The United States hasn´t been any stranger to hurricanes in the last eight years. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused about $50 billion in damage and was responsible for more than 150 U.S. deaths last year, although the storm was technically an extra-tropical cyclone when it hit. But surprisingly, not a single major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 storm or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale —with minimum wind gusts of at least 111 mph (178 km/h) — has directly hit the United States in nearly eight years. That´s twice as long as any major hurricane landfall "drought" since 1915, and
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) said at a press conference on Thursday that he likes House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio), but feels sorry for him and asked him at a meeting on Thursday morning what he could do to help him pass a continuing resolution in the Republican-majority House of Representatives that funds the government and that does not defund Obamacare. Reid was speaking with reporters after he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had met with Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.).
A report by U.N. chemical weapons experts will likely confirm that poison gas was used in an August 21 attack on Damascus suburbs that killed hundreds of people, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday. "I believe that the report will be an overwhelming, overwhelming report that chemical weapons (were) used, even though I cannot publicly say at this time before I receive this report," Ban said at a U.N. meeting. He was referring to an eagerly awaited report by the U.N. expert team led by Ake Sellstrom of Sweden. U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said that Ban does not have Sellstrom´s report
For generations, eminent New York Times wordsmiths have swooned over foreign strongmen, from Walter Duranty´s Pulitzer-winning paeans to the Stalinist utopia to Thomas L Friedman´s more recent effusions to the “enlightened” Chinese Politburo. So it was inevitable that the cash-strapped Times would eventually figure it might as well eliminate the middle man and hire the enlightened strongman direct. Hence Vladimir Putin´s impressive debut on the op-ed page this week. It pains me to have to say that the versatile Vlad makes a much better columnist than I´d be a KGB torturer. His “plea for caution” was an exquisitely masterful parody of
What will Ben Affleck´s Batman — Batfleck if you will — be like? According to Warner Bros.´ CEO Kevin Tsujihara, the Caped Crusader will be “tired and weary." Tsujihara opened up about the future Dark Knight during an investor conference in Beverly Hills yesterday saying he will be "seasoned and been doing it for awhile." If you´ve been following and are up to date with all of the latest Batman news, hearing Affleck will play a more experienced veteran Batman doesn´t come as a shock. For one, The Hollywood Reporter first said that when Warner Bros. was shopping around for
The First Amendment clearly states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. But the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body apparently thinks otherwise: Journalists and bloggers who report news to the public will be protected from being forced to testify about their work under a media shield bill passed by a Senate committee Thursday. But the new legal protections will not extend to the controversial online website Wikileaks and others whose principal work involves disclosing “primary-source documents . . . without authorization.”
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials are seeking to monitor four out of every five U.S. consumer credit card transactions this year — up to 42 billion transactions – through a controversial data-mining program, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner. A CFPB strategic planning document for fiscal years 2013-17 describes the “markets monitoring” program through which officials aim to monitor 80 percent of all credit card transactions in 2013. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1.16 billion consumer credit cards were in use in 2012 for an estimated 52.6 billion transactions. If CFPB officials reach their stated "performance goal,"
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hinted that he might be serving his last term in office, admitting that he does not want to become “one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off.” McCain, a 27-year veteran of the Senate and former presidential candidate, made the admission while speaking about his relationship with President Obama. “The president and I, he´s in his last term, I´m probably in mine, the relationship we have had over the past three years is quite good,” McCain told The Wrap in an interview. “Quite good." The 77-year-old´s current term is up in 2016. When asked if this would really
Antiwar activist Nathan Ryan looked to candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign to channel his opposition to the Iraq war. But now, with Obama making a muscular case for military strikes on Syria, he is looking elsewhere. “Like a lot of people, I was really hopeful that after eight years of the Bush administration, he represented something different, and a changing of direction,” said Ryan, who lives in Pulaski, Wis., and has taken part in three protests against strikes. “There’s definitely some disappointment.” The debate over whether to intervene militarily in Syria is the final break in a
Guess who´s at the White House today? The AFL-CIO of course. And who are they meeting with? President Obama himself. Why? They´re trying to secure a sweetheart Obamacare waiver and they want you to pay for it. President Barack Obama is meeting with union leaders at the White House to discuss labor´s growing concerns about the new health care law. Friday´s meeting comes after the AFL-CIO approved a resolution this week saying the law could drive up the cost of union-sponsored health plans, encouraging some employers to drop coverage. White House officials and labor leaders have been trying to work
Beirut - In an audio message released on Friday, two days after the anniversary of September 11th, Ayman al-Zawahiri said America was not a “mythic power” and that it could be defeated even through small-scale strikes by “one brother or a few of the brothers”. “We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure,” he said, according to SITE, a jihadist monitoring group. “America is not a mythic power and
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov are meeting in Geneva this week, both accompanied by dozens of arms-control experts. The focus is on the Russian proposal to take custody of, and then eliminate, all chemical weapons in Syria. Initially voiced as an off-the-cuff remark by Kerry — and immediately dismissed by him as unachievable — the proposal has become the subject of world attention. The Obama administration, while cautiously describing the Geneva talks as exploratory, must at some level share the widely held suspicion that the Putin initiative may be only a ruse or distraction
A South Carolina babysitter was convicted of child abuse this week because a loyal dog alerted the little boy’s parents that the woman was mistreating the child, his father and authorities told ABCNews.com The parents of 7-month-old Finn Jordan suspected something was wrong last year when their dog began to growl and snarl at the babysitter, Alexis Khan, 22. “We noticed the dog was getting very defensive when Alexis was around. He would growl and stand between her and our son. His hair would stand up on the back of his neck and we knew something was up,” Benjamin Jordan
HONOLULU — Thousands of fish are expected to die in Honolulu waters after a leaky pipe caused 1,400 tons of molasses to ooze into the harbor and kill marine life, state officials said. Hundreds of fish have been collected so far, the state Department of Health said in a statement Wednesday. Many more fish are expected to die and thousands will likely be collected, it said. Massive molasses leak kills thousands of fish near Honolulu Hawaii
Secretary of State John Kerry´s negotiations with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov got off to a rocky start Thursday, with the Russian mocking Kerry right at the outset. "They got off to a really bad start yesterday --- partly because of the Putin op-ed and partly because Kerry in the opening remarks spoke at length --- and I mean at length --- compared to the unprepared few welcoming comments from the Russian counterpart," NBC News foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell said on "Morning Joe." "And then the Russian minister said at the end, very tartly, ´Sometimes diplomacy demands silence.´" Mitchell
President Obama has apparently decided to change another of Ronald Reagan´s policies. President Reagan famously said "Trust but Verify" when dealing with the Russians. With President Obama, our new policy will be to "Trust the Russians to Verify" whether Syria´s Assad has complied with UN directives on chemical weapons. The President´s confused and confusing speech this week raised more questions than it answered. One of the most important questions isn´t even being asked by our foreign policy elites: Why should the U.S. back the Syrian rebels who are slaughtering Christians in that war-racked country? Why should any American Christian support
A bill from Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both Texans, would change the classification of the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and dozens injured from an act of workplace violence to a terrorist attack. Doing so would open the door to families of victims of the military base shooting to receive more benefits, including life insurance, additional tax breaks and combat-related pay. The vehicle for their proposal is the Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act, introduced on Thursday as a companion to the House version from Reps. John Carter and John Williams, also of
I have written a number of pieces in the past year about conservatives having a “poor little ole me” attitude when it comes to the media. Conservatives are convinced the media is out to get them. They are convinced the media is covering up stories and covering for the Obama Administration. Often, conservatives are flat out wrong. They are so convinced the media is out to get them they do not even make their case to the media. They give up without starting. Each time I write about these things, members of the media retweet the posts glowingly and approvingly. And while
New York – The Board of Elections says are 78,000 paper ballots across the five boroughs that need to be counted in New York City’s Democrat mayoral primary as the candidates wait to learn if there’s going to be a run-off. There are also 14,000 absentee ballots that could still arrive before next week’s deadline. Bill de Blasio has slightly more than the 40 percent of the vote needed to avoid an Oct. 1 runoff. If de Blasio dips under 40 percent, he’ll face runner-up Bill Thompson. The winner will then take on Republican candidate Joe Lhota.
I recently appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle to discuss the new edition of my book The War Against Boys. The four hosts were having none of it. A war on boys? They countered with the wage gap and the prominence of men across the professions. One of them concluded, “I don’t think the patriarchy is under any threat.” The MSNBC skeptics are hardly alone in dismissing the plight of boys and young men. Even those who acknowledge that boys are losing in school argue that they’re winning in life. But the facts are otherwise.
A new documentary called “After Tiller” explores the lives and motivations of the four doctors who still perform third-trimester abortions in America. The doctors were colleagues of George Tiller, a late-term abortion doctor who was shot dead in 2009 by an anti-abortion activist while serving as an usher at his Wichita, Kan., church. Tiller’s clinic had been firebombed in the 1980s, and he had survived multiple gunshot wounds from an attack by an anti-abortion activist in 1993. The film, which will be released in New York City on Sept. 20, examines what makes these four physicians choose to perform a
On Nov. 9, 1957, Frank Rose, the newly appointed president of the University of Alabama, flew from Tuscaloosa to Houston for what would become the most important alumni call in the history of college sports. The meeting changed the future of college football. That day, Texas A&M stood on top of the football mountain. On Nov. 4, the Associated Press poll ranked the Aggies No. 1. Led by John David Crow, a thickly constructed runner who would win the Heisman Trophy that year, the Aggies featured a between-the-tackles ground game, a parsimonious defense and a cadre of hardscrabble players who fought
Germany´s euro break-up party--Alternative für Deutschland (AfD)--has unveiled its foreign policy. It is pure Bismarck. "Germany and Europe have no interest in a further weakening of Russia," said Alexander Gauland, AfD´s foreign affairs chief. "Germany´s relations with Russia should be managed with meticulous care." What they say is no longer an academic question. The party is rising fast in the polls and may break through the 5pc barrier to take seats in the Bundestag, scrambling a close election. AfD openly evokes the "Rückversicherungsvertrag", the secret "Reinsurance Treaty" between the Kaiser´s Germany and Tsarist Russia in 1887. (As reported by Die
Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have lost a jet fuel perk, according to a new report. Started in 2007, Google and the Pentagon inked a deal that saw Google´s entire jet fleet, which includes seven jets and two helicopters, receive discounted fuel purchased from the U.S. government, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal ended on August 31 and was not renewed by NASA, which sponsored the agreement.According to the Wall Street Journal, which obtained the information from a Pentagon spokesperson, Google´s jet fleet is owned by a private company known as H211 LLC. The jets are used
Russia is celebrating its eighth annual ‘day of conception’ as couples in the eastern region of Ulyanovsk are being advised to stay at home to procreate. Governor of the region Sergey Morozov has urged bosses to allow men and women the 12th of September off work in order to try and reproduce. In past years prizes have been awarded to couples who give birth in exactly nine months from the unofficial public holiday. In 2012 the winning pair were presented with a jeep, while in 2011 the award was a jeep. The regional celebration is part of a
Taliban suicide bombers and armed militants drove a truck toward the U.S. Consulate in the city of Herat early Friday, managing to kill two Afghan police and a security guard. No Americans were killed in the attack, The Associated Press reported. The truck exploded, then gunfire erupted as U.S. and Afghan forces battled off insurgents. CBS reported several more of the attackers were killed in the gunfight. Officials with the U.S. Consulate reported staff “performed superbly,” AP said. The State Department released this statement, via spokeswoman Marie Harf: The attack started about 5:30 a.m. when “a truck carrying attackers drove