Finding the Right Lawyer

In today's society, being prepared for whatever life can throw your way is a very important thing to do. When you are dealing with some of the most important-- and sometimes unexpected-- moments of your life, having the right legal representation can be an essential element. This can be the case in many different aspects of your life-- buying your first or a second house, purchasing some vacation property, getting married or divorced, going through the last stages of a person's life, or dividing up an estate. There are so many different aspects that require close attention to detail that you need a lawyer in order to get the best out of the situation. Make sure that you do your research and get the best for your valuable money and time. This can make a big difference in the long run.

This can be the case when you are looking for a Real Estate Lawyer in Houston TX. When you are able to have an attorney that is looking out for you, this could make all the difference. Choose an attorney with the experience and the knowledge to get the job done for you in the way that you want and need it to be done. Consider this when you are choosing a Houston TX lawyer.

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Drone Court? No Thanks...

With the Obama administration's signature approach to warfare, drone strikes, coming under both public and congressional scrutiny, there is a proposal to force the federal government to go through a legal system to justify such military actions, in order to check the ability to use such weaponry with disregard and bring some form of legitimacy to it.

As an ardent supporter of drone strikes and using whatever tool the federal government has in the fight to destroy and dismantle al-Qaeda and affiliated terror networks, I am annoyed by this proposal, as I find a
"drone court" to be inherently unjust to the powers of the executive branch, and tactically dangerous in a modern 24/7 conflict.

First off, in regards to specifically targeting enemies already set out by congressional act, or under the War Powers Resolution, the executive branch in coordination with military and intelligence assets has the right, authority and constitutional obligation to do so without any form of obstruction, especially in a modern war where conditions on the ground are constantly changing.

And so, well, I don't think any other reasons are actually necessary, but does anyone seriously think we will win the minds of angry Pakistani militants over if we have a secret court approve our drone strikes on taliban leaders?

That's what I thought, so who would we actually be trying to prove legitimacy to? Our NATO allies? Our Arab allies? The anti-american mobs in the street?  And since the objective of the federal government falls under the simple guideline of protect and defend the United States of America from all enemies, using any and all tools to complete that mission, who really cares whether anyone approves of our methods?

I freaking don't, and thus my opposition to the drone courts.

Stocks Reach Another High

The market appears to be headed upward again. Both the wider market and Google are up today.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 53.91 points, or 0.39 percent, to end at 14,035.67, led by Cisco and MerckThe Dow is within 1 percent of its all-time closing high of 14,164.53 hit on October 9, 2007.
The S&P 500 climbed 11.15 points, or 0.73 percent, to finish at 1,530.94. TheNasdaq rose 21.56 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 3,213.59. 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, slid near 12.
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Middleburgh, New York Village Dissolution Vote

The Village of Middleburgh, a vibrant community situated prominently within the Schoharie Valley is facing the biggest test of her will power this afternoon, at least since the destructive forces of Irene, as voters are heading to the polls to decide this three century old village's future.

Dissolution, which would effectively eliminate the Village as an governing entity, and would result in either Town government or tax districts taking its place, is being brought up by a vote because of a petition that was submitted in early October by a local politician claiming cost savings in the plan.

There has been continuous controversy over this plan. As the short amount of time between when people signed the petition to when the Village votes has caused general confusion for voters, as there has been almost no information obtained about the effects of dissolution in Middleburgh's situation - with complete, data driven intel - due to the nature of New York State law.

Which in itself became controversial as the petition creator claimed the process of dissolution came under one portion of State law, when in reality another portion not only superseded it, but repealed it over two years ago.

And while we haven't been able to have a complete, independent study conducted on dissolution, we do know the following: the Town will face significant cost and tax increases, as they take over the Village's DPW, responsibilities and pick and choose which services they want to maintain, such as youth projects. While the Village will barely see their taxes decrease, as Town taxes will inevitably increase and districts, such as water & sewer, debt, sidewalks and even the local Fire Department, would likely be put in place.

Not to mention the historical value of Middleburgh's three hundred year old Village, which has survived redcoats and floods alike, both bringing a path of destruction to the hard working people of this Valley, would be lost to the dustbins of history over a bad scheme that hoists taxation without representation on Town residents, while destroying a strong civil government for Village residents and eventually, for both Village and Town residents, will see their taxes increase and effectiveness of government decrease.

The vote is today: February 19th, 2013, from twelve to nine this evening at the Middleburgh Town Hall.

Free Republic, Conservative Megasite, is Down

One of the best conservative forums on the internet, Free Republic, is down at the moment and I'm not sure why. I haven't been able to access it since yesterday.

When accessing it, I only get this message:

To see if Free Republic is down, you can use this site to check instantly.

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Finding an MP4 Converter

There are so many options out there for finding a way to get the most out of your computer or phone. With so many tech advances over the years, you want to make sure that you have only the very best when you are on the net or are storing data offline. This is why it is important to consider all of our options when we look at the different programs and apps that are around in the internet ready for use. Consider all of these options before you make up your mind so you can have what you need right there on your computer or phone at the edge of your fingers. These can be a great chance for you to use these tools to get what you want and have the tools on your computer or for your phone and to enjoy their functionality. This can be the case for many different programs, but a lot of it depends on what you enjoy and what you may want to use for your own uses. These can be a great chance to get to know more about what is out there on the internet and how it relates to what you have been working on in the office or on the road or could be using for your own personal enjoyment at home.

You can find different programs that fit your wants and also your needs. For example, if you want to get high quality movies, you can go out and download an itunes to mp4 converter for your computer. In this way you can convert itunes video to mp4 and watch what you want when you want it. With this new tool, you will be able to use an mp4 converter itunes file for your computer and can transfer it to watch on your iPod touch or cell phone. These can add the extra portability that you wanted to take your favorite movie clips or videos on the road with you in the car or to the office or across the country if you really want to. The possibilities really open up when you are able to convert the movies that you want in the way that you want to. Make sure that you have everything that you need right there in front of you and you do your research to get ready all on your own. Think of all of these things as you are getting your favorite programs and movies arranged. These can be great for your collection and for organizing.

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Anonymous Hacks Burger King's Twitter Account

Burger King's official twitter account was hacked earlier today. The group Anonymous has taken responsibility:

The account has now been suspended.

Before it was, however, Anonymous changed the profile to look like McDonald's. They also posted pictures of people taking drugs:
You can read more about this on Buzzfeed.

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Alec Baldwin Goes on Racist Tirade, Calling Black Reporter a "Coon Crackhead"

No wonder he's the Left's darling. From the New York Post:
Actor Alec Baldwin allegedly called a black Post photographer a racial epithet, a "crackhead" and a "drug dealer" during a confrontation on an East Village street yesterday morning, prompting police to intervene.

Baldwin had first been approached by a Post reporter while walking his dogs outside his East 10th Street pad at around 10:50 a.m. He was asked for comment on a lawsuit against his wife, Hilaria, involving her work as a yoga instructor.

The “30 Rock’’ star grabbed the reporter, Tara Palmeri, by her arm and told her, “I want you to choke to death,” Palmeri told police, for whom she played an audiotape of the conversation.

He then called G.N. Miller — a decorated retired detective with the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau and a staff photographer for The Post — a “coon, a drug dealer,’’ Miller’s police statement said.
Alec Baldwin: Alleged racist piece of shit

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McCain: There is a "Massive Cover-up" on Benghazi

Considering all the evidence that screams this, I'd say McCain is more right than even he knows. From Yahoo! News:
While discussing the contentious confirmation hearings for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, things got a bit heated on Sunday's "Meet The Press" when Sen. John McCain referred to the lack of information from the White House surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi as a "massive cover-up."

"There are so many answers we don't know," McCain told host David Gregory. "We've had two movies about getting bin Laden and we don't even know who the people were who were evacuated from the consulate the day after the [Benghazi] attack. So there are many, many questions. So we've had a massive cover-up on the part of the administration."

Gregory then pressed McCain on what the Arizona senator meant by "a massive cover-up."

"I'm asking you, do you care whether four Americans died?" McCain said. "And shouldn't people be held accountable for the fact that four Americans died?"

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Why Senate Republicans Struggle With Filibustering Chuck Hagel

It is obvious Senate Republicans do not approve of former Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination to head the Defense Department, as they were able to successfully filibuster it just last week and even Senator Collins, who voted to invoke cloture, did so as a matter of tradition of respecting cabinet nominees, not actually of personal support.

And this is the conundrum heritage minded Republicans have to face with Hagel's nomination, and we've seen it before: where they have to choose between following their own convictions and the traditions of a legislative body that sees its role as advising and offering consent of presidential cabinet nominations in a limited capacity.

A capacity that believes the President has the absolute right to name his cabinet secretaries, which is true considering they work for him as lieutenants in running the government, and that the Senate's role is to vet them and eventually offer consent. Which constitutionally is quite accurate and historically is not an issue.

However, the Founders did include the consent clause so that the Senate could deny the nominations of individuals ill-suited or radical for the position appointed to, and although that clause has been abused in recent years, especially by the Democrat Party, it is pivotal when discussing Mr. Hagel leading the most important department in the U.S. government.

We haven't seen a Defense Secretary voted down since John Tower in the late 1980's, which led to Mr. Cheney leading our defense apparatus for four years (bet liberals are annoyed looking back at that), and historically it's not a real good idea to do so. But lets face it: Hagel is absolutely unprepared for the role, doesn't have the experience for it and has ideals that are drastically different from U.S. policy.

He is the wrong man for the job, that's why Senate Republicans filibustered his nomination last week and that's why they are still unsure as to where their opposition moves to from here, as tradition bounds them down one path, while conviction another....

So, please... When attempting to label Senate Republicans as unpure, or dinosaurs, remember how our Senate works: tradition, compromise and respect for their role in government; one that has held for two hundred twenty years - longer than most of the world's constitutions can last, let alone function to original intent.

What say you?

Smart Answers to Really Dumb Questions (and Statements), part V

I’m always on the look-out for fresh, new memes that will be working their way into our collective unconscious, and I think I’ve found one. Here in Arkansas, a bill was introduced in the Legislature that prohibits abortion after the 20th week when the fetus’ heartbeat can be heard. This, of course, has driven the liberals quite insane.

Well, more so than usual, I mean.

But I’ve been noticing a word pop up more and more in the letters to the editor regarding this bill, and have thought it rather interesting. See if you can spot the word in the following letters that is rapidly becoming the new pro-abortion meme.

First up is Bev Lindsey from Little Rock:

Women still in danger

If you thought the war on women was over, you are sadly mistaken. Our legislators opened this session with a slew of anti-woman bills in hopes of ending safe and legal abortion in Arkansas.

Politicians in Little Rock are so preoccupied with banning abortion that they have proposed three different abortion bills, including one that bans abortion after 20 weeks, and another as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Both of these laws neglect the personal health and personal circumstances of a woman. These bills violate a woman’s body and take away her ability to make these deeply private medical decisions with her doctor and family.

I believe Sen. Jason Rapert and Rep. Andy Mayberry have no regard for women and are playing ignorance of the Constitution. I hope the Legislature reconsiders these horrific laws and shifts focus back toward the issues it promised us it would focus on-creating jobs and fixing the economy.

It needs to help the women and families in our state-not hurt them.

Wow! Concentrated stuff, there!

Up next, Rosalind Creed from Sherwood:

Holding accountable

Anti-woman politicians like state Sen. Jason Rapert have made their priority for this session very clear-taking away a woman’s ability to make her own health-care decisions. Lawmakers have already introduced three bills targeting abortion.

Sitting at the Capitol, these men don’t seem to understand how difficult a decision to end a pregnancy is for a woman and her family. There are so many things that can happen in a pregnancy-outlawing abortion leaves a woman with no options, gravely putting her health in danger.

They don’t understand that banning abortion will not end abortion. It’s just going to make it more difficult for a woman to get safe access to abortion. Legislators will force women back into alleyways and emergency rooms, bringing back an era of unsafe abortion and dangers for women’s health.

Why are these lawmakers focusing on taking away a woman’s access to health care? We have big problems in our state and it’s starting at the Capitol.

These politicians don’t get it, and we need to hold them accountable.

Whoa! What a firebrand, eh?

This last one from Helen Jane Brown of Fayetteville doesn’t have the word, but it nicely sums up the word’s position.

All have privacy right

It’s not about exceptions for rape, incest or health of the mother. It is about an individual’s constitutional right to privacy and personal liberty.

No one but a woman who becomes pregnant has the right, or the burden, to determine whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

When governing bodies start dictating when, where and how a woman’s body must be examined, prodded or probed, it is the end of equal justice for one gender at the bidding of the other. Women’s bodies are not objects to be controlled by any legislative agenda.

I know no one who is “anti-life,” but I know many who profess to be “pro-freedom.” What freedom is more celebrated in our culture than one of self-determination?

Sadly, there are those in elected positions who misuse their power to create legislation specifically designed to deprive half the population of this country of their right to individual freedom.

Surely they understand that we all desire the same thing-we want what’s best for ourselves and our families. Both men and women have the right to personal freedom and self-determination, not just the half with a Y chromosome.

What is it about the female gender that causes some legislators to feel compelled to propose government control over women’s bodies?

The word that I am seeing is, of course, “anti-woman”.

A couple of questions:

If a man can be “anti-woman”, can a woman be “anti-woman”?
If a man can be “anti-woman”, can a woman be “anti-man”? Why or why not?
What are the qualifications to be “anti-woman”?
If a man loves his wife, but hates abortion, does that make him “anti-woman”? Why or why not?
If a man has never been married, but is engaged to be married, can he still be “anti-woman”?
Can the instruments of abortion be labeled “anti-woman”?
If we must register guns because they can kill children, are we also supposed to register the instruments used to perform abortions?
Why do the very people who are for gun control (because it is for the children) are also pro-abortion (because it is not about the children, but about a woman’s body)?

Now those are examples of smart questions.

Because of this new fascination I have of the emergence of new memes, we only have room to run one example of dumb questions this week. Sorry about that. We have Victor Oliver from Bismarck must be a reader of this column, because he’s got a real list of really dumb questions. Let’s hear from him:

Who decides its start?

Jason Rapert states in a recent letter: “When there is a heartbeat, there is life.”

Life doesn’t begin or end. It is. It is a continuum.

Do sperm, egg, zygote and fetus all have this life he wishes to protect? Do we declare each of these with personhood, or does personhood come during a progression of development and experience? Is the embryo or fetus simply a parasitic tissue with the potential of personhood?

Do our views and actions regarding conception, development, birth and death derive from emotion, religion and politics, or from science and reason? Do we ban contraception or do we require the biblical injunction regarding the “wasting of seed”? Which methods do we wish to restrict?

If a person has an everlasting soul, when does he get it? Or, does it preexist one’s physical birth? Do we possess the knowledge and wisdom to decide for everyone?

Well, Victor, if life doesn't begin or end, then yes, a sperm, egg, zygote and fetus all have life. But personhood is different from life. Does a flower have life? Yes. Is it a person? No. See the difference? Knowing liberals, probably not.

If life doesn't begin or end, as you state, then there is no time that a person gets an everlasting soul. And why would we need the knowledge and wisdom to decide for everyone, since you have stated definitively that life doesn't begin or end, it is a continuum. If life is a continuum, then it is reasonable to assume that making a decision for one would result in making the decision for all.

And, for your information, Victor, the biblical injunction was not about “wasting of seed", but of disobeying the Lord's direct command. The full story can be found in Genesis 38:8-10. It is as follows: "8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother." 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his: so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord's sight; so he put him to death also."

I'm telling you, liberals are getting stupider and stupider every day.

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Sunday Fun: Best War/Combat Video Game Character

Ok, this is completely off-topic for Pundit Press, as we usually report on news; investigate stories, and express opinions on current world events and politics, but since it's the tail-end of the weekend, shall we discuss video games?

And not just video games, but the bad ass characters who make these video games so freaking awesome.

I'm talking Marcus Fenix of Gears, Captain Price of Modern Warfare, everyone in Bad Company, etc. etc.  My question for you, the humble reader, is: who is the best character in recent war/combat video games?

Please feel free to clutter up the comments section, as I am interested in what other gamers think on this topic, as I'm sure like me, they have played a wide array of main characters in too many games to even possibly remember, but there are those few who just stand out more than others.

My favorite?

Definitely Viktor Reznov from Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Sure, you can barely play as Reznov in either appearances (a flashback in Black Ops), but who can really argue with his awesomeness?

What say you?

Rihanna Attacked by Fan

Not politics, but interesting.

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Woodward: Dems Have Asked WH to Pull Hagel

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In Case You Didn't Hear: Cloture Vote on Hagel Fails; Nomination Delayed

From Policy Mic:
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Obama’s nominee to lead the Pentagon in a defiant move likely to further strain partisan tensions while preventing the White House, at least temporarily, from assembling its second-term national security team.

In a result that broke down almost strictly along party lines, Democratic senators could not muster the support to advance the nomination of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, to a final vote. The vote was 58 to 40, falling short of the 60 that were needed.

Democrats vowed to try again to resuscitate the nomination of Mr. Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, when the Senate returns from recess in 10 days. Several Republicans who voted against Mr. Hagel said they would not block a final vote.

Democrats accused the opponents of mounting the first-ever filibuster against a Pentagon chief for their own political purposes.
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Video: Krauthammer Ridicules Obama's Preschool Mandate

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Colorado School Bans White Students From Tutoring Program

From CBS Denver:

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Video: Obama Inartfully Explains: "The Problem Is ... I’m Not the Emperor of the United States"

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Saturday Morning's Top Articles

Here are the top conservative articles this Saturday morning:

California Police Chief Claims The Constitution Is A Myth from My Pet Jawa

500+ Injured, Major Havoc Wreaked as Russian Air Defense Unit Reportedly Intercepts Meteorite with Missiles (Video) from Reaganite Republican

Four shootings follow Obama's Chicago visit from Politico

Obama Sure Was Happy To Meet The Guy Who Released Romney’s 47% Comment from the Lonely Conservative

Vatican says conclave could start before March 15 from the Jerusalem Post

Krauthammer Mocks Obama’s Universal Preschool Plan from Fox Nation

Fiscal Gap Worse Than Fiscal Cliff from CFIF

Elizabeth Warren praised for showing ‘no mercy’ in hearings; Ted Cruz deemed ‘nasty’ from Twitchy

Gov. Bob McDonnell cuts state employee hours to avoid Obamacare costs from the Examiner

Ashley Judd leaning towards running for Senate in Kentucky for some reason from Hot Air

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Beautiful: Map of Mercury's Rock Composition

HT: BBC News

The brownish color were so used to represents Mercury's massive Volcano ranges, while the exaggerated blue represents unknown mineral deposits:

Budget Cuts to Hurt Army Efforts in Final Stages of Afghan War

Well... Its not like drastic budget cuts to our defense apparatus would result in serious complications to our military's ability to wage war and support our ongoing missions in the War on Terror, or anything. Our men and women in the Armed Forces are always first on the minds of Washington bureaucrats, right?

Eh, apparently not - according to General Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, in remarks he made Friday to the Bookings Institution.

The General stated the Army is currently facing a shortfall of as much as $8 billion to operate the last stages of the Afghanistan War, and could loose another $5.4 billion if scheduled budget cuts take effect at the end of the month. Meaning the Army will likely have to extend deployments for combat brigades currently in the war-torn nation, for brigades soon to be deployed there, and those brigades soon to be deployed might not be adequately trained if the funding is not there.

Oh... Shit.

Doesn't it just give you a big, warm, teddy bear like feeling to know our final two years of active combat in Afghanistan will either see troops with even longer deployments and fewer resources, or bad training going into a dangerous withdrawal situation on the ground. Well, I don't know about you, but it pisses me off.

I really don't care if we cut lunchtime for kids across the country, ok. They don't even like the freaking food! But when it comes to our men and women in uniform, serving us in one of the most hostile environments on earth, being forced to serve longer tours of duty, or enter combat unprepared because of Washington using them as a political budget gimmick, you're asking for a can of whoop ass on your useless bureaucratic ass.

Ugh... What say you?

New Photo of Hugo Chavez Released after Two Month Absence

Unfortunately, he appears to be alive:

More from the AP:
The world got its first glimpse of Hugo Chavez since he underwent a fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba more than two months ago, with photos released Friday showing the Venezuelan leader alongside his daughters in Havana.

Along with images of the puffy-faced Chavez came a government explanation for why no one has heard from the longtime president since his surgery: He's breathing through a tracheal tube that makes speech difficult.

Chavez's government described his condition as "delicate" and said he continues to undergo "vigorous treatment for his fundamental illness." The images and new details filled a vacuum of information about Chavez's condition that has spurred rampant speculation in Venezuela. Government officials say Chavez has been recovering in Cuba since undergoing cancer surgery on Dec. 11.
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Russian Meteorite Map 2/15/2013

UPDATE: Video and Pictures.

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Video of Chelyabinsk, Urals (Russia) Meteor Explosion

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Russian Military: We Shot Down the Chelyabinsk Meteor

Comes from Russia Today, which has a very spotty record, so take it with a handful of salt. Still interesting, though.

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Video of Chelyabinsk Meteor 2/15/2013

Russian Meteor Map

UPDATE: Video and Pictures.

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Russian Meteor Pictures


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Russian Meteor Video

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Finding Vistaprint Coupons

Getting your office supply needs today can be tricky if you do not know where to start. There are many companies out there that seem to offer you just what you need, but when you are dealing with prices, shipping, and quality, you may need to do a fair amount of research before you decide on anything for your business or your personal life. So when you are looking at the various things that you may need-- cards, signs, stickers, letterhead, stationary, and the like, you want to make sure that you are getting only the best for your money and that you are doing the best to succeed.

That's where Vistaprint comes in. Vistaprint offers some of the best services for your office and other supply needs at a price that you can afford. I know it personally-- I get my cards done through their online service. That is why being able to use their Vistapri​nt coupo​n code 2�​ to get the discounts that you can use towards what you are buying. You can check out their specials and all of the products that they offer and use Vistaprint deals to get that extra savings. Take advantage of these promo co​des 2013​ to get the quality that you deserve. These can come in very handy as these promo codes 2013 will help as you are building your business, hobby, or anything else in your life.

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Hagel Nomination Filibustered 58-40

Senate Republicans were able to successfully filibuster Chuck Hagel's Secretary of Defense nomination, albeit by a one vote margin, raising the stakes in what has become a blockbuster Capitol Hill fight over President Obama's unpopular choice to replace Leon Panetta.

The cloture vote, which would have ended debate and brought the nomination to a up or down vote on the floor, went down by a single vote: as every Democrat in the chamber voted yes; all but four Republicans voted no and Senator Orrin Hatch voted "present", leaving either side without a clear super majority either for or against.

Meaning... We will have to redo this entire vote within the next couple of weeks, and see whether Hagel's nomination can attract one more Republican defection, such as Hatch, or whether it will remain one single vote shy of essentially confirmation, although this is purely procedural.

As an opponent of Hagel's nomination, I am pleased by the filibuster, as it sends a clear message to the President that our representatives are not going to rubber stamp his second term's cabinet or policies. It should also warn him that maybe he should select a bipartisan figure to lead our defense apparatus, for I imagine he doesn't want his administration's second term repeating Bush's ineffectiveness at appointments.

Hopefully, we can kill Hagel's nomination next time and have a real candidate for Defense Secretary submitted to the Senate, but I guess only time will tell.

What say you?

P.S. - The four Republicans voting for Hagel were Collins, Cochran, Johanns and Murkowski.

P.P.S - The vote reads 58-40 because Majority Leader Reid had to vote against the nomination in order to bring it back up for a vote at a later time.

Report: Hagel Said State Department 'Run by the Jews in Israel'

I see now why President Obama supports him so ardently. From the Washington Free Beacon:
Fox News Channel on Tuesday reported that secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel failed to disclose to the United States Senate speeches delivered to controversial groups such as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee as well as James Zogby’s Arab American Institute.

Meanwhile, a 2007 speech then-Sen. Hagel delivered at Rutgers University in New Jersey as he tested the waters for a presidential run is drawing fresh scrutiny.

Hagel said the U.S. Department of State was an adjunct of the Israeli foreign minister’s office, according to a contemporaneous report of the event.

Republican political consultant and Hagel supporter George Ajjan wrote about the March 2, 2007, speech on his website the following day, writing a description “point by point through some of the more important elements of his speech.”
Hagel: 'Department of State is an adjunct of Israel'

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LIAR: Obama Made No Phone Calls on Night of Benghazi Attack, White House Now Says

Huh. Isn't it odd that the President stated that he, and I quote, "was on the phone with my national security team and I gave them three instructions” the night of Benghazi. One word: liar. Two words: cover up.

From the Washington Times:
President Obama didn’t make any phone calls the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House said in a letter to Congress released Thursday.

“During the entire attack, the president of the United States never picked up the phone to put the weight of his office in the mix,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who had held up Mr. Obama’s defense secretary nominee to force the information to be released.

Mr. Graham said that if Mr. Obama had picked up the phone, at least two of the Americans killed in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi might still be alive because he might have been able to push U.S. aid to get to the scene faster.

The White House has said Mr. Obama was kept up to date on the attack by his staff, though after being alerted to the attack in a pre-scheduled afternoon meeting he never spoke again with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin E. Dempsey or then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
President Obama: caught in yet another lie
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New Medal for Drone Operators Outranks Bronze Star...

The Pentagon has announced the creation of a new medal, the Distinguished Warfare Medal, which will be awarded to men and women who have actively assisted in combat, but not on the ground in the traditional sense - such as drone operators and cyber warfare experts - to recognize their efforts in wartime.

However, this new medal will have higher military precedence then the Bronze Star... Meaning the virtual X-box like warrior in the drone operator's room can receive a medal of more valor then the infantryman, starving to death eight thousand miles away from home, fighting for his life against an enemy outpost...

Ok, I understand the United States military is attempting to move away from conventional warfare and towards automated techniques, such as drone warfare, precise missile strikes and a light boots-on-the-ground footprint, but are we really embracing a new warrior ethos where the bronze star is not outranked by a new medal for drone operators?

Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me...

What is our military coming to? Dear Lord, Almighty...

Gallup: Pakistani Disapproval of US Greatest in History

Why didn't we send a reset button there too? From Gallup:
With President Barack Obama's first term characterized by strained relations between Pakistan and the U.S., more than nine in 10 Pakistanis (92%) disapprove of U.S. leadership and 4% approve, the lowest approval rating Pakistanis have ever given.

Pakistanis' approval of the leadership of their ostensible ally, the United States, has historically been quite low. However, perceptions began to change, albeit modestly, through much of Obama's first term. As recently as May 2011, 27% of Pakistanis approved of U.S. leadership, the apex of support. Noticeably, approval declined after the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, carried out by the U.S. military without the assistance of the Pakistani military -- an event that many Pakistanis viewed as a blatant disregard for Pakistani sovereignty.

These findings are based on a survey conducted from Sept. 30-Oct. 16, 2012, in Pakistan. The survey directly followed massive demonstrations against the release of an anti-Muslim film made in the U.S.

Concurrently, Pakistanis now more than at any other time in the past three years feel threatened by interaction with the West, according to a May 12-June 6, 2012, survey. A majority (55%) say interaction between Muslim and Western societies is "more of a threat," up significantly from 39% in 2011. This sharp increase is observed at a time of heightened Pakistani concerns regarding U.S. encroachment on Pakistani sovereignty, including an intensified number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as the aforementioned May 2011 killing of bin Laden by the United States military. Thirty-one percent instead see interaction between Muslim and Western societies as "more of a benefit," and the other 13% are unsure.

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NYT Writer Under Fire After Logs Reveal he Repeatedly Lied in Numerous Articles

I'm absolutely shocked a reporter for the New York Times would do such a thing. From Slash Gear:
Tesla has torn into the New York Times review of its Model S electric car, using systems logs showing charge and recharge status, driving style, cabin settings and more to undermine claims the EV is unreliable. In a detailed run-down of the stats gathered by the Model S’ onboard computer – something Tesla says it always does “carefully” on media drives, after UK car show Top Gear made similar reliability claims about a previous model, in a case which ended up in the courtroom - Tesla CEO Elon Musk argues that NYT reviewer John Broder was prejudiced against electric cars from the start, and did as much as possible to portray the Model S as unfit for the road.

For instance, the onboard logs showing what charge the Model S had at points of the journey, and when Broder decided to recharge, indicate he took the car off the power connection earlier than stated in the original review. “The final leg of his trip was 61 miles and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles” Musk argues. “He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense.”

Meanwhile, some of Broder’s claims about how he tried to minimize power consumption are also challenged. Musk points to the typical speeds driven at – 65 to 85 mph – and the average cabin temperature of 72F for the duration of the test, and the fact that the reviewer also actively turned the heating up when charge was getting low.

Broder is even accused of trying to artificially run down the Model S’ battery by more than it would typically, driving “in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot” in front of one of Tesla’s Supercharger power stations, in what Musk suggests is an attempt to fully drain the car. Tesla also points out the sheer number of charging points – both its own, and those run by other companies – along the length of Broder’s drive, as a counterpoint to the number of times the reviewer actually stopped to rejuice.
Broder: Alleged Assclown
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Thursday Morning's Top Articles

The top articles this morning from the conservative internet:

It Finally Hit Me: Barack Obama Will Never Be Held Responsible for Anything from Rush Limbaugh

Obama’s Amazing Bullshit Factory from the Other McCain

Home Prices Are Back... To 1894's Levels from Zero Hedge

SOTU: Energy Fabrications, Falsehoods and Fantasies from WUWT

John Kerry Fail – Russian Foreign Minister Refused To Return His Call from the Lonely Conservative

'Iran pushing major nuclear expansion' from the Jerusalem Post

College names anti-racism award after Trayvon Martin from CDN

Rubio water-swig replay tally: MSNBC 155, CNN 34, Fox News 12 from the Daily Caller

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Oscar Pistorius Charged with Murder After Shooting Girlfriend

From the Daily Mail:
South African paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder and is in custody after reportedly shooting his girlfriend dead in the middle of the night after mistaking her for a burglar.

Gunfire was heard inside his Pretoria mansion at 4am this morning and it is believed his partner may have been killed after a Valentine's Day surprise went tragically wrong.

The dead woman is Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a former FHM model who had been dating the 26-year-old for two months.

She was shot in the head, the chest and the arm, police have said, and Pistorius will appear in court tomorrow after a hearing scheduled for this afternoon was cancelled.

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Video of Chelyabinsk, Urals (Russia) Meteorite Explosion 2/15/2013

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Russian Meteorite Pictures 2/15/2013


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Chelyabinsk Meteorite Video 2/15/2013

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Russian Meteorite Video 2/15/2013

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Video of Meteor in Russian Urals 2/15/2013

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Meteor Shower Reported in Eastern Russia

Update: Video of the Shower.

Burning bright in the sky and sending shockwaves on impact, a meteor shower just descended upon Eastern Russia:

"It was definitely not a plane," an emergency official told Reuters, without elaborating. "We are gathering the bits of information and have no data on the casualties so far."
No one was hurt in a meteor shower, an emergency official told RIA-Novosti. Local residents said they witnessed burning objects in the sky of the Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions.
A Reuters witness in Chelyabinsk reported hearing a huge blast early in the morning and feeling a shockwave in a 19-storey building in the town center.
The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, the witness said, and mobile phones were working intermittently.
"Preliminary indications are that it was a meteorite rain," an emergency official told RIA-Novosti. "We have information about a blast at 10,000-meter (32,800-foot) altitude. It is being verified."
The trace from a falling object could be seen in Yekaterinburg, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Chelyabinsk, another Reuters witness said.

Where Did the Russian Meteor Hit? 2/15/2013

Cheylabinsk, in Siberia.

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CNN Analyst Praises Dorner: "Like Watching 'Django Unchained'...It's Kind Of Exciting"

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Sheila Jackson Lee: "I'm a Freed Slave"

You know what else she is? Nuts. From the Hill:
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) urged her colleagues to reach a compromise to prevent spending cuts through sequestration, arguing that government programs are already as lean as they can be...

She called on Republicans to meet Democrats at the negotiating table and rejected the idea that President Obama delivered a partisan State of the Union address Tuesday night.

"May I ask them to take some cotton out of their ears, because in actuality, the president extended his hands of friendship," she said. "I don't want to hear the fact that the president is divisive. The president is leading, and he's led well."

Jackson Lee suggested lawmakers should take inspiration from President Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War.

"I stand here as a freed slave because this Congress came together. Are we going to be able to do it today to free America?"

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Kate Upton 2013 Sports Illustrated Cover

Because sometimes you just need a break from politics:

And this definitely qualifies as an, err, break from the usual.

Gasp! Video Emerges of Obama THROWING Water Bottle During Speech

Considering the Left's uproar over Marco Rubio drinking water, if we apply their logic, President Obama should be impeached for this: throwing a water bottle to a crowd member:

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Liberals on Marco Rubio's Intelligent SOTU Response: "What an Idiot, He Drank Water!"

Liberals have a difficult time staying on point in an argument. Never was this so obvious in the aftermath of Marco Rubio (R, FL) and his response to President Obama's State of the Union speech. Mr. Rubio made a point-by-point analysis of why President Obama has failed the American people, which offering a myriad of practical, conservative solutions to the problems that face the United States.

In response, the Left has responded in unison: "What an Idiot, He Drank Water!" That's right, for a moment during Mr. Rubio's response, he paused to drink from a bottle of water. Here's the video in case you missed it:

A little awkward? Sure. But we have all had a dry throat at some time. The President himself drank water during a speech at a recent G20 conference:
But because Marco Rubio is a Republican, this has become a scandal to the left. Within hours of the speech, CBS dubbed Mr. Rubio's drink "water bottle-gate."  The Wall Street Journal covered thousands of people criticizing Rubio.

Mindless liberal drones followed suit on twitter, excoriating Mr. Rubio for drinking. A simple search for "Rubio water" reveals liberals calling him a moron for the sip:
Some even called for his death because of the water:
Some were happy to use more offensive terms:

This is the world we are living in, clear evidence of why President Obama was reelected. After an excellent, point-by-point speech about the troubles that face the United States today, the uninformed masses are talking about someone drinking water.

Update: Video Emerges of Obama THROWING Water Bottle During Speech

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Video: Marco Rubio's "Water Bottle-Gate Moment"

According to CBS, a Senator drinking water is news:

CBS reported, horrifyingly pretending to be objective:
Commentators immediately pounced: On CNN, Wolf Blitzer was captured saying, "uh oh" as Rubio put the water bottle down again, and gifs of the moment immediately popped up on Twitter.
I think I speak for everyone when I say: who the fuck cares?

Update: Gasp! Video Emerges of Obama THROWING Water Bottle During Speech

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Wednesday Morning's Top Articles

Here are the top articles this Wednesday morning:

Focus Group – By Large Majority – Prefers Rubio’s Vision For America Over Obama’s from the Gateway Pundit

Price of Gallon of Gas Up 96% Under Obama from CNS News

Iran to Buy North Korea's Nuclear Plans on the Cheap? from the Gatestone Institute

Weird, Unknown Drone Photographed Hovering Over Oakland Neighborhoods from Reaganite Republican

Obama packs house to push gun ban agenda; millions of late-term aborted fetuses unavailable for comment from Doug Ross


Raising the Minimum Wage Hurts Low-Income Workers from the Heritage Foundation

Exclusive: Russia plans $25-$30 billion oil-for-loans deal with China from Reuters

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The Greatness of Baseball's Teamwork/Individual Balance

I have stood first in-line of green National Guard recruits ready to face drill sergeants at Fort Benning for the first time, but nothing has scared me more then the thought of striking out to Cooperstown babe ruth's fifteen year old girl pitcher with the game in my hand's.

At home.

With 2 outs.

In the bottom of the sixth inning.

With all of my teammates watching.

That was simply terrifying.

But that is also the wonder of baseball. No team can prevail without teamwork; without nine, ten, maybe more players combining all of their efforts to function effectively against the opposing line-up, yet every team is guaranteed defeat if every player does not have the ability to individually act in the clutch, to play from their heart and to the best of their capabilities.

Sure, there are some teams that are defined by a single player... But they usually do not win any championships, and if they do, its' usually because the quiet heroes playing along side them did their job thanklessly as the sports media showers praise on that one guy for whatever reason.

Baseball is unique in that sense. Where other sports depend almost entirely on teamwork, or that one clutch player to lead their efforts; baseball requires the best from working as a team and from as an individual from every player. You don't win the World Series if no one stands out at some point in the season and provided the crucial third strike, or that game winning single in the bottom of the fourteenth inning, three games out of first place, against your division rival.

And as I look back, almost five years removed from that aforementioned match up against the 15 year old Cooperstown girl pitcher, I can understand the beautiful balance of baseball: if it was not for my buddy Morgan smashing a double before me, driving in the tying run, and then moving to third after a wild pitch, what I did would have never meant anything, in fact I might have never batted...

So with baseball once again returning for another long, sweaty season criss-crossing professional, amateur, collegiate, high school, youth and little leagues, I think back to what makes baseball so worth playing, watching and being apart of. The greatness of team work, yet the amazing impact of one man's performance on the entire tide of the game.

What say you?

Oh, by the way, I clubbed a solid single to center-left field, driving in Morgan - the winning run - on a two-one count, winning a then crucial game for my babe ruth team, and avoiding embarrassment of epic proportions. 

Video: LAPD Scanner of Dorner Cabin: "Burn that Motherfucker Down"

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Is Christopher Dorner Dead?

Police have found a charred body that they believe may be Christopher Dorner, who was likely killed in a shootout with police today.
A source told the Associated Press that a charred body was found in rubble of the cabin.  Sources told KTTV that the body appeared to be Dorner, but there was no official confirmation. 
Dorner, who hours earlier had killed one San Bernardino sheriff's deputy and wounded another before barricading himself in the cabin, in the San Bernardino mountains, was believed to be inside. Dorner, who vowed not to be taken alive, had been surrounded inside the cabin since early Tuesday afternoon. It was not clear who set the fire in the Big Bear community where Dorner apparently has been hiding since sometime last week.

Where was Christopher Dorner Killed? 2/12/2013

Near the Big Bear resort:

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Picture of Dorner Cabin or Compound

Where he is supposed dead:

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Video: Entire State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013

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Watch LAPD Dorner News Conference Live

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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How Did Christopher Dorner Die? 2/12/2013

Police have found a charred body that they believe may be Christopher Dorner, who was likely killed in a shootout with police today.
A source told the Associated Press that a charred body was found in rubble of the cabin.  Sources told KTTV that the body appeared to be Dorner, but there was no official confirmation. 
Dorner, who hours earlier had killed one San Bernardino sheriff's deputy and wounded another before barricading himself in the cabin, in the San Bernardino mountains, was believed to be inside. Dorner, who vowed not to be taken alive, had been surrounded inside the cabin since early Tuesday afternoon. It was not clear who set the fire in the Big Bear community where Dorner apparently has been hiding since sometime last week.

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Christopher Dorner Dead

After a week of hunting for the most wanted man in California's history, Christopher Dorner - a former Navy Reservist and LAPD officer - apparently committed suicide at Big Bear Lake. As after a shootout that left yet another police officer dead, and another wounded in his wake he holed up in a cabin that was completely surrounded by Sheriff's deputies, a solitary gunshot was heard, followed by flames engulfing the entire cabin.

Thankfully, the horror is over, and Dorner is finally no longer a threat to Los Angeles' finest.

Christopher Dorner Cornered in Big Bear Lake

According to news reports, accused murderer Christopher Dorner has been cornered in a cabin located in Big Bear Lake within San Bernadino County.

Dorner, who has been hunted by authorities across Southern California since he murdered three people - including a police officer - in Los Angeles as part of his delusional war on the LAPD for firing him in 2008 for making false police brutality charges against a fellow officer.

He has become the most wanted man in the state's history.

Apparently, when nearing a police roadblock near Big Bear Lake this afternoon: Dorner stole a vehicle, wounded two sheriff's deputies after opening fire on them and was forced to barricade himself in a rural cabin, where the Sheriff has requested helicopters stay clear as shots are currently being exchanged.

Stay tuned, as this could finally be the end of Dorner's war on the LAPD and the State of California's largest manhunt in history.

Live Video of Christopher Dorner Gunfight with Police

Live Video streaming by Ustream

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LIVE AUDIO: Christopher Dorner Sighted In Big Bear, Gunfire Being Exchanged, 2 Officers Shot

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‘Storage Wars’ Star Kills Self

From Yahoo! News:
Mark Balelo, an auction house owner on “Storage Wars,” has died. He was 40.

Sometimes referred to “Rico Suave” on the show because of his eye-catching outfits, Balelo was found dead Monday at his Simi Valley, California, business, reports the Ventura County Star.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office did not give a cause of death for Balelo, saying an autopsy would be done on Tuesday. However, TMZ reports he was found dead in his car, which had been left running, and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

His death came on the heels of a drug arrest. On Saturday, he was picked up at his place of business for alleged possession of a controlled substance. TMZ reports that he was “distraught” after being released from jail. He was scheduled to appear in court on February 19.
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Senate Armed Services Committee to Vote on Hagel Nomination

Despite Republican objections, Senator Levin (D-Michigan), Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a public discussion, and vote, on the nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, who President Obama has selected to replace Defense Secretary Panetta.

The vote, which is expected to follow party-lines, will take place this afternoon and will likely approve his nomination and send it to the floor for the consideration of the entire U.S. Senate.

Hagel's nomination is all but guaranteed at this point, as he has the public support of an near-filibuster proof majority (all 55 Democrats and 2 Republicans), while an additional four GOP members have vowed not to join any attempt to filibuster his nomination. Leaving us with an unqualified, divisive figure soon to become our leader on Defense.

What say you?

Democratic House Chairwoman Wasserman-Schultz Caught Lying to Press

I'm sure it was all just a misunderstanding. From the Washington Examiner:
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attempted a bit of deception Monday in an effort to criticize GOP rising star Marco Rubio ahead of his State of the Union rebuttal Tuesday night. But on this occasion, the press wasn't falling for it.

In a conference call Monday, Wasserman Schultz enlisted the help of Annette Capella, described by party officials as a "Medicare recipient from Florida," to warn of the "extreme budget priorities," they believe Rubio is likely to outline in his televised response to President Obama's address.

Capella gave a lengthy and unflattering statement about Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida and Tea Party favorite. She admitted he is an attractive politician but one who would make life more difficult for seniors by supporting a plan to alter Medicare by reducing benefits.

It turns out, however, that Capella is hardly your standard Medicare-dependent Floridian. She's the Democratic Party's state committeewoman for St. Johns County.

The truth was uncovered when the call was opened up to questions. The first query came from a Palm Beach Post reporter, who asked Wasserman Schultz if Capella was the same person listed as the head of the St. Johns Democratic Party.
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Angus King Slams Final Nail in Assault Weapons Ban Coffin

HT: Politico 

The renewed push for the 90's era assault weapons ban is quickly loosing steam in the Senate, as not only has it failed to receive any Republican support whatsoever, but the Democratic caucus is turning against it in favor of a compromise package proposed by Senator Chuck Schumer.

It was not surprising to see pro-gun Democrats such as Joe Manchin and Harry Reid turn against Senator Feinstein's proposal, but the surprising defection of Independent Senator Angus King over the weekend all but guarantees the defeat of this legislation in the Senate, although it was unlikely of ever passing the House.

King, an Independent Senator from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, said he's leaning against it because he wants to focus on "the functionality, not the looks." And that it's too easy someone could avoid the ban by simply altering the appearance of the gun - and that he would rather support what would work, such as universal background checks and maybe magazine limits. 

While I'm not exactly celebrating King's other gun-related policies, the fact he's against the worst proposal submitted since the fight over gun control reignited a few months ago, due to skepticism about the effectiveness of an assault weapons ban, all but guarantees a major defeat for a gun control crowd looking to capitalize on the massacre of little children for their political agenda.

Statistically, the assault weapons ban would never have passed the Senate in the first place, but I now feel symbolically victorious as the final nail in the legislation's coffin is by a Senator such as Angus King, an Independent elected-Democrat caucused Senator, simply due to common sense...

What say you?

"The Bing Challenge?" Yes, It's Rigged... Or at the Very Least, Something is Very Wrong

I'm not sure if you've heard of "The Bing Challenge," but if you haven't, it's pretty straight forward: Bing wants you to use their search engine instead of Google's, and is willing to take it on one-on-one. You put in a search term, and Bing shows you two separate results: one from Google, one from Bing. You are then asked to choose which one you liked more. The catch is that you don't know which is which until the end.

Microsoft is trumpeting it as a success, gleefully saying that more users have chosen Bing over Google. That may be true, but there is a reason why that may be so: the Bing challenge does not actually show what shows up on the respective search engines. Put another way, if you search "bananas" on the Bing challenge, Microsoft changes the results for both Google and Bing. If you then go to bing.com or google.com and search the same term again, your results will be different.

In researching this, the results were often only slightly different, but they were always different for both search engines. Always. And at times, the first result (or more) were radically different. Whether this is intentional by Microsoft can only be speculated upon, and I will not do that here. What I will do, however, is show you what happened when I took the Bing challenge.

The Bing challenge is short: you search five terms, then it shows you which engine you prefered. Mine were: phil ochs, albert pujols stats, gravy, opera, valentine's day, in that order. I had never searched any of those terms before on either Google or Bing, so neither search engine would have been able to tailor their results to my preferences. The most blatantly different results were under "opera," so that is the one I will be showing first.

Here was the result for "opera" with the Bing challenge (tough to see? Click on the image for better quality):

The left side (which turned out to be Bing):
The right side (which turned out to be Google):
Pretty straight forward, right? Actually, both searches were surprisingly similar... Until you actually search for them yourself. Here's what it looked liked when you Binged "opera" from bing.com:
Quick, which one defined "opus" when taking the "Bing challenge?" If your answer was "neither," you would be correct. That's certainly odd, no? Well, guess what: Google "opera" and you get a different page from what was shown to you during the Bing challenge:
Feel free to use all the search terms that I used above. Go crazy and use your own. What you will find is that the Bing Challenge is not quite on the up and up, either because of outright deception or mistakes by Microsoft.

So yes, the Bing Challenge is fixed. Or, at the very least, something is quite amiss with their so called "challenge."

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Reeva Steenkamp, Model Girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, Killed by Pistorius in Alleged Mix-Up

From CNN:
South African model Reeva Steenkamp was looking forward to Valentine's Day.

"What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow?" the 29-year-old asked her thousands of followers on Twitter a day before. "Get excited."

She did not live to see the day.

Steenkamp died early Thursday after a shooting at the Pretoria home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, her boyfriend.

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