Jan 8, 2011

Giffords' astronaut husband at her side in hospital

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords reportedly was in surgery Saturday afternoon and was in critical condition after being shot in the head during a public meeting. Her husband NASA astronaut Mark Kelly flew to Arizona to be at her side.

Gabrielle Giffords’ and husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly are shown above.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, an Arizona Congresswoman married to veteran astronaut Mark Kelly, was shot in the head during a public meeting outside a Tucson supermarket Saturday. More than a dozen bystanders also were shot -- and some reportedly killed, including a 9-year-old child, officials said -- when a lone gunman allegedly opened fire.

More here and here.

Jan 7, 2011

Eleven on a bike

Chinese performers ride on a bicycle during the "Grand China National Acrobatic Circus Splendide!" at Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City Metro Manila.

Hope the tires hold up.

Professor arrested for suspicious package on plane

A man was arrested and removed from a plane because passengers claimed he had a suspicious package in the overhead compartment.

The man was a mathematics and statistics professor at the University of North Florida.

The "suspicious package" turned out to be keys, a bagel with cream cheese and a hat.

He was acting a bit odd but most of us have known professor's that have acted a bit goofy.

Hmm… keys, a cream cheese bagel and a hat? C'mon.


Pelosi actually said that! She said her Congress was pay-as-you-go!

At her final press conference as House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said:

"Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go."

The reality:

When the Pelosi Democrats took control of Congress on January 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8,670,596,242,973.04.

The last day of the 111th Congress and Pelosi's Speakership on December 22, 2010 the national debt was $13,858,529,371,601.09 - a roughly $5.2 trillion increase in just four years.

Furthermore, the year over year federal deficit has roughly quadrupled during Pelosi's four years as speaker, from $342 billion in fiscal year 2007 to an estimated $1.6 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2010.

Ms. Pelosi has always counted on the fact that the liberal media would report her statements without fact checking.


It's time for the adults to take over

Jan 6, 2011

Illinois mom gives birth to twins in different years

Talk about a New Year's countdown - a northern Illinois couple welcomed their new daughter to the world in the last minute of 2010 — and a twin son in the first minute of 2011.

Ashley Fansler gave birth to Madisen Carin Lewis at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve in Machesney Park, 85 miles northwest of Chicago. Aiden Everette Lewis was born a minute later, at 12 a.m. on New Year's Day.

The Rockford Register Star reports that Fansler wasn't due until the end of January but doctors at Rockford Memorial Hospital scheduled a cesarean section for Friday evening to avoid complications.


The leader of the free world…

…how utterly embarrassing!

Global warming committee iced by GOP

Dear Mr. President:
Welcome back from Hawaii.
Oh, by the way, we iced your Global Warming Committee.
Have a nice day.
Republican members of the House

Republicans have pledged to save taxpayers' money by reducing waste and duplication in Congress.

Wasting no time toward this goal House Republicans have dismantled the Select Committee on Global Warming which had no real authority anyway.

The committee was a clear example of waste in Congress.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Any House Republicans who disagree, please come on down to the front row and join the House Democrats:

OK, now boys and girls … get out your Big Chief tablets and your number 2 pencils and write 200 times:

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Elections have consequences

Link to the death of the Global Warming Committee report here.

Witches in Romania must now pay income tax

From an Associated Press report at the link below:

Everyone curses the tax man, but Romanian witches angry about having to pay up for the first time are planning to use cat excrement and dead dogs to cast spells on the president and government.

Also among Romania's newest taxpayers are fortune tellers — but they probably should have seen it coming.

Superstitions are no laughing matter in Romania — the land of the medieval ruler who inspired the "Dracula" tale — and have been part of its culture for centuries.

President Traian Basescu and his aides have been known to wear purple on certain days, supposedly to ward off evil.

Romanian witches, like the two pictured, plan to meet on the southern plains and the Danube River to threaten the government with spells and spirits because of the tax law, which came into effect Jan. 1.

A dozen witches will hurl the poisonous mandrake plant into the Danube to put a hex on government officials "so evil will befall them," said a witch named Alisia. She identified herself with one name — customary among Romania's witches.

Not every witch is threatening fire and brimstone, however.

One witch said "This law is very good. "It means that our magic gifts are recognized and I can open my own practice."

Other witches are unhappy that they will be forced to pay 16 percent income tax and make contributions to health and pension programs.


Time to shed the Holiday pounds

5000 birds and 100000 fish suddenly die

From Arkansas to Sweden - birds have been falling out of the sky as reported at the links below.

There have been many reasons cited - all the way from global warming, the usual culprit if nothing else fits, to government weapons testing.

And don't forget to blame mysterious programs such as HARP (High Altitude Research Project) or HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program).

Some even say civilization itself is coming to a rapid end.

I think they're all wrong - it's Bush's fault. Yeah, that's it. It's gotta be Bush's fault.

Link here, here and here.

Jan 5, 2011

Don't look now but the anti-Pelosi vote has arrived

From a Washington Times Political Blog report:

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi lost 19 Democrats on Wednesday's vote to be House speaker, it marked the worst showing for a party's nominee in more than 80 years.

Mrs. Pelosi won the support of 173 Democrats, but 18 others voted for someone else and one voted "present."

The anti-Pelosi vote was no surprise.

The former Speaker knew the liberal media would not hold her accountable for cramming ObamaCare down Americans throats but she hadn't reckoned on the voters.


Republicans end floor voting rights for delegates

An Associated Press report on MSNBC says:

One of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House is to take away the floor voting rights of six delegates representing areas such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

The liberal media will cry foul but the six delegates should not have been allowed voting rights in the first place.

Five of those delegates are Democrats, while one, from the Northern Marianas Islands, is an independent.

The AP report goes on to say that Democrats extended the voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House and then Republicans disenfranchised the delegates when they became the majority in 1995 and Democrats restored delegate rights when they regained control of the House in 2007.

These delegates should never have been allowed voting rights in the first place. Democrats used this as a way to grab more power.

The report says Republicans disenfranchised the delegates which is incorrect.

How can you disenfranchise delegates when they were never franchised in the first place. They are not states and do not have voting rights.

Republicans were correct in taking away their voting rights. If the delegates hadn't been Democrats they would never have been given the right to vote.

This is just one of many "sour grapes" reports we will see in the mediaa now that Republicans have wrested control of the House from Ms. Pelosi, crying that "this is a very undemocratic way to start the 112th Congress."

It is a fair way to start the 112th Congress!


Florida man to live in lions den for month

James Jablon of Spring Hill, Florida plans to live in a fenced enclosure with two African lions.

Jablon hopes the stunt will raise money for his wildlife center, Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando.

Jablon entered the lions' den Saturday. He says he's going to sleep on hay near the lions named Lea and Ed and eat when they eat.

He says he's also going to build a place to sleep and hide in the trees in the enclosure, in case the lions fight with each other.

If worse comes to worse, they won't have too far to look for what's left of the brave man (or idiot - your choice) because the enclosure isn't really that big.

Instead of raising money, Mr. Jablon may be raising the cholesterol level of the lions. Searchers may be sifting though debris in the enclosure for what's left.

Wonder if there is much call for lion poop?


Feds open investigation into city worker conspiracy during storm response

A report at the link below is titled, "NYC blizzard: Feds open criminal probe into alleged city worker conspiracy during storm response."

The photo shows a snowplow operator napping during the blizzard.

The investigation by the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's public integrity unit was prompted by the claim by City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) that guilt-racked workers told him a slowdown was ordered as vengeance for budget cuts and demotions.

If true, the feds could examine whether wire or mail fraud statutes were violated by workers pocketing overtime pay during an illegal job action, sources said.

The city Department of Investigation is also probing the allegations, and the Brooklyn and Queens district attorneys are reviewing the claims.

More here.

Did Michael Jackson's kids see him die?

From a report at the link below:

Michael Jackson's son and daughter, Prince and Paris, saw the pop star's doctor administering CPR to his lifeless body, Jackson's head of security (Faheem Muhammad) testified during a hearing in the manslaughter case against Dr. Conrad Murray

Faheem Muhammad said he first saw Jackson's feet, then observed Murray "on his knees in a panicked state trying to administer CPR."

According to Muhammad, Jackson's children witnessed this scene.

Murray is accused of killing Jackson by giving him a lethal dose of the powerful sedative propofol on June 25, 2009.


Jan 4, 2011

Issa will be a target as he targets 'broken bureaucracy'

A report in USAToday warns:

The Obama administration can expect congressional hearings this year on WikiLeaks, foreclosures, corruption in Afghanistan and food safety as Republicans take over the House oversight committee.

That's the agenda that Rep. Darrell Issa (pictured), the incoming chairman of the committee, laid out Monday.

One thing is for sure - the Obama administration will be bristling and investigators will be on their way at this very moment to sift through Issa's trash cans in hopes of finding dirt on him - anything. Did he leave Kent State with an unpaid parking ticket? Does he have overdue books from the Vista library? etc., etc.

Discrediting Congressman Issa will be a top priority for the Obama administration because they will be expecting subpoenas from Issa's committee starting February if not sooner.

From one commenter:

You go Issa! I love the smell of corruption investigations in the morning! Even better 'n sizzlin' bacon 'n coffee! Bring it on!

Link to the USAToday report here.

ZDNet: lockdown your Facebook profile

Found on ZDNet yesterday:

The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide:

Lockdown your own Facebook profile like it was your own personal Fort Knox.

In just a few minutes you can secure your Facebook profile by following the four step gallery guide found here.

Waning interest in climate change

The climate cause needs its own messiah, argues environmental researcher Andreas Ernst.

Al Gore seemed to be successfully fulfilling this role for a while, but recently he has largely disappeared from the public eye - largely because of his sex scandals in 2010.

The disappointing climate summit in Cancun was under attended and underreported by the media.

From the report at the link below:

Climate researchers confirm a noticeable decline in interest.

Global warming as an issue is a "loser" in media terms.

Let's face it - global warming is no longer cool (pun intended) - it's yesterdays story.

Hippies are going back to saving whales and attacking the fur industry.


Is Global Warming real?

National debt climbing fast since 2008 hits $14,025,215,218,708.52

From a CBS News report:

It took just 7 months for the National Debt to increase from $13 trillion on June 1, 2010 to $14 trillion on Dec. 31. It also means the debt is fast approaching the statutory ceiling $14.294 trillion set by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last February.

And now Mr. Obama wants to increase the ceiling again.

In fact, if the ceiling isn't raised the federal government would have to stop borrowing and might even default on its obligations if Congress dos not increase the ceiling before the limit is reached.

Some Republicans in the new Congress have said they'll seek to block an increase in the Debt Ceiling unless a plan is in place to significantly reduce federal spending and unfunded government liabilities on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

This is why Americans turned a host of Congressmen out of office last November.

Will the irresponsible spending of the Obama administration finally come to an end?

The country would be in even worse financial trouble if Reid could have crammed the bloated Omnibus bill through the Senate in December.


Jan 3, 2011

Computers can be frustrating…


Big Ten goes 0 for 5 in New Year's Day bowl games

Big Ten teams fell like a poorly stacked house of cards on New Year's Day.

Five games.

Five losses.


Penn State

Michigan State


It was the first time since 2002 that none of the league's teams could muster a win on New Year's Day.

It was the first time since 2002 that none of the league's teams had a win on New Year's Day.

The biggest disappointments were Michigan and Michigan State. They embarrassed themselves and the conference, losing by a combined 101-21 to Mississippi State and Alabama.

Adding salt to the Big Ten wounds, Nebraska, which becomes the Big Ten's 12th member next season, was upset by Washington 19-7 in the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl.

The Big Ten did manage to win two non-New Year's Day bowl games with one more to be played.

Link here and here.

Will 2011 be another global cooling year?

New GOP House to overhaul ObamaCare stating immediately

CNN reports:

The new Republican-majority House will vote on repealing or changing last year's health care overhaul before the State of the Union address, Rep. Fred Upton, incoming chairman of the energy and commerce committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Upton, a Michigan Republican, said that his party had 242 votes in favor of repeal, and that "there will be a significant number of Democrats who will join us."

If the House does manage to repeal the health care bill, such a move would likely meet strong obstacles in the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House.

More here.

Jan 2, 2011

50 million itemizers can't file taxes early

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats fought hard to block the extension of the Bush tax cuts after the November elections.

They finally realized they couldn't win and passed the Bush tax cuts but not soon enough for the IRS to reprogram its processing systems in time for early filers who itemize deductions.

The IRS said that it needs until mid-to late-February to reprogram its processing systems because Congress acted so late this year with the changes for the Bush tax cuts.

The bill, which includes deductions for state and local sales taxes, college tuition and teacher expenses, wasn't signed into law until Dec. 17.

As a result, the 50 million taxpayers who itemize their deductions will have to hold off for a bit before they file.

Of course, not everyone files early: only about 9 million of the 140 million U.S. tax filers filed in January or February of last year.

The bill ensured that the federal income tax rates would not change, and itemized deductions will continue to be allowed in full for high-income taxpayers.


Top GOP House investigator puts White House on notice

From a report in the Washington Times:

Rep. Darrell Issa (pictured), California Republican, is set to lead the House Oversight and Government Reform — and gain the chairman's subpoena power.

Issa is putting the White House on notice that he's going to be aggressive in going after what he considers wasteful spending by the Obama administration.

He won't have far to look.

Mr. Issa suggested on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House should hire more accountants — not lawyers — to deal with requests for information from the Republican-led House.

He also said the White House should look at wasteful spending, not the GOP, as the enemy.


Fighters scramble and Capitol evacuates for mystery plane

From a Reuters report at the link below:

A mystery airplane prompted an evacuation of the Capitol building and scrambling of military fighter jets on Saturday but authorities said the false alarm was caused by a commercial airliner briefly losing radio contact.

The mystery plane turned out to be a Piedmont Airlines plane in the Washington, D.C. area that briefly lost radio contact and military planes took off to find it.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said a Piedmont Airlines plane in the Washington, D.C. area briefly lost radio contact and military planes took off to find it.

Somehow I am not surprised. Several years ago as an auditor I often flew Piedmont Airlines from Charlottesville, Virginia to the old Washington National Airport, now called Reagan National Airport.

The Martin 404's were seldom on schedule and always appeared to be well-worn with little passenger comfort. I was never impressed with Piedmont Airlines then and after this story I am even less impressed now.


There oughta be a law? In California there are 725 new ones!

Californians welcomed 725 new laws yesterday whether they knew it or not.

Below is a list of just a few of the new laws that took effect while Californinans celebrated the New year:

AB 119 - prevents insurance companies from charging different rates for men and women for identical coverage.

AB 782 - prevents landlords from evicting tenants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse or stalking.

AB 1844 - will increase penalties, parole provisions and oversight of sex offenders, including a "one-strike, life-without-parole penalty" for some.

AB 1871 - allows people to lease out their cars when they are not being used—alleviating the need to purchase additional insurance.

AB 537 - will make food stamps an acceptable form of payment at farmers markets through an EB process.

SB 1411- makes it a misdemeanor to maliciously impersonate someone via a social media outlet or through e-mails.

SB 1317 - allows the state to slap parents with a $2,000 fine if their K-8 child misses more than 10 percent of the school year without a valid excuse. It also allows the state to punish parents with up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor.

AB 715 - makes a change to the California Green Building Standards code. The change will require new California buildings to be energy efficient.

AB 1449 - makes the possession of one ounce of marijuana an infraction with a penalty of a $100 fine.

AB 12 - allows foster youth to acquire state services until the age of 21.

AB 1399 - allows California to medically parole state prison inmates with physical incapacitating conditions and ultimately shifts some of the cost of care to the federal government.

AB 97 - bans the use of trans-fats in food facilities.


Go ahead. Be brave. Pat him down