Passengers on the nightmare Carnival cruise ship stranded in the Gulf of Mexico are using patchy cellphone coverage today to reveal that ´conditions are getting worse by the hour´. Some of the 4,200 people on board reported that cabin carpets are soaked in urine, passengers are sleeping in tents on deck and scarce food supplies has reduced them to eating cold onion sandwiches. The ship has been stranded since Sunday after a fire in the engine room crippled the power system. The first tug boat reached the Carnival Triumph on Monday night and it is being towed to Mobile, Alabama
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not honor requests from Republican senators to hold up the nomination of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department. This will force Republicans who want to delay Hagel´s nomination to be on the Senate floor to object to an effort to schedule a vote. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said over the weekend he would hold up Hagel and John Brennan, President Obama´s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, unless the administration provides more information about it´s response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Ewwwww. That about sums up how people are describing conditions aboard the Carnival Triumph Tuesday as tugboats slowly drag the stricken cruise ship toward Alabama -- and freedom for its 3,143 passengers. Some on the ship reported sewage sloshing around in hallways, flooded rooms and trouble getting enough to eat after a fire in the ship´s engine room Sunday left it drifting in the Gulf of Mexico. Passengers dragged their mattresses onto the ship´s open deck to stay cool and get away from the nasty smells inside. "The odor is so bad, people are getting sick and they´re throwing up everywhere,"
WASHINGTON -In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama will announce plans to withdraw half the U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan over the next year, a steep reduction that reflects his determination to end the American role in the 11-year-old conflict, a senior administration official said. About 34,000 Americans will be withdrawn over the next 12 months and "further reductions will continue through the end of 2014," when nearly all U.S. troops are scheduled to leave, the official said in a statement released by the White House. Top U.S. commanders in Afghanistan had sought to retain
Sequestration or no sequestration, austerity will be a fact of life inside the Pentagon for the foreseeable future. The most important question is whether financial managers will come at our warfighters with a meat ax or with sensible procurement changes that will give taxpayers the maximum “bang” for available bucks. (Snip) We outspend all of our potential military adversaries combined. China, for example, spends about one-fifth as much money and devotes about one-third as much of its gross domestic product. Nevertheless, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey warned Congress on
On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he’d be pushing for new gun control in the city of Chicago, even though it is the most heavily gun-controlled municipality in the country. Emanuel will be hosting President Obama on Friday, where Obama will no doubt shift blame for Chicago’s gun crime problem from the city and onto surrounding areas, despite their lower rates of crime. Said Emanuel: The worst thing would be to say let’s not discuss this, because if we, Chicago, can actually lead the way to commonsense gun laws, commonsense enforcement, and an honest discussion
Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. said a range test of the Model S electric sedan by the New York Times was “fake” as the reporter didn’t disclose all the details of his drive. “NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake,” Musk said in a Twitter post yesterday. “Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.” (Snip) Broder made three errors in his test drive, including not fully charging the car, driving into Manhattan during rush hour and driving over the speed limit, Musk said in an interview with Emily Chang on Bloomberg
United States officials have signed off on Chinese oil giant CNOOC’s $15.1 billion purchase of the Canadian oil company Nexen, a deal that triggered U.S. review because Nexen has oil-and-gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico. Nexen announced Tuesday that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has approved the transaction, and that the deal “now has all of the requisite approvals to proceed to close.” CFIUS is a Treasury Department-led interagency panel that reviews foreign purchases of U.S. assets if the transactions could affect national security.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) confused the First Amendment with the Second Amendment when talking about gun rights on on Fox News Sunday. “We’re talking about background checks, which is very popular even among gun owners and hunters. We avow the First Amendment. We stand with that and say that people have a right to have a gun to protect themselves in their homes, in their jobs, wherever, in their workplace…for recreation and hunting and the rest,” Pelosi told Fox News host Chris Wallace when he challenged
The nuclear test North Korea conducted early Tuesday has harsh ramifications for Israel, as Pyongyang is showing Iran that it is possible to defy the international community, disregard the restrictions and prohibitions and even benefit from this sort of conduct. (Snip) Defense Minister Ehud Barak said over a year ago that North Korea is like an ice breaker ship that clears the way for the Iranian military nuclear ship. This is precisely what is happening, and this is why the nuclear explosion this morning does not bode well for Israel. In roughly two weeks the permanent members
Barack Obama says he’s not a Muslim, but a Christian. That’s his business, between the president and God. The president clearly has a soft spot in his heart for Islam. He once described the call to evening prayer, which he first heard as a child in a Muslim school in Indonesia, as “one of the prettiest of sounds on Earth at the sunset.” He’s entitled to a soft spot in his heart for whatever and whomever he pleases, and it’s none of anybody’s else’s business. But a soft spot in his head, that’s another matter.
These numbers, from Gallup, are really quite stunning:(Snip for graphic) The only area where Obama scores reasonably well is national defense, where most people think he has continued the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Other than that, after four-plus years, Americans have pretty well decided they don’t like what Obama is trying to accomplish. Tonight the president will push hard to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, an issue on which, as Paul noted earlier today, he seems to be within sight of victory. Yet, according to Gallup, his position commands only minority support at 46-48.
Sen. Bob Menendez is embroiled in a prostitution scandal — and it has little if anything to do with sex. The New Jersey Democrat has for three months been the target of voluminous allegations, all unconfirmed, that he hired prostitutes, one reportedly underage, in the Dominican Republic and other places. Menendez, the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has angrily denied the allegations as they bubbled up into the mainstream media. But, proving that the political gods do have a sense of humor, the Senate chose this exact moment — as Menendez fights for his political life
Although wars have produced marvelous inventions by which to win battles, technical, mechanical and human progress expands exponentially when given the freedoms brought about by the maintenance of peace through strength. Peace provides this success only when it is felt to be reasonably long in expected duration. Although tyranny can also produce peace and prosperity, the absence of tyranny combined with the freedoms inherent in the American experiment of a democratic republic have given the world its first glimpse of long-term, true human success and happiness.
On Tuesday afternoon, the panel guests on Now with Alex Wagner on MSNBC dug into the political viability of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who will be delivering the Republican Party’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. The guests unanimously agreed that Rubio, while clearly a gifted speaker and rhetorician, lacks substance. In fact, the guests agreed that Rubio’s ability to speak has tricked his supporters into thinking he is a better political talent than he really is. (Snip) Wagner opened the segment by noting that the Republican Party is “sort of like
Art Garfunkel, now 71 years old and still reeling decades later from the breakup of the musical act that made him a household name, is now saying that one of the reasons Simon & Garfunkel broke up was because of Mike Nichols’s 1970 film adaptation of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22.” In the late 1960s, he says, the two were cast in the film, and while Garfunkel managed to hold on to his fourth billing role, Simon ended up on the cutting room floor, reports the Guardian. Garfunkel was speaking at the Paley Center for Media in New York last Wednesday,
From the earliest days of Marco Rubio’s plucky campaign for the U.S. Senate, his diehard supporters spoke of the day that their man would have an opportunity to challenge Barack Obama – his policies, his vision, his rhetoric. They were certain that Rubio was so gifted an orator and possessed such a unique set of political skills that he would be able to make immediate and improbable leaps that most politicians could not execute. And it was obvious to them – this group the Rubio campaign hands called “three-percenters” because they were there in the days
Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, one of the most influential players in the Republican party, is privately battling the Club for Growth. Last week, at a closed-door retreat in northern Virginia, Barbour told a large gathering of congressional staffers, including several leadership aides, that party officials should discourage donors from funding the high-profile conservative group. Insiders say Barbour’s comments came during a question-and-answer session at the Ripon Society’s annual symposium, which was held at Mount Vernon, the home of former president George Washington.
President Obama must have been stunned at the "audacity" of Dr. Benjamin Carson in challenging his core assumptions right to his face in front of thousands of people at the National Prayer Breakfast. Obama is not used to being challenged, especially in public, even if indirectly and without being specifically named. From the look on his face, it was obvious Obama was none too pleased with Carson´s message or with his "presumptuousness" in presenting it in that forum, while he had to sit still and -- remain silent.
The former Army staff sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama Monday is declining the first lady´s invitation to be her guest at Tuesday´s State of the Union address. Clint Romesha, who was awarded the prestigious medal for uncommon valor in Afghanistan, told CNN that he has decided to spend the evening with friends from his former unit, Black Knight Troop, 3-61 CAV, his wife Tammy--with whom he celebrates a wedding anniversary Tuesday--and their families.[Snip] But a lot of these guys I haven´t seen a really long time and I´d like to hang with them
Throughout his presidency, President Obama has advanced the idea that the nation’s mounting debt problem could be solved by “modest adjustments” to entitlement programs and asking wealthy taxpayers to pay just a little bit more. But in Senate testimony today, Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf communicated that it wasn’t quite that easy. Under questioning from Sen. Ron Johnson, who highlighted the dire state of Medicare and Social Security finances, Elmendorf stated that putting the budget on a sustainable path would require major reforms to entitlement programs or massive tax increases that would hit the middle class.
The Marriott Marquis, the 50-story convention hotel in Times Square, sits atop some of the most valuable land in all of New York City, if not the world. But because of a lease signed by the Giuliani administration in 1998, Marriott can buy the property from the city for only $19.9 million, one-tenth of its current $193 million value, according to a new audit by the city comptroller, John C. Liu. Mr. Liu said the problems with the 1998 lease could end up costing taxpayers $344.9 million in lost rent and proceeds from the sale of the property. Marriott, whose Marquis Times Square generates more revenue
With stock market indices having crawled back to all-time highs, highs previously attained 13 years ago, there´s been the predictable talk about a Federal Reserve ignited rally. This absurd thinking populates a great deal of market commentary at the moment, not to mention that Fed Chairman Bernanke naturally believes it. Readers shouldn´t be fooled. The alleged logic underlying the above-mentioned presumption is that with all the dollars being created, they must have a place to go; the place being the stock market. Apologists for and at the Fed add on that the purpose of low rates is to force
A star of the reality show Storage Wars has committed suicide a day after he was arrested on drug charges. Mark Balelo, who had made frequent appearances on the television show, was found dead of presumed carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday morning when his co-worker discovered his body in his car that he parked inside the auction house garage. Though carbon monoxide poisoning seems likely since the engine of his car was left running, a full autopsy will be completed on Tuesday. TMZ reports that Balelo was arrested on Saturday for an unspecified drug-related offense.
A government limited to few things can probably do those things well, and thus it´s likely to be trusted. A government that tries to do many things, might do them badly, and be less highly regarded. Last week, I noted that Americans are losing confidence in their government: According to a new Pew poll, more than half see it as a threat to their freedom. That´s a troubling number. But why have things gotten so bad? Well, perhaps it´s because government actually has become a bigger threat to freedom. There´s plenty of support for that notion,
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Sunday dawned like any other day on Pearl Street, a place where a mixture of families and students live in primarily rental houses near Westminster Presbyterian Church. But that was before a twister 20 miles wide carved a path across three counties leaving 570 houses, businesses and mobile homes damaged or destroyed. More than 80 people were treated for injuries, Gov. Phil Bryant said at a news conference Monday, but no lives were lost and no one was unaccounted for. On Sunday morning, Westminster filled with worshipers. A group of people came back