Fox News is justifiably proud of its star commentator Charles Krauthammer, widely considered to be the most influential conservative journalist in the country. In an hour-long interview with Fox News 6 P.M anchor Brett Baier that fist ran last Friday, the usually reticent Krauthammer told the fascinating story of his life, relating how he coped with the crippling accident that left him forever wheelchair-bound and how he almost inadvertently traded the psychiatrist´s couch for the journalist´s keyboard. Listening to this remarkable man, one couldn´t help admiring his spunk, his strength of character and, above all, his towering intellect. And then
It had to come to this. Bill Greider at the Nation warns that, in addition to tapping the phones of 35 other world leaders, the NSA might be spying on President Obama. (Snip) President Obama has shown an alarming tendency to be unaware of most everything. To begin with he was unaware that the NSA was spying on world leaders until he read about it in the papers. Although he argued that Obamacare would let Americans keep their existing plans, his administration apparently knew all along that millions would lose — have already lost — their coverge. How to explain
Sacramento, Calif. — Many California courts fail to tell state justice officials when someone is determined to be mentally ill, undermining efforts to take guns away from potentially dangerous owners, according to a state audit released Tuesday. State law requires courts to tell the Department of Justice when it makes certain mental health determinations. The department uses that information as part of a program unique to California that seizes guns from people who are prohibited from having them, including the mentally ill. Auditors discovered that many courts were not aware of the reporting requirements. They surveyed 34 of California´s 58 superior courts
When Stephen Hawking decided to boycott Israel earlier this year based on the opinions of academics like Noam Chomsky I was astonished. How can it be that one of the smartest people in the world can hold such a dumb view? It turns out that this is quite common. As I began to teach at Queens College (City University of New York), I have seen firsthand how this can be. It has often been said that there is no cure for stupid, while ignorance is easily treated through education. What happens when educators willfully steer their ships in an ignorant
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) again praised Hillary Clinton on Monday, saying her work as Secretary of State was "outstanding" with the exception of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. "Her work as secretary of state, with the exception of this issue of Benghazi — which isn’t going away — I think has been outstanding," McCain said. "I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016.” McCain has previously said that it would be a "tough choice" if the 2016 election were between Clinton and Sen.
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians will launch a new in-house health insurance plan next month for its employees because BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s rates have become too expensive, the group’s CEO said Tuesday. The in-house plan will reduce health insurance costs for the practice’s 600 employees by as much as 85 percent per pay period, said spokeswoman Vivian Barajas.[Snip] “It’s kind of like getting a mini-raise for us.” The new plan will not be offered to patients who visit the practice. It is available only for employees, such as doctors, nurses, physicians assistants and administrators, who work there.
Oh my goodness, read this, from our Raf Sanchez in Washington: European intelligence agencies and not American spies were responsible for the mass collection of phone records which sparked outrage in France and Spain, the US has claimed. General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, said reports that the US had collected millions of Spanish and French phone records were "absolutely false". "To be perfectly clear, this is not information that we collected on European citizens," Gen Alexander said when asked about the reports, which were based on classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former NSA
Jose Fernandez looked out his apartment window near MacArthur Park and admitted, in defeat, that he´s grown accustomed to the view: Torn couches, dingy mattresses, broken dressers, dusty headboards. The procession of rejected furniture piles high and wide on the sidewalk, compliments of neighbors and whoever else decides to dump and run. (Snip) Hoping to put a stop to the rubbish, the city recently launched a $1-million cleanup effort aimed at Councilman Gil Cedillo´s 1st District, including areas such as Lincoln Heights and Mount Washington. Much of the focus is on the immigrant-heavy neighborhoods of Westlake and Pico-Union
Sybrina Fulton was on Capitol Hill Tuesday testifying on the issue of “stand your ground,” an issue close to her heart after the death of her son Trayvon Martin. Senator Ted Cruz told her during the hearing that stand your ground laws are not racist, and Fulton responded to Cruz’s defense of the Florida law Al Sharpton‘s MSNBC show Tuesday night. Sharpton cited statistics to rebut Cruz’s claim that African-Americans have benefitted more from stand your ground laws in Florida than white Americans have. Fulton told Sharpton there’s “some disconnect” in Cruz’s remarks, saying he is “not aware of the
Breitbart News has obtained a document from a technology vendor working on Obamacare´s HealthCare.gov website that suggests there may be serious back-end problems with the malfunctioning website. Nine days after the insurance exchange website went live, the technology company Logistics Management Institute (LMI) wrote a memo in which it noted that "Veterans Affairs has found that about 75% of total traffic to VA has matched deceased individuals; exploring if it is a system problem, a problem with submitting the same application many times, or a fraud issue." Further in the memo, dated "10.10.13," under a section titled "Data trends," the
BEIJING - Chinese authorities investigating what could be Beijing´s first major suicide attack searched on Tuesday for two men from Muslim-dominated Xinjiang after three people suspected to be from the restive region drove an SUV into a crowd at Tiananmen Square and set it on fire. They killed themselves and two tourists on Monday in the square, the heart of China´s power structure and the focal point of the mass 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations brutally crushed the military. Police have spread a dragnet across the capital, checking hotels and vehicles, seeking two people suspected to be ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from Xinjiang
Kanye West says it’s just not fair that Vogue put First Lady Michelle Obama on its cover but won’t feature his fiancé, Kim Kardashian. “There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like everyday,” West told Ryan Seacrest in an interview on Tuesday. West said that “collectively” he and Kardashian are “the most influential” couple in fashion – especially compared to President Barack Obama and the first lady. "No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing," he said. "[And] Michelle Obama cannot Instagram
Nearly a year into his second term, President Obama has yet to master the management of information within his administration. That failure has left him knowing too little at times about issues that matter the most to his legacy. Obama, who like many presidents had no executive experience before taking office, has never pretended to care much about the details of governing. He prefers the big speech to congressional arm-twisting, the big reform to incremental change and the big foreign policy ambition to cultivating head-of-state relationships. The approach has its benefits. But it also means that Obama has at times
The director of the National Security Agency on Tuesday dismissed as “completely false” reports that his agency swept up millions of phone records of European citizens, and he revealed that data collected by NATO allies were shared with the United States. Gen. Keith Alexander said foreign intelligence services collected phone records in war zones and other areas outside their borders and provided them to the spy agency — an operation that was misunderstood by French and Spanish newspapers that reported that the NSA was conducting surveillance in their countries. “This is not information that we collected on European citizens,” Alexander
It’s Kathleen Sebelius’s turn now. On the Hill, they’re calling for her resignation and tossing around words like “subpoena.” Pundits are merrily debating her future. (She’s toast! Or is Obama too loyal to fire her so soon?) Her interviews, more closely parsed than usual, seem wobbly. Though never a colorful presence on the political scene, she’s suddenly a late-night TV punch line. And on Wednesday morning, the embattled secretary of health and human services will submit to a quintessential station of the Washington deathwatch — testifying before a congressional committee — to discuss her agency’s failings in the botched rollout
President Barack Obama’s loyal allies in the labor movement aren’t jumping to help the administration in the public battle over the problematic Obamacare website. Put off by new reinsurance fees on group health care plans that affect union members, Big Labor is largely sitting out the effort to enroll people for health care coverage or make the White House’s public case that the mangled rollout of HealthCare.gov doesn’t mean the entire Affordable Care Act is flawed. The AFL-CIO isn’t lifting a finger to help the White House — it remains in negotiations at the White House and on Capitol Hill to
A new controversy over the president’s health-care law is threatening to overshadow the messy launch of its Web site: Notices are going out to hundreds of thousands of Americans informing them that their health insurance polices are being canceled as of Dec. 31. The notices appear to contradict President Obama’s promise that despite the changes resulting from the law, Americans can keep their health insurance if they like it. Republicans have seized on the cancellations as evidence that the law is flawed and the president has been less than forthright in describing its impact. “The real problem is that people
China unveiled this week a fleet of nuclear submarines that has been shrouded in mystery and hidden for 40-plus years — a move seen by security experts as a show of force and confidence from a nation that’s aggressively pursuing the top spot on the world stage. The submarines are older-generation models, part of the country’s secretive military program, The Daily Mail reported. The vessels are equipped with rocket launchers that can fire beneath the water. China brought forth the fleet in a public ceremony that included demonstration missions from seamen off the coast of Qingdao, on the eastern coast.
When you think of the Clintons, does the word "honesty" come to mind? It does to new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow who actually said on Tuesday´s The Cycle (readers are strongly advised not to have any food or fluid in their mouths before continuing reading), "They represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now" ARI MELBER, CO-HOST: We were talking about this segment as sort of an “I Love the ´90s,” and for the Clintons, the ´90s was a long time ago politically. If you look for example in ´96, roughly when President Clinton signed the Defense
As millions of people receive notices that their health insurance is being canceled, the White House said Tuesday that President Obama didn’t mislead the public when he repeatedly and emphatically promised that everyone could keep their plan under Obamacare. Top aides to the president said that, although Mr. Obama never mentioned it specifically, his promise referred only to people who have had uninterrupted health insurance coverage dating back to before the law’s enactment in 2010. But even Obama allies such as House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, acknowledged that the president’s promises were overly broad. Mr. Hoyer said
Washington - To his critics, President Barack Obama often has seemed to be conveniently distant when trouble has hit his administration. But on Tuesday, Obama was hit with a public-relations crisis that struck at the core of his domestic and foreign policy - one that raised questions about whether he had misled Americans on his signature healthcare overhaul, and whether he really was unaware of the U.S. government´s alleged spying on its allies. It was a dramatic twist for the Democratic president, who was widely seen as outflanking Republicans during the budget battles that led to a partial government shutdown
Bob Schieffer, host of "Face the Nation" and CBS News correspondent, was awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism by Arizona State University´s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Tuesday. The award is given annually to "a leading figure in journalism." During his acceptance speech, Schieffer discussed the "revolution in communications" and the resulting "crisis in journalism." "Forget the need for ink and a printing press. Anybody who owns a computer, or an iPhone can be a publisher and many choose to be just that--qualified or not, well meaning or not, honest or not, informed
President Obama promotes his health care plan Wednesday by praising the efforts of a political rival: Mitt Romney. The president visits Romney´s home base of Boston for a speech in which he´ll say that Obamacare is based largely on the health care plan that Romney installed as governor of Massachusetts, officials said. "It really does serve as the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act," said David Simas, an Obama deputy senior adviser for communications and strategy. Obama, who defeated Romney in last year´s presidential election, is expected to say that, like Obamacare, the Massachusetts plan had early challenges but is
Washington - The U.S. government´s Obamacare data hub was ´experiencing an outage´ on Tuesday evening, the Connecticut state healthcare exchange, "Access Health CT", announced. It was the second outage in three days. The exchange operator, Verizon, said it was doing maintenance on the system. "Access Health CT was informed by CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) that the Federal Data Services Hub is currently experiencing an outage," a statement from the Connecticut state exchange said. A similar outage on Sunday halted online enrollment on the federal Healthcare.gov website as well as similar state sites.
The latest Obamacare-related controversy emerged this week after hundreds of thousands of Americans reportedly received cancellation notices from their insurance providers after new healthcare legislation took effect this month. Republicans have seized the opportunity to ridicule Democrats and the president for having promised the contrary. As far back as 2009, Pres. Obama and Team Blue had repeatedly told voters that, under the Affordable Care Act, “if you like your current plan, you can keep it.” As many have pointed out, the plans are being terminated because they failed to meet the minimum requirements set forth by new law. House Minority