PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman landed Tuesday in North Korea and said he plans to hang out with authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and maybe bridge some cultural gaps - but not be a diplomat. Rodman was greeted at Pyongyang´s airport by Son Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of North Korea´s Olympic Committee, just days after Pyongyang rejected a visit by a U.S. envoy who had hoped to bring home Kenneth Bae, an American missionary jailed there. The North abruptly called off the official visit because it said the U.S. had ruined the
Comments: I was chuckling over this article, until I realized that Rodman has far more credibility than Kerry, who I´m told served in Vietnam.
Apparently little fat kim had his ex-girlfriend executed (along with a few friends of hers) because they were making porno films. Has this guy ever seen rodman in his wedding gown? Man, can´t he just stay there?
Guess he´ll ask him about why he executed his ex-girlfriend and the entire girl band and then put their families in prison camps? I think Rodman should be excommunicated from America and be forced to live in that Communist country.
You can add Obamacare exchange boss to this year´s list of "most dangerous jobs." Four out of the 15 chiefs of Obamacare insurance marketplaces run by individual states and the District of Columbia have either quit or gone on leave since the botched Oct. 1 launches of their health exchanges. And given badly lagging sign-up rates in Affordable Care Act insurance policies in several other states, some other bosses likely will follow those four out the exit door. "I would expect to see some more turnover, because they aren´t hitting their enrollment targets," said Mark Argosh, managing principal at the
The Internal Revenue Service has been doing business with nearly 1,200 vendors that owe back taxes, including one unnamed contractor that owed a whopping $525 million, a new inspector general´s report says. Altogether, 1,168 IRS vendors owed back taxes totaling $589 million as of July 2012, according to the report released Tuesday. Only 50 were in a payment plan to pay off their debt. "When the IRS conducts business with vendors that do not comply with federal tax laws, it conveys a contradictory message in relation to its mission to ensure compliance with the tax laws," said J. Russell George,
BP filed a fraud lawsuit in U.S. court on Tuesday to halt some of the $2.3 billion it set aside to compensate commercial fishermen for losses claimed after the British oil company´s 2010 offshore oil spill, the biggest in U.S. history. The latest court action by BP seeking to reduce payments from the spill alleges that part of a group of fishermen hurt by the spill, clients of lawyer Mikal C. Watts, did not exist. "We now know that over half of Watts´ alleged clients were phantoms: individuals never represented by Watts, in a number of cases not even commercial fishermen, and in some instances individuals who are deceased," BP said
Heavy marijuana users may have abnormal brain structures which can lead to poor memory, Nature World News reported. In a new study, researchers from Northwestern Medicine used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to analyze the brains of 67 former marijuana users. The participants had begun their drug use when they were 16 to 17 years old, but they had all been marijuana free for an average of two years at the time of the study. (Snip) The researchers also found that the brain structures of the marijuana users closely resembled the brains of schizophrenia patients.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Matt Flynn and the Green Bay Packers matched the biggest comeback in franchise history. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have a loss that might sting for a long time. Flynn threw four touchdown passes in the second half, Eddie Lacy had the winning score on a 1-yard plunge after an interception by Romo gave them another chance, and the Packers rallied from 23 points down at halftime to beat the Cowboys 37-36 Sunday.(Snip) Bryant walked off the field and into the tunnel before the game ended.
Prices posted at a cafe in France suggest that a spoonful of politesse will sweeten the prices for a cup of joe. Ordering simply "a coffee" at the Le Petite Syrah cafe in Nice runs you 7 euros, about nine-and-a-half dollars, according to the prices on the chalkboard menu. But add "please" and the price drops to 4.25 euros, about six dollars. Go for the full, "Good morning, a coffee, please," and the politeness discount gets even steeper, 1.4 euros, or two bucks. In a nation whose waiters are famed for their perceived rudeness, that takes some gumption. But cafe
LOS ANGELES – Federal officials on Monday unsealed five criminal cases filed against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff´s deputies as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption in the nation´s largest jail system. The charges were announced at a press conference after 16 of 18 defendants were arrested earlier in the day. They were expected to be arraigned later in U.S. District Court. (Snip) One federal indictment filed Nov. 20 named seven deputies charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It is unclear from the indictment whether they are currently employed
Skiers and snowboarders searching for "the steep and deep" this winter may find the concept has taken on a much less appealing connotation: The price of the sport is getting so steep that some believe it may be becoming the exclusive domain of those whose pockets are exceedingly deep. "You have the haves and the have mores," said Douglas Quinby, principal analyst at PhoCusWright, which conducts market research on the travel industry. (Snip)Skiing, of course, has never been considered an inexpensive activity, but the sport has seen a significant upward shift in visitor demographics in recent years.
Denver - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage." The order says the cake-maker must "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay
The newly-unveiled uniforms for the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team are star-spangled and red, white and blue — but they´re not made in America. The hodgepodge design, which designer Burton Snowboards says was inspired by a vintage quilt, features the faded colors of Old Glory and stars on the shoulder, base-layer henleys, hats and gloves. But like Ralph Lauren, which designed U.S. Olympic gear for the 2012 games in London, Vermont-based Burton is now defending its decision to use a global set of vendors to complete the job ahead of the Sochi Games, which begin on Feb. 7.
New York - Did stores shoot themselves in the foot? Target, Macy´s and other retailers offered holiday discounts in early November and opened stores on Thanksgiving Day. It was an effort to attract shoppers before Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season. Those tactics drew bigger crowds, but failed to motivate Americans to spend. A record 141 million people are expected to shop in stores and online over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend that ends Sunday, up from last year´s 137 million, according to the results of a survey of nearly 4,500 shoppers
Janet Yellen moved one step closer to becoming the next chair of the Federal Reserve, after the Senate Banking Committee voted to move her nomination forward for a full Senate vote. The committee voted 14-8 to send Yellen´s nomination on for consideration before the full Senate. That vote on the Senate floor has not yet been scheduled, but is expected to occur in early December. Three Republicans joined Democrats on the committee in voting in favor of Yellen: Bob Corker of Tennessee, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only
A&E broke its silence on Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments late Wednesday. The cable network announced Robertson is off the hit show for the time being. The network issued the following statement to EW: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is — and isn’t — sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics. Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games. Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning “gay propaganda.” Though the White House did not specifically address
The gay and lesbian rights group GLAAD is slamming ´Duck Dynasty´ patriarch Phil Robertson for comments he made about homosexuality to GQ magazine, and challenging the show´s network, A&E, to take action against its most popular star. In a wide-ranging interview, Robertson shared his thoughts on homosexuality and religion. After stating in very graphic terms his preference for heterosexual sex over homosexual sex, Robertson launched into more thoughts about homosexuality and sinning. “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong... Sin becomes fine,” he said.
Yes, she really said it. On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn´t say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary): PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?
Reportage of last week´s Nelson Mandela funeral reveals clearly enough that President Obama has reached the point in his tenure where everything ceases to go right -- when even the most serious and determined efforts deteriorate into a hash, or worse, a joke. This happens to everyone in public life eventually, politicians above all. The original attraction wears thin, flaws appear more prominently, styles and opinions change. There is little the individual can do to avoid this.(snip)The Mandela funeral shows that Obama is deep into this phase of his career, and has landed on his head.
Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama. Writers and reporters agree he’s had his worst year ever. I infer from most of their essays an unstated but broadly held sense of foreboding: There’s no particular reason to believe next year will be better, and in fact signs and indications point to continued trouble. I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management. One reason I worry is that I frequently speak with people who interact with the White
London – Large tapestry portraits of President Barack Obama were unveiled for guests at the U.S. Embassy in London over the weekend. The recently-installed, large-scale tapestry portraits were created by National Medal of Arts winner and renowned American painter, photographer Chuck Close. Close created the portraits by compiling and interweaving Polaroids of the president from an hour-long photo shoot done the summer before, the Washington Post reports. The portraits are nearly 8 feet tall and more than 6 feet wide, with the final piece looking like photos but feeling like textiles. Close used one photo of Obama smiling and another
John Podesta was just named as a new senior-level adviser to President Obama last week, but he´s already ruffling Republican feathers. In a profile published late Tuesday night by Politico Magazine, Podesta is quoted comparing Republicans to the infamous cult led by Jim Jones, who was responsible for the 1978 cyanide poisoning of more than 900 of his followers in Guyana. "They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress," said Podesta of what Obama´s White House team faces.
Hours after we reported that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson dropped some illogical “logic” on homosexuality during his GQ interview, his home network A&E decided to indefinitely suspend him from the show. While Robertson’s comments were hilariously ignorant, they were predictable — especially given his family’s socially-conservative, Bible-loving image. Suspending the lead character for his wholly predictable comments is not only an overreaction but a gross misstep. To recap: The Duck Commander patriarch remarked to the men’s magazine that homosexuality is on par with bestiality, and used fifth-grade “logic” to imply that homosexual men should give up their ways of choosing a
The U.S. Army War College, which molds future field generals, has begun discussing whether it should remove its portraits of Confederate generals — including those of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Nestled in rural Pennsylvania on the 500-acre Carlisle Barracks, the war college is conducting an inventory of all its paintings and photographs with an eye for rehanging them in historical themes to tell a particular Army story. During the inventory, an unidentified official — not the commandant, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III — asked the administration why the college honors two generals who fought against the United States,
A&E has placed Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following anti-gay remarks he made in a recent profile in GQ. "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," A&E said in a statement. "His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely." The news comes after Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality in an interview
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took some shots at his fellow Republicans during Tuesday’s Senate debate over the proposed bipartisan budget deal put together by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Joining the more moderate wing of the Republican Party, McCain declared his strong support for the deal and accused any members of the GOP who plan to vote against it of lacking “intellectual integrity.” McCain said he was supporting the bill for two reasons: One, to prevent the possibility of another government shutdown, and two, to alleviate the “devastating impact of sequestration on our military.” “The American people steadfastly