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Billy Gardner

Knitted Down there, Sewn to the boundless black stitches In our white spotted blanket. Creatures, Atop brown threads Puncturing the blue. The knots inside their tops Can't unravel what's true.

Secret Service Scandal Broadens

The latest below

As much as 20 secret service agents and military personnel have been suspected of being involved in the hotel misconduct in Cartagena, Colombia after President Barack Obama made a trip the country last week. 

The Defense Department launched a preliminary investigation which reviewed video from the hotel security cameras where the secret service agents were staying. The video uncovered nine military personnel possible in the company of prostitutes. Since the preliminary investigation, 11 servicemen have been placed on leave with their security clearances revoked for allegations of entertaining prostitutes.

Two of the Secret Service agents are senior agents and received pay at the highest levels from the federal government. It is suspected that the two earn over $110,000 annually depending on where the agents were stationed.

The incident is not simply a matter of a small cadre of bureaucrats behaving badly, Darrell Issa said Monday. “What we see is that this story is larger than 11 individuals,” he told CBS. Moreover, it’s part of a “pattern of behavior,” The Republican Issa said, of “activities that clearly compromised national security. We clearly have lost confidence and we need to get that confidence back by knowing that the system will be changed,” he ended.

This is not the first time the Secret Service has come under scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal cited “current and former officials” in the past commented about a “wheels up, rings off” philosophy- a culture suggested throughout the agency’s ranks.

In a letter to all employess of the agency, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan wrote that it’s “imperative . . . to always act both personally and professionally in a manner that recognizes the seriousness and consequence of our mission.”

Space Shuttle Dicovery's Final Flight: Kind of

See the video below

It was a rather different take off for space the shuttle Discovery on Tuesday. Instead of being strapped to a rocket for blast off, the shuttle was placed atop a Boeing 747.

The Space Shuttle Discovery mounted on top the plane took off from Florida today in route to Washington. Flying at a little over 1,500 feet the spectacle could be seen at many locations. The U.S. government did not release the flight information but did give several locations where onlookers could see space shuttle Discovery’s final flight.

District of Columbia
●The Mall, including Memorial Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the east end.
●Hains Point at East Potomac Park, south of Jefferson Memorial and 14th Street Bridge.
●Southwest Waterfront Park.
Virginia
●Long Bridge Park, 475 Long Bridge Dr., Arlington.
●Old Town Alexandria waterfront.
●Gravelly Point, just off George Washington Parkway, near National Airport.
Maryland
●National Harbor, just off the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George’s County.

Space shuttle Discovery is the oldest surviving space shuttle and underwent 39 successful trips into space. It will be retired just outside of the nation’s capital at the Smithsonian institution’s facility at the Dulles International Airport.

The transfer of space shuttle Discovery comes after the end of the space shuttle program in NASA. Although this seems to be a sad end to the shuttle era, many hope that this end will bring a new beginning, and that new doors will be opened for space exploration.
One will surely be the launch of the SpaceX shuttle, which will mark the first private space shuttle to dock with the International Space Station coming at the end of the month.

See the first part of the final flight made by the space shuttle Discovery:

Jane Goodall on the Daly Show: Chimpanzee documentary "was luck"

See why

Jane Goodall greeted talk show host Jon Stewart on the Daly Show in ordinary fashion for an anthropologist with “a proper chimpanzee greeting. The two rubbed each others heads and made imitative chimp sounds before Goodall sat down to talk about her latest endeavor.

The 78-year-old ape expert and spokeswoman for the new Disneynature documentary explained the incredible luck required to film Chimapanzee. The documentary follows a chimp Oscar who was orphaned after his mother was killed by a leopard, “it was luck?” questioned the sarcastic Jon Stewart.

Jane Goodall explains the extraordinary luck film crews had by just knowing what happened to Oscar’s mother, let alone filming the survival of the youngster. The male leader of the troop Freddy, willingly relinquished many of his duties, like carousing the area for enemies, in order to care for the orphaned Oscar, “it brings tears to your eyes,” said Goodall.

Jane Goodall knows the likelihood of an orphaned infant chimpanzee in the wild and finds the footage amazing. From the film producers who brought the unbelievable documentaries Planet Earth to Frozen Planet now bring Chimpanzee. The film is set to debut on Earth Day April 20, and a portion of the first week’s ticket sales will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute. 

See the official trailer for the Chimpanzee documentary below:

GSA Scandal: let the hearing begin

Heated accusations tossed at top GSA officials

The General Services Administration hearing painted a dark picture of the government agency that is supposed to help minimize cost, not spend them on clowns for entertainment. 

Rep. John Mica accused the White House of knowing about the lavish spending by the General Services Administration at a 2010 conference in Las Vegas.

“People from the White House knew about it, did nothing, kept it quiet until just a few days ago when the statement was released by the president condemning that act,” the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman told CNN.

“It also appears that the bureaucrats within GSA tried to keep it as quiet, and sweep it under the rug, as much as possible,” Mica said.

These accusations come after the inspector general reported that the GSA spent $822,000 on the conference of 300 attendees, $75,000 was spent on team building exercises, $6,000 on commemorative coins and another $6,000 on canteens. Even a clown was hired.

The GSA is an independent government agency set up to support federal agencies and develop cost-minimizing policies, amongst other things. The GSA is required to award 23 percent of contract dollars to small businesses every year but has not been in compliance.

Testimony at the hearing vilified the GSA and its top officials, Rep. Elijah Cummings scrupulously attacked the GSA and in particular Jeff Neely, the GSA official who organized the Las Vegas conference, “In one e-mail,” Cummings started out, “Mr. Neely invited personal friends to the conference, writing, and I quote — and this is simply incredible — quote: ‘We’ll get you guys a room near us, and we’ll pick up the room tab. Could be a blast.’ End of quote. He then went on and wrote this — ‘I know I’m bad, but as Deb and I often say, why not enjoy it while we have it and while we can. Ain’t gonna last forever.’ End of quote. Well, Mr. Neely, it stops now.”

Other statements came from former GSA administrator Martha Johnson who took interim leadership of the administration she found poorly managed. She said the Western Region was the dominant part of the problem and was a “”raucous, extravagant, arrogant, self-congratulatory event that ultimately belittled federal workers.” She later added about her resignation, “I will mourn for the rest of my life the loss of my appointment.”

Tupac Shakur Hologram: Resurrected Rapper?

“What the f— is up Coachella?”

After years of speculation, it turns out the beloved rapper Tupac Shakur is not dead after all. Well sort of not dead. Many said it would be after seven years that Tupac would return from the dead, but it turns out it would be 15 years later that he decides to hit the stage again.

Last Sunday, the late Tupac Shakur reunited with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on stage at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Resurrected from the dead in the form of a hologram, “What the f— is up Coachella?” said the image that cost nearly a half-million dollars to make. A spokesperson for Dr. Dre said the image was rendered by Digital Domain, the same company that generated the stunning images of Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

The image was actually 2D and was fully digital, El Ulbrich, chief creative officer of Digital Domain told the Wall Street Journal.

“This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion,” Ulbrich told the Journal. “This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this.”

This spectacle has drawn debate on both sides; some revere in the use of technologies like this one in the entertainment industry while others feel the use of a hologram tarnishes the legacy of an artist.

This is not the first time this technology has been used to entertain a crowd, Madonna used at the 2006 Grammys when she performed with the Gorillas and even Celine Dion and the Black Eyed Peas hopped on the tech bandwagon. But the Tupac hologram brings to light a different side of the debate because this is in a way bringing an artist back from the dead.

See the video and decide for yourself:

Shea Weber Fined for Game 1 Cheap Shot

See the video

The NHL’s Department of Play Safety announced today that it will fine Shea Weber. The Nashville Predator, Weber, slammed Detroit Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg’s head against the glass at the end of Nashville’s 3-2 victory. The punishment is set at a $2500 fine and some Detroit fans say that’s not enough calling for the suspension of the player. See for yourself in the video below.

“We felt this was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg’s head into the glass,” said Brendan Shanahan, NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations. “We reached out to Detroit following the game and were informed that Zetterberg did not suffer an apparent injury and should be in the lineup for Game 2.”

The cheap shot was reckless and is Shea Weber’s second fine this season, “This play and the fine that addressed it will be significant factors in assessing any incidents involving Shea Weber throughout the remainder of the playoffs.”

I will say paying $2,500 is .00003 percent of Shea Weber’s NHL salary but even yours truly is a Detroit fan, and to me, the hit doesn’t look all-that damaging, not to mention this is hockey people.

“It’s quick game, things happen, and it’s an emotional game,” Weber said. “I’m thankful he’s (Zetterberg) is not hurt and we can move on.” The media attention of the cheap shot is sure to make for an interesting game come Friday.

See the video of Shea Weber’s hit on Henrik Zetterberg below:

 

Elon Musk: Mars is the America of 1492

See what record he’s after

You ever wonder what happened to the co-founder of that one site PayPal?

Well he went on to found other ridiculously successful ventures like Tesla Motors and Solar city. Oh, and not to mention he bought a space ship with his company SpaceX which is estimated at a value of $4 billion, yea that’s right, a space ship.

The 40-year-old Elon Musk appeared Tuesday on the Daily Show and discussed his upcoming endeavor of docking the first privately built space craft with the International Space Station. Musk sees the record attempt as a mere stepping stone of what is to come for space exploration, 

“The longterm goal of SpaceX is to develop the technology necessary to make life multi-planetary,” Musk told host Jon Stewart on the Daily Show appearance. “So to enable a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.”

The SpaceX flight is unmanned and is set for April 30 when its Falcon 9 rocket plans to launch from Cape Canaveral, and the company’s Dragon capsule will dock to the space station.

As for the company going public, Elon Musk knows it will take a predictable revenue stream in order to do so. When the time is right it’ll happen, “SpaceX doesn’t absolutely need to go public, so it’s best to delay going public until we have a steady stream of launches occurring,” he said. “Late 2013 is the most likely timing.”

Elon Musk admitted he owed much of the SpaceX success to the government de-funding of NASA. He even revealed that he scooped up their employees once they left.

As for the mission, best of luck Elon Musk on a hopeful venture of making the Mars the United States of 1492.
 

Fox Mole Joe Muto "Smoked Out" and Fired

See how long it took the network to pinpoint the fox mole

It took only a day for FOX News to discover the Gawker article written by the mole Joe Muto.

“If Fox has smoked me out, it’s news to me,” Muto wrote on Gawker. “I’m still here. Back to work,“read a quote the night before Muto was named the FOX mole. Gawker had a rather different confession the next morning by the soon to be former associate producer of Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor.” 

“They nailed me.”  Fox News did have an “odd” twist to Muto’s punishment ,  “Two hours ago I was called into a meeting with Dianne Brandi, the Fox News Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs, and suspended indefinitely … with pay, oddly enough,” Muto added.

A FOX spokeswoman said it won’t last long.

“Joe Muto is fired effective April 12,” the spokeswoman said Wednesday. “Once the network determined that Mr. Muto was the main culprit in less than 24 hours, he was suspended late today while we pursued concurrent avenues. We are continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others,” an official statement said.

Muto was in hot water from the Republican-friendly network because he wrote on Gawker a day ago that FOX was, “an unholy mashup of theDrudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting.” He also posted a never before seen video of GOP presidential front runner Mitt Romney conversing with Sean Hannity about horses amongst other things.

“I am a weasel, a traitor, a sell-out and every bad word you can throw at me,” Muto wrote after being found out. “But as of today I am free, and I am ready to tell my story, which I wasn’t able to fully do for the previous 36 hours.” He promised now to write “much, much more.”

The FOX mole sounds like new breed of animal but in reality is only like Lamar Odom, out of a job..  
 

J.K. Rowling's new book: "The Casual Vacancy"

Harry Potter didn’t get the leading role

J.K. Rowling announced her latest post-Harry Potter book titled The Casual Vacancy. The announcement on Thursday by Little, Brown & Co. included a brief synopsis and a debut date of Sept. 27.

This will be Rowling’s first book aimed at the adult demographic and besides being the author of both books; The Casual Vacancy will have little to nothing in common the plotlines of the seven volume fictional series setting of Hogwarts Wizardry and Witchcraft.

The Casual Vacancy takes place in a small English town, Pagford, which is described more brutal scene than the delicately painted picture would indicate. Here are the plot details released by the author, 

“When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.”

Harry Potter fans young and old are salivating at a chance to get there hands on a copy of the new J.K. Rowling book which is sure to be a success.

FBI Most Wanted List: Eric Toth, child porn producer, to replace 9/11 terrorist as number one

“Changing mission” at the bureau

The FBI Most Wanted List empties a few spaces after the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the arrest of James “Whitey” Bulger. The Bureau has gone a new direction from terrorist to gangsters, and now it’s on to child porn producers.

Authorities said Eric Toth, who also goes by David Bussone, taught third-grade at a Washington D.C. elementary school and was fired in 2008 after a co-worker reportedly found illicit images of young students on his camera.

Toth has not been seen since leaving the school but his car was found at a local airport containing a suicide note. No body has been found. Authorities believe Toth is still at large and is still a threat to the community, “We don’t have a belief nor do we have any proof that he committed suicide,” Special Agent Ronald Hosko said.

The feds are putting forth a new initiative on child porn by adding Toth to the number one spot of the FBI Most Wanted List. “This nomination by us of Eric Toth is a reflection of what the bureau does and our changing mission,” said an FBI statement.

The bureau is confident that the FBI Most Wanted List will lead to a tip as the where the fugitive is, especially when the reward is $100,000.

Toth, 30, is described as 6-foot-3 and weighing 155 pounds. He has green eyes and brown hair, and has a distinguished mole under his left eye. He is a “computer expert” authorities say and advertises services online as a tutor or nanny in attempts to prey on children.

The other spot on the FBI Most Wanted List is still vacant, “It could take months to pick somebody,” said Kevin Perkins, head of the FBI’s criminal and cyber branch. “You have to weigh one guy against another.”