Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time Magazine-Militias Increase After The Election of a Black President

Two members of an Ohio-based militia: Ty Cacek/Time Magazine
(Story reported by Barton Gellman for Time Magazine)

Camouflaged and silent, the assault team inched toward a walled stone compound for more than five hours, belly-crawling the last 200 yards. The target was an old state prison in eastern Ohio, and every handpicked member of Red Team 2 knew what was at stake: The year is 2014, and a new breed of neo-Islamic terrorism is rampant in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio ... The current White House Administration is pro-Muslim and has ordered a stand-down against Islamic groups. The mission: Destroy the terrorist command post — or die trying. The fighters must go in "sterile" — without name tags or other identifying insignia — as a deniable covert force. "Anyone who is caught or captured cannot expect extraction," the briefing officer said.

(Click here to read the full story on the Time Magazine website.)

LA Times-"Match me, Sidney"; Screen Legend Tony Curtis Dead at 85

Tony Curtis:
(Story reported by Claudia Luther for the LA Times)

Tony Curtis, the dashingly handsome film star of the 1950s and '60s best remembered for his hilarious turn in drag in Billy Wilder's classic comedy "Some Like It Hot" and dramatic roles in "The Defiant Ones" and "Sweet Smell of Success," died Wednesday night. He was 85.

Curtis died at his Henderson, Nev., home, daughter Jamie Lee Curtis told Reuters.

"My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages," the actress said in a statement Thursday morning. "He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world. He will be greatly missed."

One of Hollywood's most durable actors, Curtis appeared in more than 100 movies and was nominated for a best-actor Oscar for "The Defiant Ones," the 1958 convict-escape film in which he was chained to his costar Sidney Poitier.

(Click here to read the full story on the LA Times website. May GOD Rest the talented soul of one of the greatest, and certainly one of the most under-appreciated actors of Hollywood's Golden Era, and may GOD Bless and comfort the family of Tony Curtis in their time of grief and need. Sidney, you were a pocket fulla firecrackers-looking for a match! GOD Bless you, Tony Curtis...)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wash Po-GOP La. Senator's "Ho-Gate" Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

Republican "Family Values" Senator from Louisiana, David Vitters, who was ensnared in a 2007 prostitution scandal: Harry Hamburg/AP
(Story reported by Kevin McGill for the Associated Press)

NEW ORLEANS-The Democratic challenger in Louisiana's Senate race is airing a documentary-style television ad detailing the prostitution scandal that sent GOP Sen. David Vitter scurrying from public view in 2007.

Rep. Charlie Melancon's campaign would not say how much it spent on the two-minute ad, which said it started airing Wednesday on cable systems across the state.

The ad features a grainy black-and-white re-enactment of a man resembling Vitter leaving a hotel room. It also includes scenes from a news conference where he admitted to an unspecified "serious sin" after his phone number was found among the records of a Washington prostitution ring.

(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)

Fox 5-Bishop Long Accuser Alleges Sex Took Place "In The Church"

Fox 5 Atlanta investigative reporter Dale Russell interviewing Jamal Parris, one of Bishop Eddie Long's accusers:
(Story reported by Dale Russell for Fox 5 Atlanta/

ATLANTA, Ga. - A young man who says he received spiritual guidance from Bishop Eddie Long says life with the bishop was like a drug. Jamal Parris told FOX 5's senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell that a father-son relationship turned sexual, and he wants to get the story out to rid himself of the pain and protect others.

"Bishop Long is in the pulpit, Eddie Long is in the private," said Parris. "And we know Eddie Long. That's a whole other man."

Jamal Parris says the charismatic leader of the 10,000-seat megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist is leading a double life, and he felt it was time to bring it to an end.

"Enough is enough," said Parris. "This man is-- he's done too much damage to the lives of young men and it's time it stops."

In an exclusive interview in Colorado, where he now lives, Jamal Parris painted a picture of a bishop who is adored in public, but in private preys on young, impressionable men, looking for a father figure and love.

"Being around him is almost like a drug," Parris explained. "You can't believe the place you are at in your life and the things you are doing and the cars you are driving, and the people you are meeting. So, it becomes, if I want to continue to feel this love and this power, I'll do whatever my dad wants me to."

Jamal says that what the bishop wanted was sex. He said it began after he became of age, and he said it was constant.

"His house. The hotels. His condos. In the church," Parris said. "In the church, before and after service."

Bishop Long never flatly denied the charges in the lawsuit during last Sunday's sermon, but his attorney has said they are not true.

(Click here to read the full story and watch Dale Russell's interview with Bishop Long accuser Jamal Parris, on the Fox 5 Atlanta/ website.)

Dallas Morning News-Fort Hood, TX; 14 Soldier Suicides In 9 Months

Fort Hood, Texas:
(Story reported by the Associated Press)

Fort Hood officials are investigating a rash of suicides in recent days, including the apparent murder-suicide of a soldier and his wife.

The incidents come as the Army post in central Texas reports 14 confirmed soldier suicides so far this year — matching the record number of Fort Hood soldier suicides in 2008. Six more deaths of Fort Hood soldiers this year are suspected to be suicides.

On Sunday, 31-year-old Sgt. Michael Timothy Franklin and his wife, Jessie Ann Franklin, were found shot to death in their Fort Hood home. Army officials are investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

(Click here to read the full story on the Dallas Morning News website.)

Mediaite-MSNBC's Ed Shultz Calls NJ Gov. "A Cold Hearted Fat Slob"

MSNBC's Ed Schultz: MSNBC/Mediaite
(Story reported by Frances Martel for Mediaite)

MSNBC host Ed Schultz launched into a fuming vituperation of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s assertive style that had him calling the governor a “smug bully” and a “fat slob,” among many other things. This after Christie had defended California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman at a meeting, telling a heckler to calm down, while Glenn Beck is proposing a daily “Christie porn” moment on his radio show.

Schultz’s point was that the right seemed to be constantly telling liberals to “calm down” while embracing loud voices like Beck, citing an inherent hypocrisy in the fact that those two get along at all.

“Christie has no business telling people to be respectful,” he argues, both because of his policies and his attitude. What’s more, Christie, says Schultz, is an “out of touch, smug bully” and, ultimately, nothing more than a “cold-hearted fat slob” who, “when he doesn’t like what he hears, he accuses the other side of shouting.” Schultz concludes that someone who opposed divisiveness should not be friendly with Beck. The alternative goes without saying. He culminated by asserting that he would not stop shouting in favor of his issues– namely, racial equality and social justice.

(Click here to read the full story on the website. Below is the video of Ed Schultz's commentary on NJ Gov. Chris Christie.)

Post-Tribune-Judge Alan Page; From The Gridiron to the Supreme Court

Former Minnesota Vikings star Alan Page, Supreme Court Justice for the state of Minnesota:
(Story reported by Mike Hutton for the Gary, Indiana Post-Tribune)

There are some people in life, when you are in their presence, that make you think harder, prepare longer and perform with an acute sense of awareness of just what is possible if only you could figure it out like they did.

There are some people in life that are walking, living inspirations that deserved to be treasured and used like your favorite pair of jeans because they have that much value.

There are some people in life, who, when you address them, the hair on the back of your neck stands up.

The Honorable Alan Page, Supreme Court Justice for the state of Minnesota and former Bears and Notre Dame star, is one of those persons for me.
Alan Page, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, bottom left:
One of my top five favorite sports statistics of all time:

In his final game as a defensive tackle in 1981, Page had 31/2 sacks against the Denver Broncos for a stink bomb of a Bears team that finished 6-10. The Bears won 35-24.
All Pro Defensive Tackle and NFL Hall of Famer, Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings:
Just three years earlier, the Vikings had discarded the Hall-of-Famer like a used gum wrapper because he had defied conventional football wisdom, dropping 45 pounds from his hulking 6-4, 270-pound frame. No one -- not even in 1977 -- played on the defensive line at 225.

He lost the weight for the simplest of reasons over a couple of years.

Page started jogging because it gave his active mind the freedom to ruminate about big ideas.

(Click here to read the full story on the Post-Tribune website. Below is video of The Honorable Alan Page on Ed Schultz's MSNBC news show, "The Ed Show")

Democrat and Chronicle-Xerox CEO Ursula Burns Drives Billion $$$ Deal

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns:
(Story reported by Matthew Daneman for the Democrat and Chronicle)

All CEO's leave a mark on the businesses they run.

C. Peter McColough is remembered for his 14 years as Xerox Corp. chief executive, overseeing the company during a meteoric rise — as well as for a time when some of its most notable inventions ended up being popularized by other companies.

Anne M. Mulcahy's eight years were marked by Xerox's turnaround from possible bankruptcy and by major cuts in the work force.

Ursula M. Burns is only 14 months into her time as CEO of a company that long has loomed large over the Rochester economy. In that time, Xerox not only has weathered the fallout from the Great Recession but also taken the bold step of buying Affiliated Computer Services in Dallas for $6.4 billion — the largest acquisition in Xerox history.

(Click here to read the full story on the Democrat and Chronicle website.)

Philadelphia Inquirer-Michael Vick Is Determined To Win

Philadelphia QB Michael Vick: Yong Kim/Philadelphia Inquirer
(Story reported by Jonathan Tomari for the Philadelphia Inquirer)

The big things are what always made Michael Vick remarkable: turbochared runs, perfectly arching deep throws, dynamic athleticism.

It's the little things, though, that have elevated his play so far this year.

The resurgent Vick has improved his footwork, the way he bends his knees, the way he angles his shoulders, and his vision, according to his coaches. The results have made Vick the talk of the NFL and a different passer from the one who mixed astounding plays with frustrating mistakes earlier in his career.

(Click here to read the full story on the Philadelphia Inquirer website.)

Reuters-Hitmen Murder 17 Mayors In Mexico's Drug War

Mexican police stand near the corpses of Gustavo Cervantes, interim mayor of Tancitero, Mexico, and his secretary: Stringer/Reuters
(Story reported by Robin Emmott for Reuters)

(Reuters) - When criminals beat small-town mayor Gustavo Sanchez to death with rocks this week, Mexicans were horrified but no longer shocked by the latest attack on a local leader in the country's vicious drugs war.

The slaying of Sanchez, which police blamed on drug hitmen in marijuana-producing Michoacan state, underscored the vulnerability of elected officials as President Felipe Calderon intensifies his fight against powerful drug cartels.

Last week, suspected drug hitmen shot and killed the mayor of a rural town outside Monterrey, the northern business city with close U.S. ties. Another shooting hours later left a mayor-elect in northern Chihuahua state critically wounded.

Drug hitmen have killed at least 17 mayors across Mexico since early 2008, according to media tallies. Five of those have died in the past six weeks as gangs seek to control towns along key smuggling routes into the United States.

"They've threatened to kill me twice. They wanted me out of the way to have total control," said Mauricio Fernandez, the mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia near the Texas border, the country's richest municipality that is part of Monterrey.

(Click here to read the full story on the Reuters website.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

UK Daily Mail-CNN's Don Lemon Admits He Was Abused by a Pedophile

CNN Anchor Don Lemon: CNN
(Story reported by Daily Mail Reporter)

CNN anchor Don Lemon shocked viewers by revealing live on air that he had been abused as a child.

The 44-year-old made the announcement during a segment discussing the scandal involving Georgia bishop Eddie Long, who has been accused of sexually abusing male teenagers at his church.

"I am going to tell you something I have never admitted this on television," Mr. Lemon said on Saturday.

"I am a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me."

He added: " I have never admitted that on television.I didn't tell my mom that until I was 30 years old."

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Daily Mail website. Below is the YouTube/CNN video of Don Lemon admitting he was sexually abused by a pedophile as a child, as he interviews members of Bishop Eddie Long's New Birth Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga.)

Fox 5-Bishop Long Accuser Calls Him "A Monster and a Predator" (Video)

Jamal Parris, one of the young men accusing Bishop Eddie Long of sexual abuse:
(Story reported by Dale Russell for Fox 5 Atlanta)

ATLANTA, Ga. - For the first time, one of the men filing suit against Bishop Eddie Long is speaking out. In an exclusive interview with FOX 5 senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell, Jamal Parris tells a story of what he calls a love-hate relationship with a man he called "daddy."

Following Bishop Long's sermon on Sunday, Russell caught a plane to Colorado, which is home to Jamal Parris-- the oldest of all the accusers in the case. In a parking lot, late at night, Parris told Russell a story of love, anger, and desire to protect other young men.
Bishop Eddie Long speaking to his congregation at New Birth Baptist Church in Atlanta: John Amis, Pool/AP Photo
Here is Russell's full story:

Jamal Parris didn't want to talk at first, but before he left us, he had plenty to say about Bishop Eddie Long.

"You look at our eyes," Parris said. "You hear the pain in our voice. We have no reason to lie to this man."

Jamal Parris is one of four young men who have filed sexual misconduct lawsuits against Bishop Eddie Long, accusing him of using scripture and church money to sexually seduce them.

"I am not the man being portrayed on the television," Bishop long told the congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday. "That's not me."

On Sunday, Bishop Eddie Long spoke for the first time, never flatly denying the claims, but vowing to fight.

"I feel like David against Goliath," Long said.

Since last week, none of the four young men have talked publicly about the lawsuit-- until now. We found Jamal Parris shopping at a 24-hour store in Colorado. Initially, he was reluctant to talk.

But once he started, he told a riveting story about how as a young teen-- a 14 year old with no father in his life-- he joined New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Bishop Eddie Long came into his life. He said Long said to call him "daddy" and to trust him with spiritual guidance.

"I loved him," Parris said. "I'm always going to have love for the things that he taught me. But how he left us hurt worse than anything I ever felt in my life."

(Click here to read the full story and to watch Dale Russell's exclusive interview with Jamal Parris--one of Bishop Eddie Long's accusers--on the Fox 5/ website. Below is additional video of Russell's interview with Jamal Parris.)

NY Times-Cleveland Still Bruised Over LeBron's Departure

Tony Houston has placed a decal of LeBron James on the floor of his Cleveland barbershop: Ken Blaze/NY Times
(Story reported by Jonathan Abrams for the NY Times)

CLEVELAND — There is hair to be cut and money to be made, so Tony Houston opens his barbershop before the sun rises on weekends. To enter, you walk over a life-size decal of LeBron James, although just a few months ago the same image hung proudly on the barbershop’s wall.

“So you can wipe your feet off,” Houston explained when asked why James’s sticker was now on the floor.

“You can wipe them off on the way out, too.”

If Houston had waited, he could have purchased his new floor decoration for a discount. Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner, also owns Fathead, the company that produces decals like the one in Houston’s barbershop. It was Gilbert who also reduced the price of James’s decals to $17.41 this summer, matching the price with the year that Benedict Arnold was born.

So it goes in Cleveland, where James used to play. It took only 14 words by James last July 8 — “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat”— to shatter opinions of him in much of Ohio. He was the kid from Akron who was destined to lead nearby Cleveland to some desperately sought championships.

(Click here to read the full story on the NY Times website.)

Reuters-Castro Chastises U.S. In Speech With 50-Year-Old Talking Points

Former Cuba leader Fidel Castro: Desmond Boylan/Reuters
(Story reported by Jeff Franks for Reuters)

(Reuters) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro blasted the U.S. government for warmongering on Tuesday with the same kind of rhetoric he used half a century ago at the outset of his ideological feud with the United States.

Castro, 84, who reappeared in July after a four-year absence due to a serious illness that forced him to hand power to his brother, spoke to a crowd of 20,000 people in front of Cuba's former presidential palace on the 50th anniversary of the creation of Cuba's neighborhood vigilance system.

Castro quoted extensively from a speech delivered at the same location on September 28, 1960 in which he spoke of Cuba's moral superiority and the cowardice of the United States, whose leaders he said had "long fangs."

On Tuesday, he warned of an apocalyptic future of nuclear war and environmental destruction with capitalism and its chief proponent, the United States, as the primary culprits.

"The world has to know -- if you see the theories they have, the plans they have and the military doctrines they have, it would make your blood run cold," said Castro, who wore green military clothing and a cap with a silver star on its front.

"Everything they do leads to war," said Castro, who spoke for more than an hour, first from a prepared speech, then in impromptu remarks.

Castro frequently attacks the United States in columns he writes for state-run media, but his harsh words on Tuesday contrasted with the more subdued criticisms in speeches by his younger brother and successor, President Raul Castro.

(Click here to read the full story on the Reuters website.)

LA Times-Student Opens Fire At Univ. of Texas Before Killing Himself

SWAT Team in Austin on the campus of the University of Texas: Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman
(Story reported by Richard Fausset and Nicole Santa Cruz for the LA Times)

A student disguised with a ski mask and armed with an AK-47 assault rifle terrorized the University of Texas at Austin campus Tuesday morning, firing five shots on campus before killing himself on the sixth floor of the main library, authorities said.

Police initially searched for a second suspect because witnesses gave differing descriptions of the man. But after searching the campus for a few hours, officials declared that the student had acted alone.

"We did get multiple descriptions, and we have to make sure that he didn't have other people with him," University of Texas Police Chief Robert E. Dahlstrom said. "We do not feel like there were, but we have to check out every lead."

(Click here to read the full story on the LA Times website.)

Wash Po-President Obama; "I'm A Christian By Choice"

President Barack Obama: UK Telegraph
(Story reported by Anne E. Kornblut and William Branigin for the Washington Post)

ALBUQUERQUE-President Obama, speaking to middle-class Americans on Tuesday in his latest round of "backyard chats," opened up to a questioner about his Christian faith, as he touted his administration's record on education and the economy while warning that a Republican victory in upcoming elections would jeopardize progress in both areas.

Speaking to neighborhood residents in the yard of an Albuquerque family, Obama said the Nov. 2 elections "offer a choice on a whole range of different issues." But he said the Republicans' top priority is retaining $700 billion worth of tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, money that "we'd have to borrow . . . because we don't have it" - likely from countries such as China and Saudi Arabia.

He charged that Republicans "don't really have good answers" on how to pay for their economic plans. One of their proposals, he said, is to cut education spending by 20 percent, eliminating about 200,000 Head Start programs and reducing student aid for college for about 8 million students. He urged his listeners to think about "who's going to prioritize our young people" when they go to the polls in November.

In response to a woman who asked him why he is a Christian, Obama also offered some rare personal comments about his faith.

"I'm a Christian by choice," he said, noting that his mother "didn't raise me in the church" and that his family did not attend church every week.

"So I came to my Christian faith later in life," Obama said. "And it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead - being my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me."

He said he also reached an "understanding that . . . Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes, and that, you know, we achieve salvation through the grace of God."

(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

UK Daily Mail-Husband of Supermodel Heidi Mount Accused of Rape In London

Supermodel Heidi Mount and her husband Shawn, who is accused of raping a woman during London's Fashion Week: UK Daily Mail
(Story reported by Stephen Wright for the UK Daily Mail)

The husband of a model has been arrested over allegations he raped a woman during London Fashion Week

Shawn Mount, 30, who is married to Chanel model Heidi Mount, 23, is accused of sexually assaulting at a five-star London hotel.

The top New York hairstylist is alleged to have carried out the attack after he and his 24-year-old accuser, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attended a party together.

Mount was arrested and interviewed at a central London police station. Pending further inquiries, he was bailed until November 10.

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Daily Mail website)

Houston Chronicle-Man Posing As Gov't. "Agent" Hires Man To Kill His Mom

Corderral Smith posed as a "secret agent", to convince a man to kill his mother, Gloria Ryan: Chronicle
(Story reported by Cindy Horswell for the Houston Chronicle) 

Wearing camouflage, dog tags and military boots, Corderral Smith had an arrogant smirk and swagger when he boasted of being a secret agent.

His pregnant girlfriend and others never doubted him as he flashed official-looking documentation. More importantly, those cryptic documents included a purported arrest warrant for Smith's own widowed mother, Gloria Ryan, describing her as "dangerous and unfit to be around anyone."

Yet what amazed investigators most was how Smith used the warrant and his bigger-than-life persona to lure one acquaintance, Jason Rizzi of Humble, to kill his 50-year-old mother. Rizzi believed her to be a threat to national security and thought killing her would prove he was worthy to be hired as an undercover operative.

Yet in reality his mentor, Smith, was just a high school dropout who lived with his mother in Cleveland and worked as a day laborer.

A Liberty County jury has since convicted Smith, now 22, of capital murder for arranging his mother's killing and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Rizzi, who testified against Smith in exchange for a recommended 40 years behind bars, is scheduled to be sentenced in state District Judge Chap Cain's court Oct. 5.

(Click here to read the full story on the Houston Chronicle website.) Jean Hospitalized For Fatigue

Wyclef Jean:
(Story reported by

Wyclef Jean's brief stint in politics was too much for him to handle -- he was hospitalized for fatigue this weekend.

According to his rep, Jean -- who abandoned his bid for the Haitian presidency last week -- was "suffering from stress and fatigue based on the grueling eight weeks he's had."

The rep says Jean plans to take it easy and should get out of the hospital sometime this week.

(Click here to read the full story on the website.)

BBC News-Chinese Police Investigate "Black Jails" For Protesters

Beijing: BBC News
(Story reported by BBC News)

Chinese police are investigating claims that a security firm colluded with officials to detain protesters in secret prisons, known as "black jails".

State media said police had arrested the chairman and general manager of the company, Anyuanding Security Services.

It is alleged they took money from local governments to abduct and imprison people who travelled to the capital, Beijing, to complain about local injustices.

The company denies this.

Human rights groups say China has hundreds of such jails, and detainees are often subject to abuse - but the Chinese government has repeatedly denied they exist.

Petitioners 'beaten'

Anyuanding chairman Zhang Jun, and general manager Zhang Jie, were detained for "illegally detaining people and illegal business operations", reported the official China Daily, quoting other media outlets.

It did not say when the detentions took place.

(Click here to read the full story on the BBC News website.)

Politico-President Obama Says the GOP Pledge Is Irresponsible

President Obama: AP
(Story reported by Matt Negrin for Politico)

President Barack Obama criticized the Republicans' new "Pledge to America" Monday as containing a "set of irresponsible policies"--accusing the party of recycling the same ideas that Obama says drove the nation into recession in the first place.

In his first comments on the Republicans' new governing blueprint, Obama attacked their call to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans by saying they didn't include any way to pay for it.

"They propose $4 billion worth of tax cuts and $15 billion in spending cuts. And then they say we're going to somehow magically balance the budget. That's not a serious approach," Obama said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

(Click here to read the full story on the Politico website.)

AJC-Bishop Long Vows To Fight Sex Charges During Sunday Sermon

Bishop Eddie Long and wife Vanessa at his New Birth Ministries, Sunday 26 September 2010: John Amis/AP
(Story reported by Grace Bonds Staples, Sheila M. Poole, and Craig Schneider for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Standing before thousands of supportive congregants Sunday, embattled Bishop Eddie Long vowed to "vigorously" defend himself against the accusations of four young men who claim he coerced them into sex.

"This thing I'm gonna fight," he said.

During two morning services, Long compared himself to the biblical David against Goliath, asserting, "I have five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet." He did not elaborate on what form those "rocks" might take.

It was Long's first public appearance since the sex accusations were made in lawsuits last week. Members of his DeKalb County megachurch, New Birth Missionary Baptist, started arriving before dawn. A platoon of reporters and camera crews joined them, and CNN broadcast his appearance.

Long took the pulpit at precisely 9 a.m., dressed in a khaki-colored suit bearing the New Birth emblem. He emerged with his wife and held her hand for the next two to three minutes as the crowd stood clapping, some shouting their support.

“We love you Bishop,” a woman yelled.

He smiled then turned to escort his wife to a seat. He kissed her and then returned to the podium, thumped his chest with a clenched fist and for two minutes more walked around the platform to cheers and applause.

"Good morning New Birth," he finally said. "Good morning to all our other guests. And I would be remiss not to say good morning to the rest of the world.

"I do want to remind. We’re here today and every Sunday morning. And I’ll be here next week. First of all let me thank you on behalf on my wife my family for all of your support and prayers. We are certainly humbled by such a loving congregation. I realize many have been waiting on me to say something."

Long went on to say he has never portrayed himself as a perfect man. "But I am not the man being portrayed on the television. ... That's not me. That's not me."

(Click here to read the full story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.  Two things I need to keep in mind, when reading this tragic story:

1. "Judge not, that ye not be judged."-Matthew 7:1

2. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help; His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day, his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his GOD.Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever." Psalm 146: 3-6)

Friday, September 24, 2010 Under "Celebs Play By Different Rules") Lohan Gets Bail

Judge Elden Fox and Lindsay Lohan: Getty/
(Story reported by

UPDATE 6:02PM PDT: Lindsay will have to get a SCRAM bracelet (this will be her third) within 24 hours -- and under the terms of her bail, she is not allowed to be around known drug users ... and must submit to search by law enforcement at any time.

Also, nightclubs will be a major no-no ... Linds has to stay out of places where alcohol is the "chief item of sale."

Lindsay Lohan
will be a free woman soon, because a judge has just reversed Judge Elden Fox's decision and has granted LiLo bail ... TMZ has learned.

Judge Fox ruled earlier today ... Lindsay could be held without bail.  But apparently the Judge's ruling flies in the face of California law, which gives defendants the right to bail in misdemeanor cases.

Judge Patricia Schnegg, Assistant Supervising Judge for the L.A. County Criminal Courts, just threw Judge Fox's bail decision out the window.  Judge Schnegg has set bail at $300,000.

Lindsay, who is in Lynwood Jail right now, should get out soon ... probably in a few hours.

(Click here to read the full story on the website.)

AP-Michael "Putney Swope" Steele Gets "Tough" on the GOP

Michael Steele
(Story reported by Andrew DeMillo for The Associated Press)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Thursday he's tired of infighting within GOP ranks after heated primaries this year, telling party members they must stay unified to win in November.

Steele rallied activists during a stop at the Arkansas Republican Party headquarters in Little Rock. He reiterated the national party's support for the winners of Republican primaries in Delaware and Alaska, where well-known Republicans were defeated by tea party-backed candidates.

"It's important that our party come together, that we work together and we support our nominees and we stay encouraged. I am tired of folks nitpicking and folks backbiting and finding a reason to fight," Steele told the crowd. "Let's fight after we win."

Steele was in Arkansas as part of a national "Fire Pelosi" bus tour aimed at rallying Republican efforts to take back the House in the November elections. Republicans have focused on Arkansas, where Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln is trailing Republican Rep. John Boozman in most polls for her re-election bid and GOP leaders are confident they'll pick up two U.S. House seats currently held by Democrats.

Steele, who also made stops in Tennessee and Mississippi on Thursday, defended the party's efforts after an audience member questioned whether the GOP was interfering to back establishment candidates in Delaware and Alaska.

In Delaware, Rep. Mike Castle — a nine-term moderate Republican congressman — lost the Senate primary last week against Christine O'Donnell. Some national and Delaware Republicans have said O'Donnell cannot win in November against Democratic county executive Chris Coons.

In Alaska, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowksi has mounted a write-in campaign for her re-election bid after losing the GOP primary to tea party favorite Joe Miller.

Steele declined to name who he blamed for the infighting but said he didn't believe it would stymie the party's efforts in November.

(Click here to read the full story on the Associated Press/Google News website.)

Wash Po-Invasion Of The Stink Bugs

The Stink Bug infestation in the Mid-Atlantic region is at alarming proportions: Katherine Frey/Washington Post
(Story reported by Lena H.Sun for the Washington Post)

Shaped like shields and armed with an odor, dime-size brown bugs are crawling into area homes over windowsills, through door crevices and between attic vents in such numbers that homeowners talk about drowning them in jars of soapy water, suffocating them in plastic bags or even burning them with propane torches. In the process, some people are unwittingly creating another problem: When squashed or irritated, the bugs release the distinctive smell of sweaty feet.

Get used to it, experts say: The invasion is only going to get worse.

"This is the vanguard," said Mike Raupp, a University of Maryland entomologist and extension specialist. "I think this is going to be biblical this year," he said wryly. "You're going to hear a collective wail in the Washington area, up through Frederick and Alleghany counties, like you've never heard before. The [bug] populations are just through the ceiling."

(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)

AJC-4th Man Surfaces In Bishop Long Scandal; Says Long Drugged Him

Bishop Eddie Long: Associated Press
(Story reported by Christian Boone for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) 

A fourth man alleges that when he was a teenager, he had sexual relations with Bishop Eddie Long.

Meanwhile, Long, during a Friday conference call with supporters, said he was "under attack," WGCL-TV reports.

"We will arise through this situation, and go forward, and we are moving forward," WGLC quotes Long. The station reports that Long said he had to watch his words because of the lawsuits. The popular Lithonia pastor did not take questions and asked his followers to pray for his wife, four children and his church, New Birth Missionary Baptist.

"I have never dealt with anything like this before," Long told them, as reported by WGCL-TV, which monitored the conference call.

His latest accuser, Spencer LeGrande, claims he was 17 when he began a sexual relationship with Long while accompanying the bishop on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya.

LeGrande, of Charlotte, N.C., alleges in a civil suit filed Friday in DeKalb County that Long gave him an Ambien, a popular prescription sleep aid, followed by a "prolonged hug," kissing and rubbing, according to the suit.

The suit claims the two shared a bed for the remainder of their trip.

(Click here to read the full story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution websit

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wired-T-Mobile Will Censor Your Text Message

Keypad graphic:
(Story reported by David Kravets for

T-Mobile told a federal judge Wednesday it may pick and choose which text messages to deliver on its network in a case weighing whether wireless carriers have the same "must carry" obligations as wire-line telephone providers.

The Bellevue, Washington-based wireless service is being sued by a texting service claiming T-Mobile stopped servicing its "short code" clients after it signed up a California medical marijuana dispensary. In a court filing, T-Mobile said it had the right to pre-approve EZ Texting's clientele, which it said the New York-based texting service failed to submit for approval.

(Click here to read the full story on the website.)

LA Times-Kenneth Turan's Review of "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"

Michael Douglass and Shia LeBeouf in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps": Barry Wetcher/20th Century Fox
(Film review written by Kenneth Turan for the LA Times)

Greed may be good, as Gordon Gekko insisted once upon a time, but evil pays the bills, at least as far as "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is concerned. The best parts of this unfocused, erratic, downright messy sequel are the moments when the bad people take center stage.

So let's hear it for Josh Brolin's Bretton (don't even think of calling him Bret) James, an investment banker with "an ego the size of Antarctica." And some applause for the fearless 94-year-old Eli Wallach's Julie Steinhardt, terrifying when he makes eccentric bird noises and talks about the crash of '29 and the end of the world. And we can't forget Michael Douglas as Gekko Redux, at least in those moments when the film allows him to be as bad as he ought to be.

For this version of "Wall Street" can't make up its mind if Gekko is the bad-to-the-bone Lizard King he once was or someone who's seen the light, thank you very much, and is on the road to redemption. Or maybe he's both. The trouble is, this is not an involving enough enterprise for us to work up the energy to care.

(Click here to read the full text of Kenneth Turan's review on the LA Times website.)

C-SPAN-President Obama Advocates for Middle East Peace at the UN

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations on Thursday, 23 Sept 2010: Jason DeCrow/AP Photo
(Story reported by

During his address before the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama provided an outline of his administration’s foreign policy agenda. The top of the agenda focused on the current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

After the recent rounds of talks, the president praised the leaders for the promises made but also held that “words must be followed by action.” He went on to request for Israel to extend the settlement moratorium as a sign of goodwill and that the two heads of state also continue the talks on a regular basis until an agreement is reached.

The president also gave an update on the efforts to end the development of nuclear programs in Iran; following the passage of tougher sanctions against the country, President Obama said that the government has failed to prove the peaceful intentions of its nuclear development.

“The door remains open to diplomacy,” but the Iranian government must show proof that it is living up to its responsibilities, said the president. 

(Click here to read the full story and to watch the video of President Obama's entire 23 September 2010 address to the United Nations)

AJC-Bishop Long Denies He Is A Sexual Predator; Suspect Pics Surface

Screen shot of an alleged cell phone photo of Bishop Eddie Long, accused of sexually molesting male teens in his church: CBS Channel 2 Atlanta/AJC
(Story reported by Sheila Poole, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Bishop Eddie Long, in his first public statement since he was sued by three men who alleged he coerced them into having sexual relationships, said he has  been  "through storms and my faith has always sustained me."

" I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so," he said in a statement released by his spokesman. " However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time. But let me be clear; the charges against me and New Birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply. "

He asked for patience and said he plans to respond to the charges during services at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday.

Earlier, his attorney,  Craig Gillen,  took to the air  to defend his client against charges he used his pastoral influence to coerce three men into having sexual relations.
Dwight Thomas and Craig Gillen, attorneys for Bishop Eddie Long: John Spink/
Gillen was interviewed by Roland Martin for the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show. It was the first public interview by Long's attorneys since three lawsuits were filed against the head of the Atlanta mega-church.

"These false allegations are an attack on Bishop Long personally. They are an attack on New Birth and all of the 25,000 good people who attend that church, and it's an attack on the mentoring program that has helped thousands of young men," Gillen said.

Gillen also read Long's statement on the air.

"Let me be clear. The charges against me and New Birth are false," Long's statement said.

(Click here to read the full story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website. Below is video from CBS News 2 in Atlanta, with the story of a third man coming forward with additional sexual molestation allegations against Bishop Eddie Long)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 Arenas Fires Back At Gun Dealer's Accusations

Washington Wizard's Gilbert Arenas: Getty
(Story reported by

Washington Wizard and ex-con Gilbert Arenas is asking a judge to discharge a gun dealer's lawsuit against him -- arguing it's a bum suit because it involves the sale of illegal firearms

Back in April, California gun dealer Tactical Operations sued Arenas -- claiming the gun-wielding baller bought five custom Beretta pistols and five silencers, but never picked 'em up and racked up a $70,000 tab in storage fees.

Now, Arenas has moved to dismiss the dealer's claims because the alleged agreement involved the sale of "'silencers' to a civilian," which violates both California and federal law.  

(Click here to read the full story on the website.)

Sun Times-Jesse Jackson Jr. Accused In $6 Million Senate Seat Bribe

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. : AP File Photo
(Story reported by Natasha Korecki, Chris Fusco, and Lynn Sweet for the Chicago Sun Times)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate, sources said the fund-raiser has told federal authorities.

The allegation by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak counters public statements made as recently as last week by Jackson that he never authorized any deal to attempt to buy the Senate seat.
Chicago fund raiser and Jackson accuser Raghuveer Nayak: The India Tribune
Nayak also told authorities he paid for two airline trips for a "social acquaintance" of the Democratic congressman at Jackson's request, raising more potential ethical and political problems for Jackson.

The FBI interviewed that acquaintance — a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro — about a year ago as part of its corruption probe of Blagojevich. Authorities were trying to determine whether Jackson had asked Nayak to offer Blagojevich campaign cash in exchange for the then-governor appointing Jackson to the seat once held by President Obama, according to sources with knowledge of the probe.

Huidobro, Jackson and Nayak all dined together on Oct. 8, 2008 — the same day that Nayak has told authorities he had a key conversation with Jackson about the Senate appointment, sources said. The three then ended up at Ozio, the restaurant and club where Huidobro works and where Jackson has held fund-raisers.

(Click here to read the full story on the Chicago Sun-Times website.)

Chicago Tribune-(Today's "So What?" File) The Joaquin Phoenix Hoax

"MC" Joaquin Phoenix on The David Letterman Show in 2009: UK Daily Mail/Splash
(Story reported by Phil Rosenthal for the Chicago Tribune)

Joaquin Phoenix was bewildered and bewildering, a bedraggled, hairy mess on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" 19 months ago. The actor mumbled. He chewed gum. He stuck the gum under Letterman's desk. 

He mumbled some more.

Many suspected Phoenix's weirdness was a stunt. Filmmaker Casey Affleck finally confirmed it the other day, telling The New York Times it was part of Phoenix's two-year on- and off-screen role of a falling star flaming out for Affleck's pseudo-documentary, "I'm Still Here." Affleck called it the performance of Phoenix's career.

But will Phoenix be any more real when he revisits Letterman on Thursday night?

Gabfests like "Late Show" and "The Tonight Show" haven't been forums for the famous to be themselves since the nights when Judy Garland would slur her way through an amusing Marlene Dietrich anecdote for Jack Paar.

(Click here to read the full story on the Chicago Tribune website.)

The Hill-Homeland Security Grapples With Surge In Homegrown Terrorists

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: Getty Images
(Story reported by Jordy Yager for The Hill)

Washington is struggling to stymie the growing trend of terrorists radicalized on American soil, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told senators that despite a surge in homegrown terrorist activity, the department is still fighting to figure out how to best combat it.

“We do not yet have a complete understanding of what would cause a United States person to radicalize to the extent of violence,” said Napolitano, adding that the department was aiming its efforts at the community level by sharing information about what forms early signs of violent radicalization might take.

“There’s no one way of counter-messaging," she said. "We’re learning a lot about counter-messaging.”

(Click here to read the full story on The Hill website.)