Last year on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the contraceptive pill its inventor Carl Djerassi spoke of the coming dramatic changes to reproductive options -- of the technologies that will have just as big an impact on society in the 50 years to come. After sex without reproduction, reproduction without sex. In an article in the UK´s "traditional values" tabloid, the Daily Mail, titled "A Terrifying Future for Female Fertility," Djerassi said, "There are an enormous number of well-educated, proficient women who, when facing the biological clock, first pay attention to their professional ambitions...
Demand for firearms has exploded in the U.S., wiping store shelves clean of guns and ammo in nearly every town, city and state since the school shooting in Connecticut and ensuing calls for stricter gun laws. Gun retailers as large as Walmart are nearly sold out of every type of firearm, including semiautomatic rifles like the one that 20-year-old Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday. A quick search for a handful of firearms that Walmart advertises turned up no results at store locations in a dozen states, including
Bill Murray would seem an unlikely Franklin Roosevelt. But the promos for Hyde Park on Hudson show him surprisingly persuasive, amid the charm and beauty of FDR’s upstate New York estate. There he famously entertained the King and Queen of England in 1939 as part of his stagecraft for persuading Americans eventually into another wartime alliance with Britain against Germany. It was a sort of hot dog summit, with the somewhat surprised royals enjoying mustard on casual American fare in a picnic. But I’ll be skipping this movie, thanks to reviews from the New York Post and the Washington Post,
America’s government chose not to govern yesterday, as Republican House Speaker John Boehner cancelled a tax vote in Congress because he calculated that he didn’t have the votes to pass it. The result: America now looks set to go over the fiscal cliff. The Mayans might have been wrong about the end of the world, but they might be on target about the end of John Boehner’s career. Aside from being very bad news for America’s economy, this is a disaster for Republicans. What went wrong? Earlier on in the day the House had narriwly passed
A Bronx health clinic is promoting its services with a new video featuring Santa Claus distributing free needles and condoms. CitiWide Harm Reduction (CitiWide) posted the video, titled “Santa Passes Out Clean Needles for Christmas,” on its website for the holiday season. The video features not only Santa, but also clinic workers dressed like elves dancing to José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” with various needles, drug kits and condoms. CitiWide is a needle-exchange program that offers drug users clean needles and other products to help combat HIV and hepatitis
Ion Perdicaris, a Greek-American, was kidnapped in 1904 in Tangier by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli and held for $70,000 ransom. Outraged, President Theodore Roosevelt sent warships and Marines to Morocco, along with a message: “This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.” Perdicaris was freed. Today, not one, but hundreds of Americans rot in Mexican jails. The State Department stopped reporting numbers years ago, but in 1998 CNN reported 400 U.S. citizens were imprisoned in Mexico, more than in any other nation.
Only Congress could do something like this. All eyes are on the fiscal-cliff negotiations to trim the $1 trillion-plus budget deficit. Running alongside but largely out of public view is a $60.4 billion emergency spending bill to provide relief to the victims of superstorm Sandy. Trouble is, the "Sandy" bill is laden with billions of dollars of spending stowaways wholly unrelated to the hurricane. Did anyone really think earmarks would stay buried? There´s $150 million in there for Alaskan fisheries. We knew Sandy made it to the Midwest, but Alaska? Marine projects
Three-time U.S. Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton admitted to working as a Las Vegas escort for the past year, reportedly offering her services as recently as Dec. 5 in a secret life that she said only her husband had known about until now, TheSmokingGun.com first reported on Thursday. Favor Hamilton, 44, who also runs a real estate brokerage firm in Wisconsin with her husband, was once featured in a Nike television commercial, a swimsuit calendar and had more recently been involved in promotional work with Disney. Her work as a call girl had allegedly taken her
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to take the gun control debate to a whole new level: banning hunting. Claiming hunting desensitizes children to killing humans, the group plans to make their case Friday by crashing the National Rifle Association´s press conference downtown at the Willard Hotel where they are expected to cite some form of gun ownership and sales changes they would support. PETA officials told Secrets that they will be protesting at the hotel with signs that read "Teach Kindness, Not Killing," and "Get ALL living beings out of the crosshairs: Ban Hunting."
In the darkness before dawn Friday, spiritualists prepared white clothes, drums, conch shells and incense ahead of the sunrise they believe will herald the birth of a new and better age as a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar comes to an end. No one was quite sure at what time the Mayas´ 13th Baktun would officially end on this Dec. 21. Some think it already ended at midnight Thursday. Others looked to Friday´s dawn here in the Maya heartland. Some had later times in mind.
IT IS REMARKABLE how confident so many people are that they know what causes – and just how to prevent – horrific massacres like Friday´s bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In a TV interview over the weekend, one observer insisted that the mass-murder in Newtown was all too predictable, given America´s failure to implement an obvious and desperately overdue reform. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" this individual demanded, showing no hint of uncertainty about exactly what needs to be fixed. Who was that? Was it Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
Boston’s NPR: WBUR poll of 500 registered voters finds U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is in a strong position should there be a special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat. MassINC pollster Steve Koczela looked at how well Brown would fare against four current or former Democratic members of Congress. “We matched him up theoretically against (U.S. Reps.) Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Steve Lynch and (former U.S. Rep.) Marty Meehan, and in each one of those cases, he led by between 17 and 19 points,” Koczela said. Dang.
You may recall that during the presidential election, the Treasury Department refused requests by General Motors to unload the government´s stake in the giant automaker. Taxpayers had sunk $50 billion into a union bailout in 2009 and were now proud owners of 26.5 percent of the struggling company. Reportedly, GM had growing concerns that the stigma of "Government Motors" was hurting sales in the United States. At the time, any transaction would have come at a steep loss to taxpayers and undermined the president´s questionable campaign assertions that the auto union rescue had been a huge success.
PHILADELPHIA - Nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins are making their public debut at the Philadelphia hospital where they were separated. Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker and their parents were introduced at Children´s Hospital of Philadelphia on Thursday. Pediatric surgeon Dr. Holly Hedrick says Allison is the smaller but tougher twin. Amelia is the larger twin but she´s still in intensive care for now.Surgeons separated the Tucker girls during a seven-hour operation in November. The infants had been joined at the lower chest and abdomen. They shared a chest wall, diaphragm, pericardium and liver.
“There were giants in the earth in those days.” The death on December 19 of Robert Bork—superb legal scholar, preeminent constitutional thinker, principled public servant—calls to mind the other giants of American conservatism who have left us in the last decade: Bill Buckley and Irving Kristol, Milton Friedman and James Q. Wilson, Richard John Neuhaus and Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. They were the greatest conservative generation. They rode into the valley of liberal orthodoxies and emerged sometimes triumphant, always unbowed. When can their glory fade? They left our nation stronger and better for their efforts.
The defeat of his Plan B — Republicans pulled it when it became clear it would be voted down — is a big defeat for Speaker of the House John Boehner. It demonstrates definitively that there is no fiscal cliff deal that can pass the House on Republican votes alone. Boehner could not even muster the votes to pass something that would only allow tax rates on those making more than $1 million to go up. Boehner’s Plan B ran into opposition from conservative and tea party groups -including Heritage Action, Freedom Works and the Club for Growth –
In August 2011, five months after Syria erupted into violence over government repression, President Obama declared that Bashar Assad should resign from office. Though Obama didn’t use the words “regime change,” he was effectively making that the goal of U.S. policy. Sixteen months have passed since the president issued his statement. Over that period, the United States did very little to strengthen the relatively moderate, pro-Western Syrian rebels who are competing for arms and influence with extremist, anti-Western rebels tied to al-Qaeda. Instead, the Obama administration relied on the United Nations to broker a diplomatic solution.
The Free Beacon, which has been leading the charge online against his appointment, heard from a source on the Hill yesterday that Hagel might no longer be a frontrunner. Now this, from the AP: [O]pposition was growing among Senate Republicans who held their weekly, closed-door meeting on Wednesday. (Snip)Rubio, who’s positioning himself as heir to McCain as leader of the Senate superhawks, is threatening to put a hold on Hagel’s nomination over his opposition to the embargo on Cuba. Kelly Ayotte, who’ll soon succeed Joe Lieberman as the “third amigo” in the McCain/Graham/Lieberman partnership on defense issues,
THERE was Roger Daltrey, 68, with his open shirt revealing a Palm Beach perma-tan, and abs so snare-tight that they immediately raised suspicion. (“Implants!” charged a few skeptical members of the Twittersphere.) There was Jon Bon Jovi, 50, with his flowing mane now a shade of coppery gold that only a hairdresser could love. There was Paul McCartney, 70, with his unlined face retaining an eerie degree of his Beatlemania-era boyishness. Last week’s star-studded “12-12-12” concert — a showcase of retirement-age rock icons like the Rolling Stones, the Who and Eric Clapton —
In the summer of 1987, right out of college, I was a summer intern for Senator Joe Biden, who was chairing the Robert Bork confirmation hearings. My contribution to the epic battle was modest: I helped with research for a speech on the history of the confirmation process, in which Biden argued that the Senate had the duty to scrutinize not only the legal qualifications but also the constitutional views of nominees. This was a controversial proposition at the time; today it has been taken to extremes that neither Biden nor Bork, who died today at 85, could have imagined.
Last month, I sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in federal prison for his shooting rampage in Tucson. That tragedy left six people dead, more than twice that number injured and a community shaken to its core. Loughner deserved his punishment. But during the sentencing, I also questioned the social utility of high-capacity magazines like the one that fed his Glock. And I lamented the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, which prohibited the manufacture and importation of certain particularly deadly guns, as well as magazines
It is Dec. 20, 2012 — and citizens of Earth are panicking, consumed by the idea that the world will end Friday, something they say was predicted by Mayan astronomers. Of course, most people are not panicking, and Maya expert David Stuart says no one should. The calendar, he says, has plenty of room to go. In an interview airing on Thursday´s Morning Edition, David Greene asks archaeologist Stuart, who helped translate influential ancient Mayan hieroglyphs in 1996, if he thinks the world will end on Dec. 21. "Absolutely not," is Stuart´s answer, dashing the hopes of students eyeing a three-day weekend,
Friday could be a tense day for markets, as a resolution to the "fiscal cliff" appears less likely in the final trading days of the year. Stock futures fell sharply Thursday evening after House Speaker John Boehner said he failed to mount support for his "Plan B" version of a bill that would raise taxes only on families earning more than $1 million, a plan already opposed by the White House. GOP leaders said the House would not take up any other votes until after Christmas,
John Boehner’s speakership is suddenly “on the ropes,” says at least one outside conservative group after Thursday night’s head-spinning developments that saw the Republican leader scrap a vote on his own plan to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff” because not enough members of his party would support it. “Speaker Boehner said today´s bill would pass. His credibility as a leader has evaporated,” declared Ron Meyer a spokesman for American Majority Action, a Virginia-based group, which has trained thousands of conservative activists and says it predates the tea party movement.
Six House leaders are pressing their demands for documents after a senior Environmental Protection Agency executive confirmed that Administrator Lisa Jackson has used a fake name and a secret email account while doing official business. (Snip) Committee members are concerned that use of secret email accounts and fake names to conduct official business could hide their contents from public access via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The EPA´s Inspector-General announced on Dec. 13 that it has opened an investigation into the use of such email accounts by EPA employees.