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Archive for April 29th, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords Attending Space Shuttle Launch Stirs Excitement

AP/The Huffington Post Posted: 04/29/11 09:30 AM ET

When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords watches her astronaut husband get launched into space on Friday, two of her staff members who also survived the Tucson mass shooting will be there, too, thinking about how far they’ve all come in less than four months.

Ron Barber and Pam Simon traveled to Florida from Tucson on Thursday with family and other staff members of Giffords to watch the space shuttle launch. They both spoke with The Associated Press shortly after landing.

“This just really makes you think about the human spirit, and our determination to go into space as a nation I think parallels Gabby’s determination to get well,” said Simon, a community outreach coordinator for Giffords who survived after a bullet hit her in the chest and exited her hip.

“It is incredibly meaningful,” said Simon, 63. “Knowing that Gabby is here and watching her husband go to space and that she wanted to be here so bad, and he wanted her to be here – for me, what a journey from being flat on the pavement the day of the shooting to be here to celebrate. It gives me a lot of hope.”

Simon said watching Mark Kelly’s last shuttle lift-off in 2008 was emotional and she expects it to be even more so this time around.

“I had a huge lump in my throat last time, and I expect alligator-(sized) tears this time,” she said.

Barber, who is Giffords’ district director, was shot in the face and thigh during the shooting. He will attend the launch even though he’s been having nightmares about the day of the shooting and experiencing extreme pain in his leg.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Chantal Kreviazuk – Leaving On A Jet Plane

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Russell Pearce Faces Recall Effort In Arizona

4/13/11 01:54 PM ET   AP

MESA, Ariz. — Activists seeking to recall the Arizona state senator who was the driving force behind the state’s recent anti-illegal immigration measures say they’re confident they will gather enough signatures.

Volunteers with Citizens for a Better Arizona official said Tuesday they already have two-thirds of the 7,756 verified signatures required by May 31 to set a recall election for Republican Russell Pearce, who is the president of the Arizona Senate.

Activists in the heavily Republican district in suburban Mesa began the campaign in January. They have been courting the support of Pearce’s base, mostly Republicans and Mormons.

Group chairman Chad Snow says reports that the Fiesta Bowl paid for Pearce to travel to out-of-state college football games have prompted a backlash and are helping to fuel the campaign.

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Donald Trump Has Revealed the Truth About the Republican Party

Johann Hari
Columnist, the London Independent via: HuffPost

Posted: 04/28/11 11:04 PM ET

Since the election of Barack Obama, the Republican Party has proved that one of its central intellectual arguments was right all along. They have long claimed that evolution is a myth believed in only by whiny liberals — and it turns out they were onto something. Every six months, the Republican Party venerates a new hero, and each time it is somebody further back on the evolutionary scale.

Sarah Palin told cheering rallies that her message to the world was: “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way!” — but that wasn’t enough. So they found Michele Bachmann, who said darkly it was an “interesting coincidence” that swine flu only breaks out under Democratic presidents, claims the message of The Lion King is “I’m better at what I do because I’m gay,” and argues “there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”

That wasn’t enough. I half-expected the next contender to be a lung-fish draped in the Stars and Stripes. But it wasn’t anything so sophisticated. Enter stage (far) right Donald Trump, the bewigged billionaire who has filled America with phallic symbols and plastered his name across more surfaces than the average Central Asian dictator. A survey suggests he is the most popular candidate among Republican voters. It’s not hard to see why.

Trump is every trend in Republican politics over the past thirty-five years taken to its logical conclusion. He is the Republican id, finally entirely unleashed from all restraint and all reality.

The first trend is towards naked imperialism. On Libya, he says: “I would go in and take the oil… I would take the oil and stop this baby stuff.” On Iraq, he says: “We stay there, and we take the oil… In the old days, when you have a war and you win, that nation’s yours.” It is a view that the world is essentially America’s property, inconveniently inhabited by foreigners squatting over oil-fields. Trump says America needs to “stop what’s going on in the world. The world is just destroying our country. These other countries are sapping our strength.” The U.S. must have full spectrum dominance. In this respect, he is simply an honest George W. Bush.

The second trend is towards dog-whistle prejudice — pitched just high enough for frightened white Republicans to hear it. Trump made it a central issue to suggest Obama wasn’t born in America (and therefore was occupying the White House illegally) — even though this conspiracy theory had long since been proven to be as credible as the people who claim Paul McCartney was killed in 1969 and replaced with an imposter. Trump said nobody “ever comes forward” to say they knew Obama as a child in Hawaii. When lots of people pointed out they knew Obama as a child, Trump ridiculed the idea they could remember that far back. Then he said he’d “heard” the birth certificate said Obama was Muslim. When it was released saying no such thing, Trump said: “I’m very proud of myself.”

The Republican primary voters heard the message right — the black guy is foreign. He’s not one of us. Trump responded to these charges by saying: “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

MORE HERE

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Jan Brewer Signs Bill Making Colt State Gun

04/28/11 08:32 PM ET   AP

PHOENIX — Arizona’s governor has signed a bill designating the Colt Single-Action Army revolver as the state’s first official firearm.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill without comment on Thursday. Legislative supporters argued that the designation was appropriate because the revolver was widely used during Arizona’s territorial days.

Opponents say it was inappropriate to give the official designation to an out-of-state company’s commercial product. Colt is based in Connecticut.

Democratic Rep. Albert Hale also says the gun was an instrument of destruction that was used against Native Americans.

SOURCE

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Palin Sued For $100k Over Alleged Traffic Conspiracy

4/29/2011 12:10 AM PDT by TMZ Staff

Sarah Palin is the mastermind of a dark conspiracy to punish an Alaskan citizen who dared to speak out against her over the traffic situation in Juneau — this according to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

A man named Theodore Thoma claims he had a serious issue with traffic in the neighborhood surrounding the Governor’s Mansion back in 2009 … back when Sarah was the Gov. In fact, Thoma claims he proposed state action to solve the problem and even made up signs and fliers to push the issue.

But Palin didn’t take kindly to the criticism, says Thoma, and she “undertook a campaign against [Theodore] … to punish, embarrass, discredit and silence” him.

It’s unclear what she did … but according to Thoma’s suit, Palin’s actions have caused a “chilling” effect on his ability to exercise his federal constitutional rights.

Thoma wants Palin to fork over more than $100k for all of the harm she’s caused.

Calls to the Palin camp have not been returned.

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Ken Cuccinelli Drops Law Firm King & Spalding For Its ‘Obsequious Act Of Weakness’ On DOMA

Amanda Terkel- HuffPost

Posted: 04/29/11 10:39 AM ET

WASHINGTON — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) is terminating his office’s relationship with law firm King & Spalding after the firm decided to drop its defense of the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last week.

“King & Spalding’s willingness to drop a client, the U.S. House of Representatives, in connection with the lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was such an obsequious act of weakness that I feel compelled to end your legal association with Virginia so that there is no chance that one of my legal clients will be put in the embarrassing and difficult situation like the client you walked away from, the House of Representatives,” Cuccinelli wrote to firm partner Joseph Lynch in a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.

King & Spalding Communications Director Les Zuke told The Huffington Post that the firm does not comment on client representations. An inquiry to Cuccinelli’s office was not immediately returned.

On Monday, King & Spalding announced that it was filing a motion to withdraw its representation of DOMA, saying that “the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate.”

MORE HERE

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