Hollywood — Condoms, cleaning supplies, and circus classes for the kids-call it chicken soup for the Oscar loser. (Being a movie star just isn´t what it used to be.) At least these treasures are being packed along with more luxurious indulgences-such as trips to Australia, Hawaii, and Mexico, alcohol, and a stay at a weight-loss retreat-in this year´s "Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag," which Los Angeles marketing company Distinctive Assets prepares for contenders who don´t go home with a statue. The total value of this year´s motley "swag bag:" $47,803. While it´s hard to balk
President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win. He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
The former mayor of Bell, California, was too stupid and uneducated to know his $100,000 salary for the part-time city job was illegal, his lawyer argued today. Oscar Hernandez is illiterate, has no high school degree and didn´t even finish elementary school, defense attorney Stanley Friedmand told jurors. Hernandez and five former members of the Bell City Council are on trial, accused of stealing $1.3million in exorbitant pay from the working-class city of 35,000.
United Teachers Los Angeles made a bold and revealing statement about its radical political principles when the union endorsed Ron Gochez for L.A. City Council this month. There are 12 candidates running for one position, but the UTLA endorsed two: Gochez and State Sen. Curren Price, who is much more likely to win, according to California Political News. Ron Gochez happens to be a huge bigot who is affiliated with racist groups such as MEChA, La Raza and the African People’s Socialist Party. And he also has a history of saying racist things.
On FOX News this morning, Sen. Rand Paul may have just delivered the most pointed response to President Obama’s scare tactics on the sequester. “I would say balderdash,” Paul said after the FOX host asked for his response. “It’s untrue, unfair, dishonest, disingenuous. The president is making stuff up.” Paul added that Obama’s “histrionics” were “beneath the office of the presidency,” criticizing him for scaring Americans over any cuts to federal government spending. “It is the least we can do,” Paul said about the spending cuts. “Our country is drowning in a sea of debt, borrowing $50,000 a second.
Environmental Protection Agency inspector general Arthur Elkins predicts that sequestration will make the agency less transparent, a warning that emerges even as Congress investigates top agency officials for avoiding transparency laws with banned email accounts. “What we do is provide a level of transparency to agency operations that otherwise you wouldn’t see but for the IG shop,” Elkins told InsideEPA. “To the extent that our budget is affected on the negative side, it’s going to come out of FTEs [full-time equivalent staff].
Officials in Texas announced on Thursday that State Troopers would no longer be allowed to open fire on suspects from helicopters after the recent killing of two immigrants. While announcing the new policy, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw insisted that the ban on aerial shootings had nothing to do with the October 2012 death of two Guatemalan immigrants, who were gunned down by troopers in helicopter while they were hiding in the back of a speeding pickup truck near La Joya. “I’m convinced that now, from a helicopter platform, that we shouldn’t shoot unless being shot at,
The Left routinely ascribes absolute moral authority to grieving victims in furtherance of their political agenda. Their agitprop is often manipulative and exploitive, but it works. Appeals to facts and reason aren´t enough anymore; persuading the public increasingly requires emotional appeals. Even if they find it inherently unpalatable, conservatives must promote people whose personal stories offer counter-narratives to liberals´ tragic parade of victimhood. Katie highlighted one such case earlier this week, and now The Blaze has another.
Are you as shocked as Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)? Somehow, I rather doubt it, and I don’t think Jason Mattera is as surprised as the front-page pic suggests, either. Confronted with the new CBO analysis that shows more than seven million Americans will lose their present health-insurance coverage from ObamaCare despite his repeated assertions that no one would lose their coverage, Rep. Engel tells Jason in this Andrea Tantaros Show video debuting exclusively at Hot Air that Congress can always go back and fix what’s not working.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, Fox News Host: In terms of -- let me just take one of the -- one that you mention, foreign aid, cutting foreign aid in half to about $20 billion. Have you contemplated (INAUDIBLE) one step further and determined what foreign aid you would cut off? Because foreign aid has been very effective for us in many parts of the world in achieving certain goals. So I´m curious if you´ve gone further and identified which foreign aid you´d cut off. SEN. RAND PAUL, R- KY.: Well, I think there´s some argument whether it´s been effective.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan´s request "to reconsider a ruling that found the state´s concealed carry weapons ban unconstitutional [in Dec. 2012]." Madigan has argued that the December ruling overturning the ban was in conflict with other appeals court rulings and that it went beyond what the Supreme Court required. The December decision had come via a three judge panel, so Madigan asked for the entire court to hear her appeal in hopes that the other justices would see things differently.
The world hasn’t seen Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera in years, but the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel – and certainly the most wanted man in Latin America - is rumored to be dead. The Web is thick with chatter that Guzman may have been killed just across the border from Mexico in Guatemala, but there has been no confirmation. I repeat, no confirmation. There have been plenty of rumors about Guzman over the years. It seems perfectly reasonable to suspect even a capo as elusive as Guzman will ultimately end up dead or in prison,
Barack Obama met with Al Sharpton and other "African American leaders" to discuss the president´s "plan to strengthen the economy for the middle class and continue to build ladders of opportunity for those striving to get there," according to the White House. Participants in the meeting included: • Melanie Campbell, President, National Coalition of Black Civic Participation • Ralph Everett, President, Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies • Wade Henderson, President, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights • Ben Jealous, President, National Association of the Advancement of Colored People • Avis Jones-DeWeever, Executive Director,
WASHINGTON -- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday of massive delays in flights and the closing of 100 smaller air-traffic control towers, as part of automatic spending cuts scheduled March 1. Because of furloughs for air-traffic controllers, LaHood said flights from New York to San Francisco could be delayed 90 minutes. He says once airlines understand how flights are delayed, they will begin canceling flights. He said the control towers at the 100 smallest airports will be closed, from a list including those in Boca Raton, Fla., Joplin, Mo., and Hilton Head, S.C. "These are harmful cuts with real-world consequences
The president´s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in "Network": "Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We´re in a lot of trouble!" It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout. That´s what´s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won´t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible.
The teen birth rate in rural areas of the United States is nearly one-third greater than in other parts of the country, according to a new study. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found declining teen birth rates across the country have been slower to take effect in rural counties. Between 1990-2010, the group reported Thursday, the rural teen birth rate declined by 32 percent compared with 49 percent in urban areas and 40 percent in U.S. suburbs. Study authors promised to investigate further the reasons for these gaps, including the "unique challenges" facing rural
Unlike many figures of the Evangelical and Religious Left, Ron Sider of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA) has sustained an integrity that many conservatives have grudgingly admired. Unlike many of his activist cohorts, he has not prevaricated on Christian teachings about sex, marriage, or abortion. And unlike many of his fellow religionists on the left, Sider has maintained a rigorous concern for the global persecution of Christians when others prefer silence over criticism of Islamist or communist regimes. Now Sider, as he nears retirement from 40 years as ESA founder and head, has again distinguished himself
‘Let the Jews pay for it.” Are these words anti-Semitic? The U.S. Senate should consider this and many other disturbing statements by Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary. Nebraska’s former Republican senator has said and done truly troubling things regarding Jews and Israel. Hagel tried to close USO’s Haifa retreat when he ran the United Service Organizations from 1987 to 1990. The facility was highly popular among U.S. sailors, 45,000 of whom visited the Israeli port in 1990, the Associated Press reports.
President Obama on Thursday seemed to suggest that the tie that binds in the Republican Party is love of money. “My sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations, and they would rather see” billions of dollars in cuts to social programs to ward off the sequester, he said to MSNBC host Al Sharpton, according to a Breitbart report.(Snip) Roll Call reports, in a list that rates the wealth of senators in the 111th Congress, that tops are Democrats: ex-Sen. John Kerry
Michelle Obama has a big, yellow co-star in a new ad campaign to promote healthy habits in children. Big Bird has joined the First Lady in two new PSAs encouraging kids to eat healthy foods and exercise. In one of the two ads, Big Bird joins Michelle Obama in the White House kitchen to talk about healthy snack options. “Gee I bet you can get just anything you want in this kitchen,” Big Bird says. “But you know what I like to reach for?” Obama asks. “Healthy, colorful snacks, like juicy fruits and crunchy vegetables.” In the other ad, the
After dismissing the argument that President Obama was to blame for the sequester as "dumb" on Thursday´s MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd further mocked the notion on Friday´s program: "Republicans have been playing, well, an inside game, the inside the Beltway game, trying to build support for their position against the cuts and begging the media to say it´s Obama that started the sequester, not them." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Earlier in the show, Todd gleefully touted: "The White House PR campaign meanwhile, has
After overwrought pressure from the usual gay "anti-defamation" lobbyists, the Associated Press has caved in and made another new statement approving the use of "his husband" and "her wife" in news stories. as if they´ve taken a stand for neutrality, instead of rewriting the gender dictionary. "Victory!" was the headline on several gay websites as AP issued a new entry in its AP Stylebook Online, and is scheduled to appear in the 2013 print and mobile additions: husband, wife Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any
CHICAGO — A federal appeals court won´t reconsider an earlier ruling that Illinois´ concealed carry ban is unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois´ ban in December and gave lawmakers until June 8 to legalize the concealed carry of firearms. Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked for all 10 judges to review the decision, saying it conflicted with decisions by other federal appellate courts and goes beyond what the U.S. Supreme Court has held. Illinois is the only state in the nation that still has a ban in place.