Both Speaker John Boehner and media analysts have been spun into a state of confusion by the fiscal cliff issue and President Obama´s reelection. The fiscal cliff exists because the president and the GOP Congress could not decide in 2011 on a permanent general policy toward the budget. And now the president has added another factor: he is determined to usurp the Congressional authority to raise the debt ceiling. If the budget goes over the cliff, two things will happen: tax rates on everyone will rise, and across the board spending cuts will be made.
In the Golden Age of Hollywood, the stars of Tinseltown celebrated Christmas in style. The Second World War was over and all across the country, Americans were rejoicing. Bob Hope was at the height of his career, but he still took time out to entertain the troops. Frank Sinatra and his family joined in some yuletide cheer with Dean Martin. And Marilyn Monroe waited seductively by the chimney in her stockings - with care, of course. Marilyn wasn´t the only actress who was a little naughty on Christmas. Warner Brothers starlet Ida Lupino, an English transplant,
Earlier this year, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) decided to disinvite two predominantly white high school choral groups from performance in the ASO´s holiday concert. The ASO´s decision was reportedly motivated by the high schools´ lack of diversity, which caused a stir among people who believe in racial justice as opposed to racial favoritism. Headline split by staff
In a Christmas message to the nation delivered together with First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama said that for his family Christmas is "a time to celebrate the birth of Christ" and "learn from His example." Here is the complete text of the president and first lady´s message: THE PRESIDENT: Hi everybody. This weekend, as you gather with family and friends, Michelle and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. THE FIRST LADY: We both love this time of year. And there’s nothing quite like celebrating the holidays
PRINCE Harry has killed his first Taliban commander, The Sun can reveal. The 28-year-old gunship co-pilot was called on to unleash a missile strike to eliminate a senior terror leader. Harry has proved a massive hit with comrades in Helmand, Afghanistan, who have nicknamed him Big H. A defence insider said: "Big H is a legend. “We were on patrol and the Apache helicopters were called in. We heard this posh voice come over the radio and knew it was Big H. They were tracking a Taliban leader — he was commander level. Text added by Staff.
WASHINGTON- A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the U.S. a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge. The teams will be limited to training and equipping efforts, and will not be permitted to conduct military operations without specific, additional approvals from the secretary of defense. The sharper focus on Africa by the U.S. comes against a backdrop of widespread insurgent violence across North Africa,
A woman wearing an Afghan police uniform has killed a US civilian aide at police headquarters in Kabul. It is believed to be the first such insider attack carried out by a woman. She is now in custody. In a separate incident, at least five local policemen were killed by another officer in northern Afghanistan. There has been a rise in incidents in which Afghan security forces members have shot dead either foreign personnel or their own colleagues. In Monday´s attack in Kabul, Afghan officials say, a female officer at the interior ministry came looking for the police chief at
Forget state-wide budget cuts, safety comes first for this town. A New Jersey suburb is getting ready to station a full-time armed police officer in each of its nine schools come January 2. Marlboro Township will reportedly become the first district in the U.S. to have guns in every school since the shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14. ‘We’ve made a collective decision as a town that we need armed security in each of our schools,’ the town’s mayor, Jonathan Hornik, told the New York Post.
The world´s largest firearms dealer says it has sold 3.5 years of magazines for the gun used by the Sandy Hook killer in just three days. And now they are struggling to meet the demand. Brownells president Pete Brownell made a public apology to gun owners for the delay in fulfilling orders of assault weapon magazines, explaining that the company had experienced ´unprecedented´ demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines in the last three days.[Snip]´I wanted to take a minute to shed some insight on the magazine situation if i can. First of all I wanted to offer an apology for the
No one wanted to be president less than Mitt Romney, his son said in an interview out Sunday that raises new questions about the candidacy of the losing Republican nominee. In an interview with the Boston Globe examining what went wrong with the Romney campaign, his eldest son Tagg explains that his father had been a reluctant candidate from the start. After failing to win the 2008 Republican nomination, Romney told his family he would not run again and had to be persuaded to enter the 2012 White House race by his wife Ann and son Tagg.
Most people think that Barack Obama is winning his argument with John Boehner. That is probably true, since Boehner has barely engaged in public debate, preferring to pursue the fool’s game of secret negotiations. The same thing is happening around the world, as demagogic politicians lie to voters, assuring them that the status quo is sustainable. Just vote for more government, and the money will magically appear. Somehow. American voters accepted Obama’s claim that no change is necessary, that $16 trillion of debt is nothing to worry about.(Snip)Wishful thinking is a remarkably powerful force.
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus, the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar. Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so. But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain
The Newtown, Connecticut massacre of children has changed the gun control debate to an extent no other event has in decades. One of the reasons it has had such an effect is that it came at the time when liberals are at the height of their power and conservatives — and Republicans — are at their lowest ebb. It also came at a time when the maneuvers between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama over solving the “fiscal cliff” crisis fell apart, leaving Boehner severely weakened. The Newtown children hadn’t even been buried
GHENT, N.Y. — If you’re searching for the Frank Serpico of the ’70s, the whistle-blowing hippie cop of cinematic renown, pay a visit to Netflix. The real thing is now 76, his famous beard close-cropped and gray. Wiry and fit, Serpico sports tinted glasses and a Keith Richards-style skull ring with ruby red eyes. He lives alone in the woods upstate, far from his Greenwich Village haunts of yore. But despite the distance and the decades, Serpico is never too far away from his NYPD past. “I don’t know if there are ghosts,” he offers over coffee at an upstate farmers’ market.
Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes and We three kings of Orient are — to say nothing of if thou knowst it telling: Have you ever observed just how peculiar the grammar and syntax of Christmas carols can be? Or maybe that should run The songs of Christmas, noticed thou, / the strangeness filled with are — and how? The oddest may be “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” whose phrasings are now so alien that even the first line gets regularly mangled — punctuated (and sung) as God rest ye, merry gentlemen,
“We Could End Homelessness With The Money Americans Spend On Christmas Decorations,” announces a headline from Think Progress blogger Adam Peck. So far as we can tell, Americans haven’t exactly been taking to the streets demanding that people trade Christmas ornaments for welfare programs, but Peck’s article is interesting for what it reveals about those who are fighting to expand America’s welfare state. According to Peck, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says it could end “homelessness” if only its annual budget to fight the problem ballooned from $1.9 billion to $20 billion.
President Obama used the six weeks after his election to remain in full campaign mode and attack the GOP relentlessly with the intent of marginalizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as an effective leader of the Republican opposition. He succeeded. Decisively. And thus defined his second term as a bitter grind before it even began, just as he signaled to the Republicans that there is zero upside to negotiating with this most partisan president. How amusing will his second Inaugural address be when he reaches for the grand words about leading one nation
Just hours after Syrian forces bombed a line of starving residents waiting in line for bread, reports came out near Homs that government forces have finally started using chemical weapons on rebel forces. While there is no official confirmation The Times of Israel reports six rebels are reported dead and 60 injured after opposition forces say "poison gas bombs" were dropped on the rebel held town of Homs. There is video here on YouTube of exposed victims explaining and exhibiting their reported symptoms. Al Jazeera reports seven people have died in Homs after inhaling a poisonous gas
As the year winds to a close, here’s one name we haven’t heard in a while. Do you remember the Occupy movement? You know… those folks that were going to be the much needed counterweight to the Tea Party? Seems like they sort of disappeared there for a while. But at least out on the Left coast, they’re back. And they’ve brought their lawyers. Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators are suing the city for what they said was an unlawful “shock and awe” attack on their civil rights when 1,400 police officers
As godless secularism becomes more and more entrenched in our culture, the Christmas season is one of the most contentious times in our calendar. Every year, there are stories in the news of banned Christmas trees or of Christmas trees renamed "holiday trees." Christmas concerts at public schools draw threats of a lawsuit (even when the poor in Africa are the beneficiaries!), and U.S. congressmen are barred from wishing their constituents a "Merry Christmas" in their official mailings. This year, even Charlie Brown is creating controversy.
House Republicans left town in disarray on the evening of Thursday, December 21, after rejecting Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B.” That bill would have avoided the tax cliff in January even as it allowed tax rates to rise for millionaires. (A separate bill, which did pass the House, would turn off the “sequester” as it applies to the defense budget.) If Plan B had passed, House Republicans could have told their constituents that they had approved a bill to prevent a massive 2013 tax hike on most taxpayers
SOUTH CAROLINA´S conservative Republican governor, Nikki Haley, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab. US Representative Tim Scott of Charleston, a Tea Party hero who was raised in poverty by a divorced single mother, is South Carolina´s first black Republican lawmaker in more than a century. To anyone who shares the ideals that animate modern conservatism – limited government, economic liberty, color-blind equality – it stands to reason that Haley and Scott are conservatives. And their Republican affiliation should surprise no one familiar with the GOP´s long
President Barack Obama is in Hawaii for Christmas. Right now, he´s golfing with White House chef Sam Kass, staffer Marvin Nicholson, and friends Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb, according to the White House pool report. Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu last year for soliciting a prostitute. As ABC reported at the time of Titcomb´s arrest: One of President Barack Obama´s oldest friends has been arrested in Honolulu on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. Robert "Bobby" Titcomb was one of four men arrested in an undercover prostitution sting operation Monday evening
Revolutionary fervor in seizing the barricades for change makes for great theater and grand cinema, but seldom produces the positive results that young idealists desire. Those constructive consequences come much more reliably from middle-aged, middle-class virtues, patience, planning, deferred gratification, hard work, incremental improvement—with far less flash and glory. That’s the problem at the very heart of the magnificent new movie version of Les Miserables, an obvious front-runner for nominations in every major category in this year’s Oscar race. In faithfully adapting the hit stage show,
I ´ve worked in hotels for more than a decade. I´ve checked you in, checked you out, oriented you to the property, served you a beverage, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service (before and, sadly, after), cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&M´s out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. From New Orleans to New York, I´ve played by hotel rules and, in the process, learned every aspect of the industry.
Besieged by criticism from right and left, and considerable skepticism from his former Senate colleagues, Chuck Hagel appears to be following the path of Susan Rice as a trial-balloon nominee who finds himself quickly losing altitude in Washington. And as happened with Rice, the White House is now signaling that it may soon puncture Hagel´s hopes. Just as occurred with Rice, the U.N. ambassador whose prospective nomination as secretary of State—leaked to the media—flamed out in the face of widespread criticism of her, President Obama appears to be rethinking his choice for Defense secretary. A senior administration official