Monthly Archives: May 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Beatles

Do you remember a time when all we worried about on a Saturday morning was waking up to watch our favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

For those of you who reminisce fondly about these times, do you remember this one. The first episode of the popular Beatles cartoon from 1965on ABC :

The Beatles Cartoons – A Hard Day’s Night

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Filed under ABC, Saturday morning cartoons, The Beatles

President Obama’s Weekly Address: 5/30/09

The President discusses the breadth and depth of experience held by his nominee for the Supreme Court. In the course of a life that began in a housing project in the South Bronx and brought her to the pinnacle of her profession, Judge Sonia Sotomayor accumulated more experience on the federal bench than any incoming Supreme Court Justice in the past 100 years, touching nearly every aspect of our legal system.

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Filed under President Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, U.S Supreme Court, weekly address

VITALE CALLS ON CHRISTIE TO DEMAND THE RELEASE OF HIS TOP ADVISER AND CHIEF FUNDRAISER’S WORK PRODUCT

For immediate release: May 29, 2009
Contact: Sen. Joseph Vitale (732) 887-5069


“Does Christie condone using state taxpayer money to pay for a state senator’s political adviser?”

TRENTON – Citing an Associated Press report that John Inglesino, a top political adviser, chief fundraiser and long time friend of Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie was put on the state payroll of Senator Joseph Pennacchio as a “political adviser” for the minimum $3,000 required to keep him active in the state pension system, Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge) called on Christie to join them in demanding the release of any work product related to the position.

“Does Christie condone using state taxpayer money to pay for a state senator’s political adviser?” asked Vitale.  “He says he did not know that his long time friend, political adviser and chief fundraiser was put on a state payroll to extend his state taxpayer funded benefits, so Christie should  join me in demanding the release of Inglesino’s work product for Senator Pennacchio.  We all deserve to see exactly what this “political adviser” did in his state taxpayer funded job that allowed him to pad his pension.”

Vitale called on Pennacchio to release any documents that were authored by, copied to or mention Inglesino to illustrate the work he performed to earn his taxpayer-funded salary and pension benefits. Vitale said such documents could include, but not be limited to, memos, letters, emails, reports, or any other written correspondence, as well as Inglesino’s calendar of appointments and or schedules and records of meetings and phone logs.

Inglesino entered the state pension system 13 years ago as Mayor of Rockaway Township.  He stayed in the system as a Morris County Freeholder.  Upon losing the freeholder position, he was added onto then Assemblyman Pennacchio’s payroll the day after his freeholder term ended, keeping him in the pension system.  Pennacchio said in an Associated Press interview that he hired Inglesino because he was getting a “top-notch political adviser”.  Being placed back on a state payroll for the minimum required $3,000 allows Inglesino to increase his state-taxpayer funded retirement benefits and puts him a year closer to the required 25 years of state service for lifetime medical benefits.

“In an interview on 101.5, Christie said he believes ‘pension abuse is terrible’ and, in his role as U.S. Attorney and as a gubernatorial candidate, never hesitated to condemn this exact behavior,” said Vitale.  “Yet, the people closest to him continue to disregard his public ethics pronouncements.  He needs to join me in demanding the release of Inglesino’s work product for Senator Pennacchio because it looks like his close friend and chief fundraiser is abusing the state-taxpayer funded pension system.”

This is not the first time a friend of Christie’s has run afoul of his public ethics pronouncements.  After condemning dual office holding, Christie was the featured guest at a fundraiser for Carl Block, the mayor of Stafford and Ocean County clerk.  Block subsequently lost his bid for re-election as mayor.

Inglesino has said previously that he and Christie have been friends for 15 years.  Inglesino’s law firm was the recipient of a $3 million no-bid contract from Christie while he was still U.S. Attorney.  Inglesino, his partners and their spouses subsequently gave the maximum funds allowed to Christie’s campaign and Inglesino later co-hosted a $500 a plate fundraiser after Christie said he would no longer accept campaign donations from lawyers that received no-bid contracts from him. 

Previously, Assemblyman Rick Merkt alleged that Inglesino offered him a major position in Christie’s administration or campaign if he stayed out of the gubernatorial race.  Democrats have asked the state Attorney General’s office or the United States Attorney’s office to investigate the claim.

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Filed under Chris Christie, New Jersey, Republican gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Joseph Vitale, state pension system

Al Roker gets ripped for snapping court pix & tweeting during jury duty

Today Show weatherman Al Roker took some good hearted ribbing from his co-hosts Matt Lauer and Merideth Viera today over his Twittering from the jury pool at the Manhattan Court House yesterday.
Below is the news account from the NY Daily News followed by video from this mornings Today Show, it is good for a laugh or two so check it out.

NY Daily News –

Al Roker’s stint on jury duty was short – and Tweet.

The “Today” weatherman got into hot water yesterday for snapping pictures of jurors waiting to be called in the 15th floor assembly room at Manhattan Supreme Court – and posting them on his Twitter page.

“I’m not breaking laws…just trying to share the experience of jury duty,” Roker wrote on his page. “One that I think is important and everyone should take part in.”

Roker’s postings set the blogosphere atwitter and in no time his pictures of jurors – their faces mostly blurred – popped up on TMZ.com and other Web sites.

Just as quickly, Roker found himself on the defensive.

“So everyone is clear, I am NOT taking pictures in the courtroom,” he wrote. “So folks need to lighten up. I am in the jury lounge.”

Read More

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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Filed under Al Roker, jury duty, Manhattan Supreme Court House, Matt Lauer, Merideth Viera, NY Daily News, Today Show, Twitter

Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos ‘Show Rape’

May 28, 2009 by The Telegraph/UK

Is rape torture or do we just care about waterboarding? Both are abuses of power and most deffinately torture. Read this excerpt from todays Telegraph and tell me what you think.
Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.
Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.
Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.
“I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.

“The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”

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Filed under Abu Ghraib, Iraq, pictures, rape, sexual abuse, torture

Townships Presentation to Middletown Board of Education A Lot About Nothing

I returned home a short while ago from the Township’s’ special presentation to the Middeltown Board of Education concerning the installation of artificial turf fields on the campuses of Thorne and Thompson Middle Schools. To be frank, It was a waste of time. The township had no real plan to present and no real answers to questions.

It seemed as if Township Administrator Tony Mercantante was somewhat unprepared, he had a few ariel shots of the proposed sites with superimposed rectangles to simulate where the fields would be installed and not much else.

Mercantante basically just asked the Board of Education if they would like to partner up with the township on this project. When BOE members asked specific questions he answered that all the details would have to be worked out during land lease and partnership negotiations and that problems would be ironed out then.

About two dozen residents voiced concerns about the projects and asked the BOE to keep in mind the hidden costs that may associated with this plan. A couple of other residents mentioned the safety and injury concerns associated with artificial surfaces.

Overall though, it was a waste of time for the public to invited to hear because there was just not enough details and as I stated earlier, there are many questions that need to be answered like, who would be responsible for maintaining the fields? What about insurance liabilities? Who would be responsible for supervising or policing them during off hours? Who gets preference of use, the school system or sports leagues? Who replaces the carpet when it wears out in 10 years do to over use? What about lighting, concessions, locker rooms and bathroom facilities? All of these questions and more need to be answered before this project can move forward, not just brushed over with false statements or promises that can not be kept.

So let it be known that I am not opposed to the fields per say, I think that it is a good idea, a win-win situation for both the Township and the Board of Education, but it has to be done right all of the I’s need to be dotted and all the T’s crossed before I feel comfortable with giving this matter my unconditional support.

There is also the problem that I have with this years township budget. How can we spend money on obvious luxury items around town when we can’t balance our budget? The adoption of the budget is almost 6 months late and have a proposed 9.2% tax increase associated with it. if we have money lying around for 3 athletic fields maybe we should drop the idea for the 3rd and use that money to off set the shortfall in the current budget.

One thing that was lost at the meeting, which I feel that I should mention is that even if these fields are not approved by the Board of Education, the Township seems to have every intention on moving forward with installing an artificial surface over the football field that is located at Croydon Hall. This is the 3rd field mentioned and is used by Pop Warner teams in town.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Football, Middeltown Board of Education, Middletown Parks and Recreation, natural grass, Pop Warner, tax increase, Tony Mercantante

Olbermann Interviews Water Boarded Radio Host, "Mancow" Muller

Right-wing radio host Eric “Mancow” Muller, who had once called Barack Obama “a secret Muslim” had been saying waterboarding isn’t torture. But unlike Sean Hannity and others, he put his money where his mouth was, and went through with being waterboarded to prove it.

He lasted a 6 seconds saying its worse than anything he ever imagined, equating it as being worse than drowning. He said that it is definitely torture and he would have said anything in the world to make them stop.

Keith Olbermann congratulated him on his efforts and has donated $10,000 to the Veteran of Valour charity founded by Sgt. Klay South, who administered the waterboarding.
Watch the interview and then you can decide if waterboarding is torture or not:

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Filed under Barack Obama, Countdown with Keith Olberman, Eric"Mancow"Muller, Sean Hannity, Sgt. Klay South, torture, Veterans of Valour, waterboarding