Thursday, March 25, 2010

From Atlanta

Scarlett: Atlanta!
Mammy: Savannah would be better for ya. You'd just get in trouble in Atlanta.
Scarlett: What trouble are you talking about?
Mammy: You know what trouble I's talkin' 'bout. I's talking 'bout Mr. Ashley Wilkes. He'll be comin' to Atlanta when he gets his leave, and you sittin' there waitin' for him, just like a spider. He belongs to Miss Melanie...

Cherokee County authorities are looking for a 56-year-old French national suspected of trying to buy a 5-year-old child, a purchase he apparently hoped to make online.

The sheriff’s office said Monday that investigators, acting on an anonymous tip, searched Patrick Ange Molesti’s Woodstock’s house last week. He was not there, but investigators seized his computer where they found evidence of child pornography, the sheriff’s office said. No other information was released regarding the alleged attempt to buy the child.

Molesti is believed to still be in the metro Atlanta area, the sheriff's office said.

He is described as 6-foot-1 and weighing 200 pounds. Molesti has brown hair and brown eyes. Authorities say he is armed with a handgun and driving a 2002 white Chevrolet van.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

That his name is Molesti, should have been a clue.


High-living NC pastors freed until tax trials

Was A time when the prestants used to berate Catholic Bishops for living high lives, That doesn't apply to The Greater Salem City of God.

One of the reasons that priests are not permitted to marry is because it was the habit to pass the parish down to the son. That also doesn't matter.

Charlotte N.C., Thursday, March 25, 2010 (AP) _ A married couple who head a North Carolina church have been ordered to live apart until their trial on tax evasion charges next month.

The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney allowed Anthony and Harriet Jinwright to remain free on bond, but told them to live separately to limit their ability to communicate.

Prosecutors had said the Jinwrights were violating their bond by not paying $85,000 in back taxes for 2007 and 2008 and wanted them jailed. Defense lawyers said the pastors at Greater Salem Church in Charlotte don't have the money.

Prosecutors say the Jinwrights reported wages in 2007 of $465,000, plus a housing allowance of $160,000 and car allowance of $46,000. The government says they received more than $5.3 million from the church from 2001 through 2007.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now we are just like the Europeans!

Europeans are gloating this week. The continent might be struggling with ballooning debts, a faltering euro and national strikes, but when the U.S. House voted in favor of President Barack Obama's health care bill Sunday night, March 21, Europeans seized the moment to thumb their noses at Americans and remind them that they've had pretty good health care for decades. See more...

No longer. We will have rationed healthcare just like you... 3rd World.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jesus image In a frying pan...

From time to time we are presented with this stuff... Jesus image in a frying pan, Jesus image in a grilled cheese, etc, ad nauseum. The media, can not react quick enough to such foolishness, but let something of substance appear and they are no where to be found...From the bones that may crush you comes this...

...An image of Jesus has appeared in burned bacon fat at the bottom of a frying pan, which is genuinely impressive and quite beautiful...

According to The Telegraph, 'Toby Elles, 22, made the discovery after burning the food when he fell asleep while cooking.' Speaking of the phenomenom, Mr Elles said, "I'm not going to scrub it clean though, just in case I get struck by lightning, it's going to take pride of place on a wall instead..."

Jesus in the bushes on eBay


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obama"I'm lost" for something to say. ‘Louisiana Purchase’ Will Help With the Earthquake in Hawaii

Didja hear about the eathquake in Hawaii, money for paying off Louisiana politicians will help with that too. Seriousely this "guy" is lost with out his teleprompter.

What earthquake in Hawaii? In 1868 there was a major earthquake in Hawaii that killed 77 people. In 1975 an earthquake in Hawaii killed 2 people.

Fox News: OBAMA: I am certain that we've made sure, for example, that any burdens on states are alleviated, when it comes to what they're going to have to chip in to make sure that we're giving subsidies to small businesses, and subsidies to individuals, for example. BAIER: So the Connecticut deal is still in? OBAMA: So that's not — that's not going to be something that is going to be in this final package. I think the same is true on all of these provisions. I'll give you some exceptions though. Something that was called a special deal was for Louisiana. It was said that there were billions — millions of dollars going to Louisiana, this was a special deal. Well, in fact, that provision, which I think should remain in, said that if a state has been affected by a natural catastrophe, that has created a special health care emergency in that state, they should get help. Louisiana, obviously, went through Katrina, and they're still trying to deal with the enormous challenges that were faced because of that. (CROSS TALK) OBAMA: That also — I'm giving you an example of one that I consider important. It also affects Hawaii, which went through an earthquake. So that's not just a Louisiana provision. That is a provision that affects every state that is going through a natural catastrophe. Now I have said that there are certain provisions, like this Nebraska one, that don't make sense. And they needed to be out. And we have removed those. So, at the end of the day, what people are going to be able to say is that this legislation is going to be providing help to small businesses and individuals, across the board, in an even handed way, and providing people relief from a status quo that's just not working. BAIER: OK, the Florida deal, in or out? OBAMA: The Florida deal — BAIER: Paying for Medicare Advantage, exempting 800,000 Floridians from — OBAMA: My understanding is that whatever is going to be done on Medicare is going to apply across the board to all states.

Original page here...

Babbling idiots babble more sense than this.

and now from California

That pornography is demeaning to women doesn't matter in the land of the bazarre...

Condom requirement for porn film actors to be voted on in California
March 18, 2010 6:49 am

State regulators are expected to vote Thursday on a petition asking them to require porn industry performers to use condoms and to take other safety measures. The six-member California Division of Occupational Safety and Health standards board appears likely to create an advisory committee to report back on whether the law should be changed and how it could be accomplished.

The board, appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has up to six months to act on a Dec. 17, 2009 petition filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that seeks to change state law to require safe-sex protections for adult-film workers, including mandatory condom use and more stringent safety training and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Earlier this month, staff members recommended that the board create an advisory committee to consider amending the law “in order to give greater protection to employees in the adult film industry.”

“It’s to study the issue more. If it merits it, they would formulate the language and bring it before the board,” to amend the law, said CAL/OSHA spokeswoman Erika Monterroza.

Monterroza said it is “extremely common” for the board to create such advisory committees.

Officials from the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation said they support the creation of such a committee, which they hope would ultimately back new regulations for the adult film industry. The advocacy group has been pushing regulators and porn industry leaders to better safeguard the health of adult-film performers since an HIV outbreak among porn performers in the San Fernando Valley in 2004.

“Allowing the porn industry to flout the law on technicalities undermines the whole concept of worker safety in California,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, who is among those scheduled to address the board Thursday. “By making it more explicit it removes an excuse the industry has used that these regulations are not intended for their industry. At the end of the day, it’s about enforcement.”

Last summer, the foundation sued Los Angeles County after the disclosure that an adult-film performer had tested positive for HIV. In the suit, it alleged public health officials failed to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to enforce laws requiring employers to protect workers against exposure to bodily fluids.

The suit was dismissed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge late last year, but Weinstein said the foundation appealed the decision last week.

Among those scheduled to speak Thursday is former porn actor Darren James, who tested HIV-positive during a 2004 outbreak.

“I know there’s a lot of actors that’s getting tired of STDs,” James said Wednesday in an interview with The Times. He said many actors feel they cannot speak out against the spread of STDs for fear of losing work. “They just need more options; if they can provide them with better care maybe we can slow it down.”

Also scheduled to speak at the meeting are half a dozen representatives of the adult film industry, including Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based trade association.

Duke said her group’s members have tried to comply with state health and safety regulations, but that they are overly vague and general. She supports forming an advisory committee as long as it includes adult-film workers, producers or other industry representatives.

“We have been trying to work within the regulations, but it’s almost impossible,” Duke said. “If we were going with the letter of the law, every film would have performers in latex gloves and goggles.” -- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

What can be said after that except, whew. Where is that hand cleaner.


States Rights Revisited

Cuccinelli's office confirms Virginia will sue over health care

A spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) said this afternoon that Virginia will file suit against the federal government if the Democratic health care reform bill is approved by the U.S. Congress.

Cuccinelli has long said he was examining the legal issues and suggested he would likely file suit. Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for the office, said this afternoon that a lawsuit is now a definite. Gottstein would provide no details of the legal rationale for such a suit, indicating the process is "still being worked out."

Virginia last week became the first state in the country to pass a state bill declaring it illegal for the government to require individuals to purchase health insurance, a key part of bills under consideration on Capitol Hill.

We are also expecting to receive a letter shortly that Cuccinelli is sending to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning her that using the so-called "deem and pass" procedure to pass the Senate health reform bill in the House would open the measure to additional constitutional challenges from the states.

UPDATE: We've received a copy of Cuccinelli's letter to Pelosi. In it, he writes: "Should you employ the deem and pass tactic, you expose any act which may pass to yet another constitutional challenge."

The full letter is included after the jump.

March 17, 2010 The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Office of the Speaker H-232, U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C. Dear Speaker Pelosi: I am writing to urge you not to proceed with the Senate Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act under a so-called "deem and pass" rule because such a course of action would raise grave constitutional questions. Based upon media interviews and statements which I have seen, you are considering this approach because it might somehow shield members of Congress from taking a recorded vote on an overwhelmingly unpopular Senate bill. This is an improper purpose under the bicameralism requirements of Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, one of the purposes of which is to make our representatives fully accountable for their votes. Furthermore, to be validly enacted, the Senate bill would have to be accepted by the House in a form that is word-for-word identical (Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998)). Should you employ the deem and pass tactic, you expose any act which may pass to yet another constitutional challenge. A bill of this magnitude should not be passed using this maneuver. As the President noted last week, the American people are entitled to an up or down vote. Sincerely, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II Attorney General of Virginia

Once again Virginia, the first Colony in the New World, leads the way.


Somali pirates attempt attack on Dutch warship

Yes I can see how they might have thought this wasa merchantman...

Wed Mar 17, 12:01 pm ET

.NAIROBI, Kenya – These Somali pirates picked the wrong ship to hijack.

Troops aboard the Dutch warship HNLMS Tromp fired warning shots Wednesday off the coast of East Africa as suspected Somali pirates in two small skiffs raced toward their warship, the EU Naval Force said.

After the pirates realized they had made what spokesman Cmdr. John Harbour called a "rather silly mistake," they turned around and fled. EU Naval Force personnel tracked down the two skiffs and a third suspected mothership, finding ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades on board, said Harbour, a spokesman for the EU Naval Force.

The two skiffs were destroyed and the pirates were set free on the mothership after it had been cleared of weapons.

"This morning's attack may show a lack of sophistication in the pirate's selection of targets, but it should be a warning to the merchant community that the pirates will try to attack any vessel on the high seas," said Harbour.

The EU Naval Force has disrupted 11 pirate attack groups off the coast of East Africa over the last two weeks as part of a more offensive mindset to stop pirate attacks, Harbour said.

Experts say piracy will continue to be a problem until an effective government is established on Somalia's lawless shores. It has not had a functioning government since a socialist dictatorship dissolved into civil war 19 years ago. The current administration is too busy fighting an Islamic insurgency to tackle the well-armed and well-funded pirate bases along its 1,900-mile (3,100-kilometer) long coastline.

The London-based International Maritime Bureau says Somali pirates captured 47 vessels last year and launched 217 attacks. More than 100 crew are still being held.

Piracy will not end until the measures that need to be taken are taken.


Is Obama anti-Semitic? Netanyahu brother-in-law causes ruckus.

By Joshua Mitnick Joshua Mitnick
Wed Mar 17, 12:34 pm ET

Tel Aviv – At the height of the worst Israel-US crisis in decades, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to distance himself Wednesday from the views of his brother-in-law, who called President Obama "anti-Semitic" over the airwaves this morning.

In an interview with Israel Army Radio on Wednesday, Hagai Ben Artzi, the brother of Netanyahu's wife Sara, reportedly said: "it needs to be said clearly and simply: There is an anti-Semitic president in the US. It's not that Obama doesn't sympathize with [Mr. Netanyahu]. He doesn't sympathize with the people of Israel."

Netanyahu's office swifty published a condemnation: "I entirely reject the remarks of Hagai Ben Artzi."

Family ties? Mr. Ben Artzi, who has a history of controversial remarks, is family in more than one way.

The hardliner – who's held positions as a bible lecturer at a religious college in Jerusalem, and in the Education Ministry, and has a doctorate in Israel thought and philosophy from Hebrew University in Jerusalem – also represents the family of hawkish nationalists who support Netanyahu and for whom any movement on the peace process is going to stir tension.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari of the far-right National Union party recently hung a poster with a picture in which Obama looks like he is bowing to a Gulf prince, underneath a headline, "Caution! [Palestine Liberation Organization] Agent in the White House!''

Suspicion of Obama

So how widespread are those views of Obama in Israel?

The opinions recall suspicions voiced about Obama in Israel during his run for the presidency that were based on his Muslim relatives and a former pastor whose sermons occasionally included remarks considered anti-Semitic.

Mitchell Barak, a pollster who used to work with Netanyahu, says there is widespread alienation among Israelis regarding Obama, whom many consider the US president most unsympathetic to Israel for decades.

That said, both Ben Artzi and Ben Ari represent fringe opinions, says Mr. Barak.

"The problem with the extremist right groups," he says, "is that they can't recognize anyone that doesn't shares the opinions of their own group.''

That seems to be the problem with Obama, no one shares his views except Muslims in the middle east.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Here is an idiot elitist, Sean Penn

Sean Penn one time husband of Madonna, and Hollywood bad boy made remarks on his bud Hugo...

First Amendment be damned . . . If Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn had his way, any journalist who called Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a dictator would quickly find himself behind bars.

Penn, appearing on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday, defended Chavez during a segment in which he detailed his work with the JP Haitian Relief Organization, which he co-founded.

"Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it" said Penn, winner of two Best Actor Academy Awards. "And this is mainstream media, who should -- truly, there should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies."

It was just the beginning of a busy weekend for Penn. When asked on CBS' "Sunday Morning" about those who question his motives for his humanitarian work in Haiti, he said:

"Do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah. You know, but I'm not going to spend a lot of energy on it."

Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News' senior judicial analyst, said the same constitutional protection that applies to journalists also applies to Penn, who can say pretty much anything he wants in the "political arena" -- aside from an immediate incitement of violence.

"What he is saying is protected, as wacky and weird as it is," Napolitano told "But the substance of what he's saying would be absolutely contrary to the First Amendment, which fully protects all political opinions. So if a journalist says Dick Cheney should go to jail, the journalist is privileged to say that."

"Mr. Penn is calling for a communist-like regime in which journalists who criticize the government are sent to jail because of that criticism," Napolitano added. "That is utterly un-American and hasn't happened here since the Civil War."

Lis Wiehl, a former federal prosecutor and Fox News legal analyst, echoed Napolitano’s comments, saying Penn’s statement is "completely counter" to First Amendment protections.

"Unless you're yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre, i.e. stirring up immediate violence, you have the right as an American to voice your opinion, even if others (including Penn) disagree," she wrote "And, yes, Penn has the right to voice his opinion as well -- that's the beauty of the First Amendment. And, don't forget, truth is an absolute defense to any defamation or slander lawsuit."

According to a study by the Business and Media Institute, news coverage pertaining to Chavez from 1998 to 2006 found the Venezuelan president's human rights record was mentioned in only 10 percent of stories, and he was described as a leftist in 12 percent of stories.

Napolitano, meanwhile, said Penn apparently prefers "thuggery" to democracy.

"In light of his ignorance of freedom of speech, his wishing rectal cancer on his detractors, and his embracing tyrants, Mr. Penn obviously prefers thuggery to democracy," he continued. "Were he free to do so, he'd be a tyrant. Now we'll see if he can get me jailed for saying that!"

Ok Sean read this. Chavez is a thug. In the words of Monty Python, I point my private parts in his direction.


Carville poll: Majority now say U.S. is less respected

From Hot Air via the Snitt Show website

Carville poll: Majority now say U.S. is less respected than it was two years agoposted at 8:30 pm on March 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

It’s a poll of Americans, not foreigners, so it’s not so much evidence that we are less respected than that we perceive ourselves to be. I hope The One finds comfort in that fact when these numbers start to shake out in November.


The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
“This is surprising, given the global acclaim and Nobel peace prize that flowed to the new president after he took office,” said pollsters for the liberal-leaning organizations.

On the national security front, a massive gap has emerged, with 50 percent of likely voters saying Republicans would likely do a better job than Democrats, a 14-point swing since May. Thirty-three percent favored Democrats…

A May 2009 survey by the pollsters found the public saw the Democratic and Republican parties as equally able to handle national security (41 percent trusted Democrats more, and 43 percent trusted Republicans more.) On conducting the war on terrorism, the two parties were tied at 41 percent.

The GOP leads by 13 on “keeping America safe” and by 31 on “ensuring a strong military,” both traditional advantages. But on the “standing in the world” question, I’m at a loss. That issue was at the very innermost core of Bush’s poor public image; there was no bar set lower for Obama than improving international perceptions of America. Republicans can be expected to say that the country’s image has dropped, but I figured nearly 100 percent of Democrats and a heavy majority of indies would see The One as an improvement over Dubya. And yet. I can’t find crosstabs by party at the Third Way site but I assume these numbers are being driven in part by lefty disenchantment with Obama’s willingness to continue some Bush policies (Afghanistan, tribunals, drone attacks, indefinite detention, etc.). It’s still surprising that they’d say the U.S.’s image is actually worse now than under Bush, although I suppose the reasoning there is that the world had such high hopes for a kinder, gentler, more Bambi-like America and to see those dreams dashed has only made them more embittered, etc.

I’d love to see the party crosstabs on this, too. Hmmmm:
Fifty-seven percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s handling of national security—ten points higher than his general 47 percent approval rating, according to a new Democracy Corps/GQR/Third Way poll out Monday.

Where Obama loses: interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, where a 51-44 percent majority disapproves. Republicans have hammered the administration for its decision to read the alleged Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights, and the poll results show the message is sticking…
The memo, prepared by veteran Democratic pollsters Stan Greenberg and Jeremy Rosner, advises Democrats to avoid what has so far been one of their key counter-arguments: Comparing the underwear bomber to so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid, who was read his Miranda rights after the Bush administration arrested him. “Voters resist the argument that the Obama administration simply handled the Christmas bomber in the same way the Bush administration handled the ‘shoe bomber’ case; this sounds political, and produces a weak response,” they wrote.

In a sane world, these numbers would give Lindsey Graham all the reason he needs to walk away from the “compromise” to bring detainees to Illinois in exchange for trying KSM in a tribunal. Although, with numbers this bad, Obama may walk away from closing Gitmo himself. He can rationalize making a move that looks “weak” if he’s perceived as strong in other areas of national security, but with a 14-point swing since last year, he has to do something. Democrats already walk with a limp because of O-Care; with their other leg now wobbling too, they’ll collapse by November without some help.


Female convert to islam volunteered for terrorism.

Is it really so rare? The god of the koran is not the God of the Bible. If it is not a sin for a muslim to lie to a Christian or a Jew how can we believe anything they say? The intire history of islam is built on lies and deception. Calls for peace are just efforts to gain time to reinforce, make further plans, and resupply. It is unfortunate that we have a cowardly president.

I do not feel safe. How about you?

See the video at the bottom.

left: This image provided by the SITE Intelligence Group shows Colleen LaRose an American woman from Pennsylvania …

PHILADELPHIA – An indictment against a suburban Philadelphia woman accused of recruiting jihadist fighters online and moving to Europe to try to kill a Swedish artist is a rare case of an American woman aiding foreign terrorists, authorities say, and shows the evolution of the threat of terrorism.

Colleen R. LaRose agreed to murder the artist, marry a terrorism suspect so he could move to Europe and martyr herself if necessary, the indictment filed Tuesday said.

LaRose, who called herself JihadJane online, is "one of only a few such cases nationwide in which females have been charged with terrorism violations," said U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd.

LaRose, 46, of Pennsburg, Pa., has been held without bail since her Oct. 15 arrest in Philadelphia.

Authorities said the case shows how terror groups are looking to recruit Americans to carry out their goals.

"Today's indictment, which alleges that a woman from suburban America agreed to carry out murder overseas and to provide material support to terrorists, underscores the evolving nature of the threat we face," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.

LaRose had targeted Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks and had online discussions about her plans with at least one of several suspects apprehended over that plot Tuesday in Ireland, according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman wouldn't confirm the case is related to Vilks, who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

The indictment charges that LaRose, who also used the name Fatima LaRose online, agreed to kill the target on orders from the unnamed terrorists she met online, and traveled to Europe in August to do so. Court documents don't say whether the person was killed, but LaRose was not charged with murder.

LaRose indicated in her online conversations that she thought her blond hair and blue eyes would help her move freely in Sweden to carry out the attack, the indictment said.

LaRose is a convert to Islam who actively recruited others, including at least one unidentified American, and her online messages expressed her willingness to become a martyr and her impatience to take action, according to the indictment and the U.S. official.

Killing the target would be her goal "till I achieve it or die trying," she wrote a south Asian suspect in March 2009, according to the indictment.

Her federal public defender, Mark T. Wilson, declined to comment Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Michael Levy said the indictment doesn't link LaRose to any organized terror groups. He would not comment on whether other arrests were expected.

In recent years, the only other women charged in the U.S. with terror violations were lawyer Lynne Stewart, convicted of helping imprisoned blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with his followers, and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist found guilty of shooting at U.S. personnel in Afghanistan while yelling, "Death to Americans!"

But neither case involved the kind of plotting attributed to LaRose — a woman charged with trying to foment a terror conspiracy to kill someone overseas.

Stewart has insisted she is "not a traitor," while Siddiqui has accused U.S. authorities of lying about her.

LaRose called herself JihadJane in a YouTube video in which she said she was "desperate to do something somehow to help" ease the suffering of Muslims, the indictment said. According to the 11-page document, she agreed to obtain residency in a European country and marry one of the terrorists to enable him to live there.

She moved to Europe in August 2009 with a U.S. passport stolen from a male friend and intended to give it to one of her "brothers," the indictment said. She hoped to "live and train with jihadists and to find and kill" the targeted artist, it said.

LaRose also agreed to provide financial help to her coconspirators in Asia and Europe, the indictment charged.

LaRose had an initial court appearance on Oct. 16 but didn't enter a plea. No further court dates have been set.

Islam is an evil.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kids in the hall on the Canadian Health Care System

Now we know why terrorists come in from Canada...


Friday, March 5, 2010

Another Democrat is found guilty of bribery

I swear I could start a blog soley on the convictions of Democrats found guilty of stealing money, accepting bribes or some sexual indiscretion. Of course there are Republicans as well, but as the reader will know, in my eyes they are both on the same side of the coin.

Former Birmingham mayor gets 15 years for bribery

By JAY REEVES, Associated Press Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was sentenced Friday to 15 years in federal prison for taking clothes, Rolex watches, loan payments and cash worth more than $240,000 as bribes in return for lucrative bond work.

U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler imposed the sentence on Langford, 63, who told the court, "I am sorry all this has occurred."

The sentence was about nine years shorter than the minimum term sought by prosecutors. Asked outside court whether he was pleased, Langford sneered at a reporter.

"Are you?" said Langford, who claims he did nothing wrong.


Langford and his wife have blamed his conviction on vindictive prosecutors, inattentive jurors and racism. Langford is black; most of the jurors were white.

Defense lawyers already are working on an appeal.

Langford, a dapper political figure, was convicted in October of taking cash, loans and gifts — including expensive clothes and jewelry — while he was president of the Jefferson County Commission. In exchange, prosecutors said, he steered county bond work to an investment banker who paid the bribes.

"He sold Jefferson County out," said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin.

He said Langford committed a "gross abuse of trust" with every Italian suit, Rolex watch and cash payment he received. Initially valued at $235,000, authorities said a final tally of the bribes came to $241,843 — which Langford was ordered to repay, along with about $119,985 in back taxes. Langford must report to federal custody by April 5.


The defense claimed the cash and other items were personal gifts and loans from friends and did not influence Langford's decision on the bond work.

But investment banker Bill Blount pleaded guilty to making the payments, and lobbyist Al LaPierre admitted being the middleman. Blount, the former state Democratic Party chairman, last week was sentenced to more than four years in prison. LaPierre, the former executive director of the state Democratic Party, got four years. Blount also was ordered to pay $1 million to the government, and LaPierre $470,000.

Prosecutors had argued Langford showed no remorse and should spend up to 30 years in prison.

The defense said Langford had been ridiculed by news media and, based on another Jefferson County official's sentence for corruption, should spend no more than five years in prison.

Defense attorney Michael Rasmussen also argued Friday that the bond deals were in the best interest of the county at the time.

"Unfortunately, since that time things went sour, but they didn't go sour because of Mr. Langford," he said.

Defense attorneys previously asked the judge to ignore new allegations that Langford won excessive jackpots at a longtime supporter's casino — at least 555 over a recent three-year period ranging from slightly more than $1,000 to more than $14,000. Court filings said his tax returns showed he won $1.5 million during that time from gambling at various casinos, and also claimed to have lost $1.5 million.

Nonetheless, Rasmussen — Langford's lawyer — was the only one who tried to bring up the gambling allegations. The judge cut him off.

"I'm not going to consider that at all," Coogler said. It wasn't clear what Rasmussen planned to say.

Blount's Montgomery firm was accused of making $7.1 million off the bond deals with Jefferson County. The bonds were part of risky financing of sewer debt that has grown to more than $3 billion and pushed Alabama's most populous county to the brink of filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Langford was accused of telling major Wall Street banks JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers to include Blount's investment banking firm if they wanted to handle the county's bond work.

Elected mayor in 2007, Langford was known for his rapid-fire ideas to revive the city. But some drew ridicule, such as his proposal to try to bring the 2020 Olympics to Birmingham, a city without a major sports franchise. He was automatically removed from office after his conviction.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Obama has had his first physical as president

Doctors tell Barack Obama to quit smoking

The American president has been trying to kick the habit for some time, apart from the smoking he is in excellent health
Barack Obama's medical: how does he compare to the rest of us?

Barack Obama has had his first medical examination since becoming president.

Barack Obama is still struggling to kick smoking, according to his first medical examination since becoming president.

Obama is sensitive about his cigarette habit and tetchy with reporters who raise it. But after his 90-minute medical at the Navy hospital outside Washington yesterday morning, his doctors confirmed he had not yet managed to conquer the habit and suggested he "continue smoking cessation efforts".

The doctors said the president used medication to try to ease the pangs, they described it as "nicotine replacement therapy, self-use".

Obama promised Michelle when he embarked on his campaign to become president he would quit; at the time he said he was smoking about eight a day.

He told reporters last year he had quit but still had an occasional cigarette, without specifying how many.

His health was described as excellent and he does not have to return for another medical until 2012. Obama, who is 48, has 20-20 vision, weighs 179 llbs in his shoes and clothes, and requires little medication. Apart from the nicotine replacement, he uses a non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication associated with physical activity: he regularly plays basketball at the White House.

The doctors also recommended "moderation of alcohol intake".

...But it is so hard when the man-made-god drinks water, it keeps turning into wine....


Is it me or is his butt on backwards?

Is it me or is his butt on backwards?