This is the price of insularity. About a year ago, the White House put Susan Rice, then the ambassador to the United Nations, on TV to read CIA talking points that turned out to be false about the attack in Benghazi, Libya. The backlash poisoned her relationship with Republicans in Congress and dashed her chances of becoming secretary of state. President Obama instead named her national security adviser, which didn’t require Senate confirmation. Now there is another crisis. Obama needs congressional support for a military strike on Syria, because a “no” vote could cripple his presidency and damage American credibility.
Rice made the most compelling argument for an attack, saying that “we cannot allow terrorists bent on destruction or a nuclear North Korea or an aspiring nuclear Iran to believe for one minute that we are shying away from our determination to back up our long-standing warnings."
It was four days before Christmas, 1988, and the day started out like any other. Victoria Cummock, a 35-year-old interior designer in Coral Gables, Fla., dropped her three young children at preschool, picked up her mother from the airport, then headed to work. She had a thriving business and was in the midst of remodeling a house. The workmen were on site when she arrived, wielding sledgehammers and listening to the radio. “Suddenly, the announcer said a plane had gone off the radar and crashed into a town in Scotland called Lockerbie. I said, ‘Oh, Mom, that is right near the town
On Wednesday, Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown reported that the administration was saying fewer than 500,000 people had actually lost insurance due to Obamacare-induced cancellations. This struck me as a strange leak: Half a million is a lot less than many people (including me) have been estimating, but it is still not a small number, and the administration has tended to sit on negative information until the last possible moment. Yesterday, we had a more official announcement from the administration: Anyone who has had their policies cancelled will be exempt from the individual mandate next year. The administration is also allowing those
Yesterday I wrote about an interview in which ABC’s Barbara Walters, in speaking about Barack Obama, said “we” thought he would be “the next messiah.” I drew attention to some other comments by journalists and historians that illustrated just how much deification of Obama was going on a few years ago. To their credit, some journalists called attention to this phenomenon at the time. Take CNN’s Jake Tapper, one of the best journalists in America. While at ABC News in 2008, Tapper posted a piece, “And Obama Wept,” in which he cited writers like Kathleen Geier, an Obama supporter who, in
Someone better tell voters in the South that Chris Christie’s New Jersey attitude isn’t supposed to sell well there. A Conservative Intel/Harper Polling survey of 710 likely GOP primary voters in Mississippi found Chris Christie leading by a hair. You read that right. In Mississippi. Christie edges out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the survey by the tiniest of margins, 15.72 percent to 15.58 percent. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is right behind them with 14.45 percent. Those three are then followed by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, with 11.61 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with 10.34 percent, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal,
When President Obama signed Obamacare into law, Joe Biden famously told him, “this is a big f___ing deal.” So too, minus the adjective, is the Obama administration’s decree that those whose health insurance policies were terminated will be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from the statutory penalty if they choose to opt out of Obamacare next year. Democratic Senators from swing states certainly hope that their constituents will see the exemption as a big deal. Six of them (Warner, Kaine, King, Landrieu, Shaheen, and Heitkamp) apparently requested it, and HHS Secretary Sibelius announced the change in a
As problems continue to plague the rollout of President Obama´s health care law despite improvements to the federal healthcare.gov website, one issue that continues to loom is the possibility of the dreaded “death spiral.” The term “death spiral” refers to an unraveling of the individual market if insurers are stuck with a disproportionate number of older and sicker enrollees with high medical claims without a sufficient number of younger and healthier participants to offset the costs. Though the Department of Health and Human Services hasn´t yet released a demographic breakdown of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare, early data from
An Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett belongs to actor Ryan O´Neal, a jury determined on Thursday. The artwork´s ownership has been fiercely contested during a three-week trial in which Fawcett´s final wishes and her relationship with O´Neal were dissected. Jurors voted 9-3 in O´Neal´s favor. Their verdict will allow the actor to keep the portrait in his beachside home, where he has said it remains a powerful reminder of his decades-long relationship with Fawcett. O´Neal wasn´t in the courtroom when the verdict was read, but his sons Patrick and Redmond were. The brothers hugged as jurors filed out of the courtroom. Patrick O´Neal said
Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu rolled out her pitch for a fourth term in an interview with the Times-Picayune in April. "I´m indispensable," she told the New Orleans newspaper, noting that her pull in the Senate would "secure for Louisiana a significant and reliable string of revenue." As usual, Ms. Landrieu was talking about her efforts on behalf of Louisiana´s oil and gas sector, the bedrock of the state´s economy. She claims to be her party´s fiercest advocate for that industry, and she talks extensively about her support for the Keystone XL pipeline, her opposition to industry taxes and her desire to
Advocates of immigration reform often argue that sweeping new laws are needed because "the system is broken." But a newly released court opinion suggests the system is broken in part because the Obama administration stubbornly refuses to enforce immigration laws already on the books. United States vs. Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez is a human trafficking case. On May 18, Nava-Martinez was caught trying to smuggle a 10-year-old Salvadoran girl across the border checkpoint at the Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge in Texas. According to an order signed last week by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, this is what happened: The girl,
As Secretary of State John Kerry gets ever deeper in the weeds of an Israeli-Palestinian process that he alone believes will lead to peace in our time, the omens suggest things are more likely to get worse. Wednesday brought signs that renewed violence lurks, as well as new complaints about Kerry’s work from both sides. That night, an elite Israeli Defense Force unit, trying to arrest a Hamas top terrorist in the West Bank town of Jenin, got caught in a firefight with armed Palestinians. Nafa al-Saedi, a member of the Palestinian Authority’s internal security apparatus, got caught in the crossfire and killed.
President Barack Obama has never been a man’s man, or, more precisely, a men’s man. In 2008 he failed to win a majority of men’s votes, and in 2012 he lost men decisively. Hostility toward the president is not distributed evenly among men: He does fairly well among Hispanics and enjoys nearly unanimous support among blacks, but he lost the last election by 27 points among white men. In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, men report disapproval of the president by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Men aren’t buying what President Obama is selling. The president’s low standing among the Y-chromosome set,
Ronald Reagan loved to tell stories. When he ran for president in 1976, many of Reagan’s anecdotes converged on a single point: The welfare state is broken, and I’m the man to fix it.(Snip)“In Chicago, they found a woman who holds the record,” the former California governor declared at a campaign rally in January 1976. “She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.” As soon as he quoted that dollar
Is this man simply expressing his beliefs or spewing bigotry?Either way, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E´s "Duck Dynasty," won´t be duck calling on air anytime soon. The network suspended him after slamming gays in a magazine interview. In the January issue of GQ, Robertson said homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. "It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man´s anus. That´s just me. I´m just thinking: There´s more there! She´s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was hospitalized early Friday morning as a “precaution” after feeling ill, a spokesman said, adding that doctors concluded "everything is normal" after testing. “Early this morning, Senator Reid was not feeling well and as a precaution decided to go to the hospital. Tests have been conducted and everything is normal. He is alert, resting and feeling better,” spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement. "Doctors have asked that he remain in the hospital for observation so he will not be working today." The Senate is set to finish its business for the year on Friday.
For a few hours, it looked like Americans would quietly accept the suspension of popular “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for his unfiltered opinions about sin, sex, gays and blacks in a magazine interview. But then, as if on cue, hundreds of thousands of fans of the openly Christian, duck-hunting businessman took to social networks and started their backlash. As of Thursday night, more than 1.1 million people “liked” the “Stand With Phil Robertson” Facebook page, while about the same number had clicked their support for another Facebook page called “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck
The suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty is outrageous in a nation that values freedom, according to social critic and openly gay, dissident feminist Camille Paglia. “I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday. “In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have
The Obama administration Thursday night significantly relaxed the rules of the health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they could buy bare-bones health plans or entirely avoid the requirement that most Americans have health insurance. The surprise announcement, four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for people to choose coverage that begins on Jan. 1, triggered an immediate backlash from the health insurance industry and raised new fairness questions about a law intended to promote affordable and comprehensive coverage. “This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead
Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano has announced he is gay. Boitano´s personal news comes two days after the figure skater was named to the official United States 2014 Sochi Olympics delegation by President Obama. "While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so," Boitano, 50, said in an official statement. (Snip) Boitano joins tennis player Billie Jean King and Olympic ice hockey bronze medalist Caitlin Cahow as the third openly gay athlete
O ne year removed from re-election, President Obama´s approval rating has sunk to the lowest level of his presidency. Furthermore, Obama´s popularity among the Democratic Party base — whose rejuvenated support proved crucial last November — took a huge hit this past year. Only 54 percent of self-described liberals "very strongly" approve of Obama´s job performance, according to a Pew survey released this week. That´s down from an all-time high of nearly 90 percent, and a significant decline from the 73 percent who strongly approved of the president back in June. Why the steep drop? Well, the first year of Obama´s second term
The A&E Network’s suspension of Phil Robertson, star of the most popular reality show in the history of television, for espousing views on homosexuality identical to those found in the New Testament may not be the first PC lynching in the history of our country, but it is certainly now the most prominent. It is also a singular example of how political correctness, via cultural relativism, is used to undermine democracy and freedom of speech and is, at its core, fascistic. Yes, I just used the f-word and quite deliberately. PC and cultural relativism are the godchildren of Martin Heidegger
At 9:30 a.m. on December 19th, CNN´s Piers Morgan tweeted that the First Amendment "shouldn´t protect vile bigots" like Phil Robertson. And while making this claim, Morgan also reiterated his position that the Second Amendment "shouldn´t protect assault rifle devotees." Twitchy.com posted Morgan´s tweet, as well as one he sent six minutes earlier in he which typed, "Phil Robertson is not a ´victim of political correctness.´ He´s a victim of his own repulsively racist, homophobic bigotry." When defenders of Robertson´s right to speak his mind took to Twitter to tell Morgan how the First Amendment works, Morgan hedged himself in by tweeting, "Calm
It’s not unusual for President Obama to tweet out messages in support of his signature health care law, but a photo attached to one online missive is not getting the type of hype the White House had hoped for. The blogosphere and TV pundits are mocking the picture of a young “hipster”-type man in plaid pajamas and black-frame glasses who, while sipping a warm beverage, looks off camera with a slight grin. “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance,” the ad says. The photo got prominent play on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” eliciting laughter from its panel. “You are
Phil Robertson´s anti-gay comments aren´t the only part of his interview with GQ causing controversy. The 67-year-old "Duck Dynasty" star was suspended by A&E Wednesday for calling homosexuality sinful — and putting gay people in same category as terrorists. While those quotes quickly went viral, it wasn´t his only brow-raising statement in the interview; he also implied that African Americans were happier living under Jim Crow laws. "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once," the reality star said of growing up in pre-Civil-Rights-era Louisiana. "Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked
This is the Obamacare Pajama boy in the latest Organizing for Action ad. Pajamacare boy is Ethan Krupp, an Organizing for Action employee and the subject of ridicule after OFA created a social ad encouraging everyone to sign up for Obamacare. Krupp was featured in the first "Get Talking" video, which was released by Organizing for Action in November. He thought that was pretty cool and said as much on Twitter.