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I´m Sorry, But These Teddy Bear
Commercials Are Kinda Creepy
Independent Journal Review, by Mike Miller    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/11/2014 3:06:49 PM     Post Reply
Every year, prior to Valentine’s Day, the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. runs ads advising guys that the most romantic thing in the world – the best gift a love-struck guy can give his girl – is a teddy bear. This year’s ad features “Big Hunka Love Bear.” Big Hunka is 4½ feet tall, and the company says he’s “stuffed with more than enough love to last a lifetime.” Hey, giving your girl a cute little teddy bear for Valentine’s Day could be a sweet thing to do. But, it’s the way these ads are put together that cause the creep-out: the girl

Why is Janet Yellen so concerned
and disturbed about income inequality?
American Enterprise Institute, by James Pethokoukis    Original Article
Posted By: Drive- 2/11/2014 3:05:56 PM     Post Reply
A “very concerned” Janet Yellen told a congressional panel today that she thinks income inequality is “one of the most important issues and one of the most disturbing trends facing the nation at the present time.” But why, exactly? 1.) If you buy the thesis that a big jump in high-end inequality has been mostly driven by technology and globalization, then the alternative is more equality, perhaps, but less innovation here and more extreme poverty abroad. Now that’s a disturbing scenario. 2.) If you are concerned about upward mobility, then family structure, education, and geographic segregation are bigger issues than

´Wilding´ youths overwhelmed
deputies at state fair
Tampa Tribune [FL], by Elaine Silvestrini    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 3:05:27 PM     Post Reply
TAMPA — An atmosphere of family fun at the Florida State Fair was trampled Friday night by a crowd of young people carrying out an annual practice known as wilding, sheriff´s investigators said. By the end of the night, the fair closed early and one teenager among the 99 people ejected for disorderly conduct was killed — hit by a sport utility vehicle as he tried to cross Interstate 4. Twelve people were arrested on charges including trespassing and fighting. Now, authorities are considering possible changes in fair policy, including limiting the hours when young people are admitted free to

  


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FCC investigating editorial choices and
bias in broadcasters — and newspapers
Hot Air, by Ed Morrissey    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/11/2014 3:04:00 PM     Post Reply
“Everyone talks about the weather,” Mark Twain (apocryphally) observed, “but nobody does anything about it.” To some extent, the same is true about editorial bias. People have complained about bias in news coverage for decades, but only recently have the barriers to market entry been so low as to allow critics to build their own platforms to do anything about it. That frustration with editorial bias led in large part to the explosion of the blogosphere, which forced news outlets to deal substantively with the criticisms they created with their editorial biases. That is the free-market approach. Should there be

Republicans Dodge Debt Ceiling Disaster
Commentary Magazine, by Jonathan S. Tobin    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/11/2014 3:01:03 PM     Post Reply
When House Speaker John Boehner told a shocked Republican caucus this morning that he would allow a vote on raising the debt ceiling with no strings attached, it was seen in some quarters as a defeat for the GOP. And, in many ways, it was. (Snip)But rather than mourning Boehner’s decision, Republicans should be celebrating. A partisan confrontation over the debt ceiling—even one in which Republicans tie support for the increase to sensible spending cuts or a popular measure aimed at helping veterans—would have turned into a repeat of last fall’s political melodrama that ended so badly for the GOP.

Court Rules IRS May Not
Regulate Tax Preparers
American Spectator, by Ross Kaminsky    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/11/2014 2:58:00 PM     Post Reply
In a unanimous opinion, a 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has handed the IRS another defeat in that agency´s apparently never-ending quest to regulate, control, and dominate as many aspects of American political and financial life as possible. The court ruled that the IRS´s rules regarding the regulation of independent tax preparers were, for at least six reasons, outside of the IRS´s authority -- which is to say illegal. The opinion itself summarized the rules nicely: "Among other things, the new regulations require that paid tax return preparers pass an initial certification exam, pay annual fees, and complete

The Marlboro Mandate
Wall Street Journal, by James Taranto    Original Article
Posted By: BamaMan- 2/11/2014 2:57:51 PM     Post Reply
Sometimes it´s wise to resist the temptation to form an opinion on every event related to culture and politics. The guys at MediaMutters.org note one such case under the headline "Fox Freaks Out Over CVS Ending Sales of Tobacco": On February 5, CVS Caremark announced that it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its pharmacy stores by the beginning of October. . . . On Fox´s The Real Story, host Gretchen Carlson approached the CVS decision with suspicion and a remarkably uninformed premise, asking, "Is it OK legally . . . to restrict tobacco availability in a private store

  


  

Appeals court: NC cannot
offer only anti-abortion plates
WRAL News [Raleigh,NC], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Fiesta del sol- 2/11/2014 2:33:25 PM     Post Reply
Richmond, Va. — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a 2012 court ruling that North Carolina´s decision to issue special anti-abortion license plates is unconstitutional because the state doesn´t offer similar plates supporting abortion rights. In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the proposed "Choose Life" plates represent "blatant viewpoint discrimination squarely at odds with the First Amendment. "The decision upholds a December 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge James Fox in Raleigh, which came 13 months after he blocked the state from issuing the plates while a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union was pending.

Dennis Rodman vomits, urinates,
defecates in Korean hotel
Philly.com, by Justin Klugh    Original Article
Posted By: Bevan- 2/11/2014 2:22:16 PM     Post Reply
Dennis Rodman´s basketball diplomacy got kind of pushed out of the news cycle because he hadn´t called North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un his best friend for a while, and other things like the Olympics and Michael Sam happened - A-Rod was probably in there somewhere - to distract us. Let´s check in on how Rodman´s did in North Korea via The Korea Times: "...according to a report cited by Free North Korea Radio, [Rodman] was practically forced out of the hermit kingdom for his full-blown drunk and disorderly behavior.

Conservative group calls
for Boehner’s head
Washington Times (D.C), by Seth McLaughlin    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 1:43:30 PM     Post Reply
The Senate Conservatives Fund says that it is time for House Speaker John Boehner to go and they will keep track of the GOP lawmakers that support their effort to oust him from his leadership post. The group, which is targeting several incumbent Republicans in primary races this year, said Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, has sold out small government principles on too many occasions and the last straw came this week when House GOP leaders signaled they were going to support a bill to increase the nation’s borrowing limit without attaching any strings to reduce spending. “There’s only one solution.

Scientists find gene linking
brain´s grey matter to intelligence
Reuters, by Kate Kelland    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 2/11/2014 1:42:26 PM     Post Reply
Researchers have found a gene linking intelligence to the thickness of so-called "grey matter" in the brain, and say their discovery could help scientists understand how and why some people have learning difficulties. An international team of scientists analyzed DNA samples and brain scans from more than 1,500 healthy 14-year-olds and gave them a series of tests to establish their verbal and non-verbal intelligence. The researchers looked at the cerebral cortex - the outermost layer of the brain that is also known as "grey matter" and plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language and consciousness.

  


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Sacrebleu! Obamas to serve
gut-busting 2,500-calorie
state dinner for Hollande
Washington Times (D.C), by Dave Boyer    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 1:38:28 PM     Post Reply
The fattening state dinner being served at the White House Tuesday night for the president of France might prompt first lady Michelle Obama to tell guests afterward, “Let’s Move.”They’ll need to burn off a few of the estimated 2,500 calories they’ve just consumed. Rep. Rodney Davis, Illinois Republican and a critic of the administration’s school-lunch requirements, called the high-calorie State Dinner menu “the height of hypocrisy.” “Even if you’re estimating a small cut of steak, this is a menu where you’re talking 2,500 calories, which is almost three times as much as what the first lady and the USDA allow

Yes! We Have More Bananas
PowerLine, by John Hinderaker    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 1:16:47 PM     Post Reply
President Obama’s latest rewriting of the Affordable Care Act may prove to be the last straw. From all quarters, scorn is being heaped on him for his banana republic behavior. At the White House, Obama told French President Francois Hollande that “[a]s President, I can do anything I want.” Obama calls it a joke; as Glenn Reynolds likes to point out, Obama “joked” about using the IRS to audit his political enemies as far back as 2009. It seems pretty clear that “I can do anything I want” accurately reflects Obama’s views on executive power. This image of Obama as

Julia Roberts´ half-sister found
dead in bathtub of apparent drug
overdose weeks after angry Twitter posts
New York Daily News, by Cristina Everett , Oren Yaniv*    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 1:09:22 PM     Post Reply
Julia Roberts´’ half-sister was found dead Sunday in a bathtub at a Los Angeles home where she had been pet-sitting, and authorities discovered evidence of drug use.Nancy Motes, 37, long struggled with being overweight, and had a rocky relationship with her Academy Award-winning sister, who canceled a scheduled appearance Monday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” due to the tragedy. Roberts also reportedly skipped an Academy Award luncheon on Monday where she was slated to promote her role in the Oscar-nominated movie “August: Osage County.”

Inside the forgotten mill which helped
clothe America: Amazing pictures
of silk mill untouched since it last
worked in 1957
Daily Mail (UK), by John Hall    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 12:51:35 PM     Post Reply
Dusty machines and forgotten belongings fill this abandoned silk mill, frozen in time since the last workers walked out more than 50 years ago.They are the only signs of life at the once-successful mill and have remained untouched since the workforce downed tools for the final time back in 1957. Photographer Darryl Moran paid the factory´s current owner $75 to step back in time to give the world a rare glimpse inside the forgotten mill. Business looked promising when Lonaconing Silk Mill, in Maryland opened in 1905 and its workforce grew to 300. But by the 1950s, the small town

  


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Ted Cruz, Rand Paul top huge Tea Party
poll; Chris Christie, Jeb Bush dead last
Washington Examiner, by Paul Bedard    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 2/11/2014 12:50:02 PM     Post Reply
Conservative Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul top the biggest Tea Party presidential poll yet, while moderates New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are dumped at the bottom, undermining their hopes of being 2016 crossover candidates. The online poll of 62,000 grassroots activists provided exclusively to Secrets finds that conservatives and Tea Party organizers stand fully behind the heroes of their movement, including outspoken surgeon Ben Carson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. But the poll for nation´s largest Tea Party group, TheTeaParty.net, and the influential conservative organization Contract from America drenched

New Benghazi Report Finds ‘Severely
Degraded’ Readiness and a Pentagon
Struggling to Catch Up
PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: Drive- 2/11/2014 12:47:21 PM     Post Reply
A House Armed Services subcommittee today released a report on the Defense Department’s response to the Benghazi attack that found U.S. readiness was “severely degraded” at the time — and the Pentagon is still having challenges responding to those weaknesses 18 months after the assault. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has reviewed thousands of pages of documents including classified emails and situation reports provided by the Defense Department. Committee members have participated in two open hearings and seven classified briefings. Interviews used in compiling the report worked all the way up the chain of command and included forces on

Update: Republicans Move To
´Clean´ Debt Ceiling Today
Breitbart´s Big Government, by Jonathan Strong    Original Article
Posted By: Desert Fox- 2/11/2014 12:45:39 PM     Post Reply
Speaker John Boehner will bring a clean debt ceiling bill to the floor today, marking the end of an era in which House Republicans sought spending cuts and reforms in equal or greater amount to the increase in the debt ceiling. President Obama and congressional Democrats had said they were opposed to even discussing spending cuts in the context of the debt ceiling. But Republicans couldn´t even come together with their own plan. “It´s a recognition that we don´t have 218 votes. When you don´t have 218 votes, you have nothing,” Boehner said in a press conference. House leadership began the effort

Sarah Palin reaches milestone birthday
Washington Post, by Diana Reese    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 12:44:39 PM     Post Reply
Sarah Palin turns 50 today. No word on how the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor plans to celebrate. No party invitations in the mail, either, for me. Guess mine got lost. I wonder if the glowing candles on her birthday cake will be visible to people in Russia looking toward Alaska. Palin never did say she could see Russia from her house, though. That’s about as disappointing as learning that Bogart didn’t utter, “Play it again, Sam” or Marie Antoinette never haughtily intoned, “Let them eat cake.” But according to the urban myth busters at Snopes.com, Tina Fey

McCaskill: Nah, I "Probably" Wouldn´t
Want Obama Campaigning With Me Either
Townhall, by Daniel Doherty    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/11/2014 12:40:40 PM     Post Reply
“I’m trying to be really candid and honest on this show,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said today on Morning Joe. And to her great credit, she was. When asked if she would ever invite the president to campaign with her in Missouri if she was up for re-election, she didn’t hesitate. “Probably not,” she intoned. From WFB: (Video) I’d have to disagree with that last bit. If, for instance, it isn’t a big deal for Obama to go and campaign with vulnerable red state Senate Democrats, then why was Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) literally hiding from him when he spoke

  



What AOL´s Tim Armstrong Got Right
Bloomberg, by Megan McArdle    Original Article
Posted By: Judy W.- 2/11/2014 12:01:17 PM     Post Reply
Wonder why it’s so hard to “bend the cost curve” in health care? Look no further than the universal freakout over AOL Inc. chief executive officer Tim Armstrong’s recent remarks. For those who haven’t been following along at home, a recap: Last week, AOL Inc. announced that it was changing the way it handled its 401(k) match. Instead of putting the matching money in as workers put in their contributions, it would award the account-match dollars in a lump sum at the end of the year. Moreover, if you left the company during the year, you’d lose all of your matched

The Costs of the Environmentalism Cult
FrontPage, by Bruce Thornton    Original Article
Posted By: Judy W.- 2/11/2014 11:50:45 AM     Post Reply
California is in the third year of a drought, but the problem isn’t a lack of water. The snowfall in the Sierra provides enough to help us ride out the years of drought. All we need to do is store it. But California hasn’t built a new dam in 35 years. Worse than that, every year we dump 1.6 million acre-feet of water––about enough to serve 3.2 million families for a year––into the Pacific Ocean in order to protect an allegedly “endangered” 3-inch bait-fish called the Delta smelt. California’s $45 billion agricultural industry, a global breadbasket that produces nearly half

Iranian Poet Hanged
Commentary Magazine, by Michael Rubin    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/11/2014 11:47:32 AM     Post Reply
Iranian authorities have reportedly hanged Hashem Shaabani, a poet which the regime has accused of being “an enemy of God.” His execution should do more than anything else to provide an opportunity for Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Ambassador Samantha Power to embrace moral clarity, for it does more than anything to show the undeniable cruelty of the Islamic Republic and its murderous ideology. There is a tendency in the State Department—the administration does not matter—to repress discussion of human rights out of fear that to discuss them will risk progress on harder national-security issues like the nuclear deal

George Clooney and Bill Murray tell
Britain: hand back the Elgin Marbles
Telegraph [UK], by Anita Singh    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 2/11/2014 11:43:03 AM     Post Reply
George Clooney and Bill Murray, stars of The Monuments Men, have waded into the long-running row over the Elgin Marbles by saying Britain should hand the treasures back to Greece. The classical sculptures were taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century. They were acquired by parliament in 1816 and currently reside in the British Museum. [Snip] Clooney and Murray offered their opinions at a London press conference for their new film, The Monuments Men, in which they play members of an Allied team tasked with retrieving artworks looted by the Nazis.

Gallup Poll Dashes Texas Democrats’
Hopes to Turn the Lone Star State Blue
PJ Media, by Bryan Preston    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/11/2014 11:38:37 AM     Post Reply
The Texas Democratic Party, and the national Democrats along with them, have a racist strategy to flip Texas from reliably Republican to purple or even blue. Talk to any Democrat leader here or nationally and they will admit that they have no intention to change or moderate any of their policies. They are not going to back away from their high-tax, anti-business policies, and they are not going to moderate on abortion or lend any meaningful support on the Second Amendment (Wendy Davis’ unconvincing conversion on open carry only serving to reinforce the Democrats’ party position). They won’t even step

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