Leaks have consequences. Just ask Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was kidnapped in retaliation for allowing the United States to carry out a special operations raid in Tripoli that captured a senior al-Qaeda leader, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known as Abu Anas al-Libi. How did the kidnappers know that the prime minister had approved the raid? After all, his government denied any prior knowledge of the U.S. action. Simple: The Obama administration told them. A front-page story in the New York Times, “U.S. Officials Say Libya Approved Commando Raids,” reported that “After months of lobbying by American officials, the Libyans
The main question is why the heavily guaard hotel, did not repulse the kidnappers. The PM has no protection of any kind. Too bad the PM was not killed, it would have tossed the Obama Libyan government into shambles.
From the moment of his improbable emergence as a presidential contender seven years ago, Barack Obama has always positioned himself as something better than a politician. And he has always presented his goals for progressive change as something bigger than the bare minimum a Democrat might hope for in a country that skews center right. So the fiasco of the launch of Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul has put the reputation of big government progressivism at risk for at least this generation. And its future now rests on the president’s ability to reverse that debacle, and to demonstrate that his approach
The problem is not so much that Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama don’t like each other. The problem is they don’t trust each other. Which explains the Israeli prime minister’s fulminations last week in blasting, from afar, a temporary deal being negotiated in Geneva that would have frozen Iran’s uranium-enrichment program. But if Netanyahu exacts revenge, it may not be on the Iranians. It may well be on the Palestinians. Ever since he first met then-candidate Obama in mid-2008, Netanyahu has lumped the Iran and Palestinian issues together and insisted they be solved sequentially—Iran first, peace and statehood second. “If Iran
November 19 marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—rightly judged to be the greatest speech in America’s history. And while there have been innumerable books and articles written about the content, language, and rhetorical sophistication of Lincoln’s remarks, far less has been written about why he chose the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, some four and a half months after the battle itself, to deliver the speech he did. Lincoln had been invited by the organizing committee for the battlefield’s consecration to give, as “Chief Executive of the nation,” “a few appropriate remarks.” But
A small team of Russian photographers have quietly been creating some of the most detailed panoramas in the world AirPano is made of eight team members, who have wide-ranging backgrounds (civil engineering and medical cybernetics, among others). The amateur photographers are currently traveling around the world, shooting major cities and other sites of interest. The group mainly shoots from helicopters, using a specialized rig that holds 3-4 cameras, arranged circularly. They also sometimes shoot from rooftops or use light jets, dirigibles, hot air balloons and radio-controlled helicopters. Sergey Semonov, who created a panorama of Manhattan that won first prize at the Epson International
This wasn’t a war started on a lie about weapons of mass destruction the way Iraq was for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Affordable health care for all Americans was Barack Obama’s war, one started with noble intent, the way so many big ideas all the way back to Social Security have started. Only now Obamacare, the way it will always be known, for better or worse, has become Obama’s Iraq. It is something that dominates his second term now, dominates and threatens to suffocate the rest of his presidency, the way Iraq did with Bush, at least until
One of the few men who ever interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald ended up renting my old room for about four years. Another man, one of the few innocents who lost their jobs due to the Kennedy assassination, wrote feature stories for me when I was managing editor of the New Orleans weekly Gambit. The reverberations from that assassination a half century ago altered not only the course of a nation but also the course of numerous private lives, in ways poignant and deep. For the two men I knew, Ed Butler and Jesse Core, August 16, 1963, was a fateful day.
No matter who becomes president in 2016, stripping Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans will not be an option. It’s time to start discussing how to reform—not repeal—Obamacare. Over the past month, as the Obamacare exchanges have bounced and crashed, some 400,000 Americans have enrolled in Medicaid or S-Chip, the children´s health program. The architects of the Affordable Care Act expected that about half the people who would gain coverage under the law would do so through Medicaid; about half through the much more publicized exchanges. Website troubles and high prices have depressed exchange sign up. But Medicaid sign-ups are trundling
ONCE TOUTED as a climate-friendly renewable alternative to foreign oil, the corn-based liquid ethanol has been exposed as an environmental and economic mistake. Lured by federal subsidies, Midwestern farmers have devoted millions of acres to corn that might otherwise have been devoted to soil conservation or feed-grain production. Meanwhile, a “dead zone” fed by fertilizer runoff spreads at the mouth of the Mississippi and production costs throughout the grain-dependent U.S. food industry rise. At the end of 2011, the ethanol industry lost a $6 billion per year tax-credit subsidy. And on Friday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delivered yet another policy
Michael Crichton, in his book Jurassic Park, explained how catastrophe befell his characters by remarking that “living systems are never in equilibrium. They are inherently unstable. They may seem stable, but they’re not. Everything is moving and changing. In a sense, everything is on the edge of collapse.” When human beings attempted to take control of things they didn’t understand in Jurassic Park they set in train a chain of unintended consequences. (Snip) What could not be anticipated however, was that Obama would create through “a cascade of ego and error” something actually large and powerful enough to destroy his
Something a little more fun to close out the weekend. When I think of nanny state orders and general government silliness, I tend to immediately conjure up images of New York, Chicago or San Francisco. But apparently this isn’t a phenomenon unique to the United States. Sweden gets their own share of it as well, it seems. Sweden has a tourist attraction simply known as The Ice Hotel which gets constructed every winter in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna. Built entirely out of blocks of ice by a collection of artists, it draws a lot of visitors who presumably don’t mind freezing their backsides
American healthcare aside (“If you like your plan…”), there are some promises that President Obama has kept. Notably, his promise last year to Russia’s Vladimir Putin — accidentally overheard by the entire world, via an open microphone — that once he’d won the 2012 presidential election, he’d have more “flexibility.” He was true to his word. With this September’s Russia-brokered deal over Syria’s chemical weapons, the Obama administration showed flexibility enough to compete with Cirque du Soleil. Now, just when it seemed that U.S. policy toward Russia could hardly become more flexible without requiring all Americans to dine daily on
Cornelius Gurlitt hoarded art treasures his father obtained under dubious circumstances in the Nazi era. The reclusive 80-year-old has given SPIEGEL the first interview since news of their discovery broke two weeks ago. He says the pictures are the love of his life and must be returned. No one had ever seen Cornelius Gurlitt in his nightshirt before, until a day in February 2012, when they broke the lock and marched in -- the strangers, as he calls them -- the customs investigators and officials with the Augsburg public prosecutor´s office. His apartment was his world. But now these strangers had
Oprah Winfrey has said racism is still a problem around the world and the only way for it to end is for generations of racists to die out. In an interview with the BBC to coincide with the release of her latest film The Butler, the chat show host said generations had been ´marinated´ in racism. The 59-year-old added that President Obama was treated with disrespect because of the color of his skin and said she feels fortunate to have been born after segregation ended in the U.S. [Snip] She highlighted an incident in 2009 when Republican congressman Joe Wilson
Is the president’s Obamacare “fix” part of the Obama administration’s pattern of deceit or a product of its frequent delusion?A cursory discussion with almost anyone who knows anything about the insurance business would have alerted the president to the fact that his proposal is unworkable. The initial take from experts on both the right and the left is that the president did not fix anything yesterday. Insurance industry experts agree that the very idea that canceled health policies can be renewed or extended for one year is laughable
Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama’s health care program is still troubled, but he gets credit for taking ownership and trying to fix it. "Forget about Iran and unemployment, this week was all about Obamacare and it was a ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ moment. As Tevye would say: ´Un da vun hand, but un da udda hand…´ “So we have the president admitting he broke his promise to Americans when he promised they could keep their plans. And the GOP gloated, mocked, preached doom and a failed presidency, and made a solemn vow to
Last week I was informed by the agent who handles my firm’s health-care insurance that, come 2014, our group plan will be cancelled and replaced with an ObamaCare plan.SNIP Well, here’s how I see it. It sure looks to me as if the President of the United States, members of his administration, and Democratic Congressional leaders didn’t just lie. I think they intentionally perverted the truth. And I think they did it because, if they didn’t, they knew the bill wouldn’t pass through Congress.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Some 50 years after John F. Kennedy´s sole presidential term was cut short by an assassin´s bullets, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe Kennedy will go down in history as an outstanding or above-average president. This is the highest retrospective rating given to any of the 11 presidents who have held office since Dwight Eisenhower. Another fifth of the public sees the slain president as average, while just 3% rank him as below average or poor. Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, and the 50-year anniversary of his assassination is being marked by a bevy of new
Congressional Republicans have Obamacare right where they want it. The idea of a one-year delay of the law, always far-fetched as long as the Democrats controlled the Senate, is suddenly looking plausible. “I think there needs to be a one-year suspension of the entire law, at least, if not a longer suspension,” says Georgia Republican Tom Price. “The Senate Democrats and the president are the ones that have to decide it needs to be done.” When asked about a delay, House Republican whip Kevin McCarthy chuckles but doesn’t answer. Instead, he suggests that the law’s destructiveness could upend the entire health
She didn’t write about ‘Protecting the Heart of Christmas’ at all—instead, the eternally offended governor may have penned the perfect manual for another holiday altogether: Festivus. Initially I planned to ignore this week’s release of Good Tidings and Great Joy, Sarah Palin’s book waging war on the war on Christmas. Few political hucksters milking the culture war for an easy buck peddle antics more shopworn than the annual fear-mongering that secularist Scrooges are coming for our creches. But then I couldn’t stop wondering: What happens when the Queen of Grievance takes up arms on behalf of the Prince of Peace’s
His actor parents are well known activists and Stephen Ira Beatty seems determined to follow in their footsteps. The eldest child of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, who revealed he was transgender at the age of 14, appears in a new public service announcement (PSA) urging New York to change its Medicaid regulation which excludes transgender people from accessing healthcare. Stephen, 21, appears confident and informed as he speaks about the problem, saying: ‘I grew up outside of New York, but I´ve always known I´ve wanted to move here for the city´s vibrant artistic community. ‘As a trans person, I
The headline is a statement to, not a quote from Boehner, but it was worth the deception to make the point. President Obama has been given so much slack by an enabling Washington D.C. media, that Obama is now hanging onto the rope to avoid falling into the abyss. The fawning media who placed all their political bets on his success, is unwilling to admit publicly (and perhaps even privately) what they know in their brains but unwilling to let their heart in on: Obama is and always was a phony.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” Yes, he really said that. But he has said similar things before. What, exactly, is he talking about? In his cheerleading for the controversial Common Core State Standards — which were approved by 45 states and the
Mary Cheney, a daughter of the former vice president, and her wife, Heather Poe, sharply criticized on Sunday a comment by by Ms. Cheney’s sister, Liz Cheney, a candidate for the Senate in Wyoming, that they disagreed on the issue of same-sex marriage. “Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong – and on the wrong side of history,” Mary Cheney, who is gay, wrote on her Facebook page. Ms. Poe’s comments were sharper and more personal. “Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when
WASHINGTON - A terrifying new ‘game’ that’s already caused deaths in Syracuse, St. Louis and New Jersey is sweeping the nation, and it preys upon unsuspecting people walking the streets, anywhere. A recent report from New York-based CBS 2 shed light on the growing trend, displaying unsettling footage of teens participating in this game – which goes by the name ‘Knockout’ – and involves randomly targeting passersby, with the ultimate goal being to knock them out with one punch as they walk by. One victim shown in the footage was 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, N.J., who was found dead with his