Monday, June 15, 2015

Obama wants to reengineer your neighborhood: "Apparently, President Obama thinks your neighborhood may not be inclusive enough, so he has instructed his Department of Housing and Urban Development to issue a new rule called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which is designed to force communities to diversify... Local communities across the United States will be up in arms over this rule — and rightly so. The federal government should have no say over whether your neighborhood is too Jewish, or too Caucasian, or has too many married couples." | Hillary Clinton sides with critics of trade deal, says Obama should listen: "Clinton's decision to side with the critics marked her most consequential break with Obama since she began her presidential campaign and came on an issue that unions, environmental organizations and other groups in the left wing of the Democratic Party have turned into a test of strength against the White House." | Obama’s Favors for the Mullahs: "It may be too late to prevent President Obama from striking this deal. But as its contours become clearer, it looks increasingly like a betrayal of our friends, a whitewash of history—and a gift to a dictatorship." - Opinions Review



Cleaning out Uncle Sam

America’s trouble with hackers.


US Data Hack Potentially Exposed Sex, Lies, Debt

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WASHINGTON—
When a retired 51-year-old military man disclosed in a U.S. security clearance application that he had a 20-year affair with his former college roommate's wife, it was supposed to remain a secret between him and the government.
The disclosure last week that hackers had penetrated a database containing such intimate and possibly damaging facts about millions of government and private employees has shaken Washington.
The hacking of the White House Office of Personnel Management (OPM) could provide a treasure trove for foreign spies.
The military man's affair, divulged when he got a job with a defense contractor and applied to upgrade his clearance, is just one example of the extensive potential for disruption, embarrassment and even blackmail arising from the hacking.
The man had kept the affair secret from his wife for two decades before disclosing it on the government's innocuously named Standard Form 86 (SF 86), filled out by millions of Americans seeking security clearances.
His case is described in a judge's ruling, published on the Pentagon website, that he should keep his security clearance because he told the government about the affair. His name is not given in the administrative judge's decision.
The disclosure that OPM's data had been hacked sent shivers down the spines of current and former U.S. government officials as they realized their secrets about sex, drugs and money could be in the hands of a foreign government.
The data that may be compromised by the incident, which was first reported by the Associated Press, included the detailed personal information on the SF 86 "Questionnaire for National Security Positions," according to U.S. officials.
US suspects link to China
As with another cyberattack on OPM disclosed earlier this month, U.S. officials suspect it was linked to China, though they have less confidence about the origins of the second attack than about the first.
China denies any involvement in hacking U.S. databases. While the Central Intelligence Agency does its own clearance investigations, agencies such as the State Department, Defense Department and National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on the world, all use OPM's services to some degree.
Intelligence veterans said the breach may prove disastrous because China could use it to find relatives of U.S. officials abroad as well as evidence of love affairs or drug use which could be used to blackmail or influence U.S. officials.
An even worse scenario would be the mass unmasking of covert operatives in the field, they said.
"The potential loss here is truly staggering and, by the way, these records are a legitimate foreign intelligence target," said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA and NSA director. "This isn't shame on China. This is shame on us."
The SF 86 form, which is 127-pages long, is extraordinarily comprehensive and intrusive. Among other things, applicants must list where they have lived; contacts with foreign citizens and travel abroad; the names and personal details of relatives; illegal drug use and mental health counseling except in limited circumstances.
A review of appeals of security denials published on the web shows the variety of information now in possession of the hackers, including financial troubles, infidelities, psychiatric diagnoses, substance abuse, health issues and arrests.
"It's kind of scary that somebody could know that much about us," said a former senior U.S. diplomat, pointing out the ability to use such data to impersonate an American official online, obtain passwords and plunder bank accounts.
Some agencies less vulnerable
A U.S. official familiar with security procedures, but who declined to be identified, said some agencies do not use OPM for clearances, meaning their employees' data was at first glance less likely to have been compromised.
However, the former senior diplomat said someone with access to a complete set of SF 86 forms and to the names of officials at U.S. embassies, which are usually public, could compare the two and make educated guesses about who might be a spy.
"Negative information is an indicator just as much as a positive information," said the former diplomat.
A review of appeals of security denials published on the web shows a variety of information now in possession of the hackers, including financial troubles, infidelities, psychiatric diagnoses, substance abuse, health issues and arrests.
The case of the 51-year-old former military man who told the government, but not his wife, about his 20-year affair came to light when he filed an appeal because his effort to upgrade his security clearance ran into trouble.
According to a May 13 decision by an administrative judge who heard his case, the man revealed the affair in the "Additional Comments" section of SF 86 in January 2012, ended the affair in 2013, and told his wife about it in 2014. "DOD [Department of Defense] is aware of the affair because Applicant disclosed it on his SF 86; the affair is over; and the key people in Applicant's life are aware of it," the judge wrote, according to a Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals
document posted online.
His access to classified information was approved.
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Putin’s Risky Game of Chicken

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WASHINGTON — Russian SU-24 fighter-bombers buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in international waters in the Black Sea late in May, just days after the Royal Air Force scrambled to intercept nuclear-capable Bear bombers near British airspace. These dangerous Russian games of chicken are now regular occurrences and come hard upon a Russian threat in March to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships if Denmark joins NATO’s missile defense system.
As tensions between the West and Moscow sharpen over Ukraine, NATO countries have seen a dramatic spike in provocative actions that risk a harrowing accident or devastating miscalculation. A NATO-Russia military-to-military dialogue would reduce these risks — if President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin allow it.
NATO has ratcheted down its political dialogue with Moscow in protest over Russia’s illegal seizure of Crimea and involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. But the alliance should seek to engage Russia on a professional military level to minimize the danger of missteps or misunderstandings when their forces operate in close proximity or near each other’s territory. They would have good antecedents to draw on: a set of Cold War agreements whose titles clearly convey their purposes.
Neither NATO nor Russia would want a miscalculation — say, a NATO fighter misreading a Russian plane’s actions and shooting it down — that could lead inadvertently to a larger armed clash. An agreement could set down rules on how to approach an aircraft or ship, and whom to call in the case of an uncertain situation. Such measures could and should become part of standard operating procedures.
In the 1960s, encounters between the U.S. and Soviet navies became similarly dangerous. Soviet intelligence trawlers maneuvered to interfere with U.S. aircraft carriers conducting flight operations in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. pilots buzzed Soviet ships — sometimes at high speed and so low that the shock wave blew crewmen overboard. In 1972, the United States and Soviet Union concluded the Prevention of Incidents at Sea Agreement to curb these kinds of occurrences. Russian reconnaissance flights were given minimum standoff distances and altitudes when flying near U.S. warships, and U.S. pilots had rules for intercepting and escorting Russian aircraft in a nonthreatening manner. U.S. and Soviet naval officers periodically met to review and discuss cases where the procedures had been violated.
The early 1980s saw a new phase of escalatory encounters, including the interception and shooting down of a Korean Air Lines passenger plane by a Soviet fighter near Sakhalin Island after the Soviets mistook it for a U.S. spy plane operating in their airspace. And, in 1983, a large-scale NATO nuclear forces exercise, coming just as U.S. Pershing missile deployments were about to begin in Europe, generated a full-blown war scare in Moscow that some historians consider as serious as the Cuban Missile Crisis.
As part of efforts to reduce tensions, Washington and Moscow concluded the Dangerous Military Activities Agreement in 1989. This was designed to avert hazardous or ambiguous situations between U.S. and Soviet ground forces along the inner-German border while Germany was still divided. Among other provisions, U.S. and Soviet units at the tactical level were given radio frequencies, so in the event of possible misunderstanding during an exercise or routine movement of forces they could talk directly to sort things out.
These agreements remain in force, but they apply only to the United States and Russia. Russia has similar bilateral agreements with other NATO members, but the current situation demands that similar arrangements be worked out to cover all NATO and Russian military forces operating in Europe and the North Atlantic area. It would also be wise to update the arrangements as they are negotiated. Senior NATO and Russian officers are best suited to conduct this dialogue. The NATO defense ministers meeting set for June 24-25 offers an opportunity to explore this idea.
What is not clear is whether Mr. Putin and the Kremlin would welcome this step. Mr. Putin presents himself as acting to protect his country and its independence. Russian officials have created a narrative in which the West seeks to overthrow the Putin regime by supporting Russian opposition movements, ruining the economy with sanctions, and rolling Russia back from dominance in its traditional neighborhood through the expansion of NATO and European Union institutional arrangements. Mr. Putin’s domestic popularity has become entwined with the annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine.
This provides the backdrop for the more aggressive and seemingly irresponsible Russian military operations, like the SU-24 and Bear flights. Last year, an SAS airliner carrying more than 130 passengers narrowly averted a mid-air collision with a Russian military aircraft that had shut down its transponder and thus did not show on the radar of civilian air traffic controllers.
Mr. Putin and other senior officials have deliberately employed bellicose rhetoric, even threatening the nuclear card. They appear to have taken a page from Thomas Schelling’s famous work on conflict behavior. They act a bit crazy in a way intended to intimidate NATO and the European Union. They resort to warmongering to convince the West that they are prepared to take greater risks.
In spite of the saber-rattling, Mr. Putin and the Kremlin do not want war with NATO. Mr. Putin is not hell-bent on the destruction of Russia or his presidency in a nuclear exchange. But Russian security elites know they lack the economic and military resources for a major conventional conflict, so Moscow has to accomplish its goals without triggering total mobilization — through hybrid tactics and bullying, including threats of a nuclear strike.
And here lies the problem. Limiting the risks of miscalculation between NATO and Russian military units would seem to be a no-brainer. No one wants an accidental war. But, given Mr. Putin’s desire to intimidate the West, would the Kremlin permit such a dialogue to go forward?
Fiona Hill and Steven Pifer are senior fellows at the Brookings Institution.
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Snowden’s Gift to Russia and China

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Edward Snowden and his apologists have been lobbying President Obama to let the intelligence thief return from Russia with a slap on the wrist. But they’ll now have to explain the news that his stolen files have been cracked by Russian and Chinese intelligence services with great harm to U.S. and British defenses.
The Sunday Times of London reported on the weekend that “senior government sources confirmed” that Russia and China have “gained access to more than 1m classified files held by the former American security contractor.” The intelligence sources said Western agents are being targeted based on information in the files, forcing MI6 to move agents and change protocols. “Snowden has done incalculable damage. In some cases the agencies have been force to intervene and lift their agents from operations to prevent them being identified and killed,” one source told the Times.
Mr. Snowden has insisted that he’d taken precautions to make such access impossible, but that was always implausible. Even if Mr. Snowden wasn’t a foreign agent, he sought Chinese and Russian help to protect him from arrest after he fled the U.S., and those intelligence services would do anything to grab his files.
The defector’s media pals will say these intelligence sources can’t be trusted, but Mr. Snowden is already a proven liar. He claims to have been motivated only by the best of intentions, but his actions have assisted dictators while harming defenders of democracy.

A strongman’s empty promise - The Washington Post

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By Editorial Board June 14 at 6:32 PM
THE PRINCIPAL pitch of Egyptian strongman Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to his sponsors in the Obama administration is that only he and his military-backed regime can end the threat from Islamic extremists and prevent his country of 90 million people from becoming a failed state. But as the second anniversary of the former general’s bloody coup against a democratically elected government approaches, the facts are undeniable: Egypt is becoming steadily more violent and unstable.
In the first four months of 2015, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks, according to the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. The number of incidents rose from 27 in October to 112 in April, according to the data, which was reported by the Atlantic Council. Twice this month, militants have targeted Egypt’s most important tourist attractions, including the pyramids in Giza and theKarnak temple in Luxor. On the Sinai Peninsula, where the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group is affiliated with the Islamic State, the army claims to have killed 866 insurgents between October and the end of May. But “the attacks have shown no signs of abating,” the Atlantic Council report said.
There are many reasons for the deteriorating security, including the Egyptian army’s poor tactics and morale. But the most conspicuous failure has been the indiscriminate repression applied by the Sissi regime. Not just armed jihadists have been targeted, but also secular liberal activists, human rights organizations, critical journalists and anyone else who offends the generals. Peaceful public protests are effectively banned, and scores of people are imprisoned for joining them.
By far the biggest target of the abuse has been the Muslim Brotherhood, which won multiple free elections in Egypt between the popular revolution of 2011 and the coup. One of the oldest and most influential Islamist groups in the Middle East, the Brotherhood abandoned violence as a tactic decades ago. But according to Egypt’s semi-official National Council for Human Rights, 1,250 of the1,800 civilians killed between the coup and the end of 2014 were Muslim Brotherhood members.
Mr. Sissi claims that the Brotherhood is indistinguishable from the jihadists. “They are the god-father of all terrorist organizations,” he told The Post’s Lally Weymouth in March. Judges loyal to the regime have sentenced more than 100 leaders of the group, including former president Mohamed Morsi, to death on trumped-up terrorism charges. However, the group’s remaining leaders, who are mostly in exile, say they still reject the use of violence.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has been very outspoken about this,” Amr Darrag, the exiled head of the executive committee of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice political party, told us during a visit to Washington last week. “We are against any kind of violence from a very practical point of view. We don’t want our country to go through what Syria and Iraq have gone through.”
Mr. Darrag nevertheless acknowledged that there has been “slippage” by Egyptian youth toward violence. “There is a real feeling of anger and desire for revenge,” he said. “When you shut down all peaceful and political outlets, you leave some young people feeling they have no choice.”
The world has seen this dynamic play out many times before: A violent regime breeds more violence. Sadly, Mr. Sissi is being aided and abetted by the Obama administration, which recently renewed more than $1 billion in U.S. military aid. It’s a mistake whose bloody consequences are becoming increasingly evident.
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Hillary Clinton sides with critics of trade deal, says Obama should listen

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Hillary Rodham Clinton waded into the increasingly intense fight among Democrats over trade on Sunday, saying President Obama should listen to critics of a proposed Pacific trade deal, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and try to come up with "an agreement that would be better and not worse for American workers."
Clinton, who had avoided commenting on the trade debate for weeks while it was under consideration in Congress, told supporters at a gathering in Burlington, Iowa, that "I have held my peace because I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it."
Now, however, following the House's rejection Friday of legislation that would have given Obama so-called fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals, "I think the president and his team could have a chance to drive a harder bargain, because they are now in the position of saying to all of these other countries, 'We need to maximize the number of winners.' "
Clinton's decision to side with the critics marked her most consequential break with Obama since she began her presidential campaign and came on an issue that unions, environmental organizations and other groups in the left wing of the Democratic Party have turned into a test of strength against the White House.
The decision by Pelosi (D-San Francisco) to oppose the trade legislation came as a stinging rebuke to Obama. Republicans, led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said Democrats were speeding Obama's transition into lame-duck status.
The comments in Burlington were Clinton's second set of remarks on trade during a day of campaigning in Iowa. Earlier, at a rally in Des Moines, she made a more ambiguous statement, saying that "the president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers."
At the Burlington event, she was more emphatic, saying that to win her support, the 12-nation Pacific trade pact would have to be made "better" than the deal the administration is negotiating.
"What I want to see is a concerted effort to see how far we can push the agreement. If we push it far enough where it looks like we can do a better job, where we can have more winners than losers, then we can make that judgment. If we can’t, then we should make the other judgment.
"You will not hear me line up in this case with the 'pro trade' or the 'no trade' because my view has always been: Is it good for America or not?" she said. “If the specifics can get better then maybe it’s something worth supporting. If they can’t, then we don’t."
She specifically criticized two elements of the deal under negotiation. Specialized panels that hear trade disputes need to "listen to other voices besides corporate interests," she said. And big drug companies, which would be among the main winners in the deal, should be required to give Medicare a break on drug prices in return for the advantages the would receive, she said.
Both proposals would be bitterly opposed by Republicans.
Before Sunday, Clinton's silence on the issue had garnered strong criticism from some members of her party and rivals seeking the nomination, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
On Sunday, Sanders urged Clinton to “side with the unions” against passage of the trade bill, which will be reviewed in the House again next week.
“I would hope very much that Secretary Clinton will side with every union in this country, virtually every environmental group, many religious groups,” in opposition to the trade proposal, Sanders said on CBS' “Face the Nation.”
Spurred by criticism from labor unions and the left wing of the party, House Democrats rebuffed a dramatic personal appeal from Obama on Friday and voted down a package of measures that would have allowed the White House to conclude a trade deal that Congress could approve or reject but could not amend.
Although the House approved fast-track authority for the White House, it rejected a related measure to retrain displaced American workers, usually something Democrats support. Labor and many Democrats are skeptical that the proposed free-trade deal would benefit U.S. workers.
The Senate had passed both measures as a package, but the entire initiative failed in the House.
Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez predicted Sunday that the proposed trans-Pacific trade accord would be completed despite the rejection by House Democrats.
"I’m very confident that we can find a way,” Perez said on ABC’s "This Week." “There are multiple pathways here.”
He called the House vote on Friday a “procedural hurdle” that would be overcome.
In his Saturday radio address, Obama urged opponents of the 12-nation trade deal to reconsider and warned that China's fast-growing economy stood to gain if they didn't.
"Simply put, America has to write the rules of the 21st century economy in a way that benefits American workers," Obama said. "If we don't, countries like China will write those rules in a way that benefits their workers.”
Ryan said he remained optimistic that a deal would pass.
"The president has a lot of work to do with his own party to turn this around and salvage this," Ryan, who supports the deal, said on "Fox News Sunday."
"It's ironic," he added. "They are the ones who are making him a very lame-duck president, his own party."
Ryan, who ran for vice president on the GOP ticket in 2012, said Clinton's failure to state a position "is just sort of mystifying to me."
"It's about global leadership," he added. "And surely a person who was secretary of State understands something about American leadership."
Follow @jtanfani and @kurtisalee on Twitter
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
5:15 p.m. The post was updated with additional comments by Clinton.
2:19 p.m. This post was updated with Hillary Rodham Clinton's comments at a rally in Des Moines.
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· · · ·

Obama wants to reengineer your neighborhood

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Julian Castro addresses the 2012 Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
By Marc A. Thiessen June 15 at 10:49 AM
This is what you get when you put a community organizer in the White House — he tries to reorganize your community from Washington.
Apparently, President Obama thinks your neighborhood may not be inclusive enough, so he has instructed his Department of Housing and Urban Development to issue a new rule called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which is designed to force communities to diversify.
According to the Obama administration, in too many neighborhoods “housing choices continue to be constrained through housing discrimination, the operation of housing markets, [and] investment choices by holders of capital.” (Yes, that is a quote from an actual HUD document, not a bad undergraduate thesis on Karl Marx.)
Under Obama’s proposed rule, the federal government will collect massive amounts of data on the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of thousands of local communities, looking for signs of “disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets.” Then the government will target communities with results it doesn’t like and use billions of dollars in federal grant money to bribe or blackmail them into changing their zoning and housing policies.
This is not about blocking housing discrimination, which has been illegal since 1968. It is unlawful for someone to deny you a loan or prevent you from buying a home because of your race, creed or color. Socioeconomic status is — and ought to be — another matter. If you want to buy a nice house in the suburbs, you have to be able to afford it. Apparently, Obama thinks that’s unfair discrimination by the “holders of capital.”
Putting decisions about how local communities are run in the hands of federal bureaucrats is an assault on freedom. Local autonomy is essential to liberty. As Milton Friedman put it in “Capitalism and Freedom,” “If I don’t like what my local community does, be it in sewage disposal, zoning or schools, I can move to another local community. . . . If I don’t like what my state does, I can move to another. If I do not like what Washington imposes, I have few alternatives in this world of jealous nations.” Washington has no business imposing decisions about zoning and housing policies on thousands of local communities.
The proposed rule could become an issue in the presidential race. HUD Secretary Julian Castro, the man assigned to implement this new policy, is on everyone’s shortlist to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Moreover, as National Review’s Stanley Kurtz points out, collecting all the data will take time — which means decisions about how to use that data will be up to the next president, whoever that turns out to be.
Local communities across the United States will be up in arms over this rule — and rightly so. The federal government should have no say over whether your neighborhood is too Jewish, or too Caucasian, or has too many married couples. But Republicans need to be very careful. Democrats want the GOP to rail against this rule and see it as an opportunity to paint the Republicans as the party that wants to protect the wealthy, white suburbs and keep out poor people of color.
Conservatives need to make this absolutely clear: We believe Americans of all races, colors and creeds should be free to live wherever they want. And we want to help them do so by unleashing economic opportunity for those at the bottom so that more Americans can get better educations and better jobs and ultimately move to better neighborhoods.
Under Obama, those opportunities have been disappearing for Americans at the bottom of our economy. While he talks a good game about inequality, the poor have gotten poorer while the rich have gotten richer on Obama’s watch. During the Obama recovery, Americans in the top 5 percent of households (those with average incomes of more than $320,000) were the only group in the United States to see incomes rise from 2009 to 2013. Meanwhile, those worst hit were in the bottom 20 percent, who saw their real incomes fall by 7 percent on average. As American Enterprise Institute President Arthur C. Brooks explains , “Our putatively progressive president has inadvertently executed a plutocratic tour de force.”
Having Washington micromanage the housing and zoning policies of thousands of local communities is not going to change this. The answer is not to force local governments to build affordable housing in affluent communities. The answer is to restore upward mobility in the United States so that more people can afford housing in affluent communities.
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Obamanomics, sidetracked - The Washington Post

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President Obama (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

By Fred HiattEditorial page editorJune 14 at 7:44 PM
It’s not only on trade that President Obama seems to be losing his party. With inequality rising and wages flat, Democrats are pushing Hillary Clinton to move beyond Obamanomics and offer something more dramatic and more radical.
But before repudiating Obama’s entire program, it’s worth recalling this: Obamanomics has not failed. It just has not been tried.
Fred Hiatt is the editorial page editor of The Post. He writes editorials for the newspaper and a biweekly column that appears on Mondays. He also contributes to the PostPartisan blog. 
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True, Congress approved a major stimulus bill along the lines Obama wanted in the early days of his presidency. That, along with actions by the Federal Reserve, probably saved the nation from total financial meltdown. He also pried Obamacare out of the legislature before losing his Democratic majorities.
Since then, Obama and congressional Republicans have played to a draw, and the president’s economic proposals have languished. Because those proposals are rooted in a very different vision of the economy than is emerging from his party’s left, it’s worth reviewing them — and remembering that they have yet to be fully tested.
The emerging view, stated simply, is that inequality is rooted in the malign behavior of corporations and their overpaid executives. Government’s job is to redistribute wealth by taxing those executives and demanding they double the wages of their lowest-earning employees. Meanwhile the state should expand its role, not just for the poor but for the middle class as well, with more Social Security, free tuition regardless of income and so forth.
The Obama view, again simplified, would be that executives and hedge fund managers are indeed overpaid, but cutting their salaries won’t solve the country’s problems. Globalization and technological change are pressing on the middle class, and the only hope is to encourage economic growth — in part by keeping the government from squelching such growth — and positioning working people to share in it.
How to do this? By spending more on education, research and infrastructure. Obama has made this point so many times that we tend not to hear it. But that doesn’t make it wrong.
You can argue about the president’s specifics. Why make community college free, for example, while seeking to destroy for-profit colleges, the best of which are serving the same underserved, undereducated working adults? Infrastructure with no rational basis — high-speed rail in regions where no one wants to ride trains, say — will not spur economic growth.
But all three areas of investment would create jobs in the short-term and encourage economic growth in the long run. Improving education would allow more people to participate in that growth.
Why, more than six years into the Obama presidency, have we not implemented this oft-touted economic plan?
First, because entitlement payments are gobbling up more and more of the budget, leaving less for all other spending. That’s a challenge Obama and Republicans both promised to tackle and both gave up on.
Second, because Republicans will not agree to raise sufficient revenue to sustain the kinds of investment the nation needs.
Nor is investment the only element of Obamanomics sitting on the shelf. The president has his own, smarter version of taxing the rich: a cap on deductions that would not only reduce inequality but also redirect economic activity from overpriced vacation homes and gold-plated health insurance plans into more productive endeavors. He has a targeted version of the left’s beloved financial transactions tax, too: a levy on the largest banks proportional to the riskiness of their liabilities. And, of course, he hopes — or hoped — to negotiate wide-ranging trade agreements in Asia and Europe that would open export opportunities for U.S. businesses.
At her opening rally Saturday on Roosevelt Island in New York City, Clinton did not dare restate her support for the trade policy she championed as Obama’s secretary of state, and she peppered her address with some stunning statistics on executive overpay. But in a key line, she signaled her support for the moderate essence of Obamanomics: “Growth and fairness go together,” she said. “For lasting prosperity, you can’t have one without the other.”
Just as Obama has lost his party on trade, Clinton may have difficulty keeping Democrats on board for an inclusive, pro-growth platform. She understands, though, that a campaign based on grievance and anti-corporate anger could be a liability in the general election.
In fact, swing voters may have a different question: How will Clinton have any more success than Obama in persuading a (likely) Republican House of Representatives to put her plan into action?
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Obama’s Favors for the Mullahs

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The Obama Administration has long insisted that any nuclear deal will have no effect on U.S. determination to stop Iran’s regional ambitions or support for terrorism. As the political desire for a deal grows more urgent, however, this claim is proving to be hollow.
Consider Hayya Bina, or “Let’s Go,” a Lebanese civil-society initiative founded in 2005 by publisher and producer Lokman Slim. Hayya Bina works largely with Lebanon’s Shiites on a variety of health, environmental and citizenship issues, largely as a way to offer a moderate alternative to Hezbollah’s efforts to dominate that community. The group has received modest funding from the State Department and groups like the International Republican Institute.
But as the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported last week, the State Department sent Hayya Bina a letter, dated April 10, which “requests that all activities intended [to] foster an independent moderate Shiite voice be ceased immediately and indefinitely.” To underscore the point, the letter added that Hayya Bina “must eliminate funding for any of the above referenced activity.”
Why cut funding? The State Department said the programs weren’t meeting expectations. But it hardly went unnoticed in Lebanon that the cuts came barely a week after the U.S. and Iran struck their framework nuclear agreement in Switzerland April 2.
Hezbollah is Iran’s Lebanese subsidiary and has made a practice of going after its domestic opponents, including Mr. Slim. The withdrawal of U.S. funding “is another desperate PR attempt by the Obama Administration to appease the Iranian regime in order to reach a nuclear deal,” says Ahmad El Assaad, a prominent Lebanese Shiite opponent of Hezbollah.
Then there is the curious case of Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, a Dubai-based Sri Lankan businessman who in 2004 was cited personally by President George W. Bush as the “chief financial officer and money launderer” for the nuclear-proliferation network of Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. According to a 2004 investigation by Malaysian authorities, in 1994 or 1995 Mr. Khan asked Mr. Tahir to ship uranium centrifuges to Iran.
“BSA Tahir organized the transshipment of the two containers from DUBAI to IRAN using a merchant ship owned by a company in Iran,” according to a Malaysian report. “BSA Tahir said the payment for the two containers of centrifuge units, amounting to about USD $3 million was paid in UAE Dirham currency by the Iranian. The cash was brought in two briefcases.”
The Bush Administration put Mr. Tahir on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list of sanctioned persons. But the Treasury Department removed his name from that list on April 3, exactly one day after the framework agreement was announced.
We asked a Treasury spokesperson why Mr. Tahir’s name was removed and if there was any connection to the Iran deal, and she said the “delisting was based on a determinaton by OFAC that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of Tahir pursuant to Executive Order 13382.” That order, signed by President Bush in 2005, is “aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.”
Mr. Tahir’s delisting strikes us as the equivalent of a backdated check intended to whitewash Iran’s illicit acquisition of centrifuges as having anything to do with a nuclear-weapons program. If the Administration wants to deny this, we suggest it explain the timing publicly.
Then there is Iran’s ballistic missile program. Ballistic missiles have long been considered an integral part of Iran’s nuclear program as the most effective way to deliver a weapon, and the Administration pushed for U.N. sanctions on Iran’s missiles in 2010. When it came time to negotiate, however, the Administration gave in to Tehran’s insistence that it would accept no missile limitations, thus separating the missile and nuclear programs. But now that a deal is near, the Administration is reversing itself again, claiming that for the purposes of sanctions Iran’s missile program is “nuclear-related,” meaning the U.S. is prepared to lift the missile sanctions.
And there’s more. “Of the 24 Iranian banks currently under U.S. sanctions,” noted the Associated Press in a story last week, “only one—Bank Saderat, cited for terrorism links—is subject to clear non-nuclear sanctions.” In other words, once the “nuclear-related” sanctions go, so go all the rest, notwithstanding Administration promises.
It may be too late to prevent President Obama from striking this deal. But as its contours become clearer, it looks increasingly like a betrayal of our friends, a whitewash of history—and a gift to a dictatorship.
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Workers Betrayed by Visa Loopholes

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It hardly needs saying that immigration policy should not undermine Americans’ jobs, wages or working conditions. The problem is that what some companies want — cheap, exploitable, disposable labor — is exactly what the system can be twisted into giving them.
Former workers at Walt Disney World in Orlando or at Southern California Edison, the power utility, can tell the story. Those two companies recently laid off hundreds of tech employees, who were replaced by temporary workers recruited by outsourcing firms based in India.
These are only two of many troubling episodes involving the H-1B program, which provides up to 85,000 visas a year to foreigners, mainly highly skilled technical workers. The program was created to allow companies to fill gaps in their work force with specialized employees they cannot find in the United States. But the law has loopholes, and companies here and overseas ruthlessly exploit them. A huge industry has risen to meet labor demand in the information-technology sector, with the imported workers being employees of the outsourcing firms.
On Thursday the Labor Department announced it was investigating two of the largest companies that supply H-1B workers, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, based in India. Senators including Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, and Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, asked for the inquiry after reports that Southern California Edison turned to Infosys and Tata for H-1B workers even as it was laying off 540 workers, many of whom said they had to train their replacements. The Times recentlyreported a similar story at Disney, which contracted with HCL America, a branch of an Indian outsourcer, and laid off 250 workers. Some workers said they were asked to stay on to train the newcomers who took over their jobs.
A mass influx of foreigners doing the jobs of the workers they displace is clearly not what the law intended. Congress surely did not want to give companies a more efficient means of slashing payroll costs while pushing more people to the curb. But despite common perceptions about the H-1B law, it does not require companies to recruit American workers before looking overseas.
The program badly needs reforming, which even members of Congress who are otherwise far apart on immigration issues agree on. Senators Durbin and Charles Grassley of Iowa have proposed tightening the rules to require companies to work harder to find people in this country to fill jobs, to post job openings on the Labor Department website and to pay fairer wages. They would also give the government more authority to investigate fraud, and added protections for H-1B workers, who themselves are vulnerable to exploitation because of their dependency on their employers.
Many of these good ideas were contained in a Senate bill to overhaul the immigration system. That bill died, killed by hard-liners in the House who objected to its provisions for unauthorized immigrants.
That was a tragedy, because worker protection has always been a core ideal of comprehensive immigration reform, which would include allowing 11 million unauthorized immigrants to seek legal status and work without fear. With no immediate possibility of such an immigration overhaul, opportunistic tech companies are pursuing their own narrow agenda, pushing for vast increases in H-1B visas. That might help their recruiting problems, but leave much of the system as dysfunctional as ever. Better to fix immigration with the right goals in mind: a fair deal for all workers and their families.
Read the whole story

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Jason Amerine, Green Beret aiming to free U.S. hostages, caught in FBI web

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Dodgers 4, San Diego 2 (12 innings)
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» Women's World Cup: Nigeria's Njoku suspended three games for elbowing
14/06/15 21:05 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Nigeria will be short-handed when it meets the U.S. on Tuesday in the final game of Women’s World Cup group play after FIFA suspended Ugo Njoku for three games because she elbowed Australia’s Samantha Kerr during a group-play game on Fri...
» Adrian Gonzalez hits, Joc Pederson defends in Dodgers' 4-2 win
14/06/15 21:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Turns out, you can go home again, they just might not like it.
» Thousands participate in L.A. Pride Parade in West Hollywood
14/06/15 20:55 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Victoria Villalba, a 19-year-old transgender woman from Phoenix, sat on the back seat of a convertible scanning fellow participants of the L.A. Pride Parade: Boy Scouts, Episcopalian priests, drag queens and leather enthusiasts.
» Sonny Gray continues mastery over Angels, takes top spot in ERA
14/06/15 20:48 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Even without the errors, even without the inconsistent pitching, even without the Athletics’ timely hitting, the Angels faced a tall order in their bid for a fourth straight win, one they failed to measure up to in an 8-1 rout.
» 2-year-old girl dies 4 days after hit-and-run in Irvine
14/06/15 20:39 from L.A. Times - Commentary
A 2-year-old girl died Sunday after she was injured last week in a hit-and-run crash in Irvine in which her grandmother died, authorities said.
» Metro officials expected to vote on closing rail crossings on San Fernando Road
14/06/15 20:36 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Some nearby Glendale residents fear the closures could result in heavy traffic on their streets
» Gov. Brown preaches adaptation but ducks big fights
14/06/15 20:28 from L.A. Times - Commentary
 Gov. Jerry Brown speaks passionately about how humans — Californians specifically — must adapt to changing conditions or become extinct. Hopefully he is listening to himself.
» L.A. Unified funding for high-need students off target, study says
14/06/15 20:21 from L.A. Times - Commentary
In the first full year of a significant state funding boost, Los Angeles Unified administrators failed to consistently funnel the dollars to the high-need students they were meant for, a new study found.
» Higher home loan rates are likely as Fed rate hike looms
14/06/15 20:21 from L.A. Times - Commentary
In moving from London at the beginning of the year, Rose-Linn Jensen would have preferred to spend a year getting familiar with the Los Angeles area before buying a home.
» Women's World Cup: Suspension expected for Nigeria's Njoku in elbowing
14/06/15 20:19 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Nigeria could be short-handed when it meets the U.S. on Tuesday in the final game of women's World Cup group play, because FIFA is expected to level a lengthy suspension against Ugo Njoku for throwing an elbow at Australia's Samantha Ker...
» Hillary Clinton sides with critics of trade deal, says Obama should listen
14/06/15 20:15 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Hillary Rodham Clinton waded into the increasingly intense fight among Democrats over trade on Sunday, saying President Obama should listen to critics of a proposed Pacific trade deal, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and try t...
» Q&A: How a key Fed interest rate affects the economy
14/06/15 20:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
WASHINGTON — The recovery from the Great Recession has generated solid stretches of economic growth and job creation, but has failed to impress Federal Reserve policymakers enough to provide a key validation of the economy's strength — a...
» L.A. water department will drain Silver Lake Reservoir this summer
14/06/15 20:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Silver Lake Reservoir is about to go dry.
» Morrison takes TCU to 10-3 victory over LSU in College World Series
14/06/15 20:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
No pitcher in Texas Christian's history has as many wins as Preston Morrison, an accomplishment even more remarkable when you consider he joined the Horned Frogs as a walk-on.
» As TTP Trips Along in U.S., TTIP Vote Stalls in European Parliament
14/06/15 20:00 from rss
A vote in the European Parliament on the TTIP was postponed in the face of mounting political pressure.
» For the record
14/06/15 20:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Milan Kundera: A review in the June 14 Arts & Books section of Milan Kundera's novel "The Festival of Insignificance" called his previous novel "Innocence." That 2000 book was titled "Ignorance."
» There's no legal queue. And three other facts Australians get wrong about asylum seekers | Robert Tickner
14/06/15 19:50 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
Despite extensive coverage of asylum seeker issues, Australians remain remarkably uninformed about the facts Talking about refugees and asylum seekers in some circles can be a dubious endeavour. Before you know it, words like “illeg...
» Dionne: Hillary Clinton’s bet and challenge
14/06/15 19:45 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
NEW YORKHillary Clinton is tied as closely as a candidate can be to two Democratic administrations past. But she intends to wage her presidential campaign around a rich menu of policies and plans that are about the future.Read full artic...
» Hiatt: Obamanomics, sidetracked
14/06/15 19:44 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
It’s not only on trade that President Obama seems to be losing his party. With inequality rising and wages flat, Democrats are pushing Hillary Clinton to move beyond Obamanomics and offer something more dramatic and more radical. Read fu...
» Samuelson: The retreat of ‘peak oil’
14/06/15 19:43 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
The recent OPEC meeting provides an opportunity to understand the mysteries of the global oil market. As expected, OPEC decided not to cut its oil production. Barring unanticipated developments, prices will drop, says oil analyst Larry G...
» Rescuing the free-trade deals
14/06/15 19:42 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
The Senate’s rejection of President Woodrow Wilson’s commitment of the United States to the League of Nations was the greatest setback to U.S. global leadership of the last century. While not remotely as consequential, the votes in the H...
» Preston Morrison pitches TCU to a win over LSU in College World Series
14/06/15 19:40 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Preston Morrison limited Louisiana State to five hits and a run in seven innings, and Texas Christian capitalized on LSU starter Jared Poche's stunning middle-inning struggles in a 10-3 victory at the College World Series on Sunday.
» State lawmakers set to approve budget with increased spending
14/06/15 19:35 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Legislature is expected to approve a budget Monday that bets on California's economy to continue growing and sets the stage for higher state spending in coming years.
» U.S. team points to artificial turf for offensive woes at World Cup
14/06/15 19:34 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Finally, an explanation for the U.S. team's offensive struggles at the women's World Cup: It's the artificial turf.
» Good on you, Charlotte Church, for giving a damn | Barbara Ellen
14/06/15 19:01 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
Isn’t it better to be branded a gobby champagne socialist than to be a shy leftie cowed into silence? Bravo to Charlotte Church , for continuing to respond with wit and dignity to the myriad disgraceful attacks on her after her appearanc...
» TV This Week, June 14-20: 'Whiplash' and more
14/06/15 19:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes
» Monica Lewis dies at 93, singer, performer, voice of Chiquita Banana
14/06/15 18:53 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Monica Lewis, who started her singing career as a teenage fill-in for Benny Goodman and later became familiar to millions as the playful voice for Chiquita Bananas, has died at her home in Woodland Hills.
» Editorial: A strongman’s empty promise
14/06/15 18:32 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
THE PRINCIPAL pitch of Egyptian strongman Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to his sponsors in the Obama administration is that only he and his military-backed regime can end the threat from Islamic extremists and prevent his country of 90 million pe...
» A strongman’s empty promise
14/06/15 18:32 from Washington Post Editorials: Latest Editorial and Editorial Archive
THE PRINCIPAL pitch of Egyptian strongman Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to his sponsors in the Obama administration is that only he and his military-backed regime can end the threat from Islamic extremists and prevent his country of 90 million pe...
» Editorial: These plastic guns aren’t toys
14/06/15 18:31 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
IN THE 1993 thriller “In the Line of Fire,” a would-be assassin painstakingly builds a plastic gun that he could slip past magnetometers — and into a room with the president. Nowadays, all he would have to do is press “print.”Read full a...
» These plastic guns aren’t toys
14/06/15 18:31 from Washington Post Editorials: Latest Editorial and Editorial Archive
IN THE 1993 thriller “In the Line of Fire,” a would-be assassin painstakingly builds a plastic gun that he could slip past magnetometers — and into a room with the president. Nowadays, all he would have to do is press “print.”Read full a...
» Editorial: Plea for leniency
14/06/15 18:30 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
A JUDGE soon will sentence a D.C. government staffer who helped former Council member Harry Thomas Jr. divert money meant for the city’s youth. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) thinks the staffer should be treated leniently. “Thi...
» Plea for leniency
14/06/15 18:30 from Washington Post Editorials: Latest Editorial and Editorial Archive
A JUDGE soon will sentence a D.C. government staffer who helped former Council member Harry Thomas Jr. divert money meant for the city’s youth. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) thinks the staffer should be treated leniently. “Thi...
» The librarian of Congress is only human
14/06/15 18:28 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
The June 11 Style article [“The job description for leader of next chapter”], about the retirement of the librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, reminded readers of a recent report that faulted the Library of Congress for not having...
» Misplaced blame for an incomplete economic recovery
14/06/15 18:28 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
I agree with what George F. Will said in his June 11 op-ed column, “A vote for growth, not Obama ”: that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is good for the United States and that those Republicans and Democrats who oppose trad...
» We know the strategies to help students in poverty learn
14/06/15 18:27 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
Regarding the June 11 Politics & the Nation article “How poverty affects learning ability”:We have known for years that poverty affects learning, yet we spend billions of dollars on useless classroom reforms. Instead, we should inves...
» I’ll take my sports sober, thanks
14/06/15 18:27 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
Regarding the June 11  Sports article “With Loh’s backing, Maryland submits proposal to sell beer, wine at games”:Who cares about safety or a wholesome environment for students? Just show us the money that alcohol sales will produce. Any...
» Don’t let disease spread
14/06/15 18:27 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
Ron Klain’s June 7 Sunday Opinion commentary, “Preventing the next pandemic,” correctly pointed to the urgent need for a better world response to outbreaks. The first line of defense should be strengthening the health-care systems in vul...
» Clean energy is inevitable
14/06/15 18:26 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
The question mark in the headline of the June 11 editorial “A carbon-free future?” could be removed. We humans may be good at putting our heads in the sand, but we are not suicidal. While people in countries such as Germany appreciate th...
» A failure of leadership in Burma
14/06/15 18:26 from Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post
Regarding the June 11 op-ed “A laureate’s duty in China”:Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma is unlikely to speak up on behalf of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo of China. Read full article >>
» Clinton Channels Warren
14/06/15 18:23 from WSJ.com: Opinion
Hillary updates Obamanomics with a harder populist edge.
» Kurdish forces close in on Syrian border town held by Islamic State
14/06/15 18:22 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Kurdish fighters closed in Sunday on the Islamic State-controlled border town of Tal Abyad in northern Syria, cutting roads and supply lines that lead to the extremists’ de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa.
» Obama's Favors for the Mullahs
14/06/15 18:15 from WSJ.com: Opinion
The U.S. makes more concessions to Iran in a prelude to a nuclear deal.
» The Mythical Link Between Income Inequality and Slow Growth
14/06/15 18:12 from WSJ.com: Opinion
From 2011-13, the five most ‘unequal’ countries in the OECD grew nearly five times faster than the others.
» Explaining Away the New Crime Wave
14/06/15 18:11 from WSJ.com: Opinion
Activists continue to deny the importance of proactive community policing, even as shootings increase.
» Nevada Places a Bet on School Choice
14/06/15 18:06 from WSJ.com: Opinion
Education savings accounts are available to all of the state’s 385,000 public-school students.
» Cuba After the Castros: The Likely Scenario
14/06/15 18:05 from WSJ.com: Opinion
The armed forces control 70% of the economy now. It’s not likely they’ll give that up for a free market.
» Blessed by Alibaba, Cursed by Beijing
14/06/15 18:04 from WSJ.com: Opinion
A giant online market for American goods. A huge cyber raid on U.S. government files.
» Bilderberg 2015: Mystery Surrounds Shadowy Globalist Summit
14/06/15 18:00 from rss
A shadowy collection of globalists embedded throughout centers of power worldwide — political, military, banking, media, intelligence, business, academia, and more — wrapped up their annual Bilderberg summit on June 14 in Telfs-Buchen, A...
» Notable & Quotable: Milton Friedman
14/06/15 17:49 from WSJ.com: Opinion
‘Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed?’
» Shifting in the Wind…
14/06/15 17:40 from Breitbart News Network
Shifting in the Wind… Hillary Tells POTUS: Give in to Pelosi on Obamatrade “The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with Nancy Pelosi, who had expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak ag...
» Mark Grotjahn at Blum & Poe: A surfeit of inspirations
14/06/15 17:29 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Almost 150 years ago, Friedrich Nietzsche invited us to think of wisdom as a digestive track issue.
» Hillary Clinton calls on Obama to 'listen,' work with allies on trade deal
14/06/15 17:19 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Hillary Rodham Clinton called on President Obama on Sunday to listen to fellow Democrats and find common ground on a proposed trans-Pacific trade accord, two days after it was rejected by House Democrats in an embarrassing setback to the...
» Jumping ahead of UN, Israel releases its own report on Gaza war
14/06/15 17:14 from L.A. Times - Commentary
In an apparent effort to soften the blow of an expected United Nations report on the Gaza war, Israel published its own report Sunday on last year’s deadly conflict, defending the need for the military offensive and accusing Hamas of war...
» On eve of presidential bid, Jeb Bush says he's ready for a long fight
14/06/15 17:12 from L.A. Times - Commentary
On the eve of formally launching his bid for the White House, Jeb Bush says he’s prepared for a long slog to break out of the crowded pack of Republican presidential candidates.
» New York Gov. Cuomo: We don't know if escaped inmates are still in U.S.
14/06/15 17:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
As a large manhunt for two escaped murderers stretched into its ninth day in upstate New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that “we don’t know if they are still in the immediate area or if they are in Mexico by now."
» Rebel attacks on oil sites threaten peace talks in Colombia
14/06/15 16:23 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Already-stagnant peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist rebels have been thrown further into question by a score of attacks by insurgents on mostly civilian targets over the last week.
» Playboy Jazz Festival keeps the party moving at the Bowl
14/06/15 16:16 from L.A. Times - Commentary
"We'd like to play a piece for Ornette Coleman," Jason Moran told the Playboy Jazz Festival crowd late Saturday afternoon.
» Tsai Ming-liang on youthful 'Rebels of the Neon God,' finally in theaters
14/06/15 16:07 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The evocation of mystery and glamour in the title “Rebels of the Neon God” alone should be enough to stir interest. Yet the 1992 debut feature by Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang, while popping up on the festival and repertory circuit...
» Richard Rezac: Constructed with a skewed view
14/06/15 15:58 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The idea of perfection comes with so much baggage that most artists avoid it like the plague. Chicago-based sculptor Richard Rezac can’t be counted among such reasonable people.
» California electric bill shock: Private firms charge way more than public utilities
14/06/15 15:58 from L.A. Times - Commentary
In Sacramento, a family using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity last October was charged $58. Customers in Los Angeles, also served by a public utility district, paid $79.
» Justin Turner is the Dodgers' primary third baseman
14/06/15 15:46 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Alberto Callaspo will start at third base for the Dodgers on Sunday in their series finale at Petco Park, but Manager Don Mattingly said Justin Turner is the team's primary player at the position.
» David Cameron is already plotting for 2020 – and his own legacy | Matthew d’Ancona
14/06/15 15:11 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
He did not even expect a majority, yet the prime minister now believes he can redefine modern Conservatism When Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s chief of staff, was asked what his main objective was after the 1997 landslide general election...
» Wanted for genocide, Sudan's president barred from leaving South Africa
14/06/15 15:08 from L.A. Times - Commentary
South Africa’s government faced embarrassment Sunday when a court ordered authorities to prevent the president of Sudan from leaving the country after an African Union summit, even though the government had promised immunity to all summi...
» Global cybercrime has infected the very soul of capitalism with evil
14/06/15 15:00 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
The global financial system could have been designed to make life easy for tech-savvy crooks and criminals. And the damage they are causing is incalculable As we lug our heavy satchels on to the stage, there is a moment of mutual recogni...
» Angels bench outfielder Matt Joyce
14/06/15 14:55 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Angels benched Matt Joyce on Sunday, an indication they are running out of patience with the struggling outfielder.
» Let me be clear – Edward Snowden is a hero | Shami Chakrabarti
14/06/15 14:51 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
The government, claiming Snowden has ‘blood on his hands’, is using scare tactics to shut down debate. It is a technique Liberty has felt the full force of Who needs the movies when life is full of such spectacular coincidences? On Thurs...
» Labor secretary confident of trade deal despite rejection by fellow Democrats
14/06/15 14:43 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Labor Secretary Tom Perez predicted Sunday that the proposed trans-Pacific trade accord will be completed despite the rejection by House Democrats last week of a deal to expand President Obama's trade negotiating authority, an embarrassi...
» When pictures pose problems for an image-conscious public | Chris Elliott: Open door
14/06/15 14:36 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
If one is “of the web” rather than just “on it”, taking a photograph of almost anything that catches your interest at any given moment feels as natural as breathing. A sunset, a chance meeting of friends, an incident in the street, all g...
» The Guardian view on religious education in schools: don’t trash it, transform it | Editorial
14/06/15 14:35 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
Britain is no longer a Christian nation, but there is still a place in the curriculum and in school life for religious education that reflects today’s realities Religious education is now an appendix to the school curriculum: a survival ...
» The Guardian view on the international criminal court: no turning back on Omar al-Bashir | Editorial
14/06/15 14:33 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
Surprise moves to detain Sudan’s leader in South Africa make this a test case for international law which the ICC cannot afford to lose As surprises go, this was one for the diplomatic record books. As 50 heads of state gathered in Johan...
» If we don’t raise a voice against sexism it will never go away | Zoe Williams
14/06/15 14:29 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
The fall of Tim Hunt may be sad, but my clash with Alex Salmond shows misogyny is all too common I arrive fresh from a bust-up with Alex Salmond on BBC’s Radio 5 Live, during which he told me that I didn’t understand Scottish idiom; and ...
» Jim Ed Brown dies at 81; Grand Ole Opry regular had hit with 'Three Bells'
14/06/15 14:28 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Country music sibling act the Browns, which had some mild hits in the 1950s, was about to give up on the music business when legendary musician/producer Chet Atkins convinced the trio to give it one more try.
» Michael Jordan says he could beat Charlotte Hornets players one-on-one
14/06/15 14:22 from L.A. Times - Commentary
It's been more than 12 years since Michael Jordan played basketball professionally, but time doesn't appear to have worn away any of the competitive nature which helped made him a six-time NBA champion.
» Airfare hikes less likely, more limited, expert says
14/06/15 14:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Good news for airline travelers: Airfare hikes have become less common and, typically, target specific types of fliers or those in limited geographical areas.
» Salon: Tea Party Gets It Right–Crony Capitalism Is How You Beat
14/06/15 13:37 from Breitbart News Network
Salon: Tea Party Gets It Right–Crony Capitalism Is How You Beat Hillary The reliably liberal Salon.com discusses how America is long due for a discussion of public corruption–and that Tea Party conservatives will likely catch Democrats l...
» There is no real case for a snooper’s charter – but that won’t stop it | Tim Colbourne
14/06/15 13:32 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
Anderson’s landmark report showed that mass storage of data had little justification. Yet ministers and Home Office officials are likely to plough on regardless Stories of the type in circulation today, in which anonymous government sour...
» Fatal crash sparks brush fire in Granada Hills, closes E/B 118 Freeway for 5 hours
14/06/15 12:35 from L.A. Times - Commentary
A motorist was killed early Sunday after a car veered off the 118 Freeway in Granada Hills and burst into flames, authorities said.
» FIFA President Sepp Blatter reportedly reconsidering resignation
14/06/15 12:09 from L.A. Times - Commentary
FIFA President Sepp Blatter stunned the world with his decision to resign from the top post of the world soccer governing body earlier this month. Now, he's apparently reconsidering.
» Suspicion among the reactions to airline carry-on bag guidelines
14/06/15 12:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
A proposal by an airline trade group to make a small carry-on bag the standard for all airlines was met with mixed reactions by passengers, lawmakers and luggage manufacturers. But perhaps the most common reaction was suspicion.
» John Carroll dies at 73; editor led L.A. Times to 13 Pulitzers in 5 years
14/06/15 11:04 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Barely a week before the 2003 recall election that targeted California's governor, a team of Los Angeles Times journalists led by Editor John S. Carroll put the finishing touches on a story that they knew could be a tinderbox.
» Hotel Upgrade app helps spot the extra perks when booking a room
14/06/15 11:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Do no-cost hotel upgrades truly exist? Find out with this app.
» Marines, corpsman refuse to testify against sergeant at retrial in Iraqi killing
14/06/15 10:32 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Despite offers of immunity from prosecution, four ex-Marines and a former Navy corpsman have refused to testify against Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins in his retrial in the 2006 killing of an Iraqi.
» Angels' C.J. Wilson smells victory after boost from ammonia inhalant
14/06/15 10:30 from L.A. Times - Commentary
C.J. Wilson had completed five scoreless, two-hit innings Saturday night, but the combination of a minor sinus infection and the emotional toll of protecting a one-run lead left the Angels left-hander feeling a little drained.
» Zack Greinke victimized again by lack of run support from Dodgers
14/06/15 10:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Again, Zack Greinke pitched well enough to win.
» For a Marine unit, the battle to restore reputation goes on
14/06/15 10:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The capstone to Maj. Fred Galvin's career was the command of the Marine Corps' first-ever special operations unit. He led the elite company into Afghanistan in February 2007.
» Travel letters: A caution on Mexico's Yucatán
14/06/15 09:30 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Your Yucatán articles were fine, but any travel there should come with a warning [ "Sweet Spots" by Jody Jaffe, May 31 ].
» 2841 comments · 18 hours ago
14/06/15 09:26 from Breitbart News Network
2841 comments · 18 hours ago 9253 comments · 3 days ago 5052 comments · 2 days ago 3721 comments · 2 days ago 1729 comments · 20 hours ago 3744 comments · 2 days ago 5180 comments · 2 days ago 1751 comments · 1 day ago 1010 comments · 17...
» SpaceX and the Russian Rocket Mess
14/06/15 08:07 from WSJ.com: Opinion
Boeing and Lockheed aren’t the enemy, but accelerating a competitive launch business is worth some risks.
» A 5-member L.A. County Board of Supervisors without an exec is absurd
14/06/15 08:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
When he was a Los Angeles County supervisor, Zev Yaroslavsky had a quip about county government that his successor, Sheila Kuehl, likes to quote: A county of 10 million people run by a five-member Board of Supervisors is absurd. Unless y...
» Affordability is key to access to contraception
14/06/15 08:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
In the 50 years since Griswold vs. Connecticut — in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law banning contraception for married couples — the right to birth control for all has become a cornerstone of women's healthcare ...
» India's proposed child labor amendments might put more youths to work
14/06/15 08:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Their hands fly with the speed and precision of veteran assembly-line workers, pausing only to flick sweat from their shiny-smooth foreheads.
» As SBA chief, Maria Contreras-Sweet strives to lift entrepreneurs
14/06/15 08:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The gig: Since April 2014, Maria Contreras-Sweet, 59, has been running the U.S. Small Business Administration as a member of President Obama's cabinet. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and came to America with her mother, Guadalupe C...
» Some criticize Garcetti's low-key approach to police shootings
14/06/15 08:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Mayor Eric Garcetti met with Ezell Ford's mother at First AME Church. It was a historically resonant setting for a talk about Ford, a mentally ill black man killed by police. Founded in the late 19th century by some of Los Angeles' earli...
» I became a black woman in Spokane. But, Rachel Dolezal, I was a black girl first | Alicia Walters
14/06/15 07:55 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
Black womanhood is an identity forged in the lived experiences of black girls. Anything else perpetuates society’s fetish for celebrating only parts of our bodies Rachel Dolezal is, after this week, a symbol to many African Americans of ...
» We atheists can use growing clout to beat evangelicals at their own political game | Adam Lee
14/06/15 07:00 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
As long as our ranks remain diffuse, we’ll be outmuscled by religious sects that can exert pressure on politicians with no one to counterbalance them Christian evangelicals in America have lost the cultural dominance they once enjoyed , ...
» The S-Class 550: A Mercedes in a class by itself
14/06/15 07:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The car you'll be driving tomorrow? It's what rich guys are driving today.
» Labor ponders how hard to punish Democrats who back trade measures
14/06/15 07:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Organized labor suffered an embarrassing loss in California last month when a defiant Democrat it had targeted for years easily won a state Senate seat over a union-preferred candidate. So it reveled in Friday's victory over President Ob...
» In war-shattered Aleppo, some of Syria's toughest civilians stay put
14/06/15 07:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
A series of checkpoints and barriers cobbled together from tumbleweeds, discarded furniture and assorted urban detritus mark the path to one of the world's most storied sites: Aleppo's ancient covered market, the heart of the Old City.
» Golden State has the momentum going into Game 5 of NBA Finals
14/06/15 07:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Meanwhile, there are the Golden State Warriors.
» Women's World Cup newcomers suffer for the greater good
14/06/15 06:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The players from Ivory Coast had no more frustration left in them.
» San Bernardino, a broken city seeking hope
14/06/15 06:00 from L.A. Times - Commentary
With a rake and a mask, the motel manager steps carefully into Room 107.
» Ann Coulter on Immigration: ‘We Have Our Own Poor People to Take
14/06/15 05:12 from Breitbart News Network
Ann Coulter on Immigration: ‘We Have Our Own Poor People to Take Care of’ MSNBC Questions Lack of Diversity, Size of Hillary Clinton’s Crowd 2472 comments · 14 hours ago 1725 comments · 16 hours ago 9250 comments · 3 days ago 3703 commen...
» Britain’s got talent, but don’t trust these clowns to find it
14/06/15 04:00 from Comment is free | theguardian.com
‘It’s easy to blame Twitter for sudden flash-floods of uninformed judgment, but I also blame Simon Cowell and, by association, David Walliams’ Today I took my four-year-old to London zoo, where I am currently appearing as the pre-recorde...
» USC recruiting: La Mirada defensive lineman Keanu Saleapaga commits
14/06/15 01:42 from L.A. Times - Commentary
La Mirada High's Keanu Saleapaga is the first defensive lineman to commit to USC’s 2016 recruiting class.
» Dodgers fall, 2-1, to Padres when Justin Upton homers off Zack Greinke
14/06/15 01:30 from L.A. Times - Commentary
KEY MOMENT: Padres outfielder Justin Upton blasted a solo home run off Zack Greinke with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 stalemate. The home run was the 13th of the season for Upton and seventh allowed this sea...
» Angels' Matt Joyce hits bottom because he's not hitting
14/06/15 01:28 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Matt Joyce might have reached the proverbial last house on the block, and there does not appear to be unlimited parking out front.
» Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson lift Angels in 1-0 win over Oakland
14/06/15 01:27 from L.A. Times - Commentary
KEY MOMENT: Shortstop Erick Aybar couldn't handle Brett Lawrie's sharp grounder in the seventh inning, committing the Angels' first error in 11 games this month and putting runners on first and second with one out. But first baseman Efre...
» UFC 188 recap: Werdum submits Velasquez to claim heavyweight title
14/06/15 01:12 from L.A. Times - Commentary
UFC 188 takes place Saturday night from Mexico City, headlined by the return of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez against UFC interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. The proud Mexican-American Velasquez will fight for the fir...
» Climate Expert: Marxists, Global Warming Extremists Control Vatican
14/06/15 01:07 from Breitbart News Network
Climate Expert: Marxists, Global Warming Extremists Control Vatican… Robert Wilde …MSM Predicted Global Warming Would Drown Manhattan — in 2015! John Nolte Al-Qaeda Affiliate Massacres Minorities, Forces Hundreds to Convert to Islam Bern...
» Eastside neighborhood divided over 'Lowriders' filming
14/06/15 00:55 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Socorro Arredondo was thrilled when a film location scout approached him about two months ago asking to shoot scenes for a new movie called "Lowriders" in his El Sereno auto shop.
» Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez has success with new approach
14/06/15 00:50 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Returning this weekend to the stadium that was once his home, Adrian Gonzalez reflected on his evolution as a player.
» Ex-campaign worker admits lying about San Diego congressional candidate
14/06/15 00:45 from L.A. Times - Commentary
In 2014, the national Republican Party was confident that it could defeat a Democratic congressman from San Diego.
» Dodgers' Zack Greinke gives up late home run for 2-1 loss to Padres
14/06/15 00:44 from L.A. Times - Commentary
If your bullpen is unreliable, you want your starting pitchers going as deep into the game as they can. Particularly if it’s led by a pair of aces like Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
» 2,967,8042,967,8042015-06-13» Hillary Clinton Outlines Populist Message at First Big Campaign
14/06/15 00:41 from Mike Nova - Google+
2,967,804 2,967,804 2015-06-13 » Hillary Clinton Outlines Populist Message at First Big Campaign Rally 13/06/15 15:10 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks | U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry ...
» Blackhawks beat Lightning, 2-1, now one win from Stanley Cup title
14/06/15 00:38 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Stanley Cup will be in the house Monday at the United Center, and the Chicago Blackhawks will have a chance to make the hallowed trophy feel at home there for a while.
» L.A. County crews, helicopters contain 32-acre brush fire near Castaic
14/06/15 00:37 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Los Angeles County fire crews quickly contained a 32-acre brush fire Saturday afternoon on a hillside on the northbound side of the 5 Freeway near Castaic.
» UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum Live Coverage
14/06/15 00:27 from L.A. Times - Commentary
UFC 188 takes place Saturday night from Mexico City, headlined by the return of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez against UFC interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. The proud Mexican-American Velasquez will fight for the fir...
» Women's World Cup: Reactions vary to former U.S. coach's criticisms
14/06/15 00:16 from L.A. Times - Commentary
VANCOUVER, Canada — Former U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage had some rough words for some of her old players before her current team, Sweden, played her old one to scoreless draw in a World Cup match Friday.
» Baseball and Black History
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Columnists
An extraordinary group of kids travels from South Philly to Selma, using America’s pastime as a bridge to the future.
» Deflating ‘Deflategate’
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
A new study weakens the case against the Patriots.
» Israel’s Abortion Committees
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
Abortion has been legal in Israel since 1977, but the law still doesn’t recognize a woman’s right to choose.
» The Dannemora Dilemma
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Columnists
An upstate New York jailbreak and the problems behind prison walls.
» Lost Voices of the World’s Refugees
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Editorials
Not enough is being done to respond to the millions of people forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution.
» Will Nebraska’s Death Penalty Come Back?
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Editorials
The Legislature did the right thing after an open and honest debate. Now comes the counterattack.
» Putting an End to Abusive Car Loans
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Editorials
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to use its enforcement powers to end unfair and deceptive lending.
» Jayson Lusk
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
A food economist on finding parenting lessons in “Airplane Repo” and the gadget he wants as a Father’s Day gift.
» The Strip
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
A weekly comic strip featured in the Sunday Review.
» How to Make Online Dating Work
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
Research suggests techniques for making the search for love more effective and less exhausting.
» The Toxic Legacy of Lead Paint
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
When my son was poisoned by lead, I had to act. But how?
» Flawed Humans, Flawed Justice
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
We should use lessons from behavioral science to make police and courts more fair.
» Three Simple Rules for Eating Seafood
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Contributors
Eat American. Different kinds. Mostly farmed filter feeders, like oysters.
» Flickering Greatness
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Columnists
The president learns the wages of neglect, in Congress and in Iraq.
» Obama’s Flickering Greatness
14/06/15 00:00 from NYT > Columnists
The president learns the wages of neglect, in Congress and in Iraq.
» Angels call up hard-throwing rookie Trevor Gott from Salt Lake
13/06/15 23:41 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Angels added another power-armed rookie to the bullpen Saturday when they called up 22-year-old right-hander Trevor Gott from triple-A Salt Lake.
» Jackie Chan, Mike Tyson help kick off Shanghai Film Festival
13/06/15 23:26 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Jackie Chan, Mike Tyson and Fan Bingbing walked the red carpet Saturday night as a somewhat subdued Shanghai International Film Festival got underway in China’s bustling commercial capital.
» Tamir Rice report: Officer who fired fatal shots said he had 'no choice'
13/06/15 23:24 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The white Cleveland policeman who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice told another officer he had “no choice” but to shoot the black boy as he clutched a toy weapon last year, according to details of an investigation made public Satur...
» Mayor Garcetti signs measure to boost L.A.'s minimum wage to $15 by 2020
13/06/15 23:06 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Promising to provide relief for families enduring "back-breaking poverty," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday signed into law a measure raising the citywide minimum wage to $15 by 2020.
» The Times' MLB power rankings
13/06/15 22:58 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Last week's ranking in parentheses, statistics are through Friday's games:
» Prison escape clouds daily routine for New York community
13/06/15 22:28 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Richard Matt and David Sweat are everywhere.
» Dallas police 'unbelievably fortunate' after attack on headquarters; suspect killed
13/06/15 22:26 from L.A. Times - Commentary
An overnight shooting turned police headquarters here into a crime scene on Saturday with a detonated pipe-bomb and bullet-riddled windows and police cars, while miles away a suspect was shot dead by a police sniper after a standoff in a...
» U.S. women's soccer team still has a long way to go on equality scale
13/06/15 22:15 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Women's World Cup has only been kicking around for a week, yet it seems all the requirements for a major American female sports competition have already been fulfilled.
» Dozens in Long Beach protest fatal police shootings
13/06/15 22:13 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Dozens of demonstrators rallied outside police headquarters and other locations in downtown Long Beach on Saturday to protest recent fatal shootings by police.
» U.S. forward Sydney Leroux expects emotional World Cup game in hometown
13/06/15 22:11 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Ray Chadwick hasn't spoken to his daughter for a year. Her choice, he says, not his.
» Could the Dodgers call up Corey Seager soon?
13/06/15 22:06 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The Minnesota Twins announced Saturday they are calling up top prospect Byron Buxton from the minor leagues. Buxton will make his major league debut less than a week after the Houston Astros promoted prized prospect Carlos Correa.
» Death outside skid row hotel is under investigation as possible suicide
13/06/15 21:08 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Authorities suspect a 28-year-old man who died Friday on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles may have plunged to his death from a skid row hotel, a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman said Saturday.
» Network of Hate:
13/06/15 20:54 from Breitbart News Network
Network of Hate: CNN Calls Attack on Dallas Police Headquarters ‘Courageous and Brave’ CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield called the attack on Dallas Police Headquarters “very courageous and brave” on Saturday’s “CNN Newsroom.” Ian Hanchett ...
» Robert Sherwood Morse dies at 91; dissident Episcopal clergyman
13/06/15 20:47 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Robert Sherwood Morse, a dissident clergyman who objected to changes in traditional Episcopalian practice and urged fellow religious conservatives to leave a mainstream he likened to the Biblical "fleshpots of Egypt," has died. He was 91.
» Rise in accidental gunshots by L.A. County deputies follows new firearm
13/06/15 20:35 from L.A. Times - Commentary
One sheriff's deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect.
» Football: Narbonne wins Buena Park passing tournament
13/06/15 20:11 from L.A. Times - Commentary
There's no doubt that defending City Section Division I football champion Narbonne is loaded with top skill-position players, and the Gauchos showed off plenty on Saturday in winning the Buena Park passing tournament championship.
» L.A. County crews, helicopters contain brush fire near Castaic
13/06/15 20:10 from L.A. Times - Commentary
Los Angeles County fire crews quickly contained a 15-acre brush fire Saturday afternoon on a hillside on the northbound side of the 5 Freeway near Castaic.
» On ramen noodles, Hello Kitty and gardeners
13/06/15 20:06 from L.A. Times - Commentary
The main character in many of Naomi Hirahara's mystery novels is a 70-something Japanese American gardener who sleuths about solving crimes in places like downtown Los Angeles' flower mart. The California section's Jason Song interrogate...

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