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I gave to the VLC Kickstarter. As part of the kickstarter, they offered me a credit for being one of the backers. Since I don't care that much about such thing I asked that the show get my credit. Just trying to hit someone in the mouth.

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Presidential Proclamation -- National Stalking Awareness Month, 2013

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 13:44

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

December 31, 2012

NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Each year, millions of Americans face the fear, isolation, and danger of being victims of stalking. At some point in their lives, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men will be stalked, and many of these crimes will go unreported and unprosecuted. During National Stalking Awareness Month, we rededicate ourselves to supporting victims of stalking and sharpen our resolve to bring perpetrators to justice.

Stalking is a pattern of unwanted contact that causes victims to fear for their safety or the safety of family members. It can include implied or explicit threats; harassment; or nonconsensual communication through phone calls, text messages, or emails. The perpetrator is usually someone the victim knows. Stalking behaviors may appear innocuous to outside observers, but victims often endure intense physical and emotional distress that affects every aspect of their lives. Many feel forced to move, or change jobs. Tragically, stalking tends to escalate over time, and it is sometimes followed by sexual assault or homicide.

My Administration remains committed to building a robust criminal justice response to stalking -- one that holds offenders accountable, offers protection and support to all victims of violence, and empowers them to break the cycle of abuse. In January 2012, we held the first-ever White House stalking roundtable with survivors, law enforcement officers, victim advocates, and researchers. We have built partnerships with communities across the Nation to implement anti-stalking efforts. And we continue to support nonprofit organizations and local, State, and tribal governments as they develop more effective responses to violence against women -- including direct services, crisis intervention, transitional housing, legal assistance to victims, court improvement, and training for law enforcement and courts.

We are also working to address the threat of cyberstalking. While advances in technology are making this crime more prevalent, they can also pose unique opportunities to address it. Communities are developing new tools that help connect victims to local services, and State governments are updating statutes to further protect people from cyberstalking. Through our Apps Against Abuse challenge, my Administration recognized mobile applications that are empowering people to defend themselves against dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Thanks to the dedicated work of law enforcement officials, community leaders, advocates, organizations, and survivors, our country has made great strides in combating stalking. During National Stalking Awareness Month, we resolve to keep building on this momentum until no American lives in fear of this crime.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2013 as National Stalking Awareness Month. I call upon all Americans to recognize the signs of stalking, acknowledge stalking as a serious crime, and urge those impacted not to be afraid to speak out or ask for help. Let us also resolve to support victims and survivors, and to create communities that are secure and supportive for all Americans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Hideaway Hillary

VIDEO-Hillary Clinton discharged from hospital - CBS News Video

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:47

January 2, 2013 4:24 PM

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital where she has been undergoing treatment for a blood clot in her head. Margaret Brennan spoke with Anthony Mason on her condition.

Hillary Clinton discharged from hospital

EDWARD S. HARKNESS EYE INSTITUTE

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:47

Experience:Our medical team is made up of world-renowned physicians, who are at the forefront of medical eye research. Many of the breakthroughs in understanding eye problems and their treatment have been done right here at Columbia.

Comprehensive Care:Comprehensive Eye ExamWe offer comprehensive eye examinations, from simple tests for visual acuity to diagnosing the most serious eye conditions.

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ConfidenceWe take the health of your eyes seriously. Most procedures are done on the campus of Columbia University's Harkness Eye Institute, one of the world's most respected medical centers. Our doctors are physicians first and foremost. As employees of Columbia University Medical Center our physicians' top priority is the overall health of your eyes. We are a medical center, not a marketing center.

Columbia Ophthalmology Consultants at Harkness Eye Institute is part of the New York Presbyterian '' Columbia University Medical Center '' the top rated hospital in New York.

Compassionate Care:Ultimately it comes down to patient satisfaction. Columbia Ophthalmology Consultants understands that compassionate care is more than the good medical skills and treatment. Compassionate care means good communication, genuine caring, and the highest ethical professional standards.

Press Ganey has given Columbia Ophthalmology Consultants its highest ratings for patient satisfaction.

Greta Van Susteren: 'I Don't Agree With Any Of My Colleagues' On Hillary Clinton Attacks

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:46

Salute To FOX News Channel's Brit HumeWASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: FOX News host Shepard Smith poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

The Hollywood Reporter Celebrates "The 35 Most Powerful People In Media" - ArrivalsNEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Roger Ailes, President of Fox News Channel attends the Hollywood Reporter celebration of 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Gary Sinise & The Lt Dan Band Benefit Concert For Army SPC Bryan DilberainNEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Megyn Kelly attends at the benefit concert for Army SPC Bryan Dilberain at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on April 27, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)

The Hollywood Reporter Celebrates "The 35 Most Powerful People In Media" - ArrivalsNEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Bill O'Reilly attends the Hollywood Reporter celebration of 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

FOX News "Hannity With Sean Hannity" 15th Anniversary ShowATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 06: Sean Hannity during the FOX News 'Hannity with Sean Hannity' 15th anniversary show at Olympic Centennial Park on October 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)

PEOPLE/TIME Party On The Eve Of The White House Correspondents' DinnerWASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Greta Van Susteren of Fox News attends the PEOPLE/TIME Party on the eve of the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for People)

PEOPLE/TIME Party On The Eve Of The White House Correspondents' DinnerWASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Chris Wallace of Fox News attends the PEOPLE/TIME Party on the eve of the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for People)

An Evening With The GuardianNEW YORK, NY - MAY 3: (L-R) Felix Salmon, Reuters Correspondent, Juan Williams, FOX News host, and Charlie Rose, host of Charlie Rose attend An Evening With The Guardian at Industria Studios on May 3, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The Guardian)

Kelly Osbourne Visits "FOX & Friends"NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: (L-R) Donald Trump talks with 'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade at FOX Studios on December 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

FOX News "Hannity With Sean Hannity" 15th Anniversary ShowATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 06: Sean Hannity and Bob Beckel during the FOX News 'Hannity with Sean Hannity' 15th anniversary show at Olympic Centennial Park on October 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)

FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto Interviews Former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive And Current Head Of CIT Group John ThainNEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto (R) interviews former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive and current head of CIT Group John Thain at FOX Studios on October 27, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch (L) is drNews Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch (L) is driven away from the High Court in central London on April 26, 2012 after Rupert Murdoch's second and final day of giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. Rupert Murdoch admitted on April 26 there was a 'cover-up' over phone hacking at Britain's News of the World tabloid but tried to shift the blame away from himself and senior executives at his media empire. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

Films Without Borders Inaugural Inaugural LaunchNEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Kimberly Guilfoyle attends the Films Without Borders launch at the St. Regis Hotel on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Cosmopolitan's 1st Annual Man SummitNEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer attends Cosmopolitan's 1st Annual Man Summit at the Hearst Tower on September 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Beth Stern Visits "FOX & Friends"NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 09: Beth Ostrosky Stern along with FOX & Friends host Eric Bolling promotes the benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter whilst visiting the set of 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on August 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

2011 Stand Up For HeroesNEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Geraldo Rivera attends 2011 Stand Up for Heroes at the Beacon Theatre on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

Kelly Osbourne Visits "FOX & Friends"NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: (L-R) Donald Trump talks with 'FOX & Friends' host Steve Doocy at FOX Studios on December 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Love Is Not Abuse iPhone App LaunchNEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10: Media personality Judge Jeanine Pirro attends the Love is Not Abuse iPhone app launch at the Lucky Brand Store on August 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Carl CameronGreg GutfieldDana PerinoMONTBLANC Launches Collection Princesse Grace De Monaco At The Princess Grace Awards GalaNEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: TV personality Alisyn Camerota attends MONTBLANC Launches Collection Princesse Grace De Monaco at the Princess Grace Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for MONTBLANC)

MONTBLANC Launches Collection Princesse Grace De Monaco At The Princess Grace Awards GalaNEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: TV personality Alisyn Camerota attends MONTBLANC Launches Collection Princesse Grace De Monaco at the Princess Grace Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for MONTBLANC)

Senate Report Slams State Department For Lack Of Security Leading To Benghazi Attack

Fiscal Cliff

Income tax in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Treasury Scarcity to Grow as Fed Buys 90% of New Bonds - Bloomberg

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:13

Even as U.S. government debt swells to more than $16 trillion, Treasuries and other dollar fixed- income securities will be in short supply next year as the Federal Reserve soaks up almost all the net new bonds.

The government will reduce net sales by $250 billion from the $1.2 trillion of bills, notes and bonds issued in fiscal 2012 ended Sept. 30, a survey of 18 primary dealers found. At the same time, the Fed, in its efforts to boost growth, will add about $45 billion of Treasuries a month to the $40 billion in mortgage debt it's purchasing, effectively absorbing about 90 percent of net new dollar-denominated fixed-income assets, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Even after U.S. public borrowings outstanding grew from less than $9 trillion in 2007 as the U.S. raised cash to pay for spending programs designed to pull the economy out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, rising demand coupled with a drop in net supply means bonds will be scarce.

''The shrinking amount of bonds in the market is lowering rates and not just benefiting the Treasury, but providing lower rates for private-sector decision-makers as well,'' Zach Pandl, a senior interest-rate strategist in Minneapolis at Columbia Management Investment Advisers LLC, which oversees $340 billion, said in a Nov. 30 telephone interview. ''The Fed is not creating this scarcity to help out the Treasury, it's primarily to get the economy going.''

Treasury AuctionsInvestors bid for more than four times the amount of two- year notes the Treasury auctioned last week, matching a record high, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Yields on U.S. government bonds are about a half a percentage point lower than the rest of the world on average, compared with about a quarter-percentage point more as recently as April 2010, Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes show.

Buyers range from central banks to financial institutions stocking up on high-quality assets to meet the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law and global regulations set by the Bank for International Settlements. They're helping the Fed and the Obama administration keep borrowing costs at all-time lows for everyone from consumers to Walt Disney Co.

Strategists have cut their forecasts for 10-year Treasury yields. They now see the benchmark yield at 2.26 percent by the end of 2013, down from the 2.79 percent predicted in June, based on the median estimate of about 50 analysts in separate surveys by Bloomberg. The yield has averaged 4.88 percent average since Bill Clinton began his first term as President in 1992.

Falling YieldsU.S. 10-year yields fell seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, last week to 1.62 percent in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The yield rose less than two basis points to 1.63 percent at 12:35 p.m. in New York.

Bonds rose as President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers traded ideas on how to avoid more than $600 billion in mandated spending cuts and tax increased scheduled to go into effect in January.

Obama warned Nov. 30 of ''prolonged negotiations,'' while U.S. House Speak John Boehner said the administration plan presented to congressional leaders by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner would risk growth by raising taxes on small businesses.

$31.3 TrillionPrograms to pay for the bailout of the financial system, an extension of unemployment benefits and to bolster housing helped caused the size of the U.S. taxable debt market to swell 27 percent since 2007 to $31.3 trillion, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. The figures exclude money-market securities such as commercial paper.

With the economy strengthening, net sales of new U.S. fixed-income dollar debt with maturities of more than a year, such as corporate, sovereign and municipal bonds, will fall next year to $1.121 trillion from $1.344 trillion, or an almost 17 percent drop, according to JPMorgan's fixed-income research team, led by Terry Belton.

The decline includes a slide in net Treasuries to $893 billion from $1.002 trillion in fiscal 2012, according to JPMorgan in a report dated Nov. 21. Overall, net supply of fixed-income debt will average about $93 billion per month in 2013, the bank estimates, down almost 20 percent.

With the Fed buying about $85 billion a month in Treasuries and mortgage bonds next year, the net supply to the private sector will be about zero as the central bank effectively soaks up about 90 percent of new issuance of those assets.

Gross BorrowingGross U.S. borrowing through Treasury sales rose to more than $2.1 trillion in each of the last three years from $922 billion in 2008, according to government data. Debt owned by the public jumped to $10.1 trillion in January 2012 from $5.75 trillion in January 2009.

Even without the full effects of the fiscal cliff, net Treasury sales will slip to $952 billion as the budget deficit contracts to about $918 billion for fiscal 2013, according to the average prediction of 18 primary dealers surveyed by Bloomberg News. The shortfall totaled $1.089 trillion in 2012, a Treasury Department report said Oct. 12, the fourth straight year above $1 trillion.

The smaller net supply of government debt will be matched by fewer corporate issues, according to Nomura. Net company borrowing may fall to $288 billion next year from $353.6 billion, the firm estimates.

Disney BondsWalt Disney (DIS) sold a record amount of debt last week at the lowest interest cost it's ever paid. The company issued $3 billion of bonds on Nov. 27 in a four-part offering with coupons ranging from 0.45 percent on three-year debt to 3.7 percent for 30-year securities. The issue was the biggest in the 89-year history of the Burbank, California-based company.

The effect on yields from less supply coupled with high demand typically proves temporary, according to Mark Dowding, a senior fixed-income manager at BlueBay Asset Management in London, which oversees $47 billion.

''Considerations like supply and demand are important if you are looking at the shorter term, but for out over a three, six or 12 month period, the most important factor is going to be the economy,'' he said in a telephone interview on Nov. 28. ''Although negotiations surrounding the cliff may be somewhat difficult, we do expect a compromise to be found and see the 10- year yield more likely to head to 2 percent than to 1.25 percent.''

Stronger GrowthThe U.S. economy expanded more than previously estimated in the third quarter, led by consumer spending, government outlays and residential construction. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.7 percent annual rate for the period from July through September, up from 2 percent reported in October, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed Nov. 29.

Persistent demand for U.S. securities as a haven from turmoil in the world's financial markets since the subprime mortgage collapse in 2007 and Europe's three-year-old sovereign debt crisis has helped damp yield increases even as government supply rose.

Foreign governments and banks have been among the biggest buyers. Brazil, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan and Hong Kong boosted their holdings by a collective $264.8 billion since August 2011, Treasury data released Nov. 16 show.

Yields on Treasuries of all maturities ended last week at 0.897 percent, below the 1.42 percent for the global government bond market excluding the U.S., according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. In April 2010, U.S. yields averaged 2.44 percent, versus 2.22 percent for the rest of the world.

Bank DepositsDeposits at U.S. banks exceed loans by $1.91 trillion, marking a turnaround from 2008, when loans exceeded deposits by about $200 billion. Much of that surplus money has been used to buy Treasuries and government agency debt such as that issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, boosting holdings to a record $1.86 trillion, Fed data show. Bank holdings of Treasuries increased 15 percent to $531.7 billion in the past year.

Investors have bid a record $3.16 for each dollar of the $1.974 trillion in notes and bonds the U.S. government has sold at auctions this year, Treasury data show, up from the previous high of $3.04 set last year. The bid-to-cover ratio at the Treasury's auction of $35 billion in two-year notes on Nov. 27 was 4.07, matching the record high in November 2011.

That has kept down the cost of financing the record $16 trillion debt. The U.S. spent $359.8 billion on interest expense in fiscal 2012, below the $454.4 billion the previous year.

Mortgage RatesConsumers are also benefiting. The average interest rate on 30-year mortgages is a record low 3.31 percent, according to a weekly survey conducted by Freddie Mac. Banks reported the most common rate for a 48-month new-car loan was 4.88 percent in August, the most recent reporting period. The rates were more than 7 percent in December 2008.

The Fed has pumped money into the financial system by purchasing more than $2.3 trillion of Treasuries and mortgage- related securities in three rounds of policy called quantitative easing. The latest program announced Sept. 13 involves buying $40 billion a month in mortgage securities, and has no end date or fixed total amount.

A ''number'' of Fed officials said the central bank may need to expand its purchases next year, according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's Oct. 23-24 meeting. Bond traders predict policy makers will announce at their Dec. 11-12 meeting that they will make new Treasury purchases next year of about $42.9 billion a month, according to the average estimate of primary dealers surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Fiscal CliffThe Congressional Budget Office said that failure to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff may push the economy into a recession next year and boost unemployment to 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, from 7.9 percent in October.

''You've got supply likely to come down and you've got demand strong,'' Brett Wander, chief investment officer for fixed income in San Francisco at Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc., which oversees about $200 billion, said in a telephone interview Nov. 29. ''Think of it like arrows acting like forces on an object. The supply arrow is pushing yields down and the demand arrow is pushing yields down at the moment.''

To contact the reporters on this story: Liz Capo McCormick in New York at emccormick7@bloomberg.net; Daniel Kruger in New York at dkruger1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Barack Obama, US president, warned of ''prolonged negotiations.'' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Enlarge imageTreasury Scarcity to Grow as Fed Absorbs 90% of New U.S. BondsJonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

Walt Disney sold a record amount of debt last week at the lowest interest cost it's ever paid.

Walt Disney sold a record amount of debt last week at the lowest interest cost it's ever paid. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 7 - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net

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Wed, 02 Jan 2013 15:18

Article 1 - The Legislative BranchSection 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential VetoAll bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Web site designed and maintained by(C) 1995-2010 by Craig Walenta. All rights reserved.

Valid HTML 4.0Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010URL: http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec7.html

Average Tax Increase Under Fiscal Cliff Bill Will Be $1,635 Per Household'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:40

Thankfully we don't live in a service-based economy because if we did this could be a big problem.

Via Bloomberg News:

The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.

More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday.

HT: DRUDGE

Drone Nation

'Alice in Wonderland' Ruling Lets Feds Keep Mum on Targeted-Killing Legal Rationale | Threat Level | Wired.com

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:19

Armed MQ-9 Reaper drones like this one are used by both the U.S. military and the CIA. Photo: USAF

The President Barack Obama administration does not have to disclose the legal basis for its drone targeted killing program of Americans, according to a Wednesday decision a judge likened to ''Alice in Wonderland''.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon of New York, ruling in lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times, said she was caught in a ''paradoxical situation'' (.pdf) of allowing the administration to claim it was legal to kill enemies outside traditional combat zones while keeping the legal rational secret.

The opinion comes months after 26 members of Congress asked Obama, in a letter, to consider the consequences of drone killing and to explain the necessity of the program. The use of drones to shoot missiles from afar at vehicles and buildings that the nation's intelligence agencies believe are being used by suspected terrorists began under the George W. Bush administration and was widened by the Obama administration to allow the targeting of American citizens. Drone strikes by the Pentagon and the CIA have sparked backlashes from foreign governments and populations, as the strikes often kill civilians, including women and children.

In the end, however, the government's claim of national security trumped the Freedom of Information Act. According to Judge McMahon:

'... this court is constrained by law, and under the law, I can only conclude that the government has not violated FOIA by refusing to turn over the documents sought in the FOIA requests, and so cannot be compelled by this court of law to explain in detail the reasons why its actions do not violate the Constitution and laws of the United States. The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me; but after careful and extensive consideration, I find myself stuck in a paradoxical situation in which I cannot solve a problem because of contradictory constraints and rules '-- a veritable catch-22. I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.

Despite numerous public comments on the CIA's drone attacks in far-flung locales such as Yemen from various government officials, including former CIA Director Leon Panetta, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, the government is taking the position in court that it would have to eliminate you with one of its drones if it explained the legal basis of the program.

In 2011, Obama acknowledged particular CIA drone strikes at a Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony. Within hours of the CIA drone strike that killed U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen, the president publicly lauded the move as ''another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates'' and then acknowledged the U.S. government's role, stating that ''this success is a tribute to our intelligence community.''

The authorities have conceded, however, that a Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel opinion addresses the issue, but maintain that it does not have to be made public. ''It is beyond the power of this court to conclude that a document has been improperly classified,'' the judge wrote.

Politico's Josh Gerstein, who first reported the opinion, notes that such a statement by the judge is false, and that in ''very rare cases'' judges ''have done so.''

Meanwhile, survivors of three Americans killed in 2011 by targeted drone attacks in Yemen, including survivors of al-Awlaki, have sued top-ranking members of the United States government, alleging they illegally killed the three, including a 16-year-old boy, in violation of international human rights law and the U.S. Constitution.

The case directly challenges the government's decision to kill Americans without judicial scrutiny.

The suit (.pdf) is being litigated by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU. It seeks unspecified damages and maintains the drone attacks have killed thousands, including hundreds of innocent bystanders overseas. (Other estimates of the campaign come to widely different conclusions.)

The suit, the first of its kind, alleges the United States was not engaged in an armed conflict with or within Yemen '-- prohibiting the use of lethal force unless ''at the time it is applied, lethal force is a last resort to protect against a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury.''

U.S. Drone Strike Kills a Top Pakistani Militant - NYTimes.com

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:37

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan '-- An American drone strike killed a top Pakistani militant commander in a northwestern tribal region, security officials said on Thursday. The death of Maulvi Nazir was seen as a serious blow to Taliban fighters who attack United States and allied forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

The drone strike took place Wednesday night and targeted Mr. Nazir's vehicle in the Angoor Adda area in South Waziristan. Five other people were also killed, including one of his key aides, officials said.

''He has been killed. It is confirmed,'' said a senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''The vehicle he was traveling in was hit.

Mr. Nazir was traveling from Birmal to Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, when his vehicle was struck by the drone.

In a separate drone strike in North Waziristan on Thursday morning, at least four people were killed when a vehicle was targeted. The identities of those killed were not immediately known.

Mr. Nazir, believed to be in his 30s, was based in the western part of the South Waziristan tribal region. He led the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe and his loyalists regularly joined attacks on American forces across the porous border with Afghanistan. Unlike other Taliban factions, Mr. Nazir's fighters did not attack Pakistani military or government targets, instead focusing on the war inside Afghanistan. He was believed to have signed a peace pact with the Pakistani military.

Mr. Nazir was allied with Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a leading warlord in North Waziristan. The nonconfrontational posture of the two commanders toward the Pakistani military often led to them being labeled here as ''good Taliban.''

Asad Munir, a former Pakistan Army brigadier and the intelligence chief in Peshawar, said the killing of Mr. Nazir could lead to a spurt in violence.

''A dangerous scenario for Pakistani military would be joining of hands of Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazir supporters with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.''

Mr. Munir said the area controlled by Mr. Nazir's forces had been ''relatively peaceful'' but his death increased the chances of attacks on military targets. Mr. Nazir had survived two earlier drone strikes. In November, he survived a suicide attack, which was blamed on Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistani, or T.T.P., the Pakistani Taliban who conduct attacks inside Pakistan. Following the suicide attack, he expelled rival Mehsud tribesmen from territory controlled by his fighters.

Mr. Nazir also opposed the presence of Uzbek fighters inside Pakistan and, with the help of the Pakistani military, pushed Uzbeks out of his region several years ago.

Some analysts said that militants like Mr. Nazir could be troublesome for the Pakistani military once the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan begins in 2014.

''Maulvi Nazir would probably have posed a problem for the Pakistan Army if and when a political settlement is reached in Afghanistan in 2014. But in the interim, the killing of Nazir and his deputies likely hurts the Pakistan Army's efforts against the T.T.P. in South Waziristan,'' said Arif Rafiq, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute, based in Washington.

"Nazir would probably have wanted to hold on to his local jihadist fiefdom, making him a long-term threat for the Pakistani state,'' said Mr. Rafiq.

The suspicion that the Pakistani military gave a nod to Mr. Nazir's killing could result in attacks on Pakistani troops in some areas in South Waziristan, analysts said.

Pakistani officials publicly denounce American drone strikes but have privately acknowledged the effectiveness of the campaign.

Ismail Khan reported from Peshawar, Pakistan.

The Kill List: The Kill List

EQ Machine

U.S. and New Zealand secretly tested 'tsunami bombs' designed to trigger tidal waves and destroy coastal cities | Mail Online

Link to Article

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 18:45

Countries carried out covert tests of a device designed to use underwater explosions to trigger massive tidal wavesTesting saw almost 4,000 bombs detonated in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World WarDetails of top secret Project Seal unearthed in military files in New Zealand's national archives by an author researching a new bookBy Kerry Mcdermott

PUBLISHED: 07:36 EST, 2 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:25 EST, 2 January 2013

The U.S. and New Zealand collaborated on a top-secret plan to develop a 'tsunami bomb' capable of devastating coastal cities, it has emerged.

The countries carried out covert tests of the potential weapon of mass destruction - designed to use underwater explosions to trigger huge tidal waves - in waters around Auckland and the Pacific island of New Caledonia during the Second World War.

Details of the secretive operation, code-named Project Seal, were discovered in military files buried in New Zealand's national archives by author and film-maker Ray Waru.

'Absolutely astonishing': Author Ray Waru discovered details of Project Seal while trawling through New Zealand's national archives

Mr Waru, who came across the files while carrying out research for his new book, described the evidence of the plot to create a possible rival to the nuclear bomb as 'absolutely astonishing'.

The files revealed how around 3,700 bombs were exploded during testing, which was launched in June 1944, and indicated that the weapon was feasible.

The tests also revealed a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially result in a 33ft tsunami that would wreak havoc on a coastal city, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Waru said: 'It was absolutely astonishing. First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami... and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked.'

'Tsunami bomb': The plan was to develop a device capable of devastating coastal cities by using underwater explosions to trigger huge tidal waves

He explained that while initial testing was positive, Project Seal was shelved in early 1945.

Experts concluded it would be necessary to arrange around two million kilograms of explosives about five miles from a shoreline in order to create a successful tsunami bomb.

Details of the shadowy project are included in Mr Waru's new book Secrets and Treasures, which also incorporates other bizarre findings from his trawl through New Zealand's national archives.

As well as Project Seal, Mr Waru discovered Defence Department records detailing thousands of UFO sightings.

Members of the public, military personnel and pilots were among those who reported seeing moving lights in the skies over New Zealand.

'Tsunami bomb' tested off New Zealand coast - Telegraph

Link to Article

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 10:04

The top secret operation, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests, first in New Caledonia and later at Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland.

"It was absolutely astonishing. First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami ... and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked." The project was launched in June 1944 after a US naval officer, E A Gibson, noticed that blasting operations to clear coral reefs around Pacific islands sometimes produced a large wave, raising the possibility of creating a "tsunami bomb".

Mr Waru said the initial testing was positive but the project was eventually shelved in early 1945, though New Zealand authorities continued to produce reports on the experiments into the 1950s. Experts concluded that single explosions were not powerful enough and a successful tsunami bomb would require about 2 million kilograms of explosive arrayed in a line about five miles from shore.

"If you put it in a James Bond movie it would be viewed as fantasy but it was a real thing," he said.

"I only came across it because they were still vetting the report, so there it was sitting on somebody's desk [in the archives]."

Forty years after the joint testing, New Zealand faced a dramatic breakdown in its security ties with the US after it banned the entry of nuclear-armed ships from entering its territory during the 1980s. The dispute led to the US downgrading its relationship with New Zealand from an "ally" to a "friend".

In his new book Secrets and Treasures, Mr Waru reveals other unusual findings from the archives including Defence Department records of thousands of UFO sightings by members of the public, military personnel and commercial pilots.

Some of the accounts of the moving lights in the sky include drawings of flying saucers, descriptions of aliens wearing "pharaoh masks" and alleged examples of extraterrestrial writing.

Ministry of Truth

Al Jazeera Seeks a U.S. Voice Where Gore Failed

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:31

9:16 p.m. | Updated Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister.

It just bought itself 40 million more chances to make its case.

Al Jazeera on Wednesday announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. Al Jazeera plans to shut Current and start an English-language channel, which will be available in more than 40 million homes, with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar.

For Al Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar, the acquisition is a coming of age moment. A decade ago, Al Jazeera's flagship Arabic-language channel was reviled by American politicians for showing videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers. Now the news operation is buying an American channel, having convinced Mr. Gore and the other owners of Current that it has the journalistic muscle and the money to compete head-to-head with CNN and other news channels in the United States.

Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But the deal was not signed until Wednesday.

A spokesman for Al Jazeera said that antitrust regulators had not expressed any objections to the deal.

Going forward, the challenge will be persuading Americans to watch '-- an extremely tough proposition given the crowded television marketplace and the stereotypes about the channel that persist to this day.

''There are still people who will not watch it, who will say that it's a 'terrorist network,' '' said Philip Seib, the author of ''The Al Jazeera Effect.'' ''Al Jazeera has to override that by providing quality news.''

With a handful of exceptions (including New York City and Washington), American cable and satellite distributors have mostly refused to carry Al Jazeera English since its inception in 2006. While the television sets of White House officials and lawmakers were tuned to the channel during the Arab Spring in 2011, ordinary Americans who wanted to watch had to find a live stream on the Internet.

To change that, Al Jazeera lobbied distributors and asked supporters to write letters to the distributors '-- but accomplished next to nothing.

Some activists accused distributors like Comcast and DirecTV of blacklisting a channel that is widely respected elsewhere in the world. But the distributors said there was scant evidence that many American viewers wanted to watch.

Current, similarly, has suffered from paltry ratings. ''Nobody's watching,'' one of the channel's prime-time hosts, Eliot Spitzer, quipped to a reporter last month.

Current was conceived in 2005 after Mr. Gore and another co-founder, Joel Hyatt, bought the small cable news channel Newsworld International. After several years in obscurity showing viewer-submitted videos and documentaries, Current tacked to the left in 2011 with the hiring of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. A year later, Mr. Olbermann was fired, but a channel made in his image remained, with Mr. Spitzer, Jennifer Granholm and other liberal pundits as hosts. But on a typical night last year, just 42,000 people watched their shows, according to Nielsen.

By selling Current, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt are giving up their vision for an alternative to MSNBC, which has much higher-rated liberal hosts.

On Wednesday, Mr. Hyatt praised Al Jazeera for ''bringing large-scale resources to journalism '-- something which we have not been able to do.'' In a letter to Current employees, some of whom are expected to lose their jobs, he said he and Mr. Gore would join the advisory board of the newly rebranded channel.

''We look forward to helping build an important news network,'' Mr. Hyatt wrote.

Rather than simply use Current to distribute its existing English-language channel, Al Jazeera said it plans to create a channel based in New York. Tentatively titled Al Jazeera America, roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the United States, while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.

Al Jazeera, which has bureaus in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, intends to open several more in other American cities.

''There's a major hole right now that Al Jazeera can fill. And that is providing an alternative viewpoint to domestic news, which is very parochial,'' said Cathy Rasenberger, a cable consultant who has worked with Al Jazeera on distribution issues in the past. However, she warned, ''there is a limited amount of interest in international news in the United States.''

And others are trying to elbow their way in. News channels financed by Britain, China and Russia are especially hungry for American cable deals. To date, the BBC has had the most success; its BBC World News channel is now available in about 25 million homes thanks to a deal struck last month with Time Warner Cable.

But the takeover of Current brings Al Jazeera to the front of the line. In recent weeks, Mr. Gore personally lobbied the distributors that carry Current on the importance of Al Jazeera, according to people briefed on the talks who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Distributors can sometimes wiggle out of their carriage deals when channels change hands. Most consented to the sale, but Time Warner Cable did not, Mr. Hyatt told employees.

Time Warner Cable had previously warned that it might drop Current because of its low ratings. It took advantage of a change-in-ownership clause and said in a terse statement Wednesday night, ''We are removing the service as quickly as possible.''

Goracle: We Sold Current TV To Al Jazeera Because Obama-Supporter Colin Powell Watches It'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:30

Or something.

Of course it had nothing to do with the channel being a flop and now Gore stands to make $100 million from what should have been a total loss.

Via WFB:

Al Gore's Current TV confirmed Wednesday evening that it has been sold to Al Jazeera for an estimated $400 to $500 million, with the former vice president set to pocket $100 million from the sale.

In an email sent to Current TV's staff, co-founder and former chief executive officer Joel Hyatt describes the selling process he and co-founder Al Gore went through in considering sale to Al Jazeera, acknowledging Current TV was a failed model.

Hyatt points to the Al Jazeera's many accomplishments, including its global reach and for being the ''only news network'' that Obama-supporter Colin Powell watches, as factors in their decision.

The announcement makes clear that Al Jazeera plans to create a new international news network for an American audience called ''Al Jazeera America.''

Hyatt reminds his staff that the Qatari government funds Al Jazeera in the announcement, but fails to mention that the news network is considered by some a political and diplomatic tool for the oil-rich monarchy. Drivers in Qatar currently pay about $1 per gallon at the pump, due to massive oil subsidies handed down by the government.

Keep reading'...

Gore Pockets Estimated $100M on TV Sale to Oil-Backed Al Jazeera | Washington Free Beacon

Al Gore Ducks Obama Taxes In $500 Million Sale To Radical Islamic Network

Link to Article

Source: The Ulsterman Report

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:38

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AED's

The Shocking Truth About Defibrillators - IEEE Spectrum

Laws on Cardiac Arrest and Defibrillators (AEDs)

Each year, more than 250,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest. -According to medical experts, the key to survival is timely initiation of a "chain of survival", including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). -Because of recent technological advances-a portable lifesaving device, called an "automated external defibrillator" or "AED" has recently become an important medical tool.--Trained non-medical personnel can use these simplified electronic machines to treat a person in cardiac arrest. The AED device "guides the user through the process by audible or visual prompts without requiring any discretion or judgment."1 The American Heart Association notes that at least 20,000 lives could be saved annually by prompt use of AEDs. Ultimately, with broad deployment of AEDs among trained responders, as many as 50,000 deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest could be prevented each year.-

-

Advocates of this approach envision placement of AEDs in public buildings, transportation centers and even large offices and apartment buildings.-- Meanwhile, the commercial market has expanded substantially, with machines that once sold for $3,000 and up-now advertised at under $1,000 for small office, personal or home use.

State Legislators have become actively involved with this issue in the past-six years.- Most commonly, the recent state laws encourage broader availability, rather than creating new regulatory restrictions. Most of the bills enacted from 1997 to 2001 included one or more provisions to:

automated external defibrillator

-

Establish legislative intent that an "automatic external defibrillator may be used by any person for the purpose of saving the life of another person in cardiac arrest."

Encourage or require training in the use of AED devices by potential users.

Require AED devices to be maintained and tested to manufacturer's standards.

Create a registry of the location of all such defibrillators, or notification of a local emergency medical authority.

Allow a "Good Samaritan" exemption from liability for any individual who renders emergency treatment with a defibrillator.

Authorize a state agency to establish more detailed requirements for training and registration.

FDA: External Defibrillators

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Companies

To establish a grant program for automated external defibrillators in schools. (H.R. 6714) - GovTrack.us

Congresswoman Laura Richardson

Congresswoman Laura Richardson Introduces the "Breath of Fresh Air Act" to Provide Elementary and Secondary Schools with Nebulizers

WASHINGTON D.C.--Today Congresswoman Laura Richardson introduced the Breath of Fresh Air Act. This legislation will establish a grant program to make funds available to local school districts to purchase nebulizers.

A nebulizer is an extremely effective and easy-to-use medical device used to treat asthma attacks. It delivers the medicine in the form of a mist directly to the person's lungs and is the best remedy for young children who may not cooperate in their time of distress. This bill authorizes funding to purchase nebulizers as well as to provide training to school personnel who volunteer to administer the nebulizers.

HR 436 - Repeals Excise Tax on Medical Devices - Key Vote - Project Vote Smart

Repeals the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices previously imposed on manufactures, producers and importers (Sec. 2).

Repeals the limitation on reimbursing expenses for over-the-counter drugs that is under the following accounts or arrangements, effective for expenses incurred after December 31, 2012 (Sec. 3):

Health Savings Accounts;

Archer Medical Savings Accounts;

Health Flexible Spending Arrangements; and

Health Reimbursement Arrangements.

Laura Richardson: Campaign Finance/Money - Top Donors - Representative 2012 | OpenSecrets

Laura Richardson: Campaign Finance/Money - Industries - Representative 2012 | OpenSecrets

EPI-Pens!

War on Ammo

Port Arthur massacre (Australia) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia from producer steveG

Let's Give Up on the Constitution - NYTimes.com

Link to Article

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 08:44

Connect With Us on TwitterFor Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow @andyrNYT.

AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.

Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation's fate?

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official '-- say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress '-- reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.

No sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. Thomas Jefferson thought every constitution should expire after a single generation. He believed the most consequential act of his presidency '-- the purchase of the Louisiana Territory '-- exceeded his constitutional powers.

Before the Civil War, abolitionists like Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison conceded that the Constitution protected slavery, but denounced it as a pact with the devil that should be ignored. When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation '-- 150 years ago tomorrow '-- he justified it as a military necessity under his power as commander in chief. Eventually, though, he embraced the freeing of slaves as a central war aim, though nearly everyone conceded that the federal government lacked the constitutional power to disrupt slavery where it already existed. Moreover, when the law finally caught up with the facts on the ground through passage of the 13th Amendment, ratification was achieved in a manner at odds with constitutional requirements. (The Southern states were denied representation in Congress on the theory that they had left the Union, yet their reconstructed legislatures later provided the crucial votes to ratify the amendment.)

In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to the document, but as a statement of aspirations rather than obligations. This reading no doubt contributed to his willingness to extend federal power beyond anything the framers imagined, and to threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in the way of his New Deal legislation. In 1954, when the court decided Brown v. Board of Education, Justice Robert H. Jackson said he was voting for it as a moral and political necessity although he thought it had no basis in the Constitution. The list goes on and on.

Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, is the author of the forthcoming book ''On Constitutional Disobedience.''

Sandy Hook

Police To Re-Create Scene Outside Sandy Hook School - Courant.com

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:29

State police are considering partially re-creating the scene outside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14 as the first police officers responded to the mass shooting to try and answer a nagging question: Did Adam Lanza fire at police officers?

Police are discussing bringing back some of the cars that were in the school lot as the first Newtown officers and state police troopers arrived following 911 calls that was a shooter was on the loose. The cars will be placed exactly where they parked that morning as will the police cruisers of the first responders. The plan is to receate the scene in the coming week.

Police have found numerous bullets outside the school that hit at least three cars, including the one owned by Lauren Rousseau, who was killed by Lanza in her classroom along with 14 of her students and a special-education aide. The three cars that were hit, belonging to Sandy Hook staffers, were near where at least one of the first group of officers parked before running into the school, sources said.

First responders said they could hear gunshots when they arrived, meaning Lanza was still firing. It was only after they entered the building that the shooting stopped and police discovered that Lanza, 20, had killed himself with a pistol, but not before killing 26 others in the school, including 20 first-graders, with a Bushmaster .223 rifle.

Sources said the bullets that hit cars outside probably were fired from teacher Victoria Soto's room. That was the second room Lanza entered as he firing at teachers and students. Soto and her aide, Mary Ann Murphy, were killed there, as were six students. Six other children escaped because, police believe, Lanza stopped firing briefly either because his gun jammed or he had trouble reloading his gun. Seven other students survived because Soto hid them in a closet.

Investigators are trying to determine if the bullets fired into the parking lot were strays as Lanza fired in Soto's classroom or if he saw officers arriving and fired through the window at them. Investigators have done trajectory work in the classroom but now want to line up the police cars and see if it is possible some of the bullets were aimed at them.

No cruisers were hit and none of the officers interviewed so far has indicated that they were shot at. But several of the officers involved in the initial response have not been interviewed yet because they are still traumatized and they may not have realized they were being shot at as they ran towards the school.

It is unclear if those officers will be able to return to the parking lot to recreate the scene outside the building. Police have photographs from the day of the shooting to help them put the cars back in the right spots.

The partial re-creation will likely be one of the last things state police do at the school before wrapping up that part of the investigation. There are no plans to recreate what happened inside the school or to interview any of the students who survived, police say.

State police walled off the roughly 200 square-foot crime scene from the rest of the school. They have spent considerable time attempting to find all of the bullets that Lanza fired.

Lanza started his shooting spree by killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Yogananda Court home in Newtown. He shot her four times in the head with a .22 rifle that he left in the house.

Lanza also left a shotgun capable of firing up to 20 rounds in the trunk of the Honda that he drove to the elementary school. Police believe that Lanza, who barely weighed 110 pounds, couldn't carry the shotgun into the school because of all the other guns and ammunition he had.

Connecticut School Shooting: Gunman Adam Lanza's remains claimed for burial - Crimesider - CBS News

Link to Article

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:54

A U.S. flag displaying the name of the 26 victims killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School stands at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 20, 2012

/AP Photo/Julio Cortez(CBS/AP) HARTFORD, Conn. - The body of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old gunman who killed 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school, has been claimed for burial, anonymously.

PICTURES: Conn. elementary school shootingPICTURES: Mass shootings in 2012

Connecticut Medical Examiner Wayne H. Carver II told the Hartford Courant that Lanza's remains were claimed several days ago by someone who wanted to remain anonymous.

Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. He also killed his mother in their Newtown home before going on the rampage and then later committing suicide. Police have not offered a motive for the killings.

A private funeral was held earlier this month in New Hampshire for his mother, Nancy Lanza.

Complete coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre

Maryland Elementary School Suspends 6-Year-Old Boy Who Pointed Finger, Said ''Pow'''...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 15:26

It's come to this.

Via Washington Examiner:

A Montgomery County elementary school student was suspended for a pretend gunshot a week after Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The 6-year-old, who attends Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, made a gun with his hands, pointed it at another student and said ''pow,'' according to Robin Ficker, the boy's attorney. He was given a one-day suspension, with a conference on the matter planned for Jan. 2, the day students return to school from winter break.

''What they're doing is looking at the worst possible interpretation of a young, naive 6-year-old,'' Ficker said. ''This is a little child who can't form the intent to do anything like that.''

According to a letter sent by Assistant Principal Renee Garraway to the child's parents, this was not the first time something like this had happened.

''Your son '... was involved in a serious incident,'' Garraway wrote. ''[He] threatened to shoot a student. He was spoken to earlier today about a similar incident.''

Keep reading'...

HT: DRUDGE

High School Student Arrested for Doodling?

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 00:54

Police were called when a 16-year-old made no threats but drew what may or may not have been weapons in a notebook.

December 29, 2012 |

Photo Credit: (C) Palo_ok/Shutterstock.com

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This month in our Orwellian nightmares come true, a 16-year-old high schooler in Egg Harbor City, NJ, was arrested after doodling in his notebook what may have been either weapons or a magic hand with flames coming off it, or perhaps something else.

Concerned by the boy's notebook, a Cedar Creek High School staff member called the local police, who searched the school and the teen's home with sniffer dogs. When police found chemicals in the house which, when combined '-- although they were not combined and are found in many households '-- could be used in an explosive device as well as a number of electronics, the boy was charged with possession of a weapon, an explosive device, and was placed in Harborfields Detention Center before being released and having charges dropped.

The boy's mother explained that her son, who had no history of violence or threat-making, regularly assembled and dissambled electronics as a hobby. ''He takes the parts and he builds things with them,'' she told Fox. ''Good things.'' And as the local police chief affirmed, ''There was no indication he was making a bomb, or using a bomb or detonating a bomb,'' and the boy didn't issue any threats.

Nonetheless, according to a report by Press of Atlantic City, the high school district superintendent, Steve Ciccariello, praised the teacher who called in the boy's doodling. ''I'm thankful that we had a staff member that (saw something that) caused her some concern, and that she had the sense to report it to school officials. These are things that teachers receive training on all the time'' he said.

No doubt, following the massacre in Newtown this month, school communities are on edge. But a world in which acts of sketching are treated as criminal threats promises more horrors still.

Natasha Lennard is Brooklyn-based writer and a project officer for the International News Safety Institute '' North America. Visit INSI-NA's for more information.

NDAA

Obama signs defence bill

Link to Article

Source: ccampeador

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 14:05

Obama had threatened to veto the bill because of a number of concerns. The bill covers the cost of ships, aircraft, weapons and military personnel as well as the war effort in Afghanistan.The president said although he continued to oppose certain sections of the bill, ''the need to renew critical defence and authorities and funding was too great to ignore'', Xinhua reported.

The bill consists of 528 billion dollars for the Defense Department's base budget, 17 billion for defence and nuclear programmes in the Energy Department and 88 billion for overseas contingency operations that covers the war in Afghanistan.

It also contains controversial sections relating to the disputed Diaoyu Islands between China and Japan as well as arms sales to Taiwan.

China has expressed serious concerns and firm opposition to the two sections.

Link'...

http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/ians/news/obama-signs-defence-bill/104063/

Vaccine$

2013 Smart Guide: More people than ever 'mentally ill' - health - 03 January 2013 - New Scientist

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 12:52

Read more: "2013 Smart Guide: 10 ideas that will shape the year"

Mental illness could strike more of us in 2013 than ever before. But don't blame the strain of modern living: changes to diagnostic guidelines mean unprecedented numbers of people could be taking psychoactive drugs.

In May, the American Psychiatric Association will publish the latest edition of its diagnostic manual, known as DSM-5. Changes to the text approved in December mean, for example, that some people grieving after a bereavement could soon be diagnosed with depression. And Asperger's syndrome is to be subsumed into autism spectrum disorder.

That change is likely to decrease the number of children diagnosed with some form of autism, because not all those who might have been diagnosed with Asperger's would meet autism criteria. But overall, critics fear an expansion of the boundaries of mental illness. "The phrase I use is the 'sickening of society'," says Frank Farley of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of the organisers of a petition that tried unsuccessfully to open DSM-5 up to wider scientific review.

Some 20 per cent of US citizens have experienced a diagnosable mental illness in the past year. How this figure will now change is unclear - for the most part the implications for rates of diagnosis haven't been studied.

Allen Frances of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, led the last DSM revision in 1994 and has been a fierce critic of DSM-5. He fears drug companies will scent a marketing opportunity. Already, he says, "antipsychotics are being giving out like candy".

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Rising painkiller addiction shows damage from drugmakers' role in shaping medical opinion - The Washington Post

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:21

Portsmouth, Ohio '-- Over much of the past decade, the official word on OxyContin was that it rarely posed problems of addiction for patients.

The label on the drug, which was approved by the FDA, said the risks of addiction were ''reported to be small.''

The New England Journal of Medicine, the nation's premier medical publication, informed readers that studies indicated that such painkillers pose ''a minimal risk of addiction.''

Another important journal study, which the manufacturer of OxyContin reprinted 10,000 times, indicated that in a trial of arthritis patients, only a handful showed withdrawal symptoms.

Those reassuring claims, which became part of a scientific consensus, have been quietly dropped or called into question in recent years, as many in the medical profession rediscovered the destructive power of opiates. But the damage arising from those misconceptions may have been vast.

The nation is confronting an ongoing epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers '-- more widespread than cocaine or heroin '-- that has left nearly 2 million in its grip, according to federal statistics.

''It turns out that the doctors didn't know what they were talking about,'' said Barbara Howard, whose daughter Leslie, a home-care nurse, died of an overdose in 2009 in this small Appalachian town devastated by the epidemic. She had developed a habit after knee surgery. She left behind a 9-year-old son.

''Leslie trusted the doctors. We thought the doctors knew what was best. But they didn't. We '-- and lots of the other victims '-- had no warning.''

Conflicts of interest

A closer look at the opioid painkiller binge '-- retail prescriptions have roughly tripled in the past 20 years '-- shows that the rising sales and addictions were catalyzed by a massive effort by pharmaceutical companies to shape medical opinion and practice.

Opioids are a class of powerful drugs, often used for pain, that includes morphine, heroin and brand names such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet.

For years, doctors had been cautious about prescribing opioids to anyone except patients with cancer or in acute pain.

But drug manufacturers and some pain specialists helped create a body of scientific research assuaging the long-standing worries about opioids and pushed to expand the use of the drugs in people with chronic pain '-- bad backs, arthritis, sore knees.

Their studies reported minimal risks of addiction and dependence. These, in turn, were accepted by the FDA and the nation's medical journals. State medical boards made their rules for prescribing opioids more liberal. Academic and industry articles dismissed the old fears as ''opiophobia.''

These reports reached doctors through marketing efforts and told them that there were few risks in using opioids to treat chronic pain.

But according to a Washington Post examination of key scientific papers, a court document and FDA records, many of those claims were developed in studies supported by Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, or other drug manufacturers. In addition, the conclusions they reached were sometimes unsupported by the data, and when the FDA was struggling to come up with an opioid policy, it turned to a panel populated by doctors who had financial relationships with Purdue and other drugmakers.

Haiti

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush Haiti Fund Closing

Link to Article

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:52

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti '-- A pro-business fund that was created by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in the aftermath of Haiti's devastating earthquake nearly three years ago will cease operations at the end of this month, an executive for the organization said Friday.

Meg Galloway Pearce, vice president of marketing and communications, told The Associated Press that the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will terminate Dec. 31 because it will have spent all the $54.4 million it raised from businesses, organizations and individuals.

The group will no longer accept donations or proposals.

"We never intended to be an ongoing operation," Pearce said by telephone. "Now that the money is gone, we step back."

The Washington-based fund was formed shortly after the 2010 earthquake at the request of U.S. President Barack Obama, who asked the two former presidents to lead private fundraising efforts '' initially for immediate relief and then for long-term reconstruction projects that sought to create jobs. The goal was to wean Haiti from aid dependency and help develop the country's private sector.

The money was awarded in grants, loans and equity investment and went toward more than 50 private enterprises. Some of the investments involved long-standing development practices such as a microcredit bank or apparel manufacturing. But some of the money went into emerging sectors such as an insurance company, a project that seeks to introduce mortgages to low-income families and a nonprofit group for providing solar energy in a country without enough power.

"Their money has had a direct impact for thousands of kids, allowing them to do their homework, because there's no electricity in the schools," said Jean-Baptiste Certain, the Haiti project manager for the U.S.-based Solar Electric Light Fund. "It also brought fish on the table for eating and selling."

Certain's Solar Electric Light Fund received a $500,000 grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to use photovoltaic cells to power 20 schools and a fish farm in a remote area in the central part of Haiti.

On its website, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund said it created or sustained up to 7,350 jobs and trained as many as 20,050 people.

Still, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund prompted some Haiti observers to wonder why the country needed another international agency to focus on developing private businesses instead of on brick-and-mortar reconstruction or agricultural projects.

"It's unfortunate that the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund didn't support smaller businesses or other priorities, notably agriculture," said Mark Schuller, an anthropology professor at Northern Illinois University.

Pearce and several board members will visit Haiti next week to follow up on the status of projects. They will attend the opening of a high-end hotel called the Royal Oasis, a 10-story building that will include an art gallery, three restaurants, a commercial bank and shops.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund awarded the project a $2 million equity investment, along with $275,000 to the Oasis Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the hotel that seeks to raise the standards of the country's hotel industry by training workers.

Also on HuffPost:

Business Travelers in Haiti Will Have a New Marriott - NYTimes.com

Link to Article

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 13:22

Digicel, the telecommunications giant, and Marriott International recently broke ground on a $45 million hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that is to open in early 2015.

The 175-room hotel is a milestone for both companies: it is Marriott's first in Haiti and Digicel's first foray into tourism. Since the 2010 earthquake, Digicel, the country's largest employer, has spearheaded efforts to attract foreign investors. After realizing that there was a shortage of suitable accommodations for them, the company reached out to Marriott to build a business travelers' hotel with conference rooms and a ballroom that can seat 380 people.

''We are always encouraging people to look at the opportunity that Haiti presents from an investment point of view,'' said Colm Delves, Digicel's chief executive. ''Not only will this be a solution to the accommodation issues in the city, it will also create jobs.''

Mr. Delves added that the hotel would also have a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, to appeal to leisure visitors, too.

A version of this article appeared in print on 12/30/2012, on page TR2 of the SundayAdvance edition with the headline: Business Travelers in Haiti Will Have a New Marriott.

Gold!

Goudprijs stijgt voor 12de jaar op rij

Link to Article

Source: ZapLog

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 14:03

De goudprijs is in 2012 voor het 12de jaar op rij gestegen. Gemiddeld kostte een troy ounce goud vorig jaar op de Comex in New York 1670,71 dollar, ook al werd sinds 1 september een verlies van 6% opgetekend. Dat was het grootste verlies op kwartaalbasis sinds 2004.

Het is van minstens 1920 geleden dat de goudprijs nog 12 jaar op rij duurder kon worden. Op jaarbasis werd een stijging met 7% opgetekend. De Standard & Poor's GSCI, bestaande uit 24 commodities steeg met 0,30%, terwijl de MSCI All-Country World Index 13% hoger afsloot.

Ook de andere edelmetalen maakten een goede beurt. Tussen 1 januari en 31 december steeg de platinaprijs met 9,80% en daarmee was platina met kleine voorsprong de beste presteerder. Palladium liet een stijging met 7,20% optekenen, de zilverprijs steeg met 8,30%.

Annotaties:

EUROLand

France, Belgium pump fresh capital into Dexia bank

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 00:54

(PARIS) - Belgium and France have subscribed to a 5.5 billion euro injection of capital to bail out the Dexia bank, in line with a restructuring plan approved by the European Commission last week, a statement said Monday.

"In accordance with their undertaking, the Belgian and French states have today subscribed to the Dexia SA capital increase," the bank said.

"The Belgian state subscribed to 15,342,105,203 and the French state to 13,605,263,158 new preference shares in Dexia SA, thus bringing their holdings in the capital of Dexia SA to 50.02% and 44.40% respectively."

The European Commission said the plan would wind up the core banking business while the remaining assets -- a development agency in France and the Belfius unit in Belgium -- would be put on a sound base.

The plan, drawn up by major shareholders Belgium and France, along with Luxembourg, includes state guarantees worth 85 billion euros ($110 billion).

In early November, France and Belgium agreed to inject 5.5 billion euros of fresh capital into Dexia to keep it afloat during its restructuring after the bank had to be bailed out first in 2008 and then again in 2011.

Dexia bank operated a retail business in Belgium but its core business was financing public bodies and local authorities in France and Belgium, but the global financial crisis found it over-extended and unable to raise funding.

France, Belgium and Luxembourg -- which held a small stake -- decided to break up Dexia in 2011 after it sought its second bailout.

In its last results, for the third quarter, Dexia suffered a net loss of 1.2 billion euros, leaving it with negative shareholder funds, meaning it had no more capital.

Text and Picture Copyright 2012 AFP. All other Copyright 2012 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.

Shut Up Slave!

U.S. Census Bureau: FAQs

Do I have to respond to the American Community Survey (ACS)?

The ACS is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Sections 141 and 193, and response is required by law.- According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100.- Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amend Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000.

Yes. Responding to the American Community Survey (ACS) is about helping national, tribal, state and local officials make informed decisions with timely and accurate data. Just as people are required to respond to jury duty, get a driver's license in order to drive, pay their taxes and report their income, they also have the obligation to respond to decennial census surveys.

Facebook eliminated potential 'webcam spying' hack this summer | News | TechRadar

Link to Article

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 13:18

A Facebook security vulnerability, which could have been exploited to activate a user's webcam and record them without their knowledge, was closed off this summer, it has been revealed.

Facebook paid Indian research firm XY Security a $2,500 (UK£1,546, AUD$2,409) "bounty" in July for discovering the issue and drawing the bug to its attention, the social network has confirmed.

The flaw, which Facebook said had never exploited by a potential 'Peeping Tom', could, conceivably have troubled users who had already agreed to give Facebook permission to access the camera.

Beyond that the user would have to be 'tricked' into visiting a malicious page, then agree to activate the camera - allowing the spy/pervert to begin recording.

Five times the going rateFacebook must have felt the threat was serious at it paid five times its usual rate to the two researchers who reported the flaw.

"This vulnerability, like many others we provide a bounty for, was only theoretical, and we have seen no evidence that it has been exploited in the wild," Facebook spokesperson Josh Wolens told Bloomberg.

"Essentially, several things would need to go wrong - a user would need to be tricked into visiting a malicious page and clicking to activate their camera, and then after some time period, tricked into clicking again to stop/publish the video."

Facebook is one of many Silicon Valley heavyweights (other notables being Google and Mozilla) who offer 'bug bounties', paying out millions to researchers who spot flaws and potential dangers.

Via Bloomberg

BEST PLACES TO BE BORN; AND RETIRE

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:28

Spain: Number 28The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has attempted to measure "which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life" in 2013 and the years ahead.

The top countries all have small populations, and a relatively small gap between rich and poor: Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark...

"According to new research, retired couples can live on a budget of less than $1,000 (£612) a month if they are willing to look overseas.

"With over 40.3 million people aged 65 and older in the U.S. and over 10 million people in the UK, some of the options across the world may seem more preferable than the rising retirement costs at home."

In praise of Vallaud-Belkacem, or why not to tolerate hate speech on Twitter | Jason Farago | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Link to Article

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 15:06

Minister for women's rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem leans to listen to France's prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, last month in the National Assembly in Paris. Photograph: Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

If you're looking to diminish your faith in the future of humanity, a good place to start is always the left rail of Twitter's website, whose list of "trending topics" details the most popular inanities of the day. But in France, this December, the Justin Bieber hashtags dropped down the hit parade and a much more sinister one topped the charts. If you clicked #SiMonFilsEstGay ("If my son is gay"), which trended for days, you could see thousands upon thousands of violently homophobic messages '' suggesting that young people who come out should be imprisoned, castrated, murdered '... you name it.

And that was not the only hateful hashtag of the month. There was also #SiMaFilleRam¬neUnNoir ("If my daughter brings a black man home"), which brought together juvenile humor and appalling racism. Earlier in the month came #UnBonJuif ("A good Jew"), whose violent antisemitism seemed to revolve around cooking jokes; and if that was too subtle for you, there was also #UnJuifMort ("A dead Jew").

This whole vile outpouring may just be par for the course in the wilds of social media. But in France, hateful statements like this are more than contemptible. They're illegal '' and the government noticed.

"These statements are prohibited by law," wrote Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the women's rights minister, in an op-ed this weekend. "And those who make them are not less punishable and less likely to appear in court because they appear online."

To an American ear that may sound chilling, but it sounds quite different on the other side of the Atlantic. Like every other country in the European Union, France has a law that criminalizes incitement to hatred based on race or religion. (Think of John Galliano, the fashion designer, who was convicted of "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" after drunkenly ranting about his love for Hitler.)

Homophobic hate speech is also illegal in France and 11 other EU nations. So whether or not anyone is prosecuted, making the point that hateful tweets are illegal is not an extraordinary step.

But Vallaud-Belkacem '' one of the most highly visible ministers in France, the closest thing the French government has to a media darling '' went further that that. She doesn't just want to punish individual tweeters after the fact; she wants to reform the whole system by which Twitter operates:

"At a moment when the government is putting in place an action plan against violence and discrimination committed for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity, I want '... to call upon Twitter's sense of responsibility, so that it can contribute to the prevention and the avoidance of misbehavior like this. I want us to be able to work together, along with the most important associated agencies, to put in place alerts and security measures that will ensure that the unfortunate events that we have witnessed in recent weeks will not occur again."

To that end, writes Vallaud-Belkacem, she wants Twitter to take steps to help prosecute hate speech, in line with laws already on the books. So long as they all respect universal human rights, she argues, each country has the privilege to strike its own balance between "free expression and the protection of human dignity". And Twitter, an international corporation, has to abide by each country's practices, rather than impose one on all.

As the minister observes, Twitter already has the capability to "remove manifestly illegal tweets, or at least to make them inaccessible so that the harm they have already caused to gay people does not continue." And indeed, Twitter recently did this on the other side of the Rhine. In October, the company censored the account of a neo-Nazi group after the German police informed Twitter that the organization was outlawed. If you visit the group's account from an American IP address, all its repulsive content is still there '' but in Germany, you'll see a gray box and a statement that its content is illegal in that country.

Scary stuff for an American. Here, we're taught from an early age to be absolutist in our defense of free speech. But increasingly, the first amendment of the US constitution is looking a lot like the second amendment: an American exception so broad and so holy that it prevents us even from thinking about how to prevent harm.

The EU, Canada, Australia, and almost every other mature democracy recognize that words can be a weapon. But we don't regulate weapons of any variety in this country, and our kneejerk response to even the slightest intimation of limits to speech is a Voltaire-style refusal even to consider them. A few years ago, the late Christopher Hitchens melodramatically shouted "Fire!" in none-too-crowded theater, to demonstrate that even those few exceptions Americans admit to freedom of expression can be done away with.

If only this were still the 18th century! We can't delude ourselves any longer that free speech is the privilege of pure citizens in some perfect Enlightenment salon, where all sides of an argument are heard and the most noble view will naturally rise to the top. Speech now takes place in a digital mixing chamber, in which the most outrageous messages are instantly amplified, with sometimes violent effects.

When an incitement to hatred, such as the pathetic "Innocence of Muslims" film of this past autumn, appears on our screens, our first reaction is not to make response films praising religious pluralism. It's to reproduce it, virally and endlessly.

We keep thinking that the solution to bad speech is more speech. But even in the widest and most robust network, common sense and liberal-democratic moderation are not going to win the day, and it's foolhardy to imagine that, say, homophobic tweets are best mitigated with gay-friendly ones.

Digital speech is new territory, and it calls for fresh thinking, not the mindless reapplication of centuries-out-of-date principles that equate a smartphone to a Gutenberg press. As Vallaud-Belkacem notes, homophobic violence '' "verbal and otherwise" '' is the No1 cause of suicide among French teenagers. In the face of an epidemic like that, free speech absolutism rings a little hollow, and keeping a hateful hashtag from popping up is not exactly the same as book-burning.

What we face are two different and equally important questions. First, should hate speech be prosecuted when it appears online? And second, should Twitter filter access to that speech if it's already been deemed illegal?

I'd answer the first question in the affirmative. The second question is much more hazardous, and I don't pretend it's easy to answer. There will always be a need to balance the right to free expression against the imperative to prevent harm; the only way to get the balance right is to think very hard about who we are and what we care about.

One thing, however, is clear: the responsibility for answering that question must fall on us, on democratic citizens, and not on a private corporation. Our laws do not have to catch up with their business models. Free speech and protecting the vulnerable are among the toughest questions any democracy has to face '' which makes it all the more dismaying that otherwise liberal folks defend the rights of tech companies to behave however they please.

It's up to us, not them, to decide how we want to live in common. We mustn't buy into the damaging fiction that technology deprives us of the freedom to make those rules for ourselves.

Follow the Pipes

Myanmar says jets used against Kachin rebels

Link to Article

Source: Reuters: World News

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 13:46

Smoke is seen rising from a mountain in Kachin state in this still image taken from a video dated December 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Courtesy of Democratic Voice of Burma/Handout

By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON | Thu Jan 3, 2013 6:38am EST

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's military has used jets to attacks rebel fighters in northern Kachin state, the government said on Thursday, its first admission of an intensification of a conflict that has raised doubts about its reformist credentials.

Rebel sources have reported aerial bombings, shelling and even the use of chemical weapons since December 28 after the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ignored an ultimatum to stop blocking an army supply route in the hilly, resource-rich state where more than 50,000 people have been displaced.

Official newspapers said that air support was used on December 30 to thwart KIA fighters who had occupied a hill and were attacking logistics units of the Tatmadaw, as Myanmar's military is known.

"The Tatmadaw troops cleared Point-771 hill and its surrounding areas where the KIA troops were attacking the Tatmadaw logistic troops," the New Light of Myanmar, a government mouthpiece, said. "The air cover was used in the attack."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern on Wednesday over reports of helicopters and fighter jets being used in the state bordering China. The KIA said the attacks were intended to clear the path for an assault on its headquarters in Laisa.

Ban called on Myanmar's government to "desist from any action that could endanger the lives of civilians" and reiterated demands for humanitarian aid groups to be granted access, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement.

President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian administration insists it wants a ceasefire and political dialogue. It says troops have acted only in self-defense and on Thursday denied having plans to seize the KIA's stronghold.

DOMINANT MILITARY

The escalation of fighting has raised doubts about the sincerity of the reformist ex-generals running the government and the extent of their power in a country the size of Britain and France plagued by decades of internal conflict.

Some analysts and diplomats say central government is either not fully committed to peace with the KIA or unable to assert control over the military, which still dominates politics and the economy despite formally ceding power in March 2011.

Colonel James Lum Dau, a Thai-based spokesman for the KIA's political wing, said Kachin officials on the ground had reported up to 300 people killed in air strikes.

"We are in a defensive position. Right now more people are suffering not only bombings, but shelling and spraying of chemical weapons with helicopter gunships and jets," he said. "Only god knows what to do. We are praying."

It is difficult for journalists to independently verify accounts from the two sides.

Fighting erupted in Kachin in June 2010, ending a 17-year truce, and has continued even as government negotiators have agreed ceasefires elsewhere with ethnic Shan, Chin, Mon and Karen militias after decades of fighting in border areas.

Mistrust runs deep between the military and the KIA, which was once backed by China, and multiple rounds of talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire have gone nowhere. Analysts say a history of bad blood and a battle for control of resources, including highly lucrative jade, could be stoking the unrest.

Zaw Htay, a senior official in Thein Sein's office, told Reuters no air strikes had taken place but K-8 trainer jets had provided cover fire to protect ground troops from rebel attacks. The military, he said, had no intention of seizing the KIA's headquarters.

"The president has said this and at the same time he has invited KIA leaders to come and talk with him in Naypyitaw, but they still haven't responded," Zaw Htay said.

(Additional reporting by Paul Carsten in Bangkok; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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Monsantooo

FDA Approval For Genetically Modified Salmon That Grow Super Fast | Singularity Hub

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:26

One particular genetically modified salmon is on the verge of successfully navigating the treacherous regulatory waters of the FDA. The agency just issued a draft environmental assessment of the genetically engineered salmon in which they asserted that the salmon ''would not have a significant impact on the US environment.'' The agency also concluded the salmon to be ''as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.'' If all goes as expected, the salmon could be available for consumers by late next year.

The genetically modified salmon are produced by AquaBounty Technologies, based in Maynard, Massachusetts. Their AquAdvantage salmon are Atlantic salmon that combine a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and a control gene from an eel-like creature called the ocean pout that cranks out the growth hormone. The result is that the AquAdvantage salmon grow faster, cutting the time to reach market weight by about half '' 18 months compared instead of three years required by normal salmon. Despite the accelerated growth rate, the resultant salmon don't grow to be any larger than their wild counterparts.

AquaBounty Technologies have sought FDA approval for about 17 years. The FDA had previously determined that the salmon were safe to eat but had yet to rule on whether or not they were safe for the environment. The current draft assessment will be posted on the FDA website for the next 60 days over which time the public is invited to voice concerns over the salmon. Approval is expected to follow the open comment period.

The FDA decision has infuriated some environmental and consumer groups. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the advocacy group Center for Food Safety that opposes farm biotechnology, calls the agency's decision ''premature and misguided.'' He said in a statement that ''the G.E. salmon has no socially redeeming value. It's bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment.'' The group's statement goes on to say that the FDA's decision ignores the recommendations of more than 40 members of Congress for more rigorous reviews of the environmental and health effects of the salmon and near 400,000 comments from the public urging the FDA to reject the application.

A major concern among opponents is the risk that the AquAdvantage salmon could escape into the wild and outcompete normal salmon for food or mates. But the multiple layers of protection against this scenario has led the FDA to call the risk ''extremely remote.''

A combination of proteins taken from the Chinook salmon and the ocean pout cause it to grow twice as fast as wild salmon. The abnormal growth rate has raised concerns among consumer groups.

First, the salmon would be reared inside inland tanks in Panama that are equipped with multiple barriers to prevent escape. And even if some salmon do manage to pass the barriers the surrounding Panamanian waters would be too warm or salty for the Atlantic fish to survive (eggs are taken from plants on Prince Edward Island, Canada). Lastly, the AquAdvantage salmon will be sterilized and unable to breed, although the sterilization procedure is acknowledged to not be foolproof.

AquaBounty rejects the environmental risk argument and assert that the accelerated growth of their fish and the shortened time to market actually decrease their environmental impact by enabling them to be grown in inland tanks instead of ocean pens that can wear on their ocean surroundings.

It's important to point out that the FDA only assessed how the salmon might affect surrounding environs in the US, but not in Panama or Canada.

In addition to environmental concerns, opponents are concerned that the FDA's previous assessment that the AquAdvantage salmon are safe to eat was not thorough enough.

The FDA will take some time, perhaps a few months, to consider comments from consumers before making a final decision. If they maintain their current stance that the salmon are safe an additional approval would then allow the salmon to be sold in the US. Ronald Stotish, AquaBounty's chief executive, told the New York Times that if the fish are approved next year the genetically modified fish could reach American dinner tables by late 2013. Initial supplies would be limited given that the Panama farm is currently the only one growing the fish. But AquaBounty plans on selling the modified eggs to other fish farms to boost their salmon supply.

The FDA decision is a major victory for genetically modified foods. If the fish do end up on dinner plates across the US '' and it certainly appears as though they will '' the AquAdvantage salmon could pave the way for genetically modified foods of all kinds. No doubt we are in for a prolonged battle between opposition groups and companies like AquaBounty working to be major players in a potentially extremely profitable market. The battle with play out on our dinner plates as the foods are shown to be safe for us or not, and at the fish farms and crop fields as they are shown to be safe for the environment or not. It'll be a grand experiment with implications for the future of our food, and with heavily vested interests on all sides.

.

Agenda 21

Death threats anyone? Austrian Prof: global warming deniers should be sentenced to death - Set You Free News

"I have always been opposed to the death penalty in all cases..."

If a jury of suitably qualified scientists estimated that a given GW denier had already, with high probability (say 95%), caused the deaths of over one million future people, then s/he would be sentenced to death. The sentence would then be commuted to life imprisonment if the accused admitted their mistake, demonstrated genuine regret, AND participated significantly and positively over a long period in programs to reduce the effects of GW (from jail) -- using much the same means that were previously used to spread the message of denial. At the end of that process, some GW deniers would never admit their mistake and as a result they would be executed. Perhaps that would be the only way to stop the rest of them. The death penalty would have been justified in terms of the enormous numbers of saved future lives.

Consequences

"GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate."

"Even mass murderers [like Breivik] should not be executed, in my opinion."

Cyber War$

The War on Violence

Southington to hold violent video game return program - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:52

SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) -A group of Southington community members is holding a violent video game return program in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last month.

SouthingtonSOS said it will host the event on Jan. 12 at the Southington Drive-In on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike from 9 a.m. until noon.

The town of Southington will have a trash bin there for the collection of the games, and anyone returning games will be offered a gift certificate donated by a member of the Southington Chamber of Commerce as a token of appreciation.

The Board of Education said it sent out information electronically about the event last week to Southington residents.

Members of SouthingtonSOS said the group's action is not intended to be construed as a statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of school shooting, but said "there is ample evidence that violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds, including TV and movies portraying story after story showing a continuous stream of violence and killing, has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying," according to a news release sent out by SouthingtonSOS.

SouthingtonSOS was started in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14.

Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother while she slept at her home before he went to Sandy Hook and killed 20 children and six adults.

He killed himself as police made their way into the building.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Elite$

Politics has become the new reality TV - Salon.com

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:51

Politico's well-reported narrative of the fiscal cliff negotiations begins with an inevitable anecdote:

''Go f'-- yourself,'' Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.

Reid, a bit startled, replied: ''What are you talking about?''

Boehner repeated: ''Go f'-- yourself.''

The harsh exchange just a few steps from the Oval Office '-- which Boehner later bragged about to fellow Republicans '...

I love those blushing em dashes, as if the four-letter word itself would scandalize Politico's hard-bitten audience.

Years ago Vice President Dick Cheney expressed himself similarly, addressing Sen. Patrick Leahy, D.-Vt.). While the remark made it into the press, it's fair to take Cheney at his word. The veep later congratulated himself for his bravado.

Maybe it's just my rose-tinted memories of the Bush administration, but I see something different at work in Boehner's outburst. While the speaker may very well have been sincere, it's hard not to see the comment, which he repeated and boasted about, as an audition for real estate in Politico, maybe even the spot he got: the top of a long story that only the mavens' mavens will finish. Or maybe Boehner is trying out that three-word sentence as a new platform for the Republican Party. (Cheney's outburst came in 2004, before Politico existed.)

This is not to single out Politico for debasing the discourse '-- my colleague Alex Pareene does that far more skillfully than I ever could here and here '-- but the site is a part of the endless escalation of political coverage. With three cable networks devoted almost exclusively to politics, the players know that any flash of personality will be looped endlessly on cable. They have an incentive to act like reality TV stars.

When you're auditioning for a reality show, not everyone can try to be the hot one or the cool one but everyone can take a stab at being the crazy one. Boehner, with his orange tan and easy tears, is a perfect fit. So he curses at a colleague to get attention. By Washington standards, it's as crazy as throwing a fit in public or tampering with your partner's birth control.

We've all heard that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. But one benefit of that clich(C) used to be that Washington had fewer cameras. Now power brokers believe that everything they do is interesting because everything they do is covered.

Like reality producers, politicians stretch their dramas and characters far thinner than can be sustained. Every negotiation is a crisis that carries on far past anyone's patience and, like a soap opera, ends with a new cliffhanger or manufactured crisis ''looming.''

It's hard to see where this stops. There's a large group of smart, ambitious people professionally interested in covering politicians, no matter how little there is to cover. The irony is that despite the obsessive media, the level of interest in congressional maneuvering is largely illusory. John Boehner's official Twitter account has 422,000 followers. Lady Gaga has 32.7 million.

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On the Senate Floor

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:44

Tuesday, January 1, 2013Mrs. Barbara Boxer, from the State of California, called the Senate to order at 2 p.m., the Chaplain offered a prayer, and Mrs. Boxer led the Senate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.The JournalPursuant to the order of yesterday, the Journal of the proceedings of the Senate was deemed approved to date.Certain Procedures Dispensed WithPursuant to the order of yesterday, the morning hour being deemed expired, and the times for the recognition of the two leaders being reserved.Transaction of Morning BusinessPursuant to the order of yesterday, the Senate proceeded to a period for the transaction of morning business.Legislative Business (Tuesday, January 1)H.R. 4365(Rep. Buerkle): To amend title 5, United States Code, to make clear that accounts in the Thrift Savings Fund are subject to certain Federal tax levies.-- Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.

-- Message on Senate action sent to the House.

-- Received in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment by Unanimous Consent.

-- Message on Senate action sent to the House.

Executive Business (Tuesday, January 1)PN600: Albert G. Lauber, of the District of Columbia, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for the term of fifteen years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN965: Ronald Lee Buch, of Virginia, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for a term of fifteen years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1198: Richard B. Berner, of Massachusetts, to be Director , Office of Financial Research, Department of the Treasury, for a term of six years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1200-2: Colonel Stephen J. Linsenmeyer, Jr., in the Air Force, to be Brigadier General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1343: Louise W. Kelton, of Tennessee, to be United States Marshal for the Middle District of Tennessee for the term of four years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1370: William P. Doyle, of Pennsylvania, to be a Federal Maritime Commissioner for the term expiring June 30, 2013-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1378: James M. Demers, of New Hampshire, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for a term expiring December 17, 2014-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1379: Naomi A. Walker, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for a term expiring December 17, 2012-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1398: C. Peter Mahurin, of Kentucky, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority for a term expiring May 18, 2016-- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1447: Edward W. Brehm, of Minnesota, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation for a term expiring September 22, 2017-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1497: Michael Peter Huerta, of the District of Columbia, to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for the term of five years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1508: Patrick J. Wilkerson, of Oklahoma, to be United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma for the term of four years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1509: Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, of California, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors for a term of five years-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1512: Maria Rosario Jackson, of California, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2016-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1566: Maria Lopez De Leon, of Texas, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2016-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1689: Joseph Byrne Donovan, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences for a term expiring September 7, 2013-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1690: Bruce R. Sievers, of California, to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2018-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1692: Jonathan Lippman, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute for a term expiring September 17, 2012-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1693: Jonathan Lippman, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute for a term expiring September 17, 2015-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1698: Walter M. Shaub, Jr., of Virginia, to be Director of the Office of Government Ethics for a term of five years-- Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1702: Mignon L. Clyburn, of South Carolina, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission for a term of five years from July 1, 2012-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1774: Polly Ellen Trottenberg, of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1775: David Masumoto, of California, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2018-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1796: Camila Ann Alire, of Colorado, to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2018-- Placed on Senate Executive Calendar pursuant to S.Res. 116, 112th Congress. Calendar No. 965. Subject to nominee's commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1797: Ramon Saldivar, of California, to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2018-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1818: Angela Tammy Dickinson, of Missouri, to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri for the term of four years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1834: Iqbal Paroo, of Florida, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation for a term expiring September 22, 2017-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1835: William J. Mielke, of Wisconsin, to be a Member of the Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1836: Arthur H. Sulzer, of Pennsylvania, to be a Member of the Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1878: Gary T. Greene, in the Foreign Service-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1882-1: Col. Calvin H. Elam, in the Air Force, to be Brigadier General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1888: Col. Jody J. Daniels, in the Army, to be Brigadier General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1919: Joshua D. Wright, of Virginia, to be a Federal Trade Commissioner for the term of seven years from September 26, 2012-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1922: T. Charles Cooper, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1924: Mark Doms, of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1925: Christopher R. Beall, of Oklahoma, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors for a term of five years-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1926: William Shaw McDermott, of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for a term expiring November 22, 2017-- Placed on Senate Executive Calendar pursuant to S.Res. 116, 112th Congress. Calendar No. 966. Subject to nominee's commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1927: Nina Mitchell Wells, of New Jersey, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for a term expiring May 30, 2018-- Placed on Senate Executive Calendar pursuant to S.Res. 116, 112th Congress. Calendar No. 967. Subject to nominee's commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1931: Lorne W. Craner, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation for a term of two years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1934: Bruce Carter, of Florida, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2018-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1939: Stewart M. De Soto, of Illinois, to be a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation for a term expiring August 11, 2016-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1942-1: 4 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Brig. Gen. Mark E. Bartman and ending with Brig. Gen. Eric G. Weller-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1943-3: 26 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Colonel Glen M. Baker and ending with Colonel Ronald W. Solberg-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1945: Joseph Eldridge, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace for a term of four years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1946: George E. Moose, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace for a term of four years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1948: Keith Kelly, of Montana, to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training-- Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1950: Beth J. Rosenberg, of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board for a term of five years-- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1964: Vera Lynn Evans, of Tennessee, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority for a term expiring May 18, 2017-- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1965: Michael McWherter, of Tennessee, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority for a term expiring May 18, 2016-- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1966: Joe H. Ritch, of Alabama, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority for a term expiring May 18, 2016-- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1970: 199 nominations in the Foreign Service beginning with Philip S. Goldberg and ending with Robert W. Weitzel-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1980: Rear Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd, in the Navy, to be Vice Admiral-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN1981: 93 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Demea A. Alderman and ending with Felisa L. Wilson-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2009: 2 nominations in the Coast Guard beginning with Brigid M. Pavilonis and ending with Victoria C. Futch-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2010: 20 nominations in the Coast Guard beginning with Barbara A. Anderson and ending with Kenneth G. Stefanisin-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2011: 74 nominations in the Coast Guard beginning with Charles G. Alcock and ending with Steven P. Wittrock-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2012: 146 nominations in the Coast Guard beginning with Matthew P. Barker and ending with Andrew J. Wright-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2021: 5 nominations in the Coast Guard beginning with Capt. Peter J. Brown and ending with Capt. Joseph M. Vojvodich-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2028: Michael R. Hardegen, in the Foreign Service-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2029-1: 5 nominations in the Foreign Service beginning with James J. Higgiston and ending with Eric A. Wenberg-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2030-1: 34 nominations in the Foreign Service beginning with Stephen J. Gonyea and ending with Katharine Antonia Weber-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2031-1: 33 nominations in the Foreign Service beginning with David E. Eckerson and ending with Clinton David White-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2032-1: 250 nominations in the Foreign Service beginning with Karl Miller Adam and ending with Mark K. Yang-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2033: Maj. Gen. Lori J. Robinson, in the Air Force, to be Lieutenant General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2034: 85 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Matthew W. Allinson and ending with Jeffrey D. Young-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2035: Robert W. Handy, in the Army, to be Colonel-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2036: James T. Seidule, in the Army, to be Colonel-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2037: 2 nominations in the Army beginning with Mark A. Nozaki and ending with Matthew D. Ramsey-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2038: 11 nominations in the Army beginning with Christopher J. Cummings and ending with Randolph O. Petgrave-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2039: 34 nominations in the Army beginning with Anthony C . Adolph and ending with Sean M. Wilson-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2040: 130 nominations in the Army beginning with Ronald L . Baker and ending with Michael T. Wright-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2041: 159 nominations in the Army beginning with Terry L. Anderson and ending with G001094-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2042: 240 nominations in the Army beginning with Jose L. Aguilar and ending with D005615-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2043: 3 nominations in the Navy beginning with David Sammett and ending with Timothy R. Durkin-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2044: 36 nominations in the Navy beginning with Timothy R . Anderson and ending with George B. Watkins-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2045: 3 nominations in the Coast Guard Reserve beginning with Robert T. Hanley and ending with Dirk A. Stringer-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2046: 268 nominations in the Coast Guard beginning with Austin L. Adcock and ending with Russell R. Zuckerman-- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation discharged by Unanimous Consent.

-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2047: Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Biscone, in the Air Force, to be Lieutenant General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2048: Col. Lisa A. Naftzger-Kang, in the Air Force, to be Brigadier General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2049: 7 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Brigadier General William B. Binger and ending with Brigadier General Sheila Zuehlke-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2050: 8 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Brigadier General Paul L. Ayers and ending with Brigadier General Brian G. Neal-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2051: 12 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Colonel Stephanie A. Gass and ending with Colonel Curtis L. Williams-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2052: Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, in the Army, to be Lieutenant General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2053: Lt. Gen. Steven A. Hummer, in the Marine Corps, to be Lieutenant General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2054: 3 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Johan K. Ahn and ending with Jeffrey S. Williams-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2055: Michael D. Shortt, in the Army, to be Major-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2056: Delnora L. Erickson, in the Army, to be Major-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2057: Ronald D. Lain, in the Army, to be Lieutenant Colonel-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2058: Matthew J. Burinskas, in the Army, to be Colonel-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2059: Ronald G. Cook, in the Army, to be Colonel-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2060: David A. Cortese, in the Army, to be Lieutenant Colonel-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2061: Charles J. Romero, in the Army, to be Major-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2062: 2 nominations in the Army beginning with Michael D. Do and ending with Gregory S. Seese-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2063: John T. Volpe, in the Navy, to be Commander-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2064: Tamara M. Sorensen, in the Navy, to be Lieutenant Commander-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2065: Joseph N. Kenan, in the Navy, to be Lieutenant Commander-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2068: Morton H. Halperin, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation for a term of three years-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2069: Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, in the Air Force, to be Lieutenant General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2070: Col. Michael L. Scholes, in the Army, to be Brigadier General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2071-1: 33 nominations in the Army beginning with Colonel Christopher S. Ballard and ending with Colonel Robert P. Walters, Jr .-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2072: Lt. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, in the Marine Corps, to be Lieutenant General-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2073: Rear Adm. (lh) Randolph L. Mahr, in the Navy, to be Rear Admiral-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2074: 15 nominations in the Army beginning with Deepti S. Chitnis and ending with Gia K. Yi-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2075: 17 nominations in the Army beginning with Karin R. Bilyard and ending with Bethany S. Zarndt-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2076: 51 nominations in the Army beginning with James E. Andrews II and ending with D010617-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2077: 82 nominations in the Army beginning with Jacob W. Aaronson and ending with David W. Wolken-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2078: 150 nominations in the Army beginning with Silas C. Abrenica and ending with Kevin M. Zeeb-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2079: 161 nominations in the Army beginning with Lovie L. Abraham and ending with Vickee L. Wolcott-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2083: 6 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Laura A. Brodhag and ending with John D. Klein-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2084: 17 nominations in the Air Force beginning with William R. Baez and ending with Bryce G. Whisler-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2085: 51 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Jake R. Atwood and ending with Michael R. Zachar-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2086: 73 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Kristen J. Beals and ending with Jianzhong J. Zhang-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2087: 30 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Tansel Acar and ending with Brandon H. Williams-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2088: 146 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Samuel E. Aikele and ending with Scott M. Zelasko-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2089: 246 nominations in the Air Force beginning with Homayoun R. Ahmadian and ending with Joe X. Zhang-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2090: Alfred C. Anderson, in the Army, to be Major-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2091: Deanna R. Beech, in the Army, to be Major-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2092: 2 nominations in the Army beginning with Shrrell L. Byard and ending with Soo B. Kim-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

PN2093: 7 nominations in the Army beginning with Donald E. Layne and ending with Joseph F. Sucher-- Confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote.

AdjournmentBy unanimous consent, on the request of Mr. Harry Reid, at 5:58 p.m., the Senate adjourned, under its order of today, until 12 noon tomorrow.

New Bill$

To reauthorize the programs and activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes. (H.R. 6728)

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:37

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H.R. 6728--112th Congress: To reauthorize the programs and activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes.. (2013). In GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). Retrieved January 3, 2013, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6728?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss

''H.R. 6728--112th Congress: To reauthorize the programs and activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes..'' GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). 2013. January 3, 2013 <http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6728?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss>

{{cite web|url=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6728?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss|title=H.R. 6728 (112th)|accessdate=January 3, 2013|author=112th Congress (2013)|date=January 1, 2013|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=To reauthorize the programs and activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes.}}

To save at least $10,000,000,000 by consolidating some duplicative and overlapping Government programs. (H.R. 6729)

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:36

This page can be cited in one of these formats (click for details): APA, MLA, Wikipedia Template.

H.R. 6729--112th Congress: To save at least $10,000,000,000 by consolidating some duplicative and overlapping Government programs.. (2013). In GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). Retrieved January 3, 2013, from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6729?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss

''H.R. 6729--112th Congress: To save at least $10,000,000,000 by consolidating some duplicative and overlapping Government programs..'' GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation). 2013. January 3, 2013 <http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6729?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss>

{{cite web|url=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6729?utm_campaign=govtrack_feed&utm_source=govtrack/feed&utm_medium=rss|title=H.R. 6729 (112th)|accessdate=January 3, 2013|author=112th Congress (2013)|date=January 1, 2013|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=To save at least $10,000,000,000 by consolidating some duplicative and overlapping Government programs.}}

VIDEO

US Drone Strike In Pakistan Kills Militant Commander

VIDEO-High School Senior Suspended Writing Poem on Sandy Hook Shooting - YouTube

Link to Article

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:10

Peter King Near Tears, Threatens to Quit Republican Party for Blocking Sandy Relief

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:51

Republican New York Congressman Peter King was near tears on Wednesday as he threatened to leave the Republican Party, while excoriating the leadership and other members after they reversed course and refused to pass a relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

In an emotional interview with CNN, King pointed a finger directly at House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for the failure to bring Sandy aid up for a vote after passing a bill to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

"Boehner is the one," the New York Republican explained. "He walked off the floor. He refused to tell us why. He refused to give us any indication or warning whatsoever... I'm just saying, these people have no problem finding New York -- these Republicans -- when they're trying to raise money. They raise millions of dollars in New York City and New Jersey, they sent Gov. [Chris] Christie around the country raising millions of dollars for them. I'm saying, anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee should have their head examined. I would not give one penny to these people based on what they did to us last night."

CNN host Victor Blackwell wondered if King's disgust over scuttling the hurricane relief was enough to make him leave the Republican Party.

"I'm going to do what I have to do," King insisted. "I'm going to be independent minded. Sometimes, as John Kennedy said, party loyalty demands too much. And I would -- as all of us do -- often, you give the benefit of the doubt to your party. We are a two-party system. But I'm over that because as the very least, you're expected to be treated fairly... When your people are literally freezing in the winter and they're without food and they're without shelter and they're without clothing and my own party refuses to help them, then why should I help the Republican Party?"

King recalled that Boehner refused to even speak to the Republican lawmakers from hurricane-stricken areas, at one point yelling, "I'm not going to meet with you people!"

"I was chasing the Speaker all over the House floor last night," he said. "So he wouldn't tell us why, he just decided to sneak off in the dark of night."

"I would say that the Republican Party says that it's the party of family values," King continued. "Last night, it decided to turn its back on the most essential value of all. And that's to provide food, shelter, clothing and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster. And I would say that the Republican Party has turned its back on those people. And it's going to be very hard for me to ask any of those people to vote for the national Republican Party."

"We were told everything was on board, everything was ready, we had all the papers ready to go, we had lined up the votes, we had the committed votes where this bill would have passed on the House floor with no problem at all, we had gone around and spoken to people, we had done everything we were asked to do. And, again, the knife in the back. And that's all it is."

UPDATE: A few hours later everything was hunky-dory between King and Boehner with the promise of $9 billion and a vote in a couple of weeks. Is there a more useless politician in America than Peter King?

(CNN) '' Republican Rep. Peter King of New York said Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner has promised a vote Friday on $9 billion in disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy and then another vote on $51 billion in aid on January 15.

CBS's 2012 Recap Glosses Over Key Aspects of Benghazi Attack Controversy

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:47

During a retrospective on 2012 on the December 30, 2012 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning, Charles Osgood ludicrously oversimplified continuing scandal over the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Osgood conspicuously omitted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's Sunday show appearances five days after the assault, which conflicted with intelligence agencies' early conclusion that the attack was pre-planned.

The journalist's 14-second look at the story merely consisted of two sentences noting who died in the American installation and one of the most recent developments.

Attorney Drops 100 Million Dollar Lawsuit Against State Of Connecticut

VIDEO-BBC News - Video shows Burma military 'targeting Kachin rebels'

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Wed, 02 Jan 2013 11:22

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Obama: We raised taxes, but the rich still aren't paying their fair share

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 08:42

President Obama cut a video, distributed by his reelection, to reiterate his belief that the wealthiest Americans still aren't paying their ''fair share'' of taxes and to outline a second-term agenda ranging from environmental policy to gun control. Obama started by celebrating the tax increases '-- ''making our tax code more progressive than it's been in decades,'' he said '-- that will take place because of the fiscal cliff deal.

''Obviously, there is still more to do when it comes to reducing our debt,'' Obama said in the video. ''And I'm willing to do more, as long as we do it in a balanced way that doesnt put all the burden on seniors or students or middle class burdens but also asks the wealthiest Americans to contribute and pay their fair share.''

Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, cut the video for his campaign list. ''President Obama recorded a video to update supporters like you on what's in the agreement and what it means for you,'' Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email today. ''As we address our ongoing fiscal challenges, the President will do exactly what he said he would on the campaign trail '-- working for the middle class and all those fighting to get into it, and building an economy from the middle out, not the top down.''

VIDEO-Highlights from Last Week's Surveillance Debate

Link to Article

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:56

January 2nd, 2013 á No CommentsI've just had a chance to play around with C-SPAN's clip-and-share functionality from its video archives, which seems like a pretty great tool for wonks like me who actually pay attention to stuff like last week's marathon Senate debate over the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act, which President Obama signed on Sunday evening. With the Fiscal Cliff firmly lodged in the headlines, most news media paid scant attention to the reauthorization'--though the Rachel Maddow Show did have me on to talk about it. Now, at least, C-SPAN has made it relatively easy to assemble the important points from these legislative debates without spending hours fussing with video editing software. This strikes me as having great potential to enable crowdsourced efforts to draw attention to undercovered stories in an engaging format. So here are what I saw as some important moments from the FISA debate'--mostly legislators proposing some extremely mild, common-sense reforms and safeguards that all got shot down.

Sen. Ron Wyden explains that the FISA Amendments Act isn't just about foreigners, as supporters ritually claim, but can easily result in large-scale interception of Americans' communications as well:

Once collected, Wyden outlines how the government can then use a ''backdoor search'' loophole in the law to circumvent the traditional Fourth Amendment requirement of a search warrant:

Concerns about backdoor searches are bipartisan, as Utah Republican Mike Lee makes clear:

Yet Congress can't even know how many Americans are caught up in NSA's vacuum cleaner, which makes claims of ''rigorous oversight'' rather hard to credit:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein claims there's a secret reason that even a ballpark estimate of Americans intercepted is impossible to make. The general public can't know why this basic form of accountability is off-limits, but legislators can go visit a secure facility to read the secret reason if they want:

Know what else is secret? The rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that determine what the law actually means in practice, and how much surveillance power it really grants the NSA'--as Sen. Jeff Merkley explains:

Ron Wyden finds it outrageous that Americans are effectively living under secret law; most of his colleagues, alas, do not:

Tags:Journalism & the Media á Privacy and Surveillance

VIDEO-Al Sharpton: KNIFE CONTROL Comes Next After Guns - YouTube

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Tue, 01 Jan 2013 13:31

Rep. Steve Israel: Republicans Questioning Clinton Concussion Think Moon Landing Was Staged Too

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Source: Crooks and Liars

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 00:51

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) says that the Republicans who hyped a conspiracy theory that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faked her concussion to avoid testifying about September attacks in Benghazi were the "same people who said that the moon landing was staged in a Hollywood set."

MSNBC host Richard Lui on Monday asked Israel if he had heard anything new about Clinton's health after it was reported that she was hospitalized because a blood clot was discovered during an exam to follow up on her recent concussion.

"I've not heard anything new about her health," Israel replied, adding that Clinton was "as tough as nails... she is strong, she is resilient."

Lui pointed out that Republicans like Rep. Allen West (FL) and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton -- as well as numerous Fox News personalities -- had repeatedly mocked Clinton by suggesting that her illness was a manufactured "diplomatic illness" or "Benghazi allergy" to avoid testifying before lawmakers.

"That's what's wrong with Washington, the people who invent conspiracies behind every cloud," Israel explained. "These are the same people who said that the moon landing was staged in a Hollywood set."

"Let this woman rest, let her get well and give her some space," he suggested. "Stop creating a conspiracy behind every cloud."

(h/t: Mediaite)

Family Members Of Batman Movie Massacre Call Invitation To Theater's Grand Reopening "Offensive"

VIDEO=11:40=Radio New Zealand : News : National : Tsunami bomb project details in NZ archive

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Wed, 02 Jan 2013 18:45

Updated at 6:09 am on 31 December 2012

A new book about New Zealand's national archives says it holds details of a World War II plan to create a tsunami bomb.

Project Seal was a top-secret joint United States-New Zealand attempt to create a doomsday device to rival the nuclear bomb.

Secrets Treasures author Ray Waru said the project was launched in June 1944 after a US naval officer noticed that blasting operations around Pacific islands sometimes produced a large wave, raising the possibility of creating a "tsunami bomb".

Other notable documents held in the archive are a letter written by Captain James Cook before his final voyage.

Copyright (C) 2012, Radio New Zealand

Oblivion (2013) - IMDb

Gx2 Evitiated

VIDEO-PRE_STREAM-Halestorm - "Hello, It's Mz. Hyde" EP [Official Audio] - YouTube

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Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:54

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