Sometimes little things crack open and reveal big things. For example, what started as a small dispute--over the historical record of a presidential speech from four decades ago--has now metastasized into a raging controversy over a new book about Roger Ailes and Fox News, written by the veteran author Zev Chafets. And that controversy over Chafets has, in turn, opened up a window into the practice of “journalism” by some young “journalists” of our own time. Indeed, the controversy has shined a deeply unflattering light on the author of yet another book on Ailes and Fox, forthcoming from author
The news that an Atlanta schools chief spearheaded a vast criminal conspiracy among administrators and teachers to cheat on standardized tests to artificially boost the scores of their pupils is as depressing as it is unsurprising. And it reinforces my belief that merit pay systems for teachers that are rigidly tied to student test scores are a terrible idea, even if school districts are using very sophisticated value-added analysis. What we should be pressing for is more business model innovation, in which different charter networks and schools and specialized course-level instructional providers are allowed to pursue distinctive compensation strategies.
The coalition to preserve traditional marriage can’t catch a break, says National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown. His list of media-related issues: 1) “Only the British press accurately depicted the strength” of the pro-traditional marriage forces at the Supreme Court’s Tuesday session. U.S. media, said Brown, didn’t note the overwhelming turnout for his side. This story in the Daily Mail, however, included this bit: “Both sides of the debate were out in force, with Christian opponents easily outnumbering advocates for gay marriage.” That account was written by the Daily Mail’s David Martosko,
Powerball winner Pedro Quezada is hosting a rent party — for his entire block. A close friend of the newly minted megamillionaire said Quezada promised to temporarily cover the housing costs for residents in the Passaic, N.J., neighborhood that housed his bodega. “He said he’s going to pay the rent for everybody here on this block for at least a month or two months,” the friend said Saturday outside Quezada’s Apple Deli Grocery. “He’s such a good guy.” Word of Quezada’s magnanimous gesture left several of his neighbors stunned. “God bless him, and thank you,” crowed Richard Delgado, 45,
Sen. Marco Rubio on Saturday urged Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to hold new hearings and provide for lengthy debate on immigration legislation that the Florida Republican is drafting with a bipartisan group of eight senators. “I write to express my strong belief that the success of any major legislation depends on the acceptance and support of the American people,” Rubio said in a letter to Leahy, D-Vt. “That support can only be earned through full and careful consideration of legislative language and an open process of amendments.” Leahy, in a recent letter addressed to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. —
INDIANAPOLIS - Fraud was committed to get the name of Barack Obama on the ballot in St. Joseph County in 2008. A guilty plea entered Thursday could leave a stain on the Obama victory. At the center of this story is Butch Morgan, a longtime Democratic Party leader who lost his post as St. Joseph County chair when the scandal broke. Morgan is accused of telling three people to forge names on a ballot petition including Bev Shelton who pleaded guilty to forgery and fraud. She has agreed to testify against the others. "If she testifies truthfully,"
Hillary Clinton left the State Department nearly two months ago, but she still needs a staff to keep up with the considerable business of being Hillary Clinton. A half-dozen people now work for the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate in a tiny corporate space on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, in what is called her “transition office.” Transition to what, Mrs. Clinton and her aides have not yet said. But the question hovers over her every move and has frozen in place the very early — but for some potential candidates,
When you stop and think about it, what the federal government is proposing to do in implementing Obamacare is absolutely breathtaking. The government is proposing to basically take over 17% of the American economy, create a massive database — yet to be built — so that insurance exchanges — yet to be designed — can give up to 62 million Americans access to individually tailored insurance plans, while coordinating among three federal agencies millions of requests for federal subsidies. We are 149 days away from the October 1 deadline for state insurance exchanges to be up
SEOUL, South Korea — This week, North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jung-un, ordered his underlings to prepare for a missile attack on the United States. He appeared at a command center in front of a wall map with the bold, unlikely title, “Plans to Attack the Mainland U.S.” Earlier in the month, his generals boasted of developing a “Korean-style” nuclear warhead that could be fitted atop a long-range missile. But the missile systems that figure in Mr. Kim’s blitz of threats and orders do not yet have the range to approach American shores. There is no evidence
The Kaufman County, Texas, district attorney and his wife were found shot dead inside their home today, police said, nearly two months to the day that the county assistant district attorney was murdered in the county courthouse parking lot. Police would say nothing more than that Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found shot in their home in Forney, but sources told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas that their front door was reportedly kicked in. Investigators from the FBI, the Texas Rangers, the Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
It´s a perennial favorite of scammers to claim we face pending doom that can be averted only if we quickly send them more money or do what they want us to. From The Music Man´s "Ya Got Trouble" to the emails purporting to be from family members who´ve been robbed or imprisoned overseas, the game is a constant money maker for the con men who employ it. Count President Obama as one of the masters of the art of diverting attention from facts, crying doom and grabbing yet more money from our pockets to enrich his buddies
A version of this post appears in Sunday´s paper. North Korea might look like a country gone mad, but that is exactly why we ought to take its latest display of hubris so seriously. While it should be fixing its crumbling economy, Kim Jong-un’s regime prefers to declare a state of war with its southern neighbour and threaten the United States with rockets. To comprehend why it is doing this, and why this crisis has suddenly become so dangerous, we have to understand its obsession with history. A defining moment in the North Korean narrative is the Korean War of
The 878,300 who decided not to have an official assessment of whether they were fit for work was more than a third of the total number of people claiming sickness-related benefits. The statistics also revealed that some claimants cited conditions such as "blisters", "sprains and strains" and "acne" as preventing them from having a job. More than 46,120 people claimed incapacity benefit because of "behavioural disorders due to the use of alcohol" while 29,130 claimants cited drug use.[Snip] Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, said the old system was "evil" and accused Labour of using sickness benefits to "hide the
Energy-intensive industries are bracing themselves for a renewed surge in utility bills tomorrow when the UK government´s highly controversial Carbon Price Floor starts feeding through into energy costs. Lambasted by business and environmental groups as a "stealth tax", the price floor is expected to raise up to £3.2 billion over the next three years. Although critics say the funds should be ploughed back into the green energy technologies that the price floor is intended to support, the money will instead be absorbed for general use by the cash-strapped Exchequer. Michael Murphy, energy partner with MacRoberts Solicitors in Glasgow,
The drama is clearly the longest running of any that John Wilkes Booth played during his acting career. Was Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, killed by a soldier at a tobacco barn near Port Royal, Va., on April 26, 1865, as history books and government accounts record? Or was someone else shot through the neck and declared to be Booth as a way of putting an end to the national tragedy? Did the president´s killer actually escape? Though those questions are settled in the minds of most scholars, they have intrigued and frustrated some historians and Booth family members,
No more war and Peeps, please. Some people (Peeple?) find it amusing to torment or mutilate Peeps, the sugarcoated fluorescent marshmallow Easter candies in the form of chicks and bunnies (or additional shapes during other holidays). Consider, for example, the sport of Peeps jousting, in which someone places two Peeps chicks (the bunnies don’t work for this game) in a microwave with toothpicks in their chests. As the Peeps heat up, they expand and appear to be jousting with each other. The candy that stabs the other first wins. Both Peeps end up as gooey globs.
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Nearly half of the crowd at Saturday´s Elite 8 game between Syracuse and Marquette at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. booed President Barack Obama when he was shown on the big screen with just over ten minutes to play in the first half. After the boos erupted, a contingency of Obama supporters countered with cheers. Obama also golfed on Saturday for the first time since the sequester cuts went into effect at the beginning of March and then took some of his foursome--and his Secret Service detail--to watch Syracuse oust Marquette
A study from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) shows the federal government´s needless spending and costly regulations waste over $42 billion dollars–enough to fund up to 45,000 years of White House tours. After the White House announced that its public tours would be one of the first government functions to be shut down due to the budget sequester´s slowdown of spending increases, conservatives have highlighted government spending on inconsequential projects ranging anywhere from puppet research to snail sex. The NRCC has compiled a "waste list" totaling $42,642,721,597 from its findings. Some of its expenditures include:
Governor Brown on Saturday announced he´ll be granting pardons to 65 former felons, including a convicted murderer. The AP says most of the pardons were granted to criminals convicted of low-level offenses, though not all were small-time offenders: Most were for people convicted of selling or possessing drugs. However, Robert Phillip Brown was convicted of murder. He was paroled in 1996 after serving 15 years in prison. ... Others pardoned included Francisco Mauricio Nunes, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and James David Vercellino, who was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.
The Eiffel Tower was evacuated tonight following a telephoned terrorist bomb warning. Some 1,500 people, including tourists and staff, were escorted out of France´s most famous landmark shortly after 7.30pm. It follows threats from Al-Qaeda pledging ´revenge´ for the French intervention in the African state of Mali to fight Islamic terrorists. Police said an anonymous call had been received from a phone booth in a Paris suburb warning that explosives had been place around the tower.
At the Politico, Darren Samuelsohn reports that "The public has largely tuned out the Democrats’ repeated warnings about ... (what will happen) if the sequester cuts stay in place." He also notes in a separate report that Republicans "Republicans are winning the sequester wars," and that "even the White House admits there’s little chance of reversing all the cuts." Of course, what´s in question here mostly aren´t "cuts" at all, but reductions in projected spending increases, as pollster Scott Rasmussen explained in his note accompanying a recent poll his organization did on the topic:
A swarm of actors and actresses — including Sharon Stone, Tracy Morgan, Tiffani Thiessen, and Alfre Woodard — is trading Hollywood for the Hill, as they head to Washington to lobby lawmakers for arts funding. The group of artists — which will also include Patricia Arquette, “Private Practice’s” Tim Daly, Kevin McHale of “Glee” fame, Sam Trammell from “True Blood,” Giancarlo Esposito, “The Office” actor Leslie David Baker, and Josh Radnor — all hail from The Creative Coalition. The nonprofit organization is sending the delegation to D.C. for Capitol Hill Arts Day on April 26. While in town,
The 2012 election, in which nearly every traditional rule about presidential politics was broken, showed that we have entered a new era. One feature of this new era is the permanent campaign. Until now, there has always been some respite–growing shorter over the years, admittedly–between the end of one campaign and the beginning of the next. The Democrats have now obliterated that gap; the 2014 Congressional campaign began on the day after the 2012 election, and President Obama’s re-election campaign was seamlessly transformed
President Obama took advantage of mild Washington weather on Saturday by heading out to the golf course, his first visit to the links since across-the-board sequester cuts took effect on March 1. On the day before Easter, Obama trekked over to Andrews Air Force Base for a round with Marty Nesbitt, Michael Brush and Marvin Nicholson on an afternoon with temperatures nearing a spring-like 60 degrees, according to a White House pool report. Nesbitt is a Chicago businessman and one of Obama´s best friends. The president’s regular golf outings became a target for congressional Republicans
In my Weekly Standard cover story about the fallout from the “Climategate” email scandal three years ago, I offered the following question by way of prediction: Eventually the climate modeling community is going to have to reconsider the central question: Have the models the IPCC uses for its predictions of catastrophic warming overestimated the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases? (Snip) A Washington-based Economist correspondent admitted to me privately several years ago that the senior editors in London had mandated consistent and regular alarmist climate coverage in its pages. The problem for the climateers is increasingly dire.