Energy: As the U.S. changes the balance of power by exporting some of its abundant natural gas resources, a Hollywood propaganda film debuts claiming the technology making it possible will poison America´s small towns. ´Promised Land," a film that does nothing to alter Hollywood´s stereotype of businessmen, particularly energy industry executives, as greedy plunderers of the planet, opens this week in selected theatres. The anti-fracking film is based on a not-true story about well contamination in a small Pennsylvania town with a healthy dose of junk science.
President Obama began to unveil his second-term national security team on Friday, choosing John Kerry as the next Secretary of State. The Massachusetts Senator shares the President´s view of diminished American power and influence, which should only compound skepticism about the mooted selection of Chuck Hagel to lead the Pentagon. Mr. Obama has found his mirror-image in Mr. Kerry, who for 30 years has been one of the Democratic Party´s leading doves. The Senator´s antiwar activism after Vietnam is well known and may have cost him the Presidency in 2004.
At the Oxford Union the other day, I was comprehensively outperformed by this man: Dr Cornel West. If you’ve heard him live, you’ll know that he speaks in the manner of a charismatic preacher, and that the timbre of his voice captivates almost any audience. The motion was This House would occupy Wall Street. He won. For a while, I sat there in the manner of Harold Abrahams after he loses to Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire. But then, like Abrahams, I picked myself up and started trying to improve my performance.
I know just what a lot of those so-called DREAMers deserve to get for Christmas: a scolding. There are good and bad actors in every movement, and the bad ones -- if not kept in check -- can drag the good ones down with them. The term DREAMers refers to the estimated 1.4 million to 2 million young illegal immigrants who might have gotten some relief if the DREAM Act, which offered legal status in return for attending college or joining the military, hadn´t been torpedoed in the Senate in December 2010.
Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé Knowles are among celebrities campaigning for gun regulation in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. The stars feature in a new public service announcement against gun violence for Demand a Plan after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself at the Connecticut school last Friday.The one-and-a-half minute clip features the celebrity activists asking: ´How many more colleges? How many more classrooms? How many more movie theatres? How many more houses of faith?´ before lawmakers tighten regulations.
Three people have been shot dead near a rural Pennsylvania church today before the gunman was killed by police. State police say the shooter killed three people, then exchanged gunfire with troopers rushing to the scene. Troopers fatally shot him after his pickup crashed into one of their cruisers, injuring three officers. One woman was shot through the window of a church hall while she decorated for a children´s Christmas party. Another woman who was also decorating at Juniata Valley Gospel Church escaped unharmed.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, is taking the lead in blaming weaponry instead of evil, criminality and insanity. Feinstein plans to reinstate a ban on “assault weapons,” which escape easy definition, and president Obama supports her action. That invites a look at Feinstein’s experience during the 1970s when San Francisco Bay Area was a center of radicalism so violent it was dubbed “the Belfast of North America.”
RUSH: Get this! "A Bronx health clinic is promoting its services with a new video featuring Santa Claus distributing free needles and condoms. CitiWide Harm Reduction 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 C.
Washington - U.S. President Barack Obama Friday nominated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Announcing his decision at the White House, Obama said Kerry´s "entire life has prepared him" to serve as secretary of state. "As the son of a Foreign Service officer, he has a deep respect for the men and women of the State Department -- the role they play in advancing our interests and values, the risks that they undertake and the sacrifices that they make along with their families," the president said. "Having served with valor in Vietnam,
The horrific massacre of the innocents in Newtown was bound to result in a search for preventive action so that nothing like it could ever happen again, and hence also for its real or final cause. (Snip) Second, even if he had agreed to consult a psychiatrist, there is no certainty that the psychiatrist could have done anything for him and thus averted the disaster. Nor would the psychiatrist necessarily have had any reason to suspect a mass killing as a possible outcome in this case; the best predictor of future behavior is, after all, past behavior
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain came out swinging Friday against a Wednesday New York Times op-ed that claims Republicans strategically use black politicians to “undermine black interests.” The op-ed specifically dismisses South Carolina Republican Rep. Tim Scott, who will soon join the Senate, as one of the Republicans’ “cynical tokens.” Cain declared the New York Times a “racist newspaper” for running the column, which was penned by University of Pennsylvania political science professor Adolph Reed Jr. and titled “The Puzzle of Black Republicans.”
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.