Breaking News >>Sen. Ted Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor, Doctors Say

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
SOURCE: Foxnews.com

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends

 BOSTON —  Sen. Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, FOX News confirms.

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat said Tuesday that “preliminary results” from tests conducted on Kennedy after a seizure sent him to the hospital over the weekend confirmed the diagnosis.

“Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,” the doctors said in a statement, adding that treatment would likely include “combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy.”                                                                                                                                 

The doctors said that he was in “good condition” and had not suffered any more seizures since Saturday.

“Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis,” they said. “Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy.”

The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home.

His wife and children have been with him each day but have made no public statements.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It’s a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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20 Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill

Press Release of Senator Sessions

Sen. Sessions Releases List of 20 Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill

Monday, June 4, 2007
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) released a list of 20 loopholes in the comprehensive immigration bill today which reveals that the bill is fatally flawed and will not establish a functioning immigration system in the future.

The list of loopholes includes flaws effecting border security, chain-migration and assimilation policies.  The list exposes the lack of serious attention given to ensuring that the legislation fixes America’s failed immigration system. 

“I am deeply concerned about the numerous loopholes we have found in this legislation. They are more than technical errors, but rather symptoms of a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that stands no chance of actually fixing our broken immigration system,” Sessions said. “Many of the loopholes are indicative of a desire not to have the system work.”

For example, one loophole in the “enforcement trigger” fails to require the U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system established by Congress in 1996, but never implemented – to be fully functioning before new worker or amnesty programs begin. Without the system in place, the U.S. has no method of ensuring that workers and their families do not overstay their visas.

Below is a partial list of the 20 loopholes for the full list see

  •  Loophole 1 – Legal Status Before Enforcement: 

Amnesty benefits do not wait for the “enforcement trigger.”  After filing an application and waiting 24 hours, illegal aliens will receive full “probationary benefits,” complete with the ability to legally live and work in the U.S., travel outside of the U.S. and return, and their own social security card.  Astonishingly, if the trigger is never met and amnesty applications are therefore never “approved,” the probationary benefits granted to the illegal alien population never expire, and the new social security cards issued to the illegal alien population are not revoked.   [See pp. 1, 290-291, & 315].
 

  • Loophole 2 – U.S. VISIT Exit Not In Trigger:

The “enforcement trigger,” required to be met before the new temporary worker program begins, does not require that the exit portion of U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system first required by Congress in 1996 that is already well past its already postponed 2005 implementation due date – to be in place before new worker or amnesty programs begin.  Without the U.S. VISIT exit portion, the U.S. has no method to ensure that workers (or their visiting families) do not overstay their visas. Our current illegal population contains 4 to 5.5 million visa overstays, therefore, we know that the U.S. VISIT exit component is key to a successful new temporary worker program.  [See pp. 1-2].

  • Loophole 3 – Trigger Requires No More Agents, Beds, or Fencing Than Current Law:

The “enforcement trigger” does not require the Department of Homeland Security to have detention space sufficient to end “catch and release” at the border and in the interior.  Even after the adoption of amendment 1172, the trigger merely requires the addition of 4,000 detention beds, bringing DHS to a 31,500 bed capacity.  This is far short of the 43,000 beds required under current law to be in place by the end of 2007, or the additional 20,000 beds required later in the bill.  Additionally, the bill establishes a “catch, pay, and release” program.  This policy will benefit illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico that are caught at the border, then can post a $5,000 bond, be released and never show up for deportation hearings. Annual failure to appear rates for 2005 and 2006, caused in part by lack of detention space, doubled the 2004 rate (106,000 – 110,000 compared with 54,000).  Claims that the bill “expands fencing” are inaccurate.  The bill only requires 370 miles of fencing to be completed, while current law already mandates that more than 700 miles be constructed [See pp. 1-2, & 10-11, and EOIR’s FY2006 Statistical Yearbook, p. H2, and The Secure Fence Act of 2004].

  • Loophole 4 — Three Additional Years Worth of Illegal Aliens Granted Status, Treated Preferentially To Legal Filers:

Aliens who broke into the country illegally a mere 5 months ago, are treated better than foreign nationals who legally applied to come to the U.S. more than two years ago.  Aliens who can prove they were illegally in the U.S. on January 1, 2007, are immediately eligible to apply from inside the U.S. for amnesty benefits, while foreign nationals that filed applications to come to the U.S. after May 1, 2005 must start the application process over again from their home countries.  Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to have been here before January 7, 2004 to qualify for permanent legal status.  [See pp. 263, 282, & 306].

SENATE DEBATES IMMIGRATION DEAL (will vote on it before Memorial Day)

SENATE DEBATES IMMIGRATION DEAL

Do you support or oppose the negotiated deal to address the illegal immigrant situation. Which of the provisions listed by the Associated Press below do you agree with? Which do you oppose. Tell Congress and the President your views as there will be a vote before Memorial Day.

CURRENT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

  • They could come forward immediately and receive probationary legal status.
  • Bill creates a four-year, renewable “Z” visa for those present within the U.S. unlawfully before Jan. 1, 2007.
  • Undocumented immigrants may adjust status to lawful permanent residence once they pay $5,000 in fees and fines and their head of household returns to their home country.
  • People under age 30 who were brought to the U.S. as minors could receive their green cards after three years, rather than eight.
  • Undocumented farmworkers who can demonstrate they have worked 150 hours or three years in agriculture can apply for green cards.
  • No green cards for “Z” visa holders can be processed until “triggers” for border security and workplace enforcement have been met, estimated to take 18 months. Processing of green cards for holders of “Z” visas would begin after clearing an existing backlog, which is expected to take eight years.

BORDER SECURITY

  • Hire 18,000 new border patrol agents.
  • Erect 200 miles of vehicle barriers and 370 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Erect 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern border.
  • Deploy four unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting systems.
  • End the program in which illegal immigrants are released upon apprehension.
  • Provide for detaining up to 27,500 aliens per day on an annual basis.
  • Use secure and effective identification tools to prevent unauthorized work.

WORKPLACE ENFORCEMENT

  • Require employers to electronically verify new employees to prove identity and work eligibility.
  • Increase penalties for unlawful hiring, employment and record keeping violations.

GUEST WORKERS (requires border security measures to be in place first)

  • Create a new temporary guest worker program with two-year “Y visas,” initially capped at 400,000 per year with annual adjustments based on market fluctuations
  • Workers could renew the Y visa up to three times, but would be required to return home for a year in between each time. Those bringing dependents could obtain only one, nonrenewable two-year visa.
  • Families could accompany guest workers only if they could show proof of medical insurance and demonstrate that their wages were 150 percent above the poverty level.

FUTURE IMMIGRANTS

  • Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents would be eligible for green cards based purely on their family connections, but other relatives such as adult children and siblings would not.
  • 380,000 visas a year would be awarded based on a point system, with about 50 percent based on employment criteria, 25 percent based on education, 15 percent on English proficiency and 10 percent on family connections.
  • Apply new limits to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.
  • Visas for parents of U.S. citizens would be capped annually at 40,000 and those for spouses and children at 87,000.

There is a lot of controversy regarding this subject so if you wish to voice your opinion here is a chance by clicking here and follow the instructions by entering either “support” or “oppose” in the subject and the message body.

Accused Madam Reveals No New Clients – “These were not cheap women”

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 4, 2007
Filed at 11:58 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman accused of running a Washington-area prostitution ring detailed her business in a highly anticipated TV interview Friday night but identified no new well-known clients.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey supplied the ABC newsmagazine ”20/20” with 46 pounds of phone records from her escort service, Pamela Martin and Associates, in hopes that its investigation would ferret out clients who would testify that they did not have sex with the women Palfrey employed.

Some of the phone records could be tracked to prominent business executives, NASA officials, at least five military officers and exclusive neighborhood mansions, according to the ABC report. But there were no members of Congress or White House officials traced through Palfrey’s records, the network reported.

Palfrey, 51, of Vallejo, Calif., is charged in federal court with racketeering and money laundering associated with prostitution. She said she ran the business, Pamela Martin and Associates, from her laundry room, and that the women who worked for her signed contracts in which they promised not to have sex with clients. (*interesting running her business from her laundry room.  How appropriate, laundry room=dirty laundry*)  ”These were not cheap women.  These were very nice women who just needed to make a few extra dollars,” Palfrey said.

Palfrey did identify one of her escorts, a former university professor who committed suicide after being charged with prostitution.

Palfrey maintained the business was legitimate.

”I was selling fantasy sex,” Palfrey said.

The Washington escort service carried out its business undetected at some of the city’s most exclusive hotels, she said. The service charged a flat rate of $275 for 90 minutes, she said.

The most prominent client of Palfrey’s business was senior State Department official Randall Tobias, (*please see the initial post regarding Tobias*)

Tobias has said he obtained massages (*yeah right, I suppose he tried marijuana but didn’t inhale either*) but denied having sex with the escorts.

In court papers last month and again in Friday’s interview, Palfrey named Harlan Ullman, known as an author of the ”shock and awe” combat strategy, as a regular customer. Ullman’s attorney, Marc Mukasey, said Friday before the interview aired that Palfrey should not assume that Ullman will give helpful testimony on her behalf. He declined to elaborate.

On Thursday, a lawyer for Palfrey said an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy was one of the service’s escorts and ABC reported that a secretary at a prominent law firm was another escort.

Montgomery Blair Sibley, Palfrey’s civil attorney, confirmed a report in the Navy Times that an academy instructor worked as an independent contractor for Palfrey’s service. Sibley said he didn’t know whether the person is still at the academy.

An academy spokeswoman said she had no information about Sibley’s claim.

ABC said a legal secretary at the Akin Gump law firm was suspended after telling her bosses that she had been secretly working as one of Palfrey’s escorts. ABC did not name the woman, who told Akin Gump she expects to be a government witness in the case.

Palfrey told ABC that most of her escorts worked for her because they needed the money (*well damn, you could have knocked me over with that statement*). Palfrey said she urged the women who answered her newspaper and phone book ads to think seriously before signing up.

”Many of these girls had never done this kind of work before,” Palfrey said.

Palfrey said some of the most popular women were in their 50s. She said that there was never an age limit, and that most of the women worked about three shifts a week, ending each night at 11 p.m.

”I made sure they either worked or went to school in the daytime,” she said. (*Well now isn’t that sweet, what a wonderful “mother hen” she was.  So protective of her “nighttime” girls*)

Palfrey, who was sentenced to 18 months in a California prison in 1991 after pleading guilty to attempted pimping, said she rejected an offer in the current case to plead guilty to reduced charges in return for a four-month prison term.

Palfrey and the Internet radio station wsRadio.com will auction tapes of five one-hour interviews with her next week, The Washington Post reported Friday. Bids will start at $5,000. (*and the proceeds will go to????*)

The station’s president, Chris Murch, declined to disclose details of the contract to the newspaper but said Palfrey will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to charity.  (*Ah, there we go, charity…..mmm, wonder if that could be “sweet charity”?*)

* my inserted comments*

Information: The New York Times

SHOULD PETS BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE ?

CONGRESS.ORG WEEKLY UPDATE
April 16, 2007
 

This week’s legislative idea comes from Bayport, NY.  Here is an excerpt from her letter to Congress:

“Once again, it’s tax time and as always, we owe money to the state and federal governments because I am married with no children. My husband & I have no children because we cannot afford to have children living on Long Island. But we do have 2 dogs – 2 very expensive dogs – and they are our kids.  If I should mistreat, neglect, abuse or deprive my dog of health care in any way, I can be arrested for animal cruelty. But yet, here we are, spending thousands and thousands of dollars each year giving my dogs the best care in emergency and non-emergency situations, what do we receive? My proposal is to be able to declare my dogs as dependents on my taxes at the end of the year.

“With the request of proper documentation from pet owners, I firmly believe we should propose a new law to be able to claim our dogs as dependents, whether it be for routine exams, medicines and/or emergency care. Anything would be of great assistance to pet owners.”

See the full text of the letter here 

-Tell Congress If They Should Introduce Dog Deductions
-Yes, Pets Should Be Tax Deductible Like Any Dependent
-No, Pets Should Not Be Tax Deductible Like Any Dependent

Take Action By clicking on this link at the bottom of the page there is a form with instructions on how you can take action on any of the above.