An unfortunate incident unfolded at an Elizabethtown, North Carolina, Walmart when employees called the police on some veterans who were handing out poppies to commemorate Memorial Day on Monday. While many individuals were appalled at the spectacle, employees who alerted authorities to have the veterans removed maintained that they were merely following policy. If you need more?
A new lawsuit filed in federal court against the Camden Diocese accuses Thomas Harkins of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl 10 to 15 times in 1980 and 1981. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the alleged victim, claims the abuse occurred while Harkins was a priest at Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, NJ, with one assault even occurring in Harkins’ bedroom at the rectory.
Harkins is currently employed with the TSA in Philadelphia. Source w/video!
An upper Manhattan public elementary school will be the first in the city to require that students study Arabic, officials said yesterday.
Beginning next semester, all 200 second- through fifth-graders at PS 368 in Hamilton Heights will be taught the language twice a week for 45 minutes — putting it on equal footing with science and music courses.
One reason Principal Nicky Kram Rosen selected Arabic — as opposed to more common offerings, such as Spanish or French — is because it will help the school obtain a prestigious International Baccalaureate standing. More w/photos!
Last Monday, a high school student in North Carolina engaged his social studies teacher in a debate about politics and the two leading presidential candidates. During the exchange, the teacher became very angry with the student and accused him of disrespecting the president. She even went so far as to tell the boy that he could be jailed for speaking ill of Obama.
Sarah Campbell of the North Carolina Salisbury Post claims that the school district is not releasing the name of the teacher and that she is not responding to requests for public comment although the two students identified her to the newspaper. According to Campbell’s story, the teacher will not be suspended or even face disciplinary action for what was heard on the recording. A statement from the school was released at the end of the week. The statement / video!
A Tennessee man's problems paying child support aren't so surprising: He has 30 children with 11 different women.
Desmond Hatchett, 33, of Knoxville, is pleading with the state to help him pay for child support, citing the fact that he earns minimum wage. Hatchett made national news in 2009, when his tally stood at 21 children.
“I had four kids in the same year," he said. "Twice.”
The mothers of his children are supposed to get anywhere from $25 a month to $309 a month for help raising the children. The state takes half of Hatchett's paycheck to divide among the mothers of his children, but now Hatchett has petitioned the state to help him meet his obligations.
The children range in age from toddlers to 14 years old.
The Obama White House is drawing ridicule for appending the official online biographies of nearly every president over the last century in order to link President Obama's accomplishments to the former commanders in chief.
The Obama team went into the pages of U.S. presidents dating back to Calvin Coolidge to add friendly looking "Did you know?" fact boxes to the end of their bios. Those additions were used to plug a host of Obama administration initiatives, ranging from the health care overhaul to the so-called "Buffett Rule" to his green-energy policies.
For instance, the following line was added to the official bio of the late President Ronald Reagan: "In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule."
The White House is coming under heavy criticism from conservatives for the changes, and not just to Reagan's page.
Late Tuesday, the White House defended itself, claiming the staff was merely adding links to other pages. Source!
Apparently, the Obama reelection campaign is afraid the president might say or do something regrettable.
More than 60 VIP donors who attended a fundraiser at the home Blackstone CEO Hamilton James on Monday night were told they had to place their phones in a plastic bag before being allowed admittance, ABC News reports.
While one campaign aide called the move “standard operating procedure,” Zeke Miller of Buzzfeed reports that several campaign veterans (including aides to Hillary Clinton, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman) have never “heard of the practice, which is common in secure White House spaces where there are concerns of espionage, but unknown in contexts in which only political secrets are discussed.”
And despite the fact that each donor paid $35,800 to attend the ultra-swanky event, it still wasn‘t enough to win the trust of the president’s campaign aides. Apparently, they’re terrified enough that the president will make an offhand, awkward remark (the type that people bitterly cling to) that they’re willing to confiscate the phones from some of his most powerful supporters.
“The potential for awkward moments was particularly high last night, as Obama spent the morning calling for more Wall Street regulation [and then] released an ad calling Mitt Romney’s private equity firm a ‘vampire,’” Dashiell Bennett of the Atlantic Wire writes.
“[He] then entertained Wall Street guests at the home of the man who runs one of the most successful private equity firm in the business. Now we’ll never know just how awkward it got,” Bennett adds. Source!
First-class travel. Six-figure salaries for half the 132 officers and staffers. Plenty of plum jobs for family members.
Life is good at the top of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers.
The union, with its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., represents about 59,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada who make and repair boilers, fit pipes and work on ships and power plants. The recession has hit their trade hard, reducing union membership.
At the same time, the president’s salary has surged 67 percent in the past six years, not counting a recent raise. Add in travel and some other expenses, and Newton B. Jones received more than $600,000 last year, putting him at the absolute top of the presidents of the dozen biggest unions in the country.
Many relatives of union officers also ride the payroll.
Totaling the pay to just the families of Jones and two other executives, the union and its affiliates gave them more than $2 million in annual salary, according to the most recent financial reports filed by the organizations.
“This is one of the more egregious examples of money flowing like crazy that I’ve ever seen,” said Nathan Mehrens, a former U.S. Labor Department lawyer and now general counsel for Americans for Limited Government, a conservative watchdog group.
In an interview, two union spokesmen defended the spending and hiring practices before requesting other questions in writing. Although they did not respond to every question, Michael Stapp, the union’s general counsel, provided a written response that included praise for the Boilermakers. Source!
House Democrats said Tuesday they will offer an amendment to push to overturn stand-your-ground self-defense laws in states like Florida.
The amendment, which would withhold some grants from states that have such laws, will come as part of the House's debate on the Commerce Department spending bill.
"'Shoot-first' laws have already cost too many lives. In Florida alone, deaths due to self-defense have tripled since the law was enacted. Federal money shouldn't be spent supporting states with laws that endanger their own people," said Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Muslim Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the two Democrats who are offering the legislation. "This is no different than withholding transportation funds from states that don't enforce seat-belt laws."
Florida's law, which allows residents to use force in response to an attack without first having to retreat, has come under scrutiny after the nationally-polarizing death of teenager Trayvon Martin. George Zimmermann, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has been charged with murder in the case. Source!
Another ally of President Obama is taking a stand on gay marriage, as the president comes under increasing pressure to make his position more clear.
Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's only surviving child, on Monday presented "Profile in Courage" awards to the three ex-Iowa judges who were voted out of office in 2010 following their decision to legalize same-sex marriage. The awards came from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which she heads.
The decision to honor the former justices drew the ire of the conservative activist who helped lead the charge in voting them out. Bob Vander Plaats said in a statement that the justices' decision "was neither courageous nor constitutional." He called the "elitist award" a "direct insult to over one-half million informed and constitutionally astute Iowans who voted to remove three activist judges." Source!
Despite "significant" progress in civil rights, the nation is still struggling to "overcome injustice" and "eliminate disparities," Attorney General Eric Holder told the Detroit chapter of the NAACP on Sunday.
The attorney general also mentioned Trayvon Martin by name, as he decried the violence and crime involving young people.
"This (violence) is an issue that has -– rightly -– garnered significant national attention in recent months, as our nation has struggled to make sense of the tragic shooting death of a Florida teenager named Trayvon Martin," Holder said. "As this case moves through the legal system, Justice Department officials will continue to communicate closely with state and local authorities to ensure that community concerns are heard, tensions are alleviated, and – as with every investigation at every level – appropriate actions are guided by the facts and the law." Source!
Ed: Hang on tight, George! The Nations top racist is watching!
The Daily Caller has obtained a scrapped sketch critical of President Barack Obama that was intended for airing at the opening of last night’s “Saturday Night Live” on NBC.
In the skit, President Obama addresses Americans soon after the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden — and he makes sure to remind viewers that all credit for the raid on the terrorist leader’s compound belongs to him.
“I hope you had a safe and joyous first anniversary of his killing,” the president, portrayed by Fred Armisen, begins.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at home this year, as I had to fly to Afghanistan, to remind President Karzai that, exactly one year ago, we killed Osama bin Laden, and that the decision to do so was a gutsy one,” the president continues. “And was mine.”
The president then outlines what gifts are appropriate on the anniversaries of “Killing Osama bin Laden Day,” and reminds his audience that “heavy drinking, and Killing Osama bin Laden Day, are never a good combination.”
The full text of the skit, which was authored by comedian Jim Downey, is viewable here. It is not clear why the skit was scrapped.