Myopic focus on alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime in Syria is wrongheaded, as it has been all along. The salient issue is whether the United States should intervene militarily on behalf of enemies of the United States — the “rebel” factions, in which ties to al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood run deep. If chemical weapons use, rather than American national security, is to be our obsession, however, it is worth remembering al Qaeda’s history in that regard. In 1998, the Clinton Justice Department filed its initial indictment against Osama bin Laden for conspiring to carry out mass-damage attacks
THE FIRST TIME I rode a motorcycle on a street was when I steered a 650-pound Harley-Davidson into traffic in Las Vegas. On that August morning, with sweat beading under my brand new goggles, my worst fear was stalling the engine or teetering sideways in front of the bikers who had just filled out my rental paperwork. Any concerns about tractor trailers, hairpin turns and other hazards took a back seat to the potential for injured pride. I slowly rolled back the throttle with my right hand, while carefully releasing my death grip on the clutch. With a minor lurch
McALLEN — The day after a federal appeals court cleared the way for Texas’ restrictive abortion law to take effect while it faces a legal challenge, many clinics across the state said they had stopped performing abortions. The clinics were preparing to shut down, leaving women seeking their services distraught. (Snip)The communities Minto serves are among the nation’s poorest. On top of that, many of his patients cross the border from Mexico, where abortion is illegal in most places. Others live in the U.S. illegally. A 39-year-old woman from Willacy County who was waiting to see Minto on Friday spoke
The Obama administration is clearly in full-defense mode over the rolling disaster of ObamaCare, and it is making every effort to deflect criticism to others. But the deflections won’t hold because they are not based on fact. Three examples: It’s the insurance companies’ fault: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House officials are blaming health insurance companies for dropping millions of individual health insurance policies. It’s not our fault, say Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett and Press Secretary Jay Carney. Jarrett tweeted: “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change
Here’s something spooky about this Halloween. In Kentucky, someone wears an Obama mask and performs a skit saitirizing Obamacare. For having the temerity to criticize our Dear Leader, all 750 employees of the Jennie Stuart Medical Centre in Hopkinsville must undergo sensitivity training. Talk about collective punishment. Can you say re-education camp? Remember it was only a couple of months ago when that rodeo clown in Missouri found himself banned for life for wearing an Obama mask. The rodeo clowns also had to undergo sensitivity training. Does this mean that everyone who watched the bank robbery scene in Point Break also has to
Almost every American of a certain age remembers where he was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. The nation stopped and mourned. In their grief, few Americans wondered how the tragedy would affect domestic politics, and in the short run relatively little changed. “Let us continue,” President Lyndon Johnson said when he addressed Congress after the funeral. In the longer run, the effect on partisan politics, on the people and press and parties, was profound. And those effects continue to reverberate today. Unlike Lincoln and Roosevelt, who were taken from the stage just as they completed historic undertakings
Wendy Davis’s recent entrance into the race for Texas governor has garnered national media attention. A few weeks ago, Democratic political consultant Jason Stanford authored a Politico op-ed claiming that Davis’s position on abortion will actually help her during her upcoming campaign. His primary argument involves polling data that purportedly shows significant percentages of moderates, suburbanites, and soft Republicans in Texas think abortion should be a “legal and personal choice.” Stanford also thinks that Davis’s abortion stance may help her win the votes of suburban Texas women. His argument is unpersuasive. Political scientists know the results of abortion polls are very
The government shutdown drama is over, and already it feels like ancient history. But Republicans made missteps and suffered for them, so it’s worth pointing out how Republicans can recover and succeed in 2014 and beyond. In short, they must adopt an agenda— and run on it. A couple points to hit: The nation’s finances, which are famously in bad shape. It’s simple math, to borrow one of President Obama’s favorite phrases. Our country cannot keep wracking up trillion-dollar deficits and likewise continue to operate the way it operates. It’s not sustainable in the long-term. Something will have to give and
Ferrari 0, refrigerator truck 1. A Baldor food-delivery truck’s attempt to double-park on the Upper West Side turned ugly for the owner of a $295,000 sports car that was in the way. The gunmetal-gray, four-wheel-drive four-seater may boast a top speed of 208 miles per hour, but it wasn’t going anywhere Friday afternoon, when it was spotted along Columbus Avenue near West 65th Street. Both drivers were nowhere to be seen by 4 p.m. — but a traffic cop had already added insult to collision injury by sticking a summons for double parking under the Ferrari’s windshield.
Daylight saving time ends Nov. 3, setting off an annual ritual where Americans (who don’t live in Arizona or Hawaii) and residents of 78 other countries including Canada (but not Saskatchewan), most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand turn their clocks back one hour. It’s a controversial practice that became popular in the 1970s with the intent of conserving energy. The fall time change feels particularly hard because we lose another hour of evening daylight, just as the days grow shorter. It also creates confusion because countries that observe daylight saving change their clocks on different days. It would seem to
It´s often said that demographics are destiny. While the futures of nations are guided by much more than population trends, these demographic forces can play an awfully significant role. Countries need to grow in order to stay healthy and successful, but not too quickly or they risk problems like political instability. Bigger populations can mean bigger economies (and bigger militaries), but only if the state can provide the necessary infrastructure and services. More people means more pressure on natural resources, but it can also mean more businesses, more exports, more tax revenue. All of that makes the above map really important
Detroit -A Michigan man claims he tipped federal investigators to the location of Osama bin Laden´s compound in Pakistan eight years before his killing and has hired attorneys to help him collect the $25 million reward. The al-Qaida leader was killed in May 2011 during a Navy SEAL raid on the three-story compound. U.S. officials have said the house wasn´t built until 2005, and Pakistani officials have said they believe he moved there in the summer of that year. A letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press from a Chicago-based law firm representing Grand Rapids resident Tom Lee says the 63-year-old gem
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If it had been a foul ball or broken bat that struck John Coomer in the eye as he watched a Kansas City Royals game, the courts likely wouldn´t force the team to pay for his surgeries and suffering. But because it was a hot dog thrown by the team mascot - behind the back, no less - he just may have a case. The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing whether the "baseball rule" - a legal standard that protects teams from being sued over fan injuries caused by events on the field, court or rink - should
I´m reading a terribly sad book these days. It´s a book that I thought would uplift me during the doldrums of second-year medical school, and renew in me a sense of hope. It´s called "The Audacity to Win," and it´s a memoir of Barack Obama´s 2008 presidential campaign. When I´m finished with my patient write-ups at night and get into bed, the book returns me to a time when politics inspired millions and speeches could take your breath away. The election turned out to be a landslide, and news anchors paused to reflect on the historic nature of the hour. My classmates
The firestorm over President Obama´s "you can keep your plan" lie now threatens to singe vulnerable Democrats next year, so they´re springing into action to try to force the administration to keep its word. Louisiana´s Mary Landrieu -- an ardent Obamacare supporter -- is scrambling to undo one of the obvious consequences of a law she´s voted to pass, fund, and retain: Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats. Landrieu, a Democrat
We are only three and a quarter years away from transforming the United States of America. We may never get back to where we once were, but we can sure roll back much of the mess Barack Obama has created through his misguided policies and serial incompetence. With ObamaCare´s ascendancy and impending crash, America will be on the cusp of transformational action. The misery the ACA will bring to almost every American cannot be overestimated in its ability to incite anger -- and, anger has consequences and repercussions. The failure of the ACA has the potential to make 2014 a wave
President Obama used his executive powers on Friday to create a ´Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.´ Obama´s plan would be put in place through executive order, bypassing Congress, which has stalemated over climate legislation in recent years. A year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, the President signed the order which is designed to make it easier for states and local governments to respond to weather disasters. The executive order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of
The latest NBC/WSJ poll finds that more Americans would vote for a third party candidate for Congress than a Republican. 35% of voters prefer a Democrat, which has been steady for three years. Republicans, however, have experienced an 8-point swing against them since they took control of the House. Today, just 28% of voters say they would vote for a Republican for Congress, while 30% would opt for a third party. The GOP Establishment, engaged in open war against the Tea Party and conservatives, is simply committing political suicide. Listening to the consultant and pundit class who inhabit the "Acela line"
In one of the few political jokes attributed to a physicist, Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.” With a change of pronoun, he could have been describing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who ignored internal warnings about flaws in HealthCare.gov, botched its rollout, minimized her involvement and blamed her contractors. Now, in congressional testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of accountability or the demonstration of competence. Administration incompetence is not the final word on Obamacare, but it is the initial impression.
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge. (a) Those letters are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim
CNN´s senior legal analyst thinks that any further investigation into Benghazi is looking at a "non-story" since "there is nothing there, in terms of a scandal." On Thursday´s AC360 Later, Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at Republican efforts to gain access to more Benghazi witnesses and CIA operatives. "This is a non-story. Benghazi was a tragedy. It´s not a scandal. Republicans are going to investigate this until the end of the Obama administration. They will find nothing, because there´s nothing to be found there," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]"We don´t know all the facts about the Civil War. If
Food stamp benefits will be cut to more than 47 million Americans starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without a new budget from a deadlocked Congress to replace it. Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four who get $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by $36. SNAP, which benefits 1 in 7 Americans, is administered by the department of Agriculture and is authorized in a five-year omnibus farm bill covering all agricultural programs. Vulnerable populations will be hardest hit by
A former top general and current executive at the Family Research Council says members of the military have considered staging a coup d´état against President, but will not because of civilian control of the military. "People I´ve spoken to would like to see the military ´fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president,´ " retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin told World Net Daily, a website best known for pushing Obama "birther" conspiracy theories. "Our Constitution puts a civilian in charge of the military and as a result a coup would not be constitutional. You´re not going to see a
When Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president, decided to run against a sitting Republican senator in Wyoming, her target, Mike Enzi, pleaded, “I thought we were friends.” But if Enzi thought his long relationship with the Cheneys might ensure a gentle, collegial contest of ideas, it’s increasingly clear he thought wrong. The Cheney clan has undertaken a scorched-earth campaign against the well-liked, low-key conservative and his allies, demonstrating a seemingly limitless appetite for conflict—and leaving innocent bystanders as stunned casualties in their wake. Dick Cheney, who has been giving media interviews to promote his new memoir, spent part of
President Obama just issued an executive order “to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience.” “The impacts of climate change — including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise — are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation. These impacts are often most significant for communities that already face economic or health-related challenges, and for species and habitats that are already facing other pressures.