No, not even Muppets are spared in our culture war. Below is the cover of the new issue of The New Yorker. “It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind the cover. “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.” Then again, in response to an 2011 online petition calling for Bert and Ernie to tie the knot, the Sesame Workshop’s Facebook page offered this statement: “Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.
While we have been totally focused, for the past two months, on the amount of time it takes a webpage to load on healthcare.gov, the rest of the globe appears to be continuing to spin. And it appears to be spinning away from us. After more than a decade of what is known as kinetic action in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Americans are tired of being the alpha dog in the global pack. According to a poll released by the Pew organization, The public thinks that the nation does too much to solve world problems, and increasing percentages want the U.S.
"Uh-oh." That´s the sound being uttered in doctors´ offices and hospitals across the country as medical providers realize they´re getting stuck with another bottomless Obamacare bill. While the White House desperately tries to pivot from the havoc wrought by the "Affordable Care Act," its hidden regulatory bombs keep exploding. I heard about the latest problem this week from an eye doctor friend who received a letter from a Colorado-based insurer informing her that she´s essentially on the hook for Obamacare´s payment grace period for debtors. The optometrist is bracing for a flood of similar letters from other insurers. Like countless other
1,148,000 fewer Americans held jobs this November than did seven years ago in November 2006, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Back then, according to BLS, 145,534,000 Americans held jobs. This November, according to BLS, only 144,386,000 Americans hold jobs. That is a drop of 1,148,000 in the number of Americans working. This decline in the number of Americans who actually have jobs has come even though the size of the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population and the size of the nation’s civilian labor force have both grown significantly over the last seven years. The civilian noninstitutional population is
The unemployment rate for young people, ages 16 to 19, went down slightly between October and November, from 22.2% to 20.8%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but it is still nearly three times greater than the national unemployment rate of 7%. The BLS data, seasonally adjusted, show the following unemployment rates for youth (ages 16 to 19) and the actual number of youth unemployed in the United States for the last six months. Rate & Number of Persons Unemployed, Age 16 to 19 November: 20.8% -- 1.18 million unemployed October: 22.2% -- 1.26 million unemployed September: 21.4% -- 1.24 million
An Obamacare regulation issued by the Office of Personnel Management in October treats the U.S. Congress—which employs more than 11,000 staffers and which spent $4,329,000,000 on its own operations and $3,454,253,000,000 to fund the full government in fiscal 2013--as a “small business.” OPM did this so that the Treasury can pay federal subsidies of up to $11,378 per year to help members of the House and Senate and their staff buy health-insurance plans in the Obamacare “Small Business Health Options Program” (SHOP) Marketplace set up for “small employers” in Washington, D.C. The regulation treats this federal tax subsidy paid by
November marked the 60th straight month that the seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate has run at 7 percent or higher, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment in November was 7.0 percent, said BLS. That was the lowest it has been since November 2008, but also extended the second longest streak of 7.0 percent or higher unemployment since the BLS started tracking national unemployment in 1948. The longest streak of 7.0 percent or higher unemployment was the 68 months from May 1980 through December 1985. In November itself, the employment situation improved in the United States,
Federal, state and local governments hired a net additional 338,000 workers in November, equaling 41 percent of the total of 818,000 net additional jobs created in the United States during the month. At the same time, the unemployment rate for government workers fell from 4.4 percent in October to 3.2 percent in November. (The overall national unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent.) In October, governments around the country employed 19,726,000 people, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, that rose to 20,064,000—a net increase of 338,000 people employed by government. Overall, in October, 143,568,000
Shanghai -- Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction Friday as China´s financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters, delaying flights and obscuring the city´s spectacular skyline. The financial district was shrouded in a yellow haze, and noticeably fewer people walked the city´s streets. Vehicle traffic also was thinner, as authorities pulled 30 percent of government vehicles from the roads. They also banned fireworks and public sporting events. "I feel like I´m living in clouds of smog," said Zheng Qiaoyun, a local resident who kept her 6-month-old son
The number of U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010, prompting national security analysts to assert that coinciding stricter rules of engagement led to more deaths. A connection between the sharp increase in American deaths and restrictive rules of engagement is difficult to confirm. More deaths surely stemmed from ramped-up counterterrorism raids and the Taliban’s response with more homemade bombs, the No. 1 killer of NATO forces in Afghanistan. But it is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on
Seattle - Gay weddings made up 17 percent of marriages in Washington this past year, the first year gay marriages were legal in the state, state officials reported Wednesday. About 7,071 same-sex couples got married in Washington between December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 2013. There were 42,408 total marriages in the state during that time, according to the Washington State Department of Health. So far, most of Washington state´s same-sex marriages, 62 percent, were between two women. Washington is one of 15 states plus the District of Columbia where gay marriage is legal, but few have
A U.S. spacecraft hasn’t made a controlled landing on the moon since Apollo 17 left the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 1972. That’s about to change. Moon Express will unveil the MX-1 spacecraft at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas on Thursday evening -- a micro-spacecraft that will in 2015 mark the first U.S. "soft" landing since the days of the Apollo program, FoxNews.com has learned. The craft looks for all the world like a pair of donuts wearing an ice cream cone, and the tiny vehicle clearly isn’t big enough for a human being. But it is big enough to
London — Free speech is good, but sometimes dangerous in practice. Saying what you think can get you sacked in America even if it’s something that most people think. Practicing free speech here in the old country is risky, too, but saying the wrong thing appears to be a misdemeanor, not yet a felony. Boris Johnson, the irrepressible mayor of London, said some provocative things the other day to a private think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies, and political London — mostly the scribblers, anyway — has been in a tizzy since. The mayor playfully invoked Gordon Gecko, who exists only
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
One of President Obama´s chief political assets has been his ability to excite young people like almost no politician in history. But the days of America´s youth fawning over the president are over. A new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday confirms what other surveys have shown in recent months: Millennials have soured on Obama so much this year that their opinion of him largely mirrors the American public´s. Even though Obama does not ever have to face another election, he should be worried about the findings for a couple of reasons, which we will dive into momentarily.
A stunning new study unveiled on Fox News´ Hannity finds that President Barack Obama’s White House calendar records just one face-to-face meeting between Obama and his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the more than three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare launch. The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement. More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
[Video] President Obama on Wednesday declared that addressing income inequality would be the focus of “all” of the White House’s efforts “for the rest of my presidency.” In a sweeping address that touched on raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure and ending tax breaks for the wealthy, Obama warned that the American economy has become “profoundly unequal,” declaring economic mobility the “challenge of our time.” “The combined trends of increasing inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe,” he said in an hour-long
Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-i-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) mouth. Bashir offered an abject apology on his next broadcast, but a chorus of critics continued to demand action against the host. After a reported “vacation” for the host earlier this week, Bashir announced, Wednesday afternoon, that MSNBC and Martin Bashir are parting ways. Here’s the statement from Martin Bashir, via email: After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday. Upon
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”
Amid an array of “knock-out” attacks against a number of Jews in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, a city councilwoman pointed to the success of the Jewish community as triggering the aggression. Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo emphasized that while she “admire[s] the Jewish community immensely” for its work ethic, black teens may see it differently. “While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success,” Cumbo, who was recently elected, wrote in a letter. Chief among the issues
On Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported that Onyango “Omar” Obama, uncle to President Obama, says that his famous nephew stayed with him while a student at Harvard Law School in the 80s, in contradiction to The White House’s contention that the two had never met. At Thursday’s White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the President had, in fact, briefly stayed with “his father’s half-brother,” as Carney described Omar Obama, and that no one had actually asked the President about it when the White House initially commented. The 69 year-old Omar Obama has been facing deportation back
America is facing a wave of strikes by its fast-food workers on Thursday a day after Barack Obama warned that inequality in the USA had soared to the point that it now posed "a fundamental threat to the American dream". Low-paid workers in McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and other fast-food outlets in 100 cities across America were due to start rolling strikes to protest at the low level of America´s $7.25 (£4.45) federal minimum wage. The strikes are the latest part of a mushrooming publicity campaign for higher wages among those working so-called "McJobs", with fast-food restaurants seen as a
The world premiere of the “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet” is set for tonight. Princeton University’s director of its jazz-studies program composed the work in honor of the Florida teen. Anthony D. J. Branker told the Star-Ledger that the piece is intended to “be a form of healing” after Martin’s death and the controversial court case that followed it. The ballad, which will be performed by the university’s official orchestra and jazz ensemble, is intended to be a tribute to victims of racial violence, Branker explained. He hopes that the performance will be “one that speaks to