With its grandiose facade and manicured grounds The Elms could easily pass for a magnificent English country estate. But this picturesque mansion was actually built on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Newport, Rhode Island in the 1900s by a wealthy New York family as an opulent holiday retreat. Newly discovered photographs and documents have shed light on the lives of the army of servants who used to live and work in the great house - which has been likened to that owned by the fictional Crawley family in the hit British TV drama, Downton Abbey.
The pension fund for New York City teachers made a bit of a political statement when it announced today that it had sold its stock in gun-makers. “This is the right thing to do,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers. “After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we, as educators, had to make sure that guns were not part of our holdings.” But with those stocks having seen a huge run-up over the last two years, the fund is perfectly happy to keep profits that came due to record gun sales.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama celebrated Valentine’s Day Thursday with dinner out at a restaurant in Penn Quarter in the District. The Obamas dined at MiniBar, a Jose Andres restaurant known as a tough place to get a reservation. The menu price is $225 per person, beverages not included, and the web site describes eating there as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience that pushes the limits of what’s possible with food.” Meanwhile, pool reporters covering the Obamas’ outing were holed up nearby at Austin Grill, where a burrito can be purchased for $9. During a trip to Georgia earlier
If across the board spending cuts known as the sequester go into effect on March 1, their impact would “seriously impair” State Department efforts to “enhance the security of U.S. government facilities overseas and ensure the safety of thousands of U.S. diplomats,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry wrote to Congress this week. In a Feb. 11 letter to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski — a copy of which was released to the press on Thursday — Mr. Kerry warned that the sequester cuts “would force the [State] Department and USAID to make across-the-board reductions of $2.6 billion to
Not so long ago, when President Obama reluctantly permitted American military power to be used in the Libyan insurrection against Muammar Gaddafi, it was said that he did so when three forceful women convinced him it was a moral imperative. The three — Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice — were dubbed “the Valkyries,” and the “doctrine” they were credited with presenting to the president was “responsibility to protect”(Snip)on behalf of innocents facing slaughter from their own rulers. We were told that, henceforth, Obama and his warrior women would not tolerate large-scale bloodbaths directed by tyrants
A short video from Minnesota (which has been pulled from YouTube since the writing of this article) spotlights shameful behavior by elected Democrats, supposedly interested in conducting a “national conversation on guns.” At a meeting, two firearms experts came forward to speak, bringing with them two common Ruger 10/22 rifles that had been cleared by security. The purpose of their presentation was to explain how the gun-control laws currently being proposed would outlaw only a gun’s cosmetic features while not affecting the functionality of the firearms(Snip) In the video, DFL legislators simply arise and exit without explanation.
Decrying yesterday’s filibuster of the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense, the White House and the media have decided to target his critics, especially Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Yet they should welcome the extension of debate, which provides an opportunity for Senators who once expressed concerns, such as Chuck Schumer (D-NY), to revisit their conclusions in light of new information.
CHICAGO — At a high school near his own neighborhood here, President Obama on Friday will provide new details about an initiative to select 20 communities nationwide as laboratories for better coordination of federal, local, nonprofit and private-sector investments to revitalize long-distressed areas, according to administration officials. Mr. Obama had announced his proposal to designate the so-called Promise Zones during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but did not provide many details. As part of the effort,
One of the iconic moments of late Bush-era America came when Kanye West wandered off script at a Hurricane Katrina telethon and boldly proclaimed, "George Bush doesn´t care about black people." Despite some obvious political and personal differences between Bush and Barack Obama, the current president has also been criticized for taking black supporters for granted and failing to advance a policy agenda that effectively combats black suffering. But as the nation´s gun-violence crisis continued this week, President Obama is pushing back on those critics. On Tuesday, he invoked slain Chicago teenager Hadiya Pendleton
President Obama announced that he´s supporting a federal, inflation-adjusted minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $9.00 per hour. Even if he settles for $8 per hour, this seems irresponsible in light of our stubbornly slow economic recovery. But if the government is going to raise the minimum wage, why stop at such a low wage rate? If higher minimum wages are so wonderful, why don´t we just raise the minimum wage to $50 or $100 per hour? Headline split by staff
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a staunch opponent of allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, is making an exception. The Latina governer is now actively backing a proposal to offer temporary licenses to those who qualify for a two-year reprieve from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, launched by President Obama last summer. The legislation would prohibit all other undocumented immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said Wednesday the governor worked closely with state Senate Republican Leader Stuart Ingle and Democratic
Arizona, a state long known for its headline-making immigration crackdowns, is debating whether to grant licenses to undocumented youth. Arizona Democratic lawmakers are urging their Republican counterparts to extend driver´s licenses to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrants. But Republican leaders said they aren´t interested. Legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. Catherine Miranda would allow immigrants who have obtained federally issued employment authorization to legally drive in Arizona. The House Transportation Committee heard from proponents of the bill Thursday but did not vote.
DORAL, Fla. – A push to make a South Florida town fully bilingual fell on deaf ears. Doral Mayor Luigi Boria hoped to make English and Spanish the official languages of his city, which recently saw an influx of immigrants from Latin America that have transformed an idle community near the city´s airport into flourishing neighborhood with cafeterias and businesses echoing the tastes and sounds of home. But when he tried to make Spanish the official second language on Wednesday, he was rebuffed by every council member and numerous constituents. And it wasn´t from the small group of
MOBILE, Ala. — A Carnival cruise ship disabled for five days in the Gulf of Mexico finally pulled into a dock in Mobile, Ala., on Thursday night, ending a nightmarish ocean odyssey for more than 4,000 people on board. (Snip) "The crew is wonderful," Erwin said. "They did the best they could. They would have made some different decisions if they had it to do over again, but so would most of the quarterbacks that play in the Super Bowl." Link repaired by staff
MOSCOW — A meteor streaked across the sky and broke up Friday morning over the Ural Mountain city of Chelyabinsk, unleashing a tremendous shock wave that smashed windows, collapsed roofs and injured more than 980 people. The intense flash of light was recorded on video as far away as Nizhny Tagil, nearly 300 miles to the north. The trail of the meteor was also visible in Kazakhstan, more than 80 miles to the south. Regional Health Minister Marina Mokvicheva in Chelyabinsk said 985 people sought medical help for injuries and 43 were hospitalized.
Birth announcements tend to contain some of the most cliche images around: sleeping babies swaddled in soft blankets, propped up in flowerpots, kissed gently atop their foreheads. In other words, we´ve seen it all, and usually it´s not very good. Or have we? A series of "baby" portraits taken by Kelli Higgins of her adopted son Latrell, 13, has gone viral since the professional photographer posted the images on Facebook. In one image, a shirtless Latrell is wrapped in a white blanket with his eyes closed. In another, he faces the camera with his chin cupped between his hands.
FLORIDA — Even though Chris Dorner has been officially declared dead, he still has the strong support of hacktivist collective Anonymous. Earlier this week, the ever-controversial group supposedly published a manifesto which explained why it chose to take up his cause. Now, in another manifesto, Anonymous is apparently promising to take action in the wake of the LAPD officer-turned-wanted serial killer’s demise. The manifesto in question, like the one before it, was originally posted to Pastebin. ****Regarding #OperationDorner: The following message is directed towards any soul brave enough to question the status quo, Members of the LAPD who
Anti-tax groups are seizing on the shock decision by top-ranked boxer Manny Pacquiao to junk plans to fight in Las Vegas or any U.S. city because federal taxes are too high. The fighter had been planning to challenge Juan Manuel Marquez for a fifth time in September at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But while promoter Bob Arum wanted it to happen, Pacquiao is now calling it a "no go" due to the 39.6 tax hit he would take from the federal government. Americans for Tax Reform told Secrets, "Pacquiao´s concerns lie with the federal income tax.
The nation’s vexation over the morality and legality of President Obama’s drone war has produced a salutary but hopelessly confused debate. Three categories of questions are being asked. They must be separated to be clearly understood. 1. By what right does the president order the killing by drone of enemies abroad? What criteria justify assassination? Answer: (a) imminent threat, under the doctrine of self-defense, and (b) affiliation with al-Qaeda, under the laws of war. Imminent threat is obvious. If we know a freelance jihadist cell in Yemen is actively plotting an attack, we don’t have to wait
Radical liberal professor Cornel West explained yesterday that President Obama – like former Presidents Nixon and Bush – was guilty of war crimes because of his drone program. “I think my dear brother that the chickens are coming home to roost,” said Cornel when asked about the issue by radio show host Tavis Smiley asserting that “over 200 children” had been killed by immoral drone strikes.(Snip) Cornel West also criticized Attorney General Eric Holder for using the Justice Department to back up the President. “It’s so sad to the see the Justice Department –
The Washington Post has laid off at least 40 employees on the business side, including its mobile department, sources tell POLITICO. The layoffs, first reported by FishbowlDC, which put the number at 54, come as the Post tries to restructure amid ongoing declines in advertising and circulation. Layoffs were made by department, with staffers in each department being informed separately. The Post´s editorial side was not affected, sources said. Sources said that Post management, including publisher Katharine Weymouth and chief information officer Shailesh Prakash, believed the Post needed to cut staff in order to better position itself
As lawmakers and the public grow more concerned about drones and their implications for personal privacy, no one seems to know who in the federal government is responsible for tackling the issue. “At best, we can say it’s unknown at this point,” said Gerald Dillingham, the director of civil aviation issues at the Government Accountability Office. (Snip) In testimony to a House subcommittee on Friday morning, Mr. Dillingham was asked which government office, department or agency will have jurisdiction over unmanned aerial systems with respect to Fourth Amendment concerns. While the Federal Aviation Administration has promised to look into
The Bangor Daily News has rescinded its request for records about concealed weapon permit holders in the state of Maine. We have informed the agencies who received our request to disregard it. We’ve informed the agencies who have responded that their records will be destroyed.We are disappointed with the reaction to our request, which we felt was with the best intentions to help study issues affecting Maine through an analysis of publicly available data. We will continue our reporting, but will use other sources of information to do so. The BDN regrets that its request for information may have been taken as a personal attack on concealed carry permit holders, some of whom work at the BDN. Content added by staff
President Barack Obama comes to Chicago today to talk about helping struggling families and also touch on the wide-ranging approach he thinks the country should take to fighting gun violence. The president’s remarks at Hyde Park Academy this afternoon will be devoted to the “ladders of opportunity” he thinks will help working families, like raising the federal minimum wage and investing in education, a senior administration official has said. He’ll also talk directly about gun violence, aides say,
Jon Stewart talked with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice tonight in an interview that mostly focused on the Benghazi scandal that Rice got caught up in after comments she made on a number of Sunday shows last September. Stewart grilled Rice on the mixed messages provided by the Obama administration and intelligence community, and whether the administration was more efficient at explaining after the fact than preventing the attack. (Snip) Rice said that she was only asked to go on the Sunday shows after Hillary Clinton did not feel up to doing it herself, explaining that she shared