For Breitbart.com, Michelle Moons writes: Going, going, getting out of California. Struggling, unemployed Californians have been leaving for greater opportunity in other states. It has been said, as goes California, so goes the country; however, when it comes to leadership in energy policy and jobs, states like North Dakota are blazing the trail.
“The weather’s not going anywhere,” said former San Diego resident and Navy veteran Ryan Schofield, who left San Diego for plentiful job opportunities in Williston, North Dakota. Schofield also said that in 10 to 20 years he would consider returning to southern California.
“Based on the latest state GDP data, North Dakota and Texas saw the fastest pace of economic growth since the end of the Great Recession–ranking first and second, respectively. California’s economy was the 14th slowest-growing economy during the same time period.”
— Wayne Winegarden
At a time when the oil and gas industry is booming in states like North Dakota and Texas, California, and her cities, are considering moving to ban innovative practices such as fracking. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the new trailer, first unveiled on The Kelly File: Having made the second-highest-grossing political documentary of all time, the team behind 2016: Obama’s America is now, as promised, following up with America. Sending up some fireworks of his own to rival the ones 2016 generated, producer-writer and kind-of host Dinesh D’Souza says of his new docu, “We answer the central moral challenge of America’s critics, which is that America’s greatness is based on theft, plunder and oppression.” Listen for other red-button phrases from interviewees describing the USA as “the new evil empire” and a “predatory colonial power” as well as referring to Mount Rushmore as “a symbol of oppression and genocide to our people.” Director John Sullivan’s film comes out two years after its predecessors — hitting theaters on the Fourth of July…(read more) Deadline.com
For NRO, Andrew Johnson writes: As tensions rise between China and Japan, the latter is growing less and less confident in American diplomatic support in the event of a conflict, according to one Republican congressman who recently visited Japan.
“Those are a bit unprecedented, and it’s because of the uncertainty they feel about America’s commitment to the treaty and to ultimately defend them if and when they were to get into military conflict. I think that’s why the president was asked that same question following later in the week when he visited.”
This Matt Weiner quote is disturbing and deserves more attention. I’m not sure Weiner is use of the term WASP’ is accurate, or relevant, and doubt it successfully communicates what he’s trying to say, but one thing is certain. Matt Weiner is definitely obsessed with Don’s status as a “white man”.
“These men don’t take no for an answer, they build these big businesses, these empires, but really it’s all based on failure, insecurity, and an identity modeled on some abstract ideal of white power. I’ve always said this is a show about becoming white. That’s the definition of success in America—becoming a WASP. A WASP male.’
In The Paris Review‘s storied history, they’ve only done four in-depth interviews on the art of screenwriting: Billy Wilder, John Gregory Dunne, Terry Southern, and now Mad Men‘s Matthew Weiner have all weighed in on the delicate art of writing for the screen. Weiner’s interview was the highlight of the spring 2014 issue, and it’s now online in its entirety. (One of a plethora of Matthew Weiner articles out there: do check out his By the Book column in The New York Times Book Review, too.) Here are some facts and writing advice that we’ve picked up from Mad Men‘s mad genius. Caution: spoilers ahead, I suppose, if you’re Matthew Weiner.
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Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: “Oregon Spirit” by Lisa Loeb (HBO)
“your passion for cuteness may kill your whole state.”
“That has got to be a bitter pill to swallow for the people of Oregon — or it would be if they could get the pill, which they can’t because their sh***y website is broken”
Israeli Parliament & Anti-Defamation League Shame Secretary of State John Kerry for ‘Apartheid’ RemarkPosted: April 28, 2014
Top official blasts: 'Shame on you'...
Right-wing MKs on Monday panned a comment attributed to US Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that if Israel does not sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the near future, it will become “an apartheid state” like South Africa.
Senior Israeli officials, among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, remained mum on the reported comments.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) tole The Times of Israel that not only was Kerry’s prediction false, it could also be applied to Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank far more accurately than to Israel.
“There are many alternatives [to a two-state solution] and there is room to consider them in the future. Today there is not a single Jew in Gaza, not a single Jewish soldier, and we still can see very well that hatred for Israel rules there,” he said.
“I think that the secretary of state saw for himself that it’s impossible to change reality; and the reality is that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas chose to go the way of terror and Hamas. Therefore, any effort to put blame on Israel is wrong and unfair,” Danon added.
According to a recording obtained by the Daily Beast, Kerry made the comments Friday to a meeting of the Trilateral Commission, a nongovernmental organization committed to fostering closer ties between Europe, North America, and Japan.
“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative,” Kerry told the gathering. “Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens — or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state. Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”
Also responding to Kerry’s comparison Monday was Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who wrote on his official Facebook page that “there are some words that must not be uttered.” Read the rest of this entry »
Obama Welcomes 中国和平发展 ‘China’s Peaceful Rise’, Seeks to Placate Chinese Leaders While Boosting Ties with PhilippinesPosted: April 28, 2014
AFP-JIJI – MANILA – From The Japan Times: President Barack Obama said Monday he had no desire to contain or counter China despite clinching a defense pact with the Philippines that will inject U.S. forces close to the volatile South China Sea.
“We welcome China’s peaceful rise*. We have a constructive relationship with China…”
— U.S. President Barack Obama
In the Philippines on the final leg of an Asian tour, Obama directly addressed leaders in Beijing, telling them that maritime territorial disputes needed to be addressed peacefully, not with “intimidation or coercion.”
China’s claims to various islands, reefs and atolls in the South and East China Sea have been a constant theme of Obama’s tour of countries which fear being squeezed by the giant nation’s emergence as a regional superpower.
*China’s peaceful rise (simplified Chinese: 中国和平崛起; traditional Chinese: 中國和平崛起; pinyin: Zhōngguó hépíng juéqǐ) or sometimes referred to as China’s “peaceful development” is an official policy in China under the leadership of Hu Jintao. The term was implemented to rebut against the “China threat theory” As China emerged as a great political, economic and military power, China wanted to ensure other countries that its rise will not be a threat to peace and security. China implements this policy by internally harmonizing China’s society and externally, promoting a peaceful international environment. It seeks to characterize China as a responsible world leader, emphasizes soft power, and vows that China is committed to its own internal issues and improving the welfare of its own people before interfering with world affairs. The term suggests that China seeks to avoid unnecessary international confrontation.
The term proved controversial because the word ‘rise’ could fuel perceptions that China is a threat to the established order, so since 2004 the term China’s peaceful development (simplified Chinese: 中国和平发展; traditional Chinese: 中國和平發展; pinyin: Zhōngguó hépíng fāzhǎn) has been used by the Chinese leadership.
Obama faced a delicate task in Manila as he sought to reassure an ally concerned about an increasingly assertive China, but to avoid worsening tense Sino-U.S. ties by antagonizing leaders in Beijing.
“We welcome China’s peaceful rise. We have a constructive relationship with China,” Obama said at a press conference with Philippine President Benigno Aquino.
“Our goal is not to counter China. Our goal is not to contain China,” Obama said, taking on suspicions in Beijing that his policy of rebalancing power toward the Asia-Pacific was tantamount to encirclement.
The U.S. leader said that Washington did not take a position on the sovereignty of disputed territories variously claimed by China, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam.
But he said that, as an Asia-Pacific nation, the United States was interested in the freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
“As a matter of international law and international norms, we don’t think coercion and intimidation is the way to manage these disputes.”
Obama strongly backed Aquino’s bid to take his country’s territorial disputes with China — including over the Second Thomas Shoal, an outpost in the Spratly Islands — to international arbitration — a step Beijing opposes. Read the rest of this entry »
For Fox News.com, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino writes: Let’s pretend you’re a screenwriter assigned to develop a character to run for Congress in California in 2014. You need a compelling story, so you make him an orphan at 13 – wait, even better his dad leaves the family two weeks before his mother died – and then social services splits up his brothers and sisters leaving him alone in the world.
“…DeMaio’s story is different to because it crosses the line from opposition to outright sabotage.”
Despite those challenges he perseveres, putting himself through a top-tier college and then building and selling two multimillion-dollar companies.
Thus financially secure, he decides to dedicate himself to public service and runs for City Council.
Isn’t his story what the people who fight for equality say they’ve been fighting for?
In his first term he works across party lines and four years after his first election he passes major pension reform that saves the city money and protects the retirement savings of thousand of people.
For good measure, you make him openly gay and in a committed relationship, the first to feature his partner in campaign literature. He’s the perfect candidate to send to Washington, D.C. and, of course, he’s a Democrat, right?
Wrong. The real story proves that truth is stranger and sometimes better than fiction. Your character already exists in Carl DeMaio of San Diego – except that he’s not a Democrat, he’s a (gasp!) Republican.
No one in Hollywood would write this screenplay — unless it was a tragicomedy that ends with the candidate realizing the error of his ways and fleeing to the nurturing embrace of doe-eyed and loving Democrats. Exit weeping.
Isn’t his story what everyone who fights for equality says they’ve been fighting for?
When I talked to DeMaio, he said he doesn’t want to emphasize his sexual orientation or his challenging childhood – he prefers to talk about the fiscal condition of the country and his candidacy to defeat freshman Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat. But because he is who he is, and because his opponents are making an issue about his sexual orientation and lying about his record, he’s willing to talk about it. And he’s disrupting all of the stereotypes. Read the rest of this entry »
Authorities were sent to the 12400 block of Weddington St. (map) after the call came in reporting a shooting at about 10:30 a.m., according to Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department.
There was at least one victim in the incident, according to Herrera.
Three officers could be seen carrying what appeared to be a woman’s body out of the complex and into a carport area just after 11 a.m. The woman was placed on a gurney and into an ambulance.
April 25, 2014 at 16 hours 13 minutes Moscow time successfully re-docked cargo vehicle Progress M-21M at the International Space Station (ISS).
Space station cargo craft completes test of automated rendezvous system
Rendezvous and docking with the station were carried out in automatic mode under control specialists Mission Control Center. During the rendezvous and docking operation audited rendezvous “Course-by” on the vehicle cargo ship Progress M-21M. TGC Progress M-21M docked to the instrument compartment of the service module Zvezda, where he went to the autonomous flight two days ago.
Progress space cargo approaching the docking port of the service module Zvezda on ISS Read the rest of this entry »
For BBC Travel, Lindsey Galloway writes: In many of the world’s top coffee cities, the cafe is more than just a place to get a warm drink – it is also a hub of culture and conversation for locals and visitors alike. And while each city defines its coffee culture in a different way – whether it be by their classic drink style or by the sheer concentration of independently owned coffee houses – these six cities, taken from “best of” lists in publications including Travel and Leisure and the USA Today, have one thing in common: the cities are filled with people who live for the craft of coffee.
Taipei residents are known for being extraordinarily friendly and extremely polite. Since the island was once a Japanese colony, it is not uncommon for shop employees to smile and bow in unison when someone walks through the doors. And nowhere is this friendliness more apparent than in the city’s surprisingly unique cafes. Topo Cafe, in northern Taipei’s Western-style Tianmu neighbourhood, is so offbeat it has a miniature, gold-fish filled river running through the middle of it.
Alistair Chang, an American from the Washington DC area, lived in Taipei for a year, documenting his favourite coffee spots on his blog, Taipei Cafes. He said he especially loves the establishments near the Zhongxiao Dunhua transit station in southern Taipei’s Da’an district. “These cafes are a little bolder,” he explained in an e-mail. “Homey’s Cafe, for example, requires you to walk up two unmarked, sketchy cement stairs to find, while the Barbie Cafe is exactly what the title suggests: completely pink.” Read the rest of this entry »
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigns over the government response to a ferry disaster on April 16. Sarah Toms reports.
Imagine this happening in the US., a high-level government official — the Chief Executive, even — confronting scandal, and resigning in disgrace, with minimal delay. Unthinkable.