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Al Roker to polar vortex
skeptics: ´Stuff it´
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Laura Barron-Lopez    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 4:11:48 PM     Post Reply
Al Roker says the polar vortex is real and not a "liberal media conspiracy" like conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh claims. [WATCH VIDEO] And pulled out a 1959 American Meteorological Society glossary on Wednesday´s "Today" show to prove it. "Let me tell you something," Roker said on "Today," while pointing to a photo of the term defined in his old college textbook. "We´ve never used the phrase ´global warming´ or ´climate change´ in conjunction with this... Okay?! So for all the doubters out there, stuff it." Roker also tweeted a photo of the term from his textbook, saying it´s "Meteorology 101. No

Is that a threat?: Issa hints
at prosecuting Sebelius for
‘false’ Obamacare testimony
Washington Times, by Tom Howell Jr.    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 4:08:19 PM     Post Reply
The House’s lead investigator on Wednesday told President Obama’s top health official to revise “false and misleading” testimony before Congress about known security risks to Obamacare’s federal marketplace before its October rollout. Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, accused Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a 14-page letter of ignoring red flags raised by agency officials and a private contractor before telling Republican lawmakers that no one advised her to delay the system’s launch because of security-related concerns. Mr. Issa said the secretary should correct the record or face consequences. “Witnesses who

Holder: School discipline
racially biased, too harsh
The Hill [Washington, DC], by Ben Goad    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 3:58:33 PM     Post Reply
Attorney General Eric Holder called upon the nation’s school districts Wednesday to rethink “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies that he said disproportionately punish minorities and push too many students into the justice system. “Alarming numbers of young people are suspended, expelled or even arrested for relatively minor transgressions like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights or showing ´disrespect´ by laughing in class,” Holder said during a speech in Baltimore. Holder’s remarks accompanied the release Wednesday of new federal guidance from the departments of Justice and Education pressing schools to adopt disciplinary policies that are “fair, nondiscriminatory, and effective.” The guidance lays out the parameters of



Chamber of Commerce Declares 2014
the ‘Year of Immigration Reform’
Washington Free Beacon, by Elizabeth Harrington    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 3:49:37 PM     Post Reply
Thomas Donohue, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, declared 2014 the “year of immigration reform,” Wednesday, during his annual state of American business address. “We’re determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted,” Donohue said. “The chamber will pull out all the stops—through grassroots lobbying, communications, politics and partnerships with our friends in the union, and faith-based organizations, and law enforcement groups, and others to get this job done.” Immigration reform was one of several items on the chamber’s agenda for 2014. Other reforms he endorsed included expanding domestic energy production, delaying or repealing

Gonorrhea, Syphilis Regain Traction
in U.S., CDC Reports
Bloomberg News, by Elizabeth Lopatto    Original Article
Posted By: ScarletPimpernel- 1/8/2014 3:42:34 PM     Post Reply
Gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the U.S., mostly in men who have sex with men, a trend the government said is linked to inadequate testing among people stymied by homophobia and limited access to health care. The rate of new gonorrhea cases rose 4 percent in 2012 from the year before, while syphilis jumped 11 percent, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today in a report. Rates for chlamydia, the most common of the bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, gained less than 1 percent.

Samantha Power applies President Obama´s
´hope and change´ slogan to Pope Francis
Washington Examiner, by Joel Gehrke    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 3:41:46 PM     Post Reply
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power regards Pope Francis as the Barack Obama of pontiffs, so much so that she used Obama´s 2008 hope and change slogan as a summary of the new pope´s first year in office. "[Jon Favreau] writes for many of us in describing People´s Pope´s growing appeal," Power tweeted Tuesday. "Hope and change in the Vatican, indeed." Favreau wrote that "it seems as if the pope is not just signaling tolerance or celebrating diversity but placing a bet on humanity" in a Daily Beast column published Tuesday. (If that style of praise for Pope Francis sounds

Utah Governor’s Office Says State
Won’t Recognize Same-Sex Marriages
New York Times, by Jack Healy    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/8/2014 3:31:24 PM     Post Reply
DENVER — The Utah governor’s office said Wednesday that the state would not recognize more than 1,000 same-sex marriages performed over the last two weeks as it appealed a legal ruling that had overturned the state’s ban on such unions. The decision came two days after the United States Supreme Court issued a stay in the case, blocking any same-sex marriages in Utah and effectively reinstating a disputed law that limits marriages across the state to between one man and one woman. “The original laws governing marriage in Utah return to effect pending final resolution by the courts,” Derek Miller,



White House: Obama not
propping up Joe Biden
Washington Examiner, by Brian Hughes    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 3:29:59 PM     Post Reply
The White House, in damage control after a blistering memoir by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates went public, insisted that a full slate of events between President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden was not meant to prop up Biden. In a rare move, the White House opened up the weekly lunch between Obama and Biden to photographers Wednesday, prompting speculation that the administration was trying to gloss over a brutal 24 hours for Obama’s number two. “You can decide for yourself what you want to believe,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday, calling the timing of the photo access

Gov. Chris Christie´s office
knew what was coming in GWB
traffic controversy, emails show
Star-Ledger [Newark, NJ], by Steve Strunsky    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/8/2014 3:25:28 PM     Post Reply
A series of private emails between a top aide to Gov. Chris Christie and a political appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey shows the governor’s office was well aware of a plan to abruptly shut down several lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September, and then went into damage control mode as massive traffic jams turned into a political bombshell. The communications between Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff in Christie’s office, and David Wildstein, a close friend of the governor from high school hired by the Port Authority in 2010 as

It Would be Helpful If Guys Like Bob
Gates Would Tell the American People
What They Know About Democrats
When It Matters
Rushlimbaugh.com, by Rush Limbaugh    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/8/2014 3:24:46 PM     Post Reply
RUSH: Is it any surprise that Barack Obama -- see, this is my point, in a nutshell, this is it, this is it. Is it any surprise that Barack Obama and his gang don´t like the military? Is it any surprise that everything they do is a political calculation? No. None of this ought to be a surprise to anyone. The real question is -- and I don´t know Robert Gates -- you know, this is becoming a trend. You got journalists who are covering campaigns who do not report things that could have impact on the outcome. They save

Jay Carney Reacts to Gates’
Book: What You Get When
You Pick a ‘Team of Rivals’
Mediaite, by Matt Wilstein    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 3:17:14 PM     Post Reply
From the first question at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Jay Carney was bombarded with inquiries regarding former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, and its damning assessments of President Barack Obama and especially Vice President Joe Biden. Elaborating on the official White House statement released last night, Carney said Obama “greatly appreciates the advice and counsel” of his vice president and these types of disagreements can be expected when pick a “team of rivals” to fill your cabinet. “When it comes to the internal inner-agency process, the president expects it to be



Eric Cantor wants school choice
nationwide within a decade
Washington Examiner, by Susan Ferrechio    Original Article
Posted By: grace52- 1/8/2014 3:14:18 PM     Post Reply
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told a think tank audience Wednesday he wants every student in the nation to have access to school choices outside the public system in ten years. Cantor, in an address to the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., highlighted his school choice agenda ahead of the release of the think tank's 2013 education Choice and Competition Index, which examines school choice issues. Cantor told the crowd that he believes the ability of parents to send children to affordable schools outside of the public system "is under attack," in places including Washington, New York City and Louisiana, where state and federal lawmakers have moved to stymie charter schools and school vouchers.

Jeff Ireland out as Miami Dolphins GM
USA Today Sports, by Tom Peliserro    Original Article
Posted By: Emerson- 1/8/2014 3:10:02 PM     Post Reply
Jeff Ireland is out as the Miami Dolphins´ general manager. The team announced Tuesday it has mutually agreed to part ways with Ireland, who had been a controversial figure since being named GM in 2008. (Snip) The Dolphins haven´t been to the playoffs since 2008, finishing 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9 and 8-8 since. They needed to win one of their final two games to make the postseason this season but lost to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. That cost offensive coordinator Mike Sherman his job Monday and surely contributed to Ireland's ouster a day later.

Obama to announce investment
in 5 ´Promise Zones´
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 3:07:11 PM     Post Reply
President Obama will announce five "Promise Zones" this week as part of his effort to focus on income inequality in the lead-up to his State of the Union address. Promise Zones are areas where the federal government provides tax incentives and grants to help communities tackle poverty. Obama first announced the initiative during last year´s State of the Union speech. On Thursday, Obama will announce the first Promise Zone locations. They´re in San Antonio, Texas; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The White House says Obama believes investing in and rebuilding economically challenged communities is

´Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee´:
Chris Christie deputies snarled up New
York City bridge traffic against
political enemy, emails reveal
Daily Mail [UK], by David Martosko    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/8/2014 3:05:05 PM     Post Reply
New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie´s aides punished a Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse their boss by snarling commuter traffic entering his town´s on-ramp to New York City´s busiest bridge, emails revealed today. [Snip] But a raft of electronic messages subpoenaed from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by the New Jersey Assembly´s Transportation Committee show details beyond what reporters have guessed at to date. Emails and instant messages between Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and two appointees at the Port Authority reveal a calculated effort to retaliate against Mayor Mark Sokolich by



Jonathan Martin Told Richie
Incognito ... I'm All About
The Strip Club!!
TMZ, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Emerson- 1/8/2014 2:59:18 PM     Post Reply
Jonathan Martin didn´t look like a man who was dragged into hitting strip clubs before he accused teammate Richie Incognito of bullying ... at least judging by this pic, which is now in the hands of investigators and obtained by TMZ Sports. Of course, after Martin left the Miami Dolphins in the wake of his bullying allegations against Richie, there were reports Incognito had been holding linemen meetings at Tootsie´s Cabaret in Miami ... and players who didn´t show up were fined and mocked. But sources connected to the NFL investigation tell TMZ Sports ... Martin had sent several text

It may be ´the law,´ but
Obamacare deserves no respect
Washington Examiner, by Noemie Emery    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 2:56:30 PM     Post Reply
To fans and defenders of the Affordable Care Act, the bill is your normal, run-of-the-mill but wholly fantastic and wonderful game-changing measure, up there with Social Security, Medicare and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts as national milestones -- bills that were launched amid opposition and discord, but in time were accepted and loved. But from the beginning, this has been different in three signal ways that have been self-destructive, the last of which may be the worst. The first is the fact that previously mentioned programs were simple: the civil and voting rights acts stopped abuses and the others involved

Robert Gates´s memoirs add
to the sense that Obama´s
presidency is unravelling
Telegraph [UK], by Peter Foster    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/8/2014 2:53:53 PM     Post Reply
Maintaining presidential authority--or even dignity in Bill Clinton´s case--into a second term is always difficult, and today another layer of gloss is stripped from Barack Obama´s reputation with the publication of the first extracts of a memoir by his former Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates.[Snip] And we know that his first term administration was run by a bunch of control freaks who centralised control of national security policy, undercutting and upstaging the Pentagon and the State Department to maintain that control. But the fact that this truth-telling comes from Robert Gates, a Republican who cut the figure of a non-partisan

Gates should have waited
Washington Post, by Ed Rogers    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 2:51:05 PM     Post Reply
I believe that Barack Obama is a weak and failing president. I believe his policies are contributing to an American decline that will endanger this country and the world in incalculable ways. I think President Obama’s White House has more than its share of enablers, delusional sycophants and people who don’t believe in the United States as the indispensable nation. In my view, an election, giving us an opportunity to try to reverse the trajectory that President Obama has put us on, can’t come fast enough. That said, I don’t think this president, or any other president — at least

Johnny Manziel to enter NFL draft
ESPN, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 1/8/2014 2:48:42 PM     Post Reply
Johnny Manziel will enter the 2014 NFL draft, forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility at Texas A&M, sources confirmed to ESPN. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner filed the official paperwork to declare himself eligible for the draft on Wednesday.(Snip) Widely projected as a first-round selection, Manziel is coming off his second productive season as the Aggies´ quarterback. He threw for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns while rushing for 2,169 yards and 30 more scores over his two-year career at Texas A&M. Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman in 2012, when he set an SEC record for total offense by


Scandal imperils Chris
Christie´s no-nonsense image
Politico, by Alexander Burns    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 2:45:21 PM     Post Reply
For the first time in his short career as a national political figure, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in dire peril of losing control of his own story – and perhaps a lot more than that. The former federal prosecutor-turned-tough talking governor finished his reelection race last year on a spectacular high note: The only Republican to win an important election in 2013, Christie seemed well positioned to present himself as the cure for what ails the GOP, boasting a huge victory margin in a solidly blue state that included a narrow majority of the Hispanic vote and support

Deep discounts fail to
woo U.S. holiday shoppers
Reuters, by Maria Ajit Thomas and Phil Wahba    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 1/8/2014 2:44:26 PM     Post Reply
U.S. retailers posted their lowest holiday sales growth in four years after shoppers stayed at home despite some of the biggest discounts and promotions since the recession, retail industry tracker ShopperTrak said. Retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas rose 2.7 percent, compared with 3.0 percent a year earlier, while the number of people walking into stores across the United States declined 14.6 percent, ShopperTrak said. "Not only were people more promotional this year, giving away more margin, but it didn´t generate the incremental traffic they would have expected," said Cowen & Co analyst John Kernan.

Activist: Congressmen confessed
to not reading budget bill
that cuts veteran pay
Daily Caller, by Patrick Howley    Original Article
Posted By: Periwinkel- 1/8/2014 2:43:34 PM     Post Reply
Many lawmakers including a vast cross-section of Republican House members voted for the recent two-year budget deal without reading the bill and realizing that it slashes veteran pensions — and there’s now bipartisan desperation reaching the White House to repeal that provision with new legislation. “[The House] moved it very quickly. It came out Tuesday, they voted Thursday and they were gone Thursday night,” retired Col. Mike Barron told The Daily Caller. Barron’s organization Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is now leading a charge on Capitol Hill to repeal the pension cuts.

Robert Gates: Barack Obama allies hit back
at criticism from former defence secretary
Telegraph [UK], by Raf Sanchez    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/8/2014 2:41:43 PM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama´s allies on Wednesday struck back against a scathing new book by Robert Gates, his former defence secretary, calling the critical memoir "a disservice" to a president in wartime. The well-respected Mr Gates surprised Washington with his harsh criticism, saying Mr Obama lost faith in his own strategy for Afghanistan and describing a poisonous relationship between the White House and the military. [Snip] In a statement, the White House said: "The President disagrees with Secretary Gates´s assessment...Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America´s leadership in the world."

Emails reportedly suggest
Christie´s office involved in
controversial lane closures
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 1/8/2014 2:40:19 PM     Post Reply
Newly published emails reportedly suggest New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie´s office was involved in controversial lane closures in a north Jersey town last fall, giving fresh ammunition to Democrats who claim the closures were political retribution against the local mayor. Though he repeatedly has denied involvement, Christie has faced criticism for months over the bizarre incident in September, when lanes at the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., were closed for four days. He faced accusations that the lanes were blocked in retaliation over Mayor Mark Sokolich´s refusal to endorse him for re-election last November.

House Dems Mike McIntyre (N.C.),
Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.) to retire
Washington Post, by Sean Sullivan & Ed O´Keefe    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/8/2014 2:38:35 PM     Post Reply
Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) plan to retire rather than run for reelection, according to multiple Democrats familiar with their decisions. McIntyre´s decision is a boon to Republicans, who have a close eye on picking up his seat. Mitt Romney won the district with 59 percent of the vote in 2012 and McIntyre won by a slim margin in the closest U.S. House contest of 2012. McCarthy´s district is expected to remain in Democratic hands. President Obama won there by 13 percentage points in 2012. McCarthy has not voted since early June, when she announced she would be taking a

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