The Obama administration has rejected an offer from al-Qaeda-linked militants to swap two Americans held captive at an Algerian gas field in exchange for the release of two prominent terrorists jailed in the United States. The kidnappers made the outrageous offer this morning through a Mauritanian news agency but US officials were quick to shut it down, insisting the administration rejects any such trade of hostages for convicted terrorists. The news comes as U.S. officials confirmed that one American, Frederick Buttaccio of Texas, has died in the hostage standoff and CNN reports that another US citizen who was unaccounted
A decision issued today by the 7th circuit Court of Appeals says collective bargaining reforms passed by Governor Scott Walker will stand. Act 10 was the controversial reform law passed in Wisconsin in 2011 after weeks of protests and stalling by Democratic members of the legislature. Unions filed suit against the law seeking to have the court overturn it and were partially successful at the district court level. But today the Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of the law and the Governor. Plaintiffs and cross-appellants, representing seven of Wisconsin’s largest public
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that she underscored to Algerian Prime Minister Abdul-Malik Salal that "the utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life" in the unfolding hostage crisis. “The U.S. extends our condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones in this brutal assault," she said. "We remain deeply concerned about those who remain in danger. "I spoke with the Algerian prime minister again this morning to get an update on this very difficult situation, and to underscore, again, that the utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life."
It was TV’s 1960s high-school beatnik, Maynard G. Krebs — the G. was for Walter — who would exclaim, “What an age we live in!” We still do. Last night, Americans gathered in front of TVs to hear the truth, as finally told by Lance Armstrong. That’s right, the truth now comes with commercial sponsors — detergents, SUVs and stuff you smear on your face to cover blemishes. For starters, give Oprah Winfrey credit for not milking an interview that would fill consecutive prime times on her somewhat obscure network.
Tina Fey isn´t thrilled that she´s constantly associated with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whom she famously impersonated during the 2008 presidential election. From Rolling Stone: As the late-middle-aged couple at the table next to us get up, the male half approaches, grinning: "Excuse me, aren´t you Governor Sarah Palin?" It´s so lame that Fey can barely manage a quarter of a fake smile. "Not for, like, three years now," she says, looking as if she´d like to dive under the table. The guy has his gag, though, and he´s going to run with it.
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials say one American has died in the hostage standoff at an Algerian gas complex. The officials say the deceased American is a Texas resident, Frederick Buttaccio. It is unclear how he died. The officials say Buttaccio´s remains have been recovered and his family has been notified. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren´t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP´s earlier story is below. The Obama administration said Friday it was trying to secure the release of
On the eve of his second inaugural, President Obama appears smarter, tougher and bolder than ever before. But whether he is also wiser remains a key question for his new term. It is clear that he is consciously changing his leadership style heading into the next four years. Weeks before the November elections, his top advisers were signaling that he intended to be a different kind of president in his second term. "Just watch," they said to me, in effect, "he will win re-election decisively and then he will throw down the gauntlet to the Republicans,
The Washington Post seems a tad uncomfortable admitting that left-wingery, in the form of gun-grabbing, might have back-fired in ways that could only surprise effete, left-wing, Blue State-dwelling metrosexuals. Gun control debate may be driving higher sales LAS VEGAS — The United States appears to be experiencing a record run on military-style assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and some kinds of ammunition as buyers deluge stores in search of guns and bullets they fear will be banned by the Obama administration, according to firearms industry executives and market analysts. Even allowing for spikes in gun sales that follow
I was out of the country for a few days, and news from this great republic reached me only fitfully. I have learned to be wary of foreign reporting of U.S. events, since America can come off sounding faintly deranged. Much of what reached me didn´t sound entirely plausible: Did the entire U.S. media really fall for the imaginary dead girlfriend of a star football player? Did the president of the United States really announce 23 executive orders by reading out the policy views of carefully prescreened grade-schoolers ("I want everybody to be happy and safe")? Clearly,
All is not as it appears in the case of Richard Windsor, the alias used by outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, apparently to shield email messages from discovery and disclosure. Under court order to cough up the email messages to Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and having turned over a first installment of 2,100 such email messages earlier this week, the Obama administration is making this a case that might challenge the ingenuity of Sherlock Holmes. With Horner’s assistance, my daughter Eliana tries to pierce the fog of administrative war in her NRO column “Lisa Jackson’s gadfly.”
Brilliant young hackers, striving to build tools to change the world, are killing themselves. Just last week: Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit and fierce open access activist, took his life at 26. There have been other high-profile suicides in the tech world in recent years: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, co-founder of the distributed social network Diaspora, dead at 22. Len Sassaman, a highly-regarded cypherpunk who believed in cryptography and privacy as tools of freedom, dead at 31. Dan Haubert, co-founder of the Y-Combinator funded startup Ticketstumbler, dead at 25.
After outpacing the U.S. for most of last year, California’s jobs engine lost momentum in December as employers´ payrolls shrank by 17,500 last month. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.8% last month, according to figures released Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department. The loss of payroll jobs in December ends seven months of job growth in the Golden State. For much of the year, yearly job growth was hovering around 2% but has now dropped to 1.6%. Economists called the jobs report disappointing. Some said job losses last month might have been caused by employers to hold off
In the opening moments of her second turn at history, as Michelle Obama waves at celebrants along Pennsylvania Avenue, Americans will clamor to see the first lady, who remains one of the most popular public figures in the country. In the most recent poll, fully 73 percent said they approve of the way she is handling her job. But a significant group of Americans — feminist Americans — have been vocally disappointed with her choices and feel let down by her example. In 2008, when Obama announced her intention to be “mom-in-chief,”
When black Americans gather to walk in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. this Saturday, some of them will also be walking to highlight the important place the 2nd Amendment holds in the Civil Rights Movement. While this is not to suggest that only black people will honor MLK this weekend--that would be a silly suggestion--it is to say that they, more than many, understand why it was important to have access to firearms during the turbulent 1960s (and beyond). For example, consider Charles Hicks. A black American whose father, Robert Hicks, was "a prominent leader
“Hundreds” of death threats have been made against the president of the National Rifle Association just since the first of this year. And those threats reflect President Obama’s political tactics. That’s what NRA President David Keene told talk show host Ernest Istook on Thursday. Keene says those threats reflect attempts by the Left and by President Obama “to demonize and blame those who disagree with him for everything he doesn’t like.” Keene also is literally targeted by a video game that invites people to shoot him, which he calls the “Kill David Keene” game. The good news, according to Keene,
New Jersey governor Chris Christie slams the NRA, and the media cheers. Christie slams House Speaker John Boehner for not putting a pork-laden Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill up for a vote, and the media cheers. Christie undermines the Republican nominee for president by politically French-kissing Obama in every conceivable way just days before the election, and the media cheers. I have two words for Governor Christie: President McCain. The media loved McCain, too; loved the way he publicly battled and undermined President George W. Bush; loved his maverick ways when those ways damaged the Republican Party.
As if we needed any further reminder of how thoroughly corrupt and one-sided Washington has become, the man who is ostensibly in charge of what is supposed to be the most important politically neutral institution in the nation has once again weighed in on the side of the most financially irresponsible administration in U.S. history. In case you missed it in the midst of the media-imposed obsession over “gun violence,” aka the orchestrated attempt to do as much damage to citizens’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms as possible, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared
Algeria´s military intervention against kidnappers at a Saharan gas plant apparently came as a surprise to those foreign governments whose citizens were being held hostage. Japan called for an end to the raid, summoning the Algerian ambassador to express concern for the lives of the captives and to plead for up-to-date information. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "disappointed" not to have been told about the raid in advance. But while many details of how events at the In Amenas plant have unfolded remain unclear, Algeria´s decision to deal with the kidnappers forcefully and unilaterally fits
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says in a statement: Fitch Ratings agency recently said, if the debt limit is raised without substantive deficit reduction, our nation´s credit rating could be downgraded. The President´s plan to simply borrow more money without any reform in Washington puts us all at risk. The first step to fixing this problem is to pass a budget that reduces spending. The House has done so, and will again. The Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years, which is unfair to hardworking taxpayers
Shall we round up the usual YouTube suspects again, Sir Edmund Hillary Clinton? The Al Qaeda-linked raiders who are still occupying part of an Algerian gas plant offered to trade a pair of American hostages Friday for the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and another jailed terrorist. The captives being offered in exchange for blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and the other Islamic fanatic were not identified. But the report by the Mauritian news site ANI, which has been in almost constant contact
A must-read from Radley Balko can be found here. Some key extracts: There have been a number of projects that attempted to count the total number of federal criminal laws. They usually give up. The federal criminal code is just too complex, too convoluted, and too weighted down with duplications, overlapping laws, and other complications to come to a definite number. But by most estimates, there are at least 4,000 separate criminal laws at the federal level, with another 10,000 to 300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally.
If you’re looking for a reason to be skeptical that the gun control proposals President Obama unveiled yesterday would actually have an impact on violent crime, look no further than the historical examples invoked by gun control advocates praising the White House’s effort: Bennett compared the scale of Obama’s proposal to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which prevented convicted criminals and mentally ill from purchasing guns, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, which put background checks in place on gun sales.
Some vulnerable Senate Democrats are balking at President Obama’s new push on gun control, reflecting the tough position many will be in if Congress takes up major firearms legislation. Shortly after Obama unveiled the details of his policy, a number of Democrats from conservative, heavily rural states who are up for reelection in 2014 indicated they’re likely to oppose the measures. The responses indicate how tough it will be for any legislation to move through Congress — and how tricky an issue it is for some rural-state Democrats facing reelection.
Another Maverick County commissioner was indicted on allegations of corruption Thursday, making it three of the five commissioners facing federal charges. With the arrest of Precinct 4 Commissioner César Flores, 46, only Precinct 3 Commissioner Jose Luis Rosales and County Judge David Saucedo are not under indictment. Flores was released on $40,000 bail, and Precinct 1 Commissioner Eliaz Maldonado, who´s also facing corruption charges, is out on bail as well, so the court can make a quorum.
Later today, when I’m hosting the Ed Morrissey Show, you’ll probably notice a deep red welt on my forehead and wonder how it got there. It’s from banging my head on my desk repeatedly after reading the results of two polls released today. The first comes from Gallup, where overwhelming majorities of Americans of every party affiliation demand Congressional term limits and an end to the Electoral College … just two months after re-elected almost every incumbent than ran for federal office: Even after the 2012 election in which Americans re-elected most of the sitting
A Virginia state lawmaker raised eyebrows to say the least when he tried to make a point about assault weapons by bringing an AK-47 into the State Capitol! The shocking video shows Democratic State Delegate Joe Morrissey speaking on the floor of the state House of Delegates when he pulled out an unloaded AK-47. The move drew gasps from fellow lawmakers. (Snip) According to Morrissey, he was trying to show how easy it is to carry an assault weapon in Virginia. The House of Delegates speaker called it an “outrageous and ridiculous political stunt.”