Monday, July 19, 2010

Paris Hilton caught with Marijuana AGAIN! + She denies it all!

Paris Paris Paris…..

Paris Hilton says reports that she was detained on the French island of Corsica for possession of marijuana are “completely false.”

Agence France-Presse was among news outlets to report that police briefly held the heiress Saturday after she arrived at the airport in Figari on a private jet from Paris. The report, which cited police sources, said police found less than a gram of cannabis in Hilton’s handbag and that she was soon released without charge.

“So sick of people making up rumors about me,” Hilton tweeted in her defense Saturday. “The latest one about me is completely false too. Don’t believe what you read. Silly nonsense.”

Hilton later added: “The stories saying I have been arrested are completely false! I am having the best vacation of my life!”

Hilton was recently detained in the South African city of Port Elizabeth during the World Cup on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was later dropped and no charges were filed.

Lindsay Lohan Thinks Jail Isn't a Done Deal

Robert Shapiro can work wonders -- he was part of the team that got O.J. Simpson off -- but sources in the crazy world of Lindsay Lohan say he has not convinced her that she must surrender to a jail sentence.

People who are interacting with Lindsay tell TMZ she has been in obsessive denial over her surrender Tuesday, when she must begin serving a 90-day jail sentence -- which will be whittled down to 22 days behind bars.

Lindsay is convinced there is still a way she can avoid jail, even though Shapiro made it clear he would only rep her if she went to the pokey.

Here's the irony -- Lindsay expects Shapiro to pull a Shawn Chapman Holley ... code for getting the judge to overlook her past screw-ups and keep her a free woman. Holley eventually quit when Judge Marsha Revel made it clear ... there were no more cards to play.

And, we're told, the reason it took so long to find a new lawyer is because Lindsay only wanted someone who could keep her out of jail but no credible lawyer would make that promise.

And here's the thing. From what we're hearing, there is no way in hell Judge Revel is going to back down.

94 People Charged in Health Care Fraud Crackdown

By Jason Beahm

The Justice Department has arrested 94 people and charged them in a heath care fraud crackdown involving Medicare and Medicaid. Authorities have called it the largest healthcare sting in U.S. history. The sting was held in five states and nabbed defendants who have been committing fraud against the government. Federal agents says that those arrested fraudulently received $251 million in false claims from Medicare and Medicaid. Many of the services were never even provided, others were unnecessary. Doctors and health-care executives were arrested in the sweep.

"Countless Americans rely on Medicare for their well-being," said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, in the Washington Post. Mueller added that the FBI and other federal agencies are determined "to stop those who would illegally manipulate the system."

Attorney General Eric Holder and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have stepped up enforcement of health care fraud. President Obama has said that reducing fraud is a crucial part of the health care reform. The Obama administration hopes to eliminate $60 billion to $90 billion a year in Medicare fraud to help pay for the overhaul of the health care system, the Detriot Free Press reports.

One defendant, a medical biller, was alleged to have singlehandedly submitted over $49 million in fraudulent services. In another case, a New York City clinic submitted $70 million in fraudulent claims that were wrongfully paid out. An investigation found beneficiaries lining up to receive fraudulent payments. A sign showed a women saying "shhh" and warning in Russian, "Don't Gossip," Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for Justice's criminal division said.

The Possibility of a GOP Senate

Posted by Mark Noonan

You might recall me saying last year that there was zero chance for the Republican party to win a Senate majority in 2010. It just wasn’t in the cards. There weren’t enough competitive Democrat seats, while there were several competitive GOP seats which opened up opportunities for Democrats to counter GOP victories over Democrats.

Now? Now, it has shifted from impossible, to possible – from the Wall Street Journal:

…Republicans would have to win virtually every competitive race to retake the Senate, without losing any seats of their own—clearly an uphill climb. The trouble for Democrats is that many trends are against them. Surveys show that Republicans are more motivated than Democrats to go to the polls, and that voters are looking for new leadership in Congress.

“I think there is definitely a chance” of losing the Senate, said Democratic strategist Gary Nordlinger, a Washington-based media consultant. “I wouldn’t call it a probability, but there is certainly a chance.”

“Republicans still have to [win] all the competitive races in order to get to a majority, but at least there are enough seats on the table to pull it off,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report…

It would be, without a doubt, very difficult for Republicans to win the ten seats necessary for a majority (9 wouldn’t do it, as that would put the Senate at 50/50 with VP Biden breaking the tie). But the thing is, there are a total of 11 Democrat seats the GOP has a reasonable prospect of winning – there are two GOP seats which are rated as a bit vulnerable, but not nearly as vulnerable as most of the Democrats’ are. It would take rolling sixes several times in a row, but it could happen.

The really bad news for the Democrats: the GOP is likely to really clean up in 2012 and 2014 as all those first term Senate Democrats from 2006 and 2008 have their first re-election bids, often in GOP-leaning States. A bit of hard work, a bit of luck, and we could wind up with the power to force through whatever reforms we desire.

Video: Sense of Hope Along Gulf As Cap Till Holding

The US government allowed BP Monday to keep its Gulf well closed for another day while testing continues despite new concerns such as a possible seep near the site.

Multiple People Shot Downtown During Black Expo Tonight

At least two people have been shot downtown tonight during the Black Expo celebration according to Fox59 News shortly after a teen event ended at Conseco Fieldhouse. Two separate shootings took place at the corner of Maryland and Illinois Street in front of the Steak-N-Shake and at Meridian and Capital Streets. Two victims have been taken to Methodist and Wishard Hospitals.

UPDATE: Radio talk show host Abdul Hakim Shabazz is reporting there are 7 shooting victims on his twitter site, including a 10-year-old. Shootings and criminal activity have become synonymous downtown with this event each year, particularly the second weekend of the event. WTHR is also confirming there are 7 shooting victims. Last weekend, a teen-ager was shot in the leg along the canal downtown as Black Expo kicked off its first weekend events. It doesn't look like Mayor Greg Ballard's crime prevention grant to Black Expo is doing much to prevent crime at this year's event.

UPDATE II: WISH-TV is now reporting there are 8 9 10 shooting victims. Live coverage showed a number of persons being arrested as numerous fights broke out downtown in the aftermath of these shootings. A tenth person waas shot near the corner of Illinois and Market Streets following the first two shootings.

UPDATE III: Luckily, none of the shootings appears to have resulted in life-threatening injuries. Here's what the AP is saying:

Three separate shootings left 10 people wounded and scattered hundreds during an opening burst of gunfire in downtown Indianapolis during the crowded Indiana Black Expo, police said early Sunday.

Police spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell said authorities made no immediate arrests directly tied to the shootings and investigators were seeking leads to the suspects.

None of the victims' injuries were life-threatening, Duhamell told The Associated Press, adding that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department had made three unrelated arrests on weapons charges . . .

Duhamell said the shooting victims were all males between 10 and 18 years old. He said most were taken to Wishard and Methodist hospitals, where they were in good condition early Sunday. One person was treated at the scene.

Authorities say none of the shootings occurred at venues playing host to Black Expo activities, but police patrolling amid the crowd moving about the Downtown area quickly converged on the scene.

"It's pretty unusual to have this many shots in one time. It's very unfortunate," Duhamell said.

Duhamell said investigators had no immediate report on a possible motive but were trying to determine if any of the shootings were gang-related.

He said hundreds of officers had been assigned to policing the 10-day event, which concludes today.

I noticed during coverage of Black Expo's summer celebration events that there were very few people who showed up for the Teen Bling event at Conseco Fieldhouse where the Colts' Reggie Wayne and the NBA's Greg Odom were playing in a basketball game. News of last night's shooting is making national headlines. CNN has a story here, MSNBC has a story here, CBS has a story here and Fox News has a story here. With all of the talk of building the City's image during the latest give-away to the Indiana Pacers, one has to wonder whether this kind of national media coverage does harm to our city's reputation. I would also like to see a report on how much police over-time is costing us for this event. Reports indicated there were more than 300 police officers patrolling downtown last night.

Happy 92nd Birthday Nelson Mandela By Karen Ocamb

President Obama released a greeting today to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on the occasion of the great man’s 92nd birthday. (See photos of Mandela celebrating with his family on the Nelson Mandela Foundation site.)

On behalf of the United States, I wish Nelson Mandela a very happy 92nd birthday. We are grateful to continue to be blessed with his extraordinary vision, leadership, and spirit. And we strive to build upon his example of tolerance, compassion and reconciliation. I also join the American people, the South African people, the United Nations, and the world in celebrating the first annual Nelson Mandela International Day. I encourage us all to heed the call to engage in some form of service to others, in honor of the 67 years of sacrifice and service Madiba gave to us. We strive to follow his example of what it means to truly give back to our communities, our nations, and our world.

The example we all strive to follow is his political activism opposing South African apartheid, leading to his arrest and conviction in 1962, with a sentence of life in prison. Upon his release on Feb. 11 1990, Mandela remarkably forgave his captors and lead his country through an unbelievable process of reconciliation and the first-ever multi-racial democratic process, which also elected him president from 1994-1999.

Mandela included sexual orientation in his Inaugural speech in Cape Town on May 9, 1994, a plank later written into the South African constitution:

“In 1980s the African National Congress was still setting the pace, being the first major political formation in South Africa to commit itself firmly to a Bill of Rights, which we published in November 1990. These milestones give concrete expression to what South Africa can become. They speak of a constitutional, democratic, political order in which, regardless of colour, gender, religion, political opinion or sexual orientation, the law will provide for the equal protection of all citizens.
 They project a democracy in which the government, whomever that government may be, will be bound by a higher set of rules, embodied in a constitution, and will not be able govern the country as it pleases.”

Today “apartheid” has been relegated to the history books. But many of us remember that cruel, total Nazi-like control the white Afrikaaners held over blacks and other people of color. To understand that context, please read this BBC report or take some time and watch this film about the June 16, 1976 youth-led riots in Soweto. I worked at CBS News at the time and I remember filmed horror that never made it to the evening news. I also remember white police officers unapologetically claiming they had “no choice” but to fire into the fleeing schoolchildren. By the end of the riots Reuters reported more than 500 killed (many youth shot and trampled), with thousands wounded. It took global outrage and sanctions to eventually stop apartheid and yield heroes such as Nelson Mandela.

Here is a BBC filmed report about Mandela’s release from prison:

The Christie Tool Kit: Putting Children First By Cutting Out-of-Classroom Costs

The Christie Reform Agenda: Cutting Costs and Directing Dollars to the Classroom

The Christie Reform Agenda includes a comprehensive tool kit to provide municipalities and school districts the necessary reform measures that will allow them to keep costs low and fund priority services. The Governor's latest reform proposal caps education administrator pay and puts an end to abuses in the system.

This action has the potential to save almost $9.8 million and help ensure that the maximum amount of education funding stays in the classroom. On average, superintendents' salaries have risen over twice the rate of inflation - a nearly 46 percent increase since 2001. This is a higher increase than teacher compensation or overall education spending. The ultimate cost to New Jersey taxpayers is over $100 million.

The Christie proposal will cut out-of-classroom costs by capping school administrators' salaries and reforming how they are paid.

Bringing Salaries In-Line with District Demands

The Christie proposal brings superintendent salaries in line with district needs. Right now, superintendents in districts with over 1,000 students earn an average of $192,764, while superintendents in districts with fewer than 1,000 students earn an average of $152,764.

These salaries are out of proportion with the private sector, current economic realities and district demands. Under the current proposal, the base pay of superintendents would be capped according to a sliding scale that takes into account the student enrollment of the district(s) overseen, with an increment of $5,000 for each additional district served by a single superintendent, and an increment of $2,500 if the district(s) include(s) at least one high school.

Student Enrollment of District(s) Maximum

0 - 250 $120,000

251 - 750 $135,000

751 - 1,500 $150,000

1,501 - 3,000 $165,000

3,001 - 10,000 $175,000

Over 10,000 *

* Superintendent compensation in the sixteen districts with student enrollment over 10,000 would be subject to separate rules developed by the Department of Education.

School boards would not be permitted to increase a superintendent's base pay (for example, with longevity increases) beyond these salary caps. Additionally, no superintendent contract that includes a compensation package above these salary caps could be extended; at its expiration, the new compensation package of the superintendent would need to conform to this new policy.

According to New Jersey Department of Education data, 366 school superintendents currently earn more than the new salary cap would permit.

As with all elements of superintendent contracts, the Executive County Superintendents would review and approve superintendent salaries to ensure that they adhere to this policy.

An Estimated $9.8 Million in Savings Means More Money in the Classroom

Based on current salaries, 70 percent of superintendents currently earn above the proposed salary cap, costing school districts a total of $9.8 million.

Ultimately, nearly two-thirds of the potential savings would come from six counties: Bergen ($2.2 million), Morris ($1.2 million), Monmouth ($700,000), Middlesex ($700,000), Passaic ($650,000) and Essex ($650,000).

Rewarding Success: Individual Year Incentives for Performance

For all new contracts, upon attainment of pre-determined milestones, school districts will be able to provide superintendents a non-pensionable, individual year merit stipend, awarded on the basis of the school district's year-to-year progress relative to specific performance metrics of student learning. The following state guidelines would apply to this opportunity:

a. The Department of Education would provide school boards with a list of state-approved quantitative and qualitative merit criteria;

b. With Executive County Superintendent approval, boards would be permitted to add to this list one district-requested merit criterion;

c. Boards would choose 3 quantitative and 2 qualitative merit criteria from this list;

d. Executive County Superintendents would assemble the quantitative and qualitative performance data that forms the basis of a district superintendent's performance evaluation relative to these merit criteria;

e. Districts would reward superintendents with an individual year merit stipend equal to 3.33% of base for each quantitative performance criterion achieved and 2.5% of base for each qualitative performance criterion achieved in a given year.

Michael Jordan Continues to Knock LeBron James Going to Miami

by HG

It’s unlikely that LeBron James would ever admit it but it has to hurt him that his idol, Michael Jordan, is questioning his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. Jordan and Charles Barkley commented on James’ decision before teeing off at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. MJ reiterated his feelings Sunday in an interview on NBC at the golf tournament. Not beating them and then joining them was never an option for Michael.

It was less than a year ago that LeBron called for all players to stop wearing number 23 out of respect to Michael Jordan. Now MJ sounds like he’s lost some respect for the King. The only way for LeBron to get on the right side of Mike (and shut a lot of people up) is by winning a championship in his first year in Miami. Then the move is justified immediately. People will still find a way to criticize his game just like they do with Kobe. But a ring will make the past less relevant, just like it did for Kobe.

Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston Engaged By Mike Licht

Society Notes: The editors of US Magazine are pleased to announce the betrothal of Miss Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin and Mr. Levi Keith Johnston of Wasilla, Alaska.

Mr. Johnston is an unemployed dropout from Wasilla High School, where he played hockey while fathering Miss Palin’s son, Tripp Easton Mitchell Palin. His sister blogs and his mother was in pharmaceuticals.

Miss Palin is a noted authority on abstinence-only sex education. Her mother, Mrs. Sarah Palin, a former sportscaster, was Temp-Governor of Alaska for several months. Her father Todd, a retired BP employee, races snowmobiles and fishes for salmon.

The wedding is expected to take place just before the Fall television season. The bride will wear Carolina Herrera, the groom and Tripp will sport a camouflage pattern. The couple plans to honeymoon on reality TV.

Seabed Leaks?

Not good.
via AssPress

NEW ORLEANS — A federal official says scientists are concerned about a seep and possible methane near BP's busted oil well in the Gulf of Mexico

Both could be signs there are leaks in the well that's been capped off for three days.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement about the next steps had not been made yet.

The official is familiar with the spill oversight but would not clarify what is seeping near the well. The official says BP is not complying with the government's demand for more monitoring.

And from Bloomberg:

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. government officials demanded to see BP Plc’s plans for reopening its sealed Gulf of Mexico well after tests found a suspected leak seeping from the seabed.

In a letter addressed to Bob Dudley, BP managing director, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said tests had detected a “seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head.” The letter was posted yesterday on the website of the joint information center for the spill.

No decision was announced as to whether BP will be ordered to open the valves sealing the well, which would allow oil to resume flowing. BP would restart efforts to capture the oil and funnel it to vessels at the surface after the well is opened.

“I direct you to provide me a written procedure for opening the choke valve as quickly as possible without damaging the well should hydrocarbon seepage near the well head be confirmed,” Allen wrote in the letter.

Stephon Marbury Sued Over $1 Sale of His Company

It’s been a very strange year for Stephon Marbury. Not only did his mental stability break down right in front of our very eyes on the internet for weeks, but then after being spurned from the NBA he ended up playing professionally in China and actually doing quite well for himself.

But when it comes to business, the Starbury brand and most other ventures he has been affiliated with have ended in a courtroom. Often with Marbury feeling he got the short end of the stick. But this time Marbury is the one being sued. In a very strange case, a woman is claiming Marbury agreed to sell her his company for nothing more than $1. That’s right folks. One American Dollar! has this on the court documents:

In the lawsuit, filed Friday in L.A. County Superior Court, a woman named Thuymai K. Ung claims Marbury agreed to sell her 100% of his company — which includes a piece of property in L.A. — back in December … for the sum of one American dollar.

In the documents, Ung alleges that Marbury is now claiming that he still owns part of the company and/or the property.

Ung is asking the court to declare her the rightful owner of the company and the property. A rep for Marbury could not be reached. {via TMZ}

If its believable for anyone to sell off a company for $1 it would be Stephon Marbury. But with that said, if it turns out in court that he really did sell off his company for $1, I wonder if he will sell me his house for a cool $20?

By Dr. Anklesnap

EMT Jason Green who refused to help a dying woman last year shot and killed in NYC

by Claudette Rothman

The NY EMT worker who was being investigated for ignoring a dying pregnant woman during his coffee break at an Au Bon Pain shop in Brooklyn last year, was shot and killed early this morning in Manhattan, authorities confirmed.

Thirty-two year old Jason Green, of Jackson Heights, Queens, was shot outside the popular nightclub, Greenhouse, around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.

According to reports, Green and a friend were trying to get into the SoHo nightclub, when bouncers turned them away because his friend was not properly dressed for the club.

Authorities say shortly after leaving the Varick Street club, the men got into a verbal altercation with an armed man in a car.

It is believed that while the men were at the corner of Hudson Street, the suspect fired his gun from inside his vehicle, hitting Green twice in the torso.

Green was taken to a Manhattan hospital, where he later died.

Police said Green’s friend was not injured during the incident.

Green was under investigation for a December 9, 2009 incident at a downtown Brooklyn eatery that left a 23-year-old woman dead.

It was reported that Green and fellow EMT worker and girlfriend, Melisa Jackson, refused to help Eutisha Rennix, a 23-year-old pregnant woman, who was suffering from a seizure while they were on a coffee break.

Co-workers of Rennix’s told authorities that Green and Jackson refused to help Rennix. They said Jackson called a fellow dispatcher to report the incident without attempting to help the woman who was six months pregnant.

Rennix, who had a 3-year-old son, and her premature baby later died at Long Island College Hospital.

Obama Gains Evangelical Allies on Immigration

From The New York Times:

At a time when the prospects for immigration overhaul seem most dim, supporters have unleashed a secret weapon: a group of influential evangelical Christian leaders.

Normally on the opposite side of political issues backed by the Obama White House, these leaders are aligning with the president to support an overhaul that would include some path to legalization for illegal immigrants already here. They are preaching from pulpits, conducting conference calls with pastors and testifying in Washington — as they did last Wednesday.

When President Obama gave a major address pushing immigration overhaul this month, he was introduced by a prominent evangelical, the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. Three other evangelical pastors were in the audience, front and center.

Their presence was a testament, in part, to the work of politically active Hispanic evangelical pastors, who have forged friendships with non-Hispanic pastors in recent years while working in coalitions to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. The Hispanics made a concerted effort to convince their brethren that immigration reform should be a moral and practical priority.
By Sid Cottingham

Memo to VP Biden: There are racist elements in the Tea Party "movement."

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Vice President Biden has a long history of foot-in-mouth disease, to be sure, but, often giving him the benefit of the doubt, I've thought that his occasional moments of political inappropriateness -- saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and saying it stupidly -- were reflections of a certain candor, of a willingness to say things that most politicians won't, that is, on the whole, quite admirable.

So I was disappointed today to hear him waffle badly on the issue of Tea Party racism:

"Do you think elements of the Tea Party are racist?" This Week anchor Jake Tapper asked Vice President Joe Biden in an EXCLUSIVE interview. Biden equivocated at first, but then settled on a pretty firm no.

"Well, the truth is that at least elements that were involved in some of the Tea Party folks expressed racist views," he said.

"I wouldn't characterize the Tea Party as racist. There are individuals who are either members of or on the periphery of some of their things, their -- their protests -- that have expressed really unfortunate comments. And, again, it was all over TV, all over your network, you know? A black Congressman walking up the stairs of the Capitol," he said, referring to alleged racist epithets said to an African-American Congressmen by alleged Tea Party members during the apogee of the debate over health care reform.

"I don't believe, the president doesn't believe that the Tea Party is -- is a racist organization. I don't believe that," Biden said. "Very conservative. Very different views on government and a whole lot of things. But it is not a racist organization."

No one with any credibility, including its most ardent critics, has suggested that the Tea Party "movement" is a racist organization (to that extent that it can even be called an organization). For the record -- I haven't, and I, of course, have been deeply critical of the teabaggers and their fringe-conservative politics.

You wouldn't know this from recent Tea Party hysterics, but the NAACP didn't say that either, and it was the NAACP that prompted Tapper's question with its innocuous statement that there are "racist elements" among the teabaggers.

But are there "racist elements" in the "movement"? Yes, of course there are, and Biden knows it. What he said is that the "organization" isn't racist. Fine, but he also said, without quite saying it, that there are racist elements in it: "There are individuals who are either members of or on the periphery of some of their things, their -- their protests -- that have expressed really unfortunate comments."

I understand the need for political tact, but what is the point of such cowardice -- yes, it's cowardice. and not candor at all. Why not just be honest? Why not just be blunt? There's actually a lot of racism in the Tea Party "movement." It's not just isolated to a few rogue individuals waving Confederate flags and mouthing off about the president's race. And the "comments" of these racists haven't been "unfortunate" -- what a wishy-washy word to use -- they've been indications of a nefarious and deep-rooted bigotry that animates so much of the right, particularly the anti-government, anti-Obama populism of the teabaggers, who direct so much of their angry virulence at a president who is of mixed race but who is, for all their intents and purposes, black, and, lest we forget, at any government policy that seeks to benefit non-whites (even if benefits whites, too), be it health-care reform or immigration reform or what have you.

But, no, Biden backs off, trips up, and fumbles. But, again, why? Republicans don't watch themselves the same way Biden did with Tapper. They exaggerate the other way, responding to any perceived slight with incendiary rhetoric, driving the political/media narrative by effectively defining the two sides of any debate, leaving no room for nuance (or for the truth).

For all that Democrats/liberals/progressives do wrong, I find this to be among the most frustrating. Why let Republicans control the narrative? Why not push back? Why not take the fight to the other side? Why not define what is at stake? Why not show some courage?

There are racist elements in the Tea Party "movement" -- a lot of them. And there is a lot of evidence of it. And it's not like Democrats have to watch what they say lest they lose the teabagger vote. They don't have it regardless. The Tea Party "movement" is overwhelmingly Republican. What Biden and others should say -- and say with conviction, and say repeatedly -- is that a "movement" that in many ways is deeply racist, and that espouses views (including a view of government as the enemy) that are extremely dangerous, is tied up with the Republican Party, that is increasingly inseparable from the Republican Party -- and that a vote for a Republican in November is a vote for the fringe-conservative views of the teabaggers.

That is what this is about. That is what is at stake. Just stop the waffling and tell the truth.

Actor Wesley Snipes Loses Appeal of Prison Sentence

Acrtor Wesley Snipes has lost his appeal of his prison sentence, Reuters reports.

According to the article, "Actor Wesley Snipes is headed for jail after losing his appeal of a three-year prison sentence for failing to file income tax returns for 1999 through 2001.A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the 47-year-old actor's 2008 conviction in an Ocala, Florida, court for three misdemeanors stemming from felony tax charges."

Tea Party Federation boots Mark Williams, TPE, over ‘colored’ letter

Since The Reid Report became the first to report that Mark Williams posted his racist “letter from the colored people to President Lincoln,” it has become a national firestorm, prompting Williams to first edit, and then take down his post. Well now, the tea party movement has taken Williams down, too.

From CNN, which has given Williams more airtime than any other network, comes this…

The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that represents the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled conservative commentator Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express because of an inflammatory blog post he wrote, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday.

Appearing on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Webb said that Williams and the Tea Party Express — which has held a series of events across the country to generate support for the movement — no longer were part of the National Tea Party Federation.

“We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote,” Webb said of the blog post by Williams that satirized a fictional letter from what he called “Colored People” to President Abraham Lincoln.

Webb called the blog post “clearly offensive.”

(Webb is African-American, btw — a sign that the tea party movement, whatever it may claim, is indeed sensitive to the charges of racism, and like the RNC, wants to put as much of a black face on itself as possible to compensate for the minuscule numbers of non-white people actually in its ranks. Note just how many black “tea party leaders” you’ve seen on TV in the last five days — far more than you’ve ever seen depicted at any of the rallies …

Meanwhile, many people, including on this site, and up to Republican operative Mary Matalin, who have insisted that Williams was a minor player in the tea party movement and had no influence, have got to be scratching their heads this morning, since Williams was not just expelled as a lowly individual, but as the representative/spokesman and leader of TPE, which is now out on the street as well.

Williams will get his 15th minute of fame tonight on CNN, when he appears with Don Lemon to explain himself, probably for the last time on national television.

So far, Williams hasn’t posted a statement on his website responding to his ouster. And the Tea Party Express has stripped their homepage to the bone, though if you go straight to their “About” page, you can still find evidence of Mark Williams’ tenure as spokesman

The Reid Report