Thursday, April 26, 2007

Check of Balances.

The Senate passed a bill on Friday afternoon that would equip President Bush with the emergency funding money our troops need to continue fighting in Iraq. The new bill proposed a timetable to start bringing troops home starting this October. The bill is expected to be vetoed by President Bush because of his stance on timetables and anything math-related.

The Pentagon has assured the Congress that it can afford to continue fighting till the end of June, hence the emergency funding bill. Pentagon officials state that a week in combat in Iraq costs the US Government 2 billion dollars a week. If signed into law, it would add funding to the 70 billion dollars already allocated to the war on terror. The new total would amount to 124 billion dollars.

The President is expected to veto the bill on Monday, a day short of his Mission Accomplished speech given off of the USS Lincoln in 2003. The irony is not lost on the political commentators who are closely following this development.

Back-up bills are beginning to take shape on the Senate floor since deputy press secretary Dana Perino has stated,"The bill is dead before arrival."

Compromise between the Republicans and Democrats have yet to fully surface although this was the first bill to give the President an exit strategy out of Iraq. Democrats hope to have a war bill signed by June 1st of this year.

We shouldn't be in this war if we're just looking for a victory. We have to keep in mind the lives of our troops, the way of life for US and Iraqi citizens, our economy, and Iraq's economy.

Hopefully President Bush and all politicians in Washington can finally take our voices into their decisions -- instead of just appeasing us with promises around election time.

Senate Passes Iraq withdrawl bill; veto threat looms[CNN]
Congress Clears Bill, veto awaited [Houston Chronicle]

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chatting with Obama!

not too cool for the internet

The internet has become a political playground where everyone is a cool kid if he has a well designed web-site. Hilary, Obama, Rudy and the Johns (McCain and Edwards) all have an online location where their views on political issues, volunteer opportunities and donations are accepted.

Along with the primaries in Vermont, Iowa and California - an online debate is scheduled for the candidates. If you're not lucky enough to live in one of the states mentioned, you can log on in your pajamas and talk with the future leader of the United States.

While the specifics are still being planned out Yahoo, Slate Online Magazine and the Huffington Post are the sponsors for the event. So get your questions ready and you might just find out what Hilary and Obama's favorite color is along with their changes to the US foreign policy!

These debates will be moderated by Charlie Rose.

Got a Question for Obama or Clinton? [CNET News]
Debating On Yahoo [The Hillary Project]

I still love you Pluto.

Stop greiving for Pluto, it was inhabitable anyway. Set your new horizon on Gliese 581c, or Planet c for short. Its mass is 50% greater than Earth, it has a sun-like star which it revolves around and they might just have oceans!

Fake enthusiasm aside, astronomers believe that this might just be a planet that could hold life all the qualifications just seem to add up.
“Because of its temperature and relative proximity,” said astronomer Xavier Delfosse of France’s Grenoble University, who was on the discovery team, “this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life. On the treasure map of the universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X.”

Delfosse is treating this opportunity with a new planet as a treasure and you probably should too, especially with the many warnings of Global Warming.

This planet is 20 light years away. A light year is an astronomical unit used to measure outer-space because miles and kilometers are just silly measurements to the vasntess of space. Planet c is so far away that they are just getting the radiowaves from the 1980s.

Also Planet Gliese 581-c orbits around its sun every 13 days, so the need for New Year resolutions would be moot. It would be a 13 day resolution and everyone can last that long, right?

The question now is, will anybody be signing up to take the 20 year long trip just to make it over to Planet Gliese-581C? Time will only tell but for now-- Pluto has a replacement.

Scientists find most Earth-like planet yet [CNN]
Astronmers Discover an Earth Like Planet.[Newsweek]

Monday, April 23, 2007

Royal babies cuter than commoners babies.

Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, and Tori Spelling all had babies in the past year and their faces and offspring were on the cover of every magazine. In America, we're not lucky enough to have royalty -- so we take what we can get with B-list celebrities. Fortunately, the citizens of Denmark have a new princess to crazy about and she's the real deal. This is the first princess born into Denmark since 1946.

Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik, who incidentally enough go by their first names in Denmark, became proud parents of the unnamed princess on April 21.They also have a previous child named Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John of Denmark, with the traditional 4 name rule. Imagine this kid in kindergarden trying to spell his name -- its going to be a tough childhood (oh wait, he's going to be king so never mind).

The tiny princess is expected to go nameless until her christening ceremony to be held in the early summer months. Speculations and traditions have made it a guarantee that she will have the names Ingrid, Henrietta or Margrethe as these are the names of her grandmothers.

Denmark's royal family is steeped in history, dating all the back to vikings. They are in fact the oldest royal family in Europe.

Maybe one of her four names can be an homage to the Vikings? For now, she'll just be Denmark's little princess.

Denmark's Newest Royal Makes Debut[The Age]
My New Daughter is Right Here
Danish Princess Makes First Outing [Forbes]

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Alive and Governing From Bed

Governor John Corzine of New Jersey was injured in an accident on the Garden State Parkway on April 12. Injuries resulted from the accident included broken ribs, his left femur, sternum and collar bone. Richard Codey is currently the acting governor of New Jersey until further notice.

Corzine was traveling with a state trooper and aide when his black SUV hit a railing while traveling 91 miles and hour. Corzine was not wearing a seatbelt and could have avoided some of his injuries if he had. Whether or not he will be ticketed for that is yet to be determined.

The state trooper Robert Rasinski had already worked a 12-hour day driving the governor from Atlantic City to Hackensack, to his mansion in Princeton and were on their way on a 100 mile trip to Drumthwacket. This also wasn't Rasinski's first accident on the job and the blackbox in the car had suggested he had been speeding although the trooper did wear his seatbelt. Investigation on whether any laws were broken were underway.

Corzine was on a ventilator for a week which aided him to breathe after the accident and began breathing on his on on Friday April 20. Recovery and rehab is a long road that Corzine will have to deal with but his aides and workers are awaiting his return.

Other governors have ran the state from hospitals and bed including recent Californian Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who broke his femer in December of last year. Also former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean suffered a herniated disk during his administration and ran the state from his bed for three weeks.

Advances in modern technologies with blackberries, laptops and video-conferencing can make any hospital room into an information center. As long as the Governor stays in the state of New Jersey he can reign from any place he chooses. For now, Governor Corzine isn't going anywhere.

Corzine aides to turn bed in Camden into seat of power [NJ Ledger]

Corzine 's driver had a long day before crash [Delaware Online]

Friday, April 20, 2007

Say No To Estrogen.

A new study by the New England Journal of Medicine noticed a correlation between the ceasing of hormone replacement thearapy and the decling numbers in cancer. In 2005, there were 16,000 fewer cases than in 2002. This translates to: Menopausal women, please stop taking estrogen!

In 2002 there was a backlash on hormone therapy when an incrase of cancer was linked with the treatments. Eager doctors who prescribed hormone therapy before it was widely tested are now telling their patients to stop. This gives patients another validation to cease treatment.

The findings also help explain one of the biggest mysteries about breast cancer: why the number of cases rose steadily for decades. Increasing hormone use probably played a key role, along with better detection by mammography and other factors, several experts said.

Some doctors counteract this study because not enough time has passed to be completly sure and there could be other factors helping these numbers. Awareness campaigns such as October's National Breast Cancer month have also helped women detect and treat the possibilities of cancer faster than previous generations.

Whatever the case may be, these figures are hard to ignore. Get yearly mammograms and whenever going on a new medication do some research for yourself, ladies!

Scientists Report Sharp Drop In US Breast Cancer Rate[VOA]
Study: Fall in hormone use linked to breast cancer drop [Indianapolis Star]

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting

I don't understand what possess people to kill. Early Monday morning two shootings took place in Virginia Tech at opposite ends of the campus. The school had been plagued with bomb threats on Friday, which had closed down the University.

This is the worst school shooting to date with a reported 21 casualties. With breaking news the facts keep changing while a lot of websites update their stories when getting more information.

The school newspaper the Roanoke Times has kept a running commentary of accounts on its website from students around the campus. Reports among the students vary and its hard to know exactly how accurate they might be.

To be able to have a live running commentary from the Virginia Tech camp really shows how fast technology moves. These college journalists are getting the facts to the public rather than leaving the university.

It has been reported by the police that the campus is secure although students are allowed to leave if they wish. All faculty and staff have been asked to go home.

Developing News Links:

CNN: 20 Dead in Shooting
USA Today Blog: Breaking News
Information on Past Shootings
Virginia Tech Roanoke Times

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Surviving the chokehold.

A-rod scores! source: getty images

Overpaid. Overrated. Chokes in the clutch.
Alex Rodriguez has quite the reputation of never delivering what he is worth. For a man who earns 160,000 dollars just by stepping out to the field--New York Yankee fans expect the best.

On April 7th, Alex Rodriguez hit a walk-off grand slam, which means in the last out of the game he scored 4 runs--securing the win for the Yankees.In the 38 degree weather on Saturday afternoon, he was worth every single penny.

He even managed to make a little history, too. Alex Rodriguez became just one of three players to hit three walk-off grand slams since 1950. The others are Vern Stephens of the old St. Louis Browns and Cy Williams of Philadelphia -- yeah, I don't know who they are either.

"It felt awesome," Rodriguez said. "I was so excited, I felt like a fool running around the bases, like it was Little League. I just remember I almost knocked [coach Larry] Bowa over at third. I saw the fans rocking behind him. That was kind of cool."

Rodriguez felt like a fool but if he would've seen me in the stands we were both sporting the goofiest grins ever.

The main problem between Rodriguez and Yankee fans in the past is his consistency.
On Friday's game against the Orielos though- Rodriguez was caught in the chokehold at the bottom of the 8th.

"It's one of those things when you get to a point," Torre said. "When do you have to stop proving yourself? I think that's what it's all about. When you set the bar as high as his is set, people sort of expect it all the time.

At the end of the game on Saturday every error commited had become part of the past. For those few hours after the afternoon game, Alex Rodriguez could do no wrong. The next day though...that will be up to Rodriguez to decide.

Other Stories:
A-Rod rescues Yanks [MLB]
'Curtains' for Orioles, then for A-Rod[AM NY]

Monday, April 2, 2007

When will the fascination end?

She starts crying around the :22 second mark.

Ashley Ferl's fifteen minutes of fame refuse to die. Known as the girl who started the waterworks during Sanjaya Malakar's performance on American Idol, her pigtails, braces and tears have become the earned her the monkier the "Crying Girl."

In the age of the internet and reality TV, it seems that instant sensations such as Ashley Ferl are catapulted into stardom from one day to the next. The truth is while her star is burning bright-- what is a 13 year old going to do when this attnetion dies? How exactly does she deal with the repracussions that come with the fame?

Ashley's parents don't exactly stop the behavior nor do they refuse for her to do interviews as profiles on the blonde 13-year-old from newspapers around the nation keep mounting.In the latest recap the LA Times did on March 28th, Ashley's schedule is busier than many of the contestants that have already been booted off.

Ferl was interviewed by MSNBC, Fox News and "Entertainment Tonight." Along the way, she ran into the singer Pink (she didn't cry) and collected her autograph. "I also did a whole bunch or radio and newspaper interviews, it's been crazy," she said.

Ashley Ferl lives in southern California and has visited Idol tapings in the past although notoriety didn't surface until now. Her family is hoping that they get invited back for the Idol finale and with Ashley's antics--they just might.

Stories about Ashley

  • Fame makes 'Idol' fan positively teary-eyed [LA Times]
  • Ashley Ferl's American Idol's biggest fan. [MSNBC]