|Some things are so self-evidently stupid that they do not require a face palm|
"Murray County Georgia Sheriff's deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie" - Dalton Daily Citizen
|Post-blast photo outside PRT Zabul compound|
They were caught in the initial blast at about 11 a.m., when a remote-controlled bomb hidden under a pallet that was leaned up against the base’s southern wall detonated.
|It's Congressional jump ball, VA versus GA|
In response to a question from Senator Kaine last week during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The Department is 100 percent determined that Fort Pickett is the best site … The coordination with the Defense Department and the Intelligence Community - Fort Pickett is the site.”
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center can more than handle security training for the State Department and save taxpayers millions of dollars in the process, the congressman whose district includes the center in Glynn County says.
Kingston supports strong training programs for State Department personnel but is opposed to spending an estimated $1 billion on the development of a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center - or FASTC - at Fort Pickett at Blackstone, Va.
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Funding for a new training facility was included in a budget submitted by the State Department for the new fiscal year in October, but it was taken out after Kingston and members of the U.S. Senate questioned the lack of a feasibility or impact study.
"As you know, a variety of federal agencies have sought to establish new, separate training centers for their agencies over many years - sometimes inspired by members of Congress whose states they viewed as the ideal setting, other times by an earnest desire to provide the best training possible," Kingston wrote Kerry.
|ZaZZZ it, the reefer robot|
An automated pot-selling machine was unveiled at an event held at an Avon, Colo., restaurant Saturday, promising a potential new era of selling marijuana and pot-infused snacks from vending machines directly to customers.
Its creators say the machine, called the ZaZZZ, uses biometrics to verify a customer's age. The machine is climate-controlled to keep its product fresh.
You may be picturing a vending machine on a sidewalk, ready to dispense pot brownies to anyone with correct change. That's not quite what backers of the machine have in mind. For now, at least, the ZaZZZ is aimed for use only by medical marijuana patients. And it'll be in licensed stores, where it will serve a purpose like that of an automated checkout line at a grocery, they say.
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"We're going to eliminate the middle man," Herbal Elements owner Greg Honan tells Denver's Fox 31 TV. Describing the vending machine's benefits, Honan added that the snacks will go directly "to our budtender, right into the machine. There's no room for theft by patients, by employees — there's no way to lose track of the inventory."
The ZaZZZ isn't the only marijuana vending machine out there. Both Arizona's Endexx and California's Medbox have made headlines for their efforts to streamline pot sales. But as far as we've seen, those companies' products are kept behind stores' counters — for now, at least.
They [the suits and counter suits] tell stories not only of a May-December romance gone sour, but of how obscene wealth can be amassed through rent-seeking and influence-peddling in Washington D.C., and of the hoary means by which the princelings of the capital and their consorts maintain and grow that wealth.
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Heather changed her name — something she had not done in her previous marriages — to Heather Miller Podesta ... She joined the company, began lobbying. She picked up Tony’s art habit, and together they amassed a collection of more than 1,300 pieces [you can view some of them here].
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In 2007 Podesta Matoon became the Podesta Group. Heather formed Heather Podesta + Partners, establishing two prongs of the Podesta family empire. The third prong was the Center for American Progress, founded in 2003 by John Podesta, who would oversee President Obama’s transition team in 2009, and join the Obama administration as a senior adviser in 2014. The Podestas had become the most important non-elected family in the Democratic Party.
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In 2009, with the inauguration of Obama and the dawn of unified Democratic control of Washington, business boomed. Revenues at Tony’s firm close to doubled, and revenues at Heather’s firm increased by 50 percent. The money has continued to roll in. The Podesta Group had some $13 million in lobbying income in 2013, sporting clients such as Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo, U.S. Airways, Walmart, and the National Biodiesel Board. Heather Podesta + Partners made some $4 million, lobbying on behalf of health companies, the American Beverage Association, Brookfield Power, DeVry University, and others. A portion of that money was recycled, contributing to Democratic campaigns, opening up avenues of influence: Tony gave some $45,500 in 2013, all to Democrats; Heather some $95,798 to Democrats, Democratic committees, and liberal groups.
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Corporations give to Democratic politicians, avoiding the scrutiny of liberal attack dogs in the media and nonprofit sectors, and enjoying the ego boost that comes with being on the “right side of history.” Then those corporations hire the Podestas to get them out of the Rube Goldberg traps the Democrats have enacted into law.
Now that shared enterprise is no more, the Heather and Tony Podesta brand is damaged, and all the years of strategic cultivation is in danger of coming undone. This “married couple who both lobbied” is sundered, revealing a political culture of pettiness and greed, and reminding us that there are few things as revolting, intellectually, morally, and ethically, as the “Washington power scene.”
[Question] In war torn or "hostile" countries, have there been instances where artists need to reflect on their right to create, to see, to think, to absorb, to interpret, and to translate?
[Answer] I believe the visual arts programming is relevant in every country but can be more critical in hot-bed countries where there is unrest, instability, or conflict exists between us. The art humanizes these buildings and becomes a common denominator. Sometimes these buildings look like bunkers. The objective of the art program is to highlight the similarities as well the differences between our countries. While the art may not ultimately change the outcome, it helps on a humanitarian and emotional level. Yes, at times it can be tricky for artists from the host countries at times to work with AIE.
Recently, I have been working with Shahzia Sikander, an internationally acclaimed artist from Pakistan who is a miniaturist and video artist. Sikander lives in the US. The initial concept was for her and a classmate of hers from the National College of Arts in Lahore to collaborate on a site-specific commission for the new Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. However, the local politics in Pakistan came into play. Heated debates on her role in the history of contemporary art emerged, and a critic questioned her contributions as a leader of Pakistani art, as well as her allegiance. Ultimately, we decided that any type of collaboration would be fraught with issues and might be interpreted as having messages of propaganda. So, we are working on site-specific commissions for both artists versus a collaboration.