On Tuesday, after a press conference in East Harlem where Christine Quinn, the onetime frontrunner in New York City’s mayoral race, slammed the new frontrunner, Bill de Blasio, for taking contributions from slumlords. Then she waded into the small crowd that had gathered on 121st Street to watch the proceedings. One voter confronted Quinn over her record on stop-and-frisk; a few pledged to vote for her; another wanted to speak about an issue with his landlord. And then there was the older woman with auburn hair and conch shell-size green earrings who grabbed the city council speaker’s hand and said,
Looking over the week´s crazy developments, I can see only one coherent strand in Obama´s foreign policy. He wants to make sure that John Kerry and Hillary Clinton will never be elected president. After sacrificing Hillary´s career on the blood-streaked walls of Benghazi he had Kerry appear before the Congress and take positions utterly at odds with those he´s taken all his life, supplied him with information disputed by other members of the administration, and had him make indefensible statements without any evidentiary support at all. By way of example, Kerry asserted that the chemical weapons case against Syria was
The Palestinian Authority is doling out millions of dollars in cash grants to convicted terrorists recently released from Israeli prisons in a program announced the same day as the P.A. accepted $148 million in the latest round of U.S. aid. The authority announced Aug. 18 it would disburse $15 million in so-called “Dignified Life Grants” to more than 5,000 prisoners who had served more than five years in Israeli lockups, but had been recently released as a show of good faith by the Jewish state to bolster the Middle East peace process, according to Palestinian Media Watch. The announcement came
A new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policy will classify many waiters’ tips as taxable income instead of self-reported tips, leading to increased costs for restaurants. The IRS will begin classifying automatic tips at large restaurant tables — which are built into the bill, and which currently count as tips that are not subject to payroll tax withholding — as taxable service charges, according to the Wall Street Journal. Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster, is considering eliminating automatic tips altogether, and Texas Roadhouse is already planning to enact that policy before the end of the year, eliminating
Over at The Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin has another great report which follows a recent speech by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’connor. In it, Her Honor laments the general ignorance of Americans when it comes to critical matters of how their own nation works, and wonders how we’re supposed to govern ourselves out of our problems if we don’t even know the rules of the game we’re playing. Two-thirds of Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice, former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor told the crowd that packed into a Boise State ballroom to hear her Thursday. About one-third can
‘One thing I’m proud of,” cultural icon Barack Obama boasted to MSNBC’s crack team of sycophants in 2006, “is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.” On this, he has certainly been true to his word. Brevity and candor, shall we say, are not among our smartest president’s strengths nor, outside the abstract, is he much of a salesman. Nevertheless, as gauche as it might sound to those who make a living being inscrutable, sometimes in politics questions really do have simple answers. Yesterday, speaking to journalists at the G20 summit in Russia, Obama was asked again and
The tepid international support during the Group of 20 meetings for the United States´ proposed military strike on Syria appears to have emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin, who vowed continued support of Syria. Putin said Russia will continue to supply weapons and humanitarian aid to Syria should the United States launch a punitive strike against the Middle East country for a deadly chemical weapon attack that killed more than 1,400 people. In a statement, the European Union agreed that the Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus appears to have been the work of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but also said any potential
KERMAN, CALIF. – Marvin Horne had been praying for what drought-struck central California’s famous farmlands need little of -- a good dry spell. His acres of raisin vines require two weeks of uninterrupted scorching sun to shrivel the grapes here in this gentle valley of sleepy fruit groves and yawning blue skies. Unfortunately, an unseasonal inch and a half of rain earlier in the week has partially rehydrated his crop, laid out to dry on reams of paper running the length of the vines. As raisin grapes produce only a single crop per season, Horne could lose a hefty slice of his harvest.
TOKYO -- A half-century after the 1964 Tokyo games heralded Japan´s reemergence from destruction and defeat in World War II, the city´s triumphant bid to host the 2020 games is giving this aging nation a chance to revive both its sagging spirits and its stagnating economy. "In most competitions, if you don´t win a gold medal, you can also win maybe a bronze one," Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose told reporters in Buenos Aires after the International Olympic Committee chose his city to host the 2020 summer games. "In this battle, there was only the gold." Hundreds of Japanese athletes and officials gathered
British companies sold chemicals to Syria that could have been used to produce the deadly nerve agent that killed 1,400 people, The Mail on Sunday can reveal today. Between July 2004 and May 2010 the Government issued five export licences to two companies, allowing them to sell Syria sodium fluoride, which is used to make sarin. The Government last night admitted for the first time that the chemical was delivered to Syria – a clear breach of international protocol on the trade of dangerous substances that has been condemned as ‘grossly irresponsible’. The sales were made at a time when
Washington – After days of setbacks in St. Petersburg and Washington, where US President Barack Obama has tried to recruit support for a strike against Syria’s reigning President Bashar Assad, the White House is preparing for one of its most important weeks in five years. Congress reconvenes on Monday to debate and vote on authorizing the use of force. (Snip) For the first time since Obama took office in January 2009, the White House has called on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to lobby on its behalf on Capitol Hill. AIPAC will send more than 250 activists and lobbyists
A key part of President Obama’s press conference in St. Petersburg last Friday went largely under the radar in the US media--his bizarre analogy between the crisis in Syria, and the London Blitz. [Snip] Those kinds of interventions, these kinds of actions are always unpopular, because they seem distant and removed. And I want to make sure I’m being clear. I’m not--I’m not drawing an analogy to World War II, other than to say when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in Congress and around the country, to help the British.
Say, did you see the news from Libya, the last country we bombed because its leader crossed a red line or was about to? Here’s a dispatch from Libya in the Sept. 3 British newspaper, The Independent: “Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Qaddafi two years ago.(Snip)I keep reading about how Iraq was the bad war and Libya was the good war and Afghanistan was the necessary war and Bosnia was the moral war and Syria is now another necessary war. Guess what! They are all the same war.
Globalisation is not new. The impact of the Silk Road, mixing cultural ideas and knowledge, was followed by the great age of conquest and the exploration of the New World. [Snip] Since then, technological advances and sharing ideas have produced ever-faster material and scientific progress. Alongside economic benefits, though, comes a new range of threats to our peace and stability--climate change and pollution, for example; the competition for finite commodities; the rise of transnational terrorism and the global struggle within Islam, Sunni and Shia, which has replaced the clash of capitalism and communism as the most unstable ideological problem of
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year--an increase of 60 percent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores. The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all
On the question of whether to wage a missile attack on Syria, Rep. Mike Quigley is getting an earful.More than 1,100 letters and emails had hit his offices by Friday morning, running 50-1 opposed. His aides were bombarded with phone calls, about 10-1 against intervention. The Chicago Democrat said he´s being buttonholed wherever he goes — walking his dogs, riding his bike, picking up his dry cleaning, hitting the rink at Johnny´s IceHouse West. Gone are the pleasantries, such as "Hi, Congressman." Some people get right to the point: "Stay out of Syria," or "Do the right thing on Syria."
For a tense half a minute the Queen’s 53-year-old son was in danger of being shot dead by officers paid to protect him and his family. Last night a internal inquiry was being carried out into the extraordinary incident, which took place last Wednesday. Royal protection officers were said be “jittery” after a genuine intruder had been found in the Palace’s state rooms two days earlier. A suspected accomplice was also arrested in a street outside the Palace. Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Express, a royal insider said: “Everyone is talking about these two incidents and can’t quite believe what
Two-thirds of Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice, former Justice Sandra Day O´Connor told the crowd that packed into a Boise State ballroom to hear her Thursday. About one-third can name the three branches of government. Fewer than one-fifth of high school seniors can explain how citizen participation benefits democracy. (Snip) That ignorance starts in the earliest years of a child´s schooling, she said, but often continues all the way through college and graduate school. O´Connor argued that learning about citizenship is just as important for American children as learning multiplication or how to write their names. "We have
HEIDELBERG, Germany — For Germans and Americans who had long imagined a dramatic coda to the cold war, it came instead in a few solemn, quiet moments. After both national anthems were played, seven American and five German soldiers lowered their national colors, marched at the edge of a bedraggled parade ground and carefully folded the flags for the last time. The ceremony on Friday afternoon, before about 300 onlookers, marked the closing of Campbell Barracks, which, as the headquarters of the United States Army in Europe, issued the orders for the millions of American soldiers — 15 million in
“Meet the Press” on NBC• White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough -• Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.),• Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D- Calif.)• Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman, House Homeland Security Committee • Sen. Tom Udall (D- N.M.) • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) • Former White House senior adviser David Axelrod - (Snip) “This Week” on ABC-• McDonough • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)• Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.)• Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
MT. PLEASANT, S.C.- As one of the leading advocates for bipartisan immigration reform, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had already firmly affixed himself to one cause deeply unpopular with conservatives heading into a re-election year. Now as a war-weary Congress weighs a military strike in Syria, he finds himself championing another policy that risks antagonizing the base. (Snip) Next to Sen. John McCain, there´s no more forceful and visible advocate for a muscular response. Graham half-jokes about his ubiquitous appearances on the cable networks to talk foreign policy, but says he´s a highly-sought out guest because "I speak with an accent,
The majority of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans serving in Congress are lining up against President Obama´s plan for military action in Syria. Of the 16 veterans of those two conflicts serving in Congress, only GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) have publicly supported the White House´s plan. (Snip) A fourth, Scott Perry (R-Pa.), said he hasn’t made up his mind either, though he told a town hall this week he wasn’t inclined to support a resolution authorizing force. Ten of the remaining members have announced their opposition to a military strike. Their ranks include Rep. Tammy
The Senate Intelligence Committee has released to the public 13 videos showing victims of last month´s alleged chemical attacks in Syria. The videos detail what appears to be victims of the chemical attacks convulsing and foaming at the mouth. It includes graphic images of children who were apparently victims of the attack, which the U.S. says was carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and left 1,400 dead. They also show the dead bodies of adults, children and the elderly lying side by side on the floor. The victims have no signs of blood or other wounds.