In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach implies that the White House and its allies believe that the Syrian president might be open to a compromise that could end his country’s four-year civil war.
I met with Assad on Jan. 20 in Damascus — his first interview by an American journalist since 2013. And if there was one clear takeaway from our talk, which you can read in full in Foreign Affairs, it was this: Such hopes are a fantasy. Superficially, Assad said many of the right things, appearing conciliatory and eager to involve Western governments in his struggle against Islamist terrorism. But underneath the pretty words, he remains as unrepentant and inflexible today as he was at the start of the Syrian civil war four years ago. Assad seems to have no idea how badly the war is going, how impractical his proposals sound and how meaningless his purported overtures are. Which means that, whatever Western leaders might wish, the fighting in Syria will end in one of two ways. Either Assad will defeat the rebels. Or the rebels will defeat him — and string him up by his toes.
So yeah, I’m watching the Kitten Bowl II on the Hallmark Channel. I admit it, and it’s better than Super Bowl pre-game media auto-fellation.
But imagine my astonishment when I saw the following nationally-aired commercial, featuring an animated Dora the Explore styled Ken Ham inviting me to the Creation Museum:
Go two by two to the Creation Musuem! If you go alone you might actually think for yourself.
Ad at ispot.tv (you can vote to boo it)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget would impose a one-time 14 percent tax on some $2 trillion of untaxed foreign earnings accumulated by U.S. companies abroad and use that to fund infrastructure projects, a White House official said.
The money also would be used to fill a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund.
“This transition tax would mean that companies have to pay U.S. tax right now on the $2 trillion they already have overseas, rather than being able to delay paying any U.S. tax indefinitely,” the official said.
The internet is a many-splendored thing. It is also the subject of the “Dangerous” lyric video. (NSFW)
Video by SCANTRON and Greg Yagolnitzer
Ever since October 7, 1996, American journalism has been slowly dragged down into the highly partisan, opinion based, no need to fact check, false equivalency, lowest common denominator, racist swamp that is Fox “News.” Americans have been subjected to almost two decades of their lies, and as Leonard Pitts Jr. suggests in his blog “Why serious people discount Fox News” we have perhaps accepted numbly that they are just a normal part of the journalistic landscape.
This article goes into just one facet of the issue. One day the crime lab will be exposed for it’s part in the play.
In a series of searing questions, the three judges expressed frustration and anger that California state judges were not cracking down on prosecutorial misconduct. By law, federal judges are supposed to defer to the decisions of state court judges.
Prosecutors “got caught this time but they are going to keep doing it because they have state judges who are willing to look the other way,” Kozinski said.
Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen said the judges’ questions and tone showed they had lost patience with California courts. State judges are supposed to refer errant lawyers, including prosecutors, to the state bar for discipline, but they rarely do, Uelmen said.
“It is a cumulative type thing,” Uelmen said. “The 9th Circuit keeps seeing this misconduct over and over again. This is one way they can really call attention to it.”
The early organizational work for the planned new bridge between Detroit and Windsor appears to be speeding up.
In January, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, a nonprofit Canadian entity that is leading the bridge project, sought applicants to fill a range of staffing jobs in administration, communications, information technology, human resources, policy analysis, accounting and finance, engineering, operations and legal.
Michael Cautillo, president and CEO of the bridge authority, said more job postings would be published as operational needs are identified.
A Windsor recruitment firm has been retained to assist with the hiring process. Candidates interested in working with the project should apply online at thejobshoppe.com.
And just this past week, the bridge authority announced it had awarded a significant engineering contract worth $17 million to Parsons to serve as the general engineering consultant for the project, which is known by two names — the Detroit River International Crossing (the Canadian title) and the New International Trade Crossing (the title that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder prefers).
Much remains to be done, including land acquisition in Detroit’s Delray neighborhood and — perhaps the thorniest issue — resolving who will pay to build the U.S. Customs and Border Protection plaza on the Detroit end of the bridge. The U.S. government, which will operate the plaza, has so far balked at paying for it, a cost that could total somewhere in the $250-$300 million range depending on the scope.
Free Registration might be required at the link. In this case the Church wants to use it’s land to feed the hungry, and admirable cause, while the city wants to “prevent crime.”
A federal appeals court on Monday will hear arguments for the first time on how to apply recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent to a federal statute that protects religious groups from unconstitutionally restrictive land-use regulations.
The case, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, partly hinges on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision in June, in which the Supreme Court found that the federal government violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring the retailer to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Disclaimer / Warning: the roadmap slide in the article and the original speculative write up comes from Chinese online tech magazine, so this could either be the result of industrial espionage, or it could be entirely made up. We’ll have to wait on Intel to confirm or deny.
Those looking to upgrade or build a new system using Intel’s upcoming unlocked Broadwell desktop processor won’t have to wait too much longer if the latest leaked roadmap proves accurate.
According to the slide, unlocked Broadwell chips with a 65W TDP on the LGA package are scheduled to arrive by the middle of Q2. That time frame could put their arrival just before Computex, a trade show in which motherboard manufacturers typically roll out new products.
The real impetus in this movement comes from the same old anti government religious right that cranked up the anti-gay push in the country last decade, and the same organizations that created the Tea Party circa 2006. You see the same revolving carousel of 501 c3’s, and the same billionaire founders. At the root of this push is the urge to grab your tax dollars for their private conservative religious schools that are failing. If you follow the story links to source you will find groups like “Watchdog (dot) org” and others propagating this tax dollar grab. They appear like generic concerned citizens groups, but they are run by highly conservative zealots.
Advocates of taxpayer funding for private schools have dubbed Jan. 25-31 “National School Choice Week.” The event is designed primarily to mislead the public and drum up support for vouchers, tax credits and other forms of taxpayer aid to religious and other private schools. Despite the unpopular opinions of most voters on vouchers, politicians and corporations (along with the Religious Right) continue to rebrand and propose new schemes. Just look at this map of current and proposed voucher programs:
The forces behind vouchers are varied. Some are lobbyists for the Catholic hierarchy who want a taxpayer bailout to save their financially ailing parochial school system. Some are fundamentalist Christians who claim public education is “godless” and want taxpayers to prop up private academies that teach creationism, anti-gay bias, faulty “Christian nation” history, anti-woman theology and other offensive concepts. Still others are radical anti-government groups that don’t like public education and want to see it privatized so corporations can move in and run schools on the cheap for the sake of a quick profit. Others despise teachers’ unions.