Kenyan warplanes have destroyed an al-Shabaab rebel camp in southern Somalia used to train gunmen who attacked Nairobi´s Westgate shopping mall in September, Kenya´s defence ministry said. Many rebels were killed in the "major aerial offensive" conducted on Thursday, said a ministry statement issued later the same day. The airstrike "completely destroyed an al-Shabaab training camp," located in the Dinsoor region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) west of Somalia´s capital Mogadishu, the statement said. "Initial reports from the ground confirmed that that four technical vehicles and a weapons store were destroyed." "At the time of the airstrike, the camp had over 300 recruits,
The sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the last week, sending radiation and solar material hurtling through space - and scientists say more eruptions may be coming. This shouldn´t be unusual. After all, we are technically at solar maximum, the peak of the 11-year cycle of the sun´s activity. But this has been a noticeably mellow solar maximum, with the sun staying fairly quiet throughout the summer. So when our life-giving star suddenly let loose with 24 medium strength M-class solar flares and four significantly stronger X-class flares between Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, it felt like a
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has told German officials he is prepared to testify over the extent to which the U.S. government tapped Angela Merkel´s phone, it is claimed. The former CIA intelligence officer met with German MP Hans-Christian Stroebele in Moscow to discuss him becoming a star witness in a possible future public inquiry. And, in an escalation in the diplomatic row, prosecutors have hinted they are prepared to defy an American extradition request in order for fugitive Snowden to testify in Germany. Mr Stroebele told ARD channel: ´He expressed his principle readiness to help clarify the situation. Basis for this is
Often in error but never in doubt, Barack Obama could walk into the Rose Garden and step on a half-dozen rakes like Foghorn Leghorn in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, and the official line would be, “He meant to do that.” And the amazing thing is that so many people believe it. “Mr. Obama is like a championship chess player, always several moves ahead of friend and foe alike. He’s smart, deft, elegant and subtle,” proclaimed then–New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in 2009. It’s an image of the president that his biggest fans, in and out of the press,
The federal government has paid tens of millions of dollars in Medicare benefits to dead people and illegal immigrants, according to a pair of reports from federal watchdogs released on Thursday. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paid out $23 million to beneficiaries after their deaths in 2011, according to one report from HHS’ inspector general. Another report tallied more than $28 million in payments from 2009 to 2011 to individuals who were in the country illegally. In all, CMS paid Medicare benefits to 4,139 illegal immigrants and 17,403 deceased people, according to the two reports.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was unwise to put a stay on the necessary remedies Judge Shira Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan ordered in August in response to the civil rights violations of New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy. And it overreached in taking the extraordinary step of removing Judge Scheindlin from the long-running litigation. The appeals panel said the judge improperly used the assignment process that led to her presiding over three stop-and-frisk cases. It also said that she created the “appearance of impropriety” by granting a series of press interviews while the
You’ve got to hand it to Ramussen--they come up with some of the most interesting (and unusual) surveys in America. Their latest poll, released just in time for Halloween yesterday, tested US voter confidence in the federal government, with the following finding: Thirty-seven percent (37 percent) of American adults believe the federal government would do a better job than zombies running the country today. But the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most Americans don’t share that view, with just as many (37 percent) who feel zombies would do a better job running the country and another 26
Hollywood blockbuster director James Cameron--best known for his movies Titanic and Dances With Smurfs--has announced his latest project. He is going to make the dumbest, lamest, most tendentious, hysterical, credibility-free and monumentally pointless series in the history of television. (H/T Ken Shock) The series will be called Years Of Living Dangerously [it takes its name from a film called The Year of Living Dangerously, cunningly removing the definite article and then pluralising the first word] and will be based on the cataclysmic event that no one is talking about right now because it hasn´t happened in 17 years and may
On the domestic front, despite Obama’s repeated promises that Obamacare would not threaten anyone’s existing health insurance policies, over the past two weeks, millions of Americans have received notices from their health insurance companies that their policies have been canceled because they don’t abide by Obamacare’s requirements. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board explained that Obama’s repetition of this lie was not an oversight. It was a deliberate means of lulling into complacency these Americans who opted to buy their insurance themselves on the open market, in order to stick them with the burden of underwriting Obamacare.
Today, the first-ever program-wide reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), also known as food stamps, will take place. The reduction amounts to $5 billion out of a program that spent nearly $80 billion in the most recent fiscal year, more than double what food stamps cost taxpayers when Barack Obama took office and more than five times the cost in FY2002. Food stamp benefits are distributed to a shocking 47 million people, about 14 percent of all households in the United States, up more than two-thirds from five years ago despite the unemployment rate having dropped far below the
House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told radio’s Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that he has told House Speaker John Boehner that he must publicly promise there will be no conference committee on the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. “I am not going to go down the road of conferencing with the Senate bill and I told Boehner that he needs to stand up and make that very clear,” McCaul said on Ingraham’s program on Wednesday morning. “We’re not going to conference with the senate period.” McCaul said that he believes a conference committee on the Senate
Where are Americans moving, and why? Timothy Noah, writing in the Washington Monthly, professes to be puzzled. He points out that people have been moving out of states with high per capita incomes -- Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland -- to states with lower income levels. "Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it?" he asks. Actually, it´s not puzzling at all. The movement from high-tax, high-housing-cost states to low-tax, low-housing-cost states has been going on for more than 40 years, as I note in my new book Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration
The press is filling up with examinations of media culpability in failing to predict that the Affordable Care Act would render outrageously inaccurate President Barack Obama´s pivotal, oft-repeated promise that if you liked your pre-Obamacare health plan, you´ll be able to keep it. In the Columbia Journalism Review, former Spinsanity hand Brendan Nyhan writes on "The failure to factcheck ´You can keep it´": [T]his outcome was anticipated by health policy experts both within and outside the administration. Unfortunately, most media coverage before this week did not explain how the process was likely to play out or hold the president accountable
I close my eyes and imagine the coming days. The American public growing skeptical and then outright dismissive of Obamacare. A growing revulsion over the administration´s Benghazi deception. A national awakening to the crises we face in spending, especially on entitlements. But then I open my eyes, and I have to look at the real world. Sure, "Saturday Night Live" and late-night comics are poking fun at the disastrous healthcare.gov rollout. But does anyone doubt that these pop-culture jokesters would still vote for Obama by 90 percent margins in the next five elections if they could?
Hoover Institution research fellow Peter Schweizer is probably not a favorite on Capitol Hill these days. His latest book, “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, And Line Their Own Pockets,” takes Congress to task for what some might call legal corruption. Here are six examples from Schweizer’s book of how congressmen use campaign donations to enrich themselves, their families and sometimes their staff: 1.) Hiring family members to work — or “work” — for their campaign: Schweizer says 82 members of Congress did this during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles. Among his many examples, he points to former Republican
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have a lot in common. Both senators have engaged in symbolic filibusters this year against Obama administration policies and have led the charge against ObamaCare and the so-called Republican establishment. And both would also like to be president, something that could, if they run, place them in a fierce competition for Tea Party primary voters in 2016. But they also have something else in common: problematic fathers. While Rand Paul has the advantage of inheriting his father Ron’s existing fan base and supporters for his presidential run, as I wrote earlier this year, the elder
I would hate to be a 911 operator around 1 or 2 this afternoon when the welfare recipients start rolling out of bed. Stand by for a deluge of calls reporting thefts — from their EBT cards. Their monthly dole just got cut this morning. How can President Obama have let this happen to his most loyal voters? Who says there’s never any good news in the papers? Let us go straight to the letter that was sent out by the by the Department of Terrorist Assistance, and which I guarantee you absolutely none of the layabouts bothered to read: “In November, most families
Two recent events organized by the investment bank Goldman Sachs featured a special guest. Goldman arranged to have one of the most successful investors in the world make remarks at last week’s AIMS Alternative Investment Conference in Chicago. And at this week’s Builders and Innovators Summit in Marana, Ariz., the same guest responded to questions from Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chair and CEO. I hope the audience took notes. Where else, after all, can “emerging and seasoned entrepreneurs from a diverse set of industries” hear the story of how a Yale law student turned an investment of time and energy into a
The firestorm over President Obama´s "you can keep your plan" lie now threatens to singe vulnerable Democrats next year, so they´re springing into action to try to force the administration to keep its word. Louisiana´s Mary Landrieu -- an ardent Obamacare supporter -- is scrambling to undo one of the obvious consequences of a law she´s voted to pass, fund, and retain: Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats. Landrieu, a Democrat
When Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president, decided to run against a sitting Republican senator in Wyoming, her target, Mike Enzi, pleaded, “I thought we were friends.” But if Enzi thought his long relationship with the Cheneys might ensure a gentle, collegial contest of ideas, it’s increasingly clear he thought wrong. The Cheney clan has undertaken a scorched-earth campaign against the well-liked, low-key conservative and his allies, demonstrating a seemingly limitless appetite for conflict—and leaving innocent bystanders as stunned casualties in their wake. Dick Cheney, who has been giving media interviews to promote his new memoir, spent part of
ALBANY — More than 100 new people have come forward to complain that Donald Trump’s now-defunct “university” was a ripoff, the Daily News has learned. They come from New York and 25 other states and say they were wrongly promised they could get rich quick if they enrolled in an expensive mentoring program that investigators say was a sham, a source familiar with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation said. Schneiderman filed a $40 million lawsuit against Trump in Manhattan state Supreme Court in August — accusing the mega-rich developer-turned-reality TV star of defrauding more than 5,000 people nationwide through his Trump University. “These
Obamacare, even with massive Democratic supermajorities in Congress, would never have passed if Americans thought that they would be forced to give up their current plans. The reason is simple. To begin with, Americans were overwhelmingly happy with the quality of their health care. That is reflected in surveys: For example, shortly before the November 2006 election, the Kaiser Family Foundation, in conjunction with USA Today and ABC News, released the results of a survey. It found that 89 percent of Americans who were insured were satisfied with “their own personal medical care.” Ninety-three percent of those who had recently been seriously
Fisher Ames was a great man. He also had a great name (I couldn´t resist). But this original, almost completely forgotten Conservative philosopher said something hundreds of years ago that is as relevant in the world today as wigs and horses were back when he said it. Ames said, "Society is the substratum of government." By that he meant that culture, in many ways, steers the ship of state. As the values of the culture change, voters will elect people who embody and represent those changing values. It doesn´t matter if those changes in morals were brought on by the media, the
There’s a Washington think-tank variation on the board game Risk, and here’s how it goes: I give you a short statement about Obama policy in the Middle East, and you have to say who it’s from. For example: “The Persians are taking over Iraq and Syria and building a nuclear weapon. Are you Americans crazy? You think you will outsmart them in Geneva? They send Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah troops to fight in Syria and you do nothing? You draw a red line over chemical weapons and let Putin erase it?” So who said it: Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal?
Just six people successfully enrolled in health insurance plans through healthcare.gov during the first day of the Obamacare system´s operation, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services meeting notes released Thursday night by a congressional committee. By the end of the second day, a total of 248 people nationwide had bought insurance policies through the federal government´s online portal, whose disastrous launch has become the stuff of late-night TV jokes and a Saturday Night Live skit. [Snip] Turned over by a private Obamacare contractor at the request of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, not by the Obama administration, the
WASHINGTON — A tech firm linked to a campaign-donor crony of President Obama not only got the job to help build the federal health-insurance Web site — but also is getting paid to fix it. Anthony Welters, a top campaign bundler for Obama and frequent White House guest, is the executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, which owns the software company now at the center of the ObamaCare Web-site fiasco. UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI), which built the data hub for the ObamaCare system, has been named the new general contractor in charge of repairing the glitch-plagued HealthCare.gov. Welters and