When Facebook bought the photo sharing app Instagram early last year, it only took a few Internet moments for the critics to weigh in. A bunch of Instagram users figured the by-now establishment social network would ruin the app, and some vowed to bail. Yeah, right. Not only did Instagram’s user growth not slow down, it has seen user numbers accelerate, at least in absolute numbers. Today, the Facebook unit announced it has hit 150 million monthly active users. That’s 50 million more than just seven months ago. It took Instagram 19 months from its founding in October 2010 to
Comments: The mind reels at how PRISM & NSA will sort these all out, while going after the "real" terrorist somewhere.
Seattle - Boeing´s ties to the Pacific Northwest date back more than a century, when William Boeing purchased a Seattle shipyard that would become his first airplane factory. In recent years, however, those ties have been fraying, first with the company shifting its headquarters to Chicago, (Snip) In the contract vote late Wednesday, The International Association of Machinists District 751 rejected the proposal with 67 percent of the votes. Union members who called for a no vote did so in protest of Boeing´s push to end a traditional pension plan and increase their health care costs.
"Character is what you do when no one is watching." It´s a bit of a trite saying, attributed to coaches, motivational speakers and fortune cookie authors (by the way, whose idea was it for fortune cookies to replace predictions with treacly aphorisms from the "Successories" reject pile?). Still, the expression´s popularity illustrates the power of the idea behind it. Character is what you do when the only controlling authority is your conscience. Because young people do not yet have fully formed characters, they often need incentives beyond exhortations to do the right thing.
Washington - Problems with the federal health insurance website have prevented tens of thousands of low-income people from signing up for Medicaid even though they are eligible, federal and state officials say, undermining one of the chief goals of the 2010 health care law. The website, HealthCare.gov, is primarily seen as a place to buy private insurance with federal subsidies, but it is also a gateway to Medicaid, which generally provides more benefits at less cost to consumers. That door has been closed for the last six weeks, with the federal government unable to transfer its files to state Medicaid
Corydon, Iowa - The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America´s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply. Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield. It wasn´t supposed to be this way. (Snip) But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today. As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and
After dodging questions for months about video evidence said to show him using drugs, Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto stunned constituents and his own staff on Tuesday by telling a scrum of reporters, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.” Video of Mr. Ford’s admission, during an impromptu news conference, showed him asking reporters to repeat the question they first raised in May, when journalists for Gawker and The Toronto Star described seeing video that appeared to show the mayor using drugs. When one reporter complied, asking, “Do you smoke crack cocaine?” the mayor admitted that he had done
Washington - A new book covering the 2012 presidential campaign uncovers a series of scathing remarks from political figures, but one alleged comment has stirred controversy around President Barack Obama and his administration’s use of targeted drone strikes. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s book “Double Down: Game Change 2012” notes President Obama commenting on drone strikes, reportedly telling his aides that he’s “really good at killing people.” The quote from the book was first reported in Peter Hamby’s review in the Washington Post.
An emerging theme from Democrats struggling to explain the Obamacare fiasco is that stubborn Republican opposition has hobbled the administration´s efforts to implement President Obama´s complex national health care scheme. If you want the particulars, just glance at "The Obamacare sabotage campaign" by Politico´s Todd Purdum. But a memo revealed in a new Washington Post examination of the rollout shows the administration was already on a disastrous path in May 2010, just two months after Obamacare was signed into law -- and six months before Republicans won control of the House
Some inventions address needs that everyone has and go on to change the world. The Internet serves our constant craving for information; the internal combustion engine let anyone efficiently do mechanical work with little physical effort; antibiotics significantly reduced mortality rates around the world. Then there are the inventions that are the result of someone asking, "Hmm, I wonder if that would be a good idea?" From a "onesie" that lets your baby mop your floors to a mic-shaped sponge for rocking out in the shower, these are the inventions that are more noteworthy
"All we´ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it.... I´m infuriated because I was lied to," one woman told this newspaper, as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of Obamacare. And that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president. The most famous presidential lies have to do with misconduct (Richard Nixon´s "I am not a crook" or Bill Clinton´s "I did not have sexual relations") or war. Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the slogan "He kept us out of war" and then plunged
The usual scenario involves suspicious glances, inattentive clerks or rude service — not handcuffs. Yet when a black teen said he was wrongly jailed after buying a $350 belt at a Manhattan luxury store, it struck a nerve in African-Americans accustomed to finding that their money is not necessarily as good as everyone else´s. Shopping while black, they say, can be a humiliating experience. Much attention has been paid to the issue over the years — Oprah Winfrey complained that a Swiss clerk did not think she could afford a $38,000 handbag, and even President Barack Obama has said he was once followed in
’m going to ruin sea otters for you. Or at least I’m going to tarnish their reputation as some of the most charming little beasties in the seas. For as cute as they are while intertwining paws at an aquarium, frolicking among the wafting fronds of California kelp forests, or smashing sea urchins open with stones, some sea otters have developed the disturbing habit of humping and drowning baby seals. When I first heard about the behavior from a marine biologist friend of mine, I didn’t quite believe sea otters could be so diabolical. Maybe the bad behavior was just a rumor. But no, the strange sea otter
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years. Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next
Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme. To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in
Fear swept through Borough Park, Brooklyn, as soon as the news got out: A young man was randomly assaulted by strangers early Friday morning, and the attack was possibly part of the so-called Knockout Game. Four men were arrested, but on Friday night only one was charged and the others were released. The attack added to a growing log of reports of such crimes in the Northeast and beyond. Young assailants were randomly picking unlucky targets and trying to knock them out with just one punch. Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted
Joining the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle on Friday, legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw previewed a special on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination that will air on MSNBC that night. Recounting his experiences from that day, he said that the reaction to JFK’s assassination, “mostly in conservative states,” was encapsulated by his interaction with one man who expressed satisfaction over the president’s killing. “This was unusual but it was not unheard of,” Brokaw told the MSNBC hosts, prefacing a conservative’s reaction to JFK’s killing. “As I came running out of the announce booth, the chief engineer,
JERUSALEM -- Israel´s prime minister has criticized the international community´s nuclear deal with Iran as a "historic mistake." Speaking to his Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is not bound by the deal and reserves the right to defend itself. That is a reference to possible military action against Iran. Israel believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, although Tehran denies that. Netanyahu said the deal would not adequately stop Iran, while also giving it relief from sanctions. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world
“For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted parts of Iran’s nuclear program” announced a jubilant Barack Obama after the news of the just-signed Geneva six-month interim agreement with Iran. But the American goal for the accord was that the Iranians not “advance their program” of building a uranium nuclear bomb (and perhaps a plutonium bomb too); the apparent deal exactly permits such advancement, plus sanctions relief to Tehran worth about $9 billion. This wretched deal offers one of those rare occasions when comparison with Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 is valid. An overeager Western government, blind to
Let me be the first to ask: Did the White House know that employment reports were being falsified? Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command. On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election. There’s now a congressional investigation
If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday. A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans”- President John F. Kennedy. There is no family in American politics who is quite on par with the Kennedy’s. Fifty years after the assassination of JFK, the family’s presence in American politics has dwindled–they’ve experienced many ups and downs– but they’ve carried on. Each generation seems to pass on the proverbial torch, and America’s interest in the Kennedy clan, whether they’re running for office or battling public relations snafus, has continued with that passing.
President Obama said Friday he does not worry much about his safety because of the “outstanding” Secret Service detail that shadows him everywhere he goes. Obama said the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago transformed the presidential security detail to a point where he hardly thinks about safety. "It´s not something I think about, mainly because we have a Secret Service that does an outstanding job every single day," Obama told ABC News in an interview set to air next week. For example, the open-air car Kennedy was riding in while shot in Dallas in 1963
Ahmad Rashad, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, has made yet another great catch. The Minnesota Vikings legend has rebounded from his broken marriage to Sale Johnson — the ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson — and is said to be dating Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s most trusted senior adviser. Rashad, a sportscaster and a close friend of Michael Jordan’s, is keeping the romance on the down low. “They haven’t gone out in public,” one source told me. “They are sneaking around.” (Rashad’s manager did not respond to questions about the relationship, and the White House declined to comment on Jarrett’s personal life.) Rashad, who
Mike Convente, a left-wing Daily Kos diarist and a representative on the University of Pennsylvania health care committee, took to the pages of Kos to complain about the "law of unintended consequences" of ObamaCare. Convente is also upset that Obama´s "marketing slogans … turned out to be not so correct." It looks as though the students at UPenn will be paying a lot more for their health insurance policies, thanks in large part to the fact that ObamaCare is forcing them to pay for coverage they do not need. Not only that, Convente is probably not buying the propaganda from
When Lyndon B. Johnson became president, he brought with him a new first lady. Lady Bird Johnson’s passion was beautification. It was dismissed by some as a silly project, just planting daffodils by the side of the road. But it was more. Lady Bird was one of the first environmentalists, one with access to the legislative resources of the powerful Johnson White House. She gathered experts and brought the issue of conservation to the nation’s attention. Her work led to the passage of 50 bills protecting national parks and removing billboards and junkyards from the highways. Her work was more