Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mysterious sweet syrup smell wafts over Manhattan again

More at NY Daily Newst: “It's back!
That sweet smell that wafted over the city a few years ago - described as maple syrup, French toast, pancakes and even coffee cake - is in the air again, officials said Tuesday.
The city's 311 system received about 35 calls Monday night from New Yorkers reporting the mysterious scent drifting through parts of upper Manhattan and Queens.
[DO YOU SMELL IT?  Tell us where you are in the city and where you're smelling it in the comments section below.]
"The maple scent was light," a reader with the screen name LuckyLady wrote on nydailynews.com. "While moving around my apartment ... the scent hit me again, only this time it was stronger."
The city Department of Environmental Protection sent inspectors to the areas to conduct air tests.
They confirmed the scent, but the source of the smell is still unknown, officials said.
Another Daily News reader initially thought the smell came from a pine tree.
"I noticed it, and it was strong enough to make me want to know what it was before I got to my corner when I left my apartment," the reader, Page One, wrote on the Web site.”

Senator Harry Reid: ‘I don’t work for Obama’

More at TheHill.com: “Democrats must be “very, very careful” to avoid overreaching and will not rubber-stamp President-elect Obama’s policies, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday.

In an interview with The Hill, Reid said it is essential for Obama and congressional Democrats to work closely with Republicans in the new Congress. He added that 2009 is very different from 1993, the last time Democrats controlled both Congress and the White House.

Back then, Reid said, Democrats had controlled the House for decades and behaved as though the opposition did not exist. This time around, their recent stint in the minority would give them a commitment to bipartisanship.

“Even though we’re one short of 60 [senators in the Democratic Conference], I don’t want to ever have to depend on cloture,” Reid said. “We may have to do that, but it will be with the support of a few Republicans.”

Reid, who lambasted the GOP-led Congress for being a rubber stamp for President Bush, indicated that he will not bow to the Obama administration.

Reid stated, “I don't believe in the executive power trumping everything... I believe in our Constitution, three separate but equal branches of government.”

“If Obama steps over the bounds, I will tell him. … I do not work for Barack Obama. I work with him,” he said.”

Obama says trillion-dollar deficits may last years

More at SFGate.com: “President-elect Barack Obama says the nation probably faces huge deficits for years to come, but heavy spending is needed now to spur the economy.

Obama said Tuesday the deficit appears on track to hit $1 trillion soon. Speaking to reporters after meeting with top economic aides, Obama said: "Potentially we've got trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, even with the economic recovery that we are working on."”

Steve Jobs is Very Much Alive! Leave Him Alone!

More at MOBODOJO: “I’m periodically amazed at the lengths hackers will go to do something stupid. What they are doing now is hacking MacRumors live blog feed from the MacWorld keynote. The first comment indicated that Steve Jobs had died, which is untrue. ”

-- Yiah! What's the deal with hackers wishing that Steve Jobs was dead? This started with the infamous iReport video and has went from there. Maybe the best thing is for Jobs to walk around the floor of MacWorld just so they all leave him alone.

Or is that wishful thinking?

What does "In God We Trust" mean to you? - Zennie Abraham

This is the video that "started it all" for me as a nationally-known video-blogger. It was one of several I made for the CNN / YouTube Democratic Debates, but the one CNN producers really liked. "The Coin Question."

Have you ever seen that "Army of One" commericial? This is one of them:

Well, according to this email I got from AdAge.com, the organization that created the presentation is being accused of overbilling by The Army:

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Leo Burnett will pay $15.5 million to settle allegations that it overbilled the U.S. Army for work on its "Army of One" campaign, the Justice Department announced today. The suit was a result of whistle-blowing by two former Burnett employees. Among the allegations in the lawsuit, filed in 2004: Burnett was treating the work of its own internet unit as if it was performed by a third-party contractor, as well as inflating the costs of subcontractors it worked with, in order to increase its profits. Read the full story at http://adage.com/article?article_id=133588 -- Jeremy Mullman

Wow, and this from the organization of the Department of Defense, which is known for the $600 toilet!

On The Oakland BART Shooting By Police at Fruitvale Sta

The Oakland BART Police Fruitvale Station shooting was a horrifying act of an individual police officer that, upon reflection, went insane for a moment. I'm glad people had video cameras and used them. But I'm not happy with the state of the police in Oakland and the East Bay.

What the officer did to young Oscar Grant was shameful. If you look at the videos, the officer first drags Grant over the station floor then positions him against the ground, and then pulls out his gun slowly then shoots him, but then looks up as if to say "Oh, that was an accident."

It did not look that way.

This should prompt a major investigation into how police are trained and the backgrounds and attitudes of the people that are recruited and how they're trained. There's something wrong and where there's smoke,there's fire.

Now, Oakland Lawyer John Burris has introduced a $25 million lawsuit against the police department and BART, and given the look of the videos -- there are two with very clear angles -- the evidence is clear and hard to refute.

That police officer deliberately shot Oscar Grant.