Local officials Tuesday called for investigations into the Los Angeles County Sheriff´s Department funneling hundreds of bulletproof vests to Cambodia through the city of Gardena.(Snip) The announcements Tuesday were prompted by a Times investigation published over the weekend that found that sheriff´s ballistic vests were shipped to Cambodia and not declared to customs officials, as required by federal law. Instead, they were stuffed inside one of a number of patrol cars that the Sheriff´s Department was shipping directly to Cambodia, avoiding the rigorous vetting process the U.S. government requires to prevent body armor from getting into the wrong hands abroad.
In a provocative move, President Obama Wednesday re-nominated two controversial Democratic candidates to the National Labor Relations Board just weeks after a federal court invalided their recess appointments to the posts. Mr. Obama again nominated Sharon Block, a former Democratic Labor Department official, and Richard Griffin, a Democratic union lawyer, to serve on the NLRB. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Jan. 25 that their appointments to the NLRB were invalid because Mr. Obama installed them in the posts in January 2012 through an unconstitutional exercise of his appointment powers.
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has donated $1 million to help preserve a Los Angeles Board of Education majority that has pushed for several controversial efforts dealing with teachers — including remaking evaluations and speeding the dismissal process — that are supported by the L.A. mayor and the superintendent. Brokered by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the contribution to the Coalition for School Reform is the largest on record — by far — to support school board campaigns.
Nearly 1,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management acreage adjacent to Molas Lake Park that has been used as a snowmobile playground for decades may soon be off limits to all motorized use. Jeffrey Christenson, outdoor recreation planner for the BLM Tres Rios field office in Dolores, said the area in question is the West Needles Contiguous Wilderness Study Area. New guidelines for management of such areas were released in July last year. Christenson said Tuesday that those rules basically prohibit snowmobile traffic and require the BLM to manage the area as if it were actually a designated wilderness Headline corrected and content added by staff.
At the start of a “Made in America” tour promoting American innovation and manufacturing, President Obama Wednesday visited a Canadian-owned auto parts plant to advocate a public-private partnership model created in Germany. Mr. Obama, seeking to build momentum from his State of the Union address Tuesday night, called on Congress to approve a $1 billion network of 15 “innovation institutes” nationwide that would use federal funds to partner universities with manufacturers. He touted the proposal at Linamar, a Canadian-owned auto-parts factory in Asheville, N.C., saying it would help the economic recovery. “While we’re seeing signs of progress,
In the first part of an interview aired on Wednesday´s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer interrogated House Speaker John Boehner over saying President Obama lacked the courage to stand up to his Democratic base: "And by calling the President of the United States out in such harsh terms today, on the day of the State of the Union address....I think a lot of people are going to say, ´Here we go. Same old division. Same old animosity.´ Don´t they have a right to say that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Vast freshwater reserves nearly equivalent in size to the Dead Sea have been lost in the Middle East in the last decade, according to a new Nasa study. Scientists warn there could be severe water shortages in decades to come if water resources are not managed better in the region. They say the precious water stocks have gone because of poor water management, increased demands for groundwater, and a major drought in 2007. The study, which will be published later this week, examined 2003 to 2010 data from two gravity-measuring satellites which are part of Nasa´s Gravity Recovery and
Gen. John Allen, caught up and later cleared in a scandal over emails with a Florida socialite, is likely to withdraw from consideration for the job of top NATO commander, three U.S. military officials have told NBC News. A Pentagon investigation last month cleared Allen of wrongdoing, but U.S. military officials said that Allen does not want to drag his family through a nomination process in which the emails would almost certainly come up. Allen has spoken with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta but he has not
President Obama’s cloying plea to Congress that the victims of gun violence and their families ”deserve” a vote on his anti-gun legislation was, on one level, simply standard-fare manipulative theatrics, but it was also just bizarre. Who is stopping the Senate from voting on his anti-gun wish list? I presume that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) must be a cold-hearted man indeed to delay bringing anti-gun legislation to the floor of the Senate. Perhaps one of the GOP senators should do so (as they have done for the president’s budgets). But of course that won’t happen. I imagine during
I’ll get to President Obama’s unremarkable State of the Union address in a moment. But first I want to discuss the first major televised address of the man who very well may be the next President of the United States: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Sen. Rubio forthrightly addressed in both English and Spanish the principal domestic challenge of our time—the health care-driven budget deficit—while President Obama dishonestly insisted that Medicare reform was being held hostage by “special interest tax breaks.”
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