February 7, 2014 |
A day before a key Senate vote on President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile to head a key Justice Department post, civil rights leaders moved to defuse opposition based on his link to appeals filed on behalf of Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Adegbile is "one of the preeminent civil rights attorneys of his generation," Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, told reporters Wednesday in a news conference. Henderson said opponents of Adegbile's nomination as chief of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division were using the always-volatile case of Abu-Jamal to "shout down" and "hijack" the nomination.
January 17, 2014 |
The nominees Best Picture: "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Philomena," "12 Years a Slave," "The Wolf of Wall Street. " Actor: Christian Bale, "American Hustle"; Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"; Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club. " Actress: Amy Adams, "American Hustle"; Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"; Judi Dench, "Philomena"; Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County.
January 10, 2014 |
Longtime Sesame Street viewers may remember him as Debo, the little boy who chatted with Grover about the letter S in the 1970s. But to the National Fraternal Order of Police, Debo Adegbile is a civil rights lawyer who "turned the justice system on its head" by providing legal assistance for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The police group is fighting Adegbile's nomination by President Obama to head voter-rights enforcement at the Department of Justice. On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Bucks County Republican, sent a letter to Obama calling Adegbile's nomination "a direct affront to the thousands of law enforcement officials who serve in harm's way to protect our families.
October 18, 2013 |
The 16 nominees to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year have been announced, and one of them is absolutely, undoubtedly going to make it in the first year of eligibility. The no-brainer is Nirvana, the Kurt Cobain-led grunge trio that released its first single, "Love Buzz," 25 years ago, in 1988. That was three years before it turned the world on its ear with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album, Nevermind . But who among the other contenders are likely to be among the half-dozen who make the final cut?
July 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice to be the No. 2 official at the Department of Homeland Security used his appearance before a Senate panel Thursday to adamantly deny allegations that he helped a politically connected company obtain a foreign investor visa. But the lawmakers who may need the most convincing - the eight Republican members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee - weren't in the room for the nearly two-hour confirmation hearing. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the panel's ranking Republican, said in a statement that he wouldn't participate in the hearing until allegations against Alejandro Mayorkas were resolved.
July 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice to be the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department is under investigation for his role in helping a company run by a brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Associated Press has learned. Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is being investigated in connection with efforts to secure an international investor visa for a Chinese executive, according to congressional officials briefed on the investigation.
July 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate plugged two more vacancies in President Obama's second-term leadership team on Thursday, confirming Thomas Perez as labor secretary and Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. After months of Democratic complaints that Republicans were stalling Obama's efforts to staff his administration and the federal courts, the spurt of movement followed a bipartisan deal reached Tuesday. Republicans agreed to allow votes on seven nominations, and Democrats in return shelved efforts to change Senate rules to weaken the minority GOP's powers.
July 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Samantha Power, President Obama's choice as U.N. ambassador, acknowledged Wednesday that the United Nations was unlikely to take decisive action soon to halt Syria's civil war, and she pledged to work to eliminate what she termed the organization's anti-Israel "bias. " She also said that, if confirmed by the Senate, she would try to make the United Nations more efficient and stand up for freedom. Her confirmation appeared likely. Several Republicans said Power would be a force in New York, even as they pressed the former journalist, human rights campaigner, and author to clarify several decade-old comments that the lawmakers suggested were critical of Israel or the United States.
July 12, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Penn State's former president Graham Spanier initiated a libel and defamation case yesterday against Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who a year ago produced a report for the school that was highly critical of Spanier's role in the child sex-abuse scandal involving longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Paperwork filed in Centre County disclosed little about the nature of his claims, but checked off a box on a court system form that described the case as "slander/libel/defamation.
July 11, 2013
The Senate can show a modicum of civility this summer by confirming qualified nominees to a trio of important federal agencies. Senators should stop sitting on President Obama's March nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy joined the EPA in 2009 after many years as a state regulator. Also in limbo is the leadership of the Department of Labor. In March, Obama nominated Thomas Perez, whose background as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division makes him well qualified to head the department.