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US: Ron Paul Runs Edgy New Ad in Iowa and New Hampshire

Des Moines, Iowa - Ron Paul's presidential campaign released a comparatively edgy new ad Monday that will air on local and cable networks across Iowa and New Hampshire. The spot touts Paul's call to cut a trillion dollars from federal budget in his first year in office.

Played over a rock track, a man's voice in the 30-second spot asks, "What's up with these sorry politicians? Lots of bark, but when it's showtime, whimpering like little Shih Tzu's. You want big cuts? Ron Paul's been screaming it for years. Budget crisis? No problem. Cut a trillion bucks year one."

It's a far cry from the other campaigns' ads, which have taken more careful, traditional approaches in the early states.

Paul placed second in the latest Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican Iowa caucus goers, and could be poised for a strong showing in the state's Jan. 3 caucus vote.


Comment: This is NOT a campaign endorsement.


Die

When an Adult Took Standardized Tests Forced on Kids

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© Unknown
A longtime friend on the school board of one of the largest school systems in America did something that few public servants are willing to do. He took versions of his state's high-stakes standardized math and reading tests for 10th graders, and said he'd make his scores public.

By any reasonable measure, my friend is a success. His now-grown kids are well-educated. He has a big house in a good part of town. Paid-for condo in the Caribbean. Influential friends. Lots of frequent flyer miles. Enough time of his own to give serious attention to his school board responsibilities. The margins of his electoral wins and his good relationships with administrators and teachers testify to his openness to dialogue and willingness to listen.

He called me the morning he took the test to say he was sure he hadn't done well, but had to wait for the results. A couple of days ago, realizing that local school board members don't seem to be playing much of a role in the current "reform" brouhaha, I asked him what he now thought about the tests he'd taken.

"I won't beat around the bush," he wrote in an email. "The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that's a "D", and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.

Wine

US: FAA head Randy Babbitt placed on leave after drunk driving arrest in Fairfax

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© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Jerome Randolph “Randy” Babbitt
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is on administrative leave after being charged with drunk driving Saturday night by Fairfax City police, according to the Department of Transportation.

FAA Administrator, 65, was arrested after being spotted driving on the wrong side of Old Lee Highway, according to the arresting officer.

Babbitt requested the leave and DOT officials are in discussions with legal counsel about Babbitt's employment status, according to an agency statement. Neither the White House nor the Department of Transportation learned of Babbitt's arrest until Monday afternoon, administration officials said.

Police pulled him over in the 3900 block of Old Lee Highway, about nine miles from his home in Reston at about 10:30 p.m. He was driving alone and cooperated with police, authorities said. Babbitt, 65, was taken to the adult detention center, where he was charged before being released on his own recognizance.

Bacon

US: Dine-and-Dashers Now Targeting Free Hotel Breakfasts

Buffet
© Minyanville
Complimentary, shomplimentary!

In what may be described as the least inspired act of urban foraging or a depressing manifestation of our country's current economic crisis, hungry people are heading to the hotel buffet -- not from their guest rooms, but from off the street. It's happening so often at a Hampton Inn location in Miami, Florida that the front desk staff is being forced patrol the breakfast bar, looking for freeloaders sidling up for bagels and cream cheese alongside paying customers.

While there isn't a written rule for how this particular hotel franchise takes a bite out of the crime, front desk clerk Alfonso Tobenas opts to let the riff raff slide on the first offense. It's not until they go back for seconds and thirds that the suspects are asked for their room number.

"It is what it is, bro, times are tough and they're hungry," Tobenas says. "They're just trying to beat the system and save a buck. The first time you're going to get away with it, the second and third time I'm going to ask you to leave."

Continental hotel breakfast thievery may be much less bang for your proverbial buck than crashing, say, a wedding. But on the plus side, it also saves you the tuxedo rental fee.

However, it's precisely the freeloaders' casual manner of dress -- along with their local accents -- that's giving them away. The way New Yorkers can spot tourists a mile away, so apparently can Tobenas suss out the locals from his vacationing clientele. He even begins to recognize many as regulars on rotation from other area hotel buffets.

So, who are these gastronomical guerillas and why do they do it?

Dollar

US: Mom arrested for trying to sell baby for $7,000

A Miami mom was arrested and charged with trying to sell her 8-month-old son for $7,000, authorities said Monday.

Kenia Quiala Bosque, 30, was arrested Sunday after an investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Authorities say Bosque, of Hialeah, had arranged to meet a Monroe County man in Miami on Saturday to exchange the child for the money.

When the Monroe County Sheriff's Office received a tip about the transaction, the FDLE arranged to have an undercover agent be at the baby handoff.

But after Bosque failed to show up, and fearing for the child's well-being, deputies and agents went to her home and had enough evidence to make an arrest, authorities said.

"We are just so glad we were able to obtain this information in time to intervene before anything could happen to endanger this child," Sheriff Bob Peryam said in a statement.

Bosque was booked into Miami-Dade County jail and was being held on $5,000 bond Monday. It was unknown whether she has an attorney.

Her children were placed in the custody of relatives, authorities said.

Handcuffs

US: Police arrest Occupy protesters in D.C., Portland

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© Unknown
Police cracked down on anti-Wall Street protesters on the East and West Coasts over the weekend, arresting demonstrators in Portland, Oregon and in Washington, D.C.

In Washington, U.S. Park Police arrested more than 20 people in a downtown park Sunday, Occupy DC said, after protesters assembled a wooden structure authorities later declared to be unsafe.

Protesters have been camped for weeks at McPherson Square and began assembling the structure overnight for shelter during the winter, Occupy DC said on its website.

Several climbed on top with a couple of hundred others looking on and chanted, "Give us water, give us food, document what is happening."

Lieutenant Robert Glover of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department told the protesters the structure was unsafe and illegal and police were not forcing protesters from the park.

"We are not looking to push this thing further," he said.

Laptop

Will The Internet Reformation Lead To A Global Political Reformation?

truth
© n/a
It is amazing just how big and influential the 9/11 truth and justice movement has become. The New York Times, ABC, CNN, Time magazine, and other dinosaur media outlets cannot push back the political tsunami of truth and accountability that is heading towards Washington.

The official media organs of the totalitarian state are collapsing left and right. Newspaper circulation is declining across the West which is a highly positive development for freedom and democracy because that means less government propaganda is entering the minds of the people. And TV viewership is declining, too, as more people turn to the Internet for their news and entertainment.

Aaron Barnhart writes in The Kansas City Star that "For first time in 20 years, TV ownership declines." Does that mean TV is dying? No. There are many great television shows and programs that teach, inspire, and entertain. As the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Newton Minow said in his 1961 "vast wasteland" speech:
"When television is good, nothing - not the theater, not the magazines, or newspapers - nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse."

V

US: Occupy Wall Street Begins Hunger Strike

Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have launched a hunger strike to protest eviction from their camps, demanding a new occupation campsite in an unused lot.
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© unknown
Occupy Wall Street protesters say they will be on strike until their demands are met.

Protesters are seeking sanctuary on a vacant lot owned by Trinity Church in New York City, which is located at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, ABC News reported on Saturday.

Occupy protesters in New York were evicted from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan on November 15 after almost two months of camping to protest income inequality and the influence of corporate money in US politics.

Protest organizers say the hunger strike will be continued in jails if demonstrators are arrested.

Play

US: Scott Olsen Angry at People's Rights Being Trampeled Upon

Scott Olsen, 24-year-old former marine, who is now a symbol of Occupy Oakland resistance, answers questions about his motivations to take part in and continued support of Occupy Oakland.

Olsen got his skull fractured by a projectile fired by Oakland police in one of the protest nights last month. He is doing much better now but still has his speech to recover from the traumatic shot to his head.

He expresses his anger at how "Americans' rights continue to be trampled upon by the police."


Stormtrooper

US: D.C., Park Police Dismantle Occupy Shelter, Arrest 31

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© Reuters
Holding out: The final 16 protesters who decided to stay in the shelter which was surrounded by officers
U.S. Park Police and a D.C. police SWAT team clashed Sunday with Occupy D.C. protesters and took down a wooden-frame shelter the Occupiers had brought into McPherson Square and then refused to dismantle.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a Park Police spokesman, said the structure was to be taken down Sunday night. An inspector had viewed it earlier and deemed the shelter not safe.

Sgt. Schlosser said 31 people were arrested Sunday, most for disobeying police orders and crossing a police line. One protester, named David, also was slapped with public indecency and urination charges for allegedly relieving himself from atop the structure. He was the last protester to leave - to cheers from a crowd.

The showdown started before noon when police said organizers would need a permit and that they had an hour to take down the structure, which the protesters set up Saturday night.

Police then arrived on horseback, and the standoff extended into the evening with some protesters still on the roof of the structure as officers using a basket crane, or cherry picker, tried to remove them.