Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:37 pm
In a daring raid reminiscent of the kind used to kill Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs swooped into Somalia Wednesday morning and rescued two aid workers, who had been held by pirates for months.
The New York Times reports the soldiers came in by helicopter and engaged in a firefight that killed nine pirates. The SEALs left with Jessica Buchanan, a 32-year-old American, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, who were injury free and on their way home.
British adventurer Felicity Aston this week became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica, from one coast to another. It took her 59 days to cover more than 1,000 miles, dragging her supplies behind her on sleds. She talked to Steve Inskeep from the Union Glacier base camp in Antarctica while waiting to go home.
This year's State of the Union address may have set a record for fewest surprises.
The usual elements were all in place, starting with the sergeant at arms shouting across the din of the chamber, quieting the crowd of worthies from both House and Senate, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court.
Then the president made his way down the center aisle, shaking hands with the members who had sent staff members to reserve these favored seats for hours for just this moment.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earned more than $42 million over the past two years — the bulk of it from an array of stocks and investment funds. And he paid about 15 percent of what he made in taxes. The release of some 500 pages of tax returns give a much fuller picture of how he made his money and what he did with it.
The Kentucky senate’s new legislative boundaries have some Lexington-Fayette Urban Council members talking about a lawsuit. The recent action moved veteran Lexington Senator Kathy Stein out of the bluegrass and into a district in northern Kentucky. Western Kentucky lawmaker Dorsey Ridley now represents Stein’s old district. Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton voiced her opposition Tuesday at city hall. “I think it’s fairly dis-respectful…to Fayette countians,” said Gorton.
President Obama highlighted an innovative Kentucky community college in his annual State of the Union address. The president says a key to the economic future of the U-S is education and he told the nation that Louisville’s Metropolitan College Project is an example for cities across the country to mimic. Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth says the unique partnership between academia and the company UPS has helped thousands of Kentuckians.
As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.
And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?
He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."
Kentucky Republicans are upset that in the State of the Union address President Obama announced new areas where he plans to bypass Congress. Republicans control the House, but President Obama says he isn’t looking for their approval for items such as increasing scrutiny of mortgage companies, spurring clean energy development on public lands and even taking steps that he says will spur economic growth. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul the president should have been asking Congress for more support instead of telling lawmakers what he already plans to do without their aid.