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Despite distance and decades,
whistleblower Frank Serpico is
never too far from his NYPD past
New York Daily News, by Larry McShane    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 6:10:43 AM     Post Reply
GHENT, N.Y. — If you’re searching for the Frank Serpico of the ’70s, the whistle-blowing hippie cop of cinematic renown, pay a visit to Netflix. The real thing is now 76, his famous beard close-cropped and gray. Wiry and fit, Serpico sports tinted glasses and a Keith Richards-style skull ring with ruby red eyes. He lives alone in the woods upstate, far from his Greenwich Village haunts of yore. But despite the distance and the decades, Serpico is never too far away from his NYPD past. “I don’t know if there are ghosts,” he offers over coffee at an upstate farmers’ market.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?
National Review, by Joseph Bottum    Original Article
Posted By: Fiesta del sol- 12/24/2012 6:09:30 AM     Post Reply
Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes and We three kings of Orient are — to say nothing of if thou knowst it telling: Have you ever observed just how peculiar the grammar and syntax of Christmas carols can be? Or maybe that should run The songs of Christmas, noticed thou, / the strangeness filled with are — and how? The oddest may be “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” whose phrasings are now so alien that even the first line gets regularly mangled — punctuated (and sung) as God rest ye, merry gentlemen,

How The Welfare
State Stole Christmas
Forbes, by Yaron Brook & Don Watkins,    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 6:06:01 AM     Post Reply
“We Could End Homelessness With The Money Americans Spend On Christmas Decorations,” announces a headline from Think Progress blogger Adam Peck. So far as we can tell, Americans haven’t exactly been taking to the streets demanding that people trade Christmas ornaments for welfare programs, but Peck’s article is interesting for what it reveals about those who are fighting to expand America’s welfare state. According to Peck, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says it could end “homelessness” if only its annual budget to fight the problem ballooned from $1.9 billion to $20 billion.

  


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´The Great Divider´ preps for term two
Washington Examiner [DC], by Hugh Hewitt    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:58:25 AM     Post Reply
President Obama used the six weeks after his election to remain in full campaign mode and attack the GOP relentlessly with the intent of marginalizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as an effective leader of the Republican opposition. He succeeded. Decisively. And thus defined his second term as a bitter grind before it even began, just as he signaled to the Republicans that there is zero upside to negotiating with this most partisan president. How amusing will his second Inaugural address be when he reaches for the grand words about leading one nation

Reports Of Chemical Weapons Attack
By Assad Against Rebels In Homs
Business Insider, by Robert Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:54:09 AM     Post Reply
Just hours after Syrian forces bombed a line of starving residents waiting in line for bread, reports came out near Homs that government forces have finally started using chemical weapons on rebel forces. While there is no official confirmation The Times of Israel reports six rebels are reported dead and 60 injured after opposition forces say "poison gas bombs" were dropped on the rebel held town of Homs. There is video here on YouTube of exposed victims explaining and exhibiting their reported symptoms. Al Jazeera reports seven people have died in Homs after inhaling a poisonous gas

Occupy is back. In court.
Hot Air, by Jazz Shaw    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:45:18 AM     Post Reply
As the year winds to a close, here’s one name we haven’t heard in a while. Do you remember the Occupy movement? You know… those folks that were going to be the much needed counterweight to the Tea Party? Seems like they sort of disappeared there for a while. But at least out on the Left coast, they’re back. And they’ve brought their lawyers. Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators are suing the city for what they said was an unlawful “shock and awe” attack on their civil rights when 1,400 police officers

Confronting Christmas
American Thinker, by Trevor Thomas    Original Article
Posted By: Flyball dogs- 12/24/2012 5:42:42 AM     Post Reply
As godless secularism becomes more and more entrenched in our culture, the Christmas season is one of the most contentious times in our calendar.  Every year, there are stories in the news of banned Christmas trees or of Christmas trees renamed "holiday trees."  Christmas concerts at public schools draw threats of a lawsuit (even when the poor in Africa are the beneficiaries!), and U.S. congressmen are barred from wishing their constituents a "Merry Christmas" in their official mailings.  This year, even Charlie Brown is creating controversy.

  


  

Fiscal Cliffhanger
National Review Online, by James C. Capretta    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/24/2012 5:41:20 AM     Post Reply
House Republicans left town in disarray on the evening of Thursday, December 21, after rejecting Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B.” That bill would have avoided the tax cliff in January even as it allowed tax rates to rise for millionaires. (A separate bill, which did pass the House, would turn off the “sequester” as it applies to the defense budget.) If Plan B had passed, House Republicans could have told their constituents that they had approved a bill to prevent a massive 2013 tax hike on most taxpayers

A party that doesn´t
think with its skin
Boston Globe, by Jeff Jacoby    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:35:44 AM     Post Reply
SOUTH CAROLINA´S conservative Republican governor, Nikki Haley, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab. US Representative Tim Scott of Charleston, a Tea Party hero who was raised in poverty by a divorced single mother, is South Carolina´s first black Republican lawmaker in more than a century. To anyone who shares the ideals that animate modern conservatism – limited government, economic liberty, color-blind equality – it stands to reason that Haley and Scott are conservatives. And their Republican affiliation should surprise no one familiar with the GOP´s long

Obama Golfs with Buddy
Busted for Soliciting Prostitute
Weekly Standard, by Daniel Halper    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:32:11 AM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama is in Hawaii for Christmas. Right now, he´s golfing with White House chef Sam Kass, staffer Marvin Nicholson, and friends Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb, according to the White House pool report. Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu last year for soliciting a prostitute. As ABC reported at the time of Titcomb´s arrest: One of President Barack Obama´s oldest friends has been arrested in Honolulu on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. Robert "Bobby" Titcomb was one of four men arrested in an undercover prostitution sting operation Monday evening

‘Les Miz’ on Screen Sends
Misleading Messages
Daily Beast, by Michael Medved    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:27:56 AM     Post Reply
Revolutionary fervor in seizing the barricades for change makes for great theater and grand cinema, but seldom produces the positive results that young idealists desire. Those constructive consequences come much more reliably from middle-aged, middle-class virtues, patience, planning, deferred gratification, hard work, incremental improvement—with far less flash and glory. That’s the problem at the very heart of the magnificent new movie version of Les Miserables, an obvious front-runner for nominations in every major category in this year’s Oscar race. In faithfully adapting the hit stage show,

  


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Confessions of a hotel insider
The Week, by Jacob Tomsky    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:21:38 AM     Post Reply
I ´ve worked in hotels for more than a decade. I´ve checked you in, checked you out, oriented you to the property, served you a beverage, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service (before and, sadly, after), cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&M´s out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. From New Orleans to New York, I´ve played by hotel rules and, in the process, learned every aspect of the industry.

White House Wavers on Hagel,
Considers Others for Defense
National Journal, by Michael Hirsh    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:18:13 AM     Post Reply
Besieged by criticism from right and left, and considerable skepticism from his former Senate colleagues, Chuck Hagel appears to be following the path of Susan Rice as a trial-balloon nominee who finds himself quickly losing altitude in Washington. And as happened with Rice, the White House is now signaling that it may soon puncture Hagel´s hopes. Just as occurred with Rice, the U.N. ambassador whose prospective nomination as secretary of State—leaked to the media—flamed out in the face of widespread criticism of her, President Obama appears to be rethinking his choice for Defense secretary. A senior administration official

A Failure to Communicate: The
GOP’s Public Relations Debacle
PJ Media, by Roger L. Simon    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/24/2012 5:14:49 AM     Post Reply
It’s “Merry Xmas, not” for Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and Tea Partiers, etc. Losing the November election was bad enough, but it’s gotten worse since, considerably worse. The party, and consequentially its ideas, is in freefall. As of last week, 57 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of Barack Obama’s performance as president. Pretty soon he’ll be as popular as Roosevelt — or Reagan. (Snip)The kneejerk response of many is to go back to pure conservative principles — a kind of Maoist ideological purge.

What’s the greatest Christmas movie of
all time? Update: More options added
Hot Air, by Ed Morrissey    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/24/2012 5:09:55 AM     Post Reply
My wife and I ran across Christmas Vacation on the television last night, and realized that we hadn’t started our Christmas movie viewing season yet. We’ll probably get cracking tonight, with some annual favorites like A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and maybe even White Christmas – which I haven’t seen in years, but glimpsed while channel-flipping last weekend. We will watch The Nativity Story on Christmas Eve, probably after attending Mass, and hopefully can squeeze a few more in, too. This time of year brings a familiar debate among Christmas-movie aficionados:

  


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How Boehner´s ´Critical Moment´
Could Turn Out OK For Him
National Public Radio, by Dana Farrington    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/24/2012 5:06:10 AM     Post Reply
"The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner said Saturday in his weekly address. He cited the measure that passed Thursday, which would reorganize the automatic spending cuts to protect the defense budget and cut deeper elsewhere. He also pointed to legislation that would stop all tax hikes on Jan. 1. Boehner said the president "refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation." But he did not mention his proposed "Plan B,"

Nurse’s suicide history
New York Post, by Tara Palmeri    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/24/2012 5:02:32 AM     Post Reply
The British nurse who killed herself after transferring a hoax call from Australian radio personalities to Kate Middleton’s hospital room earlier this month reportedly had attempted suicide twice before. Jacintha Saldanha, 46, who was found hanging by a scarf three days after the prank, attempted to overdose on pills during a family visit to India last winter, according to Indian newspapers quoted by the UK’s Daily Mail. Nine days later, the reports said, she attempted to jump from a building and was admitted to a psych ward. The family of Saldanha, who was prescribed anti-depressants after the failed attempts,

Tim Tebow reportedly asks to not
be used in Jets´ wildcat offense
Los Angeles Times, by Sam Farmer    Original Article
Posted By: HisHandmaiden- 12/24/2012 1:47:48 AM     Post Reply
No matter how he has played, Tim Tebow has always been regarded as the paragon of sportsmanship and never-say-die persistence. But according to an ESPN report after the Jets’ loss to San Diego on Sunday, Tebow asked out of the wildcat package because he was frustrated with his role in the offense. The report, which cited several unnamed Jets sources, said Tebow’s frustration reached a boiling point Tuesday when he learned he would be passed over for the starting opportunity when Mark Sanchez was benched. Greg McElroy got the start and was sacked 11 times in a 27-17 loss to the Chargers.
Source and link corrected, and text added by Staff.

In assassination´s aftermath,
a real political master emerged
Sydney Morning Herald [AUS], by Paul Sheehan    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/24/2012 12:37:11 AM     Post Reply
If this is the time when people sit back and relax and, hopefully, even read, spare a thought for the greatest biography ever written, a commanding work of research, insight and narrative power which sheds light on why, on both sides of the Pacific and both sides of the Atlantic, politics is currently at such a low ebb and debt is at such a high tide. The Passage of Power, by Robert Caro, the fourth volume of a 3000-page masterpiece collectively called The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was released this year and such is its command of the workings of politics that it illuminates why America is on the

Sen. Michael Crapo
Arrested on DUI Charge
ABC News, by Dean Schabner    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/23/2012 11:35:16 PM     Post Reply
Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo was arrested a charge of driving under the influence early today after he allegedly ran a red light in Alexandria, Va., police said. The Idaho Republican was arrested without incident after he failed a field sobriety test, Alexandria police spokesman Jody Donaldson told ABC News Radio. Crapo was released on a $1,000 bond, and has a court date scheduled for Jan. 4, 2013. Crapo released a statement apologizing for the incident. “I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family,

  



Mood muted during last
holiday shopping weekend
Associated Press, by Mae Anderson and Anne D´Innocenzio    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/23/2012 11:16:21 PM     Post Reply
ATLANTA — Last-minute shoppers crowded into malls and stores to scoop up discounted clothing and toys during the last weekend before Christmas, but many didn´t seem to be in the spending spirit. This holiday season, Americans have a lot on their minds on top of the now familiar job worries. Consumers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which account for 24 percent of retail sales nationwide, were tripped up by Superstorm Sandy. The storm hit in late October and disrupted businesses and households for several weeks.

NRA chief: Enforce
the existing gun laws
Washington Times, by David Sherfinski    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/23/2012 11:10:52 PM     Post Reply
The National Rifle Association does not plan to support any new gun control measures in the wake of the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., the head of the organization said Sunday, arguing that the government should vigorously enforce laws already on the books and reiterating the group’s push for more armed guards in schools as part of the solution. Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, answering questions for the first time since the Dec. 14 shootings, said legislation to impose restrictions on clip sizes or bans on so-called assault weapons

Gregory on MTP: Likely Broke
DC Law, Hypocritically Mocked
NRA´s Armed Guards Proposal
Newsbusters, by Tom Blumer    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/23/2012 11:05:24 PM     Post Reply
Two blog posts today should shred the credibility of Meet the Press´s David Gregory in making arguments for gun control and against appropriate armed staff or security personnel at schools -- or they would, if journalists had the least bit of interest in exposing lawbreaking and hyprocritical behavior by their professional colleagues. During the show, as reported at the Patriot Perspective, relaying a point first brought out by a member of the AR15.com forum site, Gregory "decided to wave around a 30-round AR-15 magazine" in direct violation of the District of Columbia "DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines"

Son says Romney was reluctant
to run for president again: report
Reuters, by Nick Carey    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/23/2012 10:23:58 PM     Post Reply
Republican Mitt Romney´s family had to convince him to make a second bid for the presidency because he was reluctant to run again after failing to secure his party´s nomination in 2008, Romney´s son told the Boston Globe on Sunday. In an article that examined what went wrong with Romney´s losing 2012 presidential campaign, Tagg Romney said his father Mitt said he had no intention of running again after he did not become the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. Arizona Senator John McCain secured the Republican nomination that year and lost to

Putin visits India, eyes arms sales,
trade and political ties
Reuters, by Alexei Anishchuk    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/23/2012 10:07:07 PM     Post Reply
Moscow - Arms sales will be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India on Monday to court a country that has traditionally been a top client. Putin´s trip, his first to India since he started a new Kremlin six-year term in May, is a chance to reaffirm Russia´s interest in India, long a regional ally and now a partner in the BRICS group of emerging market nations. (Snip) The Kremlin said it expected the signing of "a number of large contracts in the area of military-technical cooperation", a term referring to weapons sales, licensing and servicing.

Insight: Security fears dogged
Canada debate on China energy bid
Reuters, by David Ljunggren    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/23/2012 9:41:44 PM     Post Reply
Ottawa - In September, two months after China´s state-owned CNOOC Ltd made an unexpected $15.1 billion bid for Canadian energy company Nexen Inc, Canada´s spy agency told ministers that takeovers by Chinese companies may threaten national security. The rare warning from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which was disclosed to Reuters by intelligence sources, did not stop the takeover. (Snip) "They do not want to wake up one day and realize a crucial sector of the economy is under the control of foreign interests." And after listening to the spy service,

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