Saturday, May 31, 2014

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown
Credit:  EPA / Michael Nelson
By Kimberly Kindy and Alice R. Crites, May 30, 2014,

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — With the toughest gun-control regulations in the country, California has a unique, centralized database of gun purchases that law enforcement can easily search. It offers precious intelligence about a suspect or other people officers may encounter when responding to a call.

But this rare advantage wasn’t enough to help authorities head off the May 23 rampage in Santa Barbara that claimed six victims.

Before a half-dozen sheriff’s deputies knocked on Elliot Rodger’s door last month in response to concerns raised by his mother about his well-being, they could have checked the database and discovered he had bought three 9mm semiautomatic handguns. Several law enforcement officials and legal experts on gun policy said this might have given deputies greater insight into Rodger’s intentions and his capability for doing harm.

The deputies did not check the database. They left his apartment after finding him to be “shy, timid, polite and well-spoken,” in the words of Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. The deputies saw no evidence that Rodger was an immediate threat to others or to himself.

“I cringed when I learned they didn’t run for guns,” said Emeryville Police Chief Ken James, who is chairman of the California Police Chiefs Association’s firearms committee.

James said law enforcement officials are not required to check the Dealer’s Record of Sale (DROS) database before going to the home of someone who is potentially suicidal. But after the killings in Santa Barbara, he said he expects it will become more common.

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By Jerry Novick, May 30, 2014,

I’ve been called all sorts of names. Being White, I’ve been called a Cracker, Honky, and Whitey, and had my life threatened to my face by individuals of various non-white races. I’ve had Kike and Hymie hurled at me, and told I was a greedy bastard based solely on my Jewish heritage. And as a Christian, I’ve been called a Jesus-Freak, a Bible-Thumper, and several horrible things I won’t lower myself to repeat.

My wife and her family have been called Spicks and wet-backs – even though they are from Brazil – not Mexico – and they are here legally as naturalized citizens! And my son – who is as Western European looking as they come – has been labeled a WASP, which I suppose is true, but I don’t think it was meant in a nice way.

And now, because of the color of my skin, I’ve been called privileged! Well, I do suppose I’ve had some privileges… My father busted his butt to put a roof over my head and food on the table – I certainly didn’t work for that, except through the chores that I did as part of my family responsibility. His efforts did yield us new clothes, some toys, and the occasional vacation. And my children have certainly been privileged as my wife and I bust our butts to provide a good life for them.

But I don’t think I’m being called “privileged” as a compliment to my parents’ efforts. No, I’m pretty sure people are saying that I have things that have not been earned, and all because of the color of my skin.

Allow me to correct that falsehood with a clear “Bulls**t!” I have never been given anything I didn’t earn (except for my salvation through Jesus Christ, given freely by His sacrifice and accepted purely as a gift). And I have often been given less than I deserved for my efforts.

But allow me to also put a historical “Bulls**t” into play.

Available on

Larry Elder is just one of many Blacks who have succeeded by thinking with their heads instead of their skin.

You see, Blacks in America say they are downtrodden and discriminated against because of the color of their skin… Because people of their race were once slaves here in America.

Well, let me drop some knowledge on you: every race has been enslaved at some point in history. And every race has owned slaves at some time since the beginning of time too.

Whites, Blacks, Hispanics Asians, Europeans, Romans, Greeks, Hebrews, American Indians…

Every single one.

And every religion too.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindi, Atheists, Wiccans…

Nobody has a single claim on being a victim. And nobody has a single claim on being an abuser. Oppression is not the purview of any one race.

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By Jeremy Gorner, Adam Sege and Carlos Sadovi, May 30, 2014

Betty Howard was just going to be a minute. She left the hazard lights of her car flashing as she dashed into a real estate office along a busy stretch of East 79th Street in Chatham to drop off some paperwork at her second job.

As she talked and laughed with co-workers inside late Thursday afternoon, a gang dispute erupted on the street. Bullets tore through a wall, one grazing Louis Hardy, 58, who dived to the floor before noticing Howard lying nearby with a gunshot to the head.

“My mind is racing, I’m trying to decide how best I could help her,” Hardy recalled today.

Howard's eyes were wide open, as if she were pleading for help. Hardy said he bent down and told her, “Hold on. Help is on the way.”

Howard died minutes later.

Hardy was grazed in the stomach and treated on the scene. A third person, a 23-year-old woman, was shot in the hand as she walked her Shih Tzu dog outside. She took cover at the corner and then realized she had been wounded.

Howard, 58, was among 14 people shot on the south and west sides Thursday, including a man seriously wounded near an elementary school on the West Side as children were being let out.

She was a respected special education teacher at one of Chicago’s highest-achieving public schools and the mother of two adult children. Her loss was mourned at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy and by neighbors, relatives and colleagues.

Howard’s brother is a veteran Chicago cop who said the pain he sees every day on the streets was now "hitting home."

“I deal with it all day, every day, because I do work the streets and I'm aware of what's going on in the Chicagoland area. But it just has to stop,” Officer Orlando Long said outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where Howard was pronounced dead.

“I feel the pain, I know how other people feel now when we just go to the scenes and do what we have to do as a police officer," he said. "But now it’s hitting home and it’s a terrible situation.”

Howard regularly dropped by the real estate office in the 700 block of East 79th to catch up on paperwork or use the copier or fax machine, Hardy said. He had worked in the office since February and knew Howard as someone who was “down to earth” and had a good sense of humor. He could tell she was very committed to children.

Thursday afternoon, Howard was “kind of relaxing and going with the flow. . .She probably wasn’t there more than 10 minutes. She was telling us about her students at the school where she taught at, Gwendolyn Brooks."

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Gen. Hossein Salami
Credit:  Reuters
By Ariel Ben Solomon, May 29, 2014,

The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Brig.- Gen. Hossein Salami said that the US’s status in the world has deteriorated and that its collapse is near.

“Today nowhere in the Muslim world” does anyone pull out “a red carpet for American officials and that’s why [US President Barack] Obama secretly” showed up at Bagram military base in Afghanistan without first letting President Hamid Karzai know, said Salami according to a report by Iran’s Fars news agency.

“And this shows that the US empire is coming to an end,” he said.

Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday and spoke to the Afghan president, but did not meet with him.

Karzai previously rejected an invitation extended through the US Embassy to meet Obama at Bagram.

“President Karzai said he would warmly welcome him [Obama] if he comes to the palace, but in no way would he go [to] Bagram to meet him,” Abdul Karim Khurram, Karzai’s chief of staff, told Reuters.

A US official said the White House was not surprised that the proposed visit did not work on short notice.

The commander also said, according to the report, that Iran continued to gain military and economic power, warning the country’s enemies that their plots against it would fail.

“Any enemy formula will entail an unexpected ending for him and this is due to the Iranian nation’s reliance on religious and Islamic beliefs,” added Salami.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
By Maggie Haberman, May 30, 2014,

Hillary Clinton offers a detailed account of the deadly attack on the American embassy in Benghazi — and a pointed rebuttal to Republican critics who’ve laced into her over the incident — in a much-anticipated chapter of her forthcoming book, “Hard Choices,” obtained by POLITICO.

“Those who exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country,” Clinton writes in the gripping chapter, “Benghazi: Under Attack.”

Casting doubt on the motivations of congressional Republicans who have continued to investigate the attacks, including with an upcoming House select committee, Clinton continues: “I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.”

(Also on POLITICO: Clinton allies mobilize on Benghazi)

The 34-page chapter is Clinton’s most complete account to date of the attack and its aftermath. Her tone is less defensive than defiant: Clinton takes responsibility for the “horror” of the loss of life in Benghazi, but puts it in the context of “the heartbreaking human stakes of every decision we make” — and she accuses adversaries of manipulating a tragedy for partisan gain.

There has been, she writes, a “regrettable amount of misinformation, speculation, and flat-out deceit by some in politics and the media,” but new information from “a number of reputable sources continues to expand our understanding of these events.”

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2014 Tesla Model S
By Reuters, May 30, 2014,

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, has unveiled an upgraded passenger version of the Dragon cargo ship NASA buys for resupply runs to the International Space Station.

Rather than parachuting down into the ocean, the new capsule is outfitted with powerful motors and landing legs to make precision touchdowns on land, said SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, a billionaire technology entrepreneur who also runs the Tesla Motors Inc electric car company.

"That is how a 21st century spaceship should land," Mr Musk said to an audience at SpaceX's California headquarters.

More than 32,500 people also watched the Dragon unveiling on a live SpaceX webcast.

"It is conceivable that we could do the first flight to orbit," said Mr Musk. "We would initially do it without people at the end of next year and then the first flight with people would be in 2016 and we think that would be very achievable."

Lifting the vehicle's hatch, Mr Musk settled into a reclined gold-and-black pilot's seat and pulled down a sleek, rounded glass control panel. The cabin, designed to fly a crew of seven, looked more like a Star Trek film set than the flight deck of NASA's now-retired space shuttle.

Dragon, which launches on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, is one of three privately owned space taxis vying for NASA development funds and launch contracts.

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Screen shot from the TV series Star Treck
By Agencies, May 29, 2014,

Star Trek-style ''beaming up'' of people through space could become a reality sometime in the far future, the leader of a landmark teleportation experiment has said.

Nothing in the laws of physics prevents the teleportation of large objects, including humans, Professor Ronald Hanson pointed out.

In contrast, it is physically impossible for anything to travel faster than light.

''What we are teleporting is the state of a particle,'' Prof Hanson, from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, said.

''If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another.

''In practice it's extremely unlikely, but to say it can never work is very dangerous.

''I would not rule it out because there's no fundamental law of physics preventing it.

''If it ever does happen it will be far in the future.''

Prof Hanson's team showed for the first time that it was possible to teleport information encoded into sub-atomic particles between two points three metres apart with 100% reliability.

The demonstration was an important first step towards developing an internet-like network between ultra-fast quantum computers whose processing power dwarfs that of today's supercomputers.

Teleportation exploits the weird way ''entangled'' particles acquire a merged identity, with the state of one instantly influencing the other no matter how far apart they are.

Giving one particle an ''up'' spin, for instance, might always mean its entangled partner has a ''down'' spin - theoretically even if both particles are on different sides of the universe.

Albert Einstein dismissed entanglement, calling it ''spooky action at a distance'', but scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that it is a real phenomenon.

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By Jamie Weinstein, May 29, 2014,

Adam Carolla isn’t backing down from his recent claim to Salon that the gay community in Hollywood acts like a mafia “demanding everyone apologize for every joke and retract every statement.”

The actor and comedian further explained his position during an extensive interview with The Daily Caller about politics, Hollywood and his new book, “President Me: The America That’s in My Head.” TheDC will be featuring segments from the interview over the next couple weeks.

“What I’m saying is if you are a late night show host and you got a joke about Chaz Bono, keep that one in your pocket,” Carolla said.

“And by the way there are many different groups now — and there always have been,” he continued. “But I’m just saying: You get out there and make a joke about you fill in the blank group — sexuality, sexual proclivities, whatever it is — they’ll come after you. And they can make things very difficult. And at a certain point people just realize it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I’m not going to say that joke ’cause I don’t even want to deal with it.”

“So what it is, is sort of stifling,” he argued.

See previous segments from TheDC’s interview with Carolla below:

Adam Carolla On How To Fix America In One Second


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By Jeryl Bier, May 30, 2014,

A report released this week by the inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that "inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout VHA." But as recently as September 2013, Stephen Warren, the executive in charge for information and technology for the VA, said that he could not "pass up an opportunity to brag about how" VistA, the scheduling software in use for more than two decades by the VA, "plays a role in providing the quality care Veterans receive at VA."

Warren made the remarks in his keynote address at the 2nd annual summit of the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA):

I know I have already talked a lot about VistA, but I cannot in good [conscience] pass up an opportunity to brag about how it plays a role in providing the quality care Veterans receive at VA. VistA at VA supports the care for over six million veterans, with 75 million outpatient visits and 680,000 inpatient admissions at more than 1,500 sites of care, including: 152 hospitals, 965 outpatient clinics, 133 community living centers, and 293 Vet Centers.

These facilities are run by over 244,000 employees including more than 20,000 physicians and 53,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 1,200 educational institutions where more than 100,000 health care students receive clinical training from VA each year.

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Migrants are released from ICE custody 
at a Greyhound Bus station in Phoenix May 28, 2014.
Photo:  Michael Chow / The Republic
By Daniel Gonzalez, May 30, 2014,

Scores of undocumented immigrants from Central America have been released at Greyhound Lines Inc. bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix over the past several days after they were flown to Arizona from south Texas, officials acknowledged.

Andy Adame, a spokesman for the Border Patrol in Tucson, confirmed that over the weekend federal officials flew about 400 migrants apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Tucson to be processed. He said the migrants were flown to Arizona because the Border Patrol does not have enough manpower to handle a surge in illegal immigrants in south Texas.

The release has drawn criticism from those on both sides of the immigration issue.

Border enforcement groups are concerned that the migrants will now disappear into the U.S., spurring even more to come illegally.

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By Kelsey Harris, May 29, 2014,

The “Today” show featured segments on both President George W. Bush’s 2006 and President Barack Obama’s 2014 Memorial Day Afghanistan trips, but their coverage selection was very different.

Following Bush’s “surprise” Afghanistan trip in March 2006, then-hosts of “Today” Kelly O’Donnell, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer framed the visit as a publicity stunt.

“The president’s travels come at a time when his popularity at home has itself gone south,” O’Donnell said, pulling numbers from his low job approval rating at the time.

After Obama’s visit to Afghanistan this Memorial Day, “Today” failed to mention his current lower-than-Bush approval ratings and the multiple scandals surrounding his administration.

The segment began with praise for his “whirlwind 4-hour visit to Afghanistan” where he made sure to thank those still serving in Afghanistan, and how he was “continuing to navigate the mounting scandal over the V.A.”

There was no mention of Benghazi, the IRS or Obamacare, among other issues.

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Donald Sterling

Brent Schrotenboer, May 30, 2014,

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling does not have the authority to stop a $2 billion sale of his team because he has been determined to be mentally unfit to make decisions related to the family trust, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The Sterling Family Trust owns the team, with Donald and his wife Shelly each owning a 50% share. The trust spells out provisions and procedures related to the mental capacity of the trustees, and Donald Sterling did not meet the standard in a determination by experts, giving his wife sole decision-making power for the trust, the person said.

Shelly Sterling reached a deal Thursday with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the Clippers for a record $2 billion. The contract was sent to the NBA for approval a few days before the league's Board of Governors was set to vote on whether to terminate the Sterlings' ownership of the team.

BALLMER: Details on record-setting sale

ARMOUR: $2 billion too much for Clippers

As part of the deal, Ballmer gets 100% of the team, though Shelly Sterling still could be involved in the franchise in some other capacity, the person said.

"Shelly Sterling was acting under her authority as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust which owns the Clippers," said a news release issued late Thursday by Shelly Sterling's representatives.

"I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner," Shelly Sterling said in the statement. "We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."

Donald Sterling's attorneys didn't return calls Thursday night from USA TODAY Sports. After Sterling authorized his wife in writing last week to sell the team on his behalf, his attorney this week said he had reversed course, did not want to sell and instead wanted to fight the NBA, which banned him for life on April 29.

But Shelly Sterling continued to entertain offers for the team even as her husband's attorney said he did not want to sell.

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By M.B. Pell and Sharon Begley, May 29, 2014

(Reuters) - Three Connecticut doctors billed Medicare for nearly 24,000 drug tests in 2012 - on just 145 patients. Despite the extraordinary number, Medicare administrators paid the doctors a total of $1.4 million, according to a Reuters analysis of government payments to health providers.

The three physicians stand out in the Medicare data released last month because they conducted three to four times more drug tests per patient than any other provider in the country. In fact, they ordered so many individual tests, their patients averaged one every other day.

A surge in prescription drug abuse among older Americans has been accompanied by a big increase in urine and blood tests nationwide. Part of an effort to detect that abuse, the tests generate millions of dollars for providers. Medicare, the government insurance system for the disabled and people 65 years and older, is footing the bill.

Medicare administrators declined to comment on the doctors' bills or to say whether they were investigating. But experts in laboratory billing said the high frequency of tests was extremely unusual and underscored the need for Medicare to improve oversight of potentially lucrative drug tests to guard against billing for unnecessary procedures.

"Those numbers are ridiculously high," said Dr Stuart Gitlow, acting president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. "There is no medical indication I can think of that would require such frequency of testing. I can't come up with a scenario at all."

Two of the doctors work together in New London, Connecticut. The third doctor works in Ellington, about 60 miles away. Two of the three, contacted by Reuters, denied any wrongdoing, with one saying he was simply following Medicare's billing rules as he understood them. The third declined to comment.

Each of the doctors requested only the most expensive and comprehensive drug test, for as much as $94, rather than the simpler $19 one. This was done to improve the accuracy of the results, one said.


Medicare paid medical providers $457 million in 2012 for 16 million tests to detect everything from prescription narcotics to cocaine and heroin, according to the Reuters analysis.

"In some parts of the country every doctor and his cousin is hanging out a shingle to do (addiction) treatment. There’s a tailor-made opportunity for ordering a profusion of tests instead of one," said Bill Mahon, former executive director of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association.

"It's like turning on a spigot of money," he said.

Urine and blood tests are potential areas of fraud and abuse because guidelines for drug testing are vague, leaving the frequency of testing to the discretion of the provider. Unlike private insurance companies, which sometimes dispute charges and pay providers only when they have vetted a claim, Medicare almost always pays first and asks questions later.

There is often a legitimate need for such drug tests, to determine whether an addict has relapsed or to ensure that patients prescribed painkillers are taking them rather than selling them.

In 2011, the average number of older Americans misusing or dependent on prescription pain relievers grew to about 336,000, up from 132,000 a decade earlier, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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Underage immigrant youth watching television.
Credit:  Jose Luis Gonzales / Reuters
By Richard Cowen, May 28, 2014,

(Reuters) - Tens of thousands of children unaccompanied by parents or relatives are flooding across the southern U.S. border illegally, forcing the Obama administration and Congress to grapple with both a humanitarian crisis and a budget dilemma.

An estimated 60,000 such children will pour into the United States this year, according to the administration, up from about 6,000 in 2011. Now, Washington is trying to figure out how to pay for their food, housing and transportation once they are taken into custody.

The flow is expected to grow. The number of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrants who are under 18 will likely double in 2015 to nearly 130,000 and cost U.S. taxpayers $2 billion, up from $868 million this year, according to administration estimates.

The shortage of housing for these children, some as young as 3, has already become so acute that an emergency shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, has been opened and can accommodate 1,000 of them, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in an interview with Reuters.

The issue is an added source of tension between Democrats and Republicans, who disagree on how to rewrite immigration laws. With comprehensive legislation stalled, President Barack Obama is looking at small, administrative steps he could take, which might be announced this summer. No details have been outlined but immigration groups are pressing him to take steps to keep families with children together.

The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are sometimes seeking to reunite with a parent who is already in the United States, also without documentation.

"This is a humanitarian crisis and it requires a humanitarian response," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski said in an interview. The Maryland Democrat, a former social worker, has likened the flood of unaccompanied children to the "boat people" of past exodus movements.

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on Mikulski's committee, said, "The need is there, you know the humanitarian aspect of it, but we're challenged on money."

Immigration groups lobbying for comprehensive reform argue that children are being hit hardest by the political deadlock.


With an even bigger funding challenge looming for 2015, Mikulski worries corners might be cut. She said children could end up being placed in federal holding cells meant only for adults and that funds might have to be shifted from other programs, such as refugee aid, to help cover the $252-per-day cost of detaining a child.

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By Katie Pavlich, May 28, 2014,

Late yesterday, MSNBC host Toure issued an apology on Twitter after saying surviving the Holocaust was a result of the "power of whiteness." Here is his original tweet.

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By Larry Elder, May 30, 2014

One leg of the Axis of Indoctrination: our leftwing major media.

The “Today “ show gives us a recent example of the leftwing bias of our major media. President Barack Obama made a Memorial Day surprise visit to Afghanistan. And, in March 2006, so did President George W. Bush. The “Today” show’s coverage, perspective and tone could not have been more different.

Depending upon the poll, Obama’s popularity rating is lower now than Bush’s at comparable times in their presidencies. Yet, the “Today” show failed to mention Obama’s poor poll numbers, let along the scandals of the IRS or NSA or Benghazi. It did mention the VA scandal, but ended the piece with a sound bite of Obama determined to get to the bottom of it. On the other hand, “Today’s” coverage of the Bush visit included a comment on to how poorly the Iraq War was going, as well as a reference to the controversy over leasing American ports to the United Arab Emirates.

Here’s “Today’s” Obama coverage: “President Obama has just returned to Washington this morning following a surprise visit with U.S. service members in Afghanistan, and he has a busy Memorial Day planned. NBC’s Kristen Welker is at the White House. Good morning to you, Kristen.”

Here’s “Today’s” Bush coverage: “Breaking news. President Bush makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan, his first ever. Meanwhile, back at home, his approval rating sank to an all-time low. The president’s travels come at a time when his popularity at home has, itself, gone south -- his latest job approval rating down to 34.

Consider how ABC, NBC and CBS covered the first days to the presidency of Bill Clinton versus the first day of the presidencies of George W. Bush:

Peter Jennings, ABC News, 1993 -- "President Clinton kept a promise [emphasis added] today on the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Mr. Clinton signed presidential memoranda rolling back many of the restrictions imposed by his predecessors."

Peter Jennings, ABC News, 2001 -- "One of the president's first actions was designed to appeal to anti-abortion conservatives [emphasis added]. The president signed an order reinstating a Reagan-era policy."

Tom Brokaw, NBC News, 1993 --"Today, President Clinton kept a campaign promise [emphasis added], and it came on the 20th anniversary of Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion."

Tom Brokaw, NBC News, 2001 -- "We'll begin with the new president's very active day, which started on a controversial note [emphasis added]."

Dan Rather, CBS News, 1993 -- "Today, with the stroke of a pen, President Clinton delivered on his campaign promise [emphasis added] to cancel several anti-abortion regulations of the Reagan-Bush years."

Dan Rather, CBS News, 2001 -- "This was President Bush's first day at the office, and he did something to quickly please the right flank [emphasis added] in his party: He reinstituted an anti-abortion policy."

But, for a combination of blatant media bias and chutzpah, the award goes to The New York Times.

On New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s waning days in office, the Times wrote an editorial praising the job he did as mayor. Eight years later, when Giuliani decided to run for president, the same newspaper trashed the job he did as mayor:

New York Times editorial (December 30, 2001): "It would be easy to go on about the things Mr. Giuliani failed to do -- New York City has so many problems and crises and needs that all mayors leave office with far more losses than wins. The most its residents can expect of a mayor is that he -- or someday she -- accomplish one big thing. When measured in that way, Mr. Giuliani more than did the job. He restored New Yorkers' confidence in their ability to control the city's destiny. The long years he spent fighting crime and disorder became the platform from which he showed us how to fight terrorism and Osama bin Laden."

New York Times editorial (January 25, 2008): "The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square. Mr. Giuliani's arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking. When he claims fiscal prudence, we remember how he ran through surpluses without a thought to the inevitable downturn and bequeathed huge deficits to his successor. He fired Police Commissioner William Bratton, the architect of the drop in crime, because he couldn't share the limelight. He later gave the job to Bernard Kerik, who has now been indicted on fraud and corruption charges."

Same guy, same job, same newspaper, same editorial page. But once Giuliani’s running for president against a Democrat, the same guy and job the Times previously applauded is now a racist, corrupt, seedy s.o.b. Sheer gall.

In “Left Turn” UCLA professor Tim Groseclose argues left wing media bias gives the typical Democratic candidate an 8 to 10 point advantage. These examples show how it’s done -- from the subtle to the blatant.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

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By The Right Scoop / CNN, May 28, 2014

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland accused Dr. Ben Carson of comparing our country to Nazi, Germany on Crossfire tonight. Carson explained what he actually said and what he meant, but Strickland still doubled down, even throwing his new book into the mix. But that was Strickland’s mistake and that’s where Carson got him.

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By Lizzie Smith, David McCormack & Jill Reilly, May 28, 2014,

Brad Pitt suffered a hit to the face by a Ukrainian serial prankster on the red carpet last night.

The actor was attending the Los Angeles premiere of partner Angelina Jolie's new film Maleficent when Vitalii Sediuk jumped over a crowd barrier and struck him, breaking the star's sunglasses.

Security instantly intervened as a violent scuffle broke out outside the El Capitan theatre and Sediuk was dragged to the floor and arrested.

An emergency restraining order has been issued against Sediuk as it is now being reported that he broke the glasses that Pitt was wearing to the Wednesday evening premiere.

TMZ reports that Sediuk struck Pitt in the face and 'destroyed' the sunglasses he was wearing.

In the footage from the scene, Pitt is seen wearing sunglasses when the gate crasher lunges at him, and Pitt bends down amid the scuffle. Moments later when security guards step in, Pitt re-emerges without the glasses on his face.

Pitt, 50, who took the unusual step of attending the premiere with his five of his children, is understood not to have been seriously injured in the altercation.

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By Nanci Hellmich, May 28, 2014,

More employees are getting hit with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments, and many don't have the money to cover unexpected medical expenses, a new report finds.

More than half of companies (56%) increased employees' share of health care premiums or co-payments for doctors' visits in 2013, and 59% of employers say they intend to do the same in 2014, according to the annual Aflac WorkForces Report. It's based on a survey of 1,856 employers and 5,209 employees at small, medium and large-size companies.

In 2013, 19% of companies implemented a major medical plan with a high deductible (more than $1,000) and Health Savings Accounts as an alternative to a traditional medical plan, the study finds.

Employees are worried about covering their medical costs: 49% have less than $1,000 to pay for unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses; 53% would borrow from their 401(k)s or credit cards to cover unexpected medical costs; 66% say they wouldn't be able to adjust to the large financial costs associated with a serious injury or illness.

The survey also showed 69% of workers at least somewhat agree that they regularly underestimate the total costs of an injury or illness, including medical, household and out-of-pocket expenses.

Many employees are in a "fragile financial situation" and couldn't afford the out-of-pocket expenses of many medical situations, says Matthew Owenby, vice president of human resources for Aflac, a provider of supplemental insurance, such as accident, cancer, critical illness, dental and vision.

Some companies are already offering high deductible plans and, "I think we'll see more of this in the future," he says.

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By Mark Katharine, May 28, 2014,

Overly sunny tax revenue predictions are not a problem unique to socialists, but you can see how those who adhere to an ideology that refuses to admit to basic human nature and the economic downsides of ludicrous tax rates might fall more dramatically than most. Timber:

The French government faces a 14bn-euro black hole in its public finances after overestimating tax income for the last financial year.

French President Francois Hollande has raised income tax, VAT and corporation tax since he was elected two years ago.

The Court of Auditors said receipts from all three taxes amounted to an extra 16bn euros in 2013.

That was a little more than half the government’s forecast of 30bn euros of extra tax income.

The Court of Auditors, which oversees the government’s accounts, said the Elysee Palace’s forecasts of tax revenue in 2013 were so wildly inaccurate that they cast doubt on its forecasts for this year.

It added the forecasts were overly optimistic and based on inaccurate projections.

Hollande, who endures a public approval rating of 20 percent (!), had first levied the whopping 75 percent tax rate on individuals making over a million euros. This prompted notable protests from actors and soccer teams, as well as the populace at which his populism was aimed.

How’d that work out for the country?

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By Charlie Spierling, May 28, 2014,
President Obama outlined his foreign policy on Wednesday during a speech at the graduation ceremony at West Point.

Throughout his speech, Obama used “straw man” arguments, setting up “critics” or “skeptics” that existed to disagree with the president before being knocked down by his rhetoric. While some of these positions are held by political figures such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) or Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), these politicians chafe at having their views presented in a narrow context. For the sake of his speech, Obama presents these positions as the extreme, while carefully positioning himself in the middle.

Here are five examples:

1. Those who believe America is in decline

Obama assured West Point graduates that “America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world” and those who think differently are just wrong.

“Those who argue otherwise – who suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away – are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics,” he said.

2. Those who warn against foreign entanglements

President Obama pointed out that throughout history, foreign policy has fallen into two camps, one of which were “self-described realists” who were reluctant to go to war.

“[T]here have been those who warned against foreign entanglements that do not touch directly on our security or economic well-being,” he said.

Remember when President Obama was in this camp? Not anymore.

3. Those who want to intervene around the globe

“A different view, from interventionists on the left and right, says we ignore these conflicts at our own peril,” Obama said.

Not surprisingly, Obama believes that “neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment.”

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Dr. Charles Sophy
By Gary Baum, May 27, 2014,

High-profile and controversial Beverly Hills psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy was treating Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger during a key period within the year leading up to the May 23 massacre that resulted in seven deaths (including his own), as well as 13 injuries -- according to Rodger's own 137-page manifesto.

Sophy, a prominent Southern California physician who has served as the medical director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services for more than a decade, has in the past been criticized for continuing with his busy role at the troubled mental health agency (where systemic breakdowns contributed to deaths) while maintaining a lucrative private practice and frequent media appearances. His client list is said to have included Paris Hilton, former Spice Girl Mel B and the late Russell Armstrong (whose suicide after battering wife Taylor was central to an early season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). At the same time, he has provided on-air expertise on programs ranging from Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to Flipping Out.

Sophy, one of a number of therapists Rodger met with over the years, did not respond to a request for comment about his care for the 22-year-old, who grew up in the celebrity-studded suburb of Calabasas to parents involved in the film industry. (Father Peter Rodger was an assistant director on the first Hunger Games film, while mother Li Chin, an on-set nurse, once dated George Lucas.)

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Loma Linda Veterans Hospital
By Chuck Ross, May 27, 2014,

The family of a 65 year-old veteran claims that VA police stomped on the veterans head and neck, causing him to suffer a stroke and die several weeks later, a new lawsuit alleges.

On May 25, 2011, Jonathan Montano was waiting several hours to undergo dialysis treatment at the Loma Linda VA facility when he grew frustrated, reports Courthouse News Service.

With an IV still in his arm, Montano made his way towards the hospital exit, saying that he would get treatment at the Long Beach VA facility instead.

Norma Montano, the veteran’s wife of 44 years, left the hospital to retrieve the couple’s car.

But VA police wouldn’t let Montano leave, the lawsuit alleges.

“The summoned VA Police Department police officers then stopped Jonathan Montano from leaving the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, by tackling him to the floor, slamming his head on the floor, and kneeing and stomping on his neck, and otherwise brutalizing and restraining him,” reads the lawsuit, according to Courthouse News.

“This kneeing and stomping on his neck by the VA Police Department police officers caused the dissection of his carotid artery, that resulted in immediate (or very soon thereafter) blood clotting, which resulted in [his] suffering a stroke. Moreover, the brutalization of Jonathan Montano resulted in him suffering other serious physical injuries, and associated physical, mental and emotional pain, suffering and distress.”

When Mrs. Montano came back into the hospital to find her husband, she was told that her husband had suffered a stroke.

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