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Seven Secretaries of State Criticize
Michelle Obama for Claiming GOP Voter
Suppression Occurred in the 2012 Election
PJ Tatler, by Hans A. von Spakovsky    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/16/2012 4:53:51 AM     Post Reply
Seven Secretaries of State have released a statement criticizing First Lady Michelle Obama for her false claim that Republicans engaged in voter suppression in the November election: “Unfortunately the First Lady’s comments continue the baseless attacks that have been made upon those leaders who are simply taking reasonable steps to protect the security and integrity of elections. This past election speaks for itself. In Arizona, a state that has a photo ID requirement, Hispanic voter turnout was the highest in the state’s history. In Georgia, African American turnout has remained high in each election after

Is the wind industry
entering panic mode?
Hot Air, by Erika Johnsen    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/16/2012 4:49:42 AM     Post Reply
The wind lobby is working like their livelihoods depend on it — which is mainly because, they do — to convince Congress to extend the production tax credit, set to expire at the start of the new year, that has diverted taxpayer money their way for decades now. Without the guarantee of continued federal assistance, the wind industry is already starting to bleed jobs, and in their desperation to convince their detractors to continue the credit in at least some capacity, they’re proposing a compromise of sorts in the form of an eventual six-year phaseout.

The Hagel Thesis
Weekly Standard, by William Kristol    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/16/2012 4:43:42 AM     Post Reply
As we go to press on Friday, December 14, former Republican senator Chuck Hagel appears to be the leading candidate to become the next secretary of defense. Anti-Israel propagandists are thrilled. Stephen Walt, junior partner of the better-known Israel-hater John Mearsheimer, writes that if President Obama nominates Hagel, it will be “a smart move.” Why? Because, “unlike almost all of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, he hasn’t been a complete doormat for the Israel lobby.” Indeed, a Hagel pick would “pay back Benjamin Netanyahu for all the ‘cooperation’ Obama received from him during the first term.”



Humphrey Bogart´s piano
sold for £370,000
Daily Express [UK], by Peter Thompson    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/16/2012 4:43:33 AM     Post Reply
The piano used in an iconic scene in the classic film Casablanca has been sold at auction for more than £370,000 – half the sum experts expected it to fetch. The small green instrument, used for the song As Time Goes By in the Oscar-winning 1942 movie, went to an unidentified telephone caller after bidding at Sotheby’s in New York began at £215,000. It featured in a Paris flashback scene in which Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart, toasts Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, with champagne and says: “Here’s looking at you, kid,” while Dooley Wilson as Sam sings

Solved: The secret
pigeon code
Daily Express [UK], by Tony Whitfield    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/16/2012 4:30:42 AM     Post Reply
A coded Second World War message strapped to the leg of a dead carrier pigeon has finally been deciphered. It was from a British soldier who had been parachuted into occupied ­Normandy to tip off RAF Bomber ­Command about the ­locations of German forces prior to the D-Day landings. The pigeon made it back to Britain but got stuck in the chimney of a Surrey house. The bird was not discovered until 1982 when a fireplace was ripped out and the message was found in a red capsule strapped to its leg. The words “Pigeon Service” at the top of

Teacher threw herself in
front of blazing pistol
Daily Express [UK], by Paul Thompson, Stuart Winter    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/16/2012 4:17:05 AM     Post Reply
They were two young women teachers who had devoted their lives to the children whose laughter rang out in their classrooms.[Snip] Vicki Soto, 27, threw herself in front of gunman Adam Lanza’s blazing Glock pistol, taking the hail of bullets that would have killed so many of the five-year-olds who called her “Miss” and laughed at the way she chewed gum in class. In a school toilet yards away, her colleague Kaitlin Roig, 29, was hiding with her 15 pupils. She knew their only chance of surviving was to keep silent as the killer stalked the corridors of Sandy Hook

Bad Taste, All In Fun
New York Times, by Guy Trebay    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 12/16/2012 12:56:41 AM     Post Reply
WHEN did it first start, the moment when the holiday sweater morphed from seasonal horror to cultural touchstone, an article of outrageously bad knitwear as popular among Williamsburg beard farmers as the Metamucil set? Was it when the Mistletoe Conspiracy caroled about the ugly Christmas sweater in a YouTube video? (“It’s ugly and it’s itchy, it’s frightening to children, Andy Williams wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.”) Was it when Ugly Sweater 5K runs became regular events, like those this fall in cities like Memphis, Chicago and Denver?



Hebron group: 3rd intifada has begun
YNet News [Israel], by Elior Levy    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 11:28:49 PM     Post Reply
Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron have distributed a video declaring the establishment of the "National Union Battalions," which according to them will be jointly headed by members of Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front or the Liberation of Palestine as a means of consolidating the struggle against Israel. In its announcement, the group stressed that while it supports the UN´s recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state, it will fight to recover "all of Palestine – from the sea to the river." The video message, which the Palestinians claim was taped on

Iran warns against Patriot
deployment on Syria frontier
Reuters, by Dominic Evans    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 11:12:43 PM     Post Reply
Beirut - Iran´s army chief of staff warned NATO on Saturday that stationing Patriot anti-missile batteries on Turkey´s border with Syria was setting the stage for world war. General Hassan Firouzabadi, whose country has been a staunch supporter of President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 21-month uprising against his rule, called on the Western military alliance to reverse its decision to deploy the defense system. (Snip) Despite the warning, Firouzabadi did not threaten any action against Turkey in his speech to senior commanders at the National Defence University in Tehran. "We are Turkey´s friend

The Newtown Massacre and
Mike Huckabee’s Offense
Commentary Magazine, by Peter Wehner    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/15/2012 11:03:23 PM     Post Reply
The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut is too awful for anyone to fully comprehend, especially from a distance. You watch the coverage of people you don’t know and will never meet, and yet you still find yourself nearly overwhelmed as the stories of terror, of immense sorrow and loss, and of heroism are told. Particularly as a parent, you cannot help but wonder: What if it had been my child gunned down in elementary school? And then you begin to realize there’s a reason the death of a child is said to be the hardest thing for a human being to endure, the “grief surpassing all.”

Some tax hikes, spending
cuts now seen as
inevitable in January
Washington Post, by Paul Kane    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/15/2012 10:54:11 PM     Post Reply
President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner are continuing their talks, but key officials in both parties now believe that Washington will be unable to avoid some mix of the tax increases and automatic spending cuts mandated next month by the austerity measures known as the “fiscal cliff.” Senior Democratic and Republican officials say the best-case scenario will be for a less ambitious deal to extend middle-class tax cuts and forestall tax hikes on most Americans. But such a deal would still set in motion a series of steep spending cuts at some federal agencies



Egyptian news agency:
Mubarak hurt in prison bath fall
CNN, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 10:52:21 PM     Post Reply
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak suffered a head injury and some bruises on his chest when he slipped while inside a prison hospital bathroom, Egypt´s state news agency reported MENA Saturday. Mubarak, 84, is serving a life sentence in Cairo´s Tora prison for his role in the killing of pro-reform demonstrators during Egypt´s recent revolution. Mubarak has been suffering health problem and attended court on a gurney. He was reported to be in a coma last June in the weeks after he was convicted. That health crisis began after a prison bathroom fall, his lawyer said at the time.

Industry changes may affect
Democrats’ domination in
digital politics
Washington Post, by Rachel Weiner    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/15/2012 10:51:21 PM     Post Reply
In 2012, Democrats are indisputably the party of tech-savvy, of cutting edge web integration, of what one Mitt Romney adviser described as “whiz-bang turnout technologies.” Now they have to face the possibility that chastened Republicans will start to learn their secrets. Some companies with progressive ties are playing with both sides, sparking tension over whether the left should care about making innovation democratic — or just keeping it Democratic. Change.org used to be explicitly progressive; it no longer is. Salsa Labs remains progressive but some users fear a change in leadership will change that.

As president heads to
Newtown, stories of heroism,
courage and brutality emerge
in wake of shooting
Washington Times, by Ben Wolfgang and David Eldridge    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/15/2012 10:47:23 PM     Post Reply
NEWTOWN, Conn. — One day after the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history, a stunned nation on Saturday began a grim, all-too-familiar process: Mourning the loss of innocents, learning more about a killer and looking for answers in the wake of madness. The White House announced Saturday that the president would travel to Newtown, Conn., on Sunday to join grieving families at a vigil for the victims killed Friday in the shooting spree that claimed the lives of 28, including 20 children. Through the day Saturday, more details trickled out on the tragedy – from revelations

AP source: Boehner offers
millionaire tax hike
Associated Press, by Jim Kuhnhenn    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/15/2012 10:44:43 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — Signaling new movement in “fiscal cliff” talks, House Speaker John Boehner has proposed raising the top rate for earners making more than $1 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said. President Barack Obama, who wants higher top rates for households earning more than $250,000, has not accepted the offer, this person said. The proposal, however, indicated progress in talks that had appeared stalled. The person would only discuss the plan on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. As part of a broader budget deal



CIA Study:
Pollard didn´t Seek Info on U.S.
Arutz Sheva [Israel], by Gil Ronen    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 10:42:27 PM     Post Reply
A 1987 study ordered by the CIA found that Jonathan Pollard, convicted in the U.S. of spying for Israel, never sought to obtain information about U.S. activities. Rather, he was instructed by his Israeli handlers to obtain information about Israel´s enemies. The 1987 study by the Foreign Denial and Deception Analysis Committee was ordered by the CIA. It is now being made public, 25 years later, with heavy CIA redaction. (Snip) Pollard recalled that his first and possibly largest delivery occurred on 23 January and consisted of five suitcases full of classified material,” the document said.

Can We Keep Guns Out of
the Hands of the Mentally Ill?
PJ Media, by Rick Moran    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/15/2012 10:36:34 PM     Post Reply
Glenn Reynolds points us to this thoughtful post by The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg that takes up the sensitive issue of the mentally ill and their access to guns: We must find a way to make it more difficult for the non-adjudicated mentally ill to come into possession of weapons. This is crucially important, but very difficult, because it would require the cooperation of the medical community — of psychiatrists, therapists, school counselors and the like — and the privacy issues (among other issues) are enormous. But: It has to be made more difficult

John Kerry to Be Nominated to
Be Secretary of State, Sources Say
ABC News, by Jake Tapper    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 10:16:45 PM     Post Reply
Sources tell ABC News that President Obama has decided that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be secretary of state. For a variety of reasons including the finalization of the process, other pending Cabinet decisions, and — more immediately — the national reaction to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the news will not be announced in the next few days. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is recovering from an illness and a concussion she suffered upon fainting because of that illness, is set to retire in the next few weeks.

U.S. drops appeal of Guantanamo ruling
United Press International, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 9:51:15 PM     Post Reply
Washington - The U.S. Justice Department has dropped its appeal of a judge´s ruling that the U.S. courts set the conditions for lawyers for Guantanamo detainees. The department filed a motion Friday asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for permission to withdraw its appeal, Politico reported. The courts generally grant such requests. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled against the Obama administration, which wanted the power to set rules for lawyers for Guantanamo inmates who have not been formally charged and are not currently seeking release.

Evil exists; so does good
Daily Inter Lake [Kalispell, MT], by Frank Miele    Original Article
Posted By: davesenior- 12/15/2012 9:11:47 PM     Post Reply
There is really no possibility of writing about anything this weekend other than the school shooting that occurred on Friday in Newtown, Conn.On the other hand, there is no possibility of writing about the cold-blooded murder of young children in any way that makes sense.Our human psyche, which should be ready for anything based upon the brutal history of our species, still reels in shock and disbelief when pure evil interjects itself into everyday life.There is no way we can wrap our minds around the horror of what has happened.There is no way to comprehend the dreadful last seconds


Obama to speak Sunday at
Connecticut vigil for shooting victims
Reuters, by David Alexander    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 9:09:26 PM     Post Reply
Washington - President Barack Obama plans to travel to Newtown, Connecticut, on Sunday to meet with families of the victims of a Friday school shooting that was one of the deadliest such incidents in the nation´s history. The White House said in a statement Obama will speak at a 7 p.m. EST Sunday interfaith vigil for families of the victims and other students from Sandy Hook Elementary School, which was attacked on Friday by a heavily armed gunman. In his weekly radio and internet address earlier on Saturday, Obama said it was time to "take meaningful action to prevent

President Obama To Visit
Newtown Sunday
Hartford Courant [CT], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/15/2012 9:08:32 PM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama will appear at an interfaith vigil Sunday at 7 p.m. in Newtown, the White House announced Saturday evening. The event is closed to the public and open only to victims´ families. Obama will not make any public appearances in Newtown, the White House said. Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, released this statement: "Tomorrow evening the president will travel to Newtown ... to meet with the families of those who were lost and thank first responders. The president will also speak at an interfaith vigil for families of the victims as well as families

Lanza family speaks out:
Grief, struggle and ´heartfelt
sorrow for the incomprehensible
and profound loss of innocence´
New York Daily News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/15/2012 9:04:07 PM     Post Reply
The Lanza family has released a statement through the Rockingham County Sheriff´s Office in New Hampshire. “The family of Nancy Lanza share the grief of a community and a nation as we struggle to comprehend the tremendous loss that we all share," the statement read. "Our hearts and prayers are with those who share in this loss. On behalf of Nancy’s mother and siblings we reach out to the community of Newtown and express our heartfelt sorrow for the incomprehensible and profound loss of innocence that has affected so many.” Nancy Lanza was murdered Friday

Timing of any Kerry
announcement appears driven by
other national security team picks
Boston Globe, by Glen Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 12/15/2012 8:51:25 PM     Post Reply
Everyone from a Chicago gossip columnist to network TV correspondents reported today that President Obama had settled on Senator John F. Kerry as his next secretary of state yet was withholding a formal announcement, sparking White House denials but highlighting the challenge in any rollout. UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s decision this week to drop out of contention made Kerry the consensus pick within Washington to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, but the White House is said to want to unveil an entire national security team in one announcement, and the other successors

Obama Sandy aid bill filled with
holiday goodies unrelated
to storm damage
New York Post, by S. A. Miller & Gerry Shields    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/15/2012 8:48:02 PM     Post Reply
Washington - President Obama’s $60.4 billion request for Hurricane Sandy relief has morphed into a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska, The Post has learned. The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC. An eye-popping $13 billion would go to

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