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Military Eyes Afghan Force
of 10,000, or a Pullout
New York Times, by Jackie Calmes & Eric Schmitt    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/22/2014 3:36:50 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has proposed to President Obama that 10,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan when the international combat mission there ends after this year, or none at all, senior government officials said Tuesday. That figure, debated in recent days within the White House, is the midpoint of a range of 8,000 to 12,000 troops — most of them Americans — that has been contemplated for months as the United States and its NATO allies planned for the long mission’s end. Anything less than that, the officials said, would be too few to be able to protect the reduced

A physician’s view on the sanctity of life
Washington Times (D.C), by Ben S. Carson    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/22/2014 3:28:07 AM     Post Reply
Several years ago, I was consulted by a young woman who was 33 weeks pregnant and was on her way to Kansas get an abortion. I informed her of the multiple options available to her outside of abortion and she decided to go through with the pregnancy even though the child had hydrocephalus and required neurosurgical intervention after birth a few weeks later. She kept the baby and loves the beautiful child that has resulted. A couple of decades ago, I came into the pediatric Intensive Care Unit on morning rounds and was told about a four-year-old girl who had

Higher-income Americans hit
hardest by tax changes
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/22/2014 3:16:39 AM     Post Reply
Higher-income Americans and some legally married same-sex couples are likely to feel the biggest hits from tax law changes when they file their returns in the next month or two. Taxpayers also will have a harder time taking medical deductions this year. In other changes, the tax rate tables and the standard deduction have been adjusted for inflation, as has the maximum contribution to retirement accounts, including 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts. The Alternative Minimum Tax has been patched -- permanently -- to prevent more middle-income taxpayers from being drawn in. And starting with the 2013 tax year, there´s



Bob McDonnell: If I´m Guilty,
So Is Obama
Breitbart Big Government, by Tony Lee    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/22/2014 3:05:56 AM     Post Reply
After he and his wife were indicted on fourteen felony counts Tuesday, former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell said that he was being charged based on a "misguided legal theory" that would implicate President Barack Obama and nearly every other elected official were it applied as the law of the land. Appearing with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law to address the media hours after the indictment, McDonnell, who is the first Virginia governor to face criminal charges and will be arraigned in Richmond Friday, said he was "falsely accused," that his public service has been "wrongly attacked," and that he would

Where Have All the Uninsured Gone?
Bloomberg News, by Megan McArdle    Original Article
Posted By: ketchuplover- 1/22/2014 12:59:57 AM     Post Reply
My last column referred in passing to a surprising fact that came out of last weekend´s Wall Street Journal: Somewhere between 65 percent to 90 percent of the 2.2 million folks who bought insurance on the exchanges through late December seem to be people who already had insurance. Some came to the exchanges when their policies got canceled; others came, voluntarily or not, from the employer market. (Snip) But where are the rest? We just created a giant new entitlement to take care of these people. Why aren’t they showing up to take advantage of it?

Disarming the White House
New York Times, by Norman J. Ornstein    Original Article
Posted By: ketchuplover- 1/22/2014 12:51:46 AM     Post Reply
Washington — Amid the coverage of the Christie controversy and the latest budget deal, it was easy to miss the news about last week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. And yet the Canning case represents the biggest threat to presidential power in decades, and the stakes in the decision are extremely high. (Snip) But what happens when we have a president from one party and a Senate majority from the other? The justices, in the oral argument, focused on the “originalist” fact that at the beginning of the

Lawmakers tie Pakistani aid
to release of hero doctor
FOX News, by Sib Kaifee    Original Article
Posted By: smcchk- 1/21/2014 11:30:53 PM     Post Reply
Lawmakers are attaching some strings to $33 million in aid to Pakistan, making the funds contingent on freeing the doctor who helped the CIA find Usama bin Laden. The GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee inserted language that appears to withhold the foreign aid unless the State Department certifies Dr. Shakil Afridi is released from prison, where he’s serving a 33-year sentence on a dubious conspiracy conviction. The condition left Pakistani officials fuming. “Any linkage of US assistance to this case is not in keeping with the spirit of cooperation between the two countries,” said Pakistan Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam. President Obama



Snowden Calls Russian-Spy Story “Absurd”
New Yorker, by Jane Mayer    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/21/2014 11:16:56 PM     Post Reply
Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower, strongly denies allegations made by members of Congress that he was acting as a spy, perhaps for a foreign power, when he took hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents. Speaking from Moscow, where he is a fugitive from American justice, Snowden told The New Yorker, “This ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd.” On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Mike Rogers, a Republican congressman from Michigan who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, described Snowden as a “thief, who we believe had some help.” The show’s host, David

Obama goal for quick revamp
of NSA program may be
unworkable, some U.S. officials fear
Washington Post, by Sari Horwitz and Ellen Nakashima    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/21/2014 11:14:03 PM     Post Reply
U.S. officials directed by President Obama to find a way to end the government’s role in gathering Americans’ phone records are deeply concerned that there may be no feasible way to accomplish the task soon, according to individuals familiar with the discussions. In a speech last week, Obama put the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in charge of developing a plan by March 28 to transfer control of the massive database of records away from the National Security Agency — a step aimed at addressing widespread privacy concerns. But even among U.S. officials who

Benghazi, Obamacare and the
absence of accountability
Washington Post, by Ruth Marcus    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/21/2014 11:12:01 PM     Post Reply
In the narrative of every political scandal comes the accountability moment. New facts slow to a trickle, and the next, insistent demand becomes: Who is being held accountable? This is often a dumb question, asked for lack of a more fruitful topic and fueled by partisans more interested in point-scoring than in problem-fixing. The better question is: What is the goal of accountability? A showy, timed-for-the-evening-news firing to demonstrate action and quiet the baying hounds? Or a change in personnel that will help clean up the mess at hand or send a cautionary message to deter future messes? Consider the

California drought: Scientists puzzled
by persistence of blocking ´ridge´
Christian Science Monitor, by Gloria Goodale    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 1/21/2014 10:44:34 PM     Post Reply
Los Angeles - While much of the United States has experienced a weather year with fewer extremes and an easing drought, the record-breaking California drought – the worst since 1895 – is not leaving the region anytime soon, according to climatologists. The unseasonal balmy but dry weather is the result of an equally unprecedented high pressure ridge lurking offshore and blocking the typical winter storms needed to drop precipitation all along the West Coast. This ridge has persisted for 13 months and the longer it lingers, the less likely it is to leave, points out climatologist Brian Fuchs, from the



Gov. Scott will vote against
medical marijuana
Associated Press, by Brendan Farrington    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/21/2014 10:09:32 PM     Post Reply
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Republican Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he will vote against a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the medical use of marijuana if it makes the 2014 ballot. "I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative. But, having seen the terrible effects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it," Scott said through a spokeswoman. "No matter my personal beliefs, however, a ballot initiative would be up to the voters to decide." The

Warren Buffett Offers $1 Billion for
Perfect ´March Madness´ Bracket
Breitbart Sports, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/21/2014 10:04:29 PM     Post Reply
Warren Buffett is partnering with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to offer $1 billion to anyone who fills out a perfect bracket for the 2014 men´s "March Madness" college basketball tournament. Buffett´s Berkshire Hathaway and Dan Gilbert´s Quicken Loans will pay out the prize in "40 annual installments of $25 million. If there´s more than one winner they´ll have to share. The winner or winners can also take or split up an immediate $500 million lump sum payment." "It is our mission to create amazing experiences for our clients. This contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that

Has Wendy Davis’ Charmed
Run for Governor Started to
Implode? (Update: Meltdown)
PJ Media, by Bryan Preston    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/21/2014 9:37:04 PM     Post Reply
By now you’re aware of the Dallas Morning News story that debunks Texas Democrat Wendy Davis’ own origins story. Briefly, she divorced her first husband when she was 21, not 19. She makes much of having lived in a mobile home, but the fact is that she only lived there a few months before walking away from the mortgage. Rather than working her way through college as she claims, she married wealthy attorney Jeff Davis, who paid for her education at expensive Texas Christian University and more expensive Harvard. She divorced him and left him with their two children —

K Street and Tea Party in
Nebraska proxy war
Washington Examiner, by Timothy P. Carney    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 1/21/2014 9:33:09 PM     Post Reply
The GOP Senate primary in Nebraska will be a 2014 battlefield in the hot war between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party insurgents. But at first glance, it´s hard to see a casus belli. State Treasurer Shane Osborn is a conservative Republican who rails against Washington insiders and criticizes the Republican leadership for the recent budget deal, but whose pedigree shows strong ties to the Republican establishment. Former Bush administration official Ben Sasse is also a conservative Republican who rails against Washington insiders and criticizes the Republican leadership for the recent budget deal, but whose pedigree shows strong ties to the



Wendy Davis Slams Paraplegic
Opponent: ‘Hasn’t Walked
a Day in My Shoes’
National Review Online, by Andrew Stiles    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/21/2014 9:31:31 PM     Post Reply
Wendy Davis is under fire following a Dallas Morning News report that found a number of factual discrepancies in the personal narrative she has made a centerpiece of her long-shot campaign for Texas governor. Davis, who is quoted multiple times in the article, issued a statement after its publication suggesting that her Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, was behind the “attacks.” Davis said that for Abbott, who has been a paraplegic for nearly three decades, to question her story proves that he “hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.” Full statement: We’re not surprised by Greg Abbott’s campaign attacks on the

America’s Bipartisan Political Class
American Spectator, by Doug Bandow    Original Article
Posted By: mikkins2- 1/21/2014 9:18:30 PM     Post Reply
America is a class-based society. But based on politics, not economics. An elite political class runs the state to their benefit. The rest of us pay the bill. The differences between the assumptions and values of people within and without Washington’s 68 square miles of fantasy long have been on ostentatious public display. For example, for years Congress routinely exempted itself from rules imposed on everyone else. The Republican-controlled Congress in 1994 theoretically stopped that. However, legislative privilege never really ended. The Democrats’ health care “reform” became the latest example of elite privilege. Never mind the endless rules exemptions and multiple deadline

Quotations from Co-Chairman Keith
PowerLine, by Scott Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/21/2014 9:14:32 PM     Post Reply
Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s Fifth District in Congress. He proudly identifies himself first and foremost as the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. With a little help from Karen Hunter (as he notes in the Acknowledgements), he has now written the memoir cum manifesto My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future. Ellison was born and raised in Detroit. He was witness to a part of the city’s death spiral, but he has nothing useful to say about it. Ellison writes in chapter 5 (“My Damascus Moment”): During my freshman year at Wayne State in 1981, Coleman

Man and two children found
dead at Ft. Hood military base
New York Daily News, by Stephen Rex Brown    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/21/2014 9:10:04 PM     Post Reply
Fort Hood officials discovered the dead bodies of a man and two children Tuesday morning, the Army base announced. The bodies were found in military housing on the Texas base at 7:15 a.m., officials said, adding “there is no further threat to the community at this time.” The base said it would not release further information until the victims’ next of kin had been notified. On Nov. 5, 2009 Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people on the base and wounded 30 more.

De Blasio ‘getting back at us’
by not plowing: UES residents
New York Post, by Jennifer Gould Keil*    Original Article
Posted By: Bubbasuncle- 1/21/2014 8:22:21 PM     Post Reply
It really is a tale of two cities — this time with the tony Upper East Side getting the shaft! Huge swaths of the city’s wealthiest neighborhood had been not been plowed by early Tuesday evening, leaving 1-percenters out in the cold, according to the city’s own map of snow-plower activity. “He is trying to get us back. He is very divisive and political,” said writer and life-long Upper East Side mom Molly Jong Fast of Mayor de Blasio. “By not plowing the Upper East Side, he is saying, ‘I’m not one of them.’ But we have everyone in this


ObamaCare Puts ´Entire Health
Insurance Industry At Risk´
Investor´s Business Daily, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/21/2014 7:28:00 PM     Post Reply
Calamity: Despite repeated reassurances that ObamaCare website glitches were fixed, officials are frantically trying to repair massive problems that, by their own admission, could crush ObamaCare and the insurance industry. Throughout December, administration officials said that they´d all but fixed the start-up problems with the ObamaCare exchange site, pointing to the sharp increase in enrollment that month as evidence. And as to those "back end" problems that sent erroneous information to insurers, they claimed to have cut the error rate to less than 1% by early December. But hidden from view, administration officials were in a state of panic. A procurement document posted

Our Gravest Peril
Wall Street Journal, by Pete Du Pont    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/21/2014 7:22:45 PM     Post Reply
America´s most worrisome problem may not be the failed takeover of our healthcare system. It may not be our languishing economy or even the massive federal debt hanging over future generations. As dangerous as these problems are, perhaps more perilous is just how far our nation has fallen in the eyes of our allies and the lack of caution our feckless foreign policy inspires in our adversaries. Our country too often looks weak. Our foreign policy too often seems rudderless and unreliable. Washington is abuzz over the new memoir by Robert Gates, the former defense secretary, with its recounting of the

Obama´s ´JV´ al-Qaida Is
Far From Shooting Hoops
Investor´s Business Daily, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/21/2014 7:20:16 PM     Post Reply
War On Terror: President Obama says post-Bin Laden al-Qaida´s control of more territory than ever doesn´t matter because it´s like a junior varsity high school basketball team. Hoops aren´t what al-Qaida is shooting. When New Yorker editor David Remnick pointed out to Obama during a November interview that years after Osama bin Laden had been killed, "the flag of al-Qaida is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria" and "al-Qaida has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too," the response he got was either delusional or deceitful. The president retorted that "if a JV team

The Young and the ObamaCare-less
Wall Street Journal, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/21/2014 7:18:58 PM     Post Reply
ObamaCare´s defenders say its troubles are over as more people sign up and, by the way, stop griping because the law is here to stay. Much evidence says otherwise, to the extent that the embroidered information the White House is willing to release counts as evidence. Lifting the veil of secrecy last week, the feds revealed that 2.2 million people nationwide had selected a plan through December. That is a major improvement, especially for the 36 federally run exchanges, which gathered 1.19 million total enrollees. Traffic increased sevenfold over October and November. The Health and Human Services Department still won´t say how

U.S. Needs To Watch For
´Black Widow´ Terrorists
Investor´s Business Daily, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 1/21/2014 7:16:57 PM     Post Reply
Jihad Jane: With female suicide bombers targeting next month´s Winter Olympics, the West faces a new threat from radical Muslim women. Terrorist profiles and security measures should be adjusted accordingly. Moscow says it´s looking for as many as four "black widows" sent to Sochi, Russia, to carry out terrorist attacks against Olympic athletes, including at least one female suicide bomber thought to have already slipped through security. Wanted posters warn of suspected terrorist Ruzana Ibragimova, a 22-year-old widow of a terrorist killed by Russian forces last year. Chechen terrorists are known to use such "black widows" in attacks, since they´re more willing

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