Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have charged a disbarred Miami-area lawyer and three other people with hatching a scheme to sell a cache of stolen guns that once belonged to the family of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Prosecutors say David Ryan, 48, a one-time personal injury lawyer from Pinecrest, obtained at least seven guns that had been smuggled out of Iraq and then tried to sell them, with the help of others, through a New Jersey sporting goods store. Officials with Iraq’s embassy in Washington confirmed that the guns had been taken from Iraq,
HADLEY, Mass.—The Green Library at Stanford University houses William Saroyan´s mustache clippings. Timothy Leary´s Nintendo Power Glove has been acquired by the New York Public Library. At the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin, Norman Mailer´s bar mitzvah speech is preserved in perpetuity. Authors, take notice: Remember those crates of scratch pads and tax returns in the garage? The trunkful of hotel bills and childhood doodles in the garden shed? Don´t junk any of it—not before you call up somebody in Ken Lopez´s line of work.
President George W. Bush made bipartisan deals with Democrats on education, energy and, shortly before leaving office, the bank bailout known as TARP. President Reagan got together with Democrats on tax reform and Social Security. President Clinton reached agreement with Republicans on welfare reform, balancing the budget and Nafta´s free trade. Mr. Clinton also negotiated reform of Social Security, a landmark compromise that died (before being announced) when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. "Each president defined these deals as success, as principled compromises,"Keith Hennessey, Mr. Bush´s chief domestic policy adviser, noted recently, "and both parties shared the credit."
Oh, that one doesn’t work for you all of a sudden, lefties? How about that. Associated Press: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. (Snip)I asked to see the medical report. I didn’t accuse her of faking her injury. I didn’t call it a hoax. I merely showed skepticism about the claims of a career politician who was missing her second opportunity in a row to testify
Fortunately for film director Oliver Stone, there is no "truth in the title" requirement for television shows. Stone´s latest directorial effort is a series of one-hour documentaries called "The Untold History of the United States." The programs run on the Showtime network. I only needed to view the first two shows to determine what the title should actually be: "A Left-winger´s Biased, Tendentious and Highly Partisan History of the United States." In the very first show, Stone and its writers presumed to lecture Americans about the Soviet Union´s contribution to defeating Germany in World War II.
Taxes are going up on almost everyone. The government is trying to extract additional revenue from the economy in the most economically damaging way possible, with tax-rate increases that undermine incentives to work, save, and invest. This is happening at a time when economic growth has been weak, and when many credible observers are concerned that its trend level has permanently declined. The federal debt, meanwhile, is sure to keep rising, largely as a result of the out-of-control growth of entitlement programs. Elected officials are barely trying to restrain that growth, let alone succeeding.
Phew, that was close! Like cartoon characters, our elected officials brought the country at full speed toward the now-infamous “fiscal cliff” before jamming on the brakes. The Republicans and Democrats were like Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. Wasn’t that exciting!? At least we now have another two months before the next financial crisis — the country’s crash into the debt ceiling. Hopefully someone will come up with a colorful catch phrase before that historic event. But do we really have two months before the debt ceiling crisis?
Senator Scott Brown today took on a possible opponent in a special election to succeed his colleague John F. Kerry, questioning whether US Representative Edward J. Markey is actually a resident of Massachusetts. Markey later hit back, hinting at a reprise of the political nastiness that permeated Brown’s recent election battle against Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Brown has suggested he would compete in the special election that will be triggered if Kerry is confirmed as President Obama’s second-term secretary of state, but he has not made a formal commitment to a race. Markey has already said he will run.
PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN — A pair of U.S. drone strikes in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border killed 13 people Thursday, including a senior militant commander who had a truce with the Pakistani military, intelligence officials and residents said. Five Pakistani security officials said the commander, Maulvi Nazir, was reportedly among nine people killed in a missile strike on a house in the village of Angoor Adda in the South Waziristan tribal region early Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
On the day of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., we published a chart showing the Sisyphean nature of the national gun control discussion. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, such as the one that took place in Aurora, Colo., mentions of the term "gun control" spike in the news media. In a matter of days, that discussion all but disappears. This time was supposed to be different. "It is hard to believe this will not be a watershed moment when we start to talk about, deal with and even perhaps legislate on guns,"
If you thought the Benghazi saga ended last month when a State Department review concluded that a handful of State Department middle managers failed to provide adequate security for the U.S. mission, think again: it may no longer be dominating headlines, but with multiple active congressional investigations and an ongoing attempt to hunt down the perpetrators, the story of Benghazi is far from over. The biggest recent development—which was overshadowed by the fiscal cliff negotiations—came on New Year’s Eve, when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a report
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is signaling that at least one thing will change about his leadership during the 113th Congress: he’s telling Republicans he is done with private, one-on-one negotiations with President Obama. During both 2011 and 2012, the Speaker spent weeks shuttling between the Capitol and the White House for meetings with the president in the hopes of striking a grand bargain on the deficit. Those efforts ended in failure, leaving Boehner feeling burned by Obama and, at times, isolated within his conference.
Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister. It just bought itself 40 million more chances to make its case. Al Jazeera on Wednesday announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. Al Jazeera plans to shut Current and start an English-language channel, which will be available in more than 40 million homes, with newscasts
The child, who attends school in Silver Spring, Maryland, was given a one-day suspension after the incident, which took place a week after the US massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Robin Ficker, the boy´s lawyer, said that the child was suspended after he made a gun with his hands, pointed it at another student and said "pow". "What they´re doing is looking at the worst possible interpretation of a young, naive six-year-old," Mr Ficker said. "This is a little child who can´t form the intent to do anything like that."
Jay, your lamentation on “we get the government we deserve” is spot on, and I firmly believe it has everything to do with the larger culture (not pop culture, but the totality of our sense of values, priorities, level of civic education, etc.). But I think what is happening now is more than a deep, bitter ideological split. It is an “unlearning” of government. The fiscal-cliff “deal” is a perfect example of unlearning how to govern. First, one cannot govern through Hail Marys. It simply cannot be expected that serious, thoughtful legislation or policy can be created
On Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” on Wednesday, National Review columnist Mark Steyn expressed strong dissatisfaction with the process that led to Tuesday’s fiscal cliff agreement. “I think it ought to be deeply embarrassing to any developed society that 300 million people are sitting there on Monday, and they don’t know what their tax rates are going to be on Tuesday,” Steyn said. “That’s the mark of shame.” Steyn, the author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” told host Brian Kilmeade that the fiscal cliff negotiations resembled a scene from the Soviet Union.
Honolulu - President Obama has signed a bill that boosts taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while preserving tax cuts for most American households. The bill, which averts a looming fiscal cliff that had threatened to plunge the nation back into recession, also extends expiring jobless benefits, prevents cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors and delays for two months billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. The GOP-run House approved the measure by a 257-167 vote late Tuesday, nearly 24 hours after the Democratic-led Senate passed it 89-8.
Time Warner Cable rang in the new year by shedding the low-rated Ovation channel from its lineup. Ovation, an independent channel dedicated to arts programming, was notified in mid-December that the cable company would not be carrying it after Dec. 31. Ovation is still available on local carriers DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Dish Network. (Snip) Time Warner Cable initially had signed a deal to keep Current TV, but on Wednesday, Current TV was sold to pan-Arab news giant Al Jazeera. Time Warner Cable then announced plans to drop it as quickly as possible.
Police are set to bring formal murder charges against six men accused of gang-raping a woman aboard a bus in New Delhi amid protests demanding a rapid overhaul of how sexual assaults are prosecuted in India. Charges are expected to be filed today in a court in the Indian capital, according to police spokesman Rajan Bhagat. One of the accused may be a juvenile and as a result subject to a separate judicial process. The six are alleged by police to have beaten and assaulted the 23-year-old physiotherapy student on Dec. 16
After a decade or so of somewhat breathless warnings of a jellyfish apocalypse unfolding in the world’s oceans, new research by an international coalition of scientists suggests that the global jellyfish population may be about the same size it always was. Rob Condon with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was the lead researcher on a scientific paper published this week by the Global Jellyfish Group, "Recurrent jellyfish blooms are a consequence of global oscillations."(Snip) The group’s research shows, in a nutshell, that jellyfish experience a population surge about every 20 years, and go through several years of greater than normal
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has signed off on permanent regulations that will hold abortion clinics to the same building standards as hospitals, joining Arizona and Michigan as states looking to tighten their abortion-facility standards to among the most stringent in the nation. The new regulations come amid 43 abortion restrictions enacted by states last year — the second-most on record, after 92 such measures were adopted in 2011, according to a report released Wednesday by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute. About half the measures last year were passed in six states
President Obama and congressional Republicans have learned sharply different lessons from the deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” as they prepare to battle again over the next two months on a series of budget deadlines that carry risks such as crippling defense cuts and a government default. Mr. Obama, having won the first round by forcing congressional Republicans to accept a tax increase for the first time in 20 years, said the deal set a precedent for agreements on deficit reduction and federal spending. All deals, he said, must achieve balance by requiring wealthier
A rough two-month stretch has left Speaker John A. Boehner facing a growing rebellion within his party ahead of a vote on whether he will continue to lead the House when the 113th Congress convenes Thursday. No challenger had stepped forward as of Wednesday evening, making it unlikely that Mr. Boehner will fall — even if it takes him several ballots to win the speakership. But the growing complaints signal a rocky road for the Ohio Republican in the months ahead as he tries to negotiate on debt and spending fights that are likely to dominate the next two years.
As ugly as they were, the “fiscal cliff” negotiations produced something Washington hadn’t seen in a long time: strongly bipartisan votes in the House and the Senate on a big, contentious issue. The question now is whether that victory of pragmatism over ideology offers a new model of governing as President Obama approaches his second term and the shattered Republican Party tries to regroup. The answer: probably not, though it may have helped define the terms of engagement for the battles to come. “We’re still in a pretty fluid period
It would be hard to imagine a more dispiriting prelude to a new presidential term than this week’s sorry “fiscal cliff” deal to defer (and perhaps multiply) the nation’s financial problems. After President Obama failed to negotiate a serious “grand bargain,” he had to be rescued with a mini-bargain brokered by Vice President Biden, the loquacious master of old-time, cracker-barrel politics. Obama had seemed poised a few weeks ago to become at last the political leader the country needs. He won a brilliant election victory, using political tools so sophisticated
After America postponed its jump off the fiscal cliff in the small hours of Tuesday night, world stock markets soared. Anyone listening to the BBC yesterday with its headlines praising Barack Obama would think something quite profound had changed in the world’s greatest--if battered--economy. However, it has not.[Snip] The tackling of those issues has merely been postponed until the end of next month, when America’s legally enforceable ‘debt ceiling’ will probably be reached. That will be the moment that U.S. debt passes a pre-determined point--north of $16 trillion--and a raft of dramatic public spending cuts will be triggered.