Joe Biden: Success In Iraq Is Obama Administration’s Achievement

Joe Biden: Success in Iraq is Obama administration's achievementOn the Larry King Live show last week, Vice President Joe Biden took credit for the success in Iraq, stating that the United States involvement in the war-torn country "could be one of the great achievements of [the Obama] administration."

The vice president’s statements have angered many Republicans who have pointed out that, as senators, Biden and Obama both opposed the surge in Iraq.

Biden also credited the current administration with the troop withdrawal process that is currently underway, an initiative that was actually negotiated in the Status of Forces Agreement before President Obama took office.

"The reduction in U.S. forces that is under way right now is…largely the continuation of the policy that President Bush had set in place when he negotiated the drawdown schedule with Prime Minister Maliki at the end of 2008," said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, quoted by Fox News.

When asked how the administration could take credit for an agreement that was signed before their tenure, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Obama’s political pressure, as a then-candidate, helped to implement the withdrawal accord.
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Can Eating Chocolate Lower The Risk Of Stroke?

Can eating chocolate lower the risk of stroke?New research shows that eating chocolate may help lower the risk of having a stroke.

Study author Sarah Sahib, with McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and her colleagues analyzed three separate studies, two of which showed a link between the consumption of chocolate and a decreased risk of stroke.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 45,000 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to people who did not eat any sweets. Meanwhile, a second study found that more than 1,000 respondents who consumed 50 grams of chocolate each week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than those who eat no chocolate.

"More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others," concluded Sahib.

She added that chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a beneficial effect against stroke.

The third study that was analyzed found no link between chocolate and the risk of stroke or death.
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Polls Have Good News For The GOP, But Only If Tea Party Is Excluded

Polls have good news for the GOP, but only if Tea Party is excluded A potential split among America’s conservatives appears to be emerging as a pair of new Rasmussen polls indicates that likely Republican voters now outnumber the Democratic electorate, but the picture changes when the Tea Party movement comes into play.

The first survey—which is a generic ballot—found that 44 percent of respondents would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36 percent would cast their ballot for the local Democrat, according to Rasmussen Reports. These numbers have led some commentators to suggest that President Obama’s party may be in the worst electoral shape in a half century.

However, when the poll participants were asked about their preferences in a three-way congressional contest with a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat garnered 36 percent of votes, while the GOP candidate’s support fell to around 25 percent. The hypothetical Tea Party candidate picked up 17 percent of the vote.

To confirm a growing split among conservatives, an ABC/Washington Post poll found that 35 percent of those who identify themselves as Republicans expressed favorable views of the Tea Party movement, and 40 percent saw it unfavorably.
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Tea Party Activists Begin Work On Contract From America

Fresh off the heels of their first-ever convention that was supposed to unveil a "national strategy for grassroots organizing," the Tea Party movement has signaled its next move in the run-up to the midterm elections.

Conservative activist Ryan Hecker, a member of the movement, said the group plans to use the internet to develop a "Contract from America." Aided by former House Republican Leader Dick Armey, he is now gathering ideas that he will submit for an online vote and come up with 10-12 principles that will be publically unveiled on Tax Day, April 15, according to media reports.

"You are going to be held accountable by us," he told ABC, adding that Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike will be invited to sign it.

Given the movement’s opposition to the government’s fiscal policy, Republicans are likely to be the major beneficiaries of what is rapidly becoming a significant force on the political scene, one that has been quick to embrace technological tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

USA Today pointed to its swift involvement in the Massachusetts special election when opinion polls showed Republican Scott Brown had a chance to win over Democrat Martha Coakley. They also organized a rally at the Capitol just hours before President Obama’s State of the Union address to protest the healthcare plan.

However, Hecker says the movement’s desire to see congressional term limits may set it on a collision course with the Republicans, according to ABC.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19606622-ADNFCR

Mediterranean Diet May Help Ward Off Dementia

Mediterranean diet may help ward off dementiaA new study has suggested that consuming a Mediterranean diet may help lower the risk of developing small areas of brain damage that can lead to thinking and memory problems.

Researchers found that people who strictly followed a Mediterranean diet, which includes a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil, as well as a low intake of dairy products, meat and poultry, were less likely to have brain infarcts, which are small areas of dead tissue linked to impaired cognitive function.

In the study, more than 700 participants were separated into three groups based on how closely they were following the Mediterranean diet. After six years, MRI brain scans were conducted, finding that 238 subjects had at least one area of brain damage.

The researchers discovered that respondents who most closely followed the diet were 36 percent less likely to have brain infarcts than were those who rarely followed the diet.

"In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure," concluded study author Nikolaos Scarmeas of the Columbia University Medical Center.
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Iodine for Toxemia

According to David Brownstein M.D., 95 percent of those he tested showed deficiency of iodine. Maybe we should consider iodine first for improved health.

Brownstein says that many illnesses have been helped with iodine. These include fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, immune deficiency syndrome, autoimmune disorders and cancer (including breast, prostate, thyroid and ovarian).

Detoxify Toxemia:  Iodine is a potent anti-infective agent. No virus, bacteria or parasite can resist iodine. It detoxifies the toxic halides bromine and fluorine as well as mercury and lead. The toxic halide molecules and heavy metals are in direct competition for iodine.

The thyroid gland, heart, muscles, skin, brain, breasts, ovaries and other glands and tissues are dependent on iodine. If one is chronically cold, depressed, obese, forgetful or has a heart arrhythmia, iodine deficiency could be the cause.

And, iodine has been therapy for chronic sore cystic breasts for a hundred years. I wonder how many women have had mastectomies when all they needed was iodine?

The good thing is, at full sufficiency when there is no longer any iodine deficiency, the excess iodine is excreted.
 
Caution: If you are on the drug Amiodarone, do not take any kind of iodine.

Reference:  Dr. David Brownstein at www.drbrownstein.com. Ask Dr. Brownstein for his book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It

Curious About Alternative Treatments for Pain? Try These!

People are always asking what are the best alternative treatments for their pain conditions. Given the vast number of modalities available under the “alternative” label, it is no wonder people feel overwhelmed when trying to choose the best one for them.

In this article we’ll look at an overview of some of the best natural, non-invasive therapies for pain. They each have their own focus and methodology, and based on your specific signs and symptoms, the correct treatment for you should jump right off the page.

Massage Therapy: There are literally hundreds of styles of massage. Which one is best for you will depend on your comfort level. Standard massage is good, moves toxins through the body and is relaxing. But it often does not correct structural problems or offer enough correction in the range of motion. And, it is limited range of motion and inflammation that are causing pain.

It is a good idea to use the Internet to look for an individual trained in some of the more specific massage methodologies like deep tissue, neuromuscular technique, Thai massage and myofascial release. Any of these specialties offer much more in terms of somatic correction when combined with standard massage.

Qigong Therapy: Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of energy cultivation. Also called “breath work,” qigong exercises balance energy in the body through coordination of thought, breath and movement in specific actions. The nucleus of qigong is the exercise of consciousness and vital energy. Regular practice of qigong exercises aid in regulating the functions of the central nervous system. Along with exercising and controlling one’s mind and body, qigong influences one’s physical states and pathological conditions. There are both practitioner applied and individual self-regulating qigong methods.

If you are in serious pain and can find a reputable local practitioner, make an appointment. If not, there are good qigong instructional programs available. Look into them. By calming the nerves, regulating blood pressure, relaxing the muscles and slowing the mind, the body can relax, move more blood and release its tight muscle holds. Less pain is not far behind!

Polarity Therapy: Like qigong, polarity therapy also sees the human body as being comprised of “life energy.” However, polarity therapy takes the view that the energy body is in a state of constant “pulsation,” with positive and negative poles and a neutral position. These poles and position form a kind of energetic “template” along the body on which a practitioner can apply touch and pressure to alter the pulsations and derive pain relief and better general states of health.

While it shares common ideas with acupressure and qigong, polarity therapy is more aligned with Indian Ayurvedic medicine and modern osteopathic and chiropractic theories of the body. When people have gone through the complete series of acupuncture or qigong treatments recommended by their practitioner and have not found substantial relief, trying polarity therapy may be the next best modality to embrace. Often times, a person’s polarity (positive/negative energy poles) is reversed and one or more polarity sessions can correct this.

Acupressure and Acupuncture: All Chinese body-healing practices are based on the idea that energy flows through the body in channels called meridians that transport energy and life essence from organ to organ. Where there is low energy or fluid blockage there is pain and soon disease.

Acupressure is the non-invasive and non-needle offspring of acupuncture. Both work on the same theory, and in both cases, the practitioner will either “needle” or apply finger pressure to specific points on the body. Using a correct “prescription” of points, the practitioner can in effect change the energy in a patient, open their channels and help their energy move more freely. Again, when energy moves freely… there is no pain or disease.

Acupuncture and acupressure are both widely practiced today and worth looking into. They have been around for 5,000 years and have helped millions of people… not too shabby!

Hypnosis: There is nothing more powerful than teaching your brain how to control pain and encourage healing. There are many forms of hypnosis and in some states only licensed psychologists can perform hypnosis on patients. The basic idea of hypnosis is to switch off the ideas in the mind that prevent one from achieving set goals. And issues like, “I am always in pain” and “Nothing ever helps” are negative mantras that keep one’s mind and body locked in the pain cycle. The sooner these thoughts are released and replaced with positive ones, the faster the pain relief and recovery begin.

Look online and see what is available in your area, but be sure that “pain” is on the top of their list of specialties rather than hidden under a dozen other areas like smoking, anxiety, weight loss and others.

Herbal Medicine: Chinese herbs promote healing through the bloodstream and meridian complex by balancing organ energy. Over several thousand years of use with millions of patients, herbalists have derived specific "patent formulas" for nearly every health condition… including pain. These formulas contain an average of four-to-six different herbs each—some for stimulating blood, others for coating the stomach, others for pulling the herbals to lower parts of the body. These Chinese herbal remedies are not single-dose herbs for problems, like we see in the West. Many herbs are combined into each formula to provide a well-rounded method of stopping the symptom while at the same time balancing the body to keep it from returning.

Since there are many types of pain (e.g., tendonitis, bruising, flesh wounds, headache, etc.), there are many pain formulas. Having the correct diagnosis will go a long way to choosing the correct formula for your pain. An herbalist will tell you if merely calming the liver or boosting kidney function will relieve the pain over time, or if an actual analgesic pain formula is needed along with a blood-moving formula. Thus, it is advised that one see an actual herbalist before attempting to self-diagnose and prescribe herbs.

Inversion Therapy: Two thousand years ago the Greeks discovered that hanging upside down at various angles for various amounts of time helped citizens with back pain. And today, inversion therapy is helping millions of people with tight muscles, herniated discs and sciatica.

Relieving back pain is the primary reason for considering inversion therapy, as it gently creates space between the vertebrae, lengthens the spine, relieves nerve pressure and stretches tight back muscles.

In addition to pain relief, regularly inverting will help you avoid the "shrinkage" that naturally occurs as a result of gravity over a lifetime. It also improves circulation and lymphatic drainage because when you’re inverted, gravity helps blood to circulate and the lymphatic system to clear toxins faster, easing the aches and pains of stiff muscles.

Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points, a type of muscle stiffness, are the result of tiny contraction knots that develop in muscle and tissue when an area of the body is injured or overworked. Everyone has trigger points; the question is to what degree.

If you have lingering pain, tightness or restriction of certain movements, it is a good bet that you are experiencing the affects of a trigger point. Massage therapy is usually insufficient when trigger points have a hold on your body and are the cause of your pain. What is needed for relief here is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the "knotted-up area." As the trigger point is worked out, your body will undergo soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow, a reduction in muscle spasm and the break-up of scar tissue. It will also help remove any build-up of toxic metabolic waste.

Trigger point therapy can be received at the hands of a manual therapist trained in its method. There are also good self-treatment trigger point systems that can work just as well, or better. With a self-treatment trigger point system, you can apply pressure to the trigger points several times per day until relief is found.

To begin exploring these modalities, do an online search and read the Wiki pages. Call local practitioners for a consultation. The more information you have the better you will be able to choose the right one.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Survey Shows Support For Healthcare Reform Plummeting

Survey shows support for healthcare reform plummeting As Democrats ponder the uncertain future of their healthcare overhaul plan, a new poll has found that public support for the current reform proposal may be eroding.

The Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll, conducted Feb. 3-5, suggests that although half of all Americans want some form of healthcare reform in the next two years, almost 40 percent do not want the legislation sponsored by the Democrats and the White House to form the basis for that reform, according to HealthDay.

John C. Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas said the results point to the American people’s loss of confidence in Congress and the White House.

"They’ve been soured on this," he said, quoted by the news source, adding that there was too much focus on the painful aspects of the reform—such as how to pay for it, whose taxes to raise and what benefits to cut—than on what people would gain from it.

Following last month’s surprise win of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in a special Senate election, which led to the Democrat’s loss of a filibuster-proof majority, the party’s leadership decided not to proceed with the current healthcare bill but to reopen negotiations with the GOP.

However, the two sides have not yet come to an agreement on whether to begin from scratch or try to rework the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last December.
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Obama To Consider Recess Appointments If GOP Continues To ‘Delay’ And ‘Obstruct’ His Nominees

Obama to consider recess appointments if GOP continues to 'delay' and 'obstruct' his nomineesPresident Obama lashed out at Senate Republicans last week, blaming them for holding up a number of his nominees for key federal positions. Obama warned the GOP that if they do not act on these "non-controversial" nominees that have "overwhelming support," then he would consider making several recess appointments when the Senate is not in session.

Since taking office the administration has announced nominees for 569 posts, but so far only 353 have been confirmed, Fox News reports. Obama faults the GOP’s "obstinacy," which he believes is "rooted not in substantive disagreements but in political expedience."

"I respect the Senate’s role to advise and consent, but for months, qualified nominees for critical positions in government—often positions related to our national security—have been held up despite having overwhelming support," Obama said.

The president’s appointment power would allow him to install his nominees while the Senate is in recess. To be confirmed, however, those appointments would need to be approved by the end of the next session of Congress.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders in the Senate have shot back at Democrats, stating that they had a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority until just a few weeks ago and should have acted quicker on their own nominations, according to The Hill.
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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Higher Risk Of Colorectal Cancer

Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher risk of colorectal cancerA large European study has found that low levels of circulating vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

From 1992 to 1998, more than 520,000 participants from 10 western European countries completed detailed dietary questionnaires and gave blood samples. After tracking the subjects for several years, researchers identified 1,248 cases of colorectal cancer.

After matching those cases with the same number of healthy controls, the study’s authors found that participants with high levels of vitamin D experienced a 40 percent decrease in colorectal cancer risk when compared to subjects with the lowest levels.

However, while below average vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of developing the disease, extremely high levels of the nutrient were not related to any additional reduction in colon cancer risk.

Separate studies have also linked vitamin D to the regulation of glucose control, blood pressure and inflammation, three important risk factors associated with heart disease.

The best known sources for the nutrient are the flesh of salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as milk. The vitamin can also be taken in the form of nutritional supplements.
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