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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Senate repugicans Even Obstructing Judicial Nominees They Helped Pick

Susie Madrak posted this over at Crooks and Liars today:

The Senate Republicans are like willful children: "You can't make me!" They obstruct, for obstruction's sake and here's a perfect example from Right Wing Watch:

If you need any more proof that Senate Republicans' sole mission at the moment is to prevent anything from happening in their chamber of Congress, look no further than the fact that today the Senate had to seek cloture on the nomination Barbara Milano Keenan to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in a vote of 99-0.

That's right - not one Republican senator spoke against her qualifications, record, or views or voted to prevent her nomination from receiving an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor ... and yet still they filibustered, forcing Democrats to seek a cloture vote in order to move ahead, simply because they are committed to obstructing the governing process in every way possible.

Earlier today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy took to the Senate floor to blast the Republicans' refusal to allow the Senate to move on even noncontroversial judicial nominations:

Last year’s total was the fewest judicial nominees confirmed in the first year of a Presidency in more than 50 years. Those 12 Federal circuit and district court confirmations were even below the 17 the Senate Republican majority allowed to be confirmed in the 1996 session. After that presidential election year, Chief Justice Rehnquist began criticizing the pace of judicial confirmations and the partisan Republican tactics.

Among the frustrations is that Senate Republicans have delayed and obstructed nominees chosen after consultation with Republican home state Senators. Despite President Obama’s efforts, Senate Republicans have treated his nominees much, much worse.

I noted when the Senate considered the nominations of Judge Christina Reiss of Vermont and Mr. Abdul Kallon of Alabama relatively promptly that they should serve as the model for Senate action. Sadly, they are the exception rather than the model. They show what the Senate could do, but does not. Time and again, noncontroversial nominees are delayed. When the Senate does finally consider them, they are confirmed overwhelmingly. Of the 15 Federal circuit and district court judges confirmed, twelve have been confirmed unanimously.

That is right. Republicans have only voted against three of President Obama's nominees to the Federal circuit and district courts. One of those, Judge Gerry Lynch of the Second Circuit, garnered only three negative votes and 94 votes in favor. Judge Andre Davis of Maryland was stalled for months and then confirmed with 72 votes in favor and only 16 against. Judge David Hamilton was filibustered in a failed effort to prevent an up-or-down vote.

The obstruction and delay is part of a partisan pattern. Even when they cannot say “no,” Republicans nonetheless demand that the Senate go slow. The practice is continuing. This is the 17th filibuster of President Obama's nominees. That does not count the many other nominees who were delayed or are being denied up-or-down votes by Senate Republicans refusing to agree to time agreements to consider even noncontroversial nominees.

This shit has got to stop. ALL repugicans in congress should be ousted forthwith!

Senate rejects Social Security bonus payment

Guess who is at it again ...

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a proposal by President Barack Obama to give people on Social Security a $250 bonus check.

Full Story

Marijuana Cultivation in Mexico Rises

Marijuana cultivation in Mexico increased 35 percent in 2008 and continues to grow, even as authorities there push forward with a large offensive against drug cartels that smuggle the product into the United States, according to a State Department report released this week.

Full Story

A child directs traffic at JFK Airport

The FAA is investigating a report that a child apparently directed pilots last month from the air traffic control center at John F. Kennedy Airport.

Full Story

The return of the Mammoths

woolly-mammoth photo
Image Credit: rpongsaj via Flickr

The polar and sub-polar regions of the world are feeling the greatest effect of global climate change. One observable sign of warming is the thawing of Arctic tundras in Russia, Alaska and Canada. As Russia's tundras thaw, the long-buried remains of woolly mammoths have been popping up all over the place--to the tune of about 50 ton's worth per year. Some Russians are even making a living by hunting for, and selling, mammoth bones and ivory.

Science News

From BBC-Science:
A large space rock may have exploded over Antarctica thousands of years ago, according to new research.

There are more genes in the microbial flora in our gut than in the rest of our bodies, scientists report.

Scientists have discovered a dinosaur-like creature 10 million years older than the earliest known dinosaurs.

Liars and Fools

Liars and Fools

Glen Brick, Loulou Dobbz, and Patzy Buchanan laud wingnut group that encourages soldiers and police to thwart Obama's tyrannical plans.
Encouraging treason is not a thing to be bragging about, assholes.

Jim Quinn in his delusion says about Obama: "You've got a nexus here of angry black nationalism" and "whose entire family is Muslim".
Only in your deluded mind, fool, only in your deluded mind. Thorazine will help with that you know.

Faux's Glen Brick lies saying "progressives know what's at the end of the progressive road -- Nazis or Communists!".
Wrong and boy, how wrong. Both Nazism and Communism (as in real communism and not what the Soviets or China call communism nor what Marx and Engels wrote about mislabeled as communism) are throwbacks to the conservative end of the spectrum.

Cop News

In Cop News

A Kentucky sheriff says a claustrophobic deputy has lost his job after accidentally locking himself in a jail cell and trying to shoot his way out of it.

Kentucky Deputy tries to shoot his way out of jail

DVD Kiosks Challenged in Indiana County

The ongoing feud between brick-and-mortar video store owners and the DVD kiosk industry is heating up in one Indiana county, where retailers with Redbox and MovieCube kiosks have been told to remove all DVDs rated above “G,” or face prosecution under state law.

Paul Black, an Evansville, Ind. attorney representing the owner of several area video stores, convinced the Vanderburgh County prosecuting attorney to send letters to roughly a dozen retailers with DVD kiosks earlier this year, telling them to stop providing access to videos, movies, games, etc. that contain an ‘R’ or ‘PG’ rating or are unrated.

The letter goes on to warn that the county sheriff’s office will follow up to see that “your kiosks no longer contain these videos which are prohibited to be disseminated to minors.” The letters site Indiana state law, which calls for class D felony charges against “a person who knowingly or intentionally disseminates matter to minors that is harmful to minors.”

“We asked the local prosecuting attorney to look into whether these kiosks could possibly violate state law,” Black said. “We’re not on a particular crusade, but you can just walk up to any of these kiosks and rent adult material. There’s a danger in availability. We card people in liquor stores, minors don’t have access to cigarette machines. This is a level playing field issue.”

Black wouldn’t say who his client was, but noted that the Video Buyers Group (VBG), which represents more than 1,700 independent retailers nationwide, was working with the client. Repeated calls to the office of Stanley Levco, Vanderburgh County’s prosecuting attorney, were not returned.

VBG president Ted Engen said this is the first time the issue of kiosk DVD ratings and minors has reached the county level. Previous objections to minors’ access to kiosk DVDs were raised first in the city of Union City, Ind., in 2007, and again in 2008 in Anthony, Kan. Engen predicted the state of Indiana would take up the issue should the retailers, Redbox and NCR decline to remove the DVDs.

“Video stores are held to one standard, and these kiosks are held to a different standard,” he said. “It’s wrong.”

Neither Redbox nor MovieCube operator NCR Corp. said how they would react to the demands, though both have attorneys responding to Levco’s office.

“First, overall, we have clear processes in place to restrict the rental of DVDs to the appropriate age of consumer, and we believe our kiosks are being operated in full compliance with the law,” said NCR spokesman Jeff Dudash. “The kiosks are operated consistent with the industrywide practices for DVD vending kiosks all over the United States.”

He said NCR operates four MovieCube kiosks in the county.

Gary Cohen, SVP of marketing and customer experience for Redbox, noted that parental supervision is important when it comes to DVDs, and that most DVD players have built-in parental controls to block offensive content from children.

“Confirmation of age is a requirement of Redbox,” he said. “When renting a movie from Redbox, customers must confirm they are 18 years of age or older with a valid debit or credit card.

“In the event a customer selects an ‘R’-rated title, the customer must confirm they are 18 years of age to proceed with their rental. Whether renting movies online, from a kiosk, from a store or purchasing content from the Web, parental supervision is the most important factor in entertainment access and selection.”

Cohen also noted that the courts have “uniformly ruled” that attempts to restrict rentals based on Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings violate the First Amendment.

Ironically, one of those rulings, 1992’s VSDA v. Webster in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was brought about by two video retailers, in addition to the MPAA and Video Software Dealers Association. They successfully challenged a Missouri statute that aimed to restrict minors’ access to violent videos.

Engen said that doesn’t matter.

“Yes, the ratings system isn’t legal, but these state codes determine what’s considered inappropriate materials,” he said. “These DVDs don’t belong in the hands of minors. And the state of Indiana agrees with us.”

Eric Wold, an analyst with Merriman Curhan Ford in New York, said the VBG is pushing the issue “because Redbox is killing their business,” and noted that Redbox machines are in public, while a minor can go online and use a credit card to buy anything with no one watching.

But Engen said the issue isn’t about competition between the VBG and kiosks. Warner Home Video’s recent agreement with Redbox to delay availability of new release DVDs for 28 days after street date began to change that misperception, he said.

“This is an industry issue, not a competition issue,” he said. “Once we get a state to look at this, we know they’ll say, ‘That’s wrong.’

“If it takes new laws, we’ll pass new laws.”

Blockbuster brings back late fees ...

... and loses more customers.

Blockbuster brings back late fees

After closing hundreds of stores, the struggling chain makes another risky move.

Overlooked flaws that ruin resumes

Overlooked flaws that ruin resumes

Small mistakes on this critical document can sabotage your job search.

Why college may not be a smart move

Why college may not be a smart move

A hedge-fund manager says the financial benefits of a college degree have been exaggerated.

Spate of racist incidents rattles campuses

Spate of racist incidents rattles campuses

The discovery of a KKK-style hood at U.C. San Diego adds to a string of troubling events.

Dangerous new kind of ID theft on rise

Dangerous new kind of ID theft on rise

Patients pretending to be someone else can compromise the victim's credit and physical safety.

New, unexpected uses for drone planes

New, unexpected uses for drone planes

The unmanned aircraft are becoming more common above Afghanistan and Iraq.

Not just for missiles, surveillance


Mysterious queen's burial chamber found

Mysterious queen's burial chamber found

Queen Behenu was among Egypt's last royalty before an era of competing dynasties began.

Latest recommendation on prostate cancer

Latest recommendation on prostate cancer

The new guidelines reflect an ongoing debate over blood tests and when to start screening.

IRS pays big rewards for snitching

IRS pays big rewards for snitching

If you report someone for tax fraud, the IRS will give you a percentage of the underpaid amount.

Careers that get you out of the cubicle

4 careers that get you out of the cubicle

If you are creative and love the outdoors, one field in particular may be the way to go.

Two simple ways to be a happier parent

Two simple ways to be a happier parent

A researcher on happiness suggests starting with two questions about your everyday life.

Foods you should eat every day

5 foods you should eat every day

Leafy greens are nature's miracle food because they are high in vitamins A and C.

Best affordable suburbs in America

Best affordable suburbs in America

In these towns, families can live well for less and enjoy good schools, low crime, and short commutes.

Are some fish oil supplements unsafe?

Are some fish oil supplements unsafe?

The pills are touted for omega-3 fatty acids — but they may also contain an unhealthy element.

Bunning drops filibuster, benefits bill passes 78-19

Repugican Bunning has dropped his filibuster, finally. The final vote to pass the bill was 78-19, a rather extraordinary margin, suggesting that the repugicans were not pleased with Bunning's ongoing charade.

It seems to be beyond the ability of political reporters to wrap their minds around it, but there was an important matter of principle involved in opposing repugican Jim Bunning's filibuster of unemployment payments. Reporters can't see beyond the political optics of the situation - clearly good for Democrats - but there is an economic principle that was reason enough not to cave to Bunning's temper tantrum.

The bill that Bunning was filibustering extended the provisions of the stimulus package for another month to fund various transportation bills, unemployment benefits, COBRA, etc. What Bunning wanted to do is pay for this extension with taxes or spending cuts taken out of... the stimulus bill!

In other words, he was trying to eliminate the stimulus effects of this spending. Deficit spending is what a stimulus IS. If we fully offset stimulus spending then WE DON'T HAVE A STIMULUS!!! So what repugican Bunning was trying to do was undermine the very ability of the government to stimulate the economy, and thus undermine economic recovery itself.

The repugicans were wrong when they wanted to do this in the 1930's and they are still wrong today. Channeling Herbert Hoover is not a good way to run our economy. (or even vacuum the floor ... oh, wait that's another kind of Hoover - never mind, please return to your normal activities)

Welcome new readers

We here at Carolina Naturally would like to welcome our newest readers from the Isle of Mann.

178 countries out of the 196 countries of the world now read Carolina Naturally.

Why repugicans Won't Properly Cover People With Pre-Existing Conditions

You'd have to be pretty cold-hearted to think somebody should go without insurance just because she has a kid with asthma, was born with diabetes, or survived a bout of breast cancer--just three of the conditions that today would render an individual "un-insurable" in the eyes of the industry.

Full Story

North Korean soldier defects to South Korea

South Korea's top spy agency says a North Korean soldier has defected to South Korea.

Full Story

'Sore leg' was WW2 bullet

An 83-year-old West Midlands man thought he had arthritis only to discover a German bullet had been lodged in his hip for the last 66 years.

Full Story

The largest arthropod to prowl the land

As the sun sets over a beautiful Pacific island, a monster crab emerges from its burrow.


Brain scans now catch chemicals too

A way to visualize chemicals washing through the brain could vastly extend the power of fMRI, a workhorse of neuroscience

Brain scans now catch chemicals too

Texas College Bible for Porn Campaign

A Texas college campus is locked in a fierce debate after a group of students launched the "smut for smut" campaign, trading bibles and other religious texts for porn.

Atheist students at the University of Texas at San Antonio announced that any student over the age of 18 will receive pornographic materials if they trade in religious materials.

Leaders of this atheist campaign say that porn is no worse than what's written in religious texts.
(They are wrong - what is in 'religious' texts is the most vile, hideous, malicious filth ever recorded)

Criminal Miscarriage

This week, Utah overwhelmingly passed a bill which declares women criminally liable in some cases of miscarriage.

While there are other idiotic laws concerning abortion in other states and many even more idiotic proposed laws in those and other states ... The Utah law is unique in that it allows the mother to be prosecuted under certain circumstances.

This bill is the reaction to a 17 year old girl who, in her 7th month of pregnancy, paid a man $150 to beat her to attempt to cause a miscarriage. The child survived and has been adopted. The man involved has been sentenced to jail. The girl was unable to be charged due to the legal boundaries of the time of the incident.

The wording of the bill (just over 3,000 words long) makes it possible to prosecute a woman for seeking an illegal abortion, or knowingly, willfully, and/or recklessly behaving, at the expense of the fetus. Specifically in this bill, reckless behavior would include any activity that is known or thought to cause miscarriage.


Clearly unconstitutional it will be struck down.
That is unless the morons in DC get hold of it - and as they have proven over and over again they have no clue as to what is legal and what is not ... well, you just think on that.

Criminal Miscarriage indeed!

Hockey player returning to N.C. to face murder charge


Bogdan Rudenko

A former Charlotte Checkers hockey player told a Colorado judge Tuesday he no longer would fight extradition to North Carolina to face charges of murdering a man in Stallings.

That means Bogdan Rudenko, 32, of south Charlotte, will be returned to North Carolina within 10 days, said Shelly LaGrill, with the district attorney's office for El Paso and Teller counties in Colorado.

Rudenko was arrested in a Colorado Springs, Colo., hotel early Christmas morning following a standoff with police that lasted several hours. In a subsequent court hearing, the south Charlotte man fought extradition.

"We are looking forward to bringing him back to our jurisdiction," Union County District Attorney John Snyder said. He also said it was too soon to say whether his office would seek the death penalty.

Rudenko is charged with fatally shooting 32-year-old Yuriy Anatolevich Kharitonov, also known as Yuriy Kharutokov, who had no permanent address.

Like Rudenko, Kharitonov was from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan and had sparingly played minor league hockey for five seasons between 1998 and 2008 in Kazakhstan and Russia.

Rudenko spent some of the 2004-05 season with the Checkers, part of an 18-year minor league career with 14 teams, nearly all in North America. He had played part of two seasons in Colorado Springs about a decade ago. Rudenko last played in 2008-09 with the Twin City Cyclones of Winston-Salem.

Kharitonov's body was found in a wooded area outside an auto body shop in the 13600 block of East Independence Boulevard on Dec. 20. Police had responded to a call about a break-in at the shop near the Indian Trail border.

Authorities have said Rudenko and Kharitonov were "associates" but have not discussed a motive in the killing. Police believe a handgun was used to deliver the fatal shot.

After Rudenko is back in North Carolina, he will appear before a judge and have the opportunity to get a court-appointed lawyer or retain his own lawyer, Snyder said.

One Million for Bond


A judge set bond at just over $1 million during a brief Tuesday court appearance for Orgal Opata, the Charlotte mother charged with murder after two of her children died in a Sunday house fire.

Opata, 26, stood silently at the front of the courtroom, hands shackled to her waist, as Mecklenburg District Court Judge Regan Miller ordered that she be appointed an attorney. When he asked if she had any questions, she shook her head and mouthed "No."

Gabriel Hawthorne, 1, and Josiah Hawthorne, 2, died in the blaze that destroyed the house at 920 Rowan Street in west Charlotte. Police said Opata left her children home alone but haven't yet said where she was during the 6 a.m. fire.

Opata's two older children, ages 4 and 7, escaped. Fire department officials say a kerosene heater in a bedroom sparked the fire.

Opata turned herself in at police headquarters uptown hours after the fire on Sunday. Investigators say Opata has refused to be interviewed by detectives.

She faces two counts of murder, three counts of reckless/gross felony child abuse, four counts of exposing a child to fire and one count of burning resulting in serious injury to a firefighter.

Opata had a previous conviction in Greensboro in 2007 for possessing cocaine and was sentenced to at least six months in jail. Six years earlier, she was convicted of larceny by employee in Greensboro and sentenced to six to eight months.

Last fall, Opata was charged with child neglect for allegedly leaving three of her children home alone. A passer-by reported finding one of the children in the street and took the child to a fire station. A hearing is set for Friday in that case.

After Opata's court appearance Tuesday, Jerry Hawthorne, the father of the children who died, declined to be interviewed.

"I've been taking care of those kids - blood, tooth and nail," Hawthorne told reporters, as he stood in the courthouse with several relatives.

Hawthorne said, that he is fighting for custody of the two older children, who are in Department of Social Services custody. He said he is the children's stepdad, and the only father they've ever known.

Court records show Hawthorne has lived in Greensboro and has been convicted of multiple drug offenses in Guilford County since 2000. Those cases included convictions for maintaining a place to sell drugs and possession with intent to sell marijuana and cocaine.

Hawthorne was released from prison in 2008, after serving about nine months on drug charges. He is awaiting trial on a charge of violating his probation by leaving the county.

Hawthorne also was charged in Mecklenburg in 2008 with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, but that case was dismissed last year and details of the case are no longer available.

N.J. appeals court hears arguments whether blogger is protected by shield laws

She wrote About Porn

In the ongoing dispute between a Freehold-based company and a blogger sued for writing about the online pornography industry, a state appeals panel heard arguments [Tuesday] over whether she should be considered a member of the media and protected by New Jersey’s shield laws.

In their questioning of the attorneys for blogger Shellee Hale and Too Much Media LLC, the trio of appellate judges acknowledged they were treading into largely uncharted territory in determining what type of comments on the internet can be considered slander or libel.

The appellate panel, sitting at Rutgers Law School in Camden, is trying to determine whether Hale, a mother of five and a blogger from Washington State, is considered a journalist and a member of the media when she was gathering information in 2009 about an internet security breach at TMM.

At issue are comments she posted on a message board of an adult entertainment website accusing the principals of TMM of threatening her life.

The company sued and wants her to pay punitive damages for what it claims are comments that sullied its reputation. In an attempt to block TMM from forcing her to reveal her sources as part of the lawsuit, Hale sought to have the suit dismissed or to have a judge declare her protected under New Jersey’s so-called shield laws that protect journalists from disclosing their sources.

After court today, TMM attorney Joel Kreizman said Hale may have been acting as a journalist when she was preparing an article for her own website, but he contended she was nothing more than an irresponsible member of the public posting libelous or slanderous comments when she wrote on the message board.

Traditionally, slander has been defined as spoken defamation and libel as written defamation. However, Kreizman contends the internet changes that because its contents can be accessed indefinitely.

‘‘As a result, months and months from now we could be in a situation where we don’t know if we lost a customer because of what they saw when they Googled us,’’ he said. ‘‘Other than being a blogger, she didn’t do anything to show she was a journalist.’’

Hale’s attorney, Jeffrey Pollock, contends she was investigating TMM’s security breach when she was posting comments on the message board and therefore should be protected by the shield laws.

‘‘She was doing all the things someone would do to investigate, Pollock said.

Appellate Judges Philip Carchman, Anthony Parrillo and Marie Lihotz did not indicate when they would issue a decision.

NYPD hunts for supermodel after she assaults limo driver

Wanted: Supermodel with long legs and short fuse.

Cops are hunting for Naomi Campbell after she assaulted her limo driver in Midtown on Tuesday afternoon, police sources said.

Full Story

Today is ...

Today is Wednesday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2010.

There are 303 days left in the year.

Today In History March 3

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:

I Want You To Be Happy Day
What If Cats And Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Le Harve, Haute-Normandie, France
Piraeus, Attiki, Greece
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Novosibirsk, Novgorod, Russia
Klaipeda, Klaipedos Apskritis, Lituania
Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
London, England, United Kingdom

as well as the United States in such cities as Whittier, Harrodsburg, Wharton, La Crosse, Harlingen, Damascus and more.

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

You're going to be a very happy camper for the next couple of days, and it all starts now.
Wanderlust has cast a spell on you -- the kind of spell that makes it impossible to say no to a trip, a class or a new experience of any kind.
Anything that appeals to your curiosity or helps you stretch your mind will be absolutely irresistible.