[VIDEO] Tomorrowland Trailer #2

Disney’s Tomorrowland comes to theaters May 22, 2015

 


[PHOTO] Miles Davis, by Anton Corbijn

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Miles Davis autographed pic. Photo by Anton Corbijn


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Liberal Common Cause Demands Clinton Foundation Audit

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Paul Bedard writes: The financial issues plaguing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign have become too much even for liberal groups, and now Common Cause is calling for an independent audit of donations to the Clinton Foundation.PANTSUIT-REPORT

Amid suggestions that foreign governments donated to the foundation in hopes of getting special treatment from President Obama’s State Department when Clinton was his top diplomat, the group on Friday said a “thorough review” is needed….(read more)

Below is their full release:

Common Cause Urges Independent Audit of Donations to Clinton Foundation

Citing concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the influence of hidden overseas donors, Common Cause called on presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Clinton Foundation today to commission an independent and thorough review of all large donations to the foundation and to release the results.

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“As Mrs. Clinton herself observed earlier this week, voluntary disclosure is not enough,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “A report in Thursday’s New York Times indicates that the Clinton Foundation violated an agreement to identify all of its donors. The foundation’s omissions create significant gaps in the information that voters need to make informed decisions at the polls.”

To ensure that the audit is complete, Rapoport said the foundation should enter into a contractual agreement with auditors to open its books fully and to make public the complete report of their review.

And to further guard against potential conflicts of interest, the foundation should stop accepting donations from foreign governments and foreign corporations, he said.

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“There already is too much ‘dark money’ in our elections, in the form of spending by supposedly independent nonprofit groups that are not required to disclose their donors and operate as sort of shadow campaigns,” Rapoport said. “The Clinton Foundation and any other foundations tied to a candidate or his or her family provide one more way for potential donors to gain access and curry favor from candidates — without the public knowing about it. That lack of transparency creates a clear risk of undue influence and conflicts of interest.” Read the rest of this entry »


FYI Orders Spouse-Swap Series ‘The Seven Year Switch’

Originally posted on Deadline:

Sex in a box in front of a studio audience having failed to save American marriages, the TV industry now will attempt to rescue the institution by trying a two-week spouse switch for wedded couples. FYI has greenlighted The Seven Year Switch, an eight-episode series in which married couples “bravely” put their marriage on the line by shacking up with a “new partner” for a couple weeks. Production is underway for the series to premiere this summer.

It’s named after The Seven Year Itch, the 1955 Broadway play-turned-Billy Wilder movie starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. Hopefully that will be lost on most viewers of this series because if they saw it, they’re too old to be FYI’s target audience — or any network’s for that matter.

In today’s announcement, FYI instead focused on the fact that someone at some point decided seven years marks the point in many marriages at which…

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‘The Squeeze’, Harry Barton, 1955

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Harry Barton: The Squeeze, paperback cover, 1955

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3-D Superman

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Happy 25 Years to the Hubble Space Telescope

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Happy 25 years to the Hubble Space Telescope! The largest orbital telescope ever launched was deployed on April 25, 1990, during the mission of STS-31 DiscoveryLaunch occurred the day prior, on 24 April.

Although the telescope’s optics were flawed upon arrival into orbit, Servicing Mission 1 installed corrective lenses that allowed the telescope to return some of the most spectacular imagery ever returned from space.

The telescope is expected to be operational until at least the mid 2020′s.

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Friday: Two-Martini Bunnies

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Cable’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

Originally posted on TIME:

At this time last year, the powerful cable industry seemed to be at the top of its game.

An appeals court, in January 2014, had chucked out the Federal Communications Commission’s latest attempt to establish net neutrality rules, and a month later, in February, the two biggest cable companies in the country, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, announced a massive, $45.2 billion merger.

Meanwhile, the industry’s powerful influence machine, led in part by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, was working overtime in the nation’s capital. In 2013-2014, the industry spent $33 million on lobbying alone—more than it spent in the entire previous decade—and divvied out millions more in campaign contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2013, Comcast alone spent more on lobbying than any other company in the U.S. except Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor that makes the B-2 bomber.

And it wasn’t just money…

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Stolen CentCom Computers Found on eBay

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TAMPA — Patty Ryan reports: The internal theft of five laptop computers from U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base went undetected until a supplier noticed four of them advertised on eBay, according to federal court records.

A CentCom official ordered an inventory, putting it in the hands of a Riverview man who now admits to being the thief.

Scott Duty’s signed federal plea agreement spells out those details and more, in anticipation of a hearing next month in which he is expected to plead guilty to stealing government property.

Duty, a former civilian CentCom employee who is 48, could face up to 10 years in prison.

There’s no evidence of a data breach, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman William Daniels said in February, when Duty was indicted, and again on Tuesday.

The indictment alleged that Duty stole computers worth $5,499. Further investigation showed he also took electronic switches and tablets, the plea agreement states. In all, the devices were worth $28,137. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Child Star Sawyer Sweeten Commits Suicide

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Ben Brumfield reports: Sawyer Sweeten grew up before the eyes of millions as a child star on the endearing family sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Early Thursday he committed suicide, his sister Madylin Sweeten said in a statement.

He was 19.

“We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday. At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love.”

“This morning a terrible family tragedy has occurred,” Madylin Sweeten said in a statement passed on by her manager Dino May.

“We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday. At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love.”

Sweeten, best known for his role Geoffrey Barone, was visiting family in Texas, entertainment industry magazine Hollywood Reporter reported, where he is believed to have shot himself on the front porch.

Sawyer Sweeten was born in May 1995 in Brownwood, Texas. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s Orwellian Language on Drones

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 writes:

There is an eerie Orwellian cost to the Obama administration’s refusal to use the term “War on Terror” to describe its … war on terror. In his briefing after the White House’s admission that two hostages — one American, one Italian — were killed in a U.S. “operation,” press secretary Josh Earnest struggled mightily to avoid the word “war” to describe exactly what the U.S.is up to. Finally he gave in and stated that under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, the nation is “at war” with al Qaeda.

“Why do the words matter? Because the inevitability of civilian casualties, even in the most justified of wars, is accepted both in international law and in the ethics of war.”

Why do the words matter? Because the inevitability of civilian casualties, even in the most justified of wars, is accepted both in international law and in the ethics of war. Civilian casualties are never good. They are a tragedy, a terrible cost that must be avoided whenever possible. But in wars, they happen.

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“The problem the White House faces is its stubborn insistence that its non-war is being fought with precision. Earnest used that very word repeatedly. But it’s hard to take the claim seriously in light of calculations…”

[Read the full text here, at Bloomberg View]

As the philosopher Michael Walzer has pointed out, in the fluidity of minute-to-minute wartime decisions, it’s not possible to act with the sort of precision that might be called for in the classroom. Targeting noncombatants is forbidden. Nevertheless, they always suffer horribly in war. Read the rest of this entry »


Charles C.W. Cooke: ‘Sad to See the Right-Wing New York Times Editorial Board Hyping this Clinton Story for the Koch Brothers’

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[NYTimes.com]


‘These Are the Spellbinding Glasses of the Mad Hypnotist: Don’t Stare Into These Lenses!’

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[VIDEO] ‘G’s Baseball Party': Brilliant Japanese Toyota Ad Swings, Hits Home Run


TOYOTA PRESENTS: Baseball Party!

スーパープレイの連続で街全体を野球場に一変させるスペクタクルムービー!


West Coast Desk: Los Angeles Jury Awards $6.5 Million to Hundreds of Exotic Dancers who Worked at Paradise Showgirls

Leaked photo of the Jury during deliberations

Leaked photo of the Jury during deliberations


China: ‘Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers’

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In China, friends and family of the deceased may have to do without a special form of funeral entertainment: strippers

Primatologisteditor-commen-desk alerted me to this item from WSJ’s Real Time China Report. Hopefully before those Communist Chinese government party-killers crush this unique tradition, we can convince our Hong Kong Bureau Chief to attend one of these events in person? In the meantime, Te-Ping Chen and Josh Chin have it covered:

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“The point of inviting strippers, some of whom performed with snakes, was to attract large crowds to the deceased’s funeral – seen as a harbinger of good fortune in the afterlife. ‘It’s to give them face,’ one villager explained. ‘Otherwise no one would come'”.

Te-Ping Chen and Josh Chin: According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances, which are held with the goal of drawing more mourners.

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Pictures of a funeral in the city of Handan in northern Hebei province last month showed a dancer removing her bra as assembled parents and children watched. They were widely circulated online, prompting much opprobrium. In its Thursday statement, the Ministry of Culture cited “obscene” performances in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, as well as in Handan, and pledged to crack down on such lascivious last rites.

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“This has severely polluted the local cultural life. These troupes only care about money. As for whether it’s legal, or proper, or what effect it has on local customs, they don’t think much about it.”

— China Central Television

In the Handan incident earlier this year, the ministry said, six performers had arrived to offer an erotic dance at the funeral of an elderly resident. Investigators were dispatched and the performance was found to have violated public security regulations, with the person responsible for the performing troupe in question detained administratively for 15 days and fined 70,000 yuan (about $11,300), the statement said. The government condemned such performances for corrupting the social atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Called to Testify Before House Benghazi Committee

AFP PHOTO / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / FILESBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON)— Matthew Daly reports: The chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has called former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to testifyPANTSUIT-REPORT next month, setting up a high-profile showdown over Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while she was secretary of state.

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina says he wants Clinton to testify the week of May 18 and again before June 18. The first hearing would focus on Clinton’s use of private emails; the second on the September 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

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Gowdy’s action comes a day after the GOP-led panel signaled its final report could slip to next year, just months before the presidential election. Clinton is the leading Democratic candidate.

[TIME]


BREAKING: MERGER DEAD: Comcast + Time Warner Cable Mega-Merger Doomed After FCC Issues Dreaded ‘Death Sentence’

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Internet users ‘can breathe sigh of relief’ as FCC calls for lengthy hearing, reportedly scuttling proposed mega-deal between top two US cable companies

The controversial merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable appears to be dead after the top regulator in the United States recommended handing over the deal to a lengthy hearing by an administrative law judge.

“The reason this is essentially a ‘death sentence’ is that it’s a multi-year process.”

The blockbuster combination of the two top cable companies in the US was already threatened by a widely reported decision from the Department of Justice to block the merger on antitrust grounds.

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On Thursday, in the face of a threat from the staff of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)Bloomberg reported that the deal is doomed.

Citing “people with knowledge of the matter”, the business news service said Comcast could decide whether to walk away from its proposed Time Warner Cable takeover as soon as Thursday, with an announcement on Friday.

“Designating the deal for a hearing would make Comcast and Time Warner Cable go through a lengthy evidentiary procedure. That’s a very high hurdle to clear in its own right, and a huge barrier to overcome for a disastrous deal like this one, which has no real public interest benefits to show.”

A spokeswoman for Comcast said the company had no comment on the report of the merger’s dissolution.

The two telecommunications giants proposed to create a single operator that would have controlled up to two-thirds of US internet connections and provided cable television to more that a quarter of the American market.

“The reason this is essentially a ‘death sentence’ is that it’s a multi-year process,” explained Rich Greenfield, an analyst at the research firm BTIG.

An FCC hearing under its rigorous judicial process, he said, “would involve senior Comcast executives taking the stand, and it’s very hard to imagine Comcast fighting a multi-year battle with the government. Even if they won that, it sounds like the Department of Justice is waiting to sue, so then you’d have to go to war with the DoJ.”

Rather than face a lengthy legal battle on two different fronts, the easiest way forward for Comcast appears to be to scuttle the merger entirely.

A reverse termination fee, or breakup fee, is usually a consolation prize for the smaller partner in a merger, paid by the larger partner if such a mega-deal fails – in Comcast’s case, probably about $1.35bn. Time Warner agreed to waive that fee last year.

From the moment the Comcast-Time Warner deal was proposed, critics questioned the possible consumer benefit from a merger that created a company with such a large share across multiple markets.

Others pointed to Comcast’s moves during its most recent huge merger, with NBCUniversal, in particular its record on providing broadband to low-income households in markets like its hometown of Philadelphia, as it had promised to do. Comcast was responding to those charges as recently as Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »


Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch: Here’s the List of Ten GOP Senators Who Voted to Confirm

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National Review Online


INTERNET EMERGENCY

Originally posted on Atomic Flash Deluxe:

fight4future:

Congress is meeting RIGHT NOW to speed ahead with legislation that could lead to Internet censorship. Take action today: https://battleforthenet.com/internetvote

View original


‘The buck never got here’: Josh Earnest walks back Obama’s acceptance of drone strike responsibility

Originally posted on Twitchy:

Earlier today, President Obama said he accepted “full responsibility” for a drone strike that killed an American and an Italian hostage being held in an area near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

At today’s presser, Josh Earnest seemed to back away from Obama’s statement:

Was the acceptance of responsibility good while it lasted?

Baby steps.

View original 217 more words


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