BERKELEY, CA, July 2, 2010 - The House recently approved the Conference Report to HR 4173, a sweeping change to regulations over the financial services industry. In a mostly party line vote, the 192 no-voters received on average 41% more in contributions from big banks than the 237 members voting in favor of passage. Three Republicans joined Democrats in favor of passage while 19 Democrats sided with Republicans against passage.

  • Representatives Voting 'No' took in an average of $20,995
  • Representatives Voting 'Yes' took in an average of $14,857

Many industries are looking to carve out exemptions for their businesses or see certain provisions removed all together. See our previous post for list of industries that split their support and opposition.

See the break downs by vote and party at MAPLight.org.

Democracy Under Attack is a project of the Unity Coalition for Israel. The national membership has become deeply concerned watching the inroads made by proponents of Shariah law. Gradual introduction of restrictions on the freedoms America and other democracies enjoy through our constitutional guarantees is taking place.

This apprehension is reflected in the groups' wish to determine and measure the extent to which lawmakers are familiar with this encroaching threat to our liberties. It seems increasingly apparent that decision-makers are being asked to make a choice: whether or not to compromise the Constitution by accommodating Shariah law, thereby forfeiting many of our liberties.

The organization feels that a most important question must be asked of all legislators, and especially of the new Supreme Court nominee, Elana Kagan: "What is your opinion of the role of Shariah law in the United States, specifically in relation to our Constitution?

In order to accomplish this the UCI and DUA organizations are sending a questionnaire to all members of the Congress, and asking legislators to address the same question to Ms. Kagan. This question is on the docket for today's Senate Hearings for the Supreme Court appointment.

The question is urgent because Shariah law has already pervaded Britain and poses an imminent threat to the United States. It threatens the basic rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and greatly limits women's rights. Honor killings, mutilation of limbs, and female genital mutilation are routine. Shariah compliant finance is practiced by more that 300 national banks in the United States alone. Some proponents have even said they would like to see the establishment of the Caliphate (a centralized governance under a single Islamic leader). Throughout the United States as well at throughout the rest of the world many advances in this direction have already taken hold.

Michigan and Pennsylvania are two Shariah targeted states, as is New York with the controversy over the 15 story mosque being built at ground zero. A bill has recently been introduced by Rep. Rex Duncan in the Oklahoma state legislature to prevent Shariah law from being introduced and enforced in that state. Many feel that this will serve as a guide for other states to follow.

The opinions of our legislators are critical in formulating a position that will guide US policy in the years to come. Our coalition members agree that when one compares the traditions of Western thought and the development of freedom and human rights the conflict between Shariah and Western legal tradition becomes immediately apparent. The foundation of our nation is based on the notion of religious freedom and the firm establishment of the concept of other guaranteed freedoms as an overarching goal. The very first line of the First Amendment of the US Constitution is clear: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

We feel that to attempt to reconcile any one political/religious system of law with the Constitutional framework of the United States would be contrary to these concepts and would be Unconstitutional. To allow one political/religious system to gain an advantage by introducing its structure of laws into the Constitutional system of the United States, or by replacing portions of it altogether, would result in the worst kind of abrogation of both the spirit and the letter of Constitutional law.

The legislators responses will become a matter of public record and appear on our DemocracyUnderAttack.org website, in the section called "Shariah Scoreboard." We feel that this is an issue central to the future of our country, and will be extremely relevant to voters in the November 2nd election.

The Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI) is comprised of more than 200 Jewish and Christian organizations representing millions of Americans. Since 1991 they have been active in supporting freedom in the US and Israel.



Spending time outdoors is good for you, from the Harvard Health Letter

BOSTON?Summer is here. The outdoors beckons. Heed that call and you'll reap physical and mental health benefits, reports the July 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Here are five good reasons to get outdoors:

Your vitamin D levels rise. Sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Limited sun exposure (don't overdo it), supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good regimen.

You'll get more exercise. If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.

You'll be happier. Light tends to elevate people's mood, and there's usually more light available outside than in. Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.

Your concentration will improve. Children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. It might be a stretch to say that applies to adults, but if you have trouble concentrating, outdoor activity may help.

You may heal faster. In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital.

Read the full-length article: "A prescription for better health?go alfresco"

Also in this issue:

  • Aspirin and cancer prevention

  • Peripheral neuropathy treatment

  • Niacin for boosting "good" HDL cholesterol

  • Safety of using ibuprofen p.m. as a sleep aid

  • Omega 3s and nutrition

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications (www.health.harvard.edu), the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $29 per year. Subscribe at www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

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Hardacre Film Festival 2010:

Independent Film Returns to Iowa's Longest-Running Festival

TIPTON, Iowa?Stuck elevators, foul balls and the world's largest lava lamp are among the filmed subjects of this year's Hardacre Film Festival. Iowa's longest-running film festival, celebrating its 13th year, will be held Friday and Saturday, August 6 and 7, at the historic Hardacre Theater in Tipton.

"We're really excited about this year's lineup?a terrific variety of subjects and filmmakers to present them," said Will Valet, festival director. "Many of our films have shown at the world's most prestigious film festivals, while others are premiering at the Hardacre. It's a world-class festival that gives movie lovers in our region a great opportunity to experience them and meet the people who made them."

T he 2010 festival will feature dozens of feature-length and short films from all over the world, including two feature-length narrative films, six documentaries, seven animated films and more than a dozen short live-action films.

Among this year's highlights:

Features:

  • American Grindhouse?This documentary (from Iowa-raised director Elijah Drenner) covers the history of the American exploitation film. The movie examines this often-overlooked category of U.S. "shock" cinema in an informative and amusing way.

  • Ballhawks?This documentary tells the story of Cubs fans who chase baseballs?and dreams?outside the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field. Filmed in 2004, when Wrigley announced plans to expand the bleachers and change "ballhawking" forever.

  • Between Floors?This funny, claustrophobic and arresting film examines the human condition through five stuck elevators and the people trapped inside them. Each elevator forces its occupants to confront their isolation, themselves and each other in varied and unexpected ways.

  • Cleanflix?This documentary explores the companies that make R-rated films "clean" for families and religious groups and the unhappy film directors whose work is going under the knife.

  • My Vietnam, Your Iraq?This heartbreaking and inspiring documentary tells the stories of Vietnam veterans and their children who have served in each generation's war. This looks at the pride, challenges, fears, prejudices and emotions they have gone through during and after deployment.

  • World's Largest?Shot partially in Iowa, this documentary captures the changing landscape of small-town America. Desperate for tourism, hundreds of small towns claim the "world's largest" objects, from 15-foot fiberglass strawberries to 40-foot concrete pheasants. This film visits 58 such sites and profiles one Washington town's four-year struggle to build the world's largest lava lamp.

Shorts:

  • The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger?In this animated film from animation legend Bill Plympton, a bovine is mesmerized by a marketing billboard and chases the goal of being the best hamburger he can be.

  • Heartland Transport?This short documentary, shot partially in Iowa City, concerns 17 gay and lesbian couples who define marriage equality as they take a chartered bus from St. Louis to Iowa City to be legally married.

  • Mind the Gap?In this hilarious short from Canada, a beautiful young woman sits next to a sweet elderly man on a train. The ride is anything but boring in this sweet comedy about first and last im pressions.

  • Patient?In this short, a man and a woman meet at a coffee shop for the first time. As if on an awkward date, they exchange timid pleasantries. But as their conversation unfolds, the horrifying truth behind their meeting is revealed.

  • Plastic Bag?This timely short film by hot indie filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Goodbye Solo) traces the existential journey of a plastic bag (voiced by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog) searching for its lost maker, the woman who took it home from the store and eventually discarded it.

  • Trophy Wife?This short film (from Marion, Iowa) concerns a husband who struggles with failu re and rejection in his hobby and in his marriage. When everything finally falls apart, Frank finds a way to resolve his taxidermy hobby and come to terms with his wife.

The complete list of films and a schedule for the 2010 festival will be released online at www.hardacrefilmfestival.com in early July.

Filmmakers are regularly in attendance, present their films, and take questions from audience members following screenings. The festival takes place during Tipton's Ridiculous Days sidewalk sale event.

The Hardacre will give out awards including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Best St udent Film, Best Animated Film, Best Experimental Film and the Audience Award, which is voted on by audience members during the festival. Award winners will be announced in July.

SIDEBAR

Hardacre Film Festival

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 6 and 7

Hardacre Theater

112 E 5th St.

Tipton, Iowa

Admission to any of the Hardacre's three programs?Opening Night, Saturday Day or Closing Night?is $8 each. An all-festival pass can be purchased for $20. Films on Friday beg in at 6 p.m. On Saturday, screenings will run all day; from 9 a.m. through 11 p.m.

For a full schedule or more information about the Hardacre Film Festival, go to www.hardacrefilmfestival.com.

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Join the German American Heritage Center for a day trip to the German Fest in Milwaukee on July 24

DEADLINE  TO SIGN UP IS JULY 13!

Date: July 24, 2010 (Day trip)

Time: 7:55 a.m. - 8:50 p.m.
(Bus departs/returns at the German American Heritage Center)

Cost:

Nonmembers: Adults: $68; Seniors and Students: $65

Members: Adults: $58; Seniors and Students: $55

Direct from Germany, the German Showcase features an amazing group of entertainers who will be performing every day throughout the grounds! Relax with a beer and sausage in the Beer Garden on the ground's North end - sing along or listen to favorite German drinking songs! Visit the South end of the grounds for carnival games, rides and other activities! Don't leave the festival grounds without trying a "Currywurst," a bratwurst with a decadent curry sauce, or a "Saucisschen," an 18" pork sausage curled and served on a stick! Also, for the first time Saz's will be offering a traditional Friday Night Fish Fry on the grounds.

TO SIGN UP:
To reserve your spot for the trip, call 563-322-8844. We encourage you to register soon, as space is limited.



Lujack Lexus presents Broadway at the Adler Theatre 2010-11 Season, highlighted by a farewell performance of RIVERDANCE, the thunderous celebration of Irish music and dance that tapped onto the world stage thrilling millions around the globe, and several new Broadway hits!

The Lujack Lexus presents Broadway at the Adler Theatre 2010-11 Season also includes: LEGALLY BLONDE, the new hit musical based on the hilarious film; MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic "Monty Python and The Holy Grail"; ALL SHOOK UP, a chain reaction of romances and rebellion told through the power of Elvis favorites; and AVENUE Q*, a fresh new musical about surviving in NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account.

Click here to subscribe online! Prices range from $125 to $255 depending on series package and seating choice. Click here to download an order form. For more information, call 563-326-8522.

New subscriber orders will be processed in the order they are received after all current subscribers' renewal requests have been processed. All seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Only subscription sales are available at this time. Tickets for individual shows will go on sale as each performance date approaches.

Season at a glance: Legally Blonde (Saturday, October 9, 2010), Monty Python's Spamalot (Sunday, November 21, 2010), Riverdance: Farewell Performance (Tuesday, February 1, 2011), All Shook Up (Friday, February 25, 2011), Avenue Q (Friday, March 18, 2011).

*Avenue Q features adult humor and situations.  Not recommended for children.



Calling ALL youth in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas to come celebrate with Davenport Parks and Recreation, the RDA, and the Davenport Noon Optimist Club at our 19th annual YOUTHFEST!

There will be all types of health and wellness related activities including obstacle course, bounce houses, basketball, skateboarding, nutrition information and Teen Battle of the Bands winners.

FREE

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

10:00am - 3:00pm

Centennial Park (315 S. Marquette St.)

For questions regarding event, please contact 563-326-7812 or www.cityofdavenportiowa.com/parks



WINGS FUNDRAISER

JULY 2, 2010

9pm until 1am

Admission $5

Independence WEEKEND 2010

19 yr old and UNDER

Dance Contest - Cash Prizes Awarded

Moline Club - 513 16th St, Moline, IL.

The Wings program is an excellent program for youth leadership. The youth, 16 to 17 year old, are selected by their pastors and school counsellors, then personally trained by a series of  mentors/teachers outside of their school.



Nearly 740,000 Iowa Students Assisted with Low-Cost Student Loans over Past 32 Years

Des Moines, IA, June 30, 2010- The Iowa College Student Aid Commission announces that after 32 years of providing federal student loan guarantees through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), it will no longer guarantee new federal student loans with first disbursements on or after July 1, 2010.

On March 30, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA, Public Law 111-152). The HCERA mandates federal student loans with first disbursements on or after July 1, 2010 be originated and fully disbursed under the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP). This law effectively eliminates FFELP, a public-private partnership between the federal government, guarantors and private lenders, that Congress created in 1965 to deliver and administer federally-guaranteed low-cost loans to students and parents.

"The Iowa College Student Aid Commission has been the designated guaranty agency for Iowa since 1978," said Karen Misjak, executive director of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. "We are proud to have guaranteed over $10.8 billion in low-cost federal student loans to assist nearly 740,000 students pay for the cost of higher education." Misjak explained.

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission reduced the cost of borrowing for Iowa students and parents by waiving fees and paying the required one-percent Federal Default Fee on behalf of its borrowers. The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA) required payment of the Federal Default Fee for all federal student loans guaranteed on or after July 1, 2006. Payment of this fee saved Iowa borrows nearly $21 million over the last 4 years. Prior to July 1, 2006, Iowa College Aid waived the one-percent guarantee fee allowed to help guaranty agencies cover costs associated with insuring student and parent loans.

Although no new FFELP loans with first disbursements on or after July 1, 2010 can be made, Iowa College Aid will continue to provide exemplary service to students, parents, schools and lenders on its previously disbursed FFELP loans.

Going forward, Iowa College Aid will continue to work toward increasing college access and making an education beyond high school a possibility for all Iowans. Iowa College Aid continues to administer nearly $59 million in state-funded student aid programs; administer the GEAR UP Iowa program that seeks to foster a college-going culture among low-income students in Iowa; develop and enhance the I Have a Plan Iowa statewide community web portal that assists Iowans as they explore education and career options; serve as the state-designated administrator of the U.S. Department of Education's College Access Challenge Grant that seeks to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education; as well as serves as a resource for financial literacy, default prevention and aversion, student aid regulatory and compliance topics, and student loan collections and rehabilitation. To learn more about how these programs and services help Iowa families plan, prepare and pay for college, contact the Iowa College Aid Information Service Center at 877-272-4456 or visit www.IowaCollegeAid.gov.

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Chelsie Oberbroeckling, Davenport, Iowa, is a new junior member of the American Angus Association®, reports Bryce Schumann, CEO of the national organization with headquarters in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Junior members of the Association are eligible to register cattle in the American Angus Association, participate in programs conducted by the National Junior Angus Association and take part in Association-sponsored shows and other national and regional events.

The American Angus Association is the largest beef registry association in the world, with more than 31,000 active adult and junior members.

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