- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.
A few weeks ago, one promotional outreach for Obamacare involved attractive young women parading around in their underwear or athletic shorty-shorts, bearing signs that read "Are you covered?" Now comes another version:"Brosurance". This one is aimed at young males, courtesy of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado. Their collective message: "Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier. Don't tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered. Thanks, Obamacare!" And so much for gravitas. But it is the young males, in the long run, who will have to pay more for the reinvented healthcare system. Providers might as well get their attention now.
House Speaker John A. Boehner already has said that the Grand Old Party will launch a series of "smart, targeted strikes" against the health care law. And here they come. Like many baffled observers, party officials are eager to see the actual enrollment numbers, the factual revelations that the White House is keeping in house. The Republican National Committee has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requesting information on the number of Americans who have enrolled in health insurance through the federal website Healthcare.gov. The numbers, reason committee Chairman Reince Priebus, will reveal the true, ineffective status of the site. "Really, it's telling that they don't want to give out any numbers. This is an administration that never misses an opportunity to brag. They've previously leaked sensitive national security information to burnish their image. So what are they hiding?" Mr. Priebus ...
"Liberalism reigns in the White House, but America remains a conservative nation at heart," write Nile Gardiner and Stephen Thompson, authors of "Margaret Thatcher on Leadership: Lessons for American Conservatives Today," just published by Regnery Books. "Margaret Thatcher succeeded because she understood the concerns of the conservative grassroots on core issues such as the economy, government spending and taxes. She won over millions more to the conservative cause not by watering down her message or shifting her position, but by presenting an attractive vision of economic freedom," the authors note. On shelves just 10 weeks before 2014 dawns, the publisher calls the book a "practical and inspirational" guide. "She made the conservative party more open and inclusive. Lady Thatcher understood that conservative principles are for everybody, not tied to special interest groups or trends," Regnery says. "Conservative ideas must win people over first, before conservatives can win their votes later."
Behold, some empathetic words for oft-beleaguered House Speaker John A. Boehner, from one who has been there and done that. "I think he has an amazingly hard job. Boehner's job is vastly harder than mine was," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Larry King, host of "Politicking with Larry King," a prime-time talk show that aired Thursday night on RT, the Russia-owned news channel. "It is harder for him to manage the House Republicans; he doesn't have a Republican leader in the Senate the way I did. Instead, he has to deal with Harry Reid, who is a hard-core Democrat, and I had Bill Clinton, who you could talk with. He's got Barack Obama, who doesn't want to talk. So I think Boehner's job is 10 times harder than mine was," Mr. Gingrich told the veteran host. "I have no idea how I would have done in that job. It ...
The agreement on the shutdown and the debt ceiling is no guarantee that lawmakers and the White House will behave. They seem addicted to spectacle and the kind of hand-wringing political theater that garners press coverage, while masking inactivity or indecision. Once, such incivility and posturing was more of a bad habit or occasional embellishment, not the norm. Consider that in 1999, a contentious U.S. House actually opted to go on a series of bipartisan retreats to remedy their discord. The press deemed these events "civility retreats," dutifully chronicling the attempts to iron out differences and seek productive protocols. "At the weekend-long civility retreats in Hershey, Pa., over 200 members of the House of Representatives developed a comprehensive, detailed portrait of what wasn't working on Capitol Hill and what needed to be done to fix it," Mark Gerzon - the mediation consultant who actually designed those retreats - tells The ...
More Americans dream of a third political party than ever before: "60 percent of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed," says Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones, who reports that these findings set a record. And for the first time, Republicans and Democrats roughly agree: 52 percent of the GOPers and 49 percent of Democrats say a third party is in order. Only a quarter of the respondents overall say the two major parties "adequately" represent the nation. Mr. Jones is not surprised, pointing out that the two parties can't agree on "the most basic of government functions," like passing an annual budget to pay for federal programs. But third party fans shouldn't get their hopes up. "The desire for a third party is not sufficient to ensure there will be one," Mr. Jones ...
A stark reminder to House Republicans and the White House as they reel toward, well, something, anything: the world watches and speculates. Witness an editorial published Sunday from Xinhua, the official news agency of China, which takes the blame game to a global scale. "As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and the Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about, it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world," the commentary states. "The U.S. government has gone to all lengths to appear before the world as the one that claims the moral high ground, yet covertly doing things that are as audacious as torturing prisoners of war, slaying civilians in drone attacks, and spying on world leaders," the news organization said, declaring ...
There may not be very much data on who's signing on with the Affordable Care Act. But money and public interest lost in the nation's great parks due to the federal shutdown? The 900-member Coalition of National Park Service Retirees is on it. The group compared current numbers and revenues with those from a year ago, and here's what they found: The parks were down by 715,000 visitors daily, and they lost $76 million in visitor spending per day. They also figured that $450,000 in revenue was lost each day that would go directly to the National Park Service, such as entrance and campground fees or boat rentals. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona was affected the most, losing 120,000 visitors in the first 10 days of the shutdown, which translates to almost $12 million in revenue. "These figures are mind-boggling and they only begin to capture the full economic ...
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who has been toying with a White House run himself, is convinced that Americans should not have to pay taxes during the federal government shutdown. "Here's my big question. Since the government shut down, now let's keep track of the number of days we shouldn't have to pay taxes then," Mr. Ventura tells Larry King - now host of "Politicking with Larry King" on RT, the Russian-based news channel - in a broadcast airing on Thursday night. "Good idea, Jesse," the ever-amendable Mr. King replies in the segment. "If they shut the government down, we should lose our tax obligation, because what are we paying for then?" Mr. Ventura declares. The former pro-wrestler also offers insight about his own presidential campaign. "If I run, I will offer the people of the United States the first opportunity to elect a president who does not belong to ...
It is the ultimate challenge for powerful men in the nation's capital who know the value of a flawlessly shaved cheek and a haircut to be reckoned with: "Don't let the shutdown hinder your handsomeness," say those who purvey the tools of the trade. "The government may be shut down in Washington, but the business of handsomeness shouldn't be compromised," notes an urgent outreach from the Grooming Lounge, an upscale retailer where manly fare from the likes of Molton Brown and Aqua de Parma is the norm. There are two shops in the area, one about six blocks from the White House. The company is now offering a 15 percent discount for federal employees languishing under the shutdown. "The purveyors of handsomeness at Grooming Lounge are doing their part by keeping the furloughed relaxed and looking their best at a price they can afford. The only exception? The deal doesn't ...
How low can Congress go? Alas, voters have a more favorable opinion of the IRS, jury duty, hipsters, potholes, cockroaches, mothers-in-law, toenail fungus, public radio fund raising drives, motor vehicle departments, hemorrhoids and even "dog poop" than they do of Congress. These are serious findings from a Public Policy Polling survey of 502 registered U.S. voters released on Tuesday, for better or worse. Lawmakers, who only achieved an 8 percent favorability rating, did best a few other public figures, though. But not many. Majorities of the voters have a higher opinion of Congress than former New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner. The lawmakers also found more favor than Russia President Vladimir Putin, reality TV tot Honey Boo Boo, raucous singer Miley Cyrus and twerking - her dance of choice. "Congress having an 8 percent approval rating tells us one thing about how unhappy voters are," says Dean Debnam, president ...
Tea party to White House: decide if we're 'inconsequential' or powerful enough to cause the shutdown
It is a cultural moment of the political variety. Is the tea party just a bunch of has-beens, or powerful enough to cause the federal shutdown? The tea party itself wants to know, now that its critics conveniently blame them for all the woes of Washington, and possibly the known universe. "The media, the ruling elite, the Senate, and President Obama are doing all they can to blame this mess on us, but all we wanted was them to think twice about forcing a law that isn't ready on the American people, say organizers at the Tea Party Patriots, the nation's largest umbrella group for the movement, representing some 3,000 local groups. "All we wanted was the American people to be treated equally under the law as the ones who forced this on us. And now all they can say is that we are anarchists, arsonists, holding the economy hostage, ...
The shutdown is getting to us: 70 percent of Americans view the ongoing shutdown of the federal government as a crisis or a major problem, even higher than the 56 percent who said the same thing the same at the height of the last shutdown in December, 1995. So reports Art Swift, an analyst at Gallup, where pollsters tracked the sentiment then, as they do now. "Leaders looking to gain ground in public opinion are not succeeding. A majority of Americans report feeling more negatively about the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership since the shutdown began, as well as about President Barack Obama," Mr. Swift says. "The negative reactions toward Obama are higher than Gallup recorded toward President Bill Clinton during the 1995 shutdown, while they are about the same toward the Republican leaders in Congress." Over informed, emotionally involved Americans are certainly exposed to more news now than they ...
A statement issued by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, on Friday afternoon: "Recently published news articles discuss the Intelligence Community's interest in tools used to facilitate anonymous online communication. The articles accurately point out that the Intelligence Community seeks to understand how these tools work and the kind of information being concealed. However, the articles fail to make clear that the Intelligence Community's interest in online anonymity services and other online communication and networking tools is based on the undeniable fact that these are the tools our adversaries use to communicate and coordinate attacks against the United States and our allies. The articles fail to mention that the Intelligence Community is only interested in communication related to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and that we operate within a strict legal framework that prohibits accessing information related to the innocent online activities of US citizens. Within our lawful ...
One pollster says that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to embrace conspiracy theories. But as some GOPers will tell you, somebody's got to ponder the existence of secret societies or "men in black" drawing a red line against alien invasions. Well, why not? Here are a few numbers from a Public Policy Poll released Tuesday that reflect it all. 36 percent of U.S. voters think that "the Obama administration is secretly trying to take everyone's guns away"; 62 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats agree. 32 percent of voters overall think major sporting events like the Super Bowl are "rigged by referees and league offices" for better ratings and more money; 34 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats agree. 26 percent overall think "Muslims are covertly implementing Shariah law in American court systems"; 42 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats agree. 25 percent ...
The Robbins Report
- TRR: Chinese Smog is Saving the World
- TRR: A Two-State Solution for America
- TRR: Peaceniks Discover Big Boy Rules
- Obamacare is the Real Pornography
- Obama's job approval reaches all-time low in Iowa, could affect Senate race: poll
- Sen. Patty Murray: Budget compromise needed to restore trust in Congress
- Sen. Tim Kaine: Pass this budget now, then fix military cuts
- NRA endorses Sen. John Cornyn for 2014, a blow to his outspoken GOP challenger
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- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
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