ust a week before the government shutdown kicked in on October 1, the State Department awarded a five-year, maximum $5 million contract for custom handcrafted crystal stem and barware, according to a report in the Valley News, an online news site in Vermont (via Charlie Perkins). Valley News reporter Warren Johnston reports: On eve of last week’s government shutdown, Simon Pearce won a potential five-year competitive contract for $5 million to provide 20 different styles of custom handcrafted stem and barware to the State Department for use in American embassies around the world. The contract stipulates that the items be made in
In the summer of 1945, a two teenagers fell in love and now, almost 70 years later, they´re back together. When 17-year-old Chuck ´Red´ Lewis saw 16-year-old Sandy ´Franci´ Riggins (now Gutting) at Oceanside Pier in California, it was love at first sight. But the pair lost contact when Gutting went home to LA, and both went on to marry and raise families in different cities.After a silence of 62 years, the pair got back in touch via email seven years ago and found the feelings they had for each other in 1945 were still there. Both now in their 80s,
The main motive behind Barack Obama’s closing off open-air war memorials and Mount Rushmore from public view is to force attention back to him and his Mrs. as indisputable natural rulers of the world. Hitler had it, Napoleon had it, radical Islam still practices it, and the Obamas got it in spades—an unquenchable thirst to be obeyed as unquestioned world leaders. In Obama’s narcissistic thinking, he and only he is Mount Rushmore, the World War II War Memorial, and the only loyal lure that continues to bring people to cemeteries in Europe and around the world to honor the American war dead.
Paterson – Just 26 of the 598 high school students in Paterson Public Schools who took the SAT tests this year had scores that reached the college and career readiness benchmark, according to statistics released by city education officials. That rate of 4.3 percent of pretty much matches last year’s performance when 4.4 percent, or 26 of 591 students, reached the college-career ready mark, the data shows. In 2011, 21 of 513 were college-career ready, or 4 percent. (Snip) “That scares me immensely,’’ said school board member Jonathan Hodges when asked about the disparity between the SAT performance and the
In an interview with Politico, Senator Harry Reid argued that the media is being unfair to Democrats in its coverage of the shutdown. Reid said he believes that there is no way someone viewing the situation objectively could conclude that Democrats are at fault for the shutdown. “You and other journalists have a real shortcoming in that you are trying so hard to be fair that you are unfair,” Reid said. “Democrats have had almost nothing to do with the problems here. It’s all Republicans.” The shutdown of about 15 percent of government activity began last Tuesday. Since then, Reid has led
Nusa Dua, Indonesia - US Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the start of destruction of chemical weapons in Syria as a "good beginning" and said Washington and Moscow had agreed to press the United Nations to set a date for a Syria peace conference in November. In unusual praise for Damascus, Kerry also gave the government of President Bashar Assad credit for quickly complying with the UN resolution on destroying its chemical weapons arsenal. "I think it is extremely significant that yesterday, Sunday, within a week of the resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were already being destroyed,"
President Barack Obama, in a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Monday to spotlight the loss of government services because of the shutdown, urged Congress to reopen government and raise the debt limit immediately. ``My very strong suspicion is there are enough votes there´´ to pass legislation, he said. ``Hold a vote. Call a vote right now. Let´s see what happens.´´ FEMA had recalled employees who were idled in the shutdown to deal with Tropical Storm Karen but the storm has weakened
Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that a pair of raids conducted in Africa by American special forces signaled the ongoing determination of the United States to bring terrorists to justice and sent the message that "members of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can´t hide." The Pentagon confirmed Saturday night that U.S. special forces had captured alive Abu Anas al Libi in Tripoli, Libya. Libi, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The operation was carried out by
It´s up to Congress, not the president, to decide how large of an increase in the debt ceiling is needed, a top Obama economic adviser said Monday morning. That statement fills in a key detail regarding President Obama´s debt limit strategy, which he has insisted will be to refuse to negotiate with congressional Republicans. By leaving the amount of the increase to Congress, Obama could avoid directly asking lawmakers to raise the limit, thereby denying Republicans a chance to open up talks. Appearing at a press breakfast organized by Politico, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said that "it is
United States interrogators who specialize in so-called high value targets will question a suspected al Qaeda operative aboard an American warship without reading him his rights, U.S. officials told NBC News on Monday. The suspect, Abu Anas al-Libi, was whisked off the streets of the Libyan capital of Tripoli over the weekend. He will be taken to the United States to stand trial in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the officials said. Al-Libi will be in U.S. military custody for several more days, perhaps a few weeks, a senior administration official told NBC News. The interrogation
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly will spend $1 million to help boost Cory Booker in next week´s special Senate election in New Jersey. Bloomberg, an independent, will start airing ads Monday to help the Democratic mayor of Newark, according to a New York Times report. Booker has been fighting off Republican Steve Lonegan, a conservative activist. The TV ad will seek to promote Booker as someone who has "put progress ahead of partisanship,"(Snip)Booker has a double-digit lead over Lonegan in statewide polls, but the gap isn´t as wide as it once was early in the race.
If Peter King’s brand of Republicanism seems to be on the wane these days, the Long Island congressman isn’t letting it go quietly. King, 69, has long been one of the Hill’s most quotable and irascible troublemakers, a frequent presence on cable television with an apparently boundless capacity for outrage. He has fumed over topics as serious as Hurricane Sandy relief and aid for Sept. 11 responders, and as comparatively trivial as the White House party crashers and the death of Michael Jackson (whom he called a “lowlife” and a “pervert.”) King broke with Newt Gingrich over the government shutdowns
Arizona’s 22 Native American tribes depend heavily on federal money to provide their more than 200,000 members with education, health care, housing and public safety.As the partial shutdown of the federal government continues, the tribes are expected to be among the hardest hit. “The federal government is so pervasive on the Indian reservations that anything that happens on the federal government level in terms of funding cuts or a shutdown will have a major impact,” said state Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, who is Navajo. “Most of the medical services available are federally funded, the housing, the schools.”For now, school
The Chinese government has warned the U.S. that the government shutdown and prospect of Washington´s first ever default were threatening the value of its U.S. investments. In its first official reaction to the U.S. political stalemate over the budget and looming debt ceiling deadline later this month, Beijing said that "the clock is ticking" and urged politicians in Washington to "ensure the safety of the Chinese investments".
California has been the source of much innovation, from agribusiness and oil to fashion and the digital world. Historically much richer than the rest of the country, it was also the birthplace, along with Levittown, of the mass-produced suburb, freeways, much of our modern entrepreneurial culture, and of course mass entertainment. For most of a century, for both better and worse, California has defined progress, not only for America but for the world.
The Obama administration said last week that the Obamacare website was down due to a surge in traffic. But now it says problems with the website are due to design and software flaws, the Wall Street Journal reports. The website is troubled by coding problems and flaws in the architecture of the system, according to insurance-industry advisers, technical experts and people close to the development of the marketplace. (Snip)Information technology experts told the Wall Street Journal that the website appeared to be built on a “sloppy software foundation,” possibly due to hasty construction.
Over the weekend, the FBI took its Amber Alert missing child website offline, blaming the shutdown. At the same time, First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” web site stayed up and running. Amber Alert is back online today, after the closure of the site generated negative publicity. So it seems that Lord Obama can pick and choose what is and isn’t getting shut down. And it seems that he is in fact picking and choosing what gets shut down, in real time. He chose to close memorials and parks, including Mount Rushmore, and Obama chose to kick a pair of senior citizens
Washington and Miami - It´s not the sign that the Obama administration wants people to see on its health overhaul website: down for repairs. Using overnight hours this past weekend to debug the system, the Health and Human Service Department hoped to fix the technological problems that overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets. This past week, glitches have frustrated millions of consumers unable to complete their applications. Enrollment functions of the healthcare.gov site were unavailable during off-peak hours this past weekend The site was be taken down at 1 a.m. EDT each night for a few hours. The enrollment
President Obama’s refusal to sign a bill defunding or delaying his health care law and Republicans’ insistence that such measures be a part of any bill to continue funding government are what precipitated the ongoing government shutdown. Both sides are staking out firm positions because they are operating on the same assumption – that once Obamacare starts to roll out subsidies on Jan. 1., it will be impossible to undo, no matter how much of a disaster it is. Based on the experience across the pond, this may be exactly right. As the Washington Examiner´s Philip Klein detailed in an
The website dedicated to helping find kidnapped children has been turned off during the government shutdown but the First Lady´s healthy living initiative has not received the same treatment. Amber Alerts advertise national and local cases where children have been abducted, and since it is not considered an essential service like national defense, it has not been funded during the shutdown. One website that apparently is too important to unplug? First Lady Michelle Obama´s ´Let´s Move´ campaign, as that is one of the few government websites still operational. Agency websites like the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for
Consumers couldn’t access parts of the U.S. government’s online insurance exchange today, after a weekend of technical upgrades failed to eliminate delays in the hobbled system at the heart of the health-care overhaul. The federal website, meant to serve Americans in 36 states, was still delivering error messages to users trying to create an account saying the “system was unavailable.” In many of the 14 states running their own exchanges, including California and New York, the sites were operating, although New York’s had problems registering some consumers. (Snip) The federal site has been hamstrung by long waiting times and crashes,
After eight long years, I was finally acquitted last month for lack of evidence of the campaign-finance charges against me in Texas. These trying times have changed me as man, while solidifying my views that our country needs a constitutional revival to return us to our conservative values. As I have asserted from the get-go, everything I did was legal. When liberals couldn’t succeed in stopping me in the legislative arena, they went after me in the courts. The trumped-up charges against me by a district attorney in liberal Austin stemmed from a political action committee transferring $190,000 of soft
After eight years of production delays, the Federal Reserve is finally rolling out new Benjamins tomorrow. A hundred years after the first $100 bill was issued in 1914, the banknotes are receiving a much-needed makeover in an effort to thwart sophisticated counterfeiters -- after overcoming "mashing" printing issues that led the Feds to shred more than 30 million of the bills in 2012. "The $100 is the highest value denomination that we issue, and it circulates broadly around the world," assistant director for cash at the Federal Reserve Board Michael Lambert said in a 2010 press release. "Therefore, we took the
FRESNO, Calif. –Investigators are trying to determine what triggered a "running gun battle" at a Central California motorcycle club´s annual dance that left one man dead, a dozen others wounded and hundreds of partygoers scrambling for cover. As the first of more than 100 law enforcement officers arrived early Saturday morning, shots were still being fired around the Soul Brothers clubhouse near Fresno, the Fresno County Sheriff´s Office said. The gunfire erupted during the Soul Brothers´ annual dance, which draws bikers and other motorcycle clubs from all over the state. About 500 people were inside the warehouse-like clubhouse when the
In 20 or so years of political speechwriting, the only condition I have ever set down in advance of being hired is that I would never, under any circumstances, assist any candidate or officeholder in promoting the cause of abortion. (Snip) Come to think of it, I first learned about the “abortion rights” cause and about the ruthlessness of industrialized farming around the same time, at the age of 13 or 14, and my reaction to both was similar: You just don’t treat life that way. Look at pictures of the victims in each case, at the thing itself, and
It´s one thing for a news outlet to advance the as yet unproven theory of anthropogenic global warming; it´s quite another to admit that you won´t publish views that oppose it. As amazing as it may same, that´s exactly what the Los Angeles Times did Saturday in an article by editorial writer Jon Healey: Regular readers of The Times´ Opinion pages will know that, among the few letters published over the last week that have blamed the Democrats for the government shutdown (a preponderance faulted House Republicans), none made the argument about Congress exempting itself from Obamacare. Why? Simply put,