Monday, November 16, 2009

Hunger in U.S. at a 14-year High

And won't get any better any time soon. But at least Wall St. is doing well, again. With our money. The CEOs are getting record bonuses. At the very least those fat cats could open soup kitchens.

in reference to:

"The number of Americans who lacked reliable access to sufficient food shot up last year to its highest point since the government began surveying in 1995, the Agriculture Department reported on Monday. In its annual report on hunger, the department said that 17 million American households, or 14.6 percent of the total, “had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year.” That was an increase from 13 million households, or 11.1 percent, the previous year."
- NYT: Hunger in U.S. at a 14-year high - The New York Times- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sarah Palin tells Oprah 2012 run not on Radar

She might run for dog catcher.

in reference to:

"When asked about her plans for 2012, Palin said that a presidential run in two years is “not on my radar screen right now.” “I am dealing with so many issues that are important to me,” she said. “What I am seeing every day is that you don’t need a title to be important.” Palin – who resigned as governor of Alaska in June – said that she left office “because I wasn’t going to run for a second term” and that she felt she had already become a “lame duck.” “My dad’s quote sums it up: ‘She’s not retreating, she’s reloading,’” Palin said of her decision. Looking back on her run for vice president with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the GOP’s presidential nominee, Palin said the pair lost because “our ticket represented what was perceived as the status quo.” “I wasn’t to blame for losing the race, just like I wouldn’t have gotten credit for winning the race,” Palin said. Palin said she did not take early speculation that she would be McCain’s vice presidential choice “too seriously” because “there were the other names that were really being considered much more seriously.”"
- Sarah Palin tells Oprah 2012 run not on radar - Andy Barr - (view on Google Sidewiki)

NC searchers find body of missing 5-year-old girl

Another beautiful child found murdered. And again the system failed this child. How could this "mother" get to the point where she would sell her daughter for sex and no one notice. There should have been alarms. This animal of a parent should have been exposed early on. And Shaniya would still be alive.

in reference to:

"For a week, authorities feverishly searched for a 5-year-old girl across central North Carolina, only to find her body Monday off a rural road following accusations the girl's mother offered her for sex. The investigation into the disappearance of Shaniya Davis yielded the arrest of her mother and two other men, though one man was later released. Searchers found Shaniya dumped into the woods 30 miles from her hometown of Fayetteville. Hundreds of volunteers hoping to find her alive left the site of the search dejected, unable to bring Shaniya home to an emotional father, her 7-year-old brother and the dolls she loved to play with."
- NC searchers find body of missing 5-year-old girl - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Transcript: Obama in China Town Hall Meeting with Chinese Students

Read the complete transcript of President Obama's town hall meeting with Chinese students in Shanghai:

Q: I want to pose a question from the Internet. I want to thank you, Mr. President, for visiting China in your first year in office, and exchange views with us in China. I want to know what are you bringing to China, your visit to China this time, and what will you bring back to the United States? (Applause.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The main purpose of my trip is to deepen my understanding of China and its vision for the future. I have had several meetings now with President Hu. We participated together in the G20 that was dealing with the economic financial crisis. We have had consultations about a wide range of issues. But I think it's very important for the United States to continually deepen its understanding of China, just as it's important for China to continually deepen its understanding of the United States.

In terms of what I'd like to get out of this meeting, or this visit, in addition to having the wonderful opportunity to see the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, and to meet with all of you -- these are all highlights -- but in addition to that, the discussions that I intend to have with President Hu speak to the point that Ambassador Huntsman made earlier, which is there are very few global challenges that can be solved unless the United States and China agree.

So let me give you a specific example, and that is the issue we were just discussing of climate change. The United States and China are the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, of carbon that is causing the planet to warm. Now, the United States, as a highly developed country, as I said before, per capita, consumes much more energy and emits much more greenhouse gases for each individual than does China. On the other hand, China is growing at a much faster pace and it has a much larger population. So unless both of our countries are willing to take critical steps in dealing with this issue, we will not be able to resolve it.

There's going to be a Copenhagen conference in December in which world leaders are trying to find a recipe so that we can all make commitments that are differentiated so each country would not have the same obligations -- obviously China, which has much more poverty, should not have to do exactly the same thing as the United States -- but all of us should have these certain obligations in terms of what our plan will be to reduce these greenhouse gases.

So that's an example of what I hope to get out of this meeting -- a meeting of the minds between myself and President Hu about how together the United States and China can show leadership. Because I will tell you, other countries around the world will be waiting for us. They will watch to see what we do. And if they say, ah, you know, the United States and China, they're not serious about this, then they won't be serious either. That is the burden of leadership that both of our countries now carry. And my hope is, is that the more discussion and dialogue that we have, the more we are able to show this leadership to the world on these many critical issues. Okay? (Applause.)

All right, it's a -- I think it must be a boy's turn now. Right? So I'll call on this young man right here.

Transcript: 'Face The Nation' (11-15-09)

Read the transcript (alternative source) for 'Face The Nation' (11-15-09):

Congressman, I will start with you. You're the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. I want to get your take about the announcement that they will try Sheikh Mohammed in New York, just blocks from ground zero. Most Republicans seem to think this is a bad idea. Most of the Democrats seem to think it's a good idea.

HOEKSTRA: And I think most Americans are going to think that this is a bad idea.

This is ideology run wild. We're going to go back into New York City, the scene of the tragedy on 9/11. We're now going to rip that wound wide open and it's going to stay open for, what, two, three, four years as we go through the circus of a trial in New York City?

SCHIEFFER: Do you think it's going to take two, three or four years?

HOEKSTRA: Well, you never know. You can bet that folks that are going to be tried and their lawyers are going to try to use this opportunity to extend it as long as they can, because this is what they wanted. They wanted center stage, and they're going to want to keep it for as long as they can. They will bring every motion forward that they can that will drag this trial out.

SCHIEFFER: The fact is, he did ask to be brought to New York when he was first arrested. And we all know he has confessed to this. Do you think it will just turn into some sort of a propaganda show? HOEKSTRA: Well, that will be their objective. Obviously, our attorney general, our legal system, will try to keep it dignified and civil and bring some respect to it. But that's not what KSM is going to try to do. They're going to do everything they can to disrupt it and make it a circus, and allow them to use it as a platform to push their ideology.

SCHIEFFER: What -- I guess the question I'd have, what would you have done? Something has to be done with these people.

HOEKSTRA: I'd do exactly what the president is doing with some of the other people that they have down in Guantanamo. The president has said for some of these other individuals, we will use military tribunals. And he hasn't really, you know, demonstrated to us as to why some are going to go into New York and be tried there and why others are going to go through military tribunals.

He clearly has said military tribunals are an appropriate step to use, but he hasn't said why it's OK for one, for another.

I would have put him through the military tribunal process. We started that process. They pled guilty. Why won't the president take guilty for an answer and say now let's go on to the sentencing phase?

SCHIEFFER: Do you believe, I mean, is it your basic belief that these terrorists do not deserve a trial in an American court and the benefits that come with that?

HOEKSTRA: Not an American civilian court. I believe that they have certain protections that they would get in a tribunal. But to give them all of the extraordinary protections that you and I have as American citizens, and to give that to KSM, people who have mocked the American system, who want to do everything that they can do to destroy it, and now give them those extraordinary protections that we enjoy -- yes, I think that's a bad decision.

Transcript: 'FOX News Sunday' (11-15-09): Senators McConnell and Reed

Read the transcript of Senators Mitch McConnell and Jack Reed appearance on 'FOX News Sunday' (11-15-09), with Chris Wallace:

WALLACE: I want to start where we ended with Mayor Giuliani. Military commissions have been reformed by Congress. Attorney General Holder announced Friday he is going to use them...

REED: Right.

WALLACE: ... as a legitimate legal forum to try five of the other Guantanamo detainees. Why not use them for the alleged 9/11 conspirators?

REED: Well, first of all, these 9/11 conspirators are heinous criminals, terrorists. The damage they've done to New York and the nation are significant. And they have to be treated, I think, fairly but with all due process, but with great, I think, sensitivity to the crimes they've committed against America.

The attorney general pointed out very clearly that there are several factors -- the location of the incident, the type of victims, the investigative services that are engaged in this process -- and that led him to conclude that the best forum -- and also, I think as a prosecutor -- the best forum to guarantee the success of the prosecution was a federal court, and in this case in New York City.

WALLACE: Let me ask you about a point that Mayor Giuliani made, that the Obama administration is holding these -- his allegation is -- holding these trials in New York in civilian court to make a political statement -- this president is different than the last president, and to say to the world, "We're different."

REED: Well, as you pointed out, in 2006, Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, under the Bush administration was tried in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Mayor Giuliani was one who testified in the penalty phase and he, as you indicated, claimed this was a symbol of American justice, as he said in 1993.

But this was not 1993. This was 2006. The alternative existed for a military tribunal then. The Bush administration decided to make the case in federal court. They succeeded. A hundred and ninety or so terrorists have been convicted in federal courts, only a handful -- less than 10 -- in tribunals.

There are 200 individuals serving time in federal facilities now for their terrorist crimes. So what was a statesmanlike decision by the Bush administration can't be a political decision by this administration.

WALLACE: Before we get into some of the specific risks, let me ask you a more fundamental question a lot of people are asking. Why do these men, allegedly enemy combatants who have declared war on the U.S. -- why do they deserve the same constitutional protections as an American citizen?

REED: Well, the court has determined that they deserve some constitutional protection. That was the whole issue in the Hamdan case and other cases by the Supreme Court.

WALLACE: But they could have fewer constitutional protections in a military commission.

REED: They could have if they were tried under military law under the provisions we set up. But they're also criminals. And I think this debate about are we playing into the hands of terrorists -- all of these, particularly the sheikh, Mohammed, wants to be considered a holy warrior, a jihadist.

And if we try him before military officers, that image of a soldier will be portrayed by the Islamic community. That's not the image we want. These are heinous murderers.

Sex infections still growing in U.S., says CDC

More evidence were becoming a third world nation.

in reference to:

"Latest statistics on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis show the three highly treatable infections continue to spread in the United States. "Chlamydia and gonorrhea are stable at unacceptably high levels and syphilis is resurgent after almost being eliminated," said John Douglas, director of the division of sexually transmitted diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We have among the highest rates of STDs of any developed country in the world," Douglas added in a telephone interview. The administration of President Barack Obama has signaled a willingness to move away from so-called abstinence-only sex education approaches promoted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, and conservative state and local governments. Several studies have shown such approaches do not work well and that it is better to encourage abstinence while also offering children and teens information about how to protect themselves from diseases as well as pregnancy. "We haven't been promoting the full battery of messages," Douglas said. "We have been sending people out with one seatbelt in the whole car." SOARING RATES The CDC's latest study on STDs found: * 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008, up from 1.1 million in 2007. * Nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported. * Adolescent girls 15 to 19 years had the most chlamydia and gonorrhea cases of any age group at 409,531."
- Sex infections still growing in U.S., says CDC - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)