A PLACE ONCE CALLED WASHINGTON - AN ape sits where Abe sat. The year is 2084, in the capital of the land formerly called North America. The peeling columns of the Lincoln Memorial, and Abe’s majestic head, elegant hands and big feet are partially submerged in sludge. Animals that escaped from the National Zoo after zookeepers were furloughed seven decades ago migrated to the memorials, hunting for food left by tourists. The white marble monuments are now covered in ash, Greek tragedy ruins overrun with weeds. Tea Party zombies, thrilled with the dark destruction they have wreaked on the planet, continue
Defendants and witnesses in British courts will no longer swear on the Bible to tell the truth under controversial plans being considered by a powerful body of judges. The traditional religious oath could be scrapped amid concerns that many giving evidence in criminal cases no longer take it seriously. Instead, all witnesses and defendants would promise to tell the truth without mentioning God, and would acknowledge they could be jailed if they are caught lying. It is claimed the new oath would be fairer for everyone and make it easier to understand the importance of what they are saying.
Helen Thomas covered 10 presidents, from Eisenhower through Obama, in her time as a White House correspondent. She also went on a date with one of them, it emerged during a memorial service attended by about 500 people Saturday at the National Press Club for Thomas, who died on July 20 at age 92. As told by Suzanne Geha, Thomas’s niece, who presided, Thomas arrived in Washington in 1942, at age 22, shortly after graduating from Detroit’s Wayne State University. United Press (later UPI) hired her in 1943. While working for UP, she went on a date with John F.
“Police Remove Vietnam War Veterans at Memorial Wall,” John McCormack writes at the Weekly Standard: Via William Jacobson, NBC’s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday. After one group of veterans went around the barricade, “the park ranger told them the wall was closed,” NBC’s Mark Seagraves reported. “Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That’s when police came and moved everyone out.”
Beijing- China is employing two million people to keep tabs on people´s Internet use, according to state media, in a rare glimpse into the secret world of Beijing´s vast online surveillance operation. Many of the employees are simply performing keyword searches to monitor the tens of millions of messages being posted daily on popular social media and microblogging sites, the Beijing News said. The exact number of people employed to trawl through the Internet in a bid to prevent social unrest and limit criticism of the ruling Community party has long been the subject of speculation. The "web police" are
Whenever I see that clip of Harry Reid saying he won’t fund cancer research for children, I think of Strother Martin’s famous line from “Cool Hand Luke”: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Reid has the same squinty eyes as Martin’s dapper chain-gang captain, and based upon his determination to punish his enemies mercilessly, he may have something of the captain’s small soul as well. Maybe you missed Reid’s exchange with CNN reporter Dana Bash, which focused on Reid’s unwillingness to negotiate with Republicans to fund those parts of government which everyone agrees are
President Barack Obama, already embroiled in a battle over a government shutdown, jumped into another dispute on Saturday - a long-running fight over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team. Obama said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name, which American Indians and others have long pilloried as racist. "I´ve got to say if I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they´ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizeable group of people, I´d think about changing it," Obama said
One of China´s creepier policies in the Tibetan Autonomous Region is a 2011 initiative known as the "nine haves." Some of the nine are about development ("to have roads, to have water, to have electricity"), but one is less about helping Tibetans and more about entrenching Beijing´s control in a region that doesn´t seem to want it: "to have a national flag." Every house and monastery building would be required to fly the crimson, five-starred flag of China. (Monasteries are also required to display portraits of Chinese leaders.) It was to be a show of submission to Chinese rule and
A Navy SEAL team carried out a daring pre-dawn raid in Somalia targeting an al-Shabaab leader on the same day as a separate raid which resulted in the capture of a senior al-Qaeda operative in Libya. The Pentagon has confirmed SEALS stormed the Somali coastal town of Baraawe, but it is not yet clear whether the commandos killed the ´high-profile´ target they were aiming for in retaliation to the Kenyan mall massacre two weeks ago today. In a separate special forces operation Saturday, commandos captured al-Qaeda terrorist Anas al-Libi off the streets of Tripoli, Libya. Anas al-Libi was wanted for a series
This story is just coming out on the national wires this afternoon, so early details are few and hopefully we’ll have some more updates as we go. But the early indications are that when things are falling to pieces anywhere in the world, our SEAL teams are still ready to step up. Following the mass murder at the shopping mall in Kenya, much of the world became acquainted with al Shabaab, the local branch of radical Islamic terrorism. They may have felt rather proud of themselves after that stunt, but apparently the Good Guys made sure the party was short
There is not a bridge left in baseball that Alex Rodriguez has not burned. From the league, to his team, to the player´s association -- in the fight over his steroid suspension, the Yankees slugger doesn´t have any friends left. The New York Times´ Serge Kovaleski and the Steve Eder report Rodriguez´s team of lawyers wrote a letter requesting the player´s union step aside as Rodriguez´s first line of defense in his appeal against Major League Baseball´s 211 game suspension for steroid use: Rodriguez wanted to pick who would represent him on the three-person arbitration panel that will ultimately decide
Oh brother (but not sister), here we go. I knew the college football selection committee was going to be controversial, but I didn´t think it would happen before the panel was actually announced. News that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to named to the committee has already elicited blowback from certain blowhards at ESPN. Former Georgia player David Pollack said on Saturday morning´s GameDay show he didn´t think women belonged on a committee that, starting next year, will choose the top four teams for the new playoff. "I want people on this committee, guys, that can watch tape, yes, that have
The embers at Westgate have quieted. The smoke that billowed stopped. Families have buried their dead. Others are still searching for their loved ones. Many questions abound as to how Kenya Defence Forces acted. The Commission of Inquiry is soon going to commence. But amidst all this fog, it is time we exact revenge on Al-Shabaab. The time is now. Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen, simply known as Al-Shabaab is a transnational terrorist organisation. After admitting that it was behind the Westgate Mall attack that left death, mayhem and destruction, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, is obligated under The Prevention of Terrorism
NAIROBI, Kenya — A Navy SEAL team targeted a senior leader of the Shabab militant group in a raid on his seaside villa in the Somali town of Baraawe on Saturday, American officials said, in response to a deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall for which the group had claimed responsibility. The SEAL team stealthily approached the beachfront house by sea, firing on the unidentified target in a predawn gunbattle that was the most significant raid by American troops on Somali soil since commandos killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a Qaeda mastermind, near the same town four years ago.
Many celebs have taken to Twitter to voice their support for ObamaCare, but “Vampire Diaries” star Nina Dobrev took it one step further on Thursday, tweeting a topless photo to promote President Obama’s healthcare coverage plan. Nina Dobrev, who stars in the tween-friendly, supernatural CW series, wrote to her more than 4 million followers on Twitter: [Tweet,pic] While she appears to be the first to drop her top, the actress, 24, is the latest in a string of high-profile stars to get the word out about the controversial healthcare program, which opened for online enrollment Tuesday. Other Hollywood regulars who
Everyone knows the phrase "government shutdown" doesn´t mean the entire U.S. government is shut down. So in a partial government shutdown, like the one underway at the moment, how much of the government is actually shut down, and how much is not? One way to measure that is in how much money the government spends. In a conversation Thursday, a Republican member of Congress mentioned that the military pay act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the beginning of the shutdown, is actually a huge percentage of the government´s discretionary spending in any given year. And that
Another open-air memorial in the Washington area is closed and barricaded off: the Iwo Jima Memorial, just across the bridge from D.C. in Rosslyn, Virginia. A source sends along this picture of the barricade set-up at the memorial, which is also called the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial: [photo] "I took the picture yesterday afternoon. Those barricades had been there at least a day. People can still walk into the Memorial area, but for many elderly and disabled vets, it is important they be driven and park right next to the statue," the person who took this picture emails.
Via William Jacobson, NBC´s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday. After one group of veterans went around the barricade, "the park ranger told them the wall was closed," NBC´s Mark Seagraves reported. "Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That´s when police came and moved everyone out." The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a black granite outdoor wall on which the names of the
Leonard Downie, a former executive editor of The Washington Post, is the Weil family professor of journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. This article is based on his report “The Obama Administration and the Press,” forthcoming Thursday from the Committee to Protect Journalists. In the Watergate era, the Nixon administration’s telephone wiretaps were the biggest concern for journalists and sources worried about government surveillance. That was one of the reasons why Bob Woodward met with FBI official Mark Felt (a.k.a. “Deep Throat”) in an underground parking garage in Arlington, and why he and Carl
On the morning of Jan. 7, 1960, Lee Harvey Oswald boarded a train in Moscow heading west. That evening, he arrived in Minsk, in the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. He had just a few things: a change of clothes, a diary, a copy of Fyodor Dostoevsky´s "The Idiot," which the KGB had given him for his 20th birthday. He was exuberant. In Minsk, he expected to build a new life and to escape his past—his mother, Texas, the Marines. He had written a letter to his mother and his brother, Robert, telling them to forget him. "I do not wish
The House voted unanimously Saturday to retroactively pay back federal workers who are not receiving a paycheck because of the government shutdown. Members approved the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, H.R. 3223, in a 407-0 vote, with 25 members not voting. Workers will not be paid until the shutdown — now in its fifth day — ends. About 800,000 workers have been furloughed. The vote was a rare showing of bipartisanship in a week filled with fighting and finger-pointing over the shutdown, the first in 17 years. The bill drew praise from the White House this week, and the Senate could pass
The IRS is still collecting taxes during the government shutdown, but it isn’t sending refunds — and it also has stopped complying with a subpoena to turn over documents to members of Congress who are investigating the agency’s targeting of tea party groups. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have stopped getting documents from the Internal Revenue Service.
I’m not overly enamored of the complaint that Obama will negotiate with the Iranians, Syrians and Russians, but not with Republicans. The complaint sounds a little whiny. But it does prove a point. A point that I made long ago about how Obama treats the Israelis and other friends of the U.S., like Honduras and Hosni Mubarak. This poster used by Rep. Doug Lamborn on the floor of the House is making the rounds (snip video). Obama and his supporters do not treat foreign enemies of the U.S. with half the vitriol and name-calling they direct towards Republicans, particularly the
Law enforcement officials in California who arrest immigrants in the country illegally will be prohibited from detaining them for transfer to federal authorities unless they committed a serious crime under one of several bills signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown to ease conditions for immigrants. The Trust Act is the second milestone bill on immigration signed by the governor in two days. On Thursday he approved a measure allowing immigrants in the country illegally to receive California driver’s licenses. “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said. “I’m not waiting.” Brown´s action came as immigration advocates rallied in California