It's A Good Thing This Judge Wasn't Around In The Fifteenth Century
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
The surrender is complete now. The Hindu reports that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.I wrote about Qaradawi at length in The Grand Jihad and, here at NRO, have regularly catalogued his activities (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here; see also Andrew Bostom’s “Qaradawi’s Odious Vision”). For those who may be unfamiliar with him, he is the most influential Sunni Islamist in the world, thanks to such ventures as his al-Jazeera TV program (Sharia and Life) and website (IslamOnline.net). In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq. As he put it,
Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will. . . . Although they are seen by some as being wrong, those defending against attempts to control Islamic countries have the intention of jihad and bear a spirit of the defense of their homeland.
Qaradawi urges that Islam must dominate the world, under a global caliphate governed by sharia. He maintains that Islam “will conquer Europe [and] will conquer America.” He sometimes qualifies that the conquering will be done “not through the sword but through da’wa,” but the qualification is a feint.
Obama's campaign-driven, domestic-travel schedule starts in Cleveland on Wednesday, the day after GOP presidential hopefuls square off in the Iowa caucuses. He will also keep up an aggressive re-election fundraising schedule, with events already lined up in Chicago on Jan. 11.
Campaign officials say Obama will fully engage in the re-election campaign once the Republicans pick their nominee. He will focus almost exclusively on campaigning after the late summer Democratic National Convention, barring unexpected developments at home or abroad.
Among the issues that could disrupt Obama's re-election plans: further economic turmoil in Europe, instability in North Korea following its leadership transition and threats from Iran.
The president's signature legislative accomplishment will also come under greater scrutiny in the new year, when a critical part of his health care overhaul is debated before the Supreme Court.
Obama's foreign travel next year will be limited mainly to the summits and international gatherings every U.S. president traditionally attends. He's expected to travel to South Korea in March for a nuclear security summit and to Colombia in April for the Summit of the Americas. He's also likely to visit Mexico in June for the G-20 economic summit.
The belief that politicians use their office for personal gain is growing.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that most members of Congress are corrupt. Just 28% disagree, and another 24% are not sure. (To see survey question wording.
The New York Times, of course, is wringing its elegantly manicured hands. And why not? The soil of the Karoo desert is “fragile,” and the extraction of the natural gas will involve fracking. What will happen to the sheep?
The Times finds a local farmer who is worried about exactly that.
“If our government lets these companies touch even a drop of our water,” [the farmer] said, “we’re ruined.”
Ruined! By wicked natural gas companies feeding the world’s hydrocarbon addiction. The farmer in question has a herd of 1400 sheep. (It was 2000 last year before a drought forced the slaughter of 600.) One somehow suspects that the farmer will find some other way to make money when the district becomes a major gas producing center. And, worst case, roughnecks eat a lot of meat.
This is what the New York Times Wishes To Preserve
We're back to Michelle Obama, and as much as I hate to say it yet again - it's all about the double standard. Here we have a woman who preaches financial abstinence, but whose personal expenditures are promiscuous beyond belief. Mrs. Obama is a harbinger of 'safe-spending' and then uncontrollably prostitutes herself on the altar of sartorial elegance and sumptuous living.
The latest controversy surrounds a $2,000 designer sundress the first lady wore to church on her $4 million Hawaiian vacation. That's right - a $2,000 muumuu; the damned thing didn't even have sleeves. Michelle wore the unassuming frock to church to worship the humble birth of Jesus.
You remember Jesus? He was the one wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed on a bed of hay in a manger as many years ago as dollars made up the cost of that dress.
Besides appointing herself the guru of healthy eating and then dining at high-calorie Shake Shack, the only thing more inappropriate than donning designer duds for Jesus' birthday was when Michelle wore $575 Lanvin sneakers to ladle out soup to the homeless at a food bank.
The current cause of the ruckus is a flimsy white/striped number from Sophie Theallet's Resort Collection, which, at the time it was purchased in late 2009, cost between $1000 and $2000. For 2012, similar pieces from the newest Resort collection sell for that and much more.
Therefore, it appears as if "1,960 dollars less than I need toward another Sophie Theallet sundress" might be Michelle Obama's answer to Barack's most current question: "What does $40 dollars mean to you?"
New Yorkers have 58 million reasons to jeer teachers union President Michael Mulgrew.
Thanks to him, 33 schools in desperate need of money to improve have just lost $58 million in funds intended to turn them around. Thanks to him, some of the worst teachers at some of the worst schools will continue to be protected at the expense of the kids in their classrooms.
Thanks to him, the state may soon have to forfeit $700 million in additional federal Race to the Top money awarded based on promised reforms.
These are reforms that Mulgrew, along with city and state leaders, pledged to help implement — before it became clear through his actions that he had no intention of following through.
On Friday, five months of negotiations between schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the union on sculpting a teacher evaluation system in exchange for School Improvement Grant funding hit a wall.
A state deadline set for year’s end had failed to focus Mulgrew’s mind.
Walcott rightly walked away.
Nobody was asking Mulgrew to demonstrate particular courage here — simply to, in a tiny subset of failing schools, put in place a professional system for identifying underperforming teachers and, yes, removing some of them.
A Democratic fundraiser was found guilty Friday of engineering a $21 million bank fraud scheme.
Courtney Dupree was convicted of vastly overstating the billings of his Long Island City-based lighting company GDC Acquisitions in order to fraudulently obtain a loan from Amalgamated Bank.
Dupree, 42, sat stone-faced as the verdict was read in Brooklyn Federal Court. He faces up to 30 years in prison and has to pay back at least $18 million...
...Dupree, who attended the elite Wharton School of Business, was a rainmaker in Democratic circles.
In 2008, Dupree hosted a $1,000-a-ticket fund-raiser for Barack Obama at his Broad St. apartment that was attended by top aide Valerie Jarrett.
Interestingly, this is almost identical to Indiana, which has a provision for free state IDs but only for the purpose of voting. They require the same documents to get the state ID, and charge between $5 to $12, depending on which county the birth record resides. Why is Indiana important? Because the Supreme Court approved an identical photo-ID voting requirement in Indiana in 2008, not to mention one in Georgia, also covered by Section 5, in 2005:
The 1965 Voting Rights Act was created to combat the systematic disenfranchisement of minorities, especially in Southern states with a history of discrimination. But the Justice position is a lead zeppelin, contradicting both the Supreme Court and the Department’s own precedent. In 2005, Justice approved a Georgia law with the same provisions and protections of the one Mr. Holder nixed for South Carolina. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that an Indiana law requiring photo ID did not present an undue burden on voters.In a later case, this one involving Holder, the Court declined to make a decision about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, although they did note the “substantial federalism costs” of interfering in the law-making ability of a subset of states decades after the voting-rights issues have been settled. But that’s not all they said on the matter to Holder:
A second case offers a further glimpse into the High Court’s perspective on the modern use of Section 5. In 2009′sNorthwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder, the Court declined to decide the question of the constitutionality of Section 5, writing that while it imposes “substantial federalism costs,” the “importance of the question does not justify our rushing to decide it.” But the Justices didn’t stop there.They also cast real doubt on the long-term viability of the law, noting in an 8-1 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts that it “imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.” That such strong criticism was signed by even the Court’s liberals should concern Mr. Holder, who may eventually have to defend his South Carolina smackdown in court.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley tells us she “will absolutely sue” Justice over its denial of her state’s law and that challenge will go directly to federal district court in Washington, D.C. From there it may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, which would have to consider whether South Carolina can be blocked from implementing a law identical to the one the High Court approved for Indiana, simply because South Carolina is a “covered” jurisdiction under the Voting Rights Act.
I believe Leader Pelosi on this. I think she really has dedicated her life to the 99% and 1%. Its just that her focus has been on using advocacy for the 99% to get into the 1%. And it seems to be working. In 2010, her last year as Speaker, her net worth exploded by 62%:
Pelosi’s drastic growth, from an initial $21.7 million in 2009, is attributed to recent stock gains and smart investments. Her husband reported raking in $1 million to $5 million last year from a sale of Apple stocks.Funny how so many of these politicians make so many “smart investments.”
ial Services ranking member Spencer Bachus, the Republican who now chairs the same panel. According to Schweizer, Pelosi and her husband made millions participating in a special invitation Initial Public Offering from VISA at the same time legislation critical to the credit card company was before Congress. Kerry added to Teresa Heinz' millions by trading on insider information he got while on the Senate Finance Committee. Hastert profited big-time by getting an earmark to build a highway that doubled the value of land in which he had previously invested. Bachus fattened his bank account with stock deals he made during the 2008 financial crisis.
Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel Share a Tender Moment
What makes these blatant examples of getting richer on public service so galling, of course, is the fact that Pelosi, Kerry, Hastert and Bachus can't be prosecuted for violating the laws against insider trading that would send corporate executives to jail. As they have with the federal Freedom of Information Act, members of Congress are exempt from such enforcement. They and members of their staffs are free to make millions on information they get by virtue of being in Congress, whether ordinary citizens like it or not.
Every weekday, 120 high-school freshmen from these neighborhoods attend Mr. Rose's academy, some arriving after two bus trips and all before 7:30 a.m. Located in a former public school building, the school has spartan facilities—a science lab with almost no equipment, cracked windows—and few modern frills, though every student is given a computer.
As you approach and knock on the front door (the school is always locked to keep troublemakers away), you cross over a blue line. "When you cross that blue line," explains Mr. Rose, "you have to agree to leave all your troubles behind for the next eight hours." This is a sanctuary—and "one of the most promising school reform initiatives in the state," according to Michigan's Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has also offered praise.
For non-sports fans: Now a regular commentator on ESPN, Jalen Rose was a member of the University of Michigan basketball team's controversial and multitalented "Fab Five" from 1991-93. He joined four other high-school all-Americans—Juwan Howard, Jimmie King, Ray Jackson and Chris Webber—who became the first major team to start five freshmen. Not only did they start, but they won and won, going to two straight national championship games. In the process they became a cultural sensation with their yellow jerseys, baggy shorts, black socks and brash, trash-talking style of play. Fans either loved or hated them.
After skipping his senior year to enter the pros, Mr. Rose played 13 seasons in the NBA, earning millions in salary and endorsements—and getting his college degree along the way. On this drizzly and cold December afternoon, he could be living the good life in Palm Springs or South Beach.
Instead he's here building a school, work for which he takes no pay. And he doesn't just lend his name to the letterhead—he's often in the building for 20 hours a week, he says.
Keith Olbermann, who came to Current TV this year to remake the channel and compete against his old home, MSNBC, is sitting out the biggest political nights of the season.
Despite being the biggest star on the fledging channel, Mr. Olbermann is not scheduled to anchor Current’s coverage of the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary in January. Instead, Current’s other prime time anchors, Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm, will be joined by the channel’s chairman, the former vice president Al Gore, according to the channel’s TV schedule.
Mr. Olbermann also was noticeably absent from two special reports that Current produced after Republican debates in mid-December. Those, too, were anchored by Mr. Uygur.
These absences suggest that there may be new tension between Mr. Olbermann and the managers at Current, who are trying to create a progressive-oriented cable news channel.
An army of volunteers from across the nation has once again descended upon Pasadena's Rose Palace, where several floats are being covered with flowers.
Half a mile away in Singer Park, dozens of Occupy activists worked Thursday to prepare for a protest.
The activists, part of a movement whose encampments across the country grabbed headlines for months, are trying to take their message into 2012 with a high-profile foray into the Rose Parade.
While volunteers at the Rose Palace were armed with scissors, thousands of gallons of glue and millions of flower petals, Occupy activists worked with plastic pipe and banners.
The classic exemplar of "chutzpah" has always been the young man who murders his parents and then begs the judge for mercy on the grounds that he's an orphan.
No more, however. The new benchmark for chutzpah is Eric Holder, who has solemnly announced that more police officers were killed by 'illegal guns' in 2011 than in the previous year. 2011's total was 173, at least according to Mr. Holder. (It would have been 174, but Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December of last year.)
Holder said “too many guns have fallen into the hands of those who are not legally permitted to possess them,” in explaining the increase."Fallen into"? "Fallen into"? Is that what we're calling it now? Look, Eric, if I walk up and hand you something, it has not "fallen into" your hands, okay?
Either Holder is dumb as a stump or he is setting himself up to be the most courageous Washington fall guy since G. Gordon Liddy, and since I can't imagine Eric Holder holding his hand over a fire just to show people how tough he is, I know which way I'm betting.
“Chinese people are the same as people around the world,” Zhang Wei, an official with China's National Space Administration, told the Financial Times.
“When looking up at the starry sky, we are full of longing and yearning for the vast universe.”
What isn’t silly and stupid is that the left-wing, journOlist-infested institution known as Politico was obsessed with Palin’s wardrobe in ‘08 and one of the prime drivers of that narrative. Just for starters see here, here, here, and most especially here.Before Michelle Obama, I didn't even know that there was such a thing as $540 sneakers.
And now for the news that will surprise no one. A good faith search has revealed that the left-wing, journOlist-infested institution known as Politico isn’t at all interested in Michelle Obama’s pricey wardrobe.
The Obama administration announced Thursday that it has signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, selling more than $30 billion in highly advanced F-15 fighter jets and sending other advanced weapons to the kingdom just as tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia's regional neighbor Iran continue to escalate.
The sale of 84 new aircraft, and the upgrading of 70 F-15s already in the Saudi air force, sends "a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East," said Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro. "It will enhance Saudi Arabia's ability to deter and defend against external threats to its sovereignty."
The first new aircraft will be delivered to Saudi Arabia in early 2015, Pentagon officials said.
General Electric Co.'s finance arm agreed to buy the U.S. retail-deposit business of insurer MetLife Inc., in a deal that matches the life insurer's desire to get out from under federal regulation with GE's pursuit of a more-reliable funding source. ... The agreement announced Tuesday is the latest sign of how new rules and stricter oversight are changing the finance landscape. GE Capital, which long existed in a regulatory gray area between banking and industry, has grown more comfortable emphasizing traditional banking after falling under the regulation of the Federal Reserve in the wake of the financial crisis.
MetLife, moving in the opposite direction, put its banking operations on the block in July in hopes of getting out from under the regulation of the Fed.GE has been looking for a way to turn GE Capital around for years. Dodd-Frank offered them the perfect opportunity to enlist the federal government in their reorganization effort. MetLife is no mom-and-pop operation, but a deal like this only solidifies GE Capital as an institution that is too big to fail.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week, the Labor Department reported today. CNBC goes on to report: "Claims remain below the 400,000 mark that is normally associated with an improvement in labor market conditions."
But these aren't normal market conditions. In a normal economic recovery, new firm and job creation are higher than recession levels. That is not the case in the Obama recovery.
While job losses have slowed, job creation has not picked up. In fact, as The Heritage Foundation chart based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data above shows, while gross job losses are now at their lowest level in years, so are gross job gains.
A Mexican drug trafficker awaiting trial in a Chicago federal court claims that the notorious Sinaloa cartel received weapons from “Operation Fast and Furious” under an alleged immunity agreement that the U.S. government made with cartel leaders, in exchange for information on rival gangs.
The defendant in a trafficking case before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Vicente Jesus Zambada-Niebla, also claims the immunity deal allowed the criminal cartel to “continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs” into the United States.
He wants the U.S. government to provide documents relating to the botched gun running sting operation along the southwest border, arguing that it would benefit his defense.
In a video to supporters and donors, Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina pushed back against the idea that President Barack Obama will raise huge sums of money from big donors to fund his reelection campaign.
"People have speculated that this is a billion-dollar campaign. That's bulls**t. We don't take PAC money, unlike our opponents. We fund this campaign in contributions of three dollars or five dollars or whatever you can do to help us expand the map, to put more people on the ground, to build a real grass-roots campaign that is going to be the difference between winning and losing."
An Obama campaign official said no MF Global donations besides Corzine’s have been refunded. “Contributions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and if the facts merit it, they will be returned,” the official told The Post. ...I wonder how many $3 - $5 donors George Kaiser had to bundle to reach the six figure donations he made to Obama?
Corzine is not the only connection between MF and Obama. Three other MF honchos, including Corzine’s second-in-command, Brad Abelow, and his wife have given $5,000 to the president’s re-election campaign and another $30,800 to the DNC.
In addition to Abelow, the other MF donors are former board member David Schamis and Joseph Patt.
Americans, on average, have gained enough weight during the past 40 years to cancel out automakers' vehicle-lightweighting efforts such as using lighter components or removing spare tire, reflecting an additional challenge automakers face to meet progressively more strict fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emissions standards. The information comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a recent Automotive News report.
The average adult U.S. male weighs almost 195 pounds, up 28.4 pounds from what an average adult male weighed in 1960, while the average female adult weight has risen 24.5 pounds over the same time period, Automotive News said, citing the CDC. The weight gained by the average male is about the same as a typical tire found on a Ford Mustang and almost cancels out the 30 pounds Ford was able to cut from the 2012 Focus by using a new, six-speed Powershift automatic transmission instead of the old Focus gearbox.
The combined weight gained by the average American male and female can cut average fuel economy by as much as one percent, which could translate to an additional 153 million gallons of gas burned in the U.S. over the course of a year.
Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Big Government this week that her mother wants to leave Congress–and that she remains in Washington only at the behest of her campaign donors.
During a telephone interview, Ms. Pelosi–speaking from a friend’s home in New York City–described her mother’s predicament:
"She would retire right now, if the donors she has didn’t want her to stay so badly. They know she wants to leave, though. They think she’s destined for the wilderness. She has very few days left. She’s 71, she wants to have a life, she’s done. It’s obligation, that’s all I’m saying."
During two days of recent congressional hearings into how as much as $1.2 billion disappeared from MF Global customer accounts, the chief operating officer of the imploding investment firm responded again and again that he did not know.
Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow's role as a financial adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.
Even as he finds himself the public face of a bankruptcy and admitted to lawmakers that he had no idea how client funds disappeared, Congress and the administration have voiced no public concern about Mr. Abelow's role advising the $8.6 billion government agency on its finances.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, but the underlying trend continued to point to improving labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week's claims data was revised up to 366,000 from the previously reported 364,000.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 375,000. A Labor Department official said that because of a public holiday on Monday, claims from seven states - including California and Virginia - had been estimated.
Scandals surrounding the now-bankrupt Solyndra, Fannie and Freddie, MF Global and administration insider deals still to emerge will metastasize, demolishing the president's image as a political outsider. By the election, the impression will harden that Mr. Obama is a modern Chicago-style patronage politician, using taxpayer dollars to reward political allies (like unions) and contributors (like Obama fund-raiser and Solyndra investor George Kaiser).
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid or both will leave the Democratic leadership by the end of 2012.
Disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught in online trysts with numerous women, but RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that according to one of his mistresses, he expressed wanting a threesome - with another man.
In old conversation excerpts obtained by RadarOnline.com from mistress Traci Nobles' proposal for a tell-all book, the former politician brings up the topic of "3 ways" and reveals that the idea of being with another man is a turn on.
"I'm not really talking about other chicks... How about with another guy?" Weiner asked Nobles.
Drivers in Japan have once again taken to the track in an effort to wring maximum mileage from their Toyota hybrids. According to AutoWeek, the Prius Cup resumed this year after a two-year hiatus.
Toyota officials said they have no plans to bring the hybrid competition to the U.S., but played up their promises to compete and win at Le Mans next June with a hybrid.
Dealerships fielded teams at Fuji Speedway in Oyama, Japan, for a national championship race held on December 7. Puttering around the Formula 1 track at Fuji, at least one team managed an astounding 80 miles per gallon in their hypermiling efforts, according to the report.
But is it really racing when the drivers are attempting to maintain an average speed of 37 miles per hour and coasting up hills? We will give them credit though – at least they do turn both left and right.
Harry Reid’s statement on December 6 on his proposed 1.9 percent surtax on million-dollar incomes has kicked up some dust. Here is his statement: “Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They’re impossible to find, and they don’t exist… Only a tiny fraction of people making more than a million dollars, probably less than 1 percent, are small business owners. And only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction are traditional job creators…Most of these businesses are hedge fund managers or wealthy lawyers. They don’t do much hiring and they don’t need tax breaks.”
Taking their cue, National Public Radio launched a search for one millionaire job creator. They triumphantly announced: “NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.”
Were it not for Google, I would have accepted Harry Reid’s unicorn story and NPR’s confirmation. Unlike Harry Reid’s office, I went to the IRS’s Table 1.4 “Sources of income, adjustments, and tax size of adjusted gross income, 2009” to check things out. (I summarize my sources in a separate blog posting). Here is what I found: There are 236,883 tax filers with incomes of a million dollars or more. By Harry Reid’s count, only one percent, or 2,361 of them, are business owners, and a tiny fraction of them create jobs. I do not know what Harry means when he says “a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction.” If we let 5 percent represent Harry’s “tiny fraction,” we are left with 118 businesses owners who earn a million or more and create jobs. Yes, they are only slightly less rare than unicorns, if Harry is to be believed.
This leaves 236,765 million-dollar-plus tax payers, most of whom are “hedge fund managers and wealthy lawyers” who “don’t create jobs and don’t need tax breaks.”
My Google search for Harry Reid’s quarter million hedge fund managers and wealthy lawyers came up empty handed. I could identify at most sixteen thousand “wealthy lawyers and hedge fund managers,” not Harry Reid’s quarter million.
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration honoring African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa — unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
We celebrate Kwanzaa at a time when many African Americans and all Americans reflect on our many blessings and memories over the past year and our aspirations for the year to come. And even as there is much to be thankful for, we know that there are still too many Americans going through enormous challenges and trying to make ends meet. But we also know that in the spirit of unity, or Umoja, we can overcome those challenges together.
As families across America and around the world light the red, black, and green candles of the Kinara this week, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.
A court in the northern German town of Osnabrück has ruled that a farmer is allowed to feed his pigs vast quantities of raw onions, despite complaints from neighbours about their eye-watering gaseous emissions.
The farmer has been feeding his 1,500 pigs several cubic metres of onions every week for the past 14 years, but city authorities ordered him to stop, and threatened to fine him €2,500, after locals complained of the resulting pungent porcine farts.
The council justified its decision on the grounds that planning permission for the pigsty forbade “strong-smelling foods, e.g. kitchen waste.”
But the court overturned the decision, saying that the city council had imposed the penalty on the assumption that the onions were to blame for the stink without providing sufficient evidence.
According to the court’s statement, the court called in an expert witness on “emissions control,” who testified that “onions did not count as strong-smelling foods, because they are untreated organic raw materials that have not decomposed.”
“It’s not about the people; it’s politics,” said Sterio, who remains jobless and at risk of losing her home. “We all feel betrayed.”
Since the failure of the company, Obama’s entire $80 billion clean-technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising reelection campaign.
Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.
The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.
Today’s Republicans cast the federal government as an oppressive force, a drag on the economy and an enemy of private initiative. Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to promise, as he did last week during a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, to be a president who would make “Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as he can make it.” That far-reaching word “inconsequential” implies a lot more than trims in budgets or taxes.
The GOP is engaged in a wholesale effort to redefine the government help that Americans take for granted as an effort to create a radically new, statist society. Consider Romney’s claim in his Bedford speech: “President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes. In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing — the government.”
Obama believes no such thing. If he did, why are so many continuing to make bundles on Wall Street? As my colleagues Greg Sargent and Paul Krugman have been insisting, Romney is saying things about the president that are flatly, grossly and shamefully untrue. But Romney’s sleight of hand is revealing: Republicans are increasingly inclined to argue that any redistribution (and Social Security, Medicare, student loans, veterans benefits and food stamps are all redistributive) is but a step down the road to some radically egalitarian dystopia.
An article on the Jamestown Foundation website, which cited Butt, said that despite denials, evidence is emerging that "elements within the Pakistani military harboured Osama with the knowledge of Musharraf and Kayani". Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the current army chief.
Ziauddin Butt, a former army chief, told a conference on Pakistani-US ties in October 2011 that according to his knowledge then director general of Intelligence Bureau, Brigadier (retd.) Ijaz Shah, had "kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad".
Like so many of her liberal media colleagues, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson believes cutting payroll taxes for a short period of time stimulates the economy.
Fortunately for viewers of PBS's Inside Washington, when she tried to make this absurd conclusion Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was there to give her and others on the panel a much-needed education
President Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have returned more than $70,000 in contributions from former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine following the collapse of MF Global, Corzine's financial firm, officials said Friday.
Obama's campaign and the DNC returned contributions of $35,800 from Corzine and his wife, Sharon Elghanayan, said Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. They were not authorized to speak publicly.
Corzine was among Obama's top fundraisers, raising at least $500,000 for Obama's re-election campaign since April, according to records released by the campaign. The former Goldman Sachs chief held a fundraiser for the president last April and was considered a main Obama emissary to Wall Street.
One of the Democratic officials said the campaign and DNC would evaluate whether to return donations from other MF Global employees on a case-by-case basis.
On this Christmas Eve, one of the great unreported stories throughout what we used to call Christendom is the persecution of Christians around the world. In Egypt, the “Arab Spring” is going so swimmingly that Copts are already fleeing Egypt and, for those Christians that remain, Midnight Mass has to be held in the daylight for security reasons. In Iraq, midnight services have been canceled entirely for fear of bloodshed, part of the remorseless de-Christianizing that has been going on, quite shamefully, under an American imperium.
Every Christmas for the past 60 years, Nativity scenes have dominated two blocks of a park on bluffs overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica, California.
The 14 scenes depicting Jesus Christ's birth have long been a popular attraction among area residents and tourists to the southern California city.
This year, however, atheists have taken over most of the two-block stretch, nearly shutting out and angering a group of churches who contend the atheists have organized against the Christians and gamed a city lottery process allocating the holiday exhibit space.
Some 10 people died and more were hurt in an attack at St Theresa's Church in Madalla near Nigeria's capital Abuja.
The Islamist group Boko Haram said it carried out the attack, which came amid deadly violence between Islamist gunmen and soldiers in northern Nigeria.
A second explosion shortly afterwards hit a church in the central city of Jos, killing at least one person.
Nearly 70 people have died in days of fighting between Nigerian forces and suspected Islamist gunmen in the country's north-east, but the BBC's Fidelis Mbah in Lagos says no trouble had been expected in the capital.
Boko Haram - whose name means "Western education is forbidden" - often targets security forces and state institutions.
Michelle Obama insisted on a pricey holiday to Hawaii when her husband would have rather gone to a presidential retreat, according to reports.
She allegedly wanted the taxpayer-funded $4million trip when Barack Obama sought instead to make the short trip to Camp David in Maryland.
Political sources told the National Enquirer that the 47-year-old’s spending is rocketing and she even went on a shopping spree before the Hawaii trip.