Politics becomes amusing when liberalism becomes theatrical with high-minded gestures. Chicago’s government, which is not normally known for elevated thinking, is feeling so morally upright and financially flush that it proposes to rise above the banal business of maximizing the value of its employees’ and retirees’ pension fund assets. Although seven funds have cumulative unfunded liabilities of $25 billion, Chicago will sacrifice the growth of those assets to the striking of a political pose so pure it is untainted by practicality. Emulating New York and California, two deep-blue states
Guns: While DHS seeks 7,000 semiautomatic guns with 30-round clips for self-defense, it makes a video saying you should use scissors to overpower armed predators. Luckily, a school guard in Atlanta thought differently. Vice President Joe Biden criticized, on Jan. 23 during a Google+ Hangout, the suggestion by NRA chief Wayne LaPierre to put armed guards in every school in the nation.(Snip)On Thursday afternoon, a student opened fire at Price Middle School in Atlanta, wounding a 14-year-old in the neck before an armed officer working at the school was able to get the gun away possibly averting yet another mass shooting.
Medicare recipients who need more time to recuperate after leaving the hospital could be hit with unexpected expenses if they don´t qualify for the standard 20-day stay in a nursing home because their four-day hospitalization was billed as an outpatient "observation" instead of an inpatient admission. While a room can still be theirs, they will likely face an upfront payment of hundreds of dollars to claim it. The problem has become more common in the past year as patients end up squeezed between a federal health care agency trying to control spending and hospitals and nursing homes
At the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference in 2008, then-Senator Obama stood before thousands of pro-Israel Americans and declared what appeared to be support for Israel. He explained that “the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in more than our shared national interest; it’s rooted in the shared values and shared stories of our people.” As the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East and the one unique example of a country in the region that allows freedom of speech and religion—as well as women’s
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who oversaw expanded federal support for low-carbon energy and defended it against GOP attacks, announced Friday that he is stepping down. Chu, in a letter to Energy Department employees, said he would remain with the department at least until the end of February, and perhaps beyond "so that I can leave the Department in the hands of the new Secretary." "Serving the country as Secretary of Energy, and working alongside such an extraordinary team of people at the Department, has been the greatest privilege of my life. While the job has had many challenges,
The Obama administration proposed regulations Friday that would prohibit U.S. schools from selling unhealthy snacks. The 160-page regulation from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) would enact nutrition standards for "competitive" foods not included in the official school meal. In practice, the proposed rules would replace traditional potato chips with baked versions and candy with granola. Regular soda is out, though high-schoolers may have access to diet versions. "Although nutrition standards for foods sold at school alone may not be a determining factor in children´s overall diets, they are critical to providing children
SAN DIEGO ? Say what you want about Nancy Pelosi, she got one thing right about Obama’s Affordable Care Act: We had to pass the law to find out what’s it in it. Now that some have actually bitten into this Tootsie Roll Pop, they are discovering that its crunchy outside was more palatable than the chewy center. Even labor unions, still euphoric from their love affair with Obama, are starting to see some very disturbing writing on the wall. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration´s
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) might abandon a century of commitment to the moral development of youth. More than 100 million boys have taken the oath and learned self-reliance, patriotism, service and, most importantly, values through Scouting. After fending off attacks on these values from left-wing activists for decades, the organization on Monday raised a white flag in favor of political correctness — and corporate donations. Deron Smith, a national Scout spokesman, signaled the retreat: “Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.” The statement came as a shock to
Environment: The global warming models, as we have said repeatedly, are hopelessly flawed. Earth is not going to heat up as they have projected. Scientific research out of Norway confirms this. The United Nations´ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, maybe the most hysterical organization ever established, has predicted temperatures to rise by 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 if by then, carbon dioxide levels double from their preindustrialized levels of 1750. Such a projection has prompted much hair-pulling and routine public hand-wringing. But never mind. The Research Council of Norway plugged in real temperature data
President Obama is on the verge of completing his socialist revolution. Remarkably, he is about to be aided and abetted by some Republicans — including leaders of the Tea Party. Who says politics doesn’t make for strange bedfellows? At a recent major policy speech in Las Vegas, Mr. Obama pushed for comprehensive immigration reform. In particular, this reform contains one seminal proposal: a pathway to legalized status for 11 million to 20 million illegal aliens. In short, the president is calling for amnesty. Former President George W. Bush sought to pass similar legislation in 2007.
A call for a congressional investigation of Al Gore´s recent business dealings with Al Jazeera looms. Coming to the National Press Club on Tuesday to announce their demand for close attention: Cliff Kincaid, president of America´s Survival; Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative; plus Jerry Kenney, who has previously filed complaints with the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission over what he calls Al Jazeera´s "illegal broadcasts into the U.S." Mr. Gore recently sold Current TV, the news channel he founded in 2006,
During an appearance on Martin Bashir’s MSNBC program, The Cycle co-host Touré tore into the notion that Fox News Channel host Geraldo Rivera could be taken seriously as a Republican candidate for Senate in New Jersey. Touré called Rivera a “joke” and a “punch line,” and added that Rivera’s moderate social values are not compatible with the present Republican Party. (Snip) “Geraldo Rivera is a joke,” Touré said bluntly when asked about his electoral prospects. “Especially going to a serious political context – a total joke.” “Pro-immigration, pro-marriage equality, pro-choice – that doesn’t sound like a Republican to
While meeting the woman who has labored over the past few years to keep the European Union from falling into the economic abyss, Vice President Joe Biden quipped that America’s own “so-called” fiscal crisis isn’t that bad. Biden met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the first day of a five-day swing through her country, France, and the United Kingdom. In remarks at the chancellery in Berlin, Biden praised Germany as an “absolutely essential, critical partner.” “Without a strong Europe, close ties to Europe, it is not conceivable how American interests can be met around the world,” he said.
Defense: Chuck Hagel´s record in the Senate is a problem, but just as troubling is his failure to explain how he´ll keep America strong within an administration that´s bent on shrinking the military. We have been hearing a lot about the "independence" of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, especially from his cheerleaders. It´s "among his more attractive qualities," says the New York Times in praising Hagel´s rocky performance at his Thursday confirmation hearing. The sad irony is that Hagel, nominated by President Obama to succeed Leon Panetta as secretary of defense, may turn out to be among the least
During an appearance with CBS anchor and host Charlie Rose at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on January 29, former Vice President Al Gore lambasted Fox News Channel and “right-wing talk radio” for broadcasting what he called “propaganda.” He said that conservative media has made it difficult for progressive ideals to catch on with the general public. (Snip) When asked why he thought President Barack Obama has been too conservative in his first term in pursuing progressive ideas, Gore said he thought the president was simply being “cautious.” “And why is that?” Rose asked.
Economy: So the economy created 157,000 new payroll jobs in January. Wow. At this rate, we might actually get back down to Bush-era unemployment rates sometime, oh, within the next 100 years. The January jobs report is supposed to be good news. After all, the economy has now added a total of 6.1 million jobs over the past three years, and the BLS revised last year´s jobs numbers sharply upward. But it doesn´t take much effort to notice that, when it comes to job creation, we are barely treading water. Case in point: Despite these "big" gains,
On MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall this afternoon, Georgetown law graduate Sandra Fluke discussed the Obama administration’s proposed new rule change for the contraception mandate and religious exemptions. “If you take a step back and think about that, you work at a restaurant or you work at a store, and your boss is able to deny you leukemia coverage or contraception coverage or blood transfusions or any number of medical concerns that someone might have a religious objection to,” Fluke said. “So the folks who are still objecting [to the mandate] have some
White House press secretary Jay Carney said he thought defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel answered questions “appropriately” and did “a fine job” at Thursday’s confirmation hearing, adding what he felt was unfair television coverage of the many tense exchanges that occurred between Hagel and his questioners. “If you take all the news clips, not the whole performance, but the news clips that have dominated television reporting on this, they have focused on a series of exchanges that I think, by any estimation, largely represent badgering by questioners over issues like,
San Francisco - Anonymous hackers attacked Twitter this week and may have gained access to passwords and other information for as many as 250,000 user accounts, the microblog revealed late on Friday. Twitter said in a blog post that the passwords were encrypted and that it had already reset them as a "precautionary measure," and that it was in the process of notifying affected users. (Snip) "This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident," Twitter said. "The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have
Two formerly prominent officials in President Barack Obama’s first term received large payments for services from the president’s reelection campaign, Obama for America. According to the end of year filings, OFA owes David Axelrod’s media consulting firm, Axelrod Strategies, $300,000 and owes AKPD Message & Media, a firm Axelrod founded, $153,432. Robert Gibbs, Obama’s former press secretary, has also received payments from the Obama for America campaign, including at least $60,000 in December for consulting and professional service media.
The fly in the ointment of January´s jobs report was the apparent shift to part-time work ahead of a key ObamaCare deadline. Although retail payrolls grew by 32,600, total hours worked in the industry dipped, Labor Department data out Friday showed. The explanation? Rank-and-file retail workers logged the shortest workweek since early 2010: just 30.1 hours, on average, vs. 30.4 in December. Remarkably, aggregate hours worked in the retail sector fell below their January 2012 level, even though industry payrolls are up 200,000 over that period.
Vietnam veteran and ex-Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Isolation) made a stunning impression in his audition for the role of secretary of defense yesterday, though it was not quite the one that he wished. "Though he was being asked about things he had said over the course of the past 15 years, it was what Hagel said yesterday…that had his defenders reeling in shock and even his critics aghast at how poorly he handled himself," wrote John Podhoretz in the New York Post. Said Roger L. Simon, "They had to send him a note in the middle of the proceedings to remind him of the administration’s position on
An advisor to President Obama describes Chuck Hagel´s hearing as, "somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible." The advisor made the comment to the New York Times. The Times reports: Dealing with Iran is complicated, but President Obama´s policy on the question of whether a nuclear-armed Iran could be successfully "contained´´ - the way the Soviet Union was during the cold war - is simple. His answer is no. But in the weeks of preparation for his Senate confirmation hearing to be defense secretary on Thursday, either no one explained that to Chuck Hagel, Mr. Obama´s
Boston - Harvard University said Friday it issued academic sanctions against approximately 60 students who were forced to withdraw from school for a period of time in a cheating scandal that involved the final exam in a class on Congress, drawing criticism from a high-profile alumnus. The school implicated as many as 125 students in the scandal when officials first addressed the issue last year. The inquiry started after a teaching assistant in a spring semester undergraduate-level government class detected problems in the take-home test, including that students may have shared answers.
Union workers are trying to create “change we believe in” at the top of the Labor Department by generating grassroots pressure to oust the acting secretary who has taken charge of the department since Hilda Solis’ departure. “[T]here was general consternation about the fact that Seth Harris is Acting Secretary of Labor when he is mostly responsible for the Department’s 16th out of 19th ranking in the Best Places to Work in Government which was recently published,” Alex Bastani, president of the local 12 chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE),
According to a Marine Corps survey of 53,000 Marines, 17 percent of male Marine respondents said they would likely leave the Corps if women move into combat positions. The results of the poll were released to The Associated Press this morning. According to the Associated Press, male Marines listed fears of being falsely accused of sexual harassment, fraternization, other Marines getting preferential treatment, and having to deal with pregnancy or personal issues that could affect the unit before they are sent to the battlefield. Four percent of female marines said that they would