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This Classic Commercial Thanks Our
Troops For Their Service To Our Country
Independent Journal Review, by Mike Miller    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 5:27:00 AM     Post Reply
This Anhauser Bush commercial from 2007 says it best: we owe a debt of gratitude to our men and women in uniform for their service to our country. The ad aired just once – during the Super Bowl. Merry Christmas to the members of the United States Armed Forces.

US healthcare insurance help
offered in run-up to deadline
BBC News [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 5:24:40 AM     Post Reply
The US government has offered help to anyone who missed the 24 December deadline to enrol for the new health insurance - known as "Obamacare". It said anyone who failed to finish their application through a dedicated website - HealthCare.gov - could still obtain a policy for the new year. On Monday, the government extended the original deadline by a day amid high demand and technical issues. HealthCare.gov has been plagued by glitches since its 1 October rollout. The problems with President Barack Obama´s signature bill have hit his popularity ratings hard. The website was set up under a 2010 healthcare law that seeks to cover

A Complex Issue and a Simplistic Snowden
Commentary Magazine, by Seth Mandel    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 5:21:25 AM     Post Reply
The Washington Post’s interview with Edward Snowden is bound to evoke complicated, on-the-one-hand-but-on-the-other responses–a complexity that contrasts sharply with Snowden’s own simplistic, shallow conception of the issues at play. And it is this contrast that leaves those skeptical of massive government programs ultimately still in search of an advocate worthy of the cause of transparency, for Edward Snowden is not that advocate. On the one hand, those seeking to defend the NSA’s domestic digital intelligence collection point out that, as Michael Mukasey notes today, the members of the president’s intel review board

  


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British troops spend last
Christmas in Helmand
Telegraph [UK], by Ben Farmer    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 5:21:15 AM     Post Reply
British troops spent their eighth and perhaps last Christmas in Helmand this year as the UK prepares to end its combat mission to Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Around 5,200 servicemen and women spent Christmas day in Afghanistan, with most of them in the southern province which has seen heavy fighting between British forces and the Taliban since 2006. Almost all Britain’s remaining troops are scheduled to be withdrawn over 2014 before the Nato combat mission finishes at the end of the year. The Government currently has no plans to keep military trainers or advisers in the province where nearly 450 British

Taliban attack American embassy
in Kabul on Christmas Day
Telegraph [UK], by Rob Crilly    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 5:15:56 AM     Post Reply
Two Taliban rockets landed inside the American embassy compound in Kabul early on Christmas day, in a reminder that Afghanistan remains riddled with insecurity even as foreigners marked the festive season. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which included another strike in the city, but caused no casualties. “At approximately 6:40 local time in Kabul, approximately two rounds of indirect fire impacted the US Embassy compound,” a statement from the embassy said. “All Americans are accounted for and no injuries were sustained. “The Embassy continues to investigate the attack.” Rocket strikes on the capital have been rare in recent years but 2013 has

Here comes the real Obamacare test
Washington Examiner [DC], by Brian Hughes    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 5:15:51 AM     Post Reply
Obamacare has been defined by delays, broken promises and growing disillusionment with President Obama´s signature domestic achievement. Yet for all the problems and political headaches caused by the health care law, the real test for the White House begins on Jan. 1. That´s when Americans for the first time will visit their doctors with expectations of being enrolled in new health plans. And if the rocky last few months were any indication, that´s hardly guaranteed. The Obamacare rollout was embarrassing enough, but in terms of real-world impact, the implications are still somewhat abstract for much of the public. Now the uninsured and

Christmas Gifts for People Who
Pay More Attention to Politics
than Might Be Good for Them
National Review Online, by Betsy Woodruff    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 5:11:20 AM     Post Reply
So maybe it’s a little late. But it’s always the perfect time to start thinking about what to buy the would-be Karl Rove/David Axelrod/Todd Palin in your life. Here’s some inspiration. You’re welcome in advance. 1. Ron Paul Christmas Tree Ornament(Snip for graphic)It’s too bad they don’t have a bulk discount on these suckers, because I have trouble thinking of anyone whose Christmas wouldn’t be brightened by the perennial presidential candidate on a sled. Plus, they’re only eight bucks. What?? 2. Adult footie pajamas

  


  

President Obama’s empty boast on Syria
Washington Post, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/25/2013 5:06:30 AM     Post Reply
IT WAS astonishing to hear President Obama, in the preamble to his end-of-year news conference last week, cite Syria as one of his foreign policy successes. “[J]ust as we’re strengthening our position here at home, we’re also standing up for our interests around the world,” Mr. Obama said. “This year we’ve demonstrated that with clear-eyed, principled diplomacy, we can pursue new paths to a world that’s more secure, a future where Iran does not build a nuclear weapon, a future where Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are destroyed.” Unfortunately, the White House press corps was not as struck by this boast as

Target hackers DID steal encrypted PINs
as well as 40million credit and debit
card numbers, reveal executives
Daily Mail [UK], by Daily Mail Staff and Reuters    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 5:05:30 AM     Post Reply
The hackers who attacked Target Corp and compromised more than 40 million credit cards and debit cards also managed to steal encrypted personal identification numbers, according to a senior payments executive familiar with the situation. One major U.S. bank fears that the thieves would be able to crack the encryption code and make fraudulent withdrawals from consumer bank accounts, said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the data breach is still under investigation. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said ´no unencrypted PIN data was accessed´ and there was no evidence that PIN data has been ´compromised´.

Books for Christmas
American Spectator, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/25/2013 5:03:50 AM     Post Reply
Matthew Continetti THE POST-ELECTION HOLIDAYS are a good time for conservatives to lick our wounds, reflect on the recent past, and contemplate new beginnings. My three recommendations describe the complicated realities of ethnic politics in America in the 21st century. Conservatives and Republicans have to grasp that the America of Ronald Reagan no longer exists. First, there’s Tom Wolfe’s Back to Blood. Fans of Wolfe’s prose and sociological insight will not be disappointed as the master turns his gimlet eye to Miami. Second, there’s Joel Kotkin’s The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. Kotkin argues against American decline. He says

Sarah Palin: I didn’t read
‘Duck Dynasty’ interview
Politico, by Lucy McAlmont    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/25/2013 4:57:34 AM     Post Reply
Turns out Sarah Palin, who has been one of Duck Dynasty’s biggest defenders, hasn’t actually read the GQ interview that includes cast member Phil Robertson’s controversial comments on homosexuality and other subjects. When pressed by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren whether the language Robertson used when talking about his opposition to homosexuality was graphic and offensive, Palin admitted she didn’t know what Robertson had said. “I haven’t read the article. I don’t know exactly how he said it,” Palin said Monday on Fox News’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

  


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In fundraising pitch, Hillary Clinton
says Bill will match donations
Washington Post, by Philip Rucker    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:54:46 AM     Post Reply
Hillary Rodham Clinton fired off an end-of-the-year fundraising solicitation to supporters of her family’s charitable foundation – and she offered an intriguing pitch. Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, will personally match every tax-deductible donation collected between now and Dec. 31, dollar-for-dollar. “We have big plans for 2014,” the former secretary of state and possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate wrote Monday in an e-mail to supporters. Clinton detailed her three top priorities at the Clinton Foundation – Too Small to Fail, an initiative to encourage more parents to prepare their young children for school; No Ceilings, a program to help women and girls

Eliot Spitzer: My marriage is over
New York Post, by Beth DeFalco    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:48:08 AM     Post Reply
Disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer has finally gotten the heave-ho from his long-suffering wife Silda. The couple — on the rocks since the 2008 hooker scandal that forced Spitzer from office — said Tuesday night that their 26-year marriage was kaput. The announcement came only one day after The Post’s bombshell report — complete with exclusive photos — that Spitzer, 54, was shacking up with former campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith, 31, who’s now flacking for Bill de Blasio. “We regret that our marital relationship has come to an end and we have agreed not to make any other public statement on this subject,” Eliot

Muslims v. Christians
in Islamists’ new war
New York Post, by Benny Avni    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:45:40 AM     Post Reply
For the past few Christmases, this column has shined a light on the horrific plight of Christian communities across the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. This year, a Christian majority in a small African nation and Muslims there are waging brutal attacks on each other — but it’s all being fanned by Islamist fanatics from outside the borders. The killing field in question is the Central African Republic, where a year-long civil war has taken a monstrous toll. This month alone, it’s exacted hundreds of deaths. Tens of thousands are being made homeless. Maiming by machete, rape and beatings are

Despite Ourselves
PJ Media, by Richard Fernandez    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:42:18 AM     Post Reply
It’s the time to remember O Henry’s old hoary tale about a girl who sold her hair — a valuable thing in those days — to buy a present for her beau. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas… Where she stopped

  


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The Power of Christmas
Washington Post, by Michael Gerson    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/25/2013 4:37:41 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON -- ´Tis the season for creche display controversies and public school decoration debates and First Amendment argumentation, when all the ideologues get a little extra outrage or victimization in their stockings. The holiday is observed across the nation with injunctions and festive debates on cable television. Little children wait in line at the mall to have their picture taken with Bill O´Reilly or the Rev. Barry Lynn. (That last part, to my knowledge, is not true, but it should be.) This year´s celebration is all the more poignant in the light of a fallen reality television star who manufactures duck

The Legitimacy Problem
New York Times, by David Brooks    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 12/25/2013 4:32:05 AM     Post Reply
It’s pretty clear that the implementation of Obamacare will set the tone for how Americans think about government for years to come. There are two large questions to be settled, which you might call the questions of competence and coercion. The first is whether the government is competent enough to manage large programs. Can the administration get the website to work, set rules for the right insurance products or impose efficiency measures to restrain costs? These are still open questions. Democrats see the early messiness as the temporary teething pains inevitable to a new large enterprise. Republicans see them as the

America Is Not The Grinch
Foreign Policy Magazine, by John Norris    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:29:25 AM     Post Reply
Between the steady drip of Edward Snowden leaks about the National Security Agency and Syria´s slow burn, it seems pretty easy these days to cast the United States as the villain when it comes to international affairs. That makes this holiday season an ideal one to debunk one of the longest-standing myths about the United States: that it is miserly when it comes to helping other nations through foreign aid. (Snip)The United States is not only the largest donor of ODA in the world, providing more than $30.5 billion toward that end in 2012, but it makes far and away

White House Extends Time for
Health Care Sign-Up … Again
ABC News, by Shushannah Walshe    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:24:22 AM     Post Reply
People who are unable to finish applying for health insurance by midnight may still be able to get coverage beginning Jan. 1 if they can show that they missed the Tuesday deadline because of problems with HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration said today. Officials caution that the deadline remains today at midnight, but will consider individual circumstances that prevented consumers from finishing their application, judging those on a case-by-case basis. This is just the latest extension of the sign-up period by the administration. The original deadline for people seeking coverage that begins Jan. 1 was Dec. 15. It was later extended to Dec.

2-Year Renovation Starts for
Capitol´s Famous Dome
Associated Press, by Charles Babington    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:21:31 AM     Post Reply
A world-famous symbol of democracy is going under cover, as workers start a two-year, $60 million renovation of the U.S. Capitol dome. Curved rows of scaffolds, like Saturn´s rings, will encircle it next spring, enabling contractors to strip multiple layers of paint and repair more than 1,000 cracks and broken pieces. The dome will remain illuminated at night and partly visible through the scaffolding and paint-capturing cloths. But the Washington icon -- and portions of the Rotunda´s painted ceiling that lies below -- will be significantly obscured for many months. The project is beginning just as the nearby Washington Monument sheds scaffolding

  



Pope Francis celebrates first
Christmas Eve mass at Vatican
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 4:16:27 AM     Post Reply
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis lauded Jesus´ humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby as he celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff Tuesday in St. Peter´s Basilica. "You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich, and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable," Francis said of Jesus as he delivered his homily in the basilica, packed with faithful. Francis has dedicated much of his nine-month-old papacy to drawing attention to the plight of the poor, of children, and other vulnerable members of society. He noted that the first to receive news of

Economist: N.C. unemployment
drop may be tied to benefits changes
Charlotte Observer [NC], by Rick Rothacker    Original Article
Posted By: Muncsdad- 12/24/2013 11:51:10 PM     Post Reply
North Carolina’s unemployment rate has fallen more than other states’ this year, and changes in the state’s unemployment system may be a contributor, Wells Fargo Securities economist Mark Vitner wrote in a report Tuesday. The state’s unemployment rate started the year as one of the highest in the country but has fallen two percentage points from a year ago to 7.4 percent in November, according to state commerce department data. The state’s unemployment rate is now .4 percentage points higher than the U.S. average, compared with 1.6 percentage points higher in November 2012. In July, North Carolina decided to end federal

San Francisco bans wood
burning on Christmas Eve
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/24/2013 10:39:35 PM     Post Reply
Sorry, San Francisco. No chestnuts on an open fire this Christmas Eve. Bay Area officials have banned residents from burning wood, indoors and outdoors, on Tuesday -- and might extend the ban into Christmas Day -- as part of an air quality initiative. The order came from a governmental body called the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. It issued a "Winter Spare the Air Alert," which prohibits people from burning wood, manufactured logs or "any other solid fuels" in fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. According to KTVU, air quality officials said pollution was expected to hit unhealthy levels amid a high-pressure system.

Joplin, Mo. and church devastated by 2011
tornado celebrate Christmas Eve of hope
Fox News, by George Kindel    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/24/2013 10:32:17 PM     Post Reply
"Why was I saved?" It´s a question the Rev. Justin Monaghan asks often of himself - and of God. On Tuesday night, as he celebrates Christmas Eve Mass in what once was a hardware store, and that now serves as the makeshift home of Saint Mary´s Roman Catholic Church, it´s a question he´ll silently share with hundreds of parishioners and everyone living in Joplin, Mo., for whom Sunday, May 22, 2011, will forever be a day of sadness - and hope. It's the second Christmas since a monstrous and deadly EF5 tornado ripped a mile-wide, six-mile long gash through the residential heart of the city - at 5:41 p.m. - leaving more than 160 dead in its wake.

Crowds throng Bethlehem for Christmas
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/24/2013 10:00:46 PM     Post Reply
Bethlehem, West Bank - Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations on Tuesday, bringing warm holiday cheer to the biblical birthplace of Jesus on a cool, clear night. The heavy turnout, its highest in years, helped lift spirits in Bethlehem as leaders expressed hope that the coming year would finally bring the Palestinians an independent state of their own. "The message of Christmas is a message of peace, love and brotherhood. We have to be brothers with each other," said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land,

It’s a Very Merry Christmas for
Washington’s Parasite Class
Town Hall, by Daniel J. Mitchell    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/24/2013 9:51:48 PM     Post Reply
Last year, while writing about the sleazy and self-serving behavior at the IRS, I came up with a Theorem that explains day-to-day behavior in Washington. It might not be as pithy as Mitchell’s Law, and it doesn’t contain an important policy prescription like Mitchell’s Golden Rule, but it could be the motto of the federal government. Simply stated, government is a racket that benefits the DC political elite by taking money from average people in America. I realize this is an unhappy topic to be discussing during the Christmas season, but the American people need to realize that they are being raped and pillaged by the corrupt

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