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Ted Danson Petitions President Obama To Save Whales And Dolphins

Filed under: Barack ObamaMama NatureDolphinsWhalesTed Danson

Ted Danson

The Obama administration is considering using seismic air gun blasts to search for oil and gas under the ocean seabed.

The problem with this is that the blasts are 100,000 times louder than a jet engine and they'd occur every 10 seconds for months!!

There's a very good chance that 138,500 whales and dolphins will be injured and maybe even killed by these blasts.

Luckily, they have Ted Danson fighting for them. He said:

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Beyoncé And Jay-Z's Cuban Vacation Being INVESTIGATED?! Republicans Think They Violated SANCTIONS To Travel There!

Filed under: Legal MattersPolitikBeyonceBarack ObamaJay Z

beyonce jay z cuba investigation

Uh-oh!

We guess this could actually be a pretty serious problem!

What was supposed to be a happy, fifth anniversary vacation to Cuba for Beyoncé and Jay-Z has apparently prompted some serious backlash for the celebrity couple…and now, possibly even an investigation from the Obama administration!

That is, if two Florida Republicans have it their way!

As we've reported, questions have arisen over how Bey and Jay were allowed to travel to the communist country, which is illegal under the United States' fifty-year old embargo on it, and Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and her colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart have now reportedly sent a letter to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, requesting an investigation be opened to determine whether or not the pair violated any sanctions with their trip.

The letter reads:

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Obama Admin Speaks Out AGAINST Prop 8!

obama administratio speaks out in favor of gay marriage

Marriage isn't a federal issue, our asses!

Despite openly supporting gay marriage and emphasizing the importance of equal rights SPECIFICALLY when it comes to homosexuals in his inauguration speech, President Obama (well his administration at least) have remained adamant that enforcing or amending marriage laws is NOT the job of the federal government…

BUT, it seems that Obama and his peeps have had a change of heart, as the Obama admin. will file a "friend-of-the-court" brief in the Supreme Court TODAY in SUPPORT of those homosexual couples who took legal issue against Prop 8 when it shat all over the rights of California's gays 4 years ago!

Obama's Administration is URGING the court to overturn Prop 8, which would allow previous same-sex marriages to be recognized and (hopefully) would pave the way for complete gay-marriage legalization in the state of California.

The fate of Prop 8 will reportedly be decided by June… here's to Elton John FINALLY getting his wish of marrying in CA!

Yet another example of our wonderful President promoting tolerance and equality!

What a dream boat. Swooooooon.

[Image via WENN.]

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Judge Rules FDA Mandated Warning Labels For Cigarettes Are Unconstitutional

Filed under: Legal MattersBarack ObamaSad SadAddictionSmoking

Tobacco labels

Boo!

The latest effort to stop the #1 most preventable death in the country has been shut down (for now) by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.

The FDA and Obama Administration passed regulations requiring tobacco companies to place graphic warning labels covering 50% of the packaging, 20% of a cigarette ad, along with a hotline for smokers to quit. Since the tobacco companies realized they may lose a lot of money as a result of the new legislation, they filed a lawsuit against the government and temporarily blocked the usage of the labels (which are used in 43 other countries).

We were hoping the block was only temporary and the government would win this fight, but Judge Leon shattered our dreams on Wednesday when he ruled that the controversial labels were unconstitutional because they violate tobacco's right to free-speech. The judge explained his decision in a 19-page ruling, reading:

"The government has failed to carry both its burden of demonstrating a compelling interest and its burden of demonstrating that the rule is narrowly tailored to achieve a constitutionally permissible form of compelled commercial speech."

A spokesman from the tobacco group that challenged the labels in court said this in response to their favorable ruling:

"We believe governments, public health officials, tobacco manufacturers and others share a responsibility to provide tobacco consumers with accurate information about the various health risks associated with smoking. However, the goal of informing the public about the risks of tobacco use can and should be accomplished consistent with the U.S. Constitution."

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, questioned the ruling by pointing out that it "ignores decades of First Amendment precedent that support the right of the government to require strong warning labels to protect the public health."

Much like the federal government appealed Judge Leon's initial block of the warning labels, which were scheduled to go in effect this September, government officials will most likely appeal this decision too.

We are deeply saddened that the courts have chosen to side with an industry that only cares about profits and not the people its products are killing.

The FDA's graphic labels would have definitely helped scare off kids considering picking up a pack to fit in with their peers, but like it always has been, it's up to U to educate them about the dangers of smoking!

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The White House Will Not Support Controversial Internet Piracy Bills SOPA or PIPA

Filed under: PolitikBarack Obama

Obama SOPA Bill

The internet has been banding together over the last few weeks to fight the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and has just gained a very powerful ally — the White House!

In a statement responding to two petitions against the bills from the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Obama administration officials wrote:

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Judge Blocks Use Of Graphic Warning Labels On Cigarette Packages

Filed under: Legal MattersBarack ObamaHealthAddictionSmoking

Tobacco labels

Boo! Such a bummer!

We were SO happy to hear about the mandatory graphic warning labels that the FDA imposed for all tobacco companies to display on cigarette packages.

Unfortunately, we're sad to report that the tobacco industry may have successfully blocked the government's efforts to visually depict how damaging their product really is.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon blocked the federal requirement because he felt the pictures were not accurate portrayals of the effects from smoking and instead were designed to exploit the facts, explaining:

"It is abundantly clear from viewing these images that the emotional response they were crafted to induce is calculated to provoke the viewer to quit, or never to start smoking – an objective wholly apart from disseminating purely factual and uncontroversial information."

The images depicting the harmful effects of smoking were to cover at least 20% of the package, but Judge Leon felt the labels would amount to a "mini-billboard" for the agency's "obvious anti-smoking agenda."

The strict requirement, originally expected to be implemented next year, has now been blocked until the tobacco industry's lawsuit is resolved.

Basically, don't expect to see the controversial labels that are used in 43 other countries anytime soon in the US.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, urged the Obama administration to appeal the ruling, saying:

"Studies around the world and evidence presented to the FDA have repeatedly shown that large, graphic warnings, like those adopted by the FDA, are most effective at informing consumers about the health risks of smoking, discouraging children and other nonsmokers from starting to smoke, and motivating smokers to quit. Because of that evidence, at least 43 other countries now require large, graphic cigarette warnings."

It's such a shame that corporate greed has once again won in court. While the tobacco industry filed the lawsuit against the FDA's labels in an effort to save profits, the courts forgot that the labels were created to save lives.

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'Secret Shoppers' Testing Doctor's Offices For Government Study

Filed under: Health

Doctors office

Much like companies employ "secret shoppers" to rate their business practices and catch a glimpse of how their employees REALLY treat customers, the government is employing people to pose as potential patients to investigate how doctor offices in 9 states treat people with different types of insurance.

These fake patients will call the offices of 465 doctors in each state involved in the study to determine how the offices respond to potential patients with private insurance, medicaid, or "self-pay patients".

The process — which will begin in Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia in a few months — is described as follows:

Each office will be called at least twice — by a person who supposedly has private insurance and by someone who supposedly has public insurance. …

Eleven percent of the doctors will be called a third time. The callers will identify themselves as calling "on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services." They will ask whether the doctors accept private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, and whether they take "self-pay patients." The study will note any discrepancies between those answers and the ones given to mystery shoppers.

Many practicing physicians are upset by the Obama administrations move, but the government insists the survey will shed light on the public health problem of primary care doctor shortages.

It doesn't seem like the secret inquiries into the types of insurance doctors accept is to invasive. Plus, if these doctors have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to worry about!

A federal health official has promised results of the survey will be strictly confidential with only collective information being released without any mention of specific offices.

[Image via AP Images.]

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