The Strip, by Brian McFadden, from the NY Times [click to enlarge]
Known to construct seemingly prosperous Potemkin villages for show on its southern border, North Korea also apparently mocks up missiles for military parades. That’s what two German missile experts conclude in a paper posted online by the blog Ams Control Wonk. Mounted atop mobile carriers with alleged Chinese roots, six large missiles — large enough to be intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) — on display in Pyongyang carried six different model warheads. “(T)he observed variety of warhead designs only makes sense if the missile program is more show than real threat,” wrote Markus Schiller and Robert H. Schmucker. “For now, the ICBM presentation was nothing else than a nice dog and pony show.”
The inevitable has finally come for Newt Gingrich, or will next Tuesday when he will suspend his campaign for the presidency, according to Fox News. Gingrich, however, will continue to campaign this week. Senior campaign aides told the conservative news network that the former House Speaker will “more than likely” endorse presumed nominee Mitt Romney at that time. Gingrich had been hoping for a strong showing in Delaware’s primary last night, but Romney bested him by a 2 to 1 margin.
Newt Gingrich has begun the throat-clearing, hinting, and pre-announcing stage of the end of his presidential campaign?or, let's face it, suspension (the man has a lot of debt). He wouldn't be Newt Gingrich, though, if he didn't deliver a few last laughs:
?I think you have to at some point be honest with what?s happening in the real world, as opposed to what you?d like to have happened? [...]At some point you have to be honest?and apparently, that point comes seven weeks after the second of your two primary wins. Gingrich is keeping up a full schedule in North Carolina this week, though, "as a citizen," which looks an awful lot like the vacationing under the guise of campaigning he's been doing all along:
?I think obviously that I would be a better candidate, but the objective fact is the voters didn?t think that,? Gingrich said. ?And I also think it?s very, very important that we be unified.?
Gingrich?s schedule this week includes visits to schools, throwing out the first pitch at a Gardner-Webb University baseball game, a tour of the Penske NASCAR racing facility, the Fayetteville Azalea Festival and a stop on Friday at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.No way he gets out before the zoo. This could be his chance to get bit by a lemur. Fox News is reporting, though, that Gingrich will end or suspend his campaign on Tuesday.
While the global economy is still on shaky terrain, Apple is having a good 2012. In the first quarter, the tech behemoth sold 35 million iPhones?an 88 percent increase from last year, representing 59.7 percent of Apple's overall sales?and 11.8 million iPads. These sales nearly doubled Apple's profits, and sent Apple's stocks up 7 percent, up $40.55 to $600.83 yesterday. Demand for the newest model of the iPad has led to shortages, and the product remains the company's fastest-growing one?since the first iPad hit the market in 2010, they've sold 67 million. It took the company 24 years to sell a comparable number of Macintosh computers. The company's cash reserves, now totaling $110 billion, could fill 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools with dollar bills, as The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal points out.
?It is mind-boggling that we could do this well," Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a Wall Street analyst conference call.
European Union members signed a pledge to keep their 2013 budgets within targets to keep deficits in check, but that is going to mean further austerity measures that could spell more bad news for the economy. "Achieving deficits of no more than 3% of GDP by next year is not achievable for a large number of euro-zone countries," said Marie Diron, Oxford Economics' director of macroeconomic forecasting. "In many cases, this crisis is the opportunity to implement structural changes to public finances that would have not been possible otherwise. But pursuing fiscal objectives at all costs is extremely damaging to growth."
Filling in for frequent news slow jammer Bri-Williams, President Barack Obama?the "Preezy of the United Steezy"?put an R&B spin on his student-loan stump speech on Jimmy Fallon last night.
Over the weekend David Barstow of the New York Times went BOOM on Wal-Mart for being a very naughty evil global retail hegemony and bribing their way into the hearts and minds of our brown neighbors to the south.[...]
Read The Full Article:
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron may be in trouble, as the investigation into the Murdoch holdings show they were angling to use their influence with the U.K. government to their own commercial benefit?apparently illegally. And of course, while no one's actually saying it out loud, I think odds are good that the Fox organization was following the same strategy here. Stay tuned!
In 163 pages of paperwork published by the Leveson inquiry, we can see the dialogue between James Murdoch's camp and the office of Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for media, who held in his hands the outcome of the biggest deal in the history of the Murdochs' News Corporation, the £8bn takeover of BSkyB.
According to Tuesday's evidence, Murdoch and his lobbyist, Fred Michel, worked their way through every crack in the walls of Whitehall in search of influence and, in Hunt's office, they found friends who would supply them with information, advice and support, even as Hunt claimed to the outside world that he was being impartial and even-handed.
The evidence is likely to be disputed. These are merely Michel's versions of what was said, so they are hearsay. Furthermore, Michel has told the inquiry that his messages that claimed to report conversations with Hunt were in fact based on talking to Hunt's officials, which would mean that they are also secondhand. But, if the evidence stands up, we are looking at a story of secret and improper collusion of precisely the kind that Murdoch's critics suspected.
At a time when Hunt was required to act in the legal role of a judge overseeing Ofcom's inquiry into the bid, this evidence suggests he was secretly supplying News Corp with information about his confidential dealings with Ofcom, advising them on how to pick holes in Ofcom's arguments, allowing their adviser to help him prepare a public statement, offering to "share the political heat" with them, and repeatedly pledging his support for their position.
If proved, this pushes Hunt's political career to the edge of destruction. It cannot help him that his website currently displays an interview describing him as a cheerleader for Rupert Murdoch. But the pressure may not stop there. The question now is whether Lord Justice Leveson will order the disclosure of more emails or other evidence that could conceivably see the prime minister and his government pushed out to the edge as well.
Cameron can become embroiled in two ways. First, he faces questions about whether he had any kind of involvement in handling the bid for BSkyB, particularly during the quasi-judicial process from June 2010 to July 2011. For the first timeon Tuesday, it was disclosed that Murdoch had raised the bid with him when they met at Rebekah Brooks's house two days before Christmas 2010. Previously, Cameron had refused to answer direct questions about what was discussed on this occasion. His opponents will be interested to know whether he really did keep his distance even as last year the bid was swept up in the political tornado around the phone-hacking scandal.
Second, and potentially even more serious, the prime minister would be in jeopardy if the alleged support for the BSkyB bid proved to be part of a bigger deal between the Conservative leadership and News Corp. In its crudest form, the suggestion is that the Murdochs used the Sun to make sure that Gordon Brown was driven out of Downing Street so that the incoming Conservative government could deliver them a sequence of favours ? a fair wind for them to take over BSkyB; the emasculation of the much resented Ofcom; and a severe funding cut to their primary broadcasting rival, the BBC.
This was the core of the toughest exchanges on Tuesday, as Robert Jay QC, for the inquiry, laid out fragments of evidence that suggest this big deal was made, and concluded: "It all falls together, doesn't it?" In reply, James Murdoch passionately denied that he would ever link his newspaper's endorsement of a political party to the commercial interests of his company. "I simply wouldn't do business that way."
Lots more, including how both Murdochs may have made a deal with Prime Minister David Cameron to undercut the BBC.
?I love the fact that there are women out there who don?t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn?t easy for any of us.? – Ann Romney
I bet women who don’t have a choice but to work and raise kids would rather live in a society where day care was accessible and affordable, with national health care offering benefits for people who can’t afford to insure their kids on their own.
Now, I’m not a fan of ACA, as people know, but having the alternative be no national health care at all is nuts.
Mitt Romney used to think health care was important, too. In fact, Republicans going back to Richard Nixon used to believe that national health care of some sort was imperative in America.
What happened to those Republicans?
Let's hope this is an isolated incident and nothing more. Besides the obvious health impact, this is likely to have a negative impact on US beef exports not to mention a slow down in the US.
Clifford, the government's chief veterinary officer at the agriculture department, had quickly called his counterparts in Mexico and Canada, the first and second-largest buyers of U.S. beef, to tell them about a California cow found to have an "atypical" type of the brain-wasting disease. Having taken up his post in May 2004, just six months after the first U.S. case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was discovered, he knows that sharing information quickly during the next 24 hours -- and in the weeks ahead -- will be vital for reassuring consumers, both domestic and foreign. "It's critically important for the trust and continuing of the trade between those countries," Clifford said in an interview, trying to pre-empt concerns about the nation's herd that could send the multi-billion U.S. industry into another tailspin.
A state representative from Tennessee attributed the recent wave of teen suicides to poor parenting during a speech in the Tennessee House last night, as he made his case against a cyber bullying bill.
?We?ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there?s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them, ” State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R) said. “They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.? Watch it:
The Democratic party immediately condemned Faison’s remarks, tweeting, ?Did Rep. Faison just say that kids commit suicide because they haven?t been instilled with the right values? What a disgrace.? Faison himself issued an apology: ?After reviewing my comments on the House Floor today, I regret what was a poor choice of words. My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals. Suicide has touched my family, and I would never want a parent or family member to feel they were responsible for such an unimaginable tragedy.?
The bullying measure — which made small changes to a law dealing with bullying and harassment — passed the House in a vote of 76 to 14.
Two recent suicides — in Cheatham and Smith counties — have attracted wide media attention in the state after the students complained of being bullied over their sexual orientation.