Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News. “In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales.[Snip] Wal-Mart and discounters such as Family Dollar Stores Inc. are bracing for a rise in the payroll tax to take a bigger bite from the paychecks
Tenaris announced Friday it will build a $1.5 billion pipe manufacturing plant in Matagorda County to serve drillers in the Eagle Ford and other booming shale plays. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said a $6 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund helped to close the deal, which came down to a contest between Matagorda County and Louisiana. Proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale mattered, said German Cura, president of Tenaris’ North American division, which is based in Houston. But because pipe produced at the plant will be shipped to all of the nation’s shale plays, it wasn’t
Liberal journalists like NBC´s Matt Lauer and CBS´s Scott Pelley have been acting like "whiney crybabies" recently as they lamented Republicans daring to challenge the president for his lack of leadership in tackling the nation´s tremendous national debt. "Toughen up fellas," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell chided the liberal media on the February 14 edition of Fox News Channel´s Hannity. The Media Research Center president and the Fox News host also discussed how the analysts on MSNBC quickly set out to smear Marco Rubio following his response to the State of the Union. "It´s a sign of the times that
Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the Obama administration should regulate oil refineries, household appliances, and even renegotiate climate treaties if Congress does not pass legislation dealing with global warming. “The president will be taking action by executive order through his administration,” Waxman said at a press conference on Friday unveiling his Safe Climate Caucus, which will work to pressure House Republicans to take up a climate change initiative. Waxman, who said that Obama’s executive actions would also pressure the GOP, explained that there
The teenager who pleaded guilty to killing a pizza delivery man last year was sentenced inside a Dorchester County General Sessions courtroom in St. George this morning. Stephawn Brown, 19, of North Charleston, pleaded guilty to murder and armed robbery on Thursday, three days into his trial. Sentencing had been postponed until today. Circuit Judge Ed Dickson sentenced Brown to 49 years for the murder and 30 for the armed robbery, with the sentences to be served concurrently. Brown is not eligible for parole. Brown’s attorney, Mark Leiendecker, a public defender, asked the judge for 45 years, which was on
An enormous cache of explosive material turned up this week in Gao, one of the northern Malian cities retaken by French and Malian troops. There are varying reports on its complexity and size, but the Associated Press reports the French military pulled about 1,700 pounds of explosive material out of a single building. Although Islamist fighters first withdrew from Gao without heavy fighting more than two weeks ago, they came back in waves last weekend. Last Friday, a suicide bomber set off a device at a security checkpoint. A second suicide bomber detonated a device on Saturday,
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Hillary Clinton inspired his decision to allow women in combat. “And in many ways, I have to tell you, it was her inspiration that encouraged me to move forward to be able to bring down the last barriers for women in the Department of Defense and to give them the ability to have a chance to engage in combat. I thank you for that inspiration,” Panetta told Clinton at a Pentagon ceremony on Thursday. Panetta bestowed the Defense Department’s highest honor--the Distinguished Civilian Service Award--on the former secretary of state.
The House voted Friday to freeze the pay of federal workers for the third year in a row over the objections of congressional Democrats and the Obama administration. Members voted 261-154 in favor of the bill, which would also lock in a pay freeze for members of Congress. It exempts people serving in the military. The bill won significant support from Democrats — 43 voted for it — while 10 Republicans voted against it. The legislation is an attempt to override President Obama´s executive order in December that seeks to give federal workers a 0.5 percent pay
Fleeing advancing French and Malian forces, al-Qaeda militants left a strategic blueprint outlining their general plan for Mali and the region. The nine-page document unlocks a door to the world´s most feared terrorist network. The letter was discovered by the Associated Press in Timbuktu in a pile of papers and trash inside a building occupied by the Islamists for almost a year. It is signed by Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the nom de guerre of Abdelmalek Droukdel, the senior commander appointed by Osama bin Laden to run al-Qaeda’s branch in Africa.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said on Thursday that U.S. government does not have a spending problem, but America suffers from "a misallocation of wealth." “I look at it this way,” Harkin said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the law that includes the automatic spending cuts referred to as "sequestration"). “We’re the richest nation in the history of the world. That kind of begs the question doesn’t it? If we’re so rich, why are we so broke?” “Is it a spending problem? Harkin said.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta honored his "dear friend" Hillary Clinton Thursday, calling her "a strong and dedicated partner of the Department of Defense" and "one of the finest public servants of our time." “In my past role as CIA director, she was someone who understood the importance of intelligence, understood the importance of intelligence operations, understood the importance of doing everything we could do to be able to go after those who attacked our country on 9/11,” Panetta said. “As a senator, she saw the terror of that moment firsthand.
Having grown up in Los Angeles and spending a good chunk of my youth thinking I was going to make my living as an actor, I am occasionally asked what it takes to make it in Hollywood. Given that I did not, in fact, make it in Hollywood, I’m probably not the right guy to ask. However, I do have one bit of expert advice on how to not make it in Hollywood. So for those looking for the key to failure, here it is: Walk into an audition wearing a Republican T-shirt.
President Obama will never again be an election candidate but, for now at least, he has the look — and the rhetorical sound — of a man on the campaign trail. Thursday brought the latest example, with a rally-style event in Decatur, Ga., intended to build support for the administration’s proposals on pre-K education. It was preceded by a similar stop in Asheville, N.C., to advocate for manufacturing plans, and two major speeches — the State of the Union and the second inaugural address — that were notable for their vigorous liberal tone.
Campaigners today slammed Google for violating Android users´ privacy after it emerged that the company was sharing their personal details with mobile app developers. An Australian software developer revealed that the search giant was sending him the full names, email and post codes of everyone who purchased his app on Google´s Play Store. He said the information was so detailed he would even be able to use it to ´track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase´. Incredibly, it has emerged that the data sharing was not the result of a software glitch, but
The House and Senate each voted Friday to recess for the Presidents Day week, which means lawmakers will have just four days — once they return — to deal with the $85 billion sequester due to take effect March 1. House Republicans have said they will not act on any bill to avoid the sequester until the Senate does first. Senate Democrats have proposed a bill to replace the sequester with a plan that shifts and reduces the planned cuts, and includes new tax increases. But with the Senate out,
Herman Cain is the latest new contributor at the Fox News Channel. The No. 1 cable news channel has been tweaking its lineup of political analysts for a few months, recently ditching Dick Morris, for example, while hiring former Republican Sen. Scott Brown and comedian Adam Carolla, who has assumed a role similar to that of talk-radio host Dennis Miller, also a contributor at the network. Fox News also recently re-signed Republican strategist Karl Rove. Cain, a brief front-runner for the Republican nomination for president, is no stranger to Fox News, where he has appeared dozens of times
A brief moment on Wednesday showed why President Obama can´t win when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline. In front of the White House, protesters led by actress Daryl Hannah and the head of the Sierra Club demanded that Obama kill the project. Just a few blocks away, the head of the AFL-CIO´s powerful Building and Construction Trades Department joined with the American Petroleum Institute to demand that Obama approve it. Obama´s friends in the environmental movement and Hollywood on one side. Obama´s friends in Big Labor allied with his enemies in Big Oil on the other.
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