SHELTON, Conn. — There was no pride in Mary Ann McDonnell’s voice, only the trembling echo of pain and loss. “My son’s picture is on the front page of The New York Times,” she said. This 77-year-old mother and grandmother awoke yesterday, imprisoned in a nightmare that may never end. “I still can’t wrap my mind around any of it. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up from this,” she said, pointing to a photo of her son Chris, taken Friday at the moment he learned his 7-year-old daughter, Gracie,
The White House revealed yesterday that there "approximately 166 detainees at Guantanamo Bay" right now. The news was in Obama´s "war powers resolution" letter, which is meant "to keep the Congress informed about deployments of U.S. Armed Forces equipped for combat."(Snip) Obama famously promised to close the Guantanamo detention facility within a year of becoming president of the United States. But as he acknowledges, it´s still open with "approximately 166 detainees" nearly four full years after Obama was first sworn in as president. It is not clear why Obama is only able to approximate the number of detainees
Elections have consequences. The president signed a law which forces citizens to purchase a product simply on the virtue that they are alive. Our Supreme Court upheld the law, giving the government the power to tax inactivity. When the law is fully implemented, we may see a shift from our role as citizens to subjects. Instead of “pay for play,” it will become “pay, if you play our way.” We are moving slowly down this path, and can begin to see the cliff before us. Still, there is time to slow the process and change course.
Imagine for a moment if a Christian fundamentalist pastor publicly threatened a Democratic Party governor about to sign a legitimately passed bill into law with a long-term campaign of public harassment for doing so. Now imagine if that pastor extended that threat to include appearances at the governor´s home and at his children´s sporting events, and that Republican and conservative elected officials on hand during the pastor´s announcement voiced no objection to the pastor´s threats. All of that would be news, right? Well, Detroit pastor Charles E. Williams II, described here as "Pastor, Historic King Solomon Baptist Church
CAIRO - A narrow majority of Egyptians who voted in the first round of a referendum on a proposed Islamist-backed constitution have approved the document, according to unofficial tallies compiled by the Muslim Brotherhood and released early Sunday. An official tweet by the Brotherhood, Egypt´s most powerful political group, said its tallies showed nearly 57 percent of voters said "yes" to the disputed charter, while about 43 percent voted "no." The vote was held on Saturday in 10 of the country´s 27 provinces, including Cairo and the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria
The “hot dog guy” is getting new digs. Clinton Tarver, the owner of Clint’s Hot Dog Cart and Casual Catering, saw his small business thrust into the national spotlight on Tuesday when his supplies were destroyed at a pro-union protest against right-to-work legislation in Lansing, Mich. “Violent” demonstrators tore down a tent where Tarver was serving his dogs, he said, prompting a staff member for a local lawmaker to create an online fundraiser for the 63-year-old downtown fixture. As of Friday, more than $33,000 had been donated. “I’m overwhelmed,” Tarver said Friday. “The public has shown such love to me.
Andrew McLaughlin, a former member of President Obama´s senior White House staff, who served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States, mocked Nancy Lanza, the murdered mother of the Newtown, CT massacre killer Adam Lanza, on Twitter Saturday evening: Andrew McLaughlin@McAndrew -The ever-brilliant Jo Miller nails it: "Thank god Nancy Lanza had a personal arsenal for her protection, or she might not be alive today."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has suffered a concussion after a fainting fit Saturday morning and is now recovering at home, officials said today. (Snip) ´Senator Kerry was relieved to hear that the Secretary is on the mend, but he insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday as previously planned, and that the nation´s best interests are served by the report and hearings proceeding as scheduled with senior officials appearing in her place.´
Cheetahs need to run. As the world´s fastest animals, the big cats can run up to 65 mph and need to get up to speed to burn off metabolic compounds. But the two who live at the Houston Zoo don´t have much opportunity to do that. "They need about 600 feet," said Beth Schaefer, the zoo´s curator of primates and carnivores. "We don´t have that straightaway anywhere on zoo grounds." So, where can Kito and Kiburi, a pair of 5-year-old cheetah brothers go to burn off energy? It turns out that a great place is the turf track
NEW YORK- Hollywood has responded to the rampage at a Connecticut elementary school by pulling back on its offerings, and one star says the entertainment industry should take some responsibility for such violence. Fox pulled new episodes of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" that were to air Sunday to avoid potentially sensitive content. The originally scheduled episode of "Family Guy" had Peter telling his own version of the nativity story. The "American Dad" episode told the story of a demon who punished naughty children at Christmas. Both series plan to substitute reruns.
Beneath the expressions of grief, sorrow and disbelief over the Connecticut school massacre lies an uneasy truth in Washington: over the last few years the Obama administration and Congress quietly let federal funding for several key school security programs lapse in the name of budget savings.Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, Staff has split headline and added text to prevent closure.
WASHINGTON- The next big issue in the national debate over guns - whether people have a right to be armed in public - is moving closer to Supreme Court review. A provocative ruling by a panel of federal appeals court judges in Chicago struck down the only statewide ban on carrying concealed weapons, in Illinois. The ruling is somewhat at odds with those of other federal courts that have largely upheld state and local gun laws, including restrictions on concealed weapons, since the Supreme Court´s landmark ruling declaring that people have a right to have a gun for self-defense.
Dwight Eisenhower loved the army, in which he served for almost all of his adult life. His favorite form of relaxation, after golf, was to sit down for a drink and swap war stories with some old West Point classmates. When he left the White House in 1961, he puzzled his successor, John F. Kennedy, by asking to be returned to his five-star army rank, which meant that in retirement he would be referred to as “General,” not “Mr. President.” But to know and love the military was not necessarily to trust it, at least when it came to
Judd Apatow I am honored to have been asked to recommend books because I love books. I mean, I love buying books. I can´t say I read most of the books I buy. Recently I decided to believe that buying books is as good as reading them. (Snip)I am so excited for 2013, when I will have plenty of time to read. Here is a list of books I hope to read but probably won´t because something great is on TV. "Who I Am" by Pete Townshend. I love rock biographies, and the Who are my favorite band,
A poll conducted last week by an Iowa-based firm showed Americans are conflicted about whether or not to support raising tax rates on wealthy Americans to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” But that’s not how Bloomberg News, which commissioned the poll, reported the results Thursday. In a story headlined “Americans Back Obama Tax-Rate Boost Tied to Entitlements,” Bloomberg emphasized only that the poll showed most Americans support President Barack Obama’s insistence on increasing taxes for high-income earners.
In Cairo on Wednesday, a Coptic Christian blogger named Alber Saber was convicted of blasphemy and “contempt of religion.” There’s a tragic irony: As any of the country’s Christians can tell you, contempt of religion is not merely permitted but encouraged in the new, post-Mubarak Egypt. What is criminal, what has become increasingly perilous, is any criticism of Islam. Nor is truth a defense. Another Egyptian court recently upheld the blasphemy conviction of Makarem Diab, also a Coptic Christian. Diab had gotten into a discussion with a Muslim acquaintance, Abd al-Hameed, who, in the course of mocking Diab’s faith,
President Barack Obama’s Jewish point man has expressed fierce opposition to the prospect of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.) serving in a senior role in the Obama administration. Hagel, who is the leading candidate to become the next defense secretary, has faced tough opposition from pro-Israel leaders and many Democrats for what they say are his troubling foreign policy views, which include sharp criticism of Israel. Ira Forman, who served as Obama’s Jewish outreach director during the 2012 presidential campaign, has dubbed Hagel a concerning candidate.
Mayor Bloomberg just won’t butt out. The city is recruiting foot soldiers for a stealth war against smoking cigarettes in your apartment, planning documents obtained by The Post reveal. Community groups are being asked to convince tenants and property managers to turn their private buildings into butt-free abodes — the latest front in the Health Department and Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-smoking crusade, according to a recently released “request for proposal” document. The groups would “work with property managers, tenants, and others on adoption of voluntary smoke-free policies by housing entities reaching one to two multi-unit buildings
When it comes to metaphors for the Obama administration, it is hard to top the rise and fall of Susan Rice. Her ascension to the inner circle was born of her loyalty to candidate Obama, and she failed to become secretary of state because she was loyal to President Obama instead of the truth. Her demise offers a clinic about the dangers of ambitious amateurs playing politics, but that amounts to a hill of beans to the White House. The sacrifice of Rice is just another bump in the road to shielding Obama from accountability for the Benghazi debacle.
Reality television personality David Hester has sued Storage Wars for wrongful termination alleging that the A&E program rigs auctions and plants curios in lockers. Will they next tell us that Santa Claus isn’t real? It’s a sign of the times that a genre so obviously staged, coached, and scripted calls itself “reality” television. Think “Orange Drink.” In the words of that great green-toothed philosopher Johnny Rotten, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” Reality television producers eventually discovered what their colleagues behind primetime dramas already knew: most everyday strangers aren’t so terribly interesting as to merit their own shows.
WASHINGTON — After the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and others at a supermarket in Tucson in early 2011, the Justice Department drew up a detailed list of steps the government could take to expand the background-check system in order to reduce the risk of guns falling into the hands of mentally ill people and criminals. Most of the proposals, though, were shelved at the department a year ago as the election campaign heated up and as Congress conducted a politically charged investigation into the Operation Fast and Furious
A seriously ill baby was forced to wait in an Accident and Emergency ward for more than 12 hours because there were no suitable beds available anywhere in the UK. The shocking case emerged as specialists yesterday warned the Department of Health about a national shortage of intensive care beds for children this winter. The Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) says all 29 units in Britain have been running close to capacity in recent weeks because of a surge in cases of a nasty respiratory virus and that there are several examples of children having to wait for appropriate care.
As I do every Friday, I sort through my week´s clipping files in preparation for this column. I was going to write about energy. The optimistic assessments of natural resources and the fracking technique to extract them has every potential of changing our economic future for the better and the repressive regimes of the Middle East for the worse. This despite the uninformed blather about its dangers and constraints to its use, and the ridiculous wasted billions on government subsidies and grants funneled into a make-believe solar energy future.
Since hideous, unspeakable gun massacres are such a regular occurrence in this country, I’ve had the several opportunities to live the cycle of horror, outrage, argument, recrimination, and inaction that engulfs the Internet each time. It usually goes something like this: I share a couple of links in the heat of the moment, and dissenters—many of them Southern friends and relatives—come out of the woodwork to debate. The responses are as predictable as my anti-gun links: “guns don’t kill, people do”; “if someone had had a gun, maybe they could have stopped this”; “more guns make people safer”;
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is set to be nominated as the next secretary of State, according to news reports Saturday evening. It became clear in the wake of Susan Rice’s withdrawal from consideration on Thursday that Kerry was the leading contender for the position, touching off a theoretical chess game of speculation about who will fill his Senate seat. If Kerry resigns to move to the State Department, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will appoint a short-term successor to serve until a special election can take place. More on the politics of that
Seven Secretaries of State have released a statement criticizing First Lady Michelle Obama for her false claim that Republicans engaged in voter suppression in the November election: “Unfortunately the First Lady’s comments continue the baseless attacks that have been made upon those leaders who are simply taking reasonable steps to protect the security and integrity of elections. This past election speaks for itself. In Arizona, a state that has a photo ID requirement, Hispanic voter turnout was the highest in the state’s history. In Georgia, African American turnout has remained high in each election after