Monday, October 22, 2007

Renetto Is A Loose Cannon Knife-Wielding Killer Cop In Video

You've got to see this wild and crazy JibJab video featuring Renetto as -- yep -- a kind of Drity Harry cop.

Republicans Who Skipped Black Debate Took Money From Allegedly Racist Firms

This news is from a blog over at "Off The Bus", a Hull Post section devoted to news from non-journalist sources. Here's most of the post:

While the four top Republican presidential contenders missed the Sept 27 debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore organized to address minority issues, they were busy raking in cash from dozens of business and professional elites, including a top Wall Street banking firm that was sued that same week for racial discrimination.

All in all, it was a grand and enriching week for the four white males most likely to represent the Republicans in the 2008 presidential race. Among them, they amassed over $9 million while they were too "busy" to attend the debate at Morgan State.

The most egregious case is that of the banking house of Morgan Stanley that gave money to the three top Republican contenders during the same week of the minority debate. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) filed a civil rights complaint against Morgan Stanley and its mortgage lender subsidiary Saxon Capital three days before the debate. It was the first challenge against a Wall Street mortgage bundler that alleges redlining in minority communities throughout the United States under the Federal Fair Housing Act.

But Romney, McCain, Thompson and Giuliani weren't a bit inhibited from passing the hat at a company that saddled the gullible with sure-fail housing loans while bypassing qualified minority borrowers. While they didn't feel up to engaging black and Latino questioners at the debate, all but McCain eagerly vacuumed up a total of at least $40,000 that week from Morgan Stanley employees, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC (Morgan Stanley executives have given to McCain on other occasions.)

Meanwhile, those succulent sums came from an entity charged in the complaint with having "intentionally structured underwriting to deny homeownership to qualified African American, Latino, Pan-Pacific and Native American communities across the country," according to according to NCRC President & CEO John Taylor.

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani Spend Donor Money On Five-Star Hotels - Yahoo!

Senator Clinton and Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani should be very careful how they spend their money. Take a look at this Yahoo! report.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Doughnut eateries, stationery chains and purveyors of private jets are cashing in as White House campaigns open their warchests leading into the make-or-break weeks of primary voting.


Financial data released by the candidates shows they have raised collectively a staggering 420 million dollars this year, led by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who has taken in just under 91 million.

Voluminous reports filed with the Federal Election Commission for the third quarter of 2007 also provide a snapshot of how, for the poorer second tier of candidates, it is a tale of two campaigns.

Clinton and her chief Republican rival Rudolph Guiliani spent a fortune on five-star hotels, spa retreats and chartered jets as they pursued their presidential quests in style.

But Texas Representative Ron Paul from the libertarian wing of the Republican Party (campaign issues: scrap income tax, the Federal Reserve and gun control) saves his pennies at motel chains.

"You know, we don't travel around with a retinue of media in a private jet," said Mike Gravel, a rank outsider for the Democratic nomination who has raised just 239,000 dollars overall.

"And, of course, I pay a price for that, because they don't cover me on a continuous basis like they do the other candidates, but that's the nature of the beast," the former Alaska senator told PBS television.

Through the services of a company called Flight Options, Republican John McCain had planned to head to electioneering stops by private jet.

But as he burned through cash, the Arizona senator took more commercial flights and recouped more than 420,000 dollars from canceling charters with Flight Options.

Humble aides for all the candidates were to be found in the cheap eats that dot the United States, such as the IHOP pancake chain, McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts.

Nothing was too small to be itemized: someone in Team Clinton spent 24.07 dollars at a Krispy Kreme branch in South Carolina on September 29. Paul listed all his gasoline receipts from refueling stops on lonely highways.

Fedex did a roaring trade from printing and delivering campaign materials, Staples was the favored supplier of the stationery, and American Express was raking it in from charges on the candidates' hefty credit card bills.

With this campaign on course to top the billion dollar mark by the time the next president is elected next November, some of the contenders are spending freely to raise their exposure before the first primaries.

Among the Republicans, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney spent over 21 million dollars from July to September -- over double the amount he raised. But then Romney is a multi-millionaire who can afford to dip into the red.

Much of the cash from the man bidding to be America's first Mormon president went on a television advertising blitz in New Hampshire and Iowa, which will hold their first nominating contests in less than three months.

"Because the calendar is not yet fixed the strategies are in constant flux," said Costas Panagopoulos, a politics professor at Fordham University who specializes in elections research.

"At the end of the day all candidates will spend heavily on TV but other media are on their plates as well," he said, noting that radio and the Internet are playing a bigger role than ever in grassroots campaigning.

Clinton's main Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, are banking on early advances in this packed election cycle as a springboard to the party's nomination.

Both contenders have lavished millions on building up campaign operations across the flatlands of Iowa, and are more active on the airwaves than the former First Lady, who does not lack for name recognition.

Obama is not too far behind Clinton in the cash stakes, and the Democrats' fundraising take as a whole has dwarfed the Republican effort.

But Giuliani -- who spent about 13 million dollars in the third quarter -- is campaigning harder in more populous states such as Florida, New Jersey and Illinois that will vote later.

For some Giuliani backers, the style in which the former New York mayor travels is no problem.

"I don't give a damn whether he's staying at Motel 6 or Ritz Carlton," one unidentified donor to Giuliani told the Washington Post. "What I care about is where he is in the polls."

San Diego County Fire Disaster - AP and SF Gate

Fire capt: 'A lot of people are going to lose their homes today'

By ALLISON HOFFMAN and GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writers
Monday, October 22, 2007

(10-22) 11:29 PDT SAN DIEGO, (AP) --

Nearly 250,000 people were forced to flee their homes in San Diego County Monday as about a dozen blazes pushed by hurricane-force winds burned throughout Southern California.
The fires have burned about 100,000 acres in San Diego County, said county Supervisor Ron Roberts. "This is a major emergency," he said.
"We have more houses burning than we have people and engine companies to fight them," said San Diego Fire Captain Lisa Blake. "A lot of people are going to lose their homes today."
About a dozen blazes erupted over the weekend, churned up by the strong Santa Ana winds and made worse because of drought-parched land from the high desert to the Pacific Ocean. Things got worse Monday, when several new fires sprouted and other fires merged, adding to the 40,000 acres — or 62 square miles — that burned over the weekend in seven counties, including Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego.
In northern San Diego County, hundreds of patients were evacuated Monday from a hospital and nursing homes in the path of the so-called Witch Creek fire. Pomerado Hospital and neighboring nursing homes in Poway, a San Diego suburb, were evacuating patients in ambulances and school buses, said sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Knauss.
All San Diego Police Department officers and off duty detectives were ordered to return to work to help with evacuations and other fire-related emergencies.
In many cases, crews were slowed fighting fires because they were too busy rescuing residents who refused to leave, fire officials said.
"They didn't evacuate at all, or delayed until it was too late," said Bill Metcalf, chief of the North County Fire Protection District. "And those folks who are making those decisions are actually stripping fire resources."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in seven counties.
"Its a tragic time for California. The devastating fires have killed so far one person and injured four firefighters," the governor said at a press conference in Malibu, where a church, homes and historic castle were destroyed.
One person died in a fire near San Diego, which burned more than 14,000 acres — or about 22 square miles — about 70 miles southeast of San Diego, just north of the Mexican border town of Tecate, California Department of Forestry spokesman Matt Streck said.
More than a dozen people have been hospitalized with burns and smoke inhalation, including four fighters — three were in critical condition — at the UC San Diego Medical Center Regional Burn Center, officials said. Some of the injured were hikers, and others may be illegal immigrants.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered in several communities in the San Bernardino mountains, where 1,500 homes were threatened. Two fires were burning about 400 acres west of Lake Arrowhead and in the Green Valley area.
Firefighters said they were unable to send air power to the mountains because of the velocity of the winds.
A wildfire in Orange County that grew to 8,800 acres was believed to be caused by arson, Orange County Fire Authority spokeswoman Lynnette Round said. It was 30 percent contained. A 1,049-inmate jail was being evacuated because of heavy smoke, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. Inmates were being bused from the James A. Musick Facility in Irvine.
Twenty-five structures in the suburbs around Santa Clarita were destroyed, Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Massey said. That blaze, called the Buckweed Fire, had burned about 25,000 acres.
About 120 people spent the night on cots in the gymnasium of Saugus High School, according to principal Bill Bolde.
Michele Beard fled her Hasley Canyon home with her husband, mother-in-law and three older children.
"It just lit up the whole mountainside fiery red," said Beard, 48. "I had never seen anything like that so close before."
In San Diego, where seven fires were burning, the Witch Creek Fire, which has been burning since Sunday, jumped Interstate 15 into the densely populated Rancho Bernardo neighborhood as authorities ordered hundreds of thousands of residents to leave their homes. It merged with a smaller fire that broke out near the San Diego Wild Animal Park and moved toward the wealthy suburb of Rancho Santa Fe. By late morning, more than 30,000 acres had burned. Authorities said an untold number of homes had also burned.
Qualcomm Stadium, home to the NFL Chargers, was added to a growing list of evacuation centers.
San Diego County spokeswoman Lesley Kirk said fire crews were stretched thin and were anxiously awaiting reinforcements from other parts of the state.
"The winds are up, it's very, very dangerous conditions," Kirk said. "Fires are popping up all over the place."
Flames also forced the evacuation of the community of Ramona, which has a population of about 36,000.
Several structures were burned on the edge of town and sheriff's deputies called residents to alert them the fire was approaching the city, said San Diego sheriff's Lt. Phil Brust.
The fires were affecting border security operations, said Col. David Baldwin, director of operations for the California National Guard.
Guardsmen assigned to the border were forced to evacuate one of their barracks and troops were aiding evacuations, Baldwin said.
"The border is still secure, but agents are evacuating the threatened areas and the Guard is supporting that operation," Baldwin said.
Baldwin said four California National Guard UH-60 helicopters were fighting the fire and the state had requested help from the New Mexico National Guard in the form of two heavy-lift helicopters. Marines from Camp Pendleton also may be called in, he said.
In Malibu, about 700 firefighters worked to protect hundreds of homes in several upscale communities nestled in the hills. About 1,500 people were evacuated and the blaze destroyed a church and several homes, one of them the landmark Castle Kashan, a stately fortress with turrets and arched windows.
The castle belonged to Lilly Lawrence, the daughter of a former Iranian oil minister. She said she was able to gather a few things before the fire engulfed her home, including some jewelry and memorabilia that included Elvis Presley's Army fatigues.
In all, five homes and two commercial buildings had been confirmed lost throughout the Malibu area, Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman said. Nine more homes were damaged, he said.
The fire is expected to burn for another two to three days, he said. Until the blaze is extinguished, "there will literally be thousands of homes that will be threatened at one time or another," he said.

Ron Paul Searches Rank High On Technorati Again Today

The appearance of searches for Ron Paul blog posts has become a daily affair on, and today's no exception at all.

Many are writing about Paul's performance in Sunday's Republican Debate, which I did not see. Plus it seems that Fox News is at war with Ron Paul, blocking any positive news about his debate performance, or reporting that he won the post-debate poll Fox established.

Board Results CPA A Big Deal Today

For some weird reason "Board Results CPA" is a large lookup on Technorati, but not for any one reason. The articles are all over the place.

It may be a totally random development.

Rescues strain fire resources as California wildfires rage

RAMONA, California (CNN) -- Helping residents who ignored evacuation orders diverted fire crews away from firefighting efforts Monday as wildfires burned out of control in the San Diego area, officials said.

"We've been unable to do any suppression effort because, in most cases, the fire resources are being used ... to do rescues," said Bill Metcalf, chief of the North County Fire Protection District in Fallbrook.

Metcalf said the wildfire situation in the San Diego area "has gotten dramatically worse overnight."

As the sun rose in Southern California, "we're faced with a situation ... which is worse than many of us could've imagined," Metcalf said.

Authorities ordered thousands of Southern Californians to evacuate Sunday and Monday as at least 12 wildfires, driven by hurricane-force winds, set trees, cars and buildings on fire.

Officials reported at least one death and 17 injuries Sunday.

A long line of vehicles streamed westward out of Ramona, northeast of San Diego, on Monday morning after the mandatory evacuation order as flames of the Witch wildfire closed rapidly on the San Diego County community of 10,000 homes.

The 2003 Cedar fire remains fresh in residents' memories. It killed a dozen people south of Ramona four years ago this week, consuming more than 280,000 acres near the town.

The Witch fire was one of several major wildfires to ignite Sunday around Los Angeles and San Diego, fueled by hot, dry conditions and pushed by fierce Santa Ana winds. The blaze threatened thousands of homes.

Large fires bore down on Malibu, Santa Clarita and two rural communities east of San Diego early Monday as thousands of firefighters battled the blazes.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in seven counties.
The Witch fire moved much faster than expected, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said, and it penetrated the San Diego city limits early Monday.

Sanders urged San Diegans in the fire's potential path to "collect important belongings so they can evacuate immediately." He said San Diego police would make reverse 911 calls to inform residents to leave their homes.

The Harris fire straddling Highway 94 east of San Diego caused the death and injuries -- including burns to four firefighters. Starting Sunday morning, the blaze had spread more than 20,000 acres by late Sunday, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. It was 5 percent contained, he said.

Thirteen civilians had burns from the Harris fire, said spokeswoman Roxanne Provaznik.

While smaller fires burned late Sunday around Los Angeles, major wildfires threatened the beach community of Malibu and the city of Santa Clarita.

About 1,400 firefighters battled the Malibu fire that started Sunday morning. By late evening, it had spread more than 2,200 acres, destroying 25 structures -- including five homes, a glass company and Malibu Presbyterian Church. Several hundred homes -- including those of movie director James Cameron of "Titantic" fame and singers Olivia Newton-John and Tanya Tucker -- were evacuated.

"All my stage clothing, boots, belts and wardrobe is in that house," Tucker said. "I have so much memorabilia since I just moved from Nashville to Malibu."

The Malibu flames "laid down" a bit, slowing their spread overnight, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said.

The Pacific Coast Highway remained shut down in Malibu.

A larger fire, fueled by wind gusts up to 80 mph, spread more than 12,500 acres around Santa Clarita about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Officials deployed at least 400 firefighters to battle the fire, which destroyed an estimated 17 buildings and threatened 3,800 Santa Clarita Valley homes. Several communities faced mandatory evacuations.