PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a liar” in a private conversation with President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week’s G20 summit in Cannes.

“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.

“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

The technical gaffe is likely to cause great embarrassment to all three leaders as they look to work together to intensify international pressure on Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

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‘Think of the American economy as a large apartment block,’ says the softly spoken professor. ‘A century ago – even 30 years ago – it was the object of envy. But in the last generation its character has changed. The penthouses at the top keep getting larger and larger. The apartments in the middle are feeling more and more squeezed and the basement has flooded. To round it off, the elevator is no longer working. That broken elevator is what gets people down the most.’
Larry Katz, a Harvard economist, talking about both the increasing gap in economic inequality and the lack of opportunity for upward social mobility in America (via desprovisto)

Scoop on Obama’s job plan: Infrastructure projects without congressional approval


Obama directed several federal agencies to identify “high-impact, job-creating infrastructure projects” that can be expedited now, without congressional approval.

“…the administration can make a fair amount of progress on its own infrastructure goals without the help of Congress. Obama’s order on Wednesday was issued in similar spirit to other smooth-government activities designed to get stuff done. The Energy Department already is using a technology-related “dashboard” to allow businesses and consumers to track government projects, which will now be extended to other federal agencies. The Transportation Department has been developing its own “infrastructure bank” to help direct technical assistance and federal money to high-impact road and bridge projects. That idea will now be shared among other agencies.

Source: The Atlantic

The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.

The Treaty of Tripoli, signed 1797

Next time anyone tries to tell you the US was founded on anything remotely related to Christianity, just pull this out. Also, to give the date context, this was signed only ten years after the ratification of our Constitution, which also has no reference to Christianity or religious authority of any kind.

(via sanityscraps)