The former senior EPA adviser who stole $900,000 from taxpayers while posing as a CIA agent pleaded the Fifth on Tuesday morning — shortly before House members expressed outrage upon learning that he’s still due to get his government pension. John C. Beale invoked his right not to incriminate himself when facing questioning from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, just four days after he pleaded guilty to charges that could bring him three years in prison.“Mr. Beale, do you have a statement?” panel Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked during the hearing. “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. No I do not,” Beale
The best clue that the initial open enrollment period for Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges is destined to be a bureaucratic nightmare which will fail virtually every benchmark came on Saturday morning. Hadas Gold and Kyle Cheney at Politico, two advocates posing as reporters, all but begged the press to avoid “any rush judgments (which) could have a big impact on public opinion of the law” during its critical first few days. They described administration officials as “pleading with reporters to avoid being seduced into treating every technical snafu as a catastrophic failure.” I don’t see why the Politico pair or
Rampant fraud on a New York City contract last year didn’t stop a major nonprofit from landing a slew of federal contracts to sign people up for ObamaCare. Seedco, a New York-based community-development organization, was sued by the federal government for faking at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22.2 million federally funded contract with the city. Eighteen months later, the feds and Seedco are teaming up again, this time to help medical-insurance seekers maneuver through the maze that is the Affordable Health Care Act. When ObamaCare’s open-enrollment period starts Tuesday, among the frontline agencies will be Seedco, which is
The family, driving up the West Side on a sunny afternoon, suddenly found themselves surrounded by motorcycles. In front of their sport utility vehicle, and behind, buzzing past on either side. A swarm of high-powered bikes had all but commandeered the three lanes of the northbound Henry Hudson Parkway on Sunday, and caught between them was the 33-year-old driver of a Range Rover, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter. When one of the motorcycles apparently slowed to a near-stop in the center lane, it was struck by the vehicle and its rider knocked to the ground. The vehicle and its occupants stayed put at first. But moments later, surrounded by the fallen biker’s fellow riders, it barreled through the crowd, setting off a chase that would end in violence after the S.U.V. became stuck in traffic on a side street in Washington Heights, the police said.
First lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that her Twitter account will see fewer updates due to the government shutdown. Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited. #Shutdown 12:55 PM - 1 Oct 2013. In 2009, FactCheck.org found that the first lady had a staff of 24 people. It is unclear whether any of the first lady’s staff have been furloughed as a result of the government shutdown.
A small group of House Republicans, but one sufficiently large to deny the party a voting majority in the House, believed that the budget brinksmanship of the past few weeks would allow them to keep the government open but prevent Obamacare’s exchanges from starting up. Now that the opposite has happened, it would be worth their time to reconsider their options. (Snip)Republicans won control of the House largely because they made their opposition to Obamacare clear to the public, and they stand a decent chance of winning control of the Senate next year if they continue to do so. Their
“There is nothing left to cut,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last week when referring to the federal budget. Again, she displayed a complete disconnect with reality — a disconnect reinforced by all those other fantasyland souls who make her their leader. As we listen to the budget battles among the political class over the next few weeks, it is important to keep in mind that federal spending is at record levels in nominal terms and near the all-time high as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), except during World War II. During the second Clinton administration, federal spending
The Obama administration broke the law when officials decided to delay a crucial provision of the president’s signature healthcare law, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court. The lawsuit, filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch on behalf of an orthodontist from Florida, seeks to block a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate. The provision requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance to their workers or pay penalties. The mandate, a major pillar of the ACA, was to take effect in January 2014, under language in the law.
Our upcoming WEEKLY STANDARD cruise had me thinking (only a bit!) about blackjack, since the ship´s casino is occasionally (rarely!) frequented after dinner by TWS editors and guests. I remember being told on a previous cruise by a real gambler that the characteristic error of occasional blackjack players is to take another card when they should stand pat. They do this when they have a mediocre hand and over-estimate the odds of improving it rather than busting, while under-estimating the odds of winning by just standing pat; and they do it when they think the dealer must have a winning
Adopting a strategy first suggested by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), House Republicans are pushing a new approach that would break up the federal spending bills into small pieces and move them separately over to the Senate. According to a senior GOP aide in a closed-door huddle in the Capitol basement, Republicans hope to approve three bills Tuesday that would fund the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia. This is an attempt to move the appropriations process through regular order, but Senate Democrats have rejected such a move as too late.
For a fleeting moment Monday evening, it seemed that Rep. Peter King, the gruff, tough-talking, blue-collar Long Islander was poised to emerge as the GOP’s anti-Cruz, a moderate who would lead a rebellion against the House GOP effort to tie defunding Obamacare to funding the government. It was, as mentioned, a fleeting moment. “I was the only one who spoke strongly in opposition. Silence,” King said in an interview a few minutes before it became clear that his rebellion would fail and the government would shut down. He said that he told his colleagues in a private caucus meeting that
By common reckoning, there have been 266 popes in the 2,000-year history of the church. We’ve had some giants, and some lemons. Come to think of it, the first one, Peter, had a mixed record, one day bravely professing Jesus as the “Son of God,” but then cowardly denying Him thrice on the day Jesus needed him most. No wonder one of the best histories of the papacy is entitled “Saints and Sinners.” Each pope has particular talents and some obvious flaws. That shouldn’t surprise us, since that is also true of each of us. The three most recent ones,
Markets tend to anticipate, rather than react to events, so it shouldn´t have come as any surprise that the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually rose a smidgeon in response to news that nobody blinked and the US has therefore moved into government shut-down mode. [Snip] Moody´s, the credit rating agency, estimates that a three to four week shutdown would cut fourth quarter growth by around 1.4 per cent. This is quite a knock for a recovering world economy still struggling to achieve escape velocity, but it is not of itself terminal. Much more worrying is the separate debt ceiling. Congress
"One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that´s the case." So marvelously stated Brit Hume on Fox News´s Special Report Monday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary): BRIT HUME: One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that´s the case. CNN says that House Bill, for example, to keep the government open while delaying ObamaCare was quote “a move that makes a shutdown more likely.” Later
During his Monday briefing with reporters in the White House, press secretary Jay Carney was asked several times how president Barack Obama would respond to a partial government shutdown. The most interesting query came from Cable News Network´s senior White House correspondent Jim Costa, who asked if the Democrats have been using heightened rhetoric to attack Republicans and “trying to taunt” the GOP into doing a shutdown. “In the last couple of weeks, Democrats including the president have -- and he has not used all these words but I’ll throw out some of them -- have referred to Republicans as
JOLIET TOWNSHIP — Hours after trying out for a spot on the “Family Feud” game show, a Joliet Central High School security guard shot his new wife to death early Monday and then turned the gun on himself, sources said. Marcus T. Crosby and family members tried out for the popular game show on Sunday, but his wife, Kearra Hosey did not, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. A person at the couple’s home, who did not want to be identified, confirmed the tryout. A spokeswoman for “Family Feud” said production staffers were in transit Monday and
Shawn Carter, better known as Jay Z, tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Lisa Robinson in the November issue that although his wife, Beyoncé, says that their 18-month-old daughter, Blue Ivy, prefers Jay’s music to hers, he’s not so sure. (Snip) Jay’s checkered past taught him a few things that he says will come in handy in his new role as a sports agent: “I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he tells Robinson. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then.
What was meant to be a final gathering of heroes Tuesday instead became a final victory for dozens of World War II combat vets who refused to let the government´s budget battle block a visit to their memorial in the nation´s capital. With bagpipers playing "Amazing Grace," nearly 200 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa swept past barricades and security guards at the World War II Memorial in Washington in order to keep a commitment to visit the site, which was closed today due to the partial government shutdown. The veterans, in their 80s and 90s, were accompanied by
The Daily Caller has confirmed that Fox News will announce later this afternoon that they have hired long-time Washington Post columnist George Will. Will had been regular on ABC’s “This Week” going back to the early 1980s, but had been conspicuously absent from the program as of late. According to a source close to the situation, Will’s role at Fox News will be to provide commentary and analysis during its daily programming. Update: In a statement announcing the hire, FNC Executive Vice President of News Michael Clemente praised Will. “We are delighted to have someone
WASHINGTON - Congress hung "Closed" signs on a big swath of the government Tuesday and sent home 800,000 workers in what President Barack Obama labeled an "ideological crusade" by the GOP. On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans traded blame for the first partial government shutdown in nearly two decades. Barricades sprang up early Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments, and the National Park Service was turning off 45 fountains around the capital city. National parks from Acadia in Maine to Denali in Alaska followed suit, as did many federal
RENO— Ex-Nevada power broker Harvey Whittemore admitted he was "arrogant and naive" but insisted "I´m not greedy" before a judge sentenced him Monday to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid´s re-election committee in 2007. U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks also ordered Whittemore to pay $100,000 in fines for his three felony convictions and serve 100 hours community service upon his release from a yet-to-be determined prison that houses white-collar criminals. The 61-year-old former lobbyist and wealthy developer is
An Internet site that reports on issues that emanate from within America’s news rooms said CNN’s Piers Morgan is on the out. It is not clear whether he will sever ties with CNN completely or simply with his coveted prime time slot. But it’s not clear whether he will sever ties with CNN completely — or simply with his coveted prime time slot. FTVLive reported that sources say CNN head Jeff Zucker is “actively looking for a replacement for Piers Morgan.” Mr. Morgan in 2012 signed only a one-year contract extension, and that’s about to wrap, the site reported. Mr. Zucker would
A newly published memoir by Rep. Luis Gutierrez takes President Barack Obama to task on immigration, saying the White House tried to stifle the congressman´s reform campaign, broke a promise to press the issue and took action only after being "outflanked by Marco Rubio." In "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," Gutierrez complains that deportations increased after his fellow Chicago Democrat took over the White House. And Gutierrez, who endorsed Obama twice for president, describes his frustration over what he viewed as Obama´s unmet pledge to push for
This amazing CNN news story by reporter Zain Asher should be required viewing for the GOP House caucus. It’s about efforts to educated uninsured families in New Jersey about Obamacare, and it illustrates how little the Affordable Care Act’s biggest beneficiaries know about the new program. To put it another way, folks aren’t exactly jumping up and down at the prospect of access to health care. Watch Jose Menendez, as he asks, ”I have a question. Who created this affordable health care plan that you’re speaking about?” Asher tells him Congress passed the measure. Menendez says,