On October 3, 2005, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate his White House counsel, Harriet Miers, to succeed Sandra Day O’Connor as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. On October 27, after vigorous statements of opposition from conservatives and quiet expressions of dismay from Republican senators, Miers withdrew her nomination. Conservatives and Republicans had no grudge against Harriet Miers. They simply thought she wasn’t a first-rate candidate. They were confident that Bush, the Court, and the country could do better. They were right. President Bush then nominated Samuel Alito for the position.
Iran´s claim of successfully sending a simian to space may have been nothing but monkey business. Observers called into question the truth of Iranian reports early this week that a monkey-manned rocket called Pishgam (Pioneer in Farsi) was launched 75 miles above Earth. "The monkey, which was sent in this launch, landed safely and alive and this is a big step for our experts and scientists," defense minister Ahmad Vahidi had boasted. But the before and after photos of the purported space primate show two seemingly different apes, experts and amateurs noted in several online reports Friday.
Imagine that a group of girls is going on a long camping trip, supervised by adult volunteers who are young men you barely know. Would you let your 15-year-old daughter go? Nearly every parent, I think, would recognize the folly, even though the men might well be models of good behavior. Why should our common-sense response be any different if the 15-year-old is a boy and the possible, even if not-likely-to-be-acted-on, sexual attraction of the adult supervisors is homosexual rather than heterosexual? Sadly, in the face of intense pressure from ideologues, the Boy Scouts of America are reportedly
Geraldo Rivera wants to be a United States senator. Right. Imagine the 30-second ads against him: Here he is getting his nose broken by a neo-Nazi in a brawl on his daytime talk show. Here he is melodramatically opening Al Capone’s vault and finding… a few old bottles. And did I mention that his memoir, filled with tales of the women he has bedded, is called Exposing Myself? I like Geraldo, but this is delusional. And something of a stunt. He’ll milk it for a bit and then decide he wants to spend more time with his microphone.
The UN anti-genocide envoy says he is "deeply disturbed" by reports of reprisal attacks by Malian troops as they retake control of the north. Such widespread and systematic abuses could "constitute atrocity crimes", Adama Dieng said in a statement. The military is suspected of recruiting and arming proxy militia groups to kill Arabs and ethnic Tuaregs, he added. Mr Dieng made the comments ahead of a planned visit to Mali by France´s President Francois Hollande. The French leader is due to arrive in the capital, Bamako, on Saturday to meet interim President Dioncounda Traore. He is also expected to visit
In the period immediately before the Civil War, the most ferocious rhetoric came out of the mouths of Southern Democrats who were soon known as “fire-eaters.” They got that nickname because of the strength of their rhetoric in support of slavery and their willingness to talk about secession as a response to the possibility of abolitionists gaining influence in Congress, and even winning the White House. The louder and more ferocious speeches they gave, the stronger the abolitionist position seemed to become. Today, we again have Democratic fire-eaters whose violent rhetoric is strengthening the support enjoyed by their opponents.
A couple weeks back, Nebraska Governor Heineman approved the portion of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would run through his state, obliterating the Obama administration’s last, best excuse for continuing to delay on what has become a politically explosive project. After what have already amounted to years of various reviews with positive results, the State Department insisted that they just needed a little bit longer to finalize yet another one of these reviews, and that if everyone could just wait until the end of March, they should have their final decision by around then. Yeah. About that.
WASHINGTON -- Most candy, high-calorie drinks and greasy meals could soon be on a food blacklist in the nation´s schools. For the first time, the government is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful. Under the new rules the Agriculture Department proposed Friday, foods like fatty chips, snack cakes, nachos and mozzarella sticks would be taken out of lunch lines and vending machines. In their place would be foods like baked chips, trail mix, diet sodas, lower-calorie sports drinks and low-fat hamburgers. The rules, required under a child nutrition
WASHINGTON -The Senate Ethics Committee has an eye on the allegations surrounding New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the panel’s top Republican indicated, as news reports show that Menendez used a public hearing to advocate for a business tied to Salomon Melgen, a South Florida eye doctor now under federal investigation. "We are aware of the news reports regarding the FBI raid on Dr. Melgen’s office. The Ethics Committee will follow its established procedures in this matter," Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, said in a statement. The Washington Post first reported Isakson’s comments and wrote that a review
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan- Militants attacked an isolated army checkpoint in Pakistan´s restive northwest on Saturday, with at least 31 people killed in the initial assault, subsequent crossfire and a rocket attack on a house, officials said. The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in response to a U.S. drone strike in neighboring North Waziristan last month in which two commanders were killed. The Pakistani military and pro-government militias have since 2009 regained territory from the Pakistan Taliban, who once controlled land a few hours´ drive from the capital of Islamabad.
SACRAMENTO — A former deputy Los Angeles city attorney, convicted of soliciting sexual favors from an 18-year-old defendant in exchange for promising to help her avoid jail time, was among 128 people pardoned by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. In 1990, George Schwartz received a one-year sentence in Los Angeles County Jail for the crime. Weeks ago, his name was added to the growing list of those who have received official forgiveness from Brown. The full list was released Friday. In April, the governor commuted the potential life sentence of Shirley Ree Smith, who was convicted
TURLOCK, Calif. — A gas station in this Central Valley town used to sell souvenir hats that read: "Turlock — Known for Absolutely Nothing." That was before hometown boy Colin Kaepernick went from being a third-string quarterback to leading the San Francisco 49ers into Sunday´s Super Bowl. Now Turlock is swarming with tourists. They are dropping into Christina´s Coffeehouse for a Kaep of Joe, eating Kaepernick Dogs (chili, coleslaw, jalapenos and special sauce) at Footers on Main Street and ordering a No. 7 Kaepernick Special at the Dust Bowl — a jalapeno burger served with a red-gold ale.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign quietly donated nearly $90,000 to the Red Cross in late November, according to a report filed Thursday night with the Federal Election Commission. The donation came on Nov. 30 – about one month after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, stretching thin the organization’s resources, and weeks after the GOP candidate lost to President Barack Obama. Neither Romney nor his campaign publicized the donation, despite liberal allegations in the days before the election that he had used the Red Cross as a political prop.
CHICAGO — Authorities searched Friday for a convicted murderer from Indiana who was mistakenly released after a Chicago court appearance, as officials in Illinois admitted they lost paperwork directing them to return him to Indiana. It turned out Steven L. Robbins didn´t even need to be brought to Chicago in the first place, and Cook County officials on Friday also pointed fingers over who was responsible for that mistake. Robbins, 44, was serving a 60-year sentence for murder in Indiana and was escorted by Cook County sheriff´s deputies to Chicago this week for a court appearance
The White House Friday blasted Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was President Obama’s opponent in 2008, for his tough questioning Thursday of Defense Secretary-nominee Chuck Hagel over the U.S. troop surge in the Iraq war. White House press secretary Jay Carney reminded reporters that Mr. Obama defeated Mr. McCain for the presidency in 2008, and said history has shown that Mr. Obama exhibited better judgment than the Arizona Republican about the Iraq war. “In 2008, as I recall, Senator McCain suggested
The investigation into New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and his ties to political donor Salomon Melgen ratcheted Friday, as media reports dissected financial transactions between the two that could be seen as crossing congressional ethics lines. Roll Call cites a New York Times report for raising details of a 10-year financial relationship between the congressman and the Florida eye doctor that raises brows: Mr. Melgen reportedly bought a controlling stake in a port security company in the Caribbean two years ago. During that time frame, Roll Call cites
Hollywood might be a liberal town, but there are plenty of celebrities who own guns — and they’re not afraid to use them. An E! Online report quotes gun owner Angelina Jolie talking about her willingness to protect her family: “If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I’ve no problem shooting them.” She isn’t alone. Whoopi Goldberg of “The View” and James Earl Jones are both NRA members. Even Donald Trump — who spoke exclusively to The Times in November on the issue — and “The Avengers” star Jeremy Renner admit to owning firearms.
A sophisticated cyberattack targeted The Washington Post in an operation that resembled intrusions against other major American news organizations and that company officials suspect was the work of Chinese hackers, people familiar with the incident said. Post company officials confirmed the broad outlines of the infiltration, which was discovered in 2011 and first reported by an independent cybersecurity blog on Friday. But they did not elaborate on the circumstances, the duration of the intrusion or its apparent origin.
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