MOSCOW — Before American fugitive Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow in June — an arrival that Russian officials have said caught them by surprise — he spent several days living at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong, a Moscow newspaper reported Monday. The article in Kommersant, based on accounts from several unnamed sources, did not state clearly when Snowden decided to seek Russian help in leaving Hong Kong, where he was in hiding in order to evade arrest by U.S. authorities on charges that he leaked top-secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that 720,000 Americans left the labor force. This exodus pushed the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, the lowest level since 1978. One out of three adults in neither working nor actively looking for work. Some observers attribute the sharp drop to the shutdown and the furloughed federal workers. Even if that were the case, and it is unclear why these workers would be counted as not in the labor force, the number of Americans exiting is still significant. Overall, the jobs report showed employers adding 204,000 jobs in October. Almost half of these job
We are on the cusp of the most historic sell-out of Israel by any United States administration. We told you all along that in his second term Obama would impose a settlement on Israel according to what he viewed as reasonable: Obama will force his vision of a settlement on Israel in a second term. Obama envisions a return to the 1949 Armistice line perhaps with very minor adjustments. As David Horwitz of The Times of Israel wrote just before Obama’s second inauguration: Broadly speaking, Obama’s course is set. He has nobody and nothing but his own worldview to answer to. And he reckons
It doesn´t get much better than the exhilaration Barack Obama felt when he looked out at the hundreds of supporters packed into McCormick Place at 12:38 on the morning of Nov. 7, 2012. There he was, in his hometown of Chicago, flushed with victory, only the 15th incumbent ever reelected to a second presidential term. It didn´t seem at all boastful when he proclaimed to cheers that the nation had just "voted for action, not politics as usual." Now, a year later, here he is, in Washington, sobered by a succession of setbacks and no longer quite so sure that he
The executive editor of TIME Magazine appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball Thursday evening and attempted to defend the controversial Chris Christie cover that hit newsstands today. The headline, which reads “The Elephant in the Room,” has drawn criticism for too easily making a joke about the New Jersey governor’s weight. “What did you mean by ‘Elephant in the Room?’” Chris Matthews asked TIME’s Michael Duffy. Here was Duffy’s response: “Well, he’s obviously a big guy. He’s obviously a big Republican. But he’s also done a really huge thing here this week. He stood astride the Republican Party and said, ‘Stop. We don’t have
WASHINGTON — President Obama bowed Thursday night to mounting criticism that he had misled the American people about the health care law, apologizing to people who were forced off their health insurance plans by the Affordable Care Act despite “assurances from me.” In an interview with NBC News, Mr. Obama said that he did not do enough to ensure that the law did not force the termination of insurance policies that people like because they do not meet the law’s new coverage requirements.
Pope Francis has won the admiration of his followers for his common touch and his accessibility. And yesterday his compassion for a disfigured man prompted comparisons to the 13th Century´s St Francis of Assisi. The Pope kissed and prayed with the ailing man who was battling neurofibromatosis - the rare disease said to have affected the Elephant Man. Images of Pope Francis comforting the ailing worshiper were taken at the end of the general audience Wednesday, when a man covered in neuronal tumors approached the leader of the Catholic Church asking for a blessing. Famous namesake: The pope has drawn comparisons to St
Nearly half of Congress promised to share federal workers’ pain during the partial government shutdown by forsaking pay — but now that the shutdown is over and employees got paid, many lawmakers say they deserve their own checks. Some of the lawmakers said their vow to forgo pay was good only for as long as the shutdown lasted. When the shutdown ended after 16 days, they said, they had done their jobs and were entitled to their money. Others among the nearly 250 who forsook their salaries said congressional approval of back pay for all federal workers, including the hundreds of thousands
The new mayor is a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I’d expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar’s to close due to a locust infestation before that happened. But if Bill de Blasio’s remarkable rise proves anything, it’s that the rules can change. A liberal’s crazy liberal, de Blasio still waxes nostalgic about the noble struggle of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, for whom he raised money in the 1980s. He violated the ban on travel to Cuba for his honeymoon with his formerly gay wife,
Mayor Bloomberg’s most-trusted NYPD bodyguards will hit the jackpot when he leaves office next year — retiring with cushy pensions and starting new, high-paying jobs for the billionaire media mogul. A law-enforcement source told The Post that Bloomberg is taking key members of his security detail into the private sector to ensure they don’t spill any secrets about his private life. “He wants them to go with him because they’ve been with him so long and know him personally,” the source said. “So he gives them plum jobs to keep their mouths shut.” The veteran team includes a lieutenant and several detectives who will
Google is beta-testing a program that tracks users’ purchasing habits by registering brick-and-mortar store visits via smartphones, according to a report from Digiday. Google can access user data via Android apps or their Apple iOS apps, like Google search, Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps. If a customer is using these apps while he shops or has them still running in the background, Google’s new program pinpoints the origin of the user data and determines if the customer is in a place of business.
“The provision in the law was the manifestation of the assurance that if you have a plan you want to keep, you can keep it. Insurance companies that chose to strip away benefits from existing plans in the interim, that canceled existing plans in the interim, they took away that grandfathering opportunity. And that’s a reality.” – White House spokesman Jay Carney, daily press briefing, Nov. 5, 2013 In defending President Obama’s now-discredited pledge that “if you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep it,” the White House has repeatedly tried to blame insurance companies. White House spokesman Jay Carney’s statement
Rather than implementing the Affordable Care Act, a law with the noble goal of helping millions of uninsured Americans secure health insurance, the White House is dissembling. Rather than governing, President Obama is campaigning. Every day, it gets worse. The latest: On Wednesday, senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted his take on the Virginia gubernatorial election narrowly won by Democrat Terry McAuliffe over right wing-wing lightweight Ken Cuccinelli: "Cuccinelli´s profile was based on defeating (Obamacare); if he couldn´t get big bounce out of recent troubles; hard to see GOP strategy working in 14." Setting aside the factual weaknesses of his argument,
‘If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” How serious was this lie, repeated by Barack Obama with such beguiling regularity? Well, how would the Justice Department be dealing with it if it had been uttered by, say, the president of an insurance company rather than the president of the United States? Fraud is a serious federal felony, usually punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment — with every repetition of a fraudulent communication chargeable as a separate crime. In computing sentences, federal sentencing guidelines factor in such considerations as the dollar value
In March 2010, Barack Obama placed a giant bet on the docility and stupidity of the American people, when he decided in the face of three huge electoral warnings to force his health plan down the unwilling throats of the American people. And by November 2013, it was clear he had lost. It was not going to work. It would never be popular. And it was falling apart on its own. The HealthCare.gov website unveiled on October 1 had immediate problems, which were quickly revealed as the tip of the iceberg, as many worse things lay below. “If you like
WASHINGTON — President Obama was seething. Two weeks after the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, Mr. Obama gathered his senior staff members in the Oval Office for what one aide recalled as an “unsparing” dressing-down. The public accepts that technology sometimes fails, the president said, but he had personally trumpeted that HealthCare.gov would be ready on Oct. 1, and it wasn’t. “If I had known,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide, “we could have delayed the website.” Mr. Obama’s anger, described by a White House that has repeatedly sought to show that the president was
Hillary Clinton remains the most formidable presidential nomination frontrunner for a non-incumbent in the modern era. (snip)The only candidate in my mind who could catch fire, Massachusetts´ Senator Liz Warren, has already declared her support for Clinton. In fact, every single female Democratic senator is behind Clinton. What a difference that is from 2008. Much of the establishment was actually encouraging Obama to run in 2008. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid weren´t backing Clinton. Claire McCaskill´s endorsement of Obama in 2008 was particularly memorable. All three of them are now openly pleading for and endorsing Clinton for 2016.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I regret very much that what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want ´em, as opposed to because they´re forced into it. That, you know, we weren´t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position -- a better position than they were before this law happened. Keep in mind that most of the folks who are
President Barack Obama addressed the healthcare.gov website´s chronic dysfunctions Friday by quipping that he would fix it himself, ´but I don´t write code.´ The self-deprecating line came during a speech in New Orleans about shoring up U.S. exports through American port cities. But the moment also jokingly cast the president--perhaps unintentionally--as a hands-on administrator rather than the aloof executive that White House insiders have described in news articles, broadcast interviews and books. [Snip] Obama waited for audience laughter, but it didn´t come. His brief turn to address his calamitous health insurance overhaul included an admission that the Affordable Care Act
NBC´s Chuck Todd scored a huge interview with President Obama Thursday and opened things by immediately drilling down on the president´s relentlessly repeated lie that under ObamaCare you can keep your current insurance plan if you like it. The full interview is even more impressive than the clips that have been going around. Even after he elicits a "sorry" out of Obama, Todd keeps after the point for almost ten minutes. Ultimately, though, Todd came away with the impression that Obama doesn´t believe he lied. And Todd is probably right, which is a little unnerving. During his own interview on the Hugh
Ken Cuccinelli’s narrow loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race has become the latest battleground in the war between the so-called Republican establishment and Tea Party-type insurgents. The “establishment” blames the Tea Party induced government shutdown for alienating Virginians, a great many of whom work for the federal government. The insurgents blame the Republican Party for not providing enough money to Cuccinelli’s campaign. Some suggest that the “establishment” wanted Cuccinelli to lose out of spite and/or so it could blame the shutdown for his defeat. What does the Cuccinelli campaign have to say about this? Its chief strategist, Chris LaCivita, blames
In their new book ”Who’s Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank,” computer scientist Steven Skiena and former Google engineer Charles B. Ward rank the 100 most significant people in world history using an algorithm they created. What goes into the algorithm? It’s complicated. If you really want to know the math behind it, read the book. Or you can learn a little about it here. But click below to see who makes the top 100 — then let us know who the list should and should not have been included in the comment section.
NEW ORLEANS- President Obama vented his frustration with his broken healthcare insurance website Friday, joking that he “wanted to go in and fix it myself but I don’t write code.” “We’ve had this problem with the website,” Obama told a crowd during a visit to the Port of New Orleans. “I’m not happy about that but we’re working overtime to make sure it gets fixed. I promise.” The president’s brief comments on his struggling healthcare law came amid a call for bipartisan cooperation on his economic proposals. Obama argued that investment in roads, bridges and ports should gain broad support
Tom Cruise has never been shy about expressing his beliefs, and in a recent deposition, the actor said he believed acting was as hard as fighting a war. Cruise sat with lawyers to be deposed for his case against Bauer Publishing for stories two of its publications printed following his divorce from Katie Holmes, articles that stated he had "abandoned" his daughter Suri. During the deposition, a lawyer questioned Cruise about remarks his camp had made equating his work and inability to see daughter Suri to fighting in Afghanistan. "That´s what it feels like. And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal.
Senate Democrats, hoping to move beyond the disastrous rollout of the new health care law, plan to pivot to legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage by nearly $3, to over $10 an hour. Democratic lawmakers met privately Thursday to discuss proposals, including one by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, a nearly 40 percent increase. It would also would tie wage levels to inflation. Democratic senators weighed the plan after being deluged with letters and calls from constituents complaining that Obamacare has cost them their chosen health care plans and required