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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,340

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GWB Scandal: Ex-Christie Campaign Manager Invokes Fifth Amendment in Challenging Subpoena

Source: The Record (NJ)

@maddow: "Gov Christie's former campaign manager appears to be a target of a federal criminal investigation, his lawyer says" http://t.co/JEHQvRt1UN

GWB scandal: Ex-Christie campaign manager invokes Fifth Amendment in challenging subpoena

Monday, March 3, 2014 Last updated: Monday March 3, 2014, 9:14 PM

BY SHAWN BOBURG
STAFF WRITER
The Record

Governor Christie’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien appears to be a target of a federal criminal investigation, his lawyer said in a court filing on Monday, describing recent unannounced visits and phone calls by federal agents who went so far as to ask Stepien’s landlord if he was a rowdy tenant and paid rent on time.

The revelations were another signal that federal prosecutors are looking closely into politically-motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge and whether they were ordered by officials who were once in the governor’s inner circle. Stepien’s attorney wrote that his client is innocent of any wrongdoing.

The court filing came in a civil case that will determine if Stepien must provide documents subpoenaed by a legislative committee conducting its own investigation into the lane closures. The case has forced Stepien’s lawyer into an awkward position: arguing that Stepien should not have to provide the documents to lawmakers because he is the subject of the federal probe.

Stepien has invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in response to the legislative subpoena, and the dispute has gone before a state Superior Court judge in Mercer County who will hear arguments next Tuesday. The court case is the most significant test yet of the investigative power of state lawmakers who have subpoena power and are demanding documents against the backdrop of a high-stakes federal investigation.

The attorney for another central figure in the scandal, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, said Monday that his client and her parents had also been approached by federal agents. Kelly and her family members declined to talk to them, said attorney Michael Critchley. Kelly, who wrote in an e-mail to a Port Authority executive, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” weeks before local access lanes to the bridge were shut, is also fighting a legislative subpoena for documents.

Read more: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Lawyer_for_former_Christie_campaign_manager_files_brief_in_effort_to_fight_subpoena.html

Christie Aide Kelly Sent Second ‘Traffic Problems’ Text

Source: Bloomberg

Christie Aide Kelly Sent Second ‘Traffic Problems’ Text

By David Voreacos and David Glovin
February 27, 2014 3:36 PM EST

In the days before the manufactured ties-ups at the George Washington Bridge, a former deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sent a second text message about causing “traffic problems” elsewhere, according to newly released documents.

Bridget Anne Kelly wrote Aug. 19 to another Christie ally, David Wildstein, saying: “We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?” One state legislator described the dialogue as reflecting a “juvenile, cavalier attitude.”

The message was among those released today by a state legislative committee investigating lane closures at the bridge from Sept. 9 to Sept. 12, which snarled traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Kelly was referring to a politically influential rabbi in New Jersey, the New York Times (NYT) and Bergen Record reported.

Kelly’s firing was announced Jan. 9 by Christie, a Republican eyeing a White House run who has denied any role in the bridge scandal. Lawmakers and federal prosecutors are probing who shut down the lanes and why. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, has said he believes the traffic jams were meant to punish him for not backing Christie’s re-election last year.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-27/christie-aide-kelly-sent-second-traffic-problems-text-1-.html

Senate Democratic Leader Reid Says Conservative Koch Brothers Lack Conscience, Are Un-American

Source: Associated Press

@AP: Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says conservative Koch brothers lack conscience and are un-American: http://t.co/TkiLJvr8L8

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate's top Democrat criticized a pair of billionaire brothers in unusually harsh terms Wednesday, accusing the conservative duo of being "un-American," spreading lies about President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and lacking a conscience.

In a pair of appearances on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., became the latest Democrat this election year to denunciate Charles and David Koch - pronounced "Coke."

The brothers' representatives said Reid's attack was "disgraceful" and accused him of attacking people hurt by the 2010 health care law.

Reid's focus was on television ads that are being used against Democratic congressional candidates, commercials that he said misleadingly criticize the health care law.

"When you make billions of dollars a year you can be as immoral and dishonest as your money will allow you to be," Reid said. "It's too bad that they're trying to buy America, and it's time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine."

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REID_KOCH_BROTHERS

BREAKING: Arizona governor vetoes bill allowing religious reasons for refusing service to gays

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Arizona governor vetoes bill allowing religious reasons for refusing service to gays.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR VETOES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL
By BOB CHRISTIE
— Feb. 26, 2014 7:52 PM EST

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties.

Brewer's decision defused a national furor over gay rights and religious freedom.

The bill backed by Republicans in the Legislature was designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays. But opponents called it an open attack on gays that invited discrimination.

The bill thrust Arizona into the national spotlight last week after both chambers of the state legislature approved it. As the days passed, more and more groups, politicians and average citizens weighed in against Senate Bill 1062. Many took to social media to criticize the bill, calling it an attack on gay and lesbian rights.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/arizona-governor-returns-home-amid-furor-over-bill

Collins Enters Game, Becoming NBA'S 1st Openly Gay Player

Source: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jason Collins has become the first openly gay player to see action in an NBA game.

Collins, signed Sunday to a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn, reported into the game against the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left in the second quarter and the Nets leading 35-26 after Nick Young made the first of his two free throws.

The crowd welcomed him with a nice ovation when public address announcer Lawrence Tanter announced his name.

Earlier, Collins said he was too busy trying to learn plays to worry about making history.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/collins-enters-game-nbas-1st-openly-gay-player

Breaking: Ukraine's Legislature Votes to Hand Presidential Powers to Parliament Speaker

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Ukraine's legislature votes to hand presidential powers to parliament speaker.

@BreakingNews: Ukraine's parliament votes to temporarily hand over the duties of president to the speaker of the assembly, Oleksander Turchinov - @Reuters

UKRAINE: PARLIAMENT CHIEF TAKES PRESIDENTIAL POWER

By YURAS KARMANAU and JIM HEINTZ
— Feb. 23, 2014 5:58 AM EST

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's newly emboldened legislature has voted to hand the president's powers to the parliament speaker.

The legitimacy of Sunday's vote is unclear. President Viktor Yanukovych has said that a flurry of parliament decisions in recent days are illegal.

The Verhovna Rada voted overwhelmingly to temporarily hand the president's powers to speaker Turchinov.

Oleksandr Turchinov is a close ally of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the president's main foe.



Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ukraine-presidents-whereabouts-unclear

Carbon Monoxide Detected at NY Mall, 1 Dead

Source: Associated Press

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTED AT NY MALL, 1 DEAD

Feb. 22, 2014 10:56 PM EST

HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) — A hospital spokeswoman says a man has died after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall.

Huntington Hospital spokeswoman Julie Robinson-Tingue says the man was one of 10 people brought in after the carbon monoxide incident Saturday at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island. The hospital did not immediately release any information about the man.

Suffolk County police earlier said three officers were among those overcome by carbon monoxide at the mall, which is about 35 miles east of New York City. They responded to a call shortly after 6 p.m.

Robinson-Tingue said three people were being treated at the hospital and the others have been discharged.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5-hospitalized-due-carbon-monoxide-ny-mall

Forget The Local Cold: Worldwide, It Was Another Hot January

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/21/280767153/forget-the-local-cold-worldwide-it-was-another-hot-january

Forget The Local Cold: Worldwide, It Was Another Hot January

by SCOTT NEUMAN
February 21, 2014 4:24 PM

January will go down in the weather history books as the fourth-warmest on record.

That's right.

No matter how brutal the winter was in North America, especially the Eastern half, it was balanced by warm temperatures elsewhere on the planet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center says that last month marks the 38th consecutive January and the 347th consecutive month (almost 29 years) that global temperatures have been above the average for the 20th century.

The last time the average temperature was below-average in January was in 1976 and the last time there was a below-average month was February 1985. Record keeping goes back to 1880.

NOAA says the combined global land and ocean surfaces for last month was 54.8°F (12.7°C), or 1.17°F (0.65°C) above the 20th century January average of 53.6°F (12.0°C):

"Most areas of the world experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, with the most notable warmth across Alaska, western Canada, southern Greenland, south-central Russia, Mongolia, and northern China. Parts of southeastern Brazil and central and southern Africa experienced record warmth, contributing to the warmest January Southern Hemisphere land temperature departure on record at 2.03°F (1.13°C) above the 20th century average. Temperature departures were below the long-term average across the eastern half of the contiguous U.S, Mexico, and much of Russia. However, no regions of the globe were record cold."

The Weather Channel asks "in a warming world, how can it be so bitterly cold?"

"Deke Arndt, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center explains, 'We see more evidence that we will continue to have cold air outbreaks as the climate continues to warm. Cold air outbreaks, like the type we saw in January, over time, have become statistically more uncommon.'"

Jeffrey Toobin: Clarence Thomas Disgraceful Silence (Eight Years Now)

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/02/clarence-thomas-disgraceful-silence.html

February 21, 2014
CLARENCE THOMAS’S DISGRACEFUL SILENCE

POSTED BY JEFFREY TOOBIN

As of this Saturday, February 22nd, eight years will have passed since Clarence Thomas last asked a question during a Supreme Court oral argument. His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.

- snip -

As for Thomas, he is physically transformed from his infamous confirmation hearings, in 1991—a great deal grayer and heavier today, at the age of sixty-five. He also projects a different kind of silence than he did earlier in his tenure. In his first years on the Court, Thomas would rock forward, whisper comments about the lawyers to his neighbors Breyer and Kennedy, and generally look like he was acknowledging where he was. These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”

MORE

Oregon Won't Defend Gay-Marriage Ban in Lawsuit

Source: Associated Press

OREGON WON'T DEFEND GAY-MARRIAGE BAN IN LAWSUIT

By NIGEL DUARA and JONATHAN J. COOPER
— Feb. 21, 2014 2:59 AM EST

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — On March 12, 2004, the state of Oregon had a problem. Its most populous county was handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the state was unsure whether those actions were on solid legal footing.

Ted Kulongoski, then the governor, asked his attorney general if state agencies should treat same-sex marriages as legal, until the state Supreme Court makes a decision,

"Existing Oregon statutes limit the grant of marriage licenses to one man and one woman," then-Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers wrote.

That November, 57 percent of Oregon voters agreed to a gay marriage ban. Then the Supreme Court voided the marriage licenses already issued. And federal law still banned the recognition of same-sex couples.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/oregon-wont-defend-gay-marriage-ban-lawsuit-0
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