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November 8, 2013
The Honorable Darrell E. Issa
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Yesterday, you went on national television and made extremely serious allegations against U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, essentially accusing them of lying to the American people about the Healthcare.gov website. You then used these alleged falsehoods to justify your threat to subpoena Mr. Park to force him to appear before the Committee next week to answer your allegations. Based on information obtained by the Committee a full week ago, however, it appears that your attacks against Mr. Park and Mr. Carney are unfounded and that your statements yesterday either misunderstood or mischaracterized the information the Committee obtained. In either case, I believe it is important to correct the public record, and I request that you apologize to these officials for the unsubstantiated accusations against them.
Unfounded Accusations Against Mr. Park and Mr. Carney
Yesterday, you launched a public attack against Mr. Park and Mr. Carney, accusing them of intentionally making false statements about the number of users that were anticipated for the Healthcare.gov website.
Retail therapy for the lonely crosses all cultural divides.
Every Nov. 11, China celebrates the consumer-driven holiday known as Singles’ Day in which heavy discounts and promotions encourage the boyfriend and girlfriend-less to do some serious online shopping. This Monday, sales on Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba reached last year’s Singles’ Day total by 1:04 pm. The $3.1 billion in sales was nearly double what the U.S. sold on Cyber Monday in 2012.
The Financial Times reports that in the near future, online shopping in China is anticipated to exceed that of the U.S.
Unless you have a fetish for hazmat suits and science lab equipment, you probably won’t be too excited for the newest draft of California Bill AB 640, which is meant to protect the pornography industry from the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
The bill is currently awaiting approval in the senate, and if passed would require that porn stars wear “personal protective equipment” to “prevent contact of an employee’s eye; skin, mucous membranes, or genitals” from bodily fluids, according to the New York Daily News.
Porn stars shooting in Los Angeles County are already legally required to wear condoms while filming intercourse scenes, but this bill would apply that rule to state-wide production and go one step further by forcing actors to wear protective eyewear. Technically, according to a representative from OSHA who spoke to Salon, porn stars are already supposed to wear protective gear, but the rule is…
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Romano Dias only thought he was drinking a harmless health drink, but after swallowing it and complaining it was “awful” and that it led to an irritated throat, it turned out to be his last swig.
The 55-year-old who lived in Cambridgeshire, U.K., consumed what he thought was a fruit beverage, but in reality it was $54,000 of pure crystal methamphetamine, Cambridge News reported. The deadly bottle was delivered to his daughter Katee’s home three years ago, with the right address but the wrong name on the package. She kept it, believing someone would come to claim it. Six months passed and she finally opened the parcel, finding the bottles, which she gave to her father some undetermined time later.
Dias’ partner Debra told authorities that he opened the bottle, whose label led him to believe what he was drinking was safe, and removed a cork that he found…
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It’s an extremely technical business, negotiating a nuclear agreement. But in the case of the talks in Geneva last week over the Iranian program, a helpful level of understanding can be had simply by seeing who goes where. The easiest way to tell that Tehran and world powers were close to at least an interim accord over the weekend was seeing who showed up unexpectedly in Geneva: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerrybroke off a trip to northern Africa to swoop in, joining European diplomats of the rank appropriate for signing such a document, should one be agreed upon.
And when it became clear there was nothing to sign there was more rapid and unscheduled travel: Kerry’s chief negotiator, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, went immediately from Geneva to Jerusalem, to brief not only government officials and but Israeli experts and columnists gathered at the King David Hotel in…
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A Russian artist nailed his testicles to the cobblestones of Moscow’s Red Square Sunday to protest Russia’s police force.
Pyotr Pavlensky stripped down and nailed his scrotum to the ground to draw attention to the “apathy, political indifference and fatalism of contemporary Russian society,” he said in a statement, the Guardianreports. He timed the performance art with Police Day in order to comment on Russia as a “police state.”
Pavlensky also once sewed his lips shut to protest the harsh sentences given to Pussy Riot band members and wrapped himself in barbed wire to comment on Russia’s oppressive legal system.
Beat that, Marina Abramovic.
Finally, there’s an interactive map that tracks every time someone drops an F-bomb on Twitter!
Martin Gingras, a 22-year-old computer science major at Carleton University in Ottawa, created the eff-tracker. Users can both see where the F-bomb is dropped and the context it was used in.
Although Gingras doesn’t swear a lot himself — a younger sister and curse word-stripping experience as a swim instructor forced reserving “using the ‘F-word’ in moments of extreme exasperation or shock” — he told TIME that he thinks his F-bomb map is “probably worth the 30-60 seconds that it generally receives.”