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Lobbyists Are Using Loopholes to
Fly Lawmakers Around the World
National Journal, by Shane Goldmacher    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/11/2014 4:57:18 AM     Post Reply
Dennis Hastert and Dick Gep­hardt couldn´t stand each other when they led Congress a decade ago. But now they´ve moved to K Street, where the flood of money tends to wash over such personal differences. These days, they work hand in hand as two of Turkey´s top lobbyists, with their respective firms pocketing most of a $1.4 million annual lobbying contract. It was this business that took Hastert and Gephardt to Turkey last April, but more surprising than the odd couple´s newfound alliance was their set of travel companions: eight members of Congress on an all-expenses-paid journey overseas. It´s widely believed that

College basketball, football
athletes can barely read
New York Post, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/11/2014 4:53:20 AM     Post Reply
We’re still weeks away from college basketball’s March championship tournament. But we’re already seeing some madness. It comes in reaction to a CNN study of the reading levels of athletes at 21 public universities. The headline over the dispatch this week says it all: “CNN Analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like fifth-graders.” For those familiar with college athletics — especially the sports that bring in the millions — that’s not exactly a news flash. But a researcher at the University of North Carolina, Mary Willingham, came in for particular vitriol after reporting that of 183 Tar Heel football or

The Moral Evolution of Progressives
American Spectator, by Marta H. Mossburg    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:50:04 AM     Post Reply
Boy, have progressives “evolved.” The party of saloon protesters, suffragettes and crusaders against smoking, prostitution and immigration are now the champions of government-regulated vice. They no longer want to save souls, but use them to increase tax revenue to fund an ever expanding list of new priorities in a turnaround that would likely make Frances Willard, the famous head of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the late 1800s, reach for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. The reversal is not totally consistent, however. No sooner had progressives successfully helped to ban smoking everywhere in public places had they moved on to champion

  


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Hillary’s skeleton stampede
Washington Times, by Wesley Pruden    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:46:42 AM     Post Reply
Every night’s going to be Halloween night for Hillary. The skeletons in her closet are signing up now for the conga line. They’re impatient to put on their dancing shoes for the 2016 presidential campaign. Like it or not, it’s just around the corner. Even when her friends try to raise their voices in Hillary’s defense, what comes out is mostly static. The attempted whitewash by The New York Times of the hash she made of Benghazi only reminds everyone that she was asleep when the telephone rang at 3 o’clock in the morning. Robert M. Gates, the former defense secretary, tried

State Dept. Offers $10 Million
Reward to Find Benghazi Terrorists
Weekly Standard, by Daniel Halper    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:39:06 AM     Post Reply
The State Department today publicly announced a $10 million reward "for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual responsible for the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks." The announcement for the reward is posted on rewardsforjustice.net. Seeking Information Against International Terrorism Wanted Information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual responsible for terrorist attack against the U.S. Special Mission Compound and Annex in Benghazi, Libya Up to $10 Million Reward "On September 11-12, 2012, four Americans — U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and Protective Security Specialists Glen

Inside The White House War on Dems
Daily Beast, by Josh Rogin    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:31:18 AM     Post Reply
The White House is now openly declaring that Senate Democrats who support new sanctions against Iran are idling for war, but their campaign to pressure their own party members has been going on for months and has done little to dissuade Democrats from supporting sanctions. The White House brought their fight with Congressional Democrats out in the open Thursday evening when National Security Staff member Bernadette Meehan sent an incendiary statement lashing out at pro-sanctions Democrats to a select group of reporters, accusing them of being in favor of a strike on Iran. “If certain members of Congress want the United States

Pentagon Boosts Ability to Rescue
Men Overboard or Behind Enemy Lines
Time, by Mark Thompson    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/11/2014 4:27:44 AM     Post Reply
For those wearing U.S. military uniform, there are few things worse than falling off a warship, unless it’s becoming stranded behind enemy lines on a battlefield. Both are scary, potentially fatal events — and something the Pentagon is trying to fix. The Defense Department announced a pair of contracts Thursday aimed at helping to rescue such lost souls. The Navy is buying what it calls “Man Overboard Indicators”— miniature radios, basically — that transmit a water-activated alarm when a sailor falls off a ship. The objective of the program “is to outfit each ship with a system capable of alerting the

  


  

Thank Labor Force Dropouts, Not New
Jobs, For A Falling Unemployment Rate
The Federalist, by Sean Davis    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/11/2014 4:19:52 AM     Post Reply
According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released this morning, the U.S. economy last month added 74,000 new payroll jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent. Good news, right? Not really. Yes, the unemployment rate has fallen significantly from its high of 10 percent in October of 2009. But it turns out the unemployment rate has been falling for a pretty depressing reason: people dropping out of the labor force. Last month, 347,000 workers dropped out, effectively sending the message that it wasn’t even worth looking for work anymore. Here’s what the unemployment

Scientists say Americans are
becoming weather wimps
Associated Press, by Seth Borenstein    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:15:52 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — We’ve become weather wimps. As the world warms, the United States is getting fewer bitter cold spells like the one that gripped much of the nation this week. So when a deep freeze strikes, scientists say, it seems more unprecedented than it really is. An Associated Press analysis of the daily national winter temperature shows that cold extremes have happened about once every four years since 1900.Until recently. When computer models estimated that the national average daily temperature for the Lower 48 states dropped to 17.9 degrees on Monday, it was the first deep freeze of that magnitude

$70K in Newtown Donations Missing
Associated Press, by Pat Eaton    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:12:21 AM     Post Reply
Hartford, CT - A charity formed after the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has been unable to account for more than $70,000 it raised through marathon running, one of its co-founders said Friday. Ryan Graney, of Nashville, Tenn., said only $30,000 of the $103,000 taken in by the 26.4.26 Foundation was used for the organization´s purpose. That money was presented last January by co-founder Robbie Bruce to the nonprofit NYA, a youth sports center in Newtown, where the December 2012 shooting occurred. Graney said Bruce was in charge of the organization´s finances but has cut off contact with her. Bruce didn´t

Surprisingly Weak Jobs Report
Puzzles Economists
Associated Press, by Christopher Rugaber    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/11/2014 4:08:05 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON -- It came as a shock: U.S. employers added just 74,000 jobs in December, far fewer than anyone expected. This from an economy that had been adding nearly three times as many for four straight months - a key reason the Federal Reserve decided last month to slow its economic stimulus. So what happened in December? Economists struggled for explanations: Unusually cold weather. A statistical quirk. A temporary halt in steady job growth. Blurring the picture, a wave of Americans stopped looking for work, meaning they were no longer counted as unemployed. Their exodus cut the unemployment rate from

  


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‘They Died for Nothing?’: Jake
Tapper’s Interview with Lone
Survivor Vet Gets Tense
Mediaite, by Noah Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/11/2014 2:42:45 AM     Post Reply
CNN host Jake Tapper’s Interview with the subject of the Mark Wahlberg film Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell, became tense on Friday when the veteran of Operation Red Wings apparently took offense at Tapper’s suggestion that the botched mission was a mistake. Luttrell defended his fellow veterans who lost their lives in that operation and asked if Tapper was suggesting that they died “for nothing.” Tapper said that he was struck by the loss of life and the sense of “hopelessness” he felt while watching the film adaptation of that mission. “And I was torn about the message of the film”

False alarm: First responders
exempt from Obamacare employer
calculations, Treasury says
Washington Times, by Tom Howell Jr.    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/11/2014 12:53:13 AM     Post Reply
The Treasury said Friday it will not count “nominally compensated” volunteer firefighters or emergency medical services personnel as full-time employees when the employer mandate tied to Obamacare takes effect next year. In a blog post, the department said it reviewed the tax code and concluded it would not be reasonable to count first-responder volunteers against the law’s threshold of 50 employees. The controversial mandate, which defines full-time work as 30 hours a week, penalizes employers with 50 or more employees that do not provide health coverage. In July, the Obama administration delayed the mandate’s implementation by one year from 2014

House passes Obamacare
security-notification law;
67 Democrats join GOP majority
Washington Times, by Tom Howell Jr.    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/11/2014 12:50:53 AM     Post Reply
The House passed a bill Friday that requires the federal government to notify consumers within two days if their personal data has been breached on online-based insurance markets tied to the new health care law. Roughly one third of voting Democrats joined the Republican majority in passing the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, 291 votes to 122, even though the Obama administration said legislation is unnecessary because notification rules are in place. Republicans said the measure is common sense. “All it says is the administration has to let victims of identity theft or information theft to be notified. That’s

U.S. veterans despondent over
al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq
Washington Post, by Ernesto Londoño    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/11/2014 12:44:08 AM     Post Reply
The towering former three-star general keeps a wooden box on his desk with the photos of 257 service members who died in Iraq under his command, sorted by date. During quiet moments, usually a couple of times a week, Mark Hertling opens the lid, inscribed with the words “Make it Matter,” flips through the laminated portraits of uniformed troops and reflects on their loss. “I try to keep track of anniversaries of the deaths and say a prayer for them and their families,” said Hertling, who now works at a hospital in Orlando. “During the holiday season, you think about

  


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House Cleaning on the Right
Real Clear Politics, by Erick Erickson    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/10/2014 11:43:47 PM     Post Reply
Conservatives nationwide are angry with Washington, D.C. Their anger goes beyond the partisan bickering at President Obama and the Democrats. Conservatives are angry with Washington in general and increasingly reserve most of their contempt for Republicans. In 2006, after fighting their own party over the expansion of the welfare state and out-of-control domestic spending disguised as war spending, conservatives threw up their hands. The public at large had turned against the Republican Party. Conservatives grew indifferent. Only Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and Barack Obama as President rekindled the intra-party love affair between conservative activists and Republican Leaders. But after using conservative energy

Sarah Palin Wants to Reach Women With
New Show, Invites TV Critics to Alaska
Hollywood Reporter, by Michael O´Connell    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/10/2014 11:40:58 PM     Post Reply
"I think this world would be better off having more young women holding a fish in a picture than holding their camera in front of a bathroom mirror, talking a selfie," the former governor tells a crowd of reporters, plugging her new Sportsman Channel series. Sarah Palin held court at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Friday morning, marking her first official appearance at the event where she once turned heads when she stopped by a 2012 NBC mixer. The former Alaska governor, most recently in the headlines for her defense of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, is

Website of Top House Republican
Drops Opposition to Amnesty
National Review Online, by Fred Bauer    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/10/2014 11:36:44 PM     Post Reply
A key Republican player on immigration may be changing his tune on amnesty. In January 2012, the “Immigration Reform” page on the official House website of Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said: “In no event should we grant amnesty to those who have broken our laws and entered the country illegally. Doing so would simply invite more illegal immigration in the future.” Throughout 2012 and much of 2013, the Virginia Republican’s House “Immigration Reform” page denounced “amnesty.” As late as April 2013, it said “we must not grant amnesty to individuals who have broken our laws.” Now, though, this

Sarah Palin: I Went to Fox to
´Pi$$ Off the People´ Who Wanted Me Dead
Breitbart´s Big Journalism, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/10/2014 11:33:04 PM     Post Reply
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that she went back to Fox News to pi$$ off the people who wished she were dead, which is exactly the reason Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes gave for bringing her to the network in the first place. "Fox’s Roger Ailes says he hired me ´to pi$$ off the people that wanted her dead,´" Palin wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday in response to a report in the Hollywood Reporter in which Ailes said he hired Palin to drive her haters crazy. "Hmmm. Funny. I accepted for the same reason!" In the same interview, Ailes also

Sarah Palin: Would Be Great to
Have ´Two Women Duke It Out´
for President in 2016
Breitbart´s Big Government, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/10/2014 11:24:32 PM     Post Reply
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she would like to see two women candidates battle for the presidency in 2016. “Having two women duke it out for leadership of the free world, that sounds pretty good to me,” Palin told Inside Edition in an interview on Friday from Pasadena, California, to promote her new show, Amazing America with Sarah Palin on the The Sportsman Channel. Hillary Clinton is widely expected to make a presidential run in 2016 for the Democrats. On the Republican side, strong potential female candidates would include New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who became governor after Palin´s endorsement gave

  



Reagan’s Farewell Address at 25
American Magazine, by Steven F. Hayward    Original Article
Posted By: eagleblurst- 1/10/2014 11:14:27 PM     Post Reply
It was sobering to have a student come up to me after class recently and ask, “So, when was Reagan elected president again?” As firsthand memory of Reagan recedes further into the rearview mirror and a new generation with no direct memory of him reaches adulthood, Reagan’s shadow continues to lengthen, especially for conservatives and his would-be Republican successors on the presidential stage. Just about every Republican today likes to claim to be a “Reagan Republican,” which is ironic since so many Republicans—including some leading conservatives—thought he’d be a disaster when he was elected in 1980. Too often

Palin: Christie´s ´Bridgegate´ Nothing
Compared to NSA Spying, Benghazi
Breitbart Big Government, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/10/2014 10:37:29 PM     Post Reply
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said the traffic scandal engulfing Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was nothing compared to President Barack Obama´s National Security Agency spying scandals or the Benghazi scandal that resulted in the death of four Americans in 2012. “Governor Chris Christie’s scandal is nothing in comparison to what the leadership in the White House has engaged in and covered up,” Palin told Inside Edition on Friday. Unlike Obama, Christie on Thursday ousted two of his top aides responsible for the traffic jam, which he announced in a press conference that lasted nearly two hours. Palin did

Poet Amiri Baraka, political
activist, dead at 79
CNN, by Alan Duke    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 1/10/2014 10:31:46 PM     Post Reply
Poet Amiri Baraka, who lost his post as New Jersey´s poet laureate because of a controversial poem about the 9/11 terror attacks, died Thursday, his agent said. Baraka was 79. Baraka, considered a founder of the 1960s Black Arts movement, died in New Jersey´s Beth Israel Medical Center after a short illness, according to agent Celeste Bateman. His official website said that Baraka "adopted a confrontational style for his poetry, drama, fiction and essays. With intent to create awareness about the concerns of African-Americans, his writings ... on one hand have been praised as a voice against oppression, on the

Teen´s killer gets in one last
taunt as he´s sentenced to life term
Los Angeles Times, by Paresh Dave    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/10/2014 10:28:21 PM     Post Reply
Nearly eight years after her son was killed in the crossfire of a Santa Monica gang´s violence, Armita Lopez found justice Thursday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. But not before her son´s killer seized one last opportunity to torment her. "I was waiting for this day because it was not fair that they killed my son," a tearful Lopez said of Jose Contreras Zapien Jr. and his fellow gang members. Zapien mocked her with a dismissive chuckle and smirk. The judge snapped at Zapien, telling him to "stop smiling." Minutes later, he sentenced the 25-year-old to life in prison

Blue Cross Blue Shield:
If Republicans kill a bailout
for insurers under ObamaCare,
it’ll lead to single-payer
Hot Air, by Allahpundit    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/10/2014 9:24:10 PM     Post Reply
They’re nervous. “We are becoming increasingly concerned about momentum that is quickly building among some leading conservatives for elimination of the risk corridor and reinsurance programs,” [Blue Cross Blue Shield Association CEO Scott] Serota wrote… “Their efforts, along with growing support for repealing the risk corridor and reinsurance programs, could combine to create a perfect storm to, at a minimum, dissuade the Administration from modifying risk corridor program rules to provide increased funding in light of the recent ‘transitional policy’ allowing insurers to offer consumers the option to renew their 2013 health plans for 2014,” Serota wrote. In attached talking

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