CONTEMPT FOR ERIC HOLDER: Obama’s Attorney General Could Be Arrested

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A Congressional House Committee has voted to hold President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress, for refusing to hand over documents, critical to their investigation of his office. The charge, could land the Attorney General behind bars. The Committee is investigating an ATF program called Fast and Furious, which allowed guns to be sold into Mexico with the hope of tracking them. But when the guns went missing and one of the weapons was implicated in the death of a border agent, congress became involved.

The irony over Fast and Furious is that Eric Holder shut down the program,  almost as soon as he heard about it. Some have questioned the motivations behind the investigation which is led by Chairman Darryl Issa, who denounced the President’s administration as the most corrupt in history, long before he ever investigated any activity.

Some have also noted that Operation Fast and Furious was a continuation of a Bush era program called Operation Wide Receiver. The Committee Investigating Holder has refused to call Bush officials, suggesting that their motivations are partisan in nature. Critics wonder, how Republicans can object to a tactic that originated under their leadership.

The public discussion, in right wing circles seems to fault Eric Holder for the program going awry. The AG is not in operational control of ATF programs. In fact, Issa’s investigation actually may impede Holder’s own attempts to investigate who authorized Fast and Furious and how the weapons were lost.

The investigation of Holder is being interpreted by some, as attempt to entrap the AG in legalisms. At several points, the House Committee has demanded documents of Holder that he was legally barred from providing. Incredibly, the Committee could fault him for not providing the documents or charge him with breaking the law if he did comply with their request. Now, after several document dumps by the AG, the Committee is demanding even more documents. And the AG has requested the President evoke executive privilege over the classified documents.

If the House supports the committee’s vote, it will be the first time in history that an Attorney General has been found in contempt of congress.

OBAMA’S PRIVATE SECTOR VICTORY: Private Company SPACEX Docks With Space-station

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The President’s critics are fond of calling him a Marxist and Socialist. They claim that he is hostile to business and hostile to the private sector and yet, for a man with communist tendencies, President Obama seems to be racking up significant Private Sector victories. The stock market has broken several records and many companies are seeing record profits. His latest Private Sector Trophy is the success of SPACE-X, a privately held, American Space Company. Today, Space X became the first private company in history to successfully launch a rocket into orbit and follow that monumental achievement with the successful docking of a cargo vessel with the International Space Station. To Date, only a handful of nations have achieved what this private firm has accomplished.

Much like Healthcare reform, or Cap and Trade, a private space industry was once the vision of Republicans. But once President Obama signed onto their idea, the Republicans seem to have abandoned their old position. They have lambasted the President for allowing the Shuttle to retire, forgetting their own years of hostility toward the program.

Today, marks an incredible achievement. The future of American Space Flight will be in Private Sector companies that provide consumers and the government with shuttle flights, to and from orbit. Space Tourism is an obvious, next step for other companies. Space X however, endeavors to be a cargo company. They have already inked contracts with NASA, to ferry supplies to the Space Station. The Capsule of the DRAGON ROCKET, docked with the Space Station, this morning, somewhere above New Zealand. When Nasa astronaught, Donald Pettit, opened the Dragon Capsule he noted that “The small inside smells like a brand new car”. The brilliantly white capsule was immaculate, he noted. The California based company and it’s Dragon Rockets are now our rental car into space. And it would have been impossible without significant government support. President Obama has caught significant flack for his “Investments” in America’s future. Republicans have been quick to point out the failures. This however, is a success of epic proportions. It remains to be seen, if they will give him any credit.

WRESTLING IN SENEGAL: New York Times Covers African Martial Art

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In Senegal, one sport reins supreme. Wrestling, of the African variety is not merely heritage, it is the nation’s great past time. The New York Times has posted an excellent video and accompanying article on the West African Tradition of Wrestling. While the sport may be obscure, the African tradition of Laamb Wrestling has ancient roots. While it was once practiced in humble settings and competitions were held for the honor of villages, it has evolved into a sport that fills stadiums. Corporations, compete for broadcast and sponsorship rights and the sports gladiators are fantastically wealthy, by Senegal’s standards. In a recent championship bout between the reining YEKINI and his challenger BALLA GAYE 2, each man received $300,000. The events are as authentic as the once small village bouts. The ceremonies open with traditional dances, drumming and warding off of black magic, with rituals that can take hours to perform. The bouts are a true sight to behold. Enjoy the a video of the championship bout between YEKINI and BALLA GAYE 2, below. YEKINI had reined as champion, for 20 years. The match is followed by a bio pic on the victor, BALLA GAYE 2, and a link to the original New York Times Story.

THEY HOPE HE FAILS: Are Republicans Trying to Destroy The Economy

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Speaker of The House John Boener has indicated that he will, once again use the deadline to increase the nation’s debt ceiling as leverage to coax concessions out of President Obama and the Democrats. The Speaker is eager to see progress on paying down the nations’s debt through measures that Democrats have opposed.

The Debt Ceiling, refers to a cap on the nation’s ability to borrow money. However, it is not a reference to future debt or spending. Raising the current Debt Ceiling pays debts already accrued by the nation. In other words, it pays for the spending the congress has already authorized. The failure to raise the Debt Ceiling is much like running out of a restaurant, after ordering and consuming a meal. The refusal to raise the Debt Ceiling is a signal to the markets that America is not going to honor her debts.

The Republicans have already tried this maneuver. The result was a stock market crash and it inspired credit rating agencies to issue a downgrade of the nation’s (former) triple A Credit rating. The move by Boener has many asking if the Republicans have committed themselves to a strategy to intentionally crash the nation’s economy, ahead of the November elections.

Early, in President Obama’s Presidency, many republicans openly stated that they “Hope The President Fails” in his efforts to restore the economy, which they deemed to be akin to socialism. Some have suggested that the GOP may have moved from Hoping Obama Fails, to proactive action to Ensure That He Fails.

 

STAND YOUR GROUND DEFENSE: Fails Abused Wife

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Merissa Alexander has received a 20 year prison sentence, after her “Stand Your Ground” defense failed. The 31 year old, Master’s Degree holder, and mother of three, has never been in trouble with the law (prior to this incident). After a 2010 incident, in which her husband choked her, she took out a protective order. However, when her habitually abusive husband threatened that, if he can’t have her, no man can have her, a fight broke out. Merissa was confronted by her husband, by the bathroom, when he discovered that she sent pictures of their newborn to her former husband. She was assaulted, shoved, strangled and held against her will. He would not allow her to leave. Merissa ran through her kitchen to the garage, where she discovered that she was without keys, a cellphone and could not exit because of a malfunctioning, garage door. When her husband found Merissa trying to leave out of the malfunctioning garage door, he yelled “Bitch I will Kill You” and charged toward her. Earlier in the fight, he told Merissa that if he can’t have her, no-one could.  Alexander says that  she was in fear of her life. She fired a warning shot into the air, for which she was arrested.

In a deposition, Rico Gray, Alexander’s husband acknowledged his past abuse of his spouses: “I  got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one…the way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know, they never knew what I was thinking… or what I might do… hit them, push them.”

He also added that “The gun was never pointed at me,” Gray said. “She just didn’t want me to put my hands on her anymore, so she did what she feel like she have to do to make sure she wouldn’t get hurt.”

He has recanted various parts of his story on several occasions. He now paints Merissa as the aggressor. Alexander’s husband acknowledged abusing Merissa on five occasions. In once such incident, his battery of her, sent Merissa to the hospital. Although he initially stated that Alexander never pointed the gun at him he now claims that Merissa pointed the gun at him, while his child was at his side. He now says that he was in fear of his life. Merissa sighted the Stand Your Ground Law, utilized by George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. Trayvon Martin, was walking home, in the rain, wearing a hoodie while eating skittles and drinking iced tea. Zimmerman, was a self appointed Neighborhood Watchmen. He followed Martin, chased him and confronted the boy. A struggle ensued and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. Zimmerman was subsequently released, with no charges, until protests and public pressure inspired a reconsideration of charges.

 

Congresswoman Corrine Brown has become engaged in the case. She says that if Stand Your Ground, ever had a purpose, it would have been in cases like, Merissa’s. She says that she can find, no incident in Florida, in which the Stand Your Ground Law has been successfully used by an African American.

MITT ROMNEY THE BULLY! : All Is Fair In Politics

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The Washington Post, is reporting that Mitt Romney was at one point in life, a bully, with a preference for  assaulting Gay teens. The story is quite gruesome and Mr. Romney’s opponents would suggest that it is revealing of his character. While a student at Cranbrook School in Michigan, Mr. Romney was involved in bullying, at minimum, two gay teens. In one incident, he led a mob that chased down one of the gay teens. Mr. Romney, was apparently incensed by the length of John Lauber’s, newly dyed- blond hair. Lauber’s hair, swept, slightly over his eye, on one side of his face. Romney apparently deemed it to be too long. The soft spoken and effeminent student’s eyes, welled up with tears as Romney’s mob approached. He shouted for help as Mr. Romney, with the help of his classmates, pinned the gay teen down, and cut his hair off with scissors. Today, the participants in the attack, described the young boy as “terrified”. Romney’s former friends described the attack as “vicious”. The victim of the attack, Jason Lauber, reportedly still felt traumatized by the event. He reportedly told, an apologetic old classmate, that the event was “horrible”. Lauber, has since died.  The story would have run yesterday but was held back because of the negative way it would contrast with President Obama’s announcement.

One day after President Obama cemented his status as the defender of gay rights by declaring his support for Gay Marriage, Mitt Romney is besieged by a scandal that depicts him as nothing less than a gay bashing bully. In the most friendly conservative circles, the new scandal is being dismissed as youthful indiscretions but not all forums have been generous.

Mr. Romney has on two separate occasions joked about deriving pleasure from firing people. These incidents are being combined with over-blown tales of Mr. Romney, leaving his dog on the roof of his car, during a long car trip. Together, these stories depict Mr. Romney as a cruel, homophobic, and unfeeling man.

Is this fair? Almost certainly not, but it is politics. And perhaps no more of a distortion of Mr. Romney, then the Romney campaign’s distortion of Mr. Obama. Sadly, All Seems Fair, in modern American Politics.

DID ADELE REALLY BREAK MICHAEL JACKSON’S RECORD?

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Adele’s second album recently dethroned THRILLER, by outselling the album in the UK. Adele is selling an estimated 20,000 copies a week and the achievement has industry pundits contemplating new titles for the new “Queen of Pop”. Martin Talbot, of The Official Charts Company, which tracks record sales, recently said that “Adele’s achievement in overtaking Thriller..is truly remarkable. Thriller has long been recognized as one of the most iconic albums of all time. There is no doubt that 21 (Adele’s album) can be spoken of in the same breath.”

While I certainly celebrate Adele’s achievement, she reaches MJ’s record, in a very different world. She achieves his monumental achievement with an unparalleled ease. Her sales are as much a triumph of technology as it is, artistry.

MJ’s legacy is, in what his sales told us about his music. Our government used his music to broadcast into the soviet union, to thaw the frosty hearts of  our communist foes. Ronald Reagan invited the pop icon to the White-House, because his music was changing the world. His music was transcending culture and uniting humanity. Desert Nomads loved his music. Chinese dissidents loved his music. Soviet youths defied their government, to dawn his t-shirts. Adele is very talented and her art is commendable, but her new album, cannot “be spoken of in the same breath” as THRILLER. 

After his demise, the blogosphere instantly began debating the question; Who is today’s Michael Jackson?  And the pre-packaged, inauthentic music industry is moving at breakneck pace to manufacture his replacement. The reality is that not every generation gets a Michael or Whitney. There is no band that compares to the Beatles, today. We can certainly ask, who the greatest artist is, in the current music environment but we shouldn’t try to confer the status of legend, on artists of the moment. While Adele is an incredible talent, she is not Michael Jackson. Her music has not meant as much to the world, as his music did. That is not an insult. Its simply a fact. She has not changed the nature of music videos, presentation or performance, as MJ did. She is a brilliant singer and songwriter and she should be proud of her status which stands far above most performers today, but let us judge her in the light of day. We should allow her to grow in the fullness of her own persona. We should give her time to carve out her own place in history as opposed to fraudulently catapulting her, into the place of historic legends. To do so, is an injustice to artists of old and artists of today.

 

FLYING CARS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

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The Volkswagen Hover Car is not on sale yet, but its based on very real science and a fully scalable conceptual infrastructure. The design is based on “The People’s Car Project” in China, which is a open sourced initiative that asks consumers to help design the car of the future. The Hover Car utilizes electromagnetic levitation to float along a grid above the regular road. The car would be designed to move, backward and forward, and side to side and perhaps even, spin. The zero emission vehicle would be the ultimate, in green technology. Volkswagen, even released a short video to demonstrate the concept of the vehicle.

Ofcourse, the Hover Car is just an idea but the concrete science behind the concept brings the notion of flying cars, within feasible reach for consumers.

SOCIALISM MAKES COME-BACK: In Russian and French Elections

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The pendulum of politics has swung, once again, to the left in Russia and France. Both nations, have recently completed national elections and the results show that both have embraced a return to socialism. In France, President Nicholas Sarkozy, a conservative, was replaced by President Francois Hollande, an ardent socialist. In Russia, former President Vladamir Putin, regained his throne to be sworn in again, as President. Putin’s party was widely believed to have rigged elections, and arrested the opposition.While, crowds of over 20,000, have protested the would-be “leader for life”- Putin remains the popular choice of most Russians.

The rise of socialism in both nations is the result of the political pendulum swinging leftward, after an equally dramatic shift to the right, in previous years. Russians, watched as democratic reforms, accompanied poverty, corruption, crime and inequality. The failure of previous administrations that embraced far right, free market reforms has left Russians with a jaded perspective on capitalism and democracy. When the global economy faltered, France responded with conservatism and it’s leaders embraced austerity measures, that scaled back entitlements and limited government spending. The results have not been promising. And French citizens have responded by lurching into the warm embrace of socialism.

The failure of Austerity measures in Europe has many wondering if Republicans in America are insisting on policies that have proven themselves to be ineffective.

HUGH HEFNER, Defender of Women? Say’s Republicans At War With Sex

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The cause of feminism has found an unlikely ally in the lord of the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner has added his voice to a growing chorus of critics, chastising the Republican Party for it’s War On Women. The “War On Women” became a household term, when the President required employers to cover the cost of birth control for their female employees, as a part of their insurance packages. The GOP argued that those morally opposed to the pill should not be forced to provide women contraception. The notion that birth control was still controversial was a surprise to many.

ENTER HUGH HEFNER

Hefner is generally reclusive at his advanced age but felt compelled to speak out against a resurgence in (what he terms is) a War On Sex. By attacking, the availability of contraception for women, the GOP is  effectively threatening the sexual freedom, that has led to the Playboy Empire. Hefner laments, Mitt Romney’s promise to overturn, Roe vs. Wade. He offers a blistering criticism of Rick Santorum’s disdain for the pill. Santorum once remarked that the mere existence of birth control was “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Hefner even attacked the controversial darling of independent voters, Ron Paul. Hef notes that Paul,  “[Believes] that the birth control pill did not cause immorality but that immorality creates the problem of wanting to use the pill”. Hefner, is hardly the most predictable hero of the women’s movement. Some feminists regard him as a predator and exploiter of women’s sexuality. Others define the liberation of women, by the ability of women to mimc the “freedoms” men enjoy. Both have put differences aside and determined that the GOP has gone to far, in attacking contraceptions for women.