- One In Eleven Americans Clinically Depressed.
- Private Versus Public Pay Gap Growing.
- Obama’s Mideast Peace Talks Foundering
- Bailout Stigma Stills Hurts GM: Ford Benefits
- Can “One Nation…” Rally Close Enthusiasm Chasm?
- U. S. - Europe’s Oxymoronic Rantings and Ravings
- Obama Polls Fall: Gallup List 2012 GOP Front Runners
- Tuskegee And Now Guatemalan Shame
- Report: Only U. S. Could Stop Iran In Gulf
- “Rahmbo” Leaves White House - For Now.
- Pay to Play Scandal Slams Santa Ana City Council
- Obama Hammered by Angry Americans.
- New “Earth” 350,000 Years Away.
- “Private Contractors” Taking Pounding In Afghan War.
- Brown Assault on Whitman By Legal Leftist Gloria Alred.
- Does DOE Want to Run Colleges Into Ground Too?
- No Postal Rate Increase - For Now.
Only 35 percent of potential voters in the 18-to-34 age range are enthusiastic about the midterm elections, compared to 65 percent of seniors, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
About 9 percent of American adults suffer from clinical depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rates of depression vary from state to state, from 4.8 percent in North Dakota to 14.8 percent in Mississippi.
In general, rates are higher in the Southeast, perhaps due to chronic health problems.
“This is concerning from the perspective that depression is a very common and treatable mental disorder,” Lela McKnight-Eily, a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist at the CDC and report co-author.
“When we see a high prevalence of depression there is definitely a concern, particularly when we see it concentrated in certain groups or concentrated in certain areas of the country,” she added.
In addition to regional differences in rates of depression, the study also found those most likely to suffer from major depression included women, racial minorities, and the unemployed.
The stigma still attached to getting professional help keeps many from getting treatment, McKnight-Eily said. “People think they’re weak or they have a notion that they should be able to handle it.”
House Democratic leadership recently refused to schedule a vote on a bill introduced by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., to cut congressional pay by 5 percent. Coffman’s proposal is not likely to fare much better - it’s been 77 years since Congress voluntarily took a pay cut.
Workers in the private sector have been suffering the effects of the recession, but, federal employees have been enjoying a boom in employment and compensation - at taxpayers’ expense.
- Beginning in 2008, federal employees earning $100,000 or more a year rose from 14 percent to 19 percent of the civil service workforce of 2 million.
- During that period, Washington added around 100,000 new jobs, while more than 7 million private-sector jobs were lost.
- The average paid to a federal worker now stands at $123,049, more than double the private-sector average.
- Of the 10 counties with the highest per capita income, six are in the Washington, D.C., area where federal employees live.
The Heritage Foundation reported that four out of the five jobs President Obama claimed were “created or saved” by the stimulus bill were in government. Every month since Obama’s stimulus 10,000 government workers have been added..
Iraq has run annual budget surpluses each year since the United States invaded in 2003 - while the U.S. pumped more than half a trillion dollars into Iraq and ran deficits in every one of those years.
From 2004 through 2009, Iraq amassed a surplus of $52.1 billion, with up to 92.1 percent of its revenues coming from oil exports. During that same period, deficits in six consecutive years boosted the overall U.S. national debt from $6.9 trillion to $12.3 trillion.
The Palestinian leadership said on Saturday that there would be no resumption of peace talks without a halt to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, backing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a dispute that has imperiled recently renewed negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded by appealing to Abbas to continue the negotiations. “The way to achieve an historic peace agreement between our two peoples is to sit around the negotiating table, seriously and continuously, and not to leave it, because that is the place to resolve our disagreements,” he said in a statement.
The U.S.-sponsored talks, renewed in early September, have foundered after a 10-month moratorium on new construction in Israeli settlements expired last Sunday and Netanyahu said it would not be renewed, despite pressure from Washington.
The U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, George J. Mitchell, failed to break the impasse on Friday after two days of shuttling between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. On Saturday he traveled to Qatar and Egypt to enlist the help of Arab leaders to broker a compromise.
The number of voters who Strongly Disapprove of Obama’s performance inched up a point to a new high of 44% in September.
Fifty-four percent (54%) of Americans say they are less likely to buy a General Motors car because the federal government is the automaker’s majority owner.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just nine percent (9%) say they are more likely to buy a GM car for that reason, while 33% say the government’s majority stake in the company has no impact on their purchasing decisions.
Twenty-seven percent (27%) say they or someone they know has avoided buying a GM car because of the bailout and government takeover. Fifty-three percent (53%) say that’s not true for them, but another 21% are not sure.
A year ago, 17% favored a boycott of GM products.
The bailout story has been helpful to one of the Big Three U.S. automakers. Ford did not seek a government bailout and 55% of Americans say they are more likely to buy a Ford car for that reason. Ten percent (10%) say they’re less likely to do so. Thirty percent (30%) say Ford’s decision not to ask for a bailout has no impact on whether they buy a car from the company or not.
In fact, 18% say they or someone they know has bought a Ford car just because the company did not take any bailout funding. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say that isn’t their experience. Thirteen percent (13%) aren’t sure.
You know how to you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.
Last weekend big labor, gay and race activists groups joined with the Communist Party USA and American Socialists Party and other leftists to sponsor a ‘One Nation Working Together’ rally designed to counterpoint Glenn Beck’s August 28 “Restoring Honor” rally organized an event on the national mall/ The idea was to rouse the troops as the specter of the November 2 midterm elections loses loom. The rhetoric was as predictable as the actors list. NAACP President Ben Jealous labeled the march as the “antidote” to the tea party movement.
The National Park Service stopped estimating crowds some while ago learning whatever they said angered somebody so they simply hunker down under their Smokey Bear hats and work to ensure a safe event which they appear to have done on both occasions. The two events crowds look similarly sized and both events were peaceful if noisy.
How much last weekend’s exhortations will do to close the gapping enthusiasm chasm between liberal and moderate-coinservative Americans will only be known in four short weeks at the polls. Vote from home ballots will be fluttering down nationwide this week.
Dialing a number on a charity cereal box featuring the attention-seeking NFL Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco connects callers to a phone-sex line not to Feed the Children. It was a typo in the phone number, and apparently nobody checked it before tens and tens of thousands of boxes hit store shelves. Hey, at least it’s a collectable.
Last week and weekend provided oxymoronic moments as leftist, socialist worlds on boths sides of the Atlantic raved and ranted (stories above and below)..
French President Sarkozy annoyed the centre-left opposition yesterday by saying, in a private meeting of his centre-right party, that the late Socialist President, François Mitterrand, had damaged the French economy by reducing the retirement age to 60 in 1982. Without that, and the 35-hour-week [introduced by a Socialist government in 2000] we would not be in the mess we are in now, he said.
What does reform mean in France? Retire at 62, not 60!
Spain sees its retirement age raised to 65 for both men and women, Greece moved its age to 65, Spain to 67, and Germany to 67 years of age. By contrast, full retirement benefits in the United States kick in at 66 although this age will likely be raised as Social Security will go bankrupt as the Baby Boomers draw down the system from which both parties have stolen monies over the years.
Civil unrest is likely to continue across Europe as those nations start to shed Liberal Big Government programs which they are only know realizing they can’t afford. Ironmic as Obama tries to install them on this side of the ocean. Decades of Left Wing propaganda and benefits have made people there and too many here utterly dependent upon the government and now that they realize life isn’t really like that they are very angry.
Iran says the recently reported Stuxnet computer virus had no part in the delayed startup of its Bushehr nuclear reactor. It did not say what did delay it. Dozens of Russian nuclear engineers, technicians and contractors are hurriedly departing Iran for home since Iranian intelligence authorities began rounding up their compatriots as suspects of planting the Stuxnet malworm into their nuclear program. Million of computers were hit across Iran.
Just 41% of Democrats say they support Obama’s reelection a precipitous drop since the heady days of his election 2 years ago.
More Republicans (78 percent) than Democrats (60 percent) are extremely or very interested in the upcoming election, and those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement are the most interested group of voters this year (89 percent). In addition, a larger number of Republicans (83 percent) than Democrats (71 percent) are “certain” they will vote in the upcoming election.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are the clear front-runners for the GOP nod for president in 2012, at 19 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also drew double-digit numbers, at 12 percent, according to a new Gallup poll.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich snagged 9 percent and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, 7 percent, in the poll, released Thursday.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama said he has Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones on his iPod. Unfortunately, the question was “Do you have a plan to fix the economy?” — Fallon
After half a century of rumors, and allegation the United States apologized last Friday for an experiment conducted in the 1940s in which U.S. government researchers deliberately infected Guatemalan prison inmates, women and mental patients with syphilis.
The experiment was aimed at testing the then-new drug penicillin, inmates were infected by prostitutes and later treated with the antibiotic.
The experiment, which predated and perhaps permitted the infamous 1960s Tuskegee study in which black American men were deliberately left untreated for syphilis, that was revealed by Susan Reverby, professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The same U. S. Public Health Service doctor ran both.
In Guatemalal 696 men and women were exposed to the disease and then offered penicillin. The studies went on until 1948 and the records suggest that despite intentions not everyone was probably cured.
It was the early days of penicillin and the U. S. Public Health Service was deeply interested in whether penicillin could be used to prevent, not just cure, early syphilis with infection, whether better blood tests for the disease could be established, what dosages of penicillin actually cured infection, and to understand the process of reinfection after cures.
Between the World Wars sulfa drugs, penicillin and other antibiotics appeared to offer a panacea of cures for many diseases. It seemed then and to some now that experimenting was justified because it saved more lives than it cost.
But, these episodes not unlike those in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Imperial Japanese and other concentration camps cast a dark pall over medicine and those who facilitated them.
Despite recurring allegation that both Presidents Roosevelt and Truman sanctioned the Guatemala experiments and Eisenhower ended it or that JFK OK’d the Tuskegee experiment there is no conclusive evidence either way.
Samizdat (SAH-miz-daht) noun: An underground publishing system used to print and circulate banned literature clandestinely. Also, such literature. Etymology from Russian samizdat, from samo- (self) + izdatelstvo (publishing house), from izdat (to publish). Coined facetiously on the model of Gosizdat (State Publishing House). “This remarkable little book (People Power Uli!) includes jokes, text messages, cartoons, and poems of the revolt. It is both funny and a valuable record of samizdat literature and Philippine popular culture.” Alastair Dingwall; Estrada’s Fall From Grace; Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong); Jan 17, 2002.
Despite more than $120 billion of U. S. weapons to the Persian Gulf states the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a September 14 report that the six Gulf Cooperation Council states, would be no match for Iran’s military. It contends GSS have failed to create an integrated force that could confront Teheran.
The bottom-line is an Iranian military move could only be stopped by the United States. CSIS identified Saudi Arabia as the only “meaningful pillar in Gulf security cooperation” with Washington.
The report played down assertions by the U.S. government of military cooperation with the GCC. But, it says, “Their capabilities [GCC] are limited, however, and the progress made in U.S.-led and GCC-led common exercises has not been significant enough to tie them together into effective forces in any given mission area.”
Saudi Arabia appears to be the most reliable partner in any U.S.-led regional security effort. But, the report raises the prospect that Saudi Arabia could deny air space and base rights to the U.S. military should war erupt with Iran. CSIS cited Saudi domestic concerns as well as Riyad’s dismay over the rise of a Shi’ite-led regime in neighboring Iraq.
In the two short years since Obama replaced the so-called Bush doctrine with a Rodney King-like foreign policy Saudi Arabia has renewed and reinvigorated its cooperation with Syria to reassert its dominance over Lebanon and the Syrian and Iranians have deputized Hamas and Hezbullah to war against Israel and is arming both to the teeth.
In September, 34.6% of American Adults identified themselves as Democrats. That’s down nearly half a percentage point from a month ago, a full percentage point from two months ago, and is the smallest percentage of Democrats ever recorded in nearly eight years of monthly tracking. Republicans slipped from 33.8% in August to 33.1% last month. The number of Adults not affiliated with either major party is now at 32.3%. Democrats are carping that Obama’s “change” is leaving them penniless.
Obama continues reshaping his inner circle, replacing his brusque, profane, furniture smashing and aggressive chief of staff, Rahm ”Rahmbo” Emanuel, with a soft-spoken insider who has worked quietly in Obama’s shadow for years.
Pete Rouse , a senior adviser to Obama who has little public profile but considerable influence in the West Wing, will become the president’s new gatekeeper, at least through the election in November. Rouse is sometime called the 101st Senator for his knowledge and behind-the-scenes influence
Emanuel moves back to Chicago to run for mayor. Something that pundits say is far from certain but will almost certainly be a study in the darkest, gooey recesses of Chicago-style corrupt politics. His eligibility to even run is already being challenged because he has not lived in the City for the period legally required.
Emanuel’s departure appears to have delayed the resignation of White House spokesman Robert Gibbs who has become something of a caricature-until after the midterm elections. It also raises the obvious issue of Obama’s waning influence or more specifically how much juice he has left in the Windy City.
Many think Emanuel is hedging his bet, and if he loses his Chicago mayoral bid he’ll be back if not in the White House as Obama’s reelection campaign enforcer. You can bet the town that stoled the 1960 presidential election for JFK will be in full corruption mode.
H. R. “Bob” Haldeman recalled to me, shortly before his death that Nixon knew he had been robbed but when urged to sue refused saying ti would tear America apart. Many He told me it was Dwight Eisenhower who convinced Nixon not to fight it for the good of the nation.
Most say the 1960 electin was stolen in Chicago, where the elder Mayor Richard Daley’s machine was known for delivering whopping Democratic tallies by fair means and foul. After all others philosophized “they stole it fair and square.”
Rahm Emanuel is leaving the White House. Is he really quitting or just pulling a Leno? — Letterman
Pay to play scandal erupts in Santa Ana as Bell, Maywood, Oxnard and other scandals continue to boil and bubble.
The votes in question appear to violate Santa Ana Municipal Code section 2-107. The law prohibits members of the city council from participating in discussions and voting on matters benefitting campaign contributors who have contributed more than $250 during the year preceding the vote. The crime may be prosecuted at the discretion of the City Attorney who can choose between filing an administrative citation for an infraction or a misdemeanor charge that is punishable by a fine of $1,000 and 6 months in county jail.
While in New York City, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Louis Farrakhan. I’m not sure where they met, but I think we can rule out the Carnegie Deli.- Leno
Obama defended his economic policies last week in the face of tough questions from skeptical, albeit handpicked, Americans less than five weeks before congressional elections that threaten his fellow Democrats’ grip on Congress.
Holding the latest in a series of backyard meetings with middle-class voters, Obama heard one small businessman’s fears that his tax plans could “strangle” job creation. The president also fielded concerns about high unemployment and the impact of his healthcare overhaul.
It was a marked contrast to the enthusiastic university crowd that greeted Obama on Tuesday in Wisconsin.
One stunningly obtuse comment by Obama was, “I’d like to keep taxes low so that you can create more jobs. But I also have to make sure that we are paying our bills and that we’re not .. putting off debt for the future generation,” Obama told his questioner. Eyes rolled at his silly obfuscation .
Anyone with a criminal record, including a drunk driving conviction, may be barred from entering Canada. Any person whose conviction is more than 10-years old may be deemed rehabilitated according to Canadian authorities.
Reportedly the ban applies whether you arrive by air, sea or land. You can download the application for rehabilitation at www.detroit.gc.ca. Scroll down to “Visa and Immigration” click on “criminal and other inadmissibilities.” Processing costs at least $200 and could go up to $800 and is non-refundable regardless of outcome.
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institution of Washington have discovered what they classify as being in the middle of the habitable zone where life- not necessarily human life could exist setting the world’s scientific community abuzz.. Named Gliese 581 it was discovered using the Keck Telescope on Hawaii is about three times the size of Earth and there are five other plants in its system.
It is located 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra. A light year is 5,865,696,000,000 miles ( trillion) and represents the time required for light or a radio signal to travel in one year.
Tonight you can see the two brightest stars in Libra if you live at mid-northern latitudes - like in North America, Europe and Asia - you’ll see these Libra stars rather low in your southern sky at nightfall and early evening. As seen from middle latitudes in the southern hemisphere - like in Australia - the Libra stars shine close to overhead at early to mid evening. Libra is usually described as representing a balance scale and is part of the zodiac.
To date, humans have launched only four space probes that will eventually leave the solar system. These vehicles will likely travel across the depths of space for millions of years to come. NASA launched all four of these remarkable craft during the 1970s.
At the rate these craft are travelling it would take about 350,000 years to get to Gliese 581 if they were headed that way- which none are.
Last week some retired US Air Force officers said they are convinced of UFOs and of visits by extra terrestrials. Warp speed Scotty.
Nancy Pelosi’s pals punt on letting tax cuts expire and adjourned as she scolds them. As Congress left the stock market rallied scoring best September ever.
U.S. private contractors have been killed at a faster rate than American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A report said the deaths of private contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq have exceeded those of American soldiers in 2010. The report by ProPublica said this marked the first time in history that private employees have been dying at a faster rate than the soldiers of the U.S. military that contracted the civilians.
“More private contractors than soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, the first time in history that corporate casualties have outweighed military losses on America’s battlefields,” ProPublica, an independent research organization, said.
Leading U.S. analysts have concluded that Obama would withhold military and other equipment from Israel that could be used in any air strike on the Teheran regime. But the analysts assessed that Obama would not order the U.S. Air Force to block an Israeli air strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Meg Whitman’s former housekeeper and media savvy legal eagle leftist Gloria Alred splattered Whitman’s employment of the alleged illegal alien and claimed mistreatment of the woman in a political punch up. The manipulated muckraking is akin to Ed Brown’s ad pointing out an actor shot Abraham Lincioln in an effort to politically castrate another actor– Ronald Reagan. Meg’s opponent 72-year-old Jerry Brown is playing political nasty.
The matter may involve forged documents. But the woman had U. S. Department of Immigration eligibility documents, a California driver’s license, and Social Security card that all appear legitimate. Whitman paid the woman $48,000 a year and she is claiming she was financial abused. All taxes and FICA were paid. Whitman disputed the claimsayiing she take a lie detector test.
Whitman and Brown are tied in the polls with 18% saying they have not yet decided.
The report by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an insurance industry-funded research group, compared crash rates in four states that have prohibited texting with those in states where it is allowed. It found no reduction in states where it is banned. “The point of texting bans is to reduce crashes, and by this essential measure the laws are ineffective,”the Institute’s President said.
An estimated 450,000 people were killed or injured last year in distracted driving accidents.
If the U.S. Department of Education goes ahead with its proposal to turn both private and public schools into “authorized” institutions America would be irrevocably changed.
Its plan, scheduled to go into effect in November, entails a heavy cost in time and money. But what is more ominous is the whole idea of political supervision of higher education.
The plan carries an implicit invitation for various pressure groups to seek legal mandates requiring colleges and universities to implement their pet theories about curriculum, degree requirements, faculty qualifications, teaching methods, textbooks, evolution, phonics, ROTC, climate change, family policy, abortion, race, sexual orientation, economic theory, etc. We can already see signs of that in government K - 12 schools where strange ideas are already in action.
Virtually all colleges and universities are already licensed or registered by one or more states. Many are already registered to do business in all 50 states, which means they are subject to state fraud and consumer-protection laws, have a registered agent within the state, and can be sued by students, vendors, employees, or others who have a complaint against them. The plan is advancing under the guise of problems with a few private schools that promise big but often do not deliver leaving students with crippling loans to pay back. Those few should be sorted out and prosecuted.
That’s not what the Department of Education has in mind. Although details are sketchy, the department’s proposal calls for “substantive” oversight, not “merely of the type required to do business in the state.” Moreover, this legal authorization must be “subject to adverse action by the state,” and the state must have “a process to review and appropriately act on complaints…and to enforce applicable state laws.”
Our nation is well-served by public colleges and universities, many of which have managed to remain somewhat free of explicit political control, wrestling with important ideas, competing for students, faculty, staff, and philanthropy. Most were first established by religious denominations a connection that has served us well with help from legions of federal bureaucrats
The alternative can be imagined as a DOE thought police goosestepping around campuses looking for those to be punished for what some bureaucrat decides. Definitely something America does not need.
Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at fellow Democrats. He said that those Democrats that didn’t get what they wanted should just “buck up.” Of course, Joe Biden has “bucked up” a number of times.– Leno
In what was at least a nod to prevailing politics postal regulators Thursday denied requests by the U.S. Postal Service to raise postage rates in January beyond the rate of inflation, ruling that the mail agency’s recent financial woes were caused by a flawed business model and not the recent recession.
The decision means stamp prices and other postage rates will not go up in January — at least not yet — as the Postal Service had hoped - raisied a first class stamp from 44 to 46 cents.
In advance of the USPS’ announcement Thursday of recent losses totaling billions of dollars, the agency is banking on a 5.6 percent increase in postal rates to help its bottom line.
Postmaster General John E. Potter said earlier this year that “we are perilously close to running out of cash in October,” and the mail service’s request to delay a $5.6 billion payment for retiree health benefits was denied.
“The Postal Service does not want to make the tough decisions, which include cuts in personnel, pay and benefits,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told the Post. Instead, they are relying on a generous taxpayer bailout that will not solve any of their mid- or long-term problems.”
The postal union contract calls for a base pay averaging six figures for letter carriers in 2013 - also delayed to avoid pay being an issue in the 2012 presidential election.
Not since Jummy Carter has a President had a bigger “Kick Me” sign on his back.