Modern post-presidencies, it seems, are often designed around vindication or at least a conscious effort toward enhancing one’s legacy. Think of the disgraced Richard Nixon, rising like a phoenix out of Watergate-induced exile to become a foreign-policy sage for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Or the humbled Jimmy Carter channeling his prodigious energies into humanitarianism through his NGO, the Carter Center, and winning the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. Or the scandal-beset Clinton, taking a page from Carter’s playbook, doing good through the now-massive Clinton Global Initiative. George H.W. Bush, however, after failing to fend off a reelection
As the federal government shutdown drama wrapped up, I asked if the Tea Party just wants to watch the world burn. Motivating that question was an observed division among activists on the Right between those seeking to work within the system to elect majorities and those seeking to “fight” at any electoral cost. The latter faction claims exclusive title to principle. Over and over again, leading up to and during the shutdown, we were told that a vote for a continuing resolution which did not defund Obamacare was “a vote to fund Obamacare.” In other words, we were told that
New concerns are being raised about so-called ObamaCare "navigators" following a string of reports about the questionable backgrounds of those selected to guide Americans through what is shaping up to be a rocky roll-out of the health care law. The concerns come on top of the drama over the HealthCare.gov site itself, which is the main federal hub for would-be participants and has been riddled with technical problems. The "navigators" are outreach workers, funded by federal taxpayer dollars, who are supposed to help people sign up for coverage. The Daily Caller reported earlier this week that one "enrollment assister" in Lawrence, Kan.,
WASHINGTON -- Last week, President Barack Obama gathered some of his top advisers in the Oval Office to discuss the problem-plagued rollout of his health care legislation. He told his team the administration had to own up to the fact that there were no excuses for not having the health care website ready to operate on Day One. The admonition from a frustrated president came amid the embarrassing start to sign-ups for the health care insurance exchanges. The president is expected to address the cascade of computer problems Monday during an event at the White House. Administration officials say more
I’ve written repeatedly about the mostly unspoken constitutional crisis that has enveloped our country for the past 100 years and have even gone so far as to draft a Restoration Amendment to attempt to restore a proper balance between the power of the federal government and the states and individual citizens. For the most part, I have concluded that serious change of the U.S. Constitution to reflect the original intent of the nations’ founders is virtually impossible. Nonetheless, I continue to argue that the only appropriate response to the progressives’ decades-long push to “transform” America is to fight back with a
For decades they have whisked wide-eyed couples around Manhattan, offering a romantic relic of an city long since transformed. Yet the past may finally have caught up with the horse-drawn carriages of Central Park, which are facing extinction with the arrival of a new man in City Hall. Bill de Blasio, the overwhelming favourite to take over from Michael Bloomberg as mayor in the new year, has pledged to ban the buggies immediately because the animals involved are made to suffer. "We are in the biggest, densest urban area in North America," Mr de Blasio said at a press conference.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) says congressional Republicans are planning an "impeachment circus" to thwart President Obama´s legislative goals on the economy and immigration reform. "It´s like a magician who snaps his fingers in one place so you won`t see what he`s doing with his other hand," McDermott said Friday during an appearance on MSNBC. "They are basically trying to keep the president from doing anything on jobs or on immigration or on climate change or any other issue that the American people are facing or pensions or anything." The former House Ethics Committee chairman said that Republicans would turn to
In Frank Herbert’s Dune the reader is told that the “world is supported by four things: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous, and the valor of the brave. But all of these are as nothing without a ruler who knows the art of ruling.” He might have added that naught avails a ruler without followers willing to follow. Today Saudi Arabia rejected a seat on the UN Security Council to which it had been unanimously elected in protest against “its long-time patron United States’ overtures to Iran, among other peeves,” according
Libya marks the second anniversary of the death of Muammar Gaddafi with the country on the brink of a new civil war and fighting raging in the eastern city of Benghazi, birthplace of its Arab spring revolution. Violence between radical militias and regular forces broke out on Friday night and continued yesterday, while the capital Tripoli is braced for fallout from the kidnapping earlier this month of prime minister Ali Zaidan. Federalists in Cyrenaica, home to most of Libya´s oil, open their own independent parliament in Benghazi this week, in a step that may herald the breakup of the country.
The U.S. Navy is being rocked by a bribery scandal that federal investigators say has reached high into the officer corps and exposed a massive overbilling scheme run by an Asian defense contractor that provided prostitutes and other kickbacks. Among those arrested on corruption charges are a senior agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and a Navy commander who escaped Cambodia’s “killing fields” as a child only to make a triumphant return to the country decades later as the skipper of a U.S. destroyer. The investigation has also ensnared a Navy captain who was relieved of his ship’s command
The Red Lobster customer accused of writing ´none n*****´ on the tip line of his check is so confident he didn´t make the slur that he hired a forensics expert to evaluate his handwriting. The forensics expert evaluated both 20-year-old Devin Barnes´ handwriting and that of his wife and concluded: ´There is evidence to indicate that Devin Barnes did not write the total entry. No significant handwriting characteristic similarities were noted.´ Now Mr Barnes and his wife plan on taking legal action against the chain, after receiving numerous death threats when the photo went viral.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a tentative resolution of all civil mortgage-bond related matters with the U.S. Department of Justice under which the nation’s largest bank will pay a record $13 billion, a person familiar with the settlement talks said. The amount increased from $11 billion during negotiations last night, the person said. The deal includes $4 billion for unspecified consumer relief and $9 billion in fines and other payments, another person familiar with the matter said. The $9 billion includes a $4 billion accord with the Federal Housing Finance Agency over the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed securities.
This is not the column about the Obamacare rollout I expected to write. If you had told me, months ago, that weeks after the health care law’s coverage expansion went into effect I would be writing about the problems its launch had exposed, I would have assumed I’d be writing about rate shock, rising premiums and the disappearance of many cheap insurance plans — basically, all the problems conservatives have worried will make Obamacare a ruinously expensive failure if they play out as we fear they might. I may be writing about those issues soon enough. But for now there
San Antonio — With roars of approval from hundreds of GOP women gathered in San Antonio, Sen. Ted Cruz defended his political tactics in Congress on Saturday and vowed to continue the uphill fight against the new federal health care law, despite backlash even from fellow Republicans. Dashing from city to Texas city to meet with constituents now that the federal budget crisis he´s blamed for has subsided, Cruz drew a hero´s welcome from the Texas Federation of Republican Women meeting at the Grand Hyatt. Acknowledging he´s “reviled” by some in Washington, D.C., Cruz said it´s a relief to be
Hundreds of gun-rights advocates, many toting rifles and shotguns, gathered early Saturday at the Alamo in San Antonio to rally in support of gun ownership and the right to bear arms. The rally, called "Come and Take It San Antonio," comes in response to what organizers called San Antonio police´s "disregard for Texas law and The Constitution." Organizers said the police department has harassed gun owners and created a hostile environment for legal gun ownership. Gun-rights proponents flooded a plaza near the historic site -- considered a shrine of Texas liberty since a small band of Texans fought and died
Not a single Republican senator or congressman voted for the Affordable Care Act, but the standoff over the government shutdown may have done the one thing that seemed impossible a few months ago: divided the Republican party over Obamacare. It´s no secret that several high-profile Republicans in Washington are angry with their colleagues for pushing them into a corner on a strategy that left them with a brunt of the blame for shutting the government down in an effort to defund Obamacare. But the anger flows both ways. The uber-conservative base of the Republican Party, and the groups that support
In the aftermath of the crisis in Washington--or more aptly, in the lull between crises--there is a danger that a few smug assumptions will solidify into received opinion on this side of the Atlantic. In the hope of dispelling some dangerous misconceptions, I will attempt to counter three myths that manage to be both alarmist and complacent at the same time. The first is that the American democratic system is now so damaged that the country’s ability to govern itself effectively is in unprecedented peril. [Snip] It is state governments that run the affairs that govern most civic and economic
NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested this week for allegedly bringing a loaded gun to Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle, police said. Russell, 79, was arrested Wednesday and issued a state citation for having a weapon in a prohibited area of the airport, said Perry Cooper, a Port of Seattle Police Department spokesman. Russell was issued a citation and released. He had a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in a forbidden area of the airport, said Lisette Garcia, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman. The gun was found during a screening of carry-on bags at a checkpoint, the TSA said.
Two Utah Boy Scout leaders who purposely knocked over an ancient desert rock formation in a state park say they´ve received death threats since a video of the toppling went viral. In the video shot by Dave Hall of Highland, fellow Scout leader Glenn Taylor pushes a large boulder from its delicate perch, sending it tumbling down a small embankment as the men cheer and high-five. Hall said they´ve received more than 100 online death threats from people who disapproved of their Oct. 11 action in Goblin Valley State Park. The central Utah park is dotted with thousands of the
WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man. He and his family rarely attend church, and he almost never elaborates in public about his own relationship to his Christian faith. But away from the public eye, advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable. Every year on Aug. 4, the president´s birthday, Obama convenes a group of pastors by phone to receive their prayers for him for the year to come. During the
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally endorsed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday, signifying her first high-profile public foray into elective politics since leaving her post earlier this year. Mrs. Clinton helped fire up an overflow crowd of an estimated 800 people at the State Theater in Falls Church there to support Mr. McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee Chairman and prolific fundraiser who was a rainmaker for President Clinton during the 1990s.
Have you noticed how many lawmakers from Texas were doing crazy things during the government shutdown debacle? We need to discuss this as a matter of simple justice. These days, when you say “Texas” in the context of heavy-breathing Republican extremism, everybody immediately thinks of Senator Ted Cruz. (Snip)Davis’s opponent will probably be the state’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, who has already amassed enough cash to buy Nebraska. Abbott once provided supporters with his vision of the attorney general’s duties: “I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home.” So there’s that.
LONDON — A violin believed to have played on the Titanic before the doomed vessel sank beneath the waves has sold for 900,000 pounds (some $1.45 million) at auction. An unidentified bidder on Saturday won the violin, whose metal fixtures appear corroded by seawater and is no longer playable. It is thought to have belonged to bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who was among the disaster’s more than 1,500 victims. Auctioneer Henry Aldridge and Son says the violin has been subject to numerous tests to check its authenticity since it was discovered in 2006. It said earlier this year that the violin was Hartley’s
The US has agreed a deal with Romania to use an air base there as a transit point for American forces leaving Afghanistan, officials have said. The agreement was reached at bilateral talks at the Pentagon. The move will allow the US to switch its flight operations to Romania from Kyrgyzstan´s Manas air base, when the US lease there expires in July 2014. Washington plans to withdraw most of its 52,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The US wants to keep a smaller force in the country after the deadline, but is still negotiating key details with the government in Kabul.
What the…?(Snip for graphic) “Ovary sad…” To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, this tweet is offensive to comedians. The tweet conversation shows, once again, where radical Wendy Davis’ support is coming from — out of state — and how poor Davis’ allies’ judgement is. Joking about selling ovaries to donate the proceeds to a politician is just bizarre. Not at all in the mainstream of Texas politics. If a Republican tweeted any of that, does anyone doubt that it would be a story in the Dallas Morning News by now? Does anyone doubt that it would spawn a handful of stories over the next
We’ve spent plenty of time and column space here over the last couple years keeping you up to date on the the attempts of various corrupt Ecuador agencies and their Eco-warrior counterparts in the United States to sue Chevron over claimed damages in Ecuador’s oil fields. While such tactics have traditionally been successful against big corporations with deep pockets, choosing to simply pay off the pests rather than spending the time and money to fight them, not so with Chevron. The plaintiffs, led in large part by Manhattan lawyer Steven Donziger, tried to dig too deep, racking up a $19B