On September 11, 2001, I wrote a column entitled “Now We Know How Israel Feels.” Now, 12 years later, with a community organizer in the White House who has no idea about the proper use of America’s military might, who believes our only real ally in the Middle East, Israel, is the cause of all the trouble there, and who opposed pursuing our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m not sure we do. After all, he doesn’t even seem to know where those chemical weapons in Syria came from in the first place. Ironically, at least some of them came from
But ridding Syria of its chemicals won’t be easy If you’re reading or listening in the wrong places, you might think they’re already measuring a place for Vladimir Putin on Mount Rushmore, sandwiched between Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. That’s where Barack Obama, who may have to give Mr. Putin the Nobel Peace Prize he won for doing nothing, expected to rest one day. Before the sculptors with their chisels board a train for Rapid City, the euphoric legion should stop to figure out just how Mr. Putin and his client, Bashar Assad, intend to dismantle the stocks of chemical weapons. Easier
According to the Atlantic, Time managing editor Rick Stengel´s decision to join the Obama administration is just the latest example of a new trend among mainstream media journalists who are making it official by officially joining the Obama administration. Stengel, who is joining the State Department, is just one of 15 (or 19) who have given up a career in journalism to join Obama´s crusade to fundamentally transform America: A wave of reporters went to work for President Obama early in the administration, a time when many media organizations were going through layoffs and Obama´s approval rating was sky-high. The
As her husband argues for and against war in the same speech on Syria, First Lady Michelle Obama has turned her healthy living initiative in a new direction -- toward drinking water. Not very sexy but it is very simple. She believes that if all Americans, especially children, drank a little more water every day, they would become healthier citizens, now and even at her advanced age of 49. Numerous companies like Brita, Dasani, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka and Poland Spring are joining in with logos and promotions to help out the water-drinking campaign for some reason.
Syria politics could mean Vice President Joe Biden’s appearance at a longtime institution in Iowa politics — the Harkin Steak Fry — is up in the air. In the midst of turmoil over how the United States should deal with Syria’s chemical weapons, aides at the office of the vice president on Tuesday declined to verify that Biden is still coming to Iowa on Sunday. Earlier this week, President Barack Obama canceled a trip to California for a political event, citing the need to deal with Syria matters. But aides for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who organizes the steak fry fundraiser on Sunday
Teachers in Kenosha, Wisconsin - the third largest school district in the state -- have voted overwhelmingly to free themselves from the clutches of the teachers union, the Kenosha Education Association, which will now disband. Thanks to the reform bill, Act 10, pushed by Governor Scott Walker, public employee unions are limited to bargaining over base pay, and must be re-certified every year. (snip) Let it sink in for moment: only a little more than a third of the Kenosha teachers wanted the union. By disbanding the union, their income goes up as they no longer are forced to pay
Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday proposed legislation that would require people using federal food stamps to buy only healthy food. The Healthy Food Choices Act, H.R. 3073, reflects a long-standing criticism that the government´s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows people to buy billions of dollars worth of junk food. A 2012 study found that food stamps enable about $2 billion worth of junk food purchases each year, and that more than half of all SNAP benefits are used to buy sugary drinks. Efforts to curb these purchases have been opposed by anti-hunger groups. But Roe said some states
Lawrence Henry Summers is one of the world´s most eminent economists. He won the John Bates Clark Medal given every two years to the nation´s best economist under 40—an award so competitive that some economists say it´s as prestigious as a Nobel Prize. His fellow economists cite his work even more frequently than that of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. Summers also has more experience than any senior U.S. official in memory, including Bernanke, in dealing with the financial crises that have become the regular responsibility of Fed chairmen since the Great Depression. He started in the Reagan administration,
The press liked to call their style No Drama Obama. It was a nice turn of phrase that matched the mood of the candidate in 2008. But that all changed with the reelection. The personal tensions started earlier and rapidly worsened. They fought in private and in the open. There was plenty of simmering, and often a high boil. The team of rivals rarely achieved a spirit of cooperation and seemed more inclined to bitter, dogged rivalries. There was a new actor in the campaign drama: Jim Messina. Obama convinced Messina to leave his political father, Sen. Max Baucus, by
When Trader Joe´s announced it was dropping health benefits for part-time workers, it reassured them that they´d be no worse off as a result. "We believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe´s and the tax credits available under the (Affordable Care Act), many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you," noted CEO Dan Bane in a memo to employees revealed this week. In other words, Trader Joe´s — like some other companies — has decided to shift its health care costs onto federal taxpayers via the subsidized ObamaCare insurance
LYONS, Colo. -- With rain still falling and the flood threat still real, authorities called on thousands more people in the inundated city of Boulder and a mountain hamlet to evacuate as nearby creeks rose to dangerous levels. The late-night reports from Boulder and the village of Eldorado Springs came as rescuers struggled to reach dozens of people cut off by flooding in Colorado mountain communities, while residents in the Denver area and other downstream communities were warned to stay off flooded streets. The towns of Lyons, Jamestown and others in the Rocky Mountain foothills have been isolated by flooding and
House Republicans on Thursday rekindled a months-old controversy by releasing what they described as new evidence that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups for political reasons. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, revealed e-mails that he said show “high-level IRS employees in Washington were abusing their power to prevent conservative groups from organizing and carrying out their missions.” In one message, IRS official Lois Lerner told her staff: “Tea Party matter very dangerous. This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue of whether [a Supreme Court decision] overturning the ban on
The California legislature has passed a bill that will raise the state´s minimum wage to $10 an hour within three years, giving California one of the highest state minimum wage rates in America. Washington state currently has the top minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, an amount that is pegged to rise with inflation. Some cities, including San Francisco, have slightly higher minimum wages. The rate will raise gradually over time from its current level of $8 an hour. The state´s Governor Jerry Brown is supportive of the bill,
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers will be named the next chairman of the Federal Reserve by President Obama, according to a report in a Japanese newspaper. The Nikkei newspaper, which did publicly name its sourcing for its story, said Obama was "set to" name Summers to the position, possibly as early as next week. On Tuesday, more than 350 economists signed a letter to Obama calling on him to nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen to be the Fed´s next chairman.
Republicans are now leading Democrats on handling several key issues, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. The poll, released Friday, shows more Americans think that the Republicans are doing a better job on the economy, foreign policy and reducing the federal deficit. The GOP has an edge of seven percent over the Democrats on the issue of foreign policy. This is up from 2006, when the GOP was behind by nine percentage points. And while Democrats still lead among issues such as health care and looking out for the middle class, their lead has been steadily decreasing. The
Just when you thought the Nanny State couldn´t get anymore drunk with patronizing power over people, along comes Michelle Obama with a most urgent plea: Make sure you drink water! Who knew?! Apparently we now need the government to tell us to do the most basic of things. To get the word out, the First lady has pre-recorded messages that will air on numerous television shows including the Today show and Good Morning America. And also on Un Nuevo Dia. I wonder if she´ll find another way to insult the Latino community, perhaps telling them a second time that their
NATIONAL FOOTBALL League Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the Washington Redskins’ name three months ago to members of Congress who had urged that it be changed. “The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context,” Mr. Goodell wrote June 5. “For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.” It therefore was a welcome development to hear this recent and more thoughtful
UKIP would replace the Liberal Democrats as Britain´s third party in Westminster if there were a General Election tomorrow, according to a new poll. Voters would also back Labour ahead of the Conservatives, despite believing the Tories would manage the economy better - the number one issue of concern for the electorate. Immigration is second on voters list of worries, but Europe is only a concern to 13 per cent of the population. Ukip MEP Paul Nuttall, said the YouGov poll was proof the party´s ongoing success. "Even YouGov, who fail to mention UKIP on their questions, recognise the rise of the party
When beloved British television shows are adapted on international screens, it seems the latter fails to appreciate the importance of keeping up appearances. No wonder Hyacinth ´Bouquet´ Bucket feels the need to constantly identify herself as the lady of the house when pitted against her foreign counter-part, and finally some sympathy for Patsy Stone´s less than fabulous plea ´Don´t you know who I am!?´. Afraid not Patsy, we really don´t.
A Russian proposal for Syria to put its chemical weapons stockpiles under international control, and then have them destroyed, has been accepted by the Syrian government. Can Russia´s plan work? In response to the developments, US President Barack Obama has put military action against Syria on hold and vowed to pursue diplomacy to remove the regime´s chemical weapons. But US Secretary of State John Kerry said the plan must be "swift and verifiable". [Snip] Dina Esfandiary, research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The quick answer to can Russia´s chemical weapons plan for Syria work is no, it´s unlikely
A war in the Middle East is on the horizon with the United States on one side and the Russian federation on the other, the Security Council is stuck in a stalemate, and Europe is finding itself staunchly divided between East and West. While such a description would certainly be apt for the height of the Cold War, it could just as well describe today´s state of affairs. Current debate over whether to intervene militarily in Syria is only one of the many issues pitting the United States against her old rival Russia. In August, diplomatic tension between the two countries
There was much more going on in Tuesday´s recall elections Colorado than an up and down vote on Second Amendment Issues. We may be looking at a bipartisan rebellion against a problem that afflicts both parties: lawmakers passing laws that make them feel virtuous but which are either ineffectual or actually make life worse for the voters. It was arrogance and overreaching that deposed the leader of the Colorado State Senate and a female Hispanic Democrat from a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 24 percent. As Glenn Reynolds noted after the Newtown mass shooting, what we really need is
Leap back through time to this awesomely prescient piece written in early 2012, just after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that called for a change of leadership in Syria: Russia (like the rest of us) has rather mixed feelings about Syria. Yes, former KGB chief and later Russian Foreign Minister Primakov made Syria a reliable and (as such things go) stable Moscow ally in a volatile region. Plus the crass national socialist methods used to govern Syria always invoke memories of happier Soviet times. [Snip] The question, sighs Moscow to itself, is: who or what might replace Assad?
Arizona’s cash-assistance welfare program is intended to help the poorest of the poor feed and clothe their children, and for the most part, it does. But a small percentage of recipients, who must earn no more than $4,164 a year for a family of three, are using the money to pay for booze, cigarettes, poker games, strippers and travel to places like Times Square, Disneyland and Hawaii, according to Arizona Department of Economic Security records obtained by The Arizona Republic. State officials will soon begin cracking down on some abuses of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Cash Assistance program.
Vice President Joe Biden said Repulican opposition to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the House of Representatives came from the "Neanderthal crowd." And he gave himself credit for coming up with the law almost 20 years ago. "Packed into the front room of the Vice President´s residence just before 7pm, Biden spoke for about half an hour to the crowd of several dozen people, most of whom played a role in making VAWA a reality. The room was full of chatter as Biden was standing at the mic waiting to talk, so he turned around and let out a
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) publicly came out against a conference committee with the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” legislation at a town hall in his district. A video of the event was provided to Breitbart News by local Tea Party activists. In early questioning on immigration, Olson described the Senate bill as “DOA,” short for “dead on arrival.” Ins final question on immigration, local Tea Partier Robert Gonzalez asked: “This is important because you said it’s DOA. Harry Reid ensured that if the bill goes to conference, he said we will get amnesty. The question is, are you for or against going