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IRS customer service leaves
millions of calls unanswered
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 6:10:59 PM     Post Reply
Have a question on your tax returns? Don´t ask the IRS. As tax day looms, an annual watchdog report to Congress finds that the agency is falling short when it comes to answering Americans´ questions about the convoluted tax code. The National Taxpayer Advocate found only 61 percent of people seeking to speak with a customer service representative last year got through to anybody -- leaving nearly 20 million calls unanswered. The report largely blamed budget cuts, and lamented the impact the poor customer service is having on taxpayers. "At the risk of vast understatement, it is a sad state

Ted Cruz, Eric Holder mix
it up at hearing
Politico, by Mackenzie Weinger    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 6:01:19 PM     Post Reply
Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday pushed Attorney General Eric Holder for answers about the investigation into the IRS, with the Texas Republican saying he finds what has transpired in the last eight months of the probe “astonishing.” Cruz called on Holder, who was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to address why so little had been done since the inspector general report concluded that the IRS had improperly targeted conservative groups, tea party groups, pro-Israel groups and pro-life groups. “In the 280 days since that inspector general report, nobody has been indicted,” Cruz said. “Not a single person. In the

GOP wants key Justice Dept. lawyer
to testify in IRS scandal probe
Washington Times (D.C), by Stephen Dinan    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 5:56:04 PM     Post Reply
The House oversight committee has asked a lawyer who’s helping run the criminal investigation into IRS targeting of tea party groups to testify to Congress next week, seeking to find out where the investigation stands and whether her political leanings have undermined the probe. Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of a key oversight subcommittee, sent a letter Tuesday to the lawyer, Barbara Bosserman, requesting her appearance at a Feb. 6 hearing. He gave her until Thursday to decide whether she would voluntarily comply. “With your history of extensive financial and personal support for the president and the Democratic Party, your involvement

  


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The Silent SOTU
National Review Online, by Michael Walsh    Original Article
Posted By: Gertrude- 1/29/2014 5:23:47 PM     Post Reply
As it happens, I watched the end of the State of the Union Address (it really does need another name at this point, since it effectively has nothing to do with the actual state of the union) from the vantage point of an exercise bike at a gym largely patronized by emigres from Armenia and their American-born kids. On two screens, President Obama, swivel-necked, flap-jawed and jug-eared, commanded almost nobody’s attention, while the basketball game on the other screens drew a host of viewers on bikes and treadmills. And this, I reflected, was exactly as it should be. The people all around me were the folks who run the restaurants,

Report: NC jobless rate falls to 6.9 percent
Associated Press, by Emery p. Dalesio    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 1/29/2014 5:14:08 PM     Post Reply
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina´s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in December, its lowest level in more than five years, but Tuesday´s news came with signals that the rapid fall was related to thousands of discouraged people giving up on finding work. December´s unemployment rate, down from 7.4 percent the previous month, was the lowest since September 2008, when a building financial crisis shook the world´s economy and brought on the risk of a new Depression. Since July, North Carolina has dropped from being tied for the third-highest unemployment to near the middle of the pack and slightly above

GOP lawmaker SLAMS
Rachel Maddow: ‘Stop being a
cheerleader and be a journalist’
Daily Caller, by Brendan Bordelon    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 1/29/2014 5:13:35 PM     Post Reply
Texas Republican lawmaker Tim Huelskamp took MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to task during a post-State of the Union interview on Benghazi secrecy, noting that if Maddow “would stop being a cheerleader and be a journalist, you’d recognize we’re not getting those answers.” Huelskamp spoke with Maddow about an hour after President Barack Obama wrapped up his State of the Union address Tuesday night, with the MSNBC reporter taking the congressman to task for anti-Obama tweets she deemed offensive and inaccurate. She zeroed in on one tweet, suggesting that President Obama was deliberately ignoring the ongoing Benghazi

Deep South in chaos: Vicious
winter storm leaves hundreds of cars
abandoned on icy roads littered
with pile-ups - as thousands are
stranded and forced to sleep in
schools, offices and grocery stores
Daily Mail (UK), by Louise Boyle    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 5:05:05 PM     Post Reply
Icy chaos gripped the South on Wednesday after a rare winter storm that killed at least six people, stranded children in schools overnight and paralyzed travel in several states, including hundreds of flight cancellations at the world´s busiest airport. As daylight faded, helicopters took to the skies to search for stranded drivers, some who have now been stuck in their vehicles for more than 24 hours with temperatures plunging again into the teens. The National Guard were delivering food, water and gas - or a ride home - in Humvees to people who were stuck on roads after the storm

  


  

John Kerry’s Former Life:
He Was a Cookie Chef
ABC News, by Ali Weinberg    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 1/29/2014 5:01:54 PM     Post Reply
Long before John Kerry was jetting around the world trying to bring peace to the Middle East, before he ran for president, even before he was in the U.S. Senate, he held a much different job: owner/head cookie chef at a gourmet shop. Yes, you read that right. Telling the story Wednesday at a State Department awards ceremony, Kerry said that when he was a lawyer in Boston, “I walked out of a restaurant one night with a friend of mine, probably having had too much of a good bottle of wine, and looked out and saw an empty space in Faneuil Hall marketplace. And desperately craving a good chocolate chip cookie at that hour of night,

17 California communities
running out of water
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 4:48:45 PM     Post Reply
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Seventeen rural communities in drought-stricken California are in danger of running out of water within four months, according to a list compiled by state officials. Wells are running dry or reservoirs are nearly empty in some communities. Others have long-running problems that predate the drought. The communities range from the area covered by the tiny Lompico County Water District in Santa Cruz County to the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale in Sonoma County, the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/LmgFL2 ) reported Tuesday.Most of the districts, which serve from 39 to 11,000 residents,

Obama takes State of the Union
themes on the road, touts
minimum wage hike
Washington Post, by William Branigin    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 4:31:24 PM     Post Reply
(Video) President Obama took major themes of his State of the Union address on the road Wednesday, touting his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage in an appearance at a warehouse store in Maryland before heading to Pittsburgh to highlight a new retirement plan. “Americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty,” Obama said to applause in a morning speech at a Costco store in Lanham, Md., a Washington suburb. “And that is why I firmly believe it’s time to give America a raise.” Obama later flew to Pittsburgh to visit the United States Steel Corp.’s Irvin Plant

Feinstein: ´Greater terrorist
presence´ in Mideast
United Press International, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 4:24:58 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON- The head of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday instability after the Arab Spring has led to a "greater terrorist presence" in the Mideast. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., made the remark as she opened a hearing on national security threats against the United States. Feinstein said there had been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since the committee´s most recent threat hearing although "numerous plots against United States interests overseas have been prevented." "I´m concerned that this success has led to a popular misconception that the threat has diminished," Feinstein said. "It has not."

  


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Full Text: Sen. Mike Lee´s Tea
Party Response to Obama´s
State of the Union Speech
U.S. News & World Report, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 4:20:42 PM     Post Reply
Good evening. I’m Senator Mike Lee, from Utah. In the few minutes I have tonight – I’d like to speak especially to those Americans who may feel they have been forgotten by both political parties: Those individuals and families who work hard, play by the rules, balance their budgets, honor the Golden Rule ... and don’t understand why their government in Washington can’t do the same. You are probably as frustrated as I am about an ever-growing government that somehow thinks it is okay to lie to, spy on and even target its own citizens. Many hard-working Americans are discouraged and wondering what, if anything, can be done.

Super Bowl XLVIII: Budweiser ´Puppy Love´
commercial is overwhelmingly cute
Newsday (Long Island), by Verne Gay    Original Article
Posted By: rosefenn- 1/29/2014 3:54:44 PM     Post Reply
Budweiser, which commands the Super Bowl almost as much as the NFL, has had some of the most memorable, even beloved, ads in telecast history. Many of them -- most of them -- have nothing to do with beer, unless there´s something subliminal about beer consumption and Clydesdales. But Wednesday morning, Budweiser pre-released one of its game ads: Think puppy. And a puppy so cute, so adorable, that a hundred million viewers will instantly go "awwwww" Sunday night when it airs.

After iPhone: Pressure mounts on Apple
to unveil the next ´insanely great´ product
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: cjjeepercreeper- 1/29/2014 3:16:49 PM     Post Reply
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple reshaped technology and society when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone seven years ago. Now, the trend-setting company is losing ground to rivals that offer what Apple has stubbornly refused to make: smartphones with lower prices and larger screens than the iPhone. The void in Apple´s lineup is a major reason why the company´s quarterly revenue may fall for the first time in more than a decade, much to the dismay of investors who are worried that Apple is losing its verve and vision. Wall Street vented its frustration after Apple reported late Monday that it sold

Beyoncé 101: Rutgers University
Offers "Feminist" Class on
the Grammy-Winning Singer
E! Online, by Lily Harrison    Original Article
Posted By: BaseballFan- 1/29/2014 3:01:06 PM     Post Reply
Is it too late to go back to college?! Rutgers University is offering a course on Beyoncé at the school´s Department of Women´s and Gender Studies. The class, which is called "Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé," is being offered during the Spring semester at the college. Queen Bey 101 is taught by PhD candidate Kevin Allred, who explained to the Rutgers Today newspaper exactly what students can expect from the class. "This isn´t a course about Beyoncé´s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama´s inauguration weekend," he said.

  


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The Older Mind May Just Be a Fuller Mind
New York Times, by Benedict Carey    Original Article
Posted By: Ken M.- 1/29/2014 2:54:27 PM     Post Reply
People of a certain age (and we know who we are) don’t spend much leisure time reviewing the research into cognitive performance and aging. The story is grim, for one thing: Memory’s speed and accuracy begin to slip around age 25 and keep on slipping. The story is familiar, too, for anyone who is over 50 and, having finally learned to live fully in the moment, discovers it’s a senior moment. The finding that the brain slows with age is one of the strongest in all of psychology. Over the years, some scientists have questioned this dotage curve. But these

Exclusive: Obama´s high school pot
dealer who he thanked for the ´good times´
was beaten to death with a
hammer by his gay lover
Daily Mail, (UK), by Richard Alleyne    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 1/29/2014 2:46:47 PM     Post Reply
President Obama’s high school pot dealer who he thanked in his yearbook for the ´good times´ was beaten to death by his lover after a series of fights over flatulence and drugs, MailOnline can reveal today. Raymond Boyer, known as ´Gay Ray´ to Obama and his marijuana smoking ´Choom Gang´, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer seven years after he sold the future president and his friends drugs. His lover Andrew Devere, a male prostitute, gave police a laundry list of reasons for the killing, including that Boyer, a surfer and unemployed chef, constantly put him down, made him beg for

Christie´s brother profited from
sale of Harrison homes near Port
Authority project, report says
Star-Ledger [Newark, NJ], by Jeff Goldman    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/29/2014 2:20:29 PM     Post Reply
Harrison — Gov. Chris Christie´s brother was part of a group that bought properties near the Harrison PATH station before a $256 million renovation of the facility was publicly approved, according to a report on NorthJersey.com. Todd Christie and his partners then renovated and flipped the lots for almost triple their purchase price after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave its OK to the project, the report said. One of Todd Christie´s partners in West Hudson Properties LLC owns Ferreira Construction, which has gotten "tens of millions of dollars" in work from state agencies since the governor took

Obama Team Stonewalls
Democrat on Spying Questions
National Journal, by Jack Fitzpatrick    Original Article
Posted By: Drive- 1/29/2014 2:19:11 PM     Post Reply
Ron Wyden wanted direct answers on government spying programs during Wednesday´s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. He didn´t get many. Director of Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Director James Comey largely avoided giving details on the agencies´ spying activities, instead promising to provide more information as soon as possible. In several cases, Wyden gave deadlines for them to answer his questions. Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, is a vocal critic of the National Security Agency´s program of gathering the phone data of millions of Americans. He also has a history of asking pointed questions, and even of hinting

James Clapper calls for Snowden and
´accomplices´ to return NSA documents
Guardian (US), by Spencer Ackerman    Original Article
Posted By: Drive- 1/29/2014 2:15:47 PM     Post Reply
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has issued a blistering condemnation of Edward Snowden, calling the surveillance disclosures published by the Guardian and other news outlets a “perfect storm” that would endanger American lives. Testifying before a rare and unusually raucous public session of the Senate intelligence committee that saw yet another evolution in the Obama administration’s defense of bulk domestic phone records collection, Clapper called on “Snowden and his accomplices” to return the documents the former National Security Agency contractor took, in order to minimize what he called the “profound damage that his disclosures have caused and continued

  



All Three Networks Fret Over
Obama Not Getting ´Credit´
for ´Better´ Economy
Newsbusters, by Kyle Drennen    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 1:58:10 PM     Post Reply
Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC´s live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: "...one of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it´s ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber

Chick-fil-A gives free food to motorists
stranded in Southern snowstorm
Fox News, by Todd Starnes    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 1:45:50 PM     Post Reply
A snowstorm in the South is about as rare as a glass of unsweetened tea at a church supper. Folks around Birmingham, Ala. weren’t all that worried though. The storm was only supposed to dust the city – not even enough powder for a Southern snowman. So when the first snowflakes began to fall, no one paid all that much attention. But then, the flakes kept falling. Before too long folks in places like Hoover and Inverness realized it was much more than a dusting. By that point, it was too late for anyone to do anything. Icy interstates and

NBC: GOP Inviting ´Duck Dynasty´ Star
to SOTU Not ´Dignified´; ´Trying to
Make A Partisan Political Point´
Newsbusters, by Kyle Drennen    Original Article
Posted By: Drive- 1/29/2014 1:33:47 PM     Post Reply
During NBC´s live State of the Union coverage Tuesday night, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd sneered at Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson being a Republican guest at the event: "...after the shooting with Gabby Giffords and for a couple of State of the Unions in a row....There was more of a dignified feeling about the guests that you would invite. Boy, you can tell things are a lot different now, when you´re inviting Duck Dynasty stars. Everybody´s trying to make a partisan political point." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Todd concluded: "You get the

GOP ready to surrender
on debt ceiling
Politico, by Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan    Original Article
Posted By: congaree53- 1/29/2014 1:23:11 PM     Post Reply
House Republicans are getting ready to surrender: There will be no serious fight over the debt limit. The most senior figures in the House Republican Conference are privately acknowledging that they will almost certainly have to pass what’s called a clean debt ceiling increase in the next few months, abandoning the central fight that has defined their three-year majority. The reason for the shift in dynamics in this fight is clear. Congress has raised the debt limit twice in a row without drastic policy concessions from President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, essentially ceding ground to Democrats. Obama and Senate Majority Leader

Drug abuse screening
bill OK’d by Indiana House
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 1/29/2014 1:14:13 PM     Post Reply
INDIANAPOLIS — A contentious bill to screen welfare recipients for drug abuse and limit residents to buy only “nutritional” foods with food stamps is moving forward. State representatives voted 71-22 in favor of the bill Tuesday. The bill would require residents who receive money from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to take a questionnaire screening for substance abuse and possibly face drug testing. The bill also would restrict what can be bought through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Recipients only would be able to purchase foods deemed “nutritional” by the state, which state Rep. Jud McMillin of Brookville

Clinton foundation to get honor
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/29/2014 1:04:27 PM     Post Reply
NEW YORK— Bill Clinton made major changes to his diet after heart trouble, and now his foundation is getting an honor for helping in the battle against heart disease. Women´s Day is holding its Red Dress Awards to promote heart health on Feb. 11, and the magazine will give The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation an award for helping fight childhood obesity. The group works with schools nationwide to help students get better access to healthy food and exercise. Clinton famously changed his own diet after undergoing a quadruple bypass a decade ago. Actress Jennie Garth is also being

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