President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense Monday will shatter a fake consensus on American policy toward Iran and challenge what have increasingly become limits of Washington conversation about Israel. Administration officials say Obama chose Hagel for mundane reasons — a personal relationship, experience with veterans issues, and even the “tradition” — but they have thrust the combative former combat veteran into a bitter Washington battleground. And the left-leaning foreign policy forces who spent four years disappointed in a the president of drone strikes and surveillance powers are suddenly feeling vindication.
A dying mechanic wanted a few thousand dollars to leave to his wife, two sons and infant daughter. A politically connected millionaire, now running for Virginia governor, wanted to make some money. And a Rhode Island estate planner wanted to become ambassador to the Vatican. All three came together on paper in late 2006 in a deal struck just two months before the 44-year-old mechanic died of cancer.
Sean Hannity appeared on Fox & Friends Friday morning to discuss his pledge to help former Obamacare hotline operator Earline Davis because she was fired as a result of taking the radio host’s call on Monday afternoon. Recounting the story of how Davis was fired one day after that fateful phone call, Hannity lamented that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is still gainfully employed. “She claims she doesn’t work for all of us. She does!” he said. “Kathleen Sebelius who spends all this money for this debacle, and then here’s this woman who makes $9.30 an hour and gets fired?” “She
A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August — leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed. In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter. A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the
Insurers are canceling coverage for hundreds of thousands of Americans because of Obamacare, forcing them to buy new policies despite President Obama’s promises to the contrary, CBS This Morning reported Friday. Obama tried to reassure Americans who already had health insurance, promising they could keep their insurance plan if they liked it. However, O’Donnell reported, it’s not happening the way Obama “explained it.” One California citizen, Natalie Willis, said her insurance had gotten worse and more expensive. “Before, I had a plan where I had a $1,500 deductible,” she said. ”I paid $199 a month. The most similar plan that
WASHINGTON -- CBS News has been digging into the cause of the delays in preparing the website for the government´s health insurance market and has learned was a major interruption in the months before President Obama´s re-election. At the height of the 2012 presidential election campaign, it was crunch time for the Obama administration to release key instructions so contractors could work toward the October 2013 deadline. But a Health and Human Services official who was closely involved tells CBS News that in late summer, the administration stopped issuing proposed rules for the Affordable Health Care Act until after the election. The
So much for the White House dream of solar selling like hotcakes. The first federal auction run by the Bureau of Land Management to sell chances to build solar power projects on public land went completely bust on Thursday. Nobody showed to bid. “We did not have any bidders come to the sale, and we did not received any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said, Denver Business Journal reported. The auction was held Thursday in Lakewood, Colo. And even though it was a no-show from those with money — a complete wash-out, waste of time, zero-participation level event —
Just who is looking over your shoulder when you browse the Internet? Tomorrow, web users will be given a new tool to shine a light on the commercial organisations which track your every movement online. Lightbeam, a download produced by Mozilla, the US free software community behind the popular Firefox browser, claims to be a “watershed” moment in the battle for web transparency. Everyone who browses the Internet leaves a digital trail used by advertisers to discover what your interests are. Users who activate Lightbeam will be able to see a real-time visualisation of every site they visit and every third-party that is
Update: We´ve now got more details of Matzzie´s encounter with Hayden. Read more here. At this very moment, we know a lot of interesting things about Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA. He´s on an Acela train somewhere. He´s talking to a journalist. On background, which means the reporter he´s talking to isn´t allowed to cite him by name. And we know exactly what he´s talking about. How? A nearby passenger appears to be eavesdropping on Hayden´s conversation — and live-tweeting the call. Touché, Tom Matzzie. Touché.
Last night the Center for American Progress celebrated its tenth anniversary with a “Progressive Party” at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on the National Mall. Don’t feel left out: I wasn’t invited either. The partygoers had reason to celebrate. Over the last decade the Center for American Progress, also known as CAP, and its political arm, the CAP Action Fund, have established themselves among the most influential policy and activist organizations in America. CAP has revenues of $34 million. Its alumni occupy positions inside the Obama administration, in media, in business, and in the academy. Speakers at its policy conference this
From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, long
BERLIN — Fury over reports that American intelligence had monitored the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel spread from Germany to much of Europe on Thursday, plunging trans-Atlantic relations to a low and threatening to recast the United States and President Obama from friend and ally to cyberbully. The subject of American spying dominated a summit meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels. Some European officials suggested stopping or slowing talks aimed at a broad trade agreement with the United States. The German foreign minister summoned the American ambassador in Berlin —
It’s the sort of paradox that would make the floating robot on Star Trek start yelling, “Error! ERROR!!!” But in this particular case, only one of these two notorious prevaricators can be telling the truth. The other day, Durbin posted the following to his Facebook page: Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a “negotiation” meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: “I cannot even stand to look at you.” What are the chances of an honest
New York voters, in all their wisdom, are on the verge of electing a Left-wing extremist named Bill de Blasio. Recent polls by the firm Penn Schoen Berland show that de Blasio maintains a commanding lead, which he’s enjoyed for quite some time. What a shame. New York City is one of the most important economies in the United States, and it will certainly suffer under this man’s vague and childish populism.[Snip] Earlier this year, we learned that in his youth (described by the New York Times, of course, as “idealist”) de Blasio was an ardent supporter of the Sandinistas
On Tuesday, 79-year old Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), now serving his seventh term in the Senate, signaled that he and other members of the Republican establishment are likely to encourage a primary challenge to first term Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). Lee upset former Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) in the 2010 Utah Republican primary convention in the Tea Party´s first major primary win over a Republican establishment politician. Hatch told the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio that "[i]t´s time now... for Lee and other tea party Republicans to be ´rehabilitated´ for refusing to pass a budget bill needed to keep the government operating
WASHINGTON — Whether miffed over spying revelations or feeling sold out by U.S. moves in the Middle East, some of the United States’ closest allies are so upset that the Obama administration has gone into damage-control mode to ensure the rifts don’t widen and threaten critical partnerships. The quarrels differ in their causes and degrees of seriousness. As a whole, however, they pose a new foreign policy headache for an administration whose overseas track record is seen in many quarters at home and abroad as reactive and lacking direction. In Europe and the Middle East, rifts that once would’ve been quietly smoothed
President Obama blasted GOP opponents of his healthcare law as hypocrites after Republicans expressed concerns about the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov. In his weekly address, Obama suggested that the GOP´s focus on the issue was in bad faith because Republicans have pushed for years to repeal, defund or dismantle ObamaCare. Republicans "spent the last few years so obsessed with denying … people access to health insurance that they just shut down the government and threatened default over it," Obama said. "It´s well past the time for folks to stop rooting for [the law´s] failure." Obama´s comments come after a tough
My wife, the syndicated San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, has learned that at least 500,000 Californians may lose their health insurance next year — and that’s a conservative estimate. From her Token Conservative blog: According to this link as of December 2012, there were 491,977 covered lives in individual health care plans regulated by the state Department Insurance that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act. (If they bought a plan after March 2010, their coverage is not grandfathered.) This is a 2012 number, but if the number of people with private coverage hasn’t changed much in the
By the time President Obama acknowledged on Monday that his signature health-care program had serious problems, it was clear that the political stakes had escalated for the White House. And so that evening, Obama gathered some of the top political advisers from his first term for a strategy session on a range of topics. The president himself spent little time on how to handle the political fallout, arguing that fixing the problems of HealthCare.gov, the Web site at the heart of the troubles, would take care of that challenge. Not everyone agreed that it was so simple. In a separate
President Obama and his family attended Sunday services at St. John´s Episcopal Church, which is across Lafayette Park from the White House. It is a day for reflection, not politics. When a pool reporter asked if the Obamacare website can be fixed by the end of November, Obama responded: "C´mon guys. I´m going to church." During the service, seminarian Sarah Taylor offered prayers "for Barack, our president, the leaders of Congress, the Supreme Court, and all who are in authority, for Afghanistan, and the Middle East, for this community, the nation and the world." After church, in the afternoon, Obama took
Sarah Palin found a novel way to turn down an interview request from Piers Morgan on Friday, posting a picture on Facebook of a bear she had shot dead and a note saying she was busy. The former Alaska governor thanked chat show host Morgan for inviting her on his ´shambolic show´ but added she was ´kind of busy right now´. The Facebook message, which had been liked by nearly 3,000 of Palin´s supporters within two hours of it being posted, is part of an online spat between the pair after Morgan poked fun at her intellect. Earlier in the
McDonalds will end its 40-year, ketchup-based relationship with Heinz, the company announced on Friday, because Heinz´s new CEO, Bernardo Hees, is the former CEO of Burger King. He´s also still on Burger King´s board of directors. Now McDonalds is currently looking for a new ketchup maker to partner with once it phases Heinz out of its stores. Heinz supplies ketchup to both McDonalds (for now!) and Burger King, and to Wendy’s and Chick-fil-A. For McDonalds, at least, it seems that the new Burger King connection at Heinz was one step too far. McDonalds has taken a stand on ketchup. Except most
President Barack Obama--who oversees both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security--said in a speech at the White House on Thursday that it does not make sense to have 11 million people in the United States “illegally.” The president said that the people "illegally" in the United States need to be given an “incentive” to stay here and become what he called “legalized citizens.” “It doesn’t make sense to have 11 million people who are in this country illegally without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows, get right with the law,
Whether as the brave youth striding forward to face the giant Goliath, the wise older king composing the immortal Psalms, or the ancestor and model for the messiah, the legend of David has been recited and burnished for nearly three thousand years. Politically, ethnically, religiously—David is central to the story Jews and Christians tell about themselves. This is, after all, the king against which all other kings were measured, the ancestor of Jesus, the person described by God as “a man after my own heart.” Even in his failings—the affair with Bathsheba, most famously—David has become the prototype of repentance and