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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,864

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Novelist PD James Dies Aged 94 ('Children of Men')

Source: Associated Press

Novelist PD James dies aged 94

BY JILL LAWLESS
NOV. 27, 2014 8:40 AM EST
20

LONDON (AP) — Publisher Faber and Faber says mystery writer P.D. James, who brought realistic modern characters to the classical British detective story, has died. She was 94.

- snip -

But James' books were strong on character, avoided stereotype and touched on distinctly modern problems including drugs, child abuse and nuclear contamination.

- snip -

In 1980, with the publication of her eighth book, "Innocent Blood," her small but loyal following exploded into mass, international popularity.

"Monday, I was ticking along as usual, and by Friday I was a millionaire," she once said.

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Her work was not confined to the mystery genre. Her 1992 science fiction novel "The Children of Men," about a dystopian future in which humanity has become infertile, was turned into a critically praised 2006 movie by Alfonso Cuaron. In 2013 she published "Death Comes to Pemberley," introducing a murder mystery into the lives of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."



Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/b50e94bb025345868543cb787cf75148/novelist-pd-james-dies-aged-94

Ferguson Prosecutor's Idiot Speech Blames Everyone But Darren Wilson

http://gawker.com/ferguson-prosecutors-idiot-speech-blames-everyone-but-d-1662970833

Ferguson Prosecutor's Idiot Speech Blames Everyone But Darren Wilson

35,71023

Gabrielle Bluestone

Ferguson prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered a long-winded, smirking speech blaming social media, the media, journalists, neighborhood residents, and everyone else who isn't Darren Wilson, for Darren Wilson shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.

It took McCulloch 10 minutes of hectoring before he revealed the panel had found no probable cause to indict Wilson, and the rest of the 45-minute speech, in which McCulloch seemed to be presenting evidence in Wilson's favor, felt a lot more like defense attorney's argument than a prosecutors. The very length of McCulloch's rambling statement, really, and the amount of evidence he felt compelled to argue against, was an argument that the case should have gone to trial.

But before he got to any of that, McCulloch explained all the ways the case could have been quietly shelved, had those meddling witnesses stayed off Twitter.

On August 9, Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, Darren Wilson. Within minutes, various accounts of the incident began appearing on social media, accounts filled with speculation and little if any solid, accurate information. Almost immediately, neighbors began gathering and anger began growing because of the various descriptions of what had happened and because of the underlying tension between the police department and a significant part of the neighborhood.

Fully aware of the unfounded but growing concern in some parts of our community that the investigation and review of this tragic death might not be full and fair, I decided immediately that all of the physical evidence gathered, all people claiming to have witnessed any part or all of the shooting and any or all other related matters would be presented to the grand jury.

Our investigation and presentation of the evidence to the grand jury in St. Louis county has been completed. The most significant challenge encountered in this investigation has been the 24-hour news cycle and its insatiable appetite for something, for anything to talk about. Following closely behind were the nonstop rumors on social media.

I recognize, of course, that the lack of accurate detail surrounding the shooting frustrates the media and the general public and helps breed suspicion among those already distrustful of the system. Yet those closely guarded details—especially about the physical evidence—give law enforcement a yard stick for measuring the truthfulness of witnesses.

McCulloch offered Brown's gunshot wounds as an example, claiming that witnesses changed their stories after private autopsy results went public. McCulloch also appeared to suggest that the grand jurors watched TV to determine witness credibility.

"There is no question of course that Darren Wilson caused the death of Michael Brown by shooting him," McCulloch said, in an extraordinary linguistic backbend. "But the inquiry doesn't end there."

MORE

Reminder: Cops Who Shot Black Man Carrying Toy Gun in Ohio Walmart Will Not Be Indicted

http://aattp.org/cops-who-shot-black-man-carrying-toy-gun-in-ohio-walmart-will-not-be-indicted-video/

Cops Who Shot Black Man Carrying Toy Gun in Ohio Walmart Will Not Be Indicted (Video)

Posted by: John Prager in Crime, Police Brutality, Racism in America September 24, 2014

Not only was John Crawford III not holding the pellet gun when he was gunned down “on sight” by police officers in an Ohio Walmart, but he certainly was not “pointing” it at people or in any way acting in a threatening manner. Now that a grand jury has irresponsibly chosen not to indict Sergeant David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams on criminal charges, the surveillance video of the shooting has been released — and police certainly do not look heroic in this incident.

“This case is a tragedy for the family and for the police officers who were justified to take a life,” said Special Prosecutor John Piepmeier. He said that officers were trained to “neutralize the threat” immediately — which, in this case, means murdering an innocent man whose only “crime” was being engaged in a phone conversation.

After the grand jury decided that police shooting an African-American man carrying a pellet gun he picked up in the store and planned to buy based on a phone call from a habitual liar who changed his story after realizing that video cameras exist was justified, the Attorney General released the following statement indicating that the Department of Justice would take over from here:

- snip -

The City of Beavercreek issued a statement saying that, despite the video clearly showing that Crawford made no indication he realized officers were there, officers followed “accepted law enforcement protocol” in gunning down a man who had not committed a crime.

“The events of August 5th were tragic and we wish the outcome of that evening had been different. However, based on the information the responding officers had and Mr. Crawford’s failure to comply with the responding officers orders, the officers did what they were trained to do to protect the public. The officers followed accepted law enforcement training protocol in their response to the report of an active threat in the Wal-Mart store. The grand jury review of the evidence and subsequent no bill decision indicates the officers’ actions were not of a criminal nature and justified under Ohio law.

Although the state review process has been concluded, in keeping with the Beavercreek Police Department’s Organizational Values and our desire to uphold the public trust, City Manager, Michael A. Cornell and Police Chief Dennis Evers are requesting the Federal Bureau of Investigation conduct a separate review of the Beavercreek Police Department’s actions in this case to determine if there were any civil rights violations. The Beavercreek Police Department will cooperate fully with the FBI during this process. Until the conclusion of the review of the FBI’s recommendations by the Department of Justice, Officer Sean Williams will be assigned administrative desk duty within the police department. The City will have no further comment pending the Department of Justice review.”

Crawford attorney Michael Wright told 2 NEWS that,

“It is absolutely incomprehensible that Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams was not indicted for the unlawful killing of John H. Crawford, lll. It makes absolutely no sense that an unarmed 22-year-old man would be killed doing what any American citizen does every day: shopping at a Walmart store. The Crawford family is extremely disappointed, disgusted and confused. They are heartbroken that justice was not done in the tragic death of their only son.”

MORE

TOM TOMORROW: The Future - It's UBER-IFFIC!



DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/24/1346577/-Cartoon-The-future-it-s-UBER-IFFIC

MORE ON UBER'S 'RIDES OF GLORY' LIST: http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2014/11/sex_the_single_girl_and_ubers.html

MORE ON UBER EXEC SUGGESTING SMEARING OF JOURNALIST: http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/uber-executive-suggests-digging-up-dirt-on-journalists

Breaking: WH Officials Say President Obama Has Asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Step Down

Source: New York Times

@BreakingNews: Senior White House officials say President Obama has asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to step down - @nytimes http://t.co/pXYCQYs6TR/s/TYM0

Hagel Said to Be Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

By HELENE COOPER
NOVEMBER 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises.

The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.

The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.

Read more: Link to source

Obama Admin Considered Ending NSA Phone Records Program In '09, Opted Not To

Source: Associated Press

KEN DILANIAN News

Obama Admin Considered Ending NSA Phone Records Program In '09, Opted Not To

11/19/2014 17:44 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Years before Edward Snowden sparked a public outcry with the disclosure that the National Security Agency had been secretly collecting American telephone records, some NSA executives voiced strong objections to the program, current and former intelligence officials say. The program exceeded the agency's mandate to focus on foreign spying and would do little to stop terror plots, the executives argued.

The 2009 dissent, led by a senior NSA official and embraced by others at the agency, prompted the Obama administration to consider, but ultimately abandon, a plan to stop gathering the records.

The secret internal debate has not been previously reported. The Senate on Tuesday rejected an administration proposal that would have curbed the program and left the records in the hands of telephone companies rather than the government. That would be an arrangement similar to the one the administration quietly rejected in 2009.

The now-retired NSA official, a longtime code-breaker who rose to top management, had just learned in 2009 about the top secret program that was created shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He says he argued to then-NSA Director Keith Alexander that storing the calling records of nearly every American fundamentally changed the character of the agency, which is supposed to eavesdrop on foreigners, not Americans.

Alexander politely disagreed, the former official told The Associated Press.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/obama-considered-ending-nsa-phone-surveilance

Breaking: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

Source: New York Times

Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

By CORAL DAVENPORT and ASHLEY PARKER
NOVEMBER 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday defeated a bill, 59 to 41, that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rebuffing a Democratic colleague, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who had hoped to muscle the legislation through in advance of her uphill runoff election fight back home.

Forty Democrats and Angus King, independent of Maine, voted against the bill, with just 14 Democrats joining all 45 Republicans in support of the oil pipeline.

The battle over approving the pipeline, which will carry petroleum from the oil sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, ultimately became a proxy war for the Louisiana Senate seat, where Ms. Landrieu and Representative Bill Cassidy, a Republican, are locked in fight for votes in their oil-rich state ahead of a Dec. 6 runoff election.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/us/politics/keystone-xl-pipeline.html

TOM TOMORROW: What's The Big Deal?



DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/17/1345129/-Cartoon-What-s-the-big-deal

CONSIDER JOINING SPARKY'S LIST: http://thismodernworld.com/archives/7020

SUNDAY'S DOONESBURY: "So If You're a Paranoid, Gun-Loving, Right-Wing Birther..."


Ouch. Andy Borowitz...

on Facebook:

When I see the President do stuff like try to make healthcare affordable or protect the planet from global warming, it does kind of make me wonder whether he was born here.
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