For the last two years, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the nominee to be the next secretary of state, has called for “immigration equality” to prevent the deportation of illegal alien same-sex partners of legal U.S. residents. In May, shortly after President Barack Obama announced his support for homosexual marriage, Kerry and 16 other Democratic senators sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. (Snip) Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the lead signature on the letter.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Sen. John Kerry as his next secretary of state [Snip] "He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training," Obama said.....Kerry would replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The 69-year-old Massachusetts Democrat is expected to be easily confirmed by Senate colleagues. Kerry is widely-known as the losing presidential candidate whose campaigning, speaking style and gaffes helped Republican incumbent George W. Bush achieve a second term in 2004. But in the current Chicago White House, Kerry is perhaps best-known
A seminary student has an affair with an insurance adjuster he met in an office building near Riverside Church; then they go their separate ways — and that’s the whole story. (Snip) Forgive me if I exaggerate. But if any patch of our culture can be said to be post-Christian, it is literature. Half a century after Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Reynolds Price and John Updike presented themselves as novelists with what O’Connor called “Christian convictions,” their would-be successors are thin on the ground. So are works of fiction about the quandaries of Christian belief.
"Lullay, Thou little tiny Child By by, lully, lullay..." The 16th-century Coventry Carol, a mother´s lament for her lost son, is the only song of the season about the other children of Christmas – the first-born of Bethlehem, slaughtered on Herod´s orders after the Magi brought him the not-so-glad tidings that an infant of that city would grow up to be King of the Jews. As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. The Massacre of the Innocents loomed large over the Christian imagination: in Rubens´ two renderings,
NEW YORK— Larry L. King, a writer and playwright whose magazine article about a campaign to close down a popular bordello became a hit Tony Award-nominated musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and a movie starring Burt Reynolds, died Thursday. He was 83. His wife, Barbara Blaine, said King died after battling emphysema at Chevy Chase House, a retirement home in Washington where he had been living the past six months. "One of the things that I will always remember about Larry is that he remained funny all the way through this illness," she said.
WASHINGTON - Federal employees don´t have to go to work on Monday, Dec. 24. The White House announced shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday it was giving all executive branch departments and agencies the day off. The executive order, below, is also posted on the White House website. The president´s order does not affect the U.S. Postal Service, according to David Partenheimer, a spokesperson for the USPS. He says mail will be delivered as usual. Executive Order
John Kerry, who is expected to be nominated as secretary of state later this afternoon, has made frequent visits to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Assad is now under fire for mass murdering his own civilians, as he fights an internal war to keep his position of power. Even Obama has called for Assad to go. In February 2009, Kerry led a delegation there to engage Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told visiting US members of Congress on Saturday that the United States should ‘move away from a policy based on dictating decisions.’ Assad´s guests on Saturday included US Senator John Kerry,
Murals adorning a Caracas slum that has given militant backing to President Hugo Chavez over the years are a virtual pantheon of international radicals. From Colombia´s FARC guerrillas to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the images and slogans on teeming slopes above Chavez´s presidential palace hail socialist revolutionaries the world over. (Snip) "Venezuela used to be known only for two things: oil and beautiful women. Now, it is famous the world over for just one: Chavez," said a senior Western diplomat in Caracas.
Milan - General Electric Co (GE.N) has agreed to buy the aviation business of Italy´s Avio for $4.3 billion, in a sign of confidence about the country´s underlying strength despite its deep recession. The deal comes as Europe´s fourth-biggest economy labors to become more competitive under a reform agenda set by technocrat prime minister Mario Monti, who is due to step down on Friday before general elections seen in February. (Snip) Avio, which makes components for the GE Dreamliner engine used by Boeing Co (BA.N), ranks among Italy´s industrial jewels and is one of the most technologically
Chuck Hagel, a candidate for secretary of defense whose record on gay-rights issues has come under fire in recent days, apologized on Friday for remarks he made as a senator that an openly gay man nominated for a diplomatic post should not represent the United States. (Snip) “They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any L.G.B.T. Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights,” Mr. Hagel said. “I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to L.G.B.T. military families.”
Elyria — Some employees could be out of work as Invacare Corporation will have to indefinitely “stop manufacturing, designing and distributing manual and powered wheelchairs and wheelchair components” at its two Elyria facilities until it satisfies federal regulators over its quality and design control systems. (Snip) This all started in 2010 when (John) Kasich (now Ohio’s Republican governor) was on Invacare’s board of directors. The federal government was playing politics and they sent in multiple auditors. They were there for over a year, but normally you have one auditor who comes in for a few weeks. Headline resplit and Snip added by staff.
Soon-to-be tax exile Gérard Depardieu can have a Russian passport if he wants it, the country’s President Vladimir Putin said after the French film star announced he would return his French one. French actor Gérard Depardieu, under fierce criticism for going into self-imposed tax exile in Belgium, would be more than welcome in Russia, the country’s President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “If Gérard really wants a residency permit or a Russian passport, it’s a done deal,” Putin said at a press conference. “We have very friendly relations [with Depardieu], but I know that deep down he feels French.”
French banking giant BNP was left red-faced this week after it emerged managers were shown a motivational video featuring a parody of a famous scene from the film "Downfall" in which Adolf Hitler is portrayed as the boss of Germany´s Deutsche Bank. It’s a scene that has been parodied thousands of times before to comic effect. But it appears not many people have seen the funny side of one particular version made by executives of French bank BNP Paribas. The moment in the 2004 German film "Downfall" when Hitler, played by Bruno Ganz, berates his generals
Fact: This is a right-of-center country. Fact: Conservative economic ideas poll better than liberal economic ideas. Fact: History and data prove that conservative ideas work, and liberal ones don´t.(Snip)Fact: Until Kansas´ Republican Rep. Tim HuelsKamp or any Republican is made aware of and fully prepares for the facts listed above, every effort should be made to ensure that they are never-ever-ever-ever allowed anywhere near a microphone or television camera again.
Pope Benedict XVI has weighed in on a heated debate over gay marriage, criticising new concepts of the traditional family and warning that mankind itself was at stake. "In the fight for the family, the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question," the Pope said in Italian during an end-of-year speech. "The question of the family ... is the question of what it means to be a man, and what it is necessary to do to be true men," he said.
A yacht built for Apple´s late co-founder Steve Jobs has been impounded in Amsterdam because of a dispute over an unpaid bill to designer Philippe Starck, a lawyer said on Friday. Jobs, who died last year, never got to use the yacht – called Venus – but had commissioned the French designer to work on the vessel, which cost more than £80m to build. A lawyer representing Starck´s company, Ubik, said his client had received €6m out of a €9m commission for his work on the minimalist vessel and was seeking to recover the rest
They had no idea what lay in store for them that fateful afternoon. Near the town of Malmedy, in Belgium, Ted Paluch and about 100 other U.S. soldiers had been overwhelmed by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge and compelled to surrender. They dropped their carbines and were herded to a field, where they expected to be taken away in trucks. What happened next turned that day into one of the darkest of World War II. The events are as vivid to Paluch now as when he lived through them nearly seven decades ago. Headline resplit by staff.
There’s no mystery about why Hillary Rodham Clinton spends so much time on airplanes to dreary places that everybody else avoids like the plague (or the stomach flu). The climate anywhere is better than in the comfortable ineptitude of Foggy Bottom. The report of an independent panel inquiring into what happened in Benghazi blames the State Department bureaucracy essentially for not having a clue about what was going on in Libya. A panel of diplomats would never say anything like that, but the message written between the lines is plain and clear. The panel blames intelligence officers
In the astroturfed Christmas Card Version of Obama’s 20-day Hawaiian holiday, (Michelle and daughters already there, but starting for Barry this weekend) the mental vision strived for is the regime and its staffers running happily, like the Moon-doggies of old, into the surf. With Axelrod doing the astroturfing, who needs Hollywood, and if Gidget can go Hawaiian, why not a lugubrious Valerie or Michelle? The astroturf version of the Obamas’ $4 million holiday in Hawaii is set to demoralize and depress the proletariat.
China’s government provided goods and expertise for Iran’s nuclear program in the past and also gave Tehran’s Islamist regime missiles and other arms as part of the nations’ anti-United States policies, according to a congressional commission report made public Thursday. (Snip) “In recent decades the United States, supported by regional allies and security partners, has represented the principal hegemonic threat to Iran and China in two different regional contexts: the Persian Gulf and the Western Pacific.” The 95-page report, “China-Iran: A Limited Partnership,” was produced for the commission
On Friday December 14, Becky Kowalski suffered what she called the ´worst day of my life´ when she found out her seven-year-old son had been gunned down at his elementary school. But on Sunday, just two days later, she experienced the ´best day of my life´ when the boy, Chase, came to her in a vision and assured her his life had not been taken for nothing. Becky has claimed that the boy´s visit assured her that a fund set up in his honour would save lives, change building codes, foster gun control and ´bring God back to America.´
For those hoping to get a mea culpa from NRA boss Wayne LaPierre at a Friday press conference in Washington, you came away sorely disappointed. LaPierre was broadly combative against a media that he insisted purposely papers over violence in video games in favor of scapegoating his organization. He defended the need for gun ownership and proposed that Congress take up legislation that would put an armed security officer in every school by January. He was, in a word, defiant.
Pity John Boehner. Last night’s humiliating rebellion in the House only adds to his woes. The most powerful Republican in Washington has been looking at the calendar and the polls, and what he’s seen is this: 1) On Jan. 1, taxes automatically go up on everyone in America. 2) Everybody is going to blame the GOP if that happens. Has anyone ever been in a worse negotiating position? Oh, and don’t forget the heat he’s feeling from Republicans and conservatives who are calling him a weakling and a traitor, a monster, a coward, a sellout and whatever nasty adjectives they can come up with that will make
Full tex of NRA CEO Wayne La Pierre´s remarks delivered at 11a.m. Friday EST. The National Rifle Association´s 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut ... who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime. Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent. Now, we must speak ... for the safety of our nation´s children.
Jay Leno made a comical observation Thursday about what was disaffectionately referred to in the previous decade as Bush Derangement Syndrome. During the opening monologue of NBC´s Tonight Show, the host said, "As you know, the Mayans said the world will end tomorrow, and like everybody else they blame Bush" (video follows with commentary):(Snip) By contrast, with Barack Obama in the White House, any criticism of the president today is called racist by his adoring press. What a difference a "D" makes.