March 23rd, 2010
08:22 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Gil Kerlikowske: The war against drugs isn't over. Kerlikowske, who directs the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is scheduled Tuesday to describe the administration's inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes five-year goals for reducing drug use and its consequences through prevention, treatment, and international cooperation.  He'll be joined by Vice President Joe Biden and several Cabinet secretaries.

According to a TIME magazine profile, Kerlikowske was drafted into the Army in 1970 and while stationed in Washington, his duties included saluting President Nixon when he boarded the presidential helicopter. Kerlikowske later became a police officer in St. Petersburg, Florida, and worked as an undercover narcotics detective.

As police chief in Seattle, Washington, beginning in 2000, he is credited with bringing the city's crime rate to a 40-year low. But the NAACP called for his resignation over his handling of misconduct accusations against police officers, TIME reports.

TIME: Obama's new drug czar

Randy Neugebauer: The Texas Republican acknowledged on Monday that he was the person who yelled "baby killer" during Sunday's House debate on health care reform. But Rep. Neugebauer said he shouted out "it's a baby killer," in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership on compromise language that emphasized federal funds would not be used to pay for abortions.

Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak was on the House floor talking about the issue at the time of Neugebauer's outburst. Stupak was the leader of a group of anti-abortion rights Democrats who refused to back health care reform unless their concerns were addressed.

In a statement released by his office Monday, Neugebauer said, "In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase 'it's a baby killer' in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership. While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself."

The Texas congressman also said that he has apologized to Stupak and added, "The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate."

Neugebauer is now in his fourth term in the House. He first took office in June 2003.  According to his Web site, "While in Congress, Randy has developed a track record of promoting fiscal discipline, backing a strong national defense, and fighting for traditional Texas values."

CNN Political Ticker: Texas Congressman: I made 'baby killer' remark

Office of Rep. Neugebauer: About Randy

Tejdeep Singh Rattan: The Army captain graduated from basic training Monday at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, becoming the first turbaned Sikh officer to complete that training in over two decades.

In a written statement from the Sikh Coalition, Rattan said, "I had an overwhelmingly positive experience. I am very thankful to the base command, Army leadership, and my fellow soldiers. I look forward to continuing to serve my country."

According to the Sikh Coalition release, in 1981 the Army banned "conspicuous" religious articles of faith for its service members, including a ban on Sikh turbans and unshorn hair in the Army.

After completing his Army scholarship education, Rattan was told that he had to remove his religiously mandated turban and unshorn hair before he began active duty. The Army eventually granted Rattan an exception, but it applied only in his individual case.

The general policy forbidding Sikhs from maintaining their articles of faith in the military still remains in effect. Rattan, a dentist, wore a helmet over a small turban during field exercises.

The Sikh Coalition: U.S. Army accommodates Sikh recruit

Brian and Craig Wansink: The brothers examined 52 artists' depictions of the Last Supper painted between the years 1000 and 2000, and reached the conclusion that over the years, the entrees that the followers of Jesus ate grew by 70 percent, and the bread by 23 percent.  They report their findings in Tuesday's International Journal of Obesity.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Brian, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, and Craig, a biblical scholar at Virginia Wesleyan College, say that the growth of supersized servings is not a recent phenomenon.

Los Angeles Times: Last Supper helpings have grown

Brittney Griner: The world is watching the 6-foot-8 freshman center for the Baylor University Bears. The New York Times reports that Griner didn't start playing basketball until she was a freshman at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas, and she is predicted to be the first pick of the WNBA draft when she finishes college.

Griner told the newspaper, "It's not my goal to go out and change the game. I just feel like I'm adding on to it." Right now, she's adding admirers who are amazed by her 7-foot-4-inch wing span.

The Oakland Tribune reports that on Monday, Griner set a women's NCAA tournament record with 14 blocked shots as Baylor beat Georgetown 49-33. As a high school senior, Griner dunked the ball 52 times in 32 games. Griner was recently suspended for two games after being fouled by Jordan Barncastle of Texas Tech on March 3. Griner punched her, breaking Barncastle's nose. Griner apologized in a written statement.

New York Times: Player draws double takes and triple teams

Baylor Athletics: Griner profile

Oakland Tribune: Block party for Brittney Griner, Baylor wins

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Adam Tennessee

    Gil Kerlikowske was the police chief starting in 2000 and is credited for bring the crime rate to a 40 year low. I guess none of the credit goes to the fact that two years before he became police chief the state Legalized Medical Marijuana meaning that all the people getting arrested for none violent crimes like getting high to help them live a better life nolonger got arrested? And now he directs the Office of National Drug Control Policy, maybe he will follow Seattle's example.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. james

    With a 7-4 wing span, I'll bet there was some oomph to Brittney Griner's punch. Good to see the girls stand up when they get roughed up.

    March 23, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. digg

    i agree just legalize it already.whwt is wrong with this place?

    March 23, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. malcolm kyle

    Many of us have now finally wised up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation, which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco –two of our most dangerous mood altering substances.

    But for those of you whose ignorant minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

    There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. If you are not capable of understanding this connection, then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us.

    Anybody 'halfway bright' and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding, that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem; it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer; only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

    If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, unemployment, foreclosed homes, and the complete loss of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.

    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation!

    March 23, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gloria Staib

    Re: Adam T. posting. "people getting arrested for none (should be non) violent crimes like getting high to help them live a better life no longer got arrested?" Really? You have to be high to live a better life? You need to be stoned to get though the day? What if instead you faced reality and dealt with your issues and problems and actually solved them instead of hiding behind a drug induced daze? I hope you refrain from being high while at work so that you don't endanger those of us who come in contact with you while you are out to gumby land. Or that you don't drive and kill someone while you are dazed. A better life?

    March 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Norm

    Of course the war on drugs doesn't seem to be working, but it's such a huge source of jobs and revenue for every police and law enforecment agency, that if we ever actually won the so called war, there would be quite the line at the unenemployment window consisting of every relative and good friend of every police officer and politician in the land. It's a cash cow. They don't want to win the war. They make out far better this way than taxation and legalisation. Some good ol' boy would be out of a cushy job for life if the stuff ever went legal.

    March 23, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. bigboxes

    james, it was a sucker punch. That's not defending yourself from a hard foul. That's thuggery. She should have been suspended for the rest of the post-season as well.

    March 23, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mamaw

    Gloria, how about we send you to chemo and let you choose between "getting high" and throwing up every two minutes for a couple of days. On second thought, let's not put temptation in your way. You are so perfect I am sure you would just smile and enjoy it.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rachel

    Uh, Gloria, why don't you go and face chronic pain, debilitating nausea and a number of other things Medical marijauna is used for without any type of medication. I don't know that Adam T. was talking about having a bad day at work and wanting to let off some steam. There are some people out there who need medication in order to have a decent life and MM is far less dangerous for them than most narcotic drugs.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The Man

    The war on drugs failed miserably years ago. There's nothing new here. Only the same old slogans, rumors, and propaganda. I'd actually like to see something new for once.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jessica

    Do people honestly think that the "war against drugs" has gotten us anywhere? Seems to me, more people are consuming more drugs than they ever were before – harder, more insane drugs. Perhaps, a new strategy is in order? Maybe we need to wake up and accept that 100% drug free is a pipe dream.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dan

    Gloria, Adam was referring to the use of MEDICAL marijuana, you know, by people suffering from cancer pain and the like. These people indeed live a better life because of their use of this substance. I'm assuming that you just skipped over that part.

    March 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PTBItte

    The "War on Drugs" has been a miserable, multi-year failure.

    Every year, 2002-2007 (with 2006 being the only exception), illegal drug use increased Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health

    Every year, drug violence (fueled by US illegal drug consumption) in Mexico increases.

    Any commercial company with such a record of failure would be long out of business by now.

    March 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. john

    we need to get rid of the supply and demand first–to stop the war on drugs

    April 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |