Thursday, November 11, 2010

No toys - but enjoy your pot little guy.

San Francisco bans Happy Meals with toys

November 09, 2010|By Michael Martinez, CNN

The San Francisco, California, Board of Supervisors on Tuesday banned most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys, as they're now served.

The ordinance, which requires McDonald's and other fast-food servings with toys to meet new nutritional standards, now goes to Mayor Gavin Newsom, who indicated before his election last week to California lieutenant governor that he would veto the law.

That veto would be meaningless because the board approved the ordinance 8-3, a veto-proof margin. With eight votes, the board could override the veto.

The new law, which San Francisco officials hope other cities will adopt in battling a child obesity epidemic, was a defeat for McDonald's, which led the fight against the measure.

"As previously stated, we are extremely disappointed with this decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for," said McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud.

Proud said public opinion is against such government intervention.

"Any fair and objective review of our menu and the actions we've taken will demonstrate we've added multiple options for parents to choose. This includes Apple Dippers (bagged, sliced, pre-peeled apples), low-fat one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice and Chicken McNuggets made with white meat," Proud said in a statement. "And, as we have stated all along, we are committed to doing even more."

The new law addresses how toys and other marketing freebies entice kids to buy fast-food meals that are high in fat and calories, said Supervisor Eric Mar. He initiated the proposal because his fifth-grade daughter is in the 6-to-11 age group that has seen obesity rates quadruple over the past 30 years, the same time that the Happy Meal has been on the market.

"This is a simple and modest policy that holds fast food accountable," Mar said.

Before Tuesday's vote, Mar cited a study released this week by Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, which examined 12 popular restaurant chains and found only 12 out of more than 3,000 kids' meal combinations met the nutritional guidelines for preschool-aged kids.

The study said the fast food industry spent $4.2 billion on advertising in 2009 and found that 40 percent of preschool-aged children ask to go to McDonald's on a weekly basis, and 15 percent ask on a daily basis. Also, 84 percent of parents say they've taken their children to eat fast food at least once in the past week.

Under the law, McDonald's and other restaurants will have until December 2011 to improve their meals' nutrition by adding fruits and vegetables -- if the chains want to keep offering toys, including those promoting the latest films.

The food and beverages will have to contain fewer than 600 calories, and less than 35 percent of total calories will come from fat. The meal must contain half a cup of fruit and three-fourths cup of vegetables, and offer less than 640 milligrams of sodium and less than 0.5 milligrams of trans fat. Breakfast will have the option of offering half cups of fruit or vegetables.

City officials said they expect a legal challenge from McDonald's, which declined to comment on possible legal action.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Texas Rangers enjoy the moment. Finally!

Rangers enjoy Texas-sized moment

Unique blend delivers club's first American League pennant

It took 50 years -- from the first hit in franchise history by Coot Veal, to the exile from Washington, to some of those Rangers moments in that old hothouse ballpark with rats the size of Freddie Patek -- for the Rangers to get here.

Moments like when Willie Davis sat down in center field for two outs because Steve Hargan wouldn't retaliate for his being hit, or when the helicopter drying the field before the 1975 opener crashed in the outfield.

Standing there in center field on Friday night, looking around at the Zion Canyon of a ballpark, it was good to see Tom Schieffer and appreciate what he and George W. Bush did to legitimize baseball in the Metroplex. This celebration was theirs. It was good to see the Rangers celebrating with their fans to the strains of "Deep in the Heart of Texas," which they've played every night, as if it were "Take Me Out to the Ballpark." The Rangers moved into this park and eventually built one of the best organizations in the business with the promise of a $3 billion local television deal and never lost part of their culture.

Tom Hicks, be damned.

The Rangers will always be poor Rogelio Moret in his catatonic state, and Mickey Rivers going up to hit in sneakers, and Randy Galloway writing "Bobby Bonds played right field like it's mined." I always thought the Dallas/Fort Worth media was not only among the best in the country, but the least pretentious and true to the culture.

Of course, Jon Daniels and his scouts built this, and there's nothing wrong with the notion that what they were doing wasn't fully appreciated until Nolan Ryan came on board; Nolan is one of them, and a really good man, as well.

The team that beat the Yankees is a unique blend. Texas manager Ron Washington is the self-proclaimed "baseball lifer" who loves every part of the game. When he failed a drug test last season, Ryan and Daniels did not fire him. "Management showed us that they have our backs," Josh Hamilton said. "The way they stood behind Wash was something that pulled us together as people."

Hamilton, of course, is the marquee example of a management that understands that amidst all our layers, we are all, in some way, flawed. Standing there in center field on Friday night, players sprayed one another with ginger ale, not champagne or beer, a ritual initiated by C.J. Wilson after they won the American League Division Series out of respect for Hamilton's proud battle to overcome his addictive demons.

"Josh is a very special person, and it's our way of showing him that we are all in a circle with him," said Wilson, who also does not drink, as all of us who get his tweets appreciate. "What makes us all different makes us one."

Hamilton is going to be the 2010 American League MVP. He is the ALCS MVP. In the Yankee Stadium clubhouse after his astounding Home Run Derby performance in 2008, he stepped away from the media circle around his locker to ask: "Could you get me Jeff Allison's number? I need to call him."

Allison is a one-time Marlins first-round Draft pick who, like Hamilton, stumbled because of addiction demons. Hamilton was Allison's inspiration to make it back, and the day of the All-Star Game, Hamilton called Allison to remind him of their bond.

The night after the All-Star Game, President Bush held a state dinner to celebrate baseball. During dinner, the President asked, "Is Josh Hamilton real?"

The answer was yes, with the Allison call as an example. "That makes me very happy," said the President. "We need to focus on how forgiveness can rebuild lives."

"Management showed us that they have our backs. The way they stood behind Wash was something that pulled us together as people."
-- Josh Hamilton

On Friday, Josh Hamilton admitted he had tears in his eyes as the game wore down, and more than 50,000 people chanted their forgiveness. "But this is not about me," he said. "This is about everyone here. One moment I'll never forget was when they walked me [for the second of three times] in the fourth inning and Vladdy [Guerrero] smoked that ball."

It was the moment that brought the pennant to Texas. The Yankees had decided that Hamilton was not going to beat Phil Hughes, or anyone else. They walked him five times in the series and Guerrero made it a 3-1 game. Understand that the venerable Guerrero has never been to the World Series. He played for one of the best teams in the modern era, the 1994 Expos, whose season ended with the strike. He played for Angels teams that never quite made it.

In fact, he reminded us that in the 2009 ALDS, the Red Sox had Jonathan Papelbon walk Kendry Morales to pitch to Vladdy. Guerrero singled off Papelbon, the Angels advanced, but, as he reminded us, lost to the Yankees.

Colby Lewis was a one-time high Draft choice with a power arm that never found it, got hurt, kicked around, found himself in Japan the two previous years and Friday night, pitched the game of his life to win the pennant.

Nelson Cruz kicked from the Mets to the A's to the Brewers to the Rangers, passed through irrevocable waivers in spring training of 2009, and is now an All-Star who hit two homers in the ALCS.

Michael Young has been a Ranger since he was acquired from Toronto for Esteban Loiaza, and was an All-Star at second and short and, when asked if he would move to third base for a 20-year old kid named Elvis Andrus, did so for the team, a move Washington believes "set the tone for who and what we are."

Ian Kinsler came out of the organization. Andrus and Neftali Feliz were stolen from the Braves in the Mark Teixeira deal, David Murphy came from Boston for Eric Gagne. Derek Holland became the left-handed power gunner of the bullpen against New York, the deciding force in Game 4.

And, of course, there is Cliff Lee and his brilliance. One of his former teammates pointed out that part of that brilliance stems from Lee's capacity to figure out the strike zone of whoever is umpiring home plate and pitching to that strike zone, not what Lee thinks it should be.

Standing there in center field on Friday night looking around at the 50-something thousand people singing "This is Texas," there was no thought of World Series television ratings or the impact of the Fox/Cablevision war. Willie Tasby was the first player in franchise history to get an extra-base hit, long before Gene Orza and Mike Barnicle were members of the Willie Tasby Fan Club. Ted Williams, Billy Martin and Bobby Valentine managed this team; Eddie Stanky did, too -- for one game before quitting. Jose Canseco had a ball bounce off his head and over the fence for a game-losing home run error.

Now they're Hamilton and Lee, Elvis and Neftali, Young and Kinsler and Cruz, C.J. and Colby Lewis. Standing there taking it all in, a text showed up on my phone, from a very smart man who played on this team for a time this season.

"That," wrote Alex Cora, "is a great team."

Peter Gammons is a columnist for and an analys

Hurricane heading towards Democrats on Election Day

The Wall Street Journal

Tight Races Could Lead to Uncertainty After Election

A 'Hurricane' Is Heading Toward Democrats on Election Day, Pollster Says


Democrats face damage from hurricane-force winds that can't be stopped now, a leading Democratic pollster said, while a top Republican cautioned that the full extent of the damage may not be known for days or even weeks.

In an interview with WSJ's Jerry Seib, pollsters Peter Hart and Bill McInturff declare that a hurricane will hit Washington on election day, and there is little Democrats can do to get out of the way. However both Hart and McInturff believe President Obama is the Democrats' greatest strength in the home stretch. But according to McInturff, the Senate elections in Nevada, California and Washington will be too close to call, keeping the Senate in play for weeks after polls close.

"We knew there was a hurricane that was going to hit Washington," said Democrat Peter Hart, co-director of The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. "All we're doing is getting closer and closer and at this stage of the game it's going to be a huge hurricane."

Bill McInturff, Mr. Hart's partner in directing the Journal/NBC News poll, said key Senate elections in Nevada, California and Washington now look so close that it may not be possible to declare winners in all three on Nov. 2, the date of the mid-term elections. The need to tally absentee ballots, and possible recounts, could delay the final results for one or more of those races, Mr. McInturff said.

The two spoke on's "The Big Interview" show.

Given how close the fight for control of the Senate will be, a delay in calling one or more of the three tight Western races could leave the question of which party is in charge there hanging unanswered. Republicans would have to make a net gain of 10 seats in the Senate to win control, a number that they could reach only by winning most of the closest races where Democratic incumbents are fighting for re-election. In all three of the big Western states Mr. McInturff cited, Democratic incumbents—Patty Murray in Washington, Barbara Boxer in California and Harry Reid in Nevada—are in tough fights.

For his part, Mr. Hart predicted Democrats will keep control of the Senate. But he also warned that, in general, a "hurricane" is heading toward Democrats on Election Day, and that there is little they can do to avert it at this stage of the campaign.

The two pollsters agreed, though, that President Barack Obama, who is traversing the country to raise money and stump for Democrats in the campaign's closing days, remains the Democrats' best weapon in the stretch run.

The president's job-approval rating stands at 47% in the latest Journal/NBC News poll. That's up a bit from its low point last summer, and roughly comparable to where other recent presidents have been at this point in their first term. More important, Mr. McInturff noted, President Obama has a particular ability to fire up the Democratic base in those key Senate battleground states of Washington, California and Nevada, which is why he is hitting all three this week.

Write to Gerald F. Seib at

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 22, 2010

Well, DUH!

Feds probing possible criminal violations in home foreclosure crisis

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer
October 19, 2010 5:34 p.m. EDT
A government task force dealing with foreclosure issues has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday.
A government task force dealing with foreclosure issues has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday.
  • A federal task force is investigating potential fraud in the foreclosure crisis
  • The task force will meet Wednesday, and a White House briefing is likely afterwards

Washington (CNN) -- Federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday the probe of potential fraud by financial firms in the foreclosure crisis includes an investigation into possible criminal violations of federal laws.

Two sources familiar with the federal Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force indicated the multi-agency effort by investigators in the Justice, Treasury and Housing departments would determine whether prosecutors would ultimately pursue criminal or civil penalties -- or both.

The task force has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Upon conclusion, a briefing is likely at the White House, officials said.

"The administration's Federal Housing Administration and Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force have undertaken their own regulatory and enforcement investigation into the foreclosure process," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed Tuesday. "We remain committed to holding accountable any bank that has violated the law," he said.

Growing concern over flawed paperwork by banks and other lenders in foreclosure proceedings has prompted growing anger and confusion in the housing market. Some banks temporarily froze foreclosures, but are now indicating plans to resume seizing homes after reviewing new paperwork.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Classes For Women

Fall Classes for Women at

By Sat., October 23, 2010


Class 1

Up in Winter, Down in Summer - How to Adjust a Thermostat
Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.

Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hrs beginning at 7:00 PM..

Class 2

Which Takes More Energy - Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or Bitching About It for 3 Hours?
Round Table Discussion.

Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3

Is It Possible To Drive Past a Wal-Mart Without Stopping?--Group Debate.

Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4

Fundamental Differences Between a Purse ! and a Suitcase--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.

Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5

Curling Irons--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet?
Examples on Video.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
At 7:00 PM

Class 6

How to Ask Questions During Commercials and Be Quiet During the Program
Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7

Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps and Shampoos?
Open Forum
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8

Health Watch--They Make Medicine for PMS - USE IT!

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9

I Was Wrong and He Was Right!--Real Life Testimonials.

Tuesd! ays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10

How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim.
Driving Simulations.

4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11

Learning to Live--How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12

How to Shop by Yourself.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Upon completion of
ANY of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

REID: When all else fails; throw someone off welfare | St. Louis Globe-Democrat

REID: When all else fails; throw someone off welfare | St. Louis Globe-Democrat

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finally it's "official." This is now Obama's economy.

News! The recession is over and HAS BEEN for 15 months.

The president has been claiming that he inherited this mess as the Republicans "drove the car into the ditch." Well, Mr. President the Republicans in fact did help to push the car back on the road well more than a year ago - according to a panel of prominent economists who have delivered a verdict that the Great Recession ended in June, 2009.

So, will this news change Mr. Obama's fall strategy of still blaming this country's problems on GW Bush? Absolutely not! His only option is to continue on the "blame Bush for everything" path. To not do that is to admit that he and his policies are now the problem this country is going through with high unemployment and a still sputtering economy.

As a husband of a woman who IS her own business and files a schedule C tax return each year I know the economy has slowed and that her sales of real estate are down the last couple of years. But, the real estate problems right now, TODAY are due to the expiration of the Obama gimme's for first time buyers which ended this summer. Who is going to buy now when IF they could qualify in the spring they would have already purchased a new home? The problem with programs that mortgage the future is that one day the future comes calling.

This announcement from the National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee means one thing: Any new down-turn would mark the beginning of a new recession and not the continuation of the old one.

So, Mr. President - the ball is in your court. Play ball!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Obama Isn't Bill Clinton, That's For Sure.

Remember, "I feel your pain?" Those were the days, folks. No one was better at empathy than our "first black president," Bill Clinton. What we have now is a Par-TAY!

Six vacations in 18 months - yep, great gig if you can get it. Nearly 10 percent unemployment during this "recovery summer" and Joe Biden is practically giddy with the "opportunity to do something great." I sure hope so because we are all dying out here down in the real world, outside of the beltway.

He relentlessly plugs the $5 billion for weatherization as "one of our signature programs," never mentioning, as the Associated Press puts it, that the program "has experienced spending delays, inefficiencies and mismanagement. In Biden's home state of Delaware, the entire program has been suspended since May, and last month federal auditors identified possible fraud." Oops, sorry. Forgot that little detail about how it isn't even working where he lives.

Bill Clinton could look into the camera and you could imagine what he was thinking, and then he would do what he said he would do. You could feel it. Now, when Mr. Obama looks into the camera - you imagine what he is thinking and you can smell it.

Last night as he took the credit for "ending combat in Iraq" his ego wouldn't even allow him to give credit to those who actually DID make the tough decision - to have a "surge." Without Mr. Bush's plan - the one that this president opposed, Iraq wouldn't be in a position today to even visualize American troops withdrawing, much less actually sending some home. "Look at me, ma!" is what I saw last night and almost daily on television from this president.

Where is the empathy now? As the boy who cried wolf was eventually ignored, so is the case here. I see him talking but I don't hear anything. I see neighbors losing jobs, cars, homes and moving out. I see their pain. I don't want change for America - I want what we had in America again.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Battery operated cars? No thanks!

Hey, I'm all for helping our planet Earth but this nonsense about driving around in battery powered cars is just another of President Obama's dreams of spending my money.

Gov'Mint Motors is all excited about their Chevy Volt which will go all of 40 MILES on a single charge! Big whoop! That won't even get me to the Cowboys game AND back. So after I go watch Romo toss another game losing INT - I get stuck on the way home when my battery runs out of juice. Yeah, that will really get the wife all excited and ready to jump my bones when we get home for sure. I can hear her now, "TOLD YOU that the Volt won't get us to the game and back..." and I'll once again have to say, "you are right, dear." Puleeze!

So, what we really have here is nothing more than PAY-BACK to the UNIONS from Obama for helping get him elected, pure and simple. Last Thursday, the Chosen One was once again AWOL from the White House and back on the campaign trail - to Holland, Michigan to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a new lithium-ion battery plant from Compact Power, Inc. Yes Sir, this was advertised as another great example of the White House's Federal Stimulus Grants in action - and creating 300 new jobs.

But, here is what cuts my cheese: Compact Power, Inc. isn't even an American Company! WTF! "We The People" give them $151 Million and neither the plant OR the technology isn't from the good 'ol USA! Oops. That might be a problem, Mr. President! CPI is part of a South Korean company, LG Chemical.

Oh, yeah, these cool, new batteries cost $16,000 each, too! SIXTEEN LARGE! So, I'm driving my four year old Volt in 2014 and the car will only stay charged now for about 16 miles and I figure it must be the battery. I guess I'll walk down to Auto Zone and pick me up a new one. The pimple faced kid looks me straight in the eyes and says, "That will be $16,000.00 for the battery, $1,320.00 sales tax and $800.00 VAT tax, please. Oh, yeah - no problem. Can you at least throw in an oil change too?

Estimated retail price for a new Volt is expected to be in the $30K- $40K range later this fall. If you think it will be hard to get that baby financed - wait until you call your banker and ask for a loan for a replacement battery!

Gasoline is a wonderful product. It is cheap and will make my car go FAST with the A/C cranking, power the windows, seats and all 12 speakers at the same time. I just can't imagine how the Chevy Volt will make the air blow cold in July in Texas when we are rocking over 100 degrees for weeks at a time. No thanks. I think I will stick to just using batteries in my golf cart. At least when it dies I can hang around for the beer girl who is coming right around the corner.