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3751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ethics committee a sham on: November 19, 2010, 12:43:47 PM
My opinion as well as these authors.  I couldn't agree more.  It is a joke.  Pay a fine, say your sorry, get embarassed and lets all move on.  What a joke.
Congress cannot be expected to police their own anymore than anyone else.  I don't want him there so Republicans can use him as poster boy.  He should be thrown out.  Good bye.  Go to pasture you self serving narcissitic piece of garbage.  Your 80 yrs old.  Go away!  Nothing ever changes.  Only the people in charge.

****Rangel ‘trial’ spotlights flaws in House ethics process
By Rachel Rose Hartman
          By Rachel Rose Hartman and Holly Bailey

Every two years around this time, a common mantra repeated by Democrats and Republicans alike makes its way through Capitol Hill: This will be the Congress that finally cleans up Washington.

"We're going to drain the swamp," Nancy Pelosi vowed in 2006, echoing congressional leaders before her. And just last week, Eric Cantor, the No. 2 GOP leader in the House, promised virtually the same thing as the Republicans prepare to take the House majority. "We will drain the swamp rather than learn to swim with the alligators," Cantor declared.

But the conclusion this week of the House Ethics Committee investigation of New York Democrat Charlie Rangel confirms what virtually everyone in Washington knows about the House's interest in cracking down on ethics: It's a joke.

After two years of investigation by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (the official name of the ethics committee), Rangel was sentenced to a slap on the wrist for 11 separate ethics violations. It's a humiliating blow to the vanity of a 20-term lawmaker, perhaps, but Rangel won't have to resign from Congress or face penalties beyond paying back taxes on the charges. Rangel, like those before him, will benefit from a system designed entirely by Congress to protect its own.

Democrats and Republicans alike have worked for years to undermine the House ethics process. And as a result, the ethics committee has long functioned in a state of political stalemate--in part because both parties insisted on an equal number of representatives on the committee, which ensured a deadlock.

During the ethics committee's 2004 investigation of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), GOP leaders threatened to defund the committee. The panel ultimately found DeLay guilty of several ethics violations -- but it was an indictment in Texas for violating campaign finance laws, rather than the committee's punishment, that drove him from Congress.

And the dynamic that played out in DeLay's case is not uncommon. The House may recommend that a member be stripped of a committee assignment when a member's activities suggest the taint of corruption, but other than that, a lawmaker who appears to be connected to corruption usually just continues business as usual. The House, in short, protects its members.

When the FBI found $90,000 in bribes hidden in Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson's freezer in 2006, the House Ethics Committee voted to open an investigation, but didn't appear to do anything. It wasn't until a year later that the House Ethics Committee announced an official investigation--a proceeding that occurred after federal prosecutors had already indicted Jefferson on 16 charges related to corruption.

In other cases, the law has acted well before the ethics committee got  around to pursuing an inquiry. Florida GOP Rep. Mark Foley resigned from Congress in September 2006, when news broke that Foley had sent sexually suggestive instant messages to teenage boys. The ethics committee then opened an investigation that found Dennis Hastert and other Republican leaders negligent in the case, but not in violation of House rules. The panel did not recommend any sanctions.

An additional frustration for watchdog groups is that the committee operates in secrecy and has a policy of not commenting on any ongoing investigations.

In 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to change the committee's high-secrecy profile by leading the charge in creating an Office of Congressional Ethics to strengthen the House ethics process, increase transparency, and serve as a link between the ethics committee and the public. But as we've seen in Rangel's case, complaints surrounding the ethics process continue.

The committee has one more trial on its plate before the session concludes: A House proceeding opens Nov. 29 for California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who faces three ethics charges connected to her advocacy for a bank with ties to her husband.

Beyond that, however, the House ethics process seems likely to revert to the earlier status quo as the majority switches to Republican control.

Incoming Speaker John Boehner has already begun talk of defunding the Office of Congressional Ethics, which he opposed from the start, arguing it's an unnecessary expense and has been an ineffective body. Boehner's opponents argue his plans could move the House backward in the ongoing fight to combat corruption in Washington.

(Photo of hearing with Rangel, far right: Getty Images/Mark Wilson)*****
3752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economist: governator a success, sort of on: November 19, 2010, 11:59:07 AM
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Rage against the machine
A case of right man, right ideas, wrong time, wrong voters?
Oct 7th 2010 | sacramento

Did they deserve him?NOWADAYS fewer than one in three Californians think their governor is doing a good job. That puts Arnold Schwarzenegger almost in the same territory as Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003. During debates his fellow Republican, Meg Whitman, has politely stressed how different she would be, while Jerry Brown argues that bringing in well-meaning amateur politicians, even rich and famous ones, does not work. The left moans that the Governator cut spending, the right that he did not cut taxes enough.

If Mr Schwarzenegger is depressed, he does not show it. Few politicians anywhere exude optimism more physically. Sure, Californian politics is impossible (“There is maze you have to go through, then a minefield, then an obstacle course: you become an athlete”) but from behind his cigar he reels off a set of achievements, from reforming state workers’ compensation to making schools better and building levees. He has managed to keep spending rises below inflation. His main regret is not building more things: he waxes lyrical about visiting South Korea and counting the cranes on the skyline.

So there is a record to defend. The problem has to do with unmet expectations, probably including his own. Back when Mr Schwarzenegger bulldozed his way to the governorship alongside Mr Davis’s recall, the hope was that this cyborg ex machina could change the world’s least governable big economy. It was not just that his celebrity guaranteed him an audience; his brand of hedonistic Republicanism was close to the state’s moderate centre, unlike the partisan, gerrymandered legislature.

Related topics
Arnold Schwarzenegger
American politics
American state politics
California politics
Since then, as even Mr Schwarzenegger’s friends admit, the system won too often. But was it his fault? California’s governorship is a pretty weak one: the state’s government is a mess of competing districts, counties and cities, with much of the budget mandated by ballot initiatives. The Governator relied on using that referendum system to bypass the legislature. But those centrist voters soon let him down: a series of reforms were easily defeated by the big public-sector unions in 2005. The governor was soon in the sort of slow slugfest his foes excelled at. One Democrat calls him “a Hollywood negotiator”, better at dividing up the spoils than settling down for lengthy line-by-line brawls.

Against this, Mr Schwarzenegger still managed to win re-election in 2006, and he has doggedly clung to the centre. On prisons, for instance, he has defied right-wingers by repeatedly making the case that California locks up too many people. He has kept going on public-sector pensions and this month won a victory of sorts. There is talk of him setting up an institution to campaign for reform. “He doesn’t give things up,” observes one ally.

In retrospect, this supremely lucky man was unlucky in his timing—on two scores. First, his successor will have the advantage of several political reforms he did push through—open primaries and an end to gerrymandering in the state legislature—that should make politics in the near future less loopily partisan. Second, the mood has changed. Seven years ago Californians were furious enough to elect him but not to follow through. Now more of them may realise what a mess their state is in.

3753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 18, 2010, 04:12:56 PM
"Gandhi, for example, would have lasted about twenty seconds in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity "United" Church in Chicago"

 Bamster, you may have been given the Nobel Peace Prize but you are no Ghandi.  wink
3754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Amazing on: November 18, 2010, 01:36:38 PM
39% in a poll say marriage is obsolete.  What does this mean for us?  I am on my way out so I don't care for me but what about the future of our nation?  Our society?

****Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete
             By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Hope Yen, Associated Press – Thu Nov 18, 6:20 am ET
WASHINGTON – Is marriage becoming obsolete?

As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family.

A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.

About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.

Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.

[Photos: Secret celebrity weddings]

When asked what constitutes a family, the vast majority of Americans agree that a married couple, with or without children, fits that description. But four of five surveyed pointed also to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of 5 people said a same-sex couple with children was a family.

"Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them."

The broadening views of family are expected to have an impact at Thanksgiving. About nine in 10 Americans say they will share a Thanksgiving meal next week with family, sitting at a table with 12 people on average. About one-fourth of respondents said there will be 20 or more family members.

"More Americans are living in these new families, so it seems safe to assume that there will be more of them around the Thanksgiving dinner table," said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.

The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do. Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found.

[Related: Sudden celebrity splits]

But economic factors, too, are playing a role. The Census Bureau recently reported that opposite-sex unmarried couples living together jumped 13 percent this year to 7.5 million. It was a sharp one-year increase that analysts largely attributed to people unwilling to make long-term marriage commitments in the face of persistent unemployment.

Beginning next year, the Census Bureau will publish new, supplemental poverty figures that move away from the traditional concept of family as a husband and wife with two children. It will broaden the definition to include unmarried couples, such as same-sex partners, as well as foster children who are not related by blood or adoption.

Officials say such a move will reduce the number of families and children who are considered poor based on the new supplemental measure, which will be used as a guide for federal and state agencies to set anti-poverty policies. That's because two unmarried partners who live together with children and work are currently not counted by census as a single "family" with higher pooled incomes, but are officially defined as two separate units — one being a single parent and child, the other a single person — who aren't sharing household resources.

"People are rethinking what family means," Cherlin said. "Given the growth, I think we need to accept cohabitation relationships as a basis for some of the fringe benefits offered to families, such as health insurance."

Still, the study indicates that marriage isn't going to disappear anytime soon. Despite a growing view that marriage may not be necessary, 67 percent of Americans were upbeat about the future of marriage and family. That's higher than their optimism for the nation's educational system (50 percent), economy (46 percent) or its morals and ethics (41 percent).

And about half of all currently unmarried adults, 46 percent, say they want to get married. Among those unmarried who are living with a partner, the share rises to 64 percent.

Other findings:

_About 34 percent of Americans called the growing variety of family living arrangements good for society, while 32 percent said it didn't make a difference and 29 percent said it was troubling.

_About 44 percent of people say they have lived with a partner without being married; for 30-to-49-year-olds, that share rose to 57 percent. In most cases, those couples said they considered cohabitation as a step toward marriage.

_About 62 percent say that the best marriage is one where the husband and wife both work and both take care of the household and children. That's up from 48 percent who held that view in 1977.

The Pew study was based on interviews with 2,691 adults by cell phone or landline from Oct. 1-21. The survey has a total margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, larger for subgroups. Pew also analyzed 2008 census data, and used surveys conducted by Time magazine to identify trends from earlier decades.****


3755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Check mate on: November 18, 2010, 01:27:43 PM
Of course we could persuade most ot them to be Republicans.  Yeah right.

****Michelle Malkin  Lead StoryDREAM Act scorecard: The GOP Senate fence-sitters
By Michelle Malkin  •  November 18, 2010 09:39 AM

Yesterday, I published a target phone list of GOP Senators for the upcoming stand-alone vote on the DREAM Act/Illegal Alien Student Bailout.

I’ve polled Republican Senate offices and you should know that many open-borders squishes remain on the fence about this Obama/Reid down payment on blanket illegal alien amnesty. That’s right. The following GOP Senators haven’t made up their mind on whether they should oppose a bill that amounts to a 2.1 million future Democrat voter recruitment drive. Know your fence-sitters:

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN 202-224-2235; 480-897-6289: Staff says he “hasn’t made a public statement” and “hasn’t made up his mind.” He talked a tough border security game to get re-elected, while promising illegal alien activists he would “resolve their issues.” (Refresh your memories here.)

Arizona, you chose to re-elect him. You get what you deserve.

SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE 202-224-5344; 207-874-0883: Staff says she “hasn’t released a statement.”

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS 202-224-2523; 207-945-0417: Staff says she “hasn’t released a public statement.”

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI 202-224-6665; 907-271-3735: Staff says she’s “still reviewing the bill.”

SEN. SAM BROWNBACK 202-224-6521; 785-233-2503 Staff says he “hasn’t had a chance to look at it” and remains non-committal.

SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON 202-224-5922; 214-361-3500: Staff says she “hasn’t released a statement,” but will probably do so later today.

SEN. GEORGE LEMIEUX 202-224-3041; 904-398-8586: Recorded message informs callers that he’s “in a meeting.” He has yet to publicly state his position as open-borders extremists step up pressure.


FYI: The following GOP Senators who had been of concern say they are opposed to the stand-along DREAM Act:

SEN. SCOTT BROWN: Staff says he “does not support ANY taxpayer illegal alien amnesty bills,” including the DREAM Act.

SEN. MIKE JOHANNS: Opposed the DREAM Act. Period.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH: A former DREAM Act champion, he is now opposed.


SEN. JUDD GREGG: Staff says he is a likely no vote.


SEN. RICHARD LUGAR, an original co-sponsor of the DREAM Act amnesty, remains a staunch supporter.


Your voice and your calls count. Make yourselves heard.


Yesterday, I mentioned GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions’ alert on the DREAM Act dangers. Here is the full memo. Spread the word and make sure your Senators know where you stand.

Ten Things You Need To Know About S.3827, The DREAM Act

1. The DREAM Act Is NOT Limited to Children, And It Will Be Funded On the Backs Of Hard Working, Law-Abiding Americans

Proponents of the DREAM Act frequently claim the bill offers relief only to illegal alien “kids.” Incredibly, previous versions of the DREAM Act had no age limit at all, so illegal aliens of any age who satisfied the Act’s requirements—not just children—could obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. In response to this criticism, S.3827 includes a requirement that aliens be under the age of 35 on the date of enactment to be eligible for LPR status. Even with this cap, many aliens would be at least 41 years old before obtaining full LPR status under the Act—hardly the “kids” the Act’s advocates keep talking about.

The DREAM Act requires that DHS/USCIS process all DREAM Act applications (applications that would require complex, multi-step adjudication) without being able to increase fees to handle processing. This mandate would require either additional Congressional appropriations, or for USCIS, a primarily fee-funded agency, to raise fees on other types of immigration benefit applications. This would unfairly spread the cost of administering the DREAM Act legalization program among applicants and petitioners who have abided by U.S. laws and force taxpayers to pay for amnesty. Taxpayers would also be on the hook for all Federal benefits the DREAM Act seeks to offer illegal aliens, including student loans and grants.

2. The DREAM Act PROVIDES SAFE HARBOR FOR ANY ALIEN, Including Criminals, From Being Removed or Deported If They Simply Submit An Application

Although DREAM Act proponents claim it will benefit only those who meet certain age, presence, and educational requirements, amazingly the Act protects ANY alien who simply submits an application for status no matter how frivolous. The bill forbids the Secretary of Homeland Security from removing “any alien who has a pending application for conditional status” under the DREAM Act—regardless of age or criminal record—providing a safe harbor for all illegal aliens. This loophole will open the floodgates for applications that could stay pending for many years or be litigated as a delay tactic to prevent the illegal aliens’ removal from the United States. The provision will further erode any chances of ending the rampant illegality and fraud in the existing system.

3. Certain Criminal Aliens Will Be Eligible For Amnesty Under The DREAM Act

Certain categories of criminal aliens will be eligible for the DREAM Act amnesty, including alien gang members and aliens with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs. The DREAM Act allows illegal aliens guilty of the following offenses to be eligible for amnesty: alien absconders (aliens who failed to attend their removal proceedings), aliens who have engaged in voter fraud or unlawfully voted, aliens who have falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, aliens who have abused their student visas, and aliens who have committed marriage fraud. Additionally, illegal aliens who pose a public health risk, aliens who have been permanently barred from obtaining U.S. citizenship, and aliens who are likely to become a public charge are also eligible.

4. Estimates Suggest That At Least 2.1 Million Illegal Aliens Will Be Eligible For the DREAM Act Amnesty. In Reality, We Have No Idea How Many Illegal Aliens Will Apply

Section 4(d) of the DREAM Act waives all numerical limitations on green cards, and prohibits any numerical limitation on the number of aliens eligible for amnesty under its provisions. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that the DREAM Act will make approximately 2.1 million illegal aliens eligible for amnesty. It is highly likely that the number of illegal aliens receiving amnesty under the DREAM Act will be much higher than the estimated 2.1 million due to fraud and our inherent inability to accurately estimate the illegal alien population. Clearly, the message sent by the DREAM Act will be that if any young person can enter the country illegally, within 5 years, they will be placed on a path to citizenship.

5. Illegal Aliens Will Get In-State Tuition Benefits

The DREAM Act will allow illegal aliens to qualify for in-state tuition, even when it is not being offered to U.S. citizens and legally present aliens living just across state lines. Section 3 of the DREAM Act repeals Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1623) which prohibits giving education benefits to an unlawfully present individual unless that same benefit is offered to all U.S. citizens.

6. The DREAM Act Does Not Require That An Illegal Alien Finish Any Type of Degree (Vocational, Two-Year, or Bachelor’s Degree) As A Condition of Amnesty

DREAM Act supporters would have you believe that the bill is intended to benefit illegal immigrants who have graduated from high school and are on their way to earning college degrees. However, the bill is careful to ensure that illegal alien high school drop-outs will also be put on a pathway to citizenship – they simply have to get a GED and be admitted to “an institution of higher education,” defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Under the Higher Education Act, an “institution of higher education” includes institutions that provide 2-year programs (community colleges) and any “school that provides not less than a 1-year program of training to prepare students for gainful employment” (a vocational school). Within 8 years of the initial grant of status, the alien must prove only that they finished 2 years of a bachelor’s degree program, not that they completed any program or earned any degree.

If the alien is unable to complete 2 years of college but can demonstrate that their removal would result in hardship to themselves or their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, child, or parent, the education requirement can be waived altogether.

7. The DREAM Act does not require that an illegal alien serve in the military as a condition for amnesty, and There is ALREADY A Legal Process In Place For Illegal Aliens to Obtain U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service

DREAM Act supporters would have you believe that illegal aliens who don’t go to college will earn their citizenship through service in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, the bill does not require aliens to join the U.S. Armed Forces (the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard); instead it requires enlistment in the “uniformed services.” This means that aliens need only go to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Public Health Service for 2 years to get U.S. citizenship. If the alien is unable to complete 2 years in the “uniformed services,” and can demonstrate that their removal would result in hardship to themselves or their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, child, or parent, the military service requirement can be waived altogether. Such claims will likely engender much litigation and place a huge burden on DHS.

Furthermore, under current law (10 USC § 504), the Secretary of Defense can authorize the enlistment of illegal aliens. Once enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, under 8 USC § 1440, these illegal aliens can become naturalized citizens through expedited processing, often obtaining U.S. citizenship in six months.

8. Despite Their Current Illegal Status, DREAM Act Aliens Will Be Given All The Rights That Legal Immigrants Receive—Including The Legal Right To Sponsor Their Parents and Extended Family Members For Immigration

Under current federal law, U.S. citizens have the right to immigrate their “immediate relatives” to the U.S. without regard to numerical caps. Similarly, lawful permanent residents can immigrate their spouses and children to the U.S. as long as they retain their status. This means illegal aliens who receive amnesty under the DREAM Act will have the right to immigrate their family members—including the parents who sent for or brought them to the U.S. illegally in the first place—in unlimited numbers as soon as they become U.S. citizens (6 to 8 years after enactment) and are 21 years of age.

Additionally, amnestied aliens who become U.S. citizens will be able to petition for their adult siblings living abroad to immigrate to the U.S., further incentivizing chain migration and potentially illegal entry into the United States (for those who don’t want to wait for the petition process overseas). When an adult brother or sister receives a green card, the family (spouse and children) of the adult sibling receive green cards as well.

9. Current Illegal Aliens Will Get Federal Student Loans, Federal Work Study Programs, and Other Forms of Federal Financial Aid

Section 10 of the DREAM Act allows illegal aliens amnestied under the bill’s provisions to qualify for federal student assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) in the form of federal student loans (Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans), federal work-study programs, and other federal education services such as tutoring and counseling.

10. DHS Is Prohibited From Using the Information Provided By Illegal Aliens Whose DREAM Act Amnesty Applications Are Denied To Initiate Their Removal Proceedings or Investigate or Prosecute Fraud in the Application Process

When an illegal alien’s DREAM Act amnesty application is denied, the bill states that the alien will revert to their “previous immigration status,” which is likely illegal or deportable. The bill, however, prohibits using any of the information contained in the amnesty application (name, address, length of illegal presence that the alien admits to, etc) to initiate a removal proceeding or investigate or prosecute fraud in the application process. Thus, it will be extremely hard for DHS to remove aliens who they now know are illegally present in the U.S., because illegal aliens will be able to claim that the legal action is a product of the amnesty application, and DHS will have the nearly impossible task of proving a negative.****

3756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 18, 2010, 01:14:48 PM
"It is Democrats that should wish Rangel would go away."

It does not appear that Democrats have any shame.

We should all be wishing he go away.

3757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: November 17, 2010, 12:28:49 PM
"Dem controlled committee Rangel will not recommmend expulsion"

I mean with a Dem controlled committee they will not expulse Rangel.  They will act like they are coming down hard.  A fine.  A "formal rebuke".
But we all know he is not going anywhere.  They will cover for him in the end.   
3758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: November 17, 2010, 12:26:21 PM
Just a thought.  Rangel recently complained that he was found guilty despite being allowed legal representation and the reason was to get this through with the present Congress.   My thinking is of course the Dems who are now in control want to get this whole affair dispensed with ASAP.  Additionally, we all know that with a Dem controlled committee Rangel will not recommmend expulsion.  I would think that would be a far more likely event if the Repubs were in control after they take power.

This whole thing is a song and dance for show.  Yeah they will fine him, maybe censor (whatever that means) but he will still be allowed to serve as a congressman.  This despite the fact he is taking bribes and stealing.  The joke is on Americans.  What a club it is in DC for these guys and gals!

***House ethics panel convicts Rep. Rangel on 11 of 13 counts of rule violations
By Susan Crabtree and Jordan Fabian - 11/16/10 11:55 AM ET
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), once one of the most powerful members of the House, was convicted Tuesday on 11 counts of violating ethics rules and now faces punishment.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the adjudicatory subcommittee and the full House ethics committee, announced the decision late Tuesday morning following an abbreviated public trial and nearly six hours of deliberations.

"We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the facts and the law," Lofgren said. "We believe we have accomplished that mission."

The full ethics panel will now convene a sanctions hearing to recommend a punishment, which ethics experts say will most likely be a reprimand or formal censure. The ethics committee had yet to announce by Tuesday afternoon when the hearing would occur.

Serious sanctions — including formal reprimand, censure or expulsion — require a vote on the House floor. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote, while a reprimand, to which Rangel refused to agree in July, or a censure would need only a simple majority. The ethics panel could also impose a fine and deny some of Rangel’s House privileges.

But Rangel, 80, is certainly not expected to lose his job. The silver-haired 20-term veteran, known for his gravelly voice, sense of humor and sartorial splendor, is still beloved by many of his House colleagues. And in the lame-duck session, Democrats still hold the majority.

Either reprimand or formal censure carries no immediate, tangible consequence for Rangel, who easily won reelection this month, but the sweeping guilty verdict delivers a damaging blow to his reputation and 40-year political legacy.

Years of negative publicity and his drawn-out defense pushed the specter of the trial into the 2010 campaign season, angering House Democratic leaders and forcing some of Rangel's colleagues to return campaign contributions from him. Earlier this year, he was stripped of his powerful Ways and Means gavel after an initial investigation into a corporate-funded trip to the Caribbean concluded he should have known that his aides were trying to evade ethics rules.

Asked if he had any reaction to the panel's decision, Rangel initially told reporters, "Nope, none,” adding that he first saw the ruling on television.

Later, in an official statement, Rangel slammed the ethics subcommittee's "unprecedented" decision, saying his due-process rights were violated because the panel ruled without him having legal representation.

"How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the ethics subcommittee when I was deprived of due-process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room?" Rangel said. "I can only hope that the full committee will treat me more fairly, and take into account my entire 40 years of service to the Congress before making any decisions on sanction."

Rangel also lamented the lack of a system to appeal the House ethics panel’s decision.

“While I am required to accept the findings of the ethics committee, I am compelled to state again the unfairness of its continuation without affording me the opportunity to obtain legal counsel as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution," he said.

The decision comes one day after the panel rejected an emotional plea by Rangel to delay the trial because he lacked counsel. Rangel’s team of attorneys told him in mid-October that they could no longer represent him, and Rangel said he could not afford to hire a replacement right away after incurring nearly $2 million in legal fees over the past two years.

The adjudicatory panel, which operated as a jury of his peers, found that Rangel had used House stationery and staff to solicit money for a school of public policy in his name at the City College of New York. It also concluded that he solicited donors for the center with interests before the Ways and Means Committee. Members of Congress are allowed to solicit money for nonprofit entities — even those bearing their names — as long as they do not use congressional letterhead or office resources to do so.

The ethics panel split 4-4 on a charge that Rangel violated the gift ban because the plans for the center included an office and the archiving of his personal and professional papers.

The panel also found Rangel guilty of using an apartment in Harlem zoned for residential use as his campaign office, failing to report more than $600,000 on his financial disclosure report and failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.

Two counts charging him with improper use of the Congress’s free franked-mail privilege were combined into one.

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, applauded the decision and called on Rangel to resign.

"All of Mr. Rangel's theatrics aside, the facts were clear: Mr. Rangel violated numerous House rules and federal laws," she said. "Whether these violations were deliberate or inadvertent, the American people deserve to be represented by members of Congress who adhere to the highest ethical standards. Mr. Rangel should resign."

Democracy 21’s Fred Wertheimer said the committee’s findings demonstrate the need for new ethics rules prohibiting members of Congress from soliciting money to finance institutes or centers in their name. He urged the House to promptly adopt new ethics rules barring the practice.

“There are inherent conflict-of-interest and appearance problems when members solicit money for entities named to honor the members,” he said. “Members of Congress should be prohibited from soliciting money to build monuments to themselves.”***

3759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 17, 2010, 12:17:59 PM
There may be something to the intestinal flora thing yet my understanding is the research is mixed.

Though that doesn't stop the army of sales people hawking everything from capsule with bacteria to yogurt to Lord knows what else.

Some doctors also Rx it too.  Even in the hospital.  Yet when I read up on reviews the data is contradictory.

If it was a drug company seeking approval from the FDA they would be shot down.  As long it is "natural" then anyone can say and sell whatever anyone is willing to listen to and buy into.

I don't write it off at all.  Just that I think it all is murky.
3760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sweetheart deal? on: November 17, 2010, 12:08:24 PM
I hope it's not true.  I knew his father.  My whole family did.  He was our rabbi growing up:
3761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Why are French women so "le sexe"? on: November 16, 2010, 08:44:24 PM
***I guess it comes back to Marc's question/comment; how are people in other countries able to avoid obesity and we are not?***

JDN and Crafty,

Well this  IS a great question.  I was speaking to one of the dieticians I refer patients to and the book "why are french women so thin?" came up. 
I just looked it up on line and there are multiple links to discussions that came out in 2005.  This one seems to sum it up:

Yet when I read the explanations as to how French babes stay so hot it comes down to different behavior.  More walking, smaller portion size, being aware of internal satiety cues.
This is not different from what we try to teach people who are overweight here.  Eat smaller portions, stop eating when you feel full, don't finish everything on your plate, eat more slowly, drink more water and on and on.  This is cognitive behavior therapy.

I've tried it.  But it only works marginally well.  Indeed, I can't even follow my own advice.  Food is just too good!  And old habits are hard to change.
3762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Huffington on: November 16, 2010, 03:23:42 PM
As one who has been robbed of hundreds of song lyrics and seen them sold all over the place and lines used in advertising, commercials, cartoons, sitcoms, and all over the entertainment industry the above allegation about Huffington, another entertainment hawk doesn't surprise me.  I don't believe her for one second.  There is no doubt to me she is lying.   Why she has a history of stealing.  Right off of Wikepedia:

****Plagiarism claims
Huffington was accused of plagiarism for copying material for her book Maria Callas (1981); the claims were settled out of court in 1981, with Callas biographer Gerald Fitzgerald being paid "in the low five figures."[21][22][23]

Lydia Gasman, an art history professor at the University of Virginia, claimed that Huffington’s 1988 biography of Pablo Picasso, Picasso: Creator and Destroyer, included themes similar to those in her unpublished four-volume Ph.D. thesis. "What she did was steal twenty years of my work," Gasman told Maureen Orth in 1994. Gasman did not file suit.[24]

Maureen Orth also reported that Huffington "borrowed heavily for her 1993 book, The Gods of Greece."[25]****

Nonetheless, I doubt the accusers will be able to do a darn thing about it.  As a victim of such things I can feel their pain.  Most people wouldn't.

3763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 16, 2010, 03:17:28 PM
POLITICO2 Dems claim Arianna Huffington stole website ideaMain Content
2 Dems claim Arianna Huffington stole website idea

 Two consultants say Huffington and her partner violated a handshake agreement. | AP Photo Close
By BEN SMITH | 11/15/10 7:02 PM EST Updated: 11/16/10 6:56 AM EST
Two Democratic consultants are accusing Arianna Huffington and her business partner of stealing their idea for the powerhouse liberal website Huffington Post.

Peter Daou and James Boyce charge that Huffington and partner Ken Lerer designed the website from a plan they had presented them, and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to work together, according to a lawsuit to be filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The complaint is a direct challenge to the left’s most important media property from two stalwarts of the progressive movement. And it challenges Huffington’s own oft-told story of coming up with the idea in conversation with Lerer and other friends.

“Huffington has styled herself as a ‘new media’ maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the Internet in the service of political ends,” says the complaint. “As will be shown at trial, Huffington’s and Lerer’s image with respect to the Huffington Post is founded on false impressions and inaccuracies: They presented the ‘new media’ ideas and plans of Peter Daou and James Boyce as their own in order to raise money for the website and enhance their image, and breached their promises to work with Peter and James to develop the site together.”

The suit against Huffington, Lerer, and Huffington Post also sheds light on the very political aims of the left’s most powerful – and valuable – online voice.

Democrats need “to develop a dominant position within the Internet,” Daou said during an early meeting about the site, according to the complaint. “It is a system [for] pushing the message, not just for fundraising,” he allegedly said.

Huffington called the charge of stolen ideas and broken deals “a completely absurd, ludicrous supposition” from men whom she’d turned down for jobs on the site.

“We have now officially entered into Bizzaro World. James Boyce and Peter Daou, two political operatives who we rejected going into business with or hiring 6 years ago, and who had absolutely nothing to do with creating, running, financing, or building the Huffington Post, now concoct some scheme saying they own part of the company,” she and Lerer said in a written statement to POLITICO, writing that the two “tried to cash in” before filing suit and “said they’d go away for just a little money.”

“For months now they have been trying to extract money from us. They are filing the lawsuit of course because we did not agree to any payment,” they wrote.

Boyce and Daou said they are filing suit now only for recognition and vindication: They will, the two said in a statement, use any proceeds beyond legal fees and expenses “to support progressive causes and citizen journalists and bloggers who are active in support of those causes.”

“How noble,” Huffington and Lerer said in their statement.

The lawsuit touches on the same legal frontiers of intellectual property and deal-making as did a famous lawsuit Facebook settled in 2008. The success of the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, will hinge on whether Daou and Boyce can prove they had offered “something more specific than a generalized notion” and that Huffington had agreed to make them part of the deal, said Dan Kornstein, a prominent New York litigator.

Huffington Post has emerged as a juggernaut since its launch on May 9, 2005. The site’s front page offers a leftward tilt on political news, a sort of mirror image of the Drudge Report. A cadre of bloggers contribute analysis for free and a growing staff provides original content on politics and whatever other content – notably, celebrity – drives traffic and buzz.

3764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 16, 2010, 12:28:04 PM
Now that we are going to have pictures of death and disease on cigarette packages.

How about pictures like this being required on all Big Macs wrappers:

For all beer and alcohol a simple picture of Charlie Sheen should scare the begeebies out of anyone into sobriety.
3765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 16, 2010, 12:02:22 PM
It is too late to stop illegals in Cal.   The game appears over in California.  The invasion is a success.
The rest of the Southwest is next.

Crats couldn't be happier.
Cans are too afraid to do anything.

Legal and free residents are the losers.
3766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 16, 2010, 11:53:25 AM
For decades I have tried to form an opinion to legalize or not.
I can never quite figure it out.

I would be for a trial period of legalizing marijuana say for 7 years or something like that and see what happens.
I am too afraid to say the same for other drugs.  It just seems like other drugs would be used more and our problems worse.
3767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 16, 2010, 11:13:17 AM
"And the overwhelming scientific and medical community says it's a "choice".

I don't know that people in the scientific and medical community who really treat weight loss would agree with that at all!

Gupta is a neurosurgeon.  Frankly, he doesn't know what he is talking about when he speaks of obesity.

Most of us in medicine do not get real training when we are dealing with the treatment of overweight people.  That is a gigantic void in our education.

All doctors tell their patients to eat less and excerise.  It almost never works.  And if it does only for short periods and only becasue the pt. was able to find some way to do it.  Just telling patients to eat less and move more is essentially the dumbest thing we do.

Why do we than tell people this when we know it doesn't work?  Because most doctors don't know anything else. Also it takes a lot of time which we don't have or get reimbursed to do.   Most experts who treat obesity will tell you a 15% maintained weight loss over years in a average population of motivated patients who can stay with a program is a remarkable achievement.

To me Gupta is just as much a quack as the snake oil salesman down the corner push cart.

He may be a good neurosurgeon, or was.  He couldnt be now at the same time he is a talking head.  But he is not a leading expert on many subjects he talks about.
3768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 16, 2010, 11:01:07 AM
I am curious.

I would bet my savings that Pelosi, and Reid, and all the rest of the bunch do NOT have to go through the scanners.

How about THEY go through and there scans get leaken online.

3769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 16, 2010, 09:38:26 AM
*In this forum, most people likely range from extremely fit to fanatically fit*

I used to work out like a madman on a stairmaster.  Burned 2000 to over 4000 calories a workout couple of times a week.  And did weight machines and free weights.
My weight was 15 pounds lighter than now. 

Why because I can't overwhelm my appetite with extreme excersice anymore.  I am too old.

Even when I worked out say 2000 calories a day and you add that to the say 1800 a day that I was burning at rest I could easily eat 3800 calories and still be very hungry.
Why, because excercise is an appetite stimulant.   But for me that worked overall.  I would earn a negative caloric balance of, say 3800 calories, so I could eatmore yet still control myself so I could lose and keep the weight off.

And that is just me.   Everyone is different.  Would worked for me might not work for another.  Or they wouldn't or couldn't work out as hard as I did.  Or wouldn't want to.
3770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 15, 2010, 05:51:12 PM

Did you see the video?

It is 70 minutes long.

The speaker goes into great depth explaining why it is not simple choice.

He also theorizes that it is not a matter of eating too much or excercising too little.  He makes a good case that these behaviors are symptoms and not the cause of a disorder. 

His way of looking at the problem does make a lot of sense.  But I don't think he explains what happens to cause this.  He goes into carbs and insulin and glucose uptake needed to convert fatty acids to storage with trigylcerides in the fat cell which is an endocrine organ and not simply a  storage bin.  But it is unclear to me and I think him as well (if I understand him right) as to what goes haywire in affecting this pathway leading to lipohypertrophy.

My thinking is this is only one piece of the puzzle.

I am not a fan of Gupta.  I like you far more.  Yet this video points out the  strategy of consciously  eating less and moving  more is only marginally helpful and almost always doomed to fail.


As for cigarettes your uncle's story is a good one.  I have examples from that extreme (pt quits simply because he is asked) to those that cannot or will not quit no matter what I or anyone says or tries to do.

In my experience getting people to quit cigarettes is far easier than getting people to lose and keep off large amounts of weight.  Even people who do  treat weight loss for a living and are far better than me at it will tell you it is quite a challenge at best (if they are honest; surely there are a lot of huskers out there).

Doug, do you have relative who was obese and lost mega amounts of weight simply because he/she decided he/she was too fat?  And kept it off for many years?

My guess (based on probability) is you don't.  Neither do I.  Except for one who had to have bariatric surgery.
3771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / correction on: November 15, 2010, 03:09:52 PM
Gupta I guess goes to number 1 with the experts here.   He thinks it is a simple choice.
And number four (me) is not a hypothesis as much as a conclusion.
3772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 15, 2010, 03:07:09 PM
Great lecture five rings.  I watched it all with interest.

Ok we have three hypotheses:

1)  obesity is a behavorial choice;  the experts here  grin  (cold)

2)  obesity is a result of positie energy balance but not a choice;  Gupta and most of the rest of the poorly advised medical community  smiley (warm)

3)  obesity is a result of the accumulation of fat;  Gary Taubes  shocked (hot)

4)  obesity is still a mystery;  me   cry (hottest)
3773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: November 15, 2010, 10:47:11 AM
I haven't yet read the whole piece but the first thing I thought of when I saw the title, that the Presidency "is too big for one man" is Jimmy Carter.  That was the *exact* question that was being asked when he was President.  Indeed he even stated it when he was overwhelmed.  Now we have another big government man who is over his head thinking government should control everything and everyone and we have the same declaration.  The problem is not that the Presidency is too big for one man but we have one man trying to take control over everything.  He simply doesn't know what he is doing.

The government should protect us, enforce our laws, equal opportunity and that's about it "off the top off my head).
3774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 15, 2010, 10:31:55 AM
""The basics of weight loss are simple: Eat less. Move more."

Thanks Sanjay.  I never thought of telling patients that.  And all these overweight people never thought of that either.
3775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 15, 2010, 09:43:03 AM
From Drudge:

Homeland security estimates there are around 2.6 million illegals in California.  Probably an underestimate but lets say it is remotely accurate.

There are 3 mill. self identified Latinos in California schools.  So how many of these are legal, or born to illegals? How many of the 7% of Asians are there legally?
Even asking the question would get any politician threats on his/her life. 

Obviously if most of these people were prospective Republicans than the entire Democratic Party would be building a Great Wall on the border.  But what is the stroy with Republicans?  I am not clear how much of it is they are just afraid to "offend" anyone and how much, as suggested it is due to them protecting business that rely on cheap illegal labor.  I think it is more the former.

3776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dick Morris on: November 12, 2010, 10:59:46 AM
"• Unmarried women voted Democrat by 61-34."

No suprise.  Sure the tax payers should be their sugar daddy.  I am tired of paying for this.  Take care of your own children.

By Dick Morris11.10.2010Share this article
Published on on November 9, 2010

President Obama’s last-ditch attempt to turn out his voter base worked — and changed the 2010 election from a tsunami of epic proportions into a mere catastrophe for the Democrats.

John Zogby’s post-election polling reveals that voters who made up their minds about how to vote within the last week voted Democrat by 57-31 while those who made up their minds earlier backed the Republican candidate, 53-44. Zogby’s data indicated that it made no difference whether the voter decided for whom to vote two or three weeks before the election or more than a month before. Both groups backed Republicans by 10 points. But those who decided in the voting booth or in the week immediately before voting backed the Democrat by large margins.

Fortunately for the GOP, only 8 percent of the electorate were late deciders. A full 46 percent were early voters.

These Democratic late deciders were all straight from the party’s base:

• 15 percent of single voters decided late, and singles voted 64 percent Democrat.

• 14 percent of under-$25,000-income voters decided late, and voters in this income category voted Democrat by 59-36.

• 20 percent of voters 18-29 decided late, and this group backed Obama by 56-37.

So Obama’s appearances on “The Daily Show” and in youth-oriented media worked well to his party’s advantage.

Race, age and marital status were the key predictors of how a person would vote.

Racially, the Zogby poll shows that blacks cast only 10 percent of the vote and Latinos only 8 percent in the 2010 elections. In 2008, they cast 13 and 10 percent, respectively.

Obama did well among Latinos. His appeals based on immigration worked. Hispanics voted Democrat by 58-37. But, surprisingly, Zogby showed erosion among black voters, who backed the Democrat by only 72-24, well below their percentage for Obama himself in 2008.

Age played a key role in determining one’s vote:

• Among the youngest voters, 18-24, Democrats got 66 percent of the vote.

• More broadly, those aged 18-29 voted Democrat 56-37.

• Those aged 30-49 were split fairly evenly, with Democrats winning 47 percent and Republicans 50 percent.

• Voters 50-64, the baby boomers, have shifted to the Republicans, backing them by 54-43.

• And, thanks to ObamaCare, the over-65 voters backed Republicans by 57-38.

But voters under 30 constituted only 11 percent of the vote, and those 18-24 were just 3 percent. The failure of these groups to turn out in larger numbers did much to doom the Democratic candidates.

Marital status continued to be one of the key variables in our politics:

• Married men voted Republican by 60-35.

• Married women followed suit by 58-40.

• Unmarried men voted Democrat by 50-42.

• Unmarried women voted Democrat by 61-34.

Oddly, Obama’s last-minute appeal seems to have been effective based largely on demographics, not on union membership. The unions are the Democratic Party’s financial base, but not their voters. Union members broke evenly, with 49 percent backing Democrats and 47 percent voting Republican.

Historically, Democrats “come home” as Election Day approaches, and those whose involvement in politics is most marginal — who tend to be poorer, less educated and more Democrat — make late decisions to support Democrats. The 2010 election was no exception to this trend.

I had thought that it would be. Based on the solid Republican trend that continued well into October, I believed that the late deciders would tend to side more with the GOP than usual. I felt that those who normally voted Democrat would stay at home. They didn’t. And Obama’s last-minute campaigning had a lot to do with it.****
3777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 12, 2010, 09:50:00 AM
Some great ideas. Not all new but nonetheless excellent.  NOw if only we can convince enough of the electorate this is the right path for ALL of us.  We need the expert political salesmanship.  I don't know yet if we have it.  People on the dole, those who don't pay taxes are not going to be easily convinced.  See the terrible situation in Ft. Lauderdale wherein police officers are being let go.  A similar situation is happening here in Newark, NJ where a large proportion of the city work force is being let go.  I have to say the reason it is like that is the more senior employees are essentially screwing the newer employees.  They refuse to budge on their contracts so the only thing left is to fire the newer city employees.  My hunch is the same thing is happening to  private union members.  Some tell me the union "ain't what it used to be".  In other words the union bosses are screwing them to keep their cushy positions.  One union guy tells me they are having a meeting about a million dollars missing from their pension fund.  It is dog eat dog.  

The Republicans are going to have a very tough time convincing the "let the rich pay for it croud" that doing that is shooting themselves in their own heads.  I have not yet heard a single Republican convincingly address this issue.  I don't know why.  

"But workers don't focus on how much it costs a firm to employ them. Workers care about how much they receive and can spend after taxes. For them, the question is how the wages they'd receive for working compare to what they'd receive (from the government) if they didn't work, plus the value of their leisure from not working."

Absolutely.  As long as we can keep taking from the "rich" forget it.  

Updated 9:44 AM EST, Fri, Nov 12, 2010
The Broward Sheriff's Office has decided to drastically cut services to Lauderdale Lakes because the city has fallen behind in its monthly payments, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

"Let me be clear, we are not abandoning the residents of Lauderdale Lakes, but during these strained economic times, I have an obligation to the taxpayers of Broward County to ensure that services are provided based on allocated funding," Sheriff Al Lamberti wrote in a Nov. 5 e-mail notifying city leaders of the pending change.

The city owes about $6 million, which in these economic times isn't pocket change for a small city. Just last week, the City Commission approved another one-year deal with BSO.
But Lamberti's stance is the city has to pay to play, or be protected. He's made similar threats to the County Commission after complaining about an extra thin BSO budget.

While Lamberti isn't abandoning the city, it certainly appears BSO is taking a leave of absence.

Nine sergeants and deputies will be transferred from Lauderdale Lakes to other BSO-served cities and the city will also lose the use of a ladder fire truck and 12 firefighters.

That could leave residents in a pinch when they call 911 when something goes up in flames, fire union officials said.

"We have no choice but to scale back services to the residents of Lauderdale Lakes," Lamberti said.
3778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 11, 2010, 07:03:18 PM
"we may all need to know Chinese one day"

Yes.  At least count in yen. cheesy
3779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 11, 2010, 04:33:28 PM
"Could it be as simple as Barack Obama being 6'1" tall and Hu Jintao being less than 5'8" tall?"

Short answer - no.

But if you want to come up with a ridiculous explanation than I guess Bamster could be admiring the Chinese guy's shoes.

How do you say, "man, those are cool shoes" in Chinese?
3780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / But Why? on: November 11, 2010, 01:01:35 PM
The reason for this is not explained.  Has anyone asked him why he does this?

The Chinese man in the picture is not doing it.  It is not a reciprocal greeting/gesture.

Contrast this to a segment on cable one night some months back that showed Netanyahu and Arafat fighting between them trying to get the other one to go first through a door.  It went on for a minute or two.  Going through the door first is interpreted as a sign of weakness.  The other person is controlling "you" by letting you go first.  So they made a big thing out of it - or the appearance of it.    Or Bush W standing in just the right spot in order to properly shake hands or touch or be photographed with heads of state so as to not show weakness.   Now we have this.  Our leader is going out of his way to cave in.  Why wouldn't our youth not be ashamed of our country? 

I am embarrased at him.
3781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction:"I agree with you, GM" on: November 11, 2010, 12:31:27 PM
Not just, "I agree with"
3782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 11, 2010, 12:30:07 PM
"Amnesty is a message to everyone in the world that aspired to become an American and showed respect for this country and it's laws"

I agree with.  It doesn't help when our own President doesn't even respect this country.  I am still not clear why he think it necessary to go around apologizing for us.  For example, we need to repair relations with the Muslims.  Shouldn't they be apologizing to us?

I wonder.  Would the "Muslim world" if you will, have liked us if it weren't for our support of Israel?

Somehow I think the Jews are as usual the excuse for some other issue.
3783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 11, 2010, 12:02:17 PM
I just did a yahoo search on "why immigrants vote democrat".  Didn't find much.  Wikepedia has information when one looks at Demcrat party with regards to history and voting preferences of different groups.

For example Asians used to be more Republican - when they came from Communist countries.  That trend has changed.  I wonder if it has changed in part because thier children are going to liberal dominated American schools and thus grow up more socially liberal than their tried and true elders.

Since most Latinos are lower wage employees they are simply not going to vote for reduction in government benefits.  It just believe it could happen.

I was very disheartened frankly when I heard Dick Morris on O'Reilly last night.  Did anyone else see him explain why Repbuplicans didn't win 100 in the house and a majority in the Senate as he predicted?

He stated he studied the situation with Zogby.  And they determined that 3% of the people who had not yet decided within 6 days of the election overwhelmingly voted for Bamster et al.  Why?  Because most were already Democrat and Obama running around the country "reving" up his base worked to get them out to vote.

He nodded yes when O'Reilly asked him if that means Bamster still has considerable power.

I am not so heartened as Hannity wants to sell us the notion conservatism is back.   Still 50% do not pay taxes in this country.  That stat alone is a disaster for what this country stands/or better stood for.

And Crafty's disappointment with his Mexican mechanic who he thought would have (at least by now) *bought into* the ideals of America is exactly why IMO Reagan made a huge mistake not enforcing laws against illegals in the 80's.  These immigrants are not the same as those from Europe.  Many of them come from countries with socialist movements.  They may not like dictatorships but they are necessarily capatilists either.

I see the revolving door of Latinos going to and from the obstetrics floor in the hospital.  Their children are in our schools.  Someone who works in the system told me they were not kidding at all when they said one of the first English words they learn is Medicaid. 

I probably agree with Doug.  I prefer what GM says but it is probably political suicide.  I would not rule out Bamster giving them all amnesty.  Apparantly there is nothing that could stop him or do anything about it.  All he has to do is want to do it.

I hope I am very wrong about this - but we may already have seen the Tea Party at its peak.

The country is almost given away.  I mean if we couldn't win the Senate this time around?Huh

3784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 09, 2010, 09:44:04 AM
"candidates can talk tough on immigration and still do well with Hispanic voters if they can convincingly promote a message of economic opportunity"

Truthfully, that would be the ONLY hope for Republicans to gain Latino voters who overwhelming like big government tax dollar support.

I am dubious it would work.

Remember, if all those who could legally have voted did - it would have been a victory for Dems.  The Repubs won because of of likely "voters" and turn out.

3785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 08, 2010, 03:23:24 PM
"As best as I can tell the use of massive and rampant antibiotics by the cattle and poultry industries contributes mightily to the evolution of resistant bacteria."

I wasn't sure of the answer as what little I have read was somewhat conflicting (I guess who you believe - industry vs. health? perhaps).  so I looked up what the Infectious Disease experts think and found this interesting piece from just a couple of months ago.  Apparently the Infectious Disease Society agree that this IS a major challenge:,b5e12604&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=YhkxtDuX1nqnjxJJgS1HQg--

Two good things to this topic.  It is much easier for me to tell a patient I don't think an antibiotic will help them and not have to be pressured into prescribing it - then it used to be.  It appears patients are becoming much more atuned to overuse of antibiotics. 

Another is that doctors and nurses are doing better at reducing hospital infections.  At least where I am.
A relative asked me if I wear a lab coat and I said no but I wear a tie.  She then fired back that either is shown to increase spread of infections.  Shortly afterwards in the local newspaper there was an article pointing out the same thing.  So I figured you know what?  The hell with the tie!  If everyone is pissed that I am spreading germs that are killing people I won't wear a tie.  I hated it anyway.  It was obviously invented by a man hating woman.  Just like a woman hating man must have invented the high heel.
3786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: November 06, 2010, 01:55:14 PM
***One reason is that antibiotics are typically taken for a week or two and usually cure the patient. While that makes them cost-effective for the health system, it also makes them less lucrative to drug companies than medicines for diseases like cancer or diabetes, which might be taken for months, or even for life, because they do not cure the patient.

“There’s this perverse disincentive against antibiotics because they work so well,” said J. Kevin Judice, chief executive of Achaogen.***

Well the other half is that the cost of getting a drug to market is enormous.  Around a billion dollars.  If we want perfectly safe and effective drugs then that is the cost.
Yet if we find some side effect of a drug not first known years later we get reams of law firms looking to protect our legal rights advertising all over the TV to call them.

****But so far there is little consumer support. “We don’t have any patient groups for Acinetobacter,” said Robert J. Guidos, the society’s vice president for public policy and government relations, referring to a drug-resistant bacterium. Patient groups concerned about superbugs tend to focus on reducing the spread of infections in hospitals. ***

Can't sue a bacterium like one can sue a hospital.  Yet I do agree we in the health field did need to do more to prevent spread and stop over use of antibiotics.

***Mr. Brennan, whose company is still in the antibiotic business, said that at a minimum, new antibiotics should be given longer protection from generic competition to make up for the fact that they are used sparingly when they go on sale. “Give us more time at the back end,” he said.****

I couldn't agree more.
Time is not on our side. It could take a decade to get a drug through the morass of the regulatory process.  In the 90's we made the process for drug approval faster.  Then we had a few issues with bextra, and a fenfluramine and some others drug side effects and the pundits then screamed the gov is not doing enough to protect us so now it is back the other way.  (The fenflurimne mess was a sickening case in point.  Every single heart valve for everyone who ever took the drug was checked and any abnormality at all was grounds to get money from the settlement. Lawyers, cardiologists, patients were all literally making things up, lying and defrauding and everything else to get to the cash.  Cardiologist were reading echo reports claiming it was abnormal when it wasn't.  There wre mills  It was sickening.  A joke.  Sad. I don't know why these people cannot get thrown in jail for insurance fraud)

We could easily have another bacteria that could be resistant to everything and  the potential to spread like wild fire.

And on one hand while the world is obviously far "smaller" than it was in the 1300s and the potential for spread much easier and far faster (minutes, and not weeks or months or years) we also undertand far more about how to prevent spread, quarantine, hygiene, etc so I doubt we would see another "Black Death". But could I or anyone guarantee it - no - of course not.
3787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mort Zuckerman on: November 06, 2010, 11:45:56 AM
A rare Democrat who will publically state the obvious:
3788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 06, 2010, 09:21:00 AM
Rarick,  You are probably right.

For a laugh the Indians are shocked to find Bamster uses a teleprompter. smiley  Where is that little squirt Anderson Cooper keeping Bamster honest about his use of a script.
The MSM had no problem going after Sarah with cribb notes on her hand yet almost no poking fun at THIER hero in chief about his "cheating" when he speaks:

Obama to use teleprompter for Hindi speech
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, November 06, 2010First Published: 13:27 IST(6/11/2010)
Last Updated: 13:36 IST(6/11/2010)Share more...93 Comments          Email     print

Namaste India! In all likelihood that will be silver-tongued Barack Obama's opening line when he addresses the Indian parliament next week. But to help him pronounce Hindi words correctly will be a teleprompter which the US president uses ever so often for his hypnotising speeches.

According to parliament sources, a technical team from the US has helped the Lok Sabha secretariat install textbook-sized panes of glass around the podium that will give cues to Obama on his prepared remarks to 780 Indian MPs on the evening of Nov 8.

It will be a 20-minute speech at Parliament House's Central Hall that has been witness to some historic events, including first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's "tryst with destiny" speech when India became independent.

Obama will make history for more than one reason during the Nov 6-9 visit. This will be the first time a teleprompter will be used in the nearly 100-feet high dome-shaped hall that has portraits of eminent national leaders adorning its walls.

Indian politicians are known for making impromptu long speeches and perhaps that is why some parliament officials, who did not wish to be named, sounded rather surprised with the idea of a teleprompter for Obama.

"We thought Obama is a trained orator and skilled in the art of mass address with his continuous eye contact," an official, who did not wish to be identified because of security restrictions, said.

Obama is known to captivate audiences with his one-liners that sound like extempore and his deep gaze. But few in India know that the US president always carries the teleprompter with him wherever he speaks.

Teleprompters, also called autocue or telescript, are mostly used by TV anchors to read out texts scrolling on a screen and attached to a camera in front of them.

Parliament officials have had a busy week preparing for a red carpet welcome for Obama and his wife Michelle. Parliament House these days looks fresh with a new coat of paint, new carpeting and new green plants in mud vases decorating the corridors.

Sources said the Obamas will pose for a photograph with Indian leaders at one of the three well laid-out courtyards that have lush green lawns and fountains.

On the dais in the Central Hall will be Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The sources said the event will be an hour-long affair and will start with Ansari's welcome address and end with a vote of thanks by Meira Kumar after the US president's address.

The Obamas would sign the Golden Book, the visitor's diary in parliament, before leaving the eight-decade old building.

"Thank god they won't eat anything or have tea or coffee from our canteen. We would have to go through a tough security drill otherwise," quipped an employee.

Security managers in parliament also had a tough job for the high profile visit even as the house is already highly protected following a terrorist attack in 2001.

A team of US security officials, including from the CIA, were in the Indian capital and visited the complex to review security measures to be taken during the parliament event.

Parliament security officials have decided that barring special invitees and former MPs, no visitor would be allowed inside when Obama addresses the MPs.

Only journalists who have permanent radio-frequency passes would be allowed inside the Central Hall to cover the event.

3789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: November 05, 2010, 04:32:51 PM
I got this from my sister who emailed this to me.

I responded thus,

If Ahmadinejad has his way, as did Hitler, this will happen again.

Remembering my father a WW2 vet and who is long gone said, if Hilter had his way he would have been dead and I wouldn't be here. 
As long as I live I will remember that he said he could forgive the Japanese who were poor uneducated peasants who were following their emperor, but he could never forgive the Germans. 

Crafty, did you parents also refuse for the rest of their lives to buy anything German?

3790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 05, 2010, 04:25:20 PM
Doug writes (a lot of food for thought),

"Who do you think all these maids, grass cutters, nail hammerers, housekeepers, apple pickers are going to vote for?"  - They sound like very dedicated, principled, hard working people in a country where people can jump classes and quintiles in less than a generation.  I would think they would support economic freedoms but one good leader or candidate can not always cut through the rest of the noise they are hearing, and no one is really trying."

You are  right about no one trying.  I haven't heard anyone making this case.  I am not for amnesty though which is what the illegals want. 

"Savage lays out a proposal for repubs in his book though I haven't read it.  He says the new "contract" or whatever you want to call it is lame. I think he may be right."

 - I disagree.  The 'Pledge' is a governing philosophy that would have prevented most of this economic carnage if those basic fundamentals had been adhered to a few years back.

I'll have to review the pledge.  From what I saw before it was rather vague.

"This relates to what I posted about the tea party alienating young voters, and  blacks, Hispanics, gays thinking they have more economic opportunity and freedom under Dem rule."

I don't recall this post.  The Tea Party is alienating these groups? 
3791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 05, 2010, 03:57:48 PM
"Right now, it's best to not discuss entitlements until after 2012"

I agree it is politically risky at this time. 

Do you think a candidate running for the Presidency in 12 should be "candid" with Americans about the need for reform as part of their policy platform?

Doesn't someone eventually have to level with us? 

I don't know what is the best strategy.

My thought about the Dept of Ed is I think some see even this as an "entitlement".
The MSM always speak of this as though it is sacred.
3792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 05, 2010, 01:31:52 PM
"I think it sounded bad but Obama was put on notice when Mitch McConnell said defeating this President is a top priority" 
From a MSM perseprctive this if fodder for them to go after republicans.  But we repubs know this IS EXACTLY right.  We have to get rid of this guy once and for all.No compromise no prisoners.
"I honestly hope he does an about face, but there is nothing whatsoever in view to believe that."
Doug, I disagree with you.  Like Rush I hope this guy fails.  We don't want him to pull a Clinton and stay popular.  We need him to stay like he is AND fail.  He must be stopped.  I posted that I am worried the Repubs will be called the party of "NO" like Clinton did to NEWT and Truman did to them in '48 thus almost dooming them.
But now I see a better way.  Although he is not the only one saying it I like that THIS is coming from Clinton's own triangulation guy Dick Morris.  The architect of the Clinton comback now nicely illuminates the path for Republicans.  And that is not to be the party of do nothings but the party of better ideas and plans and policies.  They can set their agenda and make Bamster say no.

But I admit they will be walking on hot coals.  The stakes and the pitfalls are plenty.  I and you are already seeing the MSM go after all the conservatives like viper snakes trying to get a rat.  Have you noticed the MSM pundits going after their conservative guests about their deficit cutting talk. Asking them OK where are you going to "cut" . JUst say it!  You want to cut Medicare Soc Sec!!  The the crats can use this as a rallying cry to win back seniors etc.  But the point is that SS and Medicare do need reforming.  Do the Repubs have the courage to tell the people the truth?  Do they dare?
The MSM seems to want them to.  They seem to want them to in their mind commit political suicide.  But Americans when faced with the truth I hope at least are smarter than that. 

Anyway I digress:

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann11.4.2010Share this article
Published in the New York Post on November 4, 2010

Now that President Obama has experienced the same baptism of fire as President Bill Clinton did in the 1994 midterm elections, the obvious question is: Will he move to the center in a bid to save his presidency and win re-election?

The move worked well for Clinton: He sought to combine the best aspects of each party’s program in a third approach that became known as triangulation.

But Obama won’t follow suit because he can’t, even if he wants to. Today’s issues are different from those that separated the parties in 1994 and don’t lend themselves to common ground.

Obama’s programs have been so far-reaching and fundamental that any compromise would leave the nation far to the left of where it’s always been and wants to be. When he took office, government (federal, state and local combined) controlled 35 percent of the US economy — 15th among the two-dozen advanced countries. Now, it controls 44.7 percent, ranking us 7th, ahead of Germany and Britain. So where’s the compromise — leave government in control of, say, 40 percent?

Add the overriding need for sharp deficit reduction, to bring down the debt before it strangles our economy.

Republicans are pushing to begin this by rolling back spending to pre-Obama levels. The alternative would be to raise taxes to pay the bills run up by the Democratic Congress that the voters just repudiated. Yet even partly covering that tab would lock in a government that big — hoarding capital, pouncing on all available credit and taking away such a major portion of national income — would be anathema to our free-enterprise system.

Yet a zero tax-hike policy will require budget cuts that Obama and the left will find unacceptable.

Even with some tax hikes, the slashes in social spending needed to start reducing the debt will also preclude a search for middle ground.

What triangulation is possible on health care? The fundamental building block of Obama’s program is the individual mandate to buy insurance. Absent that, all that’s left is a consumer-protection bill that limits insurance-company practices. Yet the mandate can’t be scaled back but still preserved: It’s either in place or it isn’t. There’s no middle ground.

On “cap and trade,” the other major pillar of Obama’s secular temple, either we tax carbon, or we don’t. The left will deride any program without coercion or tax increases (even though the evidence suggests that voluntary measures are bringing down our carbon emissions nicely). Again, faced with a choice between a tax and no tax, there’s no middle ground.

We can easily see how far Obama has moved off the center of gravity of the American people by measuring his losses in the House. If Republicans stick to their principles and pass their programs in the House, they’ll set forth an agenda that the nation can follow. If they compromise to suit Obama’s big-government objectives, they’ll muddy the waters, antagonize their energetic base and provide no clear alternative to his socialism.

It’s time for bold, clear contrasts. It’s not 1994.****

3793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lack of self insight continues on: November 05, 2010, 10:25:33 AM
Well this tells us what lies ahead.  It isn't his policies.  It was we were too stupid to know he is right.  Which is what he is saying when he says he just didn't (swindle) sell us his vision.  This is consistent with his personality defect.  It isn't him - he is smarter then us.   He knows what is best for us.  We just didn't get it.  He has to do better persauding us.  I won't be rested till this guy is run out of office in 12.
True personality DISORDERS - they can NEVER under any circumstance "get it" when it is about themselves.  This is true to form  He is one screwed up guy.  Unfortunately he is taking us all down with him.
****Obama Acknowledges Failures, Says ‘Leadership Isn’t Just Legislation’
November 5, 2010 9:56 AM

NEW YORK (CBS) — After a suffering a “shellacking” in the midterm elections, President Obama acknowledges what many have seen as his chief weakness – failing to sell the importance of several legislative milestones to the American people.

“I think that’s a fair argument. I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone,” Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft in an exclusive interview set to air Sunday.

“Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully … as I go forward.”****
3794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of pictures on: November 04, 2010, 12:58:39 PM
3795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some voting records on: November 04, 2010, 12:49:29 PM
From countries who receive our aid.  Well, I think we are also the biggest contributers to the UN as well.
3796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 03, 2010, 11:56:05 AM
What is your take with California?  The state that gave us Reagan in the 70's?

Rush was saying Fiorina and Whitman lost because they are "RINOS".

He actually believes a stricter conservative would have won.

I really doubt that but than again we did have Reagan.  Though as the above points out this state is defferent than the 70's.

I really don't think the country is massively shifting to libertarianism, conservatism as much as it is the pocketbook issue.  Again I reiterate that 50% of the US doesn't pay taxes.  Record people on payouts courtesy of those who pay up taxes.  Endless immigrant hordes who while conservatives like to point out their family values, religiousness as examples of their "conservatism" I would be very wary expecting that to compete with the DEM strategy of tax the earning class and dole checks out to them. 

Who do you think all these maids, grass cutters, nail hammerers, housekeepers, apple pickers are going to vote for?

Rand Paul.   huh

The Republicans have to have a better agenda IMO.  They need to propose conservative answers to this countries problems AND have the polticial salesmanship to turn the tables on duhbamster.  Instead of sitting aournd waiting for him to call them obstructionist, do nothings, the party of no, the Republicans need to lay out an agenda and when he fails to act, point the finger at HIM.

Savage lays out a proposal for repubs in his book though I haven't read it.  He says the new "contract" or whatever you want to call it is lame. I think he may be right.

Like it or not I don't think the independents are becoming resoundingly conservative just for ideology.   
3797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 02, 2010, 11:09:39 AM
Is the "barfed up" speech a response to my post?

"free market principles" sounds ok to me and others who pay taxes.  But explain that to those who rely on doles to pay for their food, shelter, and sustenance and who would as Clinton says be on bread lines if not for the doles and bank bailouts.

No one on the right, libertarian or conservative is explaining this to those people.

3798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 02, 2010, 10:11:14 AM
I agree with pundits who say that Reps better not think any win is some sort of referendum for them rather than a repudiation of Bamster and Pelosi.
Strick right wing libertarianism/conservatism alone will not work with independents who want problems fixed in some way IMHO.

There is just too much of the country that wants others to pay for their ills.  50% don't pay taxes.  So tax breaks ain't gonna win them over.
3799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The cans/tea party better be careful on: November 02, 2010, 10:07:10 AM
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.   I can guarantee you Bamster already has his strategy for dealing with a Rep majority in Congress and based on history it WILL work to revive him

If Boehner does nothing more the oppose Bamster the Republicans WILL lose next cycle.  Here are two historic precedents for the exact same strategy and posture.
The "do nothing Congress" of 1948 which resulted in Truman upsetting Dewey and the Crats retaking both houses.  Also more recently the Reps strategy when Newt was speaker in 1995 paved the way for Clinton's comeback and eventually Newt left with disasterously low poll support:
3800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 01, 2010, 02:34:25 PM
Wouldn't the riches of Buffett and Gates alone take care of California'a entire budget deficit.  Why don't we just take all their money and pay it down?

Isn't that what the progressives want?  Make the rich pay.  So here you go.  Between Clinton and Gore we could probably get another quarter billion easy.
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