Though Christmas is a beloved holiday for many reasons, a new survey finds that 56 percent of Americans view Christmas as primarily a religious holiday, while 21 percent view it as a cultural holiday — and 22 percent say it’s a little of both.
Ben Carson is midway through a significant trip to Israel to see the Holy Land for himself - including the spiritual, political and security-minded factors that are realities for the nation. His journey includes a visit to Nazareth, Galilee and Bethlehem - along with tours of the Gaza strip, terrorist tunnels, a military base and Hadassah Medical Center
"It's the most wonderful time of the year - for spotting a Geminid meteor," noted NASA, referring to the 2014 Geminid meteor shower which peaked on Saturday evening, through early Sunday. They will still be visible for up to two weeks - so don't stop looking up. And they will be traveling at 22 miles a second, incidentally.
At long last, a Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to the founding members of the Civil Air Patrol, which began operation under the Office of Civilian Defense on Dec. 1, 1941. Using civilian aircraft and their own money, the unpaid volunteers provided essential support to the U.S. Army and Navy, including armed convoy and antisubmarine patrols off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Politicians who think that Americans overlook the constant, stubborn impasse on Capitol Hill are kidding themselves. The public takes it to heart: 71 percent report that the problem of political gridlock is "very important to them personally," this according to a new Associated Press poll released Wednesday. Sadly enough, another 86 percent say there's nothing that can be done about it. And the most cited reaction to the current political climate is "disappointment," the survey found, followed by "frustration."
It is a new educational phenomenon: Ivy League law students at three major universities - Columbia, Harvard and Georgetown University - are now exempt from taking final exams if they feel "traumatized" by the grand jury decisions made in Ferguson and New York City. The students are also being offered counseling if they need it. A few professors with impressive credentials now have a few questions.
The same group that has already rounded up 23,000 volunteers for Ben Carson and raised $10.5 million for his potential White House campaign are upping their ante. The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, an independent political action committee formed to draft the retired neurosurgeon and author has opened a 1,700-square-foot "Draft Ben Carson for President Victory Center" in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Complaints about a federal lands package that was recently tucked away in the massive National Defense Authorization Act continue to accumulate from conservation and recreation groups, policy experts and lawmakers. Even the horse and burro people are perturbed.
Will it be sedate and serious, an uncomfortable spell on the hot seat or news we can use? Many wonder what will be on the agenda when Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber appears before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to explain his comments about the "stupidity" of American voters, among many things.
The Obama administration’s "Ebola czar" who appeared with much fanfare in October is already preparing for his exit by March 1, heading back to the private sector.
Other activists have been watching the unfolding events in Ferguson and elsewhere. That includes the same organization behind the massive, gaudy, drum-thumping People’s Climate March that drew 400,000 protestors to the streets of New York in September, and in 150 cities overseas. The group did not disband after their big event, which included celebrities and Democratic lawmakers among its marchers. They want to repeat their performance in the near future, and perhaps offer their street theater and resources to Ferguson-inspired protestors.
There have been rumors of change and differences of philosophy for a month. Multiple news sources now report that Franklin Foer has resigned as editor of The New Republic on Thursday afternoon, to be replaced by Gabriel Snyder, a digital guru at Bloomberg Media who formerly worked for The Atlantic Wire and Gawker. Some reports frame the event as an "editorial shakeup" in the immediate aftermath.
With the media's help, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" has become the most cited phrase in the world according to the Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based research group that bases its judgment strictly on public usage, relying on specialized computer software to gauge how frequently the phrase appeared in 275,000 electronic and print news sources, plus social media worldwide.
News, turmoil and political distractions are plenty these days. That has not dissuaded Rep. Mike McCaul, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, from calling a hearing Tuesday to focus on still unanswered questions surrounding President Obama's call for amnesty, and the hair-raising prospect of porous U.S. borders. There to testify about federal response and incoming policy changes: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Is it Cyber Monday or hyper Monday? The majority of American shoppers are already dreaming of having their holiday gifts delivered by drones. But they do not tire of the hunt — and the deal.
Well, someone has to figure out what the heck Americans like to do with turkey in a post-Thanksgiving world. That job goes to the all-knowing National Turkey Federation, which charts both bird and industry with precision. Naturally, a reprise of the actual turkey dinner itself is the most popular, what with the siren call of hot turkey sandwiches bolstered with stuffing and gravy. That is, of course, unless Junior and Uncle Ralph didn't get to the turkey first.
Some are not happy with Sen. Rand Paul’s recent resolution for a declaration of war against the Islamic State.
Many Americans recall the verse "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" inscribed on the base of the Statue of Library, and written by poet Emma Lazarus in "A New Colossus," her poem of 1883. Eight-out-of-10 Americans say these sentiments applied in the past, notes a YouGov poll released Monday. Do we still believe these words today? Well, not particularly.
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals tried their best, but the White House turkey pardoning will go on as scheduled in Wednesday in the Rose Garden before a bank of cameras, journalists, amused officials and cautious turkey handlers. The activist group previously reached out to First Daughters Malia and Sasha, pleading with them to become vegans and intercede on behalf of the pair of turkeys, who hail from Ohio. The group considers the ceremony offensive, and a promotion for poultry breeders.
As policy director for the Democratic Party, Sen. Charles Schumer promised to diagnose what went wrong for Democrats in the midterm elections. On Tuesday morning, he explained all at the National Press Club. The New York lawmaker said voters blamed the Democratic Party for a string of monumental government failures. But that's no excuse to give up on government, he cautioned - and an all-embracing government is the key to a 2016 White House win.