Saturday, January 30, 2010

ESPN Says "Good Bye Paul Shirley"

Paul Shirley

Former NBA player and ESPN contributor Paul Shirley had some very harsh words for the people of Haiti. Shirley wrote an open letter to the people this is an excerpt:

Dear Haitians –First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded. As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it’s possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?

Shirley penned a long blog entry at about Haiti and the consequences of its earthquake. He begins the entry by stating that he has not donated to relief efforts in Haiti and "probably will not... for the same reason that I don't give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads 'Need You’re Help' is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either."

Shirley added:

"I don’t mean in any way that the Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation that might result in such catastrophic loss of life. And B) provide for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe."

Shortly thereafter, ESPN cut ties with Shirley. The company's full statement: "He was a part-time freelance contributor. The views he expressed on another site of course do not at all reflect our company's views on the Haiti relief efforts. He will no longer contribute to ESPN."

How tasteless and repugnant could one be? I wonder what this guy could have been thinking when he made these statements. Fortunately, the people of Haiti have the support of most of the civilized world as they face the devastating consequences of a natural disaster. We all have work to do to provide basic services and livable conditions for this small country. Good bye Paul Shirley...stop the madness.

Sources: Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Andre Bauer: Another SC "Foot in Mouth" Politican

Andre Bauer

South Carolina's lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer is known as “a fiercely ambitious Republican with a reputation for reckless and immature behavior”.

At a town hall meeting Thursday, Bauer, who is running for governor in his own right now that Sanford is term-limited, said: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

Democrats and Republicans alike railed at the comments.

Neal Thigpen, a political scientist at Francis Marion University said the lieutenant governor's latest remarks could hurt him in the general election in the fall by allowing Democrats to portray him as "insensitive and downright cruel." But as for the June Republican primary, "don't count him out. The kid's got a fanatical following," Thigpen said. "They're going to forgive him almost anything and stick to him like glue."

Similarly, Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said Bauer's words "came out as condescending and insulting," but his overall message about government dependency and personal responsibility will appeal to his evangelical Republican base.

Meanwhile, disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford prepares to deliver his last state-of-the-state address this week, the beginning of the end for a Republican once considered presidential material who has lost nearly everything except his job over an affair with an Argentine woman.

That Sanford will be there to give the speech at all reflects a combination of politics, lucky timing, and the fortitude to keep going when another shamed politician might simply have stepped down.

Bauer almost ascended to the top office last summer, after Sanford disappeared from the state for five days to be with his mistress. But the Legislature stopped short of impeachment. Politicians who had gubernatorial ambitions of their own, or were backing other candidates, knew that replacing Sanford with Bauer would have given the lieutenant governor a year-and-a-half tryout for the job and the benefit of running as an incumbent.

Joe Wilson, Mark Sanford and Andre Bauer are all politicians elected to represent the people of South Carolina. There must be something in the water that politicians and voters in the state are drinking that fosters reprehensible behavior followed by politics as usual. There’s a strong message in that and you quickly get that message “say or do what you like...there’s no accountability.”

Keep waving the Confederate flag!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

SCOTUS Okays Corporate Campaign Spending

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled this morning against restrictions on corporations' ability to spend to influence elections. In a nutshell, the Roberts Court overturned a six decade-long prohibition against spending corporate and union treasury money to directly campaign for or against federal candidates.

The Supreme Court just sucker-punched hope and change and cozied up to the status quo on money and politics, says Mark McKinnon, contributor to The Daily Beast.

The Court’s decision today in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allowing unlimited spending by corporations and unions in elections means that unless there’s serious, bold campaign finance reform in Washington, the notion of any fundamental “change” in Washington just hit the immoveable object: big money. Politicians who ignore the politics of this decision do so at their peril.

The Citizens United decision makes a bad situation worse. It will unleash an unlimited amount of corporate political spending, and fuel an escalating campaign fundraising arms race among members of Congress to keep up. They spend too much time fundraising already—time that gets in the way of doing the work they’re supposed to do.

A survey by the U of T/Austin said campaign donors are more influential with members of Congress than anyone else. In the same survey, voters ranked themselves dead last. Gallup’s 2009 annual ranking of the honesty and integrity of various professions placed members of Congress lower than ever before. Just nine percent of Americans believed it was an honest and ethical job, ranking it only above lobbyists (which debuted on the list at the bottom), car salesmen, and advertising practitioners.

More than one hundred years ago, after a 1904 president race that saw big life insurance companies pour money into the project of electing Republican Teddy Roosevelt, the defeated Democratic candidate, Judge Alton Parker, raised the question of whether presidents and congresses would simply be bought by corporations seeking policies that favored their interests.

"The greatest moral question which now confronts us is: Shall the trusts and corporations be prevented from contributing money to control or aid in controlling elections?" declared Parker.

The current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, is a conservative judicial activist who has made little effort to disguise his determination to rearrange political rules to favor his political and ideological allies. And Roberts has worked hard to build a court majority in favor of dramatically reducing, and perhaps eliminating, constraints on corporate dominance of the electoral and governing processes.

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who has been in the forefront of campaign-finance reform efforts for the better part of two decades, is worried.
"This would be in my view, a lawless decision from the Supreme Court," says the senator who gave his name to the McCain-Feingold law. "Part of me says I can't believe they'll do it, but there's some indication they might, and that means the whole idea of respecting the previous decisions of the Supreme Court won't mean anything anymore."

Says Feingold: "If they overturn a hundred years of laws, it means that corporations or unions can just open their treasuries (and) just completely buy up all the television time, and drown out everyone else's voices."

With less than 11 months before the fall elections, the floodgates for political contributions will open wide, adding another element of intrigue to the fight for control of Congress

Mr. Obama issued a statement – a rare instance of a president immediately weighing in on a ruling from the high court – and said his administration would work with Congressional leaders “to develop a forceful response to this decision.”

“With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics,” Mr. Obama said. “It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

Republicans, of course, hailed the ruling as a victory for the First Amendment.

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has acted to protect the Constitution’s First Amendment rights of free speech and association,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “These are the bedrock principles that underpin our system of governance and strengthen our democracy.”

Senator Russ Feingold, one of the architects of the 2002 campaign finance restrictions known as the McCain-Feingold law said “The American people will pay dearly for this decision when, more than ever, their voices are drowned out by corporate spending in our federal elections.”

The Caucus Blog, NY (Jeff Zeleny)
The Daily Beast (Mark McKinnon and Steve Hildebrand)
The Beat Blog, The (John Nichols)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Move Your Money

Are you angry about Wall Street's reckless excesses? Are you disappointed with Washington’s limp approach to reform? You can change this, acting individually and collectively. Withdraw your deposit and savings accounts from the large banks that brought the system to ruin and were subsequently rescued with billions in government bailouts. Put your money instead in smaller, safer banks or credit unions closer to home--the thousands of community institutions that do not harvest their profits from greed and recklessness.

"Move Your Money" is an electrifying slogan that's lighting up the Internet because it shows people how they can push back against the big dogs of banking. The concept is simple, but this is a big idea that could alter the timid direction of financial reform.

This campaign is potentially more than a feel-good gesture. If coordinated with institutional reform efforts, it could lead to a broad rebellion against the financial system, with citizens reclaiming the power to act directly when politicians are too intimidated by moneyed interests to act in the public interest.
The campaign was launched just before New Year's Eve by Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and Rob Johnson of the Roosevelt Institute. An influential bank-rating firm, Institutional Risk Analytics, donated a website window (, where citizens can find banks in their ZIP code that IRA certifies as safe and sound.

In the first forty-eight hours more than 100,000 responded with inquiries. Within a week, people had searched for good banks in 16,631 ZIP codes--nearly 40 percent of the nation. The search tool is now getting 45,000 users a day. Naturally, the corporate media promptly assured readers that "ordinary Americans lack the power to hurt the big banks," as a Washington Post headline put it.

Banks compete fiercely for the "core deposits" provided by individual and small business accounts--this stable money is their preferred base for profitable lending. Take away core deposits, and bankers feel immediate balance-sheet stress. Expand the account base for community banks, and they gain greater stability and greater lending power.

Changing the nature of finance capitalism is a long road, to be sure, and the industry will resist change every step of the way. But the fight begins in earnest when people decide to move their money. It’s something to think about.

Source: The Nation

The Massachusetts Voters Speak

Scott Brown

Congratulations to the voters in Massachusetts. You've made your wishes know to the entire country by electing Republican Scott Brown. We get it... you're mad as hell and you're just not going to take it any more. After all, the buzz word is just say no. That theanswer to all our problems.

Mitchell Bard, Huffington Post, gives us a look at what to expect:
...the Republicans in the Senate do exactly what they've been doing since the day Obama was sworn into office. They will obstruct. They will say no. They will lie and try and scare Americans to make sure the president doesn't get what they view as any political victories. And, most of all, they will continue to look out for corporate interests over the average American. Only now, with 41 votes, they will have the power to block every single initiative the president and the Democrats in Congress propose to address the pile of problems left to us by the incompetency of the Bush administration.

the people of the Bay State will have sided with insurance companies and drug manufacturers over the the tens of millions of uninsured Americans, as well as the tens of millions more suffering from increased premiums and decreased coverage. They threw in their lots with those that would invent death panels, and decided their U.S. Senator should side with the caucus whose leader claimed that passing health care reform with a public option could "cost you your life." Maybe Bay Staters were hoping Brown's Senate seat would be near his new colleague from Alabama, who wrote to one of his constituents that health care legislation would "directly subsidize abortion-on-demand," "rations health care so that our citizens are withheld important and potentially life-saving treatments," and "requires taxpayer dollars to fund health benefits for illegal immigrants."

It's hard for me to to believe that "the citizens of the Bay State, in which Democrats outnumber Republicans three-to-one, which doesn't have a single Republican in its U.S. House delegation, and whose citizens just 14 months ago voted for Barack Obama by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent, elected Republican Scott Brown, who happily accepted tea party support and questioned whether Obama's parents were married," to fill Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat."

As Mitchell Bard points out, democracy gives the voters what they ask for. Was asked for George Bush, not once, but twice. In return we got an "intellectually lacking, incompetent fear monger who duped the country into an unnecessary war with no exit plan, and then botched the occupation." When "the American people voted him back for a second term... Bush was able to continue to run the country into the ground, weakening the military, getting stuck in a quagmire in Iraq, neglecting the war in Afghanistan, and culminating in the near financial crash in September 2008. Democracy worked perfectly.

It will be interesting to see the impact of the Massachusetts voters decision and how it effects the entire country. If you need any additional revenue for the state, you can have your new Senator pose nude for Cosmopolitian again, just as he did in college. Way to go guys!

Source: Mutchell Bard, Huffington Post; Steve, LeBlanc, The Globe and Mail

TSA Nominee Southers Withdraws

Erroll Southers

President Obama's nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration withdrew from consideration on Wednesday, saying his nomination was "obstructed by political ideology."

“it is apparent that this path has been obstructed by political ideology”, Southers said in announcing his withdrawal.

"It is clear that my nomination has become a lightning rod for those who have chosen to push a political agenda at the risk of the safety and security of the American people," Southers said.

Jim DeMint, who led GOP opposition to Southers, initially opposed him out of fear that TSA would eventually approve collective bargaining rights for airport security officers. TSA employees can join a union, but cannot collectively bargain. DeMint and other Republicans argued that union interference would jeopardize airport security.

"Today our national security system lost a skilled law enforcement officer with needed expertise and leadership qualities because of political games – and that is a real shame," Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) said. "I urge my colleagues to more carefully focus on America’s security not partisanship."

It seems impossible to change the climate in Washington. After all, who cares about the public welfare when political games always top the agenda. And the beat goes on.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Limbaugh and Robinson- "Poor Choice of Words"

Rush Limbaugh

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and televangelist Pat Robertson are being scolded for their comments in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake in Haiti that has killed tens of thousands.

Speaking on his radio show Wednesday, Limbaugh said the earthquake has played into Obama’s hands, allowing the president to look “compassionate” and “humanitarian” while at the same time bolstering his standing in both the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.”

He added: “We've already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”

Critics from both the left and right are denouncing their remarks as insensitive to the disaster and attempts to score political points off human tragedy.

“They are deeply insensitive,” said conservative commentator Pat Buchanan on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“The president speaks for the country when he says we’re going to go in there,” he said. “You want your whole nation, and it’s very positive. And I think Rush’s comments were cynical.”

Sitting next to Buchanan on set, host Joe Scarborough called Limbaugh’s comments “deplorable.”

“The insensitivity is stunning,” said the former Republican congressman

“Limbaugh did not know when to just shut up,” said liberal commentator Keith Olbermann on his MSNBC show “Countdown.” “Today he blamed communism for the poverty of Haiti, blamed President Obama for holding a news conference the day after this cataclysm when he did not hold one after the failed half-assed terror attempt in Detroit.”

John Amato from the left-leaning website Crooks and Liars added that “with thousands of people dead already and as the suffering continues in Haiti, Limbaugh and his ilk only care about one thing: destroying Obama.”

Robertson claims that Haiti got hit by an earthquake because it is “cursed.”

Speaking about the disaster during his program “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson said that when Haiti was still a French colony its leaders “swore a pact to the devil” to get out from “under the heel of the French.”
“They said, ‘we will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal,’” Robertson claimed, as was recorded and sent around by the liberal group Media Matters.

“But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other,” he continued. “That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle on the one side is Haiti the other is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty.”

Speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said Thursday morning she was left “speechless” by Robertson’s remarks.

“That's not the attitude that expresses the spirit of the president or the American people, so I thought it was a pretty stunning comment to make,” she said.

Personally, nothing Rush Limbaugh or Pat Robertson says stuns me. I expect Rush Limbaugh to do any thing to cast a negative light on President Obama and Pat Robertson has a long history of making controversial remarks on his program. I guess you could say it's business as usual.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sarah Palin Joins Fox News

Sarah Palin

It's no surprise that Sarah Palin is joining Fox News. I've heard it rumored for months on numerous political talk shows, so now it's a reality. Looking at the announcement about the move, I know she'll fit right in and feel right at home.

Here's an excerpt from the Fox News Website:
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has signed a multi-year deal with FOX News to serve as a contributor across all FOX News platforms, announced Bill Shine, Executive Vice President of Programming.

In making the announcement, Shine said, "Governor Palin has captivated everyone on both sides of the political spectrum and we are excited to add her dynamic voice to the FOX News lineup." As a contributor, Palin will provide political commentary and analysis for FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN),, and FOX News-produced special event political programming for FOX Broadcasting.

In addition, she will host periodic episodes of FNC's "Real American Stories," a series exploring inspirational real-life tales of overcoming adversity throughout the American landscape that will debut in 2010.

Palin added, "I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at FOX News. It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."

Shine's and Palin's statements speak volumes about things to come from Fox News.

The network already employs Mike Huckabee, former Bush White House aide Karl Rove, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich as highly visible commentators. Hiring Palin could further boost the popularity of Rupert Murdoch's network among conservative viewers.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"A Poor Choice of Words"

The Republican Party chief called on Senator Harry Reid on Sunday to step down as Senate majority leader over racial comments about President Barack Obama, while Democrats tried to put the issue behind them.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Senator Reid should step aside as Senate majority leader based on remarks published in a new book. Reid's comments, made in private conversations, were quoted in a newly published book about the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, "Game Change," by Time magazine reporter Mark Halperin and New York magazine writer John Heileman. The book quotes Reid saying “Obama (is) a "light-skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one."

“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words,” Reid said in a statement to CNN.
In his Saturday statement, Reid said he apologized “for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments.

“I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda.”

Reid also pointed to his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry, among other legislation favored by African-American voters: “I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community.”

Steele says that if a Republican made the same remarks Democrats would be "screaming for his head."

"Oh yeah, there's a big double standard here," Steele, who is black, said on the NBC program "Meet the Press."

Both Obama and Reid are Democrats and Reid is a key figure in pushing Obama's agenda through Congress. Reid apologized to the president on Saturday over the remarks and the president issued a statement accepting the apology. Democratic Party chairman Tim Kaine said "the comments were unfortunate and they were insensitive," but he said there is no reason for Reid to step down as majority leader.

"I think the case is closed because President Obama has spoken directly with the leader (Reid) and accepted his apology. ... We're moving on," Kaine told "Meet the Press."

"Harry Reid made a misstatement. He owned up to it. He apologized. I think he is mortified by the statement he's made. And I don't think he should step down," Democratic Senator Jack Reed told "Fox News Sunday."

Boyce Watkins, a professor of finance and social commentator at Syracuse University, doesn’t see Reid’s statement as a matter of individual racism, but as a calculation of political fact.

Reid “wasn't necessarily giving his own opinion. Rather, he was giving his assessment of the preferences of the American public,” writes Dr. Watkins on the website, theGrio.

Reid is “a bellwether of public opinion and an accurate reflection of the ‘political pulse’ of the white American voting population,” he adds.

Watkins's conclusion: It “reminds many African-Americans across the country that if our speech patterns or appearance are 'too black' (whatever that means) or too different from what some consider acceptable, we are going to be deemed inferior.”

Funny, I don't hear the Republican leadership condemning all the public disrespect thrown at President Obama by their constituents. Nothing was said to denounce the signs and posters with racial slurs at the Tea Parties. There was nothing but support for the "You Lie" shout out hurled at the president during the Joint Session of Congress. Oh Well, the Party of NO wouldn't miss an opportunity to slap at the Democrats, "poor choice of words" not withstanding. I'll be convinced of their outrage when I see some Republicans comment to some of the outlsndish remarks coming from other Republicans or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck et al. of course, there's no political hay in doing that, is there?

Sources: The Christian Science Monitor
CNN Political Ticker

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dance to the Music Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck, consistently negative about all things Obama, has a chance to dance to his own music with his recent tax problems.

Beck was quick to focus on key figures in the Obama Administration with tax issues, e.g. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

As reported by Politico, Beck said their tax issues are just one indicator of “a culture of corruption among some of the left,” Beck declared just last month in a segment on his Fox News television show, in which he branded Geithner, Killefer, Solis and a handful of other Obama nominees “tax cheats,” whom he wouldn’t trust “with my children, let alone my children's future.”

Mocking the excuses offered by the nominees, Beck sarcastically intoned: “Oh, the tax thing, it was an accident. It was my husband's fault. I didn't do it, he did it. I didn't mean to do it. I was just working hard for the people.”
So what to make, then, of the fact that Beck has had his own minor tax problems over the past few years? Basically, his tax problems seem to stem from a struggle to keep up with the heightened tax and filing demands accompanying his success.

Dean Zerbe, national managing director for a company called alliantgroup that provides specialty tax services to accounting firms, said Beck’s situation “has the look and feel of somebody who is confronting an extraordinarily complicated tax situation — or at least the people he’s hired to do these things are — and is trying to comply but isn’t doing everything perfectly.”

The same, however, could be said of most of the Obama nominees Beck has blasted for tax problems, said Zerbe, who called them “people who were trying to comply with the spirit and the intent of the law.”
“What I think would be helpful for everyone is to have is a much bigger dose of sympathy for how complicated it is to comply with the tax laws,” Zerbe urged.

Well Mr. Zerbe that kind of reason won’t sell people against the current administration, nor will it fuel the controversy that makes television show ratings. So, we minimize our tax problems and exploit those of others. That’s the way Glenn Beck plays the game.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eunice Johnson founder of the Ebony Fashion Show died Monday.

Mrs. Johnson has always been a woman ahead of her time, a true visionary. Mrs. Johnson received her B.A. degree in Sociology, with a minor in Art, from Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. She earned her master's degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. In addition, Mrs. Johnson took courses in studies of the Great Books at the University of Chicago. She also studied Journalism at Northwestern University and Interior Decorating at the Ray-Vogue School of Design, which is now the Ray School of Design.

She had been the director and producer of the Ebony Fashion Fair since 1961. The traveling high fashion charity event that showcases black designers and models is staged in nearly 200 cities each year. Mrs. Johnson made a tremendous impact on the fashion industry, showcasing the best in style on African-American models of various shapes, sizes and skin tones.Along with her husband, Johnson developed a popular makeup and skin-care line — Fashion Fair Cosmetics — specifically for women of color. The products are sold in many high-end department stores.

She had been the director and producer of the Ebony Fashion Fair since 1961. The traveling high fashion charity event that showcases black designers and models is staged in nearly 200 cities each year. Mrs. Johnson made a tremendous impact on the fashion industry, showcasing the best in style on African-American models of various shapes, sizes and skin tones.Along with her husband, Johnson developed a popular makeup and skin-care line — Fashion Fair Cosmetics — specifically for women of color. The products are sold in many high-end department stores.

She was a secretary-treasurer of Johnson Publishing, which produces JET and Ebony, two of the longest-running black-oriented magazines in the country. These magazines were once the only place where black people were celebrated. The magazines chronicled the struggles of segregation, the civil rights movement and more recently the candidacy of Barack Obama. Mrs. Johnson did it all with style and grace and we will never see another like her.” the publisher said.

"Bad Boy" Charlie Sheen

Brooke Mueller and Charlie Sheen

Brooke Mueller told Aspen, Colo., police her husband, actor Charlie Sheen, held her at knifepoint and threatened her. Sheen was arrested after Mueller, the mother of his infant twin sons, called 911 and said he assaulted and threatened her. The actor was released on bail later in the day and prosecutors said they will announce whether they will file charges against the star at his next court date Feb. 8.

Authorities later reported that Charlie Sheen star of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men had been charged with domestic violence. Sheen, 44, was "charged with second degree assault and menacing, both felonies, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor”.
It's been reported that Mueller was legally drunk when she made the 911 call and has recanted parts of her story to police.

As I watch the media coverage of this incident, I find a marked difference between the treatment of Charlie Sheen and Chris Brown. Brown beat up his then girlfriend Rihanna and has became public enemy number one. What Brown did to Rihanna was indeed despicable, but America has refused to forgive him. Sheen has a history of bad behavior, but the media tends to laugh it off and say that is Charlie Sheen being Charlie Sheen. He is simply the “bad boy” of Hollywood even though he is a middle aged man.

I thought it would be very interesting to watch how this case unfolded. Would Sheen be demonized or will he just give us his trademark smirk and simply film another Hanes commercial with basketball superstar Michael Jordan?

Well, one thing is clear. No more Hanes commercials for Charlie. Today Hanes finally decided that Charlie Sheen is not a good spokesperson for their brand. They have suspended his commercials. Hanes had still been running his commercials with Michael Jordan even after Sheen was arrested on the domestic violence charges. It was especially ironic in light of the fact that Tiger Woods who was not arrested was dropped by some of his sponsors for behavior that they deemed immoral. Sheen was seemingly suffering no adverse consequences for his bad behavior. So it is good that Hanes finally pulled the plug on the commercials because domestic violence is no joke.

Teammates or Thugs?

Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton reportedly drew guns on each other during a locker-room argument over a gambling debt. Law enforcement is investigating the presence of weapons in the locker room, and the league is taking action. The Wizards said Friday they are cooperating with authorities and the NBA and “take this situation and the ongoing investigation very seriously.” The NBA Commissioner David Stern has suspended Arenas indefinitely with the possibility of expulsion from the league. Stern said that Gilbert Arenas actions had led him "to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game."

Do you remember the glory days of basketball? Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlin and Kareem Abdul Jabar. Arenas and Crittenton are not members of opposing teams; they are teammates. I can't understand why these millionaires would be carrying firearms in the team's locker rooms. What kind of gambling debt could they be talking about? In an ironic twist, The Wizards used to be called the Washington Bullets, but the name was changed because it had a negative connotation.

The situation reportedly began on December 19 as an altercation over $25,000 that Arenas supposedly lost to teammate Jarvis Crittendon in a card game. On December 21, Gilbert Arenas allegedly brought four guns into the Washington Wizards locker room and left a note telling Crittendon to pick the gun he wanted. Although it is unclear what was meant by the note, Arenas later said it was a joke. Whatever the intent, Crittendon didn't think it was amusing.

Some sports figures never learn thst "fame" can turn to "shame" in a heartbeat.

More Dirty Political Tricks

This photo of the homeless man and a woman has become part of dirty tricks in American political efforts to consistently disrespect Presidential Barack Obama.

Someone doctored this image to portray the president as the shoe shine boy and former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin as his customer. This altered image is being circulated via email.

The perpetrator of this plagiarism is a Colorado State worker who sent an email with an image that depicts the president as a shoe shine boy shining the shoes of Sarah Palin. The note sent with the image said “he finally found his niche.” The 73 year old worker is now facing disciplinary actions for sending this on the state computer.

Once again our president is placed in the stereotypical subservient role which says volumes about how some still see the first black president. Some will say other presidents have been made fun of, so why is this any different. In my mind, it’s not funny and it depreciates our role president’s role as leader of the free world.

While I refuse to print the altered image in order to protest all that it stands for, we need to be aware of the madness surrounding us.

Another Gate Crasher?

Allen and Salahis

The Secret Service announced that there was a third crasher at the White House State Dinner, but declined to provide any details as to the person's identity. The Service revealed only that the crasher arrived with the Indian delegation and underwent security screening at a local hotel.

Carlos Allen, a D.C. party planner, was identified last night by the Washington Post as the third state dinner crasher. But, in an interview with Politico, Allen denied that he even attended the party. It seems the Salahis and Allen traveled in the same D.C. social circles. A photo of Allen posing with one of the original crashers, Michaele Salahi can be found on his Facebook page.

No one has lost their job over this frightening incident where all three intruders waltzed into the affair and migled with our top leadership including the president. Only in America.

Republicans stall TSA Appointment

Erroll Southers

The nomination of a former FBI agent to lead the Transportation Security Administration hit a new obstacle Wednesday as several Republican senators expressed "serious reservations" about the nominee and pressed the White House for details of incidents in which he improperly accessed a confidential federal database years ago.

Southers's nomination had been held up by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) because of concerns he would support the unionization of TSA workers. On Wednesday, DeMint and six other Republican senators -- including John McCain (Ariz.), Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) -- demanded that the White House provide information about why Southers initially gave Congress an incorrect account about the searches two decades ago, incidents that led to his censure by the FBI.

The letter and Coburn's hold follow a report in The Washington Post last week that detailed how Southers provided differing accounts to the Senate about incidents in 1987 and 1988 in which he inappropriately accessed a federal database, possibly in violation of privacy laws, in a search for records about his estranged wife's boyfriend.

In an Oct. 22 affidavit provided to the Senate homeland security committee, Southers said he asked a San Diego police officer to access the records. In November, after the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), received a briefing about the censure letter and noticed discrepancies in Southers's account, she asked him to explain the episode.

In a Nov. 20 letter, a day after the committee endorsed his nomination, Southers acknowledged that his first account was incorrect. He said that after reviewing documents, he realized he had twice personally conducted the database searches.
In a separate statement, DeMint said the "Senate shouldn't rubber stamp someone who hasn't been properly vetted and who has stonewalled and misled Congress."
Collins and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the homeland security committee, remain behind Southers, who they have said has had a sterling career that has prepared him to lead the TSA. A White House spokesman said the White House remains solidly behind Southers as a well-qualified candidate who simply had a lapse in memory.

"Neither in testimony nor in writing has Southers ever tried to hide or mischaracterize this incident, and he has expressed that these were errors he made in judgment that he deeply regretted, and an error that he made in an account of events that happened over 20 years ago," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro.

Southers, currently a high level official with the Los Angeles Airport Police, is in charge of homeland security and intelligence for the department. Southers is known as a well respected manager and is credited with bringing a sharper focus to the Los Angeles Airport Police’s security and counter-terrorism efforts.

At least the Republicans are consistent to the party line...”just say NO”. After all, why expedite filling this important position when there’s political hay to be made. More importantly, let’s not appoint a union supporter any way. Heaven forbid!

Source: The Washington Post
Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 7, 2010