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Shotgun down the avalanche

Shawn Colvin:

Tucker Carlson

Whose entire career path is a textbook example of failing upwards, is a recipient of Cato Institute wingnut welfare (his father is a former U.S. ambassador and adoptive mother is an heiress to the Swanson Foods fortune) who somehow thinks it’s not hysterical that he wants to lecture us about middle class “entitlement”:

Lost in my mind

The Head and the Heart:

The poodle

Another “devout” Catholic lying through his teeth:

When the Qaddafi regime fell in Libya, the headquarters of the secret police were occupied by the rebel forces, who retrieved a large quantity of memos and documents detailing the cooperation between western governments and the Qaddafi regime, including the sale and maintenance of network surveillance equipment, and, notoriously, the use of Qaddafi’s torturers on suspected terrorists who were secretly rendered to Libya by western intelligence agencies.

One set of documents show that the UK intelligence service worked to kidnap and render Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife, Fatima Bouchar, for a horrific round of torture that was directly overseen by UK intelligence agents, with the knowledge of the CIA.

Now Tony Blair, who was prime minister of Britain at the time of the illegal kidnapping and torture, denies having any recollection of the programme, and insists that Libya was a fine partner in the war on terror.

New hope for Christie 100-Yard Walk

Chris Christie shouting down a member of the paternalistic entitlement society? No, it's Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, another paragon of fitness and integrity.

By Odd Man Out

Planners believe the hoped-for event, inspired by the governor’s legendary self-discipline, could help keep Americans from becoming “a bunch of people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check.” More here.

You’re not a criminal

So stop working and get back on Facebook!

Good news, slackers: It’s not illegal to use your work computer to shop on Amazon, set your fantasy roster, or, well, read Newser. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has shot down a Justice Department argument that a 1984 anti-hacking law covered not just hacking, but any unauthorized use of a computer, the Wall Street Journal reports. The judge writing the majority opinion said the government “failed to consider the effect on millions of ordinary citizens.”

Voter ID

The Metro has a very clear explanation of why the new voter-ID laws will suppress voting:

What’s the big deal about getting a government-issued photo ID, anyway?

Well, let’s walk through the process. First, you have to physically show up at a PennDOT office – there are five locations offering the service in Philadelphia and about 70 statewide, though some are closed several days of the week and, when open, have hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Can’t miss work? Don’t have transportation? Doesn’t matter.

There, after most likely waiting for – we’ll be generous and say an hour (or three) – you must present your social security card plus either a birth certificate, a certificate of U.S. citizenship or a passport.

You say you don’t have any of those documents? Hey, it happens, especially if you’re a youth or a senior or a member of a whole host of other demographics. But that’s where it gets hairy.

We’ll start with the birth certificate. You’ll have to get that through the Division of Vital Records, which charges $10 for each application.

You can’t get the certificate online through third party vendor VitalChek (which only accepts credit or debit cards, charges an additional $10 processing fee and heavily pushes the “more secure” UPS Air shipping method at an additional $18 charge) because the site requires that you scan and upload your valid government-issued photo ID, which you don’t have.

So the Department first suggests that a relative who does have an ID apply for a birth certificate on your behalf via snail mail or at one of the six Division of Vital Records offices. No aunts, uncles, or cousins, either – those eligible are limited to parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, spouses and siblings.
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Trayvon Martin

Zimmerman to be charged.

Channeling Joseph McCarthy

U.S. Congressman Allen West of South Florida at a rally yesterday at Florida Atlantic University made the claim that 80 members of Congress are members of the Communist Party. West offered no names or evidence, but, later said he was referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congressman West is some what known for his outrageous claims including stating that, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” He also claimed he was the modern Harriet Tubman. “So I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”

There is strong support among Tea Party members for West to be the GOP nominee for vice president. His outspoken ways are clearly admired by the Tea Party. However, a GOP insider said that is very unlikely because he would be very hard to control in a campaign setting.

West, considered a war hero by some, was relieved from military duty in 2004 after an attempted murder investigation involving an Iraqi officer that ended his 22 year career.

Update and correction: West’s office said in a statement to CBSMiami.com:

The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies.   The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself.  These individuals certainly aren’t proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom.

I previously written Congressman himself said he was referring to the Congressional Caucus.

Price fixing

by Susie

As a writer, I’ve been following this. They basically got together to fix prices to prevent Amazon from dominating the ebook market. As far as I can tell, they’re all breaking the law:

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five publishers on Wednesday, claiming collusion over the pricing of e-books, Bloomberg reports.

Sources familiar with the matter tell Politico and Reuters that several of the publishers are expected to agree to a settlement in the case before the end of the week. There has been no indication, however, that Apple will strike a deal to avoid what could be a highly-publicized and costly court battle.

Federal officials had reportedly previously warned Apple and the publishers that a lawsuit was potentially forthcoming. The five publishers named in the suit are: Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster.

Under a traditional book selling model, publishers had previously sold books for half the cover price, allowing retailers to set their own store price. But around the time Apple introduced its first iPad in 2010, the company moved to an “agency” model, where publishers decide the book price and Apple takes a 30-percent cut. As part of that move, Apple also reportedly stipulated that publishers couldn’t let rival retailers like Amazon sell the same book for less, in effect making the agency model the new standard for much of the industry.

Justice Department lawyers say that Apple and the publishers violated federal antitrust laws by enacting their e-book plan. The publishers, meanwhile, deny they acted jointly to hike up the prices.

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