Good News

A major breakthrough for ALS. They found a common denominator.

“This opens up a whole new field for finding an effective treatment for ALS,” said senior author Teepu Siddique, M.D., the Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Professor of the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern’s Feinberg School and a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. ”We can now test for drugs that would regulate this protein pathway or optimize it, so it functions as it should in a normal state.”

The discovery of the breakdown in protein recycling may also have a wider role in other neurodegenerative diseases, specifically the dementias. These include Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia as well as Parkinson’s disease, all of which are characterized by aggregations of proteins, Siddique said. The removal of damaged or misfolded proteins is critical for optimal cell functioning, he noted.

This breakdown occurs in all three forms of ALS:

ht Maggie’s Farm

Friday Funnies

Hilarious!! (JG, don’t bother)

But here’s a real funny one regarding OWS.

As the communal sleeping bag argument between Lauren Digion and Sage Roberts threatened to get out of hand, a facilitator in a red hat walked by, brow furrowed. “Remember? You’re not allowed to do any more interviews,” he said to Digion. She nodded and went back to work. But when Roberts shouted, “Don’t tell me what to do!” Digion couldn’t hold back.

“Someone has to be told what to do,” she said. “Someone needs to give orders. There’s no sense of order in this f*****g place.”

The Debate

I am too cheap to buy cable so I didn’t watch and will need to catch it on youtube. However after hearing snippets on the radio where I was thinking Cain was not defending his plan as well as he could and after reading the papers I still like Protein Wisdom’s general analysis and this in particular [bold is mine]:

Cain — who it’s become fashionable to bash, if you happen to be in my Twitter feed (his rise is simply too precipitous, and if so many people are taken with him, the way to distance yourself is to show that you are unimpressed) — is, both as a candidate and as a person, just plain refreshing. He says what he thinks, and he acts like a leader. I don’t expect a candidate to know everything about everything. I do expect him to have the courage of his convictions, and the capacity and curiosity to assimilate information and delegate authority, and Cain has that. I’ve been arguing for some time — and it was echoed by Gingrich tonight — that the specifics of Cain’s 9-9-9 plan don’t matter as much to me right now as does the fact that he is taking the “bold” step of running on a complete reform of the tax code. I like the flat tax idea better, but that’s really beside the point. Cain is willing to bring up reforms that, to politicians, have long been thought of as non-starters. Cain makes up in charisma what Steve Forbes lacked.

Bottom line: every candidate is an improvement over Obama, and in a debate that pits conservatism against Obama’s brand of democratic socialism, the American people will be able to chose the path going forward based on a clear demarcation. Where Romney fails — and why I desperately don’t want to see us make the mistake of nominating him — is that he is not a reformer, not a movement conservative, and he rides the political winds, saying what he anticipates people want to hear. He is, in my parlance, the losing more slowly candidate. Yes, he is far better than Obama; but he is also the kind of status quo politician who kicks the can down the road.

Read the whole thing.


I’ve been reading Romney’s book (highly recommend it) and am at the end where he’s doing a round up of Afghanistan where things started falling apart.

Today in the NYPost, Arthur Herman is catching us up on Afghanistan and frankly, it sounds like there is hope.

But late last year they cleared out Helmand province in the south, once the most dangerous place in Afghanistan, and handed over control to the Afghan army. Now they’re steadily driving out the terrorists from the provinces east of Kabul, and back across the border into Pakistan. In 2012, the Taliban will try to regain that lost ground. If we beat them then, they’ll almost certainly have lost Afghanistan for good.

General Petraeus is in Afghanistan by the way.

Keystone XL Pipeline

You’ve all seen the map of the pipeline:

It’s hard to even imagine a pipeline that long through those many states and that much private property.
Turns out, yes, those property owners are not all on board with this so Canada is turning to eminent domain to get the land.

Eminent domain laws generally allow for the confiscation of private property if taking it is judged to serve a larger public good.

So the larger public good here is for a foreign country to sell their tar sands to some private company in Texas in order to process oil?

Where is the enterprising person in Montana who can build a refinery? Are they stopped due to regulation? Yet this pipeline itself has less? This is madness.

Compare and Contrast

Here’s an amazing person.
Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet woman who grew up hearing and knowing that our government, who insisted that they be “burdened” with running Indian affairs and being entrusted with their money, was mismanaging said money to the tune of billions fought. She won $3.4B settlement in Indian land trust case, and died at 65 this weekend.

Asked what she wanted her legacy to be, she said she hoped she would inspire a new generation of Native Americans to fight for the rights of others and lift their community out of poverty.

“Maybe one of these days, they won’t even think about me. They’ll just keep going and say, ‘This is because I did it,’” Cobell said. “I never started this case with any intentions of being a hero. I just wanted this case to give justice to people that didn’t have it.”

Cobell said she had heard stories since she was a child of how the government had shortchanged Native Americans with accounts for royalties from their land that was leased for resource development or farming.

Cobell said she became outraged when she actually started digging into how much money the government had squandered that belonged people who were living in dire poverty on the Blackfeet reservation in northwestern Montana.

She realized the amount mismanaged since the 1880s could be hundreds of billions of dollars. She said she tried for years working with two U.S. government administrations to resolve the dispute, then decided to sue with four other Native Americans as plaintiffs when no progress was made.

The government dug in. Over the next 14 years, there were more than 3,600 court filings, 220 days of trial, 80 published court decisions and 10 appeals until the 2009 breakthrough.

(big quote because she deserves it)

What an amazing woman. And what an impressive fight.

Now we have OWS where white folks (apparently exhippies and college students with huge outstanding loans and trust fund babies) are aggrieved because this country isn’t more diverse, the banks got bailed out but not homeowners or because education isn’t free, or because health care isn’t free or because they want to have sex with whoever they want or because as I heard on NPR last night, “they just want to live”.

Well, go ahead and live. Start your own little society on some piece of land somewhere and give it a go. Without jobs you won’t need to pay payroll taxes or income taxes so who cares who gets bailed out…it won’t be your taxes affected. Share your goods and services without money since money is evil. You have plenty of support from others and 300,000 in the bank. Go for it. You have enough professors in your rank you could start a free university. No one is stopping you.

Unlike protests movements in say Egypt that they like to compare themselves to.

Here is hot air with the trust fund baby along with a Crowder video (love them all!).

Ms Cobell a single Blackfeet woman. One of the most aggrieve demographics in this country who have had promises made and broken for 200 years managed to fight a real honest fight. May she rest in peace and give some guidance to those just occupying space because they can’t decide if making a demand will empower

“We absolutely need demands,” said Shawn Redden, 35, an earnest history teacher in the group. “Like Frederick Douglass said, ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ ”

them or depower them.

“Demands are disempowering since they require someone else to respond,” said Gabriel Willow, a protester strolling past a sleeping-bag pod of young adults in the park last Monday. “It’s not like we couldn’t come up with any, but I don’t think people would vote for them.”

Socialism – yeah, that will make the government work well.

Herman Cain

Yes, or course I’m a little nervous about his seeming lack of interest in foreign policy. With as little time as I take to read up on it, he too could be an expert with the ongoing caveat he uses that he doesn’t have all the [secret] information.
I do think it’s cool that he doesn’t insist on things like “closing GITMO” without knowing the facts or thinking through alternatives.

BUT Cain does this, he makes me feel great about this country. He brings excitement with his 999 plan. Not because it will ever pass but because wow – someone is thinking of scrapping some government thing that has grown beyond hope and starting over with something simpler.

And read this that Tina Korb at Hotair wrote after hearing of a Herman Cain moment when he his microphone lost power. What did he do? He just started singing “The Impossible Dream”. ( How cool is that?)
bold is mine.

It was just a campaign trail incident and doesn’t really prove he’d be a solid president. But I insist it still matters. Usually, “campaign trail incidents” consist of inopportune corndog consumption, BBQ bashing, that sort of thing. Or they consist of carefully constructed photo ops and banal talking points. In comparison to a president whose First Lady coordinates Target shopping expeditions to appear ordinary, Cain just is refreshingly real. And what the nation needs now is a leader, someone who reminds us of what makes America great. I’ve never felt worse about our country after hearing Cain speak. Can’t say the same about Obama, whose criticisms of our “soft” country often leave me feeling paltry.

Sure, he’s still a long-shot candidate. Even as a first-tier contender, he so far has only pulled in second-tier funds. Still, no matter what happens with his campaign, I can’t help thinking … “The world will be better for this, that one man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove, with his last ounce of courage … ”

What’s clear: Cain will continue to strive. We’ll have to decide what the reward for his striving will be. But what if? What if we did elect a president with nothing but real world experience? Would that be foolishness? Is it foolish to believe in a dream?

Impossible? Maybe. Certainly impossible without help, so throw him a bone. He is keeping this campaign cheerful.

Just to be clear…..

bold is mine

WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, President Obama called Speaker Boehner to congratulate him on passing the three free trade agreements. After they discussed trade, the Speaker brought up the President’s remarks today about “not having yet seen” a GOP plan for job creation, and respectfully challenged the President’s assertion. “I want to make sure you have all the facts,” the Speaker told the President. The Speaker reminded the President that House Republicans put forth a ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators’ in May, and noted that he and other members of the GOP leadership team have spoken with the President and his staff about the plan and referenced it on numerous occasions, in letters and elsewhere.

The Speaker told the President that when he sent his jobs plan to the Hill, Republicans pledged to give it consideration, and have done so. The President was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found. The Speaker also noted that a number of the President’s ideas have already been acted on in the House, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a three percent withholding bill approved by the Ways & Means Committee today that will be considered on the House floor this month. They also discussed transportation and infrastructure, and the Speaker expressed his desire to do something on the issue, but to do it in a fiscally-responsible way.

The conversation lasted approximately 10 minutes.