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Putin’s daughter is found living in Holland

Dutch furious after Putin’s daughter is found living in Holland

Putin’s daughter is found living in Holland

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter is living with a Dutch boyfriend in the Netherlands as the country reels from last week’s jetliner missile attack by Ukrainian rebels with Russian-supplied weapons, according to reports Wednesday.

Outrage over Maria Putin’s presence in the grief-stricken country — which lost 193 citizens aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 — is fueling calls for her deportation, The Guardian reported.

Ukrainians living in the Netherlands are also planning a protest outside Maria’s apartment in the wealthy suburb of Voorschoten, outside The Hague, according to De Telegraaf newspaper.

Pieter Broertjes, mayor of the city of Hilversum, demanded the ouster of Maria, 29, during a radio interview Wednesday, as the country held a day of mourning and church bells tolled to announce the arival of the first bodies from Thursday’s plane crash.

How Well Do You Know Your Partner?

How Well Do You Know Your Partner?

By Heidi Reeder Ph.D.

Even after years together, there are many things about your partner you don’t know. Take advantage of your next date night to ask some stimulating questions, and grow a little closer.

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?


The Common Core should finally improve math education. The problem is that no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.

When Akihiko Takahashi was a junior in college in 1978, he was like most of the other students at his university in suburban Tokyo. He had a vague sense of wanting to accomplish something but no clue what that something should be. But that spring he met a man who would become his mentor, and this relationship set the course of his entire career.

Takeshi Matsuyama was an elementary-school teacher, but like a small number of instructors in Japan, he taught not just young children but also college students who wanted to become teachers. At the university-affiliated elementary school where Matsuyama taught, he turned his classroom into a kind of laboratory, concocting and trying out new teaching ideas. When Takahashi met him, Matsuyama was in the middle of his boldest experiment yet — revolutionizing the way students learned math by radically changing the way teachers taught it.

Instead of having students memorize and then practice endless lists of equations — which Takahashi remembered from his own days in school — Matsuyama taught his college students to encourage passionate discussions among children so they would come to uncover math’s procedures, properties and proofs for themselves. One day, for example, the young students would derive the formula for finding the area of a rectangle; the next, they would use what they learned to do the same for parallelograms. Taught this new way, math itself seemed transformed. It was not dull misery but challenging, stimulating and even fun.

Takahashi quickly became a convert. He discovered that these ideas came from reformers in the United States, and he dedicated himself to learning to teach like an American. Over the next 12 years, as the Japanese educational system embraced this more vibrant approach to math, Takahashi taught first through sixth grade. Teaching, and thinking about teaching, was practically all he did. A quiet man with calm, smiling eyes, his passion for a new kind of math instruction could take his colleagues by surprise. “He looks very gentle and kind,” Kazuyuki Shirai, a fellow math teacher, told me through a translator. “But when he starts talking about math, everything changes.”

Takahashi was especially enthralled with an American group called the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, or N.C.T.M., which published manifestoes throughout the 1980s, prescribing radical changes in the teaching of math. Spending late nights at school, Takahashi read every one. Like many professionals in Japan, teachers often said they did their work in the name of their mentor. It was as if Takahashi bore two influences: Matsuyama and the American reformers.

Takahashi, who is 58, became one of his country’s leading math teachers, once attracting 1,000 observers to a public lesson. He participated in a classroom equivalent of “Iron Chef,” the popular Japanese television show. But in 1991, when he got the opportunity to take a new job in America, teaching at a school run by the Japanese Education Ministry for expats in Chicago, he did not hesitate. With his wife, a graphic designer, he left his friends, family, colleagues — everything he knew — and moved to the United States, eager to be at the center of the new math.

As soon as he arrived, he started spending his days off visiting American schools. One of the first math classes he observed gave him such a jolt that he assumed there must have been some kind of mistake. The class looked exactly like his own memories of school. “I thought, Well, that’s only this class,” Takahashi said. But the next class looked like the first, and so did the next and the one after that. The Americans might have invented the world’s best methods for teaching math to children, but it was difficult to find anyone actually using them.

Silicon Valley's gig economy is not the future of work – it's driving down wages

dry cleaning

Silicon Valley's gig economy is not the future of work – it's driving down wages

sarah jaffe

Sarah Jaffe

Sites like TaskRabbit are isolating workers and paying them less. But they might force the union of the future

Like many of the other tech companies – Lyft, Zaarly, Fiverr – that have gotten bucketloads of venture capital to match underemployed people with no-commitment gigs, TaskRabbit taps into an existing need – any kind of income in an economy increasingly built on low-wage jobs or no jobs at all – and fulfils a real desire for flexibility among 21st-century workers. The company's CEO has said that TaskRabbit's goal is to "revolutionize the world's labor force".

But TaskRabbit, like all the others, is just a site and an app that matches workers – "taskers", in the company's terminology – with one-off jobs that other people want done for them. In the old days – as in, a couple of weeks ago – workers would bid on jobs posted by potential clients on the TaskRabbit site, and clients would select the best bid for "outsourcing" chores like cleaning the oven, wrapping gifts or assembling Ikea furniture. The pay might have been low at that point, but workers determined it for themselves, just as they determined when and what kind of work they would do.

Now, TaskRabbit has changed its rules. Attempting to capitalize on the explosion in the so-called "gig economy" and set itself apart from the ever-growing competition, TaskRabbit this month has begun using a new algorithm to match workers with clients, who then contact a given worker to see if she is available, and the worker has 30 minutes to accept or reject the bid.

The taskers are not pleased.

DANIEL HALPER: My Battle With the Clintons

My Battle With the Clintons

I wrote a tough book on the Clinton family. Here's what happened next.

When I started to write Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, I knew the reaction to expect. I was well aware that the former (and perhaps future) first family and its massive retinue of loyalty enforcers, professional defamers and assorted gadflies would rue my intent to examine the real Clintons—especially in my search for the real Chelsea Clinton, who until now has been a media-protected nonperson despite her aggressive public activities on her family’s behalf and despite raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from her role as former first daughter.

MSNBC’s David Shuster learned this the hard way when he was suspended from the network for saying, “But doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?” in a live TV hit on how the former first daughter was being used by her mother’s 2008 campaign. The Clintons hit the roof over the single relatively banal comment, as I report in my book, and lobbied the head of parent company GE to get Shuster off the air.

I also had a feeling that some of the sources I spoke to, for and not-for attribution, including alleged Clinton mistresses who’ve stayed out of the press and remain loyal to Bill, would alert the Clintons to what I was doing and help them prepare a counterattack.

But even if I hadn’t known it, many, many people in Washington, on the left and right, popped up to warn me of what to expect from the Clinton PR team. Other authors—legitimate ones with serious pedigrees—who’d written about the Clintons said they were threatened and verbally attacked. Of course, nearly everyone in Washington has seen the much-vaunted Clinton PR machine in action. It’s very predictable.

How America Finances the Destruction in Gaza—and the Clean-Up

The US-subsidized Israeli military wreaks devastation, and a US-funded UN agency deals with the aftermath.

On Monday, Israeli warplanes fired 182 missiles into Gaza, Israeli ships launched 146 shells into the territory, and Israeli tanks shot 721 shells, with all these attacks striking 66 structures and killing 107 Palestinians (including 35 children), while Hamas launched 101 rockets toward Israel, and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed. That day, the State Department announced that the United States would be providing $47 million "to help address the humanitarian situation in Gaza." A third of these funds would go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is providing food, water, and shelter to tens of thousands of war-affected Palestinians in Gaza. So once again, US taxpayers are in an absurd place: They are partly paying for the Israeli military action in Gaza and funding the clean-up.

Each year, the United States gives Israel about $3.1 billion in military assistance, a commitment that stems from the 1978 Camp David accord that led to peace between Israel and Egypt. Those billions are roughly divided into two funding streams. About $800 million underwrites Israeli manufacturing of weaponry and military products. The rest finances what is essentially a gift card that the Israeli military uses to procure arms and military equipment from US military contractors. It can be safely assumed, says a US expert on aid to Israel, that all units of the Israel Defense Forces benefit from US assistance—and this obviously includes those units fighting in Gaza. So to a certain degree, the destruction in Gaza does have a made-in-the-USA stamp.

Warning of possible Gaza war crimes

Warning of possible Gaza war crimes

 Ian Black

Gaza buildings blazing after air strike, 23 July 2014

UN high commissioner for human rights says Israel may have committed war crimes in its offensive against Hamas

Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has warned that Israel may have committed war crimes in its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed in the past two weeks.

Pillay told an emergency debate at the UN human rights council (UNHRC) in Geneva that Israel had not done enough to protect civilians.

"There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes," Pillay said, citing air strikes and the shelling of homes and hospitals. The killing of civilians in Gaza, including dozens of children, raised concerns over Israel's precautions and its respect for proportionality, she said.

She also condemned Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza, and other armed Palestinian groups, for their "indiscriminate attacks" on Israel.

Pillay's comments, in a debate held at the request of Egypt, Pakistan and the state of Palestine (which has observer status at the UN), were in response to a resolution calling for an investigation into the Gaza campaign, launched on 8 July with the declared objective of halting rocket fire into Israel.

The 46-member UN human rights council body has a majority that is pro-Palestinian. Israel only recently rejoined it after a 20-month boycott.

The 9/11 Commission Is Back With a New Warning for America

The 9/11 Commission Is Back With a New Warning for America

Ten years after their groundbreaking report, the 9/11 Commission report authors are back to warn us that we’re still very vulnerable.

The co-authors of the bestselling 9/11 Commission report are once again sounding the alarm about the nation’s readiness, warning of “counter terrorism fatigue and a waning sense of urgency” in combating a growing terrorist threat. While the core of al Qaeda has been significantly degraded, its affiliates are now in 16 countries, and the Commission’s reflections a decade after its original report is titled, “Today’s Rising Terrorist Threat and the Danger to the United States.”

While the updated Commission report isn’t as direct as President Bush’s August 2001 classified briefing, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.,” the cumulative effect of its findings, and the vulnerabilities it documents, should serve as much-needed wake-up calls for Congress and the White House.

“The world is an even more dangerous place these last few weeks and months,” said former Indiana congressman and Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton. He detailed how fighters traveling to Syria are re-directing battlefield skills they acquire “and returning to attack us,” with U.S. aviation the primary target of their bomb making. So-called lone wolves radicalized over the Internet and relentless cyber attacks rounded out the overview Hamilton presented Tuesday in an event sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

“There can be no more failure of imagination,” said former New Jersey Governor and Commission co-chair Tom Kean. “We’ve got to get ahead of these guys, not behind them.”

It's almost here..........

House moves to halt illegal immigration by deploying U.S. forces to Central America

U.S. Border Patrol Senior Agent B.T. Hick and his dog Mirza, left, inspect a car at a check point outside Organ Pipe Cactus National Park in Why, Ariz., Wednesday, May 24, 2006. The detention of a prominent immigration activist at a Texas airport served as a reminder of the latitude the Border Patrol has in conducting checkpoints for drugs and immigrants in the country illegally at locations not on the border. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

House moves to halt illegal immigration by deploying U.S. forces to Central America

By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times

A House Republican task force Wednesday unveiled a dozen policy recommendations to ease the border crisis, including launching law enforcement operations in Central America and Mexico to stop illegal immigrants before they reach the U.S.

Under the plan, the U.S. steps to accelerate immigration hearings for the unaccompanied alien children flooding across the Southern border, providing additional judges to hear requests for asylum. Tougher penalties on human traffickers, or coyotes, who smuggle the children to the United Sates would be imposed to discourage more mass illegal migration.

The Democrats’ Obama problem

The Democrats’ Obama problem

Aaron Blake

50 percent of voters in the 12 Senate battlegrounds strongly disapprove of the president, according to a new poll.

President Obama is unpopular. In the 12 states that will decide control of the Senate this November, though, he's even more unpopular.

A new poll from Democratic pollster Democracy Corps shows 60 percent of people in these states say they disapprove of Obama, compared to just 37 percent who approve. Perhaps more striking: 50 percent of voters in these states say they not only disapprove of Obama, but they "strongly" disapprove of him.

The fact that Obama's numbers are worse in these states, of course, is to be expected. After all, the 2014 race is mostly being decided in red states, and Mitt Romney won these 12 states by an average of 8.5 points. Obama was bound to be less popular here.

10 secret rules of working in Disney's Magic Kingdoms

10 secret rules of working in Disney's Magic Kingdoms

Don't point, always pick up trash (but don't bend down to do it), and never, ever break character

In order to get, and keep, a job as a character at Disney World, employees must abide by a number of strict rules, ranging from the obvious to the somewhat bizarre.

Husband Tracks Sex on Spreadsheet: Does Wife Owe Him More?

Husband Tracks Sex on Spreadsheet: Does Wife Owe Him More?

By Jeremy Nicholson, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Relationship partners often have different wants and needs, creating hard feelings and conflict. Without the right perspective, however, even well-intentioned solutions can make the problem worse instead of better. Fortunately, by learning how power and sex can lead to desire and satisfaction, partners can find a balance that empowers and pleases them both.

Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine to fend off Putin-backed rebels

U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment board a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter during a mission July 5, 2014, in Gereshk, Helmand province, Afghanistan.  U.S. Marine Corps photo.

Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine to fend off Putin-backed rebels

By Maggie Ybarra - The Washington Times

A team of Pentagon officials is heading to Ukraine to help the country rebuild its fractured military, a mission that lawmakers and analysts expect will result in recommendations for greater military assistance in the country’s fight against pro-Russia separatists amid international outrage over the downing of a commercial airplane.

Within the next few weeks, a group of Defense Department representatives who specialize in strategy and policy will head to Kiev to evaluate specific programs that the United States may want to help bolster, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

Francis State Beach Tragedy


College graduate, 26, dies after being BURIED ALIVE by 10ft deep sand tunnel he was digging

A California man died after a hole he was digging on the beach collapsed on top of him. Adam Pye, 26, dug a roughly 10-foot-deep hole at Francis State Beach and was standing in it around 5:30 p.m. Monday when the sand started caving in around him. About 30 people, including Pye's friends and bystanders, frantically dug with their hands, buckets and other improvised tools to expose his head. Paramedics managed to open Pye's airways while about 30 firefighters, aided by the bystanders, used shovels and other equipment to pull out his body. Rescuers extricated him in about 35 minutes and tried to revive him, but he died at the scene.

Does Volunteering Foster Narcissistic Kids?

Does Volunteering Foster Narcissistic Kids?

By Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D.

Youth Volunteerism

A growing body of research suggests children and teenagers are not getting the types of experiences that teach them to care — to put the common good before their own. Does the current culture of youth volunteerism teach kids to care less rather than more?


** FILE ** Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat. (Associated Press)

USIS, the firm that vetted Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Alexis, faces heat over border contract

By Jim McElhatton - The Washington Times

For the first time in its 20-year history, a federal contracting firm is filing a bid protest to overturn the $190 million award of a border security contract to a rival accused of fraud by the Justice Department. Contractor USIS, which vetted NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, won the contract over Virginia-based FCi Federal last month.

The contract award by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, came months after USIS was hit with a Justice Department complaint accusing the firm of falsely certifying that hundreds of thousands of background checks were completed.

“This is the first time in our company’s 20-year history that we have challenged a contract award, and we take our decision to file this protest very seriously,” FCi Federal chief executive Sharon D. Virts said in a statement, explaining the bid protest.

“We are surprised that a company under federal investigation for defrauding the government while conducting security-clearance background investigations can bid for and win government contracts, let alone one directly connected with our nation’s border security,” she said.

Still, the contract award has prompted questions from Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, and Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican. They sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security officials last week asking how the agency awarded a contract to a firm being sued by the Justice Department.

Mr. Cummings, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Mr. Coburn, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, also questioned how federal contracting officials deemed USIS to be “low-risk” despite the Justice Department lawsuit.

U.S. releases intelligence on Flight 17

A handout released says it shows a flight path. (U.S. Intelligence Community)

U.S. releases intelligence on Flight 17

Greg Miller

Officials describe the sensitive information as evidence that Moscow trained and equipped rebels who downed the plane.

The Obama administration, detailing what it called evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner, on Tuesday released satellite images and other sensitive intelligence that officials say show Moscow had trained and equipped rebels in Ukraine responsible for the attack.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials cited sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel markings on the downed aircraft, voiceprint analysis of separatists claiming credit for the strike, and a flood of photos and other data from social-media sites.

The officials also for the first time identified a sprawling Russian military installation near the city of Rostov as the main conduit of Russian support to separatists in Ukraine, describing it as a hub of training and weapons that has expanded dramatically over the past month. The officials said that tanks, rocket launchers and other arms have continued to flow into Ukraine even after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed 298 civilians.

Hezbollah Talks Big but Bows Out of the Gaza War


Hezbollah Talks Big but Bows Out of the Gaza War

Hamas is increasingly isolated in the region as it fights its ferocious war against Israel. In the old days Hezbollah might have helped—but not now.

Hezbollah boss Hassan Nasrallah made a phone call to Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal on Monday and vowed to support “the resistance in Gaza in any way necessary.” Then Nasrallah, whose fame has spread far and wide over the years as the head of the Iranian-backed Lebanese “Party of God,” called Palestinians Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Salah to talk about maintaining close diplomatic ties in the fight against Israel.

But here’s the real message from Nasrallah: Hamas, you’re on your own.

This is a far cry from those days in the middle of the last decade when Hezbollah, encouraged by Tehran, was staking out a position as the region’s preeminent leader of resistance against Israel and leader of a pan-Islamist movement ready to defend not only Shiites but also Sunni Muslims from, as they were wont to say, Jews and Crusaders.

In 2006, when the Israelis attacked Gaza in the south, Hezbollah started launching rockets attacking Israel from the north and kidnapped Israeli soldiers there, leading to a brief but brutal war in which Hezbollah guerrillas fought the vaunted Israel Defense Forces to a standstill.

But Hezbollah has more pressing strategic imperatives today, and Nasrallah is not known as an impulsive leader. He plots and schemes and bides his time to strike when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor. Weighing in on the side of Hamas would invite massive Israeli retaliation and force a replay of the 2006 war that, this time around, Hezbollah would be likely to lose—not just because Israel would fight a smarter campaign, but because Nasrallah’s forces are stretched so thin on so many fronts defending its allies—and Tehran’s—in Damascus and even in Baghdad.

Rebels shoot down two Ukrainian fighter jets

Rebels shoot down two Ukrainian fighter jets

MH17 wreckage

Ukrainian military spokesman says planes were brought down about 16 miles from MH17 site

Pro-Russia rebels have shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in eastern Ukraine just days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Ukrainian military spokesman has said.

"Two Sukhoi Ukrainian fighter jets have been shot down. The fate of the pilots is not known," a spokesman, Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, said, adding that the planes had been brought down about 16 miles (25km) from the crash site of MH17.

Families Are Paying Smugglers To Escort 'Unaccompanied' Children, Johnson Admits

Neil Munro

President Barack Obama (L) announces Jeh Johnson (R) to be his nominee for secretary of Homeland Security, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Oct. 18, 2013. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson admitted at a Tuesday press conference that nearly all the roughly 50,000 Central American youths who have crossed the Texas border since October are accompanied by smugglers hired by the youth’s parents or families.

“It is our observation and our experience that almost all of of them are smuggled,” he said. ”Nobody is freelancing,” he added.

“The families are paying as much as $10,000,” he said.

Johnson’s admissions undercut the White House claim that the smuggled youths can’t be repatriated immediately, but must be protected by the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which automatically allows trafficked youths a chance to win a green card in court.

Director Jonathan Demme Blasts Israel, Says Not an Anti-Semite

Director Jonathan Demme Blasts Israel, Says Not an Anti-Semite

“I think more than anything, first and foremost, all of these innocent children being killed. It makes me think about — please withdraw the settlements; please tear down the wall; please let's work for peace,” Demme said. “Every new iteration of the violence that comes up feels like you're starting all over again and I just can't imagine how unbearable it must be to be a Palestinian living in Gaza being invaded like this and seeing the children of your community lying dead in the sand."

Why Obama Is Tough on Russia, Not on Putin

Why Obama Is Tough on Russia, Not on Putin

  • By Gerald F. Seib

What might explain the difference in President Obama's tone toward Russian President Putin personally than toward Russia generically? There are a couple of possibilities.

One, which U.S. officials have discussed privately, is the hope that Mr. Putin may have been so embarrassed by the Malaysia Airlines disaster and the behavior of Russian separatists in its aftermath that he will decide it’s time to pull back from his support of those separatists and his broader program of intimidating Ukraine’s government.

Put in the diplomatic vernacular of the moment, it may be that Mr. Putin is looking for an “exit ramp” from Ukraine.

Mr. Obama appears to have a tense but functioning personal relationship with the Russian leader; he talks frequently of their phone conversations. It may well be that he hopes he can persuade the Russian president onto that exit ramp, or at least avoid personalizing the conflict in such a way that Mr. Putin feels he would be humiliated by making the turn onto the ramp.

In addition, the simple fact is that the Obama administration needs Mr. Putin’s cooperation in addressing some other messy world problems.

Where the Illegal Wild Things Go

Where the Illegal Wild Things Go

By Sam Price-Waldman

This government facility houses more than a million seized products of the exotic wildlife trade

The National Wildlife Property Repository, a government facility outside of Denver, stores more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to elephant ivory. These items are confiscated at points of entry around the United States, and sent to the Repository to be destroyed or used for educational purposes. The Wildlife Property Repository is a revealing window into the growing global industry of wildlife and plant trafficking, which has been estimated at up to $23 billion.

The secrets of New York's realtors

The secrets of New York's realtors

James Ball

New York: pricey.

How to find the client, seal the deal and collect the fee? A training manual issued to realtors, seen by the Guardian, reveals all

The document covers everything from dress code – “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure” – to crafting adverts, how to talk on the phone, sealing the deal, tackling those tricky questions from clients, and even when it’s permissible to take a client to bed.

The art of the realtor, though, lies in the deeply professional advice for handling any misgivings you may have about a particular place – and the manual is full of advice on this.

If a client feels an apartment is too small, suggested replies include “All apartments are basically four walls”, “Most people are not going to be home that much to begin with” and the profound and tautologous “a studio is a studio is a studio”.

If there’s not enough light in the apartment, well, “a halogen lamp would brighten the place up in a hurry”. But “in the right situation” agents are given another option which could just as easily have come from the famous creep-dating guidebook The Game: “You could say to a guy that his girlfriend’s eyes are so bright that they wouldn’t need any more light. She might get a kick out of it, and he will not disagree with you in front of her.”

4 Reasons Why Smart People Make Bad Career Decisions

4 Reasons Why Smart People Make Bad Career Decisions

By Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D.

We all know someone who has made bad career decisions – staying too long in a dead-end job, picking a career they are not suited for, or giving up a good job for a bad one. What are some of the psychological factors in play when making career decisions, and how can we make better ones?

Russia, Great Britain and Israel intercepted Bubba's x-rated conversations

Hurley burley: Bill Clinton and Liz Hurley at 2005 Children Charity Ball in Saint-Petersburg. Halper Lists Hurley among his rumored conquests

Russia, Great Britain and Israel intercepted White House phone calls, including Bubba's x-rated conversations

Explosive new book claims Bill Clinton's steamy phone sex calls with Monica were intercepted by Russia and the UK and used in a 'blackmail' attempt by Israeli Prime Minister according to ex-intern's secret dossier on the President

According to a new blockbuster book, tapes of Bill Clinton’s steamy phone sex with Monica Lewinsky posed a threat to national security and resulted in a not-so-subtle ‘blackmail’ attempt by the Prime Minister of Israel, who used the torrid exchanges to try to ‘convince’ the President to secure the release of an American spying for the Israelis.

The book, Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine by Weekly Standard editor Daniel Halper, has been described as 'scrupulously researched' and 'juicy'. The contents of this latest tome about the ultimate power couple have been widely leaked and have already been the subject of numerous news reports.

Halper reports evidence that not only the Israelis but also the British and Russians had ‘scooped up’ the microwaves off the top of the White House and taped Clinton's phone sex conversations with Monica – and perhaps other women.

According to allegations in the book, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the tapes to try to persuade Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard, an American caught and jailed for spying for Israel. Clinton lobbied for Pollard’s release but his attempts were ultimately thwarted by CIA Director George Tenet. That bombshell and scores of others - some amusing, some alarming - are part of hundreds of pages of allegations compiled by a team of lawyers and investigators working for Monica Lewinsky and viewed exclusively by Halper.

The so-called 'Monica Files', chronicling the dalliances and misdeeds of Clinton, were assembled for the hapless White House intern after the public outing of their affair in case she might be drawn into legal action against the President.

Happy days: Barbra Streisand was instrumental in helping Bill win the 1992 election. But sources close to Clinton say their relationship was more intimate

In another bombshell reportedly uncovered by Monica’s team, a woman, then a student at a university in California, claimed that she met a young Bill Clinton when he returned from his studies in England as a Rhodes scholar. She described a disturbing encounter with the man who would be president.

The couple dated once, Halper reports, and then they met up again at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. According to Lewinsky’s team they went to a wooded section of the park, where the future president pushed her to the ground and tried to have sex with her.

She 'scratched and kicked' him and managed to get away. Halper reports no charges were filed against Clinton.

Incredibly, decades later, the woman heard from the then Governor of Arkansas, according to Monica's dossier, to tell her he was running for President and ask for her support.

She said she would, but the woman believed the call was 'a blatant attempt' to find out if she would reveal anything about the assault in San Francisco, Halper reports.

California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers

California's drought has forced farmers to rely on groundwater, even as aquifers have been intentionally polluted due to exemptions for the oil industry.

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state's Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal "poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources." The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

The action comes as California's agriculture industry copes with a drought crisis that has emptied reservoirs and cost the state $2.2 billion this year alone. The lack of water has forced farmers across the state to supplement their water supply from underground aquifers, according to a study released this week by the University of California Davis.

The problem is that at least 100 of the state's aquifers were presumed to be useless for drinking and farming because the water was either of poor quality, or too deep underground to easily access. Years ago, the state exempted them from environmental protection and allowed the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them. But not all aquifers are exempted, and the system amounts to a patchwork of protected and unprotected water resources deep underground. Now, according to the cease and desist orders issued by the state, it appears that at least seven injection wells are likely pumping waste into fresh water aquifers protected by the law, and not other aquifers sacrificed by the state long ago.

Obamacare dealt massive setback by federal appeals court

President Barack Obama shares a humorous moment with a group of doctors from around the country in the Oval Office, Oct. 5, 2009, prior to a health insurance reform event at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obamacare dealt massive setback by federal appeals court

By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times

Americans are not entitled to Obamacare’s government subsidies if they live in a state that relied on the federal government to set up its insurance marketplace under the law, according to a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that could blow a hole through President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the administration used an IRS rule to stretch the meaning of the Affordable Care Act, which said financial aid to to low- and middle-income people should only flow to exchanges “established by the State.” If that means only state-run exchanges, it would cut off subsidies to two-thirds of the nation.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200: Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile

A piece of the wreckage shows damage that is said to be consistent with a hit from a fragmenting warhead. Credit Noah Sneider

Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile


A piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was shot down in eastern Ukraine last week bears telltale marks of small pieces of high-velocity shrapnel that apparently crippled the jet in flight. Riddled with these perforations and buffeted by a blast wave as it flew high above the conflict zone, the plane then most likely sheared apart.

The wreckage, photographed by two reporters for The New York Times in a field several miles from where the largest concentration of the Boeing’s debris settled, suggests that the destruction of the aircraft was caused by a supersonic missile that apparently exploded near the jet as it flew 33,000 feet above the ground, according to an analysis of the photographs by IHS Jane’s, the defense consultancy.

The damage, including the shrapnel holes and blistered paint on a panel of the destroyed plane’s exterior, is consistent with the effects of a fragmenting warhead carried by an SA-11 missile, known in Russian as a Buk, the type of missile that American officials have said was the probable culprit in the downing of the plane. 

Sterling 'needs sale to pay debts'

Sterling 'needs sale to pay debts'

Shelly Sterling sits with her husband, Donald Sterling.

Chief financial officer of Sterling's properties says banks will recall their loans if Sterling persists in refusing to sell the team

The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling's properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.

Darren Schield, who oversees the finances of The Sterling Family Trust, testified Monday that three banks are ready to recall their loans to Sterling because of his decision to dissolve the trust. His move was designed to rescind his signed agreement for the sale of the Clippers, a team he bought for $12 million.

Schield said if Sterling has to dump $500 million worth of apartment buildings he could destabilize the Los Angeles real estate market.

Sterling attorney Maxwell Blecher suggested that Sterling could take the company public in order to raise funds.

But Shelly Sterling's lawyer, Pierce O'Donnell, asked if it would be easy to go public "with Donald Sterling's reputation."

Schield responded: "There's huge reputation issues. I don't know if anyone would want to go into partnership with him."

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