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3851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: December 09, 2010, 01:43:01 PM
"Obama still has said nothing about the largest security breach in American history"

The silence from him is deafening.

Absolutely remarkable.  He should be declaring war on these people; instead silence.

I am at a loss to explain why other than that he ideologically agrees with these enemies of our country.

3852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 08, 2010, 12:36:52 PM
The WMD were there.  They were smuggled to Syria or elsewhere at some point.  Or hidden somewhere and not found.
Of course MSM will ignore this.  The opposite of endless coverage of the water boarding of three terrorists as though it was some sort of scandal.

The biggest tragedy of this leak is as pointed out on cable is is highlights just how weak our country is.

A single guy with some computer skills can do such damage and yet, there still has to be a public *debate* as to can we, should we, even do anything to stop him.

More evidence of our decline.  I agree with Doug - not inevitable but clearly the result of idiot policies.

This guy is an enemy of the US.  We should simply put a bullet in his brain to make an example.  And anyone who helps him.

The NYT is not off the hook either though the liberals will force our courts to give them immunity.

3853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: December 08, 2010, 12:03:46 PM
Update from CDC on influenza.

One can go back in time to see how it is spreading throughout the US over the past month up to 11/27:
3854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire-1 on: December 08, 2010, 11:27:02 AM
The difference between unempolyment in the 30's and now is that in the 30's people would do any kind of work.

Now there are jobs available but no one wants to work at these jobs.  It is understandable that no one wants to get up in the AM if they can sit home and get unemployment for around the same amount of money.  That is human nature.   The endless unemployment benefits are making things worse IMO.  And all the while we have people who don't belong here getting and taking work.

Our country is falling apart from within.   Our schools are failing.  Our family situation is crumbling thanks to "progressivism" thus education which really starts at the home is not preparing children for a much more competitive world.

All the while big liberalism is making it worse.

3855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: December 08, 2010, 11:10:50 AM
Krauthammer on O'Reilly last night said the tax deal is great for Obama.  It effectively reduces revenues by 900 billion which is another bailout paid for by foreign debt holders, and he gets the unemployment extension, and if it stimulates the economy, the two year extension is perfect for the runnup to the 12 election.

He is clearly going against the grain.

On one hand we want the economy to do better.  On the other hand the Bamster will take all the credit for it if it does and give blame to Repubs if it doesn't.  He is obviously one of the least gracious Presidents we have ever had.  Then again Democrats never are gracious when it comes to giving credit to a Republican.

Yesterday's embarrasing performance by the narcisstic commander in heat goes along with what I suspect is that he will fall apart everytime he doesn't get his way.

Bamster gets credit for health care reform (from the liberal's point of view) despite the fact he had nothing to do with it.  He didn't come up with it.  He obviously didn't understand it.  The House and Senate rammed it through despite polls that it was unpopular *despite* his going all over the place selling it - and yet he will go down in history as the one who got it through.   This according to Charles Krauthammer.

Whether he gets relected will not be as per Charles that he should not be underestimated - it will be a combination of two things:

Whether or not the Republicans can come up with a decent candidate and if the economy/unempolyment turns - leaving us with trillions in debt.
3856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 06, 2010, 03:56:33 PM
Ironic that this crowd is angry with him because he is not liberal enough.

I can't think of any more important issue for the USA right now than the don't ask dont tell. wink rolleyes

I nominate Rachel Maddow to spearhead this issue by running for high office.
3857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 06, 2010, 10:25:49 AM
***enjoy how she enrages the left***

Maybe that is it.
I agree with you and her ie. the "left", but,

***I fear her giving O-Barry a second term.***

as you imply she is only enraging or turning people off who are not on the same page.

We need someone who can appeal to at least the "independents" or swing voters (a better description).

I want more people to accept conservative/American ideals. I don't see  her convincing anyone.  Just being a angry mouthpiece for those of us who are already pissed off at the "left".
3858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 06, 2010, 09:50:44 AM
"CCP,  I was wondering if it was her substance or her so-called Fargo / rural northern MN accent that is driving your Palin annoyance.  I don't watch cable but why is she on?"

The accent doesn't bother me at all. I've been to Fargo and like most midwesterners they seem to be friendly types.

She is appearing a lot on Hannity who promotes her like she will be the savior of the world and Greta who seems to love her.  I guess they are counting on those few millions of viewers who apparently like listening to her to boost there ratings.  But everytime I start to listen to her I feel compelled to change the station.

There is something very in your face about her with the shit eating grin, the four eyes, the never ending smart ass anit-democrat remarks, the endless platitudes about the Constitution, freedom, our founding fathers.  After all is said and done I never know anything more after listening to her than I did before.  She talks endlessly and says little. 

Compare her to Newt who is a geniune thinker and intellect.  Compare her to Bolton who I love to listen to.  There is simply no comparison.  I can't quite explain it frankly.  Does any one else here watch FOX and thus get endless promotions of her understand or see and hear what I hear???
3859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: December 06, 2010, 09:43:38 AM
I don't recall where I read it but the longer term results of lap band are not very good.  Most people will gain most of the weight back.
That is not true for the gastric bypass which does work much better.

When I do a search all I see are advertisements from surgeons telling you how wonderful the procedure is and how state of the art they are.

But then again most diet business will not tell you that almost all fail after five years 95% of people.

I cannot pull up the link in your post.

I heard something about the donut man's diet.  Isn't he some guy at Rutgers?

3860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: December 06, 2010, 09:33:20 AM
The procedure, particularly its cost, which can range from $14,000 to $20,000. The device itself costs $3,000.

Now based on FDA experts 100,000,000 people total will qulify for the procedure.  That's right 100 million.

Using the above numbers that means we could spend 1.5 TRILLION for the people who qualify.

It should NOT be covered by insurance or Medicare for people who are with BMI 30 to 35.  If they choose to pay out of pocket - be my guest.

I do not want to subsidize this.

Why is everything ass backwards with the government?Huh
3861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Lousy FDA decision. We will all go broke. on: December 04, 2010, 11:42:01 AM
I am shocked by this rec. by an FDA panel of experts.  Lap bands have a failure rate of 80% over a couple of years.  To think that the FDA approves doing this for people who are only class 1 obese is wrong.  It is a very costly procedure with not great results.  The surgeons will get rich though.  As well as the hospitals that do this.  WE will go broke paying for these through skyrocketing insurance costs.  I don't get it.

While obesity is hard to treat this ain't the answer.   Someone was bribed or owns stock options.

****By MATTHEW PERRONE, Associated Press Matthew Perrone, Associated Press – Sat Dec 4, 1:18 am ET
WASHINGTON – About 12 million more obese Americans could soon qualify for surgery to implant a small, flexible stomach band designed to help them lose weight by dramatically limiting their food intake. The Food and Drug Administration will make a final decision on the Lap-Band in the coming months.

The device from Allergan Inc. is currently implanted in roughly 100,000 people each year and usually helps patients lose 50 pounds or more. Under federal guidelines, it has been limited to patients who are morbidly obese.

On Friday, a panel of FDA advisers recommended expanding use of the device to include patients who are less obese. The panel voted 8-2 that the benefits of broader approval outweighed the risks.

If approved for wider use, the Lap-Band could be available to patients like Angela Denson, a 37-year-old Indianapolis woman who wants to lose 80 or 85 pounds. She said she has struggled with obesity since she started having children 20 years ago.

"I've tried diet pills. I've tried Weight Watchers ... all different types of diet plans," she said.

Denson is not quite obese enough for the surgery under the current standards, but she still wants to pursue the procedure to ward off future health problems and feel better.

But experts stress that the Lap-Band cannot stop deeply ingrained behavior that drives people to overeat. And the high cost of the procedure will remain a barrier for many potential patients.

More than a third of all American adults are obese. About 15 million of them meet criteria for gastric banding surgery under existing guidelines, which say a person should have a body mass index of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher if the person suffers from a weight-related medical problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

If adopted, the proposal would lower the Lap-Band requirement to a BMI of 35 or higher, or as low as 30 with one related health problem.

Doing so would increase the number of eligible patients to 27 million, according to federal health data.

Denson said her insurer denied her doctor's request for a band procedure because her BMI was 39.3, and she had no serious conditions.

Dr. Jack Ditslear said broader approval could help people with lower BMIs avoid dangerous complications down the road.

"We know that being overweight increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease," said Ditslear, a surgeon at Clarian Bariatrics in Indianapolis. "Ideally you want to lose the weight before you have the onset of those diseases."

The adjustable band has been available in the U.S. since 2001 but far longer in Europe and Australia, where it is dominant. A ring is placed over the top of the stomach and inflated with saline to tighten it and restrict how much food can enter and pass through the stomach.

The device was developed as an alternative to gastric bypass surgery, a permanent procedure in which food is rerouted from a pouch in the stomach to the small intestine.

There were about 220,000 gastric surgeries last year, with banding accounting for an estimated 40 percent. Surgeons say the fact that the procedure is reversible and relatively low-risk accounts for its growing popularity.

"As a clinician, it's pretty common for patients to come in because they've heard about banding," said Dr. Eric DeMaria, a surgeon at Durham Regional Hospital. "It's probably the lowest-risk surgical procedure available for morbid obesity."

But there are hurdles to wider use of the procedure, particularly its cost, which can range from $14,000 to $20,000. The device itself costs $3,000.

Susquehanna International analyst Gary Nachman says both insurers and patients are often reluctant to pay.

"It's a very expensive procedure and even if someone has coverage, they may have to pay a copay of a few thousand dollars," Nachman said. "And that's why in a tough economy, we've seen this franchise struggle more than you would normally."

According to Nachman, the payment issues for Lap-Band will only increase if it is approved for patients with less severe obesity. He projects a modest 8 percent rise in Allergan's business through 2014 to about $258 million.

Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, said she believes a majority of insurers now cover bariatric surgeries.

"They may approach this surgery in a cautious way, but I think there is a broad acknowledgment that there is a place for surgery in the treatment of morbidly obese people," she said, noting that some employers who provide group health coverage choose not cover the procedure in their plans.

The FDA's consideration of the Lap-Band comes as rising health care costs threaten to consume nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy. Obesity-related health care spending is estimated at $147 billion, double the level of a decade ago.

While experts say the Lap-Band can help patients control their weight, it cannot replace healthy lifestyle choices.

"It is a tool to make the lifestyle easier, but not easy. It doesn't help people exercise more or resolve their behavioral issues," said Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the University of Pittsburgh's weight management center. "It's most important for people to understand what it can and can't do."

To change eating behavior, the drug industry has invested billions of dollars to develop weight-loss medications, most of which have not proven effective.

The FDA has rejected two such medications this year alone because of safety concerns.

On Friday the agency issued a lackluster review of a third drug called Contrave, which combines an antidepressant with an anti-addiction drug used to treat alcoholism.

Experts say such drugs have been largely unsuccessful at addressing the main obstacle to weight loss: the brain's fundamental drive to eat enough food to maintain current weight.

Dr. Derek Lowe, a pharmaceutical researcher and blogger, says unless medicine finds a way to address that issue, devices like the Lap-Band will have mixed effectiveness.

"There are certainly people who've had gastric bypass surgery and managed to turn themselves back into their original size by sipping on milkshakes all day," he said.****

3862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 04, 2010, 09:42:53 AM
Another take.  It is not that I disagree with much of what she says - it is almost how she says it.  She is like the nightmare spouse who just shoots off at the mouth (not like mine at all) and doesn't shut up driving everyone nuts.  Whenever I hear her speak, after 30 seconds I find her extraordinarily annoying frankly.  Except for her fan base I believe most other Americans do too.

****The qualities of Sarah Palin
A head for business, a natural communicator—and a disaster in waiting for the Republicans
Dec 2nd 2010 | from PRINT EDITION
 SO WOULD President Sarah Palin have been able to prevent the embarrassment of WikiLeaks? You betcha. “Inexplicable,” was her first tweeted reaction to the affair: “I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop WikiLeaks’ treasonous act?”

Needless to say, the commentators she derides as the “liberal elite” and the “lamestream media” pounced upon this confusion of apples (Mrs Palin won a copyright case) and oranges (the federal government lacks the legal power to silence WikiLeaks) as further evidence, if such were needed, that the former governor of Alaska should never be trusted to lead the free world. They did the same last week, when she said in a radio interview: “Obviously, we gotta stand with our North Korean allies.” Mrs Palin’s occasional flubs make it easy to underestimate her. But opponents who dismiss her as an airhead do so at their peril.

Consider first her head for business. Mrs Palin has converted her two months of fame as John McCain’s running-mate in 2008 into a global brand and a fast-growing fortune. Her earnings are private, but her first book, “Going Rogue”, was a runaway bestseller and may have netted her $7m or more. Now “America by Heart” is flying off the shelves. She is said to earn about $100,000 per speech, and her multi-year broadcasting deal with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News reputedly earns her $1m a year. Millions of viewers are now glued to “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, an air-brushed not-quite-reality television series in which she and her brood cavort with bears and exude familial wholesomeness amid Alaska’s magnificent snowbound panoramas. That is said to be bringing her another $2m for eight episodes.

Next, there is the politics. However telegenic and sassy she is, not even Mrs Palin could keep this glistening bubble of celebrity permanently aloft if it were not for the speculation that she hopes one day to be president. Here, too, she has shown a deftness of touch that only the most purblind critic would refuse to acknowledge. Her quixotic (at the time many said “flaky”) decision in the summer of 2009 to resign half-way through her term as governor has been brilliantly vindicated. Though now a private individual, holding no office and not yet formally seeking one, she has made herself one of the most powerful forces in the Republican Party just when its fortunes have rebounded.

This did not happen by accident. Mrs Palin has rare political qualities. She is bold: she embraced the tea parties well before their impact became obvious. She is innovative: she has perfected the art of using the new social media to reach over the heads of a hostile press. And for all that she lacks the fluency of a Barack Obama, she is a natural communicator. Her Facebook post on “death panels” altered the national debate on health reform. When she asked “How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?”, she encapsulated many people’s doubts about their president. Just one tweet (“Doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate”) galvanised opposition to the so-called Ground Zero mosque. She helped put ratification of the new START treaty on hold. She even turned the president’s articulateness into a weapon against him. “We need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law,” she told a tea-party convention in Nashville.

But can she become president?

That said, you do not have to underestimate Mrs Palin to recognise that it will be hard for anyone so divisive to win a presidential election. Mr McCain points out that Ronald Reagan, too, was accused of being divisive. But the Gipper was popular among blue-collar Democrats as well as his own party. In contrast, a recent poll found that the obverse of Mrs Palin’s stellar ratings among Republicans was that only 8% of Democrats had a favourable view of her. Another reported that 34% of Americans saw her “very unfavourably”. She says she can beat Mr Obama, but for as long as those numbers hold nothing would suit him better than for the Republicans to choose her as their nominee for 2012.

For the present it is her fellow Republicans—those who are seeking the nomination, that is—who have the greater cause for concern, if only because the attention the media lavish on the Sage of Wasilla drowns out their own messages. Nate Silver, a polling guru, notes that her search traffic on Google is 16 times that of Mitt Romney, 14 times Newt Gingrich’s and 87 times Tim Pawlenty’s. Rivals are loth to criticise her lest she accuses them of belonging to the party “establishment”, a high misdemeanour in these tea-driven times. When Barbara Bush, a former first lady, said she hoped the former governor would remain in the Alaska she appears to like so well, Mrs Palin responded immediately by lashing out at the party’s “blue-bloods”.

Whether Mrs Palin sincerely believes she can and should be president may not become clear for some time. Because her celebrity and income depend on the idea that she might run, she has every reason not to rule herself out of the race too soon. Since she is already famous, she does not have to declare early in order to build up the name-recognition that other contenders still lack.

This suggests that she could keep her party in a state of fevered expectation for months to come. And even if in the end she does not run, she will have an impact on the race’s outcome. In the primaries before the mid-term elections, Republican candidates learnt the value of an approving tweet from the patron saint of the tea-partiers—even though over a third of her picks then failed to win seats in Congress. Joe Scarborough, a television host and former Republican congressman, called this week on the party’s leaders to say in public what they all complain about in private: that she could devastate the Republicans’ cause in 2012. For some reason, none of them wants to speak up first.****
3863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 03, 2010, 03:37:57 PM
Ed Rollins to Palin - your no Reagan.
I don't know why she keeps showing up on Fox cable network.  It must be a ratings thing.  I don't know what she says that is ever different than what she already has said.  She just rants on and on at a thousand miles per hour.  I don't even waste my time listening to her.  She has become a broken record that just won't stop.
I don't understand why people continue to listen to her over and over again.  Am I missing something?:
3864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: December 03, 2010, 10:16:13 AM
There is and had been crime in Celebration.  Disney used to cover it up to avoid the negative publicity.  ONe PI hired to investigate a rape was told by witnesses they were instructed not to speak.  Mickey Mouse my ass.

****Disney town sees death for 2nd time in week
 Email this Story

Dec 3, 6:50 AM (ET)

CELEBRATION, Fla. (AP) - Authorities were investigating another death Friday in the town Disney built just days after reporting its first homicide in its 14-year existence. This time it was a man who apparently killed himself after shooting at deputies.

Craig Foushee, 52, barricaded himself in a home Thursday for more than 14 hours, according to an Osceola County Sheriff's Office report. He shot at deputies several times, but deputies never returned fire because they were unable to acquire a target and no deputies were injured, authorities said.

Deputies entered the home early Friday and found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain said there was no connection between Foushee and Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, who was found slain in a condominium Tuesday. That homicide was the first for Disney's master-planned, picture-perfect central Florida community with 11,000 residents.

Giovanditto lived alone with his Chihuahua and had been slain over the long Thanksgiving weekend, authorities said. Neighbors hadn't seen him for days, so they filed a missing person's report, then went into his condo a day later and found him.

Giovanditto's death was an isolated incident, Lizasuain said.****

3865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ethics?? What is that? on: December 02, 2010, 04:26:26 PM
Remember how Dennis Hastert had some sort of ownership in a mall.  Next to the mall was a road paid for by - guess? - Federal monies.
Remember how Harry Reid had part ownership in a land deal with a similar scam - Federal money used to pay for a road to be built next to this land.
Recall how Pelosi's family is making a fortune in the lobbyist game. 
Notice Delay being convicted.
These are our "leaders".  The joke is on us.
I told you the Rangel thing is a sham.  Maxine Waters is going to get off.  There are no ethics.  No one is holding these people accountable.  The game is rigged.  Most are re-elected. 

***A question of ethics
Voters sent Congress a clear message: End corruption now. Will Democrats listen and, more important, act?
By Jonathan Turley

In her first statement after the Democratic takeover of the House, the presumptive new speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, pledged that her party would create “the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history.”

History, however, should give citizens pause before they celebrate the dawn of a new day. Pelosi's promise is eerily similar to the vows of her two predecessors.

Notably, in this election, Democrats took back the seats that they lost in 1994 when Newt Gingrich, who became speaker, led a Republican takeover based in part on his promise to create the most ethical Congress in history. Yet, ethics quickly gave way to earmarks, and Gingrich left the House in scandal.

We heard the same words from Dennis Hastert in 1999, when he became speaker. During Hastert's speakership, the leadership actually loosened ethics rules and prevented some bipartisan reforms from coming to the House floor. Hastert even engineered the removal of GOP members from the ethics committee who had voted to admonish former majority leader Tom DeLay for his misconduct — before DeLay resigned under indictment.

This history explains why lobbyists on K Street are not packing moving boxes in anticipation of an outbreak of good government. After all, these same Democrats remained silent for many years in the face of corrupt practices, often engaging in the very conduct that would now have to be prohibited.

Even so, there is one unexpected glimmer of hope: They might not have a choice. To the surprise of both parties, exit polls cited corruption in Congress as one of the most important issues motivating citizens to vote. President Bush had campaigned for some of the most corrupt members of Congress. His political adviser, Karl Rove, admitted after the elections that “the profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I'd expected.”

Of course, “reform” can take the most curious forms in the parallel moral universe of Congress. For example, in 1997, the mislabeled House Ethics Reform Task Force moved to prevent ethics charges rather than ethics violations. Not only did the members bar citizens from bringing charges, but both parties also entered into a secret 7-year moratorium on any ethics charges by members.

While Republicans richly deserve the lion's share of blame for the grotesquely corrupt 109th Congress, it is only fair to note that ranking Democrats have long fought to preserve and benefit from many of the same loopholes and technicalities.

Democratic whip Dick Durbin of Illinois has been criticized for accepting trips for himself and his wife that were paid for by outside groups such as the not-for-profit Aspen Institute. Likewise, the presumptive Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, was recently scrutinized for alleged ethics lapses, including a controversial land deal in Las Vegas and the use of campaign funds to give Christmas bonuses to workers at his luxury condo building in Washington.

None of this means that the Democrats cannot show that they are capable of personal change with needed political reform. Yet, the last Democratic proposals for ethics reforms contain obvious gaps that would allow the continuation of corrupt practices, including some favored by their leadership.

If Pelosi is serious about “draining the swamp,” here are 10 practices that would have to end:

•Free vacations. Prohibit travel for members and their family and staff paid by outside groups, including not-for-profit organizations.

•Playing the market. Bar members from legislating in areas where they have financial interests by closing a loophole in the definition of “outside income,” which excludes investments and stocks. Better yet, require the use of blind trusts by members (already used by executive and judicial officers).

•Quid pro quo deals. End the practice of receiving windfall private deals from partners, who then receive generous government contracts. Require recusal from any matter in which a business partner has a direct financial interest.

•Self-policing. Create an independent office of ethics in which non-members investigate and rule on allegations of unethical conduct.

•Misuse of campaign funds. Prohibit the use of such funds for any purpose other than direct campaign costs for the original recipient, barring the transfer of funds to other candidates.

•Family lobbyists. Bar members from any official contact with family members who are employed as lobbyists and require recusal from any committee with jurisdiction over issues on which a spouse or a child is a lobbyist. Enact an ethics principle that expressly condemns the employment of spouses or children as lobbyists as harmful to the institution.

•Family businesses. Strengthen nepotism rules, including a ban on the hiring of spouses and family as campaign staff or contractors.

•Gifts. Change the scope of prohibited gifts to include the use of private jets by members and catered food for members or staff. Also require the valuation of gifts by an independent ethics committee.

•Club privileges. End all special access to the floor and other areas for former members that allows them free access as lobbyists.

•Earmarks. The primary currency for corrupt practices and pork barrel projects remains earmarks — special pet projects inserted into budgets outside of the usual competitive bidding and appropriations processes. Democrats have proposed changes but not the most obvious: Ban earmarks.

Believing in Pelosi's promise is the ultimate victory of hope over experience. Indeed, Democratic proposals still fall short of a true cleaning as opposed to a quick dust and polish in the “first 100 hours.” Yet, if she implements these 10 reforms, Pelosi can prove that it is possible for reformed sinners to sin no more.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.****
3866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Celebration Florida on: December 02, 2010, 11:44:53 AM
Katherine and I were one of the first ones to move into Celebration, the town that Disney built.  We moved there from South Florida because we thought it would be a pleasant place to live and since Katherine is visually impaired (legally blind) it would be ideal for to be able to walk to destinations, make friends and maybe a good investment.

Well it was anything but wonderful life.  Our house was wired, our internet connections were controlled, our phone was tapped, we had bugs in placed in the house, our neighbors were bribed to watch for when we left the house, we rented a small efficiency behind our house over the garage to a number of tenants all of whom were plants to rob us, our mail carriers would screw up delivery of our mail so crooks could surveillance it and if needed steal or manipulate copyrights sent to and from the COpyright Office, bank employees were bribed to get in our safety box, new gardners came into town and were immediately doing all our neighbors lawns so they could have access to wireless devices and be near our house, at least once we had three people wearing exterminator outfits like the one we used show up at our porch even though the company denied anyone was sent and they never sent three people at once,  our neighbors never saw a thing, though one did admit she didn't know how we could stand it, and would have committed suicide by then.  A neighbor moved in from Alabama who appeared to have bribed the garbage man to drop off our garbage at his house which was a few houses down his run, we would be watched while we walked our dogs and someone would be going through our house, Katherine's uncle was biribed, her mother, an 80 yo "friend" of hers who I made the mistake of trusting and letting stay in our house, we had a computer phD come into the house (worst mistake of all) and let him have access to all our computers thinking he was looking for evidence for us while instead he was rigging our systems and erasing all evidence, painters painting just the back of our neighbors house for several days in an attempt to wait for us to leave the house (walk the dogs, etc) so they could run in and take whatever they wanted, on the other side of us a guy and girl were doing some yard work and I say a straight stick in the very center of my driveway appearing as some sort of signal that our house was the target house, when I turned my back and went upstairs in our efficiency Katherine could hear the girl screaming to the guy to "get it, get it" right outside a window on the side of our house and Katherine called me and by the time I was able to see what they were doing these two characters were on other side of the the house next to us as though nothing happened.

Our gardner was eventually bribed.  I remember Katherine telling me he was stunned when he saw a sherriff's car come aruond the corner and look exactly at the two of them speaking and immediately turn around and go back the other way.  Even he was startled and siad "did you see that, that was weird".
Eventually he was bribed and possibly intimidated (he had a dirt bike accident) and turned not so nice to us and was obviously going around looking for windows he or his new empolyee could get into.  I could go on.  These stories are only a small part of what was done to us in Disney's little town.  all the while Disney was making money off her lyrics, Lou Perlman was making money off them, Paul Bittles Harlyn KIng or which ever name you want to use was also doing the same. Even one of our tenants, a pyschopath, Joe (a gay waiter at one of the Disney restaurants) said "everyone in Orlando is making money off your songs but you"!

Rascall Flatts got famous as did countless other pop and country singers many of whom are also suddenly going by the phrase "singersongerwriter".
There was lyric streets dot com that has finally gone out of business, Sony Nashville was established with a catelogue of Katherine's song lyrics. 

Yes Celebration was supposed to be a dream town.  It was our worst nightmare.  I was warned that leaving the state would not make this problem go away.  These kind of criminals will easily follow us around.  He was absolutely right.  The exact same thing is happening to us in NJ.  Our house is totally wired. 

We have been and are terrorized. OUr lives has become a living hell.  All because Katherine is a genius talent at writing ready to go sellable music lyrics.  The music industry is criminal from top to  bottom.  Does anyone care?  Short answer - NO at all.  I learned anyone can be bribed.  Any one who thinks otherwise is a fool.
3867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 30, 2010, 09:59:09 AM
Agreed.  The hypocracy of the NYT knows no bounds. There is also the profit issue too.  This latest leak is a great money maker for the news media whereas climate gate probably would not be such good "goosip"

On another note with regards to Hillary's spying who in their right mind doesn't think spying is the approach taken by all in diplomacy?  In some regard this story is like a hollywood gossip magazine.  The pro Hillarites probably think this helps her look strong and pro US standing up for us.  Has anyone read anything that really can substantiate any accomplishment on the Hill's part overseas?

David Corn thinks she should resign in disgrace.  Her credibility with the foreingers is caput so he says.  (LIke she was ever an honest INJUN about anything!) Good luck.  She might resign if she was to run against Obama.  No other way.  She is still unning.  She had an article she pretends to have written published in the Economst this week.  It speaks about America is an still will be the leader in the world etc etc.  Of course she is still running for Prez.

*****Should Hillary Clinton resign as secretary of state due to the WikiLeaks revelations? My friend Jack Shafer at Slate makes a good case. His reason: Clinton, like predecessor Condoleezza Rice, signed orders instructing U.S. foreign service officers to spy on the diplomats of other nations. Cables went out under her name telling State Department officials overseas to collect the fingerprints, facial images, DNA, and iris scans of African leaders, to obtain passwords, credit card numbers, and frequent flyer accounts used by foreign diplomats, and to gather private information on United Nations officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Diplomats are not spies (though spies do pose as diplomats). They do collect information -- by working contacts overseas, reviewing the local media, interacting with the population of the nations where they are stationed -- often acquiring intelligence that is as valuable, if not more so, than the secrets snatched by intelligence officials. But there is a line between a diplomat and a spook. The former uses aboveboard methods to find out what his or her government needs to know about other nations; the latter resorts to espionage, wiretaps, bribery, and other underhanded means. There are many reasons for keeping the two roles distinct. Diplomats are awarded immunity and can gain certain access overseas because they are not spies.

Now that the Clinton State Department has blurred the line, U.S. diplomats, who have to contend with the assumption that any U.S. official abroad is really working for the CIA, will have an additional burden to bear when doing their jobs overseas.

Of the many WikiLeaks revelations that have emerged in the past few days -- and more are to come in the next few months, as the renegade website continues to release batches of the 251,287 State Department cables it has obtained -- the news that U.S. diplomats have been turned into part-time spies certainly warrants thorough investigation. Obama administration officials, of course, have tried to make the leak itself the paramount issue. Attorney General Eric Holder has promised prosecutions if "we can find anybody involved in breaking American law." Clinton has called the leak "an attack on America's foreign policy interests," claiming it has endangered "innocent people." Republican Rep. Peter King urged Clinton to determine if WikiLeaks can be designated a terrorist organization. Sen. Joe Lieberman has called on the United States and other governments to shut down WikiLeaks. Sarah Palin, naturally, blamed President Barack Obama's "incompetence" for the leaks, as she erroneously equated this episode with a website posting pages of her new book without her permission.

Yet there have not been such passionate calls for investigating the transformation of U.S. diplomats into undercover snoops. The administration's strategy -- as is to be expected -- is to focus on the easy-to-demonize messenger, not the hard-to-explain message. But Diplomatgate ought to be a top priority for the oversight committees of Congress. Still, this part of the story could easily get lost in the WikiLeaks wash, as multiple revelations appear simultaneously: Arab nations practically encouraging Washington to back an attack on Iran, U.S. diplomats describing Afghan President Hamid Karzai as "driven by paranoia," and -- don't forget this one -- Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi traveling the world with a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse. The diplomats-into-spies news is a scandal on its own. But thanks to WikiLeaks fire-hose approach, this exposé is somewhat overshadowed by the entire documents dump.

As for Clinton, WikiLeaks' scattershot approach is probably helping her. Shafer contends,

No matter what sort of noises Clinton makes about how the disclosures are "an attack on America" and "the international community," as she did today, she's become the issue. She'll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States. Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton's scalp. . . .

There is no way that the new WikiLeaks leaks don't leave Hillary Clinton holding the smoking gun. The time for her departure may come next week or next month, but sooner or later, the weakened and humiliated secretary of state will have to pay.
In many other nations, news such as this would indeed prompt resignations of high officials. The United States does not have this noble tradition. Here, government officials hold on for dear life when trouble erupts. (How many U.S. officials resigned when it turned out the Bush-Cheney administration was wrong about WMDs in Iraq? None.) So one can expect Clinton to dig in her heels, as the administration decries the leaker and ignores the leaks. (And with Obama in a weak position politically after the 2010 elections, he's not likely to shove aside a woman who's still fancied by much of his party's base.) Perhaps the coming WikiLeaks leaks will cause additional difficulties for Clinton. But given the ADD of the national media, she probably can survive the current storm. Shafer has a sound argument, but I'd settle for seeing Clinton and subordinates grilled on Capitol Hill about the spookification of U.S. diplomats. But that's probably as likely as the White House inviting Julian Assange to a holiday party.****

3868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Vitamin D on: November 30, 2010, 09:38:08 AM
Vitamin D levels that are consdiered deficient or insufficient in the blood is quite prevalent.  It seems half of all of us are in that range.  What is the optimal level of blood Vitamin D?  No one is certain.  I shoot for 40 because I've read that lower levels are associated with osteoporotic bone fractures.  Some experts are advocating massive Vit D dosing in order to get people's levels up.  I did this for some months till I read that there is an association of massive dosing and cardiovascular events like heart attacks.  Is it possible that too much can contribute to heart attacks?  No one is quite sure.  However, coronary artery CT scans are actually looking for calcium in the coronaries arteries that is associated with plaque.  Therefore one could question if the high doses of Vit D can increase plaque buildup.

In any case, the cost of measuring Vitamin D is around $200 or 250.  Medicare will only pay for one measurement per year.  Don't think they aren't pissed off about doctors who are ordering a lot of these.  While nothing I read about the below article is wrong per se, don't forget the hidden agenda about the dollars and cents behind this from our government who is going to tell us what we can and cannot have paid for.  This is a good example of what we are in store for:

Google NewsReport: A bit more vitamin D is good, not too much
(AP) – 10 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Got milk? You may need a couple cups more than today's food labels say to get enough vitamin D for strong bones. But don't go overboard: Long-awaited new dietary guidelines say there's no proof that megadoses prevent cancer or other ailments — sure to frustrate backers of the so-called sunshine vitamin.

The decision by the prestigious Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, could put some brakes on the nation's vitamin D craze, warning that super-high levels could be risky.

"More is not necessarily better," cautioned Dr. Joann Manson of Harvard Medical School, who co-authored the Institute of Medicine's report being released Tuesday.

Most people in the U.S. and Canada — from age 1 to age 70 — need to consume no more than 600 international units of vitamin D a day to maintain health, the report found. People in their 70s and older need as much as 800 IUs. The report set those levels as the "recommended dietary allowance" for vitamin D.

That's a bit higher than the target of 400 IUs set by today's government-mandated food labels, and higher than 1997 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine that ranged from 200 to 600 IUs, depending on age.

But it's far below the 2,000 IUs a day that some scientists recommend, pointing to studies that suggest people with low levels of vitamin D are at increased risk of certain cancers or heart disease.

"This is a stunning disappointment," said Dr. Cedric Garland of the University of California, San Diego, who wasn't part of the institute's study and says the risk of colon cancer in particular could be slashed if people consumed enough vitamin D.

"Have they gone far enough? In my opinion probably not, but it's a step in the right direction," added prominent vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University Medical Center, who said the new levels draw needed attention to the vitamin D debate and encourage more food fortification.

Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand, and you need a lifetime of both to build and maintain strong bones. But the two-year study by the Institute of Medicine's panel of experts concluded research into vitamin's D possible roles in other diseases is conflicting. Some studies show no effect, or even signs of harm.

A National Cancer Institute study last summer was the latest to report no cancer protection from vitamin D and the possibility of an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in people with the very highest D levels. Super-high doses — above 10,000 IUs a day — are known to cause kidney damage, and Tuesday's report sets 4,000 IUs as an upper daily limit — but not the amount people should strive for.

And Manson pointed to history's cautionary tales: A list of other supplements — vitamins C and E and beta carotene — plus menopause hormone pills that once were believed to prevent cancer or heart disease didn't pan out, and sometimes caused harm, when put to rigorous testing.

Stay tuned: To help settle the issue, Manson is heading a government-funded study that's recruiting 20,000 healthy older Americans to test whether taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D really will lower their risk for heart disease, a stroke or certain cancers.

In the meantime, it's hard to consume 600 IUs of vitamin D from food alone. A cup of D-fortified milk or orange juice has about 100 IUs. The best sources may be fatty fish — some servings of salmon can provide about a day's supply. Other good sources are D-fortified cereals.

But here's the report's big surprise: While some people truly are seriously deficient in vitamin D, the average American in fact already has enough circulating in his or her blood — because we also make vitamin D from sun exposure, and because many people already take multivitamins or other D-containing dietary supplements.

Wait a minute: Headlines in recent years have insisted the opposite, that a majority of people don't get enough vitamin D, especially during the winter. What explains the contradiction?

Most testing laboratories are using a too-high cutoff for those blood levels, said report co-author Dr. Clifford Rosen of the Maine Medical Center. The report says at least 20 nanograms is adequate for bone health, while many labs instead list people as low if their blood levels are below 30 ng. Serious vitamin D deficiencies are diagnosed when levels dip well below 20, something that hasn't changed.

Rosen called the state of vitamin D testing "the wild, wild West," and said he hoped that "with this report, we can at least temper people's enthusiasm for just taking tons of supplements."

As for calcium, the report recommended already accepted levels to go along with your daily D — about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day for most adults, 700 to 1,000 mg for young children, and 1,300 mg for teenagers and menopausal women. Too much can cause kidney stones; the report said that risk increases once people pass 2,000 mg a day.

It's true that most studies link poor health to vitamin D levels that are below 20 ng, said preventive cardiologist Dr. Erin Michos, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor who wasn't part of the study.

But, "I'm not sure I'm going to dramatically change my practice," said Michos, who pushes her patients to boost their levels until they're between 30 and 50 ng.

EDITOR'S NOTE — Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The Associated Press in Washington.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
3869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: November 29, 2010, 02:25:08 PM
Good article above.

I was thinking over the weekend that our response to aggression has become predictable.  And that allows us to be manipulated.

Without fail we speak of dealing with threats in predictable ways:

Start with the public announcement of "concern", "top priority", "outrage", "will discuss with allies", etc.
Then the UN security coucil route. 
Then threat of sanctions.
Then bribery attempts.
Then some mild sanctions.
Then stronger sanctions.
Then more strong sanctions.
Then getting "allies" to go along with more sanctions.

Being predictable is a huge weakness.

Suppose we just shut the hell up.  Give a stern and resolute warning or two.  If that doesn't work show we mean what we say.

And out of no where we bomb the living daylights out of one of our enemies.

Make 'em into a parking garage.  (Think of Reagan bombing Qhadafis compound in what '86?)

Sure they will hate us and there will be eternal pacts of revenge.  (Think of Lockerbie)

But we will be respected.  Not feared.  Just respected.  (Qhaddafi surely changed after he saw video of Saddam being dragged out of hole didn't he?)

3870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: November 29, 2010, 01:30:10 PM
John Bolton on Aaron Klein radio this weekend and he reaffirmed he is thinking about running for Pres.
His stance is Obama is no paying attention to foreign policy as he works to reconfigure our country at home.
Sounds overall like a winning point.  He has not come out and spoken of the domestic "issues" (pardon the phrase) yet.
3871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 26, 2010, 03:43:07 PM
 I wonder who gave him the elbow?  Must either be an independent or someone losing patience defending him:

Let's see.  Probably will receive "get well" cards from China, Iran, NKorea, Russia, Palestinians, Hamas, Hexballah, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, La Raza, Karzai (hehehe - keep the money flowing),

***12 stitches for Obama after errant elbow in hoops
           AP – President Barack Obama, with an ice pack over his mouth, looks out the second floor window of the White …
 WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday with a group of family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

First word about the injury came in a statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs nearly three hours after the incident saying that Obama was inadvertently struck by someone's elbow. The individual was not identified.

Obama received the stitches under local anesthesia in the doctor's office on the ground floor White House after he returned home. The medical unit that treated Obama used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar.

The president had gone to nearby Fort McNair to indulge in one of his favorite athletic pursuits, a game of basketball. It was a five-on-five contest involving family and friends and including Reggie Love, Obama's personal assistant who played at Duke University.

Obama emerged from the building after about 90 minutes of play, wearing a short-sleeve T-shirt and gym pants, and was seen dabbing at his mouth with what appeared to be a wad of gauze. A few hours later, reporters who had gathered on the White House driveway for the arrival of the Christmas tree, saw the president in an upstairs window, pressing an ice pack against his mouth before he stood and walked away.

"After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player's elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the president received 12 stitches today administered by the White House Medical Unit," Gibbs said.

Obama's motorcade obeyed all traffic stops, the custom for nonofficial trips, during the return to the White House.

In February, Obama, 49, was deemed to be in excellent health and fit for duty after his first medical checkup as president. Doctors reported then that Obama had yet to kick a smoking habit, takes anti-inflammatory medication to relieve chronic tendinitis in his left knee and should make dietary changes to reduce his cholesterol levels.

Obama was told to return for another physical exam in August 2011, after he turns 50. In addition to regular pickup basketball games, Obama is also an avid golfer.

Obama had no public events scheduled during the long holiday weekend.

His stitched lip, however, could make for some interesting small talk on Tuesday, when Obama is to meet with the congressional leadership. The session originally was announced for Nov. 18, but was delayed after Republicans, who will control the House and increase their numbers in the Senate come January, said they couldn't accommodate the president.

Medical help is always nearby for U.S. presidents. A doctor or nurse is stationed at the White House around the clock and accompanies the president in his motorcade and aboard Air Force One.

Recent presidents have had a number of medical scares.

George W. Bush choked on a pretzel and briefly lost consciousness, falling and hurting his head. Bill Clinton had surgery and used crutches for months for a torn tendon in his knee when he stumbled on steps at the Florida home of golf pro Greg Norman.

The elder Bush, George H.W. Bush, was hospitalized for an erratic heartbeat while jogging at Camp David, a problem later diagnosed as a thyroid ailment. The senior Bush also collapsed at a state dinner in Tokyo, which the White House blamed on an intestinal flu.

Jimmy Carter fainted briefly while jogging near Camp David. Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest in a 1981 assassination attempt.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, 69, has had five heart attacks since age 37. He had surgery this year to install a pump to help his heart work. Cheney said he has congestive heart failure.****

3872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Bama, another Lincoln for 2012. on: November 26, 2010, 12:18:14 PM
So the big hollywood lib Speilberg is going to make a movie on Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis cast as Abe.
Of course the source is liberal historian  Doris Goodwin Kearns ( the plagerizer) who wrote a book about Lincoln's cabinet.

Remember her and other liberal media types claiming that  Obama picking his political adversary (Hill) and for his cabinet was just sooooo

Lincoln, well known long before Kearns was ever born or able to lift lines from others, picked political adverseries for his cabinet because he thought they were best suited for the job.

So of course the comparisons between Bama and Lincoln were all over the MSM.

So now Spielberg wants to give Bamster a boost?

Guess when this movie will come out?

End of 2012.  Is this just a business ploy or also political?  Probably both.
3873  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 26, 2010, 12:00:05 PM
'When he finally used the term "enemy"'

Remarkable isn't it?  Who would have ever thought a radical like this could ever be President of our country?

I really fear that if the economy and unempolyment improves (of course all on monopoly money) that "duh"Bamster will be all over the place being given credit by mainstream media and he will have a shot at 2012.  Another four years to give our country away and destroy it from inside out. The Fed just keeps making more and more funny money.

We have got to have a great mouthpiece and debater to take bamster on and put him in his place.  So far I still only see Newt who can do that but he also can occasionally say the wrong thing.  And it is always an uphill battle with the MSM complex against anyone from the right.

3874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: November 26, 2010, 10:57:13 AM
"In a best-case scenario, if Israel destroyed the majority of the Iranian nuclear program – the part it knows it knows about – Iran has the expertise and the capacity to rebuild, and would be back where it is today in three to five years."

And of course Iran would send suicide squads around the world to act revenge.

That is why IMO the only real option is nuclear weapons.  You have to set Irans military capacity back to the stone age once and for all.  We also have to send a message around the world. 
Or wait and hope (like a stock you bought whose price is dropped big) and pray for some sort of regime change.

It is obvious our military and "dah"bamster have already decided to live with a nuclear Iran.  The decision is already made.  The rest is a game and dog and pony show and a prayer that ahmadingegad (sp?)  and his like will be forced out.

Israel is on its own from what I can glean from the media. Or if there is something behind the scenes I don't know about.  But I highly doubt it.  Bamster sat in th Church of an anti semite for 20 years.  The liberal Jews can think they will pressure and presuade him all they want. They will not have their way with him like they think. He is from camp of the antisemitic group of blacks.  OF course not all and probably not even most Blacks at all.

You know.  About the only time this President of ours is passionate is when he is pleading the Muslim cause, the minority cause, anything anti - white, pro - muslim, or anything anti American.  The rest of his speeches about America are pure show.  It is obvious to me.  If it ain't obvious to my liberal Jewish friends by now then I can't help them.  Unfortunately it may be too late for Israel by then.
3875  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / link on: November 23, 2010, 12:41:10 PM
3876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: November 23, 2010, 11:09:02 AM
Couple of weeks ago I have another man around 40 come in with back pain.   His MRI shows a disc bulge.  Most people his age would show this.

He now wants me to give him a *year" of disability. 

I said most of these calm down in 4 or 6 weeks.

Frankly I am fed up with this stuff.

He can't get a job at a burger king like all the illegals?

I should spend the rest of my life working my ass off so he can sit around and get checks on my dime?

People this is totally out of control.  Till we have politicians who have some darn guts we will continue to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

As far as I am concerned this country does not deserve better.  To think young men and women are risking their lives and limb to defend what - a country of assholes?

And to watch Wall Street honor the medal of honor winner last week.  While insider trading is rampant.  As I said life is a total joke.

The joke is on the honest hard working people - if there are any left.
3877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: November 22, 2010, 03:56:25 PM
Jut another outrage.  An example of 20 billion Federal "grant" money use.  We all know this money is used for political gain.

I want my tax money back.  I am sick and tired of being robbed to pay for such crap:
3878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 20, 2010, 09:57:42 AM
"he represents the strongly Jewish (Democrat) suburb where AL Franken grew up (Infidels/Zionists?) and he represents the rich white elite urban Democrats of the professional and business financial center of the Twin Cities even though he is anti-business and insurance violates Islam. Before congress Ellison made a name for himself defending a gang member who killed a cop.  Ellison led protests chanting "we don't get no justice, you don't get no peace".

My "fellow" angry liberal Jews would rather support this guy than a Republican.  Just goes to further my theory that to them - a Republican - is worse than a Nazi.  Just look at Soros. A holocaust survivor who thinks the best thing is for the government to control us. Of course, he also seems to have his investments appropriately in the right place at the right time while he manipulates our political system.  He/they definitely have screws loose.

Au contraire.  To me these same liberal elites who in their own minds know all, think they are smarter than the rest of us, wiser than us do gooders have far more in common with Nazis than the right.
3879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 19, 2010, 01:49:47 PM
"Sure he should be thrown out, but that should have been done by his voters who placed no importance on decency."

The same voters who like OJ Simpson.  the same voters who elected a crack addict to DC mayor.
I am sorry.  The joke is on them.
There is hope at the end of the tunnel.  A few like Congresman West of Florida hopefully can wake up more of these people from the angry get the "white boy crowd".
I note that MSNBC angry gay Madcow is going after Congressman West now.  We can't have a successful Black Republican now can we?  Same as the threat of Sarah Palin. Cannot have successful conservative woman can we.  Make them top priority for the liberal hit squads.

3880  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 19, 2010, 01:44:08 PM
"The passengers on the Titanic didn't vote to hit the iceberg."

good analogy.

NJ has a lot of the liberal stuff of California, and the union stuff.  Gov Christie has been able to get past it.  I wonder if he would have had a chance in Kalifornia.
Except for her money Whitman was a weak candidate.  I can't even say she was a good CEO as much as she had a winning company with a winning idea.

I am definitely a Republican not a Libertarian.  I could be a strict conservative but I just don't think it possible in this country of entitlements.  I hope I am wrong.

We are fighting a cancer.   
3881  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)*****
3882  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
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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.

3883  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
3884  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.****


3885  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.****

3886  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.

3887  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.   
3888  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.”***

3889  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.
3890  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:
3891  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.
3892  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.

3893  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.

3894  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.
3895  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.
3896  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.
3897  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.
3898  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.

3899  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.
3900  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.
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