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More trouble for Target after 40,000 gift
cards sold over the holidays fail to work
Daily Mail [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/1/2014 4:43:48 AM     Post Reply
Target is in hot water again after it emerged that a reported 40,000 gift cards sold over the holidays were not properly activated - leaving them with no value. The latest debacle comes just a week after the retail giant suffered a massive data breach which saw hackers access information to an estimated 40 million customer credit and debit cards. Now the store is under fire for scanning the wrong code on gift cards when handing them over to shoppers, meaning that the value was not activated, KMSP in Minnesota reported. It means that when the recipients of the cards head to the

Iowa to thousands: HealthCare.gov didn’t
work, you’re uninsured, please try our site
Hot Air, by Mary Katharine Ham    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/1/2014 4:37:33 AM     Post Reply
When we were coming up on the doldrums of the December news cycle, I knew we could count on Obamacare to keep breaking down in new and spectacular ways. This time, there are a bunch of Iowans who think they’re being processed by Iowa’s Medicaid system, but they’re not: Nearly 16,000 Iowans who tried to apply for coverage via the trouble-plagued federal health-insurance website are being told to apply separately through the state Department of Human Services. The Friday afternoon announcement is the latest bout of bad news about the website, which is a key part of the Affordable Care Act. The announcement

Rand Paul & the Christian Right
American Conservative, by W. James Antle, III    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/1/2014 4:34:13 AM     Post Reply
Can Rand Paul make a case to the Christian right? The answer will have implications for the Republican Party far beyond the Kentucky senator’s hypothetical 2016 presidential campaign. In the Bluegrass State’s 2010 Republican senatorial primary, Paul was the candidate of choice for Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, and Concerned Women for America. James Dobson reversed course after initially endorsing Paul’s opponent. “Have you ever made an embarrassing mistake?” Dobson asked in an ad, before suggesting that endorsing against Paul fit the bill. In that race, Paul was able to unite social and economic conservatives against neoconservatives and other hawks in the GOP.

  


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If 2013 Was Hard on Obamacare,
Just Wait for 2014
Bloomberg View, by Lanhee Chen    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/1/2014 4:31:00 AM     Post Reply
At his end-of-the-year news conference, President Barack Obama called the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act his single biggest mistake of 2013. That’s putting it mildly. Supporters of Obamacare can’t wait to put this year behind them: From dropped insurance coverage for millions of Americans to the delay of the law’s employer mandate and the problems with HealthCare.gov, 2013 has been nothing short of a disaster. There are two things that are important to recognize about Obamacare’s difficulties this year. First, people shouldn’t have been surprised that the law was so hard to implement and spawned so much bad

Why Romney adoption jokes hurt
CNN, by April Dinwoodie    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/1/2014 4:27:31 AM     Post Reply
Yet again, politics and race got mixed up together today, and this time with an added bonus -- adoption. In a segment on her MSNBC show, host Melissa Harris-Perry highlighted Mitt Romney´s family photo, in which the former GOP presidential candidate held his newly adopted African-American grandson on his knee. She encouraged her panel to "caption that" picture. What followed was unfortunate, thoughtless commentary from the panel. (One of the panelists, Dean Obeidallah, appears on CNN shows and writes op-eds for CNN.com.) The exchange was a cold reminder of us of just how easy it is to flippantly do harm, and also

What Russian terrorists hope to
accomplish ahead of Sochi Olympics
Fox News, by Ariel Cohen    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/1/2014 4:23:29 AM     Post Reply
As Russians prepared to celebrate the New Year, two horrendous explosions shook a railway station in Volgograd. Monday’s terrorist attacks—both carried out by suicide bombers—killed more than 30 people and injured more than 60 others. Given the severity of the injuries, the death count will surely climb. And new attacks are possible. The bombings came just five weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics at Sochi, a Russian city that sits by the Black Sea. Many analysts view the bombings as an attempt to deter tourists and foreign leaders from attending the games. Another explanation is that they were payback by Sunni

Nominating Our Democrat
American Thinker, by Bruce Walker    Original Article
Posted By: Piercentire- 1/1/2014 3:53:22 AM     Post Reply
The two major political parties´ presidential nomination campaigns will begin before we know it. The Republican nomination seems wide open, but Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton seems headed for a bloodless coronation. It need not be so, and it should not be so. [Snip] Now consider this: twenty states have "open" primaries, in which voters from either political party can cast a ballot in the Democrat presidential primary.

  


  

Marry girls when they´re ´15 or 16,´
said ´Duck Dynasty´ star Phil Robertson
HLNtv.com, by Amanda Sloane    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 2:25:04 AM     Post Reply
"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson is ruffling feathers again; this time for comments he made years ago about how girls should marry when they´re still teenagers. "They got to where they´re getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting ´til they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ´em," Robertson says in a video clip that resurfaced Monday. "Look, you wait ´til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that´s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They'll pick your ducks." In the video, Robertson is recounting an anecdote at a speaking engagement.

In Benghazi, Could Anyone Be Al Qaeda?
New Yorker Magazine, by Amy Davidson    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 2:01:16 AM     Post Reply
Do we care what Al Qaeda is? And do we care who gets guns from the American government? One can’t avoid those questions when reading the responses to David Kirkpatrick’s excellent piece in the Times on the attack on an American diplomatic installation in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Four Americans died there. Kirkpatrick managed to use shades of gray in his rendition of what happened, which is rare: (Snip) In other words, it was the people the Obama Administration judged to be our allies who turned on us—rather than just, predictably, Al Qaeda. Some belonged to groups led by basketball-playing “moderates.”

North Korea: Kim Jong-un condemns
uncle as ´filth´ in new year address
Reuters, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 1:46:43 AM     Post Reply
Seoul - Kim Jong-un has made his first reference to the execution of his powerful uncle, saying in a new year´s addres that North Korea´s ruling party had become stronger after it was purged of "factional filth". Kim called for better relations with South Korea, warning that another war on the Korean peninsula would cause a massive nuclear disaster that would hit the United States. Kim, the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, did not refer by name to his uncle Jang Song Thaek, whose execution in December in a rare public purge for alleged crimes against the ruling Workers' Party and the national interest.

Ex-terror trial lawyer
freed on NY judge´s order
Associated Press, by Tom Hays    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 1:37:35 AM     Post Reply
New York - A dying former civil rights lawyer convicted in a terrorism case and sentenced to 10 years in prison was released from prison on Tuesday after prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Prisons made the recommendation to a judge. "It´s just really wonderful," 74-year-old Lynne Stewart said in a telephone interview after being freed from the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. "I´m very grateful to be free. We´ve been waiting months and months and months." U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl signed the release order after government lawyers filed a letter in Manhattan federal court

  


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It’s official: Obamacare debuts with
more cancelled plans than enrollments
Daily Caller, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 1:19:18 AM     Post Reply
Obamacare may have promised health insurance for the masses. But on its first day, it’s left more Americans without coverage than before the law was passed. More than 4.7 million Americans had their health insurance cancelled as a result of any of the thousand-plus-page law’s new rules, the Associated Press reports, but the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed Tuesday that between federal and state exchanges, just 2 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare coverage. The Obama administration has yet to announce the final tally of full enrollments, which are only confirmed once customers have

The Obamacare We Deserve
New York Times, by Michael Moore    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 1:07:01 AM     Post Reply
Today marks the beginning of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance exchanges, for which two million Americans have signed up. Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful. (Snip) I believe Obamacare’s rocky start — clueless planning, a lousy website, insurance companies raising rates, and the president’s telling people they could keep their coverage when, in fact, not all could — is a result of one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a

A Good Half-Century and a Bad One:
What Will the Next 50 Years Be Like?
American Magazine, by Paul Wolfowitz    Original Article
Posted By: eagleblurst- 1/1/2014 12:51:34 AM     Post Reply
This year we begin to commemorate a series of horrific centennials — anniversaries of one of the great catastrophes of modern history, World War I. Looking back over the century that has passed since then, the world has changed remarkably. World War I was just the first of a series of calamities that made the next 50 years without any doubt the bloodiest half-century in human history. And yet, the last half-century has been a very different story. The world today is more secure, prosperous, and free than it was 50 years ago. In many ways, one could say that the challenge facing the world today is how to avoid the calamities of World War I

Nuclear deal to be
implemented in January - Iran
RIA Novosti [Moscow, Russia], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/1/2014 12:47:57 AM     Post Reply
Following an intense round of negotiation between the P5+1 and Iran, participating countries have reportedly agreed to the implementation of an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in late January, an Iranian official announced. There is no official confirmation by the delegates, but Iranian nuclear negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad was quoted as saying that a date was agreed upon during the talks on Tuesday. "Based on the conclusions the talks held with expert delegations, the implementation of the Geneva accord will start at the end of January," Baeidinejad was quoted as saying by Iranian Press TV.

  


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40,000 new laws take effect in 2014
CNN, by Jake Tapper, Shaneika Dabney-Henders    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/1/2014 12:40:40 AM     Post Reply
(Video) It may have been the least productive year for Congress in history, at least in terms of passing laws – fewer than 60 of which made it through the House and Senate and were signed by President Barack Obama. Across the country, however, state lawmakers were busy getting more than 40,000 bills passed, ones that tackle everything from drones to food stamp benefits. In Illinois for example, teenagers will no longer get to use tanning beds without a doctor´s note. If you live in Delaware, visit the shark fin buffet while you can, a new law will make it illegal to own, sale, or distribute the controversial delicacy.

Good point by Laura Ingraham:
It’s risky for the GOP to bank
everything on ObamaCare
Canada Free Press, by Dan Calabrese    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/31/2013 11:12:41 PM     Post Reply
We’ve been saying much the same thing here, and Laura Ingraham really drives it home in this commentary last night during her guest-hosting gig on Bill O’Reilly’s show. If the Republicans are betting all their 2014 hopes on ObamaCare - and it sure appears that they are - there’s a lot of risk in that strategy:Where I differ some with Ingraham is that I don’t think the GOP’s performance in the minority is anything to brag about. They could have taken much stronger stands against Obama’s spending in particular, but they were terrified of what the Democrat/Media axis would do to them. It shows in the lame budget agreements they settled

Justice delays health law´s
birth control mandate
Associated Press, by Jesse J. Holland    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/31/2013 11:08:20 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — Only hours before the law was to take effect, a Supreme Court justice on Tuesday blocked implementation of part of President Barack Obama´s health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control. Justice Sonia Sotomayor´s decision came after a different effort by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation. Those groups had rushed to the federal courts to stop Wednesday´s start of portions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Sotomayor acted on a request from an organization of Catholic nuns in

Palin: MSNBC´s Mockery of Romney´s
Black Grandchild ´Unbelievable´
Breitbart´s Big Journalism, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 12/31/2013 10:24:41 PM     Post Reply
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said it was "unbelievable" that MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel would mock Mitt Romney´s adopted black grandchild in the manner in which they did on Sunday. Harris-Perry apologized Tuesday morning, nearly five hours after Palin´s Facebook post and after a day of backlash. "Holy [sic] unbelievable. The hypocritical leftist lamestream media should be shamed by every caring, child-loving American. It has once again reached a new low," Palin wrote before linking to a Breitbart News article that had a video of the segment. "One just can´t win in their petty little games.

Rescue Efforts for Trapped Antarctic
Voyage Disrupt Serious Science
New York Times, by Andrew C. Revkin    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 9:39:08 PM     Post Reply
Early this morning, I received an e-mail message from one of many polar scientists whose important and costly field research in Antarctica has been seriously disrupted by the diversion of icebreakers to try to evacuate the journalists, tourists, crew and scientists on an unessential “expedition” aboard a chartered Russian ship. You can read the note — from Joe McConnell, an American ice-sheet researcher I met in 2004 in Greenland — after a summary of the situation. Of course the evacuation of the trapped ship, which will require helicopters given the impassible nature of the thick sea ice in the area, is vital.

  



Former First Lady
Barbara Bush Hospitalized
ABC News, by Dean Schabner and Gina Sunseri    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 12/31/2013 9:38:29 PM     Post Reply
Former first lady Barbara Bush was hospitalized today for early signs of pneumonia, but the family said she was "in great spirits." "Former First Lady Barbara Bush was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston´s Texas Medical Center yesterday for treatment on a respiratory related issue," family spokesman Jim McGrath said. "She is in great spirits, has already received visits from her husband and family, and is receiving fantastic care." Houston Methodist Hospital spokesman George Kovacik said she was being treated there. Bush, 88, whose husband George H.W. Bush was president from 1989 to 1993, used her prominence as

Barack Obama´s Presidency Is A Complete
Failure By His Own, Self-Imposed Standards
Forbes, by Peter Ferrera    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 9:38:06 PM     Post Reply
At the end of 2013, after serving five years, Barack Obama is a complete failure as President, by his own standards, as reflected in his own words. How many times has President Obama told us that he is “fighting for the middle class”? But real median family income has been in a continuous downward spiral since he became President, actually falling more since the recession ended in the summer of 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research than during the recession. That has added up by now to the middle class losing a month’s pay a year under President Obama’s economic policies.

Sebelius: No more
ObamaCare delays
Fox News, by Kimberly Schwandt    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 12/31/2013 9:37:04 PM     Post Reply
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, on the eve of the ObamaCare launch, told Fox News she doesn´t anticipate any more delays for the health care law. The secretary voiced confidence in the law as her department announced what it claimed was a "surge" in enrollment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday that more than 2.1 million people have enrolled through the federal- and state-run marketplaces. "I´m thrilled that we´re going to have millions of people for the first time that have health security, and it should be a great New Year for lots of families across America,"

Barbara Bush hospitalized in Houston
Houston Chronicle, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/31/2013 9:34:16 PM     Post Reply
Former first lady Barbara Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday for treatment of a "respiratory-related issue," according to a statement issued by her husband´s office Tuesday night. The statement said Bush, 88, "is in great spirits, has already received visits from her husband and family, and is receiving fantastic care. Updates will be issued when warranted." Recent concern has focused on the health of her husband, George H.W. Bush, the nation´s 41st president. George Bush, 89, was released from Methodist Hospital last January after seven weeks of treatment for bronchitis, a bacterial infection and a persistent cough.

Taxpayers lose slew of
breaks with end of 2013
Washington Times, by Stephen Dinan    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 12/31/2013 9:31:42 PM     Post Reply
A final congressional stalemate in late December means the New Year’s expiration of a host of tax breaks, amounting to a $54.2 billion increase for green-energy businesses, teachers, homeowners, college students and others. Businesses will take the biggest hit, with the disappearance Wednesday of a valuable research tax credit, subsidies for building wind turbines and incentives to make energy efficiency improvements to buildings. Individuals will take hits, too. Those who pay college tuition will lose a tax credit, as will taxpayers who deduct state and local sales tax payments or who pay mortgage insurance.

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