Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Michelle Obama Falsely Tells ABC Assault Weapons took life of Hadiya Pendleton; ABC 'Mysteriously' Edits Quote out of Broadcast

I'm sure it was all just some sort of mix-up. From the Washington Examiner:
ABC is defending its decision to edit out an apparently erroneous claim by Michelle Obama in its broadcast of the first lady’s interview on Good Morning America today, saying it made the changes “solely” for the sake of time.

As The Washington Examiner reported this morning, the first lady claimed during an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts that 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed in Chicago shortly after performing during the President’s Inauguration, was shot because “some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need.”

In fact, Chicago Police reported Pendleton was shot by a man who “opened fire with a handgun before fleeing in a waiting car,” according to the Associated Press.
All hail the Obama cult of personality

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Senate Votes 71-27 to Invoke Hagel Cloture

The United States Senate, after a successful Republican filibuster two weeks ago and the week-long holiday, voted to end debate and invoke cloture on Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense Secretary. All that if left is for the Senate to hold a simple up or down vote on his nomination, and he will be confirmed.

With the first vote to invoke cloture failing by just one vote, I expected the second to be approved by at least  one or two extra votes, but I didn't expect it to receive the support of over one-third of Senate Republicans after their initial stand.

As I've written on before, I think the internal fight between tradition and conviction got to a lot of old guard GOP Senators, and with the trade-winds shifting towards confirmation, they erred on the side of tradition... Too bad the result will be one the least qualified and unprepared Defense Secretary's in the past 4 decades.

What say you?

Video: Obama Traveling To Anywhere But There

Excellent video on President Obama's many trips to whine about the lack of Republican effort to avoid sequestration, and how the road for him to make a difference is actually such a short distance, just 1.7 miles away.

Sequestration to Harm New York Air and Army National Guard Units

HT: CBS 6 Albany

The damaging effects of sequestration are going to felt hard for the National Air and Army Guards in New York's capital district, as over 500 civilian employees - who are vital to running and assisting new recruits, basic training graduates and day to day operations of both military elements - are facing a work furlough of one day per week, or twenty percent of their paycheck and effectiveness.

And while the loss of civilians will impact planning and completion of both pre-basic and post-basic training, we will also see the repair of military vehicles, such as the ones used by the 109th airlift during Sandy, take a day or two longer, which if a disaster occurs could be the difference between life or death, or delivering life saving materials to an impacted area.

But sadly for us, Washington seems to be oblivious to the hardships sequestration will cause for both active and national guard branches across the United States, and will allow them to sail through without significant protest or action, as we all know the theatre of politics is far more important than the success of our armed forces to petty politicians.

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Video: Gee, No one Really Knows what to do about the Sequester, Huh?

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Video of Egypt Hotair Balloon Crash Coverage

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Dem NY State Senator Under Fire for Photo of Him in Black Face

How in God's name could he possibly think this was a good idea? From CNN:
A New York state lawmaker said Monday he's sorry if he offended anyone by dressing in blackface for a Purim party, but a colleague says his apology doesn't go far enough.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind wore an Afro wig, an orange jersey and had his face painted brown by a professional makeup artist for a weekend party celebrating the Jewish holiday at his home. He told The New York Times that he was supposed to be "a black basketball player."

The Brooklyn Democrat initially tried to dismiss complaints about his costume as "political correctness to the absurd," but reversed himself by Monday afternoon in the face of mounting criticism.

"Anyone who was offended, I am sorry that they were offended," Hikind told reporters at a news conference. "That was not the intention, and that is really all I can say. I just have to reiterate it was Purim. Purim is when people get dressed up."
Hikind (D) pictured here in the center

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Chadian Forces Kill 93 Islamist Rebels at Ifoghas Mountains

HT: Reuters

The French led intervention into Mali did not conclude with the liberation of Timbuktu and the triumphant arrival of President Hollande, but rather with the arrival of two thousand Chadian soldiers, the conflict has seen some of its fiercest ground battles over the past weekend. 

With the Al-Qaeda allied rebels removed from urban centers and forced across the Sahara, French and Chadian forces have focused on capturing caches of ammunition's and targeting the rebels in an area the equivalent of France, while resisting rebel attacks on their former strongholds, such as Gao. 

The fighting has shifted from urban centers and deep into the Sahara 

Over the weekend Chadian forces assaulted a rebel base of "significant importance," so said one senior commander, at the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the Algerian border with great success, as nearly a hundred rebels were confirmed killed in the battle, although at the cost of twenty-three soldiers and thirty more wounded. 

This was the fiercest ground encounter between French-African coalition forces and the al-Qaeda aligned rebels since the initial intervention, and it informs us that African forces are contributing greatly to the aid of the besieged and weakened Malian forces while at the same time telling us this conflict isn't over quite yet.

What say you?

Monday, February 25, 2013

One Direction Singer Hit With Water Bottle

Not news, but interesting:

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Facing the Financial Market

Let's face it: the world economy is still in its doldrums and it appears that it will not be leaving anytime soon. With all of the issues going on in the political and financial realms, you want to make sure that you know as much as you can on how to best navigate the storm and take care of yourself and your family. This is the case when looking at recent events and trying to gauge the bigger picture and how it could affect you. For example, how could the split Italian election affect the wider Eurozone debate and the direction of the global economy. What about the continuing fallout of the United Kingdom's LIBOR scandal and its wider implications for the future of the country's struggle to exit the Great Recession? This is where the experts that have studied finance and policy can put their work into knowledge. All of their hard work and expertise can be a great way to get the bigger picture of what is going on and how it can affect all the way down to you and your hometown and family. Experts like John Studzinski have years of experience that can come in handy when trying to navigate the larger market and find out the ins and outs of global business. Someone like John Studzinski can be that link between you and the wider financial planning that you and your business may be looking for. Consider all of these factors when you are doing your research and make sure to get the best for your time and money. Such types of decisions are never easy and require a lot of thought and seeking out what is best. John Studzinski has been well trusted and can be an example for what you may be headed to next.

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Italy Election Results 2/25/2013

In short, it seems like no won has won a clear plurality yet.
Battle lines were already being drawn late Monday. The Democratic Party declared slim victories in both houses, saying it will keep Italy's interests in mind during this "very delicate situation for the country." But a top official in Mr. Berlusconi's center-right coalition said he is asking the country's interior minister to call the vote a draw. 
The apparent stalemate reflects the groundswell of support for former comedian Beppe Grillo's Five-Star Movement. His throw-the-rascals-out platform drew enough voters to give it nearly as many votes as Italy's mainstream coalitions—25.6% in the lower house at the latest count, making it the single largest party in that house. 
Surprising, too, was the comeback of Mr. Berlusconi, whose party was in the doldrums as late as November. The 76-year-old billionaire politician's late surge is attributed largely to the media blitz in recent weeks.

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Gov. Susana Martinez Fighting in New Mexico to Repeal Law Granting Driver’s Licenses to Illegals

From the New York Times:
If there is one trait of Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, that irks lawmakers on the opposite side of the aisle, it is her reluctance to negotiate. Ms. Martinez handles the Legislature in much the same way that she made a name for herself as a county prosecutor — a tough-as-nails approach that helped carry her all the way to the state’s highest government post.

On one of the defining issues of her tenure, the fight to repeal the state’s law allowing illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license, her persistence — or intransigence, depending on whom you ask — may have paid off. She immediately embraced a bipartisan bill introduced on Feb. 13 that would do just that; though to hear her tell it, she also gave in by supporting an alternate driver’s license for young immigrants benefiting from deferred deportation.

Ms. Martinez’s spokesman called it a “very reasonable compromise.” It comes at a perfect time for the governor, who is about to travel the country as an envoy of the Republican Party, recruiting Latinos to run for office or, at the very least, to give the party a second chance. (Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada has also been drafted for the same role.)

Ms. Martinez, 53, is by many measures the ideal ambassador: accomplished, charming and not afraid to speak her mind. She took office in 2011 as the nation’s first Latina governor, a distinction that alone qualifies her as a role model. In New Mexico, though, she has faced steady and increasingly vociferous criticism over the disconnect between the tone of her pronouncements and the substance of her policies.

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Michael Ramirez Obama Snake Charmer Cartoon 2/25/2013

From the always amazing Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily:

Obama Using Fake Twitter Bots to Spam GOP Lawmakers

I'm sure it's all above board. From the Hill:
A Texas Republican on Monday said President Obama's gun control campaign is a fraud based on fake messages over Twitter.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) accused Obama of trying to make support for his position look stronger than it really is by flooding Twitter with messages from people who don't exist.

"Obama's anti-gun campaign is a fraud," Stockman said. "Obama's supporters are panicking and willing to do anything to create the appearance of popular support, even if it means trying to defraud Congress," he added. "I call upon the president to denounce this phony spam campaign."

Stockman said that in response to Obama's call for people to tweet their congressman in support of gun control legislation, he received just 16 tweets. But he said all of these messages were identical, and that a closer look at them revealed that only six were from real people.

"The other 10 are fake, computer-generated spambots," his office said in a press release.

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Daniel Day-Lewis Reaches Oscars Apex With Third Best Actor Award

Daniel Day-Lewis, with his brilliant portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, became the first man in Oscars history to win the award for best actor a third time, and during his acceptance speech he made jokes, thanked people in his life who made such an honour possible, with special mention for the three men who sit atop the apex of his human pyramid responsible for his success.

And you might even say he has reached the apex of his career, sitting atop the movie industry with three Oscars for best actor and coming off of a timeless masterpiece concerning the sixteenth President's fight to end slavery, but I imagine there is still much room for success for this phenomenal actor.

His acceptance speech in full:
I really don't know how any of this happened. I do know that I've received so much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life and I'm so grateful to the Academy for this beautiful honor. 
It's a strange thing because three years ago before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher. [Laughs] And Meryl was Steven's first choice for Lincoln. And I'd like to see that version. And Steven didn't have to persuade me to play Lincoln but I had to persuade him that perhaps if I was going to do it that Lincoln shouldn't be a musical. 
My fellow nominees, my equals, my betters, I'm so proud to have been included as one amongst you. When we got married 16 years ago, or since we got married 16 years ago, my wife Rebecca has lived with some very strange men. I mean they were strange as individuals and probably even stranger if taken as a group. But luckily she's the versatile one in the family and she's been the perfect companion to all of them. 
I'd like to thank Kathy Kennedy, our producer, and through you, Kathy, and through you our mighty team of co-conspirators. At the apex of that human pyramid there are three men to whom I owe this and a great deal more: Tony Kushner, our beloved skipper Steven Spielberg and the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln. For my mother, thank you so much.

Wardak Torture Allegations Reveal Afghan-American Complications

The ongoing struggle for Western, mostly American, forces in war torn Afghanistan was complicated over the weekend as the Afghan government demanded U.S. special forces be withdrawn from Wardak due to allegations of torture, killing and illegal detention in the important Eastern Province.

Thus far, according to a high ranking German General within NATO who is working with the Karzai regime to resolve the matter, there has been no evidence whatsoever to support this claim and if history is any guide on this subject, there likely wont be either.

And if you go even further, according to a pact signed between and Afghan and American governments, no special force missions can occur without the approval of the Afghan government or their commandos on the ground, meaning if something did occur as part of an operation - the had to have previously approved it.

This clusterfark of a situation has just further complicated and strained relations between us and the Afghan government over vague accusations that are likely to blow over. If we are serious about ending this conflict on our terms, we need to reach out more, and I can't believe I'm saying this, to local tribal forces and away from the national government.

As we cannot reign in terror effectively with an immature babysitter watching over us, obsessed with public satisfaction and fear of overthrow, and having full veto over our special forces.

What say you?

Israel’s Strike on Syria Last Month Killed Top Iranian General

From the Times of Israel:
Hassan Shateri, the Iranian general whose killing was reported last week, was actually slain last month in an alleged IAF airstrike that was said to have targeted a weapons convoy heading from Syria to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.

Iran was quick last week to blame “mercenaries and supporters” of Israel for Shateri’s death, although it made no indication that he had been killed in the January airstrike. Tehran “will take revenge on Israel for the killing of a Quds Force general in Syria,” said Ali Shirazi, liaison for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force.

Shateri was a high-ranking member of the Quds Force, which is tasked with international operations, and was instrumental in Iran-Hezbollah relations, overseeing the reconstruction of Hezbollah’s armaments in the wake of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Sunday’s report said.

For Israel, he was long a “prime target,” according to an Israeli security figure quoted by The Times.
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Video: Juan Williams: Liberal Media will ‘Shut You Down, Stab You, Kill You, Fire You’ if You Disagree

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85th Oscar Results, February 25, 2013

The list provided by SF Gate:
1. Best Picture: "Argo."
2. Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln."
3. Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook."
4. Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained."
5. Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables."
6. Directing: Ang Lee, "Life of Pi."
7. Foreign Language Film: "Amour."
8. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, "Argo."
9. Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained."
10. Animated Feature Film: "Brave."
11. Production Design: "Lincoln."
12. Cinematography: "Life of Pi."
13. Sound Mixing: "Les Miserables."
14. Sound Editing (tie): "Skyfall," ''Zero Dark Thirty."
15. Original Score: "Life of Pi," Mychael Danna.
16. Original Song: "Skyfall" from "Skyfall," Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth.
17. Costume: "Anna Karenina."
18. Documentary Feature: "Searching for Sugar Man."
19. Documentary (short subject): "Inocente."
20. Film Editing: "Argo."
21. Makeup and Hairstyling: "Les Miserables."
22. Animated Short Film: "Paperman."
23. Live Action Short Film: "Curfew."
24. Visual Effects: "Life of Pi."

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Video: Three Killed in Santa Cruz, CA shooting, 2/26/2013

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MO Atty, having gone out on out on a limb with his Election Day predictions, decided to take a recovery period before following up on that column. Remember, however, that the column began with a caveat: “The following presupposes that the other party (once known, believe it or not, as the party of JFK) will content themselves with shuttling around a few hundred busloads of illegal aliens to vote in selected key precincts, and forego their new GOTV technique that would allow thousands of the ever reliable dead people to vote not just once, but multiple times each.”

Unfortunately, we are told, Obama won. In the “battleground” regions, despite huge crowds braving frigid weather at Romney rallies while pathetic numbers showed up for Obama; in the coal regions, despite the United Mine Workers declining to endorse Obama and masses of individual miners openly calling BHO a liar; at the very last minute, like magic, the exactly right numbers of votes popped up in the exactly right places to give him every “battleground” area and, thus, the election.

There was, of course, no voter fraud. Nothing to see here, folks . . . move along. Our Republican elites, after careful investigation, concluded that the Dems simply had more sophisticated campaign software. This software was so amazing that it could materialize actual, flesh and blood voters out of thin air, precisely when and where needed. Lessons for us for future elections? Get better software. Start trying to be more like the Dems. “Rebrand” ourselves. Start compromising. Get rid of the Tea Party, or anyone actually quoting words from the Constitution.

Pay no attention to Philadelphia, for instance, where The Philadelphia Inquirer reported unofficial vote tallies in 59 voter divisions showing Obama outpolling Romney by a combined total of 19,605 to 0. Professor Larry Sabato, not known for his right wing politics, said of that result that the number of zero precincts in Philadelphia deserves examination. "Not a single vote for Romney or even an error? That's worth looking into."

Pay no attention to Melowese Richardson, who vowed to fight “for Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States!" by voting for him multiple times in Cincinnati. [It is easy to pay no attention to Melowese if you live in St. Louis. A digital search of its only newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, revealed no mention of her name].

In fact, please do pay attention to Melowese. Click on this video and view every frame. Does she not sound very well versed in the ease and importance of multiple voting? Is it possible to believe that she is the only such person out there? Is it possible to believe that there are not thousands of such as her in every “battleground” district in every state?

Barack Obama, repulsively leftwing, dishonest, and arrogant, got his political education in the one-party thugocracy of Chicago. Is there any doubt that he knew, right from the start, the importance of having lots of the likes of Melowese organized to “fight” for him? He nominated Eric Holder as his Attorney General [19 Republicans voted Yes, including Lindsey Graham and John McCain]. Is there any doubt that he knew, right from the start, how willingly Holder would sic the Justice Department on any state or local government that tried to insure honest registration or voting procedures?

Victor Davis Hanson, speaking of immigration, says “comprehensive immigration reform” has become “a silly construct,” observing that:
        It does not exist any more. The truth is that we will allow “a pathway to citizenship” for those who broke the immigration law but who have been here a few years, who are working, and who have not been arrested. And, likewise, for those who broke immigration law but are not working, have just arrived, are on public assistance, and have been arrested, we will mandate neither citizenship nor deportation - but just allow a perpetual limbo of residence. When proponents of amnesty declare pathways of citizenship predicated on a fine, or on learning English, or on returning to the back of the line, we know both that they will never audit such requirements and that it would not matter much whether they did. There is now just a sort of nothingness.
      So what does it matter whether one is legal, illegal, holds a green card, holds no green card, is in line for citizenship, or is in line for deportation? There is no deportation; there is no real border anymore; there is no federal immigration law. All these are but states of mind, talking points of politicians without meaning.
 These observations describe not only our border “security,” but overlap with and equally describe the “security” of our electoral process.

For decades our elite rulers in Washington have been clearing Obama’s path to the current absurdity of what now passes for “elections.” First we had to lower the voting age to eighteen. As a nation, we proclaimed that, although eighteen year-olds  are  not  mature  enough  to drink a beer or smoke a cigarette, they are fully prepared to study the issues and elect our “leaders.” In 1993 we discovered the pressing need for the commonly called “Motor Voter Act,” more realistically the Saul Alinsky-Cloward-Piven voter registration chaos act [for which six reliable Republican Senators voted “Yes”]. We followed in 2002 with the “Help America Vote Act,” which passed the Senate by a carefully thought-out 92-2. While the ever-helpful John McCain voted “Yes”, believe it or not the two No’s were Democrats.

So here we are. As “election day” approaches, we know that many congressional districts throughout the country have been legally gerrymandered to guarantee a minority winner (known as “majority-minority districts”). Thus, while Alan West gets no guarantee (not minority enough?), Jessie Jackson, Jr. does, despite not campaigning and being on his way to a Federal Penitentiary. We now have “early voting”: in North Carolina, e.g., you can mail your absentee ballot starting September 6th, with no showing required that you will be absent. In South Dakota you can Early Vote in person on September 21st, before any of the official presidential debates has taken place.

We can “register” when we show up at the polling place, and if we cannot make the slightest showing that we should be allowed to vote, we get a form of “late voting”: we must be allowed to cast a “provisional vote” that will have to be pondered over after the polls close.  No amount of chaos is too great, but thank God we have dedicated public servants like Melowese Richardson to keep everything in order.

For actual, in person voting, we now use electronic data machines. Even if you ask for a “paper” ballot, it gets scanned into a digital collector and stored on a hard drive. For scores of years prior to 2002 we very successfully used the IBM keypunch card, where we used a metal pin to punch through a hole representing our selection. The physical cards were kept until any controversy over the vote count was resolved. Then we finally discovered how hopelessly confusing and complicated those cards were. Who could be expected to figure out how to punch a metal pin through a hole?

Congress, including every Republican Senator, demanded that the trusty punch card be done away with throughout the country and replaced with computerized voting machines. Aside from the massive cost, and the usual corruption of officials signing voting machine contracts with their brothers-in-law, and untested machines riddled with errors, and no storage of any physical cards, everything worked fine. All vote tallies are now kept in computer databases. And don’t worry – they’re secure!!

Except that we now know, see e.g., Infoworld, that virtually any such database can be hacked with relative ease. And we are now told that the Dems, heavily supported by Google, Facebook, and other major digital sophisticates, have dramatically better campaign software than anything we can come up with. It would seem that a major digital sophisticate, feeling the need for a slight change in the vote tally in a “battleground” district, might be able to make that happen. Thank God we can rest assured that the Dems would never even contemplate any such dishonesty as they pursue their fundamental changes.

None of this is meant to suggest that our Republican leaders could not have chosen better candidates. If 2012 was the best we had, we are truly in trouble. And maybe Republican shortcomings were enough to allow Obama to squeak through despite the enormous damage he has been doing to this country. Or maybe not. We know Melowese was out there, we know she has lots of company, and we know no investigations or consequences will follow. 

So the most we should be willing to say for now is “Obama might have won.” And very soon we need to get a lot of Republican lifers out of Congress, and replace them with people who remember the word “No” when a Democrat bill comes before them. If we don’t start giving the American people an actual choice, we may never win another election no matter what kind of software we have.

MO Atty

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CNN's Chile Affiliate: "Hugo Chavez Esta Muerto"

This is from CNN: Chile. This is a rough translation:
Guillermo Cochez, a Panamanian politician, says the president of Venezuela is deceased.

Talking with CNN Chile, the former ambassador said that on December 30 President Chavez had been declared brain dead in Cuba, returning to Venezuela eventually in that state. Therefore Chavez could not have been visited by the various leaders who reportedly met him...

The information obtained by the former diplomat says are "sources within the Venezuelan government" and that is information that has been circulating for weeks...

Guillermo also said Chavez died four days ago and asked her daughters to disconnect the ventilator which was connected to survive.
Here is the video that CNN aired. Note: it is in Spanish:

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Hugo Chavez Death Picture?

Update: Confirmed- Chavez is dead.

This is from CNN: Chile. This is a rough translation:
Guillermo Cochez, a Panamanian politician, says the president of Venezuela is deceased.

Talking with CNN Chile, the former ambassador said that on December 30 President Chavez had been declared brain dead in Cuba, returning to Venezuela eventually in that state. Therefore Chavez could not have been visited by the various leaders who reportedly met him...

The information obtained by the former diplomat says are "sources within the Venezuelan government" and that is information that has been circulating for weeks...

Guillermo also said Chavez died four days ago and asked her daughters to disconnect the ventilator which was connected to survive.
Here is the video that CNN aired. Note: it is in Spanish:

This is a picture that is circulating, purporting to be Chavez dead. We cannot independently verify it, however:

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Video: Hugo Chavez is Dead, According to CNN Report

This is from CNN: Chile. This is a rough translation:
Guillermo Cochez, a Panamanian politician, says the president of Venezuela is deceased.

Talking with CNN Chile, the former ambassador said that on December 30 President Chavez had been declared brain dead in Cuba, returning to Venezuela eventually in that state. Therefore Chavez could not have been visited by the various leaders who reportedly met him...

The information obtained by the former diplomat says are "sources within the Venezuelan government" and that is information that has been circulating for weeks...

Guillermo also said Chavez died four days ago and asked her daughters to disconnect the ventilator which was connected to survive.
Here is the video that CNN aired. Note: it is in Spanish:

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State Department to Spend $250,000 on Afghan YouTube Channel

Thank goodness we're not broke or anything like that. From Front Page Mag:
Remember the State Department had no money for Benghazi security because of the mean GOP. But it can always seem to find huge chunks of cash for really stupid things like this.

This “Hope” nonsense smacks of an extension of Obama’s permanent campaign and it’s largely meant to fool Americans into thinking that matters in Afghanistan have improved so much that the departure is not a defeat. That makes this expensive propaganda boondoggle of dubious legality and obvious uselessness.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul plans to spend up to $250,000 in taxpayer money on the creation of a website that will allow people to show how “the Afghanistan of today has provided opportunities that didn’t exist before.”

The stand-alone website — or dedicated YouTube channel — must give people in Afghanistan and around the world the ability to upload short, personally recorded videos “describing why and how the individual is contributing to the betterment of Afghanistan and/or the ways in which the Afghanistan of today has provided opportunities that didn’t exist before, and offering messages of hope for the country’s future.”
Can I just put in my own bid here?
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Obama Campaign Busing Protesters in to Albany, NY to Demonstrate in Favor of NY Gun Law

From BarackObama.com:
Governor Cuomo and our legislature passed the "NY SAFE ACT." It will reduce gun violence in our state. Predictably, it is under attack by the National Rifle Association and allied groups. :::We are joining with the SEIU 1199 to lobby in Albany. This free bus trip will last from 8:00 to 4:30 with breakfast and lunch included. Meet up at 250 S Clinton St. Park in the M Lot at the corner of W Fayette and S Clinton Sts. (Parking in that lot may be validated. No sure yet.) Show your determination to keep our excellent new law!:::You must call this number to get a seat on the free bus. 315-424-1743 Ext 110 Ask for Nekeia:::Also sign up here.
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Italian Election Results February 25, 2013

In short, it seems like no won has won a clear plurality yet.
Battle lines were already being drawn late Monday. The Democratic Party declared slim victories in both houses, saying it will keep Italy's interests in mind during this "very delicate situation for the country." But a top official in Mr. Berlusconi's center-right coalition said he is asking the country's interior minister to call the vote a draw. 
The apparent stalemate reflects the groundswell of support for former comedian Beppe Grillo's Five-Star Movement. His throw-the-rascals-out platform drew enough voters to give it nearly as many votes as Italy's mainstream coalitions—25.6% in the lower house at the latest count, making it the single largest party in that house. 
Surprising, too, was the comeback of Mr. Berlusconi, whose party was in the doldrums as late as November. The 76-year-old billionaire politician's late surge is attributed largely to the media blitz in recent weeks.

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Video of Daytona 500 Crash

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Economics 102

People avoid silence because they’re afraid of what they might hear.   Although we value our freedom of speech, polite conversation in America is subject to one crushing rule, “Don’t talk about religion or politics!”  Most of us were raised with this stifling warning in our ears.  The purpose was to avoid arguments at the dinner table but the result is a population unconcerned in the two subjects affecting life the most.  I can only talk about the weather for so long which displays the wisdom of memorizing sports stats and watching American Idol.  With the two biggest topics off the table we’re faced with either trivial pursuit or silence.  Bored with the weather and having neglected my memorization and viewing options I propose a topic to stimulate vigorous conversation without causing any bickering: economics.

Barry, Harry, and Nancy knew they had to take us through-the-looking-glass in four short years.  With no effective break on their power for the first two years, Congress moved so fast their yesterday became our tomorrow.  That tomorrow is now today.  The ruling party rammed their agenda through without one opposition vote.  Every revolution needs an emergency to justify radical surgery and the economy is the emergency available. Consequently, these descendants of FDR and LBJ shoved a raw deal down the throat of a great society. 

Almost everyone is in agreement that the first stimulus failed.  According to MSNBC, “In January, Obama’s economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of $787 billion in new government spending.”  However, according to the LA Times the unemployment rate in May reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent.  The President may see glimmers of hope but Say-it Ain’t-So Joe said he couldn’t rule out a second stimulus telling us the administration which ran on the slogan, “The worst economy since the Great Depression” misread how bad the economy was.  How bad is it?  What’s worse than the Great Depression?  What’s their answer to this baddest of bad economies?  What’s their Plan B?  Try Plan A again, and again, and again?  I think what our leaders need as they drive the largest economy the world has ever known over the cliff is Economics 102, Macroeconomics or how an economy works.

Most people, including the best-government-money-can-buy, look at the economy as if it were controlled by magic having no idea where the rabbit goes or where the doves come from, and since I doubt I’ll convince any of our all-knowing leaders to enroll in freshman macroeconomics I want to offer a crash course in Economic Reality.

1.    Government regulations distort markets and inflate bubbles.

2.    Every generation experiences at least one bubble and at least one bust.

3.    Every bubble bursts.

4.    Every burst bubble is followed by a panic.

5.    Panics inspire economic regulations.

6.    Economic regulations reflect political ideologies not economic realities.

7.    Economic regulations always regulate the excesses of the last bubble.

8.     Economic regulations are always blind to the excesses of the next bubble.

9.    Since consumption is the purpose for production any economic regulation that ignores this fact always leads to the misapplication of resources and the misdirection of effort.

10. Depressions are recessions with government help.

11. It is impossible to spend yourself into prosperity.

12. It is impossible to tax yourself into prosperity.

13. Higher taxes lead to smaller revenue and black-markets.

The New Economy leads straight to the Second World, from freedom to conformity from capitalism to Obamanomics.  Instead of a fair race with the rapidly transforming economies of Asia, America runs hobbled like a child in a three - legged race strapped to the stiff-legged ideas of collectivism.

Why would our leaders want us economically hobbled?  What would they gain if we fall into the swamp of poverty engulfing most of the world?  Wouldn’t they be right there with us?  Go to any Second or Third World country and you’ll see the rich and powerful behind walls in gated-communities where they live in the First World while everyone else sits in the dust eating leaves.  In America, we avoided this fate with the growth of a massive middleclass.  Under assault with stagnant wages, rising prices, and disappearing jobs the middleclass is being outsourced.  How is this being accomplished? 

Remember the mantra of the Clintons?  It’s the economy stupid!” That’s still the Liberal’s strategy, riding like a flea on a rat cradle-to-grave social engineering in the guise of economic policy.  The Progressives drive the economy into the ditch all the while saying it is someone else’s fault and shrieking that we need more of what is causing the problem: bloated government and runaway spending.  A lack of basic economic understanding is destroying the greatest economy ever forged.  A zero sum game causes divisions and arguments about who gets what when we used to all strive for the same thing: success.

America is splintering as the melting pot becomes a smelting pot.  What is its cause?  The divisiveness of class-warfare encouraged by the only people who win through America’s split between red and blue, rich and poor, us and them.  Who are they?  If it isn’t us I guess it’s them.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bob Woodward: 'Obama is a Liar'

Pointed words from a respected, and unexpected, source. From the Washington Post (emphasis mine):
Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?

The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”

The White House chief of staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the president two days later...

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved...

So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts.
Barack Obama: Liar

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Video: Discussion on the Sequestration

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Papal Resignation Linked to Inquiry Into 'Vatican Gay Officials'

An explosive revelation could be brewing under the surface of the Vatican. From the Guardian:
A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair.

Last May Pope Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising "two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red" had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope's successor upon his election.
Pope Benedict

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Jodi Arias Trial: Live Video

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Volunteer vs Conscript Commitment Key to Draft Debate

Mel Laird, Defense Secretary under President Nixon who helped develop today's all-volunteer force forty years ago, weighed in on the renewed debate involving re-instituting the military draft and he wasn't kind to supporters of bringing back the draft.

Detailing our military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq at maintaining all-volunteer forces that are trained, intelligent and effective, not to mention driven to re-enlist in the military after their first term of service, and advance up the ranks to officer - almost twenty-five thousand per year - Laird argues the method we got right now works and on that basis alone would be a mistake to alter it

Another point is the greater commitment to the military volunteers have over conscripts, who feel rightly forced into service and usually are discharged after their initial term for lack of willingness to continue in something they voluntarily did not choose to do in the first place.

And as someone who spent a long week and a half at reception in Fort Benning, I can tell you even young men who have made the decision to give their all and serve in the military (and I was in an all 11-b infantry reception company) still emotionally break just waiting for training... And they wanted to do this. I cannot even begin to imagine the mental mindset of someone forced to serve.

Mr. Laird's case involves other points as well, but just the commitment of volunteers versus conscripts and how that will effect our military's effectiveness should be enough to close the debate on bringing back the draft, once and for all. After all... Mr. Laird was one of the men who ended it in the first place four decades go, he would know a little bit about this subject.

What say you?

Read Mr. Laird's entire Op-Ed at the Washington Post

More Good News: North Korea Prepping Another Rocket Launch

More good news from the People's Republic.
Test preparations for the launch of a road-mobile Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile were spotted recently by U.S. intelligence agencies. 
Signs at a remote missile base include indicators of fueling for the road-mobile Musudan missile, classified as an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), said officials familiar with intelligence reports.
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The "Racist" Obama Whole Foods Chicken Sign

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

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Drew Peterson Sentenced to 38 Years

Good. May he rot in there.

Will County Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison in the murder of his third ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, said state's attorney spokesman Charles B. Pelkie.
The former Chicago-area police sergeant will get credit for the nearly four years that he has been in custody, according to Pelkie, a spokesman for Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. He could have received as many as 60 years in prison; Illinois does not have a death penalty.
"The reason that I never looked Drew Peterson in the eye is because I never acknowledged his existence," said Glasgow, describing the convict as a "cold-blooded killer."

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Multiple Bomb Attacks in Hyderabad, India

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Building Your Financial Future

Creating the life that you and your family deserve is not always easy, especially in today's economic conditions. When you have so many things to balance when trying to create a better financial future for a growing family, you should attempt to balance all of your options to get the best results over the years. There are many things to look at between children growing up, college loans and other costs, mortgage and other loan repayments, and the inevitable pull of retirement, there are many different things that need to be taken into account and observed closely. All of these will be very important over the years and may seem a bit bewildering for someone that is just entering into some serious financial planning. This is why doing your homework and getting as much research done as possible can be such an important tool to get where you need to be. Consider all of your options as you go ahead.

This is where the value of investing comes into play. Of course, saving in the bank can be a good way to keep your equity, but it is nowhere near perfect. With interest rates so low, you can see very little return on your investment (maybe even as low as just a quarter of one percent per year). Real estate can be a good investment, but can involve a lot of research, taxes, and maintenance. The stock market can fluctuate wildly and need a more expert hand to navigate. This is where binary options can come into play. By tapping into this relatively new form of investing, you have a lot of leeway to make your money work for you. Consider this as you are building up your family's portfolio and getting the best for your time and energy. This can be a big boost in the long run-- the type that you have been looking for all along.

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Finding a Reliable Attorney

Just about every major event in your life involves the law. Think about it. When you are dealing with the major milestones of birth, death, weddings, divorce, buying or selling property, or the like, having the right attorney can be the difference between a great experience and one that you need to fix down the road. Consider this as you are moving into the next step in your life. When you are able to have the right representation, it can make a very large difference and give you the quality care that you need and deserve. All of this is very important when dealing with such heavy legal matters.

For example, having an attorney that you can rely on is a great peace of mind. Having an attorney with criminal defense experience can be just what you need, especially if you are going before a judge. This can also be the case if you are looking for a personal injury lawyer with the chops to get you what you deserve. Consider all of these when you are looking for legal representation. Such a decision can be a big step in your life and you want to make sure that it is one with someone looking out for you.

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Watch Playstation 4 Announcement Live Video

Streaming by Ustream

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Live Video: The Jodi Arias Trial

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Debate Commission Co-Chair on Candy Crowley: Choosing Her was a Mistake

What gave it away? Was it the fact that she was utterly biased or that she's a moron? From Breitbart:
In a lecture to conservatives at the Las Vegas Country Club, Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, admitted that the selection of CNN's Candy Crowley to moderate the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in October 2012 had been a "mistake."

Crowley stirred controversy by intervening in the town hall-style debate to support Obama's contention that he had referred to the Sep. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as a terrorist attack the day after it had occurred. In fact, as Crowley herself later admitted, Obama had not done so, referring only to "acts of terror" in general. In a CBS interview taped the same day, Obama declined to refer to the attack as a terrorist act, and subsequently supported a false story about a protest over an anti-Islamic video that never took place.

After Crowley backed up the president, some members of the audience burst into applause, in violation of the rules. The effect was not lost on the audience, which scored the debate as an Obama win--nor was it lost on Romney, who was sufficiently chastened that he refused to bring up the Benghazi issue again in the third presidential debate, even though that debate was specifically focused on foreign policy and national security.

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Gears of War: Judgement "The Guts of Gears Campaign"

Form up Gears, only four more weeks to the release of Gears of War: Judgement in stores nationwide. And while I'm concerned the previous three installments story line is going to be obliterated for big profits and absolute destruction, the only way to find out is to jump into this game on March 19th.

But if this preview tells us anything, there might actually be a worthy tale to be told, however, only time will tell.


Joe Biden: I Have No Idea about Guns

In his own special way:

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Pentagon to Furlough 800K Civilians if Sequestration Goes Through

From the Hill:
The Pentagon notified Congress on Wednesday it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect March 1.

Defense officials have warned lawmakers that sequestration will devastate the military and lead to a hollow force, but the civilian furloughs will be one of the first major impacts felt by the across-the-board cuts.

The Pentagon furloughs will affect civilians across the country. Pentagon officials have said that civilians could face up to 22 days of furloughs, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year in September. The employees would receive 30 days notice before being furloughed.

“We are doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DOD personnel — but I regret that our flexibility within the law is extremely limited,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in a message to the department. “The president has used his legal authority to exempt military personnel funding from sequestration, but we have no legal authority to exempt civilian personnel funding from reductions.”
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Mississippi Finally Ratifies 13th Amendment

HT: NY Daily News

With the increased attention on Abraham Lincoln's push for the thirteenth amendment's ratification, which abolished slavery and indentured servitude in the United States, due to the major film Lincoln that millions watched over the cold Winter, one man sought out his state's ratification of the pivotal amendment.

And he discovered his state, the great State of Mississippi, remained the only one not to legally ratify the abolition of slavery.

Apparently Mississippi was one of a handful of Confederate states that refused to ratify the amendment in months following the end of the Civil War and they finally voted unanimously for doing so in 1995. But, as usually occurs in these situations, there was a glitch...

The Mississippi Secretary of State never filed the resolution with the Office of the Federal Resister, which every law and resolution has to go through in order to be legal within the United States, meaning they still legally remained the only state not to outlaw the evils of slavery in the nation.

Luckily, the interested moviegoer, a professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center discovered Mississippi's legal glitch and sought out advice, bringing it up to a friend who contacted the Register and confirmed the lack of ratification, and after watching the movie, and himself being inspired to action, got in touch with Mississippi's current Secretary of State and finally... Got the thirteenth amendment ratified.

So goes the story of Mississippi's eventful one-hundred and fifty year ratification of the thirteenth amendment.

What say you?

Muslim terrorism on the streets of metro-Los Angeles? Four dead, six wounded in "shooting frenzy" on the California highways

The media is not reporting this as an act of Muslim terrorism. They are not even identifying the man's obvious ethnicity or his immigration status in any of the media reports. A total of 9 people were gunned down late yesterday by a Muslim youth in Orange County California. Three are dead. Six others were wounded. One man was killed on a curb at a busy intersection execution style, while horrified witnesses watched from their cars. 

 Newsday reports:
A violent rampage that left four dead in suburban Orange County began in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday when a 20-year-old killed a woman in his home and sped away in his parents' car, authorities said. 
An hour later, it was over — but not before Ali Syed had killed two more people during carjackings, shot up vehicles on a busy freeway interchange and left three others injured in a trail of carnage that stretched across 25 miles. 
One driver was forced from his BMW at a stop sign, marched to a curb and shot in the back of the head as other commuters watched in horror. 
"He was basically executed," Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. "There were at least six witnesses."
Details are emerging this morning about the killer. They are going largely un-reported by the major media here in the U.S. The London Daily Mail, Russia Today, and other overseas sources are indicating that the killer was a loner living at home with his parents. He was unemployed. He was enrolled part-time at a local community college.

Photo h/t London Daily Mail

Middleburgh, New York Village Dissolution Fails to Reach Apex

In an overwhelming vote yesterday afternoon, Village of Middleburgh residents voted 344 to 71 against dissolving the three century old Village and for maintaining the governmental integrity of the current local service residents have treasured for years and obviously still have deep faith in.

The vote total is a bit of cruel irony for the petition creator, as he needed only 85 signatures to have the matter of dissolution put upon the electorate and received around one hundred and thirty, yet could not achieve either number in the actual vote.

Meaning dissolution failed to reach, what we could very well call, the apex of the petition's original support.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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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