10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
AP Wire
Jan 6, 2014

1. WHERE 'POLAR VORTEX' IS TAKING AIM

The whirlpool of frigid, dense air is ushering in snow and bitter cold across the Midwest and into the Northeast. Temperatures in Fargo, N.D. will drop to 25 below.

2. IRAQ BOMBINGS, FIGHTING KILL 54

The recent gains by insurgents in Anbar province and elsewhere have been a blow to the Shiite-led government — as sectarian violence has escalated since the U.S. withdrawal.

3. KERRY: US WILL SUPPORT IRAQ, BUT NOT WITH TROOPS

"This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis," the secretary of state said, adding, "We are not contemplating putting boots on the ground."

4. WHAT'S SHAPING CONGRESSIONAL AGENDA

Legislators return to work Monday with election-year politics certain to influence an already limited agenda.

5. SYRIAN REBELS, AL-QAIDA-LINKED FIGHTERS CLASH

The battles have spread to parts of four provinces, pitting an array of moderate and ultraconservative Islamist brigades against the Islamic State of Iraq and an Islamic extremist group referred to as Levant.

6. SOME STATES REPORT 'FRACKING' COMPLAINTS, POLLUTION

Officials in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas have received hundreds of reports of contamination from oil or gas drilling, the AP finds.

7. WHO'S WORKING TO PUT AWAY CHILD PREDATORS

Wounded veterans take on a new mission, helping prosecutors fight child abuse and pornography.

8. 'CLICK FARMS' BECOME BIG BUSINESS

For as little as a half cent each click, websites hawk everything from LinkedIn connections to make members appear more employable to Soundcloud plays to influence record label interest.

9. WAVE OF WEARABLE GIZMOS AT CES

Gadget lovers can expect technology companies to roll out more devices that you snap, buckle or fasten to your body this week in Las Vegas at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

10. SIXTH SEEDS WIN NFL WILD-CARD GAMES

The Chargers, Saints and 49ers all claim road victories on wild-card weekend. The Colts won at home in a stunning comeback.

Comments

Vladtheimp

#4. More Obama/Democrat Lies

Obama celebrated a "bi-partisan" budget deal that set the budget for 2 years by (1) getting rid of Obama's hated sequester; (2) reducing military pensions while keeping welfare benefits for illegal aliens; and (3) allowing long term unemployment benefits to end at 99 weeks (almost 2 years of benefits). Liberals complained about the latter but signed onto the deal.

Now, less than 2 weeks after the "bi-partisan" deal was signed, Obama wants to break it by adding billions more to the agreed upon budget to extend unemployment benefits that they gave up to reach the deal. Every Obama promise has an expiration date, although this one was on the shelf for less than most. To top it off, and ignoring the deal that was reached, Obama blamed Republicans for going home for the holidays without extending the benefits, as he was vacationing in Hawaii, where he signed the budget deal on December 26.

Obama and the Democrats are proven liars and the Republicans are stupid to even negotiate with them. They are Charlie Brown to Nancy Pelosi's Lucy, and they've had the football pulled away far too many times. Since the media will blame them anyway, and the low information voters won't hold Democrats accountable for their lies, the Republicans should simply demand that the deal they negotiated and Obama signed remain in place for 2 years, or demand significant spending cuts to more than offset this deceitful Democrat destruction of the economic well being of future generations.

bigdeal

OK, more screaming at the clouds dude? If you perpetuate lies, no one will ever believe you.
1. Unemployment benefits do not extend to 99 weeks to anyone who had their benefits cut by the Republicant congress before Dec, they just lose them.
2. A well deserved vacation in Hawaii, hard job beating off wolves for a living.
3. "Republicans are stupid", new best comment of the year, I will quote it often.
4. Humor is always best Charlie Brown.
5. 2 years is hardly 'future generations'.
6. I can see why you are worried about this agreement. If it doesn't stick, we might just go through another one of your stupid tea party government shutdown before election time, and heaven forbid that would happen! I can see a complete Democratic majority now, oh what could be accomplished...jobs bills, unemployment benefits, GI benefits, and so many other things to actually HELP grow the economy instead of Republicants stagnating it, barking lies and creating an environment for the wealthy to get even more of your money.

Tri-cities realist

Please explain how Republicans stagnating the economy creates an environment for the wealthy to get more of our money. (Not that I agree this is the case, since a stagnant economy would seem to be stagnant for everyone)

bigdeal

I am not sure where you read this stuff you comment on. See the commas? That would mean they are separate items. However, since you asked..."In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 35% of all privately held stock, 64.4% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top ten percent have 81% to 94% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and almost 80% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America" http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesame...
Not that many people own stocks personally, only people with lots of extra money. The stock market did so well last year because businesses are allowed to borrow money and buy their own stocks which increases a CEO's bonuses, and the wealthy just get wealthier, and create NO JOBS! We are on the verge of another great bubble burst. http://www.fool.com/investing/ge...
And the wealthy just get wealthier, and the gap gets larger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

Tri-cities realist

Separate items or thoughts are generally noted with a period between them. But instead of being a grammar nazi, I'll just say I'm sorry, I apparently misunderstood your comment.

bigdeal

grammar nazi away, you got an 'F'. You failed. But thanks for the misplaced apology! :)

4. The Comma [,]

A comma has many uses, including:

a. To separate items in a list

Lanivan

Oh, come onnnnn......Please tell me you had a big smile when writing this. Most corporate legislation in the last many years has largely benefited Big Business via tax and investment legislation, promoting outsourcing, downsizing, burying money in Cayman and Swiss accounts, investing in plants and workers in China = record-breaking profits for said Big Business/ stagnant economy for people.

Vladtheimp

1. I stand corrected; the 99 week figure was an older number - although it varies from state to state, most states prior to December 28 offered benefits up to 63 weeks - after December 28, the number for most states dropped to 26 weeks.

Everything else in my comment is correct - you have not shown that Obama and the Democrats didn't lie when they agreed to the budget deal - if they cared so much about the unemployed they would have insisted it be in the deal, as Pelosi did, until she decided to join Obama and renege.

It will take more than 2 years to pay off the $17 trillion in debt our politicians have run up, and that will impact generations.

Good luck on your complete Democrat majority; apparently you have not been following how support for Democrats, Obama, and wealth redistribution has tanked since the lies about Obamacare have been exposed.

bigdeal

It must be wonderful living in such a black & white world. But I would like some give and take, and I believe most true Americans wold also. Let's get stuff done. This is the laziest most do-nothing Congress in History! Are you proud of them? It sounds to me like you are. I give the President credit for trying to help Americans, while the R's are out for themselves and their crony big contributors. And they would like your money, hope you send them some. I say give each and every candidate (of ALL parties) the exact same amount of money for campaigning with no outside contributions. Lets really see where the truth would shake out.

Vladtheimp

You're correct - we are all better off when Congress is not meddling in everyone's business regardless whether they have any authority to legislate under the Constitution.

To quote Will Rogers: "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

And I'm hardly surprised that you would support political contribution re-distribution which would effectively force taxpayers to support the positions of candidates with whom they vigorously disagree, giving the most radical, the most ignorant, the most divisive the same amount of money as candidates who value our laws and traditions - what other parts of the First Amendment do you want to neuter?

Perhaps you can inform me how promoting illegal immigrants and illegal immigration by refusing close the border and refusing to deport people who have broken our laws is "trying to help Americans," particularly when those law breakers are taking American jobs.

bigdeal

A Pew study last year showed that the net flow of immigrants across the U.S-Mexican border had fallen to nearly zero. The Obama administration, building on programs implemented under President George W. Bush, ramped up enforcement measures that led to record numbers of deportations. Last year, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency deported nearly 410,000 people.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/po...

The Obama administration has hailed such figures as evidence that enforcement programs are working, but Senate negotiators included billions of dollars for new border control measures in their immigration bill to woo Republicans.

bigdeal

never mind, I have read your responses to Lanivan below. No surprises there.

bigdeal

And no need to re-write the Constitution, although that's an idea.
Just take all the money from corporation donations and put it into one big pot, split however many ways there are candidates. We can hear the wackiest to the most qualified and everyone vote accordingly. Get rid of the Electoral College, and go to popular vote. It will weed out the posers you so loath.

Lanivan

Of course, can we really count on the accuracy of the popular vote, when, because of the high rates of voter fraud (NOT), Repub states are introducing all manner of voter suppression laws that largely disenfranchise Democrat voters? And how about those gerrymandered districts? We really need a citizen voter ethics commission, ala Richard Kamischke article from last summer.

Hhmmmm....immigration, voter suppression, gerrymandering, prison populations, unemployment benefits, congressional partisanship, Electoral college - I dare you to come up with even more issues!!

bigdeal

well, it IS cold outside, maybe just one more before I go thanks...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

Vladtheimp

Crap! Auburn lost and that's a great recording.

Lanivan

You win the dare!....Charming (you ARE on a roll)..thanks for the warm-up.

Tri-cities realist

I don't have a problem with suppressing the vote of someone who is not legally authorized to vote. Why do you? If suppressing the vote of illegals, disenfranchises only democrats, is that because the republicans respect the rule of law, while the democrats believe the ends justify the means? How ethical!

Lanivan

Oh, Come onnnnn......The number of illegals (and legals for that matter) and voting fraud is nearly nil. There are very strict laws already in place - stiff fines and jail time that put the kabosh on the notion of going into a voting booth and placing one crummy fraudulent vote.

Voter suppression laws actually do place an undo burden on the elderly, who often vote Republican, so the Repubs better think this through a bit.

To quote Vlad, "..we are all better off when Congress is not meddling in everyone's business".

Tri-cities realist

Yes there are laws, but are they enforced?

Tri-cities realist

Utilizing socialism to supposedly promote democracy, now that's a good one. You progressives crack me up.

Lanivan

A few thoughts:

1.) While common sense tells us the federal government can't and shouldn't offer unemployment benefits indefinitely, there is no compelling argument for abruptly cutting off benefits at this time. Back in the 1990's, when the rate of growth averaged 4%, 22.5 million jobs were created, and unemployment was at it's lowest in 30 years - 4%, Congress voted to cut unemployment benefits gradually, over, I think, three months (couldn't find info to document).

With 31 states lowering the employer unemployment insurance taxes by upwards of 20% over the last 15 years, with employer contributions at record lows, as well as many states, including Michigan, reducing the number of benefit weeks from the average of 26 to 20, it's morally wrong to just cut off federal benefits abruptly. Back in the 1990's - you bet. 2014 - let's taper off gradually.

2.) Re: immigration which you brought up in a later thread with bigdeal (which was mercifully civil), I'd like to bring to your attention, for the 100th time, that fact that deportation during Obama's watch is now at 1.9 million - the most of any presidency, by far. In addition, in 2013, 60% of deportations were of immigrants previously convicted of a crime; of those 1/2 were individuals with crime records in the US, and 1/2 were caught and deported at the border will attempting to illegally gain entrance into the states. So let's get off the immigration/border/Obama is bad kick, if at all possible.

Lastly, Obama/Dem have every right to open the dialogue back up regarding unemployment benefits. Your analogy of Charlie Brown and Lucy is a hoot - the GOP has had a field day pulling away the football on Obama in 2010, 2011, 2012, too numerous times to count, on important issues like the entire budget, the debt ceiling, and seriously urgent topics like Jobs Bills, tax reform, safety net reform, etc.

Congressional approval rates are in the negatives, and poll after poll show US citizens fed up to the gills with this do-nothing, kill-government Tea Party Congress, it'd be just plain stupid if Obama didn't ask for an extension.

Oh - and don't forget the old common sense business adage: Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

Vladtheimp

1. The Democrats agreed to a "bi-partisan" two year spending bill without including funds for extended unemployment compensation, and two weeks later want to add more funds we don't have to that deal (They Lied). So, negotiating in bad faith and deceiving and lying to the people with whom you are negotiating is now "opening the dialogue back up." Sounds like how the Iranians and North Koreans negotiate with us.

Google "New documents reveal Obama administration ‘cooking the books’ to achieve record deportation numbers" and see how in 2011 Obama changed how deportations are defined to hide the real numbers (they lied).

Remember the old common sense financial advice: "Don't spend money you don't have."

Compare the comments above and tell me, honestly, whose are the more "civil."

Lanivan

1. The only thing I'd like to add is: Hey, dude - whatever you say....u the man.

2. Googled. The sources of my statistics all mentioned the 2011 changes. Apparently, as I understand it, there has been a relaxing of requirements of what constitutes a criminal offense in terms of deportation. There has been a concerted effort to concentrate on more serious offenses versus DUI's and domestic disputes. If you want to call that "cooking the books", fine by me. I don't care how you want to cook the numbers - Obama's record on deportation is still greater than previous presidents. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

By the way, did you read a previous post of mine, directed to you, where statistics show that when immigrants settle into a community, the crime rates fall? They tend to stabilize the neighborhoods, and then a second wave of stability occurs when supporting small businesses and developers move into the area. Thoughts?

Bear in mind - I've not entirely bought into the whole amnesty thing, so go easy on me.

Being fiscally conservative, I have a hard time with my own advice of spending money to make money. Of course, if the goal is to keep your head out of water, "don't spend money you don't have". But I've found that when growth is the main goal, if I close my eyes, hold my nose, and throw a shot of somethin'r other down, spending money to make money works every time.

You'll notice I didn't personalize my "civil" comment. But both you and bigdeal can get scrappy when the moment presents intself - right?

Vladtheimp

Re: Immigration and crime reduction - the studies I have seen corroborate this to some extent, but attribute much of it to the fact that in urban areas immigrants tend to locate in crime ridden, dysfunctional communities and displace the indigenous criminals.

I note that in Las Vegas 75% if immigrants taking the drivers license written test fail it - and the accident/ drunk driving / uninsured incidents among illegal aliens is apparently huge.

I refer you to the non-partisan 2005 report of the General Accountability Office that found:

"In our population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, we found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990. They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien." Just imagine the costs relative to police, court system, and criminal justice system.

Lanivan

The plot thickens. The US prison population has risen 700% since 1970; the US is the largest jailer in the world with 25% of the world's population (with 5% of world's population). And 1 out of 99 adults are living behind bars - the highest in US history.

Meanwhile, it costs $12,500/person to detain and deport, costing the US billions a year. Craziness run amok.

But on the other hand, Google Immigration Injecting Life into Rust Belt, National Journal Andrew Wainer, 10-29-13. Very interesting article that puts a more positive spin on immigration.

Vladtheimp

How much do you think it costs to sustain illegals including education, welfare, criminal justice, EITC, fraud, etc.? $12,500 is a bargain!

And maybe we should just stop jailing felons (I know - drugs, drugs, drugs)

bigdeal

Corporate welfare blows any of this away. Citizens for Tax Justice found that the U.S. Treasury lost $181 billion in corporate tax subsidies in 2012. The average American family pays a staggering $6,000 a year in subsidies to big business.
(spam filter blocked me from posting links again, and I was on a roll)

But those illegals are costing us an arm and a leg!!

Lanivan

And to add to the thread: - don't forget the employers who make out like bandits by employing illegals for less than minimum wage, who take on the risky and labor-intensive jobs that most Americans are reluctant to take. Illegal immigrants are a huge boon to employers - Corporate Welfare??

Goyo

Wow, Vlad! so much for the holiday cheer. I guess you rubbed the shine right off that apple. Now the Republicans are stupid too? You've turned over yet another leaf. Swinging and biting at everything that moves-time to bring in animal control with the tranquilizer gun and the capture net. I think YOU need some time in Hawaii. I'm sure the President would love to have you over for a visit. We could get everything fixed!

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