New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was ruthlessly attacked recently, and I feel a bit responsible. I might have accidentally tainted her Twitter feed with truth serum. But that sounds weird - so let me back up. A few months ago, I covered the story of the $21 trillion that has gone unaccounted for at the Pentagon. That’s right—trillion with a T—an amount of money you can’t possibly come to terms with, so stop trying. Seriously, stop. It’s like trying to comprehend the age of the earth. (The earth is 4.5 billion years old. To put that into context, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have 11 years left to completely change our ways or climate change will make the earth uninhabitable. If you were to take the age of the earth and lay it out on the span of a calendar year, this means we would have less than a millisecond left on Dec. 31 to utterly change our ways or all is lost.) Read more Anyway, the $21 trillion … [Read more...] about The Pentagon failed its audit amid a $21 trillion scandal (yes, trillion)
Eliza Collins and Deborah Barfield Berry USA TODAY Published 4:00 AM EST Dec 17, 2018 WASHINGTON – A frustrated Chuck Grassley pulled over on a gravel road two miles from his Iowa farm to talk to the president who was flying home on Air Force One. It was 3:15 p.m. Friday and the criminal justice reform bill the Iowa Republican had been championing was stuck at a roadblock – Mitch McConnell. Grassley made his pitch. “I used what I consider a historical argument. I said, ‘Listen, majority leaders, if they’re the same party as the president, ought to be carrying out the president’s agenda,'" Grassley recalled to USA TODAY. Despite broad bipartisan support, including an unusual coalition of civil rights groups, conservatives and Donald Trump, the Senate majority leader had not budged on the call to bring the "First Step Act'' to the floor for a vote. “He said well, ‘Do you think I oughta … [Read more...] about How Congress got to ‘yes’ on ways to keep more Americans out of prison
The bells of Ballymena fall silent for panto... oh yes they do! BelfastTelegraph.co.uk A town hall clock has fallen silent in the run-up to Christmas so the chimes don't interfere with a local pantomime. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/the-bells-of-ballymena-fall-silent-for-panto-oh-yes-they-do-37631589.html https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/article37631587.ece/b9031/AUTOCROP/h342/2018-12-17_new_46587013_I1.JPG Email A town hall clock has fallen silent in the run-up to Christmas so the chimes don't interfere with a local pantomime. The bells of the clock from the landmark building in Ballymena can usually be heard ringing out across the town, but next week all will be quiet. However, the familiar chimes will be back in action to herald Christmas Day. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: "The town hall chimes will be hushed this year - oh yes they will - so as not to disturb our festive panto performances of Puss In Boots … [Read more...] about The bells of Ballymena fall silent for panto… oh yes they do!
Panto time is here again - oh yes it is. If you are heading out to see one of the shows on offer at Teesside’s biggest theatres, you might want to check out these reviews from the Gazette’s very own team of writers. We’ve been out and about to give our verdict on this year’s festive offerings including Dick Whittington starring Todd Carty at Middlesbrough Theatre; Aladdin starring Louie Spence at Darlington Hippodrome and Peter Pan at the Forum Theatre, Billingham, with Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road star Ben Ryan Davies. Newcastle’s Theatre Royal is also a popular draw for panto goers from all over the region and you can check out what our sister site ChronicleLive thought of Goldilocks and the Three Bears here . Dick Whittington, Middlesbrough Theatre by Mike Brown and family Toddy Carty came on stage to the Eastenders theme tune, the crowd sang five verses of Baby Shark and a dame made fun of Stockton. It can only be panto in Middlesbrough! Dick … [Read more...] about It’s panto time again, oh yes it is!
Of all the letters to Santa, it's this one about Santa that stands out. You probably know it, printed in the New York Sun in 1897: DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Virginia O'Hanlon "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," was the famous response from editor Francis P. Church. "He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. ... The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see." One hundred and twenty years later, the "Yes, Virginia" column is the most reprinted newspaper editorial in history, inspiring books, music, even an animated Macy's TV special. While the words have traveled far, "Sunday Morning" Jane Pauley reports that Virginia O'Hanlon's handwritten note has never left her family. Brock Rogers, her great-grandson, who keeps it in a scrapbook. "Her letter, as I think about it, brings back my childhood," said James Temple, Virginia's grandson. Rogers said, "As a parent of two young kids, I want them to maintain their … [Read more...] about “Yes, Virginia”: The story behind the letter about Santa Claus