According to an Instagram account bearing her name, the British-born wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is enduring that country’s bloody civil war in good health, safety and nice clothes. Asma al-Assad is shown there in legions of touching photos chatting with women, reading to children, watching her husband sign documents and comforting families reportedly freed recently from rebel-held territory. Each entry carries the hashtag #WeLoveYouAsma. [Snip] It seems likely that rather than being a genuine, hands-on personal account, hers is run by the regime seeking to present an alternate reality of normalcy to the ghastly photos of gassed children
I wrote yesterday that she seems to be like the Mafia wives we’ve heard about. Living luxurious, relatively normal lives with their children, never questioning what their husbands do. With news control, maybe ignorant of all they do and have done?
Barely 24 months after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender adults who say they’re married to someone of the same sex has increased to more than 10%. But the rate of growth has slowed significantly since the first year. In the first year after the court’s Obergefell-Hodges decision, the number of reported same-sex marriages surged from under 8% to 9.6%. Today, a new survey by Gallup finds, the number is 10.2%. It is still more likely that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are married to
Three weeks into the allied assault on the ISIS capital of Raqqa, operations to surround the northern Syrian city are complete and street-by-street fighting has begun in the outskirts. The struggle to deny terrorists the symbolic capital of their self-proclaimed caliphate is likely to be hard-fought, bloody and prolonged. It pits an unknown number of fighters from Arab militias, Syrian Democratic Forces and an anti-ISIS coalition of mainly Kurdish soldiers newly-armed and advised by U.S. Special Operations troops. They face entrenched ISIS fighters estimated as at least 2,500 by the Institute for the Study of War. For months the city’s
Like beauty, bias is in the eye of the beholder. And now a very large majority of Americans sees the nation’s fourth estate as “subject to partisan agendas.” Translated from YouGov.com pollese, that means 70% of the general public on both sides of the political spectrum sees news media as biased, usually toward the other side. That may not be surprising in a nation that hasn’t been so polarized since the Vietnam War. But it is disturbing for the healthy, long-term functioning of a democracy that’s supposed to rely on consensus decisions made by an informed electorate.
“Keeping our (House) leadership team completely unchanged,” Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio warned last November, “will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections.” Oh, look! More disappointment! Democrats lost four straight special House elections this year with ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the party helm. In fact, one could argue that Pelosi and her baggage helped fuel the surprisingly easy victory of the GOP’s Karen Handel in Georgia Tuesday. [Snip] Fully one-third of Pelosi’s 193 House Democrats now come from just three states, the usual liberal suspects of California, New York and Massachusetts, not the crucial Heartland. Pelosi’s entire leadership
Each of the last three presidents has publicly vowed that Americans will not be intimidated by terrorism or its threats and will continue to live their normal lives as the deadly struggle endures until who-knows-when. Easier to vow such stuff when you’ve got 24-hour, lifetime Secret Service protection. Now comes evidence that, in fact, ordinary Americans — forget about the big-shots — are already adjusting their lives to the threat of terrorism by hesitating before joining large crowds. A new Gallup survey has just discovered that
Donald Trump won another special House election last night. Actually, two of them. That makes him four-for-five this year. Which gave Democrats two more demoralizing moral victories to moan over as they tally the $24 million they wasted trying to end the long-running GOP reign in Georgia’s Sixth District. And more in the South Carolina district of Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. None of this year’s special elections saw a change in party control. But we still learned a lot about politics in mid-2017 [Snip] Turns out, those Georgia voters may not love Trump, but they don’t love the abortion
Now that George W. Bush has been gone — and largely silent — for eight years and Barack Obama’s White House lease expired five months ago today, Americans are warming to both of them, especially the Texan. A new Gallup Poll finds Bush’s favorability rating has surged seven points in the last year to stand now at 59%. That’s far above his lowest rating of 32% in April of 2008 and the 35% he endured soon after exiting the White House for Obama’s inauguration in early 2009. Time has healed some wounds apparently and, of course, in the interim there’s been another president to compare Bush to, a president who spent a good deal
Of all the major problems Donald Trump’s five-month-old administration has confronted and created, this is not one of them. But it is an interesting and likely revealing take about inside operations there. Seth Masket is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Denver and a prolific writer on politics and parties. [Snip] He’s been cataloguing some of the tipos he’s spitted in Trump administration news releases, announcements and letters. There was one release talking about the important Middle East search for “lasting peach.” Another dropped the h in the first name of British Prime Minister Theresa May,
Jim DeMint is like a lot of Americans. He doesn’t trust Washington. For years, he’s tried to change it, to control its uncontrolled spending and waste, to restore control to the people. In a very real way, that spirit was in large part responsible for Donald Trump’s upset election seven months ago. DeMint tried in the House of Representatives. He tried in the Senate. He tried in the Tea Party. And he tried as president of the influential Heritage Foundation, which last month asked him to try not being president there anymore. Now, even DeMint has given up. [Snip] Until
Because years of economic sanctions on Russia, Russians and Russian institutions for fomenting rebellion, supporting Syria’s dictator and annexing Crimea have done virtually nothing to change Vladimir Putin’s bully behavior, maybe more sanctions will. That’s how Washington thinks. So, late Monday night the Senate unveiled a new, broad package of alleged punishments on Russia with a legislative twist to corner President Trump in case he
One of the most refreshing thing about recent days in Washington has been the unusual spectacle of a prominent player making numerous bold political allegations in person on camera without hiding behind the cloak of “anonymous source.” [Snip] All of these important ongoing complexities must give way to the transitory theatrics of prancing politicians probing others for implied illegalities that no one has really been able to delineate clearly. Let’s be blunt here: The actors and media in Washington are addicted to scandal and the process of scandal. They can appear to be doing serious work with sincerely furrowed brows
This is gross for a number of reasons. First, the obvious: The Denver City Council has voted unanimously to decriminalize a number of offenses, including defecating in public. Also, urinating in public. Camping on public or private land without permission. Panhandling. And lying across public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks. Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock and city officials explained the new ordinances are designed to protect immigrants — legal and the other kind — from “unintended consequences.” These consequences were
California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people. All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states. The new additions to California’s restricted travel list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. They join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee as states already subjected to the ban. California Attorney Xavier Becerra announced the new states at a Thursday press conference, where he was joined by representatives from ACLU Northern California and Equality California.
(Facebook) - Former President Barack Obama took to Facebook to ask Republicans to reconsider their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. "I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party," Obama wrote. "Still, I hope that our senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did." He argued that the Republican health care bill
In a year that he would like to forget, which included his acrimonious divorce to Amber Heard, Johnny Depp appeared at a Q&A at the new Cinemageddon stage at Glastonbury. Introducing his 2004 film The Libertine, about a 17th-century poet who notoriously drank himself to an early death, the 54-year-old chose to discuss American politics. "I think [Donald] Trump needs help," he said. "There are a lot of dark places he could go." He added: "I´m not insinuating anything - by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible - but when was the last
Most illegal immigrants who pay taxes have stolen someone else’s legal identity, and the IRS doesn’t do a very good job of letting those American citizens and legal immigrants know they’re being impersonated, the tax agency’s inspector general said in a new report released Thursday. The theft creates major problems for the American citizens and legal foreign workers whose identities are stolen, and who have to deal with explaining money they never earned. But the IRS only manages to identify half of the potentially 1.4 million people likely affected by the fraud in 2015, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
[…] John Anzalone, Ossoff’s pollster, said the Democrat’s campaign succeeded in turning out its voters — but they were swamped by Republicans who came out in numbers that ended up dwarfing previous high-profile special elections (link) That’s a very interesting admission/statement for a Politico article. That’s also an example of what happens when President Trump’s ‘Monster Vote‘ turns out. (Politico) Jon Ossoff was on a trajectory to defeat Karen Handel narrowly, poised to deliver a humiliating blow to the White House in a race billed as a referendum of Donald Trump’s early months in office. Then the Republican voters in
The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials. The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation. Investigators so far found no evidence the collision was deliberate. Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship´s computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. A more
President Obama has been out of office only a few months. But he might have both a street and an L.A. freeway named after him soon. Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has proposed renaming Rodeo Road in southwest L.A. “Obama Boulevard” in honor of the president. Wesson noted that Obama held a campaign rally at Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road when running for president and that the area already has streets named after presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Adams). In May, a plan to name a stretch of the 134 Freeway after Obama moved forward with approval from the
MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski compared President Donald Trump’s administration to North Korea Friday, saying “It does feel like a developing dictatorship.” “I will say you can do some work reading history and reading books about how dictatorship happen. The development of very negative forces taking over and what you are seeing is either this happening right now, or someone who’s not well. Very few options,” Brzezinski continued. Co-host Joe Scarborough tried to lighten to mood during the segment, saying, “I think it’s actually more like Hogan’s Heroes if anything else.” Brzezinski she quietly rebuked Trump once more saying
Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. “I wasn´t a fan of Iraq. I didn´t want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)Jan. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think
Eaarly last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides. Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee,
ST. LOUIS - The insurance company for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, paid $1.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown´s parents, the city attorney said Friday. Attorney Apollo Carey disclosed the amount in an email in response to an open records request. The settlement of the federal lawsuit was announced Tuesday, but financial details were not initially released. Carey declined further comment on the settlement. A phone message seeking comment from the attorney for the family, Anthony Gray, was not immediately returned. Brown, 18, was black and unarmed when he was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson
Former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton came out swinging in a tweet Friday, saying if Senate Republicans pass their current healthcare bill, they will become the “death party.” Clinton’s post referenced an article from the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute, which cited Harvard researchers as saying “the Senate bill could result in 18,000 to 28,000 deaths in 2026.” (Snip) The tweet from Clinton follows an earlier tweet urging her supporters to "speak out against" the bill.