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Dems use new filibuster rules to approve DHS
nominee Mayorkas under investigation
Washington Times, by Stephan Dinan    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 12/22/2013 6:07:09 AM     Post Reply
Senate Democrats used the new filibuster rules Friday to win confirmation of a controversial top Homeland Security official, approving a new deputy secretary who is still under investigation of wrongdoing in his current post as head of one of the immigration agencies.The vote was the latest sign of how bitter the partisanship has become in the Senate, with each party saying there’s a total lack of trust with the other side, and questioning whether that can be rebuilt next year. Republicans said it’s the first time the Senate has ever knowingly confirmed such a high official who is currently being investigated

Christian freedoms are worth fighting for
Telegraph [UK], by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/22/2013 5:36:34 AM     Post Reply
In today’s paper we carry a welcome and, frankly, remarkable commentary by Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary. It stands out not just as a passionate plea for the human rights of Christians living overseas but also because it comes from a leading member of the Labour Party. It would seem that Labour has decided that it does “do God” after all. [Snip] And some political analysts will doubtless say Mr Alexander’s intervention is a canny effort to attract votes from the Conservatives, to tap into the communitarian impulse that some people around Ed Miliband calculate to be the best guarantee of victory in 2015.

Christians left by the world to suffer
Telegraph [UK], by Douglas Alexander    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/22/2013 5:36:08 AM     Post Reply
Across the world this week, hundreds of millions of us will be singing of that “silent night, holy night” in the town of Bethlehem. But as Christmas approaches, with its beguiling promise of “peace on earth and mercy mild”, how many of us will reflect on the words of our great Christmas carols and be reminded that Christianity was a faith born in the East? How many of us are aware that, while the first Christmas took place in the Middle East, there today that same faith is under threat? Last week, the leader of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis, chose to cast light on this dark story of persecution by taking to Twitter



Two Years After She Passed
Away, A Woman Gives Her Family
An Unforgettable Christmas
Buzzfeed, by Rachel Zarrell    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 12/22/2013 5:00:47 AM     Post Reply
Brenda Schmitz, a wife and mother of four boys, passed away from ovarian cancer in September 2011. A month before she died, Brenda wrote a letter to the Des Moines, Iowa, radio station “Star” 102.5. She asked a friend to wait to mail it until her husband, David, had fallen in love again. Every year, the station takes submissions for Christmas wishes, granting a select few. The station brought in David and surprised him by saying they had received a letter from his wife. “When you are in receipt of this letter, I will have already lost my battle to ovarian

Advertising in the Age of Obama
American Thinker, by Clarice Feldman    Original Article
Posted By: DW626- 12/22/2013 4:25:31 AM     Post Reply
Obama was sold to the American voters twice on the strength of shrewd marketing, but as the truth of his unsuitability for this high office becomes increasingly obvious to all but his most uninformed base, even advertising cannot help him pull out of his nosedive. People who know a thing or two about medical care, insurance, and simple math warned about the doom embedded in the very heart of ObamaCare, warnings the media ignored or made fun of. Yes, I know predictions of dire consequences often prove false. Tom Gelsthorpe, commenting on the death this week of a broadcast preacher who was

Obama on friendly confines of golf
course as vacation starts
Reuters, by Ikaika Hussey    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/22/2013 3:02:33 AM     Post Reply
HONOLULU- President Barack Obama, hopeful of some rest and relaxation after a bruising year in politics, wasted little time getting his golf game in gear on the first full day of a two-week end-of-year family vacation to his home state of Hawaii. The first golfer hit the links early Saturday afternoon at a Marine Base course on the Mokapu Peninsula, a golf-club shaped piece of land jutting into the Pacific Ocean not far from the Obamas´ rented holiday house. Onlookers lined up along the road to catch a glimpse of the president´s motorcade en route to the links. A smiling

The crossword puzzle at 100:
A talk with Merl Reagle, puzzle man
Philadelphia Inquirer [PA], by Tirdad Derakhshani    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/22/2013 2:08:21 AM     Post Reply
One hundred candles for the crossword puzzle! One hundred cheers! The crossword, which has delighted, stimulated, exhausted, and frustrated millions of men and women, turns 100 years old Saturday. To commemorate, we thought we´d ask - how does the mind of a crossword maker work? We picked the brain of one of the country´s better-known puzzle-masters, Merl Reagle, whose Sunday crossword is syndicated in more than 50 newspapers, including The Inquirer. How does the mind of a Merl Reagle work? "You have to love words and a playful turn of mind," said Reagle, 63, who was born and raised in



In Hawaii, Obama tries
for uninterrupted vacation
Associated Press, by Josh Lederman    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/21/2013 11:03:57 PM     Post Reply
HONOLULU — An ocean away from Washington worries, President Barack Obama opened his annual Hawaii vacation Saturday on a quiet note — and hoped it would stay that way for the next two weeks. (Snip) The president has no public events scheduled during his vacation, which is expected to last through Jan. 5. In previous years, frequent golf outings have accompanied trips to local restaurants and other island outings. A few weeks of low-key rest and relaxation would be a welcome change of pace for Obama, who reflected on a high-stakes year of brinkmanship and health care woes as he

Peter O´Toole´s devoted cat Sydney
says goodbye to a legend in wake
at Lawrence Of Arabia star´s home
Daily Mail [UK], by Philip Nolan    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/21/2013 10:21:05 PM     Post Reply
It was a touching farewell to one of Hollywood’s greatest hell-raisers. During Friday night’s wake--where Peter O’Toole’s body was laid out in an open coffin--the legendary actor’s cat Sydney climbed on to his chest and stayed there for the evening. And at his funeral yesterday there was waltzing in the aisle. Friends including rock star Sting and the band Alabama 3 attended the wake at O’Toole’s London home. O’Toole’s first wife Sian Phillips and his daughters Kate and Patricia, and his former partner Karen Somerville and their son Lorcan were among those who attended yesterday’s funeral at Golders Green crematorium

EU spoils David Cameron’s Christmas
Telegraph [UK], by Christopher Booker    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/21/2013 10:05:58 PM     Post Reply
When it comes to “Europe”, David Cameron must feel like Brer Rabbit when he gets entangled with the Tar Baby. [Snip] He launches his great bid to renegotiate a “new relationship” for Britain with the EU, only to discover that his European colleagues are not remotely interested, because such a thing would be against all the rules of their club. He and Theresa May huff and puff about how they are going to stem the flood of immigration, only to be told that, under the EU’s “freedom of movement” rules, all their little ploys are out of the question.

Spain accused of blocking
Gibraltar aid to Philippines
Telegraph [UK], by Fergal MacErlean    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/21/2013 10:00:39 PM     Post Reply
Spain has been accused of acting in a “hateful fashion” as it banned emergency food from Gibraltar destined for the typhoon-hit Philippines. Spain´s customs officials prohibited food donated in a charity drive on the Rock from entering Spain where it was due to be shipped from the port of Algeciras to the Red Cross in Manila, citing problems over issuing certificates. The departure of the 20-foot container packed with food, blankets, vitamins and drinking water will be delayed until after Christmas. MPs viewed the delay as being politically motivated in the tense dispute over Gibraltar´s sovereignty.



Company parts ways with PR
exec after AIDS in Africa tweet
CNN, by Brian Stelter    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/21/2013 8:59:29 PM     Post Reply
The "tweet heard round the world" was followed by the sound of a slamming door Saturday. Media company IAC has "parted ways" with the company PR executive who tweeted: "Going to Africa. Hope I don´t get AIDS. Just kidding. I´m white!" "The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question," an IAC spokesman said in a statement. "There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally," he said. "We hope, however, that time

Arapahoe High School update:
17-year-old Colorado shooting victim
Claire Davis dies
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/21/2013 8:49:17 PM     Post Reply
LITTLETON, CO - A suburban Denver high school student who was shot in the head by a classmate died Saturday afternoon, hospital officials said in a statement. Claire Davis, 17, was in critical condition after being shot at point-blank range at Arapahoe High School on Dec. 13. Friends and well-wishers had posted prayers online and raised money to help pay for her medical care. "It is with heavy hearts that we share that at 4:29 p.m. this afternoon, Claire Davis passed away, with her family at her side," the statement from Littleton Adventist Hospital. "Despite the best efforts of our physicians

Colorado high school
shooting victim dies at hospital
CNN, by Tom Watkins & Ralph Ellis    Original Article
Posted By: southernstench- 12/21/2013 8:49:16 PM     Post Reply
Claire Davis, the 17-year-old high school senior shot by a classmate at their Colorado school, died Saturday at the hospital where she was being treated. "It is with unspeakable sadness that we write and say that Claire has passed away from the gunshot wound she received at Arapahoe High School on December 13," her family said in a statement posted on the Facebook account of Littleton Adventist Hospital. "Although we have lost our precious daughter, we will always be grateful for the indelible journey she took us on over the last 17 years -- we were truly blessed to be Claire's parents.

Judge Strikes Down Utah Traditional
Marriage Laws, Calls Them ´Irrational´
Breitbart Big Government, by Ken Klukowski    Original Article
Posted By: athina- 12/21/2013 8:48:40 PM     Post Reply
One week after a federal judge in Utah held laws against polygamy are unconstitutional, another Utah federal judge has held that the U.S. Constitution also contains a right to same-sex marriage, describing laws defining marriage as between men and women “irrational.” In his 53-page opinion for Kitchen v. Herbert on Dec. 20, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby—who was appointed by President Obama in 2011—compared marriage laws that do not include homosexual pairings to racist laws. He noted that in its 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment a Virginia law



White House Tries to Prevent
Judge From Ruling on
Surveillance Efforts
New York Times, by Charlie Savage, David Sanger    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/21/2013 8:25:08 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration moved late Friday to prevent a federal judge in California from ruling on the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance programs authorized during the Bush administration, telling a court that recent disclosures about National Security Agency spying were not enough to undermine its claim that litigating the case would jeopardize state secrets. In a set of filings in the two long-running cases in the Northern District of California, the government acknowledged for the first time that the N.S.A. started systematically collecting data about Americans’ emails and phone calls in 2001, alongside its program of wiretapping certain calls

Spike in Harm to Liver
Is Tied to Dietary Aids
New York Times, by ANAHAD O’CONNOR    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 12/21/2013 8:19:33 PM     Post Reply
When Christopher Herrera, 17, walked into the emergency room at Texas Children’s Hospital one morning last year, his chest, face and eyes were bright yellow — “almost highlighter yellow,” recalled Dr. Shreena S. Patel, the pediatric resident who treated him. About 55,000 dietary supplements, largely unregulated, are sold in the United States. Christopher, a high school student from Katy, Tex., suffered severe liver damage after using a concentrated green tea extract he bought at a nutrition store as a “fat burning” supplement. The damage was so extensive that he was put on the waiting list for a liver transplant. “It was terrifying,” he

Scott Rasmussen Slams WaPo for
Calling Congressional Critics ‘Haters’
Breitbart Big Journalism, by Robert Wilde    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/21/2013 7:51:01 PM     Post Reply
Scott Rasmussen, the prolific pollster, criticized the Washington Post´s characterization of Americans unhappy with both Republican and Democrat performances in government as “haters.” Rasmussen said, “Tens of millions of Americans disapprove of the way both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are doing their jobs. According to the hometown paper for America´s political class, this makes them ´Haters.´" In a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post, there are three teams in America: the Democrat team, the Republican team, and the Haters Team. Rasmussen says that “This wasn´t just a casual reference by a lazy journalist. Not only did the paper

Al Sharpton´s Chicago Town
Hall Erupts into Revolt
Against Machine Politics
Breitbart´s Big Government, by Rebel Pundit    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/21/2013 7:37:11 PM     Post Reply
On Thursday, a town hall meeting hosted by Al Sharpton and the National Action Network to address gun violence exploded into a revolt against “Chicago Machine” politics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the aldermen in City Hall, with panel and audience members calling to vote out their elected officials. One 82-year-old preacher even called for “Tea Party” style meetings in some of Chicago’s south side communities such as Altgeld Gardens and Trumbull Park. “This was a historic event,” Paul McKinley of V.O.T.E. (Voices of the Ex-Offender) and former 2nd Congressional District GOP nominee to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. told Breitbart News.

Judi Dench felt a tremendous
responsibility toward Philomena Lee
Los Angeles Times, by Rebecca Keegan    Original Article
Posted By: Harlowe- 12/21/2013 7:16:04 PM     Post Reply
LONDON — The first time Judi Dench witnessed the power of acting, she was 7 and saw her brother get away with using a swear word. (Snip) Dench´s latest performance — for which she has so far received Screen Actor Guild and Golden Globe nominations — is as a more ordinary but just as dignified woman in the drama “Philomena,” in which she plays a working-class Irish mother who enlists a jaded journalist (Steve Coogan) to help her find the son whom nuns forced her to give up decades earlier.


Feds declassify Bush-era surveillance docs
The Hill (Washington DC), by Julian Hattem    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/21/2013 6:51:02 PM     Post Reply
Federal intelligence officials are declassifying eight documents about the origins of controversial surveillance systems created under former President George W. Bush. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced on Saturday that it had declassified the court documents dating from 2007 to this year, which the federal government had used to justify keeping the surveillance program secret. Details about the data collection unveiled by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden have raised alarms about the practice. The new disclosures are part of a long-running lawsuit from a civil liberties group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They were ordered

Meet The Press Reportedly in
Jeopardy as NBC Looks to Cut
Back DC Bureau
Mediaite, by Matt Wilstein    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/21/2013 6:46:51 PM     Post Reply
As we head into 2014, the fate of the longest-running news program on television is starting to look uncertain. According to a new report from the New York Post’s Claire Atkinson, NBC News chief Deborah Turness is looking to make some major cutbacks at the network’s Washington D.C. bureau, where Meet The Press is produced. Atkinson quotes one unnamed executive as saying, “Instead of getting better, NBC News has been getting worse [since Turness arrived earlier this year.] It’s a mess.” In October, the reporter cited rumors about Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski adding Meet The Press hosting

3 US military aircraft hit
in S. Sudan, 4 wounded
Associated Press, by Rodney Muhumuza & Jason Straziuso    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/21/2013 6:36:52 PM     Post Reply
NAIROBI, Kenya— Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that on Saturday became a battle ground between the country´s military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day before. The U.S. military aircraft were about to land in Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei and scene of some of the nation´s worst violence over the last week, when they were hit. The military said the four wounded troops were in

Vatican´s Consultant Firm Warned
WH of Obamacare Rollout Flop
Breitart´s Big Peace, by Dr. Susan Berry    Original Article
Posted By: markinalpine- 12/21/2013 6:18:25 PM     Post Reply
The private U.S. management consultancy firm hired by the Vatican to advise it on its media operations is the same firm that warned the White House of serious problems with the Obamacare rollout. (snip) The White House requested that McKinsey assess possible Obamacare rollout scenarios. The company ended up finding a range of problems with the healthcare exchanges and warned the Obama administration as far back as March that the federal website for enrollment into Obamacare, Healthcare.gov, could very well fail. Reuters had reported in November that McKinsey, in its 14-part slide presentation, told the White House that the tight window

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