Then step on the balls of your feet (not the heels) for best comfort.
“At some point, I don’t know when, she should have a show,” said Phil Griffin, hours before he was promoted on Wednesday to president of MSNBC. “She’s on the short list. It’s a very short list. She’s at the top.”
A 14-day-old infant traveling here for heart surgery died at Honolulu International Airport on Friday after he, his mother and a nurse were detained by immigration officials in a locked room, a lawyer for the boy’s family said.
The Honolulu medical examiner’s office yesterday identified the infant as Michael Futi of Tafuna, American Samoa’s largest village, which is located on the east coast of Tutuila Island. Autopsy findings have been deferred.
According to police, the child died at 5:50 a.m. It is unknown why immigration officials detained the mother, the nurse and the child.
A U.S. District Court jury has convicted Brent Wilkes on all 13 counts in his corruption trial. The Poway defense contractor had been accused by prosecutors of leveraging more than $600,000 in cash bribes and thousands more in gifts to ousted Rep. Randy Duke Cunningham in exchange for Cunningham’s influence in securing more than $80 million in government contracts.
Straight from the source:
The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night.
The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators.
In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.
Southwest should explain.
Hat-tip Melissa McEwan (in comments).
The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant was abruptly shut down Thursday afternoon while technicians were conducting a trouble-shooting test of one of the plant’s four turbine stop valves.
Rob Williams, spokesman for plant owner Entergy Nuclear, said the plant went into automatic shutdown mode at 3:12 p.m. and will remain offline until workers evaluate what happened and fix any problems.
A company news release said the plant was in “safe and stable condition” late Thursday afternoon.
“This automatic shutdown is part of the conservative design of this plant,” Williams said. “The system is constantly checking for any signal, and any abnormality is immediately sensed and will cause the reactor to go into automatic shutdown.”
Williams said the shutdown will likely last several days.
Perfectly safe. Nothing to worry about.
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — In his first public statement on the subject, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged to end medical marijuana raids in the 12 states that have medical marijuana laws Tuesday at a campaign event during a Nashua Pride minor league baseball game.
The Illinois senator’s statement means all eight Democratic candidates have now voiced support for the 12 states with medical marijuana laws. Republican candidates Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson have all vowed to end medical marijuana raids as well.
On Friday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who signed legislation in April making his the 12th medical marijuana state, wrote to President Bush asking him to end federal raids in medical marijuana states.
“Respected physicians and government officials should not fear going to jail for acting compassionately and caring for our most vulnerable citizens,” Richardson wrote. “Nor should those most vulnerable of citizens fear their government because they take the medicine they need.”
Obama’s pledge came as a response to a question from Nashua resident and Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana volunteer Scott Turner, who asked the senator what he would do to stop the federal government from putting seriously ill people like Turner in prison in states where medical marijuana is legal.
“I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users,” Obama said. “It’s not a good use of our resources.”
“For the first time in history, the leaders of one of our nation’s major parties have unanimously called for an end to the federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients,” GSMM campaign manager Stuart Cooper, from Manchester, said. “New Hampshire voters and medical professionals effectively sent a clear message that we would not support a candidate who would arrest – rather than protect – our nation’s most seriously ill citizens. Compassion and reason are finally overcoming politics and propaganda.”
Federal intrusion into medical marijuana states has been on the rise this summer, with DEA raids taking place in several counties in California and Oregon. Recently, the DEA also began threatening landlords who lease space to medical marijuana dispensaries – legal under state law – with seizure of their property, a move condemned in a Los Angeles Times editorial as “a deplorable new bullying tactic.”
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana is a grassroots coalition of New Hampshire patients, medical professionals and activists. GSMM is organizing during the New Hampshire presidential primary campaign to raise awareness of the need for federal action to protect medical marijuana patients. For further information, please see: http://www.GraniteStaters.com
Update: BradBlog has replacement video.
A couple weeks ago, I attended WordCamp with about 400 other bloggers. One of the presenters was the NY Times’ blog master. I had an opportunity to talk briefly with him and explain how their pay wall was hurting the Times. He agreed with me and said he’d take back my suggestion.
Good news: Times to Abandon “TimesSelect” Content.
“I am the mother of the driver of the Bradley you see upside down and burning,” she wrote. “He was 19 years old and could see the futility of Iraq invasion and occupation.”
Another relative of a fallen soldier wrote, “For one moment, we captured the sense of fear, hate, anxiety, stress, depression that befell our beloved one. We miss him. I am so angry, because after all of this — the sacrifice — Bush and his supporters have not moved forward on this.”
There’s video too.
Hat-tip Ellroon @ Rants from the Rookery.
A California judge is likely to order a Berkeley city initiative back on the ballot because of local officials’ mishandling of electronic voting machine data, a public-interest lawyer arguing the case said Friday.
In a preliminary ruling Thursday, Judge Winifred Smith of the Alameda County Superior Court indicated she would nullify the defeat of a medical marijuana proposal in Berkeley in 2004 and order the measure put back on the ballot in a later election. A hearing on Friday morning in advance of a final ruling brought out nothing that indicated Smith would deviate from her preliminary decision, said attorney Gregory Luke, who is representing Americans for Safe Access. The medical-marijuana advocacy group is suing the county, assisted by the technology rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The case points to the dangers of electronic voting systems, which make it harder to ensure fair elections, Luke said. Electronic voting machines have been widely adopted in the U.S. since the disputed presidential election of 2000. Laws in California and some other states now require paper records of all votes, but the California law wasn’t in place for the Berkeley election.
A California judge upholding this citizen-supported and voter approved initiative wrote:
“Santa Barbara is free to decline to enforce federal criminal statutes. It is up to the federal government to enforce its laws. Indeed, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from impressing ‘into its service — and at no cost to itself — the police officers of the 50 States.’”
Hat-tip Pete Guither @ Drug WarRant.
The following is a public statement issued by George Bush today announcing his decision to issue a line-item reprieve of Lewis Libby’s sentence. Hat-tip and thanks to Paul Kiel from whom this text was copied.
The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Lewis Libby’s request to remain free on bail while pursuing his appeals for the serious convictions of perjury and obstruction of justice. As a result, Mr. Libby will be required to turn himself over to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.
I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby’s appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision.
From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.
After the investigation was under way, the Justice Department appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald as a Special Counsel in charge of the case. Mr. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified, professional prosecutor who carried out his responsibilities as charged.
This case has generated significant commentary and debate. Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.
Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.
Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.
Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.
I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation.The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.
The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.
Larry Johnson has more on the ongoing British state of panic:
As events unfold I’m simply asking that folks take a big deep breath and try to keep things in perspective. Are there jihadist extremists in the world who are willing to kill innocents? Absolutely. Are they amenable to negotiation? No. I am not in the, “have you hugged a terrorist today” camp. However, we need to stop equating their hatred with actual capability.
If today’s events at Glasgow prove to be linked to the two non-events yesterday in London, then we should heave a sigh of relief. We may be witnessing the implosion of takfiri jihadists–religious fanatics who are incredibly inept. While I am not an explosives expert I am good friends with one of the world’s foremost explosives experts. Propane tanks and petrol (gas for us Americans) can produce a dandy flame and a mighty boom but these are not the tools for making a car bomb long the lines of what we see detonating on a daily basis in Iraq.
New York, NY: Inhaling cannabis significantly increases daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive patients, is well tolerated, and does not impair subjects’ cognitive performance, according to clinical trial data to be published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).
Investigators at Columbia University in New York assessed the efficacy of inhaled cannabis and oral THC (Marinol) in a group of ten HIV-positive patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All of the subjects participating in the study had prior experience using marijuana therapeutically and were taking at least two antiretroviral medications.
Researchers reported that smoking cannabis (2.0 or 3.9 percent THC) four times daily “produced substantial … increases in food intake … with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance.”
On average, patients who smoked higher-grade cannabis (3.9 percent) increased their body weight by 1.1 kg over a four-day period. Researchers reported that inhaling cannabis increased the number of times subjects ate during the study, but did not alter the average number of calories consumed during each meal.
Investigators said that the administration of oral THC produced similar weight gains in patients, but only at doses that were “eight times current recommendations.” The US Food and Drug Administration approved the prescription use of Marinol (a gelatin capsule containing synthetic THC in sesame oil) to treat HIV/AIDS-related cachexia in 1992.
Subjects in the study reported feeling intoxicated after using either cannabis or oral THC, but remarked that these effects were “positive” and “well tolerated.”
Although not a primary outcome measure of the trial, authors reported that patients made far fewer requests for over-the-counter medications while taking either cannabis or oral THC than they did when administered placebo. Most of these requests were to treat patients’ gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach), investigators said.
Patients in the study also reported that smoking higher-strength marijuana subjectively improved their sleep better than oral THC.
“The data demonstrate that over four days of administration, smoked marijuana and oral [THC] produced a similar range of positive effects: increasing food intake and body weight and producing a ‘good [drug] effect’ without producing uncomfortable levels of intoxication or impairing cognitive function,” authors wrote.
They added, “Smoked marijuana … has a clear medical benefit in HIV-positive [subjects] by increasing food intake and improving mood and objective and subjective sleep measures.”
A previous preliminary trial by Columbia investigators published in the journal Psychopharmacology in 2005 also reported that inhaling cannabis “produce[s] substantial … increases in food intake [in HIV+ positive patients] without producing adverse effects.”
Survey data indicates that an estimated one out of three HIV/AIDS patients in North America use cannabis therapeutically to combat symptoms of the disease or the side-effects of antiretroviral medications.
Clinical trial data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2003 reported that cannabis use by HIV patients is associated with increased CD4/T-cell counts compared to non-users. A separate study published in JAIDS in 2005 found that HIV/AIDS patients who report using medical marijuana are 3.3 times more likely to adhere to their antiretroviral therapy regimens than non-cannabis users.
Most recently, investigators at San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California’s Pain Clinical Research Center reported this year in the journal Neurology that inhaling cannabis significantly reduced HIV-associated neuropathy (nerve pain) compared to placebo.
The Columbia University study is one of the first US-led clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of smoked cannabis to take place in nearly two decades, and it is the first to compare the tolerability and efficacy of smoked marijuana and oral THC in HIV patients.
Lyle Denniston reports:
In a startling turn of events in the legal combat over the war on terrorism, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to reconsider the appeals in the Guantanamo Bay detainee cases. It vacated its April 2 order denying review of the two packets of cases. The Court then granted review, consolidated the cases, and said they would be heard in a one-hour argument in the new Term starting Oct. 1. Such a switch by the Court — from denial to rehearing and new argument and decision — may not have occurred since 1947, in Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, legal sources said Friday.
The order also said that new briefs will be sought, after the D.C. Circuit rules in pending cases on how judicial review is to work for detainees under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. The cases to be reheard by the Supreme Court are Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) and Al Odah v. U.S. (06-1196). In those cases, the D.C. Circuit ruled on Feb. 20 that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 had stripped detainees of their rights to bring habeas challenges to their confinement. That is the ruling that the Supreme Court left intact in April, but now will move forward to review.
Presidential Scholars tell him to stop committing crimes against humanity:
The students had been invited to the East Room to hear the president speak about his effort to win congressional reauthorization of his education law known as No Child Left Behind.
The handwritten letter said the students “believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions.”
“We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants,” the letter said.
The designation as a Presidential Scholar is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating high school students. Each year the program selects one male and one female student from each state, the, , Americans living abroad, 15 at-large students, and up to 20 students in the arts on the basis of outstanding scholarship, service, leadership and creativity.
UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. and Russia have agreed to dismantle the U.N. agency that searched Iraq for weapons of mass destruction and affirm that Saddam Hussein’s government had no such arms at the time of the American invasion in March 2003.
Hat-tip Doug Stych.
Already Legal: California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.
New Hampshire: A bill failed in the House.
New York: A bill may be passed by the Assembly this week.
New Jersey: Hearings have been held in the legislature but no bills have been voted on.
Maryland: A 2003 bill allows for an affirmative legal defense for medical marijuana users, but it’s still technically illegal.
Michigan: The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care is collecting signatures to force a vote in the legislature.
Illinois: A bill failed in the State Senate.
Wisconsin: A bill is expected to be introduced this summer.
Minnesota: A bill died in the State House.
Texas: Legislators failed to get a bill introduced.
Even in the states where it’s been legalized, though, the federal prohibition on any use of marijuana still exists and puts medical marijuana users across the country in a state of legal limbo. You can check here and here for updates.
[New York Governor Eliot] Spitzer, who during his campaign argued against making it legal to prescribe marijuana, said his views on the topic changed after he met with medical experts and patients who told him pot helped them cope with chronic ailments.
“We have taken a hard look at it over the past number of months, and I’m open to signing a bill, if it’s properly structured for appropriate use, based upon the evidence that has been presented to me,” said Spitzer, who has acknowledged he smoked marijuana as a college student.
As to his altered view, Spitzer said: “You learn, you study, you evolve. This is one where I had, as a prosecutor, a presumption against the use of any narcotic. … Now there are ways that have persuaded me it can be done properly.”
It’s a race with Connecticut to become the 13th state to end cannabis prohibition and begin a process of sensible regulation.
Children’s toys, above, poisoned with lead paint.
(Article from the Consumerist forwarded by my wife.)
Asked by a crowd member if he would continue the Bush administration practice of conducting raids against those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes, Edwards said he would not. In those states where voters had approved medicinal marijuana, he said he would honor the democratic process.
(And it turns out,
we share a birthday.)
Correction: His birthday is the day before mine.
Scout Prime has details.