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Archive for July, 2013

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Boy Scouts Ban Obese Kids 

The Newest Numbers on Abortion / ABC News Poll

Majority of Americans favor restricting abortion at 20 weeks, according to new Post-ABC poll

By Juliet Eilperin and Scott Clement, Published: July 25 at 7:00 am

By a margin of 56 to 27 percent, more Americans say they’d prefer to impose limits on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy rather than the 24-week mark established under current law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Another 10 percent surveyed in the poll volunteered they would prefer to outlaw abortion in the United States altogether or limit it earlier than 20 weeks after fertilization. At the same time, however, 54 percent say they oppose state laws that make it more difficult for abortion clinics to operate; compared to 45 percent who support such legislation. (See graphic below for a breakdown of results, and here for interactive polling data).

The findings come as lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in states across the country are pushing to ban abortions earlier and impose new requirements that make it harder for abortion clinics to operate. Under the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision abortions can be performed until the point when an individual doctor determines a fetus’s viability, which is generally defined as up to 24 weeks of gestation. After that point, the government can prohibit the procedure so long as it provides safeguards for the mother’s health and well-being.

The poll suggests that significant support exists for banning abortions earlier in a woman’s pregnancy, but far less for instituting onerous restrictions for abortion providers.

Bob Millsaps, an 80-year-old retiree in Bristol, Va., said he would ideally like to ban abortion except in cases of rape and incest, and prefers a 20-week ban to one starting at 24 weeks. But he added he opposes requirements, including one now in effect in Virginia, requiring abortion clinic operators to “upgrade the clinics to hospital standards. That’s forcing them to not having any abortions at all.”

More broadly, overall support for legal abortion remains stable, with 55 percent saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 41 percent say it should be illegal in most or all cases. That finding is similar to a 2012 Post-ABC poll and surveys in recent years.

The poll was conducted July 18 to 21 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results from the full poll have an error margin of 3.5 percentage points.

By more than a 2 to 1 margin — 66 to 30 percent — Americans say they prefer that abortion laws be decided for all states on the basis of the U.S. Constitution, rather than a state-by-state approach. This applies to both hardcore abortion rights supporters and opponents: 73 percent of those who say abortion should always be legal want a national rule, as do 72 percent of those who say it should be illegal in all cases.

But on a practical level the ground rules for abortion are being rewritten on the state level, where 50 new restrictions have been adopted since January, according to the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute. Earlier this month, for example, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed legislation into law that bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requires all abortions take place in fully equipped surgical centers.

Such measures have cheered abortion opponents such as Nita Wallace, who lives in the Fort Worth area and has her own business. Wallace, who said she opposes the procedure because “God is the maker of life,” said religious Americans such as herself made a mistake in the past because “they didn’t get involved in politics so much, and now they’re realizing they lost ground by doing that.”

“What’s ground zero for making decisions? It used to be the Ten Commandments,” Wallace said, adding that media accounts have mislead the public into thinking abortion enjoys broad support. “I believe a lot of the American public, especially women, they have this idea that the majority of people embrace abortion.”

The Post-ABC survey reveals deep religious divisions. Two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants, 66 percent, believe abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, but an identical 66 percent of white non-evangelicals say it should be legal. Support for allowing abortion in most or all cases peaks at 73 percent among Americans with no religious affiliation, while Catholics divide about evenly – 50 percent legal, 45 percent illegal.

Six states have adopted laws banning abortion 20 weeks after fertilization or earlier;Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a possible 2016 presidential contender, is considering introducing legislation to that effect in the Senate.

While the issue of abortion is a clear dividing line between Republican and Democratic Party leaders, it is less straightforward for many Americans.

Mark Whitt, who works for the county school system in Irvine, Ky., said he only supports abortion in order to save the mother’s life. Whitt said he was “a conservative Democrat, though they say there isn’t such a thing.”

Meanwhile a Columbus, Ohio, resident who asked that he only be identified by his first name, Robert, and described himself as “a conservative Republican” who backs abortion rights, said he did not understand why politicians were seeking to rewrite the nation’s abortion laws.

“I would really prefer that government focus on fiscal issues, and stay out of the social issues,” he said.

And Milo Shield, a professor at Augsburg College who lives in Prescott, Wis., said he also supports abortion access without restrictions until the 24th week of pregnancy. He questioned Wisconsin’s new law requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors, which Planned Parenthood said could shutter two of its four clinics in the state.

“There doesn’t seem to be data about whether it makes a difference to have a doctor present or hospital admitting privileges,” said Shield, who considers himself a libertarian and does not affiliate with either party. “I don’t know what Wisconsin’s rationale was. It’s like creationism — it’s shrouded in science, but not science-based.”

Regardless of their popular support, some of these new limits on abortion will facestiff legal challenges. In at least three instances — Arizona, Georgia and Idaho — federal and state judges have struck down abortion bans at 20 weeks after fertilization as unconstitutional (the Arizona ban was set at 18 weeks). On Monday a federal judge in North Dakota temporarily blocked the state’s law banning abortions as early as six weeks after fertilization, calling the legislation “clearly unconstitutional.”

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Clement is a survey research analyst with Capital Insight, the independent polling group of Washington Post Media. Capital Insight pollster Jon Cohen contributed to this report. 

 

FDA Grants Exclusive Rights to Morning-After Pill

By 

Published: July 23, 2013
  • The manufacturer of the best-known morning-after pill, Plan B One-Step, has been granted exclusive marketing rights for three years by the Food and Drug Administration. The decision means that the drug maker, Teva Pharmaceuticals, is — for now — the only company able to sell the drug over-the-counter and without a prescription for all ages. Manufacturers of generic versions of the pill can apply to the F.D.A. for permission to sell their versions in drugstore aisles, instead of behind a pharmacy counter. Even if the approval is granted they would not be able to sell their products to those under 17 until the three-year exclusivity period for Plan B One-Step ends. Plan B One-Step retails for about $50; generics sell for at least $10 or $15 less. The F.D.A. decision Monday night follows the government’s decision last month to comply with a federal court order to lift age and sale restrictions on Plan B One-Step, which had been available without a prescription only for ages 17 and older.

What to call the “Fresh Prince” / Christine Doyle

I love the way a smile pops in the media. The way someone as frequently photographed as The Dutchess of Cambridge, or Princess Kate, can have one photo that is so genuine, it trumps all others. I don’t doubt that she loves the everyday life of a future Queen. But by the looks of the smile on her face, as she was leaving the hospital with her still unnamed baby boy, you could tell her gorgeous, unprecedented glow is what put the light in those wonderful shots and pictures of the happy couple and their newborn son.

Zoe Williams wrote a funny post in The Guardian about how reporters were so spent after round the clock coverage chronicling Kate’s hours in labor, that one reporter even shared the news that “her room is air conditioned.” Certainly the Palace had not gone so far in trying to depict the future King and Queen as ordinary people that they would have put the Royal-Mum-to-Be in an un-airconditioned room!

And now we are on to what to name the baby. Ah. Based on the names being floated around in the press, it looks like it will be George. Would he be named after George VI who played “Bertie,” the younger brother to Edward VIII, who abdicated his throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, and was hailed for not only overcoming a pronounced stammer but also for his handling of the transition in the monarchy and into World War II?  That would be sweet. Maybe they should name him “George” and call him something else.

Just for fun, I looked up baby boy names. (and yes, these suggestions are tongue in cheek!!!)

Abba –  The Swedish rock band that played at Kate and William’s reception. It means Father in Hebrew.

Barny – As brave as a bear

Clem – Gentle, merciful

Dawa – Tibetan or Sherpa for “Born on Monday.”

Falk – Falcon

Gabie – Man of God

Huw – Heart and Mind

Ikey – The Laughing One

Jove – Just sounds so English! As in “By Jove, You’ve got it.”  In this case, it means surprise.

Kasey – The Vigilant One

Lyn – Good Looking (according to his Dad, Prince William, he does have his mother’s good looks!)

Magee – Son of the handsome one.  Because William, you aren’t bad either!

Nash – Old English for cliff.

Ovis – Little Bear

Puck – Shakespeare’s most adorable, yet mischievous character.  Fun loving and quick witted.

Quilian – Cub

Radman – Could hip this up by calling it, “Rad-man.” Radman means Joy! The only problem is it sounds a little bit like, “Rodman.”

Shen – Deep Thinker. Which his grandfather, Prince Charles, certainly was.

Trillby – Italian for trilling. Let’s not forget Princess Diana loved singing and music.

Uros – Little Lord

Valter – Mighty Ruler

Wilson – Son of William

Xanti – Basque for St. James

Yves – The Little Archer

Zizi – Dedicated to God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dramatic drop in support of Obamacare from moderate Democrats  /

New York Times urges Anthony Weiner to bow out for being serially evasive

A Royal Birth

Kate Middleton and Prince William Welcome Royal Baby

 

By  | Royal Baby Buzz – 47 minutes ago

 

 

(Samir Hussein/WireImage)It’s a prince! On Monday, the world welcomed the newest addition to the royal family and thefuture heir to England’s throne. Palace officials confirmed the arrival of His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge, born at St. Mary’s Hospital at 4:24 PM BST, and weighing 8 lbs 6 oz..

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight,” palace officials stated in an official press release. Prince William was present at the birth of his first child. The name of his firstborn son will be released “in due course.”

In the meantime, officials are preparing to post the news to the forecourt at Buckingham Palace this evening, as is royal custom.

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news,” according to the brief statement emailed to members of the press, many of whom have been camped outside of St. Marys Hospital for days. 

Prince Charles expounded on the emotional moment in history, in a statement released through Clarence House. He said he is “enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time.”

“Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild,” he added. “It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy.”

 

 

The birth marks a new era for not only the first-time parents but also the extended royal family. As third in line to succeed the throne after his grandfather Prince Charles and his father, Prince William, he’s the first baby born under new succession laws.

Civics for Kids

As he hovers between life and death, after being on life support for five weeks, Nelson Mandela’s hospitalization provides an opportunity to talk to kids about the role he played in abolishing apartheid. 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/11/world/africa/nelson-mandela—fast-facts

Gluten Free Granola / About.com

Granola is a contemporary name for a toasted whole grain, nut and fruit-filled cereal which originated in Switzerland in the 19th century. That cereal was called “muesli” which means “mixture.”

It’s easy to make your own 5-pound batch of homemade gluten-free granola by using “certified” gluten-free oats. Traditionally, oats are frequently grown in fields where wheat, rye or barley may have been grown and oats are processed and packaged in facilities where these gluten containing oats are also processed. As long as you use “Certified” gluten-free oats in your granola, you can enjoy this lightly sweet, protein and mineral-rich cereal.

This large batch of gluten-free granola is delicious served as a breakfast cereal with milk or your favorite dairy-free milk substitute, it adds wonderful texture and flavor sprinkled over yogurt and it makes a convenient travel, hiking, biking or camping snack. Be sure to store your granola in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid rancidity in this healthy fatty acid rich cereal.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 5 pounds granola

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3 cups raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups flax seeds (not ground flax meal)
  • 1 cup raw sesame seeds (not toasted)
  • 1 cup chopped raw unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup chopped raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped raw unsalted pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter OR ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 cup fine quality oil (recommended – sesame oil OR light olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Optional – 1 cup dry unsweetened fruit (raisin, apricots, etc.) If adding dried fruit decreaseamount of sunflower seeds from 3 cups to 2 cups)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325° F / 163° C

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix certified gluten-free rolled oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts and pecans in a large (at least 6-quart) mixing bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine.

Place butter, oil, honey, maple syrup, brown cane sugar, cinnamon and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla extract.

Carefully pour half of hot syrup mixture over oat mixture in bowl. Stir to coat dry ingredients. Pour remaining syrup over oat mixture and stir again, until all dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.

Pour half of mixture on each parchment paper lined baking sheets and use a large spoon or spatula to evenly spread mixture on baking sheets. Place baking sheets in preheated oven.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and stir ingredients. This ensures even baking. Return baking sheets to oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or just until mixture starts to turn golden brown. Watch baking time carefully to avoid burning.

Remove baking sheets from oven. For chunky gluten-free granola, stir ingredients once and allow to completely cool. For a more cereal-textured granola, stir the granola more frequently as it cools. When cool, place granola in air tight containers and store in refrigerator.

 

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Royal Baby Watch 

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

Photo courtesey of: Ladue News 

By Debbie Baldwin

It seems there is a problem in the virtual world. Don’t panic. It’s not a put-on-your-radiation suit or head-to-the-canning-cellar kind of crisis (that’s assuming you have either of those things, which personally I do not). Nevertheless, there is a new fad that is, for lack of an industry-appropriate term, clogging up the Internet. The fad: food porn.

Now don’t get too worked up, it’s not as exciting as it sounds. There’s no ’70s soundtrack pounding a beat, and there is no mustached lothario/vacuum cleaner salesman on the doorstep, disappointing as that may seem. No, food porn is the overly salacious name for postings of food on social networking websites.

Oh, it started out innocently enough—a pastry chef posting his latest creation or a Pacific Rim vacationer adding a photo of her exotic sushi. That’s neat. That’s interesting. The sushi tells me that Janet is vacationing in Tokyo, and that she is brave enough to sample the local delicacies. Plus, the photo is intriguing and beautiful. Then suddenly something changed. Every food–any food–became Facebook fodder. Mommy burnt the grilled cheese! is the caption accompanying two grimy slices of white bread and an oozy Kraft single. Do you really need a picture to tell everyone that you charred your child’s lunch? Wait. Big picture. Do you really need to post that you burnt your child’s lunch at all? It begs the question, if you weren’t preoccupied with all the social networking, would you have burned the grilled cheese in the first place?

It’s anything. It’s everything—a snow cone in the park, an obscene cheeseburger from the state fair, beluga from the Russian Tea Room, a giant platter of spaghetti and meatballs. So what? Who cares? Nathan made a chocolate brownie pie and topped it with a generous scoop of Haagen Dazs vanilla and a ribbon of hot fudge. Good for him. How is it any different than people posting pictures of their kids or their vacation? Ha! Glad you asked. It is different for two reasons.

First of all, food never stops. People have a limited number of children, and unless they are imbalanced, generally only post pictures of children at a particularly adorable or seminal moment—Sally’s first day of school, baby’s first tooth, Jamie’s graduation. That is not the case with food. It can be good or bad, unusual or normal, healthy or decadent, spicy or bland, raw or cooked, appetizing or nauseating, sweet or savory, anything goes. Last week, a fellow I don’t know well posted a photo with the caption, Classic PBJ for lunch today, Peter Pan and Welch’s Grape Jelly on Wonder. First of all, everyone knows that the classic PBJ is Jif smooth and Welch’s Grape Jam on Pepperidge Farm, but I digress. Was that really necessary? Did it change anyone’s day? Did it help the world in some small way? And if a generic PB & J warranted a Facebook post, what’s to come? The frozen dinner? The egg-and-sausage biscuit? My arteries are clogging at the thought.

The second reason—burnt sandwiches and boring lunches aside—is that the posts make me hungry. I can sit down with my turkey sandwich and chips and get a quick FB update and it’s like walking through the food hall at Herrods. Lynn is glazing strawberries with apricot jam to top off a fruit tart. Jen is having a Provencal salad with a golden egg yolk drizzling over bibb and pancetta. Andy is enjoying a classic Cioppino on Fisherman’s Wharf. Stupid turkey sandwich. I am simultaneously famished and repulsed. I guess there’s nothing to do but try to find the positive. The pasta with turkey sausage, tomatoes and kale looks interesting. Maybe I will make it for dinner tonight. Eh, or maybe I will just burn the grilled cheese.