Four years after he survived a brutal firefight in a remote Afghanistan valley that claimed the lives of five Americans, retired U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson will be hailed as a hero at the White House on Tuesday. Swenson, 34, is credited with risking his life to help save his fellow troops and recover their bodies, feats that President Obama will recount when he presents Swenson with the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award for valor. But for Swenson, the award stands for more than his personal bravery during the seven-hour battle in the Ganjgal valley, near the Pakistan
For schoolchildren, Columbus Day likely means revisiting the old rhyme, "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," and discussing the role the explorer played in the discovery of the New World. Beyond the grade-school classroom, however, Columbus Day is a holiday despised by some, celebrated by others and a hot topic of debate for many. Was Columbus a bad person? Was he responsible for the decimation of the natives in the lands he discovered, both through disease and warfare? Did he discover America? Is his place in history that of a man of myth or a man of legend?
The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana. Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry. Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told
The largest in-state corporate donation to Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign was made by a Vienna, Va.-based company whose low profile belies its influence on global trade: It runs Liberia’s shipping registry, overseeing nearly 13 percent of the world’s commercial fleet. The Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) contributed $120,000 to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial bid, placing it among the top 20 donors to his campaign — beating out even former president Bill Clinton, who gave $100,000 to his longtime fundraiser, the former Democratic National Committee chairman. Scott Bergeron, LISCR’s chief executive, said the donation was a personal gesture by its chairman, Yoram Cohen,
Election officials across Virginia are grappling with how to follow through with a directive from the State Board of Elections to purge up to 57,000 registered voters from the state rolls — a move that has prompted a lawsuit from the Democratic Party of Virginia and outright defiance by at least one registrar. The state, working this year for the first time as part of a multistate program intended to validate voters, says it is required by law to conduct maintenance on voter lists and is not canceling voters but directing local registrars to review registrants carefully. The program provides
California is spending nearly $15 million to build 10 hydrogen fueling stations, even though just 227 hydrogen-powered vehicles exist in the state today. (Snip) The project is part of a sprawling but little-known state program that packs a powerful financial punch: It spent $1.6 billion last year on a myriad of energy-efficiency and alternative-energy projects. Even as California has scaled back education, law enforcement and assistance to the disabled in this era of financial stress, the energy program has continued unrestrained and is expected to grow significantly in coming years. State agencies have invested in milk trucks that run on
Buenos Aires - Argentina is studying authorizing crude imports from Nigeria to help counter a long decline in oil and natural gas output that has hurt its trade balance, two newspapers reported on Saturday, both citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the matter. South America´s No. 2 economy has tough import barriers and strict currency controls meant to stem capital flight, making it tricky for oil companies to meet their needs.(Snip)The plan under analysis mulls establishing a quota system to permit imports of Nigerian Bonny Light crude oil, daily La Nacion reported. Argentina, estimated to hold 802 trillion cubic
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Preibus called for Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to return campaign donations they received from a man who pled guilty to identity theft of the terminally ill. Clinton, Reid, and the DNC all received donations from Joseph Caramadre. Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe invested $47,000 in an illegal business in which Caramadre applied for annuities and bonds with the stolen identities of dying people. Caramadre donated $27,000 to McAuliffe’s last gubernatorial campaign in 2009 and hosted a fundraiser for the former DNC chairman. McAuliffe and his campaign immediately vowed to
Before October 1, one of the highlights of my family’s week was the “C’mon, Man!” segment of Monday Night Football. The blown plays, missed calls by blind refs, and part-time stupidity of some football players is always a hoot to watch. Since then if we want a few laughs, we just turn on the news. Nothing the NFL — or, for that matter, college or high school players — can do compares with what’s going on in the White House and Congress on the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. But now it’s time to stop laughing. This week, the U.S. Treasury
When I have described the well-considered, coherent political and economic strategies of the conservative white South, as I have done here, here and here, I am sometimes been accused of being a “conspiracy theorist.” But one need not believe that white-hooded Dragons and Wizards are secretly coordinating the actions of Southern conservative politicians from a bunker underneath Stone Mountain in Georgia to believe that a number of contemporary policies — from race-to-the-bottom economic policies to voter disfranchisement and attempts to decentralize or privatize federal social insurance entitlements — serve the interests of those who promote them, who tend to be
It appears the cease fire in the White House´s war on Fox News is now history. White House spokesman Jay Carney has become increasingly hostile toward Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry. Early last week he attacked Henry´s line of questioning regarding the Democrat´s refusal to allow death benefits to the families of fallen military members. "I know you´re trying to make a partisan issue out of it..." Carney lectured to Henry. Friday things really came to a boil as Carney openly snubbed Henry during the regular daily briefing. Carney, as is customary, took questions from the major networks
After Republicans drifted for years without a pilot, Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have taken the helm of the GOP, steering their party and its grassroots into a much-needed, head-on battle with the Democrats. On the campaign trail on the way to his win in November 2012, President Barack Obama promised to finish the work he’d gone to Washington to do: “fundamentally transforming the United States.” Things look tough for the right in Washington today, but the reality is these three conservative Republicans, aided by friends in the Senate and the House, have dragged the president’s ambitious agenda to a
Mockery of Obamacare´s incompetent rollout has spread to the mainstream media, no longer able to ignore the fiasco. Case in point: The Miami Herald, not exactly a right wing rag. (snip)The first two weeks of healthcare.gov have passed, with no progress toward a usable website on which to enroll. The public is being told that they can also enroll via paper applications, but does anyone really think that the staff are in place to handle the volume of applications that must be completed to avoid the fines taxes that are part of Obamacare? Eventually, those paper applications will have to
Fallon: Joe Biden canceled a speech at a Democratic fundraiser the other night because of the partial government shutdown. Then it got awkward. When the committee announced Biden wasn´t coming, attendees doubled their donations. Fallon: A new study says 9% of Americans have considered giving up their U.S. citizenship. It’s gotten so bad that even Obama said, "Are you sure I wasn´t born in Kenya?" Fallon: Things aren't exactly going smoothly for the Olympics over in Russia. In fact, yesterday President Vladimir Putin lit the Olympic torch in a ceremony and just minutes later a gust of wind
Politicians in Washington have been warned that their failure to agree on America´s debt carries serious risks for the global economy. The head of the IMF Christine Lagarde said a default, which might happen as early as Thursday, could lead to a new worldwide recession. Protests by members of the public have been taking place outside the White House, as tensions over the shutdown rise.
The US shale gas boom will spread "far and wide," the head of Saudi Aramco said Monday, announcing the state oil giant was set to supply gas to a massive Saudi power plant project. The world´s largest oil exporter launched an unconventional gas program in northern Saudi Arabia two years ago, as it sought alternative domestic fuel supplies that would allow an expansion of lucrative oil exports. (Snip) Oil Minister Ali Naimi estimated in March that Saudi Arabia had 600 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas. With domestic energy consumption rising, Saudi Arabia has less oil available for
The Founding Fathers would not be condemning House Republicans for their effort to defund ObamaCare. They would be applauding them. On the subject of who authorizes spending, the Constitution could not be more clear. According to Article 1, Section. 7, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." It is the job of the House of Representatives to spend, or not spend, the people´s money. Based solely on the huge deficits our nation now faces, they have been up to this point derelict in their duty. Refusing to fund ObamaCare, whose exorbitant costs and incredible waste are
Ted Cruz’s “aw shucks” act is wearing thin. The Republican senator from Texas likes to pretend he is above the fray of Washington bickering, focused on large issues and too big to engage character assassination. But the reality is that Cruz is the Republican king of nasty attacks. He explodes rhetorical nuclear bombs on his opponents, only to feign outrage when his victims respond in kind, or in many cases, with relative spitballs. Take his defund Obamacare effort. The tactic to eliminate President Obama’s health care law had zero prospect of success, which Cruz undoubtedly knew despite what he sold the conservative
A woman with an outstanding warrant for her arrest is currently serving as an Obamacare “navigator” in Lawrence, Kansas. Rosilyn Wells — the Director of Outreach and Enrollment for the Heartland Community Health-care Center (HCHC) – is “the only full-time Affordable Care Act navigator in Lawrence,” according to the Lawrence Journal-World. Wells was certified as an Obamacare navigator despite her financial history, which includes a bankruptcy in 2003, a 2007 civil charge from a local check cashing business called Midwest Checkrite for writing a bad check, and being more than $1700 behind on her state tax bill, and having an outstanding arrest
In 2004, the Army decided to scrap the two traditional camouflage uniforms that had long been used by the military—one meant for woodland environments, another for the desert—and claimed to have come up with a universal pattern that could be worn anywhere and blend in with any environment. The $5 billion dollar experiment with the universal pattern is over as the Army is phasing out the uniform after less than a decade of use. But many soldiers and observers are wondering why it took this long and cost this much to replace an item that performed poorly from the start
A leading medical figure who helped abolish the Liverpool Care Pathway has praised the Daily Mail’s campaign as he condemned attempts to fetter the free Press. Dr Tony Cole--who persuaded ministers to set up the official inquiry that led to the demise of the LCP--said: ‘We would never have got it off the ground if it had not been for the Daily Mail and the Press. I am very concerned about freedom of the Press and anything which might endanger it.’ Dr Cole spoke in the wake of the proposal by ministers that newspapers should accept a new regulator which
Senate leaders attempting to avoid a U.S. debt default remained at loggerheads Sunday and escalated the standoff by reopening the contentious issue of automatic spending cuts, damping hopes that some of Congress´s most canny negotiators would break the impasse. (snip) Many Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), oppose retreating from those cuts. That set up a clash that seemed almost as intense as the one that caused budget talks between House Republicans and President Barack Obama to collapse Friday.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will delve into a decades-old debate over university admissions policies that favor racial minorities, hearing a Michigan case that picks up where the justices left off last session in a dispute from the University of Texas. (snip) In a twist, the two groups in the Michigan case that favor affirmative action to help minorities have put forward divergent views. They will split their side´s half hour of oral argument, each taking a different tack in hopes of influencing a court dominated by ideologically conservative justices