Friday News Wrap

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Friday News Wrap

After pleading guilty to 11 counts yesterday, Bernie Madoff was remanded to custody by the judge. He is being held in the Metropolitan Correction Center while he awaits sentencing. Investigators are now looking into whether Madoff acted alone.

Tim Kretschmer, the teen gunman who killed 15 people in Germany on Wednesday, apparently suffered from depression. Officials investigating an Internet posting that was alleged to be from Kretschmer found it to be a hoax, and have now arrested two other pranksters in France and Germany.

Maine's legislators are so jostling to get their names on a same-sex marriage bill that the normal limit had to be lifted to accommodate the 60 co-sponsors. In nearby Vermont, a coalition of 200 clergy members has stepped up to support the passage of full gay marriage in their state. Meanwhile in Iowa, the bill put forth to make marriage gender-neutral has now been removed from the agenda. Maryland is also witnessing a battle between parties on both sides of this issue.

New climate change information suggests a five-foot rise in ocean levels by the century's end which would flood coastal sections of major cities like San Francisco. The National Research Council claims the United States is wholly unready to meet this and other climate change challenges. On top of that, a new Gallup poll indicates some 41% of Americans are skeptics and think that claims of climate change are exaggerated.

Ten children, ages 2 to 7, were accidentally served windshield wiper fluid rather than Kool-aid at an Arkansas day care center. One child remained hospitalized as of Friday morning while the center's owner surrendered her license.

dadt21.jpg

The U.S. Army is squeezing the last strains of life out of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by firing 11 soldiers in January alone.

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart and Mad Money's Jim Cramer engaged in a little back-and-forthing this week after Stewart took CNBC to task over their irresponsible financial reporting. The skirmish culminated with Cramer's appearance on The Daily Show last night where, by most accounts, Stewart mopped the floor with him.

Anna Nicole Smith's former boyfriend and doctor were charged with “conspiracy, unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and prescribing, and administering or dispensing a controlled substance to an addict” in the case of her death by overdose.



Comments [40]

little_earth's picture

Blue is found in nature, but

Blue is found in nature, but it is rare. Many of the things we may call blue but they ultimately are a little more purple.

Lots of Love - little_earth "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange" - Willow

little_earth's picture

I heard about that too. You

I heard about that too. You don't belong until its been long enough that they can't remember a time that you weren't there.

Lots of Love - little_earth "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange" - Willow

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Unfortunately, rape in South

Unfortunately, rape in South Africa has become so common place that the nation has earned the title "World Rape Capital," hardly something to be proud of. One survey I read from 2008 indicates that in the capital of Pretoria, one in three women and girls were gang raped (out of the 4,000 surveyed).

The average age of a female gang raped in South Africa is 12, and that age is rapidly dropping. The youngest victim, last month, was 5 months old.

The principle of "corrective rape" being applied in the above story may be a total misunderstanding of the nature of the violence. Women and girls, and as we're seeing even infants, are at risk because they have not had sex with men, and hence are considered virgins. So-called "witch doctors" (always men) are telling men with AIDS that if they have sex with a virgin, they'll be cured.

Of the millions of women raped each year in South Africa, only roughly 54,000 cases are actually reported to law enforcement. Of that number, less than 0.4% of cases actually lead to conviction of the rapist(Drunk. The families of most of the victims (who are usually young children) are often paid of or intimidated into not reporting the crime.

It is estimated that, because of the extent of how often gang rapes occur and the shear numbers of victims, there are now three times as many women with AIDS than men in South Africa. It is extremely rare that rape victims receive anti-retrovirals to prevent contraction of HIV, since the very patriarchal nation barely educates it's medical personnel on how to deal with rape to begin with.

Google "rape in South Africa" for more information. A word of caution, the information available is quite disturbing.

Apartheid may have ended for men in South Africa, but the violent version visited upon females of all ages in that nation is far worse.

yonks's picture

I wish i never read that

I wish i never read that

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

Xanadu's picture

FUCK ... That was horrifying

FUCK ... That was horrifying on so many levels!

Where does one begin to cure South Africa's sexism and homophobia?

Education, Schooling?

Oprah needs to do a show on this ... and perhaps build schools for BOYS, as well as the girls.

Fastgurrrl's picture

LBDL, I concur about Anna.

LBDL, I concur about Anna. I'm sure Howard K. Stern had her best interests at heart...NOT!

stone runner's picture

SAD NEWS DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO

mysticsmb's picture

Robin, about your Safari

Robin, about your Safari issues--I use Safari exclusively as well (on an old G4 PowerBook running OS 10.4.something), however it does let me edit. In fact it says 'if you're using Firefox...' blah blah blah, but to the best of my knowledge I don't have Firefox, so I don't get it. You probably know a bit more about this kind of stuff than I...

Robin Rigby's picture

Oh, and people ripping off

Oh, and people ripping off other people like this and those who got ripped off whining about it and asking the government to save them is nothing new. I lived in RI during the credit union crisis. The head of the private credit union insurer in the state (not the NCUA) had embezzled millions leaving the insurer unable to back assets being held at the credit unions it insured. The incoming governor shut down all of the affected credit unions 5 minutes after taking the oath of office.

Everyone eventually got back all of their money, even the people who had more than the $100k that their accounts were insured up to. Of course, on the taxpayer's dime. Luckily, many of the credit unions were able to get NCUA insurance and reopen very few had to be bailed out. Still.

Oh, and if I was using Firefox I would've edited my above comment. I wish more websites supported Safari, dammit. Sad

Robin Rigby's picture

I'm with you. Anyone who

I'm with you. Anyone who puts all their investment eggs into one basket is just asking for trouble. All of the financial experts will tell you that. Of course, some people give their money to investment professionals to invest it for them and those 'professionals' sometimes take kickbacks from certain investment funds. They also make a commission based on how much they make for their investors so that would give them incentive to invest in a fund that pays consistently high returns.

minniesota's picture

I would join a campaign to

I would join a campaign to have Chuck Norris secede from the nation. Just sayin'...

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

minniesota's picture

PK, before I took a drive to

PK, before I took a drive to campus, I opened up a bottle of windshield wiper fluid that I keep in the trunk of my car. It had a bit of an odor, but nothing like windex. I just had to double-check!

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

mysticsmb's picture

You mean 'secession'

You mean 'secession' right?

Fine by me, as long as there's no violence. And they can feel free to take as many 'red' Southern states with them as they'd like Smile

mysticsmb's picture

Kelly, I totally agree, which

Kelly, I totally agree, which is why I made an exemption for blind trusts, and should have included charities as well. I'm speaking only of the individuals we've seen coming forward who say they gave him every penny of their savings or retirement money and now will be destitute. C'mon. Take some responsibility folks.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

And in other news... [The

And in other news... [The Very Weird Addition]

Okay, this one is so bizarre I decided to post it separately.

It would seem that the 69 year old aging pretty boy martial artist turned neoconservative religious extremist Chuck Norris advocates Texas succession from the United States. While he was being tongue-and-cheek about a possible presidential run for a future Texas independence, he was quite serious about Texas succeeding from the Union. This from an interview on Glenn Beck's (better known for his Fox News program) radio show.

Most alarming was Norris' and Beck's reference to a unification of "thousands of cell groups" across the country (underway as of this writing) in what they are dubbing "We Surround Them," for a live telecast and webcast.

You can read more about the bizarre plans here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/09/chuck-norris-volunteers-t_n_173...

Or just Google "Texas Norris Succession" for more, um, entertaining reading.

Kelly McCartney's picture

I get your point. However,

I get your point. However, there were some charities that had LOTS of money placed with him, too. So those victims are actually thousands of people that now won't/can't be helped.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

peacekitty's picture

More breaking news: Showtime

More breaking news:

Showtime has submitted episodes 601 and 606 of the L-word for Emmy consideration.

http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2009/03/dexter-weeds.html

Good luck with that guys... Smile

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

peacekitty's picture

I was waiting for someone to

I was waiting for someone to bring that up. I don't think so. I've heard that they no longer discriminate since the mass-firings of the late 90's. I know some gay people who work there.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Kelly McCartney's picture

Are the gays still boycotting

Are the gays still boycotting Cracker Barrel?

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Kelly McCartney's picture

There's no way he did it on

There's no way he did it on his own. But with the guilty plea, he doesn't have to say a word.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Not2Taem's picture

I'll say one thing for Maine,

I'll say one thing for Maine, they may not consider you a native unless your family has been there for at least 3 generations, but they don't try to run your life.

Not2Taem's picture

I-Hop memories :D

I-Hop memories Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

I have to admit, I still

I have to admit, I still occasionally give in to the temptation of a blue raspberry Popsicle, especially if it is the kind you can break in half and share with a friend. There is something freeing about the childishness of it. Laughing out loud

peacekitty's picture

They're blue before you cook

They're blue before you cook 'em Smile

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

peacekitty's picture

Oh blueberry pancakes! Yum.

Oh blueberry pancakes! Yum. Smile Cracker Barrel has great ones.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

mysticsmb's picture

But blueberries ain't blue,

But blueberries ain't blue, they're purple!

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Kind of leaves out blueberry

Kind of leaves out blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, blueberry preserves...

Crap, now I'm hungry again!

peacekitty's picture

So THAT's why I have

So THAT's why I have ADD...they fed me blue and purple koolaid at daycare! :8

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

peacekitty's picture

I was thinking the same

I was thinking the same thing. I would never give a child as young as 2 anything blue. I wouldn't give them koolaid at all in fact, only natural juice.

This doesn't look like an upscale daycare center so I'm sure they are cutting costs with cheaper products.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

LongBeachDogLover's picture

~Bernie Madoff. OMG. I have

~Bernie Madoff. OMG. I have to wonder.... how could anyone live with themselves after destroying so many lives. It certainly does seem likely that more individuals were involved. I hope that they are all brought to justice.....that may help with some form of restitution for the victims.

~Anna Nicole Smith, bless her soul. What a tragedy.

mysticsmb's picture

Ok, I know what I'm about to

Ok, I know what I'm about to say will stir up some controversy, but it's been SO quiet on VP this week (ha!) that I think it's high time to shake things up.

Yes Madoff is a creep and deserves to go to jail for centuries (his wife too), but I only have limited sympathy for his investors, particularly the ones who lost every penny they owned. (If their money was invested by a blind trust they are exempted from the following).

These people had to know, deep down, that this wasn't kosher. I think what we have here is another case of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Everybody knows nobody can guarantee consistent earnings like Madoff was producing. The fact that people were funneling their ENTIRE LIFE SAVINGS into this guy's hands suggests they knew they couldn't get returns like that anywhere else. And why couldn't they? Because Madoff was a genius? PULLLEASE! I think people honestly didn't care how he was doing it as long as they saw their net worth growing.

These investors are not only victims of Madoff, they are victims of their own greed.

(donning my flak jacket)

mysticsmb's picture

Blue: a color not found in

Blue: a color not found in nature. I personally avoid eating anything that's blue because it screams chemicals. Especially in this case...

mysticsmb's picture

Right on! The dyes and

Right on!

The dyes and preservatives in KoolAid just take a bit longer to kill you!

yonks's picture

Peoples poison child with

Peoples poison child with koolaid every day and nobody said anything

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

minniesota's picture

Tex, I'll be that while you

Tex, I'll be that while you lived there you put the "sass" in ArkanSAS.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

peacekitty's picture

Thanks Minn, now I want to go

Thanks Minn, now I want to go smell my windshield wiper fluid. I thought it had ammonia in it and that's very pungent stuff so I was suprised no one noticed.

I can understand the mistake if it has no odor, looked like blue koolaid and was in the refrigerator. I feel bad for the woman who gave up her license; she must feel terrible.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Tex's picture

DADT has got to go - besides

DADT has got to go - besides the moral implications - it is a negative connotation on our military as seen by the world...

Most Western military forces have now removed policies excluding individuals of sexual orientations other than heterosexual (with strict policies on sexual harassment). Of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO, more than 22 permit gay people to serve; of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, two (Britain, France) permit gay people to serve openly, and three (United States, Russia, China) do not. All members of EU permit gay people to serve openly. [28] In 2009 Argentinia and Philippines allowed gay men to serve openly in military. stats taken from Wikipedia

Madoff - the aftermath of this will be of catastrophic proportions....

Some local financial experts said the Madoff scandal might ultimately come back to haunt Madison's Overture Center for the Arts. Overture officials deny any risk from the unfolding scandal, but some financial experts said that they believe the center's private trust fund -- and maybe even the center itself -- could become embroiled in the aftermath.

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

Okay, since I'm from Arkansas

Okay, since I'm from Arkansas I will ask it - who said they could read? Ignorance never ceases to amaze....

Twitter Time @kdhales

minniesota's picture

Oh, PK, I think auto

Oh, PK, I think auto windshield fluid doesn't have a smell. Anyway, I was reading the story Kelly linked to and it says:

"The windshield wiper fluid was bought with several other items on a recent shopping trip, James told The Associated Press. 'This product was mistakenly grabbed and thought to be Kool-Aid and put in the refrigerator,' she said."

I don't know who grabbed that container, but wasn't there a clear label on the bottle? Someone had a chance to read the label when she/he placed it in the refrigerator. Also, when the container was pulled out to pour. Someone, obviously, was not paying attention. Yes, glad the kids are okay.

On another note, it makes me so sad to hear of another teenager carrying out a tragic school shooting. Will incidents like this never end?

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

peacekitty's picture

Thanks Kelly! Okay...how on

Thanks Kelly!

Okay...how on earth could ANYONE mistake windshield washer fluid for koolaid? I can smell windex two rooms away when someone iis cleaning with it. Unbelievable. Glad the children are okay.

"The U.S. Army is squeezing the last strains of life out of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by firing 11 soldiers in January alone."

What century is this? In some ways we haven't progressed beyone the middle ages. We'll get there eventually...*sigh*
xoxo - PK

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"