Monday, August 31, 2009
This newspaper traces its roots to before Las Vegas was Las Vegas.
We've seen cattle ranches give way to railroads. We chronicled the construction of Hoover Dam. We reported on the first day of legalized gambling. The first hospital. The first school. The first church. We survived the mob, Howard Hughes, the Great Depression, several recessions, two world wars, dozens of news competitors and any number of two-bit politicians who couldn't stand scrutiny, much less criticism.
We're still here doing what we do for the people of Las Vegas and Nevada. So, let me assure you, if we weathered all of that, we can damn sure outlast the bully threats of Sen. Harry Reid.
On Wednesday, before he addressed a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Reid joined the chamber's board members for a meet-'n'-greet and a photo. One of the last in line was the Review-Journal's director of advertising, Bob Brown, a hard-working Nevadan who toils every day on behalf of advertisers. He has nothing to do with news coverage or the opinion pages of the Review-Journal.
Yet, as Bob shook hands with our senior U.S. senator in what should have been nothing but a gracious business setting, Reid said: "I hope you go out of business."
Later, in his public speech, Reid said he wanted to let everyone know that he wants the Review-Journal to continue selling advertising because the Las Vegas Sun is delivered inside the Review-Journal.
Such behavior cannot go unchallenged.
You could call Reid's remark ugly and be right. It certainly was boorish. Asinine? That goes without saying.
But to fully capture the magnitude of Reid's remark (and to stop him from doing the same thing to others) it must be called what it was -- a full-on threat perpetrated by a bully who has forgotten that he was elected to office to protect Nevadans, not sound like he's shaking them down.
No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator. It is certainly not becoming of a man who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate. And it absolutely is not what anyone would expect from a man who now asks Nevadans to send him back to the Senate for a fifth term.
If he thinks he can push the state's largest newspaper around by exacting some kind of economic punishment in retaliation for not seeing eye to eye with him on matters of politics, I can only imagine how he pressures businesses and individuals who don't have the wherewithal of the Review-Journal.
For the sake of all who live and work in Nevada, we can't let this bully behavior pass without calling out Sen. Reid. If he'll try it with the Review-Journal, you can bet that he's tried it with others. So today, we serve notice on Sen. Reid that this creepy tactic will not be tolerated.
We won't allow you to bully us. And if you try it with anyone else, count on going through us first.
That's a promise, not a threat.
And it's a promise to our readers, not to you, Sen. Reid.
Sherman Frederick (email@example.com) is publisher of the Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.
Aug 29 03:12 PM US/Eastern
Venezuela's top prosecutor said Saturday that recent street protests were legally tantamount to "rebellion" against President Hugo Chavez's government and that demonstrators will now be charged.
The dramatic move by Attorney General Luisa Ortega capped a week of huge street protests, mostly directed against a new education law that critics say is politically charged.
"People who disturb order and the peace to create instability of institutions, to destabilize the government, or attack the democratic system, we are going to charge and try them," Ortega said in a statement, referring to the government of leftist-populist Chavez.
William Ojeda, of the opposition A New Time party, argued that "the very right to protest is being turned into a crime."
"The justice system is now being used as a tool of political and ideological persecution," Ojeda added.
Ortega claimed opposition groups were looking for "any reason to march, to create chaos, whatever they can, what they want is to destabilize, even by encouraging people to disobey the law."
Last Saturday, thousands of marchers protested against the education law and police used tear gas to break up the crowds and keep them from marching on the National Assembly.
"These precise actions are in effect criminal civil rebellion," Ortega stressed, warning in her statement that the crime carries sentences of between 12 and 24 years.
"I want those people who have risen up against the government with a hostile attitude against a legally formed government to know what the consequences are," Ortega warned.
Earlier in the week, 11 workers with the Caracas mayor's office, led by opposition Mayor Antonio Ledezma, were jailed for resisting authority.
On Thursday, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro accused the United States of seeking to "eliminate" Venezuela's leftist government and amass power in South America through a controversial deal allowing it access to military bases in Colombia.
Castro said the real US objective in Colombia was to "eliminate the revolutionary process" begun by Chavez, a key Cuban ally, and to "gain control of the oil and other natural resources in Venezuela.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
By: Kevin Mooney
Never mind about those revised union financial disclosure requirements President Obama inherited from his predecessor. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis now says she won’t make union officials comply.
Unions officials complained for eight years that regulations issued by Elaine Chao, President George W. Bush’s Labor Secretary, were more rigorous than required by the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which calls for modestly detailed annual financial reports by unions with receipts of $250,000 or more.
The Bush-Chao regulations require union officials to disclose financial information that could aid union members’ seeking information on how their union leaders are spending dues money, and to help expose “no show jobs” that put paychecks for ghost employees into union coffers.
Before Bush took office, the reports were mostly ignored by the Labor Department. Now, it’s back to business-as-usual. A notice appeared this week on the department’s web site saying the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), whose main job is enforcing LMRDA requirements, won’t be doing its job under Solis:
“Accordingly, OLMS will refrain from initiating enforcement actions against union officers and union employees based solely on the failure to file the report required by section 202 of the Labor-Management and Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 432, using the 2007 form, as long as individuals meet their statutorily-required filing obligation in some manner. OLMS will accept either the old Form LM-30 or the new one for purposes of this non-enforcement policy.”
Now that Obama-Solis are giving union officials a choice between the old and new forms, can you guess which one they will choose?
The National Endowment for the Arts initiated a "call to action" earlier this month for members of the art community to push President Obama's recovery agency through works that focus on health care, energy and the environment -- a troubling sign, one artist said.
By Joshua Rhett Miller
Van Jones and His STORMtroopers Denounced America the Night After 9/11
By Matthew Vadum on 8.29.09 @ 2:01AM
Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), the revolutionary group formed by self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist" Van Jones, held a vigil in Oakland, California, "mourning the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world" on the night after Sept. 11, 2001.
The reason this is important is because Van Jones is now President Obama's green jobs czar. He does not appear to have distanced himself from his past communist activities and is now part of the Obama administration's push to turn Sept. 11 into a National Day of Service focused on the promotion of the radical environmentalist agenda.
The vigil was reported by World Net Daily which excerpted parts of a history of the now-disbanded group.
Apparently, after the WND article was posted online, the website on which the original document was posted was overwhelmed by visitors and unavailable. I found the article in the "Way Back Machine" website (web.archive.org), an archival resource. The 2004 document, called "Reclaiming Revolution: history, summation & lessons from the work of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM)," may be found on the archival site here. (In case that becomes unavailable, the document "Reclaiming Revolution" is available at the link embedded in this sentence.)
Jones also founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which joined in the vigil according to an Ella Baker Center press release from 2001. The press release contained this passage that quoted Jones:
"Anti-Arab hostility is already reaching a fever pitch as pundits and common people alike rush to judgment that an Arab group is responsible for this tragedy," said Van Jones, national executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. "We fear that an atmosphere is being created that will result in official and street violence against Arab men, women and children."
"Reclaiming Revolution" also blamed the U.S. for 9/11. A passage on page 45 (27 of the PDF file) reads:
That night, STORM and the other movement leaders expressed sadness and anger at the deaths of innocent working class people. We were angry, first and foremost, with the U.S. government, whose worldwide aggression had engendered such hate across the globe that working class people were not safe at home. We honored those who had lost their lives in the attack -- and those who would surely lose their lives in subsequent U.S. attacks overseas.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Post-clunker mortem, CNNMoney says 700,000 clunker-traders “probably got a good deal.” The rest, not so much. “If you bought a car without a clunker in the last month, you’ve overpaid.” Ya think? ”During the weeks the Clunkers program was in effect, buyers of the Toyota Corolla paid 29% closer to the full sticker price than before the program started, according to data from Edmunds.com. Prices were also higher on other popular models. Ford Escape prices were 13% closer to full sticker, and Ford Focus prices were 12% closer . . . on a dollar-for-dollar basis, car buyers were getting less car for their money after negotiating the deal.” And now?
Post-C4C, new car inventories are as spent as a [joke deleted]. In the short term, prices will remain firm. After that, well, we know the domestics’ have cranked-up their factories, readying themselves to meet demand that’s already been satisfied. Although automakers financial statements will be blessed (they log cars leaving the factory as “sold”), how do you spell languish? As The King would say, that’s when the heartache begins.
Look for prices to plummet in November and December after dealer showrooms have filled up ahead of what is traditionally the slack season for car sales.
Binge and purge doesn’t work for dieters. It’s not going to work for the car industry either.
The refusal by ABC and NBC to run a national ad critical of President Obama's health care reform plan is raising questions from the group behind the spot -- particularly in light of ABC's health care special aired in prime time last June hosted at the White House
[Except in this case I think the normal big media leftist biases are to blame. This doesn't require any govt coercion. The latest I've seen about it has ABC saying it is their corporate policy not to air 'controversial' politically based ads (how that explains their airing of the prime time Obama special without rebuttal only their fevered liberal brains can explain). NBC officials say they haven't refused to air it, but have asked for some changes, so only partial censorship. - JAH]
By Tim Graham
Created 2009-08-27 08:43
Over at Daily Kos, bloggers aren't merely mourning Ted Kennedy's death. Some are declaring that this moment is the time for health "reform," and the only obstacle is Republicans who killed New Orleans and laughed about it. The blogger "cskendrick" declared  on Wednesday:
The acrimony surrounding health care reform is not the litmus test of our Republic. This test we took not so long ago - and we failed this test utterly.
How did we fail? We let the Republicans kill a major U.S. city. We let them laugh about it and walk away. We all failed New Orleans. We failed its rights, its lives, its health, its rightful place in our compassion. I was resistant to the message not so long ago but it is true - We. All. Failed. NOLA. The Republicans failed it gladly and boldly. The Democrats failed to take them to task for this abomination.
The Republican [sic] THINK they know how far they can push us now. When you wonder how far the right will push you before you break on health care, remember that they killed a major American city, a Democratic city, right before your very eyes - and you did nothing. Oh, surely you donated, surely you volunteered, surely you did all the proper activist and progressive things. But you did not fight. You did call on champions or if you did, they failed you. And you did not seek replacements when your brethren on the Gulf Coast needed them most. But you did not really fail them. You failed yourselves. And the Republicans saw, and looked down their shirts, and hid their smiles. [Bold emphasis is the blogger's.]
It's precisely this kind of assuming the worst about your adversary's intentions that defines the Daily Kos. It's not enough that your adversary's aims are not in the national interest. Your adversary actually has a not-so-secret agenda of death and destruction. It's like a mudslinging campaign ad that never ends, like the hilarious "Mario Cuomo was involved in a chainsaw massacre"  ad on Saturday Night Live.
Only these people aren't joking.
The failure to pass a nationalizing of health care is causing "great harm" to the American people, a deadly harm:
Stop treating affordable national healthcare like it was leprosy. Get. It. Done.
So long as no progress has been made in this matter, Congress is complicit in causing great harm to the American people, for negligence can be just as deadly as incompetence and malicious intent.
Malicious intent is certainly something that Daily Kos is good at imagining.
[Hmmm...let's see: a city with a Democrat mayor who had no evacuation plan, a Democrat governor who waited over a day before asking for Federal assistance, where the lefty eco-loons blocked the building of a sea gate and halted plans to shore up the levees but the devastation is the Republican's fault. - JH]
White House health-care adviser Ezekiel Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the 'overuse' of medical care.
By BETSY MCCAUGHEY
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health adviser to President Barack Obama, is under scrutiny. As a bioethicist, he has written extensively about who should get medical care, who should decide, and whose life is worth saving. Dr. Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs. Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.
The health bills being pushed through Congress put important decisions in the hands of presidential appointees like Dr. Emanuel. They will decide what insurance plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have, and what seniors get under Medicare. Dr. Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He clearly will play a role guiding the White House's health initiative.
"Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions" The Lancet, January 31, 2009
The Reaper Curve: Ezekiel Emanuel used the above chart in a Lancet article to illustrate the ages on which health spending should be focused.
Dr. Emanuel says that health reform will not be pain free, and that the usual recommendations for cutting medical spending (often urged by the president) are mere window dressing. As he wrote in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change."
True reform, he argues, must include redefining doctors' ethical obligations. In the June 18, 2008, issue of JAMA, Dr. Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the "overuse" of medical care: "Medical school education and post graduate education emphasize thoroughness," he writes. "This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath's admonition to 'use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment' as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others."
In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient's needs. He describes it as an intractable problem: "Patients were to receive whatever services they needed, regardless of its cost. Reasoning based on cost has been strenuously resisted; it violated the Hippocratic Oath, was associated with rationing, and derided as putting a price on life. . . . Indeed, many physicians were willing to lie to get patients what they needed from insurance companies that were trying to hold down costs." (JAMA, May 16, 2007).
Of course, patients hope their doctors will have that single-minded devotion. But Dr. Emanuel believes doctors should serve two masters, the patient and society, and that medical students should be trained "to provide socially sustainable, cost-effective care." One sign of progress he sees: "the progression in end-of-life care mentality from 'do everything' to more palliative care shows that change in physician norms and practices is possible." (JAMA, June 18, 2008).
"In the next decade every country will face very hard choices about how to allocate scarce medical resources. There is no consensus about what substantive principles should be used to establish priorities for allocations," he wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 19, 2002. Yet Dr. Emanuel writes at length about who should set the rules, who should get care, and who should be at the back of the line.
"You can't avoid these questions," Dr. Emanuel said in an Aug. 16 Washington Post interview. "We had a big controversy in the United States when there was a limited number of dialysis machines. In Seattle, they appointed what they called a 'God committee' to choose who should get it, and that committee was eventually abandoned. Society ended up paying the whole bill for dialysis instead of having people make those decisions."
Dr. Emanuel argues that to make such decisions, the focus cannot be only on the worth of the individual. He proposes adding the communitarian perspective to ensure that medical resources will be allocated in a way that keeps society going: "Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity—those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations—are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Covering services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic, and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia." (Hastings Center Report, November-December, 1996)
In the Lancet, Jan. 31, 2009, Dr. Emanuel and co-authors presented a "complete lives system" for the allocation of very scarce resources, such as kidneys, vaccines, dialysis machines, intensive care beds, and others. "One maximizing strategy involves saving the most individual lives, and it has motivated policies on allocation of influenza vaccines and responses to bioterrorism. . . . Other things being equal, we should always save five lives rather than one.
"However, other things are rarely equal—whether to save one 20-year-old, who might live another 60 years, if saved, or three 70-year-olds, who could only live for another 10 years each—is unclear." In fact, Dr. Emanuel makes a clear choice: "When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get changes that are attenuated (see Dr. Emanuel's chart nearby).
Dr. Emanuel concedes that his plan appears to discriminate against older people, but he explains: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination. . . . Treating 65 year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not."
The youngest are also put at the back of the line: "Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. . . . As the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin argues, 'It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old dies and worse still when an adolescent does,' this argument is supported by empirical surveys." (thelancet.com, Jan. 31, 2009).
To reduce health-insurance costs, Dr. Emanuel argues that insurance companies should pay for new treatments only when the evidence demonstrates that the drug will work for most patients. He says the "major contributor" to rapid increases in health spending is "the constant introduction of new medical technologies, including new drugs, devices, and procedures. . . . With very few exceptions, both public and private insurers in the United States cover and pay for any beneficial new technology without considering its cost. . . ." He writes that one drug "used to treat metastatic colon cancer, extends medial survival for an additional two to five months, at a cost of approximately $50,000 for an average course of therapy." (JAMA, June 13, 2007).
Medians, of course, obscure the individual cases where the drug significantly extended or saved a life. Dr. Emanuel says the United States should erect a decision-making body similar to the United Kingdom's rationing body—the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)—to slow the adoption of new medications and set limits on how much will be paid to lengthen a life.
Dr. Emanuel's assessment of American medical care is summed up in a Nov. 23, 2008, Washington Post op-ed he co-authored: "The United States is No. 1 in only one sense: the amount we shell out for health care. We have the most expensive system in the world per capita, but we lag behind many developed nations on virtually every health statistic you can name."
This is untrue, though sadly it's parroted at town-hall meetings across the country. Moreover, it's an odd factual error coming from an oncologist. According to an August 2009 report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, patients diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. have a better chance of surviving the disease than anywhere else. The World Health Organization also rates the U.S. No. 1 out of 191 countries for responsiveness to the needs and choices of the individual patient. That attention to the individual is imperiled by Dr. Emanuel's views.
Dr. Emanuel has fought for a government takeover of health care for over a decade. In 1993, he urged that President Bill Clinton impose a wage and price freeze on health care to force parties to the table. "The desire to be rid of the freeze will do much to concentrate the mind," he wrote with another author in a Feb. 8, 1993, Washington Post op-ed. Now he recommends arm-twisting Chicago style. "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda," he wrote last Nov. 16 in the Health Care Watch Blog. "If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort."
Is this what Americans want?
Two weeks ago, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said in a now legendary "viral" email that, "It's a myth that health insurance reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits." This was sent out the day before Mr. Obama told a Montana town hall that he'd pay for health-care reform by "eliminating . . . about $177 billion over 10 years" for "what's called Medicare Advantage." And it was two days before Mr. Obama told a Colorado town hall he'd cover "two-thirds" of the "roughly $900 billion" of his plan's cost by "eliminating waste," again citing Medicare Advantage.
Who's right? As a former senior adviser, I can tell you who: the president. What's more, according to a White House fact sheet titled "Paying for Health Care Reform," Mr. Axelrod was misleading his readers. It notes the administration would cut $622 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, with a big chunk coming from Medicare Advantage, to pay for overhauling health care. Mr. Obama heralded these cuts as "common sense" in his June 13 radio address.
Medicare Advantage was enacted in 2003 to allow seniors to use Medicare funds to buy private insurance plans that fit their needs and their budgets. They get better care and better value for their money.
Medicare Advantage also has built-in incentives to encourage insurers to offer lower costs and better benefits. It's a program that puts patients in charge, not the government, which is why seniors like it and probably why the administration hates it.
Already, an estimated 10.2 million seniors—one out of five in America—have enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Mr. Obama is proposing to cut the program by nearly 20% and thus reduce the amount of money each will have to buy insurance. This will likely force most of them to lose the insurance they have now. Yet Mr. Obama promised in late July in New Hampshire that, "if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan."
There are roughly 23,400 seniors on average in a congressional district who have Medicare Advantage, but who face losing it if Mr. Obama has his way. That's enough votes to tip most competitive House and Senate races.
Back in 2006, Mr. Obama and other Democrats railed against GOP efforts—modest though they were—to slow future Medicare spending growth. Now he and his party may reap what they have sown. As the president pushes to enact an overall cut to Medicare he will imperil Democrats in tough re-election races. Mr. Obama has a dangerous old tiger by the tail. Seniors are much more likely to vote than the population at large.
Adding to the Democrats' woes are polls that show weak support for ObamaCare among Independents and Democrats. In the new ABC/Washington Post poll, only 45% approved of Mr. Obama's plan and 50% opposed it—with 40% "strongly" opposed.
Despite Mr. Obama's barnstorming tour, last week's Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll said "the health care reform legislation being considered right now" is opposed by 21% of Democrats, 50% of Independents, and 81% of Republicans. Only 37% of Democrats and 15% of Independents think their families would be better off if it passed.
The problem for Mr. Obama is that he lacks credibility when he asserts his plan won't add to the deficit or won't lead to rationing; that people can keep their health plans; that every family's health care will be better, not worse; and that a government run plan isn't a threat to private insurance. A large number of Americans don't believe the president on this.
With this week's $2 trillion upward revision in the White House's deficit projections, August has been the cruelest month for Mr. Obama. The president is now facing a politically explosive mix of unpopular policies and an angered electorate.
It's still too early to count Mr. Obama out. His team will be back in Washington next week. They'll work on their messaging and have more than $100 million—much of it from pharmaceutical companies—to spend on ads bludgeoning reluctant Democrats and energized Republicans.
The White House will exert enormous pressure—and in the spirit of Chicago-style politics, employ threats when necessary—with Senate and House Democrats. The health-care battle, already intense, will get more so in the months ahead. ObamaCare is unpopular, but it is far from defeated.
On Monday evening, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez said at the Miraflores presidential palace that Chomsky “is among the intellectuals who have helped most in the fight against the imperial hegemony”
Politics In a conference held on Monday at the Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas, US linguist and essayist Noam Chomsky criticized the "imperial mindset" of the United States and accused its government of "exacerbating tensions among Latin American nations." Dr. Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, praised the initiative of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) for considering that it helps Latin American countries "decide on their own future." With regard to an agreement on the use by US troops of seven Colombian military bases to fight drug traffic and terrorism he is certain that "Venezuela alone cannot give a reply. There should be a total reply by the Latin American community; the Unasur meeting should produce a communiqué strenuously opposing the deployment of bases in Latin America." Short meeting On Monday evening, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez said at the Miraflores presidential palace that Chomsky "is among the intellectuals who have helped most in the fight against the imperial hegemony." Chomsky thanked him and viewed as "exciting" that "a new model is being built in Venezuela."
Robber sues store worker who shot him
Friday, August 28, 2009
By GORDON WILCZYNSKIOf Journal Register News Service
The owner of Nick’s Party Stop on Cass Avenue in Clinton Township and several people connected to his store are being sued by a man who was shot while robbing the store.The lawsuit, filed by Scott Thomas Zielinski from his cell in a Michigan prison, was assigned to Macomb County Circuit Judge David Viviano.John Acho, owner of the store and one of the people sued, said his customers are mad that an armed robber is allowed to file a lawsuit after he threatened the store’s employees with a knife.Zielinski is seeking in excess of $125,000 for injuries sustained when he was shot escaping from the owners of the store. They went after him because he held two of the employees at knifepoint and threatened to kill them, police said.“He comes into my store wearing a mask and armed with a knife, threatens to kill my employees and steals cigarettes and $793 in cash,” said Acho. “And he is suing us because we ruined his life and he is going through pain and suffering.”Zielinski, 22, was convicted of the November 2007 robbery. In a plea bargain, he was sentenced May 20, 2008, to eight to 22 years in prison for unarmed, instead of armed, robbery.A year earlier, he was sentenced to one year, seven months in prison for the robbery of Charter One Bank in Warren on Feb. 17, 2006.Shortly after being released from prison, Clinton Township detectives said Zielinski walked into Nick’s, frequented by Chippewa Valley High School students and workers, and stuck a knife in the face of several store employees to show he was serious about robbing the place.“My store was robbed three times before this and our employees were prepared if it happened again,” said Acho of Sterling Heights. “We are just protecting our property.”Acho told Clinton Township police his mother, nephew and cousin were working in the store when Zielinski walked in and put a knife to his mother’s throat. After stealing money and cigarettes, he was shot by Justin Kallo with a .357 caliber Magnum revolver.The lawsuit contends that Kallo followed Zielinski out of the store and fired a second time, striking Zielinski in the back and arm. The lawsuit also contends that Kallo and employee Jonathan Kallo repeatedly punched and kicked Zielinski and held him for police.In the lawsuit, Zielinski’s attorney Andrew Mychalowych contends that his client suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm, contusions on his head and body and lacerations.He also said his client suffered mental anguish, anxiety and emotional distress and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.“His attorney should go to jail for the accusations he made,” Acho said.“He said this armed robber is suffering from anxiety and emotional distress. Well, simply put, he could have avoided all of that by getting a job and working hard to make a few dollars like we do and not stealing our money that we worked very hard for and threatening to kill us.”Thomas Peters, Acho’s attorney, said he filed a motion in Viviano’s court to dismiss the lawsuit.“His attorney claims we used unreasonable force in stopping the crime or stopping him from fleeing,” Peters said. “Well, the employees were scared because he (Zielinski) had a 9-inch knife and threatened to come back and kill them if they lied about not having a safe.”Peters said Justin Kallo shot Zielinski when his life was threatened.“The kid (Justin) thought they were going to die,” John Kallo said.
By CHARLES HURT Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Charles Rangel failed to report as much as $1.3 million in outside income -- including up to $1 million for a Harlem building sale -- on financial-disclosure forms he filed between 2002 and 2006, according to newly amended records.
The documents also show the embattled chairman of the Ways and Means Committee -- who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee -- failed to reveal a staggering $3 million in various business transactions over the same period.
This week, Rangel filed drastically revised financial-disclosure forms reflecting new, higher amounts of outside income and numerous additional business deals that had not been reported when the reports were originally filed.
In 2004, for instance, Rangel reported earning between $4,000 and $10,000 in outside earnings on top of his $158,100 congressional salary.
But the amended filings show that after the sale of a property on West 132nd Street, his outside income that year was somewhere between $118,000 and $1.04 million.
The forms filed by House members provide for a range of value on such transactions, so the precise number isn't publicly known.
Rangel also lowballed his income by as much as $70,000 in 2002, $46,000 in 2003 and $117,000 in 2006, records show.
Only in 2005 did Rangel reveal his total outside income.
Members of Congress are required to disclose all their assets and outside income in an effort to expose possible undue influences.
Rangel's office insists the Harlem Democrat did not conceal any outside income from the IRS and is paid up on his taxes.
The Post revealed yesterday that Rangel is in arrears on New Jersey property taxes -- for property that for more than 15 years he failed to disclose to Congress and the public.
Another area of wide discrepancy in his financial-disclosure forms is where he's required to list financial transactions.
Every year between 2002 and 2007, Rangel failed to include all his deals for the year, according to records.
On his 2002 and 2003 financial-disclosure statements, Rangel did not include any transactions whatsoever, according to papers on file with the House clerk.
But the amended records filed this month show as much as $310,000 in business deals in 2002 and up to $80,000 in transactions in 2003.
In 2004, Rangel left off his disclosure form as much as $430,000 in stock transactions, amended records show. One of those deals he did include as a transaction on his original disclosure was the sale of the brownstone on West 132nd Street.
But in the same report, Rangel failed to include proceeds from that sale as outside income. That has been revised in the amended report.
Despite the reported sale, city records still show Rangel is the owner of that property.
His nephew, Ralph, who appears to live in the building, wouldn't answer questions yesterday. Rangel's office declined numerous requests yesterday for explanation.
The problems with Rangel's 2004 disclosure report were so glaring that apparently they caught someone's attention, forcing Rangel to write a letter correcting his failure to fully disclose transactions that year.
"I listed only the real-estate transactions in which we were involved in calendar year 2004 on the transactions schedule because I was not aware of such details as the date and magnitude of the transactions involving our securities holding in the Merrill Lynch account," he wrote in a May 2006 letter to House Clerk Karen Haas.
Aug. 27, 2009Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
The Palestinian Authority's chief Islamic judge, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, said on Wednesday that there was no evidence to back up claims that Jews had ever lived in Jerusalem or that the Temple ever existed.
Tamimi claimed that Israeli archeologists had "admitted" that Jerusalem was never inhabited by Jews.
Tamimi's announcement came in response to statements made earlier this week by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that Jerusalem "is not a settlement," and that "the Jews built it 3,000 years ago."
"Netanyahu's claims are baseless and untrue," said Tamimi, the highest religious authority in the PA. "Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so."
Tamimi claimed that all excavation work conducted by Israel after 1967 have "failed to prove that Jews had a history or presence in Jerusalem or that their ostensible temple had ever existed."
He condemned Netanyahu and "all Jewish rabbis and extremist organizations" as liars because of their assertion that Jerusalem was a Jewish city.
Tamimi accused Israel of distorting the facts and forging history "with the aim of erasing the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem." He also accused Israel of launching an "ethnic cleansing" campaign to squeeze Arabs out of the city.
"By desecrating its holy sites, expelling its Arab residents and demolishing their homes and confiscating their lands and building settlements in Jerusalem, Israel is seeking, through the use of weapons, to turn it into a Jewish city," he said. "This is a flagrant violation of all religious, legal, moral and human values."
In another development, Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Wednesday rejected the political platform of PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad.
The platform, which was published on Tuesday, pledges that the Fayad government would work toward establishing a de facto Palestinian state within two years even if no agreement was reached with Israel. The platform talks about peaceful resistance against Israeli "occupation." The two Islamic groups said in response that the only way to establish a state was through "armed struggle." They said that Fayad's plan was unrealistic and unclear, adding that it would be impossible to establish a state "under occupation."
U.S. moves toward formal cut off of aid to Honduras
Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:23pm EDTWASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - U.S. State Department staff have recommended that the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya be declared a "military coup," a U.S. official said on Thursday, a step that could cut off as much as $150 million in U.S. funding to the impoverished Central American nation.The official, who spoke on condition he not be named, said State Department staff had made such a recommendation to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has yet to make a decision on the matter although one was likely soon.Washington has already suspended about $18 million aid to Honduras following the June 28 coup and this would be formally cut if the determination is made because of a U.S. law barring aid "to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree."The official said that $215 million in grant funding from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation to Honduras would also have to end should Clinton make the determination that a military coup took place.About $76 million of that money has already been disbursed and a second U.S. official said this implied that the remaining roughly $139 million could not be given to Honduras should the determination be made.Diplomats said that the United States had held off making the formal determination to give diplomacy a chance to yield a negotiated compromise that might allow for Zelaya's return to power.Such efforts, however, appear to have failed for now and so the United States is taking steps -- including its decision on Tuesday to cease issuing some visas at its embassy in Tegucigalpa -- to raise pressure on the de facto government."The recommendation of the building is for her to sign it," said the first U.S. official said of the 'military coup" determination, saying this was a response to the de facto government's refusal to accept a compromise that would allow Zelaya to return to power ahead of November elections. (Editing by Jackie Frank)
Follow the link for the rest.
Us right-wing nuts sure is scary! That's the message from the Washington Post. To put this in language a conservative would understand, the fourth estate has been alarmed once again by the Burkean proclivities of our nation's citizens. The Post is in a panic about (to use its own descriptive terms) "birthers," "anti-tax tea-partiers," and "town hall hecklers."
If, last Sunday, you spent a profitless hour reading the Washington Post (itself not too profitable), you noticed the loud yapping and desperate nipping at those who disagree with liberal orthodoxy. It was as if top management were a toy schnauzer accidentally mistaken for a duster and traumatized by being run back and forth through the venetian blinds. The wise and prestigious broadsheet institution was so barking mad that it sent three (Three! In these times of hardship for the print media! When reporters are being laid off right and left--well, mostly right--and stories are going uncovered from rapidly warming pole to pole! Three!) journalists to do battle with "The Return of Right-Wing Rage."
That was the subtitle of Rick Perlstein's section B leader. The title was "In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition." Perlstein wrote the book Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus so you can intuit (or "grok" as Perlstein might put it, given his prose style) the contents of his article. Yes, Rick, right-wing rage has returned. It was up at my place for the weekend. But it's back, and it's not like right-wing rage ever really went away. It didn't, as you would say, Rick, "move on."
Accompanying the Perlstein screed was a sidebar by Alec MacGillis explaining how "health care reform is not that hard to understand, and those who tell you otherwise most likely have an ulterior motive."
Thursday, August 27, 2009
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won't be criminally charged in a federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations.
SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won't be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor's large political donors, someone familiar with the case said.
The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe.
"It's over. There's nothing. It was killed in Washington," the person told The Associated Press.
A federal grand jury began an investigation in 2008 into a possible pay-to-play scheme in which lucrative work on state bond deals went to a Richardson donor. The federal probe derailed Richardson's appointment as commerce secretary in President Barack Obama's administration.
Richardson withdrew his nomination in January, saying the investigation would have delayed his confirmation although he said expected to be cleared.
Richardson and members of his staff traveled to Cuba this week for a trade mission. Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos didn't immediately respond to e-mail messages seeking confirmation that no charges were expected from the federal investigation.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Albuquerque said he had no information about the Justice Department's decision and couldn't comment.
Federal investigators reviewed whether political contributions influenced the selection of California-based CDRs made up mostly of executive branch department administrators and gubernatorial appointees.
Folks right to be upset
(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://wigdersonlibrarypub.blogspot.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.) I’m somewhat amused by all of the sudden concern about the lack of decorum in politics. Suddenly, the political left and their followers in the mainstream media are shocked that people are showing up by the hundreds and the thousands to town hall meetings to protest the proposed changes in health care. It’s perhaps easier to understand the frustration when a famous quip attributed to Sen. Everett M. Dirksen, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money,” needs to be updated to, “A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you can’t print enough money.” We are now looking at trillion-dollar deficits for each of the next 10 years. Nobody believes that is sustainable, yet President Obama wants to spend nearly another trillion on health care. When Americans express their concerns, they’re told to shut up and take it. At the first rally in Madison by taxpayers in October 2007 led by Americans for Prosperity, state union employees counterdemonstrated by attempting to drown out the speakers with their shouting and intimidated the participants as they headed to their vehicles. When concerned taxpayers showed up during the spring and summer to “tea parties” to rally against the massive expansion of government spending, suddenly an insulting sexual reference went mainstream, from the liberal blogs to cable news pundits, to belittle the rallies. Deciding that wasn’t sufficient, tea party rally participants were accused of being part of a paid conspiracy, “AstroTurf,” rather than being part of an authentic grass-roots movement. Depending on the liberal villain of the week, ordinary citizens were accused of being agents of Big Oil, Big Pharmaceutical and Big Insurance. Yet when the liberal special interests show up in any small number to protest anything, those are the authentic grass roots. When it was clear that the taxpayer protests were genuine, the focus shifted. Now they’re radicals, unpatriotic, and even Nazis, according to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Even as the president was asking everyone to tone down the rhetoric, he accused his critics of lying while he spreads deliberate falsehoods of his own. As he encouraged “dialogue,” his administration’s Department of Homeland Security labeled his critics potential terrorists. And while we remember the president’s promise to improve the tone in Washington, his aides are promising to “hit back twice as hard.” Nothing new, really. From the ’60s (for which the left has so much nostalgia) to today, the left in this country has had a policy of “taking it to the streets.” At times, it boiled over into bombings and targeted violent personal attacks. From Chicago in 1968 to Seattle in 1999 there was some improvement. Instead of chanting “Off the pigs!” the slogan changed to, “No justice, no peace!” The threat of violence remained. Then the Bush era, and for the last eight years one of the mantras on the left was, “If you aren’t outraged, you’re not paying attention.” We saw their outrage manifest itself in violent demonstrations, attacks on military recruitment offices, disrupted congressional hearings, and planned riots at the national conventions. Now I will concede that some of the people at these town hall meetings are a little rude. They’re paying attention now, and it’s their turn to be outraged. Some of them let their emotions overcome their judgment of good behavior. Most of them are not as articulate as a Harvardeducated lawyer with a teleprompter. Many of them have never been involved in a political movement before. I strongly urge them to temper their words and to be more respectful at these town hall meetings. However, a few shouts at a few congressmen is not some sort of crisis in democracy, and the concerned taxpayers are certainly not deserving of being labeled “brownshirts.” We now hear the calls for civility from those who thought the president’s association with Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers was no big deal, and they had no problems when Obama’s mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, screamed “God damn America” during his sermons. Yes, I agree we should have more decorum at the town hall meetings, and more decorum in politics generally. My challenge to the political left is two words: You first.
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Energy: Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal warns that coming economic recovery means tighter oil supplies and higher prices. He's right to be appalled at the White House's inability to see the obvious.
As statesmen go, not many have seen more history, or correctly warned of more dangers, than Prince Turki al-Faisal, the formidable Saudi who's led the kingdom's intelligence and diplomacy in a long career. Few know oil as well as he does.
So it's worth thinking about when he looks at President Obama, considers his energy policy and sees "demagoguery."
No truck for political posturing.
In a piece in Foreign Policy this week, Prince Turki warned that economic recovery is coming, and high oil prices will return with it. Nothing impresses him less than the White House's promises on its Web site to achieve "energy independence," as if switchgrass and wind would solve more problems than oil itself.
Prince Turki points out something important: Oil is and remains fundamental to the economies of the West. Placing faith in unproven alternatives, as the Obama administration does, won't address the shortages that will slam the U.S. soon.
He warns that energy independence won't happen, calling it "political posturing at its worst — a concept that is unrealistic, misguided, and ultimately harmful to energy-producing and consuming countries alike."
The prince is especially irate because he knew Saudi Arabia would get blamed when oil prices spiked. Saudis were pumping oil as best they could, he said, and America needed to be realistic in the face of soaring demand.
Saudi Arabia only ranks fourth among America's suppliers. It's dwarfed by America's reliance on petrotyrants, such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Chavez has trashed his oil industry to keep prices high, yet still ranks as America's No. 2 supplier.
Another problem, the prince rightly points out, is that the U.S. refuses to build more refineries. Refineries have shrunk from 324 in 1981 to a mere 141 now. More oil production won't be useful unless we can turn it into usable fuel.
Prince Turki of course is a Saudi, and his loyalties are there. We don't necessarily agree or endorse all he says. But he is right that U.S. oil independence isn't just around the corner, and that we need to pump more of our own oil to become energy secure.
The ban on domestic offshore drilling and the record government spending that has weakened the dollar will, over time, drive up oil prices. Just as with buying oil from petrotyrants and building more refineries, these problems can be solved.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration continues to put its head in the sand on energy, looking to fanciful "green" solutions instead of proven ones. The prince knows oil and economies. His warning that there's no substitute for oil is one we should heed.
Democratic Health Care Bill Divulges IRS Tax Data
Whil e accusations abound of Israeli "war crimes" and "massacres", here's something you won't find in the mainstream media.
Israeli TV aired footage apparently showing Hamas gunmen executing followers of the Jund Ansar Allah in a mosque courtyard. You can now watch the video at Israel's Channel 2.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
After all, before Clunkers, most showroom floors were bereft of customers, and scores of dealerships were closing their doors. As good as C4C has been for customers, many dealers are all too happy it's over. A recent (admittedly unscientific) survey conducted by Automotive News shows that 44% of the 800 dealers polled wouldn't want C4C to be extended again, even if the program was modified. Only 3% felt that the program should have been extended without being modified. The biggest issue dealers have with C4C is, unsurprisingly, its lack of timely payment. Some multi-store dealers have millions invested in the program, while little or no money has come in yet. An alarming 23% of dealers say they have had to borrow money to cover the cash crunch left in the wake of the Clunkers program, while an additional 10% say the program has actually sucked enough cash from the coffers that it has put the dealership at risk. The Transportation Department and the Obama Administration have stated that every eligible C4C transaction will result in payment, but the federal guarantee isn't boosting many dealers' confidence. AN says that 43% of dealers surveyed aren't very confident that they'll receive all of their C4C dollars, while an additional 18% are not at all confident that they'll be paid in full.Some dealers say that C4C has also hurt their repair, finance, used car and parts businesses, but that's okay if they collect from the feds. Even with the considerable downside of C4C, 74% of dealers say that if they're paid in full by the federal government, the program will positively affect their bottom line, while 5% say they somehow managed to lose money.
Obamacare won't cover illegal immigrants? Yes it will, says Congressional Research Service
By: Mark TapscottEditorial Page Editor08/26/09 10:58 AM EDT
Among the many claims being made during the August recess by Democrats from President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, to the lowliest back-bencher is that Obamacare absolutely, positively, cannot possibly ever in a million, zillion years provide coverage to illegal immigrants.
Just this past weekend during his regular Saturday address - devoted to addressing what he called "false claims about reform" - Obama said he wants "an honest debate" on health care reform, "not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions."
In what he called the "first myth" being spread by critics of his proposal for a government-run health care system, Obama said they are wrong in claiming illegal immigrants will be covered: "That is not true. Illegal immigrants would not be covered. That idea has not even been on the table." Obama said.
Well, Mr. President, that idea must have been tucked under a stack of background briefing papers over there in the corner of the table because the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says this about H.R. 3200, the Obamacare bill approved just before the recess by the House Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA:
"Under H.R. 3200, a 'Health Insurance Exchange' would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option…H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange."
CRS also notes that the bill has no provision for requiring those seeking coverage or services to provided proof of citizenship. So, absent some major amendments to the legislation and a credible, concrete enforcement effort in action, looks like the myth on this issue is the one being spread by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et. al.
Gov. Patrick says successor plan ‘reasonable,’ would sign it
By Associated Press
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is supporting a change in state law that would allow him to appoint an interim successor to Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat while a special election is held.
Unlike most states, a successor to a vacant U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts is chosen by special election five months after the opening, not appointed by the governor.
In a recent letter to lawmakers, Kennedy asked that the law be changed to allow the governor to appoint someone to the seat during the course of the election — provided that person pledge not to run for the seat.
In an interview today on WBUR, Patrick called the proposal "entirely reasonable" and said he would sign the bill if it reached his desk.
Legislative leaders have not said if they support the proposal.Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1193529
While the media sniffles and wipes its tears, the rest of us can secretly heave a sigh of relief that we are finally rid of Ted Kennedy. Everyone knows that he was a left-wing ideologue who cheated on college exams and left a young girl to die in his car after he drunkenly drove it into the drink. Most remember that he did what he could to undermine our troops' morale and lend succor to the enemy during wartime. A few know that he was an eco-hypocrite, who dumped diesel fuel into the ocean and wouldn't allow windmills to be built if on clear days he might be able to see them from his mansion, even while steadfastly suppressing domestic drilling. But hardly anyone seems aware that Red Ted was quite literally a traitor, who worked directly with the USSR's communist dictatorship to undermine Ronald Reagan's successful anti-Soviet policies.
Here's a Moonbattery piece from October 20, 2006:
Although it's incomprehensible that Democrats would effectively side with an enemy devoted to destroying us, as they have done whenever they thought they could get away with it during the War on Terror, it is not unprecedented. As political science professor Paul Kengor points out in his new book The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, a willingness to side with our country's enemies to inflict damage on a Republican president was also on display during the Reagan Era.
The same Ted Kennedy who rants and rails against W's attempts to defend us from terrorists arguably crossed the line from useful idiocy into outright treason when he offered to assist Soviet dictator Yuri Andropov in developing a strategy to counter Reagan's foreign policy — the foreign policy that was to defeat the Soviet menace without a shot being fired.
Senator John Tunney (D-CA) traveled to Moscow on Kennedy's behalf to negotiate a secret partnership with Andropov, Kengor reveals. Tunney has acknowledged that he had played intermediary for Kennedy, and that he made 15 separate trips to Moscow. Chappaquiddick Ted told Tunney to reach out to "confidential contacts" to get the word to Andropov, who had enough nuclear missiles pointed at us to blow up the planet, that he wanted to work with him against the President.
Kennedy proposed that the dictator appeal directly to the American people in a series of television interviews, evidently intended to undermine support for Reagan's strong stand against communism. As Kengor notes of Kennedy:He hoped to counter Reagan's polices, and by extension hurt his re-election prospects.
Fortunately, Andropov died before Kennedy's attempt to form a partnership got off the ground. But maybe of Islamic terrorism is affording Ted chances to make new friends.
And let's not forget Ted's lying and scurrilous attack on Robert Bork.
Anticipating the nomination of Bork or someone like him to fill Powell's seat, Kennedy aide Jeffrey Blattner had written a statement denouncing the nomination. Immediately following the announcement of Bork's nomination on July 1, 1987, Senator Kennedy took to the floor of the Senate to make the statement Blattner had written:Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is -- and is often the only -- protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy....Alluding to Bork's execution as Solicitor General of Nixon's order to fire Archibald Cox, Kennedy contintued:President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of American. No justice would be better than this injustice.New York Times reporter Ethan Bronner (then of the Boston Globe) tells the story of Kennedy's statement denouncing Bork in Battle for Justice: How the Bork Nomination Shook America. In the book Bronner comments harshly on Kennedy's statement, though Bronner's comments do not exhaust the statement's falsity:Kennedy's was an altogether startling statment. He had shamelessly twisted Bork's world view -- "rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids" was an Orwellian reference to Bork's criticism of the exclusionary rule, through which judges exclude illegally obtained evidence, and Bork had never suggested he opposed the teaching of evolution...Bronner shows that Kennedy's false charges against Bork did not derive from some mistake or misinterpretation, but were rather the deliberate acts of a powerful man for whom the ends justified the means:Kennedy did distort Bork's record, but his statement was not the act of a desperate man. This was a confident and seasoned poliltician, who knew how to combine passion and pragmatism in the Senate. Unlike the vast majority of those who were to oppose Bork, Kennedy believed from the beginning that the nomination would be defeated and that the loss would prove decisive in judicial politics.
'FORGETFUL' CHARLIE FINDS ANOTHER 780G
By CHARLES HURT DC Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON -- Embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel -- who is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee -- failed to reveal personal assets totaling as much as $780,000 in financial-disclosure reports filed with Congress, records released yesterday show.
Democrat Rangel, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, submitted corrected documents with the House Clerk earlier this month, more than a year after filing handwritten and wildly inaccurate 2007 disclosure forms that left out a hefty checking account, several sizable investments and land in New Jersey.
The unreported assets included one of Rangel's most valuable holdings -- a checking account at the Congressional Federal Credit Union containing somewhere between $250,000 and as much as $500,000, according to the revised form released yesterday. The forms include only ranges of value and not specific amounts.
Rangel also didn't 'fess up to at least five other investments. One of those, with the ING Principal Protection Fund, was valued at between $50,000 and $100,000, records show.
Three previously undisclosed investment portfolios ranged in value from $15,000 to $50,000, including stock in Pepsico.
Another unrevealed investment -- stock in YUM! Brands -- ranged in value from $1,000 to $15,000, according to records.
Also left off Rangel's original 2007 financial-disclosure report were two empty lots in Glassboro, NJ, valued at less than $15,000.
The revised financial-disclosure forms raise Rangel's net worth in 2007 from $1.3 million to as much as $2.5 million.
Rangel also altered his disclosed investment income from that year. The original report showed he had received between $6,511 and $17,900, but the new report shows between $45,423 and $134,700.
His office said Rangel is all paid up on his taxes.
Congress requires members to file annual financial-disclosure reports to show where outside income comes from and to help expose relationships with outside interests.
Rangel's office yesterday acknowledged the faulty disclosure forms but refused to answer numerous key questions.
"Last fall, the congressman publicly acknowledged errors in some of his previously filed forms and committed to a thorough review of his financial records," read the statement, issued by Elbert Garcia.
"He said at that time that he would correct any mistakes, and with these amendments he has done so."
His office declined to explain how Rangel could have overlooked a checking account containing between $250,000 and $500,000 or how long the lawmaker has failed to account for it in previous financial-disclosure forms.
It also refused to say how Rangel could have failed to include two plots of land that he owned, how long Rangel has owned the Glassboro property, or how he acquired it.
The unreported assets come amid a House Ethics Committee investigation into a host of Rangel's questionable financial dealings.
By Jessica Fender The Denver Post
One of two people suspected of shattering 11 windows Tuesday morning at the state Democratic Party headquarters has an arrest record and a history of helping a Democratic political candidate, public records show. (my emphasis)
Police said that about 2:20 a.m., 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler, now in custody, and an at-large accomplice took a hammer to the picture windows displaying posters touting President Barack Obama and his health care reform efforts.
Early Tuesday, Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak said the damage to her building in Denver's art district was a consequence of "an effort on the other side to stir up hate." She tempered her statement after Schwenkler's political history was revealed.
"What I've been saying is there is a lot of rhetoric out there from both sides of the spectrum," Waak said. "That's what's been disturbing to me. People are saying a lot of things not appropriate for civil discourse."
For weeks, people on both sides of the health care debate have rallied across the country.
Schwenkler is charged with criminal mischief and is to make his first appearance in Denver County Court today.
He is accused of doing an estimated $11,000 in damage and could face a felony conviction.
On the last day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, he was charged with misdemeanor unlawful assembly in St. Paul, Minn.
Court records provided through the St. Paul Pioneer Press show he was jailed about 2 a.m.
Schwenkler received $500 in November 2008 to walk door-to-door in support of Democrat Mollie Cullom, who lost her race to Republican state Rep. David Balmer of Centennial.
Waak, who was not involved with the group that paid Schwenkler, said she's never heard of the suspect and pointed out that just because he canvassed "doesn't mean he's a good Democrat."
Schwenkler was one of dozens of paid canvassers bankrolled by the Colorado Citizens' Coalition, a political 527 committee
Schwenkler has worked for Democratic causes. (Denver Police Department )funded by labor groups and well-known, wealthy liberal donors.
In those disclosures, Schwenkler's address is listed as Derailer Bicycle Cooperative, a free community bicycle collective that operates just around the corner from the Democratic headquarters. Multiple volunteers at the collective declined to discuss Schwenkler, though they said he was affiliated with the group.
Balmer said he suspects the vandalism might have been aimed at making the GOP look bad.
"This sounds like the type of Democratic tactic from the left fringe trying to make Republicans look mean-spirited," Balmer said. "In this case, it blew up in their face. He was caught red-handed."
Schwenkler allegedly tried to conceal his identity while committing the crime by wearing a shirt over his face, a hooded sweat shirt and latex gloves, according to police descriptions.
When a Denver police officer on patrol spotted two people smashing windows, the suspects fled on bicycles.
Schwenkler was arrested after a short foot pursuit, but the other suspect sped away, police Detective Vicki Ferrari said.
She declined to release further details.
Staff writers Joey Bunch and Felisa Cardona contributed to this report. Jessica Fender: 303-954-1244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Jesse throws up the canard that the U.S. has a poor infant mortality rate compared with other industrialized nations. Anyone with intelligence should realize this must be flawed. The U.N. says "live birth" means a child born in a country with a beating heart. Do all these other industrialized countries count "live births" this way? No. (But the U.S. does.) In Switzerland, it's a "live birth" only if the child is 30 cm long. Italy has at least three different definitions of infant death across three regions. Japan counts only births of Japanese nationals living in Japan. Canada does not count the births of Americans living in Canada. Also bogus are other rankings of health care are - like the ones that rank the U.S. as 35th in the world. (While people across the globe rush here for care? - Please.) A big U.N. factor in calculating this is EXACTLY HOW EQUAL IS THE COST FOR ALL PEOPLE for care. It's rigged to favor socialist medicine - just like Jesse's commen
- Irene, Boston, USA, 26/8/2009 15:"
"Phil from Michigan, that has got to be one of the more ignorant posts I've seen. Your data is flawed and I'm almost embarrassed for you. Let me educate you: The U.S., unlike many countries, measures according to the standards of the World Health Organization. Yes, unlike many countries, we count neonatal deaths, still births, severly ill babies... Just one heartbeat, or one breath equals a life lost. We count EVERYONE, Phil. The Swiss don't count babies under 12 inches long; Germans don't count babies unless they're at least a pound. In Fance and Belgium, babies within the first 5 months aren't even counted. Heck, your high-ranking Norway fairs no better than the U.S. when their underweight infants are counted. Convinced yet? Doubt it. People like you run from what demands actual thought and analysis. So, go back to your talking-points and lick the President's hand ... kool-aid boy. Or, grow a pair and quit the disingenuous practice of taking facts out of context!
- ej diaz, Phoenix, USA, 26/8/2009 15:12"
Man collapses with ruptured appendix... three weeks after NHS doctors 'took it out'
FRAUD, CRIME, CITIGROUP, NEMAZEE, FUNDRAISER, DEMOCRAT, POLITICS, BANKING, CLINTON,
The U.S. attorney in New York on Tuesday charged a New York investor and major Democratic fund-raiser with a $74 million scheme to defraud Citigroup.
Hassan Nemazee, 59, was charged with one count of bank fraud, and faces up to 30 years in prison plus a fine. His lawyer Marc Mukasey, a former federal prosecutor, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Nemazee was a national finance chair of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, and a supporter of John Kerry's run for the White House in 2004.
He typically donates more than $100,000 annually to Democratic political candidates, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Charles Schumer, and sits on the board of the Iranian American Political Action Committee.
Bill Clinton, when he was president, nominated Nemazee to be U.S. ambassador to Argentina.
Prosecutors said Nemazee, the chairman and chief executive of Nemazee Capital, sought to induce Citigroup's banking unit to lend up to $74 million based on fraudulent and forged documents suggesting that he had hundreds of millions of dollars of accounts available as collateral.
They said Nemazee also provided Citigroup with fake references so that when the bank would try to confirm details about his accounts, it would actually be contacting him. The scheme lasted from December 2006 to this month, the prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said federal agents stopped him Sunday at Newark Liberty International Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Rome, and that he repaid a more than $74 million loan to Citigroup the following day.
Nemazee has homes in Manhattan and the suburb of Katonah, New York, prosecutors said.
According to its Web site, Nemazee Capital is a private equity firm that was founded in 1987 and specializes in financial services. It said its acquisitions have included Carret Asset Management, a privately held firm founded by legendary investor Philip Carret, and part of what is now Brean Murray Carret & Co, a small investment bank.
Brean did not immediately return a request for a comment. Citigroup spokeswoman Shannon Bell said the bank is working with authorities on the matter.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
(h/t Best of the Web)
A timber trade association is appealing a harvest planned for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, saying the project doesn't clear enough trees to improve forest health and lower fire danger.
"This is not something that we do very often," said Anne Forest Burns, vice president of the American Forest Resource Council. "It has to be a pretty extreme situation for us to feel that the project just isn't meeting the purpose and need."
Power Line Blog: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff http://www.powerlineblog.com
A wild choice for acting dean of Dartmouth
August 25, 2009 Posted by Paul at 8:59 AM
A former professor at a leading Ivy League college once told me that when he informed older alums of that college about some of what was going on there, they simply did not believe him. Some alums may have trouble believing Joe Asch's report on the appointment of Sylvia Spears as Dartmouth's acting dean.
Spears is a specialist in "cultural competence and diversity training." It would be churlish to suggest that there is no place on a college campus for such a specialist. But I question whether that place is Dean of the College.
Here is a bio of Spears that appears on the webpage of the University of Rhode Island's Multicultural Center:
Sylvia Spears graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor's degree in speech communication and a minor in theatre in 1978. Afterwards she spent roughly ten years working in administration and management in New Jersey. In 1989, Spears moved back in Rhode Island.
Spears, whose tribal name is Wild Dancer, next worked as an Assistant Tribal Administrator for her Narragansett tribe. In 1992 she returned to the University of Rhode Island for her master's degree in speech communication. After working at Bryant University, she served as affirmative action officer from 1998-2000. She completed her Ph.D degree at URI in Human Science and Services during 2006. She now teaches movement and voices at the Campus. She has also written plays for inner-city theatre groups.
Spears is an experienced trainer and presenter, specializing in cultural competence and diversity training. She has served as Assistant Director of Multicultural Students Services and Affirmative Action Officer. At present she is on the faculty in the URI Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Sylvia Spears is a certified facilitator for the Franklin-Covey Leadership Studies.
Currently, Spears heads Dartmouth's Office of Pluralism and Leadership.
I doubt that Joe is being too harsh when he concludes:
Sylvia Spears is in so far over her head in this job that she won't even be able to see the surface. Has she ever hired or fired anyone in the positions that she has held? I mean, anyone at all? Does she have any management skills/experience? Has she ever prepared a budget and stuck to it?
Even by the lax standards of the academy, appointing Sylvia Spears as Dean of the College is incomprehensible to anyone with a modicum of business experience. The end result of ths foolish appointment will be that the various fiefdoms under her jurisdiction simply go their own way: results may vary, but costs will surely rise everywhere.
Spears will replace the vastly experienced Tom Crady, who is leaving after only 20 months. I spoke with Crady at a parents' weekend event last summer. He seemed like an able, sensible guy. Joe suggests that Crady "decided to exit the Dartmouth scene early, rather than butt heads unproductively with the bureaucrats who have been in power for two decades. . . ."
If so, that's a pity.