Saturday, January 31, 2009

And With Octuplets You Get Fourteen!

Picture from Daily Mail (UK)Yeah... you read that correctly, the woman who was undergoing fertility treatments and delivered eight babies earlier this week in California, already had six children at home. Her oldest child is 7-years old.


CNN.com reports that the young woman is living at home with her parents - the story makes no mention of a husband - and her father is scheduled to return to Iraq soon (as a contractor).
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Excerpts from the CNN.com article:
The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that Angela Suleman said her daughter had the embryos implanted last year, resulting in the eight births.

"They all happened to take," Suleman told the Times. "I looked at those babies. They are so tiny and so beautiful."

The woman declined to have the number of embryos reduced when she discovered she was carrying multiples, the Times reported. The six older siblings range from ages 7 to 2, according to the newspaper.

Suleman said she was concerned about her daughter's homecoming because her husband, a contract worker, is due to return to Iraq.

In the meantime, the mother, who remains unidentified, appealed for privacy while she recovers from giving birth, medical officials said Thursday.

In her written statement delivered by Dr. Karen Maples of the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California, the woman who delivered eight babies in five minutes said she would soon make public the details of her "miraculous experience."

The six boys and two girls -- ranging in weight from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 3 pounds, 4 ounces -- are doing well following their Caesarean-section delivery at the Bellflower hospital, doctors said. They were born nine weeks premature.

Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatalist, said all but one of the octuplets are now breathing on their own. That baby might be taken off breathing equipment Friday.

Caring for eight premature babies is a challenge. Duties are being shared by a large team of hospital nurses and doctors for the time being. Two nurses have been assigned to each child, and all the babies are receiving fluids, proteins and vitamins intravenously, Gupta said.

"We feed them. ... We change diapers. ... When they cry, we console them," Gupta said. "When the mom comes and touches the babies, you can definitely see their expression on their faces and body. They are very happy."

The babies, who are being referred to by letters of the alphabet, will remain in the hospital for at least seven more weeks.

Baby H made headlines for its surprise appearance during the delivery, which took months of preparation by a team of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. Watch a report on babies' progress »

The mother will not be able to hold her babies for another week, Gupta said. They are still fragile, developing intestines, he said.

Doctors initially thought the mother was pregnant with seven fetuses. She was hospitalized seven weeks ago and ordered to bed rest.

During the seven weeks, a team of 46 physicians, nurses and other staff members prepared for the births. When they started the delivery Monday, they were in for a surprise.


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Octuplets' Mother Update (02/01/2009): This woman is sick... and the doctors who are complicit in implanting more embryos in this woman should be barred from practicing medicine. Read the Yahoo News story here...

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plez sez: it ain't none of my business - i don't know why i felt compelled to post this in plezWorld - but why in the heck would a mother of six children be going through fertility treatments? and seeing as her youngest child is only two years old... what would make her think that she would need (...thoughts wander off aimlessly...).

...but FOURTEEN kids?!? all under the age of 10?!?

plezWorld throws a quick glance into his thinning wallet

not trying to be funny, but who is gonna pay to feed all them children?!?

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the CNN.com article about how the doctors were only expecting seven babies.

Read the CNN.com article about the octuplets.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Friday, January 30, 2009

GOP Picks Steele As Party Chairman

Members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) elected their first-ever African-American party chief on Friday, choosing former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to chair the organization after six rounds of balloting.

After five rounds of voting, the race for the chairmanship came down to a choice between Steele and Katon Dawson, the South Carolina GOP chairman who secured strong support from party insiders after former chairman Mike Duncan dropped out of the race earlier in the day.

Steele emerged as the winner on the sixth ballot, winning with 91 votes. A candidate needed a simple majority of 85 votes from the 168-member committee to secure victory.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: wow! racial barriers in national politics are falling all over the place.

but the republicans still need to do LOTS MORE to be inclusive, than just picking a figurehead leader of their party... there will need to be more grassroots work, and more inclusiveness of minorities in state and local politics.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the CNN.com article about GOP pick of Michael Steele to head their party.

Read the CNN.com article about GOP Chairman Michael Steele.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

House Votes Along Party Lines for Obama's $819 Billion Plan

Washington, DC returned to partisan politics as the House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus package Wednesday on a party-line vote, despite President Obama's efforts to achieve bipartisan support for the bill. The final vote was 244 to 188; no Republicans voted for the bill, while only 11 Democrats voted against it. The Senate is likely to take up the bill next week.

One week ago, President Obama spoke of moving forward in a bipartisan manner, especially in healing the ailing economy, but the Republicans balked at signing on to the bill because they claim it lacks enough tax relief. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R - OH) said, "The underlying bill, while it has some good provisions, has a lot of wasteful provisions and slow-moving spending in it. We have to act -- we have to heal the ailing economy. The question is how to do it best; we think that fast-acting tax relief is the way to get it done."

President Obama has not given up on garnering more support before the Senate passes the bill, "I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk. We must move swiftly and boldly to put Americans back to work, and that is exactly what this plan begins to do."

~ ~ ~

The bill has five main components:
  1. Infrastructure
    Fund the rebuilding of crumbling roads and bridges, water and sewer initiatives, and mass transit systems ($90 billion); rebuild and modernize public schools ($142 billion); weatherize low-income homes, modernize federal buildings, update the nation's electrical grid to a "smart" grid, and double production of alternative energy sources ($54 billion); modernize the health care system ($20 billion); and invest in upgraded science facilities and expand broadband Internet access in rural and underserved areas ($16 billion).

    plez sez: This was probably the area of biggest of concern to Republicans, as it may lead to large deficits and there is little or no tax benefit to businesses in this area. My concern is the length of time for these initiatives to actually begin to spur job growth around the country.

  2. Relief to States
    Increase Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage so states don't have to cut Medicaid due to budget shortfalls ($87 billion); and provide funding for law enforcement to states and municipalities ($4 billion).

    plez sez: With the number of Americans unemployed or underemployed, it is a good idea to address healthcare for them. This provision of the bill doesn't do much to spur job growth.

  3. A Safety Net
    Temporary programs to help the majority of Americans who will be devastated by the ongoing effects of the recession with an increase in unemployment insurance assistance to the states ($43 billion); Cobra tax credit to help pay for discounted health care ($39 billion); and an increase in food stamp benefits, and support for food banks, school lunch programs and WIC ($20 billion).

    plez sez: Very few people get laid off with golden parachutes and large caches of savings, this will help stem the tide of rising healthcare costs and put food on the table for millions.

  4. Tax Cuts for Individuals
    Middle-class tax cut of $500 a year for individuals and $1,000 for couples ($145 billion); low-income tax cut in the form of expanded Earned Income Tax Credit provisions ($5 billion); and an increase in the child tax credit ($18 billion).

    plez sez: For some strange reason, plezWorld never gets to take advantage of these tax cuts! I would love it if this tax cut went higher up the wage scale and increased the amount of the tax cut. And honestly, $1,000 ain't gonna go far in this economy!

  5. Tax Cuts for Businesses
    Increased small business write-offs from $125,000 to $250,000 and up to $17 billion in tax cuts (over 10 years) for businesses that lose money.

    plez sez: There isn't much in this stimulus package for businesses (only 2.7 percent of total package is allocated to business). The size of this package needs to be increased significantly to provide relief to struggling businesses. I would love to see the issue of the credit crunch and the mortgage companies addressed, as well... until the banking industry is righted (i.e., they start loaning money to individuals and businesses) this economy will continue to falter.

~ ~ ~

In Other News: Girl Scout cookies are dealing with the fallout of the recession. It won't be your imagination that it was easier to go through a box of Girl Scout cookies at one setting. The Girl Scouts of the USA confirmed Wednesday that it has reduced the number of cookies per box to save money because of rising transportation and baking costs.

The combined cost increase prompted the organization to "lower the net weight of our cookie boxes slightly rather than ask our customers to pay a higher per-package price during these difficult times," Michelle Tompkins, a national Girl Scout spokeswoman said in a written statement.

There will be two to four fewer cookies in boxes of Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread Cookies, DoSiDos and Trefoils. The Girl Scouts also reduced the size of some cookies, but Thin Mint lovers shouldn't worry that their sweet snacks will get any slimmer: Only the Lemon Chalet Cremes will change shape.

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plez sez: i agree that something must be done quickly, but the bank bailout hasn't done much for the economy, i'm skeptical about the effectiveness of an infrastructure and roads program to jumpstart the economy.

this recession may have to run its course and congress will only be able to soften the effects of the bad economy.

~ ~ ~

i had hoped that the republicans would get on-board to make this a more bipartisan effort. the democrats will have to be very careful going forward about moving their agenda, any big gaffes will make it relatively easy for the republicans to re-take both houses in mid-term elections in two years.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Newsday article about House stimulus bill.

Read the New York Times article about partisan voting for House stimulus bill.

Read the CNN Money article about House vote on the Obama stimulus package.

Read the CNN Money article about what's in the stimulus package.

Read the CNN.com article about the recession's effect on Girl Scout cookies.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Job Loss Leads to Family Tragedy

Lupoe FamilyA man apparently despondent about losing his job killed his wife and five children before turning the gun on himself. In one upstairs bedroom, the bodies of twin 2-year-old boys were found beside their dead mother. In another bedroom, 5-year-old twin girls and their 8-year-old sister lay next to their lifeless father.

The bodies of five children and two adults -- the children's mother and father -- were found Tuesday in a home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington. Ervin Lupoe apparently called 911 and contacted a television station by fax before committing suicide, authorities said.

A suicide note found at the scene "indicated a business dispute" between Lupoe and Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. In the faxed note to KABC, the man said he was despondent over an employment situation, police said.

Kaiser Permanente said Lupoe and his wife, Ana, were both former employees of the medical center. Both had been terminated, with Lupoe's termination coming last week.

~ ~ ~


plez sez: this story brought tears to my eyes. the loss of hope and the loss of life is tragic.

there is something terribly wrong with our society when our lives are so identified by how many zeros are on our w-2 forms or what kind of car is parked in the driveway or who is sending your paycheck. thousands more people are looking at job losses in the coming weeks and months... it pains me to think how many hundreds of unemployed people are looking at ending their life due to a job loss.

i believe before we'll fix this economy, something must be done to repair our country's fragile psyche.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the AJC.com article about the Lupoe family tragedy.

Read the MSNBC article about the job loss tragedy.

Read the CNN.com article about Lupoe family tragedy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Big Job Cuts Announced on Bloody Monday

As the day continued on Monday, more and more U.S. companies announced job cuts. On the heels of their acquisition of Wyeth, Pfizer announced that 20,000 jobs will be shed in the deal (in yesterday's post about the acquisition, plezWorld predicted job cuts).

Last Friday, I was speaking with one of my fraternity brothers who works for Home Depot. He spoke of the axe falling on them on Monday morning. Well, as he predicted, Home Depot announced the loss of 7,000 jobs, mainly with the closure of their EXPO Design Centers - high-end decor stores. Home Depot's losses are a direct result of the catastrophic mortgage mess and depressed housing market - no new homes means no shopping for home improvement.

All told, over 70,000 job cuts were announced on Monday, with over 200,000 jobs lost in the first month of 2009.

Announced Job Loss Count in 2009
Circuit City30,000
Pfizer26,000
Caterpillar20,000
Alcoa13,500
Sprint Nextel8,000
TDK Corporation8,000
Home Depot7,000
ING7,000
Intel6,000
Microsoft5,000
Boeing4,500
Motorola4,500
Hertz4,000
Texas Instruments3,400
Barclay's2,100
Williams-Sonoma1,400
ConocoPhillips1,300
Advanced Micro Devices1,100
Saks Fifth Avenue1,100
Blue Cross Blue Shield1,000
Walgreens1,000
Macy's900
Google100


~ ~ ~


plez sez: when will the bloodbath end?!? this recession feels a lot worse than the internet bubble burst in 2000 (i lost my job back then, too, but it didn't seem to be this wide ranging and all-encompassing).

later this week, plezWorld will take a look at the proposed Obama Stimulus Plan to see how he plans to put me back to work! *smile*

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the AJC.com article about Atlanta-based Home Depot job cuts.

Read the New York Times article about job cuts in the US and abroad.

Read the Financial Times article about over 76,000 announced job cuts on Monday.

Read the CNN Money article about Bloody Monday with massive job cuts announced.

Read the CNN Money article about American Express earnings dropped by 79 percent.

Read the CNN.com article about the state of Obama's economic plan in Congress.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Pfizer To Acquire Wyeth in $68 Billion Blockbuster Deal

Negotiations continued into Sunday night, with an anticipated announcement on Monday that Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker of products like Lipitor and Viagra, agreed in principle to acquire a rival, Wyeth, for $68 billion. The deal would create the largest pharmaceutical company in the world and it would be the first big acquisition that is not a desperate merger of two banks orchestrated by the government in over six months. It would be the biggest merger in three years, since AT&T acquired BellSouth.

Five banks have agreed to lend Pfizer more than $25 billion to pay for the deal, four of which received bailout money: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. In addition, Barclays, which acquired Lehman Brothers out of bankruptcy in the fall, is also providing financing. Pfizer, which has $26 billion in cash and equivalents, would finance the remainder through a combination of cash and stock.

~ ~ ~


plez sez: have you tried to get a loan in the last four months? will your bank lend you $680,000, $68,000, or even $680?!?

this acquisition - which sickens plezWorld - that the bailout was a remnant of reaganomics... that failed trickle down economics b.s.! pfizer will fire sales reps and feather their bottom-line until they shore up their drug pipeline and their fat cat CEO will continue to smell like a rose... and the wyeth CEO will get the most golden of parachutes!

there is a joke in this deal about viagra and pfizer having a hard-on for wyeth for more than four hours, but this is no laughing matter! i'm going to have to go have a long hard look at Obama's stimulus package to see if it is something that plezWorld can continue to support... where you at, RawDawg?

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the New York Times article about Pfizer acquisition of Wyeth.

Read the CNN Money article about Pfizer's $68 billion deal for Wyeth.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Open Thread for Sunday Morning in plezWorld III

It feels as though plezWorld has been on the run for two weeks. I've been to North Carolina for a funeral, I've been to Washington, DC for Obama-mania, and I've spent this entire weekend at a fraternity board meeting. And to top it off, on Sunday afternoon, the SugarPlum is performing with her class in their annual "Peace Celebration" for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

WHEW! Okay, I'm not taking it easy... but you can.

~ ~ ~



The Commodores sang, "That's why I'm easy... easy like Sunday morning."

plezWorld is taking it easy, so write what you'd like.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama Lobbies for Stimulus Package in Radio Address

In the first weekly address of his administration, President Obama asked for swift action on his economic stimulus plan.



plez sez: unemployment rates have soared to unprecedented levels as the economy has continued to falter. i hate to watch another stimulus plan, as the wall street bailout and the auto bailout and the mortgage bailout has failed to move the needle on the current recession. i am afraid of throwing another trillion dollars on untrackable and unnecessary measures that will never touch everyday americans.

but it appears that by doing nothing, the economy will continue to get worse before it shows any improvement.

President Obama's plan "promises" an investment in job growth that touches many areas of the economy: infrastructure, schools, local government, etc. for that reason, and that reason alone, i will support the Obama Plan and hope that my congressmen (senators and representative) sign on their support.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Washington Post article about Obama's stimulus plan.

Read the CNN.com article about Obama's first weekly address.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Friday, January 23, 2009

Dollmaker Denies Obama Girls Are Inspiration

The Real Obama Girls

CNN.com reports that Ty (maker of Beanie Babies) denies that the Obama girls are inspiration for their newly released Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia.

Ty Senior Vice President of Sales Tania Lundeen said, "Sasha and Malia are beautiful names [that] worked very well with the dolls we were making. There's really nothing on either doll that refers to anything else that you may have read in the media today."

~ ~ ~

Michelle Obama has issued a statement through her press secretary that decries the release of these toys:
"We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes."

~ ~ ~


Obama Girl Dollsplez sez: so this toy company is saying that it is a mere coincidence that President Obama's two precocious daughters have the same names as two newly released Black dolls!

how gullible or stupid do you have to be to believe that line?!?

ms. lundeen goes on to say, "[...the] company avoids naming dolls for 'any particular living individual' because it might interfere with how kids use their imaginations to play with them. When children play, they play with the dolls how they wish, and we don't want to impose any preconceived ideas upon them by implying any further connection."

hmmmm... like they used their imagination while dreaming up names of dolls that are identical to those of the daughters of the newly elected President of the United States?

but these are the ONLY TWO Black dolls in their entire 30 doll line! maybe there's some legal issue with using living peoples' names... probably an issue with paying a royalty or such to the person in question. i think Ty should go ahead and pony up some royalties to the Obama girls, because plezWorld ain't buying their coincidence story, since Sasha and Malia aren't even common names for Black girls... yet!


~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the CNN.com article about the Obama girls dolls.

Read the Washington Post article about Michelle Obama's opposition to the dolls.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Oath "Do Over"

Oh the pressure he must've felt!

I'm not talking about President Barack Obama (damn! don't you like the way that sounds)... I'm talking about Chief Justice John Roberts.

Over two million people on the National Mall looking over your shoulder as you administer the oath of office to the most powerful man in the world and the first Black President of the United States ... and you blow it!


Well, President Obama (and his team) thought of everything: instead of providing on-going fodder for the ditto-heads that clamour for the brand of talk radio the spews from the pie-hole of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News Network, he summoned Chief Justice Roberts to the White House on Wednesday for a do-over of the oath... just to get it right.
A statement from the Obama White House counsel reads: "We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday. But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time."

Per the Constitution, Obama became the President at noon on Tuesday, even without the oath.
In the Constitution, the Presidential Oath of Office reads: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


Read more at CNN.com

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Limbaugh on Obama: "I hope he fails"

Speaking on the policies and tactics that President Barack Obama plans to use as he attempts to set this country on the right track -- on the day of his inauguration -- Rush Limbaugh hopes that Obama fails!



~ ~ ~


plez sez: rush must still be popping those pain pills. he blathers on like a complete idiot, completely oblivious to the mess that de-regulation and a lax bush administration has done to the world economy.

limbaugh (and his "right wing wacko" thought process) is a cancer upon this land... he should be cut away and left to rot in a trash heap! if you are still listening to this *ISH* on daily basis, i implore you to turn your radio OFF!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Tuesday, January 20, 2009

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - BIG DAY

plezWorld on the National Mall before the InaugurationJanuary 20, 2009 8:14 AM

plezWorld standing on the National Mall in Washington, DC... on the cusp of History.

Awaiting the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States - BARACK OBAMA!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CNN.com coverage of Obama Inauguration

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Note: This blog entry and picture was stuck in my Palm Treo 680 for over 24 hours as I tried to send it via text message to Blogger.com. The post time reflects the date and time that it was originally sent.

Monday, January 19, 2009

DC Metro Tickets

Here are the farecards we bought to ride the Metro for the Barack Obama Inauguration & Parade. Hurrah!

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - 1 Day

My family blew into DC early on yesterday. Dropped off our bags and headed directly to the Lincoln Memorial for the "We Are One" concert. We didn't get back to my frat brother's house until 7:30 PM! But it was a blast to be in the midst of so many people who want to see President-elect Obama do well.

This morning, we're taking a more leisurely approach. Will probably head back down to the Capital Area to take in some of the sights. My daughter is only seven-years old, but I get the feeling that she knows that we are here for a historic event, one that she'll be able to share with her children and grandchildren. It feels good to be on the right side of History!

~ ~ ~

It is kind of cold here and there are snow flurries. They predict some light snow tomorrow for the inauguration. I'll try to post a picture or two later today.

~ ~ ~

A poll was published today on CNN.com that says that most Blacks in the US feel that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream has been realized. With the election of Barack Obama (and his inauguration as President tomorrow), it would be kind of difficult to say that Dr. King could've asked for more.

Excerpts of the CNN.com article:
The CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey was released Monday, a federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader and a day before Barack Obama is to be sworn in as the first black U.S. president.

The poll found 69 percent of blacks said King's vision has been fulfilled in the more than 45 years since his 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech -- roughly double the 34 percent who agreed with that assessment in a similar poll taken last March.

But whites remain less optimistic, the survey found.

"Whites don't feel the same way -- a majority of them say that the country has not yet fulfilled King's vision," CNN polling director Keating Holland said. However, the number of whites saying the dream has been fulfilled has also gone up since March, from 35 percent to 46 percent.

In the 1963 speech, delivered to a civil rights rally on the Mall in Washington, King said: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"Has that dream been fulfilled? With the election of Barack Obama, two thirds of African-Americans believe it has," CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said.

"Most blacks and whites went to bed on election night saying, 'I never thought I'd live to see the day.' That's what the nation is celebrating on this King holiday: We have lived to see the day," Schneider said.


I believe that institutional racism has been vastly diminished over the past 45 years and the remainder of our gains from now on will be more individual (like Barack Obama's victory) rather than collective (like affirmative action).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - 2 Days

Jan 18 11:25 AM - At Lincoln Memorial, waiting for start of "We Are One" concert, which kicked off the Inaugural Celebration here in Washington, DC.

There had to have been close to one million people on The Mall to witness this event. The crowd was packed (and I mean shoulder to shoulder) from the Lincoln Memorial along both sides of the Reflecting Pool all the way to the Washington Monument!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Real Housewives of Atlanta" - The Drama Continues...

NBA Star Eric and RHOA DeShawn Snow with unidentified personDeShawn Snow confirmed that she was booted because she wasn’t enough of a “circus” drama queen relative speaking to the others... in other words, she wasn't good television. If you recall, Lisa Hartwell played nice (almost too nice) until she came out of the box Kim during the reunion show.

Here is a snippet of Snow's comments at Essence.com:
ESSENCE.COM: What reason did they give for not inviting you back for the second season?

SNOW: [A producer of the show] called and said that I was “too human for a circus show” and that because the show did so well, they are about to pump up the drama and they didn’t think that I would fit in. He gave me an example, saying that during the reunion when I found out what a few of the other ladies said about me, they were expecting me to say more, but I’m not the type to go “television” and start acting crazy because somebody’s talking about me. I’m fine with the decision. It wasn’t my decision. They let me go and there are no hard feelings. I am thankful for the opportunity.


~ ~ ~

Usher & Tameka RaymondIn other Atlanta "Housewives" news, it was rumored that Usher's wife, Tameka Raymond, was slated to be the new "Real Housewife" in the Atlanta show. Raymond quickly quashed those rumors, "Although [Bravo] approached me, and I was flattered by the offer, I will not be joining the 'Real Housewives' cast."

Raymond, the CEO of Swanky Image Group and owner of Hides & Dungarees Denim Collection, welcomed her second son, Naveid Ely, with her pop star hubby last December. The couple had their first son, Usher V, in November 2007.

~ ~ ~


plez sez: now they got me waiting for season two of this *ISH*! deshawn wasn't a good fit from the beginning, she was too nice (and boring). the ONLY reason to tune is to see the fur fly and she wasn't gonna make that happen, so they'll find someone who will!

now before everyone in the ATL starts ranting and raving about the depiction of Black women in atlanta in the show, you should check out the foolishness that is currently going on in the "Real Housewives of Orange County"! cattiness, small minds, and ridiculousness of the idle rich knows no race... those white chicks are just as outrageous as their Black counterparts.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the AJC.com article about changes to the cast of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta".

Read the Essence.com article about Usher's wife, Tameka, is not joining "Real Housewives of Atlanta".

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Wednesday, January 14, 2009

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - 6 Days



This announcement/invitation (above) from The Presidential Inaugural Committee arrived in the mail yesterday. At first we thought it was our tickets for the inauguration, but upon closer inspection it appears this is a general announcement that was undoubtedly sent to everyone who contributed time and money to the Obama campaign.

I'm alittle disappointed that I couldn't secure special arrangements for my family's Obama Inauguration Adventure, but I am as pleased as punch that we have an Obama Inauguration to go to... the obvious alternative wasn't very appealing!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Use this link for a CNN.com interactive map of Washington, DC and the Obama Inauguration.

Use this link for a CNN.com for events leading up to and including Obama's inauguration.

~ ~ The Inauguration ~ ~

  • Musical selections: The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

  • Call to order and welcoming remarks: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California

  • Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in Orange County, California

  • Musical selection: Aretha Franklin of Detroit, Michigan

  • Vice President-elect Biden will be sworn into office by John Paul Stevens, associate justice of the Supreme Court

  • Musical selection: John Williams, composer/arranger, with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill

  • President-elect Obama will take the oath of office, using President Abraham Lincoln's inaugural Bible, administered by John G. Roberts Jr., chief justice of the United States Supreme Court

  • President Obama delivers the Inaugural address

  • Poem: Elizabeth Alexander

  • Benediction: The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery of Atlanta, Georgia

  • The national anthem: The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"


According to Change.gov, after President Obama gives the inaugural address, he will escort outgoing President George Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, with groups traveling from all over the country to participate.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - 7 Days

Obama to close Gitmo.

It is reported that President-elect Barack Obama plans to issue an executive order on his first full day in office directing the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

But experts say it is likely to take many months, perhaps as long as a year, to empty the prison that has drawn international criticism since it received its first prisoners seven years ago this week. One transition official said the new administration expected that it would take several months to transfer some of the remaining 248 prisoners to other countries, decide how to try suspects and deal with the many other legal challenges posed by closing the camp.

People who have discussed the issues with transition officials in recent weeks said it appeared that the broad outlines of plans for the detention camp were taking shape. They said transition officials appeared committed to ordering an immediate suspension of the Bush administration’s military commissions system for trying detainees.

During an appearance on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Obama said:
"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize and we are going to get it done, but part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication.

"[We are trying to develop a process that] adheres to rule of law [but] doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up. I think it's going to take some time and our legal teams are working in consultation with our national security apparatus as we speak, to help design exactly what we need to do.

"But I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our Constitution."

~ ~ ~

At his final press conference on Monday, President Bush was asked whether [Gitmo] and harsh interrogation tactics have damaged America's standing in the world. He replied, "I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged," Bush said. "It may be damaged amongst some of the elite. But people still understand America stands for freedom; that America is a country that provides such great hope."

A delusional Bush vehemently defended his record over the past eight years citing "52 months of job growth" despite having his presidency bookmarked by recession, he applauded his administration's response to the Katrina tragedy (which most sane Americans view as one of his worst blunders), and of course he was adamant that his administration did the right thing in protecting our shores from terrorists, in spite of the compromise of individual freedoms through passage of the Patriot Act.

Bush defends the Katrina response


~ ~ ~


plez sez: i read that some human rights groups were getting antsy about Obama's apparent waffling on the campaign promise to close gitmo within his first 100 days. detainees have been locked up there in clear violation of constitutional law for over five years, i get the strange feeling that they haven't been keeping tabs on Obama's campaign promises, and if so, i doubt they'll be offended if it takes alittle longer than 100 days for him to close that joint down!

mixed in with the taxi drivers and dunkin donuts sprinkle machine operators currently housed at gitmo, i'm thinking that there are more than one or two hardcore terrorists! i'm glad that Obama is looking to close gitmo, but i'm also pleased that he will use due process to determine if the detainees should be set free. we need to remember that the masterminds of the attacks on 9/11 have not been "brought to justice" and "justice has not been brought to them" either!

~ ~ ~

in his final press conference, bush basically snubbed his nose at popularity polls, "in terms of the decisions that i had made to protect the homeland, i wouldn't worry about popularity." lord knows he ain't winning any popularity contest for any time in the near future.

plezWorld believes that history will show george bush (the younger) as a flawed man who let blind ambition and a good pr man catapult him to a seat of power. he rode his name, a paper thin resume, and an awesome political machine to the highest office in the land, but until his last day of office, he could never measure up to even a sliver of scrutiny. his propensity to "fake it" as opposed to applying the most rudimentary of intellectual rigor to any given situation was appalling. how this "runt of the litter" could best his father and get elected (alright, selected) president more than once shows deep flaws in our political psyche.

after january 20, we should never hear from george w. bush again. i seriously doubt that BARACK OBAMA will ever find occasion to pick up the phone to seek the counsel or advise ON ANYTHING from his predecessor.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the New York Times article about Obama's plans to close Guantanamo Bay.

Read the CNN.com article about Obama's first act will be to close Gitmo.

Read the CNN.com article about Bush's last gasp press conference.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - 8 Days

President-elect Barack Obama was discussed on "Meet the Press"

The first segment of Sunday's broadcast of NBC's "Meet the Press" discussed Obama's stimulus plan that is currently being created.





The second segment of Sunday's broadcast of NBC's "Meet the Press" was a discussion of race and how Obama's presidency will change the dynamics and dialogue around race in the U.S.





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In other news: A woman has been selected to give the inaugural sermon... a first. The Rev. Sharon Watkins will deliver the sermon at the traditional National Prayer Service on January 21, the day after Barack Obama is sworn in as president, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Sunday. Watkins is the general minister and president of the 700,000-member church Disciples of Christ. The sermon will take place at the National Cathedral in northwest Washington.

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plez sez: this stimulus plan is a scary proposition... i'm glad that we'll have Obama at the helm while it is being worked out. we are looking at adding one to two trillion dollars to the deficit. this thing will not work if it is assembled and slammed down the throats of the US if done in a similar manner of

my oldest and dearest aunt passed away on sunday morning, my mother called alittle after 6:30 AM with the news. my mother's family grew up on a small 100-acre farm in the heart of tobacco country in north carolina. my aunt was the third oldest of 11 children, my mother was the youngest. my aunt was born in 1914 and made her way up to new york city in the early 1930's to get married. after her husband retired, they moved back down to north carolina and built a modest brick home on a tract of land on that same farm where she grew up.

she saw more than most people would like: depression, racism, despair, and loneliness (her husband departed this life back in the mid-1980's).

she was my favorite aunt. while growing up in new york, we would frequently go to her house in queens for dinner after attending church on sunday. she was at all of our birthday parties, family reunions, church events, and anything else that involved our family.

my last conversation with my aunt was just before the general election. i called her on the phone and we talked about voting for BARACK OBAMA. in her 90-plus years, she was still awe-struck that we could be so close to electing the first Black president. she couldn't get around too good, but she assured me that wild horses couldn't keep her from having her nurse take her down to the polls to vote (as she had done during the primaries).

the rest is history. sadly, a chapter in the colorful history of plezWorld closed on sunday morning... but we'll all look to the heavens on next tuesday and thank the Lord for the opportunity to witness the inauguration of our nation's promise.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the CNN.com article about first inaugural sermon delivered by a woman.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

plezWorld Obama Inauguration Watch - 9 Days

George Washington's InaugurationIn one week, plezWorld is heading to DC for the Barack Obama Inauguration. To my way of thinking, this is probably the most significant (if not, the most important) presidential inauguration since George Washington's inauguration.

When George Washington took office, he owned over 200 people who looked like Barack Obama. And now over 200 years later, a man who looked like the slaves of George Washington will be sworn in as the President of the United States.

As an American, I feel compelled to bear witness to this historic event and my seven-year old daughter will be able to tell her children that she was "there" for history. Make sure that you are on the right side of history... as January 20, 2009 will have to be added to all US history books going forward as it will easily eclipse Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech which was delivered in Washington, DC in 1963.

Where will you be for Obama's inauguration?

~ ~ ~

On Saturday evening, the Obama family visited the Lincoln Memorial. President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in using the Bible of his political hero Abraham Lincoln. Obama will be the first president to use the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration since Lincoln used it in 1861. Inauguration organizers have said Obama's inaugural theme, "A New Birth of Freedom," was inspired by Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The president-elect also plans a train trip from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Washington three days before the inauguration, following the final leg of the train route taken by Lincoln.

~ ~ ~

In other news: An aircraft carrier named after President George H.W. Bush (#41) was commissioned on Saturday afternoon. The 1,092-foot, 20-story USS George H.W. Bush was decorated with red, white and blue banners for Saturday's ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.

The 41st president joined the Navy at 18 and served as an aviator in World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his Navy service in the Pacific during the war, according to the Department of Defense. His time in the Navy ended after about four years.

About 17,000 people were expected to attend Saturday's ceremony. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Dick Cheney and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine were there, as was Bush's son President George W. Bush (#43) and his wife, Laura.

After the ceremony, President George W. Bush left Norfolk for Maryland's Andrews Air Force Base on what turned out to be his last scheduled flight on Air Force One.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the CNN.com article about Obamas visit the Lincoln Memorial.

Read the CNN.com article about the USS George H.W. Bush.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sarah Palin Lashes Out at Bloggers, Mainstream Media, Tina Fey and Katie Couric

Okay, it wasn't a week ago that plezWorld made a pact not to bring this woman's name up on my BLOG again, but... you'll have to take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to check out the video below. Can you say, "one French fry short of a Happy Meal"?

Tina Fey, oops, I mean, Gov. Sarah Palin said:
“I did see that Tina Fey was named entertainer of the year and Katie Couric’s ratings have risen. I know that a lot of people are capitalizing on, oh I don’t know, perhaps some exploiting that was done via me, my family, my administration — that’s a little bit perplexing, but it also says a great deal about our society.”


Yeah, Palin is in full victimhood mode here. And I must warn you, as funny and ridiculous as this seems, this was an actual interview with the real Sarah Palin.

"Sarah the Victim" Interview


~ ~ ~


plez sez: give me a friggin' break! what this sad episode says about our society is that just over 45 percent of the electorate voted to send this woman and john mccain to washington to lead this country during our most trying period in over 50 years.

she opens up the interview blaming "anonymous bloggers" like plezWorld for spreading misinformation about her alleged son, trig (i still don't believe it was misinformation)... and then goes on a nine-plus minute victimhood rant about tina fey's portrayal of her, the mishandling of her by the mccain camp in relation to the katie couric interviews, the mainstream media's handling of her, class-envy of caroline kennedy, the respect given to BARACK OBAMA's family contrasted against the treatment of the high school dropouts hanging around her household! by now i'm sure you've heard that her future son-in-law - levi johnston - is not only a high school dropout, but he's an unemployed dropout because he had to quit his apprenticeship because... he's a high school dropout! and no, i'm not making this up.

and then after bitchin' and moanin' about how she was received by he media, palin makes it clear that we're not done with with her yet; she plans to stay in the political limelight for years to come!

at one point in the interview, she goes "mama grizzly" about the "saturday night live" skit during which fey's version of palin said, "I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers." and then in the next breath says that if she had it to do all over again, she would still go on the show! huh?!?

this anonymous blogger (AKA plezWorld) and his insignificant blog wishes hellfire and damnation on john mccain for opening pandora's box by thrusting sarah palin and the wasilla hillbillies into the public eye. will we ever be rid of them?!?

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the CNN.com article about Palin lashing out.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Copy Music from iTunes at a Lower Price

Earlier this week, Apple said that is would remove anticopying restrictions on all songs in the iTunes Store and allow record companies to set a range of prices that consumers pay for the songs. Presently, you cannot copy songs in iTunes from one computer to another... even if you own both computers! And Apple had set the price for all music at 99 cents (last year, they started selling some premium songs for $1.29).

Beginning this week, three of the four major music labels — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — will begin selling music through iTunes without digital rights management software, or D.R.M., which controls the copying and use of digital files. The fourth, EMI, was already doing so. And with the copying restrictions removed, people will be able to freely shift the songs they buy on iTunes among computers, phones and other digital devices.

Instead, the majority of songs will drop to 69 cents beginning in April, while the biggest hits and newest songs will go for $1.29. Others that are moderately popular will remain at 99 cents.

The music industry has been in a slump for the past few years, and the on-going recession is not helping. Sales of CDs fell 20 percent last year from 2007. About 2.4 billion songs were bought on iTunes in the last year, aided by Apple’s expansion into international markets. But that was not nearly enough to make up for losses in traditional retail stores.

~ ~ ~


plez sez: ding! dong! the wicked witch is dead!

to my way of thinking, the ONLY drawback to using iTunes (and the iPod) was the lack of portability of the music. in my house, my wife, the SugarPlum, and i each have our own iPods. since i travel, i like having music on my laptop as well as my iPod. now, i'll be able to copy my music library onto my laptop.

i love old soul and funk... i never understood why i had to pay 99 cents for a song whether it had just come out or if it had been out for over 30 years! a tiered pricing approach makes more sense.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the New York Times article about how iTunes is changing their tune.

Read the CNN.com article about music sharing.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

plez sez: don't play with guns (humor)




~ ~ ~


plez sez: i'm sure someone had to sleep on the couch for the rest of the week!

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Snatched from the Headlines II

snatched from the headlines in plezWorld

    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.

    College Football SAT Scores:
    THE TOP 10
    School, Average
    Georgia Tech, 1028
    Oregon State, 997
    Michigan, 997
    Virginia, 993
    Purdue, 974
    Indiana, 973
    Hawaii, 968
    California, 967
    Colorado, 966
    Iowa, 964

    THE BOTTOM 10
    School, Average
    Oklahoma State, 878
    Louisville, 878
    Memphis, 890

    Florida, 890
    [University of Floriday is playing for National Championship on Thursday evening]

    Texas Tech, 901
    Arkansas, 910
    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?!?


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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gaza City Captured

Amid a mounting death toll and international calls for a ceasefire, Israeli tanks have surrounded and cut off the largest city in Gaza, Gaza City. Israeli security sources said they surrounded the city of about 1.5 million in their operation against Hamas.

On Monday Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel despite a 10-day Israeli military campaign that reportedly has left more than 500 Palestinians dead.

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' military wing, warned Israel that Izzedine al Qassam Brigades will continue rocket strikes "for many months" and vowed to strike deeper into Israeli territory. He spoke on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar also gave a televised address Monday, saying the leadership in Gaza salutes "the resistance men" and that their actions were justified because of what Israel has done.

"They [Israeli forces] shelled everyone in Gaza. ... They shelled children and hospitals and mosques," he said. "And in doing so, they gave us legitimacy to strike them in the same way."

Israel on Monday continued its military assault on Gaza from the air and the ground. Heavy fighting erupted Monday night around Gaza City, the Israel Defense Forces said. Earlier in the day, Israeli forces took "tens of Hamas militants" into custody, the military said. IDF also said that fighting between Hamas militants and Israeli troops left several of the militants injured, but it did not say how many.

The military campaign has not stopped militants in Gaza from firing on southern Israel: 47 rockets and mortars struck Israel on Sunday and at least another 40 on Monday, the Israeli military said.

~ ~ ~

The ground war led to mounting casualties in Gaza. More than 530 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its operation, including at least 100 women and children, according to Palestinian medical sources. That number includes 82 Palestinians killed since the ground invasion -- 30 of them children and 20 women, the sources said. In addition, 2,750 Palestinians have been injured, most of them civilians, the sources said.

The Israeli military dropped leaflets into the streets of Gaza warning residents that the IDF will continue using "full force against Hamas." It also warned that the military "also has other means to deal with Hamas."

"If the army uses them, the toll will be very painful," said the leaflet, signed by IDF command.

A delegation of EU foreign ministers is in Jerusalem to push for a truce, while Egypt is putting pressure on Hamas leaders in Gaza.

~ ~ ~


plez sez: hamas is about as foolish as the georgian army firing shells into south ossetia late last year. they have neither the military might, nor the backing to buttress or even put a dent into the armaments at the disposal of the israeli army. israeli "friendly fire" has killed more of its troops that the "bottle rockets" launched by hamas.

for the sake of the women and children of gaza, hamas must agree to a truce and lay their weapons down. by their actions, they have forced israel to send an occupying force into the gaza strip... and i don't think they're planning to leave anytime soon!

every armed conflict has the nation of israel fighting for its life, this one is no different. they must fight to the death to survive in the middle east. the palestinians "brought this *ISH* on themselves," by electing a terrorist group to run their fledgling "nation." this is akin to encouraging drug dealers to operate on your street... you are begging for the destruction of your neighborhood!

in word: they are getting what they asked for!


~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Reuters article about call for truce in Gaza.

Read the New York Times article about Israeli forces in Gaza.

Read the MEDIANAME article about how Israeli forces have surrounded Gaza City.



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Monday, January 05, 2009

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Founders' Day


Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on January 5, 1911 on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana by ten Black students.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


As plezWorld looks to celebrate 27 years of Service in the Bond,
CONGRATULATIONS on 98 years of Achievement
To all of my Fraternity Brothers!

Spring 1982, Lambda Delta Chapter, Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia

Achievement in every field of human endeavor.


~ ~ ~




Roland Burris & Al Franken & the Senate Democrats

Or "Harry Reid Standing in the Senate Chamber Door"

The governor of Illinois was arrested a few weeks ago by the Feds for attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's now-vacant Senate seat. Amid much speculation and innuendo, a cloud of suspicion hangs over the governor and all associated with him.

Enter Roland Burris. He has a long list of accomplishments, including a few stints holding statewide elected office. He becomes the governor's pick to take the Obama seat. The entire Democratic establishment gasps and with a typical knee-jerk reaction balk at the selection: he should not accept the office, he won't be seated by the Senate, he can't win in a statewide election, etc.

The Democrats are thisclose to a super majority in the Senate, which means they'll be able to pass just about anything without much resistance from the Republicans. With Al Franken's win in Minnesota, they'll have sixty! But they'll lose it in a special election if a Republican wins the Senate seat in Illinois... oh, what to do?

~ ~ ~


Burris plans to be in Washington on Tuesday, the first day of the 111th Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Democrats have vowed that they will not seat Burris on Tuesday.

The chest puffing and bravado from last week has certainly been toned down. Several sources report that Senate Democratic leaders have now scheduled a meeting with Roland Burris. The meeting between Burris; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; and Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, one day after the Senate convenes, said the source. Burris requested Wednesday's meeting, according to the source, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.


~ ~ ~


In Other News About Empty Senate Seats

Al Franken - an alum of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" - appears poised to become the Democratic Senator from the state of Minnesota after a protracted recount of votes from the November 4th election. State officials report that state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.

The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes. However, Coleman's campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification.

~ ~ ~


In Other News About Obama's Cabinet

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has confirmed in a statement that he has withdrawn his name as the Commerce secretary nominee, citing a pending “investigation of a company that has done business with New Mexico state government.”

Mr. Richardson says in the statement that he and his administration “have acted properly in all matters,” but that the “ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”

In mid-December 2008, a published article stated that a federal grand jury in New Mexico was looking into accusations that Governor Richardson’s administration gave lucrative contracts to a California financier because he contributed heavily to the governor’s political action committees. The article, citing a person familiar with the grand jury proceedings, stated that since August, federal investigators have been examining how CDR Financial Products Inc., of Beverly Hills, California, received two consulting contracts in 2004 worth about $1.4 million to advise the state on a large bond issue for building infrastructure, one of Mr. Richardson’s initiatives.

In a separate statement released Sunday afternoon, President-elect Obama confirmed that he has, with “deep regret,” accepted Mr. Richardson’s withdrawal.

~ ~ ~


plez sez: here we go... again!

the democrats in congress -- riding a wave of unprecedented UNPOPULARITY -- have taken up the cause of petty politics during a time when they need to find a way to rise above it. i will concede that gov. blagojevich is a "potty mouthed" bad man. i will even acknowledge there is more than a little taint on whoever his selection to fill the seat would be. but he is still the governor of illinois and it is still his responsibility to fill BARACK OBAMA's empty senate seat!

the democrats (and the congress as a whole) have so little room for more political B.S., it is incredulous that they would risk further damage to their sotted reputation by having sen. harry reid stand in the "senate chamber door" to bar seating the only Black member of the senate! good luck on having a democrat win the special election in illinois for that seat!

as onerous as it may seem, as opportunistic as burris has turned out to be (plezWorld doesn't know anyone in his right mind who would accept this appointment from the "dirty hands" of rod blagojevich, except for someone who knows that he'd NEVER be able to win the seat in a legitimate election); President Obama is going to need the support of the full delegation from illinois for his agenda on DAY ONE. the senate needs to hold their collective noses and seat burris... and give the state of illinois time to work out their issues with gov. blagojevich and have a real special election for the seat.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the LA Times article about uncertainty with Obama's senate seat.

Read the New York Times article about Burris and Senate Democrats.

Read the CNN.com article about Roland Burris and the US Senate.

Read the CNN.com article about Al Franken winning in Minnesota.

Read the New York Times article about Bill Richardson bowing out.

Read the CNN.com article about loss of Bill Richardson for Commerce secretary.

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