Saturday, May 13, 2006

CBS NEWS’ new anchorperson: Persistent and spunky with a perky delivery
Couric Urges Okla. Grads to Be Persistent

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Katie Couric told University of Oklahoma graduates that persistence and the ability to stay connected to friends and family can help a person make an impact on the world.

Speaking at the university's commencement ceremony Friday night, Couric joked about President Bush addressing graduates six days earlier at "a lesser university," in-state rival Oklahoma State University…

Couric is leaving NBC's "Today" show and in September will become the anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News," a move that will make her the first woman to anchor a network weekday evening newscast alone. She said the coming change means she can better relate to what college graduates are feeling.

"In a funny way, at this moment in time, we're all in the same boat," Couric said. "We're about to step out into the unknown ... Like you, I'm about to leave my comfort zone and step into something completely undiscovered."…

"Not only do I like spunk, but you've got to have it," she said. "If you don't have it, get it."...
Ms. Couric also spoke of her “small imprint on the world.”
… Couric shared the story of how her husband, Jay Monahan, was diagnosed with colon cancer in April 1997 and died nine months later. Couric has since been an advocate of early cancer screening, and in 2000, she underwent a colonoscopy on the "Today" show.

In the weeks and months afterward, researchers and doctors noted an increase in people who sought early cancer screenings.

"If that is my legacy ... then I have in fact left a small imprint on the world and all of my professional accomplishments pale by comparison," she said.

"I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty... But I am too busy thinking about myself."
Edith Sitwell

Speaking of Nevada elections…
Last day for ballot bids brings out the usual unusuals

A former porn star filed for governor…

Melody Damayo, who performed under the name Mimi Miyagi in movies such as "Seoul Train," appeared at the Sawyer Building downtown about 4:30 p.m. in a hot-pink pillbox hat, hot-pink high-heeled sandals and a very low-cut hot-pink suit. She was accompanied by an entourage she called her Campaign Cuties as well as two dark-suited bodyguards.

Damayo, who called herself the "former Asian Love Goddess," filed to run for governor as a Republican, saying one of her priorities would be anti-stalking legislation. She added that she hoped to address youth and gang violence "so they don't do it anymore."

Damayo, 32, is a native of the Philippines. She said she originally thought to run for mayor but was encouraged to run for governor by her friends. She has lived in Henderson for 13 years, she said.

Damayo said she retired from the adult film industry in 2003 with the film "Happy Ending." [Ed. – Warning, link has sexual content]

"I have nothing left to hide," she said. "My slogan is, 'I'm bare and honest at all times.'"…
Hey, if a mob mouthpiece can get elected mayor of Las Vegas, certainly the woman who “puts the hole in Holistic” should have a shot at the governor’s mansion.

Kathy Augustine: I’ve been impeached and convicted of ethics violations, asked to resign by the governor, and banished by the Republican Party.

VOTE FOR ME!!
Impeached controller to join treasurer's race

CARSON CITY -- Impeached Nevada Controller Kathy Augustine filed for state treasurer Friday, saying that she is the most qualified candidate for the job and that her ethics problems of two years ago had nothing to do with her ability to efficiently and properly run the office.

Augustine, 49, said she would have filed for another term as controller if term limits had not forced her to seek a different elective office. She is finishing her second four-year term as controller.

Augustine, brought up on three articles of impeachment by the Assembly in 2004, was convicted in the state Senate of one of the three and the least serious of the charges. Augustine was found to have used office equipment in the controller's office to aid her 2002 re-election campaign. All three charges related to the use of state equipment and staff to help in her campaign.

Augustine was censured but not removed from office for the offense.

She was the first public official to be impeached and convicted in Nevada's 142-year history.

"I don't think my trustworthy financial excellence has ever been questioned," Augustine said. "It was never about the financial job I was doing in my office, and I think I am the most qualified candidate, having been the chief financial officer for the state of Nevada for the past seven and a half years."

Augustine filed despite comments from state Republican Party Chairman Paul Adams in February that she should not run…

"We have to say, 'This is someone who, because of what they've done, should not be running as a Republican,'" Adams said. "This is someone who should not taint our ticket."

Augustine said she has a lot of grass-roots support from people who were pleased that she stood up for herself during the impeachment proceedings.

The impeachment was made necessary after she pleaded guilty to three violations before the Ethics Commission in September 2004. Augustine was fined $15,000 by the commission, the most in Nevada history for a public official. The charges were the same she faced later in her impeachment trial.

After she pleaded guilty before the Ethics Commission, several state officials, including Gov. Kenny Guinn, called on Augustine to resign. She did not do so…

Friday, May 12, 2006

Well geez then at least etch in ‘Cheats’ after ‘State Champion’ on their trophies
League won't make Chief Sealth girls forfeit any games

The Metro 3A League ruled Wednesday that the Chief Sealth High School girls basketball team should not have to forfeit any games for repeatedly violating recruiting rules.

In a 9-2 vote, a committee of principals from each of the league's schools accepted the Seattle School District's recommendation that the team be placed on probation for two years — but decided against imposing other penalties such as forfeiture of games, fines or expulsion from the league. Forfeiture could have led to the nationally ranked school losing the state titles it won this year and last

In a somewhat related matter; there's talk about putting an asterisk in the record books next to Barry Bonds’ name should he break Babe Ruth’s homerun record. Personally, I think a miniature hypodermic needle would be more appropriate.

There’s fast and then there’s FAST!
Gatlin breaks Powell's 100m world record

OLYMPIC champion Justin Gatlin broke the 100m world record last night by clocking a time of 9.76 seconds in the Doha Super Grand Prix in Qatar.

Gatlin, 24, also the winner of last summer's World Championships gold medal, beat Asafa Powell's 11-month-old record by one hundredth of a second on the desert leg of the IAAF World Athletics tour.

The American sprinter knocked 0.09 seconds from his previous best time, which he set when winning the 2004 Olympic crown in Athens.

"I am the best of the best because I am the Olympic champion, the world champion and the world record holder now," said Gatlin...
Mr. Gatlin will more likely be remembered after his legs are ‘gone’ if he embraces some Confucian wisdom: “The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”

Gays “R” Us
Inappropriate' Art Exhibit Finds New Home

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Brooklyn College art exhibit that was shut down by parks officials shortly after it opened at a public war memorial will reopen at a new location, the school said Thursday.

The student artists agreed to reopen the show, which features watercolor paintings of gay sex, in retail space donated by a Brooklyn developer if the school upholds a verbal agreement to provide logistical and financial support for it, artist Marni Kotak said. [Ed. – Kotak’s biography is here, her ‘Statement’ is here]

The college said the exhibit would run between May 24 and June 16…

The students still plan to file a freedom-of-speech lawsuit against the city, the Department of Parks & Recreation and the college, Kotak said…
I wasn’t able to find the name of the developer or the retail space’s location but one has to wonder how foot traffic for those lucky businesses that will neighbor the ‘exhibit’ will be affected.

Hopefully, he’ll be out of rehab in time for the election.
R.I. Dems standing behind Kennedy

As he sat 1,300 miles away in a Minnesota drug rehab clinic, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy was unanimously endorsed last night for re-election by the Rhode Island Democratic Party.

Bill Lynch, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said he did not think Kennedy’s disclosure that he was addicted to prescription drugs, and is seeking help, would affect Kennedy’s chances of winning a seventh two-year term.

“People have gotten to know him here personally in Rhode Island,” Lynch said. “People here respect the fact that he’s courageous enough to deal with this in the public eye, which is very difficult.”…

Kennedy spokeswoman Robin Costello said there was no word on when Kennedy might be released from the Mayo Clinic rehab facility.

But Kennedy has vowed not to step down despite his apparently prescription drug-fueled car crackup in the wee hours Thursday morning. The congressman said he had taken a sleep medication and anti-nausea drug and couldn’t remember anything about the accident.

Matt Wylie, executive director of the Massachusetts GOP, said backing a candidate before the investigations into the car accident are complete is premature.

“I would hope the Democratic Party would try to find out the truth and not just give him preferential treatment because he is a Kennedy,” Wylie said.

Paraphrasing Jay Leno - If God had wanted Rhode Island’s 1st District to vote, he would have given them candidates.


Oh, and speaking of the investigation…
Cops told Pat K was at watering hole before crash

Capitol police in Washington, D.C., investigating U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s early-morning car wreck have been told by witnesses that the Rhode Island congressman was at a Capitol Hill bar before the crash, the Herald has learned.

A source close to the probe said witnesses have told detectives that Kennedy was at the Hawk & Dove before he slammed his Ford Mustang into a security barrier near the U.S. Capitol. The source added that cops are continuing to seek evidence to confirm that Kennedy was at the watering hole.

The Herald reported last week that a Hawk & Dove hostess said the 38-year-old pol is a frequent customer and was drinking in the bar before the May 4 crash. Kennedy has denied he was drinking, blaming the accident on a cocktail of prescription painkillers and sleeping pills. He has since checked into a Minnesota rehab…

A Kennedy spokeswoman declined comment. A Capitol police spokeswoman also refused comment, citing the ongoing probe.

The crash sparked a furor within the Capitol Police Department after angry patrol officers said higher-ranking cops blocked them from giving Kennedy a sobriety test. Police union head Lou Cannon said two watch commanders on duty the night of the crash have been transferred.

A police report on the 2:45 a.m. crash cited alcohol as a factor, describing Kennedy as slurring his speech, being “unsure” on his feet and having red and watery eyes.

Kennedy told cops he was on his way to a House vote, even though Congress had adjourned three hours earlier...

It’s fatigue. Yeah… fatigue. That’s the ticket.
Is Fatigue to Blame for Low SAT Scores?

At three hours, 45 minutes, the newly expanded SAT exam can be a grueling marathon of essays and multiple-choice bubbles, many high schoolers say. Now, with preliminary figures showing a small but noticeable drop in scores this year, some experts wonder if student fatigue is to blame.

That could further pressure the College Board to let students take different sections of the test on separate days - an issue on the agenda at the nonprofit's SAT committee meeting that was underway Friday in New York...

And, if they alter the process to take different sections on separate days and the scores don’t improve or drop further, what will be blamed then? A break in concentration perhaps?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Howard Fineman trots out his ideal Democratic presidential candidate
Rove revamps the Republican strategy

By Howard Fineman

WASHINGTON – This fall’s election season is going to make the past three look like episodes of “Barney.”

The conventional notion here is that Democrats want to “nationalize” the 2006 elections — dwelling on broad themes (that is, the failures of the Bush Administration) — while the Republicans will try to “localize” them as individual contests that have nothing to do with, ahem, the goings on in the capital…

Rather than defend Bush, Rove will seek to rally the Republicans’ conservative grassroots by painting Democrats as the party of tax increases, gay marriage, secularism and military weakness. That’s where the national message money is going to be spent...[Ed. –That would be a hard sell. The next thing you know Rove will start peddling the meme that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West]


So the White House will try to survive by driving down the ratings of the other side. Right now, an impressive 55 percent of voters say they have a favorable view of the Democrats, one of the party’s best ratings in years. But the “favorables” of leading national Democrats are weak: 34 percent for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton; 26 percent for Sen. John Kerry; 28 percent for former Vice President Al Gore. The bottom line: As long as the Democrats remain a generic, faceless alternative, they win; Rove’s aim is to paint his version of their portrait...

Entertaining the really, really, really bored by being really, really, really inane
Shanghai Preparing for 'Human Zoo'

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Shanghai is getting set to open a "human zoo."

Four Australian men will live in a glass box on a downtown mall for two weeks in June, with the public able to watch them sleeping, eating and bathing, a news report said Thursday.

The group, known as the Urban Dream Capsule, has drawn crowds with similar displays in London, Montreal, Hong Kong and other cities.

"They won't turn off the lights or pull down the curtains. They show their whole life, from getting up to going to bed," Karen Chang, the event's organizer, told the Shanghai Daily newspaper.

"People like to watch them taking a shower, so they have to shower at least two times a day," Chang said. "Of course, one can't see the key parts, because there is nontransparent glass in the bathroom."

The 650-square-foot glass capsule is to be decorated in a Shanghainese theme.

Members of the group have been taking Chinese lessons so that they can communicate with spectators, the report said. The public can send e-mail or faxes to them, or put messages on the glass.

"Interaction is a key element of the performance," Chang said.

‘Light-skinned’ Booker wins
Newark Elects First New Mayor in 2 Decades

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Cory Booker, a 37-year-old former Rhodes scholar, became Newark's first new mayor in two decades by a landslide Tuesday, ushering in a new era for the struggling city.

Booker swamped his nearest challenger, state Sen. Ronald L. Rice, taking 72 percent of the vote compared with 24 percent for the lawmaker in the nonpartisan election…

Booker's resounding win marks a generational change of black leadership in a city trying to turn around decades of urban decay…

Mayor Sharpe James, 70, announced in March that he would not seek a sixth term.

Booker, a former city councilman, lost to James in 2002, falling 3,500 votes short out of about 56,000 cast in a nasty race chronicled in the Oscar-nominated documentary film "Street Fight."

Earlier Tuesday, after casting his vote, Booker, a Yale Law School graduate and former Stanford University football player, said he wasn't expecting a landslide victory: "We'll be happy just to win this election. If we win by 5 percent, it's a significant victory."…

By rejecting Rice, a longtime Newark politician endorsed by James, voters also rejected James' legacy, said Clement Alexander Price, a history professor at the Newark campus of Rutgers University…

Both Booker and James are black. But during the 2002 election, James' supporters criticized the light-skinned Booker as not sufficiently black. Some of that bitterness remained on Tuesday, as reflected by anti-Booker signs urging people to "vote black."

"Don't waste your vote on folks who will not and cannot represent you!" said the signs, which were posted on utility poles…


"Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor."
Elizabeth I

Reporter Moore experiences fantasy withdrawal in LA LA Land
Farewell, 'West Wing': an Open Letter

By FRAZIER MOORE
AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- I don't often dash off mash notes to the President of the United States, be he real or make-believe. Come to think of it, my last time was back in December 1999 (just a few months into the run of a fine new NBC drama, "The West Wing"), when I tipped my hat to President Jed Bartlet.

With "The West Wing" concluding Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT (following a repeat of its pilot episode at 7 p.m.), I feel like writing another open letter:

Dear President Bartlet,

I guess your mind is on many things after two eventful terms in the White House - and seven rousing seasons on TV.

Whew! It's been a long haul, huh? Including that awful assassination attempt and the kidnapping of one of your daughters! Plus your battle with multiple sclerosis (glad to see how well you're doing lately - using a cane sometimes, but otherwise in good shape).

Just this season you had a further blow: You lost your friend and right-hand man Leo McGarry (by then Matt Santos' vice presidential running mate). His death was a sad aftershock to the unexpected passing of John Spencer, who had done no less than give Leo life.

Meanwhile, of course, you've been pretty busy as leader of the free world.

But now you're handing the reins over to president-elect Santos (who looks so much like Jimmy Smits it's amazing, just as you bear a remarkable resemblance to Martin Sheen). And I'm sure you can see how the public is preoccupied not with the past, but with the future (especially the new fall TV shows, which will be announced next week). So maybe viewers are giving short shrift to all that your show, er, administration, has vigorously stood for.

Please, Mr. President, don't get me wrong. I have a tight enough grip on reality to understand that you are not, and never have been, the nation's actual chief executive… [Ed. – Writes he, after adjusting his Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Profanity in every speech and a nudie in every session

I’m not sure that beats ‘a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage’, but it’s still an attention-getting campaign slogan.
House hopeful tells the truth
Blanton, a therapist, reveals to Democrats his naked workshops

Democrats in the 7th Congressional District will have to decide whether the naked truth is the best policy in a political campaign.
Click here.

Brad Blanton has written to Democratic leaders in the sprawling district that he runs honesty workshops where people get naked and talk about their sexual histories.

Figuratively baring all in his letter, Blanton said there might be some who believe "I could be an embarrassment to the party."

Democrats in the district will meet in a convention Saturday to decide whether to nominate Blanton or to choose not to have a candidate…

"People are concerned because I have run workshop groups involving nudity, used profanity in my books, have a comedy routine about establishing a new religion, 'Futilitarianism,' and have been arrested a number of times," Blanton wrote in a letter to district leaders…

Blanton, a psychotherapist who lives in Page County, said he has been arrested several times for his participation in the civil-rights movement and anti-war protests.

As part of his work to bring out the truth in people, Blanton runs eight-day workshops called "The Course in Honesty." At $2,400 per person, a maximum of 16 people spend 81⁄2 days together, "Telling the truth to each other," he explained. About five days into the workshop, "We all take off our clothes, stand up in front of the camera and the other naked people and talk about what we like and what we dislike or are ashamed of about our bodies. This is also videotaped. Then we tell the story of our sexual history."

The videotape is then erased… [Ed. – Two questions: If you’re going to erase the tape, why make it? Who does the erasing? (my guess is that it's not one of Blanton’s patients)]

(Hat tip: Best of the Web Today)

Excuse me?

The last time I studied biology was in high school, lo these many years ago. But there’s something in this story about flies that perked up my antennae (pun intended).
12 Species of Flies Get Federal Protection

HONOLULU (AP) -- Twelve species of rare flies known for their elaborate courtship displays and found only in the Hawaiian Islands are now protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the protected status for the highly valued picture-wing flies Tuesday.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity sued the service in March 2005, accusing it of violating the Endangered Species Act. The center said the agency did not move ahead fast enough on listing the flies as endangered after a 2001 proposal for the flies' protected status was made.

"The Hawaiian picture-wings ... are one of our most important endemic invertebrates in Hawaii," said Brent Plater, a staff attorney in the center's San Francisco office.

Picture-wing flies are about two to three times the size of common house flies and are considered harmless to humans. Other species of picture-wing flies are found outside Hawaii.

Researchers have also found antibiotic resistant bacteria on some Hawaiian flies, including some of the newly protected species, that may help scientists find new ways to combat diseases such as bird flu and even cancer, said [Kenneth Kaneshiro, a professor of entomology and director of the Center for Conservation Research and Training at the University of Hawaii]...

To any biologists or physicians that might be reading this, I have a few questions. If the bacteria resists antibiotics, doesn’t that mean that an infection of that strain is difficult to contained and/or kill?

Generally speaking, a species once protected tends to propagate; and flies, highly mobile devils that they are, do get around. So, logically, won’t more and more bacteria laden flies increase the likelihood of spreading the resistant bacteria?

Democrat propaganda retrospective cancelled.

Seems no one in Hollywood would spout the party line for free.
NBC Cancels 'The West Wing' Retrospective

NEW YORK (AP) -- For the cast of NBC's exiting drama "The West Wing," nostalgia came at a price the network was unwilling to pay.

When NBC announced in January that it was canceling the political drama after seven seasons, it said the final episode in May would be accompanied by a retrospective on the series' history.

Instead, NBC is airing a repeat of "The West Wing" pilot on Sunday prior to the final episode, where the Democrat portrayed by Jimmy Smits is inaugurated as the next president.

NBC had no official comment on the switch of plans. However, the network couldn't reach an agreement with the show's cast on what - or if - they would be paid to gather one last time and reminisce about their experience, said a person close to the show who would speak about the negotiations only on condition of anonymity…

Become a citizen?! What a quaint idea.
Who needs it unless they could make me go back to where I came from?
More Legal Immigrants Seek Citizenship

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Juana Elba Benitez is studying for the U.S. citizenship test she failed eight years ago - an exam the 75-year-old native of El Salvador swore she would never take again.

Then she learned that Congress was debating a crackdown on illegal immigrants, and Benitez worried that legal residents like her might be next. So she is memorizing the first 13 states and who said "Give me liberty or give me death," all to be able to vote.

"Every day the laws are getting more rigid," says Benitez, poring over an American history study guide alongside about 40 students at a social services center for Hispanic immigrants. "I'm afraid that one day they might say, `A green card isn't good enough. Whoever isn't a citizen is out of here.'"…

Heaven forbid that Señorita Benitez would actually spend the time to learn about the country that provides her with liberty, freedom, and opportunity - and most likely Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Will the indignities she's subjected to never cease?

And is the citizenship exam a brain buster? Not so much. Sadly, the nation's indolent green card holders would probably outscore most of the students currently graduating from America’s public highs schools.

If a deaf mob rampages, does it make a noise?
Head of Gallaudet Univ. Board Resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The interim head of the Gallaudet University board of trustees has resigned, saying she was overwhelmed by the protests that greeted the selection of a new president to lead the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf.

"The presidential search and the controversy that has ensued have put enormous strain and stress on me," Celia May Baldwin wrote in a memo Tuesday. "I simply could not ignore the numerous aggressive threats that I have received over the past weeks.”

Baldwin's memo did not elaborate on the kinds of threats that were made against her.

The school's board of trustees selected Provost Jane K. Fernandes last week to replace president I. King Jordan. The decision sparked criticism and Fernandes received a no-confidence vote from faculty…
Seems the real problem is Fernandes is not "deaf enough."
"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Should the cosmetic surgeon also be charged with fraud?

I mean the photo accompanying the article is recent, so it’s an ‘after’ shot.
Former Ga. Schools Chief Pleads Guilty

ATLANTA (AP) -- A former state schools superintendent pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud and money laundering, ending her trial on charges alleging she embezzled $600,000 in federal education aid to fund a failed campaign for governor and pay for a face lift.

Linda Schrenko, 56, will serve eight years in prison under the plea bargain. She also agreed to hand over other evidence and drop her right to appeal.

The former Georgia schools superintendent had been on trial for about two weeks in federal court. Prosecutors alleged the money was used to underwrite Schrenko's failed 2002 campaign for governor, cosmetic surgery and for other extras, including a television, computer and a down payment on a car...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You hate me. You really hate me!

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen gets a load of his readership.
Digital Lynch Mob

By Richard Cohen

Two weeks ago I wrote about Al Gore's new movie on global warming. I liked the film. In response, I instantly got more than 1,000 e-mails, most of them praising Gore, some calling him the usual names and some concluding there was no such thing as global warming, if only because Gore said there was. I put the messages aside for a slow day, when I would answer them. Then I wrote about Stephen Colbert and his unfunny performance at the White House correspondents' dinner.

Kapow! Within a day, I got more than 2,000 e-mails. A day later, I got 1,000 more. By the fourth day, the number had reached 3,499 -- a figure that does not include the usual offers of nubile Russian women or loot from African dictators. The Colbert messages began with Patrick Manley ("You wouldn't know funny if it slapped you in the face") and ended with Ron ("Colbert ROCKS, you MURDER") who was so proud of his thought that he copied countless others. Ron, you're a genius.

Truth to tell, I peeked into only a few of the e-mails. I did this because I would sometimes recognize a name I thought I knew, which was almost always a mistake. When I guilelessly clicked on the name, I would get a bucket of raw, untreated and disease-laden verbal sewage right in the face…

It seemed that most of my correspondents had been egged on to write me by various blogs. In response, they smartly assembled into a digital lynch mob and went roaring after me. If I did not like Colbert, I must like Bush. If I write for The Post, I must be a mainstream media warmonger. If I was over a certain age -- which I am -- I am simply out of it, wherever "it" may be. All in all, I was -- I am, and I guess I remain -- the worthy object of ignorant, false and downright idiotic vituperation...

But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated…

At a Democratic fundraiser somewhere in Blueland.

An aide to Hillary Clinton (whispering into her ear): “Senator, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

Clinton (raising her eyebrows slightly): “What’s the good news?”

Aide (still whispering): “The single largest contributor to the Democrat Party is here tonight.”

Clinton: “And the bad news?”

Aide (gesturing with his eyes): “He’s the guy over there, that red-faced ranter wearing the tinfoil hat, showering the hors d’oeuvres tray with spittle.”

Lesbians’ brains are different... but there’s nothing wrong with that
Study: Lesbians' Brains React Differently

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lesbians' brains react differently to sex hormones than those of heterosexual women, new research indicates. That's in line with an earlier study that had indicated gay men's brain responses were different from straight men - though the difference for men was more pronounced than has now been found in women.

Lesbians' brains reacted somewhat, though not completely, like those of heterosexual men, a team of Swedish researchers said in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A year ago, the same group reported findings for gay men that showed their brain response to hormones was similar to that of heterosexual women…

Each of the three groups of subjects included 12 healthy, unmedicated, right-handed and HIV-negative individuals…[Ed. – So then, how many zonked and diseased lefties were in each group?]

Pre-dawn Progressive Pabulum – whoopee!

No, actually it’s Whoppi
Whoopi Goldberg to Host Radio Show

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Call it Radio Free Whoopi. Whoopi Goldberg announced she'll be joining the growing ranks of radio voices this summer when she launches a live, syndicated program, "Wake Up With Whoopi."

"I'm going to talk to people. People are going to talk to me. I'm going to be singing and dancing in my chair. I'm going to wake people up," Goldberg told The Associated Press by phone. "I want to have a good time in the morning and I want everyone who wakes up with me to have a good time."

The show will air weekday mornings from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., said John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio. He didn't indicate which markets it would be in when it debuts July 31.

Besides taking calls and doing comedy bits, Goldberg said she'll be playing music, adding she hopes she'll be allowed to select some of her own…

I pity the guy with his finger on the five-second-delay button as well as the advertisers Clear Channel lines up.
Slim-Fast trims Whoopi from ads

CNN) -- Weight loss product manufacturer Slim-Fast announced Wednesday it had dropped Whoopi Goldberg as its spokeswoman, following a controversy over sexually explicit comments she made last week at a fund-raiser in New York for presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry.

"We at Slim-Fast trust the public understands that the way in which Whoopi Goldberg chose to express her own personal beliefs at the recent fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall does not reflect the views and values of Slim-Fast," said a statement from Terry Olson, general manager and vice president of marketing.

"We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended some of our consumers. Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air," the statement added…

Goldberg said she wished "godspeed" to Slim-Fast and its users and hoped "that everything will be better digested, now that I'm no longer representing them."

"And just because I'm no longer in those spots, it doesn't mean I will stop talking," the comedienne's statement said…

Here are those ‘remarks’:
Whoopi Goldberg's Crass Bush Joke

"That's why I'm here tonight. Because I love bush. But someone's giving bush a bad name. Someone has tarnished name of `bush.' Someone has waged war, someone has deliberately misled the country, someone has attempted to amend the constitution, all in the name of bush. The bush I know and cherish would never do such things. My bush is smarter than that. And if my bush is smarter than that, you can understand just how dumb I think that other bush is. And anyone who would wave to Stevie Wonder is not fully there. I will do whatever it takes to restore bush to its rightful place and that ain't in the White House. Vote your heart and mind and keep bush where it belongs."

NOLA, it’s a fun place to get killed
Murder Making a Comeback in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Jane Anderson misses the old days - the days right after Hurricane Katrina when National Guardsmen with rifles roamed the street outside the New Orleans shop where she works. The days when there weren't many people around and crime was down sharply.

"I know it's still pretty safe," Anderson says. "But it doesn't feel that way. We're hearing about more things happening, more murders, more bad guys returning."

Murder is making a comeback in New Orleans.

The city had 30 murders this year through April. That is less than half of the 81 recorded during the first four months of 2005. But New Orleans' population these days is less than half of what it was before Katrina.

Also, while there were only 17 murders in January through March of this year, there were an alarming 13 slayings in April. That is the most for any month since the Aug. 29 storm, though still well below the monthly average of 22 in 2003 and 2004…

And May has gotten off to a violent start with three slayings, including a shooting that followed an argument in a Bourbon Street bar early Tuesday…

"We are not seeing a return to the old days," [New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren] Riley said. "This city is still the safest it has ever been."

Law enforcement officers acknowledge rising numbers of murders and shootings, and attribute them largely to turf wars among criminals returning to the city.

"Since April began we've had the return of individuals who have a legacy of violent crimes," said Jim Bernazzani, the FBI agent in charge of New Orleans. "Prior to storm they were residing in areas that are now uninhabitable. So they are returning to the 20 percent of the city that did not flood and they are running into violent criminals whose turf it is."…

In neighboring Jefferson Parish, the murder rate is way up. The population has fallen from about 450,000 before Katrina to around 370,000, according to the parish president's office. But there were 22 murders though April, compared with 28 during all of last year…

New Orleans had a fearsome pre-Katrina reputation for violence in the streets around its housing projects and in other poor sections of town. Drugs were said to be at the center of most of the killings.

In 2004, New Orleans had 264 murders, or 56 per 100,000 people, according to the FBI. That compares with seven per 100,000 in New York and a national average of 5.5 per 100,000.

CA judge: Illiterates should graduate
California high school exit exam in limbo

ALAMEDA, May. 9 (UPI) — California's statewide high school exit exam was in legal limbo Tuesday, after a judge ruled minorities and the poor don't receive the same education.

Late Monday, Alameda Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman issued a preliminary injunction that would allow students -- some who were retaking the examination Tuesday -- to graduate this year if they've met all requirements for graduation other than passing the test of basic math and English skills. [Ed. – See, passing those ‘self-esteem’ and ‘multiculturalism’ courses we’re important, after all]

The suit against the state alleges the exit exam is unfair because students who are poor, ethnic minorities or not native English speakers go to schools with fewer resources. [Ed. – Well, at least that’s one document – a high school diploma – some undocumented immigrants will have]

Freedman ordered lawyers for both sides back to argue their cases Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Jack O'Connell, the state superintendent of schools who wrote the legislation creating the exit exam as a state senator in 1999, vowed not to back down, saying California will appeal an unfavorable ruling.

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
H. G. Wells

The dog ate my copy
Many factors hurt newspaper public trust

WASHINGTON, May. 9 (UPI) — Seventy percent of daily U.S. newspaper editors and reporters say factors beyond their control caused public confidence in news media to drop, a survey says.

At the same time, half of the 527 randomly selected journalists surveyed by Northwestern University say they have seen unethical or unprofessional behavior in their newsroom during the past five years.

"Many journalists believe that the recent sins of other newspapers and media taint their own newspapers and contribute to the public's diminished confidence in newspapers generally," said Mary Ellen Shearer, co-author and assistant dean of the Medill School of Journalism.

Journalists surveyed at 218 daily newspapers blamed eroding public trust on national media cases of plagiarism, missteps in TV and online reporting, politician criticism, poor editing of stories and sources who provided false information. [Ed. – Curiously, ‘mind-numbingly blatant bias’ was not a reason cited by the editors and reporters for reader mistrust]

Nearly one-third of the respondents said a source had misled them during the past year. [Ed. – Yeah, those anonymous sources aren’t always sticklers for the truth]

The survey was released Tuesday at a National Press Club meeting in Washington.

Interestingly, other than this UPI blurb in the Washington Times, I can’t find another newspaper or other media outlet reporting on the survey’s findings. Go figure.

Come to Las Vegas, loose your money and your car

NATIONAL STATISTICS: Clark County No. 2 in car theft
Number of stolen vehicles in 2005 jumped 13 percent

Clark County had the second-highest rate of auto theft in the nation in 2005, moving up one place from its 2004 ranking, a national insurance organization said Monday.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau elevated Clark County's ranking among Metropolitan Statistical Areas, noting that the county had 22,465 auto thefts last year, a 13 percent increase over the 19,794 reported the year before.

There were 1,360 cars stolen for every 100,000 county residents last year. For the prior year, the rate was 1,266 auto thefts per 100,000 residents, the bureau reported.

Although the rate of auto theft was down throughout much of the nation, Nevada and Western states in general bucked that trend, said Frank Scafidi, director of public affairs for the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

"Auto theft is down nationally. It's down everywhere but the West," Scafidi said…

During peak theft times, two vehicles are stolen per hour in Las Vegas, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Robert Duvall said.

"Las Vegas is a very attractive market for car thieves," Duvall said.

Although Clark County's growth in recent years is a factor in the car thefts, Duvall said, it is primarily the Las Vegas Valley's "target-rich environment" -- the high number of parking garages and parking lots -- that makes Southern Nevada a hot spot for car thieves…


Scafidi said there are several theories on why vehicle theft rates are so high in the West, including the fact that the region has more cars. He also said some car thieves steal vehicles in California and Arizona and take them south of the border...[Ed. – Hey, it’s just undocumented immigrants doing a job Americans won’t do]

Monday, May 08, 2006

Only the religiously deaf need apply
Gallaudet Univ. President-Elect Draws Fire

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The newly chosen president for the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf is drawing protests from faculty and students, some of whom question whether she is "deaf enough" to lead their school.

Last week, Jane K. Fernandes was named to succeed I. King Jordan as president of Gallaudet University. She isn't scheduled to take over until January, but already the school's faculty has called a meeting for Monday afternoon to consider for a no-confidence vote against her and students have carried out a weeklong protest.

Fernandes, 47, says she is caught in a cultural debate.

She was born deaf but grew up speaking, and she didn't learn American Sign Language until she was 23. She now characterizes herself as a "fluent signer" who can understand and be understood by everyone on campus.

"There's a kind of perfect deaf person," said Fernandes, who described that as someone who is born deaf to deaf parents, who learns ASL at home, attends deaf schools, marries a deaf person and has deaf children. "People like that will remain the core of the university."

She noted that 86 percent of the deaf and hearing impaired students in the United States now attend public schools because of improvements in technology, medicine and education…

I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.
Gerry Spence

Congressional ‘leaders’: The last thing we want at CIA is discipline, order, and professionalism
Bipartisan caution over CIA nominee

Republicans and Democrats voiced concerns yesterday about the expected appointment of a military general to replace outgoing CIA Director Porter J. Goss, who resigned abruptly last week.

"There is some real concern about somebody from the military heading the CIA," Senate intelligence committee Chairman Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican, said of Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the Bush administration's reported front-runner for the job...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tasteless and confrontational homosexual activism rebuked

That’s my headline. Here’s the AP’s and its story:
Artworks Banned From NYC Parks Are Moving

NEW YORK (AP) -- Two days after city parks officials shut down a Brooklyn College exhibit that included sexually explicit images, the school said Saturday that it would move the students' artworks to campus.

The exhibit opened Wednesday at the city-owned Brooklyn War Memorial, displaying watercolors depicting gay sex and sculpted male genitalia illuminated in a box. Another work featured a white pet rat.

The memorial is used as gallery space by Brooklyn College, which is part of the City University of New York. The city Parks Department said in a statement that an agreement with the college stipulated that its art exhibits at the memorial be "appropriate for families."

College Provost Roberta Matthews said in a statement that officials have decided to move the exhibit to the campus…

Marni Kotak, of the 18 artists whose works were on display, said she and several others were "adamantly opposed" to moving the show to the campus and did not plan to cooperate with the transfer.

"The point of having the show at this space was that there really wasn't the right kind of space on campus to do this," Kotak said.

The students held a rally with about 50 people in front of the memorial Saturday.

‘Come See for Yourself’ – faagetaboutit
N.J. Scraps New Slogan; It's Been Used

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey officials had said the new state slogan - "Come See for Yourself" - would highlight the Garden State's true beauty.

But it turns out that at least one other state already had the same idea.

State tourism officials say they have canned the slogan because some states, including West Virginia, have used it in the past…