BELMAR, N.J. — New Jersey´s Attorney General´s Office is investigating the awarding of a no-bid contract for Superstorm Sandy cleanup to a company with ties to the wife of Belmar´s mayor. A Republican member of the town council questions whether Democratic Mayor Michael Doherty violated state ethics laws. The state Community Affairs Department sent the complaint to the Statewide Sandy Fraud Working Group. Doherty´s wife, Maggie Moran, helped market Florida-based AshBritt Inc. to government officials after the storm. AshBritt hired a construction company that hired Moran to develop a marketing campaign. AshBritt has been criticized for charging more than
Comments: Would you believe the Florida cleanup company has a team member with ties allowing him to be the Florida Delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He was quoted by President Bill Clinton during the 2008 Presidential primary. The Obama campaign even selected him to cast his ballot for President Obama at the Electoral College Meeting. Who needs to bid when you have made inroads on the political highway of life?
Two Belgian university professors recently decided to submit the 10 most borrowed books at the Antwerp library to bacteriology and toxicology tests. Traces of cocaine were found on all 10 books. The traces were small enough that readers would not feel the effects, but significant enough that they could test positive for cocaine. But the real case of life imitating art was revealed when the scientists discovered traces of the herpes virus in the pages of the erotic tale Fifty Shades of Grey. In order to prevent a public panic, professors assured readers that the concentrations of the herpes virus
The glitch-ridden website used to sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama´s healthcare law will be down for "extended maintenance" overnight on Saturday, the Department of Health and Human Services said. The website has been plagued by technology problems and has not worked reliably since its launch on October 1, embarrassing the administration and providing ammunition for Republicans seeking to roll back the law known as Obamacare. The application, enrollment tools, and "data hub" will not be available from about 9 p.m. ET on Saturday (0100 Sunday GMT) until 9 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) on Sunday, a spokeswoman for
A pack of bikers pummeled a driver in upper Manhattan on Sunday, after a wild chase that began with a fender bender on the West Side Highway, cops said. The brawl erupted after the victim — who was driving his wife and their young child — became surrounded by a swarm of motorcycles on the highway and accidentally hit one of the bikes near W. 125th St. about 2 p.m., police said. But when the driver stopped, several of the bikers began to damage the man’s black Range Rover — so he hit the gas and plowed through three motorcycles before speeding away, cops said.
WASHINGTON — The federal government on Sunday morning barreled toward its first shutdown in 17 years after the Republican-run House, choosing a hard line, voted to attach a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and a repeal of a tax to pay for it to legislation to keep the government running. The votes, just past midnight, followed an often-angry debate, with members shouting one another down on the House floor. Democrats insisted that Republicans refused to accept their losses in 2012, were putting contempt for the president over the good of the country and would bear responsibility for
WASHINGTON — Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials. The spy agency began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice, according to documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.
Providence College, a Roman Catholic school in Rhode Island, has canceled a lecture in support of same-sex marriage on Thursday by a gay philosophy professor, citing a church document that says that “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.” The lecturer, John Corvino, chairman of the philosophy department at Wayne State University, in Detroit, has spoken previously at more than 10 Catholic colleges and often appears in friendly debates with religious opponents of gay marriage. His appearance at Providence College had been co-sponsored by nine departments and programs, and some of the
Talking publicly for the first time since his trial and conviction on three counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter and more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act, Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell insists he is “spiritually innocent.” Speaking exclusively to Philadelphia magazine writer Steve Volk for a new magazine article and e-book, Gosnell—who was convicted in May of snipping the necks of babies born alive during abortion procedures in his West Philadelphia clinic—believes he was serving the best interests of his community and the women who came to him.
The last month and a half has seen perhaps the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt in seven centuries, with dozens of churches torched. Yet the western media has mainly focussed on army assaults on the Muslim Brotherhood, and no major political figure has said anything about the sectarian attacks. Last week at the National Liberal Club there was a discussion asking why the American and British press have ignored or under-reported this persecution, and (in some people’s minds) given a distorted narrative of what is happening. Among the four speakers was the frighteningly impressive Betsy Hiel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Washington — When the U.S. Justice Department promised not to prosecute illegal marijuana sales planned to begin in Washington state and Colorado next year, its top lawyers demanded that the states reciprocate with a pledge to keep the drug away from minors. And officials in those pioneering pot states – where recreational use of marijuana was approved by voters in November – say they’re ready to comply. But to legalization opponents, such promises are a pipe dream, destined to fail. They say it’s more likely the U.S. will unleash a new industry that will try hard to attract young users
COMPULSIVE users of pornography show the same signs of addiction in their brain activity as alcoholics or drug addicts, a study has revealed. In the first research of its kind, scans showed that a central portion of the brain which is stimulated in drug or alcohol addicts also “lit up” when compulsive pornography users watched explicit material. There was no such effect in the brains of people who were not habitual users of porn. The Cambridge University study will increase pressure for tighter control on porn. Researchers used MRI scans to analyse the brain activity of 19 users of pornography
In what is being described as the first known event of its kind, a transgendered teen was named as her high school’s homecoming queen on Friday. “I am so proud to win this not just for me, but everyone out there,” 16-year-old Cassidy Campbell said after receiving her crown during the halftime of Marina High’s homecoming football game Friday night in Huntington Beach, CA. The Los Angeles Times published a slideshow of photos from the homecoming event, which you can view here. Cassidy rose to national prominence when it was reported that she was entering the contest.
An incredibly high percentage of President Obama’s Twitter followers are fake, while the opposite is true for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. According to the Twitter analytics application, Status People, 55 percent of President Obama’s 36,802,378 Twitter followers — or approximately 20,240,107 followers — are fake. A ‘fake follower,’ according to Status People, is a spam account following the user. During the presidential election season, candidates’ Twitter accounts came under public scrutiny for possibly purchasing followers to try to bolster their social media credibility. Twenty-four percent of Obama’s Twitter followers are inactive, and only 21 percent — or approximately 7,728,499 followers
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington. The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated. And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it. Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy. And a knowledgeable
President Barack Obama told the Wall Street CEO Council Tuesday that his administration has "reined in spending" and "cut our deficits by more than half." "After years of trillion-dollar deficits we reined in spending, wound down two wars and began to change a tax code that I believe was too skewed towards the wealthiest among us at the expense of the middle class," said Obama. "And since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half. Add it all and businesses like yours have created 7.8 million new jobs over the past 44 months, we´ve gone farther
Barack Obama is the coolest president we’ve had since John F. Kennedy, at least according to conventional standards for such things. Obama has always been a brand as much as a politician, one that has been perceived as sleek, smart, and up to date. Then along came HealthCare.gov. Its failure to launch is a signal event in the long political battle over Obamacare and perhaps an inflection point in the president’s image. It’s hard to maintain a sense of truly being on the cutting edge of change when you can’t build a website. Obama’s cool was, in part, an artifact of world-class
Negligence? Absolutely. Incompetence? The case can be made. But scandalous? To suggest that the White House has willfully engaged in the intentional misleading of the public and an outrageous dereliction of its responsibilities to enforce the laws passed by Congress has been a bridge too far. Until recently. New revelations are now forcing even the most reluctant of President Barack Obama’s critics to concede that the Affordable Care Act’s implementation has evolved into a scandal. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working, as the way it was supposed to,” Obama told reporters on November 14.
In an interview on BET last night with Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama. "He’s got a little swag." The audience applauded. Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States "sings all the time." She continued, "Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing." She also praised her husband. "[H]e has got a good voice." Here´s a transcript of that exchange:
MICHELLE OBAMA: I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was really little and then I wasn´t that great at math and science so I switched to law because my mother told me that I like to argue a lot. But I realized in high school and in college that you don´t have to exactly know, you´re kind of always discovering yourself. So I studied law, I went to law to school, but was pretty clear I just wanted to be a good student. I wanted to know how to read and write and communicate, be able to
A downbeat President Barack Obama repeatedly asked his worried supporters Monday night to help resurrect his spirits, following weeks of political disasters and personal humiliations caused by the cascading collapse of Obamacare. The distracted president railed against opponents and at one point appeared to forget the number of people in the Obamacare system during the rambling quarter-hour address. “My main message is I’m going to need your help, your energy, your faith, your ability to reach out to neighbors, kids and friends [and] co-workers,” he told listeners to the Internet broadcast arranged by his grass-roots group, Organizing for Action. But his worried
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama says she won’t wear shorts on Air Force One again because the one time she did, it created “a huge stink.”(snip)Mrs. Obama was asked about her biggest fashion regret. She said she’s always happy with her outfits but that, quote, “sometimes I forget I’m the first lady and I’m running around in shorts.” She recalled her family’s first White House vacation, to the Grand Canyon in August 2009. Mrs. Obama said her wearing shorts getting off the plane “created a huge stink because people were like, ‘she’s wearing shorts getting off of Air Force One.’” She said her thought
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama conceded that he will have to "remarket" and "rebrand" Obamacare as public confidence in him and the healthcare law he championed has plummeted. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, Obama addressed the failures of the Obamacare rollout and said while he was confident that the healthcare model his administration built, which he claimed worked off of the "existing private insurance system," would succeed, the law would have to be rebranded. “We are going to have to obviously remarket and rebrand,” Obama said. “And that will be challenging in this political environment.” When he
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says everyone should stop talking so much about the 2016 presidential race, because doing so hurts President Obama, who´s only a year into his second term. "In this sense, I feel badly for President Obama. He just won a year ago, and everybody´s like, ´So, who´s next?´" Christie said Monday night at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "There is work to be done in this country. And as we shove him out the door, we minimize his ability to be an effective executive. And we shouldn´t do that." Even as he urged people to focus
President Obama irked some conservatives with his recitation of the Gettysburg Address, which he read aloud as part of a project celebrating the 150th anniversary of famous Lincoln speech. For the project, spearheaded by documentarian Ken Burns, a number of politicians and other high-profile people recorded themselves reading the Gettysburg Address. However, Mr. Obama´s recording seems to be the only one that leaves the phrase "under God" out of a certain line. Some conservatives took offense to the president´s reading. "Lincoln added ´Under God´ as he was looking out over battlefield. why would obama remove?" Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Twitter. Gettysburg
The White House has admitted that it was wrong to promise that people would be able to their health care plans under Obamacare. "With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I’ve said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient," President Obama said