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Down the Times’ Bengahzi Rabbit Hole
National Review Online, by Andrw C. McCarthy    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/4/2014 5:20:35 AM     Post Reply
What was the commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces doing through the night of September 11, 2012, while he knew Americans were under jihadist siege in Libya? You won’t learn the answer to that question by reading the mini-book-length, six-“chapter” revisionist history of the Benghazi massacre cooked up by David D. Kirkpatrick and the New York Times. The Times report is a labor of love in the service of President Obama and, in particular, the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign ramp-up. Former secretary of state Clinton, of course, was a key architect of Obama’s Libya policy. She was also chiefly responsible

Administration faces tough
fight on contraception cases
Politico, by Josh Gerstein    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 5:18:46 AM     Post Reply
As a new round of religion-based challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care law head to the Supreme Court, advocates on both sides of the issue say the administration’s arguments are likely facing a chilly reception. On Friday, the Obama administration urged the court to reject a plea from an order of nuns who say a provision of Obamacare conflicts with their opposition to birth control. Already, the Supreme Court is preparing to hear two cases filed by private companies who say contraception provisions in the law violate their firms’ rights to religious freedom. Together, the cases could recreate a

Why Snowden Won’t (and
Shouldn’t) Get Clemency
Slate, by Fred Kaplan    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/4/2014 5:15:40 AM     Post Reply
I regard Daniel Ellsberg as an American patriot. I was one of the first columnists to write that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired for lying to Congress.(Snip)Whistleblowers have large egos by nature, and there is no crime or shame in that. But one gasps at the megalomania and delusion in Snowden’s statements, and one can’t help but wonder if he is a dupe, a tool, or simply astonishingly naïve. Along these same lines, it may be telling that Snowden did not release—or at least the recipients of his cache haven’t yet published—any documents detailing the cyber-operations of

  


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Dangerous Times: The New York
Times Goes the Full Pravda
American Thinker, by James Lewis    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/4/2014 5:12:28 AM     Post Reply
Every thoughtful person knows the NY Times peddles shameless whoppers every single day, just as Pravda did in Soviet Moscow -- "pravda" meaning "the truth" in Russian. In the good old USSR you didn´t read Pravda for the truth. You read it for the daily Communist Party Line, which bore no relationship to the truth -- other than to cover it up. Then you told your friends the latest headlines, and if they laughed at the same punch lines, you knew they got the jokes, too. Reading Pravda became an art form that allowed readers to guess who was up and

Downton Abbey:Watch the 8 funniest parodies
The Week, by Scott Meslow    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 5:07:55 AM     Post Reply
D ownton Abbey fans have been waiting nearly a year to see how the show´s many British characters will solve their many British problems after the tragic cliffhanger that ended season three. (Unless, of course, those fans live in the U.K.; for them, the fourth season premiered in September and ended in November.) We´re now just two days away from seeing what twists and turns Downton Abbey will take next. But if you can´t wait for everyone´s favorite period soap opera to return to the screen on Sunday night, ask your butler to brew you a cup of tea and sit down

Access to Abortion Falling
as States Pass Restrictions
New York Times, by Erik Eckholm    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 5:04:32 AM     Post Reply
A three-year surge in anti-abortion measures in more than half the states has altered the landscape for abortion access, with supporters and opponents agreeing that the new restrictions are shutting some clinics, threatening others and making it far more difficult in many regions to obtain the procedure. Advocates for both sides are preparing for new political campaigns and court battles that could redefine the constitutional limits for curbing the right to abortion set by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and later modifications by the Supreme Court. On Monday, in a clash that is likely to reach the Supreme Court,

Singalong Junk
American Spectator, by Daniel J. Flynn    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 5:00:57 AM     Post Reply
Paul McCartney, an entertainer whose artistic peak occurred several years before my birth, earned more money from touring in 2013 than any other performer. The $106 million that Beatle Paul grossed from his traveling act more than quadrupled the amount taken in by the nearest competitor (Kanye West). When Frank Sinatra hit #1 in 1966 during The Beatles’ heyday, it struck the era’s pop stars as a bizarre anachronism. “Stranger things have happened,” a bemused Mick Jagger offered. Yet, Sinatra was but fifty years young when he claimed the top spot on both sides of the Atlantic with “Strangers in the

  


  

The Bleeding Obvious
PJ Media, by Michael Walsh    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 4:58:50 AM     Post Reply
File this under Least Surprising News Story of the Week. A new study finds: The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that

America needs a king
American Enterprise*, by Michael Auslin    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 4:54:10 AM     Post Reply
Does America need a monarch? Ever since, according to legend, George Washington turned down the chance of becoming the new country´s king, America´s identity as a republican nation of citizen rulers has been rock solid. Indeed, nothing can stir patriotic anger more than the suggestion that the U.S. president is acting like unelected royalty. Yet even before independence, John Adams argued in favor of a "republican monarchy" of laws, lamenting, "We have so many Men of Wealth, of ambitious Spirits, of Intrigue ... that incessant Factions will disturb our Peace." Looking at the United States, today, Adams was prescient, with

Americans Who Fought in Fallujah
Watch al Qaeda Make Comeback
ABC News, by Russell Goldman    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/4/2014 4:47:09 AM     Post Reply
The crack of gunfire shattered the quiet following afternoon prayers in Fallujah on Thursday, an Iraqi city that U.S. forces once wrested from al Qaeda-linked forces in fierce and bloody fighting and is now a fresh battleground for the terror group. Inside the ancient city, just 43 miles from Baghdad, Iraqis are once again braced for a siege and say security has declined precipitously over the past year. On Thursday, Iraqi interior ministry officials declared that half of the city was occupied by a brutal wing of al Qaeda called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. What little peace this

Boeing Machinists OK
Contract Tied to 777X
Associated Press, by Manuel Valdes    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/4/2014 4:42:43 AM     Post Reply
SEATTLE -- The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday´s vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant´s presence in the Seattle area. "Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared. Under the terms of the eight-year contract extension, Boeing said the 777X and its composite wing will be built in the Puget Sound area by Boeing employees represented by

  


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White House pressures Congress
on long-term jobless benefits
CBS News, by Stephanie Condon    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 2:28:02 AM     Post Reply
The White House is ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to restore emergency long-term unemployment benefits when they return to Washington next week. President Obama will be joined by people who have lost those benefits, which expired at the end of last year, when he delivers remarks on the issue at the White House on Tuesday. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told reporters on Friday that the benefits are a critical lifeline for people still looking for work. He said it would be ”unprecedented,” given the rate of long-term unemployment, for Congress to fail to extend the benefits. Already, 1.3 million

Uncle Sam’s New Year’s Binge:
Borrows $1,088 Per Household
in 1 Day
Cybercast News Service, by Terence P. Jeffrey    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 2:15:21 AM     Post Reply
Uncle Sam—AKA the federal government—went on a New Year’s Eve binge, adding a net of $125,202,709,546.99 to its total debt in just the one day of Dec. 31, 2013, according to the U.S. Treasury. That equals approximately $1,088.60 for each of the 115,013,000 households the Census Bureau currently estimates there are in the United States. Overall, in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended on Dec. 31, the total debt of the federal government jumped $613,787,258,252.83. That equals $5,336 for each household in the country. At the close of business on Dec. 30, 2013, the total debt of the

Fleeing the Bombs in Aleppo, Syria,
and Ending Up in New Jersey
New York Times, by Kirk Semple    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/4/2014 12:42:37 AM     Post Reply
Paterson, NJ - They had heard the bombs before, but never this close. (Snip) Finding no respite, they got a ride across the border into Lebanon and then south to Beirut. Their migration had only begun. Within weeks they would be on the move again, to Cuba, and eventually to Paterson, N.J., where they finally arrived last November, among the first of a small number of Syrians refugees to be resettled by the United States as a direct result of the three-year-old Syrian conflict. “We did not plan to go to Beirut, only to leave the neighborhood until the shelling was over,” said Abdulrazak, 48. “I was never thinking of going

Exclusive: U.S. waived laws to keep
F-35 on track with China-made parts
Reuters, by John Shiffman & Andrea Shalal-Esa    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/4/2014 12:24:19 AM     Post Reply
Washington - The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China´s espionage and military buildup. According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane´s radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have

  


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White House appeals ruling on
constitutionality of NSA program
United Press International, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/4/2014 12:07:09 AM     Post Reply
Washington - The Justice Department asked a U.S. appeals court Friday to toss out a judge´s ruling the National Security Agency surveillance is likely unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled Dec. 16 in Washington the surveillance program violates the Constitution, and ordered a halt to collection of data on electronic communications by two plaintiffs. The finding is at odds with a ruling last month by New York District Judge William Pauley, who concluded the NSA program is legal. President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and NSA Director Keith Alexander filed the appeal in the Washington case Friday,

Qaeda-Linked Insurgents Clash With
Other Rebels in Syria, as Schism Grows
New York Times, by Hwaida Saad & Rick Gladstone    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/3/2014 11:56:15 PM     Post Reply
Beirut, Lebanon — Deadly clashes were reported Friday in northern Syria between Sunni Islamist jihadists linked to Al Qaeda and insurgents in other alliances, punctuating a growing schism within the armed Syrian opposition over the power exerted by its religiously radicalized members, many of them from other countries. (Snip) The rebels call themselves the Mujahedeen Army, and they resent what they see as the affiliate’s hijacking of their struggle, now nearly three years old, to depose President Bashar al-Assad. The Mujahedeen Army also issued a statement in Arabic on Facebook essentially announcing that it now

Ruth Marcus, David Brooks,
and Reefer Madness
Slate, by David Weigel    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 1/3/2014 11:49:04 PM     Post Reply
Whoever´s been drugging the tap water in the Acela, please just stop. Your efforts have resulted in complementary columns in the Washington Post from Ruth Marcus and in the New York Times from David Brooks. Unless ... did they come up with these columns all by themselves? Anyway: The shared Brooks/Marcus thesis is that marijuana was basically all right for young people to try years ago, before they became columnists, but that legalizing it will lead to a worse and lazier society. "On balance," writes Marcus, "society will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance." The Internet´s spent

90% of shooting rampages
could be stopped by
quick-thinking civilians: expert
Washington Times, by David Sherfinski    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/3/2014 11:33:48 PM     Post Reply
Mass shootings like the ones that have occurred in recent years in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., have tripled in recent years, according to a study set to be published next week for the FBI. Researchers looked at active shootings in public settings where the primary motive appeared to be mass murder and at least one victim was unrelated to the shooter, according to Yahoo News, which obtained the report. The study, to be published next week in the “FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin,” a training publication for those in the criminal justice profession, was written by the Advanced Law Enforcement

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

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