Articles Posted by Alter Kaker

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  • Captives held by Islamic State were waterboarded

    08/28/2014 12:50:09 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 30 replies
    WashPost ^ | 8/28/2014 | Adam Goldman and Julia Tate
    At least four hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including an American journalist who was recently executed by the group, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, according to people familiar with the treatment of the kidnapped Westerners. James Foley was among the four who were waterboarded several times by Islamic State militants who appeared to model the technique on the CIA’s use of waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The victims of waterboarding are often strapped down on gurneys or benches while cold water is poured over a cloth covering...
  • Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    07/28/2014 11:21:44 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 109 replies
    BuzzFeed ^ | 7/28/2014 | Chris Geidner
    WASHINGTON — The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday that Virginia’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is unconstitutional. On a 2-1 vote, the appeals court joined the wave of court decisions declaring such bans unconstitutional. The decision, by Judge Henry Floyd acknowledged both the debate over such laws and, in the court’s view, the clear constitutional impediment to laws banning same-sex couples from marrying. “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable,” he wrote. “However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.” The court’s opinion...
  • Federal appeals court overturns Utah's ban on gay marriage

    06/25/2014 10:08:35 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 32 replies
    LA Times ^ | 6/25/2014 | Michael Muskal
    In a decision coming from Utah, a federal appeals court on Wednesday for the first time backed gay marriage. The Denver-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court decision that struck down the state's bans on same-sex marriage. The ruling, which was stayed, sets the stage for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which touched off the current round of legal fighting on the issue when it struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.
  • Judge Strikes Down Indiana Ban on Gay Marriage

    06/25/2014 10:07:03 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 56 replies
    AP ^ | 6/25/2014 | CHARLES WILSON
    federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday in a ruling that immediately allows gay couples to wed. U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state's ban violates the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause because it treats couples differently based on their sexual orientation. "Same-sex couples, who would otherwise qualify to marry in Indiana, have the right to marry in Indiana," he wrote. "These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such."
  • PUTIN VISITS ANNEXED CRIMEA ON VICTORY DAY

    05/09/2014 5:44:48 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 72 replies
    AP ^ | 3/9/2014 | VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and IVAN SEKRETAREV
    SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has hailed Crimea's incorporation into Russia. Putin made a speech Friday in the city of Sevastopol on his first trip to the Black Sea peninsula since Russia annexed it from Ukraine in March. Putin watched a parade of Russian navy ships and a flyby of Russian aircraft marking the Victory Day commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. Ukraine has condemned Putin's visit as trampling on international law.
  • Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community [NPR goes for class warfare]

    04/13/2014 11:32:14 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 55 replies
    NPR ^ | April 13, 2014 | John Burnett
    A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church. The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban's Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes. Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away. The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn't. "One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by," says...
  • Rick Snyder will abide by Marriage Ruling [takes no position on same sex marriage]

    03/25/2014 7:52:28 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 14 replies
    Politico ^ | 3/24/2014 | Maggie Haberman
    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he will follow however a federal judge rules on the legality of same-sex marriages in his state, and insisted he has never taken a public position on the issue.Snyder made the comments at a Bloomberg View forum with reporters in Manhattan on Monday, as gay couples who married in the last few days awaited clarity after a federal judge put a temporary hold on a ruling overturning Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.
  • Markets plunge on Ukraine crisis; Russia’s central bank intervenes [Russian markets panic]

    03/03/2014 6:12:21 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 64 replies
    The Globe and Mail ^ | 3 March 2014 | Eric Reguly
    Russian markets plunged Monday morning as investors reacted to the prospect of Western-led economic sanctions aimed at punishing president Vladimir Putin for Russian actions in Crimea. The selloff prompted the Russian central bank to take aggressive action to try to stabilize the markets. As the ruble sank to new lows against the euro and the dollar, the bank raised interest rate by 150 basis points (1.5 percentage points), lifting it to 7 per cent.
  • Waiting for Jeb [Bush to run in 2016?]

    03/03/2014 5:35:39 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 71 replies
    The Hill ^ | March 3, 2014 | Alexandra Jaffe
    The 2016 presidential election is Jeb Bush’s now-or-never-moment. As other potential GOP standard-bearers have been hit by scandal or seen their luster fade, many Republicans desperately want the former Florida governor to get in the race. His allies say he is considering it more seriously than ever before. They believe he could be their Goldilocks candidate: Not too conservative, not too centrist; not too dull, not too unpredictable; not too inexperienced, and not too marred by scandal. In fact, just right. But many of his greatest potential advantages could also be liabilities. The Bush name gives him a deep and...
  • The strengths of the armies before Sebastopol, and the need for reinforcements

    03/02/2014 6:45:06 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 5 replies
    The Times ^ | 27 November 1854 | The Times
    When an army is engaged in war at a considerable distance from the frontiers of its own country, and, consequently, from the base of operations on which it must chiefly rely for stores and reinforcements, it is a fundamental principle of military administration to prepare and keep up, as it were, in an unbroken stream, those supplies on which the efficiency of the army depends. The troops actually in presence of the enemy form but a part, and sometimes a small part, of the force to be included in the whole estimate of the campaign. They are the head of...
  • New Mexico Supreme Court: Same-sex marriage legal

    12/19/2013 10:40:05 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 113 replies
    Seattle PI ^ | 12/19/2013 | Associated Press
    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's highest court has legalized same-sex marriage, declaring it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples. The state Supreme Court issued its ruling Thursday. New Mexico joins 16 states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage. Eight of the state's 33 counties have started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since August, when a county clerk in southern New Mexico independently decided to allow the unions.
  • Herring wins Virginia attorney general race, elections board announces

    11/25/2013 8:06:36 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 41 replies
    WashPost ^ | 11/25/2013 | Laura Vozzella
    The state Board of Elections on Monday certified Democrat Mark Herring as the winner of the Nov. 5 election for Virginia attorney general. Herring, a state senator from Loudoun County, beat state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R), by 165 votes out of more than 2 million votes cast.
  • Rasmussen poll gives McAuliffe a 17-point lead over Cuccinelli

    10/22/2013 11:25:05 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 103 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | 10/22/2013 | Matthew Cella
    A poll released Tuesday suggests Democrat Terry McAuliffe has pulled away in the campaign for Virginia governor, opening a 17-point lead against Republican Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II two weeks from Election Day. The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, has Mr. McAuliffe ahead 50-33 — by far the largest margin of any poll thus far in the race. The survey of 1,000 likely voters has a 3 percentage point margin of error. It was conducted Sunday, a day after former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigned with Mr. McAuliffe in Falls Church. The results come after Rasmussen last...
  • Paul Ryan Wants Budget Conference (GOP caves on shutdown?)

    10/10/2013 9:31:30 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 104 replies
    Roll Call ^ | 10/10/2013 | Emma Dumain and Niels Lesniewski
    Updated 12:28 p.m. | House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Thursday morning that he intends to go to conference on the budget, signaling the end to one of the year’s greatest impasses between the two parties and chambers. “We’re gonna start negotiations,” Ryan said. “I intend to go to conference. “I think when Leader Pelosi said that they would remove all the motions to instruct, that was a good-faith effort to get serious negotiations going,” he continued. “We intend to go to conference on that. As you know, a budget resolution is not sufficient to do all...
  • Moderates Revolt Over CR [RINO DEFCON 1]

    09/30/2013 3:53:41 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 43 replies
    Natonal Review ^ | 9/30/2013 | Jonathan Strong
    For almost three years, the story in the House has been about Speaker John Boehner’s restive right flank causing him problems. But Republican moderates have apparently had enough. In what is by far their boldest stand since the GOP took control of the House in 2010, a group of them are threatening to bring down a vote on the rule for the government-funding bill scheduled for 6:30 p.m. New York representative Peter King is leading the charge, and his fellow New Yorker Michael Grimm is close behind him. The group told leadership on Saturday they have 25 members who are...
  • Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion

    09/19/2013 8:46:24 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 109 replies
    New York Times ^ | September 19, 2013 | Laurie Goodstein
    Pope Francis, in the first extensive interview of his six-month-old papacy, said that the Roman Catholic church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he has chosen not to speak of those issues despite recriminations from some critics. In remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the pope told the Rev. Antonio...
  • N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption

    09/05/2013 12:14:05 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 106 replies
    New York Times ^ | September 5, 2013 | NICOLE PERLROTH, JEFF LARSON and SCOTT SHANE
    The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents. The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show. Many users assume — or have been assured...
  • Ross Perot Steps Up for Beleaguered Texas Planned Parenthood [Donates $1 million[

    08/30/2013 9:10:43 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 52 replies
    NY Magazine ^ | 30 August 2013 | Kat Stoeffel
    Billionaire and former presidential candidate Ross Perot’s foundation announced yesterday that it will donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the Huffington Post reports. Governor Rick Perry cut off the women’s health network’s state and federal funding last year — including funds that went to its preventative and basic health-care programs for uninsured women — citing the overarching pro-abortion stance. (He called this a “win for women.”) The abortion restrictions signed into law in June have already closed three Planned Parenthood clinics. Perot’s wife Margot said in a written statement that the foundation recognized “the need to further...
  • Wal-Mart to Offer Health Benefits to Domestic Partners of U.S. Workers

    08/27/2013 12:53:17 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 37 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | August 27, 2013 | Shelly Banjo
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told workers this week that it will begin offering health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of U.S. employees next year. The extension of health benefits marks a major change for the country’s largest private employer of 1.3 million U.S. workers, which has been targeted by gay-rights advocacy groups for failing to do so. The move comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which had denied federal benefits to gay couples married under state law. Rather than go state by state, Wal-Mart decided to...
  • Boehner Super-PAC Aides Push Senate Immigration Bill [BOEHNER IN THE TANK FOR AMNESTY]

    08/22/2013 5:59:36 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 27 replies
    National Review ^ | August 21, 2013 | Jonathan Strong
    Senior GOP aides of a super PAC linked to Speaker John Boehner are lobbying House Republicans to pass the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, legislation that Boehner has said he will not bring to the House floor. The lobbying effort is coming under the umbrella of the American Action Network, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) “action tank” led by former senator Norm Coleman, which is touting the “major positive economic impact” of the Senate bill in e-mails sent to individual House Republican offices. AAN is housed in the same office as the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Boehner,...
  • Bolton 2016?

    08/22/2013 5:53:41 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 41 replies
    National Review ^ | 8/22/2013 | Robert Costa
    How serious is John Bolton about potentially running for president? He’s about to start hiring for his political operation. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and conservative star is ready to hit the road, play in the 2014 midterm elections, and flesh out his domestic-policy views —including his support for gay marriage — in preparation for throwing his hat in the ring in 2016. For Bolton, the path here — to the cusp of running — has been a winding one. Save for his trademark snow-white mustache, he could be mistaken for just another Washington, D.C., lawyer as...
  • Gov. Christie refuses to sign 3 gun bills, including version of weapon ban he called for

    08/17/2013 11:12:15 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 37 replies
    Newark Star Ledger ^ | August 16, 2013 | Matt Friedman
    TRENTON — After months of pressure from both sides of the gun control debate, Gov. Chris Christie today refused to sign three controversial gun control measures sitting on his desk — including a version of a weapon ban that he had called for. Christie altered two bills, sending them back to the Legislature — a massive measure (S2723) known as state Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s “centerpiece” to overhaul the way the state issues firearms ID cards, and legislation to require New Jersey law enforcement agencies to report information on lost, stolen and discarded guns to federal databases (A3797). But the...
  • McConnell to Vote for Cloture Despite Reservations About Immigration Bill [McConnell YES On Amnesty]

    06/11/2013 12:55:46 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 48 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | 6/11/2013 | Daniel Halper
    In a statement on the Senate floor this morning, Republican leader Mitch McConnell signaled he'd vote for cloture for the immigration bill. But he also suggested the bill needs to be amended. "The Gang of Eight has done its work. Now it’s time for the Gang of 100 to do its work — for the entire Senate to have its say on this issue, and see if we can do something to improve the status quo. At the risk of stating the obvious, this bill has serious flaws," McConnell said, then suggesting he'd vote for cloture, the motion to proceed....
  • Senate votes 82-15 in first step to debate immigration reform

    06/11/2013 11:55:47 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 193 replies
    The Hill ^ | June 11, 2013 | Ramsey Cox
    The Senate voted 82-15 on Tuesday to end debate on a motion to proceed to a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The Senate is expected to continue work on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act throughout June. The next vote will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday — that will be on the actual motion to proceed to the bill. The four Republican members of the Gang of Eight — Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R- Ariz.) — were joined by more than 20 other GOP senators in voting...
  • Rhode Island House easily passes gay marriage bill

    01/24/2013 5:36:59 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 48 replies
    Fox News ^ | January 24, 2013 | Fox News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed legislation to allow gays and lesbians to marry in the only New England state where they can't. The House voted 51-19 after an often emotional debate that touched on civil rights, religion and the nature of marriage. The bill now moves to the Senate, where both supporters and opponents of gay marriage say it is difficult to predict the bill's fate. "This has been a long journey," said House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay and supported same-sex legislation when it was first introduced in 1997. "Today...
  • A minority posture for House GOP

    01/19/2013 9:14:11 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 67 replies
    The Hill ^ | 1/19/2013 | Molly K. Hooper and Russell Berman
    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – House Republicans appeared to be coming to grips with a stark realization as they returned to Washington from a three-day retreat here — they have a majority in name only. The party begins the 113th Congress with reduced numbers and confronting a popular president and an increased Democratic majority in the Senate. Preparing for a cascade of fiscal battles and a presidential push on guns and immigration, the House GOP is adopting a minority posture, hoping to achieve modest goals incrementally while serving as a check on Obama’s ambitious second-term agenda. Republicans “have to recognize the realities...
  • 2 Dems to work with GOP to control state Senate [Washington State]

    12/10/2012 12:40:23 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 11 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 12/10/2012 | Associated Press
    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Two Democrats in the Washington state Senate abandoned their caucus Monday, vowing to work with Republicans to control the chamber and push conservative budgeting principles. Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom of Bellevue and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch said the bipartisan cooperation would drive better policies. Under the new plan, Republicans will chair six committees, including the panel that controls the state budget, while Democrats will control another six committees. The parties will split control of three other panels, though Sheldon is on two of those committees.
  • Supreme Court to Review Prop 8

    12/07/2012 12:37:02 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 36 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 12/7/2012 | AP
    <p>WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.</p> <p>The justices said Friday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California's Supreme Court.</p>
  • [Rep. Tom] Cole: Join with Obama on quick deal (RINO wants higher taxes on rich)

    11/27/2012 6:41:43 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 15 replies
    Politico ^ | 11/27/2012 | Jonathan Allen
    Republican Rep. Tom Cole urged colleagues in a private session Tuesday to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later. The Oklahoma Republican said in an interview with POLITICO that he believes such a vote would not violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and that he’s not alone within Republican circles. Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/84306.html#ixzz2DTsuK9Fc
  • Health reform law an example of compassion, Romney says

    09/26/2012 5:20:43 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 28 replies
    CNN ^ | 9/26/2012 | Gregory Wallace
    (CNN) – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pointed Wednesday to the Massachusetts health reform law he signed – and particularly its coverage of children – when asked about his compassion for middle class people. Romney raised the law in an interview with NBC News. Conservatives have criticized Romney for supporting the law, which is similar to the health reform law signed by President Barack Obama. Romney has said his law was constitutional and appropriate in Massachusetts, but was not meant to be implemented nationally. "I think throughout this campaign as well, we talked about my record in Massachusetts, don't forget...
  • Obama campaign has momentum and nerves (LOL!)

    09/26/2012 2:40:37 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 9/26/2012 | Julie Pace
    CHICAGO (AP) — Six weeks from Election Day, President Barack Obama's campaign has momentum — and a big case of nerves. Top advisers are both relishing in Obama's edge in key battleground state polling and warning it can change in an instant. They're wary of the many factors that still could derail the Democrat's campaign, from simmering tensions in the Middle East to the three high-stakes presidential debates. They're worried, too, about a flood of negative advertisements from Republican-leaning outside groups and potential complacency among Democratic voters and volunteers who think the race is a lock for Obama. Also weighing...
  • Romney says Clinton can 'do a man a lot of good' (BARF)

    09/25/2012 8:23:55 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 44 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 9/'25/2012 | JOSH LEDERMAN and KASIE HUNT
    NEW YORK (AP) — Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney is unlikely to win Bill Clinton's vote, but that doesn't mean he can't soak up a bit of the popular former president's luster. The two men stood side by side Tuesday as Clinton introduced Romney before the GOP candidate's speech to Clinton's annual global conference in New York. Clinton recalled working with Romney to save AmeriCorps, and praised the former Massachusetts governor's efforts to persuade fellow Republicans to support the national service program. Romney, taking the podium, returned the compliment. "If there's one thing we've learned in this election season,...
  • Mondale, Ferraro Lead Reagan, Bush in latest poll (PANIC!)

    09/10/2012 4:49:02 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 19 replies
    Deseret News ^ | July 23, 1984 | Associated Press
    Washington (AP) A Gallup Poll taken for Newsweek magazine puts the Democratic Mondale-Ferraro ticket ahead of President Reagan for the first time in a major public opinion survey. The poll, taken as the Democratic convention was winding up on Thursday and Friday and after the candidates had received extensive primetime television coverage, found the team of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro endorsed by 48 percent of those polled. Forty-six percent of the respondents said they favored the Republican ticket of Reagan and Vice President George Bush, while 6 percent said they were undecided about who they wanted to win the...
  • David Brooks: The Real Romney (NYTIMES House "conservative" shows his stripes)

    08/28/2012 6:24:54 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 26 replies
    New York Times ^ | August 27, 2012 | David Brooks
    The purpose of the Republican convention is to introduce America to the real Mitt Romney. Fortunately, I have spent hours researching this subject. I can provide you with the definitive biography and a unique look into the Byronic soul of the Republican nominee: Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become...
  • Senate Votes to Confirm Kagan

    08/05/2010 12:55:00 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 253 replies · 1+ views
    CSPAN ^ | 8/5/2010 | Self
    The Senate has voted to confirm Elena Kagan.
  • Rell Will Not Seek Re-Election [CT GOP Governor]

    11/09/2009 4:56:39 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 93 replies · 3,447+ views
    Hartford Courant ^ | November 9, 2009 | JON LENDER and CHRISTOPHER KEATING
    Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Monday at 5 p.m. that she will not seek re-election as governor in 2010. "After much soul-searching, and discussion with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election next year," Rell said in her Capitol office during a hastily called press conference with her family standing by. She said it has been "an honor" to serve. She cited accomplishments including ethics and campaign finance reform, noting that in 2004 she "came in at a troubling time in our state's history." That was a reference to her ascension from lieutenant governor on July 1, 2004,...
  • Creationism, Minus a Young Earth, Emerges in the Islamic World

    11/02/2009 8:03:34 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 115 replies · 1,899+ views
    New York Times ^ | November 2, 2009 | Kenneth Chang
    AMHERST, Mass. — Creationism is growing in the Muslim world, from Turkey to Pakistan to Indonesia, international academics said last month as they gathered here to discuss the topic. But, they said, young-Earth creationists, who believe God created the universe, Earth and life just a few thousand years ago, are rare, if not nonexistent. One reason is that although the Koran, the holy text of Islam, says the universe was created in six days, the next line adds that a day, in this instance, is metaphorical: “a thousand years of your reckoning.” By contrast, some Christian creationists find in the...
  • Friends Push [Fox News head Roger] Ailes for President

    10/23/2009 9:42:07 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 79 replies · 2,608+ views
    Politico ^ | 10/23/2009 | Mike Allen
    Friends and associates are encouraging Fox News chief Roger Ailes to jump into the political arena for real by running for president in 2012, top sources tell POLITICO. "Ailes knows how to frame an issue better than anybody, and that's what we need now," says one Ailes friend who is encouraging the Fox founder, chairman and CEO to seek the Republican nomination to run against President Barack Obama. Ailes, 69, has an aggessive, winning personality that made Fox News a huge success — and a huge target for liberal critics. Frank Luntz, the well-known Republican pollster, said Ailes could be...
  • Obama Awarded Second Nobel (Chemistry) "Obama has great chemistry" Nobel Committee says

    10/09/2009 10:45:53 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 2 replies · 304+ views
    http://www.nobel.org
    In a statement, the Nobel Committee said it decided to award US President Barack H. Obama a second Nobel Prize, for his outstanding contributions to the field of chemistry."Did you see him on Ellen?" Nobel committee chair Hans Ericson said in a statement. "Man, that guy has great chemistry."
  • MacArthur Genius Awards Revoked

    10/09/2009 10:23:05 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 3 replies · 282+ views
    The John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation announced Friday that it was revoking the prizes previously awarded to MacArthur Fellows -- the half-million dollar prize commonly known as the "Genius Award.""In the Age of Obama, we need to redefine our definition of genius," the Foundation said in a statement.It was not immediately clear how the Foundation would go about re-collecting the prize money, valued at $500,000, but several Cleveland-area Repo Men reported being contacted by the Foundation.In a separate statement, the Foundation announced that President Barack Obama would be the recipient of all past and future Genius Grants for...
  • Breaking: Pope Benedict crowns Obama "Holy Roman Emperor"

    10/09/2009 10:04:25 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 35 replies · 2,311+ views
    The Vatican ^ | Today | me
    In a surprise move, Pope Benedict XVI crowned US President Barack Obama "Holy Roman Emperor" today in a rose garden ceremony.In a statement, the Pope said "Emperor Obama follows in the footsteps of Charlemagne and the Emperor Constantine."In other news, Chinese Premier Hu Jintao announced plans to restore the Qing dynasty, saying that Barack Obama -- a direct descendant of the last Manchu Emperor -- would be China's new Emperor.However, Turkish officials were quick to deny widely published reports of a restoration of the Byzantine Empire. "Turks wiped out the Byzantines in 1453. There are simply no Byzantines here for...
  • Executed man didn't commit fatal arson, expert tells TX officials

    08/25/2009 4:10:19 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 33 replies · 1,823+ views
    Kansas City Star ^ | Aug 25 2009 | James Hart
    In Texas, they're conducting the first state-sponsored review of a capital punishment case. Specifically, they're looking into the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted and executed for setting a house fire that killed his three children. An expert on fire science says there was "no basis" to rule the fire an arson, the Chicago Tribune reports. The state fire marshal on the case, Beyler concluded in his report, had "limited understanding" of fire science. The fire marshal "seems to be wholly without any realistic understanding of fires and how fire injuries are created," he wrote. The marshal's findings,...
  • Study Links Rise in Health Care Costs to Job Losses

    07/23/2009 10:15:31 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 15 replies · 535+ views
    Business Week ^ | July 23, 2009 | Cathy Arnst
    In a first-of-its-kind study, the non-profit Rand Corp linked the rapid growth in U.S. health care costs to job losses and lower output. The study, published online by the journal Health Services Research, gives weight to President Barack Obama’s dire warnings about the impact of rising costs if Congress does not enact health care reform. The rate of growth in U.S. health care costs has outpaced the growth rate in the gross domestic product (GDP) for many years. In 1940, the share of GDP accounted for by health care spending was just 4.5%. By 1990, it had reached 12.2%, and...
  • Poll: Support for Gay Marriage Grows

    04/28/2009 6:37:43 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 51 replies · 3,325+ views
    CBS News ^ | April 28, 209
    Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That's up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage. Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004. Twenty-eight percent say same sex couples should have no legal recognition – down from 35 percent in March – while 25 percent support civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples. As has historically been the case on this issue, liberals are...
  • Raúl Castro: Cuba ready 'to discuss everything' with U.S.

    04/17/2009 2:05:13 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 59 replies · 3,467+ views
    CNN ^ | 4/17/2009
    (CNN) -- The Cuban government, long the object of a U.S. economic blockade, is prepared to meet with the Obama administration, Cuba's leader said.We've told the North American government, in private and in public, that we are prepared, wherever they want, to discuss everything -- human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners -- everything, everything, everything that they want to discuss," Cuban President Raúl Castro said Thursday at a summit of leftist Latin American leaders in Venezuela. The response came days after President Obama lifted all restrictions on the ability of American citizens to visit relatives in Cuba as...
  • An Early Military Victory for Obama (barf)

    04/13/2009 5:44:56 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 60 replies · 2,018+ views
    WashPost ^ | 4/13/2009 | Michael D. Shear
    Throughout the past four days, White House officials played down Obama's role in the hostage drama. Until yesterday, he made no public statements about the pirates. In fact, aides said yesterday, Obama had been briefed 17 times since he returned from his trip abroad, including several times from the White House Situation Room. And without giving too many details, senior White House officials made it clear that Obama had provided the authority for the rescue. "The president's focus was on saving and protecting the life of the captain," one adviser said. Friday evening, after a National Security Council telephone update,...
  • Poll: Americans believe world leaders respect President Obama

    03/31/2009 7:26:54 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 61 replies · 1,381+ views
    CNN ^ | 3/31/2009
    WASHINGTON (CNN)– As Barack Obama takes off for his first overseas trip as president, a new national poll indicates that more than eight in ten Americans think he will do a good job representing the U.S. to the world. And seven in ten people questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Tuesday, believe that leaders of other countries respect Obama. That last figure is in sharp contrast with George W. Bush. At the start of his presidency in 2001, only 49 percent believed that foreign leaders respected Bush.
  • Leftist Declares Victory in El Salvador Election

    03/16/2009 6:04:16 AM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 40 replies · 2,921+ views
    Washington Post ^ | March 16 2009 | William Booth
    MIAMI, March 16 -- Mauricio Funes, a former TV newsman who was recruited to run for president, declared himself the winner of El Salvador's presidential contest Sunday night, bringing into power a leftist party built by former guerrillas and ending two decades of conservative rule. Funes, a dynamic speaker and political outsider who compares himself to President Obama and pledged to be an agent of change in the small Central American nation, was leading the polls late Sunday night with 51.2 percent of the vote and more than 90 percent of the ballots counted. Turnout was high and election day...
  • Looking for the Ideal Spot to Make a Speech (Obama to Give Major Speech in Islamic Capital)

    12/04/2008 9:45:15 AM PST · by Alter Kaker · 105 replies · 2,864+ views
    NEW YORK TIMES ^ | December 4, 2008 | Helen Cooper
    WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama’s aides say he is considering making a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office.So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility. Clearly it would be cheating for Mr. Obama to fly to Detroit, talk to Dearborn’s 30,000 Arab residents and call it a day. And Male and Ouagadougou, while certainly...
  • Kadima beats Likud in new poll (Israeli elections, 2008)

    10/26/2008 11:11:04 PM PDT · by Alter Kaker · 9 replies · 677+ views
    Ynet News ^ | 27 October 2008 | Ynet News
    Kadima beats Likud in new pollDahaf-Yedioth Ahronoth survey published Monday morning points to close race, as Livni takes the lead with 29 Knesset seats, Netanyahu follows with 26 seats. Labor plummets to 11 seats, while Shas may lose power Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni appears to be enjoying the fruit of her declaration that she will not give in to extortion. A new Yedioth Ahronoth survey conducted by the Dahaf Institute and published Monday morning showed that had the Knesset elections taken place today, Livni would have led Kadima to victory with 29 Knesset seats, the same number of mandates it...