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Senate confirms Kagan for seat
Posted August 16, 2010 by pigshow

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- Solicitor General Elena Kagan won easy Senate confirmation Thursday to the U.S. Supreme Court, where President Barack Obama's second nominee will make history as Embroidered patches three women will serve at the same time on the nine-member court.

The 63 to 37 vote, largely along party lines, was no surprise after the 50-year-old former Harvard Law School dean sailed through her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Kagan will join justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor for the fall term, which begins on Oct. 4.

President Barack Obama said the vote "wasn't just an affirmation of (Kagan's) intellect and accomplishments. It was also an affirmation of her character and her temperament; her open-mindedness and even-handedness; her determination to hear all sides of every story and consider all possible arguments."

During this week's Senate debate, Democrats lauded Kagan -- a self-described "progressive" who will become the only sitting justice without prior experience as a judge -- as a fresh, different voice, while Republicans painted her as unqualified and harboring dangerous liberal tendencies.

"Solicitor General Kagan's experience outside the judicial monastery will be valuable to her when she is confirmed," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont said during the debate. "No one can question the intelligence or achievements of this woman."

Republicans raised questions.

"While she is truly intelligent, the exceptional qualities of her mind may be better suited to dealing with students and unruly faculty than with the daily hard work of deciding tough cases before the Supreme Court," said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the committee's top Republican.

The court has already agreed to hear 37 cases in its next term, about half the number likely to be heard during that unique lampwork latest beads period. Sometime next month, Kagan is expected to meet with other justices in private conferences to decide which other cases may be considered.

Among the issues likely to be taken up is a challenge to a new federal court decision striking down California's ban on gay marriage. The case has been appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

As solicitor general, Kagan has been the Obama administration's chief attorney arguing cases before the court, and will not participate in cases where she was involved in appellate proceedings, notably a challenge to mandatory minimum prison sentences imposed on armed drug dealers.

Kagan, who succeeds Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired from the court in June at age 90 and was generally considered part of the liberal wing, is unlikely to shift the philosophical balance.

However, Kagan will go in with a political tinge, a trend that's become apparent in recent years. Until recently, the unwritten rule of court confirmations was that if someone was qualified, politics were put aside. President Bill Clinton's two choices, Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, both were confirmed with three and nine opposing votes, respectively.

Democrats mounted partisan challenges to President George W. Bush's nominees, and attempted a filibuster against Samuel Alito in January 2006. The effort failed when it got only 25 of the 60 votes needed -- Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois, was for the extended debate -- and Republicans have since mounted similar challenges to Obama's nominees.


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pigshow
SEN. BARBARA BOXER, D-CA., HOL
Posted August 16, 2010 by pigshow

SEN. BARBARA BOXER, D-CALIF., HOLDS A NEWS TELECONFERENCE ON JOB CREATION

AUGUST 3, 2010

SPEAKERS: SEN. BARBARA BOXER, D-CALIF.

GOV. EDWARD G. RENDELL, D-PA.

GOV. BILL RITTER JR., D-COLO.

<*> OPERATOR: Hi, everybody. We're going to get started here. I just wanted to remind you really quickly, if you wouldn't mind, please mute your phone. You can mute it by pressing pound-five. You can un- mute it again by pressing pound-five. If you'd like to ask a question, just please announce yourself first. But we'll go ahead and get started. We have Senator Boxer and Governor Rendell and Governor Ritter on the line.

Senator?

BOXER: Thank you so much, everybody, for joining this call. And, of course, I'm so honored that Governor Rendell and Governor Ritter are going to participate in this.

We're here today to talk about critical legislation that is so important, really, to every state, and I can say to my home state for sure. And the legislation is clearly about jobs, it's about protecting critical investments in our states, in health care, in public safety, and in the education of our children.

Rolex fake We know this great recession has hit states and cities very hard, and I never sugar-coat it. And we're doing everything we can. And what I'm going to talk to you about today is very important.

The economic downturn has forced schools across the country to make painful decisions that short-change our children like laying off teachers, overcrowding our classrooms, canceling summer school, shortening the school year.

In California, 26,000 teachers received pink slips this summer, including 5,000 in Los Angeles, 2,200 in Orange County, more than 2,000 in Sacramento, and many more across our state.

If we do not act, it is estimated that up 300,000 teachers will not be returning to school this fall. But the good news is, if we just get one Republican tomorrow, we will be able to mitigate this damage quite a bit.

The legislation we'll consider tomorrow is modeled on a bill that I co-sponsored with Senator Harkin, and it would keep about 140,000 teachers in the classroom, including 13,500 in California, according to the Department of Education.

This measure will also provide critical support to our Medicaid programs in our states. Without this funding in California, our legislature and governors will be forced to enact drastic cuts, not only in the Medicaid program, but if they try to save those programs, they're going to have to look to firefighters and to other very important personnel throughout the state.

Services for the elderly and the disabled who depend on Medicaid will be reduced, and patients will be asked to pay higher co-pays. And some of them just can't do it.

Fewer doctors will be able to treat Medicaid patients. Clinics will have to cut back on hours. And we're going to see more people forced into the emergency rooms, which, at the end of the day is so much more expensive.

So this bill, our teachers and our FMAP, we call it, bill, will ensure that Medicaid is there for working families when they need it and our teachers can stay in the classroom.

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pigshow
The look is dinner-a-deux
Posted August 13, 2010 by pigshow

Byline: Gaby Soutar

If you've booked dinner at a suitably pricey restaurant this Valentine's weekend, then start planning your outfit immediately. We suggest this super slinky scarlet frock from Karen Millen (in a very similar style to Fake Chanel Handbags Romola Garai's firey number, right). Add a pair of these outre Office stilettos, a perspex bangle from Wallis and Accessorize's turquoise studded clutch, and you've got an ensemble that's guaranteed to knock someone's socks off.

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pigshow
The Medusa touch
Posted August 13, 2010 by pigshow

FUNNY, scary and astonishing - Medusa The Celt is powerful, action-packed storytelling in the great tradition of Cornish outdoor theatre.

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This highly entertaining play, for adults and children over a (brave) seven, tells the extraordinary true history of the ancient Celts of Cornwall.

Through the myth of the Gorgon, whose gaze turned all who looked at her to stone, it reveals an amazing secret about the link between this part of the world and the civilisations of Greece and Rome.

With haunting music, frighteningly authentic fighting and stunning costumes, this is more than just a play but an event which may change your view of the past forever.

Three of Cornwall's finest theatre companies have come together to bring you Medusa The Celt. True West in association with cube and Bedlam are touring outdoors across Cornwall until August 20.

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True West's writer-director Nick Whitby has had plays performed in over 20 major theatres internationally, including on Broadway, in Madrid, Chicago, Sydney, Berlin, Munich and the Donmar in London (directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes).

He has also written for a number of comedians, including the Emmy- Award winning Smack The Pony.

This is True West's third production after Pitchside 2008 and Charity Shop Cabaret in 2009, which has since toured the country and will be appearing at Edinburgh this year.

Performances start at 8pm unless stated. Picnics welcome.

You can see it at St Ives Island, Wednesdays, August 4 and 11, Redruth Fairfield Plen this Thursday, Roskilly's, St Keverne, on Friday, at 7.30pm, Penlee Park, Penzance, on Tuesday, Trevarno Gardens, Crowntown, on Fridays, August 6 and 20, Trereife Park, Newlyn, on Monday, August 9, St Mawes Castle on Tuesday, August 10, Tregrehan Gardens, Par, on Thursday, August 12, Plen-an-Gwarry, St Just, on Tuesday, August 17, Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, on Wednesday, August 18, and Calstock Hall on Thursday, August 19.

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Prices: Pounds 8.50 adult, Pounds 7 conc, Pounds 5 under 16. Pounds 20 family ticket.

Book with Cornish Riviera Box Office at / 01726 879500. Tickets also available on door. Roskilly's bookings on 01326 280479, and ask about meal-deals.

For more information and maps to venues go to don'tmiss


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pigshow
Ministries step outside the bo
Posted August 12, 2010 by pigshow

Long gone are the days, some Jacksonville ministers say, when their congregations could kick back and wait for new members to come streaming through their doors, hungry for spiritual and moral guidance.

It's time, they say, to go back to the drawing board.

"We need to rethink how we do church," said the Rev. Mark Griffin, pastor of Wayman Chapel AME and of Wayman Ministries, which operates a school, church and community center on the Westside.

Griffin and his staff and volunteers were doing that recently by hosting a Friday night hoops session in the ministry's campus near the crime-ridden Eureka Garden apartments.

Scores of black male teens and adolescents showed up for an hour of gospel music and hip preaching. Then they "played basketball till they dropped," as the minister put it.

"We want to come down off the pulpit, take off the robes, put on basketball jerseys and get into the gym," he said. "We have to meet the needs of the community."

Griffin and other ministers say they're seeing a growing number of the city's churches taking such out-of-the-box approaches to ministry. High crime and unemployment rates, hunger and homelessness are forcing clergy to become entrepreneurs of ministry, striving to find new ways of adhering to the ages-old concept of serving those in need.

In short, it's forcing many congregations to shift from being places to worship to being bases from which to operate.

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"Church is more like a spiritual gas station," said the Very Rev. Kate Moorehead, dean of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral downtown. "It's a place where we can get nurtured and renewed so we can go back out there and bring about the kingdom of heaven here on Earth."

"OLD MESSAGE," NEW WAYS

But that can be easier said than done.

"Churches have a tendency to slip into 'let's just hope people come in and hear what we're doing,'" said the Rev. Tom Messer, senior pastor Jacket Cloth at Trinity Baptist Church on the Westside.

His church recently began a summer camp and mentoring program for youth at Eureka Garden and also opened a farming operation in St. Johns County to provide organic food for its Jacksonville homeless shelter.

Although the commandment to serve others is as ancient as Scripture itself, it also requires innovation, said the Rev. Kelly Brown of Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church, moderator of the Jacksonville-area association of 28 congregations in Northeast Florida.

"We are called on, being the religious community, to develop those new ways to transmit the old message," she said.

Brown is trying to do just that with a multi-church campaign launched in January to urge police to use churches as patrol hubs and get pastors to push members to share their faith with troubled family members at home.

Churches were also urged to act as resource centers for neighbors in need of social, emotional and law enforcement help.

Reports from congregations are that the idea is working, Brown said.

The old model of knocking on doors to share faith, while still effective sometimes, needs to be supplemented with programs that recognize hunger, poverty and other social ills as platforms from whic
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