WASHINGTON — So far the telephone has not rung. Last week I suggested a way for the left and the right to get together constructively. I suggested that the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton might give me a call and we might unite in demanding an investigation of the death of Miriam Carey. You may have forgotten who Miss Carey is. After all, it has been two weeks since her death. Two weeks of thunderous silence, after she rammed a White House barricade with her car. Then she drove off down Pennsylvania Avenue with a posse of
Regulation: From lost jobs to fewer hours to premium hikes that would make a loan shark drool, Barack Obama´s home state is a case study in why the first rule in health care reform, as in medicine, should be to do no harm. The president and his cohorts in the media have long accused Republicans of being out of touch with ordinary people. Remember the concocted story about President Bush the elder being so out of touch he was unfamiliar with supermarket bar-code scanners? But it´s President Obama who´s out of touch with ordinary people
Healthcare.gov, the web site for Obamacare, is the crown jewel of the American welfare state and President Obama´s signature domestic policy achievement. Hundreds of millions of Americans will use Healthcare.gov every day for decades to come if the site ever functions properly and Obamacare becomes as permanent a feature of American life as Social Security. Yes, we can! So, if you were picking the IT firm to design Healthcare.gov, you would spare no effort to make sure every potential bidder knew about the opportunity, that the integrity of the bid selection process was beyond question, and that the company most likely to create
The NFL has been promoting its breast cancer awareness program through pink equipment and Web campaigns. Players are wearing pink shoes, cheerleaders don pink outfits and the NFL official merchandise website is full of gear that fans can buy to support the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer research. But how much of the money raised through gear sales actually goes to breast cancer research? Only $8 out of every $100 spent on merchandise, according to an ESPN reporter. The “Crucial Catch” campaign, which started when Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, started doing events with the Redskins in
Call it the “Animal House” shutdown. At the end of that seminal American comedy about a rowdy fraternity, the charismatic Otter makes an impassioned speech to his fellows about their enemies on campus: “We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!” To which his friend Bluto replies, “We’re just the guys to do it.” Congratulations, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the two
Historically, surveillance was difficult and expensive. Over the decades, as technology advanced, surveillance became easier and easier. Today, we find ourselves in a world of ubiquitous surveillance, where everything is collected, saved, searched, correlated and analyzed. But while technology allowed for an increase in both corporate and government surveillance, the private and public sectors took very different paths to get there. The former always collected information about everyone, but over time, collected more and more of it, while the latter always collected maximal information, but over time, collected it on more and more people. Corporate surveillance has been on a path from minimal
President Barack Obama told reporters on Wednesday night that the United States must ´get out of the habit of governing by crisis´, after the Senate passed a debt-limit bailout bill following a crushing defeat for Republicans. An hour after the Senate move, the House followed suit with its own vote that beat a midnight debt-ceiling deadline. Obama spoke just before 8:30 p.m., moments after the Democrat-led bill passed in the Senate by an 81-18 vote. By 10:20 p.m. the House had heard and approved the measure 285-144. In each tally, Republicans were the only dissenters.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin got a lot of attention for a post on her Facebook Page where she said, “Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense.” Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst got in on the act as well, calling for Obama’s impeachment. Just mentioning the word impeachment is enough to get some in the conservative movement on a roll. Unfortunately, discussions of impeachment are a silly waste of time. First, “impeachment” is a misunderstod term. Most people think
Every holiday, the Dufresne family of Leominster prayed for the return of Pfc. Norman Dufresne, who went missing 63 years ago in the Korean War. “Growing up, whenever there was a family gathering, they use to mention Uncle Norman,” said Dufresne’s tearful nephew Al Guilmette. Yesterday, his remains were brought home to Leominster, where he will be buried in the family plot. “We’ll all get to see him on the special days,” said his sole surviving sister, Claire Weber, wearing a pin with a picture of Dufresne in his Army uniform, as she anxiously waited for her brother’s return at Logan International Airport
There are some interesting nuggets inserted into the bill designed to re-open the government and avert a default, which the U.S. Congress passed Wednesday night. As pork goes, these are low-level on the outrage scale, such as a death benefit for Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s widow – a line item buried on page 20 of the 35-page bill: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution, there is appropriated for payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of Frank R. Lautenberg, late a Senator from New Jersey, $174,000.” That provision approves money for a death benefit accorded to senators and its common practice. Another section
Republicans´ new worst fear isn´t defaulting on America´s debts. If an immigration policy favored by the White House and Senate Democrats should become law, 17.3 million newly legalized immigrant voters would emerge by 2036, eager to reward the party that gave them a path to citizenship. The White House has shifted gears and put its policy team in immigration overdrive, zooming past the debt crisis that threatened to sink the republic and on to the task of normalizing the estimated 11 million U.S. residents who have no legal basis for being there. The Democrat-dominated U.S. Senate passed a bill in June
One of the most hackneyed lines in the apparently endless and sterile partisan tug-of-war in Washington is this sanctimonious claptrap about Obamacare being “the law of the land” and that it therefore must not be obstructed. Anyone resorting to such pious invocations of the law in the United States should be subject to a potential penalty (applied only in the most extreme cases) of the extraction of the tongue with red-hot tongs. This is because that level of respect for “the law of the land” is almost never how the law actually works in the U.S. The legal cartel has an
From Benghazi to the health of former President George W. Bush, wild unsubstantiated assertions by the news media take the place of real reporting. Fox News is left to set the record straight, yet frequently it doesn’t get the credit it deserves. The stent placement in President Bush’s coronary artery is the latest example of the world of Fox News versus wild speculation. The subsequent media firestorm and unsubstantiated August debate over whether Bush’s heart procedure was needed has culminated in yet another round of anti-journalistic speculation this week more than two months after the fact. A National Journal “article” published on Monday
Oreo cookies are as addictive as cocaine – especially when it comes to the creamy center, a new study claims. Lab rats who ate “America’s favorite cookie” formed an equally strong association as they did when injected with cocaine or morphine, student researchers at Connecticut College claim. The cookies also ignited more neurons in the “pleasure center” of the brain than exposure to abusive drugs, according to the researchers. “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” said Neuroscience Professor Joseph Schroeder, who led the study. “It may explain why some people can’t
LONDON - Some 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labor, victims of debt bondage or even born into servitude, a global index on modern slavery showed on Thursday. Almost half are in India, where slavery ranges from bonded labor in quarries and kilns to commercial sex exploitation, although the scourge exists in all 162 countries surveyed by Walk Free, an Australian-based rights group. Its estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. The International Labour Organisation estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour. "Today
T wo and a half weeks into the government shutdown, and with a disastrous debt default mere hours away, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday finally reached for his one escape lever. The House on Wednesday is expected to vote on a bipartisan Senate-brokered bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. "We fought the good fight, we just didn´t win," Boehner said in announcing he would bring the bill for a vote, which should pass with support from Democrats and moderate Republicans. Though Republicans originally demanded a steep ransom, the inexorable path to Wednesday´s
Last month, I had the chance to walk along the beautiful National Mall in Washington, DC. The serene stretch of parkland from the Lincoln Memorial to the National World War II Memorial is my favourite part, and the weather´s autumnal perfection was enough to make me forget politics, despite my location. The week after I returned to New York, the Washington I had just left descended into a rank citadel of "shutdown" politics, with monuments closed off from public viewing and partisan posturing bringing all constructive debate to a halt. Since that so-called shutdown began, the mood in the United States has
Watching Barack Obama and his shutdown shenanigan theatre, I discovered I have something in common with our inchoate president -- we both want Americans to suffer. As a sociopathic solipsist, Obama is incapable of feeling anyone´s pain, and because of this, his goal has been to make this shutdown as agonizing as possible. Ted Cruz, an honorable man with conviction, thought he could force ObamaCare concessions from the administration using the continuing resolution as a cudgel. Boehner thought the debt ceiling offered better opportunities. They decided on the infamous "defund strategy."
Yeah. But is he a Negative or a Positive? The Positive presidents relished the job and the grand necessity to move events by persuading, cajoling, bargaining with and perhaps occasionally threatening other players in the political arena. The great Active-Positive presidents all had fun in the job. They showed a zest and enthusiasm that was infectious, not just with the American people but, more significantly, with members of Congress. We sure don’t see any of that with Obama. Edward Klein, a former New York Times Magazine editor and author of a book on Obama called The Amateur, has written that Obama “doesn’t
WASHINGTON — It may be one of the most serious missteps of the federal government shutdown. After weeks of planning, the nation’s spy chief sent home nearly three-quarters of the workers at the government’s intelligence agencies when faced with the partial shutdown. The move, James Clapper later admitted himself, put the United States at greater risk of terrorist attacks. He then reversed course and brought thousands of employees back to work. A review by McClatchy finds that lawmakers, former intelligence officials and national security experts say they were shocked that the administration furloughed the bulk of federal workers at 16 intelligence agencies,
The following list shows how lawmakers voted on the budget deal Wednesday: A "yes" vote is a vote to pass the measure. X denotes those not voting. SENATORS: Voting yes were 52 Democrats, 27 Republicans and 2 independents. Voting no were 0 Democrats and 18 Republicans. ALABAMA Sessions (R), No; Shelby (R), No. ALASKA Begich (D), Yes; Murkowski (R), Yes. ARIZONA Flake (R), Yes; McCain (R), Yes.
WASHINGTON -- The government reopened its doors Thursday after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations. Early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the measure, which the House and Senate passed late Wednesday, ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the must-pass legislation to mount a last-ditch effort to derail the president´s landmark health care law and demand concessions on the budget. The White House directed all agencies to reopen promptly and in an orderly fashion. Furloughed federal employees across the country are expected
I’ve read about this in history books. It’s what happened to the Weimar Republic in Germany when its currency collapsed and anarchy followed. The result was Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. In the wake of the Great Depression, the wheels began to come off the Weimar Republic, a liberal democracy that had been in place since the end of World War One. In 1930 President Hindenburg assumed emergency powers. By 1933 three Chancellors had preceded Hitler and when the Nazi government took over it simply ignored Germany’s constitution.
Lost in the news shuffle of the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate this week was the story progressives are quite happy you likely missed. But the story is important to note now, especially since we are on the verge of a massive expansion of the welfare state. The Electronic Benefits Transfer system went down for a couple of days. The EBT system replaced food stamps with a debit card to remove the stigma attached to using food stamps and is “reloaded” with a recipient’s government allotment once per month. When the money is gone, it’s gone, until the next month.
No major legislation has ever been passed like Obamacare -- and I´m using the word "passed" pretty loosely. It became law without both houses ever voting on the same bill. (Say, is the Constitution considered "settled law"?) Not one Republican voted for it -- and a lot of Democrats immediately wished they hadn´t. Historically, big laws have been enacted with large, bipartisan majorities. In 1935, President Roosevelt enacted Social Security with a 372-33 vote in the House and 77-6 in the Senate. In 1965, Medicare passed in the Senate 70-24 and the House 307-116, with the vast majority of Democrats supporting this Ponzi
A deal ending the government shutdown was reached late last night when the Republican-controlled House approved a proposed package sent by the Democrat-led Senate. Democratic congressional leaders and pundits everywhere are declaring the event a victory for the president and the Democratic Party, as they claim credit for preventing a mythical government default and stabilizing the market. In reality, the GOP’s surrender has only made it seem doubtful that the party can intervene in a serious way to liberate Americans held hostage to the Democratic spending binge. Meanwhile, the Democrats have announced they will not negotiate. They will not be