~~Adapted from RET’s remarks delivered last night at The American Spectator’s annual Robert L. Bartley Dinner.~~ Twenty thirteen was a distressing year. The President handed the foreign policy of the United States over to the KGB. Who knows, perhaps next year he will hand over domestic policy to Monaco. Nevertheless, 2012 was no blowout. We have firm control of the House, and a good shot at the Senate next year. We have 54 percent of the state legislatures and 60 percent of the governors’ mansions. Finally we are poised to take the White House in 2016 with appealing candidates ranging
Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to a large crowd at the University at Buffalo Wednesday night, as part of the university´s Distinguished Speaker Series, and was heckled. "Benghazi, you let them die," the heckler shouted. "We have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want, which doesn´t include yelling. It includes sitting down and talking with one another," Clinton said in response to the heckler to huge applause from the audience. "Perhaps you could describe for us what the ideal candidate for the president would look like," Clinton
Calling the human brain “the only uncharted territory on earth,” Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday night that the United States is “on the cusp” of major changes in how mental illness is diagnosed and treated. “It truly is amazing what we don’t know and astounding what we might learn,” Biden said during the inaugural gala of the Kennedy Forum on mental health at the John F. Kennedy Library . The forum, which includes a one-day conference Thursday, marked the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of a law that funded mental health centers throughout the United States. Research into the
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called US President Barack Obama after receiving information that the US may have spied on her mobile phone. A spokesman for Mrs Merkel said the German leader "views such practices... as completely unacceptable". Mrs Merkel called on US officials to clarify the extent of their surveillance in Germany. The White House said President Obama had told Chancellor Merkel the US was not snooping on her communications. "The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor," White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday.
The nation’s top health official — facing calls for her resignation amid the botched roll-out of the Obamacare website — basked in the applause of a friendly, pro-Obama crowd tonight in Boston, lightly telling them it was great “for all kinds of reasons.” “What a great room to be in tonight. For all kinds of reasons,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said to welcoming laughter as she took the stage at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library for a gala marking 50 years since President Kennedy signed the landmark Community Mental Health Act. “I can tell you it’s good
WASHINGTON — Nearly 700 employees of Internal Revenue Service contractors owe $5.4 million in back taxes, said a report Wednesday by the agency’s inspector general. More than half of those workers are supposed to be ineligible to do work for the IRS because they are not enrolled in installment plans to pay the taxes they owe. Unlike other federal agencies, the IRS requires employees and those who work on agency contracts to comply with federal tax laws. That means they have to file returns on time and either pay all the taxes they owe or enroll in a payment plan.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., urged President Obama in a letter to consider extending the open enrollment period for Obamacare beyond March 31, 2014, given the IT problems confronting the program. But that decision isn´t up to Obama. Even if Obama wanted to extend the open enrollment period, he wouldn´t be allowed to without an act of Congress — at least if he wants to follow the law he signed. Though the health care law granted the Secretary of Health and Human Services discretion to define dates for the open enrollment period to occur each year, it also specified that the initial enrollment period
Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ failure at designing websites to provide government services began during her term as governor of Kansas, long before the Obamacare website debacle, Kansas political insiders told The Daily Caller. Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship (2003-2009), including a failed update of the Department of Labor’s program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services. The Department of Labor’s overhaul of its computer programs was a notable boondoggle, according to
There was nothing wrong with the article, in which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a Georgia man named Willie Lynch had won $1 million in the Georgia lottery. The tweet that appeared on the newspaper’s official Twitter account, however, wasn’t quite so straightforward. As clipped above, it used the “40 acres and a mule” line to infuse a bit of clickworthiness into the straight-news story. The problem with the tweet is familiar to all those who’ve taken high school American history: “40 acres and a mule” were promised to former slaves as reparations. Not an ideal analogy, in other words, for
If there’s such a thing as a Teflon nation, Iran is it: No matter how much terror the Islamic Republic perpetrates or sponsors against the United States, the regime manages to escape any significant accountability. Thirty years ago today, an Iranian-sponsored terrorist drove a truck bomb into the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut. Most of the Marines—on a peacekeeping mission—were asleep; 241 perished. James “Ace” Lyons, the deputy chief of Naval Operations at the time and truly a national treasure, has an important piece in today’s Washington Times recalling the episode: The National Security Agency issued a highly classified message dated
More than two dozen former Marine Corps and Navy judge advocates are asking Congress to investigate the Corps‘ top officer for what they say is unlawful conduct in the Taliban urination cases. The 27 lawyers charge that Gen. James Amos, the Corps commandant and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, violated the rule against “unlawful command influence” by a behind-the-scenes effort to dictate the verdicts against eight Marines. “Our country is entitled to trust her Marines completely, and that trust starts first and foremost with the commandant himself,” they said in a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate
One of the reasons for being glad to be as old as I am is that I may be spared living to see a race war in America. Race wars are often wars in which nobody wins and everybody ends up much worse off than they were before. Initial skirmishes in that race war have already begun, and have in fact been going on for some years. But public officials pretend that it is not happening, and the mainstream media seldom publish it at all, except in ways that conceal what is really taking place. For American society, a dangerous polarization
Some years ago Bernard Goldberg wrote a book, “A Slobbering Love Affair With Obama”, about the way the press treated his 2008-9 campaign and election as President. The mainstream press continues to protect Obama, often rather blatantly. The curious thing about this is that it is not reciprocated. More and more, the press acts and sounds like an abused wife. A case in point is the way the networks-ABC, NBC and CBS-covered the government shutdown. A new report from the Media Research Center analyzed the coverage, finding 41 stories that blamed the Republican Party and zero-none-that blamed the Democrats. There were
A former UC Davis police officer whose pepper-spraying of protesters gained worldwide notice thanks to a viral video has been awarded more than $38,000 in workers´ compensation from the university for suffering he experienced after the incident. Former police Lt. John Pike, who gained a degree of infamy for his role in the incident, was awarded the settlement Oct. 16 by the state Division of Workers´ Compensation Appeals Board. The claim "resolves all claims of psychiatric injury specific or due to continuous trauma from applicant´s employment at UC Davis." The incident that resulted in the $38,055 settlement happened Nov. 18, 2011, on
L ast spring, President Barack Obama maintained plausible deniability throughout the Benghazi, IRS, and Department of Justice snooping scandals, letting most of the blame fall on the people below him. He was dubbed "President Passerby" by members of the press, and accused by critics of either lying about his level of involvement in the scandals or being woefully uninformed about what was happening in his own administration. Now, as more details emerge about the ObamaCare rollout fiasco, it looks like the hands-off president is back. Yesterday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius talked to CNN´s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who asked her
The White House spokesman has denied outright an incendiary claim from the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, Dick Durbin, that a GOP leader during the shutdown negotiations said to President Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you.” “It did not happen,” White House spokesperson Jay Carney said when questioned about the incident. In a statement to TIME, Durbin’s spokesperson Max Gleischman said, “Senator Durbin stands by his comments.” Both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor challenged Durbin’s claim. “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize,” said Boehner spokesperson
Washington was rocked this week when a White House foreign-policy staffer was fired for posting nasty comments about other Obama administration officials on Twitter. Jofi Joseph used the handle @natlsecwonk, and he’s ruined a career he spent a decade or more building. He deserved his firing. Joseph’s conduct was not only uncivilized; he also committed slanders against his own colleagues and superiors. Future employers have to do little more than Google his name to discover his propensity for disloyal nastiness. His time in government is over; whether he can find anyone outside his family to hire him is another question.
A change to the Marine Corps’ uniform hats could take the hard-nosed Leathernecks from the Halls of Montezuma to the shops of Christopher Street. Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a “unisex” look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps with a new hat that some have derided as so “girly” that they would make the French blush. “We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats!” one senior Marine source fumed to
Obamacare includes a requirement that all marketplaces prepare “Navigators,” “In-Person Assisters,” or “Certified Application Counselors.” These organizations and individuals are supposed to be trained to help Americans – should they desire assistance with the process – apply for and purchase insurance plans through the Obamacare marketplaces. However — and inexplicably, as the cause of this situation is not being made available to the public — people seeking assistance will be presented with search results from a database that includes individuals and organizations which are simply not certified to help. Citizens of the 34 states that chose not to create their own exchange
WASHINGTON — As the House and Senate prepare to meet next week to work out differences in their farm bills, lobbying efforts are intensifying to get last-minute changes to the 1,000-page legislation that sets the nation’s farm and nutrition policies. (Snip)A coalition of budget watchdog groups and a seafood trade group are lobbying to repeal a $20 million catfish inspection program at the Agriculture Department, which was put into the 2008 farm bill at the request of catfish farmers to limit imports. Opponents say it is duplicative because there is already a catfish inspection program at the Food and Drug
Parents beware: You´re about to have one less idiom in your repertoire. Scientists in Australia have discovered gold deposits on eucalyptus trees in the Outback. Yes, you read that right -- money can actually "grow" on trees. While it´s not new that plants and trees absorb minerals such as gold through their leaves, scientists had previously been unable to prove that the minerals in question came from deeper underground and not from surface soil deposits. The paper´s authors hope that their findings will turn into a trusted form of gold prospecting. According to the paper, eucalyptus and acacia trees, such as the ones
On September 30, Richard Portwood, a 27-year-old Georgetown University graduate student, received a phone call from an FBI agent who said the bureau wanted to meet with him urgently. Portwood didn´t know why the FBI would have any interest in him, but two days later he sat down with a pair of agents at a coffee shop near his apartment. They told him they suspected that Yury Zaytsev, the US director of a Russian government-run cultural exchange program that Portwood had participated in, was a spy. Since 2001, Zaytsev´s organization, Rossotrudnichestvo, has footed the bill for about 130 young Americans—including
VIENNA — For all those who can´t come to the Vienna State Opera — it can now come to you. Starting Sunday, the company is offering what it describes as state-of-the art live streaming, with viewers able to switch between a view of the stage and close-ups with moving cameras. Innovations promised by the year´s end will include apps providing subtitles in English, German and Korean and a synchronized score of the work being shown. The project starts off with Richard Strauss´ "Der Rosenkavalier" ("Knight of the Rose.") The company is recognized as one of the world´s best and the
After their decades-long feud, Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono appear to be giving peace a chance. In a new Rolling Stone interview, the Beatles legend said he has moved on from his longstanding grudge against the widow of fellow Beatle John Lennon. Calling her a “bada**,” he said, “I thought, ‘If John loved her, there’s got to be something.’ He’s not stupid. It’s like, what are you going to do? Are you going to hold a grudge you never really had?” McCartney, 71, told Rolling Stone that the late George Harrison, another member of the foursome, encouraged him to forgive. “George would say to
After the latest dismal performance by congressional Republicans in their battle (a generous description) with the president and his minions over the budget and ObamaCare, it´s time to ask, "Why the Republican Party?" From Jed Babbin, writing for American Spectator: Staggering, without direction, not quite dead and in search of brains, the Republican Party is giving a really good performance as the Zombie Party. According to the media´s current narrative, it has to rid itself of the Tea Party´s influence or die. The saddest of facts is that the media narrative is shared by many establishment Republicans.
WASHINGTON — At first glance, Senator Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi Nelson Cruz, seems to be just the sort of person the Tea Party supporters who celebrate her husband’s anti-establishment positions love to hate. A vegetarian with a Harvard M.B.A., Mrs. Cruz is a managing director at Goldman Sachs, one of the Wall Street firms that helped set off the populist rage that ushered Mr. Cruz into the Senate in 2012. She works for Goldman in Houston, where she lives with the couple’s two young children, and as her husband’s fame has increased — depending on the audience, he is among