If anyone in the Obama administration thought having former Democratic representative Jane Harman appear on NBC’s Meet the Press to support the Syrian war resolution was a good idea, he must be cringing now. Harman, a former congresswoman from California who now runs the Woodrow Wilson International Center, weighed in on why so many in Congress were resisting a vote to authorize force in Syria: “All these folks in both parties, especially in the House, are worried about being primaried. The base in each party is against this. . . . So these folks think that their reelection . . .
WASHINGTON — President Obama may not have sought out to assemble a “team of rivals” in the vein of Abraham Lincoln, but he sure has developed a knack for turning Cabinet members into foes. Soon, Secretary of State John Kerry could become Obama’s latest administration frenemy. The president has, at best, a very slim chance of convincing congressional lawmakers — particularly those in the House — to back his plan of an air strike on Syria in response to chemical weapons attacks in the country. If Congress rejects the president’s plan at a time when international support from anyone other than
Mark Huma and Silda as almost certain no-shows. Scandal-plagued pols Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer ducked questions Sunday about whether their wives would join them on the final day of campaigning before the primary election. The two candidates, who claim to have their spouses’ full support, will make last-minute appeals to voters Monday without their better halves at their sides. “I don’t know, I mean, I’m walking a fine line,” Weiner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if his wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, would make a last-minute appearance on the campaign trail. “You have an appetite for the Huma
LOS ANGELES — Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s closest aides, pledged to labor on Sunday to complete a worker safety rule long lobbied for by unions. Speaking to union members and leaders at the AFL-CIO’s conference on diversity, Jarrett touted the Obama administration’s effort to protect workers from harmful silica dust. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last month issued draft regulations for the rule, which had been under review at the White House for more than two years. Jarrett said the administration and labor want to do what’s right for the country. “It includes our effort that is underway
The man did not imagine the turn his life was about to take when he reported in his NYPD application that he was fluent in Arabic. “I had no idea what’s in store for me,” he says. He had wanted to be a cop since he was a youngster. His great hope was to become a member of the elite Emergency Service Unit. “The whole lights and sirens, busting in doors,” he says. “All the stuff on TV.” But before he entered the academy, he was quietly approached by a member of the NYPD intelligence division who inquired if he would be interested
Both President Obama and Congress are giving far too little consideration to the potentially huge costs of a U.S. military strike against Syria, according to longtime civil libertarian and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul. The financial toll of retaliating against the Syrian government for its use of chemical weapons is the “one issue that not too many people have been talking about” – but they urgently ought to be, Paul said in an interview on Friday. Despite Obama’s assurances that U.S. military action won’t involve “boots on the ground,” Paul warned about the human cost of “so many more lives
Okay. I’m an idiot. What was I thinking? I apologize. Any administration that could have the temerity to send the nauseating serial Benghazi prevaricator Susan Rice, on the anniversary of that event yet, to explain to Congress why our representatives should approve a strike on Syria not only should NOT get the aforesaid approval, they should be forbidden approval for anything more significant than the choice of wallpaper in the White House rest rooms — and even that I’m not so sure. In earlier columns, I supported an attack on Syria because I abhor Bashar Assad and his (or his minions’) use
AS the debate on the Syria intervention began in Congress last week, some wondered why President Obama, who has been frustrated repeatedly by Republican legislators, would risk being thwarted yet again and possibly jeopardize the ability of future presidents to pursue ambitious foreign policy objectives. In explaining his decision, Mr. Obama stressed constitutional imperatives. “I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy,” he said, adding that he must respect “members of Congress who want their voices to be heard.” But Mr. Obama might also have been acknowledging something else: that he holds office at a time when the presidency itself
Only Brazil still produces the classic 56-year-old VW camper van, but not for much longer. With a final special edition series of the beloved vehicle wrapping up before year´s end, the race is on for those looking to buy used models. Some of them make rattling and popping noises, while others creak when heavily loaded and have rust-colored age marks. They may be old, but many are deeply cherished. New ones can still be purchased, but not for much longer, because the days of the Volkswagen Bus are numbered in Brazil, the only place the company still produces the vehicle. Businessman Ademir
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is hitting the airwaves to try to convince war-weary Americans that limited strikes against Syria are needed for the United States´ long-term safety, while his national security team is attempting to reassure skeptical lawmakers that the United States is not heading toward another Iraq or Afghanistan. Obama on Monday planned to make his case for punishing Syrian President Bashar Assad for turning chemical weapons against his own people - a charge Assad denies in a new interview. Top administration officials are heading to Capitol Hill for more classified briefings. And White House national security adviser
The push by 50 western Virginia counties to secede in 1863, forming West Virginia at the height of the Civil War, was led by a charismatic store-clerk-turned-lawyer who famously urged his supporters: “Cut the knot now! Cut it now! Apply the knife.” West Virginia was the last state to break off from another. Now, 150 years later, a 49-year-old information technology consultant wants to apply the knife to Maryland’s five western counties. “The people are the sovereign,” says Scott Strzelczyk, leader of the fledgling Western Maryland Initiative, and the western sovereigns are fed up with Annapolis’s liberal majority, elected by
The sheer ineptitude of President Obama´s handling of his Syria red line has made jaws drop all across the political spectrum. The man who garnered so much admiration for his oratorical brilliance, personal charm, and political genius has managed to make matters worse with every step he has taken. This dramatic and historic collapse demands explanation.It must be acknowledged from the start that Obama might now be the victim of unrealistic expectations stoked by his media allies, who once called him a "lightworker" and "almost a god." But then again, when you promise to stem the rise of the oceans,
Town halls have always been a great object of interest for me -- and I´ve attended my share from my days working for the former Senator Kit Bond (R-MO). I´ve never seen as large and energized a crowd as today´s town hall held in a quiet, affluent Connecticut town about 40 miles outside Manhattan. The town hall was convened by Jim Himes, the Democrat representing Connecticut´s fourth district, but Senator Richard Blumenthal showed up, too. The crowd had come from all over the district, and the large meeting room -- at a public library -- overflowed, past standing room to
Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were headline attractions at a conference in Iowa this summer that brought hundreds of conservative Christian pastors together to talk faith and politics. But they weren’t the only draw. The trim man with silver hair who drew in close to Cruz in a prayer huddle also had considerable star power: the evangelical historian David Barton. An informal adviser to several prominent Republican politicians, including Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, Barton argues that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and must return to those roots. His ideas have shaped the
U.S. taxpayers have spent at least $1,010,354,195 on Syrian humanitarian aid for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, according to official numbers from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID, which was created by President John F. Kennedy, is the federal government´s primary agency in charge of distributing civilian foreign aid. (Snip) "To help the many Syrians in need this Eid al-Fitr, the United States is providing an additional $195 million in food aid and other humanitarian aid, bringing our humanitarian contribution to the Syrian people to over $1 billion since the crisis began,"
President Obama is facing a humiliating defeat at the hands of Congress over his plans to launch limited missile strikes on Syria according to even his most ardent supporters. That was the assessment on Sunday of the influential Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers. Rogers told CBS´s ´Face the Nation´ the White House had made a ´confusing mess´ of the Syria issue. Now, he said, ´I´m skeptical myself.´ Congress will be in session on Monday for the first time since the August recess. Debate on Syria could begin in the full Senate this week, with voting as
In an ambitious play for the New York market, Politico publisher Robert Allbritton has purchased the online news site Capital New York, with plans to make "a substantial investment" in the business and more than quadruple staff. Capital, which was launched in 2010 by former New York Observer editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, will now be led by Politico co-founder and executive editor Jim VandeHei, who will serve as president while remaining in his current role at Politico. (Snip) With reporters deployed across Manhattan´s power centers as well as up in Albany, Capital will now go
Washington - Congress is likely to postpone consideration of an immigration overhaul until the end of the year, if not longer, even as advocates are preparing for an all-out, urgent push this fall to win their longstanding goal of a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants here illegally. In Washington, the sudden debate over military action in Syria and a looming face-off with President Obama over the budget and the nation’s borrowing limit have shot to the top of the legislative agenda, while Republican angst about losing Hispanic voters in the 2012 presidential campaign has faded.
The stork that was detained by Egyptian police on suspicion of spying has been killed and eaten, days after its release. Police detained the stork after a man saw a tag on it and caught it, suspecting it was a spying device. The stork had been tagged by zoologists to track its migration. According to Nature Conservation Egypt, the White Stork, which they named Menes, was released into a conservation area in southern Egypt but flew to an island in the Nile where it was caught and eaten. The group said on a Facebook post: "Storks have been part of the Nubian diet for thousands of years, so the actual act of
Tehran - In the wake of startling tweets from Iran wishing Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah, an unusual public debate has broken out among the country’s leadership over whether officials should use social media to send policy messages to a global audience. Over the past several years, Iranian officials — or their representatives — have opened accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. (Snip) On Saturday, a task force to study the legality of Iranians’ online activity announced that it will begin an investigation of the use of social media by officials. The task force existed before the appearance of the
Barrett Brown makes for a pretty complicated victim. A Dallas-based journalist obsessed with the government’s ties to private security firms, Mr. Brown has been in jail for a year, facing charges that carry a combined penalty of more than 100 years in prison. (Snip) By trying to criminalize linking, the federal authorities in the Northern District of Texas — Mr. Brown lives in Dallas — are suggesting that to share information online is the same as possessing it or even stealing it. In the news release announcing the indictment, the United States attorney’s office explained, “By transferring and posting the hyperlink, Brown caused the data to be made available to other persons online,
Reluctant dieters often dream of being able to eat whatever they want without gaining weight. Now one health writer claims he can make the dream a reality - but only by imposing a strict vegan diet during the day. Mark Bittman has gained thousands of followers with his VB6 diet, which stands for Vegan Before 6pm. Eat only vegetables all day, he says, and the kitchen´s your oyster come sunset. Whether you crave steak, a cheeseburger or a rich chocolate mousse, nothing is barred as long as it is eaten in moderation and in the evening. A vegan diet - vegans eat no animal products and base
The New York City Police Department’s indefensible program of spying on law-abiding Muslims in their neighborhoods and houses of worship has turned out to be even more aggressive than earlier reports had shown. According to a recent Associated Press report by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, the surveillance operation designated at least a dozen mosques as terrorist organizations. The designation was used to justify open-ended “terrorism enterprise investigations,” circumventing court-imposed limitations on police investigations of constitutionally protected activities.
WASHINGTON — The White House asserted Sunday that a "common-sense test" dictates the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack that President Barack Obama says demands a U.S. military response. But Obama´s top aide says the administration lacks "irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence" that skeptical Americans, including lawmakers who will start voting on military action this week, are seeking. "This is not a court of law. And intelligence does not work that way," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said during his five-network public relations blitz Sunday to build support for limited strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad. "The
President Obama’s stated willingness to go it alone on Syria surprises those who followed him during the previous administration, when, as a senator, he derided George W. Bush’s commitment to multilateralism and questioned his “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. Now it is Mr. Obama who is chiding the United Nations for inaction and scrambling to put together a coalition of the willing, touting support from France and a few other nations as he works to convince Americans of the need for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities. Conservative foreign policy analysts were bewildered recently when