Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Harridan) recently announced (evil) plans to rein in federal spending, in part by cutting $4.5 billion from the Department of Veterans Affairs -- specifically disabled veteran compensation. This sent shock waves through the veteran community. In response, veteran's service organizations, including the VFW and AMVETS, issued statements condemning her plan (and calling her all manner of bad names, I'll bet) for stripping away the support disabled veterans count on, especially during a time of war. On Feb. 4, the Harridan released a statement backing off her (evil) plan to cut any portion of the Department of Veterans Affairs budget.
Before the meeting with your VSO (Veteran's Service Officer) it's helpful to have all your ducks in a row. Bring all documentation relevant to the specific injury or injuries. Avoid dropping your whole file on the VSO's lap with the expectation that he or she will sort through it for you. Have a short summary sheet -- one to five pages, depending on the number of issues. Always try to keep things as short as possible. Remember VSO's often put in long hours for very little pay, they deserve respect for their hard work in helping veterans get the benefits they need. (indeed)...
(The key word here is... Documentation. As big a fan of the VA health care system as I am, I know the VA claims system won't necessarily take your word for it. Trust me on this one.)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the creation of a new Office of Tribal Government Relations to ensure veterans who are American Indians, Alaska Natives, or Hawaiian Natives or are part of the Alaska Native Corporations receive the VA benefits they have earned. About 200,000 veterans represented by the 800 tribal governments will be served by this new office. For more information, visit the VA's
Office of Tribal Government Relations webpage .
Senator Patty Murray (D-Angel) has been named chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. She replaces Senator Daniel Akaka who leaves to chair the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Senator Murray is the daughter of a disabled World War II veteran. As a 22-year-old college intern, she worked with Vietnam veterans at a psychiatric hospital ward in Seattle...
(This is good news beyond measure... as to her work with Vietnam veteran's, I say...
On February 1, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) launched the National Caregiver Support Line. The toll-free number (1-855-260-3274) is available to family members, loved ones, or friends who provide care for Vets living with the effects of war, disability, chronic illness, or aging. For more information, visit the
VA Caregiver Support webpage.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently awarded a contract to the Green Building Initiative (GBI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceleration of sustainable building practices, to provide online, green building self-evaluations for 173 hospital facilities using Green Globes -- Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings (CIEB) environmental rating and assessment tool.
On any given night, approximately 107,000 veterans across the country go to sleep on benches, in back alleys and under bridges. Roughly twice that number will experience homelessness at some point this year. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partnered with the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently to conduct the point-in-time count of the nation's homeless. VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould led a group of volunteer counters in downtown Washington, DC. For more information on VA services for homeless veterans, visit the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Veterans webpage
( I cannot think of anything to say other than there was a time many years ago...)
Mark Morford: How to Rule for Five Minutes (SF Gate)
There are many ways to have national or even international media attention heaped upon your head for a short burst of time, if you so desire. Why you would desire such a thing is, of course, between you and your demons. Choose wisely.
Jim Hightower: Pulling the Curtain on the Koch Brothers
Until now, Charles and David Koch have kept their extensive political operation a secret from the media and us hoi polloi. Over the years, they have quietly funneled tens of millions of dollars from their industrial fortune into hundreds of right-wing front groups set up to advance their goal of establishing a corporate plutocracy in America. From behind their plush curtain, they've operated as the right-wing's Wizard of Oz - only Ozzier.
Froma Harrop: Where Spanish Is A Threatened Language (Creators Syndicate)
The ice, snow and sleet that paralyzed American aviation last week forced upon me two extra days in tropical Puerto Rico. Somehow I managed. And so did the legions of other Americans and Canadians sharing stories of canceled flights as they contentedly drank cafe con leche in the warm sun of Plaza de Colon.
Susan Estrich: That Scene (Creators Syndicate)
I had never seen anything like it. I sat in the movie theater holding my breath as Marlon Brando wielded the stick of butter. For the sake of families who might be reading, I'll say no more, except that "Last Tango in Paris" was, depending on your perspective, either a very sexy movie or a very scary one.
David Bruce has 40 Kindle books on Amazon.com with 250 anecdotes in each book. Each book is $1, so for $40 you can buy 10,000 anecdotes. Search for "Funniest People," "Coolest People, "Most Interesting People," "Kindest People," "Religious Anecdotes," and "Maximum Cool."
Almost every modern piano has 36 black keys and 52 white keys for a total of 88 keys
Alan J was first, and correct, with:
Jim from CA, retired to ID, replied:
Almost every modern piano has 36 black keys and 52 white
22. Nope, 36.
How many keys do piano keyboards have? There are 88 keys in total; 35 black keys and 53 white keys.
MAM, is this your kitty?
PS: B2BB, you asked about the name of the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers? I'd say it's 'Mud' after last Sunday's game... "We're number 2," that cold, Mr Bone! ;)
36 black keys
And, Joe S answered:
Pittsburgh. I can't believe I didn't answer yesterday's quiz. I had the answer and picked out a nice graphic and everything. I guess I just got too engrossed in my new printer/scanner/copier I forgot about it. That's the way it is when you get old. Want to see what I looked like when I was a little kid? I'll show you just as soon as I answer today's quiz.
The answer is 36 black keys.
I had blond hair up until I was two. Go figger. You know, I remember this. The Ice Man would come and drop off this huge block of ice and I would try to get the whole thing in my mouth. Never could but it was fun trying.
CBS opens the night with a FRESH'Big Bang Theory', followed by a FRESH'Shit My Father Says', then a FRESH'CSI: The Original One', then a FRESH'The Mentalist'.
Scheduled on a FRESHDave are Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Bryan Ferry.
Scheduled on a FRESHCraig is Jennifer Beals.
NBC begins the night with a FRESH'Community', followed by a FRESH'Perfect Couples', then a FRESH'The Office', followed by a FRESH'Parks & Recreation', then a FRESH'30 Rock', followed by a FRESH'Outsourced'.
Scheduled on a FRESHLeno are Rob Lowe, Amber Riley, Nicki Minaj.
Scheduled on a FRESHJimmy Fallon are Jennifer Aniston and Piers Morgan.
Scheduled on a FRESHCarson 'The Scab' Daly are Diplo, Laurie Ann Gibson, and Alberta Cross.
ABC starts the night with a FRESH'Wipeout', followed by a FRESH'Grey's Anatomy', then a FRESH'Private Practice'.
Scheduled on a FRESHJimmy Kimmel are Justin Bieber, Travis Barker featuring Game and Swizz Beats.
The CW offers a FRESH'The Vampire Diaries', followed by a FRESH'Nikita'.
Faux has a FRESH'American Idol', followed by a FRESH'Bones'.
MY recycles an old 'Without A Trace', followed by another old 'Without A Trace'.
A&E has 'The First 48', another 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH'The First 48', then a FRESH'Beyond Scared Straight'.
AMC offers the movie 'Rocky III', followed by the movie 'Rocky IV'.
[6:00 AM] BBC World News
[7:00 AM] BBC World News
[8:00 AM] The Graham Norton Show - Ep 4 Minnie Driver, Jimmy Carr
[9:00 AM] Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Ep 4 Morgan's
[10:00 AM] Doctor Who - 6 - Vampires in Venice
[11:00 AM] The X-Files - Ep 3 Blood
[12:00 PM] Top Gear - Episode 10
[1:00 PM] Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares Revisited - Ep 1 La Riviera
[2:00 PM] Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Ep 10 Dillons
[3:00 PM] Torchwood: Children of Earth (60) - Episode 1
[4:00 PM] The X-Files - Ep 3 Blood
[5:00 PM] Doctor Who - 7 - Amy's Choice
[6:00 PM] Top Gear - Episode 2
[7:00 PM] BBC World News America
[8:00 PM] Star Trek: The Next Generation - Ep 5 Disaster
[9:00 PM] Excalibur
[12:00 AM] Star Trek: The Next Generation - Ep 5 Disaster
[1:00 AM] Top Gear - Episode 2
[2:00 AM] Excalibur
[5:00 AM] BBC World News (ALL TIMES EST)
Bravo has 'Top Chef', 'Million Dollar /Listing', followed by a FRESH'Million Dollar Listing', and 'Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills'.
Comedy Central has last night's 'Jon Stewart', last night's 'Colbert Report', 'Futurama', another 'Futurama', still another 'Futurama', 'South Park', 'South Park', and still anther 'South Park'.
On a RERUNJon Stewart (from 2/1/11) is Michael Steele.
On a RERUNColbert Report (from 2/1/11) are Leslie Dach and Michael Lewis.
FX has the movie 'You Don't Mess With The Zohan', '2½ Men', another '2½ Men', still another '2½ Men', yet another '2½ Men', followed by a FRESH'Archer', and another 'Archer'.
History has 'Modern Marvels', 'American Pickers', 'Swamp People', and 'Only In America With Larry The Cable Guy'.
[6:00 AM] Dark Mirror
[7:45 AM] Kingdom of the Spiders
[9:45 AM] Renaissance
[12:00 PM] Dark Mirror
[1:45 PM] Kingdom of the Spiders
[3:45 PM] Renaissance
[6:00 PM] Dark Mirror
[7:45 PM] The Grid
[8:00 PM] Near Dark
[10:00 PM] Bug
[12:15 AM] Evil Dead 2
[2:00 AM] Near Dark
[4:00 AM] People I Know (ALL TIMES EST)
[6:00 AM] Love/Lust & Little Black Dress
[7:00 AM] A Town Called Panic
[8:15 AM] How to Be
[9:40 AM] Turn The River
[11:15 AM] A Town Called Panic
[12:30 PM] How to Be
[1:55 PM] Turn The River
[3:30 PM] A Town Called Panic
[4:45 PM] How to Be
[6:15 PM] Trolls
[6:25 PM] Gretchen
[8:10 PM] Gods and Monsters
[10:00 PM] Monsieur Hubert De Givenchy
[11:00 PM] Girl on the Run: Winter 2011
[12:00 AM] Gods and Monsters
[1:50 AM] Monsieur Hubert De Givenchy
[2:50 AM] Teleglobal Dreamin'
[3:20 AM] Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
[4:50 AM] Gretchen (ALL TIMES EST)
SyFy has the movie 'Dragon Wars: D-War', followed by the movie 'Eragon'.
Scheduled on a FRESHConan are Seth MacFarlane, Brooklyn Decker, and Dana Gould.
Scheduled on a FRESHLopez Tonight are Brad Womack, Taylor Momsen, and the Pretty Reckless.
amfAR Founding Chairman Dr. Mathilde Krim, left, Harry Belafonte, and wife Julie Robinson attend amfAR's annual New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street onWednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 in New York. amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year.
Photo by Evan Agostini
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is honoring Ricky Martin and Kristin Chenoweth.
The organization announced Wednesday that Martin will receive the Vito Russo Award at GLAAD's 22nd annual Media Awards on March 19 in New York City. The award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who made a significant difference in promoting equal rights.
The 39-year-old Puerto Rican pop singer announced last year that he is gay. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios called it "a game changer for many gay and transgender Latino children."
Chenoweth will be presented with the Vanguard Award at an event in Los Angeles on April 10. The award is given for increasing the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community.
Former President Bill Clinton and amfAR honoree, is introduced by his daughter Chelsea Clinton at amfAR's annual New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Streeton Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 in New York. amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year.
Photo by Evan Agostini
Garth Brooks' December concert series at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena is expected to bring in $5 million for flood relief in Tennessee.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee on Wednesday announced the expected total take from the nine sold-out concerts. The nonprofit already has received $4.35 million and the money is still coming in.
The proceeds will go to The River Fund, a charitable fund within the Community Foundation. The fund already has given out $1.4 million to Hands on Nashville, the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the Community Resource Center.
Norm Macdonald is returning to the news, specifically sports news.
The former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and "Weekend Update" anchor will star in "Sports Show with Norm Macdonald." Comedy Central announced Wednesday that it's picking up the series and ordering eight episodes.
The network said the show will feature Macdonald's "comedic take on the most topical and controversial stories from the sports world."
The show will be taped in front of a live studio audience. It's set to premiere in April.
Musical astronaut Catherine Coleman has plenty of flutes to pick from aboard the International Space Station.
At the space station, Coleman is the only flutist among the six-member crew. So while she prefers creating music with other people, she puts flute music on in the background and plays along whenever she has spare time.
The penny whistle she took up belongs to the Chieftains' Paddy Moloney. There's also an old Irish flute from the Chieftains' Matt Molloy and a flute belonging to Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull.
Coleman said part of her astronaut job is to share "how amazing it is up here and relate to different groups of people."
Linda Gray, left, poses for photographers with Suzanne Somers backstage prior to modeling fashions in the Heart Truth Red Dress Fall 2011 show in New York,Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011.
Photo by Kathy Willens
He was the world's first musical superstar, a bigger-than-life personality with a wild mane of hair who seated adoring women around his piano onstage and had his own "mania" cult long before the Beatles.
This year marks the 200th birthday of Franz Liszt, that demon of the keyboard who made women swoon, men gape and rivals jealous. But his music is often deemed second rate, and while his piano works and concertos are played, many casual listeners may know him best from Tom & Jerry television cartoons ("Cat Concerto").
"I think he's criticized too many times considering that he was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century," said pianist and conductor Zoltan Kocsis, music director of Hungary's National Philharmonic Orchestra and the country's Liszt year "ambassador."
Liszt, the grand man of Hungarian music, who in Hungary goes by the first name Ferenc, was born in the then-Hungarian, now Austrian, village of Doborjan, on Oct 22, 1811.
Authorities say a security guard on the Los Angeles County set of the CBS television show "NCIS" has died after being struck by a van whose driver apparently blacked out.
Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Konecny says the van had just dropped off passengers Wednesday in Valencia when the driver suffered an unspecified medical condition and it accelerated suddenly, striking the guard.
The victim, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The network says production on the show has been suspended while investigators try to determine what caused the accident.
Jury president and actress Isabella Rossellini poses during a photocall at the 61st Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 9, 2011. TheBerlinale International Film Festival runs from February 10 to 20, 2011.
Photo by Fabrizio Bensch
Actress Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Los Angeles jewelry store, but was warned not to "push her luck" with any further slip-ups.
Dressed all in white for a brief court appearance, Lohan, 24, was charged with a single count of felony grand theft. If convicted, the "Mean Girls" star could be sent to prison for up to three years, prosecutors say.
Lohan is accused of walking out of a Los Angeles jewelry store without paying for a gold designer necklace in January -- just three weeks after ending her fifth stint in drug and alcohol rehab in three years.
Lohan, who was dressed in a long-sleeved white dress and sat calmly during the hearing, later posted bail of $20,000 and left the courthouse by a side door, media reports said.
A coastal development agency has recommended officials reject U2 guitarist The Edge's vision for a cluster of mansions that would look like nothing more than scattered leaves on a ridgeline overlooking Malibu.
The proposal by The Edge includes five homes ranging from 7,220 to 12,785 square feet to be built on a ridgeline in the Santa Monica Mountains. In a statement, the guitarist has said the mansions will be some of the most environmentally sensitive ever designed in the world.
But the pitch has not gotten far with neighboring residents, environmental groups and even the National Park Service, which raised concerns about biological and visual impacts in such sensitive habitat.
Staff for the California Coastal Commission, the coastal development agency whose permission is critical for the project to move forward, issued a final recommendation saying the board should reject the project at its meeting this week.
Actor Richard Gere attends amfAR's annual New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 in New York. amfAR, The Foundation for AIDSResearch, is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year.
Photo by Evan Agostini
Elvis Presley Enterprises said it's suing men in Florida and England on claims of copyright infringement and illegal sale of a DVD and CD box set of recordings and footage of the singer's performances.
The Memphis-based company said it filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Chancery Division of the High Court in England and Wales against Joseph Pirzada, alleging he is the source of the box set.
Company lawyers and computer experts, with authorization by the court, searched Pirzada's home Jan. 25 for evidence of the sale and distribution of the set.
On Feb. 2, Elvis Presley Enterprises sued Bud Glass, who has previously published an Elvis book and DVD series, on claims he illegally sold and distributed the Pirzada box set in the United States.
The finished version of a German documentary about jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was reported stolen last week in Berlin.
Director Cyril Tuschi told Reuters it was the second time that material for his film "Khodorkovsky" has been stolen in the past few weeks. The first time the film was taken from his hotel room on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
"I booked a flight to Bali...to do the final editing on my laptop," he said. "And after four days, when I had just finished, it got stolen out of my hotel room."
Berlin police are investigating the second theft in which two hard drives and two laptops containing the film were stolen from the office of Tuschi's production company. So far police have no leads.
The film will still premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 14 as planned after Tuschi delivered an earlier version to the festival, should the material stolen in Bali not be recovered.
These days, guns are more popular than guitars, at least when it comes to video games. The company behind "Guitar Hero" said Wednesday that it is pulling the plug on one of the most influential video game titles of the new century.
Activision Blizzard Inc., which also produces the "Call of Duty" series, is ending the "Guitar Hero" franchise after a run of more than five years. The move follows Viacom Inc.'s decision in November to sell its money-losing unit behind the "Rock Band" video games. Harmonix was sold to an investment firm for an undisclosed sum. Harmonix, incidentally, was behind the first "Guitar Hero" game.
Game industry analysts have long lamented the "weakness in the music genre," as they call it - that is, the inability of game makers to drum up demand for the products after an initial surge in popularity in the mid-2000s. Music games are often more expensive than your typical shoot-'em-up game because they require guitars, microphones and other musical equipment. While extra songs can be purchased for download, this hasn't been enough to keep the games profitable.
Activision's shares tumbled after the announcement, but investors appear more concerned with the company's disappointing revenue forecast than the demise of the rocker game. As far as investors go, discontinuing an unprofitable product isn't the end of the world, even if "Guitar Hero" fans disagree.
Ballet dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet perform in one-act ballets during a dress rehearsal at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011.The Paris Opera Ballet starts its tour in Russia with three one-act ballets created by Serge Lifar, Maurice Bejart and Roland Petit.
Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko
A former Indiana mayor who won four terms in the 1930s and 1950s is proving less popular with modern-day city leaders, who say they probably won't name a new government center for him because of the jokes his moniker could inspire.
Harry Baals is the runaway favorite in online voting to name the new building in Fort Wayne, about 120 miles northeast of Indianapolis. But Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said that probably won't be enough to put the name of the city's longest-tenured mayor on the center.
The issue is pronunciation. The former mayor pronounced his last name "balls." His descendants have since changed it to "bales."
Supporters said it's unfair that the former mayor can't be recognized simply because his name makes some people snicker. But opponents fear that naming the center after Baals would make Fort Wayne the target of late-night television jokes.
Rankings for the top 15 programs on cable networks as compiled by the Nielsen Co. for the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6. Day and start time (EST) are in parentheses:
1. "Jersey Shore" (Thursday, 10 p.m.), MTV, 5.52 million homes, 8.25 million viewers.
2. "Pawn Stars" (Monday, 10:30 p.m.), History, 5.46 million homes, 7.73 million viewers.
3. "Pawn Stars" (Monday, 10 p.m.), History, 5.19 million homes, 7.3 million viewers.
4. "American Pickers" (Monday, 9 p.m.), History, 4.57 million homes, 6.61 million viewers.
5. "WWE Raw" (Monday, 10 p.m.), USA, 3.483 million homes, 5.33 million viewers.
6. "WWE Raw" (Monday, 9 p.m.), USA, 3.48 million homes, 5.23 million viewers.
7. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.2 million homes, 4.74 million viewers.
8. "NCIS" (Thursday, 8 p.m.), USA, 3.18 million homes, 4.2 million viewers.
9. "NCIS" (Saturday, 10 p.m.), USA, 3.17 million homes, 4.44 million viewers.
10. "The Game" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), BET, 3.13 million homes, 4.82 million viewers.
11. "NCIS" (Saturday, 7 p.m.), USA, 3.09 million homes, 4.37 million viewers.
12. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Sunday, 9:30 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.07 million homes, 4.26 million viewers.
13. "NCIS" (Saturday, 5 p.m.), USA, 3.059 million homes, 4 million viewers.
14. "NCIS" (Saturday, 9 p.m.), USA, 3.053 million homes, 4.31 million viewers.
15. "Victorious" (Saturday, 8 p.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.05 million homes, 4.4 million viewers.
Marvin Sease, a blues and soul singer known for his 1980s hit "Candy Licker," has died after a lengthy illness. He was 64.
James Jefferson, owner of Jefferson Funeral Home in Vicksburg, Miss., says Sease died Tuesday at River Region Medical Center.
Sease was born in Blacksville, S.C.
Brett Bonner, editor of Living Blues Magazine, says Sease started in gospel music in South Carolina before moving to New York and eventually playing rhythm and blues. Bonner says after "Candy Licker" was released in the late 1980s, Sease became popular for his live performances in the South. Bonner says many of Sease's song were too dirty for airplay.
Twenty-year-old baboon Squad walks as her 10-day-old, ginger-coloured baby clings to her at the Ramat Gan Safari near Tel Aviv February 8, 2011. The birthof the orange-furred female baboon surprised safari staff, as they are considered rare. Primate keeper Yael Baker told Reuters it had been 30 years since a ginger baboon was born at the safari.
Photo by Nir Elias
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