- Obama warns of TRILLION-DOLLAR deficits
New York Times -- Yeah, trillion with a "t"!
President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday braced Americans for the unparalleled prospect of “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come,” a stark assessment of the budgetary outlook that he said would force his administration to impose tighter fiscal discipline on the government. In his most explicit language on the subject since winning the election, Mr. Obama sought to reassure lawmakers and the financial markets that he was aware of the long-term dangers of running huge deficits and would take steps to limit and eventually reduce them.
Big deficits force the government to borrow more money, saddling future generations with large financial burdens and leaving the nation reliant on foreign governments and other big investors to lend cash. The problem is even more acute now because credit markets, which in recent months have made it much harder and more expensive for businesses and individuals to borrow, could be further strained by financing a huge government deficit.
plez sez: george w. bush has left the u.s. (yeah, i meant to use him in the past tense) in a pinch!
No earmarks in Obama stimulus package
CNN.com -- Members of Congress won't be allowed to slip earmarks into the economic recovery package that will be making its way to Capitol Hill. Obama said that getting a handle on the country's skyrocketing budget deficit must begin with the economic stimulus plan, and that the plan must include changes in the way Congress does business. Obama said:
"We're going to be investing an extraordinary amount of money to jump-start our economy, save or create 3 million new jobs, mostly in the private sector, and lay a solid foundation for future growth. But we're not going to be able to expect the American people to support this critical effort unless we take extraordinary steps to ensure that the investments are made wisely and managed well."
plez sez: this is a theme that echoes back to his days on the campaign trail. it is refreshing to see a politician who lives by the high standards that he has set for himself. the departure from the way bush ran the country is already a stark contrast weeks before Obama takes office.
Sen. Feinstein supports seating Roland Burris
CNN.com -- Outgoing Senate Rules Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday she disagrees with her Democratic leadership's move to block Roland Burris from being seated in the U.S. Senate. She is quoted as saying:
"Does [Gov. Blagojevich] have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes. Is the governor discredited? The answer is yes. Does that affect his appointment power? The answer is no, until certain things happen. [Failure to seat Burris] ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America."
plez sez: as if plezWorld didn't tell you so... keeping this guy out of the senate is petty and small-minded; and it does NOTHING to diminish or weaken blago! but it does weaken and diminish the democrats in the senate who have taken this course of action. this is an issue for the state of illinois and the constitution is on the side of the burris appointment.
CNN's Sanjay Gupta fingered for surgeon general?
CNN.com reports that the Obama transition team approached Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, about becoming U.S. surgeon general. Gupta apparently went to Chicago in November to meet with President-elect Barack Obama on the matter. The President-elect is reported impressed with Gupta's credentials: past government experience, as a White House fellow in 1997 and a special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Clinton, along with his medical career as a neurosurgeon and his communication skills. Gupta is a member of the staff and faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He regularly performs surgery at Emory University Hospital and at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he serves as associate chief of neurosurgery.
plez sez: another clintonista in Obama's cabinet? even though, i'm generally impressed with the way that Obama has handled his transition and cabinet selections, i'm reserving judgement on his apparent need to stock his cabinet with people who had close ties to the clinton administration.
DeKalb County, Georgia cuts back on school buses
AJC.com -- Georgia rang in the new year in a recession, and DeKalb County public school students and parents will be among the first to feel the effects. Starting on January 6 — the first day back from winter break — fewer buses will be taking kids to school, one of several cost-cutting measures expected in DeKalb schools this year. Most students who attend schools outside their neighborhood face the busing cutbacks. The change affects about 5,600 of the district’s 99,600 students, including those in magnet schools, charter schools and academic theme schools or who transferred from lower-performing campuses. DeKalb has designated some schools as transportation hubs. Parents must drop off their children at these campuses to be picked up by school buses and taken to school. Parents are responsible for picking up the children at the same hubs after school. This is a change from the system’s former policy, which bused many students almost door to door.
plez sez: my nephew lives in south dekalb and is in the magnet school program at a middle school in north dekalb. instead of his bus showing up in front of his house in the mornings, one of his parents must take him to a nearby middle school (hub) where he catches the bus for the one hour ride to the other side of the county. plezWorld predicts that by next year, the county will do away with cross county school buses, in most cases, kids' parents will have to provide transportation for kids out of their home district.
Georgia Tech Football has highest SAT scores
AJC.com -- As if having a successful fall campaign, ACC Coach of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, the most All ACC players on the roster, and having a gorgeous campus in the glory of downtown Atlanta weren't enough... Georgia Tech’s football players had the nation’s best average SAT score, 1028 of a possible 1600, and best average high school GPA, 3.39 of a possible 4.0 in the core curriculum. Non-athletes at Georgia Tech average 1350 on the SAT.
The biggest gap between football players and students as a whole occurred at the University of Florida, where players (average score: 890) scored 346 points lower than the school’s overall student body, that’s larger than the difference in scores between typical students at the University of Georgia and Harvard University.
Georgia Tech, 1028
Oregon State, 997
THE BOTTOM 10
Oklahoma State, 878
[University of Floriday is playing for National Championship on Thursday evening]
Texas Tech, 901
Texas A&M, 911
Mississippi State, 911
Washington State, 916
Michigan State, 917
plez sez: *brushing the dirt off my shoulder*
i didn't go to GEORGIA TECH on an athletic scholarship; it was a full scholarship from NASA. i was one of the students that scored around 1350 on my SAT!
The Hazards of "Third-Hand Smoke"
New York Times -- Parents who smoke often open a window or turn on a fan to clear the air for their children, but experts now have identified a related threat to children’s health that isn’t as easy to get rid of: third-hand smoke. That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor.
Third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets in an elevator after going outside for a cigarette, he said, or in a hotel room where people were smoking. A researcher said, “Your nose isn’t lying. The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: ’Get away.’”
plez sez: have you stopped smoking yet, barack obama?!?