Supporters of same-sex marriage argued before a state judge in New Jersey on Thursday that the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing such unions required the state to allow them. (Snip) Advocates have tried to push for same-sex marriage in the state ever since, but found a dedicated opponent in New Jersey´s Republican Gov. Chris Christie, a potential presidential candidate in 2016. He vetoed a same-sex marriage bill last year, leaving New Jersey as one of two states in the Northeast to ban gay marriage. (Pennsylvania is the second.) The Supreme Court's June decision in
Beirut: A car bomb killed at least 21 people and wounded 250 in the southern suburb of Beirut Thursday, Lebanese officials said, and security sources said investigators are looking into accounts the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. The evening attack, which the Lebanese Army confirmed was a car bomb, occurred in the neighborhood of Ruwaiss, a Hezbollah stronghold, (Snip) Lebanon has seen a spike of security incidents linked to the crisis in neighboring Syria, particularly after Hezbollah said in May it was fighting with forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels
Workers are fleeing New Zealand´s capital, Wellington, after a severe earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.2 rocked the nation. New Zealanders huddled under desks as strong tremors struck Wellington and the South Island at around 2:31pm local time. Lengthy traffic queues formed outside the city, police have rescued several people trapped and lifts and mobile phone networks were down. A house almost totally collapsed in Marlborough, on the South Island, The New Zealand Herald reports. The New Zealand Stock Exchange has ceased trading and rail and bus services in the capital
CAIRO — Weeping relatives in search of loved ones uncovered the faces of the bloodied, unclaimed dead in a Cairo mosque near the smoldering epicenter of support for ousted President Mohammed Morsi, as the death toll soared past 600 Thursday from Egypt´s deadliest day since the Arab Spring began. World condemnation widened for the bloody crackdown on Morsi´s mostly Islamist supporters, including an angry response from President Barack Obama, who canceled joint U.S.-Egyptian military maneuvers. Violence spread Thursday, with government buildings set afire near the pyramids,
A&E’s hit show “Duck Dynasty,” a reality show about a Louisiana family that made a fortune carving duck calls, opened its fourth season Wednesday reaching the No. 1 spot for a nonfiction series telecast in cable history, the station reported Thursday. According to the Blaze, Wednesday night’s show reached 11.8 million viewers total and also “set a cable record for a nonfiction series telecast among adults 25-54 with 6.3 million viewers in the demo.” The Blaze notes that particular demographic is considered the most important one.
The unrest in Egypt is testing President Obama’s summer vacation, forcing him to have to combine the seriousness of U.S. foreign policy with his desire to carve out time for rounds of golf. On Thursday, Mr. Obama delivered a six-minute statement to reporters about the violence that has left hundreds dead in Cairo this week, then immediately headed off for another round of golf in Martha’s Vineyard, his usual summer vacation spot where he and his family are spending the week. A day earlier, Mr. Obama also played golf while leaving it to his spokesman and to State Department Secretary
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh began his Thursday afternoon program by addressing the possibility that he and such other well-known conservatives as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin might moderate debates of Republican primary candidates during the 2016 election cycle as a departure from the previously biased questioning at such events by obviously liberal journalists. “I don’t see how I can do it,” he stated. “I’m too famous,” and he added that his presence would “overshadow” the event, though Limbaugh admitted that deciding whether to take part in a radio debate “would be a real, real, real tough call” since
SEDALIA, Mo. — As some people at the Missouri State Fair see it, the rodeo incident last weekend in which a ringleader taunted a clown wearing a mask of President Obama and played with his lips as a bull charged after him was neither racist nor disrespectful. It was a joke, they said, overblown by a news media that’s hypersensitive to any possible slight against the nation’s first black president. They said the hooting and hollering from the crowd that night was because of a fundamental dislike of the president. “I’ve got no respect for him,” said Virgil Henke, 65,
CAIRO — Egypt’s military-backed government authorized security forces Thursday to fire live ammunition against opponents, underlining its determination to crush any lingering challenge posed by supporters of the country’s ousted president following a bloody crackdown on their camps. A day after Egyptian soldiers and police killed hundreds of people in an assault on two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps set up to call for the reinstatement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, the government pledged to use “all power” to confront the organization, creating the potential for further bloodshed.
The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans. The chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes.
"Lee Daniels´ The Butler" was inspired, a title card says, by a true story. That usually means the line between fact and fiction has been blurred, but this time there´s no line to blur. The butler, Cecil Gaines, is a fictional creation, an African-American Forrest Gump who bears special witness to the civil-rights movement while serving on the White House staff under seven presidents. The contrivance is stretched to its breaking point over a running time of 132 minutes; some of the episodes cross a different line from almost plausible to downright silly. That´s not the whole story, though.
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents. Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.
There was hope a few months ago that mounting chaos in the Middle East, and a revamping of President Obama’s national security team, would prompt the president to snap out of what looked like a deepening torpor in foreign policy. Instead, this president’s extraordinary passivity in the face of crisis may have achieved its apotheosis this week. On Wednesday, as Egyptian security forces gunned down hundreds of civilians in the streets of Cairo, an unperturbed Obama shot another round of golf at Martha’s Vineyard. His deputy press secretary was left to explain to reporters that the administration remained firmly committed
After 3 1/2 months of sometimes tedious testimony from medical experts and accountants, the Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial took a deeply personal turn this week as the singer’s ex-wife provided emotional testimony about his eccentric life and struggles. Debbie Rowe elicited several laughs from the jurors, telling an attorney to “relax,” and broke into tears on occasion. She said the King of Pop suffered chronic pain and thought of himself as the “Elephant Man” because of a skin condition. She told how she and Jackson were watching “To Kill a Mockingbird” one night when they had a question. They called
The September issue of Vogue magazine, billed as The Fall Fashion Blockbuster, features a lengthy profile of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. Davis gained nationwide notoriety after she filibustered for 12 hours in an attempt to block the passage of an omnibus anti-abortion bill known as SB5, which was eventually signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on July 18. Her celebratory profile in Vogue has real significance. Not because the writer reveals that Davis´ filibustering outfit consisted of pink Mizuno running shoes and a sky-blue Escada day coat. Not because the caption for the article´s featured picture reads Wendy Davis
Conservative radio host Michael Savage teased a “major announcement” on his website earlier today, and tonight, he delivered. Savage predicted that he will be replacing Sean Hannity’s time slot on Cumulus Media’s network of stations. While Hannity’s fate appeared to be tied to that of Rush Limbaugh in the initial reports on the Cumulus move, Mediaite has learned from a talk radio source Limbaugh is likely to stay. Mediaite has also learned from multiple talk radio sources that Savage’s prediction will likely be confirmed soon. “I predict, right here, right now, that I Michael Savage and the Savage Nation is
As a reaction to the crack epidemic of the 1980s, many federal drug laws carry strict mandatory sentences. This has stirred unease in Congress and sparked a bipartisan effort to revise and relax some of the more draconian laws. Traditionally — meaning before Barack Obama — that’s how laws were changed: We have a problem, we hold hearings, we find some new arrangement ratified by Congress and signed by the president. That was then. On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder, a liberal in a hurry, ordered all U.S. attorneys to simply stop charging nonviolent, non-gang-related drug defendants with crimes that,
UPDATE: A veteran says that the military has reversed its decision on shutting down the café. There are disturbing new revelations about the treatment of wounded troops recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center. The hospital has suspended meal tickets and reduced hours for its only café. The changes are apparently just the tip of the iceberg as the hospital struggles to cope with budget cuts. Jennifer Griffin reports that earlier this month the military reduced hours at the Warrior Café in Building 62 which is where all of the multiple amputees and long-term recovering patients live.Soldiers were told that on
The ongoing battle between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Al Sharpton continued Thursday night. This time, O’Reilly slammed Sharpton for lying about a report he did on “food stamp fraud.” In a clip from PoliticsNation, Sharpton accused O’Reilly of “attacking the poor” and calling them “parasites,” a word the host did use in his original piece. “Sharpton obviously taking my comments totally out of context,” O’Reilly said, before dropping “the crusher” on his MSNBC rival. “He’s been portraying me as a racist and a ‘brutalizer’ of the poor,” O’Reilly said, before revealing that a few years ago Sharpton came
The mass sit-ins organized by the Muslim Brotherhood still pose a serious threat to the legitimacy of the interim government in Egypt, which is backed by the army. Egyptian Defense Minister al-Sisi had good reason to estimate that if these strikes persist, the Brotherhood may regain control over the country, particularly in light of the ambivalence displayed by the US and the Europeans regarding the coup which overthrew Islamist President Morsi, who was elected democratically. Al-Sisi waited and waited, and eventually launched an operation with far-reaching effects,
The best defense I can muster for Team Obama´s pathetic response to the events of the last month in Egypt is that the men and women in charge of American foreign policy simply don´t mind looking foolish. No, really: Obama has espoused the generally astute opinion that the immediate reaction of the American president is not the most important aspect of every worrying development on the planet. Not all problems can be fixed by a show of American strength or outrage or willpower. And really, in the grand scheme of things, whether the administration looks silly or weak is less
I admit I laughed when I read the open letter that Patrick Pexton, the Washington Post’s ex-ombudsman, sent to incoming owner Jeff Bezos demanding that he fire Jennifer Rubin, the paper’s only full-time conservative writer (and former PJ Media writer). Pexton claims he doesn’t want her fired because she is conservative, but because “she’s just plain bad.” Of course, he then complains that she supposedly “parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike,” which sure sounds like he is criticizing her because she is a conservative. This is the same publication that employs snarky ideological clowns
I have to disagree with Victor. The mother of all scandals is the taxman. Benghazi is an event, a terrible event, but the systematic use of the IRS as an instrument of oppression, the omnipresent long arm of the state-to-be, is even worse. It’s a crucial instrument for redistributing wealth, for intimidating critics, and for preventing political opponents from amassing the wherewithal to challenge the would-be tyrants. Moreover, it serves as cover for collecting sensitive information about us. Sure, the NSA megadata collection is scary, but the IRS is right there, not only putting the Tea Party in purgatory but
The detention facility on our military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is holding 166 individuals. Most of them have been there a decade or more. Operating Guantanamo costs about $450 million a year — or about $2.7 million a detainee, according to the Defense Department. Consider this: It costs $78,000 to hold a convicted terrorist in the most secure federal prison in the United States, Supermax in Colorado. With the sequester stretching budgets and Defense Department employees under furloughs, the U.S. is spending, per Guantanamo detainee, roughly 35 times the amount it spends at Supermax detaining a convicted terrorist. This is a
Congress: Unable to gain traction for his immigration bill, Sen. Marco Rubio is warning his fellow Republicans to pass it now because President Obama will otherwise enact amnesty without them. Is this any way to legislate? Rubio, who has been so impressive in the past, is beginning to disappoint with his desperate effort to enact the Gang of Eight´s immigration reform bill, which is expected to legalize millions of lawbreakers who disregarded U.S. immigration law in exchange for some hastily cobbled together border security programs. "I believe the president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to
A Washington state bride-to-be whose wedding dress was stolen the day of the ceremony found a fairy godmother of sorts in an unlikely way: by calling 911. The News Tribune of Tacoma reports the bride-to-be called after her wedding dress was stolen out of her car near her home. The 911 operator who answered the call tells the paper that she took down the woman’s information as usual, but was touched by her story. “I finally figured out what was going on, and asked when the ceremony was scheduled,” Candice, who only wanted to give her first name, told The News Tribune. “When