Kelsi is a Senior Cheerleader at the University of Oregon. Her hometown is Springfield, Oregon. She is a Sociology Major and claims she almost went to Oregon State. Her favorite TV shows are The Hills, Grey’s Anatomy, and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Her favorite sport is Football and her Favorite team are the Dallas Cowboys. Kelsi also loves the Miami Heat of the NBA. Her favorite thing about her body is her eyes and cheekbones. The weirdest thing that has ever happened to her is tearing both ACL’s. Kelsi’s favorite foods are Pizza, Chili’s Chips and Salsa, Mucho Gusto, Fettucini Alfredo and TCBY Shivers. The 3 people who annoy her the most are Kirsten Dunst, The Cal Mascot, and her downstairs neighbors. What she wants more than anything in the world is a Yorkshire Terrier puppy.
Mexican authorities on Tuesday paraded one of the country’s most wanted drug trafficking suspects for the cameras, declaring a victory for Felipe Calderón’s war on drugs ahead of the president’s state-of-the-union address on Wednesday.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, also known as “The Barbie”, is accused of selling marijuana and exporting large amounts of cocaine to the US.
Both the US and Mexican governments had offered rewards of about $2m for information leading to his arrest.
Until his capture, he was understood to have been fighting for control of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, whose command has been in dispute since Mexican marines killed Arturo Beltrán Leyva, the cartel’s leader, in a shoot-out last December in Cuernavaca, about 40 miles south of Mexico City.
As an alleged long-time lieutenant of the organisation, he is also suspected of being responsible for the murder of potentially hundreds of people as the cartel battled rival groups for market control of trafficking routes.
Mr Valdez, 37, looked surprisingly calm as he appeared yesterday morning together with six suspected collaborators.
He remained silent as journalists asked him questions about his arrest and alleged crimes.
The centre-right administration of Mr Calderón lost no time in describing the capture, which took place not far from Mexico City, as a milestone in its four-year-old war against the country’s powerful drug trafficking organisations.
“The capture of Valdez Villarreal is a high-impact blow against organised crime,” said Alejandro Poiré, the government’s security spokesman.
It was the third capture or killing of a high-level trafficking suspect in Mexico since December.
But narcotics and security experts warned the blow was likely to have a greater effect on perception than reality.
José Reveles, an authority on Mexico’s cartels, said: “It’s a high-impact blow, but only in terms of media relations. The reality is that you can capture 10 drug traffickers, and 10 more step up to replace them.”
Moreover, Mr Reveles said Mr Valdez’s capture could even spark more violence in the coming weeks as rival cartels try to fill the resulting power vacuum. In particular, Mr Valdez and his operators are suspected to have been active along a corridor that stretches from the coastline of Guerrero state, which borders the Pacific, to Toluca, the capital of the state of Mexico, to the west of Mexico City
Barack Obama’s Democratic party faces a series of dramatic defeats at every level of government in Washington and beyond in the November midterm elections, according to leading analysts and opinion polls.
The University of Virginia’s widely monitored Crystal Ball will on Wednesday forecast sweeping setbacks on Capitol Hill and the loss of a clutch of state governorships on November 2.
It follows a Gallup poll that showed the Republicans with a 10 percentage point lead over the Democrats – the widest margin in 68 years. Separately, a University of Buffalo paper has predicted a 51-seat gain for Republicans in November.
The Democrats have a 39-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Many believe Democratic control of the Senate is also at risk.
“Voters are going to deliver a big fat message to President Obama, which he will not want to hear,” said Larry Sabato, who runs Crystal Ball. “The Republican base is at least 50 degrees further to the right than where it was when Newt Gingrich took control of the House in 1994, so we would be looking at two years of absolutely nothing getting done on Capitol Hill.”
The numbers, which threaten Mr Obama with a “wave election” similar to those of 1994 and 2006, when Democrats wrested back control of the House after 12 years, also extend to key states.
According to local polls, Democrats are on course to lose the governorships of traditionally left-leaning states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania and may be vulnerable in Illinois, long a party bastion.
Such is the scale of the expected losses that analysts are already focused on how Mr Obama can turn Republican domination to his advantage in his 2012 re-election race.
Washington is awash with speculation on whether the Republicans will over-reach as Mr Gingrich did in 1995 when Bill Clinton won a stand-off that had resulted in the shutdown of government.
“The political environment for Democrats is now every bit as poisonous as it was for them in 1994 and for Republicans in 2006,” said Charlie Cook, the widely tracked electoral forecaster.
The expected groundswell is driven by the composition of voter turnout, which at about 40 per cent would be significantly lower than the 63 per cent that brought Mr Obama to power. According to polls, likely Republican voters are twice as motivated to vote as Democrats.
That “enthusiasm gap” was on display last weekend at the Tea Party movement’s rally in Washington.
Recent polls show that 61 per cent of Americans “always or usually” live from pay cheque to pay cheque, up from 49 per cent in 2008.
~Courtesy of The Financial Times~
Heisman-winning running back Mark Ingram will miss Alabama’s first game against San Jose State and potentially more after undergoing arthroscopic surgery this morning on his left knee.
“Mark will definitely be out for this week’s game against San Jose State and we will manage this on a week to week basis beyond this week. We will make every decision in the future based on what’s best for Mark and his career as we consult with Dr. Cain and Dr. Andrews on his progress.
This is not an injury that will affect Mark’s future ability to make a full recovery in a relatively short time frame.”Unfortunately for him, that “short time frame” may be all Trent Richardson needs to assume his place as the primary running back.
Boy, that Trillion dollar stimulus worked wonders, didn’t it?
At least we won’t have to pay for it… Our children and grandchildren will.
A year and a half after the failed Obama-Reid-Pelosi stimulus plan, a record number of Americans receive government aid.
USA Today reported:
Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.
More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows. That’s up at least 17% since the recession began in December 2007.
“Virtually every Medicaid director in the country would say that their current enrollment is the highest on record,” says Vernon Smith of Health Management Associates, which surveys states for Kaiser Family Foundation.
The program has grown even before the new health care law adds about 16 million people, beginning in 2014. That has strained doctors. “Private physicians are already indicating that they’re at their limit,” says Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers.
More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years.
Of course, if you believe you know anything about the Cloward-Piven strategy of economic recovery you may think this decline in the economy was all planned.
Is Obama really trying to tear down the United States of America’s system of life, Cloward-Piven style?
You decide for yourself…
The Justice Department filed another lawsuit against immigration practices by Arizona authorities, saying Monday that a network of community colleges acted illegally in requiring noncitizens to provide their green cards before they could be hired for jobs.
The suit against the Phoenix area Maricopa Community Colleges was filed less than two months after the Justice Department sued Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer (R) over the state’s new immigration law. It also comes as the department is investigating Joe Arpaio, the sheriff in Maricopa County, who is known for tough immigration enforcement.
In Monday’s lawsuit, Justice officials said the colleges discriminated against nearly 250 noncitizen job applicants by mandating that they fill out more documents than required by law to prove their eligibility to work. That violated the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, the department said.
The law’s anti-discrimination provision “makes it unlawful to treat authorized workers differently during the hiring process based on their citizenship status,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He said the government “is acting now to remedy this pattern or practice of discrimination.”
Tom Gariepy, a spokesman for Maricopa Community Colleges – which operates 10 colleges and two vocational training centers in and around Phoenix – declined to comment.
Justice Department officials said the lawsuit is unrelated to the case against Brewer and the probe of Arpaio and stems from a different investigation that began in January 2009 – the month the Obama administration took office.
It is the latest example of stepped-up enforcement by the department’s Civil Rights Division, which has been reshaping itself after an exodus of lawyers during the Bush administration. It filed a similiar lawsuit in April against John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a Justice Department unit that adjudicates immigration cases. It was filed on behalf of Zainul Singaporewalla, a U.S. permanent resident who was offered a math teaching position at Glendale Community College, part of the Maricopa network.
After filling out a federal form attesting to his immigration status and producing a driver’s license and Social Security card, he was told to complete another form with more immigration-related information, the lawsuit said.
That form required other documents and his green card. When he couldn’t present his green card, the suit said, the college would not process his paperwork and would not let him work.
The government is asking a judge within the Justice Department unit to order the Maricopa colleges to pay a civil penalty of $1,100 for each of the 247 non-U.S.-citizen job applicants it says were required to produce the additional documents. It says the colleges ended the practice in January.
ATLANTA (AP) — A woman who killed her husband and later her boyfriend by poisoning them with antifreeze died Monday at a state prison where she was serving a life sentence, prison officials said.
Lynn Turner, 42, was found unresponsive Monday in her cell at Metro State Prison and could not be revived, said Sharmelle Brooks of the Georgia Department of Corrections.
The former 911 operator from north Georgia was convicted in 2004 of killing her husband, police officer Glenn Turner, in 1995. Authorities first thought he died of natural causes, but reopened the investigation in 2001 after her boyfriend, firefighter Randy Thompson, was found to have been poisoned.
Lynn Turner’s mother, Helen Gregory, said she and Turner’s two children, ages 12 and 14, had just visited her at the prison Sunday. Gregory said her daughter seemed fine physically, but was concerned for her safety.
The warden told Gregory that Turner was found dead in bed inside the cell she shared with several other inmates.
“As I started to leave her yesterday, she said, ‘Momma, those girls are going to get me. I just know they will,’” Gregory said.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said an autopsy revealed no indication of foul play in Turner’s death, though the cause will not be determined until toxicology and other tests are done.
Penny Penn, the Forsyth County district attorney who tried Turner in 2007, called her death “the final chapter in what has been a very long and very sad, albeit fascinating, story.”
Penn had sought the death penalty, but jurors chose a life sentence. Prosecutors said Turner killed the men to profit from their life insurance policies.
Prosecutors said both men were poisoned with ethylene glycol, a sweet but odorless chemical in antifreeze. During Turner’s 2004 trial, prosecutors suggested the substance could have been placed in foods such as Jell-O.
Randy Thompson’s mother, Nita Thompson, said she never minded that Turner wasn’t sentenced to death.
“We had closure when they put her in prison,” Thompson said. “This isn’t going to make it any different. She still did it, whether she’s dead or alive.”
Turner’s mother still insists she was innocent and she believes new evidence would have cleared her daughter on appeal.
“This girl was not guilty,” Gregory said. “She was taken away from me because people lied at the trial and did not give the correct information at the trial.”
James Turner, Glenn’s brother, said Lynn’s death has opened old scars.
“I had closure when she got life in prison. Now we have to find out what happened to her — whether it was foul play or suicide,” he said.
Turner said he had always opposed the death penalty for the woman who killed his brother because he wanted her to spend the rest of her life behind bars.
“Now I feel like we’ve been cheated,” he said. “Instead of her sitting there thinking about what she did the rest of her life, she got the easy way out.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson awarded eight scholarships last year to her grandsons and a top aide’s children – bringing to 23 the number of awards she handed out since 2005 in violation of Congressional Black Caucus Foundation eligibility rules.
The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that over the last five years, the Dallas Democrat has awarded up to $20,000 in 15 scholarships to two grandsons, two great-nephews, and aide Rod Givens’ children between 2005 and 2008. The 2009 awards – reflected in a previously undisclosed list provided Monday by the foundation – push that above $25,000.
“While I am not ashamed of helping, I did not intentionally mean to violate any rules in the process,” Johnson said in a written statement issued Monday night, after two days of national scrutiny and sniping from critics, including her campaign opponent. “To rectify this matter immediately, I will reimburse the funds by the end of this week.”
She also pledged to change how she selects recipients for the scholarships.
Ethics experts called Johnson’s actions troubling and potentially problematic for her, given that the scholarships violated anti-nepotism rules and went to students who neither live nor study in her district or any other represented by a member of the black caucus, as required.
“That looks bad,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, a watchdog group. “This is just wrong. A member shouldn’t do this.”
Last week, Johnson initially defended her scholarship choices, then acknowledged violating the scholarship rules, though she said she did so “unknowingly.” She also said that all qualified applicants have gotten a share of scholarship funds each year, and that she might not have picked relatives had there been more qualified applicants.
Jan Baran, a top Republican ethics lawyer in Washington whose clients have included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said the awards may amount to fraud, given that the applicants and those selecting the winners should have known about the eligibility rules.
“If you make factual misrepresentations to obtain money it’s usually a form of fraud, either civil or criminal, where you’re trying to take possession of money under false pretenses,” Baran said. “The question is, who committed the fraud.”
Baran added that he couldn’t think of any congressional ethics case that even remotely resembled these circumstances.
But even without a specific legal violation, Baran noted that the House ethics committee can and has reprimanded or censured members for behavior that reflects poorly on the House.
Charity experts say the foundation would run afoul of tax laws if it allowed lawmakers to steer money to relatives.
In her statement Monday night, Johnson said that from now on, she will use a “nonbiased third party objective review committee to evaluate applications” for scholarships.
She emphasized that she is the only Democratic member of Congress in the Dallas area. “Much of my district office casework benefits people outside my constituency,” she said.
In 2009, Johnson picked 12 students to split $10,000 from two scholarship programs, according to foundation records released Monday. Eight students got one scholarship. The four other students – the congresswoman’s grandsons, Kirk and David Johnson, and her staffer’s son and daughter, Julian and Mariyah Givens – got two apiece.
Each individual scholarship was worth $625, so the relatives of Johnson and Givens each got $1,250.
A foundation official said Monday the group expects restitution, though it wasn’t initially clear whether that would come from the congresswoman or the recipients, who range in age from 19 to 26.
“This matter is very important, and I fully expect and believe that [she] will rectify the situation,” the foundation’s general counsel, Amy Goldson, said by e-mail. “If the student has the financial ability to pay back the award, I would hope that he would, since the student signed the certification” attesting to eligibility.
Application forms require students to attest that they are not related to a caucus member or their employees, or others connected with the foundation.
Foundation records indicate that more than a third of the foundation scholarships she has awarded since 2005 went to her relatives or those of her aide.
Baran said the foundation should examine its procedures.
“It does raise the question of whether there’s any sort of internal controls at the foundation, or whether they’re just basically handing out bags of money to members to give out to whoever they want to,” he said.
A foundation spokeswoman, Muriel Cooper, told CNN on Monday night that the foundation board is examining its policies to “look for loopholes. … We don’t want this to happen again.”
Sloan, from CREW, said she doubts any crimes were committed, because “as unethical as it sounds, it’s not done with taxpayer money or campaign money.”
But, she said, the foundation should investigate whether Johnson knowingly skirted rules or encouraged her relatives and Givens’ children to seek funds that should have gone to other college students.
“It’s kind of unusual that your relatives would apply for money like that unless you told them to,” Sloan said. “And if she said, ‘Oh, never mind about that [the nepotism and residency rules], it doesn’t really matter’ – you need to know more.”
Sloan said it might be politically dicey for the ethics committee to target another black lawmaker, now that two – Reps. Charlie Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California – face rare ethics hearings in coming months. “There’s just too many issues with African-American members,” she said.
Baran disagreed. “If a member is committing fraud and getting money for relatives in improper ways, I don’t think that’s going to stop the ethics committee from taking a look as to what actually transpired,” he said.
The disclosure of the 2009 awards intensified the focus on Johnson’s handling of the scholarship funds.
Even before that, Johnson’s challenger in the November election accused her of “corruption.”
“Eighteen years in office breeds corruption,” Stephen Broden, a Republican pastor, said Monday on the Mark Davis Show on WBAP-AM (820). “We need to really have a change that emphasizes the needs of the district over self-interest and self-aggrandizement.”
Aides ignored requests for a response to Broden’s comments. Broden, who touts tea party credentials, is viewed as a long shot. Johnson has easily defeated Republicans for years in the Dallas area’s only district dominated by Democrats. She has a formidable fundraising lead: $450,000, about twice Broden’s take. At last count she had $260,000 in the bank, compared with his $44,000.
But he said the scholarship issue could provide a wedge to get more attention.
“There are far too many people inside the district who are in need of that kind of support,” he said on WBAP.
Texas has two other black caucus members, Houston Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, both Democrats. Jackson Lee’s chief of staff, Yohannes Tsehai, said unequivocally Monday that she has never given an award to a relative, that she uses an independent judging panel to select winners, and that she takes steps to ensure that all winners meet eligibility requirements.
“We want to make this as competitive as possible,” he said.
Green’s office didn’t respond to an inquiry.
Tomi Tomson is a Junior Cheerleader at The University of Michigan. Tomi is from Sparta, Michigan and she is a pre-Med Major with a specialty in Neuroscience. Her favorite thing about herself is her Smile and she loves Hard Rock Music. The 3 things she wants above all else is to become a successful Neuro-Surgeon, have a family, and travel the world. She has a passion for gymnastics and cheerleading. Her favorite sports team is The Detroit Tigers of the MLB. She wants to learn how to scuba dive and she above all else wants to go skydiving.
Katelynn is a Senior Cheerleader at The University of Oregon. Her hometown is Springfield, Oregon. She is currently pursuing a degree in Sociology. Her favorite movie is Love and Basketball and her most Sexiest feature she believes about herself is her Smile. Katelynn loves to watch Entourage, Heroes, and 90210. Her most visisted web sites are Youtube, Facebook, and Victoria’s Secret. If she was stranded on a deserted island the 3 things shed want with her are a world map, a motor boat and steroids(Huh?). Her favorite sports teams are the Dallas Cowboys, The Los Angeles Lakers, and The Los Angeles Dodgers.