What if they ALL succeeded from the their present day states today?

Chris Cillizza @ the Washington Post has found someone who has done a map with ALL 124 separate states , if they could ALL form their own ……

A handful of counties in Colorado tried to secede from the rest of the state earlier this year.  There’s an attempt to create the State of Jefferson (northern California/southern Oregon) via ballot initiative in 2014.  And there’s plenty more.

What would the U.S. look like if all of the secession movements in U.S. history had succeeded?  Well, Mansfield University geography professor Andrew Shears built a map to answer that question. (It covers secession movements through the end of 2011.)  His 124 states of America is below. Click the map to enlarge it.

Map courtesy of Andrew Shears

map from Andrew Shears @ The Fix…..


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NYC Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio’s team so far….

…from Newsday as of 8:30 PM 12/31/13

Bill de Blasio will be sworn in as the New York Mayor @ 12:01 January 1st, 2014 in a private ceremony first …Then a public one in the morning ……

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s management team remains a work in progress. Here are some of the key players named so far:

Anthony Shorris, 56

Post: First deputy mayor

PHOTOS: Bill de Blasio | NYC mayors

Responsibilities: Manage day-to-day government operations, with most agencies reporting directly to him.

Resume highlights: Senior vice president, vice dean and chief of staff of NYU Langone Medical Center, where he led superstorm Sandy recovery efforts; executive director of Port Authority, where he oversaw development of the World Trade Center site

Dominic Williams, 31

Post: Shorris’ chief of staff

Responsibilities: Handle day-to-day coordination of agencies and City Hall.

Resume highlights: Chief of staff and former senior policy adviser for the public advocate’s office

Laura Santucci, 32

Post: Mayor’s chief of staff

Responsibilities: Oversee operations at City Hall, staffing at City Hall and contribute to key appointments throughout city government.

Resume highlights: Executive director of de Blasio’s transition team; special assistant in the Obama White House.

Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, 67

Post: Deputy mayor of health and human services

Responsibilities: Expand community health care facilities, strengthen the city’s health and hospitals corporation and oversee homelessness programs and other social services.

Resume highlights: Commissioner of the Department for the Aging under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, overhauling hundreds of senior centers and creating an LGBT senior center; commissioner of the human resources administration under Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Alicia Glen, 47

Post: Deputy mayor for housing and economic development

Responsibilities: Create jobs in fields including nonprofit and emerging industries such as film and technology, encourage entrepreneurship in immigrant communities and build affordable housing units across city.

Resume highlights: Head of the urban investment group at Goldman Sachs, where she directed capital to underserved urban communities; assistant commissioner for housing finance at the city’s Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, where she oversaw financing of low-income housing units

William Bratton, 66

Post: NYPD commissioner

Responsibilities: Manage the 34,500 uniformed members of the NYPD, implement de Blasio’s pledge to stop overuse of stop-and-frisk and improve community policing, and maintain city’s low crime rate or further lower it

Resume highlights: Former NYPD commissioner under Mayor Rudy Giuliani; started crime-statistic-tracking system CompStat and lowered historically high crime rates, in part by implementing the “broken windows” strategy of targeting quality-of-life offenses; former commissioner of the Los Angeles Police Department, where he was credited with mending police relations with minority communities and presiding over crime decline, but where the use of stop-and-frisk increased


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Botched healthcare.gov rollout claims a second person….

Some heads to roll…..

That has NOT been Kathleen Sebelius , the head of Health and Human Services….

The official, Michelle Snyder, is the agency’s [ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ] chief operating officer. She is the second administration official to depart since problems at the website, HealthCare.gov, frustrated millions of people trying to buy insurance and caused political embarrassment to President Obama.

Ms. Snyder is in charge of the Medicare agency’s day-to-day activities and the allocation of resources, including budget and personnel. Technology experts who built the website for the federal insurance exchange reported to her, and she has been actively involved in the effort to fix the site’s problems.

Ms. Snyder’s departure follows that of the agency’s chief information officer, Tony Trenkle, who stepped down in November to take a job in the private sector.

A former agency official who had predicted Ms. Snyder’s departure said Monday: “She had to go. She was responsible for the implementation of Obamacare. She controlled all the resources to get it done. She was in charge of information technology. She controlled personnel and budget.”

Asked about Ms. Snyder’s plans, an agency official said Monday: “It’s her personal decision to retire now.”

Ms. Snyder could not be reached for comment.

The move comes after a series of congressional oversight hearings at which Republicans and Democrats sought to determine who should be held accountable for the health law’s disastrous rollout. At one such hearing on Oct. 30, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, was asked who was responsible for developing the federal website, and she named Ms. Snyder. But Ms. Sebelius quickly added: “Michelle Snyder is not responsible for those debacles. Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible.”

Ms. Snyder’s official biography states that she was responsible for setting up “new programs and activities required by the Affordable Care Act.”


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The de Blasio/Clinton Connection….

Bill Clinton will swear in the New New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio…

De Balsio and the Clinton’s do have a history…..


Veteran Democratic strategist Tad Devine, nodding to the chatter about liberal alternatives like Warren, said that if de Blasio’s time in office is successful, “he’s potentially a really strong ally” for Clinton if she runs.

“That [progressive] element of the Democratic coalition will listen to him,” Devine said. “He’s in a unique position to … talk about Hillary Clinton, running her campaign, knowing her well. He’s going to be able to talk about her in human terms, which could be very helpful with an element of the Democratic Party that may want to put some distance between her and them because they’re to the left of her.”

The de Blasio message has echoes of that projected by Warren and other major national progressives who’ve crusaded against Wall Street excess over the past four years.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, which has focused heavily on income inequality, suggested that focus is not going to change anytime soon. She noted that de Blasio, with whom Tanden worked on Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign in New York, elevated the issue.

“Bill de Blasio’s campaign raised fundamental issues around economic fairness and ensuring everyone gets a fair shot,” she said. “Those issues are the challenges of our time and will affect our politics and national policy for years to come.”

The Clintons’ relationship with de Blasio dates to before her 2000 Senate run, when he came recommended by his longtime friend, Harold Ickes, a veteran Clinton insider, as her campaign manager. Prior to that, de Blasio served in the Clinton administration, working in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

De Blasio was a surrogate for Clinton in early-voting presidential states in 2008, campaigning in Iowa and attempting to boost his former boss. He remains close with a number of people in her orbit, most notably Tina Flournoy, who currently is chief of staff in Bill Clinton’s personal office. Flournoy is a former teachers union official who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.


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US Population growth slows….

The Economy has slowed people from having more children and has slowed immigration to this country…It is unknown if the population will have increased growth as the nation’s economy gets better…

America’s population is growing at its slowest rate in decades, and the sluggish economy is mostly to blame, according to one expert.

The US population grew by just 0.72 percent in the year ended July 1, 2013, the Census Bureau reported Monday. That’s the slowest growth rate since 1937. Population growth has hovered at super-low levels for the past few years, according to William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan research organization. The trend is “troubling,” Frey said, and is due largely to the weak economy.

“This real sharp decline has to do with recession-related issues,” Frey said. “Fewer people come into the country because there aren’t as many jobs, and people are postponing child-bearing.”


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The Healthcare changes coming for 2014….

A snap-shot of the changes coming up for the Affordable Healthcare Act….

Coverage begins on Jan. 1 for people who selected plans through new federal and state exchanges before the Dec. 24 deadline. Others have until March 31 to sign up. Many Americans can receive federal subsidies to help pay for insurance. Several million low-income people also qualified for Medicaid, which 26 states are expanding under the health law that President Barack Obama signed nearly four years ago.

Pre-existing condition coverage

In 2014, health insurers no longer will be able to shut out people with pre-existing conditions or jack up their premiums. Annual and lifetime benefit limits are also prohibited.

The individual mandate

To help offset the cost of adding millions of older, sicker people to the insurance rolls, Obamacare requires that most Americans — including young, healthy ones — obtain coverage or pay a fine. Numerous groups are exempted, from undocumented immigrants to Native Americans to members of certain religious sects. And a broader “hardship” exemption is available to people deemed unable to afford any available insurance options or dealing with other life challenges, from foreclosure to domestic violence to unemployment. The White House recently gave people whose health plans were canceled the option of having a hardship exemption, essentially waiving the mandate in their case for one year.

Those who are subject to the mandate could be fined if they lack coverage for more than three months in a single calendar year. The penalty is relatively light in 2014, topping out at either $95 or 1 percent of an uninsured person’s income, whichever is greater. It’ll be deducted when those individuals file taxes in 2015, so its impact won’t be felt for a while.


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Hillary following in Obama’s shoes….Good or bad?

A reflectionon the fact that Hillary Clinton IS in fact a Washington INSIDER…..

I agree with Richard Cohn of the Washington Post that does NOT regard Hillary as a Liberal (Due to our extensive knowledge of her political history)….

But points to Barack Obama as having the advantage of NOT being well known when he ran in 2008 , thus being able to capture the support of the Democratic left early on….

I disagree with Cohn on gender…My wife points to the fact that Americans voted for the black/mixed guy before the white female….

That IS still gonna be there in 2016….

Add that to Mrs ‘Inside’ thing as yea….

Barack Obama might have helped her?

Maybe….But maybe the healthcare and NSA stuff might not have…

Our present Democratic President  might have made things a little harder for a inside the Beltway , female Democrat also….


It remains to be seen if gender will play the role for Clinton that race did for Obama. Probably not. The prospect of a woman becoming president has an air of inevitability about it, rather than the gleeful surprise that accompanied Obama’s stunning rise. She, like him, would be a first — not to mention an about-time. But Obama was otherwise an unknown. It was easy to vote for him, hard to vote against him. He stood for all things good and opposed all things bad. (Who knew that, like a surgeon who can’t stand the sight of blood, Obama is phobic about politicians?)

Clinton, in contrast, is no ingenue. She has been around for a very long time. She’s been a senator from New York. She’s been secretary of state. What she has — and has in abundance — is experience and knowledge, plus a vast network of friends and associates, who could in a moment fill every available slot in the government. Clinton comes fully assembled, White House-ready. She has been her husband’s go-to person in times of crisis, and she possesses — even her critics would have to concede — a daunting intellect. The only politician I know who is smarter than her is also named Clinton.

Alas, in American politics, the good can be bad. Recent Democratic presidents, with the exception of the exceptional Obama, have come from statehouses — Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. They proclaimed themselves Washington outsiders and ran their campaigns down the middle of the road — Clinton even ran over Sister Souljah…..



There is new poll out that have the both as the most admired…..

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The Economy Will get better…Poll

People Are looking up these days!

And that will be a good thing for us , the country and Yes, The President…

A plurality of people said the economy would improve “a little,” rather than “a lot.” Forty percent said the economy would get a little better in a year, while 14 percent said it would get a lot better.

This time last year, 49 percent predicted the economy would be better in a year. In 2011, 53 percent said the same.

A majority of independent voters — 50 percent — believes the economy will improve in a year.

Seventy-seven percent of Democrats predicted an improvement, while 58 percent of Republicans said it will get worse.

The poll was taken earlier this month after the November jobs report found the unemployment rate had fallen to 7 percent, and the economy added more than 200,000 jobs…..


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We’re back!


It happened AGAIN….

Hostgator’s servers in Utah took a time out….

Oh, Well…..

Post Time!

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The US moves more Gitmo detainees out….

The President seeks to cut the numbers down there ….

Congress has been reluctant to close the facility down or bring any of it’s occupants to the continental United States….

The Pentagon described the transfer as a “significant milestone.” Eight other prisoners have been moved from the controversial detention facility since August, including two Saudis and two Algerians who returned to their countries earlier this month. Another 155 detainees remain.

President Obama last week reaffirmed his commitment to shutter the prison at Guantanamo, despite ongoing resistance from Republican lawmakers.

“The continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners and emboldening violent extremists,” Obama said.

Returning the Uighurs to China was not an option for the United States because of fears that they might be treated harshly.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Slovakia’s decision to take the men was a “humanitarian gesture.” He issued a statement thanking the country for its “willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”


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The Duck Dynasty thing and the acceptance of Bigotry….

Two things to remember if you think this Duck Dynasty thing is about anything except bigotry

by Chris Bowers @ Daily Kos

states where you can be fired for being gay

  1. Conservatives have rallied to Phil Robertson’s defense, arguing that employers should not be allowed to fire someone for making homophobic remarks.
  2. Conservatives oppose passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because they believe employers should continue to be allowed to fire someone for being gay.

To recap: It’s the gays who should be fired, not the people who make bigoted remarks about them.

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Israeli Government will pay for abortions for ALL women 20-33…

….from Haaretz…..

Israel will pay for abortions for women aged 20 to 33 regardless of circumstance starting next year, health officials said Monday, adding that they hope to make eligibility for state funding universal in the future. ….

Source (Behind paywall)

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Tim Tebow is outta football and in at ESPN….

Good for him….

He really had no future in PLAYING football….

Sometimes the entertainment factor gets in the way….

Tim Tebow is heading back to the SEC! The former Florida Gators quarterback has officially signed on to ESPN as an on-air analyst for the network’s SEC Nation — a traveling pre-game show that broadcasts from a different SEC campus each week.

The 26-year-old had played for three teams in the NFL — the New York Jets, the Denver Broncos, and most recently the New England Patriots before getting cut prior to the team’s regular season.

“I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity,” the Heisman trophy winner said in a statement. “When I was six years old I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC.”



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Veteran’s ARE angry at COLA cuts…..

Congress will under pressure to roll back ALL of the COLA ( Cost of Living Adjustments) military cuts….

House Budget Chair Ryan and Senate Chair Murray are already amending the COLA cuts to exempt disabled vets and surviors of those killed in action….The cuts don’t go into effect until 2015 giving Congress time to find a way to roll back the the cuts….

The ONLY House members speaking out against an outright restoration is Paul Ryan and he has only one vote…..

A solution could be to have the cuts affect only future military retires….

“I’m not an angry man, but I was very, very angry,” Preston, 51, said in a telephone interview from his home in Tampa. “This is a pact between the greater population of the United States and the fraction of people who served and sacrificed. If you didn’t want to pay us what you promised us, then you probably shouldn’t have promised it.”

The plan to trim pension increases for working-age military retirees such as Preston is by far the most controversial provision in a bipartisan budget dealapproved by Congress and signed last weekby President Obama.

The cut is small — a one-percentage-point reduction in the annual cost-of-
living increase — but it has provoked outrage among veterans who argue that the country is reneging on a solemn pact. And even though lawmakers, especially in the GOP, fulminate about the need to cut the cost of federal health and retirement benefits, many have vowed to roll the cut back when Congress returns to work next week.

The authors of the budget deal, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), have already agreed to amend the provision to exempt disabled retirees and survivors of those killed in action, eliminating roughly 10 percent of the $6 billion in savings projected over the next decade.

But Ryan has resisted efforts to abandon the pension cut entirely, calling it a “modest” adjustment to a particularly generous program — and therefore a more sensible choice than harder decisions that may lie ahead.

“I stand behind the need for reform,” Ryan wrote in a Dec. 22 op-ed in USA Today. Noting that a special commission is due to make recommendations in May to reform the entire military compensation system, Ryan wrote, “That’s why this reform does not take effect until the end of 2015 — it gives Congress ample time to consider alternatives.”

Opponents say the policy retroactively penalizes a deserving group while doing nothing to contain the much larger cost of health and retirement benefits for the general public…..


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Unmanned aircraft/drones to be flight tested around the country….

They are still a long ways off from being accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration for operation in the nations airways….

The only ones allowed  are the Government’s military type large Predator and Global Hawks ….

The testing will be small airports…..

All of the aircraft will have to certified GPS users…

While the public is mostly aware of drones like Predators, Global Hawks and other high-altitude, long-range planes operated by the government, Monday’s announcement covers commercial and private aircraft that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

These include electric helicopters that a landlord could use to inspect a rooftop water tower; midget helicopters that a utility line worker starts by yanking a cord like the one on a chain saw, which can fly close to power lines; and Styrofoam planes that run on lighter fluid and can fly over fields to look for agricultural pests. Police and fire departments are among those eager to operate drones.

Competition to host the test sites was fierce, with state economic development agencies predicting that a major industry was developing.

The six winners, chosen from a field of 25, included Griffiss International Airport, a former Air Force base near Rome, N.Y., and Virginia Tech, which will fly in Virginia and has an agreement with Rutgers University in New Jersey for testing there as well. Virginia Tech plans to conduct “failure mode” testing, meaning what happens if the aircraft’s control link is lost.

The others were the University of Alaska, which plans to test in Hawaii and Oregon as well as Alaska, the State of Nevada, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Michael P. Huerta, the administrator of the F.A.A., said the sites provided a diversity of geography, climate and air traffic density.

Mr. Huerta said the choice of the six institutions is a major milestone for the aircraft, whose proponents prefer to call them “unmanned aerial systems.”


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The US is behind in fast net’ service…New web address suffixes are coming…

The United States, the country that invented the Internet, is falling dangerously behind in offering high-speed, affordable broadband service to businesses and consumers, according to technology experts and an array of recent studies.

In terms of Internet speed and cost, “ours seems completely out of whack with what we see in the rest of the world,” said Susan Crawford, a law professor at Yeshiva University in Manhattan, a former Obama administration technology adviser and a leading critic of American broadband.

The Obama administration effectively agrees.

“While this country has made tremendous progress investing in and delivering high-speed broadband to an unprecedented number of Americans, significant areas for improvement remain,” said Tom Power, deputy chief technology officer for telecommunications…..


ICANN ( Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ) began accepting applications for the new suffixes — officially known as generic top-level domains, or gTLDs — in early 2012, and a slew of companies plunked down the $185,000 fee to throw their hat in the ring.

The program attracted an array of domain companies as well as well as larger firms seeking the right to operate their own brand names as an ending — for example, .cadillac or .mcdonalds. Tech giants like Google and Amazon.com also spent millions on an array of applications for terms such as .app and .search.

As the expansion process moves forward, the domain industry is pushing to raise awareness of the new options.

The largest domain-name seller, GoDaddy, is notifying its existing customers of the new endings that will soon be available. Once they are, the company plans to ramp up its advertising efforts even further, said Mike McLaughlin, GoDaddy’s vice president of domains.

Another domain-name seller, 1and1.com, launched a multimillion dollar ad campaign this fall aimed at explaining the arrival of new gTLDs. Some companies are offering preregistrations for website names on the new endings.

There are about 20 existing suffixes, dominated by the popular .com. Most consumers are familiar with a handful of other endings like .net, .gov and .edu. Polls, however, show a vast majority of Internet users don’t know about the coming expansion.


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