The bipartisan comity of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has served the country well for several decades, is in danger as Democrats vow to push through Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel on party lines. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who earlier opposed a filibuster against Hagel, said on the weekend that he was leaning towards a "no" vote, while Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) said filibuster remained an option. Separately, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would "block" Hagel and CIA Director nominee John Brennan until the Obama administration provided full details of
Three expert Vatican watchers list some of their leading papabile — Italian for cardinals who might be elected as the next pope. In alphabetical order: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, made headlines last year for a ripping attack on then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and other Italian leaders as unethical role models. He´s "fairly savvy about both secular politics and the media," writes National Catholic Reporter Vatican specialist John Allen. Church historian Matthew Bunson, calls Bagnasco, 69, former professor of metaphysics and contemporary atheism "an intellectual heavyweight" who speaks multiple languages, and takes strong stands on doctrine.
Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Florida doctor at the center of the influence peddling controversy surrounding Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), donated more than $700,000 to support the Senator´s reelection. Breitbart News has confirmed that Melgen also gave four New Jersey Democratic county committees $103,500, ostensibly to assist the local Democrats´ get-out-the-vote efforts, in the final weeks of the 2012 election campaign. Breitbart News has also discovered that Dr. Salomon Melgen and his family gave $30,000 to the New Jersey state Democrat party. Dr. Melgen neither resides nor practices medicine in New Jersey. Fourth quarter reports filed on January
Leno: The Grammy Awards this year banned side boob exposure on women’s wear. Not many people know ´Side Boob´ is also Joe Biden´s Secret Service codename. Fallon: RadioShack is planning to close more than 500 stores by the end of the year. While its remaining stores will just continue to look like they’re closed. Fallon: The other day, the Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. And you know what that means — nothing, because that´s not how weather works.
For the past 22 years, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the U.S., tying the Poodle´s record reign atop American Kennel Club registrations. "They´re the greatest dogs in the world," said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club´s communications director. "Who doesn´t love a Labrador Retriever?" The answer is judges at the Westminster Dog Show. In 136 years of the event, no Labrador has ever won Best in Show. The Labrador hasn´t even made it out of the Sporting group to sniff at Westminster´s grand prize. In other words, Labradors are the Chicago Cubs
Saturday Night Live opened its show over the weekend with a sketch about the Super Bowl blackout (watch below). But that apparently wasn´t the original plan. On Sunday, the NBC show posted online this slightly not-safe-for-work (sexy language) cold opening taped during the dress rehearsal earlier Saturday night. In that sketch (watch above), the cast pillories the Senate Republicans´ grilling of defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, and especially their criticism that he isn´t sufficiently supportive of Israel. (Watch footage of the Hagel hearing.) "Saturday Night Live´s executive producer Lorne Michaels reserves the right to change
As President Obama´s staff puts the finishing touches on his fifth State of the Union address for tomorrow night, Americans have given the Democrat a poor rating on his ongoing handling -- or non-handling -- of the nation´s budget deficit. For some strange reason, perhaps tied to his record four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus spending deficits, Obama gets a poor rating from nearly half of the nation´s likely voters. The new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 44% of likely voters rate Obama poorly at handling the ballooning deficit, which has pushed the national debt past the historic $16 trillion figure.
The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care.It was a mild spring day, April 2012, and our small group, including a few of his friends and family, was shielded from the sun by the patchwork shadows of maple trees. But the Shooter was sweating as he talked about his uncertain future, his plans to leave the Navy and SEAL Team 6.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack on the US consulate because of a secret low-level war in which American hit squads took out leaders of al Qaeda militias, which retaliated in Benghazi. There was never a protest at the consulate over the infamous anti-Islamist YouTube video. So says the new 80-page e-book, “Benghazi: The Definitive Report” (William Morrow) by Jack Murphy and Brandon Webb, two military veterans who specialize in reporting about clandestine operations at the website SOFREP.com. Their book, which they say is based on interviews with well-placed security types but contains
Roger Ailes says President Obama is whipping up hate. The Fox News chairman has never been a fan of the president, but even by his standards, those are strikingly harsh words.“The president likes to divide people into groups,” Ailes tells The New Republic in an interview. “He’s too busy getting the middle class to hate rich people, blacks to hate whites. He is busy trying to get everybody to hate each other.” He then added: “We need to get along.”
Per the Constitution, a President appoints cabinet members "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate." In the matter of Chuck Hagel´s move to the Pentagon, the Senate´s Democratic majority is more or less waiving this clause and rolling over to President Obama´s wishes. It´s not that Democrats don´t have serious doubts about the former Republican Senator´s record and qualifications. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin started last month´s nomination hearing by enumerating them, from Mr. Hagel´s long-standing opposition to sanctions on Iran to his warnings about the influence of a "Jewish lobby."
Since Pope John Paul II has been ill, the media have mentioned his possible retirement. Can a pope retire? Has a pope ever retired in history? The Holy Father may retire if he chooses. The Code of Canon Law states, "If it should happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that he makes the resignation freely and that it be duly manifested, but not that it be accepted by anyone" (Canon 332, No. 2). Nevertheless, when a pope is elected as the Successor of St. Peter, the Church expects that he will remain in office until his death. However, in the history of the Church,
Vatican City - The following is the statement Pope Benedict XVI gave at a meeting of cardinals on Monday to announce he would resign as pontiff at the end of this month. "Dear Brothers, "I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. "I am well aware that this ministry,
Could there be a better illustration of the cultural divide over firearms than the White House photograph of our skeet-shooting president? Clay pigeons are launched into the air, but the president´s smoking shotgun is level with the ground. This is not a man who is comfortable around guns. And that goes a long way toward explaining his gun-control agenda. Lack of informed presidential leadership aside, there is a gulf between those Americans who view guns as invaluable tools for self-defense, both against private wrongdoers and a potentially tyrannical government,
More than 300 million guns are out there somewhere--one for nearly every man, woman and child in the United States. But not nearly enough ammo, apparently. Local firearm dealers have had to limit ammunition purchases by customers in the midst of a run of stockpile-buying that has been stripping supplies of the most popular calibers from the shelves.[Snip] Dealers are holding customers to a few or even one box at a time, when there’s any ammunition of that caliber left on the shelf to buy. “We want to make sure all our customers have the same chance for target shooting
Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he was quitting at the end of February "for the good of the Church". The 85-year-old pope said he had been "feeling the weight of the pontificate" and had been "thinking for a long time" about the almost unprecedented decision, according to Vatican sources. Benedict had never given any hint he might step down, a move only taken by one of his predecessors, Celestine V, in 1294. Last year the pope started using a cane on occasions and recently he appeared to have trouble reading the text of an address he delivered in Rome.
A Muslim rights group has praised a gun shop after it agreed to stop selling targets of a skeleton wearing a turban and a robe, armed with an AK-47. The owner of the shop Target Sports, in Royal Oak, Michigan, agreed to stop selling the item after a meeting with Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Although the shop agreed to stop selling the item, the manufacturer, Thompson Target, is continuing to advertise the life-sized target, called Crazy Bones, on its website despite also being contacted by Mr Walid.
You can´t keep a good girl down, and so it was perhaps no surprise that the 55th Grammy Awards opened with inimitable British chantreuse* Adele walking away with her NINTH award from the coveted ceremony. But in typically self-deprecating style, the 24-year-old acted like it was her very first, as did Kelly Clarkson--who was making it a hat-trick. Adele was honoured for Best Pop Solo Performance for Set Fire to the Rain (Live), while Clarkson received Best Pop Vocal Album for Stronger. It was a real victory for substance over style, as these two fabulous singers were honoured while superstars
At this stage in our nation’s decline, does anyone still care what Barack Obama thinks or says about “the state of the union”? I think not. More than 52 million people watched Obama’s first State of the Union in 2009. It has been all downhill ever since –– with 48 million viewers in 2010, 43 million in 2011, and just 38 million last year. That’s a decline of 28 percent in four years. The president will almost certainly lay an even bigger egg this year than he did last year. If the New York Times is correct in the preview
The Pope is to resign at the end of this month in an entirely unexpected development, the Vatican has confirmed. The 85-year-old became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005 following the death of John Paul II. The reasons behind the pontiff´s surprise resignation have yet to emerge. At 78, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of the oldest new popes in history when elected.
I was shocked that Argo won the Bafta for Best Picture yesterday.[Snip] "Brits turned them away, Kiwis turned them away," says a senior CIA officer played by Bryan Cranston. In fact, they were given sanctuary when they turned up at the British Embassy´s summer compound in Northern Tehran and various New Zealand officials were instrumental in spiriting the Americans out of the country. "It is not the truth that they were turned away from the British Embassy," says Sir John Graham, Britain´s ambassador to Iran at the time. "My immediate reaction on hearing about this was one of outrage."
In the past several days, we’ve learned about how you too can gain a degree of public sympathy if you plan to embark on a killing spree and then go into hiding as you bide your time waiting to kill again: Write a “manifesto” dominated by anti-police rants, a “progressive” outlook towards Second Amendment freedoms and support for leftist politicians. That’s what former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner, who is accused of killing Monica Quan, Keith Lawrence, and an as yet unnamed LAPD officer while wounding two others, has done. His sympathy-by-manifesto strategy has been alarmingly successful.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck cuts a fine figure on television as he condemns killer Charles Dorner and promises to bring him to justice. He even looks a little like that police commissioner Tom Selleck plays on television. But Beck has disgraced himself by ordering a reexamination of the disciplinary case that led to the firing of Dorner. Beck explained that he wants to assure the city that his department “is transparent and fair in all the things we do.” He added that he’s “aware of the ghosts of the LAPD’s past” and concerned that they might be “be resurrected
The black attorney appointed Friday to serve out the remainder of John Kerry’s U.S. Senate term once helped plan “takeovers” of Boston restaurants with his wife and other black professionals, to protest the “lack of color” in downtown hangouts. “We get used to the fact that we’ll be the only black people in the restaurant,” William “Mo” Cowan, then head of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers’ Association, told The Guardian, a British newspaper, in 2003. “We want to come to something like this to see other people who look like us. Everybody has their own comfort zone.”
Though no artist swept like Adele did last year, this year´s Grammy show was a good one awards-wise for Mumford & Sons, fun., and Frank Ocean, who all took home prizes. Prince showed up and gave Record of the Year to Gotye and Kimbra. As for performances: Justin Timberlake turned our televisions into a real-life Instagram, Carrie Underwood wore a magical dress, and Bruno Mars joined with Sting, Rihanna, and Ziggy Marley. Taylor Swift seemed to be enjoying herself the entire time. The winners are here, and you can re-live the entire night (with GIFs) below.