"The Catholic Church has lobbyists," said Professor James Thurber. "The Boy Scouts have lobbyists. The AFL-CIO has lobbyists. Apple does. Everybody has a lobbyist." No one knows the business of Washington lobbying better than Thurber. He helped write a report on lobbying reform for the American Bar Association, and he teaches a course to aspiring lobbyists at American University. His definition of a lobbyist: "Someone who advocates for someone else and is getting paid for it." The fingerprints of lobbyists are all over daily life. They defeated plans to cap credit card interest rates.
You served your country. On Veterans Day, if you play your cards right, it´s going to serve you right back — on the house. From the moment you wake up until you hit the hay, Veterans Day is Freebie Day. But you´ve got to plan. Sure, there are a few catches — and most require proof of military service. (You need to check company websites for the fine print.) But if you´re a vet or active military, you might plan out a Freebie Monday that goes something like this: • You wake up hungry.Head over to Denny´s for all-you-can-eat stacks
Labor leaders and businesses are closely watching a Supreme Court case to be argued this Wednesday that involves a popular strategy used by unions to successfully organize hundreds of thousands of workers. That strategy — widely deployed by the Service Employees International Union and the Unite Here hotel workers union — involves pressuring an employer into signing a so-called neutrality agreement in which the employer promises not to oppose a unionization drive. By some estimates, more than half of the recent successful unionization campaigns involve such agreements, which sometimes allow union organizers onto company property to talk with workers. Benjamin Sachs,
They put a green screen in the Red Room, directly across from an early 19th-century portrait of Dolley Madison. In the Blue Room, where the president receives guests beneath a large crystal chandelier, period costumes were being fabricated and gory makeup was being made to look like deeply stitched wounds.The China Room, where the famous White House china collection is displayed, was the site of a directing workshop. And the family movie theater became a sound-effects studio where Gary Hecker — a sound designer for the “Spider-Man” films and other blockbusters — took a bunch of celery, held it over
On Saturday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin blasted the "scrooges" waging a "war on Christmas" and their "zealot-like" faith in an "arrogant" church of big government run by the supposed best and the brightest that has only caused "irreparable harm" to America. She said the "arrogant" church of government does not have "faith in your ability to govern yourself," so "you should not have faith in it" because "it does not have faith in us." Speaking at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner, Palin said "enough is enough" of the "politically-correct police out there" and blasted the scrooges waging
MANILA -When Danny Larsen arrived in the Philippines city of Tacloban less than a week ago, he found it to be “a lovely town -- very local, not many foreigners. We went to an area for BBQ with lots of tables.” Larsen, a 35-year-old Dane, had just moved to the Philippines, and he visited the hometown of his girlfriend to explore the idea of living there. “We had a lovely evening,” he recalled Sunday, “and then hell started.” Two days after typhoon Haiyan ravaged the coastal town on the island of Leyte and shortly after he escaped to Manila, Larsen
More than 40 days and 40 nights after it was revealed that what President Obama repeatedly promised wasn´t true, at last count 52 million Americans will lose their health insurance, mainly because Barry apparently believes that when it comes to choice, he knows better. Based on the millions being unwillingly dropped from health insurance policies they chose and were perfectly happy with, Barack Obama must feel that Americans are incapable of choosing correctly. Not for nothing, but if the president is right, that conclusion casts a whole new perspective on his being elected twice. Irreparable damage on the national level
The Gospel according to Springsteen? A New Jersey university is offering students a theology class examining the many religious references found in Garden State favorite son Bruce Springsteen’s songwriting. The semester-long, freshman seminar at Rutgers University is taught by Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies and classics, according to a press release on the school’s website.“Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption -- crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land -- and the sanctity of the everyday,” Yaden-Israel told Rutgers Today.
On Friday, Sen.Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared for the first time on The Tonight Show. Cruz said the greatest divide in the country now is between Washington´s permanent political class and the rest of America, and he railed against Obamacare as the "the biggest job-killer in this country." Jay Leno´s studio audience roared with approval. Cruz said there are "too many career politicians in Washington that want to just keep going down this road of more and more spending and taxes and regulation" while the people who are getting hurt are "young people. They´re Hispanic. They´re African-Americans. They´re single moms." Cruz
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said he wants President Obama to admit he “perpetrated a fraud” on the American people with ObamaCare. In an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Perry said there would have been better ways to oppose the president’s signature healthcare reform law than Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) filibuster, part of efforts to tie defunding ObamaCare to the government shutdown and debt limit. “It would have been wiser for us to have laid the wood to the president, so to speak, .… to call him out on this and let it become an issue of ‘Mr.
Hollywood heavyweight Matt Damon earned a healthy $3 million for appearing in a Nespresso ad for just 20 seconds with George Clooney, Page Six has exclusively learned. Damon raked in an impressive $150,000 per second he appears in the ad, which was produced for the UK market and directed by Grant Heslov, a producer and co-writer on his upcoming film “The Monuments Men.” A source close to Damon’s fruitful coffee deal exclusively told us: “Matt is one of the few Hollywood stars to have turned down most ad and product-endorsement deals. But this one came with a huge fee and
Poor Barack Obama. Ending his fifth year as the world’s most powerful man, he is running out of scapegoats and fairy tales. Blaming George W. Bush has lost its punch, and the ObamaCare debacle is shredding the myths he is competent and honest. Still, before he rides off into that sunset of self-pity and low poll ratings, he ought to invite his remaining friends over for a heart-to-heart. That way he can tell The New York Times that its fanatical support does him no favors. Instead, it feeds his arrogance and reinforces his belief that he can solve any problem
TACLOBAN, Philippines -One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines province of Leyte, a senior police official said on Sunday, with coastal towns and the regional capital devastated by huge waves. Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through the province on Friday, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director. Most of the deaths appear to have been caused by surging sea water strewn with debris that many described as similar to a tsunami, which leveled houses and
‘If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” How serious was this lie, repeated by Barack Obama with such beguiling regularity? Well, how would the Justice Department be dealing with it if it had been uttered by, say, the president of an insurance company rather than the president of the United States? Fraud is a serious federal felony, usually punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment — with every repetition of a fraudulent communication chargeable as a separate crime. In computing sentences, federal sentencing guidelines factor in such considerations as the dollar value
WASHINGTON — President Obama was seething. Two weeks after the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, Mr. Obama gathered his senior staff members in the Oval Office for what one aide recalled as an “unsparing” dressing-down. The public accepts that technology sometimes fails, the president said, but he had personally trumpeted that HealthCare.gov would be ready on Oct. 1, and it wasn’t. “If I had known,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide, “we could have delayed the website.” Mr. Obama’s anger, described by a White House that has repeatedly sought to show that the president was
President Obama likes to say he will never again be running for office, but every Democrat knows he will be on the ballot figuratively in 2014, and 2016, as well. Right now they are rightly nervous about that prospect. A month ago, political Washington was transfixed by the errors committed by congressional Republicans. Those missteps led to a partial shutdown of the government, which in turn has brought approval of the GOP to record lows in many public opinion surveys. Nothing about that has changed. But today, it’s Obama in the spotlight. A president famous for his unflappability, he is
McAllen, Tex. — They were already running late for a doctor’s appointment, but first the Salas family hurried into their kitchen for another breakfast paid for by the federal government. The 4-year-old grabbed a bag of cheddar-flavored potato chips and a granola bar. The 9-year-old filled a bowl with sugary cereal and then gulped down chocolate milk. Their mother, Blanca, arrived at the refrigerator and reached into the drawer where she stored the insulin needed to treat her diabetes. She filled a needle with fluid and injected it into her stomach with a practiced jab. “Let’s go,” she told the children,
Hillary Clinton remains the most formidable presidential nomination frontrunner for a non-incumbent in the modern era. (snip)The only candidate in my mind who could catch fire, Massachusetts´ Senator Liz Warren, has already declared her support for Clinton. In fact, every single female Democratic senator is behind Clinton. What a difference that is from 2008. Much of the establishment was actually encouraging Obama to run in 2008. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid weren´t backing Clinton. Claire McCaskill´s endorsement of Obama in 2008 was particularly memorable. All three of them are now openly pleading for and endorsing Clinton for 2016.
Marathon talks on a deal to temporarily curb Iran´s nuclear program have broken down after a negotiations between foreign ministers ran into trouble late last night.[Snip] U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of six other delegations conferred with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a late-night session which broke up after midnight. The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told France Inter radio yesterday that Paris would not accept a ´sucker´s deal´. They complained the text which was drafted as part of the agreement had been presented a ´fait accompli´ and did not want to be forced
NBC´s Chuck Todd scored a huge interview with President Obama Thursday and opened things by immediately drilling down on the president´s relentlessly repeated lie that under ObamaCare you can keep your current insurance plan if you like it. The full interview is even more impressive than the clips that have been going around. Even after he elicits a "sorry" out of Obama, Todd keeps after the point for almost ten minutes. Ultimately, though, Todd came away with the impression that Obama doesn´t believe he lied. And Todd is probably right, which is a little unnerving. During his own interview on the Hugh
President Barack Obama addressed the healthcare.gov website´s chronic dysfunctions Friday by quipping that he would fix it himself, ´but I don´t write code.´ The self-deprecating line came during a speech in New Orleans about shoring up U.S. exports through American port cities. But the moment also jokingly cast the president--perhaps unintentionally--as a hands-on administrator rather than the aloof executive that White House insiders have described in news articles, broadcast interviews and books. [Snip] Obama waited for audience laughter, but it didn´t come. His brief turn to address his calamitous health insurance overhaul included an admission that the Affordable Care Act
Jim Capretta saw the Obamacare debacle coming when it was months away. On July 5, the Obama administration released a 600 page regulation announcing a one-year delay in part of Obamacare’s implementation. States would not have to check the income of people applying for subsidies, according to the administration’s guidance. The administration simply would not be ready in time. “This announcement is another indicator—as if we needed one—of the complete fiasco that is Obamacare implementation,” Capretta wrote the following Monday for the Weekly Standard. It wasn’t the first delay, as a few days earlier the administration had let all big businesses off the
Don’t count Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus among those who believe comprehensive immigration reform is dead this Congress. Despite exasperation among reform advocates that the House has refused to vote on any major immigration bill — particularly the Senate-passed legislation — Priebus said that his “gut” feeling is that the House will indeed pass an immigration overhaul in the next 14 months. “Something significant is going to happen because obviously mass deportation is not an option. I don’t think doing nothing is an option. And I believe most people would agree that something significant needs to take place. Now what that
Ken Cuccinelli’s narrow loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race has become the latest battleground in the war between the so-called Republican establishment and Tea Party-type insurgents. The “establishment” blames the Tea Party induced government shutdown for alienating Virginians, a great many of whom work for the federal government. The insurgents blame the Republican Party for not providing enough money to Cuccinelli’s campaign. Some suggest that the “establishment” wanted Cuccinelli to lose out of spite and/or so it could blame the shutdown for his defeat. What does the Cuccinelli campaign have to say about this? Its chief strategist, Chris LaCivita, blames
In their new book ”Who’s Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank,” computer scientist Steven Skiena and former Google engineer Charles B. Ward rank the 100 most significant people in world history using an algorithm they created. What goes into the algorithm? It’s complicated. If you really want to know the math behind it, read the book. Or you can learn a little about it here. But click below to see who makes the top 100 — then let us know who the list should and should not have been included in the comment section.