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Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

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This Day in History


Breakfast News


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ANC's glory fades as South Africa's 'born free' generation votes

Six months pregnant, Elizabeth Kganyo was determined to cast her vote, even if it meant standing in a sun-baked queue for hours on end. "I was so excited because it was the first time," she recalls, sitting on an upturned plastic basket outside her shack in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg. "Everybody wanted to vote. Everybody was happy."

South Africa held its first multiracial election 20 years ago on Sunday, defying bombs, bluster and the threat of civil war to conjure a spectacle of voters in long, winding lines that ravished the world. But for Kganyo, like millions of others who put a cross beside the face of Nelson Mandela, those days of miracles and wonder are a fading memory. "It's not the same now. We're not happy to vote any more. It's not like the first time."

Next month, South Africans return to the polls for the first election since Mandela's death and the first in which the so-called "born free" generation – those whose lives began after racial apartheid – are eligible to vote. The African National Congress is in no doubt of a fifth consecutive victory on 7 May but faces an unprecedented long-term challenge both on the streets and at the ballot box.

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How India is split over BJP's Narendra Modi

This is probably the first time that a general election in India is centred around one personality who is loved and loathed in equal measure.

Mr Modi, who has been chief minister of the western state of Gujarat since 2001, is seen as a dynamic and efficient leader who has made his state an economic powerhouse.

But he is also accused of doing little to stop the 2002 religious riots when more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed - allegations he has consistently denied.

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Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir issues defiant statement
Hamid Mir, a popular and sometimes controversial anchor for the country's leading news channel Geo TV, was shot and wounded on Saturday in Karachi.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) dismissed the accusation as baseless and misleading.

The defence department has urged the media regulator to suspend Geo TV.

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Gov. candidate Wolf admits part of 'Fresh Start' campaign plan plagiarized
Two Democratic gubernatorial candidates on Thursday chastised businessman Tom Wolf's campaign for plagiarizing a section of his “Fresh Start” campaign platform.

Wolf acknowledged the mistake hours after U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a rival in the primary race, pointed out the plagiarism in a news release.

“I have directed the staff to make sure nothing like this ever happens again and have asked for a new process to be put in place to ensure it does not,” said Wolf in a statement.

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The FCC is about to axe-murder net neutrality. Don't get mad – get even

In January, a federal appeals court rejected regulations designed to assure some measure of fairness in the way America's internet service providers (ISPs) handle information traveling through their networks. The problem, according to the court, was not so much that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) couldn't insist on what is called "network neutrality" – the idea that customers, rather than ISPs, should decide priorities for information they get online. No, the issue was that the FCC had tried to impose broadband rules under the wrong regulatory framework. And the court all but invited the FCC to fix its own mistake and rewrite its own updated rules.

The FCC's new chairman, the former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler, said he would comply, rather than appeal. "Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency," he said in a February statement.

Now, based on a slew of frightening news reports last night and a "clarification" from the FCC late this morning, we know how the agency – or at least the former cable and wireless industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler – proposes to respond: it won't exercise its supreme regulatory authority in the manner the court suggested.


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Number of military suicides dropped last year

Suicides across the military dropped by more than 15 percent last year, but new detailed data reveals an increase in the number of Army National Guard and Reserve soldiers who took their own lives.

The overall totals provided by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps give some hope that prevention programs and increased efforts to identify troops at risk may be taking hold after several years of escalating suicides. But the increase among Army National Guard and Reserve members raises questions about whether those programs are getting to the citizen soldiers who may not have the same access to support networks and help that their active duty comrades receive.

Not only did the Army National Guard and Reserve suicides increase from 140 in 2012 to 152 last year, but the 2013 total exceeded the number of active duty soldiers who took their own lives, according to the Army. There were 151 active duty soldier suicides last year, compared with 185 in 2012, Army officials said.

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Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?

Project Orion has to be the most audacious, dangerous and downright absurd space programme ever funded by the US taxpayer. This 1950s design involved exploding nuclear bombs behind a spacecraft the size of the Empire State Building to propel it through space. The Orion’s engine would generate enormous amounts of energy – and with it lethal doses of radiation.

Plans suggested the spacecraft could take off from Earth and travel to Mars and back in just three months. The quickest flight using conventional rockets and the right planetary alignment is 18 months.

There were obvious challenges – from irradiating the crew and the launch site, to the disruption caused by the electromagnetic pulse, plus the dangers of a catastrophic nuclear accident taking out a sizable portion of the US. But the plan was, nevertheless, given serious consideration. Project Orion was conceived when atmospheric nuclear tests were commonplace and the power of the atom promised us all a bright new tomorrow. Or oblivion. Life was simpler then.

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Living a conjoined life

Like most 23-year-olds Abby and Brittany Hensel love spending time with their friends, going on holiday, driving, playing sport such as volleyball and living life to the full.

The identical, conjoined twins from Minnesota, in the United States, have graduated from Bethel University and are setting out on their career as primary school teachers with an emphasis on maths.

Although they have two teaching licences, there is one practical difference when it comes to the finances.

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Must Read Blog Posts


So, what did Hillary Clinton accomplish at the State Department?

"I moved left just by standing still."

Targeted Assassinations, Executive Overreach and Impeachment

Consortium News’ Exclusive by JP Sottile: “America’s Surge Toward Oligarchy”
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The Daily Wiki


And on the seventh day, God created hot pot.

Hot pot
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Hot pot, also known as steamboat (Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei), refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter during supper time.

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Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac


In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.

Aristotle

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Breakfast Tunes



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Stupid Shit by LaEscapee


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