Monday, May 31, 2004

Air Force One Re-Elects Bush

Is it really ethical for a Presidental Candidate to use Air Force One for re-election travel? Maybe if the Candidate were paying for it? Taxpayers pay for Air Force One.
Bush Campaigns Heavily on Air Force One

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is using Air Force One for re-election travel more heavily than any predecessor, wringing maximum political mileage from a perk of office paid for by taxpayers.

While Democratic rival John Kerry digs into his campaign bank account to charter a plane to roam the country, Bush often travels at no cost to his campaign simply by declaring a trip ``official'' travel rather than ``political.''

Even when the White House deems a trip as political, the cost to Bush's campaign is minimal. In such instances, the campaign must only pay the government the equivalent of a comparable first-class fare for each political traveler on each leg, Federal Election Commission guidelines say.

Usually, that means paying a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for the president and a handful of aides. It's a minuscule sum, compared to the $56,800-per-hour the Air Force estimates it costs to run Air Force One.

It is an advantage that Bush and other presidents before him have enjoyed. President Clinton frequently was criticized by Republicans for his record-setting use of Air Force One in the campaign season, and Bush is exceeding Clinton's pace.

``It's really something that's abused,'' said Bill Allison, managing editor of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, government watchdog group.

``On the one hand, the president can't fly coach,'' Allison said. ``But on the other hand, taxpayers are in essence subsidizing campaign trips, something that goes against the grain of how the political system is supposed to operate.''

The White House says it is following both the law and tradition in deciding which events are official, and thus paid for by taxpayers.

``Federal election laws set forth clear guidelines as to how costs should be incurred, and consistent with decades of past practices, we strictly adhere to those guidelines,'' said White House spokeswoman Erin Healy.

Bush has logged more than 68,000 miles this year on Air Force One, all within the continental United States except for a quick run to Mexico in January. With rare exceptions, he confines his travels to the more than a dozen states he and Kerry are fighting hardest for, and to places where he is raising campaign money.

Of those states, Bush has made five trips to Pennsylvania, four each to Missouri, Florida and Ohio, and three to Wisconsin. He also has flown to 24 fund-raisers for himself and the Republican Party.

The White House labeled travel to fund-raisers ``political.'' Likewise, it deemed as ``political'' a thank-you mixer with big donors in Georgia, his first campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., and bus tours through Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, meaning his campaign paid a share of the costs.

But of the more than $203 million Bush has raised for his re-election, less than 1 percent has gone to reimbursing the government for travel costs this year.

The campaign repaid White House Airlift Operations at least $512,000 from May 2003 through April 2004, including reimbursements for political travel by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, first lady Laura Bush and political aides.

The reimbursements do not cover the cargo planes that shuttle the president's limousines and helicopters to every event, or travel expenses of White House advance workers who lay the groundwork for the trips.

It is difficult to say precisely what the Bush campaign is repaying the government per trip. The White House refuses to:

Provide lists of political aides who travel with Bush and whose travels are financed by the re-election campaign; or say how many political aides go on any given trip, or even offer a range.

Provide dollar figures on reimbursements for specific trips. Bush's re-election campaign periodically reports to the FEC lump reimbursement sums for unspecified travel.

Say how it decides which trips are official rather than political.

An Associated Press tally of Bush's travels shows he has made at least 114 trips in the 17 months since January 2003.

Clinton flew Air Force One on 123 domestic trips between January 1995 and mid-October 1996, a period of 22 months. It was a record for re-election-related travel aboard the presidential aircraft, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

On the Net:
White House:
Bush-Cheney campaign:

Thursday, May 27, 2004 - Italy sets strict pizza guidelines - May 27, 2004

I wish that the USA would adobt these guidelines so that Dominos can stop making shitty pizzas. - Italy sets strict pizza guidelines - May 27, 2004

Italy sets strict pizza guidelines

ROME, Italy (AP) -- Pizza-makers beware: Italy has issued strict guidelines to protect the real Neapolitan pizza from bogus copies.
The regulations touch on everything from size to ingredients to the type of oven -- and rule-abiding restaurants will receive a special label attesting that real pizza can be eaten there.
The rules, issued by the Agriculture Ministry, are part of Italy's efforts to protect its cuisine across the European Union, although it was not immediately clear what steps would be taken for enforcement.
The guidelines, eight articles printed Tuesday in the country's Official Gazette, rule that real Neapolitan pizza must be round, no more than 35 centimeters (14 inches) in diameter, no thicker than 0.3 centimeters (0.1 inches) in the middle and with a crust of about 2 centimeters (0.8 inches).
"The texture must be soft, elastic, easily foldable," the guidelines say.
The norms also specify what kind of flour, yeast, tomatoes and oil must be used.
They recognize only three types of real Neapolitan pizza: Marinara, with garlic and oregano; Margherita, with basil and mozzarella cheese from the southern Apennines; and extra-Margherita, with fresh tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella from Campania, the region that includes pizza's hometown, Naples.
The dough must be rolled out manually and baked in wood-burning ovens that can reach the required temperature of 485 Celsius (905 Fahrenheit).
The regulations were approved after surveying pizza-makers in Naples and surrounding areas. Restaurants that abide by the rules will get a label saying their pizza is a "guaranteed traditional specialty."
"These norms protect one of the most ancient and most important gastronomic traditions," said Antonio Pace, owner of one of Naples' oldest pizza restaurants and the president of a pizza-makers' association.
"We don't want the others not to make pizza, only we want them to make it as we make it -- as it should be done," he said Wednesday.
The ANSA news agency estimated that of 23,000 pizza restaurants in Italy -- which make 56 million pizzas each week -- about 200 would seek the certification immediately.
But Pace said he expects the vast majority of restaurants will adhere to the rules to get the label.
Financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, which like many other Italian newspapers devoted a front-page story Wednesday to the pizza rules, described the move as "an act of love, but a desperate one."
"Pizza is now a stateless, boundless, flag-less food," it said.

MTV to launch new channel for gay viewers in 2005 - May. 25, 2004

What a cool idea! Hispanic, Women, Black and Men all have their own channels, why not the gay community!

MTV to launch new channel for gay viewers in 2005 - May. 25, 2004

MTV to launch gay network in 2005
Experts believe the new network will help advertisers target gay and lesbian consumers.
May 25, 2004: 6:24 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - MTV Networks said Tuesday it will launch a new cable network that carries programs primarily aimed at gay and lesbian viewers.
MTV, owned by Viacom Inc. (VIA.B: Research, Estimates), said the new cable network, called LOGO, will be advertiser-supported and is scheduled to make its basic cable debut in February.
Content on the new network will be comprised of about 25 percent originally developed shows, with the remainder coming from outside sources, according to Reuters.
The plan to launch the gay-themed channel had been on-again, off-again in the past two years at Viacom.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sumner Redstone, Viacom's chairman and CEO, made a rare confession, saying that his company made a mistake earlier by scrapping a plan to launch the first U.S. gay-themed network.
Redstone then ordered Tom Freston, chairman and chief executive of Viacom's MTV Networks, to revive the business plan.
Industry watchers said Viacom's renewed interest came amid a surge in the popularity of gay characters and gay-themed shows on television in the past few years, led by NBC's "Will & Grace" and last summer's runaway hit "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" on Bravo.
Major U.S. networks have been reluctant to create a gay cable network because some executives fear that conservative viewers would be bothered by its programming.
But the high amount of disposable income controlled by gay consumers has long remained an attractive target for advertisers, said Howard Buford, head of Prime Access Inc., a gay and lesbian advertising and marketing agency in New York.
The combined buying power of gay and lesbian consumers averaged nearly $500 billion a year, slightly below the consuming power of blacks but higher than Hispanics, according to Prime Access.
"You could reach gay audiences by going on 'Will & Grace' certainly, but it's a very expensive program, and you are reaching a lot of other consumers as well," Buford told CNN/Money.
MTV's new network will be an "efficient vehicle to reach these audiences with specific selling messages," he added.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

You're fired!

Donald Trump made "You're fired" famous on a reality TV show and I get to hear the words in my own reality. I got fired this morning because I had to call out sick. I could not get up. My body would not let me. And I had a choice this morning. Money or Health. I chose health. I knew that if I were to force myself to go to work today that I would be making my body weak and get sick and have an MS attack. I made it working for one whole day this time though. I thought for sure that I wouldn't have made it that far. So I guess I earned about $100 yesterday. And I guess that it could be worse. But I guess that it really pisses me off that because of some disease that I have I can't do things like a 'normal' person like go to work every day. I'm in my 20's! This is supposed to be the time when I'm starting a career and getting things together, getting my own place (well I had that already but had to give it up) again and starting to do things for myself. It pisses me off that I can't go to work every day. I want to. I really do. I am mentally more than capable of it. But my body will psychically not allow me to do it. I want a new body. Or maybe just a part time job.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

"Dirty Little Secret About Low-Carb Diets"

I will be so happy when all this low-carb bullshite is over. I am so tired of listening to people watch their carbs. Want to lose weight? Cut back on the eating and exercise. Its been proven to work time and time again. Nothing is a quick fix. What happens when you go on a low carb diet and lose weight and then start eating carbs again? Oh thats right! You gain weight back and then you have to start at the beginning again. Why dont people understand that? Yes all these diets can work to lose weight but you have to read the fine print!

Beyond setting yourself up for rebound pounds, there are health concerns associated with making a protein shift. Having to break down the excess protein puts an extra burden on your liver and kidneys and, epidemiological studies suggest, may cause calcium loss (it's swept out through the urine), putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis. Moreover, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health bolsters the view of many scientists that high-protein diets contribute to the development of cancer, particularly of the colon.

Why Are Low-Carbohydrate Diets Popular? Because we Americans just don’t know moderation and portion control. Weight control is still clearly based on the fact that you need to exercise more and consume fewer calories to lose weight. Diet plans that let us eat all we want of certain foods are very appealing....Contrary to popular opinion, carbohydrates are necessary to our health because these foods provide energy, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. It’s the types of carbohydrates that are overused -- sweet drinks, desserts, candy, larger portions of bread, pasta and refined starches -- that get us into calorie trouble. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products are high-carbohydrate foods that are essential to our good health. Whole grains such as breads and cereals are high in fiber. Fiber helps lower blood cholesterol. Fiber helps us feel full longer so we don’t crave junk foods between meals. Fruits and vegetables, also carbohydrate sources, contain fiber and phytochemicals, which may help fight off heart disease and cancer....Healthy weight loss must begin with a plan that can be continued and adapted to a weight-maintenance program for life. Gradual lifestyle changes lead to permanent weight loss and good health. Losing weight quickly and gaining it back puts you at greater risk of being overweight. Popping “diet pills” doesn’t change your behavior. Get off the roller coaster and take control of your eating for a leaner body and better health. Moderation, portion control and exercise are messages that don’t make headlines or sell diet books, but they really work.

"We're not recommending this diet to anyone," Green says. "We don't know what would happen if you followed it for years. What we found is it seems to work for short-term weight loss."

Many Americans are losing weight on so-called ³fad² diets ­ but in the process, they could be putting themselves at greater risk for developing coronary heart disease, according to a University of Kentucky College of Medicine study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

The cornerstone of the Atkins philosophy is a four-phase eating plan in conjunction with vitamin and mineral supplementation and regular exercise.

Home & Real Estate: "Dirty Little Secret About Low-Carb Diets"
Almost half of low-carbohydrate dieters believe cutting carbohydrates from their meals is such a magic bullet for weight loss that there is no reason to count calories too, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults and 200 primary care physicians that was conducted by RoperASW for Slim-Fast Foods Co.
The steak and bacon crowd are in 'calorie denial.' And doctors say that attitude doesn't bode well for long-term weight loss success. Calories still count.
'Americans are under tremendous pressure to lose weight,' Dr. John Foreyt, a clinical psychologist and director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College, said in a news release announcing the survey results. 'As a result, people are willing to believe what defies science--the notion that cutting carbs without cutting calories will generate lasting weight loss. The reality is, it is still important to control calories when following a low-carb diet or any other type of diet.'
The survey findings:
Do calories matter when you are going low-carb?
46 percent of low-carb dieters say they can lose weight by just cutting out the carbs without cutting calories. Fully 86 percent of doctors disagree.
Can you lose weight and keep it off without cutting calories?
52 percent say they can lose weight without cutting calories as long as they restrict carbohydrates. The vast majority of doctors (76 percent) say a diet will only be successful over the long haul if calories are cut, too.
Does portion control matter when you are going low-carb?
34 percent say there is no need to control portion size, while 83 percent of doctors say it is extremely or very important to do so. Sixty-one percent of doctors are concerned that their patients following a low-carb diet are not controlling their portion sizes as well.
Should people following a low-carb diet worry about getting all the essential nutrients their body needs?
55 percent say there is no worry about getting all the essential nutrients just because carbohydrates are reduced, compared with 95 percent of doctors who note how important it is to get essential nutrients when following this kind of restricted diet.
Perhaps the best advice, no matter what type of diet you're on, is to eat smart. Eat only when you're hungry and don't overeat.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Jemima J.

Isn't it funny how sometimes you can instantly connect with people? How, despite being almost strangers, you can feel that you have known someone all your life? The ideal is for this to happen with a man, a potential soul mate, life-partner, but it can, honestly be just as gratifying when in happens with a friend. - Jane Green in Jemima J.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.
This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.
In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.
A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.


I saw a recipe for a Bellini a while ago and have yet to get around to drinking it...Maybe this weekend because it sounds super yummers!


  • 1 glass(es) Champagne

  • 3 squirt(s) Peach Nectar

How much of a pottymouth are you?

How much of a pottymouth are you?

Monday, May 10, 2004

Are You F***able?

You Are Flirt-able!

You are the best of both worlds - sexy and friendly, but not in either box.
Your charm is addicting, and you always have plenty of people flirting with you.
And if you want to turn things up, that's always an option for you.
You have plenty of options - without being the person everyone has already done :-)
Are You F***able?

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