Friday, October 22, 2010

Plane Crashes And Kills 20 After Crocodile Escapes

Plane Crashes And Kills 20 After Crocodile Escapes
On Board And Everyone Panics

A plane crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a crocodile that was secretly carried on board by a passenger escaped and caused mass panic,The Telegraph reports.

The stampede of passengers threw the small aircraft's balance off, and the Dutch pilot, plane operator and first officer failed to regain normal operation of the controls.

The plane crashed into a house minutes from its final destination, killing all on board except one passenger - which is why we know exactly what happened - and the croc.

According to the... testimony of the only survivor, the crash happened because of a panic sparked by the escape of a crocodile hidden in a sports bag. One of the passengers had hidden the animal, which he planned to sell, in a big sports bag, from which the reptile escaped as the plane began its descent into Bandundu.

Apparently the air hostess freaked out and ran into the cockpit, and all the frenzied passengers ran after her.

The troublesome crocodile was "dispatched with a blow from a machete" after the incident.

From The Telegraph

One of the worst decisions the Supreme Court made, appointing the chuckle head PRESIDENT OF THE USA!

Bush promotes book in Chicago

Former president reflects on his legacy — and pokes fun at himself
In a rare public appearance, former President George W. Bush reflected on his presidency and his life out of the spotlight, poked fun at himself, and plugged his upcoming book while speaking at a conference for a finance trade association in Chicago on Thursday.

He told of taking his Scottish terrier, Barney, for a walk around his Texas neighborhood for the first time since leaving office.

"I was out of the presidency for two weeks and I had a plastic bag on my hand," Bush said, drawing laughter and applause from the crowd attending the Commercial Finance Association convention. "In the old days there'd be a guy with a plastic bag on his hand, following."

Bush, whose memoir, "Decision Points," is set for release Nov. 9, joked: "I have written a book. This will come as quite a shock to some. They didn't think I could read, much less write."

He said the book is the only reason he'll be back in the spotlight soon. Since leaving office, Bush has been relatively quiet in the public arena.

"I have zero desire, just so you know, to be in the limelight," Bush said. "I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor. You're not going to see me giving my opinions in the public arena, until I start selling my book. I'm going to emerge then submerge."

Bush said he believed the upcoming elections will mean a loss of congressional support for President Barack Obama.

"The odds are, from a historical perspective, that the president is going to lose [congressional] seats. The question is how many."

Bush said he signed off on the bailout of major financial institutions because his economic advisers recommended he take action before the economy suffered even more.

"I did not want to be a president overseeing a depression greater than the Great Depression," he said.

Of his legacy, Bush said he "would like to be remembered as a guy who had a set of priorities and was willing to live by those priorities."

"In terms of accomplishments, my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe amid a real danger," he said.

The former president said his greatest failure in office was not passing Social Security reform.

Wishing for Obama's assassination won't get you fired from Fox News

The media topic of the week was the firing of Juan Williams by NPR over his remark that he gets "nervous" around "people who are in Muslim garb" on airplanes.

Williams' firing comes weeks after CNN canned Rick Sanchez for remarks about Jon Stewart and Jews in the media. In both cases, news organizations made personnel moves in response to perceived violations of their editorial standards.

Yet when it comes to cable ratings leader Fox News, it's hard to tell whether any editorial standards exist, and what - if anything - would get you reprimanded by the network.

Unlike other media outlets, Fox News has a pattern of failing to seriously discipline employees for on-air transgressions. And in positioning itself as an alternative to traditional news media, that's probably how Fox News likes it.

Take the case of Fox News contributor Liz Trotta. During a May 2008 segment on the Democratic presidential primaries, Trotta actually remarked that she wished somebody would "knock off" both Osama Bin Laden and then-candidate Barack Obama:

TROTTA: The vast right-wing conspiracy blame has been undermined by her [Clinton's] evasions, by her outright lies, if I may say, by her pandering, by her race-baiting, and now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama - Obama - well, both if we could.

It bears repeating what Trotta did - she expressed her hope that someone assassinates Obama. The next day, Trotta appeared on Fox News to do damage control, telling Bill Hemmer that she is "so sorry about what happened yesterday and the lame attempt at humor. I fell all over myself, making it appear that I wished Barack Obama harm or any other candidate."

The fallout? Nothing, apparently. Trotta is still a Fox News contributor, and appears in a weekly segment offering commentary.

More recently, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade made the clearly false claim - twice - that "all terrorists" are Muslim. Following outrage over his remarks, Bill Shine, Fox News' senior vice president of looking the other way, said Kilmeade would "clarify" his comments and claimed that Kilmeade actually meant to say that "all terrorists" involved in the 9-11 attacks were Muslim. Of course, this explanation was completely bogus, as Kilmeade referenced non-9-11 targets when he made the same comment on his Fox News Radio program later that day.

This wasn't the first time Kilmeade has gotten in trouble for remarks on race and religion. Kilmeade issued an apology over his remark that "we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and ... the Swedes have pure genes, because they marry other Swedes." Kilmeade has also repeatedly made inflammatory remarks about Islam and Muslims.

Additionally, Kilmeade's Fox & Friends program was forced to retract the false assertion that Obama "was educated in a madrassa" - one part of the web of internet conspiracy theories claiming Obama is a secret Muslim with a fake birth certificate. In May 2008, Fox & Friends was forced to issue an apology after it repeated as fact an online parody news report of a school prank that included fabricated quotes.

And during a July 2008 show, Fox & Friends altered photos of New York Times reporters they disliked -- the journalists' teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and one journalist's hair was moved further back on his head.

The fallout? The hosts of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade included, are still standing. In response to the Times incident, Fox News' vice president of shrugging, John Moody, reportedly "said the incident will not result in any official standards adjustments." Why? "Moody told the assembled press that the morning program is 'an entertainment show that does some news.'"

Media Matters documented this week that Fox News has a payola problem. Contributor Dick Morris again used his position as a Fox News "political analyst" to tout and solicit donations for the Republican-aligned group Americans for New Leadership weeks after they began paying him thousands of dollars. During his appearances, Morris did not disclose that he was receiving money from the group. To the contrary, Morris lied that he's been working for the Republican Party "without compensation."

Morris has also suggested that violence against government officials could be justified. In early 2009, during a long conspiracy theory about a "super-national authority" that will oversee U.S. financial institutions, Morris asserted that President Obama's policies are "internationalist" and that "[t]hose crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case."

The fallout? Morris is one of the most frequent on-air commentators on Fox News.

Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters once asserted of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009 and appeared in Taliban propaganda videos: "[W]e know this private is a liar; we're not sure if he's a deserter." Peters added that if he is a deserter, "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." NBC's Jim Miklaszewski subsequently reported that the Pentagon said Peters' comments "could endanger" the captured soldier.

Peters still appears regularly on Fox News.

Fox News contributors Doug Schoen and Frank Luntz, meanwhile, have touted and defended the work of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - without mentioning that the GOP-aligned group is their client.

Such behavior extends to Fox's "straight news" division. In February 2009, anchor Jon Scott essentially committed on-air plagiarism by trying to pass off a GOP press release as his own research (typo and all). When Scott was caught, he apologized - for the typo.

While students might have faced a suspension or expulsion, Scott suffered no apparent consequences -- to the contrary, he ironically hosts Fox News' media ethics program.

And we haven't even gotten to Glenn Beck. While over 100 advertisers have reportedly abandoned Beck's Fox News program, Fox News has stuck with Beck despite his history of violent rhetoric, bizarre conspiracy theories and promotion of anti-Semites. Rupert Murdoch even agreed with Beck's statement that Obama is a "racist," causing's First Read blog to write about Beck, "What's most amazing about this episode is that what Beck said isn't a fireable or even a SUSPENDABLE offense by his bosses. There was a time when outrageous rants like this would actually cost the ranters their jobs. But not anymore; if anything, it's now encouraged."

Fox News has made noise about having editorial standards. Last year, it promised to implement a "zero tolerance" policy regarding errors - then appeared to throw the policy overboard when subsequent errors were found.

In another telling incident, Fox News executives yanked Sean Hannity from trying to tape his show at a Cincinnati Tea Party event which charged admission and had "all proceeds" benefiting the organization. Fox News execs were reportedly "furious," but The Los Angeles Times noted that "it does not appear that [their concerns] have resulted in any serious disciplinary measures taken against any staffers involved" and a spokesperson told the Times and NY Magazine that it wouldn't discuss the matter any further.

Since April's tea party incident, Hannity has used his program as a non-stop fundraising and promotion tool for favored Republican candidates like Ohio's John Kasich and New York's John Gomez, among others.

For those keeping score about what won't result in serious disciplinary action when working at Fox News: wishing for Obama's assassination; appearing to legitimize physical threats against soldiers and law enforcement officers; failing to disclose that you're touting your business clients; trying to financially enrich conservative organizations and candidates; plagiarism of a partisan source; and fundraising on-air for a conservative group without disclosing that they've paid you thousands of dollars.

Why the lack of standards? Perhaps it's that Fox News has long defined itself by being the opposite of their competition.

The "mainstream media," according to Fox News, is purportedly liberal. Fox's programming, therefore, has to be stacked with conservative hosts and commentators to "balance" out the competition. And other news organizations, apparently, are too focused on restrictions and standards. On Fox News, they don't care about you making "mistakes."

"Here you have an ability to do stuff, and then they can always rein you in," Kilmeade told the Los Angeles Times in October 2008. "But I know I'm not going to get reprimanded."

"When we make a mistake reading the news headlines, whereas at a [broadcast] network you'd probably get fired, instead, we're like, 'Eh, we screwed up,' " Fox & Friends' Gretchen Carlson similarly told the Times. "And I think that's disarming."

Media Matters


Ex: Thomas Was Obsessed With Porn

Ginni Thomas was seeking closure when she left a voicemail for Anita Hill. This probably isn't what she expected: Clarence Thomas's ex-girlfriend Lillian McEwen, whom he dated in the 1980s, tells The Washington Post that "he was obsessed with porn. He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting."

She also says he was a big fan of large breasts; McEwen says he once told her he was so impressed by his coworker's chest that he asked her bra size.

McEwen, a retired prosecutor and law professor, was never asked to testify during Thomas' confirmation hearings in 1991.

She never spoke about her relationship with Thomas, but says she changed her mind after reports that his wife, Ginni, left a message for Hill; McEwen is also shopping her memoirs.

Read it at The Washington Post

Sorry I fiund another BRAIN DEAD GOPer!! Endless supply! Maybe bad minority education funding?

GOP Candidate Stephen Broden:
Violent Overthrow "On the Table" if No GOP Takeover in November

Congressional candidate Stephen Broden, a Dallas minister with a history of making controversial statements, admitted in an interview on Thursday that he would not rule out a violent overthrow of the government if the November 2 elections did not produce a change in leadership.

"The option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms," Broden said, in an interview on Dallas-Fort Worth's WFAA-TV. He added, however, that "it is not the first option."

"If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary," Broden said.

The minister was clarifying comments he made during a 2009 speech, when he raised the idea of an uprising before a Fort Worth audience.

CSee all the Ratings for Senate, House and Governors in an Interactive Map
"We have a constitutional remedy here, and the framers said, if that don't work -- revolution," he said in the speech.

The candidate, who founded the Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in 1987, has made a string of controversial comments in the past. In a series of 2009 interviews, Broden implied that the Obama administration was trying to "depopulate" the senior demographic and that the American economic crisis was an elaborate "set-up" by the administration, according to WFAA.

WFAA also reports that Broden compared the Obama administration to Nazi Germany in a 2009 interview, arguing that "in Germany when the Jews were walking into the furnaces ...they walked in because they did not believe that this was happening. They didn't believe that humanity could be so evil. I am submitting to you tonight that is where America is right now. They are our enemies and we must resist them."

When asked about these statements recently, Broden said that his views had changed.

The candidate faces incumbent and eight-term congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson in the contest to represent Texas' heavily democratic 30th District. (CBS News rates the race as a probable win for Democrats.)

And while Johnson is heavily favored for the win, a recent scandal has exposed her to unforeseen vulnerability. Over the summer, it was reported that Johnson awarded relatives and aides' children scholarships with funds provided the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The awards were made in violation with the group's anti-nepotism rules.

Johnson has since agreed to repay the scholarship money, but some wonder if the scandal has opened the door for Broden.

FINALLY a non BRAIN DEAD Republican!

GOP's Darrell Issa: "Not a Chance" We'll Impeach Obama

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who will run the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee if Republicans take over the House, is promising that he and his party will not move to impeach President Obama - at least as things now stand.

"Not a chance at this point. I don't see it happening," Issa said in an interview with Bloomberg's "Political Capital" that will air over the weekend and was reported by The Hill.

"Look, disagreeing with the president -- the president using his authority, maybe even misusing it -- that's not what impeachment's for," Issa added. "Do we have disagreements? Yes. Do we want to see that the president strictly adheres to process? Yes."

Democrats have speculated that Issa, who has pushed for a number of inquiries into the Obama administration, would use his newfound power under a GOP majority to aggressively investigate the administration. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina said Issa will seek to "delegitimize" Mr. Obama, and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell warned of "wackos" wielding subpoena power in a GOP-run House.

But Issa, who has been deemed Mr. Obama's "annoyer in chief," is trying to counteract the notion that he is poised for partisan overreach. He told the Wall Street Journal he has no intention of overreaching and wants to work with Democrats "to get things done."

That doesn't mean he won't be busy. The WSJ ticks off what Issa calls his top priorities: "Dig into excesses in the federal pension system; trim Medicare waste; downsize and try to save the U.S. Postal Service; investigate potential abuses within mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

There are also potential items on his agenda that seem like red meat for his party's base, including investigations of ACORN and "Climate-Gate."

Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella insisted to TPM that "the notion that we're prepared to embark on an epic subpoena-led politically-motivated investigatory effort is just wrong."

And Issa is vowing not to investigate alleged White House job offers to clear the field for its preferred Democratic candidates in primaries, an issue he pushed hard in the past. He said the practice also went on under President Bush and while it is not impeachable, it needs to stop.

Another top Republican, Rep. Mike Pence, says his party isn't interested in compromise if it takes the House.

"Look, there will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits and debt. There will be no compromise on repealing Obamacare. There will be no compromise on stopping Democrats from growing government and raising taxes," he told radio host Hugh Hewitt last night. "And if I haven't been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise."


What Is That Thing Baseball Players Are Wearing Around Their Neck?

Next time the Fox or TBS cameras zoom in on a player during their MLB postseason coverage, notice those twisty, colorful necklaces they wear. It seems like everyone's wearing them. What's with the jewelry and why is it so popular?

They are $50 "Tornado" necklaces made by Phiten. The company claims the product "helps to promote stable energy flow throughout the body." It says wearers benefit from shortened recovery time, less fatigue, and more relaxed muscles.

One reason many players wear them? During spring training Phiten reps descended upon MLB facilities to hand out the product to players. Stars continue to wear them because they think the jewelry works.

In its "Body Issue," ESPN Magazine published an expose of a similar item: silicon bracelets with mineral cards. They're made by Power Balance and worn by the likes of Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Shaq. Like Phiten, Power Balance claims their bracelets "resonate with and respond to the natural energy of the body" to improve balance, flexibility, and strength.

ESPN Magazine tested these claims against a placebo and, unsurprisingly, they concluded the bracelet's claims were bogus.

Well, sort of. Athletes who believed in the product actually did perform better. So the next time you see players wearing those thick necklaces or plastic bracelets, just consider them colorful monetizations of the placebo effect.

The stupidity of GWB just keeps on getting worse! If there is a GOD I wouldn't want to be that jerk!!

A Grim Portrait of Civilian Deaths in Iraq

The reports in the archive disclosed by WikiLeaks offer an incomplete, yet startlingly graphic portrait of one of the most contentious issues in the Iraq war — how many Iraqi civilians have been killed and by whom.

The reports make it clear that most civilians, by far, were killed by other Iraqis. Two of the worst days of the war came on Aug. 31, 2005, when a stampede on a bridge in Baghdad killed more than 950 people after several earlier attacks panicked a huge crowd, and on Aug. 14, 2007, when truck bombs killed more than 500 people in a rural area near the border with Syria.

But it was systematic sectarian cleansing that drove the killing to its most frenzied point, making December 2006 the worst month of the war, according to the reports, with about 3,800 civilians killed, roughly equal to the past seven years of murders in New York City. A total of about 1,300 police officers, insurgents and coalition soldiers were also killed in that month.

The documents also reveal many previously unreported instances in which American soldiers killed civilians — at checkpoints, from helicopters, in operations. Such killings are a central reason Iraqis turned against the American presence in their country, a situation that is now being repeated in Afghanistan.

The archive contains reports on at least four cases of lethal shootings from helicopters. In the bloodiest, on July 16, 2007, as many as 26 Iraqis were killed, about half of them civilians. However, the tally was called in by two different people, and it is possible that the deaths were counted twice. Read the Document »

In another case, in February 2007, an Apache helicopter shot and killed two Iraqi men believed to have been firing mortars, even though they made surrendering motions, because, according to a military lawyer cited in the report, “they cannot surrender to aircraft, and are still valid targets.” Read the Document »

The shooting was unusual. In at least three other instances reported in the archive, Iraqis surrendered to helicopter crews without being shot. The Pentagon did not respond to questions from The Times about the rules of engagement for the helicopter strike.

The pace of civilian deaths served as a kind of pulse, whose steady beat told of the success, or failure, of America’s war effort. Americans on both sides of the war debate argued bitterly over facts that grew hazier as the war deepened.

The archive does not put that argument to rest by giving a precise count. As a 2008 report to Congress on the topic makes clear, the figures serve as “guideposts,’ not hard totals. But it does seem to suggest numbers that are roughly in line with those compiled by several sources, including Iraq Body Count, an organization that tracked civilian deaths using press reports, a method the Bush administration repeatedly derided as unreliable and producing inflated numbers. In all, the five-year archive lists more than 100,000 dead from 2004 to 2009, though some deaths are reported more than once, and some reports have inconsistent casualty figures. A 2008 Congressional report warned that record keeping in the war had been so problematic that such statistics should be looked at only as “guideposts.”

In a statement on Friday, Iraq Body Count, which did a preliminary analysis of the archive, estimated that it listed 15,000 deaths that had not been previously disclosed anywhere.

The archive tells thousands of individual stories of loss whose consequences are still being felt in Iraqi families today.

Misunderstandings at checkpoints were often lethal. At one Marine checkpoint, sunlight glinting off a windshield of a car that did not slow down led to the shooting death of a mother and the wounding of three of her daughters and her husband. Hand signals flashed to stop vehicles were often not understood, and soldiers and Marines, who without interpreters were unable to speak to the survivors, were left to wonder why. Read the Document »

According to one particularly painful entry from 2006, an Iraqi wearing a tracksuit was killed by an American sniper who later discovered that the victim was the platoon’s interpreter. Read the Document »

The archive’s data is incomplete. The documents were compiled with an emphasis on speed rather than accuracy; the goal was to spread information as quickly as possible among units. American soldiers did not respond to every incident.

And even when Americans were at the center of the action, as in the western city of Falluja in 2004, none of the Iraqis they killed were categorized as civilians. In the early years of the war, the Pentagon maintained that it did not track Iraqi civilian deaths, but it began releasing rough counts in 2005, after members of Congress demanded a more detailed accounting on the state of the war. In one instance in 2008, the Pentagon used reports similar to the newly released documents to tabulate the war dead.

This month, The Associated Press reported that the Pentagon in July had quietly posted its fullest tally of the death toll of Iraqi civilians and security forces ever, numbers that were first requested in 2005 through the Freedom of Information Act. It was not clear why the total — 76,939 Iraqi civilians and members of the security forces killed between January 2004 and August 2008 — was significantly less than the sum of the archive’s death count.

The archive does not have a category for the main causes of Iraqi deaths inflicted by Americans. Compared with the situation in Afghanistan, in Iraq aerial bombings seemed to be less frequently a cause of civilian deaths, after the initial invasion. The reports were only as good as the soldiers calling them in. One of the most infamous episodes of killings by American soldiers, the shootings of at least 15 Iraqi civilians, including women and children in the western city of Haditha, is misrepresented in the archives. The report stated that the civilians were killed by militants in a bomb attack, the same false version of the episode that was given to the news media.

Civilians have borne the brunt of modern warfare, with 10 civilians dying for every soldier in wars fought since the mid-20th century, compared with 9 soldiers killed for every civilian in World War I, according to a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

O J SIMPSON stays in jail. What a dumb movee to get himself jailed for nothing! O J never was the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Nevada Supreme Court denies Simpson appeal, overturns co-defendant's conviction

It was a contrast in emotions for two defense attorneys Friday after the Nevada Supreme Court handed down decisions in the O.J. Simpson robbery case.

The high court rejected Simpson's appeal of his armed robbery and kidnapping convictions stemming from the 2007 Las Vegas hotel room heist of two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint.

The court on Friday overturned his co-defendant's conviction stating that Clarence J. Stewart was not afforded a fair trial because of "the spill-over prejudice from Simpson's notoriety."

Simpson's attorney, Miami defense attorney Yale Galanter, said he was "extremely disappointed," but the court's decision "was not unexpected."

Galanter said this was "the first in a long line of appeals." Galanter said he will next appeal Simpson's case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Galanter said Simpson was doing "OK" the last time he spoke to him. "I'm sure he's going to be very upset" by the court's decision, Galanter said.

Meanwhile, Stewart's attorney, Brent Bryson, was ecstatic.

"I am so happy for Mr. Stewart. Finally some judges with intelligence did the right thing. For him (Stewart) to have been tried next to O.J. Simpson, and not to have the opportunity to try his case on his own, would have gone down as one of the most severe travesties in the history of American jurisprudence," Bryson said.

Stewart, a golf buddy of Simpson, got caught up in "some stuff" he didn't fully understand, Bryson said.

Bryson said he will try and get Stewart released on his own recognizance as soon as possible pending a new trial.

"I can't wait to give him a big fat hug," Bryson said.

Clark County District Attorney David Roger said he'd be open to negotiations with Stewart. "Mr. Stewart was unwilling to plead guilty before. Hopefully we can resolve the case after he spent two years in prison," Roger said.

The county's top prosecutor added his office will continue to "vigorously oppose any appeal Mr. Simpson" puts forth.

Simpson, 63, a former college and professional football star, continues to serve a nine- to 33-year prison sentence at Lovelock Correctional Center, a medium-security facility about 90 miles northeast of Reno, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Stewart, 56, who received a slightly shorter sentence -- 7½ to 27 years -- is serving his time at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.

Both men were convicted in October 2008 of kidnapping, armed robbery, conspiracy and other crimes for what Simpson maintained was an attempt to retrieve family photos and mementos.


Obama Underappreciation Syndrome Charles Krauthammer

editor note: "I know Krazyhammer didn't mean it seriously but he may have
discovered a true sickness in America!"

In an increasingly desperate attempt to develop a narrative for the coming Democratic collapse, the Democrats have indulged themselves in what for half a century they've habitually attributed to the American right -- the paranoid style in American politics. The talk is of dark conspiracies -- secret money, foreign influence, big corporations, with Karl Rove and, yes, Ed Gillespie lurking ominously behind the scenes. The only thing missing is the Halliburton-Cheney angle.

But after trotting out some of these charges with a noticeable lack of success, President Obama has come up with something new, something less common, something more befitting his stature and intellect. He's now offering a scientific, indeed neurological, explanation for his current political troubles. The electorate apparently is deranged by its anxieties and fears to the point where it can't think straight. Part of the reason "facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time," he explained to a Massachusetts audience, "is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared."

Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science -- liberal psychology -- Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican.

But of course. Here Obama has spent two years bestowing upon the peasantry the "New Foundation" of a more regulated, socially engineered and therefore more humane society, and they repay him with recalcitrance and outright opposition. Here he gave them Obamacare, the stimulus, financial regulation and a shot at cap-and-trade -- and the electorate remains not just unmoved but ungrateful.

Faced with this truly puzzling conundrum, Dr. Obama diagnoses a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, wherein an entire population is so addled by its economic anxieties as to be neurologically incapable of appreciating the "facts and science" undergirding Obamacare and the other blessings their president has bestowed upon them from on high.

I have a better explanation. Better because it adheres to the ultimate scientific principle, Occam's Razor, by which the preferred explanation for any phenomenon is the one with the most economy and simplicity. And there is nothing simpler than the Gallup findings on the ideological inclinations of the American people. Conservative: 42 percent. Moderate: 35 percent. Liberal: 20 percent. No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country -- a country that is 80 percent non-liberal -- you get a massive backlash.

Moreover, apart from ideology is empirical reality. Even as we speak, the social-democratic model Obama is openly and boldly trying to move America toward is unraveling in Europe. It's not just the real prospect of financial collapse in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, with even the relatively more stable major countries in severe distress. It is the visible moral collapse of a system that, after two generations of increasing cradle-to-grave infantilization, turns millions of citizens into the streets of France in furious and often violent protest over what? Over raising the retirement age from 60 to 62!

Having seen this display of what can only be called decadence, Obama's perfectly wired electorate says no, not us, not here. The peasants have seen the future -- Greece and France -- and concluded that it does not work. Hence their opposition to Obama's proudly transformational New Foundation agenda. Their logic is impeccable: Only the most blinkered intellectual could be attempting to introduce social democracy to America precisely when the world's foremost exemplar of that model -- Europe -- is in chaotic meltdown.

And it isn't as if this political message is new. It had already been sent in the last year with clarion clarity in the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts where independents -- the swing voters without ideological attachment one way or the other -- split 2-to-1, 2-to-1 and 3-to-1, respectively, against the Democrats.

The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic. It is the epic story of an administration with a highly ideological agenda encountering a rising resistance from the American people over the major question in dispute: the size and reach and power of government and, even more fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract.

An adjudication of the question will be rendered on Nov. 2. For the day, the American peasantry will be presiding.

1 in 3 People Will Have Diabetes by 2050

Disturbing Diabetes Forecast Linked to Obesity
CDC Projects That 1 in 3 People Will Have Diabetes by 2050

Up to one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless something is done to curb unhealthy lifestyle trends in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Friday.

CDC projects that 1 in 3 people will have diabetes by 2050.Currently, diabetes affects one in 10 U.S. adults, but government health officials say the aging population, as well as an increase in minority groups more prone to the condition could push the statistics higher.

The rise in number of obese American is also one of the largest contributors to the CDC's projection, according to ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser.

"Obesity is the biggest risk factor that's changeable and we haven't been able to tackle the obesity epidemic in this country," Besser said on "Good Morning America."

"You can't change getting old, you can't change your family's risk factor, but you can tackle this issue of obesity," said Besser. "It's lifestyle, it's proper diet, it's regular exercise."

Americans spend $174 billion each year to treat diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. The report predicts that the number of new diabetes cases each year will increase from eight per 1,000 people in 2008, to 15 per 1,000 in 2050.

"Successful programs to improve lifestyle choices on healthy eating and physical activity must be made more widely available, because the stakes are too high and the personal toll too devastating to fail," said Ann Albright, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.

G O P to make things WORSE! A vote for them will make the rich & powerful, RICHER & MORE POWERFUL! Good Luck America!

GOP says compromise not on the agenda if they retake the House

Republicans aren't interested in compromising with President Obama on major issues if they retake the House or Senate, a senior GOP lawmaker said.

"Look, the time to go along and get along is over," said Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference. "House Republicans know that. We’ve taken firm and principled stands against their big government plans throughout this Congress, and we’ve got, if the American people will send them, we’ve got a cavalry of men and women headed to Washington, D.C. that are going to stand with us."

Pence said his party wouldn't compromise on issues like spending or healthcare reform, two of the weightiest items on Congress's agenda next year, when the Republicans could control one or both chambers.

"Look, there will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits and debt. There will be no compromise on repealing Obamacare. There will be no compromise on stopping Democrats from growing government and raising taxes," Pence told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday evening. "And if I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise."

His words are meant to soothe conservatives who worry the party might be too accommodating of Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

Their fears were sparked earlier this week when retiring Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) suggested repealing healthcare reform might not be the best approach to the issue. The "Repeal It" argument has been a rally cry for Republicans this election cycle, and several conservative candidates and incumbents backed by the Tea Party movement have signed a pledge to support repealing the healthcare law.

But the conservative grassroots movement is worried the GOP leadership hasn't embraced the pledge. After Gregg's remarks, a conservative blogger argued the senator's view "reflects that of the Senate GOP leadership, despite their protestations to the contrary."

Conservatives also pounced on a suggestion, published by a political blog, that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) had told party donors not to worry about incoming "crazier Republicans," and that the Senate GOP wouldn't seek to repeal the healthcare law. (Corker subsequently denied having said anything of that sort, and cleared the record in a subsequent post with that blog.)

The Tennessee senator went on CNBC on Friday to calm those conservatives, saying he'd vote again to repeal healthcare reform if given the opportunity, and vowed to work with Democrats to accomplish that.

"I think vulnerable Democrats who say we've got to do something, I think they're going to be willing to work with us to dismantle this piece of legislation," Corker said.

Adding to the pressure on GOP leaders not to compromise will be the incoming class of conservative candidates backed by the Tea Party movement.

"I think it's wrong to compromise your values to fit in with the social climate in Washington, D.C.," Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck told The Washington Post this week. "When it comes to spending, I'm not compromising. I don't care who, what, when or where, I'm not compromising."

Some conservatives have also wondered whether House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is likely to become Speaker if the GOP retakes the lower chamber, is their best champion. Pence has been an aggressive leader in the conservative movement and has challenged the leadership before. He was soundly beaten when he ran against Boehner for minority leader in 2006. Pence has not indicated he'll challenge Boehner again and most senior Republicans have pledged their support for the Ohio Republican.

The pressure facing Republicans isn't unique to them. The White House has also faced questions about how, if at all, it would cooperate with empowered Republicans after two years of largely relying on Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to push through legislation.

Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that compromise is "always possible." Biden was asked about the working with the GOP on extending the Bush era-tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year.

"I think we're open to speaking to the Republicans, if they really mean it, if they're talking about deficit reduction, if they're willing to move," Biden said on Bloomberg's "Political Capital with Al Hunt," in an interview to air this weekend. "I think there's a possibly.”

The Senate's second-ranking Republican, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), suggested the GOP would try its hardest to stop elements of the Obama administration's agenda, including repealing healthcare reform, if they're able to.

"All I can say is that from my standpoint, we’re going to do our very best, and put our best foot forward," Kyl said in a separate interview with Hewitt on Thursday.

"We had 40 votes, and then 41 votes, the absolute bare minimum needed to prevent the Democrats from passing most of their agenda. And with a couple of exceptions, we succeeded. Every single Republican held tight," he said. "So we have shown that we can act together in a very strong way. And I just have to think that with greater numbers in the Senate, and potentially taking over the House, we’re just going to be in a much stronger position."

But Republicans have also been careful to rule out some of the most controversial options they would have if they win back a majority, for fear that Democrats might use the more extreme stances against them as the campaign comes to a close.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has said that Republicans aren't eager to force a government shutdown over the deficit. And Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the lawmaker who would likely take over as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee if the GOP wins control of the House, ruled out an attempt to impeach Obama.

NPR's Juan Williams Disaster

The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz says Juan Williams' firing backfired, handing Fox a victory and making him a symbol of liberal intolerance—on the very day NPR announced a grant from George Soros it never should have accepted. NPR is now in the GOP crosshairs, with John Boehner telling the National Review that it's "reasonable to ask why Congress is spending taxpayers' money to support a left-wing radio network." Indeed, the firing comes at a bad time given NPR's recent announcement of a $1.8 million grant by decidedly liberal philanthropist George Soros to hire 100 new journalists. Williams will be fine, however: He just signed a 3-year, $2 million contract with Fox News.

Read it at The Daily Beast

The ATLANTIC Top 5 Stories which may be of interest.

Robert Pape on Motivations Behind a Suicide Bomber

While it's a common refrain that religion, in particular Islam, is the primary cause of suicide bombings, The Los Angeles Times contributor argues that there's a problem with this reasoning: "it's wrong." In a research project that Pape conducted at the University of Chicago, he and his colleagues analyzed 2,200 suicide attacks that occurred throughout the world since 1980, and found that "foreign occupation" served as the primary motivator. This means that prolonged troop deployments in foreign countries only serve to increase suicide attacks against troops and civilians. Research suggests our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan aren't making us safer. Instead, Pape argues we should "revert to a policy of working with local governments and institutions and selectively using air power and special forces to accomplish important military objectives."

Peggy Noonan on How the Tea Party Rejuvenated Republicans

The Tea Party did not kill the Republican party--it saved it, declares The Wall Street Journal columnist. Tea Partiers shook up a literal old guard of "50- to 75-year-olds" who refused to "do what conservatives are supposed to do, which is finish their patriotic work [in D.C.] and go home." Notably, they also yanked the party out from under the legacy of George Bush by rejecting "his administration's spending, overreach and immigration proposals." They ensured a Republican triumph in November by backing GOP hopefuls rather than becoming a third-party. Noonan finds former Velvet Underground drummer turned Tea Partier Moe Tucker to be one of the best at explaining the movement, quoting her saying: "Anyone who thinks I'm crazy about Sarah Palin, Bush, etc., has made quite the presumption. I have voted Democrat all my life, until I started listening to what Obama was promising and started wondering how the hell will this utopian dream be paid for?"

Anne Applebaum on French Protest and British Silence

With France raising the retirement age to 62 and Britain slashing $130 billion in public spending, the Washington Post columnist ponders the disparate reactions of French and British citizens. "Faced with this challenge," writes Applebaum, "the British have stiffened their upper lips--while the French have taken to the streets." Considering that we live in an age of "supposed globalization, when we are all allegedly becoming more alike ... it is astonishing," she says, "how absolutely British the British remain and how thoroughly French are the French." Applebaum cites "historical experience" as the driving force behind France and Britain "acting like living caricatures of themselves." For the British, this experience dates back to WWII era rationing. In France, the strike has been an effective tool of political change for centuries.

David Brooks on Sitcoms and Friendship

In recent years, observes the New York Times columnist, the traditional television sitcom--focused on families--has given way to the "flock comedy" featuring "groups of unrelated friends who have the time to lounge around apartments, coffee shops and workplaces exchanging witticisms about each other and the passing scene." Brooks argues this is more than just a comedic evolution. "The change also reflects something deeper about the patterns of friendship in society," namely young people living "long periods of their lives outside of traditional families, living among diverse friendship tribes." Whether they realize it or not, ensemble shows like 30 Rock have done and uncanny job at recreating the social shift toward friendships that are "less likely to be one on one." On the television, as in life, social interaction is now "deeply embedded in a complex web of group relationships."

Emilio Karim Dabul on NPR's Hypocrisy

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Dabul--who identifies himself as an "Arab-American of Muslim descent"--says NPR's decision to fire Juan Williams was "one of the worst examples of rush to judgment since 9/11." Dabul acknowledges even he feels nervous when he sees other people of Arab descent in "traditional garb" on a plane. "That may make me guilty of an overactive imagination, but perhaps not." He's proof that Williams's point--that fear makes us think things that are irrational or highly unlikely--was valid. "That's all Mr. Williams was saying," writes Dabul. "He didn't say that they should be removed from the plane, treated differently, or anything close to that. He simply said he got nervous. And for that, he was fired." Dabul finds this inexcusable. "NPR often embodies," he argues, "the very things it claims to stand against: unfairness, narrow-mindedness and reactionary policies."