John Edwards channels Slick Willie's "IS"

Edwards, feds arguing if money was donated or gift


Former presidential candidate John Edwards and federal prosecutors are arguing over whether funds used to cover up his extramarital affair were campaign contributions or just gifts from his longtime friends.

Comment: Clinton

Bill Clinton and the Meaning of "Is"


"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."

Final comment: If it was a gift to help cover up his sin to protect his campaign it was a campaign contribution!

DIFICID approved by FDA

FDA approves new antibiotic for common hospital-acquired infection


The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new antibiotic to treat an intestinal infection that afflicts more than 700,000 U.S. patients each year and can sometimes prove fatal.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Dificid tablets were approved Friday to treat Clostridium difficile, an infection that usually affects older patients and can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to potentially life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It is most common in hospitals and nursing homes where the bacteria's spores can be found in bed linens, bathrooms and medical equipment.

Clostridium difficile recently surpassed a type of staphylococcus bug as the most common hospital-acquired infection, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Optimer's twice-a-day tablet is the first new drug approved for the infection in nearly 25 years, according to the company.

In recent decades, some varieties of germs have grown immune to popular antibiotics like penicillin, creating concern about the dwindling number of new antibiotics available. The new drug, known generically as fidaxomicin, is only the third antibiotic cleared by the FDA since 2006, according to Optimer.

"When we started out, this was a relatively small segment of the market and it was not clear how a drug could be better than vancomycin," said Optimer Chief Executive Pedro Lichtinger, referring to the currently prescribed antibiotic. "But our scientists were able to see the growth of this market and the weakness of the current treatment."

In company trials, Dificid worked as well as vancomycin at treating the infection. The drug proved superior at preventing re-infection three weeks after treatment when compared with the older drug.

Comment: I am on week # 4 of my latest round of Vanco. I feel very close to completely healed


How they "unstuck" the POTUS "Beast"

Beast of a job getting car unstuck


Eamon Kelly of Kelly’s Towing Service in Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow, the company called to tow the vehicle, said yesterday that it took his company three hours to remove it.

“It was a big problem because the vehicle was not designed to be towed,” said Mr Kelly. “It’s an armour-plated vehicle so there’s a lot of weight involved in it.”

Mr Kelly, whose son Keith attended the scene, said damage to the vehicle meant it could not be lifted in the normal way by its wheels. “It was tricky job, we had to adapt our vehicle to lift it because we wouldn’t be used to lifting American stuff . . . the lifting points on that were slightly different to what we would have on European vehicles,” he told RTÉ Liveline programme.

Mr Kelly, who said the suspension on the vehicle had been damaged, said the vehicle had to be brought back down the ramp because to bring it up the ramp would have done more damage.

Commenting on the atmosphere during the rescue operation, he said: “We were there for about three hours until the time it was moved, because, don’t forget, you are under severe pressure in the sense that you have secret service and you have police, and everyone knows how to do it.”

Once the vehicle was unwedged, Mr Kelly said it was put on a low-loader truck and brought to a secret location on Monday night before being brought to an aircraft yesterday afternoon.

He said his son was not allowed into the vehicle during the operation. “Security was very tight; every move we made they were there watching.”

Footage of the moment when the limousine got stuck has become a YouTube hit. It was initially thought Barack Obama and his wife were in the vehicle at the time. The White House later confirmed they were not.

Mr Kelly said that while the vehicle “wasn’t bunched” it “wasn’t driveable”.

Comment: Interesting

Bad News, Honey

A man and his wife went to the doctor because he had been ill.

After a check up the doctor took the wife aside and said, "Your husband is suffering from an illness brought on by stress. In order for him to recover you're going to have to remove all the stress from his life.

Don't bother him about finances. Don't have him to do chores. Cook him his favorite meals every night and shower him with love. In about 6 months or so, he'll recover."

On the way home the husband asked the wife what the doctor said. Her reply, "You're going to die."

Comment: Source: Jim Korth on Facebook. Posting for my wife!

Newspaper Exegesis - Date-setting not new!


But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven (Matthew 24:36)

Before Harold Camping, there Were Hal Lindsey and Chuck Smith


Before Harold Camping, there were Chuck Smith and Hal Lindsey. Lindsey is the author of widely and wildly popular The Late Great Planet Earth (1970). Smith has been the pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, since 1965. He is a popular and well-respected Bible teacher. What many people don’t know or remember is that he set some very specific dates of his own in the 1970s. I wonder what he and Hal Lindsey, who predicted that Jesus would return before 1988, would say about Harold Camping since both men where poster children for end-time date setting. In fact, the 1970s and early 1980s were rife with evangelical soothsayers. And yet, Smith is still pastoring, and Lindsey is still considered to be an expert on Bible prophecy.

Comment: A good quote from Spurgeon: "it will be needful for the seers to invent a new theory". Source of image .. Douglas Wilson

Advice for Future Retirees - Don't undersave!

How to handle market declines early in your golden years.


The adage for a vacation is to take half the luggage and twice the money, since people know it is not unusual to spend more than planned.

The same applies to the size of retirement portfolios. The best advice is to retire with a portfolio that is worth more than you think is necessary, rather than with a portfolio that will last only if everything goes exactly right.

Comment: I was talking to a retiree at church this past Sunday. The man retired at 62 almost 9 years ago. He lamented that the money was very tight for them.


Marmite - Banned in Denmark

Marmite made illegal in Denmark


The strongly flavoured dark brown spread made from brewer's yeast has joined Rice Crispies, Shreddies, Horlicks and Ovaltine prohibited in Denmark under legislation forbidding the sale of food products with added vitamins as threat to public health.

Many well known breakfast cereal and drink brands have already been banned or taken off supermarket shelves after Danish legislation in 2004 restricted foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals.

But Marmite had escaped notice as an exotic import for a small number of ex-pats until the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration telephoned Abigail's, a Copenhagen shop selling British food, to ban the famous yeast spread.

"I don't eat it myself, I don't like it but Marmite was one of our best selling products. Not a day goes by without someone coming in and asking for it," said Marianne Ørum, the shop owner.

"All the English people here are shaking their heads in disbelief and say that it is insane. I agree but it is the law. It's becoming impossible to run a business in this country. We are not allowed to do anything anymore. It is the way Denmark is going."

Comment: Nanny State! What is?

Floranex 1 million cell Chewable Tab

Comment: Latest thing I'm taking. A chewable tablet three times a day x 4 tablets. I think I am on my way for a career in pharmacy!

Floranex 1 million cell Chewable Tab


This product contains the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is naturally found in the stomach/intestines. Some conditions (such as antibiotic use) can cause problems with the normal balance of bacteria in the stomach/intestines, resulting in diarrhea. This product can help restore the normal balance of intestinal bacteria. This product has been used for diarrhea and other stomach/intestinal problems.

Comment: I have 120 ... a 10 day supply

The Wells Fargo / Wachovia Technology Integration

Wells Fargo and Wachovia: The technology integration of two giants


We had a mantra inside the business organization that we think of as a best practice, which is, select [a Wells Fargo or Wachovia system] A or B, but never [create a new] C. The reason you do that is because you want to make sure you move into a stable platform. If you build a new model in the middle of integration, you’ll run into some burn and bumps, and we didn’t want to impact our customers.

Out of 4,000 bundles of applications, we ended up with less than five Cs. Those were things that just couldn’t scale or had functionality problems. When you start changing out the architecture, or building new application code, that’s when you put your customers at risk.

Comment: 4000 applications .... 3 years. Kathee and I are in the middle of this ourselves. It's been interesting.


Pawlenty: Real change is about telling hard truths

Pawlenty: Real change is about telling hard truths


As a candidate for president, it would be easy for me to just tell the American people we can solve our debt crisis and fix our economy without making any tough choices. But we have now seen where that type of leadership gets us.

Leadership isn't about fancy speeches and empty promises. It's not about telling people just what they want to hear. It's about telling the truth. Like too many Washington politicians, President Obama governs with an eye toward the next election, at the expense of the next generation. He would rather pretend there is no crisis and attack those who are willing to stand up and try to solve it rather than risk doing anything about it himself.

Comment: I'm impressed with Pawlenty!

Tornado ... er ... Party Time

Minneapolis liquor store looted after tornado


Soon after a tornado ripped through North Minneapolis pm Sunday afternoon, an estimated 20 looters ripped off Broadway Liquor Outlet.

The high winds that downed trees and tore off roofs in the area also smashed the glass storefront of the liquor store at 2201 W. Broadway Ave., which was closed.

The looters stole liquor, cigarettes and cash, said owner Dean Rose. The store had plywood boards nailed to its exterior by 7:30 p.m., but broken glass and cases of beer could be seen scattered on the floor inside. Rose said Sunday night he didn't know the extent of the theft.

Minneapolis Police on Sunday night could not confirm reports of looting.

"It's devastating," said Rose, the third generation of his family to run the store. "It puts us out of business."

Comment: Location. Not far from our home (7 miles) and an area we often drive by on our way home from work. I am working from home today but Kathee drove in along our normal path. She saw quite a bit of destruction at Xerxes and Plymouth in Minneapolis

Fidaxomicin - a promising new drug for Clostridium difficile

I am half way through my 4 week regimen of Vancomycin. I was in to see Nila Suntharam today and this is the latest:


Fidaxomicin, our lead product candidate, is a new antibiotic with a novel mechanism of action being developed for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection or CDI, the most common nosocomial, or hospital acquired, diarrhea. We believe that Fidaxomicin offers advantages over current treatments due to its demonstrated activity against C. difficile, low rates of recurrence, evidence of low C. difficile resistance, minimal systemic exposure, limited disruption of normally occurring gastrointestinal bacteria and convenient dosing regimen. Our studies indicate that Fidaxomicin acts by inhibiting RNA polymerase, a bacterial enzyme, which results in the death of specific bacteria such as C. difficile. We currently hold rights to fidaxomicin in all regions of the world except for Europe and certain other countries in the Middle East, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS.

Comment: DIFICID™ (fidaxomicin) is still not available but sounds promising. Meanwhile I will be on Vanco until I am better. Thanks for your prayers!

Osama's Islamic version of Desperate Housewives

Older bin Laden widows think younger wife tipped off US


Although the compound where bin Laden hid for five years was large, the three wives were all cooped up in the same house. The older two lived on the second floor and the youngest one on the top. Their husband alternated between them. Pakistani officials who have been debriefing the women portray life in the compound as an Islamic version of Desperate Housewives.

"It's a well-known fact that when you have two older wives and then this young one comes along half their age, they don't like it," said one.

The wives even dispute who tried to protect their husband in the raid. The youngest was reported to have attempted to save him, sustaining a bullet wound to her calf. But the older wives say they were the ones who rushed to shield him.

Their version appears to be corroborated by an account of the raid, given by US officials last week. They said that when the Navy Seals reached the top floor, two women were in front of bin Laden, trying to protect him. One Seal shoved them away, fearing they might be wearing suicide bomb vests.

Bin Laden's third and fourth wives, the older Saudi women, married him in the 1980s. At 62, Khaira Husain Sabir is eight years older than her husband. Known as Umm Hamza, or mother of Hamza, she has a degree in Arabic and before their marriage in 1985 worked as a teacher of deaf children.

Siham Abdulla bin Husain, 54, known as Umm Khalid - mother of Khalid, a son who was killed in the raid - has a doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence, and taught Arabic.

Comment: One has to smile!


Dividend Investment Strategy

Video: Talking Numbers: Dividend Investment Strategy

Comment: Image captured from the video. I don't own any of the above. I had never heard of Oneok until this.

ETFs anyone?

The Top Dividend Paying ETFs


To invest in companies that pay dividends, we can choose either to buy individual stocks, or purchase a mutual fund or ETF that invest in dividend-paying companies. Here, I will only look at ETFs with the main objective as generating incomes from dividend distributions. Using Morningstar’s ETF tool, I found the following 12 dividend-paying ETFs that invest in domestic companies.

Comment: Example ... image below. I haven't used ETFs yet but am considering.

Now reading The ETF book


Blogging, Images, and Copyrights

A Guide to Happy (and Legal) Tumblr-ing - Blogging without 'stealing' is much easier than you think


Posting a photograph that belongs to someone else, for example, even with attribution and a link is illegal if done without the author's authorization. I know, really scary right? No, the Internet police probably aren't going to be kicking down your door to ask questions about that copyrighted photo of Ke$ha you just posted, but when it's almost as easy to do things the right way, why not at least try?


If you're looking for the right photo to match an essay on your blog, take the extra step to enable a customized Creative Commons search. From Google.com select "advanced search." From there, click "usage rights." Searches can then be further narrowed down with options like "free to use or share." Or simply go to search.creativecommons.org where you can find content that's been approved for commercial use or further modification and tweaking. Yes, this is the Internet, where suffering through five extra seconds is an eternity, but like anything else that's good for you, once you get in the habit, it will become second nature.

Comment: For the above image:

Flickr: MikeBlogs' photostream ... creativecommons.org

Guns, Mexico, Obama and Reality

Obama blames U.S. guns in Mexico


Meeting face-to-face with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Obama on Thursday [4/16/2009] said the U.S. is to blame for much of Mexico’s drug violence, and he set up a major congressional gun-control battle by calling on the Senate to ratify a treaty designed to track and cut the flow of guns to other countries.

Mr. Obama said he wants to renew a ban on some semiautomatic weapons but that it is not likely to pass Congress. Instead, he called for the Senate to ratify a decade-old hemispherewide treaty that would require nations to mark all weapons produced in the country and track them to make sure no weapons were exported to countries where they were banned.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Mexico, says U.S. to blame for drug wars


Hillary Clinton brought mea culpas to Mexico Wendesday [3/25/2009] for the guns and money flowing south from the U.S. that have fueled the bloody drug wars between the cartels and the Mexican army.

"It's not only guns, it's night-vision goggles, it's body armor," Clinton said enroute to Mexico City in her third foreign trip as Secretary of State.

"These criminals are outgunning law enforcement officials," Clinton said of the street warfare in towns near the border that have claimed more than 6,000 lives in the past year.

"And since we know that the vast majority, 90% of that [weaponry] comes from our country, we're going to try to stop it from getting there in the first place," Clinton said.

Comment: Fact checking

President Obama says 90 percent of Mexico's recovered crime guns come from the U.S. That's not what the statistics show.


An Elusive Number

Given the lack of hard data from Mexico, we can’t calculate a precise figure for what portion of crime guns have been traced to the U.S. Based on the best evidence we can find so far, we conclude that the 90 percent claim made by the president and others in his administration lacks a basis in solid fact. But we also conclude that the number is at least double what Fox News has reported, based on its reporters’ mistaken interpretation of ATF testimony.

Whether the number is 90 percent, or 36 percent, or something else, there’s no dispute that thousands of guns are being illegalIy transported into Mexico by way of the United States each year.

Comment: Current article from the Wall Street Journal (5/21/2011)

The Myth of Big-Time Gun Trafficking - Crime weapons usually come from petty theft and opportunistic dealers, not from an organized black market


Advocates argue that gun manufacturers and distributors are aware of these illegal practices and could stop them, if they chose to, by refusing to supply guns to the problematic dealers.

This theory has been embraced by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and even some scholars. They argue that disrupting trafficking operations can have a substantial impact on rates of criminal gun possession and gun violence.

Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support this set of interconnected claims.

The best available study, by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, indicates that criminals obtain guns from a wide variety of largely interchangeable low-volume sources. Criminals usually get their guns in one of three ways: as a byproduct of thefts, primarily residential burglaries; by buying guns one at a time from friends and relatives who neither regularly sell guns nor act as "straw purchasers" (legally qualified buyers who purchase guns for those prohibited from doing so); or, if they have no criminal convictions, by lawfully buying guns from licensed dealers.

As my colleague Kevin Wang and I found by examining federal crime data, the overall volume of gun theft alone is huge—at least 400,000 to 600,000 guns are stolen each year in the U.S. This is easily enough to resupply the entire criminal population with guns even if they were completely disarmed at the start of each year.

Based on the findings of law enforcement authorities, which we also gathered for our study, the typical trafficking operation handles fewer than a dozen guns each. The ATF uncovers fewer than 15 high-volume operations (involving over 250 guns) in the country each year.

High-volume trafficking, with or without the involvement of corrupt or negligent dealers, probably supplies less than 1% of the guns in criminal hands. Illicit gun sellers are instead more likely to be burglars who sell a few guns (typically fewer than a half dozen a year) along with all the other saleable property that they steal.


The problem with using these data is that only some crime guns are traced, and those that are traced are not representative of the full set of crime guns. Based on such traces, some claim, for example, that most Mexican crime guns originate with U.S. gun dealers.

But it's likely that police in Mexico submit for ATF tracing only those crime guns that they believe originated in the U.S. This would be reasonable, since those are the ones that the ATF is likely to be able to trace, but it is not a sample from which to generalize.

Even if guns of American origin account for only a small share of all Mexican crime guns, they would comprise nearly all of those submitted by the Mexican authorities for tracing by the ATF.

Comment: The Obama administration exaggerates the gun problem to promote their agenda!

Rainy day movie day - "The Conspirator "

Comment: Civil war buffs may enjoy this period piece. First link is a movie review by a Civil War historian.

The Conspirator [Movie Review]

Now Roger Ebert's spin on this:

The Conspirator [Movie Review]


Redford considers this material in an unusually literate and thoughtful historical film, working from years of research by his screenwriter, James Solomon. I found it absorbing and relevant today. It is useful to reflect that it isn't "her" constitutional rights that are being violated, but our own, because the Constitution must be seen to work equally for all or it loses its strength for everyone. The language and reasoning of Stanton echo with similar statements by Bush and Cheney in defense of the Patriot Act, and Reverdy Johnson in this reading would represent Obama, more a compromiser than an idealist.

Final comment: I had a hard time staying awake.


Europe: McDonald’s "a symbol of cosmopolitanism and a modern urban lifestyle among the young"

McDonald’s Economics


McDonald’s in Europe are different, the economists explain, and not just because in France a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is known as a Royal Cheese. “Unlike in North America and in some other parts of the world, McDonald’s restaurants are considered in Europe to be a symbol of cosmopolitanism and a modern urban lifestyle among the young rather than simply a caterer of fast food to low income people,” they write.

Comment: Image Source: My Trip to Paris. Meanwhile in Wisconsin: What's it like to eat 25,000 Big Macs? Ask Don Gorske. I like Big Macs. Our Plymouth McDonald's has great service. I would like to buy McDonald's stock (on my potential buy list)

Wolves at the IMF - A culture of sexual harassment

At I.M.F., Men on Prowl and Women on Guard


Some women avoid wearing skirts for fear of attracting unwanted attention. Others trade whispered tips about overly forward bosses. A 2008 internal review found few restraints on the conduct of senior managers, concluding that “the absence of public ethics scandals seems to be more a consequence of luck than good planning and action.”


But with Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest earlier this week and indictment on Thursday on charges that he tried to rape a New York hotel housekeeper, a spotlight has been cast on the culture of the institution. And questions have been revived about a 2008 episode in which the I.M.F. decided that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had not broken any rules in sleeping with a female employee.

What may draw even more attention to the culture of the fund is the revelation of an affair involving a potential successor to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director on Wednesday. Kemal Dervis of Turkey had a liaison while working at the World Bank years ago with a woman who now works at the I.M.F., according to a person with direct knowledge of the relationship.

Interviews and documents paint a picture of the fund as an institution whose sexual norms and customs are markedly different from those of Washington, leaving its female employees vulnerable to harassment. The laws of the United States do not apply inside its walls, and until earlier this month the I.M.F.’s own rules contained an unusual provision that some experts and former officials say has encouraged managers to pursue the women who work for them: “Intimate personal relationships between supervisors and subordinates do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.”

“It’s sort of like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’; the rules are more like guidelines,” said Carmen M. Reinhart, a prominent female economist who served as the I.M.F.’s deputy director for research from 2001 to 2003. “That sets the stage, I think, for more risk-taking.”

In 2007, officials at the fund declined to investigate a complaint by an administrative assistant who had slept with her supervisor, and who charged that he had given her poor performance reviews to pressure her to continue the relationship. Officials told the woman that the supervisor planned to retire soon, and therefore there was no point in investigating the charges, according to findings by the I.M.F.’s internal court.

The official, who is not named in the records, told investigators that he also had a sexual relationship with a second employee, and that he did not believe he had acted improperly.

In another case, a young woman who has since left the I.M.F. said that in 2009, a senior manager in her department started sending her increasingly explicit e-mails seeking a relationship. She complained to her boss, who did not take any action.

Comment: Wiki: IMF . About the ethics of the IMF ... in a word "pathetic"


The Armed Citizen - Minneapolis Edition

Police arrest Uptown robbery suspect


61-year-old Edward Curtis was attacked at about 10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Pillsbury Avenue S. after he got out of his car. Curtis was beaten about the head and shoulders and suffered fractures to his face and nose, then robbed of his wallet. The attack ended when Curtis drew a concealed handgun and fired three shots. It's not known if he struck either of his attackers.

After the attack, Curtis said he was not proud of what he'd done but felt he had no choice. "I thought they were going to kill me," he said. "They didn't get a chance to."

Comment: He should be proud of what he did!


The Onerous Compliance Cost of the Internal Revenue Code

Comment: Source: Bearish News. More in this channel

Required Reading for High School Seniors!

Most Common Jobs Among Lowest Paid


The mean wage last year was $21.35 per hour or $44,410 a year. Of the 10 largest fields, registered nurses were the only employees to earn more than the national average. Nurses earned $32.56 an hour. In contrast, waiters and waitresses earned $9.99.

Jobs that accounted for the smallest share of employment tended to pay better. Legal occupations and life, physical and social science professions, which each represented 1% of employment, were the sectors with the smallest share of employment. Positions in those fields generally paid above-average. Judges, for instance, earned $50.67 an hour.

Comment: Click through for Interactive Graphics: This should be required reading for High School Seniors (and Juniors). If one majors in [you-name-the-race] studies (see earlier post), you had better be a football player.

"News" from The Onion? Nope?

Senator questions benefits to ‘adult baby’


Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and the Senate’s top waste-watcher, asked the agency’s inspector general to look into 30-year-old Stanley Thornton Jr. and his roommate, Sandra Dias, who acts as his “mother,” saying it’s not clear why they are collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits instead of working.

“Given that Mr. Thornton is able to determine what is appropriate attire and actions in public, drive himself to complete errands, design and custom-make baby furniture to support a 350-pound adult and run an Internet support group, it is possible that he has been improperly collecting disability benefits for a period of time,” Mr. Coburn wrote in a letter Monday to Inspector General Patrick P. O'Carroll Jr.

The request comes at a time when members of Congress are struggling to cut budgets and weed out waste to try to bring down the staggering deficit, and comes just days after Social Security’s trustees released a grim assessment of the program’s long-term financial health.

SSI is run by Social Security and pays out benefits to aged, blind and disabled people who have little or no income.

The inspector general’s office didn’t return a message seeking comment.

In an email response to The Washington Times, Mr. Thornton threatened to kill himself if his Social Security payments are taken away, and said the television episode showing him doing woodwork oversold his abilities.

“You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care,” the California man said. “I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”

Mr. Thornton was featured in early May on National Geographic Channel’s “Taboo” program along with Miss Dias, a former nurse who feeds him a bottle and otherwise attends to his needs when he is dressed in diapers.

In the episode, he shows off the adult-sized crib he built and sleeps in, and the cameras follow him to the hardware store where he buys wood for his latest do-it-yourself project — an elevated high chair that is capable of holding his ample frame.

He said he has been living at least a partial adult baby lifestyle since his teenage years, though he does wear adult clothes when he goes out, fearing embarrassment otherwise.

Comment: The guy can drive! Build his own crib! Threatens suicide if SSI is discontinued. I mean ... how can the government support him!? NOT from The Onion!

I Googled "caucasian american studies"

Googled "caucasian american studies"

Comment: Guess there is not a major for this! (See previous post)

Good thing he can play football ....

Brinkley uses lockout to earn degree


Vikings middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley left the University of South Carolina one class short of earning his degree.

Brinkley wanted to return to school after his rookie season but the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship game so that made it impossible. But with the NFL headed toward a lockout this offseason, Brinkley figured the time was right to return to school and get his degree.

"I wanted to take advantage of the extra time that I had," Brinkley said. "It was always something that I felt like was hanging over my head and I wanted to get it done. The lockout gave me the opportunity."

Brinkley accomplished his goal when he graduated last weekend with a degree in African-American Studies with a concentration in social work. Brinkley took part in the graduation ceremony held in South Carolina's basketball arena.

"It means a lot for the simple fact that when I left [school] I left with a goal to not only be able to live my dream of playing in the National Football League but at the same time be able to come back and finish up my degree," he said. "A lot of guys go to college and getting their degree is not their main objective, but it was one of mine. It was one of my goals that I was able to reach and hopefully I'll continue to reach the other goals that I have set."

Comment: Because I'm not exactly sure what the career prospects are for this major! (I wonder if there is a Caucasian -American Studies major?!)


Vanishing Point on US Debt

America running out of time to cut debt


Over the last six months, as part of our graduate programs at Stanford University, and in conjunction with former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker (a longtime critic of unsustainable entitlement spending) and the Comeback America Initiative, we developed a Sovereign Fiscal Responsibility Index that assesses fiscal responsibility across most Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Combining the three major components of fiscal responsibility -- current debt levels, the projected future debt path and fiscal governance -- this index predicts the U.S. could face a fiscal crisis in the next two to three years if spending and tax revenues continue at current levels.

Right now the U.S. debt is like a freight train running downhill. The agreement to prevent a shutdown was like putting a shopping cart in the way. We still need to pull the brakes to keep our country out of a fiscal abyss.

Our index shows that the U.S. ranks 28th overall out of 34 countries, in the same territory as the so-called PIIGS of Europe -- Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Greece and Spain -- countries that are already facing fiscal hardship, some from years of irresponsible behavior.

Comment: Just like Kowalski couldn't drive the Challenger through the bulldozers in Vanishing Point

Still with stunt car (older Camaro):


Trump flames out!

Trump Not Running for President: 'Decision Does Not Come Easily Or Without Regret


After a roller-coaster flirtation with a presidential bid, Donald Trump bowed out of the 2012 contest in true Trump fashion, sayng that while he would not be a candidate this year, if he had run, he would have been able to win the primary and the general election.

"I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election," Trump said in a statement. "I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."

Trump, who had contemplated running for president in years past, seemed poised take the plunge this year. He even had a tentative date set for a campaign announcement: May 25 in the atrium of Trump Tower in New York City.

According to Trump aides, the real estate mogul and reality television mogul had even settled on campaign consultants to help steer his potential presidential bid. Trump had already made two visits to New Hampshire within the last month and had a series of events planned in that state and in Iowa over the next few weeks.

In the end, however, his decision almost certainly had more to do with his lucrative NBC television contract for his "Apprentice" franchise than anything else.

Comment: Image source. I'm not surprised and I don't regret it.

Didn't save for retirement? Live with your neighbors

How to Retire When You Have No Retirement Savings


Now consider a move that may sound radical, but is also quite practical: consider hooking up with another like-minded couple in a similar situation, finding a nice three-bedroom house, and living together. Your combined income will be $72,000 per year.

Comment: Just like the Golden Girls! Yuk!

Buy a "real" Dime, Quarter, Half Dollar


Comment: Just like the US Mint made them when I was a kid in the 50's. Warning ... not real money!!! WINK WINK

DrudgeReport: Simple Design ... Wide Audience

How Drudge Has Stayed on Top


Using data from the Nielsen Company to examine the top 21 news sites on the Web, the report suggests that Mr. Drudge, once thought of as a hothouse flower of the Lewinsky scandal, is now more powerful in driving news than the half-billion folks on Facebook. (According to the study, Facebook accounted for 3.3 percent of the referrals to news sites, less than half as many as generated by The Drudge Report.)

“When you look at his influence, it cuts across all kind of sites, both traditional news outlets and online-only sites,” said Amy S. Mitchell, the deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and one of the authors of the study. “He was an early and powerful force in setting the news agenda and has somehow maintained that even as there has been a great deal of change in the way people get their news.”

With no video, no search optimization, no slide shows, and a design that is right out of mid-’90s manual on HTML, The Drudge Report provides 7 percent of the inbound referrals to the top news sites in the country. “It’s a real achievement,” said John F. Harris, the co-founder of Politico. “I covered the Clinton White House in 1997 and 1998 and I would never have conceived that he would be an important player in the landscape 12 years later. He does one thing and he does it particularly well. The power of it comes from the community of people that read it: operatives, bookers, reporters, producers and politicians.”

So in a news age when the next big thing changes as often as the weather, how can a guy who broke through on the Web before there was broadband still set the agenda? How can that be?

His durability is, first and foremost, a personal achievement, a testament to the fact that he is, as Gabriel Snyder, who has done Web news for Gawker, Newsweek and now The Atlantic, told me, “the best wire editor on the planet. He can look into a huge stream of news, find the hot story and put an irresistible headline on it.”

Comment: One of the first sites I visit in the morning. http://www.drudgereport.com/

Working as a Unit to Accomplish His Will

HT: andynaselli.com

Comment: A cross that "actually saves". Not a rap fan but found this interesting

Wordpress HTML

Comment: For Ben F. | Use the HTML tab. Click the images for enlargement

Results: 4BYA Website

Hyperlink code sample:


Consultant re Four Seasons site: "This site is not all that large for community retail"

Plymouth study foresees mixed-use possibility at Four Seasons


mixed-use development is among ideas suggested by consultants working on a Plymouth market study regarding the future of the Four Seasons Mall in Plymouth.

The analysis by consulting firm Bonestroo Services recommended steering clear of community retail, including big-box stores, and focusing on neighborhood retail, senior housing and retail medical office space, the Bonestroo researchers and city staff revealed May 5 at the Plymouth Creek Center. A questionnaire for audience members requested their thoughts on mixed-use development ideas including a mix of senior housing, neighborhood-oriented retail, medical office or small office space.

Wal-Mart now owns the Four Seasons Mall, and consultants for the prominent chain attended the first of two presentations on the market study but did not weigh in. The consultants have been monitoring the process and requested city documents, said Steve Juetten, Plymouth's community development director.

"From my point of view, they've taken a back seat to see how this goes," Juetten said. "They understand we have the right to do what we're doing."

Lisa Nelson, a senior manager of public affairs for Wal-Mart, said representatives for the retailer planned a conference call with company officials to discuss the study.

"We just haven't had the chance to digest it yet," she said. "We want to work with the city, and we want to work with the neighbors so we can be part of a development that meets everyone's needs."

The Plymouth City Council has approved a moratorium preventing building on the site while the city conducts a study process.

The Bonestroo consultants steered clear of recommending community retail during presentations.

"This site is not all that large for community retail," said Paul Bilotta, president and senior planner at Bonestroo.

Comment: City of Plymouth Four Seasons Mall study available here


C-Diff in the OT?

Comment: In tonight's Bible reading (2 Chronicles 19-21)

And after all this the LORD struck him [Jehoram] in his bowels with an incurable disease. In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. (2 Chronicles 21:18-19 ESV)

Comment: A bad way to go!

Charlie Chan and Tommy Interrogate Geithner, Bernanke, et al.

Charlie Chan and the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Dollar


Vice President Joe Biden: Welcome to America, Charlie. I've heard so much about your restaurant in Honolulu. I love cashew chicken, myself. Sure glad you could join this Spring into Recovery celebration. You know, Charlie, I'm on record as saying that we have to spend money so we don't go bankrupt. Now, by that I mean we...

Chan: Honorable Vice President, excuse please. Humbly request you get everyone take-out lunch from Chinese Restaurant down block. (Biden agrees and leaves on his mission.)

Tommy: Pop, you just sent the Vice President of the United States out to get lunch!

Chan: Ancient honorable ancestor say serious matter best discussed by serious people. He not shrink dollar, Tommy. But he may get lost seeking restaurant.


Tommy: Look, Pop! The dollar under the glass shrunk while Bernanke was talking!

Chan: (Nods yes.)


Austan Goolsbee: Mr. Chan, as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, I'm missing an important meeting with the President. Look, I'm not responsible for the incredible shrinking dollar, but I did bring along the YouTube video of an internet presentation where I professorially...because I was, you know, a professor at the University of Chicago... where I present a white board lesson explaining why we need to increase taxes on the rich. I can show it to you here on my laptop. First, I start off...

Chan: Honorable Chairman, thank you. Not now. Maybe later. Now interested only in what you know about incredible shrinking dollar.

Goolsbee: Detective Chan, like I said back last year when the economy slowed down in the first quarter of 2010, ""The biggest driver was a reduction in government spending at the federal level, a big negative from defense spending." That's still true. The government must spend more money, until we collect more revenue from increased taxes on the richest Americans. Until then, it's print and borrow, print and borrow, print and borrow, till we spend our way out of this recession. That's why it's so important we raise taxes on the rich because they're not...

Chan: Thank you, honorable Chairman. No additional questions.

Tommy: Gee, Pop, he sounds like the Vice President. Are they related?

Chan: Ancient honorable ancestor say that bad economic theory like virus that spreads sickness.

Comment: Meanwhile the real "perp" (Mr. Big) is far away in the White House. Remember Charlie Chan?

CDC resources on Clostridium difficile

Frequently Asked Questions about Clostridium difficile for Healthcare Providers

How is Clostridium difficile infection usually treated?

In about 20% of patients, Clostridium difficile infection will resolve within 2-3 days of discontinuing the antibiotic to which the patient was previously exposed. The infection can usually be treated with an appropriate course (about 10 days) of antibiotics including metronidazole or vancomycin (administered orally).

Comment: Helpful articles.

Rudolf Höss and the inheritance of evil

German Grandchildren of Nazis Delve Into Past


Rudolf Hoess was in charge of Auschwitz from May 1940 to November 1943. He came back to Auschwitz for a short stint in 1944, to oversee the murder of some 400,000 Hungarian Jews in the camp's gas chambers within less than two months.

The commandant lived in a luxurious mansion at Auschwitz with his wife and five children — among them Hans-Rudolf, the father of Rainer. Only 150 meters (yards) away the crematories' chimneys were blowing out the ashes of the dead day and night.

After the war, Hoess went into hiding on a farm in northern Germany; he was eventually captured and hanged in 1947, in front of his former home on the grounds of Auschwitz.

"When I investigate and read about my grandfather's crimes, it tears me apart every single time," Hoess said during a recent interview at his home in a little Black Forest village.

As a young man, he said, he tried twice to kill himself. He has suffered three heart attacks in recent years as well as asthma, which he says gets worse when he digs into his family's Nazi past.

Today, Hoess says, he no longer feels guilty, but the burden of the past weighs on him at all times.

"My grandfather was a mass murderer — something that I can only be ashamed and sad about," said the 45-year-old chef and father of two boys and two girls. "However, I do not want to close my eyes and pretend nothing ever happened, like the rest of my family still does....I want to stop the curse that's been haunting my family ever since, for the sake of myself and that of my own children."

Hoess is no longer in contact with his father, brother, aunts and cousins, who all call him a traitor. Strangers often look at him with distrust when he tells them about his grandfather — "as if I could have inherited his evil."

Comment: Wiki on Rudolf Höss. Ezekiel 18:19-21 speaks directly to this:

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.


GE: part of the DJIA from the start

The really, really, really long-term record for GE


This month marks the 115th anniversary of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and a related milestone for General Electric. The media turning up for a DJIA celebratory lunch two days ago learned that GE (GE) is the only company present in the average at its start in 1896 that is also a component today.

Alert! The preceding sentence is carefully couched because there were two brief periods in the very early 1900s when GE dropped out of the DJIA. Why? That's a mystery, said John Prestbo, editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes.

We can, on the other hand, add to the world's store of knowledge by telling you just how well GE's stock has performed over those 115 years and a bit more.

To begin with, says Trevor Schauenberg, a GE vice president who spoke at the lunch, the company's stock was first made available to the public in 1892 (J.P. Morgan and Henry Villard, dumping "Edison" from the company name, engineered the offering) and the price was $108 a share.

Today, taking into account splits that multiplied an investor's holdings, that same share is worth $92, 206.

Throw those dollar figures into a compound annual growth rate calculation for 119 years, and it turns out that GE's stock has risen at a rate of 5.8%.

Since the DJIA did not start until 1896, it has no comparable figure. But during the average's 115 years, it has risen at a lower rate, 5.4%.

The 5.8% rate of gain for GE's stock does not include dividends nor the reinvestment of dividends that commonly go into total return calculations. So Fortune asked GE's Schauenberg for a total return figure for the 119 years. And the answer is 9.7%.

Comment: GE, a good basic foundational dividend paying stock. Kathee's Father (deceased) was a GE engineer

Speaking of Folgers

The history is interesting: Folgers


The Folger Coffee Company was founded in San Francisco, California as the Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills in 1850, and acquired and renamed by James A. Folger in 1872. James came to San Francisco from Nantucket Island at the age of 15 with his two older brothers during the California Gold Rush. Under the mid-20th century leadership of his great-grandson, Peter Folger (the father of Charles Manson murder victim Abigail Folger), it became one of the largest coffee concerns in North America, which has traditionally been the largest market for coffee in the world. Procter & Gamble (P&G) acquired the company in 1963 and dropped the apostrophe from the product's name. P&G announced in January, 2008 that Folgers would be spun off into a separate company, based in Cincinnati. In June, 2008 P&G reversed the prior announcement and announced that Folgers would be acquired by The J.M. Smucker Co. based in Orrville, Ohio, by the end of 2008 utilizing a rare financial technique called a Reverse Morris Trust. The Folgers Coffee Company became a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Company in November 2008.

Comment: Nostalgic Folger's commercials here. My favorite coffee and tea brand is (click if you can't guess)

Love this one: "Your Coffee Sir!". Mrs Olson saves a marriage!

Lastest Stock Pick: Smuckers


Comment: Low Beta, Solid dividends. I think that food stocks (like Kraft, and General Mills) are able to pass rising prices onto consumers. Additionally I'll bet most homes have products from Smuckers in their refrigs! Like Folgers! (Our everyday coffee). Folgers is the top coffee brand in the US

Smuckers is on my Buy list!

Dress like the Dude!

The Dude Shawl Cardigan

Comment: The Big Lebowski | Pendleton Woolen Mills

Vanco: Expensive stuff

Online Drugstore

Comment: After not eating from Sunday afternoon until last night (Thursday), I finally had a real meal (besides Gatorade & saltines). Improving! My co-pay for 112 was $ 60.


Wellington R. Burt's unusual will

Shutting Out the Kids from the Family Fortune


Wellington R. Burt was a rich timber baron from Saginaw, Mich. He died in 1919 with a multimillion-dollar fortune -- one of America's largest at the time.

Yet rather than risk messing up his kids lives with a huge inheritance, he created an unusual will.

He stated that his fortune would be distributed to the family -- but only 21 years after his grandchildren's death.

Comment: Wiki on Burt | CBS news | Extensive 4 part series on MLive

A Christian perspective on estate planning. All of ones' monies (wealth) is the Lord's. To leave money to children who reject Christ would dishonor that stewardship.


C-Diff - Round 4

Sad to say that Round 4 (my third relapse) began on Mother's Day. I was sick in the afternoon. That night I called Methodist Hospital and talked to the on-call Infectious disease Doctor and she prescribed a four week regimen of Vancomycin. Kathee just made it to the Walgreens before closing. They only had 4 of the 112 pills. I took 1 Sunday night and three yesterday. Kathee picked up the other 108 today.

I managed to not take off work. I worked from home yesterday and today.  I am going to try to work through this time. I had brought my laptop home last Thursday so there was no need for a special trip downtown to pick it up

Thanks for your prayers. I had hoped to visit my Mother and Sister in Dallas at the end of the month. I'm not sure if that is off or not. Perhaps I will be healed by then. Trusting the Lord. He has a purpose in this. Thankful for a caring wife!

Image source

Twin Cities home prices tank

Twin Cities home prices fall 9 percent during March


House price declines in the Twin Cities during March outpaced the nation, with foreclosures leading the decline.

CoreLogic's March Home Price Index (HPI) shows that home prices, including distressed sales, in the US fell for the eighth month in a row, down 7.5 percent compared to March 2010. Prices during February were down 5.8 percent compared with February 2010.

In the Twin Cities March prices fell by almost 9 percent, compared to last March, following last months 8 percent decline.

46% have negative equity in home


In the Twin Cities, 46.2 percent of single-family homeowners owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth, according to the latest report from Zillow.com. That's up from 42 percent at the end of last year and 38.7 percent a year ago.

Nationally, negative equity reached a new high with 28.4 percent of all single-family homes with mortgages underwater, up from 27 percent in the fourth quarter.

"Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession," said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, in a statement.

The median home price fell to $159,000 in the metro area in March, down 4.8 percent in the first quarter and 15.1 percent compared to last March, according to Zillow. The declines outpaced the nation, which saw prices fall 3 percent in the quarter and 8.2 percent compared to a year ago.

The real estate research firm now predicts home prices won't hit bottom until 2012 at the earliest. Previously, Zillow had expected a bottom in home values this year. Then Zillow expects a long period of below-normal real estate appreciation.

Comment: My house ... paid for! .... now valued at 2001 level .... oh well ... not selling anyway.

The link between NAFTA and lost manufacturing jobs

Report: Ohio lost fourth-most jobs under NAFTA


U.S.-Mexico trade since the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement has displaced 682,900 U.S. jobs, with Ohio losing the fourth most jobs, according to a report from a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

About 34,900 jobs in Ohio were displaced from 1994 to 2010 as a result of trade deficits with Mexico, according to the Economic Policy Institute, which studies the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers.

California posted the largest loss with about 86,500 displaced jobs.


The institute said the trade deficit and job displacement occurred as NAFTA made it attractive for foreign investors to pour money into Mexico to gain duty-free access to the U.S. market. Foreign direct investment tripled as a share of Mexico’s gross domestic product and caused companies to outsource jobs and production to Mexico, the report said.

Most of the jobs displaced by trade to Mexico as of 2010 were in manufacturing, with 415,000, or 60.8 percent, of jobs displaced, the report said. Within manufacturing, the hardest hit jobs were in computer and electronic parts, with 150,300 jobs displaced, or 22 percent of the total, and motor vehicles and parts, with 108,000 jobs displaced, or 15.8 percent of the total.

Comment: On the other side of the equation, the cost of goods was reduced.



A Motivational Poster for George W. Bush’s Library


In case the font is too small, the words at the bottom are: “VINDICATION: When the loudest critic of your policies achieves his greatest success because of them.”

Comment: Yup!

Fish Food

Terrorists like Whac-A-Mole

Comment: Kids React on YouTube | Whac-A-Mole