Monthly Archives: January 2009

I Feel So Sorry For The Australians That Are Getting Hit With That Heatwave!

Wow, some Australians have remarked that this heatwave is one of the worst heatwaves in 100 years! Unfortunately, some people are believed to have suffered heat-related deaths. I have so much empathy for those Australians that are getting hit with that heatwave. Here’s more from Reuters:

“A heatwave blamed for raging bushfires and a spate of deaths eased a little in Australia’s densely populated southeast on Saturday, but a ban on lighting fires in the open remained in force.

Temperatures slipped below 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in most major centres for the first time in several days, but parts of Melbourne and Adelaide still recorded temperatures above that mark.

Authorities fear several elderly people may have died due to the heatwave, after 22 “sudden deaths” in Adelaide on Friday.

Sudden deaths are those caused by medical conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, said an ambulance official, adding autopsies would determine whether the deaths were heat-related.

In Melbourne, power was largely restored after blackouts left hundreds of thousands of homes in the dark on Friday, but a major bushfire was still burning in the east of Victoria state.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:(http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSSP416848

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Iraq Might Finally Become A Democracy!

 

 George Bush said that he wanted democracy in Iraq.That would be wonderful if that were the case since so many soldiers have died fighting for that very reason. So,is democracy finally starting to take hold in Iraq? That is what some are wondering after millions of Iraqis showed up to vote in the first election since 2005. Here’s more from the Telegraph:

“Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki hailed what he said looked like an enthusiastic turnout and called for Iraqis to cast their votes.

Hopes are high that the election will show extremists have been losing ground and that democracy is starting to take root.

It is hoped that Saturday’s vote will be starkly different to 2005 when Sunnis largely boycotted the first election held since the fall of Saddam Hussein and extremist Shia parties did well.

Although today’s election is for power at a local level in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces, it is also expected to be a referendum on Mr al-Maliki’s leadership with candidates supporting him expected to do well.

The prime minister said: “I am very happy today because all our information shows that we are going to see a large participation in the vote by Iraqis.

This is a victory for all the Iraqis. I call on all my Iraqi brothers and sisters to vote.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here: (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/4409408/Nouri-al-Maliki-hails-turnout-as-Iraqis-vote-in-their-millions.html

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The Octuplet Controversy!

I guess 6 kids just wasn’t enough for the mom who filed for bankruptcy & abandoned her home 18 months ago! Instead of figuring out the best way to take care of her existing kids,this lady made the decision to have even more babies.And it wasn’t accidental,either.Although she filed for bankruptcy, she must have paid to have those embryos implanted.Now,she’s had octupulets,which means she’s got 14 kids to raise. Why would someone claiming to be so broke that they have to file for bankruptcy have 8 more kids? Did I mention she lives at home with her parents? What in the world was she thinking? Here’s more on this from NBC Bay Area:

Suleman said her daughter had embryos implanted last year, and after finding out she was pregnant with multiple babies was given the option by doctors of selectively reducing the number of embryos. The woman declined.

What do you suggest she should have done? She refused to have them killed,” Suleman told the Times. “That is a very painful thing.”

Dr. Harold Henry said the woman was already pregnant when she came to Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, and she was counseled about the risks of her pregnancy and on the option of aborting some of the fetuses. Doctors had been expecting only seven babies, but an eighth was born in the cesarean delivery.

Dr. Mandhir Gupta said seven of the babies were breathing without assistance. One was still receiving oxygen through a tube in his nose.

Seven of the infants were being tube-fed donated breast milk. One of the boys was expected to begin feedings Friday.

All babies continued to receive an intravenous nutritional combination. They were expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks.

Some fertility specialists have said the children face increased health risks because they are octuplets and born nine weeks premature. At birth, they ranged between 1 pound, 8 ounces (0.45 kilograms) and 3 pounds, 4 ounces (1.36 kilograms).

Doctors say they advise against higher-order births, but acknowledge the decision is not theirs to make.

Who am I to say that six is the limit?” said Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, medical director of Fertility Institutes, which has clinics in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York City. “There are people who like to have big families.”

Dr. James Grifo, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the NYU School of Medicine, added: “I don’t think it’s our job to tell them how many babies they’re allowed to have. I am not a policeman for reproduction in the United States. My role is to educate patients.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:(http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Mom-of-Octuplets-Lives-with-Parents-Has-6-Other-Kids.html

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Michael Steele Is The First Black RNC Chairman!

Michael Steele was talking about a 50 state strategy when he gave his acceptance speech. That’s great & all. But, what about the issue of diversity in the RNC? There really isn’t any. Republicans need to take a cue from the Democrats. What a sight it would be if you had folks from every race making up both parties! Because the DNC looks like America while the RNC looks like an all-white country club. But, at least it’s a step towards inclusion. I think Michael Steele was chosen because Barack Obama is the president of the United States. Will the RNC make an effort now to include folks of every racial background? I wonder if Michael Steele will make a difference & transform that party! Congratulations, Michael Steele! You have made history! Here’s 10 things you didn’t about Michael Steele from U.S. News:

“1. Michael Steele, who was adopted as an infant, was born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Md., on Oct. 19, 1958.

2. He grew up in a family of Democrats. Steele credits his mother, Maebell, and Ronald Reagan with turning him toward the Republican Party. Reagan’s pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps message recalled a trait Steele’s mother exhibited after her first husband, Steele’s father, died in 1962 of alcoholism-related liver disease. She refused to go on welfare. Instead, she went to work as a laundress earning minimum wage to support Michael and his sister.

3. One of the first in his family to go to college, he earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Steele also spent a few years at the Augustinian Friars Seminary at Villanova University, in preparation for the priesthood, before deciding instead on a career in civil service.

4. After graduating from law school in 1991, Steele joined Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, an international law firm, based in Washington, D.C. In 1997, he left and worked briefly at the Mills Corp., a real estate development firm based in Virginia, as in-house counsel. He then went out on his own, starting a consulting firm, the Steele Group.

5. Steele rose quickly in the Republican Party, beginning at the local level in Prince George’s County as chair of the Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee from 1994 to 2000. Then, he was elected chairman of the Maryland Republican Party in December 2000.

6. Steele became the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland, taking office as lieutenant governor in January 2003.

7. In 2004, Steele was tapped to speak at the Republican National Convention, eliciting comparisons with Barack Obama’s keynote address at the Democratic convention.

8. When Sen. Paul Sarbanes, a Democrat, announced he would not seek re-election, several prominent Republicans, including President Bush, persuaded Steele to run for the Senate seat. In November 2006, Steele lost the election to Democrat Ben Cardin.

9. On Feb. 1, 2007, Steele was named the chairman of GOPAC, a political action committee working to elect Republicans to office (Newt Gingrich once held the same position).

10. A devout Catholic, Steele is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Landover Hills, Md. He regularly attends services with his wife, Andrea, and their sons, Michael and Drew.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:(http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/campaign-2008/2008/04/07/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-michael-steele.html

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Scientists May Have Saved Millions Of People From Going Hungry Worldwide!

 

 I happen to love rice. So, I’m happy we live in a country where you can go to the corner store & buy a sack of rice! And I’m especially glad that U.C. Davis professor,Pamela Ronald, & her colleagues have discovered a way to make rice flood-resistant. Rice is a part of the majority of the world’s diet which makes this an important discovery. Here’s more from CNN:

“If every scientist hopes to make at least one important discovery in her career, then University of California-Davis professor Pamela Ronald and her colleagues may have hit the jackpot.If every scientist hopes to make at least one important discovery in her career, then University of California-Davis professor Pamela Ronald and her colleagues may have hit the jackpot.

Normal rice dies after three days of complete flooding. Researchers know of at least one rice variety that can tolerate flooding for longer periods, but conventional breeding failed to create a strain that was acceptable to farmers.

So Ronald and her colleagues — David Mackill, senior scientist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and Julia Bailey-Serres, professor of genetics at the University of California-Riverside — spent the last decade working to find a rice strain that could survive flooding for longer periods.

Mackill identified a flood-resistant gene 13 years ago in a low-yielding traditional Indian rice variety. He passed along the information to Ronald, who isolated the gene, called Sub1, and introduced it into normal rice varieties, generating rice that could withstand being submerged in water for 17 days.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:(http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/01/29/waterproof.rice/index.html

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The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Was Signed Into Law By President Obama!

I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the posting that I did about Dick Armey’s outrageously sexist remarks towards Joan Walsh.So, the news that President Obama has signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law is helping to wash it away! This bill makes it easier for anyone to sue who is being discriminated against. Here’s more about the bill from the AP:

“Ledbetter became a regular feature in Obama’s campaign for the White House, addressing the Democratic National Convention in Denver last year and traveling to Washington aboard Obama’s train for the inauguration ceremonies. Obama spoke strongly in support of legislation to change the Supreme Court decision during his campaign and the Democratic-controlled Congress moved it to the top of the agenda for the new session that opened this month.

The high court said a person must file a claim of discrimination within 180 days of a company’s initial decision to pay a worker less than it pays another worker doing the same job. Under the new bill, given final passage in Congress this week, every new discriminatory paycheck would extend the statute of limitations for another 180 days.

Congress attempted to update the law to extend the time, but the Bush White House and Senate Republicans blocked the legislation in the last session of Congress.

Obama cited Census Bureau figures that women still receive only about 78 cents for every dollar that men get for doing equivalent jobs — “women of color even less,” he said.

The measure, which amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act, also applies to discrimination based on factors such as race, religion, national origin, disability or age.”(End of Excerpt) Read the entire article here: (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isOFwdbq0tsqatW6vJpkDRTI1gMgD960TTL87

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Gov. Blagojevich Speaks At His Impeachmeant Trial & It Didn’t Help! He’s No Longer The Governor Of Illinois!

Gov. Blagojevich gave us a colorful closing argument today at  his impeachment trial. He  recited his personal history again today & seemed to be contrite. But, the big news was that he tried to drag Rahm Emmanuel,Ted Kennedy & John McCain into it. He said that if people feel that he should be thrown out of office,then John McCain & Rahm Emmanuel should be considered his co-conspirators. And Blagojevich said that Rahm Emmanuel should be fired as well. Because they are all guilty of the same thing. Basically what he’s saying is that all politicians play dirty & double deal. They’re all guilty of wrongdoing. Blagojevich has tried to make this whole incident about the process instead of his actions. They’re “setting a dangerous precedent” if he is removed from the governor’s office. Wow! I wonder if Rahm Emmanuel will respond to Blagojevich’s call for him to be fired.

But, it was wrong to drag Senator Ted Kennedy into this. He’s sick,man. Let him recover & try to save your own ass in a different way. I don’t think this speech he gave will change the outcome, which is that he will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn. It was very entertaining,even though he never answered the charges. Here’s some of the accusations from the AP:

“Blagojevich, 52, doesn’t deny making the comments alleged by federal prosecutors. But he says they were taken out of context and don’t amount to anything illegal.

In the recordings, which were played during Tuesday’s session, one person, identified as Blagojevich’s brother and campaign chairman Robert Blagojevich, assures the governor that a horse racing track owner “is good for it” and just has to decide “what accounts to get it out of.”

Another person, lobbyist and former Blagojevich chief of staff Lon Monk, assures him the track owner knows he must keep his “commitment” soon. Blagojevich replies with comments like “good” and “good job.”

The allegation at the center of the tapes is that Blagojevich improperly pressured John Johnston, owner of two Chicago-area harness-racing tracks, to donate money by the end of 2008, when a new ethics law would take effect and restrict donations. Prosecutors say Blagojevich threatened not to sign legislation giving tracks a portion of casino-generated revenue unless he got the donation.

It’s not clear whether Johnston ever made a donation; federal prosecutors have seized Blagojevich’s campaign records. Johnston has not been charged with any illegal activity, and his attorney denies Johnston ever requested any quid pro quo.

None of the people on the calls specifically mention money. Monk and Robert Blagojevich have not been charged with any crime.

The governor was arrested last month on a variety of corruption charges, including scheming to benefit from appointing President Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate replacement and demanding campaign contributions in exchange for state services.

Lawmakers, who could vote within days on whether to remove Blagojevich, heard only a few minutes of FBI tapes. But an FBI agent vouched for the accuracy of many other Blagojevich quotes that were included the federal criminal complaint.

If the Senate convicts him, Blagojevich will be removed from office and replaced by Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn, a fellow Democrat.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ga4r6Ic7fPOykfh6cdeLeKYKO6vwD960AUJ81

And that’s all, folks! Mr. Blagojevich’s self-aggrandizations didn’t help anything but his ego. He is no longer the governor. Finally.

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