Friday, April 30, 2010

BP Oil Spill Gulf Coast Disaster, Employers New Tactics to Fire Employees, Travel Smarter, New PTSD Treatment - News Headlines 30 Apr 2010

From Denny: The Gulf Coast oil spill, courtesy of "too big to fail high-tech oil platform" from British Petroleum, is dominating the national news as much as Hurricane Katrina did. National disaster is spreading out across the nation like the oil slick that may take another three months to stop - if the relief well is successful. Until then, one-fifth of the nation's seafood supply is at risk along with those marshes that protect the Gulf Coast and the port of New Orleans from devastating hurricanes. And the weather folks are predicting this year to be a particularly violent one for hurricanes when the season starts up on June 1st.

Fortunately, President Obama has come down to Louisiana quickly to listen to the people most impacted instead of hiding in a huddle like President Bush did listening to his political advisors. Bush dismissed the frantic calls from then Louisiana Governor Blanco for a full three days while people were dying in New Orleans.

President Obama is not tone deaf like Bush in a disaster. This President also places the full cost of the clean-up and lost income on the shoulders of BP. Let's hope this administration will strong arm the oil company to pay up and not stick the taxpayers with the bill like energy companies are prone to do here in America. For now, BP seems willing to pay for their environmental disaster of epic proportions. When the bill comes due, everyone get ready and hold your breath to witness if they actually pay it in full.





BP Didn't Plan for Major Oil Spill: (CBS) Company Suggests in Documents that Likelihood of Accident Happening was Virtually Impossible

British Petroleum downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. spill in decades along the Gulf coast and endangering shoreline habitat.

In the 52-page exploration plan and environmental impact analysis, BP repeatedly suggested it was unlikely, or virtually impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish, mammals and fisheries.

BP's plan filed with the federal Minerals Management Service for the Deepwater Horizon well, dated February 2009, says repeatedly that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."

And while the company conceded that a spill would "cause impacts" to beaches, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, it argued that "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected..."





Gulf Oil Spill, by the Numbers: (CBS) Up to 5,000 Barrels a Day Are Leaking Into Gulf as Spill Spreads to Cover 2,100 Square Miles

The estimate of crude oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from the well head of the destroyed BP drilling platform Deepwater Horizon was revised upwards. Already experts are suggesting this may become the worst environmental disaster to hit the U.S. since the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound, and it may eclipse even that.

A glance at key statistics from the spill:

• Oil is being spilled at a rate up to 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) a day.

• As of Friday morning, the spill has spread to cover 2,100 square miles.

• It could take up to three months to drill a relief well to plug the leak. At the current rate of leakage, this spill would eclipse the Exxon Valdez disaster, which dumped 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

• Eleven people remain unaccounted for following the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig; 115 were evacuated, including 17 who were injured, 3 critically. 1 injured person remains in the hospital.

• Nearly 2,000 personnel are involved in the response effort with additional resources being mobilized as needed.

• 79 response vessels have been responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts. In addition, six fixed-wing aircraft, 11 helicopters, 10 remotely operated vehicles, and two mobile offshore drilling units have been deployed. Two C-130 aircraft equipped with aerial spray systems were en route Friday afternoon, according to the Defense Department.

• More than 217,000 feet of boom (barrier) has been assigned to contain the spill; an additional 305,760 feet is available.

• According to BP, as of Friday 20,313 barrels (853,146 gallons) of an oil-water mix have been recovered, an increase of 90,000 gallons from Thursday.

• 139,459 gallons of dispersant have been deployed; an additional 51,000 gallons are available. 51,000 gallons more are on hand.

• Six staging areas (Biloxi, Miss.; Pensacola, Fla.; Venice, La.; Pascagoula, Miss.; Theodore, Ala.; Fourchon, La.) have been set up to protect sensitive shorelines.

• More than 400 species of wildlife, including whales and dolphins, face a dire threat from the spill, along with Louisiana's barrier islands and marshlands. In the national refuges most at risk, about 34,000 birds have been counted, including gulls, pelicans, roseate spoonbills, egrets, shore birds, terns and blue herons.








Pamela Fink Says She Was Fired After Getting a Double Mastectomy To Prevent Breast Cancer: (ABC) Fink Says Her Doctors Told Her She Had an 80 Percent Chance of Getting Breast Cancer


A Connecticut woman claims she was fired despite years of glowing reports by her employer after she told them she had tested positive for the breast cancer gene and would undergo a double mastecomy as a preventative measure.

"I was a great employee and I did really great work," said Pamela Fink, 39. "The only thing that changed from the time that I had a great review to when I didn't was my two surgeries."

Fink has filed complaints at the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities as well as the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that she was fired from the Stamford, Conn., company MXenergy because of her genetic testing results.

She is claiming that by doing so, her employer, MXenergy, a natural gas and electricity provider, violated the Genetic Information Nondiscriminaton Act as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act.








GM Under Fire for 'Misleading' Bailout Ad: (ABC) GM CEO Boasts TARP Repayment in TV Commercial; Republicans Say Boast Borders on Fraud


Angry congressional Republicans escalated their attack on General Motors' claim to have repaid U.S. taxpayers for the car maker's bailout, calling it a "lie to the American people."

At issue is whether GM is correct in trumpeting what it says in a national ad and an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that it has repaid -- with interest and ahead of schedule -- the $4.7 billion in bailout funds that it owed to the government.

The money for the loan repayment came from other bailout funds housed in an escrow account belonging to GM. To critics, that smacks of deception...

The government's remaining stake in GM consists of $2.1 billion in preferred stock and a 60.8 percent stake in the automaker, according to the Treasury Department...





Banks Taking Too Long to Approve Distressed Home Sales, Brokers Say: (ABC) Short Sales in California, Arizona Take Months; May Slow Recovery

Debbie is one of California's many homeowners who have found they can no longer afford the house of their dreams. Although she stopped paying her mortgage last year, she has found a way to avoid foreclosure: a "short sell" of the house for less than she owes on it.

But even though she has found a qualified buyer, she can't get the bank to approve the sale.

"Why are they sitting on this so long?" says Debbie, who bought her two-bedroom cabin in Modesto two years ago for $250,000. She can no longer afford the mortgage after she lost her job as a financial officer, even as the house has lost half its value in the economic downturn.

"At least we got a buyer," she says...








When Airlines Get Nasty, Travelers Get Crafty: (ABC) The Airlines' Financial Funk Has Forced Flyers to Travel Smarter


By any measure, it's been an awful couple of years. While the recession—two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, according to economists' definition—may be behind us, its painful effects will linger for years to come.

Perhaps no group has suffered more than the airlines. No group, that is, except their customers.

To an uncommon degree, the fortunes of travelers rise and fall with the fortunes of the airlines that serve them. And the fortunes of the airlines have been dismal indeed.

As a group, five of the nine largest U.S. airlines posted 2009 losses totaling almost $4 billion. American, which lost $1.5 billion in 2009 and $2.1 billion the year before, warned in its latest annual report that "it will be very difficult for the Company to continue to fund its obligations on an ongoing basis and to return to profitability if the overall industry revenue environment does not improve substantially..."








Ariz. Gov Signs Bill Revising New Immigration Law: (ABC) Arizona governor signs bill with revisions to new law targeting illegal immigration


Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed a follow-on bill approved by Arizona legislators that make revisions to the state's sweeping law against illegal immigration — changes she says should quell concerns that the measure will lead to racial profiling.

The law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

The follow-on bill signed by Brewer makes a number of changes that she said should lay to rest concerns of opponents.

"These new statements make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona," she said in a statement.

The changes include one strengthening restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning by police and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law.

Another change states that immigration-status questions would follow a law enforcement officer's stopping, detaining or arresting a person while enforcing another law. The earlier law had referred to a "contact" with police.

Another change specifies that possible violations of local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status...





Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder With a Jab to the Neck: (ABC) New Research Suggests Numbed Nerves Could Cure Anxiety and Flashbacks in Veterans

A quick jab to the neck may be all it takes for immediate relief of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to new research from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Some doctors, however, caution that more research is necessary before the procedure is deemed safe enough for widespread use.

In a study published Friday in the journal Pain Practice, Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB), a ten-minute procedure that applies local anesthetic to a bundle of nerves in the neck, proved an effective remedy for this anxiety disorder, potentially offering an alternative to the pharmaceuticals traditionally used to treat the flashbacks, anger, anxiety, and sleep disturbances caused by PTSD...








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Thursday, April 29, 2010

America Boycotts Arizona, BP Oil Spill Impacts Wildlife, Enraged Wall Street Protestors, Strange News Stories - News Headlines 29 Apr 2010

From Denny: It's a thorny issue. How do you balance your own safety and security with keeping out criminals from another country? We have enough of our own criminals to deal with as it is. That's the question Arizona folks kept asking themselves, and, out of frustration came up with this Nazi style "show me your papers" as their answer.

Unfortunately, this type of law has room for a lot of abuse. It isn't just about racial profiling. It goes to freedom of movement for all citizens. You would think carrying a driver's license would answer this issue and this separate law would not be necessary. Here in Louisiana you have to prove who you are, prove you are an American citizen or other place of birth before being allowed a license to drive. Now if they would just start checking people for how many DUIs they amassed before they allow them to renew those same driver's licenses and there would be fewer deaths on the road from drunk drivers in this state... but I digress.

Seriously, Arizona needs to rethink this new law because no one wants to visit a police state. I've lived under martial law overseas and it is very unnerving. You can get arrested for the dumbest things, be innocent and still get executed or thrown in jail. America does not need to become a police state like the Republicans have long dreamed of doing here.

Perhaps Arizona will prove to be a testing ground for a new wrong direction for this country to march off in thinking it will cure all the woes. The Republicans and Arizona also need to ask themselves that if they want all this federal government protection and immigration control then they need to get serious about paying for those taxes it will take to create that presence. You can't complain about the government, limit its size and then demand services.

*** Living here in Louisiana, I am ever mindful of the recent British Petroleum oil spill. In short, the United Kingdom and its BP owes the Gulf Coast states and the American government billions of dollars to clean up their mess. Just like Toyota they have lied to us: repeatedly. Of course, being Big Business, they decided to downplay the situation and claimed it was far less crude oil spilling out than was true - try 75% less than the truth.

There should be an international court and a ready-and-waiting firing squad with shoot-on-sight standing orders to execute lying CEOs as soon as the words come out of their annoying mouths. Fining these guys a few million just isn't enough to stem the tide on the arrogant attitudes, wrong and oh, so destructive, behaviors.

Even $500 billion was not a large enough fine like the American government did to Toyota when they lied and failed to report quickly enough to the federal government, ordering recalls of their vehicles. Until we get serious about making it a 50% take on their gross profit for a ten year period will Big Business get the idea to play straight with us. They only respect tough - not nice, not polite, not easy.


*** As to being tough, why in the world is this White House willing to even consider allowing Iran a place at the table or podium to spout off their usual destructive rhetoric - and in our own backyard? At some point President Obama needs to use some unusual moves to challenge this defiant Iran with a defiance of our own: reject his visa to attend the nuclear summit. He's just using this summit to expand his world presence and place of leadership. He's trying to bully his way into being accepted as a nuclear power along with other countries of good reputations. Show the world he is no leader. Make him wait another five years - if he's still in office.


*** And three strange news stories... Mad as hell protesters march on Wall Street firms and scare the daylights out of them in their lobbies until the police quietly escort them away. Recently, a hermit in India has been found to be living without food and water for - are you ready for this video? - 50 years! Jesus Christ always said, "Man does not live by food alone" so there may be something to consider here as an unusual possibility that strays form the norm. And then there's that "flirting gone bad" where a guy told a woman she was fat at a party and so she tackled him and bit off part of his ear prize fighter style. Those women in Nebraska are more than corn huskers; they are a force to be reckoned with!






More City Councils Move Toward Arizona Boycotts Over Immigration Law: (CBS)

While a number of local lawmakers want their states to adopt immigration measures similar to Arizona's, there is also a growing crop of lawmakers aiming to shun the state for its controversial measure.

The city of San Francisco was at the head of the trend, when its board of supervisors on Tuesday considered a measure to off the city's economic ties with Arizona. The board has yet to officially approve the boycott, but San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has imposed an immediate moratorium on city-related travel to Arizona.

The Arizona law at the center of the controversy, signed by Arizona's governor on Friday, would require immigrants to carry documents verifying their immigration status. It would also require police officers to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person may be illegally in the country.

City councils in Washington, D.C. , and Los Angeles are also considering economic boycotts of Arizona,..





WH: Oil Spill Could Impact Offshore Drilling Plans
: (CBS)


The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could impact President Obama's plans to consider new offshore drilling sites, administration officials said today.

The White House announced today that it is sending three cabinet members to oversee the effort to control and clean up the spill, which is much worse than first thought. Liberal activists are pointing to the disaster as a reason for the president to reconsider his decision to open up the southern Atlantic coastline and some other areas to offshore drilling.

Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner emphasized today that no plans for new drilling have been established yet and that the president's decision was simply "the beginning of a process" to consider new plans over the next five years.

"There will be ample opportunity for public input, ample opportunity for congressional and governor input," Browner said. "What's occurring now will also be taken into consideration."

Asked if the White House might call for a pause in all offshore oil drilling, because of the incident, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior David Hayes said, "everything is on the table."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Mr. Obama has expressed his concern over the spill and will be examining the cause while considering how it could impact the plans for new drilling.

"Could that possibly change his viewpoint? Well, of course," Gibbs said...





10 Animals Most At Risk from Gulf Oil Spill: (CBS)

...Here's a selection of animals at risk in the open water, along the coasts and in the wetlands.

1. North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: The Great Bluefin Tuna, prized for sushi and sashimi, is one of the species most in danger of slipping into extinction. Traveling down across the Atlantic seaboard, bluefin tuna spawn in the Gulf of Mexico between mid-April and mid-June.

2. Sea Turtles: Five of the world's seven sea turtle species live, migrate and breed in the Gulf region. Kemp's ridley is the world's most endangered species of sea turtle, and one of its two primary migration routes runs south of Mississippi. Loggerhead turtles, also endangered, feed in the warm waters in the Gulf between May and October.

3. Sharks: Shark species worldwide are in decline. The grassbeds south of the Chandeleur Islands are very close to the oil spill. These grasses are a known nursing area for a number of shark species, which are now beginning their spawning season in the Gulf. Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, feed on plankton at the surface of the water and could also be affected.

4. Marine mammals (whales, porpoises, dolphins): Oil spills pose an immediate threat to marine mammals, which need to surface and breathe. Not only does the oil pose a threat, but also the nasty toxins that the oil kicks off into the air. A resident pod of sperm whales in the spill area could be at risk along with piggy sperm whales, porpoises and dolphins.

5. Brown Pelicans: The state bird of Louisiana, the pelican nests on barrier islands and feeds near shore. Brown pelicans only came off the endangered species list last year, but they've had a rough time in past seasons with storms. Their reproductive rates are low. Breeding season just started, and with eggs incubating the oil could pose a significant threat.

6. Oysters: The coastal waters around the very tip of Louisiana’s boot-shaped coast are home to some of the most productive oyster farms in the country. Oils and hydrocarbons are toxic to oysters. Unfortunately, hydrocarbons can persist in coastal sediments for months or even years. Louisiana oyster farmers, many of whom barely scrape by with high fuel costs and global competition, could have trouble weathering the oil spill if their harvests are affected.

7. Shrimp and blue crab: Coastal marshes are key to the life cycle and development of Louisiana shrimp and blue crab — both staples of the local seafood industry. Inshore shrimp season will open in mid-May, while brown shrimp are in their post-larval and juvenile development stages.

8. Menhaden and marsh-dwelling fish: The young offspring of species such as mullet, menhaden and marsh-dwelling forage fishes are especially vulnerable at this time of year. Menhaden is a little fish you've probably never heard of, but people all over the world use it everyday. Menhaden fish oil and meat are used in everything from cosmetics to animal feed. Louisiana is one of the world’s biggest suppliers and the oil spill comes smack in the middle of menhaden spawning season.

9. Beach-nesting and migratory shorebirds: Overdeveloped beachfronts all along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida have made life difficult for several species of plovers, sandpipers, terns and oystercatchers. Those that build their nests on the ground and feed on invertebrates are susceptible to oil on the beaches. Some migratory shore birds fly nearly the length of the Western Hemisphere and use barrier islands in the Gulf for key resting and refueling spots on their journey.

10. Migratory songbirds — warblers, orioles, buntings, flycatchers, swallows and others: About 96 species of neo-tropical songbirds make a 500-mile journey without a pit stop across the Gulf of Mexico. The next two weeks mark the height of their migration as they travel north from Central and South America to breed in North America. The smoke from controlled burns to mitigate the oil spill could affect the migration, but the impacts will be difficult to monitor.





Iran Claims Top Billing at U.N. Nuclear Conference: (CBS)

The world stage is set for a showdown next week, but this time, the nuclear summit will not be hosted by President Obama in Washington, but by the International Atomic Energy Agency at United Nations headquarters, and Iran's defiant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at left, is to be a featured speaker.

The event is the latest review conference of the global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They take place every five years, as mandated by the treaty, and this year, the stakes couldn't be higher...





Wall St. Protesters March Through Bank Buildings: (CBS/AP) Chanting Protesters Enter Buildings With Offices for JPMorgan Chase, Wachovia and Wells Fargo

Thousands of workers and union members angry over lost jobs and the taxpayer-funded bailout of banks are marching on Wall Street.

Thursday's rally was organized by the AFL-CIO and an association of community groups. The protesters included people hurt by the mortgage crisis and held up signs saying "Wall Street Overdrafted Our Economy" and "Reclaim America."

Noisy protesters with signs took over two bank building lobbies on Thursday in a prelude to a Wall Street rally by workers and union leaders angry over lost jobs, the taxpayer-funded bailout of financial institutions and questionable lending practices by big banks.

Hours before the scheduled rally, more than 100 people entered a midtown Manhattan building housing JPMorgan Chase offices. They handed a bank executive a letter requesting a meeting with the CEO, and chanted "Bust up! Big banks!" and "People power!"

...They then walked a few blocks up Park Avenue and crowded into the lobby of the Seagram Building, where Wells Fargo and the bank it merged with in 2008, Wachovia, have offices.

The protesters held up signs reading, "Save Our Jobs" and "Save Our Homes." One included a Great Depression-era photograph. Police arrived on horseback as curious office workers watched the scene unfold from their windows...





Man Claims 70 Years Without Food


Scientists are studying an 82-year-old hermit in Ahmedabad, India who claims to have survived without food or water for most of his life. The goal is to discover new human survival strategies.



Watch CBS News Videos Online





Police: Woman Bites Man After Being Called Fat: (CBS/AP) Nebraska Police Say Woman Tackles And Bites Man's Ear After Being Called Fat

Police say a 24-year-old man is missing a chunk of his right ear that was bitten off by a woman who didn't like being called "fat." Police spokeswoman Katie Flood said officers were called to a Lincoln hospital around 3:25 a.m. Wednesday to talk to the injured man.

He told them that he'd been bitten at a party.

Flood said officers later learned that the injured man and two others had been arguing with other people at the birthday party. Flood says the man told 21-year-old Anna Godfrey that she was fat.

Officers said Godfrey then tackled the man and took a bite.

Flood said the ear chunk was not found...





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Those Funny Mothers Day Quotes and Trivia

From Denny: Check out the sampling from one of many funny posts just in time to enjoy for Mothers Day! From the latest Mothers Day cartoons to funny facts about Mothers Day traditions around the world to funny quotes from mothers and about mothering to laugh out loud "how you know you are a mother when..."






Check this out on the way to facts about Mothers Day:

So when do they think the first celebrations of a Mother's Day were honored? As with so many traditions it goes back to ancient Greece where that culture celebrated the Mother of the Gods, Rhea. Their version of the perfect mother received gifts of cakes made with the sweetest honey, lovely flowers and drinks at dawn. Sounds pretty good to me. Make my drink a Margarita on the rocks with Silver Patron Tequila - though I'm not so sure alcoholic drinks were on that Mother's Day menu. :)

Well, we all know you can't talk "ancient" without bringing up the ancient Egyptians into the conversation. They honored the glorious goddess Isis because she was celebrated as the Mother of the Pharaohs - and we all know it's good PR to talk good about the government when getting your head cut off is at stake.

Speaking of an ancient culture, the Chinese are rather sentimental about how they celebrate motherhood. The tradition with them is that their family name often begins with the character for the word "mother." It's the way they like to honor their ancestral mothers who brought their line into this world.





You Know You Are Really A Mom When...

* You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your child's favorite toy and made them cry.

* You consider finger paint to be a controlled substance.

* You mastered the art of placing food on a plate without anything touching.

* Your child insists that you read "Once upon a Potty" out loud in the lobby of the doctor's office and you do it.





My Mother Taught Me...

To Value A Job Well Done: If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.

Time Travel: If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!

Logic: Because I said so, that's why.


*** Make sure to pay a visit to The Mother Post for the full post and all the funny links from several other Mothers Day posts to enjoy:

Funny Mothers Day Quotes and Trivia - Cheeky Quote Day 28 Apr 2010


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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Voters Moon American Politics Polls Say, Bush Years Bad Air Report Released, Throwing Eggs at Ukrainian Politicians - News Headlines 28 Apr 2010

Anti-Incumbent Mood Rising, Poll Finds (CBS/Washington Post) Washington Post: Dissatisfaction with Congressional Incumbents is Widespread as Midterm Elections Near

Members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Dissatisfaction is widespread, crossing party lines, ideologies and virtually all groups of voters. Less than a quarter of independents and just three in 10 Republicans say they're leaning toward backing an incumbent this fall. Even among Democrats, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, opinion is evenly divided on the question...

Still, for President Obama and his party, there are some positive signs in the poll. The public trusts Democrats more than Republicans to handle the major problems facing the country by a double-digit margin, giving Democrats a bigger lead than they held two months ago, when Congress was engaged in the long endgame over divisive health-care legislation. A majority continues to see Obama as "just about right" ideologically, despite repeated GOP efforts to define the president as outside the mainstream.

Those polled also say they trust Obama over Republicans in Congress to deal with the economy, health care and, by a large margin, financial regulatory reform. And the president continues to get positive marks on his overall job performance, with, for the first time since the fall, a majority of independents approving...

Nearly half say the president is not doing enough to help the middle class, a view that's held by a majority of those with annual household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000. At the start of the general election campaign in 2008, 66 percent expected Obama, if elected, to do the right amount for the middle class; now, 44 percent say he has it just right.





Living in Louisiana I'm acutely aware of these issues with over 4,000 oil rigs off our shores. Oyster beds, fish and shrimp are some of our main exports. It's pretty amazing that something this bad has not happened up until now. And this is exactly why I implored the President to reconsider drilling off shore elsewhere in America. Mangling the continental shelf off our Atlantic Coast is a really bad idea.

It only takes one mess like the current one to make us realize it's time to get serious about sinking more money into less harmful forms of energy than fossil fuels. Today, apparently, the White House finally slowed down its enthusiasm for drilling off shore. Let's all hope Obama now understands and accepts the enormity of this situation for future generations and the health of the planet.


Coast Guard to Set Fire to Gulf Oil Slick: (CBS/AP) Crews Unable to Stop Flow from Underwater Well Damaged in Rig Explosion, Leaving Massive Contamination


exploded drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, a last-ditch effort to get rid of it before it reaches environmentally sensitive marshlands on the coast.

A 500-foot boom will be used to corral several thousand gallons of the thickest oil on the surface, which will then be towed to a more remote area, set on fire, and allowed to burn for about an hour, the Coast Guard said. Such burns will continue throughout the day if they are working.

It was unclear what would be used to set the oil on fire and how far from shore it would burn. The slick was about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

About 42,000 gallons of oil a day are leaking into the Gulf from the blown-out well where the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank last week. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Greg Pollock, head of the oil spill division of the Texas General Land Office, which is providing equipment for crews in the Gulf, said he is not aware of a similar burn ever being done off the U.S. coast. The last time crews with his agency used fire booms to burn oil was a 1995 spill on the San Jacinto River.

"When you can get oil ignited, it is an absolutely effective way of getting rid of a huge percentage of the oil," he said. "I can't overstate how important it is to get the oil off the surface of the water."

He said the oil will likely be ignited using jelled gasoline and lit rags soaked in oil. What's left afterward is something he described as a kind of hardened tar ball that can be removed from the water with nets or skimmers.

"I would say there is little threat to the environment because it won't coat an animal, and because all the volatiles have been consumed if it gets on a shore it can be simply picked up," he said...

The decision to burn some of the oil comes as the Coast Guard and industry cleanup crews run out of other options to get rid of it.

Crews operating submersible robots have been trying without success to activate a shut-off device that would halt the flow of oil on the sea bottom 5,000 feet below.

Rig operator BP Plc. says work will begin as early as Thursday to drill a relief well to relieve pressure at the blowout site, but that could take months.

Another option is a dome-like device to cover oil rising to the surface and pump it to container vessels, but that will take two weeks to put in place, BP said...

The cost of disaster continues to rise and could easily top $1 billion...





Feds OK Nation's First Offshore Wind Farm: (CBS/AP) Interior Secretary Approves Controversial Cape Wind Project, Clearing Way for 130-Turbine Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound

The Obama administration has approved what would be the nation's first offshore wind farm, off Cape Cod, inching the U.S. closer to harvesting an untapped domestic energy source - the steady breezes blowing along its vast coasts...

Cape Wind says it can generate power by 2012 and aims to eventually supply three-quarters of the power on Cape Cod, which has about 225,000 residents. Cape Wind officials say it will provide green jobs and a reliable domestic energy source, while offshore wind advocates are hoping it can jump-start the U.S. industry.

America's onshore wind industry is the world's largest, but higher upfront costs, tougher technological challenges and environmental concerns have held back the development of offshore wind farms.

Denmark installed the world's first offshore wind turbine 20 years ago. China has built its first commercial wind farm off Shanghai and plans several other projects.

The U.S. Department of Energy envisions offshore wind farms accounting for 4 percent of the country's electric generating capacity by 2030.

Major U.S. proposals include a project in Texas state waters, but most are concentrated along the East Coast north of Maryland, including projects in Delaware and New Jersey...





Like this was any surprise. During the years specified in this report the air quality - or complete lack of it - was horrendous in my area of the country. Actually, since Bush is now out of office - and we actually have a real EPA enforcing the laws - Baton Rouge, Louisiana is only number 25 on the list of worst polluted ozone areas - and this report actually reflects the Bush years. Bush refused to fine the local chemical companies and oil refineries when they did burn-off at will.

Also, because of the economic downturn some local chemical plants are shut down and so our air is actually good enough to open the windows and air out the house this Spring. The past few years we kept the doors and windows closed all year round because of the stinging quality to the air for our eyes and lungs. People around here constantly go to their doctors for sinus infections and this part of the Gulf of Mexico is known as Cancer Alley.

The economic downturn and high gas prices have locals not driving as much which has also contributed to healthier air in my area. Let's see: no Bush, no Cheney, Obama pollution enforcement, fewer cars on the road all day, economic downturn = better air! :) See how your part of the country fared in this report.


Report: Most Americans Live in Unhealthy Air: (CBS/AP) Progress Made in Reducing Soot, Dust through Cleaner Diesel Engines, Controls on Coal-Fired Power Plants

A new report says more than half of Americans still live in areas with unhealthy air, despite progress in reducing smog.

The report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association is based on 2006-2008 figures. It says progress has been made in reducing particle pollution such as soot and dust, thanks to cleaner diesel engines and controls on coal-fired power plants.

The Los Angeles area continued to have the nation's worst ozone pollution...


Most Polluted Cities by Ozone

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach (Calif.)-Riverside (Calif.)
2. Bakersfield, Calif.
3. Visalia (Calif.)-Porterville (Calif.)
4. Fresno (Calif.)-Madera (Calif.)
5. Sacramento (Calif.)-Arden-Arcade (Calif.)-Yuba City (Nev.)
6. Hanford (Calif.)-Corcoran (Calif.)
7. Houston-Baytown (Texas)-Huntsville (Texas)
8. San Diego-Carlsbad (Calif.)-San Marcos (Calif.)
9. San Luis Obispo (Calif.)-Paso Robles (Calif.)
10. Charlotte (N.C.)-Gastonia (N.C.)-Salisbury (S.C.)
11. Phoenix-Mesa (Ariz.)-Scottsdale (Ariz.)
12. Merced, Calif.
13. Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas)
14. Knoxville (Tenn.)-Sevierville (Tenn.)-La Follette (Tenn.)
15. El Centro, Calif.
T16. New York-Newark (N.J.)-Bridgeport (Conn.)
T16. Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia
18. Cincinnati-Middletown (Ky.)-Wilmington (Ind.)
T19. Atlanta-Sandy Springs (Ga.)-Gainesville (Ala.)
T19. Birmingham (Ala.)-Hoover (Ala.)-Cullman (Ala.)
21. Las Vegas-Paradise (Nev.)-Pahrump (Nev.)
T22. Modesto, Calif.
T22. Philadelphia-Camden (N.J.)-Vineland (N.J.)
24. Chico, Calif.
25. Baton Rouge (La.)-Pierre Part (La.)


Worst Cities by Year-Round Particle Pollution

1. Phoenix-Mesa (Ariz.)-Scottsdale (Ariz.)
2. Bakersfield, Calif.
T3. Los Angeles-Long Beach (Calif.)-Riverside (Calif.)
T3. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
5. Pittsburgh-New Castle (Pa.)
6. Fresno-Madera, Calif.
7. Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala.
8. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.
T9. Cincinnati-Middletown (Ky.)-Wilmington (Ind.)
T9. St. Louis-St. Charles (Mo.)-Farmington (Ill.)
T11. Charleston, W.Va.
T11. Detroit-Warren (Mich.)-Flint (Mich.)
T11. Weirton (W.Va.)-Steubenville (Ohio)
T14. Louisville (Ky.)-Jefferson County (Ky.)-Elizabethtown (Ky.)-Scottsburg (Ind.)
T14. Modesto, Calif.
T16. Atlanta-Sandy Springs (Ga.)-Gainesville (Ala.)
T16. Houston-Baytown (Texas)-Huntsville (Texas)
T16. Huntington (Ohio)-Ashland (Ohio)
T19. Cleveland-Akron (Ohio)-Elyria (Ohio)
T19. Macon (Ga.)-Warner Robins (Ga.)-Fort Valley (Ga.)
T21. Hagerstown (Md.)-Martinsburg (W.Va.)
T21. Knoxville (Tenn.)-Sevierville (Tenn.)-La Follette (Tenn.)
23. Augusta (Ga.)-Richmond County (S.C.)
24. Indianapolis-Anderson (Ind.)-Columbus (Ind.)
T25. Parkersburg (W.Va.)-Marietta (Ohio)
T25. York (Pa.)-Hanover (Pa.)-Gettysburg (Pa.)


Worst Cities by Short-Term Particle Pollution

1. Bakersfield, Calif.
2. Fresno (Calif.)-Madera (Calif.)
3. Pittsburgh-New Castle (Pa.)
4. Los Angeles-Long Beach (Calif.)-Riverside (Calif.)
5. Birmingham (Ala.)-Hoover (Ala.)-Cullman (Ala.)
6. Sacramento (Calif.)-Arden-Arcade (Calif.)-Yuba City (Nev.)
7. Salt Lake City-Ogden (Utah)-Clearfield (Utah)
8. Visalia (Calif.)-Porterville (Calif.)
9. Modesto, Calif.
10. Hanford (Calif.)-Corcoran (Calif.)
11. Merced, Calif.
12. Philadelphia-Camden (N.J.)-Vineland (N.J.)
13. Provo (Utah)-Orem (Utah)
14. Phoenix-Mesa (Ariz.)-Scottsdale (Ariz.)
15. Stockton, Calif.
16. Chicago-Naperville (Ill.)-Michigan City (Ind.)
17. San Diego-Carlsbad (Calif.)-San Marcos (Calif.)
T18. Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia
T18. New York-Newark (N.J.)-Bridgeport (Conn.)
T18. Logan, Utah
21. Eugene (Ore.)-Springfield (Ore.)
22. Harrisburg (Pa.)-Carlisle (Pa.)-Lebanon (Pa.)
T23. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland (Calif.)
T23. Indianapolis-Anderson (Ind.)-Columbus (Ind.)
T23. Allentown (Pa.)-Bethlehem (Pa.)-Easton (Pa.)





And here I thought American politics were overheated and often stupid. Among the Taiwanese, British and Ukrainian politics I'd say there were some definite runners up for the title of sleaze! :) I find it interesting that an aide already had an umbrella handy to fend off flying rotten eggs. Maybe it's a tradition in the Ukraine to throw eggs when they are angry?

Sadly, the nationalists may just have good reason to be that furious with their government. What happened in the Ukraine today would be the American equivalent of President Washington allowing King George of Britain unfettered access to our American shores for another 25 years. Now we all know how well that would not go over with the American public.


Chaos in Ukraine Parliament Over Russia Ties: (CBS/AP) Protesters Throw Eggs, Set Off Smoke Bombs Over Parliament's Decision To Renew Russia's Lease On Navy Base


As protesters threw eggs and set off smoke bombs, Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday extended the Russian Black Sea Fleet's lease at a Crimean port for another 25 years. Russia's parliament ratified the deal in a more sedate session.

The egg artillery barrage ended when the attackers ran out of ammunition, at which point they moved in for hand to hand combat...

The agreement, reached last week by the two country's presidents in a clear sign of Russia's renewed influence in Ukraine, extends the fleet's lease by 25 years after the old lease expires in 2017.

Former President Viktor Yushchenko adamantly tried to move Ukraine out of Moscow's shadow and closer to Western Europe during his five years in office. But his successor, Viktor Yanukovych, who took office in February, is more favorably inclined toward the Kremlin.

The extension outraged Ukrainian nationalists who regard the fleet's presence as tantamount to Russian occupation.

"This is a permanent threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity because the Black Sea Fleet is the outpost of the Russian state in Ukraine, which is conducting anti-Ukrainian policies and financing anti-Ukrainian projects. In general, this is the work of (Russian) special services on Ukrainian territory," said Igor Derevyanko, one of several thousand demonstrators who gathered outside the parliament.

The voting session was unruly even by the Ukrainian parliament's notoriously freewheeling standards.

Opponents of the measure threw eggs at parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn as he opened the session and he spent much of the rest of it shielded by an umbrella held by an aide...



Watch CBS News Videos Online





Frosty Asteroid May Give Clues About Earth's Oceans: (NPR)

Out in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, at least one giant space rock seems to be covered in a fine layer of frost.

The finding, by two separate teams using an infrared telescope in Hawaii, marks the first time that frozen water has been found on an asteroid. Scientists believe that early in Earth's history, impacts from water-bearing asteroids and comets may have created our planet's oceans.

But until now, no one has actually detected water ice on an asteroid. "This is probably the most convincing case to date," says Henry Hsieh, an expert on comets and asteroids at Queen's University in Belfast, who wrote a commentary on two reports in the journal Nature that describe the new discovery...

Campins says this surface ice must be constantly refreshed, but it's not clear where the new ice might come from. "You could have a subsurface layer, or a buried ice layer, in this asteroid that would have survived the age of the solar system," Campins says.

Unlike the planets, asteroids are thought to have existed mostly unchanged for billions of years. So scientists say the ice on this asteroid could show what kind of ice might have hit our own planet early in its history.

"The ice that we see there, right now, is sort of related to the ice that could have come from the main asteroid belt that hit us about 4 billion years ago," says Hsieh. "It gives us a way to kind of probe the cousins of the asteroids that hit us and probably gave us water in the early stages of the Earth's formation."

The two research teams also detected organic compounds along with the ice. So early asteroid impacts might have delivered more than one building block for life, says Campins...




And here's the quirky story of the day. You may want to click on the link to listen to the delightful bit of historical trivia.


Heartsick? An Estonian Pharmacy May Have A Cure: (NPR) by David Greene


... a major attraction in the town's cobblestone square — the Raeapteek, or Town Hall Pharmacy.

My guide, local historian Juri Kuuskemaa, told me the place opened in 1422 and may well be Europe's longest continuously operating pharmacy. Legend has it that in the 18th century, a former owner, Dr. Johann Burchart V, nearly saved a Russian czar.

"When Peter the Great, Russian emperor, was dying and nobody could help him, he called Johann V," Kuuskemaa said.

But things didn't work out. The czar died before Burchart arrived.

The pharmacy is also legendary for its herbs, wine and medicines — and its love drugs.

"You can go to pharmacy and buy special materials, so-called aphrodisiacom, and when you give to her or her, it is fate. Both could do nothing against it. And lady would love you to the end of their lives," Kuuskemaa explained.

But that's not all. "When you have two or three wives, for example, and you see one is happy but two are unhappy, you can buy here special materials to give to these two unhappies and they forget you, and they could find happiness with another man, not with you," Kuuskemaa said. "So it stops the love. It is an anti-aphrodisiacom, yeah. So love could be regulated with drugs."

On display inside, readily available, was the pharmacy's famous anti-aphrodisiac. Each individually wrapped piece of candy is packed with the secret ingredient: almond powder. People struck by love use it to cure themselves.

"How long we have sold it? ... I think 500 years," said pharmacist Ulle Noodapera...





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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Goldman Sh--ty Deal Testifies Loud and Clear, Drug Company Pays $500 Billion Fine, How to Detect Liars - News Headlines 27 Apr 2010

From Denny: The Senate hearing today with Goldman Sachs squirming in front of grilling Senators sure was entertainment TV at its best: a rockin' reality show! The real question remains that is this only to remain a fond memory of great dramatic theater or will the Congress actually get serious about taking these financial scumbags to task and put them in prison?


Sen. Levin Calls Goldman Sachs Allegations 'Deeply Troubling' (ABC) Senator Demands to Know Why Goldman Sachs Pushed 'Sh**ty Deal' on Clients

In a testy exchange at today's Senate grilling of Goldman Sachs executives, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., confronted a former Goldman trader with an e-mail in which another former Goldman executive described a mortgage-backed deal as "sh**ty."

The transaction in question was Timberwolf Ltd., a $1 billion collateralized debt obligation holding pieces of other CDOs. In an e-mail to Daniel Sparks, then head of Goldman's mortgage desk, Thomas Montag, Goldman's former head of sales and trading, called a set of mortgage-linked investments sold by the firm as "one shi**y deal," according to an e-mail that Sen. Levin quoted. Within five months, Timberwolf lost 80 percent of its value.

"Do you think it was a sh**ty deal?" Levin asked Sparks, one of seven Goldman executives appearing today. Sparks said he did not recall the e-mail, and did not directly answer the question.

"If you can't give a clear answer to that one Mr. Sparks then we're not going to get any clear answers from you today," Levin said.

In his opening remarks, Levin called the allegations against the Wall Street firm "deeply troubling."

"The evidence shows that Goldman repeatedly put its own interests and profits ahead of the interests of its clients and our communities," Levin said. "Its misuse of exotic and complex financial structures helped spread toxic mortgages throughout the financial system. And when the system finally collapsed under the weight of those toxic mortgages, Goldman profited from the collapse."



Watch CBS News Videos Online




It sure is amazing how the GOP thinks this idiot strategy will work FOR them in the November elections when poll after poll keeps reminding them the public and former Republicans have pulled away from them in favor of the Democrats. Now if the Democrats can just not step on their tongues, keep their spines strong and straight, get serious about all kinds of reform - then they might actually get to stay in office and run the country for a few decades before they get lazy again, forget to take care of the middle class and get thrown out in favor of lobbyist puppets Republicans. Yeah, that's choice in American politics...


Stance Against Financial Bill Risky For GOP (NPR)

Republican senators are offering a united front to block a Democratic bill that would revamp the rules for Wall Street. But the GOP's hard stand against the bill is not without political peril, party strategists warn -- and it has the potential to hurt the party with voters this fall.

"I think most people believe that Wall Street got away with something," says Reed Galen, a Republican consultant who was deputy campaign manager for Sen. John McCain's presidential bid.

Republicans blocked the financial overhaul bill from moving to the Senate floor for debate. The vote was 57-41, three short of the 60 needed for Democrats to advance their measure. A third test vote is expected on Wednesday.

On Monday night, all 41 Senate Republicans -- plus one Democrat -- blocked the bill . But no matter what they think about the details of the bill, Republicans have to be careful of appearing to be the party of the "wealthy, detached elite," Galen says.

The GOP also should be wary of playing into the hands of Democrats, who are privately pleased that they have been handed much-needed fodder -- and a simple message -- for the fall midterm elections. Republicans expect to make significant
gains on Capitol Hill...





Yes, Mr. Vice President, this IS a "Big F--king Deal!" :)


Biden 'Absolutely Confident' On Economic Recovery (NPR)

Vice President Joe Biden is bullish on the Obama administration's efforts to mend the U.S. economy after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

"I'm absolutely confident that the policies that we put in place are sending the economy and the American public in the right direction," Biden told NPR's Robert Siegel on Tuesday.

Last week, Biden told a political fundraiser in Pittsburgh that the economy would create 100,000 to 200,000 jobs a month, adding that there will be some months in which as many as 250,000 to 500,000 jobs would be created. The comments prompted White House spokesman Robert Gibbs to quip: "He's an optimistic man, and that's why we like him."

Biden acknowledged Tuesday that those predictions were "a long way [from erasing] an 8-million-job deficit."

"What has to happen is there has to be continued forward progress," Biden said. "There's going to be ebbs and flows ... but it has to constantly be moving in the direction of job creation..."





And yet another huge Scumbag Alert...


AstraZeneca Paying $520 Million To Settle Seroquel Charges (NPR)


AstraZeneca became the latest drug giant to pay up for marketing an anti-psychotic medicine for uses the Food and Drug Administration had not approved.

Federal officials announced a $520 million settlement of civil charges stemming from the drug maker's promotion of Seroquel, an antipsychotic with sales of $4.9 billion worldwide last year.

AstraZeneca pushed doctors to write Seroquel prescriptions for a host of unapproved uses, including anger management, post-traumatic stress disorder and sleeplessness, the settlement alleges. The drug was improperly promoted for use in children and also the elderly.

In addition, the government claims the company curried doctors' favor with money. "AstraZeneca paid kickback to doctors as part of an illegal scheme to market the drug for unapproved uses," Health And Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a news conference about the settlement.





I like the way Wall Street says this is no big deal because they were expecting it. Yeah, I guess not when they are making billions every quarter off the derivatives market to this day going unregulated! No wonder they are not sweating the small stuff.


Stocks Plunge on Europe's Deepening Debt Woes (CBS/AP) Dow Jones Plummets 213 Points as Debt Problems in Greece and Portugal Threaten Global Economy

Investors are once again worried that debt problems in Greece and Portugal could threaten the global economic recovery.

Stocks plunged in the U.S. and Europe Tuesday after Standard & Poor's downgraded the debt of the two European countries. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 213 points, its worst loss in almost three months. All the major market indexes were down about 2 percent.

The ratings downgrades also sent the dollar up more than 1.1 percent against the euro, hitting its highest level in about a year. At the same time, gold and Treasury prices also rose as investors sought safer investments. The three often do not trade in the same direction.

"It was a knee-jerk reaction," said Brian Peardon, a wealth adviser at Harrison Financial Group in Citrus Heights, Calif. Peardon said the small size of Greece and Portugal's economies mean their debt struggles are not yet a major problem. But if they were to default on their debt, other countries that hold their bonds would also suffer...





Hmmm... if you want to learn how to spot a liar just hike on over to Liars News aka Fox News. Just watch their lips move and you will automatically know on the spot that they are lying about everything - even what they had for breakfast. Yes, it's that bad over there. Definitely Liars News has only two kinds of audience draw: weak minds that believe lies easily and those who enjoy mocking them. Yep, that about sums it up!


Dr. Phil: How to Sniff Out a Liar in Your Midst (CBS) Famed Talk Show Host Tells of Common Indicators that Someone is Lying to You

Can you spot a cheater?

Dr. Phil can.

Famed talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, better known simply as Dr. Phil, appeared on "The Early Show" Tuesday to tell you how you know someone's lying...



Watch CBS News Videos Online





And for the laughing bizarre story of the day...


Police Say Man Wrapped In Toilet Paper Robs Store (CBS) Nebraska Police Say Man Who Concealed His Face With Toilet Paper Robbed A Convenience Store


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A man who concealed his face by wrapping his head with toilet paper robbed a Lincoln convenience store. Police said the man was armed with a knife when he robbed the store around 10:30 on Saturday night. He escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of money from the safe.

Capt. David Beggs said Sunday that no one was injured.


And that's all she wrote...




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Monday, April 26, 2010

Roundup of Late Nite Funnies: Colbert Lampoons Arizona Immigration Law

From Denny: Here's a fun sampling of the laugh out loud funnies going on over at The Social Poets on Mondays where I round up the late night jokes, political cartoons and funny videos lampooning something, someone and somewhere. It's a great way to get through the work week with a silly grin on your face. Maybe your boss will actually think you are enjoying your lame job - or looking at eight hours of porn on company time just like the weirdos over at the SEC. "Our government at work..." :)


David Letterman's Top Ten Goldman Sachs Excuses


10. Huh?
9. You're saying 'fraud' like it's a bad thing
8. Planned on using money to buy everyone in America delicious KFC Double Down sandwich
7. Distraught over George Lopez's move to midnight
6. We were framed by evil menswear company Goldman Slacks
5. Since when are financial institutions not allowed to screw their customers?
4. Hey sport, how much to make these questions go away?
3. America needed a villain both Republicans and Democrats can hate
2. Everyone we ripped off got an 'I Got Cheated By Goldman Sachs' tote bag
1. Uhh, it's Obama's fault?



*** Colbert pokes jabs at the state of Arizona for passing controversial bold new immigration bill which basically legalizes the harassment of Latinos. Colbert thinks the new strategy is one to irritate and frustrate the Latino community to the point they will get fed up and leave on their own.



The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - No Problemo
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News




*** For the full post full of late night jokes from all the guys, please visit:

Colbert Lampoons Immigration and Pot Smokers - Roundup of Late Nite Comedy 26 Apr 2010


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Scumbag Walmart Lawsuit Caught, Scumbag Goldman Sachs Email Guilty, Scumbag GOP Denies Scumbag Reform - News Headlines 26 Apr 2010

From Denny: Walmart has been successful at avoiding the inevitable for nine years. Now they are whining at getting caught for their deceiving lying ways - all the while claiming to be the pillar of the Christian community. Hyena hypocrite is more like it.

I quit purchasing from them years ago when I found out they were refusing to hire full time employees AND coaching them to get on state welfare in order to avoid paying for health insurance.

"Scumbags" is the kindest name I can think of for this company as it sucks the life out of the working poor, most notably desperate single mothers and women in general. Maybe we will get lucky and this lawsuit will finally break their monopoly in so many communities where they have run small businesses into bankruptcy and ruin.


Appeals Court Rules Walmart Sex Discrimination Case Can Go to Trial: (ABC) Walmart Fears Suit Could Cost The Chain Billions

A class action lawsuit representing more than 1 million women got the green light to proceed today against Walmart Stores Inc.

giant chain store discriminates against female employes, could cost it billions of dollars if it is upheld. The reputation of an iconic company is also on the line.

It is the largest class action suit in American history, and Walmart indicated today it may take the fight to the Supreme Court.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the case against one of the country's largest private employers could go to trial, nine years after the suit was originally filed in 2001.

The suit, filed on behalf of six women who worked in 13 of Walmart's stores, alleges that the women employed by the company face systemic sexism -- that they're paid less than men in comparable positions, receive fewer promotions and wait longer for promotions -- according to the court documents released today...





Speaking of scumbags, these guys over on Wall Street take the prize for the cardinal sin of greed bringing personal moral decay and corruption...


Senate Panel Says Goldman Sachs 'Misled the Country,' Helped Create Housing Bubble: (ABC) Sen. Carl Levin: Goldman Sachs Helped Inject 'Toxins' Into Financial System

Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs helped create a housing bubble by selling securities backed by risky subprime mortgage loans and then profited off that bubble's bursting by secretly betting against the market, a Senate investigation has found.

A day before a high-profile hearing featuring numerous Goldman Sachs officials, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a flurry of excerpts from internal bank documents that the panel says show that the embattled firm misled the American public about its role in the build-up to the financial crisis in September 2008.

"The evidence shows that Goldman Sachs helped build and operate that conveyor belt that fed toxic mortgages and mortgage securities into the financial system and then made large bets against the market that it helped create -- taking the big short, and reaping the profits from it," the panel's chairman Sen. Carl Levin said at a briefing today...









Like this was any surprise from the Republicans who are the puppet politicians of the lobbyists... And Obama keeps trying to work with these people: "Why?" It's amazing how the Republicans speak out of both sides of their mouths. One minute it's "balance the budget and financial accountability and fiscal responsibility" and the next minute it's "Let the greedy business man whores have their way with American taxpayers' wallets."


Republicans Hand Senate Financial Reform Bill Early Defeat: (ABC) Obama 'Deeply Disappointed,' That GOP Blocked Vote to Debate Financial Reform Bill

Senate Republicans blocked a key vote today that would have sent the financial reform bill to the full Senate for debate.

The most extensive new Wall Street regulation since the Great Depression is aimed at preventing another financial crisis, but failed an initial procedural vote, 57-41, three short of the 60 needed to bring the bill to the floor.

Democrats accused Republicans of siding with Wall Street banks.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compared the vote with deciding "whether party unity is more important than economic security."

President Obama said he was "deeply disappointed' in the vote...





It's good to see the majority of the public have their heads screwed on straight and are demanding financial reform in America...


ABC News Poll: Two-Thirds Back Financial Reform; The Question: How Far to Go (ABC) Trust in Obama to Handle Financial Reform a Possible Caution Flag for GOP in Election Year


Two-thirds of Americans support stricter federal regulation of banks and other financial institutions, and by a double-digit margin the public trusts President Obama more than the Republicans in Congress to handle financial reform, which could be a caution flag for the GOP in an election year.

The public supports reform overall by 65-31 percent, a broad margin that's been steady since midwinter, and trusts Obama more than the Republicans to handle financial reform by 52-35 percent, a 17-point advantage for the president in this new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Click here for a PDF with charts and questionnaire.





Here's a strange yet compelling story about not sleeping well...


Fatal Insomnia: When Sleeplessness Kills: (ABC) Rare Genetic Disease Prods Scientists to Explore Mysteries of Sleep

Most people can relate to the occasional sleepless night, but for sufferers of a rare form of insomnia, sleeplessness can be fatal.

Silvano, an Italian man who suffered from such a condition, lost the ability to sleep at age 53. Four months after checking into a sleep clinic in Bologna, Italy, in 1984, Silvano went into a coma and died. Through Silvano's case, Italian scientists discovered an extremely rare genetic disease called fatal familial insomnia, or FFI.

FFI sufferers fall into a state in which they are neither fully asleep nor awake. The inability to sleep wreaks havoc on their lives. Sleeplessness deteriorates into exhaustion, dementia and, ultimately, death. There is no cure.

For scientists, why a lack of sleep could kill you is still an unsolved mystery.

"Sleep is the most extraordinary mystery, the most elusive biological function that we have," said Daniel Max, author of "The Family That Couldn't Sleep," who has chronicled Silvano's story and family lineage. "We know very little about how we sleep. But we know even less about why we sleep..."





And here's a negative mindset or maybe a prophetic announcement for our distant future when we may finally encounter aliens for real on planet Earth... Of course, Hawking is basing his assumption guess on the fact aliens think and behave as humans. How likely is that? Either way, Hawking is always good for an interesting read.


Stephen Hawking: Alien Contact Could Be Risky: (ABC) In Discovery Documentary, British Astrophysicist Warns Alien Life Could be Hostile

Alien encounters may seem like sure-fire winners to Hollywood, but one of the world's most famous scientists thinks they may be "too risky" be be worth seeking.

The world-famous astrophysicist theorizes that alien life will not be friendly.

In a new Discovery Channel documentary, which premiered Sunday night, British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said that communicating with aliens could be a threat to Earth.

Hawking said it is likely that alien life exists, but a visit from extraterrestrials might be similar to Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas.

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," he said. "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."

In the new program, "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking," he speculated that aliens' capabilities "would be only limited by how much power they could harness and control, and that could be far more than we might first imagine."

He said it might even be possible for aliens to harvest the energy from an entire star.

"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach," Hawking said...








And for a funny... Check out one of the videos


*** Colbert Lampoons Immigration and Pot Smokers - Roundup of Late Nite Comedy 26 Apr 2010


*** Colbert pokes jabs at the state of Arizona for passing controversial bold new immigration bill which basically legalizes the harassment of Latinos. Colbert thinks the new strategy is one to irritate and frustrate the Latino community to the point they will get fed up and leave on their own.


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - No Problemo
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News



*** For the full post full of laughs to get you through the work week until blissful Friday:

Colbert Lampoons Immigration and Pot Smokers - Roundup of Late Nite Comedy 26 Apr 2010












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