The emerging Russian-brokered deal to remove chemical weapons from Syria to forestall any US attack is – from Israel’s point of view – a very mixed blessing. The good news is that if Syrian President Bashar Assad honors the deal, a huge “if,” considering that Assad is a butcher who has killed tens of thousands of his own people to stay in power, then a very deadly weapon will be removed from Israel’s doorstep. Israel will no longer have to worry about chemical warfare with its bitter enemy to the north. Moreover, if indeed the stockpiles are all destroyed or
Washington - A little more than 24 hours after an IT contractor gunned down a dozen workers at the Washington Navy Yard, the CEO of the company he worked for sent an email to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus saying he has the experience to help the military improve its security. The email from The Experts chief Thomas Hoshko, which included descriptions of his background and expertise, stunned some Navy leaders still reeling from the shooting rampage Monday that left 13 people dead, including the gunman, former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis. And it fueled concern over what defense officials believe
A Kansas professor was put on administrative leave Friday after a tweet he sent earlier in the week that blamed the Navy Yard shooting on the National Rifle Assn. Announcing her decision to put University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth on indefinite leave, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement that she sought “to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students.” (Snip) Guth, a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, wrote on Twitter that “the blood is on the hands of the #NRA.” “Next time, let it be your sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you,” Guth
An explosion tore off both hands of a man who was mixing chemicals inside a Hyde Park apartment building this morning, Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said. The explosion occurred at about 9:07 a.m. in the basement of a four-story apartment building at 15 Riley Road. (Snip) Davis said there was no drug lab at the scene and there was no sign that terrorism was involved in the incident. He said police were checking whether the victim had a criminal background. The commissioner said the victim, in his 30s, was working with chemicals, including a white powder, in the kitchen
Nashville - A Tennessee couple were indicted on Friday for the shooting deaths of a woman and three teens in a robbery during a pot deal at a resort community in the state, officials said. Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, and his girlfriend, Brittany Lina Yvonn Moser, 25, were each indicted on four counts of felony murder and two counts of attempted aggravated robbery by a Cumberland County grand jury. Bennett, who was identified almost immediately as a suspect, was also indicted on four counts of premeditated murder for the September 12 killings in eastern Tennessee. Bennett was captured a day
Jerusalem — This month marks 20 years since the signing of the first of the Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Two decades after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat stood on the White House lawn with President Bill Clinton, Israelis and Palestinians are again in the midst of the umpteenth round of negotiations. Despite these efforts, true peace seems as distant as it did before the secret talks in Oslo were revealed to the world. The government of Israel must admit that we made a mistake and declare that the Oslo process has failed.
In a blow to the hopes of passing immigration reform anytime soon, the bipartisan House “gang of seven” plan is probably dead, and almost certainly won’t be introduced this fall as promised, a top Democrat on the “gang” acknowledges. “It doesn’t appear that we’re going to move forward with the group of seven,” Dem Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a key player on immigration as a member of the gang, said in an interview with me. “The process is stalled. I don’t believe we’re going to produce a bill anytime soon.” This undermines the already dwindling prospects for reform,
USIS, the Falls Church government contractor that handled the background check for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, said Thursday that it also vetted Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis for his secret-level clearance in 2007. The company, which is under criminal investigation over whether it misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks, said earlier this week that it had not handled Alexis’s case. (Snip) USIS, which was spun off from the federal government in the 1990s, has become the largest private provider of government background checks. With 7,000 employees, the company handles about 45 percent of all
In his much-discussed op-ed in The New York Times last week, President Vladimir Putin has made a curious case to the American people and the international community about the conflict in Syria. Using flowery language about internationalism, diplomacy and compassion, Putin made a few reasonable points, but by and large he drew entirely the wrong conclusions about the nature of the Syrian conflict and the lessons he should learn about the U.S. response. Putin wryly characterizes his opposition to Western involvement in Syria as a benevolent appeal of empathy for the innocents and respect for international law.
West Virginia Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announced her candidacy for Senate Tuesday and wasted no time distancing herself from President Barack Obama on the all-important issue of coal. Her two-day announcement tour, with stops in five cities, comes the same week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to roll out more stringent emission rules for new power plants. (Snip) Tennant, an Obama delegate at last year’s Democratic National Convention, needs to get out front on the issue to credibly challenge Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, the frontrunner in the race to succeed the retiring Jay Rockefeller.
Democrats have their recruit in the West Virginia Senate race, as Secretary of State Natalie Tennant officially launched her campaign Tuesday. Tennant also launched a bare-bones Web site that allows supports to contribute to her campaign. (Snip) Assuming she wins the general election, Tennant will likely face Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) in what should be one of the marquee Senate races of 2014. Update 12:54 p.m.: Retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has endorsed Tennant, cementing her status as the presumptive Democratic nominee. "I firmly believe that the next leader in the United States Senate is Natalie Tennant," Rockefeller said.
Washington - The gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday test fired an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week but was stopped from buying one because state law there prohibits the sale of such weapons to out-of-state buyers, according to two senior law enforcement officials. (Snip) “He went inside the building and assembled it in a bathroom.” The gunman then perched himself above an atrium where he fired down on people who had been eating breakfast, officials said, adding that he used shotgun shells that had roughly a dozen large ball-bearing-like
Lorton, Va.-The man who took 12 lives in a hail of gunfire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday entered the military base with a six-round 12-gauge shotgun before stealing a gun from a police officer, according to a long-time employee of the gun shop where the weapon was sold. And as a renewed national debate rages over background checks for gun buyers, an employee of the store said of gunman Aaron Alexis that it is ´an absolute lie ... to say that because he was from out-of-state, he didn´t need a background check.´ Alexis purchased a ´very basic´
WASHINGTON — The House voted 230-189 along party lines Friday to approve a stopgap spending bill to fund the federal government through mid-December, but it is facing certain defeat in the Senate because it includes language aiming to dismantle President Obama´s health care law. Without a stopgap spending bill, the federal government will feel the effects of a shutdown when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. The bill extends the current rate of government spending at $986 billion a year. House Republicans attached a provision to defund the Affordable Care Act, a consistent target of congressional Republicans. However, the provision has
Patricia Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, testified Thursday at the House Oversight Committee that President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among other top administration officials, initially told her the attack was the result of a YouTube video. That explanation, which was then disseminated by Susan Rice during her infamous appearances on Sunday talk shows the following weekend, was quickly proven to be false. A visibly upset Smith said she was told lies at the casket ceremony for her son and that she and other American people “don’t matter” in the eyes of the
An extraordinary moment in journalism. That’s the only way to describe the September 30 issue of America Magazine, completely given over to an interview with Pope Francis. It can be accessed online here. How the Jesuits sat on this interview, done over three days in August, is amazing in the nothing’s-a-secret-world of Wikileaks. As I read the interview, I kept saying, “Wow! This is incredible.” I wanted to call someone to tell them what I was reading. I saw an ad for the National Religious Retirement Collection in the pages and thought, “Lucky them. Here’s an issue to advertise in!”
KATY, Texas- Eli Gau admits his 3-year-old son Ryan and 1-year-old son Ethan are a handful at times. "They´re kind of active,” Gau said. “They act like children. They´re not adults." So he and his wife thought nothing of it when they brought their boys to an Applebee’s restaurant in Katy for dinner Sunday night. Gau said everything seemed fine until his oldest boy began wandering away from the table. "I went and grabbed him,” Gau said. ”As I was grabbing him and coming back, the manager was walking to me.” He said the manager told him that the children were making too
Speaking at a Ford Motor Co. plant in Missouri Friday, President Obama accused congressional Republicans of "trying to mess with me" by derailing basic government operations. The sharply-personal remarks--made during a speech in which the president outlined his economic vision--came just hours after the House passed a continuing resolution on a largely party-line vote that would keep the government running while simultaneously defunding the Affordable Care Act. Because the Senate is expected to strip out the defunding plan when it considers the measure, the House action raises the prospect of a possible government shutdown at the end of the month.
In the liberal remake of “Casablanca,” the police captain comes upon the scene of the shooting and orders his men to “round up the usual weapons.” It’s always the weapon and never the shooter. Twelve people are murdered in a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, and before sundown Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for yet another debate on gun violence. Major opprobrium is heaped on the AR-15, the semiautomatic used in the Newtown massacre. Turns out no AR-15 was used at the Navy Yard. And the shotgun that was used was obtained legally in Virginia after the buyer, Aaron
President Obama said Republicans in Congress were threatening to make the United States into "a deadbeat" and a "banana republic" with their maneuvers to tie the federal budget and the debt ceiling to defunding ObamaCare. (Snip) "You don´t have to threaten to blow the whole thing up just because you don´t get your way," Obama said. "Nobody gets 100 percent of what they want." Telegraphing his intention to veto any spending bill that delayed or defunded his signature health care law, Obama accused Republicans of lacking "the same common sense" and willingness to compromise that ordinary Americans showed in their
A Twitter debate on policy turned ugly Friday, when a local Democratic official wished the children of a Republican aide to Sen. Ted Cruz would "die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases" after she praised the House´s vote to derail funding for Obamacare. Amanda Carpenter, who formerly worked for Sen. Jim DeMint before heading to the Texas Republican´s office, praised the GOP-led action in a tweet. "GOP beat gun control, changed Obama´s mind on Syria, is holding the line on amnesty. We can defund Obamacare, too!" she posted early Friday afternoon.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier is to take a short break from TV as his six-year-old son undergoes heart surgery. It is the third time Baier´s son Paul has had major surgery after being born with five congenital heart defects. While Paul recovers from the latest surgery, which was expected to take more than five hours on Thursday, Baier has taken time off work to be by his bedside. Baier updated viewers about his son´s impending surgery via his blog and Twitter, where he praised his son´s spirit, saying: ´You´d never know he´s been through what he´s been through.´
Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, seems to believe that Republicans don´t like President Obama because they´re jealous. "You know why it is," Pelosi told Politico in an interview. "He´s brilliant ... He thinks in a strategic way in how to get something done ... and he´s completely eloquent. That´s a package that they don´t like." Republicans also don´t like what Pelosi called the president´s non-partisanship. Obama has been "open, practically apolitical, certainly non-partisan, in terms of welcoming every idea and solution," Pelosi told Politico "I think that´s one of the reasons the Republicans want to take
"This is the United States of America," declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Missouri, on Friday. "We´re not some banana republic." He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, a glorious American tradition that seems to come round earlier every year. "This is not a deadbeat nation," President Obama continued. "We don´t run out on our tab." True. But we don´t pay it off either. We just keep running it up, ever higher. And every time the bartender says, "Mebbe you´ve had enough, pal", we protest, "Jush another couple trillion for the road. Set ´em up, Joe."
It´s hard not to admire how Senator Ted Cruz spent his summer. Months of touring the country and TV appearances telling conservatives that he wanted an (unwinnable) fight with the White House on Obamacare, getting the fight, and now sitting ringside cheering half-heartedly as the House throws punches. Cruz, a freshman from Texas, wasn´t the first guy to suggest that the party use a budget fight as leverage to rollback the Affordable Care Act, the president´s signature legislation. That idea dates back to 2011, as Chris Hayes noted on All In Wednesday night. In his segment, Hayes probably gave Cruz more