- Updated 1021 hrs PST
- U.S. DEBT CLOCK
Justices rule human genes cannot be patented
Supreme Court decision is a win for women with genetic risk of breast
and ovarian cancers, as well as geneticists and researchers who had
criticized a Utah company's exclusive patent.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that human genes cannot be patented, a
decision with both immediate benefits for some breast and ovarian cancer
patients and long-lasting repercussions for biotechnology research.
The decision represents a victory for cancer patients, researchers and
geneticists who claimed that a single company's patent raised costs,
restricted research and sometimes forced women to have breasts or
ovaries removed without sufficient facts or second opinions.
Big-Reid Kills Amendment Requiring Border Security before Amnesty
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made a move to formally kill an
amendment Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley
(R-IA) offered to the immigration bill. It would require border
security before America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants are
Reid filed a motion to “table” the amendment, a move that he used to
quickly push for an up-or-down vote. A vote in favor of tabling the
amendment would kill it. A vote against tabling the amendment would
allow it to move through for debate. Essentially, a vote for Reid’s
motion is a vote against securing the border before amnesty. Likewise, a
vote against Reid’s motion is a vote for securing the border before
Exodus on the Hill...over Obamacare?
Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance
premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are
thinking about retiring early or just quitting.
The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of
the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and
lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make
their benefits exorbitantly expensive.
Obamacare: Is $2,000 deductible 'affordable'?
Participants may have different views on whether Obamacare plans are affordable.
Until now, much of the debate swirling around Obamacare has focused on
the cost of premiums in the state-based health insurance exchanges.
But what will enrollees actually get for that monthly charge?
States are starting to roll out details about the exchanges, providing a
look at just how affordable coverage under the Affordable Care Act will
be. Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures: $2,000
deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room
State Department has hired agents with criminal records?
The State Department has hired an alarming number of law-enforcement
agents with criminal or checkered backgrounds because of a flawed hiring
process, a stunning memo obtained by The Post reveals.
The background problems are severe enough that many of the roughly 2,000
agents in State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security can play only limited
roles in agency efforts to police bad conduct and prosecute wrongdoers.
FBI Director says U.S. will hold Snowden responsible on NSA leak
FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Thursday that the U.S. government is
doing everything it can to hold confessed leaker Edward Snowden
accountable for splashing surveillance secrets across the pages of
Mueller said at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing that Snowden, a
former National Security Agency contractor, harmed national security
when he divulged the secrets.
"As to the individual who has admitted making these disclosures, he is
the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation," Mueller said without
Obama Administration's NSA Assurances 'a Bunch of Bunk'
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the PATRIOT Act on the
House floor in 2001, has declared that lawmakers’ and the executive
branch’s excuses about recent revelations of NSA activity are “a bunch
In an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Wednesday morning, the
Republican congressman from Wisconsin reiterated his concerns that the
administration and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
court have gone far beyond what the PATRIOT Act intended. Specifically,
he said that Section 215 of the act “was originally drafted to prevent
data mining” on the scale that’s occurred.
White Share of U.S. Poplulation Drops to Historic Low
The U.S. continued its transformation into a majority-minority nation
last year, with Census Bureau data showing non-Hispanic whites making up
the lowest percentage of the population in American history.
The estimates released today capture several milestones in the country’s
demographic makeup. For the first time in more than a century, deaths
outpaced births among white Americans. Almost half, 49.9 percent, of the
nation’s children younger than 5 were minorities as of July 1. And the
nation’s total minority population grew 21 times faster than whites.
Hollywood Turns Against Obama Over NSA Snooping
President Barack Obama is losing the love of Hollywood over revelations
that the National Security Agency has been conducting a top-secret
program tracking the phone and Internet activity of millions of
Several supporters have taken to Twitter to denounce the administration.
According to Fox News, actor and liberal activist John Cusack tweeted,
"Prism the name for electronic prison—all have to wear lojacks." Cusack
also re-tweeted: "Obama is becoming the next Nixon."
Benghazi Talking Points Editor Stepping Down from CIA
CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell is stepping down and being replaced
by White House lawyer Avril Haines, who will be the first woman to hold
When President Barack Obama named a successor to former CIA Director
David Petraeus in January, Morell was passed over in favor of the White
House counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan. Morell had been acting
director since Petraeus' resignation.
Morell, 54, announced his retirement Wednesday, saying he will leave his
CIA post Aug. 9. The White House announced he has been appointed to the
President's Intelligence Advisory Board, a group of mostly retired
intelligence officers who advise the president on intelligence policy.
The Reality of Feel-Good Government
After nearly 20 years and billions of taxpayer dollars, AmeriCorps has little to show.
The government-supported service organization AmeriCorps got a boost
from President Obama in April, when he announced a new program to
"connect more professional scientists and engineers to young students
who might follow in their footsteps." According to a news release, the
goal is to place hundreds of AmeriCorps members in nonprofits across the
country to mobilize professionals in science, technology, engineering
and math "to inspire young people to excel in STEM education."
A lofty goal, to be sure, but not one AmeriCorps is likely to serve
well. Judging by the program's track record over two decades—or distinct
lack of a track record in several cases—taxpayers have better ways to
spend some $446 million a year.
The Sum of All Fears
The IRS audits and NSA surveillance flow into the same national anxieties.
Here is Barack Obama commenting last Friday on the National Security
Agency's antiterrorist surveillance programs: "We've got congressional
oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can't trust not only the
executive branch but also don't trust Congress and don't trust federal
judges to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution, due process
and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here."
Herewith a partial list of political groups that said they were
subjected to over-the-top audits by the Internal Revenue Service:
Greenwich Tea Party Patriots, Greater Phoenix Tea PartyPatriots, Laurens
County Tea Party, Northeast Tarrant Tea Party, Myrtle Beach Tea Party,
Albuquerque Tea Party, San Antonio Tea Party, Richmond Tea Party,
Manassas Tea Party, Honolulu Tea Party, Waco Tea Party, Chattanooga Tea
Party and American Patriots Against Government Excess.
- Medal of
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the
Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private
The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been:
• 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
• Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
CAPTAIN HUMBERT R ('Rocky'). VERSACE
UNITED STATES ARMY
for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary
heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965,
while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group,
Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a
Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in
Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol
came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms
fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle
raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back
by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy
targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight,
Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet
Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition.
Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code
of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status.
Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers,
scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination
efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his
weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the
extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his
captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of
war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed
on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his
indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States
of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized
the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by
the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions
in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery
while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military
service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United