Sunday, December 30, 2007
1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.
3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men’s bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly “sent signals” to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed 'No!'” When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, “What do you think of that?” The power play didn’t work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.
4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.
5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY): Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor’s office “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons…” ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani’s former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.
6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR): Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: “[Huckabee’s] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor’s office.” And what was Governor Huckabee’s response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.
7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby: Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies -- two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice – all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued “Executive Clemency” to Libby and commuted the sentence.
8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): A “Dishonorable Mention” last year, Senator Obama moves onto the “ten most wanted” list in 2007. In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company’s shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.
9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi's home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi's earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi’s leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down – which protects members in both parties from accountability.
10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, “Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.” Whittemore also hired one of Reid’s sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father’s office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest.
Judicial Watch is a 501©(3) non-profit organization. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. For more information, visit www.judicialwatch.org.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's… you?
Admit it — you've fantasized about soaring through the sky like Superman or swinging from building to building like Spidey. Unfortunately, superheroes exist in only comic books, cartoons and movies. And then it usually takes being doused with radioactive waste or belted by gamma rays to hear a gun cock from a mile away or crush cars like soda cans.
But with scientists apparently drawing inspiration from the comics they read when they were kids, the line between science fiction and science fact has become blurred. Superheroics suddenly seem like a viable career option. Follow the link to see how you, too, with today's technologies, can spin webs and get superhuman strength.
Synthetic Gecko: Be A True Wall-Crawler
You won't need Spider-Man to get you out of a sticky situation. Thanks to the Synthetic Gecko technology developed by BAE Systems, the Spidey-suit has become more than a child's Halloween costume. Researchers discovered that billions of tiny hair-like structures along the reptiles' feet allow geckos to get their grip. Mimicking the real-life counterpart, Synthetic Gecko acts as a reusable super-strong adhesive that leaves no messy residue or stickiness behind. Just think: It's only a matter of time before you, too, can be a wall crawler.
BioSteel: Spin Your Own Web
Our beloved arachnid can do more than scale walls so you'll need the ability to sling webs, too, if you want to be a legit Spider-Person. Nexia Biotechnologies is eager to assist your pursuit of power. After injecting spider genes into a goat, researchers were able to extract a silk-like material, dubbed BioSteel, from the goat's milk. Because of its compatibility with the human body, BioSteel appears to have some remarkable real-life applications (artificial limbs, tendons and ligaments). Stronger than steel, and with a breaking strength of 300,000 pounds per square inch, wannabe webheads will undoubtedly dream about using the technology for a swing through New York City.
Invisibility Cloak: Now You See Me, Now
If you want to be like see-through Susie, then clearly (pardon the pun) you, too, have to be able to make yourself invisible. Duke University scientists have created a cloak using artificial composite materials called metamaterials, which could enable you to do just that. "The cloak would act like you've opened up a hole in space," said Duke's David R. Smith. "All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space." If you can understand the scientific mumbo jumbo, more (super) power to you. Researchers are still uncertain what degree of invisibility can be achieved, but I sure do wish they could make the Ghost Rider movie disappear.
Heat-Ray Gun: Drop It Like It's Hot
Some like it hot, including the U.S. military, which has revealed a heat-ray gun for diffusing unruly crowds and forcing enemy surrender without the use of lethal tactics. This seemingly harmless weapon releases an invisible beam of high energy that can penetrate clothing and heat the skin (to a depth of less than 0.5 mm) to a harmless, but extremely uncomfortable degree (enemies can expect to run for cover).
Xaver 800: I See London, I See France,
I See Lois' Underpants
You, too, will be able to see right through those skyscrapers with Camero's Xaver 800 device. Because its ultra-wideband signal can travel through plaster, brick and reinforced concrete, acts of heroism are in your future. Your super-vision will allow you to locate people through walls up to 26 feet thick in just seconds, with hopes that in the future, a thickness of 300 feet won't be difficult. Unlike its conceptual counterparts, Xaver 800 is already on the market to police, fire and rescue teams and costs merely $100,000 — pocket change for getting Supes' super power.
Rocket Belt: Ready For Takeoff
You'll be soaring the blue skies with the Rocket Belt, from Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana. Donning this device won't put you on any best-dressed lists, but so what if it's not as stylish as Clark's red cape. TAM offers hands-on training (with housing and food, probably tastier than you'd get on any airline), 24/7 expert support and 10 flights in your own custom-made Rocket Belt. As long as you don't tip the scales at 300 pounds, you're ready for takeoff — and to become the marvel of your own Metropolis.
LRAD: Sonic Assault
We're wondering if Black Canary inspired this next tool of the superhero trade: the long-range acoustic device, LRAD, created by American Technology Corporation. LRAD, touted as a nonlethal weapon, has the capacity to cause permanent hearing damage within a range of 300 feet by producing a high-energy acoustic beam (technically known as a loud noise), enabling you to neutralize any neighborhood nuisance. U.S. forces in Iraq and the States have used LRAD for crowd control and protecting ports. And thwarting pesky pirates is now simple for cruise ships. Worried about your own drums? Though targets will feel like they are standing next to a jet engine, those producing the sonic scream are shielded from harm.
Powered Exoskeleton: Unleash Your Inner Avenger
It's possible to be like Cap without taking performance enhancers (legal or otherwise). The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is planning to build an army of super soldiers, with powered exoskeletons designed to improve the freedom fighters' speed, strength and endurance. This exoskeleton would enable troops to carry hundreds of pounds as easy as a backpack and leap extraordinary heights and distances (watch out, Man of Steel). It may not be a serum, but it looks like the army just might someday get the juice they need to become super.
Future Warrior Concept: Dressed to Kill
Unless you're like Tony — a genius inventor with Benjamins to burn — don't hold your breath for the Future Warrior Concept. You won't be able to get your hands on the Natick Soldier Research Center's tricked-out uniform until 2025, which aims to outfit soldiers in a fully integrated, lightweight and lethal combat system.
The Iron Man-esque outfit is equipped with sensors that monitor the wearer's body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure as well as hydration and stress levels, which can be transmitted to medics and field commanders who might be miles away. An emissive display inside the headgear will let soldiers view GPS-generated maps and real-time video provided by forward-positioned troops, aircraft or satellites. The helmet also houses wide- and local-area network connections for sharing mission data (or photos of Jessica Alba) among squad mates. Additional bells and whistles include a built-in heating and cooling system and sensors for 360° situational awareness.
ARP Trainer: Get Well Soon
Trips to the ER could be far less frequent for you, too, with a little help from an Accelerated Recovery Performance (ARP) trainer. This device helps prevent injury by relaxing healthy muscles. For injured muscles, electrical currents penetrate deep into tissue (no worries, bub, it won't hurt a bit) to strengthen and elongate them, speeding up recovery time. As a superhero, you can't afford to be on the DL for long. You could join the pack of 50 MLB, 100 NBA and 300 NFL players who already use ARP to prepare for game day.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Doctor asks Madonna Who?
MADONNA bottled the chance to appear in the Doctor Who Christmas Special.
I’m told an entire episode, called The Last Cassandra, was penned especially for Madge in a bid to get her on board.
But she vetoed the plan and the script was scrapped in favour of a new episode starring KYLIE MINOGUE.
I wonder why the increasingly scrawny Mrs Ritchie was reluctant to play a Cassandra - a mutant species first seen in a 2005 episode that are just skin stretched on a frame.
My graphics lads have mocked up how Madge might have looked.
Evil villain ... mock up Madge
Show boss RUSSELL T DAVIES said Cassandras were inspired by skinny Hollywood actresses who’ve had too much plastic surgery. Ahem...
Madonna Highlights Rock Hall Inductees
Dec. 13, 2007, 10:56 AM EST
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND -- The Material Girl is now a Hall of Famer.
Madonna was announced as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee on Thursday along with John Mellencamp, The Ventures, Leonard Cohen and The Dave Clark Five.
A panel of 600 industry figures selected the five acts to be inducted at the annual ceremony, to be held March 10 in New York. To be eligible, artists must have issued a first single or album at least 25 years before nomination.
Madonna Louise Ciccone signed with Sire Records in 1982 and became one of MTV's first stars two years later with "Like A Virgin." She has constantly altered her image ever since, showing staying power that few '80s stars could muster.
Indiana native Mellencamp became a voice of America's heartland with hits like "Pink Houses"; and Cohen's "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" made him a folk rock icon in the late 1960s.
The Ventures defined instrumental guitar rock in the '60s with surfer anthems like "Walk Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O," and The Dave Clark Five were one of the most successful British invasion bands with "Glad All Over."
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Source: Yahoo News
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AFP) - Israeli guards beat five demonstrators, including one dressed as Father Christmas, during a protest on Friday against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank, organisers said.
About 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists attended the rally in the village of Um Salomona, near Bethlehem, the Biblical birthplace of Jesus that is preparing to celebrate Christmas.
Israeli border guards armed with truncheons briefly detained one activist and beat another five during the rally, the organisers told AFP, adding that one was wearing a Santa Claus costume.
An Israeli army spokesman said there had been disorder at the protest and that several demonstrators who were briefly detained were subsequently released.
Israel says the massive barrier of electric fencing, barbed wire and concrete walls built across the West Bank is needed to stop potential attackers from infiltrating the country and attacking Jewish settlements on Arab land.
The Palestinians say the project is aimed at grabbing their land and undermining the viability of their promised state.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding ruling that parts of the 650-kilometre (410-mile) barrier criss-crossing the West Bank are illegal and should be torn down. Israel has vowed to complete the project.
dj chauncey d - epicene aural masterpiece volume iii
Thursday, December 20, 2007
yes boys and girls...chauncey is at the eagle friday, december 21st! it's the last time you'll hear me spin in 2007...i think hehe. come enjoy the hot porn star guests, the sleazy go go gods and sadistic atmosphere while i provide the dark and sexy soundscape to keep you in the mood...
doors open at 10pm if you want to be on the guestlist for reduced admission email me by 9pm friday night at firstname.lastname@example.org
see you there?
In a statement released yesterday by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI ranked same-sex marriage with nuclear arms proliferation, environmental pollution, economic inequality, abortion, and birth control as threats to world peace in a message for the World Day of Peace on January 1st, according to Religion News Service:
"Presenting the nuclear family as the 'first and indispensable teacher of peace' and the 'primary agency of peace,' the 15-page document links sexual and medical ethics to international relations. 'Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of new life ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace,' Benedict writes."
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The vid was directed by Alan Ferguson earlier this month and in a nutshell, shows Ashlee seeking counseling after an opinion overload from the voices of her family, record executives, fans, haters and the media.
“It’s probably the weirdest video I’ve seen of hers,” says Pete Wentz, her boyfriend, who was on set, told MTV News. “It’s like a Salvador Dalí painting meets Being John Malkovich. She just went to this weird place for it. It has this kind of multiple personality, like the song does.”
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
here's a lovely blast from the past reworked by the amazing van she technologic! you might not remember it right away but once you hear the kate bush sample and the lovely 90's piano bit hopefully the mems will rush over you. so glad i stumbled across this mix!
utah saints vs. van she tech - something good
whoever this interviewer is...deserves some kind of an award...she is fierce!
it's really interesting to see bush in such a candid setting trying to defend himself and getting frustrated and angry because he can't come up with a decent answer that makes one bit of sense. this interview was supposedly banned but of course thanks to the magic of youtube you can witness the idiocy and masterful journalism...
this is all just too unreasonable to comprehend...how the hell do people like him even exist in the world? he obviously has a college education yet he is still an ignorant buffoon...and he's running for president? aye aye aye...
Huckabee Advocated AIDS Isolation
Saturday, Dec. 08, 2007
(AP / Little Rock, Ark.) — Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."
As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.
"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague," Huckabee wrote.
"It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."
The AP submitted the questionnaire to both candidates; only Huckabee responded. Incumbent Sen. Dale Bumpers won his four term; Huckabee was elected lieutenant governor the next year and became governor in 1996.
When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that AIDS research received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
"In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified," Huckabee wrote. "An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research."
Huckabee did not return messages left with his campaign.
When Huckabee wrote his answers in 1992, it was common knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact. In late 1991, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 195,718 AIDS patients in the country and that 126,159 people had died from the syndrome.
The nation had an increased awareness of AIDS at the time because pro basketball star Magic Johnson had recently disclosed he carried the virus responsible for it. Johnson retired but returned to the NBA briefly during the 1994-95 season.
Since becoming a presidential candidate this year, Huckabee has supported increased federal funding for AIDS research through the National Institutes of Health.
"My administration will be the first to have an overarching strategy for dealing with HIV and AIDS here in the United States, with a partnership between the public and private sectors that will provide necessary financing and a realistic path toward our goals," Huckabee said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site last month.
Also in the wide-ranging AP questionnaire in 1992, Huckabee said, "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."
A Southern Baptist preacher, Huckabee has been a favorite among social conservatives for his vocal opposition to gay marriage. In 2003, Huckabee said that the U.S. Supreme Court was probably right to strike down anti-sodomy laws, but that states still should be able to restrict things such as gay marriage or domestic partner benefits.
"What people do in the privacy of their own lives as adults is their business," Huckabee said. "If they bring it into the public square and ask me as a taxpayer to support it or to endorse it, then it becomes a matter of public discussion and discourse."
Huckabee Stands By AIDS Statement
by The Associated Press
Posted: December 9, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET
(Washington) GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Sunday he won't run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated.
Huckabee acknowledged the prevailing scientific view then, and since, that the virus that causes AIDS is not spread through casual contact, but said that was not certain. He cited revelations in 1991 that a dentist had infected a patient in an extraordinary case that highlighted the risk of infection through contact with blood or bodily fluids.
"I still believe this today," he said in a broadcast interview, that "we were acting more out of political correctness" in responding to the AIDS crisis. "I don't run from it, I don't recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect.
Huckabee, as a Senate candidate that year, told The Associated Press that "we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague" if the federal government was going to deal with the spread of the disease effectively.
"It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents," he said then.
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," the former Arkansas governor denied those words were a call to quarantine the AIDS population, although he did not explain how else isolation would be achieved. "I didn't say we should quarantine," he said. The idea was not to "lock people up."
Huckabee stated his 1992 positions in an AP questionnaire in which he also called homosexuality "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle."
GOP presidential rival Rudy Giuliani on Sunday declined to discuss the matter during a separate television interview except to say he had heard Huckabee say it was not "his current position."
"I have enough of my own statements and issues that I have to deal with," the former New York mayor said, laughing.
Giuliani, who appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," said he did not believe homosexuality was aberrant. What is sinful are "the acts, not the orientation."
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
so inspiring...she reads aloud some brilliant verse she wrote pertaining to 9/11 and everything that surrounds it...watch it and let her inspire you as well
(thank you to my friend adham who sent me the link)
hot chip is back!!!
this song is fucking fantastic! definitely my new favourite of the moment and will definitely make it high on my definite eleven list i'll be posting soon for december. it's so awesome to hear a band that totally makes fresh music...devoid of any trends and not swayed by the current market. this song is otherworldly and yet totally accessible with light new wave connotations decorated with gorgeous synthetic everything!
supposedly this was sent to kylie minogue for consideration and her camp turned it down! stupid! but i'm glad...they deserve to own this one themselves...are you ready for the floor?
hot chip - ready for the floor (extended mix)
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
here's the first leaked song from the new mirwais project (the mastermind behind madonna's 'music' and 'american life' and a few songs from 'confessions'. it's called 'yaspop' and it's fantastic!
people have described it as an m.i.a. outtake and although it's similar it still has that mirwais feel to it....
i'm dreaming right now of what this would have sounded like with madonna doing the vocals...and she's singing in arabic!
mirwais - yaspop