Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Carter Bashes Bush

Yes, this is old news. However, AOL Journals will not accept my new entries from my Apple: I am posting from someone else's Dell. AOL is horrible when it comes to being user-friendly for Mac support.

Jimmy Carter, probably the worst president in my memory, tried to salvage his own reputation by bashing the current President as being the worst in history with regard to his administration's effect on the world. He later recanted saying that he was referring to W vis-a-vis Nixon. Earlier, the winner of the Nobel "Peace" Prize, even attacked Blair for his "apparent subservience" to Bush as to the Iraq war. This lover of despots and other American "victims" cannot seem to condemn or even criticize (other than in a mild perfunctory manner) Castro, Chavez, etc. Perhaps, he will ask his benighted brother Bush to teach his Sunday school class in an effort to reach out to him and promote world peace and ecumenical love.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rev. Jerry Falwell R.I.P.

This morning the Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority and incredibly influential Christian conservative activist, died at the age of 73. The founder of Liberty University, a media empire, and pastor of the 22,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church, helped remake the GOP from Rockefeller Republicans into Reagan Republicans with a strong emphasis on social conservative values. The often politically apathetic conservative Christians were convinced to rally against the liberal policies of abortion, homosexual rights, and pornography. His efforts helped elect Reagan and a Republican Senate in 1980.

Cf. http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/famed-televangelist-dies-at-age-73/20070515124309990001.

TN Teacher Terror

According to the AP, two Scales Elementary School educators who staged a gun attack on 69 sixth grade students on a field trip to a state park a la VA Tech were suspended. Schools director Marilyn Mathis, said that Quentin Masters, a teacher, and Don Bartch,  an assistant
principal, were suspended without pay for neglect of duty and unprofessional conduct. The students were told that there had been a random shooting and that the shooter was on the loose. They were instructed to get under tables or to lie on the floor and told that this
was not a drill. A teacher, disguised in hooded sweats, beat on the window and pulled on the doors. According to one student, kids were crying and praying, and that the teachers laughed after telling the kids that it was a prank. Alisha Graves, a parent of one of the students,
stated, "This was not a good experience. . . they were terrified." Bartch claimed, "The scenario was intended as a learning experience."

Teachers, leave those kids alone!

Cf. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,272333,00.html and FNC Fox & Friends (05/15/07).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hospitals Gouge Neediest

According to Health Affairs (May-June issue), American hospitals charged uninsured patients an average of 2.5 times what it charges health insurers. For profits' markup was more pronounced at a 4.1 ratio whereas public hospitals upped the ante by a ratio of 2.49. The study by the 2004 study's author, Gerard F. Anderson, director for the Center for Hospital Finance and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, stated "Over time, the uninsured have been paying higher and higher prices for hospital care compared to what the insured population pays. The markup on hospital care for these individuals, especially for those who can afford it least, are unjustifiable." If this basic inequity is not corrected, universal health care will remedy the problem. Satisfactorily or not may be an open question.

Cf. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050800576.html.

Monday, May 7, 2007

QEII: Guest, Not Ruler

Isn't it wild how W treats QEII (Queen Elizabeth II of the UK) as American royalty and one to fawn over with the utmost deference? The White House is feting the English monarch with a white-tie dinner and acting as if we had lost the Revolutionary War to King George III. Americans should not bow, should not curtsey, and should not not look her in the eye. She is our guest, and we are her equal. Let's act like it!  We are now Americans: no longer British subjects!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Black Reagan? Not! JFK? Maybe.

According to the UK's TimesOnline, Obama has been labeled the "black Ronald Reagan" for his optimism. Perhaps, for his optimism, but definitely not for his wit, wisdom, and policies. A more apt appellation is the "black JFK." Obama seems to represent an attractive candidate that appeals to both sides of the aisle: this Senator of a mixed racial and faith heritage seems to be one that could bridge the chasm of discord that separates red America from blue America. As Matthew Dowd, W's 2004 top campaign strategist, said, "I think that we should design campaigns that appeal, not to 51% of the people, but bring the country together as a whole." As Bush's popularity plummets to the nadir of Presidential approval at 28% otherwise experienced only by, perhaps, our most competency-challenged President, Jimmy Carter, according to the latest poll by Newsweek, one does look to someone who can be like Reagan. Obama does provide a sunny optimism that reminds one somewhat of the great Gipper but more of the left's Camelot.

P.S. Oprah put her incredible heft behind another O, Obama, on the Larry King Show last week.

Cf. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article1752381.ece;
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18505030/site/newsweek; and

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Boris Yeltsin R.I.P.

Today, the first democratically elected president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, was laid to rest in Moscow. Fittingly, his memorial service was held in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox cathedral, which Yeltsin had rebuilt after it was razed by the atheist despot Stalin. Further, the father of democracy in the former USSR was interred in Novodevichye Cemetery among Everypersons as opposed to the Kremlin, the burial place of his repressive, Communist CCCP predecessors. He was honored with a national day of mourning as his countrymen and world leaders, including his successor President Vladimir Putin, his antecessor and critic
Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S. Presidents (Bush and Clinton), whilom U.K. Prime Minister John Major, and Solidarity leader and Polish President Lech Walesa, bid the great Russian leader adieu. Thank you, Mr. President, for standing up against tyranny and oppression and for democracy and freedom.

Cf. http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30200-1262483,00.html; http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/04/24/russia.yeltsin/index.html; and http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,21626293-401,00.html?from=public_rss.

Monday, April 23, 2007

1 Charmin Square: "Strong Enough"?

Sheryl Crow has been the butt of many jibes as her inane suggestion on the rationing of toilet paper made even Rosie O'Donnell mock the Missouri native. Karl Rove's not-so-fave eco-cutie opined, "I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet tissue can be used in any one sitting: "I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required." 

No One Said It Would Be Easy. Remember, A Change (Will Do You Good).

Cf. http://entertainment.bodogbeat.com/sheryl-crow-saving-the-world-one-toilet-paper-square-at-a-time-43344.html.

41 & Romney: Bush Fatigue

President Bush I opined yesterday on CNN's Larry King show that the American voters may be having "a little Bush fatigue now." He said this in response to Mitt Romney's observation or echoing of the conservative blogosphere that Jeb would be the Republican standard bearer if his last name were not Bush. However, the proud papa and forty-first President added, "I hope that Jeb . . . is not through with politics. . .: I think he's got a future." I guess the U.S. is not ready for Bush III now: or is that another George III? And no obvious BRAVO jokes.

Cf. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/blogs/politicalticker/2007/04/bush-sr-bush-fatigue-may-be-setting-in.html.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bush & CNN, Listen & Learn

President George W. Bush, grandson of a U.S. senator and son of a U.S. President, has been mired in the polls with approval ratings below 40% for the last seven months. Since such polls began, only Truman, Nixon, and Carter have had similarly low approbation from the American people. Bush, an Eli with a Harvard Business School Ph.D., seems to think that Americans merely want him to be their CEO. He produces results for the right with his emphasis on the judiciary (as to abortion especially), the military, and lower taxes and for the left with his accent on education, immigration, and governmental growth. However, like CNN, he seems to think that if you merely perform your tasks, then you will gain the approval of those you serve. In today's society, people want a President who talks with people, listens to them, and truly cares about them. CNN talks to people, doesn't seem to listen enough, and appears to often patronizingly pontificate: President Bush seems to do the same. Both are capable and can do better--much better.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MSNBC Axes Imus

UPDATE: Don Imus lost his radio show as CBS Prez and CEO Leslie Moonves followed MSNBC's example. After suspending the radio host for two weeks, CBS gave in to the mounting calls for his dismissal. Later, last night Imus met with the Rutgers women's team in what was characterized as a productive meeting by the Rutgers coach.

Cf. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/12/national/main2675273.shtml and http://news.aol.com/entertainment/articles/_a/cbs-fires-don-imus-from-radio-show/20070411183809990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001.

MSNBC announced today that it will no longer carry its simulcast of shock jock Don Imus' radio program, "Imus in the Morning." The cantankerous curmudgeon has long been a favorite of the political, literary, and media left and ivied elite. However, his racist and sexist slur, "nappy-headed hos," against the second place Rutgers women's bball team gave him the comeuppance that the p.c. crowd and the aggrieved right desired. He, like Nixon, gave a sword to his enemies, and they with little fault plunged it into him with abandon. Ironically, Imus' ratings increased 39% over a year ago and threatened CNN's American Morning for second place in the cable morning news show. (Thus, Ted Turner's former network canned Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien and replaced them with the delectable Kiran Chetry and her sidekick John Roberts.)

Cf. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8OEM9M81&show_article=1 and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/03/AR2007040302298.html.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Fox & Friends Frigid

Has any fan of Fox & Friends noticed the marked decline in the quality of the show in all of its variations? E.g., since luscious, lovely Kiran left, the viewers have nothing to look forward to other than the hope that a Fox vixen will appear. The main weekday F&F has Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America but a bland, boring blond that gives Swedish girls a bad name. The weekend edition has the Kelly guys that may be good reporters but they have neither natural charisma nor chemistry as co-hosts: to make matters worse, they have no permanent female co host yet. In the mornings and the weekends, only the rare appearance of Page Hopkins reminds one of the saucy, sexy siren attitude that gave Fox & Friends the lift and lilt that it once enjoyed. Sadly, no longer do the likes of jaunty Juliet Huddy and comely Kiran Chetry grace the diurnal dawn. Might as well watch MSNBC.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Kiran at CNN: It's Morning in America Again

CNN's American Morning will pit it's new Fox & Friends snare, Kiran Chetry, against Fox & Friends. The delicious irony is that, according to FNC, Chetry had demanded Gretchen Carlson's co-host role on Fox & Friends. (Kiran Chetry has denied that accusation.) Kiran was the logical and obvious replacement for E.D. Hill when FNC revamped its line-up on its tenth anniversary. Kiran had a real rapport with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade; a natural ease in front of the camera; and a delightful blend of eloquence, elegance, and equisite beauty. Not to mention--she was the Fox at Fox. Her male co-host will be John Roberts, a former CBS anchor and correspondent, who was a candidate to be the CBS Evening News main man after Dan Rather was shown the door in the wake of Filegate. Finally, CNN has quit shuffling Chetry from place to place as an updater and guest co-host. Now she finally has her own show: it's about time. Kudos, CNN! And I don't say that often.

Cf. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/03/AR2007040302298.html.

"Green" Obama: $25 Million!

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) showed that he is a real competitor to establishment favorite Hillary Clinton. The well-oiled Clinton money machine garnered $26 million in the first quarter of the year with the expectation of making the coronation inevitable. However, the avatar of Jack Kennedy showed that he is a force to be reckoned with by pulling in a whopping $25 million from an incredible 100,000 donors (double Hill's contributors). The Illinois Senator ridiculed for his greenness in the political process showed he can garner the green from the Democratic base. Penny Pritzker, Obama finance chairperson stated, "This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country."

Cf. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8O9S8O80&show_article=1 and CNN's American Morning (04/05/07).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Papa Is a Rolling Stone

UPDATE: Jane Rose, long-time manager of Keith Richards, in an email alleges, "Said in jest: Can't believe anyone took seriously." Would one expect her to say otherwise?

Cf. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1556258/20070403/rolling_stones.jhtml.

Rolling Stones legend and survivor Keith Richards bemoaned that he was no longer on the list of "who's likely to die." (He said that he was No. 1 for a decade.) The sixty-three-year-old Richards stated that he was lucky and warned younger wannabees not to ape him. The worldly wise, wizened wizard of rock shared the oddest drug concoction that he had inhaled. He said, "The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father." He added, "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow: My dad wouldn't have cared . . . [and] it went down pretty well." I guess a bit of his dad is blowing in the wind as well.

Cf. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8O9AFO01&show_article=1.

"Puppy" Love

Puppy, a much beloved dog in southern India, died and was mourned by his childless owners, 67-year-old C.N. Madanraj and his 63-year-old wife Hyderabad. After giving their pet of 13 years a burial rite, they held a feast for their friends. Thereafter they hung themselves in their bedroom in sorrow. According to police inspector V. Anantaiah, "The couple described the grief over their pet dog in the suicide note they left on March 29." Martyrs and saints for PETA?

Cf. http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyid=2007-04-03T023547Z_01_DEL152285_RTRUKOC_0_US-INDIA-PET-SUICIDES.xml&src=rss&rpc=22.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Rodham, Romney Rule $ Race

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) topped the Dem fundraising list as expected: the former First Lady with the aid of hubby Bill, reportedly, raked in $26 million. Her main opponent, Barack Obama, the charismatic junior Senator from Rodham's home state of Illinois, is expected to make a strong showing with $21 million. Third-place John Edwards, 2004 Dem Veep candidate, pulled in $14 million. Surprisingly, former Massachussetts gov Romney, a Republican presidential candidate with ratings in single digits, garnered $21 million and embarrassed GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani ($14 million). Second-place John McCain brought in $12.5 million into his coffers. Will Fred own the Dollar Store in the near future?

Cf. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070402/D8O8HU100.html, FNC, and CNN.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Not So Pretty

According to Simon Pretty, a leukemia victim and father of three, his forty-three-year-old sister Helen Pretty refuses to donate her perfectly matched bone marrow to save his life. The Englishman is expected to die within months without a transplant. He states, "I am on death row: I can't believe that she would let my three children lose their father so unnecessarily by her actions." Simon's wife Jacqueline adds, "It is appalling that Helen can stand by and watch her brother die knowing that she could do something to help him: the past few months have been hell." Even though their children play together, the siblings are not close. Miss Pretty refuses to comment on the story.

Remember the saw: "Pretty is as pretty does."

Cf. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=444238&in_page_id=1770.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Too Hot for Teacher

Knoxville, TN, native Sean Powell, an eighteen-year-old, got a lesson from his teacher's jealous husband that was a final one. According to a jailhouse interview broadcast on NBC's Today, thirty-one-year-old Eric McLean stated that he found out that the teenager had been having
an affair with his wife Erin, an intern at the school, West High, that the boy had attended. Reportedly, he found Powell in his home, told him to leave, and called 911 to report an intruder. Later, he called 911 back and asked the dispatched to disregard the call because the person was leaving. Afterwards, McLean said that he got his rifle and fatally shot Powell as he sat in his car.

"Teacher, leave that kid alone!"

Cf. http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Mar22/0,4670,TeacherSexSlaying,00.html.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

On That Farm He Had Some Angus

McDonald's has finally decided to make a premium burger, the Angus Third Pounder. It costs $3.99 and ranges from 720 to 860 calories (depending on the type). It is being test-marketed in 600 stores in southern California in the counties of San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside, and Orange. Even though BK Lounge debuted its dry, barbeque-sauced Angus Steak Burger for the same price in 2004, Mickey D's hopes to make up for lost time with a juicy pemium burger (on a denser bun) with the regular "fixins" and others with less traditional extas. Hungry?

Cf. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0703070312mar07%2C0%2C323944.story?track=mostemailedlink.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

CBS's "Evil Eye"

Under Dan Rather's reign as CBS Evening News anchor, the Tiffany Network became the QVC of news. After his fall from esteemed, sweatered successor of Walter Cronkite to the ousted, disgraced defender of Filegate, CBS steadied the ship with Bob Shieffer at the helm on an interim basis. The Eye Network decided to go for star power by snagging the perky Katie Couric, the co-host of NBC's morning Today Show, with a $15 million/year contract. CBS Evening News with Couric as anchor has dropped 400,000 viewers from the same time last year under Shieffer. It now trails the broadcast evening news leader ABC World News by 2.1 million viewers. Has Katie lost her mojo?

Cf. http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/mediamix/2007-03-06-media-mix_N.htm.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

HillBill-y 4 Prez

As Hillary tried to arrogate her hubby Bill's hold on blacks, she sent chills down the spines of all Southerners as she feigned an Alabama drawl in Selma Sunday at a local church. The Illinois Eli and NY senator had followed her home state rival Obama to the birthplace of the civil rights movement. She spoke to a crowd smaller than the one Obama wowed at the Brown Chapel AME Church, where the Black Sunday march for voting rights had begun a mere forty-two years ago. In this age of worldwide media coverage, Hill's rendition of civil rights poesy seemed more patronizing than empathizing. Perhaps, Obama will deign to give Hill a spot on his ticket or, perhaps, he will up the ante by choosing Bill Richardson.

Cf. FNC and http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070304/D8NLH6200.html.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

America's Ethos: Anna, Bama, & Baseball

As one watches the 24-hour-cable coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death (and the attendant details), the high school tornado tragedy, and the college baseball bus accident, one sees illustrations of America's contemporary cultural ethos. No longer is it deemed appropriate for the lives of public persons, or even Everypersons, to be cordoned off for personal privacy concerns. Emotions, thoughts, and actions are to be shared as a community. To not do so is seen as a deprivation of our common consciousness and an affront to our communal comity.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rudy & Obama on the March

According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll (Feb. 22-25), Rudy has gained the upper hand among white evangelicals, and Obama has taken the lead among blacks. With the recent realignment of these important bases of their respective parties, Giuliani now bests McCain among the GOP faithful by a 2 to 1 margin whereas Obama has halved Hillary's lead from 24 to 12 percentage points. With the front-loading of the primaries and the enormous amount of money needed, candidates must prove themselves early in this election cycle. If the GOP wants a Reagan conservative, they better start scouring the country ASAP for one: however, if the Dems want a traditional liberal who breaks ground on the sex or race issues, they need only to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Cf. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/27/AR2007022701030_2.html.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Base Backs Bush

Although Bush's USA Today/Gallup Poll (Feb. 9-11) approval rating is at 37%, his approval rating among the GOP is at 76%. Similarly, 72% of Republicans believe that the invasion of Iraq was not a mistake. Not surpisingly, the top tier of GOP presidential candidates (Giuliani, McCain, Gingrich, and Romney) support Bush on the war and Congressional Republicans are likewise backing him on the latest Dem anti-war resolution with 92% in the House and 83% in the Senate. If he is able to keep 3 of 4 Republicans behind him, he can insure that his ratings do not dip below 30% to maintain sufficient political capital to be a force with which to be reckoned.

Cf. http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070226/opcomreligion66.art.htm.

Friday, February 16, 2007

FNC Loses Fox: Kiran to CNN

In a rare moment of insanity, FNC decided not to renew the contract of the incredibly gorgeous Kiran Chetry. Kiran, a luscious, leggy blend of Ukrainian and Nepalese ethnicities and wife of FNC's meteorologist Chris Knowles, has been the elegant, eloquent eye candy for Fox & Friends First and Fox & Friends Weekend. CNN snared Maxim's 2006 third sexiest news anchor when, allegedly, Fox News unceremoniously ended new contract talks with Kiran's agent, John Ferriter of the William Morris Agency, Inc., which it claimed had demanded that Kiran take over Gretchen Carlson's role as anchor on the regular Fox and Friends. Another source indicated that Chetry had merely requested a written clarification as to whether she would serve as a Fox & Friends co-host and when. Knowing Kiran, the latter explanation seems obviously the more plausible. CNN's fortunes are looking up! She is currently acting as substitute host on CNN's American Morning at 5:00 a.m. CT. I guess that I will have to get a new TiVo season pass.

Cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiran_Chetry; http://www.maximonline.com/slideshows/index.aspx?slideId=2507&imgCollectId=121;
http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/fnc/chetry_wanted_carlson_fired_53316.asp; and http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3i00c30daf8fb3b8f1b92c68de6362e363. For purported
letter ending new contract  talks and allowing Chetry to leave prior to her contract's terms (March 6, 2007) without compensation,
cf. wikipedia cite.

Monday, February 12, 2007


New Mexico, the state with one of the worst rates of driving while intoxicated, has purchased 500 talking urinal cakes to persuade patrons of bars and bistros to not drink and drive. They will be provided by the state's Transportation Department free of charge to restaurants and other establishments that sell alcohol: if the program is successful, the department will ask for future $21.00 Wizmark Interactive Urinal Communicators to be paid for by the businesses. The message given by a female voice is as follows:

    Hey there, big guy. Having a few drinks? Listen up. Think that you’ve had a few too many?           It’s time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home. It is safer and a hell of a lot 
    cheaper than a D.W.I. Make the smart choice tonight. Don’t drink and drive. Remember, 
    the future is in your hand.

Men are thrice as likely to get D.W.I.'s as women. However, the maker of the battery-operated micturition communicators makes a product for the ladies that flashes a like message on a closed stall door.

Cf. http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/56749.html

Grammys: Not Ready to Make Nice

Last night's Grammys were certainly not ready to make nice with President Bush. The Dixie Chicks swept all five categories in which they were nominated. They won album of the year ("Taking the Long Way"), record of the year ("Not Ready to Make Nice"), song of the year ("Not Ready to Make Nice"), best country performance by a duo or group with vocal, and best country album. (Rick Rubin, their producer won producer of the year.) Ironically, the trio were completely shut out at the Country Music Awards show.

Lead singer Natalie Maines crowed, "Well, to quote the great 'Simpsons, "Heh! Heh!'" She added, "I think people are using their freedom of speech with all of these awards: We get the message." To add insult to injury, President Carter won a Grammy for the spoken word (in a tie with Ruby Dee and her late hubby Ossie Davis for "With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together") for his "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis." Other prominent liberal politicians to have received Grammys in the same category are Hillary Clinton (1997), Bill Clinton (2004, 2005), and Barack Obama (2006).

Cf. http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=entertainmentNews&storyID=2007-02-12T061717Z_01_N07388297_RTRUKOC_0_US-GRAMMYS.xml&pageNumber=2&imageid=∩=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2;
http://www.cmaawards.com/2006/nomwin/nominees.asp; and

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Monk Rules

When you grab your cart at the local grocery, have you ever considered the hygenic nature of its handle. As you rub your mouth or wipe your nose, do you think of others who have done the same before you, esp., as you pick out your produce? According to researchers at the University of Arizona, shopping carts have more bacteria, spittle, and fecal matter than even public restrooms. An Arkansan law will encourage groceries to give sanitary wipes to patrons. Some nicer stores do now: hopefully, Wal-mart will lead the way for the other laggards. Kudos, Mr. Monk!

Cf. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=2859060.

Curb For Paraplegic

Those expousing the virtues of America's private healthcare model and the vices of a universal healthcare system should consider the fate of a penniless Los Angeles paraplegic. LAPD Officer Eric de la Cruz stated that the unnamed man said that he was dropped off by the hospital van on skid row because he had no where else to go and that the hospital staff told him that he could no longer stay at the medical center. Based on witnesses' writing down of the license plate number and a phone number on the van, LAPD detectives are questioning officials at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center already under investigation for another dumping case. LAPD Det. Russ Long declared that this case was the worst that he had seen in his career. He elaborated, I can't think of anything colder than that; there was no mission around, no services; it's the worst area of skid row." Witnesses related to police that the man, wearing a dirtied hospital gown, propped himself up in the van's door, threw himself tumbling into the street, and pulled himself along with his belongings clinched in his teeth. Further, they disclosed that the female driver left him without a wheelchair or walker and was more concerned with the soiled seats and her facial farding. (Within the last two years, the Los Angeles Metropolitan
Medical Center, the Martin Luther King, Jr./Drew Medical Center, and the Kaiser's West Los Angeles Angeles hospital have also been accused of patient dumping by the LAPD.)

Cf. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dumping9feb09,0,7452706.story?coll=la-home-headlines.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

G'bye, Anna Nicole

Anna Nicole Smith (nee Vickie Lynn Hogan), Guess model, MTV reality show star, former Playboy bunny, and widow of billionaire nonagenarian J. Howard Marshall II, was found dead early this afternoon after collapsing at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, at the age of 39. Her death follows the recent death of her son, Danny, from a drug overdose and the death of her stepson E. Pierce Marshall (who fought Smith to keep her from inheriting @ $450 million dollars). According to a source deemed credible by Access Hollywood, a Hard Rock employee discovered Anna Nicole in her hotel room, removed the sheet, and found that she appeared to have become asphyxiated in her own regurgitation. CBS sources added that officers found unlawful narcotics and prescription drugs in the room. Police state that the cause of death is unknown. Smith leaves Dannielynn, a five-month old daughter, whose patriarchal lineage is yet unknown. Photog and former lover Larry Birkhead claims to be the father of the child, and Howard K. Stern, Smith's last boyfriend and attorney, alleges paternity.

Cfs. deleted by AOL Journals apparently.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Naked Sundays

Chanteuse Christina Aguilera revealed to Ellen DeGeneres on Ellen's eponymous show (to be aired today) how she helps keep the hearth's embers stoked with her hubby. "We claim ourselves to be the coziest couple ever: we have something called 'naked Sundays.'" The former Mousketeer elaborated, "You have to keep marriage alive, spice it up: we do everything naked." Makes a single man consider anew the benefits of marriage.

Cf. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,250579,00.html.

Who RU Voting 4?

Rudy Giuliani explained his positions on Hannity and Colmes Monday (2/5/07) after filing his statement of candidacy papers with the federal election commission. He was very articulate and tempered: he explained his views on abortion, homosexual civil unions, gun control, immigration, etc. Rudy looked and sounded very electable. Even though Sen. McCain is the current front runner in the GOP, he appears to be an avatar of Dole (a frank statesman and real American hero but a flawed presidential candidate with skin more than a bit thin). If there is no pro-life candidate with a real chance to win, who will social conservatives back? Once abortion is off the table, even Democrats begin to become viable options.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

All Shook Up in the NASA Triangle

43-year-old Lisa Marie Nowak, a July 2006 Discovery space shuttle astronaut, was arrested on attempted kidnapping and related charges according to police. Reportedly, the space traveler donned adult diapers and raced 900 miles to have an unscheduled talk with a younger love rival, NASA engineer Colleen Shipman, who was flying into Orlando from Miami. (NASA astronaut and Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein apparently was the triangle's Romeo.) Allegedly, after conspicuously tailing Shipman into the parking lot, the trench coat-clad Nowak coaxed the leery Shipman into only opening the window of her car a few inches, and then hit her with pepper spray. According to authorities, Shipman reported the assault and later police observed Nowak trashing a wig and BB pistol and carrying rubber tubing, a 4-in. folding knife, garbage bags, $600 in cash and a steel mallet in a bag when she was apprehended. (Police also
indicated that they found six rubber gloves, e-mail to Oefelein from Shipman, a love letter to Oefelein from Nowak, and handwritten directions to Shipman's home. Today, the starry-eyed, love-struck brunette had her bond set at $15,500 and was instructed to wear a GPS anklet and to remain at least 15 miles from Cape Canaveral.

Cf. http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/astronaut-charged-with-kidnap-attempt/20070206065609990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001 and Fox News Live (02/06/07).

UPDATE: Nowak charged with attempted first degree murder. She is now in jail and facing a new bond hearing.

Cf. Fox Online (02/06/07).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Get Out da Bushes?

Jeb Bush, finds himself in the twilight zone of politics. He's hugely popular with the GOP base but Americans may be wary to make him the third Bush to be president among the last four of the country's leaders. One hears conservative politicos wishing that he had a different surname. (What did you say, Jesse?)

Even though America has prided itself on being a meritocracy that objures dynasties, of the 43 presidents, we have had two father/son combos (Adamses & Bushes), one grandfather/grandson set (Harrisons), and 29 (of the 42) cousin/cousin groupings. (N.B. Grover Cleveland was our 22nd and 24th President: ergo, we have had only 42 men serve in that capacity.) Only thirteen, including Reagan, Jackson, and Kennedy, have not have had presidential relatives. Perhaps, Americans can tolerate another Bush.

As for Jeb, he would be probably the strongest choice for Republicans if he had a different last name. The ratings of his brother, W, are in the tank now: however, W's ratings are similar to the nadirs of his seven immediate predecessors. Maybe, he'll can find a way to win in Iraq and/or rally the nation domestically. If so and if Hill (wife of an earlier prez) looms, maybe, America will be amenable to a new first--presidential brothers.

Jeb could bring alot to the table. As a conservative Catholic married to a Mexican lady and a popular past two-term governor of a big state with with an older, Democratic demographic and a significant Hispanic community, Bush has more than a few top cards to play. His strong leadership in natural disasters would be a welcome contrast to those who felt that his brother did not excel in Katrina. Further, his social and conservative credentials would help keep the base.

Cf. http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0312172/cousins.html and http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46832.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

POTUS: Healthcare Must Be Affordable & Available to All Americans

"The future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available healthcare." Who made this statement? Castro, Reinfeldt (Prime Minister of Sweden), or Bush 43? This quote was uttered by none other than the current President of the United States in the State of the Union to a rare bipartisan standing ovation. He added, "When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children, and we will meet those responsibilites: for all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs but many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy."

Thus, President Bush offered two new initiatives to allow more Americans to obtain a health insurance policy. First, he proposed a standard tax deduction for health insurance [no income or payroll tax on first $15,000 (families) or $7,500 (singles) on their income for those with private health insurance]. Second, he proffered a plan to use existing federal funds to be given in "affordable choices grants" to states with innovative programs to bring basic private health insurance to all of their citizens.

The President is certainly going in the right direction on healthcare. Perhaps, the Congress and the President should offer the federal employee insurance program enjoyed by the Congress to all American citizens at affordable rates. Of course, Americans would have the right to buy private insurance policies if they opted out. And for those who did not avail themselves of either of the aforementioned options, they would be covered by a basic governmental health program available to all.

Cf. State of the Union speech (January 23, 2007) - carried by FNC.

UPDATE: Sen. Obama (D-IL) called for universal health care within six years at a healthcare advocacy meeting yesterday (01/25/07).

Cf. FNC update (01/25/07).

Friday, January 19, 2007

China Zaps Satellite

Yesterday China joined the US and Russia in the exclusive club of nations that have successfully downed a satellite according to the (UK) Telegraph. An American report indicated that the Asian superpower destroyed one of its old weather satellite that was 530 miles into space with a ballistic missile. Japan, Australia, Great Britain, and the U.S. condemned the test: however, the Chinese foreign ministry reassuringly stated, "China consistently uses space only for peaceful purposes" (as quoted by Taro Aso, the foreign minister of Japan).

Cf. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=GBMJXOM5SCYLNQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/19/wchina19.xml.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It Ain't EZ Being da Big Easy

If you are a recent veteran visitor of New Orleans, you've noticed that the old New Orleans is no more--at least, for now. The Big Easy is not teeming with the alcohol-addled, randy rabble-rousers, and carefree carnival crazies that one would expect on even a mundane Lundi. Bourbon Street exuviatrix and manager of a Bourbon burlesque establishment elaborates, "The money's not the same: i remember when I made $1,200 a night." She added, "I know girls who used to never let people touch them, and now they're resorting to prostitution."  Not only are the tourist traps down but native haunts such as O'Flaherty's (an Irish pub appreciated for its ales, darts, and authentic atmosphere), Bella Luna (a restaurant much remembered for a rehearsal dinner), and La Madeleine (a restaurant chain haunted by those who enjoy a nicer Mickey D's approach to fast faux French food) are now defunct thanks to Katrina's wrath. The homogenized demographics make one appreciate racial, ethnic, and aesthetic diversity.

Cf. http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jan17/0,4670,FrenchQuarter,00.html.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Whole Milk and Cheese R4 Losers

Sick and tired of slim milk and low fat cheese? Guess what! Your suffering and sacrifice have been in vain: in fact, you may be bigger than you would have been otherwise. According to the Svenska Dagbladet, a new study by Stockholm's Karolinska Institutes researchers indicates that eating whole milk and cheese will help reduce obesity. Based on the interviews of almost 20,000 women whose eating habits had been tracked for a decade, the women who routinely imbibed whole milk or enjoyed regular cheese had a lower BMI (body mass index) than the others in the group. According to the study, a daily glass of whole milk will result in a 15% less weight gain whereas a whilom wedge of regular cheese will result in a 30% less weight gain. Professor Alicja Wolk of the Karolinska Institute stated, "The surprising conclusion was that increased consumption of cheese meant that overweight women lost weight." Bon appetit!

Cf. http://www.thelocal.se/6019/20070108.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Obama: The Real Thing

Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, the young, photogenic rising star of the Democratic party, admitted marijuana and cocaine use in his youth. In his decade-old autobiography, Dreams from My Father, Obama described his flirtations with Mary Jane and coke ("or blow," as he referenced it) as efforts to escape his internal conflict in dealing with his mixed heritage (Dad-black Muslim and Mom-white Christian). His admission has come to the fore in the national press with the Washington Post's article yesterday questioning the effect of his candor.

Nevertheless, in the country's most conservative state, Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune praised Obama for his honesty in contradistinction to our current President's inartful evasion of drug-use queries and Clinton's much-mocked claim to have not inhaled. The "flyover" country consists not of moralizing Babbitts as the patronizing intelligensia and partison pols may presuppose: rather, it is made up of people who work hard, trust in God, and believe in redemption. Obama is a breath of fresh air: he may not have the ideas, depth, and conviction of a Reagan but he has the charisma, optimism, and good looks of a JFK.

Hillary and John Edwards better watch out for Oprah's favorite candidate during the primaries. If he gains the Democratic nomination, Rudy, John McCain, and Mitt Romney should be wary, too: none of them has a rock solid base among Republicans nor would they likely have a lock on the independents.

Cf. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_4848123 and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/02/AR2007010201359_pf.html.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy New Year!

Did you have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, and did you make resolutions for this year? I enjoyed this traditional fare prepared by my mother, and I made some goals that I think that I'll keep mine sub rosa for the time being. However, let's all resolve to love Him more: it will be the right thing to do and it will make the lives of others and ourselves much better. Happy New Year!