Allen West: The Tea Party congressman didn’t just wear out his welcome with us, he also alienated voters in his own district despite spending $18 million on his re-election campaign. Apparently hurling insults at your fellow lawmakers and the president of the United States doesn’t pay off.
by Joy-Ann Reid, theGrio
The House of Representatives cast its votes for speaker on Thursday, and while John Boehner won his gavel back (barely — Boehner needed at least 218 votes to be returned to the speakership, and got 220), he wasn’t the only candidate to get votes. Before the final vote was gaveled in, the Ohio congressman had to face an embarrassing opening flurry of Republican votes for someone else.
So who else got votes on the House floor?
– Allen West got two votes for speaker: He may have been defeated after jumping House districts and finding that not even a more Republican district was interested in two more years of West’s Tea Party antics, including red-baiting in the U.S. House of Representatives; but the former Army lieutenant colonel still has fans. In fact, in the House, he has two big ones in the GOP: Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia. Both put the ex-congressman’s name into nomination.
– Rep. John Lewis got one, too: Georgia Congressman John Barrow, who serves that state’s 12th congressional district, placed the civil rights legend’s name into nomination for speaker instead of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The four-term congressman is a member of the dwindling House “Blue Dog” moderate caucus.
– And Colin Powell got a vote for himself: Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper, a Democrat, voted for Gen. Powell, who served as George Bush’s secretary of state after being national security adviser and before that, Bill Clinton’s Joint Chiefs of Staff chair. The vote came after both Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Rep. Mike McIntrye (D-NC) voted for Congressman Cooper.
Turns out you don’t have to actually be in Congress to be speaker. It’s one of the many quirks of the U.S. Constitution. You don’t actually have to be a current member of the House (see Allen West) or even a former congressman at all (a la Collin Powell). Who knew?
Boehner’s deputy, Rep. Eric Cantor, got three votes (and no, he didn’t cast one for himself). Those were cast by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).
So in the end, it was Boehner, 220, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, 192, Cantor, 3 and West, 3.
And the 113th Congress? Off to an… interesting start.
Almost any exercise is good exercise. That said, some people waste time on routines that aren’t best for reaching their goals.
Lack of time is the number one excuse people give for not working out so why waste your precious time on exercises that are inefficient, ineffective or just plain unsafe?
Here are 6 exercises that your workout could probably do just fine without:
If only getting those flat abs was this easy. Anyone seeking a tighter core should stay away from sit-ups and work on planks and side planks instead. The abdominal crunch is really only strengthening a very small section of your abdominal wall and doesn’t address working your lower abs directly.
Leg Extension Machine
The leg extension machine isolates the muscles in the front of the thighs known as the quadriceps. But lifting extra heavy weights with just your thighs is a recipe for injury. Besides straining knee ligaments, this exercise can overdevelop the quads, making the back of thigh muscles (hamstrings) more likely to snap, especially if they’re tight and weak in comparison. Stick to squat-and-lunge type moves for safe, superior thigh sculpting.
Only Running On The Treadmill
Running like a maniac on that treadmill for a good hour? Well, unless you’re mixing your cardio with weight lifting, continuous running isn’t doing anything for your weight loss goals. The only time an hour on the treadmill is appropriate is if you’re preparing for a marathon.
Inner/Outer Thigh Machines
You can definitely skip the inner and outer thigh machines because they work such a small patch of muscle and because the movements are so unnatural. You may wind up building up the very area you’re trying to trim down. For toned legs, you’ll get much better results with moves like holding a weighted ball as you do basic squats, lunges and side squats.
If you work out thinking you’re only targeting one specific part of your body, there’s nothing happening to that unwanted fat. There is no such thing as spot reduction. You will get much better results by reducing your carb intake at night, eating proper amounts of protein, reducing your sugar and alcohol levels and working out your whole body.
Squats on the Smith Machine
The problem: The bar on the machine doesn’t give, which can force the body into risky positions. Plus, people tend to put their feet farther in front of their bodies when doing squats on the machine, which makes matters worse.
As students prepare for winter break, be sure to keep reading as a central focus while out of school
NewsUSA – Playtime is central to a child’s development. Many experts agree that reading, however, is just as important.
According to Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president of education outreach for Sylvan Learning, now is the perfect time for learning and discovery. “It’s very important that children continue to practice their academic skills year-round as strong reading skills are incredibly important for all subjects in school. The more children read, the more they’ll enjoy reading, and the better readers they’re likely to become.”
Here are some reading tips from the brain-trust at the National Learning Association and tutoring authority, Sylvan Learning.
* Be a reading role model. By spending time reading, you show your child that reading is both fun and useful.
* Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it! Consistency is key to building good habits.
* Let your child make their reading choices. Let kids read whatever they want. Now is a good time to encourage reading about topics they don’t study during school to explore new interests, discover new talents or delve into old hobbies.
* Get your child to savor the book she or he is reading. Don’t rush through a book — take time to enjoy it. Have your child stop and think about plot points and characters. This will develop their analytical skills.
* Set goals and reward effort. Reward reading with more reading. Download the next book in your child’s favorite series on your tablet or Kindle. Let your child peruse library catalogues online for e-books.
* Read the book, then watch the movie. Few things make kids feel more “superior” than comparing and contrasting a movie to the book it’s based on. “That’s not the way it was in the book!” Let them explain the differences, guess why a director made those changes and then discuss which version they preferred.
* Go online for ideas. There are lots of websites for kids’ book choices. Visit www.BookAdventure.com for reading tips, book suggestions and educational games.
Participants in red ponchos walk out of a basketball arena to a field before attempting to assemble the world’s largest human AIDS ribbon on World AIDS Day at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Organizers estimated that 1,000 people participated in the event, short of their goal of 4,000. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
As the world comes together for World AIDS Day on Saturday, it will be far more educated about the disease than when the global event first began on Dec. 1, 1988.
When the public first became aware of AIDS in the 1980s, it was essentially a death sentence and those who had it were treated cruelly. Perhaps the first famous case of how cruelly people with HIV/AIDS were treated is that of Ryan White, a 14-year-old HIV-positive high student from Indiana. White was infected with the disease through a blood transfusion during his birth in 1971.
It was only in 1984 when he became ill from pneumonia that he was diagnosed with AIDS. His case became widely known and attracted intense media attention–and fear. He was barred from attending class for a full year and was only allowed back after intense legal proceedings that it their way up to the Indiana State Supreme Court. When he did return, he had few friends and was forced to use disposable silverware. When his mother went grocery shopping, cashiers threw her change on the counter to avoid touching her hands, according to an account by the New York Times. He died in 1990 at the age of 18.
To date, more than 30 million people have died from AIDS and some 34 million are currently infected with HIV, the virus the causes AIDS. People of African descent make up the highest percentages of those who are living with the disease.
Today marks a globally united effort to further educate each other on how we can work towards a day when no one is infected with the disease. NewsOne will do its part by providing some information on how World AIDS Day began as well as some statistics on how HIV/AIDS is impacting the Black community.
Equally important, we have provided links to resources that people can go to for support.
1) What is World AIDS Day?
According to WorldAIDSDay.org, the day began as a way to help educate people via media, public events and other means on HIV/AIDS. It is also designed to commemorate those who have died from HIV/AIDS and to support those who are living with it. The day was conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS in Switzerland. Wikipedia provides insight on why Dec. 1 was chosen:
Bunn, a broadcast journalist on a leave-of-absence from his reporting duties at KPIX-TV in San Francisco, recommended the date of 1 December believing it would maximize coverage by western news media. Since 1988 was an election year in the U.S., Bunn suggested that media outlets would be weary of their post-election coverage and eager to find a fresh story to cover. Bunn and Netter determined that 1 December was long enough after the election and soon enough before the Christmas holidays that it was, in effect, a dead spot in the news calendar and thus perfect timing for World AIDS Day.
This year marks the 24th World AIDS Day. [SOURCE: Wikipedia]
2) How many people in Africa have died from HIV/AIDS?
According to the World Health Organization, an arm of the United Nations, more than 1.2 million people on the continent of Africa have died from HIV-related illnesses in 2010. Africa made up 69 percent of the 1.8 million worldwide deaths that occurred that year.
3) How many African Americans are infected with HIV/AIDS and how many have died from it?
More than 230,00 African Americans have died from HIV/AIDS and more than half of those infected with HIV today are Black. [SOURCE: AVERT]
4) If I have HIV or want to support someone who has it, where can I go for help?
The Center for Disease Control provides a number of resources that are culturally sensitive to African Americans living with HIV. Per the CDC, these include:
- WILLOW, which emphasizes gender pride among HIV-positive African American women, informs them how to identify and maintain supportive social networks and healthy relationships, and learn coping strategies and safe sex communication skills;
- Sister to Sister and SIHLE provide culturally sensitive health information to empower and educate African American women and adolescent females;
- Nia educates African American heterosexual men about HIV/AIDS and its effect on their communities and motivates risk-reduction behaviors by effective condom use;
- d-up: Defend Yourself!! and Many Men, Many Voices address social, cultural, and religious norms, promote condom use, and assist black MSM in recognizing and handling HIV risk-related racial and sexual bias. For information, visit www.effectiveinterventions.org.
5) Who is the most notable African American living with full blown AIDS?
That title, perhaps, goes to Rae Lewis-Thornton, an Emmy award-winning AIDS activist out of Chicago. Diagnosed with HIV at age 23 during a routine blood drive visit in Washington, D.C., Lewis-Thornton has been living with full blown AIDS for more than 20 years. She actively discusses the challenges of taking her medication daily and her activism through her Twitter and Facebook accounts. Lewis-Thornton was featured on the front page of Essence magazine in December of 1994.
Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster, File – FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama gestures as he answers a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. When black voters served up 93 percent support for Obama in defiance of predictions that they might sit out the election, black leaders breathed a collective sigh of relief. That freed them to try to leverage a greater share of attention from both Obama and Congress. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
by Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — When black voters gave President Barack Obama 93 percent support on Election Day in defiance of predictions that they might sit it out this year, black leaders breathed a collective sigh of relief.
That encouraged those leaders to try to leverage more attention from both Obama and Congress. Although they waver over how much to demand from the president — particularly in light of defeated GOP challenger Mitt Romney’s assertion that Obama gave “gifts” to minorities in exchange for their votes — they are delivering postelection wish lists to the president anyway.
“I think the president heard us loud and clear. The collective message was, ‘Let’s build on where we already are,'” the Rev. Al Sharpton told reporters after a White House meeting last week with a collection of advocates representing largely Democratic constituencies.
Specifically, Sharpton said, that means keeping the brunt of the looming “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts off the backs of the middle and working class.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous aimed that same message at Congress, especially on where tax relief is extended.
“We need Republicans to think hard and to pull back from the cliff 98 percent of our families, who make up the bulk of this nation, from seeing our taxes being raised,” Jealous said.
Blacks made up 13 percent of the electorate this year, about the same as 2008, while participation among whites shrank slightly to 72 percent and Hispanics increased to 10 percent, national exit polls showed. Black leaders point to that minority participation as they sharpen their calls for initiatives to address black unemployment, which was 12.7 percent when Obama took office, peaked at 16.5 percent roughly a year later, and stood at 14.3 percent in October. The overall unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.
National Urban League President Marc Morial acknowledged in an interview that “we sweated turnout all the way to the end,” because the country’s underlying economic conditions made it tougher to mobilize black voters. Within days of the election, Morial sent to Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., an “urgent petition” asking that Obama’s second term focus on economic opportunity and income inequality.
A jobs program should emphasize infrastructure and public works, broadband technology and energy “with a special focus on those communities where unemployment is and remains stubbornly and persistently high,” Morial’s letter said.
“We who represent the nation’s urban communities will demand a seat at the table in these discussions,” he wrote.
African-American voter samples in national exit polls are not useful for providing turnout measurements. Census surveys and other analyses eventually will provide turnout numbers for specific racial groups. But exit polls can be used to examine different groups as shares of the overall vote. And there, experts say, is where the evidence can be found of how much black voters delivered for Obama.
Nationally, Obama’s share of the black vote was down slightly from four years ago. But in some key states, turnout was higher and had an impact, said David Bositis, an expert on black politics and voting at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Blacks made up 15 percent of the electorate in Ohio, up from 11 percent in 2008. And 97 percent of those votes went for Obama, leading Bositis to say Obama’s margin of victory in the state came from black voters.
In Michigan, the black share of the vote grew from 12 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2012, according to exit polls.
“Michigan was one of the states the two parties jostled around, and eventually Republicans decided they were not going to win, and one of the reasons was the big increase in the black vote,” Bositis said.
In Missouri, a state Obama lost in both elections, the black vote went from 13 percent to 16 percent of all voters.
Bositis said the black share of the vote remained roughly the same at 23 percent in North Carolina, which Obama narrowly won in 2008 but lost in 2012, and 13 percent in Florida, which Obama won both times. In Virginia, which Obama won in both elections, black voters were 20 percent of all voters, he said.
Women and people from ages 18 to 29 had the strongest participation levels in the black community.
In 2008, black women had the highest turnout rate, 69 percent, of all groups. Their 2008 record created a sense of obligation among some black female leaders to take an active role against new state voting laws they said threatened to curb black voter participation. Black women made up 60 percent of the black vote this year and voted 95 percent for Obama.
The enthusiasm of black women was demonstrated in Florida when more than 250 churches marched their congregations to the polls as part of the “Souls To the Polls” early voting campaign, said Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. A large percentage of the marchers were women, Campbell said.
“Countless women stood in line for hours to vote early so they could volunteer to work at the polls to help in the fight against voter suppression,” Campbell said.
Black voters ages 18-29 made up 26 percent of the black vote nationally, a turnout close to what it was in 2008, according to the national exit poll. They voted 91 percent for Obama.
Republicans had reached out to black voters in 2004 and saw their share of the black vote increase in that election, Bositis said. But he said that in 2012, the outreach was nonexistent.
Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee chairman, said the GOP had an opportunity this election to connect with black voters on unemployment, health disparities, incarceration and other issues.
“How the heck do you win if you don’t engage in the conversation?” Steele said.
A classic Thanksgiving pig out may feel like it’s basically required, but at an average of 3,000 calories a pop, it’s also a diet bust.
The most health-minded among us might load up their plates with the best nutrition intentions — opting for red wine over white, choosing the multigrain roll rather than the white one and piling on tons of white turkey meat instead of dark. And cranberry sauce is healthy, right?
Not so fast — turns out, a lot of our classic Thanksgiving nutrition advice is steeped in misinformation. We asked Robert Davis, Ph.D., author of Coffee Is Good For You and HuffPost blogger, to bust nine of the most common myths about this Thursday’s meal.
Turkey Makes You Tired
We’ve all heard that the trigger for those post-feast naps we can’t seem to resist is the tryptophan found in turkey. The theory goes that tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted in the body to serotonin and then converted into melatonin, which affects the body’s sleep cycles. But the truth is, according to Davis, other foods, such as cheese, eggs and other kinds of meat, contain just as much if not more of the amino acid.
The most likely culprit for the sleepiness is the amount of carbs (and alcohol) we consume at Thanksgiving dinner, he says.
A Multigrain Roll Is A Healthy Roll
Just because it’s a brown roll doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Chalk this one up to a marketing tool: Davis explains that “multigrain” just means that there are multiple grains, which could potentially include a variety of refined grains and none of the heart-healthy whole grains. “Multigrain rolls might not be any better than white enriched rolls,” Davis says.
How to find a truly whole grain roll? Do a little detective work in the store: Davis says the first word on the ingredient list should be “whole.” Look for labeling that says whole grain or whole wheat — but not “made with whole grain,” which could still leave room for refined grains.
You Should Always Choose Sweet Potatoes Over White Potatoes
In a straight-up nutritional face-off, sweet potatoes would win: with about the same number of calories, they have more fiber and vitamins A and C than their white counterparts. But preparation matters: two scoops of sugary, candied sweet potatoes are not the nutritional equal of a plain, baked white potato. (And white potatoes, the ones that aren’t slathered in butter, have their own health benefits.
Dark Meat Is Unhealthy
While it’s technically true that white turkey meat without the skin is the healthier option — with about 158 calories and 0.5 g of saturated fat per four-ounce serving, according to Davis — dark meat isn’t necessarily unhealthy, especially compared to other types of meat, such as red meat. At 183 calories and 1.6 g of saturated fat per serving (without skin), you can satisfy your craving without blowing it nutritionally. And dark meat contains more of certain nutrients than white, including zinc and iron.
Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce Can Reduce UTIs
Studies have shown that cranberries may really be effective at preventing urinary tract infections for some people, Davis says. But he points out that’s when you eat them regularly, not once a year with your turkey dinner. “Obviously just eating with your Thanksgiving meal is not going to do the trick,” he says.
What’s more, while whole cranberries are healthy, when they’re jellied into sauce, they can be loaded with extra sugar and calories.
Pigging Out One Time Isn’t A Big Deal
We’ve been called killjoys a time or two (or 100) from people who say one unhealthy meal can’t do any real damage. But the truth is that it can: research has linked a single high-fat meal to impaired vascular function.
If you do overdo it at the dinner table, focus on getting back on track the next day — but we’d suggest avoiding the all-out binge in the first place (there will always be leftovers).
Pop-Up Timers Are A Good Judge Of When The Turkey Is Done
Pop-up timers might be convenient — but they’re not always reliable, Davis cautions, which can become a food safety problem. “People should also use a conventional food thermometer, placing it in the innermost part of the wing and thigh and thickest part of the breast to ensure that the turkey is cooked to at least 165 degrees F all over,” he says.
Red Wine Is The Only Healthy Alcohol To Toast With
While red wine has a (well-deserved) health halo, the truth is that other forms of alcohol, including white wine and liquor, are also associated with a lower risk of heart disease, Davis says: “Scientists haven’t shown that drinking red wine is better than other forms of alcohol in these long term cohort studies.”
But remember you can only reap those benefits in moderation — that means no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two for men. Beyond that, the risks outweigh any benefits.
Canned Pumpkin Isn’t As Healthy As Fresh
We often hear fresh veggies are preferable to canned, but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to pumpkin. Because canned pumpkin is more concentrated than fresh, it has two to three times more fiber and vitamin A, according to Davis (one note of caution: being more concentrated also means it contains more calories). “The canned is just as good to use if not better,” he says.
Just be sure you’re getting pure pumpkin in the can, not a pumpkin pie mix, which could have sugar, salt and other unhealthy additives mixed in.
Former Republican Party Chair Michael Steele, the first African American to hold that post within the “Grand Old Party,” dared to say what many Republicans, who saw their presidential nominee Mitt Romney lose to incumbent President Barack Obama, won’t bring themselves to admit: They’re out of step with the times and the changing demographics of the nation.
Seeing his party unable to unseat the president or gain a numerical advantage in the U.S. Senate, Steele noted his party’s “spanking,” as he put it, was well deserved and emblematic of the rejection of extreme right-wing conservative ideas by the nation’s voters.
Steele blasted his party and its leadership for pushing an agenda and ideology that alienated minority voters–especially Black and Latino voters–the middle class, college aged voters and women, all of whom voted in overwhelming numbers for the president–with its push for voter ID laws across the country, rejection of tax increases for the wealthy, attacks on women’s health care, and rejection of immigration reform.
He added the Republican Party is not empathetic to those issues that are relevant to the aforementioned groups and that it “squandered” a perfect opportunity during the course of the elections to show it was an inclusive or “big tent” party.
“The president was elected by a ‘minority of Americans,’” Steele said Tuesday night in a nationally televised interview, adding that history was unveiling itself through the election outcomes. The new movement of non-white groups is passing the Republicans by.
We’ll give Mr. Steele the benefit of the doubt that he’s had a “Chitterlin’ Moment” since being ousted, ironically, two years ago from his party’s chairmanship after shepherding in a Republican tsunami in the 2010 National Midterm Elections that gave his party the majority in the House and handed the Democrats the slimmest of majorities in the Senate.
The Republicans would be wise to listen to their former chairman.
Steele saw the writing on the wall as the election returns came in and the numbers were broken down as to who voted for whom.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for us non-teapartiers) from the rhetoric of Uber-Conservative Talkshow host Rush Limbaugh and a Romney supporter interviewed by BBC America Radio Wednesday that the country “doesn’t get it,” believing it made a mistake retaining the current administration and Democratic control of the Senate.
But we believe the aforementioned conservative hold out is the one who doesn’t get it. The times are changing in America and if the “Grand Old Party wants to remain relevant, it better get in step or be left behind in the political dust.
Election officials were ordering generators, moving voting locations and figuring out how to transport poll workers displaced from coastal areas as Tuesday’s presidential election became the latest challenge for states whacked by Superstorm Sandy.
The storm, which devastated East Coast communities with power outages, flooding and snow, had already disrupted early voting in parts of Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey and North Carolina. With less than a week to go before the general election, officials in the hardest-hit states were scrambling to ensure orderly and fair balloting in places still dark or under water.
Few expected the tight presidential contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to be affected by voting problems caused by the storm.
Communities along Lake Erie in top battleground Ohio have lost power, but election officials said early voting continued to be robust. The states crippled most by Sandy – New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – are largely Democratic and considered safely in Obama’s camp.
But Connecticut has a competitive race to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, New York has several closely watched House contests, and all three states have other races whose outcomes could rest on voter turnout.
Michael McDonald, a professor of public affairs at George Mason University in Virginia who studies turnout, said a calamitous weather event right before a presidential election was unprecedented. McDonald said that in such a tight presidential race any turnout diminished by Sandy could make a difference in the overall popular vote.
“It’s unlikely disruptions from Sandy would affect the outcome of the election within those states,” McDonald said. “But if those voters, who are mostly Democrats, end up being subtracted from the national popular vote, you’ll get a lower vote share for Obama than he would have received if those people had voted.”