One of my New Year’s resolutions is to work harder to persuade ideological friends and foes alike that the way to reduce partisanship and maximize happiness in America is to embrace federalism — the view that we should push as many decisions as possible to the lowest local level feasible. (Snip)For instance, consider the case of Ernest Hemingway’s six-toed cats. According to legend, the writer was given a polydactyl (six-toed) feline named Snowball. Under a deadline, I could not determine whether Snowball was in fact male or female, but assuming he was a he, Snowball managed to overcome the limitations
It was perhaps inevitable that the first-ever war broadcast live on TV would produce an outsize media hero like its commander, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf. But the four-star general, who died Thursday at 78, was no creation of the media — though he was a natural in front of the cameras. He was, instead, a battle-hardened, highly decorated combat veteran and a brilliant tactician who resisted the impulse of too many other generals to play politician. Never before had America enjoyed such a stunning military success as the air and land assault that drove Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s decision to buck the dying wish of legendary Sen. Daniel Inouye and install his own No. 2, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, as the state’s soon-to-be senior senator may be less surprising than it seems. Abercrombie and Inouye were not allies. In fact, their two-decade relationship in Congress was marked by rifts — most notably over Inouye’s encouragement of a primary challenger to Abercrombie in the 2010 governor’s race. Abercrombie and Schatz were running mates in that same election.
AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s campaign manager is under criminal scrutiny, suspected of stealing at least $600,000 — and possibly more than $1 million — from the Republican’s political accounts over the past several years. Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield, a longtime GOP consultant who most recently managed Dewhurst’s failed run for the U.S. Senate, has been accused of falsifying documents to the Texas Ethics Commission that overstated the cash in Dewhurst’s state campaign committee by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Barfield, who also directed Dewhurst’s re-election campaign for lieutenant governor in 2010, did not return calls to his cellphone Thursday.
Saying that he is “modestly optimistic,” President Obama emerged this evening to call the afternoon meeting at the White House between himself and Congressional leaders “constructive.” Obama said that Senate leaders Reid and McConnell will try reaching a deal on the cliff, and if they cannot, he wants an up or down vote in the House and the Senate on a slimmed down deal that preserves current tax rates on the middle class. The Republican House tried moving just such a deal last week, but failed on the fact that tax rates would still go up
From my inbox, submitted without comment. * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000 * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000 * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000 Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget: * Annual family income: $21,700 * Money the family spent: $38,200 * New debt on the credit card: $16,500 * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710 * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
In the wake of the Newtown massacre, a call has gone up for a conversation about our gun laws. To that end, here are questions for advocates of gun control who are pushing for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, among other new restrictions, to address school shootings. What’s the functional difference between an assault weapon and a semiautomatic rifle? You do understand that the answer is “nothing”? An assault weapon is not an automatic weapon. It is semiautomatic like most guns now sold in the United States, i.e., it fires every time the trigger is pulled.
What with a Presidential election, two severe hurricanes, multiple mass shootings and a fiscal cliff, it has been a busy year for Barack Obama. But at every twist and turn, his decisions, reactions and emotions have been captured in photographs. Now, as 2012 comes to a close, the President has pulled together a collection of his favourite pictures for the year and posted them to the White House Facebook page for America to enjoy. Many of the images of the world´s most photographed man were taken at campaign rallies. Others were shot during down time,
A 24-year-old woman has been arrested for buying the assault rifle used to murder two innocent firefighters on Christmas Eve, on behalf of the killer. Dawn Nguyen of Rochester, New York, was a former neighbor of William Spengler, 62, who shot dead firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka in a shocking ambush as they responded to a house fire he started early Monday morning.Three other people were wounded before Spengler killed himself. According to police, Nguyen purchased the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun on behalf of Spengler, a convicted felon who was barred from possessing weapons,
Gov. Jerry Brown and California lawmakers struck an upbeat tone in recent weeks as they enjoyed their most positive budget outlook since the economic downturn. Whether that mood survives the winter depends on Washington. State budget experts say the biggest immediate threat to California finances is a recession triggered by automatic federal cuts and tax hikes, absent a political deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." The state´s biggest federal program, Medi-Cal, is spared from automatic cuts. But a new recession could threaten the state tax revenue that serves as the lifeblood for California government. "A lot of it relies
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -Jean Harris, the patrician girls´ school headmistress who spent 12 years in prison for the 1980 killing of her longtime lover, "Scarsdale Diet" doctor Herman Tarnower, in a case that rallied feminists and inspired television movies, has died. She was 89. Harris died Sunday at an assisted-living facility in New Haven, her son, James Harris, said Friday. She had claimed the shooting of Tarnower, 69, was an accident. Convicted of murder in 1981, Harris suffered two heart attacks while serving her sentence in the Bedford Hills women´s prison north of New York City.
With Washington so far unable to avert the looming fiscal crisis, much of the attention has been on the more than $500 billion in tax hikes set to take effect Jan. 1. But failure to strike a deal also means the first wave of roughly $1.2 trillion in spending cuts will hit starting next month. Of that, about $492 billion will be carved out of the Pentagon over the next decade -- that´s about $55 billion a year starting in 2013. It was a scenario so dire that for months Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had claimed his department
Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, praised on Friday the inclusion of special provisions in the proposed 113th Congress rules package that will keep in place legal obligations on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and others at the Justice Department as a result of “Fast and Furious” subpoenas issued in the 112th Congress. The inclusion in the House rules will allow a civil lawsuit, authorized by a bipartisan vote of the House in July 2012, to continue. Without the provisions, the Justice Department could have argued
The top Democrat and Republican in the Senate emerged from a meeting at the White House Friday evening to say they are hopeful they can strike a last-minute deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts looming in less than four days. “What we come up with is going to be imperfect,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, told his colleagues on the chamber floor. He, Sen. Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met with President Obama for a little more than an hour, and the two Senate leaders said
Gun sales have surged in the region and across the nation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as enthusiasts rush to buy firearms they fear will be outlawed by a fresh push for gun control. Gun dealers requested nearly 5,150 background checks on purchasers in Virginia eight days after the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, Conn. — the largest number ever in a single day, Virginia State Police said. And in the days since, the daily number of background checks has regularly doubled corresponding totals from the previous year. In Maryland, State Police project
President Obama and Senate leaders were on the verge of an agreement Friday that would let taxes rise on the wealthiest households while protecting the vast majority of Americans from historic tax hikes set to hit in January. The development marked a breakthrough after weeks of paralysis. After meeting with Obama at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said they would work through the weekend in hopes of drafting a “fiscal cliff” package they could present to their colleagues on Sunday afternoon.
The head of Argentina’s organized labour, Hugo Moyano filed a complaint before a federal criminal court against cabinet chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina and Security Secretary Sergio Berni who openly and repeatedly accused the teamsters leader of being behind the extended rioting and looting of last week when four people were killed, hundreds injured and arrested and left millions of dollars in damages. The complaint accuses the defendants of “violence instigation” and “false claims” when they stated that the teamsters union of Moyano and the gastronomic workers union of
Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro read over on Friday a greeting message to the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB). The message was sent by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez from Havana, Cuba, where he is recovering from a cancer surgery. Joined by the high military command and top leaders of ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Maduro claimed to be fully subordinate to the Venezuelan leader and proceeded to read out the message. In there, Chávez appreciates the army loyalty "at this very complex and difficult time."
I know there are questions on my beat larger and more pressing than who’s worse as a TV journalist, Chelsea Clinton or Jenna Bush Hager, the presidentially-connected, pretend correspondents at NBC News. But I continue to be fascinated by a network news division putting someone as outrageously unqualified as Clinton on a prime-time newsmagazine. I watched her again last week in a softer-than-soft piece on a weight loss program started by Pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church, and I can say with absolute certainty that she has not improved one lick in the last year.
STERLING, Va. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has seized more than 200 pounds of an illegal stimulant from the Middle East that was shipped as air freight to Dulles International Airport. The agency says it found 214 pounds of khat (COT) while inspecting freight that was listed as wood coffee tables. The drug had been shipped from Doha, Qatar, and has an estimated street value of $30,000. Khat is a leafy plant that´s chewed for its stimulant effect. It´s classified as a dangerous narcotic in the United States.
Given the alternatives that are being bandied about in Washington, there can be no doubt that, from a policy perspective, going over the fiscal cliff is the far superior option. Temporary extensions of tax cuts don’t do much for the economy; temporary extension of unemployment benefits retards job-seeking; and the whole grab-bag of accounting gimmicks allows Congress to avoid owning up to the true scale of the budget deficit, a budget deficit that will get cut in half if we go over the cliff. The most common conservative rejoinder to these arguments is political: that Republicans will be blamed
“We must obey God rather than men!”—Acts 5:29. Now that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied Hobby Lobby’s application for an emergency injunction protecting them from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion and birth control, Hobby Lobby has decided to defy the federal government to remain true to their religious beliefs, at enormous risk and financial cost. Hobby Lobby is wholly owned and controlled by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Greens are committed to running their business in accordance with their Christian faith
John Kass, columnist for The Chicago Tribune, appeared on CNN on Friday where he discussed the tragic increase of violence and murder that has struck his city in recent years. He said that lawmakers and members of the press have been guilty of “papering over” how bad the situation in Chicago was getting, and of “ghettoizing” the minority children who become the victims of gun violence in the inner city. Kass concluded by challenging President Barack Obama to come to Chicago for the funeral of one of the “hundreds and hundreds” of African-American and Latino children killed every year
A 6-year-old girl -- shot and left for dead by the Taliban in Afghanistan earlier this year -- received free reconstructive surgery at a hospital in the U.S. Friday. (Snip) The nonprofit children´s organization, based on Staten Island, helped bring Marizeh to the U.S. after the attack that cost the girl her right eye. Taliban fighters ambushed Marizeh´s family as they drove home in a remote, unidentified region of Afghanistan last spring, said Montanti. Her father tried to hide the girl under his feet inside the family car but she was shot in the face, after watching both her father and brother murdered.
Senate leaders will try to cobble together a legislative package over the weekend to avert nearly $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts slated to go into effect at midnight on Monday. Following a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama said that he is hopeful that Congress can resolve the so-called fiscal cliff over the next 72 hours. [snip] It also would set a framework for deficit reduction in 2013 while suspending $1.2-trillion in domestic spending cuts over the next 10 years.
Talk radio fans should prepare themselves to say goodbye to News Talk 96.9 FM because word from insiders is that WTKK is switching to a music format next week. Our spies inside parent company Greater Media tell us that WTKK will begin broadcasting music — most likely a rhythmic format — a day or so into the New Year. The switch would kill the city’s only FM talk station, leaving WRKO-AM the only major talker left in the market. WTKK, on the air since 1999, featured on-air yakkers including Don Imus, Michael Graham, Jay Severin, Herald columnist Margery Eagan and