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Lazy Saturday Mid-Morning News and Gossip Update

Wow, I slept till 8:30 this morning. It sure is nice being on vacation. I’ve done practically nothing but sleep, read, eat, and surf the ‘net since Tuesday afternoon. Today, I guess I’ll have to get moving and prepared to return to teaching on Monday. I heard a couple of interesting stories on Twitter last night. Did you hear that Amy Goodman was stopped and interrogated at the Canadian border?

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now , a radio and television show aired by public and college broadcasters across North America, was entering Canada around 6 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday evening, set to speak at the Vancouver Public Library in an event co-ordinated by a campus radio station at Simon Fraser University.

“When I handed our passports over the border guard, they told us to pull over. We had to go over to the border facility. And they started asking me questions about what I was going to be speaking about. I was totally taken aback. They wanted to see my notes,”

Amy Goodman

Goodman was going to Canada to promote her new book. Oddly, the guards kept accusing her of giving a talk about the Vancouver Olympics. She had no clue what they meant by that, but they wouldn’t believe her. They searched all of her notes and her and her colleague’s computers and took photographs. It sounds truly Kafkaesque. Apparently Canada is really worked up about the Olympics. They didn’t care that she was going to talk about opposing wars or the economic meltdown–just whether she would criticize the Vancouver games. Goodman didn’t even know there was a Vancouver Olympics. I didn’t either. Did you?

In another strange story, Tiger Woods left his house in the middle of the night and drove right into a tree and a fire hydrant. He was barely conscious after the accident and his wife had to break open the car window with a golf club to get him out. Did they have a fight or something? Apparently there was no alcohol involved. From the LA Times story:

The initial media reports that instantly spread around the globe sounded dire: Tiger Woods had been “seriously” hurt in a car accident early Friday and was hospitalized.

It turned out the superstar golfer’s injuries, first reported by the Orlando Sentinel, weren’t as dreadful as the word “serious” implied in the police report. But as additional details emerged, it appeared Woods certainly suffered more than a fender bender.

Woods, 33, was backing out of his driveway in the Isleworth community near Orlando, Fla., at 2:25 a.m. when he struck a fire hydrant and then hit a neighbor’s tree, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

It was almost 12 hours before the police issued an accident report, and it is still unknown why Woods was out driving at that hour and much about the incident remains unclear.

The police plan to question Woods about the incident.

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt Kim Montes said two troopers had attempted to contact Woods on Friday evening, but his wife said he was sleeping and they had agreed to come back on Saturday.

According to the highway patrol, alcohol was not a factor in the incident.

Chief Daniel Saylor of the Windermere Police Department said: “From what we understand, his wife came out of the house when she heard the accident, him hitting the fire hydrant, (and) used a golf club – that’s what we were told – to break out the rear window to gain entrance into the vehicle, removed him from the vehicle and laid him down in the street.

“He was in and out of consciousness with lacerations to his upper and lower lip, with a little bit of blood in his mouth, but he was conscious enough to be able to speak a little bit. According to my officers, it was not life-threatening injuries.”

In comments to the Associated Press news agency, Chief Saylor said his officers found the 33-year-old lying in the street with his wife hovering over him.

This just broke on Google, could explain what happened: Tiger Woods’ Car Crash Came After Explosive Story Claiming Affair

Tiger Woods’ bizarre overnight car crash outside his Florida home came only two days after the National Enquirer publish an article claiming the golf champ was having an affair.

Police said they had no knowledge of a fight between Woods, 33, and his wife, Elin, before Woods left their house at 2:25 a.m. Friday — backing out of his driveway and plowing into a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree in a gated community near Orlando.

The Enquirer’s explosive story hit the stands Wednesday contending that Woods has been seeing New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel and that the pair recently were spotted in Melbourne while Woods was playing in the Australian Masters tournament.

Take it with a grain of salt, since it’s The Enquirer and Fox, but it sounds like a reasonable explanation to me.

There were a few articles yesterday about how the story spread around the world through Twitter and other social media before it could even be reported in any detail by the MSM.

In the Age of Realtime, Twitter is Walter Cronkite

Tiger Woods and Car Accident: CNN and Twitter

This is Why the Internet (and Twitter) Wins

Tongues are still wagging about the couple who supposedly crashed the President’s state dinner the other day. The couple are still claiming they were invited, and it was revealed yesterday that they did meet President Obama.

The White House said late Friday that Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the Virginia couple auditioning for a Bravo reality show, not only got past layers of experienced, executive-branch security but also shook the president’s hand in the Blue Room of the White House during the Obamas’ first state dinner. Late Friday, the White House also released a photo of Michaele Salahi’s audience with the president, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh smiling nearby.

The security breach has caused hand-wringing inside the White House, bewilderment among Tuesday night’s guests — and late on Friday, prompted an apology from the Secret Service.

From Politico: President Obama Orders Review of Crashers

President Barack Obama has ordered a full review into how a Virginia couple managed to make their way into the White House for last week’s state dinner without an invitation, even getting so far as to meet the president in the official receiving line, according to a White House official.

Three days after a pair of Virginia socialites and reality TV wannabes crashed the administration’s first state dinner, the White House acknowledged for the first time Friday that they met Obama himself at the event – raising even more questions about whether the breach could have posed a security risk.

No kidding.

I saw this on Twitter too: Hillary’s Bombshell: Obama Administration Subtly Launches Dramatic Policy Change on Peace Process

Hillary made a short statement on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and a number of blogs are breaking it down piece by piece to divine it’s true meaning. I don’t know enough about I/P to really understand it, but thought the analysis was interesting just the same. No fighting about this in the comments, please, but if you can make sense of it please discuss politely.

Here’s another analysis of the statement from a Palestinian point of view.

Just breaking news:

Russia train crash ’caused by bomb’

The Nevsky Express derailed in remote countryside on Friday night as the train travelled between the capital Moscow and St Petersburg.

Investigators found “elements of an explosive device” at the scene, the Russia’s federal investigative committee said in a statement.

A senior intelligence official said a bomb had derailed the locomotive.

Dubai World Unit Faces Default Test Monday With Bond Payment

European Stocks Fall for Second Week as Alpha, Compass Decline


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79 Responses

  1. Good morning Conflucians! Please feel free to post serious (or unserious) news stories if you have them.

    I love you guys!

  2. Shocking: one in six Americans are hungry, but 40% of food produced in this country is wasted.


    • And a large percentage of that total is children. Makes me feel like a glutton after the past two days…

      How are you feeling bb–back to full strength yet?

      That security breach is stunning. How could something as simple as a list be ignored? It sends a dangerous message to any potential intruder(s) out there.

      Lastly, notice how the Tiger story is being so soft-pedaled? Something is obviously amiss, and they don’t file a report for 12 hours? Must be nice to be “royalty” in this plutocracy.

      • Hi fif,

        I’m not really 100%. I was tired yesterday, because I stayed up reading the night before, and I slept about four hours yesterday afternoon! It’s such a luxury to be able to read novels though…

        • I felt the same way about novels when I finished my PhD back in aguust 2008. Wow, reading without a purpose beyond pleasure!

        • tell me about it … I can’t even remember the last time I didn’t read anything that wasn’t supposed to be about reality

      • Over half of the children in this country will be on food stamps at some point in their lives according to an article I read this morning. I guess that number isn’t nearly high enough though since we aren’t fuinding low cost birth control or the means to end unplanned pregnancies. I guess we will shoot for higher numbers. God bless “compassionate conservatism” and their Democratic enablers. They should have the country looking third world in no time!

  3. The Tiger W story sounds seriously weird – was a news item on UK radio as well….sounds like they were fighting….hard to find another explanation….where would he go at 2am at night anyway? Shopping for yoghurt?

    • One report said he was going to “work out.” At 2:30 a.m.???

      • Well, if they had a huge fight, then maybe he needed to work out to blow off the adrenaline. When with my ex, I had a bad habit of charging out to my car ANGRY and taking off in a squeal of tires to go somewhere – anywhere – to get away from the fighting.

        Driving while furious is pretty dangerous. I’m lucky I never wrecked. It’s a pretty common, human thing to do, though.

      • As if he doesn’t have work-out equipment in his mansion already.

    • Oh yeah. There’s more to the Woods story. In the past week there have been rumors of an affair, and now he’s found at 2:30 am leaving his house, scratches on his face, and rear-ending a tree while his wife beats on the car with a golf club.


    • Here something off the web….No Drama Tiger – looks like there is plenty of drama….lets hope this has not been trigger by false internet rumours!

      We’re told he said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. We’re told it was then Woods beat a hasty retreat for his SUV — but according to our source, Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.

      We’re told Woods became “distracted,” thought the vehicle was stopped, and looked to see what had happened. At that point the SUV hit the fire hydrant and then hit a tree.

      Read more: http://bumpshack.com/2009/11/28/elin-nordegren-scratched-tiger-woods-up-before-wreck/#ixzz0YAd8npZu

      • oh, I hope the rumors of an affair are NOT true — i hate it when people do that shit – end the relationship if you’re unhappy

        if I had that golf club he’d have more than a busted lip

      • Thanks for that link! My mom is a huge Tiger fan, and she’s all worried about his kids.

    • Tiger’s new girlfriend?
      I wouldn’t mess with her. She looks well-armed.

      • She looks like a real amazon; Tiger’s wife is a very classy looking dame. But then looks usually have little to do with it. Celebrity affairs are always so nasty. Maybe we should not let them get married and have kids since they almost always mess it up and ruin the kids.

        Interesting that the comments go first to the celebrity event and the Clinton statement on Israel/Palestine has yet to play. I would love to see HRC break through that gordian knot but then 0 would get the credit and that would piss me off.

  4. If you read and watch carefully, you’ll notice a slight shift

  5. I’m not surprised that the Canuckistanis are tightening border security. They’re probably concerned about illegal immigrants from the U.S. sneaking in to steal free health care.

    • Yeah, but what’s the big deal about the Olympics?

      • Vancouver Winter Olympics IIRC

        • I know but why are the Canadians thinking Amy Goodman would have anything to say about it?

          • Chances are she will have something to say now, and double or nothing it won’t be good.

          • Some Canadians are not happy that in this economy $$$ are being spent for extravagant structures, and events lasting a couple of weeks. They seem to think such $$$ should go to education, health care, etc. I recall the locals were promised a new school building and then found out it wasn’t happening. IOW, the locals get a gigantic traffic jam and have to clean up the garbage afterwards.

        • Canadians are sexist pigs — evidently the males will have ski jumping event but not the women. Claim was not enough women — but truth is also not enough men have registered either.

          Could be Canadians consider feminists dangerous??

          I expect that the US ordered the Canadians to copy everything that REPORTERS had and to relay all the info (including notes) to the US.

          • Uh, mostly Canada is more feminist than the US. I can’t speak for the athletics community and the Olympics planners. What is possible is that they had already started building the ski jump venue and didn’t want to look like idiots for spending a ton of money on it and then not running any events there. I don’t know why they wouldn’t run a women’s event though. How many competitors do you really need?

          • Sandra S., It’s not Canada that made the decision, the International Olympic Committee’s Exec Board decides what events will be included. Canadian courts actually ruled the female jumpers were being discriminated against in violation of Canadian law, but also ruled they can’t do anything about it because the IOC has jurisdiction. Female ski jumping has never been an Olympic event, but 4 years ago the argument was that nobody wants to see a woman land so hard and it could hurt their reproductive systems (not even kidding). For some reason, there is a lot of resistance to female ski jumping.

          • Thanks Seriousy. I’ve been very out of the loop lately, and it didn’t seem in character for the Canadian gov’t to make a decision like that.

    • hey, I’m working on getting there right now … fortunately, I speak french and have a degree in high demand. Hopefully, that offsets my ol’ bitter knitter status.

      • Just be careful when you cross the border. You’ll be crossing on the other side from where Amy Goodman was anyway.

  6. BTW – I couldn’t get the Hillary bombshell link to work.

    • That’s weird. I’ll check it.

    • I replaced the link and added another one from a Palestinian source.

    • “Clearly, this approach builds on the 2000 Camp David meeting and the December 2000 plan of President Bill Clinton. Ironically, the latter is called the Clinton plan, so the name need not change since now it is renewed and extended by another Clinton.”

      Doesn’t Hillary ever stop working? She is amazing. Wonder what she would have accomplished with health care by now. ((sigh))

  7. I just tried to join twitter (after all vbonnaire was saying) but its so difficult …I don’t know what to do to find the politics area. 😦

    • It’s really easy. You have to find people to follow and they will follow you back. Tell me your twitter id and I’ll follow you. Or you can follow me @BostonBoomer. You can look at the people I follow to see if you want to follow any of them. I follow a lot of Hillary people.

      Believe it or not, I get all the latest news from Twitter now.

      • sounds like cyberstalking….ventured into facebook this year, twitter sounds like a project for the next decade…..like january 2010

        • What sounds like cyberstalking? I never got facebook, but Twitter is a great way to follow events.

          • I’ve been sending you great shite gifts for academics over there and Katiebird and I have been on quests and defeated dragons together.

          • to follow people on twitter…sounds like cyberstalking…but obvioulsy it is different….you make sound like it is worth a try…will look into it

  8. Slate:

    This conventional wisdom about Obama’s first year isn’t just premature—it’s sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health care reform a bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency. This isn’t an ideological point or one that depends on agreement with his policies. It’s a neutral assessment of his emerging record—how many big, transformational things Obama is likely to have made happen in his first 12 months in office.

    Kool-aid is a helluva drug.

    • Bla, bla, bla, Jacob Weisberg if full of sh@t.

    • People shouldn’t get caught up in the minutia of reality.

    • Well, he has messed up more things in that time frame than any other president. He wants to put his mark on everything in sight. (We used to say our boss wanted to pee on everything, like a dog, to make his mark.) Trouble is, everything he touches turns to sh*t.

    • “having accomplished more…”

      …What, more bowing than any other prez?

    • he is taking kool-aid to another level – probably has it out of a bucket with two straws or intravenous!

  9. They are calling the Russian train explosion a terrorist attack now.

  10. Romanian president slaps a child across the face on live TV.


  11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8384143.stm

    Wife murdered by elk not husband.
    myiq2xu should have a field day with this.
    My first thought was ” grandma got run over by a reindeer.”



  12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8384051.stm

    Part of my teenage years was listening to the FOUR ACES.
    Dancing and singing to their music was part of most teenagers social life. To this day I know most of the words to their songs



  13. This is the original FOUR ACES. I should have listened to the other link and realised it was the imposter not AL AlLberts.



  14. http://blogs.knoxnews.com/silence/archives/2009/11/an_ouch_on_a_tn_1.shtml

    An interesting discussion on print journalism and on line discussions. The internet did change the way news is distributed but journalists also got lazy and forgot to do their jobs



  15. From the Good News & Ordinary People category:

    “Losing your job isn’t as simple as losing your income. For many, it’s losing a social network, even an identity — an increasingly dismal prospect as bills pile up amid an uncertain future.

    “It’s probably the time in life when you’re feeling least confident, and yet it’s the time when you have to be the most confident,” said Anita Gray, who spent eight years in financial services before becoming jobless this fall. … Gray and others have found one remedy — Job Club Seattle, a group of about 20 job seekers that meets weekly at a local coffeehouse. Part networking, part moral support, it’s one of a handful of local support groups for the unemployed.

    With recently released figures showing a state jobless rate of 9.3 percent, such support groups play a crucial role, offering spiritual lift and camaraderie as much as career development and networking benefits.


  16. COBRA subsidy expires soon:

    For workers laid off or downsized between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, the COBRA subsidy pays 65 percent of their job-based health insurance premiums for nine months. [After that,] the cost of coverage will triple, forcing cash-strapped unemployed workers to scramble for cheaper private coverage, go uninsured or pay the higher rates.

    With the subsidy, job-based coverage averages $398 a month for families and $144 for individuals, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Without it, premiums average $1,137 for a family and $410 for an individual.


  17. According to Gawker, Tiger Woods’ wife was trying to beat him up with golf club, not save him


  18. h/t Vastleft:

    • Interesting notes on Sarah supporters. Reminds me of some of the interviews with 0 supporters during 2008. But mostly it tells you what we already know—people are attracted to a candidate for reasons that are archetypes and not necessarily about policy specifics. I am attracted to HRC because above all she is scary smart, historically liberal and Big Dawg’s wife.

    • Apparently child rape isn’t considered a serious offense in some places.

    • So he won’t let a thirteen year-old girl wear a headscarf to school because that damages the social fabric–but he’s just fine with a wealthy celebrity raping her.

      Real clear set of values he’s got there.

  19. Remember last year when the Obots were warning what would happen if we voted for “McSame?” From the NY Fishwrapper:

    An American military detention camp in Afghanistan is still holding inmates for sometimes weeks at a time and without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to human rights researchers and former detainees held at the site on the Bagram Air Base.

    The site consists of individual windowless concrete cells, each lighted by a single light bulb glowing 24 hours a day, where detainees said that their only contact with another human being was at twice-daily interrogation sessions.

    The jail’s operation highlights a tension between President Obama’s goal to improve detention conditions that had drawn condemnation under the Bush administration and his desire to give military commanders leeway to operate. In this case, that means isolating certain prisoners for a period of time so interrogators can extract information or flush out confederates.

    While Mr. Obama signed an order to eliminate so-called black sites run by the Central Intelligence Agency in January, that order did not apply to this jail, which is run by military Special Operations forces.

    Which candidate was “McSame?”

  20. http://hotair.com/archives/2009/11/28/another-classic-moment-in-government-interventions/

    According to this article another bubble. Farmers growing corn for ethonol and the manufacturers investing in factories.
    what is your take on this. Lobbiests are having a field day.



    • Another failed government incentivized program?

    • Is this another government failed program? Why is it that our government can not engage in incentives for policy goals without creating a mess? Could it be that our elections must be bought and paid for and the market for politicians is always red hot and corrupt.

      • yes, I said over the summer it would create a bubble and misdirect factors. Basically, land that should go to producing food is now being misdirected. You can make that stuff out of silage and left over chicken fat. You don’t need to waste arable land for it. It’s just another give away to businesses that encourages mismanagement.

  21. On the issue of freezing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. I think what we are seeing is Clinton being the mouth piece for 0bowma — he said one thing as candidate and from what I was reading during the Candidate a lot of money was coming from Palestine — with their call centers etc. She is working for HIM. I expect that the boys in the WH will keep Clinton on a tight leash –they are after all MCPs.

    Now that 0bowma is securely in the WH — he is more interested in the rich guys (the ones he bows to) like the Saudi royal family.

    Could be that no one person in the WH can make up their minds so Clinton is left trying to make some sort of coherent statement. Can we imagine the calls she is getting from the Amateur frat boy club — “listen to ME — I’m the one in charge of the Middle east FOR obama” –any conflicting message is undoubtedly due to WH infighting —

    If Netanyahu is actually willing to bend a bit on the issue of settlements on Palestinian territory — then this really is a big deal. It is sort of like Nixon going to China — the anti commie — red hating guy opening up China.

  22. glenn greenwald today is worth the read!


    But is it really that surprising that many people did believe that Obama actually meant what he said, given that the entire campaign was predicated on his self-proclaimed uniqueness as a candidate and his over-arching intent to rid our political culture of corroding cynicism and to restore hope and faith in the political process? If Obama ran a campaign which purposely elevated the hopes of so many people — particularly younger and new voters — while secretly harboring the knowledge that he did not feel at all bound by what he was promising, isn’t that a fairly serious indictment of his character, as well as a dangerous game to play for the Democratic Party? And during the time he was vigorously supporting Obama’s candidacy last year, did Matt ever point out that Obama didn’t really mean what he was saying when he spoke about these matters — a fairly significant point to make when commenting on the election? If Obama had no intention of “reducing the power of the executive branch,” why did he repeatedly proclaim that he would?

  23. Spammy got my comment –which is why there aren’t many comments on the I-P issue.

    Spammy doesn’t like this subject.

  24. […] Read this article: Lazy Saturday Mid-Morning News and Gossip Update « The Confluence […]

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