Oct 232010

~H/T Char. This was buried in the lifestyles section of the Times!

A potentially lethal germ resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics is spreading fast in Chicago health-care facilities, new research suggests.

This latest “superbug” is formed when common bacteria produce an enzyme called Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase, or KPC, that makes them resistant to a class of antibiotics used as a last resort when other treatments fail.

The number of Chicago hospitals and long-term care facilities reporting infections with these KPC-producing bacteria has increased 42 percent, from 26 to 37, between this year and last. In addition, the average number of patients who tested positive for KPC infections at each of these facilities increased from four to 10 during the same time period, according to a survey conducted by Rush University Medical Center and the Cook County Department of Public Health.

The survey, presented Friday at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, indicates that while the number of KPC infections is still low, “the increase is quite sharp when you consider that we had the first identified case in Chicago in December 2007,” said Dr. Mary Hayden, co-author of the survey and director of clinical microbiology at Rush.

“Clearly, this is spreading quite rapidly, and now is really the time to try to control it so it doesn’t get to the point of MRSA and some of the others,” Hayden said, referring to the drug-resistant staph bacterium that started in hospitals but ultimately spread to community settings.

In some ways, KPC bacteria are “more worrisome” than MRSA, because there are fewer treatments available for patients who develop potentially deadly urinary tract infections or pneumonia caused by these bugs, Hayden said.

The bacteria, normally found in the human intestines, were first identified in the United States in 1999 and have since spread to at least 35 states. Studies suggest these germs kill 40 percent of the people they infect.

So far, KPC infections in Chicago have mostly been limited to immune-compromised patients in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

Klebsiella bacteria can be spread through contact with an infected person or the unclean hands of a health care worker, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It typically doesn’t sicken healthy people.

In addition to health care facilities practicing proper infection control measures and limiting the overuse of antibiotics, preventing the spread of KPC infections will require better communication between facilities, so that hospitals know when they are receiving an infected patient transferred from another institution, Hayden said.

“There are bad bugs out there. They’re spreading fast and control really hinges on a regional, coordinated approach,” she said.

~ BY MONIFA THOMAS Health Reporter

Oct 232010

Real Estate Double Dip ~ States launch foreclosure probe

Cong. Lamborn (R-CO) sponsoring bill to Defund NPR (420M A year!)

Juan Williams: My Thoughts on the NPR Situation

Oct 232010

Budget Slashing Contest

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va

Citing an evident threat to free speech following the firing of Juan Williams from National Public Radio, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said Friday he’s going to include NPR’s federal funding into a contest that lets Americans vote on top programs for Republicans to cut from the budget.

Cantor introduced You Cut in May. A weekly poll of sorts, participants choose from among five items that House Republicans will offer on the floor for an up-or-down vote.

Cantor, R-Va., said Friday that his adding NPR funding into the You Cut vote will enable Americans to “let it be known whether they want their dollars going” to the public broadcasting network.

“Whether it’s people walking off ‘The View’ when Bill O’Reilly makes a statement about radical Islam or Juan Williams being fired for expressing his opinion, over-reaching political correctness is chipping away at the fundamental American freedoms of speech and expression,” Cantor said.

“NPR’s decision to fire Juan Williams not only undermines (free speech), it shows an ignorance of the fact that radical Islam and the terrorists who murder in its name scare people of all faiths, religions and beliefs,” he continued.

So far, Republicans have had little success in cutting government programs chosen by You Cut voters. Since they do not have the majority in the House, Republicans are effectively prohibited from bringing legislation to the floor. However, winning the majority in the Nov. 2 midterm election could change all that.

In theory, if past You Cut “winners” had been slashed, government would have cut more than $145 billion from the budget. Among past winners for the budget knife are the federal employee pay raise — worth $30 billion; mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose reforms would be worth another $30 billion, according to House Republicans; and a repeal of the health care provision that allots $15 billion to pay for IRS agents to enforce the new law.

Smaller cuts included a prohibition on sleeper car subsidies to Amtrak — worth $1.2 billion — and collection of unpaid taxes by delinquent federal employees — an estimated $1 billion in money returned to Treasury coffers.

Since NPR announced Wednesday that Williams was terminated for appearing on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” and admitting that people on airplanes wearing full “Muslim garb” make him nervous, several Republican lawmakers have called for defunding NPR, which receives about 1-3 percent of its budget from federal grant money.

On Thursday, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., noted that he introduced legislation in June to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives about 13 percent of its funding from taxpayers and awards NPR some grant money.

Lamborn said that in 2010, taxpayers subsidized CPB with $420 million, and it has has requested $608 million for their next funding cycle beginning in 2013.

“Why in the world, in the era of trillion annual dollar deficits, should the taxpayer have to subsidize it to the tune of more than $400 million a year? It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Even if NPR were truly neutral, which we see is not the case, taxpayers should not subsidize something that can stand on its own two feet.”

But NPR only gets a small amount of that CPB money. Federal grants, including money from the National Endowment of the Arts, total about $3.3 million of NPR’s $166 million annual budget, the Associated Press reported. Most of its budget is funded by affiliates, corporate sponsors and major donors.

On Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he would appreciate liberal billionaire George Soros fully funding NPR.

Soros, who’s funded several Democratic and leftwing causes over the years, is giving $1.8 million — through his Open Society Foundation — to National Public Radio member stations to hire reporters to work on state government stories.

Issa said the contribution demonstrates that NPR no longer needs taxpayer money.

“With NPR benefiting from the generosity of people like MoveOn.org financier George Soros, it’s obvious that NPR is now a self-sustaining entity that no longer needs to rely on federal funds,” he said in a statement.

“Once NPR is free from the umbrella of accepting, receiving and being eligible for taxpayer dollars, maybe Soros can fully finance NPR’s fall schedule with spin-offs of some of America’s favorite shows such as, ‘Dancing with the Czars’ or ‘Socialist Survivor’ and ‘Lost: The Obama Presidency,'” Issa said.


Oct 232010

This is the most important election of our lifetime and you are making the difference. Because of the unselfish dedication of tea party activists all over our great land, we will begin the first step in reclaiming our nation’s founding principles on November 2nd.

* We will continue to provide tour updates.


Oct 232010

~Important Links…

Latest Election Polls

Battle for the House

Battle for the Senate

2010 Governor Races

FLIP This House

FOX Interactive MAP

FLIP This House

Obama’s closing, familiar argument: Time to choose

SEATTLE – Practically ordering cheering supporters to vote, even though he’s not on the ballot, President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the Nov. 2 congressional elections will set the direction of the nation “for years to come.”

Obama says elections will set nation’s future

Rise of the Pink Elephant Republican congressional candidate Kristi Noem on new women of the GOP

Women’s Impact on Elections

AP -Miller Camp Files Complaint Over Election Money

Joe Miller’s campaign alleges that a group formed by Alaska Native corporations has violated the law by using money they’ve gotten as federal contractors to try to influence the Alaska Senate race for Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Miller’s campaign, in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission, calls Alaskans Standing Together a “PR front group” supporting Murkowski. It claims some of the contracts that corporations obtained came from funding requests made by Murkowski.

A spokesman for Alaskans Standing Together hadn’t seen the complaint but noted a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows for unions and corporations to use their own money to support or oppose a candidate.

Records show the group, formed last month, has spent over $1 million to support Murkowski in her write-in bid.


Rubio on Future of Tea Party

Illinois Congressional Race — Independents will DECIDE

Oct 232010

~Juan had his contract with FNC & will get an extended roll. Good on you FOX! Political correctness, character assassination and intolerance at National Public Radio

Oct 232010

Oct 232010

WikiLeaks to Release 15,000 More Afghan War Docs

Self-proclaimed whistle-blower website WikiLeaks announced Saturday it would soon release 15,000 more secret Afghan war documents. The announcement came just one day after the group published nearly 400,000 Iraq war papers.

LONDON – The WikiLeaks website is poised to release what the Pentagon fears is the largest cache of secret U.S. documents in history — hundreds of thousands of intelligence reports that could amount to a classified history of the war in Iraq.

U.S. officials condemned the move and said Friday they were racing to contain the damage from the imminent release, while NATO’s top official told reporters he feared that lives could be put at risk by the mammoth disclosure.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said any release would create “a very unfortunate situation.”

Translated means the U. S. stooges are ‘screwed’ ~NOTE: The Doc Dump is said to be secrets of Iraq. Is it truly detrimental to our troops, who have mostly left the region, or they are afraid of what we will find out? ~JP

“I can’t comment on the details of the exact impact on security, but in general I can tell you that such leaks … may have a very negative security impact for people involved,” he told reporters Friday in Berlin following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In a posting to Twitter, the secret-spilling website said there would be a “major WikiLeaks announcement in Europe” at 0900 GMT (5 a.m. EDT) Saturday. The group has revealed almost nothing publicly about the nature of the announcement.

U.S. Defense Department spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan echoed Rasmussen’s stance, urging WikiLeaks to return the stolen material.

“We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world, including our enemies,” Lapan said. “By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us.”