The man holds up a 78 rpm record bearing the blue-and-white logo of Chess Records, an iconic label for any fan of the blues. He places it on a vintage Califone turntable, and we hear Howlin´ Wolf´s "Rockin´ Daddy" in all its tactile glory. The song plays for three minutes and six seconds. And then the brief video ends.It´s the summer of 2010, and I´ve just stumbled on a subculture: not just fans of old music on vinyl records, but fans who post videos of those records playing on YouTube. The man holding the Howlin´ Wolf 78 is Rich Hynes,
It might seem like idiocy on steroids, but that’s kinda how our Federal Government operates. Ever thought about helping out a family member by buying them that hunting rifle they’ve been looking at, or that Glock 19 they’ve been talking about getting? Well, prepare for prison if you buy it for them. A well established, and yet often ignored, law that was designed to stop criminals from getting their hands on guns through a third party might actually make more criminals than it catches. Anyone here remember the “Fast and Furious” scandal? Ya know, where the ATF and Department of Justice
The word “appropriate” is one of the better homonyms in the English language. As an adjective, it is defined as “suitable or proper in the circumstances,” while as a verb appropriate means “to take something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.” Which brings us to the Washington Redskins. Currently the Redskins are more than a disappointing NFC East franchise; they are a national litmus test. The franchise has in recent months taken a lot of heat – and not Miami Heat – because its name is a racial slur. Which - and we might as well deal with this
The Republicans who brought about the government shutdown then voted against ending it may not have actually wanted a shutdown. They wanted a fight — and some of them assumed they would lose earlier than they did. This may be the moment the Tea Partiers realized they are playing with live ammo. To use another analogy: Tea Partiers were the dog that finally caught the car and didn’t know what to do with it. The events of the past three weeks trace back to former Sen. Jim DeMint’s emergence over the last decade as a new sort of gadfly. Conservative back-benchers pulling on
It would be an understatement to say that this month’s rollout of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. President Barack Obama’s initiative to ensure that all Americans have access to health insurance, has not gone according to plan. On October 1, the online insurance marketplaces that are the lynchpin of Obamacare (as the law has colloquially become known) were opened for business -- but it quickly became clear that they are not functioning properly. Computer malfunctions have prevented enrollment, consumers are frustrated, and politicians and pundits are attacking Obama for the resultant “train wreck.” The problems are all the more embarrassing
There was little to like in the budget bill that passed Congress by strong vote margins this week and temporarily reopened the government. It kicked the can down the road for a few more months, meaning that Congress will have to deal with this mess all over again early next year — further raising the debt ceiling and passing a budget bill to fund the government through the end of fiscal 2014. The government is still drowning in a sea of wasteful, unaffordable, runaway spending and piling up trillions of dollars in additional debt. More than $6 trillion of it has accumulated
Today, Michigan Republicans canvassed door-to-door to recruit precinct leaders and get out the message about the remarkable economic recovery that Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislators have helped create in the state. As with everything nowadays, this effort is being promoted on social media, with the Twitter hashtags #ComebackState and #JoinMiTeam. Knowing how active I am on Twitter, a friend called this morning and asked if I would help promote their campaign and, eager to help with a good cause, I enthusiastically jumped on board. Then, to give it an even stronger boost, I did a blog post which I first
IF you place an order at the Chick-fil-A drive-through off Highway 46 in New Braunfels, Tex., it’s not unusual for the driver of the car in front of you to pay for your meal in the time it took you to holler into the intercom and pull around for pickup. “The people ahead of you paid it forward,” the cashier will chirp as she passes your food through the window. Confused, you look ahead at the car — it could be a mud-splashed monster truck, Mercedes or minivan — which at this point is turning onto the highway. The cashier
The government re-opened, and there was no default. No surprise. This was the 18th shutdown since 1976, when the current budget procedure was established. The five shutdowns under Jimmy Carter were mostly over major policy issues such as abortion (he was for it) and the construction of a nuclear-fuelled aircraft carrier (he was against it). They averaged 11 days. The seven shutdowns during Reagan’s presidency were mostly about money, over which it is easier to split the difference, and averaged two days. Compromise is also easier when the Republican president and the Democratic speaker of the House, Ronald Reagan and
For this Holocaust survivor, it’s adding “kin”-sult to injury. Rosita Steigrad, a virtually penniless, 89-year-old widow who was forced to flee Nazi-occupied Amsterdam as a teen, got a glimmer of hope that she’d be able to live out her twilight years in comfort with the return of three Dutch Masters paintings seized from her family by the Nazis — including one that hung in Hitler’s private museum. Steigrad consigned the paintings to her Manhattan art-dealer son, Lawrence Steigrad, to sell — but he “inappropriately retained for himself all of the proceeds from the sale of the paintings,” she claims in court
Ever wonder why generous people become outraged over food stamps? Look no further than two Louisiana Walmarts. A week ago, the technology that assessed spending limits on debit cards for food-stamp recipients malfunctioned. As a result, there was no way for stores to tell how much value was left on individual cards. Many merchants refused to accept the cards until the problem was fixed. Not wanting to risk having anyone go hungry, Walmart allowed people to use the cards. Unfortunately, the food-stamp recipients treated the stores’ generosity as a bonanza, and filled carts with much more than they were entitled to. As
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