It’s only fitting that it was on the five-year anniversary of the fall of Lehman Bros., the hinge of the 2008 financial crisis, that Larry Summers ended his campaign to be Federal Reserve chairman, which hopefully will prove his final exit from public life. No, Summers wasn’t the sole cause of the banking collapse, but he was among its chief culprits — serving up policies that misshaped our banking system and that laid the groundwork for the disaster of ’08. The myth promoted by President Obama and his minions in the media is, of course, that economic deregulation pushed by Republicans and
People care deeply about where they live. If you ever doubt that, remember this: they staged massive protests over a park in Istanbul. Gezi Park near Taksim Square is one of that ancient city’s most beloved spots. So in June, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to demolish the park to make room for his grandiose vision of the city as “the financial center of the world,” the park’s neighbors and supporters took to the streets. The protests were directed against what has been described as “authoritarian building”—the demolition of older, more-human-scaled neighborhoods in favor of denser high-rise construction,
Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old suspect in Monday´s shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, had "secret" clearance and was assigned to start working there as a civilian contractor with a military-issued ID card, his firm´s chief executive told Reuters. "He did have a secret clearance. And he did have a CAC (common access card)," said Thomas Hoshko, CEO of The Experts Inc, which was helping service the Navy Marine Corps Intranet as a subcontractor for HP Enterprise Services, part of Hewlett-Packard Co. Alexis, of Forth Worth, Texas, is suspected of opening fire at the Naval Sea Systems Command building in the Washington
One of President Barack Obama´s more under-reported achievements has been his ability to corral Democratic votes in Congress. When he has asked them to jump, Democratic senators and members of Congress have essentially answered, "How high?" -- on the stimulus, health care, immigration, the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, the 2012 fiscal-cliff deal to end them for the wealthy, and controversial nominations. Yes, Democrats griped about legislative imperfections (they wanted a public option for health care). Yes, many of them took tough votes (see the 2010 midterms). But always in the end, they supported their president and their party,
After Nidal Hasan killed 13 and wounded more than 30 in November 2009, John R. Lott wrote about one of the craziest policies to come out of the Clinton era: making military bases “gun free zones.” Yes, that’s correct. In 1993, President Bill Clinton decreed that US military personnel were to surrender the Second Amendment rights that they swear an oath to support and defend. Lott, writing in 2009, called for that policy to be ended. Shouldn’t an army base be the last place where a terrorist should be able to shoot at people uninterrupted for 10 minutes? After all, an army
The House finally filed the food-stamps portion of their bifurcated farm bill on Monday, complete with the utterly, contemptibly “draconian” 5 percent cut to current spending levels that the opposition feared, and the ensuing level of drama and demagoguery that Democrats will soon begin spouting is likely to be second only to the overarching defund-ObamaCare/fund-the-government fight that also has a deadline of September 30th. Politico reports on the food-stamps legislation, with rather a heavy helping of partisanship on the side: House Republicans released their substitute nutrition title for the farm bill Monday, a 109-page package that seeks to tighten eligibility rules
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon ordered the military to be on the lookout for troubled troops and civilians after the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, which killed 13 people. One of the recommendations of a special commission was intended to alert authorities about troubled troops and military civilian employees like the former sailor-turned-contractor suspected of fatally shooting 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington. The suspect in Monday´s shootings, Aaron Alexis, had been discharged from the Navy for misconduct. He had also been cited for firearms violations in the past. He died Monday.
Louisiana health officials are using chlorine to kill a brain-eating amoeba lurking in the New Orleans water supply. The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, causes a deadly form of meningitis when inhaled through the nose. It has killed at least two children this summer, including a 4-year-old boy from St. Bernard Parish who contracted the infection while playing on as Slip ‘N Slide. “We know that chlorine kills Naegleria fowleri, which is why it was critical that the parish proactively begin flushing its water system with additional chlorine last week,” Louisiana Department of Public Health spokesman J.T. Lane said in a statement, adding that
WASHINGTON -- A dozen people died in a shooting rampage Monday at the Washington Navy Yard. It was the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since November 2009, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas. Early Tuesday, the stories of some of those who died started to surface. --- Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va., was a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at his home, said his uncle, Steve Hunter. "It would have been the first plane he ever owned," Hunter said in a telephone interview from Rochester,
Giglio Island: Salvage operators in Italy have lifted the Costa Concordia cruise ship upright from its watery grave off the island of Giglio in the biggest ever project of its kind. The ship´s horn sounded for the first time since the January 13, 2012 tragedy, its sound mixing with applause and cheers in the port in a dramatic climax to the massive salvage operation. The 290-metre, 114,500-tonne vessel - longer than the Titanic and more than twice as heavy - rose from the sea like a ghost ship.
Not again. The shooting at the Washington Navy Yard is a story that is at once horrific, shocking and sadly all too common: Obama has had to address the nation six times on the subject of gun violence, including the shooting of Gabby Giffords and the Sandy Hook school massacre. [Snip] 1. Washington DC actually has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, which have done surprisingly little to bring the city´s murder rate down and nothing to prevent yesterday´s nightmare. While locals are limited in their freedom to defend themselves, criminals simply buy guns out of state
U.N. weapons inspectors returned "overwhelming and indisputable" evidence of the use of nerve gas in Syria, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday, calling the findings "beyond doubt and beyond the pale." (Snip) "It is the most significant confirmed use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used them in Halabja in 1988, and the worst use of weapons of mass destruction in the 21st century," Ban said. "The international community has a responsibility to ensure that chemical weapons never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare," he said. Ban called the attack "a war crime" and a violation of treaties banning
D.C. officials said at least 13 people are dead after a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday. The U.S. Navy said shots were fired around 8:20 a.m. at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building, where about 3,000 people work. Seven victims identified - Police have confirmed the names and ages of seven victims killed in today’s attack at the Navy Yard whose families have been notified. None are military personnel. Michael Arnold, 59. Sylvia Frasier, 53. Kathy Gaarde, 62. John Roger Johnson, 73. Frank Kohler, 50. Bernard Proctor, 46. Vishnu Pandit, 61.
The University of California has leased an Oakland residence for incoming system president Janet Napolitano for $9,950 a month, officials said Monday. Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs. Napolitano is scheduled to begin her UC presidency Sept. 30, with her office at UC system headquarters in downtown Oakland. The two-year lease for the 3,500-square-foot residence began Sept. 1.
Well before last month’s sarin nerve gas attack in a Damascus suburb, the Obama administration had gathered intelligence that chemical weapons had been used in Syria on multiple occasions but did not take action because there were debates about who was responsible and there was little public outcry, according to officials familiar with the intelligence. A congressional official familiar with U.S. intelligence assessments told The Washington Times on Monday that evidence of the earlier attacks was what prompted senior administration officials to agree in June to a covert plan by the CIA to deliver small American arms to rebels in
The nation faces “potentially catastrophic consequences” if it doesn’t act quickly to combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections, which kill an estimated 23,000 Americans each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday. In a 114-page report, the agency detailed for the first time the toll that nearly two dozen antibiotic-resistant microbes are taking on humans — ranking the threat of each as “urgent,” “serious” or “concerning.” Should the trend continue, it said, some infections could become essentially untreatable. “If we’re not careful, the medicine chest will be empty when we go there to look for a
If life were a movie, Barack Obama would look into the mirror and see George W. Bush. He would rub the mirror and Bush would still be there, giving him that galling smirk. Obama, no fool he, would quickly understand: Here he is, like the predecessor he so (rightly) loathed, metaphorically trudging the vast Arabian desert, searching for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Only history can decide if this movie is a comedy or a tragedy. Already, the Syrian debacle has taken on aspects of Iraq. Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons are, as we once thought about Saddam Hussein’s, on the move.
A gunman killed a dozen people as the workday began at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, creating an improbable moment of horror at a military facility with armed guards at every gate and leaving investigators seeking clues about what spurred the attack. The alleged shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, received a general discharge in 2011 from the Navy Reserve, a designation that usually signals a problem in his record. Alexis was arrested but not charged in a gun incident in Seattle in 2004 but still had a security clearance with a military
The pseudo-science of graphology has for centuries maintained that handwriting is a window into the soul: by scrupulous observation, an expert graphologist could, in theory, divine personal qualities, truthfulness, and even the moral character of the writer emanating from the handwriting that they were studying.And while handwriting analysis might be overambitious about what it reads into the written word, it plays on an essential truth: the way we write relates to the way we think and express ourselves. As cursive handwriting is drummed out of schools from coast to coast, there has been push back from parents and educators –
A gunman suspected Monday in one of the nation´s worst mass shootings, a massacre at a Washington, D.C., Navy installation, was previously arrested in Seattle for opening fire during a parking dispute. Aaron Alexis, 34, who lived earlier this year in Fort Worth, was shot and killed inside the Washington Navy Yard on Monday following a shooting rampage where 13 were killed and at least four wounded inside an office facility. Alexis was living in Seattle in 2004 when he was suspected of shooting out another man’s tires in what police described as an anger-fueled “blackout.” According to police, Alexis´
Denver - Search-and-rescue teams bolstered by National Guard troops fanned out across Colorado´s flood-stricken landscape on Monday, as a week of torrential rains blamed for eight deaths and the destruction of at least 1,600 homes finally gave way to sunny skies. Much of the evacuation effort was focused on remote foothill and canyon communities in north-central Colorado, where the bulk of nearly 12,000 people evacuated since last week were stranded due to washed-out roads, bridges and communication lines, state emergency officials said. The overall flood zone has encompassed 17 Colorado counties across a normally semi-arid region nearly the size of
Earlier this afternoon, NBC News reported that 34-year-old Aaron Alexis was the now-deceased shooting suspect in the Washington Naval Yard rampage. Since then, details have emerged about the man, including that he once worked as a civilian computer contractor in D.C., and that he was arrested in 2010 on gun charges. The Smoking Gun unearthed the Forth Worth Police Department’s official report from that September 2010 arrest. Alexis had allegedly shot a firearm through the floor of a neighbor in his building. According to the police document, that neighbor said that she was “terrified” of Alexis, who had previously had
Phoenix - ECOtality, the electric car-charging company that operates more than 600 charging stations in Arizona, may be about to close its door. Last month, the company disclosed a myriad of problems with the SEC. In that filing, ECOtality released the following statement: "Although the Company is currently exploring options for a restructuring or sale of the entire business and/or assets of the Company, the Company may need to file a petition commencing a case under the United States Bankruptcy Code as part of any such process or otherwise in the very near future." ECOtality was heavily involved in the
BOGOTA, Colombia Alvaro Uribe has become the first former Colombian president in modern times to attempt a return to politics through Congress. The combative conservative who led Colombia from 2002 to 2010 announced Monday he is running for Senate in March elections, two months before a presidential vote. Uribe is constitutionally barred from a third presidential term. He will run as part of a movement he created called Centro Democratico atop a closed list of candidates, meaning his chances hinge on how many votes his party wins. Uribe´s approval rating stands at 63 percent, more than 40 points higher than that of President Juan
On Monday during a lengthy speech remembering the financial crisis of 2008 five years later and his administration’s responses to that crisis, President Barack Obama tore into Congressional Republicans for trying to defund “Obamacare” and threatening to shut down the government. Obama asked if the GOP was really “willing to hurt people” while police were still hunting for possible gunmen linked to the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Later that afternoon, White House Press Sec. Jay Carney told Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry that it was “entirely appropriate” for Obama to make those remarks. “You mentioned at the top
Liberal opinion writers who feel duty-bound to defend President Obama’s signature health-care reform law have been quite creative in trying to blame the GOP for the flaws in what was a law passed by Democrats against bipartisan and public opposition. The most recent narrative, that Republicans are “sabotaging” the law, is quite clearly nonsensical. But they are opinion writers, so we can understand their efforts to spin the policy failure.[Snip]This whole process, of advocating for the concerns of their constituents and then taking part in the legislative process, is a pretty basic part of congressional work.