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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Orange Jumpsuit Politician – Jesse Jackson, Jr.

This one goes under the heading of… What was he thinking?

 

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison

Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the namesake of the famed civil rights leader and once-promising Illinois congressman, was sentenced to 21 / 2 years in prison Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle over many years.

In an emotional hearing in federal court in the District, Jackson said he failed to separate his personal life from his political activities and “could not have been more wrong.”

Jackson, 48, and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for high-end items, such as fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch, in addition to private-school tuition and trips to Costco.

“I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong and I do not fault anyone.”

He asked to serve his term in Alabama, “far away from everybody for awhile.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation) said the former congressman and his wife used his campaign funds as a “personal piggy bank.”

“There may be blurred lines for Congress to follow when their lives are political, this case did not come near those areas,” she said after a more than three-hour hearing. “This was a knowing, organized joint misconduct that was repeated over many years.”

The judge also ordered Jackson to perform 500 hours of community service that is unrelated to politics. She sentenced Sandra Jackson to one year in prison.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Jesse Jackson Jr. was driven by “greed and entitlement,” and they asked the judge to sentence him to a prison term of four years, which falls on the lower end of federal guidelines.

In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves called Jackson’s crimes “staggering,” in part because the couple had sufficient independent financial resources, earning nearly $350,000 in 2011.

“These were extreme abuses that strike at the integrity of the campaign finance system,” Graves said.

The defense team asked for a term of less than four years, saying that a shorter term is critical to Jackson’s mental health and that a lengthy sentence would be “devastating” to the couple’s two children – ages 13 and 9…

In the spirit of bipartisanship…

Perhaps his new room mate will be Va. Governor Bob McDonnell, or AG Ken Cuccinelli…

 

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Gobsmacked Gumbo Gohmert And the 50 Shades of Stupid

I swear it’s a contest among the right wingies for who can say the stupidest isht on any given day…

And today’s winner is that old time repeat offender Gobsmacked Gumbo (Louie) Gohmert

Louie Gohmert: Obama Has Stirred Up More ‘Racial Tension And Violence’ Than Any President Since The 1960s

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused President Barack Obama of being a driving force of “racial tension and violence” in the nation during an interview this week, arguing that his administration was the worst since the 1960s on the issue.

In an appearance on conservative host Steve Malzberg’s show on Monday, first caught by Right Wing Watch, Gohmert began by railing against the move this week by Attorney General Eric Holder to reform the judicial system, claiming that the administration was circumventing federal law on areas like mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.

But Gohmert saw a silver lining in the Department of Justice release announcing the change, saying that Holder had finally admitted that “violence is down,” even though the administration has attempted to push further anti-violence measures. The outspoken Republican went on to directly blame Obama for what he saw as growing racial division:

“I tell you what though, in that release there was a great statement that I’m glad somebody in this administration finally admitted because they’re constantly screaming about all the hate violence and all of this kind of stuff,” Gohmert said. “Of course we know that this president, this administration has done more to stir up racial tension and violence than any administration since, you know, the sixties. I thought that we were going to have a post-racial president and he’s become the president of division, of envy, of jealousy.”

The 1960s were monumental for civil rights progress. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy forced segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace to comply with federal court orders and allow two African-American students to register for courses at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It was the second time in two years he’d faced down a southern governor, forcing them to desegregate a public institution. Hours after the Alabama incident, Kennedy addressed a national audience and outlined his a federal blueprint to ensure further integration.

President Lyndon B. Johnson picked up Kennedy’s civil rights mantle in the middle part of the 1960s, successfully ushering through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation. He built upon his record a year later, overseeing the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

While both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations made clear federal strides on civil rights, the decade was also stricken with racial tension and violence as many parts of the nation were forced to meet their racist tendencies head-on.

Gohmert’s remarks on race also echo those made by a number of conservative Obama opponents, particularly in the wake of the president’s decision to inject himself into the debate over Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen slain by George Zimmerman last year. Obama weighed in on the issue again following Zimmerman’s acquittal, sparking sharp reaction from predominantly white conservatives who argued that racism was over in the nation, and that Obama was only making things worse by discussing racial bias.

Yeah, Louie…

 

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Gotta Find Me an Angel… Mystery Priest Saves Girl

Amazing story…

 

Mystery ‘Angel’ Priest Appears At Missouri Car Crash, Performs ‘Miracle,’ Then Disappears

Rescue workers and community members from a small Missouri town have a mystery on their hands. An “angel” priest reportedly appeared out of nowhere at the scene of a bad car accident Sunday, performed what is being called a “miracle” and then disappeared.

It all unfolded around 9 a.m. on Missouri 19 near the town of Center. Katie Lentz, 19, had gotten into an accident and was pinned between the steering wheel and the seat, reports area news outlet KHQA. A rescue crew arrived at the scene and worked to get Lentz out of the mangled car for 45 minutes, but they were unable to free her.

As time passed, Lentz’s condition worsened. Eventually she asked if someone would pray out loud. That is when a gray-haired priest, dressed in all black with a clerical collar and carrying anointing oil, appeared and prayed over the girl.

Shortly after, the rescue workers were able to free Lentz and send her to the hospital. When they turned to thank the priest, he was gone. He isn’t in any of the dozens of photos taken from the accident, and no one has been able to identify him.

“I think it’s a miracle,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed, one of the rescuers at the scene of the accident, told KHQA. “I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don’t know. Either way, I’m good with it.”

The teen’s mother, Carla Churchill Lentz, feels the same.

She told USA Today that emergency workers said there is no way her daughter should have lived through the crash. She believes the man may have been “an angel dressed in priest’s attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us.”

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of My Life with the Saints, has a different theory.

“Most likely the priest will be identified, and people will be able to thank him,” he told The Huffington Post in an emailed message Thursday. “If he’s not found, that may mean he wants to remain anonymous. Could it have been an angel? There are similar ‘angelic’ stories in the lives of the saints, when a figure inexplicably appears and cannot be located afterwards. There are angels, of course, but we tend to ascribe to angels anonymous acts that we find incredibly loving — when in fact human beings do incredibly loving things in hidden ways every day.”

On her Facebook page, Carla Churchill Lentz revealed her daughter has undergone surgery for sustained injuries, including a broken femur, broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a ruptured spleen and a bruised lung. She thanked everyone for their support and asked them to “pray out loud.”

A spokesperson from Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill., told HuffPost that Lentz is currently listed in serious condition.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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47th Floor Walk-Up, 2 Bedroom Spectacular View…For Sale/Rent cheap!

A 47th floor …Walk up?

And you thought the economy was bad in Greece!

Spanish Skyscraper, InTempo, Has One Tragic Flaw – No Elevator! How Did Architects Forget A Lift For The 47-Story Benidorm, Spain High-Rise? 

A 47-story Spanish skyscraper has been built, it seems, without an elevator. Yep, you read it right folks. InTempo high-rise in Benidorm, Spain, whose construction began with high hopes of being “an unquestionable banner of the future,” has been constructed without a proper elevator to travel all the floors of the 47-story skyscraper. Sadly, this tragic oversight may soon make the structure, and Benidorm itself, the laughingstock of the modern world. Though the project has been riddled with problems since day one, the recent discovery that such a vital usability feature as an elevator was overlooked may just put the kibosh on the whole thing, certifying it as a fail of epic proportions.

So let’s just take a step back and figure out how the architects managed to build a 47-story skyscraper without an elevator. I mean surely that should be a standard component of any set of high-rise building plans right? It appears, when InTempo’s construction first began, the Benidorm, Spain skyscraper did include an elevator — at least for the first 20 stories anyway. However, multiple problems arose in the construction process, putting the building completion four years behind schedule. In 2009, just before the skyscraper was to be completed, the construction firm building the 47-storystructure, Olga Urbana, went bankrupt.

With much work still undone, some of the workers who were part of the now bankrupt Olga Urbana firm decided to open a new firm and try to get the InTempo completed. The new firm was called Kono and picked up the work in 2010.

Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the troubles and complications ahead for the skyscraper, culminating in the discovery that it lacked a proper elevator. In fact, elevators had been an issue all along with this failed construction attempt. It seems that whoever was managing this project really didn’t have their head in the game because oddly enough, there wasn’t any kind of lift at all for workers until 23 stories of the skyscraper had already been built! Without even a freight elevator in place, imagine the difficulties these 41 workers must have had, trekking up and down 23 floors each day to complete their work!

The poor InTempo workers did finally get the freight elevator they needed, but unfortunately, more trouble was ahead. In July 2011, as workers prepared to build the 47th and final floor of the Spain skyscraper, a tragedy occurred. The freight elevator collapsed with 13 of the 41 workers inside. Even more frightening, however, is the fact that ambulances were unable to get to the workers due to the building having no vehicle entrance. Again, this was another brilliant attempt to save money at the expense of those working on the project.

Though workers continued to build the 47-story high rise, in 2012 an error was discovered that was the straw to break the camel’s back.

It was discovered that the design of the structure was quite shortsighted as it didn’t plan for the additional 27 stories later added to the building. Initially the InTempo was meant to be 20 stories high. However, when the building firm bankruptcy fiasco took place, plans were altered to take theskyscraper to 47 stories. The twin towers would connect in the center with a bowl construction containing communal gardens and pools.

In revamping their plans for InTempo, however, the builders forgot to properly rescale them. As a result, the 47-story Spanish skyscraper would have an elevator far to small to accommodate lifting past the 20th floor. The motor in the original elevator lacked the power needed to lift to the additional floors and there was no space to put in a larger one. This final disaster led the construction workers in charge of the project to resign citing “a loss of confidence in the developers” — um, yeah.

Even with this latest embarrassment, which leaves the building at 94 percent completion, it seems those in charge of the project are fairly oblivious to the disasters that have ensured around them. Though the skyscraper has only 35 percent of its 269 housing units sold, the completely unfazed designers continue to offer their one-bedroom apartments at an exorbitant 358,000 euros, with increments every 10 floors…

You KNOW it’s bad when…

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in You Know It's Bad When...

 

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Welfare and “White Trash”

One of the favorite theories of the racial conservative set is that “Welfare destroyed the back community”. It is a popular “adage” reinforced by paid Uncle Toms like Larry Elder and Thomas Sowell. Unfortunately for white conservatives …There are a few Mack Truck size holes in that argument…

  1. The majority of people who receive “welfare: and have received welfare since the 1930’s (35-40 years before the Great Society opened up welfare to black folks) are white.
  2. The black poverty rate in 1960 was 60%. Today, it is at a stubborn 20% and has been pretty much since the end of Clinton. The “Great Society” and Liberal ideas like “Equal Opportunity” resulted in the largest migration from poverty of any group in this country’s history.What the Great Society did not do, despite billions in investment, by and large is to move the large groups of southern and Appalachian whites into productivity. Much of conservative racial hysteria, and conservative racial resentment against blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants comes from the fact that those groups are in some part at least – succeeding.
  3. The “Black Community” envisioned in conservative mindset is the inner city. The vast majority of black folks, and even the majority of black poor folks  don’t live there anymore.  Indeed, according to some studies over 80% of black folks in the US now live in suburban or rural communities.
  4. Lastly, if welfare destroyed the black community… Why exactly hasn’t it had the same effect on the white community?

Thomas Sowell’s least popular book among conservatives is “Black Rednecks and white Liberals“. The reason is, while doing his usual buckdance about the depravity of the black community – he opens the door to the same issues afflicting a portion of the white community… specifically In the infamous Red State Zone. His theory is that black folks learned dysfunctional behavior from dysfunctional white folks during slavery (AKA Rednecks). While going into great detail about what he theorizes happened to the “Black community”, he utterly ignores where that white “Redneck” community, which now comprise the most faithful conservative voters went.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher kinda lets that cat out of the bag yesterday with his tweet..

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said on Twitter this week that he would like to “defund white trash” who take advantage of federal social programs.

Rohrabacher made the remark in a reply to a Twitter user who was complaining about immigration policy.

Ga_bree_lla @ga_bree_ella@ImmortalTech @danarohrabacher Its ok for lazywhitetrash 2live off food stamps but won’t legalize my ppl who actuall contributetothiscountry

Dana Rohrabacher ✔ @DanaRohrabacher@ga_bree_ella would defund white trash, but not our vets , seniors & other deserving Americans 2 provide benefits 2 those here illegally

House Republicans are seeking cuts to food stamps that would trim the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‘s cost by roughly 5 percent over 10 years.

In June, Rohrabacher said that John Boehner (R-Ohio) should be removed from his position as House speaker if he brought immigration reform to a full vote without majority support from Republicans.

Charles Blow hit the nail on the head with the following article Please follow the link and read the rest) –

‘A Town Without Pity’

America was once the land of Lady Liberty, beckoning the world: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

No more.

Today’s America — at least as measured by the actions and inactions of the pariahs who roam its halls of power and the people who put them there — is insular, cruel and uncaring.

In this America, people blame welfare for creating poverty rather than for mitigating the impact of it. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in June foundthat the No. 1 reason people gave for our continuing poverty crisis was: “Too much welfare that prevents initiative.”

In this America, the House can — as it did in July — pass a farm bill that left out the food stamp program at a time when a record number of Americans, nearly 48 million, are depending on the benefits.

In this America, a land of immigrants, comprehensive immigration reform can be stalled in The People’s Branch of government, and anti-reform mouthpieces like Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan can warn that immigration reform will be the end of the country.

And in today’s America, poverty and homelessness can easily seep beneath the wall we erect in our minds to define it.

A December report by the United States Conference of Mayors that surveyed 25 cities found that all but 4 of them reported an increase in requests for emergency food aid since 2011, and three-fourths of them expected those requests to increase in 2013.

The report also found that 60 percent of the cities surveyed had seen an increase in homelessness, and the same percentage of cities expected homelessness to increase in 2013.

But poverty isn’t easily written off as an inner-city ailment. It has now become a suburban problem. A report this week by the Brookings Institution found that “during the 2000s, major metropolitan suburbs became home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in America.”

Nor can economic insecurity be written off as a minorities-only issue. According to survey results published last month by The Associated Press:

“Nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.”…

 

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The Legend of Bass Reeves

One of the oddities of being black in America, is that while our ancestor published a number of books, almost none of them detailing anything about our History seem to be available anywhere until those written in the mid to late 60’s. We got erased from the History of America much the same way Jewish people were led to the ovens by the Nazis…

With nary a whimper.

Where I grew up the “black High School” which the State of Virginia graciously finally got around to building in 1954 was named after a black Historian – Dr. Luther P. Jackson.

Luther Porter Jackson was an African American historian and one of Virginia’s most important civil rights activists of the 1930s and 1940s. He was a professor of history at Virginia State College in Petersburg for nearly thirty years and authored Free Negro Labor and Property Holding in Virginia, 1830–1860 (1942), research that challenged stereotypes of antebellum blacks. Jackson was perhaps most important, however, as a political and social activist. He helped found the Petersburg League of Negro Voters in 1935, wrote a weekly newspaper column titled “Rights and Duties in a Democracy,” and worked to challenge segregation in Richmond’s public transit system.

So a lot has been lost through the years.

Now…As to Bass Reeves…

Was an African American cop the real Lone Ranger?

More than a century before Johnny Depp wore a terrifying crow headpiece in new Disney film “The Lone Ranger,” another hero of the Wild West was carefully arranging his own remarkable disguise.

Sometimes he dressed as a preacher, at other times a tramp, and occasionally even a woman.

But beneath the elaborate costumes was always Bass Reeves — a 19th-century Arkansas slave who became a legendary deputy U.S. marshal, capturing more than 3,000 criminals with his flamboyant detective skills, super strength and supreme horsemanship.

Sound familiar? As one historian argues, Reeves could have been the real-life inspiration behind one of America’s most beloved fictional characters — the Lone Ranger.

“Many of Reeves’ personal attributes and techniques in catching desperadoes were similar to the Lone Ranger,” says Art Burton, author of “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves.

“He was bigger than the Lone Ranger — he was a combination of the Lone Ranger, Sherlock Holmes and Superman,” Burton told CNN. “But because he was a black man his story has been buried. He never got the recognition he deserved.”

It’s a world apart from the fictional Lone Ranger, who remains one of most the iconic Wild West heroes of the 20th century.

First appearing on a Detroit radio station in 1933, the masked man on a white stallion who brought bad guys to justice was hugely successful, with the series running for over two decades. It spawned novels, comic books and an eight-year TV show starring the most iconic Lone Ranger of all — actor Clayton Moore.

Indeed, Disney’s new film — featuring Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as his trusty native American Indian sidekick Tonto — is just the latest in a long line of films depicting the legendary lawman.

So what’s that got to do with Bass Reeves — one of the country’s first African American marshals, who was born almost 100 years before the Lone Ranger made his radio debut?

Quite a lot, argues Burton, pointing to similarities such as their gray horses, penchant for disguises, use of American Indian trackers, and unusual calling cards — Reeves gave folks a silver dollar to remember him by, while the Lone Ranger left silver bullets.

As for the iconic black mask, the link is more symbolic. “Blacks at that time wore an invisible mask in a world that largely ignored them — so in that societal sense, Reeves also wore a mask,” said Burton, a lecturer at South Suburban College in Illinois.

“When the Lone Ranger first started appearing in comic books he wore a black mask that covered his entire face. Why would they do that? There was deep physiological connection going on.”

Then there’s the Detroit link. Many of the thousands of criminals captured by Reeves were sent to the House of Corrections in Detroit — the same city where the Lone Ranger character was created by George Trendle and Fran Striker.

Read: Beautiful and tough as nails — Meet Miss Rodeo America

“It’s not beyond belief that all those felons were talking about a black man who had these attributes and the stories got out,” said Burton. “I haven’t been able to prove conclusively that Reeves was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger, but he was the closest person in real life who had these characteristics.”…

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Black History

 

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Orange Jumpsuit Politicians? Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Seems that Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife have been playing fancy-free with “gifts” from corporate interests in Va. There was the matter of a $6500 Rolex, A $15,000 “donation” to pay McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding expenses at the Governor’s Mansion. $10,000 gift to McDonnells other daughter before her wedding.  Trips on private planes. A family “vacation”. A $1500 catered Thanksgiving Dinner and $3,000 “vacation”…

And that is just the “$125,000” or so McDonnell has admitted taking from one wealthy businessman.

Then there is the issue of McDonnell’s wife using campaign funds as a personal piggy bank to buy clothes, furnish the mansion, and finance a lavish lifestyle. While not exactly illegal under Virginia law – it does raise some questions as to propriety.

Prosecutors are investigating what exactly these many gifts paid for.

McDonnell has been on a lot of the Republican Party potential Presidential candidates “short list” of VP picks. There also is some currency that McDonnell would make a run for a Senate seat or the big Kahuna – the Presidency.

Perhaps even more explosive is the fact that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also benefitted from the largesse of the same group of business interests. Cuccinelli says Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams didn’t give him the kind of presents that can be returned. Gifts from Williams listed in Cuccinelli’s financial disclosure forms include a $1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner, private jet trips and vacation lodging. When asked about the list of gifts—totaling $18,000—the attorney general responded by saying that “there are some bells you can’t un-ring.” The “Cuch” just happens to be running for Governor this term.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer is taking gifts under the table… The Attorney General of all people in a Government is supposed to conduct themselves within the law to be above reproach.

There is the consideration that the uncovered monies may just be the tip of the iceberg…

Donor Jonnie Williams, Star Scientific are cooperating in probe of Gov. Robert McDonnell

A prominent political donor and his dietary supplement company have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a fast-moving public corruption investigation of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to three people familiar with the probe.

Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, has turned over personal financial records and sat for interviews in which he provided firsthand accounts of luxury gifts andmore than $120,000 given to McDonnell (R) and his family members since 2011, the people said.

Star has given prosecutors access to corporate records and offered information from other company officials. The three spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is in a sensitive stage.

The cooperation is an ominous sign for McDonnell, suggesting that federal prosecutors are focused on trying to build a potential criminal case against him.

McDonnell has not been charged, and prosecutors ultimately must determine whether they have the evidence to proceed against him.

But Williams is a critical witness who can offer investigators insight into the key issue for such a case: whether the governor and first lady agreed to take official actions that could help Williams’s company in exchange for his gifts.

McDonnell has repeatedly said he has broken no laws, insisting that he did nothing to help Williams’s company that he would not have done for any state-based enterprise. He has said he was not required by state law to disclose gifts given to his family members or a corporate loan that he said Williams provided. He has said he properly disclosed $50,000 given by Williams to his wife as a loan.

Still, McDonnell recently apologized for breaching the public’s trust and said he had repaid money he received from Williams, along with interest. Last week, he said he was working to return all of Williams’s gifts to his family.

But the federal probe is ongoing, as is an investigation by a state prosecutor in Richmond into whether the governor followed Virginia’s gift disclosure laws. Star Scientific has also told investors that it faces a securities probe.

Rich Galen, a spokesman for McDonnell, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office and an attorney for Williams.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Orange Jumsuit Politicians

 

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