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Jimmy Carter: Obama-Castro
Handshake ‘Was Something Significant’
CBS News [DC] & Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/10/2013 1:35:22 PM     Post Reply
JOHANNESBURG — World leaders and joyous, singing South Africans honored Nelson Mandela on Tuesday at a Soweto soccer stadium that was two-thirds full amid cold, driving rain. The crowds booed South African President Jacob Zuma, who was to give the keynote address at the service, which started an hour late. Many South Africans are unhappy with Zuma because of state corruption scandals, though his ruling African National Congress, once led by Mandela, remains the front-runner ahead of elections next year. (Snip) Former President Jimmy Carter, who was at the memorial, called the handshake “significant.”

Meet the Robot Telemarketer
Who Denies She’s A Robot
Time Magazine, by Zeke Miller & Denver Nicks    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/10/2013 1:32:58 PM     Post Reply
The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy. When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.

Black fashion student says Hasidic
men attacked him, shouted anti-gay
slurs in Williamsburg
New York Daily News, by Will Huntsberry, Averi Harper, *    Original Article
Posted By: trapper- 12/10/2013 1:05:45 PM     Post Reply
A black fashion student says he was brutally attacked by a gang of Hasidic men who shouted anti-gay slurs at him while he was walking through Williamsburg after a night of partying, the Daily News has learned. Taj Patterson, 22, was headed home to Fort Greene around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 when he says more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jewish men began assaulting him on Flushing Ave. and yelling, “Stay down, f----t!”



GOP bill blocks pay hike
for ObamaCare officials
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Pete Kasperowicz    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 12:52:42 PM     Post Reply
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) proposed legislation on Monday that would prevent the federal government from giving bonuses or raises to people who run state-level health insurance exchanges under ObamaCare. Gardner´s bill, H.R. 3679, is a response to a recent effort by Patty Fontneau, who runs Colorado´s health insurance exchange, to get a raise and bonus. Gardner said Fontneau is seeking a raise even though the Colorado exchange is far behind its enrollment target so far this year. The Denver Post reported just 6,000 Coloradans were signed up through mid-November, even though the exchange expected that enrollment of 11,000 people would be a

Sen. Jeff Merkley is the
man of the year in Congress
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Juan Williams    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 12:48:00 PM     Post Reply
The 2013 winner of top political player on Capitol Hill is… Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The senator stands out as the leader of the Democrats’ historic move to go to the “nuclear option,” ending the paralysis by threat of filibuster that tied the Senate in knots for the last five years. The junior senator from the Beaver State showed a lot of political bite, in the form of persistence, and has become a left-wing hero as a result. Merkley, with a big assist from Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), won the biggest vote of the year on Capitol Hill by convincing Democrats they were

Watt nomination to be U.S. housing
regulator clears Senate hurdle
Reuters, by Margaret Chadbourn    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 12:23:51 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON- Democratic Representative Mel Watt´s nomination to lead the agency that regulates taxpayer-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cleared a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate, putting it on course for final approval likely later on Tuesday. President Barack Obama nominated Watt in May to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but Republicans had blocked a final vote. Last month, however, Senate Democrats changed the rules to allow nominees like Watt to overcome filibusters with a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber. Previously, it took 60 votes.

Mystery ´Tips for Jesus´ tipper
identified in NYC
Yahoo News, by Dylan Stableford    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 12:15:49 PM     Post Reply
The generous mystery tipper who has been leaving waiters and waitresses across the country thousands of dollars in "Tips for Jesus" — and stamped with the @tipsforjesus handle — was identified by a New York City waiter as Jack Selby, former PayPal vice president. Aruj Dhawan, a waiter at Bo´s Kitchen, told the New York Post that Selby and two other patrons gave him a $1,000 tip on a $111.05 bill. "As I was about to drop the check off, one of the men said they would ‘make my night.’ They called me over, gave me the check," Dhawan told



Obama gives warm greeting
to Brazilian president
CNN, by CNN Political Unit    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 12/10/2013 12:13:27 PM     Post Reply
While much was made about President Barack Obama´s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela´s memorial service, the U.S. leader also gave a warm greeting to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, despite recent tension between the two countries. As Obama took his place among other world leaders and dignitaries before he addressed the memorial, he shook hands, embraced and patted them on the shoulder. When Obama arrived at Rousseff, he kissed her on both cheeks The U.S. and Brazil jointly agreed in September to postpone Rousseff´s state visit to Washington - originally scheduled for October - over controversy over

President Obama Takes
‘Funeral Selfie,’ Internet Goes
Wild Over Michelle’s Expression
Mediaite, by Evan McMurry    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/10/2013 12:09:42 PM     Post Reply
A “presidential selfie” featuring President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service began making the rounds this morning, but it’s the person not included in the frame who caught everyone’s attention: As anyone with two eyes and a Twitter account has noticed, Michelle Obama does not appear amused. Of course, though a picture says a thousand words, not all of those words are necessarily true. FLOTUS might not have even known the photo was taking place. Or she could disapprove of funeral selfies. Either way.

Meeting with Newtown families, Joe
Biden to announce mental health push
Washington Examiner, by Brian Hughes    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 12:08:01 PM     Post Reply
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday will announce $100 million in government spending on mental health services, trumpeting the investment during a meeting with family members of victims from the massacre in Newtown, Conn. The Department of Health and Human Services will spend $50 million to “establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction” and the Department of Agriculture will finance another $50 million “for the construction, expansion or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years,” according to a White House official. The HHS funding is being made available

D.C. Circuit Court has Democratic
majority bench for first time since
Reagan administration
Washington Examiner, by Sean Lengell    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 12:03:46 PM     Post Reply
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, considered the nation´s second-most influential court behind the Supreme Court, now tilts Democratic, thanks to the Senate´s new filibuster rules. The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Obama nominee Patricia Ann Millett to the appeals court, a long-delayed move that bring the bench´s judicial lineup to nine — with five judges appointed by Democratic presidents and four by Republicans. Millett, who was confirmed by a vote of 56-38, will be just the sixth woman ever to serve on the court in its 120-year history. "Patricia Millett has risen through the ranks of government



GM Taps Mary Barra Next CEO;
Will Be First Woman Car Chief
Forbes, by Dale Buss    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 12:02:40 PM     Post Reply
General Motors GM -0.22% CEO Dan Akerson and the GM board have selected product chief Mary Barra to succeed him, the company said today, and Akerson is retiring in January. The move will make 33-year GM veteran Barra the first woman to lead a global automaker. Arguably, it will make her the highest-profile female CEO in the world. It also set in motion a cascade of other management changes in the biggest re-set of the automaker’s leadership since the 2009 U.S.-government bailout. But all the moves were internal. Akerson accelerated the timing of his exit by several months because of

Harry Reid Urges Republicans to
Fix a Law They Opposed All Along
Cybercast News Service, by Susan Jones    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 11:55:08 AM     Post Reply
Not a single Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act, but they must now help Democrats make the law work, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. Although the rollout of the Obamacare website was "rocky," many of the major problems have been fixed, he said. "There are still problems with the Affordable Care Act and ways we can make it better. But we can´t improve the law without help from reasonable Republicans. It´s time for my Republican colleagues to give up their fantasy of repealing a law that´s already benefiting tens of millions of Americans and start

More Physicians Are Refusing to
Accept Any Third Party Insurance
Cybercast News Service, by Barbara Hollingsworth    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 11:50:22 AM     Post Reply
A small but growing number of physicians are not accepting government insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and are even refusing to accept patients’ private insurance, according to Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Orient says the transition to a business model in which patients agree to pay doctors directly for the health care services they provide started before Obamacare was passed, but that the new law has accelerated the trend, especially among AAPS’ 4,000 or so members. AAPS is the conservative alternative to the much larger American Medical Association (AMA), which endorsed Obamacare

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer:
No extremists on our side of the aisle
Washington Times (D.C), by Seth McLaughlin    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 11:39:33 AM     Post Reply
Democrats have blamed much of the gridlock on Capitol Hill on a number of GOP extremists who won’t accept legislation that is not perfect in their minds. Asked by Kenneth G. Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, whether there are any extremists in the Democratic ranks, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said no. “I don’t think there are any extremists in my party,” the Maryland Democrat said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Mr. Langone expressed disbelief at the comment. “What more can I say,” he said. “The other guys are the bad guys, you are the good guys.” Mr. Hoyer said



Netflix Acquires Documentary
on Romney´s Two Campaigns for President
Newsbusters, by Tim Graham    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 11:32:52 AM     Post Reply
“Netflix is casting its vote for Mitt Romney,” quipped The Hollywood Reporter. The video streaming service has acquired a Greg Whiteley documentary titled “Mitt” that will debut January 24. The behind-the-scenes documentary on Romney’s campaigns for president from 2006 to 2012 with a “surprising level of access” to the candidate will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17. Lisa Nishimura, Netflix vice president of original documentary and comedy, declared "This rare inside look at Mitt Romney and his family as he runs for president showcases a unique kind of storytelling, one which takes the viewer well beyond the

Obama, Cameron take a selfie
USA Today, by David Jackson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 11:29:08 AM     Post Reply
Everybody is taking selfies these days, it seems. Even President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron got into the self-portrait act Tuesday at Nelson Mandela´s memorial service. We´re not sure whose smart phone was used, though Obama has said he doesn´t have an iPhone because of security concerns. We´re also not positive who the other person in the snap is -- the AFP photo caption didn´t identify her -- but it looks an awful lot like Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. First lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, appears to be paying attention to the program. "Selfie," which is the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year

NBC´s Williams: Obama Shaking
Hands With Raul Castro ´One of
the Better Moments´ at Mandela Memorial
Newsbusters, by Kyle Drennen    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 11:28:02 AM     Post Reply
Reporting from South Africa on Tuesday´s NBC Today about the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams noted how the "dignitary section has some criminals, some thieves, some kings, some presidents" and that "Several have been life-long sworn enemies." He then proclaimed that President Obama´s "handshake with [Cuban leader] Raul Castro was one of the better moments." [View video after the jump] Williams gushed that oppressive dictators sitting side by side with democratically elected leaders of the free world was somehow part of Mandela´s legacy: "What would Nelson Mandela say to all of them and say to

How Presidents Lie
National Review Online, by Victor Davis Hanson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 11:14:12 AM     Post Reply
In the past there have been all sorts of presidential fibbing. Some chief executives make promises that they know they probably cannot or will not keep. Before his reelection for his third term in the midst of a world war, Franklin Roosevelt swore that he would never send American boys to fight in a foreign war. In just a little over a year, he did just that. Lyndon Johnson likewise before the 1964 election said he would not send troops to Vietnam. But once reelected, he sent nearly 200,000 troops to fight the North Vietnamese; by the time he left

Polls Find Big Trouble
Ahead for Democrats
PJ Media, by Bryan Preston    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 11:06:01 AM     Post Reply
Colorado has been taken over by Democrats over the past few election cycles. But left-leaning PPP’s latest poll suggests that the Democrats are losing their grip on the state. The recalls of two Democratic State Senators in September weren’t an anomaly when it comes to how Colorado voters are feeling about the state legislature. Republicans lead the statewide generic legislative ballot by a 47/42 margin, including a 41/30 advantage with independents. Those numbers are perhaps also indicative of how much trouble Democrats would be in at the top of the ticket next year if the GOP candidate fields were a little


Club for Growth won´t help Stockman
The Hill (Washington DC), by Cameron Joseph    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/10/2013 11:00:38 AM     Post Reply
The Club for Growth said Tuesday it won´t help Rep. Steve Stockman´s (R-Texas) primary challenge against Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). The conservative group said it has no problem with Cornyn and won´t spend the millions of dollars necessary to help the cash-strapped Stockman in the race. “While Congressman Stockman has a pro-economic growth record, so does Senator Cornyn, as witnessed by his 87 percent lifetime Club for Growth score,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. Chocola said the Club´s PAC looks at the strength of the incumbent´s record, the degree of difference between the candidates and

Festivus pole to go up in
Florida Capitol rotunda
Sun-Sentinel [Ft. Lauderdale, FL], by Jim Turner    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/10/2013 11:00:25 AM     Post Reply
TALLAHASSEE —A nearly 6-foot-tall "Festivus" pole made from empty beer cans will be put up in the Florida Capitol this week as a not-so-subtle protest to the recent placement of a Christmas nativity scene. The mock monument will be erected most likely on Wednesday in the same first-floor rotunda as a nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus Christ put up last week by the Florida Prayer Network. "I still chuckle, I literally can´t believe there will be a pile of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in the state rotunda," said Chaz Stevens, a Deerfield Beach resident who applied to the

Christiane Amanpour Gushes as
Obama Shakes Hands with Castro
PJ Media, by Bryan Preston    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/10/2013 10:56:20 AM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama declined even to attend the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Instead of attending, he dispatched a pair of former secretaries of state to attend. Obama attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and addressed the service. He also mixed and mingled, and CNN had its cameras trained on his every move, capturing this revealing moment. “Castro! He’s shaking hands with Raul Castro!” Amanpour shouts as Obama seeks Castro out, bows to the Cuban dictator and takes his hand. After Amanpour gushed over Obama’s shaking hands with the head of a brutal communist regime

Federal exchange sends
unqualified people to Medicaid
USA Today, by Jayne O´Donnell    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/10/2013 10:53:33 AM     Post Reply
The federal health care exchange is incorrectly determining that some people are eligible for Medicaid when they clearly are not, leaving them with little chance to get the subsidized insurance they are entitled to as the Dec. 23 deadline for enrollment approaches. State and industry officials haven´t quantified the problem yet, but the National Association of State Medicaid Directors may release information next week after following up on reports from around the country, says Executive Director Matt Salo. Here´s what happens: When consumers applying for insurance put their income information into subsidy calculators on HealthCare.gov — the exchange handling insurance sales for

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