If the fiscal cliff talks make Lindsay Lohan look like a productive member of society, perhaps it´s because President Obama and John Boehner are playing by the dysfunctional Beltway rules. The rules work if you like bigger government, but Republicans need a new strategy, which starts by exposing the rigged game of "baseline budgeting." Both the White House and House Republicans are pretending that their goal is "reducing the deficit," which they suggest means making real spending choices. They are talking about a "$4 trillion plan," or something, regardless of how that number is reached.
All I wanted to do last week was enjoy my vacation. Instead, I was assaulted by another breathtaking statement from the president of the United States, provided courtesy of an official White House press release. The occasion was a July 25 meeting between President Obama and the leader of communist Vietnam. Obama stated: “President Sang shared with me a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman. And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”
“Hannity says: ‘He’s leaving it out there to figure it out.’” That’s the inscrutable quote Sean Hannity predicted would be picked up in the press after he coyly dismissed the rumors that Megyn Kelly’s ascension to his 9pm time slot could mean anything bad for his career. Without giving anything about his own future away, Hannity said he’s “very happy” with the result. “By the way has there been any news today on the Drudge Report?” Hannity asked his radio show co-hosts today. “Anything I missed?” He said, “I am actually
The e-mail service used by National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden is suspending operations. And they can’t tell us why — although this cryptic post heavily suggests it has something to do with a government request for information: I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot.
With conditions continuing to deteriorate in Syria, the Obama administration is making a major policy shift by agreeing for the first time to allow thousands of new Syrian refugees into the United States, The Cable has learned. The numbers are relatively small: just 2,000 refugees, compared to an estimated two million people who have fled Syria during the civil war. But it´s a significant increase from the 90 or so Syrian refugees who have been permanently admitted to the U.S. in the last two years. And it´s not entirely uncontroversial. The refugees, mostly women and children, will be
In a remarkable admission that is likely to rock the Internal Revenue Service again, testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp reveals that an agent involved in reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups told a committee investigator that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups, three months after the IRS scandal erupted.. In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special "secondary screening" because
President Obama and his family are heading to Martha´s Vineyard on Saturday for a week of rest and relaxation, but not before facing the ritual partisan grumblings that presidential vacations are extravagant and waste taxpayer money. While Congress is in the midst of its own five-week break, Republican officials haven´t missed the opportunity to question the president for heading to the upscale Massachusetts community at a time when automatic cuts to the federal budget have left the Defense Department and other agencies furloughing employees. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said no one begrudges the president taking some time with his family.
Nanny State: If any question remained about the Obama White House´s appetite for running everyone´s life from Washington, it should be settled now. This administration even wants to dictate neighborhood makeup. Like your neighborhood? Don´t get used to it. The Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development might decide it wants to dictate changes. HUD is, according to Fox News, considering "a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America´s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory." The proposed rule, disclosed last month by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at
Immigration: With an endorsement like Chuck Schumer´s, it has to be bad. House Republicans should wonder why the Senate´s most partisan Democrat is happy with their "piecemeal" immigration reform strategy. If ever Republicans had a litmus test for making sure they weren´t doing something self-destructive, it´s asking themselves this: Is Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., grinning about it? As Senate Democrats´ chief fundraiser, Schumer engineered the gain of over a dozen seats for his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections. Any "bipartisanship" this dyed-in-the-wool liberal and relentless political militant may claim to be up to is sure to be a Trojan horse.
Jen Psaki, blameless State Department spokeswoman, explained that the hasty evacuation of our embassy in Yemen was not an evacuation but "a reduction in staff." This proved a problem because the Yemeni government had already announced (and denounced) the "evacuation" — the word normal folks use for the panicky ordering of people onto planes headed out of country. Thus continues the administration´s penchant for wordplay, the bending of language to fit a political need. In Janet Napolitano´s famous formulation, terror attacks are now "man-caused disasters." And the "global war on terror" is no more. It´s now an "overseas contingency operation."
WASHINGTON—The White House announced that President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, to 16 recipients including television star and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey, legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and former President Bill Clinton. “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours,” Mr. Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world.”
News broke Wednesday that, even as the October 1 deadline for Obamacare "marketplaces" approaches, training requirements for Obamacare "navigators" were being scaled back by one-third. With less than two months remaining, the Obama administration is also facing increasing pressure to make sure data privacy and security concerns are addressed with the new system. Now the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to fill another need relating to the operation of the exchanges: translation services. On Monday, HHS posted a notice looking for small business sources to provide "Telephone Interpretation and Written Document
RUSH: A fascinating little story here, folks, a column by Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post. It is headlined: "Why No One Should be Surprised that Jay Leno Asked President Obama ´Real´ Questions." Now, yesterday on this program, about 24 hours ago, I observed that I think this was the first time in my lifetime that a president of the United States had gone on a late-night comedy show to address the American people about something of potentially great consequence. Shutting down 21 embassies for a week in the Middle East is not an insignificant thing. And I
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a narrow lead among Republicans for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but even more GOP voters say he’s the candidate they least want to see nominated. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Christie earns 21% support when Republican voters are asked whom they would vote for if the party’s primary in their state were held today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio runs a close second with 18% of the GOP vote, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 16% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 15% of the vote.
Barack Obama delivered one gaffe after another in his August 6 interview with Jay Leno, but the networks that usually mock every mistake or slip of the tongue made by Republicans ignored the President´s verbal mishaps. ABC´s Good Morning America, CBS´s This Morning and NBC´s Today show, on Wednesday morning, all bypassed the chance to criticize Obama for: downplaying the threat of terrorism; falsely claiming Vladimir Putin once ran the KGB; placing the Atlantic coast cities of Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville on the Gulf of Mexico; confusing the Winter Olympics with the Summer Olympics. First up, on the
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials insisted Tuesday that extraordinary security measures for nearly two dozen diplomatic posts were to thwart an “immediate, specific threat,” a claim questioned by counterterrorism experts, who note that the alert covers an incongruous set of nations from the Middle East to an island off the southern coast of Africa. Analysts don’t dispute the Obama administration’s narrative that it’s gleaned intelligence on a plot involving al Qaida’s most active affiliate, the Yemen-based Arabian Peninsula branch. That would explain why most U.S. posts in the Persian Gulf are on lockdown, including the U.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Romney addressed more than 200 donors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, staged just four miles from the vacation home where he has spent much of the summer with his family. The event was closed to the media, but his office released his prepared remarks.
Ending a war is a good thing. Killing civilians a bad thing. Deliberately targeting civilians is murder, and is never morally licit, even in pursuit of a good thing such as ending a war. The tens of thousands of Japanese non-combatants we killed 68 years ago this week with two nuclear bombs were not “collateral damage” of military strikes. They were the intended targets. We hoped that mass murder would bring the Japanese emperor to surrender. It worked, and American and Japanese soldiers’ lives were probably saved by it —
Last month we learned that Megyn Kelly was leaving her daytime anchor gig to take over a Fox News primetime slot. According to an “exclusive” Drudge Report flash this afternoon, that time slot will be 9 p.m. ET. “Superstar newswoman Megyn Kelly has landed the 9 PM slot, top sources reveal,” the Drudge Report wrote. “The shock announcement is set for later this month.” Fox’s 9 p.m. hour is currently helmed by Sean Hannity, leading to speculation over whether he could be out of a primetime gig. There are many possible outcomes from this lineup change,
The U.S. State Department issued a global alert about the terrorist threat allegedly posed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The USA announced the closure of its missions in the Middle East and Africa, and their example was followed by France, Britain, and Germany. However, this was only an attempt to justify the activities of the National Security Agency.Last Saturday, right after alerting of the terror threat civilians and BOLO complex ("be on the lookout") that includes law enforcement and federal officials, President Barack Obama went to play golf, and then celebrated his birthday at the presidential retreat at Camp David.
Over the last week, there has been a lot of buzz about a supposed CIA angle to the Benghazi story. Specifically, it has been alleged that a substantial number of CIA employees were on the ground in Benghazi, carrying out a mission that involved rounding up Libyan weapons and transferring them to rebels in Syria. Further, it has been reported that the CIA has leaned on its employees not to cooperate with Congressional investigations or the media, and it has been suggested that the CIA’s role in Benghazi may be related to the al Qaeda
In a rare diplomatic snub, President Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month. The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia´s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow´s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there.
In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory. The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July. "Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard
Retired 68-year-old US Army general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley K. Clark has won yet another esteemed decoration — he is dating 30-year-old Shauna Mei, the founder of online retailer AHAlife.com. Clark, who was married to Gertrude Kingston Clark for 45 years before filing for divorce last year, is spending time with the young New York-based entrepreneur, who graduated from MIT and worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker before launching her luxury e-commerce site. Clark and Mei were spotted together recently in the Hamptons,
President Obama is slated to deliver a speech later this month commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Obama will deliver his speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — the same place where King spoke 50 years ago. The Let Freedom Ring ceremony will be held Aug. 28. "It’s obviously a historic, seminal event in the country. It’s part of my generation’s formative memory and it’s a good time for us to do some reflection,"