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Melissa Harris-Perry makes tearful on-air
apology after sketch made Mitt Romney´s
adopted black grandson the butt
of a series of jokes
Daily Mail (U.K.), by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/4/2014 10:04:34 PM     Post Reply
TV host Melissa Harris-Perry started her weekend show with an apology after viewers complained that a segment the previous week was offensive. Complaints were made after panelists gave comic captions for photos of key moments in the past year, including a family portrait of Mitt Romney which showed his adopted African-American grandson. After admitting the section was in poor judgment, the MSNBC host was close to crying as she apologized to the Romneys and other inter-racial families. What had been meant as a fun review of the year spiraled into a segment where the youngest Romney, Kieran, became the

US Icebreaker to Rescue
2 Ships in Antarctica
ABC News, by Rod McGuirk    Original Article
Posted By: barbcrose- 1/4/2014 9:44:05 PM     Post Reply
A U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker will leave Australia for Antarctica on Sunday to rescue more than 120 crew members aboard two icebreakers trapped in pack ice near the frozen continent´s eastern edge, officials said. The 122-meter (399-foot) cutter, the Polar Star, is responding to a Jan. 3 request from Australia, Russia and China to assist the Russian and Chinese ships because "there is sufficient concern that the vessels may not be able to free themselves from the ice," the Coast Guard said in a statement. The Russian research ship Akademik Shokalskiy has been trapped in ice-clogged Commonwealth Bay

Strategists to GOP: Restrain yourselves
on debt ceiling
The Hill, by Erik Wasson and Peter Schroede    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 1/4/2014 8:44:12 PM     Post Reply
GOP strategists are urging restraint in the upcoming debt-ceiling fight. They are excited by the prospect of reclaiming the Senate in November’s midterms elections but anxious about the party’s capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as amply illustrated in recent campaign cycles. Congress must vote to raise the $17 trillion debt ceiling sometime in February or March. In the past, Republicans have looked to extract major concessions, such as dollar-for-dollar spending cuts.That has many in the party looking to go small this time around, arguing that the top priority must be locking up electoral gains in November. Those gains, they

  


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Ronan Farrow, Reluctant TV Star
New York Times Magazine, by Jesse Lichtenstein    Original Article
Posted By: Honeybadger- 1/4/2014 8:35:42 PM     Post Reply
Ronan Farrow had a cold. “Probably from a source,” he joked. It wasn’t clear who gave it to him — the big pop star in L.A. or the Minnesotans fighting against terrorist recruitment in their community. Farrow had been out of town reporting pieces on both, and his voice was almost shot. He was striding along low-ceilinged hallways in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, past an exposed bank of computer servers and a library cart full of old videotapes. “The hallowed halls,” he murmured. He had a conference call, then makeup, then he would be on camera, then he was leaving directly

Ecuador Navy Airlifted
Jeff Bezos for Kidney Stone
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Honeybadger- 1/4/2014 8:26:16 PM     Post Reply
QUITO, Ecuador -- An official in the Galapagos Islands says that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was flown by helicopter from a cruise ship on Jan. 1 for medical attention after suffering intense pain because of a kidney stone. Capt. Santiago Rubio, commander of the port of Santa Cruz, tells The Associated Press that Bezos was near the island on the cruise when he felt the stomach pains. Rubio said Saturday the navy sent doctors to examine Bezos on New Year´s Day. The doctors determined that it was a kidney stone attack and Rubio authorized a helicopter to take the

NSA statement does not deny
´spying´ on members of Congress
Guardian [UK], by Spencer Ackerman, Martin Pengelly    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 1/4/2014 7:39:41 PM     Post Reply
The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is … currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”, in which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US Congress to whom it says it is accountable. In a letter dated 3 January, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont defined “spying” as “gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to

Britain´s version of Tea Party
rocks political system
across the pond
Fox News, by Adam Shaw    Original Article
Posted By: MDMuskrat- 1/4/2014 7:21:45 PM     Post Reply
The often stale British political system is being rocked by its very own Tea Party. The UK Independence Party (UKIP), formed in 1993 opposing Britain’s entry into the European Union, failed to make an electoral dent for a long time. However UKIP has built up steam in recent years and is spearheading a seismic shift in the British political spectrum. In this year’s local elections – the British version of midterms -- UKIP took a stunning 23 percent of the vote, up from the 3.1 percent they won in the 2010 national election.

  


  

Welcome to 2014 - the year
we ignore our problems
Telegraph [UK], by Janet Daley    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/4/2014 7:12:38 PM     Post Reply
In the seasonal tradition that I invented some years ago, my first column of the year is devoted to anti-predictions: that is, things that will not happen in the following 12 months. Needless to say, the rules require that these must not be the easy, wildly unlikely options--an asteroid destroying the planet, the scientific community admitting that it was wrong on global warming, or England winning the World Cup. [Snip] First, there will be no dramatic change in the opinion poll ratings of the major parties, or of their respective leaders. Labour will plateau at a six- to eight-point lead over

The future´s NOT so bright:
Americans predict a dark downward
spiral over the next four decades
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/4/2014 6:48:57 PM     Post Reply
Ask people to imagine American life in 2050, and you´ll get some dreary visions. [Snip] Whites are particularly gloomy: Only one in six expects better times over the next four decades. Also notably pessimistic are middle-aged and older people, those who earn mid-level incomes and Protestants, a new national poll finds. ´I really worry about my grandchildren, I do,´ says 74-year-old Penny Trusty of Rockville, Maryland, a retired software designer and grandmother of five. ´I worry about the lowering of morals and the corruption and the confusion that´s just raining down on them.´ Even groups with comparatively sunny outlooks

Secret spy court says NSA
CAN keep collecting every
American´s phone records
Daily Mail [UK], by James Nye    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/4/2014 6:37:02 PM     Post Reply
A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American´s telephone records every day, in the midst of conflicting decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Friday renewed the NSA phone collection program, said Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Such periodic requests are somewhat formulaic but required since the program started in 2006. The latest approval was the first since two conflicting court decisions about whether the program is lawful and since a presidential

Hate crime suspect arrested for
attacking seven women in
New York ´knock-out´ attacks
Daily Mail [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/4/2014 6:30:08 PM     Post Reply
A 35-year-old from New York has been arrested for at least seven knock out attacks around Brooklyn. Barry Baldwin is accused of punching his victims to the ground in a spate of attacks carried out between November 9 and December 27, police said. All of the victims were women, and most were Jewish. In one case, a 78-year-old was knocked to the ground as she pushed her great granddaughter´s stroller. Baldwin, of East New York, has been charged with six counts of assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and attempted assault. He also faces menacing charges and one count of

  


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The Prophet: Before Proof of Heaven
made Dr. Eben Alexander rich
and famous as a "man of science"
who´d experienced the afterlife,
he was something else
Esquire Magazine, by Luke Dittrich    Original Article
Posted By: Hermoine- 1/4/2014 5:08:06 PM     Post Reply
On December 18, 2012, the set of Fox & Friends was both festive and somber. Festive because it was the Christmas season. The three hosts, two men in dark suits flanking a woman in a blue dress, sat on a mustard-colored couch in front of a cheery seasonal backdrop: a lit-up tree, silver-painted twigs, mounds of tinsel, blue and red swatches of fabric, and, here and there, multicolored towers of blown glass with tapering points that made them look surprisingly like minarets. Somber because a terrible thing had happened just four days earlier, in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Melissa-Harris Perry [sic] Cries During
On-Air Apology to Romney Family
NewsBusters, by Noel Sheppard    Original Article
Posted By: trapper- 1/4/2014 4:52:43 PM     Post Reply
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and a panel of comedians last weekend senselessly mocked a picture of former Governor Mitt Romney’s family because it included his adopted black grandson. Although she’s already apologized on Twitter, Harris-Perry began her show Saturday with a heartfelt apology much of the time fighting through a lump in her throat and tears: MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: Good morning. I´m Melissa Harris-Perry. We have a lot of news and politics to discuss this morning. Before we get to that, I´m going to start with an apology.

´Gone With the Wind´ actress
Alicia Rhett dies at 98
CNN, by Mayra Cuevas & Greg Botelho    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 4:36:34 PM     Post Reply
Alicia Rhett, who had been one of the oldest surviving cast member of the classic film "Gone With the Wind," died Friday in her longtime hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, a retirement community spokeswoman said. Rhett passed away of natural causes around 5 p.m. surrounded by friends at Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community, said Kimberly Farfone Borts, a spokeswoman for the community. She was 98. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Rhett moved with her mother to Charleston after her father died during World War I, according to Borts. Her roots to the South trace back even deeper: According to her biography

The Real Reasons Texas
Wants Charlie Strong
Forbes, by Roger Groves    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/4/2014 4:32:22 PM     Post Reply
It is well established that schools that fire a football coach (or encourage them to retire) look to replace him with someone who they think will cure the malady responsible for the firing. If the outgoing coach lacked team discipline he is replaced with a disciplinarian, etc. In the case of Texas, Mack Brown’s malady was the inability to win the top recruits in his home state. Texas A & M and Baylor passed him up. The common thought is that they are beneficiaries of his recruiting failures. Even BCS bowl teams outside the state have significant increases in their

  


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Report: Amnesty Cash Cow for
"Boomtown" Lobbyists in 2014
Breitbart Big Government, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: SpeedMaster- 1/4/2014 4:20:54 PM     Post Reply
The lobbyists that make up Washington´s permanent political class in the country´s "Boomtown" are banking on comprehensive immigration reform in 2014 to pad their profit margins even during a time when the country is revolting against them. According to a report in Politico, "Washington Inc." continues to "hum along even as Congress failed to pass the kind of bills that lobbyists are paid top dollar by corporate clients and other special interests to influence." That is a testament to the "to the resilience of Washington — and the firms that have thrived in the economy around it" even as the country is

New Obamacare glitch
Boston Herald, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 4:19:57 PM     Post Reply
Another day, another Obamacare “glitch” destined to make life unbearable even for those who have been able to sign up. Yes, the White House continues to crow about the 2 million people they say have signed up, although that is far below the 7 million they had estimated would be signed up by now. But yesterday we learned that even those who have been patient and somehow got themselves enrolled, well, they need to hope there’s not a New Year’s baby in the picture for them. The Associated Press reported yesterday — and the White House confirmed — that the

For a Pressured President, a Real
and Rare Vacation in Hawaii
New York Times, by Ashley Parker    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 2:24:07 PM     Post Reply
KAILUA, Hawaii — After a two-week vacation on the windward side of Oahu, ensconced with his family in a private beachfront rental, President Obama prepared on Saturday to return to the chillier clime — both politically and weather-wise — of the nation’s capital. (Snip) Last year, Mr. Obama returned to Washington in the middle of his vacation to deal with a fiscal showdown before flying back to Hawaii. By comparison, this trip was tranquil, if not drowsy. White House aides could be found pecking away at their email by the pool or floating in the ocean. Some members of the

The Congressman Who Went Off the Grid
Politico Magazine, by Jason Koebler    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 1/4/2014 2:19:55 PM     Post Reply
When Roscoe Bartlett was in Congress, he latched onto a particularly apocalyptic issue, one almost no one else ever seemed to talk about: America’s dangerously vulnerable power grid. In speech after late-night speech on the House floor, Bartlett hectored the nearly empty chamber: If the United States doesn’t do something to protect the grid, and soon, a terrorist or an act of nature will put an end to life as we know it. Bartlett loved to conjure doomsday visions: Think post-Sandy New York City without power—but spread over a much larger area for months at a time. He once recounted a

Detroit police chief: Legal gun
owners can deter crime
Detroit News [MI], by George Hunter    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 2:16:01 PM     Post Reply
Detroit— If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday. Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind. “When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7

  



Barbara Bush released from Texas
hospital after stay for respiratory illness
Fox News*, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/4/2014 2:10:02 PM     Post Reply
Former first lady Barbara Bush was discharged Saturday from a Texas Hospital where she was being treated for a respiratory illness, a former Bush administration official said. "I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible," Bush said in a statement. The 88-year-old Bush, wife of George H.W. Bush, was admitted Monday to Methodist Hospital in Houston.(Snip) Their 69th wedding anniversary is Monday.

GOP: Let´s redirect political spending
to the children´s cancer battle
Investor´s Business Daily, by Andrew Malcolm    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 1/4/2014 1:55:46 PM     Post Reply
Good morning and Happy New Year from the Capitol. Kids are always saying something isn’t fair, but sometimes they’ve got a point. Did you know that today in America, only four percent of all federal funding for cancer research goes to childhood cancer? That’s right, four percent for all pediatric cancers combined. This doesn’t just set us back in the race for cutting-edge cures and treatments. It places a ceiling on a child’s ability to overcome obstacles and do great things. I’m sure this issue hits home for many of you. It certainly does for our family. Livingston, our oldest,

Al-Qaeda-linked force captures Fallujah
amid rise in violence in Iraq
Washington Post, by Liz Sly    Original Article
Posted By: toledo- 1/4/2014 1:39:10 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

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