Wednesday, August 12, 2009

LaToya Jackson & Jermaine Jackson To Join Dancing With The Stars

US Weekly Magazine has learned that LaToya Jackson has been approached to compete on the talent show and in related news, La Toya’s brother, singer-turned-reality TV star Jermaine Jackson, has also been tapped for a spot on the ninth season of Dancing With The Stars, premiering next month.

Jermaine Jackson think he shouldn't join the show, but he thinks he could win it all. It’s not as if he doesn’t know how to work an audience, he's just nervous and scare the audience won't like or vote for him on the show. If he joins the cast, this will be a steady job for him in a long time because he hasn’t had any traction with the other projects and reunion shows he’d hoped for. This will be a great opportunity if he joins the show cause once your on this show, you are guarantee to be famous and get a permanent job.

If you don't know who LaToya Jackson or Jermaine Jackson are they were Michael Jackson's brother and sister before he passed away 2 months ago.

The official cast of this season’s celebrity line up for the new Dancing With The Stars will be announce next Monday on Good Morning America.

CBS’ James Brown Conducts 1st Michael Vick Interview

In his first public interview since being convicted in 2007 for running an illegal dogfighting ring, Michael Vick will appear on “60 Minutes” this Sunday. DeMatha Catholic High School graduate and CBS’ NFL Today anchorman, James Brown conducted the interview yesterday in Virginia. Special advisor and former NFL coach, Tony Dungy along with Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the U.S. will be featured in the segment.

Cameras followed the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback as he returned to Atlanta Saturday to speak with at-risk youths at the New Life Community Center about the tragedy of dogfighting.

“He said he did wrong,” Stanley Jones (17) told the Associated Press. “Now he’s trying to come up with a smarter way to help the whole community, for young people like us, to make a change…It seemed like it came from the heart. I heard him saying something about how he came from the same (sort of) neighborhood that we did. He said he had only one dream, and he messed up that whole dream.”

What should we expect from Pedro Martinez?

The Phillies have made accommodations for the three-time Cy Young winner by bumping Jamie Moyer to the bullpen. Will it work?

Somewhere, a legion of Mets fans is taking bets on how long it will take for Pedro Martinez to break down. One start? Two? The entire situation is debatable at best, but if the Phils were going to try this – an inevitability since the moment Pedro put ink to paper – now is the time to do it. I said all along the Phils can afford to experiment with one of their rotation slots. There's time to decide whether Pedro can help, with eyes on October. Actually, if you want to get technical, there's enough time for the Pedro experiment to fail and add even more pitching via waivers before the Sept. 1 deadline. That said, I’m still uncertain whether Moyer’s performance this season warranted this switch. Moyer at least kept them in ballgames most of the time. Here, they’re swapping a 79 ERA+ with a guy who had a 75 ERA+ last season and hasn't pitched in the majors since Sept. 25.

In the spirit of objectivity, setting this poll on a nice, even axis, I give Pedro a 50/50 shot of being better than Moyer. It's hard to imagine Pedro lasting a full seven innings. In 20 starts last season, going 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA, he lasted seven innings just twice. But at the same time, it's hard to picture Pedro surrendering 11 hits in five-plus innings, the way Moyer did on Sunday.

Meanwhile, I don't see Moyer's new role as anything more than a backup plan for Pedro. He's not going to be used in any difference-making way out of the pen. The Phils have two double-header dates in September and there's a good chance Moyer will reemerge for those. Even still, the Phils appear to be bending over backwards to some degree, just to accommodate Pedro.

Man held in California toll bridge shooting

A man suspected of gunning down his girlfriend and another person at the entrance to a busy San Francisco Bay toll bridge was arrested after an overnight manhunt, police said Wednesday.

California Highway Patrol officers arrested Nathaniel Burris, 46, around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday in Placer County, about 120 miles northeast of the shooting at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza. Authorities said Burris was sleeping in an airport shuttle van, but drove off after CHP officers approached and surrendered after a short chase.

Burris was booked into Placer County Jail on two counts of murder.

He's suspected of being the driver who opened fire with a shotgun around 6 p.m. Tuesday, killing his girlfriend, Deborah Ross, who was a 51-year-old California Department of Transportation toll booth collector, and 58-year-old Ersie Charles Everett, who was sitting in his truck in the toll plaza parking lot.

Ross and Burris shared a house in Richmond, and neighbors said the two had been having financial problems.

Everett also was a state transportation employee and had driven Ross to work Tuesday, authorities said. Richmond police said they're looking into the relationship between the victims.

Witnesses said a man used the butt of a shotgun to shatter the window of the No. 3 toll booth, then fired at least three times before fleeing in the van. Officers found Ross' body inside the booth. Patrol Sgt. Trent Cross described the scene as "horrific."

The bridge over the northern portion of San Francisco Bay connects well-to-do Marin County with Richmond and other East Bay suburbs.

Iglesias: ‘This confirms my worst nightmares’

Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias told Newsweek that the new e-mails released related to the controversial 2006 firings of U.S. Attorneys across the nation, including himself, “There were improper and potentially illegal — as in criminally illegal — reasons for my removal.”

That’s pretty much the same thing Iglesias, once a rising star in the state Republican Party, said to NMI’s Heath Haussamen.

Iglesias also told the magazine that the revelations “confirm[ed] my worst nightmares.”

Iglesias says that the new documents show that Rove was more than a mere “conduit” as he called himself in House Judiciary Committee hearings last month.

Republican Lamar Smith, the ranking Republican member on the Judiciary Committee, however, said that such talk is unfounded. “Despite all evidence to the contrary, House Democrats continue to falsely accuse former Bush administration official Karl Rove of wrongdoing in the dismissal of several U.S. Attorneys,” Smith said in a statement to Newsweek.

Young, Black and Gay Politician Makes Run for Congress

A two-tour veteran of the Iraq War and graduate of West Point and Harvard University, Anthony Woods, 29, enjoys a solid resume that would make him a good candidate for public office.

But if you have heard of Woods, who is seeking election to Congress from California's 10th House District, it likely has little to do with his impressive credentials.

Woods has gained notoriety because he is the first openly gay black man to run for Congress.

His run for office has drawn parallels to the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to a public office in California. In 1978, Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back.

Woods informed military commanders that he was gay and received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army on the grounds of "moral and professional dereliction" under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Woods opposes the policy, created by the Clinton White House in 1993.

While Woods makes little to no mention of his sexual orientation on his campaign Web site, he has support from the gay community. Both the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund have endorsed him, calling him a potential advocate for gay, lesbian and transgender issues in the Congress.

It would be a shame if Woods' sexual preference overshadows his political stance on important topics facing the nation, such as balancing the federal budget and health care and immigration reform.

Ultimately, what will mark Woods as a success will have far more to do with his political savvy, maturity and ability to serve constituents than who he sleeps with.

At this point, he is considered a long shot in the high-profiled contest, which includes California's Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, state Sen. Mark James DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan.

The election will replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who is leaving Congress to become undersecretary of state for arms control and international security in the Obama administration.

A multiparty primary election is scheduled for Sept. 1. If no candidate receives at least 51 percent of the vote, a run-off general election will be held Nov. 3 to decide the winner.

Existing home sales fell in second quarter: NAR

(MarketWatch) -- Total existing home sales in the U.S., including single-family houses and condos, fell 2.9% in the second quarter from the year-earlier period, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Sales rose 3.8% from the first quarter, the realtors group said. "With low interest rates, lower home prices and a first-time buyer tax credit, we've been seeing healthy increases in home sales, which are a hopeful sign for the economy," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Report Says Anti-Government Militia Groups Could Grow Rapidly

These groups garnered a lot of attention after the Oklahoma bombing in 1995. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and they were pushed into the background. But with a bad economy and an African American president, don’t be surprised to see a resurgence.

Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.

The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the public debate about illegal immigration.

Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most growth he’s seen in more than a decade.

Blogger in Virginia arrested for posts on local drug enforcement police

Elisha Strom’s final blog post on I HeArTE JADE was published on July 9. It was headed “Uh-oh” and the entire post consisted of “they’re here.” The Jefferson, VA woman was arrested and jailed remains behind bars for blogging about the local drug enforcement task force, which she had described as “nothing more than a group of arrogant thugs.” Strom was charged of identifying a police officer with intent to harass, a felony. The blog certainly identify a number of police. There is, however, no convincing evidence of intent to harrass, or otherwise incite anyone to do anything.

“Elisha Strom’s obscure blog I HeArTE JADE may not have had much traffic when her posts on the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement– JADE– task force recently landed her jail,” writes Dave McNair on The Hook. “But today’s Washington Post editorial should cure that.”

Looking at Elisha’s blog it doesn’t appear that anything exists that is not easily accessable in the public domain by anyone in Jefferson, VA. The sidebar of the blog contains a collection of photos under the heading “Meet The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement (JADE) Task Force.”

As the Post editorial points out: “Ms. Strom is not the most sympathetic symbol of free-speech rights. She has previously advocated creating a separate, all-white nation, and her blog veers from the whimsical to the self-righteous to the bizarre. But the real problem here is the Virginia statute, in which an overly broad, ill-defined ban on harassment-by-identification, specifically in regard to police officers, seems to criminalize just about anything that might irritate targets.”

Let’s add one more graph to that. Totally sympathetic symbols of free-spech rights are fewand far between. Most people don’t get into trouble in the U.S. for saying things that the majority doesn’t have a problem with. Free speech laaws have by in large been strengthened for the common good through tests in cases surrounding those on the fringe or prone to expressing topics considered extreme.

Looking at the content of Elisha’s blog, it is apparent that she had no inside information and divulged nothing that a person with the available public resources and some time couldn’t have done. None of the posts contain content that could be deemed as inciting violence and some of them seem to be very straightforward accounts of local arrests, though possibly with some sympathy for the arrested, which there is no law against.

At one point she must have decided this was worth pointing out, as she writes:

“All personally identifying information on this site discovered utilizing resources readily available to the general public. All publicly-obtainable court documents, media reports, and any content of similar nature, provided herein or linked to were pre-published elsewhere by parties other than myself. General images along with my personal photographs are garnered via publicly accessible sources through legal means. The purpose for republishing or otherwise publicizing the information is simply to support the content contained herein.”

Nothing on Elisha’s blog is unprotected by the First Amendment. Local police probably did far more damage to their supposed undercover efforts by arresting this 34-year-old mom and bringing her blog a lot more public attention than it ever would have otherwise received.

C-Murder Gets Convicted!!!

There is an interesting murder conviction out of Louisiana where Rapper Corey “C-Murder” Miller was found guilty of second-degree murder — but after a series of bizarre problems in the jury room. When the jury first delivered a guilty verdict in the case in the murder of Steve Thomas, 16, it was rejected by Judge Hans Liljeberg due to an account that a juror voted guilty to simply get out of continued jury duty. Yet, he accepted a second guilty verdict a few hours later –even after complaints about a juror who was sleeping and quoting from the Bible (and had asked to be relieved of juror duty).

The vote of 10-2 is sufficient in Louisiana for a second degree murder conviction. Defense attorney Ron Rakosky accused Liljeberg of pressuring a guilty verdict with his orders, but Liljeberg denied the motion for a mistrial. He also denied an earlier request from the juror acting strangely to be relieved from the jury — despite her sleeping and quoting from the Bible.

Previously, Liljeberg refused to recuse himself, here.

Of course, taking a client into a murder case with the name of “C-Murder” is not the easiest task. He insisted that it simply referred to his seeing murder as opposed to committing murder. C-Murder has released various albums and songs, including the popular and prophetic “Trapped in Crime.” At least, he was not implicated by the lyrics of his own rap songs, here.

He was previously found guilty of beating and shooting Thomas (a fan at a nightclub) but the conviction was thrown out after the court found that prosecutors had withheld evidence in the case. There is no record of the Jefferson Parish prosecutors being punished for the alleged misconduct.

Shocker! Little Girl Who Asked Obama Question at New Hampshire Town Hall Was a Plant

Today's Hope and Change...
Figures. Julia Hall from Malden MA, the little girl who asked Obama a question today at his town hall meeting, was a plant.

Michelle Malkin has a report on Kathleen and her daughter Julia. Kathleen met with First Lady Michelle, Joe Biden & O's daughters.

Mark in New Hamshire at AR15 reported:

The second person "randomly" selected to ask a question was a young girl called Julia Hall from Malden MA (asks question at 29m:25s).

Julia read the following question off a piece of paper: "As I was walking in I saw a lot of signs outside saying mean things about reforming healthcare. How do kids know what is true and why do people want a new system that can help more of us".

This randomly asked question gave Obama the perfect opportunity to dismiss talk about "death panels that will pull the plug on Grandma" and to blame Republicans for everything.

Over on the town hall comments thread AtomicPunk09 discovered someone on facebook who might possibly be Julia's mother and had a photo of her with Obama.

Another "coincidence" is that Julia said she lives in Malden MA and Kathleen Manning Hall's campaign contributions list the occupation "Legal Asst, Looney and Grossman LLP" and a home address in Malden MA, via the Huffington Post donation's page.

Looks like she donated $636 to Obama in 2008.

But wait, there's more at City Data.

This lists donations to Obama of $230 on 6/15/07, $250 on 9/28/07, $500 on 9/30/07, $300 on 3/2/08.

Here's another shot of Julia's mother Kathleen at an Obama Inaugural event:

Anti-health-care loon says Stephen Hawking wouldn't stand a chance under British health care system

From Dispatches From the Culture Wars' "Dumbass Quote of the Day" file, an anti-health-care op-ed that says that Stephen Hawking wouldn't get any health care in the UK because our "socialist" system doesn't value the lives of disabled people. As Culture Wars notes, "Stephen Hawking was born and raised in the UK and has lived there all his life. He teaches at Cambridge. That's in the UK. This ranks up there with the French not having a word for entrepreneur."

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

What’s Rick Pitino Going To Do Now?

As Brooks mentioned late last night, the LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL is reporting that Rick Pitino admitted to police that he had sex with Karen Sypher, the woman he has accused of extortion, then paid her $3,000 to get an abortion when she became pregnant. All of this happened back in 2003, and the reasons behind his case against her have become much clearer: she demanded $10 million, among other things, to keep quiet about all of it. He wasn’t having any of that, and went to the FBI about it.

Sypher fired back with a rape charge against Pitino, saying that the liaison that led to her pregnancy was an assault, and not a consensual incident. Pitino was never charged with anything because Sypher’s story is full of holes and she could offer no evidence of such an assault (in fact, she went on to marry Louisville’s equipment manager, Tim Sypher, ensuring that she would be spending more time around Pitino).

So now what for Pitino? His lawyer says he’s not making any public statements until the trial, but this is a pretty large matzo ball just hanging out there now. There’s not much else going in Louisville other than this, so it’s just going to keep building and building. How can the guy be an effective coach at this point?

I won’t try and recount the entire COURIER-JOURNAL story here (however, it’s well worth your time to read it), but I will mention a few things that have stood out for me since taking some time to digest everything:

1. Brooks noted months ago that it was curious that ESPN used Pat Forde to report on the situation originally, considering the fact that Forde is a Louisville resident who co-authored a book with Pitino last year. Well, the WWL obviously hasn’t reconsidered that decision, as they trotted him back out last night to comment on the situation on ESPNEWS. Forde was presented simply as an “ESPN.COM senior writer,” and no mention was made on the air of his personal ties to Pitino. Predictably, Forde tried to downplay the latest revelations and focused mostly on emphasizing Sypher’s legal troubles. He admitted that Pitino was in an uncomfortable spot now, but stopped well short of saying anything critical of the coach.

(Where’s Cossack or Munson?)

1A. If Sypher filed a civil suit against Pitino for allegedly raping her, would ESPN find that worthy of coverage?

2. We don’t know for sure that this was Pitino’s kid, right? Pitino says he would request a paternity test if she decided to have the kid, but she opted for an abortion instead. She then accepted $3,000 from him for the procedure. She clearly had the abortion, but isn’t it possible that she went to Pitino for the money because she knew he would pay up? He says she told him that she hadn’t had sex with anyone else in months, but she hasn’t appeared to be entirely trustworthy here.

3. Pitino says that he and Karen Sypher met at Tim Sypher’s condo (she and Tim didn’t know each other at the time) to talk about the pregnancy and figure out what to do. Now, knowing what was going on, what on earth would make Tim go “you know what, I think I need to get aboard the Karen train”? Shockingly, the Syphers are now estranged.

4. UL president Tom Jurich is quoted as saying that Pitino “has been truthful about this matter with us all along.” Does that mean the school has known all of these details for six years? If not, when did they find out? Was there any sort of off-the-record punishment for this? Some coaches have gotten canned for drinking beer at a frat party, so I can’t imagine that UL would’ve taken too kindly to their married coach impregnating a woman at a restaurant.

5. Pitino isn’t in any sort of trouble legally, but as this drags on in court it’s going to be a huge distraction. Was that a consideration in bringing Ralph Willard over from Holy Cross to be his new lead assistant? Willard’s exactly the kind of guy who could step in on an interim basis if Pitino decides to either take time off or step down altogether. Pitino actually had a possible way out of Louisville a few months ago when the Sacramento Kings were looking for a new coach, but he decided to stick around.

Karen Sypher Photos: Rick Pitino Adultery & Abortion Case

Karen Cunagin Sypher accused Rick Pitino of assault, rape and offering her money to have an abortion, while the University of Louisville basketball coach claims the sex was consensual and accuses Karen of extortion.

The classy lady asked for money in exchange for her silence (read Rick Pitino Extortion Case Details). Coach Rick Pitino’s wife Joanne Pitino has kept quiet about this case and Rick will not be giving interviews and will try to solve the case privately, according to his lawyer Steve Pence.

U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich said in a statement Tuesday that “Coach Pitino has been truthful with us about this matter all along and we stand by him and his family during this process.”

University President James Ramsey released a statement Tuesday night saying: “Several months ago Coach Pitino informed me about the alleged extortion attempt. I’ve now been informed that there may be other details which, if true, I find surprising. My thoughts are with Coach Pitino and his family.”

House judiciary committee releases Karl Rove transcripts

Former George W. Bush senior advisor Karl Rove spoke to the House Judiciary Committee in July and now the committee has released the transcripts of his testimony as well as that of former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harriet Miers.

So we at NMI are looking for your help at looking through the transcripts and highlighting parts that may have to do with former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

The Washington Post reported this afternoon on the firing of Iglesias.

From the Washington Post:

A campaign to oust Iglesias intensified after state party officials and GOP members of the congressional delegation apparently concluded he was not pursuing the cases against Democrats in a way that would help then- Rep. Heather Wilson in a tight reelection race, according to interviews and Bush White House e-mails released Tuesday by congressional investigators. The documents place the genesis of Iglesias’s dismissal earlier than previously known.

What is in the documents that would prove or disprove these allegations? Help us out in the comments below.

Sotomayor grateful to nation for unlikely rise

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court's newest member and first Hispanic, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, has spoken emotionally about her ascension to the high court.

Sotomayor addressed a White House audience Wednesday celebrating her swearing-in over the weekend. She mentioned her modest background and her gratitude to the country for rising so far. She said that it is "our nation's faith in a more perfect union that allows a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx to stand here now."

That line earned her huge applause and a standing ovation from the audience of family, friends, Hispanic community leaders, lawmakers, fellow Supreme Court justices and others.

Sotomayor said she was struck "by the wonder of my own life and the life we in America are so privileged to lead."

Jackson tribute in Vienna set for Sept. 26

VIENNA — A global tribute to Michael Jackson on the grounds of a 17th century palace in Vienna will be held Sept. 26, and Jackson's brother Jermaine will announce the concert lineup soon, organizers said Wednesday.

World Awards Media GmbH, the event promoters, said Jermaine Jackson would unveil details at a Vienna news conference later this month.

The promoters said in a statement they were working "briskly" to line up major entertainers and a network to broadcast the event live. They said Vienna agreed to be a partner "in this singularly worldwide event."

On Tuesday, World Media Awards chief Georg Kindel told The Associated Press the tribute was expected to run three hours and feature about 10 top artists performing 15 to 20 Jackson hits. They would perform on a crown-shaped stage to be built in front of Vienna's Schoenbrunn Palace.

Kindel said Jackson family members and unidentified Hollywood stars also would honor Jackson as images and video clips were screened.

Last week, Jermaine Jackson said Vienna was chosen as the venue because his brother "loved castles."

Many fans had expected the tribute to be staged in London, where the pop star had been booked to begin performing a marathon of concerts shortly after his June 25 death in Los Angeles.

Renate Brauner, Vienna's deputy mayor, said the city is thrilled to play host to "this high-carat, internationally sensational event."

Austrian media have reported that Madonna, U2, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston might be among the performers. Kindel declined to confirm those reports and stressed that Jermaine Jackson is still assembling the lineup.

Tickets are expected to go on sale Aug. 20.

Organizers envision standing room for about 85,000 people on the sculpted grounds of Schoenbrunn, a former imperial palace, and grandstands to accommodate 5,000 VIP guests.