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´Bizarre´ Cluster of Severe Birth
Defects Haunts Health Experts
NBC News, by Jonel Aleccia    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 2/17/2014 12:26:47 PM     Post Reply
A mysterious cluster of severe birth defects in rural Washington state is confounding health experts, who say they can find no cause, even as reports of new cases continue to climb. Federal and state officials won’t say how many women in a three-county area near Yakima, Wash., have had babies with anencephaly, a heart-breaking condition in which they’re born missing parts of the brain or skull. And they admit they haven´t interviewed any of the women in question, or told the mothers there´s a potentially widespread problem. But as of January 2013, officials with the Washington state health department and

Couple´s Colorado dream home
turns to nightmare as they face
having it confiscated in bizarre
row over a SNOWMOBILE
Associated Press*, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 12:19:16 PM     Post Reply
A couple face having their dream Colorado home being confiscated by the county government in a row sparked by the use of a snowmobile. Andy Barrie, who lives in the century-old cabin with his wife Ceil, has said he feels like he ´can´t trust my government´ as it attempts to claim his property under controversial rules usually preserved for economic development and preserving open space. The case stems from the Barries insisting they had the legal right to reach it on a snowmobile - or All Terrain Vehicle. The view from the deck of the small cabin was a dream

Mainstream Media Has Failed
to Cover Cartels, Border Security
Breitbart Texas, by Syliva Longmire    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 12:12:11 PM     Post Reply
Our southwest border with Mexico is completely unlike any other part of the United States. It is also a place that needs to be personally experienced in order to fully understand the complexities and nuances of life next to another country. But Mexico is not just any country; it is our third largest trading partner, and our two nations share a cultural bond that goes back over a hundred years. This cross-border relationship hasn’t always been pretty, and at some points in history, it has been downright ugly. However, US and Mexican citizens have always found a way to exchange

  


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Exclusive: HHS won´t say if Sibelius
is fundraising for Obamacare
- Thread Closed
Washington Examiner, by Susan Crabtree    Original Article
Posted By: grace52- 2/17/2014 12:04:21 PM     Post Reply
First in a series of stories on the Obama administration´s outside fundraising efforts to promote Obamacare enrollment. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other department staff may be continuing to solicit private donations to help an outside group promote the president´s health care law as the administration works to boost enrollment figures after a troubled fall rollout.

EXCLUSIVE: National clown
shortage may be approaching,
trade organizations fear
New York Daily News, by Natalie Musumeci    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 2/17/2014 11:48:21 AM     Post Reply
Send in the clowns — please! As the “Greatest Show on Earth” returns to Brooklyn Thursday, circus folk fear a national clown shortage is on the horizon. Membership at the country’s largest trade organizations for the jokesters has plunged over the past decade as declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers align against Krusty, Bozo and their crimson-nosed colleagues. “What’s happening is attrition,” said Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger, who added that membership at the Florida-based organization has plummeted since 2006. “The older clowns are passing away.”

Extreme winter weather affecting
some solar panels´ energy output,
maintenance, officials said
Times of Trenton [NJ], by Cristina Rojas    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 2/17/2014 11:05:55 AM     Post Reply
For the countless solar panels that have cropped up on rooftops and fields across the region, winters like this one can reduce solar output when the panels become covered with snow or clouds filter the sunlight. Overall, PSE&G’s solar production has dropped this winter as the state has been hit hard by snowstorm after snowstorm, said Todd Hranicka, director of solar energy, although he had no specific figures. “It’s one of the challenges of solar,” he said. “If the sunlight is not hitting the solar panel, you’re not generating energy.” The public utility company produces 40 megawatts of electricity at

After UAW defeat, can GOP
fulfill promise of jobs?
Associated Press, by Erik Schelzig And Tom Krisher    Original Article
Posted By: addicted_to_coffee- 2/17/2014 11:05:23 AM     Post Reply
Republicans fighting a yearslong unionization effort at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee painted a grim picture in the days leading up to last week’s vote. They said if Chattanooga employees joined the United Auto Workers, jobs would go elsewhere and incentives for the company would disappear. Now that workers have rejected the UAW in a close vote, attention turns to whether the GOP can fulfill its promises that keeping the union out means more jobs will come rolling in, the next great chapter in the flourishing of foreign auto makers in the South.

  


  

Dems´ new 2014 plan:
Neutralize Obamacare
Politico, by Dan Hohmann    Original Article
Posted By: HoneyBadger- 2/17/2014 10:42:25 AM     Post Reply
Democrats know their biggest problem in this year’s midterm election is Obamacare. So top party operatives have settled on a strategy to try blunting the GOP’s advantage: Tell voters Republicans would make the problem worse — raising prescription drug prices, empowering insurance companies and even endangering domestic violence victims.The battle plan, details of which were in a memo obtained by POLITICO, recognizes the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act. But it also banks on voter fatigue with the GOP’s relentless demands for repeal and counts on poll-backed data that show many Americans would rather fix Obamacare’s problems than scrap it

HHS won´t say if Sebelius is
fundraising for Obamcare
Washington Examiner, by Susan Grabtree    Original Article
Posted By: HoneyBadger- 2/17/2014 10:03:04 AM     Post Reply
First in a series of stories on the Obama administration´s outside fundraising efforts to promote Obamacare enrollment.Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other department staff may be continuing to solicit private donations to help an outside group promote the president´s health care law as the administration works to boost enrollment figures after a troubled fall rollout. News last May that Sebelius had asked business executives and nonprofit groups to donate to Enroll America, a nonprofit organization formed to help encourage millions of Americans to sign up for the new Obamacare insurance exchanges, provoked an uproar among Republicans on Capitol

Eisenhower´s tree finally meets
its match: Famous pine on Augusta
that was bane of president´s life
on the golf course is removed
thanks to winter storm
Daily Mail (UK), by Leon Watson    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 10:01:10 AM     Post Reply
Over the years it has defied the world´s best golfers - and even presidents - time and time again. But now, after being badly damaged in a winter storm, Augusta National´s famous Eisenhower Tree has been felled. Augusta´s golf club confirmed the loblolly pine, affectionately named after it infuriated former member and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, will not be seen at the next Masters competition in two months. The tree sat about 210 yards off the left of the 17th fairway and was the only part of the course which was damaged in the recent storms that have ravaged

President Obama golfs at
Larry Ellison´s Porcupine Creek
Desert Sun [Palm Springs, CA], by Liz Kelly Nelson*    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 2/17/2014 9:58:17 AM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama, in town since Friday and fresh off a meeting with Jordan´s King Abdullah II, left the Sunnylands estate Sunday morning for a little more golf. He didn´t have far to go. The destination was Porcupine Creek, the private golf course owned by Oracle co-founder and BNP Paribas owner Larry Ellison. According to the Sunday morning White House pool report, Obama -- along with childhood friends Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Michael Ramos -- arrived at Porcupine Creek promptly at 8 a.m. to kick off the outing. (Snip)Oracle engineers were tapped in October, along with those from Google

  


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Exclusive -- Don’t ‘Turn
Texas into a Liberal Swamp’
Breitbart Texas, by Ted Cruz    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 2/17/2014 9:56:00 AM     Post Reply
The Texas story of jobs, growth, and opportunity should be a model to celebrate, yet, there’s a new movement afoot to stomp out our enterprising spirit. Over the past decade, Texas has been an economic powerhouse. The state has created 3 out of every 10 American jobs over the last decade and recently surpassed California in tech export sales. (Snip) Today, political operatives are swarming the Lone Star State to turn Texas into a liberal swamp. At the same time, the Obama Administration is trying to make Texas buckle under a torrent of federal rules and regulations. My office recently issued a report about the Obama Administration’s assault

Heroin laced with fentanyl
blamed for dozens of U.S. deaths
United Press International, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/17/2014 9:30:11 AM     Post Reply
PHILADELPHIA -- Heroin laced with the synthetic opiate fentanyl is being blamed by officials for more than 80 deaths across the United States in recent weeks. Officials say there have been at least 37 deaths in Maryland and 25 in Rhode Island, TheAlmagest.com medical news website reported Sunday. Another 22 deaths were reported in southwestern Pennsylvania, the (Jamestown, N.Y.) Post-Journal reported. Fentanyl, a narcotic used to control chronic pain, is about 80 times more powerful than morphine, doctors say. Ellen Unterwald, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the Temple University School of Medicine, says even a small

Obama talks race, Michael Sam
in NBA All-Star Game interview
The Hill (Washington DC), by Kyle Balluck    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 9:19:58 AM     Post Reply
President Obama addressed topics ranging from race to ObamaCare in an interview broadcast late Sunday ahead of the NBA All-Star Game. “Think about basketball. You think about what the NBA was before African Americans were allowed to play on an equal footing,” Obama told former NBA great Charles Barkley. “You think about some the stories that even folks like Oscar Robertson tell of what they went through. You think about what Jackie Robinson ended up meaning, not just to baseball, but to the entire society. I wouldn’t be sitting here if it weren’t for him. I think American is stronger

Mother expecting triplets
delivers ‘surprise’ quadruplets
Fox News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/17/2014 9:17:26 AM     Post Reply
A Mississippi woman expecting triplets got a shock when she ended up delivering four healthy baby girls last week, The Clarion Ledger reported. Kimberly Fugate, who already had one 10-year-old daughter, wasn’t planning to have any more children – until she found out she was pregnant with triplets in November 2013. When Fugate, 42, went into labor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) on February 8, she had delivered three healthy babies as expected. But then, her doctor looked at her and said, “More feet.” Shortly after, a fourth baby girl was delivered – surprising Fugate, her husband

  


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In first, Minnesota poll finds
Obama unpopular
The Hill (Washington DC), by Julian Hattem    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 9:12:57 AM     Post Reply
Half of the residents of Minnesota now disapprove of President Obama’s performance, according to a new poll. Results of The Star Tribune survey represent the first time that his approval rating has turned negative in the state since the president took office in 2009. Obama’s job approval rating in the poll has fallen to 43 percent. Men had an especially unfavorable opinion of the president. According to the poll, 60 percent of Minnesotan men disapproved of his job performance, compared to 40 percent of women in the state. People under 34 had the highest approval rating for Obama, with 59 percent saying

After decrying inequality, Obama golfs
at personal course of mega-billionaire
American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson    Original Article
Posted By: magnante- 2/17/2014 9:03:15 AM     Post Reply
Inequality in America is a terrible thing, unless it results in a nice afternoon at a golf course so private that "uncrowded" does not begin to describe the solitude a presidential foursome can enjoy. Few things in this world are more unequally enjoyed than the luxury of a personal golf course. But our inequality-hating president found the time to enjoy one yesterday. (snip)The ultra-rich are not and never will be the real target of Democratic Party rants against inequality. Instead, they reserve their venom for the hard-working entrepreneurial and technical/professional classes who seek to rise from upper middle-class ranks into

Common Core Curriculum Now
Has Critics on the Left
New York Times, by Al Baker    Original Article
Posted By: garnet- 2/17/2014 9:02:34 AM     Post Reply
The Common Core has been applauded by education leaders and promoted by the Obama administration as a way to replace a hodgepodge of state standards with one set of rigorous learning goals. Though 45 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to them since 2010, resistance came quickly, mostly from right-leaning states, where some leaders and political action groups have protested what they see as a federal takeover of local classrooms. But the newest chorus of complaints is coming from one of the most liberal states, and one of the earliest champions of the standards: New York.

Keeping Obama at arm’s length
Boston Globe, by John E. Sununu    Original Article
Posted By: garnet- 2/17/2014 8:46:37 AM     Post Reply
THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER of 2008, every week produced another ugly milestone in the unfolding financial crisis. Just after Labor Day, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage machines, were taken over by their regulator. Ten days later, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Two days after that, the Federal Reserve released an unprecedented $85 billion rescue plan for insurance giant AIG; and on Sept. 29, when the original Troubled Asset Relief Program bill failed in the House of Representatives, the Dow Jones index plunged nearly 800 points. It was a great time to be a Democrat.

Why Presidents’ Day is slightly strange
Washington Post, by Valerie Strauss    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 8:41:05 AM     Post Reply
Most federal holidays are clear-cut. On the Fourth of July, for example, Americans celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. On the other hand, Presidents’ Day is a slightly strange holiday for three main reasons: *There is no universal agreement on the actual name of the holiday. * There is no universal agreement on which presidents are being honored. * There is no agreement on something as simple as whether is an apostrophe in “presidents.” Ask a handful of people who the holiday is meant to recognize, and you aren’t likely to get the same answers. In

  



On Health Act, Democrats Run to
Mend What G.O.P. Aims to End
New York Times, by Ashley Parker    Original Article
Posted By: garnet- 2/17/2014 8:36:16 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — The ad supporting Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, Democrat of Arizona, opens with a montage of Americana Main Streets, followed by the green fields and dirt roads of the West — the “small towns and wide-open spaces,” the narrator explains, where Ms. Kirkpatrick “listens and learns.” His voice remains tranquil even as he turns to a more cutting message about President Obama’s signature health care law: “It’s why she blew the whistle on the disastrous health care website, calling it ‘stunning ineptitude’ and worked to fix it,” he says, before adding, “Ann Kirkpatrick: Seeing what’s wrong, doing what’s right.”

In an election year, Obama finds
Democrats deserting on his priorities
Washington Times (D.C), by Dave Boyer    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 8:35:49 AM     Post Reply
Even as President Obama is praising congressional Democrats for their unity on raising the nation’s debt ceiling, he is encountering the election-year limits of party discipline on a wide range of his other priorities. On trade, energy and, to a lesser extent, health care, the president is grappling with Democrats who are going their own way. Some lawmakers don’t want to be seen with him in public as the November elections near, although Mr. Obama is embarking this month on a round of fundraisers to benefit Democratic candidates. The divisions surfaced behind closed doors Friday when Mr. Obama visited House

Obama: Anti-gay bill step
backward for Ugandans
Associated Press, by Darlene Superville    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/17/2014 8:33:08 AM     Post Reply
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — President Barack Obama warned Uganda Sunday over its plans to further criminalize homosexuality, saying it would "complicate our valued relationship." Defending gay rights around the world, as he has done at home, Obama said a bill that President Yoweri Museveni has pledged to sign will mark a "step backward" for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country´s commitment to protect the human rights of its people. It also would represent a serious setback for anyone committed to freedom, justice and equal rights, Obama said. Obama said the United States stands for the protection of fundamental

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