December 1st, 2010
Proudly asserting a belief in nothing seems beyond absurd...to us. Still waiting for Athiests to make these assertions about Islam...we won't hold our breath.
December 1st, 2010
The length of a man's fingers can provide clues to his risk of prostate cancer, according to new research. A British Journal of Cancer study found men whose index finger was longer than their ring
The length of a man's fingers can provide clues to his risk of prostate cancer, according to new research.
A British Journal of Cancer study found men whose index finger was longer than their ring finger were significantly less likely to develop the disease.
Researchers made the discovery after comparing the hands of 1,500 prostate cancer patients with 3,000 healthy men.
The length of the fingers is fixed before birth and is thought to relate to sex hormone levels in the womb.
Being exposed to less testosterone before birth results in a longer index finger and may protect against prostate cancer later in life, say researchers at the University of Warwick and the Institute of Cancer Research.
One of the report authors, Professor Ros Eeles, said more studies would be needed, but if these confirmed the findings it could be used a simple test for prostate cancer risk.
- Each year in the UK about 36,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer; about 10,000 die from it
- In most cases, it is a slow growing cancer and may never cause any symptoms or problems.
- Some men will have a fast growing cancer that needs treatment
- Worldwide, an estimated 913,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, and more than two-thirds of cases are diagnosed in developed countries
She said: "This exciting finding means that finger pattern could potentially be used to select at-risk men for ongoing screening, perhaps in combination with other factors such as family history or genetic testing."
The study was funded by the charities Prostate Action and Cancer Research UK.
Emma Halls, chief executive of Prostate Action, said: "This research brings us another step closer to helping determine risk factors for prostate cancer, which is possibly the biggest issue in current thinking about preventing and treating the disease.
"However, we are still a long way from reducing the number of men who die of prostate cancer every year and need more research and education in all areas to achieve this."
Dr Helen Rippon, head of research at The prostate Cancer Charity, said the research added to growing evidence that the balance of hormones we are exposed to before birth influences our health for the rest of our lives.
But she said men with shorter index fingers should not be "unduly worried".
"They share this trait with more than half of all men and it does not mean they will definitely develop prostate cancer in later life."
December 1st, 2010
A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.
By pre-empting the House’s tax-writing authority, Senate Democrats appear to have touched off a power struggle with members of their own party in the House. The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House, but House Democrats are expected to use a procedure known as “blue slipping” to block the bill, according to House and Senate GOP aides.
The debacle could prove to be a major embarrassment for Senate Democrats, who sought Tuesday to make the relatively unknown bill a major political issue by sending out numerous news releases trumpeting its passage.
Section 107 of the bill includes a set of fees that are classified as revenue raisers, which are technically taxes under the Constitution. According to a House GOP leadership aide, that section has ruffled the feathers of Ways and Means Committee Democrats, who are expected to use the blue slip process to block completion of the bill.
“We understand there is a blue slip problem, and we expect the House to assert its rights under the Constitution to be the place where revenue bills begin,” the GOP aide said.
The blue slip could lead to one of two likely outcomes. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could simply drop the issue and let the next session of Congress start from scratch, a strategy that would allow him time in the lame-duck session to tackle other last-minute priorities, such as the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, a long-term continuing resolution, an immigration bill and a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.
Or he could try to force the issue in the Senate after the House passes a new version of the bill. But in order to do that and still tackle the other issues, he would need a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate.
According to Senate GOP aides, a unanimous consent agreement is all but certain to be a nonstarter because the bill’s chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), will not agree to such a deal.
Coburn “will object and demand changes as [he has] from the get-go,” a GOP aide familiar with the situation said.
This is not the first time that Reid has run afoul of the Constitution’s tax origination provisions. His efforts to pass a tourism promotion bill that was key to his re-election hopes was temporarily stymied earlier this year because the Senate passed a version with revenue raisers similar to those in the food safety bill.
Spokesmen for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Ways and Means Democrats and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a co-sponsor of the food safety bill who authored its language, did not immediately return requests for comment. Aides for Ways and Means Democrats also did not immediately return requests for comment.
- Conyers Apologizes for Son’s Misuse of Vehicle
- Reid Holds Off on Tax Cuts to Give Bipartisan Group Time to Work
- Cantor Takes Leave From Ways and Means
- Obama Taps Geithner, Lew to Help Resolve Tax Cut Debate
- Justice Department Opened Probe of CBC Caribbean Trips
- Expecting Cuts, Larson Asks Entire Staff to Resign
- Former Rep. Stephen Solarz Dies at 70
December 1st, 2010
Those draconian Democrats! This is why they have become the lepers of liberalism....
December 1st, 2010
By Dr. Thomas Sowell
Republicans have the stronger case, but they still need to make it.
The biggest battle in the lame-duck session of Congress may well be over whether or not to extend the Bush administration’s tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in January. The fact that this decision has been left until late in the eleventh hour, even though the expiration date has been known for years, tells us a lot about the utter irresponsibility of Congress.
Neither businesses nor individuals nor the Internal Revenue Service will know what to do until this issue is resolved. In a stalled economy, we do not need this prolonged uncertainty that can paralyze both consumer spending and investment spending.Republicans want the current tax rates to continue, and Democrats want only the current tax rates for people earning less than “the rich”– variously defined — to continue, with everyone making more than some specified income to have their tax rates rise next year.
What makes predicting the outcome of this battle very difficult is that Republicans won a big majority in the House of Representatives in the recent election, but the tax cuts are scheduled to expire before the new members of Congress are sworn in — and the Democrats have a big majority in both houses of Congress in the lame-duck session, where this issue will be decided.
Theoretically, the Democrats could win, hands down, since they have the votes. But Congressional Democrats are well aware of how they lost big in the recent election, and some Democrats don’t want to gamble their own jobs in the next election by going the class-warfare route.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can afford to have all the tax rates go up in January because they couldn’t get together and pass a bill to prevent that from happening. But the nature of that bill matters, not just for politicians but — far more important — for the economy.
Former secretary of labor Robert Reich, now a professor at Berkeley, has made the case for the liberal Democrats’ position in an article in the November 28 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle titled “Extend benefits for jobless, not tax cuts for the rich.”
Professor Reich points out that both Republicans and some conservative Democrats say that we cannot afford another extension of unemployment benefits because the deficit is already too large. Then he adds: “But wait. These are the same members of Congress who say we should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Reich advocates “extending unemployment benefits for struggling families without a breadwinner” because “these families need the money. The rich don’t.”
This is the Democrats’ argument in a nutshell. It seems very persuasive on the surface, however shaky it is underneath. But cuts in tax rates do not mean cuts in tax revenues, as Reich assumes. How the tax-rate battle in Congress turns out may depend on how well the Republicans answer such arguments.
These are not new arguments on either side. They go back more than 80 years. Over that long span of time, there have been many sharp cuts in tax rates under presidents Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. So we don’t need to argue in a vacuum. There is a track record.
What does that record say? It says, loud and clear, that cuts in tax rates do not mean cuts in tax revenues. In all four of these administrations, of both parties, so-called “tax cuts for the rich” led to increased tax revenues — with people earning high incomes paying not only a larger sum total of tax revenues, but even a higher proportion of all tax revenues.
Most important of all, these tax-rate reductions spurred economic activity, which we definitely need today.
These are the facts. But facts do not “speak for themselves.” In terms of facts, the Republicans have the stronger case. But that doesn’t matter, unless they make the case, which they show little sign of doing.
Democrats already understand the need for articulation. Robert Reich is only one of many articulate Democratic spokesmen. But where are the articulate Republicans? Do they even understand how crucial articulation is? The outcome of this lame-duck session of Congress may answer that question.
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