Wednesday´s 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting an authorization of military attacks on Syria may have been affected by varying levels of financial support the senators got from political action committees representing the defense industry, and from the companies´ employees. On average, a ´yes´-voting senator received 83 percent more money from defense contractors than one who voted ´no.´ [Snip] The resolution would not authorize the deployment of ground forces, but MailOnline reported Wednesday that the Pentagon has already estimated the need for 75,000 troops to secure Syria´s vast supplies of chemical weapons and the factories that produce
We have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer can´t tell you the objective. Does the commander in chief know his own objective? Why, yes. "A shot across the bow," explained Barack Obama. Now, a shot across the bow is a warning. Its purpose is to say: Cease and desist, or the next shot will sink you. But Obama has already told the world — and Bashar Assad in particular — that there will be no next shot. He has insisted time and again that the operation will be finite and highly limited. Take the shot,
The White House and its Democratic allies pressed Thursday to win Senate approval of a measure authorizing limited military strikes against Syria, with President Barack Obama making calls to senators from abroad and party leaders starting a formal head count to size up Democratic support. The White House said that Mr. Obama, while in Sweden in advance of this week´s Group of 20 summit, called five senators about the Syria resolution. And it announced he had cancelled a trip to California next week so he could focus on Syria. Mr. Obama has said he wants to "degrade" Syria´s military capabilities after concluding
Commenting on my column last month ("Today´s ´Useful Idiots´ Are Just Like Those In USSR" — Aug. 6), a reader lamented: "Authors writing about socialism need to know what socialism is. The author of this article would rather just go into a tirade about the problems in our country ... and automatically jump to the conclusion the problem is socialism. Huh? What? Where is the socialism you´re talking about?" An old Soviet joke goes as follows: "A Soviet and an America journalist argued about whose society is freer. The American declared, ´I can stand in front of the White House and yell
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who on Saturday said he supported President Obama’s decision to launch military action in Syria, has changed his mind. In a statement Thursday, Grimm says the window for action has now passed and that the feedback from his constituents has made him re-think his previous position. “Thus, after much thought, deliberation and prayer, I am no longer convinced that a U.S. strike on Syria will yield a benefit to the United States that will not be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of war,” Grimm said. Grimm added: “Now that the Assad regime has seen our
Syrian Crisis: President Obama asks Congress to save him from his own mess on America´s stance toward a terrorist state. Has he given one credible reason why the egg should be on members´ faces too? The liberal Think Progress blog´s count Thursday found nearly 200 congressmen leaning against Obama´s request to approve a strike on Syria, and fewer than 50 leaning in favor. It called this "a drastic change that has occurred literally overnight." But with the president using the bully pulpit to make the case for this supposed national security priority, how can this be? The last straw for our self-important elected
With U.S. diplomats secretly talking with their Russian counterparts behind the scenes at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg in hopes of avoiding a stalemate over Syria, publicly Moscow warned that a military strike on Syria could have catastrophic effects if a missile hit a small reactor near Damascus that contains radioactive uranium. But a U.S. official attached to the United Nations delegation told MailOnline that while Obama´s admission on Wednesday that U.S.-Russia relations have ´hit a wall,´ the president´s team is overreaching with an ambitious proposal that has no chance of success.
The most powerful men and women in the world tonight sat down for dinner in the luxurious surroundings of the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg. The luxurious setting and the seemingly civil ambience belies the simmering tensions and rivalry that have dogged the G20 summit in Russia as nations clash, Cold War-style, over the civil war tearing through Syria. [Snip] Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was convinced that the chemical attack in Damascus last month was the work of the Syrian government and claims the world must intervene to prevent further attacks and uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Watsonville - A 31-year-old Watsonville woman was arrested after she was found swinging a dead rabbit around, Santa Cruz County sheriff´s deputies reported Monday. Around 9 a.m. Sunday, Rocio Camberos was seen walking on Coward Road near Riverside Drive carrying a dead rabbit, deputy Ryan Kennedy said. When Camberos confronted a person with the rabbit, the person reported the confrontation. Deputies arrived and found her swinging the carcass over her head in a helicopter motion, Kennedy said. It wasn't likely Camberos killed the rabbit herself, Kennedy said.
Famed Dodgers play-by-play broadcaster Vin Scully will be the grand marshal of the 2014 Rose Parade in Pasadena, officials announced Thursday. Appearing in front of the Tournament of Roses House, Scully -- who recently announced plans to call games for the Dodgers for a record 65th season -- said he was honored to be chosen. “All my life I’ve been enamored with the roar of the crowd,” he said. Scully, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame broacasters´ wing in 1982, will be leading the 125th Rose Parade through Pasadena on Jan. 1 in front of a worldwide
Kenyan MPs have approved a motion to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) following an emergency debate. [Snip] The ICC has charged President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto with crimes against humanity, which they both deny. Mr Ruto´s trial is due to start in The Hague next week. The ICC said the cases would continue even if Kenya pulled out. The charges against both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections in 2007, in which more than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 forced from their homes.
The UK has fresh evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Damascus, David Cameron has told the BBC as he arrives in Russia for the G20 summit. Scientists at the Porton Down laboratories have been "examining samples" from Syria´s capital, he said. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed reports that UK scientists found traces of sarin gas on cloth and soil samples. Mr Cameron also denied claims he had "no hand to play" over Syria after his Commons defeat on UK military action. He said the UK would lead calls for more action on aid for refugees and push
A generation from now, Americans will be richer, more leisured, healthier and longer-lived than ever. That sentence could have been written at any time since the Mayflower landed (at least of the settlers; it was a different story for the indigenous tribes). It would always have prompted scepticism; and it would always have been true. These days, it is a sentiment we rarely hear, which is all the more reason to pay attention when we do. In America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the Twenty-First Century, James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus begin by conjuring a cheerful vision of
St Petersburg: World leaders have arrived for a dinner hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, where they would discuss the crisis in Syria, with US President Barack Obama showing up alone and well after the main group. The main group of leaders led by Putin arrived together at the historic Peterhof palace outside St Petersburg, with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande seen talking animatedly at the back of the pack. But Mr Obama was nowhere to be seen and only arrived at the palace a good half an hour after the rest.
America faces a repeat of its last disastrous military intervention in this region, after President Ronald Reagan sent US Marines to Lebanon. [Snip] In 1982, when Ronald Reagan dispatched a 1,800-strong force of US Marines to neighbouring Lebanon, he was acting in response to an international outcry over the murders of hundreds of innocent civilians in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps. By authorising military intervention in the conflict, Mr Reagan sought to prevent further massacres of the civilian population. Britain, France and Italy also deployed forces to Beirut as part of a UN-sponsored multinational force seeking to bring
The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents. The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show. Many users assume — or have been assured
Russia mocked Britain today as “a small island no one listens to”, sparking a diplomatic spat with David Cameron. The Prime Minister insisted that Britain remained a major world power. Tensions surrounding the Syrian crisis boiled over at a G20 summit in St Petersburg. Mr Cameron has backed calls for military intervention in Syria after the Assad regime allegedly used chemical weapons. Mr Putin has opposed intervention and questioned Western claims about the attack. Britain has faced questions about its role and influence in the world since Mr Cameron was embarrassed by last week’s Commons vote to rule out a
BILL O´REILLY: I think you´ve got to take emotion out of the equation. I see a lot of that emotion. I mean, Barbara Boxer, for example, would never support an action against Syria if Mitt Romney were president. Never in a million years. The only reason she is doing it is to help Obama. On the other side, you have Republicans -- Ronald Reagan, if he were president, would get Assad like that. He would. He would get Assad. And you would have most conservatives line up against -- for Ronald Reagan, in support of Ronald Reagan. But the element
RUSH: Reuters: "Kerry Portrait of Syria Rebels at Odds With Intelligence Reports." This is a Reuters story, and now, no matter where you look, even in the Drive-By Media, they´re starting to say that what the regime is telling us isn´t necessarily true. Let´s go to the audio sound bites. This is funny. This is yesterday in Washington on Capitol Hill during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the possible use of force against Syria. John Kerry, the haughty John Kerry, who served in Vietnam once, is being questioned by Mike McCaul, congressman, Texas, who said to Kerry, "My greatest
Robert Zimmerman, Jr tells FOX 35 that Shellie Zimmerman has filed for divorce from husband George Zimmerman. Questions over whether the two were parting ways surfaced after Shellie pleaded guilty last week to a perjury charge for lying during a bail hearing after her husband´s arrest. Prosecutors said she lied about the couple´s assets following her husband´s arrest for the fatal 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. George, who was acquitted of second-degree murder this summer, was not present for the hearing at which Shellie was sentenced to a year´s probation and 100 hours of community service. There had been speculation that the
RUSH: Folks, the Syria news today -- it was bad yesterday. It was embarrassing yesterday. Today the whole world is laughing at us, and I am not kidding. Even liberals. Even these wacko Looney Tunes pajama-clad website posters, these progressives, as they call themselves. These people think Obama and Kerry are lying to ´em. They don´t want another war. They don´t want a single missile launched ever. They think they´re being lied to. I mean, Obama doesn´t even have his base on this. And according to whip counts and head counts right now, it looks like Obama´s request for a congressional
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. A gigantic wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park was caused by an illegal fire set by a hunter, the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday. The agency said there is no indication the hunter was involved with illegal marijuana cultivation, which a local fire chief had speculated as the possible cause of the blaze. No arrests have been made, and the hunter´s name was being withheld pending further investigation, according to the Forest Service. The only legal hunting allowed at the time the fire started Aug. 17 was archery for bear and deer. A Forest Service statement gave no details