Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plea Deal: Sean Penn on Probation

No stranger to paparazzi issues, the trial ends in a plea deal. Sean Penn pled no contest, through his attorney Wednesday and will be on probation. Read more about the dilemma below, including more photos and a video.

The actor, who turns 50 in August, kicked a cameraman back in October and was charged with misdemeanor battery and vandalism in February. By accepting the terms of the court, the charge was lowered misdemeanor vandalism, which has much less severe consequences.

Instead of a possible 18 months in jail, if he follows the conditions of the plea deal, Sean Penn could only be accused of disturbing the peace. In order to do this he will need to not violate his parole, complete 300 hours of community service and attend 36 hours of anger management. His team is happy with the outcome and Richard Hirsch said,

“Prolonging this matter in the court system would not have been in Mr. Penn’s best interests and would have distracted from his charitable commitments, specifically his work in Haiti,” hisattorney said. “Accordingly he has decided to accept the terms and move on.”

And it actually shouldn’t be too tough for the acting legend. He already has runs a charity organization for Haitian relief, and he will be able to complete his work there. The anger management and behaving will be the tougher part for him, I think.

Back in 1987 he attacked a photographer on a movie set and had an incident with paparazzi at his brother’s funeral in 2006. The man that was attacked in this most recent assault still has a civil suit filed against him, and the hearing will be on July 8th.

So what do you think of the plea deal Sean Penn was offered? Is it fair or not? And do you think it will leave an impression? Let me know below and check out more photos and the attack video below.

Gasparino: Government To Probe All

By By Bess Levin
Did you think Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were going to be the only ones subjected to cavity searches by the US government? Think again, mon chi-chis! Charlie Gasparino reports that you should all be girding your loins.

The government has ramped up its investigation of Wall Street’s sale of toxic securities during the financial crisis to include firms other than Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Sources tell FOX Business that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s most active investigations so far also include Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, two of the biggest packagers of the toxic debt, known as collateralized debt obligations, that are at the center of the government’s interest.

Sources tell FOX Business that after the SEC initially requested information from all the firms when it began its probe last year, it came back and subpoenaed Citigroup and Deutsche Bank for additional documents, underscoring a heightened level of interest. In the case of Citigroup, the SEC has conducted depositions of senior executives there, these people tell FOX Business.

As of today, there have been no so-called Wells Notices issued to either firm. A Wells Notice indicates that the commission’s enforcement staff is recommending to the full commission that the firms should be charged with civil securities fraud.

Diesel 5-Series Headed Stateside

BMW has been known for making top-whack diesels in Europe and the UK for decades, but so far none of them have made it stateside, where people have the same regard for diesel as they do for your average dog turd. As more and more people learn about recycling and eco friendliness, however, diesels are slowly gaining popularity. Thus Bimmer has decided to send its oil-burning 530d to our shores and see if it can’t move some units.

The 2011 BMW 530d will join its little brother 335d which has been an option in the States since ‘08. It will be powered by BMW’s well-known and well-loved 3.0 liter diesel that sees action in Europe’s 330d and an upcoming US-market diesel X3.

By Aaron Richardson

Oil: Deepwater Horizon is a corporate Chernyobl

Yes, Chernyobl is the right metaphor, not Katrina. Though it's oil we're struggling to contain, not radition. And impact of our deadly spewage will be felt in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, not the skies of Europe. Still, read McClatchy:

In the days after an oil well spun out of control in the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers tried to activate a [the blowout preventer, a] huge piece of underwater safety equipment but failed because the device had been so altered that diagrams BP got from the equipment's owner didn't match the supposedly failsafe device's configuration, congressional investigators said Wednesday.

Who ordered the alterations in the blowout preventer, the 500,000-pound mass of gears and hydraulic valves that sits atop and underwater well and is intended to snap the pipe if disaster threatens, was the subject of dispute at Wednesday's hearing.

Transocean, the owner of the blowout preventer and of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig, said any alterations would have come at BP's instigation; BP, which owns the well and hired Transocean to drill it, said it had never sought the changes.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said the changes prevented BP's engineers from activating a "variable bore ram" intended to close tight around the pipe and seal it.

"When they investigated why their attempts failed to activate the bore ram," Stupak said of BP engineers, "they learned that the device had been modified. A useless test ram _ not the variable bore ram _ had been connected to the socket that was supposed to activate the variable bore ram."

"An entire day’s worth of precious time had been spent engaging rams that closed the wrong way.”

Stupak said that BP officials told subcommittee investigators that “after the accident, they asked Transocean for drawings of the blowout preventer.”

“Because of the modifications, the drawings they received didn’t match the structure on the ocean floor,” Stupak said. “BP said they wasted many hours figuring this out.”

It passed one set of so-called positive pressure tests in which fluids were injected into the well to increase pressure to monitor whether the well remains stable.

[Frank Patton, a drilling engineer for the government's Mineral Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling] said that any alteration to the blowout preventer would have required both BP and MMS approval.

No doubt, just as at Chernobyl, "operator error" will be the initial diagnosis. And just as at Chernyobl, systemic failure will be the final one:

According to the IAEA's 1986 analysis, the main cause of the accident was the operators' actions. But according to the IAEA's 1993 revised analysis the main cause was the reactor's design....

As in the previously released report INSAG-1, close attention is paid in report INSAG-7 to the inadequate (at the moment of the accident) “culture of safety” at all levels. Deficiency in the safety culture was inherent not only at the operational stage but also, and to no lesser extent, during activities at other stages in the lifetime of nuclear power plants (including design, engineering, construction, manufacture and regulation). The poor quality of operating procedures and instructions, and their conflicting character, put a heavy burden on the operating crew, including the Chief Engineer. “The accident can be said to have flowed from a deficient safety culture, not only at the Chernobyl plant, but throughout the Soviet design, operating and regulatory organizations for nuclear power that existed at that time.”

Is our corrupt oligarchy of crony capitalists, all pointing the finger of blame at each other, really all that much superior to the sclerotic USSR? Why?

BY lambert

9 indicted on charges of accessing Obama records


DES MOINES, Iowa —Nine people have been indicated in federal court on charges they accessed President Barack Obama’s student loan records while employed for a Department of Education contractor in Iowa. [...]

They are accused of gaining access to a computer
at a Coralville, Iowa, office where they worked between July 2007 and March 2009, and accessing Obama’s student loan records while he was either a candidate for president, president-elect or president.

They can get up to one year in prison, and be fined as much as $100,000.

Of course had they been in Arizona and simply walking down the street while wearing the wrong shoes, they could have been fined, jailed, and deported. The nine hackers should consider themselves lucky.

Act Bad, Get Slapped! Houston Teacher Caught On Tape Beating Student

A teacher at Jamie’s House Charter School was caught on tape beating one of her students. Apparently the little boy hit or attempted to hit one of the female students and the teacher decided to hit him for “hitting girls.

At first look of the video, the teacher looks as if she is playing around but mid-way through the video you can hear that she is slapping someone’s child! This lady, with her Afro puff pony tail put her hand on someone else’s child and SMACKED him!

My only guess is that the teacher thought she could use corporal punishment – which is against the law for schools and institutions in Texas – or maybe she thought that it was an episode of WWF at Jamie’s House charter school?

Now, I am not a parent but I must admit — there was a moment while watching the video that I kind of wished I was his parent and that she had slapped my child! – wouldn’t be waiting for the Sheriff on that one…I mean, dang! Really? Attack of the afro puff?

The teacher was fired and the tape is now under review by the Harris County Sheriff’s office – 99 problems and slapping children for acting bad at Jamie’s House Charter School is def one!

Check out the video after the jump!

By Christina Sanders

Hmmm: FBI Conducts Raids Related to Times Square Terror Incident

I just hope they properly Mirandize the suspects they've picked up. We don't want to offend anyone.

Maybe one of them is the mysterious balding middle-aged white guy.

Lonely wolves hardest hit.

Federal agents executed search warrants in Watertown and other locations across the Northeast in connection with the investigation into the attempted Times Square bombing, said Warren T. Bamford, Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge.

“We can confirm that search warrants have been executed in several locations in the Northeast in connection with the investigation into the attempted Time Square bombing,” Bamford said. “A number of individuals encountered during the searches were taken into federal custody for alleged immigration violations.“

Immigration violations? Why, that's racist according to our moral superiors. How dare we hassle anyone here illegally!

More here.

We can confirm search warrants have been executed in several locations in the Northeast in connections to the investigation of the attempted Times Square Bombing. The searches are the product of evidence that has been gathered in the investigation subsequent to the attempted Times Square Bombing and they do not relate to any known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States. Two individuals encountered during the searches were taken into federal custody for alleged immigration violations.

Update: At least one locationw as also searched on Long Island and four people are now in custody. Michale Bloomberg and Contessa Brewer are praying that one of them is a tea partier.

Four people -- two on Long Island and two in the Boston area -- have been taken into custody on alleged immigration violations in connection with the raids. The FBI would not elaborate.

by JammieWearingFool

Libya - How Does One Boy Survive an Otherwise Fatal Plane Crash?

In this image made Wednesday, May 12, 2010 from Libya TV, a 10 year-old Dutch boy, the only known survivor of the crash of an Afriqiyah Airways plane crash in Tripoli, is treated in a hospital. A Libyan plane carrying 104 people crashed Wednesday on approach to Tripoli's airport, leaving a field scattered with smoldering debris that included a large chunk of the tail painted with the airline's brightly colored logo. (AP Photo/Libya TV)

Libya - Somehow there was one survivor of the fiery plane crash in Libya this morning. Just one: a 10-year-old Dutch boy. The other 103 people on the Airbus A330-200 died.

At least 103 people were killed during a crash landing at a Tripoli airport.

Amazing? Yes. Unheard of? Not quite.

This is actually the fifteenth time since 1970 that there has been a single survivor in an airliner crash.

But what's even more amazing is that of those 15 survivors, 12 have either been children or crew members.

"Once again it's a child or a crew member, and I have no idea why," said Todd Curtis, director of the Foundation, which tracks aviation disasters.

Generally, he said, "there's no rhyme or reason" as to why that one person survives.

"You scratch your head and wonder why is that? Is it because children can best survive crash forces? Is it because you only have small survival spaces in an aircraft and the smaller you are, the more likely you are to survive?" Curtis said. "Those are plausible explanations … but no one has done any sort of analysis that I like to call vaguely scientific or mechanical."

Sometimes, it might just have to do with how close emergency personnel are to the crash site.

In 2006, Delta Connection flight 5191, operated by Comair, crashed about four miles west of Lexington, Kentucky shortly after takeoff. All 47 passengers on board died, as did two of the three crew members. First officer James Polehinke suffered major injuries but was pulled out of the wreckage by a local police officer and two airport safety officers.

Compare that to a Yemenia Airways flight that crashed last year in the Indian Ocean, 10 miles off the coast of Comoros. Out of the 142 passengers and 11 crew onboard, only a 12-year-old girl survived. Curtis said if that crash had occurred closer to rescuers, there likely would have been more survivors.

Read the full story at ABC News

LeBron Confident, Defiant

The King’s ready for Game 6.

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The world went a little crazy yesterday with the reaction to LeBron-calypse that took place in Cleveland on Tuesday night during Game 5. With the Cavs’ season on the line in Boston tonight, James would like for everyone to calm the hell down.

Questions and all sorts of theories are swirling around LBJ’s health, and of course, the team’s unity under Mike Brown’s leadership.

According to the guy under the harshest glare, though, there’s nothing to worry about.

The Boston Globe has the quotes:

“I’m going to try to use as much energy as I can,’’ James said. “If I have to play 48 minutes, then so be it. I better get a good night’s rest. I’m the leader and they’re supposed to follow me,’’ James said. “At the same time, other guys got to be aggressive, too.’’

Recent history is not on Cleveland’s side. With James, the Cavaliers are 0-3 in elimination road playoff games. They lost at Detroit in Game 7 in 2006, at Boston in Game 7 in 2008, and at Orlando last season in Game 6.

However, James said Cleveland fans should count on the Cavaliers to force a Game 7 Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena. Why? “Uh, cause they got me,’’ said the two-time MVP.


So, case closed. Shuffle along, folks. Nothing else to see here. The Cavs are fine, and the world will continue to rotate on its axis.

All kidding aside, tonight’s game is going to be fascinating on many levels. LeBron James may give out the public impression that he’s not worried, but can anyone truly blame fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers for not sharing in this sentiment?

The Specter of Sestak Rises [Robert Costa]

Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), a former Navy admiral, could sink Sen. Arlen Specter, a five-term Republican-turned-Democrat, in the Keystone State’s Democratic Senate primary next week.

Specter, it seems, is doing his part to help Sestak’s chances. Last night in Pittsburgh, he twice referred to a group of local Democrats as the “Allegheny Republican committee.”

Three separate polls show the pair in a dead heat. A recent Franklin & Marshall poll has Sestak leading by two, 38 to 36. A Morning Call survey shows the duo tied at 45 and Quinnipiac’s numbers show Specter up by a couple points, 44 to 42. Sestak, a second-term congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs, tells National Review Online that he’s not surprised about his climb.

“The overarching issue of this election is the lack of trust in Washington,” Sestak tells us. “When the Democratic establishment told me to sit down, I went around and decided to run against them. But this is not just about my party. Voters are fed up — there’s a pox on both your houses, they tell me. They want a change in politics, not just policy. That’s the real message. Look at what happened in Massachusetts.”

Sestak has a point. It’s been a bad month for incumbents. Earlier this week, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D., W.V.), a 14-term incumbent, was defeated in his primary. Over the weekend, Sen. Bob Bennett (R., Utah) was kicked out of his GOP Senate primary.

“The Democratic establishment has gotten off track,” Sestak argues. “They made a political calculation in order to get to 60 votes. They’ve made deals with the special interests to get Ben Nelson’s vote on health care. That kind of deal making is what turns voters off.”

Sestak says his campaign is focused on small-business tax credits, education, and health care. In a recent ad, he has been brutal, tying Specter to Sarah Palin, George Bush, and Rick Santorum. Gov. Ed Rendell (D., Pa.) calls the commercial a “very strong serve.” Specter, not one to sit back and take punches, has returned the volley with his own ad touting Obama’s support.

Specter may call himself a moderate, but “I’m the pragmatist, a John F. Kennedy-Democrat,” Sestak says. “The future is about building a new generation of leadership.” The Democratic establishment “got it wrong” by sticking with Specter,” he adds. “I understand what they’re doing, I don’t begrudge them, they’re keeping their end of the bargain, which most people don’t do in Washington, but I’m listening to the people of Pennsylvania. They don’t want Washington to be kingmakers.”

Can he beat probable GOP Senate nominee Pat Toomey in a general election? “Pennsylvania wants an independent individual to represent them, not someone who’s spent time on Wall Street and believes in trickle-down economics,” Sestak says. “They want someone who is willing to stand up to their party even if it costs them their job. I’m ready for that fight [with Toomey].”

“We knew people wouldn’t pay attention until now,” Sestak says, heading into his next event. “But I always knew that by the last week or two of the campaign, voters would start to look into why they should support a 30-year-incumbent who switched parties to keep his job. They want someone to help get us out of this mess, not someone who worked with the failed leadership of the past administration to get us into it.”

Republicans pick Tampa, Fla., for 2012 convention


OXON HILL, Md. (AP) – Republicans chose Tampa as the site of their 2012 presidential convention Wednesday, hoping the swing state of Florida will help them defeat President Barack Obama.

A Republican National Committee panel recommended the Gulf Coast city during a closed-door meeting, rejecting GOP strongholds of Salt Lake City and Phoenix. The decision came amid calls from Hispanic groups and others to boycott Arizona after it adopted a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, although party members insisted their decision against Phoenix was not linked to the legislation.

"We got it!" RNC Secretary Sharon Day, a Floridian, shouted into a hotel hallway as she danced out of the closed-door meeting.

"I think that we are one of the bellwether states. … We’ll be stronger for 2012. It will give us an opportunity to strengthen our volunteer base," she said.

Florida, with its hefty 27 electoral votes, decided the 2000 election for George W. Bush. Obama won the state in 2008.

"This is a very important state politically," Al Austin, chairman of the host committee, said in Tampa. "There are also a lot of people who can step up and make the kind of contributions we need."

Austin brushed off reporters’ questions regarding whether the committee could raise more than $40 million to stage the convention.

"We’re not even going to think about that," Austin said.

Political conventions are a logistical test for any city, as thousands of people flock into the region, test infrastructure and bring in millions of dollars. Tampa officials said transportation plans and security top the list of priorities.

"The host committee’s hard work and dedication resulted in a tremendous bid that we are confident will produce a successful event," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said.

Walking away from reporters after the meeting, Steele insisted that the Arizona immigration uproar played no part in the convention choice. He said it was "purely a business decision."

Holly Hughes, a national committee member from Michigan who led the selection process, also told reporters that it was a decision based on technical requirement, not politics or personalities

"That was not part of our decision whatsoever," she said. "It’s hotel space, the delegate experience – are we going to be able to accommodate the media; will the venue hold what we need it to hold?"

Personalities, though, are the sideshow of the event slated to be largely staged at the St. Pete Times Forum.

As the committee was rejoicing over the announcement, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was changing his party affiliation from Republican to "none" in his hometown of St. Petersburg. That cleared the way for Crist to seek the open Senate seat as an independent without first winning an uphill Republican primary campaign against tea party favorite Marco Rubio.

As governor, Crist will be the honorary event chairman for a party he left. He said he would work on the convention "as much as a I can."

"Whether it was a Republican convention or a Democratic convention, it wouldn’t matter to me. As a Floridian, I’m really proud it’s in our state. That’s what matters first," Crist said.

Presidential hopefuls typically decamp to Florida during the final weeks of a campaign, and nominating conventions dominate local news coverage and help drive the parties’ message to voters who might otherwise ignore the formalities.

Republicans met in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2008, hoping to swing Minnesota to the GOP. It went for Obama. Democrats similarly met in Denver in the hope of making the Mountain West friendly territory. The president won Colorado.

It is a GOP strategy, though, that has worked infrequently. The last time Republicans held a convention in a swing state and won was when Ronald Reagan took Michigan in 1980 over Jimmy Carter.

The selection committee’s recommendation still needs formal approval when the RNC meets in August in Kansas City, Mo., but that is considered a given.

The last Republican convention in Florida was in Miami in 1972 when the party nominated President Richard M. Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew.


Associated Press writer Tamara Lush in Tampa contributed to this report.

Arizona bans Ethnic Studies because it causes resentment towards white people.

by THey yellin Boss, I'm yellin SLAUS in Injustice, Just Ignant

Is it just me or is Arizona becoming the great bastion of conservative whiteness…

(CNN) — Fresh on the heels of a new immigration law that has led to calls to boycott her state, Arizona’s governor has signed a bill banning ethnic studies classes that “promote resentment” of other racial groups.

Gov. Jan Brewer approved the measure without public statement Tuesday, according to state legislative records. The new law forbids elementary or secondary schools to teach classes that are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” and advocate “the overthrow of the United States government” or “resentment toward a race or class of people.”

The bill was pushed by state school Superintendent Tom Horne, who has spent two years trying to get Tucson schools to drop a Mexican-American studies program he said teaches Latino students they are an oppressed minority. There was no immediate response from the Tucson Unified School District, the law’s main target. [source]

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist. Seems quite fitting and ironic for what the powers that be are attempting in Arizona.

Without deep introspection or investigation, it is completely apparent that what this ruling hopes to do is to “white wash” or worst yet, sweep under the rug the atrocities that have been committed towards people of colour in the name of founding America. Make no mistake my friends, that this is tantamount to the evil committed by the Chinese government regarding Tianneman Square, where government military openly murdered dissident Chinese protesters who were speaking out against the government. Since then, the Chinese government has decreed that there will be no mention of the event in any school textbooks or electronic archive that is open to the public. THe only thing mentioned is that the righteous government was victorious against a group who sought to undermine the glory of the Chinese people…

No knowledge of the truth=no discussion.. no responsibility. And just as there are many people of colour who never want whites to forget the wrongs they have committed, there are many whites who would enjoy nothing more than to never have to hear about the crimes committed towards others in the name of White power.

So… if you never teach it.. it is never known…

Kudos Arizona… you’ve become even douchier than Texas.

Not sure how the people of Arizona can sleep at night.