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Send in the Clowns: Boehner's challengers: Gohmert, Yoho

At least two conservative hard-liners are now offering themselves up as candidates to unseat House Speaker John Boehner.

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida, said this weekend that he won't support Boehner as speaker when lawmakers vote Tuesday, and offered himself up as an alternative. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, did the same thing on Fox News' "Fox and Friends Sunday."

"Well, we have heard from a lot of Republicans that, 'Gee, I would vote for somebody besides Speaker Boehner but nobody will put their name out there as running so there's nobody else to vote for,'" Gohmert said.

"Well that changed yesterday when my friend Ted Yoho said 'I'm putting my name out there. I'll be a candidate for speaker,'" he said. "And I'm putting my name out there also, today, to be another candidate for speaker. All people are welcome, unlike what some of the establishment people are saying."


Wait! They're already here!

December likely to cap off best year of job creation since 1999

Source: Marketwatch

The revved-up U.S. economy probably produced another large batch of new jobs in December, setting the stage in 2015 for the quickest spurt of growth in at least a decade.

The U.S. likely added at least 220,000 jobs in the final month of 2014, according to economists polled by MarketWatch. And the preliminary 321,000 increase in November—the third-biggest gain since the recession ended in mid-2009—could be revised higher if recent history is a guide.

Add it all together and the economy might have generated nearly 3 million new jobs in 2014, the best performance since the U.S. created some 3.2 million jobs in 1999.

The upsurge in employment has put more cash into the hands of consumers, giving a boost to households and encouraging businesses to invest to meet rising demand. Slumping gasoline prices are also working their magic, slashing the cost of filling up and allowing Americans to buy other goods and services.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/december-likely-to-cap-off-best-year-of-job-creation-since-1999-2015-01-04?link=MW_Nav_NV

A Hundred Years’ Failure


Let’s all pause today to wish a happy 100th birthday to the War on Drugs. And what a century it’s been

Twenty-five years ago, the stated goal of the United States’ anti-narcotic efforts according to the Department of Justice was to “disrupt, destroy and dismantle drug trafficking enterprises.” That same year, the U.S. government pumped almost $8 billion into anti-drug efforts, including $600 million in prison construction alone. It was just a typical fiscal year during the height of the drug war. But two and a half decades later, despite this dizzying spending, we don’t need a drug czar to tell us—even though one of them has—the war on drugs, by its own measures, has been a century-long failure.

It's worth taking a look at how it all went wrong from the very beginning.

Francis Burton Harrison, the New York Congressman whose name the act bears, intended none of this. His bill, which became the Harrison Act, imposed “a special tax on all persons who produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away opium or coca leaves, their salts, derivatives, or preparations.” Interestingly, it did not even include a section on enforcement, other than for tax collection, and while the act regulated the production and sale of “narcotics” (the bill included cocaine, which is not a narcotic), the legislation said nothing about drug users.

At the beginning of the 20th century, everyone’s medicine cabinet contained opium in some form. Patent medicines mixed alcohol and opium, and women used them for menstrual cramps, coughs and other minor symptoms, as well as for infants’ teething pains. Aging Civil War veterans self-injected morphine to soothe old wounds, and physicians dosed patients liberally with opium pills and morphine. Opium smokers, usually Chinese, but also habitués of the urban underworld and the occasional slumming college student, were the most common recreational users.

Yet all of this was changing. The passage of the Federal Food and Drugs Act in 1906 revealed the ingredients in patent medicines to increasingly wary consumers and the development of aspirin by the Bayer Company in 1899 offered a less dangerous alternative for everyday pain relief. Civil War veterans were dying off, Congress had passed a bill banning the importation of smoking (non-medicinal) opium in 1909 and reports in medical journals indicated that heroin, commercialized by Bayer in 1898 as a treatment for coughs and morphine addiction, was actually more addictive than morphine. Per capita opiate use in the United States was indeed declining at the time the bill passed in 1914.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/war-on-drugs-a-century-of-failure-113936.html

Sunday's Doonesbury- Thank A Vet

Another Reactor Closes, Punctuating New Reality for U.S. Nuclear Power

Christina Nunez
National Geographic

As another nuclear power plant closed this week, the United States faced a dwindling fleet of aging reactors, few new projects, and the challenge of safely mothballing radioactive fuel for decades.

Almost all its nearly 100 remaining reactors will be more than 60 years old by 2050. Their owners will have to decide whether the investments needed to keep them running are worth it, given the influx of cheap natural gas that has reshaped the U.S. energy economy.

So far, nuclear isn't winning. Vermont Yankee, which shut down Monday after 42 years of operation, is the fourth U.S. nuclear facility to close in two years. For the owners of each recent retiree—from Vermont Yankee to San Onofre in California, Kewaunee in Wisconsin, and Crystal River in Florida—the math just didn't work.

"When we looked at the cost of those improvements with what we projected as the cost of energy, the decision was that it would be better to shut the plant down," said Martin Cohn, spokesperson for Vermont Yankee's operator, Entergy.



Police Chief Accidentally Shoots Himself For The Second Time

It’s the second time that a Connersville, Indiana Police Chief shot himself in while handling a firearm. Now with the release of the gun store video surveillance footage (scroll down for video), it is clear that just because someone is the chief of police doesn’t mean they are firearms experts.

The chief accidentally shot himself in the leg at a gun store, almost a year ago. But it was some time before the video emerged that showed Chief David Counceller sloppily reholstering his firearm, while shopping for a .380 handgun.

The .380 was not being purchased for use as a law enforcement officer, but he did not explain what he was considering the weapon for.

Almost unbelievably, this is not the first time that Chief Counceller has shot himself accidentally. Back in 1999 he shot himself in the hand while handling a firearm.

“It got tangled in my clothing,” Counceller said, trying to justify his carelessness.



Police Chief Who ‘Accidentally’ Shot His Wife Twice Had Been Divorced By Her, and Caught Cheating

Police Chief William McCollom’s wife, who was shot and critically injured in a pre-dawn New Year’s Day shooting has now been revealed to have divorced him 15 years ago.

It would seem impossible to believe that this was an accident: the hour when the shooting occurred, along with the fact that he fired not once but twice. But in spite of the preposterous nature of such a claim, this is exactly what Chief McCollom is maintaining. In spite of the fact that all evidence points to an intentional shooting, McCollom has not been arrested.

Sherry Lang, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told local WXIA-TV said that while initial reports were that the chief’s wife had been shot twice, she was only hit with one of those two shots from her husband’s 9mm pistol.

But Chief William McCollom was originally divorced and estranged from his wife, something which adds to speculation that this shooting was anything but accidental. The circumstances of the couple’s divorce are sketchy, but Chief McCollom went on to marry a woman in 2002 who was his police department’s chaplain in Delray Beach, Florida.



The dynasty lives on: George P. Bush takes oath of office in Texas

Jeb Bush and his son, George P. Bush, give an interview during the younger man’s 2014 campaign. (LM Otero, AP)

The only title Jeb Bush wants to be called today is proud father of the new Texas land commissioner.

George P. Bush — grandson and nephew of presidents and eldest son of a likely 2016 presidential contender — took his oath of office Friday. As commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, Bush will oversee an agency that manages all of the state’s publicly owned lands, its lucrative mineral rights and oil and gas royalties.

Bush, a 38-year-old businessman, is the fourth generation of his family to hold an elected office. (A little piece of trivia: Bush is also the first in his family to win his first political race, easily defeating Democrat John Cook for the post.) The Texas land commissioner’s job is often a steppingstone to higher office: Outgoing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst once held the post.



Rick Wiles: Gays, Secular Jews And Obama Jews Will Destroy America

On Monday, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles marked the end of 2014 by lamenting that all of his predictions about President Obama’s evil communist plans to foment a race war came true, but no one listened to him.
Let me ask you this question: Why is it so difficult for most people in America to realize that Barack Obama is a jihadist and that he has formally, officially switched sides in U.S. foreign policy? The U.S. now officially supports the Muslim terrorists and opposes Israel, it’s not that difficult to see what’s happening.

Here in the U.S.A., Barry Soetoro, alias Barack Obama, continues to lead his Marxist revolution to overthrow American society and its government. We have Marxist communists marching in the streets of U.S. cities chanting, ‘What do we want? Dead cops now.’ And what happens? Cops sitting in their cruiser get shot in the head. Is it any surprise that this is happening? I warned the American people in 2008 that Barack Obama is a dangerous Marxist communist revolutionary who will start race riots and another civil war and set America on fire. He’s getting away with his radical revolutionary agenda because people can’t believe it’s actually happening. It’s so surreal that people can’t bring themselves to admitting that a Marxist, communist revolution is actually underway in the United States of America.

Wiles later added that gains in marriage equality over the past several years have put America “in direct rebellion against God,” warning that the country has “gone over the morality cliff and the next sound you will hear will be the splat.”

And by “splat,” Wiles means nuclear holocaust, as he went on to suggest that God may punish the U.S. for legalizing same-sex marriage by launching a nuclear war with China that kills millions.

“So go ahead America and wallow around in your decadent, immoral homosexual sex, abortion of millions of babies and your bloody, gory movies, and the bloodshed and violence in your streets and the greed on Wall Street. I promise you there is an end to it coming very soon,” he said. “You allowed militant homosexuals, atheists and secular Jews to take control of your country and turn it into a cesspool of immorality, perversion, violence, rebellion, sorcery and witchcraft; my Bible says such a country will suffer sudden destruction.”

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-wiles-gays-secular-jews-and-obama-jews-will-destroy-america

Someone really needs medical intervention……

Murdoch, Scaife and CIA Propaganda

Special Report: The rapid expansion of America’s right-wing media began in the 1980s as the Reagan administration coordinated foreign policy initiatives with conservative media executives, including Rupert Murdoch, and then cleared away regulatory hurdles, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The Reagan administration pulled right-wing media executives Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife into a CIA-organized “perception management” operation which aimed Cold War-style propaganda at the American people in the 1980s, according to declassified U.S. government records.

Although some records relating to Murdoch remain classified, several documents that have been released indicate that he and billionaire Scaife were considered sources of financial and other support for President Ronald Reagan’s hard-line Central American policies, including the CIA’s covert war in Nicaragua.

A driving force behind creation of Reagan’s extraordinary propaganda bureaucracy was CIA Director William Casey who dispatched one of the CIA’s top covert action specialists, Walter Raymond Jr., to the National Security Council to oversee the project. According to the documents, Murdoch was brought into the operation in 1983 – when he was still an Australian citizen and his media empire was much smaller than it is today.


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