Sixty soldiers have returned from Afghanistan to spend Christmas with their families. The members of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 Scots), flew back to Edinburgh three months earlier than initially planned. The Ministry of Defence said the move is part of the planned troop reduction in the country, which will see the number of service personnel in Afghanistan reduce from 9,500 to 9,000 before Christmas. More than 3,800 British troops fighting in Afghanistan will be home by Christmas next year, David Cameron announced this week.
Today ABC News President Ben Sherwood announced new correspondent assignments for the Washington D.C. bureau. He sent the following email to the news division outlining the changes: I’m writing with news about our on-air team in Washington. I am delighted to report that Jonathan Karl is our new Chief White House Correspondent and Martha Raddatz is taking on an expanded role as Chief Global Affairs Correspondent. (Snip) Jake is leaving ABC News for an opportunity at CNN. You’ll hear more about his new anchor role from his new network.
RUSH: We´re gonna start in Long Valley, New Jersey. This is Frank. Thank you, sir, and welcome. Great to have you here. CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I was sitting here enjoying a cigar in one of the last bastions in New Jersey you´re still allowed to smoke. So having a good time listening to you. But the real problem here is, you´re talking about the uninformed voter, you´re not gonna get them by giving them more information. And the left separates elections from governing. And we don´t do that.
RUSH: You gotta hear this. Richard Stengel. You thought it was gonna be your story on the castration guy, right? That´s coming up. You gotta hear this. Richard Stengel, the TIME Magazine guy, the editor. You know, yesterday he was on Today show, announced Obama as the Person of the Year. He said the reason why they named Obama Person of the of Year is because the no-information voters love the guy. They´re transforming America. They actually said this. TIME magazine said it´s remarkable he´s worth being Person of the Year,
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis expects President Obama and Congress to reach a deal to avoid going over the financial cliff on Jan. 2, 2013, but even if they don´t settle things in time, nothing much will happen in her department if mandatory spending cuts - akak "sequestration" - are implemented. "I do not expect our day-to-day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2, should sequestration occur. This means that we will not be executing any immediate personnel actions, such as furloughs, on that date," she told Department of Labor employees in a memorandum circulated today.
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder is heading to Newtown, Conn., to meet with first responders and law enforcement officials about last week´s school shooting. A Justice Department official says Holder is set to depart Washington after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, who´s leading an administration effort to develop ways for reducing gun violence. The official requested anonymity because Holder´s visit to Newtown has not been publicly announced. The attorney general isn´t expected to participate in any public events during the visit.
Yes, abortion rights activists have reached a new level of depravity. Apparently, as everyone indulges in the holiday spirit, the pro-choice camp decided to create abortion ornaments – or ´abornaments´ – to be part of the commemoration of the birth of Christ. The fact that pro-choice Americans threw this in the face of those who practice religion, or hold pro-life beliefs, is offensive in the extreme. Steven Ertelt of Life News wrote on December 19: The pro-life group Life Dynamics has been highlighting so-called “Abornaments” that pro-abortion activists are promoting. They are sharing the images of the sacrilegious ornaments
More Americans prioritize gun control above Second Amendment rights by the widest margin since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new poll released Thursday in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Forty-nine percent of those polled said it’s more important to control gun ownership, compared to 42 percent who say it’s more important to protect Americans’ rights to own guns, according to a Pew Research Center Poll. The Pew poll showed a slight shift toward gun control that wasn’t apparent following a July shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Headline split by staff.
One of America’s foremost experts on constitutional law says the death of Judge Robert H. Bork Wednesday is not only a cause for mourning for many, but should also be the cause for some soul-searching. “Judge Bork was a towering figure in constitutional theory over the last 50 years,” former U.S. Judge Michael McConnell told CNSNews.com on Wednesday. (snip) “I think that his death should cause a lot of people to be doing some soul searching about the way in which the judicial confirmation process is conducted, because his nomination battle was really the first
Clark W. Griswold had a theory: When it comes to Christmas lights, more is definitely more. A woman in Orange County in California, clearly inspired by Griswold´s philosophy, has decked her home with a staggering 65,000 holiday lights. This isn´t the first time Jan Stewart has gone all-out to light up her house. Last year, Stewart (with some professional help) used about 54,000 lights as a tribute to her late husband, Larry. In this year´s display you can see Larry´s face flash on the roof. This year, she added 10,000 more lights, a few lasers, 16 lighted arches
Any hope that Jon Hammar, the Marine imprisoned in Mexico on a disputed gun charge, might be freed in time for Christmas has apparently been dashed by a terse letter a top Mexican diplomat sent to Hammar’s congresswoman.(Snip) "As you know well, Mexico has had very stringent gun-control laws in place for many years, and have reinforced their application as a result of the flow of weapons illicitly purchased in the U.S. and then trafficked into Mexico and into the hands of transnational criminal organizations," Sarukhan wrote. Headline resplit and Snip added by staff.
Politics: Taxpayers are forking out $4.8 million for 35 union officials at the Department of Transportation. But the beneficiary here isn´t the taxpayer, it´s President Obama, who is raking campaign cash from these unions. According to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Americans for Limited Government, 35 officials, representing mostly air traffic controllers´ unions, are members of the $100,000 club among federal employees. Unlike the average American, or even average DOT employee, these union officials draw an average $138,000 in salary and benefits from the federal government, not to give something of value to the taxpayers, Headline split by staff.
There is a different sort of racialist derangement spreading in the country -- and it is getting ugly. Here is actor Jamie Foxx joking recently about his new movie role: "I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?" Reverse white and black in the relevant ways and even a comedian would hear national outrage. Instead, his hip "Saturday Night Live" audience even gave Foxx applause. Race-obsessed comedian Chris Rock tweeted on the Fourth of July, "Happy white peoples (sic) independence day ..." Actor Samuel L. Jackson, in a recent interview, sounded about as unapologetically reactionary Headline split by staff.
Speaker John Boehner is confident that “Plan B,” his fiscal-cliff plan, will pass the House, and that its passage will pressure the Senate to bring it to the floor. “I’m not convinced at all that when it passes, it’ll die in the Senate,” Boehner told reporters. “I did my part, they’ve done nothing.” “They will have to act,” he added. “If they refuse to act, they will be responsible for the largest tax hike in American history.” Should the plan pass, House aides expect the lower chamber to adjourn.
The worst mass-murder in a school in American history did not involve guns or shooters; it involved a bomb in an elementary school. It didn´t take place in Connecticut; it took place in a rural community in Michigan called Bath. The perpetrator wasn´t a young man - he was 55 years old. And the attack did not occur this year or last year - or even this decade. The year was 1927. In an unspeakably horrible crime, Andrew Kehoe killed his wife and family, set his farm on fire - and then set off 500 pounds of explosives
The New York Times has finally discovered that fiscal cliffs aren’t the only thing that menace the modern nation-state. There’s a demographic cliff, too. A couple weeks ago, the Times’s Ross Douthat wrote a column about America’s bleak demographic future and suggested that the reason we aren’t having enough babies is that we’ve become a decadent society. Douthat’s column touched off something of a firestorm on the left as liberal writers flipped out over the ideas that (1) There aren’t enough babies; (2) More babies would be a good thing;
Senate majority leader Harry Reid has adjourned the Senate to allow for a viewing of the Hollywood film Lincoln. Joel Siegel@joelmsiegel -Senate Republicans propose initial $24B in Sandy aid, then adjourn to watch "Lincoln." Obama wanted 60B. (Snip) Reid, Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis about to watch "Lincoln" on the Hill yfrog.com/g0ecramj -bipartisanship." Manu Raju@mkraju -Reid on Lincoln viewing, with Spielberg and Day-Lewis flanked beside. "This is really an opportunity for bipartisanship."
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, made his "fiscal cliff" position clear in a press conference today. "We are not going to do anything," said Reid. Reid added, "We are not taking up anything they are working on over there." The top Democrat in the Senate was explaining his inaction on the House plan, the proposal put forward by Republican John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives. Boehner´s plan is being referred to as ´Plan B.´
More than 30 Michigan schools have closed two days early for the holidays because of a string of “rumors” running rampant throughout the neighborhoods that a) there might be violence against students; and b) the Mayan calendar predicts apocalypse on Friday morning. Detroit’s NBC affiliate WDIV reported that Lapeer Community Schools superintendent Matt Wandrie said that the doomsday “rumors” are adding to fears about gun violence resulting from last week’s massacre in Newtown, Conn. “Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts,
Saying that Republican opponents should "take me out of it," President Barack Obama appealed Wednesday for compromise on the "fiscal cliff," urging GOP House members to put aside personal and political concerns after a week marked by the Newtown shooting tragedy and continued bickering over the nation´s deficit woes. Acknowledging that his most vehement foes live in conservative districts with little political "incentive" to back the Democratic president, Obama blamed Republican rank-and-file for personalizing the politics of possible deficit reduction plans.
STAMFORD, Conn. -- The mother of Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza told a divorce mediator in 2009 that she didn´t like to leave him alone and that she would care for him as long as he needed it. When Lanza´s parents divorced in 2009, the settlement left his mother with a comfortable income and the knowledge that the then-17-year-old boy´s education would be paid for and his medical insurance covered. If there was bitterness and anger between Nancy and Peter Lanza, it is not described in court papers. And there was no mention of any lingering mental health or medical
Sen. Affleck? Ben Affleck, looking serious — and a bit congressional — visited Capitol Hill yesterday but refused to dampen speculation that he’s considering running for a US Senate seat from Massachusetts. “That’s not what I’m here to talk about,” the actor-director told Politico aftertestifying to the House Armed Services Committee about violence in Congo, the African nation he’s visited regularly in recent years. (Snip) Kerry’s seat would become vacant if he is named to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state when she resigns next month.
During his press conference today, called to announce his new gun control task force, President Obama invoked the Newtown massacre to apply pressure on congressional Republicans in the fiscal cliff standoff. OBAMA: If this past week has done anything it should give us some perspective. (Snip)get a deficit reduction deal in place, make sure middle class taxes don’t go up, make sure that we’re laying the foundations for growth, give certainty to businesses large and small, not put ourselves through some sort of self-inflicted crisis every six months, allow ourselves time to focus on things like preventing the tragedy
This Bakers Dozen are my picks for the 2012 Illinois Hall of Shame even though there were many, many more candidates available. But hey, we can do this as an annual event and like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can add those missed as lifetime achievement winners if necessary. Naturally these selections are based upon my own opinions. But I believe most people would agree that these 13 public figures are at least somewhat indicative of what is wrong with our politics in the State of Illinois; i.e. political corruption, nepotism, ethical lapses and even outright malfeasance.
Maybe Scott Brown will become the Manny Mota of politics — the guy who excels at pinch-hitting. After having just lost a statewide election to hold onto the seat he won in a January 2010 special election, Republicans want him back as their nominee if John Kerry gets his expected Secretary of State appointment. And according to a new poll from Boston’s NPR affiliate WBUR, Brown leads all of the expected Democratic candidates, too (via Sarah Rumpf): WBUR poll of 500 registered voters finds U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is in a strong position