Friday, 27 April 2012

John McCain backs Richard Lugar in Indiana Senate Race; old running mate Sarah Palin backs Richard Mourdock

 History is repeating itself in Indiana where one of the Senate’s two longest-serving Republicans, Richard Lugar, 80, who was first elected in 1976, is facing a challenge in the May 8 primary from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who became famous in 2009 for opposing the auto industry bailout and the forced write-downs for Chrysler bond holders. 
Mourdock is backed by Tea Party activists, the Club for Growth, the National Rifle Association, and old-line social conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly.
As Lugar struggles to fend off Mourdock’s challenge, Democrats hope their candidate, Rep. Joe Donnelly, will profit from the GOP schism and pick up the incumbent’s seat in November.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Wednesday, “The race is very close now and it’ll be decided on May 8 and a number of factors could apply. Obviously turnout is important. Gov. (Mitch) Daniels’s ad supporting Sen. Lugar is a very positive development for him,” he said. “But our job is to hold the seat (in November) and we’ll support the nominee in the general election, but I think we will hold that seat regardless of what happens in the primary.”


McCain — who lost Indiana to Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 — is featured in a new radio ad for Lugar, rebutting charges that Lugar is Obama’s favorite Republican. He argues that Lugar “fought every day against Obama’s budget-busting proposals which have mortgaged our children’s futures” and said the senator’s “strong opposition to Obamacare helped spark Indiana’s involvement in the Supreme Court case to overturn the government’s takeover of health care.”


“Some in Indiana are claiming Dick Lugar is Obama’s friend,” McCain says in the ad. “That’s ridiculous. And I know it firsthand, because I fight alongside him every day in the Senate. Dick Lugar is a patriot and a hero, and we need him in the United States Senate.



The winner of the May 8 primary election will face Democrat U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in November. Democrats are already seizing on Palin’s endorsement to draw contrasts in the event that Mourdock prevails.


Palin’s endorsement of Mourdock makes perfect sense, said Ben Ray, a spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party.


“Both of them support Paul Ryan’s plan to end the Medicare guarantee, both of them want deep cuts to Social Security and both of them support bad trade deals to ship our jobs overseas,” Ray argued. “Richard Mourdock and Sarah Palin are just wrong for Hoosiers.

Panetta recalls nail-biting raid that killed Osama bin Laden


WASHINGTON — Killing Osama bin Laden was not a “silver bullet” that destroyed Al Qaeda, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said on Friday, but he asserted that his death weakened the terrorist group and made the United States more safe.


In comments ahead of the first anniversary of the raid last May by United States Navy SEALs on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Mr. Panetta said that the Bin Laden operation, along with other killings of Qaeda leaders, “has prevented them from having the command and control capability to be able to put together an attack similar to 9/11.”



Mr. Panetta’s remarks were among the first in a series of recollections about the Bin Laden raid by senior Obama administration officials in a tight election year. The officials are highlighting the operation as an example of President Obama’s national security experience in contrast to that of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Mr. Obama’s expected Republican opponent.


Mr. Panetta, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time of the raid, was deeply involved in the planning of the C.I.A.-led operation. He made his comments to reporters on a C-17 military transport plane on the way home to Washington from a five-day trip to Colombia, Brazil and Chile.


Speaking to reporters in his Airstream trailer that is strapped to the inside of the C-17 — it is called the “Silver Bullet” — Mr. Panetta recalled what he described as four “nail-biting moments” as the Bin Laden raid unfolded. He and other top C.I.A. officials were watching portions of the raid by live video feed from Pakistan at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., and listening to Adm. William McRaven, then the head of the Joint Special Operations Command and the raid’s commander, describe other parts of the raid as he monitored it from an American military base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. President Obama and other senior national security officials were simultaneously monitoring the raid from the White House.


While al-Qaeda and its offshoots remain a threat, he said, the military and intelligence communities have learned to work better together since Sept. 11, 2001. Still, he acknowledged, there is no single, completely effective way to destroy the terror network.
"The way this works is that the more successful we are at taking down those who represent their spiritual, ideological leadership, the greater our ability to weaken their threat to this country," he said.
The story of the raid is well-known: The SEALs and special operations forces that flew deep into Pakistan; the wrenching moment when one of the helicopters went down in the heat, landing hard with its tail on the wall; the SEALs' assault on the house where they believed bin Laden and his wives had been living for several years; and what Panetta on Friday called the "fingernail-biting moments."
"We knew that there were gunshots and firing, but after that we just didn't know," said Panetta, describing the nearly 20 minutes of silence after the SEALs went into the house.
Then came confusion. McRaven, commander of the operation, told him that he thought he'd picked up the word "Geronimo."
"The way he said it was like, you know, 'We think,'" said Panetta. "It wasn't ideal. We were still waiting."
A few minutes later came the KIA message. Then came the long flight out of Pakistan.

"By that time they had blown the helicopter that was down and we knew we had woken up all of Pakistan to the fact that something had happened," Panetta said with a laugh. "The concern was just exactly what were they thinking and how were they going to respond."
The moment they crossed the border, he said, was "the moment when we finally knew the mission had been accomplished."
Then they could embrace the victory.
The raid created a deep fissure into the already rocky U.S.-Pakistan relations. U.S. officials, including members of Congress, were irate that the al-Qaeda leader had been able to hide — virtually in plain sight — in a Pakistani military town. Some suggested there was at least some knowledge of his hiding place.
Pakistani leaders, meanwhile, were outraged that the U.S. had launched a military mission deep within the country's borders without alerting them, violating their sovereignty. Islamabad's military commanders were embarrassed that the U.S. was able to carry out the raid without being detected.
The bin Laden saga has continued in Pakistan. His three wives and their families were deported early Friday to Saudi Arabia. Officials have said that the wives and as many as eight children and some grandchildren were living in the compound when it was raided.
The anniversary has triggered security warnings for Americans in Pakistan. The U.S. Embassy said its employees would be restricted from restaurants and markets in Islamabad for the next two weeks. While there was no mention of bin Laden, the period includes the anniversary date.

Five Riots in Tampa



Five Riots in Tampa or the Tampa Riots refers to the five riots that occurred in the city of Tampa, Florida. The riots individually occurred in 1967, 1977, 1987,1989, and 1992. The riots are often nicknamed racial riots in Tampa due to the involvements in "racial deaths towards blacks during the riots" or which "incited the riots".


Tampa Riots of 1967



On June 11, 1967, 19-year old Martin Chambers was suspected of robbing a camera store in Tampa. Chambers ran from local police near Nebraska and Harrison Streets and was shot in the back and died not long after. Several days of riots ignited around Central Avenue following the incident.
State Attorney Paul Antinori ruled that the shooting was justifiable. In 1990, an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement also found the shooting justifiable. The case was re-opened in 2007 under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.
[edit]Led Zeppelin concert 1977


On June 3, 1977 a Led Zeppelin concert at Tampa Stadium was strongly interrupted after 3 songs due to a large thunderstorm in the area. A riot broke out between police and several thousand of the estimated 70,000 fans at the concert. There were dozens of injuries and a number of arrests taken during or following the riot. The make up concert scheduled for the next day was canceled by city officials due to the riot.


Tampa Riots of 1987



On February 20, 1987, a group of 200 to 400 began rioting after starting a fire in a dumpster at the intersection of 22nd Street and Lake Avenue in the College Hill community in East Tampa.
The incident started the night after the death of mentally-handicapped black citizen, Melvin Eugene Hair. He died after police used a carotid neck-hold on him. Less than 24 hours later, the attorney's office released a report clearing police of racism in the December 1986 arrest of baseball star Dwight Gooden. The incidents sparked three nights of ferocious rioting.


Tampa Riots of 1989


Drug dealer Edgar Allen Price was arrested on February 1, 1989. Price scuffled with the Tampa police, and soon after died. Word of his death spread in the College Hill community, leading to several nights of violence including the burning down of a local supermarket. The lack of fire stations in the area helped exacerbate the damage. Black residents believed he was beaten to death by police, but an investigation revealed that he died from asphyxiation after having his hands and legs cuffed and placed face down in the back of a police cruiser, possibly because Edgar Allen Price was being deliberately asphyxiated by his captors.


Tampa Riots of 1992



Parallel rioting occurred in a large variety of cities around the US in conjunction with the LA riots over the Rodney King findings; Tampa had rioting centered around 22nd street between E Lake and E Frierson Avenues, including burning of at least one vehicle and both direct and indirect attacks on passing traffic in this area including news anchor Sheryl Brown. Although there was no local news coverage of the events at the time, the events were covered on various European television news programs.

West Las Vegas riots


West Las Vegas riots were sparked on April 29, 1992, after the Rodney King verdict, where all four white Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted for the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, California. After the Los Angeles riots were sparked, Black residents of West Las Vegas had already started to loot and burned several stores. Gun battles had started with snipers on intersections and one white motorist was pulled from his vehicle and beaten.
The violence was just 7 miles away from the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas police officers placed buses under Interstate 15 to keep rioters from crossing out of West Las Vegas and into the downtown area. After the riots, $6 million in property was damaged and the tensions with the police lasted the next 18 days.

1992 Los Angeles riots


1992 Los Angeles Riots or South Central Riots, also known as the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest were sparked on April 29, 1992, when a jury acquitted three white and one Hispanic Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit. Thousands of people in the Los Angeles area rioted over the six days following the verdict.
Widespread looting, assault, arson and murder occurred, and property damages topped roughly $1 billion. In all, 54 people died during the riots and thousands more were injured.



On March 3, 1991, Rodney King and two passengers were driving west on the Foothill Freeway (I-210) through the Lake View Terrace neighborhood of Los Angeles. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) attempted to initiate a traffic stop. A high-speed pursuit ensued with speeds estimated at up to 115 mph first over freeways and then through residential neighborhoods. When King came to a stop, CHP Officer Timothy Singer and his wife, CHP Officer Melanie Singer, ordered the occupants under arrest.
After two passengers were placed in the patrol car, five Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers (Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano) attempted to subdue King, who came out of the car last. In a departure from the usual procedure, which is to tackle and cuff a suspect, King was tasered, kicked in the head, beaten with PR-24 batons for over one minute, then tackled and cuffed. The officers claimed that King was under the influence of PCP at the time of arrest, which caused him to be very aggressive and violent towards the officers. The video showed that he was crawling on the ground during the beating and that the police made no attempt to cuff him.
A subsequent test for the presence of PCP turned up negative. The incident was captured on a camcorder by resident George Holliday from his apartment in the vicinity. The tape was roughly ten minutes long. While the case was presented to the court, clips of the incident were not released to the public.



The riots


The riots, beginning the day of the verdicts, peaked in intensity over the next two days. A dawn-to-dusk curfew and deployment of the National Guard eventually worked to control the situation; eventually U.S. Army soldiers and United States Marines were ordered to the city to help quell disorder as well.
Fifty-three people died during the riots, including 10 shot dead by the LAPD and the National Guard, with as many as 2,000 people injured. Estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings, with fire calls coming once every minute at some points. Widespread looting also occurred. Stores owned by Korean and other Asian immigrants were widely targeted, although stores owned by Caucasians and African Americans were targeted by rioters as well.
Many of the disturbances were concentrated in South Central Los Angeles, which was primarily composed of African American and Hispanic residents. Half of all riot arrestees and more than a third of those killed during the violence were Hispanic.


First day (Wednesday, April 29, 1992)
The acquittals of the four accused Los Angeles Police Department officers came at 3:15 pm local time. By 3:45, a crowd of more than 300 people had appeared at the Los Angeles County Courthouse protesting the verdicts passed down a half an hour earlier. Between 5 and 6 pm, a group of two dozen officers, commanded by LAPD Lt. Michael Moulin, confronted a growing African-American crowd at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles. Outnumbered, these officers retreated. A new group of protesters appeared at Parker Center, the LAPD's headquarters, by about 6:30 pm, and 15 minutes later, the crowd at Florence and Normandie had started looting, attacking vehicles and people.


Charges and trial

The Los Angeles District Attorney subsequently charged four police officers, including one sergeant, with assault and use of excessive force. Due to the heavy media coverage of the arrest, the trial received a change of venue from Los Angeles County to the politically conservative city of Simi Valley in neighboring Ventura County. The jury was composed of ten Caucasians, one Hispanic, and one Asian. The prosecutor, Terry White, was black.
On April 29, 1992, the seventh day of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force. The jury could not agree on a verdict for the fourth officer charged with using excessive force. The verdicts were based in part on the first three seconds of a blurry, 13-second segment of the video tape that, according to journalist Lou Cannon, was edited out by television news stations in their broadcasts.
During the first two seconds of videotape, Rodney King gets up off the ground and charges in the general direction of one of the police officers, Laurence Powell. During the next one minute and 19 seconds, King is beaten continuously by the officers. The officers testified that they tried to physically restrain King prior to the starting point of the videotape but, according to the officers, King was able to physically throw them off himself.
Another theory offered by the prosecution for the officers' acquittal is that the jurors may have become desensitized to the violence of the beating, as the defense played the videotape repeatedly in slow motion, breaking it down until its emotional impact was lost.
Outside the Simi Valley courthouse where the acquittals were delivered, sheriff's deputies protected Stacey Koon from angry protest on the way to his car. Director John Singleton, who was in the crowd at the courthouse, predicted, "By having this verdict, what these people done, they lit the fuse to a bomb.

Year Later, Bin Laden Killing Still Colors Pakistan-US Ties

 In the year since Osama bin Laden’s death, it has been a comforting thought for Westerners to say that he failed. And that’s certainly true in terms of al-Qaeda, whose scorched-earth jihad tactics alienated Muslims along with everyone else. But in terms of bin Laden’s broader goal of moving the Islamic world away from Western influence, he has done better than we might like to think.



Egypt is a case in point: This has been a year of mostly nonviolent democratic revolution. But it has brought to power some Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood groups that share common theological roots with bin Laden. And the al-Qaeda goal of driving the “apostate,” pro-American President Hosni Mubarak from power has been achieved.


After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the al-Qaida chief spent much of his time on the run in Pakistan before moving to what locals called the “Waziristan mansion.” For five years, bin Laden, his three wives and their children lived here.    


After months of international interest in the bin Laden home, Pakistani authorities razed the building in February. But former army officer Shaukat Qadir, one of the few investigators given access to the compound, says it will be harder to remove bin Laden’s ideological legacy.


“Pakistani Taliban has their ties with al-Qaida. We also know that al-Qaida still has a lot of following in Punjab, particularly in southern Punjab. So we have a problem, Pakistanis have a problem with al-Qaida,” said former military officer Shaukat Qadir.


Critics say Pakistani authorities often blame outside forces for domestic security problems while ignoring pro-military religious groups. 


In the months after the U.S. raid, religious groups rallied behind the military, which called the assault a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.



In a VOA interview late last year, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter defended the operation as a benefit to both countries.


“The attack against bin Laden was not an attack against Pakistan. It was an attack on a common enemy. And that what we need to do to right any sense of unhappiness on the Pakistani side is to work even more closely together,” said Munter.


Diplomatic talks in the months that followed struggled to regain trust. Relations fell to a new low when 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a cross-border U.S. airstrike.


Recently there have been renewed efforts to mend ties as the U.S. prepares to draw down its forces in Afghanistan. 


“I don’t think it would be the same the way they were before May 2nd or last year. But it has to be improved. If they cannot work together, the exit strategy of Obama, I don’t think that it will be materialized,” said Asad Munir, a former officer of the Pakistani spy agency.

Romney pounces on Obama's economic policies


The presidential campaign ignited Friday after a super PAC linked to Republican strategist Karl Rove launched the season's first major brushback pitch - a 30-second ad mocking President Obama as "a celebrity president," a preview of one of the GOP's top attack lines.


Analysts said comparing the pop-culture-conversant Obama and the more publicly stiff Mitt Romney, the presumed GOP nominee, may not produce the result Rove intended. But the Obama campaign's response inspired a new question: How should it handle the killing of Osama bin Laden?



The first major ad salvo of the campaign began Thursday with a new 30-second online ad produced by Rove's American Crossroads group, which is not affiliated with Romney's campaign. It shows a montage of Obama's top pop-culture turns, singing part of an Al Green song at a fundraiser and hamming it up this week on Jimmy Fallon's NBC late night show.


After waxing further about Ohio's positive jobs picture, Kasich added, "That's why I'm for Mitt Romney for president, because while we're doing much better in Ohio now, the problem is we still have obstacles in our way, and this is a man who has a proven record of creating jobs."


Romney's history as a corporate takeover executive proved to be a mixed blessing in the primaries as opponents highlighted the thousands of layoffs spurred by deals that yielded millions of dollars for him and his investment partners. Democrats are poised to repeat the criticisms in the fall.


On Friday, Romney highlighted the jobs gained by the deals he made as chief executive of Bain Capital, describing himself as a "turn-around" specialist. He took credit for an investment in Staples that he said ultimately produced 90,000 jobs at the office-supply chain. His plan for a sharply scaled-back government, he said, would improve the climate for "job creators."



Responding to the Obama campaign's accusations that he would fund tax cuts for millionaires by denying education and healthcare to the middle class, Romney said he would unite Americans rather than divide them.


"I'll not point at one or another of [the] American people and say, 'Well, these Wall Street people are bad,'" he said. "All the roads in America are connected. You can't attack parts of America and assume America will rise and become strong. I won't attack this executive, or that successful person."


Romney's immediate goal Friday was to counter Obama's assault on him and other Republicans this week over the cost of student loans. The event at Otterbein followed Obama's visits this week to colleges in three other battleground states — Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina.


Romney sidestepped the student-loan issue that Obama had used as the centerpiece of his campus events: the scheduled July 1 doubling of the 3.4% interest rate on federal Stafford loans to undergraduates. In a move to rebuild support among young voters, a pillar of his 2008 campaign, Obama has called on Republicans to join him in canceling the rate hike.


Romney recently agreed to support a measure to stop the increase, which caused him new grief with conservatives. A Wall Street Journal editorial on Friday called Romney's move a "pander to the youth vote."



"This must be the 'Etch-a-Sketch' version of Mitt that his campaign promised," the editorial said, alluding to Romney's expected pivot to the center after months of appeals to conservatives.


In his speech at Otterbein, Romney said it was time "to get serious about not passing on massive debts to you guys — to your generation.

U.S. Stocks Rise in S&P 500's Best Week Since March


Wall Street managed a fourth day of gains as the strong earnings season outweighed a surprisingly weak reading on first-quarter economic growth.


Online retailer Amazon climbed 15.7 percent to $226.85 and contributed half of Nasdaq's gain for the day. An S&P retail index rose 3.5 percent and hit an all-time high. Shares of Expedia, the Web-based travel provider, surged 23.5 percent to close at $40.31, after hitting a new high at $43 on record volume.





Growth in S&P 500 earnings rose to 7.2 percent this week from 3.2 percent at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters data. About 73 percent of the companies that have reported so far have beaten expectations.


"So far the numbers have been pretty good, and we're happy about that, but I think we have to wait to where we're done with the earnings season to really make judgments," said David James, senior vice president of James Investment Research in Alpha, Ohio.


"Going forward, the big key for people especially looking at tech is what happens with the dollar. I think the dollar will probably be stronger than people expect on a relative basis. Historically that usually means tech is the sector that gets hit the hardest."


The Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.69 points, or 0.18 percent, at 13,228.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.38 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,403.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 18.59 points, or 0.61 percent, at 3,069.20.


Gauges for phone stocks, consumer discretionary and technology companies advanced the most among 10 groups in the S&P 500, jumping at least 2.4 percent. An index tracking homebuilders surged 10 percent to the highest level since 2008 amid better-than-estimated housing data and PulteGroup Inc. (PHM)’s narrower loss. Apple rallied 5.2 percent after profit almost doubled while Amazon.com surged 19 percent.



The S&P 500 rose 1.8 percent to 1,403.36 for the biggest weekly advance since March 16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 199.05 points, or 1.5 percent, to 13,228.31.
Earnings “look really strong, but that is definitely a management of expectations by companies,” Gary Flam, who helps oversee $6.7 billion for Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC in Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. “If economic data weakens, QE3 or some type of response from the Fed can be expected. That’s also giving investors some confidence,” he said, referring to a third round of stimulus measures known as quantitative easing.
The Fed on April 25 upgraded its estimates for growth and unemployment this year while repeating its view that borrowing costs are likely to remain “exceptionally low” at least through late 2014. Signed contracts to buy U.S. homes increased more than forecast in March, a sign that the housing market may be reaching bottom after a six-year price slump.



Rodney King: 'Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right'


Anyone considering violence as vengeance for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin should think twice, Rodney King told the Daily News.


Speaking days before the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, the icon of police brutality weighed in on reports that a Chicago teen admitted jumping a white man last week because he was enraged over Martin's alleged murder.





"Two wrongs do not make a right," said King, 47.


A video frame from 1991 appears to show a group of cops beating King.


"It's a horrible, horrible thing that happened to Trayvon, but we have to be patient," he said. "The justice system works. It's a slow process, but I know it will work for him. I just have faith that it will."


King released a new book this week, "The Riot Within: My Journey From Redemption To Rebellion," and said he's now at peace with the notorious 1991 police attack that made him a household name.


Amateur video of the beating showed police officers raining more than 50 baton blows on his crumpled, unarmed body after a freeway chase.


MARTIN: Because the officers had been captured on video repeatedly hitting and kicking King, the verdict shocked many people around the country. In Los Angeles, disturbances began just hours after the verdict was announced. Later in the program, we'll speak with a Korean-American supermarket owner who survived the riots and actually encouraged his community to defend the businesses even with force.


But first, we are joined by Rodney King. He is the author of a new memoir, "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption," and he's with us now. Welcome. Thank you so much for speaking with us.


RODNEY KING: Thanks for having me.





MARTIN: I know this is not the only interview you're doing, where I'm assuming that you're being asked to relive many of these moments. Is that hard?


KING: You know, as time goes on, you know, it gets a lot easier. It was very hard for me to watch the video and it still is to this day. You know, it all depends on what kind of mood I'm in.


MARTIN: You talked about how an investigator for one of your attorneys is the person who first shared the news of the acquittal. Can you talk about what was going through your mind when you heard that news?


KING: What went through my mind was I felt like I was in the '40s or the '50s. I was just so hurt and disappointed. But I was also relieved to know that the president had - he had sent down prosecutors to prosecute the guys since they had got away in the first trial.





MARTIN: You write about that in the book. You talk about President - this is President George H. W. Bush, Bush 41, and he'd said a couple of weeks after the beating that it was sickening to see the beating that was rendered, there's no way - no way in my view to explain that away. And you said that you held on to that statement.

Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren spar over tax returns


Massachusetts US Senate race, already framed in terms of electing the best guardian for the middle class, will be fought by two candidates in the nation’s top income group.


Tax returns released today show that Republican Scott Brown’s family income more than doubled to nearly $840,000 after he was elected in 2010, while his likely Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, has had nearly $1 million in joint earnings two of the past four years.





During the most recent filing year, she was in the top 1 percent of earners while he was in the top 2 percent. Brown joined Warren in the uppermost echelon in 2010.


“Gail and I are blessed,” Brown told reporters this morning as he and his wife, television reporter Gail Huff, visited Roslindale. “We’ve worked very hard over the last 25 years. We’re a two-income family. We’ve saved and saved and tried to provide a good family effort to provide for ourselves and our kids. We wish that for everybody.”


The senator said the returns confirm what has been previously revealed in state and federal financial disclosure forms. And while his campaign has branded Warren an elitist, Brown said, “I have never commented on her wealth, ever.


When asked if her own wealth made her unable to empathize with the average voter, Warren said, “I’ve been out there all my adult life working on behalf of middle-class families.”


Brown’s recent rise in income was largely thanks to the advance and sales for his best-selling memoir, “Against All Odds,” which he penned after his election.


Brown and his wife, television anchor Gail Huff, together earned $2,565,660 for 2006 through 2011. Last year, they contributed $16,487 to charity, or 3.2 percent of their income.


Brown took a $1,401 deduction for “TV makeup and grooming” in 2011 as part of a $6,901 tax deduction for varied expenses which included $1,268 for book promotions and photos and $716 for gifts. His deductions include $2,275 for “entertainment” in 2009 and $225 for “recording devices” in 2010.


Brown owns six homes: three condos in Boston, a vacation home in New Hampshire, a condo in Washington D.C., and his Wrentham home.


Brown, who urged Warren to be more transparent, refused to allow copies of the tax information to leave the office and instead required reporters to review his tax returns at his headquarters and take notes. The campaign did not allow tax attorneys to come in and view the returns.


Warren made four years of her returns available online this morning at elizabethwarren.com.





In the state Democrats’ ad, Brown is painted as an A-list Washington millionaire clad in tuxedos and expensive barn jackets.


“When Scott Brown went to Washington, Massachusetts families barely knew him,” Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh said in a statement released with the video. “Now, it’s clear there’s a millionaire under that $675 barn jacket, with as much as $100,000 in big oil and big bank stocks and real estate estimate estimated at more than $1.6 million.”


The 40-second long spot and prepared statement cites some of Brown’s voting record in the Senate and notes that Brown owns six homes and is worth millions.



Missed baby search leads to chaos, delays at Newark airport


A checkpoint at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport reopened after a security breach at 1:15 p.m. local time involving a baby who wasn't properly screened.


The incident occurred in Terminal C, where United Continental Holdings Inc. operates flights, and passengers were routed to other checkpoints for screening, said Sara Beth Joren, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The checkpoint reopened about 90 minutes later, she said.





After a mother and baby triggered an alarm when passing through a metal detector, the woman handed the child to the father, who had already been screened, before she was checked, Lisa Farbstein, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.


"Since the baby was not properly screened, TSA officers began to look for the family in the secure area of the terminal," Farbstein wrote.


Newark is a gateway for United's international flights, and together with its regional partners the company controls about two-thirds of passenger traffic there.


"We're holding about a dozen planes so we can accommodate customers" who need extra time to get through security, said Michael Trevino, a spokesman for United.


The Chicago-based carrier was formed through the 2010 merger of United's parent UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc.


A short time later, TSA personnel realized the baby had not been checked and began searching for the family.
"Port Authority police unilaterally made the decision to evacuate the terminal, sweep the terminal for explosives and re-screen all of the passengers, inconveniencing hundreds of passengers and delaying numerous flights," said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the issue by name because of its delicacy.
The official said police have made similar decisions — against the recommendations of the TSA — on low-risk breaches in the past.
"This has happened several times," the official said, expressing frustration with the moves.
Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said it took the TSA more than 30 minutes to notify police of the lapse and that officers "took immediate action to make sure the breach did not endanger passengers or our facility."
"We’re not going to second-guess a real-time decision made by our police department to err on the side of caution and protect passenger safety," Coleman said.
The breach occurred shortly after 1 p.m. at one of three security checkpoints in the busy terminal. Because each checkpoint leads to specific gates, the remainder of the terminal was not affected.



TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the child’s mother, carrying the baby in her arms, went through a metal detector, which sounded an alarm. The mother handed the baby to the father, who had already been screened, then walked through again. Once the woman was cleared, Farbstein said, the family headed to their gate.
The search for the group was called off when Port Authority police ordered the evacuation of that section of the terminal and the re-screening of all passengers. The area was reopened at 2:50 p.m.
While some passengers complained about the delays, traveler Dennis Healy, 47, of Marlboro, said he had no problem with the precautions.
"As bad guys get smarter, they’re going to try everything," said Healy, a food scientist headed to San Diego for a trade conference. "I was in Manhattan on 9/11. I’d rather wait than not wait.



John Edwards Witness Feared He Would Be Shot


Opposing lawyers in the John Edwards trial wrangled Friday over whether to allow into evidence a sex tape of the former presidential candidate and allegations of an extramarital affair involving an ex-aide who is the prosecution's chief witness.
Prosecutors objected when a defense lawyer for Edwards asked former aide and confidante Andrew Young whether he had threatened to release a "private video" to expose Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter.
U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles instructed Edwards lawyer Abbe Lowell to proceed with his cross-examination of Young without mentioning the tape, saying she would rule whether it was admissible later Friday.



Hunter sued Young in state court two years ago over ownership of the sex tape and other personal items in Young's possession. That civil suit was settled earlier this year with an agreement to destroy all copies of the tape, though there are suggestions in court documents that federal investigators may still have a copy.
Defense attorneys had no intention of showing the tape to the jury, but wanted to mention it in the context of the allegation that Young threatened Edwards.


Young was on the verge of tears again while describing how his relationship to Edwards changed from devotion to saving evidence against him.


"For several years working for Mr. and Mrs. Edwards was a true privilege. It was inspiring and exciting. ?. And that I was going to be part of something good," he said.


Young's voice broke and he became emotional as he continued, saying, "The things that happened since then were in direct contradiction to the man I knew back then and it's very hard for me to put those two men together."


Earlier today, Judge Catherine Eagles rejected a bid by Hunter's legal team to sharply restrict what the court and the public can hear about the sex tape she and Edwards made together.


Eagles said a decision could be reached later on testimony surrounding the tape The judge had earlier ruled that the video itself is inadmissible and will not be introduced during the trial.


Hunter, who was a videographer on Edwards' failed bid for the presidency in 2007, is expected to testify later in the trial.


Edwards is on trial for allegedly illegally using more than $900,000 in campaign donations to hide Hunter and her pregnancy. If convicted of the charge Edwards could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison.


His defense, however, says the money was used to hide the affair from Edwards' wife and was not related to his presidential campaign.


The defense has also depicted Young as a greedy liar who used the scandal for his own financial profit.


In today's testimony, Young conceded that he included as affair-related expenses trips with his family to Disneyland, Legoland, skiing in Aspen, and a trip to Mexico.





He also admitted spending $200,000 of the money to put in a pool at his home and wire it for audio.


In addition, Lowell got Young to estimate that he was paid a couple hundred thousand dollars for a book about Edwards and Hunter and that he sold the rights for a movie for another couple hundred thousand dollars.



Ron Paul beat Mitt Romney in 10 states


Mitt Romney may have all but locked up the Republican nomination with his victories in the East Coast primaries this week, but Ron Paul and his army of acolytes aren't ready to give up the fight just yet. 
As the rest of the political world's attention shifts to the general election, Paul is still quietly amassing delegates at district and county conventions, and is now poised to take a real bite — or at least a big nibble — out of Romney's delegate total. 



In just the last week, Paul locked up 49 delegates, including five in Pennsylvania and four in Rhode Island, two states thought to be firmly on Romney's turf. In Minnesota, Paul won 20 of the 24 delegates awarded at last weekend's district caucuses, an impressive sweep that guarantees that Paul will control a majority of the state's delegation at the Republican National Convention. 


Look at Newt Gingrich: Don’t you think that deep down he really doesn’t want to drop out? But his campaign has run up millions of dollars in debt. He’s a sinking shark. (He loves zoos and aquariums, too, so he’d understand the reference.)


Paul, on the other hand, is still swimming. In the money primary context, the GOP nomination race has almost always been a two-man contest between Mr. Romney and Paul. Through the first quarter of 2012, Romney raised $87 million and Paul $37 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Mr. Gingrich’s soon-to-be-extinct effort garnered $22 million, while Rick Santorum raised $21 million before he dropped out.





What’s more, Paul currently has about $1.7 million cash on hand, and debts of $0. Gingrich has $1.2 million cash on hand, and debts of $4.3 million, according to the latest public figures.


OK, OK, presumptive nominee Romney has $10 million in the bank, no debts, and a general election looming on the horizon. But before we pivot toward November, let’s remember that Paul outraised Romney in 10 states, including some that will be key battlegrounds in the fall, according to figures compiled by Eric Ostermeier, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.


“Ron Paul leads Mitt Romney in large donor itemized fundraising in 10 states, representing all four geographical regions from the northeast (Maine), the South (Arkansas), the Midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin) and the West (Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico),” writes Mr. Ostermeier on his Smart Politics blog.



Obama Signs Order to Limit Aggressive College Recruiting of Veterans


President Obama has signed an executive order that the administration says will crack down on colleges that prey on military veterans with misleading information about financial aid, credits and programs.


The move comes amid reports of for-profit schools aggressively targeting veterans and the tuition assistance money provided in the G.I. Bill. Administration officials said they’ve seen a pattern of some schools enrolling large numbers of military students. Some of the schools lure the students in with false promises of generous financial aid or take advantage of veterans suffering from brain injuries sustained at war.





"That's appalling. That's disgraceful. It should never happen in America," Obama said before signing the order in front of a crowd of more than 10,000 troops at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga. 


The executive order will require the Defense Department to come up with new rules limiting the access school recruiters have to military bases. It will require more transparent disclosure of financial aid options and easier access to information about school programs. The order also registers the term "GI Bill," which allows the military to crack down on websites masquerading as official government sites. 


A group representing for-profit schools called Obama’s move "deeply unfortunate." Members of Congress already were working to correct these issues, noted Steve Gunderson, a former Wisconsin congressman and president of the Assn. of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.




While the executive order applies to all colleges and universities, the abuses have been concentrated among for-profit schools, which get a disproportionate share of military-related educational benefits. Of the $4.4-billion in post-9/11 G.I. Bill dollars paid to colleges and universities from 2009 to 2011, more than a third, about $1.65 billion, went to for-profit colleges, according to a Senate committee report released last fall.


Bradley Safalow, an analyst who follows the for-profit sector, said that most of the large publicly traded for-profit college chains — University of Phoenix, Kaplan, Corinthian, ITT, Bridgepoint and the like — would most likely face compliance problems if G.I. Bill and military tuition assistance were considered federal student aid under the 90/10 rule.


But only Congress can change the rule. In a press briefing, senior administration officials said the president was “open to legislation” revising the 90/10 rule. Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, has introduced legislation to change the 90/10 rule, lowering the threshold to 85 percent, and requiring colleges to count G.I. Bill benefits and military tuition assistance as federal student aid for the purposes of the rule. In addition, Senator Tom Carper, Democrat from Delaware, introduced a bill that would include military benefits as federal student aid, while keeping the balance at 90/10, and a companion bill is pending the House. No Republicans are co-sponsoring either bill.


 According to a recent study by Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, eight for-profit colleges last year got $636 million in G.I. Bill benefits, a quarter of all such benefits — and dropout rates at most of them were above 50 percent. The study found that for-profit colleges also take in the majority of the tuition assistance available to military spouses. It costs taxpayers more than twice as much to send a veteran to a for-profit school as to a public university, the study found.





The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities said that it had already been working with veterans service organizations on programs to enhance and develop a vehicle for complaints, and that it was “disappointed that in the midst of these discussions, the president decided to bypass the Congress to address these issues with an executive order.”


Mr. Harkin’s investigation also found that in fiscal 2009, 15 of the largest for-profit education companies spent $3.7 billion — 23 percent of their budgets — on advertising, marketing and recruitment, compared to an average of less than 1 percent of revenues at nonprofit colleges and universities. Those same 15 companies received 86 percent of their revenues from federal student aid programs.



Bryce Harper


Bryce Aron Max Harper, born October 16, 1992, in Las Vegas, Nevada is an American professional baseball outfielder in the Washington Nationals organization. Harper was selected by the Nationals with the first overall pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He stands at 6 feet 3 inches and weighs 225 lbs.
Harper won the 2010 Golden Spikes Award, awarded annually to the best amateur baseball player.





Harper was drafted first in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft by the Washington Nationals,becoming the Nationals second straight number one overall pick of the Major League Baseball Draft, following Stephen Strasburg. Although Harper had predominantly played catcher, the Nationals drafted him as an outfielder to extend his career and to get him into the major leagues quicker.
Harper signed a 5-year contract worth $9.9 million, and on August 26, 2010, Harper was introduced by the Nationals. Harper said he chose to wear #34 because "I always loved Mickey Mantle, three and four equals seven.
After batting .319 with a .407 OBP (and leading his team in hits, homers, RBI and walks) in the Nationals' fall instructional league, Harper was selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions taxi-squad, the second-youngest player in the history of the league (two days older than when Mets' prospect Fernando Martínez appeared in the league in 2006 He batted .343 and slugged .629. On November 20, Harper and the Scottsdale Scorpions won the 2010 Arizona Fall League Championship.
After batting .389 in spring training, the Nationals optioned Harper to Class-A Hagerstown to begin his minor league career. In April 2011, after a slow start in the minor leagues, Harper visited optometrist Dr. Keith Smithson who reportedly told him, "I don't know how you ever hit before. You have some of the worst eyes I've ever seen." In his first 20 games after receiving contact lenses, Harper hit .480, collecting 7 home runs, 10 doubles and 23 RBI.
Harper was selected to represent the United States in the 2011 Futures Game during the 2011 All Star Game weekend. He was promoted to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators on July 4. Harper went 2 for 3 in his AA debut with two singles and a walk.
On August 18, 2011, Harper injured his hamstring while running from first to third base on an extra base hit. The injury was severe enough that he had to be carried off the field by his coaches. Harper was placed on the 7-day disabled list, and it was reported that the injury had ended Harper's season.
On March 18th Harper was optioned to AAA Syracuse, where he will start the season and play centerfield.
On April 27, 2012, Harper was called up to the Washington Nationals as Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the DL.


Career accomplishments


2010 AFL Champion
2010 MLB Draft: Number 1 Overall Pick by The Washington Nationals
2010 Golden Spikes Award
2010 SWAC Player of the Year.



2009 Baseball America High School Player of the Year
2009 Babe Ruth Award (Longest HR in International Power Showcase HS Home Run Derby (Tropicana Field Record: 502 feet)
2008 1st Team All Sunrise Division Catcher
2008 1st Team All State Catcher
2008 Player of the Year North-East Division
2008 Batting Average Leader for the state of Nevada
2008 All World Team
2008 All Area Code Team
2007 TBS 14u All American Team
2007 TBS 14u Player of the Year
2006 TBS 13u All American Team
2005 TBS 12u All American Team
2005 NYB All American Team


Personal life


Harper's older brother, Bryan, was a left-handed pitcher for College of Southern Nevada with Bryce. Bryan now plays for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, back to back winners of the 2010 and 2011 College World Series. Bryan was also selected in the 2010 MLB Draft, by the Chicago Cubs. He did not sign and then was drafted in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals.
Harper was featured in an episode of ESPN E:60 and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in May 2009.



Bryce Harper to be called up


Bryce Harper tends to do things ahead of schedule, so it should surprise no one that he's already heading to the major leagues.
The 19-year-old outfielder, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft, will be recalled by the Washington Nationals from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday.
Widely regarded as baseball's top prospect, Harper will meet the Nationals in Los Angeles, where they are playing the Dodgers, and take the roster spot of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is going on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.
"Suffice it to say, this isn't the coming-out party for Bryce that we had in mind," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Friday on a conference call. "This isn't the optimal situation developmentally."
The Nationals also placed reliever Brad Lidge on the 15-day disabled list with an abdominal wall strain, the second of the team's three potential closers to go on the shelf. Lidge, whose move is retroactive to April 22, had been sharing closer duties with Henry Rodriguez while Drew Storen recovers from elbow surgery.
Washington also recalled right-hander Ryan Perry from Triple-A Syracuse.
Harper skipped his final year of high school, earned his GED, then played one season of junior college baseball at the College of Southern Nevada to become eligible for the draft and get a head-start on his professional career. He signed a five-year, $9.9 million contract, including $6.5 million





Harper might be a future superstar, a potential multiple-MVP award winner during his prime and a good keeper-league prospect. He is still, however, 19 years old today, and his statistical performance this calendar year hasn't been great.


In nine spring training games, for example, Harper batted .286/.333/.357 (BA/OBP/SLG), including 11 strikeouts in 28 at-bats. And in 20 games for Triple-A Syracuse, he has hit .250/.333/.375 with 14 K's in 72 at-bats. Sum his statistics between the spring and Triple-A, and Harper is a .260 hitter with one home run in 100 at-bats. A left-handed hitter, Harper also has struggled against left-handed pitching; he was 4-for-21 (.190) with six K's and zero home runs against them for Syracuse. There is a chance that, for this season at least, he might be no more than a .260-batting, 18-homer hitter, and that assumes at least 150 games played.


The list of historical standouts at the age of 19, too, is short. The record for home runs by a 19-year-old is 24, set by Tony Conigliaro in 1964. Only five players in history have had even a 10-homer season at the age of 19. And if you're looking for perhaps the all-time best season by a 19-year-old, that probably would belong to Mel Ott, who managed .322/.397/.524 triple-slash rates, 18 home runs and 77 RBIs in 124 games … in 1928, or 84 years ago.


What Harper is being asked to do is monumental, and there's not even a guarantee he'll be up with the Nationals permanently. Early struggles could earn him additional seasoning in the minors, Zimmerman's return could do the same and there's that "arbitration clock" timetable to consider, being that most teams concerned about that usually keep prospects in the minors until at least June.





A "steep price" could be considered a No. 1 waiver position or a more productive hitter -- almost anyone actually ranked on Wednesday's Hit Parade top 125 qualifies -- so while Harper absolutely warrants a speculative pickup in any format if you have the room, make sure you have the room.


Bumping Xavier Nady for Harper, as the Nationals appear set to do, makes sense in fantasy. (The Nationals might now use Nady, Rick Ankiel and Roger Bernadina in a three-man rotation in one outfield spot, with Jayson Werth shuffling between right and center field to accommodate them.)


Bumping Werth himself, or even a lesser outfielder such as Logan Morrison, does not make sense.