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Virginia’s Next Senate
Race Just Got Interesting
Daily Beast, by Ron Christie    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/18/2014 4:49:01 AM     Post Reply
Beware, Mark Warner. Why Ed Gillespie, an architect of the Contract With America and longtime GOP strategist, will likely make a solid-blue Senate seat a nail-biter. With little fanfare, Mark Warner’s Senate reelection bid this November just went from a shoo-in to a spirited contest. I’ll warn the Virginia Democrat now: Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear—former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is now the underdog, but he will make this race very competitive. Full disclosure: I’ve known Ed for nearly 25 years—a vantage point that gives me insights as to why this election will

Proof at last: Eurocrats secretly admit
that countries are better off out
Telegraph [UK], by Daniel Hannan    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/18/2014 4:46:21 AM     Post Reply
The world, we keep being told, is coalescing into blocs. No single nation can afford to stand aside. The future belongs to the conglomerates. It’s hard to think of a theory that has become so dominant with so flimsy a basis. The story of the our age has been one, not of amalgamation, but of disaggregation: empires have split into smaller and smaller units. Fifty years ago, there were 115 states in the United Nations, today there are 193. What’s more, small territories are generally more successful. The wealthiest states on Earth, measured by per capita GDP, are Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,

No, animals don’t have rights
The Week, by Damon Linker    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/18/2014 4:43:10 AM     Post Reply
E arlier this week, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni declared that "an era of what might be called animal dignity is upon us." If he merely meant to draw attention to the fact that we´re more attached than ever to our pets — spending billions of dollars a year on veterinary care and paraphernalia, even making places for them in our wills — then the point would be undeniable. But that was not Bruni´s aim. Beyond these sociological observations, Bruni was writing to endorse the movement that´s working to establish the legal personhood of animals and grant them legal rights. I agree



Briton among dead in
Kabul suicide attack
Telegraph [UK], by Ben Farmer, Zubair Babarkheyl    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/18/2014 4:40:22 AM     Post Reply
A Briton was among at least 14 people killed in a Taliban attack on a restaurant in central Kabul, popular with aid workers, diplomats and business people, on Friday. [Snip] Four UN staff were also among the fatalities and the International Monetary Fund said its representative in Afghanistan was killed in the attack. Police said that the victims included expats and Afghans, and that foreign women were among the dead. The assault began soon after nightfall when a bomber detonated at the restaurant door and two others forced their way in to open fire indiscriminately. ´ Gunfire continued for at

Just What Constitutes ‘Humane’ Execution?
PJ Media, by Rick Moran    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/18/2014 4:37:37 AM     Post Reply
Dennis McGuire, convicted in 1989 of raping and murdering a young, pregnant woman, was executed in Ohio last night. His death took 26 minutes from the time the experimental cocktail of lethal drugs was injected until he was pronounced dead. The two drugs used — midazolam, a sedative; and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative — were employed because penobarbital, the drug formerly used by the state, was unavailable due to a manufacturer’s refusal to sell the drug for the purposes of execution. McGuire’s lawyers, trying to get a stay of execution from a federal judge, warned that the drugs might cause “air

Hillary? Really?
Weekly Standard, by William Kristol    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/18/2014 4:21:34 AM     Post Reply
This week’s Time magazine splashes the question on its cover: “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” The Weekly Standard is happy to provide our friends at Time with an answer to their query: Yes. Hillary Clinton can be stopped. How? Let us count the ways. The easiest way Hillary can be stopped is if she stops herself. She can choose not to run. Indeed, Time reports “on good authority” that “Hillary Clinton has not decided whether to run for president again.” There is a reasonable chance she’ll decide not to. She’s an intelligent woman. She remembers that her last experience of running

Upset: Republican wins surprise blowout
in Arkansas Senate special election
Hot Air, by Guy Benson    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/18/2014 4:16:32 AM     Post Reply
Let’s read some 2014 tea leaves, shall we? First, some background on an Arkansas special election that was decided earlier this week: The special election for a northeast Arkansas Senate seat vacated by a lawmaker who resigned over ethics violations will be an early bellwether on the fight to protect the state’s Medicaid expansion, as well as Democrats’ chances in the November election. Voters head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in the special election between Democrat Steve Rockwell and Republican John Cooper for state Senate District 21 seat that covers the Jonesboro area. The winner will serve the



West Virginia chemical company
files for bankruptcy after leak
Los Angeles Times, by David Zucchino    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/18/2014 4:11:50 AM     Post Reply
Bombarded by lawsuits and under federal investigation, the chemical company that spilled a dangerous solvent into a West Virginia river and fouled the drinking water of 300,000 people filed for federal bankruptcy protection Friday. Freedom Industries Inc., owner of a storage tank that ruptured Jan. 9 and spilled 7,500 gallons of a coal-treatment foaming agent called MCHM into the Elk River, sought protection from creditors under a Chapter 11 filing by its parent company, Chemstream Holdings Inc. of Pennsylvania. The filing will protect Freedom from creditors, temporarily halt lawsuits against it and allow the company to continue operating. The spill prompted the governor

Senate 2014: For Republicans,
potential - and pitfalls
CBS News, by Anthony Salvanto    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/18/2014 4:05:38 AM     Post Reply
Republicans start 2014 poised to gain Senate seats, and a good shot to retake Senate control. But there´s also some danger for them in having a map to the majority that looks easy. Senate control now runs through so many red states that Republicans could still have a good 2014 without luring many voters beyond their conservative base. For a party ostensibly trying to broaden its message ahead of the next presidential cycle, that isn´t necessarily a good thing. It may present their bigger test. Whether the GOP can – or tries to - expand its map and coalition this year might

California Drought Felt From Forests to Farms
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/18/2014 4:00:41 AM     Post Reply
Gov. Jerry Brown´s announcement that California is in the midst of an epic drought comes as no surprise to skiers, fishermen and gardeners. With a sparse snowpack and piddling amounts of rain, the signs are everywhere. A few examples: IT NEVER RAINS IN CALIFORNIA Last year was the driest in 119 years of records. The Department of Water Resources said that Gasquet Ranger Station in Del Norte County, which averages nearly 100 inches of rain a year, ended the year with only 43.46 inches. Sacramento got 5.74 inches instead of the typical 18 inches, and downtown Los Angeles, which averaged 14.74 inches

Kerry to Canada on Keystone
XL: We’ll do all the
consultation we feel like, thank
you very much
Hot Air, by Erika Johnsen    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/18/2014 1:15:52 AM     Post Reply
Like I said the other day, nobody on either side of the fight is going to oblige the Obama administration’s interminable dithering on the Keystone XL pipeline by finally backing off the politically contentious issue and letting it fade into the background of bureaucratic purgatory — not Congress, not the oil and gas industry, not the eco-radicals, and certainly not Canada — so why not just man up and make the tough decision already, either way, and have it out? It was about this time last year that Kerry was blithely assuring Canadian officials that they would have a decision



Cuomo: Pro-life people have “no
place in the state of New York”
Hot Air, by Mary Katherine Ham    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/18/2014 1:13:10 AM     Post Reply
Forty-eight percent of Americans and all priests and nuns are no longer welcome in the Empire State, according to its governor. Delivering a monologue on Republicans with all the hyperbole of an MSNBC anchor and none of the charm, Cuomo offered this: You have a schism within the Republican Party. … They’re searching to define their soul, that’s what’s going on. Is the Republican party in this state a moderate party or is it an extreme conservative party? That’s what they’re trying to figure out. It’s a mirror of what’s going on in Washington. The gridlock in Washington is less

Is a mini ice age on the way? Scientists warn
the Sun has ´gone to sleep´ and say it could
cause temperatures to plunge
Daily Mail (U.K.), by Mark Prigg    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/18/2014 1:12:13 AM     Post Reply
The Sun´s activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned. They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, Freezing London´s River Thames. Researcher believe the solar lull could cause major changes, and say there is a 20% chance it could lead to ´major changes´ in temperatures. ´Whatever measure you use, solar peaks are coming down,´ Richard Harrison of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC. ´I´ve been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I´ve never seen anything like this.´ He says the phenomenon could

Obama’s Speech: A Little Relief,
More Dereliction of Duty
National Review Online, by John Yoo    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/18/2014 1:10:11 AM     Post Reply
Conservatives could react to President Barack Obama’s NSA speech today with a collective “whew,” sop their brows, and say it could have been a lot worse. President Obama did not give in to the pleas of the antiwar Left and cripple the NSA completely, or end the collection and analysis of telephone metadata. He should receive some credit for a speech that recognized the long American history of signals intelligence — the interception of foreign communications — and its great benefits during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWII, and the Cold War. Critics who want the NSA’s activities shut

Is the Obama marriage on the rocks?
Astonishing claims emerge of ugly
fights over that selfie, and even a
Presidential affair
Daily Mail (U.K.), by Tom Leonard    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/18/2014 1:02:09 AM     Post Reply
With invitations warning guests to ‘EBYC’ — Eat Before You Come — and rumours they’ll be dancing to star turns from Beyonce and her rapper husband Jay Z, it won’t be your usual White House knees-up. Michelle Obama was 50 yesterday and President Barack Obama will be feting his redoubtable First Lady tonight with a party that will give them the chance to let their hair down and forget their troubles for a few hours. The email inviting guests to the ‘snacks & sips & dancing & dessert’ advised them to wear comfortable shoes and practise their dance moves. Purse-lipped Washington etiquette experts



Our Perpetually Surprised President
National Review Online, by Peter Kirsanow    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/18/2014 12:56:14 AM     Post Reply
While President Obama gives (yet another) speech today on NSA surveillance, the New York Times reports White House aides say “Mr. Obama was surprised to learn after the leaks by Edward J.Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, just how far the surveillance had gone.” Our president’s time in office has been one of wonder and astonishment. He was surprised by the depth of the recession when he came into office. He then became surprised at the duration of the bad economy. He was surprised to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. He was surprised there were no shovel-ready jobs. He

‘MITT’ documentary offers rare,
intimate look at Mitt Romney’s
six-year quest for presidency
Washington Post, by Phillip Rucker    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/18/2014 12:38:32 AM     Post Reply
SALT LAKE CITY — A few hours earlier, Mitt Romney was marveling at his big crowds and chewing over lines in his victory speech. But now, in a Boston hotel suite, the camera zooms in on a roomful of family and advisers. The would-be president is on the couch, an iPad on his lap, and asking, “So what do you think you say in a concession speech?” Silence. His wife, Ann, arrives and sits down next to him. “What’s going on?” “We’re writing a concession speech,” Mitt says. “It’s finished?” she asks. “My time on the stage is over, guys,”

Obama’s restrictions on NSA
surveillance rely on narrow
definition of ‘spying’
Washington Post, by Barton Gellman    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/18/2014 12:35:03 AM     Post Reply
President Obama said Friday, in his first major speech on electronic surveillance, that “the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security.” Obama placed restrictions on access to domestic phone records collected by the National Security Agency, but the changes he announced will allow it to continue — or expand — the collection of personal data from billions of people around the world, Americans and foreign citizens alike. Obama squares that circle with an unusually narrow definition of “spying.” It does not include the ingestion of tens of trillions of records about the telephone

Argentine central bank reserves fall
below the 30bn dollars threshold
MercoPress [Montevideo, Uruguay], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/18/2014 12:13:21 AM     Post Reply
Argentine central bank international reserves continued to erode and on Wednesday pierced through the 30bn floor threshold reaching 29.858bn dollars, the lowest level since November 2006. On Tuesday reserves stood at 30.019bn. Since the beginning of 2014 the Central bank has intervened daily trying to sustain the exchange rate with an “administered devaluation”, which so far has proven non effective. In the twelve months of last year the Argentine central bank lost 30% of its reserves. “The central bank intervened with sales in exchange houses and at the end of trading recovered some of the lost ground because of sales from

US dollar keeps breaking
records in Argentina; central
banks reserves fall a further
100 million
MercoPress [Montevideo, Uruguay], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/18/2014 12:10:20 AM     Post Reply
The US dollar reached a new record high on Thursday as purchase pressure on the so called “blue” or informal market continues pushing the price which closed 35 cents up at 11.50 pesos for buyers and 11.55 pesos for sellers. High tourist demand and mere speculation since there seems to be no roof for the US dollar in Argentina, have helped to increase the price. On Wednesday the ´blue´ dollar also hit a new record high, 11.25 Pesos. Meanwhile in the formal market at Buenos Aires City banks, the US currency was traded one cent and half higher at 6.73 pesos


Millions in farm subsidies flow freely
to DC residents who don´t actually farm
Fox News, by Susan Ferrechio    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/18/2014 12:01:04 AM     Post Reply
Washington, D.C., doesn´t have many farms, or farmers. Yet thousands of residents in and around the nation´s capital receive millions of dollars every year in federal farm subsidies, including working-class residents in Southeast, wealthy lobbyists on K Street and well-connected lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In neighboring Chevy Chase, Md., one of the nation´s wealthiest communities, lawyers, lobbyists and at least one psychologist collected nearly $342,000 in taxpayer farm subsidies between 2008 and 2011, according to the watchdog group Open the Books. Taxpayer subsidies were also paid out to Gerald Cassidy, the founder of one of Washington´s most powerful lobbying firms, Cassidy &

Romneyworld buzzes over
Chris Christie troubles
Politico, by Kenneth P. Vogel    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 1/17/2014 10:06:04 PM     Post Reply
Rom-denfreude (noun) — The pleasure Mitt Romney loyalists are taking in the struggles of Chris Christie. The condition is prevalent, stemming from a range of perceived Christie slights towards Romney during the 2012 campaign, which several Romney loyalists ticked off quickly — and with still-evident bitterness.There was the New Jersey governor’s barring Romney from raising money in the Garden State, his unwillingness to answer vice presidential vetting questions and his highly autobiographical convention keynote speech. Most of all, though, Romney allies remain resentful of Christie’s embrace of President Barack Obama as the two worked together on Superstorm Sandy relief in the

California kids enlist in Mexico
militias to rout a drug cartel
Global Post, by Dudley Althaus    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/17/2014 9:01:50 PM     Post Reply
NUEVA ITALIA, Mexico — Moises Verduzco says he learned how to handle himself in a fight from his teen years running with a street gang near Los Angeles. Now back home in western Mexico’s violent Michoacan state, Verduzco and other United States-bred youths are putting those lessons from the barrio to war against the Knights Templar criminal cartel. Verduzco, 22, spent most of his life in the working-class city of Hawthorne, Calif., until the US deported him to Mexico a few years ago following a criminal conviction. “This is way better,” he says, comparing his preferred vigilante post with California gangster life. “Here

GOP establishment panics over
Christie’s troubles: “I think
we need Mitt back”
Hot Air, by Allahpundit    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 1/17/2014 8:46:17 PM     Post Reply
Dude, it could happen. Three easy steps to Romney 3.0: He comes out strong for amnesty to mend fences with Latino voters; he finally decides to ix-nay the “makers and takers” etoric-rhay, and of course he chooses Mike Huckabee to be his VP. Can’t. Miss. Seriously, though, this is just one Republican operative talking and he’s obviously joking. I think? In interviews with more than a dozen party officials, fundraisers, and strategists in New York and Washington over the past 10 days, Republicans described a palpable sense of anxiety gripping the GOP establishment in the wake of Christie’s meltdown, and an emerging

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