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In-N-Out Burger



In-N-Out Burger

Democratic senators dismiss Obama as 'not relevant'

Weak: Senators in the Democratic Party are shunning President Obama (left) as he dashes from crisis to crisis – including a widely panned Ebola response now being helmed by party operative Ron Klain (on couch)

Democratic senators dismiss Obama as 'not relevant'

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor for MailOnline

Is Obama a 'strong leader?' North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan responded: 'Certainly there are issues that I certainly think ... um, no'

Bill Clinton told a Kentucky crowd not to give a Republican 'a six-year job for a two-year protest' against the sitting president.

The White House is struggling to assert President Barack Obama's relevance as drowning Democrats have had to decide between defending him and throwing him under their campaign buses.

Several liberals in tough re-election fights have opted, Peter-like, to deny him three times before Election Day's cock can crow. 

Mark Begich, Alaska's embattled Senate Democrat, put his finger on what his party's bigger names are grappling with, saying that while he voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012,'that's irrelevant. The president's not relevant. He's gone in two years.'

First choice, Bubba: Former President Bill Clinton (center) became part of Kentucky Senate hopeful Alison Grimes' selfie on Tuesday, before telling Kentuckians not to give Republican Mitch McConnell 6 more years in the Senate because of anger toward a president with 2-years left in office

Asked on the MNSBC 'Morning Joe' program if voters who support Democratic congressional candidates on Nov. 4 will be symbolically backing the president, Wasserman Schultz insisted he's is not an Election Day issue.

'Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and 2008,' she said. 

True enough, but his policies are on the ballot. Just ask Obama himself.

The president ensured his relevance, at least in the cutthroat Senate campaigns that will determine who runs Congress in 2015 and 2016, by insisting during an Oct. 2 speech that his 'policies are on the ballot' in November, 'every single one of them.'

David Axelrod, Obama's longtime political savant, told NBC's program 'Meet the Press' days later that inserting that language 'was a mistake.'

'I wouldn't put that line there,' Axelrod said.

With that one rhetorical flourish near the end of an otherwise uninspiring economic speech at Northwestern University, the president made the elections, in part, about himself.

And with Obama's approval numbers hovering just below 40 per cent – and dipping to a disastrous 33 per cent in Begich's Alaska – that turn doesn't bode well for his party.

 
Donald Trump Blames Obama for NYC Ebola Case, Calls for His Resignation

Donald Trump Blames Obama for NYC Ebola Case, Calls for His Resignation

By Margaret Hartmann

After New York City doctor Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola on Thursday evening, many amateur epidemiologists took to Twitter to condemn the Doctors Without Borders physician who volunteered to care for Ebola patients in Guinea. Meanwhile, Nick Muzin, deputy chief of staff to Senator Ted Cruz, suggested the White House was to blame, tweeting, "Before Obamacare, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S." After much mockery, he called the deleted tweet a "bad joke," but in a Twitter rant Donald Trump suggested Muzin didn't go far enough. "If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!" he declared.

 
Monica's Bombshell

In her own words: Monica Lewinsky, 41, delivered a speech about bullying in the digital age at Forbes' Under 30 Summit in which she also relived the interrogation

Monica's Bombshell

FBI interrogators threatened to throw Monica Lewinsky and her mother in jail if she didn't wear a wire against Clinton

Monica Lewinsky's claims that she was mistreated by FBI agents and lawyers as they tried to make her testify against then-President Bill Clinton have been backed by a never-before-seen government report.

Lewinsky, who attained global notoriety for her affair with Clinton while working as a White House intern in 1998, had long claimed agents tried to bully her into wearing a wire against Clinton after news of her romance with the world's most powerful man blew up.

Her voice cracked as she relived the encounter before a large crowd of millennials at Forbes' Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia on Monday morning during her first public speaking engagement in more than 12 years. 

Claim to fame: Lewinsky, pictured left next to Bill Clinton during her time as a White House intern, became a household name after her affair with the president  was leaked to the press in 1998

She told how the 12-hour interrogation began in the food court of Pentagon City shopping mall, in Washington DC, before moving on to the adjoining Ritz-Carlton Hotel after she was tricked into going there by Linda Tripp - the colleague who had been secretly recording conversations with the young intern. 

Lewinsky, now 41, maintained that the agents and lawyers, working for Kenneth W. Starr's Office of Independent Counsel, mistreated her, even threatening her and her mother with criminal prosecution if she did not bend to their will.

'It was just like you see in the movies,' she said. 'Imagine, one minute I was waiting to meet a friend in the food court and the next I realized she had set me up, as two FBI agents flashed their badges at me.'

'Immediately following, in a nearby hotel room, I was threatened with up to 27 years in jail for denying the affair in an affidavit and other alleged crimes. Twenty-seven years. When you're only 24 yourself, that's a long time. Chillingly, told that my mother, too, might face prosecution if I didn't cooperate and wear a wire. And, in case you didn't know, I did not wear the wire.' 

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The jihadist war at our doorstep

The jihadist war at our doorstep

The Dallas Morning News Editorial

The 9/11 attacks forced a retrenchment in the West when traditional methods of waging war proved inadequate against ill-defined, nonstate terrorist groups abroad who don’t fight by the normal rules. Well, it’s time to retrench again.

The new enemy isn’t plotting big missions from training camps in distant countries like Afghanistan or Syria. He or she may be right here among us, perhaps having attended high school with our children or working down the road. The Islamic State is calling on them to attack anywhere, anytime, by whatever means.

Two attacks this week in Ottawa underscore the changing threat. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot and killed a Canadian soldier at a war memorial Wednesday, then opened fire inside the nearby Parliament building as legislators met. Zehaf-Bibeau was killed in a hail of gunfire. He was a recent, radicalized convert to Islam.

On Monday, Martin Couture-Rouleau, 25, plowed his car into two soldiers walking outside a government building, killing one of them. He also had grown radicalized after converting to Islam last year.

Both are known to have followed Islamic State messages online, possibly including one in September urging attacks on Canadian and other Western "disbelievers." "Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him," it said.

Then there’s the bizarre story of three Denver-area girls — Americans of Somali and Sudanese descent — who skipped high school and flew to Europe last weekend with plans to join the Islamic State.

These are the types who would bring the war front to the West’s doorstep. Tighter borders and police-state tactics won’t keep them out; they’re already here.

Local police and federal intelligence agencies can, however, escalate efforts to divert homegrown jihadists before they strike. Years ago, the federal government established a network of “fusion centers” designed to help law enforcers develop networks of citizen informers. If anyone is better equipped to recognize and report radicals in their midst, it’s the Muslims who socialize and attend mosque with them.

“Most of this intelligence comes from the Muslim community,” Mubin Shaikh, a former jihadist and counterintelligence operative, told CNN. He said a jihadist plot last year to attack passenger trains in Canada was foiled by intelligence supplied by a watchful imam.

The idea isn’t for Muslims to spy on one another or choose between their religion and their country. The vast majority are horrified by Islamic State violence and, we suspect, would gladly work to prevent its spread in North America.

If they recognize radicals in their midst who are distorting Islamic ideals, now’s the time to alert authorities — before they go off the deep end.

 
The World's Wealthiest Terrorists

The World's Wealthiest Terrorists

ISIS has made at least $20 million in ransom this year and millions more in oil revenues.

By Russell Berman

The Islamic State makes about $1 million a day from sales of oil it has seized at war. It has generated $20 million this year alone in ransom. And it has taken untold sums of additional cash at gunpoint in the Syrian and Iraqi towns it controls, and through donations it solicits from sympathizers through social media.

Those are all assessments of the Treasury Department, which is highlighting its expanded efforts to cut off ISIS's funding as part of the broader war against the terrorist group. As explained by David Cohen, the department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, the targeting of ISIS's money stream is both harder and easier than similar efforts against al-Qaeda.

Cohen's detailed account of the department's findings come as the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS continues, and he said there were indications that ongoing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have begun to "hamper its ability" to generate revenue from oil smuggling.

As administration officials have previously acknowledged, the Islamic State is the wealthiest terrorist group it has confronted. That is principally because unlike the syndicate run for years by Osama Bin Laden, it has not operated in the shadows but has seized wide swaths of land, taking control of oil fields, plundered local towns and villages.

"Unlike, for instance, core al-Qaeda, ISIL derives a relatively small share of its funds from deep-pocket donors and thus does not depend principally on moving money across international borders," Cohen said in prepared remarks to the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace in Washington. "Instead, ISIL obtains the vast majority of its revenues through local criminal and terrorist activities."

........................................

While the millions ISIS is amassing is impressive, it is a paltry amount compared to the $2 billion that the Iraqi was spending annually in the provinces where the terrorists are now operating. He noted reports of shortages in ISIS-controlled areas of Mosul, and he said the U.S. would try to exploit the vulnerabilities.

Essentially, the U.S. is betting that ISIS won't be able to keep its fiscal house in order any better than many other nations, and it presumably won't have foreign governments at the ready to bail it out of debt.

"We should not confuse funding with financial strength," Cohen said. "While ISIL today is well-funded, a terrorist group’s overall financial strength turns not just on its income, but also on its expenses and, importantly, the degree to which it can dedicate its resources to violent purposes."

 
American dynasties of the midterms

Bill and Hillary Clinton

American dynasties of the midterms

Gary Younge

The 2014 midterms are rife with political families seeking to sway the races

Contrary to the American ideal of equality and a classless system, the 2014 midterms are rife with political families seeking to use parental clout to sway the races, with the Clintons and Bushes looming above it all.

When asked last year about the prospect of having yet another son run for the White House, former first lady Barbara Bush said she thought it was a bad idea. “There are a lot of great families,” she said. “It’s not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We’ve had enough Bushes.” If Jeb Bush, Barbara’s second son, does run, he might well be up against former first lady Hillary Clinton, making Barack Obama’s tenure an eight-year interlude in an otherwise unbroken 36-year stretch in which either a Bush or a Clinton was on the presidential ticket.

“I think this is a great American country,” Barbara said in a more recent interview. “And if we can’t find more than two or three families to run for high office, that’s silly.”

In that case, these midterm elections are not just silly but quite ridiculous. The US seems to be drawing its political leadership from an increasingly shallow puddle of genes. For the sake of brevity this can be illustrated solely by the Senate races that are considered “in play” this year. The race in Georgia is between Michelle Nunn, whose father used to be a Georgia senator, and David Purdue, whose cousin Sonny Purdue was once Georgia’s governor; Alaska Democratic senator Mark Begich’s father, Nick, was the state’s congressman; Arkansas Democratic senator Mark Pryor’s father David was himself once senator.

It goes on: Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu is the daughter of former New Orleans mayor Moon, and sister of current New Orleans mayor Mitch; Kentucky Democratic senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is the daughter of Jerry Lundergan, former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic party; Colorado Democratic senator Mark Udall is the son of late Arizona congressman Morris, and cousin of current New Mexico senator Tom, who is himself the son of late interior secretary Stewart; Kansas Republican senator Pat Roberts is the son of Charles, who was briefly the chairman of the Republican national committee; North Carolina Democratic senator Kay Hagan is the niece of former Florida senator Lawton Chiles.

George Bush and Laura Bush in 2005.

 It is not unheard of for children to go into the profession of their parents. They know what’s involved; they may well have even been involved; they have literally sat at the feet of the master. Mary Landrieu was out canvassing with her father from the age of five. And though none are walking in maternal footsteps, to the extent that these are political families, one might say they imbibed it with their mother’s milk. But there are only so many isolated incidences one can refer to before it is necessary to start understanding things in terms of a pattern.

Former US President Bill Clinton and US Senator Mary Landrieu in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

And that pattern that runs counter to the dominant American mythology of meritocracy, class fluidity and personal reinvention embedded in the sweet spot of the American dream: the notion that anyone can make it if they try hard and fly right, regardless of their upbringing. This view still holds some currency. A recent Pew poll of 10 advanced economies that asked what people is thought the key to getting ahead in life, Americans were by far the most likely to cite hard work and the second most likely to say having a good education.

The electoral reality, however, suggests a narrow plutocracy in which the privilege of birth outranks ideology, charisma or achievement. And if the trend contradicts the nation’s founding credo it nonetheless confirms its current trajectory in which stagnant wages, increasing college tuition fees and growing inequality is leading many Americans to doubt the nation’s meritocratic credentials.

“In spite of the enduring belief that Americans enjoy greater social mobility than their European counterparts,” argues Joseph Stiglitz in The Price of Inequality, “America is no longer the land of opportunity.” Americans clearly sense this. The same Pew poll illustrates how people’s lived experience has begun to erode the myth, with Americans being the most likely to say that “belonging to a wealthy family” and “knowing the right people” were the most important attributes to getting ahead in life. In another poll 69% of Americans said they agreed with Barbara Bush’s comments.

When the cost of running an election keeps going up, having well connected parents who have wealthy funders and lobbyists on their speed dial becomes crucial. ‘Twas ever thus.

While running for Congress in West Texas in 1978, a young George W Bush attended a training school for Republican candidates. In a class on fundraising he was struck by inspiration. “I’ve got the greatest idea of how to raise money for the campaign,” he told David Dreier, now a California congressman. “Have your mother send a letter to your family’s Christmas card list! I just did, and I got $350,000.”

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Modern Idaho Home With Teton Views

Modern Idaho Home With Teton Views

A house on a barley farm in Squirrel, Idaho stands apart. With a rammed-earth wall, reclaimed materials and lots of glass, it was inspired by the landscape and farm setting, but is far from traditional.

 
Jerry Seib: WHY VOTER ENTHUSIASM IS MAKING DEMOCRATS UNEASY

Jerry Seib: WHY VOTER ENTHUSIASM IS MAKING DEMOCRATS UNEASY
  • As the 2014 midterm election cycle reaches the last stretch, Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Seib explains why voter enthusiasm is making Democrats nervous.

 
Amazon Spends and Grows, but Still Wants for Money

Amazon Spends and Grows, but Still Wants for Money

It happened many weeks ago, but salesmen at a suburban AT&T store here still vividly recall the customer who bought an Amazon Fire phone.

They remember her because they haven’t sold another Fire since.

Professional reviews of the phone were mixed, but the ultimate arbiters — consumers — decisively rejected it. At many companies, such an expensive and high-profile stumble would prompt endless analysis, a deflated stock and perhaps even questions about whether management was up to the task.

But Amazon is not like other companies.

Amazon’s shares have not suffered much, if at all, from the Fire’s failure. Nor is the phone likely to dominate analysts’ questions when Amazon releases its third-quarter earnings Thursday afternoon.

The phone is in the past, and Amazon is above all a story about the future, about the glorious moment when the e-commerce giant will sell everything, whether electronic or digital, to everybody. And so the focus in the earnings report will be on Amazon’s huge investments in trying to make that moment come true.

In this scenario, Amazon will commission TV series and beam them to you to watch on Amazon devices, as you nibble on popcorn delivered by Amazon drones while choosing your next vacation from the Amazon ad network.

Building an Amazon-centric world takes money, lots of it. The company announced over the summer that it would invest $2 billion in India’s fledging e-commerce market. And it paid $1 billion in cash for Twitch, a game-streaming site that did not exist three years ago.

Even with Amazon likely to hit $100 billion a year in revenue in 2015, it is not throwing off all the cash it needs. Last month the company revealed it had taken out a $2 billion line of credit with Bank of America for “working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other corporate purposes.”

Meanwhile, losses are mounting. Three months ago, analysts thought the company would lose 7 cents a share in the third quarter. Then, after Amazon ratcheted down expectations, the estimated loss swelled tenfold, to 74 cents.

It is getting to be a familiar story. The last time Amazon made a profit in the third quarter was in 2011.

Other media companies look at Amazon with a certain wonderment. “My report card is based on profits,” the CBS chief Les Moonves said at a conference last summer. “I think Jeff Bezos has a much easier way of life than I do.”

 
Obama's plans to order 34 MILLION green cards for illegal immigration 'amnesty'

Obama's plans to order 34 MILLION green cards for illegal immigration 'amnesty'

Along with its solicitation for blank green cards and work permits, USCIS published images showing what the finished cards will look like

Congress reacts to orders for millions of new blank work permits and 'green cards' - which authorize illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States.

Members of Congress on the political right are seething over the Obama administration's apparent plan to turn as many as 34 million illegal immigrants into legal U.S. residents, with one lawmaker claiming the president is engaged in 'covert actions to prepare for tens of millions of amnesty cases.'

Rep. Lou Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican,said Thursday that recent reports of a government program to mass-purchase blank 'green cards' and work permits are 'proof that the groundwork is already being laid to grant amnesty post-election to millions upon millions of people who have broken our laws to enter this country.'

'The administration already has exceeded its authority to manipulate our immigration laws, and it is jarring to see the sheer scale of his future plans to do more,' he said.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a draft proposal this month, seeking a vendor to produce the paperwork that authorizes illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States. The White House is preparing to issue an immigration-related executive order after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

'#Not1More': An immigration activist heckled President Barack Obama on Sunday as he spoke during a campaign event for Democratic Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown

'This revelation provides startling confirmation of the crisis facing our Republic,' Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions said in a statement. 

The Alabama Republican accused Obama of 'preparing to issue work authorization and "legal" status to millions of individuals illegally present in the country, in violation of plain statute,' in a bid to 'nullify the immigration laws of the United States and its sovereign people.'

Barletta, the Pennsylvanian, added that U.S. immigration law serves two purposes: 'to protect the safety of Americans, and to protect American jobs. The president’s covert actions to prepare for tens of millions of amnesty cases undermine both of those principles.' 

USCIS spokesman Christopher Bentley told the Associated Press that the proposal was a routine contract offer. 'Solicitations of this nature are frequent practice,' he said, claiming the number of immigration applications can rise 'for any number of any reasons.' 

 
Economic anxiety dominates 2014

Economic anxiety dominates 2014

By BEN WHITE

Alhambra residents vote on Election Day at the Alhambra Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County. | Getty

If Democrat Michelle Nunn is going to defy the odds and win a Senate race in the deep South it’s going to be because of people like Elizabeth Grubbs, a 30-year-old Waffle House waitress and student who feels stuck and anxious in the troubled American economy.

Grubbs says she is inclined to vote for Republican nominee David Perdue. But Nunn’s relentless attacks on Perdue’s record of outsourcing as a corporate executive clearly hit home. “Republicans are supposed to be the party of American business and the economy and all that, but he’s moving jobs overseas. It isn’t right,” Grubbs said this week while nursing a coffee at a sidewalk cafe in this faded Southern city.

So will she vote for Nunn? “I don’t know. Won’t she just be an Obama clone?” Grubbs said, mimicking the barrage of Perdue ads making just that claim. “And I don’t want to hear anything about how the economy is getting oh so much better under this president because it isn’t. It’s still crap.”

That sentiment — a raw anxiety about the state of the economy and President Barack Obama’s leadership — courses beneath the entirety of the 2014 midterm elections in ways that clearly tilt the landscape in favor of the GOP picking up the six seats they need to retake the Senate while adding a handful of House seats. But the fault lines run much deeper than one relatively desultory midterm election campaign and present risks and opportunities to both parties that will shape politics in 2016 and beyond.

In over a dozen interviews in Georgia and neighboring North Carolina, where incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is struggling to hang onto her seat, undecided voters spoke of their disgust with Washington gridlock and their frustration over stagnant wages, limited job prospects and general dismay over the direction of the country.

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The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy

The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy

When the editor’s gorgeous sister-in-law was killed, Bradlee rushed to find her diary. But why was James Jesus Angleton looking for it too?

On October 12, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer, the glamorous sister-in-law of Ben Bradlee and sometime lover of Jack Kennedy, was shot to death while walking along the C & O Canal in Georgetown. And in the hours that followed, the search for Meyer’s scandalous diary would find the future Washington Post editor in a race with one of the Cold War’s most legendary spies.

Bradlee, who died Tuesday at age 93, is rightly lionized as a master journalist. But he was also a key figure in a Washington establishment that arguably no longer exists—the kind of guy who advised presidents even as he reported on them, and counted some of the CIA’s top officers as personal friends.

The day Meyer died, these roles converged. After Bradlee had returned home from identifying Meyer’s body at the city morgue, he and his wife Tony received a call from the Tokyo-based artist and sculptor Anne Truitt. “She had been perhaps Mary’s closest friend,” Bradlee recounts in his memoir, A Good Life, “and after she and Tony had grieved together, she told us that Mary had asked her to take possession of a private diary ‘if anything ever happened to me.’ Anne asked if we had found any such diary, and we told her we hadn’t looked for anything, much less a diary.”

Bradlee and his wife began their search the next morning, only to find that someone else had been tipped off about the diary’s existence. Meyer’s door had been locked, but when Bradlee made his way in, he found James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, standing there in the living room. He, too, was looking for Meyer’s diary.

Asked how he had gotten into the house, Angleton, who was among other things an expert at picking locks, “shuffled his feet.” Angleton was a Washington social figure in his own right, and his wife Cecily had been close with Mary, who had been married to another high-ranking CIA officer. “We felt his presence was odd, to say the least, but took him at his word, and with him we searched Mary’s house thoroughly,” Bradlee wrote. After an exhaustive search, however, no diary was found.

Angleton is one of those people who will always be shrouded in mystery. To his detractors, he was a half-mad paranoiac who nearly destroyed the CIA in his obsessive search for a Soviet mole. He was also an unquestionably brilliant “master of the game” with highbrow literary interests—borrowing a line from T.S. Elliot, he memorably referred to the world of espionage as a “wilderness of mirrors.” He essentially invented the CIA’s counterintelligence operation and, until his fall from grace nearly a decade after Meyer was killed, was perhaps the most powerful man at the Agency.

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Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder

Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder

Billy Joel still lives on Long Island, still rules the Garden.

By Nick Paumgarten

Billy Joel sat smoking a cigarillo on a patio overlooking Oyster Bay. He had chosen the seating area under a trellis in front of the house, his house, a brick Tudor colossus set on a rise on the southeastern tip of a peninsula called Centre Island, on Long Island’s North Shore. It was a brilliant cloudless September afternoon. Beethoven on Sonos, cicadas in the trees, pugs at his feet. Out on the water, an oyster dredge circled the seeding beds while baymen raked clams in the flats. Joel surveyed the rising tide. Sixty-five. Semi-retirement. Weeks of idleness, of puttering around his motorcycle shop and futzing with lobster boats, of books and dogs and meals, were about to give way to a microburst of work. His next concert, his first in more than a month, was scheduled to begin in five hours, at Madison Square Garden, and he appeared to be composing himself.

“Actually, I composed myself a long time ago,” he said. He told a joke that involved Mozart erasing something in a mausoleum; the punch line was “I’m decomposing.” He knocked off an ash. Whenever anyone asks him about his pre-show routine, he says, “I walk from the dressing room to the stage. That’s my routine.” Joel has a knack for delivering his own recycled quips and explanations as though they were fresh, a talent related, one would think, to that of singing well-worn hits with sincere-seeming gusto. He often says that the hardest part isn’t turning it on but turning it off: “One minute, I’m Mussolini, up onstage in front of twenty thousand screaming people. And then, a few minutes later, I’m just another schmuck stuck in traffic on the highway.” It’s true: the transition is abrupt, and it has bedevilled rock stars since the advent of the backbeat. But this schmuck is usually looking down on the highway from an altitude of a thousand feet. He commutes to and from his shows by helicopter.

Joel was wearing a black T-shirt tucked into black jeans, black Vans, and an Indian Motorcycle ball cap. The back of his head, where hair might be, was freshly shorn, and his features, which in dark or obscure moods can appear mottled and knotted, were at rest, projecting benevolent bemusement. To prepare for the flight, he’d put on a necklace of good-luck medallions—pendants of various saints. The atavism of Long Island is peculiar. Though Jewish, and an atheist, he had, as a boy in a predominantly Catholic part of Hicksville, attended Mass, and even tried confession. His mother took him and his sister to Protestant services at a local church; he was baptized there. Still, a girl across the street said he’d grow horns, and a neighborhood kid named Vinny told him, “Yo, Joel, you killed Jesus. I’m gonna beat your ass.” Vinny did, repeatedly. Joel took up boxing to defend himself. The nose still shows it.

There was a rumble in the distance. “That’s my guy,” Joel said. “He’s early.” A helicopter zipped in over the oystermen and landed down by the water, at the hem of a great sloping lawn, where Joel had converted the property’s tennis court to a helipad. He’d recently had to resurface it, after Hurricane Sandy. Joel often attempts to inoculate himself with self-mockery. “Oh, my helipad got flooded,” he says, with the lockjaw of Thurston Howell III.

He got up to go. He has the short, wide, halting gait of an old lineman—two fake hips. He called through the screen door leading to the kitchen: “A-Rod!” A-Rod was his girlfriend, Alexis Roderick, from Northport, a thirty-three-year-old former risk manager at Morgan Stanley. They met five years ago at a restaurant in Huntington, where they’d both gone with friends. He introduced himself, got her number, and, when he was done eating, called her on the phone from across the restaurant and asked if she would give him a ride home. “I always try to go out with North Shore girls,” he likes to say. “They usually have a car.” She drove him back to Centre Island. He asked her if she wanted to hear him play. She said no. He played anyway—Rachmaninoff, on the living-room grand, a move he got from “The Seven Year Itch.” She says, “It was like he couldn’t not be ‘Billy Joel’ at that moment.”

“I may have got a little fresh,” he recalls. She drove off that night, but months later they began seeing each other. She moved in with him, and he persuaded her to quit her job on Wall Street. Joel, who refers to his former wives as Ex 1, Ex 2, and Ex 3, says that he is in no hurry to be married again.

 
Renée Zellweger's new look due to 'happy, healthy lifestyle', not surgery.

Renee Zellweger on 20 October, 2014.

Renée Zellweger's new look due to 'happy, healthy lifestyle', not surgery.

Xan Brooks

The Oscar-winning actor has responded to online speculation that she’s had cosmetic surgery by ascribing her changed looks to an increased feeling of peace.

The Oscar-winning actor Renee Zellweger has brushed aside media reports that she has undergone plastic surgery, suggesting that the claims are “silly” and a “nefarious truth which doesn’t exist.” Instead, the Bridget Jones star attributes her new look to a “happy, healthy” lifestyle.

“I’m glad folks think I look different,” Zellweger told People magazine. “I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” She added: “My friends say I look peaceful. I am healthy.”

Zellweger in Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason (2004).

Zellweger sparked a flurry of media speculation with her appearance at Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood awards earlier this week. “This is not Botox or even surgery,” joked the writer Viv Groskop on Twitter. “It’s a MISSING PERSON ENQUIRY.”

 
Immigration official is mother of Canadian gunman

Gunman: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (allegedly pictured above) has been named as the Muslim convert who shot dead Corporal Nathan Cirillo and opened fire on the Canadian Parliament

Immigration official is mother of Canadian gunman

By Lydia Warren and James Nye for MailOnline and Chris Spargo

  • Quebec-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, recently converted to Islam and had dreams of heading to the Middle East
  • He had his passport seized after being designated a 'high-risk traveler' - despite his mother, Susan Bibeau, being on Canada's immigration board
  • The mother of the Muslim convert who shot dead a Canadian solider outside Parliament on Wednesday has said she is crying for the victims, rather than for her son. In a brief and tear-filled telephone call on Thursday, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's mother Susan Bibeau told the Associated Press she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.

    'Can you ever explain something like this?' she said. 'We are sorry.' 

    Mother: Zehaf-Bibeau's mother Susan, who works for the Immigration and Refuge Board of Canada

    Susan Bibeau, whose son had his passport seized after he was designated a 'high-risk traveler', works as a federal public servant for the Immigrant & Refugee board and lives in Montreal. On Wednesday, her son gunned down 24-year-old single dad Nathan Cirillo as he stood guard by the National War Memorial in Ottawa, before running inside the Parliament and opening fire. 

    Born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall to his federal employee mother and a Libyan businessman father and raised just north of Montreal, the young man lived a quiet childhood of private schools and suburban homes.

    Then, after years of run-ins with the law, he converted to Islam. 

    A criminal court database shows 13 identified Quebec court records dating back to June 2001 in Montreal involving Zehaf-Bibeau.

    He was charged in February 2004 for possession of marijuana and possession of PCP. He pleaded guilty to both charges in December 2004, serving one day in prison for marijuana possession and 60 days for PCP possession.

    He also spent a day in jail in March of 2004 for a parole violation and was again convicted of marijuana possession in 2009.

     
    Did Picasso Try to Steal the Mona Lisa?

    The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in August 1911. How did one of the best-known painters of all time become a prime suspect?

    Did Picasso Try to Steal the Mona Lisa?

    By Nick Mafi

    On August 21, 1911—a humid Monday morning—in Paris, France, a man walked out of the Louvre with a large, 18-pound object consisting of a mischievous smile painted on three slabs of wood, protruding from his jacket. The thief had just made off with the Mona Lisa. Earlier that weekend, the man patiently waited, even sleeping in an art-supply closet of the museum before entering the Salon Carré wing where the painting was on display.

    Knowing the museum was closed to the public on Mondays, the would-be thief waited until no staffers were within the vicinity, allowing the opportunity to finally take the famous painting off the four hooks on which it rested. Within days, from London to São Paulo to New York City, newspapers began running headlines about da Vinci’s missing masterpiece.

    Almost immediately, the Paris-Journal began advertising 50,000 francs for the Mona Lisa’s return, no questions asked, according to John Richardson’s A Life of Picasso. Among the lead suspects, it would emerge, was Pablo Picasso, one of the world’s most famous painters.

     ......................................

    After Picasso moved to Paris in 1900, he surrounded himself with fellow bohemian artists and poets such as Guillaume Apollinaire and Max Jacobs. They called themselves La Banda Picasso, and together the group would push the boundaries not only of traditional art or stylistic experimentation, but of contemporary culture as well.

    In 1907, Picasso was courting his first great love, Fernande Olivier. In a journal entry, quoted in Norman Mailer’s Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man, Fernande explains both the hardships facing the beatnik artists of Montmartre as well as the strong bond of friendship within La Banda Picasso, friendships that would eventually be severed within the next five years. “It’s now six months that I’ve been living here with Pablo. When I arrived, it was very hot in the studio. At present, it’s fearfully cold. I stay in bed, covered up, to avoid being frozen by the cold. There’s no coal, no fire, no money…Max Jacob and Apollinaire come each day. Picasso and Guillaume can laugh through an entire night of suggestions, inventions, songs, games that Max plays with his face. The studio rings with our laughter. Foolishness takes us over and, like children, we encourage each other, mutually, to see who can become the most absurd.”

    Around the time La Banda Picasso was roaming the streets of Montmartre in search of creative inspiration, the Louvre put on display their primitive Iberian sculptures from the 4th or 3rd century BC. Picasso was drawn to these figures for many reasons, not least of all that they originated and were molded from the sacred fires of prehistoric Spain.

    To his close friends, Picasso did not hide his admiration for the Iberian sculptures. One of those who knew of Picasso’s fondness for the art was Géry Pieret. Pieret, a corrupt man from Belgium, was an ancillary member of La Banda Picasso, serving as Apollinaire’s secretary.

     After hearing of Picasso’s affinity for the most recent additions to the museum, Pieret visited the Louvre in March of 1907. Within two days, he had stolen as many Iberian sculptures, eventually presenting them to Picasso as a gift. In turn, the grateful Spanish artist paid the Belgian thief a sum of 50 francs apiece, according to Richardson’s A Life of Picasso.

    Read Article

     
    From a Rwandan Dump to Harvard’s Halls

    Justus Uwayesu, rescued at 9 from the streets of Rwanda, is enrolled as a freshman at Harvard.

    Credit Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times

    From a Rwandan Dump to Harvard’s Halls

    By MICHAEL WINES

    Nine years old and orphaned by genocide, Justus Uwayesu was living in a burned-out car in Rwanda when an encounter with a charity worker led him to Harvard University.

    Nine years old and orphaned by ethnic genocide, he was living in a burned-out car in a Rwandan garbage dump where he scavenged for food and clothes. Daytimes, he was a street beggar. He had not bathed in more than a year.

    When an American charity worker, Clare Effiong, visited the dump one Sunday, other children scattered. Filthy and hungry, Justus Uwayesu stayed put, and she asked him why.

    “I want to go to school,” he replied.

    Well, he got his wish.

    This autumn, Mr. Uwayesu enrolled as a freshman at Harvard University on a full-scholarship, studying math, economics and human rights, and aiming for an advanced science degree. Now about 22 — his birthday is unknown — he could be, in jeans, a sweater and sneakers, just another of the 1,667 first-year students here.

    But of course, he is not. He is an example of the potential buried even in humanity’s most hopeless haunts, and a sobering reminder of how seldom it is mined.

     
    Axe: Obama 'negligent' on symbolism

    Axe: Obama 'negligent' on symbolism

    By JONATHAN TOPAZ

    David Axelrod is pictured. | AP Photo

    Former senior White House adviser David Axelrod in a Thursday report said President Barack Obama is sometimes “negligent” in the more symbolic elements of the presidency.

    The longtime Obama ally, in a Bloomberg Businessweek story about the president’s crisis management leadership style, said Obama doesn’t always embrace the more theatrical parts of being president.

    “There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists,” Axelrod said. “Sometimes he can be negligent in the symbolism.”

    His comments echo a familiar Beltway criticism of the president, who has received both praise and flak for his calm demeanor and deliberate response in the face of crisis.

    Axelrod still largely defended Obama against criticism of his leadership style, arguing that the White House had an effective response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and praising his authorization of the 2011 mission to kill Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

    Earlier this month, Axelrod also questioned the president for throwing himself into the midterm elections, saying it was a “mistake” for Obama to say that the policies he supports will be on the ballot in November. Republicans have seized on that line during the midterm election campaign to tie congressional Democratic candidates to an unpopular president.

    “I wouldn’t put that line there,” Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

     
    Canadian Leader Says Capital Shootings Terror-Related

    Canadian Leader Says Capital Shootings Terror-Related.

    A gunman fatally shot a Canadian soldier before being killed in a shootout in the Canadian Parliament building.

     
    Newspaper Ad Revenue Fell $40 Billion in a Decade

    Newspaper Ad Revenue Fell $40 Billion in a Decade

    Bourree Lam

    A new report fills in the details on a now familiar story: Printed news just isn't the business it used to be.

    The fact of the decline of the newspaper business is not news. But a recent essay from the Brookings Institution contains some specific numbers that make clear just how bad things have gotten: In just more than a decade, from 2000 to 2013, advertising revenue for America's newspaper fell from $63.5 billion to $23 billion.

    The report's author, Washington Post veteran Robert Kaiser, says that the advertising money pie is being chipped away by Google and Facebook, who are able to sort and target audiences in a way newspapers can't. He also predicts that ad revenue will plummet further, as advertisers are partly contributing to print out of habit. Add Craigslist, which has largely replaced once-lucrative classified ads, to that equation for even less revenue for the papers.

    2013 was the second year that Google crossed the $50 billion line in annual revenue, with advertising driving most of those earnings. Dollars spent on mobile advertising is forecasted to swell to nearly $18 billion this year, driven by Facebook and Google.

    In the face of dwindling profits, the industry is shrinking. There's the recent news of plans to cut 100 jobs at The New York Times newsroom. The number of newspaper employees in America has gone from 59,000 in 1989 to 36,000 in 2012. And according to the Newspaper Association of America, the number of daily newspapers has gone from more than 1,800 in 1940 to 1,382 in 2011.

    Read Article

     
    How Big Is the Canadian Terrorists’ Network?

    top-box

    How Big Is the Canadian Terrorists’ Network?

     

    Canadian officials were quick to finger ISIS in this week’s attacks on government targets. But it’s still not clear whether or not the killers were part of a larger jihadist web.

    Terrorists have twice attacked Canadian government targets this week, with a shooting Wednesday at the country’s parliament in Ottawa. Now Canadian and American authorities are trying to learn whether the killers acted alone or were part of a larger extremist network.

    The mayhem caused by alleged Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau occurred just two days after another man, Martin Rouleau-Couture, struck two Canadian soldiers with a car in Quebec—killing one and wounding another.

    Full details on Zehaf-Bibeau are still emerging. But he appears to have been a 32-year-old native of Quebec with a history of legal troubles that predate his radicalization. Canadian journalist Domenic Fazioli reported that Zehaf-Bibeau had been arrested a total of five times for drug possession and parole violations.

    Former Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, who once oversaw Canadian security agencies in cabinet as a member of the ruling Conservative government, said he had independent information that suggested the two suspects visited the same jihadist web forums.

    “It is likely there is a digital trail that suggests they accessed some of the same Internet chat rooms and websites,” he told The Daily Beast. “It appears the [Parliament Hill shooter] was using some of the same networks as the killer [from earlier this week], who killed an army officer… And it was interesting that ISIS apparently, or a source identifying themselves as ISIS, had a photo out of this guy in pretty short order.”

     
    The GOP's 2016 tech deficit

    Reporters use laptop computers, iPads and ink and paper. | Getty

    The GOP's 2016 tech deficit

    By DARREN SAMUELSOHN

    Here’s an early reality check for Republican White House hopefuls: The party doesn’t have enough tech experts to staff up a wide-open primary campaign.

    What the aspiring GOP candidates will need to mount a modern-day tech race are campaign veterans with a wide range of seasoned digital skill sets — for fighting TV admen over budgets, writing fundraising email copy that doesn’t go straight to the trash bin and in using data the right way to find potential donors and voters.

    But that kind of tech savvy doesn’t just get made in a Harvard dorm room. It comes from live-fire experience in the latest election cycles.

    So while Democrats contemplate a small field where much of President Barack Obama’s vaunted campaign tech capacity transfers to Hillary Clinton, the GOP is facing a different dilemma. The tech experts it does have are likely to be scattered into a dozen or more campaigns.

     
    The Best Time to Buy an Airline Ticket

    The Best Time to Buy an Airline Ticket

    New data shows exactly what the best day to buy an airline ticket is. WSJ's Scott McCartney reveals the details on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.

     
    Little girls drop F-bombs in profane feminist ad

    A T-shirt company has issued a controversial feminist ad featuring several little girls as young as 6 dressed up in princess costumes and delivering an expletive-filled rant on the woes of the modern woman. (YouTube/FCKH8)

    Little girls drop F-bombs in profane feminist ad

    By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times

    A T-shirt company has issued a controversial feminist ad featuring several little girls as young as 6 dressed up in princess costumes and delivering an expletive-filled rant on the woes of the modern woman.

    In the “F-Bombs for Feminism” video, little girls drop the F-word over and over again while “educating adults on sexism,” the company FCKH8 says in the description.

     
    UC leaders consider limiting out-of-state enrollment

    Janet Napolitano

    UC leaders consider limiting out-of-state enrollment

    The University of California is beginning to have second thoughts about its highly successful effort to bring more out-of-state students onto its campuses.

    In a bid to boost revenue, the system five years ago began to aggressively recruit students from other parts of the country and from around the world. The significantly higher fees those students paid brought in about $400 million extra last year. But the effort stirred a backlash from California parents, who suspected that their children's admissions chances were being hurt.

    UC officials have taken great pains to argue that qualified California students were not losing slots to those from New York or China. But the complaints from parents and state legislators recently prompted UC President Janet Napolitano and other system leaders to consider putting limits on out-of-state enrollment.

    Any such retrenchment faces its own set of complications.

    In 2009, a year into the recession that badly hurt higher education funding, a commission on the future of the University of California recommended recruiting outside students whose tuition — triple what state residents pay — would help offset cuts in tax revenue.

    UC administrators not only heeded that advice, but they far exceeded expectations.

    An unprecedented 20% of this year's freshman class across the system's nine undergraduate campuses are from outside California. That’s up from 6% in 2009 and 5.3% in 2004. At UCLA and UC Berkeley, that enrollment figure is about 30% of freshmen.

    University officials insist that the growth in nonresidents has been accomplished mainly by increasing sizes of the incoming freshman classes. And they note that top public universities in other states enroll much higher percentages of nonresidents than UC does. But families of top-tier California high schoolers turned away from their first-choice campuses have their doubts. As do state lawmakers.

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    Obama and the End of Greatness

    Obama and the End of Greatness

    By Jeff Shesol

    In March of 1977, several weeks into the Carter Administration, “Saturday Night Live” featured a skit called “Ask President Carter.” The premise was a radio program, hosted by Walter Cronkite (Bill Murray), on which callers brought their problems to President Carter (Dan Aykroyd). After walking a postal worker through a highly technical repair to her letter-sorting machine (“There’s a three-digit setting there, where the post and the armature meet”), the President expertly talks a man down from an acid trip. “You did some orange sunshine, Peter,” Carter tells him. “Just remember you’re a living organism on this planet, and you’re very safe.… Relax, stay inside, and listen to some music, O.K.? Do you have any Allman Brothers?”

    The real Carter, it turned out, wasn’t much like this—letter-sorting machines, maybe, but never the Allman Brothers. What the skit captures is the suspension of disbelief at the start of most Presidencies—that moment when a good number of Americans are able to convince themselves that we might be in the presence of a great man, and that his greatness will be manifest. That this is the man who has the answers. When it becomes clear that he doesn’t, we never quite forgive him for it.

    This is where we stand right now with President Obama.

    There are two years left in his tenure, but we are already in the process of writing him off. The Atlantic is calling him “our passé President”; at a rally in Maryland on Sunday, while Obama delivered a campaign speech, dozens of people drifted out of the auditorium. Yet he is still, of course, our President, and we still, on some level, expect heroics. Deep down, we don’t want Obama to appoint an “Ebola czar.” We want him to march into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, set some new protocols, and put this unpleasant business behind us. Instead, to quell our Ebola freak-out, Obama “hugged and kissed … a couple of the nurses” at a hospital in Atlanta, which, really, is an assignment Joe Biden could have taken.

    We are a long way from the ideal Presidency—the kind on display for fourteen hours in “The Roosevelts,” Ken Burns’s new documentary, which aired last month on PBS. Granted, any President—Warren Harding, Millard Fillmore—given the Burns treatment would emerge a monument, but the greatness of Franklin Roosevelt (and, to a lesser extent, his cousin Theodore) is beyond serious question. “Who else among his twelve successors can compete?” asks Aaron David Miller in “The End of Greatness,” a thoughtful new book on Presidential performance. “In almost every category—including longevity, impact, wartime leadership, media mastery, durability of coalition, ensuring party control—F.D.R. seems to have cornered the market.”

    By Miller’s reckoning—and he is hardly alone here—F.D.R. is the last “undeniably great president” this country has seen. “Our challenges today,” he argues, “are varied and diffused, our politics too broken and dysfunctional and unforgiving to be resolved by a single or a series of heroic presidential actions.” Though Miller thinks “acts of greatness in the presidency are still possible,” he insists that “we cannot have another giant”—and “seldom need one” at this stage in our national development. It is time, he concludes, for America to “get over the greatness thing” and “come to terms with the limits of a president’s capacity to fix things.”

    The current President would most likely agree. Despite the grand hopes and hype of the 2008 campaign, this tempering of ambitions, this recognition—and acceptance—of the constraints on Presidential power has been a leitmotif of the Obama Presidency.

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    Texas to pay athletes $10,000 apiece under new rules, AD says

    Texas to pay athletes $10,000 apiece under new rules, AD says

    MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER

    The money will cover college expenses that aren’t covered by a traditional full scholarship and give each player $5,000 in return for the right to use players' images.

    The University of Texas will spend nearly $6 million a year to comply with a string of recent legal rulings requiring colleges to be more generous to their scholarship athletes.

    That won’t break the bank, Athletic Director Steve Patterson said Tuesday at a forum on the fast-changing business of college sports. But even rich programs like UT’s will be forced to make tough choices in the future if momentum in the courts continues to push colleges to treat their players like employees or semi-pros, he said.

    Chris Plonsky, director for women’s sports at Texas, said the school already employs 350 workers to coach and care for the students who play in Austin. The money for all of those jobs, she said, comes from just two sports, football and men’s basketball.

    “If we begin to [further] remunerate the participants, that’s going to break that model,” Plonsky said.

    Patterson said UT won’t have problems paying the extra $6 million to its players. That money will break down to about $10,000 for each player. The money will cover college expenses that aren’t covered by a traditional full scholarship and give each player $5,000 in compensation for the university’s use of his image.

    Colleges will soon be asked to do even more, and they ought to prepare for that, some on the panels argued. Former U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen of Maryland said colleges should brace for profound challenges to their business models in the near future.

    “We’re in for a period of dynamic change,” said McMillen, an All-America basketball player for the University of Maryland who also played for the United States in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. “The system has to change. The money needs to be handled differently.”

     
    Evidence of a Struggle With Michael Brown

    Evidence of a Struggle With Michael Brown

     Dashiell Bennett

    A leaked autopsy report supports claims of a fight inside officer Darren Wilson's car.

    A new report on Michael Brown's official autopsy results appears to support Officer Darren Wilson's version of the events on August 9, according to two medical experts.

    The new analysis of the autopsy results was released on Wednesday by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which asked two independent experts who were not involved in the investigation—one of them, the St. Louis County Medical examiner—to review the available evidence.

    Their report says that Brown was shot in the hand at very close range and his blood and other tissue were found both inside and outside the car. Wilson has reportedly told investigators that he fought with Brown inside his police SUV and that Brown attempted to take his gun.

    St. Louis medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham told the paper that the autopsy "does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.” The other expert, forensic pathologist Judy Melinek, went even further, saying that the wound on Brown's hand "supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun" and adding that another shot, which went through Brown's forearm, means Brown could not have facing Wilson with his hands up when he was shot, an apparent contradiction of the now iconic "hands up, don't shoot" posture adopted by protesters in Ferguson.

    The official county autopsy and the private autopsies conducted on behalf of the families do not disagree on the number or wounds or their location. For example, both reports say that a shot to the top of Brown's head was likely fatal, but witnesses do not agree on whether he charging toward Wilson or was already on his way to the ground when he was hit. (A second story published in the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday says Wilson claims Brown kept charging him.)

    This interpretation of the report seems to coincide with other reports about Wilson's statements to investigators and his testimony before the grand jury, which was recounted in The New York Times last Friday. The feeling among many observers of the case, including The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery, and The Root's Eric Guster, is that these recent leaks are meant to prime the public for an inevitable result: a grand jury investigation that ends with no charges being filed against Wilson.

    Police officers are generally given the right to respond with lethal force once they feel their life is in danger, and the Times added the federal officials think a civil rights charge against Wilson is also unlikely, given the high standards needed to file one. No matter the reason, the leaks are bound to raise tension in Ferguson once again, which continues to see protests more than 70 days since Brown's shooting.

     
    Massive UNC academic scandal for student-athletes

    Massive UNC academic scandal for student-athletes

    Wainstein probe implicates over 3,000 students in University of North Carolina academic scandal

    As a University of North Carolina “shadow curriculum” lasting almost 20 years neared its end in November 2009, two counselors who advise student-athletes on academics gave a presentation to the football coaching staff.

    In that presentation, detailed in a report released today after an eight-month investigation led by attorney and former Department of Justice official Kenneth Wainstein, a slide appeared on a screen, indicating what might change because of the retirement in 2009 of a sole secretary in a sole department.

    That secretary, the slide indicated, had used her wide leeway in the African and Afro-American Studies Curriculum to forge a scheme for students in general but for student-athletes in high percentages, which had enabled the students to shore up grade-point averages and, in some cases, maintain athletic eligibility.

    The slide noted that counselors from the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes (ASPSA) had put athletes in “classes that met degree requirements in which:

    - They didn’t go to class

    - They didn’t take notes or have to stay awake

    - They didn’t have to meet with professors

    - They didn’t have to pay attention or necessarily engage with the material.”

    In closing, the slide warned in capital letters that because of the secretary’s retirement, “THESE NO LONGER EXIST,” indicating that an effective mechanism for keeping players academically eligible would subside. The North Carolina head football coach at the time, Butch Davis, denied in Wainstein’s report that he could remember the slide.

    The new report, the third backed by the University of North Carolina ever since a cloud of possible academic fraud started forming in 2011 and has continued largely through the reporting of the Raleigh News & Observer, addresses a scandal during which Davis was fired in summer 2011, former basketball star Rashad McCants told ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” about a trail of “paper courses” that had not educated him and alleged that head coach Roy Williams had offered to help him “swap” one course for another, and 11 former basketball players and Williams publicly had rebutted McCants’ claims. North Carolina’s revered men’s basketball program won NCAA titles in 2005 (with McCants) and 2009.

    Read Article

     
    David Carr: Ben Bradlee’s Charmed, Charming Life

    Ben Bradlee’s Charmed, Charming Life

    Civilians, normal people who don’t think the toppling of a sitting American president with newspaper articles is one of humankind’s lasting achievements, will read encomiums to Ben Bradlee like this one and wonder: What’s the big deal?

    After all, he didn’t report the Watergate story for his Washington Post, he picked the reporters. He didn’t write the articles, he edited them. But journalists are people who will go where they are pointed, and Mr. Bradlee generally pointed to important, consequential things. People who worked for him would go through walls to bring back those stories, some of which revealed the true course of American history and some of which actually altered it.

    The newspaper business can be a grand endeavor, but most of the people who commit journalism would never be mistaken for larger than life. Journalists are bystanders who chronicle the exploits of people who actually do things.

    But Ben Bradlee did things. He went to war, loved early and often, befriended and took on presidents, swore like a sailor, and partied like a movie star. Now that he is gone — he died Tuesday at the age of 93 at his home in Georgetown — it is tough to imagine a newspaperman ever playing the kind of outsize role that he once did in Washington. Newspapers, and people’s regard for them, have shrunk since he ran The Post.

    He took over an also-ran newspaper and turned it into a battleship like the one on which he served in World War II. Once the newspaper he ran gained steam, there was only the relentless effort to beat the competition, to find and woo talent, to afflict those that The Post deemed worthy.

    In the more than quarter-century he helped lead the newsroom, from 1965 to 1991, he doubled its staff and circulation, and multiplied its ambitions. He would have been a terrible newspaperman in the current context — buyouts, reduced print schedules, timidity about offending advertisers — but he was a perfect one for his time.

    “I had a good seat,” he said to Alicia C. Shepard in a 1995 interview with The American Journalism Review. “I came along at the right time with the right job and I didn’t screw it up.”

    Mr. Bradlee had the attention span of a gnat — stories of him walking away from a conversation he ceased to find interesting were common — but he was completely hypnotized by the chase of a good story.

    ............................

    By some estimations, including his own, his most enduring accomplishment had nothing to do with the Pentagon Papers or Watergate. After he became editor of the Post, he watched with envy as The New York Herald Tribune and magazines like Esquire and Playboy were using a different vocabulary, a so-called New Journalism, to expand the ways in which stories were told.

    In 1969, he conjured Style, a hip, cheeky section of the newspaper that reflected the tumult of the times in a city where fashion and discourse were rived with a maddening sameness. The effect on the business was profound, as if Chuck Berry had walked into a Glenn Miller show and started playing guitar. He expanded the vernacular of newspapering, enabling real, actual writers to shake off the shackles of the hack and generate daily discourse that made people laugh, spill their coffee or throw The Post down in disgust.

    He had nothing of the commoner about him, hosting and grilling much of the world’s elite at the Georgetown home he shared with Sally Quinn, a Post party reporter who became his third wife. But although he grew up in Boston, not even knowing anyone who was black, he managed to make a credible newspaper in a majority-black city. His efforts to cover the black community in deeper ways led to the returned Pulitzer Prize in the Janet Cooke affair, a big dent in a very shiny run.

    Mr. Bradlee could be almost cartoonishly ambitious. Asked by Katharine Graham, the Post’s publisher, about his interest in the top job at the paper, he immediately replied that he would “give his left one” for the opportunity. He probably would have gotten along fine on the remaining testosterone.

    A player of favorites and an admirer of bravado, he famously vetoed the hiring of a reporter who had already been vetted and all but hired, because “nothing clanks when he walks.”

    Ben Bradlee clanked when he walked.

     
    CDC enacts 21-day Ebola monitoring for all travelers from West Africa

    U.S. Coast Guard Health Technician Nathan Wallenmeyer (left) and Customs and Border Protection supervisor Sam Ko conduct prescreening measures on a passenger arriving from Sierra Leone at O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 5 in Chicago. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention said Wednesday that 21-day Ebola monitoring will now be required for all travelers from West Africa, including visitors and returning Americans.

    CDC enacts 21-day Ebola monitoring for all travelers from West Africa

     The Associated Press

    CDC Director Tom Frieden said the program will begin Monday in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia and cover visitors as well as aid workers, journalists and other Americans.

    U.S. health officials are significantly expanding the breath of vigilance for Ebola, saying that all travellers who come into America from Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for symptoms of illness for 21 days.

    The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the program will begin Monday and cover visitors as well as aid workers, journalists and other Americans returning from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.

    The program will start in six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia.

    CDC Director Tom Frieden says state and local health officials will check daily for fever or other Ebola symptoms.

    Passengers will get kits to help them track their temperature and will be told to inform health officials daily of their status.

     
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