- SWAT team at Phoenix hospital as armed man clears emergency room
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle dragged from political meeting, booted from party
- Big storm dumps snow on East Coast, travel dicey
- Thai prime minister dissolves Parliament, calls elections
- Hagel to meet with Pakistan’s prime minister
- Kiev: Riot police deployed near protest sites
- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- U.N.: Afghanistan slow to enforce law protecting women
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.
The Global Language Monitor has declared that "404" is their official "Word of the Year." The Austin-based research group determined the winner based on frequency of actual usage, using computer-aided tracking of some 275,000 print, electronic and social media sources. Yes well. The numbers-only designation appeared a lot recently at the Obamacare website, but we already know all that. "404 is the near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet, augmenting its original use as 'page not found' " explains chief analyst Paul JJ Payack. "The recent ObamaCare launch debacle in the US is only a representative example of a much wider system fail." And rounding out the top-five words of the year after 404, in second place, it's "fail", a single word often used as a complete sentence (Fail!) to signify failure of an effort, project, or endeavor", Mr. Payack says. "Hashtag" is third, designating the number or ...
Do allies and enemies alike "spy" on U.S. leaders? Voters themselves appear to agree that clandestine activities are a reality of life these days for those at the highest echelons of power, according to a wide ranging new survey. And it's complicated: some say the anger of those leaders whose cell phones were monitored by the National Security Agency was simply "posturing for the media." A few of the many numbers: 50 percent of registered U.S. voters say the United Kingdom "probably or definitely" spies on American leadership. 59 percent say the same of Germany and 58 percent for France; 79 percent say the same about Iran; 80 percent say the same for China as well as Russia. 30 percent of the respondents felt that world leaders were "truly angry" over revelations that the National Security Agency had targeted their private cellphone conversations; 28 percent of Republicans and 31 percent ...
The man who could be considered a founding father of tenable public healthcare programs is still shaking his head. "In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country," Mitt Romney said just as President Obama arrived in Boston this week to give a speech about the Affordable Care Act - on the very historic spot where Mr. Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, had once introduced his version of state run healthcare. Mr. Romney is in agreement with observers like Newt Gingrich, who long warned that the supersized healthcare reform legislation should be broken down into a half dozen manageable components. But the deed is done, and proposed legislation is now law. "Had President Obama actually learned the lessons of Massachusetts health ...
The public's common sense appears to trump White House political posturing: a national poll of 661 registered voters find that seven-out-of-10 say that a one-year delay for Obamacare is a good idea. The numbers: 55 percent of the voters "strongly favor" a delay in enforcing the health care law's individual mandate, while 15 percent "somewhat favor" it. Meanwhile, 14 percent "strongly oppose" the delay while 9 percent "somewhat oppose" it. The survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategy for Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies from Oct. 27-29. "President Obama's dramatically incompetent rollout of this law has created a situation where we need to hit the pause button and delay Obamacare for a year," says Crossroads GPS communications director Jonathan Collegio. "Congress should immediately pass, and the president should sign, a one year delay of this law. To do otherwise would put pride in a failed policy above common sense." And the ...
Sen. Ted Cruz attracts much criticism. But he also may attract imitators, even on the Left. "It is time to admit that Ted Cruz is not as craven as he seems. A fraud, a wacko bird, a fool, an amateur, Jim DeMint without the charm - yes, all the names his fellow Republicans are calling the senator from Texas bear the sting of truth. But you have to give the man this: he has the courage of his convictions and the nerve to use a diversity of tactics to advance them," points out Richard Kim, executive editor of The Nation in an analysis of the Texas Republican. The publication, founded in 1865, has been described as the 'flagship of the Left', incidentally. Mr. Kim expects more efforts by the GOP to further discredit Obamacare, he says. But it appears that the left leaning factions may be searching fro a standard ...
The findings are straightforward enough. Gallup asked 309 gun owners an open-ended question: Why do you own a gun? Here is what they said - the desire for personal safety and protection was in first place, cited by 60 percent. In second place, hunting (36 percent), followed by recreation (13 percent), target shooting (8 percent), concern for Second Amendment rights (5 percent), personally "like guns" (5 percent), the firearm was an antique or heirloom (5 percent), they were "raised with guns" (4 percent), ownership was related to employment (3 percent), "no reason in particular" (3 percent), animal control (1 percent) and collect guns (1 percent). "Personal protection is the top reason Americans own a gun, as was true in 2000 and 2005. This, rather than views on the Second Amendment, may explain why moving toward greater gun control, as Obama and many Democrats have sought to do, is so difficult," ...
Voter fatigue with Congress has reached a critical stage. How critical? Among many other things, a new Fox News survey finds that 62 percent of American voters would "fire every lawmaker on Capitol Hill right now" if they could. Read on: 77 percent of U.S. voters say term limits should be established in the U.S. Congress; 83 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats. 72 percent overall are ready to vote their lawmakers out of office for "a fresh start in Washington"; 75 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats agree. 64 percent overall would consider voting for a third party candidate in the next election; 69 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Democrats agree. 62 percent overall would "fire every lawmaker on Capitol Hill right now"; 69 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats agree. 55 percent overall say the "two party system is broken"; ...
The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination is a month off. Still, 290 items of Kennedy memorabilia go up on the auction block at noon Thursday. They include three pickets from a fence that stood on the infamous "grassy knoll" site in Dallas, plus the very window that Lee Harvey Oswald took aim from when he shot the president. The glass-encased artifact is deemed "the controversial and extremely historically important Texas School Book Depository sixth-floor corner window; by RR Auction, which has organized the sale. Also up for bid: Oswald's wedding ring and his official Dallas Police Department mugshot, nightclub owner Jack Ruby's jaunty hat he wore when he shot Oswald, plus many personal items of the slain president. They include an unsmoked La Azora cigar still in a cellophane wrapper, his personal rosary, a lock of hair once collected by a barber and even a limousine from the ...
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 ...
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
- Cochran seeks 7th term, sets up another tea party primary battle
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Rep. Jeff Duncan knocks Sen. Harry Reid for handing staff Obamacare exemptions
- Rubio throws financial muscle behind Cotton in Arkansas Senate race
- 70 percent of Americans say U.S. has lost world respect; 80 percent of GOP, 56 percent of Democrats agree
Water Cooler Archives
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- December 2000
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- EDITORIAL: Health care hardball
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- FENNO: Mike Shanahan's empty words no salve to free-falling Redskins
- POWELL: The Fed's scandalous monetary policy
- As the unemployed wait, lawmakers debate about extended benefits
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment