This Week with George Stephanopoulos marks the passing of actor/comedian Bernie Mac, Nobel Laureate author Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, talent agent/producer Bernie Brillstein, GOP foreign affairs consultant and Kissinger protege Peter Rodman, as well as 16 soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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A two-day prostitution sting in St. Paul netted 35 men, including a longtime Republican operator in Minnesota politics.
Peter Hong, 41, of Minneapolis, was one of 19 men picked up Wednesday afternoon after police say he responded to an ad for sex put out in newspapers and online by the St. Paul Police Department's vice squad.
The Carleton grad was a campaign spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2002 and congressional press secretary to Sen. Rod Grams, R-Minn., for much of the 1990s. He also served as the Bush-Cheney Minnesota campaign spokesman in 2004. His most recent political stint was as presidential campaign spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Hong is currently self-employed and "Always Searching for the Next Big Thing!" according to his profile on the business-networking Web site LinkedIn. Read on...
Another loyal Bushie goes down in flames. It appears Mr. Hong has indeed found the next big thing.
My brother and sisters and I are inveterate listmakers with each other. Think of it as one endless High Fidelity Top 5 email chain--favorite movies, childhood memories, places to go on vacation, beaches, Broadway shows, books, etc. You name it, we've probably exchanged lists on it. I'm usually the spoilsport who says that I can't possibly narrow things down to just 5. My youngest sister started the Top 5 80's hit songs list, and once again, I complained how hard it was to narrow it down. But I buckled down and picked them. In no particular order, here are my 5:
There's at least 20 others I could have added in their place, but 20 years + later (sigh!) I will still stop and listen to each one of these songs and still love them as much.
So what's your 5?
'cause I've been a NASA geek since I was a kid...
A NASA spacecraft has sent pictures showing itself in good condition after making the first successful landing in a polar region of Mars.
The images from NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander also provided a glimpse of the flat valley floor expected to have water-rich permafrost within reach of the lander's robotic arm. The landing ends a 422-million-mile journey from Earth and begins a three-month mission that will use instruments to taste and sniff the northern polar site's soil and ice.
"We see the lack of rocks that we expected, we see the polygons that we saw from space, we don't see ice on the surface, but we think we will see it beneath the surface. It looks great to me," said Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, principal investigator for the Phoenix mission.[..]
"Seeing these images after a successful landing reaffirmed the thorough work over the past five years by a great team," said Phoenix Project Manager Barry Goldstein of JPL. A key milestone still ahead is the first use of the lander's 7.7-foot-long robotic arm, not planned before Tuesday.
"Only five of our planet's 11 previous attempts to land on the Red Planet have succeeded. In exploring the universe, we accept some risk in exchange for the potential of great scientific rewards," said Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
Phoenix carries science instruments to assess whether ice just below the surface ever thaws and whether some chemical ingredients of life are preserved in the icy soil. These are key questions in evaluating whether the environment has ever been favorable for microbial life. Phoenix will also study other aspects of the soil and atmosphere with instrument capabilities never before used on Mars. Canada supplied the lander's weather station.
Following the publication of the April 20 New York Times front-page article on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon, the Department of Defense has released to the public numerous documents regarding the analyst program. One of the documents released is an audio recording of an April 18, 2006, meeting that several military analysts attended with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the meeting, one of the attendees tells Rumsfeld, "[W]e get beat up on television sometimes when we go on and we are debating" and says that he would "personally love" for Rumsfeld "to take the offensive, to just go out there and just crush these people so that when we go on, we're -- forgive me -- we're parroting, but it's what has to be said. It's what we believe in, or we would not be saying it." The individual adds: "And we'd love to be following our leader, as indeed you are. You are the leader. You are our guy." The transcript released by the Pentagon does not identify the person who made this comment; the Pentagon has provided this list of "confirmed" "[p]articipants." Media Matters for America has documented the consistent unwillingness of most of the outlets mentioned in the Times article to discuss the military analyst story.
Will media outlets try to determine if they have hosted the person who asserted that Rumsfeld was "our guy" and suggested that he would "parrot" Rumsfeld's statements?
Media Matters provides a list of all those attending the meeting that day. The Times article quotes one ABC analyst, Gen. William Nash, as being "repulsed" by the meeting and most of its attendees, but clearly there are others only too happy to play this psyops game on the American people.
On Monday December 17th, the WGA turned down requests for waivers by the Oscars and the Golden Globes to put those telecasts on air without the Guild’s writers. With the rejection of the waivers for the Academy Awards (ABC), set for Sunday February 24th, and the much faster approaching Golden Globes (NBC), set for January 13th, the WGA has essentially cancelled both awards shows by its actions.
The SAG Awards did receive a waiver and are scheduled for Jan. 27th.
But the other two awards shows will be cancelled and no one or should I say everyone in the industry is avoiding the mention of this 600 pound LaMotta because a) they are holding out the now near impossible hope for a settlement and b) no one wants to interrupt the cash flow from the media promotions of the potential nominees.
That is unless they want to go the route of the People’s Choice Awards which announced it will air its show Jan 8th (CBS) in a 2 hour “magazine” format of prerecorded videos and no audience yet featuring Queen Latifah as the prerecorded "host."
The Oscars and the Golden Globes will not play that game.
Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said, “It’s very difficult for me to envision that we would follow the model.”
Reuters Via Yahoo:
A U.S. soldier who said his Christian beliefs compelled him to love his enemies, not kill them, has been granted conscientious objector status and honorably discharged, a civil liberties group said on Tuesday.
Capt. Peter Brown -- who served in Iraq for more than a year and was a graduate of the elite U.S. Military academy West Point -- said in a statement issued by the New York Civil Liberties Union that he was relieved the Army had recognized his beliefs made it impossible for him to serve.
"In following Jesus' example, I could not have fired my weapon at another human being, even if he were shooting at me," said Brown, who plans to continue seminary classes he began by correspondence while in Iraq. Read more...
This story hasn't gotten a lot of attention, but I believe it will pave the way for many other soldiers who object to the tragedy in Iraq to get out. This sets an interesting precedent. If other soldiers choose to follow suit in big numbers, it could mean serious trouble for President Bush and an Army already failing to meet recruiting goals.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to advise President Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, potentially creating a rift with top White House officials and other military commanders over the course of the war.
Administration and military officials say Marine Gen. Peter Pace is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military. This assessment could collide with one being prepared by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, calling for the U.S. to maintain higher troop levels for 2008 and beyond
Pace's recommendations reflect the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who initially expressed private skepticism about the strategy ordered by Bush and directed by Petraeus, before publicly backing it....read on
KEYEtv.com (CBS): (h/t JazzTrombone)
A 74-year-old retired mathematician who sells anti-Bush buttons at a Maryland farmers' market has become a symbol of free speech to some people. Others say Alan McConnell is a nuisance.
McConnell was at the market in Kensington as usual yesterday, selling buttons that say "Impeach Him" He has sold the $1 buttons for months; he told The Washington Post he uses the money earned to pay for "Impeach Them Both" yard signs.
Town officials had previously warned McConnell about peddling his political wares at the market (he is accused of being "aggressive" in his pitch), and had cited him for selling merchandise without a proper permit.
McConnell was also warned that he would be arrested if he returned to the market, even though it is public property.
McConnell showed up this weekend, when police arrested him and forcibly carried him to a squad car. A crowd of about 40 McConnell supporters booed the arrest, chanting "Free speech!"
McConnell was charged with trespassing; he faces 90 days in jail and a $500 fine
Officials said kicking him out has nothing to do with politics but with fears that the atmosphere fostered by McConnell and his supporters would create a safety hazard. (Mayor Peter Fosselman even cancelled last Saturday's market.)
It's getting harder and harder to recognize this country some days...
MSNBC is reporting that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be replacing Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace
More details to follow