October 29, 2014 |
INADVERTENTLY just in time for Halloween, multimedia funnyman Harry Shearer is ringing America's doorbell with what he calls the "strangest, creepiest, funniest, spookiest" character he's ever played. Charles Montgomery Burns, the millionaire-boss-from-hell who Shearer has voiced on Fox's "The Simpsons" for the last 24 years? Hardly. Instead, the 70-year-old Shearer's six-part "Nixon's the One" series - which debuted for a U.S. audience this week on YouTube - tackles what the comedian and actor agreed is "the Great Dark Whale" of his baby-boomer generation: 37th president Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace 40 years ago. On Monday, Shearer hits Philadelphia's World Cafe Live for a special, interactive show that mixes clips of the series - which aired earlier this year in the United Kingdom - with tales of his half-century fascination with Nixon and a question-and-answer session.
October 17, 2014 |
Leon Panetta has taken a lot of heat for publicly dumping on Barack Obama's foreign policy while the president is still in the White House. Where's his loyalty? the critics ask, as Panetta makes the publicity rounds for his new memoir, Worthy Fights , which says tough things about Obama's past policies on Syria and Iraq. Shouldn't Panetta, who served as CIA director and defense secretary during Obama's first term, have zipped his lip until his former boss left office? Absolutely not. Panetta - a child of Italian immigrants who believes deeply in America's promise - is trying to nudge Obama to adopt a more engaged style of governing; he rightly believes this is the only way Obama can break through the paralysis in Washington and exert more forceful foreign policy leadership in the future.
October 8, 2014 |
WHATEVER happened to good old American know-how? The nation that invented modern management seems to be suffering a crisis of competence. The Secret Service can't protect the White House. Public-health authorities can't get their arms around a one-man Ebola outbreak. The army we trained in Iraq collapsed as soon as it was attacked by Islamic extremists, and our own veterans can't get the care they need at Veterans Affairs hospitals. And, lest we forget, it was only a year ago that the White House rolled out its national health insurance program, only to see its website grind to a halt.
September 23, 2014 |
A New Jersey man arrested after trying to get into the White House will have his first court appearance on Monday, officials said. Kevin Carr, 19, of Shamong Township in Burlington County, was arrested Saturday afternoon, said Brian Leary, spokesman for the Secret Service. Carr first approached the northwest pedestrian entrance of the White House on foot and was turned away. He then drove his car to a restricted entrance at 15th and E Streets, where he was arrested after refusing to leave, authorities said.
July 30, 2014 |
LINDA RONSTADT didn't make it to New York in April when she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but Parkinson's disease didn't stop her from going to the White House. Yesterday, President Obama hung a National Medal of Arts around her neck and revealed, "I had a little crush on her back in the day. " A military aide brought Ronstadt, 68, into the East Room by wheelchair, but she walked to the stage to receive her award as a citation was read honoring her "one-of-a-kind voice" that paved the way for generations of female artists.
July 19, 2014 |
WILMINGTON - President Obama on Thursday offered American assistance in trying to determine what happened to a Malaysian airliner that broke apart under mysterious circumstances over what is essentially a combat zone in eastern Ukraine. Saying the incident appeared to be a "terrible tragedy," the president said the government's "first priority" is determining if any Americans were aboard. In brief remarks about the crash during an appearance in Wilmington, Obama offered his condolences to the families of the 295 passengers and crew on the plane, none of whom is believed to have survived.
July 9, 2014 |
Philadelphia teacher LeShawna Coleman had some interesting lunch company Wednesday: President Obama. Coleman, a 13-year Philadelphia School District veteran, teacher coach, and English as a Second Language teacher, had expected to travel to Washington for a U.S. Department of Education event about teacher equity. (The Education Department introduced a program Monday to get more strong teachers in the nation's poorest schools.) But last week, she learned she was one of four teachers nationwide chosen to lunch with the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
June 20, 2014 |
For more than a year, Mideast analysts have warned about an al-Qaeda offshoot that was creating a virtual state in eastern Syria and western Iraq, where it trained European and American recruits. The Obama team failed to focus on this virulent threat to U.S. interests, either in Syria or Iraq. Now those jihadis - known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - have jolted the region by pouring out of Syria, seizing Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, and heading toward Baghdad "This is al-Qaeda 6.0," says Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Baghdad and Kabul, "and they will be stronger than they ever were in Afghanistan.
June 19, 2014 |
Students on the EVX Team thought they had until the end of June to finish building their fuel-efficient Factory Five 818 electric blue race car. But then they found out they would have to get the project - one they have been working on their entire year at the Workshop School in West Philadelphia - finished about two weeks early. The high schoolers stayed late weekdays and even came in on Saturdays to get the job done. "It's kind of like a sports team, too," said Simon Hauger, creator and leader of the EVX Team.
May 16, 2014 |
On Tuesday, the utter failure of White House efforts on Syria became embarrassingly public. Lakdhar Brahimi, the U.N. special envoy who had brokered Syrian peace talks in Geneva, quit in frustration. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon singled out Syrian government stonewalling as a key cause of failure. So much for administration hopes of finding a political solution. Also on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius made an undiplomatic public critique of President Obama's failure to use force as he had pledged if Assad used chemical weapons.