Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Twins agree to deal Santana to Mets for prospects - USATODAY.com
Twins agree to deal Santana to Mets for prospects
The New York Mets have a reached a deal to acquire two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins.
By Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY
The New York Mets have agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, giving up four prospects to acquire the left-handed ace of the Minnesota Twins, according to two high-ranking Twins officials with knowledge of the talks and a person close to Santana.
The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension.
The Mets paid a high price in prospects to land Santana, agreeing to send the Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.
The deal would give the Mets the much-needed ace at the front of their rotation. Santana won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006 and is 93-44 lifetime. He went 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA for the Twins last season. Santana has struck out at least 235 batters each of the past four seasons.
HARRY SMITH: When you see that enthusiasm [for Obama] though, and when you see the generational change that seems to be taking place before our eyes, does it make you at all fearful?
SMITH: I just, I think what I was trying to say is, sometimes agents of change end up being targets, as you well know, and that was why I was asking if you were at all fearful of that.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tentative Deal Is Reached on Stimulus Plan
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: January 24, 2008
Filed at 10:53 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic and Republican congressional leaders reached a tentative deal Thursday on tax rebates of $300 to $1,200 per household and business tax cuts to jolt the slumping economy.
Congressional officials close to the negotiations said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio reached agreement in principle in a telephone call Thursday morning.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two wanted key members of their parties to sign off on the accord before any announcement.
The development came as the Bush administration, which also has been pushing for a deal, said agreement seemed imminent. ''Our understanding is there is no final deal yet but they are making progress,'' presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said early Thursday.
Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make too little to pay income taxes.
Pelosi, answering questions from reporters Thursday after a speech in Washington, said, ''I am not confirming anything.'' But Pelosi added she would have something to say later.
Under the tentative plan, families with children would receive an additional $300 per child, subject to an overall cap of perhaps $1,200, according to a senior House aide who outlined the deal on condition of anonymity in advance of formal adoption of the whole package. Rebates would go to people earning below a certain income cap, likely individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less.
So if you don't pay taxes you get a tax rebate, if you pay a lot of taxes you don't get a tax rebate. Makes perfect Washington sense.
Study on hurricanes, warming creates storm
Controversial data tie warmer temps to wind shear, which inhibits cyclones
WASHINGTON - Global warming could reduce how many hurricanes hit the United States, according to a new federal study that clashes with other research. The new study is the latest in a contentious scientific debate over how manmade global warming may affect the intensity and number of hurricanes.
So the reason we had so many hurricanes on 2005 was global warming and the reason we had so little hurricanes in 2006 and 2007 was global warming.
Ok...I got it!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Iraq films barely a blip on Oscar radar
Who didn't make it to the nominations list
By TIMOTHY M. GRAY
What do Bart Simpson, John Travolta and Iraq-themed movies have in common?
All were no-shows in the Oscars noms.
In a wide-open year, there were lots of possibilities and few certainties. Many names seemed likely contenders, in a variety of categories, but with Oscar, somebody's got to come in sixth.
An entire subgenre was pretty much shut out: Aside from Tommy Lee Jones' surprise nom for "In the Valley of Elah" and Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Charlie Wilson's War," the slate of Mideast-topical movies were ignored by Academy voters. That list includes "Rendition," "Lions for Lambs," "A Mighty Heart," "The Kingdom" and "Redacted."
That line should have read "the slate of blame-America-first movies were ignored not only by the Academy voters but also by movie goers who don't like to pay their own hard-earned money to watch our finest and bravest be called murderers, rapists, thugs and losers...."
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Writers Strike Could End in Two Weeks as Key Players Show Clout
Monday, January 21st, 2008
The WGA wisely invited key Showrunners and hyphenates to be part of the process. Now they are pushing the DGA deal as a model to get the writers back to work
By Alex Ben Block
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) – 1/21/2008 – The same group of top TV show runners and industry hyphenates who added credibility, muscle and enhanced unity during the Writers Guild strike are now also going to be a force pushing within the guild for a contract modeled after the DGA deal. That is one reason we believe the WGA strike will be over in two weeks, and the Academy Awards will proceed as usual.
These Showrunners — the people who run day-to-day operations of a TV show, often with titles like executive producer, producer-writer or some combination of hyphenates — are under tremendous personal and professional pressure to get back to work before their well paid careers go through the corporate shredder.
Monday, January 21, 2008
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations' chief envoy in Iraq gave a mixed report on the situation on Monday, saying security had improved but an Iraqi political consensus was needed for lasting stability.
"We cannot ignore the recent improvements both in the security and political situation in Iraq," Staffan de Mistura, head of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), said in a speech to the Security Council.
Reasons for the reduced level of violence included the increased presence of U.S. and other troops, a ceasefire declared by Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia and increased cooperation with Iraq's neighbors, he said.
Will wonders never cease!
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Thursday, January 17, 2008
John Edwards Embraces Wicked Fox News - Media Blog - Jeff Bercovici - Mixed Media - Portfolio.com
John Edwards wants you to ignore all that garbage coming out of Fox News -- except when it makes him look good.
Edwards was the first major Democrat to vow to sit out a debate originally scheduled to air on Fox News last August. "Fox News has already proven they have no intention of providing 'fair and balanced' coverage of any Democrat in this election," declared his campaign website. "Now it's time for Democrats to stand together and send a clear message to Roger Ailes, Fox News and all the rest of them: bias isn't balance, but turning tables is fair." Other Democrats also succumbed to pressure from MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups, and Fox ended up cancelling the debate.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
ACLU: Sex in restroom stalls is private
Tue Jan 15, 11:15 PM ET
ST. PAUL, Minn. - In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy.
Craig, of Idaho, is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to let him withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct stemming from a bathroom sex sting at the Minneapolis airport.
The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy."
That means the state cannot prove Craig was inviting an undercover officer to have sex in public, the ACLU wrote.
LAUER: No front-runner on the Republican side; no front-runner on the Democratic side. And yet when you listen to the press coverage of this, you hear them say "the up-for-grabs race on the Republican side signals a party in disarray. The up-for-grabs race on the Democratic side signals a party with an embarrassment of riches." Why is that? Is it the media?
RUSSERT: We have to be careful. I remember in 1992 it was the Democrats who were the party in disarray [remember the "Seven Dwarfs"?] and Bill Clinton finally emerged and beat George Herbert Walker Bush. But what the Democrats point to, Matt, is money -- Democrats outraising them dramatically. Last night in Michigan, half the Republicans said they're angry or dissatisfied with the Bush administration. We found the same thing in Iowa, and the same thing in New Hampshire. And there are still five viable candidates on the Republican side; only two, two-and-a-half, three on the Democratic side.
LAUER: Mr. Edwards would be really happy that you called him half a candidate.
RUSSERT: I said three at the end, didn't I? It was a long flight!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Transit Panel Urges Gas Tax Increase
Jan 15 10:08 AM US/Eastern
By HOPE YEN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal gasoline taxes should be raised up to 40 cents per gallon over five years, a special commission urged Tuesday in calling for drastic changes to fix aging bridges and roads and reduce traffic deaths.
The two-year study by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission is the first to recommend broad changes after the devastating bridge collapse in Minneapolis last August. It warns that urgent action is needed to avoid future disasters.
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GM's outspoken Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told reporters today at the Detroit Auto Show the U.S. government's 35 mpg CAFE standard will push car prices up by $4,000 to $10,000 per vehicle, or an average $6,000.
Always looking out for the little guy! Don't worry, Barack wants to give everyone $250 rebates to boost the economy!
Overseas next, a significant political breakthrough in Iraq. Security has been improved there, but critics have wondered when political progress would come. Well, now Iraqi lawmakers have put their differences aside and agreed to allow some members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to take government jobs. It's a key benchmark sought by the United States. ABC's Hillary Brown reports...
Well of course they will take credit the way Hillary did on Meet The Press over the weekend;
Thursday, January 10, 2008
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What the hell happened in New Hampshire?
MATTHEWS:“You remember the Lone Ranger and Tonto? I think paleface speak with forked tongue. You hear me? Forked tongue....
I thought this was over. I thought it ended with “macaca."...
I thought white voters stopped being what they didn’t want to be. You know what it tells me? People aren’t proud of who they are. They aren't proud of who they are. If they want to vote for Hillary Clinton, fine. Why don’t they say so?
SCARBOROUGH: I’m used to people saying that we in the South have problems.
MATTHEWS: Tell me about it,
SCARBOROUGH: But talk about New England.
MATTHEWS: Boston? BOSTON? [with a tone of incredulity]
MATTHEWS: There’s different kind of prejudice in the North than in the South. But it exists. It may not be “I think I’m better than you,” but it might be "I don’t want to live next door to you.”
Hey Chris...maybe they just changed their minds...ya think?
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
She Made Hillary Cry - Then She Voted For Obama!
Marianne Pernold tells 630 WMAL's Chris Core she truly believes that Senator Hillary Clinton's emotional response to her question at a meeting in New Hampshire was genuine. Pernold asked Clinton how she managed to keep going during the rough campaign, and Clinton's somewhat-teary response has been credited by some pundits for her victory in the Granite state Tuesday night. Pernold tells 630 WMAL she still voted for Barack Obama, because she had attended one of his rallies earlier in the week, and she claims Obama's stirring speech brought HER to tears!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
DRUDGE REPORT 2008®
EPIC TURNOUT FOR DEMS -- We Are Out of Ballots!
Imagine if this were a presidential election and New Hampshire or any other state ran out of ballots. I can just hear the cries of voter suppression by the Democrats against the Republicans now...
Huckabee vows to defy birthright citizenship
By Stephen Dinan
January 8, 2008
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made a campaign stop yesterday at the Barley House in Concord, N.H. If he wins the presidency, he said, he intends to review the case against two Border Patrol agents who are serving lengthy prison sentences for shooting a fleeing suspect. (Associated Press)
Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.
Mr. Huckabee, who won last week's Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.
UPDATE: Apparently not, Huckabee just released this statement:
I do not support an amendment to the constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship.
Monday, January 07, 2008
College Drinking Games Lead to Higher Blood Alcohol Levels
Women at themed events also drank more heavily than male peers, field study finds
-- Madeline Vann
SUNDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The first on-the-scene study of college drinking behavior shows that parties with drinking games result in higher blood alcohol levels, while themed parties encourage college women to drink more heavily than men, new research suggests.
Previous studies of college drinking have relied largely on individual behavior and self-reports of drinking habits. Researchers at San Diego State University and the University of Michigan have determined that environment and party activities also affect drinking behavior.
"Most studies use survey methods that require people to recall their drinking behavior -- days, weeks or months prior -- and such recall is not always accurate," corresponding author J. D. Clapp, director of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services at San Diego State University, said in a prepared statement. "By going out into the field and doing observations and surveys, including breath tests for alcohol concentrations, we were able to mitigate many of the problems associated with recall of behavior and complex settings."
The team observed 1,304 young adults (751 men, 553 women) at 66 college parties over the course of three semesters. The parties all took place in private residences close to an urban public university in southern California. The team noted party environment, surveyed attendees and collected blood-alcohol concentrations.
The researchers found that playing drinking games, having a personal history of binge drinking, attending a party with many other intoxicated people, and attending a themed event all predicted higher blood alcohol levels. The researchers expressed surprise over the finding that women at themed events drank more heavily than their male peers.
Students who attended parties with the intention of socializing and people who attended larger parties drank less alcohol.
"From a methodological standpoint, our study illustrates that is possible and important to examine drinking behavior in real-world settings," Clapp said. "It is more difficult than doing Web surveys and the like but provides a much richer data set. Secondly, environmental factors are important. Much of the current research on drinking behavior focuses on individual characteristics and ignores contextual factors. Yet both are important to our understanding of drinking behavior and problems."
The team plans to expand its research to other environments, including bars.
The study was published in the January issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
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“My question is very personal, how do you do it?” asked Marianne Pernold Young, a freelance photographer from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?”
Clinton began responding, jokingly: “You know, I think, well luckily, on special days I do have help. If you see me every day and if you look on some of the websites and listen to some of the commentators they always find me on the day I didn’t have help. It’s not easy.”
Then Clinton began getting emotional: “It’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know I have so many opportunities from this country just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” she said.
Then, her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she said, “You know, this is very personal for me. It’s not just political it’s not just public. I see what’s happening, and we have to reverse it.”
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Friday, January 04, 2008
The quickest way to get the liberal media to pay attention to you is to claim to be a Republican who hates Republicans. It’s an almost infallible public relations strategy that of late has worked well for “Republican” Monica Green.
It’s also done wonders for “lifelong Republican” Henry A. Lowenstein, who has managed to get 20 different letters published in the New York Times since 2003, a remarkable feat when you consider that the Times (by its own admission) receives around 1,000 letters a day and prints only 15 on its letters page. That means the odds of the average liberal person (the paper freely admits it favors left-wing letter writers) getting his or her letter printed are about 1.5 percent.
It’s worse when you think of the numbers on a yearly scale. In the past five years, the Times has received approximately 1.8 million letters. It’s printed 20 of Lowenstein’s.
Remarkable really. But not really all that surprising when you consider the Times’s history of quoting people like Greg Packer, a liberal New Yorker obsessed with getting press about any topic under the sun.
Back to Lowenstein though. What sorts of things does “life-long” Republican say anyway? Let’s take a look.
* From today’s edition: “We have allowed this administration to lie, cheat and break the law, and to break its sacred oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.”
* May 26, 2003: “The decline of the dollar is a sign of what may come if we allow the folly of tax cuts when what we really need is a huge influx of capital and a shrinking of our trade deficits.”
* February 26, 2004: “John Kerry is no ‘Massachusetts liberal’ and no Michael Dukakis. John Kerry is Karl Rove’s worst nightmare: a candidate who can go eye to eye with the president on foreign policy and terrorism, and whose record on health care, the environment and jobs is exemplary.”
* August 18, 2005: “The Bush administration’s domestic plan is to make sure that every worthwhile, successful and fair entitlement program is eliminated. The administration’s constituents, the super rich, do not need or want these programs.”
Sounds like a typical Republican to me. Lowenstein’s Republican credentials are about as real as the “Lowenstein Institute” hoax which tricked gullible liberals into believing that Republican presidents have far lower IQs than Democratic ones.
Update 13:46. Via Freeper Brad from Tennessee, here’s a look at the political contributions of a New Yorker named Henry Lowenstein. Seems likely this is the same guy. You can’t help but notice that he only gives to Democrats, quite a feat for someone who claims he wants to see the GOP reform.
An Open Letter
Posted by Stephen Green · 3 January 2008
Dear Iowa Republicans,
I’ll put this in language even your tiny little Iowa brains can understand: What the f*** is wrong with you people?
The news coming out of Des Moines (literally, French for “tell me about the rabbits, George”) tonight is distressing in the extreme. 32 years ago, your Democratic brethren took one look at Jimmy Carter -- the worst 20th Century President bar Nixon, and the worst ex-President ever -- and declared, “That’s our man!”
Three decades later, and along comes Mike Huckabee. Same moral pretentiousness, same gullibility on foreign affairs, only-slightly-less toothy idiot’s grin. Then you so-called Republicans took a look at Carter’s clone and said, “That’s our man, too!”
And by a pretty wide margin.
I’ll give you some credit where it's due: you guys had sense enough to give Fred Thompson a breather, and Ron Paul a pretty solid kick in the (ahem) nuts. But Mike Huckabee? Really? We’ve seen this game before, and its name is... every other single stupid, un-winnable candidate you’ve ever picked -- which is most of them.
So I repeat the question: What is wrong with you people?
All my love, you corn-sucking idiots,
PS You're making Iowa Democrats look like Albert freakin' Einstein. How's that feel?
BIG -- AND DEVASTATING -- NEWS ON THAT LANCET STUDY claiming massive civilian deaths in Iraq. A National Journal cover story by Neil Munro suggests the possibility of outright scientific fraud. Neil Munro notes serious problems with the study, and a failure on the part of The Lancet's staff to determine if the data on which it was based -- data which the authors will not share -- were even true. In addition, there are problems with conflicts of interest and political bias. This is a big deal story; it'll be interesting to see if it gets the attention it deserves.
By Neil Munro and Carl M. Cannon, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Friday, Jan. 4, 2008
Three weeks before the 2006 midterm elections gave Democrats control of Congress, a shocking study reported on the number of Iraqis who had died in the ongoing war. It bolstered criticism of President Bush and heightened the waves of dread -- here and around the world -- about the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Published by The Lancet, a venerable British medical journal, the study [PDF] used previously accepted methods for calculating death rates to estimate the number of "excess" Iraqi deaths after the 2003 invasion at 426,369 to 793,663; the study said the most likely figure was near the middle of that range: 654,965. Almost 92 percent of the dead, the study asserted, were killed by bullets, bombs, or U.S. air strikes. This stunning toll was more than 10 times the number of deaths estimated by the Iraqi or U.S. governments, or by any human-rights group.
In December 2005, Bush had used a figure of 30,000 civilian deaths in Iraq. Iraq's health ministry calculated that, based on death certificates, 50,000 Iraqis had died in the war through June 2006. A cautiously compiled database of media reports by a London-based anti-war group called Iraq Body Count confirmed at least 45,000 war dead during the same time period. These were all horrific numbers -- but the death count in The Lancet's study differed by an order of magnitude.
Queried in the Rose Garden on October 11, the day the Lancet article came out, Bush dismissed it. "I don't consider it a credible report," he replied. The Pentagon and top British government officials also rejected the study's findings.
It's a long article but very interesting...