Sunday, October 17, 2010

The 'Other' Salt: 5 Foods Rich in Potassium

"A recent report shows that consuming just 4.7 grams of "good salt" (potassium) is the equivalent of cutting out 4 grams of "bad salt" (sodium) in terms of reducing blood pressure.
But there are only so many bananas (.5g each) you can eat. Just in time for lunch, here's a list of 5 foods that can help boost your potassium intake."
The article goes on to list the following sources for potassium:
  1. Swiss chard (1 cup = 1g of potassium)
  2. Winter squash (1 cup = 1g)
  3. Avocado (1/2 Florida variety = .8g)
  4. Dried apricots (1/2 cup = .9)
  5. Baked potato (1 large = .9g)
The new study found increasing intake of potassium could improve blood pressure levels at the population level.
Posted By Dr. Mercola Next Article According to Time Healthland:
postassium rich Swiss chard

The Gloves Are off in the Midterm Elections

With the Clock to the November 2nd Elections Ticking Down, the Nastiness Meter is Going Up. With just two weeks until Election Day, America's political heavyweights are hitting the road bare-knuckled, ramping up the nastiness of their words.

Take Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who while campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina in San Diego Saturday, unleashed a torrent of disdainful comments about her opponent, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
"This person will never waive the white flag of surrender the way that Barbara Boxer has tried to do every single time we have been in a conflict," he told his audience at the Veterans Museum in Balboa Park.
"Barbara Boxer is the most bitterly partisan, the most anti-defense Senator in the U.S. Senate today," he said, with the seemingly sole intent of insulting Boxer. "I know that because I have had the unpleasant experience of having to serve with her."
The fight has gotten dirty and neither political party is immune, made clear with the tense and often fraught language that the country's most powerful politicians are spewing on the road.
Campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown at UCLA Saturday evening, former President Bill Clinton seemed to scold the Democrats in attendance for their fading morale.

"It is not enough to have voted for a new president if you will not help him govern and stick behind the members of Congress who stood for him," Clinton told the crowd, through a drizzling rain. "I am pleading with you. You need to go out and tell everyone who is not here tonight that any college student in the state of California that doesn't vote in this election is committing malpractice on your own future."

Even President Obama, making the case for Gov. Deval Patrick, lightly chided Democratic voters in Boston on Saturday for their waning support while also admitting that much of the optimism of his election has faded.
"I understand that sometimes hope may have faded as we've grinded out this work over the last several years," he said. "But don't ever let anybody tell you this fight isn't worth it. Don't ever let them tell you you're not making a difference."

Can someone tell me why we went there in the first place! When doing talk radio I kept repeating this a mistake of massive size and dumbness!

Sunnis in Iraq Allied With U.S. Rejoin Rebels

BAQUBA, Iraq — Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.
Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.
The defections have been driven in part by frustration with the Shiite-led government, which Awakening members say is intent on destroying them, as well as by pressure from Al Qaeda. The exodus has accelerated since Iraq’s inconclusive parliamentary elections in March, which have left Sunnis uncertain of retaining what little political influence they have and which appear to have provided Al Qaeda new opportunities to lure back fighters.
The Awakening members’ switch in loyalties poses a new threat to Iraq’s tenuous social and political balance during the country’s ongoing political crisis and as the United States military prepares to withdraw next year.
“The Awakening doesn’t know what the future holds because it is not clear what the government intends for them,” said Nathum al-Jubouri, a former Awakening Council leader in Salahuddin Province who recently quit the organization.
“At this point, Awakening members have two options: Stay with the government, which would be a threat to their lives, or help Al Qaeda by being a double agent,” he said. “The Awakening is like a database for Al Qaeda that can be used to target places that had been out of reach before.”
The Awakening began in 2006, when Sunni insurgents and tribal leaders began turning against Al Qaeda and other extremists — a change that played a major role in pulling Iraq back from deadly sectarian warfare. The former insurgents were initially paid by the American military, with promises that they would eventually get jobs with the government.
But Awakening leaders and security officials say that since the spring, as many as several thousand Awakening fighters have quit, been fired, stopped showing up for duty, or ceased picking up paychecks.
During the past four months, the atmosphere has become particularly charged as the Awakening members find themselves squeezed between Iraqi security forces, who have arrested hundreds of current and former members accused of acts of recent terrorism, and Al Qaeda’s brutal recruitment techniques.
As part of the militants’ unusual, though often convincing strategy, Awakening members that Al Qaeda fails to kill are then sought out to rejoin the insurgency. They are offered larger paychecks than their $300 a month government pay and told that they would be far safer.
The government, which says it is trying to integrate the Awakening into broader Iraqi society, has further angered the group recently by confiscating its weapons, saying Awakening fighters lack proper permits, and stripping some fighters of their ranks, which the government says were not properly earned. The pay of some Awakening leaders has also been reduced.
Iraqi officials in Baghdad say they are aware of only a handful of Awakening members who have quit recently, and they are unapologetic about the government’s treatment of the fighters.
“Fighting the Al Qaeda organization does not mean you are giving service to the government or to the people, and that you deserve gifts, rank, presents or benefits,” said Zuhair al-Chalabi, head of the National Reconciliation Committee, set up to heal the country’s sectarian divides. “It is a national duty.”
The Awakening has long complained about Iraq’s reluctance to hire more of its members into the army and the police, and about receiving salaries late. Those problems persist, members say.
As of July, less than half — 41,000 of 94,000 — of the Awakening’s fighters had been offered jobs by the government, according to the United States Defense Department. Much of the employment has been temporary and involved menial labor. The government has hired only about 9,000 Awakening members for the security forces, with officials blaming budget constraints.
Leaders of the Awakening, who so far do not appear to be among those leaving, say they are not surprised about the defections given what they call the group’s marginalization by the government and its abandonment by the American military.
United States forces had overseen the Awakening in some areas of the country as recently as last year, including in Diyala Province, the violent area northeast of Baghdad that is one of Al Qaeda’s remaining strongholds. The United States relinquished control of the group as it began ceding more oversight of security to the Iraqi government. The American military declined to comment on the Awakening’s troubles.
One Awakening leader in Diyala, Bakr Karkhi, said during an interview that nearly two dozen of his fighters had rejoined Al Qaeda during the past few weeks, a process he said had been occurring throughout Sunni areas of Iraq. Other fighters, he said, had abruptly stopped reporting for duty. “I became suspicious when some of them started making questionable comments, so I expelled them,” he said. “Others left the Awakening on their own and then disappeared from their villages. We found out they were conducting illegal operations and cooperating with armed groups, including Al Qaeda.”
Awakening fighters say recent entreaties by Al Qaeda — messages that have been passed along by relatives or posted on Internet Web sites — have included pledges not to disrupt tribal traditions, one of the issues that drove a wedge between the majority of Sunni tribes and the insurgency.
A man who identified himself as a member of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia said recently that the recruitment of disaffected Awakening members had been successful in Baquba, the capital of Diyala.
“Many of those who called themselves the Awakening felt remorse,” said the man, who used the nom de guerre Abu Mohammed al-Daeni. “They believed they were making a mistake by helping the occupiers and have now returned to Al Qaeda. I can say that the number is increasing every day.”
Diyala has also witnessed a number of events in which police say Awakening fighters have helped Al Qaeda detonate bombs and commit other violent acts.
“The Awakening is not helping the police,” said Lt. Gen. Tariq al-Assawi, the province’s security forces commander. “They are not telling us if Al Qaeda is in the area. They are not warning us about car bombs that go off in places they are responsible for securing. A lot of them are definitely helping the insurgents.”
Muthana al-Tamimi, head of the provincial council’s security committee, said Awakening members were clearly returning to the insurgency, but that Baghdad should share the blame.
“The Awakening needs government support,” he said. “They’re not getting it, so they’re an easy bite for terrorists.”
Since January, more than 90 Awakening fighters in Diyala have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism, the authorities said. During that same period, about 100 Awakening members have been killed or wounded by Al Qaeda, according to the Awakening. The police acknowledge that almost half of those arrested were later released for lack of evidence, bolstering the Awakening’s claims of harassment.
Al Qaeda’s carrot-or-stick strategy with the Awakening was on display during a recent phone call received by Hussam al-Majmaei, the Awakening leader in Diyala Province.
The caller was Jihad Ibrahim Halim, who had been a Qaeda commander before his arrest last year. He was calling from prison.
Mr. Halim, who is Mr. Majmaei’s cousin, told him that for his own good he should rejoin the insurgency because Al Qaeda would slaughter those who had opposed them, Mr. Majmaei included. Mr. Majmaei, 27, chuckled and made his own threats before hanging up. The call, he said, was part of an ongoing “seduction.”
So far, Mr. Majmaei said he had not been swayed by Al Qaeda’s promises of money and power.
“I would never join them,” he said. “But they have no doubts. They believe in what they are saying and I see how others might bend.”

Reporting was contributed by Yasir Ghazi from Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Baghdad, Diyala, Salahuddin, Kirkuk, Babil and Anbar Provinces.

Hey Any Sports Boys & Girls out there?

Oklahoma projected to be on top of initial BCS rankings after another weekend of upsets

Ohio State's loss to Wisconsin guarantees a new No. 1 in the USA TODAY Coaches poll and creates some interesting speculation about how the contenders will stack up in the first Bowl Championship Series standings released Sunday night at 8:15 p.m. ET
Projections before the weekend had Boise State at No. 1 followed by Oregon, TCU and Oklahoma. That was before both the Buckeyes and Nebraska fell. The Ducks a assume the top spot in the USA TODAY and Harris Interactive poll that each comprise one-third of the formula. The computer rankings are the other third.
Projections for the initial BCS rankings have been updated Sunday morning -- and now have Oklahoma as the No. 1 team. Jerry Palm of has moved Boise State behind Oklahoma. Oregon, TCU and Auburn follow to round out his top five. Oklahoma was also projected No. 1 by with Boise State, Oregon, TCU and Auburn in the top five.
Whatever happens, there's still a long road for all the contenders to navigate with the computers playing a more significant role if the votes in the human polls are close.
And some of the teams already with a loss can get back in the mix. Consider Alabama which maybe needs only Oregon or Oklahoma to fall to possibly control its title destiny because it still faces LSU and Auburn in the coming weeks.
Sunday Roundup
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Cornyn: 'Two-cycle process' to retake Senate; Axelrod: There's a reason groups don't disclose; Graham: Obama taking over 'most of society'

Cornyn: 'Two-cycle process' to retake Senate

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said he is not predicting a GOP takeover of the Senate in November. "It may be a two-cycle process," Cornyn said. The Texas senator said it is up to President Obama to determine whether there will be more bipartisanship in the next congressional term. "If he's willing to work with us, as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 elections to pass things like welfare reform, trade agreements and the like, we'll certainly work with him," Cornyn said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) rejected the notion that Democrats have governed too liberally, noting that approximately 40 percent of the economic stimulus package was tax cuts. McCaskill said she is "open to compromise" on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. "I will go to the mat for the middle class," the Missouri Democrat said, but she noted only three percent of taxpayers fall under the top income tax bracket.
Despite host Chris Wallace's best efforts to nail her down on entitlement reform, California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina refused to get more specific about what programs she would cut to find the $4 trillion needed to offset the cost of extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts. "Those tax cuts are central to growing the economy," Fiorina said. "Indeed, I would argue there are some additional tax cuts we need to make." She volunteered that Congress should eliminate waste, fraud and inefficiencies before having a conversation about cutting entitlements.

Axelrod: There's a reason groups don't disclose

 White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod renewed the Democratic argument against outside groups’ non-disclosure of donors, saying, “If people don’t disclose, there’s a reason.” Axelrod said that the conservative-aligned group American Crossroads will spend “probably over $100 million” by Election Day. He said that Democrats “believe deeply in disclosure,” hammering congressional Republicans for opposing disclosure legislation and pushing back against the notion that Democrats are focusing on disclosure because they don’t want to talk about the economy and other issues. Axelrod also defended the administration’s stance against extending the Bush-era tax cuts, arguing that the cuts would be “the least stimulative tax cut we could give.” Asked about the administration’s ability to work together with congressional Republicans, Axelrod said that “it takes two to tango,” adding that with the likely GOP gains in November “comes a greater sense of responsibility” for congressional Republicans.

Conservative Christian leader Gary Bauer, who heads an outside group spending significantly on the midterms, said that the laws dictating donor secrecy were originally created to protect those donating to the Alabama NAACP from “intimidation and outright thuggery.” Bauer charged that many of Obama’s donations “may have come from foreign citizens, not Americans.” He also pushed back against the notion that social issues are off the table for Republicans. “These values issues actually expand the Republican Party. They don’t narrow it,” he said.

Graham: Obama taking over 'most of society'

 Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) accused President Obama of "turning his agenda over to the most liberal people in the House," and pointed out that few Democrats are campaigning on the Democratic health-care bill. "Most Democrats in swing states are running against Nancy Pelosi and against the Obama takeover of most of society," Graham said. The South Carolina Republican predicted that there will be more bipartisanship in 2011, particularly on extending the Bush-era tax cuts. He defended his friend, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who took the unusual step of harshly denouncing a Senate colleague -- Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) -- at a recent campaign rally for Carly Fiorina. "I think John is reacting to an agenda that he thinks has really been overreaching," Graham said. "It is different. The Senate is different now."

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and GOP strategist Liz Cheney got into a heated discussion about President Obama's recent accusations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funding attack ads with money from overseas donors. "It's not fair and it's an abomination and a shame that he's attempting to chill first amendment rights," Cheney said.

Buck: Being gay is 'like alcoholism'

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and his Republican rival, Ken Buck, faced off in a debate. On the topic of gay people serving in the military, Buck said that he believes sexuality is a choice, but added, “I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and other things.” Buck defended himself against charges that he’s been inconsistent on the issues, saying, “It is easy when you have a tracker, and you have 100 examples of answers, to use a tape that shows a slight deviation in the answer.” Bennet shot back that “the flip-flops in this race are unbelievable.”

Bennet also defended his vote for the stimulus, saying that the stimulus “saved us from going into the second Great Depression.” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also appeared on the show. He predicated that Democrats will retain control of the House and Senate this November, a reversal from his projection over the summer that Democrats could lose the House. He also said that Democratic candidates have done “a remarkably good job in a tough political environment.”

O'Donnell: GOP isn't helping me

New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) and marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell (R) were interviewed separately on the show. Coons said that he’d gone from “significantly down to significantly up” in the polls in his race against O’Donnell. Of O’Donnell, Coons said, “I think my grandmother would have said she has a lot of moxie,” adding that her greatest strength is that she’s “good on TV.” O’Donnell said that her campaign is hoping for the National Republican Senatorial Committee to “help us shine a spotlight on my opponent’s negative record,” but “it’s two-and-a-half weeks left, and they’re not.” The NRSC has donated the maximum $42,000 to O’Donnell’s campaign. O’Donnell also said that her campaign has not run any negative ads against Coons.

In the show’s roundtable, Meghan McCain said that O’Donnell is “making a mockery of running for public office” and is “seen as a nutjob” among her group of friends. McCain also said that the tea party movement is “losing young voters at a rapid rate.”

Bair: No foreclosure moratorium

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chair Sheila Bair called the foreclosure crisis "tragic," but she said she would not support a national moratorium on foreclosures. "If a family can't afford making a modified payment, then something else has to happen," Bair said. "I regret it, but that's just the way the system has to work." She said federal regulators must make sure that all appropriate processes are followed before foreclosure.”

By Matt DeLong and Felicia Sonmez