Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

Buzzfeed is confirming Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has just announced his resignation, after rumors to that effect have been circulating for the last few days. It does not appear, however, that this was a planned resignation on Hagel’s part, but has instead come as a result of pressure from the White House.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting Chuck Hagel’s resignation comes at a time when Obama is concerned with having the right response to the Islamic State, is feeling pressured by the Republican senators, and feels as though Hagel does not have the skills necessary to do the job.

President Obama will likely announce Hagel’s resignation sometime today during a planned White House rose garden press conference.

As for Chuck Hagel, he has not been a particularly popular Defense Secretary during his tenure in the position, either with Democrats or with the Republicans whose party he belongs to, and it’s been one of those slow ventures trying to discover what game he’s playing.

Democrats have never welcomed him into the inner circle at the White House, which some say has impacted his ability to do his job. Republicans were disappointed he ever accepted the job as Defense Secretary for a Democratic president, and not only made things difficult for him during his confirmation hearings but also afterwards when the job was his.

Hagel has been Defense Secretary for less than two years. There is no word from the White House yet as to who will replace him.

After 59 U.S. senators voted for giving the green light to the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, we were told that the bill had failed since it did not garnish 60 votes. 60 votes have long been needed to break up a filibuster, according to Senate rules, but no one mentioned that anyone actually was carrying on a filibuster. Therefore, either the Democrats silently changed the rule without telling anyone, or the bill actually passed.

A simple majority has always been sufficient to pass most bills through both houses of Congress. Andrew Heiberger feels the bare fact of the matter is that a 60 vote “super majority” was only required to end a filibuster, not for every single vote of any kind whatsoever to be successful is a ridiculous setup.

Apparently, the Democratic controlled Senate has decided to end the need to actually filibuster by simply requiring 60 votes for every bill. That is undemocratic and will bring on gridlock like we’ve never seen before. There was a day when senators only filibustered on select occasion and had to actually get up there and do it. Now, they don’t even have to get up on the Senate floor. Next thing will be that every tiny thing will need 60 votes, and someone will always object. One person objecting will be enough to stop the wheels of government and thwart endlessly the will of a vast majority of the people. Our government cannot function under those rules.

Has there ever been a morning where you wake up with aches and pains and you, sadly, feel your youthful years slipping away? If only there were a way to slide the hands on the clock of time backwards in you favor in order to feel that magic again. What’s the solution to growing older, Jared Haftel asks?

Studies are now showing that our ‘fitness age’ is a more viable option to gauge how old an individual is rather than how many years we’ve walked the planet. The main area in which scientists are now starting to look is the cardiovascular health and stamina in individuals to give a proper reading of how ‘old’ their internal health is. To break this down into a more simple approach, think of it like this. Think of a person (A) who has heart disease, clogged arteries and lung issues from diet problems, drugs, etc. Now let’s say that person is 25 years old with (roughly) 15 years to live. Now, let’s take another person (B – 40 years old) that jogs every morning and eats healthy – who’s really the ‘younger’ individual here?

The factor that controls your fitness age is your VO2max levels. These levels measure how much oxygen you’re taking in, how efficiently you’re using that oxygen, and how much is being expelled. These levels can then be compared to other individuals to accurately determine your ‘real’ age.

White truffles are a very popular luxury item for the finicky eater. They are, according to Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez however, quite hard to come by and tend to be in acutely short supply.

Eater.com has recently stepped up to the plate, though, with a list for people who love white truffles.

The restaurant that made it to the top of the list is an Italian one called Acquerello. To know more of their awesome menu just visit the website here.

It is located in the heart of San Francisco, CA. The restaurant usually offers truffle supplies to its loyal clients.

Acquerello also has a tasting menu for white truffle fanatics. Second on the list is a restaurant located in Nevada called B & B Restaurante. There are several kinds of truffles one may find in this restaurant, and are guaranteed to taste really good.

Next on the list is Bistro du Midi which offers truffles on top of sunny side up egg combined with other food for breakfast. Bufalina which is located in the state of Texas also made it to the list. Truffles are one of the ingredients in their best selling pizza.

Occupying the tenth spot is Marta. It also offers truffles on top of their special pizza. These are some of the restaurants you should visit when longing for good white truffles. You could taste the goodness of the food even for 60 dollars with friends.

A police officer in Philadelphia, Mark Kimsey, responded to a priority call at 5:25 p.m. Saturday night. While on his way to his destination a Toyota pickup trucked rammed into the police cruiser. This occurred at the 28th intersection and Tasker Streets. Kimsey was then trapped inside his vehicle due to the force of impact from the crash.
Then, a teenage volunteer firefighter along with members of his neighborhood responded to save Kimsey from the burning police vehicle. The teenager, Joe Chambers, who is only 17 years old jumped into action to help. Chambers and another man had to drag officer Kimsey out of the window of the burning police cruiser. Other bystanders rushed to assist the injured passenger of the pickup truck.
Kimsey and the passenger were then rushed to the Hospital of University of Philadelphia. Kimsey suffered some head trauma and leg burns, but is stable. The passenger suffered head trauma, but is stable as well. The 17 year old Chambers suffered minor injuries, but Sam Tabar tells me he is otherwise fine.

With election week finally over, we can all now watch television without every other commercial being an attack from one politician to another. We will, however, continue to see political signage littering the streets of our hometowns. Politicians and lobbyists were, of course, quick to get those signs up, a part of campaigning that Flavio Maluf always dreads. It will take months for those same signs to come down. One restaurant chain in South Carolina is making an attempt to “clean up politics” in its own way.

The restaurant chain in South Carolina, Sticky Fingers Smokehouse, is offering a free appetizer to anyone who brings in one of these political signs. The restaurant chain is encouraging customers to do this in an effort to clean up their community and help the environment. Candidates are being urged to pick up their signs from participating restaurants in the next couple of weeks. Whatever signs are not claimed will be recycled by Sticky Fingers Smokehouse. If only our current politicians cared about our environment as much as this South Carolina restaurant chain, our world might be a better place.

On Tuesday, 4 November 2014, Democrat Mark Udall of Colorado lost his Senate seat to opponent Cory Gardner. Udall, an avid and outspoken critic of the CIA and NSA, will continue to sit on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence until his upcoming departure from office.

Some civil rights advocates dedicated to transparency have decided that all is not lost for Udall’s crusade against alleged malfeasance in the US Intelligence Community. News outlets like The Guardian are reporting that Udall may have the opportunity to exploit a constitutional clause that would grant him immunity if he chooses to read a classified CIA report on enhanced interrogation techniques before the Senate. Because the aforementioned clause guarantees that he will be protected from prosecution, Udall may find himself in a position with very little to lose.

The Article I Speech or Debate Clause of the US Constitution protects all congressional representatives from arrest and prosecution “during their attendance at the session of their respective house” as well as for crimes involving anything discussed as part of a session. The clause Brad Reifler says was famously invoked in 1971, when Senator Mike Gravel attempted to publicly read the Pentagon Papers into record during a session of Congress.

Udall now has a choice to make. He can leave the Senate without incident or utilize these same protections in order to make the CIA report public.

The Philadelphia Eagles suffered a huge blow on Monday with news that starting quarterback Nick Foles will be out for an extended period of time with a broken clavicle.

Foles went out of Sunday’s game in the first quarter against the Houston Texans holding his shoulder following a sack by the Texans’ Whitney Mercilus.

The Eagles would go on to win the game 31-21 to improve to 6-2 on the year and move into sole position of first place in the NFC Eastern Division, ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who dropped their second consecutive game.

Prior to the injury, Foles had been attempting to come close to his amazing output level from last year following a slow start. He currently has 13 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions for an NFL quarterback rating of 81.6.

Last year, Foles threw 27 touchdown passes while throwing only two interceptions. That gave him the third-highest NFL quarterback rating ever with 119.6. That resulted in a Pro Bowl appearance in which he earned offensive Most Valuable Player accolades.

Replacing Foles will be former New York Jets signal caller Mark Sanchez, who was signed by the Eagles during the offseason. Next Monday’s start at home against the Carolina Panthers will mark Sanchez’s first start in 23 months. Sanchez didn’t play at all last season after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder during the preseason. It’ll be interesting to see what Sanchez can pull off after this time away, so me and Bruce Levenson will be watching to see if the Eagles can continue their successful start to the season.

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz leaked news of his next big revolutionary plan for his world-renowned coffee shop recently. Starbucks plans to begin coffee delivery services sometime late next year. The innovation will build on a previous one- the mobile coffee-ordering app.

I suppose there must be some restaurant out there that delivers food and sells coffee which has already delivered hot Joe to its customers, but this will be different. This will be just coffee products (hot, iced, or latte) delivered to your door or to your work desk. It is a somewhat novel idea that seems somewhat ridiculous in a way, but starts to grow on you after a while. There are a lot of coffee addicts out there I’m one of them, and I know Laurene Powell Jobs is definitely addicted to that morning caffeine rush.

Schultz speculates that someday not only one-time but also standing orders will exist- coffee will be delivered on a daily basis the way milk used to be in the old days. You will simply pay ahead, pick up the smoking hot brew on your doorstep or let it greet you every morning as you arrive at your desk or work site. That will certainly be a popular perk, but some of us who are less well off wonder how much that is going to cost. Considering, however, how steep the price is for Starbucks’ excellent coffee to begin with, we are sure that many will pay that extra price tag to have it custom delivered.

With profits that were higher than expected, Chipotle Mexican Grill has released its financial numbers for the third quarter of 2014. The chain, based in Denver under the guidance of owner Steve Ellis, saw $1.08 billion in profits during the third quarter, which represented a 19.8 increase in its restaurants’ sales. Despite these sizable profits, shareholders remain wary, as the chain warned of the potential for higher food costs.

Better news for Mike Livak and other stockholders on Wall Street and even those on Main Street who have no stock in the company: the fast-casual brand is planning to open as many as 205 new locations in 2015. Rather than a continued focus on more urban and densely populated areas, the new restaurants, according to the company’s statement, will be opened in more “remote” locales, further expanding the reach of the brand. The opening of these additional 200 stores is in addition to the 195 stores that the company will have opened by the end of 2014.