Monday, May 31, 2010
So, instead of constantly cursing the darkness, why not have the audacity to light a candle? Now of course I’m being rhetorical, but the larger point I’m making is rather straightforward. We have to be frank and state unequivocally that people are far too concerned about complaining about gang violence but are lax in nurturing their own children and making sure their homes are in order. If we tend to our families and homes with love and care, they will be less susceptible to the whims of gangs and other fringe groups. We need to stop railing against the local police department for what they are not doing and instead have the guts to speak out and tell the truth about the wrongdoing we witness everyday in our community. This ‘no snitching’ philosophy is cowardly and sends a message to gangs in the area that they somehow have a blank check to do as they please. This must be abruptly curtailed. Moreover, why in the world do so many moan and groan about the streets being cluttered with debris and other rubbish when no one has thought of taking one Saturday afternoon to ask your neighbors if they want to get together and help clean their respective blocks. Where is the courage, the moral outrage??? It seems as though it’s nowhere to be found. However, don’t get me wrong, the onus should not rest merely on one particular sector of the city. Improving Trenton involves a collective effort on the part of all of us. You don’t have to be a mayor, councilperson, or what have you to make a difference. All of us can make a difference in our own unique way. Stop making those tired excuses and start redirecting that energy into planting those precious seeds of righteousness so that the dark cloud of moral and spiritual malnutrition may be overcome. Now is not the time for political apathy and civic disengagement, now is the time for bold action. Will you join me on this difficult yet exhilarating journey to improve our broken yet repairable world? The choice is yours.
by Anwar Salandy
Sunday, May 30, 2010
As Mike and Colleen clash, first behind the scenes and then on the air, Becky’s blossoming love affair with fellow producer, Adam Bennett (Wilson) begins to unravel and soon Becky is struggling to save her relationship, her reputation, her job and ultimately, the show itself. Please watch Morning Glory Trailer below.
You can see her in different stockings and lacy lingerie pictures below after the jump.
At least from the pictures, it looks like the clothing line is targeted at the young ladies who kinda like to wear peppy clothes. Watch Beyonce C&A Pictures below after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
New Black Panther Party, Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, persists despite controversy.
The New Black Panther Party has been embroiled in a battle between Republican Congressmen and the U.S. Department Of Justice battle over a ”voter intimidation” scandal for the last 18 months. During these 18 months right wing and Republican Newspaper and Electronic media have gone to exhaustive lengths to discredit and slander the New Black Panther Party and its Chairman and Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz.
Despite the controversy the New Black Panther Party continues to grow and expand. The National Black Power Conventions impressive lineup of guests and organizations is a testimony that the New Black Panthers Leadership has support in wide circles in the Black Community, particularly amongst grassroots organizers and entertainers.
“With the rise of the Tea Party, the white-right and other racist forces. With gun sales nationwide at an all time high amongst whites, with a mood that is more anti-Black than any time recent, it is imperative that we organize our forces, pool our resources and prepare for war!” Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, Esq. Convention Convener and Party Chairman.
They mean that figuratively speaking, right? right????
“This Years Convention will be better than ever because of the quality of presenters and the depth of the workshops and speakers.” Minister Hashim Nzinga, Convention Co-Convener and Party Chief of Staff.
Keynote speakers will be Malik Zulu Shabazz and Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
Premier Wen Jiabao's comments came at the end of a weekend summit in South Korea where he was closely watched for signs that Beijing would get tougher on the North, which is accused of sinking the naval ship Cheonan with a torpedo two months ago, killing 46 sailors.
North Korea has repeatedly denied attacking the ship, and on Sunday tens of thousands of people packed the main square in Pyongyang, the nation's capital, for a rally condemning South Korea and the U.S. The isolated North often organizes such events during times of tense relations with foreign countries.
Clapping and pumping their fists in the air, the protesters shouted anti-South Korean slogans, held signs and carried a huge portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, according to video footage from APTN in North Korea.
"Because of the South Korean war-loving, mad puppets and American invaders, the North and South relationship is being driven to a catastrophe," Choi Yong Rim, secretary of the North Korean Workers Party in Pyongyang, told the crowd.
Wen joined the leaders of South Korea and Japan at the two-day summit, which was to focus on economic issues but was overshadowed by the sinking of the Cheonan, one of the South's worst military losses since the Korean War in the 1950s.
At a closing news conference, Wen gave no clear indication that Beijing was ready to endorse South Korea's plans to bring North Korea before the U.N. Security Council for sanctions or condemnation. China's backing would be key because it wields veto power at the Security Council as a permanent member.
The Center is interested in putting people to work in the Gulf to assist in cleaning the beaches and marshes, but we want to assure that anyone working with us will be protected from exposures that could threaten their health.The Obama administration is concerned about potential health and safety problems posed by the oil spill, particularly health threats to oil clean up workers. The Labor Department has experessed concerns about its inability to force BP to respond to them. An assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health raised concerns the day before seven oil spill workers on boats off the coast of Louisiana were hospitalized after they experienced nausea, dizziness and headaches. A memo states:
"The organizational systems that BP currently has in place, particularly those related to worker safety and health training, protective equipment, and site monitoring, are not adequate for the current situation or the projected increase in cleanup operations...these are not isolated problems. They appear to be indicative of a general systemic failure on BP's part, to ensure the safety and health of those responding to this disaster. BP has also not been forthcoming with basic, but critical, safety and health information on injuries and exposures."The Department of Labor is also coming under fire for not being aggressive enough in monitoring BP or the contractors who are providing oil spill cleanup training.The OSHA memo raised several significant concerns, including:
- Lack of sufficient control over work sites. May 20: the agency found more than 800 workers at one of the Biloxi, Miss., sites without the required training.- Difficulty in obtaining adequate and timely data from BP on injuries and illness, chemical sampling, monitoring data and training materials.- Concerns that BP's manager of workplace safety "does not appear to operate with the full support of the company, nor does he seem to have the authority necessary for the job which he has been tasked."The Labor Department memo suggest that: BP place someone in this position who has the authority and the ability to make changes expediently in order to address the safety and health of cleanup workers."
President Obama Inpsect Oil BallsIt is being reported that most workers are getting only the minimum hazardous-material training required, which is four hours. That's because OSHA has chosen to apply training standards that date back to soon after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. While experts agree that the level of exposure is lower than federal safety standards, they say that what little data that has been released provides more questions than answers. (KansasCity.com, McClatchy Newspapers, 5/28/10)
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Gregory Steven Hart, who operated HTMLcomics and five similar pirate websites.
The complaint asks for a federal judge to order Hart to forfeit the domain names of the sites -- among them, HTMLcomics.com, ComicBooksFree.com and PlayboyMonthly.com -- which the government says were used to commit criminal copyright infringement.
HTMLcomics hosted more than 100,000 copyrighted titles, from Batman and The Amazing Spider-Man to Hellboy and Dilbert. Hart had asserted that because the comics couldn't be downloaded, the website was legal and "like a lending library." He reportedly told his attorney the site received up to 500,000 hits a day.
In April the FBI searched Hart's home in Tampa, Florida, seizing records, hard drives, computers and DVDs containing copyrighted images. The raid followed an investigation spurred by a consortium of publishers and copyright owners, including Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse, Bongo Comics, Archie Comics, Conan Properties International, Mirage Studios and United Media.
Hart claimed as recently as December that he had spoken with Marvel representatives, and "all is good." "Our approach is not distribution," he wrote on a comics forum, "hence the reason we've been around for over a year, and will be around for a long time to come. Google is using our site as a reference of how to create an online library, and not violate copyright laws."
However, according to the lawsuit, Marvel and other companies sent letters to Hart demanding that he remove their publications from the site. Curiously, Hart reportedly said that if no publisher agreed to a revenue-sharing arrangement, he would continue to operate the site without charging users.
At the time of the HTMLcomics shutdown, Hart had more than 6 million pages from some 5,700 separate series.
With the Lakers having thunderous momentum leading into Game 6 following their nail-biting Game 5 win, Kobe and Ron Artest took control of the game in all four quarters of play. While the Suns were able to rally in 16-2 run after an (obviously intentional) flagrant foul by Sasha Vujacic to Goran Dragic, the Suns cut the 17-point lead down to five but failed to close the deal because of ONE man: Kobe Bryant.
With Kobe at the helm, he took THREE super-tough shots in the remaining two minutes against excellent Phoenix defense and banked every single one causing Phoenix to resort to fouling at the end of the 4th quarter. With no other Hail Mary play’s left, Phoenix folds and goes home a bunch of OLD and decrepit LOSERS. Now onto Boston! GO LAKERS!!!!
Oh, and just to add insult to injury to all you Phoenix fans, here’s the video of Ron Artest’s game-winning shot at the end of Game 5 that sealed the Suns’ doom.
It’s been a busy month in Major League Baseball….for perfect games. Roy Halladay’s perfect game was only the 20th perfect game in history but ironically the 2nd this month. Halladay bested the Florida Marlins 1-0 in route to MLB history.
Oakland’s Dallas Braden pitched a perfect game earlier this month against Tampa Bay and now with Roy Halladay’s perfect game it’s the first time that two have been pitched in the same season in the modern era. Braden was and is a virtual unknown in the game. Roy Halladay is a former Cy Young Award winner in the American League.
Halladay is a 33 year old hard throwing right hander who spent the first 11 years of his career in the AL with the Toronto Blue Jays where he won the 2003 Cy Young Award. Halladay was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 2009 season.
Halladay, usually a strikeout pitcher, was no different tonight against Florida. He struck out 11 of the 27 straight that he sat down. The game was played in South Florida but he won over the 25,000 plus fans who cheered him on as they recognized they were witnessing history.
An interesting fact about Halladay is that in his 2nd career start in 1998 he had a near no hitter broken up with two outs in the 9th inning. He went on to win the game for his first career win. There would be no late inning heroics for the Marlins today though as Roy Halladay’s perfect game was completed.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Evans and Jackson were coaches on the least season of the Ultimate Fighter and the escalating animosity between them was there for all to see. The idea was that the two coaches should meet in a light heavyweight showdown once the series had concluded but instead Jackson surprisingly announced his retirement from MMA.
Frustrated fight fans wishing to see the two settle their differences in the Octagon will finally get their wish at UFC 114. It is an intriguing match up between two fighters who despite their very public differences share obvious similarities.
Both are former light heavyweight champions, both have only been beaten once in the UFC and both come from a wrestling background. Both men are good with their hands and both hold first round knockouts over former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.
Jackson is not renowned for his submissions but is more than competent on the ground. Despite having been recently awarded a BJJ black belt Evans has never won a professional MMA match by submission. Jackson appeared particularly susceptible to low kicks in his loss to Forrest Griffin. This is one aspect of his game which Evans may look to exploit but he may be reluctant to throw too many kicks for fear of being taken down.
Unless either man has a major surprise in store it is likely that the game plan for both will be to either finish the fight with a big right hand or impress the judges with a series of eye catching take down. With a huge amount of pride at stake, as well as a shot at newly crowned light heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, this is a fight fit to headline any UFC card.
While the headliners may be motivated by their dislike for one another Dan Miller and Michael Bisping should need no more motivation then the knowledge that they will be fighting for their UFC futures in this middleweight clash. Both men have lost two out of their last three fights and another loss would do serious damage to their chances or long term survival in the UFC. Bisping’s profile is sufficiently high that the UFC will be reluctant to cut him too quickly but three losses out of four would leave him in a very precarious position. A third consecutive defeat would almost certainly spell the end of Miller’s UFC career.
Miller is a BJJ black belt and will be looking for a submission win. Bisping is a well rounded fighter whose only losses have been to the very best in the business, Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson and most recently Wanderlei Silva. He bounced back from both his previous losses and will be looking to get back on track after a disappointing decision loss to Silva. Bisping will be looking to utilize his stand up whereas Miller will be desperate to take the fight to the floor which should make for an interesting clash of styles.
Recent heavyweight arrivals Todd Duffee and Mike Russow find themselves surprisingly high up the card. Although a newcomer to the UFC Russow is a veteran of 14 MMA fights and will be looking to make a name for himself by making it two UFC wins out of two. Duffee is still something on an unknown quantity having won his first fight by knock out only seven seconds into the opening round. An impressive win could potentially catapault either man up the rankings in a division which currently lacks a little depth.
A couple of more established fighters will also be in action. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira stepped out of the shadow of his elder brother, former heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, in spectacular style knocking out Luiz Cane in the very first round of his UFC debut.
He looks an outstanding prospect in a division dominated by Brazilians and will be expected to easily overcome the challenge of Jason Brilz. A late replacement for the injured Forrest Griffin, Brilz is a wrestler who has won three out of his four UFC fights. Nogueira is an excellent boxer and will be looking for another early knock. He is also a BJJ black belt and even if Brilz can take him down he will be very comfortable fighting off his back. It would represent a major surprise if Brilz can stop ‘little Nog’ from rising further up the light heavyweight rankings.
Diego Sanchez has decided to vacate the lightweight division after a vicious beating at the hands of BJ Penn. He returns to the welterweight division to face unbeaten Englishman John Hathaway. It will be by far the toughest test of Hathaway’s career with Sanchez expected to make an immediate return to winning ways.
UFC 114 is an enticing concoction of veterans with a point to prove and up and coming fighters with nothing to lose. The highlight will undoubtedly be the long awaited clash between Evans and Jackson. These two have not been shy about expressing their dislike for one another and now it is time for them to let their fists and feet do the talking.
Jamaican police say 73 people have been killed since authorities launched an assault Sunday for an alleged drug lord wanted by the United States.
Authorities announced the increased death toll Thursday.
The outbreak of violence was triggered when the Jamaican government moved to extradite Christopher "Dudus" Coke. He is wanted in the United States for alleged cocaine and arms trafficking.
Read more ....
Like many middle-class families, Cortney Munna and her mother began the college selection process with a grim determination. They would do whatever they could to get Cortney into the best possible college, and they maintained a blind faith that the investment would be worth it.
Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from her four years in college, and affording the full monthly payments would be a struggle. For much of the time since her 2005 graduation, she's been enrolled in night school, which allows her to defer loan payments.
This is not a long-term solution, because the interest on the loans continues to pile up. So in an eerie echo of the mortgage crisis, tens of thousands of people like Ms. Munna are facing a reckoning. They and their families made borrowing decisions based more on emotion than reason, much as subprime borrowers assumed the value of their houses would always go up.
Meanwhile, universities like N.Y.U. enrolled students without asking many questions about whether they could afford a $50,000 annual tuition bill. Then the colleges introduced the students to lenders who underwrote big loans without any idea of what the students might earn someday -- just like the mortgage lenders who didn't ask borrowers to verify their incomes.
Columnist Ron Lieber adds:
It is utterly depressing that there are so many people like her facing decades of payments, limited capacity to buy a home and a debt burden that can repel potential life partners. For starters, it's a shared failure of parenting and loan underwriting.
But perhaps the biggest share lies with colleges and universities because they have the most knowledge of the financial aid process. And I would argue that they had an obligation to counsel students like Ms. Munna, who got in too far over their heads.
I've written before here about how when I was preparing for college in 1984, I had stars in my eyes about Georgetown. My father pointed out that we couldn't afford it. No problem, I told him, I'll apply for student loans. He put the smackdown on that idea, saying it was foolish to go heavily into debt for an undergraduate degree. I thought he was a mean old bastard. I ended up at LSU on scholarship. It was one of the greatest things my dad ever did for me: giving me the gift of graduating without the burden of student loan debt. I can't tell you what an impression that made on me, and how grateful I am for it. And it has made me radically re-evaluate the advice the follow-your-bliss a respected English professor gave me when I was an undergraduate. I didn't take it -- I thought my bliss then was a philosophy degree -- because I was fortunate enough to discover a love of and a talent for journalism. Still, while I understand where that professor was coming from, that kind of advice borders on malpractice. Professors, like the college loan officers cited in Lieber's column, seem to feel their responsibilities end at keeping the system running, no matter what the ultimate cost in indebtedness and poor job prospects to the undergraduates.
When my niece Hannah was here last week, I listened to her dreams for college, and told her the story of how Pawpaw once seemed like a cruel crusher of my college dreams, with his stingy bean-counting -- but how I later understood that he had made for me an extremely wise choice, one I was incapable of making because I was thinking emotionally, and receiving enabling advice from people who had the same emotional orientation toward higher education that I did (e.g., there's no such thing as paying too much for a top-quality education). I don't know if any of it sank in; I'd be surprised if it did. So it may well fall to her parents to be spited for a few years, then thanked profusely later, once Hannah gets into the dreaded Real World, and grasps how much a big student loan load would straitjacket her future and freedom of movement.
"All I could see was college, and a good college and how proud I was of her," [Cortney Munna's mom] Cathryn said. "All we needed to do was get this education and get the good job. This is the thing that eats away at me, the naïveté on my part."
By Rod Dreher
The president is in Chicago with his family for a few days over the Memorial Day weekend.
Obama left his home in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Saturday morning and arrived at the University of Chicago Lab School to play basketball.
He wore a Chicago White Sox cap — they’re his favorite baseball team.
His daughters, Malia and Sasha, attended the Lab School when the family lived in Chicago.
On Saturday, seven ships from a “Freedom Flotilla”, bringing aid, will try and reach Gaza. It will be met by at least 12 Israeli naval boats, helicopters, and a “counter-flotilla”.
On Friday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced the flotilla:
The aid convoy is violent propaganda against Israel, and Israel will not allow its sovereignty to be threatened in any way, in any place – land, air or sea.
There is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Despite Hamas’ war crimes against Israeli citizens and the thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns, Israel continues to respond in the most humane way possible.
Israel: “The Ideal State: A Dream-Country Without Criticism” (Levy)
Israeli gunships were ordered to take position to stop the convoy, and West Jerusalem made clear that it would overtake the ships as soon as they enter a 20-mile Israeli-controlled zone off Gaza. If the ships do not stop, Israel will attempt to connect the flotilla to naval boats and tow them to the Israeli port of Ashdod where the Israelis have prepared a detention centre. Those who do not want to take a flight back home will be taken to jail.
On Friday, Greta Berlin, one of the organizers of the effort, said a total of seven ships were headed to Gaza after an eighth vessel suffered a malfunction and had to turn back. Halting during darkness, they are expected to reach Israeli waters on Saturday.
The Israel Defense Forces responded that they will not hesitate to use limited force. The Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that the IDF will use a special technology to blackout media coverage in case of an operation.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Ministry Director General Yossi Gal held a round of explanatory calls with foreign ministers from countries whose citizens are participating in the flotilla. The Israeli message is that the activists are welcome to bring the humanitarian aid to the port of Ashdod, where it will be examined and, if found suitable, will be permitted to enter the Gaza Strip through land crossings. If the activists try to break the siege, they will be arrested.
The spokesman of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Umit Sonmez, said that the organisation does not trust Israeli officials who took the members of an earlier convoy into custody for 21 days for no reason. The HRF had written to Israeli officials regarding the planned journey to Gaza but had not received any reply.
Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, writing in Haaretz, assess:
The flotilla is not expected to alter in any substantial way the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. It is mostly a battle of public relations that is meant to strike a blow at Israel. Perhaps if Israel was less eager to confront the activists, some of the media attention would have dissipated. Had the flotilla been allowed in, Hamas would have its day, and the entire affair would evaporate quickly.
Haaretz’s editors urged the Israeli Government to resume indirect talks with Hamas, to be more flexible about releasing prisoners and to lift the siege on Gaza. They argue that blockade, siege, and military operations, with the hope that Gazans would topple Hamas, has failed: “The suffering that Israel is causing 1.5 million people for this purpose is not only inhuman, but extremely detrimental to Israel’s status around the world”.
The editors warn, “Even if Israel manages to prevent the flotilla from reaching Gaza, it will still have to contend with other demonstrations of support.”
This past week, Art Linkletter and Gary Coleman died, and this morning came news that actor Dennis Hopper has passed after a long battle with cancer:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper, best known for directing and starring in the 1969 cult classic “Easy Rider,” died Saturday at his home in Venice, California, from complications of prostate cancer, a friend told Reuters. Hopper was 74.
The hard-living screen icon died at 8:15 a.m. PDT , surrounded by family and friends, said the friend, Alex Hitz.
I always enjoyed Hopper’s on-screen presence — something about him was easy to watch no matter what the role.
Hopper was also a Hollywood rarity: A Republican since Reagan (Hopper once said that in his earlier years he was “as left as you can get without being a communist”) — but that Republican streak ended after Hopper voted for Barack Obama, reportedly because he didn’t like McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin. But that was Dennis Hopper — unpredictable, but always interesting and entertaining.
So what was your favorite Dennis Hopper role (degree of difficulty: No “Easy Rider”)? Oh I’m just kidding — we can’t possibly remove that from the mix. Put me down for his role as “Shooter” in the film Hoosiers, for which Hopper received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers
Friday, May 28, 2010
Coleman had been arrested several times in recent years for physical altercations with fans and his ex-wife.
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For those Tundra Tabloid readers who are not familiar with the Rep.Joe Sestak case, it involves the White House offering him a job to drop out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, in order for the now defeated incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter to run unapposed. Sestak made it a part of his campaign to tell of how he turned down a White House offer in order to run for the Senate. It is a crime under US law for someone to be offered anything of value in obtaining political appointment:
"Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code, Section 211, which covers "bribery, graft, and conflicts of interest. The statute imposes a fine and/or possible imprisonment on anyone who "solicits or receives ... any money or thing of value in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States."
From the comments to the video: The White House announced today that the White House investigation into wrongdoing in the White House has uncovered no evidence of White House wrongdoing.
The Grammy Award-winning R&B singer has been dating Beatz mostly on the down low until lately because he has been finalizing his divorce (last month) from his wife of four years. But with that now behind him the couple have also announced they are engaged and will be married at a private ceremony later this year. Swizz Beatz has two sons, Prince Nasir, 9, and Kasseem Jr., 3 , both from pervious relationships. This will be Keys’ first marriage.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20510
To the Members of the U.S. Congress:
While the national debt has surpassed $13 trillion this week, and the nation’s Triple-A bond rating is threatened with the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, we were disappointed to learn that Congressional leadership has decided to once again plough ahead with its deficit-spending, pay-later policies of offering unlimited guarantees to insolvent states like New York and California. This time, Congress is offering $23 billion to the states to pay for public education funding.
This comes atop $53.6 billion that was given to the states in the 2009 “stimulus” bill, and is the second time Congress has attempted to enact a $23 billion state education bailout. The first was in HR 2847, which passed the House 217-212 on December 16th, 2009 as part of a wider $154 billion bill intended to spend paid-back Trouble Asset Relief Program monies to balance state budgets.
However, HR 2847 had most of its provisions stripped out when it was finally passed in the Senate, including the $23 billion bailout. Ever since then, the White House has been desperate to have the fund included somewhere in the appropriations process to forestall unfortunate but necessary cuts in state budgets. The effort to now have it added to HR 5136, a defense appropriations bill, is just the latest attempt to payback public unions for their political loyalty to the Congressional majority.
It’s a kickback. It’s a bailout. And it’s just the sort of thing that has the American people up in arms. While citizens are tightening their belts in these tough economic times, government employees and elected officials are increasing debt, and endangering future generations with economic stagnation, inflation, greater interest rates, and higher taxes.
According to a recent USA Today story, “Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds. At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.” So, while the American people suffer, government is lining its pockets at taxpayer expense.
Americans for Limited Government urges your opposition to this failed approach, which will create an incentive for states to continue to follow the failed, insolvent policies of New York and California. Making matters worse, this bill will disincentivize the prudent path that New Jersey has taken under Governor Chris Christie’s leadership in recent months, which because of the spending freeze undertaken, New Jersey will not have to raise taxes this year to balance the budget.
We urge you to reject the New York and California plan to perpetual bailouts and deficit-spending, and instead, for the sake of taxpayers, to adopt the New Jersey plan of fiscal solvency by making the tough decisions to slash spending.
Americans for Limited Government
By Rebekah Rast
When President Reagan signed into law The Women's Business Ownership Act, H.R. 5050 in 1988, many wonderful changes began to happen to women-owned businesses.
The U.S. Census Bureau states that the number of women-owned businesses reached 6.4 million in 1992, representing one-third of all domestic firms and 40 percent of all retail and service firms. Businesses owned by women generated $1.6 trillion in business revenues and employed 13.2 million people.
Today, women are starting businesses at twice the rate of any demographic. About 23 million Americans are employed by women-owned businesses and they contribute nearly $3 trillion in economic activity.
These small businesses are what make America prosperous and profitable. With new laws being passed by this Administration on top of other policies already in place, this trend may begin to falter. Until the president turns his focus to cultivating a prosperous environment for entrepreneurs, this industry will continue to suffer and the recession will carry on.
Get full story here.
Earlier this week, FOX Business Network’s Erik Berte reported that Senator Bob Casey has proposed legislation (S. 3217) that would provide “for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.” This caused Media Matters to push back against opponents of the bill and companion legislation in the House (H.R. 3936), writing that “the bill restricts the type of pension eligible for ‘partition’ to plans that are in ‘critical status,’ not simply underfunded.”
Only, Media Matters is wrong. It cites Section 3(c) of the bill that amends Section 4233 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which does indeed define a qualified multiemployer pension plan as those in “critical status.” But it also states that those in “endangered status” that share characteristics of those in the “critical” category and meet other specific requirements are eligible for a partition bailout, too.
Get full story here.
Obama, interrupting a Memorial Day weekend trip to his Chicago home, planned to visit a beach set up with protective booms alongside Adm. Thad Allen, who is overseeing the spill response. Obama was then to travel to the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Grand Isle, La., to attend a briefing by Allen, and meet with several officials, including the governors of Louisiana, Florida and Alabama. He was spending about three hours in the region.
"I think he needs to see the folks working on the beach with the cleanup," Allen said Friday morning on CBS' "Early Show." "I think it's a real, real tough challenge, especially in the remote areas where you have marshlands involved and you can't always get there easily and the surveillance is difficult."
Allen said oil giant BP PLC had succeeded, at least temporarily, in stopping the flow of oil and gas from the well by pumping in heavy mud. "We're very encouraged by the fact they can push the mud down," Allen said. "The real question is can we sustain it."
That should become clear sometime Friday night, he said. If so, the next step would be plugging the well with cement. BP officials said Friday it would take a couple of days to know if the fix worked.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Fred Kaplan, after noting that North Korea has engaged in a number of naval skirmishes with South Korea over the past decade, takes a crack at explaining why they upped the ante and torpedoed a South Korean vessel two months ago:
Some speculate that Kim Jong-il may have planned the March 2010 attack as a show of strength, both to the Seoul government and to his own military commanders. South Korean president Lee Myung-bak had already — for good reasons — abandoned his predecessors' "sunshine policy" of outreach toward the North. Kim is also believed to be caught up in succession concerns — he is thought to be ailing and wants his youngest son, Jong Un, to be installed as his successor (just as he succeeded his own father, Kim Il-Sung) — and he may have felt a need to toughen up his image after the humiliation of last November.
....Who knows how this latest gamble will play out. Some speculate that Kim made the move, hoping that it would frighten the South Korean people into voting out Seoul's current anti-détente government in next month's elections. However, some observers think that Kim has been spoiled by the excess indulgence of the previous two administrations — not realizing that the last few years of northern belligerence have strained the patience of many southerners.
Maybe. As Kaplan says, though, "You may notice the phrases believed to be, thought to be, and may have in the previous sentence." Nobody really has anything more than a guess at this point.
China hasn’t followed South Korea, Japan and the U.S. in blaming North Korea for the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun yesterday repeated a call for “restraint” by both sides and said China had no “firsthand information” on the sinking.
China wants to avoid a conflict on the Korean peninsula, and is concerned that taking South Korea’s side may provoke North Korea into further escalations and even lead to war, said Shen Dingli, vice dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Shanghai’s Fudan University.
“North Korea is dying, and we can make things worse,” Shen said. “We have assumed North Korea is not a rational actor.”
Full article here
Posted by harbinger
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen says that the proposed DADT compromise deal allows the military to decide whether the repeal will take place at all, regardless of how Congress votes.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that he’s comfortable with proposed legislation that seeks to repeal the law that bans gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military because it includes “very clear language” that gives senior leaders the final say in whether it’s implemented. The proposed amendment, which Congress could put to a vote as soon as this week, wouldn’t immediately go into effect if passed, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told about 500 servicemembers at a town hall session here. Implementation wouldn’t take place until after a Defense Department study assessing its impact is completed, the chairman explained, and military and defense leaders get to weigh in on the findings. The review, expected to be completed by December, is progressing well, the chairman said, “but by no means is it over.” Mullen said he’s particularly interested in determining how the law’s repeal would affect “readiness, unit cohesion and our ability to do our mission.” That, he said, requires input from the people directly affected.
Yesterday Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) threw his support behind the compromise deal, but only after he secured an agreement that would delay the repeal for 60 days after a Congressional vote, during which time the president and the Pentagon will review the plan.
Posted by Joe
It's looking less and less like this will happen at all this year.
It's not just that right-wing fake-moralists lie, but that they don't give a damn about the "outrages" they rail against
The seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee? Remember, we're talking about the likes of Orrin Hatch and the utterly unspeakable Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. (Makes you wonder what the first two were like.) I feel soiled just writing a photo caption about them.
Stop the presses. Apparently this is now a story:
The seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee today called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Joe Sestak's suggestion that he was offered a White House job in exchange for dropping his (ultimately successful) challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary.
The seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee?
These are people who probably can't get through their first bathroom trip in the morning without committing actual abuse-of-power crimes, and spend every waking second when they're not actually breaking laws committing ethical outrages. In this session of Congress, truly, the performance of the seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee has been mostly directed toward the destruction of the United States government.
These are seven people pickled in unapologetic corruption and the transformation of our government into a kleptocratic bigotocracy. These are seven people who, if there were a grain of justice in the universe, would be vaporized in a microsecond. When you look up "worthless lying sack of thieving doody" in the dictionary, you find these seven thugs' pictures.
It's hardly worth even noting the spectacular hypocrisy of their make-believe dudgeon over the possible administration buy-off of Joe Sestak. Forget that, even assuming it happened, while it would undoubtedly have been scummy and ethically challenged, isn't by even the most spectacularly deluded imaginings of a bunch of legal ignoramuses like The Seven in any way, shape, or form illegal. Forget that toxic life forms like The Seven spend every second of their poltiical lives aspiring to do deals -- ideally being the beneficiaries of such deals -- far more sordid than anything alleged here. It's what they are and what they do.
I say forget all of that because the simple, inescapable truth is that The Seven don't give a frigging damn about what did or did happen between the adminstration and Congressman Sestak. All that matters to them is its potential value as a political wedge, or at least attention-getter.
Which is a point I've been meaning to make about virtually all of the Republican posturing since the 2008 election. All that moral outrage they manage to summon for the cameras is 100 percent doody. When gargoyles like Miss Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and John Boehner and Eric Cantor open their mouths to vomit forth their latest lies, not only do they not believe a word of their rants, by and large they don't give a damn about whatever horsedoody they've manufactured.
And they're hardly ever called to account. They did it all through the debate on health care reform, and they did it again during the debate on financial regulation reform. All the time they were spreading lies about health care proposals, it goes beyond knowing that they were lying; they didn't give a damn about the crap they had dredged up out of pure cynical cynicism.
Of course they knew nobody was going to pull the plug on Grandma, and in fact they didn't give a flying fig if anyone did. These are people who would run the old bat over just for the fun of it. And the horsedoody stories they spread about invented consequences of financial reforms? Since they know nothing about economics except the bribe-taking part, they would have no basis for opposing any reform on a policy basis, but only on the basis that the gentry who dish out those bribes don't like them.
And you can tell that people like The Seven, for all that they hide behind sanctimonious religious bilge, don't believe in God either. Because if they did, they would live in terror of finding themselves at the business end of a divine thunderbolt. Goodness knows they've earned it.
50 Cent dropped from his usual 214 lb weight to 160 lbs by embracing a liquid diet and walking 3 hours per day on a treadmill for nine weeks. 50 lost the weight to play a football player who has been diagnosed with cancer in the upcoming film Things Fall Apart.
No one can say that the rapper/actor isn’t taking his acting work seriously. Get your acceptance speech ready, 50. Extreme weight loss = Oscar gold.
Check out the astonishing pics of 50 Cent by clicking here. We barely recognized him!
The White House is seemingly making an increased show of pressuring BP, but President Obama is facing political heat from within his own party for what some say has been a lackluster response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The "political stupidity is unbelievable," Democratic strategist James Carville said on "Good Morning America" today. "The president doesn't get down here in the middle of this. ... I have no idea of why they didn't seize this thing. I have no idea of why their attitude was so hands off here."
We're not in the clear yet, but with the right monitoring and policies, we can all keep up the good work.
The global economic outlook — at least among industrialized countries — is brightening, but it still has a few dark spots, according to Paris-based organization Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
According to the organization, whose members include the world’s 30 richest nations, gross domestic product in those countries will grow by as much as 2.7 percent this year and 2.8 percent in 2011, reports MarketWatch.com. That’s a nice improvement over earlier estimates in November of closer to 1.9 and 2.5 percent growth, respectively.
The OECD also boosted its outlook for US economic growth in 2010, forecasting that GDP will grow at a 3.2 percent pace and not the 2.5 percent pace predicted earlier. The OECD expects growth of 3.2 percent in 2011 as well. It had some advice for the US to help keep up the good work, advising that the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration "should gradually withdraw policy stimulus as economic growth becomes self sustaining [ ... ] Gauging the appropriate timing will not be a simple task, but keeping the stimulus in place risks recreating some of the imbalances in the housing and financial markets that led to the financial crisis."
Still, analysts warn that we’re not out of the recessionary woods just yet, as there are some signs of trouble, including rising credit rates and the debt crisis in Greece.
"The sovereign debt crisis has highlighted the need for the euro area to strengthen significantly its institutional and operational architecture to dissipate doubts about the long-term viability of the monetary union," said OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan. "At a minimum, surveillance of domestic policies needs to be strengthened, taking on board broader competitiveness considerations."
The OECD also advised the Bank of Japan to keep interest rates at their "very low current level," and advised the British government to normalize interest rates in the face of a likely gradual increase in inflation.
Jonah Hex, which stars Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender, is a Western featuring a scarred-faced bounty hunter. The movie centers on the gunslinger enlisted to track down a former Confederate general who is raising an army of the undead and bent on liberating the South.
The film will be released on June 18th. What do you think of Jonah Hex from the trailers? Will you be seeing it?
Art Linkletter reportedly died at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the age of 97.
Linkletter was the host of “House Party”, one of the longest-running variety shows on television. It started on the radio in 1944 and was then on television from 1952 to 1969.
In one of his segments Linkletter would interview children, often called “Kids Say the Darndest Things”.
Art’s other popular show, “People Are funny”, also began on radio in 1942 and then ran on television from 1954 to 1961. This game show had people competing by performing stunts for cash prizes.
“Over the years I have tried to create an image of a happy man dedicated to fun and laughter,” Linkletter said in 1960. “I have been willing to joke about my own faults and foibles and to talk about the troublesome things in my life, and I have kidded people about theirs. The world needs laughter more than ever, and I intend to spread it around.”
Art Linkletter was born Arthur Gordon Kelly on July 17, 1912, to an unwed mother. He was put up for adoption and when he was seven his adoptive parents moved to the United States and settled in San Diego.
Linkletter’s married wife Lois in 1935 and they had five children. In 1969, his daughter Diane committed suicide and in 1980 his son Robert died in a car accident. Then in 2007, his other son, Jack, died from lymphoma.
“Life is not fair,” Linkletter once said in an Associated Press interview in 1990. “But I’m an optimist. Even though I’ve had tragedies in my life, and I’ve seen a lot of difficult things, I still am an optimist.”
By Ronald Blum
BRISTOL, Conn. — United States coach Bob Bradley named his 23-man squad for the World Cup on Wednesday, bringing together the likes of Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley with relatively unknown players Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez.
Bradley cut seven players from his preliminary squad — defenders Chad Marshall and Heath Pearce; midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers; and forwards Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson.
Midfielders Donovan and Beasley, and defender Steve Cherundolo earned their third World Cup trips. Beasley's selection capped a comeback from nine months of national team exile that ended in March.
Seventeen of the 23 players are based in Europe, with just four from Major League Soccer and two from Mexican clubs. Of the European group, eight play in England, three in Germany, two in Scotland, and one each in Denmark, France, Italy and Norway.
Buddle and Gomez are forwards and Bradley said they "both have been in great form, scored a lot of goals this year."
Buddle didn't play for the U.S. during World Cup qualifying. But he's scored nine times this season for the Los Angeles Galaxy to lead the MLS, and he made his first start for the national team in Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic.
The 29-year-old Buddle didn't quite believe it when Bradley congratulated him at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"I thought he was messing around. I didn't know. It was too late," he said.
Gomez might have faced even longer odds to make the squad after his contract was not renewed last year by Kansas City in MLS. But he went to Puebla in Mexico and became the league's joint top scorer with 10 goals in 14 appearances.
"I wasn't good enough for the Wizards last year, so to be where I am today is amazing," Gomez said.
Bradley praised Buddle, Gomez and Beasley for taking advantage of their opportunities.
"One player that I felt fits into that category is Herculez Gomez," Bradley said. "He's worked hard to get to this point.
"DaMarcus obviously had fallen out of it a bit and he needed to make a renewed commitment to the team and doing things as a player that makes his team better. And we've seen that.
"When you make tough decision you try to factor in everything," Bradley added. "You take into account where they are in their season and certainly to this point Edson is one of the best players in MLS. That type of form needed to really count."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A teacher in North Georgia may lose her job after asking four of her students to wear Ku Klux Klan outfits as part of a class project. The black students at her school were upset to see the costumes and complained to the administration.
Catherine Ariemma, an award-winning teacher who teaches advanced U.S. history and film education, could be either suspended or fired for the incident and has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.
Ariemma teaches in Lumpkin County and has been there for six years. The rural county is 75 miles north of Atlanta. She told the Associated Press that she was trying to cover an important and sensitive topic, but admits that she made a mistake.
"It was poor judgment on my part in allowing them to film at school," Ariemma said. "... That was a hard lesson learned."
She said that the class has 15 students of multiple races, but no African Americans. The goal of the project was to trace the history of racism in America. Five students agreed to take on the subject as part of their class project.
"The kids brought the sheets in, they had SpongeBob party hats underneath to make it shaped like a cone," Ariemma said. "They cut out the eyes, so they could see."
Ariemma led the students through the cafeteria to another location, where the scene was to be shot. She was later approached by another teacher.
"That's when I heard there were a couple of students who were upset," she said.
One of the students described his reaction to seeing hooded students walking through the cafeteria:
"I got mad and stood up and I tried to go handle it," he told a local TV station. A black parent went to the school to complain that night.
When I read about the teacher who asked her students to dress as Klansmen, my first question was, "What was her point?" In many cases, our reactions to certain racial stimuli are quick and Pavlovian, in which we respond without asking appropriate questions. We can't quickly assume that Ariemma is a racist just because she used poor judgment.
But a deeper issue to be brought forth (which I discuss with Lola Adesioye in the audio clip below) is whether the teacher would have done the same thing with Jewish students, re-enacting the Holocaust, or with other students, re-enacting the tragedies of 9/11.
The point here is that there are some cases in which the humanity of black people is not respected in the same way as other ethnic groups. We can make jokes about slavery, act out traumatic experiences or behave as though it should simply be forgotten, while equally abhorrent tragedies among other ethnic groups are only considered for the most solemn and respectful discussions. In other words, this incident (similar to the teacher in North Carolina who told his black students to pick cotton while white students watched) reminds us that there are times when the feelings of black students are not as readily considered as the feelings of others.
The teacher should not be fired, but she should certainly be disciplined and educated on why her behavior was inconsiderate. It's okay to mistakenly hurt someone's feelings, as long as you are willing to understand why they were so negatively affected. The segment I did with Adesioye is below. Enjoy!
By Boyce Watkins, PhD
What: Pam Grier reads from "Foxy: My Life in Three Acts
There are a couple of reasons people read celebrity memoirs. One is to glean the juicy bits, the scandals, the love affairs, the details of how wealthy, famous people live. In her memoir "Foxy," Pam Grier doesn't skimp on the particulars of her romances with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Freddie Prinze, Sr., Richard Pryor, and others, and shares stories about the time she got thrown out of a club with a rowdy, drunken John Lennon, the time she drove Pryor's injured pony to the vet in the back seat of her yellow Jaguar, and how she escaped the untoward advances of Sammy Davis, Jr.
But "Foxy" is more interesting for the second reason people read celebrity memoirs: to find out how an ordinary person ended up living an extraordinary life. If you didn't know that it had happened, it would hardly be possible to believe that a shy, stuttering, horse-loving black girl growing up in 1950's segregated Denver turned out to be the confident, brash, sexy star of Jack Hill's "blaxploitation" films "Coffy" and "Foxy Brown," Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown," and most recently, the Showtime television series "The L Word." Tarantino once remarked that Pam Grier might have been the first female action movie star.
Grier was born in 1949 into a military family in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and moved to Colorado when she was three weeks old. Grier's family moved frequently as her father, in the Air Force, was transferred from one assignment to another, but they considered Denver home, and moved there permanently when he retired. Grier currently lives in a rural area south of Denver ("Foxy" doesn't specify the town), where she looks after her horses and dogs when she's not working.
Grier's early years were a haphazard mix of security and danger. She was close to her large family, particularly her mother, but one day when Grier was six, her father was away, her mother was at work, and the aunt that was supposed to be watching her was off on a bender, two older boys raped Grier.
"Pretty girls got all the attention, which made them targets," Grier reflects. "At the tender age of six, I'd had enough of being victimized because I was pretty and naive. It never occurred to me to fight back, and I withdrew more and more, becoming a scared, withdrawn, stuttering little girl--except when I was on the back of a horse." She enjoyed riding horses at her extended family's ranch in Wyoming, and she never told anyone what had happened to her.
When Grier's father was assigned to a base in England, she thrived, finding the British people she interacted with had less racial prejudice than did white people at home. A few years after they returned to Colorado, Grier's father left her mother. Grier became determined to save for her education so that she wouldn't have to depend on anyone. While Grier took classes at Metropolitan State College of Denver, she worked a job as a receptionist at the KHOW radio station office. A coworker convinced her to enter the "Miss KHOW" beauty pageant.
Success in this pageant encouraged Grier to enter the Miss Colorado Universe Beauty Pageant, in which she finished as the first runner-up. But the agent David Baumgarten spotted Grier and suggested she move to L.A. and try to start a film career. She did so, still aiming to save money and enroll in UCLA. For several years, no film roles materialized as Grier worked as the receptionist at American International Pictures along with two other jobs, took acting lessons, and dated Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was then known as Lew Alcindor.
When Grier was at a crossroads with Abdul-Jabbar, who wanted her to convert to Islam so they could marry, she accepted an offer to fly to the Philippines and act in a movie that an agent explained was "about women in prison in the jungle. Bondage, torture, attempted escape, punishment, drug addiction, machine guns, sex. The usual."
The movie, 1971's "The Big Doll House," became Grier's first speaking role, and although her fame rose and fell over the years, she essentially has never been without acting work for a long stretch since then. Grier has no regrets about making her name in a genre that became known as "blaxploitation." "To me," she writes, "what really stood out in the genre was women of color acting like heroes rather than depicting nannies or maids."
Grier, who didn't indulge in drugs, alcohol, or the celebrity excesses of the men she dated, survived cervical cancer, and has never been anybody's nanny or maid, continues to lead a singular life on her own terms, flying from one project to another and returning home to her ranch in Colorado, where she entertains the occasional notable guest (such as Snoop Dogg, who became lost with his entourage when trying to locate Grier's modest house). "Foxy: My Life in Three Acts" shows that when a character described Foxy Brown as "a whole lot of woman," he didn't know the half of the story behind the woman who portrayed her.
Jenny Shank's first novel, "The Ringer," will be published by The Permanent Press in May 2011. She lives in Boulder.