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Friday, February 1, 2013

Video: The Supposedly Racist VW Ad

I actually think it's pretty good. VW normally makes great ads:

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Turkish Police: Marxist-Leninist Terror Group Responsible for U.S. Embassy Bombing


Apparently, we still have to be on the lookout for radical Marxists hellbent on preventing American imperialism:
Tension is high in Turkey after a suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara as officials identified the attacker as a member of a radical leftist group.The blast killed a Turkish security guard, authorities say. The bomber died.
Istanbul police identified the bomber as Ecevit Shanli, a member of DHKP-C, a Marxist Leninist terror group.
The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, is a well funded, well trained radical Marxist terror organization in Turkey that has successfully targeted and killed Americans and Westerners for two decades now, including soldiers and personnel.

They have been quieter in recent years, as security operations within Turkey have stymied many planned attacks, but today's strike is most likely in reaction to the four hundred American soldiers that are currently deployed in Turkey right now with the Patriot missiles (you know, the ones, we sent to Turkey to protect them from Assad...)

This being the second attack on an American Embassy in just five months, we should remember the world is full of terrorists and cowards determined to strike the United States, and with that in mind - incoming Secretary of State Kerry should make reviewing and revamping our embassies security a top priority.

What say you?

Ed Koch: A Great Man

Ed Koch, former three-term Mayor of New York City, passed away early this morning from congestive heart disease, he was eighty-eight years old.

Koch, a giant within the City Democrat Party, will find well wishes and condolences by members belonging to both parties, as his fellow Democrats loved his outspoken liberalism and Republicans respected his principled nature, especially in his later years when he would often place his political allegiance on the side for what he thought was best.

From being drafted as a young Jewish man into the Army, where he served as an Infantryman in the European theatre in World War 2, to fighting the corrupt system in Tammany Hall to serving his City in the House of Representatives to eventually reaching the apex as Mayor, his life was a constant testimony to public service and patriotism.

The world lost not only an outspoken man, who would confront anyone, any party and basically any issue on his principles and stubborn City attitude, but a man we could count on clarity in this confusing world of ours - as he liked to refer to himself, a liberal with sanity.

And as I like to remember him as: a great man.

The Month in Review

It's amazing when you have to write articles like this! Well, after a busy January, Pundit Press is here to satiate your lust for stats. And what better way to do it than recap the month we just had?

Total traffic in January: 48,411 pageviews, an average of 1,562 a day
Highest pageviews in one day: 10,103 on January 3, an average of 421 an hour

The top posts of January:

1. Breaking: Boehner Out as Speaker?, by Aurelius, with 11,752 hits

2. Hugo Chavez Death Photo?, by Matthew, with 2,869 hits

3. NAACP: "You Mad, Bro?" Meme is Racist, by Aurelius, with 1,961 hits

4. "Under God" Removed By Obama During Inauguration Pledge, by Aurelius, with 1,586 hits

5. Manti Te’o Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Girlfriend Picture, by Matthew, with 1,520 hits

Number of posts with over 1,000 hits: 8

Top posters of January:

1. Aurelius with 101 articles

2. Matthew with 58 articles

3. Mr. K with 20 articles

4. Dr. Robert Owens with 4 articles

5. Eric Dondero with 2 articles

6. Kaptain Krude with 1 article

Total Articles written: 186

Things of Interest:

Breitbart has been kind enough to link to us twice over the last month

We've received an unusually high number of hits from Reddit this month

What the hell, Mr. K?

Unemployment Rate Up to 7.9%; Economy Created 39,000 Fewer Jobs than December

Whoops. The unemployment rate has edged up to 7.9% in January. 157,000 jobs were added.
That's a whopping 39,000 fewer than the number of jobs created last month, which was 196,000.

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Suicide Bombing at US Embassy in Turkey, Two Dead

From the AP:
A suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital on Friday and at least two people are dead, a police official said.

An Associated Press journalist saw a body in the street in front of an embassy side entrance. The bomb appeared to have exploded inside the security checkpoint at the entrance of the visa section of the embassy.

Several ambulances were dispatched to the area. An AP journalist saw at least one woman who appeared to be seriously injured being carried into an ambulance.

Private NTV television said two security guards at the entrance were killed.
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Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dead at 88

From Fox News:
Former Mayor Ed Koch, the combative, acid-tongued politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during a three-term City Hall run in which he embodied New York chutzpah for the rest of the world, died Friday. He was 88.

Koch died at 2 a.m., spokesman George Arzt said. The funeral will be Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.

After leaving City Hall in January 1990, Koch battled assorted health problems and heart disease.

The larger-than-life Koch, who breezed through the streets of New York flashing his signature thumbs-up sign, won a national reputation with his feisty style. "How'm I doing?" was his trademark question to constituents, although the answer mattered little to Koch. The mayor always thought he was doing wonderfully.
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Hagel's Sinking Nomination

President Obama's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary is now in serious trouble, as if Hagel's previous comments and votes weren't trouble enough with a very strong following within the Republican caucus - his disastrous confirmation hearing before the Armed Services Committee yesterday only further imperils his hopes.  

Strong Republican questioning on the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, ongoing nuclear issues with Iran, his thoughts on Iran and his previous comments that we are the "world's bully," resulted in Hagel remaining on the defensive most of the hearing, non-committal on many questions and he committed a major blunder by deeming Iran a legitimately elected government.

All of this in just the past day has turned even more Republicans against his nomination, meaning he has to somehow convince five (which may prove impossible) of his former colleagues to back his Defense Secretary vote, and if the current trend is prophetic - he'll have to settle for just one.

While the actual nature of the confirmation vote is unknown, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might require a 60 vote threshold to clear it, or a simple up or down vote, one thing remains certain: Chuck Hagel will not receive much, if any GOP support in the U.S. Senate.

We can only hope Hagel's nomination is blocked by the Republican Senators and the White House is forced to pick a common sense, defense oriented individual who doesn't occupy nonsensical nor extremist worldviews on international affairs, but I digress... We must win this fight before we look into the future.

What say you?

Mexico City Explosion Kills 25

Cause undetermined:

Television pictures showed debris from the blast spread out on to the street in front of the building, and Red Cross ambulances on the scene attending to the injured.
File photo of the Pemex Executive Tower in Mexico CityThe 54-floor Pemex building is 214m (702 ft) tallHundreds of rescuers helped by dogs are searching the building for around 30 people thought to be trapped inside.
Police have cordoned off the streets around the building, which is located in a busy commercial area of Mexico City.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hagel: Iran Has Legitimate, Elected Government

Oh dear God, this man is an imbecile:

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Jerry Sandusky "sex with male escorts" angle emerging on the Bob Menendez story?

There are no details given. Just this rather curious headline from the NY Post:
Feds raid office of doc who allegedly provided male escorts to Sen. Menendez
Yes, you read that correctly. There is no 'fe' at the beginning of that gender designation.

Added to the already salacious "underage hooker" side of the story, this Menendez scandal promises to even eclipse Weiner-gate.

Another development from last night. It was revealed on Fox News that the resort where Menendez stayed at in the Dominican Republic where the sex-capades took place, was owned by "Sugar Barons." Of course, he cast numerous votes on sugar subsidies.

A number of political blogs are already speculating on a Menendez replacement. Republican Governor Chris Christie gets to appoint. Will it be Menendez's 2012 Republican opponent Joe Kyrillos, some sweet revenge for the GOP. Or, more likely a safer choice like State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. or former Republican Governor Christie Todd-Whitman?

Sources: Obama Has Gone Skeet Shooting 'Twice,' 'Hated it'

From Fox News:
News of President Obama's apparently long-secret fondness for skeet shooting came as a surprise to those who say they have witnessed the president's "awkward" attempts at pinging the (clay) pigeons.

This has only happened with the president at Camp David, at most, a couple of times, according to a source who says he has been to the retreat on a half-dozen visits with Obama.

"The only time he shot skeet was for President's Cup," said the source, referring to a shooting competition tradition involving the presidential Marine guards. "I was there. He stayed for about five minutes, and couldn't leave fast enough."

Skeet shooting "is very hard," said the source. "Especially for someone not used to guns ... He couldn't have been more uncomfortable."
President Obama
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Muslim Rapist Avoids Jail Because He "Didn’t Know" Sex With 13-Year-Olds Is Illegal

Since when is ignorance of the law a viable defense when it comes to crimes? Apparently in the United Kingdom it is.

Adil Rashid, an 18-year-old Muslim man, met a thirteen-year-old girl on Facebook last year. After texting her for two months, they met in Nottingham. Rashid proceeded to rape the girl and was subsequently arrested.

In his defense, Rashid claimed that he simply "did not know" it was illegal to rape minors. Rashid stated that "he went to an Islamic faith school where he was taught that women are worthless," and thus consent was not necessary.

He further argued that the thirteen-year-old had "tempted" and "seduced" him in person, leading to his rape of her.
Shockingly, the defense worked. Judge Michael Stokes handed down a suspended sentence on January 25th. Stokes reasoned that "because Rashid was ‘passive’ and ‘lacking assertiveness,' sending him to jail might cause him ‘more damage than good.'"

He added, "Although chronologically 18, it is quite clear from the reports that you are very naive and immature when it comes to sexual matters."
Judge Stokes
The judge concluded, however, that Rashid "knew what he was doing was wrong." He explained, in part, "I accept this was a case where the girl was quite willing to have sexual activity with you. But the law is there to protect young girls, even though they are perfectly happy to engage in sexual activity."

Why he would say this and get rid of jail time is anyone's guess.

Update: It is not immediately apparent if the rape was statutory or forced.

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Jimmy Lee Dykes Identified as Hostage Taker in Alabama

From USA Today:
Police, SWAT teams and FBI negotiators kept vigil Wednesday near an underground bunker in rural Alabama where a gunman was holding hostage a 5-year-old boy he had snatched from a school bus Tuesday after killing the driver, authorities and neighbors said.

A law enforcement official who is not authorized to speak to the media identified the man as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a retired truck driver and Navy veteran. Neighbors said he was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to face charges for pointing a gun at residents last month in a dispute over a speed bump.

Dale County Sheriff's Office reports Dykes is connected to the anti-government survivalist movement.

Patricia Smith, who lives across the street from Dykes in the rural community in far southeastern Alabama, said her children had been on the bus about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when the shooting occurred. They told her that two other children had just been dropped off when Dykes stepped onto the bus and grabbed the door so that the driver couldn't close it.
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Brian Ballard: Getting to Know Florida’s Electorate

Lobbyist and Republican strategist Brian Ballard points out that, in the weeks and months leading up to the 2012 election, both the Romney and Obama Presidential campaigns spent more than a little time campaigning in the Sunshine State—and that is no accident. Florida is one of the nation’s most significant swing states, its impact perhaps unparalleled outside of Ohio. What is more, the state is large, rich, and diverse—with 10 major media markets and a melting pot of cultures and demographics, the state’s political inclinations can prove difficult to pin down.

All of this is very important as the Republican Party casts its gaze toward the 2016 race for the White House. Obviously, many factors of the 2016 political landscape are still unknown. With that said, one thing is hard to deny: Winning Florida is crucially important, and, if the GOP wishes to stage a comeback in the next presidential race, winning Florida would be a huge step in the right direction.

Not Just Senior Citizens

There is a cliché about Florida, held by many non-residents of the State, that Florida is—to be totally blunt—one big retirement community. Indeed, a lot of the discussions about Florida’s significance in the 2012 election hinged on the notion that the state’s voters are mostly senior citizens, concerned only with issues like Medicare and Social Security. This represents a misguided view of what Florida’s electoral makeup is really like, however—and in fact, the largest age group of Florida voters is the 30-49 group. Succeeding in Florida starts by accepting the fact that the Sunshine State’s voters are not all retirees.

The I-4 Corridor is Critical

The I-4 corridor represents a couple of the state’s big media markets, and, more to the point, it represents a huge swathe of the Florida electorate—44 percent of all registered voters, in fact. Obviously, then, this area is important for any political campaign seeking to succeed in Florida, and it tends to be a promising area for Republicans, with about a quarter of the state’s GOP voters located in the area. The corridor has many young voters, and it is predominantly white, but with significant Hispanic populations—all pertinent demographic facts for political strategists to consider.

Hispanic Voters are Independent

Much is made about winning over the many Hispanic voters in Florida—and this is not without reason. There is a large Hispanic population in Florida, and, politically speaking, it is a fairly even split, with Hispanics making up 13 percent of Florida’s Democrats, 11 percent of its Republicans. What is critical is that Hispanics make up the largest population of independent voters in the Sunshine State—so the idea of winning over Hispanics is hardly a pipe dream, for either political party.

Ultimately, Brian Ballard says that Florida is next to impossible to summarize or to fully understand, but there are certainly important demographic and political trends to consider. Understanding Florida is the first step toward winning Florida. According to Brian Ballard, that is a lesson that the Republican Party will do well to remember in 2016.

Veteran lobbyist Brian Ballard knows Florida politics inside and out. For more information on the expert check out this site.

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Video: Gee, Um.... Isn't Al Gore a Horrible Hypocrite?

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Carly McKinney Twitter Pictures

Carly McKinney, 23, was placed on paid leave after posting these pictures on Twitter under the name CarlyCrunkBear.

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CarlyCrunkBear Pictures

Carly McKinney, 23, was placed on paid leave after posting these pictures on Twitter under the name CarlyCrunkBear.

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Colorado Teacher Twitter Pictures

Carly McKinney, 23, was placed on paid leave after posting these pictures on Twitter under the name CarlyCrunkBear.

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Whoops: US Economy Shrinks in Q4 of 2012

From CNBC:
The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.

The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That's a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy's ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.
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BREAKING... Bob Menendez to resign? Christie to appoint replacement Senator. Could it be this man?

The Bob Menendez - underage Hooker scandal is moving at lightening speed. The New Jersey Senator unexpectedly left a major Senate immigration press conference early yesterday, not taking any questions. He scampered away from the conference without a word. Now, a day later, news that Menendez's good friend, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgin's home and office were raided yesterday by the FBI. Agents reportedly were searching for documents related to alleged unpaid IRS penalities.

Also today, reporters, including journalists from some major media outlets, peppered Menendez with questions about the growing scandal. It is one thing to be rumored to have had an affair with a prostitute outside of the U.S. Quite another if said prostitute was underage. Even the normally cover-up for liberals at any cost, Wonkette remarks:
we do know that when you are having an orgy pile, and you are a United States Senator — even if you are out of the country! — you should really try your best not to f*ck children.
An imminent resignation by Menendez?

Speculation already surfacing as to who Republican Governor Chris Christie would appoint as a replacement.

Could it be this man?

New Jersey State Senator, and son of former moderate Republican two-term Governor Thomas Kean, Thomas Kean, Jr.

The younger Kean has shown a much more defined pro-liberty, almost Tea Party like record as a leading voice in the State Senate; good on guns, staunchly anti-tax.

Governor Patrick Appoints Mo Cowan to US Senate as Placeholder

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has appointed longtime friend and former chief of staff William "Mo" Cowan to serve as a placeholder in the United States Senate as John Kerry takes over as Secretary of State and the independent minded voters of the Commonwealth have five months to decide on their next Senator. 

The Governor reportedly wanted someone who was out of the box and hadn't run for political office before, and he found that man in Mr. Cowan, who will not seek full election to the U.S. Senate after his interim term is up, and who left the Patrick administration wanting to pursue a private sector career. 

Mr. Cowan will join Tim Scott, who was also recently appointed to the U.S. Senate from South Carolina, as the only African-Americans in the prestigious legislative body and the first time two have served together in history.

What say you?

Israel Strikes Syrian Convoy Entering Lebanon

HT: Hot Air

One of the darkest fears for Israeli and American alike is that with Assad's regime crumbling, he might transfer his conventional weapons and perhaps even chemical agents to allies in Lebanon or Iran. We have seen this with countless media reports on Israel's government preparing to prevent this from occurring.

Well, with the IDF dramatically increasing surveillance over Lebanon the past couple of days, we just received news this morning of an Israeli air strike on a Syrian convoy allegedly transporting anti-aircraft missiles across the border into the Cedar State, and likely into Hezbollah's welcoming arms.

While it cannot be confirmed what weapons were being transported, or even where the air strike occurred (some are reporting Lebanon, while others within Syria), we do know the Israeli's did attack and destroy a convoy likely transporting arms and that this could possibly lead to al-Assad attempting to widening the war.

Much of the news coming out right now is contradictory, as is common with the fog of war, but I'm sure we will learn the facts in the coming hours, which will probably be friendly to Israel, as they have been monitoring the Syrian situation for years and knew that they had to act to defend their interests and sabotage their foes.

What say you?

Alabama Hostage Standoff in Midland City

 A shame. A six year old is apparently been taken hostage:

Michael Creel, who lives on the road where the shooting occured, said a girl told him that the shooter boarded the bus and told the driver that he needed two kids "between the ages of 6 and 8."
Dykes, for his part, was scheduled to be in court Wednesday for a menacing charge, the report said.
Police with SWAT teams and negotiators were at the rural property. Residents in the surrounding area were evacuated and a bomb squad was at the scene, the WSFA.com reported.

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Hadiya Pendleton, Young Lady Who Performed at Obama Inauguration, Shot Dead in Chicago

From CBS:
A teenage girl–an honor student who had just performed at President Obama’s inaugural–was gunned down Tuesday afternoon in the Kenwood neighborhood, just blocks from the high school she attended.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the victim, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, was taking shelter from the rain with a group of 10 to 12 teenagers under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue around 2:30 p.m., when someone jumped a fence, ran up to them, and opened fire.

Just days before, Hadiya performed with her high school band at President Obama’s inauguration.

The park is near King College Prep High School — where Pendleton was an honor student, volleyball player, and majorette.
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16-Year-Old Hacked to Death with Swords in Central London

This is more than a little disturbing. From the Telegraph:
The boy, who has not been named, was heard screaming for his life as he was attacked in Lupus street, Pimlico, shortly before 7pm yesterday, eyewitnesses have claimed.

He was rushed to hospital where he died from his wounds, becoming the first teenager to be killed in London this year.

Scotland Yard have launched a murder inquiry and said that they are keeping an “open mind” on the motive for the attack.

Witnesses told the Evening Standard that teenager’s mother ran up to the police cordon as paramedics tried to save him.

Steve Russell, 46, a project manager, He said: “She was screaming with grief and shouting her son’s name but they wouldn’t let her through.”
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MSNBC Guest: Maybe Welfare Doesn't Solve all of Society's Ills

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

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Bus Driver Shot, Child Taken Hostage in Midland City, Alabama

From WSFA 12:
The Dale County Sheriff's Department has established a command post location at the intersection of 231 North and Private Road 1539 in Dale County, Alabama following a shooting.

Multiple agencies are present assisting with the incident where multiple reports are indicating that a bus driver was shot and a student on-board the bus was taken hostage. The incident started around 3:40pm Tuesday near Destiny Church.

Both north and southbound traffic on U.S. Hwy. 231 near the church have been rerouted to keep commuters away from the area.

The Sheriff's Department is confirming that one adult male was shot and the suspect is not in custody. They would not confirm a child hostage situation.

Authorities with the Dale County School System and the Ozark City School System have cancelled classes for Wednesday, January 30.
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Caleb Moore Crashes at X Games, Aspen 2013 (Video)

While competing in this year's X Games, Caleb Moore crashed his snowmobile. He is in critical condition with bleeding around his heart. Sadly, he is not expected to make it.

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Report: A-Rod Took HGH from 2009-2012

At this point, I seriously doubt that Alex Rodriguez will ever see inside the Hall of Fame unless he buys a ticket. From the Miami New Times:
Open the neat spreadsheet and scroll past the listing of local developers, prominent attorneys, and personal trainers. You'll find a lengthy list of nicknames: Mostro, Al Capone, El Cacique, Samurai, Yukon, Mohamad, Felix Cat, and D.R.

Then check out the main column, where their real names flash like an all-star roster of professional athletes with Miami ties: San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A's hurler Bartolo Colón, pro tennis player Wayne Odesnik, budding Cuban superstar boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz. There's even the New York Yankees' $275 million man himself, Alex Rodriguez, who has sworn he stopped juicing a decade ago.

Read further and you'll find more than a dozen other baseball pros, from former University of Miami ace Cesar Carrillo to Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal to Washington Nationals star Gio Gonzalez. Notable coaches are there too, including UM baseball conditioning guru Jimmy Goins.

The names are all included in an extraordinary batch of records from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic tucked into a two-story office building just a hard line drive's distance from the UM campus. They were given to New Times by an employee who worked at Biogenesis before it closed last month and its owner abruptly disappeared. The records are clear in describing the firm's real business: selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids.
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Picture of Obama Skeet Shooting an Obvious Fake (With Original, Non-Shopped Image Included)

For some reason The New Republic was desperate to show President Obama skeet shooting. Perhaps it was to back up Mr. Obama's quote that he goes skeet shooting "all the time," with little evidence. Perhaps it was to show the President as an outdoorsman. Whatever the reasoning, they ran with a "scoop" that was clearly fake.

Here's the tweet they ran:
Here's a closer pic of the President:
Despite the fact that it looks shoddily put together, my instant reaction was that it looked like the average "Obama admiring his golf shot" pose. And guess what: it is. Here's the original picture:
That's some great reporting, New Republic. Great reporting.

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Toure: Abortion is AWESOME!

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What is a Pyramid?

For our less acquainted readers:
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Finding the Right Hotel Supplies

In today's economy, you want to make sure that you can do everything you can to get your business into the shape it needs to be to succeed. There are so many ways to get ahead, especially if you have the business savvy to know what your competitors are doing. Make sure that you have the best distributors for what you need, like PeachSuite Hotel Supply, which can get you the resources you need all in one convenient location.

You will be able to find the right Hotel Supplies Online by using a company that you trust. A site that gives you all that you need can be a great way to buy supplies all together and quickly. The ease can be a great thing, especially when you are building up your inventory. Finding the right Hotel Amenities Supplier can be just what you were looking for. 

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Debt Relief and the Law

Let's face it. The economy is not as strong as it should be and many people of all walks of life have been struggling. Taking on debt seems to be the normal thing to do as people are starting out, but that same debt can become the burden that drags you down. Thousands of dollars can certainly add up over time, especially when dealing with interest and collection agencies.

This is why a good attorney can be a great move for you. Do your research to find out what your options are and how you and your family can prepare for the next step. Finding a debt relief lawyer could be the step that you need to take. An attorney that will fight for you, like Sheila Cockburn, can be a great chance to set the record straight and clear your credit while also making amends with your creditors. Make sure that you have someone that you trust and that is there for you. It could be one of the best decisions of your life.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

When Should You Take Someone to Court?

The court system was created to help the citizens of this country. Understanding when to use the system and when to work it out between the two of you could possibly save you hundreds of dollars and tons of time.

Work it Out Without Court

There are some occurrences that do not need court involvement. Immature citizens with a vendetta for someone may want to go, regardless of the frivolous reason. However, more often than not, an alternative dispute resolution of some sort will keep everybody happy.

A Simple Dispute

Going to court doesn’t automatically make unreasonable people reasonable. It doesn’t work that way. Simple arguments with family members, neighbors or friends do not need court involvement. Learn how to maturely come to an agreement, or simply agree to disagree.

Small Misunderstandings

A simple misunderstanding between you and someone you work for does not need court involvement. You thought you were getting paid $20 an hour, but it was actually $20 for the project? Talk to the client about it. See if you can come to a middle ground. If not, cut your losses and move on.

Anything Worth Less than $500

If you want to sue someone for anything less than $500, forget about it. The sheer stress, time and money that is involved in the court process will far surpass the cost of that it.

Take it to the Courts

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those that try to avoid the courts if at all possible. Unfortunately, there are times that coming to an agreement is impossible, or court involvement is the only way to feel safe.

A Fraudulent Employer

If you’re a contractor or a freelancer an your employer has scammed you out of thousands of dollars, you may want to get the courts involved. Losing a large sum of money that you were counting one can throw your entire world upside down. There’s nothing wrong with getting the court system involved in that.

To Protect Yourself or Your Child

If you or your child feels threatened or endangered by someone, the courts are a great way to keep you safe. You can get a restraining order as a measure to keep the threatening person away from you.

You may not need the courts involved in everything, but there are certainly times that it is beneficial to use. Make sure to use wisdom and common sense when making the decision to take someone to court. It will be a long, tiresome process and you need to know that what you’re doing is worth all the hassle.

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New Year, New Health Care Policies?

For the past four years, national health care has been at the forefront of political debates with the election of Barack Obama as president and a Democratic Congress that passed the Affordable Care Act early in 2010. 

Just under three years later, America is getting a chance to see what is in the bill.

It is a new year, and although the ACA remains controversial among the American electorate there are some revisions to health care that have met with approval from many people, regardless of party lines.

Policies already online that will get more attention in 2013 include the ability to permit care based on pre-existing condition or gender, and the ability for a child to stay on a parent’s medical insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

The biggest health care changes haven’t come in actual care as of yet. According to healthcare.gov, the government's health-care website, the big change will hit your pocketbook with the implementation of an increased Medicare tax from 1.45 to 2.35 percent for high-income earners ($200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples). Those same high earners will also be taxed 3.8 percent on unearned income (worker benefits, inheritance money, etc.)

This money will go toward funding some programs key to the Medicaid portion of care. The Children’s Health Insurance Program will get two more years of funding for states. CHIP gives insurance to lower-income children who do not qualify for Medicaid, and that increased funding will come with increased federal funding to state Medicaid programs that give preventive services.

The Consumer Operated and Oriented Program is a non-profit health insurer that is supposed to come online by January 2014, with the idea that small business owners band together to offer health insurance for their employers by becoming a bigger pool, rather than an individual company offering individual plans for individual customers.  You may have heard about this in the news as an Affordable Insurance Exchange.

Sound confusing? As the year continues, things will start to fall into place. According to the federal government’s health care website, healthcare.gov, hospitals, doctors and care providers will earn a flat fee for services provided rather than a fee for each test or procedure performed. This has attracted some controversy in the fear that it will decrease payments to doctors and care providers for their services and maybe drive them away from the profession toward other jobs that would pay more money. After all, you have to make a living, true?

With so many changes coming to the health-care system in the next year, companies may be wise to use all avenues available to make things easier. Find ways to save money by comparing insurance policies. Utilize a healthcare financial services company that deals in this sort of business, to help companies find ways to save money and uncover unclaimed health funds.

The Affordable Care Act may or may not turn out to be affordable. Time will tell. What we do know in the next year is some of the questions will get answers. How you as a company approach the answers remains to be seen.

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French, Malian Soldiers Enter Timbuktu

HT: ABC News

The French-led intervention into the Malian conflict has yielded its greatest victory thus far: the successful entrance and Islamist evacuation of the ancient trade city of Timbuktu, grounded by Malian soldiers and backed by French helicopters and paratroopers.

Timbuktu's liberation (note: the city is still not entirely occupied by Malian and French soldiers right now, as the allied force is still clearing it of Islamist fighters, most of whom fled to the desert) spurred celebration among the thousands of Timbuktu refugees residing in Bamako, realizing at long last a hope of freedom returning to their besieged home.

Although still a long way from winning this conflict and beating down the Islamist threat, the joint French-Malian force, with supporting African soldiers, are moving in the right direction - pushing their adversaries deeper into Southern Mali and liberating more cities and villages that have been imprisoned by the Islamist-led Taureg rebellion for nearly a year.

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Facebook Group Calling for Assassination of Sarah Palin Surpasses 3,300 Members

The Facebook group "I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive" has surpassed 3,300 "likes."

The founder explicitly says, "This is a page about venting dislike over Sarah Palin. This is no way advocates an assassination of Sarah Palin in any way, shape or form."

The fact that the group's name specifically wishes for her death is one thing that dispels that ludicrous statement. The second is its main picture, which clearly shows what the group advocates:
Among its posts, the group has angrily denounced Palin and Tea Party members. This post summarizes the majority of the members of the group:
Oddly, the group has also denounced President Obama, calling him "conservative" while posting this video:

Further, the group "liked" the Facebook page "I Hate it When I Wake Up and Michele Bachmann is Still Alive."

Pundit Press has reported on this hate group before. We had reported it at the time for its offensive use of images and calls for Sarah Palin's death. It's sad, but not surprising, to see that nothing has been done to end such foolishness.

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Dutch Queen Beatrix Abdicates Throne

From Chron:
Dutch Queen Beatrix announced Monday that she will abdicate on April 30 after 33 years as head of state, clearing the way for her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, to become the nation's first king in more than a century.

The announcement, in a nationally televised speech, signaled an end to the reign of one of Europe's longest-serving monarchs, whose time on the throne was marked by tumultuous shifts in Dutch society and, more recently, by personal tragedy.

The queen's abdication from the largely ceremonial role had been widely expected, but it is sure to bring an outpouring of sentimental and patriotic feelings among the Dutch, most of whom adore Beatrix. In everyday conversation, many of her subjects refer to her simply by the nickname "Bea."

"Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation," Beatrix said in the speech delivered from her Huis ten Bosch palace just days before she was to turn 75.
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Senators Announce Deal to Overhaul Immigration System

From USA Today:
As President Obama prepares to lay out his immigration plan during a speech in Las Vegas on Tuesday, a group of bipartisan senators has reached agreement on a framework to overhaul the nation's immigration system.

The deal was announced at a press conference Monday at the U.S. Capitol. The plan addresses border security, the ability of businesses to check immigration status and a streamlined process for future immigrants to enter the United States. It also opens a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the country.

The next few months will feature heated disagreements in the divided Congress over the details of each of those proposals. But the senators' announcement is another indication that the elusive issue of immigration, which has not been significantly addressed since the Reagan administration, may finally be in line for an overhaul.

Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters by 71%-27%, according to surveys of 2012 voters as they left polling places. Hispanics are the fastest growing part of the electorate, and some Republicans worry about their future electoral prospects unless the party improves its standing with Latinos.
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Video: Paul Krugman: What Deficits?

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

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President Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech

27 years ago today:

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Berlusconi Praises Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day

From the BBC:
Italy's gaffe-prone former premier Silvio Berlusconi has stoked controversy by praising Benito Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day - despite Il Duce's anti-Jewish laws.

Mussolini had been wrong to pass anti-Jewish laws but had otherwise been a good leader, said Mr Berlusconi.

He was speaking at a Milan ceremony commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

He has not ruled out another stint as PM if his party wins polls next month.

His People of Freedom (PDL) party is hoping to form a centre-right coalition government with another party after elections on 24-25 February, but have not named a candidate for prime minister.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

At Least 245 Dead in Brazilian Nightclub Fire

"Caused by indoor fireworks." From the Daily Mail:
At least 245 people have been killed in a Brazil nightclub after a fire ravaged through the building in the early hours of this morning.

Initial reports were that 90 people perished in the blaze, but the death toll has steadily been rising as more bodies have been found in the packed nightclub.

While the official cause of the blaze has not been stated, local reports claim it was sparked by a firework set off during a band's performance.

The total number of victims is still unknown and there may be hundreds injured, civil police and regional government spokesman Marcelo Arigoni told Radio Gaucha.

He told the radio a truck carrying 70 bodies had arrived at the Municipal Sports Centre, which was being used as an improvised morgue.
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Video: Which News Anchor Mocked Bush for saying “God Bless America”?

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