MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Kremlin official said on Thursday a bilateral agreement with Washington on adoptions was still in place, creating uncertainty over the immediate impact of Russia´s new ban on Americans adopting Russian children. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the ban from January 1 as part of a law passed to retaliate against U.S. legislation intended to punish Russian human rights abusers. Moscow had told Washington it was also terminating a bilateral agreement regulating adoptions - but Putin´s spokesman on Thursday said a technicality meant that agreement would have to remain in force until the beginning of 2014.
So the government shutdown continues. Although promises to make furloughed federal workers whole with back pay raises the question when is a “furlough” just another taxpayer-paid vacation? But as long as the panda-cam at the National Zoo is shut down and parking lots are roped off at national parks, we’ll accept for the sake of argument that the shutdown is real. But the president really did promise that nothing would stop Obamacare from being implemented — not Tea Partiers in the U.S. House or government shutdowns, NOTHING.
Negotiating with Republicans has never been in Obama’s playbook. Three days after his inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama silenced Republican lawmakers who voiced concerned about the enormity of spending in his stimulus bill by uttering two brash words, “I won.” That was his governing philosophy, as he rammed through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. But in the fall of 2010. Republicans swept into control of the House of Representatives, and since then Obama’s agenda has been stalled. With little prospect of gaining control of the House in 2014, Obama is resorting to discrediting
For the first week that the federal health-care exchanges were running … well, crawling … the Obama administration claimed that no one could get through because of overwhelming pent-up demand. Essentially it spent a week arguing that no one could have predicted that, in a country of 300 million people, 2.4 percent of those people might stop by sometime in the first seven days to check out the administration’s signature legislative achievement. We can now dismiss that theory, because the administration has: “Six days into the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the new health-care law, the federal government acknowledged for
President Obama was once a high-profile first-term senator, but he doesn´t think the current crop -- including Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio -- is serving the country well as they seek out controversy. "I recognize that in today´s media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base, whether it´s left or right, is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention and raise money," he said in an interview with the Associated Press released Saturday. "But it´s not good for government."
It’s called Washington Monument Syndrome. That’s shorthand for the way federal agencies react to any threat of budget cuts or a government shutdown: by closing down the most popular public services. No one has mastered this better than President Obama. Which explains the dramatic — and wholly unnecessary — confrontation Tuesday at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. Faced with signs saying the memorial was closed, war vets rightly pushed past makeshift gates and barricades to make their visit. That there were barricades at all underscores the phony politics at work.
Three and a half years after it was signed, sealed and delivered, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains the undead; not interred, not thriving, but fought over on numerous fronts. This enrages the left, which calls the case settled, and says it has facts on its side: The act was passed legally by both houses of Congress, survived the Supreme Court and five center-right justices, and survived 2012 and the presidential election, in which voters endorsed it.Like other big laws — Social Security, Medicare and Medicare Part D — it had initial delays, but will soon be accepted.
The federal government wants to reduce the number of Americans diagnosed each year with cancer. But not by better preventive care or healthier living. Instead, the government wants to redefinethe term “cancer” so that fewer conditions qualify as a true cancer. What does this mean for ordinary Americans — and should we be concerned? On July 29, 2013, a working group for the National Cancer Institute (the main government agency for cancer research) published a paper proposing that the term “cancer” be reserved for lesions with a reasonable likelihood of killing the patient if left untreated.
During a crucial battle of the military campaign that ultimately propelled him to supreme power in Rome, Julius Caesar put himself and his outnumbered army in such a vulnerable position that he briefly considered suicide. He and most of his troops survived, however, because the man commanding the opposing force was too timid to take a tactical risk. Afterward, surprised to find himself alive and his army relatively intact, Caesar made an observation that the leadership of the GOP would do well to remember: “Today the enemy would have won, if they had a commander who was a winner.”
Last year, according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey, 68 percent of Democrats supported Obamacare. By July 23, however, only 58 percent of Obama’s fellow donkeys backed his chief initiative. Liberal Democrats’ approval of this law rose from 74 percent in 2010 to 78 in July.But moderate and conservative Democrats have fled on health care. In 2010, as Obamacare careened through a Democratic Congress, 76 percent of center-right Democrats cheered, while 20 percent hissed. By last July 23, only 47 percent of those Democrats endorsed Obamacare; 46 percent disapproved. So, among middle-of-the-road Democrats (57 percent of those surveyed), net support
That, in three simple words, was the question a reporter asked President Obama last week. “Yes, they are,” the president said with a straight face. “People will look back and they’ll be asking, ‘What was the argument about? Why is everybody fighting this so much?’” Why? Well, here, Mr. President, are just a few of the many, many reasons: • You can’t keep your own health care. The president spent the past four years assuring Americans that “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”
Remember that March day in 2010 when the President, surrounded by devout supporters, solemnly signed Obamacare into law? It was, as Joe Biden brayed, “a big f-----g deal.” Obama and his army of righteous reformers had finally triumphed over the forces of evil and passed legislation that would drive the moneychangers from the temple of U.S. health care. Many of those beaming down on the President as he wielded his terrible swift pen represented prestigious national organizations and coalitions whose support had made the glorious moment possible. Some of these groups have since seen the error of their ways.
One of the most predictable features of American politics is the biannual blackmail to which the Democrats are subjected by their union bosses. Knowing that “the Party of Jefferson and Jackson” cannot survive without their support, union goons like Richard Trumka usually start the process by complaining about some law that allegedly hurts workers. Then, after a month or two of bombast and bluster, we find that their definition of “worker” is actually “union member” and that they want the Democrats to grant them a special dispensation (snip) This is how the infamous Obamacare waiver program was hatched.
Families of fallen military service members usually receive a "death gratuity" of $100,000 for interment and expenses within days, but not during government shutdown. They paid the ultimate price serving their country — but their government can’t spare a cent to cover their funerals. The stooges on Capitol Hill added insult to tragedy Tuesday when it was revealed that the families of four soldiers and a Marine who were killed in Afghanistan have not received a $100,000 “death gratuity” because of the government shutdown....
From its earliest days, the Obama Administration has operated from a “community organizer” worldview, characterized by an “us” against “them” perspective. The President has repeatedly and in a variety of circumstances said, “Elections have consequences, and I won” as an excuse for yet another executive order, non-Constitutional decision, or “in-your-face” arrogant action. The President goes through the motions of listening to others: he claims to be bipartisan; he hosts White House confabs and talks about the need for compromise, but he always ends up saying, “I won,” and ends any pretense of discussion or negotiation. He explains that, as President,
I was born at the beginning of the Second World War into a family of high school teachers who were members of the Communist Party, and therefore were actually part of a vast conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of this country, although they would never have looked at it that way, and so-called liberals would be the first to deny it. (Snip) It is also an unhappy but hugely important fact that the conspiracy to which my parents belonged has steadily migrated into the heart of the Democratic Party until it now occupies the Oval Office in the person of
WASHINGTON — Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043. And eventually the whole world in 2047. A new study on global warming pinpoints the probable dates for when cities and ecosystems around the world will regularly experience hotter environments the likes of which they have never seen before. And for dozens of cities, mostly in the tropics, those dates are a generation or less away. "This paper is both innovative and sobering," said
I’m tempted to call it a clown show but that would be insulting to clowns:(Snip for graphic) It ran for one hour and six minutes, with 12 different reporters being called on — although, notably, not Ed Henry of Fox News — and between them they couldn’t muster one question about the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov or the spectacle of National Park Rangers locking senior-citizen tourists out of war memorials and/or inside their hotels. I admit that, near the end of it, when Twitter was already starting to buzz about the oh-fer on this week’s two unhappy topics, I started
Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed AB 154 on Wednesday, legalizing non-physician abortions in the state. The legislation, which had been pushed vigorously by Planned Parenthood, had been strongly opposed by pro-life groups and some physicians, arguing that it amounted to legalizing back-alley abortions for profit. In a statement, Gov. Brown boasted that AB 154 was one of seven bills signed Tuesday "to support the health and well-being of women in California."
The National Park System has a budget of $2.6 billion, much of it raised by concession and attendance fees. Even if it were entirely taxpayer-funded it would represent only .00068 of every federal dollar in our $3.8 trillion budget. Nonetheless, hardball-playing White House strategists have made it the most conspicuous instrument of pain inflicted by the federal shutdown. The Republican House has tried to fund the park system during the struggle over Obamacare funding, but without success. Even park funding offers by states have been rejected by the feds. Almost every day brings fresh examples of unnecessary annoyances and hardships visited
Tyranny, being as endemic to the human condition as other similar privations of the human good such as ignorance, vice, or sickness, is as old as mankind. What may be new, however, is the uniquely intractable form of tyranny that is currently metastasizing throughout the world, namely the rule of an authoritarian plurality of societal parasites. Our next thousand years of darkness, if such be our fate, will begin under the governance of a "parasitocracy." The modern West has defied ancient wisdom on so many fronts, introducing new modes of existence and coexistence, spreading prosperity and promise in hitherto inconceivable measures,
The Obama administration insisted Tuesday it had no choice but to withhold death benefits to relatives of 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, a 25-year-old soldier born and raised in San Diego, and four other soldiers killed since the partial government shutdown began Oct. 1. This is ridiculous and perverse. President Barack Obama has used an expansive — and some legal scholars believe extreme — interpretation of his powers to unilaterally rewrite key provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, the sweeping 2002 measure that drastically reshaped federal education policies. In similar fashion, the president has unilaterally rewritten key provisions of
I am just wondering if Miriam Carey, the mentally ill mother who drove her black Infiniti down Pennsylvania Avenue after she rammed a White House barricade, was read her Miranda rights before she was shot dead in a fusillade of gunfire by a gang of well-armed police who surrounded her car at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The information has not been released, though as I write almost a week has passed since the lethal event. Why could not those crack shots have aimed at her car’s tires. Then they could have waited for her next move. It looks
The State Department announced Wednesday that it was cutting hundreds of millions in military and other aid to Egypt, and make no mistake: this was not a government shutdown move. This was the President of the United States blackmailing a sovereign state to force it to restore the Muslim Brotherhood government he favors. With the Egyptian economy in crisis and Egypt strongly dependent on this aid, Obama has just effectively cast his vote for the Muslim Brotherhood’s return to power – and his vote outweighs that of millions of Egyptians.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I also told [Speaker Boehner] that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations, shouldn´t require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people. Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don´t get a chance to call your bank and say, ´I´m not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox.´ If you´re in negotiations around buying somebody´s house, you don´t get to say, ´well let´s talk about the