milestone in many ways, marking previously uncharted territory in federal arrogance and overreach. As health-insurance policy goes, it promises to prove catastrophic, but its constitutional implications are more worrisome still in that it is among the most insidious attempts yet to reduce the states to mere administrative subdivisions of the federal government. Led by Oklahoma, many states have pushed back by declining to comply with the law’s demand that states create health-insurance exchanges. We encourage those states to hold their ground, and we hope that others will join them.Backers of Obamacare want
A professor at the University of Texas has sparked outrage by claiming black and Hispanic students are failing academically because they have been raised in single parent homes usually by females. Law professor Lino Graglia was talking to the BBC when he said he could ´hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent, usually female, uneducated and without a lot of money.´ He said the average black performance on SAT test is 200 points lower than that for the average white student and that among the black population almost three-quarters
Kathryn Bigelow paid a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, in downtown Manhattan, last week. It was twenty days since she had finished the final edits on “Zero Dark Thirty,” a nearly two-and-a-half-hour movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden, and two weeks before the film’s opening. The events that the movie dramatizes took place only nineteen months ago. “There’s no distance,’’ she said, running her fingers over the names of victims inscribed in bronze.* “What we were attempting is almost a journalistic approach to film.’’ Bigelow, a tall, striking woman who was dressed in black, also directed
Should a debt deal go sour, the buzz is that Tom Price, a 58-year-old physician from Georgia, may challenge John Boehner for the speaker’s gavel. “Price is the person we’re all watching,” says an aide close to House leadership. “We know he’s frustrated, but we don’t know much else.” In an interview with National Review Online, Price won’t speculate about his future, but he acknowledges his growing uneasiness. “My concern is that within our conference, conservatives, who are a majority, don’t have a proper platform,” he says. “That’s true at the leadership table and on the steering committee.”
ObamaCare may be the law, but a major resistance movement has already sprouted across the U.S. Though approval of the unpopular law stood at only 38% on Nov. 6, the elections were not a referendum on ObamaCare mainly because Governor Romney was unable to prosecute the case against its most despised provisions – the individual mandate, employer mandate and state-run health exchanges – since all were in the law he signed in Massachusetts. With the election over and no chance President Obama will sign legislation repealing the law, implementation is proceeding. But the ObamaCare
The carnival has moved on, but many are still mystified why David Petraeus abruptly abdicated his seat of power after a mere marital lapse. Even some Republicans who once flayed Bill Clinton over Monica were magnanimous to Petraeus, seeing no reason why his disloyalty to his wife should sully his reputation as a loyal patriot. So what was the real story? Benghazi? Classified documents stashed in Paula Broadwell’s mess kit? I adhere to a less sexy explanation. Once the country learned that the man in charge of guarding the nation’s secrets was too inept to hide his own, his directorship of the
Washington - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has canceled her trip to Morocco this week for a meeting on the future of Syria's opposition because of a stomach virus, the State Department said on Monday. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns will travel to the meeting in her place. "Since she's still under the weather, we'll be staying put this week instead of heading to North Africa and the Middle East as originally planned," State Department spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement. "In her place, Deputy Secretary Burns will travel to Marrakech for the Friends of the Syrian People meeting.
Do you know anything about Ju-Jitsu? It´s the martial art developed by Japanese Samurai to aid a lone warrior without his weapon confronting an armed opponent. When such direct combat seems suicidal, the technique becomes to use your opponent´s own weight against him rather than trying to overcome his with your own diminished force. (Snip) Now before we go any further, I think it´s important for Republicans to admit how badly outgunned they are by Obama on this Fiscal Cliff thing. Watching Boehner & Company march to the precipice is like watching the French aristocracy being led to the
In the immediate wake of the election, Republicans felt so stunned — in no small part because they had deluded themselves into expecting victory — that it seemed momentarily possible that the party’s long march to the right may halt or even reverse. But the future of the party is already taking shape, and that future will be, in some form or fashion, a conservative reaction against the Republican leadership that has sold them out. The smarter Republicans have already shaken off the trauma of electoral defeat and begun positioning themselves to capitalize. One important indication comes from
Washington - The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to health insurance marketplaces being set up by six states led by Democratic governors eager to carry out President Obama’s health care overhaul. The six are Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington. (Snip) In upholding the health care law in June, the Supreme Court said the expansion of Medicaid was an option for states, not a requirement as Mr. Obama had argued. Still, the White House says the expansion would be a good deal for states because the federal government would pay
Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal tells us that the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group, has taken control of the last major Syrian Army base in western Aleppo. The base is believed to be involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program. Agence France Presse (AFP) reported last month that the base “contained clandestine scientific research whose purpose was unknown even to the rank and file,” according to a Syrian soldier who defected. Last week, moreover, the Al Nusrah Front took control of a chlorine factory in Aleppo.
A source with personal knowledge of the security situation in Benghazi told Breitbart News that Senators who listened to closed door testimony about the Benghazi attack were shocked to learn State Department security personnel agents were not immediately armed. Additionally, agents separated from Ambassador Chris Stevens left to retrieve their M4 weapons in a separate building. Only one returned to protect the Ambassador, while the other two hunkered down in the barracks, the source relayed. “From the accounts I read, those guys were not ready. When the attack came that night, they had to
The United States Attorney in Los Angeles may have dropped his investigation of Lance Armstrong earlier this year, but it looks like the Justice Department isn’t done with the disgraced cyclist just yet. A federal judge unsealed documents last week that say the U.S. Postal Service, which paid approximately $40 million to sponsor Armstrong and his team from 1996-2004, is investigating the cyclist for contract fraud. The Postal Service contract specifically banned doping and required the team to take “immediate action” against individuals who used substances banned by cycling’s governing bodies.
The trouble with a newspaper column lies in the word limit. Last week, I wrote about some of Susan Rice´s diplomatic misadventures in Africa during her years in the Clinton administration: Rwanda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo. But there wasn´t enough space to get to them all. And Sierra Leone deserves a column of its own. On June 8, 1999, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms. Rice, then the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, delivered testimony on a range of issues, and little Sierra Leone was high on the list.
The economic policy drift in Washington is antigrowth, but here and there in the states are glimmers of hope and change. The best news of late is in Michigan, which is poised this week to pass a landmark right-to-work law. You can tell this is a big deal based on the fury of Big Labor's reaction. Union activists plan to descend on Lansing Tuesday to protest, including many from out of state. State police will have to be on duty to ensure that legislators can get through what is likely to be a loud and abusive cordon of activists who want to block the vote. This thuggishness is a deliberate
Philipsburg, Pa. - Emma Whitehead has been bounding around the house lately, practicing somersaults and rugby-style tumbles that make her parents wince. It is hard to believe, but last spring Emma, then 6, was near death from leukemia. She had relapsed twice after chemotherapy, and doctors had run out of options. (Snip) The experiment, in April, used a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram Emma’s immune system genetically to kill cancer cells. The treatment very nearly killed her. But she emerged from it cancer-free, and about seven months later is still in complete remission.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will make Michigan one of the largest right-to-work states in the country on Tuesday, but opponents have vowed to fight the legislation. “You can expect the lawsuits. There’s nothing to prevent the unions from filing suit, so they’re going to do it,” said Patrick Wright, a senior legal scholar at the conservative Mackinac Public Policy Center. Snyder urged labor groups on Sunday to “move forward … and get something done so we can move on to other important issues in our state.” The state’s powerful union shops responded by continuing protests that began last week.
The explosives recycling company that caused the evacuation of a Louisiana town has come under scrutiny for explosions and its handling of dangerous materials before, and it was so far behind on its rent that the Louisiana National Guard refused to lease it more space. Explo Systems Inc. was cited for safety violations by the federal government in 2007 for its use of old Army explosives in mining operations in West Virginia, where a blast with "outdated deteriorated military ordnance" injured one worker and exposed others to toxins. And the company had fallen hundreds of thousands of dollar behind
As our lawmakers?—?newly reminded of the power of female voters?—?huddle to strategize about the “fiscal cliff,” they have an opportunity to address a real threat to female prosperity: a tax code that is disproportionately burdensome to married women, especially working moms. Although some states have adjusted their tax rates to correct for this, and Congress has adjusted the penalty for certain tax levels, it is still true that when couples come together “for richer, for poorer,” the IRS has no problem making working women poorer. Here’s how the marriage penalty works:
At least 12 Dallas Cowboys players were at a private club Friday night in the hours before one of them was fatally injured in a wreck and another went to jail, according to a Twitter account registered to a promoter for the trendy club. "I have 12 Cowboys in theeee building!!!!!!!!!!Privae,´´ a promoter/event coordinator for Privae Dallas tweeted late Friday. Early Saturday, Jerry Brown Jr., 25, a linebacker on the Cowboys´ practice squad, was fatally injured when a car driven by his roommate, defensive lineman Josh Brent, 24, crashed on a Texas 114 service road in Irving.
Now that the election is over, we are starting to see the contours of what lies ahead for the next four years. Here are some likely consequences from the Obama victory. 1. Barack Obama is not very interested in tax reform, deficit reduction, or curbing annual spending. He believes in big government, and the bigger the better. His tenure is not so much a repudiation of Reaganism as it is of Clintonism, and the whole notion of keeping the annual growth of federal spending at or below 2 percent, balancing the budget, and declaring the era of big government over.