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Charles Krauthammer: Edward
Snowden not vindicated
Politico, by Jose Delreal    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/17/2013 9:11:51 AM     Post Reply
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on Monday noted that even while the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s spying network is in question, “it isn’t as if Snowden is vindicated.” Krauthammer’s comments on Fox News follow U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s ruling in favor of five plaintiffs challenging the NSA’s collection of their phone meta-data. Judge Leon on Monday ruled only on those specific cases, but his ruling could invite broader appeals. “He’s only one judge. We have no idea how this would end up in the Supreme Court,” explained Krauthammer on Fox News Monday. “What [Judge] Leon is arguing is that

Next Obamacare crisis:
Small-business costs?
Politico, by David Nather    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/17/2013 9:07:54 AM     Post Reply
Think the canceled health policies hurt the Obamacare cause? There’s another political time bomb lurking that could explode not too long before next year’s elections: rate hikes for small businesses. Like the canceled individual health plans, it’s another example of a tradeoff that health care experts have long known about, as the new rules for health insurance prices create winners and losers. But most Americans won’t become aware of it until some small business employees learn that their premiums are going up because of a law called — oops — the Affordable Care Act.

How Obama ran down the
nuclear doomsday clock
American Thinker, by James Lewis    Original Article
Posted By: magnante- 12/17/2013 9:03:50 AM     Post Reply
Americans don´t pride themselves on acts of treachery, but there are times when we as a nation have betrayed people. (snip) the worst betrayal -- by far -- has been Obama´s enabling of full Iranian nuclear development, now about 36 days from 90% nuclear enrichment. Every American president since Harry S Truman has opposed the spread of nuclear weapons to regimes mad enough to use them. Before his death in 1953, Jozef Stalin was threatening to start a worldwide nuclear conflict, as Hitler and Japan would have done had they possessed nuclear weapons. After Stalin, the US and USSR arrived at

  


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The Book that Trayvon´s
Parents Should Write
American Thinker, by Jack Cashill    Original Article
Posted By: magnante- 12/17/2013 8:59:46 AM     Post Reply
"Trayvon Martin´s Parents Are Planning a Book" -- so reads the headline of a gentle December 13 article in the New York Times.(snip)Martin´s parents have the opportunity to set the record straight. According to the Times, they intend "to write a book that gives the full picture of their son." If so, they would do the public a service if they discovered what it was that inspired Martin´s unprovoked attack on Zimmerman that rainy night in Florida. Now that the media have finally acknowledged the "knock out game," the parents might ask whether their son was playing that "game." To find

Democrats Have Maxed
Out the Race Card
Daily Beast, by Ron Christie    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/17/2013 8:48:41 AM     Post Reply
A skirmish on MSNBC underscores the new normal in Democratic thinking: If you disagree with Obama, you must be racist. A Tea Party member? Racist! How it’s damaging our cultural fabric. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. On Sunday I appeared as a guest on the Melissa Harris-Perry show to discuss the state of politics in America today. One of my fellow panelists, Angela Nye, observed: “I was just thinking, to me, in 2010, the Republican infighting took a particularly dangerous tone because it wasn’t just about infighting anymore. It was about taking our country back with

Snowden: NSA´S Indiscrimant
Spying ´Collapsing´
Associated Press, by Bradley Brooks    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/17/2013 8:38:27 AM     Post Reply
RIO DE JANEIRO — National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wrote in a lengthy "open letter to the people of Brazil" that he´s been inspired by the global debate ignited by his release of thousands of National Security Agency documents, and that the NSA´s culture of indiscriminate global espionage "is collapsing." In the letter, released widely online, Snowden commended the Brazilian government for its strong stand against U.S. spying. He said he´d be willing to help the South American nation investigate NSA spying on its soil, but could not fully participate in doing so without being granted political asylum, because the U.S.

Auto bailout could be harbinger
for Obamacare
Washington Post, by Dana Milbank    Original Article
Posted By: garnet- 12/17/2013 8:23:09 AM     Post Reply
When will the criticism of Obamacare finally end? I’ve done some research on the question, and by my calculations, judging from current trends, this will happen approximately .?.?. never.I base this on the criticism of the auto bailout of early 2009. Almost five years later, the industry is healthy again and large swaths of the Midwest have been spared what would have been certain economic devastation. All this was achieved for a relatively modest sum: When the government’s last shares of General Motors were sold last week, the total cost to save GM and Chrysler came to about $12 billion.

  


  

An Orchestra in One Instrument
Wall Street Journal, by Joe Morgenstern    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/17/2013 8:22:21 AM     Post Reply
Peter O´Toole is gone, and I do a quick cortical search for my most vivid memory of him. The first hit is, to my surprise, not his face but his inimitable voice. Specifically, his voice as it emanates from the mouth of Anton Ego, the food critic in 2007´s "Ratatouille"—expansive, even airy; elegant with that characteristically delicious tinge of insouciance and, as always, blithely musical, an orchestra of feelings within a single instrument. "Not everyone can become a great artist," Anton intones warmly, "but a great artist can come from anywhere." It´s the story of O´Toole´s life. Born in 1932

For Chris Christie, lane closures
at N.J. bridge attract scrutiny
if not scandal
Washington Post, by Phillip Rucker    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/17/2013 8:14:31 AM     Post Reply
TRENTON, N.J. — The issue at hand is small, even for local politics: The sudden closure, over four days, of a pair of access lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., onto the George Washington Bridge into New York. But in this traffic mystery, Democrats see a potential scandal that could permanently harm Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has been riding high as a prospective 2016 presidential candidate. In September, two of Christie’s top appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ordered that the lanes be abruptly shut to traffic, causing days of gridlock in Fort Lee. Democrats allege

ObamaCare: 5 Land Mines
Dead Ahead For Health Law
Investor´s Business Daily, by John Merline    Original Article
Posted By: RustMB- 12/17/2013 8:12:21 AM     Post Reply
With support for ObamaCare hitting all-time lows, the administration continues to cling to one bit of good news — the federal exchange website is working better than before. Healthcare.gov is "night and day compared to where we were back in October," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee last week. And the insurance industry — which didn´t want to send people to a bug-filled website — is starting to unleash various ad campaigns. But getting people to enroll is just one of many problems facing ObamaCare. Several other land mines could cause further damage over the

Obamascare: Huge premium hikes
rock employer-insured workers
Washington Times, by Tom Howell Jr.    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 12/17/2013 8:06:28 AM     Post Reply
Sharon Wilson, an office manager in Iowa, figured she would lock in a good deal on health care coverage for her five-person biofuels company by renewing its policy before Obamacare kicked in for 2014. But she balked when her agent came back with a 81 percent rate hike, anyway. Her company, Prairie City-based Midwest Renewable Biofuels, had experienced rate hikes during her career, Ms. Wilson said, but not like this. Plus, the previous jumps were accompanied by explanations for why premiums were rising

  


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Madison, Aghast?
New York Sun, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/17/2013 8:03:52 AM     Post Reply
“Aghast” is the word that a United States district judge uses to describe how the author of the Constitution, James Madison, would react to the collection of metadata by the National Security Agency. The judge, Richard Leon, whose court is in the Columbia District, says he “cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed,

Homeland Security inspector general
who was under probe steps down
Washington Post, by Carol Leonnig    Original Article
Posted By: Flyright- 12/17/2013 8:02:26 AM     Post Reply
An acting inspector general who was himself under investigation for allegations he misused his office and softened reports to keep from embarrassing the Obama administration stepped down from his job late Monday. Charles K. Edwards, who was charged with overseeing the vast Department of Homeland Security and its many bureaus and agencies since the retirement of the former inspector general, had faced a broadening Senate probe this year that focused on whether he had altered and delayed investigations to please the agency and the White House. News of his departure to another office within the department he oversaw came just three

Quote of the Day:
Kerry in the Storm
Jerusalem Post, by Caroline Glick    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/17/2013 8:01:56 AM     Post Reply
There was a ghoulish creepiness to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Israel last week. Here we were, beset by the greatest winter storm in a hundred years. All roads to Jerusalem were sealed off. Tens of thousands of Jerusalemites and residents of surrounding areas were locked down in their houses, without power, heat, telephone service or water. And all of the sudden, out of nowhere, Kerry appeared. As Hamas-ruled Gazans begged the supposedly hated IDF to come and save them from the floods, and as Israel took over rescue operations for stranded Palestinians living under the rule

´This Is the End of the Presidency´
National Journal, by Ron Fournier    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/17/2013 7:59:42 AM     Post Reply
Claiming a mandate he never had, the newly reelected president foisted a bold agenda upon Congress and the public, then watched it collapse within months—a victim of scandal, cynical opponents, and his own hubris. One despairing adviser declared, "This is the end of the presidency." That was George W. Bush in 2005. Or was it Barack Obama this past year? Reading Peter Baker´s extraordinary account of the Bush-Cheney era, Days of Fire, I found a striking number of parallels between Bush´s fifth year in office and the atrocious first 12 months of President Obama´s second term. My takeaway: Obama needs to shatter

  


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An Open Letter to the People of Brazil
Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil), by Edward Snowden    Original Article
Posted By: Flyright- 12/17/2013 7:28:25 AM     Post Reply
Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government´s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist´s camera.Espionage Whistleblower Edward Snowden to Seek Asylum in Brazil I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to

Grinch takes air out of
Centerville family´s holiday display
Cape Cod Times, by Patrick Cassidy    Original Article
Posted By: dwillyc- 12/17/2013 7:27:59 AM     Post Reply
CENTERVILLE — Move over, Dr. Seuss. Like the Whos of the classic Christmas story, the Thompsons on Shootflying Hill Road have been Grinched. For the past eight years the friendly family has erected an elaborate holiday display on its front lawn, wowing neighbors with inflatable characters, a Christmas train and a light show synced to music. When Richard Thompson flipped the switch to power up the extravaganza Sunday morning, however, nothing happened. Somebody had slashed the blow-up Santa, reindeer and sock monkey as well as three blow-up dogs representing the family´s three yellow Labrador retrievers. The wires connecting the lights

Chinese state newspaper says
Western media must be controlled
Telegraph [UK], by Malcolm Moore    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/17/2013 7:25:34 AM     Post Reply
The Chinese government must rein in foreign journalists, a state newspaper has warned, in order to keep tight control over the flow of information to the outside world. "Chinese authorities are breaching their duty if they allow Western media to work in China unchecked," wrote the Global Times, a stridently nationalistic newspaper, in an editorial. "Information security is among China´s core security concerns. China is willing to communicate with the world, but it won´t yield its own agenda-setting rights to the Western media." The editorial, which only appeared in English and appears targeted at foreign ears, came in the middle of a

New York Archdiocese Wins
Ruling on Contraception
New York Times, by Mosi Secret    Original Article
Posted By: Flyright- 12/17/2013 7:23:16 AM     Post Reply
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York was granted a federal injunction on Monday that blocks an Obama administration requirement to provide contraceptive care to employees at its nonprofit affiliates. The ruling found that the regulation violated the religious freedom of the four nonprofit groups — two high schools and two health care systems — that are affiliated with the archdiocese but employ people of any faith. Under the Affordable Care Act, the nonprofit groups were required to provide the contraceptive coverage, authorize a third party to voluntarily pay for and provide the coverage, or pay steep fines. The ruling, by Brian

Obama suffers most from
year of turmoil, poll finds
Washington Post, by Dan Balz and Scott Clement    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/17/2013 7:13:43 AM     Post Reply
President Obama is ending his fifth year in office matching the worst public approval ratings of his presidency, with record numbers of Americans saying they disapprove of his job performance and his once-hefty advantages over Republicans in Congress eroded in many areas, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. His position is all the more striking when compared with his standing a year ago, as he was preparing for his second inauguration after a solid reelection victory. That high note proved fleeting as the president faced a series of setbacks, culminating in the botched rollout of his Affordable Care

  



Budget deal shows
the GOP has PTSD
Washington Post, by Marc A. Thiessen    Original Article
Posted By: Judy W.- 12/17/2013 6:51:49 AM     Post Reply
Since taking office, Barack Obama has run the table on congressional Republicans, racking up one government-expanding victory after another — from the stimulus to Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and the $620 billion in fiscal-cliff tax increases. The GOP’s sole victory — its one, lonely government-reducing achievement — was the passage of the Budget Control Act in 2011. Now, House Republicans are retroactively conceding that fight, too. Thanks to the Budget Control Act, the status quo for the first time favors fiscal responsibility. If Congress does nothing, government spending is set to go down automatically next year. For years, the default position in Washington has

Democratic group apologizes after
sending tracker to memorial service
Daily Caller, by Alexis Levinson    Original Article
Posted By: Fiesta del sol- 12/17/2013 6:40:34 AM     Post Reply
Democratic opposition research organization American Bridge apologized on Monday for sending someone to follow New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte at a funeral this weekend, after a reporter and the New Hampshire Republican party attacked them for the move.Ray Burton, New Hampshire’s longest serving executive councilor passed away in November,* and the crowd in attendance at his memorial service on Saturday included a number of politicians, including former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, and New Hampshire’s two Senators, Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen. Also in attendance was a Democratic “tracker,”someone who follows around candidates with a video camera capturing moments

GM´s CEO rejects repaying
Feds for bailout losses
Detroit Free Press, by Todd Spangler    Original Article
Posted By: DaddyO- 12/17/2013 6:36:12 AM     Post Reply
The General Motors bailout may have cost the government $10 billion, but GM CEO Dan Akerson rejects any suggestion that the company should compensate for the losses. He says Treasury officials took the same risk assumed by anyone who purchases stock. "I would not accept the premise that this was a bad deal," Akerson said during a question-and-answer session at the National Press Club in Washington. He also said the government´s $49.5-billion aid to GM helped save billions of dollars in tax revenue and government social services. Akerson spoke in the wake of Treasury announcement last week that it sold

Obama´s Fall from Grace
American Thinker, by J.R. Dunn    Original Article
Posted By: magnante- 12/17/2013 6:31:55 AM     Post Reply
Reportage of last week´s Nelson Mandela funeral reveals clearly enough that President Obama has reached the point in his tenure where everything ceases to go right -- when even the most serious and determined efforts deteriorate into a hash, or worse, a joke. This happens to everyone in public life eventually, politicians above all. The original attraction wears thin, flaws appear more prominently, styles and opinions change. There is little the individual can do to avoid this.(snip)The Mandela funeral shows that Obama is deep into this phase of his career, and has landed on his head.

Liberal Affluenza
American Spectator, by Ross Kaminsky    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/17/2013 6:12:32 AM     Post Reply
In June, 16-year old Ethan Couch, driving his father’s F-350 pickup truck while drunk on beer that he and friends had stolen from Walmart, plowed into four people on the side of the road in Burleson, Texas, killing them and grievously injuring two of his own teenage passengers.(Snip) If Barack is Ethan (and both have the additional similarities of having been given, or at least loaned, a mansion and hoping that “beer summit” ethanol will make people like them better), who are his irresponsible, enabling political parents? Sadly, in the Big Love that is the world of celebrity, he has

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