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While Jesse Jackson Jr.
and Sandi Jackson were living
it up, district paid the price
Chicago Sun-Times, by Natasha Korecki    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 2/21/2013 5:16:54 AM     Post Reply
For years, if you went to the corner of 71st and Yates, you’d see a shrine, of sorts. Spanning three enormous window panels were life-sized photos — one of Sandi Jackson and one of Jesse Jackson Jr., an American flag in the backdrop, besides dozens of campaign signs covering adjacent windows. This was ground zero of the joint campaign offices for the once politically powerful couple, a constant reminder to the community that the Jackson name, and all the clout that went with it, was part of this neighborhood. Go down just one block, on either side of the street,

Not fighting back
New York Post, by Ralph Peters    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/21/2013 5:10:42 AM     Post Reply
This week, a cutting-edge security firm in Virginia, Mandiant, reported that it had traced major cyber-attacks on 140 US and other Western targets back not merely to China but to a specific Shanghai high-rise belonging to Chinese military intelligence. Mandiant did splendid detective work at the unclassified level. (Snip)It’s not that we can’t fight back. We have stunning, close-held capabilities to respond with punishing cyber-strikes of our own. We have the intelligence. We have the targets. But the order never comes.

Walmart Customers Have
Disappeared. Will They Take
the Economy With Them?
Daily Beast, by Megan McArdle    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/21/2013 4:55:37 AM     Post Reply
"Where are all the customers?" asks an internal Walmart email published by Bloomberg last week. "And where´s their money?" Another email states "In case you haven´t seen a sales report these days, February [month to date] sales are a total disaster . . . the worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company." Brad Plumer notes that Walmart sales are often a bellwether for the rest of the economy. Should we be freaking out? I´m all for a modified limited freakout. To be sure, Walmart is likely to be disproportionately affected



The Wonderful World of John Kerry
PJ Media, by Roger L. Simon    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/21/2013 4:44:52 AM     Post Reply
I can’t say I was surprised when I read, via a Drudge link, that John Kerry made his first foreign policy speech as secretary of State on the heavyweight scientific subject of climate change (the perils thereof, of course). But I did have a chuckle, remembering that sometime during or after the 2004 presidential campaign it was revealed that Kerry did even more poorly at Yale than the supposedly dopey George W. Bush. In fact, the former Massachusetts senator received four “Ds” in his freshman year, including one in geology. Many of us will recall that geology,

Dem Senators look for
someone to blame for Obamacare
Hot Air, by Mary Katharine Ham    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/21/2013 4:40:39 AM     Post Reply
James Taranto found news of a hearing this week that I missed, in which Democratic lawmakers grilled Gary Cohen, head of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight about Obamacare’s mounting problems. It’s like a David Brooks column about Obama, but in hearing form. Behold your moral and intellectual betters discover all the exact same things you’ve known for four years: “Baucus questioned how well the online health insurance marketplaces would interact with what he called ‘archaic’ computer systems at Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service,” Kaiser reports. My, that is a good question.

Chicago district disappointed
in ex-congressman
Associated Press, by Sophia Tareen    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 2/21/2013 4:31:16 AM     Post Reply
CHICAGO -- Residents in this swath of sprawling Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs have brimmed with loyalty to Jesse Jackson Jr. over the past 17 years, giving him an enthusiastic majority each election - even after questionable links to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, reports of an extramarital affair and a bizarre five-month medical leave. But the former congressman´s guilty plea to charges that he lived off and lavishly spent campaign money for personal use - on everything from toilet paper to mink capes - has turned the tide.

Is Hugo Chávez Really Back in Venezuela?
Daily Beast, by Mac Margolis    Original Article
Posted By: hobbitcid- 2/21/2013 4:04:29 AM     Post Reply
The ailing leader reportedly returned to Caracas from Cuba on Monday, but his plane landed before dawn, with no TV coverage, and the public has not seen or heard from him—prompting some opponents to challenge him to step up, and others to spin conspiracy theories.



Ray Nagin pleads NOT guilty to
claims he took bribes
in wake of Katrina
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 2/21/2013 2:13:59 AM     Post Reply
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he accepted more than $200,000 in bribes plus free trips and other gratuities in exchange for helping contractors secure millions of dollars in work for the city. U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan set Nagin´s bond at $100,000 during his arraignment on charges that include bribery, wire fraud and filing false tax returns. She also set a preliminary trial date of April 29. The charges against Nagin are the product of a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and

US Postal Service to
launch fashion range
Telegraph [UK], by Staff and agencies    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 2/21/2013 1:58:03 AM     Post Reply
The US Postal Service is to launch a clothing and accessories range just days after revealing it was ending Saturday deliveries in a bid to stem losses of $40m (£26.1m) a day. The cash-strapped agency, which delivers almost 40pc of the world´s mail, has signed an agreement with fashion group Wahconah to create a ´Rain, Heat & Snow´ brand. "This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion," corporate licensing manager Steven Mills said in a statement on Tuesday. “The main focus will be to produce [clothing] using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ also

John Kerry threatens to bore the
world to death with excruciating first
speech as Secretary of State
Telegraph [UK], by Nile Gardiner    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 2/21/2013 1:48:06 AM     Post Reply
Late night host Jay Leno had a good punch line back in November when speculation was mounting that John Kerry might be the next Secretary of Defense. “Apparently this is part of America’s new defense strategy to bore our enemies to death,” quipped Leno. His second joke of the evening was even better: “the economy is so bad, MSNBC had to lay off 300 Obama spokesmen.” His third though was probably the best: “the economy is so bad, President Obama sent Susan Rice out to defend it.” (hat tip: The Daily Slog) Kerry has ended up in Foggy Bottom

Ashley Judd Huddles with Democrats
to Discuss Possible Senate Run
Breitbart News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: smcchk- 2/21/2013 12:08:23 AM     Post Reply
Ashley Judd´s attempts to become America´s next Meg Ryan didn´t turn out as expected. The starlet´s next move could take her away from the silver screen and deposit her inside the Beltway. Actress Ashley Judd privately met with officials at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington earlier this week, as she continues to weigh whether to mount a Senate run against Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, according to two sources familiar with the session.... The meeting indicates that the Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is still seriously weighing a political foray after spending the past several years



As New York delays decision on fracking,
Pennsylvania sees economic boom
FOX News, by John Roberts    Original Article
Posted By: smcchk- 2/20/2013 11:28:58 PM     Post Reply
John Payne puts on his best smile as he greets customers at Bob´s Diner in Bainbridge, N.Y. Most of his regulars are retired. The younger residents, he says, have long since moved away to find jobs in places like the Carolinas. Since the big manufacturers moved out of Bainbridge, there´s not much opportunity here. "It´s not a thriving community unfortunately," Payne told Fox News. "Years ago it was, but now it´s quite a depressed community. [Snip] While his community is on hard times, business with Pennsylvania is booming. "We´re presently working six, seven days a week

Feds may decide on
Armstrong case this week
USA Today, by Brent Schrotenboer    Original Article
Posted By: bldrrepub- 2/20/2013 10:59:23 PM     Post Reply
The U.S. Department of Justice soon will have another tough decision to make about Lance Armstrong. Should it join forces with a confessed cheater — Floyd Landis — to pursue the vast fortunes of his former cheating teammate? Or should it move on from cycling´s vicious cycle ? After nearly three years of consideration, that´s the bottom line now as the government decides what to do with a civil fraud lawsuit filed by Landis against Armstrong in 2010. A decision could come this week. And the stakes could exceed $90 million.

Constitutional Challenge to
Dodd-Frank Grows Ranks
Washington Free Beacon, by Andrew Evans    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 10:31:35 PM     Post Reply
Eight more states have joined a lawsuit against part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, arguing that the act undermines their financial stability. A judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Tuesday accepted the plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint to include the eight new states. The new states are Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia. They join Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, which launched the suit in September 2012. “Dodd-Frank … gives the federal government the power to pick winners and losers,

Carney undercuts Obama’s
sequester-scare strategy
Daily Caller [Washington DC], by Neil Munro    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 2/20/2013 10:23:34 PM     Post Reply
White House spokesman Jay Carney backed away Wednesday from his boss’ apocalyptic claims of imminent mass-layoffs if Congress does not stop the scheduled budget sequester by raising taxes. “Republicans in Congress face a simple choice,” President Barack Obama claimed yesterday. “Are they willing to compromise … or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?” he said Feb. 19. But pressed today by reporters about if the sequester would for immediately



Meet Dr. Ben Carson, the
New Conservative Folk Hero
Atlantic Magazine, by David A. Graham    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 10:21:10 PM     Post Reply
There are two ways you might have heard of Dr. Ben Carson. If you´re a doctor or follow medicine, you might know of his great success -- the youngest head of a major division at Johns Hopkins, one of America´s medical meccas; the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins, back in 1987; a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner late in George W. Bush´s term. He was also mentioned on The Wire. Or if you´ve tuned in to Fox News or clicked onto National Review Online in the last week, you´ve probably heard his

Stimulus spending in the
face of sequestration: Obama
lays out ambitious
$50 billion roads plan
Washington Times, by Susan Crabtree    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 2/20/2013 10:13:23 PM     Post Reply
The White House is detailing plans the President Obama first announced in his State of the Union address to direct tens of billions of federal dollars to rebuilding roads and bridges across the country. As part of a new $50 billion infrastructure stimulus proposal, Mr. Obama is initiating a “fix-it-first” policy aimed at cutting review and permitting timelines for federal construction projects for highways, bridges, railways and ports. Most of the funding, which is subject to congressional approval, would be directed to work on the highways, bridges, transit systems and airports “most in need of repair,”

Budget cuts would force
Navy to shut down four
active aircraft carriers
Washington Times, by Rowan Scarborough    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 2/20/2013 10:10:36 PM     Post Reply
The Navy plans to shut down four of its active aircraft carriers in one of the worst-case scenarios presented to Congress by the service since the debate on budget cuts heated up this winter. The Navy previously announced a delay in deploying the carrier USS Harry Truman to the Middle East, plus a stop in the refueling and overhauling of the nuclear-powered USS Abraham Lincoln and a delay in repairing the USS Theodore Roosevelt. In an 11-page briefing sent to Congress and obtained by The Washington Times, the Navy said it will be forced to “shut down at various intervals”

Pentagon awash in pink slips,
preparing 800,000 civilian furloughs
Washington Times, by Kristina Wong    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 2/20/2013 10:07:25 PM     Post Reply
The Defense Department on Wednesday officially notified Congress that it plans to begin furloughing its 800,000 civilian employees across the country if automatic spending cuts begin March 1, estimating the states would lose a total of $4.86 billion in workers’ wages this year. According to Pentagon estimates, among the hardest-hit states would be Virginia, which would have about 88,000 affected workers and salary losses of $660.9 million; California, with 62,600 workers and $419.7 million in lost wages; and Maryland, with 45,700 workers and $359.3 million in lost earnings.

Pentagon investigates whether ex-Navy
SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden revealed
classified information for Esquire profile
Daily Mail [UK], by Hayley Peterson    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 10:07:13 PM     Post Reply
The military is investigating the ex-Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden to find out whether he leaked classified information to Esquire magazine for a profile on him that was published this month. ´We are taking a look at this article to see if any classified information got spilled out,´ Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Steve Warren said Tuesday. The article, entitled ´the Shooter: The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden is … Screwed,´ contained details of bin Laden´s death and revealed information about the Navy SEAL´s struggles with the Department of Veterans Affairs since leaving the armed


Michelle Obama´s bangs take center-
stage in new official portrait (and
her make-up has had an update
since the last one too)
Daily Mail [UK], by Tamara Abraham    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 10:02:39 PM     Post Reply
The White House has unveiled a new official portrait of Michelle Obama to mark her second term as First Lady. The photograph, shot on February 12th by White House photographer Chuck Kennedy in the Green Room of the White House, shows her with the new bangs she debuted last month on her 49th birthday. And unlike the last official photo, in which she proudly bared those toned upper arms she is so famous for, this time she wears a sleeved black-and-navy dress. She has also toned down her jewellery - instead of the double strand of pearls there

Chinese cyberspies have
hacked most Washington
institutions, experts say
Washington Post, by Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 2/20/2013 10:01:00 PM     Post Reply
Start asking security experts which powerful Washington institutions have been penetrated by Chinese cyberspies, and this is the usual answer: almost all of them. The list of those hacked in recent years includes law firms, think tanks, news organizations, human rights groups, contractors, congressional offices, embassies and federal agencies. The information compromised by such intrusions, security experts say, would be enough to map how power is exercised in Washington to a remarkably nuanced degree. The only question, they say, is whether the Chinese have the analytical resources to sort through the massive troves of data they steal every day.

White House Credits ‘Let´s Move’
for Halting and Reversing
Childhood Obesity Trend
Weekly Standard, by Jeryl Bier    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 2/20/2013 9:57:15 PM     Post Reply
Today the White House credited Michelle Obama´s three-year-old “Let´s Move” initiative with halting and even reversing a thirty year trend of increasing childhood obesity, a trend that has led to what the Centers for Disease Control has called an epidemic. A press release from the Office of the First Lady announced details of a "two day nationwide tour" at the end of the month to celebrate the third anniversary of the program that promotes exercise and healthy eating habits to young people. The press release also included a short history of the program (emphasis added):

Drop Coverage? Cut Hours?
Big Firms Grapple With Obamacare
CNBC, by Bertha Coombs    Original Article
Posted By: NorthernDog- 2/20/2013 9:46:33 PM     Post Reply
For large retail and restaurant chains, the big unknown in the year ahead is how much more they´ll pay for health coverage. Employers with 50 or more workers who put in 30 hours a week will be required to provide health care coverage or pay a fine, under the Affordable Care Act, also called the ACA or Obamacare. That lower full-time threshold is one of the big issues business groups are trying to negotiate with the Obama administration as the rules are being finalized. Large chains like Dunkin’ Donuts parent firm Dunkin’ Brands argue that full-time status should remain

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