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Gayle in MD
08-20-2012, 08:17 AM
Republican Lawmakers, the Sea of Galilee, Nudity!
By Josh Voorhees

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Posted Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, at 8:37 AM ET

Arab-Israelis swim in the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, near Tabgha, on September 2, 2011 as they continue marking Islam's Eid al-Fitr feast

Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images.

Politico with the story most likely to be making the rounds among congressional inboxes today:

"The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff—and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses."
The naked congressman? Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican. The others who kept their clothes on, but nonetheless are said to have waded into the holy waters during the incident, include: Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

It's unclear exactly how big of a scoop Politico has here. While the Beltway outlet is tagging it with the big-old "exclusive" label (and sent out a breaking news alert hyping it last night), we should note that the FBI probe of last summer's incident doesn't appear to have gone much beyond asking a few questions, nor did the investigation result in any formal allegations.

That said, the story involves lawmakers, alcohol, nudity and the site where Jesus is said to have walked on water, so it clearly has all the ingredients needed to whet the appetite of anyone with a Twitter account. It also is the latest example of a congressman failing to realize that most Americans prefer their lawmakers to keep their clothes on (see: Weiner, Anthony; and Lee, Chris).


Yoder offered an apology in the form of a statement to Politico for its story, but his office says that the FBI never actually interviewed him or his staff about the late-night skinny dip:

"A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit," Yoder said. "It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize."

While the bold names named in the story aren't all that bold relative to the national conversation, two of the top House Republicans were on the American Israel Educational Foundation-funded trip: Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), although neither man took part in the late-night dip. Cantor was so upset by the whole thing, that he scolded the group the next morning, according to the report.


You can read the Politico story in its entirety here. Wondering what's so special about the Sea of Galilee? The Slatest has you covered with our first mini-explainer.





Exclusive: FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel

By JAKE SHERMAN and JOHN BRESNAHAN | 8/19/12 8:09 PM EDT
The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff — and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.

During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.

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GOP scolded after Israel trip
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(PHOTOS: Israel swim participants)

“A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit,” Yoder said in a statement to POLITICO. “It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”

Travis Smith, Yoder’s chief of staff, told POLITICO “Neither Congressman Yoder, nor his staff, have been interviewed by the FBI.”

These GOP sources confirmed the following freshmen lawmakers also went swimming that night: Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Many of the lawmakers who ventured into the lake said they did so because of the religious significance of the waters. Others said they were simply cooling off after a long day. Several privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in.

(PHOTOS: When congressmen go wild)

The Sea of Galilee, a Christian holy site, is where Jesus is said in the Bible to have walked on water.

The FBI looked into whether any inappropriate behavior occurred, but the interviews do not appear to have resulted in any formal allegations of wrongdoing.

But Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was the senior most GOP lawmaker in Israel on the trip, was so upset about the antics that he rebuked the 30 lawmakers the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was also on the privately funded excursion, which means two of the three top House Republicans were a part of this trip. Neither Cantor nor McCarthy went swimming that night, the sources said. Some of their staff did.

The account of that August 2011 night in Israel was pieced together for the first time by POLITICO based on interviews with more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses, as well as public records of the trip.

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Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79865.html#ixzz245zZiGTz


Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79865.html#ixzz245zNNuZM







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<span style="color: #990000">In the Holy Sea, just two weeks after they blocked raising the debt ceiling! </span>

eg8r
08-20-2012, 08:52 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It's unclear exactly how big of a scoop Politico has here. While the Beltway outlet is tagging it with the big-old "exclusive" label (and sent out a breaking news alert hyping it last night), we should note that the FBI probe of last summer's incident doesn't appear to have gone much beyond asking a few questions, nor did the investigation result in any formal allegations.

That said, the story involves lawmakers, alcohol, nudity and the site where Jesus is said to have walked on water, so it clearly has all the ingredients needed to whet the appetite of anyone with a Twitter account.</div></div>LOL, actually it is quite clear...the story went nowhere for a reason...People don't care. What people care about is when the POTUS is squirting all over an intern at the WH.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
08-20-2012, 08:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Internet trolls are known to change the subject by dragging up unrelated subjects in order to instigate arguments. Their intent if to frustrate others who wish to debate, and if they can irritate them enough to make them finally lash back enough to get banned from the site, then they have achieved their ultimate goal. </div></div>

G.

cushioncrawler
08-20-2012, 07:38 PM
Water Pollution in Israel Threatens People, Animals, Plants
Joshua Basofin | January 8th, 2012 | Comment | Email this

Lead and other pollutants are seeping into Israeli drinking water at alarming levels. Lutra numbers decimated; human health at risk.

Water pollution in Israeli lakes, streams and groundwater aquifers is reaching alarming levels. Although the country has regulations in place to prevent discharges, including a comprehensive Water Law, contamination is commonplace. And now scientists are finding that water quality problems threaten both wildlife and human health.

The lutra, a cousin of the otter found in lakes and rivers throughout Northern Israel, is in danger of extinction. Hunting is one of the threats to this fish-eating swamp dweller. Guest workers, mostly from Thailand, have been responsible for a great deal of lutra poaching. Arriving from areas in Southeast Asia where unrestricted wildlife trapping is the norm, these workers often clash with Israel’s stricter protections.

However, the more pervasive danger for the lutra is polluted water flowing through its habitat. In a recent study published in the Israeli journal Ecology & Environment, scientists reported that low water quality and lack of flow in the Jordan River has nearly wiped out the lutra south of Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). The population north of the lake is relatively stable, but its disappearance in other areas has shocked ecologists.

Additionally, industrial waste from factories in the Rotem Plain has been leaching into groundwater near Ein Bokek Nature Reserve for almost two decades. Ein Bokek is one of the most important reserves in Israel, hosting a myriad species of animals and plants.

Environmentalists filed a lawsuit shortly after the pollution was discovered. The Water Tribunal in Haifa eventually mediated a settlement agreement between NGOs, industrial facilities and the water company. Pursuant to that plan, the water company would pump out contaminated water and the Dead Sea Works would decontaminate it.

Despite this comprehensive treatment plan, however, Nature and Parks Authority ecologists Michael Blecher and Orna Blecher recently reported that the overall number of plant species in Ein Bokek is declining. They were particularly concerned about the disappearance of doellia bovei, a rare plant threatened with extinction.

Tests conducted by the Geological Survey of Israel determined that salinity levels are six times greater than before the industrial waste was discovered. But the companies and the Water Authority maintain they have executed their responsibilities as stipulated in the Water Tribunal agreement.

Finally, Israeli scientists recently presented findings that link pollution with autism. Diagnoses of the disorder have risen sharply in recent years. Scientists now believe that exposure to toxins such as lead, mercury and pesticides could account for 25 percent of that increase.

These pollutants are particularly dangerous for young children due to the way they alter brain development. According to Dr. Tamar Berman of Israel’s Health Ministry, two percent of drinking water samples exceed the maximum allowable levels of lead. Even this modest exceedance is dangerous due to lead’s serious impact on child development.

How has Israel’s water policy failed to prevent these problems? Lack of enforcement, sluggish political will and information gaps are the main culprits.

The country’s Clean Air Act came into effect last year. What about revamping the Water Law? Passed in 1959, this legislation needs to be updated to include proper contaminant classification, water quality guidelines that protect human health and the environment, and effective enforcement provisions. Such improvements could also reign in unchecked agricultural runoff and preserve the quality of Israel’s aquifers, which have suffered considerably in the last 50 years.

As for the embattled lutra, relief may be coming soon. The Environment Ministry has promised to release 1 billion cubic feet of water to restore the Jordan River in 2013. This influx of fresh water will help dilute sewage flows. Although environmentalists claim the amount falls short of a full restoration, it’s a good start. And it’s a step toward cleaner habitat for the lutra and other wildlife.

Gayle in MD
08-20-2012, 08:09 PM
And it has all been happening here for decades, as well.

Yet the Republicans, both Ryan and Romney, and most of the Republican Governors and representatives, want to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency, AND the Food and Drug Asministration!

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif

cushioncrawler
08-20-2012, 09:12 PM
Baptizm in the Jordan iz a must.
Alternativly one kan save the expense and danger and just hav someone shit and piss over u at home.
mac.

DiabloViejo
08-21-2012, 01:48 AM
When I think of my old(er) fat ass, drunk and swimming nude, it's like... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNUr__-VZeQ /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Qtec
08-21-2012, 02:02 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The FBI is indeed interested in a trip that House Republicans made to Israel last summer. But it’s not because Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder took his pants off and jumped into the Sea of Galilee after a night of drinking.

Law enforcement sources — noting that skinny-dipping usually doesn’t fall under the FBI’s purview — pointed TPM to a New York Times story from earlier this month about a trip to Cyprus that Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) made following his August venture to Israel alongside several colleagues.

Politico, which first reported the skinny-dipping anecdote, said the FBI “looked into whether any inappropriate behavior occurred, but the interviews do not appear to have resulted in any formal allegations of wrongdoing.”

But FBI agents were actually interested in Grimm’s failure to file paperwork related to his trip to Cyprus following his Israeli junket, which had been paid for by the Cyprus Federation of America. The president of that company was arrested on federal corruption charges in June. Grimm had reported the Israel trip in his initial filing in May but did not list the trip to Cyprus until he amended it in June, one day after Cyprus Federation of America’s president was arrested </div></div>

Q