As America´s secretive but expanding drone program draws increasing scrutiny, some U.S. senators are floating the idea of an assassination court to determine whether to approve the remote-control killing of a suspected terrorist. The idea was discussed at Thursday´s confirmation hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan, a supporter of the drone program, who called the idea of a court ´worthy of discussion.´ The program has been controversial as some say it offers the administration power to kill without any oversight or regulation, even if the person being assassinated is an American. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
On Wednesday, local Cincinnati TV station WCPO did a report (HT John Fund at National Review via Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin´s blog) reported that "The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud" (Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County). The most potentially outrageous case involves Melowese Richardson, who "admits to voting twice in the last election." Even though "she has worked the polls since 1988," she offered a hopelessly lame excuse for the multiple vote. She may also have voted four additional times under others´ names, and also
An ´unflattering´ picture of Beyoncé performing at the Super Bowl´s halftime show has transformed into a fully-fledged meme; one to rival McKayla Maroney´s now-iconic ´Not Impressed´ scowl. After Beyoncé´s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, emailed Buzzfeed earlier this week to ask that the site ´respectfully change´ several images of her client to ´some better photos´ from the halftime show, her attempt backfired in epic proportions. Buzzfeed published the email, and in the Internet phenomenon known as the Streisand Effect, one image in particular circulated so virulently it became an instant meme. The original seven images that Ms Noel-Schure asked Buzzfeed to remove
Dr. Benjamin Carson got quite a bit of attention for making a big speech at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning sticking up for conservative principles, with President Obama in attendance. Sean Hannity invited Carson onto his show tonight, remarking that it was an “amazing speech.” Carson explained why he felt the need to speak out as he did against the policies of a man sitting mere feet from him. (Snip) Hannity told Carson that his speech “moved me deeply.” Carson said he has received overwhelmingly positive reactions since yesterday, mostly because he
The year’s first big snowstorm delivered a wintry double whammy for New Yorkers — heavy snow and the threat of a tow. Mayor Bloomberg, bracing Friday for 2013’s paralyzing storm, urged residents to keep their cars from blocking city streets — or risk getting the hook on their dime. “Any vehicles found to be impeding traffic will be subject to towing at the owner’s expense,” promised Bloomberg, who planned to spend the frigid night at home. “Stay off the city streets, stay out of your cars and stay at home while the worst of this storm is
Recently, as guest host on "Your World with Neil Cavuto, " Stuart Varney interviewed Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison on the appropriateness of "soak the rich" tax policies. Particularly, Varney was particularly interested in whether or not the congressman felt that it was fair for professional golfer Phil Mickelson to keep only 37% of what he earns, the remaining 63% going toward State of California and federal income taxes. In response to Varney´s query, Ellison responded: I think it´s fair to ask Phil Mickelson for a little bit more money to make sure that we can continue to invest
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Thursday revealed he personally broke the news to President Obama that the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was under attack last year — but he and the president didn’t speak the rest of the night as the assault on the compound unfolded.Mr. Panetta said he and Mr. Obama, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, discussed the attack for 15 minutes in the Oval Office the afternoon of Sept. 11,
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Hunt says it is “absolutely disgraceful” that no doctors, nurses or managers have been held to account for the substandard care which led to the deaths of up to 1,200 patients. He says the Francis report into the scandal has put “evidence in the public domain” which should form the basis of a police investigation and questions the failure of professional bodies to uncover “abuse on such a wide scale”. The Health Secretary also says there needs to be a major change in culture across the NHS as compassion was being “crushed”
Intense criticism is mounting against Karl Rove over his launch of the “Conservative Victory Project,” a new American Crossroads initiative that seeks to vet GOP Senate candidates while squeezing out unelectable political prospects. (Snip)Perhaps the most glaring example of the type of election forfeiture Rove and Crossroads seek to avoid with their new project comes to us from Christine O’Donnell, who ousted Rep. Michael Castle in the primary, only to be defeated by Christopher Coons in the 2010 election in Delaware. She had held no elective office or had any experience in government prior to running for the Senate,
Senator Robert Menendez was never a distinguished choice for chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the position he ascended to this month by virtue of seniority. Concerns about that quality gap have sharply escalated amid new disclosures about Mr. Menendez’s use of his position to advance the financial interests of a friend and big donor. Instead of trying to protect Mr. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, needs to remove his gavel, at least pending credible resolution by the Senate Ethics Committee of the swirling accusations of misconduct.
By developing and inserting a glyphosate- resistant gene into plant DNA, Monsanto Co. has created premium seeds of soybean, canola and cotton able to withstand its Roundup herbicides and similar weed killers. In the agribusiness world, Monsanto is known as an aggressive enforcer of restrictions on farmers’ use of its patented line of genetically engineered crops. Now the St. Louis-based conglomerate is in a showdown with a southern Indiana farmer that will play out this month in the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is Vernon Hugh Bowman’s argument that Monsanto lost the right to keep him
When Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a whip-smart wonk and naturally competent executive, was tapped to give the Republican response to a February 2009 address by President Obama, it was considered something of an audition for a presidential run in 2012. The speech, however, bombed, and the presidential run never materialized. (Snip)Rubio’s numbers show that he is not well known nationally, but that those who do know enough about him to register an opinion tend to approve of him. This would have to be part of any of the senator’s calculations with regard to the State of the Union response.
GARDEN CITY, Kan.—Truman Capote´s masterwork of murder, "In Cold Blood," cemented two reputations when first published almost five decades ago: his own, as a literary innovator, and detective Alvin Dewey Jr.´s as the most famous Kansas lawman since Wyatt Earp. But new evidence undermines Mr. Capote´s claim that his best seller was an "immaculately factual" recounting of the bloody slaughter of the Clutter family in their Kansas farmhouse. It also calls into question the image of Mr. Dewey as the brilliant, haunted hero. A long-forgotten cache of Kansas Bureau of Investigation documents from the investigation
He died on February 9, 2010. Fans and friends from around the world mourned the loss of their favorite TV sea captain — Captain Phil Harris. He wasn’t the kind of man Americans get to meet very often on TV. Not the kind of man TV writers know much about. They generally create soft, goofy men dominated by more capable and competent wives. But not even the best screenwriter’s imagination could have crafted a character like Captain Phil. Or the men who we’ve all gotten to know thanks to the first TV reality show ever to center around real-life
If George W. Bush had told us that the “war on terror” gave him the right to execute a U.S. citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I’d have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What’s wrong is wrong. (Snip)But as the Justice Department document admits, U.S. citizens have constitutional rights. I am deeply troubled by the notion that the president can unilaterally decide those rights no longer apply.
John Brennan’s confirmation hearing was hot news yesterday. Yet by about 10 a.m. or so this morning, coverage of Brennan’s nomination had been pushed off the virtual front pages of sites like Politico, the Huffington Post, and the Washington Post to make way for stories about whether the Redskins should change their politically incorrect name and mascot, celebrity gossip, and Republican governors making an incremental shift on an obscure aspect of an old issue that has been covered to death: Obamacare (pun intended). Full disclosure: I cared a great deal about this story
Good for the Catholic bishops. About a week ago, with much fanfare, Team Obama announced a “compromise” to the contraceptive mandate it aims to impose on employers. Thursday, the bishops said they’ve seen the offer and it doesn’t amount to much: The administration’s highly restrictive view of what qualifies as a religious ministry still puts Catholic universities, charities and hospitals at risk. The bishops also resisted the administration’s effort to get the church to take protection for itself at the expense of others, especially private individuals and family-owned businesses. “We cannot now abandon them,” said the bishops’ statement.
It can be tempting, if you are not a Washington insider or intimate, to put the Chuck Hagel business out of mind. Or try, anyway. He did so badly in the confirmation hearings that, as Stephen Hayes writes, “any senator who takes the advise-and-consent role seriously had to have real concerns about [Hagel’s] basic competence.” Still, presidents are entitled to appoint the people they want, you think, even when they are, manifestly, not the best possible choice or even up to the job. (Snip)But, then, this is not just any old cabinet post. Hagel will not be running
On a Reddit AMA (Ask me anything) yesterday, former CBS broadcaster Dan Rather (Now with AXS-TV) was understandably asked a question about ‘Rathergate’ – the story on George W. Bush’s service in the Air National Guard that used forged documents in the report. Rather responded brusquely: Number 1 – the facts of case are not in dispute. Number 2 – no one had ever established that the documents were forged (those who attack them argued that we didn’t do enough to demonstrate that they were not forged) The whole documents argument
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. agreed Friday to plead guilty to charges of misusing campaign funds, in an apparent bid to an end a federal investigation that threatens to also implicate his wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson. Both had resigned their offices in recent months, reportedly as part of the congressman’s negotiations with prosecutors. For the scion of what was once the country’s most influential African-American family, the plea deal represents a precipitous fall from grace that overlaps with the ascent of another African-American Chicago family to the White House. The Jackson dynasty appears to be done.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) defended his relationship with Florida doctor and political donor Salomon Melgen in an interview with Univision on Friday, saying he didn’t do anything on his friend’s behalf that he doesn’t regularly do for others. Melgen, a close friend of Menendez’s, reportedly overbilled the U.S. government by almost $9 million in Medicare payments, inviting a federal audit. Menendez acknowledged contacting officials to complain that the Medicare billing rules were unclear, but the senator denied that his close ties to Melgen had anything to do with him raising the issue.
As a beaming 6-year-old Ethan said "cheese" for photos and played with toy cars at his birthday party, there were no immediate signs of the turmoil the young boy had endured just days earlier. The boy, identified only as Ethan, was held hostage in a nearly week-long standoff in Alabama. He was physically unharmed after Jimmy Lee Dykes kidnapped him from a school bus and held him hostage in a booby-trapped underground bunker.Ethan was rescued by the FBI Monday after they rushed the bunker where Dykes, 65, was holding him. Dykes was killed in the raid.
A look at effects in states and provinces in the path of the storm sweeping across the Northeast and southern Canada: --- CONNECTICUT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed a travel ban Friday on the state´s highways and deployed National Guard troops around the state for rescues or other emergencies. A coastal flood warning was posted for southern Fairfield County, saying Friday evening´s high tide could be 3 to 5 feet higher than normal in western Long Island Sound. The state´s two biggest utilities planned for the possibility that up to 30 percent of their customers -
There used to be a political truism: Democrats fall in love, while Republicans fall in line. That’s no longer true. Not in this moment. Democrats have learned to fall in love and fall in line. Republicans are just falling apart. Last week, the opening salvos were launched in a very public and very nasty civil war between establishment Republicans and Tea Party supporters when it was reported that Karl Rove was backing a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, to counter the Tea Party’s selection of loopy congressional candidates who lose in general elections. The Tea Party was having none
A HEALTHY SKEPTICISM is always in order with regard to grand political speeches, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s effort Tuesday to reposition and rebrand his Republican Party was no exception. In promising to move from partisan budgetary trench warfare to an agenda both more open to compromise and more clearly connected to the “real-life concerns” of Americans, Mr. Cantor was transparently trying to dig out of the political hole in which his party finds itself. We’ll find out soon enough whether his words