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Doyle McManus: Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery

Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery

Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery

Doyle McManus

He's in year six of his eight-year run. His biggest accomplishments are all in the past; his remaining proposals are stymied by Congress. His popularity is mired near 40%, and voters tell pollsters they see him as a leader "who can't get things done."

No wonder he's a little sensitive. The president has spent much of the year fending off lame-duckery, insisting that he's still hard at work, still bent on getting things done. "Let's pass some bills," he called out, mock-plaintively, to Congress last month. "It's lonely, me just doing stuff."

 
Ferguson's Experience Offers Lessons on Integration

Ferguson's Experience Offers Lessons on Integration

Moves to Stem 'White Flight' Only Helped Fuel City's Racial and Political Tensions

 By Douglas Belkin and Matthew Dolan

African-Americans left behind political infrastructures built over generations and took up residence in communities where the governments are sometimes less able to meet their needs. The migration also generated economic and political divisions that stirred racial tensions in places like Ferguson, which for two weeks has been the scene of often violent protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white policeman.

Twenty-four years after Mrs. Golliday and her family arrived in Ferguson, two-thirds of the town's 21,000 residents are now African-American, while five out of six members of the city council, and all but a handful of its 53 police officers, are white.

 
Microsoft avoids $30billion in taxes by keeping $93billion offshore

Microsoft avoids $30billion in taxes by keeping $93billion offshore

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 07: The Microsoft logo is displayed over the Microsoft booth at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Hilton January 7, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology tradeshow, runs through January 10. The gadget show is expected to feature 2,500 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 110,000 attendees.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Microsoft revealed the startling figures in a SEC filing earlier this year.

The tech company said in a SEC filing 'As of June 30, 2014, we have not provided deferred U.S. income taxes or foreign withholding taxes on temporary differences of approximately $92.9 billion resulting from earnings for certain non-U.S. subsidiaries which are permanently reinvested outside the U.S.'

Microsoft noted that 'The unrecognized deferred tax liability associated with these temporary differences was approximately $29.6 billion at June 30, 2014.'

International: Microsoft reportedly employs locations in Ireland, Bermuda, Singapore, and Puerto Rico to help it avoid paying taxes, according to a Senate report. Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is seen here

'Microsoft reported operating 10 subsidiaries in tax havens in 2007 in 2013, it disclosed only five,' the report said. 'During this same time period, the company increased the amount of money it held offshore from $6.1 billion to $76.4 billion in U.S. taxes. That implies that the company pays a tax rate of just 3 percent to foreign governments on those profits, suggesting that most of the cash is booked to tax havens.'

 
Self-Segregation: Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Robert P. Jones

Clearly white Americans see the broader significance of Michael Brown’s death through radically different lenses than black Americans. There are myriad reasons for this divergence, from political ideologies—which, for example, place different emphases on law and order versus citizens’ rights—to fears based in racist stereotypes of young black men. But the chief obstacle to having an intelligent, or even intelligible, conversation across the racial divide is that on average white Americans live in communities that face far fewer problems and talk mostly to other white people.

 
Their grandparents were civil in disobedience. Ferguson youth aren’t.

Their grandparents were civil in disobedience. Ferguson youth aren’t.

DeNeen L. Brown

Unlike their elders, young protesters challenge authority and fuel their rage through social media.

It hasn’t been so easy for traditional civil-rights-era activists in this small St. Louis suburb in recent weeks, where the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer has put them on all-too-familiar turf: challenging the treatment of African American men by police.

They, like so many around the country — including President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — have been deeply concerned about the militarized police response with tanks and tear gas and scores of arrests.

But what also has affected these activists is the realization that there is a generational divide between them and young protesters, who are organizing on their own. They are fueled by rage, mobilized by social media and sometimes, or so it seems to the old guard, capable of a bit of disrespect.

 
Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Timing Fuels Critics

Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Timing Fuels Critics

By PETER BAKER and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

As President Obama returned to his vacation, a firestorm of criticism erupted over what many saw as a callous indifference to the slaughter of James Foley.

He had just hung up the telephone with the devastated parents before heading in front of the cameras. Unusually emotional, President Obama declared himself “heartbroken” by the brutal murder of an American journalist, James Foley, and vowed to “be relentless” against Islamic radicals threatening to kill another American.

But as soon as the cameras went off, Mr. Obama headed to his favorite golf course on Martha’s Vineyard, where he is on vacation, seemingly able to put the savagery out of his mind. He spent the rest of the afternoon on the links even as a firestorm of criticism erupted over what many saw as a callous indifference to the slaughter he had just condemned.

Presidents learn to wall off their feelings and compartmentalize their lives. They deal in death one moment and seek mental and physical relief the next. To make coldhearted decisions in the best interest of the country and manage the burdens of perhaps the most stressful job on the planet, current and former White House officials said, a president must guard against becoming consumed by the emotions of the situations they confront. And few presidents have been known more for cool, emotional detachment than Mr. Obama.

 
Hollywood’s stance on abortion makes the 1980s look liberal

A still from Fatal Attraction

Hollywood’s stance on abortion makes the 1980s look liberal

Hadley Freeman

The film Obvious Child tackles abortion head on, and lays bare a studio system scared of startling the conservative horses.

Film producers I have spoken to have said that the increasingly vocal anti-choice pressure groups in the US also affect what studios feel they can show. Meanwhile, the American political system has also moved to the right, with the Republican party focusing on socially conservative issues as opposed to just economic ones. Studios are not interested in making the kind of mid-size films they made in the 80s: they now make “tentpoles”, or blockbusters, and that means they need to have mass appeal, which means nothing that scares the conservative horses. In seeking to appeal to all audiences, Hollywood blands down its movies so that they feel “meh” to everybody, and deeply misrepresent the lives of many.

 
The New Editors of the Internet

The New Editors of the Internet

In Silicon Valley, decisions are being made about what people should and shouldn't see online.

By Dan Gillmor

In a small number of Silicon Valley conference rooms, decisions are being made about what people should and shouldn't see online—without the accountability or culture that has long accompanied that responsibility.

 Guess what, journalism companies? Facebook is going to be your biggest competitor in the long run. Twitter is a media company, too.

 
Is Notre Dame Football Too Demanding?

Is Notre Dame Football Too Demanding?

By Sharon Terlep

Latest Academic Incident Raises a Difficult Question for the Fighting Irish

For years, Notre Dame football fans had an easy target when it came to assigning blame for the mediocrity of their storied Fighting Irish.

The university's notoriously stingy admissions standards, a picky admissions director and onerous academic demands, they said, kept out the best players.

While the school touted its teams' stratospheric graduation rates and high grade-point averages, fans and analysts fixated on stories of spurned superstars such as T.J. Duckett, a top prep player who, after a prickly interview at Notre Dame, went on play for Michigan State and become a 2002 first-round draft pick in the NFL. In 2012, Notre Dame radio announcer Allen Pinkett was suspended from his job for three games for suggesting the Irish could benefit from "a few bad characters" on the team.

 
Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley

Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley

By Anna Mulrine

US intelligence officials still know relatively little about the workings of Islamic State militants. James Foley may have been traded by insurgent groups before ending up in IS hands, which complicates the intelligence picture.

 
WashPost: The ‘Redskins’ name is a slur.

The ‘Redskins’ name is a slur. We will no longer use it.

Washington Post Editorial Board 

The Post’s editorial board will no longer use the insulting nickname.

This page has for many years urged the local football team to change its name. The term “Redskins,” we wrote in 1992, “is really pretty offensive.” The team owner then, Jack Kent Cooke, disagreed, and the owner now, Daniel M. Snyder, disagrees, too. But the matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves. That’s the standard we apply to all offensive vocabulary, and the team name unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too.

We were impressed this week by the quiet integrity of Mike Carey, who recently retired after 19 seasons as one of the NFL’s most respected referees. As recounted by Post columnist Mike Wise, Mr. Carey asked the league not to assign him to officiate any Washington games and, since 2006, the league granted his request. He never made any announcement about it. “It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me,” Mr. Carey said.

 
When immigration policy served the national interest

Bipartisan Immigration Reform Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

When immigration policy served the national interest

By Robert W. Patterson

Jeff Sessions, meet Barbara Jordan.

Mr. Sessions, the conservative Republican senator from Alabama, would seem to have little in common with Jordan, the late liberal black Democratic representative from Texas. Yet the Senate Budget Committee’s ranking Republican is channeling the renowned civil rights leader, not merely Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge, on immigration. Mr. Sessions and Jordan would agree: Put Americans first.

Appointed by Bill Clinton to chair the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, Jordan articulated that bedrock principle in testimony before Congress in 1995: “It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest."

 
Executions in Gaza of Accused Collaborators

Hamas militants prepared to execute a person suspected of collaborating with Israel on Friday in Gaza City. Credit Reuters

Executions in Gaza of Accused Collaborators

By FARES AKRAM and JODI RUDOREN

Witnesses said over a dozen were executed as recent Israeli attacks on Hamas leaders most likely led the militants to send a harsh public message to potential informants.

One day after an intelligence coup enabled Israel to kill three top commanders of Hamas’s armed wing, as many as 18 Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel were fatally shot in public on Friday, in what was seen as a warning to the people of the Gaza Strip.

 
Fears grow as California water crisis intensifies

Fears grow as California water crisis intensifies

Joby Warrick

As the West faces a historic drought, aquifers — a backup during these tough times — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are historic and unsustainable.

 When the winter rains failed to arrive in this Sacramento Valley town for the third straight year, farmers tightened their belts and looked to the reservoirs in the nearby hills to keep them in water through the growing season.

When those faltered, some switched on their well pumps, drawing up thousands of gallons from underground aquifers to prevent their walnut trees and alfalfa crops from drying up. Until the wells, too, began to fail.

Now, across California’s vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state’s epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.

One state-owned well near Sacramento registered an astonishing 100-foot drop in three months as the water table, strained by new demand from farmers, homeowners and municipalities, sank to a record low. Other wells have simply dried up, in such numbers that local drilling companies are reporting backlogs of six to eight months to dig a new one.

 
Williams, depression and suicide

Robin Williams in Las Vegas

Williams, depression and suicide

While many people who kill themselves have been experiencing extreme distress, depression is rarely the whole explanation

 
The War on Terror Is Back
 
Missouri governor calls in national guard

Clashes in Ferguson Missouri on eigth night of unrest

Missouri governor calls in national guard

Announcement follows most intense violence since shooting of Michael Brown, with police firing teargas at protesters hours before curfew

The national guard in Missouri is to be deployed to the city of Ferguson after the most intense night of violence since the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old, in which police used teargas against protesters hours before a midnight curfew came into effect.

Missouri’s governor, Jay Nixon, announced in the early hours of Monday that he had signed an executive order directing national guard troops to protect the northern suburb of St Louis from “deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson.

“These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes.”

 
New Drug Helps Some Bald Patients Regrow Hair

New Drug Helps Some Bald Patients Regrow Hair

Credit Julian Mackay-Wiggan, MD/Columbia University Medical Center

By PAM BELLUCK

The drug, which suppresses immune system activity, showed significant results for several sufferers of the autoimmune disease alopecia areata.

 
Better-paying jobs staging a comeback

Better-paying jobs staging a comeback

Ylan Q. Mui

The recovery in America’s job market is finally spreading to industries with good pay, such as construction and manufacturing, after years of being concentrated in fields with low wages.

Hiring has picked up steam in areas such as construction, manufacturing and professional services in recent months — sectors with a median hourly wage of at least $20. Nearly 40 percent of the jobs created over the past six months have been in high-wage industries, compared with just a quarter during the last half of 2013, according to an analysis by the National Employment Law Project for The Washington Post. Meanwhile, growth in many low-paying jobs has leveled off or even declined.

“I often hear that the recovery is only in low-wage jobs. That is categorically inaccurate,” Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said in an interview. “This recovery is creating a lot of good jobs.”

If those trends hold, economists say it could mean that the bumpy road back from recession is beginning to even out — particularly if it means that more jobs with better pay can help boost household income.

 
How Not to Raise a Generation of Quitters

How Not to Raise a Generation of Quitters

By Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, Rebecca Jackson and Robert M. Pressman

Empowerment Parenting

How can we stop our children from quitting when things get hard? How can we expect them to comply with a school assignment if they don’t understand it? The answer was identified in a research “super-study” with nearly 50,000 participants.

 
Have insurers found new ways to avoid the sick?

Have insurers found new ways to avoid the sick?

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

Ending insurance discrimination against the sick was a central goal of the nation's health care overhaul, but leading patient groups say that promise is being undermined by new barriers from insurers.

 
If Hillary Clinton had won in 2008......

If Hillary Clinton had won in 2008......

How different would her foreign policy be from President Obama’s? These questions are clearly more than a thought experiment. If she runs in 2016, potentially the first secretary of state since James Buchanan to ascend to the White House, voters will want to know the answers.

 
The Future of Brain Stimulation

The Future of Brain Stimulation

By Alexis C. Madrigal

Electrical stimulation could be tailored to address learning, cognition, and mood.

 
More in Missouri
 
The Five Biggest Lies About Obamacare

The Five Biggest Lies About Obamacare

 

Despite its continued unpopularity, the Affordable Care Act has been a success, and conservative predictions of “death spirals” and huge premium spikes just haven’t come true.
 
Plan to send immigrant kids to New York church draws ire

Plan to send immigrant kids to New York church draws ire

By FRANK ELTMAN

The possibility that a suburban New York church would play host to some of the tens of thousands of immigrant children illegally crossing the United States' border with Mexico to reunite with family is causing an uproar in one Long Island community.

 
What Hollywood Lost When the Communists Were Purged

A group of Hollywood writers and producers on their way out of a House Un-American Activities Committee hearing, October 27, 1947.

What Hollywood Lost When the Communists Were Purged

By Richard Brody

The postwar blacklist brought with it no artistic boon. But it certainly had an artistic effect, one central to many of the best American movies ever made.

Polonsky was one of the greatest artists to endure silencing by the blacklist. As “Red Hollywood” shows, Joseph Losey was another of the best; so was Robert Rossen. But so were two of the supreme filmmakers of all time, Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin—who weren’t members of the American Communist Party, and who aren’t featured in the film, but who were persecuted in the witch hunt nonetheless. Welles came under suspicion for his association with the left-wing theatre and for his political writings and speeches, and departed Hollywood and the United States just as the investigations were heating up. It’s worth noting that one of the films he made during his European self-exile, “Mr. Arkadin,” stars Welles himself as a grand figure of outsize ambition who, in effect, performs a devastating investigation into his own shadowy past. In Paris and elsewhere in Europe, in 1962, he filmed an adaptation of one of the literary classics of dubious investigation, Kafka’s “The Trial.”

 
Robin Williams's Suicide was No Surprise

Robin Williams's Suicide was No Surprise

By Jonathan Shedler, PhD

Robin Williams’s suicide is a tragedy but not a surprise. Both the source of his genius and the source of his depression have been on display to the world all along.

 
As the World Boils, Fingers Point Obama’s Way

As the World Boils, Fingers Point Obama’s Way

By PETER BAKER

Buffeted by international instability, President Obama has stressed that there are limits to American power.

In this summer of global tumult, the debate in Washington essentially boils down to two opposite positions: It is all President Obama’s fault, according to his critics; no, it is not, according to his supporters, because these are events beyond his control.

Americans often think of their president as an all-powerful figure who can command the tides of history — and presidents have encouraged this image over the years because the perception itself can be a form of power. But as his critics have made the case that Mr. Obama’s mistakes have fueled the turmoil in places like Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, the president has increasingly argued that his power to shape these seismic forces is actually limited.

“Apparently,” he said in frustration the other day, “people have forgotten that America, as the most powerful country on earth, still does not control everything around the world.”

 
The Peace Corps’ Awful Secret

The Peace Corps’ Awful Secret

By Tim Mak

The Peace Corps’ inspector general says she can’t oversee the agency properly without access to sex-assault records it refuses to hand over. Why won’t the Peace Corps comply?

 
'Don't let Americans put hormones and pesticides in our dinner'

'Don't let Americans put hormones and pesticides in our dinner'

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver starts campaign to stop British food from containing chemicals allowed by the FDA

 By Kieran Corcoran

Television programmes: Jamie's Fowl Dinners Jamie Oliver with a chicken CHANNEL 4 PICTURE PUBLICITY 124 Horseferry Road London SW1P 2TX 020 7306 8685 Notes (Still) This picture may be used solely for Channel 4 programme publicity purposes in connection with the current broadcast of the programme(s) featured in the national and local press and listings. Not to be reproduced or redistributed for any use or in any medium not set out above (including the internet or other electronic form) without the prior written consent of Channel 4 Picture Publicity 020 7306 8685

The celebrity chef, 39, said that a proposed deal between the EU and U.S. is 'dangerous' and could allow in dangerous chemicals which Americans allow in their food but the EU bans.

Mr Oliver, 39,  claims the 'dangerous' Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal could undo 'decades of work' by getting round bans imposed by the EU on putting growth hormones and pesticides in meat.

The same restrictions do not exist in America - and at present if U.S. companies want to export food to the EU they must ensure it meets the higher standards.

 
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