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NSA shouldn’t keep phone database,
review board recommends
Washington Post, by Ellen Nakashima & Ashkan Soltani    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 2:08:05 PM     Post Reply
The White House will release later Wednesday the report of a surveillance review board that has recommended modifying the National Security Agency counterterrorism program that collects virtually all Americans’ phone records. The recommendation that the NSA no longer keep the phone database — estimated by some former officials to contain more than 1 trillion records — is among a set of sweeping technical reforms aimed at restoring public confidence in the spying apparatus, said individuals briefed on its contents. President Obama on Wednesday morning met with the five-member Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. Rather than the NSA, the phone

Judge smacks Obama
secrecy in unique FOIA case
McClatchy News, by Michael Doyle    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/18/2013 2:01:39 PM     Post Reply
In a Freedom of Information Act victory, a federal judge has slapped the Obama administration for its secretive ways and ordered officials to turn over a bland-sounding foreign policy document. Chastising what she called "the government’s unwarranted expansion of the presidential communications privilege at the expense of the public’s interest in disclosure," U.S. District Judge Ellen Seal Huvelle ruled the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development is not exempt from FOIA. Judge Huvelle´s 20-page decision took a shot or two, or three, at the Obama administration´s

Photos Reveal Just How ‘Disgusting’ Steve
Stockman’s Condemned Campaign Office Was
Mediaite, by Josh Feldman    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/18/2013 2:00:07 PM     Post Reply
When you think of “political campaign office,” you think of a nice, neat, orderly place with a conference room, desks with people on laptops, and coffee/soda stains everywhere. Well, recently the campaign office of Texas House Republican and Senate candidate Steve Stockman was shut down, and now we have the pictures explaining why. Following last month’s revelation that Stockman’s campaign office, described as “unsafe for habitation,” was shut down, Talking Points Memo filed a request to see the photos of the condemned building, and they obtained photos showing what looks like the decaying debris and detritus of a dilapidated dorm room.

  


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Pajama Boy: The Obama Machine’s Id
Nation Review Online, by Charles C. W. Cooke    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 1:58:12 PM     Post Reply
Oh dear. The Obama administration isn’t doing very well with putting an empathetic face on its calamitous health-insurance law, is it? First, we had Julia, the creepy, eyeless, vision-of-horror from Brave New World whose life was run from cradle to grave by the federal government. Then, we had Adriana, the painfully neutral and carefully ambi-racial stock-model-from-everywhere whose face became so synonymous with HealthCare.gov’s hilarious launch that she had to be replaced with a graphic plugging an 800 number. And now, courtesy of Organizing for Action, we have “Pajama Boy, a metrosexual hipster in a plaid onesie who wants you to

Insurers extend premium deadline
amid ObamaCare problems
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 1:54:24 PM     Post Reply
Consumers worried that tight deadlines around the holidays and lingering computer problems could thwart their efforts to secure coverage under President Barack Obama´s health overhaul will get extra time to pay, the health insurance industry said Wednesday. The board of the industry´s biggest trade group -- America´s Health Insurance Plans -- said consumers who select a plan by Dec. 23 will now have until Jan. 10 to pay their first month´s premium, instead of a previous New Year´s Eve deadline set by the government. For coverage to take effect, consumers must make sure they pay their initial premium on time. Karen

Ambassador Appointment Draws Ire
Inside Democratic Donor Class
BuzzFeed, by Ruby Cramer    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/18/2013 1:41:48 PM     Post Reply
President Obama’s appointee to a plum South American ambassadorship is at the center of a dispute over whether he bought the post fair and square — a battle that is dividing powerful Los Angeles financial supporters and which lifts a curtain on the forces of money and influence that help drive presidential politics. Noah Mamet, a 44-year-old political consultant and longtime fundraiser, was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Argentina at the end of July. When word got around as early as April that Mamet would receive the nomination, the news was met with surprise, and in some cases anger, by his

Podesta apologizes for calling GOP
‘a cult worthy of Jonestown’
Washington Post, by Aaron Blake    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/18/2013 1:39:34 PM     Post Reply
John Podesta, the former top Clinton administration aide who is joining the White House as a special adviser, apologized Wednesday for a comment in which he compared the Republican Party to a cult that assassinated a congressman. A new Politico profile quotes Podesta as likening the GOP to "a cult worthy of Jonestown" — a reference to an ambush by cult members more than three decades ago that killed Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.) and seriously injured a top aide, now-Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).

  


  

Generations flock to visit Mondawmin´s
´color blind´ Santa Luke
The Baltimore Sun, by Jonathan Pitts    Original Article
Posted By: TheRevJMP- 12/18/2013 1:39:12 PM     Post Reply
When he was growing up near Mondawmin Mall and the Christmas season rolled around, Andrew Dubose rarely missed a chance to visit the old man in the red suit and white beard who always gave him such a warm holiday greeting... "Santa Luke," as he´s known, has been Kriss Kringle at Mondawmin for 29 years... For many, dropping in for his hugs is an intergenerational ritual, and not just because this Santa, like the Duboses, is African-American... "All this mess about color is divisive," Durant says. "Santa is color blind. Only one question is important: What´s in his heart?"

What the Duck?
GQ Magazine, by Drew Magary    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/18/2013 1:22:52 PM     Post Reply
Let’s start with the crossbow, because the crossbow is huge. I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a camo-painted ATV, rumbling through the northern Louisiana backwoods with Phil Robertson, founder of the Duck Commander company, patriarch at the heart of A&E’s smash reality hit Duck Dynasty, and my tour guide for the afternoon. There are seat belts in this ATV, but it doesn’t look like they’ve ever been used. Phil is not wearing one. I am not wearing one, because I don’t want Phil to think I’m a pussy. (Too late!) The crossbow—a Barnett model equipped with a steel-tipped four-blade

Random Anthropological Observations
of the Faith-Based Community
PJ Media, by Ed Driscoll    Original Article
Posted By: Judy W.- 12/18/2013 1:13:53 PM     Post Reply
ABC-Disney’s Barbara Walters discusses the legacy media’s initial take on Barack Obama with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Piers Morgan: “We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime — but the next messiah,” as spotted by Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters: PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009? BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises.

India outraged by strip-search
of diplomat in NYC
USA Today, by Oren Dorell    Original Article
Posted By: RUReadyY3K- 12/18/2013 1:06:25 PM     Post Reply
The U.S. State Department was scrambling to tamp down Indian outrage over the arrest of a diplomat in New York City who says she was stripped- and cavity-searched over charges that she didn´t pay her housekeeper enough money. "We don´t want this to negatively impact our bilateral relationship (with India), and we´ll keep talking about it with them on the ground and here," said Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman at the State Department.

  


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At 61 She Lives in Basement
While 87-Year-Old Dad Travels
Bloomberg.com, by Carol Hymowitz    Original Article
Posted By: mabel normand- 12/18/2013 12:48:30 PM     Post Reply
Eighty-seven-year-old Lew Manchester has just returned from a three-week trip touring Buddhist temples in Laos and cruising the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. His 61-year-old daughter Lee lives year-round in the basement of her friend’s Cape Cod cottage, venturing into the winter cold to get to the bathroom. Lew is making the most of his old age. Lee is paring back and lightening her load as she looks ahead to her later years. Both worked all their lives, both saved what they could. Yet Lew, a son of the Great Depression and former company man, and Lee, a baby boomer who has pursued careers as an entrepreneur and a mid-level manager, are winding up in two very different economic strata.

60 Minutes Has a
Really Bad Year
National Review Online, by Eliana Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/18/2013 12:29:11 PM     Post Reply
What happened to 60 Minutes? That’s the question many of the show’s viewers are asking themselves as the show winds down its worst year since the scandal that rocked CBS News nearly a decade ago and forced Dan Rather into retirement. The program rankled critics on Sunday with a two-segment piece on the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 surveillance operations. This time, it was the reporter himself who raised eyebrows: CBS sent senior correspondent John Miller, who has flitted in and out of the law and intelligence communities throughout his career, to sit down with NSA chief Keith Alexander. Miller has served stints

New Obama adviser compares
GOP to Jonestown cult
USA Today, by Aamer Madhani    Original Article
Posted By: Bubbasuncle- 12/18/2013 11:52:43 AM     Post Reply
John Podesta was just named as a new senior-level adviser to President Obama last week, but he´s already ruffling Republican feathers. In a profile published late Tuesday night by Politico Magazine, Podesta is quoted comparing Republicans to the infamous cult led by Jim Jones, who was responsible for the 1978 cyanide poisoning of more than 900 of his followers in Guyana. "They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress," said Podesta of what Obama´s White House team faces.

Nero in the White House
Washington Times (D.C), by John R. Bolton    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 11:37:28 AM     Post Reply
Nero “fiddled,” so they say, while Rome burned. Today, this epigram all too accurately describes President Obama’s approach to U.S. national security. For five years, he has resolutely consigned foreign and defense issues to the bottom of his policy agenda, resulting in increasing disarray both domestically and abroad. The United States needs strategic thinking internationally, and we are getting the opposite. Mr. Obama’s personal Rome, the Affordable Care Act, is indeed self-immolating, and he responds by giving speeches (his version of playing Nero’s cithara) rather than taking command to save his eponymous program before the administration itself is consumed. Domestic

  


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NRA endorses Sen. John Cornyn
for 2014, a blow to his outspoken
GOP challenger
Washington Times, by Tom Howell Jr.    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 11:31:26 AM     Post Reply
The National Rifle Association’s political fund has endorsed Republican Sen. John Cornyn ahead of next year’s primary, putting another dent in his outspoken challenger’s hopes of painting the incumbent as a weak-kneed conservative. Mr. Cornyn, of Texas, will square off in the party primary against Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican with a penchant for attention-grabbing comments. On Tuesday, Mr. Stockman’s campaign said donors could get their own “Obama barf bag” for $10. A primary challenge from the far right is a constant worry for Republican incumbents, but Mr. Stockman’s last-minute decision this month to challenge Mr. Cornyn has not eroded

Jarrett: I´m not the shadow chief of staff
The Hill (Washington DC), by Justin Sink    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 11:25:24 AM     Post Reply
Valerie Jarrett denied being a “shadow chief of staff” to President Obama on Wednesday, insisting she never talks about work during her private time with the president and first lady. “I´m not the shadow chief of staff. I have very specific responsibilities,” Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president and a longtime family friend of the Obamas, said at a Politico breakfast. [WATCH VIDEO] Jarrett said that “people sometimes presume because I am a friend of the president and first lady” that she´s able to exert influence when the Obamas retire from the office to their residence. “There is this

John McCain to Harry Reid: ‘I’m
Going to Kick the Crap Out of You’
Mediaite, by Noah Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 11:23:11 AM     Post Reply
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was not happy when Senate Democrats led by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) decided to pull the trigger on the “nuclear option” limiting the minority’s ability to block presidential judicial nominees. According to a New York Times Magazine report, McCain warned Reid that he was going to head to the Senate floor where he would rhetorically “kick the crap” out of him. “Harry, I’m going to go kick the crap out of you,” McCain reportedly told Reid minutes before he took to the floor of the upper chamber of Congress to lay into Democrats for ushering in

CNN´s Top-Five Credibility
Catastrophes of 2013
Breitbart Big Journalism, by John Nolte    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/18/2013 11:19:44 AM     Post Reply
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the former Most Trusted Name In News. The belief was that CNN´s ratings couldn´t sink much lower than its 2012 lows and that newly-installed president Jeff Zucker couldn´t possibly make things worse. Wrong. After months of retooling, CNN is still in last place and its primetime viewership has improbably sunk even further. So what went wrong? How did Zucker and CNN bungle things so badly that after hitting what everyone was sure was bottom in 2012, a new bottom was found in 2013? Well, in reality, ratings are the least of

Bitcoin prices tumble
on China crackdown
USA Today, by Kim Hjelmgaard    Original Article
Posted By: kennedylaw- 12/18/2013 11:04:31 AM     Post Reply
The price of a Bitcoin was sent tumbling Wednesday after China´s largest exchange for the virtual currency said it would stop accepting yuan deposits — China´s local currency. The much-ballyhooed currency has now fallen by around 50% below the record trading highs seen at the end of November, when it briefly touched the $1,200 level. On Wednesday, the price of a Bitcoin was down approximately 20% to $550.

  



Christmas Miracle Delivered
by Courageous, Loyal dog
Canada Free Press, by Judi McLeod    Original Article
Posted By: snowcloud- 12/18/2013 11:01:02 AM     Post Reply
People of the day want to believe in Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, free stuff and whatever lies President Barack Obama is spouting, but few believe in miracles. The Miracle on 34th Street was just a Hollywood movie, the miracle of the blind man and his loyal dog surviving the New York subway is the real thing. Out of bustling New York City comes a miracle from subway tracks just one week before Christmas. In possibly the best Christmas message ever delivered by the New York Post, 60-year-old blind man Cecil Williams and his going-on-11 black labrador guide dog, Orlando survived after being struck

Senate Dems block amendment
to restore veteran benefits by closing
illegal immigrant welfare loophole
Daily Caller, by Caroline May    Original Article
Posted By: drive- 12/18/2013 10:21:05 AM     Post Reply
Senate Republicans were unable to stop military pension cuts when Senate Democrats blocked a vote on an amendment to prevent the cuts by closing a welfare loophole for illegal immigrants Tuesday evening. The two-year budget deal brokered by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, would cut military pensions by $6 billion over ten years, leaving some Senate Republicans scrambling to stop the cuts. “Removing this unbalanced treatment of our military retirees ought to be one of the key actions we should take before this legislation moves forward. In fact, greater savings than this can be

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