Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Video: Lawrence Taylor Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Charge The Associated Press

By the CNN Wire Staff Lawrence Taylor is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute; he has pleaded not guilty. (CNN) -- Hall of Fame football linebacker Lawrence Taylor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he raped a 16-year-old girl.

Video: In Gulf, Tests Begin on Cap to Stop Oil Gusher

BP, the government and an army of volunteers are fighting to contain and clean the millions of gallons of oil spewing from the site of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Supreme Court: Kagan Committee Vote Delayed

The Senate Judiciary Committee “will vote July 20 on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat,” Bloomberg reports.

“I would hope to complete it and vote that day,” Leahy said today in Washington. “I think everybody’s made up their mind” on how to vote.

“I think we are cooperating in a fair way to move this nominee forward,” said ranking Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who requested a week’s delay in the vote.

Democratic leaders “plan to schedule a confirmation vote in the full Senate before lawmakers’ month-long August recess.”

(credit image – daylife/associated press)

The Anglican Church inches towards women Bishops

Let me annoy some bloggers by raising this issue again. Some said I was not good at this subject. Others implied I had little right to comment. I am a child of the Anglican tradition. I have every right to comment on the Church’s future, as it remains the established Church whose deeds have to be reported to Parliament and in some cases approved by Parliament.

There are two concerns mentioned against the Synod’s decision to move towards women bishops. Some traditionalists are unhappy with women bishops, as they think it wrong. I am afraid they either have to live with the majority decision, or join a Church which has no women bishops. They did, after all, live reluctantly with the majority decison to have women priests. Some worry that others will join the Catholic Church, and see this as a needless weakening of the Anglican communion. It is true the Pope wishes to recruit from amongst those who do not like this development. It is not necessarily true that the Church would have more members if it deneid women access to the priesthood as a career.

The truth is the Anglican Church could lose people from the other wing if it did not make this change. The evangelical Churches are often dynamic and also looking to recruit. That is why it is best for the Church to make its own decision based on the merits of the case, and then to go out and be proud of what it has decided.

It might also conclude that just as the Pope has offered a home for Anglicans who do not like a feature of the Church of England, maybe the Anglican Church could think of some features of the recent practise of the Catholic Church that might lead Catholics to join the C of E. The traffic need not be all one way, especially if the Anglican Church has now made up its mind and can defend its decisions.

By John Redwood

(Video) Ga. Cops Repeatedly Taser 57-Year-Old Teacher Who Called for Help By Jeff Mays

A criminal investigation should be opened for two officers who Tasered and pepper-sprayed a 57-year-old Georgia woman who called police to report a prowler.
Janice Wells, a third-grade teacher, called officers in rural Georgia for help. Instead, she ended up on the ground screaming and crying, begging officers to stop shocking her with the Taser.

"All of it's just unreal to me. I was scared to death," Wells told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "He kept Tasing me and Tasing me. My fingernails are still burned. My leg, back and my butt had a long scar on it for days."

The horrible incident was captured on one of the officer's dash camera. In the video, officer Ryan Smith is shown driving to the scene. He exits the vehicle with Taser in hand and immediately begins using it on Wells, who screams in pain.

"Get in the car. Get in the car. You're going to get it again," Smith says in the video.

"I ain't do nothin'," Wells says between shocks.

The Tasering occurred after another officer, Tim Murphy of Richland Police Department, used pepper spray while trying to arrest the woman.

Both men lost their jobs as a result. Smith resigned, and Murphy was fired. Wells has retained a lawyer and should exercise her right to sue for police abuse.

However, after looking at the video, it seems that law enforcement authorities should investigate the use of excessive force.

Read more and see video

Inside The WaPo/ABC Poll: Democrats' Worst Nightmare

The headlines regarding The Washington Post-ABC News poll just released focus on the finding that Confidence In Obama Reaches New Low.

I certainly understand why that is the headline, but only if one digs deep into the actual polling data does one get a true picture of how the nation is moving against Obama.

On Obama's approval rating (Question 1), 35 percent strongly disapprove versus 28 percent who strongly approve. The data accompanying Question No. 1 shows that the strongly approve/strongly disapprove gap has increase significantly since the beginning of the year, when the strongly disapprove responses were only 1-3 percentage points higher than strongly approve. As late as November 2009, the strongly approve numbers exceeded the strongly disapprove.

The net effect is that public sentiment is moving against Obama not only in the aggregate, but particularly in the realm of people who have strong feelings. This is consistent with what Rasmussen shows in its daily tracking poll.

Indeed, as one goes through the questions, the strength of opposition to Obama outdistances the strength of support to a much greater extent than the overall numbers. Here are some examples (strongly disapprove/strongly approve):

•Handling of economy (Q2b: 41/20)

•Handling of health care (Q2e: 40/27)

•Handling of budget deficit (Q2g: 45/20)

An astonishing 90% of people have a negative view as to the state of the economy, including 46% who view the economy as "poor" (Question 23) and only 27% see the economy "getting better" versus 32% "getting worse" (Question 24).

When it came to whether government should spend to stimulate the economy, the poll asked a skewed question. Questions 25 was phrased with a clear bias in favor of a positive response, by using the words "in a way that creates jobs." Nonetheless, even with this questioning bias, people evenly split on government spending:

25. Do you think the federal government should spend more money to try to boost the economy in a way that creates jobs, or do you think that whether or not jobs are created should be left to the private sector?

Should Spend More - 48

Left to Private Sector - 48

No Opinion - 4

Interestingly, in Question 26, 18% respondents who answered that the government should spend more money, then changed their minds if the spending would increase the deficit.

So net-net, 57% of people (either initially or after the follow up question) were against increased government spending even if it were spent "in a way that creates jobs." Questions 25 and 26 demonstrate the strong opposition to government spending which increases the deficit.

Last, but perhaps more important, the poll tested self-identification, similar to what Gallup has been doing. As with Gallup, the poll found that substantially more people identify themselves as conservative than liberal (Question 908a):

Liberal - 22

Conservative - 39

Moderate - 35

So what does this poll show, when all the questions are taken into consideration? The Democrats' worst nightmare:

An increasingly conservative nation moving strongly against the two foundations of the Democratic Party: Government stimulus spending and Obama.
By William A. Jacobson

Aimee L. Sword Goes to Jail for Having Sex with Birth Son

A woman named Aimee L. Sword, who pleaded guilty of having sex with her 14-year-old son she gave into adoption, will go to jail and receive from 9 to 30 years in prison. Although she gave him into adoption, she found him through the Internet.
36-year-old Aimee L. Sword, Waterford, Michigan resident, apologized yesterday during her sentencing in Oakland County. She pleaded guilty of first-degree sexual misconduct after reaching an agreement with the prosecutors.
Sword used Facebook to track her son, now 16, in 2008. She has said they only had sex once, but the boy claims they had sex more than once including a Grand Rapids hotel and her home. During that time Sword was married and lived with her husband and five children of different ages.

“When she saw this boy, something just touched off in her—and it wasn’t a mother-son relationship, it was a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship,” said Sword’s attorney.

Black Activists Condemn NAACP Resolution Against Tea Party Movement

by Bob Parks

As the NAACP plans to use their group’s prestige to bash the tea party movement, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are urging delegates at the NAACP’s national convention not to turn the NAACP into a pawn for progressive political bosses.
“As a frequent speaker at tea party rallies around the country, I can assure the NAACP that the tea party movement’s concerns are about President Obama’s policies and not his race,” said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. “I’m deeply concerned that the NAACP is being used as a political tool to do the dirty work of the progressive movement. Instead of criticizing tea parties, the NAACP would be better served denouncing the racist comments made by a member of the New Black Panther Party and their voter intimidation outside a Philadelphia polling place in the last presidential election.”

According to a report in the Kansas City Star, the NAACP, which is conducting its 101st annual convention in that city, will take up a resolution as early as Tuesday to urge “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.”

Kansas City NAACP chapter president Anita Russell said the tea party movement is “really not about limited government.” The resolution reportedly dwells on “explicitly racist behavior” that relies upon anecdotal posters opposing President Obama and allegations of the use of racial epithets by tea party participants.

Project 21’s Borelli added: “I urge the delegates to read the Contract from America – a list of policy objectives for Congress that was developed by tea party members nationwide. These objectives are clearly about limited government and liberty. In fact, the NAACP should be very concerned Obama’s cap-and-trade energy policy will lead to higher energy prices and higher unemployment – particularly among poor and minority households.”

Borelli, who has spoken at tea party events nationwide (including last year’s 912 rally at the U.S. Capitol) is the author of the commentary “Liberals Crash Tea Party, But Stay Silent On Black Panther Hate Talk,” published by FoxNews.com on July 12, 2010.

“Personally, I’m tired of arguing with the ignorant,” said Bob Parks, a Project 21 member who has also participated in tea party events – including the rallies outside the U.S. Capitol on 9/12 and the weekend of the House votes on Obamacare. “Al Sharpton recently tried in vain on his radio show to get me to apologize for alleged tea party racism. He tried to get me to apologize for racial epithets hurled at Congressman John Lewis that only Lewis seemed to hear. I would guess neither Al Sharpton nor the overwhelming majority of NAACP members have ever been to a tea party, so they speak from intentional ignorance. While liberals scream racism at the tea parties purely because of their audacity to oppose Obama, it’s the progressives who seem to feel free to use racial epithets against others as they know – as is seen in this instance – that the NAACP turns a blind partisan eye.”

The NAACP’s Russell reportedly is “pretty certain” the anti-tea party resolution will pass.

“Progressives have hijacked the NAACP to the extent that the group stands silent as conservative blacks suffer indignities for their beliefs. Some NAACP even egg on this appalling behavior – providing political cover and lapdog services for these elitists,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. “As a conservative black man, I have felt more welcomed and at home within the tea party movement than among those of my own who side with the this new NAACP. If a few random signs of President Obama looking like the Joker is indeed racist, then where was the NAACP when conservative blacks are depicted as lawn jockeys, Oreos and Uncle Toms?”

“The level and depth of ignorance and misrepresentation of truth is unquantifiable,” said Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie, another speaker at tea party events in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan. “The simple truth is that the tea party movement is about smaller government, lower taxes and an adherence to the Constitution. The NAACP is welcome to disagree with the tea parties, but in making that complaint they must be truthful and not fall prey to ignorance and perceived disaffection.”

A $100,000 reward offer made by Andrew Breitbart to anyone who can provide video and audio evidence that racial epithets were shouted at Congressional Black Caucus members by tea party activists on March 20 remains unclaimed months later.

Obama Institutes Offshore Drilling Moratorium … Again

After the BP oil spill, the Obama Administration offered little excuse for instituting a moratorium on deepwater drilling regardless of the fact that it brought one of the Gulf Coast’s main industries to a sudden halt. Despite federal judge Martin Feldman’s ruling on the moratorium and despite a federal appeals court upholding that decision, the U.S. Department of Interior issued a new moratorium on deepwater drilling this afternoon.

The new ban will not apply to a specific depth but instead “apply to any deep-water floating facility with drilling activities.” But changing the rules of the ban does not change the fact that the moratorium would do nothing to address the oil spill. Instead, it would unnecessarily destroy jobs in a region struggling to manage an environmental and economic crisis—largely in part because of the federal government.

In the face of a disaster that has already torn through the economic fabric of many coastal industries, denying jobs to the area is unjust. If the newly issued moratorium circumvents judicial ruling, more than 120,000 jobs could be lost in the Gulf Coast, and the ripples from these lost jobs would be seen throughout all sectors of the economy.

Furthermore, hopes of keeping energy production in the domestic sphere are dwindling in the face of the moratorium. Companies such as Baker Hughes are giving up on domestic offshore drilling and temporarily (at least, for now) moving their rigs to other countries more receptive to oil exploration. Others may become part of Venezuela’s nationalized fleet. Diamond Offshore Drilling is taking its rig to Egypt as a result of the government’s persistence to ban deepwater drilling.

But it’s not just the deepwater floating facilities that will be affected. The Obama Administration’s opposition to deepwater drilling has led to a de facto ban on shallow water drilling. CNN Money reports that “drillers in shallow water say they haven’t been issued permits since the April 20 explosion. The delay has already forced hundreds of layoffs, and many more could be on the way. ‘I’m almost out of business over here,’ said Paul Butler, president of Spartan Offshore, a small drilling company in Metairie, La.”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said recently of the Gulf spill, “The president has and continues to believe that we have to be careful with what we’re doing, given the uncertainty about what happened 84 days ago.” One accident, no matter how tragic, is not indicative of an evolving pattern. The explosion of one rig could have been caused by any number of isolated factors unique to the BP rig and cannot be assumed to carry over to all deepwater drilling.

In fact, when DOI Secretary Ken Salazar had his list of recommendations for the President reviewed by the seven experts from the National Academy of Engineering, those experts rejected the offshore drilling moratorium, saying, “A blanket moratorium is not the answer. It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill. We do not believe punishing the innocent is the right thing to do.”

The uncertainty alone caused by the White House has brought offshore drilling to a halt and thus is having very real effects on the Gulf’s economy. This is not the time for political games. The Administration needs to listen to the two court rulings rejecting a ban on drilling and let the Gulf’s economy recover.

Kelsey Huber co-authored this post.

By Nicolas Loris

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner dies at 80

NEW YORK – George Steinbrenner, who rebuilt the New York Yankees into a sports empire with a mix of bluster and big bucks that polarized fans all across America, died Tuesday. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday July 4.

Steinbrenner had a heart attack, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and died at about 6:30 a.m, a person close to the owner told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not disclosed those details.

His death was the second in three days to rock the Yankees. Bob Sheppard, the team's revered public address announcer from 1951-07, died Sunday at 99.

For more than 30 years, Steinbrenner lived up to his billing as "the Boss," a nickname he earned and clearly enjoyed as he ruled with an iron fist. While he lived in Tampa he was a staple on the front pages of New York newspapers.

"He was an incredible and charitable man," his family said in a statement. "He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again."

Full Story...