A historian looking back on the public battle over Barack Obama’s second-term appointments might very well scratch his head as he struggles to explain the fight over the president’s next Secretary of Defense. He will look at the columns written for and against the leading nominees and see something very strange. He will notice that liberals, by and large, are rallying behind a conservative Republican, and that conservatives are pulling for a liberal Democrat. The candidate usually cited as Obama’s back-up pick—the understudy, should his first choice prove too hard to confirm—is Michèle Flournoy.
Economic innovator, Republican stalwart, Middle East hardliner - Ronald Reagan wore many hats during his two terms in the White House. Hopeless romantic wasn´t one of them. However the 40th president of the United States proved himself a dab hand in matters of love when he penned a letter to his son Michael, days before the the 26-year-old´s wedding in 1971. Posted to his son´s home in Manhattan Beach, California, Reagan senior has some sage advice for a long and happy marriage. He opens by telling his adopted son that despite all the cynics, marriage can be
DENVER -- Recreational marijuana clubs are open in Colorado. A marijuana den in Denver opened Monday for members-only group smoking, The Denver Post reported. Reggae music was on the stereo and a projector showed "The Big Lebowski." Another club opened Monday in Del Norte, in southern Colorado. The clubs are not open to the public. An attorney for Denver´s new Club 64 says the clubs are permissible under Colorado´s new constitutional amendment on marijuana. Marijuana will not be sold at the clubs. He said Club 64 has 200 members
An enormous firework display in central London has kick-started Britain´s New Year celebrations in style. About 250,000 people lined the banks of the Thames to witness the incredible display of pyrotechnics and lights. Up and down the country, millions of people packed into town´s and cities to celebrate 2013 following the astonishing success of 2012.The spectacle in London saw a quarter-of-a-million people gather on the banks of the Thames to watch the 11-minute firework show which followed the traditional counting down of the final seconds by Big Ben.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Texas won a court victory on Monday in its effort to stop state funds under a health program for low-income women from going to clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood, a group that provides abortions at some of its facilities. A Texas judge allowed the state to go ahead with a revamped program for poor women, the Women´s Health Program, that does not include Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood said it does not provide abortions at clinics that participate in the state women´s health program. But it is the nation´s leading reproductive health and abortion provider
WASHINGTON - The Manassas News & Messenger is no more. The paper printed its final edition after 143 years of covering the news in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park Sunday. The paper´s parent company, the Warren Buffet-owned World Media Enterprises, decided to close the paper and its website InsideNoVa.com in November, saying the paper was losing money, was in a competitive news market, (Snip)Two local weekly print newspapers were created within weeks of the announced closing to fill the void left by the News & Messenger.
On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer voiced his displeasure over President Barack Obama’s New Year’s Eve press conference, which came during intense fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill. “I found it astonishing,” Krauthammer said. “Here he is — coming out to speak to the nation at a crucial moment in very delicate negotiations — and he comes out there with incredible arrogance. He ridicules the Congress. He spikes the football on the Republicans.
Iran plans to relocate an airport in the southwest of the country after discovering oil deposits under its runway, media reported on Saturday, according to AFP. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) "intends to buy Ahvaz airport due to the existence of oil deposits under the airport´s tarmac," the state broadcaster´s website quoted Mohammad Rasoulinejad, managing director of the Iranian Airports Company, as saying. "The government has approved the relocation of the airport," Rasoulinejad said, adding that the new airport will be built 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city. He did not give any
Welcome all Ldotters, old and new. If you are not yet registered do so, it takes but a minute, and join our annual virtual New Year´s party. 2012 has not been a terrific year. We want to hear from you about 2013 and what you are hoping for. If you have a covered dish. Put it on the buffet. Igor is behind the bar and will get you whatever your heart desires. Relax, you are among like minded friends.
In the wake of his reelection victory last month, President Obama has enjoyed a steady rise in his approval ratings. According to Gallup´s daily tracking poll, Obama´s approval rating reached 58% on December 21st, a 52-week high. Election winners typically see a rise in their approval ratings in the weeks following victory. Over the last week, however, Obama has shed most of his gains. In Gallup´s latest tracking poll, Obama´s approval rating has dropped 5 points to 53%, a considerable drop in just one week, especially considering it was a holiday week.
My, my, how far lawmakers’ ambitions for the fiscal cliff negotiations have fallen in the past two weeks. President Obama said at the White House on Monday that a deal was "within reach." That means the most likely scenario now is that the two parties will reach a small-bore compromise to appease markets and to try to combat a growing perception among consumers and investors that Washington politicians favor political ideology over the health of the economy. Such a deal would extend Bush-era tax cuts for household income below $450,000; patch the alternative minimum tax permanently; extend unemployment insurance benefits;
Update: Piers Morgan is taking a cue from Mitt Romney´s pre-election immigration platform and threatening to deport himself if the U.S. fails to crack down on guns. In a Sunday column for the Daily Mail, Morgan responded to some viewers unhappy with the British CNN anchor´s vocal pro-gun control stance: The concerted effort to get me thrown out of the country – which has so far gathered more than 90,000 signatures – struck me as rather ironic, given that by expressing my opinion I was merely exercising my rights, as a legal US resident, under the 1st Amendment, which protects free speech.
The deal in the works would raise tax rates on families making more than $450,000 a year to 39.6pc, AP reported. The tax on estates worth more than $5m would increase to 40pc from 35pc. Unemployment benefits would continue for one year. Without that extension, 2m people would lose benefits beginning in early January. In a press conference on Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama said a "deal is within sight but not done". "The fiscal cliff is my top priority," he stated. "Our economy can´t afford [tax rises]. A deal is within sight but not done. We are hopeful Congress
WASHINGTON — The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the "fiscal cliff." House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day.President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts — the fiscal cliff — that take effect with the new year.
Hillary Clinton has beaten First Lady Michelle Obama to be named Most Admired Woman in 2012--and Sarah Palin came in at number five. The Secretary of State has won the accolade a total of 17 times--including the past 11 years on the trot--which is more than any other woman in the award´s 52-year history. The results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll, which asks Americans to name their most admired man and woman living in any part of the world. Clinton, 65, finished with 21 percent of the vote this year, while Mrs Obama came in a distant
Detroit - A federal judge has ruled a property management company owned by the founder of Domino´s Pizza doesn´t have to immediately implement mandatory contraception coverage in the health care law. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled Sunday in favor of Tom Monaghan and his Domino´s Farms Corp., near Ann Arbor. Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception isn´t health care but a "gravely immoral" practice. Zatkoff granted Monaghan´s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order until a final decision is made in the case. The mandate would
Hartford, Conn.- The body of the man who massacred 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school was claimed by his father, a family spokesman said Monday, but the public may never know what happened with the remains. Like families of other mass killers, Adam Lanza´s father has to balance his own mourning with consideration for the victims, intense media scrutiny and the risk that a public gravesite could be desecrated. "I know it's very sensitive for the family. They have many, many concerns and it's a very sad time for them," said Kingston, N.H. Police Chief Donald Briggs,
Should you be losing sleep over America’s apparent inability to prevent the world’s largest economy from plunging over the so-called “Fiscal Cliff”?[Snip] The "meh" reaction of the markets to the threat of more than $600bn in imminent tax hikes and spending tells its own story: if the country goes "over the cliff", the fair betting is that when Congress reconvenes on January 3, both parties have to patch together a package of retroactive fixes to salve the wounds. And they probably will. But therein lies the real reason to be worried. The fact that no-one is too fussed about
President Barack Obama maintained that he was hopeful Congress could "get a deal done" and stop America going over the fiscal cliff at the stroke of midnight. Latest, 20:40 Surprised there hasn´t been a Twitter campaign to parachute Robert Griffin III into Congress to knock some heads together. For non-American readers and those Americans uninterested in NFL, Griffin III is the young quarterback for the Washington Redskins who has taken the team to the playoffs for the first time in, err, a long time. If you need a break from the cliff, here´s a match report on the victory the
Jay Peak, Vt. - At this remote outpost by the Canadian border, Bill Stenger is overseeing what he says is the biggest economic development project that Vermont has ever seen. (Snip) But even more unusual than the size of the undertaking is the method by which Mr. Stenger and his business partner, Ariel Quiros, are financing it. They have tapped into a federal program that gives green cards, or permanent residency, to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business — the reward for the investment is a chance at United States citizenship.
More than one in three people have had their medical details uploaded onto a central database accessible by healthcare professionals across the country, many without their knowledge, it has been claimed. The controversial system designed to ensure that doctors have fast access to brief details of a patient´s allergies and medication in an emergency, has accumulated the records of 22m people including children, the Daily Telegraph has learned. Campaigners warned that the majority of those patients whose records have been uploaded will not be aware and said there are dangers the information could be hacked, bought by private
Even by the tumultuous standards of the end of an N.F.L. season, Monday — Black Monday, as it is annually called — stood out. The conclusion of the regular season always signals the start of a whirlwind of firings and job searches involving coaches and top executives. This year, though, brought sweeping, swift change even to some of the most stable and patient — maybe too patient — teams in the N.F.L. Seven coaches and five general managers were fired by lunchtime in a day unequaled for its turmoil in recent memory. The Philadelphia Eagles ended Andy Reid’s
Facing the near-certainty that they would miss the midnight deadline for averting sweeping tax hikes, Senate lawmakers on Monday nevertheless edged closer to a potential deal that could undo most of the damage -- presuming Congress approves it. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor Monday afternoon that "we´re very, very close" to a deal. He reported that the two sides have "reached on agreement on all of the tax issues," suggesting lawmakers postpone debate over looming spending cuts for another day. President Obama, speaking from the White House,
Bank robbers had a busy year in 2012. The FBI said robbers have hit 218 banks in the Chicago area as of Dec. 31, compared to 115 in 2011. “Close to double what we had in the prior year,” said FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde. WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports, while people often look for a way to explain a spike in bank robberies, Hyde said it’s not often tied to a greater issue, like the economy. “That just doesn’t play out. Typically the bank robbers are motivated by their need for money for a drug habit, or gambling debts,” she said.
Brownville, TX - Texas space aficionados hope rockets will someday be launched into orbit from a beachside site near the U.S.-Mexico border, but a tight state budget and a previously frustrated attempt to land such a spaceport could complicate efforts. Backers of a proposal to build a launch site at Boca Chica Beach, about 25 miles east of Brownsville, concede finding more money to lure California-based SpaceX to the state´s southernmost tip will be a challenge. (Snip) Still, some officials think the state´s ability to offer a blank canvas for a dedicated commercial spaceport in the same state Link repaired by staff.