Happy New Year To Our Extended S&L Family!

Happy New Year To All!

Thanks again to everyone for reading this site, and posting your insightful comments and news tips.

Best wishes for the upcoming year!

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Merry Christmas To Our Extended S&L Family!

Merry Christmas To All!

Thank you for reading this site. And thank you for your comments, news tips and very generous donations.

You really make Sweetness & Light what it is.

Best wishes to all, and have the happiest of holidays!

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The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

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Reader Selected News For Week Dec 21 – Dec 27

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

Posting Guidelines

To make the articles as readable as possible, please:

  • Only post news from established news media outlets.
  • Avoid editorials or opinion pieces unless they are truly newsworthy.
  • Avoid items that most people most likely have seen elsewhere.
  • Post articles that fit under the topic of a recent thread as a comment there.
  • Always spell out the name of the source and post a link to it.
  • Always post less than one quarter of the original article.

Posts of articles that do not follow these guidelines may be edited or deleted.

Thank you.

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Gallup: Record High See Govt As Biggest Threat

From Gallup:

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat

By Jeffrey M. Jones | December 18, 2013

PRINCETON, NJ — Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question.

Wow. Ronald Reagan, who often said ‘government isn’t the solution, but the problem,’ should be proud.

The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time…

Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009… This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act — perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — may be factors.

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FCC Moves To End Televised Sports Black-Outs

From The Hill:

FCC moves to end sports blackouts

By Brendan Sasso | December 18, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to consider a proposal that would end blackout rules for televised sporting events. The rules, first adopted in 1975, prohibit cable and satellite TV providers from offering a sports event if the game is blacked out on local broadcast television stations.

Dropping the rules would have the biggest impact on the NFL, which requires broadcasters to black out games if the local team does not sell out the stadium. The rules were originally intended to encourage fans to buy tickets to see the game live…

Why is the FCC doing this now? Are they trying raise awareness about the brutal savagery that is tackle football?

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FCC To Begin Tracking ‘Obama-Phone’ Usage

From The Hill:

FCC begins tracking ‘Obama Phone’ use

By Brendan Sasso | December 18, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission this week began to compile a database of subscribers to its phone subsidy program. The database is intended to help the commission crack down on waste and fraud in the $1.85 billion program for the poor, called Lifeline.

Better late than never. But doesn’t this put the lie to the argument that this is a privately run operation that the government has nothing to do with?

Mark Wigfield, an FCC spokesman, told The Hill that the agency began collecting data on Monday on Lifeline subscribers in five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma and Washington. The agency plans to expand the database to include information on all subscribers nationwide by the end of March, Wigfield said.

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CA Sent 114K Botched O-Care Eligibility Notices

From an outraged Associated Press:

California health exchange scrambles to fix mailed eligibility notices

December 19, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –  The agency that runs California’s health insurance exchange is scrambling to correct a technical problem that left blank spaces in eligibility notices mailed to nearly 114,000 households, leading to consumer confusion just days ahead of the application deadline.

A Covered California spokeswoman said Wednesday that the botched notices were mailed between Nov. 22 and Dec. 7. They went to people who had signed up under the state’s rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act.

In some cases, the notices said the applicant was eligible for coverage but not eligible for something else that was unspecified, with only a blank space at the end of the sentence.

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30,000 In IL Must Redo Their O-Care Applications

From an unfazed Associated Press:

Thousands in Illinois told to start over on health insurance

December 19, 2013

CHICAGO –  Illinois officials are emailing and calling thousands of people, advising them to start over on their health insurance applications if they believe the federal government mistakenly referred them to Medicaid.

We wonder how many people were ‘mistakenly’ shunted into Medicaid by those ACORN and SEIU navigators? After all, Democrats want people to be as dependent on the government as possible.

The latest wrinkle in the troubled enrollment process for the nation’s new health insurance system was announced Wednesday, just days ahead of a key enrollment deadline.

You see, it’s just a ‘wrinkle.’ Having health insurance isn’t a matter of life or death, after all.

The federal HealthCare.gov website received more than 30,000 applications from Illinoisans who may be eligible for Medicaid, the government health program for the poor.

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Fox: 67% Want O-Care Delayed, 53% Repealed

From Fox News:

Fox News Poll: 67 percent say delay Obamacare, 53 percent would vote to repeal it

By Dana Blanton | December 18, 2013

Americans remain unhappy with the health care law: Majorities say they wish it had never passed, would vote to repeal it if they could, and think implementation should be delayed until the kinks are worked out.  At the same time, a shrinking majority believes the law will survive. That’s according to a year-end Fox News poll released Wednesday.

The number of voters who want implementation of the law delayed continues to grow. The new poll shows 67 percent think it should be postponed a year “until more details are ironed out.” That’s up four percentage points since last month — and up 10 points since October.

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O-Care Implementation Now Longer Than WWII

From National Review:

An Obamacare Milestone

By Ed Haislmaier | December 18, 2013

This week Obamacare passed an unflattering milestone. As of today, the Obama administration has spent longer botching the implementation of Obamacare than the Roosevelt and Truman administrations spent fighting and winning the Second World War.

America’s involvement in World War II began on December 7, 1941, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It ended 1,365 days later on September 2, 1945, with the surrender ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay.

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. Today, December 18, 2013, marks the 1,366th day of post-enactment Obamacare implementation…

So are we going to have to drop a couple of A-Bombs to finish the job?

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NYC Gym Teacher Fired For Being Heterosexual?

From the New York Post:

Lesbian boss fired teacher over ‘traditional family’: suit

By Julia Marsh | December 18, 2013

A married, heterosexual gym teacher at a tony Upper West Side private school was fired because his lesbian supervisor disapproved of his “traditional family status,” the canned teacher claims in a new Manhattan lawsuit.

Gregory Kenney, 50, taught gym at the Trinity School on W. 91st St. for 16 years before he was let go in June 2012.

Note that ‘tony’ uber-liberal private schools on the Upper West Side don’t give out tenure. And they don’t hire unionized teachers.

(Of course, we are so ‘old school’ we can remember back when having gay gym teachers was frowned upon. In fact, we also remember what happened at Penn State.)

Kenney, who lives with his wife and three young children in LI, says he was a well-liked employee at the elite institution that counts Truman Capote, Ivanka Trump and Eric Schneiderman as alumni, until a gay athletic director named Pat Krieger took over in 2009.

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WH Sends Gay Athletes To Russia For Diversity

From The Hill:

White House: Openly gay athletes in Olympics delegation highlight US diversity

By Justin Sink | December 18, 2013

A White House spokesman said Wednesday that the selection of its presidential delegation to the Olympics — which features two openly gay female athletes — was intended to highlight the nation’s diversity… "In the selection of this delegation, we are sending the message that the United States is a diverse place," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Actually, if Obama really wanted to ‘highlight diversity’ he would send along the Duck Dynasty patriarch. But diversity is the last thing the left wants.

By the way, will Obama send some gays to negotiate with the Iranians, to make a similar point?

The delegation includes tennis champion and gay rights activist Billie Jean King and hockey player Caitlin Cahow, both of whom are openly gay.

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Duck Dynasty Star Suspended For Gay Remarks

From the Hollywood Reporter:

‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson on Indefinite Hiatus Following Anti-Gay Remarks

By Lesley Goldberg | December 18, 2013

A&E has placed Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following anti-gay remarks he made in a recent profile in GQ.

"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," A&E said in a statement. "His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

So in this day and age you can be fired for expressing your personal beliefs?

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Coburn Lists $30 Billion Dollars In Gov’t Waste

From the Politico:

Tom Coburn ‘Wastebook’: $125K 3D pizza

By LUCY MCCALMONT | December 17, 2013

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn released his annual “Wastebook” on Tuesday, outlining 100 examples of what he calls egregious federal spending totaling $30 billion. From defense equipment to the downright bizarre, the Oklahoma senator highlights it all in his latest report. He started the reports in 2010.

Note the Politico’s headline. You would never know this is about $30 billion dollars in government waste.

Here is a list of the top 10 most eyebrow-raising expenditures:

1. $125,000 3-D pizza: NASA gave a $124,955 grant to Arjun Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a small company hoping to build a 3-D pizza printer as part of space-exploration mission supplies. However, NASA scientists say the research will take time, and it could be years before the technology becomes feasible.

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