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Student, 15, Suspended For Passing Gas

Saturday, March 21, 2009

From the "You've Gotta Be Kidding" file.


LAKELAND, Fla. -- A Polk County teenage student has been suspended from school because he intentionally passed gas, according to school officials.

The Lakeland Ledger reported that 15-year-old Jonathon Locked Jr. was suspended from Bill Duncan Opportunity School under a school district rule against disruptive behavior.

School officials said the teen repeatedly passed gas to make other children laugh. They said the smell also made it difficult to breathe.

Locked's father said his son isn't perfect and they're appealing the suspension, saying the district went too far with its punishment.

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The Big Takeover

The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

It's over — we're officially, royally fucked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.

The latest bailout came as AIG admitted to having just posted the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history — some $61.7 billion. In the final three months of last year, the company lost more than $27 million every hour. That's $465,000 a minute, a yearly income for a median American household every six seconds, roughly $7,750 a second. And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society and was unable to spot holes in the national economy the size of Libya (whose entire GDP last year was smaller than AIG's 2008 losses).

So it's time to admit it: We're fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we're still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream. When Geithner announced the new $30 billion bailout, the party line was that poor AIG was just a victim of a lot of shitty luck — bad year for business, you know, what with the financial crisis and all. Edward Liddy, the company's CEO, actually compared it to catching a cold: "The marketplace is a pretty crummy place to be right now," he said. "When the world catches pneumonia, we get it too." In a pathetic attempt at name-dropping, he even whined that AIG was being "consumed by the same issues that are driving house prices down and 401K statements down and Warren Buffet's investment portfolio down."...(Click for remainder).


Somalis reject Bin Laden call

Now I'm certainly no expert on Somalia or on the Muslim world, but this seems like a pretty encouraging sign.

By Press TV

The Somali people, clerics and information minister have told Osama bin Laden not to interfere in their country's internal affairs.

The al-Qaeda leader on Thursday called for the collapse of Somalia's new government led by newly elected President, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.

This is while Sheikh Nur Barud Gurhan, a prominent Somali cleric accused bin Laden of instigating warfare in a country that is recovering from a 20-year-old civil war, terming the al-Qaeda chief's message as being 'against Islamic teachings'.

"Osama bin Laden is not our cleric and it is wrong of him to urge more fighting in a country that has been in war for two decades," a Press TV correspondent quoted Sheikh Gurhan as saying in Mogadishu.

Gurhan's comments were echoed by Asmara based leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys -- who denies US charges that he has links to the al-Qaeda and is opposed to Ahmed's new government.

Aweys further said that only Somalis should decide on their future.

In addition, Information Minister, Farahan Ali Mohamoud, said that bin Laden should concentrate on his own survival....(Click for remainder).


Obama's Special Olympics joke sparks a national debate

OH...MY...GOD! Aren't there more important things going on in the world than an innocent attempt at self-deprecating humor? People are too fucking sensitive for their own good. I'm going to use Bill Engvall's idea and give all the these people a "Stupid Sign." For this is surely the biggest waste of time and another example of the corporate media manufacturing a scandal. Furthermore, Sarah Palin needs to sit the fuck down, and shut her God-damned trap!

By Rob Hotakainene
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — California's first couple jumped into the fray Friday after President Barack Obama made a joke about his bowling skills by saying, "It was like Special Olympics or something."

Appearing at the White House after meeting with Obama to discuss roads and bridges, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he knew Obama meant nothing by it.

"I know where his heart is at," said Schwarzenegger, who considers the Special Olympics his favorite charity, appearing at major competitions and raising money around the world. "He loves Special Olympics, and he will do everything he can to help Special Olympics. And every one of us sometimes makes a mistake. Something comes out of your mouth and you say, 'Oops, I wish I wouldn't have said that.' I've had many of those."

Earlier in the day, California first lady Maria Shriver -- whose mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics movement in 1968 -- said that while she was confident Obama did not intend to offend anyone, the remark "demonstrates the need to continue to educate the non-disabled community on the issues that confront those with a developmental disability."

Obama, who made the joke Thursday night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," apologized. But the remark caused an immediate stir.

Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she was "shocked to learn" about Obama's comment.

"This was a degrading remark about our world's most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world," Palin said, whose son, Trig, was born with Down syndrome last year. "These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will....(Click for remainder).


US seizes top credit union clearing house

This is certainly a ported of bad things to come. Credit unions have generally been thought of as stable, and above all of this financial turmoil. Guess not. Damn.

By Reuters
Via The Financial Times

US regulators seized control on Friday of U.S. Central Federal Credit Union, a huge wholesale credit union with $34bn in assets that provides services to nearly every other credit union.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) also took control of Western Corporate (WesCorp) Federal Credit Union with $23bn in assets.

The regulator said both institutions had an ”unacceptably high concentration of risk.”

Also on Friday, bank regulators seized three small banks with a total of 1.1bn of assets.

The NCUA said service will continue uninterrupted at U.S. Central and WesCorp, and said member accounts are guaranteed through Dec. 31, 2010.

Corporate credit unions are the retail credit union’s credit union, providing services including lending, and check and payment clearance services.

NCUA said it seized the credit unions after completing a detailed analysis and stress test of the mortgage and asset backed securities held by all corporate credit unions.

U.S. Central based in Lenexa, Kansas has 26 corporate credit union members and says it provides settlement services to 100 percent of corporate credit unions and 93 percent of all U.S. credit unions....(Click for remainder).


Shinseki: Long-awaited VA hospital will open at Fitzsimons in 2013

By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Independent

After a decade of delays and budget shortfalls, Colorado will finally get the brand-new, stand-alone VA hospital veterans organizations have wanted, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki announced Wednesday morning. Construction will begin this spring on a 200-bed medical center set to open in the summer of 2013 on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Shinseki said.

The new facility will have a 30-bed, state-of-the art spinal injury center, Shinseki said, meaning nearly 1,000 veterans with spinal-cord injuries in the Rocky Mountain region won’t have to travel to the West Coast for treatment.

“Now we can fulfill the promises that we made to our veterans,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Golden Democrat whose district includes the site of the proposed hospital, on a conference call with Shinseki and other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation.

The new hospital on the site of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center will replace the nearly 60-year-old, 125-bed VA hospital in east Denver, a cramped facility dubbed one of the most outdated VA hospitals in the country in a 2004 report. The hospital is at the center of a nine-state VA health care system that serves an estimated 400,000 veterans in Colorado alone.

“Approximately 92 percent of Colorado veterans will be within one hour of VA primary care and 81 percent will be within two hours of a medical center or health care center,” Shinseki said. He announced the VA also plans new health care centers in Colorado Springs and Billings, Mont., and eight new rural health care sites in the region, bringing the total to 60.

“We have more wounded soldiers coming home to Colorado,” said U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey. The Fort Collins Democrat said the new facility will help fulfill “our moral obligation” to veterans.

Original plans for a stand-alone VA hospital at Fitzsimons budgeted construction at $1.1 billion, but Congress authorized only $568 million and appropriated $188 million over the years. Perlmutter and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, an Eldorado Springs Democrat, said earlier this week the size of the project could be scaled back from initial plans. The number of beds at the hospital announced by Shinseki on Wednesday is smaller than recent proposals for a 240-bed facility. Veterans officials have requested a new hospital with 76 inpatient beds, 32 intensive-care beds and 56 mental-health treatment beds, in addition to the 30-bed spinal cord injury center....(Click for remainder).


Udall, Bennet join Blue Dog group of ‘moderate’ Democratic senators

Who the hell do Udall and Bennet thinking they're appealing to? I'm pretty sure that Democrats in Boulder, Denver, and Ft. Collins are more progressive than Evan Bayh and his little group of obstructionists. It's time for Udall and Bennet to know that this is unacceptable, and the all Colorado progressives to tell them that if they don't change their stance, we'll support a primary challenger from the left.

By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Independent

Colorado’s two freshman senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, are part of a self-described centrist group of 15 Democrats meeting regularly “seeking to restrain the influence of party liberals in the White House and on Capitol Hill,” according to an account in Roll Call (subscription required).

The group has a “shared commitment to pursue moderate, mainstream and fiscally sustainable policies across a range of issues, such as health care reform, the housing crisis, educational reform, and energy policy,” according to a statement issued Wednesday by the group.

Sen. Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, announced the group’s formation on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Wednesday morning but declined to name all its members, saying “there are three or four who we are putting in the witness protection program, who attend our meetings but don’t want to be publicly identified yet.”

Think Progress blogger Matthew Yglesias mocked the reluctance of the group’s members to go public: “After all, Barack Obama is popular! And his agenda is popular! So if you choose to oppose it, you might face political problems. So better to keep the sabotage secret.”...(Click for remainder).



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