Monday, December 31, 2012

McConnell: Tax Deal Struck With Biden

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks toward the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. 
Echoing President Obama’s statement that a fiscal-cliff deal is near, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor on Monday afternoon to announce that he and Vice President Joe Biden have struck a deal to prevent tax hikes on the middle class.

“I can report that we’ve reached an agreement on all of the tax, the tax, issues. We are very, very close as the president just said,” McConnell said.

The Republican leader’s statements ratchet up pressure on Democrats, who are split over how to handle across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, which start Jan. 2. McConnell is arguing that lawmakers should vote on tax relief now and leave the spending cuts for later.

McConnell and Biden have agreed to raise income-tax rates on families making more than $450,000 and make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent for everyone under that limit. And the estate tax would be exempted on the first $5 million with assets over that amount being taxed at 40 percent.

“A deal to prevent tax hikes on millions of Americans is finished,” a GOP aide said.

But Democrats disputed that, saying no deal is final until there is agreement on sequestration.

“There is no deal yet,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, told National Journal.

A Republican aide said that McConnell and Biden had a sequestration deal last night that would have allowed votes on two separate bills. But the White House backtracked when it became clear there was disagreement among Democrats on how to handle the votes.

On the floor, McConnell said his last conversation of the night with Biden was at 12:45 a.m. Monday. At 6:30 on Monday morning, the two kicked off another day filled with phone calls.

"This has been, clearly, a good-faith negotiation," McConnell said.

Here are the details of the tax agreement between McConnell and Biden, according to a Republican aide:
  1. • Permanent extension of current policy on income-tax rates for those earning below $400,000 (single), $450,000 (couples).
  2. • Permanent 15 percent rate on capital gains and dividends for those below $400,000 (single), $450,000 (couples).
  3. • A 20 percent rate on capital gains and dividends for those above $400,000 (single), $450,000 (couples).
  4. • Permanent extension of the personal exemption phaseout and Pease provision for those below $250,000 (single), $300,000 (couples).
  5. • Permanent estate-tax exemption at $5 million, but a 40 percent rate.
  6. • Permanent alternative minimum tax patch.
  7. • Finance Committee tax extender package.
  8. • Five-year extension of American Opportunity Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Earned Income Tax Credit.
  9. • One-year extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation.
The deal emerging from the Senate is a lousy one. Let me count the ways:

Robert Reich

1. Republicans haven’t conceded anything on the debt ceiling, so over the next two months – as the Treasury runs out of tricks to avoid a default – Republicans are likely to do exactly what they did before, which is to hold their votes on raising the ceiling hostage to major cuts in programs for the poor and in Medicare and Social Security.

2. The deal makes tax cuts for the rich permanent (extending the Bush tax cuts for incomes up to $400,000 if filing singly and $450,000 if jointly) while extending refundable tax credits for the poor (child tax credit, enlarged EITC, and tuition tax credit) for only five years. There’s absolutely no justification for this asymmetry.

3. It doesn’t get nearly enough revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent — only $600 billion over the next decade, which is half of what the President called for, and a small fraction of the White House’s goal of more than $4 trillion in deficit reduction. That means more of the burden of tax hikes and spending cuts in future years will fall on the middle class and the poor.

4. It continues to exempt the first $5 million of inherited wealth from the estate tax (the exemption used to be $1 million). This is a huge gift to the heirs of the wealthy, perpetuating family dynasties of the idle rich.

Yes, the deal finally gets Republicans to accept a tax increase on the wealthy, but this is an inside-the-Beltway symbolic victory. If anyone believes this will make the GOP more amenable to future tax increases, they don’t know how rabidly extremist the GOP has become.

The deal also extends unemployment insurance for more than 2 million long-term unemployed. That’s important.

But I can’t help believe the President could have done better than this. After all, public opinion is overwhelmingly on his side. Republicans would have been blamed had no deal been achieved.

More importantly, the fiscal cliff is on the President’s side as well. If we go over it, he and the Democrats in the next Congress that starts later this week can quickly offer legislation that grants a middle-class tax cut and restores most military spending. Even rabid Republicans would be hard-pressed not to sign on.

What You Need to Know About the Fiscal Cliff Before You Go to Your New Year's Party

Yes, we're going over the cliff. Yes, there's probably going to be a bipartisan deal. No, you shouldn't freak out.

By Molly Ball

So, you want to go out drinking for New Year's Eve, but you also want to know what's going on with the fiscal cliff. (Surely this describes most Atlantic readers: both fun-loving and well-informed.) Do we have a deal or what? If we do, what's in it? Is it good or bad? Here's a quick FAQ to make you sound smart -- at least until the third glass of champagne. After that, we can't help you.

Is there going to be a deal? What's the latest?

A deal appeared imminent late Monday, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring shortly before 3 p.m. that the two sides were "very, very close" and had "reached an agreement on all of the tax issues." President Obama said earlier in the afternoon that a deal was "within sight." Led by McConnell (for the Republicans) and Vice President Biden (for the Democrats), the two sides had come to tentative agreement on making permanent the current tax rates for individual income under $400,000 and family income under $450,000, and allowing rates to rise to their Clinton-era levels for higher incomes. Accord had also been reached on permanent fixes to the Alternative Minimum Tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax, plus temporary measures to address the child tax credit and earned income tax credit.  

National Journal's Chris Frates has the details following post. 

What are they still haggling about?

The fact that the parties have agreed on tax rates resolves the No. 1 sticking point up to now and bodes extremely well for a deal on the rest. But "the rest" still has to be worked out.
Remember, the major components of the so-called fiscal cliff are
(1) the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and
(2) the spending cuts set to kick in automatically as a result of the "sequester" agreement that resolved the 2011 debt-ceiling fight.
With the former largely dealt with, the latter is the biggest thing still on the table. Neither side wants to see defense and discretionary spending indiscriminately slashed as the sequester would do, but Republicans would like to see substantially more spending cuts in other areas to compensate.

How is the president feeling about all this?

Obama gave a remarkably loose, jokey statement before a backdrop of middle-class Americans at the White House Monday afternoon, upbraiding Congress for not getting its you-know-what together on a more overarching agreement that would more meaningfully reduce the deficit and fix the tax code. Republicans acted stung by the president's performance, but it appeared aimed primarily at convincing Senate Democrats that the deal was good enough to support.
"My preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain, whatever you want to call it," Obama said. "But with this Congress, that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time." 

How should Republicans be feeling about this?

As a deal lurched into view Monday, McConnell was urging quick passage of the agreed-upon tax components, with spending cuts to be decided and passed later. That was leading to some grousing among conservative Republicans who noted, with some accuracy, that when the tax increases come up front, the hypothetical future spending cuts often have a way of evaporating. But a lot of Republicans seemed to be resigned to their fate, like Senator Lindsey Graham, who said on Fox News Sunday,
"Hats off to the president. He won." Graham added, "I want to vote for it even though I won't like it." 

How about Democrats?

Some on the left, like Senator Tom Harkin and commentator Jonathan Chait, were fretting that Obama was giving away the store by not holding to his initial threshold of $250,000 in income to be protected from tax hikes. "This looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up," Harkin said on the Senate floor, noting that it would make permanent the vast majority of the tax cuts Democrats fought so hard against when they were proposed by President George W. Bush in 2001-03. Obama, in his statement, tried to quell such qualms, talking up the GOP's concessions and warning of the consequences of the sequester cuts to liberal priorities like Head Start.
"Keep in mind that just last month Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans," Obama said. "Obviously, the agreement that's currently discussed would raise those rates, and raise them permanently." 

Wait, don't they still have to vote on this? Why are they all going home? ARE WE GOING OVER THE CLIFF?

Calm down. Yes, the House was headed home late Monday and would not vote on any prospective deal before the dawn of the New Year. Yes, that technically means we'll miss the December 31 deadline and "go over" the "fiscal cliff." 
But what does that mean?
  • It means tax rates have gone up on the income taxes you don't have to file until April 2014; 
  • it means the government is supposed to start gradually implementing some cuts to programs. Both of these automatically-triggered events can be fixed retroactively by a vote in the next couple of days with no material effects. 
 The biggest immediate danger of going over the "cliff" -- which the anti-cliff-alarmists have always preferred to call a "slope" or a "curb" for exactly this reason --
  • is that it would freak out the stock market. But the markets are closed until Wednesday, and investors aren't likely to panic as long as it's clear a deal is in the works.

สุดยอดงานศิลปะบนครรภ์    (Summit on a work of art to be pregnant)

Now how come they did not do this when I was pregnant. How utterly kool!
Posted on 22nd May 2010 by Jomsab in มนุษย์ | ศิลปะ
Pregnant woman with painted bellyPregnant woman with painted stomach
Pregnant woman with painted stomachPregnant women with painted stomach
Pregnant women with painted stomachPregnant woman with painted stomach
Pregnant woman with painted stomachPregnant woman with painted stomach

Pregnant woman with painted belly
Pregnant women with painted bellies

What's the Mood Inside the Capitol?

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell passes reporters as he walks from the Senate floor to his office on Monday.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the countdown to the fiscal cliff is on, and the message from lawmakers is a collective "Let’s see what happens."
Here’s a stitched-together look at how members passed the day:
  • Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia huddled near one of the fireplaces in the speaker's lobby, chatting with reporters—it was chilly on the House floor, he said. 
  • Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma talked into a TV camera near the statue of fellow Sooner-stater Will Rogers. 
  • At the North end of the Capitol, Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona ladled chicken Florentine soup into a throwaway container, grabbed a pack of crackers, and, when asked whether he was frustrated about the status of the fiscal-cliff talks, told a reporter, "Don't talk to me now, please."
So, yes, the mood on the Hill this New Year's Eve is a mix of idle tension and expectation.
Even though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden are engaging in legislative alchemy to negotiate a fiscal-cliff exit ramp and optimism reigns--for now--it's frustration that rules.
"There's only two people in this town trying to solve the problem. The other 534 are sitting around waiting for somebody to agree to something in a back room.
It ought to be done out in the open. The public's business ought to be public," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in an interview.
President Obama said negotiators are homing in on a deal to prevent across-the-board tax hikes after midnight. Even though it's not done yet, details of what has been agreed to began to emerge. That's where the optimism comes in, especially for members in the majority, like Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
"This is democracy. I'm not frustrated at all. It's democracy, like Winston Churchill's description of democracy. There are fits and starts. But we all work it out," Baucus said.
The sourness of being left out of talks is not limited to Republican senators. Their minority counterparts in the House are left wondering what's next as well.
"Unfortunately, a majority of us are not involved in any of the negotiations, and we go back to our districts and people say, 'What are you doing? What's happening?' And we're waiting like anybody else," said Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland.
While frustration over the status of the talks is common in the Capitol, the blame for the stalled process lies depends on who's talking. For Cole, the issue lies in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
"When the president sends a budget up here that not a single Democrat votes for in two years, then you know we don't have a serious negotiating partner in the White House or the Senate," he said.
But for Connolly, the issue has been House leadership, which, he argues, has waited until too close to tonight's deadline to solve the cliff.
"The whole process is frustrating. I guess I start with being frustrated with [how] the House leadership here has squandered time. It's unconscionable. We have been out on recess for 15 weeks since August. I thought it was a crisis. It's not like we're caught unawares on New Year's Eve," he said.
The last-minute nature of the talks, say some members, is a symptom of a deteriorating political center.
"It should have been worked out earlier. There used to be the center, which played a role when we got in these stalemates, but the centers are gone," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
Kyl, who's retiring after 17 years in the upper chamber, expanded on his mid-ladle comments. Asked to gauge the level of annoyance at the process, he was eager to wrap up and spend the day, if possible, with family.
"I'm frustrated. We shouldn't have gotten ourselves in this position. My wife would like to see me on New Year's Eve and I'd like to be with my family, but it is what it is," he said.

10 สุดยอดภาพเด็กนอน (summit baby bed. )

Posted on 19th May 2010 by Jomsab in มนุษย์

Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Dr. Roshini Raj, an attending physician at NYU Medical Center, speaks with TODAY's Willie Geist about Hillary Clinton's blood clot complication, how common it is and what it may mean for her health going forward.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was admitted to a New York City hospital on Sunday after doctors discovered that a blood clot had formed, the State Department said in a statement.
Philippe Reines, a deputy assistant secretary, said in the statement that the clot stems from a concussion Clinton sustained several weeks ago.
Reines said that Clinton, 65, is being treated with anticoagulants at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. She will be monitored there for the next 48 hours, he said.
“Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion," he said. "They will determine if any further action is required.”
Dr. Roshini Raj, a physician at New York University Medical Center and a contributor to the TODAY show, says it’s not at all clear where Clinton’s blood clot is – which is important for understanding how serious her medical condition is.
“It’s a little murky,” Raj told TODAY. It is uncommon for a concussion alone to cause a blood clot. More likely is a blood clot elsewhere from lying in bed to recover from a concussion, Raj said.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters file
Clinton, photographed here on Dec. 6 at Dublin City University, canceled a trip to Morocco earlier this month after a bout of flu. She was hospitalized Sunday after doctors discovered a blood clot stemming from a concussion she sustained earlier in the month.
Related: Hillary Clinton recovering after fainting
Clinton suffered the concussion from fainting earlier in December. She had been sick for several days with the flu and had canceled a trip to Morocco where she was to officially recognize the Syrian rebels.
Brain injury doctors told NBC News said that although details haven't been made public, initial reports indicate that Clinton may have developed a blood clot in her lower limbs as a result of prolonged rest and inactivity after her recent concussion.
A deep vein thrombosis, known as a DVT, or a dural venous sinus thrombosis, could be two types of blood clots treated with anticoagulants, said Dr. Alex Valadka, a spokesman for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. A blood clot could be dangerous if it breaks free and lodges in a vital organ, such as the heart.
A deep vein thrombosis could be serious, but not necessarily life-threatening, and would require months of treatment with blood-thinning drugs, said Dr. Inam Kureshi, chief of neurosurgery at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn.
"Usually hospitalization is more of a precaution," Kureshi said.
It is possible that Clinton developed a blood clot elsewhere, including her brain. Doctors interviewed would not speculate about treatment or prognosis for the secretary of state.
Days after she fainted, State Department officials said she was at home recovering. Officials also issued a statement from Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University that provided more information about the secretary's condition:
"Secretary Clinton developed a stomach virus, leading to extreme dehydration, and subsequently fainted. Over the course of this week we evaluated her and ultimately determined she had also sustained a concussion.  We recommended that the Secretary continue to rest and avoid any strenuous activity, and strongly advised her to cancel all work events for the coming week.  We will continue to monitor her progress as she makes a full recovery."
It wasn’t the first time Clinton passed out while sick with a stomach bug. As a U.S. senator representing New York, Clinton fainted in 2005 during a speech in Buffalo after complaining of a stomach virus.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
NBC's Robert Bazell tells MSNBC's Chris Jansing that it is unclear how severe the blood clot could be for the health of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, given lack of specific information about her condition on Sunday evening.

OUCH! My Vagina!
This is my second big babies posting. 
I adore babies, I am expecting my first great grand baby, anytime. He will be a blessing from God.  His name will be Kooper Allen Rauch .
This is my Grand daughter Andi Renee. 38 weeks
Photo: two weeks and two days left. <3
i really wish i could evict your ass right noww.

Oh Baby! Chinese Mom Wang Yujuan Gives Birth To 15 Pound Boy
February 8, 2012

In future years, when he's all grown up, we hope "little" Chun Chun remembers to be extra nice to his mother on her birthday, and Mother's Day, and, well, pretty much every day of the year. Weighing in at 15.5 pounds, the boy may be the heaviest baby in the country's history.
Chun Chun's mother, 29-year-old Wang Yujuan, remarked that had she sensed something was going to be a little different about Chun Chun, who arrived via cesarean section in China's Henan Province, even before he was born.
Chun Chun's father told the Sun that he is thrilled to have a dragon baby, especially "such a big, fat son." Chun Chun is thought to be the heaviest baby in the country's history, but only just barely. In recent years, three babies weighing 15.4 pounds were born in China.

Woman gives birth to 13-pound baby
Apr 24, 2012

An Iowa woman has given birth to a boy weighing 13 pounds and 13 ounces — without the aid of surgery. Asher Stewardson was born Thursday at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, measuring 23 ½ inches long. Fifteen months ago, his brother, Judah, arrived weighing 12 pounds and an ounce at birth. (AP)
Yes that’s right, without any sort of medication!
Stewardson told News 8 that she couldn’t talk about the birth of baby Asher because "It wouldn't be TV appropriate," she joked.   Baby Asher was 9 days late and was 23.5 inches long. His older brother family Judah weighed 12 lbs., 1 oz. when he was born. Both Stewardson and her husband Joshua were born weighing more than 10 lbs.
Asher sets a record at Mercy, but falls about a pound short of the state record. The largest Iowa baby on record was born in Johnson County in 1980 weighing in at 14 lbs., 13 oz..
Congrats to the new parents!

Big, big baby boy born

(CBS/AP) SAN DIEGO - Doctors told Cynthia Sigler she'd give birth to a big baby boy. But the Southern California woman didn't know just how big they were talking.  Sigler, of Vista, Calif., gave birth Thursday to her son Jayden who weighed in at 13 pounds, 14 ounces.
The North County Times reported Saturday that his mom's immediate reaction following the cesarean section was, "How'd he fit?
Dr. Jerald White, who delivered the baby at Tri-City Medical Center, said Jayden was the biggest of the 20,000 newborns he has helped usher into the world since he started practicing in 1961. 
Sigler said her own family didn't believe her at first - she convinced her cousin it wasn't a joke only after showing a photo of the scale readout.
Jayden's birth weight is almost twice that of his sister, Jailyn, now 2 1/2. She was 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth.
Sigler said she'll have to exchange all the baby clothes she bought for larger sizes.
A hospital official was unable to immediately determine Friday whether Jayden was the largest baby ever delivered there. It was also not clear where the newborn ranks among the largest babies also born in San Diego County.

 THIS is Niamh, Britain’s biggest baby girl

20th February 2012

— weighing 14lbs 4oz. 
She was nearly DOUBLE the average UK girl’s weight of 7lbs 4oz when born by caesarean.   She smashed the 12lbs 12oz of Suzie Devendale, who we revealed last week as possibly Britain’s heaviest baby girl.
Niamh’s dad Sean O’Halloran, 34, said: “We were told to expect her to be 10 to 11lbs. When she got weighed, I thought ‘bloody hell’. Everyone was shocked. She was off the charts.”
Mum Elaine Martin, 32, who gave birth at Ipswich hospital, said: “When I was pregnant, I didn’t notice Niamh was so big until colleagues said I was huge.”

Delivering a big bundle of joy at Holy Family Hospital.

Posted: Feb 06, 2011 11:10 AM EST 
Feb 7, 2011 – 1:51 PM

A 13-pound baby has been born in a Massachusetts hospital, shocking nurses and doctors and charming family members with his chubby, chubby cheeks.
Meet Jonathan Patrick Rozzi was born healthy, rosy-cheeked and nearly twice the size of an average newborn. He weighed in at 13 pounds, 2 ounces, and measured 22 inches long.
After only four hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing, first-time mom Amanda Byron, 21, delivered Jonathan naturally on Thursday, something she says surprised her doctors.

That's my boy!

Last updated at 22:00 12 January 2007

A baby boy weighing 15lb 9oz has set a Polish weight record for new-borns.
 Kacper weighed 15lb 9oz
Big Baby
Kacper Skuski, who is 26 inches long, came into the world in the city of Szczecin via Caesarian section as doctors wanted to spare his 45-year-old mother Bozensa Skulsa undue labour with her fourth child. Her other three children were all normal weight at birth.
Babies weighing more than 11lb were already a rarity in Poland, and those over 13 lb were considered a phenomenon, according to Ewa Helwich, a leading health official specialising in births. Almost all births around the world are in the weight range of 7-9 lb.

Giant baby who weighed 6.4 kg

A baby who weighed 6.4 kilograms (14.10 lb) and measured more than 55 centimeters (1.8 ft), was born in Cancún.
His parents call him “Super Toño”. Antonio Vasconcelos -the baby- gained 200 grams in the first three days.
The mother of Antonio, Teresa Alejandra Cruz, of 23 years, is probably diabetic, because seven years ago this woman gave birth to a baby that weighed 5,2 kilograms

Sydney's biggest baby

THEY aren't the words most new mothers want to hear but the doctor couldn't help himself. 

Baby Tiarla
Bundle of joy ... Allecia and Sami Klimo with their two week old baby girl Tiarla Klimo, and kids Leua 7, Myka 2,and Marleya 3 / Pic: Craig Greenhill Source: The Daily Telegraph
 "He looked down at her and said, "Congratulations, you've just had a toddler'," Allecia Klimo said with a laugh, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Not-so-little Tiarla Elekana broke all the records when she was born weighing 6.85kg - just shy of 15 pounds - at Blacktown Hospital a fortnight ago.
NSW Health confirmed she is the biggest baby born in the state in the past 10 years and one of the biggest ever in Australia. And Tiarla arrived two weeks early.
"I just don't want to think how big she could have been if she had arrived on her due date," Ms Klimo said.
Ms Klimo and partner Sami Elekana knew their fourth child would be "a whopper" but she surpassed everyone's expectations.
"I used to hear people whispering, 'Do you think she's having twins' or 'She must be about ready to pop' when I still had a few months to go," Ms Klimo said.
Tiarla bypassed newborn clothing and nappies, starting in sizes made for six-month-olds. After being delivered by caesarean section, Tiarla spent a few days in the neonatal special care unit with breathing difficulties because of her size - and even that was a tight fit.
"She was touching both ends of the crib," Ms Klimo said.
While many big babies stem from their mother suffering diabetes while pregnant, Ms Klimo said that was not the case with her. She just "breeds them big".
"My partner is a big unit, my sister had big babies, so we just have them big in our family," she said. Sydney obstetrician Caroline Jones said babies were generally getting bigger.
"The average size of a baby born today compared with, say, 50 years ago is quite a bit bigger. Lifestyle and diet are part of it, but of course genetics are too," Dr Jones said.
Ms Klimo is confident her baby girl will grow into her skin and won't always stand out in a crowd.
"My other kids filled out nicely - I've just got a lot of her to cuddle in the meantime," she laughed