Sunday, January 1, 2012

Video: 60 Minutes Overtime (01-01-12)

First, see why "60 Minutes" used 14 cameras to film the death-defying rock climb of Alex Honnold; then, a 1978 celebration of fat pride; lastly, a glimpse into the quirky world of Honnold.

Rupert Murdoch joins Twitter, expresses support for Santorum

BREAKING: Rupert Murdoch joins Twitter, expresses support for Santorum | ThinkProgress

Less Service in the Subway? It May Be a ‘Minor Holiday’

It just goes from bad to worse:

Usually, it is not up to the subway system to declare a holiday in New York City.

But straphangers who waited longer for their trains last week may be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

It turns out that the four weekdays after the observed Christmas holiday — along with other ostensibly slow days like the Friday after Thanksgiving — qualified as “minor holidays” this year, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The agency has celebrated by running fewer trains during the morning and evening rush.

The reduced service was part of an experiment by the authority that seeks to address the problem of offering “more service than is required” on a group of weekdays with traditionally low peak-hour ridership. Subway officials say the move saves money.
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2012 Presidential Election Prediction: Barack Obama Wins 51/49

One problem with this prediction. It assumes there will be no major third party candidate. This will be the year we could see a candidate other than a Democrat or Republican has a chance to win the White House:

Continuing my tradition of December election predictions (2007), let me note that I am not listening to any news about the 2012 Presidential election. I believe that Barack Obama will win the general election by a slim margin, e.g., 51/49 percent of the popular vote. Here are my reasons:
  • people are afraid of change and will favor an incumbent if one is available
  • Obama ended the Iraq war
  • Americans know in their hearts that Obama is not responsible for the stagnant economy
The last point is the one that may need elaboration. If the economy isn't growing, wouldn't voters be enthusiastic about replacing the President? My belief is that Americans are smart enough to recognize that one hard-working high-achieving person such as Obama cannot compensate for 313 million Americans who, on average, don't work all that hard and haven't achieved very much. Furthermore, as evidenced by the lack of politicians at all levels who are willing to admit that we can't pay for all of the stuff that we want, Americans aren't in the mood to confront reality.
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Ron Paul: Sexual Harassment Shouldn’t Be Illegal

That'll certainly help his slim chance of becoming President:

    WALLACE: Let me just interrupt, I’m sorry but we have limited time and we want to get to the other two candidates as well. I want to ask you about one other thing that you wrote back in your book in 1987 about sexual harassment in the workplace.

    You wrote this, “Why don’t” — this is about the victims of sexual harassment. “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously, the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem?”

    You said that sexual harassment should not be a violation of someone’s employment rights?

    PAUL: Well, the whole thing is, is you have to get a better definition of sexual harassment. If it’s just because somebody told the joke and somebody was offended, they don’t have a right to go to the federal government and have a policeman to come in and put penalties on those individuals. I mean, they have to say, well, maybe this is not a very good environment, and they have the right to work there or not there.

    But if sexual harassment involves violence as libertarians, we are very opposed to any violence. So, if there is any violence involved, you still don’t need a federal law against harassment. You just need to call the policeman and say there’s been an assault or there’s been attempted rape or something.

    So, you have to separate those two out. But because people are insulted by, you know, rude behavior, I don’t think we should make a federal case out of it. I don’t think we need federal laws to deal with that and people should deal with that at home.
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Rick Santorum Walks Back 2008 Mitt Romney Endorsement

Will Santorum return the favor when Romney becomes the GOP nominee:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who is just barely trailing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the latest Iowa poll, defended his 2008 endorsement of Romney for president on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

The former senator from Pennsylvania has recently criticized Romney in his TV ads for being too liberal, a far cry from the press release he sent out during the 2008 Republican presidential primaries calling Romney the "clear conservative candidate" who will "stand up for the conservative principles we hold dear."

When asked about his old statement endorsing former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, Santorum said he was just gunning for the most conservative candidate that he thought had a chance of stopping the relatively moderate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the time.
Full article

Ranger shot at Mount Rainier National Park

With all these guns out there no one is safe:

A ranger at Mount Rainier National Park was shot this morning. The shooting occurred just before 11 a.m. near the Longmire Ranger Station at the park.Units from the Washington State Patrol and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department are responding to the park and searching for the suspect. "Officer down, information just coming in. Stay out of area suspect armed with a long rifle on foot," the Pierce County Sheriff's Department reported on Twitter around 11:25 this morning.

68 Occupy Protesters Arrested in NYC on New Year's

Starting off the new year where 2011 left-off. This year will be another year of occupying everywhere:

Authorities say dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested as they tore down the barricades surrounding New York City's Zuccotti Park just before midnight on New Year's Eve.

Police say 68 people were arrested during the scuffle. At least one person was accused of assaulting a police officer, who suffered cuts on one hand. Other charges include trespassing, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.

Protester Jason Amadi says he was pepper-sprayed when police tried to prevent the crowd of about 500 demonstrators from taking down the barricades. Amadi says the crowd piled the barricade pieces in the center of the park and stood on top of them, chanting and singing.

Transcript: ABC 'This Week' with Ron Paul (1-1-2012)

Full Transcript. Excerpt below:

TAPPER: Well, I think it's more than eight sentences, but -- but moving on, one of your former close aides recently said that you, quote, "engaged in conspiracy theories, including perhaps the 9/11 attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time." So have you ever expressed in front of anyone...

PAUL: Now, wait, wait, wait, wait. Don't -- don't go any further on that. That's complete nonsense.

TAPPER: It's nonsense?

PAUL: Just stop that.


TAPPER: Not true?

PAUL: Yeah, no. I did not -- I never bought into that stuff. I never talked about it.


PAUL: About the conspiracy of Bush -- of Bush knowing about this? No, no, come on. Come on. Let's be reasonable.


PAUL: That's just off-the-wall. 

Transcript: Face The Nation (1-1-2012)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Happy new year.

Well, the Des Moines Register is out today with a new poll, as we`re just hours away now from the Iowa caucuses. In the top spot, Mitt Romney is at 24 percent, followed closely behind by Congressman Ron Paul at 22 percent, and now former Senator Rick Santorum at 15 percent, and he is closing fast. Rounding out the rest of the field, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Huntsman.

This morning, we are joined by supporters from three of the top candidates, Senator Rand Paul, the son of Ron Paul, he`s in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Romney supporter, former Senator Jim Talent in St. Louis; and former Congressman J.C. Watts, who is the surrogate for Newt Gingrich. He`s in Oklahoma City.

Let`s go first to Senator Paul. Senator Paul, your dad obviously has a shot at winning Iowa now, but the pollsters out there seem to think that Rick Santorum has -- has really caught the momentum, and he`s been closing fast here in the last two days. They say if you measure just the last two days, he`s actually in second place. What do you think happened? I thought your dad was the darling of the evangelical Christian vote, which is such a big vote out there, and a lot of conservatives. What`s happening?

PAUL: Well, I think if you look at it, we`ve had several frontrunners. We`ve had several people surge to the top. And I think this is the best time to be surging to the top. And Ron Paul has surged probably as much as anyone in the last two or three weeks and has been the frontrunner or near being the frontrunner in Iowa. He`s closing the gap in New Hampshire. So I think he`s surging at precisely the right time.

SCHIEFFER: Well, if Rick Santorum does wind up either winning out there or running ahead of your dad, will he be the sort of anybody-but-Romney candidate going into New Hampshire?

PAUL: Well, I think he has a lot of things to overcome. I mean, he was in his last election defeated by over 20 points. He was a big supporter of Arlen Specter against Pat Toomey. He`s really been a big government type of moderate. And a lot of people don`t know that because he hasn`t surged to the top yet so he hasn`t had much scrutiny. When he has the scrutiny, I think he`s going to have some of the same problems that some of the other fair-weather conservatives have had.

Occupy Worldwide 2012: Real Hope for Global Change

The 86 Senators who Voted to Pass NDAA

Why NDAA is bad:

The NDAA will stifle our Constitutional Rights and most probably will pass, and most definitely without the approval of Americans. This is reminiscent of the Patriot Act. Our government is now allowed to spy on their citizens. We are not supposed to fear our government, and now, regardless of any restructuring done in this Act, it’s a step in a very wrong direction. Did any of us believe that detainees held in Gitmo without being charged, some of them most assuredly were  innocent, would not happen to any of us?  As advocates of torture applauded this, most of us knew, this was an infringement upon their rights. If that sounds bleak, it’s meant to because now we’re being threatened with the same scenario.
The List:

Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Rubio (R-FL)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
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US president signs controversial defence bill

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