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Remiss, Bothered and Bewildered May 19, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, art, Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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Thud.  Okay, I said it. I was REMISS. I totally overlooked my usual obsession with the conclusion of the Bernie ‘THUD’ Kerik scenario as he walked the walk and left for a four year term in prison.  He was kicking and screaming along the way.  See ya’ Bernie.  Sadly, he is not going with some of his cronies who should be locked up along with him.

The oil spill has also BOTHERED me to no end but there is so much guilt to go around I could not focus on a target. Ken Salazar’s appearance before the Senate yesterday was a joke.  Go Bernie Sanders.

–  I have been totally BEWILDERED by a number of things these past few weeks. Perhaps being on the road for almost two weeks allowed my brain to lose some of its synapses.

–  In no particular order – the ‘papers, please’ insanity in Arizona is apparently popular with people over 50 (not me) and curious to younger Americans. That seems clear enough.  Young people are not afraid of people who do not look like them and perhaps, just perhaps, they enjoy the diversity rather than the boring homogeneity.

–  The Tea Party still makes me laugh.  Their unfocused, yet loud rage gets too much attention from the media (just like Sarah Palin).  The targets of their focused rage  seems to be Repugnants who do not fit the bill as Uber-Conservatives.  A few did fine in yesterday’s Primaries, but  the general election in November is far away and much can happen.  Those Independent voters are not as radical as the screaming meemies with tea bags hanging from their hats.  Stay tuned.

–  In a head scratching moment, yesterday’s news included the fact that Bristol Palin is hitting the lecture circuit. Her main topic?  Teen pregnancy. ‘The 19-year-old has signed with a firm called Single Source Speakers and is expected to earn between $15,000 and $30,000 per speaking gig’. Good grief.

Just for fun, check out this armadillo:


The Rise and Thud of Bernie Kerik October 27, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Videos, Zoos.
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kerikthudYes, I have been obsessed with the Bernie Kerik scandal since it started to unravel before our very eyes.  Schadenfreude always works when we discuss old Bernie.  Jeff VanDam, of New York Magazine did a nice short chronological piece on the Rise and Thud of Bernie Kerik.

“Bernard Kerik used to run the city jails (1998–2000) and then the whole NYPD (2000–2001) and then, almost, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. But last week, he went to jail himself for leaking sealed information from his corruption trial, which begins this week. His fall has been drawn-out, and very public”.

9/11/01: As police commissioner, Kerik shares the credit with his boss Mayor Giuliani for resolute action on the day of the attacks. The two team up the next year to help form Giuliani Partners, a consulting firm.

2/28/02: Kerik pays a $2,500 fine for having two police officers travel to Ohio to research his autobiography, The Lost Son.

3/16/02: Newsday reports that an aide requested 30 seven-pound busts of Kerik from the nonprofit Police Foundation at a cost of $3,000.

2/9/03: The Daily News reports that Kerik oversaw a prison foundation that received nearly $1 million from tobacco companies that sold cigarettes to inmates; the Kerik aide in charge of the foundation’s finances later pleaded guilty to defrauding the fund of $142,733, partly to pay phone bills accrued when inmates called him collect to have phone sex. Much of the rest of the money is unaccounted for.

12/2/04: Kerik, apparently with Giuliani’s backing, is President Bush’s reported choice to run Homeland Security.

12/8/04: Nine former employees allege in the Washington Post that Kerik illicitly spied on women in relationships with his supervisor as investigation chief at a Saudi hospital twenty years earlier.

12/10/04: Kerik withdraws his nomination, citing a nanny with questionable immigration status. Newsweek reports that a warrant for Kerik’s arrest was issued in 1998 during a New Jersey civil dispute over $5,000 in condominium fees. Kerik said he’d paid the fees and the warrant had been withdrawn.

12/12/04: The Daily News reports that Kerik failed to disclose thousands of dollars in gifts, including a jewel-covered Tiffany badge, when he headed the NYPD and Correction Department. Some were given to him by a friend with ties to Interstate Industrial Corporation, a construction company suspected of mob ties that happens to have hired Kerik’s best man and brother; Kerik spoke to the city’s Trade Waste Commission on the friend’s behalf while Correction commissioner.

12/13/04: The Daily News reveals that Kerik had an extramarital affair with The Lost Son publisher Judith Regan, using a Battery Park City apartment—originally provided to ground-zero cleanup workers—for “passionate liaisons.”

12/16/04: The Bronx D.A. begins looking into the 1999 renovation of Kerik’s Riverdale apartment by Interstate.

12/22/04: Kerik quits Giuliani Partners.

6/30/06: Kerik pleads guilty to two misdemeanors, admitting he accepted the renovations from Interstate, spoke to city officials about the company, and failed to report a $28,000 loan from a real-estate developer. He pays $221,000 in fines but serves no jail time.

9/27/06: News of a new federal investigation involving Kerik emerges, this time about his alleged role in a 2005 plan to secretly record the husband of attorney-general candidate Jeanine Pirro, whom Pirro suspected of having an affair.

10/22/07: A Houston law firm sues Kerik for more than $200,000 in unpaid legal fees.

11/9/07: Kerik is indicted on sixteen federal counts that lead to two separate trials, one for tax fraud and one for corruption; he pleads not guilty.

12/2/08: The indictment against Kerik is expanded and now includes failure to pay taxes on a free luxury sedan given to him in 2004 by an armored-car company. He pleads not guilty to the new charges.

4/7/09: Kerik is seen training a dog in the background of a Real Housewives of New Jersey scene.

5/26/09: Kerik is indicted again, this time in Washington for making false statements to White House vetters; he pleads not guilty.

10/20/09: Kerik is jailed by the judge in his New York corruption trial, who believes he helped leak e-mails containing information from sealed court papers to the Washington Times.

–  On a completely different note:  A good friend (Ann) asked me to help out a friend of hers who wanted to promote the upcoming return of Wonder Woman, the play. We had 10 seconds to spin, like Wonder Woman.  Guess what?  I made the cut. It is grainy and only a second or two, but if you look closely, at the 43rd second of the clip you can see me spinning.  Fun.

Will she or won’t she? May 27, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Photography, Politics, Videos, Zoos.
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bugWill the inspired choice of Sonia Sotomayor be an October surprise when she climbs up those big steps to her seat on the Supreme Court?  Will she be Justice Souter in a dress? Can we count on her to be our liberal clarion call?  I am worried about her one previous ruling on abortion (she sided with the Bushies on her one ruling) and the lack of information we have on her opinions about gay rights, the death penalty and national security.  Just because she has an inspiring personal story and has beat amazing odds to be in the position she is finds herself today does not mean she thinks like ‘we’ do.  Try to remember that Justice Clarence Thomas had an interesting personal story as well and his opinion on ‘the little guy’ goes pretty much like this – ‘well, I did it – why can’t you?
That said – I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and give her my full support with the hopes that I am not disappointed.

–  There is a lot to read about Sotomayor everywhere today. Here are 10 things you should know about Sotomayor from The Huffington Post to start.

–  I watched (with tears in my eyes) the entire Obama Introducing Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for Supreme Court on TV yesterday morning. It was one of his inspired speeches and I do really, really, really want to give her a chance (but I am still worried).

–  Dahlia Lithwick discusses Sonia Sotomayor’s judical record on “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Apparently, Ms. Lithwick did some research on the issue. Rachel is worried too just like I am.

–  Did you all hear the THUD yesterday?  Bernie Kerik is in more trouble. He was indicted on charges of making false statements to White House officials vetting him for the secretary’s seat at the Department of Homeland Security in 2004.

–  And what can we say about the California Supreme Courts‘ decision on Prop 8? They ruled that a voter-approved proposition defining marriage as between a man and a woman could stand in the state. However, they said the 18,000 marriages that had been performed before the ballot initiative can stand.  Good grief.  Stay tuned for another round of propositions on this issue. “Prop. 8, meanwhile, is heading for federal court, though not through the efforts of established gay-rights groups, which tried to avoid raising an issue that could bring the marriage dispute before the conservative-led U.S. Supreme Court.  An organization called the American Foundation for Equal Rights plans to announce a federal court challenge to the ballot measure in Los Angeles today. Its lawyers are Theodore Olson, who represented George W. Bush in the dispute over who won the 2000 presidential election, and David Boies, Al Gore’s attorney in the same case.  Adversaries in last year’s campaign had anticipated Tuesday’s ruling after hearing the justices’ comments at a hearing in March, and are looking ahead to another battle as early as November 2010 on an initiative to overturn Prop. 8. ”

–  Just in case you were on another planet yesterday:

–  The Philadelphia Zoo is celebrating its 150th anniversary.  We drove down last week to help them celebrate and to preview their new McNeil Avian Center.  It was well worth the trip.  The Avian Center is bird -terrific and we were delighted to discover an adorable three month old Coqueral’s Sifaka baby in their primate center.  Check out the photos bird photos here.

–  Watch the adorable three month old Coqueral’s Sifaka Baby I saw playing at the PECO Primate Center at the Philadelphia Zoo, May, 2009.