Rep. Darrell Issa reminds Washington: posing as imaginary person isn’t cool!/JasonBWhitman/status/291969533172932608

While the story of Monti Te’o’s non-existent girlfriend dominated the news for most of the day, another caution against online aliases arose from Washington, D.C. Deadspin’s exposing of Teo’s imaginary sweetheart inspired a wave of ridicule, as did news last month that outgoing EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had sent 12,000 emails under the alias, “Richard Windsor.” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) yesterday issued a letter reminding the outgoing Jackson not to leave D.C. before providing a list of all aliases used within the agency to conduct official business.

Secret email accounts at the @epagov?

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 17, 2013

Why? @epagov Administrator Lisa Jackson has been using an alias email account, under the name Richard Windsor: #opengov

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 17, 2013

using “alias” email accounts to do official govt business creates serious problems for compliance w/ federal info laws:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 17, 2013

dummy email accounts used by top govt officials, to put it lightly, undercut the Freedom of Information Act too:

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 17, 2013

My full letter to @epagov on evidence “alias” email accounts have been used for official business: #opengov #foia

— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 17, 2013

Why was outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson using an alias account under the name of “Richard Windsor” for official govt. business?

— Dr. Jason B. Whitman (@JasonBWhitman) January 17, 2013

Why? Jackson’s “public” email account had allegedly become unwieldy, so the alias allowed her to communicate more efficiently internally.

Issa’s primary concern is that any search of government email archives will be complicated when non-existent people are part of the mix. Issa’s letter asks Jackson to comply with the request for a list of fake email accounts by Jan. 29. “Richard Windsor” arose from the combination of Jackson’s favorite pet and her home town; we’ll be curious to see just how many imaginary friends Mr. Windsor had in the EPA.


Get your own #EPASecretEmailName, just like departing EPA chief Lisa Jackson

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Current TV dismisses Olbermann

Current TV announced Friday afternoon that it has terminated the contract of Keith Olbermann, who was hired around a year ago in order to boost the channel’s ratings.

The New York Times obtained an excerpt from the letter written to Current viewers:

In a letter to viewers, the channel said Friday, “We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet.  We are more committed to those goals today than ever before. Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers.   Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”

The show will be replaced by ‘Viewpoint’ with Eliot Spitzer, and it will begin tonight.

From Talking Points Memo:

According to a source familiar with the situation, Current decided to let Olbermann go because the progressive pundit “did not respect the viewers of Current.” The basis of his firing included, according to the source: “sabotaging the network” and attacking Current and its executives.”

“At the end of the day, Current made a decision, based on a strong legal foundation, that goes beyond merely business considerations – this decision was made because Olbermann was in breach of his contract and his conduct was simply not consistent with either mission of or the values of the company,” the source said.

Imagine, Olbermann is apparently not consistent with the values of the company, but Spitzer is.

Keith Olbermann fired from Current, replaced by Eliot Spitzer. That's like losing your job and being replaced by ELIOT SPITZER.

— Rob Sheridan (@robertdsheridan) March 30, 2012

Current TV replaced Keith Olbermann with Eliot Spitzer presumably because John Edwards was unavailable.

— CC:Indecision (@indecision) March 30, 2012

So Spitzer's values are more in line with Current TV's values than Olbermann? Interesting…

— Remy Maisel (@remeanie) March 30, 2012

So Current TV fires Keith Olbermann and replaces him with – wait for it – Eliot Spitzer. Do they consider that an upgrade?

— Matt Kane (@RealMattKane) March 30, 2012

So now that Olbermann has been employed and failed at several far-left networks, it’s time to find him a new career.

Algae farmer #NewOlbermannCareers

— Tracy (@TracyLConnors) March 30, 2012

Obama's Unemployment Czar …#NewOlbermannCareers

— Dude, My Dog Ate It! (@daalad) March 30, 2012

.@KeithOlbermann's career looks like a mashed-up bag of meat, caused by a dipstick.

— jon gabriel (@exjon) March 30, 2012

Japanese game show host. #OlbermannJobs

— Stefan (@Stefan_MK1) March 30, 2012

Hi! Welcome to Wal-Mart! #NewOlbermannCareers

— Gaulois (@Le_Gaul) March 30, 2012

Septic tank cleaner #NewOlbermannCareers

— Debbie (@debbieebb) March 30, 2012

#OlbermannJobs Tiger's new caddy

— plstepp (@plstepp) March 30, 2012

Paid spokesman for Depends. #OlbermannJobs

— Jim Jamitis (@anthropocon) March 30, 2012

Olbermann has decided to give his side of the story, as he put it, ‘140 characters at a time.’ Here it goes:

1/ I'd like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

2/ But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt to resolve our issues internally,

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

3/ while I've been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

4/ Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program,

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

5/ finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

6/ in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

7/ To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

8/ Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain:

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

9/ In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

10/ that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

11/11 That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) March 30, 2012

Is everyone clear now? Didn’t think so.

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Reuters fires Matthew Keys

Keys was Deputy Social Media Editor for Reuters. He is well-known among journalists and has more than 35,000 Twitter followers.

Last month, he was charged with conspiring with Anonymous to hack into a Tribune Company server.

Reuters subsequently suspended Keys with pay.


.@thematthewkeys changed his Twitter profile to ‘former deputy social media editor…

— Mike Hayes (@michaelhayes) April 22, 2013

A Reuters reporter just called me to ask for comment about my termination from Reuters.

— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 22, 2013


Let’s try that again. Here’s what happened… –

— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 22, 2013


‘Back soon’: Reuters’ Matthew Keys denies charges of conspiring with Anonymous

Law firm that has repped Anonymous signs on to defend Matthew Keys

Following indictment, Reuters suspends Matthew Keys with pay

Glenn Greenwald decries ‘prosecutorial overkill’ in Matthew Keys hacking case

Matthew Keys retweets story about his indictment, promises ‘business as usual’ tomorrow

Whoa: Did Reuters’ Matthew Keys help Anonymous hackers?; Updated

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Meet MSNBC’s fact-checker: Ezra Klein?!? Update: Klein’s blog falsely claims that Janesville auto plant closed in June 2008

When you’re calling in the creator of left-wing JournoList to check your facts, you’ve pretty much given up any pretense of fairness.

Then again, MSNBC doesn’t exactly hide its bias, so in a way Klein is a perfect fit for the left-wing cable network:

Oh good. Now MSNBC is checking in with Ezra Klein — formerly of JournoList and the American Prospect — for fact checking.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 30, 2012

To complete the hilarious circle MSNBC brings on Ezra Klein to "fact check"

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) August 30, 2012

Ezra Klein doing MSNBC's fact checking? Could they get a more factually challenged person?

— Call me Crazy, Lois. (@Mermaz) August 30, 2012

Hahahahaha @ezraklein fact checking. Oh, the humor.

— Melissa Clouthier (@MelissaTweets) August 30, 2012

Ooooo, totally non-biased "journolist" @EzraKlein about to fact-check tonight's speeches on @msnbc I guess @DavidChlain was unavailable

— wiserbud (@WiserMeany) August 30, 2012

Will @ezraklein be crowd-sourcing his "fact-check" to a mailing list of registered Democrats?

— Blast Hardcheese (@claudeakinsmask) August 30, 2012

@StevieJWest when you bring n Ezra Klein as a "fact checker" you've hit self parody hall of fame

— misslexi (@misslexi9162) August 30, 2012

Klein once spread false, libelous information about Twitchy CEO Michelle Malkin, admits he can’t understand the Constitution because it’s old, and lied about his JournoList, but let’s not be too hard on the former far left-wing American Prospect blogger. After all, he has been known to tell the truth on occasion.

Broken clocks and all.

Update: This morning Ezra Klein’s blog includes a post from Dylan Matthews that falsely claims the Janesville, Wisc., auto plant closed in 2008 “when George W. Bush is (sic) president.”  In fact the plant closed in 2009 under Barack Obama. Who will fact check the fact-checkers?

Klein has now doubled down on the lie.

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But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

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Here Are 10 Ways You Can Avoid Plane Crashes Or Getting Seriously Hurt In One.

The odds of being in a plane crash in the United States are between 1 in 11 million and 1 in 60 million. You should nevertheless prepare in case the unimaginable happens.

Here are 10 things you can do to improve your odds of survival in the event of a plane crash.

1.) Make sure you’re flying on a big plane.

The bigger the plane, the more the body of the plane will be absorb the energy of a potential impact. That means less crashing energy to throw you around the plane and kill you.  

2.) Be a young, thin, man.

According to statistics collected by the FAA, age, gender, and weight are the main variables determining how fast an individual can evacuate a crashed plane. While thin young men have the best chance of survival, heavier older women have the worst chance. Don’t be too discouraged ladies; old fat men are not far behind.  

3.) Dress for survival. 

Even though it’s fashionable to wear your best business suit or high heels on the plane, that kind of attire will ruin your chances of survival if the plane crashes. Imagine trying to run or exert yourself in a life-or-death situation while wearing these clothes. It’s not going to be pretty. Dress casually instead.

4.) Pay attention to the safety talks. 

Pay attention during the mandatory flight safety talk instead of zoning out. Heck, maybe you should take notes. You’ve heard the same talk 100 times, but it’s still important to listen. This way you know where the exits and safety equipment are in the event of an emergency.

5.) Sit in the right place. 

There is still a bit of debate on where the safest place to sit on the plane is, though one thing remains certain: sitting closer to an exit is your best bet. Remember the rule of five when picking your seats. If you’re more than five rows away from an exit, you’re too far.  

6.) Go for the oxygen quickly. 

In the event that the oxygen masks release, don’t wait to put yours on. Do it immediately. You have about 60 seconds before oxygen deprivation can be deadly. Put your own mask on first before helping anyone else. You’re no good to your fellow passengers if you’re passed out or dead. 

7.) Wear your seat belt.

You should always have your seat belt on when you’re seated. Turbulence is unpredictable and the last thing you want in a crisis is a concussion from slamming your head into the ceiling.  

8.) Embrace the brace position. 

This is always the silliest looking part of the safety videos, but it’s necessary to avoid serious injury during a crash. Assuming the brace position during a crash protects your arms, legs, and head from serious impact injury.

9.) You have 90 seconds.

After a possible crash landing, you have about 90 seconds to escape the smoke and flames of the wreckage. Don’t even think about taking your carry-on with you. It’s useless if you’re dead.   

10.) The Plus 3/Minus 8 Rule.

This is a rule for pilots, but us regular folk can also benefit from it. The most dangerous times for a flight are the first three minutes after takeoff and then the last eight minutes before landing. Stay alert during these times, as this is most likely when an emergency could happen. 

(Via: Modern Man Jack)

It’s important to remember that flying in the United States is still the safest way to travel. It’s even safer than driving. Keep that and these safety tips in mind when planning your next trip, and try not to panic. For your benefit and for the other passengers, of course.

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Jeb Bush calls Common Core a ‘truth serum'; Michelle Malkin injects dose of reality

Ah yes, the greater good. Former Florida governor and Common Core proponent Jeb Bush knows all about the greater good:

During his speech at this morning’s Broward Workshop business breakfast, Bush dished up a hearty helping of Common Core slop:

Bush has repeatedly explained the standards, implemented and controlled by the states, are designed to make the United States more competitive with the rest of the world. He said those who oppose the standards support the “status quo,” oppose testing and are worried too much about children’s self-esteem.

“Let me tell you something. In Asia today, they don’t care about children’s self esteem. They care about math, whether they can read – in English – whether they understand why science is important, whether they have the grit and determination to be successful,” Bush said.

“You tell me which society is going to be the winner in this 21st Century: The one that worries about how they feel, or the one that worries about making sure the next generation has the capacity to eat everybody’s lunch?”

Speaking of lunch, Michelle Malkin has lost hers:

True story. If Bush is so concerned about education, he ought to set an example and get himself educated:



Twitchy coverage of Jeb Bush

Twitchy coverage of Common Core

Michelle Malkin’s coverage of Common Core

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Aw, snap! Want to know why today is Barack Obama’s favorite holiday?

Hey! Whaddaya know? Today, somebody else really did make that happen!

It’s the first Friday the 13th of the year, which means it’s National Blame Someone Else Day — which means it’s like Christmas for Obama:

Ha! Another hilarious notch in tweeter @CuffyMeh’s Obama-blasting belt.

But Obama really should. If he did, we might actually have a reason to like him.



Obama reminds business owners, ‘You didn’t build that’

Small business owners teach Obama a little something about who builds businesses; Update: #BuiltItMyself

#BarackObamaDidItForThem: More citizens answer Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ business slam

#YouDidntBuildThat: The well-deserved backlash continues

Boom! Jon Lovitz to Obama: Nobel Peace Prize? You didn’t earn that.

Obama on his business owner slam: I didn’t say that. Romney made that happen; Update: Obama doubles down in ad

Obama on the ‘red line’: I didn’t draw that. Somebody else made that happen. 

Brutally bam-tastic! #ObamaExcuses: The Obama presidency summed up in one hashtag

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But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

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Greece’s Economy Is Screwed And Nobody Can Agree On How To Save It

Greece is in a showdown this week with European leaders over the terms of its huge bailout, which expires on Feb. 28 and provides vital financial support. Update: Athens submitted a proposed workaround on Thursday morning.


Greece on Thursday morning submitted a proposed workaround to the eurozone, the bloc of 19 European countries that use the euro, which centered on extending its loans by six months. The eurozone is due to assess the proposal over the next two days but Germany, the bloc’s biggest power, has already rejected it.

Below is our look at how much economic trouble Greece is in, and what might happen next. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_article_update_time_5024940″).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘2015-02-19 05:32:42 -0500′, ‘update’); });

Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and his left-wing Syriza party swept to power last month with a dramatic vow to end spending cuts tied to the country’s recent bailouts. They’re now in a standoff with European leaders about what comes next.

Tsipras addresses parliament in Athens. Alkis Konstantinidis / Via Reuters

Greece has needed Europe-led bailouts worth 240 billion euros (or $272 billion) over the last five years to avoid bankruptcy, receiving cash in return for slashing public spending. The last bailout involved the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund lending Greece those emergency funds.

However, now that Tsipras has taken office, Greece is demanding a new deal. The eurozone’s finance ministers will only allow an extension of the current one, including its austerity clauses. The two sides need to strike a deal before the current bailout expires on Feb. 28, but instead they’re locked in a stalemate.

Greece says the cuts have in no way stopped its economic tailspin. Just how bad is Greece’s current situation? Bad. Like, really, really bad.

Not an actual picture of Greece’s economic landscape, but close enough. Petros Giannakouris / Via AP

For starters, its economy shrunk by almost a third in 2008–2013, far more than other weak eurozone countries. Its recession has been nearly as bad as the Great Depression, The Economist says.

Also, around a quarter of Greeks are unemployed, the highest level in the eurozone. Among those aged 15–24, over half are jobless.

Will #Greece unemployment continue to fall under Tsipras? Data to November via @MacroPolis_gr

— Simon_Nixon (@Simon Nixon)

Greece’s government debt has ballooned to around 175% of the size of its economy, making it the third most indebted country in the world, according to 2013 data.

An anti-austerity protest in front of the parliament in Athens on Feb. 11. Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

To make it even worse, Greece has bailout bills to pay and they’ll be due soon. Here is a useful breakdown of just what it owes and when over the next year, from the Brussels-based economic think tank Bruegel.

Greek repayments to the IMF amount to 9.8bn for the whole year #Greece

— Bruegel_org (@Bruegel)

Life in Greece is just all-round tough. There have been reported rises in homelessness, suicides, children living in poverty, and people who cannot afford necessary medical treatments since the bailouts began.

People queue to enter a gym hall for a Christmas meal for the homeless and the poor in Athens on Dec. 25, 2014. Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

If the current bailout expires without a deal, Greece would suddenly have to stay afloat without foreign support. It could run out of cash in April or May.

Germany, the euro bloc’s biggest economy, is dead set against carving out a new Greek bailout with fewer or no cuts involved. It is big on austerity and dislikes having to rescue countries that it thinks spend too wildly. In a sign of souring relations, a Greek left-wing newspaper recently published a cartoon depicting Germany’s finance minister in a Nazi uniform.

Athens is preparing to request an extension of certain loans on Thursday, Bloomberg reported, but this is not expected to be the same as requesting a bailout extension.

The worst-case scenario? The standoff forces Greece to leave the euro, something that neither side wants.

A “Grexit” would cause at least short-term turmoil in Greece, the BBC has reported. It could also cause shares to fall across the eurozone, this Financial Times column says. Other reports say the bloc has built up contingency funds in recent years that would protect it from much of the damage. No country has left the eurozone before so it would be uncharted territory — hence all the different predictions about what the fallout would look like.

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