10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
AP Wire
Mar 20, 2014

1. UKRAINE PULLING TROOPS FROM CRIMEA

Bowing to the Russian takeover, Kiev says it's preparing to bring home as many as 25,000 soldiers and their families.

2. FBI PROBING PILOT'S DELETED FILES

American investigators join Malaysian authorities in examining the flight simulator found in the captain's home.

3. WHAT YELLEN IS TELLING INVESTORS

With the job market still weak, she says the Fed intends to keep short-term interest rates near zero for a "considerable" time.

4. NYC INMATE 'BASICALLY BAKED TO DEATH'

A mentally ill homeless man was found dead in a Rikers Island jail cell that had overheated to at least 100 degrees.

5. 'WE ARE THE ONES WHO DID IT'

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law testifies that the al-Qaida leader took credit for the 9/11 attacks hours afterward when the two met in a cave in Afghanistan.

6. HOW MANY PEOPLE NEED CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING STATINS

New guidelines say nearly half of Americans ages 40-75 should be taking the drugs to cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

7. TOYOTA AGREES TO $1.2B SETTLEMENT

U.S. Attorney General Holder says the penalty — for hiding information about defects in Toyota and Lexus vehicles — is the largest of its kind ever imposed on an auto company.

8. WHO'S TAKING CLOSER LOOK AT OREGON CAT ATTACK

Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet's "My Cat from Hell," is heading to Portland soon. He says cats don't become ferocious felines that turn on their families for no reason.

9. ROBERT STRAUSS DIES AT 95

The powerbroker and former head of the Democratic Party was an intimate of President Jimmy Carter. But he also later advised Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

10. WHY IT'S NOT QUITE TIME TO 'PLAY BALL!'

Groundskeepers all over baseball are scrambling to help ballparks recover from months of snow and freezing temperatures.

Comments

Vladtheimp

#1. While Obama encourages further Putin incursions into sovereign countries by asserting military force is off the table in Ukraine, a lily-livered chicken war hawk ...who,like her husband, managed to avoid military duty, is talking tough against the Soviet tyrant.

In a John Bolton-like speech, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is ramping up her tough talk on Russia "while distancing herself from President Obama’s tepid response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defiance of the west over Ukraine. Calling Putin’s annexation of Crimea an effort to rewrite the boundaries of post-World War II Europe, Clinton warned, 'If he’s allowed to get away with that, then I think you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression, or suborned with their political systems so that they’re so intimidated, they’re in effect transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies.' Speaking at an event in Montreal Tuesday, the hawkish Hillary, who earlier this month likened Putin’s actions in Ukraine to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s put the ball in the Russian leader’s court saying she would not like to see another Cold War but, 'that’s primarily up to Putin.'” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/...

Of course, Hillary has already been labeled a "Monster" by none less than Samantha Power, Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations.http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.c...

Lanivan

Oh dear! A foxnews.com link. Did you read the study that showed that those who relied on Fox News for their information actually were less informed than those who didn't rely on any news source for their knowledge?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j...

Vladtheimp

Oh Dear - when one is unable to dispute the facts the only recourse is to mock the source. You can research the quote to read it from a source you approve of.

But to follow your method of analysis,maybe we should consider that the study is from that academic citadel Fairleigh Dickinson (No. 585 on a Forbes ranking of 650 U.S. colleges), and that the poll was limited to respondents from New Jersey.

Maybe we should also consider that the author of the poll is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fairleigh Dickinson, with a Masters and PhD from Stony Brook University, the Harvard of Long Island, specializing in Political Psychology.

Finally, are you aware of the Pew Research Center poll on political knowledge that found Rush Limbaugh's audience outperformed those of all three major networks' nightly news programs, readers of community and daily newspapers, as well as viewers of the news networks CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNBC, and MSNBC? http://www.politicsdaily.com/200...

Lanivan

Since you seem to be developing a pattern of disassembling the credentials of the writers of my links and articles as a form of rebuttal, I gleefully point out that the date on your politicsdaily.com article glowing with ardor for Rush Limbaugh is from "5 years ago". It's also written by Mark Impomeni, who describes himself as "not a journalist, or a pundit, but is skeptical, argumentative, and an ideological conservative". In other words, he's bat-**** craz....oh never mind.

In other words, just how much can we believe in a critique of a Pew Research Center poll taken and article written 5 years ago, by a self-described ideological, argumentative, skeptical non-journalistic conservative? I didn't take the time to research his degrees.

Nice try, tho. And by the way, the mocking of Fox News with the "What Does the Fox Say" video that has over 383 million hits is funny. Really.

Vladtheimp

Oh Dear - it seems to have escaped your remembrance that YOU skewered my link in this thread from Fox News. I also point out that the Pew Research Center, which you have cited gleefully in the past regarding Obamacare, is the source of the Rush Limbaugh poll - and there was no "critique."

May I respectfully suggest that you need to spend a wee bit more on your gin of choice :-D?

Barry Soetoro

Hear, hear! *clink*

Lanivan

I thought my cute Hawaiian toast from yesterday would have drawn a comment from you, not no, this is how you repay my break from normal protocol, whereby I save my foreign toasts for Vlad.....http://www.zazzle.com/toastmaste...

Barry Soetoro

Sorry, L. I was preparing for my upcoming interview....brewing a batch of Barry's Bathhouse Lager. You'll soon be drawn over to the other side....a rich, greedy business owner.

Lanivan

Maybe then I can afford a wee bit better gin, which Vlad guarantees will improve my writing! But since it takes months to complete the brewing process, looks like I'll just be limping along for quite some time yet....

Lanivan

You may respectfully suggest all you want, but the problem is two-fold: No gin at any price has touched these lips in nigh on two weeks; I am currently in the midst of a schedule that requires a reduction in all the fun stuff, like researching ways to kick but out of the ballpark. ;-D

C'mon, Dear Vlad - your link was old, stale, and bloated - much like it's main character(Rush, not YOU) - and didn't reflect the current news that since his delightful and charming description of a well-credentialed and successful young professional person as a 'slut' and 'prostitute', Rush Limbaugh's numbers have fallen sharply in key major markets, accompanied by a major reduction in sponsor contracts. Rush is another conservative political opportunist who can't seem to stay married, having been divorced three times now, uses Viagra, not to mention Oxycontin and a myriad of other pain killers, is morbidly obese, doesn't have more than a HS diploma, if that, and has terrible taste in mansions. But he has managed to milk the system by bullying his way through life and getting paid in the range of $50 million+ to do so.

And that's the last I'll spend thinking about Rush, Pew Research Center Poll from five years ago (really Vlad?! - desperation!!) be dammed!

Lanivan

My earlier comment was just a quickie to check in with a little humor until I had more time to prepare, but apparently you failed to discern it.

"While Obama encourages further Putin incursions into sovereign countries by asserting military force is off the table in Ukraine,"... While Obama toughens up sanctions against another 20 Russian officials, the US military is also keeping busy. The following has thus far been deployed to the Black Sea and surrounding region:

1. US destroyer Truxton
2. (12) US F-16 fighters
3. (6) US F-15 fighters
4. (1) US KC-130 tanker
5. (300+) US personnel

Obama is doing exactly what he needs to do. Under the circumstances, surely you will pleased to know he has signed an Executive Order the would allow him to impose sanctions on Russian industrial sectors, possibly including energy exports.

I can take some solace in this crappy situation to find humor in Putin's banning Speaker John Boehner and Sen John McCain from entering Russia - maybe you're on to something, Vlad - Putin just might be smarter than he looks. While he's at it, how 'bout granting asylum to Sarah Palin, our National Expert on all things Russian?

I know you Alpha-male conservatives with an over abundance of testosterone love to sing Putin's praises and admire his bare-chested manliness, but Obama is doing as much as he can within the constraints of shooting over a couple three nuclear missiles. At which time even I would have a word of prayer with Obama.

Barry Soetoro

I'm sorry I can't help my Putin man-crush, Lani. He's pure beefcake.

Lanivan

Ever wonder what beer he drinks? Does he own a pink cami t-shirt? Oh you incorrigible conservatives! Now I understand the attraction to the Koch Bros.....

Barry Soetoro

The only strike against him that I can think of is he doesn't like PussyRiot.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F5I9...

Lanivan

Oh yeah - diminutive ole Vlad ships a couple of cute little girls out to Siberia because they sing songs with dirty words about him - tough guy!

Vladtheimp

Two weeks ago, in response to your specific question, I told you my recommended actions in Ukraine:

1. Freeze assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs in the United States; convince EU to do the same in their respective countries;

2. Work with other Western countries to boycott the G8 meeting in Sochi and announce with that coalition if Russian troops are not withdrawn, Russia will be expelled from G8;

3. Working with other democracies, cut off Russia from borrowing and other banking transactions with the West, including credit and loans;

4. Send Navy ships and Air Force planes to Ukraine with humanitarian aid, as George Bush did in Georgia before Putin pulled back from Georgia proper into the breakaway area of Upper Ossetia;

5. Announce that the U.S. is restarting the abandoned plan to place a Missile Defense Shield in Poland and Czechoslovakia (with their agreement)and start sending materiel there to jumpstart of process;

After 2 weeks, and one ridiculous attempt at sanctions, he has partially implemented my first and third suggestions - maybe in two more weeks he'll get around to thinking about more after he checks his NCAA brackets and after Putin goes after the rest of Ukraine or Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania.

And I really got a laugh out of your citing the deployment of forces to show what a mensch Obama is (he killed Osama, you know) in light of your March 3 comments poo-pooing the use of military force and supporting the downsizing of the military; the biggest laugh, however, is the juxtaposition of this show of force with his announcement that the use of force is off the table. Putin is certainly quaking in his KGB boots over this massive show of force, particularly since two of the exercises were long planned, just like he was so terrified of Obama's warning on March 2nd not to invade Ukraine, that he invaded the next day. What next, a red line along the Eastern border of Germany announced by Obama and Monsieur Kerry? Or maybe Hillary can hit that Reset Button again - what jokers!

Lanivan

Putin doesn't appear to be much afraid of anything or anyone these days. He's got the world on a string, apparently. I've been reading many opinions - some by Russians - on how best to deal with him. It's a mixed and fairly limited bag, and I believe Obama is taking things slowly and carefully, step by step, as you point out. Some of the opinions suggest doing nothing at all, believing that the majority of Crimeans have spoken and desire to become part of Russia again, and that Putin will not continue to provoke Ukraine. Concerns about Estonia are just warmongering.

Other concerns follow your line of thinking: Be tough right from the get-go, because nothing less will stop Putin. My preference? Of course - a balanced approach! Which is why I approve of the measures Obama has instituted thus far. Obama's announcement regarding the use of force yet continuing the deployment of previously scheduled US military force to the region is very important, and one that should have been item #6 on your list of two weeks ago. Too much isolation from the G8 will simply force him to align even closer with China. That, we really do not want.

What I poo-pooed, and continue to poo-poo, is the blustering, blistering approach of going all military with lots of threats sprinkled with dire predictions and sable-rattling right out the gate, accompanied by a full force deployment of US military might into the region, with an itchy finger on the red button. Not Obama's style, as you have pointed out, referring to it as limp-wristed, and which I appreciate as being cool, focused, and pragmatic. Some of the Russian opinions think the former approach just eggs him on, and provides a text of US imperialism that he can use to sway concerned Russians to his side.

No one seems to have any control over Putin, as he continues to isolate himself and Russia from the condemnation of the rest of the world. Is he a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur who sees himself as the restorer of the Soviet Union empire, or a man who sees his power diminishing and is fighting to retain whatever control he can? Either way he is a loose cannon and more than likely will be largely influenced by the old adage - follow the money.

Vladtheimp

11. America's Internet Surrender - By unilaterally retreating from online oversight, the White House pleased regimes that want to control the Web.

Obama bows to pressure from Putin and China who "have used a U.N. agency called the International Telecommunication Union to challenge the open Internet. They have lobbied for the ITU to replace Washington as the Icann overseer. They want the ITU to outlaw anonymity on the Web (to make identifying dissidents easier) and to add a fee charged to providers when people gain access to the Web "internationally"—in effect, a tax on U.S.-based sites such as Google and Facebook. The unspoken aim is to discourage global Internet companies from giving everyone equal access." http://online.wsj.com/news/artic...

When will the bowing and scraping end? http://tpc.pc2.netdna-cdn.com/im...

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