January 31, 2009
Rep. Beth Kerttula assumes Gov. Sarah Palin is out of town, though Palin's staffers say so far their boss has been there for most of the legislative session that began Jan. 20.
It's a small matter, but it's part of the buzz around the Capitol among lawmakers who are seeing less of their governor than in years past and wondering what it means in the wake of a Republican vice presidential run that brought Palin global fame and notoriety.
They're accustomed to spotting her striding past, using two BlackBerries, stopping to chat in the hallway or inviting reporters into her office while she prepares for a speech.
Palin insists her focus is still on Alaska.
"I swore to steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state like a grizzly with cubs," she said in her State of the State address two days after the session began. "We've got to fight for each other, not against, and not let external sensationalized distractions draw us off course."
Some say she appears more tense than the vice presidential candidate who delivered sly jokes and incendiary speeches to packed rallies across the Lower 48.
"Not so sparky," said Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, who wonders if the distractions of her newfound celebrity will keep Palin from devoting her full attention to Alaska's looming budget shortfall.
Others grumble that she didn't seem to reach out to the nearly 60 lawmakers assembled before her.
"I think her speech was not directed to us but right over our heads to a national audience," said Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks, who remembers a much different Palin from just six months ago.
"There were days when she walked around the building with (her daughter) Piper, handing out bagels. I think those days are gone," he added.
Speculation that Palin is positioning herself for a presidential run in 2012 was fueled by news that she formed a political action committee.
"The half-life of political celebrity is really quite short, so she has to make a move," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.
Some pundits say Palin should go after U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's seat in 2010, but Sabato doubts Palin would win that contest.
He said she would do better by running for re-election and launching a White House bid during a second term as governor. She'll have to prove that she's engaged and energized over Alaska issues, though.
"If she gives any indication that she's bored, she will literally get herself in trouble with what would otherwise be a slam dunk re-election," Sabato said.
Some Alaska lawmakers say Palin already has proved she's engaged.
"So far, I've seen the governor deliver her energy package, she delivered her budget on time and she met with the majority caucus," said Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole. "I've not seen or heard anyone come up with anything the executive is supposed to be doing that she has not done. It appears to me she's back on the job full-time."
Palin's spokesman says her press office continues to receive hundreds of media requests for interviews, most of which she turns down. She has yet to hold a press conference at the Capitol this year.
However, just a few days ago, she walked out of the mansion after meeting with majority lawmakers and took reporters' questions. She greeted the small group with a cheerful, "Hi guys," then she addressed the issue of her priorities.
"I'm sure legislators know I am the governor of Alaska, and this is first and foremost on my mind and my agenda. Any travel or meeting or participation outside of Alaska will only be if it's good for Alaska," she said.
Juneau Democrat Kim Elton, a member of the Senate's ruling coalition of Republicans and Democrats, predicts Palin will be tested this session.
"Is she going to have a legislative agenda that speaks to a national base, or is she going to have a legislative base that speaks to Alaska's future?" he asked. "I'm not sure it's easy to answer at this time, but I can assure you people will be watching very closely."
House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, said he wants the governor to keep the lines of communications open. Then he won't be worried that travel and political organizing will detract from her state job.
"What the governor does is of her own concern as long as she's here to address the Legislature during the session and as long as her administration is engaged," Chenault said. "If it doesn't interfere with running the state government, I'm fine with it."
January 30, 2009
Style is fun when you are young. You want to follow your favorite entertainer or sports star. Black youths however have not had many high profile Black role models who dress for success. With Obama status as a world icon, black kids now have someone who they see everyday wearing a suit, well educated, well spoken that they can imitate:
Durham, N.C. -- When candidate Barack Obama told MTV viewers in November that "brothers should pull up their pants," Kent Williams Jr. was thinking the same thing.
Williams, the student body president at North Carolina Central University, was weary of seeing young men show up in class wearing do-rags, pajama bottoms or pants drooping over their rear ends.
So the historically black college will soon distribute information cards that he proposed, using students as models, to illustrate the right -- and wrong -- ways to dress on campus and professionally. "Don'ts" include droopy pants, do-rags, gold chains and other totems of hip-hop culture.
Students at some historically black colleges say they began rebelling against such crimes of fashion long before Obama spoke up. But they also say Obama's fashion sense on the campaign trail -- and now as President Obama -- has made it easier to persuade other young African Americans to trade street sloppy for business cool.
Referring to sagging pants......
The two Republicans fought for the national party chairmanship Friday after Mike Duncan, former President George W. Bush's hand-picked national GOP chief, abandoned his re-election bid in the fact of dwindling support.
Duncan's departure ensured a fresh face at the beleaguered GOP's helm as Republicans seek to rebound from back-to-back defeats in national elections that gave Democrats control of Congress and the White House.
After five rounds of balloting, former Maryland Steele and Dawson were locked in a close race, though neither had reached the 85-vote majority needed to assume the party's top spot. Steele was six votes shy with 79, while Dawson had 69.
Steele, the most moderate candidate in the field, is considered an outsider because he's not an RNC member. Dawson, as a state party chairman, is a member; he's a staunch Southern conservative.
They are turning into the old southern democratic party. The same southern democrats that loved segregation and isolated themselves based on outdated beliefs and thinking. A party who speaks Christian values in one breath, then endorses torture with another.
"We’re all concerned about the fact that the very wealthy and the very poor, the most and least educated, and a majority of minority voters, seem to have more or less stopped paying attention to us," the Kentucky Republican said on the second day of the four-day gathering.
"And we should be concerned that, as a result of all this, the Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one.
"In politics there's a name for a regional party, it's called a minority party," said McConnell.
By regional, he means the majority of the South. The same families that hated JFK and wanted to see Martin Luther King in the ground have raised a new generation of what used to be southern democrats."My concern is that unless we do something to adapt, our status as a minority party may become too pronounced for an easy recovery," McConnell also said.
McConnell also laid some blame at the feet of former President Bush, whom he described a "man of principle," but one who did "not win any popularity contests."
"History shows that unpopular presidents are usually a drag on everybody else who wears their political label," he said. "It happened with Truman. It happened with Johnson. It happened with Nixon. It happened with Clinton in ‘94. And it happened in ‘06 and ‘08 with President Bush."
He said particular effort needs to be applied to attracting African American and Hispanic voters. Black voters have historically voted heavily Democratic, while Hispanic voters were significantly more Democratic than they had been in previous presidential elections.
"Too often we’ve let others define us," McConnell said. "And the image they’ve painted isn’t very pretty. Ask most people what Republicans think about immigrants, and they’ll say we fear them. Ask most people what we think about the environment, and they’ll say we don’t care about it. Ask most people what we think about the family, and they’ll tell you we don’t — until about a month before Election Day."
Instead of listening to minority leaders or communities, they dictate to them what they believe is right as the sole solution, while continuing to hide behind religion as the reason."…We should avoid the false choice of being a party of moderates or conservatives," McConnell said. "America is diverse. The two major parties should be too. But this doesn’t mean turning our backs on commonsense conservatism, or tailoring our positions to suit particular groups. Our principles are universal. They apply to everyone."
I agree they should not turn their backs on their conservative values, just realize this country is no longer the land of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, those days are long gone.
For the war-beaten orphans of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, this big old shoe fits.
A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex.
Assisted by children at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri erected a brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad.
My Favorite Conservative....The Southern Avenger:
January 29, 2009
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Mount Redoubt continues to rumble and simmer, prompting geologists to say this Alaska volcano could erupt "within days."
Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory have been monitoring activity round-the-clock since the weekend.
If Mount Redoubt does erupt, it would be the first time this occurred in nearly 20 years. And if won't likely be pretty.
History shows that volcanoes in Alaska, including Redoubt, typically erupt explosively, shooting ash almost eight miles high.
This differs from volcanoes in Hawaii, which usually have slow rolling lava ooze out.
The difference is gas trying to escape gets blocked, possibly by a lava dome or a viscous magma that increases the power from beneath, said observatory geologist Jennifer Adleman.
"Its pressure keeps building and building...," she said.
Depending on the winds, the ash plume could be pushed straight at Anchorage, the state's largest city. This has prompted state and city officials to post bulletins on how to deal with the ash.
— Stay inside as much as possible.
— Wear a mask or wet bandanna if going outside.
— Those who wear contacts should consider wearing goggles.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, volcanic ash features small, jagged pieces of rock and glass.
The last time this 10,197-foot peak blew was during a five-month stretch starting in December, 1989. It disrupted international air traffic and placed a layer of volcanic dust throughout the Anchorage area.
Concerns over an eruption have state and city officials issuing warnings so area residents can deal with an ash storm.
The mountain is about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.
The announcement was made by acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.
BBC southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles says the Zimbabwean dollar has become a laughing stock. A Z$100 trillion note was recently introduced.
Until now only licensed businesses could accept foreign currencies, although it was common practice.
So that damn uppity Michelle Obama will have someone cook the families food besides her, that bitch. Columnist Lisa Schiffren really has a whine fest about the Obama family bringing on a chef that would cook for them from time to time back in Chicago.
She goes off on this triad about the double standard with the MSM concerning Sarah Palin and her ability to run her family and Michelle and hers. Basically, Michelle is not that great of a Mom that the media made her out to be because she had a chef prepare food for the family vs. making it herself.
"Who knew? I believed all that stuff about how Michelle was an overburdened modern working mother, rushing from school drop off to her high-paying, demanding work at the hospital, to dress fittings, to whatever it was she needed to do to support her husband's political aspirations, back home to take care of her daughters. Call me naive, but that model usually includes making dinner. And squeezing in a weekly grocery shopping trip. Especially for those fresh, whole foods that don't keep so long. Now I have to wonder who did the laundry, and the vacuuming. Sure, granny helped—but I doubt she was the maid. Who was?"
Wow! Michelle is human, she works and sometimes other people make the kids dinner. I guess I suck as a parent too. My son has probably had McDonald's or Burger King about 20 to 30 times over the past year due to time and work.
She seems pretty upset that Michelle Obama got so much credit for being a good mom, more so than Sarah Palin. Hey Lisa, if you think Sarah Palin is such a good mom then why don't you just write an article saying so? Other than that shut up please.
Chip Saltsman, the man made himself famous by passing out a CD featuring the song named "Barack the Magic Negro" had dropped out of the race to become the new leader of the Republican National Committee.
Saltsman made the following statement to supporters:
"While my travels make me confident in our party’s future, I wanted you to be first to know that I have decided to withdraw my candidacy to become your next chairman," he wrote supporters.
He should have dropped out when the story was first brought to the public. The cd itself I personally don't have a problem with if you are a private citizen. I listen and watch a lot of things people might find offensive, but I am not running for a position in the public eye.
If he would have won this seat, he would have only fueled the debate over the republican party's problem with minorities.
When things are at the worse point than most Americans alive have ever seen financially, what to expect your elected officials to do about Why give themselves a raise that what:
WASHINGTON — The Congress that will gavel in at noon Tuesday will benefit from a $4,700 annual pay raise, even before it does a minute's worth of work.
The latest 2.8 percent wage increase U.S. lawmakers automatically receive every year will raise the average congressional salary of $169,300 to $174,000 and has provoked scorn from those seeking to cut federal spending.
Some lawmakers — including a few from Louisiana — think it's a....
Wow all that clambering about widespread voter fraud in Ohio during the election turns up one single case that really was as illegal as what Ann Coulter did herself:
A prosecutor's investigation into alleged widespread voting fraud last fall in one of Ohio's largest counties has turned up one case. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters subpoenaed the records of roughly 600 people who voted in the county during a week long window during which new voters could register and cast a ballot on the same day. A report Tuesday by a special prosecutor appointed to the investigation found that only one voter committed fraud.
A Connecticut man in town visiting his sister cast a ballot on Oct. 4 but later told officials what he had done.He pleaded guilty Dec. 29 to attempted false voter registration and was sentenced to one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
Over nearly eight years, the Pakistani preacher was transferred through four detention facilities, starting from the scene of his arrest in Jakarta, Indonesia in late 2001. After that, it was on to Cairo, Egypt, Islamabad, Pakistan and the Bagram Collection Point (now called the Bagram Detention Center) near Kabul, Afghanistan before finally making it to Guantanamo Bay in early 2003.
There was no trial. No legal counsel. No phone call home.
American and Egyptian interrogators accused him of mingling with the likes of Osama bin Laden and shoe bomber Richard Reid, making him a terrorist by association, he says.
Iqbal maintains his innocence. "I'd never been to Afghanistan; I've never met Osama bin Laden; I've never picked up a weapon nor have I had any training; even I never curse," he said.
His voice grows shaky and his eyes timid as he recalls the endless cycles of torture and psychological abuse he says he endured throughout his years in captivity. He claims it was so bad he tried to kill himself twice and went on numerous hunger strikes to protest his mistreatment.
Today, less than five months after his release, he is safe within the confines of his modest Lahore home, surrounded by family and friends, and free to savor a glimpse of sunlight or a breath of fresh air.
Still, the painful memories of his years in Guantanamo Bay linger as he suffers from physical disabilities that hinder his efforts to find a job and reintegrate into society. He recently retired his walker in favor of a cane, which he still needs due to knee injuries he alleges to have suffered from electric shocks to his legs.
Like many Pakistanis, Iqbal welcomes news of the executive order signed by President Barack Obama to shut down the prison within a year, but he says his physical and emotional scars will not heal by a stroke of the pen.
"In Iraq we recently saw a journalist throw at President Bush his shoes," Iqbal says.
"I hoped that he got one hit and feels pain for two seconds then compare this pain with the pain I felt in Guantanamo for almost seven years."
In what could be a preview of the 2012 presidential race, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama will share a stage together this Saturday night in Washington, D.C., Politico has learned.
The Alaska governor and former GOP vice presidential nominee, making her first trip to the nation’s capital since the election, will join the President at the Alfalfa Dinner, a venerable gathering of the city’s political elite.
Palin and Obama will both address the black tie crowd at the Capital Hilton, aides to each say.
The duo will not, though, be heard by the general public. By tradition, the old world gathering, now in its 96th year, bars reporters. Quotes from the rostrum do, however, tend to find their way out to reporters in the lobby.
January 28, 2009
Well a few gallons of Jack Daniels and some Wild Turkey is what Barack Obama is hoping does the trick to get his stimulus package passed. A presidential cocktail reception – for Congressional leaders only – is taking place on Wednesday evening at the White House.
The event, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., is the first-of-a-kind gathering in the new administration and the latest sign that Mr. Obama is attempting to build relationships with Congress.
The reception will take place in the Red, Blue and Green rooms of the executive mansion. I'm thinking maybe playing a little Marvin Gaye "Let's Get it On", lower the lights and then just work the room.
Open bar, two maybe three hours later and you are in. Get'em to sign off on the stimulus and then leave'em drunk on the floor........sweet.
Extremely damaging news coming out of Algeria where a CIA station chief is accused of raping at least two Muslim women. Officials say the 41-year old CIA officer, a convert to Islam has claim by the two women saying laced their drinks with a drug and then sexually assaulted them.
At least a dozen videotapes have been discovered showing the CIA engaging in sexual acts with multiple women. This had led the Justice Department to broaden its investigation to include at least one other Arab country, Egypt, where the CIA officer had been posted earlier in his career, according to law enforcement officials.
One of the alleged victims reportedly said she met the CIA officer at a bar in the U.S. embassy and then was taken to his official station chief residence where she said the sexual assault took place.
The second alleged victim reportedly told U.S. prosecutors that, in a separate incident, she also was drugged at the American's official residence before being sexually assaulted.
(AFP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded on Wednesday that US President Barack Obama apologise for "crimes" committed by the United States against Iran over the past 60 years.
The hardline leader also called on Washington to withdraw its troops from across the world as a proof of Obama's policy of change.
"You were standing against the Iranian people in the past 60 years," Ahmadinejad said during an address in the western region of Khermenshah that was broadcast by state television.
"Those who speak of change must apologise to the Iranian people and try to repair their past bad acts and the crimes they committed against Iran."
As to the troops, he said he expected two kinds of "deep and fundamental" change.
"Meet people, talk to them with respect and put an end to the expansionist policies. If you talk about change it must put an end to the US military presence in the world, withdraw your troops and take them back inside your borders."
Ahmadinejad said the advocates of change must "stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals."
He called on the United States to "stop interfering in other people's affairs" and said Washington should "let the American people decide their own future ... Stop pressuring them," he added, without saying to what he was referring.
Ahmadinejad said he welcomed change but the "change has to be fundamental."
"If someone wants to talk with us in the language that (George W.) Bush used ... even if he uses new words, our response will be the same that we gave to Bush during the past years," he added.
Tension between Washington and Tehran has been high over the latter's nuclear programme.
Bush refused to hold talks with Iran until it stopped its nuclear work, but on Monday Obama extended a diplomatic hand towards Tehran to break the deadlock.
In an interview with Al-Arabia television, Obama promised to lay a framework for his policy towards Iran.
"As I said in my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.
"It is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of US power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran."
Also on Monday, Washington's UN ambassador, Susan Rice, pledged "direct" support to Tehran if it halts the nuclear programme.
Ahmadinejad said Tehran would "wait, see and listen to what they (US) say and then consider what they do."
"If there is a real change, we will welcome it."
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany have offered Tehran economic and energy incentives in exchange for halting its uranium enrichment programme.
But Tehran is pressing on with the work, insisting that its nuclear programme is peaceful and solely geared toward electricity generation.
The Security Council has already adopted four resolutions -- three of which included sanctions -- requiring Iran to suspend enrichment.
January 27, 2009
Looking at yet another story of a prisoner being released from Gitmo and then joining forces, I continue to scratch my head.
The headline reads, "Bomber's Martyrdom Tape Renews Fears Over Consequences of Closing Gitmo." This latest story speaks of Abdallah Ali al-Ajmi who was transferred back to his home country of Kuwait after his release from Guantanamo in 2005.
Last April he blew himself, unfortunately he took 12 people in Mosul, Iraq with him. The story has now come to light because a Martyrdom tape has surfaced featuring his last words. The word in the picture on Fox's site however quotes the terrorist own words of thanking Allah for his release from Gitmo where he was "tortured", I wonder if that fueled his hatred along with others.
My problem with this and other stories is Fox News and some other media outlets that have put some type of doomsday theory around Gitmo closing and wave of detainees entering the battlefield on the side of terrorism. In reality, Gitmo closing has had nothing to do with any of the recent or past detainees going back into terrorism.
Here's the thing everyone.........Gitmo was open and running a full speed when each and everyone of these detainees were released by the Bush administration. No one however seems to point fingers at that administration for releasing them, but rather create doom around Obama wanting to close the camp.
Last point. Closing Gitmo does not mean that these men will be released. What is trying to be accomplished is justice. 9/11 families have recently come out to voice their disappointment in the Bush administration for not prosecuting the men responsible for the attacks in a timely fashion going on eight years). They have requested a meeting with Obama to make sure the same thing does not happen on his watch. Essentially what the American people what is to bring this men to the U.S. and let them face the people who lives they have affected and be sentenced to hopefully the gas chamber.
I don't know about you but I am tired of my tax dollars going to this facility where I am paying for them to eat, sleep and shit. Put in a max prison and let's see how long they last.
Rush Limbaugh may command a large following, but his caustic comments Monday about the GOP’s congressional leadership have at least one Republican House member defending his colleagues and offering an unusually candid critique of the talk radio powerhouse and his fellow commentators.
Responding to President Obama’s recommendation to Republican congressional leaders last week that they not follow Limbaugh’s lead, the conservative talkmeister said on his show that Obama is “obviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He's more frightened of me, than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn't say much about our party."
From the Top of the Ticket:
Tonight, Rahm Emanuel, the ex-Chicago machine gofer, ex-Clinton finance chair, old Blago pal, ex-congressman and current White House chief of staff, who's famous for his %$#*(&# language, is having about a dozen Republicans over to his boss's house for dinner. The good china and linens, all that.
That way Rahm won't have to do the dishes himself.
It's all part of what might be called the Rahm Reachout. In recent years with Emanuel playing a significant role, the Democrats took the GOP to the electoral cleaners in congressional elections. The diminutive Emanuel plays politics like the NHL, only without the rules and referees.
Emanuel made dozens of phone calls after his appointment and before the inauguration to Repubs saying that he'd be willing to forget what he'd done to them because it's a new day with a new boss who wants to work with Republicans for America at this crucial, crisis-strewn time in its history that happens to coincide with the start of a Democratic administration that needs some big wins early on.
So, it looks like 12 or so moderate GOP House members will get the royal schmooze. How much you want to bet the new boss happens to stop by for dessert and coffee?
We'll see what effect this has on their votes. And if some dissension develops among the other Republicans who didn't make the E-list this time, well, that's the price Emanuel and Obama are willing to pay. Josh Drobnyk over in the Swamp has more detail on today's soiree, which is Chicago for "guys night out."
Check out Cindy Adams' story on Palin's new Launch:
ASK not what Sarah Palin can do for your country, ask only what you can do for Sarah Palin. And the answer is, pay attention. Trust me, Alaska's governor is moving faster than those glaciers.
Racism against Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians and Arabs will always be there and a Black Man (or mixed however people want to call it) as president won't change that. I don't know what it will take for people to treat people equally, I wish had the answer for that. It's funny how God comes out of the mouths of hatemongers right before they release their evil dialogue. One day........
President Obama may have smashed the ultimate political barrier to African Americans, but his presidency and the deepening economic crisis are creating the perfect storm for white supremacists intent on swelling their ranks.
Racist extremists have been energized by Obama's election, hoping to exploit an Obama backlash among whites who resent having a black man in the White House.
Neo-Nazi David Duke says Obama will be a "visual aid" for angry white Americans and will provoke a backlash among relatively mainstream whites that will "result in a dramatic increase in [the] ranks" of extremists. Many other hate group leaders agree.
That backlash was evident in the aftermath of the election as ............continue
(my post if I were a right-wing blogger):
Obama has done it this time! He's done the unthinkable. He reached out a hand to the Muslim world. This know it all has the gull to think diplomacy is the way to bring about better relations with the Muslim world vs. shutting them out like they don't exist, what the hell is he thinking?
Where is his support for Israel? Looks like a Muslim love fest here. He might as well put on his turban now, no sense in hiding it. I knew he was Muslim from the get go. He couldn't fool me. Just after we were on the verge of a breakthrough by ignoring the Muslim world with our strategic arrogance, he goes and pulls the rug out from under America.
What he should have done is to talk to the people of Israel who we already have a strong relationship with and continue to build on that while ignoring the Muslim world. But no, B. Hussein had to go reach out to these terrorist and trying to somehow bring some resolution between Muslims and western ideologies.
This is only the beginning of the Trojan Horse that these dumb liberal hippies and mindless drones chose to elect to run the former greatest country on earth. Watch this video and stomach it if you can:
The most important war this world has ever faced and this solidier was one of many who put their lives on the line for democracy and freedom. He lived through decades after that, and for him to die like this actually makes me angry. 93 year-old hero freezes in his home without no one even caring what happens to him:
BAY CITY, Mich. -- Officials in central Michigan say a 93-year-old man who owned more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills froze to death inside his home -- where the municipal power company had restricted his use of electricity. Neighbors and friends of Marvin Schur want answers as to how this could happen.
“Now that we do know it was hypothermia, there’s a whole bunch of feelings that I’ve got going through me,” said Jim Herndon, a neighbor of Schur’s. “There’s anger, for the city and the electrical company.”Bay City officials said changes are on the way in an attempt to not let another instance like this happen again.
An autopsy determined Schur, 93, died from......
January 26, 2009
Thses families have been trying to get closure for almost eight years now. With all the hoopla over GITMO closing or staying open, some of the actual terrorists involved in the 9/11 tradgedy remain uncharged and not brought to justice......why?
The parents of three firefighters who died at the World Trade Center on Sep. 11, 2001, have written to President Obama expressing concern about his recent executive orders and presidential memoranda dealing with national security which, among other actions, ordered the closing the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay.
Specifically, the families want to meet the president to appeal his decision to suspend the trials of five detainees in Gitmo who have admitted they have some part in the terror attacks, a ruling the president made so as to determine the best way to move forward with prosecutions. "We cannot understand why it has taken so long for the prosecution of the detainees in cases where....
Black Artists Association founder Amnau Eele, a former model (story here):
"It's fine and good if you want to be all 'Kumbaya' and 'We Are the World' by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Wu do the evening gown, why not have Kevan Hall, B Michael, Stephen Burrows or any of the other black designers do something too?" Eele said.
Hey Eele, maybe she did not like any of their designs, ever wonder that? I'm sure everything you have and wear is made by black folks right. Relax.....be happy.
TALLAHASSEE -- A grand jury decided Monday to look into allegations that House Speaker Ray Sansom abused his position by taking a six-figure job at his hometown college.
''From this point on, we'll be calling witnesses,'' State Attorney Willie Meggs said at the Leon County Courthouse. ``I don't know what we're going to find until we look. We will get the people who have this information and present it to the grand jury.''
Sansom, R-Destin, took the unadvertised $110,000 a year job at Northwest Florida State College on the same day he became speaker of the House two months ago.
The boy, who has been charged as a juvenile with impersonating an officer, walked into the Grand Crossing (3rd) District station, 7040 S. Cottage Grove Ave., dressed in a Chicago police uniform, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. The boy, who reported for duty about 1:30 p.m., partnered with another police officer for about five hours.
The boy identified himself as an officer from another district but was detailed for the day to Grand Crossing and also was savvy enough to sign out a police radio and a ticket book, according to a source. The source also said the boy went on traffic stops with the officer he went on the street with.
Bond said the boy "did not write tickets" and said there was "no information to indicate that he [was] ever behind the wheel."
Jon Favreau, you remember him right? Obama's speechwriter, the guy who posed with his buddies with the cut out of Hilary Clinton. Now he has hooked up with the hottest staffer in the White House.
Favreau is dating Ali Campoverdi. Ali Campoverdi is a former model in Maxim magazine. Campoverdi modeled lingerie in Maxim, 2004. Campoverdi is no stranger to the small screen. Campoverdi had appeared in “For Love or Money” and “The Apprentice”.
Campoverdi is now working as an assistant to a deputy Chief of Staff in White House. Campoverdi was promoted as she was an intern on the presidential campaign.
Advice to Obama, no personal tours of the Oval office for her.
Two U.S. helicopters crashed Monday in northern Iraq, killing four American troops, the U.S. military said.
The military said the crash happened at about 2:15 a.m. local time and it "does not appear to be by enemy action."
No precise location was given but a military spokesman said it happened in Tamim province, which includes the oil-rich disputed city of Kirkuk.
Iraqi officials said the crash site was located about 20 miles west of Kirkuk, which is about 180 miles north of Baghdad. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release the information.
Maj. Derrick Cheng, a spokesman for U.S. forces in northern Iraq, said all the dead were Americans. He declined to give more details or release their names.
The deaths raised to at least 4,236 the number of U.S. service members who have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
The U.S. military relies heavily on helicopters and other aircraft to ferry troops, dignitaries and supplies to avoid the threat of ambushes and roadside bombs in Iraq.
At least 70 U.S. helicopters have gone down since the war started in March 2003, according to military figures. Of those, 36 were confirmed to have been shot down.
The most recent previous incident was on Nov. 15, when a helicopter that made a hard landing after hitting wires in the northern city of Mosul killed two American soldiers.
A Russian-made cargo plane chartered by FedEx also crashed in November after reporting a malfunction west of Baghdad, leaving the seven crew members dead.
The Jan. 2005 crash of a U.S. Marine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter in western Iraq claimed 31 lives — the biggest single U.S. loss of life in the Iraq war. Investigators determined the crash was not due to hostile fire.
January 25, 2009
Berlusconi made the comments in response to questions about his proposal to deploy 300,000 soldiers in the streets to fight crime. A series of violent attacks, including a rape in Rome on New Year's Eve and another outside the capital this week, have put pressure on the government to crack down on crime.
But Berlusconi said that, even in a militarized state, crimes like rape can happen. "You can't consider deploying a force that would be sufficient to prevent the risk," the ANSA and Apcom news agencies quoted him as saying. "We would have to have so many soldiers because our women are so beautiful."
Opposition lawmakers denounced the comments.
Giovanna Melandri of the opposition Democratic Party said Berlusconi's comments were "profoundly offensive," saying the pain of rape could never be joked about in such a way.
Berlusconi, in an effort to explain himself, said he was complimenting Italian women "because there are only about 100,000 people in law enforcement, while there are millions of beautiful women."
He stressed that rape was a serious and "disgraceful" crime. But he added that people should never forget a sense of "levity and good humor" whenever his comments are concerned.
Berlusconi, a billionaire media-mogul-turned politician, has a history of gaffes. He courted controversy when he compared a German politician to a Nazi camp guard and when he said, shortly after 9/11, that Western civilization was superior to Islam.
"The Gipper may be the patron saint of Limbaugh and Coulter, but he'd be amazed at what's been done in his name."By Mickey Edwards
In my mind's eye, I can see Ronald Reagan, wearing wings and a Stetson, perched on a cloud and watching all the goings-on down here in his old earthly home. Laughing, rolling his eyes and whacking his forehead over the absurdities he sees, he's watching his old political party as it twists itself into ever more complex knots, punctuated only by pauses to invoke the Gipper's name. It's been said that God would be amazed by what his followers ascribe to him; believe me, Reagan would be similarly amazed by what his most fervent admirers cite in their desire to be seen as true-blue Reaganites.
On the premise that simple is best, many Republicans have reduced their operating philosophy to two essentials: First, government is bad (it's "the problem"); second, big government is the worst and small government is better (although because government itself is bad, it may be assumed that small government is only marginally preferable). This is all errant nonsense. It is wrong in every conceivable way and violative of the Constitution, American exceptionalism, freedom, conservatism, Reaganism and common sense.
In America, government is ...
CHICAGO - Illinois' embattled governor has hired the same public relations firm that represents another much-in-the-news Illinoisan _ former suburban police sergeant Drew Peterson.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's decision to employ the Tampa, Fla.-based Publicity Agency comes amid a newly launched media blitz, which will include a Monday appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live."
"The governor has decided that he wants to speak and tell his side of the story, and he enlisted us to help," Glenn Selig, the PR firm's founder, said on Saturday.
According to an account in the New York Post, President Barack Obama yesterday told Republican leaders, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." With George W. Bush now off the stage, it may be that Obama and some of his fellow Democrats view Limbaugh, and not John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, or any other elected official, as the true leader of the Republican opposition. This morning I asked Rush for his thoughts on all this, and here is his response:
There are two things going on here. One prong of the Great Unifier's plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters and supporters by making the argument about me and not about his plan. He is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me. And who knows? Are ideological and philosophical ties enough to keep the GOP loyal to their voters? Meanwhile, the effort to foist all blame for this mess on the private sector continues unabated when most of the blame for this current debacle can be laid at the feet of the Congress and a couple of former presidents. And there is a strategic reason for this.
The report, released days before President Obama took office, says 18 former detainees are confirmed to have participated in attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.
That figure would be about 11 percent of the roughly 520 prisoners who have been released from the Guantanamo facility, which Obama on Thursday ordered be shut down.
On Friday, a Pentagon spokesman defended the integrity of the report but would not directly answer questions about where the figures come from.
"We don't make these figures up. They're not done willy-nilly," spokesman Geoff Morrell said.
Pentagon officials have said they would not discuss how the statistics were derived because of security concerns that such information could give clues to how U.S. intelligence officers collect their data.