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When Mom’s To-Do List is Doing Her In PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 15 June 2012 10:14
Expert Offers Busy Moms Tips for Tackling Their Schedules

“We Can Do It!” was a World War II-era battle cry that empowered women. Today, however, the expression for many women is more like, “We can do it -- if there’s time.”

By their 40s, more than 80 percent of American women are mothers, according to the U.S. census. Meanwhile, they also make up roughly half of the workforce, a percentage that has doubled since Rosie the Riveter’s proclamation.

At least 50 percent of women say they don't have enough free time and 60 percent feel guilty for spending what little time they do have on themselves, according to a survey published in the March issue of Real Simple magazine.

Between motherhood and work, it is crucial that busy women also take time out for themselves, says Saniel Bonder, a wellness coach, Harvard graduate and author of the acclaimed new novel Ultimaya 1.0: The Trouble with the Wishes of Leopold Stokes (www.humansunmedia.com).

“Putting things into a new perspective and realizing that a really good mother and home manager – or a mother who works outside the home -- can’t be chronically tired and cranky is a first step to achieving a healthy balance between a mom and her to-do list,” he says.

Mothering is a marathon, not a sprint, Bonder says. Unhappiness, failure and disappointment are guaranteed when a woman continues to drive competing interests at excessive speeds, he says.

He offers tips for managing a mother’s to-do list:

• Make “me time” a priority every day. Set aside 5 to 10 inviolable minutes for triaging your day’s to-do list — early on, when you’ve got plenty of energy and aren’t already overwhelmed.

• Do it with “Mother Bear” fierceness. Go at it with ferocious intention to protect your “cub”— except in this case, the cub is your own total wellness.

• Serve everyone notice. Let your family, friends, and others who depend on you know that for everyone’s sake, you are going to take better care of yourself and you’re not going to try to be Superwoman any more.

• Ruthless ranking. Rank each item 1, 2 or 3 in order of real importance. Make sure your priority is only the most important, and that you actually can do it.

• Indulge your inner child. Make at least one of your daily No. 1 priorities something to pamper yourself – something you know will really make you feel good but that you think you really don’t have time for and shouldn’t need.

• Talk back to your inner critic. Do this out loud; shout it if you need to! Just say “no,” a lot, to that fault-finding perfectionist in your head. You’re right. It’s wrong!

“Sustainability begins at home, and the true hearth of most homes today is the mother’s well-being,” Bonder says. “Your children need to learn this from how you live, not just what you tell them.”

About Saniel Bonder

Saniel Bonder received his bachelor’s in social relations from Harvard University, partaking in a unique curriculum that focused on the fields of psychology, culture and social behavior. An internationally recognized personal advisor and expert in “down-to-earth” spirituality, Bonder advises busy individuals on managing their daily lives while enhancing their personal fulfillment and also reaching their full potential.

 
Grassley to Holder: Show Good Faith and Turn Over Documents PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:15

Senator Chuck Grassley says Attorney General Eric Holder can avoid the constitutional stand-off created by the Department of Justice by ending its stonewalling in the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.

 

Click here for audio.

Here is the text of the address:

This week, I’ve urged Attorney General Eric Holder to exercise leadership and avoid the constitutional stand-off that the Department of Justice has created with its stonewalling in the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Tuesday, the Attorney General sounded willing to negotiate, at last, over releasing documents.  That’s fine if the offer isn’t hollow.  We’ve been talking for a year and a half, and a show of good faith would be to produce the documents in question.

The documents concern the government’s Fast and Furious program.  In December 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in a shoot-out with Mexican bandits.  Those bandits were armed with weapons our own government allowed to be purchased and transferred illegally under Operation Fast and Furious.  Whistleblowers came to me with allegations.  They testified nearly a year ago about the use of this practice.  The Department of Justice denied the allegations to me for 10 months before being forced to withdraw its denial in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Yet, today, the family of Brian Terry is still waiting for answers.  It’s waiting for justice.  The FBI doesn’t have the shooter in custody.  And, the Justice Department is still defying a congressional subpoena for information about how all of this happened.   The chairman of the House oversight committee has scheduled a vote next week on whether to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the documents.

The House committee action is straightforward and necessary.  Contempt is the only tool Congress has to enforce a subpoena.  The Department of Justice can avoid the action by complying with its legal obligation.  The contempt citation is not about personalities.  It’s a procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances.  If Congress is afraid to pursue answers to questions, it’s not doing its job.  People deserve transparency from their government.  Transparency leads to the truth about what’s going on.  It puts people in a position to defend their rights.  It protects our freedoms.

The facts are important as a matter of accountability.  Related to Fast and Furious, at the Senate hearing this week, Attorney General Holder said that a previous Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, was briefed on a gun walking in the government’s Operation Wide Receiver and did absolutely nothing.  Well, there’s no evidence of that.  In fact, documents show Attorney General Mukasey was briefed about a different case involving a controlled delivery.  The evidence also shows that more recently, assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer did learn about gun walking in Operation Wide Receiver and did absolutely nothing.  Again, the facts matter, and the nation’s top law enforcement officer should take care to get them right.  Since the hearing, I’ve asked Attorney General Holder to provide any information in support of his statement about Attorney General Mukasey.

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Grassley Urges Holder to Produce Any Evidence to Back Claim of Gun-walking Knowledge by Prior Attorney General PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:10

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today urged Attorney General Eric Holder to produce any evidence to back a serious claim about a prior attorney general’s having knowledge about a gun-walking operation called Wide Receiver and to apologize if no such evidence is available.  Holder made the claim about prior attorney general Michael Mukasey at a Judiciary Committee hearing this week.  If any such evidence exists to back Holder’s claim, it has yet to come to light after months of scrutiny, and the charge should not stand without any evidence to back it up.

Grassley’s letter to Holder is available here.  Supporting documents are available here.

Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on the Holder charge.

Grassley Statement

On Fast and Furious, I was extremely disappointed to hear Attorney General Holder try to deflect criticism of himself and his Department by pointing the finger at his predecessor.

Specifically, he said to Senator Cornyn: “An Attorney General who I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called Wide Receiver and did nothing to stop them – nothing.  Three hundred guns, at least, walked in that instance.”

That’s a serious charge. The problem is: we have absolutely zero evidence that it’s true.

Nothing in the documents produced by the Justice Department and no information provided by any whistleblowers that I know of suggests that Attorney General Mukasey was ever briefed about Wide Receiver.  Period.

If Attorney General Holder made that kind of a charge about Attorney General Mukasey to this Committee without any evidence to back it up, that would be an outrage.

So, I’m sending a letter this morning to Attorney General Holder asking him to provide any evidence he has to support his allegation against Attorney General Mukasey.

And, I’m asking for a response before the hearing record is closed next week.

If he can’t produce evidence that Attorney General Mukasey was briefed on Wide Receiver, then he owes Mr. Mukasey an apology.

It appears to be an effort to shift blame away from himself, but I’m willing to hear his explanation.

The highest-ranking Justice Department official I’m aware of who knew about gun-walking in Wide Receiver is not Attorney General Mukasey.  It is Lanny Breuer.

Breuer did nothing to stop ATF from walking guns after learning about it in April 2010. That is why I called on him to resign. The evidence shows he and his deputies did not focus on making sure ATF never did it again. Instead, emails indicate they discussed how to help ATF be prepared to minimize the potential embarrassment over gunwalking in the press.

If Attorney General Holder wants to criticize senior Department officials who knew about gunwalking and did nothing, he should start with the current head of his own Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer.

 

 

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FDA response on employee email monitoring, treatment further delayed PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:53

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa continues to seek a response from the Food and Drug Administration to a letter he sent to the agency Jan. 31 about the treatment of a group of employees who raised concern about certain medical devices. Grassley and Commissioner Margaret Hamburg talked on May 24, and she said the FDA expected to respond in two weeks.  Later, FDA staff told Grassley’s office to expect further delays because the response is under review by an Administration official, whom they wouldn’t identify further.  Grassley made the following comment on the status.

“After four months of pushing on our end, at last, the FDA commissioner herself indicated that an FDA response was on the way.  Then the FDA abruptly switched gears and said an unnamed official in the Administration is reviewing the response.  That leaves the response in limbo.  The FDA staff wouldn’t give any more details.  This puts us back to square one, and it’s not a good development from an Administration that was supposed to be the most transparent in history.”

The text of Grassley’s Jan. 31 letter to the FDA commissioner is available here.

An account of developments so far from The Washington Post follows.

 

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/12/2012

Sen. Charles Grassley says he is getting no answers from FDA on staff monitoring

By Lisa Rein

Five months after asking the Food and Drug Administration to explain its secret e-mail surveillance of its employees, a prominent Senate Republican says he is getting no answers.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee with a long-standing interest in the FDA and in protecting whistleblowers, has had a longer-than-usual wait for information about the scope and justification for the agency’s monitoring of the private e-mail accounts of six doctors and scientists. They had warned Congress and the White House that medical devices they were reviewing were approved or pushed toward approval despite their safety concerns.

After hearing nothing for months, Grassley said, he spoke with Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on May 24. She promised a detailed response to numerous questions raised by Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A response would be timely, she said, according to Grassley aides.

But the senator says he has heard nothing. According to an e-mail exchange between Grassley’s staff and FDA officials, the agency cannot provide answers to the lawmakers because the Obama administration is still reviewing its response.

“After four months of pushing on our end, at last, the FDA commissioner herself indicated that a response was on the way,” Grassley said in a statement.

“Then the FDA abruptly switched gears and said an unnamed official in the [Obama] administration is reviewing the response. This puts us back to square one, and it’s not a good development from an administration that was supposed to be the most transparent in history.”

FDA spokeswoman Erica Jefferson said Tuesday that the agency “will be responding directly to Senator Grassley.”

Grassley demanded in January that Hamburg disclose who authorized the monitoring, how many employees were targeted and whether the agency obtained passwords to their personal e-mail accounts, allowing their communications on private computers to be intercepted. Grassley also wants to know whether the monitoring is still going on.

The Post reported in January that the scientists and doctors filed a federal lawsuit against the FDA, alleging that the government violated their constitutional privacy rights by intercepting their communications on Yahoo, Gmail and other private accounts to monitor activity they say was lawful.

The employees’ communications with Congress, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the inspector general’s office that oversees the FDA and the Office of Special Counsel were intercepted. The special counsel, the independent federal agency that represents whistleblowers, also has opened an investigation into the monitoring.

The FDA tried but failed to have criminal charges brought against the whistleblowers for disclosing sensitive business information. The employees were fired, demoted or harassed.

Grassley has warned the FDA that interfering with a congressional inquiry is illegal.

The agency has warnings on its computers, visible when users log on, that employees have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in any data passing through or stored on the system, and that the government may intercept any such data at any time for any lawful government purpose.

But attorneys for the employees have said the warning itself is illegal because it does not ensure that anyone preparing a complaint to an agency that investigates wrongdoing has a right to keep their private communications confidential.

The plaintiffs had challenged the safety and effectiveness of devices used in detecting colon cancer, breast cancer or other medical problems. Most of the devices were approved by supervisors after the scientists recommended against approval.  The inspector general’s office for the Department of Health and Human Services concluded twice that there was no evidence of criminal misconduct by the scientists.

By Lisa Rein |  06:00 AM ET, 06/12/2012

 
Is Your Detergent Taking You to the Cleaners? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 08:29
Expert Shares Tips to Save Money by the Scoopful

The national crime wave that stunned the nation earlier this spring – coast-to-coast thefts of Tide laundry detergent and its use in illicit drug buys – didn’t surprise Kris Anderson.

“Laundry detergent can be expensive and it’s a product just about everyone values – even drug dealers,” says Anderson, president of Country Save Corp. (www.countrysave.com), maker of all-natural laundry and dish detergents.

“But it’s not just stores getting ripped off; it’s consumers. Anyone who buys laundry detergent and doesn’t pay close attention when they scoop it ends up using too much,” Anderson says. “Not only is it a fallacy to believe that more soap will make your clothes cleaner, it’s a huge waste of money and it’s actually bad for your clothes.”

Almost every brand of detergent has a declaration of loads per box on its packaging, he says. And for almost every brand, the number on the box does not match the scooper size provided in the box.

Anderson, whose environmentally safe Country Save laundry detergent is also distributed by the Department of Defense to all soldiers in the field, offers these facts about using your detergent prudently and economically.

• Don’t just fill up the scoop and dump it in the washer. “You definitely won’t get the maximum number of loads from the box,” Anderson says. “For instance, if you use Ultra Tide’s 40-load box and fill the scoop for every load, you’ll get just 15 scoops per box.” Instead, he says, put on your glasses, if necessary, and look at the lines on the side of the scoop. The top line, for a full load, is usually well below the lip of the scoop. Highlight the lines with a dark-colored marker to help you avoid the problem in the future. If you have soft water, using half the recommended amount is sufficient.

• Too much soap causes clothes to fade faster. Over-use of detergent is actually the leading cause of fading. Clothing may also acquire a thin, filmy layer of soap because your washer can’t thoroughly rinse the fabric. Do you tend to be itchy? It could be you’re wearing your detergent!

• Too much soap’s not good for your washing machine, either. Excess soap can gum up the works as soap deposits and lint form in your washing machine. These can contribute to mold – and its accompanying stench; they can plug up filters and other openings; and they can lead to mechanical breakdowns. In some machines, you may also end up wasting (and spending more for) water as the machine spins into extended cycles in an effort to remove the soap.

• Run a test load to see if you’re over-soaping. Run a load with clothes only – no detergent. Do you see suds? That’s an indication of how much detergent you are wearing.

• Reduce pollutants by using an all-natural detergent. While Country Save had the first phosphate-free detergent on the market back in 1977, many companies have now removed the additive because of its harmful effects on rivers, lakes and other fresh water. However, most companies continue to use other additives, such as optic brighteners, fragrances and dyes, Anderson says. “The more often consumers choose the most natural products, the better off our environment will be – even if some people still use too much!

About Country Save Detergent

Country Save became the nation’s first phosphate-free detergent when Elmer Pearson – creator of Elmer’s Glue -- introduced it in 1977. A chemist and environmentalist, he developed Country Save products without animal testing or animal byproducts. They’re designed to be environmentally safe and they’re recommended for people with sensitive skin. The line also includes dish detergent and oxygen-powered powdered bleach. Find Country Save products on the company’s website and amazon.com.

 
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