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During one of his testimonies before a Congressional committee he even talked about the future being something like the Star Trek holodeck. His clichés and commentary was that of a 18 year-old blogger who just got their first Macintosh. And his sketchy background was disconcerting. It included a 1997 bust for stealing shirts from JC Penny’s and the later bust of his former staff by the FBI at the DC office during a bribery investigation… So what have we got so far from this person? Well, for starters, we are looking at the Recovery.org website that will cost the taxpayers around $18 million. This news was released recently. What websites costs $18 million? –“Is US CIO Vivek Kundra a Phony?” by John C. Dvorak, Dvorak Uncensored
Followup: …After a few phone calls I was able to verify that Kundra did receive a Master’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College in 2001. That seems to conform with his official bio, where it states he “holds a MS in Information Technology from the University of Maryland.” –“The Facts On Kundra’s College Records,” Gautham Nagesh, NextGov.com
Followup: According to the spokesperson, the doubts might have arisen from the fact that Kundra went to University of Maryland’s University College instead of College Park. Those are two different colleges within the University of Maryland system. “If you are going to make such charges, make sure you call us and take the time to educate yourself,” said the spokesperson. “It is a lie.” –“Dvorak Raises Doubts About U.S. CIO Kundra. White House Calls the Report ‘Highly Inaccurate’ & ‘a Lie.’ Kundra Speaks up,” Om Malik, GigaOm
Obviously, there are plenty militantly hawkish young Jews. (Max Blumenthal captured some of the most offensive of them in his notorious video earlier this summer, which featured drunk American college students in Jerusalem spewing racist invective against Obama. YouTube later censored it, though its sequel is still available). Statistically, though, such ideology is on the decline. Younger Jews, says Steven M. Cohen, one of the leading sociologists of American Jewry, “are less engaged with Israel over all, and when they’re engaged with Israel, it’s not necessarily as much in the realm of political defense as it was maybe for their parents.” Cohen was a co-author, with Ari Y. Kelman, of a 2007 study which found that, among non-Orthodox Jews under 35, only 54 percent are “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state,” compared to over 80 percent of those 65 and older. Younger Jews are significantly less likely to self-identity as either Zionist or pro-Israel. There are many reasons for this alienation, but part of it is that “the politics of Israel don’t always sit so well with younger, especially left-of-center, Jews,” Cohen says. –“Same As It Ever Was? The pro-Israel lobby, long seen as an immutable part of American politics, may be headed toward obsolescence,” Michelle Goldberg, The American Prospect
So Barack Obama is facing the fight of his life (another one) as he attempts to reform the US healthcare system. The “special interests” – doctors, healthcare companies-– don’t like it. The “birthers”-– crazy types who hope to prove he is not American-– smell blood. The danger, says the Investor’s Business Daily, is that he borrows too much from the UK. “The controlling of medical costs in countries such as Britain through rationing, and the health consequences thereof, are legendary. The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script… People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.” We say his life is far from worthless, as they do at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge, where Professor Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, was treated for chest problems in April. As indeed does he. “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS,” he told us. “I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.” Something here is worthless. And it’s not him. –“Diary: Who cares if Professor Stephen Hawking lives or dies. Actually, we all do,” Hugh Muir, The Guardian
More from Claire Gutierrez:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”