Fat-Burning Foods for Weight Loss

I hear it all the time: “I try to eat right and work out regularly, but I just can‘t seem to lose all the weight I want.” For some people, it’s the last 10 pounds and for others it’s the first 10. So what’s the deal?

Well, weight loss and the breakdown of food are linked to a properly working metabolism. That is, your body’s process of converting food into fuel. Some people are naturally lean, and chances are they have a “fast metabolism.” Other people just smell French fries and seem to put on weight; and they have what is called a “slow metabolism.”

One of the secrets to weight loss and continued weight management, then, is to obtain and maintain a fast metabolism. The first step to this is identifying those things that slow down your metabolism, and these include:

  1. Low levels of physical activity—Healthy weight loss depends on moving the body to increase heat to burn calories and invigorate digestion to break down food.
  2. The gradual loss of lean muscle tissue from that lack of exercise—While muscle weighs more than fat, it is healthy and also helps burn fat! For healthy weight loss you must increase your lean muscle mass, and this can easily be done with walking and doing simple chores about the house, like vacuuming and ironing.
  3. Not eating regular well-balanced meals—Every time you eat your metabolism is jump-started. Food is fuel, and eating starts processes in motion in the body for breakdown, digestion and elimination. Not eating regularly sends your body into starvation mode, where it begins storing fat!
  4. Fasting or dieting that restricts caloric intake for extended periods—This is unhealthy as it deprives the body of the essential nutrients it needs for optimal survival. Restricting calories depletes lean muscle tissue and when the diet is over people overeat in reaction to being “starved.”
  5. Insufficient daily protein consumption—Whether animal or plant as its source, it is advisable to consume protein every day. It gives energy and burns slower than carbohydrates, thus extending energy and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Balancing the above five issues will help you turn a slow metabolism into a normal metabolism. But a normal metabolism is generally not sufficient for many people’s fat-burning goals. A fast metabolism, on the other hand, will help you reach and maintain an ideal weight and ratio of fat to muscle. And the basic ways of improving metabolism include:

  1. Weight and strength training to increase muscle tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the day.
  2. Regular physical activity will turn up the heat and melt the fat calories away. Regular fitness is best, but even small things like taking brisk walks, raking leaves and cleaning the house at a faster pace… can burn more calories than taking an easier route.
  3. Keep hormones and blood sugar levels stable by consuming whole grain and low sugar foods while watching your saturated fat intake. Supplements can also help.
  4. Drink plenty of water to keep the system working optimally. Water, pure and simple, can flush those toxins that make the metabolism sluggish.
  5. Eat more frequently, but less each time. By consuming something every three hours you will maintain a steady level of energy while also keeping your blood sugar levels from dropping out. When blood sugar drops, unhealthy food cravings emerge.
  6. Eat foods that stoke your metabolism!

That’s right, there are actually foods and spices that can turn up your internal temperature, improve the breakdown of food and fat, remove toxins and increase your metabolism. The list includes drinks, foods, spices and supplements.

  1. Drinks… German researchers have proven that drinking 17 ounces of ice water daily can raise your metabolism by as much as 30 percent. This happens because it requires about 100 calories of energy to re-heat your body once it is cooled down. Just don’t drink it with food, or the food will sit in your stomach while your body tries to re-heat itself!

    On the other end is drinking hot green tea. The antioxidants in this tea will help eliminate toxins that cause metabolic sluggishness, and the drink itself has been shown in studies to also increase metabolism.

  2. Foods… Eating plenty of protein for energy and whole grain carbohydrates will do much to maintain energy, blood sugar levels and elimination schedules. The grains remove cholesterol from the blood and help maintain bowel function while the protein gives you sustained energy for exercise.
  3. Spices… Some people complain that healthy foods do not taste good. To them, I say: Spice it Up! Thermogenic spices, like the aromatics, stoke the metabolism while making plain food taste great. These pungent spices heat up your body, causing it to sweat and burn fat. So include plenty of chilies, mustard, allspice, ginger, garlic, onion, curries, turmeric, cloves, cayenne and other aromatic spices to your diet and your metabolism will speed up by around 40 percent for roughly the next two hours.

So there you have it; ways to balance and boost your metabolism for weight loss and optimal health. Avoid the pitfalls that contribute to a sluggish metabolism while at the same time doing what you can to increase metabolic functions. There’s never been a more tasty way to do it!

—Dr. Mark Wiley

ACORN Employees Will Not Be Charged With Any Crime, NY Prosecutor Concludes

ACORN employees will not be charged with any crime, NY prosecutor concludes Following a five-month investigation, employees from the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) who were caught on video reportedly offering advice on how to cheat on taxes and loan applications to a couple posing as a prostitute and a pimp have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said last week.

Republicans have long accused the controversial anti-poverty group of widespread corruption and voter registration fraud, and have suggested that the organization has close ties to the current administration.

Shortly after the investigation began, Congress voted by a wide margin to cut off federal funding to ACORN, although that decision is currently being disputed in court.

Meanwhile, several of the organization’s offices have disbanded and resumed operations under new names and with similar staffs, Fox News Reports.

Although the two employees have been cleared, ACORN is still under federal investigation for fraud and corruption.

Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said that the federal inquiry "will expose the criminal nature of ACORN’s deliberate effort to abuse taxpayer dollars to advance a radical political agenda," according to the news source.

Programmed Cell Death

Our cells, if healthy, are programmed to die a natural death within a certain time. This process is called “apoptosis.”

When our cells grow wild and don’t die on time, we have cancer. Iodine promotes apoptosis or normal cell death.

But the "required daily allowance (RDA) is not enough for iodine dependent tissues of the thyroid, breasts, ovaries, uterus and prostate gland. Daily preventive adult doses range from 6-50 mgs/day for the vast majority of adults. Iodine levels can be measured by checking blood, urine and/or saliva." (From the book, Iodine, Why You Need It and Why You Can’t Live Without It, 3rd edition, page 160 by Dr. David Brownstein.)

FRC: Openly Gay People In The Military May Threaten Religious Liberties

Openly gay people in the military may threaten religious liberties, says FRCFamily Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkin’s invitation to speak at today’s National Prayer Luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C., has been rescinded, causing the organization to question whether allowing gays in the military will not infringe on religious freedoms.

Perkins, who is a veteran of the Marine Corps, linked the retraction of the invitation to President Obama’s statement during the State of the Union address on Jan. 27, where he called on Congress to lift restrictions on service in the military by openly homosexual individuals. In the weeks since, the FRC has heavily criticized this proposal and urged Congress to uphold the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy that excludes gays from military service.

"As one who took the oath to defend and protect our freedoms, I am disappointed that I’ve been denied the opportunity to speak to members of the military solely because I exercised my free speech rights in a different forum," Perkins said.

He also expressed concern that this portends a "serious threat" to religious freedom.

"Such legislation would not merely open the military to homosexuals. It would result in a zero-tolerance policy toward those who disapprove of homosexual conduct," Perkins warned.

Meanwhile, the support to repeal the current policy appears to have gained momentum since the State of the Union speech. In recent weeks it has been endorsed by several top military officers, including General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and General Ray Odierno, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. Retired General Colin Powell, who served as President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, also supports this position.

Governor Rick Perry’s Triumph In GOP Primary Hailed As Success For Tea Party Movement

Governor Rick Perry's triumph in GOP primary hailed as success for Tea Party movement Texas Governor Rick Perry resoundingly won the Republican gubernatorial primary on March 2, beating Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in what has been described as a show of strength of the Tea Party movement.

Commentators have attributed Perry’s win to the anti-Washington sentiment among the state’s conservatives, which has been fueled by the activism of Tea Party supporters who are fighting for small government, oppose the federal deficit as well as tax increases.

On announcing his victory, Perry said the message to Washington was simple: "Quit spending all the money," and "stop trying to take over our lives and our businesses," according to media reports.

If he wins reelection in November, it will mark the latest in the string of high-profile losses suffered by Democrats in recent months, including the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, and the Massachusetts special Senate election.

Perry’s opponent will be former Houston mayor Bill White who won the Democratic primary. In anticipation of the line Perry may take in the upcoming campaign, White said the governor will try to exploit the popular disillusionment with the Obama administration.

However, he told CNN that it would be for Perry’s "own political career."

"[The election] shouldn’t be about a party or who’s doing what to whom in Washington. I’m just running for the people of Texas," he added, quoted by the news provider.

Study: Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Mood In The Winter Months

Study: Vitamin D supplementation improves mood in the winter monthsAccording to a recent study, a daily dose of vitamin D may help people in northern climates better combat the long winter.

Researchers from Loyola University’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) found that the nutrient can help lift mood during the winter months when days are short and access to sunlight is at a premium.

"Vitamin D deficiency continues to be a problem despite the nutrient’s widely reported health benefits," said Sue Penckofer, professor at MNSON. "[Northern] winters compound this issue when more people spend time away from sunlight, which is a natural source of vitamin D."

Loyola researchers plan to take their vitamin D study a step further by assessing whether supplementation with the nutrient can improve blood sugar and mood in women suffering from diabetes. They state that there is evidence to suggest that vitamin D may decrease insulin resistance, which has been linked to depression in previous studies.

It has been proven that women tend to have poorer blood sugar control and greater rates of anxiety than men with diabetes.

Recent studies have also found that vitamin D may provide protection from high blood pressure and several autoimmune diseases.

Garlic Consumption Linked To Lower Levels Of Cancer – related Toxins

Garlic consumption linked to lower levels of cancer-related toxinsResults of a newly released study have suggested that garlic consumed in large quantities may serve as a natural remedy to help ward off cancer.

United States researchers have developed a urine test capable of measuring the extent of a potential carcinogenic process, and found that a decreased risk of cancer development was directly proportionate to an increased intake of garlic.

In the study, researchers from Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center set out to measure garlic’s affect on the body’s level of cancer-causing agents known as nitrates. Groups of participants were treated with varying levels of garlic and then had their urine tested for toxins.

The results of the study showed that respondents who consumed garlic on a daily basis had lower concentrations of nitrate markers than did those who were given no garlic. Moreover, though the differences were slight, the highest consumption of the vegetable was associated with the lowest levels of toxins related to cancer development.

"The precise mechanism by which garlic and other compounds affect nitrosation is under extensive investigation, but is not clear at this time," said Earl Harrison, senior author of the study.

"What this research does suggest, however, is that garlic may play some role in inhibiting formation of these nitrogen-based toxic substances," he added.

Paper Money Will Be Worthless?

Dear Bob,

If, as stated in your summary report of the pending economic crisis (Surviving A Global Financial Crisis and Currency Collapse), paper money will be worthless because it is not backed by gold or silver, how will one be expected to pay their loan payment or utility bills? I have my paychecks automatically deposited and the same with my monthly pension payment. Are those checks supposedly worth anything during the economic collapse and what will the banks do with them? Could I become a victim of the system and lose my home because nothing I have to pay my mortgage with will be considered of any value? I really feel that there isn’t much I can do to prevent a lot of this because every source of income I have may have no more value than paper money. I don’t have a huge stash of gold and silver coins and it’s a little late and way to expensive to consider buying enough to make mortgage payments with. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.

Ted Smith

Dear Ted Smith,

In the last days of the system, as its collapse is occurring, you will still have to make payments with cash or checks based on the inflating fiat currency. So you will have to exchange your gold and silver for paper. In Weimar Germany people were being paid with wheelbarrow loads of cash then rushing to the store to buy bread before the price rose again. I expect something similar to occur here. The key is to have something on hand for after the system collapses so you can continue to buy what you need.

Best Wishes,

Prosperity Can Return, And The Fix is Simple

Income tax to the Federal Government is not for income to the government—not one penny.

What is it for then? It is for social control. This is a fiat money syndrome. Fiat paper money causes more direct government control over citizens. In filing Federal Income Tax forms people reveal a complete profile of their public as well as their private lives.

The system requires that the people must believe that Federal income taxes are for income flow to the Federal Government. Nonsense, nonsense. No fiat (money) goes to Washington as taxes!

Where does it go? It returns to ether, from whence it came. Where does the Federal Government get its money? Modern government money is electronic. It is not your taxes.

And in reality, Federal Government has no debt. How can the Federal Government have debt with electronic money that is nothing more than computer symbols that can be created to infinity?

Every egghead in the land believes that there is Federal debt. The Federal debt elves have gotten into their heads. They totally misunderstand monetary realism.

Oh yes, the Federal debt hoax has a serious purpose. It throws sand in our eyes to keep the people from waking up to the fact that the Federal Government just creates all the “money.” There might be an “income tax” rebellion if a goodly number of people discovered the Federal debt hoax. Come now, if you could create trillions in electronic money, would you have debt? No, you wouldn’t, and neither does the Federal Government.

The income tax is totally a propaganda system to keep the population from discovering the nature of Federal Government finance. Income tax is not about money going to Washington as taxes.

It is about control and social engineering of transferring production and wealth from the producers to the non-producers, and it comes right out of Karl Marx’s Manifesto.

And dear friends, can you even imagine the parasite load of accountants and lawyers pretending to help the Federal Government collect taxes? They actually believe that they are collecting taxes. They have no concept of reality.

I challenge any living being to disprove what I have written here. What we need is truth.

The hour is past late.

Greed and vested interest have brought America to a state of collapse. Accountants and lawyers are parasites on the income tax fraud.

Since the income tax does not supply income to the government it can be permanently abolished. After all, Federal income tax was nil until 1939.

It’s all very simple except for the giant cover of deceit and fraud in America. Elimination of the Federal income tax would restore confidence and a new day of prosperity and economic relief.

Domestic labor could and would be cheaper and corporations which have moved offshore would move back.

America is not in economic trouble except for the fraud of politicians and vested interests. President Obama would have to know this.

Abolishing the income tax would eliminate the oppression of a whole army of tax collectors and their lackey accountants and lawyers. This would make way for sound and honest healthcare and Social Security.

Abolishing the income tax would not cost the United States government a dime. Federal income tax is the scam of and scourge of history used by tyrants to oppress the people and make them support a perpetual increase in the size of government.

What I have said here does not apply to state and local governments. All of you know that they can’t print money or create money electronically as does the Federal Government.

The American people need to know the truth now about the fraud and deceit of the Federal income tax. It will never be debated in the controlled media or by the politicians. They don’t want you to know.

But only 1 percent of the “taxpayers” could start an income tax rebellion simply by telling the truth to fellow Americans. It is our last chance!

NRA’s Upcoming Annual Meeting To Feature Sarah Palin

NRA's upcoming annual meeting to feature Sarah Palin The National Rifle Association (NRA), America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group, has announced that the 2010 Annual Meetings and Exhibits will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. in mid-May.

This year’s event is expected to attract some 70,000 attendees to approximately 400 exhibits, and will feature leading firearm manufacturers who will display the firearm industry’s latest products. Visitors will also have a chance to view various hunting and shooting accessories and an extensive private collection by NRA-affiliated gun collector clubs.

NRA’s Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum will take place again this year, followed by the Celebration of American Values Freedom Event. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is expected to headline one of the meetings.

"Governor Palin is one of the most requested speakers in America today," Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive director, told CNN.

"She’s an outdoorsman, hunter and a steadfast supporter of our Second Amendment freedom," he added.

Among other noteworthy events during the three-day convention, there will be presentations on methods of concealed carry, hunting in Africa, firearms law, the grassroots workshop as well as Refuse to Be a Victim seminars.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19644152-ADNFCR

Anti-gun Organizations Join Forces To Boost Advocacy Efforts

Anti-gun organizations join forces to boost advocacy effortsTwo gun violence prevention organizations have announced they are joining forces in an effort to strengthen state-level advocacy efforts.

Freedom States Alliance (FSA) merged with States United to Prevent Gun Violence (SUPGV) and assumed its name on Feb. 23. The new organizations’ stated goal is to support existing state-based gun violence prevention organizations and expand the network of groups working to reduce gun violence in America.

"Despite the tragic and ongoing epidemic of gun violence in this country, policymakers remain unwilling to take any meaningful action to address this urgent public safety issue," said Sally Slovenski, executive director of SUPGV.

She added that the merger will increase opportunities for the sharing of resources and strategies for state groups with a view of influencing anti-gun agenda "in state houses across the country."

As a an example of grassroots success, SUPGV cited Ceasefire New Jersey whose advocacy helped pass a one-gun-a-month law in the state.

However, in one commentary after the announcement, a blogger writing for GunPoliticsNY.com, dismissed the move by stating that "fresh off their defeat with the new federal law allowing guns in national parks, [these]organizations are merging in an attempt to remain relevant."

The amendment to the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009, authored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), which permits national park visitors to possess firearms consistent with the laws of the state in which the park is located, went into effect on Feb. 22.

Exercise May Reduce Patient Anxiety

Exercise may reduce patient anxietyAccording to a recent study, regular exercise can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms that accompany a chronic illness.

After analyzing the results of 40 randomized clinical trials, researchers from the University of Georgia found that patients who exercised on a regular basis reported a 20 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who did not exercise.

"Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that physical activities such as walking or weight-lifting may turn out to be the best medicine that physicians can prescribe to help their patients feel less anxious," said lead author Matthew Herring.

Individuals participating in the study found relief from anxiety caused by a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

The study’s co-author, Pat O’Connor, noted that exercise even helped calm respondents who were not very anxious to begin with. He added that exercise sessions of at least 30 minutes were found to be considerably more effective in reducing anxiety symptoms than routines lasting less than 30 minutes.

Additionally, there are a variety of herbal supplements on the market that can help calm the nerves, including B-complex vitamins, GABA and inositol.

Hey, Washington—Reconcile This!

Thank goodness for a conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., last week. I had day-long duties as the master of ceremonies—which meant I was not able to watch Barack Obama’s seven-hour healthcare summit on TV.

If you did, please tell me what you thought of it. (If you’ve never joined our comment club before, it’s easy to do. Just go to the end of this Straight Talk column, type in your raves, rants or whatever, and click “Submit Comment.” Assuming your remarks aren’t obscene, you’ll see them posted a few moments later.)

The analysts I trust—and even a few I don’t like—say the whole affair was bor-ing. Apparently our president came across as smug, arrogant and condescending. Do you agree? This doesn’t surprise me; I think that’s pretty much what he’s actually like.

Peggy Noonan, a conservative commentator who is frequently much kinder to our opponents than am I, said of Obama’s manner, “The president has entered a boorish phase.”

But boors don’t win in politics. I’m beginning to wonder if some of the president’s most avid supporters don’t see the handwriting on the wall. (The word they’re seeing is “failure.”)

In the television coverage of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Obama’s water carriers in the Senate and House, both looked as though they had been sucking on lemons all morning. No jovial, back-slapping, “glad to have you here” gushing for them. It was more like “Line up the victims, boys, and let’s get this execution underway.”

In fact, the New York Times said as much in its coverage the next day. One of its lead stories started this way:

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is confident she will be able to get the votes needed to pass sweeping healthcare legislation in the House, even if it threatens the political careers of some members of her party.

I put that last part in bold italics because I wanted to be sure you saw it—and recognized the significance of it. How would you like to be a moderate Democrat facing a tough reelection battle this November and read those words? Think it might send a chill up your spine?

Nasty Nancy has already lost at least one vote. Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.) announced last month that he won’t be running for reelection this year. In his remarks, he lambasted the White House for pushing Blue Dog Democrats “into the abyss.” His words, not mine.

One astute analyst of the Washington scene commented thusly:

“The thing to know about President Obama’s health talk-fest is that it had zero to do with Republicans or their ideas. The GOP came, it spiritedly debated, it left. The president never budged. He never intended to.”


If the president had actually meant for the summit to lead to compromise and accommodation he would have said so up front. He knew that every Republican in Washington—not to mention an overwhelming majority of Americans—wants to toss out those two disasters that the House and Senate approved under extreme pressure.

But instead of agreeing to kill those bills and, as the Republicans have insisted, “start with a clean sheet of paper,” the president has made it clear it’s “my way or the highway.”

It was apparent to me long before the summit started that the Democratic leadership had absolutely no intention of achieving a “compromise” with the Republicans. The White House had been dropping hints for days that the president was going to set aside the velvet glove and instead take out his heaviest hammer. In this case, that means endorsing an odd legislative practice called “reconciliation” to get his health-care bill passed by both branches of Congress.

I’ve written about reconciliation before. Basically, it means rigging the rules so that legislation already approved in the Senate by 60 votes can be ratified—when it comes back from a House-Senate conference committee—by a simple majority.

Normally, neither side would attempt this parliamentary slight-of-hand when major changes have been made in a bill. But apparently the powers-that-be in the Democratic camp have decided that this is the only way they’re going to get Obamacare passed this year. So the heck with precedent, the public, or the outraged cries of the opposition. It’s “damn the torpedoes, guys, full speed ahead.”

In an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, former Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist wrote that using “reconciliation” to get Obamacare approved would be “an unprecedented, dangerous and historic mistake.”

Actually, Bill, I kind of hope they’ll go for it. I can’t imagine anything the Obamacrats could do that would stir up the opposition more than to cram this odious piece of legislation down our throats. You think the Tea Parties, town hall meetings and other gatherings have shown some spirited opposition? You ain’t seen nothin’ compared to what will happen if this happens. It’s going to take a lot more than a few hundred million in Cornhusker kickbacks to bully this bill through Congress. It’s going to take a few dozen acts of political suicide.

We’ve already seen the first sign that the deal is breaking down. Both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are insisting that the other one be the first to bring the bill up for a vote. Watching them toss this hot potato back and forth would be amusing, if the situation weren’t so serious. (Actually, it’s pretty amusing even so.)

I’m sure many of you are getting all sorts of anxious emails from all of sorts of conservative groups, organizations and coalitions urging you to “write your Senators” and “call your Congressman.” Far be it from me to dissuade you—even though you can be certain they already know their constituents don’t like this sleazy effort to socialize medical care in this country.

Instead of telling them to “just say no,” how about we try a little legislative ju-jitsu here? Ask your elected representatives to support an amendment by Representative John Fleming (R-La.) that would require all members of Congress and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan.

I can’t think of anything that would get these pompous planners to switch sides faster. They already know—as most of their constituents do not—that they have exempted themselves from most of the legislative shackles they’ve been so eager to foist on us. Enough of this “some pigs are more equal than others.” Let’s level the playing field and see how they like it.

As soon as we get Fleming’s amendment passed, let’s take away their fancy pensions and force them to join Social Security and Medicare. That will teach them to fuss with our freedoms!

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

Sarah Palin’s Spokeswoman Meg Stapleton Resigns

Sarah Palin's spokeswoman Meg Stapleton resigns Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s top adviser and spokeswoman Meg Stapleton, who was rumored to have a "difficult" relationship with the media and some Republicans, has resigned.

Officially, Stapleton cited family commitments and the need to spend more time with her 2-year-old daughter as the reason for the resignation.

"Taking care of the governor was my priority for the last [few years] and now I just want to personally refocus and spend some time with my precious little one," she said, quoted by The Associated Press (AP).

However, others have pointed out that Stapleton has been increasingly unable to handle the growing amount of scrutiny surrounding Palin since the end of the 2008 presidential campaign.

In particular, media have reported journalists’ frustration with Stapleton who frequently failed to answer phone calls and emails and when she did, her answers appeared "terse and combative," according to CNN.

Moreover, although the former spokeswoman’s performance earned praise from some Palin advisers—including Fred Malek who said Stapleton "has been a one woman band and deserves much credit and admiration"—other commentators were less generous.

According to Geoffrey Dunn, writing for The Huffington Post, Stapleton was considered "incompetent" by senior McCain officials during the 2008 presidential campaign, and her feud with GOP fundraiser Becki Donatelli, of the Washington D.C.-based Campaign Solutions, reportedly led to Donatelli breaking off her relationship with Palin’s Political Action Committee.

CIS Study Links Rising Immigrant Population To Diminished GOP Support

CIS study links rising immigrant population to diminished GOP support As the immigration reform issue continues to create controversy among Washington’s lawmakers, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released a report on the likely partisan consequences of continued mass immigration.

For the purpose of the study, James G. Gimpel, a professor of government at the University of Maryland, College Park, examined the Republican share of the vote and the foreign-born share of the population over three decades in all U.S. counties.

In his report for CIS entitled “Immigration, Political Realignment and the Demise of Republican Political Prospects,” he revealed that the electoral impact of immigration has been greatest in counties with large populations, where most immigrants settle. In these locations, Republicans have lost 0.58 percentage points in presidential elections for every one percentage-point increase in the size of the local immigrant population.

In fact, among counties with at least 50,000 residents, where the immigrant share increased by at least two percentage points from 1980 to 2008, a total of 62 percent saw a decline in the Republican percentage. In counties with at least a six percentage-point gain in the immigrant share, approximately 83 percent saw a decline in the GOP vote share.

However, Republicans have remained competitive in presidential elections because losses in high-immigration counties have been offset by gains in low-immigration counties, the report also found.

Toyota, Clean Teeth, Expensive Comics and More Trouble For Tiger

*That was an unfortunate choice. You’ve got to feel sorry for Anna Bernasek, a writer who labored for months over a new book on the importance of trust in building a business. The company she used as her prime example in The Economics of Integrity? Toyota. Bet that one won’t make the best-seller list.

*Big Brusher is watching. The Department of Early Education & Care in Massachusetts is taking a bold stand in favor of proper oral hygiene. As of the first of the year, any child who spends more than four hours in day care, and/or is given a meal there is required to brush his teeth on site. Wonder how long before some busy-body adds flossing to the list?

*Bet you wish you’d saved yours. Did you see the news that two different comic books just sold for $1 million each? Twelve days ago a private buyer paid $1 million for a pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1, the 1938 comic that introduced the world to Superman. Five days later, another anonymous buyer snatched up Detective Comics No. 27 for $1,075,000. That’s the one in 1939 where Batman made his first appearance.

*Tiger’s troubles continue. His much ballyhooed public apology hasn’t been enough to stem the defections for Tiger Woods. Gatorade has dropped him as a sponsor. And even General Motors has said it will no longer provide free automobiles to the superstar golfer. At least Nike hasn’t stripped him of his swoosh … yet.

—Chip Wood

Scott Brown To Campaign For John McCain In Arizona This Weekend

Scott Brown to campaign for John McCain in Arizona this weekendAs Republican lawmakers who are up for reelection later this year face tough battles ahead of them, they are increasingly counting on their party’s rising stars to boost their electoral chances.

In recent weeks, Sarah Palin has made a string of appearances on various campaign trails, most notably stumping for her former presidential running mate Senator John McCain who is facing a primary challenge in Arizona.

According to media reports, McCain has now reached out to another popular Republican – the newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown – to aid his effort, as Brown’s surprise win last January has energized the GOP.

Brown and the five-term Arizona senator are scheduled to appear together at a rally at Grand Canyon University’s Antelope Gymnasium in Phoenix this Friday. On Saturday, the two will head to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona-University of Southern California basketball game.

The 73-year-old incumbent is seeking to stave off a primary challenge from former Representative J.D. Hayworth in August. However, despite the support McCain received from Sarah Palin, four Tea Party organizations in Arizona announced that they will not endorse any candidate in the Republican primary, according to CNN.

GOP Looks For Democratic Support To Oust Charles Rangel

GOP looks for Democratic support to oust Charles RangelAt the end of February, the House ethics committee "admonished" Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) for allowing a private company to fund two trips that he and other members of the Black Caucus took to the Caribbean in 2007.

Later this week, Republicans in the House will introduce a special resolution to strip Rangel of his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, signaling a possible end of his tenure in Washington, Fox News reports.

The embattled representative is currently being investigated for several other illegal matters, including allegations that he failed to pay taxes on undisclosed personal assets and that he used congressional stationery to solicit donations for his school of public service at The City College of New York.

Many political pundits believe that some Democrats will be forced to vote for the resolution to relieve Rangel of his duties as chairman, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an end to the "culture of corruption" that prevailed when the GOP had the majority in the House, according to The Washington Post.

"These Democrats who ran on ‘change’ and promised to run the most ethical Congress in history have a responsibility to call for Charlie Rangel’s resignation and to give back the thousands in tainted money they received from him," concluded Ken Spain, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee quoted by the news source.

Supreme Court To Hear Chicago Gun Ban Case

Supreme Court to hear Chicago gun ban caseIn one of the biggest cases to come before the Supreme Court in years, justices are hearing arguments today in McDonald v. Chicago over the city’s 28-year-old handgun ban. It has also prompted both proponents and opponents of the ban to once again voice their cases.

The court’s role will be to decide two fundamental questions, namely whether strict state and local gun control laws violate the Second Amendment rights and whether an individual’s right to own a weapon extends beyond federal jurisdiction, according to CNN.

Community activist Otis McDonald is the key plaintiff in the case, arguing that the ban should be overturned.

"We are in a war," he told the news provider, adding that the case is about "the innocent law-abiding citizens against the drug dealers and gang bangers."

However, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) says that ruling against the ban would result in more gun suicides, homicides and unintentional shootings.

"The court must not ignore the longstanding and robust history of effective gun laws in this country for purely political or ideological reasons," said Thom Mannard, executive director of ICHV. He added that the case was "completely manufactured" by the gun lobby in order to dismantle America’s gun laws for their own profit.

The ICHV also cited polls that suggest an overwhelming majority of NRA members and gun owners nationwide favor common sense gun laws.

Meanwhile, critics point out that although Chicago’s ban is one of the most restrictive in the U.S., the city continues to be among the most violent in the nation.

GOP, Democrats Butt Heads Over Healthcare Reform

GOP, Democrats butt heads over healthcare reformOn Thursday, three dozen Republican and Democratic lawmakers met at the White House-initiated healthcare summit and agreed on one thing; the current system needs changing. Unfortunately, liberal and conservative leaders came to an accord on little else, leaving the often contentious six-and-a-half hour televised meeting with an uncertain plan on how to proceed.

President Obama soundly rejected the Republicans’ pleas to start from scratch or conduct piecemeal reform, stating that the nation cannot afford another year-long debate.

GOP and Democratic leaders butted heads on several key issues, including Obama’s proposal to establish state or national purchasing exchanges, where individuals and small businesses can pool together and compare federally regulated health plans, according to Fox News. Republicans responded that all private insurance plans should be offered without government regulation to create a competitive playing field, implying their distaste for involving the federal government outside of setting minimum standards for insurance plans.

The GOP also took issue with the Democrats’ plan to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare to help pay for the government’s reform proposal. Moreover, Republicans opposed the mandate that nearly everyone be required to carry insurance.

However, the president did seem open to a GOP request that insurers be allowed to compete across state lines.

Republican leaders left the summit unsure of how Obama and other Democratic leaders will proceed. The president left the door open to using the parliamentary tactic known as reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to push through healthcare reform with 51 votes, instead of 60.