Police will begin excavation around a suburban Detroit home after getting a tip that a body was buried there in 1975. This is the best indication yet that police will jump at almost anything, no matter how tenuous or far-fetched, in order to retrieve Hoffa’s body and hide evidence they were involved in his disappearance.
An internal Romney campaign memo from longtime Romney adviser Beth Myers outlines reasons why the GOP candidate should not expect too much of himself in the upcoming presidential debates.
Here is a story about the latest Freedom House Freedom On The Net report, and here is a link to the full PDF report. China is reported to be the most repressive nation, tightly controlling Internet access and bloggers. Russia and Saudi Arabia are also high on the Internet repression list, along with countries like Iran and Egypt.
The U.S. is called a “free” nation in regards to Internet access and rights of users, although the political battles over SOPA and PIPA are termed a potential “threat” and “would have suppressed legitimate, unquestionably legal speech”. The primary problems with access in the U.S. are due to infrastructure:
Although the United States is one of the most connected countries in the world, it has fallen behind many other developed countries in terms of internet speed, cost, and broadband availability. In 2011, approximately 78 percent of all Americans had access to the internet, but only 66 percent of adults used high-speed broadband connections. While the broadband penetration rate is considered high by global standards, it puts the United States significantly behind countries such as Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Sweden.
If you were a child in the 1960s some things were inescapable, no matter how much you wanted to escape from them. In my home one of those things was the television show “Gunsmoke”, which my father watched as if it were a religious ritual. One did not speak or be otherwise noticeable during “Gunsmoke”. The other religious TV experience was “The Andy Williams Show”, at which altar my mother worshiped.
Looking back on it now, “The Andy Williams Show” (along with my mom’s other musical gods Glen Campbell and Tom Jones) probably had more influence on me than I realized. I was always a sort-of musical child: I sang the theme songs to TV shows acapella, and did a fair “Moon River” in the bathtub. And I got exposure to some different kinds of music through shows like Andy Williams’ – the photo above of him performing with Peter, Paul, and Mary brought back a clear memory of seeing them on TV and thinking that was a different kind of music I hadn’t really heard before.
Media influences were sparse where I grew up. We lived in a very rural area in a small valley surrounded by mountains, and when I was very young we didn’t get very clear TV or radio signals. My dad built a telescoping antenna mast that he could crank up about 60 feet in the air if there was no wind, and we could get ghost-like images of the San Francisco CBS, NBC, and ABC affiliates on a good clear night. I do recall the funeral of President Kennedy in grainy, ghosty black-and-white. The images of the horse with the reversed boots in the stirrups is particularly present in my earliest memory.
Then, in the mid-1960s, we got The Translator. The Translator was a big relay antenna up on the highest mountain around that would saturate our little valley with TV and radio waves. Now we got fairly good reception of CBS, NBC, ABC, an independent called KTVU, and on a good clear night some ghost-like PBS that my father disapproved of because they were “liberals”.
But most of all, for me, we got AM radio! And then I literally submerged into music. My dad would give me the car keys and I would sit in the car and run the battery down listening to the radio. Eventually he gave me a transistor radio of my own so he didn’t have to constantly charge the car battery.
Now, of course, we are inundated with media via cable, satellite, the Internet. DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, streaming audio and video, etc. But in a way that earlier time when resources were limited was more interesting, because not only was every scrap of music and video a sort of treasure, but when there wasn’t any content to be had we made our own in imitation of what we saw and heard.
Kaitlin Hunter had a severe bacterial infection that threatened her life, treatment with antibiotics killed the beneficial bacteria in her colon. Doctors transplanted feces from her mother’s colon into Kaitlin’s, giving her a new source of healthy bacteria.
France’s new law making same-sex marriage legal will entail the removal of the words “mother” and “father” from all official documents – which is really no big deal since in France these words are speculative at best.
Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns and once again paid approximately 13% on an income of $14 million. However, he and Republican cronies like Fox News seem to be really impressed that if he hadn’t donated $4 million to charity he would have paid about 20% on average over the last 20 years – firmly in the territory of the lower middle class. Of course that number has to be taken on faith as it is extrapolated backwards from only the last two years of released returns.
There are some sources that claim Romney actually paid no taxes when he was running Bain Capital – but no one really knows since he won’t release those records, probably because they show he paid lots and lots of taxes and he doesn’t want to look too good.
The charity Romney donated to? The Mitt Romney Foundation for abused pets.
The surviving members of Led Zeppelin are out promoting their concert film “Celebration Day”, which was filmed back in 2007 when they played at London’s O2 Arena. The band members say there is no plan to reform for a tour, citing old age and the nagging feeling most people under the age of 40 have no idea who they are.
Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich both offered advice to the GOP ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Palin told Romney and Ryan to “go rogue”, saying “America desperately needs to have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment in discussing our big dysfunctional, disconnected, and debt-ridden federal government.”
Newt Gingrich also had some choice words for the Republican candidate: “When he walks in to debate Obama, he’s got to be as tough with Obama as he was with me in Florida,” Gingrich said in an interview on CNN. “He has to do to Obama what he did to me!”
Piers Morgan elaborated: “You mean kick you to the curb and leave you for dead with your ass bleeding buckets of political pain?”
“Uhhh…yeah” Gingrich responded.
Mitt Romney appeared on the Latino Univision television network sporting an orangish John Boehner-style tan that he didn’t have just a day earlier. Apparently Romney wanted to appear more “ethnic” for the audience at the Miami taping of an election special. Or maybe he was hoping no one would recognize him as the guy who made those jokes about how much easier it would be to become president if he was Latino.
Mitt Romney isn’t the only one having a bad week with secretly recorded comments. Paris Hilton was secretly recorded by a taxi driver as she had a conversation with a fellow passenger in which she said gay men are “disgusting” and “most of them probably have AIDS”.
So there goes another 47% of someone’s potential constituency.
Wisconsin Republican senate candidate Tommy Thompson blames Mitt Romney for his sudden drop in polls against Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Thompson says Romney’s comment that 47% of Americans feel they are victims, and are dependent on Barack Obama and the government, “is bound to have an impact on every election”.
Thompson says he doesn’t think there is any chance voters may just be confused by the similarity in the names Tommy Thompson/Tammy Baldwin.
White House spokesman Jay Carney changed the administration’s story after a week of denying any terrorist links to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. On Thursday Carney said “It is, I think, self evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” Carney said. “Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. That is self evident.” Which is a rather roundabout way of saying it was terrorism but not necessarily linked to any organized terrorist group. Just to leave a little wiggle room in there.
Lindsay Lohan was arrested in New York after leaving the scene of an accident in which she allegedly hit a pedestrian.
Lohan entered the parking area of the Dream Hotel in her 2010 Porsche Cayenne shortly after midnight, police said. The hotel shares a driveway with a restaurant. Police allege that as Lohan was entering she hit a restaurant employee.
Lohan allegedly continued into the driveway and parked her car, leaving the scene of the accident. When Lohan was arrested she was heard to complain “you mean I have to stop and report an accident every time I run someone over in a parking lot? Do you have any idea how often that happens?”
Mitt Romney said on Monday his earlier comment that 47% of Americans think of themselves as “victims” was “off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated”, but the GOP presidential candidate did not repudiate the remarks. The comments were revealed in a hidden-camera video of Romney speaking at a private fund-raising event.
In the video Romney says: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”
Actually Romney was referring to the 46% of Americans who paid no taxes on property or non-wage income in 2011. Once payroll taxpayers are subtracted the number drops to 18% – an unusually high figure because of the number of people who are currently out of work due to economic conditions.
So the people Romney includes in his “47 percent” are the poor, the working class, and a chunk of the lower-middle-class. Romney said his “job is not to worry about those people.”
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he added. “What I have to do is convince the 5 percent to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful.” Romney added. So on top of everything else he also called that 47% of Americans stupid.
In defending the remarks on Monday, Romney said: “At a fundraiser you have people say, ‘Governor how are you going to win this?’ And so I respond ‘Well, the president has his group, I have my group. And my group is rich people like you and me!'”
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has called on the Boy Scouts of America to purge any officials involved in covering-up incidents of sexual abuse by adult volunteers. The group made the demand after a story appeared in the Los Angeles Times dealing with a review of over 1,600 “confidential ‘perversion files,’ a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts’ lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view.”
The LA Times story reveals that in numerous cases the Boy Scouts of America not only covered-up the incidents of abuse but “Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks”. This apparently did not keep some individuals from re-joining the organization to repeat their offenses.
Mitt Romney continued his display of classy election behavior by calling the President of the United States a liar in comments about upcoming debates. Romney is of course known for his strict adherence to the truth and complete openness and transparency in all situations.