Lottery Post Journal

Scientists grow human liver from CORD stem cells

Adding more proof to the previous discussion about embryo stem cell research being nothing but a money and power play, here is a wonderful story about a "eureka moment" when actual sizeable human liver tissue was grown ..... from umbilical cord stem cells.

I would call your attention to the parts I have highlighted in bold, red text below.

British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory
By FIONA MacRAE, Science Reporter

British scientists have grown the world's first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

The technique that created the 'mini-liver', currently the size of a one pence piece, will be developed to create a full-size functioning liver.

Described as a 'Eureka moment' by the Newcastle University researchers, the tissue was created from blood taken from babies' umbilical cords just a few minutes after birth.

As it stands, the mini organ can be used to test new drugs, preventing disasters such as the recent 'Elephant Man' drug trial. Using lab-grown liver tissue would also reduce the number of animal experiments.

Within five years, pieces of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.

And then, in just 15 years' time, entire liver transplants could take place using organs grown in a lab.

The development provides fresh hope for the hundreds of Britons in dire need of a new liver each year.

There are currently 336 patients waiting for a liver transplant - the type of operation performed on George Best. However, in 2004, 72 people died waiting for a suitable donor.

The liver tissue is created from stem cells - blank cells capable of developing into different types of tissue - found in blood from the umbilical cord.

Working in collaboration with experts from the US, the Newcastle scientists succeeded in separating out the stem cells from blood removed from the umbilical cord minutes after birth.

They are then placed in a 'bioreactor' - a piece of electrical equipment developed by NASA to mimic the effects of weightlessness. Inside this, the freedom from the force of gravity allows them to multiply more quickly than usual.

Then, various hormones and chemicals are added to coax the stem cells into turning into liver tissue.

So far, tiny pieces of tissue, less than an inch in diameter have been created.

However, in time, it should be possible to create larger and larger pieces of tissue, eventually creating sections capable of being transplanted into sick patients.

The Newcastle scientists believe that within two years the tissue could be used to test new drugs.

Currently, new drugs are tested in the test tube, before being tried out first on animals and then on humans.

However, the procedure is not foolproof, as was made painfully clear by the Northwick Park drugs trial earlier this year in which six healthy young volunteers were left fighting for their lives.

Using lab-grown human tissue could iron out any difficulties before new drugs are given to humans.

Colin McGuckin is professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University. He said: "We take the stem cells from the umbilical cord blood and make small mini-livers.

"We then give them to pharmaceutical companies and they can use them to test new drugs on.

"It could prevent the situation that happened earlier this year when those six patients had a massive reaction to the drugs they were testing."

Using mini-livers could also cut down on the number of animal experiments.

Within five years, the artificial liver could be used to directly benefit people's health.

The researchers envisage sections of artificial liver being used to keep patients needing liver transplants alive - in much the same way as a dialysis machine is used to treat kidney failure.

This technique would take advantage of the liver's remarkable ability to quickly regenerate itself.

The patient would be hooked up to an artificial liver which would take over all the functions usually carried out by their own liver.

With several 'dialysis' sessions a day over a period of several months, the patient's own liver would be afforded enough resting time to regenerate and repair any damage.

Alternatively, vital months could be bought in search for a suitable donor for transplant.

It is hoped that within 15 years, it will be possible to create sections of liver suitable for transplant into the body of those whose livers have been damaged beyond repair.

In many cases, this would replace the need for an entire liver transplant.

However, it would then be several more years before whole livers could be created in a lab for transplant.

While other researchers have created liver cells from stem cells from embryos, the Newcastle team are the first to create sizeable sections of tissue from stem cells from the umbilical cord.

They believe their technique is better suited to growing larger sections of tissue.

Use of cord stem cells is also more ethically acceptable than the use of embryonic stem cells - a process that leads to the death of the embryo.

The Newcastle researchers foresee a time when cord blood from millions of babies born each year is banked, creating a worldwide donor register for liver dialysis and transplant.

Computerised registers could then be created to match the cord blood with tissue type or immune system of patients with liver problems.

Already used to treat leukaemia, more than 11,000 British parents have so far chosen frozen their children's cord blood in a dozen such banks around the UK.

Prof McGuckin said: "One hundred million children are born around the world every year - that is 100 million different tissue types.

"With that number of children being born every year, we should be able to find a tissue for me and you and every other person who doesn't have stem cells banked."

Co-researcher Dr Nico Forraz said: "Our dream is that every metropolitan city would have such a bank.

"If you could type the blood all, you would have to do is dial it up on your computer and fly it from Bristol to Newcastle or even Newcastle to Kuala Lumpur."

The breakthrough has been welcomed by liver experts. However, they caution much more work is needed before the research is transferred from the lab to the operating theatre.

Professor Nagy Habib, of London's Hammersmith Hospital, said: "The stem cell is going to change the way we deliver treatment. However, it won't happen tomorrow."

Alison Rogers, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: "Stem cell technology represents a huge leap forward in treating many diseases. "With liver disease in particular it has the potential for tremendous advances."

A spokesman for UK Transplant, which runs the country's organ donor register, said: "There is lots going on in research that may have benefits for transplant patients.

"But, in the here and now, the obvious way to help these people is by more people adding their names to the organ donor register and to make their wishes known to their family."

Kerry Belittles U.S. Troops

John Kerry seems to think people in the US military are stupid and "did not do their homework in school" and "did not make an effort to be smart".

This is a perfect example of the liberals' hatred of the US military, and their opinions of them as stupid people.

John Kerry is a disgrace to this country.

Watch the video:

More proof for those in liberal la-la land

From today's USA Today:

Heavy coverage at midterm favors Democrats, study says
The media mix By Peter Johnson

Network news coverage has favored Democratic candidates in the midterm election, and the page scandal involving former congressman Mark Foley has been the main story line, drawing almost as much coverage as Iraq and terrorism combined, a new study finds.

An analysis by the Center for Media and Public Affairs of midterm election stories aired on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Sept. 5-Oct. 22 found that 2006's coverage has been almost five times as heavy as in the 2002 midterm elections: 167 stories, compared with 35 four years ago.

The study found that three out of four evaluations of Democratic candidates' chances of winning - such as sound bites - were positive, compared with one out of eight for Republicans. Coverage has been dominated by two major themes: the effects of the Foley scandal, and the impact the Bush presidency is having on the party's congressional candidates.

The Foley scandal produced 59 stories alone, compared with 33 on Iraq and 31 on terrorism/national security issues. "What's hurting Republican candidates is the media's focus on two non-candidates: Mark Foley and George W. Bush," says center director Robert Lichter.

Because of the focus on Foley, the re-election race of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was featured in 42 stories. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was featured in 10 stories, even though he's not up for re-election this year. Sen. Hillary Clinton's possible 2008 presidential run was grist for nine stories.

MSNBC gets into Hotsoup

MSNBC and a new grass-roots community political website,, have a long-term deal to share content that the cable channel hopes will initially help round out coverage of the midterm elections and that Hotsoup hopes will put it on the map.'s politics section, with content from NBC News and The National Journal, will be further bolstered by daily and weekly commentary and analysis from Ron Fournier, a Hotsoup co-founder and former AP political reporter.

The pact is the latest example of mainstream outlets entering into strategic partnerships with online sites and younger-skewing media to stay relevant and take the pulse of the nation, especially Web-savvy viewers and readers. On election night, CNN and Fox News will team with bloggers for coverage.

"This is the Internet version of ‘man on the street' or taking calls on Larry King Live," says MSNBC vice president Tammy Haddad, who once produced King for CNN. "We're saying, ‘We want to know what you think.' We're involving the community."

Along from comments from ordinary people, political strategists from both parties who contribute to Hotsoup will now be featured on MSNBC. "We're going to hear their strategy, what they're thinking about," Haddad says.

"Our audience is deeply news attentive, very interested in the current conversation, so being able to expand the voice of what's going on in our site to a larger audience is very important," says Hotsoup co-founder Chip Smith.

Since no money is changing hands, the deal is also attractive to NBC at a time when the network is cutting costs.

Still have delusions that the media has no liberal bias?

A Sign of the Times

For the first time since before Watergate, the New York Times endorsed no Republicans for election to Congress this year.

It's a sign of a few things: The polarized country, the end of a meaningful moderate wing of the GOP, and the Times's own move left.

A look back at the Times archives through 1972 finds that the paper's powerful editorial page endorsed at least one Republican for the House or Senate every year. Some of these were well-known local moderates like Hamilton Fish and Bill Green. Others include a young Connecticut candidate named John Rowland in 1986.

The page, at least according to a 1982 editorial, made a considered decision to avoid nationalizing its picks.

[Democrats hope] that the voters shout ''no'' to Reaganomics by electing dozens more Democrats to the House and maybe even restoring Democratic control of the Senate.

That would strengthen their chances of undoing the hollow Reagan program, which even George Bush once called voodoo economics and George Stigler, the new Nobel economics laureate now describes as somewhere between a gimmick and a slogan. In other words, if you hate Reaganomics, vote Democratic. That logic, however, raises a classic dilemma: should one vote for a party or for a candidate?

The candidate, we say, and not just because we are in the business of offering individual endorsements. Even if the Democrats should win big on Tuesday, they offer no coherent answer to unemployment and recession.

Some say re-create costly public service jobs programs; others would build public works and renew infrastructure; still others would follow Walter Mondale's advice to control the deficit and civilize interest rates.

It's all easier said than done and even voters who are angry about the Reagan program are far from sure that the Democrats have a credible answer. Liking Reaganomics less is not the same as liking Democrats more. All the more reason to choose individuals rather than ideology.

The paper that year, as usual, went mostly with Democrats, including Mario Cuomo, but also backed two Republicans for Congress, Lowell Weicker and Lewis Rome. Now, as then, it justifies its endorsements on a local basis, but this year there's a distinct national edge, as in this disavowal of Connecticut's Nancy Johnson, which the page supported for years: "We've supported Ms. Johnson in the past, but are disenchanted with her support of her leadership's radical agenda." In other words, the page seems to recognize that the most important vote any legislator casts is the first one, for leadership.

At 2 TV Stations in Maine, What Al Gore's Movie Says Isn't News

At 2 TV Stations in Maine, What Al Gore's Movie Says Isn't News

How important is global warming in Maine? Not important enough for local television.

Michael Palmer, the general manager of television stations WVII and WFVX, ABC and Fox affiliates in Bangor, has told his joint staff of nine men and women that when "Bar Harbor is underwater, then we can do global warming stories."

"Until then," he added. "No more."

Mr. Palmer laid out his policy in an e-mail message sent out during the summer. A copy was sent to The New York Times. Mr. Palmer did not respond to a phone message left with an employee of the stations nor to an e-mail message. But a former staff member confirmed the e-mail message that went out during the summer after the stations broadcast a live report from a movie theater in Maine where Al Gore's movie on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," was opening.

Mr. Palmer began his e-mail message: "I was wondering where we should send the bill for the live shot Friday at the theater for the Al Gore commercial we aired."

Mr. Palmer said he wanted no more stories broadcast on global warming because: "a) we do local news, b) the issue evolved from hard science into hard politics and c) despite what you may have heard from the mainstream media, this science is far from conclusive." Mr. Palmer said in his e-mail message to his operations manager and two women who served as a news anchor and a reporter that he placed "global warming stories in the same category as 'the killer African bee scare' from the 1970s or, more recently, the Y2K scare when everyone's computer was going to self-destruct."

Dr. James Hansen, the director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University, said in an interview yesterday that the station's policy on coverage was irresponsible.

"If you wait until Bar Harbor is underwater, it's too late," Dr. Hansen said. "It won't be just Bar Harbor that is underwater, but many places around the globe including parts of Florida, Bangladesh and the Nile Delta."

Dr. Hansen said the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences made it "very clear that this is a real issue and we need to address it very promptly."

Dr. Hansen added that "fortunately, there is more than one" source for information on global warming around the country and that he assumed "that the people of Maine will have at their disposal other sources of information."

CNN *own3d* by Lynne Cheney

(Anyone having trouble with the term "own3d" can check it out here.)

Lynne Cheney for President!  Hillary would be crushed by her!

Check out the video.

Here's the story:

Cheney Lays Into CNN
By John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/27/2006 5:41:00 PM

Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, strongly criticized CNN Friday for its "Broken Government" series of specials in the run-up to the November mid-term elections and for its airing of tapes of snipers shooting American soldiers in Iraq.

In an interview with Situation Room anchor Wolf Blitzer, Cheney said the network's Vote 2006 specials contained "terrible distortions of the president's and vice president's positions on many issues."

She suggested CNN was working from Democratic talking points, and took issue with the negative tone of the title "Broken Government," suggesting it betrayed CNN's bias and countering that the administration had inherited a recession, been through some tough times like 9/11 and Katrina, but that the economy was healthy. "That's not broken, " she said, "this government has acted very well... I shouldn't let media bias surprise me, but I worked for CNN once [with Crossfire, according to Blitzer], and I was troubled.

Blitzer said the series was "probably" meant to be provocative, "to get people to think, to get people to discuss these issues."

Cheney turned the tables on Blitzer, becoming the questioner: "what is CNN doing running tapes of terrorists shooting Americans," she asked more than once, repeating a question CNN had been asked: "Do you want us to win?"

"The answer is, of course, we want the United States to win," said Blitzer. "We are Americans." Blitzer said airing the footage was not terrorist propaganda but "reporting the news. This is what we do... We make no apologies for showing it."

Later in the newscast, Lou Dobbs defended the "Broken Borders" series, saying that with all due respect, the government was broken in many respects and that he had been critical of Republicans and Democrats. He called Cheney's criticisms "power bridling at truth."

Cheney also complained that she wanted to talk about her children's book, Our 50 States, but had spent about 10 of the 15 alloted minutes for the interview responding to questions about her husband's comments about tactics used to question detainees and the citing of some passages of a book she wrote by Democratic Virginia Senate candidate Jim Webb in defending some racy passages in his books. She said Webb was "full of baloney."

Making lemons out of lemonade, CNN heavily teased the interview and Cheney's anger with the network for the first hour and a half of Situation Room.

Bob Corker leading Harold Ford in Tennessee

Bob Corker is running a pretty good campaign, and is currently running some pretty clever TV ads.

Right now polls are consistently showing Corker with a slim lead, and it does not show signs of changing for the worse.

This should be good news for Tenessee, as Corker is clearly the better candidate.  Ford is inexperienced and does not seem to be guided by a set of grounded principles.

Tennessee Polls

Hilarious new "ice melting" article

Another global warming scare has hit the news!

Parts of this thing are so funny I can't help but laugh.

The first bit of humor comes right in the first sentence: "Greenland is shrinking fast, but still not as fast as previous research indicated".  That's great news, the ice is not melting as fast!  I guess they are anticipating a Democrat in the White House in '08, because the ice melting is slowing down just in time.  By the time the new lefty is in place, the ice will be growing again.  Thank God for the Democrats, who can put an end to ice melting!  (As a matter of fact, I think Hillary Clinton majored in ice melting.)

The next part where I had to stop reading with a case of the giggles is when it says, "This is a change from the 1990s, when ice gains approximately equaled losses".  Whaddyaknow, George Bush just happened to get elected after the '90s, right at the point that tricky ice started melting.  Everything was JUST FINE when there was a good Democrat in the White House.  Hey!  That's because of Hillary Clinton and her ice melting degree, let's get her back in charge again!

Some other humorous anecdotes include:

  • I don't know about you, but when I read the part about "Greenland is losing 20 percent more mass than it gets in new snowfall each year", I get the feeling that Greenland will be gone in 5 years.
  • "Even a slower ice melt" means global warming is upon us!

I guess the whole notion of this "ice melt" slowing down being seen as bad news just tickles me.  Apparently, either someone at NASA really wants a Democrat back in the White House, or else their research dollars are directly dependant upon how bad global warming is.

If NASA spent this much brainpower on rocket ships, we'd have landed on Mars by now.

Here's the chilling story (no pun intended):

Greenland ice sheet shrinking fast: NASA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The vast sheet of ice that covers Greenland is shrinking fast, but still not as fast as previous research indicated, NASA scientists said on Thursday.

Greenland's low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice each year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, the scientists said in a statement.

The high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall, they said.

This is a change from the 1990s, when ice gains approximately equaled losses, said Scott Luthcke of NASA's Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory outside Washington.

"That situation has now changed significantly, with an annual net loss of ice equal to nearly six years of average water flow from the Colorado River," Luthcke said.

Luthcke and his team reported their findings in Science Express, the advance edition of the journal Science.

The ice mass loss in this study is less than half that reported in other recent research, NASA said in a statement, but it still shows that Greenland is losing 20 percent more mass than it gets in new snowfall each year.

The Greenland ice sheet is considered an early indicator of the consequences of global warming, so even a slower ice melt there raises concerns.

"This is a very large change in a very short time," said Jay Zwally, a co-author of the study. "In the 1990s, the ice sheet was growing inland and shrinking significantly at the edges, which is what climate models predicted as a result of global warming.

"Now the processes of mass loss are clearly beginning to dominate the inland growth, and we are only in the early stages of the climate warming predicted for this century," Zwally said.

Story Link

The Who return with 1st album since 1982

Good news for Who fans!

The new album will be released at the end of this month.

I really hope this isn't like the Rolling Stones albums that get churned out.  Pete Townshend is such a talented song writer that I have hope.

Here's some really cool trivia that I thought of while writing this blog entry:  If the last Who album released was back in 1982, then this album will be the first one they've ever produced that didn't premier on vinyl LPs!  Because CDs first debuted in 1983, the last Who album was released an entire year before CDs even existed.  Holy mackerel, if that doesn't put things in perspective!

NY Times Profits Plunge 39%

Good news for those who value truth.  Of course, they'll blame the continued losses on anything other than their left-wing bias.

NY Times Co. 3Q Profit Plunges 39%

The New York Times Co. reported Thursday that its third-quarter 2006 profit from continuing operations plunged 39.2% on costs related to its job cuts and a loss on its sale of its 50% stake in the Discovery Times Channel.

Meanwhile, Belo, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, said net income for the quarter fell to $19.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $22.1 million, or 20 cents per share, during the same period last year.

At the New York Times Co., 3Q operating profit was down 48% from the same period in 2005 to $20.5 million on total revenues that slipped 2.4% to $739.6 million.

Reflecting a continuing tough advertising environment, total ad revenue was off 4.2% to 465,476.

The Times Co. said it earned $14 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with $23.1 milion, or 16 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2005.

Charges related to the staff reduction and the cable TV investment loss each reduced per-share price by 3 cents.

"Our third-quarter results reflect the continued weakness in the print advertising marketplace," Times Co. President and CEO Janet L. Robinson said in a statement. "We are, however, strongly encouraged by the discipline our teams have shown in holding the line on operating costs, which were virtually flat with the third quarter of last year. The leadership we are showing in transitioning from our print-centric distribution model to become a multi-platform content provider continues to pay dividends through the robust growth in our Internet-related revenues, which contributed more than 8% of the company's revenues in the quarter and are on track to exceed $250 million by year end."

Times Co. noted that for this reporting period its broadcast media group are now classified as discontinued operations. In September, the company announced plans to sell the group.

Newsprint expense decreased 2.2% in the third quarter, with 11.1% of the decrease attributable to lower consumption, partially offset by an 8.9% price increase.

News Media Group revenues decreased 3.0% to $721.3 million, the company said.

Advertising revenues decreased 5.1%, due to weakness in print advertising at The New York Times Media Group and the New England Media Group, partially offset by higher online advertising revenues across the News Media Group, the company said.

Circulation revenues were down 1.3%, which the company attributed mainly to weakness at the New England Media Group.

Operating profit for the online business increased to $6.4 million from $3.8 million. All told, Internet-related businesses generated $62.8 million in revenue, up from $50.5 million in the year-ago period.

The Times said its previously announced plans to consolidate New York area printing at its College Point, N.Y., plan and to sublease its Edison, N.J. plan, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.

The Times said it expects a return of "at least 15%" on its $135 million investment in the consolidation, with a payback period of five and a half years. It said it currently estimates it will record total costs to close the Edison plan to be in the range of $104 to $128 million.

TimesSelect, the fee-based product on, currently has 551,000 subscribers, the Times Co. said, with about 65% receiving TimesSelect as part their home-delivery subscriptions, and 35% receiving it from online-only subscriptions. Since its launch in September 2005, TimesSelect has generated more than $8.5 million in revenues, the company said.

Meanwhile, newspaper and television station owner Belo Corp. said Thursday third-quarter profit dropped 13% weighed down by charges, as revenue edged up slightly amid weak results from the company's newspaper group.

Belo, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, said net income for the quarter fell to $19.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $22.1 million, or 20 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Results for the latest quarter were hurt by $5.4 million, or 3 cents per share, in severance charges for a voluntary severance program at the Dallas Morning News. They were also impacted by $10 million, or 6 cents per share, in transition costs associated with its technology initiatives and $2.9 million, or 2 cents per share, in stock-based compensation costs.

Last year's results included a $3.5 million, or 2 cents per share, credit to network compensation and an impact of 4 cents per share from lost revenues and incremental expenses associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for third-quarter earnings of 18 cents per share.

Revenue gained 0.8 percent to $376.4 million from $373.4 million, missing analysts' estimates of $386.3 million. Television group revenue rose 6.9 percent, while newspaper group revenue fell 4.2 percent

Lottery Post supports new IE7 'Search Providers'

The new IE7 web browser (which I previously recommended that all IE users upgrade to) includes a feature called "Search Providers".

In the upper-right corner of the browser window there is a space to enter text, and a small search button and a "down-arrow".  It is a shortcut to quickly perform searches using your favorite search engine.

So you just tell it what search engine you use all the time (such as Google), and every time you enter text there and click the button, it immediately goes to your search engine and performs the search.  It is a nice time-saver.

Lottery Post fully supports that new IE7 feature, and allows you to set Lottery Post as your default search engine.

Even if you don't want to use Lottery Post as your default, you can save it in your search engine list, so going to Lottery Post and performing a search is as easy as entering the search terms, clicking the down-arrow, and selecting "Lottery Post".  Again, a nice time-saver.

When using IE7, you will know that a web site supports the Search Providers feature because the down-arrow next to the search button will glow orange, like this:

IE7 Search glowing orange

When you see that, you can add that site's Search Provider to your list by clicking the glowing down-arrow, and selecting "Add Search Provider".  In fact, if you're using IE7 right now, look up at the top of this page and you'll see it.

Right now the Lottery Post Search Provider is used to search the forums.  In the future, I will add search providers to the other areas in Lottery Post as well, such as blogs.

By the way, Firefox also supports a Search Providers, and Lottery Post has supported that feature from the beginning, so you can do exactly the same thing if you use Firefox.  I previously posted about it here:

Final version of IE7 ready!

If you are a user of Microsoft IE version 6 or lower, I urge you to upgrade.  IE7 is just wonderful -- a vast improvement over what you're using today.

It's a free download, and very easy to install.

After installing things that you should immediately familiarize yourself with:

  • Tabbed browsing -- have multiple browser sessions open within one window.
  • RSS feeds -- have web sites tell you when new information is available, rather than having to check everything yourself.  I can't stress enough how important this feature is.  Once you get a library of feeds working for you, you will want to see that Lottery Post Syndicated News Feed symbol on every web site.

You can see more information about IE7 here:

Or, you can go straight to the download page here:

Lottery Post gets the special Google treatment

Today when I did a search for "lottery post" on Google, I got a pleasant surprise.

Google has made Lottery Post one of its premium sites by showing the Lottery Post listing with its top page categories broken out underneath.  It's something Google does when a web site is not only popular, but also has achieved a certain high status among all sites of its type.

Here is the Google listing:


Hypocrite: Video report about Democrat leader Harry Reid scandal

It looks like Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is involved in a hidden profit-taking land deal scam. 

Maybe this scandal with hurt Democrats in the upcoming election, who themselves are busy trying to paint Republicans as underhanded.

I just love when finger-pointing, self-righteous people get the spotlight pointed squarely at themselves and their own hypocrisy.

Sit back and enjoy the report!

I hope you especially enjoy hearing the part when Harry Reid hangs up the phone on the reporter.

Click Here for the Show

(With newer web browsers you may have to click once anywhere on the control to activate it before you can use the playback controls.)

Democrat Leader Harry Reid Caught in Possible Land Deal Scam

Every time a Republican gets caught doing something bad, all the hypocrites out there act like all Republicans are guilty and Democrats never do anything wrong.  The article below provides a good example of how such people are being just plain stupid when they act like that.  It's the same thing as people who blame George Bush for everything, and then say Bill Clinton and and Jimmy Carter aren't responsible for things they clearly are.

Just like Jimmy Carter's op-ed in the New York Times today, in which the moron outright lied to the public about North Korea and his own role in the failure of US policy under Bill Clinton.  Predictably, he blames George Bush for everything.  Just plain dopey.

AP Exclusive: Reid Got $1M in Land Sale
Oct 11 2:13 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writers


Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.

In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.

The Nevada Democrat's deal was engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations. He's never been charged with wrongdoing _ except for a 1981 federal securities complaint that was settled out of court.

Land deeds obtained by The Associated Press during a review of Reid's business dealings show:

  • The deal began in 1998 when Reid bought undeveloped residential property on Las Vegas' booming outskirts for about $400,000. Reid bought one lot outright, and a second parcel jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported. The seller never talked to Reid.
  • In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a limited liability corporation created by Brown. The senator didn't disclose the sale on his annual public ethics report or tell Congress he had any stake in Brown's company. He continued to report to Congress that he personally owned the land.
  • After getting local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, Brown's company sold the land in 2004 to other developers and Reid took $1.1 million of the proceeds, nearly tripling the senator's investment. Reid reported it to Congress as a personal land sale.

The complex dealings allowed Reid to transfer ownership, legal liability and some tax consequences to Brown's company without public knowledge, but still collect a seven-figure payoff nearly three years later.

Reid hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview last week.

The senator's aides said no money changed hands in 2001 and that Reid instead got an ownership stake in Brown's company equal to the value of his land. Reid continued to pay taxes on the land and didn't disclose the deal because he considered it a "technical transfer," they said.

They also said they have no documents proving Reid's stake in the company because it was an informal understanding between friends.

The 1998 purchase "was a normal business transaction at market prices," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. "There were several legal steps associated with the investment during those years that did not alter Senator Reid's actual ownership interest in the land."

Senate ethics rules require lawmakers to disclose on their annual ethics report all transactions involving investment properties — regardless of profit or loss — and to report any ownership stake in companies.

Kent Cooper, who oversaw government disclosure reports for federal candidates for two decades in the Federal Election Commission, said Reid's failure to report the 2001 sale and his ties to Brown's company violated Senate rules.

"This is very, very clear," Cooper said. "Whether you make a profit or a loss you've got to put that transaction down so the public, voters, can see exactly what kind of money is moving to or from a member of Congress."

"It is especially disconcerting when you have a member of the leadership, of either party, not putting in the effort to make sure this is a complete and accurate report," said Cooper. "That says something to other members. It says something to the Ethics Committee."

Other parts of the deal — such as the informal handling of property taxes — raise questions about possible gifts or income reportable to Congress and the IRS, ethics experts said.

Stanley Brand, former Democratic chief counsel of the House, said Reid should have disclosed the 2001 sale and that his omission fits a larger culture in Congress where lawmakers aren't following or enforcing their own rules.

"It's like everything else we've seen in last two years. If it is not enforced, people think it's not enforced and they get lax and sloppy," Brand said.


Reid and his wife, Landra, personally signed the deeds selling their full interest in the property to Brown's company, Patrick Lane LLC, for the same $400,000 they paid in 1998, records show.

Despite the sale, Reid continued to report on his public ethics reports that he personally owned the land until it was sold again in His disclosure forms to Congress do not mention an interest in Patrick Lane or the company's role in the 2004 sale.

AP first learned of the transaction from a former Reid aide who expressed concern the deal hadn't been properly reported.

Reid isn't listed anywhere on Patrick Lane's corporate filings with Nevada, even though the land he sold accounted for three-quarters of the company's assets. Brown is listed as the company's manager. Reid's office said Nevada law didn't require Reid to be mentioned in the filings.

"We have been friends for over 35 years. We didn't need a written agreement between us," Brown said.

The informalities didn't stop there.


Brown sometimes paid a share of the local property taxes on the lot Reid owned outright between 1998 and 2001, while Reid sometimes paid more than his share of taxes on the second parcel they co-owned.

And the two men continued to pay the property taxes from their personal checking accounts even after the land was sold to Patrick Lane in 2001, records show.

Brown said Reid first approached him in 1997 about land purchases and the two men considered the two lots a single investment.

"During the years of ownership, there may have been occasions that he advanced the property taxes, or that I advanced the property taxes," Brown said. "The bottom line is that between ourselves we always settled up and each of us paid our respective percentages."

Ultimately, Reid paid about 74 percent of the property taxes, slightly less than his actual 75.1 ownership stake, according to canceled checks kept at the local assessor's office. One year, the property tax payments were delinquent and resulted in a small penalty, the records show.

Ethics experts said such informality raises questions about whether any of Brown's tax payments amounted to a benefit for Reid. "It might be a gift," Cooper said.

Brand said the IRS might view the handling of the land taxes as undisclosed income to Reid but it was unlikely to prompt an investigation. "If someone is paying a liability you owe, there may be some income imputed. But at that level, it's pretty small dollars," he said.


Nevada land deeds show Reid and his wife first bought the property in January 1998 in a proposed subdivision created partly with federal lands transferred by the Interior Department to private developers.

Reid's two lots were never owned by the government, but the piece of land joining Reid's property to the street corner — a key to the shopping center deal — came from the government in 1994.

One of the sellers was Fred Lessman, a vice president of land acquisition at Perma-Bilt Homes.

Around the time of the 1998 sale, Lessman and his company were completing a complicated federal land transfer that also involved an Arizona-based developer named Del Webb Corp.

In the deal, Del Webb and Perma-Bilt purchased environmentally sensitive lands in the Lake Tahoe area, transferred them to the government and then got in exchange several pieces of valuable Las Vegas land.

Lessman was personally involved, writing a March 1997 letter to Interior lobbying for the deal. "This exchange has been through many trials and tribulations ... we do not need to create any more stumbling blocks," Lessman wrote.

For years, Reid also had been encouraging Interior to make land swaps on behalf of Del Webb, where one of his former aides worked.

In 1994, Reid wrote a letter with other Nevada lawmakers on behalf of Del Webb, and then met personally with a top federal land official in Nevada. That official claimed in media reports he felt pressured by the senator. Reid denied any pressure.

The next year, Reid collected $18,000 in political donations from Del Webb's political action committee and employees. Del Webb's efforts to get federal land dragged on.

In December 1996, Reid wrote a second letter on behalf of Del Webb, urging Interior to answer the company's concerns. The deal came together in summer and fall 1997, with Perma-Bilt joining in.

In January 1998 — just days before he bought his land — Reid applauded the Lake Tahoe land transfers, saying they would create the "gateway to paradise."

None of Reid's letters mentioned Perma-Bilt. Reid's office said the senator never met Lessman nor discussed the Lake Tahoe land transfer or his personal land purchase. A real estate attorney handled the 1998 sale at arms-length, aides said.

"This land investment was completely unrelated to federal land swaps that took place in the mid-1990's," Manley said.

Lessman said he never talked to Reid or asked for his help before the 1998 land sale, and only met the senator years later at a public event. "Any suggestion that the land sale between Senator Reid and myself is somehow tied in with the Perma-Bilt exchange is completely absurd," Lessman said.


Clark County intended for the property Reid owned to be used solely for new housing, records show. Just days before Reid sold the parcels to Brown's company, Brown sought permission in May 2001 to rezone the properties so a shopping center could be built.

Career zoning officials objected, saying the request was "inconsistent" with Clark County's master development plan. The town board in Spring Valley, where Reid's property was located, also voted 4-1 to reject the rezoning.

Brown persisted. The Clark County zoning board followed by the Clark County Commission voted to overrule the recommendation and approve commercial zoning. Such votes were common at the time.

Before the approval in September 2001, Brown's consultant told commissioners that Reid was involved. "Mr. Brown's partner is Harry Reid, so I think we have people in this community who you can trust to go forward and put a quality project before you," the consultant testified.

With the rezoning granted, Patrick Lane pursued the shopping center deal. On Jan. 20, 2004, the company sold the property to developers for $1.6 million. Today, a multimillion dollar retail complex sits on the land.

On Jan. 21, 2004, Reid received more than $1.1 million of the sale proceeds. Reid disclosed the money the following year on his Senate ethics report as a personal sale of land, not mentioning Patrick Lane.


Brown has been a behind-the-scenes power broker in Nevada for years, donating to Democrats, Republicans and charities. He represented a major casino in legal cases and dabbled in Nevada's booming real estate market.

Brown befriended Reid four decades ago, even before Reid served as chairman of the Nevada gaming commission and decided cases involving Brown's clients.

Brown's name has surfaced in federal investigations involving organized crime, casinos and political bribery since the 1980s.

This past summer, federal prosecutors introduced testimony at the bribery trial of former Clark County Commission chairman Dario Herrara that Brown had taken money from a Las Vegas strip club owner to influence the commission. Herrara was convicted of taking kickbacks. Brown was never called as a witness.

Brown declined to discuss past cases where his name surfaced, including Herrara. "The federal government investigated this whole matter thoroughly, and there was never any implication of impropriety on my part," he said.

'Scary Movie' producer makes PERFECT campaign ad


The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained an exclusive copy of a "scary" campaign advertisement created by Hollywood producer and director David Zucker that was intended to be used by GOP organizations in the closing weeks of the 2006 campaign.

However, the advertisement was deemed "too hot" by GOP strategists all across Washington, DC who have refused to use it!

In the ad, Zucker, producer of SCARY MOVIE 4, recreates former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's 2000 visit to North Korea. During the visit, Secretary Albright presented North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il with a basketball autographed by former NBA superstar Michael Jordan.

An actress playing Secretary Albright is shown presenting Kim Jong Il with the Michael Jordan basketball, painting the walls of Osama bin Laden's Afghanistan cave and turning a blind eye to suicide bombers. In one scene her skirt rips as she changes the tire of a Middle Eastern dictator's limousine.

One GOP strategist said "jaws dropped" when the ad was first viewed. "Nobody could believe Zucker thought any political organization could use this ad. It makes a point, but it's way over the top."

Zucker is the producer and director of comedies such as "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun." In 2004, Zucker, a longtime Democrat, embraced the Republican Party based on concerns he had about national security issues and voted for President George W. Bush.

Wonderful song

Anyone who has watched Battlestar Galactica will have heard this song in the second episode of season 2.

This evening I finally figured out where the song came from.  It was difficult to locate, as it is not on the soundtrack.

Very haunting and beautiful, see if you agree...

Click here to download 

(Large file - approx. 9MB)

By the way, anyone who has not watched Battlestar Galactica is depriving themselves of one of the best shows in years.


This is a follow-on the a forum post located here:

I located a web site that has photographs somebody took of his screen, which shows the difference between standard DVD movies and the new HD-DVD format. 

Note, HD-DVD is not the same thing as Blu-Ray, which is actually a competing high definition format.  The average Circuit City salesperson would confuse the issue, depending on which type of player they want to sell that day, but understanding that they are two distinctly different formats (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) is important before making a purchase.  In my opinion, HD-DVD is better right now.

Anyway, back to the comparisons of HD-DVD to standard DVD (the type of DVD player that is right now hooked up to just about everyone's TV).

The photographs are good, in that they provide a good illustration of how that regular DVD picture -- which everyone, including myself, thought was so awesome -- looks like it has a blurry haze over it, compared to HD-DVD.  The pictures obviously cannot help someone understand the differences in sound quality, but from someone who owns both technologies, I can attest that the sound is improved at least to the same degree that the video is improved.

The interesting thing about the photos is that the person's video projector used to project the movie in the photos is not even displaying the HD-DVD video in the native 1080i or 1080p resolution, so it is being downconverted to whatever maximum resolution his projector supports.  That means the video, when shown with an appropriate TV or projector, will look better than what is shown, with a more striking comparison to standard DVD.

Here is one of the comparisons, taken from the movie Troy.  For the ladies's benefit I have posted a Brad Pitt comparison.

Standard DVD


Pretty amazing, huh?  It's like the standard DVD had the camera out of focus.  I can tell you, it really does make a difference, especially for people with larger TV sets or projectors.

The rest of the comparison can be found here.  You can find a previous comparison the same person did with the movie Seabiscuit here.