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The Political Hat
News of the Week


Obamacare


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Sebelius Warns Insurers that Rate Hikes Could Lead to Government Review
By Katrina Trinko   
Starting in 2011, insurers who serve the small group or individual markets and who raise rates by 10 percent or more will need to disclose and publicly justify the rate increases, announced Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius today.



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Climategate

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EPA moving unilaterally to limit greenhouse gases
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stymied in Congress, the Obama administration is moving unilaterally to clamp down on greenhouse emissions, announcing plans for new power plants and oil refinery emission standards over the next year.

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War & Terror

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Parcel Bombs Target Embassies in Rome
By NATHANIA ZEVI and LIAM MOLONEY
ROME—Parcel bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean Embassies in Italy's capital on Thursday, injuring two people and raising concerns of possible terrorist attacks in the country's shopper-packed streets ahead of the Christmas holidays.

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Sacramento-area pilot punished for YouTube video
George Warren
SACRAMENTO, CA - An airline pilot is being disciplined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for posting video on YouTube pointing out what he believes are serious flaws in airport security.

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Senate Approves New START
By Katrina Trinko & Robert Costa     
The New START treaty has just passed the Senate, 71 to 26. The treaty needed 67 votes for ratification.

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Dozen men arrested in several British cities in suspected large-scale terrorism plot


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National

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The Net Neutrality Coup
The campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who's who of left-liberal foundations.

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Man-Eating Giants Discovered in Nevada Cave
"...the archaeologists came to the inescapable conclusion that the Paiutes myth was no myth; it was true.
(CHICAGO ) - The Paiutes, a Native-American tribe indigenous to parts of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, told early white settlers about their ancestors' battles with a ferocious race of white, red-haired giants. According to the Paiutes, the giants were already living in the area.

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Steven Spielberg advising Nancy Pelosi on rebranding Democrats
By Rachel Weiner
Midway through Philip Rucker and Paul Kane's story about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's transition to minority leader comes an interesting bit of news. The California Democrat, vilified by Republicans in the last election, has turned to director Steven Spielberg for help rebranding House Democrats.

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Chimps show familiar human sex stereotypes with objects for playing.
Researchers have reported some of the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex, just as human children around the world do. Although both young male and female chimpanzees play with sticks, females do so more often, and they occasionally treat them like mother chimpanzees caring for their infants, according to a study in the December 21st issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

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Republicans propose sweeping changes to House rules
By Felicia Sonmez
House Republicans are planning to enact some far-reaching changes to the way the lower chamber operates in the next Congress, according to a draft of new rules circulated by the House GOP transition team on Wednesday.

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FCC Gives Government Power to Regulate Web Traffic
By AMY SCHATZ
WASHINGTON—Federal telecommunications regulators approved new rules Tuesday that would for the first time give the federal government formal authority to regulate Internet traffic, although how much or for how long remained unclear.

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Few details revealed about 2011 Nevada budget
Sandoval team remains tight-lipped on specifics

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Barbour addresses furor over civil rights comments
Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour responded Tuesday to an avalanche of criticism over remarks he made to The Weekly Standard about the civil rights movement.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Commutes Sentence of Man Sent to Jail for Owning Guns Legally
A man given seven years in prison after being found with two guns he purchased legally in Colorado has had his sentence commuted, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday.

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Census shows slowing US growth, brings GOP gains
Census Bureau Director Robert Groves announces results for the 2010 U.S. Census at the National Press Club, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican-leaning states will pick up a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation's population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West.

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Music Web Sites Dispute Legality of Their Closing
By BEN SISARIO
When federal authorities shut down five Web sites last month on suspicion of copyright infringement, they gave no warning and offered no details of their investigation, and they have not filed any criminal charges since.

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In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate passes food-safety legislation
By Alexander Bolton
The Senate unexpectedly approved food-safety legislation by voice vote Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error.


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Economy & Taxes

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Fresh humiliation for eurozone as China says it will bail out debt-ridden nations
By Daily Mail Reporter
China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7trillion overseas investment fund.

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Coburn: 'There will be no more big spending bills'
By: Mark Tapscott
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK and "Dr. No," has been taking lots of heat this week for his insistence that Senate proponents  of the bill providing federally funded health care benefits and compensation to 9/11 first responders allow amendments to the measure designed to reduce its cost.

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Oregon's Millionaires' Tax Drives Millionaires Out of State

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How Big Is the Chinese Property Bubble?
In times of crisis alternative economic models become more appealing. Since the USA, the beacon of capitalism was the epicentre for the current crisis and the Chinese economy escaped relatively unharmed, there is a certain logic in asserting that the central planners in China have the right economic prescription.

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Senator Coburn Names Grateful Dead to Wasteful Spending List
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) has release his Wastebook 2010, a list of all the ways he believes the government wastes the taxpayers money. Among the items on the list are "Sprucing Up Apartments Before They Are Torn Down - (Shreveport, LA) $1.5 Million", "Studying World of Warcraft and Other Virtual Games - (Irvine, CA) $2.9 Million" and "'Free' Grateful Dead Archive - (Santa Cruz, CA) $615,000."

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International

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China bars political dissident access to lawyers
By Sui-Lee Wee
BEIJING (Reuters) - One of China's most prominent human rights advocates, who was charged in June for subversion, has been denied access to his lawyers, a move that rights activists say sets the stage for a hasty and covert trial.

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Hugo Chavez: CommuNazi
by Ron Radosh
Five days ago, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez got his cherry-picked lame-duck legislature to pass a new law allowing him to “rule by emergency decree” for the next 18 months, thereby allowing him to bypass the newly elected legislature, in which the opposition won scores of seats.

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Authorities ban mixed English words in publications
Arbitrary use of English words and acronyms is now prohibited and coined terms that are not intelligible to everyone are not allowed to be used, according to a notice released by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) recently.

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Muslim Student Files Complaint Against Teacher … for Talking About Ham
When parody becomes reality in Spain.
by Aaron Hanscom
Earlier this year, La Meca, a popular nightclub in southern Spain, decided to change its name after Spain’s intelligence agency notified the owners of threats from Islamic extremists. While moderate Muslims in Spain weren’t calling for beheadings, they did echo the call for the club’s name to be changed. Mohamed Ali, head of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities, explained: “Muslims pray towards Mecca and it is there that the prophet received the holy Koran. Calling a place for dancing and drinking by that name shows disregard to the feelings of Muslims.”

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Venezuela tightens Internet regulation
(Reuters) - Venezuela's parliament approved tighter regulation of the Internet on Monday in the latest of a package of laws to entrench President Hugo Chavez's socialist "revolution" before a new Assembly is sworn-in next month.

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U.K.: Hermaphrodite dog has sex change to become female
A hermaphrodite dog has had a sex change to become a female after vets realised it was born with organs for both genders.

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Opinion

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Golden State of Denial
Matt Welch
How hosed is California? This hosed: State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Stephen Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of Self-Immolation the California Economy have taken to the L.A. Times to deny that they even have a problem.

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