Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Ah, What the Heck!……Valeria Mazza and Tyra Banks!

<strong>Valeria Mazza and Tyra Banks, South Africa, 1995</strong> <br/><br/> "To me this was the perfect cover. It has all the ingredients you want: sun, ocean, sand and beautiful girls."

From Sports Illustrated……

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May 15, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Media, Travel, Women | , , | 3 Comments

This American Iraq Village outpost still is in the fight…..

[ An ( Real* ) American soldier during a night mission in which members of his unit looked for improvised explosive devices in Ash Shura. ]

*The image looks like a Video game one…But this guy is the real deal……

While we are all convinced that things are quiet and going well in Iraq…..

In some places that is not so…….

The American troops stationed in ASH SHURA are still taking fire…….

The Sunni/Shiite tensions are still high in the area that still has many of Saddam’s old army personnel around…..


“They only attack Americans,” said Capt. Russell B. Thomas, the commander of Alpha Company of the First Battalion of the Third Infantry Division’s Second Brigade.

They may only attack Americans now, but with all combat troops scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of August, military commanders worry that this area in northern Iraq offers a glimpse of a post-American Sunni insurgency, led by formerSaddam Hussein loyalists intent on overthrowing the Shiite-dominated central government.

Some in the American military view the insurgents in this area, a group called the Men of the Army of Al Naqshbandia Order, as a greater long-term threat to stability here than Al Qaeda in Mesopotamiawhose top leadership was recently killed by American and Iraqi forces not far from this village.

Lt. Col. Michael A. Marti, an intelligence officer with Task Force Marne, Third Infantry Division, said the group had a more cohesive militarylike structure than Al Qaeda — many were military officers under Mr. Hussein— and the worry among American military officers is that once the Americans leave they will turn toward attacking Iraqis. Many experts say the probability goes up if the nation’s Shiite majority does not give Sunnis a meaningful role in the new government being formed now in Baghdad. Under Mr. Hussein’s government, Sunnis, while a minority in Iraq, were in power.

“There’s a longing to return to that,” Colonel Marti said.

In most of the country, the Iraqi Army and the police are the visible face of security, with Americans largely out of public view. Not here. When American units left city centers last June, they largely took on advisory roles, training Iraqi security forces and responding to attacks only rarely and only at the request of the Iraqis.

In this village, the Iraqi security forces are more thinly staffed than elsewhere in the country, and a liberal interpretation of the security agreement that binds Iraq and the United States has Americans playing a more active role on the streets and in the scrublands of this village, than in many places in Iraq.

“There is no battalion right now in Iraq that has this lethal fight,” said Lt. Col. Richard R. Coffman, commander of the First Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, of the Third Infantry Division’s Second Brigade.

In recent weeks the United States military announced that several of the top Qaeda figures were killed in northern Iraq, the result of joint operations between Iraqis and Americans. The military announced that one of those leaders, Abu Suhaib, was killed by Iraqi security forces. In fact, according to Lt. Col. Michael Jason, the brigade operations officer for the Third Infantry Division’s Second Brigade near Mosul, it was an American unit firing from a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that killed Mr. Suhaib.

More……..

*The image looks like a Video game one…But this guy is the real deal……

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Home, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interesting…..Colin Powell WAS offered a Cabinet postion…..

As a connection to his work for the Mentoring Program she did after leaving the State Department….

President Obama DID offer Colin Powell the Education Secretary job when he started up his administration…

We all though it should have been offered at the time…and it was!….

From PolitcalWire…..

Powell Was Offered Cabinet Position

Ben Smith notes another interesting tidbit from Jonathan Alter’s The Promise: President Obama offered Colin Powell the job of secretary of education and gave it to Arne Duncan only after Powell turned him down.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Education, Family, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | 2 Comments

The Health Companies fight back….Lobby for changes in the new Healthcare Law and some will simply get out of the business……

This is going to get ugly…..

Some Healthcare Insures simply do not want to stop the old way of doing business..

They are trying to water down the new law by going to Congress and the states legislatures and trying to get the new law changed, re-written or trown away…

So companies are threating to get out of the business because they can’t cover just the premium patients and keep the extra money for themselves…

In writing the law….

Congress left a ton of loop holes ……

The Healthcare insurers are checking everyone of them….

It is sickning…….

“The health insurance industry has shifted its focus from opposing health care reform to influencing how the new law will be implemented,” Mr. [ Virgina Senator ] Rockefeller said.

The law requires insurers to spend a minimum percentage of premiums on health care services and “activities that improve health care quality” for patients.

Insurers are eager to classify as many expenses as possible in these categories, so they can meet the new test and avoid paying rebates to policyholders.

Thus, insurers are lobbying for a broad definition of quality improvement activities that would allow them to count spending on health information technology, nurse hot lines and efforts to prevent fraud. They also want to include the cost of reviewing care by doctors and hospitals, to determine if it was appropriate and followed clinical protocols.

Some consumer advocates, like Carmen L. Balber of Consumer Watchdog, favor a strict, narrow definition of quality improvement activities, limited to those activities that produce measurable benefits to individual patients.

But Alissa Fox, a senior vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, said that if the definition was too narrow, “health plans will come under enormous pressure to cut back quality improvement activities, including highly effective programs to reduce hospital infection rates.”

Another lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, said efforts to curb fraud directly benefited patients. “If fraud could be eliminated, billions more dollars would be available to pay for care,” said Randi Reichel, a lawyer who works for the insurers.

But Charles N. Kahn III, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, a trade group, said he feared that the quality improvement category would become a “catchall for a wide variety of expenses not directly related to patient care.”

Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., said insurers wanted to include costs they incurred in deciding whether to pay claims. A major function of such activities, he said, is to “deny services to enrollees and to contest their claims.”

“It is inconceivable that Congress intended these costs to figure into the formula used to calculate rebates,” Mr. Jost said. “On the other hand, Congress did want to protect activities that demonstrably improve the quality of care.”

Under the law, insurers in the large group market are generally supposed to spend 85 percent of customers’ premiums on “clinical services” and quality-enhancing activities. The minimum is 80 percent for coverage sold to individuals and small groups.

Insurers and insurance regulators say that some companies will be unable or unwilling to meet the new standards…….

More……..

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Health, Healthcare, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Florida Female High School Sport……Flag Football!

YES!

The Dog played touch football for a long time…. growing up….

I went on to play High School Football also…

When I got into college and few years after…We played touch and flag football…

I Loved it!

As a matter of fact this ole’ Dog would jump at a chance to play touch , or flag again….

Now I’m talking about NO tackling football…

I’m entirely too old for the contact stuff..

Which brings us to young women playing the game now…

Why NOT?

The piece I’m going to put up here is really about the resistance to the game because there is nowhere for players who obtain a skill in the game to go…..

It’s not played in College and there is no Pro League…..

Again…..So What?

Keep playing the game young ladies……Keep organizing!

It will grow……You’ll see…..You have to start somewhere…..

Flag football, long relegated to family picnics and gym class, has quietly become one of the fastest-growing varsity sports for high school girls in Florida. A decade after it was introduced, nearly 5,000 girls play statewide — a welcome development in a state that, like others, has struggled to close the gender gap in high school athletics.

But rather than applaud the new opportunities, some women’s sports advocates call it a dead-end activity. Flag football is played only at the club and intramural level in colleges, and unless one counts the Lingerie Football League, no professional outlets exist. Alaska is the only other state that considers it a varsity sport.

“No one is saying flag football isn’t a great sport to play,” said Neena Chaudhry, the senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, which has brought several cases against high schools alleging violations of Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equity in education. “But I do think it’s relevant to ask questions about whether girls are getting the same kind of educational opportunities as boys.”

Florida does not recognize any boys’ sports that have the limited future beyond high school that flag football does.

The sport’s supporters say that such criticism misses the point. The aim of high school sports is to encourage students to develop healthy habits, athletic officials say, and few become college athletes. Supporters also ask for patience, saying the sport is still in its infancy.

“Soccer didn’t exist in the 1970s in most high schools for women,” said Bill Massey, the athletic director at Boca Raton High School. “That has all changed because of Title IX.”

Varsity flag football had its start in the 1990s, after the Florida Legislature required high schools to report athletic participation numbers. Mr. Massey and other athletic directors in Palm Beach County, facing a dearth of female athletes, considered sports like field hockey, lacrosse, water polo and badminton to increase participation, he said, but a survey of students favored flag football.

By the time the athletic association set up a state championship in flag football for the 2002-3 academic year, 75 high schools were fielding teams. Still, despite the addition of flag football and other sports like competitive cheerleading, which was added in 2007, the proportion of girls who participate in high school athletics in Florida has remained constant. In the 1997-98 school year, when schools began playing flag football, girls made up 41 percent of Florida’s high school athletes, according to the state association, compared with 42 percent in 2008-09.

Of course, girls can and do participate in a range of sports that are traditionally available to both boys and girls. But one advocate for women’s sports said that by recognizing sports like flag football, administrators were artificially pumping up girls’ participation numbers.

“It did not come from a groundswell,” said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a Jacksonville law professor and three-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, who sued the Florida association last year over a scheduling issue that she argued violated Title IX. The case was settled out of court. “It was done by school administrators, not by kids.”

Coaches disagree. Interest in flag football is so high, some high schools field freshman, junior and varsity squads and still make cuts. Its popularity has led to grumbling by coaches of other spring sports, who say they have lost their best athletes to flag football……..

More……..

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Entertainment, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Sports, Updates, Women | , , | 5 Comments

Daniel….Tuesday, May 18 Primary Predictions……

Throwing out my first Predictions:

KY-SEN GOP

Paul 55 %
Grayson 43 %
Others 2 %

KY-SEN Dem

Conway 48 %
Mongiardo 48 %
Others 4 %

Race heads to Recount

AR-SEN Dem

Lincoln 50 %
Halter 42 %
Morrisson 8 %

Lincoln wins outright by a few hundred Votes. (!!!!)

AR-SEN GOP

Boozman 52 %
Baker 21 %
Holt 20 %
Others 7 %

PA-SEN

Sestak 51 %
Specter 49 %

PA-12

Critz (D) 53 %
Burns (R) 47 %

Burns also loses Party Primary to Bill Russell.

PA-11

I’m going on a limb saying Kanjorski loses his Re-Nomination to Corey O’Brien who also wins in November over Lou Barletta to hold the Seat for the Dems.

Daniel G.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates, Women | , | 14 Comments

BDog on the most successful Movie Franchise……

Franchise  = Everything made on the Movie…Box Office, Doll, Toys, Books (Ah, Ha! )….Comic Books , Clothing, etc……Everything

James Bond?…..Nope……

Star Wars?……..Nope…..

The answer is Harry Potter folks……

[ James Bond and Harry Potter characters….]

The most successful movie franchise of all time is the “Harry Potter” series, which recently edged out another famous Brit: James Bond.

According to Box Office Mojo, the first six adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s beloved books have earned a staggering $5.4 billion worldwide, not adjusted for inflation.

The 22 films considered part of the official Bond canon (the 1967 spoof “Casino Royale” and the 1983 out-of-continuity “Never Say Never Again” don’t count) have earned an estimated $5 billion globally. But even if the earnings of those two films were included, it still wouldn’t be enough to put 007 on top.

If only U.S. box-office totals are counted, then the six-film “Star Wars” saga would be the top draw, with $1.9 billion in receipts, compared to $1.7 billion for the “Harry Potter” movies and $1.6 billion for Bond films. (Worldwide, the “Star Wars” movies have earned $4.2 billion.)

But the box-office receipts may not tell the whole story. When other sources of money such as merchandising are included, then George Lucas’ Star Wars universe of Jedi, droids and Wookiees is Hollywood’s highest-grossing franchise. In 2005, Forbes estimated the Star Wars Empire had grossed $20 billion from movie tickets, books, games and anything else you could possibly license.

Still, Bond is certainly Hollywood’s greatest franchise in terms of endurance and longevity. Since the first Bond adventure, “Dr. No” in 1962, it has thrived for 48 years, although the 23rd Bond picture is reportedly on hold for now.

Bond may need to stick around awhile to have any chance of overtaking Potter.

The last of Rowling’s books, “The Deathly Hallows,” is being adapted into two films, the first of which is scheduled to arrive in November 2010. With millions of people still captivated by the Harry Potter phenomenon, the film series may pad its lead as the worldwide box-office leader.

It’s important to note these dollar amounts are not adjusted for inflation; otherwise, the Bond series and Star Wars would be well ahead of the boy wizard in terms of global box office earnings.

Meanwhile, Director James Cameron is reportedly working on two “Avatar” sequels…..

More……..

Note.…..Pictured above as James Bond is Daniel Craig……who IS actually British and  Harry Radcliffe who plays Potter….. and is also British……

May 15, 2010 Posted by | BDog @ PolitcalDog 101, Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Media, Men, Movies, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates, Women | , , , , | 3 Comments

BDog on highflying Companies that know how to avoid the IRS and Taxes…..Legally!

They register parts of their businesses in other countries…..

Thus avoiding some of their tax liabilities in the United States…

Thus making them more profits…

And they would say leting them charge you and me less for their product..

Although it doesn’t seem at all fair to me……

It’s entirely legal……

Tyler Hurst swiped his debit card at a Walgreens pharmacy in central Phoenix and kicked off an international odyssey of corporate tax avoidance.

Hurst went home with an amber bottle of Lexapro, the world’s third-best selling antidepressant. The profits from his $99 purchase began a 9,400-mile journey that would lead across the Atlantic Ocean and more than halfway back again, to a grassy industrial park in Dublin, a glass skyscraper in Amsterdam and a law office in Bermuda surrounded by palm trees.

While Forest Laboratories Inc., the medicine’s maker, sells Lexapro only in the U.S., the voyage ensures most of its profits aren’t taxed there — and they face little tax anywhere else. Forest cut its U.S. tax bill by more than a third last year with a technique known as transfer pricing, a method that carves an estimated $60 billion a year from the U.S. Treasury as it combines tax planning and alchemy. (See an interactive graphic on Forest’s tax strategy here.)

Transfer pricing lets companies such as Forest, Oracle Corp., Eli Lilly & Co. and Pfizer Inc., legally avoid some income taxes by converting sales in one country to profits in another — on paper only, and often in places where they have few employees or actual sales.

After an economic bailout in which the U.S. government lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion, the Obama administration faces a projected budget deficit of $1.5 trillion this year. In February, the administration said it would target some of the techniques companies use to shift profits offshore — part of a package intended to raise $12 billion a year over the coming decade.

More……..

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , , | 1 Comment