President Barack Obama’s seemingly hands-off management style is raising fresh questions and concerns that could upend his second-term legacy. Claims by the administration and other Democrats that Obama didn’t know about sensitive matters in his own administration -- such as problems with the health care website and revelations of National Security Agency surveillance on foreign leaders -- have many in Washington scratching their heads. “It all fits as part of a pattern. Who is in control? Who is running things? There are a lot of questions,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helps conduct the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which
Tens of thousands of Romanians plan to swarm into the UK once visa restrictions are dropped at the end of the year, new figures suggest. [Snip] The shocking figures provoked concern among campaigners fearing a flood of Romanians and Bulgarians next year when the UK’s labour market and job centres are opened to them. Experts at Migration Watch believe around 50,000 a year will arrive for the next five years. Peter Bone, Tory MP for Wellingborough--which already has a huge eastern European population--said: “This is a catastrophe about to happen and we need to stop it. Not only will Britons
In the 2008 election, President Obama’s advisers talked of their boss’s belief that it was time for an “iPod government.” Obama, a technology addict who tools around on his iPad before going to sleep and who fought the U.S. Secret Service bureaucracy for the right to carry a smartphone, would be the first president truly at home in the Digital Age. That put him, he thought, in a unique position to pull the federal government into the Digital Age, too. His administration wouldn’t just be competent. It would be modern. And it would restore America’s faith that the public sector
The bottom may be starting to fall out of the U.S. defense budget. I do not refer to numbers when I say this. I am not interested in numbers. I am only interested in public support for those numbers. For decades since Pearl Harbor, the American public has firmly and quietly acquiesced to a robust military presence around the globe in defense of freedom. The Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy in Hawaii in 1941 shocked the public into the immediate need to defeat the Axis powers. Then the Cold War reigned for 44 years following World War II -- ignited
Three men, a souped-up Mercedes, 2,813 miles of American roadway, a bedpan, and a dream. Ed Bolian, and his team, obliterated a cross-country driving record this month, racing from New York to LA in a heart-pounding 28 hours 50 minutes. That’s 11 hours faster than Google maps says it should take, and nearly 3 hours faster than the previous record set in 2006 of 31 hours and 4 minutes. “Honestly, I was so shocked at how much we had beat our target and previous record,” Bolian, a 27-year-old Lamborghini dealer from Atlanta told ABCNews.com.
This week, the elite of American politics gathered in Washington DC to unveil a bust of Winston Churchill at the Capitol building.[[Snip] “Ladies and gentlemen,” said Mr Boehner, “this is one of history’s true love stories. Between a great statesman and a nation he called ´The Great Republic.’” The famously sentimental Republican wiped tears from his eyes as the crowd listened to a recording of Churchill addressing Congress following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Afterwards, Roger Daltrey of The Who sang Stand by Me--a tribute, Mr Boehner said, to “the best friend the United States ever had”.
WASHINGTON -- Think you´re confused by "Obamacare." It´s roiling Capitol Hill behind the scenes, too. Members of Congress are governing themselves under President Barack Obama´s signature law, which means they have great leeway in how to apply it to their own staffs. For House members and senators, it´s about a section of the law that may - or may not - require lawmakers to toss some staffers off of their federal health insurance and into the Affordable Care Act´s exchanges. The verdict from congressional officers is ultimately that lawmakers, as employers, have discretion over who among their staffs gets
Cairo, Egypt--Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s trial begins on Monday November 4th, (Valentine’s day in Egypt), and intel rumors are rife that the trial will prove President Barack Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. If former Chief of Egyptian Intelligence Murad Muwafi, can prove Morsi’s agreement to the presence of terrorists in Egypt and providing them with protection, he will be executed for the crime of high treason. (Snip) These are the facts Muwafi will present to the trial: The Muslim Brotherhood was linked directly with the CIA—before the massive Peoples’ Revolution of January 25th—and the Barack Obama Administration kept inciting the
San Francisco — A Sonoma County supervisor was charged with misdemeanor peeking on Thursday, almost three months after he was arrested outside a woman´s home wearing only his underwear and socks, authorities said. Efren Carrillo, 32, is accused of peeking while "loitering, prowling and wandering upon the private property" of a Santa Rosa woman in the early hours of July 13, according to the complaint. The woman called police about 3:30 a.m. after she heard her bedroom window blinds being moved. She called again while police were en route to say someone claiming to be a neighbor had knocked on her
MEXICO CITY — The recent decision by the highest court in the Dominican Republic to cancel the citizenship of three generations of residents is meeting a firestorm of protest, with human rights advocates warning of a humanitarian nightmare for the entire Caribbean region. The Dominican Constitutional Court, citing the country´s 2010 constitution, retroactively stripped the citizenship of people born after 1929 to parents without Dominican ancestry, declaring that they were residing in the country illegally or with temporary permits. More than 200,000 people, most of them descendants of Haitians, may in effect be left stateless. Government officials and others could
Americans are far from strangers to presidential lying. Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon excelled at it. Both, however, were liars of what we could call self-defense. They were guys that got caught – Clinton with his serial infidelities and Nixon covering up a break-in for an election he had already won by a landslide. Both men too were cowards. They took the easy, and probably most self-destructive, way out – lying. Barack Obama is another matter. His lies are not mainly for self-defense (although Benghazi has elements of that). They are lies of ideological volition. He lies to get his
Team Obamacare is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars of essentially frozen assets — yet another consequence of the failed launch of healthcare.gov. There’s no point in an ad blitz directing people to sign up on a website that doesn’t work. (Snip) The Obama administration isn’t just leaving the PR campaign to third party groups. In July, HHS inked a $33 million contract with PR giant Weber Shandwick. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had already signed a $3 million and $8 million contracts. Porter Novelli also has a $20 million contract with the agency. While some of the big
SAN DIEGO- A tunnel designed to smuggle drugs from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego was equipped with lighting, ventilation and an electric rail system, U.S. authorities said Thursday, making it one of the most sophisticated secret passages discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border. Authorities seized 8 1/2 tons of marijuana and 327 pounds of cocaine in connection with the tunnel´s discovery, according to court records. Three men who authorities say worked as drivers were charged Thursday with possession of marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute. U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said they face prison sentences between 10 years and life if
DOUGLASS, Kan. — Ten Kansas children and a school bus driver were pulled to safety from a fast-moving creek Thursday after the bus toppled into the water and landed half-submerged on its side. The children, ages 13 and younger, clambered through a roof hatch to await rescue as the 60-year-old driver called 911 to report the accident in rural Butler County, Sheriff Kelly Herzet said. Investigators were looking into how the accident happened, but County 911 director Chris Davis said the bus apparently went off a bridge that Douglass School District officials described as a low-water crossing. Emergency personnel decided
A dormant scandal over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford´s alleged drug use flared anew Thursday when the city´s police chief disclosed that a video purportedly showing Ford smoking crack cocaine had been recovered from a computer seized in a related drug probe. Canadian media swarmed to Ford´s suburban home to confront him over the video, which journalists from the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip site Gawker had reported viewing in May. The mayor at the time vehemently denied that he used drugs or that the video existed. Police Chief Bill Blair told the media earlier Thursday that an ongoing drug
AUSTIN — A federal appeals court ruling Thursday gives Texas the green light to start enforcing a new abortion restriction that a lower court judge said posed an undue burden on women. The decision by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was a huge victory for Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas abortion opponents, temporarily lifting an injunction that prevented the provisions from going into effect. The provision requires abortion doctors to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled the admitting privileges provision unconstitutional, saying it posed an undue burden on women
Members of Congress had to decide by Thursday which of their staffers would be kicked off their congressional health care plan and forced to buy coverage through the Obamacare exchanges, leading to a mishmash of legal strategies and recriminations on Capitol Hill. Under the provision, written by Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, during the health care debate, members of Congress and their office aides are supposed to be pushed to buy insurance in the state-based marketplaces, or exchanges, set up by the Affordable Care Act. The goal was to make lawmakers go through what many Americans are facing.
Remember George W. Bush’s “16 words” in his 2003 State of the Union address making the case for military action in Iraq? Sen. John Kerry charged that Bush “hoodwinked the American people.” Sen. Hillary Clinton said Bush “misled” the country. And Sen. Barack Obama accused the White House of “shading intelligence reports to support its case.” Well, now it seems President Obama has his own 16 words to answer for: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” (Actually, it was a little more than 16 words if you include what the
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge. (a) Those letters are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim
In one of the few political jokes attributed to a physicist, Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.” With a change of pronoun, he could have been describing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who ignored internal warnings about flaws in HealthCare.gov, botched its rollout, minimized her involvement and blamed her contractors. Now, in congressional testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of accountability or the demonstration of competence. Administration incompetence is not the final word on Obamacare, but it is the initial impression.
Obamacare may be the nightmare before Christmas for those trying to sign up online, but it turns out that the White House does have a functioning web operation. And it was on full display Thursday night as President Barack Obama celebrated Halloween with some 5,000 area schoolchildren and kids of military families. The web in question housed a giant inflatable black widow spider above the entrance of the famed South Portico, with about a dozen more of the eight-legged creepy-crawlies swarming down the columns, escorted by bats and crows. Two large autumn wreaths hung nearby. At about 5:30 p.m., kids
Washington -- In her grilling on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated a frequent assertion in the Obamacare sales pitch --- consumers have options when shopping for insurance plans on the health care exchanges. (Snip) But a CNN analysis found that consumer options vary significantly from state to state, and many Americans are discovering that they have very few options. In West Virginia and New Hampshire, for example, residents shopping on the exchanges can only purchase plans from a single company. Contrast that with the state-operated exchange in New York which has 16 participating
Barack Obama is not the Emperor Without Clothes; he’s a president in a skirt. Nor is Obama, in effect the real President of the U.S. Without even a single vote cast her way, Valerie Jarrett is. From a well-hidden lair somewhere in the White House, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett builds the figurative bombs that Obama later throws at America. Tied to a Teleprompter and instructed what to say, Obama only ventures out to speak mainly to captive audiences of high school and university students, easily impressed from having been spoon-fed the indoctrination of anti-American Marxism in their
The first month of the new health law’s rollout reveals an unexpected pattern in several states: a crush of people applying for an expansion of Medicaid and a trickle of sign-ups for private insurance. (Snip) “When we first saw the numbers, everyone’s eyes kind of bugged out,” said Matt Salo, who runs the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “Of the people walking through the door, 90 percent are on Medicaid. We’re thinking, what planet is this happening on?” The yawning gap between public and private enrollment is handing Republicans yet another line of criticism against President Obama’s health overhaul
A 31-year-old Oak Ridge man accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl on several occasions remained in the Anderson County Jail Thursday, accused of aggravated statutory rape. Ramiro Hernandez-Lopez acknowledged the incidents, which occurred in his Broadway Avenue apartment, during an interview Wednesday at the Oak Ridge Police Department, according to the arrest warrant.
One fourth of MSNBC’s The Cycle, self-identified moderate conservative political commentator Abby Huntsman, announced today that she is flirting with backing Romney for Senate. No, not Mitt Romney; the former Massachusetts governor’s son, Josh Romney. Huntsman, the daughter of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, urged Josh Romney to take on prominent Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee in the 2016 Republican GOP caucuses. The MSNBC political commentator said there is a chance that the son of the former Republican presidential candidate can knock off Lee in a primary… in a state where voters chose the GOP candidate over President Barack Obama