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“Gun owners won’t be forgotten in debate, Obama says”


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Washington (CNN) – His upcoming legislative push for tighter restrictions on firearms won’t ignore the concerns of gun owners, President Barack Obama said in a wide-ranging interview published Sunday.

He pointed specifically to America‘s hunting and shooting tradition, which he said was also part of the tradition at Camp David, Maryland, the presidential retreat.

“Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” Obama said in the interview with The New Republic. He was responding to a question about whether he had ever fired a gun.

While his teenage daughters haven’t partaken in skeet shooting – a sport where participants fire shotguns to break airborne clay disks – he has brought guests with him, he said in the interview.

“I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations,” he said. “And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.”  FULL  ARTICLE

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“This toddler is the next bball phenom”


Keep practicing, kid!

US Senate Holds John Brennan’s CIA Dir. Hearing Today


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“Iran claims released footage is from downed U.S. drone”


(CNN) — Iran says it has decoded and released footage from a U.S. drone that it downed more than a year ago.

The black and white aerial footage, Iran claims was from a RQ-170 spy plane, was aired by Iranian news agencies and placed on YouTube.

A man, identified in Iranian media as Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, narrates parts of the footage.

“This aircraft has carried out many operations in the countries around Iran,” the narrator says. “In the operations taken place in Pakistan, this aircraft guided many of the clashes …”

The narrator also says that some of the footage shows the drone near Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan.

CNN can not independently verify the authenticity of the video. Also CNN could not immediately reach Pentagon officials for comment.

Iran had said it downed the drone on December 4, 2011 near Kashmar in the country’s northeast, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the border with Afghanistan.

At the time, U.S. officials acknowledged that the drone was missing and President Barack Obama asked Iran to return it.

“We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said later that month.

At the time Iranian military officials vowed not to return the plane.  FULL  ARTICLE

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Adios, Saturday mail delivery – August 5, 2013


CQ ROLL CALL

SATURDAY WILL SORT OF BE LIKE SUNDAY: Letters, magazines and bills won’t be delivered on Saturdays anymore starting in August, the Postal Service announced today. The symbolically resonant cutback will save about $2 billion annually in labor and fuel costs — a stark reminder of the service’s abysmal financial condition. The move also will infuriate not only millions of people (those who don’t use email or the Internet and still rely on the mail as one of their main connections to the outside world) but also Congress — which deadlocked on a Postal Service overhaul last year but has nonetheless made clear that it’s not ready to see Saturday mail delivery curtailed.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says surveys done in advance of the announcement found nearly seven in 10 Americans support the switch in the name of cost savings — an assertion that would make it unlikely for lawmakers, especially in the current cash-strapped budgetary environment, to order the USPS to reverse itself.dog-mailman-300x300 Darrell Issa and Tom Coburn, the top Republicans on the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over USPS, immediately issued a joint endorsement of the Saturday delivery cutbacks. And Democrat Tom Carper — who wrote the postal overhaul the Senate passed last year, which would have assured Saturday delivery for two more years — said he would not stand in the postmaster general’s way of doing “what he believes he can and must do to keep the lights on at the Postal Service, which may be only months away from insolvency.”

The Postal Service lost $15.9 billion in the last fiscal year — triple the loss in 2011, thanks largely to ballooning retiree benefit expenses and the surge in online communication — and even more red ink is forecast for this year. It has defaulted on two recent multibillion-dollar payments to the fund that pays former workers’ medical bills. And that is even after cutting its overhead a combined $15 billion in the past six years mainly by cutting its career workforce 28 percent and getting rid of 200 mail processing locations. Although envelopes will only come to homes and businesses on weekdays, packages will still be delivered six days a week under the plan, because such deliveries are still bringing in plenty of revenue (the volume is up 14 percent since 2010), officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays, and people with boxes could still retrieve regular mail there on the weekend.

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“Today in History for Monday, February 7th”


ENJOY THE DAY!

Obama to hand over drone documents…


February 6th, 2013
07:53 PM ET
9 hours ago

BREAKING: Obama to hand over drone documents ahead of Brennan hearing

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Washington (CNN) Amid new controversy over hisadministration’s targeted killing of American citizens, President Barack Obama has yielded to demands from Congress to turn over to them classified Justice Department legal advice justifying the policy.

The president’s move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director-nominee John Brennan, and complaints from senators – including several Democrats – about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.

FULL STORY