KIEL, Wisconsin – Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled for more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they´d adopted from Liberia. When they decided to give her up, they found new parents to take her in less than two days – by posting an ad on the Internet. Nicole and Calvin Eason, an Illinois couple in their 30s, saw the ad and a picture of the smiling 16-year-old. They were eager to take Quita, even though the ad warned that she had been diagnosed with severe health and behavioral problems. In emails, Nicole Eason assured Melissa Puchalla that
Within a few days of Kevin Rudd’s defeat as Prime Minister the Australian Financial Review described how his victorious opponent, Tony Abbott, had employed a psychiatric report to exploit Rudd’s known mental instabilities, the better to defeat him. (Snip) Rumors that Rudd was a few sandwiches short of a picnic had been circulating for some time, supported in part by camera outtakes which showed him in an actual Jekyll and Hyde mode, as shown in this video here. Even before Rudd was defeated television specials were opening questioning his mental stability. These defects are probably shocking to the ordinary public.
One of President Obama’s most prominent critics on the black left said Sunday that a strike on Syria in the face of Congressional disapproval would be “dictatorial” — and grounds for impeachment. “It doesn’t make sense to commit more war crimes,” Cornel West said Sunday on the syndicated radio show Smiley and West, to an approving response from host Tavis Smiley, who has also been consistently critical of Obama. The two men, leading black public intellectuals, have emerged as controversial figures in a community whose support for the first black president is overwhelming. West, in response, has recently attacked other black leaders
Washington -- As President Barack Obama presses his case for a strike on Syria, a new national survey shows him swimming against a strong tide of public opinion that doesn´t want the U.S. to get involved. The CNN/ORC International poll released Monday shows that even though eight in 10 Americans believe that the Bashar al-Assad regime gassed its own people, a strong majority doesn´t want Congress to pass a resolution authorizing a military strike against the regime. More than seven in 10 say such a strike would not achieve significant goals for the U.S. and a similar amount say it´s
The Daily Caller has taken a keen interest in Oberlin College after breaking the story about how an Obama-supporting white kid and his sidekick allegedly circulated virulently racist, anti-Jewish and anti-gay messages around campus. (Snip) As The Plain Dealer reports, Oberlin’s administration recently altered the school’s bizarre trespassing policy, which dates back to the 1970s. Previously, the school had maintained a secret list of people blackballed from the campus. Only the school’s safety and security department and local police knew the names on the list. School officials did not notify the individuals
President Obama and supporters of an American strike on Syria have characterized negative American public opinion as "war-weariness." They are trying to overcome it with exhortations about America´s special responsibility, or America´s credibility, or the president´s credibility, or the terribleness of the fighting there. The public isn´t buying it, and thus far, neither is much of Congress. Americans are not "war-weary" because most are neither at war nor related to people at war. They are, however, wary of war in Syria because a) Syria, although a rotten dictatorship, has not attacked the United States; b) the Obama administration has not laid
The fate of President Obama’s second term hangs on his Tuesday speech to the nation about Syria. If Congress votes against a military attack on President Bashar Assad’s regime, Obama’s credibility may be shot, perhaps for the rest of his tenure. At a minimum, it would cement the idea that he is weak in Washington, let alone worldwide. Ever since his surprising announcement on Aug. 31 that he would seek Capitol Hill’s approval for a strike on Syria, votes have piled up against the idea, especially in the House. The president might yet turn the tide. But, if he does not do so,
Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential candidate, is planning to make remarks about the intensifying situation in Syria during a visit to the White House on Monday. Clinton has not personally addressed the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that U.S. officials say was carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime or how she believes the United States should respond. Although an aide issued a statement last Tuesday saying she supports President Obama’s effort to seek authorization from Congress for a retaliatory strike. A full embrace by Clinton could help Obama as he tries to marshal
Terrified Christians claim Syrian rebels ordered them to convert to Islam on pain of death when they ‘liberated’ their ancient village. Opposition forces, including fighters linked to Al Qaeda, gained temporary control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces. The reports have reignited fears about western support for the rebel groups, which are increasingly being infiltrated by Islamic extremists. ‘They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen
In trying to puzzle out what might be going on with President Obama´s muddled, non-strategic, and fundamentally "unserious" approach to Syria, it helps to remember that Obama believes that words are as good as deeds, perhaps even better -- especially when those words are uttered by Obama. He has concluded that words serve a convincing purpose in the moment, that one utterance does not have to be consistent with the next to be credible and serve that purpose, and that none of it has to be followed up with action to be effective. And why wouldn´t he? Words have gotten him
US secretary of state John Kerry has given an ultimatum to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to avoid a military strike by turning over his entire chemical weapons arsenal to the international community within the next week. At a joint press conference with UK foreign secretary William Hague, Kerry said that America was not going to war but would launch an "unbelievably small and limited effort" to punish the Assad regime for the 21 August chemical weapons attack in Ghouta and to deter it from doing it again. "If you want to send Assad a congratulatory message, you would support non-intervention,"
As Barack Obama seeks approval for a military strike in Syria, he finds the footprint of his historic presidency shrinking. It’s the fate of most second-term presidents as it becomes harder to keep public support and win legislative fights while their power wanes. For Obama, it’s arrived early. He has implored Congress, the American public and U.S. allies around the world to support a military strike in Syria to deter its use of chemical weapons, yet even many fellow Democrats have failed to rally to his call. In some respects, he circumscribed the office by design, saying on Sept. 4 that after the
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said that the risks of not taking action in Syria outweigh the risks of intervention. Speaking at a news conference at the Foreign Office in London, Mr Kerry said that there was compelling evidence that should not be ignored by the world that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons.
Diana West is still on the attack over my decision to remove a review from Frontpage that could be looked at as endorsement of her embarrassingly kooky book which has pulled the wool over a number of conservative eyes. (Snip) There are a lot of facts in West’s book with which neither Radosh nor I have any quarrel. These pertain to the large numbers of Soviet sympathizers, and significant numbers of Soviet agents in Washington and Hollywood that West writes about. Our quarrel is with the unwarranted conclusion she draws
Speaking after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London, Foreign Secretary William Hague told a news conference that the US has the full diplomatic support of the United Kingdom and said that Britain would be "working closely with our closest ally" on Syria. John Kerry added that the US and UK´s "bond is bigger than one vote", referring to Parliament´s rejection of Britain taking part in military action against Syria. The US Secretary of State also emphasised that the solution to the Syrian conflict must be "political not military."
Whatever Apple announces this week, it won’t be what I really want. It’ll be fun to see a new iPhone and, possibly, the near-mythical iWatch, but I want something more radical. I want the tech giants--Google, Amazon and Microsoft--to kill the mobile carriers. To take the myopic, mendacious and just plain awful networks down to the river and drown them without a second´s thought. The phone companies are terrible at serving customers. They make it hard to switch networks. Thanks to an idiotic attitude to paperwork, my phone number is currently in limbo after 3 and O2 couldn’t get their
Sometimes, I wonder why I bother to read Time magazine. Then a rare gem surfaces that makes the drudgery of leafing through each issue worth it. Or at least, almost worth it. Time’s August 12 cover story is a case in point. Lauren Sandler takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the world of couples who purposely choose a childfree life. The tagline, “When having it all means not having children,” neatly summarizes the overall premise. “The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history,” Sandler writes, “which includes the fertility crash of the Great Depression.… A 2010
Mr Kerry was in London on Monday morning on the final leg of a whirlwind European tour to drum up support for intervention in Syria. When asked by a reporter whether there was anything Assad´s government could do or offer to stop an attack, Mr Kerry said: "Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week--turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting (of it). "But he isn´t about to do it and it can´t be done."Mr Kerry repeated his belief, stated
Let’s get one thing clear: President Barack Obama’s upcoming media blitz, to include interviews on six television networks and a primetime Oval Office address, is not going to rally the public behind U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. It’s hard to fault Obama for trying. The belief in the dominant president who moves the country and the government through strong leadership has deep roots in American political culture. We frequently attribute extraordinary persuasiveness to the chief executives Americans revere most — from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. These past masters of the bully pulpit moved the
We might have a new word for folly if President Barack Obama gets Congressional approval and authorizes military strikes against Syria. Tactically, cruise missiles will do their job by blowing stuff up, but these raids will probably harm innocent civilians—maybe killing more than in the chemical attacks—and strategically, they might precipitate disastrous consequences across the region. Future generations might warn against committing an “Obamolly.” Moral outrage doesn’t constitute a comprehensive strategic plan, which is needed to prosecute a just war without causing more harm than good. Strategic thinking involves four key aspects: (i) useful, durable objective(s); (ii) the selection of
This past Sunday, September 1, saw the release of a remarkable bit of security footage from a Marionville, MO liquor store. In it, store clerk (and military veteran) Jon Alexander is behind the counter when he is approached by a would-be robber — a robber who came very close to winning the Darwin Award.(Snip for photo)The robber had initially set off Alexander’s “alarm” when he had to be told to take his cigarette out of the “no smoking” establishment. The security footage later shows the robber step up to the counter with his right-hand held close to and just behind his
Leo Tolstoy´s novel "Anna Karenina" famously starts "All happy families are alike." But what readers may want to know is how alike are different translations of such foreign classics? There are half-a-dozen English-language translations of the 1878 Russian novel available for sale online, including the 2001 version produced by celebrated translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. An endorsement by Oprah Winfrey turned that edition into a best-seller, with more than 1.3 million copies in print to date. Yet next year, two new translations of the massive novel will hit the shelves. "Why two more now, and in the same year? I have
“A shot across the bow” has been a much-used metaphor of late, referring to the proposed strike against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons. But what does that phrase mean, exactly? In the days before radio communications it was a warning that meant, simply, “stop or I’ll sink you.” It gave the other ship an opportunity to stand to before being attacked. But the warning, necessarily, implied the possibility of further hostile action. After all, if you tell someone to “stop or I’ll sink you,” and they don’t stop, the next move is to hit them directly.
A Senate panel is investigating whether former Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano’s close allies pushed the department’s inspector general to tread lightly in its investigation of the prostitution scandal involving the U.S. Secret Service. Government sources familiar with the probe say Senate investigators are looking into John Sandweg, the secretary’s former general counsel whom she recently promoted to acting chief of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and her former chief of staff, Noah Kroloff, who, shortly after the 2012 prostitution scandal subsided, formed a private consulting firm with Mark Sullivan, who retired in March as head of the Secret Service. Read
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