It was a most audacious application of the Emanuel rule. “Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel said when he was tapped to be President Obama’s chief of staff. Standing in the White House briefing room Wednesday afternoon, Obama observed that recommendation in unorthodox fashion, invoking the grade-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., to advance his agenda not just on gun control but on taxes, the debt limit, energy and immigration reform. “Goodness,” Obama said. “If there’s one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important.”
Technology giant Google has teamed up with the Israeli Antiquities Authority to create a fascinating online version of the 2,000 year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, which includes high resolution images of the Ten Commandments, which up to until now had been viewable by just five people. Israel Antiquities Authority DG Shuka Dorfman: “Only five conservators worldwide are authorised to handle the Dead Sea scrolls. As of today, everyone around the globe will be able to touch the scrolls on-screen.” Users of the website - www.deadseascrolls.org.il – will be able to look at and read the ancient scroll
Eastman Kodak once described the sale of 1,100 digital imaging patents as a windfall that could prop up and even save the beleaguered company. On Wednesday, the sale was finally announced, but instead of bringing as much as $2.6 billion as Kodak once predicted, the selling price was far short of that amount, at about $525 million. The buyer was a consortium that includes many of the world’s biggest technology firms, among them Apple, Google, Facebook and Samsung Electronics. Kodak officials said the sale was another step toward emerging from bankruptcy, and turning around a
In the immediate aftermath of Friday´s terrible tragedy in Connecticut, there have been the predictable calls to enact new gun control legislation. The usual proponents of additional restrictions on guns have filled the airwaves with calls for immediate legislative action. Sen. Diane Feinstein has promised to introduce a new "assault weapons" ban on the first day of the new Congress next year. But, there are three very big reasons to believe that, for all the rhetoric, nothing will come of this new push for gun control. 1. Biden Gun Violence Task Force
With President Obama’s announcement of a commission to study and recommend ways to reduce gun violence, the two most important Democrats in government — Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — have both indicated a desire to slow the momentum toward gun control in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings. The president’s decision to appoint a blue-ribbon panel — the classic Washington ploy to defuse and delay consideration of an issue — along with Reid’s inaction on the gun question will undoubtedly frustrate many in their party who want immediate action. Obama seemed to anticipate
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Apple Inc´s ´pinch-to-zoom´ patent in a preliminary ruling that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd argues supports its request for a new trial in the patent war against its rival. Apple scored a sweeping legal victory over its South Korean competitor in August when a U.S. jury found Samsung had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. The ´pinch-to-zoom´ patent, U.S. patent no. 7,844,915, was one of the patents contested at that trial. The jury ruled that Samsung
Washington - On Dec. 4, the Senate rejected the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by a vote of 61 to 38, five short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval. Conservative Republicans had mischaracterized the treaty, which was intended to promote the rights of the disabled in other countries, as infringing on American sovereignty. But the treaty was also mishandled by the Obama administration, which has secured Senate approval of the fewest treaties in any four-year presidential term since World War II. It isn’t enough to blame Republican opposition
The State Department slammed former United Nations envoy John Bolton over his suggestion that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton falsely claimed a concussion to avoid a potentially embarrassing appearance before Congress to explain the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. In an appearance on Fox News, Bolton said that Clinton’s claim that she had fainted because of the flu, hitting her head and suffering a concussion, was what foreign service officers call a “diplomatic illness,” intended to free a diplomat from an unpleasant duty.
In the wake of a monstrous crime like a madman’s mass murder of defenseless women and children at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the nation’s attention is riveted on what could have been done to prevent such a massacre. Luckily, some years ago, two famed economists, William Landes at the University of Chicago and John Lott at Yale, conducted a massive study of multiple victim public shootings in the United States between 1977 and 1995 to see how various legal changes affected their frequency and death toll.
Technology has changed a lot in 15 years. It´s been nearly that long since the Federal Trade Commission has updated rules protecting kids’ online privacy. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it has given parents greater control over the information that online services collect from kids 12 and under. Read Jessica Guynn´s story on the issue here. Among the changes to the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act: The FTC updated rules for mobile apps and made it clear that a child’s location, photographs and videos cannot be collected without a parent’s permission.
The theory that Adam Lanza targeted an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., because his mother was going to have him committed was quickly disputed Tuesday. (Snip)Richard Flashman, a pastor at Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church in nearby Monroe, was forced to put out a statement after his son told FoxNews.com that Lanza’s mother, Nancy, wanted to put him in a psychiatric facility. “I’ve just spoken to Josh,” Flashman said of his son, according to The Journal News. “As the Fox News article indicates, the information Josh spoke to them about was hearsay and not confirmed. I suggest
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Interior Department´s plan for managing a vast petroleum reserve on Alaska´s North Slope calls for a roughly 50-50 split between conservation and oil development plus accommodation for a pipeline that could carry offshore Arctic Ocean oil to the trans-Alaska pipeline. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday announced that the plan will allow for development of nearly 12 million acres within the 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, an area roughly the size of Indiana.
A Labrador has given her family 12 unexpected early Christmas presents. Three-year-old Lucy started giving birth at the home of her ‘auntie’, Annette Thompson, in Kirkholt, Rochdale. But neither she, nor Lucy’s owner Rachel Foy, had known she was pregnant. ´I couldn’t believe it,´ said Ms Thompson, who was looking after Lucy for a short time. ´She just came up to me trying to get my attention and then suddenly a pup appeared. Then they just kept coming and coming.´ And in a freak twist, all 12 were born on the 12th of the 12th 2012.
Climate Change: The United Nations´ global warming panel is writing up a report from its most recent meeting. Are we doomed? Hardly. From the looks of leaked drafts, it appears the U.N. has at last discovered reality. As it´s done many times before, the U.N.´s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change met in November to assess the threat of man-made global warming. And now it´s working on a report intended to scare the masses into believing that humans are burning up their world. We don´t doubt that the final version of the IPCC´s fifth report due next year
What can the state lottery teach us about how to deal with the fiscal cliff? Quite a bit, actually. Last month, two families in Missouri and Arizona had their dreams come true when they shared the largest Powerball lottery jackpot in history: $587 million. "We are truly blessed," one of the winners told the press. Perhaps. People always imagine all the nice things that would happen to them if they won the lottery: They would travel more, buy a beautiful home, start a foundation or quit a tiresome job. Rarely do people say, "If I won the lottery,
Law: A quarter of a century ago, a good and great man was slandered to maintain liberal judicial power. It was Vice President Joe Biden, who as a senator, led the injustices committed against Judge Robert Bork. The Wednesday morning death of Bork, Ronald Reagan´s failed 1987 Supreme Court nominee, should make us think how much freer and better this country would be if Bork´s intellectual power and constitutional integrity had been present within the justices´ deliberations over the past 25 years. Had Reagan nominated Bork to replace retiring Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1986, when Republicans
Editor´s note: The former federal judge, legal scholar and solicitor general Robert H. Bork, who died Wednesday at age 85, was a frequent contributor to the Journal´s opinion pages. An editorial appears nearby, and below are some selections from his work: "The Unpersuasive Bakke Decision," July 21, 1978 The decisive opinion [in Bakke] was Mr. Justice [Lewis] Powell´s, because the remainder of the court split evenly for and against the racial quota used by the Davis medical school for admissions. Justice Powell´s middle position—universities may not use raw racial quotas but may consider race, among other
It goes against every fiber of my conservative nature to blame anyone or anything other than the evildoer for evildoing. But the media does not. Literally, within seconds of the awful Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last Friday, the craven media was pushing an agenda blaming access to guns for this awful crime. Okay, then, if the media wants to open this door, let´s talk about how the media offers major incentives to go on a killing spree. Ask yourself this: What are the guaranteed promises the media makes to those willing to go on a shooting-spree targeting
Leadership: A less-than-adequate independent review cites "grossly" inadequate leadership, "systemic failures" and "management deficiencies" that mean our secretary of state isn´t ready for that 3 a.m. call either. We know Hillary Clinton had a virus that caused her to faint and suffer a concussion from her fall and needs her rest. We also know she wasn´t up to it when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice took her place and went on five Sunday talk shows to blame a video for the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. But then, Susan Rice isn´t running for president in 2016,
A new poll released today by Gallup shows that Americans favor increased security and proactive mental health treatment over gun control. The national poll of a little over 1,000 adults was conducted in the wake of the tragic murders at a Connecticuit school last Friday. As the introduction to the poll says: Americans are most likely to say that an increased police presence at schools, increased government spending on mental health screening and treatment, and decreased depiction of gun violence in entertainment venues would be effective
A Nashville father is taking the safety of his children´s elementary school into his own hands by standing watch outside the building in his camouflage Marines uniform. "I feel like this is something I had to do," Staff Sgt. Jordan Pritchard told local WSMV television while standing outside Gower Elementary school on Tuesday. Pritchard, who has two children at the school, is not armed. But he said he believed the sight of a soldier standing sentinel would make a gunman think twice about attacking the school.
Russia is enduring its harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as -50 degrees Celsius. Dozens of people have already died, and almost 150 have been hospitalized. The country has not witnessed such a long cold spell since 1938, meteorologists said, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than the seasonal norm all over Russia. Across the country, 45 people have died due to the cold, and 266 have been taken to hospitals. In total, 542 people were injured due to the freezing temperatures,
The ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform filed an amicus brief Wednesday in the contempt lawsuit brought by House Republicans against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning investigation, saying the lawsuit should be dismissed. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland claims the court should exercise its discretion and dismiss the lawsuit because the committee failed in its constitutional obligation to avoid unnecessary conflict, to take reasonable measures to accommodate the legitimate interests of the executive branch and to seek information from other available sources.
The Sandy Hook gunman worshiped the devil and had an online page dedicated to Satan, a former classmate revealed, as his childhood barber recalls Adam Lanza never spoke and would stare at the floor every time he had his hair cut. Lanza´s worshiping page had the word ´Devil´ written in red, Gothic-style letters against a black background, Trevor L. Todd told The National Enquirer, something which he said was ´weird´ and ´gave him the chills´. The FBI are trying to piece together his smashed up hard drive to see if his online footprint will reveal
Washington — The Obama administration said Wednesday it will sell 200 million shares — or 40 percent of its remaining stake in General Motors Co. — back to the automaker and announced plans to completely exit the Detroit automaker by March 2014. The Detroit automaker said it will purchase 200 million shares of GM stock held by Treasury for $5.5 billion — or $27.50 per share — nearly $2 above the stock´s closing price on Tuesday. GM shares jumped sharply on the news and were up 7.5 percent to $27.36, or $1.90, early afternoon in very heavy trading.
An American soldier will face a court martial where he could be given the death penalty if found guilty of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime rampage earlier this year, the Army announced today. The charges stem from a horrific event in March when Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is alleged to have snuck out of his remote outpost in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar to go on a shooting spree in two nearby villages. The pre-dawn attack left 16 villagers dead and six injured. Nine of those killed were children. In a preliminary hearing,