The line of black limos and Secret Service SUVs glided under the portico at the British Embassy, depositing resplendent revelers at one of the many uber-exclusive cocktail parties of the inaugural weekend. There was the typical Washington A-list, bold-faced names rubbing elbows under a modern portrait of Queen Elizabeth II alongside—what else?—silver urns of hot tea and crumpets. And this was just one of a panoply of elite gatherings as the capital rolls out a series of red carpets in a quadrennial ritual as old as the republic.
It´s the day after the Algerian hostage situation ended, and cleanup crews are still searching for anything that could help them piece together what exactly happened inside the gas facility that was occupied by Al Queda-linked terrorists for four days. What they´re finding inside: more bodies. On the state-run TV station APS, Algerian Minister of Communication Mohamed Said said the number of dead hostages or terrorists "may be revised upward," as the crews finish their search of the facility, a prophecy already fulfilled. The Associated Press reports "numerous" new bodies were found inside,
Why am I not convinced? Ex-Notre Dame football linebacker Manti Te’o claims he’s a gigantic rube. He fell in love with a girl he met nearly four years ago on Facebook — whom he never laid eyes upon and never touched, he told ESPN on Friday. The phantom gal pal had no birth certificate, Social Security number, driver’s license, tattoos or credit-card debt. You’d think a guy would at least want to check if the love of his life had visible blemishes. Or a pulse. But this babe was never born. She never Googled. And she never died.
In recent days Republicans have had some success pointing out that it will soon be four years since Senate Democrats have allowed Congress to pass a budget — something the Congressional Budget Act requires lawmakers to do each year. After a determined campaign by Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, the House GOP joined forces in a plan to pass a short-term debt-ceiling increase on the condition that Congress pass a budget. The Democrats’ strategy has long been clear. The last time Majority Leader Harry Reid allowed a budget
The man who allegedly orchestrated the Lennay Kukua hoax on Manti Te´o may have used the character to dupe other prominent members of the community, a source told ABC News. Tessi Toluta´u, a Polynesian beauty queen, said the fake Lennay Kekua reached out to her in 2008 about entering pageants. Although Toluta´u said she believed Kekua may have fabricated some details about her life, she still believed her to be real and kept in touch with her for a period of several months. When visiting Los Angeles in 2009, Toluta´u was supposed to meet Lennay, however she failed to appear.
It seems impossible, but Barack Obama has taken the most powerful office on the planet and reduced it to the size of a patent clerk’s sinecure. And while Einstein may have made his most important contributions to science while whiling away the drudgery in a tiny Swiss patent examination office, the president has made an art form of talking big and acting small — so small that insignificance has become the new normal at the White House. The president’s “executive actions” on curbing gun violence are so vanilla and pedestrian that the reactions from Republicans —
The history of the last thirty years of American policy in the Middle East and North Africa can be summed up in two words: unintended consequences. The US has found itself pressured by outside events into interventions that have ended up backfiring in substantial ways. In most cases, one can argue with good reason that the US advanced other policies that more than compensated for the complications. In Afghanistan, we armed the rebels in order to help bring down the Soviet Union. We initially invaded Iraq to repel Saddam Hussein
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S Second Inaugural Address, revised for maximum honesty: My fellow Americans, I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed. [long pause] Hey, no, just kidding: That’s from George W. Bush’s second inaugural. I just wanted to see if you could tell the difference. I’m going to keep this brief, because we’re all cold and there’s always a chance that the House Republicans might start imitating the Donner Party if we stay out here too long.
Ironies will never get stranger than that a rock-ribbed conservative from South Carolina would bring Diversity with a capital D to the old, white, and male Republican party, but that is what Jim DeMint, now leaving the Senate for a think tank, has done. He and the Tea Party have supported some clunkers—Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell in 2010, and Richard Mourdock most recently—but thanks in part to him and to it the GOP will have in 2013 two Hispanic senators from two big states, two Hispanic governors from blue states that went for Obama,
Sen. Marco Rubio is rallying conservatives behind immigration reform with a set of principles he unveiled this week and has promoted with a media blitz. Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, who mainly reside on the left, are surprised that Rubio, a Republican from Florida, has generated so much positive buzz from conservatives. They see it as a promising sign that 2013 will be a more promising year for immigration reform than 2006 and 2007, which both began with high hopes that fizzled after a stalemate in Congress.
President Barack Obama took the oath of office Sunday in a private ceremony at the White House, opening a second term in which he will attempt to push tighter gun controls and an immigration overhaul through a divided government, while confronting Iran´s nuclear ambitions and other challenges overseas. (Snip)"I did it,´´ Mr. Obama said to his youngest daughter, Sasha, after taking the oath. "You didn´t mess up,´´ his daughter responded. In 2009, Mr. Obama retook the oath of office in private after Mr. Roberts flubbed the wording at the official, public ceremony.
Most of the weapons used by al Qaeda-linked militants to storm a gas facility in southeastern Algeria came from Libya, the Daily Telegraph has learned. Many of the Islamist terrorists shot their way into the In Amenas compound on Thursday using the AK104 model of Kalashnikov, which was typically used by Libyan rebels in the war against Muammar Gaddafi. They brought F5 rockets that also surfaced in the Libyan war, said the security source. The Islamists wore the same type of outfits that Qatar provided to Libyan National Transitional Council rebels by Qatar – yellow flak jackets with
It was one of then-Candidate Barack Obama’s marquee campaign promises: Close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, which would erase a terrorist recruiting tool and a black spot on America’s human rights record. Hours after that first inauguration, Mr. Obama halted all war trials at the detention facility for suspected terrorists, and then two days later, on Jan. 22, he signed an executive order committing to close the prison down entirely. But as he again took the oath of office Sunday in a private ceremony, 166 detainees remain at the prison
A week of violence in Algeria and Mali has transformed al- Qaeda’s North Africa branch into a cause celebre for militant Islamists around the globe, boosting recruitment and fundraising for the jihadists and spurring fears of further terrorist attacks in the region and beyond. Even after suffering tactical defeats in both countries in recent days, the movement known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is being lionized in Internet chat rooms and in official statements by extremist groups, some of which are urging reprisal campaigns against Western interests.
Amid his fiscal negotiations with Congress and the shootings in Newtown, Conn., President Obama has managed to hold several “think-big” meetings recently with senior advisers in the Roosevelt Room, and this month he dined with historians in the White House, searching for a rough road map for second-term leadership. As one senior administration official described the brainstorming sessions, Obama has made a request that challenges the instinctive pragmatism he has shown in office. “Let’s not focus on what’s possible or doable,” Obama has advised
Senate Democrats plan to draft a budget blueprint that calls for significantly higher taxes on the wealthy, oil and gas companies and corporations doing business overseas, reopening a battle over taxes Republicans had hoped to lay to rest with the “fiscal cliff.” For nearly four years, Senate leaders have ducked their legal duty to craft a comprehensive budget framework. Now, however, Democrats see the budget process as “a great opportunity” to pursue additional tax increases — and to create a fast-track process to push them through the Senate, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The “legacy thing” may be harder than Barack Obama imagines. Beginning his second term, Obama has a focused, though unstated, agenda: to achieve presidential greatness in the eyes of historians and Americans. In this, he will almost certainly fail. He is already a historic president as the first African American to be elected, but there is a chasm between being historic and being great. Presidents are ultimately judged not by their total record, or by their ability to enact their agendas, or by their popularity. They are judged by whether they get a few very big decisions right or wrong
Georgetown see-and-be-seen staple Café Milano became a virtual game of who’s who of Washington on Sunday. Celebrities, D.C. power players, lawmakers, and journalists packed the eatery to capacity for an inaugural bipartisan brunch hosted by Tina Brown, The Daily Beast and Newsweek. “Desperate Housewives” actress and President Obama fundraiser Eva Longoria donned a bipartisan color for the occasion, wearing a fitted purple dress and dark purple heels. Longoria made the rounds at the gathering, greeting former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with a smile and handshake, saying, “Madam Secretary, so nice to meet you.” The entertainer shrieked, “Grover!” upon eyeing
All eyes will be on President Obama at noon tomorrow when he makes his public inauguration address but come the evening the world´s attention will inevitably turn to the First Lady and the gown she has chosen to wear to the couple´s second inauguration ball. Though Michelle Obama certainly has the knack for getting it right in the fashion stakes, she may want to cast her eye over some of the inauguration dresses chosen by First Ladies gone by. The Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington D.C. has a collection of the First Ladies choices going back 100 years,
As if any Monday in January weren´t bad enough, Blue Monday, an ill-reputed date dubbed "the most depressing day of the year," should really put you in a mood. While there has been some confusion over exactly which day Blue Monday falls on in 2013, the official date is January 21. The theory of Blue Monday dates back to 2005, when UK psychologist Cliff Arnall created an elaborate mathematical formula to calculate the most miserable day of the year. Thanks to the day´s perfect storm of drab weather, holiday bills, and wrecked New Year´s resolutions, motivational levels
Four years ago, ABC´s Bill Weir gushed during coverage of Barack Obama´s first inauguration, "Even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.” On Sunday, Diane Sawyer said of Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Eve, "The whole city has a smile on its face" (video follows with transcript and commentary):DIANE SAWYER: And as we´ve said here in Washington, the excitement is already beginning. Those marching bands getting ready for their parade, the caterers, 10,000 eggs for one hotel, and the whole city has a smile on its face, the pageantry, the ceremony,
OKLAHOMA CITY — While President Obama is calling for further restrictions on access to guns, Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing in the other direction, introducing dozens of bills that would make it easier for people to carry firearms and to carry them into government meetings, state parks and even public schools. More than two dozen bills were filed in the Senate to expand gun rights before Thursday´s bill filing deadline, and nearly that many were prepared in the House. The 2013 session opens Feb. 4. "Clearly in Oklahoma we are strong supporters of gun rights and gun ownership rights
In his illuminating new e-book on covering the Obama re-election campaign, Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings reveals that President Obama secretly joined reporters for drinks once while the campaign was in Orlando, Fla. The "beer summit" with supporters is described by Hastings as little like teenage fans meeting Justin Bieber during his North American tour: “The behavior of the assembled press corps was telling. Everyone, myself included, swooned. Swooned! Head over heels. One or two might have even lost their minds. We were all, on some level, deeply obsessed with Obama, crushing hard,
Jack Harbaugh played one year of professional football, with the AFL’s New York Titans in 1961. He began a long career as a high school and college coach in 1964. But Jack Harbaugh’s lasting impact on the game of football will be the fact that he had two sons in the two years between ending his playing career and beginning his coaching career. On Super Bowl Sunday, John Harbaugh (born in 1962) will coach his Ravens against Jim Harbaugh (born in 1963) and the 49ers. Jack Harbaugh surely had high hopes for his two sons half a century ago,
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.— Joe Flacco outdueled Tom Brady, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship. The win sets up the first Super Bowl coached by brothers, Baltimore´s John Harbaugh and San Francisco´s Jim. The 49ers won the NFC title earlier Sunday 28-24 at Atlanta. The 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites. Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis´ final season will conclude in two weeks in New Orleans;
ATLANTA— Make way Joe Montana and Steve Young. Colin Kaepernick is leading a brash new group of 49ers to the Super Bowl. Frank Gore scored a pair of second-half touchdowns and San Francisco, after falling behind 17-0 by the first play of the second quarter, pulled off a record rally for a 28-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game Sunday. Helped by the defense in the final minutes, Kaepernick didn’t put up the same dazzling numbers he did in the divisional playoff against Green Bay.