Have you seen the photos of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie incongruously prancing about like a couple of show ponies at the Brandenburg Gate? And receiving a bundle of gifts from the mayor of Hanover?[Snip]The pair of C-list royals are on a Chuckle Sisters trade delegation (stop sniggering at the back), banging the drum for Cool Britannia and larkily motoring about in the Union-flag Mini impounded for crimes against culture after the Spice Girls’ Olympic appearance. Not since Herbie went to Monte Carlo back in 1977 have we witnessed such a zany road trip. Nor such an excruciating, ill-conceived one.
All three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday night ran short items on the federal corruption indictments against the bumbling former Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, but skipped his party affiliation, a fact Reuters considered newsworthy – if not until their sixth paragraph: “Nagin, 56, and a Democrat...” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer generously described Nagin as “the face of Hurricane Katrina...then the Mayor of New Orleans fighting for his city.”
LEICESTER, England—Norma Benathan burst into tears the first time she laid eyes on the ruins of Penrith Castle, in northwest England. More than half a millennium before, her personal hero and the former king of England, Richard III, lived at the 14th century royal fortress before heading into battle. Now, Ms. Benathan, a retired clerk who lives in Lancaster, is heading into battle herself—over where recently unearthed bones that may be Richard´s should be buried. Richard, who reigned from 1483 to 1485, is a hot topic again. One of the most controversial English royals—described as a murderer by some;
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report Thursday that shows much of the money in a Department of Energy renewable-energy grant program has gone to foreign companies and has failed to produce many jobs. “American Taxpayer Investment, Foreign Corporation Benefit” examined the grants the Department of Energy has awarded through its “Section 1603” green-energy grant program. “Nearly one-quarter of this federal grant funding went to the U.S. operations of a handful of large European and Asian renewable energy corporations,” the report said. The report also noted the lack of job growth:
Doctors are fighting to save the sight of the artistic director of Russia´s illustrious Bolshoi Ballet after a masked assailant threw acid in his face on a Moscow street, state media reported. Sergei Filin, 43, was approaching his home around midnight Thursday when the unidentified attacker flung the concentrated acid at him, causing severe burns to his face, the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported Friday. It could take Filin at least six months to recover from the third-degree burns to his face and eyes, RIA Novosti cited Yekaterina Novikova, a Bolshoi spokeswoman, as saying.
In New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie has said that relief measures for Hurricane Sandy should be “above politics,” non-union workers are now excluded from participating in cleanup and rebuilding efforts. That policy took effect when the New Jersey state senate voted on Monday to expand an existing labor-agreement law that has been on the books since 2002. According to the Jersey Journal, highways, bridges, pumping stations, and water and sewage treatment plants were not covered under the existing law, but the new bill includes them:
With unemployment stalled near 8 percent, it’s tempting to skewer President Obama over the embarrassing news that his Jobs Council hasn’t met for a solid year — 369 days, to be exact. And its future seems to be in limbo. That’s just as well. Jobs councils don’t create jobs, businesses do. The most lethal jobs-killer today is the uncertainty coming out of the White House. One-fifth of small-business owners expect to lay off workers this year, according to a recent index taken by Gallup. In fact, their overall outlook on hiring and firing
NEW ORLEANS — C. Ray Nagin, the former mayor of this city who fulminated against the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina but became for many a symbol of the shortcomings of government himself, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on 21 counts including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. The indictment detailed a wide-ranging scheme of kickbacks and pay-for-play of a kind not entirely unfamiliar in Louisiana history. Contractors and vendors looking for work with the city would provide the mayor with vacations, big checks and even free granite for his family business.
Earlier today, I wrote a lengthy critique pointing out the inconvenient fact that PolitiFact´s Lie of the Year -- "The Romney campaign´s ad on Jeeps made in China" -- turns out to be true. It involves a lot of complicated back and forth, so I encouage you to read that post if you´re not familiar with what´s going on. But the thrust of the matter is that the Romney campaign ran an ad saying that Jeep, the recipient of a taxpayer bailout, was going to start producing cars in China. Well, now PolitiFact has responded to my criticism, albeit obliquely,
When Algerian commandos initiated a raid Thursday to free hostages being held at a remote natural-gas complex, it was apparently a surprise to the top levels of the Obama administration as well as America’s key international allies. American workers were believed to be at the sprawling facility, and while details remain sketchy, U.S. officials said Friday that at least one American was killed. That Algeria didn’t inform the U.S.—much less collaborate with it—before launching the raid should come as no surprise. Since 9/11, both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to cultivate a relationship with Algeria’s military,
I still lived in Austin, Texas in 1999. That summer, against all odds, Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, new husband, father-to-be, won his first Tour de France in an impressive display of athleticism. He was a hero, an inspiration. When he returned to Austin, the city held a victory rally, in which park I can’t recall as Austin is loaded with large and picturesque gathering spots. A couple of friends and I went to the rally early to grab a patch of ground close enough to see Armstrong and his miracle-pregnant wife. It wasn’t all about Lance.
Jimmy Kimmel’s done a bunch of these on different subjects but the gag will never get old. It’s basically a psychological experiment in serial form, and a case study in why polls can never fully be trusted. Remember that Pew survey the other day showing how, even though most young adults don’t know what issue Roe v. Wade dealt with, nearly 100 percent of them had an opinion on whether or not the decision should be overturned? If you were confused about how that result is possible, let late-night comedy be your beacon towards the truth.(Video)
“[This was] one big lie that I repeated a lot of times.” — Lance Armstrong, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Jan. 17, 2013 It is fair to say that in more than three decades of reporting, The Fact Checker has never written a sports story. But The Fact Checker has written a lot about people who stretch the truth — or to put it less delicately, are liars. With Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to repeatedly win the Tour de France multi-stage bicycle race, the question arises:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has upheld the Wisconsin union law that was the subject of massive protests in 2011, including a takeover of the State Capitol and widespread threats and acts of intimidation. The decision was unanimous in most respects. The full decision is embedded at the bottom of this post. Via JSOnline (h/t LibertyChick) A federal court of appeals on Friday upheld Wisconsin’s law repealing most collective bargaining for most public employees , handing a victory to Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans
Political trends come and go in response to events. Gun control was the rage during the Clinton administration, but over the past decade or so it became an obsolete cause. After the horrific crimes in Newtown and Aurora, though, it´s staging a comeback. One thing hasn´t changed: The agenda includes mostly measures that will have little or no effect on the problems they are supposed to address. They are Potemkin remedies—presentable facades with empty space behind them. This is something that supporters as well as opponents labor to conceal.
In 2000, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was asked to identify the biggest change he had seen in his 40-year political career. Moynihan, a man of unusual sagacity, experience, and perspective, responded this way: “The biggest change, in my judgment, is that the family structure has come apart all over the North Atlantic world.” This change has occurred in “an historical instant,” Moynihan said. “Something that was not imaginable 40 years ago has happened.” I thought about Senator Moynihan’s observation after reading “The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent,”
Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te´o told ESPN that he "never, not ever" was involved in creating the hoax that had him touting what turned out to be a fictional girlfriend, "Lennay Kekua." "When they hear the facts, they´ll know," Te´o told ESPN´s Jeremy Schaap in his first interview since the story broke. "They´ll know that there is no way that I could be a part of this." "I wasn´t faking it," he said during a 2 1/2-hour interview, according to ESPN.com. Te´o said he only learned for sure this week that he had been duped.
Budget Policy: Even if we don´t raise the debt ceiling, enough revenue will still come in to the Treasury to pay our interest, our bonds and essential services. The government will not shut down— only its ability to borrow. Like the fiscal cliff, the dangers of hitting the debt ceiling, while dire, are not necessarily fatal. It would, however, concentrate the minds of the American taxpayer wonderfully and force Washington to do what American families do every day around the kitchen table — take the paycheck and pay the bills in order
Keep those sledges and shovels at hand. We may already have had as much as ten inches of snow – but it seems things are only going to get worse. Snow and ice will continue to wreak havoc across the country for days, forecasters have warned, with conditions likely to become increasingly treacherous. After a day in which heavy snowfall closed schools and airports and caused gridlock across Britain, the Met Office warned that two more nights of freezing weather could make travel even more dangerous.By last night, motorways were impassable, airports had shut down, schools closed
It would be natural for Barack Obama to begin his second term with a chip on his shoulder, emboldened by a reelection victory that, viewed through his eyes, ratified his agenda and punished his rivals for extremism. It also would be a mistake. Starting with his inaugural address on Monday, the president might want to consider the example of another former Illinois lawmaker who rose from obscurity to assume the presidency at a time of peril. Like President Obama, Abraham Lincoln had to triangulate between harsh obstructionists from an opposing party and radicals from within his own.
LOS ANGELES— Disney CEO Bob Iger´s pay package got an 18 percent boost last year to $37.1 million as the company posted record revenue, net income and earnings per share. The Walt Disney Co. also cited Iger´s leadership in the $4.06 billion acquisition of "Star Wars" creator Lucasfilm, along with the launch of theme park additions, cruise ships and the expansion of the Disney Channel overseas. Iger, 61, saw the biggest jump in pay from the value of new stock option awards, which hit $7.8 million in 2012, up from $4.8 million in 2011, according to a regulatory filing
Conservatives have long joked that the national press corps see Barack Obama as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Today, Newsweek – at least what’s left of it, an online product for tablets and e-readers – made it official. Next to a side shot of Obama’s head, the “Inauguration 2013” cover story pronounces: “The Second Coming.” It’s an article by long-time Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas, who left the magazine after Tina Brown took over from the Washington Post Company and folded the debt-ridden publication into her Daily Beast site. The January 18, 2013-dated online magazine, was posted Friday
Only Democratic former presidents will be joining President Obama at his inauguration, after former President George W. Bush reportedly sent his regrets regarding the Jan. 21 ceremony. ABC News reports that officials say Bush will not be in attendance because of the recent health issues facing his father, former President George H.W. Bush. Bush, 88, has been in and out of the hospital in recent months fighting illness, and will also not attend the inauguration.Former Presidents Clinton and Carter, the only other living commanders in chief, will be present
LONDON — The hostage crisis in Algeria has upended the Obama administration’s strategy for coordinating an international military campaign against al-Qaeda fighters in North Africa, leaving U.S., European and African leaders even more at odds over how to tackle the problem. For months, U.S. officials have intensively lobbied Algeria — whose military is by far the strongest in North Africa — to help intervene in next-door Mali, where jihadists and other rebels have established a well-defended base of operations. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other high-ranking U.S. officials made repeated visits to Algiers in the fall