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Dial-A-Carol A Holiday
Tradition at U of Illinois
Associated Press, by Carla K. Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/17/2013 4:12:03 AM     Post Reply
CHICAGO -- The phones are jingling off the hook at Dial-a-Carol, a student-run project on the University of Illinois´ Champaign campus. It´s a hotline of sorts for people who prefer hearing holiday music sung by a choir of amateurs who´ve been up all night studying. The carols echoing in the lobby of Snyder Hall may be out of tune at times, but the voices ring with youthful energy. "They´re not music majors. They´re singing from their hearts," said Kirsten Ruby, spokeswoman for the university´s housing department. The program was started in 1960 by a former hall secretary, Betty Gordon, and

Report: U.S. energy industry flirting with
all-time high crude-oil production record
Hot Air, by Erika Johnsen    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/17/2013 4:08:33 AM     Post Reply
In yet another testament to just how big a thank-you the Obama administration owes to the oil-and-gas industry and particularly hydraulic fracturing for helping to spur onward what has otherwise very largely been a paltry excuse for an economic “recovery,” the Energy Information Administration released their 2014 energy outlook report on Monday — and the United States has not only far and away surpassed the EIA’s own forecasts of yesteryear but is on track to hit new production records. The Financial Times summarizes: US crude oil production will come close to its record highs in just three years time as the

“I’m For It. But What
Is The Reality Of It?”
The Federalist, by Mollie Hemingway    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/17/2013 4:04:33 AM     Post Reply
Professional and culture elites have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But that was before thousands of New York writers, opera singers, photographers, doctors and lawyers found out they were having their health insurance plans canceled. The new plans cost more and have far fewer options. You can read all about it in the New York Times article, “With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals.” One of the subjects of the piece goes so far as to say that had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney. Another says: “We



Obama’s Library, Advisers’ Dream
New York Times, by Jason Horowitz    Original Article
Posted By: ketchuplover- 12/17/2013 3:34:14 AM     Post Reply
Washington — This spring, a longtime staff member for President Obama, Alyssa Mastromonaco, let a friend in on a secret. Mr. Obama had assigned her to begin planning his post-presidential library and foundation. (snip) But a few weeks later, White House staff members noticed that an even greater force in the Obama orbit was moving toward the action. Valerie Jarrett, the first couple’s matchmaker, early political patron and undisputed Obama whisperer, sensed a hot property. The question of who guides Mr. Obama’s next chapter may seem distant to the public. But, as aides to former President Bill Clinton have demonstrated, proximity

Fox News 2013 Ratings More
Than MSNBC, CNN, HLN Combined
Breitbart Big Journalism, by Ben Shapiro    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/17/2013 3:15:56 AM     Post Reply
On Monday, Variety reported that Fox News had once again dominated all comers I the annual ratings, not merely blowing out CNN, MSNBC and HLN, but drawing more viewers than the combined averages of the three other networks. Fox News averaged 1.774 million viewers in primetime; the other three averaged a combined 1.626 million viewers in primetime. Fox finished sixth among all basic cable companies. The addition of Megyn Kelly to primetime has been a boon for Roger Ailes and company, with Kelly up 23% in total viewers in the timeslot. No wonder CNN, which is struggling to outpace Headline

Multivitamin researchers say
"case is closed" after studies find no health
CBS News, by Ryan Jaslow    Original Article
Posted By: Daisymae- 12/17/2013 2:36:35 AM     Post Reply
“Enough” with the multivitamins already. That’s the message from doctors behind three new studies and an editorial that tackled an oft-debated question in medicine: Do daily multivitamins make you healthier? After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of “no.” “We believe that the case is closed -- supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” concluded the authors of the editorial summarizing the new research papers, published Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts: So Many
Consider Obama the ‘First Gay President’
Mediaite, by Noah Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 12/17/2013 2:03:25 AM     Post Reply
MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts examined the notion on Monday that President Barack Obama faces an uphill battle to safeguard the rights of gays and lesbians abroad who face repression in their home countries who are less tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Roberts asked if Obama has credibility with repressive government given that so many see him as America’s “first gay president.” Given the many areas in which the U.S. has encoutnred friction with Russia, a country that has cracked down on the rights of same-sex individuals recently, Roberts asked a human rights advocate on Monday whether the president has any credibility



The man who saved the lightbulb
Fox News, by Jeremy A. Kaplan    Original Article
Posted By: Harlowe- 12/16/2013 11:41:25 PM     Post Reply
A modern day Edison has a bright idea: a way to keep the incandescent bulb burning brightly, despite a government law set to go into effect New Year’s Day that effectively outlaws the most commonly used lightbulbs. Most bulbs, that is. Not those made by lightbulb savior Larry Birnbaum. “When the government decided to ban incandescent lightbulbs, they left a loophole in the law. An opening,” Birnbaum told FoxNews.com. “What that was was rough service.” (Snip) His bulbs, called Newcandescents, began shipping in 2010 -- made in America, at a plant outside of Indianapolis

Mandela Memorial Signer
Allegedly Burned Two Men to Death
Time, by Eliana Dockterman    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 12/16/2013 10:50:15 PM     Post Reply
The fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last week was among a group of people accused of assaulting two men found with a stolen television and burning them to death, according to his friends. The interpreter, who sparked outrage when it was revealed that he was using fake sign language during the event, joined others in allegedly setting fire to tires and placing them around the two men’s necks, one of the interpreter’s cousins and three of his friends told the Associated Press. Thamsanqa Jantijie was never tried for the 2003 killings because authorities determined he was not

Disappointment from the
Obama administration
Washington Post, by Jonathan Bernstein    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/16/2013 9:50:41 PM     Post Reply
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Barack Obama’s presidency is that he’s frequently failed to live up to the terrific standards that his campaign set in 2008 for looking beyond the current news cycle. The chatter continues today about The Post’s important story about the Obama administration’s decision to delay many regulations until after the 2012 election. John Sides put it best with a sarcastic tweet: “Good thing White House did this, since SO MANY presidential elections turn on bureaucratic rule-making.” We should be careful. It certainly is possible for a White House to turn key interest groups against it

Paul Ryan Budget Deal Cuts Military Pensions to
Pay for Spending Increases
Breitbart´s Big Government, by Matthew Boyle    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/16/2013 9:46:52 PM     Post Reply
The budget deal that House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) made with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) cuts military pensions to pay for immediate spending increases, CNN Money’s Jennifer Liberto reports. The bill raises spending by $63 billion over the next couple of years. “The deal cuts pension cost of living raises by 1 percentage point for military retirees who aren´t disabled and not yet 62 years old,” Liberto wrote last week. Cost of living hikes are automatic raises intended to keep up with inflation. The problem is, most military retirees are a lot younger than private



This Week
PJ Media, by Richard Fernandez    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 12/16/2013 9:45:30 PM     Post Reply
Some days bring up an assortment of news that can only be called a snapshot of the times. No common thread runs through them except a kind of spirit of the age. It’s a day in the life, bringing both good and bad. The first snippet is news that the fake sign language interpreter present at the Mandela funeral was once part of a group that burned people to death. “They told The Associated Press that the group placed tires around the men’s necks and set them ablaze. Unlike two other suspects who went to trial in 2006 for the

In budget deal, a secret reward for Dems
The Hill, by Erik Wasson    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/16/2013 9:34:05 PM     Post Reply
The two-year budget deal approved by the House has hidden political benefits for Senate Democrats, Republicans charge. Because it sets a top-line budget number for 2015, Democrats won’t have to write and pass a budget resolution in the midterm election year. That means vulnerable Democrats like Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Kay Hagen (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.) won’t have to take tough votes as part of a budget vote-o-rama. Republicans are unhappy, as they believe the tough votes would have made it easier to defeat those candidates next fall and take control off the Senate in 2015.

Small businesses claim U.S.
government stealing their ideas
Fox News, by Eric Shawn*    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/16/2013 9:33:34 PM     Post Reply
"They stole all my stuff and used taxpayer money to do it," John Hnatio, a Maryland small business owner, says of the U.S. government. Hnatio claims the government has put his company, FoodquestTQ, nearly out of business by stealing his firm´s software that was designed to be licensed to the Food and Drug Administration to monitor food safety. The FDA "took our ideas, plagiarized my doctoral dissertation on which a patent was based, and then they infringed on our patent. The result was that it decimated our business," he adds. Hnatio says his company has been left hanging by a

That´s $3,400 per wear! Michelle Obama
wears controversial J Mendel jacket
AGAIN despite backlash last year
over its $6,800 price tag
Daily Mail [UK], by Tamara Abraham    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/16/2013 9:31:31 PM     Post Reply
Michelle Obama has once again stepped out in her $6,800 J Mendel jacket, despite fielding a backlash last time she wore the pricey garment. [Snip] But the last time she wore the embellished garment, in July 2012 at a Buckingham Palace reception in London, political commentators took issue with the fact that she had spent so much on fashion while so many in the U.S. are suffering financially. A post on the Gateway Pundit blog remarked that the design ´cost more than the average American family makes in a month ($4,284)´. ´She does this as Americans continue to suffer through a



Vanity Fair Concerned by George
W. Bush´s ´Hipster Icon´ Resurgence
Breitbart Big Journalism, by Frances Martel    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/16/2013 9:24:58 PM     Post Reply
Prominent American painter and philanthropist George W. Bush—the post-aughts iteration of the former United States President—has managed a resurgence as a beloved personality and even online "hipster icon." So warns Vanity Fair, asking with dread how a man so "uncool" could be so popular with young people. President Bush has returned to the public eye in recent months for a number of unlikely reasons. His leaked paintings garnered much attention on Gawker, BuzzFeed, and all matter of blogs with young readers. His letter of support to University of Alabama´s Cade Foster, as Vanity Fair´s Juli Weiner notes, went viral.

Six GOP Senators Back Ryan-Murray
Budget, Ensuring Senate Passage
Breitbart Big Government, by Matthew Boyle    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/16/2013 9:18:12 PM     Post Reply
The budget deal that House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is set to clear the Senate, The New York Times reports. “Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, announced his support for the measure on Monday, appearing to give it the 60 votes it would need to overcome a filibuster threat and bring it to a final vote, which would need only a majority,” the Times’ Jonathan Weisman wrote Monday. “Mr. Hatch joined Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, Susan

GOP could be trapped by Democrat
demands to fix Obamacare
Washington Examiner, by Byron York    Original Article
Posted By: Judy W.- 12/16/2013 8:36:04 PM     Post Reply
2014 will be the year Republicans are forced to deal with the Obamacare Trap, helpfully set for them by the Democratic authors of the Affordable Care Act. In 2009 and 2010, President Obama and his party took a health care system in which 85 percent had insurance coverage, and blew it up. Now, with Obamacare causing misery right and left, those same Democrats are screaming, "You can´t go back!" The national health care scheme they designed is so complex and has already embedded itself so deeply in the health care system, they argue, that it can never be repealed. The only course

Of Jane Fonda and Pope Francis
Wall Street Journal, by Bret Stephens    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/16/2013 7:51:34 PM     Post Reply
In the same week that Pope Francis was named Time´s Person of the Year, word arrived of the charitable contributions made by the Jane Fonda Foundation. Grand total for the years 2007 to 2011: zero dollars. The last time Ms. Fonda´s Foundation made a charitable gift, reports the Smoking Gun website, was in 2006, to the tune of $1,000. The Foundation itself has $800,000 in assets. Ms. Fonda´s representatives insist she´s made larger gifts, particularly through her family foundation, which in 2011 made about $350,000 in contributions from $7.2 million in net assets. But even that´s not quite 5%, the legal

Exercises to tackle bad posture
can avert back surgery
- Thread Closed
Financial Times, by Charles Wallace    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/16/2013 7:39:04 PM     Post Reply
With all the resources available to Google, you would imagine that the executives and boffins who labour there enjoy an idyllic life. But it turns out that they too suffer from back pain. Neuromuscular pain in the back and neck is the single largest reason for medical treatment at the Californian group. Back pain has become the scourge of the modern office worker. A 2004 study found that Americans spent $90bn a year on it. And the conventional medical cure frequently offers little relief: a review found that up to 50 per cent of patients who had disc surgery felt


FBI disrupted nearly 150 mass shootings,
violent acts in 2013: Attorney
General Eric Holder
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/16/2013 7:27:30 PM     Post Reply
The FBI says it has helped to disrupt or prevent nearly 150 shootings and violent attacks this year, in part by steering potential gunmen toward mental health professionals. It´s an achievement that stands out during a year when President Barack Obama made curbing gun violence a priority, yet has had little success in getting new restrictions enacted. There have been hundreds of these disruptions since 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder recently told an audience of police chiefs, touting the behind-the-scenes work of a small FBI unit based out of Quantico, Va. In most cases, the FBI has helped potential offenders get

Another Victory Against HHS
Mandate "Accommodation"
National Review, by Ed Whelan    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/16/2013 7:22:29 PM     Post Reply
In a carefully reasoned opinion issued today, federal district judge Brian M. Cogan of the Eastern District of New York ruled that various Catholic nonprofit institutions that were the supposed beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s phony accommodation on the HHS contraception mandate are entitled to permanent injunctive relief against enforcement of the HHS mandate. (The case is styled Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York v. Sebelius.) This is the second merits ruling holding that the accommodation doesn’t satisfy the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. No court, so far as I’m aware, has ruled the other way. As I noted a

Here Are The Tech Execs Meeting
With President Obama Tomorrow
National Public Radio, by Elise Hu    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/16/2013 7:15:38 PM     Post Reply
Tech giants aren´t on the best terms with the Obama administration lately, with the NSA´s surveillance revelations getting more widespread by the day. But a lot of big tech names have agreed to visit the White House for a chat. The White House just announced a who´s who of tech leaders are coming to Washington tomorrow to meet with President Barack Obama and his team about the tech disaster that was HealthCare.gov, how government can better deliver IT and of course, national security. According to the White House, here are the bigwigs expected to attend:

Second Federal Judge
´Skeptical´ About Legal Case
for NSA Phone-Record Collection
- Thread Closed
US News, by Steven Nelson    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/16/2013 7:06:02 PM     Post Reply
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union appeared in U.S. District Court Friday to argue for a preliminary injunction that would halt the National Security Agency´s collection of all Americans´ phone records. Judge William Pauley did not set a time frame for when he might announce his decision – but as he reviews the case, NSA opponents may have cause for optimism. ACLU legal fellow Brett Max Kaufman, one of the attorneys in court for the hearing, said Pauley seemed skeptical of the government´s reliance on the Supreme Court´s 1979 Smith v. Maryland decision. The landmark ruling found a criminal

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