Thursday, April 30, 2009

'Visor' Guards Vagina

From Flash News:
Men aren’t the only ones who need a protective cup to guard their crotch.
Three Washington women have invented a plastic, V-shaped device called the “Va J-J Visor” to keep a woman’s private parts secure.

Co-inventor Wendy Young says without protection, a woman can hurt herself when she shaves her bikini line or gets a tattoo on her inner thigh.

The Va J-J Visor can also provide protection while a woman is lying on a tanning bed or trying on swimsuits.

Young says she and her partners had a tough time coming up with a name that women would embrace and they considered calling the invention “The Clam Shell,” “The Beaver Dam” and the “The Hoo Ha Hoodie.”

That’s when they figured that if Oprah was comfortable with the word “Va J-J” lots of women would feel the same way.

Sex On Queen's Lawn

From Ben Leach at Britain's Telegraph:
A couple were arrested after being caught having sexual intercourse on the Queen's lawn outside Windsor Castle.

The pair, in their early thirties, stripped on a private grass bank at the castle, where Her Majesty was in residence.
They were watched by crowds of tourists beneath the castle's Garter Tower, in full view of hotels, pubs and shops over the road.
Several Japanese tourists filmed the couple for up to twenty minutes before they were arrested by armed Royal Protection Squad officers.
The couple, who were described by police as "respectable people with respectable jobs", were said to be "mortified" by their actions.
A police source said they were put in cells overnight to sober up before being cautioned for outraging public decency.
Witness Mark Robinson, 44, told The Sun: "One window from the guardroom opened up and when a soldier saw what was going on he told his mates – and lots of windows opened. "
The couple did not care who was looking and just kept going as if they were in their own bedroom. "They even ignored the Please Keep Off The Grass signs. "
A few soldiers were geeing them on from above and plenty of young people did the same from the roadside. There were camera flashes going off and people videoing."
The couple reportedly stopped after being confronted by two protection squad officers arrived in an unmarked Range Rover, accompanied by a police car.
A Windsor Castle source said: "The Queen was in residence at the time, but her private apartments are at the other end so she would have been blissfully unaware of it."

NJ Beaches: No Fed $$$

From Jessica Coomes in the Glucester County (NJ) Times:
The Obama administration will not distribute economic stimulus funds to shore communities for beach replenishment projects.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd Dist., who represents South Jersey's coast, said he is disappointed in the government's decision and argued that maintaining sandy beaches is crucial to his district's economic survival.
"If you don't have beaches, you don't have tourists, and if you don't have tourists, you don't have small businesses," LoBiondo said. . . .
The federal decision comes on the heels of the release of New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine's budget proposal, which would slash state spending on beach replenishment by 25 percent.
"It's a double whammy. It should be funded both federally and in the state," said state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat who represents Cape May and Cumberland counties and part of Atlantic County. "It's about the tourism industry, which in the state of New Jersey is the third-largest industry." . . .
"We are counting on continued beach replenishment," said Joe Kelly, president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber. "This is something that should not go away. It is an economic issue to us. ... When you talk beach replenishment, you're talking an economic driver. ... Beaches are the cornerstone of travel and tourism in our marketplace."

Arlen's Past Now Haunts

From Clout at the Philadelphia Daily News:
Sure Sen. Arlen Specter wants to join the Democrats now, but will his last campaign come back to haunt him? Check out this ad from 2004 which features former President George W. Bush and former Sen. Rick Santorum

Dems Don't Want Specter

From Alexander Bolton at The Hill:
Senior Senate Democrats are objecting to the deal Majority Leader Harry Reid made with Sen. Arlen Specter, saying they will vote against letting the former Republican shoot to the top of powerful committees after he switches parties.

Several Democrats are furious with Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) for agreeing to let Specter (Pa.) keep his seniority, accrued over more than 28 years as a GOP senator. That agreement would allow Specter to leap past senior Democrats on powerful panels — including the Appropriations and Judiciary committees.
“I won’t be happy if I don’t get to chair something because of Arlen Specter,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who sits on the Appropriations Committee with Specter and is fifth in seniority among Democrats, behind Chairman Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) and Sens. Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Tom Harkin (Iowa). “I’m happy with the Democratic order, but I don’t want to be displaced because of Arlen Specter,” she said.
Specter’s first full day in Washington after turning the Capitol upside down with his decision to switch parties suggested a lonely future awaits in the upper chamber.
While he received a formal welcome Wednesday to the Democratic Party at the White House from President Obama and Vice President Biden, senior Senate Democrats exchanged phone calls to voice their objections to Reid’s gambit and one lawmaker said Specter should be happy with a committee seat at the “end of the dais.” Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and two other members of the Senate Republican leadership asked Specter to refund campaign donations.
One senior Democratic lawmaker told The Hill that the Democratic Conference will vote against giving the longtime Pennsylvania Republican seniority over lawmakers like Harkin, Mikulski and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) when they hold their organizational meeting after the 2010 election.
Under his deal with Reid, Specter would jump ahead of all but a few Democrats when it comes time to dole out committee chairmanships and assignments.
“That’s his deal and not the caucus’s,” the senior lawmaker said of Reid’s agreement with Specter.
The lawmaker requested anonymity because the issue of Specter’s seniority is “a sensitive subject.” The lawmaker said it would be OK if Specter joined his panel as long as he “sat at the end of the dais” with junior members.
Since Reid and Specter announced their deal, Senate insiders have speculated that Specter could bump Harkin after the election from his chairmanship of the powerful Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services subcommittee or return to be chairman of Judiciary if the current chairman, Leahy, takes over the gavel at Appropriations. Specter was chairman of Judiciary in the 109th Congress when Republicans controlled the chamber, and ushered through the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
But the senior Democratic lawmaker disputed these scenarios: “That can’t happen. Seniority is decided by the caucus.”

Obama To Relinquish Post

Michael Adler (via Andy Borowitz) sends us this report:
In a move that stunned both political allies and foes alike, President Barack Obama resigned today after serving 100 days in office, telling the White House press corps, "It's all downhill from here."
The reporters seemed stunned by the President's decision in light of the fawning media coverage he received during his first 100 days, but the hyperbolic nature of that reportage, ironically, may have been the prime motivator behind Mr. Obama's shocking move.
"Let's face it, I'm not going to get better coverage than I have to date," he said. "The only guy with a higher approval rating is that dude who landed the plane on the Hudson - or maybe that other dude who escaped from those pirates."
Mr. Obama may have a point, as current polls show that the only Americans with higher approval ratings are members of his immediate family.
According to the latest University of Minnesota/Opinion Research Institute survey, Mr. Obama's 67% approval rating is topped by First Lady Michelle Obama at 84%, with daughters Sasha and Malia and dog Bo tied at 98%.
Even the President's little-known half-brother George Obama, who resides in Nairobi, Kenya, garnered a 73% thumbs-up in the poll.
As the press corps reeled from the news of Mr. Obama's resignation, one White House source suggested that the First Lady may have been behind the decision: "Around Day 95 or so, Michelle was running out of wardrobe changes."
At the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts said that he stood ready to swear in the nation's new chief executive, whom he called "President Biden R. Joseph."
Mr. Biden is scheduled to deliver his Inaugural address on Friday at noon and wrap it up
sometime late Sunday.

Oughta Be In Pictures

This little boy grew up to become one of Hollywood's biggest modern day stars -- not just a photogenic heartthrob (and leader of his own posse) but the epitome of fine acting and sleek, good looks.
Study his features closely.
Is it: Matthew McConaughey, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt?
For the answer, from People magazine, click here.

GOP, USA Center-Right

From Jim Angle at Fox News:
Sen. Arlen Specter, in leaving the party that gave birth to his political rise and supported his career in the Senate for five terms, fired a parting shot at the GOP on Tuesday that infuriated Republicans.
"As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right, I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party," he said at a news conference.
But Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele noted that Specter had no problem seeking help from conservatives Rick Santorum and George W. Bush in his last re-election bid.
"Is this the same Republican Party, the same rightward-tilting Republican Party that saved his hide in 2004?" Steele said. "To whom he went running and pleading for support because he couldn't make it through a Republican primary?"
Other voices on the right also objected to Specter's characterization of the party.
"I don't think there's evidence that the Republican Party has shifted heavily to the right," said GOP analyst Michael Barone.
GOP pollster Whit Ayers said, "It's hard to identify a lot of issues on which the GOP of today is actually more conservative than it was in 2000, 2002 or 2004, when it won national elections."
And while economic issues dominate today's political debates, some Republicans don't even see a rightward shift on social issues.
"I don't really see any evidence that Republicans are for example coming forward and emphasizing conservative positions on cultural issues," Barone said.
Ayres has launched a Web site,, in an effort to revive the GOP. And he argues its current problems are the result not of an ideological shift but a response to controversies.
"In 2006, independents voted for Democrats rather than Republicans largely out of frustration with Iraq," Ayres said.
And some note that John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee last year, was hardly a die-hard conservative ideologue.
Ayres says the country as a whole is center-right and that the GOP actually has the support of a broad segment of voters.
"The public would rather have smaller government and lower taxes than larger government and higher taxes," Ayres said. "The public is also center-right on national security issues."
His polls even show a majority of Americans think Guantanamo Bay helped make America safer, while many Democrats argue it undermined our values. So the center of gravity in the GOP, he argues, is much closer to the majority of the country than Democratic party ideas are.

Barbara's Abundant Riches

Bushes with kids.JPG
Barbara and George H.W. Bush were surrounded by 13 younger members of their extended family at the Celebration of Reading.

From Shelby Hodge of the Houston Chronicle:

Those close to former first lady Barbara Bush say that the formidable matriarch never sheds tears -- at least not that anyone has seen. She leaves the emotional stuff up to former President George H.W. Bush, known (and even admired) for his three-hanky moments. That all changed last week.
It was the 15th annual Celebration of Reading, held at Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The evening honored her literacy efforts that began in earnest 20 years ago with formation of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
The whopping surprise that cracked the Silver Fox's tough facade came at the end of the fundraiser ($1.85 million) when 13 grandchildren from her extended family appeared on stage to give tribute to her literacy efforts. "Ganny" lost it in the most gentrified way -- tears quietly streaming down her cheeks. Friends and family were astonished.
It was, she told pals later, one of the happiest moments of her life. And certainly the best Celebration of Reading ever.

Barbara Bush deserves every happiness life has to offer. She is a grand lady who has given so much to family, faith and country.
Love lies at the core of her abundant riches: Her love of life, of people, of good causes and, above all, her love of family.
Justly, that love now comes back to her.
She is rich, indeed - rich in a way that knows no price tag. That is what true riches is all about.

Obama's Hyperbolic Claims

From Calvin Woodward at the Associated Press:

"That wasn't me," President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One.

It actually was him - and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years - who shaped a budget so out of balance.

And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

Obama met citizens at an Arnold, Mo., high school Wednesday in advance of his prime-time news conference. Both forums were a platform to review his progress at the 100-day mark and look ahead.

(AP) President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting at Fox Senior High School in Arnold, Mo.,...
Full Image
At various times, he brought an air of certainty to ambitions that are far from cast in stone.

His assertion that his proposed budget "will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" is an eyeball-roller among many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits and economic calamity that the government is negotiating.

He promised vast savings from increased spending on preventive health care in the face of doubts that such an effort, however laudable it might be for public welfare, can pay for itself, let alone yield huge savings.

Michelle Chosen 'Most Beautiful'

People magazine has chosen First Lady Michelle Obama as one of the most beautiful people of 2009 in its current "Beautiful People" issue.
Above is the photo that ran in the magazine to announce the First Lady's selection.
Others chosen: Chiara, Christina Auguilera, Taylor Momson, Kristen Wiig, Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, Melissa Rycroft, Julianne Hough, Freida Pinto, Hally Berry and Christina Applegate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Didn't We Always Know?

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez - Investor's Business Daily

Teen Beats NASCAR Champ

From Flash News:
Beating a NASCAR champion on the speedway is amazing – especially in a soap box.

That’s what 15-year-old Tyler Schoff did [today] at the All American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, where she skidded to the finish line leaving NASCAR champ Greg Biffle in the dust.

She says, “I didn’t go in thinking I’d beat Greg. I was just hoping I would win.”

Schoff, who comes from a long line of soap box racers, applied a simple strategy to win: Get down low and drive straight.

That winning combination has earned her the first trophy in her family, and the nickname “Derby Diva” among fellow competitors, fans, and loved ones.

She even has the Derby Diva merchandise to show for it.

Though he came out the loser, Schoff says Biffle was a good sport and even gave her his NASCAR jacket as a gift for showing him up on the track.

O: Bush Did 'Good Job'

Just moments ago at his news conference President Obama admitted that President Bush did a "good job" of preparing the nation for a possible flu epidemic.
But Obama also took pains to explain that, as a U. S. Senator he worked on a committee that helped to craft some of the flu preparation efforts that were carried out by the Bush Administration.
Translation: After 100 days, Dear Leader seems secure enough to admit that Bush may have actually done something right.
But, he's still not secure enough to admit that Bush is entitled to take sole credit for that.
No, if Bush did anything right it must be because Obama had something to do with it.
On we go . . . day 101, 102, 103 . . . . . . .

Specter Should Resign!

Arlen Specter should resign as U. S. Senator immediately.
Specter was elected as a Republican. Now, he wants to serve as a full-fledged Democrat.
He was elected with the name, promises and backing of one party.
Now he wants to continue to serve as part of another party.
He's broken faith with the electorate who were led to believe one thing but now are being asked to accept quite another.
He lied when he said he would remain a Republican.
He lied when he said he wanted to deprive the Democrats of a veto-proof majority.
He lied when he said he thought the two-party system was important and the GOP needed people like him to prevent a monopoly government.
He betrayed the people of Pennsylvania through a series of backroom deals and secret meetings.
I have no objection to Specter running for the Senate in 2010 as a Democrat. That's fine with me. But don't govern now as a Democrat when you haven't been elected as a Democrat.
Specter should resign now.
If they so desire, the Democrats (via Governor Ed Rendell) can appoint a caretaker Senator to hold Specter's seat. That will allow Specter to stand for election next year and, if he wins, serve anew as a Democrat with the support of the electorate. And if he loses, so be it.
Let the people decide.
If you agree, call Specter at any one of the following numbers and ask him to resign:202-224-4254 , 610-434-1444, 814-453-3010, 717-782-3951, 215-597-7200, 412-644-3400, 570-346-2006, 570-826-6265.
Or, you can e-mail Specter by clicking here.

Notre Dame Petitions Delivered

Today, April 29, 2009, the first 300,000 names of individuals who signed the petition at — opposing the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama at commencement — are being delivered to Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows as they prepare for scheduled meetings on Friday, May 1, at Notre Dame.

As of this morning, more than 344,000 people have signed the petition, but because of the overwhelming numbers it took The Cardinal Newman Society more than 24 hours to prepare the data and print more than 64,000 sheets of paper, double sided, which were then bound in notebooks and sent via FedEx to Father Jenkins and individual members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows.

Copies of the petitions are also being rushed by The Cardinal Newman Society, which sponsored the petition, to Archbishop Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education; Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the United States; Francis Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop John D’Arcy, of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who presides over Notre Dame; and Bishop Robert McManus, Chairman of the USCCB Education Committee.

“Only the Notre Dame Trustees and Fellows have direct authority over Father Jenkins, so their meetings on Friday are our best hope for an end to this scandal,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.

“It is critical for all of us to pray that the Trustees and Fellows charged with safeguarding Notre Dame’s Catholic identity will heed the 50 bishops and hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics urging Notre Dame to withdraw its invitation to President Obama.”

The University of Notre Dame is governed by a 12-member Board of Fellows, including six Holy Cross priests, who are charged with ensuring “that the University maintains its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning.” The Fellows delegate most of their governing authority to the 38-member Board of Trustees, comprised mostly of lay people.

The university’s charter states: "The essential character of the University as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained, it being the stated intention and desire of the present Fellows of the University that the University shall retain in perpetuity its identity as such an institution."

Happy Birthday, Israel!

Today is the 61st birthday of the State of Israel.
Jonathan Tobin of Commentary magazine has tried to decipher a clear policy on the part of the Obama Administration with respect to Israel. Here what he concludes:
Other than a desire to placate the Islamic world in general (and Iran in particular), as well as an obvious distaste for Israel’s current prime minister, it isn’t clear that Obama has anything in mind that can be described as a policy. Among the chattering classes who applaud everything Obama does it is the fashion to dismiss the existential threat to Israel from Iran. But Israelis and the vast bipartisan majority of Americans who support the Jewish State don’t think the Iranians are kidding about their desire to wipe it off the map. And that includes the majority of Jews who voted for Obama last year and will expect their president to do more than talk, once the genocidal threat to Israel’s population is no longer in doubt.

'What's Right For Specter'

From Michael Grunwald at Time:
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter's party switch highlights . . . mostly highlights the desperate opportunism of a 79-year-old five-term Senator staring into the abyss of involuntary retirement. Specter may be right that the GOP left him first, but that's just a face-saving way of admitting he couldn't win its primary.
It was not for lack of trying. In recent weeks, ever since conservative Club for Growth president Pat Toomey began talking about a Republican rematch, Specter has scrambled to the right. He suddenly renounced his support for union-backed "card check" legislation. He introduced a bill to establish a flat tax. He even voted for a federal spending freeze, which was particularly shameless, since he had just voted for President Barack Obama's stimulus bill, the ultimate antifreeze. Anyway, Republicans weren't buying it. Specter barely squeaked past Toomey in a primary six years ago, despite support from President Bush, and this time he would have been toast; one poll had him down 21 points.

"In the course of the last several months since the stimulus vote I have traveled the state and engaged the sentiments of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania and public opinion polls and have found that the prospects for winning the Republican primary are bleak," Specter said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

That's why Specter is bailing on the party he joined [as a Democrat] more than four decades ago to run for district attorney of Philadelphia. After talking to Republican leaders and his longtime Republican supporters, he said in his statement, "It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable."

In other words: he knew he had no shot as a Republican, so voilĂ , he's a Democrat again. Even though he voted for Bush's judges, Bush's war, Bush's tax cuts — through the same "reconciliation" process he recently attacked Democrats for considering now — and most of the rest of Bush's agenda. Even though he's best known for trashing Anita Hill and for being one of the most obnoxious bosses on Capitol Hill. . . .
The Democrats, of course, are celebrating; not only does Specter strengthen their claim to a center-left consensus, his move also strengthens their power. Once Al Franken wins his court case in Minnesota, they'll have 60 Senators, and a freer hand to ram through President Obama's agenda. ". . .

Specter is still looking ahead to a rematch with Toomey, this time on general-election turf, and he wants to send a message that he'll do what he thinks is right for Pennsylvanians no matter which party he's in.
[Yesterday], though, he sent a message that he'll do what he thinks is right for Arlen Specter.

Economy Shrink Shocker

From Jeff Bater at the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. economy contracted at a seasonally adjusted 6.1% annual rate in the first quarter despite rising consumer spending, as businesses slashed inventories and expenditures, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Economists had expected a 4.6% contraction in GDP.
The 6.1% drop was much bigger than Wall Street expected and hardly different than a 6.3% plunge in the fourth quarter, when the recession that began in December 2007 deepened.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a 4.6% drop in GDP during the first three months of 2009.
With a 0.5% drop in the third quarter, GDP has now fallen three consecutive quarters. That hasn't happened in 34 years, since third-quarter 1974 through first-quarter 1975.
Price indicators within Wednesday's report suggested inflationary pressures rose in first-quarter 2009, easing fears of deflation. For instance, the price index for personal consumption expenditures fell by 1.0%, a decline much smaller than the fall of 4.9% in the fourth-quarter 2008. The PCE price gauge excluding food and energy rose 1.5%, after increasing 0.9% in the fourth quarter.

He Is Who He Is

I am what I am, I am my own special creation*
So come take a look, give me the hook or the ovation
It's my world that I want to have a little pride in
My world and it's not a place I have to hide in
Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say, hey world
I am what I am
I am what I am, I don't want praise I don't want pity
I bang my own drum, some think it's noise I think it's pretty
And so what if I love each feather and each spangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham 'til you can shout out loud
I am what I am

I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces
There's one life and there's no return and no deposit
One life so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say, hey world
I am what I am

*With apologies to Jerry Herman

Ridge For Senate?

Many people now believe that the National Republican Committee and the National Republican Senate Campaign Committee will push for Tom Ridge to make a run for Specter's Senate seat next year.
The theory among many mainstream GOP operatives is that Toomey can't win the general while Ridge can.
Ridge remains enormously popular in Pennsylvania.
No doubt about this: he's got gravitas.
He's immensely likable and free of major enemies. He knows the state and its people. He's a man of his word and Pennsylvanians know where he stands. He was an outstanding Governor.
And, there is little doubt that Ridge can command broad support.
Pennsylvania Republicans -- all Republicans -- deserve the best.
And right now that means keeping all options open.

Biden: Specter Always Was

So now it seems that Specter didn't really switch so much as he came out.
That's the word from Jovial Joe Biden.
Ya see, Joe knew all along.
He always knew Arlen was a Democrat.
And of course, Joe takes much of the credit for Arlen's coming out.
Joe says he's been pleading with Darlin Arlen (aka "Benedict Arlen") to come out for at least four years. And the way Joe sees it, Arlen's been with Joe's team ever since 1987.
In fact, Joe and Arlen even shared a good buddy who also played a role in Arlen's coming out as a Democrat.
Well, here's the story from Alan Bernstein in the Houston Chronicle:
Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Houston on Tuesday turned out more celebratory than he expected.
Hours after U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania rocked the political landscape by switching to the Democratic Party, Biden said here that he and a Houston lawyer had helped persuade Specter to make the leap.
Biden was in town for a Democratic National Committee fundraising reception at the River Oaks home of lawyer Neal Manne — who served as Specter’s chief of staff in Washington in the 1980s. The event was scheduled several days ago.
The vice president said that, as a senator from Delaware, he was Specter’s best friend in the Senate for 33 years, and that he and Manne “have been trying to remind Arlen that he is really Democrat.”
“I have been working on that in earnest for the past four years and double time for the past 100 days (as vice president),” Biden added.
“It seems only appropriate,” Biden told Manne in front of a crowd of about 30 donors and supporters, “that I am at your home on the day that Arlen Specter … came back home as a Democrat.”
Biden recalled that Specter joined most senators in rejecting President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of conservative Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987.
“Neal steeled (Specter’s) resolve on the Bork nomination … and we were able to keep Bork off the court,” the vice president said.
Specter won’t join Democrats on every legislative vote, Biden said, but the switch is “a good thing for my friend Arlen, it’s a good thing for our party but it’s even better for the country.”
“On the real critical issues, health care and others, I think you are going to see it’s going to make a significant difference,” he added.
He then turned to his host, Manne.
“So thanks for prepping him that whole time, buddy,” Biden wisecracked.

Man Fails Kama Sutra

From Flash News:
A man in India won't be allowed to marry his finacee after he flunked a kama sutra exam. Hindi priests say the 20-year-old man failed three kama sutra tests which are designed to give a woman multiple orgasms. The man also received the lowest kama sutra score in nearly two centuries, but priests say they'll let him retake the test later this summer. Meanwhile, the man's girlfriend says she still loves him "...even if he isn't the best in bed."

Under The Bus

Cartoon by Eric Allie -

Biden: 'Texas Guys Ugly'

That 'ole windbag Joe ("Regular Joe") Biden has been shootin his mouth off again - this time in the shootin capital of the world, Texas.
Here's the report from the Houston Chronicle:
Vice President Joe Biden has a habit of saying what's on his mind. On occasion, he's been accused of speaking before thinking.
[Tuesday] at a Democratic fundraiser in Austin, the VP issued his latest string of Bidenisms.
Speaking before a room full of Democratic donors, Biden declared: "You Texas guys are ugly as hell, but your women are beautiful. In southern Delaware, they would say y'all married up."
More quips:
"Texas is the only place I know that turns a river into a lake." (He was talking about the Colorado River and its New Deal dams.)
And this:
"Please eat your meat, please. I'm a former United States senator. I'm used to not being taken seriously."

Notre Dame Honoree Rejects

At the news of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline the University of Notre Dame’s offer of the prestigious Laetare Medal and a speaking platform on account of the selection of President Obama as commencement speaker, Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick J. Reilly issued the following statement:
“Mary Ann Glendon is one of the most accomplished Catholic and pro-life leaders of our time. In heroic fashion, she has willingly sacrificed an award that she richly deserves, as a casualty of Notre Dame's choice to betray its Catholic mission. We urge Catholics nationwide to continue to pray that Notre Dame will end this scandal."
For the complete text of Mary Ann Glendon's letter click here.
To add your voice to the protest, click here.

Specter: What's The Deal?

It's been reported that Arlen Specter met with Joe Biden 14 times before he decided to switch parties.
Fourteen times.
It's known that Specter met not just with Biden but with Bob Casey and "Fast Eddie" Rendell as well.
Specter did all this while publicly insisting he would not abandon the GOP. But Specter didn't care if he had to deceive you because you didn't count. After all, there were larger matters at stake - things that are a lot more important than you and I.
Uber-politicians like Specter are very careful and very calculating.
In their own minds, they're Masters of the Universe. Their universe. So, they protect their own self-interests first.
Ditto, Obama.
Obviously, the President didn't want his fingerprints on this just in case the deal didn't go through.
And be sure of this: There was a deal.
Specter didn't switch without getting something in return. This is a man who brokered countless deals: a) with other lawyers, as a lawyer; b) with alleged criminals and defense attorneys, as a prosecutor and c) as a politician and major operator in civic life.
So, the question must be asked: What was Specter promised and what did Specter promise in return? And what will that cost us -- you and me, the taxpayers?
Because important votes and lots of bucks will be involved.
Will Specter support socialized medicine? Mandatory national service? Unilateral disarmament? Another round of tax hikes?
Will he change his position on card check and support it in the end?
Will he support the President's Supreme Court nominees no matter what?
Will he get Big Labor money or Move On money or Acorn support or George Soros money?
Has he been assured there will be no opposition in the Democrat primary?
And what about Senate chairmanships, new office digs and all those other perks?
Specter. Rendell. Casey. Obama.
Do I need to draw a diagram for you?
Just consider the possibilities.

Morris: Obama Will Tank

From Dick Morris at The Hill:
When the Obama administration crashes and burns, with approval ratings that fall through the floor, political scientists can trace its demise to its first hundred days. While Americans are careful not to consign a presidency they desperately need to succeed to the dustbin of history, the fact is that this president has moved — on issue after issue — in precisely the opposite direction of what the people want him to do. . . .
Obama’s specific policies run afoul of the very deeply felt convictions of American voters. For example, the most recent Rasmussen Poll asked voters if they wanted an economic system of complete free enterprise or preferred more government involvement in managing the economy. By 77-19, they voted against a government role, up seven points from last month.
And in the Fox News poll — the very same survey that gave Obama a 62 percent approval rating and reported that 68 percent of voters are “satisfied” with his first hundred days — voters, by 50-38, supported a smaller government that offered fewer services over a larger government that provided more.
By 42-8, the Fox News poll (conducted on April 22-23) found that voters felt Obama had expanded government rather than contracted it (42 percent said it was the same size) and, by 46-30, reported believing that big government was more of a danger to the nation than big business. (By 50-23, they said Obama felt big business was more dangerous.) . . .
s Obama’s daily line moves from “I inherited this mess” to “There are faint signs of light,” the clock starts ticking. If there is no recovery for the next six months — and I don’t think there will be — Obama will inevitably become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
And then will come his heavy lifting. He has yet to raise taxes, regiment healthcare or provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. He hasn’t closed down the car companies he now runs and he has not yet forced a 50 percent hike in utility bills with his cap-and-trade legislation. These are all the goodies he has in store for us all.
Obama’s very activism these days arrogates to himself the blame for the success or failure of his policies. Their outcome will determine his outcome, and there is no way it will be positive.
By 62-20, they said government spending, under Obama, was “out of control.”

Specter Should Resign

Arlen Specter should resign as U. S. Senator immediately.
Specter was elected as a Republican. Now, he wants to serve as a full-fledged Democrat.
He was elected with the name, promises and backing of one party.
Now he wants to continue to serve as part of another party.
He's broken faith with the electorate who were led to believe one thing but now are being asked to accept quite another.
He lied when he said he would remain a Republican.
He lied when he said he wanted to deprive the Democrats of a veto-proof majority.
He lied when he said he thought the two-party system was important and the GOP needed people like him to prevent a monopoly government.
He betrayed the people of Pennsylvania through a series of backroom deals and secret meetings.
I have no objection to Specter running for the Senate in 2010 as a Democrat. That's fine with me. But don't govern now as a Democrat when you haven't been elected as a Democrat.
Specter should resign now.
If they so desire, the Democrats (via Governor Ed Rendell) can appoint a caretaker Senator to hold Specter's seat. That will allow Specter to stand for election next year and, if he wins, serve anew as a Democrat with the support of the electorate. And if he loses, so be it.
Let the people decide.
If you agree, call Specter at any one of the following numbers and ask him to resign:202-224-4254 , 610-434-1444, 814-453-3010, 717-782-3951, 215-597-7200, 412-644-3400, 570-346-2006, 570-826-6265.
Or, you can e-mail Specter by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Toomey On Specter Switch

“Senator Specter’s decision is in keeping with his record.
He is more at home in the Democratic Party than the Republican Party.
That has been true for decades, not just true today. In recent weeks, Senator Specter has made numerous statements about how important it is to deny Democrats the 60th seat in the U.S. Senate and how he categorically intended to remain a Republican to prevent one-party dominance in Washington.
What Pennsylvanians must now ask themselves is whether Senator Specter is in fact devoted to any principle other than his own reelection.”
-Pat Toomey

Gallup: Obama Scores Low

From the Wasington Times:
President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.
According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton, who got off to a notoriously bad start after trying to force homosexuals on the military and a federal raid in Waco, Texas, that killed 86. Mr. Obama's current approval rating of 56 percent is only one tick higher than the 55-percent approval Mr. Clinton had during those crises.
Five presidents rated higher than Mr. Obama after 100 days in office. Ronald Reagan topped the ch
arts in April 1981 with 67 percent approval. Following the Gipper, in order of popularity, were: Jimmy Carter with 63 percent in 1977; George W. Bush with 62 percent in 2001; Richard Nixon with 61 percent in 1969; and George H.W. Bush with 58 percent in 1989.
It's no surprise the liberal media aren't anxious to point out that their darling is less popular than George W. Bush. But given the Gallup numbers, their hurrahs could be more subdued. USA Today's front page touted the April poll results as positive, with the headline: "Public thinks highly of Obama." The current cover of Newsweek magazine ponders "The Secret of His [Mr. Obama's] Success." The comparison with previous presidents is useful because they are usually popular during their first few months in office - and most presidents have been more popular than Mr. Obama.
The explanation for Mr. Obama's low approval is that he ran as a moderate but has governed from the far left. The fawning and self-deceiving press won't go there.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory asked a panel about critics who "would say one of the things that he's done in 100 days already is expand the role of government, the size of government." Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin claimed, "That's what he ran for the presidency in the first place for."
Perplexed about complaints over Mr. Obama's expansion of government, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham asked: "does no one listen during campaigns?"
It was these pundits who weren't paying attention during last year's campaign. In all three presidential debates, Mr. Obama promised to cut government spending and reduce the size of the deficit. He blamed the economic crisis on excessive deficits. At no time did candidate Barack Obama say that more deficit-spending was the solution.
Mr. Obama's popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors - including Richard Nixon.

Plane: Obama Passes Blame

From multiple reporters at the Wall Street Journal:

The email sent to [New York] City Hall describes a "flying photo op" -- government-speak for a publicity photo -- to include two or possibly three passes over the area. The email, sent by an FAA official and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, lists flight patterns and specifies a photo-op altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

The email specifies that the information "only be shared with persons with a need to know" and "shall not be released to the public." It also says that, "Due to the possibility of public concern regarding [Department of Defense] aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies...has been accomplished."

The email's author, James J. Johnston, of FAA air traffic, declined to comment.

An Obama administration official said the mission was "classified" by the military and that the FAA, which controls much of the airspace over Manhattan, did what the military asked. "The mission was to send [the aircraft] up to get a picture of it flying around the Statue of Liberty," this person said. "They said they needed to update their photo files." President Obama wasn't aboard.

The New York photo shoot wasn't the only one planned. The White House had scheduled a follow-up session on May 5 or May 6 in Washington, D.C., according to two government officials. The D.C. flyover has now been canceled, a government official said.

Louis Caldera, a former Secretary of the Army who runs the White House Military Office, took the blame. "While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption," he said. "I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."

Mr. Caldera met Monday afternoon with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina "to hear the president's displeasure," an official said.

Rendell, Biden Coaxed Specter

More from Jake Tapper at ABC News:
At 10:25 am, in the Oval Office for his Economic Daily Briefing, President Obama was handed a note.
“Specter is announcing he is changing parties," it read, a reference to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn.
Seven minutes later the president was on the phone with Specter.
“You have my full support," the President said, adding that he was "thrilled to have you.” . . .
There's some pragmatic politics at place here as well. Facing a grueling primary challenge against former Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Penn. -- who almost defeated Specter in the GOP primary in 2004 -- Specter could well have lost to Toomey this time. In a Quinnipiac poll last month among registered Pennsylvania Republicans, Specter trailed Toomey 27-41 percent. That poll showed that Specter had a 29 percent favorability rating among Republicans, compared with 60 percent among Democrats. . . .
Last month, the irrepressible Gov. Ed Rendell told a Pennsylvania cable channel that he, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., and Vice President Biden from neighboring Delaware have all been lobbying Specter to switch.
"We've tried," said Rendell. "Myself, Senator Casey, Vice President Biden have tried to talk him into it, but he's bound and determined to stay a Republican," Rendell said. "He doesn't want to see Republican moderates banished from the earth."Asked what would happen if Specter ran as a Democrat, Rendell said, "he'd be unopposed" in the primary and "he'd win 60-65 percent of the vote in the general election."

Obama: 'Mistakes Were Made'

From Jake Tapper at ABC News:
President Obama just spoke about the Air Force One incident in a photo op with FBI Director Robert Mueller.
"It was a mistake, as was stated. It was something we found out about along with all of you. And it will not happen again."
President Obama didn't answer a follow-up question on whether the head of White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, is the right man for the job.
Welcome to the Party, Senator Specter.
And get ready to overlook lots of mistakes and cover up for a lot of incompetence.
You'll be a back bencher and you'll be expected to do as you're told and to pay regular homage to Dear Leader.
Enjoy yourself, Senator!

Toomey On Specter, Etc.

Watch this video and play close attention to the part where a statement from Specter's camp is read in which Specter says that "we musn't give Harry Reid and the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority." That's what the Specter camp said less than two weeks ago. Today, Specter went ahead and gave Reid the majority he said he would prevent. That's how much Specter's word is worth: Nothing.

Full Specter Statement

Here's the full Specter statement:
"When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.
"Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania."

President Welcomes Specter

From Jonathan Martin at Politico:
The President talked to Specter at 10:32 this morning from the Oval Office, said Dems are "thrilled to have you," according to a White House aide.

More On Specter Switch

From Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post:
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.
Specter's decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next Senator from Minnesota. (Former Sen. Norm Coleman is appealing Franken's victory in the state Supreme Court.)"
I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary," said Specter in a statement. "I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election."
He added: "Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."
Specter as a Democrat would also fundamentally alter the 2010 calculus in Pennsylvania as he was expected to face a difficult primary challenge next year from former Rep. Pat Toomey. The only announced Democrat in the race is former National Constitution Center head Joe Torsella although several other candidates are looking at the race.
The precariousness of Specter's political position -- a Republican in a Democratic-leaning state -- was on display earlier this year when he was one of three GOP Senators to back President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan. That vote was strongly condemned by conservative Republicans and Toomey used that vote as the launching pad for his candidacy. Because of the shrinking Republican vote in the state, Specter was seen as a dead man walking politically in the primary with polling showing him trailing Toomey by ten or more points. The bar for Specter to run as an independent was also extremely high due to the rules governing such a third party candidacy.
That left a Democratic candidacy as Specter's best option if he wanted to remain in the Senate beyond 2010.

Specter To Run As Democrat!

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has apparently decided to SWITCH PARTIES!
Word is that he's released a statement saying he will run for re-election in the Pennsylvania DEMOCRAT primary.
Let's face it: Specter had little or no chance (with Toomey in) to win the GOP primary. He had two choices: Run as Dem or run as an Independent a la Lieberman.
He's always been a hard-nosed, practical pol who looked out for himself first. And he loves the power and the limelight. So, he's apparently made a cold, calculated decision. That sort of thing is easy when you do not have solid ideological underpinnings.
Now, the GOP field is wide open with Toomey and whoever else chooses to run.
If this is true, it could actually be good news.
The GOP may not be stuck with someone who people see as a Republican In Name Only (RINO). And, this opens the door to new, young, fresh faces. It's probably time.
Stay tuned!

'Potheads' To March Saturday

From Flash News:
Stoners gotta fight for the right to spark up.
This Saturday (May 2), potheads in more than 500 cities will take to the streets for the Worldwide Marijuana March in an effort to push for the legalization of reefer.

Aton Edwards, spokesperson for the marijuana advocacy group Cures Not Wars, says it’s time for the United States government to stop bringing everyone down over weed because over- the-counter drugs are more dangerous.

He says smoking pot is more harmless than taking an aspirin and claims that many people die from aspirin, but no one has ever died from smoking pot.

Edwards smokes out the notion that marijuana is a so-called “gateway drug.” In fact, he calls pot the perfect exit drug for users of hard drugs.

He explains, “I would love to see hard substance abusers use marijuana. I advocate using it as the substance of choice. There’s no such thing as pot abuse. You can’t abuse it. And it can help the reduction of addiction to other drugs.”

Notre Dame Loss: $8.2M

Organizers of, an online effort urging alumni and donors to the University of Notre Dame to withhold donations, announced Monday that they have personally confirmed over $8.2 million in withheld donations as a part of their national outreach effort.

The website has received over 900 pledges from alumni and donors promising to withhold future donations. Several of the largest gifts include estate bequests to the University that have been removed from donors' wills. organizers have personally confirmed a majority of the largest donations, and continue to verify the validity of millions of additional gifts. spokesperson David DiFranco (Class of '95) commented: "We knew many donors and alums were unhappy with the decision to honor a pro-abortion president, but we never expected this large of a response. We can hardly keep up, and this is only the beginning. We can only imagine what fundraisers at the University are experiencing, but understandably not reporting."

"The process of verifying the largest donors has been carefully conducted," DiFranco explained. "We dismissed the obvious bogus submissions, and are not counting a huge number of larger donations that we are still in the process of verifying. We are speaking directly with donors, and in several cases we have spoken with estate attorneys to confirm that Notre Dame has been stripped from a donor's will. We are going about this process with a critical eye in order that the numbers we report are accurate. For that reason, the $8.2 million we are reporting today is actually very conservative."

Alumni and financial supporters of the University of Notre Dame launched the online effort just over one week ago in an effort to withhold donations from Notre Dame, until Rev. John Jenkins, CSC is replaced. The coalition website——urges supporters to withhold all contributions to the Notre Dame General Fund until President Jenkins is replaced with someone who is committed to the authentic identity of Notre Dame, grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

"As momentum continues to build, we are now certain that the financial penalty resulting from the decision to honor the most pro-abortion president in our nation's history, will be enormous. The fact that this effort is necessary is unfortunate. However, alumni and supporters of Notre Dame have little other recourse than to protest with their pocketbooks. We will continue our efforts as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame that will honor 'Our Lady's' University," said DiFranco.


Cartoon from Glenn McCoy -

Marriage Age Getting Older

From Mark Regnerus at the Washington Post:

The average age of American men marrying for the first time is now 28. That's up five full years since 1970 and the oldest average since the Census Bureau started keeping track.

If men weren't pulling women along with them on this upward swing, I wouldn't be complaining. But women are now taking that first plunge into matrimony at an older age as well. The age gap between spouses is narrowing: Marrying men and women were separated by an average of more than four years in 1890 and about 2.5 years in 1960. Now that figure stands at less than two years.

I used to think that only young men -- and a minority at that -- lamented marriage as the death of youth, freedom and their ability to do as they pleased. Now this idea is attracting women, too.In my research on young adults' romantic relationships, many women report feeling peer pressure to avoid giving serious thought to marriage until they're at least in their late 20s.

If you're seeking a mate in college, you're considered a pariah, someone after her "MRS degree." Actively considering marriage when you're 20 or 21 seems so sappy, so unsexy, so anachronistic. Those who do fear to admit it -- it's that scandalous.

How did we get here? The fault lies less with indecisive young people than it does with us, their parents. Our own ideas about marriage changed as we climbed toward career success. Many of us got our MBAs, JDs, MDs and PhDs. Now we advise our children to complete their education before even contemplating marriage, to launch their careers and become financially independent. We caution that depending on another person is weak and fragile. We don't want them to rush into a relationship. We won't help you with college tuition anymore, we threaten. Don't repeat our mistakes, we warn.

AF One Photo-Op Scare

From David Seifman, Murray Weiss and Jeremy Olshan at the New York Post:
A jumbo jet being chased by a F-16 fighter jets buzzed Lower Manhattan [Monday] morning, panicking New Yorkers, many of whom were forced to evacuate their office buildings.

It was not a terrorist attack, however, but a photo opportunity for Air Force One, sources told the Post.
President Obama was in Washington at the time, but the low-flying 747 circling the Statue of Liberty was one of the planes used as Air Force One, sources said.
The NYPD and the city were notified of the planned flight, but did not share that information with Mayor Bloomberg and other New Yorkers, many of whom said they were terrified.

MORE: White House Apologizes For Air Force One Photo Op

Hours after the incident, a furious Bloomberg called the photo-op "insensitive."
"First thing is I'm annoyed - furious is a better word - that I wasn't told," he said. "Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase."
Bloomberg said federal officials notified the NYPD and another city official, whom he declined to identify, of the flight plan.
"Had I known about it I would have called them right away and asked them not to," he said. "The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op - with the taxpayers' money."

Christie Generating Positive Buzz

GOP Gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has been crisscrossing New Jersey and making news everywhere he goes.
Like today's warm spring breezes, Christie is a breath of fresh air in New Jersey.
And he's got wacky Jon Corzine on the run.
Spirits are high and the polls are looking good for this no-nonsense prosecutor and lifelong New Jerseyan who obviously loves the Garden State and isn't afraid to do what it takes to clean it up.
New Jersey is broken. Chris Christie can fix it.
Here's a roundup:
Congressional Quarterly: "Christie Leads Republican Rivals and Corzine in NJ Governor Race," 04/22/2009.
PolitickerNJ: "Poll has Christie leading Corzine 47%-36% and 25 point lead in GOP primary,"
PolitickerNJ: "Backed by 11 GOP Sheriffs, Christie pledges war on gang violence," 04/23/2009.
Courier News: "Christie talks crime, corruption with state GOP sheriffs while in Somerville," by Martin Bricketto, 04/23/2009.
Somerset Reporter: "County sheriffs endorse Chris Christie for governor during Somerville campaign stop," 04/23/2009.
Express Times: "Letter to the Editor: "Want to end sleaze? Vote for Christie," 04/23/2009.
Star-Ledger: "Chris Christie endorsed by Sussex GOP." by Joe Moszczynski, 04/22/2009.
Gloucester County Times: "Letter to the Editor: "Christie impressive when meeting voters,"
Asbury Park Press: "Letter to the Editor: "Overburdened taxpayer ready for a change," 04/25/2009.
Politicker NJ: "Letter to the Editor: Christie Wows at GOP Wayne Rally,"

Who'da Thunk It?

From James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal:

This is a Bicentennial Minute. Eleven Americans, ranging in age from 9 to 50, have come down with swine flu, the Associated Press reports: "All those people either recovered or are recovering; at least two were hospitalized."

In Mexico, however, the toll has been much worse. "About 70 deaths out of roughly 1,000 cases represents a fatality rate of about 7 percent," the AP notes. This is far higher than the 2.5% fatality rate from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19, although the latter was many orders of magnitude more widespread, killing 40 million people world-wide.

"The Mexican rate sounds terrifying," the AP writes. "But it's possible that far more than 1,000 people have been infected with the virus and that many had few if any symptoms." Which is somewhat, though not entirely, reassuring.

The AP dispatch is titled "Swine Flu Worse in Mexico Than US, but Why?" There's no definitive answer, but here's one of the possibilities:

Access to medical care has been an issue in Asia, where a rare bird flu--which does not spread easily from person-to-person--has killed more than 200 over the last several years. Maybe Mexican patients have also had trouble getting medical care or antiviral drugs, some have speculated--even though the government provides health care.

Wouldn't this paragraph make more sense if it ended ". . . because the government provides health care"?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Expert: Hide Hotness Online

From Flash News:
A sexy picture may be worth a thousand hits on Internet dating sites, but that’s not a good thing.

Online daters may think putting a sultry, scantily clad snapshot of themselves may be a good idea, but Internet dating analyst and consultant Mark Brooks recommends posting a more plain Jane picture instead.

According to Brooks, if you happen to be super hot, it’s not the best thing to put up a sexy photo of yourself. You may get thousands of responses and won’t have time to get through them, and you might miss out on a very nice person.

Brooks advises hotties to not post a picture at all and only send an image to someone who gets in touch based on common interests. Then, when they see the hot pic it will be a pleasant surprise.

Those not as fortunate in the looks department should send an “honest” headshot and full body shot because, as Brooks puts it, “You don’t want to see the look of disappointment on their face when they see what you really look like.”

'O' Team Short In Crisis

From Carrie Budoff Brown at Politico:
The Obama administration declared a “public health emergency” Sunday to confront the swine flu — but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department’s 19 key posts.
President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation.
In an unusual Sunday briefing at the White House, acting CDC Director Richard Besser appeared on camera with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Obama homeland security adviser John Brennan to announce the emergency declaration in response to the swine flu outbreak. Napolitano is the former Arizona governor, and Brennan is a longtime CIA counterterrorism specialist once thought to be in line to run the agency.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs insisted the vacancies won’t hinder Obama’s response.

Pick Best First Lady!

We're asking you to choose the best First Lady from history.
It's easy to vote in the poll. But you've only got a few more days to vote!
Simply make your selection at the top right corner of this blog.
But remember - you can only vote for one First Lady.
Maybe you like Eleanor Roosevelt, the woman who many felt was the First Lady of the World.
Or maybe feisty Dolley Madison strikes you as the best.
Then there's Abigail Adams or the very first First Lady, Martha Washington.
Perhaps you're a fan of Mary Todd Lincoln.
And lets not forget Edith Wilson who reportedly ran the country while her husband was ill.
Or maybe you want to pick a more recent First Lady such as Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson or Jacqueline Kennedy.
No mater which First Lady you pick, we want you to vote.
Make your choice now!

Low Flying Jet Panic

From the Wall Street Journal:
A low-flying commercial-size jet flew low over the Hudson River and circled several times around 10 a.m., causing some evacuations of office buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City, N.J.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the Defense Department is conducting a photo op that involves deploying two F-16s and escorting a Boeing 747 in the vicinity of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Mr. Peters says the maneuver was not an emergency and was coordinated in advance with the FAA and state and local officials. “They’ll do two or three spins … and be done by 10:30,” Mr. Peters said.

Obama As Savior, NYC

From Drew Zahn at WorldNet Daily:

On his 100th day in office, President Obama will be "crowned" in messianic imagery at New York City's Union Square.

Artist Michael D'Antuono's painting "The Truth" – featuring Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head – will be unveiled on April 29 at the Square's South Plaza.

According to a statement released about the portrait, "The 30" x 54" acrylic painting on canvas depicts President Obama appearing much like Jesus Christ on the Cross: atop his head, a crown of thorns; behind him, the dark veil being lifted (or lowered) on the Presidential Seal. But is he revealing or concealing, and is he being crucified or glorified?"

Even the title of the piece, "The Truth," suggests a play on biblical themes, as Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

"More than a presidential portrait," writes D'Antuono on a website touting the painting, "'The Truth' is a politically, religiously and socially-charged statement on our nation's current political climate and deep partisan divide that is sure to create a dialogue."

Like others in the news who have depicted Obama in Christ-like imagery, D'Antuono insists he isn't claiming the man is Messiah, but only inviting "individual interpretations."

"'The Truth,' like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder," claims the exhibit's press release.

D'Antuono even invites the public to email him with reactions to the piece, answering his posed question, "What's your truth?"

World's Oldest Man