Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Barack Obama hosted a dress-up fantasy tea party while millions of Americans went without the very basic necessities of real life. A shocking story published in the New York Post paints a vulgar picture: A White House “Alice in Wonderland” costume ball — put on by Johnny Depp and Hollywood director Tim Burton — proved to be a Mad-as-a-Hatter idea that was never made public for fear of a political backlash during hard economic times, according to a new tell-all.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary January 10 with 38 percent of the vote, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul placed a strong second with 23 percent (with 78 percent of the precincts reporting).
"The president has run out of ideas," Romney said in his victory speech. "Now he's running out of excuses. And tonight, we're asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time."
"He had a victory," Ron Paul said of Romney. Regarding his own second-place showing, Paul said, "We had a victory for the cause of liberty tonight."
Paul's speech had a different substance than Romney's partisan speech. Paul focused upon ideas in his talk. "I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being dangerous," Paul told his supporters. "We are dangerous to the status quo in this country. And we will remain a danger to the Federal Reserve system as well." The mostly young audience broke out in loud chants of "End the Fed! End the Fed!" Paul had predicted the housing and financial crisis as early as 2001, and warned that the United States was currently in the midst of a currency crisis.
The "top one percent" of American earners, who have become heated targets of Democrats, Occupy Wall Street protesters, and the Obama administration, is not limited to the isolated crowd of corporate executives who run America’s financial institutions; it also includes top executives in organizations such as Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the "family planning" group responsible for the deaths of millions of unborn babies.
According to Planned Parenthood’s 2009-2010 annual report, the abortion business is booming, as the release shows the organization administering 329,455 abortions last year. These operations, along with other services the organization provides, have delivered PPFA more than a billion dollars in total net assets, a new record high.
However, spikes in business profits have not been the only contributors to the group’s 2010 financial boon, but also the millions of dollars in government funding it harvests every year. "Planned Parenthood received $487.4 million in government money in 2010, a huge jump from the $363.2 million reported last year," reported LifeSiteNews. "At the same time, contributions to the organization from private sources dropped from $308.2 million the year before to $223.8 million, a fact that pro-life groups have pointed to as apparent evidence of declining support for the abortion giant."
Google announced Tuesday a new social networking maneuver that will rummage through photos and commentary on its budding social network, Google+, so search results can provide more personal information for web browsing. The addition, which was employed the same day it was announced, will tailor search results by filtering content to the unique interests of each user browsing the Internet.
The company’s six-month-old Plus product is a social networking service Google offered to counter the sweeping popularity of Facebook’s online parlor and Twitter’s status-updating hub. The new feature, called "Search, Plus Your World," was partially activated Tuesday (some users will not see the change immediately) for all searches administered by users logged into Google; deactivating the individually catered results will require changing settings under the user’s personal preferences. Personal search results can also be suspended on a search-by-search basis by clicking an icon on the results page.
Google Fellow Amit Singhal detailed in a blog post three areas that will be affected by the new feature:
Like many other Republicans, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah’s senior Senator, has been a vocal critic of President Obama’s support for Solyndra, the bankrupt California solar panel manufacturer. Once a prime showpiece of “green energy” and one of the top technology darlings of the Obama administration, Solyndra failed spectacularly last year — after having been lavished with $535 million in federal loan guarantees, as well as a $25-million tax break from the state of California.
Sen. Orrin Hatch can be seen here calling Obama’s support for Solyndra a “disgrace” on a September 22, 2011 program with Fox News commentator Greta Van Susteren.
And a costly disgrace it is, one that Republicans are eager to turn into a political albatross around President Obama’s neck in this election year. However, Sen. Hatch, who also stands for reelection in 2012, has his own Solyndra albatross to contend with. And unlike President Obama, Sen. Hatch has the added embarrassment of having a failed, federally financed “green” showcase facility named after him. In gratitude for his unstinting support, Utah-based Raser Technologies named its major geothermal plant in his honor. Sen. Hatch was on hand for the company’s 2008 groundbreaking ceremony for “The Hatch Plant,” another federally financed model of “clean” energy which has filed for bankruptcy.
On the morning of August 3, 2011, armed agents of the U.S. government and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office conducted a raid on a small private club in southern California, seizing the substances being sold therein and arresting three individuals on felony charges. It was the second raid on the club in two years and the culmination of a yearlong investigation by 10 local, state, and federal agencies that, according to the Los Angeles Times, “used high-tech video equipment hidden on a utility pole for round-the-clock surveillance and undercover agents to make covert buys.”
In what nefarious substances was the club trafficking? Marijuana? Cocaine? Heroin? No, the members of Rawesome Foods of Venice, California, were accused of the heinous crime of consuming milk and other dairy products that had not been pasteurized — products that the Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies insist are so dangerous that individuals must not be permitted to ingest them.
Advocates of unpasteurized (“raw”) milk consumption beg to differ. They argue that raw milk is nearly as safe as pasteurized milk and that its benefits outweigh its slightly increased risks. Many go to great lengths to obtain raw milk, joining private food clubs like Rawesome, entering into agreements whereby they purchase shares in cows and in turn receive the cows’ milk (called “herd sharing”), and, in some cases, openly defying the FDA’s ban on interstate raw milk sales.
As New Hampshire voters go to the polls in the nation’s first presidential primary of 2012, the results of last week’s Iowa caucuses have still not yet been certified. The Iowa GOP leadership decided to accumulate the vote totals of the caucuses at a secret location based on a threat that they received from a group called Anonymous.
But now, the secrecy decision by the Iowa GOP leadership is beginning to haunt them. KCCI-TV in Des Moines reported that one of participants in the vote count, Edward True of Moulton, Iowa, compared his totals to those posted by the Iowa GOP and found a discrepancy. The discrepancy is in Mitt Romney’s favor by 20 votes. True’s total for Mitt Romney at his caucus was 2 votes, but the Iowa GOP showed 22 votes.
The newscast went on to state that a spokeswoman for the Iowa GOP said that because True was not a Precinct Captain nor a county chair, “He had no business talking about election results.” That’s not how America was founded. The credibility of a witness is not based on the status of the person, but rather on his own merit. That’s why our U.S. Constitution forbids granting of titles of privilege to persons and the Declaration Independence states that all men were created equal.
The news that Eastman Kodak is preparing to file for bankruptcy, after being the leading photographic company in the world for more than a hundred years, truly marks the end of an era.
The skills required to use the cameras and chemicals required by the photography of the mid-19th century were far beyond those of most people — until a man named George Eastman created a company called Kodak, which made cameras that ordinary people could use.
It was Kodak's humble and affordable box Brownie that put photography on the map for millions of people, who just wanted to take simple pictures of family, friends, and places they visited.
As the complicated photographic plates used by 19th century photographers gave way to film, Kodak became the leading film maker of the 20th century. But sales of film declined for the first time in 2000, and sales of digital cameras surpassed the sales of film cameras just three years later. Just as Kodak's technology made older modes of photography obsolete more than a hundred years ago, so the new technology of the digital age has left Kodak behind.
While U.S. unemployment remains well above eight percent, the Obama administration is proposing a half-percent pay raise for federal employees as part of its 2013 budget plan, an Office of Management and Budget official announced Friday.
The modest, but rather untimely, pay increase will mark the first uptick since before the two-year federal pay freeze enacted in 2010, which was branded by the White House as a joint effort in which federal workers would share in the "sacrifice" with the private sector, as the economy remained persistently stale.
"A permanent pay freeze is not an acceptable policy," said a senior administration official, noting the impact of the two-year pay freeze on the two million workers currently on the federal payroll. "While modest, a 0.5 percent increase reflects the belt-tightening we must do in these difficult times."
Although the compensation boost rests far below the recent 3.6-percent cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, the mere deed of inflating public-sector compensation may hatch some negative sentiment among private-sector workers, as well as the army of unemployed Americans who have yet to find work.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a television audience January 8 that while Iran may be laying the groundwork for nuclear weapons, it is not yet far enough in the process to build any yet. Appearing on a pre-recorded segment of the CBS program Face the Nation, “Panetta cautioned against a unilateral strike by Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities, saying the action could trigger Iranian retaliation against U.S. forces in the region,” reported the Associated Press.
Panetta insisted that the best course of action is continued economic and diplomatic pressure on the country. “We have common cause here” with Israel, Panetta said. “And the better approach is for us to work together.”
Meanwhile, reported CNN, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on January 9 that Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a facility in the northern part of the country. “The IAEA can confirm that Iran has started the production of uranium enriched up to 20 percent” at Fordo, in the mountains of Iran’s Qom province, said an IAEA spokesman. The spokesman assured that “all nuclear material in the facility remains under the agency’s containment and surveillance.”