In September 2008, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) called out three high-ranking officials in the Hugo Chavez regime for supporting the drug-trafficking activities of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a narco-terrorist organization. Their assistance to FARC included: supplying the group with weapons and ammunition, granting Venezuelan citizenship to group members, preventing law enforcement from interfering with the group’s drug-trafficking operations, protecting a wanted Colombian terrorist in Venezuela, allowing the group to use Venezuelan territory for drug-trafficking and terrorist activities, and even partnering in drug trafficking. In other words,
In a response letter to four top Republican lawmakers, the Department of Homeland Security revealed it initiated only one case against an immigrant for becoming a “public charge,” or being primarily dependent upon the government, in fiscal year 2012. The case was later withdrawn. While the department’s response to Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Pat Roberts’ August oversight request offered an overview of the centuries-old federal public-charge restrictions, it noticeably avoided several of the senators’ direct questions and demonstrated potentially significant inadequacies in record-keeping by immigration officials, who legally should be enforcing public-charge rules
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently came out in favor of legalizing hemp cultivation, thanks to the persuasive talents of fellow Kentucky senator Rand Paul and the state´s agriculture commssioner, James Comer, both Republicans. The New York Times cites McConnell´s conversion as evidence that the cause, long identified with hippies and stoners, has gained respectability among conservatives. The fact that it has taken so long is testimony to the plant´s powerful symbolism, because there is no logical reason to stop farmers from growing industrial hemp, a version of cannabis with negligible THC, even if you support marijuana prohibition.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted Wednesday that U.S. borders have “never been stronger” during testimony at a Senate hearing on immigration reform. Napolitano sought to convince senators that they should agree to an immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally in addition to border security. “I often hear the argument that before reform can move forward, we must first secure our borders,” Napolitano said in her opening remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Texas’ national treasure speaks on history and the current state of government spending. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) urged her colleagues to reach a compromise to prevent spending cuts through sequestration, arguing that government programs are already as lean as they can be. “We’re at the bone almost, and sequester, that is across-the-board cuts, will literally destroy us and put us in a recession,” she said on the House floor Wednesday. She called on Republicans to meet Democrats at the negotiating table and rejected the idea that President Obama delivered a partisan State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Democrats were overjoyed when George W. Bush left office in January of 2009. Obama had promised to end Bush´s hawkish foreign policy and the "war on terror´s" detention and interrogation regime. But in the beginning of his fifth year as president, Obama´s record has been surprisingly similar to his predecessor´s in those areas. 1. Democrats fought George W. Bush’s troop surge in Iraq in 2006. Obama copied it in Afghanistan in 2009. You would think Democrats would react the same way they did to Bush´s surge policy. But they were really more like
The event that is a presidential State of the Union address was also an event last night for CNN, a troubled cable news network under new leadership and in the process of a major makeover. As Politico´s Dylan Byers points out, last night marked the debut of CNN´s new president, Jeff Zucker, and his high-profile personnel changes. Byers does a good job laying out the contrasts we saw between the old and new, but overall I´m probably more optimistic than he is. What trumped all else is the fact that the changes Zucker´s already
Jose Antonio Vargas, an illegal immigrant and former reporter, scolded a congressional panel on Wednesday, saying that he should not be called illegal, and saying it is an insult to his family who brought him here. “When you inaccurately call me illegal, you not only dehumanize me, you’re offending them,” he said. “No human being is illegal.” Mr. Vargas testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside Chris Crane — a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent and president of the ICE agents’ union — who is unable to arrest him under the administration’s new non-deportation policies.
TUCSON, Ariz. — Former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, talk about their continued push for gun regulation in the upcoming issue of Vogue magazine. The couple has formed a political action committee in hopes of preventing gun violence and changing laws to require compulsory background checks for gun buyers. The PAC will also work to limit the size of ammo magazines and to ban the sale of assault weapons to civilians. Kelly said "now is the time" to do something in the wake of recent mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.
Last night on Twitter I commented that I think that the rote insistence that Jill Biden be referred to “Doctor Jill Biden” is kind of silly (that’s how President Obama referred to her). This elicited a remarkable amount of anger. I then made things worse by explaining that Jill Biden isn’t a “real” doctor. She holds a doctorate in education. That invited even more bile. Some came from academics who insist that the title “Doctor” is commonplace on American campuses, even for people with doctorates in education, and therefore there’s nothing wrong with the president’s use
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is courting the left-leaning California business community this week in his bid for a second term. Christie attended a $3,800-per-person luncheon yesterday at the Beverly Hills Hotel hosted by Allen Shapiro, former CEO of Dick Clark Productions, and Richard “Skip” Bronson, co-founder of US Digital Gaming, an online gaming company, according to a source. Within hours of the fundraiser, 3,000 miles away in Trenton, NJ, state lawmakers said they plan to move quickly to adopt an Internet gambling bill. Less than a week before yesterday’s fundraiser,
In a one-on-one interview with The Brody File, Senator Marco Rubio defended Karl Rove and the American Crossroads group’s new project in their attempt to find the most conservative electable candidates. Having said that, he also made clear that the Tea Party’s concerns about people in Washington deciding who should get elected is a legitimate fear. Ultimately he says, “They both have a place in American politics.” Rubio spoke with The Brody File very early Wednesday morning up on Capitol Hill. Watch the interview below with the key quote.
In late January, 64-year old Clare Niederhauser was arrested for shooting at burglars fleeing from his property. At a plea deal hearing, he apologized for firing the shots, agreed to pay a $700 fine, take a weapons class, and forfeit the weapon he used. Fellow residents of Layton, UT are coming to the aid of the elderly man, who was arrested after firing a shot at a burglar´s vehicle and a fleeing accomplice after they attempted to break in to his property with a crowbar. He was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment because the individuals
As President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address, activists involved in his new non-profit advocacy group, Organizing for Action, gathered in local meetings around the country to watch and cheer him on. The new 501(c)4 organization, which is an offshoot of his re-election campaign, aims to support the president’s policies and to project the power of the White House beyond Washington into local communities and media. I joined a gathering in southern California, which rented out a local pub and tuned in on the big screen. The buildup to the event was almost as
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Much has been written about Sen. Robert Menendez’s intervention in a Caribbean port security contract on behalf of a top campaign donor.But on the very same day Menendez interceded with Obama administration officials on the ports deal last summer, he also went to bat for another company involving a heavily disputed Dominican road-building contract. A deal, records show, that benefited New Jersey investors who contributed to his campaign. The road contract, which has attracted scant attention in the United States, involved a firm called Codacsa, a Spanish consortium with U.S. interests, various government records show.
The Buckley Rule has been much invoked in recent weeks, in this space and elsewhere, and on almost every occasion it has been both misquoted and misapplied. As one who was present at the formulation, I feel obliged to record the “originalist” intention. It was the winter of 1964 and the unresolved question at NR editorial meetings, week to week, was this: Whom should the magazine support for the Republican presidential nomination? To outsiders, the question would have seemed all but settled. Issue by issue, NR gave every appearance of being all in for Barry Goldwater. Headline split by staff
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Wednesday joked about his water break during his rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address. “I mean I needed water, what am I going to do?” Rubio said on ABC’s "Good Morning America," after again ducking away from the camera to reach for his water bottle. “God has a funny way of reminding us that we’re human.” As he delivered the live GOP response Tuesday, the Florida senator seemed nervous, and awkwardly paused at one point to grab an off-camera bottle of water and take a sip.
In 1968, five years before this magazine was born, I published—with Bill and Sally Wittliff’s elegant, Austin-based Encino Press—a slim book of essays called In a Narrow Grave, a title derived from a well-known range cattle ballad, “The Dying Cowboy.” No New York publisher had the slightest interest in the book. The dying cowboy of the lament asked his comrades to fling a handful of roses o’er his grave and pray the Lord his soul to save. The handful of roses I flung was a 25-page anatomy of the more or less major cities of Texas,
Former White House Advisor Van Jones warned his fellow Democrats on Wednesday not to laugh too hard at Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) water drinking moment during his Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Jones warned that Rubio is “dangerous” for Democrats because of his ability to connect emotionally with his audience. “I think people can chuckle today – they’re going to be worried about him tomorrow,” Jones said. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat said on CNN Tuesday that, regardless of how Rubio’s water drinking moment may overshadow his address, the Republican Party wants to
How sweet it is to smell. The nose is a hardworking organ, with powers much greater than most people realize. A keen sense of smell offers more flavors, more safety, even more happiness. But be warned—human olfactory powers degrade as the years go by, resulting in a detectable loss by the time many people reach their 30s. Gradually, it can deteriorate to the point where people are unable to notice the odor of rancid food or a household gas leak.
Florists and chocolate-makers are working around the clock in the run-up to Valentine´s Day. And a Dallas, Texas-based chocolatier who loves designer high heels has molded her pedestrian passion into chocolate form. Andrea Pedraza´s most popular chocolate pumps - which receive a lot of attention in the weeks leading up to the holiday - are those made in the style of Christian Louboutin shoes. Scroll down for video-The decadent treats come in an array of designs including zebra print and polka dots.
They don´t call her the First Lady of Fashion for nothing. And last night, As Michelle Obama played host to honoured guests at her husband´s State of the Union address, she proved that she can do glamorous power dressing with the best of them. Wearing a shimmering crimson and black cocktail dress by Jason Wu, she looked every inch the perfect politician´s consort. Wu of course is one of Michelle´s most trusted designers. He not only designed the white gown she wore for her debut as First Lady at the President´s inaugural ball back in 2009,
In 1986, at the closing session of the Communist Party shindig in the Karl Marx Theater in Havana, Castro had declared, “Let no one think that what I have here is a lengthy speech; it is the party’s program.” He then went on to speak for 7 hours and 10 minutes. Obama’s ridiculous 6600-word marathon is also not a lengthy speech; it is the party’s program. The professional flatterers and fawners in the media have long since given up describing the teleprompter-in-chief as a talented speaker. These days Obama gives speeches that not only sound like they were
I couldn´t help but think of the "tragedy and comedy" Janus masks as I watched Joe Biden and John Boehner dutifully sit behind President Obama as he delivered his painfully long State of the Union speech. Biden´s comedic goofy grins were a knee jerk response to Obama´s overtures to help the little guy, whereas Boehner´s tragic pouts reflected the harsh fact-driven reality that such policies actually hurt Mr. and Mrs. Main Street. Here are just a few examples of Obama´s glaringly inane propositions.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says al-Qaida is a "shadow of its former self," and does not pose the kind of threat to America that requires tens of thousands of U.S. troops to fight abroad. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, the president said U.S. troops will continue pursuing the remnants of al-Qaida in Afghanistan for a number of years. He noted that various al-Qaida affiliates have emerged elsewhere in the world in recent years, including in Yemen and Somalia. Instead of sending large numbers of U.S. troops to fight there, he said,
Dr. Ben Carson, the man who spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and made major news for speaking against Obama´s class warfare policies and about the healthcare system, critiqued President Obama´s State of the Union address this morning on Fox and Friends. "You´ve got to realize that you´re the president of everybody."