Private Sector Layoffs Expected Following Passage Of Education Reform

Private sector layoffs expected following passage of education reform Responding to the Obama administration’s education reform legislation, which was passed in conjunction will the highly controversial healthcare bill, officials with the student loan giant Sallie Mae told Fox News on Tuesday that layoffs in the private sector are imminent.

"The student loan provisions buried in the healthcare legislation intentionally eliminate valuable default prevention services and private sector jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them," Conwey Casillas, vice president of public affairs for Sallie Mae, told the news source.

As part of the new bill, known as the Healthcare and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, the federal government will bypass financial institutions and will begin lending directly to students, effectively eliminating a large percentage of Sallie Mae’s dwindling profits.

Meanwhile, Obama continued to express his disdain for large banks and other financial institutions, referencing the fact that Sallie Mae spent $3 million last year to lobby against the legislation.

Casillas estimated that the student loan powerhouse will be forced to layoff approximately 2,500 employees by the summer to compensate for their expected losses.

Republicans Demand Border Security Following Act Of Violence By An Illegal Immigrant

Republicans demand border security following act of violence by an illegal immigrant Responding to the murder of a well-known Arizona rancher by an alleged illegal immigrant, prominent former and current members of the GOP have called on President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to properly secure the border between the United States and Mexico.

Former Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) told Fox News on Tuesday that the seemingly random act of violence is an all too common example of the lack of control that authorities have north of the Mexican border.

"There is not going to be any effective barrier on that border because there is no desire to stop illegal immigration," he said. "They’re not using any human resources effectively."

The 58-year-old rancher was found murdered at his estate on Saturday and authorities found footprints leading back to a large gap in the border fence just south of his property line.

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said that the Homeland Security office has yet to respond to his pointed letter demanding that Secretary Napolitano send National Guard troops to help secure the area, CBS News reports.

"The people of Arizona and the United States demand and deserve secure borders," McCain wrote. "I hope that you will take a personal interest in ensuring that Arizonans can feel safe and protected on their own property and not live in fear of the increasing violence along the border."

Chocolate Consumption May Lower Heart Disease Risk

Chocolate consumption may lower heart disease risk With Easter just around the corner, researchers have discovered some great news for chocolate lovers. According to a new study, consuming a small amount of dark chocolate each day can significantly reduce a person’s blood pressure and lower their risk of heart disease.

For the research, German investigators analyzed the dietary and exercise habits of nearly 20,000 people under the age of 65 for a period of at least eight years.

After evaluating the data, the research team found that those who ate an average of 7.5 grams of dark chocolate each day had lower blood pressure and were nearly 40 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who consumed the least amount of chocolate.

"It’s a bit too early to come up with recommendations that people should eat more chocolate, but if people replace sugar or high-fat snacks with a little piece of dark chocolate, that might help," said the study’s lead author Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

However, he also cautioned chocolate consumption should not increase daily caloric intake or replace healthy foods.

Study: Flaxseed Lowers Cholesterol Levels In Men

Flaxseed lowers cholesterol levels in menMen who are suffering from high cholesterol and are looking for an alternative to traditional medications such as Crestor®, Zocor®, or Lipitor® may be in luck. According to a new study from Iowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center, consuming minimal amounts of daily flaxseed lignans can moderately decrease cholesterol in men in as few as three months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, approximately 17 percent of Americans suffer from high cholesterol, which often contributes heart disease and other significant health issues.

In the study, lead author Suzanne Hendrich and her colleagues monitored 90 people who were diagnosed with high cholesterol, but were otherwise healthy. The participants were divided into three groups and were assigned to take daily capsules containing zero, 150 or 300 milligrams of flaxseed lignans for three months.

At the point of follow-up, the research team found that consuming at least 150 milligrams of flaxseed lignans per day can decrease cholesterol levels in men by approximately 10 percent. However, the treatment did not produce any significant results in women.

"There are certainly some people who would prefer to not use a drug, but rather use foods to try to maintain their health," Hendrich said. "So this potentially would be something to consider."

Drinking Soda Linked To Increased Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer

Researchers say drinking non-diet soda may increase the risk of getting pancreatic cancerResearchers say drinking two or more sweetened soft drinks each week may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

According to Reuters, the study that appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that individuals who drank two or more non-diet sodas each week had an 87 percent higher risk of being among those who got pancreatic cancer.

Researchers studied more than 60,000 men and women in Singapore for a period of 14 years for their results.

They say that the sugar in soft drinks may be to blame for the high incidence of the cancer since the insulin the body uses to metabolize sugar is made in the pancreas.

"The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," the study’s lead author Mark Pereira said.

Other studies have linked burned or charred red meat to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, which is considered one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

The American Cancer Society reports that there were 42,470 new cases of pancreatic cancer last year and 35,240 deaths from it.ADNFCR-2035-ID-19604233-ADNFCR

Acupuncture May Relieve Dental Anxiety

Acupuncture may relieve dental anxietyRoutine visits to the dentist can help prevent avoidable health problems, such as tooth decay, infection and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, approximately one in 20 people suffer from severe anxiety regarding dental procedures and often postpone visits to their provider.

However, a recent study has found that the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture may be capable of treating patients with dental anxiety, also known as odontophobia.

"We can offer patients a safe, fast and cheap treatment for their odontophobia," said lead researcher Palle Rosted, from the department of oncology at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, England, quoted by Health Day News. "By offering acupuncture, the dentist has an extra tool in his bag."

In the study, Rosted and his colleagues tested acupuncture on 20 patients who had been suffering from moderate to severe odontophobia for a number of years. Each patient’s anxiety level was checked before and after treatment using the established Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) questionnaire.

The research team found that the average BAI score fell from 26.5 to 11.5 after five minutes of acupuncture. Moreover, all patients were able to complete their visit to the dentist after being treated by a licensed acupuncturist.

Buoyed By Healthcare Victory, Democrats Turn Their Attention To Financial Markets

Buoyed by healthcare victory, Democrats turn their attention to financial marketsThe focus of the nation’s attention may have been on healthcare reform in recent weeks, but on the heels of that legislative victory the Democrats are now planning to push through sweeping financial system regulations.

On March 23, the Senate Banking Committee advanced financial reform by releasing a bill sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). The highlights of the bill include the proposal to create the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to "identify potential threats to the financial stability of the U.S." and counteract them. The agency would also have the power to break up a big financial institution that poses a "grave threat to financial stability."

Moreover, the legislation creates the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) that is independent from banks’ veto power over consumer protections, writes and enforces rules against abusive lending practices and cover all providers, including payday and auto lenders.

In contrast with the healthcare legislation, the bill has some bipartisan support. In fact, Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) commented that "Republicans want to reach a bipartisan agreement on substantive financial reform that protects taxpayers, strengthens our economy, and preserves the competitiveness of our financial markets."

He added that "over the coming days, my Republican Banking Committee colleagues and I will give chairman Dodd’s proposal the serious consideration it deserves."

The Senate action follows the vote in the the House of Representatives last December when that chamber passed its version of the financial reform bill on a party-line vote. That bill also creates a consumer protection agency, imposes new guidelines on hedge funds and on derivatives trading, and outlines procedures for unwinding failed businesses. ADNFCR-1961-ID-19697021-ADNFCR

Obama Appoints Controversial, Previously Rejected Nominee While Congress Is On Recess

Obama appoints controversial, previously rejected nominee while Congress is on recessPresident Obama appointed 15 nominees to administrative posts on Saturday without Senate confirmation. The list of appointees included Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a highly controversial choice that has spurred the anger of the GOP, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many other business groups.

Obama was able to bypass the necessary confirmation of the Senate—which overwhelmingly rejected Becker’s nomination last month—by appointing his candidates while Congress was in recess. The White House justified the move by claiming that Republicans have purposefully set up "roadblocks" to stall progress, resulting in an "unprecedented level of obstruction."

All 41 Republicans in the Senate and more than 20 business groups wrote to Obama last week, urging him not to appoint Becker, a former lawyer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who may unfairly represent the interest of labor unions, the GOP argued.

"Time and again questions have been raised over Mr. Becker’s ability to serve in an honest and impartial manner on the NLRB, yet this administration chose to ignore the questions and concerns and instead forced their will on the American people," said Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

In response, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated that the five-member labor board has been operating with only two members while "our country is recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," according to Fox News.

Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

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When a little-known (outside of Alaska) governor was announced as John McCain’s running mate Aug. 29, 2008, the Republican Party’s base was electrified and the elites of both the Democrat and Republican parties were mortified.

Five days later Sarah Palin gave her speech to the Republican National Convention and she demonstrated that she was going to be a force to be reckoned with in conservative politics for years to come—a force that the elites will forever fail to understand.

Palin opens Going Rogue: An American Life at the Alaska State Fair in August 2008. She was there with her daughters and infant son Trig—not with an entourage and a host of bodyguards—but with her family, watching her children and their friends ride the rides. Whereas politicians attend those events to shake hands and be seen, Palin was busy keeping up with her kids and buying concessions, like millions of Americans do every year.

But it was at the fair that her life forever changed. For it was there she received the call from McCain that would rock the political establishment.

Although she grew up in Skagaway, Alaska, where her family moved in 1964 when Palin—then Sarah Heath—was just 3 months old, her life was like the vast majority of most Americans’. Her father was a school teacher and coach who worked summers on the Alaska Railroad and tended bar in seasonal tourist traps. Her mother was occupied raising four children, driving a seasonal tour bus and volunteering at the community theatre and the Catholic church.

It’s her everyday American upbringing—raising chickens, growing produce, fishing and digging for clams and picking wild berries—that drives the elites nuts. It’s her blue collar work ethic, her annual work in Bristol Bay in July commercial fishing for salmon with her husband, Todd, that drives the elites crazy. It’s her blue-collar, union oil-worker and competition sledder husband that makes the elites go bonkers.

She writes about her days on the bench of her high school basketball team, and her days as point guard when, as a senior her team won the state championship. And they did so with her playing hurt, persevering through the pain of a broken ankle. It was in that game, she writes, that her parents’ lessons on the payoff of hard work and perseverance finally registered with her. She called it a life-changing victory.

After high school Palin went to the University of Idaho. She dreamed of being a journalist—or more specifically a sports journalist—where she could put her passion for sports to good use. One of the issues pundits used to try and bash her was the fact that it took her five years to graduate. She writes that, yes, it took her five years because she paid her own way by working between semesters. Sometimes, she says, she had to take a whole semester off to earn enough to return to school.

No stranger to hard work—Palin began working with her boyfriend and later husband Todd catching salmon on the Bristol Bay fishing grounds. When the salmon fishing was slow she worked “messy, obscure seafood jobs, including long shifts on a stinky shore-based crab-processing vessel in Dutch Harbor” (the area made famous by the Discovery Channel show, Deadliest Catch).

One season, she writes, “I sliced open fish bellies, scraped out the eggs, and plopped the roe into packaging” where the company would slap a caviar label on the box and sell it to “elite consumers for loads of money” as a delicacy.

She got into politics in 1992 when a friend of hers recruited her to run for the Wasilla, Alaska City Council. She campaigned by going door-to-door while pulling her two children through the snow on a sled.

It was there that she learned about the common sense fiscal conservatism she now preaches. She battled the “progressives” on the council over issues like raising taxes and passing ordinances that would have granted special favors to those who were well-connected. In doing so she quickly fell out of favor with the friend who had recruited her and expected her to vote with him.

She took that same independence to the Alaska governor’s mansion years later, where she fought the Republican establishment over corruption and the oil industry over special drilling deals.

It was that independent spirit that attracted McCain. And though that was one of her main attributes, the decision makers in the McCain campaign stifled that through much of the presidential election and basically put her in a box.

Palin admits she made mistakes on the campaign trail. But she also points out where the handlers and decision makers in the campaign had her shackled when she had something to offer the team. And she criticizes the campaign for effectively throwing in the towel down the stretch when there was still—she believed—time to pull out a victory.

After the campaign Palin returned to Alaska where she was met with an avalanche of ethics complaints and freedom of information requests that threatened to bankrupt her and essentially brought Alaska’s governance to a standstill.

It was while fighting yet another of the partisan, unsubstantiated and finally refuted ethic complaints that she decided the state would be better served if she stepped down. That action, decried by the elites she had so bamboozled for the previous year, freed her up to begin speaking on issues and campaigning for people who believed in common sense fiscal conservatism.

Palin is an amazing person… an American like the majority of Americans… one not cut from the cloth of elitism but very much like you and me and our neighbors—average people.

That’s why elitists despise her so much. She’s like the people they so disdain, yet they fear her because she’s charismatic and popular and they know she will be an influential part of American politics for years to come.