The idea of addressing gun violence by taxing pistols is being tested at Cook County, Illinois. According to the Sun Times newspaper, a special gun tax kicks in today. The measure is not an April Fool’s Day joke. It is the brainstorm of the president of the County Board, Toni Preckwinkle. It will levy $25 for “on each gun sale in suburban Cook County.” At the rate at which guns seem to be flying off the shelves the idea is that this tax will bring in a sizable chunk of change. The Preckwinkle Tax applies only to the
This column isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Jack and Toby Litsky are vegans. When they both turned 50 last year, they decided to battle their high cholesterol with a vegan diet. The Marlboro couple cut out meat, dairy and fat from their eating plans. In return, they both lost weight and cut their cholesterol numbers. But their dietary choices have made dining out a challenge. Jack Litsky said they’ve learned that not all pasta advertised as 100 percent whole grain actually is, so they’ve taken to bringing their own to Italian restaurants. "We’ve gone to at least 50 or 60 restaurants
The Obama administration is not serious about clamping down on border security, according to Charles Krauthammer. By extension, the president and Secretary Napolitano also oppose linking border security with a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Krauthammer emphasized the importance of including such a linkage in any immigration-reform legislation. “We’ve all been insisting for a decade, ‘if you get enforcement, we are very happy to legalize the illegals because it will be the end of them.’ It won’t be like ’86, which was a bait-and-switch, we had legalization of 3 million at the time and no enforcement.
I’ve been out of pocket, so I missed most of the hullabaloo about Reverend Luis León’s indefensible Easter Sermon at St. John’s Episcopal Church in front of the Obama family. Among his comments he said the “religious Right” wants “blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet, and for immigrants to be on their side of the border.” Once you get beyond the nasty, clichéd and divisive insinuations about conservatives being racists and the basic inappropriateness of the whole spectacle,
War On Terrorism: We have a medal for those who remotely operate drones, but the Pentagon claims awarding the victims of the 2009 shooting with Purple Hearts would jeopardize the shooter´s chance at a fair trial. We recently noted that the Obama administration´s shameful designation of the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage at the Army base in Killeen, Texas, by Major Nidal Hasan as "workplace violence" had denied survivors benefits they would have been entitled to had the attack been properly labeled an act of terror. For example, Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning was shot six times
ObamaCare was and is among the most destructive policies ever devised. It is killing jobs as Republicans predicted, and is also an intrusion on religious freedom. It threatens to put government between citizen and doctor, and creates unaffordable entitlements. Over time, it stands a good likelihood of bankrupting the private insurance industry, paving the way for a full government healthcare takeover. Whether that takeover happens before or after our debt catches up with us now is a grim parlor game. Either way, bad things are on the horizon and ObamaCare has a lot to do with that.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Group of Eight bipartisan immigration reform negotiators, said today he’s hoping the group “can roll something out for public consumption” by next week. That’s when Congress comes back into session after the Easter break. Graham said there’s “not really” a rift with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on the legislation. “The eight of us are trying to put together a legislative proposal that would go through the regular process. It would go to the Judiciary Committee, where I’m a member. It would be amended, debated, changed, and
The annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House South Lawn on Monday adopted First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity as children took part in activities that included cooking demonstrations and sports courts to celebrate “nutrition and health and activity.” “It’s great to have everyone here this morning,” Mrs. Obama said. “We are so excited.” “The Easter Egg Roll is the biggest event that we have here on the South Lawn of the White House each year,” said the first lady.
LOS ANGELES — Barack Obama is more than the greatest President in the history of the United States; he is the greatest man in the history of the world. After millenia of darkness, he did what Jesus Christ could not: He showed us what it means to be created in the image of God. Enough April Fool’s Day nonsense. Obama is a joke, and we are its sorry butt. The joke isn’t funny. While millions of Americans celebrated Easter and Passover, Obama took time out of his “busy” day to celebrate Barack Obama. Chris Matthews called Obama
America may have heard the last of disgraced former University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Monday, SCOTUS declined to review the Colorado Supreme Court´s decision to dismiss Churchill´s lawsuit stemming from his 2007 firing. Churchill gained nationwide infamy for writing an offensive essay in which he argued that U.S. policy provoked the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He labeled the financial-service employees killed in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns," suggesting their work in America´s capitalist system was the moral equivalent of the Nazi Holocaust to annihilate the Jewish people
Warning: This is not an "April Fools" joke. On Monday the New York Times was forced to print a correction to an article it published Easter Sunday about Pope Francis´ Easter message from the Vatican. The correction reads: Correction: April 1, 2013 An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven. It´s hard to decide exactly what´s most startling about this correction: Is it that the writer of the "paper of record" got this basic fact about Christianity wrong?
Homeland Security: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is slowing down the immigration reform locomotive. Good thing, because an altogether separate, more pressing issue beckons: securing the border. We have an absurd immigration situation in America today. Millions of poor, unskilled foreigners slip into the country illegally and sink comfortably into an American welfare state already headed for bankruptcy. The world is a big place, and the limited number of immigrants we can absorb should instead be the highly skilled — those with advanced degrees and skills. Likely 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Sunday lessened the hysteria surrounding hopes for a
President Barack Obama does not have to run for re-election anymore, but his permanent campaign continues, as Obama will attend fundraisers in San Francisco and Silicon Valley this week to help Democrats take back Congress in 2014. According to the White House, Obama "will attend two fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee" on Wednesday in San Francisco, CA. Those fundraisers will be held on "Billionaires Row," reportedly at the homes of Gordon Getty and green energy advocate Tom Steyer. On Thursday, Obama will fundraise for the Democratic National Committee, which is nearly broke,
Oil: Iraq, relieved of a tyrant and transformed into a representative government, is falling under Iran´s command. Meanwhile, Afghanistan resists progress. We need a new Mideast policy, which begins with a new energy policy. ´Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran," the Los Angeles Times reported last week. Iraqi officials say the U.S. has pursued a "policy of near-total disengagement" and "Washington´s political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent." In the wake of America´s pullout, "Iran has become an indispensable
These are lousy times to be in the peak oil cult. In December, U.S. oil exports hit a record of 3.6 million barrels per day, thanks in part to soaring domestic petroleum production. Last year, domestic natural gas production averaged 69 billion cubic feet per day, a record, and a 33% increase over the levels achieved back in 2005. That year, Lee Raymond, the famously combative former CEO of ExxonMobil, declared that "gas production has peaked in North America." Why has the U.S. oil and gas sector recovered? How is it that last year, U.S. oil production
Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva said Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s remarks indicating that an immigration reform deal has not yet been met are “obviously a little of concern” to him. “He’s been in this process from the beginning,” Grijalva said in a Monday appearance on MSNBC. “Early on, he [Rubio] was initiating his own comprehensive reform package then joined the other senators in a bipartisan effort and there has been some expectation that come next week that we will have a rollout, that we’ll have a piece of legislation and concepts that we can go forward with.
Top Environmental Protection Agency officials used computer instant messages to try to circumvent open-records laws, according to a new lawsuit filed late last week by a researcher who has been demanding the agency comply with the law. Christopher C. Horner, the researcher who earlier uncovered that EPA officials were using private email addresses to conduct official business, said that in going over some of those earlier records he discovered the agency was using instant messages, too. He now is suing to get a look at those records, which he said EPA has refused to release.
Following a player´s severe injury this past weekend in the NCAA basketball tournament, a liberal advocacy group said Monday that the association should guarantee healthcare coverage for student athletes. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a new petition drive urging the NCAA to provide "universal" healthcare to injured student athletes. On Sunday, University of Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware´s leg was broken in two places, and the bone was visibly protruding through his skin before he was carried off the court on a stretcher. The NCAA does not cover
Basking in the glow of a 69 percent drop in Chicago’s March murder rate, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy were confronted by a troubling reality: the return of downtown mob attacks that seem to be turning into a rite of spring. An outbreak of wildings on North Michigan Avenue and a separate attack on a CTA Red Line train culminated in the arrest of 25 juveniles and three adults on a sunny and warm Saturday that drew the usual crowds to the Magnificent Mile. Seventeen of the arrests were made around 6 p.m
Automatic spending cuts required by sequestration will make it more difficult to defend the United States homeland, a top Defense Department (DOD) official said today. “The sequester is real and affecting DOD through readiness, training,” Todd Rosenblum, acting assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, told the Armed Forces Press Service. “It is difficult for the department to plan and budget intelligently, when we don’t have budget certainty.” AFPS explained the budget comment came in the context of a discussion about cyber security. “The attacks themselves, he said, also could produce the type of
Celebrity chef Anne Burrell says she’s “so super excited” to show off her culinary chops at the White House. The Food Network "Chef Wanted" star is one of several high-profile cooking whizzes who will whip up meals Monday at the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. “The White House is such a beautiful place, and I can´t wait to visit and see the President and the first lady and, of course, to do something fun for the kids,” Burrell tells People magazine. Burrell and fellow chefs Ina Garten, Spike Mendelsohn, B. Smith, and Flynn McGarry will prepare
A judge has approved the California city of Stockton´s bankruptcy filing, making it the most populous US city ever to enter bankruptcy protection. A federal judge said without bankruptcy protection, Stockton would be unable to provide basic government services. The city of 290,000, 90 miles (144km) east of San Francisco, saw its tax base plummet in the US housing market crash. The ruling grants Stockton protection from creditors--who opposed the filing--while it negotiates debt repayment. Stockton´s creditors--bond insurers who had financed the city´s debt--argued the city had not cut spending enough nor sought a tax increase to avoid bankruptcy.
President Obama´s approval rating tumbled to a 16-month low in the latest IBD/TIPP survey released Monday as the sequester fight appeared to hurt his standing with partisans on both sides. The IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index fell 6.2% to 48.4, the lowest since December 2011. That ended five months over 50, which signifies support. His rating among Republicans fell 4.3 points to 12.8, while his approval among Democrats sank 4.2 points to 81. His support among single women, a key source of his liberal support, has fallen from 74.6 at the time of his re-election to just 57.3 now.
“Obamacare” looks increasingly inevitable, but one lawsuit making its way through the court system could pull the plug on the sweeping federal health care law. A challenge filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House. Under the Origination Clause of the Constitution, all bills raising revenue must begin in the House. The Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the act in June, but Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took pains in the majority opinion to define Obamacare as a
North Texas will host what could be the first showdown of the 2016 presidential campaign. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are scheduled to speak at separate events in the Dallas area on April 24, the day before the potential presidential contenders are expected to attend the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The high-profile pair, considered among the top White House candidates in their respective parties, are just two of the many dignitaries slated to attend the Bush Center’s dedication on April 25 at Southern Methodist University.