Every Christmas, Lynda makes cranberry cookies and she uses the recipe from Good Cheap Eats:
- 3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cup fresh cranberries coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped nuts toasted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- In another mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with a hand mixer or a Kitchenaid. Beat in the egg, milk, and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. This will be a stiff dough. Add in the cranberries and almonds and mix well.½ cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, ¼ cup milk, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 cup fresh cranberries, 1 cup chopped nuts
- Drop dough by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
- Cooled cookies can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 2 months.
And Ronnie notes her favorite Christmas cookie recipe from A Taste of Home:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container.
Okay, at WSWS, Patrick Martin notes:
The massive omnibus budget bill passed by Congress and endorsed by President Joe Biden will cut social spending in real terms while increasing military spending and providing a further gusher of funds for the US proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.
The omnibus legislation passed the Senate Thursday afternoon by a 68–29 vote, with all 50 Democrats and 18 Republicans supporting it, and 29 Republicans opposed. The bill raises domestic spending by $42 billion, or 6 percent, and raises military spending by $76 billion, roughly 10 percent.
The legislation accounts only for discretionary federal spending, which is subject to congressional action each year. An even larger sum goes to automatic outlays, so-called entitlements, which include Social Security and Medicare payments, other small retirement and benefit plans, and interest on the federal debt, which will rise sharply next year as the Federal Reserve raises rates.
Besides the top-line numbers of $858 billion for the military and $772 billion for domestic programs, there is another $80 billion in emergency spending, more than half for Ukraine, and the remainder to fund responses to US natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and wildfires. The White House proposal of $9 billion to fund future responses to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was dropped.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot'' for Friday:
- Daniel Davis Aston, 28
- Kelly Loving, 40
- Ashley Paugh, 35
- Derrick Rump, 38
- Raymond Green Vance, 22
Twitter, since it was taken over by self-described “free-speech absolutist” Elon Musk, has seen a dramatic rise in the use of the anti-gay slur “groomer” among a cluster of high-profile anti-LGBTQ accounts, according to a new report.
According to a study by Media Matters and GLAAD released Tuesday, nine prominent anti-LGBTQ accounts had an over 1,200% increase in Twitter users’ retweets of the accounts’ tweets with the “groomer” slur in the one-month period after Musk’s Oct. 27 takeover compared with the month prior.
The accounts also showed an increase of more than 1,100% in mentions of the right-wing media accounts in tweets with the slur. The accounts analyzed in the study are: Tim Pool, Jack Posobiec, Jake Shield, Gays Against Groomers, Blaire White, Allie Beth Stuckey, Andy Ngo, Seth Dillon and Mike Cernovich. In addition, the Libs of TikTok account saw more than a 600% increase in its mentions with “groomer” language, going from nearly 2,000 to nearly 14,000 over the same timeframe.
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) released the following statements after the Respect for Child Survivors Act, a bill developed in response to the FBI’s mishandling of the Larry Nassar investigation, passed the House. The bill, now headed to the President’s desk, would improve the treatment of FBI child victim witnesses by requiring trauma-informed experts to be a part of any interview of a victim who reports child abuse or trafficking to the FBI.
“We have a duty to ensure that survivors and witnesses to sexual assault are heard and respected, especially when they come forward to law enforcement to report abuse,” said Senator Coons. “Unfortunately, mishandled or repeated interviews can too often retraumatize survivors. The bipartisan, bicameral Respect for Child Survivors Act will reduce poorly conducted interviews during investigations of child abuse and sexual exploitation by requiring the FBI to use multidisciplinary teams of trained professionals. I’m proud to see this head to the President’s desk for signature, and I hope it will protect survivors and encourage more to come forward.”
“The FBI has a sworn obligation to protect victims who report child abuse, and that extends to agents’ interviews with vulnerable child witnesses,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation requires the FBI to include trauma-informed experts in interviews with victims to ensure they are not retraumatized during the interview process, and I urge President Biden to swiftly sign it into law.”
“I applaud Senator Cornyn’s leadership on this issue to correct an egregious wrong committed by certain FBI agents regarding their treatment of victims of sexual abuse,” said Senator Graham. “Requiring the FBI to use appropriate, tried-and-true methods to interview child victims will help ensure the FBI’s failure in the Nassar case doesn’t happen again. Our legislation makes it clear that we expect better.”
“As we work to support survivors of child sexual abuse and trafficking, we need to provide law enforcement with the training and skills they need to investigate these crimes and help victims,” said Senator Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation will ensure law enforcement officers can partner with child advocacy centers to use the most effective techniques when conducting these critical investigations.”
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the Inspector General’s Report on the FBI’s Handling of the Larry Nassar investigation last year, retired gymnast and survivor McKayla Maroney shared striking testimony of how she was treated by the FBI personnel who interviewed her. This legislation was formulated with input from child welfare groups to address the mistreatment of child witnesses like those described during that hearing.
Under this legislation, victims would be interviewed by those with the expertise to appropriately address and treat their trauma. This bill would require the FBI to use multidisciplinary teams when investigating child sexual abuse cases, child sexual abuse material cases, and child trafficking cases, including in situations where the interviewed victim is no longer a child. These multidisciplinary teams would be composed of appropriate investigative personnel, mental health professionals, medical personnel, family advocacy case workers, child advocacy center personnel, and prosecutors. Members of these teams have expertise in their field, can provide trauma-informed care, and are required to stay current on industry training.
The use of multidisciplinary teams would prevent the retraumatizing of victims, and the information-sharing and case review provisions would ensure accountability so cases are not dropped or forgotten in the future. Investigations would be reviewed by a multidisciplinary team at regularly scheduled times to share information about case progress, address any investigative or prosecutorial barriers, and ensure victims receive support and needed treatment. This bill would also provide a dedicated source of funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers, which coordinate the investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases.
This legislation is supported by the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, the National District Attorneys Association, Army of Survivors, and the National Children’s Alliance.
However, 28 Republicans voted against the bill.
Those Republicans include Reps. Lauren Boebert (CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), and Rick Crawford (AR). All of these Republicans have opposed the expansion of LGBTQ+ civil rights and many have accused the LGBTQ+ community of sexualizing or “grooming” kids.
“Grooming” is a term for attempting to sexually abuse children; conservatives have used it to describe any mention of LGBTQ+ identities in front of children as a way of associating pedophilia with LGBTQ+ people, harkening back to the old negative stereotype.
In June, Boebert accused queer-inclusive teachers of “grooming” kids with educational flashcards showing a pregnant man on one of the cards.
In November, Greene called a gay Californian state Democratic Senator Scott Wiener a “communist groomer” for calling “groomer” an “anti-LGBTQ hate word.”
Responding to Wiener’s tweet, Greene wrote, “Pass my Protect Children’s Innocence Act to stop communist groomers like this from using state government power to take children away from their parents to allow a for-profit medical industry to chop off these confused children’s genitals before they are even old enough to vote,” she said.
Her bill would ban gender-affirming health care for transgender minors at the federal level, which she has compared to pedophilia.
In October, Gohmert co-sponsored a bill called the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act” which would ban any entity that receives federal money from talking about sexual orientation or gender identity to children under the age of 10.
The bill would go far beyond Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law defining “sexually-oriented material [as] … any topic involving gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation, or related topics.”
In 2016, Gosar suggested an amendment to bar transgender people from using public restrooms that align with their gender identity in U.S. governmental buildings. Transphobic politicians often say that such bills are necessary to prevent trans people from attacking women and children in public toilets, something that rarely ever occurs.
Crawford has consistently voted against LGBTQ+ civil rights.
It’s notable that these politicians, who have spent the year making so much noise about LGBTQ+ people supposedly “grooming” children, never speak as loudly against widespread child sex abuse in the Christian church, nor do they partner with organizations that actually oppose such abuse or child sex trafficking.
And they weren’t willing to even vote for a bill to address child sex abuse that got broad bipartisan support.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Staff Sgt. Samuel D. Lecce, 32, of Jefferson, Tenn., died Dec. 19, 2022, as the result of a non-combat related incident in Iraq. This incident is under investigation.
Lecce was assigned to the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
For more information regarding Staff Sgt. Samuel D. Lecce, media may contact Maj. Matthew Finnerty, MARSOC Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, at email@example.com.
For the past few weeks, journalists have been reporting on what they've found in the "Twitter Files"—thousands and thousands of documents they were given access to by Twitter's new owner and CEO, the billionaire Elon Musk. The revelations have been astonishing and deeply troubling, exposing solid evidence of collusion between top executives at the FBI and their cozy counterparts at Twitter.
FBI leadership and Twitter censors conferred constantly about how to shut down political speech based on its content, confirming the suspicions of, well, anyone who was paying attention. And it proves without a doubt that over the past few years, countless Americans have undergone a real violation of their First Amendment rights.
The First Amendment mandates that government can't abridge—meaning limit or censor—speech based on its content. Even if attempting to advance the noblest of causes, government actors must not collide with this constitutional guardrail. The Constitution simply isn't optional. Government officials must treasure it like gold and defend it like hearth and home.
Dozens of former national security officials have gone to work for Facebook and Twitter after leaving government service, raising concerns about the influence of their onetime agencies over the social media giants.
At Twitter alone, at least eight former FBI agents work at the company’s so-called “trust” and “security” divisions — including its product policy manager Greg Anderson, who previously worked on “psychological operations” at the National Security Council, The Post has learned. Another is Matthew Williams, the company’s co-lead of its Trust and Safety department who spent more that 15 years in intelligence with the agency.
The discovery of the DC-to-Silicon Valley pipeline comes amid an outcry over revelations that the FBI influenced Twitter to suppress The Post’s account over its reporting on Hunter Biden’s overseas business interests in October 2020 and has regularly demanded specific accounts and tweets be banned.
Multiple releases of internal company documents since Dec. 2 show Twitter developed a close working relationship with the intelligence community, which frequently leaned on them to censor political speech.
Philly cops were called to a home on the 1800 block of Brunner Street in the Tioga-Nicetown section of the city's north side at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14. for reports of an unresponsive person with an injury to the face.
The individual, later identified as Jackson, was declared dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma, police said. The matter is being investigated as a homicide.
On a GoFundMe page