Hillary vs. Obama?
Poll: Support for Clinton in 2012
MJ LEE | 09/30/10 3:06 PM
About one-third of Democrats say they would support Hillary Clinton if she challenged President Obama in 2012, according to a Gallup poll.
Clinton, the secretary of state, has been asked if she would seek the Democratic nomination by reporters who note that some independents and disaffected Democrats are leaving Obama’s ranks. But she has said she has no interest in running.
According to the poll, 32 percent of Democrats say they would back her, while 52 percent say they would stick with Obama. Among conservatives, more respondents actually said they would pick Clinton – 48 percent, while 41 percent chose Obama.
Chad Ochocinco cereal box connects with sex line
September 30, 2010
CINCINNATI - Boxes of Chad Ochocinco cereal are being removed from Kroger store shelves after a phone number on the package meant to direct consumers to a children’s charity connects callers to an explicit phone sex line.
The number on the boxes, 1-800-HELP-FTC, connects callers to a seductive-sounding woman’s voice and music. She teases in shocking detail and then asks for a debit or credit card number: “You must be 18 or older to get into this party, baby!”
A portion of proceeds from the official, limited edition cereal of the Bengals wide receiver goes to Feed The Children organization. According to their website, the correct number is 1-888-HELP-FTC.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma City-based Feed The Children conceded the error appears to be the organization's mistake, one they are working to fix.
"We didn't even know the other number existed," said Tony Sellars, company spokesman.
Robert Bailey, president of Rosenhaus Sports, which represents Ochocinco, said Ochocinco expects the correct number will appear on new cereal boxes.
"We greatly regret the mistake and the trouble it has caused, but Chad himself was in no way involved in this error,'' Bailey said.
In the Bengals locker room on Thursday with a box of the cereal still featured prominently in his locker, Ochocinco apologized over the flap and called it “an honest mistake” while hoping some good could come out of it.
“I’ve been part of the organization and been doing things to help bring awareness to the causes. Having the cereal was another way,” Ochocinco said. “Anyone I’ve affected I really do apologize. Some people got a laugh out of it, others are upset.
“It’s a little bit of a negative but it sheds a positive light on what I’m doing. They have to get the right number 1-888-Help FTC. Not 800. If you dial 800 you’re on your own.”
Ochocinco also said he would take the blame for not noticing the wrong number and also said that it probably had not been noticed until now because people were donating online instead of using the toll-free number.
“In a positive light, it’s bringing more attention not just to Feed the Children and the cereal but also myself. I hope people do understand it’s something good,” he said.
Kroger workers began pulling the boxes of Ochocincos from shelves Thursday morning and were trying to reach the supplier, PLB Sports of Pittsburgh.
“Of course, we don’t want the message to get lost. The idea was to support the children,” said James Avant, an assistant advertising manager and a company spokesman. “(But) with that mistake, the wrong number, it’s just in the best interests to pull the boxes.”
Tara Sand of Reading said her family made the discovery Wednesday night when her sister-in-law called the number on speaker phone. The family was interested in perhaps donating to the children’s charity.
“That’s when we heard the lovely sex line that was on there,” Sand, 28, said sarcastically Thursday. “Needless to say, I thought she had dialed the wrong number. We quickly turned it off because our daughter, Lexi, who is 9, was looking at us with lots of questions on her face.”
Sand said her husband redialed the number to make sure – and came up with the sex line again. So she called her mother – and her mother said her cereal box also listed the same wrong number. “We were quite astonished,” Sand said.
She hopes the incident won’t negatively reflect on the Cincinnati Bengals, or Ochocinco.
“The thing that is most disappointing about this is nobody wants bad press,” she said. “(Ochocinco) may be a celebrity, but he’s obviously endorsing Feed the Children. I imagine he would have no idea this happened. It looks bad. It looks bad for the Bengals. It looks bad for Chad. It looks bad for Feed the Children. People calling to make a donation getting a sex line, that’s not the greatest thing in the world.”
The low fat, honey nut, toasted oat cereal -- called Ochocincos -- went on sale earlier this month at the Newport Kroger store.
The store manager at the Newport Kroger store was horrified when an Enquirer reporter notified him of the mix-up Thursday morning.
“What! Are you kidding?” responded manager Eric Harmon. “We have a huge display of that.”
Ochocinco did put a funny spin on the situation, saying: “Remember, this was made in Pittsburgh. Something isn’t right.”
Joe Reedy contributed to this report.
635 AM EST
LAS VEGAS - The Clark County coroner says actor Tony Curtis has died.
Coroner Mike Murphy says Curtis died at 9:25 p.m. MDT Wednesday at his Las Vegas area home of a cardiac arrest.
Curtis, who had heart bypass surgery in 1994, began his acting career as a 1950s heartthrob but became a respected actor with such films as "The Defiant Ones" and "Sweet Smell of Success.
"The Defiant Ones" brought him an Oscar nomination in 1958 for his portrayal of a racist escaped convict handcuffed to a black escapee, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he co-starred in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot."
Murrieta Man Sues Landlord Over Stolen Marijuana Plants
Court records show about $35,000 worth of plants were stolen
Updated 1:30 PM PDT, Wed, Sep 29, 2010
A Murrieta man is suing his landlord over stolen marijuana crops worth $35,000. Gary Hite said that the break-in was due to the landlord's failure to secure the building after an earlier burglary.
Hite is suing for negligence and breach of contract.
Hite said that a neighboring unit was broken into in May, leaving the door damaged and unlocked. The landlord, Krista Hundley, apparently examined the damage, however did not do anything further, according to the lawsuit.
On June 7, burglars entered the damaged unit and smashed through Hite's drywall.
Meet the MET: Marijuana Eradication Team
"Having torn through the interior wall, the thieves then tore through the premises and stole 35 mature marijuana plants," according to the complaint.
Murrieta police said that Hite's operation was illegal and he had been fined thousands of dollars in various safety violations.
The Press-Enterprise reported that records said Hite has been renting the building since February and was growing the plants for medicinal purposes. Hite claimed that 35 plants worth about $1,000 each were stolen, the PE reported.
First Published: Sep 29, 2010 11:13 AM PDT
Former President Carter to spend night in Cleveland hospital
Ty Tagami, Kristi E. Swartz and Craig Schneider
President Jimmy Carter will spend the night in a Cleveland hospital after suffering from an upset stomach while aboard a Delta flight.
Carter, 85, was taken to Metro Health Hospital "for observation," his spokesperson, Deanna Congileo, said. He will remain there overnight at the recommendation of his doctor, and plans to resume his book tour Wednesday in Washington, she said.
“Upon further examination, by Metro Health Medical Center physicians, it was determined that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter would be admitted to the hospital for continued observation,” hospital spokeswoman Shannon Mortland said. “He is fully alert and participating in all decision making related to his care. The decision to admit him overnight is purely precautionary.”
Carter was rushed to the hospital after his plane was met by paramedics in Cleveland. He had complained of an upset stomach.
Jimmy Carter’s grandson, state Sen. Jason Carter, said the family understands that Carter is doing fine and they are not overly concerned.
“My understanding is that he is doing fine,” Jason Carter said. “I think it’s a stomach bug.”
Jason Carter said his grandfather’s general health is “fantastic.”
“He’s in great health. He gets good medical care and lots of attention,” he said.
Carter, a native of Plains, Ga., served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was Georgia's 76th governor, from 1971 to 1975.
During a stop Tuesday at a restaurant in Albuquerque, President Barack Obama told reporters he planned to call Carter as soon as he gets to Air Force One for his trip to Wisconsin later in the day.
Carter has been traveling to promote his new book, "White House Diary."
His appearance at Joseph-Beth Booksellers has been canceled today, disappointing 600 people who were waiting to hear him speak about his book, said general manager Ken Dickens. The former president’s visit will be rescheduled, he said.
Carter was arriving on Delta flight 5214 at 11:20 a.m. when the pilot called airport officials to alert them that the plane had a passenger who was feeling sick, said Todd Payne, chief of marketing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
The airport deployed its "airport rescue firefighting squad," a paramedic response team. He said Carter was conscious when he exited the plane.
"They assessed his medical condition and dispatched him to Metro Health Hospital in Cleveland," Payne said. "He was not feeling well."
2,772 people could be eligible for 'crack tax' refunds in TN
Class-action lawsuit could benefit those who paid drug levy
Brian Haas • THE TENNESSEAN • September 28, 2010
When Williamson County Sheriff Ricky Headley was busted for illegal prescription pills, the state taxed him $13,000 on the value of those drugs.
Headley paid the tax, resigned as sheriff, pleaded guilty to four drug counts and one count of official misconduct, and got just under five years' probation.
Then, he got his money back. Plus interest.
"I got every penny back," said his Nashville lawyer, David Raybin.
Tennesseans in a slow trickle have requested and gotten refunds from the state since the Tennessee Supreme Court struck down the so-called crack tax law in 2009. The state Department of Revenue has refunded $3.7 million to 161 people, but 2,772 people who paid the tax have not gotten any money back.
The law required people who bought or sold illicit drugs to buy a tax stamp for the amount of drugs they had. If they didn't, state agents seized their property and raided their bank accounts until the state got whatever amount was owed.
"Most of them just don't know, and the state doesn't have any intention of letting them know, that they're eligible for a full refund," said Columbia attorney John Colley, who is leading a class-action lawsuit that would allow attorneys to identify and notify all people who paid the tax while it was still on the books.
Critics called the law absurd, but it went into effect in 2005.
It didn't take long for the state to go after drug suspects. Attorneys rattle off horror stories of surprise seizures with revenue agents chasing people down.
"They've broken children's piggy banks. They've taken properties that have been in families for generations," said Knoxville attorney Philip Lomonaco, the attorney who got the law struck down. "They've actually chased people down at the courthouse to get gold chains. It's ruthless."
Though the public may have little sympathy for drug dealers and users, the tax seizures typically came before a suspect was even convicted.
The state took $30,000 from one of Lomonaco's clients before he was convicted on a marijuana charge, and the man lost his house.
The state Supreme Court struck the law down in July 2009 as unconstitutional, saying the legislature overstepped its taxing authority. Basically, drug dealers and users didn't fit into the category of "merchants" or "peddlers" under state law, so they couldn't be taxed.
By that time, the state had collected $10.3 million from people. And every person who paid was eligible for a refund.
"Before the sun set on the Cumberland, I was filing claims," Raybin said. "I've been filing claims left and right, and they will give you a refund as long as you fall within certain parameters."
If Colley's class-action suit is successful before the state Supreme Court, everyone who paid the crack tax will receive a notice that they could be eligible for a refund. If it fails, they're on their own, and some who paid the crack tax — namely those who paid in 2005 and 2006 — won't be able to get refunds because the statute of limitations has passed.
The Supreme Court has not yet said whether it will hear the case.
Legislators in May passed a new version of the crack tax. The new law, which took effect July 1, targets only cases that involve drugs worth $10,000 or more.
It also redefines drug dealers to be considered "merchants," like any other business in the state, and therefore taxable.
"We really didn't define what a dealer was," said state Rep. Charles Curtiss, D-Sparta, who helped sponsor the original and the new crack tax legislation. "We were making an assumption when we caught someone with X amount of marijuana or X amount of drugs that they were selling it."
Curtiss said the new law was drafted with input from the Tennessee attorney general's office to make it more resistant to challenges.
So far, nobody has been assessed the new tax. But attorneys are predicting a similar outcome the second time around once the tax agents come knocking.
"I don't think there's any way to make this kind of law constitutional," Colley said.
911 calls can cross line into wackiness
Drunken dialing, mental confusion, can prompt frivolous calls
| Boynton Beach 911 Communications Supervisor Brian McNevin monitors 911 calls and police and fire department dispatching from his communication terminal. (MARK RANDALL, Sun entinel / September 8, 2010)
September 27th people are taken up with the puzzling and paradoxical nature of life. At first glance they would seem to be outgoing and generally normal enough, but the deeper one digs into their personalities the more hidden foibles one uncovers.
September 27th people usually function very well in real terms or in the eyes of others but may nonetheless be plagued by doubts or insecurities. perhaps this comes as a result of experiencing too much of themselves and in their quest for perfection they have a tendency to act like a hero or martyr but may grow depressed over their inability to completely live up to the impossibility of the high goals they have set. If those born on this day could lower their standards a bit, or be more accepting of their human failings, they would indeed be much happier, but perhaps less exceptional.
Those born on this day generally possess great versatility and enjoy exploring all aspects of their work and related pursuits. They are highly appreciative by nature and like to be appreciated themselves. Hard workers, they operate well under pressure and usually possess a large measure of professional cool. Too often this detachment which they practice never ending in their professional life becomes an obstruction to their private life.
Those born on the 27th of the month are ruled by the number 9(2+7=9 and they have the ability to influence those around them.
Advice: Try not to withdraw into your shell so much, learn to be more trusting and accepting. Have faith in your natural abilities. We all make mistakes that’s why we are human. What are you afraid of? Happiness is available, even for you, too if you can stand it.
Weaknesses: Oversensitive, insecure and withdrawn
Born on This Day: Samuel Adams, Mike Schmidt, William Conrad and Red Rodney
Famous Inventions: 1977 Anacleto Montero Sanchez received a patent for a hypodermic syringe.
This Day in History: Sep 27, 1779: John Adams appointed to negotiate peace terms with British
On this day in 1779, the Continental Congress appoints John Adams to travel to France as minister plenipotentiary in charge of negotiating treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War.
$93,000 drug sparks debate
The treatment adds 4 months' survival, on average, for men who have incurable prostate tumors.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo by: Elise Amendola Bob Svensson, 80, is hooked up to a blood infusion machine under the care of nurse Nancy Grant at the American Red Cross in Dedham, Mass., as he undergoes a $93,000 prostate cancer treatment. Svensson is honest about why he got it insurance paid. "I would not spend that money," because the benefit doesn't seem worth it.
BOSTON -- Cancer patients, brace yourselves. Many new drug treatments cost nearly $100,000 per year, sparking fresh debate about how much a few months more of life are worth.
The latest is Provenge, a first-of-a-kind therapy approved in April. It costs $93,000 per year and adds four months' survival, on average, for men with incurable prostate tumors.
Bob Svensson is honest about why he got it -- insurance paid.
"I would not spend that money," because the benefit doesn't seem worth it, says Svensson, 80, a former corporate finance officer from Bedford, Mass.
His supplemental Medicare plan is paying while the government decides whether basic Medicare will cover Provenge and for whom. The tab for taxpayers could be huge -- prostate is the most common cancer in American men. Most of those who have it will be eligible for Medicare, and Provenge will be an option for many late-stage cases. A meeting to consider Medicare coverage is set for Nov. 17.
For the past decade, new cancer-fighting drugs have been topping $5,000 per month. Only a few of these keep cancer in remission so long that they are,
Even as new cancer treatments offer hope for some, their cost is out of reach for many.
Here is a list of places from which to seek help:
* Genentech: www.Genentech AccessSolutions.com
* Novartis: http://www. patientassistancenow.com
* Patient Advocate Foundation, 800-532-5274 www.patientadvocate.org
* CancerCare, 866-552-6729 www.cancercarecopay.org
* Chronic Disease Fund, 877-968-7233 www.cdfund.org
* Healthwell Foundation, 800-675-8416 www.healthwellfoundation.org
* Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 877-557-2672 www.LLS.org/copay
* National Organization for Rare Disorders 800-999-6673 www.rarediseases.org
* Patient Access Network Foundation, 866-316-7263 www.panfoundation.org
* Patient Advocate Foundation, 866-512-3861 www.copays.org
* Patient Services Inc., 800-366-7741 www. patientservicesinc.org
in effect, cures. For most people, the drugs may buy a few months or years. Insurers usually pay if Medicare pays. But some people have lifetime caps and more people are uninsured because of job layoffs in the recession.
Unlike drugs that people can try for a month or two and keep using only if they keep responding, Provenge is an all-or-nothing $93,000 gamble. It's a one-time treatment to train the immune system to fight prostate tumors, the first so-called cancer vaccine. Part of why it costs so much is that it's not a pill cranked out in a lab, but a treatment that is individually prepared, using each patient's cells and a protein found on most prostate cancer cells.
When is a drug considered cost-effective?
The most widely quoted figure is $50,000 for a year of life, "though it has been that for decades -- never really adjusted -- and not written in stone," said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University expert on health care costs.
Many cancer drugs are way over that mark. Estimates of the cost of a year of life gained for lung cancer patients on Erbitux range from $300,000 to as much as $800,000, said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society's deputy chief medical officer.
Higher costs seem to be more accepted for cancer treatment than for other illnesses, but there's no rule on how much is too much, he said.
Those born on September 26th are perfectionists who know that there is only one way to get something right by doing it over and over again. Like the man who was asked the way to Carnegie Hall and replied, practice these are indeed people who believe that practice makes perfect. Technically oriented, striving to perfect the art of their craft, they know how to achieve their goals, but also have a gift for teaching others. If not by precept then by example. They can be a tremendous inspiration to those who admire them.
Characteristically, September 26th people put their faith in logic and value its application in everyday life. They also feel that few technical problems in their field cannot be solved through the application of rational principles. September 26th people tend to be complex personalities, somewhat difficult to fathom. ( )
Most September 26 people have a wonderful sense of humor, but one that can be overlooked, due to its subtle irony. They are intense, well directed and hard driving. They are ruled by the number 8(2 +6=8)
Those ruled by the number 8 build their careers slowly and carefully, this is also true for finances and personal affairs. They are warm hearted people.
Advice: let up a bit in your intensity it can really put others off. Be the student as well as the teacher. Sometimes mistakes are necessary, perfection may not be the highest goal. Develop a more relaxed side. Occasionally allow yourself to vegetate.
Strengths:Technical, influential and persistent
Weaknesses: Obsessive, compulsive and secretive
Born on This Day: George Gershwin, Martin Heidegger, Olivia Newton John and Lynn Anderson
Famous Inventions: 1961 Patent for an aerial capsule (satellite) emergency separation device was obtained by Maxime Faget and Andre Meyer.
This Day In History: Sep 26, 1960: First Kennedy-Nixon debate
For the first time in U.S. history, a debate between major party presidential candidates is shown on television. The presidential hopefuls, John F. Kennedy, a Democratic senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon, the vice president of the United States, met in a Chicago studio to discuss U.S. domestic matters.
Last Updated: 8:00 AM, September 26, 2010
Posted: 2:43 AM, September 26, 2010
A Brooklyn toddler who had trouble reciting his ABCs was pummeled to death by his mother's "abusive" boyfriend in an attack so horrific it left the walls spattered with blood, police sources said.
Aiyden Davis, who would have turned 3 next month, had previously been beaten by his mother, Theresa Davis, 27, who whipped him with a belt, the sources said.
She and her boyfriend, Reggie Williams, 31, allegedly told cops they would hit the boy if he acted up, cried or wouldn't eat.
The tot, who had old and new bruises on his face, legs and back, died of blunt impact injuries to his head, torso and extremities around 10:30 p.m. Friday, shortly after he was found battered in his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. He also had a lacerated liver and internal bleeding.
INNOCENT VICTIM: A day after the death of Aiyden Davis, 2, his devastated aunt, Pamela, is comforted in Brooklyn.
"He was very lovable," said Aiyden's devastated aunt, Pamela Davis. "I'm looking at all his toys, his scooter, he was very loved."
Williams was charged with murder in Friday's attack. Theresa Davis was charged with assault, endangering the welfare of a child and weapons possession for the prior assaults, the sources said.
Williams was trusted to baby-sit Aiyden for the first time Friday -- and allegedly became violent with the boy just because he had trouble reciting the alphabet.
"He was like, 'I just spanked him because he was messing up his ABCs,' " said Pamela, 44, recalling the second of three check-up calls she made at 6:45 p.m.
Pamela, who usually watched the boy while his mother worked as a security guard, was worried because "I didn't hear him in the background.
"Normally, he's yelling, 'Auntie!' because he wants to get on the phone with me."
When she called again at 8:45 p.m., Williams -- known on the streets at "Reggie 101" -- mysteriously blubbered: "I'm so sorry, P., I'm so sorry," but gave no reason for the apology.
"Now I understand why he was saying that," said the devastated aunt.
"I hope they give him life," she said of Williams. "I'm going to be in court every time they tell me he's in court."
Pamela Davis, who lives in Harlem, said Aiyden told her last weekend: "Reggie hit me and mama." Theresa Davis denied it.
"I would ask, 'Is he abusing you?' And she would say, 'No, no, everything's fine,' " Pamela said. "She didn't want to face the truth.
"It's my fault -- I should have made her bring him to me," she said. "I didn't baby-sit him one day in two years, and now he's dead."
Aiyden was found breathing but "not responsive" at 9:50 p.m., when a man called 911 asking for help, police said. The child was throwing up when EMS arrived, the sources said.
Crime-scene investigators spent yesterday combing through the apartment, where Williams had just moved in.
A neighbor said she frequently heard Williams yelling at the boy.
"He was always screaming at him and cursing," said neighbor Nikcole Palmer, 34. "He was bad news."
Davis said her niece had a clean record and had previously spent about a year in a battered-woman's shelter.
An Administration for Children's Services spokesman said Theresa Davis had no history with the agency.
'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' to Defy IRS
Pastors Across the U.S. Say They Will Defy Law and Talk Politics
By KEVIN DOLAK
Sept. 25, 2010
Nearly 100 pastors across the country planned to take part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, an in-your-face challenge Sunday to what the government says can and cannot be said in church.
The pastors, along with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund, are reacting to a law stating that churches are not allowed to support politicians from the pulpit, according to the ADF.
The growing trend is a challenge to the IRS from the churches, and may jeopardize their all-important tax-exempt status. But some pastors and church leaders said they are willing to defy the law to defending their right to freedom of speech.
Federal tax law, established in 1954, prohibits churches and tax exempt entities from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
Those born on September 25th lie in a curious relationship with their society. On the one hand they are dependent on it for sustenance, and ultimately their success. On the other hand they are often openly critical of it and capable or ironically exposing its faults. In doing so they may actually show how the social fabric around them can be improved thus their apparent negativity or probing evaluations can lead to positive results.
Oddly enough, outside of their local sphere, those born on this day may be seen as living symbols of the area from which they come, so closely are identified with it in the minds of others. Yet no one will be more keenly aware and critical of their neighborhood, town, city, state or country than they. Their relations, then, with the home place is interestingly symbiotic, a kind of sharing that can be at once advantageous and disadvantageous for both parties.
September 25th people are imaginative but at the same time very precise and exacting. Perfectionists, they generally go over their work repeatedly in order to catch mistakes and shore up weaknesses. The demands they make on others are no different from what they ask of themselves. Interestingly enough, although they so often indulge in criticism of their social group they do not react well to the criticism of that group my outsiders; in fact they can become defensive at times.
Those born on the 25th day of the month is ruled by the number 7 (2+5=7) and enjoy change and travel but they generally prefer staying closer to home.
Advice: Your tendency to be share or critical get you in trouble. Remember that words can hurt worse than blows. Try to be open about what you are feeling. Don’t count yourself off from life.
Strengths: Hard working, goal oriented and determined.
Weaknesses: Closed, insensitive and unforgiving
Born on This Day: William Faulkner, Michael Douglas, Luke Skywalker and Bob McAdoo
Famous Inventions: 1959 The song "Do-Re-Mi" from the "Sound of Music" by Rodger and Hammerstein was registered.
1956 The first transatlantic telephone cable went into operation.
This Day in History: Sep 25, 1957 Central High School integrated
Under escort from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, nine black students enter all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Three weeks earlier, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had surrounded the school with National Guard troops to prevent its federal court-ordered racial integration. After a tense standoff, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1,000 army paratroopers to Little Rock to enforce the court order.
PoolPresident Barack Obama isn't impressed by the GOP's "Pledge to America" plan which was unveile by House Republican Leader John Boehner (below) on Thursday.
to America" Saturday as nothing but a plan to continue "disastrous" policies of the George W. Bush administration.
The pledge, which Republicans unveiled Thursday, aims to slash government spending and cut taxes, as well as repeal Obama's health care overhaul and economic stimulus program.
The pledge is "an echo of a disastrous decade we can't afford to relive," Obama said in his weekly Internet address.
"It is grounded in same worn-out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself. That's not a prescription for a better future," Obama said.
Late Thursday, Senate Democrats delayed a vote on whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts or let them expire at the end of the year until after November's midterm elections.
Both Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for the political gridlock ahead of the pivotal election in which the GOP is expected to make major gains in both the House and Senate.
The plan's timing is reminiscent of the "Contract with America," which the GOP rolled out just weeks before 1994 midterm elections where the party took control of the House and held power until 2006.
In response to Obama's comments, Republicans shot back, calling their plan a "new agenda."
"It offers a new way forward that hasn't been tried in Washington - an approach focused on cutting spending - which is sadly a new idea for a Congress accustomed to always accelerating it," Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
HOApril Newcomb, 39, was arrested in Florida after she was caught on video egging on her daughter to fight another student in Palmetto.
Mama said, knock you out.
The mother of a Florida teen was arrested and charged with child abuse after she egged on her daughter to fight another student in front of a cheering audience.
April Newcomb, 39, was arrested by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday after someone in the crowd posted a video of the catfight on YouTube, said Dave Bristow, a spokesman from the sheriff's office, to the Daily News.
During the fight, which seemed to be planned, Newcomb is seen in a crowd of spectators last Friday. She is heard yelling at her daughter, "Don't f------ stop!"
"It's very disturbing," Bristow said. "You just shake your head and say, ‘Really, this happened?'"
"We've all seen videos of kids fighting, but to have a parent there, that's what pushed us over the edge. She egged on her daughter, did nothing to stop it."
Bristow said the dispute was over an old boyfriend.
In a police report, Newcomb said, "We were both wrong and I understand that," referring to herself and her daughter. "And I understand where y'all are coming from. I think, unfortunately, it was going to happen no matter what."
Newcomb will face up to five years behind bars.
CHECK OUT THE SHOCKING VIDEO:
Jessica Anderson and Yeganeh June Torbati
The Baltimore Sun
3:58 PM EDT, September 24, 2010
A 22-year-old Baltimore woman — who police say was caught shoplifting Thursday — died after her vehicle ran into a pole in the White Marsh Mall parking lot, Baltimore County police said.
According to police spokesman Lt. Robert McCullough, Lauren Nicole Turner of 1100 block of Ramblewood Road was caught shoplifting at the Ikea in the 8300 block of Honeygo Boulevard in White Marsh at 11:15 a.m. Thursday. Workers took her name and released her from the store.
Around noon, the spokesman said, Turner "was observed driving at a high rate of speed" in the Sears parking lot of the mall, which is next to the Ikea store. The 22-year-old was ejected from the car, a Volkswagen Beetle with Virginia tags, after it ran into a concrete light base. Turner died on the scene.
The crash is being investigated by the Baltimore County crash team, McCullough said.
Those born on September 24th are wanderers by nature and therefore either love to travel, or are somehow driven to do so. This theme of wandering or travel in their lives usually takes a real form, but can also be a metaphor for mental and emotional adventures as well. Reading, thinking, dreaming, traveling both physically and psychical wandering these are the kinds of activities which interest those born on this day.
Some September 24thpeople travel when young and later commit appears to be a settled existence. Others get bitten by the bug in their middle years and are capable of doing everything for the call of the road. Most September 24thpeoplenever completely settle down, even though it may be what they think they want most. Often they move on to the next place, person or project each time thinking that this is finally where they want to be for a long time. The more aware individuals born on this day usually come to realize that there is no real permanence for them and that their wanderings are due to continue for yet a while.
In relationships and family matters, September 24thpeople may be difficult to please. They are not at all easygoing people to live with and demand lots of time to themselves. Their mates must understand their need for change and variety, and their often flirtations.
Those born on the 24th day of the month are ruled by the number 6 (2+4=6, they are magnetic in attracting love and admiration. Often love becomes the dominant theme in the lives of those ruled by the number 6.
Advice: Get your act together. Your unsettled life may be charming for a while but grow tiresome. Perhaps there are those who would like to depend on you more. Don’t be afraid to use your talents. Stick to one thing and take it all the way.
Strengths: Imaginative, free spirited and giving
Weaknesses: Nervous, unsettled and neurotic
Born on This Day: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Patrick Kelley, Mean Joe Greene and Joseph Kennedy
Famous Inventions: 1877 Fire destroyed many models in the Patent Office, but the important records were saved.
1852 A new invention, the dirigible or airship was first demonstrated.
This Day in History: Sep 24, 1789 The First Supreme Court
The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. That day, President Washington nominated John Jay to preside as chief justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson to be associate justices. On September 26, all six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Axelrod to exit White House in 2011 to work on Obama reelection
David Axelrod, a top advisor to the president, will remain in his current post 'well into 2011.' He's long made it clear he misses his hometown of Chicago.
Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
September 23, 2010|3:54 p.m.
Reporting from Washington —
David Axelrod, a top advisor to President Obama and the main architect of his election victory in 2008, will be leaving the White House next year and returning to Chicago to work on the president's reelection campaign, a White House aide said Thursday.
Axelrod has not specified a departure date, but he plans to remain in his current position "well into 2011,'' the aide said.
Axelrod, who calls himself a "Chicagoan on assignment,'' has long made clear he missed his hometown and would return before the end of the four-year term. His wife still lives in the city.
One of Obama's most trusted aides, Axelrod occupies a small office just steps from the Oval Office. On a wall in Axelrod's office hangs a picture of the White House drawn by his daughter. The Chicago skyline is shown in the reflecting pool.
His portfolio is a broad one. He shapes the president's message, oversees the speechwriting team, plots political strategy and advises on policy. A longtime campaign strategist, he is aware of his limitations when it comes to complex policy matters. He once made a self-deprecating reference to himself as "a duffer'' when it comes to policy.
Other White House aides said part of Axelrod's role was reminding the staff of the president's campaign commitments and making sure that the White House agenda stayed true to Obama's promises.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a pragmatist when it comes to policy matters, once described the difference between himself and Axelrod as "prose" versus "poetry."
Obama's political viability, though, is one of Axelrod's preoccupations. Steven Rattner, the former "car czar" and author of a new book about the auto-industry bailout, described Axelrod as sitting in meetings discussing poll results showing the public's disdain for bailouts.
Mustached, rumpled and paunchy, Axelrod is a popular figure in the White House. He plays basketball, and after a game, he occasionally shows up, sweaty and winded, at a local bar frequented by reporters. Axelrod is a former political reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
The seven-member White House speechwriting team has described their daily conferences with Axelrod as a loose, creative exercise that is a high point in the day. But others administration figures are not so taken with Axelrod, often called "Axe'' for short.
In the new book "Obama Wars,'' author Bob Woodward wrote that Gen. David Petraeus, who is leading the war in Afghanistan, once called Axelrod "a complete spin doctor.''
Though some White House aides tend to become part of the Washington culture, Axelrod is a holdout. He rented an apartment rather than buy a house, so as not to put down roots.
On a snowy morning in Washington last year, he appeared on a TV talk show and was asked about the weather.
"We call this a dusting in Chicago," he said, "I just want you to know."
Wealth 101: How the rich get richer
Company executive explains why he's way ahead of the game
3:40 PM EDT, September 22, 2010
Did you know that the rich have more money because the rich have more money? It's a fact of life. It's how the world works.
I have been so enlightened by the vice president of a project management company with a global profile, a headquarters in Virginia, an office in Maryland, lots of government contracts and a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The signature on his e-mail indicated a PhD, too, so he must know what he's talking about. I'll call him Doc for the purpose of this column.
The other day, Doc was mulling my Sunday column about the rise in the nation's poverty rate, contrasted with all the whining we've been hearing about the possible expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
The column examined the growth in the disparity in U.S. income levels since about 1980. It cited Congressional Budget Office numbers that showed, in one example, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rising by 281 percent compared with 25 percent for the middle fifth of households and 16 percent for the bottom fifth. The recession certainly has pushed more Americans into poverty, but the trends have been there for three decades.
Several readers, including a couple who run companies, wanted to set me straight about all this. They blamed the "global economy," too many college students getting worthless liberal arts degrees and the influx of immigrants for poverty's rise to levels not seen since the mid-1960s.
Doc, however, climbed a different branch of the money tree — to the subject of wealth and its accumulation.
"Having been pretty conscientious about saving and spending, my wife and I have amassed a pretty good retirement account," Doc wrote. "And what is so obvious to me, in tracking our progress, is that the more money you have, the more you make."
Key word there: "Amassed."
Whenever someone uses the word "amassed," you know they're talkin' serious paper. Doc didn't provide details, but I assume he and the missus are in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, and I'm guessing he's still pulling down enough per year to be in the Obama administration's target group for more taxes.
But his e-mail wasn't about that. Rather, it was an explanation for why the wealthy are wealthy: They have more money. And the more money you have, the more money you'll get.
Are you following this at home?
"Gaining 5 percent on $500K in a year increases your wealth by $25K while earning the same 5 percent on $5K gives another individual only $250 in that same year," Doc wrote. "That individual will never catch up. So seems to me the [disparity] is not a nefarious plot by the wealthy against the poor. It's simply a matter of how finances work in the world today."
Oy vey, there's more:
"My wife and I have been sufficiently frugal to have created a nice nest egg from which we hope to be able to have a very comfortable retirement in our later years. So the thought that we should be penalized through higher tax rates because of our financial accomplishments is a bit distressing."
Bush-era tax cuts already put more money at Doc's disposal and presumably helped him build his nest egg. Since 2004, an individual making between $200,000 and $499,999 would have saved an extra $54,707, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, while someone making between $20,000 and $29,999, would have saved $4,302 over those six years.
So Doc is certainly right — when you're ahead of the game, you're ahead of the game and, barring calamity, you're probably going to stay there, even if your Bush-era tax cuts expire as you sip the Dom Perignon on New Year's Eve.
"It would take a lot of social engineering to change our entire financial system in a way that would prevent the further accumulation of wealth by the wealthy," Doc says. I couldn't agree more. When do we start?
Court upholds $12K bank overdraft fee
ND's Supreme Court said bank acted reasonably
Updated: Thursday, 23 Sep 2010, 8:06 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 23 Sep 2010, 8:06 AM EDT
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Supreme Court said a bank acted reasonably when it charged a customer almost $12,000 in overdraft fees.
Lynette Cavett of Enderlin said the fees were "unconscionable." But a judge ruled the Quality Bank of Fingal disclosed the fees and Cavett paid them for four years without complaining. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling Tuesday.
Court records said Cavett challenged the fees when the bank sued her in November 2008 to foreclose on her hog farming operation and collect a $76,000 debt.
Court records said from January 2004 until June 2008, Cavett was charged 842 overdraft fees. They varied according to the overdraft amount. The bank charged $100 a day for carrying an overdraft greater than $10,000.
Biden: Tea Party could motivate Dem base
Vice President Biden said Thursday the conservative Tea Party movement might be "the best thing to happen" to Democrats with the midterm elections approaching.
Biden, speaking at a fundraiser in Chevy Chase, Md., for Sen. Barbara Mikulski, said the energy of the Tea Party might inspire a lethargic Democratic base to turn out and vote in November.
“Maybe the best thing to happen to us lately is the Tea Party wins," Biden said. "Maybe it’ll shake some of our constituency out of their lethargy.”
The vice president also offered a "guarantee" that Democrats will defy predictions and maintain control of the House.
“I guarantee you we’re going to have a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate. I absolutely believe that,” Biden said.
The vice president conceded that voters are "angry against whoever is in power," but he said that Democrats “have a heck of a record, a heck of a positive record to run on."
A recurring theme in the lives of September 23rd people is that of breaking through restrictions. The expansive individuals born on his day are not free to develop and unfold their personalities until they have struggled with and overcome either physical or formal difficulties. This struggle is usually extremely intense, and in fact goes on even after successive breakthroughs. Indeed life for those born on this day is a series of ongoing challenges which must be met and conquered. In this respect September 23rd people may well be described as spiritual warriors.
The most highly evolved of September 23rd people use the fruits of their struggle to benefit all those around them. If only as a living symbol of determination to overcome adversity. Less highly evolved individuals born on this day may get bogged down in personal conflicts often a result of their substantial egos in which they succeed in stirring up a lot of trouble not necessarily yielding positive results. It would be advantageous for them to retire for a while from life’s fray, get their heads screwed on straight and use their considerable energy at the service of a worthwhile cause.
Those born on this day can be extremely seductive and charming though many appear forbidding or aloof on first meeting them. Others should not, however, make the mistake of thinking that September 23rd charm is an invitation to get personally involved, particularly on an intimate level. For the most part September 23rd people put their work first and leisure second. Despite any image they might project, their real friends are very few and they do not value small talk. Often it is better to admire them from a distance than to force an approach. On the other hand, September 23rd people themselves should beware of isolating themselves at a deep emotional level and concentration on universal or worldly concerns to the exclusion of personal matters. In this, they may be neglecting the trees for the forest.
Those born on the 23rd of the month are ruled by the number 5 (2+3=5), and are quick thinkers. Like many ruled by the number 5 they may find, however, that they are likely to both overreact mentally and to change their minds and physical surroundings with great regularly. Fortunately, whatever hard knocks number 5 people receive from life generally have little lasting effect on them they recover quickly.
Advice: It will be most important for you to make use of your downtime. During such periods you can get in touch with what is working and what holds you back. Ready yourself for life’s battles beforehand, being reared is the key.
Strengths: Creative, adventuresome and exciting.
Weaknesses: Troubled, depressive and addictive
Born on This Day: John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Walter Pigeon and Julio Iglesias
Famous Inventions: 1930 Johannes Ostermeier was issued a patent for the flash bulb used in photography.
This Day in History: Sep 23, 1875: Billy the Kid arrested for first time
On this day in 1875, Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time after stealing a basket of laundry. He later broke out of jail and roamed the American West, eventually earning a reputation as an outlaw and murderer and a rap sheet that allegedly included 21 murders.
RALEIGH -- State department of correction officials have charged an inmate with trying to sneak a cell phone into Central Prison by hiding it in his rectum, court records show.
Eric Chambers, 25, of Raleigh, was convicted in 2008 of being a habitual felon and sentenced to 10 years in prison, state records show. Described in court affidavits as a "validated Gangster Killer Blood," Chambers has managed to rack up about 16 prison infractions during the past two years. The infractions -- four in this month alone -- include involvement with a gang, unauthorized use of a phone, a weapon charge and extortion, state records show.
It was a short investigation. Chambers immediately set off the metal detectors at Central Prison. In response, Chambers turned over a flattened piece of metal from his mouth.
But when the metal detectors chimed a second time, he was more thoroughly searched and found to have a red and silver Samsung "flip-style" cell phone hidden inside his rectum."
Investigators reviewed the phone records and determined that Chambers had been involved in the sale and possession of illegal drugs. Investigators think he had been involved in an "ongoing drug conspiracy, both inside and outside" the prison, using the cell phone to facilitate the drug enterprise with people outside the prison.
Chambers also is the man who Sherita McNeil told a jury was the father of her deceased 19-montyh-old son, DeVarion Gross. McNeil, 25, was convicted last month for the first-degree murder of DeVarion.
McNeil told her jury that she did not call 911 when her son was obviously injured, because she was afraid of what Chambers, who had many contacts outside prison, may do.
Recalls Become a Hazard for Mayors
September 22, 2010
The throw-the-rascals-out mood is so strong these days that some voters are not even waiting until Election Day — they are mounting recall campaigns to oust mayors in the middle of their terms, often as punishment for taking unpopular steps like raising taxes or laying off workers to keep their cities solvent.
Daniel Varela Sr., the rookie mayor of Livingston, Calif., learned this the hard way when he was booted from office last month in a landslide recall election. His crime? He had the temerity to push through the small city’s first water-rate increase in more than a decade to try to fix its aging water system, which he said spewed brownish, smelly water from rusty pipes.
“We were trying to be responsible,” said Mr. Varela, whose action set off a lawsuit in addition to his recall as mayor of Livingston, which is in the Central Valley. “But as soon as the rates started to kick in, people who weren’t paying attention were suddenly irate.”
With irate voters in plentiful supply, recall campaigns have become a growing job hazard for mayors. Over the last two years, failed recall campaigns have sought the ouster of mayors in Akron, Ohio; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Flint, Mich.; Kansas City, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; and Toledo, Ohio, among other cities. Next month the voters of North Pole, Alaska, 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle, will vote on whether to recall their mayor.
Recalls rarely get on the ballot, let alone succeed, but they are bringing the era of permanent, acrimonious campaigning to city halls. Tom Cochran, the executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors, said that the rash of recent attempts had inspired him to start making a video to teach mayors about the risk of recall.
“I’m absolutely convinced that we’ve got more going on than before,” said Mr. Cochran, who attributed the increase to the dismal economy, and to the proliferation of blogs and social networking sites that make it easier for opponents to organize.
It is not an easy time to be a mayor. At city halls, deficits are not viewed as some far-off problem, as they often are at the federal level, but as gaping holes that must be filled at once by raising taxes or cutting services.
And because city services have a clear impact on people’s day-to-day lives — think police protection or garbage pickup — those cuts generate huge outcries. Tellingly, many recent recall campaigns have been spurred not by accusations of corruption, but by anger over higher taxes or reduced services.
Tea Party activists in several states have tried to recall mayors and lawmakers, and they came close to forcing a vote this year on whether to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield of Chattanooga. The local Tea Party bonded with several other groups to seek the recall of Mr. Littlefield, largely because they objected to his decision to raise storm-water fees to comply with federal environmental regulations, and to raise property taxes.
“Those are unpopular things, not things that anyone likes to do, but sometimes in a community you have to step up and do what has to be done,” Mr. Littlefield said. “I hope that the recall environment does not become so pervasive that it discourages people from doing the right thing.”
The mayor’s opponents collected more than 15,000 signatures in their effort to recall him, but a judge ruled this month that many were invalid and that the groups had failed to collect enough valid signatures to force a recall vote.
Mr. Littlefield said that the episode had been a major distraction just as the city was eagerly waiting for its new Volkswagen plant to go into production.
Supporters of recalls say they provide a much-needed check on power and give citizens the ability to oust officials accused of corruption. In Bell, Calif., a small working-class city near Los Angeles that became notorious for paying its city manager nearly $800,000 a year, a citizens group was already seeking the recall of several city officials before they were arrested on charges of corruption this week.
But opponents of recalls complain that they often allow a small minority of people to upend the political process.
That appears to have happened last year in Akron, where the longtime mayor, Donald L. Plusquellic, who has been widely credited with reviving the city’s downtown since taking office in 1987, found himself facing a heated recall campaign. The campaign began after he made unpopular proposals to raise taxes and to create a college scholarship fund for all Akron students by selling or leasing the city’s sewer system, both of which failed.
Getting a recall question on the ballot required gathering the signatures of 20 percent of the people who voted in the last election. But because Mr. Plusquellic had run unopposed in his last general election, few people had voted, so fewer than 3,200 signatures were required to force a recall election in a city of more than 200,000 people.
“It was something like 3 percent of the city’s adult population,” Mr. Plusquellic said. “They claim it’s democracy. I claim it’s an abuse of democracy. You can find 3 percent against the Constitution of the United States, 3 percent against democracy, against the Bible.”
Mr. Plusquellic prevailed in the recall election by a ratio of three to one. Afterward, Akron revised its charter to require the signatures of 20 percent of the city’s registered voters to put a recall question on the ballot.
It is difficult to say for certain how many recalls there are; many are made at local levels of government, like school boards or the councils of small towns. At least 29 states allow for the recall of some local officials.
Recall campaigns have sought the removal of Democrats, like Mr. Plusquellic, in Akron; Republicans, like Mayor Vincent R. Barrella of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.; and mayors who were elected in nonpartisan campaigns, like Mr. Littlefield, in Chattanooga.
But several mayors say they believe that recall efforts have become more common as the economic downturn has soured the electorate.
Flint, of course, was hurting before the national downturn hit — and it was a hotbed of recalls before the trend spread. One Flint mayor was recalled in 2002; another resigned in 2009, just before another recall election was scheduled.
This year the new mayor, Dayne Walling — a young, energetic former Rhodes scholar — found himself fighting yet another recall campaign after he laid off police officers and firefighters to try to make ends meet in a city with an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent.
“Having to make public-safety layoffs is something that I’d hoped to never have to do,” said Mr. Walling, who noted that he had resorted to layoffs only after the police and fire unions failed to agree to the concessions he had sought, and after he cut his own salary, auctioned off the mayor’s car and started paying his own cellphone bills. When the latest recall was derailed in court this month, the mayor posted the news on his blog: “Flint’s recall fever has broken.”
8 current former officials from Bell, California, arrested
Robert Rizzo, former city manager of Bell, California, was making $787,638 per year in that position.
Eight current and former Bell, California, city officials arrested and charged Tuesday with misappropriation of funds and making or receiving illegal loans demonstrated "corruption on steroids," the Los Angeles County district attorney said.
The charges allege the officials misappropriated more than $5.5 million, including being paid for phantom meetings, District Attorney Steve Cooley said at a news conference.
High salaries paid to officials of the city sparked local outrage and national attention when they came to light in July. Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, Police Chief Randy Adams and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia resigned after media reports that they were making several hundred thousand dollars a year each. Adams was not charged, Cooley said.
"The complaint alleges they used the tax dollars collected from the hard-working citizens of Bell as their own piggy bank, which they looted at will," Cooley said at the news conference.
Arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.
In addition to Rizzo and Spaccia, those arrested were Mayor Oscar Hernandez, Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo, council members George Mirabal and Luis Artiga; and former council members George Cole and Victor Bello. Bail ranged from $3.2 million for Rizzo to $130,000 for Cole. A battering ram was used to secure the arrest of Hernandez, Cooley said.
Rizzo, who was being paid nearly $800,000 annually, is charged with 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest. Among the allegations are that he wrote his own employment contracts and that they were never approved by the City Council, prosecutors said.
Cooley alleges that Rizzo, hired as Bell's chief administrative officer in September 1994, gave nearly $1.9 million in unauthorized loans to himself, Spaccia, Artiga, Hernandez and dozens of others. Rizzo is responsible for $4.3 million of the city's losses, Cooley said.
Rizzo's attorney, Jim Spertus, said Cooley ensured that reporters witnessed the arrest of his client and called it "grossly unprofessional."
"Candidate Cooley wants some good campaign material," Spertus said, making reference to the district attorney's candidacy for California attorney general.
"[Rizzo's] salary was openly transparent to the City Council, and the council approved it," he said, adding that his client will fight the charges.
Spertus also said the city's loan program followed procedures and that Cooley's office did not interview many pertinent witnesses.
Link to Arrest Photos
Jesse Jackson Jr. 'deeply sorry' about relationship
Denies allegations about Senate seat
September 22, 2010
NATASHA KORECKI, ABDON M. PALLASCH AND FRAN SPIELMAN
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) on Tuesday said he was "deeply sorry" about a relationship with a Washington, D.C., social acquaintance, but he called it "preposterous" to contend he asked a fund-raiser to approach former Gov. Rod Blagojevich with a $6 million Senate seat offer.
Jackson was responding to a report in Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times that revealed fund-raiser Raghuveer Nayak told federal authorities Jackson had directed him to approach Blagojevich with a campaign cash offer in exchange for President Obama's former Senate seat.
The Sun-Times also reported Jackson had allegedly asked Nayak to pay to fly a social acquaintance from Washington to Chicago.
Jackson dismissed Nayak's allegations as false and nothing new and asked that his family's privacy be respected with regard to the social acquaintance, Giovana Huidobro.
"I've already talked with the authorities about these claims, told them they were false, and no charges have been brought against me," Jackson said in a statement, referring to Nayak's allegations. "The very idea of raising millions of dollars for a campaign other than my own is preposterous. My interest in the Senate seat was based on years of public service, which I am proud of, not some improper scheme with anyone."
Jackson's statement did not address another component of the Sun-Times report: that Nayak paid to fly Huidobro from Washington to Chicago, allegedly at the congressman's request.
One expert said the allegation could mean ethical questions for the congressman who is considering a run for mayor.
In statements, both Jackson and the congressman's wife, Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), asked that their privacy be respected with regard to the social acquaintance.
Both said they had dealt with the social acquaintance matter before it was made public, but it was unclear how long ago. In the congressman's statement he said it was "handled some time ago." Ald. Sandi Jackson released a statement that appeared on the Chicago Tribune website Tuesday, saying the family has been "privately addressing it for several months."
Her office released a statement to the Sun-Times later in the day saying it was a matter her family has been "privately addressing for two years."
"Therefore, I would hope that the public and the media will respect our family's right to continue to handle this matter privately."
Rep. Jackson expressed regret that the disclosure of a social acquaintance might disappoint voters, but he seemed to indicate it wouldn't scare him from office.
"The reference to a social acquaintance is a private and personal matter between me and my wife that was handled some time ago," Jackson said in his statement. "I ask that you respect our privacy. I know I have disappointed some supporters, and for that I am deeply sorry. But I remain committed to serving my constituents and fighting on their behalf."
The Sun-Times reported Tuesday that Nayak told authorities that, in an Oct. 8, 2008, meeting, Jackson directed him to offer Blagojevich $6 million for the Senate appointment.
Three weeks later, at an Oct. 31 fund-raiser, Nayak approached Robert Blagojevich, the then-governor's brother, and offered $1 million up front from fund-raisers and $5 million later if Jackson were appointed, according to Robert Blagojevich's testimony at trial. Robert Blagojevich testified he dismissed Nayak's offer, describing him as "clumsy."
Nayak told authorities that he made that approach at Jackson's direction, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Nayak is an Oak Brook businessman and longtime fund-raiser who remains under federal scrutiny in an IRS case, according to sources.
Nayak's remarks to authorities run counter to public statements Jackson has made as recently as last week that he never authorized any deal to attempt to trade campaign cash for the Senate appointment.
Nayak's statements to the feds came in late 2008 and in 2009. Neither Jackson nor Nayak has been charged. Nayak was not called as a witness in Blagojevich's trial.
The allegation that Nayak paid to fly Huidobro at Jackson's request could raise ethical questions under the U.S. House of Representatives' gift ban act.
Having a third party pay for flights at a congressman's request and not reporting the value of those flights as a gift, if they were worth more than $50, would appear to be "something of value" that should be reported under the House's rule, according to an expert on the act.
"It defines 'gift' as any 'item having monetary value,' " said Kathleen Clark, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, quoting from the law. " 'The term includes gifts of . . . transportation. . . . A gift to . . . any . . . individual based on that individual's relationship with the [House] Member . . . shall be considered a gift to the Member . . . if it is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the Member.' "
Jackson did not disclose the gift from Nayak on his House ethics statements or on federal campaign contribution logs. Nayak told authorities he paid for at least two flights for Huidobro and provided billing information, according to the sources.
"Completely apart from disclosure, a member's solicitation of a gift like this would be troubling," Clark said. "The mere solicitation of a gift is problematic."
Unless Huidobro's visit was campaign-related, Jackson's failure to disclose the gift on his campaign contribution reports does not appear to violate Federal Election Commission requirements, Clark and other experts told the Sun-Times.
The FBI interviewed Huidobro about a year ago as part of its corruption probe of Blagojevich. Authorities were trying to determine whether Jackson had asked Nayak to offer Blagojevich campaign cash in exchange for the then-governor's appointment, according to sources.
Reached on his cell phone on Tuesday, Jackson Jr. said, "I have nothing to say. Call my office. Have a good day."
Pressed to describe the nature of his relationship with Huidobro, Jackson's answer was the same:
"I have nothing to say."
PHOTO OF GIOVANA AND VIDEO WITH JESSIE JACKSON, JR
11-Year-Old Babysitter Charged With Murder
Mother locked children in closet before they died
The recession might be over, but political impact still felt
The Great Recession officially ended in the middle of last year, but its political impact may be felt by President Obama long after the November midterm elections.
Two recent reports highlight the long-term consequences of the recession for Obama and congressional Democrats worried about being blown out of the water in November.
The first, from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), concludes that higher-paying jobs in construction and financial services lost during the longest recession in the post-World War II era are being replaced by lower-paying jobs in bars, restaurants and department stores.
Not only is job growth too anemic to make up for the millions of jobs lost, the NELP report shows it has been particularly weak in creating high-paying jobs.
Net job growth in 2010 has been driven disproportionately by industries with median wages below $15 an hour. More than 50 percent of the growth in employment through July 2010 came from jobs paying a median wage of between $10.83 and $15 per hour, the second-lowest quintile of wages considered in the report. Another 25 percent of the employment growth has been in the lowest wage quintile of $8.92 per hour to $10.82 per hour.
Jobs paying between $22.13 per hour and $31.02 per hour, in contrast, made up 0.2 percent of employment growth in that period.
The study also highlights the number of high-paying jobs lost in the recession. Using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it found that 1.2 million jobs paying between $22.13 per hour and $31.02 per hour were lost in the recession. Only about 1,000 of those jobs were added back to the economy in the first seven months of the year.
Six industries actually lost jobs even as the rest of the economy took small steps toward a recovery in 2010. Those industries were construction, finance and insurance, information, real estate and rental and leasing, professional and technical services and utilities.
Construction, which has been hammered by the housing crisis, offered the most dramatic change. That sector lost nearly 1.8 million jobs between December 2007 and December 2009. It lost another 123,000 jobs in the first seven months of 2010. Construction did add 19,000 jobs in August, after NELP concluded its report.
“More so than in past recessions, there’s a sense that more of those jobs are permanently lost, or lost for a long time,” said Chris Owens, NELP’s executive director.
It’s not unusual for lower-paying jobs to come back first in a recovery, Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said in an e-mail. Still, he suggested there’s some reason for concern given the unusual number of highly educated and skilled workers who lost their jobs during the recession.
Zandi expects overall payroll employment to fall by 110,000 in September’s report, to be issued next Friday. That would include the loss of 185,000 temporary Census jobs. Next week’s report will be the final new unemployment report before Election Day.
The top three occupations that have seen job growth, NELP estimated, were retail salesmen, cashiers and food-preparation workers, “a sobering figure given their poverty-level wages.”
Owens said that if the pattern of weak job growth continues, there could be an increase in the number of “working poor.”
The second report, from the Census Bureau, notes that poverty is on the rise. The study found that the nation’s poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 2009. That’s an increase of nearly 4 million people.
Since the recession began in 2007, Census estimated, the number of people in poverty increased by 6.3 million. That was a larger rise than what followed the recession of 1973 to 1975, but lower than the recession of the early 1980s.
The Census calculates poverty using thresholds updated annually for inflation via the Consumer Price Index. A couple with two children were considered to be in poverty in 2009 if their annual total income was below $21,756, a lower threshold than the one used in 2008, before the recession peaked.
President Obama on Monday faced tough questions from voters at a town hall on the economy and jobs.
One audience member who said she had voted for the president in 2008 expressed her disillusion, adding that she had grown tired of defending him. Another questioner asked Obama whether the American Dream was dead.
Obama answered that the American Dream remains alive, but the disturbing data on the jobs front, which is the main reason Democrats may lose the House and Senate this fall, shows there is some reason to doubt where the president was right.
It will be difficult to keep poverty from increasing further without the creation of new jobs that pay higher wages, something both parties may need to worry about.
Swanson is the news editor at The Hill.
Those born on September 22nd have a restless drive to begin all sorts of new projects. Usually they bring the one they are working on to completion but immediately set out on a new one without rest. They are also capable of handling several projects at the same time. Those born on this day have a low boredom threshold, and consequently demand challenging people and situations. They can be outgoing and dynamic types at one time, and solitary and unapproachable at another. In either case, their strong character is unmistakable.
Often September 22nd people oscillate between being an offensive and defensive person. In one sense, such postures may be one and the same since a good offense is the best defense and vice versa. Whether in a broad social context or on a personal level, the issues and ideas those born on this day are most often concerned with involve fairness and equality in general, matters pertaining to the delegation and exercise of power. In putting forth their arguments, they can be ironic, witty and out right funny. Their humor, however, is not for everyone as it is liable to be off beat.
September 22nd people can display a disturbing lack of stability. Although they may be involved in quite respectable professions, one often gets the ideas that the profession itself or whether they do in general lends the consistency their lives so desperately need. Those born on this day can be at risk when their restless nature brings them into conflict with the powers that be. September 22nd people think for themselves and will not tolerate others, particularly those of lesser intelligence, trying to tell them what to do.
Those born on this day hide a warm heart under a forbidding exterior, but generally will only open up to people whom they deeply trust and value. Even then they may find it difficult to open all the way, however, principally because their orientation is highly realistic and the ironies of life all too visible to them. This day, indeed, carries insight and clarity of vision both literal and figurative. They are excellent judges of character, and capable of sizing people up quickly.
Those born on the 22nd of the month are ruled by the number 4 (2+2=4. The number 4 represents rebellion, idiosyncratic beliefs and a desire to change the rules. Those governed by the number 4 so often take the opposing point of view are remarkably self assured, they some times arouse the antagonism and make enemies, often secret ones.
Advice: Individual, perspective and well directed
Weaknesses: Dark and guarded
Born on This Day: Tommy Lasorda, Yang Chen Ning, David Stern and Tai Babilonia
Famous Inventions: 1992 The Poolside Basketball Game was granted a patent #5,149,086.
This Day In History: Sep 22, 1862 Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.
Bill Clinton: Listen to the tea party
September 20, 2010
Well, Mr. President, I’ve tried to “hear” what the Tea party crowd is trying to say, but the message is entangled with so much racist, homophobic and xenophobic rhetoric, that it’s not easy to comprehend their “real intent”, IF there is one outside of those dubious but prominent messages.
Former President Bill Clinton is advising Democrats to pay attention to the grassroots tea party movement and talk openly about its fiscal concerns ahead of November’s midterm elections.
“There are a lot of real people in this tea party movement that are saying something everyone should hear – which is ‘seems like everyone but average Americans are doing all right here. The people that caused the financial crisis are all back in great shape,’ ” Clinton said in a joint interview with Yahoo and the Huffington Post released over the weekend.
Clinton advised Democrats that they may be able attract some voters who share the concerns of tea party activists if they project a more forward looking message.
“I would like to see the Democrats talk much more about how we’re gonna move forward,” the former president said.
“If the election is about apathy on our side [and] anger on their side, we can’t win that race,” he added. “If the election is about what are we going to do now and who’s going to do it, our side will do just fine in a difficult time.”
Still, Clinton said that while he understands the general concerns of tea party activists, the anti-government rhetoric and energy behind the movement would be a destructive force.
“The problem is that if you look at the financial energy behind the tea party movement, it’s not about restricting abuse of big public and private power,” Clinton said. “It’s about destroying the role of government in our life so that private centers of power will be untrammeled, and I don’t think that’s good for average Americans.”
Monday, September 20, 2010
Man 'worms' his way onto Animal Planet show
Doctors use a laser to kill a worm that got into the eye of Bellevue native John Matthews.
The "yuck" factor of John Matthews' story earned him an episode on a national cable TV show.
It all started last December when Matthews noticed two spots obscuring vision in his left eye. The Bellevue, Iowa, native who now lives in Cedar Rapids was tested by several vision specialists before being sent to the ophthalmology department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
After undergoing more tests there, doctors figured out his unusual problem.
"A group of them came in and told me, 'You've got a worm in your eye,'" he said.
Doctors rushed Matthews into a treatment room and shot a laser into his left eyeball to kill the worm.
"I could see it from behind, moving, trying to dodge the laser," he said.
It took a second round of laser blasts to kill the critter. Matthews' body is absorbing the worm's remains, but the damage it did to his retina is permanent.
Doctors figured Matthews picked up the worm one of two ways.
"It could have been hookworm I might have picked up when we were in Mexico or it could have been raccoon roundworm that I could have gotten turkey hunting," he said.
Since Matthews enjoys watching the Animal Planet network show, "Monsters Inside Me," he called the show's producers, who found his story intriguing. A film crew came to Iowa to tape his segment of the program, "Shape Shifters."
A Dubuque woman was ambushed Friday in New York City.
Kelly Cooper, a 42-year-old Hospice nurse, was one of two women selected to participate in the Plaza Ambush Makeover on the "Today" show on NBC.
"I was totally unprepared," said Cooper, who went to New York to visit family for the weekend. "We went to the show on the spur of the moment because my cousin wanted to see Al Roker. It was pouring rain."
Hair colorist to the stars, Louis Licari, and Jill Martin, reporter for the New York Knicks and contributor to the "Today" show on fashion trends and entertainment stories, picked Cooper and another woman for the makeover.
Cooper has six children, ranging in age from 14 to 25.
"I do need a little pampering," Cooper said before her makeover. "I'm very excited for this."
Cooper's makeover involved a new hairstyle and coloring, a new outfit and jewelry and some new makeup. For two hours, six to seven people worked on her, she said.
"It was just amazing," Cooper said. "It was neat to share the experience with another person."
Students at East High School will be charged $5 for being late to class
9/19 7:13 pm
(ABC 4 News)
SALT LAKE CITY - Beginning Monday East High School Students will be charged $5 for being late to class. If the students are late and do not want to pay the fee they have the option of attending 30 minutes of after school detention.
LINK TO PHOTO
Car explodes after couple hides crack cocaine in gas tank
September 21, 2010 • 12:19 pm
A Brazilian couple’s car exploded after they hid crack cocaine in the fuel tank and then tried to fill it with gas.
The pair, who were not identified, apparently tried to hide 11 pounds of crack inside their car’s natural gas fuel tank before it blew up when they filled it with gas in Brasilia, The Canadian Press reports.
Shards of the car were blasted some 20 yards while the station walls were peppered with the drug.
Experts speculated that the crack shoved into the small pipes of the tank caused undue pressure on its integrity and caused it to explode during filling.
The 36-year-old man and 24-year-old woman both sustained non-life threatening injuries in the explosion and were taken to the hospital for treatment
Those born on September 21st are very concerned with the prevailing social taste of the times, either in setting them within their own circle or observing them. It can be said that most September 21st people are extremely up to date in their thinking, their dress, the way they keep their homes, even the car they drive for at least have a strong desire to be. Consequently, if their financial circumstances do not allow for such a contemporary lifestyle, those born on this day grow rather unhappy. Often their desire to be successful financially is motivated by such needs. It must be mentioned, however, that there is a smaller group of September 21st people who are not preoccupied with these externals at all, but only concerned with being up to date intellectually and having an advanced outlook. For this type of person, a natural lifestyle, away from the bustle of the city, may come to assume great importance.
The word modern is applicable to September 21st people, both in the sense of being in tune with their times and in being progressive. They are generally attracted to modern architecture, new ideas, fashion trends and advancements in science, and may await the appearance of the latest model tool, machine or gadget with great interest. The reasons for this interest are not only a fascination with innovation and wishing to be seen by others as up to date, but also a real knowledge that such developments can better their lives and allow them to work more efficiently.
September 21st people have an undeniable fascination for mystery, strange people, suspense, and even danger and violence. These interests should of course be channeled creatively and kept within bounds because though they can make for a stimulating dream and fantasy life, they can also produce a highly destructive personality. The ideal occupation for those born on this day may be one which allows them to dream up new ideals and then see them through in practical application. Most September 21st people seek to be elegant and admired, some even worshiped. Their feeling for beauty is important to them and matters of aesthetic taste are usually given high priority.
Those born on the 21st of the month are ruled by the number 3 (2+1=3). September 21st people may be easy with their money, which can lead to debt; overdrafts or losses from get rich quick schemes. The primary task of September 21st people is to make their way in the world in a constructive fashion.
Advice: Find your true values within. Don’t get carried away by the latest and greatest. Try to keep to one path. Feel free to flaunt your differences if you wish, but don’t be obsessed by them it doesn’t matter so much what you neighbor thinks.
Strengths: Tasteful, progressive and aesthetic
Weaknesses: Materialistic, sensationalist and flighty
Born on This Day: HG Wells, Bill Murray, Larry Hagman and Stephen King
Famous Inventions: 1993 A patent for Baseball Batting Apparatus, patent #5,246,226 was granted.
This Day In History: Sep 21, 1780 Benedict Arnold commits treason
This day in 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word "traitor."
Those born on September 20th are convinced of their ability to manage almost any situation. They are greatly concerned with the interests of their group, and will to any degree possible to insure the harmonious running of the projects in which they are involved. For some women this can mean family dedication and home values, for others the cohesiveness of their social or business organization. For men it may mean the guidance of their family, which they like to think of more as companions than subjects, and in their working life on this day know that running a tight ship financially can guarantee many benefits, and consequently they tend to be adept not only at earning money but at making good buys and shrewd investments particularly when it comes to the beauty of their home, which they often prize above all else.
When things go wrong, September 20th people have great faith in their capacity to repair or heal. Healing for them may mean anything from patching up quarrels to actually helping a loved one get well using means ranging from prayer to traditional arts and massage. In this respect they must be careful not to go off the deep end and come to believe their powers are greater than they actually are which can have dangerous consequences not only for themselves but for those close to them.
September 20th people usually display sound judgment but must also avoid being over self confident or blind concerning their ability to recognize the truth of any situation. The crucial point is whether they are capable of acknowledging that they have made mistakes, and having done so correcting their methods and points of view. Those September 20th people who can learn from their errors and
Those born on the 20th of the month are ruled by the number 2 (2 +0 =2 ), and usually gentle and imaginative, and easily hurt by the criticism or intention of others. Those ruled by the number 2 are impressionable and emotional.
Advice: learn from your mistakes. Examine results and take stock of your methods either they work or they don’t. Do not hesitate to change course if necessary. Keep your emotions a bit more guarded and lean the value of patience.
Strengths: Organized, shrewd and observant.
Weaknesses: Over confident, overemotional and inflated.
Born on This Day: Red Auerbach, Sophia Loren, Richard McDermott and Sister Elizabeth Kenny
Famous Inventions: 1938 Patent #2,130,948 was granted for "synthetic fiber" (nylon) to Wallace Carothers.
This Day in History: Sep 20, 1973: King triumphs in Battle of Sexes
On this day in 1973, in a highly publicized "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, top women's player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men's player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn't handle the pressure of the game and that even at his age he could beat any female player. The match was a huge media event, witnessed in person by over 30,000 spectators at the Houston Astrodome and by another 50 million TV viewers worldwide. King made a Cleopatra-style entrance on a gold litter carried by men dressed as ancient slaves, while Riggs arrived in a rickshaw pulled by female models. Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell called the match, in which King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. King's achievement not only helped legitimize women's professional tennis and female athletes, but it was seen as a victory for women's rights in general.
Obama To Tea Party: 'Identify, Specifically, What Would You Do?'
First Posted: 09-20-10 01:44 PM | Updated: 09-20-10 01:44 PM
White House advisers on Monday pushed back hard against a New York Times report that the administration is ready to launch a full-frontal assault on the Tea Party movement as the November elections approach. No such plans are being made, insisted senior advisers. And, sure enough, the Times quickly modified its story into something a bit duller.
In a town hall meeting broadcast live by CNBC on Monday, however, President Obama seemed to be reading off the initial script. Pressed by an audience member to weigh in on what exactly drives the Tea Party, Obama, in no uncertain terms, accused the movement's members of refusing to talk in specifics.
If there is anger over the economic or political landscape, he added, it is being misdirected in his direction.
"The problem that I've seen in the debate that's been taking place and in some of these Tea Party events is, I think they're misidentifying sort of who the culprits are here," said Obama. "As I said before, we had to take some emergency steps last year. But the majority of economists will tell you that the emergency steps we take are not the problem long-term. The problems long-term are the problems that I talked about earlier. We had two tax cuts that weren't paid for, two wars that weren't paid for. We've got a population that's getting older. We're all demanding services, but our taxes have actually substantially gone down."
"So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?" he added. "It's not enough just to say get control of spending. I think it's important for you to say, I'm willing to cut veterans' benefits or I'm willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits or I'm willing to see these taxes go up. What you can't do, which is what I've been hearing a lot from the other side, is we're going to control government spending, we're going to propose $4 trillion of additional tax cuts, and that magically somehow things are going to work. Now, some of these are very difficult choices."
Obama does seem to operate at his best when facing inherently adversarial questions (recall the positive coverage he received for going to a Republican conference in Baltimore during the height of the health care debate). And while several questioners at the CNBC event were sympathetic to the president, the answers that seemed to resonate best came when the pro-business or anti-government questioners were pressing him.
His direct questioning of the Tea Party's motives came just moments before he acknowledged that being "healthfully skeptical about government" is in "our DNA."
Targeted by Craigslist armed robbery scheme, Ada sheriff says: 'I think it's hilarious'
updated 9/18/2010 6:45:29 PM ET
Boise Police say the robbers pretend to be selling computers on Craigslist, and when the would-be customer arrives for a sale, the men rob them.
Raney said he was off-duty and just looking to buy an Apple laptop for a good deal, but said he ended up stumbling upon two men who he says would have robbed him.
"In all of the ads just in Boise out there in Craigslist, this is a popular item. There had to be a lot of responses, and for them to have that great luck to pick the sheriff to try to scam and try to rob, I think, good for them because they're going to be in jail a while," said Raney.
Twenty-year-old Dominic Hinton of Boise and 19-year-old Roman Nazarko of Caldwell are charged with felony robbery and other crimes.
Sheriff spotted danger, called police
Raney says he saw the computer listing on Craigslist and agreed to meet the seller near a gated subdivision in Garden City. As he got close to the neighborhood, the supposed seller tried to change plans over the phone
"As I got near the area, the caller told me to pull off onto the side of the road into the parking lot of some businesses that were dark and nobody was around," Raney said.
The sheriff says that was a warning sign and he became suspicious, eventually calling Garden City Police for help.
"I called Garden City Police and talked to Sergeant Little there and said, 'I think this is a robbery that's going to happen, so you come in from that side and I'll come in from this side and let's see what happens.'"
After spotting the men and a brief chase, the sergeant and the sheriff were able to arrest the two robbers.
Most popular NYT: 'The new unemployables': Workers over 50 3 children found fatally shot in Houston area 'Very large' Hurricane Igor passes Bermuda Witnesses say they saw person fall from sky Igor brings 'tremendous' beach erosion to Bermuda
"In this case, I'm thankful that it was me, that I was prepared to react, that I used good common sense, but it could have been somebody innocent there that could have been hurt, but [the suspects are] in jail, and that's where they ought to be," said Raney.
A strange coincidence, to say the least
The irony of the situation isn't lost on Raney who laughs at the strange coincidence.
"I think it's hilarious," Raney said. "I kept myself safe the whole time. I was never in danger. I was smart enough to do that. And they went away [to jail]. The only thing better than laughing at arresting criminals is laughing at arresting dumb criminals."
Raney says he hopes by sharing his story, others will be careful if something doesn't seem right. He's also glad he was the one meeting the criminals last night instead of someone who may have fallen prey.
LINK TO PHOTO
September 17, 2010 3:26 PM
JOHN C. ENSSLIN
A Colorado Springs man was sentenced Friday to one year in federal prison after he was found guilty of filing false liens against an IRS agent.
Judge Marcia Krieger imposed the sentence on Ronald Ray Hoodenpyle, 68, in U.S. District Court in Denver She also ordered him to submit to electronic monitoring within 72 hours. Hoodenpyle remains free on bond until he reports to prison on or before Oct. 29.
On July 17, a jury convicted Hoodenpyle following a three-day trial. He was charged with placing false liens against the agent’s property in Jefferson County in retaliation for IRS liens placed against Hoodenpyle’s property for unpaid taxes.
Ronald Hoodenpyle gets jail time for bogus lien on IRS agent's home
J. David McSwane
Mon., Jun. 21 2010
One gutsy Colorado Springs man is facing hard time after he filed a fraudulent lien against the home of an IRS agent in retaliation for a lien the IRS placed on his home.
Ronald Roy Hoodenpyle, come on down!
Hoodenpyle, 68, was convicted after a three-day trial last week of filing a false lien on the Jefferson County home of an IRS Revenue officer who he said owed an excess of $1 million in April 2008. He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
You've gotta give this Springs rebel credit for putting his (fake) money where his mouth is.
It's one thing to not pay taxes, and it's another thing to fight the IRS (and probably lose). But all-out war on the tax man is nothing short of legendary.
Get more details from the U.S. Attorney's Office release below:
COLORADO SPRINGS MAN FOUND GUILTY OF FILING FALSE LIEN AGAINST IRS EMPLOYEE
DENVER -- A jury in U.S. District Court in Denver yesterday found Ronald Roy Hoodenpyle, age 68, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, guilty of filing a false lien against an IRS employee, U.S. Attorney David Gaouette and Special Agent in Charge of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Denver Field Division, Greg Jaramillo announced. The three day jury trial was before U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger. Hoodenpyle, who is free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Krieger on September 17, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on January 6, 2009.
According to the indictment, as well as facts presented to the jury during trial, on April 2, 2008, the defendant, Ronald Roy Hoodenpyle, filed a false lien against the real property owned by an IRS Revenue Officer. The false lien was filed in Jefferson County, Colorado, and stated that the Revenue Officer owed the defendant in excess of $1,000,000. Hoodenpyle knew that this statement was false.
Also during the trial, the prosecution played a videotape of an interview of Hoodenpyle in which he stated that he did not owe any income tax. It was then revealed that the IRS had filed liens against Hoodenpyle's property stating that he owed the IRS over $1,160,000. The government presented evidence that the defendant filed the false lien in retaliation for the IRS Revenue Officer's performing his professional duties.
Hoodenpyle faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. He could also be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS.
"Paying income tax is the responsibility of every single American," said U.S. Attorney David Gaouette. "If you intentionally evade paying taxes, there will be civil and criminal consequences. In this instance, the consequence is a potential federal prison sentence."
"I am very pleased with the guilty verdict," said Greg Jaramillo, Special Agent in Charge of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Denver Field Division. "This should send a strong message to those individuals who would use intimidation and harassment against IRS employees to attempt to impede tax administration."
The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch.
It's hard to understand when Hollywood actors fall so far. However, Randy Quaid and his wife Evi have been arrested and charged with allegely squatting in a California guest house without permission.
Randy Quaid and Wife Arrested Saturday
Randy Quaid and his wife were arrested on Saturday afternoon. The pair were changed with felony residential burglary and entering a noncommercial building without consent, which is a misdemeanor. However, Evi also received an additional charge of resisting arrest.
Reportedly, a snarky point of view on the matter would say that the pair simply forgot they didn't live there. The residence was apparently the home of Randy and Evi Quaid years ago. They are also accused of causing $5,000 in damage to the guest house they were squatting in.
This is the second such run-in with the law for Randy Quaid and his wife in less than a year. Last September, the pair was arrested on charges of trying to defraud an innkeeper out of $10,000. Evi Quaid eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to three years probation. These new charges could result in serious issues with regards to the earlier probation sentence.
In late August, the couple filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming their former lawyer and estate planner created a fake living trust in their name, stole their money and "disqualified future lawyers from acting on their behalf. "
LINK TO PHOTO
Jason Linkins| HuffPost Reporting
Obama Demeans His Own Supporters
First Posted: 09-18-10 02:48 PM | Updated: 09-18-10 04:13 PM
Oh, these are just some of my favorite moments in the Obama presidency:
PRESIDENT OBAMA, at a DNC event last night in Greenwich, Conn.: "[A]fter being in this job for two years, I have never been more optimistic about America. I am optimistic partly because we did some really tough things that aren't always popular but were the right things to do. Š Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn't there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven't yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)
Fun fact! This fundraiser took place at the home of a "Rich Richman." Make of that what you will!
First of all, I commend the president on some touches to this schtick that speak to historical accuracy. You see, when this usually gets trotted out, we hear that the left is too insistent that we have a single-payer health care system. That's when I have to step in and point out the obvious -- that the left-most health care activists and legislators actually conceded single-payer in advance in an effort to have a health care reform package that stood a fighting chance of passing Congress.
Usually, the left gets little credit for how tremendously accommodating they were during that debate, so it's nice to see the President acknowledge that the point of contention eventually became the public option and the way he screwed over everyone who had originally accommodated him. Snide humor, about what a dick you are, works best when it's a little bit accurate!
Now, to be fair, there have also been those times where I've interjected my body between the White House and their despised "professional left" and reminded the President's critics that the President doesn't have magic powers to close GITMO or to give Ben Nelson a brain, and that it's actually illegal to drown Evan Bayh in a mop bucket, even though the soapy water and his bloated remains would each make better legislators than he is now. They'll point out, "But Obama could have fought harder!" And I'll point out that yes this is true, but Congress and its powers nevertheless exist, and whether he would have succeeded or failed is going to have to be a tale we'll have to tell our children, from inside Carl Paladino's Prison For The Poors, between the gruel feeding and bedtime.
Mostly, however, the so-called "professional left" has a string of very good cases. Obama is to the right -- let me repeat: TO THE RIGHT -- of President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, et al. -- on the issues of state secrets, warrantless surveillace, and detainee policy in Bagram, and has even come up with something that gives his predecessors pause: the claimed right to assassinate an American citizen at his whim! Obama, and his most idiotic defenders, seem to think that all of the people who built a career criticizing Bush for abuse of executive powers should just give Obama a pass -- never mind that he ran on a platform of dismantling those powers.
Another good example: he's also slowly ceding ground to the Republicans on matters of LGBT rights. Actually, all Democrats are slowly ceding this ground! But it was the Obama White House that raced to get some anonymous sources to reporters to remind them on the same day same-sex marriage proponents won a great civil rights victory that the White House was opposed to the civil right, itself.
Dick move. I mean, he could have waited! Let the LGBT community have a day to celebrate!
But look, the joke here is on Obama. While Robert Gibbs was yelling at the "professional left," the "amateur left" -- that is to say, the Democratic base, was sticking by Obama, steadfastly. Traditional Democratic voters don't actually see the glass as half-empty and they aren't upset that world peace hasn't been obtained and they don't hold it against Obama that the world isn't perfect for everyone forever. Insert joke about the relative, real-world influence of progressive bloggers and I shall raise a chorus of titters along with you, even as I encourage you to not be dismissive -- but the fact remains, the liberal vote seems to be sticking by Obama through thick and thin.
Where Obama is shedding support by the metric ton, is within the cohort of the electorate known as "independent voters." They are either going to stay at home in November or go looking for alternatives. Do you think it's likely that independent voters care whether we have a Canadian style health care system or not? Do you think that independent voters are the ones who base their decisions on what progressive blog critics have to say? The answer to both questions is "not bloody likely."
What's eating the indies? Well, I have to imagine that a large part of it is that the boldness that attracted them to the Obama campaign has only shown itself in fits and starts since. And so, they drift away. Part of what amuses me in this whole situation is that the White House has obviously felt this criticism, but they've assigned it to the wrong people. It's a great way of potentially alienating yourself to both groups without substantively addressing the criticisms of either.
At any rate, November is just a few weeks away. So, laugh it up while you still can!
Those born on September 18th are very private, even secretive people who for one reason or another often find themselves in very public careers. Their world is a highly personal one to which entrance is not granted easily. They can be depended on, but perhaps not forever, because with finality and suddenness they are capable of closing the door on a friendship or love relationship. Thus they may be dangerous people to get involved with unless their partners are prepared for their changes of heart.
Those born on this day are capable of attaining tremendous success, but they can equally be hounded by repeated failure and plain bad luck. The theme of beauty is central to their lives. They are highly sensitive to any kind of strife, violence or bitter competition, which they would just as soon avoid. The fact is that September 18th people are not capable of handling a lot of stress and despite their often imposing or attractive appearance may also not be blessed with the highest degree of self confidence.
Most September 18 people have a special relationship with worship or belief, whether realized in personal development, artistic expression or social interaction because of their devotional nature; they do well with studies and lifestyles which demand unbroken concentration and attention, as well as a submerging of their own ego.
September 18th people are often found far from their original home, either geographically or emotionally, and some born on this day refer not to be reminded of their past. In general, they what is past behind them and rarely reopen a closed issue or failed relationship.
Those born on the 18th of the month are ruled by the number 9 (1+8=9, have a quick mind, but also have a tendency to be undiplomatic, even tactless.
Advice: learn to be more perseverant. Conflict is sometimes necessary. Try to understand what your body is telling you, don’t ignore physical symptoms. Your mysterious nature may be keeping out the light.
Strengths:Thoughtful, serious and aesthetic
Weaknesses: Isolated, troubled and negative
Born on This Day: Greta Garbo, Robert Blake, Edwin McMillan and Eddie Anderson
Famous Inventions: 1915 Louisa May Alcott's book, "Little Women" (first published October 3, 1868) was registered.
1984 Software Arts and Visi Corp settled their lawsuit over VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program. VisiCalc, invented in 1979, was the first "hot-selling software product" for the personal computer.
This Day in History: Sep 18, 1793 Capitol cornerstone is laid
On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome and important collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes six Congressional office buildings and three Library of Congress buildings, all developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Rush Limbaugh Falls For Wikipedia Hoax About Judge Roger Vinson
First Posted: 09-16-10 01:40 PM | Updated: 09-16-10 02:01 PM
The paper reports that, on his Tuesday show, Limbaugh spent some time discussing Roger Vinson, a District Court judge for the Northern District of Florida. Vinson had recently announced that he was likely to allow a full hearing for a challenge to the federal health care bill. Limbaugh told his listeners that the judge was a longtime hunter and amateur taxidermist, and that he had once killed three brown bears and mounted their heads above the entrance to his courtroom--in order, Limbaugh said, to "instill the fear of God into the accused."
"This would not be good news" for supporters of the health care law, he added.
Unfortunately, none of that information is true.
It came from a Wikipedia user called Pensacolian--Vinson's court sits in Pensacola, Florida--who, on Sep. 13, updated Vinson's page to include these sentences:
"Vinson is an avid hunter and amateur taxidermist. After a 2002 hunting trip during which he killed three brown bears, Vinson had their heads mounted over the door through which defendants must pass to enter the courtroom. The heads were later removed following complaints by local defendants' rights groups."
The information was removed on Tuesday afternoon. Pensacolian named as the source for this information a news article which the Times found did not exist. The paper also spoke to Vinson, who corrected the record:
"But, in fact, Judge Vinson has never shot anything other than a water moccasin (last Saturday, at his weekend cabin), is not a taxidermist and, as president of the American Camellia Society, is far more familiar with Camellia reticulata than with Ursus arctos...'I've never killed a bear,' he said Wednesday, 'and I'm not Davy Crockett.'"
Palin in Iowa to test 2012 presidential waters?
Fri Sep 17, 10:15 pm ET
DES MOINES (Reuters) – Sarah Palin fed speculation that she might run for president in 2012 on Friday with a high-profile visit to Iowa and a call for unity between battling factions of Republicans ahead of November 2 congressional elections.
"The time for unity is now," said Palin.
Palin spoke at the Iowa Republican Party's Ronald Reagan Dinner, her influence among "Tea Party" activists strong after conservative candidates she backed won in Delaware and New Hampshire Senate primary races on Tuesday.
The former Alaska governor, who was Republican Senator John McCain's vice presidential running mate in the 2008 campaign, was coy about whether she will join what could be a long list of challengers to Democratic President Barack Obama.
She told the crowd of about 1,500 that her husband, Todd, had suggested she not go for an exercise run outdoors in Des Moines because the headlines would be, "Palin in Iowa decides to run."
And she said she liked a comment from Iowa's Republican candidate for governor, Terry Branstad, that, "We need to stay focused on this election and not the next one."
Iowa and New Hampshire cast the first votes in presidential nominating campaigns and potential candidates routinely stop in each state in hopes of propelling themselves into the national spotlight.
The Republican lineup for 2012 will start forming late this year and in early 2011. As many as a dozen aspirants are possible and many of them have already rolled through Iowa.
But none have received the attention Palin has, with a large contingent of national political reporters and a phalanx of television cameras on hand for her appearance.
Palin used a sometimes rambling 30-minute speech to throw darts at many targets, including Obama, top congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, pundits from the Republican establishment, and the "lamestream" news media.
She spent considerable time castigating "gutless" reporters who she said have reported untruths about her.
Palin said establishment Republicans who say some Tea Party-type candidates will not be able to win against Democratic opponents in the November 2 congressional elections need to get over it and help rally behind them.
"You lose some, you win some," she said.
Republicans expect big gains against Democratic majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate but some believe Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell's victory over a moderate Republican in Delaware probably cost the party a chance to take command of the Senate.
"Those internal power struggles need to be set aside," Palin said. "The need is great because the cause is so great."
Palin urged Republican leaders to spread out across the country to help rally voters, including Karl Rove, who has been harshly critical of O'Donnell. Rove was the architect of George W. Bush's two presidential victories.
"Karl," she said. "Karl, go to hear. You can come to Iowa, and Karl Rove and the leaders will see the light that these are normal, hard-working Americans.'
Palin's visit to Iowa was seen by many in the crowd of 1,500 as a first step toward a possible run.
"She's looking at something for the future," said Henry Reyhons, a Republican representative in the Iowa state legislature.
"I think she will," said DiAnn Rose of Mapleton, Iowa. "I hope she does."
Palin, admired by many conservatives, is not viewed favorably by a large segment of the American electorate, and the White House was quick to try to portray her as the best the Republican Party can muster.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called Palin "a formidable force in the Republican Party and may well be, in all honesty, the most formidable force in the Republican Party right now."
Does the White House interpret her trip as a first step in a run for the presidency?
"It is normally around this time of year that you go to dip your toe in the water (in Iowa). My guess is that she is going to dip that toe," said Gibbs.
If Palin runs, said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, "it would be the best news Democrats could possibly have."
While popular among conservatives, Palin still has a long way to go with other Americans. A CBS News poll on Thursday said 46 percent of American voters viewed Palin unfavorably, compared with 21 percent who have a favorable opinion of her and 33 percent who are undecided.
Palin promotes a traditional Republican low-tax, pro-business economic policy and aggressive foreign policy.
(Additional reporting by Ross Colvin; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Eric Walsh)
How about some creepy-crawlies for dinner, Mexican-style? Adventurous diners can spring for a four-course meal of bugs at Brooklyn Kitchen.
Egan-Chin/NewsRene Cervantes with crickets. He'll be eating other insects as well at Brooklyn Kitchen.
Most restaurants try to keep bugs out of the kitchen. One Brooklyn foodie hot spot is putting them on the menu.
The Brooklyn Kitchen is hosting a four-course dinner of creepy-crawlies on Saturday for adventurous eaters with iron stomachs.
Diners at the Williamsburg cook shop are shelling out $85 to feast on caterpillars, mealworms and moth larvae, all done up Mexican-style.
Luckily, it comes with mescal, a Mexican liquor, to wash it all down.
"It's a little bit of a challenge to see if I can actually go through with eating it," said Alan Smith, 27, a freelance radio producer from Prospect Heights.
Smith said he had read about bugs as an environmentally friendly alternative to meat and was curious to try them - as long as they're not still squirming. "If it doesn't taste good, the whole experiment is shot for me," he said.
Fans of edible insects insist they can be a treat.
"They're very tasty, so I want to see what everything else they're going to serve is like," said Rene Cervantes, 33, who signed up for the dinner because he loves the flavor of grasshoppers, which are often served in his home country of Mexico. "You have to give things a try, or you won't know."
About half the event's 40 slots are filled, said Brooklyn Kitchen owner Taylor Erkkinen. "People are kind of interested, but also skeeved out," she said.
Erkkinen isn't so sure she's up for it herself, but, "the mescal hopefully will help ease my introduction."
Los Angeles-based artist Philip Ross cooked up the menu, which will include sautéed mealworms and yucca in a garlic and chipotle sauce.
The tasting is a joint venture with the nearby EyeLevel BQE Gallery, where Monica Martinez, an artist and Ross' girlfriend, is exhibiting habitats she created for mealworms.
Fancy flavorings and booze may not be enough to tempt some New Yorkers to dine on insects.
"I can't even eat around bugs, let alone eat bugs," said Pedro Nieves, 22, a medical assistant trainee who flinched even at the mention of it. "I'm really grossed out by them."
Insect cuisine isn't quite as foreign in many cultures as it is here, and bug eating is common in places like Latin America and Asia, where people snack on locusts and even scorpions.
Sunset Park resident Denisse Sosa, 20, overcame her squeamishness about eating bugs after trying grasshoppers while visiting family in Mexico - but she's not eager to repeat the experience.
"The legs get stuck in your throat," Sosa said. "I don't like that."
The event's price tag was what stuck in the craw of Brooklynite Carlos Echeverri, 35, who said he'd be willing to eat nearly anything but a <snip>roach.
"Eat bugs for $85? Probably you could just go to the park and throw them on the grill."
McNew/GettyLindsay Lohan failed a court-mandated drug test last week, a source told the Daily News
Lohan gives a smirk in her booking photo at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif.
LOS ANGELES - Jail and rehab couldn't scare Lindsay Lohan straight - she's flunked a drug test, a source told the Daily News Friday.
The positive result on a court-mandated test last week could send the "Mean Girls" starlet back to the slammer.
TMZ.com reported the test was for cocaine.
Prosecutors declined comment, and Lohan's lawyer could not be reached.
Lohan, 24, denied it at first. "They're all nuts," she told Us magazine. "I'm fine."
But the troubled starlet later copped to the failed drug test Friday night through several Tweets saying she's "prepared to appear before Judge Fox next week as a result."
"Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn't go away over night. I am working hard to overcome it and am taking positive steps forward every day. I am testing every single day and doing what I must do to prevent any mishaps in the future," Lohan said in another tweet to her 1.18 million followers.
LiLo is on probation until next August for back-to-back 2007 DUI cases.
She was sentenced to 90 days in jail this summer for missing booze counseling classes, but served only 14 due to overcrowding.
The court ordered a 90-day inpatient rehab stint, but doctors said she could leave after 23 days.
The judge put her on a strict post-jail program that includes counseling and random testing until Nov. 1.
"It appears she is very serious about her sobriety," Judge Elden Fox said at the time.
"She is very serious," Lohan's lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley agreed. "She has learned her lesson and wants to move on in a positive way."
The judge also issued a stern warning: "Any positive or missed random tests are to be reported to the court in 72 hours and result in a violation of probation with 30 days in county jail."
Because she was convicted of three counts, that could mean up to 90 days in lockup if she's found to have violated probation.
Dave AlloccaNadya Suleman is planning to go on welfare after various reality show deals fell through.
Having eight kids has taken its financial toll on Nadya Suleman.
Suleman, better known as "Octomom," is going on welfare after a deal she had hoped would turn into a reality series didn't work out, RadarOnline.com reported.
"Nadya has nannies and huge expenses raising 14 children," a source close to Suleman told the gossip site. "She needs a lot of money just to keep up with the basics. And now the income has dried up and she didn't make enough in the past year and a half to live off of it."
Suleman, who became a tabloid sensation in 2009 when she gave birth to eight children, was reportedly unable to convince networks to produce a reality show based on her life, a la "Jon & Kate Plus Eight."
"She's still hoping to pull off a deal that will pay her a fortune but at this point it just doesn't seem possible," the source said. "She was hoping for merchandizing deals, but those never came through."
According to Radar, Suleman's debts nearly had her evicted from her house after she fell behind on mortgage payments. Her father reportedly purchased the house she was paying mortgage on, however he can no longer support her.
"Nadya's parents have done a lot to help her despite their difficult relationship. They aren't rich and they're struggling too," the source said of Suleman's parents, adding that public assistance is the only possible solution at this point. "There's just no choice [but to go on welfare]. She's running out of money and those kids need to eat."
Mone/APSarah Palin has campaigned for dozens of Republicans in the 2010 primary season.
Sarah Palin may have a magic touch with candidates she endorses, but nearly half of American voters aren't impressed by the former Republican vice presidential candidate.
The Tea Party isn't a hit with voters, either, a new poll finds.
Just 21% of those asked have a favorable view of Palin, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll, which also found that 19% support the Tea Party.
Despite drawing large, raucous crowds wherever she speaks, the number of voters who view Palin unfavorably rose six points since August to 46%.
Meanwhile, 33% say they are undecided on Palin or don't know enough about her positions.
Still, Palin's endorsements seem to matter.
So far this primary season, Palin has backed 43 candidates and 25 of them have won, 11 have lost, with the rest not having had a primary race.
Most recently, she helped lift Republicans Christine O'Donnell and Kelly Ayotte to Senate primary wins in Delaware and New Hampshire, respectively.
However, two in three voters say Palin is just looking for attention with her endorsements, according to the poll.
The former Alaska governor has not said whether she will run for president in 2012. However, a poll from last month shows 59% of the country thinks she would be an ineffective commander-in-chief.
As for the Tea Party, 63% do not support it, though voters who are familiar with the party are more divided.
The poll finds 29% have an unfavorable view, opposed to 23% who see the party in a favorable light.
Still, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a champion of the Tea Party, thinks the budding political movement can be a force in Washington.
"The Tea Party represents a broad cross-section of the American people," DeMint told NBC's "Today."
"You can't change Washington unless you change people who are here," DeMint said. "People are ready to throw out the bums."
Democrats suffer an enthusiasm gap
That is not necessarily a predictor of victory in November — there’s a seven-week campaign to be run — but it puts the dominant Democratic Party in the unusual position of not only battling for critical independent votes but firing up its torpid base.
Because the primary was the first in memory without a contest at the top of the ballot in either party, overall turnout was the lowest by far for the past six gubernatorial cycles and slightly higher than the modern low in 1986.
But Republican turnout was exceptionally high in the 10th Congressional District, where there is an open seat; in many suburban and exurban areas of the Merrimack and Blackstone valleys; and in Worcester County.
The turnout in traditionally Democratic cities and many liberal areas, by contrast, was low to abysmal. In Boston and Cambridge, the number of voters casting Democratic ballots was less than half what it has been on average for the past seven gubernatorial primaries, a Globe analysis shows.
In a potentially troubling signal for Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, who built a diverse coalition of supporters in his 2006 victory, the turnout was especially light in Boston’s predominantly minority neighborhoods, despite two crowded Democratic primaries for open state House seats.
Democrats have a more than 3-to-1 registration average statewide, but in Tuesday’s primary, in which independents could cast ballots for either party, Democrats outpolled Republicans by only about 2 to 1. That’s the narrowest spread in the past 24 years. Even in cycles when Republicans won the governorship, GOP voters comprised more than 30 percent of the electorate only once in a primary — 1994, the year of William F. Weld’s historic re-election landslide.
In the 10th District, which stretches from Quincy to Cape Cod and the Islands, competitive primaries in both parties this year produced some of the highest turnouts in the state, with reported Democratic turnout exceeding the GOP by only 5 percentage points. That edge will increase slightly when Democratic results in five of the 199 precincts, still untabulated late yesterday, are added to the total.
That’s a significant improvement for Republicans, however. The last time the seat was open, in 1996, Democratic turnout exceeded Republican by nearly 40 percentage points, with multi-candidate primaries in both parties.
Jennifer Nassour, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, said her party’s higher turnout “speaks volumes to the anger and frustration people are feeling now. ... People are fed up, they want everyone out, and the party in power are the Democrats.’’
Her Democratic counterpart, John Walsh, acknowledged that “in a couple of places, there was a pickup of this Tea Party enthusiasm.’’ But he said Massachusetts is different from other states.
“We’re not Sarah Palin, burn-the-house-down, Delaware or Alaska,’’ he said. “No doubt this is going to be an important and challenging election for incumbents everywhere, and it will depend on how well we do our work and talk to people and execute in campaign mode.’’
The state Democratic Party, he noted, started September with a $1 million advantage over the state Republican Party in cash on hand for the final weeks of the race.
But Democrats will have to spend wisely to counteract the increased Republican energy in many parts of the state.
In Haverhill, a Merrimack Valley city that is nominally Democratic but sometimes votes Republican in November elections, Democratic turnout has generally exceeded that of Republicans by a wide margin in primaries in the last six gubernatorial cycles. On Tuesday, it flipped, with voters casting more Republican ballots than Democratic ones, according to unofficial results.
Similarly, in Barnstable, the most populous town on Cape Cod, a swing area, Democrats averaged 57 percent of primary turnout in six previous gubernatorial cycles. On Tuesday, the percentage fell to 44 percent, unofficial tallies showed.
WARNING EXTREMELY DISTURBING!!!
LINK TO STORY AND VIDEO
Home health aide Carmen Pereira, 52.
Those born on September 16th display an indomitable spirit that does not recognize defeat or boundaries. Their desire to go beyond, to surpass what has already been done in any given area is great. Yet they are patient enough to master the technical details of their craft, not being egotists or wild eyed fame hunters. September 16th emotional energy is very strong, and it is from the heart that those born on this day express themselves. They must beware, however, or overstepping certain boundaries which even they must stop and pause with respect.
September 16th people are not afraid to put it on the line. Their bravery and steadfastness under fire are outstanding qualities. But because they rarely back down from confrontation they may often be at odds with the authorities or powers that be.
It can me a mistake to cramp a September 16th person’s style. Their spirit is so dynamic that it will not be suppressed. They are filled with a zest for life. Those born on this day usually have to learn how to be good team players, however, since cooperation is not their strong suit. Over time, experience usually teaches them much in this regard, and they thus develop real leadership qualities. After maturing, they become excellent teachers, as they are confident of their knowledge and convey it in their students and will be more sensitive to their feelings.
Those born on the 16th of the month are ruled by the number 7 (1+6=7). Those ruled by the number 7 sometimes fail to carry through their ideas and can lose touch with reality easily. Those ruled by the number 7 can throw caution to the winds financially and leave their families financially embarrassed a good accountant or bookkeeper is thus invaluable to those born on this day.
Advice: Learn to guide your prodigious energies in the right direction. Keep goals in sight. Try to explain to those who do not understand. Don’t get too far out or court disaster too often, remain in touch with the more ordinary aspects of life.
Strengths: Big hearted, courageous and honest.
Weaknesses: Sensationalist, rebellious and destructive
Born on This Day: Henry V, B.B. King, Lauren Bacall and Charles Byrd
This Day in History: Sep 16, 1932 Gandhi begins fast in protest of caste separation
On this day in 1932, in his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government's decision to separate India's electoral system by caste. Famous Inventions 1857 The words & music to the famous Christmas song "Jingle Bells" was registered by Oliver Ditson and Company under the title One Horse Open Sleigh.
This is for entertainment only!
Arianna On The Who, What & Why Of Game Changers
09-15-10 11:18 AM
The Huffington Post salutes its 2010 Game Changers -- 100 innovators, mavericks, visionaries, and leaders who are changing the way we look at the world and the way we live in it. Whether standing front and center in the spotlight or working under the radar, they are having a game-changing effect in their fields -- and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
Here Arianna explains what makes someone a Game Changer -- and why HuffPost chose to honor them.
LINK TO VIDEO
Those born on September 15th tend to carve out an area for themselves in the world, whether modest or expansive, and then explore its possibilities to the fullest. They have an unusual ability to be specialized, thorough and at the same time aware of the big picture. Whether fulfilling the role of professionals, artists, parents, or blue collar workers, those born on this day seek to master what they do without being stressed or driven.
September 15th people are often enjoy being secretiveness which is tied in with maintaining a personality of that enjoys the fullness of life, secretiveness is nonetheless characteristic of this day. At certain points September people may wish to hide what they do from relatives, peers, even their mates, and at other times share it intimately and unabashedly. Most often this secretiveness is tied with maintaining a certain image in the eyes of others.
September 15th people may appear to be shy and retiring people, right into their adolescence and even up to age thirty or so but after that period is over, watch out! They often have hidden ambitions which are ultimately revealed. Time is usually on their side, for they can wait for years, patiently honing their talents, gathering information or developing their ideas in order to one make their big move.
Most September 15th people display a clear desire to earn money, often lots of it. Wealth as an end is not what motivates them, however, but the recognition of success that is associated with it. Those born on this day generally make no bones about wishing to be rewarded for their efforts and paid what they deserve.
Those born on the 15th day of the month are ruled by the number 6(1+5=6). Those ruled by the number 6 tend to be charismatic and even inspire worship in others.
Advice: Keep your ethical principals intact, without them you are a leaf blowing in the wind. Your patience and ability to wait will take you a long way. Resist compromising for financial reward. Get a grip on your desires; don’t let the tail wag the dog.
Strengths: Expansive and motivated
Weaknesses: Materialistic and overly ambitious
Born on This Day: Agatha Christie, William Howard Taft, Julian “Cannonball” Adderly, Jackie Cooer and Oliver Stone
Famous Inventions: 1968 An Wang obtained a patent for a calculating apparatus, a basic component of computer technology.
This Day in History: Sep 15, 1978 Ali defeats Spinks to win world heavyweight championship
On this day in 1978, boxer Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing, only to make a brief comeback two years later. Ali, who once claimed he could "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," left the sport permanently in 1981
Last Updated: 3:39 PM, September 15, 2010
Posted: 11:11 AM, September 15, 2010
A homeowner in Brooklyn shot and seriously wounded a would-be burglar early this morning, police said.
Larry Goldstein, 62, of Mill Basin was awoken shortly before 2 a.m. when he and his wife heard noise downstairs.
He grabbed his licensed revolver and went to investigate when he saw two intruders brandishing guns, sources told The Post.
Goldstein opened fire hitting one intruder three times while his accomplice fled.
The wounded man, identified, as Alexander Manigat, of 371 E. 35th Street in Brooklyn, was taken to Brookdale Hospital in critical condition with two gunshot wounds to his torso and one time in the arm.
The homeowner stopped a would-be home invasion after shooting one of the intruders.
Manigat was placed under arrest.
Goldstein, a retired schoolteacher, has not been charged.
Neighbors praised Goldstein’s actions.
"If somebody were to break into my house and try to harm my family, there's very little that's gonna come between me and my family" local resident Mike Reinhardt told WPIX. "I hope the perpetrator is hurting [and] he learns his lesson so he can share his story with other people about breaking into other people's houses."
Police said there had been several break-ins and home invasions in the neighborhood in recent months.
LINK TO VIDEO AND LAWSUIT DOCUMENTS
"THIS IS EXTREMELY DISTURBING!"
Reggie Bush gives up Heisman, blames "persistent media speculation," admits "mistakes"
Posted: 12:26 PM, September 14, 2010
Talk about good cop bad cop.
A Long Island family man with a twisted law enforcement fetish was arrested for impersonating a federal agent early Monday morning after he pulled over an off-duty Suffolk County officer.
Victor Alfaro-Marquez, 35, of Selden, pulled up behind Detective William Zambito at 4:30 a.m. in a black 1999 Mercedes SUV and activated a set of red and blue lights on his dashboard and flashed his headlights.
After the veteran detective pulled over, Alfaro-Marquez approached his driver's side window wearing a black t-shirt and a replica DEA badge around his neck.
The suspicious cop immediately identified himself as a police officer. "He was very suspicious right off the bat," Suffolk County Det. Lt. Matt Sullivan of his colleague.
"He asked my guy if he was NYPD," he said. "My guy said no, I'm a Suffolk detective and the guy said he was DEA and quickly got back into his car and left."
But Zambito took down the fake fed's license plate and he was arrested without incident at his home at 8:30 p.m. Monday night.
Cops found a trove of law enforcement related paraphernalia in the impounded Mercedes, including two badges, a pellet pistol in a holster, handcuffs, and a DEA baseball hat. "He was definitely some sort of buff," Sullivan said.
Other than a prior arrest for having a phony driver's license, Alfaro-Marquez, who is married with children and runs an import export business, has no prior criminal record.
Suffolk cops are still investigating whether Alfaro-Marquez pulled the same stunt on unsuspecting drivers in the past.
Big party week for the Obamas
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have a packed social schedule this week, with two major galas and a reception for college athletes.
On Monday evening, the president will welcome collegiate star athletes to the White House for a reception at 5:45 p.m. The annual event, first held by former President George W. Bush, recognizes outstanding student athletes in more than a dozen sports, including field-hockey, lacrosse, and volleyball. Neither of Obama's alma maters, Columbia University and Harvard University, made the grade
On Wednesday the First Couple will don black tie for the annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala, one of the more entertaining political galas of the Washington fall season. A number of entertainers are being honored with awards, including Eva Longoria Parker, five-time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval, and musician Sheila E. Also participating in the festivities will be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Hopefully the Obamas get some rest Thursday or Friday, because they will be back in formalwear on Saturday night for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's (CBCF) annual Phoenix Awards dinner. The dinner will mark the culmination of the foundation's 40th Annual Legislative Conference.
Honorees at the dinner will include New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, actor and humanitarian Harry Belafonte, journalist Simeon Booker, and renowned choreographer Judith Jamison.
Washingtonians will recall that White House party-crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi allegedly snuck into the CBCF dinner in 2009. Expect security to be extra tight this time around.
The Washington social season unofficially began Saturday night with the Washington National Opera's season opening gala, and ends in early December with the Kennedy Center Honors.
OUT-OF-CONTROL MICHELLE OBAMA's SPENDING SPREE
After blowing nearly a half-a half-million dollars on a Spanish shopping spree, MICHELLE OBAMA has plans to spend a whopping $2 million in the coming year – while the nation struggles with its worst recession ever.
Nearly 15 million people are unemployed, but that hasn’t stopped the first lady from “spending like Marie Antoinette” and appearing to live it up “like a lottery winner,” fume outraged critics.
Worried White House advisers have told the president he quickly needs to get his wife “under control” because her reckless spending – on trips, shopping and redecorating – is sending an intensely negative message to Americans in a bad economy and could undermine his re-election plans.
“The president’s advisers hit the roof recently when they found out Michelle was arranging other exotic trips in the new year with girlfriends – on top of sprucing up their White House living quarters and her plans to do some redecorating at their home back in Chicago,” disclosed a top Washington source.
“They’ve estimated that all the spending will top more than $2 million!”
While the first family was in Martha’s Vineyard on an end-of-summer vacation, Michelle’s hush-hush makeover of her husband’s Oval Office was completed. The White House had to quickly point out it was done without cost to taxpayers by the nonprofit White House Historical Association.
But critics insist it sent the wrong message to a belt-tightening public, and a New York Times columnist pointed out that in 2009 when Obama released his first budget, he said: “There are times when you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times when you need to focus on rebuilding its foundation.”
Confided a D.C. insider: “Michelle was behind the redesign of her husband’s office, but the last thing he needs is an electorate thinking she’s living it up like a lottery winner.
“They’ll flip if she takes more exotic vacations – and they won’t care if renovations to the White House living quarters and their house back in Chicago are done by benefactors. It still sends the wrong message.”
As The ENQUIRER first reported, Michelle and her entourage recently spent five days in Spain, ringing up some $500,000 in expenses – much of it on the taxpayers’ tab, say sources.
On top of that, the stylish first lady “loves top-dollar designer duds and hosting fancy dinner parties,” said a Beltway insider. “The bad economy seems to have no effect on her.”
Carr, Cole/APWins for Tea Party-backed candidates Christine o"Donnell in Delaware and Ovide Lamontagne in New Hampshire in Tuesday night's primaries, could mean trouble for the GOP in the general election.
The Tea Party is brewing up some trouble for the GOP.
If Tea Party candidates in Delaware and New Hampshire win against their moderate Republican challengers in Tuesday night's primary elections, it could drastically reduce the GOP's chances of taking control of the Senate.
While the Tea Party candidates might fare well in the primaries, D.C. Republicans fear they'll face a tougher battle in the general election.
Statistician and blogger Nate Silver told The New York Times that Tea Party wins in those two states would halve the chances of a Republican takeover in the Senate. If the Tea-Party backed candidates win, he put the odds of a GOP takeover at 16%. If their challengers win, he put it at 30%.
While most insiders say Republicans have a good chance of winning back the House, the Senate is a tougher climb. And with Tea Party wins in Delaware and New Hampshire, the climb will be even steeper.
In Delaware, moderate, nine-term GOP Rep. Mike Castle is up against Christine O'Donnell, who is backed by Sarah Palin and the Tea-Party, for Joe Biden's old Senate seat.
While Castle was the favored Republican nominee, O'Donnell's campaign has gained momentum. One recent poll has shown the race in a dead heat.
Republicans fear a similar primary loss in Alaska, where Joe Miller rode Tea Party support to beat Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski. There's also Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, the Tea Party-backed candidates who shocked the GOP in Kentucky and Nevada.
The GOP establishment, top strategists and even the Delaware GOP chairman have been openly working to defeat O'Donnell.
Castle contended the election is being manipulated by outsiders.
"This has been a complete out-of state operation," he told Politico. "…It's not been a local campaign. It's not had local donations."
In New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte, the state's attorney general is up against Tea Party-backed Ovide Lamontagne in a multi-candidate race. But unlike in Delaware, Lamontagne does not have Palin's endorsement.
While Ayotte was expected to be the Republican shoo-in to replace retiring Sen. Judd Gregg, Lamontagne has picked up steam. A recent poll puts him just 7 points behind Ayotte—who is favored to win against Democrat Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running unopposed.
Blogger and political reporter for the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza, said a Lamontagne win could mean trouble for Republicans. It "would breathe new life into Democrats in the Granite State and almost certain make the race more competitive on Nov. 2," he said.
Those born on September 14th are very much concerned with the society in which they live. Both defenders and critics of their county and their times, they may feel it necessary to become involved not only intellectually but also actively in important projects which, as they see it, can better the human condition. Their role is to open people’s eyes to the truth and in this respect to serve them.
The visually oriented individuals born on this day are able to describe what they see in easily understood terms. When evaluating the work of others, their basic premise is that the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. Thus they are not shy about making concrete suggestions as to how certain aspects may be better. At times, however, they can be somewhat closed to viewpoints at odds with their own.
September 14th people seem to have opinions on most every subject. Usually, however, in a serious discussion, they are wise enough to restrict their comments to what they know best, in particular their area of expertise. They thus despise superficial types who pretend to know much more than they actually do, and toward such people those born on this day can be quite hostile.
Those born on the 14rh day of the month are ruled by the number 5 (1+4=5. September 14th people must be aware especially of being too intellectually demanding and expecting others to be as quick as they are in changing topics and directions. Whatever hard knocks or pitfalls those ruled by the number 5 encounter in life, they usually recover quickly.
Advice: Sometimes keep your opinions to yourself they are not always appreciated. Learn to work behind the senses. Beware of arousing resentment when you push others let things happen in their own good time. No one has a monopoly on intelligence.
Strengths: Observant, effective and efficient
Weaknesses: Critical, difficult and impatient
Born on This Day: Margaret Sanger, Larry Brown, Clayton Moore and Allan Bloom
Famous Inventions: 1993 The Simpsons television show was registered by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
This Day in History Sep 14, 1901: McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds On this day in 1901; U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
Jerry Brown apologizes for jab at Bill Clinton's character
The Democrat makes an oblique reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal as he tries to dismiss a new ad by Meg Whitman showing candidate Clinton accusing Brown of raising taxes while governor.
Los Angeles Times
September 14, 2010
Jerry Brown has spent much of his race for governor assaulting the character of his Republican rival, Meg Whitman. But with a jaw-dropping bit of rhetoric, he has extended his criticism to a former Democratic president, Bill Clinton. And he has done so in the least delicate of ways, by referring to Clinton's dalliance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"Meg Whitman. She stops at nothing. She's even got Clinton lying about me. That's right. No, did you see that? Where he said I raised taxes. It's a lie," the Democratic nominee said Sunday, referring to a television ad the GOP candidate is airing that contains video of Clinton criticizing Brown during the 1992 presidential primaries.
"I mean Clinton's a nice guy, but who ever said he always told the truth?" Brown told a crowd at the opening of a Democratic Party office in East Los Angeles. "You remember, right? There's that whole story there about did he or didn't he. OK, I did — I did not have taxes with this state."
The last line was an oblique play on Clinton's defense against the brewing sex scandal in early 1998. At the time, Clinton asserted, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." It was later proven that he did, and he subsequently faced impeachment proceedings.
Brown's comments were captured Sunday at an unannounced visit to the Democratic Party office. Video of his comments surfaced on a political news website on Monday. Several hours later, Brown called a news conference and apologized.
"Bill Clinton was an excellent president," Brown said in Oakland. "It was certainly wrong for me to joke about an incident from many, many years ago, and I'm sorry for that."
Brown apologized to a senior Clinton aide but has not spoken directly with the former president and demurred when asked if he expected Clinton to endorse him. Attempts to reach a Clinton spokesperson were unsuccessful.
Brown and Clinton have a tense history because of the 1992 presidential primaries, during which they tangled as they vied for the nomination. Their contest was at times ugly and personal: Brown called Clinton the "prince of sleaze," and they got into a finger-pointing dispute in a debate when Brown accused Clinton of funneling state money to Hillary Clinton's law practice, and Clinton mocked Brown's expensive suits and family wealth.
After Clinton racked up enough delegates to win the nomination, Brown declined to endorse him at the party's convention. The antipathy continued through Clinton's presidency, with Brown saying in 1998 that Clinton's policy failings were "overwhelming," and that Brown voted for Ralph Nader in 1996.
Last year, Clinton was seen as extending the enmity when he endorsed Gavin Newsom in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Newsom quickly dropped out because he couldn't raise enough money to compete against Brown.
Clinton became an issue in the gubernatorial contest last week, when Whitman began airing a 30-second ad that featured the footage of Clinton trying to refute Brown's claim that he lowered taxes as governor of California from 1975-83.
" CNN — not me, CNN — says his assertion about his tax record was, quote, just plain wrong," Clinton says in the ad. "He raised taxes as governor of California.... He doesn't tell the people the truth."
As The Times reported Friday, the CNN report was inaccurate. The Brown campaign has called on Whitman to take down the ad; the Whitman campaign has refused.
Democrats were dismayed but unsurprised by Brown's gaffe. The candidate is known for his free-wheeling, anti-talking-point nature, and earlier in the campaign he faced criticism for comparing Whitman's campaign to that of a Nazi propagandist.
"It represents everything that insiders simultaneously love and fear about Brown's campaign instincts. He's clever and witty but not always strategic," said Dan Newman, a Democratic operative.
Garry South, who worked on Newsom's gubernatorial bid and is a harsh Brown critic, said the remarks reflected a "self-indulgent death wish," given Clinton's continued popularity in California.
"He needed Bill Clinton to step up and undermine the validity of this ad," South said. "Instead of that, he trashes the guy. Unbelievable."
Even as Brown apologized, he tried to steer the discussion back to questions about Whitman's honesty.
"As a billionaire, she thinks she can make things up and lie in a political campaign," Brown said. "You know, I've made my mistakes, and the inappropriate joke about President Clinton is one of them. But from me you'll always get it straight. I'll tell you the truth."
Garage Sale Burglaries
Staff Writer 8:32 PM CDT, September 13, 2010
Drew/APFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich is considering a run for president in 2012.
Barack Obama won the Presidency with 53% of the vote in 2008, but Newt Gingrich thinks his victory was just a "wonderful con."
"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president," Gingrich said in an interview with the National Review Online.
"I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true," Gingrich said. "He was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve...He was authentically dishonest."
Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, is openly considering a bid for the White House in 2012.
Since his contentious time as Speaker, during which he famously positioned himself as Bill Clinton's chief political opponent, Gingrich has kept himself in the public eye by weighing in as a political analyst.
He has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration, calling him "the most radical President in American history."
"I think Obama gets up every morning with a worldview that is fundamentally wrong about reality," Gingrich told the National Review. "If you look at the continuous denial of reality, there has got to be a point where someone stands up and says that this is just factually insane."
"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich said. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."
Gingrich's comments were made in response to a Forbes article by Dinesh D'Souza, called "How Obama Thinks."
D'Souza, the President of King's College New York and a former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, says Obama is "trapped in his fathers' time machine."
"Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s," D'Souza wrote, in an essay drawn from his forthcoming book "The Roots of Obama's Rage." "This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son."
Gingrich also touted his "Kenyan worldview" hypothesis on Fox News Sunday, saying "The thing that the president doesn't understand and the thing that Keynesian economics get wrong is real simple. Do you want people to have enough money to invest to create jobs? If they have a surplus of income so they can create jobs, that's somehow bad and the president wants to take away the income. That means he's leaving them with no money to create jobs."
Gingrich, who has visited Iowa four times this year, says he could announce his campaign for President "by March or April."
Those born on September 13th bring their full powers to bear on the job at hand. Blessed with a remarkable level of concentration and resilient determination, they may face great obstacles to their success, but not for a moment will the outcome be in doubt for them. Indeed some born on this day seem to believe that they have a magical ability to surmount any difficulty. Yet they are not particularly superstitious or disposed physical explanations for what they do. Theirs is a straight ahead, no nonsense approach. The more exceptional of September 13th people can, however, handle such difficult, complex and manifold tasks, that others marvel at how they are able to accomplish what they do.
Often September 13th people strongly support certain ideas and causes, but later realize they have been a bit off track. Because of their sincerity and dedication, however, they gain the respect of others, even those who vehemently oppose them and feel that what they are doing is harmful. At a certain point in their lives those born on this day may change direction dramatically, at one stroke setting out toward new horizons. Once on this path, however, they will continue on it until the bitter or happy end. No one can dissuade them once they have made their mind up about something, although for the time being they may mark time for the sake of diplomacy, not wanting to cause undue upset.
Those born on the13th of the month are ruled by the number 4(1+3=4). Although the number 13 is considered unlucky by many people it is, rather, a powerful number which does carry the responsibility of using its power wisely or run the risk of self destruction.
Advice: Be sensitive to the needs of those around you. Do not neglect your spiritual self or allow your emotional side to be suppressed. Fight your tendency to choose a difficult path. Expect a degree of compromise, but not where ultimate goals are concerned.
Strengths: Intense, devoted and persevering
Weaknesses: Off track, hardened and unaware.
Born on This Day: Walter Reed, Mel Torme, Jacqueline Bisset and Sherwood Anderson.
Famous Inventions: 1870 Patent #107,304 was granted to Daniel C. Stillson for the improved monkey wrench.
This Day in History: Sep 13, 1814: Key pens Star-Spangled Banner
On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem, originally titled "The Defence of Fort McHenry," was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the "Star-Spangled Banner": "And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."
'Father' of 55 children arrested in suspected benefits scam
The 54-year-old of African origin, who authorities did not identify, was arrested in his two-room flat in Paris during a police raid which yielded documents showing more than 50 people were registered as living at that address.
Police suspect the man was involved in a social benefits scam which could have been costing the state over 1 million euros ($1.27 million) annually in claims by the mothers.
"At the moment 42 women have been identified and each claim that the man is the biological father of their child," Paris police said in a statement.
Authorities said the man claimed he met the women at bars, night spots and occasionally during visits to their home countries, including Senegal, Cameroon and Mali.
For a fee of 150 to 200 euros, he registered the children and their mothers with French authorities, enabling them to obtain residency permits and claim social benefits.
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Some of the mothers told authorities they had received up to about 7,500 euros on various monthly allowances.
"Investigations are on-going and an investigating magistrate will decide whether DNA tests have to be administered to determine the children's paternity," a police spokesman said.
Teen Banned From US For Barracking Obama
Monday September 13, 2010
Sky News Online
A British teenager has been banned from America for life for sending Barack Obama an abusive email.
Luke Angel insulted Barack Obama after watching a programme on September 11
Luke Angel was reprimanded by police on both sides of the Atlantic after firing off a drunken message to the White House calling the president a "p****".
The FBI intercepted the message and contacted police in the UK who went to see the 17-year-old at his home in Silsoe, Bedfordshire.
Luke, a college student, is now on a list of people who are banned from visiting the States.
We were informed by the Metropolitan Police and went to see him. He said, 'Oh dear, it was me'.
Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman
The teenager told the Bedfordshire On Sunday newspaper that he had sent the email after watching a TV programme about September 11.
When asked about the ban, Luke said: "I don't really care. My parents aren't very happy about it.
"The police who came round took my picture and told me I was banned from America forever."
The FBI were furious at the email and contacted police in the UK
A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: "The individual sent an email to the White House full of abusive and threatening language.
"We were informed by the Metropolitan Police and went to see him. He said, 'Oh dear, it was me'."
Officers will take no criminal action.
Joanne Ferreira, of the US Department of Homeland Security, said there are about 60 reasons a person can be barred.
She added: "We are prohibited from discussing specific cases."
'Oprah' celebrates Oprah on last season premiere
9:52 a.m. CDT, September 13, 2010
Beginning the final season of her daytime talk show Monday, Oprah Winfrey came out not swinging, but dancing.
She and actor John Travolta, voted the show's all-time favorite guest after 11 appearances, did a modest pas-de-deux to the tune "Love Train," kicking off a show that Winfrey, in a pre-show teaser, promised would bring "two of the most heart-pounding, head-spinning surprises of all time."
Two of those shockers included news that she'll fly the 300-person studio audience to Australia, for an eight-day December trip that will coincide with Winfrey taping at least two episodes there, and Paul Simon playing an updated version of a song he wrote for Winfrey 15 years ago, for her 10th-anniversary show.
Not a surprise: Oprah tears.
Her season-premiere audience was as packed with partisans as one of President George Bush's town-hall meetings: Only "ultimate" Oprah fans were invited, and they yelled, cheered, even shed a few tears of their own to see their heroine beginning the season-long process of saying farewell. Her show airs at 9 a.m. in Chicago, where Winfrey's national career began, giving local fans an earlier look than the rest of the country gets.
Another surprise came when six fans from the Boston area, sent on a road trip to the taping by Winfrey's staff, were tricked into driving right onto the stage, into the middle of the show in progress. And actor Don Johnson did a walk-on, a reference to Winfrey's inability to land the then-"Miami Vice" star as a guest on her first show. Times have changed.
Right away Monday, a retrospective of Travolta's appearances during Winfrey's 24 previous seasons made it clear what kind of year this will be: gushy, sentimental, celebratory of Winfrey's place in her fans' lives and in the culture.
"Oprah, there's only one of you, and there'll never be another one," Travolta told the Chicago-based talk-show host, who will move on next year to host a new, less frequent, evening show on her own cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network.
A rabid fan from Alberta, Canada -- who estimated she has watched 5,500 hours of "Oprah" through the years -- was shown on tape calling Travolta's 50th-birthday toast to Winfrey her favorite on-show moment.
That not exactly understated toast? "You represent the best of our country, and what's possible in our country," Travolta said, "but more importantly you are a citizen of the world, and you are a hero to mankind."
Travolta became a hero to the audience later on, when he stepped out of a mock Qantas Airlines jet in pilot's uniform. The actor is, in fact, a Qantas pilot, and he beamed as Winfrey told her audience about their trip. Confetti, tears and hugs intermingled in the studio, even more when Winfrey, in her role as bestower of gifts, also told the crowd they were each getting a new Motorola Defy mobile phone.
To close the show, Winfrey listened, rapt, eyes moist, as her staff apparently surprised her with the Simon appearance and song.
"Twenty-five years have come and gone," he sang, "and the story's still unfolding."
The plans, producers have said, are for the season to just keep getting bigger. Fasten your seatbelts, viewers
September 12, 2010
In Ad Wars, Democrats Shy From Ties to Own Party
WASHINGTON — Representative Mark Schauer of Michigan does not dwell on the legislation he has voted for during his first term in Congress, which includes the Democratic stimulus plan and health insurance overhaul. But he reminds his constituents what he has fought against, declaring, “I must ask myself 10 times a day, what is Washington thinking?”
Representative Glenn Nye of Virginia does not mention in his television advertisements that he is a Democrat. But he expresses a deep worry about the national debt, saying, “I stood up to my party leaders and voted no.”
Representative Suzanne M. Kosmas of Florida looks straight into the camera during her latest commercial and declares, “People in this district are mad, and I’m mad, too.”
The advertisements from these three vulnerable Democrats offer a window into the party’s strategy to try to keep control of the House in November at a moment when Republicans and their allies are substantially outspending Democrats and their backers.
Two years after arriving in Washington on a message of hope and change, Democratic candidates are not extolling their party’s accomplishments, but rather distancing themselves from their party’s agenda.
The midterm elections may revolve around a series of big issues, particularly with control of Congress at stake. But a look at the advertising themes and images being employed by Democrats shows all the ways they are trying to personalize their contests and avoid being defined as ideological partners of President Obama’s or as part of the Washington establishment.
In the last six weeks, Republicans have outspent Democrats $20 million to $13 million in television advertising, according to an analysis by The New York Times of 56 of the nation’s most competitive House and Senate races. The Republican advantage includes $9 million in spending from outside groups, compared with $3 million from left-leaning interests.
The disparity in spending, particularly from third-party groups, is the central reason Mr. Obama has agreed to step up his fund-raising efforts for the party in the coming weeks, aides said, and why Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asking leading donors to dig deeper.
The images of Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi appear with more frequency than those of any other political figures — but nearly always in Republican advertisements. They have been mentioned so many times that in their advertising some Democrats have started calling out their Republican rivals, including Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, who is running for the Senate.
“Congressman Roy Blunt seems to think he’s running for the Senate against Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” says Robin Carnahan, the Democratic candidate, standing in the middle of a cow lot on her farm. “Hey Roy, you’re running against me!”
For all the evolutions in technology, with voters able to gather information instantly about candidates from an ever-widening array of sources, television advertising remains the most central ingredient of political races. Many candidates say they are buying more spots than in previous election cycles, hoping to break through to viewers who often tune out the first few times they come across a commercial.
The voices of politicians, along with soothing-sounding narrators talking about the economic stimulus, federal spending and bank bailouts, resonate from television sets throughout the morning, afternoon and evening.
In the last six weeks alone, Republicans broadcast 45,100 commercials and Democrats broadcast 38,400 in the competitive races included in the Times analysis of advertising data collected by the independent Campaign Media Analysis Group.
“The political response to a fragmented media world is to talk louder and longer,” said Evan L. Tracey, president of the group, which monitors political advertising. “This will be the most negative election we’ve probably ever seen, because everyone is trying to tap into voters on an emotional level and no one is looking to entertain right now.”
Many of the most serious and stark messages come in advertisements sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group financed in large part by David Koch, who invests millions of dollars on behalf of conservative causes. The group has focused on a handful of races, spending $1.5 million in seven competitive House seats in the last six weeks, leaving the Democratic candidates under fire at all hours of the day on television.
“To small businesses, Betsy Markey is the same as Nancy Pelosi,” a man says in one of the advertisements, referring to Representative Betsy Markey, Democrat of Colorado. For a one-week stretch in August, the group ran $40,000 worth of commercials every day against her.
In Florida, Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for the Senate, has spent $1.1 million over the last six weeks on advertisements that are largely positive and biographical, telling the story about how he is a first-generation American of Cuban heritage. Yet in the closing moments of his spots, he says he is worried about his children’s future.
“As the son of exiles, I understand what it means to lose your country,” Mr. Rubio says. “I approve this message because we can’t afford to bankrupt ours.”
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada barely appears in many of his commercials. In one of his latest, he said nothing about his time as majority leader, but instead talked about milk. A dairy owner offered a testimonial that Mr. Reid “really came through for us.”
A review of hundreds of advertisements broadcast over the last six weeks found that Republicans were more than twice as likely to talk about jobs, often criticizing Democrats as not creating them. Republicans also mentioned health care far more than Democrats did. And when Democrats do bring up the issue, 38 percent of the commercials are critical of the new law.
“I’ve said no to more government spending, no to President Obama’s big health care plan and no to Wall Street bailouts,” Representative Walt Minnick, Democrat of Idaho, said in a solemn voice, sitting on the front steps of a house in jeans and shirtsleeves, looking as if he is worlds away from Washington.
The themes on display in the advertising campaigns reflect months of polling and focus groups by candidates in both parties. Democrats were twice as likely to mention financial regulation or Wall Street, according to the analysis, while Republicans mentioned the budget or government spending nearly twice as often as Democrats.
With Democrats holding a 39-seat majority in the House and Republicans 10 seats short of a Senate majority, there are more Republican candidates introducing themselves as outsiders, without the need to defend their voting records in Washington. But for the few seats where Democrats are aggressively trying to knock off a Republican incumbent, the spending argument has also been deployed.
A Democratic candidate in Nebraska’s Second District, Tom White, is urging voters to consider that Representative Lee Terry, a Republican, is to blame for the size of the debt.
“Every day, every child in America grows deep and deeper in debt, thanks to Washington politicians like Lee Terry,” said the advertisement sponsored by Mr. White, who does not mention that he is a Democrat, branding himself “Nebraska Independence for Congress.”
With early voting beginning in several states in a few weeks and with Election Day less than two months away, some of the most vulnerable Democratic candidates have turned to another approach: pleading for a second chance.
“I’ve made my share of mistakes, but they were honest mistakes, and I’ve listened to your concerns and I’ve grown on the job,” said Gov. Chet Culver of Iowa, wearing a solemn expression that gives way to a slight smile. “I hope you give us the chance.”
Amanda Cox contributed research.
Farmer's Almanac lists Miami among `Ten Worst Weather Cities'
MIAMI HERALD STAFF
Ask anyone: Miami's weather is miserable. Right?
Well, not according to the famed Farmers' Almanac. They've found something terribly wrong with Miami's summers and put us among the ``Ten Worst Weather Cities,'' a list of destinations where the temperatures rise, or fall precipitously.
In naming Miami's summers the most unbearable, here's what the almanac said:
``When it comes to sticky, wet, oppressive summer heat, few cities in America can stand up to Miami. Though pleasant to visit during winter months, Miami's subtropical climate becomes excessively hot and humid during the summer months.''
And there's more:
``Add to that the fact that it is right in the line of fire for most tropical storm and hurricane activity, and its frequent thunderstorms, with an average of 44 inches of rainfall each summer, and it becomes clear that Miami is no summertime tropical paradise.'' Rounding out the top 10 worst summertime cities: New Orleans, La., Dallas, Texas, Mobile, Ala., Corpus Christi, Texas.
At the other end of the spectrum, the city with the worst winter was Syracuse, N.Y., followed by Duluth, Minn., Casper, Wyo., Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Mich.
Farmers Almanac said it came by the list while attempting to name the best weather cities by polling more than 13,000 Facebook fans.
``The funny thing about weather is that some people enjoy what most of us consider the worst weather, snowstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes,'' notes Farmers' Almanac editor Peter Geiger, Philom.
``We've even had people ask us where to move to for the best place to see tornadoes, believe it or not.''
The list took a number of meteorological factors into consideration, including average summer and winter temperatures, humidity, precipitation, and the number of overcast days.
Fee schemes on cell phone bills increase
Carriers urging customers to monitor monthly
Read your phone bill.
Cramming, an old ploy that can net scammers millions of dollars, appears to be making a comeback as more consumers use their wireless phones for services ranging from news and weather reports to daily jokes and psychic connections.
Crammers hide unauthorized charges, often too small to attract notice, in the baffling list of numbers on phone bills.
Consumers’ Union, a nonprofit advocacy group that publishes Consumer Reports magazine, says the practice is evolving from its beginnings a decade ago as a scam adding bogus 800- and 900-number charges to land lines.
“As you see more consumers making the shift from land lines to mobile phones, you see the complaints shift as well,” CU spokesman David Butler said.
“The bills tend to be very complicated,” Butler said. “And we’re living in a world where most people get the information online as well and so it’s even more important for people to read their bills and go through them very carefully.”
The Federal Trade Commission recently called cramming “a significant area of increasing consumer complaint.”
According to an October FTC report, more than 3,000 people complained about cramming in the previous year for land line, mobile wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol [VoIP] telephone services.
So far this year, consumer questions about cramming to the Federal Communications Commission are outpacing last year’s number. In the first three months of 2010, the FCC, which regulates telephone companies, received 2,142 inquiries about cramming. That’s compared with 6,714 in all of 2009.
Telephone companies bill customers for services offered by outside parties, such as souped-up voice mail or music downloads. Those charges often are handled by third-party firms – aggregators — who process billing for companies that provide the add-on services. Major phone carriers, such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T, contract with those companies.
So, as both land lines and cell phone bills have become more complicated, crammers have fertile ground to slide in small charges in the hope consumers won’t catch on.
Earlier this month, a Florida man was sentenced to 21 months in prison for running a cramming scam from a jail cell. His third-party companies charged $35 million in collect calls that typically appeared on the last pages of consumers bills and escaped notice, federal prosecutors said.
In March, the FTC halted a cramming scheme that took in $19 million over five years in charges from $12.95 to $39.95 a month.
The FTC says Inc21 and its companies hired offshore telemarketers to call prospects and offer “free” trials for services such as website hosting, directory listings, search-engine advertising, and Internet-based faxing, without explaining they had to take steps to avoid charges.
Consumers also can unwittingly give permission to charge for unwanted services when they fill out sweepstakes entry forms or use a toll-free service like a date line or psychic line.
Such charges can be difficult to pin down, appearing just once or as a monthly subscription charge, with innocuous descriptions like “service fee,” “calling plan” or “minimum monthly usage fee”.
With so many separate companies involved in billing, consumers can have difficulty getting someone to take responsibility for unauthorized charges.
When the Georgia Public Service Commission receives cramming complaints, it first sends them to the telephone company, said Consumer Affairs Director Mike Nantz. Usually, he said, that fixes the problem.
Last year, the Georgia Legislature adopted a bill requiring carriers to provide a way for consumers to block third party charges from their bills.
In addition, wireless carriers ask vendors to abide by the Mobile Marketing Association’s standards, said Amy Storey, a spokeswoman for CTIA-The Wireless Association, a nonprofit industry group.
The MMA’s guidelines say third-party vendor companies always should ask consumers twice before they can begin charging for any add-on service. Consumers also should be given a simple way to stop the service, such as sending or texting a “stop message,” Storey said.
Enforcement of those standards is left to individual carriers.
“Carrier members are constantly monitoring, ensuring our vendors are acting responsibly,” Storey said.
Verizon Wireless is working to educate the public about their telephone bills, spokeswoman Sheryl Sellaway wrote in an e-mail. Now that consumers can sign up for weather alerts, music subscriptions and other “premium” services through cell phones and websites, Sellaway said, it’s much easier to get confused.
“Frankly, the diverse wireless market place, which now consists of children, teens, young adults and others, has led to a heightened conversation about premium messaging and how to best manage and understand cost of premium services,” she wrote. “That’s why education has been the key for us. And, beyond premium messaging, we provide services to help customers manage content, block numbers, activate time restrictions, usage allowances, overage alerts and more.”
She suggests Verizon customers go to the safeguards section of their “My Verizon” page for information.
The best defense, said Shawn Conroy of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, is vigilance.
“We encourage consumers to do three things,” Conroy said. “Read your bill read your bill, read your bill. Look at it thoroughly. If you have a land line and a cell phone, sometimes it can be a few pages, but take the time to look for it.”
How to dodge cramming
Examine your telephone bills closely. Make sure you got the service you pay for, even for small charges. Crammers often try to go undetected by submitting $2 or $3 charges to thousands of consumers. Check past bills for unnoticed fees.
Be wary of contests, clubs and “free” calls. Read the fine print because crammers sometimes use entry forms as “permission” to enroll you in a service you only discover you signed up for when you get the bill. And calling to claim your “free” prize might entail calling a 900 number that costs you.
Block your account. Ask your phone company to put a cramming block on your account to stop third-party charges. Make sure you check on any costs involved.
Call the company that charged you for calls or services you didn’t make or authorize. Ask for a detailed explanation and request an adjustment to your bill.
Call your telephone company. The Federal Communications Commission requires companies to place toll-free numbers on their bills for customers with billing inquiries. Ask about their procedure for removing incorrect charges.
Where to get information
Visit these links for further information and suggestions:
Georgia law allowing consumers to block third-party billing: bit.ly/a8smgQ
Florida attorney general settlement with Verizon and Alltel over ring tone cramming: bit.ly/aRp3ca
Federal Communication Commission advice: www.fcc.gov/cib/consumerfacts/cramming.html
Federal Trade Commission tips: bit.ly/dmSdZ5
Verizon’s information on cramming and bill blocking: bit.ly/btvvmA
Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs tip sheet: bit.ly/b9LYG8
Consumers’ complaint site that features cell phone cramming: www.consumeraffairs.com?/cell_phones/ild.html
FTC actions related to cramming, including cracking one scam that raked in $19 million in five years:
Sample phone bills, for land lines and wireless, with charges explained:
Filing a complaint
For non-telephone services, for example “content” services such as web hosting, online games or psychic hot lines, call the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-382-4357 , or use their complaint form: www.ftc?complaintassistant.gov
For telephone charges related to service between states or internationally, contact the Federal Communications Commission, 1-888-225-5322, or e-mail: [email protected] Or use their online complaint form: esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm
John Boehner: I'd Support Obama's Tax Cuts Package If I Had No Other Choice
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Sunday offered one the sharpest indications to date that the GOP may be willing to allow the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire at the end of this year.
In an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," the Ohio Republican said that he would support an extension of the Bush tax cuts just for those making under $250,000 a year if that was the only vote he'd get. His preference remained a full extension for all rates.
Bob Schieffer: "I want to make sure I heard what you said correctly: You're saying that you are willing to vote for those middle class tax cuts, even though the bill will not include ... extending the tax cuts for the upper bracket American."
Rep. Boehner: "Bob, we don't know what the bill's going to say, alright? If the only option I have is to vote for those at 250 and below, of course I'm going to do that. But I'm going to do everything I can to fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans."
This is a step further in terms of political compromise than that offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said he'd be open to a temporary extension for all the Bush tax cuts (as opposed to, say, an indefinite extension).
The remarks were a bit of a game-changer in the context of the Bush tax cuts debate -- granting the Obama administration the green light to push forward with legislation that would allow rates for the wealthy to revert to Clinton-era levels. It also puts the spotlight on moderate Democrats who have, so far, pushed for keeping rates the same across the board.
"This means President Obama won't be able to blame R's for 'holding the middle class hostage,'" said a top Republican aide in Congress. "He, and the media, will have to face the fact that the real problem is among the Democrats."
But while Boehner may have made news for hinting that the GOP won't oppose the President's tax cut policy, he also offered a fairly substantive admission later in the interview. Explaining why he thought it would be bad economics to let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, the minority leader acknowledged that only 3 percent of small business members would be affected by the hiked up rates.
Bob Schieffer: Let me just say this: The Joint Committee on Taxation, which is a non-partisan body, says that only 3 percent of those small business people -- you keep talking about all the small business people that are going to get taxed -- only 3 percent would be affected by that. Do you quarrel with that figure? Is that a right figure, or a wrong figure?
Rep. Boehner: Well it may be 3 percent, but it's half of small business income, because obviously the top 3 percent have half of the gross income for those companies that we would term "small businesses." And this is why you don't want to punish these people at a time when you have a weak economy. We need them to reinvest in their business.
The Washington Times
10:28 p.m., Thursday, September 9, 2010
Includes tactics he had criticized
As the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, much of President Obama's counterterrorism policies and his understanding of executive power closely hew to the last administration, which he criticized as a candidate for the White House.
On issues ranging from the government's detention authority to a program to kill al Qaeda terrorist suspects, even if they are American citizens, Mr. Obama has consolidated much of the power President George W. Bush asserted after Sept. 11 in the waging of the U.S. war against terror.
The continuities between the two administrations were evident this week, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dismissed a lawsuit that five former U.S. detainees brought against a subsidiary of Boeing Co. known as Jeppesen Dataplan.
The former detainees alleged that Jeppesen Dataplan facilitated their transport to U.S. and foreign prisons, where they were tortured. The Obama Justice Department, like the Bush Justice Department before it, urged the court to dismiss the case on grounds that state secrets would be disclosed in litigation.
In a 6-5 decision, the court ruled in favor of the federal government.
"It can fairly be said that the Bush administration made torture the law of the land and the Obama administration is making impunity for torture the law of the land," said Ben Wizner, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the case.
To be sure, Mr. Obama has made some changes to Mr. Bush's counterterrorism policies. On his first day in office, Mr. Obama signed an executive order that shuttered the CIA's enhanced interrogation program, which critics say practiced torture against senior al Qaeda suspects.
In an executive order, Mr. Obama also closed the secret "black site prisons," though he kept open temporary facilities where suspects could be taken before being sent elsewhere. Mr. Obama also pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison by the end of his first year in office, but that facility remains open.
For now, U.S. policy is not to send any Yemeni prisoners back to Yemen, where high-profile jail breaks have resulted in the freeing of senior members of al Qaeda. More than half of the 180 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are from Yemen.
"Obama has defined this as a war, just like George Bush did. He gets great marks for the macro statement, but some of the other rhetoric confuses that fact as well," Michael Hayden, Mr. Bush's last CIA director, said in an interview Thursday.
Mr. Hayden cited as an example the Justice Department reading Miranda rights to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national who is accused of trying to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
Overall, Mr. Hayden said, there is more continuity than divergence between the Bush and Obama administrations' approaches to the war on terror.
"You've got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan]," Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. "And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action."
The White House declined to comment for this report.
However, the Obama administration has specifically said it differs from the Bush administration in that Mr. Obama has rejected the view that the executive branch has inherent wartime authorities that allow it overrule laws passed by Congress.
Nonetheless, the Obama administration has asserted that a congressional resolution authorizing force against al Qaeda gives the president the right to detain, kill and abduct suspected terrorists all over the world.
In addition, Mr. Obama threatened to veto an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization bill for 2011 if it contained a provision that requires the full intelligence committee, instead of its chairman and ranking member, to be informed about covert action.
Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Mr. Obama has hampered the CIA in some areas by delegating more counterterrorism authority to the Justice Department.
But Mr. Bond also acknowledged similarities with the Bush administration.
"I appreciate his administration supporting the state secrets doctrine in court proceedings," he said. "It is important that people not be allowed to get military and intelligence secrets through a lawsuit. That is important. There are other policies which he has continued, some of them I cannot speak officially about, but they have been effective in taking out terrorists in the Pakistani areas."
Fran Townsend, a former homeland security adviser to Mr. Bush, said: "On counterterrorism policy, they found they agree with much of what we did, but that fact is politically inconvenient to acknowledge."
It's not just former Bush officials who see continuity on counterterrorism in the Obama administration.
An ACLU report issued in July found: "On a range of issues including accountability for torture, detention of terrorism suspects, and use of lethal force against civilians, there is a very real danger that the Obama administration will enshrine permanently within the law policies and practices that were widely considered extreme and unlawful during the Bush administration."
The continuities also extend to homeland security.
"From a homeland security point of view, the points of continuity are striking and the points of departure are minor," said Stewart Baker, a former policy chief for the Department of Homeland Security and author of "Skating on Stilts," a legal defense of much of the new policies in the global war on terror.
"The Obama administration is, if anything, even more enthusiastic about using travel information to identify potentially risky travelers," he said. "They are actually more aggressive about the use of the 'no-fly' list than the last administration, after the Christmas Day bombing incident."
In one of the most significant areas of continuity, the Obama administration also has largely based much of its war authorities on the Sept. 14, 2001, congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against the individuals and groups responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks: the Authorization for Use of Military Force, known as the AUMF.
Obama administration lawyers have argued the AUMF gives the government the authority to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely and conduct targeted killings in countries where the United States has not declared war.
Jack Goldsmith, a former head of the Justice Department's office of legal counsel who rolled back some of the legal justifications for Bush-era enhanced interrogation, said: "The AUMF is the main font of authority for both detention and targeting activities in Afghanistan and for Somalia and Yemen. That was also the main font of authority for the Bush administration."
The continuity also extends to the federal government's surveillance powers.
"There is no better example of Obama's continuity with Bush than last year's Patriot Act reauthorization debate," said Julian Sanchez, a scholar at the Cato Institute who specializes in privacy issues. "The administration had to launder its amendments through Republicans ... to kill his own party's proposed checks on surveillance power."
As a candidate, Mr. Obama at first opposed changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), but then voted for the amendments. Those amendments in some ways codified surveillance programs Mr. Bush ordered after Sept. 11 that drew intense criticism from Democrats, including Mr. Obama, when they were first disclosed in the New York Times in 2005.
"The FISA amendments act gave National Security Agency on balance far more authority than George Bush ever gave it," a retired senior U.S. intelligence official told The Washington Times.
Mr. Bond said: "I congratulate [Mr. Obama] on following the law passed on a bipartisan basis. I am pleased he is continuing to use the authorities provided in the FISA legislation. If the people who don't want us to listen in on terrorist communications are unhappy, that shows he is on the right path."
Mr. Obama's government also continues, according to some advocates, to overclassify government information, despite the high-profile release last year of some Justice Department memos justifying water-boarding and sleep deprivation and a 2004 CIA inspector general report analyzing the agency's enhanced interrogation program.
"The continuities are far more prominent than the departures. One could make the same point incidentally not just with respect to 9/11 policies, but with respect to the whole Cold War security apparatus," said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. "National security classification policy continues to follow the pattern established by Truman and Eisenhower."
Mr. Aftergood added: "Fundamentally, we are persisting on a security path that was charted in radically different circumstances more than half a century ago."
September 12th people are concerned with the literal meaning of both the written and spoken word. Not only are they interested in words, but also in language and communication of various types. It could be said that they greatly enjoy having an attentive audience. This is not to imply that they are particularly effusive types they understand the importance of restraint. Indeed, most born on this day are actually quiet and private people. Overtly active and hardworking, they prefer on occasion to let their actions speak for them instead of the word which they value so highly.
Ethical issues are of the greatest importance to September 12th people and those who have public or administrative careers are not only capable of cleaning up the act of an organization or social group but also of managing to keep it running in a smooth and efficient, albeit unconventional , way.
September 12th people are not always easy to get in touch with. Both in the workplace and at home they tend to hide out, surrounding themselves with all sorts of defense mechanisms which make it hard to get through to them.
Although expansive in their thoughts and projects, those born on this day are much too pragmatic and realistic to be blind optimists. There is a strongly measured, even cynical streak running through them that despises all forms of over enthusiasm and hysterical behavior.
Those born on the 12th of the month are ruled by the number 3(2+1=3. Those ruled by the number 3 frequently rise to the highest positions in their sphere. They can also be dictatorial and should be aware of this. Those ruled by the number 3 like to be independent, and may feel the urge to relinquish positions of authority for greater freedom. They can just grow tired of directing others.
Advice: Try to develop a decent personal life for yourself. Moderate your workaholic tendencies if you want to live longer. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or bite off more than you can chew.
Strengths: Honorable, witty and fearless
Weaknesses: Dry, cynical and closed.
Born on This Day: Henry Hudson, H. L. Mencken, George Jones and Barry White
This Day In History: Sep 12, 1940 Lascaux cave paintings discovered
Near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings are discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern. The 15,000- to 17,000-year-old paintings, consisting mostly of animal representations, are among the finest examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic period.
Famous Inventions: 1961 Patent #3,000,000 was granted for an automatic reading system for utilities to Kenneth Eldredge.
Statistics expected to show record increase in Americans in poverty
WASHINGTON -- The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
Census figures for 2009 -- the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency -- are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.
Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.
Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent. That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs from education to health care.
Demographers also are confident the report will show:
>>Child poverty increased from 19 percent to more than 20 percent.
>>Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
>>Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The 2009 forecasts are largely based on historical data and the unemployment rate, which climbed to 10.1 percent last October to post a record one-year gain.
The projections partly rely on a methodology by Rebecca Blank, a former poverty expert who now oversees the census. She estimated last year that poverty would hit about 14.8 percent if unemployment reached 10 percent. "As long as unemployment is higher, poverty will be higher," she said in an interview then.
A formula by Richard Bavier, a former analyst with the White House Office of Management and Budget who has had high rates of accuracy over the last decade, predicts poverty will reach 15 percent.
That would put the rate at the highest level since 1993. The all-time high was 22.4 percent in 1959, the first year the government began tracking povertyIn 2008, the poverty level stood at $22,025 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income before tax deductions.
Police: Suspect advertised intentions with haircut
Man suspected of robbery had 'get money' shaved in hair
SEATTLE PI STAFF
A robbery suspect was arrested after police say he was identified by his haircut: The phrase "GET MONEY" shaved onto one side of his head.
Larry Shawn Taylor, 18, now has a room at King County Jail and a Sept. 13 arraignment, where he is expected to enter a plea.
At about 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 23, two young women were parked beneath a stoplight on the north side of the 3000 block of Northeast 137th Street. The driver was sending a text message.
Taylor allegedly walked by when the passenger's window was down.
"Taylor stepped up to the open window and pointed a pistol at (the victim)," Seattle Police Detective David Clement wrote in a probable cause document. "He said, 'Empty out your (expletive) wallet! Give me your (expletive) money!'
"The victim was very afraid, so she took $310 out of her purse and gave it to Taylor."
He then ran to a vehicle that had stopped and backed up, police said. The car drove away on 32nd Avenue Northeast.
Police say Taylor wasn't hard to identify.
The victim described him as a black man in his 20s, with a small build of 5-foot-5 or 5-foot-6, who had small ears that were possibly deformed or folded over. Victims said the suspect wore a red and black checkered zip-up jacket and blue jeans.
"He had 'MOB' shaved into one side of his hair and 'GET MONEY' on the other," Clement wrote. "He had 'GET' tattooed on his right hand and 'MONEY' on his left hand. He had flame designs on both forearms. He held the pistol with his right hand."
Clement sent out two e-mails to department personnel about the case. He noted the suspect hung out at Little Brook Park -- a notorious park known for criminal activity. Some police refer to it as Little Beirut, and neighbors have tried to deter criminals there, organizing potlucks and outdoor movie nights.
The day of the second e-mail, court documents Officer Sarah Mulloy said she stopped a suspect matching that description several times and told of another officer who had recently written him a ticket.
Another detective, Mel Britt, searched records using tattoo information as search criteria and found Taylor's name and date of birth.
That night, Mulloy, who patrols Lake City, stopped a red four-door Toyota Camry for reckless driving. She recognized Taylor, got backup and arrested him, according to court documents.
A red and black checkered shirt or jacket was viewed in the backseat. Taylor was taken to police headquarters. A search warrant document stated a loaded pistol was found in the Camry.
"Upon my contact with Taylor, I noticed that Taylor had writing shaved into his hair -- 'GET MONEY' on one side and I couldn't read the other side," Clement wrote. "I asked him where he got his hair done and he told me at the barbershop on Lake City Way."
The victim had told the detective the suspect might have gotten his hair styled at the barbershop in the 13700 block of Lake City Way Northeast.
"I noticed that Taylor's ears are deformed in a way -- the tops fold down," Clement wrote. "Taylor had 'GET' tattooed on the top of his right hand and 'MONEY' tattooed on the top of his left hand. He had flames on his left forearm."
The victim identified him as the person who robbed her at gunpoint, according to the probable cause document.
Taylor, who is from Oregon, has no known convictions, according to court documents. He's being held on $100,000 bail.
Detective: Father-in-law has shot son-in-law before
September 9, 2010
MANSFIELD – The man shot Wednesday night by his father-in-law has been shot by the same man before - and with the same gun, authorities said today.
Alvin Gentry, 39, of the 900 block of Daw Road, is recovering in LSU Hospital in Shreveport of a through-and-through gunshot wound to his back. The injury is non-life threatening, DeSoto sheriff’s Cpl. Dusty Herring said.
Gentry’s 74-year-old father-in-law, Alvis McKinney, who lives next door to Gentry, is in the DeSoto Detention Center charged with aggravated battery, DWI-third offense and an assortment of traffic violations.
McKinney told investigators in a statement given after his arrest Wednesday night that he did not realize he had shot Gentry, Herring said. The shooting occurred as Gentry and his wife, who is McKinney’s daughter, were arguing outside of their home in the Carmel community.
“McKinney went out there and told (Gentry) to leave. He popped off a round” as a warning shot, Herring said. More words were exchanged between the three then McKinney pointed his .22-caliber pistol in Gentry’s direction and fired another shot.
“That’s when the victim went down and that’s when (McKinney) realized he shot him,” Herring said.
Gentry was flown by Life Air to the Shreveport hospital for treatment. McKinney left the scene in a pickup truck and was arrested less than an hour later by a state trooper who located his vehicle on U.S. Highway 84 at the intersection of state Highway 522. McKinney’s impairment was evident to the trooper.
McKinney gave officers the gun he used in the shooting, as well as a confession, Herring said.
Still, Gentry was reluctant to have charges pressed against his father-in-law, the detective added.
It was Gentry’s decision not to have McKinney prosecuted for shooting him the first time. In that incident, which was more than five years ago, McKinney shot Gentry in both legs below the knee.
Alvis McKinney, 74, is accused of shooting his son-in-law, Alvin Gentry, 39, in the back Wednesday night. (Special to The Times)
GOP focus is jobs, not health care
Candidates mostly avoid issue party pledged to hammerMark Arsenault
WASHINGTON — Republicans had promised to make the fall elections a reprise of the bitter, exhausting debate over what they call “Obamacare.’’ But two months before the vote, the GOP has adopted a more nuanced approach and folded the issue into broader attacks on the Democrats’ handling of the economy.
When Republicans bring up health care, they tend to list it as just one example in a litany of complaints about the “misplaced priorities’’ and “overreaching’’ of Democrats. Even many Democrats are downplaying the new sweeping overhaul, once trumpeted as a signature accomplishment, because they are skittish about being portrayed as advocates of big government.
In a sign of how rapidly the ground has shifted, the new health care law, approved in March after a year of legislative struggles and caustic town hall protests, didn’t even come up last week at a marquee US Senate de bate in California between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and her opponent, Carly Fiorina.
The reason, analysts say, is clear: Jobs and the economy dominate the concerns of Americans, particularly those coveted independent voters who will tip individual midterm elections. On health care, polls find, American opinion is more evenly divided and not as easy for either party to exploit for political gain.
The early conventional wisdom that health care would be the top issue did not account for the way persistent joblessness would erode the electorate’s confidence in the economy and in the Obama administration, said Robert Blendon, a professor at Harvard University School of Public Health and a specialist on voter sentiment about medical care.
“Most Americans, right or wrong, believe that the efforts by Congress and the administration to turn the economy around have not worked very well,’’ he said. “That has made it a harder sell for health care.’’
In Massachusetts, where Republican Scott Brown won a stunning upset in January’s special election to the US Senate in large part by railing against the president’s health care plan, the issue is dwarfed by economic concerns, said Jennifer Nassour, chairwoman of the Massachusetts GOP.
“We haven’t seen any candidates making health care one of their priorities,’’ she said. “Even when Senator Brown was first campaigning, his main message was that jobs are job one. That hasn’t changed at all.’’
The issue of health care has not disappeared. Some conservative groups are conducting surgical strikes in select races. Heritage Action for America, a political arm of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has launched a 10-day television and Web campaign to pressure Democrats to sign onto a repeal of the health care law.
Targets of the campaign include Democrats Travis Childers of Mississippi, Ike Skelton of Missouri, and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, said Daniel Holler, communications director for Heritage Action.
Another conservative group, American Crossroads, cofounded by President George W. Bush’s strategist, Karl Rove, has attacked Democratic Senate candidates with ads on health care in a handful of key states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Kentucky, and California.
“What people respond to is the issue of misplaced priorities with the economy looming so huge,’’ said Steven Law, the group’s president. “When the president and the Congress had a chance to address the number one issue, they went instead on an ideological agenda.’’
The nuanced message and limited strikes reflect a basic fact about the new law: Parts of it are popular, such as a ban on insurers refusing to cover people with preexisting conditions.
“That’s the irony of this health care reform bill,’’ said John Anzalone, a Democratic pollster who worked for the Obama campaign in 2008. “If you dissect the individual parts of this bill, people are for the individual parts. They’re not for the whole.’’
Voters are equally divided on whether health care will affect their votes in November. In a poll conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation in August, about one-third of the voters said they’d be more likely to choose a candidate who supported the law, and about a third would more likely back one opposed to it. The rest say the issue will not affect how they vote.
Democrats plan to run on jobs and economic issues this fall, but will use the popular changes in the health care law to defend themselves when attacked on it, according to party officials and strategists. A Democratic-leaning group, the Health Information Campaign, on Wednesday began a $2 million, three-week national cable TV and Web advertising campaign to highlight those changes.
“If you voted for health care and you’re attacked on it, you say, ‘OK, whose insurance are you going to take away? The kid with diabetes? Or my daughter who just graduated from college?’ And you win that debate,’’ said Democratic strategist Tad Devine.
That strategy is playing out in Ohio’s 16th District, where freshman Representative John Boccieri, a Democrat, is battling a challenge from Republican Jim Renacci. Boccieri opposed the health care overhaul on its first pass through Congress, then voted for the final version. At the time, President Obama praised Boccieri for his political courage.
Renacci, in an interview, said his opponent defied the will of his district and caved to pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “People here believe he does not represent the district, he represents Nancy Pelosi,’’ said Renacci.
Boccieri said his campaign is about putting people back to work. His campaign website doesn’t list health care among key issues, but he said he’s ready to defend his vote. “I’m looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with my opponent and asking why he doesn’t want the people of the 16th District to have the same health care as he would get as a member of Congress.’’
But Democrats who are most out front on the issue are those who voted against the legislation. At least five of the 34 House Democrats who opposed the health care bill last spring have run television ads to tout their “no’’ votes, as a sign of independence from Obama and Pelosi.
The president, at a news conference yesterday, said such Democrats are trying to make their best case to win.
“We’re in a political season where every candidate out there has their own district, their own makeup, their own plan, their own message,’’ said Obama, who noted the political difficulty for incumbents when unemployment is high. “They’re going to be taking polls of what their particular constituents are saying, and trying to align with that oftentimes. That’s how political races work.’’
One of the health overhaul opponents, Representative Jason Altmire, a Democrat from Western Pennsylvania, has a TV ad complaining that “too many people in Congress just vote the party line.’’ But not Altmire, the ad asserts: “You saw it when he voted against health care.’’
Altmire’s conservative district includes affluent suburbs north of Pittsburgh and old steel towns. “When the health care debate was taking place in the spring you heard that this was going to be a powerful issue for [Democrats] in the fall,’’ said Altmire, in an interview. “We were going to go around the country, we were going to campaign on it. Well, that hasn’t happened.’’
85 prisoners escape jail on Mexico-U.S. border
Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:44pm EDT
The prisoners, mainly cartel members, climbed over a prison fence in the border city of Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas, in the early hours of Friday morning, local radio and newspapers reported, saying 85 men escaped.
A spokesman for Mexico's attorney general's office in Reynosa confirmed the jailbreak but declined to give details.
Police arrested more than 40 prison guards and staff who were on duty when the men escaped, and two prison guards are missing, local radio and newspaper El Norte said.
The jailbreak follows a scandal in July, when authorities discovered that prison officials had allowed convicts out of a prison in northwestern Durango state to carry out revenge attacks before returning to cells for the night.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who sent thousands of troops across the country to fight drug gangs, has vowed to clean up prisons that in the past have allowed jailed drug lords to live in luxury or escape when they please.
But the conservative leader has struggled to contain corruption and lawlessness in the Mexican prison system.
Officials say rising drug violence across Mexico is a sign the army is weakening powerful cartels, but Calderon is under enormous pressure to stop escalating drug violence that has killed over 28,000 people since late 2006.
The murders of 25 people by suspected hitmen in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, on Thursday was the bloodiest day in almost three years in an area gripped by an escalating drug war, officials said on Friday.
Gunmen burst into several houses in Ciudad Juarez and shot people accused of working for rival drug gangs, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office said on Friday.
Four bystanders were also killed on Thursday as a convoy of hitmen shot its way out of traffic in Ciudad Juarez, local newspaper El Diario said. Police declined to confirm that report, but said 25 people had died in drug violence, in the worst single day of killings in Ciudad Juarez since January 2008, when recent drug murders began.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised concerns this week about drug cartels in the region and said Mexico was starting to resemble Colombia 20 years ago, when drug traffickers controlled certain parts of that nation.
President Barack Obama rejected the comparison.
Mounting insecurity in Mexico could eventually pose a threat to efforts to pull Latin America's second-largest economy out of its worst recession since 1932. Export-driven cities like Ciudad Juarez, which lost 75,000 manufacturing jobs last year, have suffered particularly during the downturn.
Obama Hints At Procedural Compromise On Bush Tax Cuts, Says GOP's Holding 'Middle Class Hostage'
First Posted: 09-10-10 12:08 PM | Updated: 09-10-10 12:08 PM
In his first press conference since late May, President Obama offered one of the sternest rebukes to date of the Republican Party's position on the Bush tax cuts, saying that those pushing to extend the cuts for the wealthy are holding the "middle class hostage."
In the process, Obama may have tipped his hand as to how the Democratic Party will structure the forthcoming legislative debate. His position, he said, is to work first on an extension of the tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year. After that, Obama added, Republicans and Democrats can debate or vote on whether to continue extending the tax cuts for the wealthy.
"My position is, lets get done what we all agree on," said the president. "What they've said is, 'We all agree that the middle-class tax cuts should be made permanent. Let's work on that, let's do it.' We can have a further conversation about how they want to spend an additional $700 billion dollars to give an average of $100,000 to millionaires. That, I think, is a bad idea. If you were going to spend that money there are a lot of better ways of spending it. But more to the point, these are the same folks who say they are concerned about the deficit -- why would we borrow money on policies that won't help the economy and help people who don't need help."
This seems like one of the clearest indications yet as to how the administration is looking to structure the debate ahead. With a number of moderate Senate Democrats urging the president to extend the full package of Bush tax cuts, there has been growing uncertainty as to whether the president has the votes for extending rates just for those making under $250,000. The compromise proposal most often discussed is to have a temporary extension of all tax cuts, after which Congress can re-consider expiration.
But the White House appears to be homing in on a procedural, not a policy, compromise -- pledge to have two votes: the first on extending the cuts for those making less than $250,000 followed by a second vote on extending the cuts for the wealthy. The former is, as polls show, deeply popular and could get the support of those moderate Democrats provided that a second vote takes place. The latter, owing to opposition among the majority of Democrats in the Senate, may not have the votes for passage.
"I have said that middle-class families need tax relief right now and I'm prepared to work on a bill and sign a bill this month that would ensure that middle class families get tax relief," Obama said at Friday's press conference. "Ninety-seven percent of Americans make less than $250,000 a year... and I'm saying we can give those families, 97 percent, permanent tax relief. And by the way, for those who make more than $250,000, they would still get tax relief on the first $250,000. They just wouldn't get it for income above that. Now that seems like a common sense thing to do. And what I've got is the Republicans holding middle-class tax relief hostage because they are insisting we have got to give tax relief to millionaires and billionaires to the tune of about $100,000 per millionaire, which would cost over the course of ten years $700 billion and the economists say is probably the worst way to stimulate the economy. That doesn't make sense and that is an example of what this election is all about. If you want the same kind of skewed policies that led us into this crisis, then the Republicans are willing to offer that."
The lives of September 11 people usually pivot around certain vital and dramatic decisions which they are forced to make. These decisions may be thrust on them when they are still quite young, perhaps before their sixteenth year. Later, when their career or private life seems to be going smoothly, when they are well established on their path, they will be met with repeated, often unexpected, crossroads. Within a society’s limits on freedom, the power to effect choice may be an individuals greatest right. This fact is not at all lost on September 11 people who know how to wield great power through the choices they make.
There is no denying that people born on this day enjoy shocking others. They pride themselves on daring to risk and also enjoy recounting their exploits later. Everything that is boring, middle class, and mundane is rejected by them in thought and deed. Yet at eh same time they have a tremendous need for the kind of stability that can only be found in a warm, loving family situation.
Those born on the 11th of the month are ruled by the number 2 (1+1=2), and ruled by the number 2 often make good co workers and partners, rather than leaders.
Those born on this day are likely to believe in the emancipation not only of women and minority groups, but of all oppressed peoples. They despise any sort of condescending attitude on the part of power holders or politicians toward the masses and resent all false displays of caring or emotions.
Born on This Day: Lola Falana, Ferdinand Marcos, Tom Landry and Paul “Bear” Bryant
Strengths: Free spirited, nurturing and dramatic
Weaknesses: Easily bored, manipulative and judgmental
This Day In History: Sep 11, 2001: Attack on America
At 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors. As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767--United Airlines Flight 175--appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center, and sliced into the south tower at about the 60th floor. The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below. America was under attack.
Famous Inventions: 1900 A motor vehicle patent was granted to Francis and Freelan Stanley
Those aura surrounds September 10th people is that of capability, and indeed these are focused, resourceful and thoughtful individuals who prefer steering a steady and controlled path through life rather than acting impulsively. Motivated by the urge to bring order and implement progress where before there was chaos and unproductiveness, their attention is drawn to those subjects and situations where they adjudge improvements, thereby hoping that through their efforts they will make a real contribution to the welfare of others.
Those born on this day are intellectually inquisitive types, they are fascinated by unusual and innovative topics and people, and even if they do not make a career or exploring such subjects as writers, artists or academics, for instance they will still be attracted to boldly individualist characters.
September 10th individuals have a love of creating orderly structures and strategies with which to bring about direct progress intended to be of wider benefit to others. Blessed with incisive far seeing intellect, practical skills and the gift of patient determination, they have outstanding potential to achieve their goals.
Those born on this day are ruled by the 1 (1+0=1). Those ruled by the number 1 generally like to be first in what they do. They communicate with swift mental activity and they have clearly defined views on most subjects. They can be extremely stubborn as well as critical and suspicious.
Born on This Day: Charles Kuralt, Roger Maris, Jose’ Feliciano and Arnold Palmer.
Advice: Pay more attention to yourself not only to your needs but to your wants. Follow your own path and develop the talents you have been given to the fullest. Don’t judge others too harshly, nor yourself. Expand: your horizon to include wider possibilities for the future.
Strengths: Capable, pragmatic and reliable
Weaknesses: Frustrated, anxious and excitable
This Day in History: Sep 10, 1897: First drunk driving arrest
On this day in 1897, a 25-year-old London taxi driver named George Smith becomes the first person ever arrested for drunk driving after slamming his cab into a building. Smith later pled guilty and was fined 25 shillings.
Famous Inventions: 1891 The song "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-E" by Henry J. Sayers was registered.
1977 Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant and a convicted murderer, became the last person executed with the guillotine.
September 6, 2010
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
Every September, millions of parents try a kind of psychological witchcraft, to transform their summer-glazed campers into fall students, their video-bugs into bookworms. Advice is cheap and all too familiar: Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a homework schedule. Set goals. Set boundaries. Do not bribe (except in emergencies).
And check out the classroom. Does Junior’s learning style match the new teacher’s approach? Or the school’s philosophy? Maybe the child isn’t “a good fit” for the school.
Such theories have developed in part because of sketchy education research that doesn’t offer clear guidance. Student traits and teaching styles surely interact; so do personalities and at-home rules. The trouble is, no one can predict how.
Yet there are effective approaches to learning, at least for those who are motivated. In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.
The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on.
For instance, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing.
“We have known these principles for some time, and it’s intriguing that schools don’t pick them up, or that people don’t learn them by trial and error,” said Robert A. Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Instead, we walk around with all sorts of unexamined beliefs about what works that are mistaken.”
Take the notion that children have specific learning styles, that some are “visual learners” and others are auditory; some are “left-brain” students, others “right-brain.” In a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found almost zero support for such ideas. “The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing,” the researchers concluded.
Ditto for teaching styles, researchers say. Some excellent instructors caper in front of the blackboard like summer-theater Falstaffs; others are reserved to the point of shyness. “We have yet to identify the common threads between teachers who create a constructive learning atmosphere,” said Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia and author of the book “Why Don’t Students Like School?”
But individual learning is another matter, and psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite. In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics.
The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.
“What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, the senior author of the two-room experiment.
Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.
The advantages of this approach to studying can be striking, in some topic areas. In a study recently posted online by the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, Doug Rohrer and Kelli Taylor of the University of South Florida taught a group of fourth graders four equations, each to calculate a different dimension of a prism. Half of the children learned by studying repeated examples of one equation, say, calculating the number of prism faces when given the number of sides at the base, then moving on to the next type of calculation, studying repeated examples of that. The other half studied mixed problem sets, which included examples of all four types of calculations grouped together. Both groups solved sample problems along the way, as they studied.
A day later, the researchers gave all of the students a test on the material, presenting new problems of the same type. The children who had studied mixed sets did twice as well as the others, outscoring them 77 percent to 38 percent. The researchers have found the same in experiments involving adults and younger children.
“When students see a list of problems, all of the same kind, they know the strategy to use before they even read the problem,” said Dr. Rohrer. “That’s like riding a bike with training wheels.” With mixed practice, he added, “each problem is different from the last one, which means kids must learn how to choose the appropriate procedure — just like they had to do on the test.”
These findings extend well beyond math, even to aesthetic intuitive learning. In an experiment published last month in the journal Psychology and Aging, researchers found that college students and adults of retirement age were better able to distinguish the painting styles of 12 unfamiliar artists after viewing mixed collections (assortments, including works from all 12) than after viewing a dozen works from one artist, all together, then moving on to the next painter.
The finding undermines the common assumption that intensive immersion is the best way to really master a particular genre, or type of creative work, said Nate Kornell, a psychologist at Williams College and the lead author of the study. “What seems to be happening in this case is that the brain is picking up deeper patterns when seeing assortments of paintings; it’s picking up what’s similar and what’s different about them,” often subconsciously.
Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out.
“With many students, it’s not like they can’t remember the material” when they move to a more advanced class, said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s like they’ve never seen it before.”
When the neural suitcase is packed carefully and gradually, it holds its contents for far, far longer. An hour of study tonight, an hour on the weekend, another session a week from now: such so-called spacing improves later recall, without requiring students to put in more overall study effort or pay more attention, dozens of studies have found.
No one knows for sure why. It may be that the brain, when it revisits material at a later time, has to relearn some of what it has absorbed before adding new stuff — and that that process is itself self-reinforcing.
“The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.”
That’s one reason cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future.
Dr. Roediger uses the analogy of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in physics, which holds that the act of measuring a property of a particle (position, for example) reduces the accuracy with which you can know another property (momentum, for example): “Testing not only measures knowledge but changes it,” he says — and, happily, in the direction of more certainty, not less.
In one of his own experiments, Dr. Roediger and Jeffrey Karpicke, also of Washington University, had college students study science passages from a reading comprehension test, in short study periods. When students studied the same material twice, in back-to-back sessions, they did very well on a test given immediately afterward, then began to forget the material.
But if they studied the passage just once and did a practice test in the second session, they did very well on one test two days later, and another given a week later.
“Testing has such bad connotation; people think of standardized testing or teaching to the test,” Dr. Roediger said. “Maybe we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.”
Of course, one reason the thought of testing tightens people’s stomachs is that tests are so often hard. Paradoxically, it is just this difficulty that makes them such effective study tools, research suggests. The harder it is to remember something, the harder it is to later forget. This effect, which researchers call “desirable difficulty,” is evident in daily life. The name of the actor who played Linc in “The Mod Squad”? Francie’s brother in “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”? The name of the co-discoverer, with Newton, of calculus?
The more mental sweat it takes to dig it out, the more securely it will be subsequently anchored.
None of which is to suggest that these techniques — alternating study environments, mixing content, spacing study sessions, self-testing or all the above — will turn a grade-A slacker into a grade-A student. Motivation matters. So do impressing friends, making the hockey team and finding the nerve to text the cute student in social studies.
“In lab experiments, you’re able to control for all factors except the one you’re studying,” said Dr. Willingham. “Not true in the classroom, in real life. All of these things are interacting at the same time.”
But at the very least, the cognitive techniques give parents and students, young and old, something many did not have before: a study plan based on evidence, not schoolyard folk wisdom, or empty theorizing.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 8, 2010
An article on Tuesday about the effectiveness of various study habits described incorrectly the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in physics. The principle holds that the act of measuring one property of a particle (position, for example) reduces the accuracy with which you can know another property (momentum, for example) — not that the act of measuring a property of the particle alters that property.
Quran Burning Story: This Is How The Media Embarrass Themselves
First Posted: 09-10-10 02:41 PM | Updated: 09-10-10 05:02 PM
Yesterday afternoon, the leader of a microscopic cult of idiots who announced plans to stage an "international" day of Quran burning in Gainesville, Florida held a press conference, for a rapt media which decided that his moronic plans were the single most important thing going on in America. At that press conference, in front of "9/11 Truther" signs, this cult leader lied to everyone who was watching, telling them that he was going to call off his 9/11 book burning festival because he had successfully reached a deal with the people behind the Park51 community center in Lower Manhattan, in which they would move their facility away from the site of the World Trade Center.
Not a word of this was true, but it was amazing, all the same -- at one fell swoop, we had finally knit up the strands of a season of irrationality into one big, shiny, synergized knot. This was supposed to be the end of Recovery Summer? More like Relapse Summer.
The story of how one lone idiot, pimping an 18th-century brand of community terrorism, held the media hostage and forced some of this nation's most powerful people to their knees to fitfully beg an end to his wackdoodlery is an extraordinary one. It's a modern media retelling of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", in which a gang of Islamaphobes, cast in the role of Addie Bundren, bamboozle the media into carrying their coffin full of malevolence on a journey of pure debasement. Let's begin at the beginning.
Earlier this year, an organization called the Cordoba Initiative were granted permission by the appropriate authorities in New York City to turn an old Burlington Coat Factory at 51 Park Place in lower Manhattan into a community center. The organization was headed by an Imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has made it his life's work to stand against radical cults like al Qaeda and teach young Muslims that America is a place where one can freely worship at the appointed times and then join other faith communities in America in the task of building a great nation. The proposed community center was to include a basketball court and space for different religious communities in New York City to have interfaith relations. It was also going to have a place for Muslims to pray, if they liked.
The news didn't sit well with many people in New York, most notably people who didn't live in Manhattan. This is because they were told by a gaggle of dumb Islamophobes that what was planned was a "Ground Zero mosque." Of course, the planned community center was not, strictly speaking, a "mosque." And it was most definitely not "at Ground Zero." "Ground Zero" is the site of an interminable municipal construction project. There are no plans to build a mosque there. "Ground Zero" is also not the name of a recognized New York City neighborhood, like DUMBO or Murray Hill. But, here's the thing: even if it was, the battle to stop the "Ground Zero mosque" was already lost, because there already is a mosque in that neighborhood.
This logic failed to sink in, because very few people outside of me and the good people over at Wonkette made any attempt to bring these facts to light. But it might not have mattered, because the fertile field of opposition to the Park51 community center was the raw wound of the September 11th attacks. Obviously, many people are still feeling the loss of that day. And that loss breeds many emotions, among them sadness and anger. And people definitely do have the right to express their sadness and their anger. But what people don't have the right to expect is that the government will intervene to remedy claims that have no basis in law.
As soon as the media saw themselves a shiny shiny shining thing shining shinily in New York City, they pounced! How perfect! Something for us to talk about during the slow-news summer! I mean, we could talk about the nation's unemployment crisis, but that would mean we'd have to talk to poor, jobless people, and there's no currency in having access to a bunch of poors. Right away, they accepted the premise that this was a "Ground Zero mosque," when it wasn't. And so, by the power vested in the media, things that weren't in fact true were accorded the privilege of being "one side of a great debate" and "an interesting point of view."
Charlie Brooker, calling out the media for this bull<snip>, states what should have happened at this very moment:
New York being a densely populated city, there are lots of other buildings and businesses within two blocks of Ground Zero, including a McDonald's and a Burger King, neither of which has yet been accused of serving milkshakes and fries on hallowed ground. Regardless, for the opponents of Cordoba House, two blocks is too close, period. Frustratingly, they haven't produced a map pinpointing precisely how close is OK.
That's literally all I'd ask them in an interview. I'd stand there pointing at a map of the city. Would it be offensive here? What about here? Or how about way over there? And when they finally picked a suitable spot, I'd ask them to draw it on the map, sketching out roughly how big it should be, and how many windows it's allowed to have. Then I'd hand them a colour swatch and ask them to decide on a colour for the lobby carpet. And the conversation would continue in this vein until everyone in the room was in tears. Myself included.
That hasn't happened. Instead, 70% of Americans are opposed to the "Ground Zero mosque", doubtless in many cases because they've been led to believe it literally is a mosque at Ground Zero. And if not...well, it must be something significant. Otherwise why would all these pundits be so angry about it? And why would anyone in the media listen to them with a straight face?
And because the media couldn't do their job, a group of hack politicians, like Rick Lazio and Newt Gingrich, desperate to get a little famewhore attention for their quixotic political career goals, saw an opportunity to horn in on the "discussion." They started telling all the sad and angry people that they actually did have the right to expect someone to provide a remedy to their claims. Their case was primarily based on the idea that nobody has the rights of religious freedom, no one has property rights and that the government has the right -- nay, the duty! -- to intrude.
Right away, they should have been entirely ridiculed, because the people pimping this bilge were primarily right-wing types who would ordinarily say that church and state should not be separated, that property rights are sacrosanct, and that government should be small and unobtrusive. Someone really should have said to Newt Gingrich, "Is this seriously the stand you want to take? Because if it is, we shall never allow you to claim to be a supporter of small government or a 'Constitutional constructionist' ever again. And if you try to assert that claim, we will drop on you like a ton of bricks. We will cause you real, public pain."
But of course, that's not what happened. The media has too much invested in flattering people like Newt Gingrich, and whoever writes Sarah Palin's tweets. And so, these inherent contradictions simply became "one side of a great debate" and "an interesting point of view."
And from there, some idiot news producer said, "Hey, I bet we can shoehorn this into our election narrative somehow!" And so the Park51 community center became an election issue. Imagine that, in a world with a nine year-long, going nowhere war and a massive unemployment crisis! Imagine how many times you would have to hit yourself in the head with a ball peen hammer before you would ask a politician from California how they stood on a local zoning issue in Manhattan.
But ask they did, all the way to the White House. And that's when Democrats like Harry Reid stepped forward to publicly cover themselves in cowardice. This turned the frenzy up several notches for the media, because suddenly, they had obtained a very precious thing -- the right to say "both sides do this." The matter had become a folie a deux -- a madness made for two! -- but the media focused all their attention on the "two" and none on the "madness."
And in that climate, a pastor named Terry Jones saw an opportunity to make himself famous. Jones heads up a heretofore unknown and uncared-about gang of Florida morons known as the Dove Outreach Church -- minor bit players in the field of antagonizing American Muslims. This idiot announced that he was going to burn some Qurans on September 11th, and was anyone interested in giving this nonsense a whole lot of media attention?
And boy howdy, lots of people took him up on the offer! And you know why they did that? Because of the shame. Because deep down, your media all-stars knew that they had aided and abetted something that closely resembled an intellectual atrocity, and now it was time to atone by finding the lowest-hanging fruit available and make themselves feel better by beating on them repeatedly for being <snip>s -- something they should have already been doing for months!
And this gave an opportunity for some of those who had opposed the Park51 community center -- who deserved the treatment being meted out to Terry Jones -- to do the same. They joined their friends in the media in this demonstration of game-show absolution, saying, "This level of bigotry is unacceptable! It's so declasse in comparison to our own bigotry, which is a refined, 'Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte' form of despicableness."
A few people, like John Boehner and whoever writes Sarah Palin's tweets went so far as to say, "See, this is exactly the same thing we were decrying with the Ground Zero mosque." Except it wasn't, because the Ground Zero mosque was a thing they had made up!
None of this bothered Terry Jones at all! Why should it? In the long history of fringe religious figures saying and doing stupid things, it is exceedingly rare for the media to provide much attention to them. Pat Robertson has been telling America that gay people cause hurricanes for years, and it never amounts to much in the way of coverage beyond a periodic reminder that Pat Robertson is a complete fool. Terry Jones, however, had been given something very precious: he was now "one side of a great debate" who possessed "an interesting point of view."
And the media worked very hard to push the case that Jones was part of a debate. Now, Quran burning was an election-year issue, for which every candidate had to answer. And they even went so far as to ask Jones repeatedly, "What if President Obama told you not to do this? What if former President George W. Bush told you not to do this?" They were literally brokering negotiations between an idiot cult leader and some of the most powerful and important people in the world!
By now, things were terribly out of control. President Obama had to publicly state that Quran burning is a stupid thing to do. Imagine how out of touch you have to be that you need to go all the way to the White House to find that answer! Other important people were compelled to interject at this point. General David Petraeus had to come forward and state the plainly obvious: that all the public attention being given to this Quran burning would undermine the ability of U.S. forces to conduct their counterinsurgency operations, which depend heavily on winning the "hearts and minds" of Afghans. I think a lot of people read this as Petraeus speaking out against the attention-seeker, Terry Jones. But I think he was speaking more directly to the attention-givers. And everything that Justin Elliot reports here, I believe, lends credence to my contention.
Eventually, Robert Gates -- the Secretary of Defense, who is running two wars! -- had to call Jones up and try to convince him not to do this. "Which is crazy," says Alex Pareene, accurately, because when, exactly, did the Pentagon start negotiating with two-bit terrorists?
All of this finally culminated with yesterday's press conference, where Terry Jones lied and said that the Park51 community center was going to move, thanks to him. You see where this is headed now, don't you? Now the people behind Park51 are on the hook for stopping this Quran burning, and all of the negative external impact it may have. Now, all of the refined hate-merchants from early in the story can say that if the "Ground Zero mosque" isn't moved, immediately, American troops could die!
To go back to Charlie Brooker, let's remember that after sizing up the incompetence that pervaded the Park51 coverage, he warned that the "media" should just "give up" before they "[made] things worse." Pretty prophetic, isn't it? They got played, and played badly, by a dude with 14th-century religious beliefs, 19th-century facial hair and ultra-modern media savvy. Terry Jones has essentially blackmailed some of the most important people in America, with the assistance of the media.
Let's remember that all of this paralysis was caused by 50 people who wanted to burn a book that's available for free, on the Internet!
There were many, many moments where someone could have simply said, "No, we should really not be doing this. These Islamophobes are objectively wrong, objectively stupid, objectively contradictory, objectively harmful, and by God, as someone with a functioning brain and a devotion to the pursuit of reason above all else, I am going to stand here and say no to all of this." But as it turns out, it wasn't until yesterday afternoon that someone finally had the guts to say maybe we cannot really believe a word this man is saying.
Well, they should have thought of that before they decided to point a bunch of teevee cameras at him, I guess.
Police: Man Got Massage, Robbed Spa Employees
Posted: 7:39 am EDT September 9, 2010
Updated: 8:53 am EDT September 9, 2010
DALTON, Ga. -- Dalton police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who held employees of a massage parlor at gunpoint and robbed them – after he got a massage.
Dalton police said the robbery happened at 10 p.m. at the GQ Spa on Chattanooga Road on Tuesday.
Officials said the man received a massage and after it was over, he produced a semi-automatic handgun and demanded money from the three women who were working. Police said he got $140 in cash.
Before he left, he tied the women up with plastic zip ties and gagged them with white masks, police said. Officials believe the robber left on foot.
The robber is described as a black male, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall with balding hair and a short, thin beard.
He was wearing a white Hawaiian-type shirt with floral print and a white floppy hat with dark stripes during the robbery, police said.
New report: more grandparents raising grandkids
NEW YORK — The number of U.S. children being raised by their grandparents rose sharply as the recession began, according to a new analysis of census data. The reasons, while somber, were not all economic.
These grandparents often give themselves high marks as caregivers, but many face distinctive stresses as they confront unanticipated financial burdens and culture shock that come with the responsibilities of child-raising.
In all, roughly 7 million U.S. children live in households that include at least one grandparent, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the most recent Census Bureau data, from 2008. Of that number, 2.9 million were being raised primarily by their grandparents — up 16 percent from 2000, with a 6 percent surge just from 2007 to 2008.
"Clearly something was going on" in those years, said Pew senior researcher Gretchen Livingston, a co-author of Thursday's analysis. "We don't have the data to explicitly state that this is related to recession, but it's a very educated guess."
Reasons for grandparents taking over child-rearing duties are manifold — often involving a single parent who becomes overwhelmed with financial problems, is incarcerated, succumbs to illness or substance abuse, or dies. High rates of divorce and teen pregnancies fuel the phenomenon, as do long overseas deployments confronting some parents in the military.
"It's almost inevitable that there is some stress around the reason these grandparents and grandchildren come together," said Donna Butts, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Generations United.
"You're talking about older adults who have agreed to make some sacrifice in their life, and they need to have some support and respect," Butts said. "There are a lot of emotions that the children and the grandparents experience — an anger, a loss of their traditional role."
Roberta Jackson of Winston-Salem, N.C., went through that sort of emotional wringer eight years ago when she agreed to raise her grandson, Drew, who was 6 at the time, after his mother became incapacitated by bipolar disorder.
"When he came to live with me, I had just retired," said Jackson, 63. "I had raised six children of my own, and I wanted to do what I wanted. Drew didn't want to be with me, and I really didn't want to be responsible for him."
For several years, Jackson said, Drew proved to be a disciplinary challenge — "The more rules I laid down, the more rebellious he got."
But she enrolled the two of them in counseling sessions, got support from local agencies and sought out a host of activities for Drew, including a Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a youth football league. Drew, who will turn 15 later this month, has improved his grades, and his grandmother hopes he's on track to go to college.
"We've become partners now," she said. "We've learned to trust each other."
Jackson is African-American and single. Overall, according to the Pew center, 34 percent of grandparent caregivers are unmarried and 62 percent are women.
The phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren has been proportionally higher among blacks and Hispanics than among whites, but the sharpest rise from 2007 to 2008 was among whites, with a 9 percent jump, according to Pew.
In all, 53 percent of the grandparent caregivers are white, 24 percent are black, and 18 percent Hispanic.
According to the Pew Center, most grandparents give themselves high marks for the role they are playing in their grandchildren's lives — with a majority saying they are doing a very good or excellent job and fewer than 10 percent rating themselves at "fair" or "poor."
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry notes that many children living with grandparents enter that arrangement with preexisting problems stemming from abuse, neglect, prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, and loss of their parents.
"Many grandparents in this caretaking role underestimate or are unaware of the added burdens their new role as 'parents' will place upon them," warns the academy. It urges these grandparents to seek support and assistance from other family members, clergy, social agencies and mental health professionals.
In New York City, an array of special services are available onsite at a 50-unit apartment building in the Bronx specifically designed for grandparents raising grandchildren. There are support groups and counseling for the elders; art and academic programs for the kids.
Financed by Presbyterian Senior Services and the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, the building has a long waiting list of more families wishing to get in.
Among the tenants is Annie Barnes, 67, who is raising two teens placed in her custody in 1994 when their father — Barnes' son — was fatally stabbed.
Back in 2005, when the apartment building opened and Barnes and her grandchildren moved in, she reflected on the turn her life had taken.
"When I turned 50 I wanted to do things for myself and travel places," she told the Gotham Gazette at the time. "I had to put my plan on hold to provide for my grandchildren."
Chevrestt for NewsPenthouse Executive Club says James Clooney is a lap dance deadbeat.
A Long Island man who racked up a whopping $46,000 tab at a Manhattan strip club is being sued as a lap dance deadbeat.
James Clooney allegedly stiffed the Penthouse Executive Club on $46,698 worth of booze, steaks and private time with the club's stable of strippers, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The strip club says in court papers that Clooney and his guests ran up the tab at the W. 45th St. flesh palace and its in-house Robert's Steakhouse from May 2008 to last December.
"Although Mr. Clooney made some small partial payments from time to time...there remains due...$46,698.18, no portion of which has been paid," the suit says.
A lawyer and a spokesman for the Penthouse Executive Club did not return calls. Clooney could not immediately be reached at his Oyster Bay home.
Clooney joins the ranks of other so-called lap dunces who have landed in hot water over strip-club shenanigans, including a Westchester man who was sued by the Penthouse club for not paying a $102,000 tab and a Missouri executive who got sacked from his job after he put $241,000 on his corporate card at Scores.
Obama says GOP hopes 'I fail'
He rallies in Cleveland to end Bush-era tax policies
The Washington Times
9:01 p.m., Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Using his strongest political rhetoric yet, President Obama said Wednesday that Republicans are banking on the calculation that "if I fail, they win," and he told Congress to make a clean break with the Bush-era tax policies by letting the tax cuts for the wealthiest expire.
In a stump-style speech in Cleveland, Mr. Obama blasted the GOP for sitting "on the sidelines" while he and congressional Democrats have pushed to pump money into the economy and to clean up what he said were the excesses of the Bush administration that led to the economic downturn.
Ahead of November's midterm elections, Mr. Obama directly took on House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who in his own speech in Cleveland late last month challenged Mr. Obama to join a bipartisan effort to cut spending and extend all the Bush-era tax cuts.
"There was just the same philosophy we already tried for the last decade - the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: Cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations," the president said.
He has proposed three major steps he said would help boost jobs: Pouring more taxpayer funds into road and rail infrastructure projects, making the research-and-development tax credit permanent and speeding up tax write-offs for firms when they purchase equipment.
Republicans, led by Mr. Boehner, outlined their own proposal Wednesday: Continue all Bush tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest Americans, and return spending to 2008 levels, which Mr. Boehner said would save nearly $100 billion in the next fiscal year.
"If the president is serious about finally focusing on jobs, a good start would be taking the advice of his recently departed budget director and freezing all tax rates, coupled with cutting federal spending to where it was before all the bailouts, government takeovers and 'stimulus' spending sprees," he said.
The Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year. Mr. Obama and most Democrats back an extension of those tax cuts only for families earning less than $250,000 a year and individuals earning less than $200,000 a year.
Republicans said they want to give businesses and consumers certainty and that an expiration of the tax cuts would hurt small businesses in particular.
Democrats, though, have sought to expropriate Republican concerns about the deficit in their defense of allowing the tax cuts for wealthier Americans to expire. They say an extension would add $700 billion to the federal tab over the next decade.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped into the fray Wednesday, labeling the U.S. deficit, projected to weigh in at about $1.4 trillion this year, a national security threat. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, she warned that mounting debt undermines the nation's "capacity to act in our own interest."
Mr. Obama's infrastructure proposal faces a precarious future as lawmakers in both parties are wary of additional spending. Indeed, one of Mr. Obama's key allies, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, has announced that he would oppose the measure. He said infrastructure projects can be funded through last year's $814 billion Recovery Act.
The president has not received any support from Senate Republicans, who hold enough votes to block action.
With congressional elections less than two months out, Mr. Obama is seeking to bolster his party's chances and improve his own sagging approval ratings. He is telling voters that they have a choice of either continuing the policies of President George W. Bush or his own policies, which he said have subdued the recession, although "progress has been painfully slow."
Polls show voters increasingly disapprove of Mr. Obama's record on the economy and don't see results from the $814 billion stimulus.
The president is also facing the headwind of an unemployment rate that ticked up in August to 9.6 percent.
In Cleveland, Mr. Obama drew a stark line between Democrats and Republicans, and said the political battles on Capitol Hill seem to center on battling him, not improving the country.
"They're making the same calculation they made just before the inauguration: If I fail, they win," he said. "Well, they might think this will get them where they need to go in November, but it won't get our country where it needs to go in the long run."
THE DAY OF DIFFICULT DEMAND
Those born on September 9th repeatedly face all kinds of demanding situations, usually more the product of their own complicated nature than of fate. If they could learn to more often take the path of least resistance, and not invariably the most difficult way they would lead much more peaceful but perhaps less eventful lives.
There is no doubt that September 9th people are drawn to challenges. Easily bored, they find it insufferable to just sit back and do the same predictably rewarding or unrewarding things year after year. Consequently, they are either consciously or unconsciously on the lookout for complex people, places and things with which to become involved. Such a desire may grow out of an internal longing, a feeling that there is somehow something missing, no matter how successful or fortunate they have been.
Those born on this day can be very private people, but usually their occupation or main interest brings them into contact with society. They are very adept at sensing and even defining what the public taste is, and how it may be satisfied.
Life can be a constant battle for many born on this day against their fears and insecurities. Strangely enough, such fears can drive them on to be surprisingly successful. This is another reason why challenges have such a powerful stimulating effect on them.
Those born on the 9th of the month are ruled by the number 9. September 9th people are able to influence those around them.
Advice: Building your self confidence is a big item. Allow for reflection, then find your real abilities and act on them decisively. Worry and fear will eat you up if you let them, you alone hold yourself back stay joyful and never despair
Strengths: Discriminating, challenge oriented and introspective.
Weaknesses: Fearful, insecure and needy.
Born On This Day:Leo Tolstoy, Otis Redding, Harland “Colonel” Sanders and Billy Preston
This Day in History: Sep 9, 1893:Frances Folsom Cleveland, the wife of President Grover Cleveland, gives birth to a daughter, Esther, in the White House
Famous Inventions: 1886 ten countries, not including the U.S. joined the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works.
A grandad became a crack dealer because he couldn't survive on his pension, a court heard yesterday.
White-haired David Hartley delivered the drug from a supplier to street dealers because he was worried about paying his TV licence and water bill, it was claimed.
The 65-year-old middleman admitted having crack cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for four and a half years.
He was caught when police stopped his car and smelled cannabis. In his pocket were 50 grams of crack cocaine.
Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said: "He was refreshingly candid. He said 'Yes, this is crack. I can't survive on my pension. I am just delivering it for other people. There is more in my landing cupboard'."
Hartley had drugs worth a total of £8,400, said Mr Kesner.
He said: "He would not name the man he was working for. He said he got £200 for dropoffs and pick-ups. His mobile and fuel were paid for."
Andrew Hobson, defending, said Hartley, from Gloucester, was jailed for nine years in 2002 for importing drugs from Jamaica which he had claimed were planted. Mr Hobson added: "He does not fit the profile of a person involved in the supply of class A drugs. He is 65 and has three children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
"He became involved in drugs 10 years ago when he took pity on someone he knew at work and helped her get off heroin.
"For some reason he became a user and has not been able to kick his habit until very recently while on remand in prison.
"His concerns were TV licence arrears and water arrears. For a man of his age such small debts weighed heavily on his mind. It made him cross the boundary from being a drug user to being involved in supply."
Judge William Hart told him at Gloucester crown court: "Your age may well be one of the attractions of using your services. You do not fit the profile of someone involved in this sort of offending."
Teresa Lewis, Mentally Disabled Woman, To Be Executed In Virginia This Month
First Posted: 09- 7-10 07:09 PM | Updated: 09- 7-10 07:11 PM
Teresa Lewis, a borderline mentally retarded woman charged with "masterminding" the murder of her husband and stepson in 2002, is slated to be the first woman in almost a century to be executed in Virginia this month.
Lewis, 40, pleaded guilty to hiring two men, Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller, to murder her husband and stepson so that she could collect a $350,000 life insurance policy. Both triggermen were handed life sentences, but Judge Charles Strauss gave Lewis the death penalty, reasoning that she was "clearly the head of this serpent."
Since the 2002 verdict, new evidence about Lewis and the gunmen has emerged that raises questions about whether she was fairly sentenced and whether, after already having lost one appeal, the Supreme Court should reopen her case. Lewis took two IQ tests after the trial, one by her own expert and one by the state's expert, and she scored 73 and 70 on them, respectively. An intelligence quotient below 70 qualifies as mentally retarded according to the Supreme Court, and Lewis' tests placed her in the "borderline intellectual functioning" zone.
Three different forensic psychology experts also testified that Lewis had "dependent personality disorder," making it difficult for her to carry out functions as simple as making a grocery list without the support of another person.
And in 2003, Shallenberger wrote in a letter to a fellow inmate that he had deliberately manipulated Lewis into going along with his plan because he needed the money to start a drug business in New York City.
"I met Teresa at the Walmart in Danville, VA. From the moment I met her I knew she was someone who could be easily manipulated," Shallenberger wrote. "Killing Julian and Charles Lewis was entirely my idea. I needed money, and Teresa was an easy target."
Three years later, Shallenberger committed suicide in prison, and Lewis' defense team has not yet been able to use the letter as evidence to a court. Lynn Litchfield, Teresa's chaplain at the maximum-security prison in Virginia where she was confined, describes Lewis in a recent Newsweek article as "slow and overly eager to please -- an easy mark, in other words, for a con."
"She didn't look like a remorseless killer, a 'mastermind' who plotted two murders, as the judge put it," Litchfield writes. "In one of our sessions, she collapsed into great soul-shattering, body-heaving sobs and cried into my wrist, the only part of me I could get through the slot in the door."
Lewis' pro bono defense lawyer, James Rocap, told HuffPost that Lewis' behavior on death row has been exemplary and that he hopes Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will consider that when he reviews her petition for clemency.
"This is one of the better examples of what is wrong with the death penalty," he said. "Up until October of 2002, Teresa had no record of any violent conduct at all. Since she went to prison, she has been not only a model prisoner, but she has a huge amount of remorse and has developed a prison ministry under very harsh conditions. She can't recreate with anyone, she can't hold anyone's hand, play cards with anyone, and so on. Because of the death penalty in Virginia, we have a remarkable individual who did not have any violent record at all being judged on her participation in one event in one day of her life."
Rocap said he took on Lewis' case in 2004 because he believes the U.S. justice system is flawed regarding the death penalty.
"The legal system for the most serious sanction you can possibly have doesn't operate well," he said. "There is so much serendipity in what happens to people who do the same thing or even worse things than other people. There's so much inconsistency in who gets executed and who doesn't. I think it's important for the legal profession that we provide the most legal representation we can for people who are in danger of losing their lives."
The United States is counted among the countries with the highest numbers of executions in the world, along with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Congo, Egypt and Iraq, and, barring intervention by McDonnell or the U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis will be added to the tally on Sept. 23.
Rocap, in the meantime, is not going to give up on defending her.
"Teresa is a terrific candidate for clemency, and we hope the Governor sees it that way," he said.
Kamm/GettyHillary Clinton, who fell short against President Obama in 2008, has insisted she won't run for the White House again.
Over Labor Day weekend, in between failed fishing excursions and burgers, my friends and I played a popular party game: Guess the likely 2012 presidential field.
We tossed around the usual suspects - Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty - and we agreed that if things don't get considerably better over the next two years, any one of them could give President Obama a run for his money.
But for my friends - three thirtysomething left-of-center moderates who voted for Obama in 2008 - only one name would make them consider pulling the lever for someone else: Hillary Clinton.
It's a ridiculous prospect. Clinton has insisted she will not run again. She's been a loyal soldier for Obama, and challenging an incumbent doesn't usually work out too well for the challenger.
Still, the unlikely prospect of a Clinton-Obama faceoff got me thinking. Maybe she could run. And more to the point, maybe she should run.
Sure, I'm a Republican who can hardly be trusted to offer objective advice to Democrats I've long lambasted. But believe me when I tell you, two years of Obama has even me seeing Clinton in a much different light than in 2008, when I thought the only thing worse than a new President named Obama was another one named Clinton.
My friends aren't the only ones who think that Clinton should reconsider her vow not to run again. A dentist from Chicago has paid for a slew of Hillary for President ads that tout her as "one of the most admired women in our nation's history."
Even though I disagree vehemently with her political world-view, he's right. Just as I've taken issue with some of the liberal attacks against Sarah Palin, I challenge conservatives to acknowledge that Hillary is exactly the kind of woman - accomplished, intelligent, successful and self-made - that we should encourage our daughters to look up to.
Since becoming secretary of state, she's stayed out of the political weeds, doing serious work with diligence while most other cabinet members - Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius - have been tarnished by their involvement in unpopular and controversial political fights over health care and the economic stimulus package.
While many on the right have been successfully using Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama for archery practice, Clinton is one of the few big-name Democrats who doesn't have her fingerprints on any of the left's domestic failures.
And more than merely staying out of trouble, she's even had some key victories. She was instrumental in persuading Obama to send more troops into Afghanistan, defeating Vice President Biden in an internal debate on the matter. She convinced 33 other governments to toughen their position on allowing Cuba back into the Organization of American States. She saved the signing of the historic Turkish-Armenian accord.
And now she has a chance - albeit a slim one - to make history by helping forge a compromise between Israelis and Palestinians. Even if she fails, Clinton will likely remain a sober politician who avoids the divisive rhetoric upon which so many on both sides of the spectrum seem hopelessly dependent.
To be clear, I'll most likely vote Republican in 2012. But Obama's lackluster performance has suddenly made Clinton an attractive option for frustrated Democrats and independents. Add to that group of disaffecteds Clinton's famously rabid supporters, and we might start seeing Clinton 2012 bumper stickers soon. And just imagine if she runs as an independent.
THE DAY OF THE PUZZLING PURIST
Those born on the 8th of September are by no means easy to figure out. In their own minds they are interested in cleaning up shop, straightening things out and generally improving the lot of their family, social or national group. Yet if and when they go off on the wrong track, they are likely to maintain the absolute belief that they are acting reasonably or responsibly. Whether their efforts turn out well or badly in the end, there is no denying that September 8th people impact greatly on their environment.
Most September 8th people see the world in terms of black and white, and as such highly subjected to the forces of good and evil. Their chosen role is often as protector of the faith against the enemies of the family, state, party or church.
September 8th people generally like to be at the very head whether public or private. Politics in particular may hold an attraction for them, and even if they do not take an active leadership role socially, they usually have a marked interest in the crucial issues of their times. Those born on this day are not easy to get along with per se. They do not, however, depend on the opinions of others but firmly hold their own course, knowing in their hearts that they do what is best for all.
Those born on the 8th of the month are ruled by the number 8. Those ruled by the number 8 generally build their lives and careers slowly and carefully.
Advice: Your ideas are not always easy for others to accept. Don’t push them too hard, let others breathe a bit. Strive to be yourself. Beware of a tendency to be bossy or insensitive.
Strengths: Serious, dynamic and performative
Weaknesses: Unyielding, authoritarian, and misdirected.
Those Born On This Day: Richard I, Sam Nunn, Sid Caesar, and Lyndon H. La Rouche, Jr.
This Day in History: Sep 8, 1974: Ford pardons Nixon
In a controversial executive action, President Gerald Ford pardons his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. Ford later defended this action before the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.
Famous Inventions: 1868 William Hinds patented a candlestick.
1994 Microsoft gave Windows 95 its new name; previously, the operating system had been referred to by its code name of "Chicago".
I heard someone say, “Most of life is a gray area.''
THIS IS FOR ENTERTAIN ONLY!!!
Goulding/Times-Herald RecordPictured before their marriage, Michael O'Connell holds fiancee Jessica Vega's hand as she reads their marriage license. O'Connell holds their daughter Ava, who was 11 months at the time.
A newlywed bride from upstate New York faked a case of terminal leukemia to score a free wedding dress, honeymoon and gifts, her estranged husband claims.
Michael O'Connell accused his chef wife Jessica Vega of cooking up a sad story that duped strangers into showering her with freebies and sympathy.
The Times Herald Record in April published a story about the upcoming dream wedding of the young couple, who met two years earlier while both were studying at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan.
"I had to prepare for her to die," O'Connell told the Middletown, NY, newspaper.
Now, Michael O'Connell says his wife's illness was a sham - though he also admits slapping "the fire out of her" during a brawl and biting her on the elbow.
He's now filed for divorce in Sullivan County Court, just months after marrying Vega in front of 60 loved ones.
O'Connell, 23, claims he was snowed by a phony letter from a Westchester County cancer specialist that supposedly confirmed Vega's diagnosis of terminal acute myeloid leukemia.
The Westchester Institute for Treatment of Cancer & Blood Disorders did not return calls.
The reporter who wrote the original story for the Times Herald Record wrote today that he listened in when O'Connell said he called the clinic and was told Vega, 23, was "never a patient" there.
"Jessie would never do something so manipulative," her mother, Diana, told the Daily Mail.
Jessica Vega insisted to the Times Herald Record that she had received the letter confirming she had cancer - after earlier saying the letter had been typed in front of her.
She then stood the reporter up on a planned visit to get a blood test at her new doctor's office in the Bronx, and has claimed her husband was physically abusive.
"I don't think he really wants to go down that route of me exposing him," she said, according to the newspaper.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Sheriff's Office: Miami couple breaks into Key Largo house to 'make out'
10:40 AM EDT, September 6, 2010
A Miami man and woman were arrested and charged Sunday night with criminal mischief after they broke into a Key Largo home to "make out," police said.
According to Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office:
A neighbor called the Sheriff's Office just after 9 p.m. to report two people breaking in to the vacant home on Lower Matecumbe Road in Key Largo. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a window broken and the door unlocked at the stilt home. When they entered, they found Adrian Alonso and Iliu Gonzalez lying on the floor.
The couple had broken a window and Gonzalez had crawled through it and opened the door for Alonso. They said they broke in to "make out."
Chicago mayor retires sparking talk about bid by Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s (D) surprise announcement Tuesday that he will not seek another term spurred widespread speculation that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will run for the job.
Even though he has a plum position as President Obama’s senior staffer, Emanuel has spoken openly about his desire to run for mayor.
He released a statement Tuesday that didn’t answer the question.
“While Mayor Daley surprised me today with his decision to not run for reelection, I have never been surprised by his leadership, dedication and tireless work on behalf of the city and the people of Chicago,” he said.
He won’t have much time to decide — the election is Feb. 22, 2011, and candidates need to file by Nov. 22.
A senior administration official requesting anonymity told The Hill: “I would be surprised if he [Emanuel] wasn’t a candidate.”
Emanuel, a Chicago native who has represented part of the city in the House, spoke of his interest in the job earlier this year.
In April, he told television host Charlie Rose he hoped Daley would seek reelection, but that he would like to run for the position “one day.”
“I hope Mayor Daley seeks reelection. I will work and support him if he seeks reelection,” Emanuel said at the time. “But if Mayor Daley doesn’t, one day I would like to run for mayor of the City of Chicago. That’s always been an aspiration of mine even when I was in the House of Representatives.”
In a short statement, Obama, who represented Illinois in the Senate, praised Daley’s service without mentioning Emanuel.
“No mayor in America has loved a city more or served a community with greater passion than Rich Daley. He helped build Chicago’s image as a world-class city, and leaves a legacy of progress that will be appreciated for generations to come,” the president said.
Daley’s announcement was shocking: He is the son of Chicago’s longest-serving mayor and has occupied the office since 1989. There was little indication he would not seek a seventh term.
It’s “time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on,” he said at a Tuesday press conference.
“The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months,” Daley said. “In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less.”
His wife, Maggie, is battling cancer, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The surprise announcement didn’t stop people from speculating on who would replace Daley.
Emanuel’s name was floated by radio and print news outlets in Chicago, including in banner headline stories on the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times websites.
But Emanuel could be one of more than a dozen candidates. Other names floated Tuesday include Daley’s brother, William Daley, and longtime Democratic Alderman Ed Burke.
The mayor’s announcement also inspired a flurry of Twitter posts from Washington reporters, who have long had an eye on Emanuel’s next step.
Adding to the speculation surrounding Emanuel’s future is the typically short shelf lives of White House chiefs of staff. President George W. Bush had only two, but President Clinton went through four in his two terms, and President George H.W. Bush employed three in his single term.
One of Emanuel’s top aides, Sarah Feinberg, left the White House in May to take a senior position with Bloomberg news service, which also fueled the curiosity surrounding Emanuel’s next move in politics.
Emanuel is not the only top White House aide to be subject to rumors regarding their futures. Senior advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod both moved from Chicago to Washington to serve in the White House, prompting speculation about how long they will stay in their jobs.
The former congressman uprooted his wife and three children from the Chicago area and left the House of Representatives in order to take the chief of staff position in Washington.
While in Congress, Emanuel served as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 cycle in which the Democrats took control of the House. He was rumored to have coveted the Speaker’s gavel.
This story was originally posted at 2:42 p.m. and updated at 8:52 p.m.
David Axelrod: Republican Congress Could Be 'More Extreme' Than Bush (EXCLUSIVE)
First Posted: 09- 7-10 10:46 AM | Updated: 09- 7-10 10:46 AM
With polls and prognosticators predicting a massive Republican rout -- and the likely election of uncompromising, out-of-the-mainstream conservatives -- in the fall, the Obama administration has begun raising dire alarms in its pitch to voters. Remember the Bush administration, the argument goes. It could be worse.
"I saw that [Alaska GOP Senate candidate] Joe Miller said that he would abolish Social Security if he had the chance and he is not alone," said chief adviser David Axelrod. "This is akin to what [Nevada GOP Senate candidate] Sharron Angle has said in Nevada and also a number of these other Republicans. So, this could go one step beyond the policies of the Bush administration to something more extreme than we have seen."
In an interview with the Huffington Post from his West Wing office late last week, Axelrod's criticism of the president's Republican critics were some of the most sweeping to date. The senior adviser called the GOP strategy for scuffling Obama, "insidious" if not "clever." Republican leadership, he ventured, has "put emphasis on throttling things down... hoping that the mess that they created... would be so difficult to clean up that they could then blame us for their problems."
"I think realistically what you have is a Republican Party that is now thoroughly focused on one thing and they have been frankly from the beginning: which is to try and regain power," he said. "And their strategy is to lock everything down and not let anything happen."
The remarks suggest a White House that is frustrated at the hand it's been dealt, as well as increasingly concerned about the state of the electorate. Axelrod declined to place a marker on how November will play out. But he did note that history is not on the side of the president he serves.
By Monday, that history's repetition was crystallizing. Stu Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, released new predictions, putting the number of Republican gains in the House at 37 to 42 seats. Forty-five to 55 seats, he added, are "quite possible." A poll released by ABC News and the Washington Post the night before, meanwhile, revealed that for the first time in more the four years, the GOP is running even with Democrats in terms of the confidence it earns from registered voters. Faced with the possibility of a major, historic sweep on Election Day, however, the Democratic base isn't showing signs of turning out in November.
"In a sense, we are a victim of our own success, of the expectations that the president aroused, and the fact that we have gotten so much done," Axelrod said, in attempting to explain the enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters. "Everyone who has a particular passion says, 'Well if you got that done why couldn't you get this done? If you got health care done why couldn't you get energy reform done? If you got financial reform why couldn't you get something else done?' The successes we've had have been a double-edged sword. I hope that at the end of the day, however, people will realize that this has been a period of enormous progress. I'm not begrudging people's desire to get more done. There is a lot of pent-up energy and aspirations and all these things are important. But objectively this has been an enormously productive time and everyone who helped elect the president should feel gratified at what's been accomplished because it wouldn't have happened but for their efforts."
The problem facing the White House is that there is little they can do at this point to significantly affect the type of economic or political changes that would appeal to voters of any or all stripes. The president, over Labor Day weekend, laid out a set of fairly robust proposals to spur business growth, including extending tax breaks for research and development as well as money for infrastructure projects. Axelrod, likewise, pledged to have a vote the first day that Congress is back in session on a $30 billion small business tax cut bill that Republicans had stalled in the Senate. But even those measures don't seem likely to change the trajectory of public opinion or electoral politics.
"The depth of the problem that was created, the irresponsible policies, is something we are going to live with for a long time," Axelrod acknowledged. "People are struggling and you want a silver bullet that will make that all better but there is no silver bullet."
And herein lies, perhaps, the point that causes the most introspection among the Obama communications team -- how could they allow so many of those voters looking for a silver bullet to believe that the party that caused the strife in the first place is the one to fix it? An NBC/WSJ Poll released on Monday, for instance, showed that 58 percent of the public thinks Republicans would have different policies than President Bush's.
"Perhaps this is where we have been failing to communicate," said Axelrod. "[A] large number of people [don't] believe that a Republican Congress would go back to the policies of George W. Bush, even though their own leaders have said as much in public. Pete Sessions said we want to go back to the same exact agenda that was there before this president took office. So our job in the next eight weeks is to make sure that people understand that, that they understand the stakes."
Hagen for NewsYenny Valero says her son was attacked and sexually assaulted by fellow kindergarten classmates a week before the end of last school year.
The mother of a 5-year-old Queens boy claims her son was jumped inside his elementary school and sexually assaulted by four classmates - all of them kindergartners.
Mom Yenny Valero said the shocking attack occurred in the school's bathroom just weeks before the end of the school year.
"I'm very sad and disappointed," Valero told the Daily News. "You never expect this to happen to your child, especially in school. You expect them to go to school and come back safe."
The Astoria resident filed a notice of claim on Aug. 27 - the first step in suing the city - alleging her son was assaulted, sexually abused and raped.
The News is withholding the name of the boy and his school to protect his identity.
Valero said their ordeal began when her son went to the bathroom on June 11.
Four boys, all 6 or 7 years old, held him down, removed his pants and inserted at least one finger into his anus, according to the legal papers.
The young victim, who wears ankle braces because of balance issues, suffered physical injuries and posttraumatic stress disorder, the filing states.
"He's already started with a psychologist," said Valero's lawyer Sean Serpe. "He's having nightmares, gender identification issues."
The boy told his mother and her sister about the attack the next day, saying he had been bullied by the students in the past.
"I couldn't believe this was happening to my son," said Valero, 30. "I thought I was living a nightmare."
The mother called 311, which put her in touch with the city's Administration for Children's Services and an NYPD special victims squad detective, who investigated the alleged assault.
Because her son only had oneweek left of class, she kept him out of school, but said she spoke to the assistant principal on June 16 about the incident.
"They said they didn't know anything about it and that they would investigate," Valero said.
She said she still has not heard from the city Education Department about the outcome of the investigation, but the four alleged attackers were allowed to attend kindergarten graduation.
"They said they couldn't suspend anyone because the investigation wasn't over," Valero.
Her son didn't attend the graduation and has since gotten a safety transfer to another school.
According to police sources, detectives investigated the incident, but the criminal case was closed because of the young ages of the students.
The Education Department declined to comment.
Elizabeth Thomas, a spokeswoman for the city Law Department, said her agency has not filed any charges in Queens Family Court against the alleged attackers.
'Four monsters out there'
Serpe said he was shocked that none of the boys has been brought to justice.
"Basically, you got four monsters out there who are getting a free pass," Serpe said. "They haven't even been required to receive therapy for their actions."
One expert said she did not want to downplay the seriousness of the incident but said it is unlikely that children so young would realize the the full extent of what they were doing.
"It's a horrible thing to happen to any child, but it's not unheard of," said Dr. Susan Sherkow, a child psychiatric expert and instructor at the child and adolescent division of the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute.
"Why would they pick on him? They may see him as vulnerable," Sherkow said. "They may know that they're doing something humiliating, but typically they wouldn't really understand it as criminal intent, as sexual assault in the way adults do."
Tuesday, September 7th 2010, 9:10 AM
Douliery/PoolHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama must weather a growing tide of anti-Democratic sentiment from voters this November.
Two separate polls released Tuesday tell the same grim story for Democrats: Prepare to lose in the November midterm elections.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll gives the GOP a 53%-40% advantage over Democrats in this year's congressional races, the largest gap in that poll since 1981.
Republicans enjoy a 49%-40% lead in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, with the GOP advantage swelling to 20 points among voters with the highest amount of interest in this year's elections.
Voters overall, however, are tied at 43% apiece when asked if they prefer a Democratic or Republican-controlled Congress in the NBC/WSJ poll.
"We all know that there is a hurricane coming for the Democrats," said Peter D. Hart, the Democratic pollster who conducted the NBC News/WSJ survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "We just don't know if it will be a Category 4 or a Category 5."
Both polls show dwindling approval for President Obama's handling of the economy.
"That is a huge danger sign," McInturff said of the president's 39% approval rating on his work with the economy.
Not surprisingly, Republicans plan to hammer Democrats over the stagnant economy and current 9.6% unemployment rate all the way to the voting booths.
"Stay focused on the issue the public is concerned about, and that is the economy," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the number two House Republican, is telling fellow GOP candidates.
The numbers in Tuesday's poll mirror a Gallup Poll last month, which showed Republicans with a 10-point lead over Democrats.
In order to take control of Congress, Republicans need to win a net of 39 seats in the House and 10 Senate seats
Sources: Trust to take Bush’s Heisman
Charles Robinson and Jason Cole
September 7, 2010
The Heisman Trophy Trust is expected to strip former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush of college football’s top honor by the end of September, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Bush would become the first player in the 75-year history of the award to have the trophy taken away. The NCAA found major violations in the Trojans’ football program in June and levied serious sanctions against the school.
Two sources close to the Heisman trust said the body’s investigation is coming to a close, and will ultimately concur with the NCAA’s determination that Bush was ineligible during his Heisman-winning season in 2005. Because of that independent conclusion, sources said the trust will relieve Bush of the award and leave the honor for that season vacant. The sources said Bush met with Heisman representatives last month at the New York law offices of Emmet, Marvin & Martin. The sources would not reveal details of that meeting.
It appears as if the Heisman Trophy Trust is about to strip Reggie Bush of his 2005 trophy.
Bush, now a standout with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Heisman trust has been conducting its own independent inquiry into Bush’s eligibility since the NCAA ruled in June that the USC star had committed multiple violations by accepting cash, gifts and other impermissible benefits while playing for the Trojans. Yahoo! Sports first detailed the extra benefits in September 2006. In its findings, the NCAA retroactively ruled Bush ineligible for part of the 2004 season and all of 2005. The NCAA also ordered the USC program to remove all references to Bush from its sporting venues and promotional materials and vacate his statistics from all games in which he was ineligible.
In July, incoming USC president C.L. Max Nikias announced that the university would be returning its copy of Bush’s Heisman to the trust, stating the Trojans would honor and respect athletes who “did not compromise their athletic program or the opportunities of future USC student-athletes.” New USC athletic director Pat Haden followed up in August, stating during an interview with the Dan Patrick radio show that Bush should also voluntarily return his Heisman.
While others pressed for a swift decision, the trust opted for a patient, meticulous effort. Sources said the trust did its own detailed investigation over the past three months, using a litany of resources and reviewing its information against the NCAA’s findings. The trust also offered Bush a chance to impact the decision.
The process apparently came with considerable debate – in part because of the trust’s quest for due process, but also because of the unique nature of the decision. Never in the history of the award has the trust been forced to retroactively rule on the eligibility of a past winner. That reality, along with the NCAA’s findings, created a tangled knot of deliberation regarding the trust’s place in the role of enforcement. Sources said the prominent issues discussed included accountability, on-field vs. off-field conduct, implications of retroactively stripping an award and possible impact on future athletes and the NCAA.
Two factors outweighed all others, sources said: The Heisman ballot necessitates candidates be in compliance with NCAA bylaws and concern over the Heisman’s reputation in the wake of the NCAA findings against Bush.
The status of USC’s 2004 Bowl Championship Series national title remains to be determined. BCS officials are awaiting the NCAA’s ruling on the Trojans’ appeal of the June finding.
THE DAY OF SUCCESS SEEKERS
Novels could be written about September 7th people and their never ending pursuit of personal success. That they encounter obstacles on their way is indeed an understatement. The road is generally long, the difficulties manifold and perilous, but these determined individuals will not give up until they achieve what they have set out to do, even if it takes their dying breath to accomplish it.
The world is not quick to understand or to recognize those born on this day, but by sheer force of their willpower or the imaginative creative thrust of their ideas they eventually win people over to them. Strangely enough, September 7th people who rise more easily to the top of their field, perhaps at a young age, may feel denied their need to struggle for success. Some of them can even give up everything they have accomplished and start all over again in another pursuit, much to the consternation of their family and friends.
September 7th people who work in technical or highly specialized areas will not rest until they have gained complete mastery over their materials. They exhibit great integrity in their work. Those who are involved in leading or ruling will fuse their subjects, followers or employees into a cohesive, smooth running unit, with no doubt whatsoever about who’s the boss or what the goal is. As family head, those born on this day provide direction and inspiration to their children and mates, but will tolerate no insubordination. Those born on the 7th day of the month are ruled by the number 7. Those ruled by the number 7 traditionally like change and travel this agrees with their need for excitement.
Advice: Find it in your heart to accept. Learn to enjoy yourself and then pass that gift to others. Don’t be so hard on yourself and those near and dear to you. An inflexible attitude plants seeds of rebellion.
Strengths: Diligent, goal oriented and determined.
Weaknesses: Over competitive, insensitive and unforgiving.
Born on This Day: Queen Elizabeth 1, Grandma Moses, David Packard, and Gloria Gaynor
This Day in History: On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with "U.S." for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as "Uncle Sam's." The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.
Famous Inventions: 1948 Patent # 2,448,908 was granted to Louis Parker for a television receiver. His "intercarrier sound system" is now used in all television receivers in the world. Without it TV receivers would not work as well and would be more costly.
This is for entertainment only.
Snake Smuggler Jailed Over Boas In Baggage
Monday September 06, 2010
Sky News Online
A notorious wildlife trafficker has been caught trying to smuggle nearly 100 live boa constrictors into Indonesia after his bag broke at an airport.
The snakes were found in Anson Wong's bag
Malaysian Anson Wong - nicknamed the Lizard King - was stopped by security officials at Kuala Lumpur airport after his luggage split open on a conveyer belt.
As well as 95 live endangered boa constrictors, two rhinoceros vipers and a matamata turtle were also found inside his bag.
Wong has now been jailed for six months and fined $40,000 - but campaigners have denounced the sentence as a "tragedy".
Two rhinoceros vipers and a matamata turtle were also discovered
The 52-year-old could have been locked up for seven years and faced fines of $40,000 per snake.
He has already served a 71-month prison term in the United States for trafficking wildlife.
William Schaedla of Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring organisation, said: "(The sentence) clearly tells wildlife traffickers that they have little to fear from Malaysian law.
"This is a tragedy."
LINK TO PICTURES
Juror fined, more, after posting early 'verdict' to Facebook
September 5th, 2010 4:27 pm ET
Wnen you're on a jury, not only are you not supposed to discuss the case with anyone outside the jury, you're certainly not supposed to make your mind up before all the evidence is presented. Thus, Michigan resident Hadley Jons made two mistakes when serving on a Jury in early August.
Jons, 20, posted to her Facebook that it was "gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're GUILTY." The post was discovered by the defense team on Aug. 11, before they had even begun presenting their side of the case, and Jons was removed from the jury the next day.
That wasn't the end of the story. Earlier this week, Jons received her punishment, which was actually quite mild. She was assigned a five-page essay to write about the constitutional right to a fair trial, by Macomb County Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski. "I'm sorry, very sorry," Jons told Druzinski. She has to complete the essay, as well as pay a $250 fine, by Oct. 1st.
Facebook perhaps was worse than telling a friend about the case. After all, all Jons' friends (or at least those given the rights to) could see her post. "You violated your oath. You had decided she was already guilty without hearing the other side," Druzinski said.
The Facebook post was found by Jaxon Goodman, the 17-year-old son of the defendant's defense lawyer. Leann Etchison had been charged with resisting arrest. She was eventually found guilty.
This is just another example of how difficult things are for the courts in this day of smartphones and social networking. Among other things, courts also have to deal with folks using their smartphones (and the Internet) to research cases, which is something else taboo for jurors.
Those born on September 6th are extremely vulnerable to the hidden workings of chance. More than others, their lives seem guided by the hand of fate, for better or worse. For many born on this day, life may be proceeding predictably when seemingly for no reason at all WHAMMO!
When September 6th people try to direct and in a sense restrict the course of their lives, things often just seem to work against them. They can make highly detailed plans, preparing for every contingency and still find that events are not unfolding at all as they had expected.
Though their lives may be quite uneven, September 6 people themselves are remarkably constant and faithful. Friends and family are extremely important to them and can serve as a protective buffer between them and the harsher side of life.
Those born on the 6th day of the month are ruled by the number 6, they are magnetic in attracting love and admiration. Often love becomes the dominant theme in life of those ruled by the number 6, certainly true for those on born day.
Advice: Learn to work with Fate. It is neither your enemy not your friend, but it can become an accepted companion. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative. Build solidly and let go of some of your cherished illusions. Don’t believe that you are misfortune prone.
Strengths: Accepting, sympathetic and tasteful.
Weaknesses: Self involved, repressed and fatalistic.
Born On This Day: Jane Adams, Joseph Kennedy, Johnny Kelley and Roger Law.
Great Inventions: 1988 The Combined Cap & Baseball Mitt patent #4,768,232 was granted.
This Day in History: First tank produced
On this day in 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour. However, improvements were made to the original prototype and tanks eventually transformed military battlefields.
This is for entertainment only.
Graham: Obama is 'tone-deaf'
Xanthos/NewsYerko DiFonis, partially deaf and legally blind, is a piano prodigy. An illegal immigrant from Chile, he will return to his native country to preserve the chance of a future student visa.
Though blind and partially deaf, Yerko DiFonis has wowed audiences and taken home top prizes for his remarkable piano playing.
But his dazzling musical talents can't keep him in the country.
The 17-year-old prodigy and his family have lived illegally in the United States since 2000, in hopes that the boy would receive better treatment than in their native Chile.
Yerko, who plays music from memory, has thrived - even getting accepted at the city's prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
But instead of starting his junior year this week, he and his family will return to their homeland on Sept. 25 under the threat of deportation.
"I say my wish would be that myself and my family would all either get green cards or have the possibility of becoming American citizens," he said.
Born legally blind, Yerko can only differentiate between light and dark and needs hearing aids in both ears. None of the public schools in Chile could handle his disabilities.
"The only reason that we came here was that I wasn't getting a good education in Chile," Yerko said. "The first year that I went there, I basically sat around and did nothing."
Yerko, his mother and brother flew to New York in 2000 on a temporary visa, the family says.
His father, Stefanos DiFonis, snuck into the country through Canada that same year, but was arrested. He remained in New York despite a judge's order removing him from the country, records show.
The family has led a comfortable life on Staten Island since, with his father running a contracting business. All that changed on July 1, when an immigration officer arrested his father and told him he would soon receive deportation papers, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said.
While the DiFonises want to remain in New York, they fear doing so will jeopardize Yerko's chances of attending a top U.S. conservatory after graduation. His family hopes by returning to Chile, he can eventually come back to study at a conservatory or college.
"It will be difficult for any of us to start over," he said.
His mentors are distraught. Dalia Sakas, his piano teacher at Lighhouse International, a school for the visually impaired, said she was "just dumbstruck" when she heard. "It was like a dagger through the heart," she said.
Yerko's parents first noticed his interest in music when he was still in diapers. "I used to move my head a lot when they put music on," Yerko said.
When he was 4, he asked his dad - an accomplished guitar and bass player - to teach him some chords. By the next day, he could play perfectly. And at 6, Yerko asked his uncle to teach him the basics of the piano and then learned the rest by ear.
"He received a God gift," said his mother, Beatriz, 40. "He listens to any music and plays it right now."
Three to four hours of daily practice and classical training have honed his talent. He can play from memory masterpieces by Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy, Robert Schumann and many other great composers.
His talents led to a solo performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a concert put on by students at Lighthouse. Last year, he took first place in New York State in the Very Special Arts Young Soloists Competition.
He has even composed his own piece, a stirring, romantic ballad he calls "Flying Away."
Using a cane in public and navigating his home by touching walls and railings, Yerko is most comfortable when his hands find the 50-year-old Steinway piano in his living room.
"I like to concentrate on the emotions of the music," he said.
Under U.S. immigration laws, if Yerko were 18 and caught as an illegal, he would be considered an adult and subject to a 10-year ban from entering the United States.
At 17, he can elude the penalty by returning to Chile and later applying for a student visa, the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirm.
In the meantime, the move means going back to teaching himself the classics.
"I am planning to take music with me, so I can self-study some pieces until I find a piano teacher I can study with," Yerko said. "I'll probably have to be on my own for a bit."
Dazeley/GettyYikes! More than 250,000 students in New York City were found to be too heavy.
overweight or obese - with about half the youngsters in some zip codes tipping the scales too heavily, a new city report shows.
In the largest study of childhood obesity ever conducted in the city, 40% of kindergartners through eighth-graders - more than 250,000 kids - were found to be too heavy.
Officials say even though the data seem startling, the rate of obesity in city kids is actually flat-lining, while it's rising nationwide.
"While it would be great if we saw the numbers go down, it is encouraging that they're holding steady," said Laurie Benson, executive director of the Department of Education's Office of School Wellness, refering to previous studies with smaller sample sizes.
The report, based on Fitnessgram assessments of more than 635,000 kids in eighth grade or lower, showed wide variation in obesity levels throughout different neighborhoods.
In the upper West Side zip code of 10069, less than 12% of kids were found to be obese or overweight. But in Corona's 11368, a shocking 51% of kids were found to be too heavy.
"I'm not surprised," said Corona mom Leslie Rivera, 34, whose 7-year-old son, George, is entering the second grade at Public School 13. "There's so much fast food around here."
Gabriella Mendoza, 39, while dining with her 6-year-old son Kevin at a Corona McDonald's, said she tries to carefully control his eating - but it's not always easy. "Sometimes I bring him here, but not often because I know it's too much calories," Mendoza said.
Among the report's additional alarming findings:
About 48% of children in two Central Harlem/Morningside HeighTS zip codes - 10037 and 10039 - are too heavy.
About 47% of kids in four zip codes in Washington Heights/Inwood - 10031, 10040, 10033, 10032 - are overweight or obese.
More than 46% of youngsters in Williamsburg/BushwicKs 11237 and East Harlem's 10029 are carrying too much weight.
City officials conceded that the dramatic geographic divide is disappointing but not surprising.
"If you look at the adult levels of obesity, you're going to see very similar trends," Benson said. "Unfortunately, there is a lot of correlation between socioeconomics and health status."
Kathy Nonas, director of physical activity and nutrition programs at the Department of Health, stressed that the data show the city's effort to tackle poor health among schoolchildren is showing results.
She pointed to measures such as eliminating sugary drinks from school vending machines, offering healthier lunches and increasing physical activity.
The data shows that "we're doing something right," Nonas said. "It also tells us that we have a lot more to do in order to get this down."
The departments of health and education compiled the data by examining the "Fitnessgrams," personal health evaluations based on strength, endurance, flexibility and body mass index.
The fitness report cards have been used to assess student health and offer specific tips since 2006, but the number of students participating in the program has increased every year.
"This helps us see whether the initiatives that we've put in are having some effect," Nonas said.
Those born of September 5th like to use their active and alert minds to dream up the most imaginative and romantic plans. They are very adept indeed at making such ideal notions real, but unfortunately can be highly unrealistic about their degree of success. Prone to excessive pride or indulgence, they may lose touch with reality and hence be afflicted with all kinds of maladies whey they least expect them.
A recurrent theme in the lives of some September 5th people is that of working against themselves in self defeating attempts. Those born on this day can really get caught up in their regal egos and bury themselves in what they are doing. Consequently they may not only lose sight of what others think of them but also what is actually going on in their heart and subconscious.
September 5th people are capable of wonderful fantasies of all sorts. Although their personal lives may appear quite ordinary to some, what they surround themselves with, their creations or acquisitions are often amazing. They can feel like a king or queen in a fairytale palace. This magical world they create can hold the deepest meaning for them, unfortunately, their personal human values can get lost in the shuffle.
Those born on the 5th of the month are ruled by the number 5 and are quick thinkers. Those born on this day are likely to overreact mentally and to change their minds and physical surroundings with great regularity. The hard knocks that those ruled by the number 5 receive from life traditionally have little lasting effect on them, they recover quickly.
Advice: Without losing your romantic sparkle, keep a firm grip on reality. Get to know yourself better, and like yourself more.
Strengths: Imaginative, romantic and fun
Weaknesses: Self destructive, unaware and excessive
Born on This Day: Louis XIV, John Cage, Raquel Welch and Joan Kennedy
This Day In History 1972: Israeli athletes killed at Munich Olympics
On this day in 1972, at the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, a group of Palestinian terrorists storms the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine others hostage. The terrorists, known as Black September, demanded that Israel release over 230 Arab prisoners being held in Israeli jails and two German terrorists. In an ensuing shootout at the Munich airport, the nine Israeli hostages were killed along with five terrorists and one West German policeman. Olympic competition was suspended for 24 hours to hold memorial services for the slain athletes.
Great Inventions: 1787 The constitutional clause concerning patents and copyrights was adopted by the constitutional convention in 1787.
The dominant theme in the lives of September 4th people is that of building. No matter what their careers family situation or social circle is, they are taken up matters of structure, form, organization and putting things together to make them work. Although many September 4th people possess technical ability, it is more envisioning in planning than those born on this day shine. Building systems, for example, that produce goods or services, in material or theoretical terms, is their forte. Pragmatic to the extreme, September 4th people believe that the true measure of methods is in results.
Because of their understanding of how systems function, those born on this day are also able to criticize, analyze and sometimes tear constructs apart to show when and where they do not work. Furthermore, September 4th people can often suggest practical solutions or improvements that really make a difference.
Those born on this day believe that the old must be cleared to make room for the new, if faced with structure based on an unfair foundation, their impulse is generally to raze it and rebuild, not just to patch and paste. Others may not be so understanding of this attitude, themselves preferring to leave things as they are, no matter how rotten.
Those born on this day of the month are ruled by the number 4. Those ruled by the number 4 tend to be difficult and argumentative, since they so often see things differently from everyone else.
Advice: Try to put your knowledge of how things work to a morally sound end. Follow your desire to serve, but don’t neglect your own needs. Let up on your demands where you can, while still maintaining high standards.
Strengths: Methodical, capable and constructive.
Weaknesses: Inflexible, demanding and over exacting.
Born On This Day: Tom Watson, Dawn Frazier, George H. Love, and Craig Claiborne.
Great Inventions: 1888 George Eastman patented the roll film camera
This Day In History: On this day in 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe's homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo's surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.
This is for entertainment only!
Inside “Vanity Fair” world of Sarah PalinSep 2, 2010 00:28 EDT
So you think you know Sarah Palin?
There’s so much more to the former Alaska governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate than is on public view, according to a new and very lengthy “Vanity Fair” profile, which takes readers behind the scenes and into “the surreal new world Palin now inhabits.”
It’s not pretty. Indeed, her supporters at Conservataives4Palin have gone on defense calling it “a hit piece.” And Palin tweets that it’s “yellow journalism.”
The article by writer Michael Joseph Gross goes on extensively about a lot of things that do not cast the former governor in a nice light, including:
There’s a reason they call them unmentionables.
The folks at Conservatives4Palin point out that even some people who aren’t Palin fans agree that mentioning the underwear was just wrong.
Among them, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles M. Blow who tweeted: “When’s the last time you read a profile of a male politician that mentioned his underwear? This is the kind of thing that crosses the line.”
Thief who tried to sell stolen ladder to its owner -- twice -- gets six months in jail
Published: Friday, September 03, 2010, 3:52 PM Updated: Friday, September 03, 2010, 3:58 PM
WCSOKevin Michael Gilman
The case: Undercover detectives purchased three stolen ladders from Kevin Michael Gilman, 36, before arresting him last month, authorities said.
On July 28, a man called Washington County Sheriff's deputies saying that Gilman tried to sell him a ladder stolen from him just days before.
The victim kept Gilman on site until deputies arrived and arrested him. After Gilman was released from jail, Gilman called the same man and asked if he still wanted to buy a ladder that he listed on Craigslist, deputies said. Gilman was unaware that he was calling the same man who helped deputies arrest him.
The victim reported the incident to deputies and undercover investigators arranged a meeting time with Gilman. Deputies said they bought three stolen ladders from Gilman on Aug. 3, then arrested him.
Update: Gilman was charged with one count of first-degree burglary, three counts of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree theft.
On Aug. 23, he pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and one count of first-degree theft and the other charges were dismissed.
Sentence: County prosecutor Chris Lewman said Gilman was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of formal probation. The state is still determining how much Gilman will pay restitution.
Text meant for drug dealer sent to sheriff
ALANA LISTOE Independent Record
Friday, September 3, 2010 12:20 am
A Helena teen sent out a text message last week looking to buy marijuana, only instead of texting the drug dealer, he hit a wrong number.
Who received it?
The Lewis and Clark County sheriff.
The text message said: “Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?”
Sheriff Leo Dutton initially thought someone was playing a joke on him, but quickly realized it was a real request for a drug exchange.
“I’m thinking, ‘Hey this is odd,’ ” Dutton said. “I was looking around to see if there was someone outside my window playing a prank.”
He played along as if it were legitimate. “How much we talking?” Dutton replied to the teen.
The sender said he was close to the dealer’s house, so Dutton got the Missouri River Drug Task Force involved. A detective pretending to be the dealer agreed to meet the sender at a business at the north end of town at 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Dutton said.
Inside the business the detective spotted two male juveniles with an adult male. To ensure it was the right person, the detective called the number three times, Dutton said.
The detective called the teens over and showed them his badge. Dutton said the young boys turned white and their knees began to wobble. The group went outside to discuss the issue further and one of the teens passed out.
“Was it divine intervention or just bad luck?” Dutton said.
The adult male with the group turned out to be the father of one of the teens. He was a big, military-looking guy and he wasn’t happy, Dutton said. The drug detective got both of the teens’ parents involved and decided not to issue any citations.
“When the detective saw there were parents that wanted to be involved he took the right action and I’m really proud of the deputy,” Dutton said. “Trying to buy drugs is a crime, but it’s probably worse that they had to face their parents.”
Phones shot into jail with bow, arrow
Teen caught when arrow struck officer on the back
Updated: Thursday, 02 Sep 2010, 12:42 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 02 Sep 2010, 12:42 PM EDT
SAO PAULO (AP) - Police say a 17-year-old teen was detained after he shot arrows with cell phones attached over the walls of a prison in southern Brazil to inmates waiting on the other side.
Authorities say the boy was caught after one of the arrows he launched struck a police officer on the back. The officer was not seriously injured because the cell phone was tied to the tip of the arrow and softened the impact.
Police Lt. Mauricio Cravo told RBS TV that a local gang hired the teen, giving him a professional bow and training him how to use it.
Authorities said the teen was able to shoot at least four cell phones into the prison before he was caught late Wednesday.
Inmates are prohibited from owning or using cell phones in Brazil.
Those born on September 3rd are not always what they seem. Because others so often misread their nature and potentials, those born on this day may be forced to play roles in life which, although not always disagreeable, are not exactly what they want either. Though September 3rd people are generally multi-talented, often one of their attributes is appreciated at the expense of the rest. Physical beauty in September 3rd females is a case in point, because of good looks, their other fine qualities may go unrecognized. Men born on this day tend to be mistaken by other for an easy touch, or pigeonholed by career or family status.
Although they can impress others as quiet and tractable, no one who has ever tried to take advantage of a September 3rd person will forget the result. Those born on this day have a steel-like armor that seals them off from all forms of flattery. They may appear gentle, even a bit soft, but they will insist on being treated honorably and fairly, and vigorously resist effort to push them around.
The greatest challenge for September 3rd people is in being more open with others and fearlessly confronting self-doubts. They put their high moral code and sense of justice to work in defense of those who need help, rather than being defensive about what they perceive as criticism directed against themselves.
These born on the 3rd of the month are ruled by the number 3. Number 3 generally seeks to rise to the highest position in their sphere. Number 3 people also love their independence, so those born on September 3rd in particular must avoid playing a part for others which they would rather not play.
Advice: Actively seek to do what you really want to do. Develop your self-confidence and assertiveness. Don’t be afraid to fail. Try not to cultivate too much mystery around what you do, take the time to explain your methods and motives to others.
Strengths: Multi-talented, socially adept and patient.
Weaknesses: procrastinating, overly stoic or yielding
Born On This Day: Louis Sullivan, Carl D. Anderson, Dixie Lee Ray, Charlie Sheen and Mort Walker.
This Day In History: September 3, 1783: Treaty of Paris signed
The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America's status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River.
Great Inventions: 1940 A patent for the production of diuretics was obtained by Bockmuhl, Middendorf and Fritzsche.
Those born on September 2nd are not big on frills. They hate phoniness and despise all forms of affectation. Rarely will they make excuses for their work or behavior. They also have little time for robbing analytic explanations of their motives, referring to let their actions speak for themselves. September 2 people just want to get on with the job, and indeed become workaholics.
Most September 2nd people present an unassuming exterior, and do not go out of their way to draw attention to themselves. If blessed with moderate talents, they generally choose a tried and true career path with a low risk factor. The more unusual people born on this day may seek some degree of danger and excitement, but usually prefer to generate it themselves rather than just go along for the ride.
September 2nd people are usually good at handling money and finances, particularly their own, even if they don’t have that much to manage. Materially oriented, many September 2nd are strongly physical types. They are attuned to the usefulness and beauty of objects and materials, recognizing their value and handling them accordingly. In matters of love, September 2 people can be pretty particular about what they want, and choose to settle for nothing rather than compromise their expectations. To say they are rather demanding of mates and lovers may well be an understatement.
Those born on the 2nd of the month are ruled by the number 2. Number 2 people make good co-workers and partners, rather than leaders, and this influence may aid September 2 people in adjusting jobs or relationships. However, it may also act as a brake on individual initiative and action, producing frustration.
Advice: Learn to balance your feelings. Do not be satisfied with second best. If you believe you can do it, get on with it. However, allow for inspiration- don’t just work for work’s sake. Share affections with others.
Strengths: Fair, honest and unpretentious.
Weaknesses: Unyielding, moody and explosive.
Born On This Day: Jimmy Connor, Terry Bradshaw, Eric Dickerson, Chista McAullie, and John Thomson.
This Day in History: First ATM opens for business
On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.
" We're about to crash," passengers told in error"
LONDON | Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:32am EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways apologized to passengers after an emergency message warning they were about to crash into the sea was played by mistake.
About 275 passengers were on the London Heathrow to Hong Kong flight on Tuesday evening when the automated message went out. The plane was flying over the North Sea at the time.
Cabin crew quickly realized the error and moved to reassure the terrified passengers.
"We all thought we were going to die," Michelle Lord, 32, of Preston, northern England, told The Sun newspaper.
Another passenger was reported saying: "I can't think of anything worse than being told your plane's about to crash."
A spokesman for British Airways said an investigation was under way to discover whether it was human error or a computer glitch.
"We apologize to passengers on board the flight for causing them undue distress," he added in a statement.
"Our cabin crew immediately made an announcement following the message advising customers that it was an error and that the flight would continue as normal."
Snohomish man shoots self in buttock
World staff writer
Originally published August 30, 2010 at 11:13 a.m., updated August 31, 2010 at 9:49 a.m.
PESHASTIN — A Snohomish man accidentally shot himself in his left buttock Saturday when he put a handgun in his back pocket.
Darrel Elam, 52, was preparing to go hiking on Blewett Pass and had moved his 40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from its holster to his back pocket to see if that position would be more comfortable for walking, said Jerry Moore, chief of administration for the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.
The gun discharged and shot down his left buttock and left leg, coming to rest just above his knee.
Elam was treated at Central Washington Hospital and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. The incident happened on Blewett Pass about 12 miles from Peshastin.
Man arrested has $50,000 in duffle bag
Charged for money laundering, third-degree felony
Updated: Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010, 11:48 AM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010, 6:54 AM MDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin police stopped a man for a traffic violation on Thursday, and when he did not produce a driver's license nor proof that he owned the vehicle, events led officers to find a duffle bag with more than $50,000 in it.
Christopher Emanu Carbujal, 22, was driving a Ford Taurus that police later found was being rented for $100 a day from a woman in Dallas who never expected the car to leave the Dallas area.
During the traffic stop, the officer smelled marijuana, and police conducted a narcotics search with a trained police dog. That's when cash was found in the car's trunk, in a shoe box inside a duffle bag. Police found no luggage nor changes of clothing.
According to the affidavit, Carbujal told police the money was an inheritance from his deceased father's estate. He said he was an unemployed brick layer and that he bought the car but hadn't had the title transferred yet since he had no driver's license.
When police asked Carbujal to produce a paper trail on the inheritance and the purchase of the vehicle, he could not, according to the report. He allegedly told police he kept his money out of banks and in his backyard, since he did not handle money well nor trusted banks.
He told police there was $75,000 in the bag, when police found only $50,125. He also told police he was en route to Mexico to invest the cash with his aunt in Michoacan, who owned a grocery store.
Once jailed, he allegedly told police he dealt in small amounts of hydromarijuana.
The affidavit states police believe due to the amount of cash and the way Carbujal was using a car that belonged to someone else, along with his statements and the circumstances, that he is likely a courier for drugs and/or drug money into Mexico.
Based on probable cause, Carbujal was charged with money laundering, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $50,000.
'Portrait of a Girl,' the missing painting worth $1.35 million.
Lombard for NewsKristyn Trudgeon is suing over the loss of her painting.
A Manhattan man is being sued for losing a $1.35 million painting.
He blames the booze - saying the Jean Baptiste Camille Corot masterpiece, "Portrait of a Girl," vanished following a bender at The Mark hotel.
The artwork's co-owner, Kristyn Trudgeon, isn't buying James Haggerty's tale.
"I think he's a complete fumbling idiot," a visibly annoyed Trudgeon said outside her West Side apartment. "He's just a complete a--hole."
Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, who co-own the painting, had hired Haggerty, an old pal, to assist with a possible sale of "Portrait of a Girl" to London gallery owner Offer Waterman.
A July 28 afternoon appointment in Doyle's Empire State Building office fell apart when the Brit wanted a closer look at the painting.
The men agreed to meet later at midtown bistro Rue 57 with Doyle,who then ordered Haggerty to take the painting to The Mark, which is on the upper East Side, for further inspection by Waterman.
What happened next remains a boozy blur.
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says hotel security footage at 10:54 p.m. shows Haggerty sitting at a table with the painting. Six minutes later, he left the painting at the hotel's front desk and entered its bar with Waterman, who yesterday told the Daily News he was annoyed that Haggerty showed up without an appointment.
"That struck me as wrong," he said in a phone interview from London.
At 11:30 p.m., the two men left the bar, retrieved the painting and had a conversation in the hotel lobby, court papers say.
"Something just didn't feel right and I didn't want to be involved," Waterman said. "So I said no, and I said goodbye."
Haggerty went back to the hotel bar at 11:34 p.m. and once more deposited the painting at the front desk. He resurfaced 90 minutes later, the suit says, when he stumbled out with the painting and a doorman asked if he needed a taxi. "No," Haggerty allegedly slurred. "I have a car."
At 2:30 a.m., he finally returned home to his Trump Place apartment, minus the painting. Later that morning, the suit says, he informed Doyle that he couldn't recall its whereabouts because of his boozy blowout.
"We're skeptical as to the explanation," said Max DiFabio, a lawyer for Trudgeon.
The painting was part of a collection that made the rounds of museums in Paris, Beijing, San Francisco, Tokyo and Buffalo. Doyle, an executive with Imperial Jets, did not return calls, and Haggerty, who also works at the company, was missing in action at his homes in Manhattan and Long Island.
"Until we are able to account for that one hour and 40 minutes, we suspect anything," DiFabio said.
September 1st people are tough, and able to handle the difficulties fate has in store for them. They tend to be pragmatic, practical yet charming, with an approach to life that is straightforward and direct. Those born on this day often have quite spectacular fantasies but demonstrate a knack for bringing such dreams down to the practical level, which can earn them a good financial return on their ideas.
September 1st people do not fool around at all when it comes to their work. They resent any attempt to make light of what they do or to undercut their efforts, they are, however, capable of listening to constructive criticism-always interested in knowing how they can do something better.
Those born on the 1st of the month are ruled by the number 1. Often people born on the 1st like to be first. Generally, those ruled by the number 1 are highly individualistic and opinionated, and eager to rise to the top, particularly those born on September 1st.
Advice: Learn to quit, when to walk away, even when to run away. You may not be quite as powerful as you think you are. Be guarded in dispensing advice. Try to cultivate a less serious aspect. Actively seek out and learn from others.
Strengths: Conscientious, physical and fearless.
Weaknesses: Insistent, grim and unyielding.
Born On This Day: Rocky Marciano, Lily Thomlin, Ann Richards, and Barry Gibbs
This Day In History: Atlanta falls to Union forces
On this day in 1864, Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman lays siege to Atlanta, Georgia, a critical Confederate hub, shelling civilians and cutting off supply lines. The Confederates retreated, destroying the city's munitions as they went. On November 15 of that year, Sherman's troops burned much of the city before continuing their march through the South. Sherman's Atlanta campaign was one of the most decisive victories of the Civil War.
Famous Inventions: 1486 the first known copyright was granted in Venice.
This is for entertainment purposes only.
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