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Hawaii approves higher
rates for HMSA, Kaiser
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/31/2013 6:50:19 PM     Post Reply
HONOLULU - State insurance officials have approved rate increases for Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii health plans that were expected to be canceled as President Barack Obama´s federal health insurance overhaul takes effect. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday the state Insurance Division approved increases of 9.2 percent for 11,000 individual plans and 5 percent for 26,300 small business plans administered by Kaiser. HMSA will be allowed to increase rates on 14,300 individual plans by 7.5 percent. HMSA increased small business rates by 6.8 percent for 118,000 members earlier this year. Insurers say the increases are necessary to cover higher

Judge Orders ‘Compassionate Release’
Of Jailed Former Civil Rights Lawyer
CBS News [New York] & Associated, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 12/31/2013 6:48:03 PM     Post Reply
NEW YORK –A federal judge in Manhattan ordered a “compassionate release” Tuesday from prison for a dying former civil rights lawyer. The U.S. government requested the release earlier in the day for Lynne Stewart, who was convicted in a terrorism case from prison. Prosecutors say Stewart, 74, suffers from recurrent stage-four breast cancer. She was not scheduled to be released until August 2018. U.S. District Judge John Koeltl had said he could not release her early without a recommendation for from prison authorities. The director of the Bureau of Prisons made the request through Preet Bharara, the United States attorney

Expect a huge political
shake-up in 2014
Telegraph [UK], by Nigel Farage    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/31/2013 6:41:08 PM     Post Reply
Happy New Year to Daily Telegraph readers. I am sure 2014 will be a pivotal year in British politics, and I suggest this for a number of reasons. From today 29 million people from Bulgaria and Romania have untrammelled access to Britain and our labour market. We shall learn very soon that our EU membership and adherence to EU free movement means free housing, free healthcare and free access to the British benefits system for every EU citizen who wishes to come here. At a time when school places are at a premium, when one million young people are unemployed



Couple run 365 marathons in a year
Sydney Morning Herald (AUS), by Carolyn Webb    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/31/2013 6:40:36 PM     Post Reply
As a New Year´s resolution it was a little extreme. At the start of 2013, Melbourne couple Janette Murray-Wakelin, 64, and Alan Murray, 68, set out to run around Australia for a year, completing a marathon a day. That´s 365 marathons, or more than 15,000 kilometres. With no day off. About 3pm on Tuesday, barring a catastrophe, they will achieve their goal, jogging triumphantly up St Kilda Road to their starting point, Federation Square.

Kim Jong-un, Cold and Smoking
Alone at the Top of the World
New York Magazine, by Joe Coscarelli    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/31/2013 6:31:15 PM     Post Reply
The North Korean dictator took a moment for quiet reflection after a busy year of family drama and brutal executions during a visit to his Masik Pass Ski Resort propaganda project: The lift, analysts say, is a 1970s model and has been ripped off from another resort after European lift sellers canceled North Korea’s pre-order due to sanctions imposed on luxury goods. Kim touts the ski resort is for the people, but the average wage in the country is less than $100 a month. Admission fee for Masik Pass is $50. The ski sanctuary is said to have cost about $300 million and

Administration boasts 2.1 million Obamacare
enrollees after December ´surge,´ but only
HALF of them have paid premiums
Daily Mail [UK], by David Martosko    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/31/2013 6:21:39 PM     Post Reply
The Department of Health and Human Services is in mid-victory-lap over its enrollment of an estimated 2.1 million Americans into Obamacare insurance plans, a figure claimed in a blog post Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But as many as half of those customers have yet to make a payment, a new report suggests. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Mark Waterstraat, the chief strategy officer at a firm that processes billings for insurers. He said that only about 50 percent of enrollees in 17 states have paid their bills for the first month´s premium. That statistic, if it were

Brad Pitt´s Hurricane Katrina charity
under fire after homes are ´ROTTING
from the inside in New Orleans´
Daily Mail [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/31/2013 6:16:27 PM     Post Reply
Hollywood star Brad Pitt’s Hurricane Katrina charity is coming under fire after more than two dozen homes that his organization built are rotting. The charity, Make It Right New Orleans, built the homes in the devastated Ninth Ward after the 2005 natural disaster that killed more than 1,800 people. Homeowners have complained that the wood cannot withstand the humid climate of the city and therefore are rotting and growing fungus. ‘It turned grey and it was also black,’ Make It Right home-owner Nola Verrett told Radar Online. The charity has blamed the wood company TimberSIL for providing the lumber, which is a non-burning



Climate Change Vastly Worse
Than Previously Thought
Slate Magazine, by Mark Joseph Stern    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 12/31/2013 6:12:49 PM     Post Reply
A new study published in Nature suggests that climate change is even worse than scientists had previously anticipated, upgrading the forecast from "dangerous" to "catastrophic." (snip) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed concern, stating that "if this isn´t an alarm bell, then I don´t know what one is. If ever there were an issue that demanded greater cooperation, partnership, and committed diplomacy, this is it." But the unnerving escalaton in climate change is unlikely to be abated without significant U.S. support—and for the time being, the Republican party insists on stonewalling any efforts to offset the human-caused

Why Has Republican Belief in
Evolution Declined So Much?
Atlantic, by David A. Graham    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/31/2013 6:08:34 PM     Post Reply
In November, Mischa Fisher took to this space to criticize the notion that Republicans are the anti-science party. Plenty of Democrats hold views that contradict empirically established facts, and Republican skepticism is overblown, he wrote. And yet ... The Pew Research Center released new numbers Monday on how Americans view evolution. (The question was asked in a way to include those who believe God or a supreme being guided the process.) About six in 10 accept it, the poll found, but the partisan divide is wide: (snip) It´s not surprising that Republicans are less likely to believe in evolution that

MSNBC´s Wolffe Mocks ´ObamaCare
Haters´ as ´Biggest Losers of the Year´
Mediaite, by Brad Wilmouth    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/31/2013 6:00:39 PM     Post Reply
On the Monday, December 30, The Last Word with Lawrence O´Donnell on MSNBC, Richard Wolffe -- executive editor of MSNBC.com -- mocked "ObamaCare haters," tagging them as the "biggest losers of the year," as he appeared as a panel member to select awards in various news categories for the year 2013. As he suggested that the reduction in glitches at Healthcare.Gov solves ObamaCare´s problems, Wolffe compared opponents to people still "fighting the Second World War on a lost island." After host O´Donnell asked who was the "biggest loser of the year," Wolffe began his gloating: I´m tempted to say these are

Republicans blast Obama for launching
program to create national monuments
even though funding for White House
tours got the axe from the sequester
Daily Mail [UK], by David Martosko    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/31/2013 5:56:30 PM     Post Reply
A Republican member of Congress slammed the Obama administration Monday for creating five new national monuments when the US federal government is struggling under the weight of a mandated austerity plan. When the so-called budget sequester, a trigger mechanism built into the failed 2012 congressional budget talks, kicked in, most federal agencies were forced into across-the-board budget cuts. This includes the Department of the Interior, whose National Park Service maintains and operates national parks and monuments. [Snip] But the president created five new monuments Monday in a signing ceremony announced just four days earlier. ´By designating these national monuments today,



Alabama lawmaker sends shocking RACIST
rant to gun-rights constituent, and copies
every member of the state legislature
Daily Mail [UK], by David Martosko    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/31/2013 5:52:04 PM     Post Reply
A black member of the Alabama legislature uncorked a racist tirade in an email this week to a constituent who urged him not to embrace new gun control laws--copying his incendiary language to every member of the state legislature. Joseph Mitchell, a Democrat who has represented parts of the city of Mobile since 1994 and ran for re-election unopposed in 2010 and 2006, castigated a voter named Eddie Maxwell, a Jefferson County man whom he correctly presumed was white. ´Hey man,´ Mitchell wrote. ´Your folk never used all this sheit [sic] to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping,

Mexico´s oil revenues drop,
but tax collection up
EFE News Agency [Spain], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 12/31/2013 5:48:19 PM     Post Reply
Mexico City - Mexico´s oil revenues dropped 1.8 percent in the January-November period, compared to the same period in 2012, but non-petroleum tax revenues rose 3.9 percent, the government said. Public sector budget revenues fell 1.2 percent in real terms during the first 11 months of 2013, compared to the January-November period last year, the Finance Secretariat said. Oil revenues fell as a result of a drop in the average price of Mexico´s crude exports, lower oil and gas production, and a stronger peso, the secretariat said in a report.

Joke’s on us: WH now says 7M
never ‘target number’ for Obamacare
Washington Times (D.C), by David Sherfinski    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/31/2013 5:48:13 PM     Post Reply
White House health care adviser Phil Schiliro said Tuesday that a goal of seven million people signing up for health insurance by the end of March was “never our target number,” attempting to downplay a figure that has been circulated for months. “That was never our target number,” Mr. Schiliro said on MSNBC. “That was a target that was put out by the Congressional Budget Office and has become the accepted number.” In June, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said the administration was “hopeful that seven million is a realistic target.” In an interview with NBC News

The Times’ Benghazi Report:
Convenient for Clinton
National Review Online, by Elliott Abrams    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 5:18:13 PM     Post Reply
The division of the “Hillary for President” campaign known as the New York Times issued a lengthy white paper on Sunday, entitled “A Deadly Mix In Benghazi.” This article, the paper explained, was based on “months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there . . . ” In other words, the article is centered on interviews with extremists and terrorists, whose words are taken as gospel. That they may have changed their stories, or be putting forth stories for their own benefit rather than because



Global Warming Researchers Ice-Bound;
96 Percent of Network Stories Censor
Why Ship Is There
Newsbusters, by Mike Ciandella    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 5:15:04 PM     Post Reply
Antarctic ice trapped a ship full of scientists on a climate change expedition. Yet, 96 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers ignored climate change entirely. The ship has been stuck since Christmas morning. The broadcast networks mostly ignored the reason the Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was on its way to Antarctica. Twenty-five out of 26 stories (96 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition. In fact, rather than point out the mission of the scientists to find evidence of climate change,

Credulous and Tendentious on Benghazi
National Review Online, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 5:11:19 PM     Post Reply
The New York Times has published a strange but unsurprising account of the attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012 — strange in that it presents the explanations and testimony of terrorists involved in the attack without comment or context, and unsurprising because that account supports the narrative the Obama administration aggressively promoted for weeks after the massacre. The first of the Grey Lady’s two key findings: “Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context,

WP on Outgoing Smithsonian Secretary:
‘Cowardly Decision’ to Remove Video of
Ants on Crucifix in Gay Exhibit
Cybercast News Service, by Penny Starr    Original Article
Posted By: Bubbasuncle- 12/31/2013 4:56:43 PM     Post Reply
In a Dec. 13 profile of outgoing Smithsonian Institution Secretary G. Wayne Clough, art critic Philip Kennicott called the order Clough gave three years ago to remove from a National Portrait Gallery exhibit a video that included images of ants crawling over a crucified Christ and of male genitals a “cowardly decision.” Referring to Clough’s predecessor Lawrence Small, Kennicott wrote in the Washington Post: “After a period of imperial leadership that reflected the larger and crass sense of entitlement during an era of reckless economic speculation, Clough brought homespun decency to the institution, but he didn´t bring much

CNN Contributor Calls Romney
Family Photo ‘Exploitive’
National Review Online, by Andrew Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 4:53:38 PM     Post Reply
Marc Lamont Hill turned the tables on the criticism of Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel’s mocking Mitt Romney’s African-American grandson by saying the photo of Romney’s family was ”exploitive [sic].” He said that it would have been inappropriate for the panel to make fun of Romney family children or the fact that the grandson was adopted, but justified the jeers by saying they were ridiculing the GOP and Mitt Romney, not the child. “Some would say, maybe, that it’s an exploitive picture — that they’re exploiting the kid by holding him out there,” Hill said on CNN on Monday. “[The panel] was pointing out the fact that the picture

MSNBC’s Dyson Draws Comparison Between
Phil Robertson, Abner Louima’s Sodomizer
National Review Online, by Andrew Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 4:45:04 PM     Post Reply
MSNBC regular Michael Eric Dyson brushed aside the argument that Phil Robertson doesn’t harbor racial hostility just because he has a biracial grandson, drawing a connection between Robertson and one of the men who sodomized Abner Louima. In 1997, Louima was assaulted and forcibly sodomized with a plunger by members of the NYPD by plunger. “The man who plunged a plunger deep into the behind of Abner Louima was himself dating a black woman when he did that heinous act,” Dyson said on Monday. “There’s no one-to-one correlation between particular domestic intimacy with a black person or person of color and


They Really Believe This
Stuff: Adoption Edition
National Review Online, by David French    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 4:36:28 PM     Post Reply
Every time MSNBC beclowns itself with absurd conservative hate, NRO should repost Charles C. W. Cooke’s excellent takedown, “MSNBC’s Alternative Universe.” The short answer for why incidents like this keep happening is that far lefties (heavily over-represented at MSNBC) really do believe the worst about conservatives. And I do mean the worst. It’s not that we’re just evil, because one can be an evil genius. We’re evil, stupid, hypocritical, have bad haircuts, kick puppies, and hate our grandmothers . . . unless our grandmothers are in the Klan. It’s really not worth dwelling on the actual Romney adoption kerfuffle.

De Blasio: Horse-Drawn
Carriages in Central Park ‘Over’
National Review Online, by Andrew Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 4:32:27 PM     Post Reply
Central Park’s horse-drawn carriages will soon be a thing of the past (even more so) under the de Blasio administration. The incoming New York City mayor has already announced he will begin phasing out the nostalgic rides and ban them when he takes office, which starts tomorrow. “It’s over,” de Blasio said, calling the practice inhumane. ”We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City.” Supporters of de Blasio’s efforts, such as an official with ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty group, described the horse-drawn carriages as ”unnatural, unnecessary, and an undeniable

Mexican coastal highway
cracks up and slides 300ft down
mountainside into sea after
earthquake near U.S. border
Daily Mail (UK), by Alex Ward    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/31/2013 4:31:02 PM     Post Reply
A cement truck driver is lucky to be alive after the coastal highway he was driving on in Mexico cracked and sunk some 300 feet down a mountainside into the sea near the U.S. border. The driver was rescued by heavy machinery before his truck, along with a 300-yard section of the road, which leads to port city Ensenada on the Baja California peninsula, slid into the Pacific Ocean. While it remains unclear what caused the landslide, fractures in the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road were seen after several small earthquakes ranging from 1.3 to 4.3 in magnitude shook the area on

Obama has low-key holiday in Hawaii
USA Today, by David Jackson    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/31/2013 4:16:59 PM     Post Reply
Through the first 10 days of his end-of-the-year vacation in Hawaii, President Obama has largely fulfilled one goal: Staying out of the public eye. While his administration has sent out formal statements, and campaign organizations have e-mailed fundraising solicitations under his name, Obama has also gotten in daily workouts, hiking and beach trips, dinners with friends and family and six golf outings in his home state.Obama has also signed bills into law and conducted a series of briefings, all behind closed doors. (Snip) The president and his family return to Washington, D.C., this weekend. The Associated Press summed up parts of

Administration says 2.1 million enrolled in
Obamacare but won´t say how many paid
Washington Examiner, by Brian Hughes    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 12/31/2013 3:39:12 PM     Post Reply
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that 2.1 million people had enrolled in new health plans ahead of Obamacare exchanges going into effect Jan. 1, but officials could not say how many Americans had actually paid for such coverage.“The new law is transformational for our entire health care system,” Health and Human Services Secretary Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a conference call with reporters, announcing the new enrollment figures. According to the Obama administration, more than two million people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the federal and state exchanges, and 3.9 million Americans have “learned they’re eligible for coverage through

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