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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 25,647

Journal Archives

Legal Pot Complicates Drug-Free Work Policies

DENVER (AP) -- Pot may be legal, but workers may want to check with their boss first before they grab the pipe or joint during off hours.

Businesses in Washington state, where the drug is legal, and Colorado, where it will be by January, are trying to figure out how to deal with employees who use it on their own time and then fail a drug test.

It is another uncertainty that has come with pot legalization as many ask how the laws will affect them.

"There's just an incredible amount of gray right now" about how marijuana legalization affects employers, said Sandra Hagen Solin of the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, a coalition of chambers of commerce.



Military Faces Though Questions About Targeting ‘Hostile’ Children In Afghanistan

By Karen McVeigh, The Guardian
Friday, December 7, 2012 14:22 EST

The US military is facing fresh questions over its targeting policy in Afghanistan after a senior army officer suggested that troops were on the lookout for “children with potential hostile intent”.

In comments which legal experts and campaigners described as “deeply troubling”, army Lt Col Marion Carrington told the Marine Corp Times that children, as well as “military-age males”, had been identified as a potential threat because some were being used by the Taliban to assist in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

“It kind of opens our aperture,” said Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”



McConnell, Paul Urge Governor To Seek Disaster Declaration Because Of Low River Flow

Source: Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Kentucky — U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are urging Gov. Steve Beshear to seek a federal disaster declaration because of the potential economic consequences of a drought that has led to low water levels on the Mississippi River.

Beshear said Friday he appreciates their concern and that he's closely monitoring the situation.

McConnell and Paul said in a letter to Beshear on Thursday that commercial traffic on the river could "come to a complete halt in coming days" unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes action to increase the water flow.

"We are informed that shipment of over $7 billion in goods on the Mississippi River could be blocked over the coming months due to this entirely avoidable event," they wrote.

Read more: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/e67caeb26ea14374b0a235e7969ea789/KY--Kentucky-River-Shipping

Send these 'small and limited gov't' hypocrites a box of shovels and tell them to 'start dredging'...

Fox News Celebrates Michigan Union Busting As ‘Victory For Capitalism!’

The Fox News morning show Fox & Friends on Friday declared that a law in Michigan that weakens unions was a “Victory for Capitalism!”

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled state legislature in Michigan had quickly pushed through a new measure that would make the birthplace of the country’s labor movement a right-to-work state, crippling unions by prohibiting requirements that employees join or pay dues.

“Yesterday, the legislature of both of houses passed a law making Michigan the 24th right to work state, bans mandatory union dues,” Fox News co-host Steve Doocy reported while a graphic on the screen read, “Victory for Capitalism!”

“If you work for the UAW, you work for Chrysler, Ford, places like that — there are a lot of people who are upset,” Doocy noted.



Consumer Confidence Plunges In Early December

NEW YORK | Fri Dec 7, 2012 11:01am EST
(Reuters) - Americans' outlook on the economy and their finances took a turn for the worse in early December due likely to anxiety about the potential for higher taxes resulting from contentious discussions in Washington over fiscal issues, a survey released on Friday showed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading of the overall index on consumer sentiment plunged to 74.5 in early December, the lowest level since August.

It was far below November's figure of 82.7 and the median forecast of 82.4 among economists polled by Reuters.

"Confidence plunged in early December as consumers confronted the rising likelihood that political gridlock would push the country over the fiscal cliff," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement. He was referring to concerns of an economic contraction next year if the White House and Congress fail to reach a budget pact by year-end.



Russia: The US Is Trying To Start Another Cold War

Source: Business Insider

Russia has accused the US of trying to start a new Cold War after Congress passed a law banning Russians linked to serious human rights abuses from entering America.

Moscow furiously claimed that the new law, which also bars blacklisted Russians from owning US land and using the banking system, was evidence of a "vindictive desire" to damage Russia's world standing.

"Apparently, Washington has forgotten what year this is and still thinks the Cold War is going on," the Russian foreign ministry said on its official Twitter account. It added that the move would "adversely affect the prospects of bilateral cooperation" between the two powers.

Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, later said Russia would respond by introducing its own visa ban for US human rights abuses.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-the-us-is-trying-to-start-another-cold-war-2012-12#ixzz2ENTAuDhi

U.S. Deploys Ships to Monitor North Korea Rocket Launch

By David Lerman & Sangwon Yoon

The U.S. is deploying ships to monitor and potentially shoot down a rocket North Korea plans to fire as soon as next week, as Japan readied its military to destroy any possible debris.

“We’ll move them around so we have the best situational awareness that we have,” Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said at a Pentagon news conference in Washington yesterday. “To the degree that those ships are capable of participating in ballistic missile defense, then we would position them to be able to do that.”

North Korea’s plan to fire the rocket between Dec. 10-22 reflects signs of growing instability in the totalitarian state, a South Korean government official said today. Leader Kim Jong Un has worked to secure his hereditary grip on power since his father Kim Jong Il died a year ago, and last month called for a crackdown on “rebellious elements.”

The regime’s priority is ensuring the success of the launch after a similar attempt exploded in April and not any possible nuclear weapons test, the official said, speaking to reporters in Seoul on condition of anonymity. Locklear yesterday made a similar point.



Michigan Senate OKs Bills Prohibiting Abortion Coverage By 'Obamacare' Health Exchange

Source: MLIVE

LANSING, MI - Health plans participating in Michigan's "Obamacare" health exchange could not cover elective abortions unless the coverage is offered as a separate optional rider purchased by women, under legislation that won approval mostly along party lines Thursday in the state Senate.

The passage of three bills came while union members packed the gallery's second floor to watch for a much-anticipated vote on right-to-work legislation announced in the morning. Democrats slowed up action on the abortion bills by asking that the bills be read in their entirety.

Majority Senate Republicans also passed a bill that would let health facilities assert as a matter of conscience an objection to participating health services. Providers would have to inform patients of other places to go.

Michigan is pursuing a joint federal-state "partnership" exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act. It will let people and businesses shop for and buy insurance on an online Travelocity-like website.

Read more: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/michigan_senate_oks_bills_proh.html#incart_river

Report: Israel Threatens To Cancel Hamas Truce If Islamic Jihad Leaders Enter Gaza


Members of Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad say Israel has warned the militant group's two top leaders against trying to enter the Gaza Strip this week.

The pair had planned to visit Friday, along with Khaled Meshal the leader-in-exile of Hamas, Islamic Jihad's sister group.

Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas have been holding indirect talks, through Egypt, following an Israeli offensive on militant targets in Gaza last month.

A truce between Israel and Hamas has been in place since November 21, when an Egypt-brokered cease-fire went into effect, putting an end to Israel's eight-day Gaza offensive, Operation Pillar of Defense.

Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-israel-threatens-to-cancel-hamas-truce-if-islamic-jihad-leaders-enter-gaza-1.483156

Depression Deepens Greek Middle Class Despair With Crime

By Oliver Staley - Dec 6, 2012
Anastasia Karagaitanaki, 57, is a former model and cafe owner in Thessaloniki, Greece. After losing her business to the financial crisis, she now sleeps on a daybed next to the refrigerator in her mother’s kitchen and depends on charity for food and insulin for her diabetes.

“I feel like my life has slipped through my hands,” said Karagaitanaki, whose brother also shares the one-bedroom apartment. “I feel like I’m dead.”

For thousands of Greeks like Karagaitanaki, the fabric of middle-class life is unraveling. Teachers, salaries slashed by a third, are stealing electricity. Families in once-stable neighborhoods are afraid to leave their homes because of rising street crime.

Karagaitanaki’s family can’t afford gas to heat their home this winter and will rely on electric blankets in the chilly northern Greek city. They live on the 785 euros ($1,027) a month their mother collects monthly from their late father’s pension. Two years ago, Karagaitanaki sold her jewelry for 3,000 euros, which she gave to her two sons. Her blood sugar is rising because she can’t afford the meat and vegetables her doctor recommends and instead eats rice and beans she gets from the Greek Orthodox Church.


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