10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
AP Wire
Feb 4, 2014

1. DATA SHOW SCOPE OF U.S. INTERNET SPYING

Companies such as Google and Microsoft were compelled to provide information on as many as 10,000 customer accounts in a six-month period, newly released figures show.

2. HOW CARS MIGHT PREVENT CRASHES

The government is moving to require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets them warn each other of impending collisions.

3. AL-QAIDA SHUNS MILITANT GROUP BLAMED FOR SYRIA INFIGHTING

The move appears aimed at reasserting the terror network's prominence in the jihad movement across the Middle East.

4. WHY TOO MUCH SUGAR COULD BE DEADLY

Researchers say consuming extra sugar, much of it hidden in processed foods, can raise the risk of fatal heart problems.

5. OFFICIALS CONFIRM HEROIN FOUND IN ACTOR'S APARTMENT

Tests reveal at least some of the dozens of plastic packets discovered near Philip Seymour Hoffman's body contained the drug.

6. SUNNY SUNDAY NOW SEEMS A MIRAGE

A day after the mercury hit 50 degrees, delighting Super Bowl fans, New York and the surrounding region are hit with several inches of snow.

7. WHAT'S IN THE MASSIVE FARM BILL

The legislation, heading toward final passage, brings slight cuts to food stamps, continues subsidies for farmers and relaxes laws on growing hemp.

8. YELLEN SWORN IN AS FED CHAIR

The first woman to head the central bank will have a delicate balancing act with the stimulus, jittery investors and a still-slow economy.

9. CONVICTED KILLER CAUGHT AFTER DAY ON THE LOOSE

The inmate, after escaping from a Michigan prison, is captured after police in Indiana chase down a stolen vehicle.

10. SUPER BOWL SETS RECORD FOR MOST-WATCHED TV EVENT

Even though it was a blowout, the game drew more than 111 million viewers.

Comments

Vladtheimp

#7. Congress seeks to jack up fees on home heating oil in midst of frigid winter. The heating oil fee was backed by Northeast lawmakers who said it would fund important research to benefit consumers. http://www.washingtontimes.com/n...

#11. OBAMA WHOPPERS KEEP ON COMING

Obama in Superbowl Sunday interview:

"The good news is that right away, we decided how are we going to fix it, it got fixed within a month and a half, it was up and running and now it's working the way it's supposed to and we've signed up three million people."

The Washington Post Monday:

HealthCare.gov can’t handle appeals of enrollment errors.

"Tens of thousands of people who discovered that HealthCare.gov made mistakes as they were signing up for a health plan are confronting a new roadblock: The government cannot yet fix the errors."

"The Obama administration has not made public the fact that the appeals system for the online marketplace is not working."

" So far, it is not among the top priorities for completing parts of the federal insurance exchange’s computer system that still do not work. Those include an electronic payment system for insurers, the computerized exchange of enrollment information with state Medicaid programs, and the ability to adjust people’s coverage to accommodate new babies and other major changes in life circumstance."

But, according to the Prevaricator in Chief the Obamacare website is "working the way it's supposed to" http://www.washingtonpost.com/na...

Lanivan

Stumbled across this and thought of you. Maybe it will help put things into perspective. It's a cryin' shame healthgov.com has had a rocky start, but the start-up to one of the most complex websites and major pieces of health care reform in 50 years could be expected to be rocky, not that anybody likes the fact.

The following pertains to Obama's predecessor - President George W. Bush:

First president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in U.S. history. In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.

Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in U.S. history.

Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in U.S. history.

Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in U.S. history.

Presided over the biggest energy crises in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.

Presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.

Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.

Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.

Dissolved more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.

My presidency was the most secretive and unaccountable of any in U.S. history.

First president in U.S. history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.

Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world.

First president in U.S. history to order a U.S. attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.

Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.

Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in U.S. history.

First president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the human rights commission.

Removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in U.S. history.

Withdrew from the World Court of Law.

All-time U.S. (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.

First U.S. president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.

Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

Set all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated U.S. law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.

And the Repubs are so angry - mad as he!! - that the number of uninsured is dropping; previously uninsured, or under-insured, now have access to proper basic preventive medical care; medical costs are going down - 1st time in many years. But let's call Obama a liar because one month in, not all the bugs are worked out.

Vladtheimp

And this has what to do with the myriad Obama lies? Nice cut and paste from various left wing anti-Bush websites. I could return the favor with a listing of Obama firsts but it's just tedious - I enjoy the left's flailing around trying to avoid the truths about Obama's lies and failures - very entertaining!

Lanivan

I didn't say it had anything to do with your prevaricating about Obama's alleged "lies". I did say it might help to keep things into perspective, given that some on this forum, when it comes to Obama, seem to continually have their shorts in a bunch or a blemish on their derriere, or whatever......(attempt at being amusing and/or entertaining).

But the substantiated facts given in the Bush list are hardly amusing. Love how "tediousness" sets in along with "tiresomeness" when rebutted. Now that's tedious.

Vladtheimp

O.K. Since you like lists of substantiated facts, here you go: Obama "Firsts"

• First President to Violate the War Powers Act (Unilaterally Executing American Military Operations in Libya Without Informing Congress In the Required Time Period - Source: Huffington Post)
• First President to Triple the Number of Warrantless Wiretaps of U.S. Citizens (Source: ACLU)
• First President to Sign into Law a Bill That Permits the Government to "Hold Anyone Suspected of Being Associated With Terrorism Indefinitely, Without Any Form of Due Process. No Indictment. No Judge or Jury. No Evidence. No Trial. Just an Indefinite Jail Sentence" (NDAA Bill - Source: Business Insider)

• First President to Refuse to Tell the Public What He Did For Eight (8) Hours After Being Informed That a U.S. Ambassador Was Facing Imminent Death During a Terror Attack (Source: Mediate)
• First President to Lie About the Reason For an Ambassador's Death, Blaming it on an Internet Video Rather Than What He Knew to be the Case: the Al Qaeda-linked Terror Group Ansar al-Sharia (Source: House Oversight Committee, et. al.)
• First President to Have an Innocent Filmmaker Thrown in Jail After Lying About the Cause for a Deadly Attack on U.S. Diplomats, Using the Filmmaker as a Scapegoat (Source: CNN)

• First President to Use the IRS to "Unfairly Target Political Enemies" as Well as pro-Catholic and pro-Jewish Groups (Source: Sen. Ted Cruz)
• First President to Unlawfully Seize Telephone Records of More than 100 Reporters to Intimidate and/or Bully Them (Source: Associated Press)
• First President to Witness a Single Cabinet Secretary Commit Multiple Hatch Act Violations Without Acting, Speaking Out, Disciplining or Firing That Person (Source: New York Times)

• First President to Personally Lobby Senators to Violate Senate Rules and Destroy the Filibuster Through "The Nuclear Option" to Consolidate More Executive Power (Source: Wall Street Journal)
• First President to create his own propaganda news network and "bypass journalists ... [having] developed [his] own network of websites, social media and even created an online newscast to dispense favorable information and images" (Source: Associated Press)
• First President to Barricade Open-Air Government Monuments During a Partial Government Shutdown (Source: Rep. Steve Stockman)

• First President to Have His Attorney General Held in Criminal Contempt of Congress For His Efforts to Cover Up Operation Fast and Furious, That Killed Over 300 Individuals (Source: Politico)
• First President to claim Executive Privilege to shield a sitting Attorney General from a Contempt of Congress finding for perjury and withholding evidence from lawful subpoenas (Source: Business Insider)
• First President to Issue Unlawful "Recess-Appointments" Over a Long Weekend -- While the U.S. Senate Remained in Session (against the advice of his own Justice Department - Source: United States Court of Appeals)

• First President to Fire an Inspector General of Americorps for Catching One of His Friends in a Corruption Case (Source: Gawker)
• First President to "Order a Secret Amnesty Program that Stopped the Deportations of Illegal Immigrants Across the U.S., Including Those With Criminal Convictions" (Source: DHS documents uncovered by Judicial Watch)
• First President to Sue States for Enforcing Voter ID Requirements, Which Were Previously Ruled Legal by the U.S. Supreme Court (Source: CNN)

• First President to Encourage Racial Discrimination and Intimidation at Polling Places (the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case, Source: Investors Business Daily)
• First President to Refuse to Comply With a House Oversight Committee Subpoena (Source: Heritage Foundation)
• First President to Arbitrarily Declare an Existing Law Unconstitutional and Refuse to Enforce It (Defense of Marriage Act - Source: ABC News)

• First President to Increase Surveillance of American Citizen Under the Patriot Act by 1,000 Percent in Four Years (Source: NBC News)
• First President to Demand a Company Hand Over $20 Billion to One of His Political Appointees (BP Oil Spill Relief Fund - Source: Fox News)
• First President to Have a Law Signed By an 'Auto-pen' Without Being "Present" (Source: The New York Times)
Economy
• First President to Preside Over a Cut to the Credit Rating of the United States Government (Source: Reuters)
• First President to Bypass Congress and Implement the DREAM Act Through Executive Fiat (Source: Christian Science Monitor)
• First President to Move America Past the Dependency Tipping Point, In Which 51% of Households Now Pay No Income Taxes (Source: Center for Individual Freedom)

• First President to Increase Food Stamp Spending By More Than 100% in Less Than Four Years (Source: Sen. Jeff Sessions)
• First President to Spend a Trillion Dollars on 'Shovel-Ready' Jobs -- and Later Admit There Was No Such Thing as Shovel-Ready Jobs (Source: President Obama during an early meeting of his 'Jobs Council')
• First President to Threaten Insurance Companies After They Publicly Spoke out on How Obamacare Helped Cause their Rate Increases (Source: The Hill)

• First President to Abrogate Bankruptcy Law to Turn Over Control of Companies to His Union Supporters (Source: Wall Street Journal)
• First President to Propose Budgets So Unreasonable That Not a Single Representative From Either Party Would Cast a Vote in Favor (Sources: The Hill, Open Market)
• First President Whose Economic Policies Have the Number of Americans on Disability Exceed the Population of New York (Source: CNS News)

• First President to Sign a Law Requiring All Americans to Purchase a Product From a Third Party (Source: Wall Street Journal)
• First President to Sue States For Enforcing Immigration Laws Passed by Congress (Source: The Arizona Republic newspaper)
• First President to See America Lose Its Status as the World's Largest Economy (Source: Peterson Institute)

• First President to redistribute $26.5 billion of the taxpayers' funds to his union supporters in the UAW (Source: Heritage Foundation)
• First President to Threaten an Auto Company (Ford) After It Publicly Mocked Bailouts of GM and Chrysler (Source: Detroit News)
• First President to Run a Record 5 Straight Years of Deficits for the Disability Trust Fund (Source: CNS)

Lanivan

"First President to Use the IRS to "Unfairly Target Political Enemies" as Well as pro-Catholic and pro-Jewish Groups (Source: Sen. Ted Cruz)". OR

"First President to Barricade Open-Air Government Monuments During a Partial Government Shutdown (Source: Rep. Steve Stockman)". OR

"First President to Have a Law Signed By an 'Auto-pen' Without Being "Present" (Source: The New York Times)".

Really. Are we serious here, or are you just being your usual haranguing, invective, and disapprobative self? All quite amusing - hehehe......

Barry Soetoro

Don't worry L - your list was more amusing. Tee-hee-hee.

Lanivan

Hey, Vlad. Did you read Barry's post? Na na na na, Nah - Nah.

Vladtheimp

Oh, now I get it - you intended your list to be amusing. Sorry, I thought you took it seriously, but I should have known better - a person of your intelligence, wit, and knowledge would never have been taken in by the foolish things in your list.

My bad - thanks to Barry for letting me in on the joke.

Lanivan

No,No! My bad! I was just staying on-target with the juvenile-themed thread, and trying to maintain my new "agitator" status.

Barry Soetoro

MISTER Agitator

Lanivan

Geez - I waited 12 HOURS for this! Gotta keep up, Barry....

Barry Soetoro

I get up early to make the donuts...

Vladtheimp

How typically liberal - produce a set of bogus factoids from 8+ years,ago, each without attribution or source, to divert attention from yet another Obama lie and then complain about another list, completely sourced, based on a couple of the sources rather than the truth of the facts presented.

#1 (IRS) "An IRS official apologized on Friday to tea party organizations and other conservative groups for inappropriately targeting them during the 2012 election, the Associated Press reports.

The groups, which enjoyed tax-exempt status under the internal revenue code, were singled out for additional scrutiny of their tax exemption if their names included the words "tea party" or "patriot." In several cases, the groups were asked to provide a list of donors for review, usually a violation of IRS policy.

"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive, and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases," said Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. "The IRS would like to apologize for that." CBS News

#2 Barricades "For example, The White House now claims that it needed to erect barricades at the WWII Memorial to keep out vistors, including a group of visiting WWII veterans, because parks service personnel know how to perform CPR. (Seriously, that’s the claim.)

But Morgen demonstrated that the WWII memorial is open 24 hours a day, but only staffed part of the day, which means that for much of the time it’s open there are no parks service personnel there at all. Such much for the bogus CPR defense."

Auto Pen - NY Times - all are TRUE

Former Grandhavenite

The closing of the monuments/parks during the shutdown was infuriating, especially since my family had planned a vacation centered around a national park like six months in advance. It was odd to see thousands of cars parked along the side of the road next to huge, empty, barricaded parking lots, and people continuing to use the park anyway by hiking in on the roads. We just went past the 'closed' sign and walked in like we owned the place, because well, we do!

On the other hand I can see the dangers of letting people use parks while they're closed, since someone hiking in a remote mountain area while we were there broke her leg and had to wait a long time for rescue by the county police instead of the park rangers who are trained for that kind of thing. At the WWII memorial and other stuff on the national mall, vandalism and robberies are probably the issues of concern rather than injuries. I like the way most parks seemed to handle it, by officially closing them but not really doing much to keep people out.

Lanivan

I didn't say they weren't true, now did I, although I did imply the subject matter and/or source were pitiful.

Auto-pen - I shudder at the far-reaching implications!

IRS scandal - Of course, they used key words/phrases to sniff out improper applications of all types of political persuasions - it's their job.

Barricades - eh, wot? Right up there in importance, relevance, and far-reaching implications as all 50 states going bankrupt under Bush.

bigdeal

11. Vlad bwahaha, little man screaming at the sky again. Thanks for the laugh this morning! lol Could anyone be more predictable?

People have such a short memory. Heck, they voted that moron W in for a second term too!

Lanivan

12.) Income and Wealth Inequality the result of young people not getting an education before marrying and having babies?

"Super Rich Hide $21 Trillion Offshore, Study Says".

A new report finds that around the world the extremely wealthy have accumulated at least $21 trillion in secretive offshore accounts. That’s a sum equal to the gross domestic products of the United States and Japan added together. The number may sound unbelievable, but the study was conducted by James Henry, former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, an expert on tax havens and offshoring. It was commissioned by Tax Justice Network, a British activist group.

Henry calculates that some 92,000 people, a thousandth of a percent of the world’s population, control $9.8 trillion, and that if all the $21 trillion that has been offshored earned 3% a year and were taxed at 30%, it would raise $188 billion in revenues, more than rich countries spend on aid to the developing world every year.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/fred...

Former Grandhavenite

It's interesting to see the Swiss banks now cooperating with the US government in turning in their own tax cheating and money laundering customers. I wonder what made them decide to do that instead of maintaining the traditional secrecy with only numbered accounts, etc.

It's completely infuriating to know that as a working stiff I have to actually file a return every year and pay a good chunk of money to the IRS withheld from every paycheck, but those who can afford to do so can completely opt out of that system by paying enough money to laundering specialists and accountants. This is yet one more way that the average worker subsidizes the investor class. If my side business ever takes off I'll be at a competitive disadvantage simply by actually doing the right thing and paying the taxes that I owe. It's a tragedy for all involved.

Vladtheimp

You should be embarrassed, although I don't believe that is a part of your make-up when in pursuit of the Progressive Utopia and when in full defense mode of Obama.

The study you tout with such authority is a World Wide study, and not limited to the United States. In fact, if you look at the study, and particularly the graphic identified as "Global Flight Wealth - Key Countries including Mexico" you will note that the United States is not even in the top 20 countries, where China is the leader in wealth flight and No. 20 is Kazakhstan. If you look at the chart identifying the top Global Private Banks, you will note that U.S. banks are 5 of the top 10. Do you know why? Because the United States IS the top Offshore Tax Haven; with wealthy private individuals looking to hide their funds offshore, the U.S. has always been viewed as one of the safest places to invest, not to mention that Delaware is the easiest place in the world to open a shell corporation outside of Kenya. We, (and the politicians who are running up our debt) are benefiting immensely from being an offshore haven. http://www.ctj.org/taxjusticedig...

So, the implication in your comment (by tying it to wealth inequality in the U.S.) and the article you cited that the terrible rich in the U.S. who have offshore holdings, like Romney, Penny Pritzker (Obama's Secretary of Commerce), Jacob Lew (Obama's Secretary of the Treasury), and Nancy Pelosi are among the principal villains in the hiding of wealth is off base - investors need Offshore Havens http://www.moneynews.com/Kleinfe....

Lanivan

Try as I might, I do not see the words "Obama", "Progressive Utopia", or "full defense mode" in my comment. Yes, it's true - although I'm not the least bit embarrassed - I did make the initial comment about marrying before having babies for no other reason than to rankle you. But certainly, wealth inequality is the baseline driver for this stunning amount - $21 Trillion in secret money - regardless of where, who, how, what, and when.

But pressing forward....What's the problem here? Aren't we arguing the same thing? I've known about Delaware for years now, but not the other states; your Citizens for Tax Justice site is an important one - secret tax havens need to become much less secret.

Although I know it won't make a dent (with you), I am dismayed that Obama has not (apparently) advocated for the passage of the bipartisan tax haven proposal. But you embarrass yourself by listing, other than Romney (!), only Dems as the "principal villains in the hiding of wealth". Certainly we can agree people/corporations of all or no political persuasions take advantage of the secrecy!

Vladtheimp

Listing Dems - Rankle back at you. Maybe you will be satisfied if the United Nations simply confiscates that no longer secret money and gives it equally to every man, woman, and child in the world (after taking it's cut for administrative expenses). The politics of envy would be temporarily satisfied, and in a year or two it wouldn't make a Tinker's Dam of difference.

Lanivan

Naturally, you go too far. "The politics of envy" and "give it equally to every man, woman, and child" - oh please, that's just plain juvenile and asinine, and scurious, not to mention specious.

Vladtheimp

O.K. - I forgot I am a conservative and woman hater.

Strike "give it equally to every man, woman, and child" and insert in lieu thereof "give it equally to every man and male child." There, I fixed it for ya!

Lanivan

Your brothers/sisters have already beat you to the punch: ".. that she, like nearly every other congressional Republican, voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act".

"(Martha)MacCallum: I think most women do not want to be treated as sort of a special class of citizens. They want to go to work every day, they want to get paid for being a professional, for doing their job really well. And they don’t want to be treated like some group of people who have to be, you know, given a little special handout just to make sure that they’re okay."

"As MacCallum put it yesterday, having a law to require employers to pay women equally for equal work is “a little special handout” that treats women as “sort of a special class of citizens.”

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-madd...

Barry Soetoro

Lani please tell me you don't really watch Maddow.

Lanivan

I better answer seriously, or Vlad will get all sarcastic. I don't watch much TV in general - lots of other things I'd rather do, but when I do happen to find myself on MSNBC, I usually watch Rachel - she's really good!

Barry Soetoro

You're funny L. Last April I saw Maddow waiting to board a flight at one of the gate areas in Logan airport. Had I known you're a fan I would have gotten her to sign something for you and told her that I knew who one of her six viewers was!

Lanivan

Well, April is just around the corner, so if you should happen upon her at Logan, please get her autograph for me. I think she's a very effective and influential progressive woman who will be around as a respected political pundit indefinitely.

By the way, did you hear that Sandra Fluke might run for Henry Waxman's old job? (I'm assuming you know who Sandra Fluke and Henry Waxman are).

Barry Soetoro

As usual you assume too much about Barry S. Though I think that the Fluke girl is a hussy who expects me to provide her birth control through my hard earned tax dollars, yes?

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