Friday, December 31, 2010

TGIF !....This one ends with a Bang ! Have fun and be safe.

Happy New year and Thank You !

New Years Eve Warning in Los Angeles: LAPD Undercover Cops Will Cozy Up at Busy Bars To Catch Drunk Drivers - Los Angeles News - The Informer

New Years Eve Warning in Los Angeles: LAPD Undercover Cops Will Cozy Up at Busy Bars To Catch Drunk Drivers - Los Angeles News - The Informer

Undercover Los Angeles Police officers will be hanging out at hot Los Angeles bars tonight, pretending to be customers to bust bartenders serving alcohol to people who shouldn't be driving, and partiers staggering toward parking lots, on New Years Eve.

There's also Tipsy Tow, a AAA service to tow your car if you have too many apple martinis
(like more than 2) and have the sense to realize you cannot get behind the wheel.
Call 1 (800) 400-4AAA.

Arizona: Epicenter of Hate

The 2011 legislative session will begin a few days early for two Arizona lawmakers who will be in Washington D.C. for the unveiling of legislation intended to end birthright citizenship.

Immigration hawks Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070, and Rep. John Kavanagh will attend a Jan. 5 press conference at the National Press Club to introduce model legislation that aims to force the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the longstanding interpretation of the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.

Lawmakers from 14 states who plan to introduce the bill will attend as well.

Typical Arizona Comments:

Anthony Phillips Says:

I am glad we (the U.S.) will finally get a chance to follow the majority of the other nations’ policies regarding child births abroad . Senators Pierce and Kavanagh are correct at proposing this bill. A child born in this country of an illegal alien DOES NOT mean that child is a U.S. citizen. If that was the case, then children born abroad of parents stationed overseas would make them citizens of that host nation (which we all know isn’t the case). I just refreshed my memory by reading the 14th admendment of the constitution and no where does it say the parents are constitutionally granted citizenship just because their child is born here.

My opinion: 1. if a child of illegals are born in the U.S., the child becomes a ward of the state and put up adoption and the illegal parents are deported. 2. if the illegal parent(s) want the child, they can take the child and the entire family is deported with a birth certificate stating the child’s location of birth but his/her citizenship is still that of the parent(s) native country. Plain & simple.

In Arizona...Inmates aren't human beings.

Chilly Night for Tent City, Sheriff's Outdoor Jail

PHOENIX - The cold front has brought overnight temperatures in the 20s to Phoenix, which means a chilly night for Sheriff Joe's Tent City inmates.

The below freezing weather is a change for the inmates, who are used to experiencing the intense summer heat.

In the summer, the outdoor tents can reach up to 140 degrees.

Sheriff Arpaio says the inmates will be provided extra blankets and pink thermal underwear.
Inmates at the Tent City Jail have been housed in Korean War tents since 1993.

"I don't believe in the 18 years we ever had anybody with frostbite, but we have ways to take care of the inmates, if there's any problem we'll make sure that they're safe and healthy," Sheriff Joe told FOX 10.

Big Boys do cry.....Just ask Boehner !

How WikiLeaks Enlightened Us in 2010 - World Watch - CBS News

WikiLeaks has brought to light a series of disturbing insinuations and startling truths in the last year, some earth-shattering, others simply confirmations of our darkest suspicions about the way the world works.

Thanks to founder Julian Assange's legal situation in Sweden (and potentially the United States) as well as his media grandstanding, it is easy to forget how important and interesting some of WikiLeaks' revelations have been.

(Click on Link for Full Story)

BBC News - Italy furious after Brazil's Lula refuses extradition

BBC News - Italy furious after Brazil's Lula refuses extradition

Italy has reacted with fury to the Brazilian president's decision on his last day in office not to extradite an Italian former left-wing militant.

The Italian foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Brazil, while the defence minister said Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had shown a "lack of courage".

But Brazil's government said the move was not an "affront" to another state.

Cesare Battisti has been convicted in absentia of murdering four people in Italy between 1978 and 1979.
The 56-year-old has maintained his innocence, saying he is the victim of political persecution in Italy and that he risks being killed if extradited.

Price of a traffic ticket going up $4 -

Price of a traffic ticket going up $4 -

California motorists, already in sticker shock over rising fines for parking and traffic tickets, should prepare for more beginning Saturday.

The state is adding $4 to the price of every traffic ticket. The fee will pay for emergency air transport services because of a revenue shortfall in Medi-Cal funding. It is set to generate an estimated $34 million a year through 2016, according to state estimates.

NYC mayor to probe claims that workers delayed snow cleanup

Company recalls ground beef over E. coli fears -

Company recalls ground beef over E. coli fears -

A California company has recalled 34,373 pounds of organic ground beef over fears of E. coli contamination.

First Class Foods Inc. of Hawthorne said recalled packages were produced on December 7 and December 16.
They have "EST. 18895" printed on them, federal officials said.

Products were shipped to California, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Wisconsin and Washington state

E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and in severe cases, kidney failure. Babies, seniors and people with weak immune systems are the most susceptible.

Consumers with questions can contact Lucienne Adams of First Class Foods at (310) 676-2500.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ford, Chrysler recalling thousands of vehicles

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 19,600 2011 model year trucks and crossover SUVs over concerns that an electrical short could cause a fire, the manufacturer said Thursday.

Chrysler Group LLC also is recalling nearly 145,000 trucks and crossover wagons in three separate campaigns for steering, stalling and airbag concerns, according to letters posted this week on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ford decided to recall certain 2011 model year F-150 trucks, Super Duty trucks (F-250 through F-550) and its Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles after fires started in the cabs of two F-150 trucks at a Michigan assembly plant in November and December, the company said in a letter Monday to the NHTSA.

"The vehicles will be updated to eliminate a small risk of an unattended vehicle fire for the 2011 Ford Edge, Super Duty, F-150 and Lincoln MKX," Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood said. "... We are notifying affected owners and asking them to bring their vehicles to their local dealers to determine if the module was built during the affected time period and whether replacement is necessary."

Ford said it will send recall letters to vehicle owners the week of January 10. Consumers can contact local Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealers or Ford's toll-free service at 866-436-7332 to determine whether their particular vehicle falls under the recall.

Pilgrim's Pride recalls breaded chicken wings

A voluntary recall of breaded chicken wings will take a bite out of the nation's supply during the flurry of college football bowl games.

Pilgrim's Pride on Thursday recalled about 180,000 pounds of Pierce Hot & Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings and Sweet Georgia Brand Hot & Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings because they contain egg, an undeclared allergen, officials said.

The wings were produced on various dates between January 1, 2010, and October 6, 2010, and sent to 30 food service distribution centers for further distribution to restaurants, the inspection service and company said.

Consumers or distributors with questions regarding the recall may call Pilgrim's toll-free line
at 800-321-1470.

Zeitgeist 2010: Year in Review

Obama Makes Six Recess Appointments

The most important news and commentary to read right now. - The Slatest - Slate Magazine

Despite being on vacation in Hawaii, Obama seems to be spending a lot of time on the phone with Washington. On Wednesday, Obama bypassed the Senate and made six recess appointments—surpassing the number of times George W. Bush exercised the power at this point in his presidency.—and sidestepping politcal battles before the new Congress convenes. Obama appointed ambassadors to Turkey, Syria, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic, named William Boarman as public printer of the United States, and, most controversially, made James Cole deputy attorney general. Cole's appointment had been snared by Senate Republicans due to his role as an independent monitor of insurance giant AIG, and over a 2002 report he wrote advocating civilian trials for terror suspects. Recess appointments only last for a year (the six nominees have been pending for nearly five months) and will have to be renominated and confirmed by the next Congress.

Read original story in The Hill Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Estados Unidos revoca la visa al embajador de Venezuela en Washington - CNNMé

Estados Unidos revoca la visa al embajador de Venezuela en Washington - CNNMé

Estados Unidos revocó la visa al embajador de Venezuela en Washington, en una aparente represalia por el rechazo del gobierno del país sudamericano al enviado estadounidense en Caracas, dijo el miércoles un diplomático.

Washington y Caracas se han enfrentado por el nombramiento de Palmer desde agosto, cuando el presidente venezolano, Hugo Chávez, dijo que el enviado no sería autorizado a asumir su posición debido a que había criticado al gobierno izquierdista de Venezuela.

Medios estatales venezolanos citaron al vicecanciller Temir Porras confirmando la revocación de la visa estadounidense al embajador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera.

Russell Pearce's Son......YIKES !

Russell Pearce's Son Joshua Pearce: Mesa Police Won't File Charges in Child-Abuse Allegation - Phoenix News - Feathered Bastard

State Senate President-elect Russell Pearce's son Joshua Trent Pearce recently was under investigation by the Mesa Police Department for allegations of possible child abuse.

Mesa PD spokesman, Sergeant Ed Wessing, confirmed that police responded to a call December 10 from Banner Desert Medical Center regarding a nine day-old baby girl, the daughter of Joshua Pearce and his wife Samantha.

According to Wessing, hospital staff told police that the child had a skull fracture, and that the parents' explanation of how the fracture may have occurred did not jibe with the severity of the injury.

The Mesa PD opened an inquiry into the matter. The child since has been released from the hospital, and her prognosis for a full recovery "is positive" according to Wessing.

Late yesterday, Wessing said the child had been in Joshua Pearce's care at the time, and that Mesa cops had spoken with both Josh and his wife about the incident.

Today, Wessing informed me that no charges would be forthcoming.

"The Mesa Police Department will not be submitting criminal charges in this case," Wessing told me via e-mail. "At this time we do not have sufficient probable cause to charge Mr. Pearce in this case."

National Geographic Photo Contest 2010 Winners#216348

Hef and Crystal: Silly Old Men

In some ways, the latest Hugh Hefner engagement is a humorist's dream. An elderly man, a 24-year-old ex-Playmate -- what do we think each person is getting out of this alliance? I don't think you need a Ph.D. to assess the exchange of resources that has brought them together.

Why end-of-life planning is smart, necessary -

Why end-of-life planning is smart, necessary -

Thinking about death can be frightening, no matter your age or medical condition. As we get older, the reality of our own mortality tends to come into clearer focus; this doesn't make talking about death or life-sustaining treatments any less frightening though.

Advance care planning allows a person to make his or her wishes and care preferences known before being faced with a medical crisis. Advance care planning is simply smart life-planning.

An individual's personal wishes, beliefs and values are among the most important factors when making care decisions brought about by a serious or life-limiting illness. Such wishes and preferences can be known only if they are discussed openly.

An advance care planning consultation is not about limiting or rationing care. It's not about hastening death. It's not about having choices made for the patient. It's not about saving money.

Advance care planning is about examining options, planning and communicating the choices that the individual wants -- either to limit treatments, accept all treatments or something in between. The course charted is decided by individual patients, not their doctors, and certainly not the government.

Parsley-cilantro recall expanded to include other vegetables -

Parsley-cilantro recall expanded to include other vegetables -

J&D Produce, Inc. had previously announced the recall of nearly 7,000 cases of cilantro and curly parsley after samples in Quebec, Canada, and Michigan tested positive for the bacteria, the company said Monday.

The company is also recalling 19 other types of produce that were run on the same packing lines, because the salmonella may have spread to those products as well.

The recall involves 2,498 cases of the parsley -- which have expiration dates 12 days after being packed -- that went out to the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and the U.S. states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

The 4,411 recalled cases of cilantro, carrying the same packing and expiration dates, were distributed in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin as well as Quebec and Ontario.

A complete listing of the other recalled produce will be available on the company's website.

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that usually lasts four to seven days. About 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in the United States, according to the CDC.

Those who get it typically develop fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected. Most people recover on their own, without needing significant treatment. But salmonella in very young and very old people, as well as those with weakened immune systems can lead to severe illness and even death.

The CDC recommends that anyone suspecting he or she may be ill from eating contaminated food should talk to a doctor.

King to press immigration enforcement

King to press immigration enforcement

As Republican Congressman Peter King wrestles away chairmanship of the House's Homeland Security Committee from Democrats, he plans to put the spotlight on an issue that he sees as paramount to national security: immigration enforcement.

King, who takes charge of the committee next week, said he intends to hold hearings, push bills and seek funding to bolster the fight against illegal immigration. He favors workplace raids and improved cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agencies.

"There is a lack of urgency by the administration," said King, of Seaford. "They are confining deportations primarily to immigrants arrested for serious crimes and, while this is considered harsh, I do believe that the workplace raids do send the signal that we are serious about enforcement."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Those Hateful Arizonians

Ethnic Studies ban affects Reason and Justice in Arizona - Desert, Science and Hot Dogs: The Three Sonorans

This Friday, December 31, 2010, Arizona will ban Ethnic Studies in TUSD, or rather take the first steps towards this grave injustice. The next day the new superintendent of TUSD, Dr. John Pedicone, will be met with more and more media coverage as the rest of the nation asks WTF AZ?

There’s a word for what Arizona is attempting to do here: ethnocide. It is similar to genocide in its scope, but it reflects the notion that it is an ethnic and/or cultural identity under assault more so than physical bodies themselves. By imposing a curriculum that forbids the exploration of divergent cultures while propping up the dominant one, there’s another process at work here, what we might call ethnonormativity. This takes the teachings of one culture – the colonizer’s – and makes it the standard version of history while literally banning other accounts, turning the master narrative into the “normal” one, and further denigrating marginalized perspectives. America’s racialized past abounds with such examples of oppressed people being denied their languages, histories and cultures, including through enforced indoctrination in school systems.

As if to add insult to injury, HB 2281 barely makes a pretense to hide any of this in its language and intended scope. A close reading of the law lays bare some of the more stark and sinister aspects of its potential application in a state where Hispanic students fill nearly half the seats in the public schools (the domain to which HB 2281 will apply). In particular, there are three primary aspects of the law that merit further investigation as contributing factors to the ongoing erasure of ethnic identities and the further marginalization of people of color in Arizona.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Many ways to help the homeless - Los Angeles Times

Many ways to help the homeless - Los Angeles Times

Although a lot of people are feeling stretched for cash this season, advocates for the homeless say there are other ways to help. Many organizations welcome donations of new or gently used clothing and blankets, as well as toiletries and food. And while volunteers come out in numbers during the holiday season, homeless service organizations need help throughout the year.

"What people really need in these hard times is a human touch, a kind word," Bales said. "Even just … serving some coffee, hearing a person's story and sharing some love."

On The Floor: Ten Great Moments From Congress In 2010 (VIDEO) | TPMDC

On The Floor: Ten Great Moments From Congress In 2010 (VIDEO) TPMDC

As the year comes to a close, and we look ahead to all the wild and wacky things that are sure to happen in the new Republican-controlled House and only narrowly Democratic-controlled Senate, let's take a look back at the past year. A whole lot of amazing and memorable moments happened not only on the campaign trail, but on the two Congressional floors in the Capitol itself.

We've gathered together 10 unforgettable moments from the House and Senate in 2010.

(Click on link to view videos)

Political Cartoons of the Week

Among tax deal breaks: Writing off racehorses - Business - U.S. business -

Among tax deal breaks: Writing off racehorses - Business - U.S. business -

WASHINGTON — The massive new tax bill signed into law by President Barack Obama is filled with all kinds of holiday stocking stuffers for businesses: tax breaks for producing TV shows, grants for putting up windmills, rum subsidies for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

There is even a tax break for people who buy race horses.

There is a generous tax break for banks and insurance companies that invest overseas, a tax credit for railroad track maintenance, more generous write-offs for upgrading motorsport race tracks, and increased deductions for businesses that donate books and computers to public schools and libraries.

Millions of homeowners, however, might feel like they got a lump of coal. Homeowners who don't itemize their deductions will lose a tax break for paying local property taxes.

The new law extends most of them through 2011, some through 2012. They will be paid for with borrowed money.

Prepare Yourself Amigos !

WASHINGTON — The end of the year means a turnover of House control from Democratic to Republican and, with it, Congress' approach to immigration.

In a matter of weeks, Congress will go from trying to help young, illegal immigrants become legal to debating whether children born to parents who are in the country illegally should continue to enjoy automatic U.S. citizenship.

Such a hardened approach — and the rhetoric certain to accompany it — should resonate with the GOP faithful who helped swing the House in Republicans' favor. But it also could further hurt the GOP in its endeavor to grab a large enough share of the growing Latino vote to win the White House and the Senate majority in 2012.

Legislation to test interpretations of the 14th Amendment as granting citizenship to children of illegal immigrants will emerge early next session. That is likely to be followed by attempts to force employers to use a still-developing web system, dubbed E-Verify, to check that all of their employees are in the U.S. legally.

There could be proposed curbs on federal spending in cities that don't do enough to identify people who are in the country illegally and attempts to reduce the numbers of legal immigrants. Democrats ended the year failing for a second time to win passage of the Dream Act, which would have given hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants a chance at legal status.

House Republicans will try to fill the immigration reform vacuum left by Democrats with legislation designed to send illegal immigrants packing and deter others from trying to come to the U.S.

America; A European version

A Superpower in Decline: Is the American Dream Over? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The Desperate States of America are loud and distressed. The country has always been a little paranoid, but now it's also despondent, hopeless and pessimistic. Americans have always believed in the country's capacity for regeneration, that a new awakening is possible at any time. Now, 63 percent of Americans don't believe that they will be able to maintain their current standard of living.

And if America is indeed on the downward slope, it will have consequences for the global economy and the political world order.

The fall of America doesn't have to be a complete collapse -- it is, after all, a country that has managed to reinvent itself many times before. But today it's no longer certain -- or even likely -- that everything will turn out fine in the end. The United States of 2010 is dysfunctional, but in new ways. The entire interplay of taxes and investments is out of joint because a 16,000-page tax code allows for far too many loopholes and because solidarity is no longer part of the way Americans think. The political system, plagued by lobbyism and stark hatred, is incapable of reaching consistent or even quick decisions.
The country is reacting strangely irrationally to the loss of its importance -- it is a reaction characterized primarily by rage. Significant portions of America simply want to return to a supposedly idyllic past. They devote almost no effort to reflection, and they condemn cleverness and intellect as elitist and un-American, as if people who hunt bears could seriously be expected to lead a world power. Demagogues stir up hatred and rage on television stations like Fox News. These parts of America, majorities in many states, ignorant of globalization and the international labor market, can do nothing but shout. They hate everything that is new and foreign to them.

Full of Hatred
The Tea Party, that group of white, older voters who claim that they want their country back, is angry. Fox News host Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic who likens Obama to Adolf Hitler, is angry. Beck doesn't quite know what he wants to be -- maybe a politician, maybe president, maybe a preacher -- and he doesn't know what he wants to do, either, or least he hasn't come up with any specific ideas or plans. But he is full of hatred. And so is Dinesh D'Souza.

Gridlock as the American Status Quo
It has become a country of plain solutions. People with college degrees are suspect and intelligence has become a blemish. Manfred Henningsen, a German political scientist who teaches in Honolulu, Hawaii, calls it "political and economic paralysis." One reason for the crisis, says Henningsen, is that the American dream, both individual and national, has in fact always been a fiction. "This society was never stable. It was always socially underdeveloped, and anyone who talks about the good old days today is forgetting the injustices of racist America."

Agitators like Glenn Beck are "nationalist, racist and proto-fascist," says Henningsen. "They take advantage of the economic situation, almost the way the right-wing intelligentsia did back in the Weimar Republic."

Gridlock has become the modern America status quo, and the condition Henningsen calls "institutional idiocy" is especially obvious in the country's most important legislative body, the Senate, which has come to resemble a royal court where nothing has happened in centuries.

By Klaus Brinkbäumer, Marc Hujer, Peter Müller, Gregor Peter Schmitz and Thomas Schulz
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Friday, December 24, 2010

TGIF..Merry Christmas/Festivas my fellow tweeters & net-friends = D

CHP's Gift to You This Christmas: Maximum Enforcement - LAist

CHP's Gift to You This Christmas: Maximum Enforcement - LAist

Does your sleigh have seatbelts? The California Highway Patrol is bestowing upon the people of the state the kind of gift that, theoretically, keeps on giving. Tonight at 6 p.m. they begin a period of "Maximum Enforcement," which means officers will be on the lookout for dangerous drivers of all varieties in spades until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday the 26th.

The colors of Christmas — Poinsettias are the flower of the season - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 The colors of Christmas — Poinsettias are the flower of the season - Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Possibly no other plant means Christmas as much as poinsettias. With its large, beautiful red flower and dark green leaves, it is the Queen of Christmas decorations.Joel Poinsett most certainly fell in love with it when he saw it in Mexico, where he was the first U.S. ambassador. He brought it back in 1836, named it after himself, and the rest is history.

Poinsettia care 101
When choosing a poinsettia, Sargent's manager Scott Moon advices to buy one that is well-colored with a good amount of foliage and strong stems. It should also show no signs of wilting.Poinsettias thrive with minimal care.

They do best in indirect sunlight at room temperature, away from cold drafts. Avoid over-watering — keep the soil just barely damp.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seven States To Raise Minimum Wage In 2011

Seven States To Raise Minimum Wage In 2011

Some 647,000 minimum wage earners in seven states will get a raise next year, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), an employment advocacy group .
Those states are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Granted, the increases aren't going to be much: they range between nine and 12 cents an hour. But in these times, every penny counts.

The state of Washington will raise minimum wages the most -- by 12 cents -- bringing the hourly rate to $8.67 and adding an extra $20 a month to paychecks. Colorado will hike its minimum wage by 11 cents, while Arizona, Montana, Ohio and Oregon will raise it by 10 cents and Vermont will boost its minimum wage by nine cents.

It seems only 10 states automatically adjust their minimum wage levels each year for inflation. Florida, Missouri and Nevada which also require annual cost-of-living adjustments are leaving the state minimum wage rates unchanged at $7.25 per hour.

And the remaining 40 states and the District of Columbia that have no automatic adjustment must pass legislation to increase the minimum wage. According to NELP, none of those states have plans for increases at this time.

Hay becas de $10,000 para hispanos - La Opinión - noticias locales, nacionales e internacionales desde Los Ángeles -

Hay becas de $10,000 para hispanos - La Opinión - noticias locales, nacionales e internacionales desde Los Ángeles -

Nueva York/EFE -El Fondo de Becas Hispano (HSF) informó hoy que concederán becas de $10,000 para estudiantes hispanos mayores de 21 años que quieran continuar estudios y la fecha límite para solicitarla es el próximo 15 de enero.

La HSF explicó que para solicitar una beca sólo se requiere que el estudiante esté matriculado en la universidad, sea mayor de 21 años, ciudadano o residente permanente de EE.UU, sea de origen hispano y tenga una dirección permanente en Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Ángeles, Nueva Orleáns o la ciudad de Nueva York.

"A pesar de que la comunidad latina es el segmento de mayor crecimiento en EE.UU, y que para el 2025 se proyecta sea el 56% de la población, solo el 19% de los hispanos entre los 25 y los 64 años de edad tiene un título profesional, menos de la mitad de los no hispanos en el país", señaló la HSF en comunicado de prensa.

"El Fondo de Becas Hispanas quiere que todos los hogares latinos logren que por lo menos un adulto de su familia obtenga un título universitario para el 2025 porque es el camino más seguro para poder alcanzar el sueño americano", y de esa forma, invertir en su futuro y el de su familia, dijo María Romero, directora del Programa de Becas.


10 Best Gaffes of 2010 That You May Have Missed

10 Best Gaffes of 2010 That You May Have Missed

This has been a year filled with many memorable moments. The political arena has had its share of off-script instances that were oftentimes disastrous but sometimes hilarious. You may have heard about many of them -- from Vice President Joe Biden's f-bomb at the health care reform event to Christine O'Donnell's "separatation of church and state" line to former BP head Tony Hayward's complaint during the gulf oil spill that "I'd like my life back."

(Click on link to view videos)

The Year in Shamelessness


For those who traffic in political absurdity, there's never a shortage of material. Regardless of who's in power, our elected officials are forever saying and doing outrageous, offensive and just plain moronic things, and every year brings its quota of hideous behavior. Still, it seems that the hate-spewing hordes of 2010 - with their hysteria about the non-Ground Zero non-mosque, their virulent anti-immigrationism, and their unbridled racism - have presented us with far more than the usual amount of arrogant ignorance, boldfaced bigotry, and brazen hypocrisy, all of it paraded before us with a ridiculous patina of oblivious pride.

I have collected a treasure trove of 2010's political ignominy into an e-book, The Year of Living Shamelessly, which not only catalogues 2010's most egregious moments, but also provides links to video, commentary and other sources that offer a deeper appreciation of the sheer batshit lunacy of it all. It's the perfect last-minute holiday gift, and it's available here for a mere $3.99 (a portion of the proceeds go to support People for the American Way).

Meanwhile, here are a dirty dozen (+2!) of the worst offenders.
(click on link to view images)

Yale clinic helps secure precedent-setting victory for immigrants

Three years of work by students in Yale Law School's Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic paid off in a big way last week, when a federal judge ruled that officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be sued for civil rights violations.

The ruling, issued by Judge Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, said that ICE officials aren't immune from such suits, and that the court has jurisdiction over this type of immigration case.

"We believe this is the most sweeping decision by a district court on this issue," said Muneer Ahmad, the director of the clinic. "It means that ICE, as a law enforcement agency, is subject to the same measures of constitutional accountability as other agencies."

Greedy Bastards

Even during a two-year recession with people losing their homes and jobs, pharma is still the nation's third most profitable sector. How does it do that? In part by cheating the government, misrepresenting science, bribing doctors, patients and pharmacies, and squeezing the FDA. Other than that, the industry plays completely fair.

As Wall Street Tries to Strong-arm Consumers, Will WikiLeaks Bring One of the Biggest Banks it to Its Knees? | | AlterNet

As Wall Street Tries to Strong-arm Consumers, Will WikiLeaks Bring One of the Biggest Banks it to Its Knees? AlterNet

December 22, 2010

Wall Street has worked hard to keep its inner workings from seeing the light of day. But one of the worst offenders in the financial crisis may be about to face the kind of public disrobing that government regulators, the corporate media and transparency activists are incapable of performing. If the rumors that have been swirling around in recent months prove true, Bank of America's dirty secrets may soon be exposed for the world to see, courtesy of the whistle-blower site Wikileaks.

Police sweep Rome embassies after double bombing -

Police sweep Rome embassies after double bombing -

Rome (CNN) -- Police launched a city-wide inspection of embassies after bombs exploded at two embassies Thursday, injuring one person at each.

"There is serious threat against foreign embassies in Rome," Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters after the explosions.

"It is too early to know the origin of the threat. We are checking all the embassies in Rome and the Italian embassies abroad for suspicious packages. We should avoid being alarmist. The police are investigating the situation," he said.

The first explosion, a package bomb at the Swiss Embassy, seriously wounded the person who opened it, police said.

A second bomb exploded at the Chilean Embassy shortly afterwards, wounding one person, who was taken to a hospital, according to police.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stupidity at it's best !

Senator blames illegal immigrants for his state's Census woes - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R) blamed illegal immigrants for his state losing a congressional seat in the Census Bureau's reapportionment.

Vitter said Louisiana lost a seat because other states were welcoming of illegal immigrants, who were in turn counted in population totals used to determine the number of seats in Congress each state is allowed in the next 10 years.

"Last year, I tried to prevent this from happening with my amendment to require a citizenship question on the census and to prevent the counting of illegal immigrants for the purpose of apportionment,” Vitter said in a statement.

“Now, Louisiana stands to lose clout in Congress, while states that welcome illegal immigrants stand to unfairly benefit from artificially inflated population totals," he added.

Undocumented California youths vow renewed activism -

Undocumented California youths vow renewed activism -

Devastated by the Senate's failure last week to grant them a path to citizenship, undocumented young people throughout California are vowing renewed activism to win legal immigration status if they attend college or serve in the military.


Computer Forensics Expert at 10:40 AM December 22, 2010

I-9 ALL STUDENTS!!! If they are minor-children, I-9 their parents, as well.
Any school district or university failing to adhere to an I-9 program or failing an audit, receives ZERO DOLLARS in federal funding.
All illegal aliens, will be processed and deported in 30 days, barring judicial action.

degoboy at 10:36 AM December 22, 2010

Close to 3 million or 30 % of LA county's population is receiving public assistance. Anyone care to rebut my assertion that CA, and LA in particular, is being filled up with poor illegal aliens and their anchors

degoboy at 10:35 AM December 22, 2010

The Dems only maintain control in CA by bribing the Hispanic voting block and legislatures in SoCal thru welfare handouts to illegals and by allowing SoCal to become a vast illegal alien infested 3rd world stew. Latino voters and all the other ignorant welfare riffraff /serfs in SoCal will continute to vote for their Dem feudal lords up in Sacto . Mob rule in action.

verbalocity at 10:29 AM December 22, 2010

If someone broke into the LA Times newsroom, had NO journalism credentials or experience and was responsible for writing and publishing news stories, Op-Ed pieces, etc, would you call them an "undocumented" journalist? Probably not. So then the question becomes, why do the pinhead journalists at the struggling Left Angeles Times still refer to illegal immigrants who illegally enter this country as "undocumented"?

A great START for Christmas - CNN

A great START for Christmas - CNN

Last week, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint argued that the Senate should not approve the new START agreement with Russia because it might force senators to work over Christmas, thus showing insensitivity to the Christian faithful.

But I can't think of better Congressional business than a nuclear arms control treaty to mark the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

This lame duck Congress has shown it can fly, passing a broad-based tax cut compromise by a wide margin despite opposition from the far right and far left. In an even more historically significant move, eight Republican senators joined Democrats to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving opening in the military, known as "don't ask, don't tell." It is a reminder that the divided government that we'll see next year does not need to mean gridlock. It's also a reminder of the strength of the political center.

The next great test is the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START. While several powerful conservative senators have declared their opposition, this treaty has broad-based support.

President Obama has made it clear that the passage of START is his priority for the remaining days of this Congress. There is little obvious domestic political benefit for Obama in front-loading this treaty. There is, however, profound practical benefit. With nuclear arms verification and reduction, we would be living in a safer world.

Again the Prez gets what he wants.... The Dream Act was dead, when The Prez said "There's no appetite for it now " A clear neon sign, it was never one of his priorities.

DADT Hearings Day Two In 9 Minutes

GOP Wants Constitution Read on House Floor : Roll Call

GOP Wants Constitution Read on House Floor : Roll Call

The rules package, which must be adopted by the full House on Jan. 5, includes many of the proposals outlined this fall in the Republicans’ "Pledge to America" governing document. Both Republican and Democratic Members will have the opportunity to amend the proposed changes.

Among the House changes are a requirement that all bills be available online at least 72 hours before they are voted on, that the entire Constitution be read on the House floor on Jan. 6 and that committee chairmen be limited to six years of service.

The Republican Conference imposes term limits for its gavel holders, but GOP leaders want to extend those limits to the full House. Democratic Caucus rules do not limit the terms of their chairmen.

Republicans pledged to change the way the House operates if given the majority. The GOP had a net gain of 63 seats in the midterm elections and retook control of the chamber

Monday, December 20, 2010

Timothy Karr: Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality -- Tuesday Betrayal Assured

Timothy Karr: Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality -- Tuesday Betrayal Assured

Welcome to AT&T's Internet

For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination.

Instead of a rule to protect Internet users' freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola - letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.

Instead of protecting openness on wireless Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the Commission has exempted the mobile Internet from Net Neutrality protections. This move enshrines Verizon and AT&T as gatekeepers to the expanding world of mobile Internet access, allowing them to favor their own applications while blocking, degrading or de-prioritizing others.

Instead of re-establishing the FCC's authority to act as a consumer watchdog over the Internet, it places the agency's authority on a shaky and indefensible legal footing -- giving ultimate control over the Internet to a small handful of carriers.

Obama's 'Mission Accomplished'

Internet users deserve far better, and we thought we were going to get it from a president who promised to "take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality." Watch now as he and his FCC chairman try to spin tomorrow's betrayal as another "mission accomplished."

Only in America

Rupert Murdoch Wanted A Fox News-Style Channel In Britain: BBC Chief

Rupert Murdoch wanted to turn his British Sky News network into a Fox News-style, opinion-heavy channel, the head of the BBC said in a speech last week.

According to the Guardian, Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, told an audience at a seminar on impartiality in broadcasting that Murdoch "had told him he would like Sky News to go down a polemical 'Fox-style' route - but that the editors of the channel had brushed off his wishes."

Deja Vu

WASHINGTON — For a guy who insists that federal bureaucrats make too much money, incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sure doesn't mind handing out handsome government raises of his own.

Cantor, the Virginia Republican who has led the GOP charge this year to freeze federal salaries, has boosted his congressional office's payroll by 81 percent since coming to Congress in 2001 – about 8 percent per year through 2009. When he became minority whip last year, the office's personnel expenses went up by at least 16 percent.

Is Inglewood Next ?

Suit seeks to open Compton to Latino voters -

Although Compton has gone from a predominantly African American community to a city that is two-thirds Latino over the last two decades, no Latino candidate has ever been elected to the City Council or any other city office. Since 2000, six Latino candidates have waged unsuccessful campaigns.

But that may be about to change.

Earlier this month, three Latina residents sued the city under the 2001 California Voting Rights Act, contending that its at-large council elections violate Latinos' civil rights by diluting their voting power.City officials did not respond to requests for comment about the lawsuit.

In the last decade, no Latino candidate in Compton has advanced from a primary to a general election. There are also no Latinos on the Compton Unified School District's board, even though Latinos make up at least 75% of the district's student body, according to the state Department of Education.

Al Camarillo, a history professor at Stanford University and a Compton native, said the issue of Latino representation has been complicated by the history of African Americans' struggle for civil rights. Black voters and officials who had fought to get representation a generation ago are not likely to give up power easily, Camarillo said.

And some African Americans don't feel they should have to.

They point to municipalities including Maywood, Huntington Park, Bell Gardens and South Gate, all of which have Latino-majority councils.

"No one's going over there and complaining that there's no African Americans on their council," said Royce Esters, 73, an African American businessman and Compton resident since 1956, when the city was predominantly white and there were no blacks at City Hall. "African Americans are not just going to give [Latinos] the seats. They've got to go out and campaign, and come out to vote. That's how they might get in. You have to win your seat."

Register to vote !

Check your pet food !

The Kroger Co. is recalling select pet food packages from stores in 19 states fearing some of these products may contain aflatoxin, a toxic chemical byproduct that could be harmful to animals.

The recall involves certain bags of Pet Pride Cat Food, Pet Pride Kitten Food, Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food, Kroger Value Cat Food and Kroger Value Chunk Food, the company said Saturday.

The Kroger Co. urged customers to immediately consult with their veterinarian if their animals show any signs of sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat. A yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, severe blood or diarrhea are also warning signs, the company said.

The company has set up a Customer Recall Notification system to help customers determine whether they have purchased any of the contaminated products. Most of recalled products have an expiration date of October 23 and 24, 2011.

States with Kroger-operated stores included in the recall are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brace Yourselves for an interesting 2011

Amendment Sought to Empower States to Repeal Federal Law -

The same people driving the lawsuits that seek to dismantle the Obama administration’s health care overhaul have set their sights on an even bigger target: a constitutional amendment that would allow a vote of the states to overturn any act of Congress.

Under the proposed “repeal amendment,” any federal law or regulation could be repealed if the legislatures of two-thirds of the states voted to do so.

The idea has been propelled by the wave of Republican victories in the midterm elections. First promoted by Virginia lawmakers and Tea Party groups, it has the support of legislative leaders in 12 states. It also won the backing of the incoming House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor, when it was introduced this month in Congress.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Daily Kos: Jon Tester and the DREAM Act

Daily Kos: Jon Tester and the DREAM Act

There are Democrats I expect to be assholes. I never thought Jon Tester would be among them.

Anybody who votes to punish innocent kids is an asshole. Plain and simple. And while I expect it from Democrats like Ben Nelson and C-Street denizen Mark Pryor, I honestly thought Jon Tester was different.

I was wrong. I am now embarrassed that I worked so hard to help get him elected in 2006. I feel personally betrayed.

Not only will I do absolutely nothing to help his reelection bid, but I will take every opportunity I get to remind people that he is so morally bankrupt that he'll try to score political points off the backs of innocent kids who want to go to college or serve their country in the military.

To me, he is the Blanche Lincoln of 2012 -- the Democrat I will most be happy to see go down in defeat. And he will. Nothing guarantees a Republican victory more than trying to pretend to be one of them.

Senate Blocks Bill for Illegal Immigrant Students -

The Senate on Saturday blocked a bill that would create a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrant students who came to the United States as children, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements including passing a criminal background check. The vote, 55-41 in favor of the bill, effectively kills the measure for this year, and its fate beyond that is uncertain.

The measure, known as the Dream Act, failed to get the support of 60 senators needed to cut off a filibuster and bring the bill to the floor.

President Obama had personally lobbied lawmakers in support the bill. But Democrats were not able to hold ranks. Among those voting no were the Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Jon Tester of Montana.

“Thousands of children in American who live in the shadows and dream of greatness,” he said. “they are children who have been raised in this country. They stand in the classrooms and pledge allegiance to our flag. They sing our star-spangled banner as our national anthem. They believe in their heart of hearts this is home. This is the only country they have every know.”

But opponents of the measure said it was too broad and would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Shame on AOL

Suspicious activity has been detected on this account, which may be an indication that it has been compromised. For your protection, we are blocking access to this screen name. Please contact Member Services between the hours of 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM Eastern Mon – Sat at 1-877-786-0722 or log in with this screen name and password at for more options.

I received this notice I called, and listened.  AOL has detected suspicious activity, so in order to reactivate my account I would need to BUY, an anti ID software from McAfee, for $11.00 a month.  "Do I have to?" I asked, "Yes you do," was his simplistic response.

I quickly grabbed my recorder, and advised this young man I would record the call.  Still not sure why I needed to deal with this.  So I asked, and he answered:

What if I'm not a McAfee fan (which I'm not)......we don't offer options

What was the suspicious activity.......It could be a few things

So if I don't pay, I get no service right ?.......that is correct

Is that the only option I have ?........right now it seems that way ma'am

I reminded him I was recording the call. 

So I'm being held hostage for vulnerabilities in AOL's system.  I'm being forced to pay for an account you offer for free and all this over suspicious activities you can't tell me about.  Hold on ma'am, I'll get a supervisor

Turns out I had options. One of my options was to simply reset my security question and password, which I did (in Portuguese).  I share this story so that together we can send a message, that the 21st century has given us, the average citizen a voice.

Share your stories, let's network !

Friday, December 17, 2010

Palin goes International

TGIF...Time to shake the shit off...Try some Latino !

Late-Night Hosts Laugh at Larry King

Alleged "Bad Santa" Prank Becomes Twitter Sensation - Tech Talk - CBS News

When Twitter users read that a disgruntled Santa at London's famed Harrods had rigged the store's Christmas lights to read "F*** OFF," many couldn't believe it.

And with good reason. It never happened.

The U.K. comedy blog The Poke sparked a viral storm when it reported - complete with doctored photo - that a Santa, fired for being drunk, broke into the maintenance control room of the landmark London department store and "took revenge last night in spectacular style."

RealClearPolitics - Politics - Dec 16, 2010 - Wal-Mart recalls 2.2 million electric heaters

RealClearPolitics - Politics - Dec 16, 2010 - Wal-Mart recalls 2.2 million electric heaters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recalled about 2.2 million electric heaters Thursday after receiving reports of burn injuries and property damage from fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of "Flow Pro," "Airtech," "Aloha Breeze" and "Comfort Essentials" heaters sold at Walmart stores nationwide from December 2001 to October 2009.

The heaters can malfunction and cause overheating, smoking, burning, melting and fire. Wal-Mart has received 21 reports of incidents, it said. Those included 11 reports of property damage beyond the heater, and four injuries. Three people needed medical care for minor burns and smoke inhalation.

The 1,500-watt heaters sold for about $18 and have model number 1013 on a label on the back panel.

For more information, contact the company at 800-925-6278/800-925-6278 or

President Obama's Schedule Today (12/17/10) - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

President Obama's Schedule Today (12/17/10) - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

In the afternoon, the president will meet with approximately a dozen leaders from the country's largest labor organizations to discuss strengthening our economy, spurring growth, and creating good jobs for the American people, along with other issues of importance to working Americans. Secretary Solis will join the president and the labor leaders at the meeting.

Also this afternoon, Mr. Obama will sign his tax cut deal with Republicans into law.

Expected attendees of the meeting with labor leaders include:

AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka
United Food and Commercial Workers President Joe Hansen (Chair, Change to Win)
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel
United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee
Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry
United Auto Workers President Bob King
International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Ed Hill
National Association of Letter Carriers President Fred Rolando
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades President Jimmy Williams

DREAM Act Christmas Special -- Asking the Senate to Act

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grand Wizard Pearce's new project

Fresh off of passing a law to combat illegal immigration that was so controversial the federal government sued to block it, Arizona’s Republican-controlled Legislature is poised to push the limits of immigration policy yet again, this time by challenging the basic rules that decide who is an American.

The effort in Arizona, spearheaded by longtime anti-illegal immigration crusader and incoming state Senate President Russell Pearce, is remarkable for two reasons. First, it moves the focus of the immigration debate from those who are in the country illegally to their children, who currently become American citizens if they are born in the United States. Second, Arizona will not be alone in questioning the principle of “birthright citizenship,” because lawmakers in at least a dozen more states also have agreed to push similar legislation.


During most of the year, Arpaio was raiding small local businesses ridding them of their cheap labor — thus opening up low-paying jobs for the rest of us. Ha! You should see the lines forming at the local landscape company. If it wasn’t his covert operations complete with news helicopters, reporters, supporters and demonstrators, Arpaio was busy telling the world how innocent he was and how he was the victim in the ongoing grand jury and FBI investigations into alleged racial profiling, abuse of power and misuse of public funds.

Something has happened over the past two or three months that has had a marked impact on the “Toughest Sheriff in America.” He was a no-show on election night. He has been thanked but no thanked for some of his normal holiday show of force. He recently began piping Christmas music into his jails not only in English but in Spanish too! He even is playing music for Ramadan!

So what’s going on with Arpaio anyway? He’s hunkering down and lying low.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors took away his high-priced attorneys several weeks ago. Some of his most trusted and highest-ranking assistants have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into their own alledged wrongdoing. The feds have been incrementally winning court approval of their requests for financial records and e-mails.

The door is closing. Justice may be lurking around the corner.

60 Seconds: Interview with Secret Senator about Our Broken Government

The Right and Wrong Way to Give a Christmas Pet

Is it ever a good idea to give a kitten or puppy as a holiday gift? Most experts wave the red flag at the idea of holiday pets, but if the animal in question has been a long-considered family addition, it isn't always a bad idea. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking of gifting a new pet this month.

The Wrong Way
"Never surprise anyone with a pet as a gift. It's not an inanimate object. It's a living, breathing being that's going to depend on [that person] for food, water, exercise and attention -- for at least 15 years," says Sandra DeFeo, director at the Humane Society in New York City.

The Right Way

Do a lot of research and preparation before bringing a puppy or kitten home. For instance, last year, Fitz Koehler, a mother of two in Gainesville, Fla., decided her children, ages 6 and 4 at the time, were ready to have a pet. "They'd been begging me for a long time to get a dog," Koehler tells Paw Nation. "We went through pet fish and lizards, and my kids were very loving toward animals. After my son carried a dead ladybug around in a box for a week as a pet, I knew they were ready."

Koehler began looking for the right dog for her family on December 1. She went to a nearby animal shelter, Haile's Angels Pet Rescue, and met several different dogs and breeds. She chose to adopt a 6-month-old, female yellow Labrador-greyhound mix who was sweet and gentle and, according to the animal shelter staff, good with children. "I asked the shelter staff a million questions," says Koehler.

Koehler named the dog Piper and arranged for Piper to stay at the shelter for several weeks until she was ready to surprise her children with their new family dog on Christmas morning.

"I visited Piper at the shelter every day and took her for long walks," says Koehler. "I also had time to get everything ready, like her food, bowls and leash. By the time Piper came home, I had everything prepared."

On Christmas Eve, Koehler arranged to have Piper stay the night at a neighbor's house. "On Christmas morning, after the kids opened all their gifts, I said there was one more present for them," says Koehler. "I brought the kids out to the backyard where Piper was waiting. They started squealing and ran to hug her. It was perfect."

A year later, Piper is very much a part of the Koehlers' family. "We're as lucky to have her as she is to have us," says Koehler.

John Boehner's Crying: Is He Drinking Too Much?

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner's recent interview on "60 Minutes" with Lesley Stahl, where he once again cried publicly, has created a minor controversy among pundits, with observers trying to figure out the cause of his unusual behavior.

Is it depression? Or is Boehner simply in touch with his emotions? Does he wear his heart on his sleeve, or does he cry on a dime because he has a tender spot for all things American?

While it's impossible to know, some are beginning to speculate that Boehner's penchant for turning on the waterworks might have some connection to his consumption of wine. Liberal MSNBC host Ed Shultz, half-jokingly, called Boehner a "cheap drunk" the other day, Capitol Hill aides of both parties are wondering, and there's even a web page devoted to it.

So is drinking the issue -- and why might a person struggling with drinking be more prone to weeping in public?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Camp Washington and it's previledged spoiled kids

GOP senators will vote against spending bill over earmarks -- theirs and others' -

Two prominent Republicans vowed Wednesday to vote against the $1.1 trillion spending bill, citing concerns over pork-laden pet projects, although millions of dollars of earmarks in the bill were requested by the two senators.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has requested 54 earmarks worth more than $170 million and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has made 43 requests totaling more than $165 million, according to an analysis by Taxpayers Against Earmarks, Taxpayers for Common Sense and, which collected data from disclosures on Congressional websites.

Check out a list of the earmarks in the bill

When asked by Fox News to explain his earmarks, Cornyn said Wednesday, "I believe I can. But I'm not going to, because I'm going to vote against this bill. ... So I am for voting this bill down, even though it could arguably help some of my constituents."

ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Cornyn at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, "How do you have any credibility on this?" Cornyn replied, "because we're going to vote against the bill. ... This is the wrong way to do business."

Another reporter asked, "Sen. Thune, I was just looking at the list of earmark requests that you requested this year and it adds up to over a hundred million dollars." Thune responded by saying he supports the projects but doesn't support the bill.

Thune continued to blast Democrats for earmarks.

Letters to Santa: A Sign of Tough Times

A British view of Brewer's Death panel

Poll: "D.C. Elites" Say Sarah Palin Unqualified to Be President - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

Well-to-do Washingtonians are far less likely than the general American public to believe Sarah Palin qualified to be president - and an overwhelming majority of them believe the former Alaska governor is actually a negative influence on U.S. politics as a whole, according to a Politico poll released Wednesday.

Cuba launches its own online encyclopedia - CNN

Cuba launches its own online encyclopedia - CNN

Cuba is launching its own version of Wikipedia Tuesday with an online encyclopedia that describes the United States as the "empire of our time."

The site EcuRed, at , already has nearly 20,000 entries. One of the longest is about former leader Fidel Castro, the founder of the Cuban Revolution.

EcuRed was up Monday and early Tuesday ahead of its official launch, but appeared to be down later in the day, apparently because of too much traffic.

A Xmas Miracle

Obama to meet with 20 CEOs on economic issues - Dec. 15, 2010

Obama to meet with 20 CEOs on economic issues - Dec. 15, 2010

The CEOs come from a wide range of industries, and the list includes a few surprises.
After hosting bank executives last year at the White House, Robert Wolf of UBS (UBS) is the only bank executive to make the cut.

Tech companies are well represented, with Eric Schmidt of Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), John Chambers of Cisco Systems (CSCO, Fortune 500), Paul Otellini of Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) and Motorola's (MOT, Fortune 500) Greg Brown all slated to attend.

Also attending: John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

In a nod that reflects Obama's sustainable energy goals, Lew Hay of clean energy company NextEra Energy (NEE) was invited.

Some of the blue-chip firms are represented by Kenneth Chenault of American Express (AXP, Fortune 500), Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric (GE, Fortune 500), Ellen Kullman of DuPont (DD, Fortune 500) and James McNerney of Boeing (BA, Fortune 500).