The Political Hat's
The Political Hat
News of the Week



Election 2012

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100 tea party leaders to announce support for Newt
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Daily Caller has learned that 100 tea party leaders from 25 states will announce Thursday that they are supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and will form a coalition called Tea Partiers With Newt.

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Perry Drops Out of Presidential Race, Endorses 'Not Perfect' Gingrich

Rick Perry dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday and endorsed rival Newt Gingrich. "Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?" Perry said.

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2012 Iows GOP caucus count unresolved
THE RESULTS: Santorum finished ahead by 34 votes
MISSING DATA: 8 precincts’ numbers will never be certified
PARTY VERDICT: GOP official says, ‘It’s a split decision’

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Hollywood Moguls Stopping Obama Donations Because Of President’s Piracy Stand: “Not Give A Dime Anymore”
Internet sites on their SOPAStrike may be conducting a blackout but Hollywood studios are conducting a boycott. I’ve learned that Hollywood studio chiefs individually and as a group are drawing a line in the sand on the piracy issue with the Obama re-election campaign and refusing to give any more donations.

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Newt Gingrich bitten by the goldbug?

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Communist Connected Arizona State Senator to Run For Congress
First term Phoenix area Arizona State Senator Kyrsten Sinema has thrown her hat in the ring to stand for the US House of Representatives from the newly created 9th Congressional District

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Gingrich's College Records Show a Professor Hatching Big Plans
A year into his first full-time teaching job, Newt Gingrich applied to be college president, submitting with his application a paper titled "Some Projections on West Georgia College's Next Thirty Years."

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to Step Down from Congress
Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will step down from the House this week to focus on he recovery from a gunshot wound to the head, but she vowed in a two-minute video announcement of her decision that she will be back.

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Obama rainmakers enjoy White House invites, appointments and contracts
'Bundlers’ receive special treatment, investigation shows

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Newt Gingrich to Juan Williams: Americans Want Paychecks, Not Foodstamps


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Huntsman to drop out of GOP race
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) will drop out of the Republican presidential primary on Monday and endorse his chief rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), according to a sources in his campaign.

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Occupy Wall Street

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'Occupy Courts' to hit Citizens United

Demonstrators are planning to “occupy” courthouses in cities across the country on Friday, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in a show of protest against the two-year anniversary of the controversial Citizens United ruling.

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Occupy protesters force White House lock-down after Washington DC march

Hundreds of protesters held a rally outside the White House in Washington DC, forcing a temporary lock-down of the building after a smoke bomb was thrown over its fence.

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Creepy Time at Occupy Portland: Meet the “Occubears”
Dateline Portland Oregon, January 18, 2011 - Lock up the kids honey, Occupy Portland is on the move again.  I have been doing Citizen Journalism for about a year and a half  now. 

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Occupy's Financial District protest falls short
All in all, Friday's big Occupy movement attempt to shut down San Francisco's Financial District was a mixed success for the protesters who led it - and something of a relief for those who had feared it.
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Occupy Wall Street Bans Rape Whistleblower From ‘Spokes Council’
Nan Terrie, the anti-rape activist at Occupy Wall Street who has also been active in calling for an audit of the group’s finances, has been officially excluded from future “spoke counsel” meetings for alleged violent behavior. This is ironic, since Ms. Terrie has been vocal about exposing violence and sexual assault in the #Occupy movement.

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Several hundred Occupy protesters rally at Capitol
WASHINGTON (AP) — Several hundred protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement converged on the West Lawn of the Capitol Tuesday to decry the influence of corporate money in politics and voice myriad other grievances.

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DSA Marxists Take Over the Occupy Movement: Plan ‘Spring Offensive’, With Widespread Occupations of State Capitols, Schools and Workplaces

The US’s largest Marxist organization Democratic Socialists of America is moving to infiltrate and direct the Occupy Wall Street Movement into a more organized and socialist focused protest movement.  DSA is working hard to sustain ‘Occupy’ over the winter in readiness for a major “spring offensive” largely directed at Republican controlled state capitols as they struggle to address massive budget problems.

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Occupy Wall Street Stealing From The Poor to Give to Themselves!

It is more common everyday. A man buys a house, the market collapses and suddenly his house is worth less than the mortgage, then he loses his job until, as a single father, he finds himself in foreclosure with no place to raise his two preteen daughters. It’s a case made for the Occupy Wall Street movement to swoop in and right wrongs, right? Maybe not because the OWSers in New York stole this poor guy’s home away from him in order to give it to one of their own members. Confused? Read on.

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'They took my place!' Single dad trying to take back home occupied by OWS
They’re occupying his home.
Occupy Wall Street protesters announced with great fanfare last month that they moved a homeless family into a “foreclosed” Brooklyn home — even though they knew the house belonged to a struggling single father desperately trying to renegotiate his mortgage, The Post has learned.
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Obamacare

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Brains Of 40 Dead Children Removed, Kept In Jars In UK Hospitals
WIMBORNE, England - British mothers upset that their dead children's brains were secretly removed and kept in jars said police are probing 40 cases in just one English county.

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Even More Frightening than Infuriating…
… is this opening paragraph in a report in today’s New York Times
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The Obama administration said Thursday that rate increases sought by a health insurance company were unreasonable, and it ordered the insurer to rescind them or justify its refusal to do so.
What to say?  U.S. Government officials are demanding that private business people “justify” their business decisions.
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"Hide The Decline"

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Boehner: Not the End of Keystone Pipeline Fight

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House asks Hillary to testify on Keystone pipeline
House investigators have asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify before the Energy and Commerce Committee about the denial of the Keystone XL permit. The State Department said it could not determine if the pipeline was in the national interest without further environmental impact studies.

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Canada will look to China to sell its oil
Ottoway (CNN) - In a phone conversation that came as little surprise, President Barack Obama called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday afternoon to explain why he had rejected the Keystone oil sands pipeline project.

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Heavy Metal Politics
Interior bans new uranium mining in Arizona.

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Justice Alito oddly unimpressed with EPA procedures
A month ago, I wrote about the Supreme Court’s decision to take a close look at the EPA and the lack of due process afforded to property owners who run afoul of arcane regulations, regarding wetlands in this specific case.

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Re-Evaluating Germany's Blind Faith in the Sun
The costs of subsidizing solar electricity have exceeded the 100-billion-euro mark in Germany, but poor results are jeopardizing the country's transition to renewable energy. The government is struggling to come up with a new concept to promote the inefficient technology in the future.

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ClimateGate II: Email 4766 – Data? Hide It. Forget It
Tom Nelson is doing an incredible job going through every single email in the most recent batch, and comes up with this doozy from Phil Jones

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Who Is Anti-Science?

As the global climate refuses to obey the global climate models, advocates of the position that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the principal cause of late 20th century warming are attacking skeptics as anti-science. In effect, they are writing that the skeptics are nihilists – denying that scientific knowledge is possible.

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Scientists want climate change in young minds
Teachings to point to human causes
Climate change subscribers say the fight against global warming will require younger soldiers.

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War & Terror

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China Begins to Turn Against Iran
During Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to the Persian Gulf, he struck deals with a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, many of whom are worried by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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St. Louis Will Hold Nation’s First Welcome Home Parade for Iraq Vets

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Iranian Lawmaker Says Obama Proposed Talks
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for direct talks with Iran in a secret letter to the Islamic Republic's supreme leader that also warned Tehran against closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a conservative Iranian lawmaker was quoted as saying Wednesday.

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F-35C in trouble?
Last night, I was chatting with friends who noted that the F-35B STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter had just completed its at-sea quals. The question arose, “What was the last jet that failed its quals?” As far as I know, the F-111B held that honor.
Interestingly, now news is coming out that the “C” model variant of the JSF, intended to operate from the Navy’s big deck carriers, seems to have a little problems. The tailhook isn’t… hooking.

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Supreme Court rejects judge-drawn Texas election maps
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in a Texas political dispute, rejecting judge-drawn election maps favoring minority candidates and Democrats in the 2012 congressional and state legislature elections.

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Federal official in Arizona to plead the fifth and not answer questions on 'furious'
The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico.

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SOPA Activism Moves Republicans More Than Democrats
Yesterday’s SOPA strike was enormously successful, not only raising attention to the issue but moving a tremendous amount of politicians for a one-day event. Over 4.5 million people signed Google’s petition against SOPA. The Wikipedia action gave high-profile attention to the issue as well, and even if Facebook and Twitter’s responses were muted, overall the online community made themselves heard.

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The Day The LOLcats Died - #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song

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Great Stagnation or Great Vacation?
Keynesians have long mocked their critics as people who believe that the Great Depression was really a "Great Vacation."  Charles Murray's new book makes a decent case that working class men have indeed taken a Great Vacation over the last couple of decades.  He approvingly quotes Aguiar and Hurst: between 1985 and 2005...
[M]en who had not completed high school increased their leisure time by eight hours per week, while men who had completed college decreased their leisure time by six hours per week.

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Syracuse May Expel Student for Complaining on Facebook About Community Leader’s Controversial Race Comment
It may seem that a different politician tarnishes his career almost every other week thanks to social media, but rarely do you hear about schools punishing students for opinions made on their personal Facebook pages.

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Jerry Brown longs for the good old days of UC bias against Asian-American students

The San Francisco Chronicle noted Tuesday that Gov. Jerry Brown had joined a challenge to the portion of 1996's Proposition 209 that prevented state universities from using race in college admission decisions, with his lawyers telling the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the provision of state law “imposes unique political burdens on minorities” and violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

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SOPA and PIPA explained


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Funny story: Conservative prof fired for telling joke
When Robert Klein Engler–a conservative professor at Roosevelt University–was fired from his position, he was upset. He was frustrated. And he was completely in the dark.

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SOPA blackout leads co-sponsors to defect
An Internet blackout Wednesday by Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla and thousands of other sites against two anti-piracy bills in Congress has started to have its desired effect: Co-sponsors of the legislation have changed sides and other lawmakers have called for more debate before any vote.

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Warren Buffett serenades Communist Chinese with ukulele


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Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who's Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

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Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse
When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.

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Atheists to File Civil Rights Complaint After Florists Refuse to Deliver to Teen Behind Prayer Mural Ban
Wherever there’s a case in the U.S. involving atheist activism, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is bound to get involved. While it was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that defended teen atheist Jessica Ahlquist in her successful quest to have a prayer mural removed from her Rhode Island public high school,

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'Team Amelia' backs transplant for special needs child
Instead, a doctor and social worker told the Riveras that Amelia, who has a rare genetic disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, would not qualify for a transplant because she is "mentally retarded" and has "brain damage," Chrissy Rivera claimed in a blog post Thursday and in phone interviews.

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First Challenge to Obama "Recess" Appointments Is Filed
This comes in a preexisting lawsuit against some new pro-union rules the NLRB is pushing on six million (really) employers. The plaintiffs are adding a challenge on the grounds that the NLRB has been reduced to only two lawful members, as a result of Obama's three "recess" appointments. The Supreme Court held last year that at least three members of its maximum five are required for the NLRB to operate.

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Che Guevara Now A Pitch Man For Mercedes?
The top act at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week featured Mercedes Benz’ Chairman  Dieter Zetsche peddling his company’s new gadgetry under a huge picture of Che Guevara, who sported the Mercedes logo on his beret. “Viva la Revolucion!” beamed the cheeky Herr Zetsche while unveiling his brilliant ad campaign.

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House Kills SOPA
In a surprise move today, Representative Eric Cantor(R-VA) announced that he will stop all action on SOPA, effectively killing the bill. This move was most likely due to several things.

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Economy & Taxes

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Global Deleveraging - You Are (Not) Here
In most countries, deleveraging is only in its early stages. In a report today, McKinsey notes that total debt to GDP has declined in only three countries since the 2008-09 crisis (US, South Korea, and Australia) as total debt has actually grown in the world's ten largest mature economies (due mainly to rising government debt - Keynesian style?).

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China gets jump on U.S. for Brazil’s oil

Two export pacts a coup for Beijing

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Deutsche Bank Again Under Fire From Internal Whistleblower Accusing Bank Of Fudging Numbers


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Bloated Union Contracts Have Busted State Budgets
Is it possible that the real divide in the United States today is between unions and… everybody else? Consider the issues making headlines: education reform, busted state budgets, the battle to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, free trade agreements, Occupy Wall Street,  the fight to make Indiana a right-to-work state. What these stories have in common is the waning influence of organized labor and the all-out battle by union leaders to hold on.

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Dems propose 'Reasonable Profits Board' to regulate oil company profits

Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a "Reasonable Profits Board" to control gas profits.

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Labor Dispute Cripples One of Globe's Busiest Passageways
A construction project to widen the waterway through which an estimated 5 percent of the globe's trade passes is under suspension due to laborers striking over their pay, published reports indicate.

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Eurozone's 'big bazooka' bail-out fund is left in tatters by S&P downgrade

Plans for a €1 trillion "big bazooka" to stem the debt crisis were crushed on Monday night as Standard & Poor's stripped the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) of its AAA credit rating.

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Age of Austerity?

Lawmakers Proposed $1 Tril In New Spending Last Year
Despite endless talk of spending cuts and fiscal restraint in Washington over the past year, lawmakers continued to act as though the government doesn't spend nearly enough.

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Keystone Pipeline Set to Be Rejected by Obama
The Obama administration is set to reject the long-delayed TransCanada oil sands crude project later Wednesday following opposition from environmentalists.

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Franco-German 'growth' plan looks to EU funds and taxes

A six-point plan drafted by France and Germany has suggested corporate tax "co-ordination," an EU financial transactions tax and the re-deployment of EU funds in troubled countries as ways to spur growth and jobs.

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India Joins Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone, Will Transact With Iran In Rupees
Two weeks ago we wrote a post that should have made it all too clear that while the US and Europe continue to pretend that all is well, and they are, somehow, solvent, Asia has been smelling the coffee.

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China: Get Ready for Turbulence
China’s economic growth has been meteoric. But a tough global environment in 2012 could herald several years of severe economic turbulence in China.

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The European Crack-Up
Greeks aren’t Germans.
A Belgian journalist who interviewed me recently about the European debt crisis asked me whether I believed in the European Project. I replied that I would answer her question—if she would tell me what the European Project actually was. By revealing my doubts, I proved to her that I suffered from the strange kind of mental debility known as Euroskepticism, a condition supposedly compounded of low intelligence and aggressive xenophobia.

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Fitch Says Greece Will Default By March 20 Bond Payment

It's all over but the crying at least as far as Greece is concerned. First, it was S&P's Kraemer telling Bloomberg yesterday the country is finished, now today for dramatic impact, we get Fitch's repeating the doom and gloom, stating that the country will likely default before its March 20 payment.

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€10 Trillion liquidity injection coming?
Credit Suisse Hunkers Down Ahead Of The European Endgame

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Baltic Dry Index Slumps To Lowest Since January 2009
The apparently critical-when-its-going-up-but-ignore-it-when-it-is-falling index of the cost of dry bulk goods transportation has 'crashed' in the last few weeks to its lowest level since January 2009 (back below 1000 according to today's levels).

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10 Of The Best Economics Quotes From Milton Friedman


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Chinese Shopper Shortage Means Trouble Ahead

Look east young shopper: China’s many malls are wide-aisled, well stocked and inexpensive. Oh, and they’re deserted.

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New Obama OMB director a Bain alum

Jeffrey Zients will serve as President Obama's new acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), but the president's decision might undercut attacks on Republican Mitt Romney's career as a venture capitalist, because Zients and Romney are both alumni of Bain & Company.

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S&P downgrades eurozone bail-out fund

Standard & Poor’s on Monday stripped the eurozone’s bail-out fund of its AAA credit rating, potentially constraining its ability to contain the region’s debt crisis and focusing attention on efforts to create a more robust successor.

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International

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Is This The Year That the Dragon Will Roar?
Over the past few months, China’s business and political leaders have had to deal with all manner of protests.

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Employees at Just One Paris Hospital Are Owed 2 Million Vacation Days
Exemplifying a problem created by France's generous vacation and overtime rules the employees of the Hopital Vaugirard in Paris have accumulated 2 million days off, reports NPR's Renée Montagne on Morning Edition.

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David Cameron accuses Argentina of 'colonialism' over Falklands Islands
Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina on Wednesday of "colonialism" over its claim to the Falkland Islands.

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Nigel Farage takes on new #EU President/Führer Martin Schulz

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Let Us Renew Our Praise for Harding
I’ve had occasion here before (“Mister We Could Use a Man Like Warren Harding Again“), more than once in fact, to praise the unjustly underrated legacy of Warren Harding, but don’t miss today’s article in the Washington Post (yes, the Post!) from James Grant, noting how Harding quickly cured the depression of 1920-1921 with precisely the medicine that causes Krugmania Dementia, austerity

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Libyans storm transitional government headquarters
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) - Hundreds of angry Libyans on Saturday stormed the transitional government's headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi, carting off computers, chairs, and desks while the country's interim leader was still holed up in the building.

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Egypt's Islamists win 75 percent of parliament
CAIRO (AP) - Final results on Saturday showed that Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in Egypt's first elections since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak, according to election officials and political groups.

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“Irish homeowners can now legally shoot anyone who enters their property”

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Egypt's next parliament will be led by Islamist
CAIRO — Liberals and Islamists in Egypt announced a temporary agreement Monday on a power-sharing plan that would install a Muslim Brotherhood leader as speaker of the country's newly elected parliament.

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Opinion

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SOPA, Guns, and Freedom
You do not protect honest online content producers from pirates by breaking the internet for the innocent.

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Civilization in Reverse

We, too, can lose our civilization.
In Greek mythology, the prophetess Cassandra was doomed both to tell the truth and to be ignored. Our modern version is a bankrupt Greece that we seem to discount.
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Now who’ll pay NY’s bills?
Wall St.’s woes will slam city

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Adam Carolla: ‘I Dug Ditches’ and ‘Know What It’s Like to Grow Up Poor’
Some readers were only vaguely familiar with radio personality Adam Carolla until The Blaze published what was perhaps the most hard-hitting, profane yet profoundly insightful, tirade on Occupy Wall Street and the self-entitled “participation trophy” generation to come out of 2011.

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Belmont & Fishtown
On diverging classes in the United States.

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A Better Way to Fight the Online Theft of American Ideas and Jobs
By Senator Marco Rubio
In recent weeks, we’ve heard from many Floridians about the anti-Internet piracy bills making their way through Congress. On the Senate side, I have been a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act because I believe it’s important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy, much of it occurring overseas through rogue websites in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs.

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Has Italy Gone Fascist?
In August this year, CLSA’s Russell Napier wrote: “Italy is scary – yields will rise when governments chose to take money from their savers – what Russell calls THE GREAT THEFT - Expect massive capital flight”. 

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So Why Read Anymore?
There is great “truth and beauty” in Homer’s Iliad, but I would not try to make his sale on such platitudes. Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire remains a classic. But I confess it can be hard to get through. Conrad’s Victory or Knut Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil, if authored by writer X this year, would be trashed on Amazon.

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