November 24th, 2010
By Roland S. Martin, CNN Senior Political Contributor
(CNN) -- It's clear that we can't go 24 hours without Sarah Palin saying something so stupid that it defies logic, but leave it to the Kim Kardashian of politics to find something wrong with first lady Michelle Obama's effort to curb obesity in America's kids.
In a radio interview on Wednesday with conservative talker Laura Ingraham, Palin took dead aim at the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative, which is all about getting children active and involved in exercise and healthy eating.
In the wacky world of Wasilla's finest, Palin tries to cast the effort to fight obesity as part of Michelle Obama's "different worldview."
Here is a portion of the transcript from HuffingtonPost.com: "Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.
"And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track."
Hmmm. "Let's Move" is Obama's "kick?" Maybe someone should kick Sarah Palin so she can understand how devastating obesity is to the future of the United States.
According to the first lady's "Let's Move" website:
• Obesity rates among children have tripled in the last three decades, and one in three children are obese.
• One-third of all children born after 2000 will suffer from diabetes.
• Children are less active today than at any other time in American history, spending 7.5 hours a day watching TV, playing video games or simply involved in efforts that don't require movement.
• Obesity is contributing to the vast increase in hypertension among Americans.
Now, since Palin is always talking about our nation's military and how we have to honor them and show them love and affection, let's listen to what a group of generals said a few months ago about obesity and America's national defense.
A study released in April by Mission: Readiness, a nonprofit group of more than 150 retired generals and admirals, concluded that 27 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are too fat to join the military.
The culprit? Junk food and too much fat in school lunches.
Said the study: "Today, otherwise excellent recruiting prospects, some of them with generations of sterling military service in their family history, are being turned away because they are just too overweight. Our standards are high because we clearly cannot have people in our command who are not up to the job. Too many lives depend on it."
In testimony before Congress, the former head of the California Army National Guard, retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Paul Monroe, said that "80 percent of children who were overweight between the ages of 10 to 15 were obese by age 25."
He and other military leaders want Congress to enact a massive child nutrition bill to remove all junk food and high-calorie beverages from schools, improve nutrition standards in schools, upgrade school menus and, the group said, "help develop new school-based strategies, based on research, that help parents and children adopt healthier lifelong eating and exercise habits."
Monroe testified: "In 1946, Congress passed the National School Lunch Act as a matter of national security. In the past, retired admirals and generals have stood up to make it clear that America is only as healthy as our nation's children. Childhood obesity is now undermining our national security and we need to start turning it around today."
So, Sarah Palin, are you going to also rip into this decorated American and say that he and 150 other military leaders are dead wrong?
I recently sat down with Michelle Obama for a prime time special on TV One cable network dedicated to her "Let's Move" initiative. It was startling to listen to her talk about the horrible statistics and the shape we'll be in in the future, figuratively and literally.
"The crisis that we're facing around childhood obesity hits everything," Obama said. "It's about education, what our kids are learning about nutrition in the schools, the quality of the food in the schools. It's about our neighborhood development. How are neighborhoods designed?
"Are our kids -- do they have access to safe places to play? Are we structuring communities in a way that facilitates healthy living? Are there accessible and affordable healthy foods in our communities? And it's about economic opportunity as well, because if folks can't afford to put food on the table, then they're eating what they can.
"So this is one of those issues that requires us to talk about a little bit of everything. And it makes us look at ourselves a little more closely and it makes us look at the broader society. So we're beginning to understand this is a threat."
This latest broadside by Palin shows how reckless and ridiculous she is.
Libertarians and far right conservative Republicans are always talking about government intrusion into our lives, but when we look at clean water, air quality and food supply, thank God for governmental standards.
Don't think for a second I'm not paying attention. I've increased my health awareness, am changing my diet and working out more to lose weight, and am pushing family members to do the same. That's really the whole point of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move."
Any Republican with common sense should see that Sarah Palin poses an immediate threat to the future of this country. She proves that every time she opens her mouth.
Sarah, for the benefit of the nation, stick a fork in it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland Martin.
November 24th, 2010
Former Democratic Governor Mike Easley From North Carolina, also got hammered for misusing political funds and favors after a two year investigation that cost millions. He got a $ 1,000 fine...
AUSTIN, Texas — The heavy-handed style that made Tom DeLay one of the nation's most powerful and feared members of Congress also proved to be his downfall Wednesday when a jury determined he went too far in trying to influence elections, convicting the former House majority leader on two felonies that could send him to prison for decades.
Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge, although prosecutors haven't yet recommended a sentence.
After the verdicts were read, DeLay hugged his daughter, Danielle, and his wife, Christine. DeLay whispered into his daughter's ear that he couldn't get a fair trial in Austin. DeLay had unsuccessfully tried to get the trial moved out of Austin, the most liberal city in one of the most Republican states
DeLay's lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said they planned to appeal the verdict.
"This is an abuse of power. It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system and I'm very disappointed in the outcome," DeLay told reporters outside the courtroom.
He remains free on bond, and several witnesses were expected to be called during the punishment phase of his trial, tentatively scheduled to begin on Dec. 20.
Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose tough tactics earned him the nickname "the Hammer," used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.
DeLay and his attorneys maintained the former Houston-area congressman did nothing wrong as no corporate funds went to Texas candidates and the money swap was legal.
The verdict came after a three-week trial in which prosecutors presented more than 30 witnesses and volumes of e-mails and other documents. DeLay's attorneys presented five witnesses.
"This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly and ethically, and if not, they'll be held accountable," Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said after the verdict.
Lehmberg said prosecutors will decide in the next few weeks what sentence they will recommend in the case to Senior Judge Pat Priest.
DeLay chose Priest to sentence him rather than the jury. He faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge. He also would be eligible for probation.
Jurors, who left the courthouse right after the verdict was read, declined to comment to reporters, only saying that it had been a tough decision for them to make.
The jury had sent numerous notes to Priest during its deliberations, which began on Monday. Many of the notes asked various legal questions that at one point had prompted the judge to say the panel wasn't on the right track. But at the end of Tuesday, jurors had indicated they were making progress.
Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based PAC to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee, or RNC. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can't go directly to political campaigns.
Prosecutors claim the money helped Republicans take control of the Texas House. That enabled the GOP majority to push through a Delay-engineered congressional redistricting plan that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004 – and strengthened DeLay's political power.
DeLay's attorneys argued the money swap resulted in the seven candidates getting donations from individuals, which they could legally use in Texas.
They also said DeLay only lent his name to the PAC and had little involvement in how it was run. Prosecutors, who presented mostly circumstantial evidence, didn't prove he committed a crime, they said.
DeLay contended the charges against him were a political vendetta by Ronnie Earle, the former Democratic Travis County district attorney who originally brought the case and is now retired.
Lehmberg, who replaced Earle, said the trial was not about criminalizing politics.
"This was about holding public officials accountable, that no one is above the law and all persons have to abide by the law, no matter how powerful or lofty the position he or she might hold," she said.
Craig McDonald, the director of Texans for Public Justice, a liberal watchdog group whose complaints with the Travis County District Attorney's Office helped lead to the investigation of DeLay's PAC, said he was pleased by the verdict.
"We can't undo the 2002 election, but a jury wisely acted to hold DeLay accountable for conspiring to steal it."
The 2005 criminal charges in Texas, as well as a separate federal investigation of DeLay's ties to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, ended his 22-year political career representing suburban Houston. The Justice Department probe into DeLay's ties to Abramoff ended without any charges filed against DeLay.
Ellis and Colyandro, who face lesser charges, will be tried later.
Except for a 2009 appearance on ABC's hit television show "Dancing With the Stars," DeLay has been out of the spotlight since resigning from Congress in 2006. He now runs a consulting firm based in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land.
November 24th, 2010
November 24th, 2010
By Bryan Fitzpatrick
WASHINGTON – Is this the case that will break the presidential eligibility question wide open?
The Supreme Court conferred today on whether arguments should be heard on the merits of Kerchner v. Obama, a case challenging whether President Barack Obama is qualified to serve as president because he may not be a "natural-born citizen" as required by Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.
Unlike other eligibility cases that have reached the Supreme Court, Kerchner vs. Obama focuses on the "Vattel theory," which argues that the writers of the Constitution believed the term "natural-born citizen" to mean a person born in the United States to parents who were both American citizens.
"This case is unprecedented," said Mario Apuzzo, the attorney bringing the suit. "I believe we presented an ironclad case. We've shown standing, and we've shown the importance of the issue for the Supreme Court. There's nothing standing in their way to grant us a writ of certiorari."
If the Supreme Court decides to grant the "writ of certiorari," it may direct a federal trial court in New Jersey to hear the merits of the case, or it may choose to hear the merits itself. The court's decision on the writ could be announced as early as Wednesday.
If any court hears the merits of the case, Apuzzo says it will mark the "death knell" for Obama's legitimacy.
"Given my research of what a natural-born citizen is, he cannot be a natural-born citizen so it's a death knell to his legitimacy. What happens on a practical level, how our political institutions would work that out, is something else," Apuzzo told WND.
Read Full Article At Worldnet Daily
November 24th, 2010
For travelers this holiday season, make sure to pack light, keep a sense of humor during an intrusive pat down and, apparently, don't drink too much water.
It's unclear if this is was classified as a terror alert yellow or brown, but authorities took it seriously enough to evacuate the plane.
The U.S. Airways flight was checked by K-9 units when it landed in Denver and the unnamed passenger, reportedly of Middle Eastern descent, was detained momentarily and questioned.
The flight started at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, stopped in Charlotte and then continued to Denver. It's unclear if the passenger was on at the beginning of the flight or got on later.
Nothing suspicious was found on board or in the bathroom. Officials also didn't say how many times the passenger went to the bathroom.
"Per standard procedures, law enforcement and TSA personnel met the flight. The passenger was questioned and released and the plane was swept, both with negative findings," TSA spokesperson Carrie Harmon said in a statement.
Passengers told authorities the passenger was "acting weird" and that set off the terrorist alert in their minds. A check of airplane protocol doesn't appear to suggest that diarrhea or excessive urination are signs of terrorist activity, but better safe than sorry.
The person was not arrested and authorities apparently flushed the concerns.
OK, no more toilet humor. Happy traveling.