Have you left your air conditioner in the closet this summer, and worn long pants more often than shorts? If so, you may not be surprised to find out that Chicago is seeing its coldest July in more than 65 years. The National Weather Service says 2009 has seen the coldest July since the official recording station was moved away from the lakefront in 1942. The average temperature this month in Chicago has been a mere 68.9 degrees.
1. President Barack Obama repeatedly tells us that one reason national health care is needed is that we can no longer afford to pay for Medicare and Medicaid. But if Medicare and Medicaid are fiscally insolvent and gradually bankrupting our society, why is a government takeover of medical care for the rest of society a good idea? What large-scale government program has not eventually spiraled out of control, let alone stayed within its projected budget? Why should anyone believe that nationalizing health care would create the first major government program to “pay for itself,” let alone get smaller rather than larger over time? Why not simply see how the Democrats can reform Medicare and Medicaid before nationalizing much of the rest of health care? [There’s 9 more…ed]
Some car shoppers are finding that their trade-in vehicles, which qualified for a “Cash for Clunkers” rebate last week, don’t this week thanks to changes in the EPA’s fuel economy ratings. One CNNMoney.com reader went to the Environmental Protection Agency’s fueleconomy.gov Web site on Sat., July 25, to double-check the fuel economy rating for his 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis. When he had visited previously, the car’s combined city and highway fuel economy was rated at 18 miles per gallon, making it eligible for the program.
Confidence among U.S. consumers fell more than forecast in July, reflecting a surge in unemployment that threatens to undermine household spending. The Conference Board’s confidence index dropped to 46.6, a second consecutive decline, following a reading of 49.3 in June, a report from the New York-based group showed today. The figure reached a record low of 25.3 in February.
The Inkwell Foundation, a charity run by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., plans to file an amendment to a 2007 Internal Revenue Service report, after questions were raised about grants to staff members. Gates, the black professor at the center of a national debate over race relations after he was arrested two weeks ago by a white Cambridge police officer, said last night that he mischaracterized $11,000 in compensation to staff members as research grants. Acknowledging a report by www.propublica.org that first questioned the grants, he called the mistake an accounting error.
So where does Sarah Palin stand right now? Well according to the recent Public Policy Poll (PPP) she is doing quite well, in fact she is in the lead of all potential GOP 2012 contenders. Sarah Palin favorability rating among conservative Republicans is 73%, Huckabee is at 65%, and Romney is at 53%. Sarah Palin also has a 45% approval rating among registered independents, which is just under half of their support. Sarah Palin also scored huge among Hispanic voters with a 51% approval rating, with not even a close second among GOP 2012 hopefuls. Sarah Palin also leads among GOP 2012 contenders with the 18-29 age range with 51% having a favorability rating in what is traditionally considered a Democratic stronghold.
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DEARBORN, Michigan — Mona Ramouni’s fingers fly across the text as she proofreads yet another page of a calculus textbook to be published in Braille — with her guide pony sitting patiently by. It is dull work for tiny Cali who serves as Ramouni’s eyes through a world she cannot see, and the pony keeps butting her head into Ramouni’s chest. “Cali! Stop it,” Ramouni exclaims, but she can’t keep the pride out of her voice when she realizes what the pretty brown pony with a soft black mane has gotten up to.
U.S. forces are about to get some much-needed help as they fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, reports CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan in an exclusive report. The Colombian commandos are U.S. trained and battle-tested from having defeated terrorists in their own country. Ten years ago, they didn’t even exist. Today, elite Colombian Special Operations troops are preparing to fight alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan, reports CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan. For Colombia, it’s a way to give something back to the U.S., and the American Green Berets who’ve spent the last decade training them.
President Obama has put securing Afghanistan near the top of his foreign policy agenda, but “victory” in the war-torn country isn’t necessarily the United States’ goal, he said Thursday in a TV interview. “I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” Obama told ABC News. [No wonder this guy won’t release his school records. It wasn’t Hirohito who signed the surrender papers for Japan on the U.S.S. Missouri, it was foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu…ed]
Christians voiced anger and dismay Tuesday after a Bible, which was part of an exhibition inviting viewers to add their reflections, was defaced with offensive and foul-mouthed scrawl. Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art has decided to put the Bible in a glass case after the exhibit, called Untitled 2009 and part of a show entitled Made In God’s Image, was vandalised. Artist Jane Clarke, a minister at the Metropolitan Community Church, asked visitors to annotate the Bible with stories and reflections, as a way of making it more inclusive. But visitors to the gallery took the invitation a bit further than she had anticipated.
Daren Briscoe, a Newsweek correspondent who was embedded with Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, has taken a job with the Obama administration, according to an email sent to a listserv of his classmates at the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The email, written by Time reporter and fellow Columbia grad Jay Newton-Small, said Briscoe would be serving as deputy associate director of public affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy as of Monday.
Face-lifts, tummy tucks and hair transplants could be hit with a new tax to help finance the trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul plan, according to sources familiar with the Senate talks. The Senate Finance Committee has discussed imposing a 10 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgery deemed unnecessary for medical purposes. The idea was broached in a meeting with OMB Director Orszag in mid-July, after which Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus told reporters he had heard some “interesting,” “creative,” and “kind of fun” ideas.
The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area – an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury. BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, the rodent tests showed.
One of the hottest places in the world is set to become the site of Africa’s most ambitious venture in the battle against global warming. Some 365 giant wind turbines are to be installed in desert around Lake Turkana in northern Kenya – used as a backdrop for the film The Constant Gardener – creating the biggest windfarm on the continent. When complete in 2012, the £533m project will have a capacity of 300MW, a quarter of Kenya’s current installed power and one of the highest proportions of wind energy to be fed in a national grid anywhere in the world.
A 12-year-old was in custody as Dallas police investigate allegations she pressured four younger children to perform sex acts on each other. A judge on Monday ordered the girl to remain in juvenile custody on aggravated sexual assault charges.
The traffic at President Obama’s official White House Web site–whitehouse.gov–has fallen from a post-Inauguration peak to nearly the same level it was during the waning days of the Bush administration. The dramatic drop in traffic has happened despite the Obama Administration’s complete redesign of the site. According to the web-traffic tracking site Alexa.com, whitehouse.gov was almost the 500th most popular Web site in the world in February. Since then, it has fallen to the 3,732 ranked Web site in the world.
Sonia Sotomayor vote headed to full Senate where she’ll sail through. This woman had five out of seven of her decisions that reached the U.S. Supreme Court overturned so yes her appointment will be historic…for her incompetence.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to approve Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice over nearly solid Republican opposition, paving the way for a historic confirmation vote. The panel voted 13-6 in favor of Sotomayor, with just one Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joining Democrats to support her. The nearly party-line tally masked deeper political divisions within GOP ranks about confirming President Barack Obama’s first high court nominee. “I’m deciding to vote for a woman I would not have chosen,” Graham said. Obama’s choice to nominate the first-ever Latina to the highest court is “a big deal,” he added, declaring that, “America has changed for the better with her selection.”
Quote of the day.
The president was born in Honolulu, in the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth…There are 10,000 more important issues for people in this country to discuss, than whether or not the president is a citizen when it’s been proven ad nauseam.
-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.