Thirty-seven foreign hostages were killed during the four-day-long standoff at a natural gas plant in Algeria, including two more Americans, the country´s prime minister and a U.S. official said Monday. Three Islamist militants were said to be captured alive and at least two Canadians were among the terrorist group that took hundreds hostage. Seven Americans made it out of the gas plant safely, but three had died, the U.S. official said, on condition of anonymity because he wasn´t authorized to speak publicly on the matter The official said Monday that the FBI had recovered the bodies of the Americans
On this weekend’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” Washington Post columnist George Will raised doubts as to whether President Barack Obama’s gun control proposals will ever become law, even though chief White House adviser David Plouffe vowed legislative reform on the same program. According to Will, Obama’s persuasive abilities have been overrated for several years. “Well, are they?” Will said, questioning the likelihood that Obama’s proposals are viable in Congress. “A durable myth of the Obama presidency, to which Mr. Obama subscribes, is that he’s tremendously persuasive. I don’t think his advocacy of Obamacare and the health care
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) predicted Monday that with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) working to unify the Republican caucus after the divisive “fiscal cliff” fight, House leaders would avoid offering votes on legislation driven by Democratic support. "John Boehner´s tone and his body language … was all about how we pull our conference together and work together," King told CNN. "I don´t think you´ll see another bill that comes to the floor that´s got that large a number of Democrat votes." "It´s going to be a Republican agenda that he drives, and I think he´s about unifying our conference," he added.
DAVID AXELROD: One thing that gives me hope is that I see 85, 90% of Americans saying, yes, we should have universal background checks for anyone who buys a gun. That would be an enormous step forward. And frankly, I don´t think even the NRA can defeat that. because I think that there´s such a consensus among the American people for that. 65% of Americans think we ought to limit the size of these magazines to a reasonable number of rounds so that we don´t have situations where people can open fire on a crowd
Four years ago during his inaugural address, Barack Obama said America’s politics and policies could bring the country together. At the moment he took the oath, he was convinced he was the president to do it. He saw himself as an emblem of healing, a leader with ambitions to tackle neglected problems head on, and an orator who could use words to inspire change. “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics,” he said at the
Keeping with her navy theme from yesterday, Michelle Obama once again stepped out in a tailored navy coat this morning by Thom Browne. The First Lady arrived at St. John´s Episcopal Church across from the White House this morning with daughters Malia and Sasha, her mother Marian Robinson and the President, keeping pre-inaguguration tradition. According to NBC News´ White House Correspondent, Kristen Welker, Mrs Obama´s Thom Browne coat was made from fabric specifically developed to mimic the style of a man’s silk tie. Thom Browne is still best known as a menswear designer, and he often channels
The ennui that hangs over the second inauguration of President Obama like a thick blanket of fog is not simply a function of Republican weariness and wariness after four years of fights with the president. Democrats too are less than thrilled on this august occasion. As my colleague Dana Milbank put it, Obama’s agenda looks “little.” The certitude that he will accomplish significant things is nowhere to be found. Those who made the case for his reelection seem almost wistful. The Post editorial board writes,
Former Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was among his own on Sunday night, as a guest at a coalition of environmental advocates´ Green Inaugural Ball. Held at the Newseum on Capitol Hill, the event featured leaders of the green movement; a perfunctory, one-song performance by will.i.am, who sang "I´ve Got a Feeling" and left the stage; actors Jeffrey Wright, Tate Donovan and musician Mayer Hawthorne; and a surprise, fired-up speech by Vice President Joe Biden.Retiring from the House of Representatives after 15 years, Kucinich, who has been one of Congress´ most outspoken liberals, an anti-war activist and social justice crusader.
Proof of Heaven is the sort of book I almost never read, but I’m glad I made an exception. I don’t really follow the whole Near Death Experience, is-there-or-isn’t-there-an-afterlife debate. I’ve come to believe there is more to life than life, but I don’t think about it much. Life itself seems a pretty urgent business and I want to pay attention to it before it’s gone. If there’s nothing afterwards, I’ll never know. If there is, I’ve got an excellent lawyer. But a friend gave me the book for Christmas. I started it, and found it weirdly compelling.
The President has found a winning formula to push through his extreme policy views: campaign, grow support, give the appearance of action and fund raise off pseudo-action. The President is now applying this campaign tactic to gun control, giving the appearance to America that he is taking action to protect children from madmen. The President held a press conference on January 16th explaining 23 executive orders that he was to sign in relation to gun control measures. President Obama, surrounded by children, concluded his press conference by sitting at a desk and signing several papers
Is the Washington National Cathedral the spiritual center of the nation? In the mind of the liberal Episcopal cathedral’s new dean, it should be. Such an assertion would surprise many of America’s churchgoers, the vast majority of whom are not even Oldline Protestants, let alone Episcopalians. But since assuming leadership of the Cathedral in October, Dean Gary R. Hall has frequently spoken of the church’s role as being “at the center” of American public life.
Algeria´s Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said Monday that 37 foreigners, seven of whom remain unidentified, died during the four-day siege of a natural-gas complex deep in the Sahara desert. In his first public comments on the deadly standoff, Mr. Sellal said 32 "terrorists" from Northern Mali conducted the attack and that the Algerian authorities tried to negotiate with them. He said three militants were captured alive. "The primary target for those terrorist groups was to take over a bus carrying foreign workers including a BP BP.LN +0.20% director that was heading to an airport
Most things that we read in the popular media about radical Islam are fantasies. They are promulgated in the mistaken belief that such dogmas will appease terrorists, or at least direct their ire elsewhere. But given the recent news — murdering in Algeria, war in Mali, the Syrian mess, and Libyan chaos — let us reexamine some of these more common heresies. Such a review is especially timely, given that Mr. Brennan believed that jihad is largely a personal quest for spiritual perfection; Mr. Kerry believed that Bashar Assad was a potentially moderating reformer;
Glory be, it’s Obama’s inauguration day! And for some of his followers, it´s nothing less than a religious event. Fox News (who else?) reports that mega Obamaphiles are handing out posters in the streets of DC that claim Obama’s coming was predicted by the Bible. The proclamation says that “Barack” is a Hebrew word that means “flash of lightning” and Hussein means “good and handsome.” Put ‘em together and what have you got? “Barack was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”
Janey Daley had an interesting piece in yesterday´s paper, in which she looked forward to a new era of American isolationism: On his triumphal tour of Eastern Europe, he greeted the rapturous crowds with a bluntly uncompromising message. Announcing the withdrawal of the US missile shield from Poland and the Czech Republic, he made it brutally clear how things were going to be from now on.[Snip]How ironic that Barack Obama should follow an almost Pat Buchanan-like foreign policy, though for different motives. Buchanan wanted America to be “A Republic, Not an Empire”, and feared (correctly, as it turned out)
At an inaugural reception last night, Vice President Joe Biden praised President Obama for his first term and welcomed America to his second. “This man has already done an absolutely remarkable job,” Biden explained praising Obama for passing his healthcare initiative, ending the war in Iraq and supporting gay marriage. “I want you to know something else about this guy Barack Obama — he’s just getting started,” Biden added. “He’s just getting started.” Biden promised to reduce gun violence, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and help put the economy “on a sustainable path to the future.”
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