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Take 2

The real story behind the 'Monsanto Protection Act'

Barack Obama's signing of 'The Monsanto Protection Act', or H.R. 933 is really only small part of a much bigger pattern and corruption and collusion between Monsanto and the U.S. government.

Vader

"I need a gun to protect myself from the govt" - Obama mocks gun owner concerns as 'ginned-up fears'

Today in Colorado Obama mocked legitimate 2nd amendment concerns by gun owners:

Bizarro Earth

Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester

© Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post
Ralph V. Boccia of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders runs a cancer clinic that is in danger of losing funding due to the sequester cuts.
Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts.

Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.

Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.

"If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we'd be out of business in six months to a year," said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York. "The drugs we're going to lose money on we're not going to administer right now."

After an emergency meeting Tuesday, Vacirca's clinics decided that they would no longer see one-third of their 16,000 Medicare patients.

"A lot of us are in disbelief that this is happening," he said. "It's a choice between seeing these patients and staying in business."
USA

Obamacare incompetence

© JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
U.S. President Barack Obama at Port Miami on March 29, 2013
Let me try to understand this: the key incentive for small businesses to support Obamacare was that they would be able to shop for the best deals in health care superstores - called exchanges. The Administration has had three years to set up these exchanges. It has failed to do so.

This is a really bad sign. There will be those who argue that it's not the Administration's fault. It's the fault of the 33 states that have refused to set up their own exchanges. Nonsense. Where was the contingency planning? There certainly are models, after all - the federal government's own health-benefits plan (FEHBP) operates markets that exist in all 50 states. So does Medicare Advantage. But now, the Obama Administration has announced that it won't have the exchanges ready in time, that small businesses will be offered one choice for the time being - for a year, at least. No doubt, small-business owners will be skeptical of the Obama Administration's belief in the efficacy of the market system to produce lower prices through competition. That was supposed to be the point of this plan.
Nuke

North Korea approves nuclear strike on United States

North Korea dramatically escalated its warlike rhetoric on Thursday, warning that it had authorised plans for nuclear strikes on targets in the United States.

"The moment of explosion is approaching fast," the North Korean military said, warning that war could break out "today or tomorrow".

Pyongyang's latest pronouncement came as Washington scrambled to reinforce its Pacific missile defences, preparing to send ground-based interceptors to Guam and dispatching two Aegis class destroyers to the region.

Tension was also high on the North's heavily fortified border with South Korea, after Kim Jong-Un's isolated regime barred South Koreans from entering a Seoul-funded joint industrial park on its side of the frontier.

In a statement published by the state KCNA news agency, the Korean People's Army general staff warned Washington that US threats would be "smashed by... cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means".

"The merciless operation of our revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified," the statement said.
Question

Kim Jong-un: Can U.S. trust North Korea leader to act rationally?

© NCNA/Reuters
North Koreans rally in Nampo, North Korea, Wednesday, according to the official North Korean news agency. The rally is reportedly a demonstration of support for victory in a possible war against the United States and South Korea
Kim Jong-un isn't the first North Korean leader to use threats for political gain. But the West doesn't really know what of make of him because of his youth and the uncertainty that shrouds the country.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's saber-rattling rhetoric and threats to restart his nuclear program could be a rational move to garner more in the way of concessions in the world community and much-needed political street-credentials among the populace and troops he commands.

But just how confident can Pentagon officials be about whether Mr. Kim is a rational actor?

Could he, in fact, be young, reckless, without great political savvy and in grave danger of making a move that could set off a chain of events - including an inadvertent war - with dire consequences?

"We've seen some historical trajectory here on where North Korea occasionally will go to try to get the attention of the United States, to try to maneuver us into some position favorably to them, whether it's more assistance or bilateral engagement," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a press conference last week.
Cowboy Hat

Texas officials to take 'whatever precautions' needed after North Korea threat

© Rodong Sinmun, rodong.rep.kp
North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, is seen in what was described as an “operation meeting” where he “examine[d] and ratifie[d]” plans for a “firepower strike.”
In response to perceived threats against the city from the North Korean government, officials in Austin have said they are willing to do whatever federal officials feel may be necessary to protect civilians.

Several images recently appeared in the Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean newspaper run by the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and the most read paper in the nation, under the headline, "Kim Jong Un Convenes Operation Meeting, Finally Examines and Ratifies Plan for Firepower Strike."

Many have been on heightened alert after the North Korean newspaper published the photos on March 29 on the English version of their website.

"After receiving a report from [Lt.] General Kim Rak Gyom on the technical conditions of the strategic strike means of the KPA, he made an important decision," the accompanying article noted. "He said he has judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation."

The report added, "If they make a reckless provocation with huge strategic forces, the KPA should mercilessly strike the U.S. mainland, their stronghold, their military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in south Korea, he said."
Bad Guys

U.S. troops stand 'poised to respond' at North Korea border

© Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo
The United States says it stands "poised to respond" at the border of North and South Korea, where U.S. troops are on high alert.

"They have ratcheted up their bellicose, dangerous rhetoric and some of the actions they've taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger," Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said.

The U.S. is sending a missile battery to Guam and two guided missile destroyers are on the border of South Korea, joining Navy warships already poised to shoot down an incoming missile.

U.S. warplanes, including fighter jets, U-2 spy planes and an A-10 attack jet, are in the South Korean skies today as part of a massive military exercise overseen by the U.S. lieutenant general who brought in F-22 stealth fighters as well. They'd be first into the North if war broke out.
Red Flag

Russia worried by 'explosive' North Korea situation

Russia on Wednesday said it was worried by the "explosive" North Korea situation, saying even a simple human error could cause the crisis to spiral out of control.

"Russia has to be worried as we are talking about an explosive situation in the immediate vicinity of our Far East borders," Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told the Interfax news agency.

Mounting tensions have seen Pyongyang threaten missile and nuclear strikes against the United States and its ally South Korea in response to UN sanctions and joint military drills.
Take 2

Military buildup in China near North Korean border continues as tanks, armored vehicles spotted


Chinese Internet photo of a truck carrying a tank en route to an area near North Korea
China continued moving tanks and armored vehicles and flying flights near North Korea this week as part of a military buildup in the northeastern part of the country that U.S. officials say is related to the crisis with North Korea.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, sought to play down the Chinese military buildup along the border with Beijing's fraternal communist ally despite the growing danger of conflict following unprecedented threats by Pyongyang to attack the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons.

According to U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, both intelligence and Internet reports from the region over the past week revealed the modest military movements in the border region that began in mid-March and are continuing.

The buildup appears linked to North Korea's March 30 announcement that it is in a "state of war" with South Korea after the United Nations imposed a new round of sanctions following the North's Feb. 12 nuclear test and because of ongoing large-scale joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
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