Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Opening More Fronts In Battle for GOP Nomination

As I have been reporting (Maine - Latest to Enter Internal GOP Struggle and War Not Over for Paul and His Supporters),? Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul and his Liberty Movement are not about? to "go quietly into that dark night". Paul's supporters are not happy? with trying to wrest delegates from State Republican Parties to place? the Congressman's name in consideration from the floor of the GOP? National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida the week of August 27th, but? now are even seeking to sway the election overseas.

We learn this from reports coming out of Poland where presumptive Republican presidential Mitt Romney is visiting.

Mitt? Romney's public appearance was greeted by Ron Paul supporters today,? according to tweets and photos from the scene. This is pretty much the? norm these days ? but for he fact that today's event was held in Gdansk,? Poland.

Poland is one of many countries outside the U.S. that,? despite never having Paul on any ballots, have Ron Paul contingents. The? main website, RonPaul.pl, includes information about Ron Paul's? campaign, primary dates, even the current time in Texas, where Paul is? from. The banner: "Kim jest Ron Paul?" ("Who is Ron Paul?")

The? group has garnered 2,000 likes on Facebook. Today won't be the last we? see of them: tomorrow, when Romney will be in Warsaw, there will be a? planned demonstration outside his event.

Other international? Paulite factions include Germans for Ron Paul, South Africans 4 Ron Paul? Revolution, Australians for Ron Paul, France for Ron Paul 2012, and? Serbia for Ron Paul.

According to Polish politics reporter Michal? Kolanko, the banner was made by supporters of Kongres Nowej Prawicy? (Congress of the New Right), which Kolanko described as a? "libertarian/right wing party led by eccentric Janusz Korwin-Mikke."

"These? guys are extremely vocal on the internet (as ron paul fans) and not? that numerous during elections. KNP in the last parliamentary elections? (October 2011) got 1,06%," Kolanko said in an email.


Meanwhile back in the States:

The? infighting is getting worse between supporters of presidential? candidate Ron Paul and some state leaders of the Republican Party as the? GOP national convention approaches.

Paul supporters are also? challenging the state party in Massachusetts, Romney's home state, for? disqualifying them as delegates after doubts arose about whether they? would support Romney at the national convention in Tampa.

The? party's contest committee is expected to rule on these cases in the next? few weeks. Then the credentials committee is likely to consider them.? It's also possible that the cases could be taken to the floor of the? convention, which starts August 27.

If the challenges aren't? resolved smoothly, there could be bitter fights over how many delegates? actually vote for Romney as their presidential nominee on the first? ballot, and the hard feelings could intensify battles over the party? platform.

All this could make it more difficult for the GOP and? the Romney campaign to present a harmonious image at the convention and? to enter the final sprint to the lection in a unified position.


From? the Cornfield, one begins to wonder if Paul and his supporters are? working to insure the re-election of President Barack Obama rather than? doing what is right for party unity.

As? I keep saying, Paul and his supporters are doing nothing to endear them? with the very people they will need should Kentucky Senator Rand Paul? (who has thrown in behind Romney) decide to run for the White House in? 2016 or 2020.

Source: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-822520?ref=feeds/latest

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India duo promise record boxing medal haul

India's two boxers at the Olympics both won through to the second round on Tuesday to keep alive hopes of a record Games medal haul.

Commonwealth Games light welterweight champion Manoj Kumar beat Turkmenistan's Serdar Hudayberdiyev (13-7) while light flyweight Devendro Laishram became only the second boxer at the Games to win inside the distance.

Laishram pummelled Honduran Bayron Molina into submission 36 seconds before the end of the first round.

Kumar will have the chance of revenge in his next bout against British third seed Tom Stalker, who beat him in last year's world championship quarter-finals.

"I am a better fighter than I was last year," said the 25-year-old Kumar.

"Stalker is a good fighter but I believe I can turn the tables.

"All in all I think India will win more than the one medal we won four years ago in Beijing," he added, referring to Vijender Singh's historic middleweight bronze.

Laishram admitted it was hard to draw too many conclusions from his bout.

"He wasn't a good boxer, I knew that, I'd sized him up so the coming rounds are going to get more difficult," said the 20-year-old soldier, who next faces fourth seeded Mongolian Serdamba Purevdorj.

"I can win a medal," added Laishram, a genuine contender after reaching the world championship quarter-finals last year.

The Cubans also saw two of their fighters progress to the second round.

Yosbany Veitia and Roniel Iglesias both impressed, suggesting the amateur boxing powerhouse could well banish memories of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Cuba took eight medals in Beijing but none of them were gold.

However, Veitia and Iglesias looked like they could set the record straight as they overwhelmed Australian Billy Ward and Cesar Villarraga of Colombia in the light flyweight and light welterweight categories respectively.

But both Veitia and Iglesias will now fight the top seeds in their respective divisions, China's outstanding defending light flyweight champion Zou Shiming and Brazilian Everton dos Santos.

However, Veitia was upbeat after overwhelming a gutsy but outclassed Ward.

"Everything went as planned, it was too good to be true. I am ready to compete strongly for a medal. It is my first Games and I am confident in myself," said the 20-year-old Pan American Games silver medalist.

The United Statesa, seeking only their second boxing gold medal since the 1996 Games, team captain Jamel Herring well beaten by impressive Kazakh Daniyar Yeleussinov.

Herring, a US Marine sergeant who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was not too depressed about the 19-9 thrashing he endured.

"To the people here and to those back home I am still a hero and still a champion," said the 26-year-old.

Yeleussinov, the Asian Games champion two years ago, said he was feeling extremely confident despite not having been seeded.

"I'm in good form, in good physical shape and got a great team behind me. There is no reason why I can't go the whole way," said the 21-year-old.

He was the second Kazakh to win through on Tuesday but his compatriot Birzhan Zhakypov's victory was greeted with jeers and boos and left defeated French opponent Jeremy Beccu in tears.

"I knew I had to fight against the judges also alas," said Beccu, who stood in the middle of the ring with his hands on his hips after the decision.

"It's really unfair, I should have won. Nobody can convince me otherwise."

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/india-duo-promise-record-boxing-medal-haul-232027548.html

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Before & After: Designer Stephen Saint-Onge Turns a Little-Used ...

Designer and author Stephen Saint-Onge has a motto: ?Good home design has the power to change your life.? So true. He stresses the importance of looking at your home through fresh eyes and seeing the potential it might have.

With one family he worked with, he helped them see that their little-used dining room might better serve them as a family room. Want to see how it turned out? Here?s how that room looks now:

?There were great elements about the room?including the hardwood floors and the French doors leading to the garden. I felt as though I were in a French farmhouse in Provence because of the doors and the garden outside,? Stephen says.

?Then, the wind blew in and I realized the room needed a beach house theme. Something that would make this family feel like they were on vacation in their own home everyday.?

Sounds good to me!

He painted the room with Benjamin Moore?s ?Croquet,? a lovely pale green that makes their existing trim and moldings stand out. I like that it looks beachy without the usual blues.

For the furniture he went with IKEA?s Ektorp sectional with white slipcovers (which is what I have in my sunroom?and I have the Ektorp chairs in my bedroom).

?Yes, you can have white slipcovers with kids!? he insists. ?I like them because you can throw these into the wash easily. Air dry them and, to me, they get better with time?more lived in. I have white furniture in my house with my kids?so I?ve seen firsthand that it can be done!?

I have to add that with mine I have found that those Tide-to-Go pens work wonders on things like chocolate stains (something we get a lot of around here, ahem)?they have bought me extra time between washings. It also helps if you spray that Scotchgard fabric protector stuff on the slipcovers first.

There were already outlets around the walls of the room for lighting, so he used lighted frames that he plugged into them.

Many thanks to Stephen for sharing his project and these beautiful photos with us.

Check out Stephen?s blog Designer Dad to see the rest of the pics and get all the details about the transformation.

You might also like his book, No Place Like Home. He often finds inspiration from houses in movies and television shows, which is one of my favorite things (you?ll find features about them on his blog, too).

Do you have a little-used room in your house that could be transformed into something else?

Hooked on Makeovers? Check out my Before & After page?it?s full of ?em!

P.S. This post contains Amazon affiliate links that help support my blog. Thanks!

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Source: http://hookedonhouses.net/2012/07/30/before-after-designer-stephen-saint-onge-turns-a-little-used-dining-room-into-a-family-room/

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Internet promotion Solutions To your Company That Should go Virus ...

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Source: http://ezwealthnetwork.com/blog/2012/07/31/internet-promotion-solutions-to-your-company-that-should-go-virus-like/

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Drake Finally Gets His Overdue NCAA Championship Ring

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on 07/30/2012 at 3:11 PM News

The Popdust Files: college basketball, drake

For a guy who once expressed on wax his sympathy for high school basketball players who want to go straight to the pros, and who eschewed the university himself, Drake has an odd infatuation with the college hoops game?specifically, the Kentucky Wildcats team. Drizzy performed at the first Big Blue Madness event after Kentucky hired head coach John Calipari, then made a much-publicized appearance in the KU locker room after a victory in the 2010 NCAA tournament. ?I?m just a natural fan,? said Drake around that time. ?I love the team.?

Looks like that love is mutual. Kentucky has gifted Young Aubrey with that most esteemed prize in college hoops?the NCAA championship ring, of which the Wildcats were entitled to several for winning the tournament back in March. Exactly what the on-or-off-court contributions made by Drake towards the KU championship run are largely unclear?if lifelong fan and regular courtside attendee Ashley Judd didn?t get one for her moral support, it doesn?t seem fair that Drake should?but nonetheless, he now has one more championship ring than Chris Webber or Derrick Rose, addressed to his ?Drizzy? nickname, at that.

It?s actually a fairly savvy move on the part of KU and Coach Calipari. With the possible exceptions of Kanye and Jay-Z, there?s no artist more widely listened to and quoted by our nation?s youthful ballers than Drake, and by continuing to ally the program with the rapper, they?re making sure that their next 5-10 prospective recruiting classes know the name of Kentucky basketball before they even start contemplating their potential verbal commitments. Now all they have to do is get their own dance craze and they?ll have the next decade of college hoops on lock.


Source: http://popdust.com/2012/07/30/drake-kentucky-wildcats-championship-ring/

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nytriver: Medical Debt Collector to Pay $2.5 Million Settlement. http://t.co/GL6rWTFP

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Source: http://twitter.com/nytriver/statuses/230050159206207488

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PSA testing has reduced risk for diagnosis with metastatic prostate ...

A paper published earlier today in Cancer has made a very reasonable attempt to estimate how many men would be being diagnosed annually today with metastatic (TxNxM1) prostate cancer if there was no PSA test and the rates of diagnosis were the same as they were back in the late 1980s ? before PSA testing was widely available.

The bottom line to this paper by Scosyrev et al. is a prediction that, in the complete absence of PSA testing for risk of prostate cancer, we would have seen about 25,000 new cases of men being initially diagnosed with metastatic disease in 2008 as opposed to the estimated 8,000 actual cases. In other words, the availability of PSA testing has cut the risk of an initial diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer by a factor of about 3.1.

However, it should also be pointed out that the risk for a diagnosis with metastatic prostate cancer was shown to be highly dependent on both age and race. Just to give some examples, the authors project the following:

  • There would have been no change at all in risk for a diagnosis of M1 disease in men of 40-49 years of age, regardless of race.
  • Black males were (and are) twice as likely to be diagnosed initially with M1 disease as White males.
  • Among White males aged 65-69 years the risk for a diagnosis of M1 disease would be increased by a factor of 3.5 if there was no PSA testing.
  • Among Black males aged 65-69 years the risk for a diagnosis of M1 disease would be increased by a factor of 2.3 if there was no PSA testing.
  • Among White males aged 75-79 years the risk for a diagnosis of M1 disease would be increased by a factor of 4.1 if there was no PSA testing.
  • Among Black males aged 75-79 years the risk for a diagnosis of M1 disease would be increased by a factor of 5.8 if there was no PSA testing.

Now it needs to be made very clear that the authors are not suggesting that their data necessarily imply an association between mass, population-based PSA screening and the known decrease in prostate cancer mortality over the past 20 years. They are, however, pointing out that the use of PSA testing appears to have significantly reduced the risk of an initial diagnosis with metastatic disease. Their conclusions are hedged with all sorts of comments about issues such as lead-time effects and ?residual confounding?.

The authors are also very careful to note that the initial, rapid reduction in risk for a diagnosis with M1 disease occurred ?in the early and middle 1990s,? when there was still a large pool of men living (unknowingly) with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic metastatic prostate cancer.

The key point that the authors make in their conclusion is the following:

? these estimates must be taken into consideration (bearing in mind the limitations of observational data) when public health policy-level recommendations are made regarding PSA screening.

This is a conclusion that The ?New? Prostate Cancer agrees with completely. However, we do not think that this conclusion necessarily implies that all men need annual PSA tests (mass, population-based ?screening?). What it implies is that we need to be realistic about the utility and value of the PSA test and base decisions about the use of this test on the data available about individual men and their personal risk for prostate cancer (in terms of things like age, race, and family history).

This is a valuable paper because it helps to provide context related to the value of the PSA test as a tool. We suspect that the data provided by this paper will, unfortunately, be misused by some to imply that annual PSA screening for all men of > 50 years of age continues to be essential. However, the authors are extremely careful to avoid any such statement, writing that:

These finding do not necessarily indicate that PSA screening of? men in their 40s is of minimal or no value in terms of preventing advanced stage at [prostate cancer] presentation


? we could not determine the extent to which screening of men in their late 70s contributed to the observed risk reduction in the age categories 80 to 84 years and ? 85 years

and most importantly

? we could not make specific recommendations regarding optimal cut-off ages at which screening should be started and stopped, nor could we investigate the optimal frequency of screening.

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Source: http://prostatecancerinfolink.net/2012/07/30/psa-testing-has-reduced-risk-for-diagnosis-with-metastatic-prostate-cancer/

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International Man Of Mitt-stery (The Note)

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone ), CHRIS GOOD ( @c_good ) and ELIZABETH HARTFIELD ( @LizHartfield )


MITT ROMNEY'S EURO-TRIP CONTINUES. Mitt Romney has landed in Gdansk, Poland - the third and final county on his week-long overseas trip. While there he plans to meet with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, former President Lech Walesa, visit the World War II Westerplatte Memorial and visit the Solidarity Monument Site before heading to Warsaw. But his fly-around to Great Britain, Israel and Poland has not been without turbulence. Romney addressed his views on a potential Israeli military strike against Iran in an interview with ABC's DAVID MUIR yesterday. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/Qqr9dB

OBAMA ADVISER: ROMNEY EMBARRASSED U.S. Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, on Romney's Olympics comments before traveling to London: "Mitt Romney wondered aloud whether London was ready for the Olympics, and I think it's clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world ? I'm happy David Cameron had the last word, because I thought it was embarrassing for our country." http://abcn.ws/MVvulx

VEEPSTAKES: MARCO RUBIO DRAWS BIG CROWDS : Rubio held his first solo events on behalf of Romney this weekend and drew hundreds. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, a crowd of 800 attended Rubio's rally at his old elementary school in Las Vegas Saturday http://bit.ly/Odx0Nu, and a crowd of 200 gathered to meet Rubio outside the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines through Rubio's appearance was ultimately canceled due to flight problems, the Des Moines Register reported. http://dmreg.co/QGV2Rn

ROMNEY CAMPAIGN'S BUSY MONDAY: Today the Romney campaign has organized 18 "We Did Build This" events in 12 states. According to a campaign official: "There will be events in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, and New Mexico to allow small business owners the chance to respond to President Obama's claim that 'if you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.'" Also the campaign is striking the same theme with a new web video titled, "These Hands: Ohio." WATCH: http://mi.tt/OpQaDy


Mitt Romney got many of the headlines he wanted out of his trip to Israel this weekend:

"Romney Backs Israeli Stance on Threat of Nuclear Iran," wrote The New York Times; Politico weighed in: "Mitt Romney: No more 'diplomatic distance' from Israel"; and the Wall Street Journal noted, "Romney Talks Tough."

But the Republican presidential candidate also got some he didn't:

"Romney Campaign Muddles Iran Stand," according to BuzzFeed; National Public Radio put it this way: "Romney Camp Comments On Israeli Action In Iran, Then Clarifies"; and from Bloomberg News: "Romney Opens Fundraiser in Israel to Media After Outcry."

From his apparent insult of London Olympics organizers to his clarification of an adviser's comment on the fraught issue of a military strike against Iran, Romney's been learning a lesson about the perils of international communication.

After Romney foreign policy aide Dan Senor noted that "if Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing [nuclear] capability the governor would respect that decision," ABC's David Muir sought, in a one-on-one interview with Romney, to decipher exactly where Romney stands on the question. http://abcn.ws/Q46b16

"I recognize the right of Israel to defend itself," Romney told Muir yesterday in Jerusalem. "At the same time we are two nations, both committed to employing every means we have to keep Iran from pursuing their nuclear folly and that means every diplomatic course, economic forces as well, sanctions are beginning to have a greater impact on Iran we want to execute all of these elements of soft power if you will but of course we maintain all options. If all of our political and economic options fail we of course retain military options as well."

And, in an interview with CBS News, Romney added: "Because I'm on foreign soil, I don't want to be creating new foreign policy for my country or in any way to distance myself from the foreign policy of our nation."

When it came to one of the issues that had been dominating the election-year debate before he left for his trip abroad - whether he would release additional years of tax returns - Romney was also keeping his cards close to the vest.

As ABC's Emily Friedman notes, Romney could not say today whether he had ever paid a tax rate lower than 13.9 percent, saying he would have to "go back and check."

"I haven't calculated that," Romney told Muir. "I'm happy to go back and look, but my view is I've paid all the taxes required by law."

"From time to time I've been audited as it happens, I think, to other citizens as well, and the accounting firm which prepares my taxes has done a very thorough and complete job pay taxes as legally due," Romney added. "I don't pay more than are legally due."

More tax questions likely await the GOP candidate when he returns stateside, but with Romney on the final leg of his trip, Democrats are reveling in Romney's missteps while overseas.

One top Democratic official told The Note: "We're going to start the week by tying a bow on Romney's foreign trip where he proved to be an embarrassment and not at all prepared to be commander-in-chief." MITT AND MUIR: WATCH ABC's David Muir interview Mitt Romney yesterday in Jerusalem: http://abcn.ws/Qqr9dB

TRANSCRIPT of the interview: http://abcn.ws/Qqr9dB

ROMNEY ON LONDON: I TELL PEOPLE WHAT I BELIEVE. In ABC's wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Mitt Romney in Jerusalem, David Muir asked Romney about the Olympics comments that roiled the British press. Romney responded: "I tend to tell people what I actually believe and referring to the comments that were made in the media was something which I felt was an honest reflection of what was being concerned what was concerning folks and having had the experience I'm absolutely convinced the organizing committee did what people hoped which is overcome the challenges and produced a brilliant product." http://abcn.ws/LXy3UK

ROMNEY VS. OBAMA ON AFGHANISTAN: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? More from David Muir's interview: On Afghanistan, Romney told Muir, "It's the same time frame the president is speaking of with regards to the transition of the afghan forces, I also indicated that I want to make sure that we have had consultation with the commanders on the ground. The place where the president and I have had a difference with regards to time table is with withdrawal of our surge troops. Commanders were looking at December 2012 withdrawal point the president moves that up to September 2012 which is still during fighting season I sided with the commanders and felt the 2012 decision, the September 2012 decision was premature." http://abcn.ws/P8BFzf

GOD AND MITT AT THE KING DAVID: Romney spoke Monday morning at a fundraiser at Jerusalem's King David Hotel where wealth donors in attendance included billionaire Sheldon Adelson: Romney weighed in on his impressions of Israel: "I am overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence, whenever it chooses to apply itself, and also the greatness of the human spirit, and how individuals who reach for greatness and have purpose above themselves are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God. I come to this place, therefore, with a sense of profound humility, as I look around here at great people who've accomplished a great thing, and also a sense of spiritual connection, acknowledging the hand of providence in establishing this place and making it a holy city."


ABC's RICK KLEIN: Is it over yet? The no-downside Romney foreign trip left its potential on the other side of the water's edge. Not that the soil back home is that much more friendly (thanks, Newsweek), but the shadow of London followed Romney to Jerusalem and now Poland. In Israel, Romney sough to chart a distinct foreign policy without defining it as such, even as he tempers down what his campaign aides have been saying about a possible Israeli strike on Iran. The trip is hard to second-guess - candidates go abroad these days, and London for the Olympics plus a visit with an old friend named Bibi made too much sense to pass up. Yesterday's pictures, of the Romneys at the Western Wall, and next to a chummy Israeli prime minister, may have been worth the airfare alone. But Friday and its latest jobs report can't come fast enough now for Boston.

"THIS WEEK" REWIND: MESSAGE TEST: GIBBS VS. MADDEN ON THE ECONOMY. Obama adviser Robert Gibbs and senior Romney adviser Kevin Madden sparred on the election's biggest issue:

MADDEN: "[T]his is a president who sort of abandoned, really, any idea of offering the public any new ideas about getting out of the current economic stagnation. ? We have had unemployment over 8 percent for 41 months now. And this is a president who continues to call for new taxes. This is a president that continues to call for new regulations on small businesses, the entrepreneurs and the Americans that are trying to help grow and expand the economy."

GIBBS: "[T]he president is the president of the United States. He understand where the buck stops. We also understand what we inherited and what we can't go back to, which are the tried-and-tested ideas of four years ago which got us into this mess. ? This week, the Senate rightly voted to ensure that when - at the end of the year, we extend tax cuts for middle-class families. But their economic theory is we get this economy going by giving millionaires and billionaires more and more tax cuts. That's not what's going to get this economy moving."

WHAT ISRAEL THINKS OF ROMNEY. Ruth Marcus, who recently traveled to Israel, discussed Mitt Romney's trip there on ABC's "This Week" round table: "One thing that I took away understanding about Israel is that it has a little bit of a Sally Field relationship with this president, which is, 'Does he like us? Does he really like us?' And they're nervous about that. And that actually cuts both ways for Mitt Romney. They are interested in him, they are looking forward to hearing from him all the words of support, but they are nervous about the relationship already with the president who they think might have them to kick around for the next four years, and they don't want to make that relationship worse."

DOMESTIC POLITICS: ISRAEL AND EVANGELICALS. George Will, during the roundtabe: "The vast majority of American Jews are going to vote Democratic. Always have, far as I can tell, always will. The great support Israel right now, the energy is in the Evangelical community, which is part of the Republican base. So the trip to Israel is a way of firing up this enormously important, somewhat skeptical of Mitt Romney, Republican base."

WATCH the full episode and see clips: http://abcnews.go.com/ ThisWeek/


with Chris Good ( @c_good)

CHENEY IS BACK AND TALKING TO ABC'S JON KARL: ABC's Eric Noe writes: With a new heart, Dick Cheney is back. In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, Cheney reflects on the "miracle" that a heart transplant promises to give him years of added life. And Cheney shows he is as confrontational as ever, taking on President Obama - and even Sarah Palin. Cheney, 71, details how far back he has come. He remembers waking from weeks of heavy sedation after having a pump installed in his heart in 2010, a grueling operation that left him seeing his own mortality in the mirror.

CHENEY: PICKING PALIN WAS A 'MISTAKE.' Cheney tells Jonathan Karl: "[T]he test to get on that small list has to be: is this person capable of being president of the United States? And that's usually a very, very short list ? I think that that was one of the problems McCain had. I like Gov Palin. I've met her, I know her. She was an attractive candidate, but based on her background-she'd only been a governor for two years-I don't think she passed that test ? of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake." http://abcn.ws/MV7nUf

RECALLS KNOWING HIS HEART WAS 'AT AN END.' Cheney tells Jonathan Karl: "Two years ago this time I was on a respirator, heavily sedated. Just had a pump? installed on my heart because my heart had gotten so weak after six heart attacks and 30-some years of heart disease that it was, you know, it was at the end. ? I lost 40 pounds. I was heavily sedated in the intensive care unit for weeks afterwards. I had pneumonia while I was in recovering from the surgery. And by the time I came out from under I looked in a mirror and what I saw was my dad shortly before he died. He was in his 80s." http://abcn.ws/PbsDkN

OBAMA WORSE THAN JIMMY CARTER. Asked for his general assessment of President Obama, here's what Dick Cheney had to say: "I think he's been one of our weakest presidents. I just fundamentally disagree with him philosophically. I'd be hard put to find any Democratic president that I've disagreed with more." Karl: "Worse than Jimmy Carter, from your perspective?" Cheney: "Yes."

BILL CLINTON WILL HAVE KEY ROLE AT CONVENTION. Former President Bill Clinton will play a central role at the Democratic National Convention this year, assuming the stage for a prime-time address in a slot normally reserved for an incumbent VP. Clinton will speak Wednesday night in Charlotte, the evening before President Obama will formally accept the nomination in Bank of America Stadium, campaign and DNCC officials tell ABC News's Devin Dwyer. Biden will share the stage with Obama on Thursday, delivering his own solo address before the president speaks, the officials said. News of the speaker line-up was first reported by the New York Times. Clinton's role at the Convention comes as Obama increasingly invokes his popular Democratic predecessor on the campaign trail in part as a defense of his economic plan. The two have also conducted joint fundraisers in the past few months to help rouse the Democratic base.

NEW ABC/YAHOO! VIDEO: OLYMPIC POLITICS. The Olympics are supposed to be a time when the entire world puts aside politics and comes together for athletic competition, but it doesn't always work out that way. In the latest installment of "Political Punch," ABC's Jake Tapper recaps the controversy surrounding Mitt Romney's trip to London, the Olympic Committee's request that footage not be used in political ads, and a history of Olympic politics. http://yhoo.it/Ox3T8d

ROMNEY BRINGS IN $1 MILLION AT ISRAEL FUNDRAISER. Yahoo! News' Holly Bailey reports: "Mitt Romney raised more than $1 million at a campaign fundraiser here on his way out of Israel. At least 40 donors paid between $25,000 and $50,000 apiece to attend a breakfast with Romney at a hotel - including Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has contributed more than $20 million to Republicans and conservative super PACS so far this election cycle. Of that total, $10 million went to Restore Our Future, a political committee backing Romney's bid for president." http://abcn.ws/MOdPho

HOW WILL RUSSIA COMMENTS PLAY IN POLAND? Businessweek's Nicole Gaouette writes: "While Polish relations with Obama have been bumpy, Romney's attempts to play off Cold War fears in a former Soviet satellite and to connect with Americans of eastern European descent may not resonate in today's Poland, analysts and scholars said. Romney has called Russia, Poland's historic foe, America's 'No. 1 geopolitical foe' and accused Obama of the 'sudden abandonment' of Poles because the president delayed - and then revived - plans for a missile defense system in eastern Europe." http://buswk.co/Q4x4T9

ROMNEY FUNNELS MONEY TO STATE PARTIES. Roll Call's David Drucker reports: "Individuals are limited to contributions of $2,500 to Romney for President and $30,800 to the Republican National Committee. But through the Romney Victory Inc. joint fundraising committee, which raised $140 million in the second quarter, maxed-out Romney and RNC donors can contribute to the Republican parties of Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont. There, the money will await redistribution to state parties in presidential battlegrounds as determined by team Romney and the RNC." http://bit.ly/PbkDQQ

A TEXAS TEA PARTY: GOP SENATE PRIMARY SET FOR TUESDAY. USA Today's Susan Davis reports: "One of the biggest tests of strength for the movement's ability to upend the GOP establishment in 2012 is Tuesday, when formerly long-shot candidate attorney Ted Cruz is favored by election analysts to upset Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Senate Republican primary runoff in a race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Cruz started the race underfunded, lesser-known and without the support of the Texas Republican Party establishment, including Gov. Rick Perry. Endorsements from GOP activists, such as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky, brought in national attention and money." http://usat.ly/Oceesx

BIDEN TO AFT: ROMNEY DOESN'T VALUE EDUCATION. The Associated Press reports on Vice President Joe Biden's adderss to the American Federation of Teachers national convention: "Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech Sunday to the nation's second largest teachers unions, said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn't treat public education as a priority and distrusts the hardworking teachers who struggle to create opportunity for the nation's young people. ? From what Romney and his GOP rivals said during the primary debates, 'it looks like they don't think public education is worth the investment,' Biden said."

NEW SENATE AD: WISCONSIN ENGINES. Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for Senate in Wisconsin, released a new TV ad, highlighting local manufacturing: "Coast guard cutters: built in America, but powered by engines manufactured overseas, even though you can't buy a better engine than the ones made right here in Wisconsin. That's why I led the fight to require the Coast Guard to buy their engines from us, not foreign companies. I'm Tammy Baldwin. While the Coast Guard protects our shores, we can also protect our jobs. That's why I approve this message." http://bit.ly/MWnXBf


with ABC's Arlette Saenz ( @ArletteSaenz)

-PORTMAN 'FEELS THE PRESSURE' TO DELIVER OHIO: Campaigning in Ohio on Saturday, Portman said he sees an added pressure in bringing Romney a win in his home state of Ohio, NBC News' Andrew Rafferty reported. "Even though he is not yet on the Republican presidential ticket, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman already feels the burden of delivering his home state for presumptive nominee Mitt Romney," Rafferty wrote. "'I already feel the pressure,'Portman said when asked whether he felt he would be responsible for ensuring the Buckeye State is red this November if chosen as Romney's running mate. 'I'm chairing the effort here in Ohio and again I'm feeling good about things because there is a just a lot of volunteers who are stepping forward. I haven't seen energy like this in past elections, presidential or otherwise? My focus is going to be Ohio. And I do believe that this year, Ohio could make the difference again.'" http://nbcnews.to/Qr82Qp

-RYAN SEES WISCONSIN WIN: Rep. Paul Ryan said he believes Romney can pull off a victory in Wisconsin this fall, NBC News' Alex Moe reported. "Campaigning for the GOP nominee in his home state with just 100 days before the presidential election, Congressman Paul Ryan said he is confident Mitt Romney can win here in the Badger State this November," Moe wrote. "'We haven't gone Republican on top of the ticket since 1984 but we think this time is different. We think it's different because people in Wisconsin are tired of the direction Washington is going. They don't the president's policies have worked,' Ryan told NBC News in an interview Sunday evening. They think, 'this is not the uniter. This is not the hope and change. This is a man who is dividing us, who is giving us terrible economic policies, who is growing government, who is growing the debt, and that just doesn't rub right with Wisconsinites.'" http://nbcnews.to/MOfymY


@GarciaJon : @matthewbjaffe ties the knot in Lake Geneva. The bride, of course,is the lovely Katie Hogan. http://pic.twitter.com/diVoXV12

@emilyrs : My story this AM on how voter ID laws could affect the outcome in swing states this November: http://politi.co/OwUv4u

@HotlineJosh : Nice get from @mkraju: Olympia Snowe nursing a grudge against the GOP's #MESEN nominee. Makes holding seat even harder http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/79100.html

@PeterHambyCNN : WaPo looks at 4 counties to assess the state of play: Wood (OH), Iron (MO), Hillsborough (FL) and Henrico (VA) http://wapo.st/LVrp1g

@JohnJHarwood : Wishing Reps. Dave Camp and Jesse Jackson Jr. a return to good health as soon as possible


-President Obama spends the day in Washington, DC and travels to New York tonight for a fundraiser.

-Mitt Romney, in Gdansk, Poland, meets today with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, former President Lech Walesa, and visits two historical sites before heading to Warsaw.

Check out The Note's Futures Calendar : http://abcn.ws/ZI9gV

Also Read

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/international-man-mitt-stery-note-123208695--abc-news-politics.html

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Harbaugh's act growing a bit thin?

Brett FavreAP

The Brett Favre playing era ended in 2010. ?The Brett Favre coaching era officially has begun.

When agent Bus Cook recently acknowledged that Favre would be helping out at Oak Grove high school, the place where Favre prepared for his various unretirements, Cook didn?t know what Favre?s precise role would be. ?As it turns out, Favre will serve as offensive coordinator, according to the Associated Press.

And Oak Grove isn?t some rinky-dink school. ?The 6A program at the 1,500-student facility is a perennial power in Favre?s home state of Mississippi.

?The stress is already getting to me,? Favre joked. ??I?ll wake up in the middle of the night saying, ?Hey, maybe we can do this? ?Maybe that will work???

If it doesn?t work, he won?t lose any money. ?He?s doing the job without pay. ?And perhaps for good reason.

?My experience in pro football means nothing,? Favre said. ?Absolutely nothing here. ?It?s totally different. ?So our biggest learning curve as a team might be my learning curve.?

So what does Favre bring to the table?

?I really believe I?m good at reading people,? Favre said. ??From being in the huddle, being in the locker room and in all those meetings for all those years, I understand that some people learn this way and some learn another way. . . . ?My whole job is to try and keep things simple. ?The more you have to think, the less your talent can show.?

It also gives Favre a way to keep busy, without having to leave home.

?One of the reasons I retired in the first place was I wanted to be in one place and experience all these things with my family,? Favre said. ?This year will be a trial basis [for coaching]. ?I feel like I can help the kids, but I?m not promising we?ll win any more games. ?Shoot, we might not win one.?

Favre?s comments help explain why he hasn?t gotten into broadcasting. ?Unlike players, who have 10 road games per year, players-turned-media-members are on the road every week. ?For Favre, he would have been traveling to a game site every Thursday or Friday, or to the ESPN (Connecticut), NBC (New York), CBS (New York), or HBO (L.A.) studios every Friday or Saturday.

Plus, he would have had to wear a tie. ?And something other than flip-flops.

He?ll likely be wearing something other than flip-flops on the sidelines at Oak Grove. ?But there will be no ties, and the travel will entail at most hopping into a bus on Friday afternoon, and getting home late Friday night.

Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/30/jim-harbaughs-at-it-again-defending-a-j-jenkins/related

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Can we teach old dogs new tricks? Increasing giving through Wills ...

We?re delighted to have this guest post from Ross Anderson, Director on the Board of the Include a Charity campaign and Christopher Baker, a Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy. There are few people in Australia better placed to talk about charitable giving via Wills.

We all know that there is significant demographic change underway in Australia.? The next decade will see Australia?s population exceed 25 million and age dramatically. It will also see members of the population boom that followed the end of World War II (Baby Boomers born between 1946-1964) firstly retiring and then ultimately passing away in increasingly large numbers.

Baby Boomers currently comprise 24% of our population, yet they own over 50% of our nation?s private wealth. By 2020, when most of those ?never-grow-old? Baby Boomers will be in their 60?s and 70?s, we will witness the start of the biggest inter-generational wealth transfer in our history.

No wonder charities are stepping-up their efforts to generate increased income from gifts in Wills. This is one of the most logical and obvious sustainable funding strategies that they could possibly adopt given these demographic predictions. But we must act together now to truly harness the powerful philanthropic effects of an increasing mortality rate and the intergenerational transfer of huge wealth that is anticipated to occur over the next 40 years.

What do we know about this form of philanthropy?

Not that much as it happens. We know that charitable giving through Wills in Australia is wildly out of kilter with levels of ?giving whilst living? via the support we give to charities whilst we?re alive.

The latest ATO figures show that 4.4 million Australian taxpayers (or 35.55% of the Australian taxpaying population) made tax-deductible donations totalling $1.96bn in 2009-10. Other studies estimate that almost 90% of us support charities in some shape or form.

So why is it that only 7% of us have been sufficiently inspired to include gifts to our favourite charities in our Wills?

A detailed study at Swinburne University of Technology of 1,700 Victorian wills has provided the statistical evidence for what you might have already expected to hear.?? The overwhelming majority of us leave all of our accumulated wealth to our immediate family members: first to our spouses, then to our children.? It doesn?t seem to matter how much wealth we?ve accumulated or whether or not we have contributed generously and passionately to charitable causes throughout our lives, when it comes to dividing up our estates ? charities essentially don?t get a look in.

The question this raises is whether or not f this role modelling by older Australians has ?doomed future generations to repeat this same pattern of estate-planning and overlook charitable giving? in their Wills too?

Let?s be clear, of course looking after our families comes first in most cases.? ?Adequately providing for those who are dependent on our financial support during our lifetimes is an important aspect of our estate-planning and decision-making. Our current family provision legislation and our ability to challenge the final wishes set out in our Wills ensures that the legal system makes this a reality.

There are however more significant levels of charitable giving through Wills in comparative countries:

In the UK, despite the fact that a very healthy looking 16% of British Wills that went into probate last year contained charitable gifts, the UK Government has introduced substantial financial incentives in an attempt to encourage further giving from personal estates to charitable causes (see www.legacy10.com? for more information).

In the US, the latest figures show that charitable giving through American Wills increased over 12% in the last year to a total of US$24.41 billion.

With our current levels of giving, Australia sits very low down on the league table of charitable giving from Wills.? We don?t believe this is something to be proud of.? We do see it however as a significant opportunity to improve.? The big question we face is ?What we can do to inspire more Australians to leave money to charitable causes in their Wills??

So, what can we do?

Many Australians will be shocked to learn that so few of us make any charitable provision what-so-ever in our Wills.? Given our self-perception as a generous nation, it is unlikely that most of us actually take a considered decision to specifically exclude charities; low participation rates are far more likely to come as a result of a general lack of awareness or falsely perceived barriers getting in the way.

Our current behaviour is unlikely to change without a collaborative and systematic approach to improving our attitude towards charitable giving through our Wills.? This is not an either / or decision. The challenge is not to try and get Australians to leave their entire estates to charities instead of their families.? The challenge is to get most of us to a point where we can consider leaving most of our estates to our families AND to include gifts as a small portion of our estates to our favourite charities.

The Include a Charity campaign (www.includeacharity.com.au) is a practical response to that very challenge. With some realistic, measurable and achievable goals in its attempts to bring about wide-scale social change, this is one of the only true cross-sector initiatives led by 140 Australian charities. With ambitious plans for further collaborative, collective joint impact initiatives, this is one social change campaign to watch.

The campaign has already delivered a wide range of targeted activities to introduce the idea of including charitable gifts in the nation?s Wills to a wider public audience. It is also seeking to increase the skills and sophistication of all in the sector in our efforts to encourage more Australians to take the step of including a charity when preparing their Wills.

We know that the challenge of tipping the very strong prevailing social norm in estate-planning away from thinking about ?family only? and towards thinking in terms of ?family first, philanthropy second? is large indeed.? It is important to the sector and to wellbeing of Australian society that we are able to make some significant inroads to change the current behaviour in estate-planning.

Arguably we have a window of opportunity to change Australian?s attitudes towards charitable gifts in their Wills of some 10 years.? If Baby Boomers start to include more charitable gifts in their Wills now, the sector will start to receive significantly increased income from this generation over the next 10-20 years.

We?d like to hear from you

The Include a Charity campaign is open to your suggestions and ideas.? We?d love to hear your reflections on what you think is needed to change our behaviour.

  • ?How can we work together to inspire older Australians to act philanthropically, supporting their favourite causes at the same time as making sure their families are provided for?
  • Are Australian children entitled to challenge their parents from ?spending the kids? inheritance??
  • Does the Government have a role to play in incentivising more charitable giving through Wills?

You can continue this conversation with Ross and Chris via the comments section below, or chat with them on Twitter via @ChristopherSWIN and @rossandersonIAC

Source: http://3eggphilanthropy.com/2012/07/30/can-we-teach-old-dogs-new-tricks-increasing-giving-through-wills/

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Totally free Search Engine Optimization Its Not A Myth | ONLINE ...

Is there such a factor as totally free search engine optimization? If youve completed any amount of research into the world of net marketing, youve no doubt heard the term search engine optimization, or Seo. With the number of Web based enterprise springing up every day on the Net, a lot of new business owners are turning to search engine tactics. This can boost web visitors, which in turn brings far more sales to an on-line company.

Not only have the quantity of new corporations boosted the require for Search engine optimization, but Seo has led to a number of new organizations, namely on the web advertising and marketing businesses. These marketers will try to sell you search engine optimization services, tools, or software. But do you truly need to have to pay somebody to do this sort of operate for you? Not usually! As such, its crucial to do your analysis and find out just how significantly bang for your buck Seo solutions offer you.

The truth is, you can obtain a lot of totally free search engine optimization tools and suggestions by just doing a tiny bit of investigation. Of course, undertaking your own Seo will call for some perform on your portion, and the willingness to find out some new skills. Dont let that scare you off, though Seo is straightforward. If you have the know-how to run an organization, search engine optimization must be no dilemma!

There are a handful of various kinds of free of charge search engine optimization tools you can find on the Web with just a fast Google search. A single instance of such a tool is a keyword tool. With this tool, you enter a keyword that you want to use on your internet site such as the sort of one of your goods and the tool gives you added ideas for keywords and phrases.

The tool will show you not only how much search site visitors is generated by your keyword, but it can also lead you to other keywords and phrases that could generate a lot more targeted traffic. It can also assist you narrow down a keyword that has less competitors from other websites. This enables you to target a precise niche on the web, major much more folks to visit your web site as an alternative of other individuals.

Another valuable tool you can find for cost-free is a rank checker. This tool will indicate where your web page falls in the overall list of pages on the Web. The greater your net pages rank, the more popular it is. This can give you a fantastic indication of how properly your search engine optimization strategies are working. If the key phrases you are targeting arent major men and women to your website, you could require to reconsider the search phrases or expand your Search engine marketing approaches.

Probably the finest no-price tool for search engine optimization is basic assistance. Despite the truth that several companies will attempt and sell you their Search engine marketing solutions, the web is nevertheless packed with info about how to do Seo oneself. Understanding how to do this not only teaches you an useful ability, its also the simplest way to get free search engine optimization.

t the URLs where you built links, one per line. Include higher-tier links as well, if applicable.

Or, upload a text file containing the URLs here:

Submit URL Report (and finalize this request)
URL Anchor Text
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http://www.brewcitymarketing.com/ advertiser
http://www.brewcitymarketing.com/ your website design milwaukee
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http://brewcitymarketing.com/services/seo-milwaukee/ seo milwaukee
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Source: http://mario-petrovic-biz.com/totally-free-search-engine-optimization-its-not-a-myth/

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Motherhood and Work HR, Recruiting, Social Media Policies ...


Many years ago I found out I was to be a mother ? 26 years ago, to be exact. ?I was nervous but this had been something I had always wanted. ?Being a 23-year old, I thought I was prepared for this new job, my next endeavor. After all, I had several younger siblings who I babysat often and I starting earning a paycheck at twelve, I took in ironing ? so I was familiar with the notion of work.

I figured Motherhood was just another step in my life progression.

I never even thought about my work or that I should give up on, ultimately, a lifetime of work?outside of my home. ?I assumed motherhood would coincide nicely with my desire to continue to develop as an adult ? my personal growth as a human ? my quest for the perfect career. ? Motherhood was something I could achieve as a wife, as a woman. ?Not something that would encompass my life. ?I never considered that it was my sole purpose as a woman. ?It was just a part of my ?life? package.

As I moved along in my pregnancy and my body changed ? I visited my doctor monthly and prepared myself and my home for this new little member of the family. ?I worked full-time as a dental assistant ?and took extreme caution when I snapped dental x-rays or when I was exposed to alloys containing mercury. ? I worked a second job, too ? part-time for a friend who did custom embroidery and applique on bowling shirts and uniforms. ?Additionally, we created designer t-shirts and sweatshirts ? very big in the 80s. ?I learned how to applique and cleaned a significant amount of patterns. ?I worked at the dental office until two weeks before my due date and then increased my hours at my part-time gig until I was to be delivered.

One morning, I showed up to work about 10 minutes late. ?As I slowly climbed the stairs to the sewing room, I called out to my boss, ?I may not be able to stay very long today. I think I am in labor?? ?She appeared at the top of the stairs before I finished my ascent. ?Her eyes big and panting , ?What do you mean you think you are in labor? ?Why are you even here? Where is your husband?? The questions came fast and furious? ?I stayed and worked for about an hour, called the OB GYN and my husband and then my boss/friend happily drove me to the hospital ? just under 50 years old, she had never had children and was excited to be a part of it all. ?6 hours after checking into Labor & Delivery, my first baby girl, Nicole Marie, was born weighing in at a whopping 6 lbs 7 ozs. ? Never once during those very long months and the ensuing labor and pushes, did I ever consider that I would no longer be able to work outside of my home. ?As a matter of fact, the births of my children actually fueled the fires of my desire to excel and learn as much as I could. ?After each delivery, I was back to work within two weeks.

I thought we had progressed.

I am dumbfounded by the reaction and response to Marissa Mayer?s New Job / New Baby announcement. ?Especially given her industry, her background, her wealth, and her obvious prowess and brains. ?If someone had said to me, ?You can?t work and also be a mother,? I probably would have cocked my head slightly to the right and asked ?What??? while my fists were clenching.
I love being a mother.
I love working.
Why should I select one over the other? ?Why do I have to? ?Maybe I didn?t make the best choices throughout my life, but I always loved my children and made sure they had food on the table & shoes on their feet. ?And so far, they are all four contributing members to society and generally happy, well-adjusted individuals, the youngest being 15, the oldest at 25. And I gave my all to each job I held, devoted and loyal.

I hope we have progressed.

Why has the media jumped on this? ?Ms. Mayer works ? she works hard. ?She is 37-years old and has progressed to a fantastic place in her life and career. ?She isn?t on government aid, she knows who the father is, and she will have help, should she need it. ?Why is there a desire, today, to even raise a question of her ability and why is it anyone?s business?

I guess we haven?t progressed.

In a day and age when 65% of all college graduates are women (Yay!) but 1 in 7 Working-Age Adults are on food stamps, is this type of media frenzy necessary? ?Can Ms. Mayer be a Mom and?Work?? ?Shouldn?t the media concern itself with continued high unemployment rates and the fact that graduating students either can?t get jobs or are underemployed?

This isn?t the good old boys network anymore. ?The number of female CEOs in on the rise and given the college graduate numbers, it will continue to rise. ?Imagine what the CEO ratio will be in 10 years. If this is responsible reporting and questioning, I abhor the media ? and I am part of it, considering my role in small business and the amount of online writing I contribute for my industry?

I wish only the best for Marissa Mayer, knowing she will succeed just like the millions of other working moms out there, like myself, who rush to get their kids to daycare or school, before they step into their places of employment or home offices. ?Grow up, American Media. ?Working Moms already have.



Photo Credit


Bonus Track!Rayanne Thorn,?@ray_anne?is the Marketing Director for online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology.? She is also a proud?mother of four,?happily engaged to Tom, residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a daily contributor for Blogging4Jobs. ?Connect with her on?LinkedIn.??





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Source: http://www.blogging4jobs.com/business/my-favorite-mash-up-work-and-motherhood/

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lochte wins 400 IM in blowout; Phelps finishes 4th

USA's Ryan Lochte competes in a men's 400-meter individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

USA's Ryan Lochte competes in a men's 400-meter individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte reacts during a press conference held at the media center of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte smiles during a press conference held at the media center of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

United States' Elizabeth Beisel, right, China's Ye Shiwen, center, and China's Li Xuanxu pose on the podium with their medals for the women's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. Ye won gold, Beisel silver and Li bronze. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Australia's Melanie Schlanger celebrates after her team finished first in the women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP) ? Ryan Lochte strolled the deck of the Olympic Aquatics Centre wearing diamonds in his mouth and lime-green sneakers on the feet that powered him through the water faster than anyone else. Beaming, he chomped playfully on his gold medal while Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" blared throughout the massive arena.

Michael Phelps?

He was nowhere to be found.

Not during the race.

Not when it came time to hand out the medals.

On a stunner of an opening night at the pool in London, Phelps was routed by his American rival in the 400-meter individual medley, losing to Lochte by more than 4 seconds Saturday. That's not all: The winningest Olympian ever didn't win any medal at all, the first time that's happened in a race of this magnitude since he was a 15-year-old kid competing in just one event at the Sydney Games, a dozen years ago.

"It was horrible," Phelps told coach Bob Bowman when he climbed out.

Bowman's reply: "It was."

Lochte turned the much-anticipated duel with Phelps into a blowout, raising serious questions about whether the guy who has won 14 gold medals and 16 medals overall has anything left in the tank for his Olympic farewell.

Phelps is planning to retire as soon as he finishes the last of his seven races in London, but he looked ready to call it a career while struggling just to pull himself from the water when his first event was done.

He was totally spent.

He was thoroughly beaten, perhaps signaling a changing of the guard at the pool.

"This is my year," said Lochte, who popped in his grillz ? diamond-studded mouth jewelry ? for the victory ceremony. "I know it and I feel it, because I've put in hard work. I've trained my butt off for four years ... and there's no better way to start this Olympics off than getting gold."

For Phelps, the start of these games couldn't have been more out of character.

He barely qualified for the evening final, a performance that hinted at trouble ahead. Trouble indeed. Phelps struggled to a fourth-place finish, blown out by Lochte and beaten by Brazil's Thiago Pereira and Japan's Kosuke Hagino.

"It was just a crappy race," Phelps said. "I felt fine the first 200, then I don't know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That's why they're on the medal stand."

Lochte took the gold with a time of 4 minutes, 5.18 seconds. Pereira (4:08.86) and Hagino (4:08.94) were well back but ahead of Phelps, who touched fourth in 4:09.28 ? nearly 5 1-2 seconds off his world record from the Beijing Olympics and not nearly as fast as he went during the U.S. trials last month.

Since finishing fifth in his lone event at Sydney, the 200 butterfly, Phelps was 16-of-16 when it came to winning medals at the Olympics ? 14 golds and two bronzes. That run is over.

Lochte climbed out of the pool with a big smile, waving to the crowd and looking about as fresh as he did at the start. He had predicted this would be his year and, for the first race of the Olympics at least, he was right on the mark.

"I think I'm kind of in shock right now," he said. As for Phelps, "I know he gave it everything he had. That's all you can ask for."

Phelps was trying to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics. He'll have three more chances at a threepeat before he's done in London, having also won the 200 individual medley, plus the 100 and 200 butterfly, at Athens and Beijing.

But he'll need a major comeback. After one race, he looks nothing like the swimmer who won six gold medals in Athens, then a record eight in Beijing to break Mark Spitz's Olympic record.

"I'm surprised, and not pleasantly," Bowman said. "I expected he'd be in the 4:06 range."

With first lady Michelle Obama in the house waving a small U.S. flag, everyone expected a duel between the two American stars.

Only Lochte showed up.

Phelps fell behind right from the start in the butterfly, his trademark stroke. From there, it was all Lochte. He stretched his margin in the backstroke and breaststroke, then cruised to the gold in the freestyle, a good three body lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

"It's frustrating, that's all I can say. It's pretty upsetting," Phelps said. "The biggest thing now is to try to look forward. I have a bunch of other races, and hopefully we can finish a lot better than how we started."

China had a big night, claiming a couple of gold medals.

Sixteen-year-old Ye Shiwen set a world record in the women's 400 individual medley ? only the third mark to fall since high-tech bodysuits were banned at the end of 2009. She won in 4:28.43, breaking the mark of 4:29.45 by Australia's Stephanie Rice at the 2008 Beijing Games. American Elizabeth Beisel took silver and China's Li Xuanxu grabbed the bronze.

Sun Yang flirted with a world record in the men's 400 freestyle. He took gold in 3:40.14, just off the mark of 3:40.07 by Germany's Paul Biedermann in a rubberized suit three years ago. When it was done, Sun propped himself on the lane rope, pumping his fist and splashing the water.

South Korea's Park Tae-hwan won silver in 3:42.06, fortunate even to take part after initially being disqualified for a false start in the prelims. The ruling was overturned by governing body FINA a couple of hours later on appeal. Peter Vanderkaay of the U.S. won the bronze.

Australia captured gold in the women's 400 freestyle relay with an Olympic record of 3:33.15, rallying to pass the Americans and hold off the fast-charging Netherlands.

The U.S. got off to a blistering start with Missy Franklin swimming leadoff under world-record pace, and the Americans were still ahead after Jessica Hardy went next. But the Australians rallied behind Brittany Elmslie on the third 100, and Melanie Schlanger held on at the end, with Ranomi Kromowidjojo closing fast to give the Netherlands a silver in 3:33.79.

The other members of the winning team were Alicia Coutts and Cate Campbell.

The Americans slipped to the bronze in 3:34.24, but that was still good enough to give Natalie Coughlin the 12th medal of her career, tying Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson as the most decorated U.S. female Olympians in any sport.

Coughlin swam in the morning prelims, then was reduced to the role of cheerleader in the evening as the Americans went with Franklin, Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt. Everyone who swims on a relay gets a medal, though.

"I really have no idea what to think of it so far," Coughlin said. "I'll have to take it all in tonight. I'm very proud of it, but I've never been on a morning relay before."

There was no medal for Phelps.

His close call in the morning prelims put him in an already uncustomary position ? swimming on the outside in the No. 8 lane. He only had one swimmer next to him and no idea what Lochte and the others in the middle of the pool were doing.

Not that it would have mattered.

"I don't think the lane had anything to do with it," Phelps said. "I just couldn't really put myself in a good spot for that race. It's frustrating for sure. ... It's just really frustrating to start off on a bad note like this."

Phelps still has six more events to swim in London, plenty of time to make up for his dismal start. He remains two behind the most medals won by any Olympian ? Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's mark of 18 ? nine gold, five silver, four bronze.

Phelps put himself in position to swim another eight events with his performance at the U.S. trials, but he decided to drop the 200-meter freestyle, feeling one less race would give his body a better chance to recover and improve his performance in the other events.

Now, he may be regretting that decision.

The 400 IM was an event he has dominated, winning gold at the last two Olympics and holding the world record for a full decade. But, tired of putting his body through such a grind, he dropped it from his program after setting a world record in Beijing four years ago (4:03.84), vowing never to swim it again.

He should have stuck with that pledge. Clearly, Phelps didn't leave himself enough time to get back in the kind of shape he needed to win the brutal race, having only brought it back earlier this year.

"I was lucky to get in," he said, referring to his slow time in the morning. "I had a chance to put myself in a spot to start off on a good note and didn't do it."

Lochte gave the Americans their first gold medal of the London Games and put himself in position to fulfill the promise he showed at last year's world championships, where he won five golds and beat Phelps in their two head-to-head meetings.

The friendly rivals have one more showdown in London, in the 200 individual medley. Phelps edged Lochte in that race during the U.S. Olympics trials, but Lochte appears to be on top of his game when it really counts.

They might be working together on Sunday, when both are in the mix to compete for the U.S. in the 4x100 free relay.

There appear to be no hard feelings.

"Congrats to (at)RyanLochte," Phelps tweeted afterward. "Way to keep that title in the country where it belongs!!"

"Thanks," Lochte replied: "I couldn't do it without you."


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/347875155d53465d95cec892aeb06419/Article_2012-07-28-OLY-SWM-Swimming/id-67bbbd46757d4c359c4d2fa3d3f57c54

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