Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fourth New Orleans Police Officer Charged in Post-Katrina Shooting at Danziger Bridge

By Ryan Knutson,

Federal investigators charged another New Orleans police officer in connection to the Danziger Bridge shootings, in which two civilians were killed and four were wounded in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The Danziger Bridge shootings are among a string of violent post-Katrina police encounters we’ve investigated in collaboration with PBS “Frontline” and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Officer Robert Barrios, who was charged with conspiring to obstruct justice, became the fourth police officer charged in the case, and the fifth person overall. Three former officers have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the shooting. Barrios reportedly resigned from the force shortly after being charged.

Marion David Ryder, a civilian who impersonated a police officer the day of the shooting, also was indicted this month on charges of lying to federal agents and unlawful possession of a handgun.

The charge against Barrios came in a bill of information, which is only allowed in cases where the defendant has waived the requirement that a grand jury issue charges. That usually indicates the defendant is cooperating with the case.

The Times-Picayune reports that Barrios was in the back of a vehicle with four other officers when they responded to a report that officers were shot while on Interstate 10, which is parallel with the Danziger Bridge.

Elin And Tiger Don’t Speak

The chances of Elin going back to Tiger are pretty slim right now. Elin has not only sought out a new divorce attorney but she and Tiger are not on speaking terms.

People close to Elin say she is upset with Tiger’s return to golf and it has caused her to question his sincerity in rebuilding their marriage after being caught cheating with so many women.Elin has a support system of her mother, twin sister, father, two nannies and a handful of close friends and that is who she has turned to during this tough time as she tries to figure out what she should do about her marriage.People close to Elin say she is upset with Tiger’s return to golf and it has caused her to question his sincerity in rebuilding their marriage after being caught cheating with so many women.

Elin has a support system of her mother, twin sister, father, two nannies and a handful of close friends and that is who she has turned to during this tough time as she tries to figure out what she should do about her marriage.

Currently she is staying in a rented house down the street but sources say she has no intention of returning to Tiger. Ever.

You can’t blame the girl. Did you read those text messages? We really have a hard time even looking at Tiger Woods. He looks FOUL. Cannot even imagine what Elin feels like.

Danny Glover Arrested at Labor Union Protest

Actor Danny Glover was arrested during a labor union protest at the U.S. headquarters of Sodexo, a French food service company. Glover was taken away in handcuffs along with 11 others including Andy Stern, the outgoing head of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and former Sodexo canteen cashier Terry Shelley. Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks says Glover and others stepped past yellow police tape and were asked to step back three times during the protest. When they refused, Starks says officers arrested them. The participants claim the protest was a response to 16 Sodexo workers being laid off after trying to unionize or becoming involved in union activities. Sodexo vice president for employee and corporate relations Thomas Mackall says the company is not opposed to unionization, “We can tell you categorically that Sodexo recognizes and respects our workers’ rights to join or not join a union as they choose.” The protestors were issued citations for trespassing and released....

The Premier League Title Race is blown wide open

Dramatic day today in the Premier League in a race I suspected might already be over. First off, Man United scored a super-dramatic last minute winner against local rivals Manchester City, and then this afternoon Chelsea saw John Terry sent off as they stuttered to a 2-1 defeat agsint Spurs.

Man United sit just a point behind Chelsea now, and the Blues only have a better goal difference of 3. With Chelsea still having to play Liverpool, the title race is far from over.

Those two matches also massively impact the race for the fourth Champions League spot. City started the day in fourth place, but the defeat to United, along with Spurs win, mean its the London club currently occupying the lucrative last Champions League spot.

So the Premier League is back to being exciting. Certainly Chelsea do have to slip up again, and they didn’t have all the luck against Spurs but its nice to have a quick reminder that in this game, absolutely anything can happen.

NBA Playoffs Series Preview - #4 Denver Nuggets vs. #5 Utah Jazz

Series Start: 4/17/2010 10:30 pm EST
Series Format: 2-2-1-1-1

The Denver Nuggets are hoping that their top front line player, Kenyon Martin, is able to go against the Utah Jazz. Suffering from a knee injury, Martin hasn’t played more than 24 minutes in a long time.

In fact, he only played about 19 minutes in the Nuggets’ final regular season game, a 123 to 101 loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Nuggets will desperately need Martin in order to beat the Utah Jazz in their 1st round playoff series. The Jazz’s front line is exceptional and is going to give the Nuggets fits as it is. Without Martin at 100%, the Nuggets could be in trouble in this series even though the Nuggets won the regular season series 3 to 1.

NBA Playoffs Series Preview: #4 Denver Nuggets (53-29) vs. #5 Utah Jazz (53-29)

Offense: The Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony averages 28 points per game. He’s a big reason that Denver sports the 3rd ranked offense in the NBA. Denver produces 106.5 points per game on average. They love to run and gun with point-guard Chauncey Billups tossing the rock to either Anthony or forward Kenyon Martin. J.R. Smith off the bench can light up the scoreboard as well. He averages 15.4 points per game.

Utah’s offense isn’t made up of slouches, though. The Jazz’s offense is ranked 4th in the league. They put up over 104 points per game. The Jazz, like Denver, can score with Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Paul Milsap or Mehmet Okur. In other words, they have more than just one guy who can put the ball through the hoop.

Edge: Even

Defense: Utah’s defense isn’t too bad. It’s not ranked in the Top 10 but it’s not too bad allowing roughly 99 points per game. Utah prefers to speed a game up so they don’t mind giving up a couple of baskets in order to do that.

Denver, like Utah, adheres to the same philosophy. The Nuggets love the up and down game. Their defense allows 102 points against it per game. The Nuggets enjoy a quick paced contest and will try to outscore teams instead of buckling down and playing D.f

Like on the offensive end, neither team really has an edge on the defensive end.

Edge: Even

Intangibles: Both teams have players that can come off of the bench, Denver has Chris Andersen and J.R. Smith and Utah has Kyle Korver and C.J. Miles, that can score and defend.

But the Jazz have Jerry Sloan at the helm while Denver will have to settle with Adrian Dantley who is filling in for the cancer stricken George Karl. That’s a huge blow to the Nuggets because Sloan is a master coach while Dantley is just starting to learn his trade.

Edge: Jazz

Prediction: Utah Jazz in 6

The Jazz lost the regular season series to Denver but I believe they turn the tables on their rivals in this playoffs series.

Utah can match Denver player to player save for Carmelo and Carmelo has been banged up. Not only that, but Jerry Sloan will figure out a way to keep Carmelo from going nuts on the court. Also, Utah is just the more well-rounded team and has fewer injuries to deal with now that Mehmet Okur is finally fully healed.

Utah will find a way to win the series. They’re the NBA pick to do it in 6 games.
by D.S. Williamson

Obama Administration Won't Touch Iran's Nukes But Goes After Blackwater Officials, 5 Indicted

Okay, the Justice Department of the Federal Government played its cards today indicting the former President of Blackwater and four current officials of the security company. I guess the poker game begins, huh Attorney General Holder?

Remember everyone, this is the same Attorney General Eric Holder that worked to release convicted terrorists and personally put the kibash on prosecuting Black Panthers for their voter poll intimidation in 2008 - THE SAME ERIC HOLDER that wants to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC civilian courts, THE SAME ERIC HOLDER that wants to put convicted jihadis in prison in our neighborhoods in the heartland of America and THE SAME ERIC HOLDER that said you and me, all of us, ought to be ashamed of our racism here in America.

I've had enough of this clown. The Democrats a few years ago went on a witch hunt to get then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on some mamby pamby administrative bullshit within the AG office. So, it's time for payback. It's high time that every Republican (and Democrat with a soul) in the House and the Senate gets on the warpath and asks for the firing of Attorney General Eric Holder.

This man, Holder, is dirtier than a sow pig after a June rain in Arkansas and he literally holds the top law enforcement job in the Land. Although I think we could find charges to put Holder away, I'll be satisfied to see him thrown out of office and see his sorry ass bouncing down the steps of the Capitol.

Story from Breitbart:

“Whether we like it or not we remain a dominant military superpower”

Obama’s carefully choreographed photo op that he called a “nuclear summit” yielded no real gains and quite a few embarrassing gaffes by the manchild in the White House, including bowing to the Chinese premier, again. But the biggest one was a Freudian slip that was missed by the media and only now being analyzed because it reveals that Obama truly wants to reduce the power and strength of America.

At the end, Obama took questions from the assembled media. While answering a question about America’s obligations as a superpower and military leader to intervene in the Middle East, he let this little gem slip out.

“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them,” Obama said. “And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”

Okay, let’s take a look at this. An Obama asshat would say that Obama meant that whether we liked it or not, we would get pulled into a conflict that would result in bad things happening to us. The problem is, that’s not what he said. If that were the case, it would sound like this

“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another, whether we like it or not, we get pulled into them.”

Or you could remove it altogether and the sentence is still clear.

“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them.”

But that’s not what he said. What he did was add a parenthetical statement that stands all by itself into another line of thought. Here’s a better way to see it.

“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts (because whether we like it or not we remain a dominant military superpower) and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them.”

In other words, our Commander in Chief is not too thrilled with the idea that America possesses the greatest military in the world.

Even Sen. John McCain, a man who is hardly a right-wing nutjob, caught on to Obama’s lust for weakness and had something to say about it.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., slammed the leader of the free world Thursday, calling the remark a “direct contradiction to everything America believes in.”

“That’s one of the more incredible statements I’ve ever heard a president of the United States make in modern times,” McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, told Fox News. “We are the dominant superpower, and we’re the greatest force for good in the history of this country, and I thank God every day that we are a dominant superpower.”

While I don’t agree with McCain on a lot of things, he’s right on the nose on this one. Obama is a small man who is uncomfortable with the real role of President and leader of the free world, and he seeks to make that role as small as he is.

By Roy Ryder

Is the U.S. Retreating from Space? Part III

President Obama visited NASA today to present his vision for America’s space program. In doing so he responded to critics who said that his plan would endanger America’s status as a preeminent space power. In his speech, Obama provided an overview of past U.S. space efforts before moving on to describe his plans for the future. You can read the full text of his speech here. I was impressed with his passion, this was not the kind of speech that a president intent on diminishing the role of the U.S. in space would give. Take this part, for example:

And on a personal note, I have been part of that generation so inspired by the space program. 1961 was the year of my birth — the year that Kennedy made his announcement. And one of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders, waving a flag as astronauts arrived in Hawaii. For me, the space program has always captured an essential part of what it means to be an American — reaching for new heights, stretching beyond what previously did not seem possible. And so, as President, I believe that space exploration is not a luxury, it’s not an afterthought in America’s quest for a brighter future — it is an essential part of that quest.

This suggests to me that he gets it, that he is a genuine space enthusiast and isn’t merely checking off “support NASA” from his presidential to-do list. This makes it all the more mystifying as the specifics of what he outlined today have not addressed my initial concerns or those raised by the critics of the policy. Take for example his decision to “save” the Orion crew capsule from the Constellation program. Sure, this is good news, and on the surface it appears to be an effort to mollify supporters of the Constellation program as well as those fearful of losing jobs, but when you examine the details we find that a craft intended to take astronauts to the Moon will now become a slimmed down version attached to the space station as an emergency escape pod. So, in essence, the Obama plan means that American astronauts will not be able to get to the space station without first asking permission from another country and paying millions of dollars for the ride but if something does go disastrously wrong on the station they can at least escape on American hardware. How comforting.

To be fair, Obama is proposing a funding increase for NASA, and that is good news for the space agency. He also hopes to use government money to stimulate private industry to create a new commercial space sector, and that is also good news. It’s the kind of private sector pork that even Republicans can love. Companies with names like SpaceX, Bigelow Aerospace, Space Adventures and Virgin Galactic stand to profit. In short, Obama hopes to hand off low-Earth orbit to civilians while NASA does Big Things, like building next generation spaceships with propulsion systems we can’t even imagine now so we can land on asteroids and orbit (and maybe even land on) Mars in twenty or thirty years.

So, why do I still have reservations about the Obama plan? After all, it’s a grand vision for America’s future in space and NASA should be a forward looking organization. Still, I can’t quite get over the fear that if the next president decides to make some changes to his plan, or scrap it entirely (the way he has done with the Bush plan), we will literally be lost in space. We will be without the shuttle or any kind of replacement, and without access to space except with the help of the Russians and maybe a few commercial space taxis (that hopefully have moved beyond the prototype stage), and with no heavy-lift capability. The Constellation program was a methodical step-by-step plan that built on past success and proven technology to reach achievable goals. The Obama plan removes the step-by-step process and proven technology and asks us to go on faith and check back in twenty or thirty years to be amazed at how far we have come. I’m not sure I’m ready to take that leap of faith.

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Jay-Z Says David Ortiz Stole 40/40 Name For Dominican Nightclub

It's Rapper versus Red Sox! According to the Daily News, Jay-Z and a business partner are suing Boston slugger David Ortiz, accusing the Boston slugger of trademark infringement for naming his Santo Domingo club Forty-Forty, in hopes of capitalizing on the rap star’s fame.

Ortiz has countered that the club name references the rare baseball feat of hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in one season. Jay-Z’s club isn’t able to claim any formal rights to the name Forty-Forty in the Dominican Republic — but they’re trying to go after Ortiz through the US registration for the web site,

"David Ortiz was at the club at least twice, and certainly knew of it," said Jay-Z's lawyer, Peter Raymond, of the firm ReedSmith.

The rapper, whose chain of sports bars can be found in Tokyo, New York City, and other locations, is seeking over $5 million in damages and for Ortiz to forfeit any use of the 40/40 name.

Depraved Bill Clinton Has Nerve To Connect Tea Partiers To Oklahoma Bomber

Bill Clinton continues to be a disgrace to the nation. The man lives in a very weird world trying to make a connection between the Oklahoma City bomber and the good folks at the nations’ Tea Party rallies. Even today, every time this man opens his mouth he weakens the nation.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Bill Clinton warned of a slippery slope from angry anti-government rhetoric to violence like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, saying “the words we use really do matter.”

The two-term Democratic president insisted he wasn’t trying to restrict free speech, but in remarks Friday he said incendiary language can be taken the wrong way by some Americans. He drew parallels to words demonizing the government before Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995, an anti-government conspiracy led by Army veteran Timothy McVeigh exploded a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

“What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold – but that the words we use really do matter, because there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike,” he said.

“One of the things that the conservatives have always brought to the table in America is a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility. And the more power you have and the more influence you have, the more responsibility you have.”

Clinton made the remarks at events sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund on the upcoming anniversary of the bombing.

He mentioned the rancorous fight over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Passage of the law elicited threats against some lawmakers.

“I’m glad they’re fighting over health care and everything else. Let them have at it. But I think that all you have to do is read the paper every day to see how many people there are who are deeply, deeply troubled,” he said.

He also alluded to the anti-government tea party movement, which held protests in several states Thursday. At the Washington rally, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota railed against “gangster government.”

Clinton argued that the Boston Tea Party was in response to taxation without representation. The current protesters, he said, are challenging taxation by elected officials, and the demonstrators have the power to vote them out of office.

“By all means keep fighting, by all means, keep arguing,” he said. “But remember, words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for. We owe that to Oklahoma City.”

Iran calls US nukes tool of terror, intimidation

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's supreme leader has told a nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran that the United States' nuclear weapons are a tool of terror and intimidation.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that America deceptively calls for non-proliferation while holding on to its own weapons.

According to Iranian media, the two-day conference brought together representatives from 60 countries as well as delegates from international bodies and non-governmental organizations.

It appeared timed as a counterweight to President Barack Obama's 47-nation summit in Washington last week to discuss nuclear security. Obama did not invite Iran, which the U.S. fears is using a civilian nuclear program as cover to develop a weapons capability. Iran denies that.

Volcanic Ash from Iceland Continues to Disrupt Air Travel

Air travel throughout Europe and around the world is still disrupted Saturday as thick clouds of ash from a volcano eruption in Iceland continue to drift across the continent.

Some European nations have completely closed their airspace, while others have enacted partial closures. Thousands of flights have been canceled, stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers and costing airlines hundreds of millions of dollars. Officials expect air travel to be disrupted for several days.

Rail services, ferries and taxi companies in Europe say they have seen a huge increase in customers as a result of the disruptions.

The ash clouds include particles of rock, glass and sand that pose a serious threat to aircraft.

In addition to the travel problems, officials are urging people with breathing problems to stay indoors.

The shutdown of air travel is the most extensive since the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.

World leaders are among those whose travels have been affected. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was not able to make it home from her visit to the United States, and spent the night in Lisbon, Portugal.

There is also concern about whether world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, will be able to get to Krakow for Sunday's funeral of Poland's late president, Lech Kaczynski.

Wednesday's eruption of the volcano in southeastern Iceland is its second since March 20. The volcano had been dormant for nearly 200 years. Experts say it could continue to erupt for weeks or even years.