WASHINGTON — President Obama´s most prominent judicial nominee withdrew her name from consideration Friday in the face of continuing Republican opposition. Caitlin Halligan, a prominent New York prosecutor twice nominated by Obama to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, would have been a potential future Supreme Court nominee had she won Senate confirmation. Instead, after more than two years of effort, she and the president agreed Friday to call it quits.
Now we know why Mayor Rob Ford refused to have an official driver. Who would want a chauffeur at the wheel — with long ears and beady eyes — during all those mystifying late-night peregrinations around the city: pulling over in parking lots, gas stations, Tim Hortons, near high schools; the rambles down isolated pathways, left strewn with empty vodka bottles and juice boxes? Who would want a witness — insufficiently trustworthy — to twitchy transactions, packages and manila envelopes exchanged between a chief magistrate and his bagman, content of the goods unknown, though bird-dogging cops noted the behavior certainly
The Benghazi whistleblower whose new book details massive security failures in the run-up to the September 11, 2012 attacks denies he wrote an incident report made public this week that undermines key details in his memoir. The debate over the Obama administration’s actions before and after the attack on the U.S. mission was reignited following an Oct. 27 60 Minutes report featuring an interview with Morgan Jones, a pseudonym for a British security contractor who trained and advised the local Libyan guard force for the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Jones’s book, The Embassy House, was released two days later and
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon´s Early Bird, an influential daily digest of news and opinion articles about the military that began early in the Cold War, died Friday, another victim of digital news and the government´s desire to control the flow of information. "It had become too big," said Col. Steve Warren, the head of the Pentagon´s press office, who terminated the 65-year-old clip service. "It had become too powerful, and I believe it had the tendency to take a small story and purely by accident turn it into a crisis." It did that and far more. Sent out at sunrise
PALM DESERT — Doris Payne — demure, elegant and 83 — is a thief, as prolific and subtly conniving as they come. She doesn´t use muscle and she doesn´t rely on guns. Instead, between numerous stints behind bars, for 50 years she has leaned on charming misdirection to steal pricey jewelry from unsuspecting merchants all over the globe. Her most recent alleged theft found her on El Paseo, the luxurious row of shops in Palm Desert. Jeweler Raju Mehta thought she fit right in with his customers.
TROY, N.Y. - The upstate New York home of former NFL star Brian Holloway that was trashed during a party attended by hundreds of young people has been sold at a foreclosure auction. The Times Union of Albany reports that Holloway´s 200-acre property in rural Stephentown sold for $400,000 during Tuesday morning´s auction in the Rensselaer County courthouse. The only bidder was Berkshire Bank, which bought the lien on the house. The newspaper had reported that Holloway owed more than $1 million to the bank.
The CEO of Serco, a British-based company whose North American division received one of the largest contracts to work on the Obamacare insurance exchanges, resigned Friday amid allegations that the company had defrauded the British government of millions of pounds. Even as myriad other allegations emerged about its work around the globe, Serco spent heavily on lobbying in Washington, D.C., and secured a multi-year contract potentially worth $1.249 billion to handle paper applications for the Obamacare exchanges. Serco did not respond to e-mail and voice-mail requests for comment.
LOS ANGELES – In the heady days after the October 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act -- better known as ObamaCare -- Lady Gaga, Amy Poehler, Nina Dobrev, Rosario Dawson, Sarah Silverman, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Pearl Jam, Lance Bass, John Legend, Alyssa Milano and Kerry Washington joined the President to encourage Americans to #getcovered. Since then, technical glitches and website snafus have so marred the ObamaCare website that the team who built it has been called to testify before Congress (Snip)there will be no celebrities flanking them on Capitol Hill, as the stars that helped launch
WASHINGTON — In withering day-after criticism, President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the 16-day partial government shutdown was a Republican-provoked spectacle that ‘‘encouraged our enemies’’ around the world. Elsewhere in Washington, and around the country, federal employees simply streamed back to their jobs. National parks reopened. The popular panda cam at the National Zoo came back online. But there was no letup in the political fight. Fresh from a defeat, tea party groups and their allies renewed fund-raising efforts with a promise of future assaults on Obama’s health care overhaul — and a threat of more election primaries against Republican incumbents who don’t
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) lost his battle against the new health-care law but he already has a new target in sight: the Federal Communications Commission. The tea party member late Wednesday blocked the confirmation of Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC, saying he wanted greater assurance from President Obama’s nominee that the agency wouldn’t require more funding disclosures for political TV ads. Cruz has said that such free speech should be protected. When asked about the issue in a June confirmation hearing, Wheeler demurred, saying he would study the issue.
Rep. Peter King thinks Republicans in the House could have bargained for much more than they´re getting in a pending Senate deal, if only the House had kept the government open in September and focused on negotiations over the federal debt limit. "Instead we look like the crazies," King, a Republican from Long Island, told me this afternoon from Washington. "Shutting down the government, throwing barricades against the White House, and having Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss, this is like the theater of the absurd. Except that it´s serious."
In a bookend of sorts to his 21-hour “filibuster” against the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke for just under 10 minutes Wednesday evening in opposition to an imminent Senate vote that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. Cruz denounced the Senate deal as “terrible,” saying it will do nothing to help the “millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.” Speaking for the “American people,” Cruz said the Senate deal “embodies everything that frustrates” them about the “Washington establishment.” The majority of the speech centered around Cruz’s opposition to the health
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas made comments to reporters after senators reached a deal to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. The transcript was provided by Federal News Service. SENATOR TED CRUZ (R-TX): Unfortunately, once again, it appears the Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of “Obamacare.” The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school who can’t find a job because of “Obamacare.” It provides no
I´m reading a terribly sad book these days. It´s a book that I thought would uplift me during the doldrums of second-year medical school, and renew in me a sense of hope. It´s called "The Audacity to Win," and it´s a memoir of Barack Obama´s 2008 presidential campaign. When I´m finished with my patient write-ups at night and get into bed, the book returns me to a time when politics inspired millions and speeches could take your breath away. The election turned out to be a landslide, and news anchors paused to reflect on the historic nature of the hour. My classmates
President Obama used his executive powers on Friday to create a ´Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.´ Obama´s plan would be put in place through executive order, bypassing Congress, which has stalemated over climate legislation in recent years. A year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, the President signed the order which is designed to make it easier for states and local governments to respond to weather disasters. The executive order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of
How Americans see President Obama changed in an important way this week. It’s because there is a huge difference between lies and bulls – - t. Obama says a lot of things that are not true, even nonsensical. But it’s easy to shrug off most of these, because they aren’t really lies. They’re just bulls – - t. Bulls – - t is airy, meaningless drivel, the stuff that campaigns are made of. Or it’s a misleading oversimplification with hidden qualifiers. Not only do we forgive bulls – - t, we like it. Especially suckers who have far too high an opinion
In May 2010, two months after the Affordable Care Act squeaked through Congress, President Obama’s top economic aides were getting worried. Larry Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Peter Orzag, head of the Office of Management and Budget, had just received a pointed four-page memo from a trusted outside health adviser. It warned that no one in the administration was “up to the task” of overseeing the construction of an insurance exchange and other intricacies of translating the 2,000-page statute into reality. Summers, Orzag and their staffs agreed. For weeks that spring, a tug of war
As one of the surviving members of the staff of the Warren Commission, which investigated and issued a report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I am not looking forward to the coming weeks: Nov. 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, and that means a new round of demonizing the Warren Commission and celebrating fallacious conspiracy theories. After Chief Justice Earl Warren hired me to work for the commission, he told me that “truth was our only client.” Throughout the inquiry, that phrase remained our guiding principle. The evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the
Why does the Tea Party love Ted Cruz despite his decisive role in the recent partial government shutdown, which many consider a debacle for the GOP? Why aren’t Tea Partiers blaming Cruz for their drop in the polls, as mainstream Republicans are busily doing for their own decline in popularity? A CNN-ORC International survey from shortly after the shutdown ended shows that 56 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, while “only 28 percent” see it in a favorable light — the Tea Party’s lowest favorability rating since its emergence in the wake of the 2008
CNN has been pondering what they call “a particularly tough few days at the White House.” “Four out of five Americans have little or no trust in their government to do anything right,” says chief political analyst Gloria Borger. “And now Obama probably feels the same way.” Our hearts go out to him, poor wee disillusioned thing. We are assured by the headline writers that the president was “unaware” of Obamacare´s website defects, and the National Security Agency spying, and the IRS targeting of his political enemies, and the Justice Department bugging the Associated Press, and pretty
A former top general and current executive at the Family Research Council says members of the military have considered staging a coup d´état against President, but will not because of civilian control of the military. "People I´ve spoken to would like to see the military ´fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president,´ " retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin told World Net Daily, a website best known for pushing Obama "birther" conspiracy theories. "Our Constitution puts a civilian in charge of the military and as a result a coup would not be constitutional. You´re not going to see a
Richmond, Va. - Women may hold the key in Virginia´s slash-and-burn race for governor, rendering a final judgment on a campaign marked by fights over social issues. Democrats have not relented in their criticism of Republican Ken Cuccinelli´s positions on abortion, women´s reproductive health and even divorce, and it´s taken a toll, especially among female voters. Polls show Cuccinelli consistently struggling to connect with women in his race against Democratic Terry McAuliffe. Heading into Tuesday´s election, the cash-poor Cuccinelli campaign is trying to set the record straight at every stop, with the state attorney general telling allies, "The truth is
Wendy Davis should send Rick Perry a muffin basket, because he may have handed her a winning issue in her longshot bid to succeed Perry as governor of Texas. It may be counter-intuitive that Davis, a Democratic state senator running for governor in a red state, would bring up the controversial health care reform law, but it might be a risk she needs to take. In order for Davis to defeat Attorney General Greg Abbott, her likely Republican opponent next November, political strategists say she needs to win big among two key demographics: Hispanics and white women. Among Hispanics in
Dylan Byers at Politico describes the spell that President Obama weaves over favored journalists when privately speaking with them off the record. Famously reticient on the record, Byers says Obama is nothing if not voluble off it, willing to shoot the breeze with any journalist he considers to be ‘smart’.(Snip)You have to be special to join the circle, one so high above the madding crowd that you are like the president, who as Valerie Jarrett puts it, was “bored to death his whole life … just too talented to do what ordinary people do.” The question that almost asks itself
A janitor has described how for two days, he took care of more than 19 senior citizens who were abandoned after a Castro Valley care home was forced to close amid safety and health violations last week. Miguel Alvarez, 33, stayed at Valley Springs Manor 24 hours a day when other staff members walked off the job after the operator´s license was suspended on October 24 and they went unpaid for more than two weeks Another staff member, cook Maurice Rowland, also stayed on to help care for the home´s elderly residents, many of whom suffer from dementia and other ailments.