Lower gasoline prices continue to stuff consumers’ wallets and purses with an extra $100 billion annually. So better rush to the stores early, clutching your must-have or merely-want shopping lists to beat the crush. Don’t bother. That cash is staying in consumers’ pockets or bank accounts, or being used to pay down debt. The usually exuberant American consumer is not so exuberant: consumer sentiment has plunged to its lowest level since October, taking most analysts by surprise.
In response to the death penalty granted to the Boston bomber, Martin O'Malley, a likely Democratic presidential candidate, has reiterated his opposition to the death penalty.
“I respect the verdict of the jury in this callous and brutal taking of innocent lives in Boston. All of our prayers should go out to the victims, their families and loved ones, for the cruel taking of innocent lives. I hope he never is able to enjoy a moment of freedom," O'Malley says in a statement.
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Even as it has become increasingly clear that the Amtrak horror in Philadelphia was caused by faulty driving rather than – say it with me – “America’s crumbling infrastructure,” the media have lit up with calls for increased federal spending on rail. In doing so, they frequently repair to our country’s “infrastructure report card,” as written by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
DHS chief Jeh Johnson agreed with Chuck Todd that drones could make protecting 2016 presidential candidates more difficult. And, Johnson said as an example, he was a giving a speech recently when he looked up to see "a little drone flying over my head."
Michael Morell wants you to know that he’s been misunderstood, mischaracterized, and maligned. Morell, the former deputy director of the CIA, was at the center of the controversy over the Benghazi attacks and the Obama administration’s attempts to sell the country a phony narrative about what had happened and why. He’s written a memoir of his time at the highest levels of U.S. intelligence, The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism—From al Qa’ida to ISIS, and it includes two chapters on Benghazi.
Some credulous Beltway media sure took the bait last week. Consider:
“A lot of people still think it’s close to impossible to fire a federal employee, but that’s just one of the misperceptions the Merit Systems Protection Board is trying to debunk with its new report, ‘What is Due Process in Federal Civil Service Employment?’ ” (Federal News Radio, May 11).
The Obama administration put a happy face on its Camp David summit last week, even as four of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six leaders turned down Obama’s invitation to attend. The most significant absence, of course, was that of Saudi Arabia’s king, Salman. In his place, Riyadh sent Salman’s 55-year-old nephew, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and Salman’s 28-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, deputy crown prince and defense minister.
When guests at a North Korea Freedom Week dinner in Northern Virginia learned the Korean-American pastor at our table led a Maryland church, they immediately asked about the situation in Baltimore. It was May 1, and National Guard troops had been deployed to the city three days earlier to help quell the unrest sparked by the death of a man in police custody. The pastor let out a deep sigh before responding. A few members of his congregation had lost everything.
There was a time when Democrats were free traders and getting trade treaties through Congress was a snap. No more. In the last quarter-century—with most Democrats having slipped into the protectionist camp—winning ratification has become difficult. Today it takes a majority of Republicans to pass a trade pact.