‘I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.” So says Jim Hagen, South Dakota’s secretary of tourism, about the federal government’s blocking off not only the entrance to the Mount Rushmore monument but also roadside viewing areas outside the park. “They won’t even let you pull off on the side of the road,” he says, noting that this particular act of shutdown theater is damaging his state’s tourism economy and ruining the plans of countless travelers. Shutdowns are strangely labor-intensive things: After setting up traffic cones to block off the Mount Rushmore viewing areas, the feds had to pick
WASHINGTON — It’s long been known that America’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers. Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either. In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday. Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a
Obama´s Dangerous Claim to Executive Power Negotiating with Republicans has never been in Obama´s playbook. Three days after his inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama silenced Republican lawmakers who voiced concerned about the enormity of spending in his stimulus bill by uttering two brash words, "I won." That was his governing philosophy, as he rammed through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. But in the fall of 2010, Republicans swept into control of the House of Representatives, and since then, Obama´s agenda has been stalled. With little prospect of gaining control of the House in 2014, Obama is resorting to discrediting the Constitution´s limits on
Government: The politicians´ gym stays open, but the Washington Mall closes — except for an immigration rally. National parks close, but presidential golf courses stay open. This is one politicized government shutdown. President Obama has made the public at large feel as much pain as possible from a government shutdown he´s betting will ultimately be blamed on Republicans; meanwhile, he and other politicians shield themselves from the pain. "Grocery stores on Army bases in the U.S. are closed," Bloomberg News reports. "The golf course at Andrews Air Force base is open." As Tim Toth of Americans For Limited Government found: "Since Obama´s
House lawmakers are picking up their own towels at their private gym, which has remained open during the government shutdown. (snip video) The gym was to have been closed, but the Architect of the Capitol decided to keep the facility open because several House members store personal items inside. No one is there to check members into the facility in the basement of the Rayburn House Office Building, which is open exclusively to current and former House members. Members don’t only have to pick up their towels — they have to reuse them for their showers, because there is no more
A set of two $27,000 restrooms in the Sulphur Springs, Texas, courthouse square are up for the prestigious honor of America’s Best Restroom in a contest created by Cintas, the business supply company. Any public restroom in the country is eligible for nomination. (Snip) What makes the restrooms in Sulphur Springs, located in the northeast corner of the state, so special is that they are all glass and constructed with one-way mirrors. Those using the facilities can see out, but no one can see inside while you are doing your business. Sulphur Springs city manager Marc Maxwell says that using
DALLAS — Cathy Frye could go on no longer. She and her husband, Rick McFarland, decided that he would set out in Texas´ remote Big Bend Ranch State Park to find help, leaving her behind. For two more days, she waited it out, using a small tree for shade. McFarland was able to find his car, drive to a ranger´s station and help launch a search-and-rescue operation that found Frye on Sunday. She remained hospitalized two days later, but in good spirits as she recovered from severe dehydration. It was the type of ordeal typically covered by Frye and McFarland, who met
WASHINGTON- Eight congressional Democrats were arrested Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol while demonstrating for immigration law reform. Those arrested included Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a leading figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois -- along with Joe Crowley of New York, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Al Green of Texas. They were part of a larger group conducting a sit-in to block a street in the front of the Capitol, BuzzFeed politics reported. The arrests came as
Father Ray Leonard, a Catholic priest who serves a Georgia military base, was not allowed to celebrate mass at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay this weekend. “Shutdown: No Catholic service till further notice,” a sign posted on the chapel said. Leonard — who is contracted with the Department of Defense to minister the military on the base — is not allowed to work on the base during the federal government shutdown. In fact, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA has warned that — under current law — some military priests under contract could even
RUSH: Last night´s CNN, Erin Burnett OutFront. She spoke with "The Forehead," Paul Begala, about the impact of the government shutdown. Now, I don´t want to get too far gone here. You know, as the mayor of Realville, you stay real. But I have been opining that I think -- let me put it this way. The Republicans are not losing the way the inside-the-Beltway media is portraying it. It´s a far different reality throughout the country. I think that some of the Drive-Bys are starting to crack. We had Wolf Blitzer yesterday, who was not buying what he was hearing. We
WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama on Tuesday said his administration was making contingency plans for the possibility that Congress won’t raise the U.S. borrowing limit. “We plan for every contingency,” Mr. Obama said in a more than hour-long press conference from the White House. He added, “But I will repeat, I don’t think any option is good.” Mr. Obama used the press conference to try to raise pressure on Republicans to reopen the government and raise the U.S. borrowing limit, which the Treasury Department has said the country will hit sometime this month. If the debt limit isn’t raised, the U.S. won’t be able
A new Rasmussen poll shows just how disillusioned Americans have become with the direction of their own country, over four and a half years since President Obama took office. According to Rasmussen, barely a third of US voters think the nation’s Founding Fathers would view the United States as a success today. 49 percent think the opposite: Abraham Lincoln famously declared at Gettysburg that the Founding Fathers "brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." But half of Americans think the Founding Fathers would view the
RUSH: Now, as many of you know, The Daily Show, hosted by Jon Stewart -- and I must be honest. I´ve only seen this show on video clips. I really haven´t watched it. It doesn´t mean anything; I just haven´t. Snerdley´s looking at me like he can´t believe it. It´s not a purposeful thing. I don´t even know where the Comedy Central channel is on DirecTV -- full disclosure here. But it has been established that for the college-age crowd and for Millennials and, we learn, I forget the source of this, there was a news story yesterday, journalism students,
In his Capital Journal column Gerald Seib, The Wall Street Journal´s Washington bureau chief, identifies the central metaphor guiding the Democrats´ thinking about the current impasse over spending and the impending one over debt: It´s called "break the fever." Breaking the fever is code for ending the cycle of recurring, last-minute crises over spending bills and increases in the nation´s borrowing limit—the debt ceiling. The White House believes these crises give outsize power to a minority of conservative House Republicans who don´t have the strength to push their agenda into law but can, in a crisis, stop the action. More important, Democrats are
Seven days into the government shutdown it has been revealed that the National Guard has bought a $47,000 mechanical bull. The National Guard contract was awarded to a Pennsylvania company tasked with supplying the device as a way to attract new recruits. But the decision to spend tens of thousands of dollars in a week when many government workers are going unpaid has been criticized. Details of the $47,174 contract were found in the General Services Administration listings, according to CNS News. The request came from Utah´s National Guard, which wanted a ´bull which needs to be durable and low maintenance´.
RUSH: You know, I just listened to a little bit of Obama at his press conference, and it is obvious that you didn´t get scared enough over what the Republicans are trying to do with the shut down and Obamacare. So now he´s really piling it on in this thing, and it is so over the top. And, folks, what he said is just not true. I mean, from start to finish, what he said about the debt limit is not true. The Republicans have got to come out when this is over, somebody has to go to a microphone
I’ve just watched Barack Obama’s press conference at the White House, where the president has been talking about the government shutdown and the possibility of a US default over the debt ceiling. It wasn’t a pretty sight. [Snip] This was a childish, as well as unpleasant, display of petulance by Mr. Obama, who treats elected officials as though they were puppets who should dance to his tune. It was followed by an embarrassing set of hand-picked questions from a largely subservient liberal-dominated media, none of which seriously challenged the president’s policies or his handling of the shutdown.
Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures. Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.
Will Congress blink first? Or will they hold out against Presidential demands to increase the federal government’s overdraft facility? If so, does holding down the US debt limit mean that the US government defaults on its debts? We cannot be sure how the political wrangling in Washington will play out. But what we do know is that the laws of mathematics--unlike those made by Congress--are universal and unyielding. Sooner or later, suggest the laws of maths, the US government is going to default on its debts. For a generation or so, the American government has been living far beyond its tax
In an interview with the BBC, six months before leaving office, President Hamid Karzai has put the boot into the British--and the West--in terms as extreme as any he has used before. “On the security front,” he claimed, “the entire Nato exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure.” [Snip] It would be a tragedy if the 444 British troops who have given their lives in Afghanistan died in vain. Yet if the mission has indeed failed, it reflects President Karzai’s own lack
A man standing on a crowded Muni train pulls out a .45-caliber pistol. He raises the gun, pointing it across the aisle, before tucking it back against his side. He draws it out several more times, once using the hand holding the gun to wipe his nose. Dozens of passengers stand and sit just feet away - but none reacts. Their eyes, focused on smartphones and tablets, don´t lift until the gunman fires a bullet into the back of a San Francisco State student getting off the train. Investigators say this scene was captured by a Muni camera on Sept. 23,
The House on Tuesday passed its tenth short-term funding resolution for 2014, amid ongoing Democratic opposition to the GOP´s piecemeal funding approach on the eighth day of the shutdown. Members passed the Head Start for Low-Income Children Act, H.J.Res. 84, in a 248-168 vote. But while Democrats again called on the GOP to pass the Senate´s clean spending bill, 23 Democrats supported the GOP resolution; only two Republicans opposed it. Republicans today renewed their attempt to convince Democrats to support this resolution and others as a way to reduce the more drastic effects of the shutdown.
“I am now occupying the building at this time.” And with that one decision – restaurant owner Glenn Helseth joined the ranks of Americans who’ve decided to defy the strong-arm tactics of the National Park Service. For the past 11 years Helseth and his wife have operated the Carrot Tree Kitchens Restaurant inside the historic Cole Digges House in Yorktown, Va. The National Park Service owns and operates the building. So when the government shut down on Oct. 1, the Helseths were given 48 hours to pack up and move out. The couple also owns a restaurant on Jamestown Island.
House Republicans are drafting legislation that would allow the Pentagon to pay out death benefits that have been stopped during the government shutdown, according to congressional aides. (Snip) Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee disagree. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Tuesday accusing the Pentagon of making a “careless legal interpretation” to deny benefits. “The Department of Defense, through a careless legal interpretation, is now mistakenly denying payments of Death Gratuity and other benefits to the families of those who make the ultimate sacrifice,” Hunter wrote.