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Ha Ha Ha! Penn. Dem. Senate Primary: Specter 44%, Sestak 42%

Via Rasmussen Reports:
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Primary is a month away, and the race between incumbent Senator Arlen Specter and challenger Joe Sestak is now a dead heat. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely primary voters in the state finds Specter with 44% of the vote, his lowest level of support in 10 months of surveying. Sestak, a congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs, earns 42% support this month, a level he’s hit several times but never exceeded. Four percent (4%) of likely Democratic primary voters prefer some other candidate in the race, and 10% are undecided.
Sorry, Arlen. - Greg Pollowitz

Breaking: 400+ Dead, 10,000+ Injured In China Quake

Via New York Times:
A powerful earthquake in western China killed at least 400 people, injured 10,000 and left many others buried under debris on Wednesday, Chinese state media reported. The quake, which struck at 7:49 a.m. in Qinghai Province, had a magnitude of 7.1, according to China’s earthquake agency. The China Earthquake Networks Administration said the quake struck in Yushu County, a remote and mountainous area sparsely populated by farmers and herdsmen, most of them ethnic Tibetans. The region, pocked with copper, tin and coal mines, is also rich in natural gas. More than 90,000 people live in the county, which borders Tibet and is about a 12-hour drive from the provincial capital, Xining. A seismologist, Gu Guohua, said in an interview with the national broadcaster CCTV that 90 percent of the homes in the county seat, Jeigu, had collapsed. The houses, he said, were of “quite poor quality,” with many constructed of wood, mud and brick.
I'm looking forward to Tom Friedman's next piece on China's super-duper infrastructure. . . - Greg Pollowitz
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How Not To Celebrate Women’s History Month: Forced Cross-dressing For Elementary School Students

Via Fox News:
A school superintendent in New Jersey says a “misunderstanding” led an elementary school teacher to mandate that all students — including young boys — dress as women in a now-canceled fashion show to honor Women’s History Month. Maple Shade Township School Superintendent Michael Livengood said the show, which had been scheduled for Friday at Maude Wilkins Elementary School, has been canceled. “I wish the letter had been clearer and had been worded differently,” Livengood told FoxNews.com, referring to a letter sent home to the children’s parents last week informing them of the assignment. “But it was a misunderstanding. It was meant to demonstrate students’ awareness in women’s roles, and along with that, their changes in fashion over time.”
Geez. At least Gov. McDonnell in Virginia didn't have a fashion component to his Confederate Month. - Greg Pollowitz

Poland Update: Black Boxes Recovered; Two, Not Four Landings Attempted

Via Polskie Radio:
Contrary to initial reports, an examination of the Tu-154’s black box flight recorders revealed that the crew made two, not four attempts at landing. Three black boxes have been recovered from the wreck of the presidential plane which crashed in Smolensk on Saturday. Two flight recorders have already been examined, the third will be sent to Moscow today for examination. “We’ve got two recorders: a voice recorder and a flight parameters recorder. The Aviation Committee in Moscow has examined them and will soon publish a report on what happened on board of the plane just before the crash,” said Col. Zbigniew Rzepa, who, along with five Russian experts, is investigating the black boxes in Moscow.
I know Drudge is hyping a story that there were communication problems between the tower and the plane, but this article doesn't mention that at all. More to come. . . - Greg Pollowitz

Best News Of The Day: Alcohol Protects Against Stroke (But Only For Non-Smokers)

Via BBC:
Sensible drinking can dramatically reduce your risk of a stroke, but only if you don’t enjoy a cigarette at the same time, research suggests. A study of over 20,000 people in the UK found non-smokers who drank moderate amounts were nearly 40% less likely to have a stroke than non-drinkers. But once cigarettes were added, this protective effect vanished. The findings are being presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Toronto.
It's science so it must be true. . . - Greg Pollowitz
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Tea Party Nation: 34% Say They Or Someone Close To Them Part Of Tea Party Movement

Via Rasmussen Reports:
Twenty-four percent (24%) of U.S. voters now say they consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s an eight-point increase from 16% a month ago. Another 10% say they are not a part of the movement but have close friends or family members who are. Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters say they have no ties to the Tea Party movement. Eleven percent (11%) more are not sure.
So, by all means MSM and Dems: keep up the tea-bagger slurs. - Greg Pollowitz

Priceless: Congress May Have Voted To End Their Own Health Insurance By Accident

Via New York Times:
In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members. For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available. The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?
I can think of no better punishment for those who voted for the bill without reading it than to have to go out and now find their own health insurance, just like the millions of folks HCR is supposed to help. - Greg Pollowitz

New Adoption Rules: Catch And Release?

Via AP:
SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Local authorities said Monday they haven’t been able to question a Tennessee woman who returned her adopted 7-year-old son to Russia, where authorities threatened to suspend all child adoptions by U.S. families. Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce said at a news conference that an attorney representing Torry Hansen said the 33-year-old woman refuses to talk to authorities unless a charge is filed. An adoption agency assigned to check on the family said officials there haven’t been able to contact her since late March. The boy, Artyom Savelyev, flew unaccompanied to Moscow last week with a note from Hansen that said she no longer wanted to adopt him because he has psychological problems.
Not for nothing, that's a pic of the sheriff who is investigating -- he doesn't look like the type of fellow you'd want to anger by say putting your adopted child on a plane back to Russia. . . - Greg Pollowitz

Irony: Luxury High Rise In Seattle Owned By Carpenters Union Declared Unsafe; Total Demolition Scheduled.

Via King 5:
Carpenters Tower was supposed to be a crowning achievement for the Seattle Carpenters Union Local 131. The union and partners own the building. The union seal proudly decorates the lobby entrance. The 272-unit McGuire Apartment complex was named for its founder, and a lot of union members worked on its construction. Now, the Carpenters Union will have to move out, along with the rest of the tenants. “This building was not constructed as approved by permit and over time sustained structural deterioration which could make it unsafe by 2011,” said Bryan Stevens, Seattle Planning and Development. It’s a shocking development for a building that’s only 9 years old.
Well, at least there will be some jobs created in tearing the lemon down. Verdict: Obamanomics win! - Greg Pollowitz

Great News: Anwar Awlaki Lied On His Visa Application To Receive U.S.-Funded Scholarship Money

Via Fox News:
The American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, considered by some to be one of the most wanted terrorists behind Usama bin Laden, was educated in the United States with taxpayers money, an ongoing Fox News investigation has found. Awlaki, now believed to be recruiting for Al Qaeda from hiding in Yemen, is connected to at least two recent suspected terrorism cases – the Fort Hood attack and the attempted Christmas Day jet bombing. A former diplomatic security agent who was tasked with investigating Awlaki immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks told Fox News that the Yemeni-American national lied on his visa application to attend Colorado State University, where he studied engineering. Rather than tell U.S. immigration officials that he was born in Las Cruces, N.M., in 1971, Awlaki stated that the was foreign born, the security agent, Ray Fournier, said. Awlaki received $20,000 in scholarship money from a U.S. government program for his schooling in Fort Collins, Colo. When asked if Awlaki was eligible, Fournier said, “No, he is absolutely forbidden to have it.” “That’s the taxpayers’ money,” Fournier added, saying Awlaki knew that lying about his birthplace would help him get the scholarship money.
Death to the country that gave me a free education! Infidels! - Greg Pollowitz

Pentagon Completes Secret Shipment Of 500 Tons Of Uranium From Iraq To Canada

Via CNN:
The United States secretly shipped out of Iraq more than 500 tons of low-grade uranium dating back to the Saddam Hussein era, the Pentagon said Monday. The U.S. military spent $70 million ensuring the safe transportation of 550 metric tons of the uranium from Iraq to Canada, said Pentagon spokesman Brian Whitman. The shipment, which until recently was kept secret, involved a U.S. truck convoy, 37 cargo flights out of Baghdad to a transitional location, and then a transoceanic voyage on board a U.S.-government-owned ship designed to carry troops to a war zone, he said. The “yellowcake” uranium transfer was requested by the Iraqi government at the encouragement of the U.S. government, Whitman said. The United States approached Canadian company Cameco to bid for the material, according Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn. He would not disclose the winning bid amount.
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Nothing to see here. Move along, folks. - Greg Pollowitz

Panic: Obama Weekly Approval At 47%, Lowest Yet By One Point

Via Gallup:
PRINCETON, NJ — President Obama’s job approval rating fell to 47% for the week ending April 11, the lowest of his administration so far by one percentage point. Obama’s weekly job approval average has fluctuated within the narrow four-point range of 47% to 51% since January of this year. The current weekly average more than anything else represents a continuation of the president’s generally lower approval ratings this year compared to the higher ratings he enjoyed in his first year in office. On a short-term basis, Obama’s latest three-day average (Friday through Sunday) is at 45%, with disapproval at 48% — both of which are the worst three-day averages since Obama took office.
Tick-tock 'till November. - Greg Pollowitz

Canadian Airline Security Not Quite There Yet. . .

Via Telegraph:
A British academic who fell asleep during a flight woke up in an aircraft hangar after cabin crew mistakenly left him on the plane. [...] Mr Lines said ground staff took a copy of his boarding pass before arranging for him to be transferred back to the terminal. He said: “It was all low-key, we had a laugh and a joke about it. But the crazy thing is that when you fly they have got so many security checks, and yet they left me alone in a secure area for an hour and a half. “My bag was even waiting on the conveyor belt. If it was in the UK and there was a suitcase left unclaimed in a building, most times it would be blown up.” He said he wrote to Air Canada to warn them about the “huge problem in their security”, but was simply told cabin crew had been concentrating on getting wheelchair users off the plane when it landed and had not walked down the aisle to check the rest of the cabin was clear.
Fantastic news. - Greg Pollowitz

The Secret Of Success: Chicago Style

Via Chicago Sun-Times:
Daniel Arce has a prescription for success. He runs his family’s eyeglass business, Tropical Optical. He also heads the Mexican American Political Action Committee. Together, his business and his political fund have given more than $590,000 in campaign contributions in the past decade to a host of elected officials, including former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and key Hispanic legislators. During that time, Tropical Optical has seen a dramatic rise in its government business. Since 2000, Arce’s company has gotten more than $13 million in taxpayer money to provide eye exams and glasses for more than 60,000 uninsured students from Chicago’s public schools, as well as providing vision tests for his rapidly growing Medicaid business, which has become one of the biggest in the state. Arce makes the glasses for the uninsured students, though not for the Medicaid recipients, whose glasses are made by Illinois prisoners.
Typical. - Greg Pollowitz

Orrin Hatch Names Hillary Clinton As Possible Supreme Court Nominee

Via CBS News:
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday morning that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been mentioned as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court. “I even heard the name Hillary Clinton today, and that would be an interesting person in the mix,” Hatch said on NBC’s “Today Show.” The senator said he would not pre-judge whether any potential nominee would be an appropriate candidate to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, but he had general praise for the secretary of state.
Sure, why not? Then Bill Clinton can take over at State. Awesome. - Greg Pollowitz

Panic in Ohio: Rob Portman Raises $2.35 Million For Senate Run

Via Hotline:
Ex-Rep. Rob Portman (R) will report raising $2.35M in the first fundraising quarter, his best quarter to date. He begins the 2nd quarter with $7.6M on hand and more than 13K individual donors. Campaign spokeswoman Jessica Towhey said 80% of the donations have come from inside the Buckeye State. Portman, who doesn’t have a primary now that auto dealer Tom Ganley abandoned his bid in favor of a race against Rep. Betty Sutton (D), likely will have a lower burn rate than his two Dem challengers. He spent $735K in Q1.
Go Bucks! - Greg Pollowitz

Poland Update: Questions Remain As To The Cause Of The Crash

Via Polish Radio:
. . .Russian investigators are thought to believe that pilot error was behind the plane crash. Air traffic controllers at the Smolensk military airport advised the crew not to try to land because of thick fog, which significantly limited visibility, and suggested flying to Minsk or Moscow instead. The pilot, Arkadiusz Protasiuk, however, ignored the request and attempted to land in spite of difficult weather conditions. His fourth attempt to land ended in tragedy. Tomasz Pietrzak, Protasiuk’s colleague and also a pilot of government Tu-154s, says that so far there has been no evidence that the Polish plane tried to land more than once. Pietrzak assured that Protasiuk was an excellent pilot and suggested that the military airport in Smolensk, which is too small for civilian craft, should not have been assigned as a landing spot for the Polish Tu-154. “If an airport is not adjusted to serve its specific duties, it should be closed down,” said Pietrzak, adding that the crew did not receive a firm order to divert to an alternative airport but a mere suggestion to do so.
Hopefully the black-boxes will give a definitive account of what happened. - Greg Pollowitz

Welcome! Super-High Alcohol Beer Heads America

Via Time:
Thanks to a war between European brewing companies, it’s never been easier to catch a healthy beer buzz. Or get yourself totally sloshed. In November BrewDog, a Scottish microbrewery started three years ago, released a new brand, dubbed Tactical Nuclear Penguin. The beer set a new record by weighing in at a scary 32% alcohol-by-volume, over six times the strength of familiar domestic brands like Budweiser. As explained on a cheeky video on the company’s website (warning: the clip contains simulated penguin sex), the brewery was able to attain such a high alcohol content for its product by freezing the beer at a local ice cream factory, at temperatures as low as -6 degrees, for 21 days. Alcohol freezes at lower temperatures than water, and removing water from the solution increased the alcohol concentration.
"Tactical Nuclear Penguin" is a great name for a beer, no? - Greg Pollowitz

Florida Senate GOP Primary: Rubio 57%, Crist 28%

Via Rasmussen Reports:
Support for Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s U.S. Senate bid has fallen this month to its lowest level yet. Just 28% of the state’s likely Republican voters support his candidacy now, down six points from March. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters in the Sunshine State shows former state House Speaker Marco Rubio edging up a point from last month to 57%, his highest level of support to date. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate in the race, and 12% are undecided.
My suggestion: Drop out, endorse Rubio, and hope Jeb doesn't run against Nelson in 2012. - Greg Pollowitz

Census Update: Conservative Strongholds of New York, Chicago And Philly Lagging In Response Rate

Via AP:
WASHINGTON – With five days left for people to return their census forms, Census Bureau director Robert Groves on Monday urged those in big cities and border regions to step up the response to avoid visits by census takers next month. So far, about 65 percent, or more than 77 million households, have completed and mailed back the 10-question forms. The Midwest leads the pack, while the southern and western U.S. and big cities such as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia are lagging. At a news conference, Groves said most of the lagging areas are either rural or have dense populations, or have more minority and non-English speaking people. That was also the case in 2000.
Must be the Tea Party. Or Fox News. Or global-warming snow. Bush hatred, even. - Greg Pollowitz

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