From the collapse of the “Plan B” proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff to the Farm Bill failure to Friday’s vote, the story is always the same: Boehner proposes legislation to prevent Republicans from taking the lion’s share of blame in whatever the latest moment of brinkmanship is between Congress and the White House. Conservatives refuse to sign on. Republicans are eventually forced to accept something that is less advantageous for their side than the Boehner proposal. Lather, rinse, repeat.
“I seriously doubt that Nemtsov’s death will invigorate the anti-Putin protest movement. It is too weak to present a threat. Convincing others of the regime’s criminality is a weapon that’s too heavy for Russian liberals to heft these days. Still, I cannot help but wonder now what my country would have been like had [Boris] Yeltsin made a different choice back in 1999.”
In a piece in Thursday’s Financial Times, Nemtsov was quoted thus: “Three years ago, we were an opposition. Now we are no more than dissidents. The task is to organise a real opposition again.”
* CULTURE * If you lost contact with your childhood best friend, how would you go about finding him? And would you be prepared for what you discovered? Tampa Bay Times writer Andrew Meacham documents his search in Finding Fletcher. (h/t @mudlarklives).
Finally, we weren’t aware that VP Joe Biden was a fan of Dermot Morgan.
Father Ted is one of the reasons I’m proud to be a Catholic. He inspired so many to stand up for civil rights. –vp pic.twitter.com/nHLodUaSwk
To be sure, this week’s standoff stems from Republican opposition to President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, but the fact that so many Republicans do not view the department as sacrosanct is making Secretary Johnson’s life dramatically harder. Skepticism about the department also highlights the continued debate over Bush’s legacy as his younger brother Jeb considers a presidential run. The creation of DHS was one of Bush’s signature accomplishments, but it has come under fire from libertarian-leaning Republicans in the House and Senate.
If the claims are true, Mr Emwazi would boast many of the attributes thought to characterise Westerners—including perhaps 600 Britons—who have gone to fight with IS. Few seem to be desperately poor nor do they necessarily demonstrate a failure to integrate into the societies around them.
Up to the end, Kahn served as chairman of Kahn Brothers Group Inc., which was founded in 1978 and has about $1 billion under management. Kahn reportedly still went to his midtown Manhattan office three times a week, taking a short taxi ride from his Upper East Side apartment.
When questioned about his recent Beck-baiting conduct at the Grammys, West was unrepentant, and constructed an elaborate clock-based metaphor as his defence: “A broke clock is right twice a day, and the Grammys are so twice a day. What do you do those other times? If you had an assistant that could only give you the right time twice a day, at a certain point you’d want to fire that assistant. The Grammys are not the pinnacle, they’re an assistant. Us, as musicians, we’re the pinnacle. They’re an assistant, and they need to know what time it is.”
An important vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected on Thursday afternoon, which would advance the confirmation of the proposed new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch Her nomination is apparently still in the balance, despite a big endorsement from police chiefs.Politico writes:
“Conservatives are urging the Senate to reject her. Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) penned an op-ed in POLITICO demanding that his party do everything possible to reject Lynch’s bid for attorney general. And more than 50 House lawmakers called on senators who sit on the Judiciary Committee to oppose her nomination, alleging in a letter this week that Lynch has “demonstrated an unwillingness to depart from the politicization of justice we have seen from Eric Holder.”
The relationship between the White House and Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is growing increasingly tense ahead of next week’s address to Congress. National Security adviser Susan Rice warned that Netanyahu’s visit was “destructive to the fabric of the relationship”. She told PBS: “We want the relationship between the United States and Israel to be unquestionably strong, immutable… regardless of which party may be in charge in either country.”
There was no intro course on how to be a cable-news expert. The Town Car would show up to take me to the studio, I’d sign in with reception, a guest-greeter would take me to makeup, I’d hang out in the greenroom, the sound guy would rig me with a mike and an earpiece, a producer would lead me onto the set, I’d plug in and sit in the seat, a producer would tell me what camera to look at during the introduction, we’d come back from break, the anchor would read the introduction to the story and then ask me a question or maybe two, I’d answer, then we’d go to break, I would unplug, wipe off my makeup, and take the car 43 blocks back uptown. Then a couple of hours later, I’d do it again. I was spending 18 hours a day doing six minutes of talking.
..the story ended the way most news stories do: We just stopped talking about it.
Seriously – have a read of this fascinating piece. It’s well worth your time.
In short, expect the rifts and divisions that already blight football to be widened like never before, perhaps beyond repair, as the fall-out from Fifa’s scandal-ridden and bungled bidding process continues.
Finally, two coaches of whom much is expected in their coming seasons with new teams held their first team meetings, in Arizona and Ann Arbor.
ESPN reports that “Pitcher Jason Hammel heard the speech for the first time in six years, as he played for [Joe] Maddon in Tampa Bay from 2006 to 2008. He says it hasn’t changed.”
Meanwhile, according to Jim Harbaugh: “It’s like your birthday or New Year’s or Thanksgiving,” he added. “It’s like Christmas. It’s like a family reunion. It’s all of those things, all rolled in one. It’s happening. It’s like the first day of school — you lay your clothes out the night before, pack your lunchbox tight and you head to school.”
Opinion polls in Israel show the public divided on the address to Congress with widespread suspicion that Netanyahu is using it for electoral advantage. The Labour party leader, Isaac Herzog – campaigning in coalition with other opposition parties under the Zionist Union banner – has called Netanyahu’s speech a “strategic mistake”, and accused the prime minister of using it for his own “political interest”.
“..if O’Reilly is not likely to suffer Brian Williams’ fate, it has less to do with the difference in their stories and more to do with the fact that O’Reilly is not Brian Williams: he’s an entirely different kind of journalist. His audience has a different relationship with him, based not on veracity but loyalty, not information but identification.”
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will give the first leg of her semi-annual testimony to the Senate Banking Committee starting at 10am on Tuesday. Marketwatchsays Yellen’s testimony “may surprise investors by keeping alive the idea of a June rate hike, which would be seen as a tilt toward the hawkish side.”
While rising property values boost homeowner wealth and spending power, too-rapid increases are outstripping wage gains, representing a hurdle for young or first-time buyers. Nonetheless, strengthening employment, historically low mortgage rates, more expensive rents and easier financing will probably sustain demand and give sales a boost this year over last.
So, as full squads report to spring training in Florida and Arizona this week, teams aren’t worried so much about hitters being ready for Opening Day. They’re worried about keeping them fresh for the stretch run, and they’re exploring myriad new ways to boost their endurance.
One of the things that has become blurred in the relatively short time – but certainly an era in other ways – since that remarkable victory was that the US television broadcast – from a US Olympics – was on tape delay. The game was shown live on Canadian TV, and in the Soviet Union, but was held for prime time by ABC, after the network had tried unsuccessfully to shift the time of the face-off. As Sports Illustrated‘s Joe Posnanski wrote at the 30th anniversary:
Funny, a lot of people still think they saw the game live. But I know that one of my strongest memories — confirmed by the tape — was of [Jim] McKay saying that it was tape delay and that if even one person did not know the outcome, well, he wasn’t going to be the one to break the news. I have seen polls through the years that suggested most of the people who watched the game on television did not know the outcome. I know that my father and I did not. That shows you how long ago 1980 was in terms of technology. There’s no way you could keep that a secret now.
* BUSINESS * Honda said its president Takanobu Ito would step down in June. Bloomberg reported that “The carmaker’s worst quality issues in decades have derailed plans to introduce new models, led Ito to take a pay cut and triggered the projection of Honda’s first profit drop in three years.”
Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other content digitally.
So we’re in a weird place: this looks like a defeat for Greece, but since nothing substantive was resolved, it’s only a defeat if the Greeks accept it as one; which means that nothing at all is clearly resolved. And that’s arguably a good outcome — time for Greece to get its act together.
“Given how quick we are to cry “clickbait!” these days, the legacies must assure their audience that they are not sacrificing standards when they try to play the digital game and—god forbid—get some social-media traffic.”
“The timeframe — automakers typically spend five to seven years developing a car — underscores the project’s aggressive goals and could set the stage for a battle for customers with Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co., both of which are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000.”
“Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.”
“They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. We must never accept the premise that they put forth because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders. They are terrorists.”
He also said that military action alone would not be enough to combat extremism. In an op-ed previewing his speech in the Los Angeles Times, the President had written:
Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam. We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet.
Such clear engagement is uncommon in Europe, where moderate Muslim leaders are often uncomfortable dealing with the terrorist fringe acting in the name of their religion. They complain that they are unfairly blamed for the outrages committed by people over whom they have no control.
Bush leads in the early GOP 2016 polls because his name is Bush, but that name could bring about his downfall, as well, because his brother’s tenure is remembered for misery in Iraq and economic collapse. Try though he did to differentiate himself from George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, John Ellis Bush’s delivery gave him away.
Nearly half of the major donors who are backing Ready for Hillary, a group promoting her 2016 presidential bid, as well as nearly half of the bundlers from her 2008 campaign, have given at least $10,000 to the foundation, either on their own or through foundations or companies they run.
..the impasse between the two sides is hefty. MLS has practically paved the crossroads it stands at all on its own by celebrating its success and championing its future. It attributes much of that success to cost-saving measures from its infancy. Players, who see all the recent growth and all the new money, think it’s time for a change to some of those measures.
A free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain. It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth.
“..all of us have been addicted in our own ways to different things. If it’s not alcohol, it may be status. If it’s not drugs, it may be power. If it’s not crack, it may be money. But we are also, all of us, beloved children of God, loved by God in spite of our failings — maybe loved even more for them, much as a parent loves a child more intensely when he or she is in trouble.”