Lawmakers and the White House dug in Tuesday for a long fight as the first federal government shutdown in nearly two decades showed no signs of breaking, increasing the likelihood it will become entangled in an even larger battle over the Treasury´s ability to pay the government´s bills. The two parties held no negotiations to resolve the impasse, instead trading blame. Republicans criticized Senate Democrats as being unwilling to negotiate an end to the standoff that forced federal agencies to curtail a range of activities and begin the furlough of more than 800,000 workers. U.S. stocks rose despite the government shutdown as
Comments: *With Kristina Peterson and Carol E. Lee.
Over the last several weeks the Obama White House has been executing a media blitz meant to sell Obamacare to the nation—again. As the final maneuver in that plan, the President is releasing several reports on how Obamacare will affect the states. His message: repealing Obamacare will just be too expensive. "These state reports mark the culmination of a multi-week effort by the White House and supporters of reform to bring a renewed refocus on each of these benefits and what the cost of repealing them would mean," a White House official told reporters at The Hill. Obamacare supporters crafted these reports to
In the fallout over Wednesday’s suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E for anti-gay and racist remarks, GLAAD is experiencing record levels of backlash. “In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments,” the media watchdog organization’s vice president of communications Rich Ferraro told TheWrap. He said those reactions range from those who simply believe as Robertson believes to those who feel that GLAAD and A&E’s actions limit the reality star’s free speech. “I don’t think this is about the
If a liberal were stuck on a life raft with Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz (as a proxy for the Tea Party), who would she try to shove off first?* Trick question: the answer is neither, because conventional wisdom among the media and the Left (but I repeat . . .) is that Palin and the Tea Party are both damaging to the Republican Party. Well guess what mom? Two new academic studies, using the standard regression modeling techniques that are considered the most “mainstream” methodology of political science today, turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Writing in Political Research Quarterly,
Former President Bill Clinton says if U.S. lawmakers realized the economic impact of having the country’s population growth coming to a halt, it would energize immigration reform, “because it’s the only way to keep our country growing.” Clinton made the comments while discussing immigration reform earlier this month on the America with Jorge Ramos program. “I think that we´re trying to pass immigration reform. The country needs it. If – I wish that all these members of Congress who oppose immigration reform, and who feel threatened by it, had been with me on my recent trip to Asia,” Clinton said.
Fox News Channel’s Bill O´Reilly, host of “The O´Reilly Factor,” said Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame actually erred with some of his biblically-based comments about the sinfulness of homosexuality. Mr. O´Reilly, a self-proclaimed Christian, honed in on one specific part of Mr. Robertson’s much-publicized quotes in GQ magazine – the condemnation aspect. “Mr. Robertson, I believe, made a mistake by the condemnation line,” he said, Politico reported. “It’s not about the Bible, or believing or not believing in the Bible. It’s singling out a group, it could be any group, and saying to that group, ‘Hey … you are not worthy
On Thursday, PETA called for the cancellation of Duck Dynasty, one of the most highly-rated shows ever, a day after A&E suspended patriarch Phil Robertson for comments that were deemed to be "anti-gay." PETA, which has a history of slamming the show´s cast members for hunting, accused the Duck Dynasty cast of "hating people and animals" and called on A&E to ignore former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin´s Facebook post that said Robertson´s suspension was an attack on "all of us" because "free speech is an endangered species." "PETA wants A&E to do more than suspend one of the characters on Duck Dynasty
President Barack Obama declined to engage in a bout of political soul-searching on Friday and said that despite a botched health care rollout and stalled legislative initiatives, his year had not been all that bad. He acknowledged setbacks but declined to dwell on them at a year-end news conference in the White House briefing room hours before escaping Washington for two weeks of what he described as "sleep and sun" in Hawaii. Asked if this was "the worst year" of his presidency, he conceded that "we have had ups and we have had downs." Even so, he said, "I think this room has
Earlier this week, the Media Research Center announced our “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” as selected by a distinguished panel of 42 expert judges who reviewed dozens of quotes to select the worst examples of media bias in 2013. Over the next few days, we’ll present these Notable Quotables as a way to review the worst media bias of 2013. Today, the best quotes in our “Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award, for Obsequious Obama Interviews,” and our “Obamagasm Award,” a title which should need no further explanation. First, the "Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award" ABC’s Barbara Walters “won” this category
When President Barack Obama had hopes the House might pass an immigration reform package, he said he was supportive of a piecemeal series of bills. That support may have been short-lived. Obama on Friday urged the House to back the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, describing it as a settled matter that the legislation would benefit the country and is politically popular — without mentioning the option of slicing the measure into a series of smaller provisions. While the question of piecemeal bills wasn’t directly raised Friday, Obama praised the Senate bill — as Vice President Joe Biden did last week — and
Last week, following the public apology of an English comedian and the arrest of a fellow British subject both for making somewhat feeble Mandela gags, I noted that supposedly free societies were increasingly perilous places for those who make an infelicitous remark. So let’s pick up where we left off: Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on American television. But you can still find them in the archives, out on the edge of town, in Sub-Basement Level 12 of the ever-expanding Smithsonian Mausoleum of the Unsayable. First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after
Roll Back: Europe is thought of as a collection of welfare states loved by some and detested by others. That lineup, though, is headed for change: The Dutch are wisely dismantling the system that they can no longer sustain. The Netherlands has been known for its generous welfare system. Three decades ago, when the U.S. was spending about 22% of its GDP on entitlement programs, the Dutch were spending more than 40%. The Financial Times named the Dutch system a "comprehensive egalitarian social model" built in the 1960s and 1970s. The University of London´s History in Focus says that "with the sole
Border: A federal judge finds that the Department of Homeland Security, instead of arresting cartel members and the clients who pay them to smuggle children into the U.S., helps the drug lords complete the transactions. Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano once proclaimed the U.S. border to be as secure as it has ever been. Yet her department has been found by Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas to have actively undermined that security by enabling drug cartels engaged in the lucrative smuggling of children. The case before Judge Hanen — United States of
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
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.
America may be on the verge of a long-needed discussion over the limits of discourse on homosexual acts. Phil Robertson, patriarch of the family that stars in Duck Dynasty, the most popular program in the history of cable television, was interviewed by GQ Magazine, and was asked what in his mind is sinful: "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there." (snip) Robertson spoke of homosexual behavior - i.e., acts. He took care not to characterize homosexuality per se as sinful. This is quite consistent with Christian doctrine of loving the sinner while hating the sin. That crucial point
The problem with solutions is that few of them tend to be perfect, even if they act in a mostly benign manner. Actions produce reactions, a principle as true in politics as it is in physics, and those tend to multiply when solutions increase in complexity. The nature of these unintended consequences changes dramatically when complex “solutions” turn out to be poorly designed and incompetently administered. The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has provided many real-world examples of this, but perhaps none so “unintended” as the consequences discovered by the Seattle Times this weekend. Carol Ostrom, The Times’ health