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Submission + - Congress Investigating $500 Billion Conspiracy Creating Unauthorized Entitlement (forbes.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Forbes reports, "The PPACA authorizes the IRS to issue health-insurance tax credits only to taxpayers who purchase coverage “through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The tax-credit eligibility rules repeat this restriction, without deviation, nine times. The undisputed plain meaning of these rules is that when states decline to establish an Exchange and thereby opt for a federal Exchange — as 34 states accounting for two-thirds of the U.S. population have done — the IRS cannot issue tax credits in those states. Treasury, IRS, and HHS officials simply decided that Congress was wrong, and conspired to disregard the clear restrictions Congress placed on this new entitlement program. In effect, they created a new entitlement program that no Congress ever authorized. The IRS is dispensing those unauthorized subsidies today, which means that two-thirds of the tax credits the IRS is issuing are illegal." This is especially troubling in light of the President's actions in modifying implementation.

Submission + - Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate On February 12: Snowden Was Justified? (intelligencesquaredus.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) debate on February 12th, 5:45 PM CST — "Snowden Was Justified," should be of considerable interest to the Slashdot community. Podcasts and streaming video will be available, and it will be carried on many NPR stations. From the site: "Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA’s surveillance programs. But have his actions—which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files—tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal?"

Arguing For:
Daniel Ellsberg — Fmr. U.S. Military Analyst & Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
Ben Wizner — Legal Adviser to Edward Snowden & Attorney, ACLU

Arguing Against
Andrew C. McCarthy — Fmr. Federal Prosecutor & Contributing Editor, National Review
Ambassador R. James Woolsey — Fmr. Director, CIA & Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Submission + - FCC said to be considering monitoring radio and TV news content (wsj.com) 4

sixoh1 writes: According to an op-ed in today's WSJ (tiered subscription model) by Ajit Pai (current FCC commissioner, nominated by Obama):

Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

Don't rush to the tin-foil hats, but at the same time we're seeing a fight over Net-Neutrality, do we want to see a precedent set that allows the FCC to select favored content?

Comment Re:Open Source? (Score 1) 71

Yes, but I've had more than one person who was "in the know" about specific classified things tell me that Tom Clancy had an uncanny ability to somehow come up with fiction that matched reality too close and too often to be just a coincidence. I think he did a lot of careful research but he was also given information about some things he shouldn't have known as well.

A few facts, some intelligent guesses, and extrapolation from that can sometimes take you a long way.

Inside the Making of 'Dr. Strangelove' @2

Submission + - China And Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since 1949 Civil War Split (washingtonpost.com)

cold fjord writes: The Washington Post reports, "China and Taiwan agreed to establish a formal government-level dialogue for the first time in 65 years, official media reported, after an historic meeting in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. Representatives from both sides smiled and shook hands warmly before ... the first formal talks since the country split in two in 1949, after a civil war. Beijing refuses to formally acknowledge the government in Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province, and previous negotiations on cross-strait relations have been conducted by quasi-official representatives rather than government officials. Taiwan’s minister of mainland affairs, Wang Yu-chi, called the meeting a “new chapter” in relations between the two sides, and "truly a day for the record books," ... China’s representative, Zhang Zhijun, said the two negotiators could “definitely become good friends,” but would need to show imagination to achieve breakthroughs in the future ... The Chinese government keeps around 1,200 missiles pointed at Taiwan ... and Beijing has threatened to attack if the island ever declares formal independence or delays unification indefinitely. With the U.S. government formally committed to defend Taiwan in case of an attack, the issue remains a potential flashpoint."" The Telegraph adds, "The setting for the talks was also symbolic: a hotel in the Chinese city of Nanjing, which was twice the capital of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government before it fled to Taiwan after defeat at the hands of the Communist party. "

Submission + - Tiny Motors Controlled Inside Human Cell (bbc.co.uk)

cold fjord writes: BBC reports, "For the first time, scientists have placed tiny motors inside living human cells and steered them magnetically. The advance represents another step towards molecular machines that can be used, for example, to release drugs into specific locations within the body. There is interest in the approach because it could enhance the benefits of drugs while minimising side effects. The rocket-shaped metal particles were propelled using ultrasound pulses. Materials scientist Prof Tom Mallouk, from Penn State University, and colleagues have published their research in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. "As these nanomotors move around and bump into structures inside the cells, the live cells show internal mechanical responses that no one has seen before," said Prof Mallouk. "This research is a vivid demonstration that it may be possible to use synthetic nanomotors to study cell biology in new ways.""

Comment Re:Cost (Score 1, Troll) 473

The middle class got screwed and they generated the numbers when it came to private flying, hence the massive drop. The top 1% want 99% poor, no middle class because the middle class are the power and the greatest threat to the psychopathic dominance of the 1%, who are conspiring to starve the middle class out of existence and have done so for the last thirty years.

Unfortunately I have other demands on my time at the moment so all I have time for is to throw this out. I might come back to this later.

MICHAEL REAGAN: Ronald Reagan -- More of a Friend to Blacks Than Obama?

African-American columnist Joseph Perkins has studied the effects of Reaganomics on black America. He found that, after the Reagan tax cuts gained traction, African-American unemployment fell from 19.5 percent in 1983 to 11.4 percent in 1989. Black-owned businesses saw income rise from $12.4 billion in 1982 to $18.1 billion in 1987—an annual average growth rate of 7.9 percent. The black middle class expanded by one-third during the Reagan years, from 3.6 million to 4.8 million.

I doubt that is being repeated today.

Your ideas about "the 1%" are pretty much nonsense. A prosperous economy creates more opportunity for everyone.

Comment Re:Slashdot will hate me for saying this. (Score 2) 202

That is an interesting idea. Why don't you look into the news to see if there are any campaigns of terrorism and violence in the world with the aim of establishing an extremist Islamist government with strict Sharia law. That would be putting their words into action. I might have heard a rumbling or two that something like that could be going on. Maybe you'll find something if you look.

Comment Re:How Many More NSA Employees? (Score 1) 227

If you think the US is creating terrorists then you don't understand their motives, at all. You should look into that. Start you search looking for Caliphate and Sharia. You'll find that they want you to live under it too. I doubt you'll like it.

Someone has to bring the unpleasant facts to the discussion. That is often me. Discussing the actual facts is pretty useful.

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