Thursday, January 7, 2010

Genetic key to cocaine addiction: study


in reference to:

"US scientists have found a key mechanism in the brain that helps explain why cocaine is so addictive and could pave the way towards a potential cure, a study showed Thursday.Researchers revealed how the highly-addictive drug brings on changes in the brain through a process which influences the expression of genes without changing the brain's gene sequence.These changes in the brain's pleasure circuits, which are also the first to be influenced by chronic cocaine exposure, appear to promote cravings for cocaine, said the study published in Science."
- Genetic key to cocaine addiction: study | Raw Story (view on Google Sidewiki)

Video, Transcript: Obama on "Failure to Connect the Dots" (1-7-10)

Complete Transcript of Speech:

The immediate reviews that I ordered after the failed Christmas terrorist attack are now complete. I was just briefed on the findings and recommendations for reform, and I believe it's important that the American people understand the new steps that we're taking to prevent attacks and keep our country safe.

This afternoon my counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, John Brennan, will discuss his review into our terrorist watch list system, how our government failed to connect the dots in a way that would have prevented a known terrorist from boarding a plane for America, and the steps we're going to take to prevent that from happening again.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will discuss her review of aviation screening, technology and procedures, how that terrorist boarded a plane with explosives that could have killed nearly 300 innocent people, and how we'll strengthen aviation security going forward.

So today I want to just briefly summarize their conclusions and the steps that I've ordered to address them.

In our ever-changing world, America's first line of defense is timely, accurate intelligence that is shared, integrated, analyzed and acted upon quickly and effectively. That's what the intelligence reforms after the 9/11 attacks largely achieved. That's what our intelligence community does every day.

But, unfortunately, that's not what happened in the lead-up to Christmas Day. It's now clear that shortcomings occurred in three broad and compounding ways.

First, although our intelligence community had learned a great deal about the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, called al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, that we knew that they sought to strike the United States and that they were recruiting operatives to do so, the intelligence community did not aggressively follow up on and prioritize particular streams of intelligence related to a possible attack against the homeland.

Second, this contributed to a larger failure of analysis, a failure to connect the dots of intelligence that existed across our intelligence community and which together could have revealed that [Umar Farouk] AbdulMutallab was planning an attack.

Third, this in turn fed into shortcomings in the watch-listing system which resulted in this person not being placed on the no-fly list, thereby allowing him to board that plane in Amsterdam for Detroit.

In sum, the U.S. government had the information scattered throughout the system to potentially uncover this plot and disrupt the attack. Rather than a failure to collect or share intelligence, this was a failure to connect and understand the intelligence that we already had.

Ex-Bush Lawyer Accused of Trying to Kill Wife

He should have waterboarded her then he would've gotten away with it.

in reference to:

"A onetime top attorney to former President George W. Bush is accused of trying to kill his wife at their Connecticut home by beating her with a flashlight and choking her. Fifty-seven-year-old John Michael Farren is charged with strangulation and attempted murder. He was ordered held Thursday on $2 million bail. His lawyer Eugene Riccio calls it "a tragic situation." Farren was deputy White House counsel to Bush. He also worked on the campaign and transition for former President George H.W. Bush."
- Ex-Bush Lawyer Accused of Trying to Kill Wife - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Civilian deaths unleash emotions in Afghanistan

This is why military victory in Afghanistan is not possible.

in reference to:

"Thousands of Afghans shouting "Death to America!" protested the killings of children Thursday, the latest in a string of controversial cases in which international forces have been blamed for civilian deaths. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has ordered troops to use airstrikes judiciously and fire cautiously to reduce civilian casualties. Still, each new report of civilians killed unleashes raw emotions that highlight a growing impatience with coalition forces' inability to secure the nation. There are fears the problem could get worse with 37,000 U.S. and NATO reinforcements already starting to stream into the country as part of a military buildup. More civilians die at the hands of insurgents, yet any time innocent victims are killed, the Taliban wastes no time in blaming foreign troops. "Every time the Taliban kills civilians, nothing happens. There is no protest. There is nothing," said Hroon Mir, an independent political analyst in Kabul. "But whenever there are civilian casualties from NATO or Afghan forces, then there is a reaction.""
- Civilian deaths unleash emotions in Afghanistan - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Defense Contractor Suspended Over Kickbacks

This is why Congressman John Murtha should be term limited in November. Everywhere he goes corruption follows right behind him. In addition, Murtha has been in Congress for decades. Time for him to go.

in reference to:

"A defense contractor with ties to Rep. John Murtha has been suspended again from bidding on government contracts, this time for paying more than $200,000 in kickbacks to another contractor turned government witness. Kuchera Defense Systems Inc., of Windber, was suspended Dec. 22 for allegedly paying off Richard Ianieri. Ianieri is awaiting sentencing Feb. 23 in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla. after pleading guilty in July to fraud stemming from a research contract at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Kuchera's attorney, Dennis McGlynn, said Kuchera is fighting the suspension and that it is based on information the Navy had in August — when the Navy previously took Kuchera off the Excluded Parties List System, a black book of contractors suspended from government work. Kuchera was first suspended in April for overcharging the Navy and other ethical violations, but McGlynn said the company resolved those problems to the Navy's satisfaction. Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Victor Chen confirmed that, but said the new suspension is based on separate circumstances: kickbacks Kuchera paid to Coherent Systems International, a company co-founded by Ianieri."
- Defense Contractor Suspended Over Kickbacks - ABC News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Republicans: Why Doesn't Obama Use the Word "Terrorism"

Republicans are complaining that the President does not use the word "terror" or "terrorism"( My question is, why didn't the Republicans destroy al Qaeda when they were in power for 6 years? The reality is that terrorism has gotten worse worldwide. Remember: actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap.

Christmas Terrorist was to be Questioned on Arrival in Detroit

We have here a possible cover-up. This matter needs to be looked into. The more we learn the more the evidence shows that this was a massive intelligence/security failure reminiscent of 9-11. Let's not forget the administration tried to sweep the matter under the rug in the days following December 25th near disaster:

The White House strongly refuted Thursday a report in the Los Angeles Times suggesting that significant new intelligence on a Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a flight to Detroit led Border officials to plan interrogation of him upon landing.

According to the LA Times report, border enforcement officials found information in a database suggesting the alleged terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had extremist ties.

"The people in Detroit were prepared to look at him in secondary inspection," a senior law enforcement official told the Times. "The decision had been made. The [database] had picked up the State Department concern about this guy - that this guy may have been involved with extremist elements in Yemen."

Special Report: The Christmas Day Terror Attack

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior White House official told CBS News Thursday "there was no new information that emerged when the plane was in the air."

"Customs and Border Protection followed its normal procedures and checks as it prepared for arriving passengers and by doing so they accessed the suspect's TIDE-based record which is why they were going to ask him a few additional questions after he landed before allowing him admission into the country and why they didn't stop him in Amsterdam first," the official told CBS.

The White House said airport security officials "wouldn't have pulled him out for secondary screening or prevented him from flying in Amsterdam because, as has been widely reported, Abdulmutallab was not on the selectee, no-fly or even the terror watch list, and that is, of course, one of the failures the President has so strongly criticized."

The Times report claims that the intelligence was sufficient to have prompted additional questioning, and a possible body search, of Abdulmutallab before he boarded the plane.

"They could have made the decision on whether to stop him from getting on the plane," the official reportedly told the paper.

"The information was there," CBS News security analyst Juan Zarate tells "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith. "The agencies can't simply dump the information into databases and expect someone to magically find it. They've got evaluate it, flag it. That goes for the State Department, the CIA, that's part of the problem here; This information wasn't flagged and then put together in a way that alerted officials in time to stop him from getting on the flight."

Also Thursday, Yemen's deputy prime minister said Abdulmutallab met in Yemen with a radical American-Yemeni cleric linked to al Qaeda.

Rashad al-Alimi said Abdulmutallab met with cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and other al Qaeda leaders in Yemen.

Al-Awlaki, a cleric popular among al Qaeda sympathizers for his calls for jihad, or holy war, became notorious in the U.S. after he exchanged dozens of e-mails with U.S. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who allegedly killed 13 people in a mass shooting at the Fort Hood, Texas Army post on Nov. 5.

Special Section: Tragedy at Fort Hood

Al-Alimi said Yemen has arrested a number of al Qaeda elements who had contacts with the Abdulmutallab and is interrogating them.

Meanwhile, The public is getting its clearest look at the government missteps that allowed a suspected terrorist to slip through post-Sept. 11 security and threaten lives on American soil.

The White House on Thursday planned to make public a declassified account of the near-catastrophe on a Christmas Day, and President Barack Obama was to address the nation about its findings and recommendations. Mr. Obama was also to reveal new steps intended to thwart terrorist attacks, as he promised earlier in the week.

The president - facing charges that he's been weak on security - will demand changes when he speaks Thursday - and is expected to set deadlines for these changes including more air marshalls, more analysts and better communication, reports CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.

No firings over the December security debacle are expected - for now, at least.

For an administration rocked by the breach of security, the day was meant to be a pivot point from an incident that has dominated attention.

Global average Temperature to rise by well over 3.5 C by 2100: Report

This article appeared in anti-global-warming news outlet Breitbart. I'm sure the deniers will dismiss this report as part of the conspiracy led by Al Gore.

in reference to:

"Even if countries achieve their goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the global average temperature will rise by around 3.5 C by the end of the century from the pre-Industrial Revolution level, way over the 2.0 C called for in an international accord, a research report says. The report compiled recently by Dutch research firm Ecofys estimates that annual greenhouse gas emissions will reach around 57 billion tons per year in 2020 unless nations set more ambitious reduction targets, compared with the 40 billion to 44 billion tons considered necessary to limit the increase in average temperature to 1.5 C or 2.0 C. Last month, 26 nations agreed at a U.N. climate conference to keep the rise in global temperature below 2 C above the pre-Industrial Revolution level in the Copenhagen Accord, which has no biding power."
- Global average temperature to rise by well over 3.5 C by 2100: report+ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Video: Chris Matthews Ridicules Republican Strategist Todd Harris

Chris Matthews repeatedly asked Republican strategist, Todd Harris, a question he could not answer. Matthews challenged Harris to name one thing the Republicans have done for the country in the last 20 years.

Cash-strapped Florida health group stops dialysis for poor patients

I don't think health care reform will make up the difference. The poor will continue to suffer regardless, for years to come.

in reference to:

"The financially strapped Jackson Health System has stopped paying for dialysis treatments for 175 poor patients with failing kidneys — a decision that experts say could be deadly. "It is no game," says Emelina Garcia Cordovi, 67, whose treatments at a South Miami-Dade center were cut off Dec. 31. "We are talking of the lives of persons who depend exclusively on their dialysis."Jackson, Miami-Dade's government health system intended to be a safety net for the poor and uninsured, said it expects to save $4.2 million by stopping payments for outpatient dialysis treatment for the 175 patients. Of those, other avenues for care have been found for all but 41, says spokesman Robert Alonso. About a third of those are undocumented immigrants, who are not eligible for government programs."
- Cash-strapped Florida health group stops dialysis for poor patients | McClatchy (view on Google Sidewiki)