Beirut - The United Nations chemical weapons inspection team in Syria was reported to have wrapped up its field work Friday and was preparing to leave the war-torn country on Saturday. U.N. officials have generally described the 20-member contingent’s work as a success. The inspectors visited several sites of the suspected Aug. 21 poison gas attack and gathered samples, apparently of possibly contaminated soil, tissue and other evidence, and also interviewed victims, witnesses, doctors and others in and around Damascus, the Syrian capital. The U.N. team spent four working days on the ground in
Comments: The short article claims that now both sides are accusing the other of this atrocity. And, more important, the samples will take days or weeks to process. At that point, since we´ve waited too long, Mr. 0bama, "What difference does it it make?"
I can´t wait for the UN report. It´s soooo important.
Their report on the gas in Syria will be about as meaningful as their reports about the gas in the atmosphere. I do so hope they were able to detect more glo-bull warming while they were looking for the poison gas.
Seattle - Boeing´s ties to the Pacific Northwest date back more than a century, when William Boeing purchased a Seattle shipyard that would become his first airplane factory. In recent years, however, those ties have been fraying, first with the company shifting its headquarters to Chicago, (Snip) In the contract vote late Wednesday, The International Association of Machinists District 751 rejected the proposal with 67 percent of the votes. Union members who called for a no vote did so in protest of Boeing´s push to end a traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs.
"Character is what you do when no one is watching." It´s a bit of a trite saying, attributed to coaches, motivational speakers and fortune cookie authors (by the way, whose idea was it for fortune cookies to replace predictions with treacly aphorisms from the "Successories" reject pile?). Still, the expression´s popularity illustrates the power of the idea behind it. Character is what you do when the only controlling authority is your conscience. Because young people do not yet have fully formed characters, they often need incentives beyond exhortations to do the right thing.
Washington - Problems with the federal health insurance website have prevented tens of thousands of low-income people from signing up for Medicaid even though they are eligible, federal and state officials say, undermining one of the chief goals of the 2010 health care law. The website, HealthCare.gov, is primarily seen as a place to buy private insurance with federal subsidies, but it is also a gateway to Medicaid, which generally provides more benefits at less cost to consumers. That door has been closed for the last six weeks, with the federal government unable to transfer its files to state Medicaid
Corydon, Iowa - The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America´s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply. Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield. It wasn´t supposed to be this way. (Snip) But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today. As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and
After dodging questions for months about video evidence said to show him using drugs, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto stunned constituents and his own staff on Tuesday by telling a scrum of reporters, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.” Video of Mr. Ford’s admission, during an impromptu news conference, showed him asking reporters to repeat the question they first raised in May, when journalists for Gawker and The Toronto Star described seeing video that appeared to show the mayor using drugs. When one reporter complied, asking, “Do you smoke crack cocaine?” the mayor admitted that he had done
Washington - A new book covering the 2012 presidential campaign uncovers a series of scathing remarks from political figures, but one alleged comment has stirred controversy around President Barack Obama and his administration’s use of targeted drone strikes. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s book “Double Down: Game Change 2012” notes President Obama commenting on drone strikes, reportedly telling his aides that he’s “really good at killing people.” The quote from the book was first reported in Peter Hamby’s review in the Washington Post.
An emerging theme from Democrats struggling to explain the Obamacare fiasco is that stubborn Republican opposition has hobbled the administration´s efforts to implement President Obama´s complex national health care scheme. If you want the particulars, just glance at "The Obamacare sabotage campaign" by Politico´s Todd Purdum. But a memo revealed in a new Washington Post examination of the rollout shows the administration was already on a disastrous path in May 2010, just two months after Obamacare was signed into law -- and six months before Republicans won control of the House
Some inventions address needs that everyone has and go on to change the world. The Internet serves our constant craving for information; the internal combustion engine let anyone efficiently do mechanical work with little physical effort; antibiotics significantly reduced mortality rates around the world. Then there are the inventions that are the result of someone asking, "Hmm, I wonder if that would be a good idea?" From a "onesie" that lets your baby mop your floors to a mic-shaped sponge for rocking out in the shower, these are the inventions that are more noteworthy
"All we´ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it.... I´m infuriated because I was lied to," one woman told this newspaper, as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of Obamacare. And that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president. The most famous presidential lies have to do with misconduct (Richard Nixon´s "I am not a crook" or Bill Clinton´s "I did not have sexual relations") or war. Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the slogan "He kept us out of war" and then plunged
The usual scenario involves suspicious glances, inattentive clerks or rude service — not handcuffs. Yet when a black teen said he was wrongly jailed after buying a $350 belt at a Manhattan luxury store, it struck a nerve in African-Americans accustomed to finding that their money is not necessarily as good as everyone else´s. Shopping while black, they say, can be a humiliating experience. Much attention has been paid to the issue over the years — Oprah Winfrey complained that a Swiss clerk did not think she could afford a $38,000 handbag, and even President Barack Obama has said he was once followed in
’m going to ruin sea otters for you. Or at least I’m going to tarnish their reputation as some of the most charming little beasties in the seas. For as cute as they are while intertwining paws at an aquarium, frolicking among the wafting fronds of California kelp forests, or smashing sea urchins open with stones, some sea otters have developed the disturbing habit of humping and drowning baby seals. When I first heard about the behavior from a marine biologist friend of mine, I didn’t quite believe sea otters could be so diabolical. Maybe the bad behavior was just a rumor. But no, the strange sea otter
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years. Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next
Is the president’s Obamacare “fix” part of the Obama administration’s pattern of deceit or a product of its frequent delusion?A cursory discussion with almost anyone who knows anything about the insurance business would have alerted the president to the fact that his proposal is unworkable. The initial take from experts on both the right and the left is that the president did not fix anything yesterday. Insurance industry experts agree that the very idea that canceled health policies can be renewed or extended for one year is laughable
In a recent interview with BBC News, Oprah Winfrey said that President Obama is disrespected because he is an African-American. "There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African-American," Winfrey said. "There’s no question about that, and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it." Speaking with the BBC´s Will Gompertz in the UK to promote "The Butler," Winfrey also spoke to the global issue of racism. "It´s gotten better. Are there still places where people are terrorized because of the color of their
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most powerful women in the world, declared she would not be stripping off her lingerie to get ‘buck naked’ on screen. The billionaire TV tsarina and occasional actress was speaking to me about her role in director Lee Daniels’s movie The Butler, in which she plays Gloria, wife of a White House butler played by Forest Whitaker. Gloria becomes bored with her middle-class life while her husband’s off looking after ‘that other family in the White House’. Oprah said that after a while Gloria starts to drink, and fools around with a neighbour, played by
Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama’s health care program is still troubled, but he gets credit for taking ownership and trying to fix it. "Forget about Iran and unemployment, this week was all about Obamacare and it was a ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ moment. As Tevye would say: ´Un da vun hand, but un da udda hand…´ “So we have the president admitting he broke his promise to Americans when he promised they could keep their plans. And the GOP gloated, mocked, preached doom and a failed presidency, and made a solemn vow to
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Some 50 years after John F. Kennedy´s sole presidential term was cut short by an assassin´s bullets, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe Kennedy will go down in history as an outstanding or above-average president. This is the highest retrospective rating given to any of the 11 presidents who have held office since Dwight Eisenhower. Another fifth of the public sees the slain president as average, while just 3% rank him as below average or poor. Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, and the 50-year anniversary of his assassination is being marked by a bevy of new
She didn’t write about ‘Protecting the Heart of Christmas’ at all—instead, the eternally offended governor may have penned the perfect manual for another holiday altogether: Festivus. Initially I planned to ignore this week’s release of Good Tidings and Great Joy, Sarah Palin’s book waging war on the war on Christmas. Few political hucksters milking the culture war for an easy buck peddle antics more shopworn than the annual fear-mongering that secularist Scrooges are coming for our creches. But then I couldn’t stop wondering: What happens when the Queen of Grievance takes up arms on behalf of the Prince of Peace’s
It´s been a bad week for MSNBC, and a bad week for serious journalism. First, the network learned to regret giving Alec Baldwin a job after he called a photographer a word that is more than a little homophobic. MSNBC have since suspended his show for two weeks. Now, Martin Bashir has scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel after launching a tirade against Sarah Palin ("America´s resident dunce") that has to be seen to be believed. And you´re warned: it is stomach churning. The beloved liberal journalist used his afternoon TV show to deliver a somewhat justified critique of
His actor parents are well known activists and Stephen Ira Beatty seems determined to follow in their footsteps. The eldest child of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, who revealed he was transgender at the age of 14, appears in a new public service announcement (PSA) urging New York to change its Medicaid regulation which excludes transgender people from accessing healthcare. Stephen, 21, appears confident and informed as he speaks about the problem, saying: ‘I grew up outside of New York, but I´ve always known I´ve wanted to move here for the city´s vibrant artistic community. ‘As a trans person, I
MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on Friday closed his show with likely the most disgraceful rant against former Alaska governor Sarah Palin you’ve ever heard. Besides calling her “America’s resident dunce” and claiming she has a “deceased mind,” Bashir suggested that someone should defecate in her mouth and urinate in her eyes. MARTIN BASHIR: It´s time now to clear the air. And we end this week in the way it began - with America’s resident dunce, Sarah Palin, scraping the barrel of her long deceased mind, and using her all-time favorite analogy in an attempt to sound intelligent about the national debt.
The headline is a statement to, not a quote from Boehner, but it was worth the deception to make the point. President Obama has been given so much slack by an enabling Washington D.C. media, that Obama is now hanging onto the rope to avoid falling into the abyss. The fawning media who placed all their political bets on his success, is unwilling to admit publicly (and perhaps even privately) what they know in their brains but unwilling to let their heart in on: Obama is and always was a phony.
WASHINGTON - A terrifying new ‘game’ that’s already caused deaths in Syracuse, St. Louis and New Jersey is sweeping the nation, and it preys upon unsuspecting people walking the streets, anywhere. A recent report from New York-based CBS 2 shed light on the growing trend, displaying unsettling footage of teens participating in this game – which goes by the name ‘Knockout’ – and involves randomly targeting passersby, with the ultimate goal being to knock them out with one punch as they walk by. One victim shown in the footage was 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, N.J., who was found dead with his
My guess is that my column this week, suggesting President Obama can rise again, may come close to hitting the bottom of his recent slide in popularity. The president will fix the problem for those whose insurance policies were canceled. They may ultimately be big winners as insurers compete to offer them better policies, which will be clear when the website problem is fixed, which it ultimately will be. Meanwhile, Democrats turn up the heat of immigration, which will be a big winner for the president and Democrats, one way or the other. House and Senate Democrats have now pounced on