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O’Malley to push emergency
health insurance legislation
Washington Post, by Jenna Johnson and Aaron C. Davis    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/3/2014 11:30:53 PM     Post Reply
Maryland lawmakers are expected to pass legislation as soon as next week to assist the hundreds of people — or, possibly, thousands — who tried to sign up for health insurance through the state’s new exchange program, encountered problems and were left uncovered when the new year began. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) said Friday that they plan to introduce emergency legislation that would expand enrollment in the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, a separate state-run program that normally covers high-risk individuals. Those enrolled would have to pay a premium, which is determined by income

Record number of U.N.
peacekeepers fails
to stop African wars
Washington Post, by Sudarsan Raghavan    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/3/2014 11:28:40 PM     Post Reply
NAIROBI — The United Nations has dispatched a record number of peacekeepers in Africa in recent years, deploying soldiers to trouble spots such as the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Yet the “blue helmets” and thousands of other soldiers sent by African regional groups have failed to prevent fresh spasms of violence. The peacekeeping forces have cost billions of dollars, largely paid by the United States and European nations. But they have been hobbled by weak mandates and a shortage of manpower and equipment. Some critics also say Washington, its allies and U.N. officials are at fault in the

Al-Qaeda-linked force
captures Fallujah amid
rise in violence in Iraq
Washington Post, by Liz Sly    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/3/2014 11:26:07 PM     Post Reply
BEIRUT — A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war. Elsewhere in the province, local tribal militias claimed they were gaining ground



Singer Phil Everly -- half of
legendary Everly Brothers -- dies
CNN, by Greg Botelho & Todd Leopold    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/3/2014 11:17:36 PM     Post Reply
Singer Phil Everly -- one half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo, the Everly Brothers -- has died, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 74. Patricia Aidem, a spokeswoman at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, confirmed Everly´s death on Friday, but could not provide additional details, citing the family´s request. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Phil Everly and his brother, Don, ranked among the elite in the music world by virtue of their pitch-perfect harmonies and emotive lyrics. Rolling Stone labeled the Everly Brothers "the most important vocal duo in rock," having influenced the Beatles,

Does America need a king?
Hot Air, by Allahpundit    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 9:40:35 PM     Post Reply
No way. Install a king and before you know it he’ll be issuing royal edicts changing the law willy nilly to suit his daily whims. What would be left of America then? In parliamentary systems around the globe, the head of state is separate from the head of government. In some countries, like Russia and France, the president (as head of state) is more powerful than the prime minister (who is head of government). In others, like Israel, the president serves simply as a symbol of the nation, while the prime minister runs the country. Europe’s constitutional monarchies limit their heads of

Krauthammer: Obama Ended
The War In Iraq In A Way
That "Liquidated" Our Gains
Real Clear Politics, by Ian Schwartz    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 9:27:28 PM     Post Reply
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Here is why the history is crucial. The reason that al-Maliki does not listen to Obama -- no matter what he says about reconciling with the Sunnis -- is because America has no leverage. America evacuated. Obama decided we were going to liquidate our presence. We were supposed to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement and to leave a residual element in Iraq that would train the air force, that would train the army, that would also have special forces on the ground that would go on operations, and that perhaps most important, would mediate between the Sunnis

AP Reporter Matt Lee Grills
State Department Spokeswoman:
Did The U.S. Abandon Iraq?
Real Clear Politics, by Ian Schwartz    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 9:24:08 PM     Post Reply
MATT LEE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Without relitigating the decisions that were made in the last term or over the past couple years, can you just address the suggestion in one of the earlier questions that the United States abandoned Iraq? MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, I would fundamentally disagree with it. Just because we don’t have troops on the ground doesn’t mean we don’t have a continuing close partnership with the Iraqi Government. You see that all the time from the assistance we give them. We talked a little bit about it over the Christmas holiday, I think, some of the additional



A run of bad luck
PJ Media, by Richard Fernandez    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 1/3/2014 9:20:41 PM     Post Reply
The administration’s Foreign Policy has been going badly for some time. Al-Qaeda has been retaking Western Iraq. The Coalition anticipates losing much if not most of the territory it gained from the Taliban the minute it leaves Afghanistan. President Obama’s “war of necessity” in Afghanistan is now officially more unpopular than Iraq at its most unpopular. Heck it’s more unpopular than Vietnam. US intelligence estimates the whole thing will collapse when the coalition pulls out. A civil war may be breaking out in Lebanon. President Obama has abandoned the Western-backed rebels in Syria and reached out to the Islamists. The

Tone Deaf? Musician claims feds
destroyed rare flutes at airport
Fox News, by Judson Berger    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 9:16:10 PM     Post Reply
Everyone´s a critic. A Canadian musician claims that U.S. Customs officials seized and destroyed 11 rare flutes as he passed through New York´s John F. Kennedy International Airport last week. The reason? Concerns they were an ecological threat. The charge from Boujemaa Razgui, who is based in the U.S., has drawn widespread attention -- in the U.S., in Canada, and particularly in the music community. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, though, is disputing the claim that the agency destroyed instruments. Rather, a spokesman told FoxNews.com they only destroyed a handful of fresh bamboo stalks, "per USDA regulations," out of concern that they could

Mitt Romney Expected to Address
Harris-Perry Controversy During
Fox News Sunday Appearance
Mediaite, by Matt Wilstein    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/3/2014 9:07:01 PM     Post Reply
Mitt Romney was back in the news this week, thanks to a year-end segment on Melissa Harris-Perry’ MSNBC show in which panelists joked about his adopted, African-American grandchild. Now, Romney is scheduled to appear as a guest on Fox News Sunday this weekend and is expected to address the ordeal along with the scheduled topics. While the former presidential candidate is set to talk about the Affordable Care Act and the security at the upcoming Winter Olympics, given the outrage surrounding the MSNBC panel’s comments, Romney is expected to address it in addition. Melissa Harris-Perry issued an apology to the Romney

Man Clearing Snow In The Village
Carjacked In Broad Daylight
CBS New York, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 9:05:43 PM     Post Reply
NEW YORK — A Greenwich Village man clearing snow away from his truck Friday morning was carjacked in broad daylight, police announced. Photos: First Snowstorm Of 2014 Pounds Area As WCBS 880´s Alex Silverman reported, the snow had stopped falling and it was dead quiet on Christopher Street when the incident occurred just after 9 a.m. There were much fewer people out than on a normal weekday because of the snow. According to police, a building superintendent was shoveling snow next to his blue Dodge Ram when a man in his 20s appeared and pulled out a gun. He drove



Alabama loses 45-31 to
Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Bubbasuncle- 1/3/2014 9:00:50 PM     Post Reply
NEW ORLEANS — AJ McCarron got up slowly and walked alone to the sideline with the full weight of another dispiriting loss weighing him down. His fumble on a sack turned into an Oklahoma touchdown with 47 seconds left, sealing the Sooners’ 45-31 victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night. In a painful twist, McCarron ended his illustrious college career by losing twice in a row after going 36-2 in his first 38 games at Alabama. Oklahoma, a 17-point underdog, scored two touchdowns off his interceptions in the first half before capping the upset by returning his

Little Sisters of the Government
Wall Street Journal, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/3/2014 8:56:27 PM     Post Reply
This week Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an unusual injunction merely hours before the Affordable Care Act´s birth-control mandate was supposed to apply to an order of Catholic nuns. The Justice Department replied on Friday, and the Administration´s disdain for religious conscience still retains the power to shock. Later this term the Supreme Court will hear arguments related to the ObamaCare requirement that all employer health plans must furnish contraception or else pay a tax penalty, but those cases involve corporations. The Little Sisters of the Poor run a nonprofit Colorado nursing home and hospice and therefore ought to be exempt under

Obama to meet with those who
lost unemployment benefits
Washington Examiner, by Brian Hughes    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 8:49:57 PM     Post Reply
President Obama on Tuesday will meet with Americans who lost unemployment benefits at the start of the year, as the White House ramps up pressure on Republicans to extend the federal aid for three months. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced the White House gathering during a conference call with reporters, the latest attempt by the Obama administration to highlight the 1.3 million Americans no longer receiving federal unemployment insurance. “This was not only the right thing to do; it was the smart thing to do,” Perez said of the economic repercussions of halting the jobless benefits. “These programs don’t get

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks:
Is Kerry offering up US troops?
Christian Science Monitor, by Anna Mulrine    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 8:44:06 PM     Post Reply
Secretary of State John Kerry is proposing to offer up US troops to help secure the borders of the new state of Palestine, according to some unconfirmed news reports coming out of Israel. How plausible is the possibility? And would it be a good idea, or, as some military analysts argue, would the White House would be “nuts” to consider it? The US troops would be tasked with helping to prevent anti-Israel forces from coming out of Jordan and reaching Israel, according to Debkafile, an Israeli intelligence and security news service. Palestinian officials are demanding that Israel move its forces from



Happy New Year! Feds list 141
new regulations in only three days
Daily Caller, by Michael Bastasch    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 8:34:35 PM     Post Reply
It’s a new year and you know what that means — new regulations. The Obama administration has wasted no time in writing them. The website Regulations.gov lists 141 regulations that have been posted by federal agencies in the last three days alone. Of these regulations, 119 are “rulemaking,” meaning they establish a new rule. Twenty-three are “non-rulemaking,” meaning the regulations does not establish a new rule. The largest group of regulations have to do with energy and environmental issues, many of them issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. One new EPA regulation is an amendment to a rule on hazardous

DOJ: Nuns have ´no legal basis´
to contest birth control mandate
Washington Examiner, by Brian Hughes    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 8:27:10 PM     Post Reply
The Justice Department on Friday urged Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to stop blocking the Obamacare mandate forcing organizations to provide insurance plans that include contraceptives, arguing that a religious group contesting the law did not have a complaint. Just before Jan. 1, Sotomayor issued an injunction on behalf of Catholic nuns in Colorado who objected to the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act, claiming it violates their religious beliefs. Her decision at least temporarily exempts the Colorado group from the mandate in lieu of a more far-reaching Supreme Court decision on the contraception rules. The Justice Department,

Facebook ´snoops on your private
inbox´: Site sued over claim it is
scanning and selling details
Daily Mail [UK], by Paul Bentley    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/3/2014 8:06:55 PM     Post Reply
Facebook is being sued over claims it has been scanning users’ private messages for personal information to sell to advertisers. The social networking site, is accused of monitoring messages and website links sent between users so they can profile what people read online. This in turn allows the website, which has 24million UK members, to charge more for the information. It is thought the information is particularly valuable because people are more likely to reveal their true interests in messages they think are private. The alleged breach of privacy has been exposed by internet experts, who examined whether messages that Facebook insists are

Poll says Michelle Obama more
´activist´ than voters want
Washington Examiner, by Paul Bedard    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 8:06:34 PM     Post Reply
First lady Michelle Obama´s approval ratings continue to soar far above her husband´s, but a new poll finds that she is far more of an “activist” White House spouse than voters want. Although there is a slight (44 percent to 43 percent) edge in voters who prefer a more traditional than activist first lady, a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 54 percent view the popular first lady as an “activist.” Just 32 percent said that she plays “a traditional role.” It´s a role she has tried to straddle. She is not as involved in policy as former first lady Hillary Clinton

White House Treats Obama’s Golf
Summit Like Oval Office Meeting
PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 7:56:49 PM     Post Reply
When the president has an important meeting behind closed doors, the White House sometimes issues a readout — general summary of what was discussed, with administration spin. After President Obama golfed for five hours with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the White House tried to dress it up as a meeting of sorts by releasing a readout: Today, President Obama invited Prime Minister John Key to play a round of golf in Hawaii. The two leaders have long discussed their shared interest in the sport, and they enjoyed the opportunity to spend several hours together on the golf course.


McCain and Graham Visit Karzai
to Smooth Path for Security
Agreement Obama Wants Signed
PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 7:44:30 PM     Post Reply
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) went to Afghanistan this week to sit down for a “long lunch” with President Hamid Karzai and discuss the bilateral security agreement he has refused to sign to the disappointment of the Obama administration. “We don’t’ want to see a repeat of Iraq, where we left completely, seeing Iraq descend into chaos…we don’t want that to happen here,” McCain told Afghanistan’s Tolo News, adding that he thought progress was made and Karzai might sign it soon. Karzai has insisted that signing of the agreement can wait until after April presidential elections, while Washington wants

House committee: Obama
administration banned Christmas
carols and cards for veterans
Daily Caller, by Patrick Howley    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 7:38:44 PM     Post Reply
The Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prohibited veterans from hearing Christmas carols or receiving gifts wrapped in Christmas-themed wrapping paper, prompting outrage from a congressional committee. VA officials in Iowa City, Iowa told representatives of the American Legion that they could not hand out gifts to veterans wrapped in wrapping paper that featured the term “Merry Christmas.” Additionally, the VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia — which treats veterans — banned Christmas carolers from singing Christmas songs with religious references in public areas. The Dallas VA Medical Center blocked local schoolchildren from giving Christmas cards to veterans because some of

MSNBC: How Do We Combat
´Duck Dynasty´ Clan From
Doing What´s Legal?
Breitbart´s Big Hollywood, by John Nolte    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 7:31:55 PM     Post Reply
Because MSNBC long ago stopped being a news channel in favor of becoming visual left-wing talk radio, the "Lean Forward" network continues to make a fool of itself in ways both big (mocking a black infant) and small. On a slow news Friday, MSNBC rising star Thomas Roberts and a guest spit-balled on the air over how to "combat" the Duck Dynasty clan from doing something legal -- like releasing their own line of firearms: THOMAS ROBERTS: Well as we look at that, because look at this, the Duck Commander company itself, it´s worth a reported $400 million through the sale

11 Nasty Trends That Will
Test America´s Resilience
Investor´s Business Daily, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/3/2014 7:23:17 PM     Post Reply
The resilience that has long been one of America´s remarkable traits was on display in 2013. Not only did businesses create 2 million jobs, but the struggling economy actually grew and profits and stock prices soared to near-record levels. Still, five years into the Obama presidency, the economy is grossly underperforming. Contrary to the dominant media narrative, it´s not bad luck or the financial crisis to blame, but bad policies — from the $860 billion "stimulus" that didn´t stimulate to the Dodd-Frank financial reform that killed lending. Last year was a challenging one for entrepreneurs and other productive Americans. No fewer than

Bible-based boys’ group opens
after Boy Scouts’ nod to gays
Washington Times, by Cheryl K. Chumley    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 7:19:22 PM     Post Reply
A new group that formed as a counter to the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to let gays serve as scouts opened its doors this week, with a mission and motto to “walk worthy” in the path toward God. “Our vision is to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens,” Trail Life USAsaid on its website. Its motto, taken from Colossian 1:10: “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” The group is Christian-based,

When Even the New York Times . . .
National Review Online, by John Fund    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/3/2014 7:05:46 PM     Post Reply
Bill de Blasio’s inauguration as New York mayor is already in the history books as perhaps the rudest transfer of power for a major U.S. political office anyone can remember. A parade of speakers trashed outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg and delivered doses of divisive racial rhetoric. It was all too much for even the New York Times’ editorial board, which has swooned over all things de Blasio for months. In the Times’ editorial today it praised de Blasio for articulating an “ambitious, admirable agenda” at his inauguration. But it then laced into the speakers he allowed to share the podium with

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