- Obama Offends New GOP Leaders: Sets Radical Agenda.
- 35th “Great Smoke Out” Today.
- Petraeus “astonished and disappointed” by Karzai criticism
- Rangel Guilty: “Congressional Ethics Farce” - Washington Post
- Cal Court Says Illegals Will Continue To Get Lower Tuition
- Hypocrite NYTs Krugman Endorses Death Panels.
- ADL Slams Beck Over Soros Comments Others Defend
- U. S. Tries to Bribe Israel To Extend Settlement Freeze
- Democrat Shuler Opposed Pelosi for Top Party Spot in House
- Rahm Only White Candidate For Chicago Mayor
- Mass Finds Crime Increases From Recreational Pot Use
- 111 Companies and Unions Get Obamacare Wavers
- How to Watch Leonid Meteor Shower November 17-18
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has become the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign.
An arrogant Obama arbitrarily set a dinner and meeting then “invited” the new Republican Congressional Leaders who said they didn’t have time until after Thanksgiving showing their insult and ire toward him.
Obama’s gaff came at the same time Democrats were electing Nancy Pelosi minority leader of the House, and Representative Clyburn got a new #2 spot that Democrats are trying to label anything other than “black house leader.” Republicans elected John Boehner (R) Ohio as their leader.
An Hispanic Caucus spokeswoman said Speaker of the House Pelosi has promised to bring up the DREAM Act amnesty the first day Congress returns after Thanksgiving.
Yesterday, top pro-amnesty congressional leaders met with Obama at the White House. They reported that Obama promised to use the power of his office to push the DREAM Act amnesty through as a top priority in the few days remaining of this Congress.
An Indonesian author, that some say is obsessed has published a foot thick 5,472 page book devoted to the life of Barack Obama branded the world’s thickest book, titled “The Collection, Obama and Pluralism.” The book beats the previous international title holder — Agatha Christie’s “The Complete Miss Marple,” a relatively slender 4,032 pages.
Today is the 35th American Cancer Society’s “Great America Smokeout.” The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced their annual compliance checks at retail outlets showed tobacco sales to minors are at an all-time low. The 2010 Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey revealed the lowest rates of tobacco sales to minors in the survey’s 15 year history, with sales transactions being completed at just 7.7 percent of the 742 retail outlets surveyed this year.
When the state first started monitoring in 1995, the minors participating in the survey were able to buy tobacco products during 37 percent of tobacco purchase attempts. In 2008, it was 12.6 percent, and in 2009 it was 8.6 percent. This year that number went down to 7.7 percent.
A late September, 2010 poll of over 1,500 City of Santa Barbara residents found 66.6% saying they favored making Santa Barbara a Tobacco Free city supporting a ban on smoking in all public places including sidewalks. 50% favored putting a city tax of $5 dollars per pack on cigarettes and $3 on every cigar, and using proceeds for stop smoking programs and to othwise pay for tobacco use costs. 51% favored putting the issue to a vote if the Mayor and City Council would not act to do so.
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million have a serious illness caused by smoking.
Each year 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer, more than 46,000 die of heart disease, and about 150,000-300,000 children younger than 18 months have lower respiratory tract infections.
Coupled with this enormous health toll is the significant economic burden of tobacco use-more than $96 billion per year in medical expenditures and another $97 billion per year resulting from lost productivity.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent letters to four companies that produce seven products, sometimes called a “blackout in a can,” that contain high levels of alcohol and caffeine and apparently imbibers cannot judge how intoxicated they have become. The drinks have become a favorite among college students. The controversy surfaced after parents of a college student who after using one of the drinks committed suicide while under its influence raised hell.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, the coalition military commander in Afghanistan, warned Afghan officials Sunday that President Hamid Karzai’s latest public criticism of U.S. strategy threatens to seriously undermine progress in the war and risks making Petraeus’s own position “untenable,” according to Afghan and U.S. officials. Since then everyone was been making “nice doggy noises.”
Officials said Petraeus expressed “astonishment and disappointment” with Karzai’s call, in a Saturday interview with The Washington Post, to “reduce military operations” and end U.S. Special Operations raids in southern Afghanistan that coalition officials said have killed or captured hundreds of Taliban commanders in recent months.
Petraeus was tossed into Afghanistan after his predecessor McChruistal resigned under White House pressure for mocking Obama and his fumbling foreign policy hallmarked by a stated withdrawal date that aides the enemy.
It is the uncertainty over the artificial Obama deadline that is at the core of it all and has Karsai rattled as it has Iraq and other allies flummoxed too, and has eroded U. S. prestige and respect. Patraeus is between the rock and a hard place or rather the White House and Kabal.
The U.S. Postal Service announced today it lost $8.5 billion this year. They said they blame it on people using e-mail. And the fact that terrorists have switched to UPS. — Leno
A Tuesday Washington Post headline was “the farce known as congressional ethics.” Monday Representative Charles Rangel (D) Harlem-New York made a scene at his ethics trial, storming out less than an hour into the proceedings, which he deemed unfair because he can no longer afford a lawyer. The eight member committee went into closed session and found him guilty of 11 of the 13 charges against him.
Rangel said his lawyer had withdrawn because the congressman couldn’t pay the $2 million bill he’d already racked up, or afford to pay him another $1 million for the ethics hearing. Rangel asked the committee for more time to find counsel, but it refused.
Eighty-year-old Harlem New York Congressman Rangel was charged with violations of congressional ethics standards including: failure to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic and to report more than $600,000 in assets on his congressional financial disclosure statements.
After a plea bargain failed Rangel could only avoid trial by resigning which he refuses to do. His road ahead will definitely be much more bumpy with the new Republican majority so it is in his interest to put this behinds him quickly.
The punishment phase is going on now and could range from a slap on the wrist; denial of privileges, a fine, and even expulsion which is unlikely.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D) California is next into the Ethics Trial barrel. Waters is charged with granting “special favors” to a struggling Massachusetts-based bank in which her husband owned stock. Waters is charged with setting up favorable meeting between OneUnited Bank and Treasury officials. The bank got a $50 million taxpayer bailout.
Robert Rizzo and other indicted former Bell officials will not draw pensions based upon their inflated salaries. When the Bell scandal originally broke and Rizzo resigned, people were outraged that he would receive an annual pension in excess of $600,000. But that no longer looks like that will be the case. Instead, he’ll “only” get about $70,000 per year.
The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that illegal immigrants can continue to be eligible for much lower in-state tuition at the state’s taxpayer supported colleges and universities rather than pay the higher rates charged to those who live out of state.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected eventually to decide whether the lower tuition rates violate federal law.
Californians are themselves facing increased tuition and taxpayers in general are howling over what many or perhaps most say is simply an abuse.
California’s lameduck Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a conniption fit the other day about the budget he himself negotiated and signed blaming legislators, citizens, and everybody but himself for its record deficit. He has become so ineffective and unpopular nobody cares what he thinks or says. Less than one in three Californians says he’s doing his job.
Hypocritical New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said last Sunday the only way the U.S. will get its debt crisis under control is by the use of “death panels” and a national sales tax. In other words kill the old, sick people and tax whoever is left - except him. Krugman failed to say he has devoted at least a half dozen columns mocking conservatives and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin over the use of the term “death panels.”
Obamacare passed by Congress in 2010 includes government-run healthcare committees with sweeping powers, including the power to engage in competitive pricing and cost analysis, a system used by Britain that has led to rationing of medical care for the elderly.
Krugman suggests that death panels could be one way the federal government will be able to deal with soaring medical costs under control as the Baby Boomers enter retirement.
Krugman also conceded his solution may be “politically impossible.” But, he added, “I believe that some day - maybe in the first Chelsea Clinton administration - it will actually happen” i.e., let mom and dad and grandpa and grandma die to save me money after they have paid my bills for decades.
Obama’s overseas trip has been such a disaster that people in Kenya now claim that he has an American birth certificate. — Leno
The Anti-Defamation League ( ADL ) is criticizing remarks by Fox News’ Glenn Beck about 80-year-old billionaire currency manipulator George Soros (Soros György) and the Holocaust. Last weekend the liberal blogs lite up lambasting Beck including demanding Fox fire him.
Beck described Soros last week as a “Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.” Soros overtly claims no religion having called himself an atheist.
Soros’ family supressed their Jewish faith changing their name from Schwartz when he was young. In Hungarian, soros means next in line, or designated successor; and, in Esperanto, it means “will soar”.
His mother was reportedly vehemently anti- Semitic, and Soros himself worked for the NAZI Jewish Council, which had been established during the Nazi occupation of Hungary to forcibly carry out Nazi and Hungarian government anti-Jewish measures.
Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary, perhaps by collaborating, to become a billionaire through currency speculation becoming known as the man who broke the Bank of England. A French court found him guilty of insider trading, a felony conviction as defined under French securities laws, and fined him $2.3 million, which was the amount that he made using the insider information. Punitive damages were not sought because of the 14-year delay in bringing the case to trial.
Soros is adamantly liberal as evidenced when he declared on November 11, 2003, that removing President George W. Bush from office was the “central focus of my life” and “a matter of life and death” contributing $24 million in a failed attempt to do so. He remains heavily involved in liberal political causes.
At a Jewish forum in New York City, November 5, 2003, Soros partially attributed a recent resurgence of antisemitism to the policies of Israel and the United States, and to ’successful Jews’ such as himself.
Daniel Greenfield in an article in the Sunday, November 14, 2010 Canadian Free Press underscored the depth of the controversy around Soros and Beck saying, “The liberal media which is busy defending Soros as a victim of the Holocaust and a survivor should find the bare decency to remain silent for once. To call Soros a Holocaust survivor is an obscenity…. He was on the other side of the line. The side that was pulling the trigger, running the gas chambers and sorting the gold teeth. Soros was not a victim, he was a perpetrator.”
ADL’s Foxman later told Salon.com that he still believes Beck is a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. I suspect ADL is kissing up to Soros for money.
Planned Parenthood got $359,600.000 million dollars in taxpayer money in 2009 to abort 324, 008 babies or about $1,000 each.
Late last Saturday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed his seven-member inner cabinet on an American offer to Israel that included a package of benefits in return for freezing West Bank settlement construction for another three months.
Netanyahu just returned from a five-day visit to the U.S., where he gave the keynote address at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans, and met with Vice President Joe Biden, as well as a series of senior American officials and representatives.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the offer during a marathon seven-hour-long meeting with Netanyahu at the tail end of his visit. It includes:
- The U.S. would give Israel 20 F-35 jets, a three billion dollar deal that essentially doubles the package Israel had already garnered,
- as well as support against delegitimization efforts at the United Nations and other international arenas, a source close to the Israeli government told Xinhua on Sunday.
In exchange the U.S. and Israel would sign a comprehensive security deal if Israel and the Palestinians sign a peace agreement, according to the source.
Behind the scene is an intense effort by Obama to draw the border for a new Palestinian state.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, told ministers at the outset of the session that, “What is at stake is not a three-month building freeze, but in fact the beginning of negotiations over the borders of a Palestinian state,” according to the Ha’aretz daily.
Shalom also said that there should be no linkage between settlement activity and efforts to isolate Israel on the world stage, including the U.N. Security Council. “It is a strategic error to condition an American veto and diplomatic support from Washington upon the continuation of a building freeze.”
“It is something that should go without saying, based on the special relationship between our countries,” Shalom said, according to the report.
Netanyahu said that if and when an agreement is finalized, he would present it before the cabinet for approval.
“In any case, I insist that any proposal meet the State of Israel’s security needs, both in the immediate term and vis-a-vis the threats that we will face in the coming decade,” Netanyahu concluded, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Early Sunday morning, however, when a representative of the Jerusalem-based Center for Near East Policy Research asked a U.S. State Department spokesperson to affirm or verify the incentives in the U.S. offer, Leslie Phillips said, according to the group, ” the U.S. State Department has no knowledge of the aforementioned promises from the U.S. secretary of state to the Israeli prime minister.”
While the moratorium would include any new construction at West Bank settlements since the Sept. 26th conclusion of the initial self-imposed 10-month freeze, largely Arab east Jerusalem would not be included in the package. As well, the Americans would not request any additional construction halts at the conclusion of the proposed 90-day period.
The Israeli non-governmental Peace Now group said in a release that settlers began building 1,649 apartments, and started sinking foundations for 1,126 of them, in 46 West Bank settlements after the moratorium ended.
“It turns out that the Settlement Freeze was no more than a 10 months delay in the construction, and the settlers managed to fill- in the gap very fast,” said the statement.
A Polish singer and tabloid celebrity has put up posters of herself stretched out on the sand in a provocative bikini as part of her campaign to win a Warsaw district council seat in municipal elections on November 21. Hopefully Nancy Pelosi will not copy the approach.
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defeated a flaccid rebellion against her bid to become minority leader (the top Democrat spot in the House), she was sort of being challenged for the post by a moderate Democrat - North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler. Most think she has the votes of the surviving liberals in the House.
But when the door were closed for a secret vote in the basement of the Capitol Wednesday noses had been counted and Pelosi will lead the remains of the Democrat delegation in the House.
Just 29 percent of people have a favorable opinion of the California Democrat, down 7 points since May, according to a Gallup Poll released Wednesday. Just 21 percent of independents find Pelosi favorable, and 58 percent have an unfavorable view. Among Democrats, 22 percent have an unfavorable view of Pelosi.
But, none of that matters in the murky often messy world of party politics.
One of the subtexts of this leadership drama is that the hand Democrats are giving Pelosi is also an elbow aimed at President Barack Obama and his once-cocky, now humbled West Wing team, and it’s not to drag him to the center but to tie him to the left.
A further controversy was averted last week when Congressman Steney Hoyer - Maryland and Congressman James E. Clyburn - South Carolina each agreed to take a step back taking the number 2-3 post to clear the way for Pelosi. Cyburn will take a newly invented #3 slot that no one can yet describe or explain.
As expected Shuler launched his leadership bid on Sunday when he appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He’s also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.
Shuler told the Clay County Progress last week that he had no choice but to leave the sidelines.
“At this point, no one has come forward, no one in leadership for a long time,” Shuler told the North Carolina weekly newspaper. “It will be very tough. It is probably a race we can’t win. But we need a moderate voice in the Democratic Party.”
Shuler set numerous passing records at Tennessee, was selected to multiple All-America teams, was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and NCAA Male Athlete of the Year, and was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Congressman Shuler went on to play in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, the New Orleans Saints, and the Oakland Raiders before an injury ended his career.
On que the so-called Menopause Mafia, 31 Democrat women in Congess, issue a letter saying Nancy Pelosi should keep her spot as Democratic leader in the next Congress.
In a letter to other members of the party’s caucus Friday, the women lawmakers said Pelosi has borne the brunt of “unfair criticism and attacks.” They said the party needs the Californian to fight against Republican attempts to roll back the health care overhaul and other measures.
The endorsement was touted by Pelosi’s office after about two dozen Democrats voiced a preference for someone else to lead the party next year. No viable candidate has emerged.
Vitiate (VISH-ee-ayt) verb tr.: 1. To impair or spoil the effectiveness of. 2. To corrupt. Etymology from Latin vitiare (to spoil, injure), from vitium (blemish). Earliest recorded use: 1534. “The peaceful atmosphere at the school was vitiated as a police constable in an inebriated condition created a scene there.”
“Only the opportunity to help President Obama as his chief of staff could have pried me away from Chicago,” Emanuel, a former Illinois congressman, said Saturday during an appearance in a public school gymnasium. “And only the opportunity to lead this city could have pried me away from the president’s side.”
Emanuel announced his candidacy for the Feb. 22 election a day before U.S. Representative Danny Davis and Illinois state Senator James Meeks, minister of one of Chicago’s largest churches, are scheduled to say they will also run.
Others who have already announced or have said they will do so soon include City Clerk Miguel del Valle, former Chicago school board president Gery Chico, and former U.S. Senator and New Zealand Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun.
Emanuel is the only white candidate, after Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart decided against running. Non-Hispanic whites constitute just 32 percent of Chicago’s population.
The “Made in USA” label is important to 79% of Americans when they buy something, it is important to them that the product is made in America. Seventeen percent (17%) say it is not important to them that they are buying domestic products.
Since recreational marijuana use was decriminalized in Massachusetts last year, pot-related trafficking and violence have escalated across the state, frustrated law enforcement officials say.
Smoking weed is not a victimless crime, they say.
“We knew it was going to be a nightmare for public safety and law enforcement. An ounce of marijuana can make a thousand joints,” Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said. “Question 2 perpetuated a feeling that marijuana is somehow safer than other drugs. It’s another mind-altering substance. What are we doing in this country? Can’t anyone get through the day without a drink or a drug?”
In November 2008, by nearly 2 to 1, Bay Staters voted to snuff out the threat of jail time for possession of an ounce or less of cannabis in favor of a $100 civil fine, proceeds from which are intended to puff up city and town coffers. The law, however, provides no enforcement mechanism for police to collect the money. Stiffer penalties for buying or selling the drug, or possessing more than an ounce, remain in place.
“Marijuana trafficking is no different from the wholesale distribution of any illicit substance. It’s accompanied by guns and violence in the short term and it floods communities with illegal drugs in the long term. It threatens public safety and public health,” said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. He said his open trafficking cases - dealing in 50 pounds of pot or more - have hit a historic high since the passage of Question 2 by doubling from roughly two prosecutions at any one time to four.
Several recent high-profile killings have been linked by law enforcement to pot, including:
- The Sept. 30 fatal shooting of Adam Coveney, 29, of Waltham. Four men, including a Newton North High School senior, have been charged in connection with the alleged dealer robbery and murder.
- The Sept. 28 massacre of four people in Mattapan - among them, a 21-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son - allegedly in a pot-dealing turf dispute.
- The May 2009 fatal shooting of Justin Cosby, 21, inside a Harvard University dorm, allegedly in a bid to rob him of pot and cash.
- The June 2009 murder of Tyriffe Lewis, 17, in Callahan State Park in Framingham, where prosecutors say he was lured by two men seeking revenge in a fight over marijuana.
In Boston, where one of the most shocking mass killings in recent city history was pot-related, police Commissioner Edward Davis blames drugs in general for surging violence - 65 murders compared to 44 last year at this time. Of Question 2, he said, “I can tell you I’m concerned. I wish we had gone another way in Massachusetts.”
But Mike Meno of the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, which helped push Question 2, faults partial decriminalization for the violence: “If they’re worried about the criminal element, the answer is to end the criminalization of marijuana and regulate it like alcohol. Marijuana is not going away. Anyone who believes that is naive. It’s used by millions of Americans.”
Leone said he fears decriminalization has created a booming “cottage industry” for dope dealers to target youths no longer fearing the stigma of arrest or how getting high could affect their already dicey driving. Leone’s combined distribution and trafficking caseload rose from 445 in 2008 to 464 in 2009. This year’s caseload stood at 422 as of last week, on track to match or exceed last year.
Leone, who is handling the Framingham, Waltham and Cambridge murder cases, said, “What we’re seeing now is an unfortunate and totally predictable outcome. It’s a cash-and-carry business.” With more small-time dealers operating, he said, turf encroachment is inevitable. “That tends to make drug dealers angry.”
In Essex County, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said his marijuana trafficking case load jumped from three in 2007 and one in 2008 to eight in 2009.
“It’s a dangerous business,” Blodgett said. “We’ve had arrests of people who’ve never been involved in trafficking before but got involved in the game. And whenever that happens, there’s going to be violence.”
Researchers say that 14% of the one inch long bush cricket’s body mass is its testicles. So if a cricket weighed 165 pounds they’d be about 12 pounds each. Things must hop funny.
One hundred and eleven companies and organizations were granted waivers by Obama’s Dept. of Health and Human Services so that they could get out of having to comply with Obamacare and unions were particularly well rewarded by the HHS with these waivers. Interestingly, there was no great announcement of these waivers issued to the press. The HHS buried the waiver announcement six layers deep on its webpage and posted them on Friday when they imagined no one would notice. It’s a typical Friday evening document dump so common when an administration wants to avoid the prying eyes of the people. So much for the “most transparent administration in history,”
The Indiana Supreme Court has recently banned lawyers from contacting people and family members involved in accidents for 30 days.
The Leonid meteor shower best viewing this year will be in the two to three hours before dawn on November 17 and 18, according to the editors of StarDate magazine. There is always some uncertainty in the number of meteors the Leonid shower will produce, but viewers should expect to see at least 20 meteors per hour if they have clear skies. The nearly full Moon will set several hours before dawn, and therefore not wash out any meteors in the hours immediately before dawn.
High-resolution images and high-definition video animation of the Leonid meteor shower are available online at StarDate’s Media Center. There, you can also sign up to receive advance e-mail notices of future skywatching events.
Leonid meteors appear to fall from the constellation Leo, the lion, but they are not associated with it. They are leftover debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. As the comet orbits the Sun, it leaves a trail of debris. The Leonid meteors recur each year when Earth passes through the comet’s debris trail.
Each time Comet Tempel-Tuttle gets closest to the Sun in its orbit, called “perihelion,” it sheds a significant amount of material. This creates clumps along its orbit. If Earth passes through one of these clumps this year, viewers could see hundreds of meteors per hour at the shower’s peak. If Earth simply passes through the “normal” part of the comet’s debris trail, the number of meteors visible will be much lower.
For your best view, get away from city lights. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites. Lie on a blanket or reclining chair to get a full-sky view. If you can see all of the stars in the Little Dipper, you have good dark-adapted vision.