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Tech companies call for an
end to NSA online snooping
Washington Times, by Shaun Waterman    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 11:12:43 AM     Post Reply
Leaders of the world’s eight largest Internet companies Monday urged President Obama to end online mass surveillance and bulk data-gathering, like that revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. Top executives from AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo published an open letter to the president and Congress in newspaper and online adverts. They called for a bold effort to make the United States a model for how governments across the world ought to handle the vast quantities of detailed, real-time data that all citizens’ electronic communications leave in the hands of technology companies. “We urge the

Doctors boycotting California´s
Obamacare exchange
Washington Examiner, by Richard Pollock    Original Article
Posted By: grace52- 12/9/2013 11:09:34 AM     Post Reply
An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state´s Obamacare health insurance exchange and won´t participate, the head of the state´s largest medical association said. “It doesn´t surprise me that there´s a high rate of nonparticipation,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association.

Family, politicians battle
over "Brand Mandela"
Reuters, by Peroshni Govender, Jon Herskovitz*    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 11:06:07 AM     Post Reply
Johannesburg - From political posters to bottles of wine and kitchen aprons, the face and name of Nelson Mandela are a potent commercial and political brand in South Africa. Little wonder it´s so sought after - and the source of occasional squabbles. Following his death on Thursday at the age of 95, the scramble for control of the Mandela legacy - both financial and moral - will involve his family, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and the Nelson Mandela Foundation he set up to protect his broader message. At stake is the inheritance that will go to Mandela´s more than 30

  


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Mandela funeral: Inside massive
security efforts to protect world leaders
CBS News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 11:01:48 AM     Post Reply
The world will pay its respects to deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela this week. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg. At least 70 heads of state will be there, including four U.S. presidents. And with such short notice, it´s proving to be a major security challenge. South Africa has hosted huge events before -- the World Cup in 2010, and dignitaries from all over the world descended on this country for the inauguration of President Mandela in 1994 -- but the country has never seen anything like this. Scores of world leaders

Snow falling. In Australia.
In summer. That is all
News Limited [Australia], by Anthony Sharwood    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 11:00:51 AM     Post Reply
UPDATE: A day after we posted images of fresh summer snow falling across the Australian Alps, we´ve updated our original story with new images that show the ground getting whiter... and whiter... and whiter. Thredbo resort in new South Wales is now in the very unusual position of desperately needing its snow to melt. Thredbo has a huge mountain bike event this weekend but the course is currently snow-covered. Hopefully, forecast warmer tempreatures will take care of things. Meanwhile, here are one or two pics to get you going. And as mentioned, scroll through yesterday´s story (below) for another updated image or

On Health Exchanges, Premiums May
Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High
New York Times, by Robert Pear    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/9/2013 10:58:49 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — For months, the Obama administration has heralded the low premiums of medical insurance policies on sale in the insurance exchanges created by the new health law. But as consumers dig into the details, they are finding that the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs are often much higher than what is typical in employer-sponsored health plans. Until now, it was almost impossible for people using the federal health care website to see the deductible amounts, which consumers pay before coverage kicks in. But federal officials finally relented last week and added a “window shopping” feature that displays data on

Obamacare Architect: If You Like
Your Doctor, You Can Pay More
Weekly Standard, by Daniel Halper    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 10:55:53 AM     Post Reply
If you want to keep your doctor, you might have to pay more for it, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel said today on Fox News Sunday: The host, Chris Wallace, said: "President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Doesn´t that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn´t it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obamacare health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to

  


  

Putin dissolves state news agency,
tightens grip on Russia media
Reuters, by Timothy Heritage    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 10:51:50 AM     Post Reply
President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia´s media on Monday by dissolving the main state news agency and replacing it with an organization that is to promote Moscow´s image abroad. The move to abolish RIA Novosti and create a news agency to be known as Rossiya Segodnya is the second in two weeks strengthening Putin´s hold on the media as he tries to reassert his authority after protests against his rule. Most Russian media outlets are already loyal to Putin, and opponents get little air time, but the shake-up underlined their importance to Putin keeping power and the Kremlin´s concern about

Protesters in Kiev Topple Lenin
Statue as Rallies Grow
New York Times, by David M. Herszenhorn & Andrew E. Kramer    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 10:47:58 AM     Post Reply
Kiev, Ukraine — Public protests thundered into a full-throttle civil uprising in Ukraine on Sunday, as hundreds of thousands of protesters answered President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s dismissiveness with their biggest rally so far, demanding that he and his government resign. At the height of the unrest on Sunday night, a seething crowd toppled and smashed a statue of Lenin, the most prominent monument to the Communist leader in Kiev. The act was heavy with symbolism, underscoring the protesters’ rage at Russia over its role in the events that first prompted the protests: Mr. Yanukovich’s abrupt refusal to sign sweeping political and

CIA program in which agents posed
as business people a ´flop´
United Press International, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 10:47:39 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON- A CIA program in which operatives posed as business people to gather intelligence was a costly failure and is being canceled, past and present officials say. The program, on which at least $3 billion was spent, began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Tribune Newspapers reported Monday. At its height, hundreds of agents working outside the protection of diplomatic immunity under "non-official cover" used fake identities and front companies to recruit sources in hostile countries, especially Iran. (Snip) The most well-known of the agents was Valerie Plame. Posted in Brussels, she posed as an energy analyst for a

‘Satan Lays a Trap’: Iran
Warns Obama May Seek Out
Rouhani at Mandela Memorial
Cybercast News Service, by Patrick Goodenough    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/9/2013 10:36:50 AM     Post Reply
With a death of Nelson Mandela, some people are wondering about a possible encounter between the American and Iranian president at memorial events in South Africa this week – especially after a failed attempt by U.S. officials to arrange one at the U.N. last fall. As of Sunday, Iran had not yet formally confirmed whether President Hasan Rouhani plans to travel to South Africa, but that did not stop one Iranian newspaper from warning that the funeral events could be a “trap” that would bring him face to face with the leader of the “great satan.” “Satan lays a trap,

  


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Oklahoma Satanists Seek
Statue at Statehouse
Breitbart´s Big Government, by Mary Chastain    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/9/2013 10:31:20 AM     Post Reply
The New York-based Satanic Temple is now demanding its own statue beside one displaying the Ten Commandments currently on the steps of the Statehouse in Oklahoma City. Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said the group will submit several designs this month, and according to USA Today, he has begun spelling out guidelines: "We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. "Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines." Greaves said one potential design involves a pentagram, a satanic

´Iran Deal Touted By Same
People That Said You Can Keep
Your Insurance´
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 10:29:17 AM     Post Reply
Former VP Dick Cheney declared this morning that he doesn´t believe that President Obama thinks the United States is "an exceptional nation." On Fox and Friends, Cheney was asked what the main difference is between the Bush and Obama administrations when it comes to foreign policy. Cheney said that our adversaries no longer fear the United States, and our allies don´t trust the Obama administration to follow through. "We´re withdrawing from the Middle East, cutting the Defense Department budget to the bone, doing enormous damage there. ... The bottom line is nobody cares much in the Middle East what the U.S.

Colin Powell: America
Needs Socialized Medicine
Breitbart´s Big Government, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/9/2013 10:24:41 AM     Post Reply
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell believes the United States should have a socialized, single-payer healthcare system similar to those in Canada and Europe. “I think universal health care is one of the things we should really be focused on, and I hope that will happen,” Powell reportedly said last week. “Whether it’s Obamacare, or son of Obamacare, I don’t care. As long as we get it done.” The Puget Sound Business Journal reported Powell´s remarks at the Prostate Cancer Survivors Celebration Breakfast at the University of Washington´s Cancer Research Center. Powell, the Republican who supported Barack Obama during the last two presidential

US Air Force band stages
flash mob performance at
Smithsonian museum
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 10:19:16 AM     Post Reply
Emerging from behind airplanes and space capsules, the United States Air Force Band surprised visitors at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with a flash mob performance involving 120 musicians. The four-minute show was started Friday when Technical Sgt. Edward Prevost, a cellist, began playing after sitting down in a chair in the museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The full band soon joined in, playing an arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Joy to the World, while vocalists emerged from the museum’s second-floor balcony.

  


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Mary Matalin: ´The New Normal
Is Not a Good Economy´
Breitbart Big Journalism, by AWR Hawkins    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/9/2013 10:16:35 AM     Post Reply
During the December 8th episode of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Republican strategist Mary Matalin countered arguments for a higher minimum wage by arguing that Obama´s economic policies are responsible for the very poverty it´s designed to fight. This was in response to Professor Michael Eric Dyson´s claim that "income inequality" and day-to-day arrangements for "the working poor" present problems that demand immediate attention. Dyson said we cannot even measure the number of the jobs created under Obama or make broader economic plans until "we deal with people who are at the bottom." Matalin quickly returned fire, emphasizing that the

More evidence Obama
is in serious trouble
with his own party
American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson    Original Article
Posted By: magnante- 12/9/2013 9:53:06 AM     Post Reply
The old media won´t tell you so, but President Obama is facing a revolt from within his own political party. It was bound to happen once the dimensions of the ObamaCare disaster started to become obvious. Yesterday, I pointed out that Charles Rangel is an early indicator of the discontent bubbling beneath the surface, and that he is freer to speak than non-black Democrats. But today we have another leading indicator. (snip)Rosslyn Smith points out: "If Obama has lost Gergen, he´s lost the entire DC establishment. Gergen is almost the perfect indicator of the conventional wisdom inside the beltway.

Vast Majority of Doctors Boycotting
Obamacare...in California
Townhall Magazine, by Katie Pavlich    Original Article
Posted By: scottyboy- 12/9/2013 9:42:46 AM     Post Reply
Despite being one of the bluest states in the country and one of the first to implement state based Obamacare exchanges, doctors in California are boycotting Obamacare...a whopping 70 percent of them. An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state´s Obamacare health insurance exchange and won´t participate, the head of the state´s largest medical association said. “It doesn´t surprise me that there´s a high rate of nonparticipation,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association. Thorp has been a primary care doctor for 38 years in a small town 90 miles north of

High peaks, lofty prices as
skiing prices out middle class
NBC News, by Rob Lovitt    Original Article
Posted By: BaseballFan- 12/9/2013 9:30:05 AM     Post Reply
Skiers and snowboarders searching for "the steep and deep" this winter may find the concept has taken on a much less appealing connotation: The price of the sport is getting so steep that some believe it may be becoming the exclusive domain of those whose pockets are exceedingly deep. "You have the haves and the have mores," said Douglas Quinby, principal analyst at PhoCusWright, which conducts market research on the travel industry. (Snip)Skiing, of course, has never been considered an inexpensive activity, but the sport has seen a significant upward shift in visitor demographics in recent years.

Western leaders wearing Winnie’s
Necklace to Mandela Memorial
Canada Free Press, by Judi Mcleod    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/9/2013 9:21:42 AM     Post Reply
Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, George and Laura Bush will all figuratively wear a necklace at Nelson Mandela’s memorial tomorrow—the Winnie Mandela necklace that is the most grotesque one of all time. The prime ministers of Canada and Britain, Stephen Harper and David Cameron will wear the necklace, too. But none of the world leaders at the Mandela funeral—Daily Mail touted as the biggest funeral in the world since Winston Churchill—will hear the screams of the young blacks who died in agony wearing the Winnie Mandela necklace. Time and the politically correct era can never wash away the

  



Thrifty Obamas make do
with 24 Christmas trees
Investor´s Business Daily, by Andrew Malcolm    Original Article
Posted By: SurferLad- 12/9/2013 9:06:51 AM     Post Reply
You may remember earlier this year that President Obama, in a fit of pique over Congress actually allowing his sequester cuts idea to take effect, had White House public tours canceled to save lunch money. During the later partial government shutdown, he ordered national monuments "closed," even though most are open-air. Now, comes holiday season in the Obama White House. Although the family travels at Christmas, they go all out for decorations.

Obamas, Bushes fly together
to Mandela’s memorial service
Washington Times, by Dave Boyer    Original Article
Posted By: scottyboy- 12/9/2013 9:02:40 AM     Post Reply
President Obama, former president George W. Bush and their wives departed Washington Monday morning on Air Force One on their way to a memorial service in South Africa for Nelson Mandela. The president and first lady Michelle Obama are being accompanied by Mr. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the flight to Johannesburg. A four-hour memorial service will be held on Tuesday for South Africa’s first black president. Mr. Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary, died on Thursday at age 95. Former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea are traveling separately to South Africa. Former President

Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence
Associated Press, by Hope Yen    Original Article
Posted By: Maryland_Patriot- 12/9/2013 8:56:55 AM     Post Reply
Washington -- It´s not just the wealthiest 1 percent. Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsize influence on America´s economy and politics. This little-known group may pose the biggest barrier to reducing the nation´s income inequality. The growing numbers of the U.S. poor have been well documented, but survey data provided to The Associated Press detail the flip side of the record income gap -- the rise of the "new rich." Made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, the new rich are those with household income of $250,000 or

Kerry’s claim that Iran offered
Bush a nuclear deal in 2003
Washington Post, by Glenn Kessler    Original Article
Posted By: scottyboy- 12/9/2013 8:55:16 AM     Post Reply
“In 2003, Iran made an offer to the Bush administration that they would, in fact, do major things with respect to their [nuclear] program; they had 164 centrifuges. Nobody took that [deal] — nothing has happened.” – Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Nov. 24, 2013 In making the case for the administration’s interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, Secretary Kerry has argued that it is important to make progress on rolling back Tehran’s nuclear program or else Iran will continue to stockpile nuclear material that may one day be used in a

PR firms cash in on
health rollout woes
Politico, by Hadas Gold    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/9/2013 8:45:29 AM     Post Reply
It may be have been a debacle, but there is one upside to the glitch-plagued rollout of the health care website: It’s become a powerful case study for crisis management consultants and their clients of what not to do. In Chicago, H + A International, a communications firm, delivered its customers a 15-point diagnosis of the administration’s handling of the crisis. That led one of its clients to temporarily halt the introduction of a new software product for engineers at a recent trade show of 30,000 people.

Mandela funeral could
´trap´ Rouhani: Iran media
Agence France Presse, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: scottyboy- 12/9/2013 8:39:43 AM     Post Reply
The funeral service of Nelson Mandela could be a "trap" for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani because he could run into US President Barack Obama, a hardline Iranian daily warned Sunday.(snip)Hardline newspaper Kayhan warned in an editorial that if Rouhani attends it could bring him face to face with Obama, "head of the Great Satan government". "Some domestic and foreign media outlets are using the funeral ceremony as a pretext to push Rouhani towards a meeting with the head of the Great Satan government," Kayhan said. Rouhani, a moderate, defeated a pool of conservatives in a June presidential election after vowing to engage

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