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2013: The World’s Biggest Losers
American Interest, by Walter Russell Mead    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/8/2014 5:54:30 AM     Post Reply
1. The Muslim Brotherhood and Democratic Islamism At the start of 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood and ideological fellow travelers (like the AK Party in Turkey) were riding high. In Egypt, where the Brotherhood was born, the MB had placed one of its own in the Presidential Palace, sweet revenge for sixty years of oppression by the military. In Turkey, the AK government looked to have built a permanent governing majority, and years of economic growth had thoroughly crushed the Turkish military and the secular parties who backed it. With friends in power in Egypt, life was looking better for the embattled

Sugarplum time
Washington Times, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/8/2014 5:43:25 AM     Post Reply
It’s an annual ritual. Congress lets a package of tax breaks expire at the end of the year in their mad dash to leave Washington for the holidays. Now back in town, they must decide whether to renew the credits and deductions retroactively. In many, perhaps most, of the 55 tax breaks this year, they shouldn’t. The expired breaks are a bag of sugar plums offered as a reward to the industries with the most persuasive lobbyists. They include $12 billion over a decade in credits for windmills, a $2 billion annual subsidy for things like two- and three-wheeled plug-in electric

Iraq’s Squandered Opportunity
Commentary Magazine, by Max Boot    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 5:40:43 AM     Post Reply
Veterans of the hard fighting in Fallujah in 2004 must be experiencing a sense of déjà vu. Once again masked al-Qaeda fighters are parading through the streets and proclaiming the establishment of a new Islamic emirate. And once again military forces are massing on the outskirts preparing to wage a bloody battle to liberate the city. The only difference this time is that those troops are Iraqi, not American. It is easy to imagine veterans of the Iraq War asking themselves what the point was of their service and sacrifice if al-Qaeda is back, as strong as ever–and arguably stronger because

  


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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Blocking
Bipartisan Iran Sanctions
Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 5:37:27 AM     Post Reply
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) has become a major obstacle to a new bipartisan Iran sanctions measure, according to multiple sources on Capitol Hill and in Florida. Wasserman Schultz has broken with leading pro-Israel Democrats like New York Senator Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, privately urging her fellow Democrats to follow the White House’s lead by opposing a bipartisan House resolution backing new sanctions on Iran, according to multiple congressional sources close to the debate. The Iran resolution fell apart in the final days of 2013 after House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) withdrew his

New York City’s Disability Grifters
National Review Online, by Jillian Kay Melchior    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 5:31:47 AM     Post Reply
More than a hundred people were indicted today for fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits, constituting one of the biggest such fraud busts of all time. At a news conference in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, federal and local officials described a 26-year-old scheme through which 102 people — including 72 New York City Police retirees and eight retired New York firefighters — allegedly collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fraudulently. A number of the 102 indicted have already been arrested. Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said at the news conference that about half of the participants fraudulently claimed they had suffered

Hellish cold frosts Believers
Boston Herald, by Howie Carr    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/8/2014 5:28:52 AM     Post Reply
“When you believe in nothing, you’ll fall for anything.” That paraphrase from G.K. Chesterton should be the motto of the Church of Climate Change, formerly known as Global Warming. It really has become a religion, you know. The definition of religion is: “an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.” Beliefs — “the planet has a fever.” Ceremonies — making sacrifices to the recycling bin. Rules — check with the EPA. God — Mother Nature, i.e., polar bears. A new religion needs a prophet, too. That would be Al Gore. Like many prophets down

Hillary 2016 — not so inevitable
New York Post, by John Podhoretz    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 5:20:44 AM     Post Reply
I wrote a book with the subtitle: “Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President of the United States Unless ...” Unfortunately, I wrote it in 2005 and published it in 2006 — and my answer to the “unless” wasn’t Barack Obama, but Rudy Giuliani. My book did about as well as it deserved to do. Still, its central contention — that Hillary would be the 2008 Democratic nominee — was entirely uncontroversial when I wrote it, when I published it and for a year afterward. And it would be entirely uncontroversial now for 2016. This time she comes into the

  


  

Speed Read: Juiciest Bits From
Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ ‘Duty’
Daily Beast, by William O´Connor    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 5:16:20 AM     Post Reply
In his eagerly anticipated memoir ‘Duty,’ former Defense Secretary Robert Gates pulls no punches about President Obama, a threat from David Petraeus, and Nancy Pelosi’s bad side. Famous for the decisions he made in two wars as well as for serving two presidents of opposing parties, Robert Gates’s memoir Duty leaves little room for misunderstanding how he saw people or events during his time as secretary of defense. Here are some of the juiciest bits from the memoir. He Wasn’t Awed by Obama Whether it was his age (his nickname in the Obama administration became Yoda) or that he was

Growing Up Unvaccinated
Slate, by Amy Parker    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/8/2014 5:09:14 AM     Post Reply
I am the ’70s child of a health nut. I wasn’t vaccinated. I was brought up on an incredibly healthy diet: no sugar till I was 1, breastfed for over a year, organic homegrown vegetables, raw milk, no MSG, no additives, no aspartame. My mother used homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy; we took daily supplements of vitamin C, echinacea, cod liver oil. I had an outdoor lifestyle; I grew up next to a farm in England’s Lake District, walked everywhere, did sports and danced twice a week, drank plenty of water. I wasn’t even allowed pop; even my fresh juice was watered down

For Cheney, Realities of a
Race Outweighed Family Edge
New York Times, by Jonathan Martin    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 1/8/2014 5:03:42 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — Liz Cheney’s short-lived Wyoming Senate campaign shows the perils of personal ambition outpacing a rationale for candidacy. Ms. Cheney, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s elder daughter, on Monday morning cited “serious health issues” in her family when she withdrew from her primary challenge of Senator Michael B. Enzi. But well before she dropped out, it was clear that her first bid for public office was off-key. She ran in a state that she had not lived in for decades rather than in her longtime home state, Virginia, she targeted a genial and well-liked incumbent with no glaring ideological vulnerabilities,

A Chaos-Driven Path to Single Payer?
PJ Media, by Tom Blumer    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 4:59:12 AM     Post Reply
Those who have resisted the idea that the HealthCare.gov web site and Obamacare in general may have been intentionally designed to create confusion and chaos as a means for imposing a single-payer healthcare system on a currently unwilling populace are going to have a tough time explaining away yet another recently discovered “quirk.” To be clear, I’m not claiming, as some have inferred from previous columns, that there is a widely orchestrated chaos-creation plan, or that any attempt to capitalize on the current bedlam to impose single-payer is destined to succeed. What I am saying is that the evidence supporting the

  


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White House disputes Gates memoir claims
Hot Air, by Mary Katharine Ham    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 4:56:05 AM     Post Reply
Just the first volley and return in what is sure to be a pretty consuming tussle for the next week. Allah brought you Gates’ part— the very serious claim that President Obama sent American troops to war for political reasons despite having no faith in the plan or will to complete it. Now, the White House: “It is well known that the president has been committed to achieving the mission of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaeda, while also ensuring that we have a clear plan for winding down the war, which will end this year,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden

High-Speed Train in California
Is Caught in a Political Storm
New York Times, by Adam Nagourney    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 4:54:38 AM     Post Reply
LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown of California is riding into an election year on a wave of popularity and an upturn in the state’s fortunes. But a project that has become a personal crusade for him over the past two years — a 520-mile high-speed train line from Los Angeles to San Francisco — is in trouble, reeling from a court ruling that undermined its financing, and from slipping public support and opponents’ rising calls to shut it down. Mr. Brown and his advisers have strongly affirmed their support for the planned $68 billion rail line, the most ambitious

Sister of American jailed in North
Korea ´outraged´ by Rodman´s actions
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 4:47:07 AM     Post Reply
The sister of an American citizen being held in North Korea says she is "outraged" by Dennis Rodman´s visit to Pyongyang for a game on leader Kim Jung Un´s birthday and his comments about the jailed missionary during a bizarre television interview. Asked in a CNN satellite interview Tuesday whether he would raise the issue of Kenneth Bae, who is being held in North Korea on charges of "anti-state" crimes, Rodman yelled in response, "I don´t give a rat´s ass what the hell you think." "Kenneth Bae did one thing," an angry Rodman shouted, as he waved a cigar at the camera.

Gov´t Offers New Approach
to Classroom Discipline
Associated Press, by Kimberly Hefling    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/8/2014 4:41:29 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is issuing new recommendations on classroom discipline that seek to end the apparent disparities in how students of different races are punished for violating school rules. Civil rights advocates have long said that a "school-to-prison" pipeline stems from overly zealous school discipline policies targeting black and Hispanic students that bring them out of school and into the court system. Attorney General Eric Holder said the problem often stems from well intentioned "zero-tolerance" policies that too often inject the criminal justice system into the resolution of problems. Zero tolerance policies, a tool that became popular in the 1990s,

  


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Voluntary government checkpoints spark backlash
USA Today, by Larry Copeland    Original Article
Posted By: PChristopher- 1/8/2014 2:54:54 AM     Post Reply
A tactic used by the federal government to gather information for anti-drunken and drugged driving programs is coming under criticism in cities around the country, and some local police agencies say they will no longer take part. The tactic involves a subcontractor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that uses off-duty but uniformed police at voluntary roadside checkpoints where motorists are asked on their behavior behind the wheel. In some cases, workers at the checkpoints collect blood and saliva samples, in addition to breath samples. NHTSA has said previously that the surveys do not collect any DNA.

Time Magazine Swings Both Ways
P J Media, by Ed Driscoll    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 1/8/2014 12:58:11 AM     Post Reply
As spotted by Steve Goddard, and linked to by Climate Depot: In 1974, Time Magazine blamed the cold polar vortex on global cooling. ‘Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world.’ Another Ice Age? – TIME Forty years later, Time Magazine blames the cold polar vortex on global warming. ‘But not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that

Obama’s rhetoric on fighting
poverty doesn’t match his policies
Washington Times, by Dave Boyer    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/7/2014 11:29:33 PM     Post Reply
Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama. Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.

A City of Two Tales
PJ Media, by Richard Fernandez    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 1/7/2014 11:26:14 PM     Post Reply
Two of the most depressing stories to come out of Washington since the New Year involved vignettes, little slices of life illustrating what happens in that great city when the kitchen lights are turned off and the roaches come out to play. (Snip) The word Gates uses to describe many of Obama’s actions are “breaches of faith”. That is a literary way of describing what prosaically used to be called a double-cross. But who is double-crossing whom? Implicit in Ron Johnson’s suit and Gates’ memoir is that the politicians in Washington are shafting each other to a minor extent. But

Obama Administration´s Benghazi Bombshell
Weekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/7/2014 11:26:05 PM     Post Reply
The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials suspect Sufian Ben Qumu, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, “played a role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorism organization.” Ben Qumu is based in Derna, Libya and runs a branch of Ansar al Sharia headquartered in the city. U.S. officials have found that some of Ben Qumu’s militiamen from Derna “participated in the attack” and “were in Benghazi before the attack took place on Sept. 11, 2012.” Ben Qumu was fingered early on as a suspect in the

  



Vail Founder´s Grandson
Killed in Colorado Slide
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 1/7/2014 11:17:34 PM     Post Reply
The grandson of Vail´s founder was killed and three other people were injured Tuesday in an avalanche near the ski resort, authorities said. Anthony Seibert, 24, was killed in the slide in the backcountry near Vail, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said. She said Seibert is the grandson of Peter Seibert, who along with Earl Eaton is widely credited with finding the terrain that would later become Vail Mountain. The three others who were injured were expected to recover from their injuries. Their names weren´t released. Sheriff´s spokeswoman Jessie Mosher said the slide happened at around 11:30 a.m. in East Vail Chutes, an

Iraq War veterans watch losses
of hard-fought gains in Fallujah
Washington Times (D.C), by Guy Taylor    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/7/2014 10:24:46 PM     Post Reply
Robert Reynolds chokes up when asked to recall what it was like to be among U.S. forces who routed al Qaeda-linked fighters from the western Iraqi city of Fallujah a decade ago. “We lost hundreds of men, so many men, and so many more men were injured,” said the former Marine, who received a Purple Heart for the bullet he took in the arm during the combat. Like other Americans who put their lives on the line in one of the most intense U.S. combat operations in decades, Mr. Reynolds, 36, finds it hard to come to grips with news

Black Hawk down in Norfolk:
Four crew dead as US helicopter
crashes during routine low-level
flying exercise over coast
Daily Mail (UK), by Francesca Infante and Emily Davies*    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/7/2014 10:09:10 PM     Post Reply
Four people are feared dead following a military helicopter crash on a coastal nature reserve in Norfolk. The aircraft, a Pave Hawk took off from the U.S. airforce base at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, for a routine low-level flying exercise. Residents told of hearing a ´heavy and very unusual´ sound overhead as the helicopter - which specialises in recovering troops from war zones - plummeted into flooded marshland. The aircraft, a modified version of the U.S. Army´s Black Hawk, is believed to have crashed just after 8pm close to the shoreline near the village Cley-next-the-Sea. Police confirmed the chopper was carrying

White House Responds to Gates:
Biden a ‘Leading Statesman
of His Time’
Mediaite, by Matt Wilstein    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/7/2014 10:04:11 PM     Post Reply
The White House has issued an official response to excerpts released earlier today from the forthcoming memoir by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In the book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Gates suggests that President Barack Obama came to disavow his own strategy in Afghanistan. But his harshest remarks are saved for Vice President Joe Biden. “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” Gates writes of the vice president. According to the White House statement, Obama “disagrees with Secretary Gates’ assessment.” Read the Obama

WSJ Columnist: MSNBC Has a
‘Pattern’ of ‘Hiring Black Mediocrities’
to ‘Race-Bait’
Mediaite, by Noah Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/7/2014 9:46:36 PM     Post Reply
On Tuesday, Wall Street Journal editor Jason Riley joined WSJ Live host Mary Kissel to weigh in with this thoughts on the controversy surrounding MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry’s comments about Mitt Romney’s African-American grandchild. Riley said that MSNBC has established a pattern of hiring African-American hosts that he describes as “mediocrities.” Riley, a Fox News Channel contributor, insisted that he “didn’t buy” Harris-Perry’s first tweeted and later tearfully broadcast apologies to the Romney family and to interracial families across the country. “She suggested that it was sort of a segment gone awry,” he continued. “I somehow doubt that.” He said

´Downton Abbey´ premiere
breaks ratings record
CNN, by Brian Stelter    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/7/2014 9:42:42 PM     Post Reply
The "Downton Abbey" phenomenon just keeps getting bigger. Sunday´s season four premiere of the upstairs-downstairs drama on PBS surpassed the comparable ratings for every previous episode. According to Nielsen data, at least 10.2 million viewers tuned in live (or within a few hours via digital video recorders) on Sunday night, up from 7.9 million at the start of season three and 8.2 million at the end of it. This was more than a "personal best" for "Downton." The season four premiere outperformed every other drama on Sunday night, too. CBS´s "The Good Wife," for instance, had 9.2 million viewers; ABC´s "Revenge"

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