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Is the White House Practicing
Photo-Op Diplomacy?

Fiscal Times, by David Francis

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 2/5/2014 5:21:59 AM

In his State of the Union address delivered last week, President Obama talked at length about domestic issues--income inequality, health care, jobs and education. Foreign policy issues, including the continuing war in Afghanistan, the crisis in Syria, and talks over Iran’s nuclear program were given lip service at the end of his speech. One of the reasons for this is that Americans have grown tired of a decade of endless war—and domestic policy matters much more to voters than foreign policy. But a careful read of Obama’s speech shows that the only firm promise he made was not to send troops

      


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Is the White House Practicing
Photo-Op Diplomacy?
Fiscal Times, by David Francis    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/5/2014 5:21:59 AM     Post Reply
In his State of the Union address delivered last week, President Obama talked at length about domestic issues--income inequality, health care, jobs and education. Foreign policy issues, including the continuing war in Afghanistan, the crisis in Syria, and talks over Iran’s nuclear program were given lip service at the end of his speech. One of the reasons for this is that Americans have grown tired of a decade of endless war—and domestic policy matters much more to voters than foreign policy. But a careful read of Obama’s speech shows that the only firm promise he made was not to send troops

   

 

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Exclusive: Florida Rep
Helped Fugitive Embezzlers
Daily Beast, by Josh Rogin    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/5/2014 5:10:44 AM     Post Reply
Sen. Robert Menendez is under federal investigation for his advocacy on behalf of two Ecuadorian bankers convicted of embezzlement. Turns out he wasn’t the only prominent lawmaker accepting donations and doing favors for the brothers. Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, while she was Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to federal agencies on behalf of two Ecuadorian bankers convicted of embezzlement who were seeking U.S. residency. She also advocated for their family members, who donated over $20,000 to her campaign. William and Roberto Isaias, who were convicted in absentia of embezzlement in Ecuador more than a

Our Icarus-in-Chief
National Review Online, by Victor Davis Hanson    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/4/2014 5:48:06 AM     Post Reply
In the last two weeks, we learned that Bashar Assad has dismantled only 5 percent of his WMD arsenal, despite President Obama’s soaring rhetoric to the contrary. Russia violated a long-observed agreement with the U.S. about testing missiles. Iran’s take on the negotiations over its bomb program bears no resemblance to our interpretation. Chinese officials now happily leak fantastic stories about using their military to punish Japan. All that is trumped by veiled threats from the Sunni Gulf monarchies, terrified of Iran, to buy a bomb or two from Pakistan. We hear other rumors that even China thinks the new

How the Seattle Seahawks
Solved Peyton Manning
Wall Street Journal, by Kevin Clark    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/4/2014 5:14:04 AM     Post Reply
The best quarterback in NFL history was dismantled by one of the best game plans in Super Bowl history. This, upon further review, is the story of Super Bowl XLVIII. On Sunday, in the immediate wake of the Seattle Seahawks´ 43-8 drubbing of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, it was natural to surmise that Manning, the league´s most valuable player this season, had shrunk on the biggest stage. After all, this is a player whose career playoff record is now a modest 11-12. But a review of the game film shows that Manning´s struggles were destined from the start. Seattle´s strategy

The Big Stall
Weekly Standard, by Geoffrey Norman    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/4/2014 4:55:14 AM     Post Reply
The Keystone Pipeline, which has been studied for more than five years, will be studied some more. A State Department study was generally thought to be the conclusive and it has now been delivered. But we are told by the White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, that there is more studying to be done. McDonough said, on Sunday morning television, that President Obama: … would decide once the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Department and other federal experts offer their assessments of the State Department review, as well as their own analysis. One wonders why the studies could not have been done

Obama may trust Iran
but America should not
Fox News, by Richard Grenell    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/4/2014 4:25:46 AM     Post Reply
President Obama’s proposal in Geneva to the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council allowing Iran to enrich some uranium violates previous U.N. resolutions demanding the Islamic Republic stop “all” uranium enrichment activity. To avoid a violation of current U.N. resolutions, the permanent members must ask the entire Security Council to vote to weaken and supersede their previous demands. The U.N.’s four rounds of hard-fought sanctions on Iran and several other resolutions demanding compliance call for a full suspension of all enrichment activities, including research and development, then full verification of that suspension before negotiations on a permanent diplomatic solution begin.

   

 

  


 
Target Data Breach Pits
Banks Against Retailers
Associated Press, by Marcy Gordon    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/4/2014 4:22:28 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON -- Banks and big retailers are locked in a debate over the breach of consumer data that gripped Target Corp. during the holiday season. At issue: Which industry bears more responsibility for protecting consumers´ personal information? The retailers´ argument: Banks must upgrade the security technology for the credit and debit cards they issue. The banks´ counterargument: Newer electronic-chip technology wouldn´t have prevented the Target breach. And retailers must tighten their own security systems for processing card payments. The finger-pointing is coming from two industries with considerable lobbying might. Their trade groups have been bombarding lawmakers with letters arguing why the other industry

Too Big to Manage: Taxpayers
fund top-dollar federal employee
union reps through official time
Washington Examiner [DC], by Mark Flatten    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/3/2014 1:07:18 PM     Post Reply
Phil Barbarello insists his federal salary has nothing to do with his job as a top union official. What matters, he says, is his experience as an air traffic controller. But it has been years since Barbarello, eastern regional vice president for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, spent much time monitoring flights in a control tower. His full-time job with the Federal Aviation Administration is working for the NATCA union, and has been since at least 2009. As for his salary, $166,362 in 2012, that and his lucrative federal benefits are all paid by taxpayers. Barbarello and hundreds of other federal employees

McConnell super PAC looks
outside Kentucky for donors
USA Today, by Fredreka Schouten    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/3/2014 12:57:41 PM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON -- Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super PAC aiding Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell´s re-election, raised nearly $1.2 million during the last half of 2013. None of it came from the Republican´s home state of Kentucky. The organization´s two dozen donors instead represent a cross-section of prominent Republican givers from outside Bluegrass State, new campaign-finance filings show. They include Florida investor Lawrence DeGeorge, who gave $250,000; Chicago hedge funder Kenneth Griffin at $50,000; and Washington lawyer C. Boyden Gray, who gave $10,000. Publisher Richard Mellon Scaife donated $20,000. Six companies gave a combined $167,000.

A year after snub, Chris Christie
will speak at CPAC 2014
Yahoo! News, by Chris Moody    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/3/2014 12:53:23 PM     Post Reply
After being denied a speaking slot last year at the largest annual gathering of conservatives, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has accepted an invitation to speak at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference next month, Yahoo News has learned. “We are very excited to announce that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will speak at CPAC 2014," American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas told Yahoo News. "At this year´s CPAC — and through our theme ´ACU´s Golden Anniversary: Getting It Right for 50 Years´ — we will celebrate how conservatism has shaped our past and look to the future with excitement.

N.J. Democrat says has seen no evidence
Christie knew of traffic scheme
Reuters, by Victoria Cavaliere    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/3/2014 12:51:03 PM     Post Reply
A New Jersey Democrat leading a probe of a bridge traffic scandal that has engulfed Governor Chris Christie said on Sunday he had seen no evidence to support claims that the governor had been aware of the politically motivated traffic jams as they happened. If such evidence does exist, a state panel investigating the closures has not yet seen it, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who co-leads the probe, said on Sunday. Christie, a leading Republican candidate for the White House in 2016, has repeatedly denied any knowledge of a plan to snarl traffic last September near the busy George Washington Bridge and severed

   

 

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Congratulations To Seattle Seahawks Coach
Pete Carroll, The NFL´s Greatest Failure
Forbes, by John Tamny    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 2/3/2014 12:48:18 PM     Post Reply
Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks thoroughly mauled the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, 43-8. The win squarely places Carroll in an elite circle of all-time great football coaches. Most would give anything to have a Super Bowl win on their resume. In Carroll’s case, he’s not only joined the fraternity of Super Bowl winners, but he can also claim two national titles on the collegiate level at the University of Southern California (USC). A few more quality seasons in the NFL likely punches Carroll’s ticket to the NFL’s Hall of Fame. Notable about the ever ebullient Carroll is that he



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