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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 43,566

Journal Archives

Mr. Putin Prepares Russian Athletes For The Olympics & Unveils New Mascot

with xlnt discussion here:

and Luckovich unveils the new mascot for the Olympics.


Who Owns Congress?


President Obama: 'I've Got 3 Opinionated, Strong, Tall Women'

People: ‘I’ve Got 3 Opinionated, Strong, Tall Women’

Sitting down for their annual interview with PEOPLE, President and Mrs. Obama reflect on the year’s difficulties, both in the political arena and the smaller challenges he encounters at home.

“I’ve got three opinionated, strong, tall women,” says President Obama. “If they get together, they can have fun about my ears or being too loud, or how I dress.”

…. The Obamas reveal that daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia, 15, weigh in on Mom’s fashion choices and have tutored Dad in using Instagram and Vine. And, like any kids, they are occasionally embarrassed by their parents.

“Malia had friends over, and there was a question about whether she was going to even introduce them (to her dad), because sometimes he gets a little formal, asking them about school and interests,” the First Lady tells PEOPLE. “She says, ‘I don’t know if my friends can handle that.’” Then she turns to her husband and says, “But she said that you actually did quite well.”

“I acquitted myself well,” notes the President. “I did not embarrass her.”


Target confirms massive credit-card data breach (Began Black Friday thru Dec. 15)

Target confirms massive credit-card data breach

Target says that its stores have been hit by a major credit-card attack involving up to 40 million accounts.

Chief Executive Officer Greg Steinhafel confirmed Thursday morning earlier reports that a brazen data breach had taken place. In a statement, Steinhafel said: "Target is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions, and has identified and resolved the issue."

The retailer said that the unlawful access to customer information took place between Nov. 27 and Dec.15.

Earlier, the Secret Service confirmed to USA TODAY that it is investigating the massive data violation involving shoppers' personal credit-card information



Dan Froomkin @froomkin
Report concludes bulk telephone metadata collection was responsible for preventing exactly zero terrorist plots.
2:05 PM - 18 Dec 2013


oh dear...what should we tell Megyn Kelly?


Elizabeth Warren: "This isn't about me. This is about the issues..."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Chris Hayes asks the right questions, Elizabeth Warren gives the right answers.
by David Atkins

Chris Hayes and Elizabeth Warren had a great conversation. Chris Hayes rightly calls out the Democratic Party for failing to do enough about the decline of the middle class over the last 40 years, and Elizabeth Warren gives the right answers:

My favorite part of the conversation is this, wherein Warren explains the history of the struggling middle-class and the fundamentally broken and unsustainable economy in which we live.

WARREN: This isn't about me. This is about the issues, about what's happening to America's families. America's middle class, America's hard working families have been hammered on for a generation now. And it's not just one problem. It's one after another after another. They've been hit with flat wages or even slightly declining wages. And all the core expenses of being middle class, of housing, of healthcare, of what it costs to keep a child in daycare or send a kid to college, to medical care. All of those costs have shot through the roof. That has put a squeeze on these families. They sent as many people as they could into the workforce, in two-parent families, they sent both Mom and Dad or both Moms into the workforce, but it still wasn't enough. They turned to debt and then they were targeted by a credit industry that figured out you could make huge profits from lending to people who were already in a financial squeeze. And so what's happened is that America's middle class has just been under this enormous pressure, and parts of it are beginning to break apart. Our once steady, solid, almost dull middle class, that was the idea. We were so sure it would always be there. Pieces are starting to break away. Families can no longer say to their kids, "you're going to do better than I did." And that's what it is we have to attack.

HAYES: Senator, here's my question. The trend you're talking about and have been tracking and are trying to address in legislation like this and other pieces of legislation you've introduced, these are 30 to 40 year trends.

: Yep.

HAYES: I mean, we've seen this kind of system, this sort of version of American capitalism, and the Democratic Party has been in power during periods in which that has exacerbated. Democrats voted for the bankruptcy bill which you opposed strenuously. I don't know if Democrats have done enough to combat this. Has the Democratic Party focused enough on this core issue?

WARREN: Look, the question is what are we going to do going forward? We have to outline our priorities and we have to be willing to get in there and fight for them. And that's what all of this is about. It's about how we fight for our college kids, the ones who are trying to get an education and being crushed by student loan debt. It's about how we fight for seniors to protect Social Security and to help people get more money into retirement savings. And in this particular case with this bill, it's how we fight for people who have been hit with one economic blow or another and are out there trying to compete in the job market and just want a level playing field. You're right, the pieces come together because a lot is broken, and it's going to take a lot of pieces to get it fixed again.

The reason there's a big movement to draft Elizabeth Warren for President is simply that she gets it. She understands the history. She doesn't pay lip-service to the middle class while actually pushing for higher asset growth and broad social equality. She understands that the economy is fundamentally broken and requires big changes for the middle class to survive.


Defense Bill Gives Obama Rare Guantanamo Victory (Many detainees may be closer to home)

Source: NPR

Defense Bill Gives Obama Rare Guantanamo Victory
December 18, 2013 2:52 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many detainees at Guantanamo Bay may be closer to heading home under a bipartisan deal reached in Congress that gives President Barack Obama a rare victory in his fight to close the prison for terror suspects.

The compromise is part of a broad defense bill awaiting final passage in the Senate this week. The House approved the measure last Thursday. It's the first time since Obama came to office promising to close Guantanamo that Congress is moving to ease restrictions instead of strengthen them. And it could signal changing political views of the prison for terrorism suspects now that the war in Afghanistan is winding down.

Obama's achievement was somewhat a surprise, after the Republican-controlled House earlier this year voted overwhelmingly to make it harder to transfer detainees. But the deal to move in the opposite direction passed with hardly any opposition and little attention — perhaps overshadowed by more prominent defense bill debates over Iran sanctions, military sexual assaults and spying by the National Security Agency.

But even with the deal, Obama still faces big obstacles to closing Guantanamo. Congress has effectively blocked him from doing so for his first five years in office, and he faces declining clout in his final three. Yet the president seems determined as part of his legacy to push for closure of the prison he argues never should have been opened and "has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law."

Read more: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=255248892

Inequality in Six Panels, featuring Lucky Ducky


So, "Who stole the people's money?"


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