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Education Secretary Allows Reprieve
on Test-Based Teacher Ratings
New York Times, by Motoko Rich    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 8/21/2014 2:55:10 PM     Post Reply
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Thursday that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing. Sounding like some of his fiercest critics, Mr. Duncan wrote in a blog post, “I believe testing issues are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools,” and said that teachers needed time to adapt to new standards and tests that emphasize more than simply filling in bubbled answers to multiple-choice questions.

GAO: Obama Broke the
Law in Bergdahl Swap
PJ Media, by Bryan Preston    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 8/21/2014 2:54:31 PM     Post Reply
The Government Accounting Office has handed down its verdict over whether the swap of terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl was legal. The question centers on whether the administration was in the right, legally, when it failed to give Congress 30 days notice that terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay would be released. It wasn’t. The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds

The Truth-O-Meter Says: Sarah Palin recaps
Rosemary Lehmberg´s purchase of 70-plus
bottles of vodka over 15 months
Politifact/Austin American Statesman, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 8/21/2014 2:33:41 PM     Post Reply
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin singled out the Democratic district attorney of Travis County after a special grand jury in the county indicted Republican Gov. Rick Perry. In an Aug. 17, 2014, commentary on the Fox News website, Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, noted the local official, Rosemary Lehmberg, previously "was busted for drunk driving with an open bottle of vodka in her car after a 911 call reported her endangering others (Snip)And was Palin right that Lehmberg, who has said she plans to serve out her term through 2016, bought six dozen bottles of vodka in a

  


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Obama wants Ferguson to explode
Washington Times, by Joseph Curl    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 8/21/2014 2:32:48 PM     Post Reply
If you had predicted six years ago that America’s first half-black, half-white president would actually make race relations in the U.S. worse, they would have laughed you out of the room. If you had said that, in the face of a sudden racial crisis, the president — portrayed as black throughout the campaign — would be impotent, neutered, unable to speak powerfully about the situation, they would have scoffed incredulously. Who are “they”? Everyone. If you had expressed those fears out loud in the run-up to his historic 2008 election, everyone within earshot would have mocked you mercilessly. More, they would

´I was told to pay death
duty on Dad´s medals´
Telegraph [UK], by Rod Gilchrist    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 8/21/2014 2:17:59 PM     Post Reply
Like most old soldiers, my father Jim would never talk about the horrors he witnessed in the Second World War. He served as a signals officer with the Royal Navy on convoy duty in the treacherous waters of the north Atlantic, on the bridge of the admiral’s flagship on D-Day, and in operations to search and destroy enemy submarines in the Indian Ocean and off the west coast of Africa. It was dangerous work, and the sight of men drowning in torpedo oil as merchant ships were sunk in freezing waters was too painful to recount. Even the medals he

UNC-Chapel Hill Seeks Course
Correction Amid Probe
Wall Street Journal, by Nikki Waller    Original Article
Posted By: Hazymac- 8/21/2014 2:17:05 PM     Post Reply
A new school year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may bring resolution to an academic scandal that has clouded the university´s reputation for top-flight athletics and academics. The National Collegiate Athletic Association this summer reopened an investigation into how and why some athletes were able to enroll in no-show courses in the school´s African and Afro-American studies department, earning passing grades and ensuring their academic eligibility to compete. The NCAA´s original investigation into the classes, which began in 2011, led to a ban on postseason play for the football team and overturned 16 victories in 2008

In His Mug Shot, Rick Perry
Comes Out Smelling Like A
Texas Yellow Rose
Investor´s Business Daily, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 8/21/2014 2:04:32 PM     Post Reply
Leadership: Texas Gov. Rick Perry smiled confidently for his mug shot, as if to signal he would prevail over politicized big government. In fact, that may resonate as a campaign theme for voters weary of the same abuses. Until now, the prevailing "narrative" was that a governor under indictment on two counts of "abuses of power" would be political toast. Because even if the charges were baseless, as these are, the mug shot and the screeching headlines would bring certain opprobrium. It certainly happened that way for now-exonerated House leader Tom DeLay, whose career was ruined by the same tactics

  


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Turkey´s Davutoglu expected to be
a docile prime minister _ with
Erdogan calling the shots
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 8/21/2014 1:59:16 PM     Post Reply
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, hand-picked by president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan to succeed him as prime minister, is expected to accept a largely backseat role as his boss strives to make his new job the most powerful position in the land. But Davutoglu is known to be ambitious — and Turkey has seen cases in the past where presidents have tried and failed to control their prime ministers. Erdogan, who nominated Davutoglu Thursday to be premier, is counting that the 55-year-old continue to be the staunch loyalist he proved himself to be during Erdogan´s long tenure as

Why the Gov. Rick Perry prosecution
unconstitutionally intrudes on the
gubernatorial veto power
Washington Post, by Eugene Volokh    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 8/21/2014 1:42:30 PM     Post Reply
I’ve been thinking some more about the veto power question: Does the Texas Constitution’s Veto Clause bar prosecuting Gov. Rick Perry for his vetoing the $7.5 million appropriation to drunk-driving D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s Public Integrity Unit? (I’m speaking here specifically of Count I, which is based on the veto; I’ve discussed Count II, which is based on the veto threat, elsewhere). Cornell law professor Michael Dorf, for instance, is unpersuaded by the veto power argument: (Snip)On reflection, though, it seems to that the veto power argument is actually quite strong. Let me elaborate. 1. The veto power is a power of

2 American Ebola patients
released from hospital
Associated Press, by Kathleen Foody    Original Article
Posted By: Hermoine- 8/21/2014 1:37:29 PM     Post Reply
ATLANTA — After nearly three weeks of treatment, the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa have been discharged from an Atlanta hospital, officials said Thursday. Their release poses no public health risk, Dr. Bruce Ribner of Emory University Hospital stressed. Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, show no evidence of Ebola, and generally patients do not relapse and are not contagious once they´ve recovered, said Ribner, director of the hospital´s infectious disease unit. At a news conference, Brantly, who walked in holding hands with his wife, said, "Today is a

St. Louis Medical Examiner
SLAMS Brown Family Hire
Daily Caller, by Chuck Ross    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 8/21/2014 1:36:09 PM     Post Reply
The chief medical examiner of St. Louis County, who performed the first autopsy on Michael Brown after he was shot on Aug. 9, says that she is concerned by one of the men hired by the Brown family to conduct its own exam. “I can tell you absolutely that I find what Parcells does to be abysmal,” Dr. Mary Case told The Daily Caller when asked about Shawn Parcells, a Kansas-based forensic pathologist assistant. He has been accused in the past of fabricating his job title and of conducting autopsies without a license. (Snip) One crucial determination was the trajectory of

  


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PA Makes ´Political Decision´
to ´Slaughter Settlers´
Arutz Sheva [Israel], by Ari Yashar    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 8/21/2014 1:35:25 PM     Post Reply
A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official last Wednesday declared that his organization has made a "political decision" to support Arab terrorists "slaughtering" Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Jibril Rajoub, head of the PA Sports Authority and Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, made the statements on the independent Palestinian Arab TV channel Awdah. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) exposed and translated the interview. "OK, brother, here is the occupation, am I stopping you from slaughtering a settlement? No one is stopping anyone...our political decision is resistance in the occupied territories in order to bring an end to the occupation

David Cameron condemns
´barbaric´ killing of James Foley
Telegraph [UK], by Myles Burke & Press Association    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 8/21/2014 1:22:00 PM     Post Reply
David Cameron cut short his holiday to return to Downing Street and oversee the response after the horrific video was posted online. Speaking to reporters in Number 10, Mr Cameron said it seemed "increasingly likely" that a British citizen was the killer. "Let me condemn the barbaric and brutal act that has taken place and let´s be clear what this act is - it is an act of murder, and murder without any justification," he said. "We have not identified the individual responsible, but from what we have seen it looks increasingly likely that it is a British citizen.

Cincinnati Archdiocese freezes
Catholic school donations to ice
bucket challenge charity
Washington Post, by Abby Ohlheiser    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 8/21/2014 1:15:19 PM     Post Reply
The Cincinnati Archdiocese has warned Catholic school principals against donating to the ALS Association due to concerns that the money could wind up funding research that uses embryonic stem cells. Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Catholic schools are still allowed to participate in the “ice bucket challenge,” the inescapable viral video sensation that challenges individuals to either dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or donate $100 to the ALS Association. But the archdiocese wants Catholic participants to re-purpose the fundraising juggernaut by donating to a different research group — one the archdiocese believes

HS Freshman Arrested for Shooting
‘Neighbor’s Pet Dinosaur’ in
Classroom Assignment
National Review Online, by Ian Tuttle    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 8/21/2014 1:14:48 PM     Post Reply
“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur,” Alex Stone wrote in a classroom assignment earlier this week. That fictional slaying led to real-life handcuffs. On the first day of the new school year, the 16-year-old freshman at Summerville High School in Summerville, S.C., was directed by a teacher to pen a few sentences about himself and a Facebook-style “status” as part of an in-class assignment. Stone wrote about killing his neighbor’s pet dino, using a gun to “take care of the business.” His teacher notified school officials, who contacted the police. On Tuesday Stone’s locker and bookbag were searched, and no

  


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Hackensack store´s surveillance
video shows suspect in possible
‘knockout’ assault
The Record [Hackensack, NJ], by Jeff Green    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 8/21/2014 12:41:51 PM     Post Reply
Hackensack — A video of a man’s sudden, vicious attack on a passer-by in what city police warn may be among the first local incidents of the “knockout game” was released from a store surveillance camera Wednesday. The athletically built assailant is recorded walking coolly into a convenience store. Four minutes later, he strolls outside, empty-handed and with the same demeanor. But in a burst of violence, he slugs a man he encounters in the face, causing the man to instantly fall to the ground. (Snip) The black-and-white film shows one of three separate assaults by the same man

President Obama blasted for golfing
after tough speech on ISIS following
James Foley killing
New York Daily News, by Leslie Larson, Stephen Rex Brown*    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 8/21/2014 12:39:29 PM     Post Reply
President Obama put his own spin on the oft-quoted advice of Teddy Roosevelt: Speak sharply and carry a big nine iron. The vacationing commander-in-chief, after promising a relentless hunt for the terrorist butchers of a U.S. journalist, teed off on a Martha’s Vineyard golf course just a short time later. “Obama is more dedicated to golfing than he is to defending the nation,” sniped Liz Cheney, daughter of the former GOP vice president, via Twitter. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also took a swing at Obama. “I know in Western countries, this is vacation period,” he said, according to The

Ambassadors, diplomats,
House members are barred
from #IceBucketChallenge
Washington Post, by Colby Itkowitz    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 8/21/2014 12:33:26 PM     Post Reply
The State Department and the U.S. House informed their diplomats and lawmakers respectively this week that they may not participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS research. The Associated Press obtained a cable sent to embassies around the world alerting them that accepting the challenge was against ethics rules, which do not allow government officials to use their taxpayer-funded office for private gain “no matter how worthy a cause.” The AP tweeted a copy of the cable here: .@StateDept bars US diplomats from taking ALS ice bucket challenge” (Photo of cable below) http://t.co/2hka85M1aI” pic.twitter.com/Kn5YZ3IfOM

Boy, 9, gunned down in backyard:
´Why? Just a child´
Chicago Tribune, by Jeremy Gorner, Deanese Williams-Harr    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 8/21/2014 12:23:29 PM     Post Reply
Antonio Smith liked to tease girls and show off his dance moves in front of his buddies. He loved playing football. Pretty much like any 9-year-old boy. Wednesday afternoon, Antonio was found in the backyard of a house in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side, shot in the chest, hands and arms. He died an hour later at Comer Children´s Hospital, where his cousins were at a loss to explain why anyone would want to gun down the third-grader. (Snip) No arrests had been reported this morning, and no description of the gunman was released.

President Obama considering
immigration system changes
requested by business groups
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 8/21/2014 12:22:24 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON— President Obama is considering key changes in the nation’s immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans’ election-year criticism of the president’s go-it-alone approach to immigration. Administration officials and advocates said the steps would go beyond the expected relief from deportations for some immigrants in the U.S. illegally that Obama signaled he’d adopt after immigration efforts in Congress collapsed. Following a bevy of recent White House meetings, top officials have compiled specific recommendations from business groups and other advocates whose support could undercut GOP claims that Obama is exceeding his

  



Mitch McConnell’s empty promise:
We’ll force Obama to rein in government
or else risk a shutdown
Hot Air, by AllahPundit    Original Article
Posted By: Periwinkel- 8/21/2014 12:20:43 PM     Post Reply
Does anyone actually believe this? I guess Kentucky Republicans who don’t pay attention to politics but who’ll end up deciding this year’s Senate race anyway do. God bless democracy. “We’re going to pass spending bills, and they’re going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy,” McConnell said in an interview aboard his campaign bus traveling through Western Kentucky coal country. “That’s something he won’t like, but that will be done. I guarantee it.”…

Obama’s approval rating for
foreign affairs teeters downward
near George W. Bush
New York Daily News, by Leslie Larson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 8/21/2014 12:15:44 PM     Post Reply
President Obama’s job approval rating for handling foreign affairs has taken a tumble, nearing the dangerously low score George W. Bush received in his second term. Though Obama averaged a 50% approval rating for his foreign policy platform in his first term, that rating fell to 39% in his second term, according to anew Gallup poll released Thursday. Compared to the past nine presidential terms, only George W. Bush scored a lower rating (38%) in his second term, when the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were on the brink of disaster. The summer of 2014 has been filled with nonstop international incidents. Crises include

David Gregory Is Writing a Book
Mediaite, by Eddie Scarry    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 8/21/2014 12:15:21 PM     Post Reply
David Gregory, acrimoniously ousted as host of NBC’s Meet the Press in August, is working on a book. But not about his bitter end at NBC. Mike Allen in Politico Playbook reports that Gregory’s book, due out sometime in 2015, is about his Jewish faith. Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Publishing Group emails Playbook: “David and I began discussing a potential book about his personal faith and the spiritual journey people take in their lives,” Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp told Playbook. “We came to terms on the contract in 2011 and have been working

Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown
The Similarities Continue To Mount –
51 Identical Aspects and Counting…
Conservative Treehouse, by Sundance    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 8/21/2014 12:14:01 PM     Post Reply
As attorneys Daryl Parks and Benjamin Crump continue to represent the family of Michael Brown, the similarities in their approach toward both the Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown shooting continue to mount. And that’s a problem, as you’ll see at the end: (Snip)• In Both cases the media use the catch phrase “unarmed teenager”. You’ll not find much, if any, reporting without the use of this catch phrase. • The media called both “a child”, and a “minor child”. • Both Brown and Martin families refused to help local police officers in the initial investigation and demanded federal intervention via Eric Holder

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