Mar 19, 2009

Today's Headlines:

EXCLUSIVE: Obama's $500,000 book bonanza
Deal reached 5 days before he took office

As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows.

Analysts say there don't appear to be any rules that would bar such transactions after a president takes office, but it's unclear whether an incoming or sitting president has ever signed a book deal upon entering the White House.

The book deal came on top of nearly $2.5 million in book royalties paid to Mr. Obama last year for "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," according to the Senate report, which was filed by Robert F. Bauer, who served general counsel to Mr. Obama's presidential campaign.

Yesterday's Headlines: (Cue shimmery fadeout effect and spooky going back in time music)

From a House Ethics investigation report, spurred on by Democrat anger over Newt Gingrich's book deal....from the congressional record. The speaker is Joe Moakley, liberal democrat from South Boston on Dec 22 1995.

Mr Moakley: The Ethics Committee made a very strong statement in their report. I want to take this time to read a section of the ethics committee report, and I quote:

"Existing rules permit a member to reap significant and immediate financial benefits appearing to be based primarily on his or her position."

Mr Moakley: At a minimum, this creates the impression of exploiting one’s office for personal gain. Such a perception is especially troubling when it pertains to the office of the Speaker of the House, a constitutional office requiring the highest standards of ethical behavior.

I guess the loophole today is that while the Office of the President is also a constitutional office, no one today is under the impression that it requires the highest standards of ethical behavior anymore.

Mar 8, 2009


MADRID (AP) — An Iranian woman living in Spain said Wednesday she welcomed a Tehran court ruling that awards her eye-for-an-eye justice against a suitor who blinded her with acid.

Ameneh Bahrami, 30, told Cadena SER radio, "I am not doing this out of revenge, but rather so that the suffering I went through is not repeated."

Late last year an Iranian court ruled that the man — identified only as Majid — who blinded Bahrami in 2004 after she spurned him, should also be blinded with acid based on the Islamic law system of "qisas," or eye-for-an-eye retribution, according to Iranian newspaper reports from November.

But Bahrami, who moved to Spain after the attack to get medical treatment, said Wednesday that under Iranian law, she is entitled to blind him in only one eye, unless she pays euro20,000 ($25,110), because in Iran women are not considered equal to men.

"They have told us that my two eyes are equal to one of his because in my country each man is worth two women. They are not the same," she told Cadena SER.

Bahrami explained that she was now waiting for a letter from the court to go back to Iran for the punishment to be carried out.

Cadenda SER said that after undergoing treatment in Barcelona, Bahrami recovered 40 percent vision in one eye but since then doctors have not been able to prevent her from going totally blind. She also suffered horrific burns to her face, scalp and body.

She says she now survives on euro400 ($500) a month in aid from the Spanish government.

The woman said Majid would be blinded by having several drops of acid put into one eye, whereas she had acid splashed all over her face and other parts of her body.

It was not immediately possible to make contact with Bahrami on Wednesday. No one at the Iranian Embassy was available for comment either.

Too many levels of crazy to address...

Hammurabi could not be reached for comment either.

Mar 5, 2009

More hard hitting journalism from the paper that was

For Young President, Flecks of Gray -

can't wait for the weekly updates of "The First Dog" and "What the first children had for lunch today".

Mar 3, 2009

Las Vegas Photos added

I added some photos to our iPhoto gallery.

Fran left today and I'll be flying home on Friday. Too bad we missed all the snow at home!