In Chicago 13 year old Boy fends off burglars with a shotgun
More government intimidation in health care debate
State officials Friday demanded to know if the state’s five largest insurance companies have sent policyholders information about a possible impact on Medicare of health care changes debated in Washington.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Healthcare Advocate Kevin P. Lembo asked Aetna Inc., ConnectiCare Inc., Anthem Health Plans of Connecticut, HealthNet of Connecticut and UnitedHealth Group for information the companies may have sent regarding the impact of proposed legislation on Medicare Advantage and prescription drug programs.
Blumenthal and Lembo said they are responding to recent mailings by Humana Inc. telling its Medicare customers that proposed federal legislation could slash their benefits. The missive urged seniors to contact lawmakers to ask them to oppose it.
Aetna spokesman Fred Laberge said in an e-mail that the insurer has not sent letters to members or policyholders on the issue, though Aetna officials have been “strong advocates for health care reform.” . . .
I reminds me of this.
The Biggest Problem for Letterman
David Letterman, who built his career skewering philandering politicians and show business “weasels” and “boneheads,” finds himself in the middle of his own celebrity scandal, after he admitted having multiple affairs with employees of his production company, Worldwide Pants.
For the intensely private Mr. Letterman, the revelations, which resulted from a bizarre extortion attempt, are sure to be extremely embarrassing, especially as he tries to extend his lead in the late-night contest. ”I have had sex with women who work for me on this show,” he told his audience on Thursday night, calling himself “creepy.” He added that he hoped “to protect my job.”
More seriously, they raised questions for both his company and CBS about whether his actions constituted sexual harassment or at least abuse of a power relationship over employees. . . .
For those who have been writing me about the definition of philandering, I suggest that you look it up in the dictionary. One of the definitions is: "To engage in many love affairs, especially with a frivolous or casual attitude. Used of a man."
Top 10 Reasons Why the US Lost the Chicago Olympics Bid
10. Dead people can’t vote at IOC meetings
9. Obama distracted by 25 min meeting with Gen. McChrystal
8. Who cares if Obama couldn’t talk the IOC into Chicago? He’ll be able to talk Iran out of nukes.
7. The impediment is Israel still building settlements.
6. Obviously no president would have been able to acomplish it.
5. We’ve been quite clear and said all along that we didn’t want the Olympics.
4. This isn’t about the number of Olympics “lost”, it’s about the number of Olympics “saved” or “created”.
3. Clearly not enough wise Latina judges on the committee
2. Because the IOC is racist.
1. It’s George Bush’s fault.
New York City Bans Bake Sales in City Schools
There shall be no cupcakes. No chocolate cake and no carrot cake. According to New York City’s latest regulations, not even zucchini bread makes the cut.
In an effort to limit how much sugar and fat students put in their bellies at school, the Education Department has effectively banned most bake sales, the lucrative if not quite healthy fund-raising tool for generations of teams and clubs.
The change is part of a new wellness policy that also limits what can be sold in vending machines and student-run stores, which use profits to help finance activities like pep rallies and proms. The elaborate rules were outlined in a three-page memo issued at the end of June, but in the new school year, principals and parents are just beginning to, well, digest them.
Parent groups and Parent-Teacher Associations are conspicuously given an exception: once a month they are allowed to sell as many dark fudge brownies and lemon bars as they please, so long as lunch has ended. And after 6 p.m. on weekdays, anything goes. But at that hour, most students are long gone, and as far as the Education Department is concerned, stuffing oneself with coconut macaroons and peanut butter cookies at that hour is one’s prerogative.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has made both public health and public education centerpieces of his tenure, and the changes in the schools’ food are an outgrowth of his efforts to curb trans fats, salt and other unwanted additives. . . . .
Bureau of Labor Statistics discusses the new unemployment numbers
Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.6 million to 15.1 million, and the unemployment rate has doubled to 9.8 percent. (See table A-1.)
Unemployment rates for the major worker groups--adult men (10.3 percent), adult women (7.8 percent), teenagers (25.9 percent), whites (9.0 percent), blacks (15.4 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent)--showed little change in September. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.4 percent, not seasonally adjusted. The rates for all major worker groups are much higher than at the start of the recession. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) . . . .
The data for this year can be seen here.
Carper: "the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life."
Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE) said this about the new health care bill in the Senate Finance committee:
“I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life."
Foreclosures in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida as a percent of total US Foreclosures
Average Federal Civilian Wage has Grown Relative to the Average Private Industry Wage over the Last Decade
The drop off in new car demand in September puts sales as low as they have been over the last year.
This is what an economic strategy of pulling it forward looks like. In August, car buyers were going nuts with a $4,500 incentive to trade clunkers in for brand new cars. Many warned, of course, that these sales would simply end up decreasing future sales, getting us nowhere. Well, September's here, and... yeah. A monthly sales rate of over 14 million units annualized quickly fell to just above 9 million.
No need to check illegal aliens' ID for health care
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false - the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up - under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place. . . . .
There was a big ruckus over Congressman Joe Wilson saying that the past proposals didn't solve this problem. So what does the Senate propose to do? It looks like Wilson is still correct.
Senate Finance Committee Democrats rejected a proposed a requirement that immigrants prove their identity with photo identification when signing up for federal healthcare programs.
Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that current law and the healthcare bill under consideration are too lax and leave the door open to illegal immigrants defrauding the government using false or stolen identities to obtain benefits.
Grassley's amendment was beaten back 10-13 on a party-line vote.
The bill, authored by committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would require applicants to verify their names, places of birth and Social Security numbers. Under current law, legal immigrants have to wait five years after obtaining citizenship or legal residency before they may sign up for Medicaid. That waiting period would not apply to receiving tax credits or purchasing insurance through the exchange created by the legislation, however.
But the would not require them to show a photo ID, such as a drivers license. Without that requirement, the bill "remains dearly lacking when it comes to identification," Grassley said. "Frankly, I'm very perplexed as to why anyone would oppose this amendment," he said.
But Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who represents the border state of New Mexico, said that the type of fraud Grassley said he wants to prevent is highly uncommon. "The way I see the amendment, it's a solution without a problem," Bingaman said.
Some New Washington Times Editorials
Obama appointee ignored illicit sex: Why is Kevin Jennings still on the president's payroll?
EDITORIAL: Obamacare -- faster inflation, worse care
Loophole creates toothless tobacco ban: Philip Morris turns health protection into wealth protection
Alan Gura predicts that crime will drop if gun ownership allowed in Chicago
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to hear a challenge to Chicago’s strictest-in-the-nation handgun ban likely means the other holster is ready to fall on the ban, advocates on both sides of the issue seemed to agree Wednesday.
“A year from now there will not be a Chicago handgun ban,” said Alan Gura, the attorney representing the gun owners fighting the ban.
The high court’s five-member conservative majority last year threw out Washington, D.C.’s gun ban in the District of Columbia v. Heller case, but stopped short of invalidating the rest of the country’s handgun bans because that case dealt with federal bans, not local ones.
But gun control advocates and even city of Chicago officials have been bracing for the high court’s firmer embrace of the Second Amendment, which includes a right to bear arms.
“It’s going to be very difficult for Chicago not to have to make the adjustments D.C. had to make,” said Paul Heimke, president of the Brady Campaign against Gun Violence.
At a news conference in Chicago Wednesday, Gura predicted the crime rate will drop in Chicago if handguns are legalized again, because, he said, would-be burglars would opt not to break into homes for fear owners could be armed. . . . .
Why Apple rejected one of Google's software products for the iPhone
Weeks ago, when Google publicly revealed the content of its letter to the FCC in response to a government inquiry, it was discovered that Apple allegedly rejected the Google Latitude Application, because Apple believed the software could replicate the native Maps application included with the iPhone -- software also created by Google. Apple said that the new software could "create user confusion" with Google Maps. . . .
Apple approves Vonage's iPhone app:
Vonage, a pioneer in Internet-based phone service, is launching applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry that undercut the international calling rates of major wireless carriers.
When the phones are connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot, the calls go over that link, bypassing the wireless carrier entirely. When Wi-Fi is not available, the calls are placed as local wireless calls, using up minutes on the cell phone plan. Vonage then carries the calls to their overseas destination.
The fact that the Vonage app for the iPhone can use the cellular voice channel is unusual. Several other voice-over-Internet apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch can already place calls over Wi-Fi. But Google's Voice application, which is designed to use the cellular network, has not been approved. . . .
Very interestingly, popular gaming programs have also been rejected by Apple because of programing issues. Whatever claimed issues are present with Google, they don't seem consistent with any explanation for why Apple would reject these games.
Doom Classic was rejected twice before Apple allowed it to appear in the store with some minor changes. . . .
Chicago Tribune asks if the city should continue its gun ban
Kevin Jennings admits that he knew about 15-year-old boy's sexual relationship with older man and did nothing to report or stop it
“Twenty one years later I can see how I should have handled this situation differently. I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities. Teachers back then had little training or guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness. I would like to see the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.”
-Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
Education Secretary Arne Duncan also released a statement. Read it below:
"Kevin Jennings has dedicated his professional career to promoting school safety. He is uniquely qualified for his job and I am honored to have him on our team."
-Arne Duncan, Education Secretary
From ABC's Jake Trapper:
That Jennings knew of a sexually active 15-year-old, of any gender, involved with “an older man” and didn’t take steps to report that relationship to the student’s parents or to authorities has made him a target for criticism -- long before he was put in charge of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. . . . .
Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talk about the Jennings case
Sean Hannity: "As The Washington Times said, 'At the very least, statutory rape occurred,' and he didn't report it."
A partial transcript of Limbaugh's September 28th show (Italics are not in the transcript linked to here):
LIMBAUGH: Today the Washington Times has an editorial that has more news in it than most articles. A teacher -- remember, this is a one-year-old story -- well, yeah, about that. "A teacher was told by a 15-year-old high school sophomore that he was having homosexual sex with an older man. At the very least, statutory rape occurred. Fox News reported that the teacher violated a state law requiring that he report this abuse. That former teacher, Kevin Jennings, is President Obama's 'safe school czar.' "
Now, stick with me on this. "In this one case in which Kevin Jennings had a real chance to protect a young boy from a sexual predator, he not only failed to do what the law required, he actually encouraged the sophomore kid to continue having the relationship. According to Mr. Jennings' own description in an audiotape discovered by Fox News, the 15-year-old boy met the 'older man' in a 'bus station bathroom' was taken to the older man's home that night. When some details about the case became public, Mr. Jennings threatened to sue another teacher who called his failure to report the statutory rape 'unethical.' Mr. Jennings' defenders asserted there was no evidence he was aware the student had sex with the older man. However, the new audiotape contradicts his claim. In 2000, Mr. Jennings gave a talk to the Iowa chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, an advocacy group that promotes homosexuality in schools. On the tape, Kevin Jennings recollected that he told the student make sure to use a condom when he's with the older man. Then he actively encouraged the relationship. It is reinforced by Mr. Jennings' own description in his 1994 book, One Teacher in 10. In that account, the teacher boasts how he allayed the student's concerns about the relationship to such a degree that the 15-year-old" boy, quote, 'left my office with a smile on his face that I would see every time I saw him on campus for the next two years until he graduated,' " close quote.
He's now the safe school czar. Kevin Jennings is now Obama's safe school czar. And this story is actually a year old. It came out last year when he was appointed czar, but it got very little attention. And the Sweetness and Light.com has a link to audio MP3 of his comments about statutory rape, the bottom of the piece. So if you wonder why the libs are really ticked off that Roman Polanski might be extradited to face the music on that long-ago act with the 13-year-old girl, Quaaludes and rape, understand that Obama's safe schools czar is a guy promoting homosexuality in the schools and encouraged a 15-year-old kid to have a homosexual relationship with an older man, and even facilitated it.
Appearing on Coast-to-Coast AM for a couple of minutes during George Noory's news segment sometime between 1:05 to 1:15 AM EST
After seeing this, I do think that we need some type of intelligence test for voters
Nicotine, like caffeine, is actually fairly beneficial in many circumstances. Nicotine simultaneously stimulates and calms people. It is one reason why soldiers like to smoke when they are out on patrol -- staying alert is at a premium, but they also don't want to drink a lot of caffeine because it can cause your hands to shake slightly.
Senator Durbin surprised that kids are learning in private schools
Low-income families in the District of Columbia got some encouraging words yesterday from an unlikely source. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin signaled that he may be open to reauthorizing the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school voucher program that allows 1,700 disadvantaged kids to opt out of lousy D.C. public schools and attend a private school.
"I have to work with my colleagues if this is going to be reauthorized, which it might be," said Mr. Durbin at an appropriations hearing Tuesday morning. He also said that he had visited one of the participating private schools and understood that "many students are getting a good education from the program."
Earlier this year, Mr. Durbin inserted language into a spending bill that phases out the program after 2010 unless Congress renews it and the D.C. Council approves. A Department of Education evaluation has since revealed that the mostly minority students are making measurable academic gains and narrowing the black-white learning gap. D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and a majority of the D.C. Council have expressed support for continuing the program.
Mr. Durbin says he still has concerns about how scholarship students are being evaluated. The Senator wants participating schools to administer the same tests to scholarship students that D.C. public school students take. But since the public school test is curriculum-based, and would have to be given in addition to the exams that private schools already administer, some wonder whether Mr. Durbin is simply trying to discourage private schools from accepting scholarship students.
We think Mr. Durbin deserves the benefit of the doubt. . . . .
Hysterical Associated Press piece about Arizona allowing permitted concealed handguns in places that serve alcohol
Bartender Randy Shields was serving British brews and Arizona ambers as usual at Shady's bar in east Phoenix when he saw a customer walk in with a hunting knife strapped to his hip.
A disturbing image flashed through his mind — "that knife sliding between my ribs."
The customer willingly turned over the knife while he was in the bar, but Shields still worries about a new Arizona law that goes into effect Wednesday that will allow guns into Arizona bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Under the law, backed by the National Rifle Association, the 138,350 people with concealed-weapons permits in Arizona will be allowed to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that haven't posted signs banning them.
Those carrying the weapons aren't allowed to drink alcohol.
The new law has Shields and other bar owners and workers wondering: What's going to happen when guns are allowed in an atmosphere filled with booze and people with impaired judgment?
"Somebody can pull the trigger, then a bullet comes out, and people get hurt and killed," said Brad Henrich, owner of Shady's, a popular neighborhood bar that sees occasional minor scuffles. "The idea of anyone coming in with guns in a place that serves alcohol just seems ludicrous."
An 8 1/2-by-11-inch sign that says "No Firearms Allowed" and shows a red slash over a gun now hangs next to Henrich's liquor license. If a bar owner does not post such a state-approved sign, people with concealed weapons are allowed in with their guns.
There is no way to track how many of Arizona's 5,800 bars and restaurants that serve alcohol have posted such signs. The Arizona Department of Liquor Licensing and Control has signs available for download on its Web site and doesn't track that figure.
The department has provided 1,300 signs to bar and restaurant owners who went to the department in person or asked to have signs mailed to them. . . .
Utah's Governor wants to prevent out of state residents from getting Utah permits
The governor told a news conference the other day that he's all for Utah standing tall for the Second Amendment. But he thinks what happens in Utah, in terms of concealed-carry permits, should stay in Utah.
He said he doesn't want the Beehive State to be the wholesale clearinghouse for anyone outside the state who wants a permit, particularly when the state can't track an outlander's activities and he might do something "inappropriate." The governor's right. . . .
Under the principle of reciprocity, Utah's concealed-carry permit is recognized in 33 other states. Because Utah's permit is relatively cheap ($65.25, plus the cost of photos and a one-session training course), and the class is rudimentary, out-of-staters have made a run on Utah permits. So far this year, the state has received 57,000 applications for permits, and for the first time, the state issued more permits to people from outside the state than to Utahns in the fiscal year ended June 30. At that time, Utah was riding herd on about 177,000 active permits.
The situation with instructors is similar. Last fiscal year there were 516 certified instructors outside the state and only 346 inside it. . . .
Thanks to Michael Rash for the link.
So why did Countrywide tape its telephone conversations with politicians who borrowed at extra low rates?
The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials -- and that those recordings have been destroyed -- has prompted new congressional calls for more information about the program.
Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is trying to subpoena the remaining records of Countrywide's VIP loan program. So far, the committee's chairman, New York Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns, has turned down that request.
The committee's Republican staff investigators have spent months looking into the VIP program, and learned of the call-recording system from a former Countrywide employee in June, according to a spokesman for Mr. Issa.
The Issa spokesman said that earlier this month Bank of America Corp., which purchased Countrywide in July 2008, confirmed the existence of the recording system, but said all the VIP program-related calls had been disposed of.
A Bank of America spokesman said in a written statement that the VIP recordings "were retained only for a limited time or until available recording space was utilized. Due to these limitations, we have no recordings from before July 2008 when Bank of America assumed management of Countrywide and terminated the VIP program." . . .
Democratic Congressman: "Republicans want you to die quickly"
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., warned Americans that "Republicans want you to die quickly" during an after-hours House floor speech Tuesday night.
His remarks, which drew angry and immediate calls for an apology from Republicans, were highlighted by a sign reading "The Republican Health Care Plan: Die Quickly."
Veteran Tennessee Republican Jimmy Duncan abandoned customary reticence to chastise Grayson.
"That is about the most mean-spirited partisan statement that I've ever heard made on this floor, and I, for one, don't appreciate it," Duncan said.
"It's fully appropriate that the gentleman return to the floor and apologize," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, another Tennessee Republican.
But none was forthcoming from Grayson — a freshman Democrat from a competitive district — who said the first part of the GOP approach to health care is: Don't get sick.
"If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly," he said. . . . .
Buy too much cold medicine, go to jail
When Sally Harpold bought cold medicine for her family back in March, she never dreamed that four months later she would end up in handcuffs.
Now, Harpold is trying to clear her name of criminal charges, and she is speaking out in hopes that a law will change so others won’t endure the same embarrassment she still is facing.
“This is a very traumatic experience,” Harpold said.
Harpold is a grandmother of triplets who bought one box of Zyrtec-D cold medicine for her husband at a Rockville pharmacy. Less than seven days later, she bought a box of Mucinex-D cold medicine for her adult daughter at a Clinton pharmacy, thereby purchasing 3.6 grams total of pseudoephedrine in a week’s time.
Those two purchases put her in violation of Indiana law 35-48-4-14.7, which restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, or PSE, products to no more than 3.0 grams within any seven-day period.
When the police came knocking at the door of Harpold’s Parke County residence on July 30, she was arrested on a Vermillion County warrant for a class-C misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. But through a deferral program offered by Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander, the charge could be wiped from Harpold’s record by mid-September. . . . .
White House Director of Political Affairs Close to ACORN
With the revelation that White House Director of Political Affairs, Patrick Gaspard, has close ties to Bertha Lewis and to ACORN, Matthew Vadum and Erick Erickson appear to be onto something significant. While the Gaspard matter needs further investigation before we form any hard conclusions, it certainly seems to confirm that President Obama’s ties to a whole series of ACORN-controlled organizations are neither minor nor by any means long-past. In fact, making use of what Erickson and Vadum have discovered about Gaspard, we can trace these links still further.
. . . . During the 2008 election, Obama’s close links to the far-left New Party were revealed and explored (although not by the mainstream press). Yet many seem to have forgotten that the New Party, particularly in Chicago, was dominated by ACORN (and by an ACORN-controlled SEIU union local). During the campaign, I detailed Obama’s New Party ties in two pieces, "Something New Here," and "Life of the New Party." Important evidence of Obama’s pursuit of the New Party endorsement can also be found in the September-October 1995 issue of "New Ground," newsletter of the Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Obama’s New Party ties matter because they show that his links to ACORN went far beyond shared on-the-ground organizing, legal representation, training, or even funding (although all of those ties existed and were important). By running for office with the New Party, Obama was effectively indicating that he shared ACORN’s radical political goals.
So it’s of interest that in late 1995, just as Obama was seeking New Party endorsement in Chicago, Patrick Gaspard was working as a New Party organizer in New Jersey. (This was reported in "Jersey Man Hopes to Create Third Political Party," NPR, "Morning Edition, " September 28, 1995). Then, in the July 2, 2001 issue of "The Nation," Gaspard and Bertha Lewis jointly published a reply to a June 4 Nation article by Doug Ireland which had been critical of the New York’s Working Families Party (a successor to the New Party, led by New Party co-founder Dan Cantor, and largely controlled by ACORN and the SEIU). In the course of their letter, Gaspard and Lewis describe their extensive joint involvement in Working Families Party activities. The letter is signed: "Bertha Lewis, ACORN, WFP; Patrick Gaspard, SEIU State Council, WFP." This does seem to confirm and extend the new evidence of a close political tie between Patrick Gaspard and ACORN’s Bertha Lewis. . . .
ACORN on Trial
When ACORN took to Las Vegas and started playing "Blackjack" and "21," the activist group was making a far bigger gamble than it ever guessed, according to Nevada prosecutors.
There's nothing wrong with playing the tables in Vegas, but authorities say ACORN was using the names of those casino games as a cover to illegally pay workers to sign up voters as part of an illegal quota system.
A preliminary hearing Tuesday in the downtown Clark County courthouse has put ACORN on trial for the first time as a criminal defendant.
Until now, prosecutions for voter registration fraud have focused on ACORN workers, and authorities have secured guilty pleas from several who admitted to falsifying voter registration forms.
But when investigators from Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller's office raided the ACORN Las Vegas office, Ross says they found a paper trail that implicated the ACORN organization itself. . . . .
Politico: "The left aims for critics' jugular"
Liberal allies of President Barack Obama aren’t just getting mad at conservative attacks on his agenda. They are getting even in a way calculated to hit conservatives where it counts: their pockets.
Former GOP House leader Dick Armey, former New York lt. gov. and conservative activist Betsy McCaughey and even Fox News’s Glenn Beck have all seen their financial livelihoods threatened by political activists — who in several cases managed to make good on the threats.
The latest prominent figure in liberal cross hairs is U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue. Environmental activists, citing alleged conflicts of interest, have begun a campaign to pressure him to resign from the board of Union Pacific Railroad or from his longtime post as head of the nation’s top business lobby.
“We’re losing our self-government with these Chicago-style arm-twisting tactics,” complained McCaughey, who resigned from the board of Cantel Medical Group after the firm was connected — unfairly, according to it and McCaughey — to her claims that Obama’s health care reform would lead to death panels and other calamities. “Clearly, it’s an effort to silence critics,” she added.
McCaughey and other Obama critics are falling victim to tactics honed as much by the right as by the left: Bloggers research the opposition and post material that is picked up by allies on cable talk shows, who push it into the broader media.
But the new twist is that private firms, some with little connection to the policy debate and little warning, are being hauled into the public courtyard because of their association with an advocate-employee.
Several progressive groups are employing versions of the tactic, not as part of a coordinated effort but often enough to seem more than coincidence. . . . .
A couple health care references
Disparity remains when treatment, socioeconomic factors are the same, study finds
Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?
US Obesity Trends
Cancer survivorship rates
Two Million Canadians Waiting for Surgery
The "former Canadian Medical Assoc. Pres. further stated that one
million Canadians are waiting for surgery and another million are
waiting to see a specialist to get on the surgery waiting list. The
population of Canada is a mere 31.6 million persons.
This means that 6.45% of Canadians are waiting for surgery. Such a
percentage in the U.S. would have 19.67 million Americans waiting for
Proof that the Federal Government really does care!
one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.
When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official's porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.
Obviously no waste in this government.
What news coverage would Kevin Jennings be getting if he were a Republican?
When Republican Rep. Mark Foley was caught chasing congressional pages, he got exactly what was coming to him. In a blizzard of coverage (1,400 stories, according to Google news), Mr. Foley's creepy behavior was examined from every possible angle. Nobody wanted to hear that the congressman's stupid and objectionable behavior was confined to e-mails and text messages. His immediate resignation didn't quiet the furor. When two years of investigations found no crime, the results got barely a peep.
Whether the press feeding frenzy around Mr. Foley's disgrace was justified or not, the explosion of coverage was certainly understandable, even predictable. That reality is what makes coverage of Kevin Jennings, President Obama's "safe school czar" something of a mystery.
Mr. Jennings brings all the sleaze of Mr. Foley. Sex and the underaged? Check. An older man? Check. Potential misbehavior by a government official? Check. . . .
German Stock market advance strongly now that CDU/CSU/FDP win
German stocks posted the biggest gain in five weeks after Chancellor Angela Merkel won re- election with enough support to govern with the pro- business Free Democrats. Utility companies paced the advance.
RWE AG and E.ON AG, the country’s largest power companies, both climbed more than 4 percent on expectations Merkel’s Christian Democrats may extend the life of nuclear plants. Stada Arzneimittel AG gained the most since March following the defeat of the Social Democratic Party, which has led efforts to cap drug prices.
The DAX Index added 2.8 percent to 5,736.31, the steepest advance since Aug. 21. The measure has added 56 percent since March on speculation the worst of the global recession is past. The broader HDAX also increased 2.8 percent today, ending a three-day decline.
“A CDU/CSU/FDP government provides the greatest opportunities for equity-market-friendly reforms compared to other party combinations,” wrote Tammo Greetfeld, a senior strategist at UniCredit SpA in Munich. “The DAX uptrend will continue into 2010. The business cycle remains the key factor driving equity prices.” . . .
"Obama Pushes Anti-Gun Treaty"
NY Daily News: "John Edwards' ex-mistress, Rielle Hunter, targeted by Elizabeth Edwards in blog comments"
Former presidential candidate John Edwards is said to be ready to admit that he fathered a love child. But Hades may have a skating rink before his wife, Elizabeth, signs off on such a confession.
As a grand jury in North Carolina considers whether Edwards misused campaign funds to cover up the scandal, Elizabeth still can't abide his former mistress, Rielle Hunter.
Word is Elizabeth vehemently opposed the plan, now in place, for Hunter and daughter Quinn to move from New Jersey to Wilmington, N.C., where the Edwardses have a beach house.
For months now, Elizabeth, who is said to be talking to a divorce lawyer, also has been sniping at Hunter - painting her as a blackmailing gold digger - in blog comments where she uses the pseudonym "Cherubim," according to a source who knows Elizabeth.
Though "Cherubim" has recently described herself as an African-American woman, the source insists, "It's Elizabeth. She's used 'cherubim' as a password. Look at the gravestone of their son Wade: It's an angel holding a boy."
"Cherubim" has also heaped scorn on estranged Edwards aide Andrew Young, who is working on a book in which he's due to reveal that Edwards and wealthy supporters paid him to claim that he fathered Quinn. . . .
A real problem with Obama's "Safe School Czar"
A teacher was told by a 15-year-old high school sophomore that he was having homosexual sex with an "older man." At the very least, statutory rape occurred. Fox News reported that the teacher violated a state law requiring that he report the abuse. That former teacher, Kevin Jennings, is President Obama's "safe school czar." It's getting hard to keep track of all of this president's problematic appointments. Clearly, the process for vetting White House employees has broken down.
In this one case in which Mr. Jennings had a real chance to protect a young boy from a sexual predator, he not only failed to do what the law required but actually encouraged the relationship.
According to Mr. Jennings' own description in a new audiotape discovered by Fox News, the 15-year-old boy met the "older man" in a "bus station bathroom" and was taken to the older man's home that night. When some details about the case became public, Mr. Jennings threatened to sue another teacher who called his failure to report the statutory rape "unethical." Mr. Jennings' defenders asserted that there was no evidence that he was aware the student had sex with the older man.
However, the new audiotape contradicts this claim. . . . .
John Stossel: "The Case for School Vouchers"
Incorrect promises about Social Security
The deficits - $10 billion in 2010 and $9 billion in 2011 - won't affect payments to retirees because Social Security has accumulated surpluses from previous years totaling $2.5 trillion. But they will add to the overall federal deficit.
Applications for retirement benefits are 23 percent higher than last year, while disability claims have risen by about 20 percent. Social Security officials had expected applications to increase from the growing number of baby boomers reaching retirement, but they didn't expect the increase to be so large. . . . .
"A lot of people who in better times would have continued working are opting to retire," said Alan J. Auerbach, an economics and law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "If they were younger, we would call them unemployed." . . . .
How politically isolated are the people at the New York Times
After being late on Van Jones and ACORN -- two stories pushed aggressively by Fox, talk radio and conservative blogs -- NY Times public editor Clark Hoyt describes the paper's "slow reflexes" when covering both stories in today's column: "Tuning In Too Late."
When I spoke with Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet nearly two weeks ago about these issues, he told me that there isn't a specific Times staffer watching the blogosphere, but that reporters should follow sites relating to their own beats.
But now the Times top editors, Hoyt writes, have decided to "assign an editor to monitor opinion media and brief them frequently on bubbling controversies."
Conservatives may think the Times' slow response is by design -- that the paper is less willing to jump on stories that could potentially damage Democrats. And the Times helped that perception along in 2008 with its controversial, front-page story insinuating an affair between John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman, while sitting out the John Edwards infidelity story weeks after news broke.
But there's more at play than claims of liberal bias, as Mike Allen and I wrote earlier this month:The dearth -- and tardiness -- of coverage by the traditional media is explained in part by the fact that most reporters for establishment news organizations do not follow the conservative media. They tend to consider many of the more outlandish charges from the right to be plain loony -- which they often are.
And ACORN has long been an obsession of the right, with some of past criticism taking on racial overtones. So reporters, being used to tuning out charges against ACORN, were slow to realize that this was a time when the group’s opponents had the goods.
Hardcover Freedomnomics at new low paperback price
This unemployment number seems much too high to me
The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent -- a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. -- meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.
And worse, without a clear economic recovery plan aimed at creating entry-level jobs, the odds of many of these young adults -- aged 16 to 24, excluding students -- getting a job and moving out of their parents' houses are long. Young workers have been among the hardest hit during the current recession -- in which a total of 9.5 million jobs have been lost. . . .
The teenage unemployment rate at the BLS is much lower. For White teenagers it is 24.1 percent and for blacks it is 34.7, for an overall teenage rate of 25.5 percent.