One of the problems facing anyone trying to write about Winston Churchill´s early life is that Churchill himself wrote "My Early Life," one of the best autobiographies in the English language. Michael Shelden, the distinguished biographer of Graham Greene and George Orwell, has nonetheless done an entertaining and erudite job of presenting the disparate pieces of Churchill´s life between the ages of 26 and 40—with one glaring and regrettable exception. It was in this 1901-15 period, Mr. Shelden observes, that Churchill readied the Royal Navy for a world war, pursued a radical agenda of social reform, crossed
Comments: Almost all individuals who hunger and hanker for political power, historical acclaim, and widely acknowledged greatness are scoundrels the world would be better off without. But there are rare exceptions, Churchill being possibly the essential man of the Twentieth Century. Not everyone appreciated him, though. During his first campaign (1900) an elderly man said, "Vote for you? Why, I´d rather vote for the devil!" Churchill: "I understand. But in case your friend isn´t running, may I count on your vote?"
A condescending society lady is said to have said to the young Winston Churchill running for Parliament "Winston, there are two things I don´t like about you. Your politics and your mustache". To which he replied "Madam, I assure you you are not likely to come into contact with either of them". Among other things, in today´s day and age he would have given so called Comedy Show hosts a run for their money.
TAMPA — It took jurors less than an hour Tuesday to unanimously recommend that three-time convicted murderer Dontae Morris be executed for killing Tampa police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis. “The fact that they came back 12-0 speaks volumes about the viciousness of Dontae Morris´ crimes,” said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor after the verdict was announced. “He didn´t just kill two police officers. He killed others in the community. If there is an instance where the death penalty is applicable, then this is it. The jury said that loud and clear.” Morris, who also was convicted in March
TAMPA — Dontae Morris could not overcome a “mountain of evidence,” including a dashboard video recording showing him kill two Tampa police officers and then running away as they lay dead or dying on the side of a road. An Orange County jury, bused in to Tampa, took four hours Friday night to convict Morris of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of escape in the killings of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab on June 29, 2010. The jurors will reconvene on Tuesday to hear evidence over whether they should recommend a death sentence for Morris, who
Middle East politics amounts to managing the decline of a failed culture. Nothing expresses Arab failure more vividly than Egypt, a banana republic without the bananas, now living on a $14 billion or so annual subsidy from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. With 70% of its population living in agricultural areas, it imports half its food, and would starve if not for the Saudi check. Egypt is beyond the point of no return economically, and American foreign policy is beyond the point of no return intellectually. Americans of both parties–Obama and Kerry on one side, and Sens. McCain and
The New York Times has an interesting article on treating “gun violence” as a disease. It describes the work of Gary Slutkin who “came to the view that gun violence in poor neighborhoods did indeed resemble the epidemics he had treated in Africa”. (Snip) Slutkin’s treatment apparently rests on the idea that shootings are an African-American cultural problem and by finding “disease carriers” and treating them, crime could be reduced. Slutkin’s heart must be pure, or else his whole program would be condemned by the NYT as an exercise in racial profiling and forced re-education. Rebranding works wonders. Shakespeare was
“Using statistics,” my teacher used to say, “is like driving a car down a road with the windshield blacked out, guided only by your rear-view mirror.” The notion of the future as a probability is at the heart of the Washington Post‘s survey of natural disasters. Typhoon Haiyan was not unique. It was individually unpredictable, but it was statistically just what one would have expected: “33 of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones on record have occurred in southern or southeastern Asia – due to a confluence of meteorology, geography, population density, poverty and government. The deadliest tropical cyclone in recorded
The art world was abuzz Tuesday night when an auction of contemporary and postwar works at Christie´s New York netted a total of roughly $692 million. Of course, to Major League Baseball´s brass, this figure represents a quiet off-season of spending. The biggest sale of the night was a Francis Bacon triptych called "Three Studies in Lucian Freud" that went for a record $142.4 million. If the unidentified buyer had been more interested in speedy outfielders than bleak expressionism, he or she could have used that money to hire the services of Dodger Carl Crawford for seven years. Another buyer
There is one kind of bumper sticker I see almost daily here in my small Midwestern town: a small oval printed with "26.2" or "13.1." In case you´re lucky enough not to know what these numbers represent, let me explain: They indicate that the driver or someone in the car has run a marathon (26.2 miles) or a half-marathon (13.1 miles). There is only one reason running aficionados display the stickers. They want the rest of us to know about their long-distance feats. So let me be the first to offer my hearty congratulations. I´d even offer to give them
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- Deputies with the Pasco Sheriff´s Office arrested Charles T. "Chuck" Barry, on one count of false impersonation of a law enforcement officer and improper exhibition of a firearm. Deputies said Barry drove through the Dunkin Donut Drive Thru at 10829 State Road 54 in Trinity on November 6. Deputies said Barry displayed a law enforcement sheriff star badge and identified himself as law enforcement and requested a discount on his order of donuts. When he was refused a discount, deputies said Barry held up a firearm which was still in a holster and stated, "See I
It’s sad that Maverick’s taking this idea just seriously enough that he’d think to mention it to another human being. He’s 77 years old, ran a famously chaotic campaign in 2008 before getting crushed on election day, and would face a much stronger, younger field in the primaries than he did last time. That he forced me just now to devote even half a second of thought to how he might stack up against the 2016 contenders is frankly embarrassing, and something for which I’ll never forgive him. It’s like watching a 60-year-old pitcher announce that he’s thinking of coming
The Obama administration will issue long awaited regulations Friday that require insurers to treat mental illness and addiction the same as physical illnesses, current and former lawmakers said. In testimony Thursday before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, mental health advocate and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would announce the action during a speech in Atlanta. Members of the panel familiar with the rule-making also said the regulations would be issued Friday. Kennedy, during his 16-year tenure in Congress, championed legislation designed to bring insurance parity to people suffering from addiction and mental illness.
Haiyan, potentially the strongest recorded typhoon to make landfall, slammed into the Philippines´ central islands on Friday, forcing millions of people to flee to safer ground or take refuge in storm shelters. The category-five super typhoon whipped up giant waves as high as 4-5 metres (12-15 feet) that lashed the islands of Leyte and Samar, and was on track to carve a path through popular holiday destinations. Haiyan is also forecast to pass close to the Philippines´ second-largest city Cebu, home to around 2.5 million people, and also buffet the capital Manila. "The super typhoon likely made landfall with winds
TORONTO – A new video that surfaced Thursday shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in a rambling rage, using threatening words including "kill" and "murder," as the saga that has gripped Canadians for months took yet another twist. The mayor told reporters moments after the video was posted online that he was "extremely, extremely inebriated" in it and "embarrassed" by it. The context of the video, which appeared Thursday on the Toronto Star´s website, is unknown and it´s unclear who the target of Ford´s wrath is. It prompted another round of calls for Ford to step down. It´s been a whirlwind
President Barack Obama told the Wall Street CEO Council Tuesday that his administration has "reined in spending" and "cut our deficits by more than half." "After years of trillion-dollar deficits we reined in spending, wound down two wars and began to change a tax code that I believe was too skewed towards the wealthiest among us at the expense of the middle class," said Obama. "And since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half. Add it all and businesses like yours have created 7.8 million new jobs over the past 44 months, we´ve gone farther
Negligence? Absolutely. Incompetence? The case can be made. But scandalous? To suggest that the White House has willfully engaged in the intentional misleading of the public and an outrageous dereliction of its responsibilities to enforce the laws passed by Congress has been a bridge too far. Until recently. New revelations are now forcing even the most reluctant of President Barack Obama’s critics to concede that the Affordable Care Act’s implementation has evolved into a scandal. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working, as the way it was supposed to,” Obama told reporters on November 14.
MICHELLE OBAMA: I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was really little and then I wasn´t that great at math and science so I switched to law because my mother told me that I like to argue a lot. But I realized in high school and in college that you don´t have to exactly know, you´re kind of always discovering yourself. So I studied law, I went to law to school, but was pretty clear I just wanted to be a good student. I wanted to know how to read and write and communicate, be able to
In an interview on BET last night with Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama. "He’s got a little swag." The audience applauded. Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States "sings all the time." She continued, "Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing." She also praised her husband. "[H]e has got a good voice." Here´s a transcript of that exchange:
Well folks, it looks like Arizona Senator John McCain will "be one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off.” According to the Arizona Republic, McCain is set to attend a glitzy fundraising for his 2016 campaign in New York City. Sen. John McCain has scheduled a December fundraiser in New York City, the surest sign yet that the veteran Arizona Republican is serious about possibly pursuing a sixth term in 2016. According to a copy of the invitation obtained Tuesday by The Arizona Republic, McCain is asking supporters to join him 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at the midtown St. Regis Hotel
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama says she won’t wear shorts on Air Force One again because the one time she did, it created “a huge stink.”(snip)Mrs. Obama was asked about her biggest fashion regret. She said she’s always happy with her outfits but that, quote, “sometimes I forget I’m the first lady and I’m running around in shorts.” She recalled her family’s first White House vacation, to the Grand Canyon in August 2009. Mrs. Obama said her wearing shorts getting off the plane “created a huge stink because people were like, ‘she’s wearing shorts getting off of Air Force One.’” She said her thought
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama conceded that he will have to "remarket" and "rebrand" Obamacare as public confidence in him and the healthcare law he championed has plummeted. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, Obama addressed the failures of the Obamacare rollout and said while he was confident that the healthcare model his administration built, which he claimed worked off of the "existing private insurance system," would succeed, the law would have to be rebranded. “We are going to have to obviously remarket and rebrand,” Obama said. “And that will be challenging in this political environment.” When he
President Barack Obama told a gathering of corporate executives Tuesday he´s confident that his model of health care will work in the end, but he said he´s going to have to "re-brand" it to sell it to a skeptical public. He didn´t use the word "Obamacare" once on Tuesday in talking about his health care law, but he mentioned the "Affordable Care Act" seven times. "So, look, I am confident that the model that we built, which works off of the existing private insurance system, is one that will succeed," Obama told the Wall Street Journal´s CEO Council Annual Meeting
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says everyone should stop talking so much about the 2016 presidential race, because doing so hurts President Obama, who´s only a year into his second term. "In this sense, I feel badly for President Obama. He just won a year ago, and everybody´s like, ´So, who´s next?´" Christie said Monday night at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "There is work to be done in this country. And as we shove him out the door, we minimize his ability to be an effective executive. And we shouldn´t do that." Even as he urged people to focus
The White House has admitted that it was wrong to promise that people would be able to their health care plans under Obamacare. "With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I’ve said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient," President Obama said
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says although some Democrats may be voting politically to distance themselves from Obamacare, they were still supporting the law and working in their districts to implement it. "This is history and the future and progress," she stated emphatically, "It stands right there as Social Security, Medicare, affordable health care, as a right, not a privilege for the few, but a right for the many." She was speaking Tuesday at an event sponsored by BuzzFeed. Pelosi acknowledged she was "really disappointed" that the technology behind the website failed, but said she was excited to see the program fully
It´s no secret that Sarah Palin is mighty steamed at MSNBC and Martin Bashir over his despicable remarks about the abusive treatment he imagines for her. And now she´s doing something about it. The former Alaska governor and Fox News contributor was scheduled to sit down with Matt Lauer for a Christmas season interview. That´s now toast. Palin has now canceled Lauer´s scheduled trip to Wasilla, a source close to her tells me. It´s not because Palin is upset with Lauer or the "Today" show, but as a protest against NBC for not taking action against Bashir. In fact, Palin once sat