I don't remember the last time I heard the term "ANWR" - the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge - before this weekend. I think I recall some controversy over it during the Bush Administration, around the same time Jennifer Lopez divorced her second husband, and then there was the time Sarah Palin declared that the caribou would be just as happy toddling around oil rigs as they are currently. But before Barack Obama declared that America's highest priority this week is to preseve the pristine Alaskan wildnerness from the mere prospect of economic stimulation, the issue had lain dormant for approximately my entire adult life.
The Spectacle Blog
If you were the lucky amateur pilot who landed a "Quadcopter" drone on the White House lawn late last night, the Secret Service has your unmanned robot aircraft and would probably like a word with you.
Apparently, a small, commercially-available drone flew over the White House fence on onto the hallowed grounds around 3:08 am, and like most commercially-available drones operated by people whose entire history of flight experience involves an XBox or a copy of SkyMall (RIP), immediately crashed. White House security responded somewhat immediately, cleared the object, and are now waiting for a hapless tourist or area resident who wanted an arial view of the landmark to please come collect both their toy and their criminal charges.
The Secret Service has identified the device that was found overnight on the White House grounds as a "quad copter."
Canadian conservative journalist and co-founder of Alberta's Wildrose Party Link Byfield died of cancer on Saturday. He was 63.
Byfield's father, Ted, founded a magazine in the early 1970's called Alberta Report which Link would take over in the early '80s.
Alberta Report was socially conservative, but also emphasized a concept known as Western alienation. Simply put, the four Canadian western provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba provided a majority of Canada's natural resources, but their influence in Ottawa was negligble. The most notable example of this was Pierre Trudeau's National Energy Program which, among other things, established price controls on oil. Opposition to the National Energy Program in Alberta was crucial in bringing Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives to power in 1984.
In an appearance with Shepherd Smith on Friday, his FNC colleague Chris Wallace blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his impending speech to Congress in early March:
To give you an idea of how malicious this is, I’ll tell you that US Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Israeli Ambassador to the United States for two hours on Wednesday and Ron Dermer did not announce the fact that Netanyahu was coming to Washington, DC. This is not in order to meet with the US President. It is to speak to the US Congress and to criticize the president’s policies.
For good measure, Wallace also accused Netanyahu of being "wicked" and "sneaking up behind the president's back".
So does Wallace believe Obama wasn't being malicious when he told Netanyahu to show himself out the door out of the White House a few years back? Does Wallace believe a senior White House official describing Netanyahu as "chicken sh#t" isn't wicked?
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a sensation at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday drawing an enthusiastic standing ovation.
His message of "going big and going bold" resonated with the crowd.
Here is a guy who has governed as a conservative in a Blue State and despite the anger and death threats he's received, the man has got the job done.
Following the specch, The Dropkick Murphys demanded that he stop playing their music and made a point of saying they hated him. It won't be the last time left-wingers speak with such vitriol against Walker.
While I think the GOP should just nominate Walker right here right now, I realize that the presidential race is a marathon and not a sprint. But he's shot out of the gate and now has Republicans wanting him to run in 2016. The same cannot be said for Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney.
On Tuesday, President Obama said in his SOTU address, "In Iraq and Syria, American leadership -- including our military power -- is stopping ISIL’s advance."
Well, now ISIS has beheaded Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa. A picture of Yukawa's body was held by fellow Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.
ISIS claims that it will release Goto if Jordan releases Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, a female terrorist who was arrested and sentenced to death for her participation in the November 2005 suicide bombing in Amman.
So much for stopping ISIS' advance.
If you thought the Obama Administration hated Benjamin Netanyahu, you ain't seen nothing yet.
In the wake of the Israeli Prime Minister accepting House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress in March, a senior White House official has made it clear where Bibi stands with the Obama Administration:
There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.
So accepting an invitation from the Speaker of the House to speak before Congress constitutes a "thing you simply don't do"?
Accepting an invitation from the Speaker of the House to speak before Congress is no way to behave?
Accepting an invitation from the Speaker of the House to speak before Congress is spitting in the face of the White House?
Accepting an invitation from the Speaker of the House to speak before Congress will result in a price being paid?
Here is an excerpt from John Kerry's speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:
Against this enemy, we are increasingly organizing and fighting back, but in doing so we have to also keep our heads. Obviously, the biggest error that we could make would be to blame Muslims collectively for crimes not committed by Muslims alone – crimes that the overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose, crimes that their faith utterly rejects, and that Muslim leaders themselves have the greatest ability to address.
Religions don’t require adherence to raze villages and blow up people. It’s individuals with a distorted and an even ignorant interpretation of religion who do that, abetted by networks of individuals who have a different agenda and who incite and finance those actions. And we will certainly not defeat our foes by vilifying potential partners or by suppressing the very freedoms that terrorists try to destroy. Unless we direct our energies in the right direction, we may very well fuel the very fires that we want to put out.
Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks has passed away. The cause of death is unknown. He was 83.
After a stint in the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs, Banks became the first African-American player to sign with the Cubs and spent his entire 19 year big league career with the Cubs and would become known as "Mr. Cub".
King Abdullah, who ruled Saudi Arabia for the past decade, has died following being hospitalized for a lung infection on New Year's Eve. He was 90.
Abdullah will be succeeded by his half-brother, Salman. However, Salman is no spring chicken. At 79, he has also had his share of health problems.
Abdullah's death comes only hours after neighboring Yemen's government has fallen following fighting against the Iranian backed Houthi rebels. This is music to the ears of the mullahs in Tehran.
Look I get that Saudi Arabia is no paradise. King Abdullah did not brook dissent. Indeed, earlier this month a blogger named Raif Badawi received 50 lashes on top of 10 year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine for criticizing the country's clerics and morality police. In fact, Badawi is due to receive 950 more lashes over 19 more sessions. International pressure has forced the Saudis to twice postpone the next lashing session, but Badawi has to sit in a jail essentially for doing something I do every day.