HOUSTON — The companies operating the gas facility in the Sahara that was attacked last week had chosen not to deploy armed guards inside the sprawling compound, leading security analysts to question whether the assault by more than 30 Islamist militants might have been slowed if security had been tighter. Until the siege on the remote In Amenas facility last Wednesday, dozens of North African desert camps were thought to be virtually impregnable, with steel-wire fences, long-range reconnaissance equipment and army patrols amid the sand dunes.
It was a sunny day in Beijing on Thursday—refreshingly sunny, to be more precise—when Vice President Joe Biden met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. I know this because I have read the pool report of the occasion, a pithy and practically content-free piece of journalism that is nevertheless one of the more entertaining things to enter my inbox in recent days. The pool report confirms the lingering suspicion—if it hasn’t been confirmed a million times already—that the line between journalism and Democratic Party cheerleading has more than faded. It has become invisible. Pool reports are summaries of official events distributed to reporters,
W hen unexpected events happen — be they natural disasters or terrorist attacks — the consequences can be dire. As a result, governments have gone to great lengths to prepare for the unexpected as best they can, stockpiling scarce resources in case supplies get cut off. The most famous example is the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). With a capacity of 727 million barrels of oil, the SPR is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR is meant to offset a potential disruption in commercial oil
When Barack Obama was catapulted into the Oval Office in 2008, it was with the help of millennials who turned out in record numbers and voted for him two-to-one over the GOP’s John McCain. Now his signature issue — ObamaCare — is in deep trouble. Once again, he is looking to America’s young to come through for him. Once again too, he’s relying on a campaign of speeches and public appearances to get them to do so. But in sharp contrast to 2008, he’s making his new appeal to a much more jaded demographic. According to a Harvard University poll released this
Amid growing outrage at the Obama administration’s determination to strike a deal with jihadist Iran that not only allows Iran to enrich uranium but also permits it to continue imprisoning and torturing American citizens, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke up to defend his State Department’s diplomacy. During a press availability at NATO headquarters, Secretary Kerry said this regarding Obama administration efforts to free Americans held captive overseas, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen held in Iran simply because of his Christian faith: One day is too long to be in captivity, and one day for any American citizen is more
Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that U.S. military capabilities in the Arctic Circle leave his government little choice but to maintain a strong foothold in the frigid north, where tensions between the former Cold War adversaries in recent years have heated up as the polar ice thawed. During a meeting with students in Moscow on Tuesday, Putin was asked whether Russia and other countries might loosen their grip on Arctic territory for military exercises and exploitation of natural resources in favor of environmental preservation. The Russian leader replied that the United States hasn´t slipped off the ice shelf and implied
It may sound a bit dark, but it’s now possible to transform the ashes of the cremated deceased into a diamond–a jewel truly to remember. Using “Russian technology,” Algordanza Memorial Diamonds are created in a similar fashion to the way natural diamonds are formed. Here’s how it works: a diamond is composed of pressurized carbons. Conveniently enough, human bodies are about 18 percent carbon. Using about a pound of ashes, the firm is able to distill out the carbon and use it to form a man-made diamond in a mold under high pressure in about a week. The diamonds created this
The big talk is just how many seats will the GOP pick up in the Senate next year, and we’ve spent a lot of time right here talking about just that. But how about the House? We do still have a bicameral legislature, even if it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart. The House is in the strange place where although it’s almost universally reviled, not much is going to change. Yes, gerrymandering is a part of that, but it isn’t the whole story. People are fed up with Congress generally, but with ObamaCare specifically and increasingly. To punish the
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
One of President Obama´s chief political assets has been his ability to excite young people like almost no politician in history. But the days of America´s youth fawning over the president are over. A new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday confirms what other surveys have shown in recent months: Millennials have soured on Obama so much this year that their opinion of him largely mirrors the American public´s. Even though Obama does not ever have to face another election, he should be worried about the findings for a couple of reasons, which we will dive into momentarily.
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
A stunning new study unveiled on Fox News´ Hannity finds that President Barack Obama’s White House calendar records just one face-to-face meeting between Obama and his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the more than three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare launch. The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement. More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
[Video] President Obama on Wednesday declared that addressing income inequality would be the focus of “all” of the White House’s efforts “for the rest of my presidency.” In a sweeping address that touched on raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure and ending tax breaks for the wealthy, Obama warned that the American economy has become “profoundly unequal,” declaring economic mobility the “challenge of our time.” “The combined trends of increasing inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe,” he said in an hour-long
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”