A man who police say lost control of his car along a Detroit area highway and caused a tanker carrying 13,000 gallons of fuel to crash and explode has offered no apology. Twenty-seven-year-old Saied Haidarian-Shahri of Clawson was one of three drivers who escaped Wednesday night’s fiery explosion. A published report indicates Haidarian-Shahri was trying to flee.
That Chicago’s public schools are a massive failure is not the fault of Arne Duncan, their superintendent for seven years and now President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education. But, according to a new report, Duncan did not improve Chicago’s schools nearly as much as he and Obama have led the public to believe. When he named Duncan for the position, Obama boasted of the improvement he had brought about in Chicago’s scores on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), “from 38 percent of students meeting the standards to 67 percent.” But the new report, issued by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, offers convincing evidence that these gains are almost entirely the result of technical adjustments in 2006 to that particular test.
Dionta RaShad Cochran was killed by his own gun after it accidentally discharged in the 19-year-old’s pocket, authorities said Friday. The bullet struck him in the chest while he was getting into an SUV to buy cigarettes. Tests confirmed that the fatal round was fired from the .32-caliber pistol Cochran kept in the back pocket of his low-hanging pants, and not from an unknown shooter, as originally thought, Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said.
Under any US President–I presume even Franklin D. Roosevelt–the sworn enemy of the United States of America would not be allowed (let alone welcomed with open arms) into the country. But, under Dictator Obama’s rule, that’s what is now occurring and encouraged terrorist groups are coming out into the open–with no reprisals whatsoever.
The American soldier who went missing June 30 from his base in eastern Afghanistan and was later confirmed to have been captured, appeared on a video posted Saturday to a website by the Taliban, two U.S. defense officials said. The soldier is shown in the 28-minute video with his head shaved and the start of a beard. He is sitting and dressed in a nondescript, gray outfit. Early in the video one of his captors holds the soldier’s dog tag up to the camera. His name and ID number are clearly visible. He is shown eating at one point and sitting on a bed.
The most viewed story on the Chicago Tribune website as of this writing is a column asking if President Obama wore Mom Jeans to the mound when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. So much for the president being the coolest guy on Earth. “It’s been a tough week for President Obama’s cool factor,” Politico reports. Even the foreign press picked up on the meme.
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A group of black Philadelphia police officers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against their department, alleging an online forum geared toward city police is “infested with racist, white supremacist and anti-African-American content.” The suit alleges white officers post on and moderate the privately operated site, Domelights.com, both on and off the job.
Israel on Sunday rejected a U.S. demand to suspend a planned housing project in east Jerusalem, threatening to further complicate an unusually tense standoff with its strongest ally over settlement construction. Israeli officials said the country’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, was summoned to the State Department over the weekend and told that a project being developed by an American millionaire in the disputed section of the holy city should not go ahead.
The Iraqi government has moved to sharply restrict the movement and activities of U.S. forces in a new reading of a six-month-old U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that has startled American commanders and raised concerns about the safety of their troops. In a curt missive issued by the Baghdad Operations Command on July 2 — the day after Iraqis celebrated the withdrawal of U.S. troops to bases outside city centers — Iraq’s top commanders told their U.S. counterparts to “stop all joint patrols” in Baghdad. It said U.S. resupply convoys could travel only at night and ordered the Americans to “notify us immediately of any violations of the agreement.” The strict application of the agreement coincides with what U.S. military officials in Washington say has been an escalation of attacks against their forces by Iranian-backed Shiite extremist groups, to which they have been unable to fully respond.
The Treasury Department revealed Friday that it is scrapping plans to hire a cartoonist to lighten the mood of its employees who manage the nation’s $1 trillion-plus debt, after a key Democratic senator questioned the wisdom of the hiring. The cartoonist would have been hired by Treasury’s Bureau of Public Debt, which accounts for borrowed federal spending, at a time Congress is embroiled in a debate about increased government spending and rising levels of red ink.
Sister Tavoletta, 56, was at the wheel of the Ford Fiesta, and two other unnamed nuns, aged 65 and 78, were passengers when police pulled them over. When stunned officers asked why they were speeding, Sister Tavoletta said: “We had heard how the Pope had fallen over and we were on our way to make sure he was OK.”
Wanted: 250 Maine drivers willing to let a stranger put a black box under their dashboard. The reward: $895 and the opportunity to speak their minds about the highway tax experiment to a researcher. University of Iowa researchers are seeking 250 motorists in Cumberland, York and Sagadahoc counties willing to have a computer tracking system installed in their cars for 10 months. The system could someday be used to tax drivers according to the number of miles they drive, rather than the amount of gasoline they consume.
Three tax increases proposed by President Obama and House Democrats on the richest Americans could produce the highest tax rates in a quarter-century. The latest is this week’s proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and others to impose a surtax of up to 5.4% on annual incomes of $350,000 or more to help pay for overhauling the health care system. About 500,000 taxpayers earning $1 million or more would pay the full surtax.
India will resist pressure from the Obama administration to accept legally binding caps on its carbon emissions, the South Asian nation’s environment minister told visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have been among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions,” Jairam Ramesh said at a meeting today with Clinton in Gurgaon near New Delhi, according to a statement he issued to reporters. “And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours.”
Visitors should be prepared to have their pictures taken as they enter and leave this picturesque town of million-dollar views and homes along the San Francisco Bay. Officials want to photograph every car and use the license plate information to solve crimes in the town of 9,000. Critics see the plan as an intrusion into the rights of visitors, but proponents say it is a sensible precaution that absolutely will not cross privacy lines.
Don Hamm has a front-row seat on the U.S. economy as president of the Port Newark Container Terminal near New York City and he sees just how lousy it is doing. His books report a 30 percent drop in business from a year ago. The window of his office looks out into a largely idle yard. Where trucks normally pick up and drop off containers brimming with imports and exports, he now sees empty tarmac and an accumulation of skeletal, unused hauling chassis.
Quote of the day.
One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms.
-Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, circa 1840