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Obama in Chile: “Todos somos Americanos.”

Via Miami Herald:

SANTIAGO, Chile — Amid the ghosts of Chile’s past and an escalating confrontation in Libya, President Barack Obama used the mid-point of his first extended Latin American tour to address the region, saying no other part of the world shared so many of the United States’ values and interests.

Speaking on the grounds of Chile’s presidential palace, Obama vowed to work with Latin America on improving security, boosting trade and bolstering education in a partnership of equals that would benefit the entire region.

“We are all Americans,” he said. “ Todos somos Americanos.”. . .

President Obama's attempt at an "Ich bin ein" moment? - Greg Pollowitz

So Sad: War has halted production on the “terminally-ill” Lockerbie bomber’s new house.

Via Telegraph:

Work has been abandoned on a new residence for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, who was reported to have been evacuated from Tripoli before an international bombing campaign was launched.

A heavy police presence was deployed in the Damascus district of Tripoli, the upmarket suburb where Mr Megrahi lives, after an overnight bombing raid destroyed the city’s air defences.

Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime is in lockdown as a result of the UN-backed attacks and key figures have been evacuated from the city for their own safety. . .

Reagan would have bombed the house by now, with al-Megrahi in it. - Greg Pollowitz
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Meet the ‘McRunner’

Via Chicago Sun-Times:

The idea itself was enough to give weak-stomached critics indigestion.

But Joe “McRunner” D’Amico proved hundreds of naysayers wrong Sunday, by completing the Los Angeles marathon in a personal best time after eating nothing but McDonald’s fast food for a month.

The Palatine dad’s time of 2 hours, 36 minutes and 13 seconds was 41 seconds faster than his previous record, and good enough for 29th place overall in the 26.2 mile race. . .

This proves that Morgan Spurlock was an idiot, no? I still remember he would complain about not being able to sleep and blaming the McDonald's food and neglecting to say he just drank the extra-large size, caffeine filled, Coke. - Greg Pollowitz

R.I.P., Cont.: Knut the polar bear has died.

Via Discovery:

Animals lovers around the world mourn the loss of beloved polar bear, Knut.

Knut died in his enclosure at the Berlin Zoo Saturday morning. Eyewitnesses told the zoo that he was sitting on rocks when his left leg began to shake. Knut then walked in circles until he fell into the water.

He was pronounced dead on the scene. Zoo workers raised a screen around the bear’s enclosure, then soon after closed the zoo. . .

Eeeh. - Greg Pollowitz

R.I.P.: Barack H. Obama Elementary School in N.J. has been ordered closed.

Via Asbury Park Press:

The century-old Bangs Avenue School — renamed for President Barack Obama just a year ago — will be closed as a neighborhood school this summer, largely because of a steep slide in the district’s total enrollment the past decade.

Bruce N. Rodman, the state-appointed monitor who oversees the district’s finances, Thursday ordered that elementary students be reassigned to the city’s two other elementary schools as of July 1.

According to a plan presented at a community meeting Monday night, all kindergarten-through-fourth-grade students living west of Comstock Street would go to Bradley Elementary School at 1100 Third Ave., and those east of Comstock would attend. . .

It's not like getting your face chipped off of Mt. Rushmore, but it's a start. Here's the rest of the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_named_after_Barack_Obama - Greg Pollowitz
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Textbook Purges Mention of Tiger Woods

Via The Harvard Crimson:

For the sixth edition of his textbook “Principles of Economics,” Professor N. Gregory Mankiw has replaced an example titled “Should Tiger Woods Mow His Own Lawn?” with a scenario based on the life of NFL player Tom Brady.

“That example in Chapter 3 of the textbook used Michael Jordan in the first edition. Jordan was later changed to Tiger Woods when Jordan retired,” Mankiw wrote in an e-mail. “For the new edition, I thought all the recent events surrounding Woods’ social life might be distracting, so I changed the example to use Brady.”

Why Brady? No specific reason. Mankiw said he and his editor were “looking for a noteworthy celebrity athlete.”
Now students can focus. - Brian Bolduc

Arab League Reconsiders No-Fly Zone Support

Via Washington Post:

CAIRO—The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the U.S.-European bombing campaign in Libya and said Sunday that he would call a league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention.

Moussa said the Arab League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Moammar Gaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and was not designed to endorse the intense bombing and missile attacks — including on Tripoli, the capital, and on Libyan ground forces — whose images have filled Arab television screens for two days.

“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,” he said in a statement on the official Middle East News Agency. “And what we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.”

Moussa’s declaration suggested that some of the 22 Arab League members were taken aback by what they have seen and wanted to modify their approval lest they be perceived as accepting outright Western military intervention in Libya. Although the eccentric Gaddafi is widely looked down on in the Arab world, the leaders and people of the Middle East traditionally have risen up in emotional protest at the first sign of Western intervention. . .

Wow. This war is off to a great start. - Greg Pollowitz

Supermoon Coming March 19

Via Weather Channel:

The Moon is getting bigger and it’s orbiting closer to Earth. Run for your lives!

No, don’t do that actually. What’s about to happen on March 19 is not terribly out of the ordinary.

The March full moon will be the closest (to the Earth) and largest full moon of 2011. Why? It comes down to the fact that the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle, it’s an ellipse in fact.

One side of the Moon’s orbit is actually roughly 31,000 miles closer to Earth than the other side of its orbit.

When the Moon’s orbit takes it the farthest away from Earth, the Moon is at its apogee. When it makes its closest approach, the Moon is at its perigee.

So not only will we have a full Moon on March 19 but the Moon will also be at its perigee. This means that the Moon will appear big in the night sky and it will be very bright; a sight to see for sure . . .

Cool. - Greg Pollowitz

Meet the New Wonder Woman

Via E! Online:

No, you didn’t just accidently click on some Halloween costume site hawking cheesy knockoffs of famous get-ups.

Believe it or not, what you’re actually looking at is the new Wonder Woman outfit that Adrianne Palicki is being forced to wear to play everyone’s favorite Amazonian princess in the pilot for NBC’s reboot of the classic comic.

But rather than embrace the Lynda Carter look that we all know and love, the designer behind this clearly opted to dramatically change things up—what with the addition of pants, changing the color of the boots and, well, don’t even get us started on the whole shiny, latex thing that seems to be the new trend that so many of our favorite fearless crimefighters have gotten saddled with lately.

Prediction: NBC screws it up, just like they did 'Bionic Woman.' - Greg Pollowitz

Verne Troyer helps Israeli entrepreneurs

Via Jerusalem Post:

Mini Me is telling the world about a new “mini” grant fund for young Jewish leaders.

In an online video filmed at Mini Israel, actor Verne Troyer, best known for playing Dr. Evil’s diminutive protégé Mini Me in the Austin Powers film series, explained how the ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators’ $100,000 microgrants fund can make a difference in Jewish communities around the world. . .

- Greg Pollowitz

Meet the USAF’s first drone test pilot.

Via Telegraph:

Captain Nicholas “Hammer” Helms, 29, who originally trained to fly F-16 fighter planes, has been admitted to the elite US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Unlike his fellow high fliers Capt Helms’ job will not be to scorch across the sky in the latest supersonic jet. Instead, he will sit at a desk exploring the limits of unmanned aerial vehicles using a joystick and television monitor.

His recruitment marks a watershed in the use of drones, and demonstrates the US military’s commitment to an increased reliance on them in the future. . .

Will we even have fighter pilots in ten years? - Greg Pollowitz

Qaddafi threatens commercial airlines if attacked

Via Telegraph:

Colonel Gaddafi threatened retaliatory attacks on passenger aircraft in the Mediterranean last night if foreign countries launched air strikes against Libya.

“Any foreign military act” would expose “all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea” as targets for a counter attack, the Libyan regime said.

The warning was issued after America formally backed a joint British and French initiative for a no-fly zone over Libya and other military action against Col Gaddafi’s regime. . .

Updates to follow, but right now I'm of the mind that when this is all over, we'll be comparing Libya to a combination of happened in Rwanda and post-invasion Iraq. - Greg Pollowitz

Democrat: ‘Willie Sutton Is My Model’

Via The Hartford Courant:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is in Washington again today, this time to press for rail money for the state. It is at least his fourth trip to the nation’s Capitol since his inauguration in January. During a conference call with reporters this morning, Malloy explained why he’s made so many trips to DC. “I’m going after anything I can. Willie Sutton is my model,” Malloy said. “Why did he rob banks? That’s where the money is. That’s why I’m in Washington.”
Finally, an honest politician. - Brian Bolduc

Dems who created fake Tea Party candidates arraigned in Michigan

Via Detroit News:

Two former high-ranking members of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing various election corruption charges in a bogus tea party scheme, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and County Sheriff Michael Bouchard announced Wednesday.

Former Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGuinness and ex-operations director Jason Bauer, both of Waterford Township, were arraigned Wednesday before Oakland Circuit Judge James Alexander.

They face charges related to Independent Tea Party filings, false affidavits and forged documents that occurred between July 23 and July 26 last year.

Both stood mute to the charges and were released on $25,000 personal bond each, pending an April 13 hearing before Alexander. . .

Good. - Greg Pollowitz

President Obama Gets Decisive

Via Associated Press:

March Madness is back at the White House, and President Barack Obama is picking the top seeds to advance to the Final Four.

For the third straight year, Obama has filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN. He says Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh will make the men’s Final Four.

Obama predicts Baylor, UConn, Stanford and Tennessee will advance in the women’s tournament.

The president’s entire brackets, including his choices for national champions, will be revealed on ESPN on Wednesday. . .

Rather than reveal his bracket on ESPN, how about revealing his plans on what the U.S. policy is going to be if and when further unrest hits the Middle East? - Greg Pollowitz

Vogue Profiles The First Lady of Syria

Via Foreign Policy:

It’s hard to imagine that a Vogue editor woke up this morning and decided it wouldn’t be hugely embarrassing to publish a puff piece today, at the moment of the greatest upheaval in the Middle East in two generations, about Syria’s ruling family. But that appears to be exactly what happened.

The article does not once mention the protests currently under way in the Middle East, including scattered evidence of demonstrations in Syria. Instead, the article focuses on Syrian first lady Asma Assad — the “freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” endowed with “[d]ark-brown eyes, wavy chin-length brown hair, long neck, an energetic grace.” At a time when other Middle Eastern first ladies, notably Tunisia’s Leila Trabelsi, have been the target of protesters’ wrath, this may not be the wisest moment for Asma to flaunt her glamour.

One can only assume that the Assads agreed to be interviewed for this piece before the current outbreak of unrest made it embarrassing for both for them, and for Vogue. Still, some of the damage done to the Assads is self-inflicted. In one anecdote, Asma pays a visit to one of the centers run by her NGO, Massar, in the Syrian port city of Latakia — and promptly lies to the assembled schoolchildren about closing the foundation. . .

And next month, maybe a profile of Eva Braun's fashion sense? - Greg Pollowitz

Snake vs. Israeli Model

Via AOL News:

It was another trip to the Garden of Eden cut short for one legless reptile.

Israeli model Orit Fox was attempting to lick a snake during a publicity stunt for radio DJ Shmulik Tayar when the lucky serpent, presumably aroused, lunged forward and bit Fox’s fake breast, sending witnesses into a frenzy.

Fox, who is rumored to have the largest bosom in all of Israel, was hurried to a hospital outside Jerusalem where she received a tetanus shot and was later discharged. . .

Don't mess with the Jews. - Greg Pollowitz

Nothing To See Here: IDF seizes Iranian weapons bound for Gaza.

Via Jerusalem Post:

The Victoria was boarded by commandos from the Israeli Navy’s Flotilla 13, also known as the Shayetet, and is expected to arrive in the Ashdod port on Tuesday evening.

An initial inspection of the cargo revealed the ship was carrying weapons. The exact amount is to be determined.

The crew, questioned by the Navy Commando, was not aware that the cargo contained weaponry.

The ship set sail last night from Turkey, and was expected to dock in Alexandria. There, it was supposed to unload the weapons, which would travel by land to Gaza. The IDF’s assessment is that the weapons did not originate in Turkey, but that the containers were unloaded there and transferred onto the Victoria .

Over to you Mr. President. - Greg Pollowitz

Miracle: Infant Pulled from the Rubble in Japan

Via Mail Online:
For days, he must have feared his baby girl was dead. Helpless in the rubble following the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the baby girl had survived for three days in the remains of the city of Ishinomaki in the state of Miyagi. Against the odds, the four-month old was rescued apparently safe and unharmed after being spotted a member of Japan’s Self-Defense Force.
Some light amid the darkness. - Daniel Foster

Pirate Problem Solved: Outsource it to India

Via BBC:

Dozens of pirates aboard a Mozambican ship have been captured by India’s navy after a gun battle in the Arabian sea.

The Indian navy says it seized 61 pirates and rescued 13 crew from the vessel, which had been used as a mother ship from where pirates launched attacks around the Indian Ocean.

Attacks by pirates off the Indian coast have become increasingly more violent.

Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi ship hijacked by pirates last year has been freed after a ransom was paid. . .

Now, why couldn't our Navy find the 61 pirates? - Greg Pollowitz

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