Here’s a story so dripping in irony that would make even the sourest Stalinist smile. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt visited North Korea earlier this month on a personal “humanitarian mission” to encourage the backwards communist state to open up. His message was that the hermit kingdom can’t remain hidden in an increasingly interconnected world. But it didn’t require Schmidt visiting North Korea to make that point. One of his company’s own apps did it for him. Human rights campaigners have used Google Earth to identify previously hidden labour camps within North Korea. A blogger has
In a New York Times op-ed, David Rothkopf takes a critical view of President Obama’s performance as commander-in-chief so far: But Mr. Obama and his team would benefit, as they begin the second term, by acknowledging that many of the biggest problems facing the administration flow directly from the man at the top. Mr. Obama is a lousy manager. As chief executive he gets a C — and then only if graded on a curve that takes into account his predecessor’s managerial weaknesses. Rothkopf suggests that Obama never had the experience of playing an executive or
WASHINGTON- President Obama participates in several events marking his ceremonial swearing-in as president Monday, the White House said. The daily schedule indicates Obama will:-- Attend a church service at St. John´s Episcopal Church in Washington with his family and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife.-- Be sworn in at the U.S. Capitol, with the first family and the Bidens in attendance, and speak. (Note: Obama formally took the oath of office Sunday at the White House.)-- Attend the inaugural luncheon at the Capitol with the first lady and the Bidens.
“Word on the national security street is that General James Mattis is being given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of Central Command, and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned,” reports veteran national security correspondent Thomas E. Ricks. It now appears likely that Gen. Mattis, a Marine Corps legend, will leave his post as head of America’s most important combatant command in March, several months earlier than planned. Ricks continues: Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way —
After a year dominated by domestic triumphs, including the success of the Olympics and the Queen´s Diamond Jubilee, events in Algeria last week have been an unpleasant reminder of the importance of foreign and security policy in a dangerous world. The Arab Spring and the hope of a liberal democratic revolution in the Arab world has been followed by a more sombre period of reassessment. We should not be surprised. When tyrants fall, the power vacuum is seldom filled quickly or peacefully, and the test of any revolution is what happens, not in the immediate aftermath, but in the long
President Obama was inaugurated for his second term yesterday, and at the public ceremony today he’ll deliver a speech that will, at the height of his political power, set forth his agenda in terms of compromise and economic recovery. He’ll begin by claiming that his leadership overcame the greatest economic crisis we’ve faced since the Depression and he’ll go on to claim credit for achieving great “reforms” like Obamacare and “saving” the auto industry. He’ll say that his great successes gave him a mandate to complete his agenda for jobs, for reviving the economy and all the things
President Barack Obama’s top political aide used an Inauguration Day interview to sketch out a provocative political strategy intended to split the Republican Party in time to impact the 2014 midterm elections. “The barrier to progress here in many respects, whether it is deficits, measures to help economy, immigration, gun safety legislation … is [that] there are factions here in Congress, Republicans in Congress, who are out of the mainstream,” White House advisor David Plouffe said on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley.” “We need more Republicans in Congress to think like Republicans in the country
Today shortly after noon Eastern Time, Barack Obama is scheduled to give his final inaugural address. He´s 24 hours into his second term already, so today´s ceremonies are merely ceremonial. If you´re going to watch it live on this federal holiday, we suggest doing so via the unfiltered C-SPAN version. We´ll have the full text of his latest speech from the Capitol steps.
Michelle Obama looked set for a stylish second term last night as she appeared on stage at the celebration reception for her husband´s inauguration wearing a stunning black sequined cocktail dress. Proving yet again that she is a winner in the style stakes, the First Lady glittered at the event in D.C., where she smiled indulgently at the man she clearly adores as he took to the stage to thank the assembled campaigners and benefactors. It wasn´t the first time the dress, a boat-necked sequin frock by U.S. designer Michael Kors, had had an airing.
Thursday Jan 17, Tom Brokaw was given time on MSNBC to tell the Founding Fathers the self-evident truths they laid their lives on the line for are farfetched. Are we lucky, or what? Our talking heads know so much more than the men who pledged their lives, their sacred honor to free us from the tyranny of Kings and establish real freedom. Brokaw spoke with Andrea Mitchell. He aimed his remarks at people who believe in the Constitution by saying, in a scholarly formal tone (which passes for derision in his circles), that 2nd Amendment types who say
The immediate response to the Sahara atrocity must be revulsion, and deep sorrow for the families of those British and other hostages who were murdered in cold blood or killed in the rescue attempt. Condemnation of the Algerian authorities for the loss of those hostages’ lives, in what has been termed a ‘bungled’ operation against the Islamist terrorists who stormed the Algerian gas complex, is nevertheless inappropriate. The Prime Minister yesterday struck a more supportive note than his earlier reported fury that the Algerians had gone in with all guns blazing without even informing the UK government.
RABAT, Morocco— The Islamists are back as a force in Algeria. The terrorist attack on an Algerian natural gas plant that left dozens of hostages and militants dead has demonstrated how a failing Algerian insurgency transformed itself into a regional threat, partly by exploiting the turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring revolts. Al-Qaida´s branch in Algeria retreated into a Sahara no man´s land between Mali, Algeria and Mauritania after it was largely defeated by the Algerian army in a 10-year war in the 1990s that claimed 200,000 lives. There it grew rich on smuggling and hostage-taking, gained new recruits
When she arrived at Lincoln Drill Hall for BBC1’s Question Time last Thursday, Rachel Bull took a seat towards the back of the audience, never imagining that she would speak during the live television debate.[Snip]After hearing Cambridge University professor Mary Beard airily dismissing claims that migrant workers were overwhelming the market town, office manager Mrs Bull almost leapt from her seat, waving her hand frantically in the air until she caught the attention of presenter David Dimbleby. ‘Boston is at breaking point. All the locals can’t cope any more,’ she said, her voice trembling with emotion and outrage.
Three Los Angeles police officers were returning to their station on Thursday, January 10, when they stopped to help a severely injured dog whose owner said she did not want ‘to fix’ after the dog was hit by a car. The 2-year-old pit bull-Shar Pei mix, who the caring officers named ‘Philly’ after an LAPD sergeant, had been struck at the corner of 108th Street and Central Avenue. Witnesses told the officers the brown pooch had been suffering on the ground with his ribs exposed for at least five hours. ´He was right there on Central for everyone to see,’
The last time America had a gun-control debate was the early 1990s, and it was followed by the great two-decade-long decline in American crime. The irony is that gun control had very little to do with that decline. William Bratton did. Serving as New York City´s top cop for 27 months from 1994 to 1996, he helped turn around a violent, crime-ridden city with policies that later were adopted nationwide and across the globe. (Snip)in a recent chat he puts the gun debate in the context of policies that really have made America safer.
Rapper Lupe Fiasco was thrown offstage and escorted off the premises of a Washington, D.C. concert hall during a pre-inauguration concert Sunday night, after going on an anti-war, anti-Obama rant, according to concertgoers. Josh Rogin, a reporter with Foreign Policy magazine, tweeted late Sunday, “Lupe Fiasco just got thrown off stage here at the Hamilton Live after he went on an anti-Obama diatribe mid set.” “So Lupe played one anti-war song for 30 min and said he didn’t vote for Obama,” he continued, ”and eventually was told to move on to the next song…Lupe refused
MOSCOW- Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia´s parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of "hooliganism." But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal "homosexual propaganda" and bring a fine of up to $16,000. The legislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as "propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism."
LANCASTER, Calif. — The person cast as the mastermind of the hoax involving Notre Dame´s Manti Te´o may tell his side of the story, a family member said Sunday. Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, uncle of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, says the family plans to hold a meeting this week to determine when and how his nephew would talk about the bizarre prank. "We want to do it right," he said, also noting that the family has hired an attorney. He never directly mentioned the hoax or his nephew being involved.
During the age of Obama, the major media have gone fully AWOL. If they fear that their reporting will lead to inconvenient discoveries, they simply stop their advance, lay down their notebooks, and disappear. This trend began in the Clinton years and picked up momentum after the 1994 electoral debacle, but the Clintons at least worried that the media might turn on them. If Barack Obama ever had any such anxiety, the nonreporting on Fast and Furious, Benghazi and now Sandy Hook has had to reassure him. Sandy Hook is particularly disturbing
In the libertarian sci-fi classic, "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress," Robert A. Heinlein describes a successful revolution of the individualistic, free-market-oriented residents of the Moon against the Earth´s tyrannical big government.(snip)If the tyrants on Earth were worth their salt, all the freedom-loving colonists would be subjected to an intense, manipulative indoctrination, which would shape their self-image as small and sinful "little guys" vis-à-vis the powerful, virtuous government that serves the powerless and protects them against all enemies, including themselves.
Here is the transcript of remarks given by the Obamas and the Bidens at a reception with supporters Sunday night in Washington, as provided by the White House. (Snip)DR. BIDEN: Good evening, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. But more than that, thank you for the kindness, friendship and support that you’ve shown us since we’ve begun this long journey together. We wouldn’t be here without your help, and that means so much to me and Joe.
WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia officials have lowered their turnout estimate for Monday´s presidential inauguration.The district´s homeland security director, Chris Geldart, said Sunday that officials now expect between 500,000 and 700,000 people to attend. That´s fewer than the 600,000 to 800,000 people initially anticipated. The estimates are based in part on the number of charter buses arriving in the city, as well as the number of hotel and restaurant reservations.
Paul Lieberman is a feature writer who spent 24 years covering a variety of beats at the Los Angeles Times. He has won a fistful of awards plus a Nieman Fellowship and was on two reporting teams that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Back in 1992 the paper had just run a story about how the Intelligence unit of the Los Angeles Police Department was digging up dirt on various celebrities and politicians around town while monitoring organized crime. The piece said the practice started back in the 1950s. A few days later, Lieberman received a call from a dissenting reader.
President Barack Obama’s new license plates may read “District of Columbia” but his head, heart and body language shout “I’m not from around here.” Local leaders believed that Obama, the first African-American president and an avowed urbanist, would fulfill his promise to embrace a many-hued metropolis overshadowed by white marbled official Washington. A few even believed he would expend political capital, as Jimmy Carter did, to back voting rights or statehood on behalf of district residents. The city’s fraying, graying Georgetown townhouse aristocracy — the ones who had dismissed Bill Clinton as a hick two decades earlier —
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson told reporters Sunday that he is considering “drastic changes” in response to state and federal income tax hikes — including possibly leaving the United States. “It’s been an interesting off-season. And I’m going to have to make some drastic changes. I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes,” Mickelson said during a press conference following the Humana Challenge golf tournament in La Quinta, Calif.
As we contemplate another four years of Barack Obama, a sense of doom has settled over the nation. It is easy to imagine man-caused disasters from which the United States cannot recover. So perhaps it helps to be reminded how consistently doomsayers have been wrong over the years. Anthony Watts has an entertaining post titled “Great Moments in Failed Predictions.” An excerpt:* In 1865, Stanley Jevons (one of the most recognized 19th century economists) predicted that England would run out of coal by 1900, and that England’s factories would grind to a standstill.