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Anna Nicole Smith’s Autopsy Report March 26, 2007

Posted by Dan in News, Snipets.
1 comment so far

022

I really really hate this story. Its absurd that with all that is going on in the world, we’re force fed this drivel. The irony, of course, being that unless I write about Anna Nicole Smith, no one will know how much I think she shouldn’t be written about. So… in a desperate bid to put this story to rest, once and for all, here is Anna Nicole Smith’s final autopsy report. Let us have no further discussion of her death.


BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER
5301 SW 31st AVENUE
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33312

NAME: Vickie Lynn Marshall AUTOPSY NO: 07-0223
SEX: Female DATE OF AUTOPSY: February 9, 2007
RACE: White TIME OF AUTOPSY: 10:36 a.m.
AGE: 39 PROSECTORS: Gertrude M. Juste, M.D.
DOB: 11/28/1967 Associate Medical Examiner
and
Joshua A. Perper, M.D.
Chief Medical Examiner

—————————————————————-
FINAL PATHOLOGICAL DIAGNOSES:

I.
ACUTE COMBINED DRUG INTOXICATION
A.
Toxic/lethal drug:
Chloral Hydrate (Noctec)
1.Trichloroethanol (TCE) 75ug/mL (active metabolite)
2.Trichloroacetic acid ( TCA) 85ug/mL (inactive metabolite)

B. Therapeutic drugs :
1. Diphenhydramine (Bendaryl) 0.11 mg/L
2. Clonazepam (Klonopin) 0.04 mg/L
3. Diazepam (Valium) 0.21 mg/L
4. Nordiazepam (metabolite) 0.38 mg/L
5 Temazepam (metabolite) 0.09 mg/L
6. Oxazepam 0.09 mg/L
7. Lorazepam 22.0 ng/mL

C. Other non-contributory drugs present (atropine, topiramate, ciprofloxacin,
acetaminophen)

II. LEFT GLUTEAL PANNICULITIS, WITH ABSCESS FORMATION AND
RECENT LINEAR HEMORRHAGE

III. FIBROSIS WITH FAT NECROSIS (CHRONIC REPEATED INJECTIONS OF
VARIOUS MEDICATIONS IN BUTTOCKS) OF DERMAL AND
SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUES, BILATERAL GLUTEAL REGIONS AND
ANTERIOR RIGHT THIGH

IV. GASTROENTERITIS, MILD, OF PROBABLE VIRAL ETIOLOGY

V. DEPRESSION FOLLOWING RECENT DELIVERY OF TERM INFANT AND
RECENT DEATH OF ADULT SON (SEPTEMBER 2006)
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

VI. MODERATE CONGESTIVE HEPATOMEGALY (2550 GRAMS)

VII. FIBROUS PLEURAL ADHESIONS

VIII. CHRONIC THYROIDITIS (HASHIMOTO THYROIDITIS)

IX. WELL HEALED SUPRAPUBIC SCAR (STATUS POST CESAREAN
SECTION)

X MINIMAL, INSIGNIFICANT MYOCARDIAL FIBROSIS

XI. STATUS POST MEDICAL INTERVENTION
A. Endotracheal tube placement
B. Right jugular line placement
C. Cardiac Monitoring devices and defibrillator pad placement
D. Bilateral anterior elbow and left anterior wrist venipuncture sites with
surrounding ecchymoses

XII. STATUS POST BILATERAL BREAST IMPLANTS WITH SCARRING, LEFT
AREOLA

XIII. MICRO-INFARCT OF BRAIN, LEFT OCCIPITAL WHITE MATTER

XIV. MINOR CONTUSIONS, POSTERIOR SHOULDERS

OPINION:

Vickie Lynn Marshall was a 39-year-old white female who died of acute combined drug
intoxication. Abscesses of buttocks, and viral enteritis were contributory causes of death.

The manner of death is determined to be: ACCIDENT

_______________________________________
Joshua A. Perper, M.D.,LL.B.,M.Sc. Date
Chief Medical Examiner

______________________________________
Gertrude M. Juste, MD Date
Associate Medical Examiner
GMJ/JAP:jb
2
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

OFFICIALS PRESENT AT AUTOPSY:

Joshua A. Perper, M.D.,LL.B.,M.Sc., Chief Medical Examiner; Gertrude M. Juste, M.D.,
Associate Medical Examiner; Predrag Bulich, M.D., Assistant Medical Examiner; Harold
Schueler, Phd., Chief Toxicologist; Stephen J. Cina, M.D., Deputy Chief Medical Examiner;
Joseph Anderson, Forensic Photographer; James Fleurimond, Forensic Photographer; Irma
Motem, Forensic Technician; Dean Reynolds, Morgue Supervisor; Reinhard W. Motte, M.D.,
Associate Medical Examiner; Detective Rich Engels of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Crime
Scene Unit; Chief Tiger of the Seminole Police Department and Deputy Mike Jacobs of the
Seminole Police Department.

CLOTHING:

The body is clad in a light green hospital gown, which is intact, dry and clean. There is no
jewelry present.

EXTERNAL EXAMINATION:

The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished white woman appearing the offered age of
39 years. The body measures 71 inches and weighs 178 pounds.

The unembalmed body is well preserved and cool to touch due to refrigeration. Rigor mortis is
fully developed in the major muscle groups. Livor mortis is fixed and purple posteriorly except
over pressure points. However, during initial examination in the emergency room, there was no
rigor and lividity was at a minimum and unfixed. The skin is intact and shows no evidence of
trauma except for medical intervention. The scalp hair is blond and measures up to 5 inches in
length in the frontal area and up to 19 inches in length in the back and on top of the head. There
are multiple blonde hair extensions including several pink strands attached to the natural hair,
which shows light brown roots. The irides are hazel and the pupils are equal, each measuring 0.5
centimeter in diameter. The corneae are clear and the sclerae and conjunctivae are free of
petechiae. The nasal bones are intact by palpation. The nares are patent and contain no foreign
matter. There is a 3-millimeter raised nodule on the right side of the nose. The natural teeth are
in good condition. The frenula are intact. The oral mucosa and tongue are free of injuries. The
external ears have no injuries. There are bilateral earlobe piercings; no earring or jewelry were
present. There are no earlobe creases.

The neck is symmetrical and shows no masses or injuries. The trachea is in the midline.
The shoulders are symmetrical and are free of scars.

The chest is symmetrical and shows no evidence of injury. There were bilateral breasts with
asymmetry of the left breast due to scarring. The flat abdomen has no injuries. There are
piercings above and below the umbilicus. The back is symmetrical. The buttocks have
inconspicuous small scars, bilaterally. There is a flat, round scar on the lower aspect of the left
buttock approximately 1⁄2 inch in diameter.

3
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

The genitalia are those of a normally developed adult woman. There is no evidence of injury.
The anus is unremarkable.
The upper extremities are symmetrical and have no injuries. The fingernails are long and clean.
There is a linear 1⁄2 inch scar on the anterior right forearm. Two parallel linear scars measuring 1
inch and 2 inches are on the anterior surface of the left forearm.

The lower extremities are symmetrical. The toenails are short and clean. There is no edema of
the legs or ankles.

There is no abnormal motion of the neck, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists, the fingers, the
hips and ankles. There is no bony crepitus or cutaneous crepitus present.

EVIDENCE OF INJURY:

A dissection of the posterior neck and upper back show a 2-1⁄4 x 2-3⁄4 inch reddish, recent
contusion of the subcutaneous and superficial muscle layer of the left posterior shoulder. A
recent, reddish, 1-3⁄4 x 1-1⁄2 inch reddish contusion is present on the right posterior shoulder
involving the superficial muscular layer.

EVIDENCE OF RECENT MEDICAL TREATMENT:

A properly positioned size 8 endotracheal tube retained by a Thomas clamp is present at the
mouth with the marker 22 at the anterior teeth.
Electrocardiogram pads are on the anterior chest in the following order: two on the right anterior
shoulder, two on the left anterior shoulder, one on the upper anterior left arm, one each on the
anterior side, one each on the anterior leg.

Two defibrillator pads are present: one to the right of the midline, above the right breast, and
one to the left of the midline, below the left breast.

There is intravenous line placement at the right anterior neck with hemorrhage into the anterior
strap muscles of the neck. One recent needle puncture mark is in the right antecubital fossa and
two recent needle puncture marks are at the anterior left elbow with surrounding ecchymoses.
There is one recent needle puncture into the medial one-third of the left anterior forearm with
surrounding ecchymosis. A recent needle puncture mark is at the left anterior wrist with
surrounding reddish ecchymosis, 1 inch in diameter.


4
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

OTHER IDENTIFYING FEATURES:

There are multiple scars and tattoos on the body.

SCARS:
A 3⁄4 x 1⁄2 inch flat scar is on the upper inner aspect of the right breast quadrant. A 1⁄2 x
3/8-inch scar is on the medial aspect of the left nipple. There are circular scars adjacent to both
areolae. The right inframammary skin has a linear transverse 3⁄4 inch remote “chest tube” scar.
There were bilateral inframammary and transverse linear 3-3⁄4 inch scars compatible with left and
right mammoplasty with breast implants. There are circular scars surrounding piercings above
and below the umbilicus. A flat 3/8 inch in diameter scar is present on the middle third of the
anterior surface of the right thigh. Lateral to this scar is a 1⁄2 inch in diameter flat scar. There are
several scattered small inconspicuous scars on both buttocks. There is a cluster of multiple,
parallel, linear, well-healed scars on the anterior and lateral aspects of the right leg covered by a
tattoo.

TATTOOS:

There is a pair of red lips in the right lower abdominal quadrant.
Two red cherries are on the right mid pelvis.
A “Playboy Bunny” is on the left anterior mid pelvis.
The words “Daniel” and “Papas” are on the mid anterior pelvis region.
A mixed tattoo on the right lower leg and ankle represents: Christ’s head; Our Lady of
Guadalupe; the Holy Bible; the naked torso of a woman; the smiling face of Marilyn Monroe; a
cross; a heart and shooting flames.
A mermaid on a flower bed with a pair of lips underneath it laying across the lower back.

INTERNAL EXAMINATION:

The body was opened with the usual Y incision. The breast tissues, when incised, revealed
bilateral implants, each containing 700ml of clear fluid. The implants were surrounded by a thick
connective tissue capsule with a thick yellow fluid. The content of each capsule was collected for
bacteriological cultures.


BODY CAVITIES:

The muscles of the chest and abdominal wall are normal in color and consistency. The lungs are
neither hyperinflated nor atelectatic when the pleural cavities are opened. The right lung shows
adherence to the parietal pleura and to the diaphragm interiorly. The ribs, sternum and spine
exhibit no fractures. The right and left pleural cavities have no free fluid. There are extensive
right pleural fibrous adhesions. The mediastinum is in the midline. The pericardial sac has a
normal amount of clear yellow fluid. The diaphragm has no abnormality. The subcutaneous
abdominal fat measures 3 centimeters in thickness at the umbilicus. The abdominal cavity is
lined with glistening serosa and has no collections of free fluid. The organs are normally
situated. The mesentery and omentum are unremarkable.

5
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

NECK:

The soft tissues and the strap muscles of the neck, aside from the previously described focal
hemorrhages, exhibit no abnormalities. The hyoid bone and the cartilages of the larynx and
thyroid are intact and show no evidence of injury. The larynx and trachea are lined by smooth
pink-tan mucosa, are patent and contain no foreign matter. There is a focal area of reddish
hyperemia at the carina associated with the endotracheal tube. The epiglottis and vocal cords are
unremarkable. The cervical vertebral column is intact. The carotid arteries and jugular veins are
unremarkable.

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM:

The heart and great vessels contain dark red liquid blood and little postmortem clots. The heart
weighs 305 grams. The epicardial surface has a normal amount of glistening, yellow adipose
tissue. The coronary arteries are free of atherosclerosis. The cut surfaces of the brown
myocardium show no evidence of hemorrhage or necrosis.

The pulmonary trunk and arteries are opened in situ and there is no evidence of thromboemboli.
The intimal surface of the aorta is smooth with a few scattered yellow atheromata. The ostia of
the major branches are of normal distribution and dimension. The inferior vena cava and
tributaries have no antemortem clots (See attached cardiopathology report for additional details).

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM:

The lungs weigh 550 grams and 500 grams, right and left, respectively. There is a small amount
of subpleural anthracotic pigment within all the lobes. The pleural surfaces are free of exudates;
right-sided pleural adhesions have been described above. The trachea and bronchi have smooth
tan epithelium. The cut surfaces of the lungs are red-pink and have mild edema. The lung
parenchyma is of the usual consistency and shows no evidence of neoplasm, consolidation,
thromboemboli, fibrosis or calcification.

HEPATOBILIARY SYSTEM:

The liver weighs 2550 grams. The liver edge is somewhat blunted. The capsule is intact. The
cut surfaces are red-brown and of normal consistency. There are no focal lesions. The
gallbladder contains 15 milliliters of dark green bile. There are no stones. The mucosa is
unremarkable. The large bile ducts are patent and non-dilated.


HEMOLYMPHATIC SYSTEM:


The thymus is not identified. The spleen weighs 310 grams. The capsule is shiny, smooth and
intact. The cut surfaces are firm and moderately congested. The lymphoid tissue in the spleen
is within a normal range. The lymph nodes throughout the body are not enlarged.

6
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM:

The tongue shows a small focus of submucosal hemorrhage near the tip. The esophagus is
empty and the mucosa is unremarkable. The stomach contains an estimated 30 milliliters of
thick sanguinous fluid. The gastric mucosa shows no evidence or ulceration. There is a mild
flattening of the rugal pattern within the antrum with intense hyperemia. The duodenum
contains bile-stained thick tan fluid. The jejunum, ileum, and the colon contain yellowish fluid
with a thick, cloudy, particulate matter. There is no major alteration to internal and external
inspection and palpation except for a yellowish/white shiny discoloration of the mucosa. The
vermiform appendix is identified. The pancreas is tan, lobulated and shows no neoplasia,
calcification or hemorrhage.

There are no intraluminal masses or pseudomenbrane.


UROGENITAL SYSTEM:

The kidneys are of similar size and shape and weigh 160 grams and 190 grams, right and left,
respectively. The capsules are intact and strip with ease. The cortical surfaces are purplish,
congested and mildly granular. The cut surfaces reveal a well-defined corticomedullary junction.
There are no structural abnormalities of the medullae, calyces or pelves. The ureters are slender
and patent. The urinary bladder has approximately 0.5 milliliters of cloudy yellow urine. The
mucosa is unremarkable.

The vagina is normally wrinkled and contains no foreign matter. The uterus shows a reddish
endometrial lining with no evidence of intra-uterine pregnancy. The fallopian tubes and ovaries
are within normal limits.

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM:

The adrenal glands have a normal configuration with the golden yellow cortices well demarcated
from the underlying medullae and there is no evidence of hemorrhage. The thyroid gland is
mildly fibrotic and has focally pale gray parenchyma on sectioning. The pituitary gland is within
normal limits.

MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM:

Postmortem radiographs of the body show no acute, healed or healing fractures of the head,
the neck, the appendicular skeleton or the axial skeleton. The muscles are normally formed.

Dissection of the right anterior thigh in the aforementioned areas of scarring revealed
subcutaneous fibrosis and multiple small cysts containing turbid, yellow fluid. The cyst-like
structures range in sizes from 0.5 centimeters to 1.2 centimeters in diameter. The cyst associated
with the most medial scar is 8 millimeter in diameter and has a calcified wall and the cyst
associated with the more lateral scar measures 1 centimeter in diameter.

7
Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

Dissection of the buttocks reveals diffuse subcutaneous scarring and fat necrosis of the adipose
tissue bilaterally with three subcutaneous cystic structures containing light yellow, clear, thick
liquid within the left buttock. The right buttock contains similar cysts with similar content, with
at least one cyst wall being calcified.

The left and right buttocks have foci of recent, hemorrhagic tracts within the subcutaneous
adipose tissue and the superficial and deep muscular layers extending from the skin surface.

There is a deep-seated 3 x 2.5 x 2 centimeter abscess within the musculature of the left buttock
with a creamy, yellow-green pus on sectioning. A recent, hemorrhagic, needle tract extends into
the abscess wall from the skin surface.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM:


The scalp has no hemorrhage or contusions. The calvarium is intact. There is no epidural,
subdural or subarachnoid hemorrhage. The brain has a normal convolutional pattern and weighs
1300 grams. The meninges are clear. The cortical surfaces of the brain have mild to moderate
flattening of the gyri with narrowing of the sulci.

The brain is cut after formalin fixation and a separate neuropathology report is attached.

SPECIAL PROCEDURES:

Layer by layer anterior and posterior neck dissections were conducted.

Dissection of the entire back including both gluteal regions was conducted. A biological

trace evidence was collected. Multiple hairs were pulled from various parts of the head.

The nails of the left hand were cut and preserved. Additional blood and tissue samples for

DNA was collected.

8

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Disturbing New Terrorist Tactics March 2, 2007

Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, News, Snipets, Video, War.
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This video speaks for itself:


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Cheney Unharmed in Blast! near Afghan Base February 27, 2007

Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, News, Snipets, War.
1 comment so far


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan killed 19 people and wounded 11 on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, though the vice president was apparently not in danger, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

The blast happened near the first security gate outside the base at Bagram, killing 19 people, said Khoja Mohammad Qasim Sayedi, chief of the province’s public health department.

Maj. William Mitchell said it did not appear the explosion was intended as a threat to the vice president.

“He wasn’t near the site of the explosion,” Mitchell said. “He was safely within the base at the time of the explosion.”

Cheney, who spent the night at Bagram, ate breakfast with U.S. soldiers Tuesday morning, Mitchell said. He was expected to later meet with President Hamid Karzai after their meeting was scrapped on Monday because of bad weather that prevented him traveling to Kabul.

Cheney traveled to Afghanistan after a stop in Pakistan.

On Monday, Cheney — underscoring growing alarm in the West at how militants have regained ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan — sought Pakistani aid to help counter al Qaeda’s efforts to regroup, officials said.

However, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf insisted his forces have already “done the maximum” possible against extremists in their territory — and insisted that other allies also shoulder responsibility in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

Cheney, accompanied by CIA deputy director Steve Kappes, made an unannounced stop in Pakistan Monday en route to Afghanistan, where snow prevented him from reaching Kabul for talks with Karzai.

The vice president made no public comment in Pakistan, but a senior aide to Musharraf said they held detailed talks, including a one-on-one lunch of more than an hour.

“Cheney expressed U.S. apprehensions of regrouping of al Qaeda in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat,” Musharraf’s office said.

He also “expressed serious U.S. concerns on the intelligence being picked up of an impending Taliban and al Qaeda ‘spring offensive’ against allied forces in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

The Musharraf aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not an official spokesman, said the two men “exchanged ideas and suggestions” on improving cooperation against terrorism. However, he said Cheney made no specific demands.

U.S. and British officials have praised Pakistan publicly for its role in arresting al Qaeda suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and for a string of bloody operations against militants along the border.

Five years after the Taliban’s ouster from power, however, militants have regained ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

There are signs of U.S. and NATO frustration at Musharraf’s limited success in disrupting Pakistan-based Taliban fighters, who are expected to step up raids into Afghanistan in coming months, and in trapping Taliban and al Qaeda leaders suspected of holing up in tribal areas of Pakistan near the border.

The Bush administration wants Musharraf to be more aggressive in hunting al Qaeda operatives, and has raised the possibility that the U.S. Congress could cut aid to Pakistan unless it takes tougher steps.

Musharraf told Cheney that Pakistan “has done the maximum in the fight against terrorism and ”joint efforts“ were needed if the fight was to succeed.

”The president emphasized that most of the Taliban activities originated from Afghanistan and the solution of the issue also lies within that country,“ his office said. The more than 50,000 NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces also share responsibility for policing the border, Musharraf added.

Cheney and Karzai are expected to talk about security along the Afghan-Pakistan border and the expected increase in violence by militants as spring thaws mountain snows.

The United States has 27,000 troops in Afghanistan. About 14,000 are part of the 35,000-member NATO force commanded by U.S. Gen. Dan McNeill. At Bagram, Cheney met with McNeill and Maj. Gen. David M. Rodriguez — the commander of U.S. troops — to discuss military operations, the security situation and reconstruction, said Maj. William G. Mitchell, a U.S. military spokesman.

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Iran Helping Iraq Video… What Do You Think? February 12, 2007

Posted by Dan in Middle East, News, Politics, Snipets, Video, War.
1 comment so far

The latest claims made by the US Government is that Iran is aiding Iraqi insurgents in the fight against American Forces. Here is CNN’s report on the issue….

Iran has denied the claims (just as Saddam did), and perhaps this is the larger plan. They know that the US, and more specifically George Bush, has lost much of its credibility when it comes to intelligence gathering. Iran understands that real, solid proof of its involvement must be presented, and that we will not strike them otherwise.

So… what do you think?

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Web 2.0 in Five Minutes – Video February 8, 2007

Posted by Dan in Main, Science, Snipets, Technology, Video.
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This video is amazing. Its both a description and a demonstration of how the Internet is changing the way we interact as a species.

“The machine is Us/ing Us” is deeply profound conclusion, and one in which I find no fault. We both drive the forces behind the Internet and are driven by them. We share a common language that transcends all borders, even those of reality: Binary. This video is really just the tip of an iceberg so large it stretches all the way to our core. Within the next 10 years, humanity will undergo a transition unlike anything we have been through before. As barriers between communication are broken down, we will find that the only way for us to exist is as a united species.

More on that next time….

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Microsoft Vista’s Real Features February 8, 2007

Posted by Dan in Funny, News, Snipets, Technology.
1 comment so far


This, from The Onion, I thought was particularly funny for all of those considering to upgrade…..

Microsoft released its new operating system, Vista, on Jan. 30. Here are some of its features:

  • Microsoft Word’s helpful paper-clip icon now blinks at rate of normal humans
  • Enhanced graphics on “System Is Not Responding” pop-up window
  • Five new card-back designs for Solitaire
  • Something that Apple would never, ever dream up in a billion years
  • Microsoft Vista Released
  • 4,391 security flaws to be patched over next 15 years
  • Promise of broad, open-minded future or some bullshit
  • Lists blocked wireless connections with greater speed and accuracy
  • New operating system, same old Microsoft Paint

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Bush’s $2.9 Trillion Budget – Who Gets What? February 5, 2007

Posted by Dan in Main, Must Read, News, Politics, Snipets, War.
1 comment so far

 82Dv News Pres.-Bush-Visit 060704-A-7377C-099
Lets get a breakdown of exactly what this budget increases and decreases funding for, Agency by Agency…

Generally, Bush proposes taking funding from Domestic programs and diverting it to Anti-Terrorism and the War in Iraq. The President’s budget plan eliminates or reduces 141 federally funded programs, while cutting non-security discretionary spending by $2.2 billion.

Listed alphabetically, this is how each Government Agency will fare (Washington Post):


Department of Agriculture

The Agriculture Department is hit with the third-largest percentage decrease in spending of any department. Reductions would come from a 5 percent cut in commodity price supports, and in cuts to rural development, forest service, conservation and research programs.

The administration proposed similar cuts in commodity prices last year, but Congress rejected them under pressure from farm interests.

Among the winners are wetlands preservation — with a proposal to spend $400 million to restore 250,000 acres, as opposed to 150,000 acres for 2006 — and defense of the food supply, which would increase by $69 million to $322 million. The budget includes an additional $57 million for avian flu protection, surveillance and stockpiling of poultry vaccines.


Department of Commerce

The department’s budget fall under Bush’s proposals, to $6.139 billion, with increasing spending on the president’s “American Competitiveness Initiative” offset by cuts in other areas.

Among the agencies to come under the knife would be Commerce’s biggest, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which would suffer a 4.3 percent cut, to $3.681 billion. Acknowledging the need to spend more on tracking hurricanes, the budget provides increases of $110 million for development and acquisition of weather satellites and other funds for improved forecasting.

The budget for Commerce that concentrates on competitiveness — the National Institute of Standards and Technology — would fall as well, from $757 million to $581 million. But that is mainly because Bush is proposing — as he has repeatedly in the past — to eliminate the Advanced Technology Program and slash the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, both of which were Clinton administration favorites. Spending would rise to $540 million for NIST’s scientific and technical research and services and construction of research facilities.


Department of Defense

The nearly $440 billion defense budget contains $110.8 billion for military personnel, including a modest 2.2 percent pay increase, as well as $84.2 billion for weapons systems and $73.2 billion for research and development.

Some of the major budget items include $6.6 billion for the Army’s program to expand and modernize its brigades for easier deployment, and $3.7 billion for the Army’s next generation of vehicles and communications known as the Future Combat System.

Also included are $2.6 billion to begin construction of two Navy DD(X) destroyers, as well as nearly $1 billion for two Littoral Combat Ships aimed at improving the Navy’s ability to operate in coastal waters. An additional $1.9 billion will go toward developing and purchasing new unmanned aerial vehicles as part of the Pentagon’s goal of expanding reconnaissance by the drones.

The growth in defense spending has slowed compared with earlier this decade, suggesting the defense buildup that began in 1999 and accelerated in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is winding down.


Department of Education

Education advocates expressed disappointment that the budget for the Education Department provides no new money for Title I funding for poverty aid to school districts, and fails to increase the federal Pell Grants, a need-based financial aid program for college students. Title I funding is up since Bush took office, but there has not been an increase in Pell grants for five years.

The $63 billion budget eliminates 42 programs — including parent-resource centers, vocational programs and drug-free schools.

As part of Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative, funding has been increased to improve math and sciences education in K-12. There is $100 million proposed for America’s Opportunity Scholarships, which offer vouchers to attend private schools and expanded tutoring for students who attend poor-performing public schools — an initiative Congress has previously rejected.

The budget provides $200 million for School Improvement Grants to help states meet No Child Left Behind Act proficiency goals, but Democrats say that is insufficient. And there is $1.475 billion for a new program to help at-risk high school students struggling to reach grade level in reading and math.


Department of Energy

The department budget is essentially flat; the president’s budget shows a modest increase of $20 million to nearly $23.6 billion, but the agency says it is actually a decrease of $6 million from fiscal 2006. Included is $250 million to fund a global nuclear energy program that the administration hopes will lead to the expansion of nuclear power production domestically and abroad. The department called yesterday for the development of technology to recycle nuclear fuel and create waste that is less hazardous and more difficult to use in weapons.

The budget adds money to research some alternative fuel technology. Environmental groups said the funding increases are insufficient.

Some programs designed to increase energy efficiency would be cut, as would research money for hydropower and geothermal energy. The spending plan cuts funding for oil and natural gas research programs. The administration, which sought unsuccessfully to cut the programs last year, said the industry can afford to pursue the research on its own given high oil and natural gas prices.


Environmental Protection Agency

The agency took another financial hit with a proposed budget of $7.32 billion for fiscal 2007. By contrast, Bush proposed spending $7.62 billion last year, and $8.37 billion for fiscal 2004.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said the agency was managing its resources wisely, by putting more money into homeland security efforts and cleaner diesel fuel. But public health advocates and congressional Democrats questioned some of the proposed spending cuts, including reducing funding for state and local clean air programs by more than $35 million, a cut of about 16 percent.


Department of Health & Human Services

Bush is requesting a $58 billion increase for Health and Human Services, bringing total budget authority to $698 billion. Discretionary spending, however, would fall by $1.5 billion to $66 billion.

Two mandatory programs — Medicare and Medicaid — consume 84 percent of the HHS budget. The administration aims to squeeze $36 billion out of Medicare over the next five years, by cutting hospital payments, establishing competitive bidding for lab services and increasing premiums. For the first time this year, wealthy seniors will be charged higher premiums. The monthly premium would rise from $88.50 today, to between $100 and $155. By 2016, the administration projects 3.8 million seniors would pay the higher amounts.

Last year, Bush proposed trimming Medicaid growth by $45 billion over 10 years. Congress reduced that to a $5 billion cut over five years. The new budget calls for Medicaid savings of $13.5 billion over five years.

The Food and Drug Administration request is almost 4 percent over 2006, to about $2 billion. Much of the increase would expand food security and avian flu programs.

Overall, the National Institutes of Health would receive the same amount of money, although some is being shifted around. The National Cancer Institute would be reduced $40 million while the director’s office would receive $140 million more for new projects.

HHS wants to trim $1.1 billion in state block grants that support job training, day care and mental health services. At the same time, the department would start several new programs, including the $50 million First Lady’s Youth at Risk Initiative.


Department of Homeland Security

The president proposes increasing the Department of Homeland Security’s budget of $31 billion for fiscal 2007, by $177 million. DHS also plans to collect $4.5 billion in existing and new fees, bringing its overall discretionary budget to $35.4 billion, a 6 percent boost.

The administration would raise $1.3 billion by hiking security fees for air travel, to $5 a flight for nonstop passengers from $2.50.

Homeland Security would spend $869 million to add 1,500 border patrol agents and 6,700 detention bed spaces. Congress requires adding 2,000 agents per year.

The budget would trim state and local programs by $258 million, or 9 percent, to $2.5 billion, including grants for law enforcement, terrorism prevention, training, emergency management and technical assistance, similar to cuts that Congress rejected last year. Instead, money would be beefed up for targeted urban areas, infrastructure protection and risk-based programs for all states and 75 metropolitan areas.


Department of Housing & Urban Development

The $33.6 billion budget for the Housing and Urban Development Department is a decrease from 2006 that is largely felt in HUD’s signature program for distributing grants to states and cities for urban development.

The Community Development Block Grants Fund, whose core program budget is slashed by about 20 percent, helps pay for such things as sewers and affordable housing in needy areas, as well as support programs such as the Special Olympics and initiatives for native populations.

Other programs to redevelop commercial and industrial facilities, distribute grants to rural areas and offer loans to urban communities will be consolidated into the block grant fund.

The budget boosts funding to fight homelessness and to help low-income families afford housing and first-time homebuyers afford down payments and closing costs.

The request does not include funds for rebuilding in Hurricane Katrina-affected areas, though Congress recently added money for that.


Department of Interior

This department would face a nearly 3 percent cut under Bush’s $10.5 billion budget proposal, but as with all the secretaries whose departments took cuts, Interior’s Gale A. Norton said the agency would be able to meet its responsibilities.

Bush wants to provide more money for energy development on public lands, something he has long championed, boosting the department’s energy programs by 10 percent to a total of $467.5 million.

On the other hand it would cut $100 million from the current national parks budget, putting funding for national parks at $2.16 billion. The programs that would lose the most money include land acquisition, construction and maintenance.

Tom Kiernan of the National Parks Conservation Association said Bush’s proposal does nothing to address the $600 million annual shortfall facing national parks and “likely means . . . higher entrance fees for fewer services in our parks.”


Department of Justice

The administration wants to cut department spending by $1.5 billion for a total of $19.5 billion, largely by slashing $1.1 billion from popular state and local programs.

Congress has resisted proposals to gut the law enforcement grants, such as ones to hire police or pay for jailing illegal immigrants.

Bush proposed to increase FBI funding by $371 million, or 6.5 percent, but not for new agents or analysts. Instead, the money would go to build secure facilities, headquarters space and other infrastructure for intelligence and counterterrorism programs, including $100 million for the Sentinel program, the replacement for the computerized Virtual Case File system the FBI abandoned last year.

The Drug Enforcement Administration would get an increase of $71 million, or 4.3 percent, some of it for intelligence sharing and Afghanistan operations.


Department of Labor

The department’s budget would trim to $10.9 billion from $11.3 billion for fiscal 2007.

Funding for the Employment and Training Administration would decrease by $648 million to $9.4 billion, including cuts in the Workforce Investment Act. Some of those funds would be allocated to states under a new proposal, Career Advancement Accounts. Workers entering the workforce or transitioning between jobs would use the funds to purchase education and training. The total of the CAA program would be $3.4 billion.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s budget would increase by $11.2 million to $483.7 million; the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s would increase by $10 million to $287.8 million.


NASA

Spending: $16.8 billion

Percentage Change from 2006: +1 percent

Highlights:

• Budget anticipates continued operation of the Space Shuttle through 2010 with 16 flights planned to complete the International Space Station and one flight to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
• Budget increases spending for solar system exploration, Earth-Sun science, exploring systems and technology. Decreases are set for education, business partnerships.
• Agency plans to shift some programs between operational centers.
• Plans call for a reduction in full time workers from 18,410 to 17,979.


Department of State

Spending for the State Department and key international affairs programs would climb by $3.7 billion to $33.9 billion. Reflecting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s interest in public diplomacy, the proposal would boost spending on educational and cultural programs by 11 percent, to $474 million, with an emphasis on Muslim countries. The budget reserves $115 million to foster training in foreign languages such as Arabic and Urdu by Americans. At the same time, Voice of America would eliminate radio service in Russian and other languages.

A big chunk of the money is $3 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corp., a relatively new foreign aid tool that would tie aid to a country’s meeting certain criteria.

The budget would reduce aid in such areas as development assistance and child survival and health. It would expand a new office devoted to reconstruction and stabilization in post-conflict countries, and would create a $75 million fund to quickly deploy civilian personnel to unstable regions.


Department of Transportation

The administration is seeking $65.6 billion to fund the nation’s transportation system, up from $65.5 billion for fiscal 2006. But the majority of the money is part of the highway and aviation trust funds. Excluding that, the request is a decrease of about $13.2 billion.

As part of the smaller budget, the administration is seeking about $50 million to fund the nation’s essential air service program, down from $100 million last year. The program subsidizes airline operations for flying into smaller cities.

Funding for Amtrak is cut to $900 million from $1.2 billion that Congress passed last year.

The budget includes $13.7 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration for hiring safety inspectors, air traffic controllers and the construction of airport runways.


Department of the Treasury

The administration is proposing to hold the budget for the department and for its main subsidiary, the Internal Revenue Service, essentially flat for the coming year.

Discretionary budget authority would total $11.6 billion, up from about $11.5 billion for fiscal 2006. IRS spending authority would rise 0.2 percent to $10.591 billion from $10.545 billion.

The IRS, after years of shifting resources to improve taxpayer service, has come under fire for what critics see as inadequate attention to enforcement. So the agency has been swinging back in recent years, and that trend would continue next year as budget authority for taxpayer assistance, return processing and other management functions would decline 1.2 percent, while enforcement would rise by 1.8 percent.


Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs would see one of the biggest increases in discretionary spending for any agency: a boost of $2.6 billion to $35.7 billion. Most of the spending goes to health care — the department expects to treat 5.3 million veterans next year.

Once again the VA budget calls for increasing prescription drug co-payments for non-disabled, higher-income veterans from $8 to $15. It would require them to pay an annual enrollment fee of $250. Congress has rejected this in the past.

Overall, the VA budget would rise to $80.6 billion, including $42.1 billion for entitlements, such as disability payments and rehabilitation programs. Officials hope to avoid a repeat of last year, when the VA received $1.2 billion in emergency funding after it had underestimated the number of personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who would seek VA medical treatment.

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Rumor: Condi Rice to Become Vice-President January 7, 2007

Posted by Dan in Politics, Snipets.
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A rumor has been circulating around the web that Dick Cheney is going to be replaced by Condi Rice. It states that John Negroponte is becoming Deputy Secretary of State in preparation to replace Rice after the promotion. I don’t understand what this would accomplish, unless Republicans are planning on running her in 2008 if Hilary Clinton becomes a contender. Then the bid might give her a little experience as an “elected official,” but would only ingrain her further with the ailing Bush Administration. Cheney is at the end of his career, but Condi might be able to pull herself out of the negative stigma of the Iraq failure, after enough time has passed.

The rumor, from TNR.com:

Because standards are lower on weekends… here’s a new rumor straight from an insidious “Washington cocktail party”: John Negroponte is becoming deputy secretary of state as preparation to replace Condi Rice when she leaves her job. Why would she do that? To take over for an “ailing” Dick Cheney as vice president. Sure, Cheney resignation rumors are about as old as the Bush presidency. But one well-informed person said that, while he doesn’t think this will happen, he also doesn’t dismiss it out of hand.

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2007 to be “Warmest on Record” – UK’s Met Office Forcasts January 3, 2007

Posted by Dan in Main, News, Science, Snipets, Technology.
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Global Warming is certainly a hot button topic, with heated debate on both sides of the issue. In an effort to more accurately classify the phenomenon, many have taken to calling it “Global Climate Change.” This is actually a better representation of what is going on. But what many people fail to realize is that the Earth’s climate has always been changing. In fact, it is in a constant state of change… thus the difficulty in predicting weather. When proponents of the theory preach imminent danger, they simply mean that the climate is about to change in a way that will make life for humans extremely difficult. This is not the first time such a change has occurred, and indeed the climate has shifted drastically within the lifetime of homo sapiens. Approximately 10,000 years ago, early man faced a major Ice Age. We came through it ok; the species survived. However, even with today’s much more advanced technology, our enormous population means that, were such an Ice Age to happen now, hundreds of millions would die. LIfe would become much more difficult. Certain foods would soar in price, others would plummet. The global economy would be thrown through a loop and a world-wide economic depression would not be far fetched. So the report below seems all the more alarming in context.

According to the BBC:

The world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007, the UK’s Met Office has forecast.

An extended warming period, resulting from an El Nino weather even in the Pacific Ocean, is likely to push up global temperatures, experts predict.

They say there is a 60% chance that the average surface temperature will match or exceed the current record from 1998.

The forecasters also revealed that 2006 saw the highest average temperature in the UK since records began in 1914.

The global surface temperature is projected to be 0.54C (0.97F) above the long-term average of 14C (57C), beating the current record of 0.52C (0.94F), which was set in 1998.

The annual projection was compiled by the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre, in conjunction with the University of East Anglia.

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Meanwhile, In Somalia…. December 31, 2006

Posted by Dan in Main, Middle East, Must Read, News, Politics, Religion, Snipets, War.
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Somali Islamist forces have backed into their last stronghold, the port of Kismayo. The largely supported Ethiopian invasion is an effort to expel the standing Islamic government of Somalia. The outbreak of fighting, however, seemed largely unprovoked. The Ethiopian government is accusing Somali Islamists of “harboring terrorists,” and used this as justification for war. It seems as if the United States has set a bad example and legitimized unilateral invasions, provided they fly the flag of anti-terrorism. The consequences of the failed occupation of Iraq have bled outside of the Middle East to start another war in Africa. This one, largely uncovered by the media, may be far more brutal than Iraq. You can rest assured that no one will be asking about the captives taken in this conflict. Mass-media blinders have largely seen to that. The UN estimates that 30,000 people have already been displaced during the fighting, and that casualties have been high. The war officially began when Somali Islamic forces were forced from the capital of Mogadishu three days ago, on Thursday.

From the BBC:

Somali Islamist militiamen are fighting Ethiopian and Somali government troops advancing towards their last major stronghold in the port of Kismayo.

Artillery fire has been reported near the town of Jilib, close to Kismayo. (more…)