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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

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Breaking: Obama Signs Sequestration Order to Begin $85 Billion in Spending Cuts

Source: CBS News

Pres Obama has now signed the sequestration order putting in place $85 bil in automatic spending cuts.
by Steve Holland via twitter 8:41 PM

Obama signs order to begin spending cuts
March 01, 2013

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama has signed an order authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts, officially enacting across-the-board reductions that he opposed but failed to avert.

Obama acted Friday, the deadline for the president and Congress to avoid the steep, one-year cuts.

Obama has insisted on replacing the cuts, known as a "sequester" in government budget language, with tax increases and cuts spread out over time. Republicans have rejected any plan that included tax revenue.

The government says the reductions will soon result in furlough notices to government employees and will trim government spending on defense contracts and in domestic government programs. Active military personnel and anti-poverty and low-income assistance programs are largely protected from the cuts.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57572184/obama-signs-order-to-begin-spending-cuts

ReutersTV: Who's Afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

Texas School Employee Shot in Gun Safety Class


THURSDAY, FEB 28, 2013 6:32 PM UTC

Texas school employee shot in gun safety class

In a district-sponsored workshop on arming school, an employee is accidentally wounded


A Texas public school employee was accidentally shot and wounded during a district-sponsored handgun safety class. According to local news sources KLTV and the Tyler Morning Telegraph, maintenance worker Glenn Geddie was accidentally shot after a training session aimed toward arming employees.

A statement from the district superintendent read:

At the conclusion of the CHL training on February 27, 2013, one certified person stayed for private instruction with the instructor and had a mechanical malfunction with his weapon. With the assistance of the instructor, the malfunction was addressed, but the gun misfired and the bullet ricocheted coming back to strike the VISD employee in the left leg. The VISD employee was attended to at the scene and transferred to Tyler for further treatment. The injury is not life threatening or disabling. Because of privacy and security issues we cannot make any further statement.

The accident will not affect the district’s decision, in light of the Sandy Hook massacre and other school shootings, to arm employees. Since the Connecticut shooting, a number of school districts nationwide have moved to arm teachers and school employees either by pushing for a legislation shifts on concealed weapons in schools, or, as in one Michigan township, by training school employees as volunteer reserve police officers, enabling them to carry concealed arms.

Attorney General Files Brief Asking SCOTUS to Overturn California Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Source: CBS News

@CBSNews: JUST IN: Attorney General Eric Holder files brief asking Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on same sex marriages

Obama administration urges Supreme Court to overturn gay marriage ban

Opponents of Proposition 8, California's anti-gay-marriage bill, celebrate outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco Feb. 7, 2012. / GETTY IMAGES
Updated 7:07 PM ET

WASHINGTON In a historic argument for gay rights, President Barack Obama on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to overturn California's same-sex marriage ban and turn a skeptical eye on similar prohibitions across the country.

The Obama administration's friend-of-the-court brief marked the first time a U.S. president has urged the high court to expand the right of gays and lesbians to wed. The filing unequivocally calls on the justices to strike down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure, although it stops short of the soaring rhetoric on marriage equality Obama expressed in his inaugural address in January.

The Justice Department issued a statement by Attorney General Eric Holder about the government's filing:

"In our filing today in Hollingsworth v. Perry," said Holder, "the government seeks to vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law. Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination. The issues before the Supreme Court in this case and the Defense of Marriage Act case are not just important to the tens of thousands Americans who are being denied equal benefits and rights under our laws, but to our Nation as a whole."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57571952/obama-administration-urges-supreme-court-to-overturn-gay-marriage-ban/

Breaking: Senate Rejects Rival Bills to Prevent $85 Billion Sequester Spending Cuts

Source: The Hill

Senate rejects rival bills to prevent $85B sequester spending cuts

By Alexander Bolton - 02/28/13 03:15 PM ET

The Senate on Thursday rejected rival proposals to stop the sequester, ensuring the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will begin on Friday.

A bill crafted by Senate Democrats won 51 votes, while a Republican alternative won only 38 votes. Three Democrats — Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.), who are all up for reelection in 2014 — voted against their party's bill, which fell 51-49.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also switched his vote to no, a procedural move that would allow him to bring the bill to the floor in the future.

Both plans needed 60 votes to advance, and as expected neither came close to meeting that threshold.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/285573-senate-rejects-last-minute-effort-to-stop-the-sequester#ixzz2ME8hWYnc

Report: Infant Girls Exposed to Most-Contaminated Fukushima Area Face 70% Higher Risk Thyroid Cancer

Source: World Health Organization / NBC News

@BreakingNews: Report: Infant girls exposed to most contaminated areas around Fukushima face 70% higher risk of thyroid cancer - WHO http://t.co/1BPhoyFxLm

Global report on Fukushima nuclear accident details health risks
News release

28 FEBRUARY 2013 | GENEVA - A comprehensive assessment by international experts on the health risks associated with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) disaster in Japan has concluded that, for the general population inside and outside of Japan, the predicted risks are low and no observable increases in cancer rates above baseline rates are anticipated.

The WHO report ‘Health Risk Assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami based on preliminary dose estimation’ noted, however, that the estimated risk for specific cancers in certain subsets of the population in Fukushima Prefecture has increased and, as such, it calls for long term continued monitoring and health screening for those people.

Experts estimated risks in the general population in Fukushima Prefecture, the rest of Japan and the rest of the world, plus the power plant and emergency workers that may have been exposed during the emergency phase response.

“The primary concern identified in this report is related to specific cancer risks linked to particular locations and demographic factors,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “A breakdown of data, based on age, gender and proximity to the nuclear plant, does show a higher cancer risk for those located in the most contaminated parts. Outside these parts - even in locations inside Fukushima Prefecture - no observable increases in cancer incidence are expected.”

In terms of specific cancers, for people in the most contaminated location, the estimated increased risks over what would normally be expected are:

all solid cancers - around 4% in females exposed as infants;
breast cancer - around 6% in females exposed as infants;
leukaemia - around 7% in males exposed as infants;
thyroid cancer - up to 70% in females exposed as infants (the normally expected risk of thyroid cancer in females over lifetime is 0.75% and the additional lifetime risk assessed for females exposed as infants in the most affected location is 0.50%).

Read more: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/fukushima_report_20130228/en/index.html

Corporations Urge U.S. Supreme Court to Embrace Gay Marriage

Source: Reuters

Corporations Urge U.S. Supreme Court to Embrace Gay Marriage

By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON | Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:57am GMT

Feb 27 (Reuters) - More than 200 businesses will urge the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions.

Lawyers representing the businesses said they would file a brief in the case.

Companies including Microsoft Corp, Google Inc , Starbucks Corp and Pfizer Inc are among those that joined the brief. Others included Aetna Inc , Amazon.com, Inc and Citigroup Inc. Thomson Reuters Corp is another signatory. The Reuters news agency is part of Thomson Reuters.

The companies want the Supreme Court to strike down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/27/usa-court-gaymarriage-idUKL1N0BQFKC20130227

Keith Olbermann on Craig Ferguson Right Now...

Pretty funny.

Horsey TOON: "Senator, You've Opposed the Violence Against Women Act, the Dream Act, Regulation..."

David Horsey's Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-republican-fallacy-20130222,0,1602705.story

47 Percent Video: James Carter IV Says 'It's Nice To Be Able To Hit Back'


47 Percent Video: James Carter IV Says 'It's Nice To Be Able To Hit Back'

The Huffington Post | By Paige Lavender
Posted: 02/23/2013 3:16 pm EST | Updated: 02/23/2013 3:27 pm EST

James Carter IV, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and the man who found the now-infamous "47 percent" video that rocked the 2012 presidential election, weighed in on the impact of the footage on HuffPost Live.

"I've been hearing all my life people making fun of my grandfather, or saying that he was a bad president, or things like that, and I've just gotten used to it," Carter said. "And it's nice to be able to hit back."

The former president revealed on CNN Thursday that President Barack Obama personally thanked his grandson for his role in the release of the video of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. During his HuffPost Live appearance, Carter IV revealed it was his brother who told Obama he'd found the video.

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