Jan 15, 2011

Cross-eyed opossum is hit at Leipzig zoo

A cross-eyed opossum named Heidi sits in her enclosure at Leipzig zoo in eastern Germany.

Heidi, who is not yet on public display, has become an Internet hit, winning more than 65,000 "friends" on the social networking website Facebook!


Miss Nebraska is the 2011 Miss America

Teresa Scanlan, a 17-yar-old aspiring politician from Gering, Nebraska is the new 2011 Miss America.

Teresa Scanlan won a $50,000 scholarship and a yearlong run with the crown at the competition at the Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas, giving the Cornhusker State its first-ever win at the pageant.

Pageant officials said she was the youngest Miss America since the pageant's first competition in 1921.

Miss Arkansas Alyse Eady won $25,000 as first runner-up, while Miss Hawaii Jalee Fuselier won $20,000 for third place.


Rep. Gabriel Giffords: a hard working politician

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords during a political campaign.

Giffords is shown with her Astronaut husband Mark Kelly.

This photo shows her BMW motorcycle.

Giffords is a Blue Dog (conservative) Democrat and is Arizona's first Jewish Congresswoman.

Mount Etna - dramatic eruption

Fiery lava erupts from Mount Etna, the famous Sicilian volcano.

Jan 14, 2011

Doctors: Rep. Giffords shows improvement

Doctors report improvement in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (pictured) condition. She is opening both eyes, moving both legs and arms and responding to friends and family.

Her doctors call it a "major milestone" in her recovery.

"We're hoping that she crosses through many more," said her neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Lemole.

She first opened her eyes on her own Wednesday evening while surrounded by her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, and close friends from Congress.

Her left eye, which was unbandaged, started to flicker, and she struggled a bit to widen it.

"Gabby, open your eyes, open your eyes," her husband urged her.

Kelly told her to give him a thumbs-up if she could hear him. She did more than that. She slowly raised her left arm.

Her doctors said her progress was not completely unexpected but still remarkable.

Giffords was still in critical condition.

More here.

Loughners sickness not caused by politics

From a report in the Wall Street Journal:

On all available evidence, Jared Lee Loughner is a mentally disturbed man who targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and anyone near her in Tucson on Saturday because she was prominent and they were tragically accessible.

He joins Sirhan Sirhan, John Hinckley Jr. and many others whose derangement led them to horrible acts of violence.

Whatever confused political motives he expressed seem merely to be part of the maelstrom of his mental sickness.

Much more here.

John Fox hired as new Bronco head football coach

Denver is coming off a franchise-worst 4-12 season. So who did they hire as their new head football coach? John Fox (pictured) from the Carolina Panthers - a team than finished with a 2-14 record in 2010, the only team to finish worse than the Broncos.

Fox replaces Josh McDaniels, who was fired Dec. 6 amid the Broncos worst slide in four decades and the embarrassing Spygate II videotaping scandal.

Fox did take Carolina to the 2004 Super Bowl where they lost to the New England Patriots.

Mike Shanahan took the Broncos to back to back Super Bowls and won them both - one win over Green Bay and the other over Atlanta. That wasn't good enough and owner Pat Bowlen fired him - said he had gone stale and brought in young hot-shot Josh McDaniels who promptly "dismantled" the team by the worst decisions one could imagine.

Did the Broncos owner shoot himself in the foot for the second time in two years?

Bronco fans hope not.

More here.

Easy Rider actor Peter Fonda finds dead body in car

Los Angeles police say actor Peter Fonda (pictured) discovered a dead body in a car and they are investigating the death.

Sgt. Carlton Cook at the West Los Angeles Community Police Station says the "Easy Rider" actor called 911 on Wednesday after he spotted a car parked on the side of Sunset Blvd.

Maybe some out-of-work screen writers will try to make a story out of this starring out-of-work actor Peter Fonda and try to get an out-of-work director/producer to convince a hungry movie studio to make a movie out of the story.

It will never top Easy Rider, but who knows. Besides, it was Fonda who found the dead guy.


Calls mount for resignation of Sheriff Dupnik

From a report at the link below:

Since he first opened his mouth on Saturday night to address the nation about the terrible shootings at a Tucson Safeway, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (pictured) has been inaccurate, wrong, or completely biased in his handling of the case.

Never have we witnessed a prominent public figure so inaccurately and viciously politicize a national tragedy like Sheriff Dupnik did this week. And in all of his statements he has either been wrong or misdirected.

Sheriff Dupnik told reporters that shooter Jared Loughner may not have acted alone. It was a group effort. There were others involved. "We have photos." Sheriff Dupnik was wrong. Loughner acted alone.

Sheriff Dupnik told reporters that the killer Jared Lee Loughner had made similar threats in the past. Then yesterday the sheriff backtracked. He said there were no previous threats before the shooting.

It is not uncommon for a sheriff in less populated counties to do favors for a lot of influential people in exchange for votes. If this is how Dupnik kept being re-elected time after time, it may not work in the future.

Even if many voters owe him favors, our secret ballot system may do him in. He is an embarrassment to the county in the eyes of the entire nation and a constant reminder of those avoidable deaths including a 9-year-old girl.


Jan 13, 2011

National 9/11 flag unfurled at funeral for Tucson victim born on 9/11/01

The National 9/11 Flag above was unfurled between two fire trucks in honor of the youngest victim of the Tucson shootings.

Christina Green (inset photo above) was born on September 11 2001.

This photo shows Roxanna and John Green, parents of Christina Taylor Green with their son Dallas at Christina's funeral.

Wired train

A train makes its way through the snow-covered landscape in the western German city of Essen.

Masked Greenpeace activist

A masked Greenpeace activist attends a protest against nuclear power in Bucharest, Romania last month.

An emotional Congress honors victims

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is shown above with Speaker of the House John Boehner at her swearing in ceremony earlier this month. Giffords is shown in the center photo with her Astronaut husband Mark Kelly.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Congress met for the first time since the attack on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona.

It was time to pay homage to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the legacy of the lives lost over the weekend.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (right) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left) sign the book of condolences and the book of well wishes for the victims of the Tucson, Arizona shooting before attending a prayer service for them in the Capitol in Washington yesterday. Standing behind is House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, overcome with emotion, paused several times during a speech Wednesday as he pledged renewed "commitment to fulfill our oaths of office."

"Let us not let this inhuman act frighten us into doing otherwise," Boehner cautioned. "The free exchange of ideas is the lifeblood of our democracy."


Congress job approval up sharply as GOP take over House

From a report at the link below:

With so much national attention focused on the keen criminology insights of Arizona's Clarence the Talking Sheriff, a stunning new Gallup Poll on Congress almost flew right by.

Hmm…Clarence the Talking Sheriff? That's good.

The new national survey finds that within only five days of Republicans taking majority control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 4, Americans' approval of the bicameral body's job shot up more than 50%, from its record low of 13% to 20%.

Look for this to be underreported or ignored in most of the media because it reflects unfavorably against liberal politicians.


Polar bears remain off endangered list angering enviro activists

Environmental activists used the polar bear as a campaign symbol in 2008 during their attacks on the Bush administration’s decision to not place polar bears on the endangered species list.

Now the enviros are angry again. This time at the Obama administration. The Department of Fish & Wildlife declined, yet again, to move polar bears from the “threatened” list onto the endangered list.

The photo is one often presented by envois to "prove" the shrinking the polar bear habitat is shrinking. Only problem is the photo was taken near the southwest part of Hudson Bay -- in July.

Left-wing politicians were angry when Obama kept the Bush tax cuts. Now it's the environmental activists turn to be angry at Obama for keeping the Bush polar bear decision.

The science behind this must be pretty clear or Obama would just cram this through like ObamaCare or the GM takeover.

Even NASA is now predicting a possible cool decade or two which is cooling (pun intended) the threat to the polar bears.

Enviros can always go back to saving whales. Animal Planet even has a TV series to keep their excitement at a high level.

Animal Planet may never do a TV series on saving polar bears. Blood - human blood especially - in the snow is not a pretty sight.


Just where was Mayor Bloomberg during that last storm?

From a sidebar in the London Daily Mail:

He came under fierce criticism for the city's shambolic response to the Christmas blizzard.

And just where Mayor Bloomberg was during the crisis has remained a mystery until now.

Today it emerged that the politician's private plane had been in Bermuda for the crucial period between December 25 and 26.

Officials at the island's airport described how they received a request for Mayor
Bloomberg's plane to be readied for takeoff the day after Christmas.

The aircraft had arrived in the early hours of December 25 and it is believed he spent the day at his waterfront holiday home.

Leave it to the Brits to sniff out the secrets of politicians and celebrities on this of the pond.

Hmm…wonder if he was attending a global warming celebration of some kind?

It's too bad the London Daily Mail doesn't have a New York edition so residents can learn what's going on in their own city.


Jan 12, 2011

First full length movie shot with iPhone

A movie claimed to be the first ever cinema-standard film to be shot solely on the iPhone has been premiered by celebrated South Korean director Park Chan Wook.

The 30-minute film was shot using an iPhone.

It cost 150 million won ($133,000). Wonder why it cost so much? And Don't tell us it wads because of roaming charges.

More here.

Moment of silence at the capitol rotunda

Guides and visitors pause for a moment of silence in the U.S. Capitol rotunda to honor the memory of the victims of the January 8 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

Time magazine photo

Photo: turtle on wheels

Tzvika, a turtle who suffered a spinal injury from a lawn mower, pulls herself along with the aid of newly attached wheels at the Wildlife Hospital in the Ramat Gan Safari near Tel Aviv.

About those targets and bullets on maps

The difference between targets and surveyor symbols.

Shown above are the "targets" Sarah Palin is accused of showing on maps. They are not targets.

They are surveyor symbols showing places to concentrate on in future political campaigns, yet radicals at MSNBC, etc. are claiming Palin used them as "cross-hairs" to target opponents with physical harm.

They had no more meaning that the "real" targets used by Democrat politicians shown below.

Jan 11, 2011

Is hate speech OK if you're a Democrat?

Former Democrat Congressman from Pennsylvania, Paul Kanjorski (pictured) is calling for civility.

In an op-ed column in the New York Times today Mr. Kanjorski had this to say:

We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people.

Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.

Only problem is - it was the then Congressman Paul Kanjorski who said, "That Scott that's running for governor of Florida, instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him as reported in the second link below.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski was defeated in his bid for re-election to the House on November 2, 2010 by a 57%-43% margin. He lost to Republican Lou Barletta.

Link here and here.

Arizona's Clouseau - the sheriff of Pima County

Comparing Sheriff Dupnik (pictured) to the laughably bumbling and incompetent police inspector Clouseau, whose investigations are marked with chaos and destruction mostly brought on by himself, would be priceless - except for one thing. Clouseau was funny.

From the report:

The strangest figure to emerge from the Tucson shooting story is Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

He was in front of every camera around pushing a highly politicized agenda.

In the early hours after the shooting, Dupnik was mumbling about “people in the radio business and some people in the TV business” creating the climate which led to the shootings.

Later he started naming names, beginning with Rush Limbaugh.

Every time he’s been confronted about these irresponsible slanders, he admits he has absolutely no evidence or logical argument to back up his claims… until he gets to a friendly interviewer like Keith Olbermann, who wants to buy what he’s selling.

Then he suddenly declares that libeling people who had absolutely no connection whatsoever to the target of a murder investigation is one of his official duties.

The comically offhanded nature of Dupnik’s political speculations make it clear he never expected them to be challenged.

On Saturday afternoon, he clearly thought he was about to become a media and political superstar.

Instead, he became a laughingstock.

When was the last time a President of the United States had to send in his FBI Chief to handle a local incident? If you said never, you'd probably be right.


Did Jessica Simpson change to a new poofy hairdo for 2011?

Jessica Simpson fans can relax, the answer is no. The wildly poofy hairdo was for a magazine photo shoot.

It's just that her publicist Lauren Auslander, had a little fun at her expense and tweeted the photo, saying jokingly, "Hey Jessica Simpson nice new 'do for 2011."

Verizon customers can have iPhone soon

From an AOL Business report:

If you aren't tired of all the Verizon iPhone buzz yet, you'll love the latest hints coming from the rumor mill. Citing an in-the-know anonymous source, Bloomberg Business Week reports that the iPhone will most likely come to Verizon before Valentine's Day -- a present for iPhone holdouts (and current owners dissatisfied with AT&T), including many business users.

Look for the usual Apple press conference and fanfare following the official announcement of a deal with Verizon. But don't look for it at this month's Consumer Electronics Show.

Expect to wait until about Valentine's Day.


Venice cops in hip waders

Two Italian policemen stand on the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice.

Tourists in Venice awoke to warning sirens as the "acqua alta" (high water), leaving 55 percent of the city under water.

Jan 10, 2011

Illinois proposes 75 percent income tax hike

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the leaders of both houses of the Illinois General Assembly have agreed on raising the state income tax.

If the bill passes, the plan would raise the personal income tax rate from the current 3 percent to 5.25 percent.

That’s a 75 percent increase.

In real dollars, that would mean if you currently owe $1,000 in taxes, next year you would owe $1,750.

The report says the increase is for four only years. After four years the personal income tax would go down to 3.75 percent.

Will Illinois lawmakers really lower taxes that much once they have enjoyed having that extra tax money to spend for four years?


Jared Loughner the Tucson shooter

The photo at left was taken in March 2010. Center shows his MySpace profile photo. At right is Loughner's mug shot.

Report: Palin and tea party not reason Giffords was attacked

In what is turned out to be a big disappointment for far-left politicians and the left-wing media, the shooter has been described as a left-wing pot-head by his classmates.

At first they tried to say he was soldier. Someone even said he was an Afghan vet. They were just guessing and hoping. It turned out he had been turned down by the military. The Army refused to take him.

Far-left Democrats in Washington and the left-wing media had hoped the shooting of Rep. Giffords would be a crisis they could use to demean moderates and conservatives - especially the tea party and Sarah Palin.

The first link below says Palin and the tea party rhetoric had nothing to do with the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords.

Link and here.

Full moon over Disney World

A full moon is seen over Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Oprah 18 minute answer leaves critics cranky

A report at the link below is titled, "TV Critics Reeling After Oprah Holds Them Hostage With 18 Minute Long Answer At Press Tour."

Actually, they must have trying to get even for her 18 minute answer with their sixteen word report title.

It must have been like a long-winded self-centered Obama press conference without a teleprompter.


Report: The censorship of madmen

We cannot give lunatics editorial control of our discourse.

Within hours of the attack on Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, liberal bloggers, pundits, and even politicians raced to pin responsibility on the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the general “climate of hate” produced by opposition to President Obama's agenda.

To his credit, President Obama has not descended to the depths of Bill Clinton, who blamed the Oklahoma City bombings on Rush Limbaugh back in the 90s.

Much more here.

Chris Matthews fanaticizes watching Rush Limbaugh being shot

If the media really wants someone to blame for inciting a climate of hate look no further than the political hacks on MSNBC.

Below is just one example:

Jan 9, 2011

FBI Chief sent to Tucson because of unhinged sheriff?

When was the last time a President had to send his FBI Chief to take over a local incident? If your reply was never you'd probably be correct.

The photo below was a screen grab from Fox News as Megyn Kelly took on Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik over his political spin on the shooting.

Sheriff Dupnik used "vitriolic" political rhetoric while blaming "vitriolic" political rhetoric for the shootings in Tucson Saturday.

When asked if he had evidence suggesting the young shooter was motivated by conservative rhetoric, the sheriff replied, "not yet."

It's no wonder the President had to send his FBI Chief to take over.


House Democrats adjust to life with no power

Barney Frank and Henry Waxman brood over life in the House with no power.

Barney Frank says he’ll have “more free time” on his hands.

Henry Waxman says “I don’t think it was fair that we lost this time around,” he says, blaming the Democrats’ downfall on the lousy economy that President Obama inherited. C'mon Waxman, Blaming Bush is so yesterday.

"Losing on a day-to-day basis and seeing the Republicans prevail when I so strongly disagree with them—that’s not going to be easy," he says. "It’s a less-than-pleasant situation."

Barney Frank left and Henry Waxman right

I suggest That Mr. Frank and Mr. Waxman get out their Big Chief tablets, number 2 pencils and proceed to the exercise outlined here.

Out of power House Democrats will have two years to brood over their misuse of power during the last two years - such as working on ObamaCare behind closed doors and then calling Republicans the "party of no" when they wouldn't vote for it.

These and other tactics of the last two years will be coming home to roost in the next two years.