President Obama is assembling a national security team designed for an era of downsized but enduring conflict, a team that will be asked to preside over the return of exhausted American troops and wield power through the targeted use of sanctions, Special Operations forces and drone strikes. Obama’s nominations of former senator Chuck Hagel as defense secretary and White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan to lead the CIA signal second-term course adjustments at institutions that have been dominated by their lethal assignments during more than a decade of war.
If he is confirmed as the next secretary of defense, former senator Chuck Hagel will face the immediate and daunting prospect of shrinking the Pentagon, a job that is likely to persist for the duration of President Obama’s second term and reshape the mission and makeup of the armed forces. With the war in Iraq over and the conflict in Afghanistan steadily winding down, Obama and Congress have ordered nearly $500 billion in reductions to the defense budget over the next decade. But with the country still confronting record deficits, many leaders at the Pentagon
PASADENA, Calif.- Three years after an extortion scandal that led him to bare his infidelities, David Letterman said he sees a psychiatrist once a week to try to be the person that he believed he was. The late-night talk show host gave an extraordinary interview to Oprah Winfrey in which he talked about his feud with her and Jay Leno, and about his efforts to make amends for his affairs with "Late Show" staff members that became public in 2009. "For a long time I thought I was a decent guy," Letterman said.
Views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever, with voters for the first time evenly divided when asked to match the views of the average Tea Party member against those of the average member of Congress. Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law.
Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School is a legendary defense lawyer, and the country´s foremost pro-Israel advocate. He is also a steadfast supporter of President Barack Obama. Breitbart News spoke to him in an exclusive interview today about the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense. Sen. Hagel is controversial for his views on Israel, the Iraq War, Iran, and gays, among other issues. Dershowitz had, prior to Hagel´s nomination, urged President Obama publicly not to appoint Hagel to the position.
Georgia Power said Monday it will shut down 15 coal and oil-fired units, cutting nearly one-sixth of its power grid capacity to comply with federal rules aimed at reducing air pollution. The move, which comes after the utility and parent Southern Co. spent years unsuccessfully fighting the regulations, further cuts coal out of the electricity mix of a company once known as the dominant provider of coal-fired electricity. Currently, the amount of coal that Georgia Power uses to produce electricity stands at 47 percent, down from 70 percent five years ago. Georgia Power will replace much of
Tonight, viewers of CBS-owned Showtime will be treated to the ninth of ten installments of Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, which has attacked U.S. leaders – from FDR to Ronald Reagan – from the far-left while hailing the virtues of communists. Last Monday’s installment, on Carter and Reagan, offered a representative sampling of Stone’s worldview, an hour which included displaying a woman holding the Media Research Center’s “Don’t Believe the Liberal Media” placard as he fretted over how President Reagan “enabled the growth of a right-wing media empire”
In a TV arena in which premiums are placed on the fanciful and trendy, screaming housewives and snarling reality-show participants, no one seemed more out of place or less likely to become a popular star than Huell Howser. His platform was traditional and unflashy -- highlighting familiar and off-the-beaten-track spots all around California in public television series with titles such as "California´s Gold," "Visiting," "Road Trip" and "Downtown." But though his shows were focused on points and people of interest, it was Howser who turned into the main attraction, tackling his subjects with an awestruck curiosity and relentless enthusiasm. His upbeat
An Australian woman was awoken by her hissing cat early Sunday to find a python wrapped around the arm of her 2-year-old daughter. Tess Guthrie, a 22-year-old from Lismore, New South Wales, said the 6-foot python was wrapped three times around her daughter´s arm. "I thought I was having a nightmare," Guthrie told a local television news station. "It was only because the cat was hissing that I woke up and saw the snake with its body wrapped around my daughter Zara’s arm."
WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that he "simply misspoke," when he said Friday that Hurricane Katrina was "nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey" from Hurricane Sandy. (Snip) Reid said he has worked hard with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., "to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have the resources they need to fully recover, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf until the region is fully recovered."On Monday, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said that Reid "revealed himself to be an idiot" when he
President Obama on Monday chose Chuck Hagel to lead the Pentagon, inviting a confirmation brawl over a troubling nominee. The Senate should oblige. The Hagel hearings are an opportunity to have the debate over Mr. Obama´s policies and a growing world disorder that we didn´t have in the election campaign. Mr. Obama also said he´ll nominate White House counterterror chief John Brennan to run the CIA, joining last month´s choice of Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State. Like CIA deputy Michael Morrell, Mr. Brennan is a capable intelligence analyst, but Langley will once
WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that he "simply misspoke," when he said Friday that Hurricane Katrina was "nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey" from Hurricane Sandy.
The last four years eloquently indict the efficacy of government economic intervention. While long-term intervention has long been dismissed as ineffective, many still cling to a Keynesian hope that government intervention of limited duration could succeed. Now the effectiveness of both short-term and long-term economic intervention seems questionable. Put simply: The last four years have cost an incredible amount, while returning very little ... beyond debt. Federal spending has exploded, deficits have skyrocketed, the government´s debt has doubled, but the economy remains stagnant.
Deficits: Apparently, President Obama never got around to reading the final report of his own deficit commission. How else to explain his belief that federal spending isn´t the cause of the nation´s debt crisis? That´s apparently what Obama told House Speaker John Boehner during their recent "fiscal cliff" negotiations. "At one point several weeks ago," Boehner told the Wall Street Journal, "the president said to me, ´We don´t have a spending problem.´" That would be news to Obama´s debt commission, which in its final report made clear that spending is the driving force behind the nation´s debt crisis.
Defense: The president´s selection as defense secretary has called for direct negotiations with the mortal enemies of our closest ally in the Middle East and said the administration´s gutting of defense hasn´t gone far enough. If personnel is policy, President Obama´s selection of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Leon Panetta´s replacement as defense secretary should put the lie to the administration´s already tarnished claim to be a strong supporter of Israel. "Not only has he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won´t work, that Israel must negotiate with Hamas, an organization, terrorist group,
Alabama plays Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship football game Monday night, and given the robust followings and deep traditions of both schools, there´s an expectation that the game will earn spectacular TV ratings for ESPN. There´s also an expectation that watching the game will drive an ordinary, unaffiliated football fan a little bit nuts, because no two college football programs are more stuffed with self-regard than Notre Dame and Alabama. By the third-quarter you might be ready to dangle your flat-screen out the window if you hear one more reference to "Roll Tide,"
Bank of America has reportedly frozen the account of gun manufacturer American Spirit Arms, according to its owner, Joe Sirochman. In a Facebook post dated December 29, Sirochman wrote the following: “My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms...our Web site orders have jumped 500 percent causing our Web site e-commerce processing larger deposits to Bank of America. So they decided to hold the deposits for further review. “After countless hours on the phone with Bank of America, I finally got a manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold
Huell Howser, the folksy television host who chronicled the hidden history of the Golden State in his “California’s Gold” show, has died. Howser, who was about 68, was a resident of Palm Springs. The Riverside County coroner confirmed his death Monday, Jan. 7. An employee who did not want to be identified said Howser had been in hospice care. No information about the cause of death was available. Just six weeks ago, his staff confirmed that he had decided to retire. Text and source location added by Staff. Please post to 100 word limit.
Doug Schoen, Pat Caddell and fmr. Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-NY) weigh in on the fiscal cliff deal, spending cuts, Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and the how Congress will deal with the sequestration. (via Johnny Dollar) DOUG SCHOEN: This is a huge victory for the Democrats, a huge victory for the president. It doesn´t solve the problem, but it does what President Obama said he was going to do, which is raise taxes on the wealthy. Democrats are happy, Republicans got rolled. ### PAT CADDELL: The bigger loser was the American people by a long shot.
Last June, Urooj Khan literally jumped for joy as he stood in a Far North Side 7-Eleven, having just learned he held a $1 million-winning instant lottery ticket. Less than a month later, Khan, 46, died at his West Rogers Park home — of apparent hardening of the arteries. But now, Khan’s death has been reclassified as a homicide, and investigators say he died from cyanide poisoning. Investigators are moving toward exhuming Khan’s body for further tests, Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Stephen J. Cina said Monday.
Instapundit points to this bit of happy news culled from John Hanger, a Democrat who is running for governonr of Pennsylvania, where has been secretary of the state department of the environment and a commissioner of the public utility commission: US energy related carbon emissions in 2012 will fall below 5,300 million tons or down about 12%, compared to the peak emissions of 6,023 million tons in 2007. Through this September, carbon emissions have been down every month in 2012, when compared to each of the first 9 months of 2011 and 2010. No other country matches that record.
A yet-to-air reality show documenting a rapper, who has fathered eleven children by ten different women, has been slammed by critics who have branded it ´disgusting´ and ´negative´. All My Babies´ Mamas, set to air this spring on the Oxygen network, follows Carlos ´Shawty Lo´ Walker, 36, as he navigates family life in an affluent suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. But after a preview of the one-hour, fly-on-the-wall hit the internet thousands of viewers called for it to be scrapped, with many suggesting it plays on racial stereotypes. A Change.org petition, which has more than 20,000
Progressives think they are really good at fighting wars. That is the problem. A core progressive belief is that international structures of management and arbitration would check and eventually end aggression between nations. As James Srodes notes in "On Dupont Circle," a book about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their cadre of young reformers, they had unshakable "faith in the powers of experts to solve political issues." And, of course, they saw themselves as the experts. When conflict came, New Deal progressives ran the war effort with authoritarian zeal.
John Humphrys tried to get at Farage´s jugular on the Today Programme this morning, but Farage just laughed off the attacks--and ended up the hands-down winner. Humphrys accused him of being odd--as David Cameron has called some of Farage´s supporters--and Farage dealt with it calmly and jokily. His answer was spot on: no, it isn´t odd to be worried about Europe--and the polls back him up. More and more, Farage is looking the normal one among a sea of politicians who don´t--and can´t--behave like normal people. It isn´t always their fault--they have to toe a party line, which they may
If a president’s key appointments show the direction of his thinking, then Barack Obama’s latest nomination sends an important message. Chuck Hagel, an opponent of going to war with Iran and a critic of Israeli influence in Washington, has emerged as Obama’s choice for defence secretary. First things first: the president decides US policy, not the man who runs the Pentagon, whoever he might be. Moreover, Hagel’s appointment is likely to encounter significant opposition in the Senate; his confirmation is far from certain. But the fact that Obama has made this choice could be an early sign