Maryland lawmakers are drawing up ambitious proposals to provide medical insurance to hundreds of thousands of residents without coverage, stepping into the national debate over who should pay the soaring costs of health care.
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will call for expanded coverage of the state's 780,000 uninsured -- one in seven residents -- in his State of the State address today, aides said, highlighting a proposal that would bring more of the poorest residents into public programs and require private insurers to allow young adults to remain on their parents' plans until age 25. (WaPo)
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
My favorite episode was when they showed Teenagers From Outer Space. Nothing is scarier than a giant lobster. There's even a blog for a documentary that's being developed about the film.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
My sister is not like Jeana, who seems to be obsessed with money and material goods. She also "appeared" in an issue of a certain magazine run by Hugh Hefner, another thing my sister has never done.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Eisenheim the Illusionist (Edward Norton) sits in a chair on a bare, gas-lit stage in front of a packed audience. His coal-black eyes are mere slits. His brow is furrowed. He seems almost feverish, as if he were about to be in the full throes of a consumptive coughing fit. We see numerous police officers among the crowd, led by Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti). As Eisenheim sits and stares intently, a shadowy image to his right begins to appear. At that moment, Inspector Uhl takes to the stage and proclaims that Eisenheim is to be arrested for threatening the Austrian empire.
So begins the gorgeously filmed The Illusionist. It received an Academy Award nomination for cinematography, and no wonder. At times the film appears to be lit only by the lights of Eisenheim's theatre stage. There is a very specific softness to the scenery, as if you were looking at the world through an 1880's sepia-toned photograph. The performances are softened as well, becoming crisp only when the character wants to get a point across. Although some visual effects are used in the film, arguably the most arresting effects are the eyes of Norton himself. When he commands a volunteer to his stage to look only at him, she has no choice. His stare is so intense that it would be impossible to look at anything else. The score, composed by Philip Glass, completes the film so fully that it seems a crime that it wasn't nominated for an Oscar as well.
The film may be called The Illusionist, but the true focus is on Giamatti's inspector and not the illusionist himself. The events are seen mostly from his point of view. When we learn of what happened in Eisenheim's peasant past and of his forbidden love affair with Countess Sophie von Teschen (a revelatory Jessica Biel), it is because the inspector has questioned countless witnesses. Uhl attends every on-screen performance of Eisenheim, so we see the stage from his vantage. We see Uhl taking command when necessary, and showing obeisance to the conniving and rumoured-murderous Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). Leopold believes Eisenheim to be both a fraud and a threat to his (future) reign, and so he sends Uhl to arrest him. When Uhl finally solves the mystery at film's end, we solve it with him.
It would, of course, be a grave mistake to reveal the central mystery of the film, for that would ruin the surprises. It is safe to say that although the main mystery of the film is solved at the conclusion, The Illusionist leaves plenty for the audience to ponder long after the disc is returned to Netflix.
* Warning: Spoilers ahead*
It is impossible to consider this movie in any substantial way without thinking about the central storyline. Eisenheim and Sophie begin a forbidden relationship while still in their teens; a chance meeting on the street leads to a love affair. Eisenheim is from a poor family and Sophie is an aristocratic duchess, so naturally they are not to forge any form of relationship. Eisenheim leaves Vienna for many years in order to study the arts of magic and illusion. After returning to Vienna to begin performances, he reconnects with Sophie, who is now involved with Crown Prince Leopold. It becomes evident that their desire for one another is as strong as ever, and the two engage in sexual relations (the cinematic equivalent of saying, See? They are in love! They're having sex!).
How do they ensure that they live happily ever after? How do they escape the clutches of Leopold, who has been known to physically assault his lovers and is rumored to have actually killed one of them? They conjure an illusion - fake Sophie's death, implicate the Crown Prince, and reconnect when safety seems assured. Their plan works: Eisenheim's plant of a physician makes the right people believe Sophie is dead; the Viennese crowd, and eventually the police inspector, believes Leopold is responsible; and Leopold commits suicide rather than face the consequences of his assumed actions. Leopold committed grievous sins in his past, yes, and would likely face no punishment since the police inspector "has no authority" in the halls of the emperor, but he did not murder Sophie.
One question to think about is this: what are you willing to do, or not do, for love?
Anyone else find this a bit weird?
I will certainly provide some thoughts on current and more recent movies, but I plan to create a category specifically for some more classic movies. This category shall be dubbed Movies I Should Have Seen By Now. As apparent by the title, these are movies that have had some acclaim and have been seen by a wide audience, except by me.
Here are some useful sites if you are a blogger who writes movie reviews. You are probably aware of them already, but in case you aren't, here they are:
Anyone who has seen “The Matrix” will remember the moment. Neo stands looking at two pills, one red, the other blue. Morpheus tells him, “You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” It’s a moment of grave decision. Neo swallows the red and his life–even his understanding of reality itself–is forever changed.
And so it is that I now stand with the red pill in my hand.
It’s time for me to confess a 17-year history of depression. Maybe longer. Since it took me a while to realize that I was depressed, it’s difficult to say exactly when it began. I won’t tell you all of the details, because this is my blog and I can say as much or as little as I want. But I will tell you enough.
Read the whole thing.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
A source close to the actor, who has risen to one of the church’s top levels, said: “Tom has been told he is Scientology’s Christ-like figure. “Like Christ, he’s been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right.”Disturbing.
There are several lifetimes' worth of promising literary leads here—544 books in all. An 85-page appendix providing enlightened summaries of all the works mentioned is worth the price of admission all on its own. But to get you started, here, in all its glory, is the all-time, ultimate Top Top 10 list, derived from the top 10 lists of 125 of the world's most celebrated writers combined. Read it and— well, just read it.I've boldened the two works I've read.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
Middlemarch by George Eliot
(HT: Joe Carter)
Some choice words:
Also, read Religion uncovered on the gridiron from the folks at getreligion.com.
Dungy and Smith haven't sold their souls in pursuit of the game's Holy Grail, and yet here they are, reminding us that good men can do great things, that nice guys can and do finish first. Dungy learned from Dennis Green and Chuck Noll and passed it on to assistants Smith, Mike Tomlin, Herman Edwards and Rod Marinelli (all head coaches now) that it's OK to enjoy life outside the facility. Dungy and Smith are family men. And they still win.
You won't hear either utter a word of profanity. And they still win. They care about and foster relationships with their players. And they still win. They serve their communities. And still, somehow, they find time to do what it takes to prepare their teams.
Dungy can -- imagine -- spend the Saturday evening before the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots at the mall with his family. Or Dungy, Smith, Edwards and each of their wives can gather for dinner at P.F. Chang's the night before Dungy's Colts and Edwards' Chiefs met in the first round of the playoffs. And yet it didn't halt the Bears' or Colts' journeys to Miami.
Dungy and Smith are Christian men who serve the Lord first and spend nearly as much time serving their communities. Doesn't prevent them from winning. And often. In just three seasons Smith, last season's Coach of the Year, has helped build the Bears into a league power. Dungy has won more regular season games than any coach since 1999. Where does color factor into that?
Update: Even a Floridian loves the Colts, and Coach Dungy in particular.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
T.J. Banes of the Indianapolis Star has the answers to the age-old question, "What should I do if I get sick?"
Well, they're her version of them, anyway. You must use your own discretion, of course.
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last king of Scotland
Penélope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet, Little Children
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears, The Queen
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel
Paul Greenglass, United 93
Martin Scorsese, The Departed
I've only seen one of these films. Can you guess which?
With a call to "let the conversation begin," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) fielded a handful of pre-selected questions from voters on her presidential campaign's Web site last night, speaking into a video camera as she held forth on movies ("Out of Africa" makes her top three), her football-fanatic brothers and her "nice middle-class upbringing in a suburb of Chicago."
The effort to "humanize" Clinton, as her advisers have put it, was in full swing just two days into her presidential campaign.
These are here advisors wanting her to be "humanized." Apparently they recognize that she's been viewed as cold and emotionless in the past - except for when she's speaking out against the president and his party - so they want her to be more "human."
No wonder she wants to talk/chat/dialogue/converse. Robots don't do that!
Just so you know, I'm not among the 28%.
His concluding paragraph:
All in all, it is unlikely that the emerging movement will disappear anytime soon. If I were a prophet, I'd say that it will influence most of evangelicalism in its chastened epistemology (if it hasn't already), its emphasis on praxis, and its missional orientation. I see the emerging movement much like the Jesus and charismatic movements of the 1960s, which undoubtedly have found a place in the quilt called evangelicalism.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Adrian Warnock blogged about Chalke and his book The Lost Message of Jesus way back in November 2004, before many people - including me - started blogging.
Was there ever any doubt about it, really? Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton - oops! I mean, just Hillary (sorry Jack, no jazz hands) - says I'm in it to win it!
Take a look around the site, and you'll see that she wants to be called "Hillary." No stuffy acknowledgement of her current job. No need to think about her surname, as if anyone could forget. She's Hillary, plain and simple. Well, maybe not so plain and maybe not so simple, but there's a familiarity with calling someone by their first name. It's not cold and detached, but much more intimate and inviting. It's like when you graduate from high school - you no longer have to call your five-years-older-than-you calculus teacher Mr. Garrington, you can now call him Fred because as an adult you're on equal par with him. It's almost as if she's saying, "You know, calling me a senator isn't really so important, now that we've gotten to know each other a bit more. Call me Hillary because we're friends now."
Look at the picture of her wearing a red coat, the color most associated with Nancy Reagan. See how she smiles - so welcoming! She's in a pretty floral couch, sitting by the window, waiting for you to share a cup of tea with her.
And what happens around the tea cups? Conversation! Why, this is exactly what Hillary wants. Read the words....
- "I'm not just starting a campaign, though, I'm beginning a conversation..." (from the video)
- "...I want you to be a part of this important conversation..."
- Hillary is starting the campaign with a national conversation...
- "Because the conversation in Washington has been just just a little one-sided lately..." (from the video)
- Soon we'll launch our official blog, a crucial part of our exciting national conversation and the place to go to learn more about Hillary.
- "Let's talk. Let's chat. Let's start a dialogue..." (from the video)
More from Ann Althouse & Mark Daniels & Jollyblogger
How many emotions can you go through in one game? Fear, disgust, anger, anxiety, jubilation. Too many to count. A historic game, indeed.
The Boston Herald puts it as simple as possible: Colts Prevail: Indianapolis 38, New England 34. Sorry, clam-chowder-heads - better luck next time.
Oh, and congrats to Da Bears. It was fun to watch two teams coached by Mike Ditka go at each other, and Ditka's original team prevailed. I lived in Chicago for a short time and The Wife is from Illinois, so I have some affinity for Chicago teams. But, in 2 weeks, I'll be rooting for the Blue and White!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Lauding someone for their style on Capitol Hill is a lot like celebrating the best surfer on Florida’s Gulf Coast — it’s all relative, and some would argue irrelevant. Washington has never embraced fashion (nor, for that matter, has the fashion world embraced Washington), and for understandable reasons. In political circles, fashion is a loaded term, smacking of frivolity and vanity.
So, to a large extent, politicians have been fashion agnostic, sticking stubbornly to their dark blue suits, red power ties, multicolored scarves and lacquered hair.
But with the ascent of Nancy Pelosi, 66, widely recognized and admired for her Armani and easy fashion savvy, the days of the dowdy Washington dress code may be numbered. At least that is the hope of a number of women on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats, who see Mrs. Pelosi, the new speaker of the House, as a fashion leader, too. (NYTimes)
Even Speaker Pelosi has her limits. Her staff members, after repeated requests, declined to talk about her clothing choices for this article. In a recent interview on “60 Minutes,” Mrs. Pelosi said her husband often buys clothes for her.
Lauren Solomon of LS Image Associates asserts, "You don't have to grow up to look like a librarian, but you don't have to look like a hooker, either." Surely women have more choices than that.
(Photographs by Charles Dharapak/Associated Press; Aharaz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press; Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images; Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
|Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence|
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Yesterday morning when I left work, I decided to try a Starbucks breakfast by ordering two of their newest offerings: the cinnamon dolce latte, and an eggs florentine sandwich.
The sandwiches, sent frozen from centralized locations to the stores where they can be heated in ovens made specificaly for the sandwiches and nohing else, come in several varieties. I decided upon the sandwich that seemed to be the healthiest. After all, I can get an Egg McMuffin from Mickey D's with sausage and bacon already, so why not pick a sandwich that has something the fast food joints usually don't: leafy-green veggies.
The eggs florentine is made of one egg, havarti cheese, and baby spinach - all three ingredients are tucked between two halves of an english muffin. It sells for $2.95, like all the breakfast sandwiches. The muffin was as crispy as I wanted it to be. While the egg was fairly flavorless by itself (and what can one expect? The sandwiches are not made to order), the harvati cheese was a great complement. The only disatisfaction was that there were only two spinach leaves in the sandwich. Why be so skimpy? It's $2.95, for crying out loud - gimme spinach! The latte was perfect. Not too sweet, just the right amount of cinnamon...
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
His concluding paragraph is addressed to believers in Christ:
The story of the righteous did not end in Genesis; it continues to this day. God is crafting us into something of beauty, if only we will believe and follow. The story of God's faithfulness in your life is, I am certain, filled with drama, romance, and failure, all upheld by a powerful and loving God. We can be certain that there is always such a happy ending for the faithful, and that even though your life may seem dull and uneventful to you, for the heavenly perspective it is filled with grace and glory. I look forward to meeting you at the end of this journey and hearing the path through which the Savior brought you. There is a seat at the Master's banquet for you, beloved. It is our destiny to be there, to know each other, and to adore the King of Kings.
I'm a Mazda RX-8!
You're sporty, yet practical, and you have a style of your own. You like to have fun, and you like to bring friends along for the ride, but when it comes time for everyday chores, you're willing to do your part.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
(H/T: Cindy Swanson)
Monday, January 15, 2007
In a recent survey of college students on U.S. civic literacy, more than 81 percent knew that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was expressing hope for "racial justice and brotherhood" in his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. That's the good news. Most of the rest surveyed thought King was advocating the abolition of slavery. (WaPo)
Disturbing news, to say the least. Did you read that this was a survey of college students, not ones in high school? Yeah - college students. Students in university have had nearly a decade-and-a-half's worth of education, and they are still ignorant of something as recent as the American civil rights movement.
The recent survey of college students, conducted by the University of Connecticut's Department of Public Policy for the nonprofit Intercollegiate Studies Institute, suggests that schools are not doing as much as they could to go beyond a cursory history lesson. More than 14,000 college freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges and universities earned an average score of 53.2 percent in the survey.Don't you want to want to take the survey now, just to see how you would do? It would be interesting to see the average scores from the different universities. What universities did the surveyors visit? Did they go to Ivy League schools like Yale or Brown? Did they visit community colleges?
A danger, educators say, is that lessons about King can become repetitive from year to year, especially when using the same theatrical performances and movies. As a consequence, many students know about King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech but not about his seminal "Letter From Birmingham Jail," also written in 1963.
That is why each year Deal Junior High rotates the focus of its assembly , Mosteller said.
An excellent idea. If all the grades in a certain school are going to talk about Martin Luther King Jr. at this time of year, then the grades should impart different information and not just rehash the same thing every January.
One sure thing about this: Parents, don't think that you're off the hook when it comes to educating your child, just because you send them to a school. You do your part.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Is there a standout among those 13? To me, #4 is the most shocking because the man holding the gun appears to be extremely casual about what he's doing, but you need to read the story behind the photo. The picture may show what's happening, but it doesn't explain why.
Yes, the name Pelosi is familiar - Alexandra is the daughter of the new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Her film focuses on Ted Haggard, who was president of the National Association of Evangelicals before a gay sex scandal forced his resignation.
“I believe in the culture war,” she said. “And you know what? If I have to take a side in the culture war I’ll take their side,” meaning the Christian conservatives. “Because if you give me the choice of Paris Hilton or Jesus, I’ll take Jesus.”
Ms. Pelosi wrote, directed and produced “Friends of God,” which took her through 16 states and the District of Columbia with a small, hand-held camera. It is offered as a series of snapshots, she said, with a focus on conservative evangelicals, including the ministers Jerry Falwell and Joel Osteen. In the film Mr. Haggard explains the allure of evangelical Christianity and extols the primacy of sex among evangelicals. (NYTimes)
Pelosi also directed Journeys with George and Diary of a Political Tourist.
Consider: if Secretary of State Rice was a single and childless man, would Senator Boxer have said the same thing?
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Go here for the Democratic Party response.
Justin Taylor has an interesting spin on President Bush's speech on Iraq, treating it as a Q&A session. Read.
Hugh Hewitt believes Bush was "at his best."
Was Bush scared?
Looking back now on all the coverage about President Ford, the recurring theme driven by Brian Williams and his kind was it's so great that Jerry Ford was such a normal person. Yes, that's exactly what we want from our presidents - someone average. Can you imagine what our country would be like today if the greatest thing one could say about George Washington - or Abraham Lincoln - is how normal he was?
UPDATE: Pastor Mark Daniels has some thoughts about my second paragraph. Welcome, Better Living readers!
Let's take a glance over the article, 'kay?
Right away I'm thinking: she's a nursing student, and she can afford to get Starbucks coffee up to three times daily? And, Ms. Voss apparently has eaten countless pastries in the past. How can she do this? Does she have a part-time job? If she does have a job on the side, you know it's off-campus somewhere, because campus job pay is notoriously low. If she only had Starbucks twice a week, think of all the money she'd save for other important college things, like keggers.
Last Wednesday at a Starbucks in Times Square, Katie Voss, a nursing student, was drinking one of the chain’s new coffee creations, a cinnamon-flavored low-fat latte. Ms. Voss, who was visiting from Maryland, said she visits Starbucks every day — up to three times a day, in fact — but rarely eats anything.
“I’ve been burned too many times by that pastry case,” she said.
Neither of the whole-grain, trans-fat-free pastries — a cinnamon loaf and a banana muffin — that Starbucks introduced that day were sufficiently alluring to change her mind.
“I try to fill up on coffee here,” she said, “so I won’t be tempted to get an Egg McMuffin before lunch.”
Starbucks has realized that it has historically offered only cold breakfast items, like muffins and scones and bars. Now, it's offering hot sandwiches - gussied-up Egg McMuffins, if you will.
The breakfast sandwiches, with upscale ingredients like peppered bacon and sun-dried tomatoes, are being gradually rolled out across the country as part of a concerted — and some say long overdue — effort by Starbucks to improve its food. “We are going to be all about premium and upscale ingredients, bold and layered flavors,” said Kathleen Kennedy, the chain’s recently hired director for food research and development.You're going to be all about upscale prices to pay for those upscale ingredients, too. You may get some business execs to buy those sandwiches, but I can tell you that college students' tastebuds aren't especially developed (what else can explain all the Domino's Pizza boxes and empty cans of Milwaukee's Best?), so they aren't going to care if the tomatoes are sun-dried and the bacon has some pepper on it.
The bakery items are still produced at about 50 different bakeries, and shipped daily to the stores. Some items, especially seasonal ones like the wintry Cranberry Bliss bar and new ones like last week’s Five Fruit Banana muffins, are made in one or two locations, shipped frozen, and simply thawed before serving.So that's where the bakery items come from. I'm still upset that the Cranberry Bliss bar is only offered the last two months of the year - who wants to join me in a petition?
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
- Christians are more judgmental than non-Christians.
- Christians are stingier than non-Christians.
- Christians are more intolerant of other people than non-Christians.
- Christians are more short-sighted than non-Christians.
- Christians don't know how to have fun.
- Christians despise intellectuals more than non-Christians do.
- Christians prefer kitsch over important art.
- Christian subculture mimics the world rather than creating anything lasting.
- Companies run by Christians are as unethical as secular companies, and perhaps more so.
- Christianity causes more problems in the world than any other religion.
The View's ratings are up.
The Apprentice's ratings are down.
Hopefully now, Trump will stop talking about how his show is "the #1 show on television." It clearly isn't.
Monday, January 8, 2007
If you go to the show's site, you'll see that Martin has been dubbed The Philosopher. With him being the first to go, does this mean Trump has no room in his organization for thinking people?
I've always been of a mixed mind about the site. On the one hand, I appreciated their calls of concern about certain segments within the realm of Christendom, namely their postings on Pat Robertson's supposed prophecies and other such idiocies. Certainly we must look at everything with a discerning eye, including statements of those who name the name of Christ. However, I did not appreciate their broad-strokes attacks on the emerging church (although there are certainly questions to be raised, they must be specific questions), their frequent use of strange-sounding names (e.g., Hollow Men) intended to be insults, and their tendency to post only commentors that whole-heartedly agree with them.
Whether this is all an attempt to disrupt sites like this one remains to be seen. I, for one, am hopeful that Ms. Schlueter's new site edifies the body of Christ.
UPDATE: Slice has been reborn as the much more serious sounding Christian Research Net.
Lately, though, produce has caused a disturbing number of disease outbreaks; just since September, bacteria-tainted tomatoes, spinach and lettuce have made hundreds of people sick, and killed three. There have been 20 serious outbreaks in the past decade or so, and many have come from crops grown in California, not from imports. Fruit juices, alfalfa sprouts and almonds have also been involved — all of them supposedly health foods, like salad, the things we feel most virtuous about eating.
The known outbreaks are just the tip of the iceberg, health officials say; far more illness is never reported. Most people don’t call the health department about a few days of gut trouble. The government estimates that over all, food-borne microbes — not just the ones on produce — make 76 million people a year sick, put 325,000 in the hospital and kill 5,000.
In a modern country, a rise in disease caused by tainted food seems like a giant step backward in public health. But there hasn’t been much public outrage or even disgust at the notion of filth seeping into the food supply.
Fast Food Nation, with its revelation of the presence of fecal matter in meat used by many fast food restaurants, caused quite a stir a few years back. (I bought a copy, read it, then went out for a Big Mac.... Kidding, folks. I'm kidding. I read the book and waited, like, several days before I ate a Big Mac.) Now, we should be afraid of lettuce and onions also.
In a modern country, a rise in disease caused by tainted food seems like a giant step backward in public health. But there hasn’t been much public outrage or even disgust at the notion of filth seeping into the food supply.
Among the nastiest bacteria is E. coli 0157:H7, which makes a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness and sometimes even kidney failure. This is the germ found on spinach a few months ago, and more recently on iceberg lettuce served at Taco Bell restaurants. It comes from cow feces and was first identified in 1982. Feeding the animals grain instead of hay seems to promote its growth.
The strain is harmless to cows, but in people it is so dangerous, according to the Food and Drug Administration, that swallowing as few as 10 organisms may be enough to cause an infection. About 73,000 people a year get sick from this type of bacteria, and 61 die, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Well, it certainly seemed to have worked. Even now, the Dems are poised to take power in the House and Senate once again. Nancy Pelosi is all-prepared to accept her new role as Speaker of the House, the first woman in history to do so. What will they do after the place their hands on the Bible - and one Jefferson-owned Koran - and take their oaths today?
On the brink of regaining power after 12 years, House Democrats said Wednesday that they would move immediately to try to sever ties between lawmakers and lobbyists who figured into scandals that helped Democrats win control of Congress.Yes! A return to ethics in the House. Evil lobbyists be banished - only nice lobbyists need knock on the door! And leave those plane tickets to Aspen at home, please - we don't want them.
Democrats, who campaigned relentlessly last year on the theme of a Republican culture of corruption, introduced the proposed ethics rules as part of a week of choreography designed to deliver the message that they did not intend to do business as usual in Washington. In some cases, like restrictions on the use of corporate jets, the rules on gifts and travel by lobbyists go further than what Democrats had pledged earlier. (WaPo)
The Dems tried to hold a news conference about this return to ethics. They said a few words, but eventually were drowned out by someone who should have loved their return to political might:
While Democrats sought to introduce their ethics legislation at a news conference, the antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and others interrupted with chants of “Troops home now; de-escalate, investigate.” The scene vividly illustrated the pressure that Democrats will face from the left wing of their party to challenge President Bush more aggressively on Iraq. Ms. Sheehan and other antiwar advocates felt they contributed to the Democrats’ takeover of Congress.
Yes, well... many of you Dems made nice with her. Now it's time to pay the piper, so to speak. Or at least, do what Cindy wants you to do, which is to get all troops out of Iraq yesterday.
Anyway, it's a return to ethics. A return to accountability. A return to congresspeople paying for their own checks at CityZen. We'll see how long this lasts...
BTW - did you know soon-to-be-Speaker Pelosi adores the Grateful Dead? You do now.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Sign Frank Turk's petition. Who knows what it might do....
Anyway, here's the list.
Also: Here is what you didn't know last year, but now you do.
They better never get rid of their cranberry bliss bars. In fact, they should offer them year-round! However, if they did, The Wife and I would probably eat so much it wouldn't matter if there was no trans fat.
Ooo! Someone has the recipe!