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Harry Reid’s Office: Jim Bunning Holding All Presidential Nominees

Posted by: BuellBoy

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)

TPM/Rachel Slajda~Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), who has become a one-man filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment benefits, apparently placed a hold on all presidential nominees last week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office confirms to TPMDC that Bunning has placed the holds.

It turns out that not only has he been blocking the unemployment insurance bill, he has also been blocking the confirmation of nominees since last week as well,” said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.

Bunning’s spokesman tells TPMDC that he doesn’t know about the holds.

I don’t know that. Right now the senator’s number one priority is reaching an agreement to get this bill paid for and passed,” said the spokesman, Mike Reynard.

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Filed under (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid, Obama Administration, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Republicans, Senate, Uncategorized

Republican Jim Bunning Repeatedly Blocks Unemployment Benefits Extension for 1.2 Million Americans, Tells Dem ‘Tough Shit’

Posted by: Audiegrl

Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.

And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: “Tough shit.”

Bunning says he doesn’t oppose extending benefits — he just doesn’t want the money that’s required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate’s GOP leadership did not support him in his objections.

And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00,” he said, “and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.”

Jed Lewison of Daily Kos produced a video of Bunning’s obstruction:

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made a last-minute attempt on Friday morning to get Bunning to let the Senate move forward with extending benefits.

We talk a lot in the Senate about procedure. Our debate sometimes relates only to procedure. And often that’s appropriate,” Reid said. “And, as we know, sometimes these procedural rules we have in the Senate are complex. But the issue before us today is not something that’s arcane, very ritualistic or complex. It’s very simple. And it’s clear — clear that it’s going to be a lot more noticeable by people Monday morning, because it’s going to affect the lives of thousands of Americans and their livelihoods.”

By Monday morning tens of thousands of Nevadans and more than one million Americans who rely on unemployment insurance and health benefits will simply lose them.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) took the floor after Reid to stick up for Bunning. He noted that there is broad bipartisan support for extending benefits, but said Bunning was right to take a stand against adding $10 billion to the deficit. He also pointed out that the jobs bill that Reid scrapped two weeks ago, crafted by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), contained an extension of UI and COBRA.

I admire the courage of the junior senator from Kentucky,” he said. “Somebody has to stand up finally and say, ‘No more inter-generational theft!‘”

And with that, the Senate adjourned for the weekend.

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Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky

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Filed under (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid, Democrats, Jobs, News, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Senate, Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts the White House Governors Ball Talent Preview

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. First lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

Today the First Lady gave a group of Washington, DC music students a special preview of the 2010 Governors’ Ball performance. Grammy Award Winning artist, Harry Connick Jr. spend time talking to students and closed out the event with a song, joined by a few residents from the New Orleans Musicians’ Village. The Musician’s Village was conceived by New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to rebuild homes for many of New Orleans cherished but displaced artists, those who have defined the city’s culture and created the sounds that have shaped the musical vernacular of the world.



Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Artists, Change, Children, Culture, Dancing, Education, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, Governors, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, Musicals, New Orleans, LA, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

Academy Award® Nominated: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Voldemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.

Dumbledore is teaching Harry Potter about Tom Riddle a.k.a. Voldemort, and he uses the memories of Slughorn to understand Voldemort. Meanwhile, Harry Potter finds a book that belonged to a mysterious Half-Blood Prince that he uses in Slughorn’s classes.

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The cast includes: Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Gambon, Dave Legeno, Elarica Gallacher, Jim Broadbent, Geraldine Somerville, Bonnie Wright, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Helen McCrory, Timothy Spall, Maggie Smith, and Alan Rickman

44D’s Reviews

Audiegrl
Although it took a great deal patience and sacrifice (LOL), I waited to read the Harry Potter series until J.K. Rowlings published the seventh and final book in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007. It was worth the wait… Now I’m able to get my HP fix each year when a new movie comes out. What on earth am I going to do when the movies are over??? Seriously, if you love Harry Potter, you’ll enjoy the movie as well. 😉

Did You Know?

Jessie Cave beat over 7000 girls to win the role of Lavender Brown, Ron’s “love-interest” from the book.

Quidditch at Hogwarts makes a grand (and much publicized) return, after being completely absent since the fourth installment. A full game of Quidditch has in fact not been featured since the 2nd film.

Dame Maggie Smith completed filming this film whilst undergoing radio-therapy as treatment for breast cancer.

The original script included all of Dumbledore’s memories about Voldemort as outlined in the source novel, but the director insisted on trimming them down as, according to Steve Kloves, “..he wanted to showcase Voldemort’s rise without getting overly involved with his past as Riddle.”

One Nomination

Best Cinematography

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Cinematography, Books, Children, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World, Young Men, Young Women

Seven Features Continue in VFX Oscar® Race

Posted by: Audiegrl

***Update ALERT~~~44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Section Is Now Open!!! Over 88 individual pages. Click here for complete coverage of all nominated movies, that includes: nomination categories, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and much more…And don’t forget we will be live-blogging the Oscars® on March 7th, please stop by and join our virtual Oscar® Party!!***

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 82nd Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

Avatar
When his brother is killed in battle, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully takes his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. The planet is inhabited by the Navi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Jake learns of the plan to drive off the Na’vi, in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland.

Watch the trailer

District 9
In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The extraterrestrial race is forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth and find a kindred spirit in a government agent that is exposed to their biotechnology.

Watch the trailer

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts, Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds. Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching.
Watch the trailer

Star Trek
The film follows James T. Kirk enrolling at Starfleet Academy, his first meeting with Spock, and their battles with Romulans from the future, who are interfering with history. Together, the new crew of the USS Enterprise will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.
Watch the trailer

Terminator Salvation
It’s the early stages of the war between man and machines. And the savior John Conner is doing everything he can to make sure man survives. He thinks he’s found a way to ensure that, and he also learns that the machines have targeted the man who’s suppose to father him, Kyle Reese, so he tries to find him.
Watch the trailer

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
When Sam starts college, the Decepticons make trouble in Shanghai. A presidential envoy believes it’s because the Autobots are around. The Decepticons need access to Sam’s mind for glyphs imprinted there that will lead them to a fragile object that, when inserted in an alien machine hidden in Egypt for centuries, gives them the power to blow out the sun.
Watch the trailer

2012
Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. 2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors trying to escape the impending cataclysm.
Watch the trailer

On Thursday, January 21, all members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Art, Best Visual Effects, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Media and Entertainment, Movies, News, Pop Culture, Technology, Uncategorized, United States, US, Video/YouTube

Breaking News: 2 Federal Agents Shot in Las Vegas Courthouse

Posted by Audiegrl


***UPDATE Sources say the gunman is 66-year-old Johnny Lee Wicks. He was apparently angry about a reduction in his social security benefits when he stormed into the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse and opened fire.

Read the Lawsuit filed by Johnny Wicks

Sixty-five-year-old Stanley Cooper, a court security officer, and an unnamed 48-year-old deputy U.S. Marshal were gunned down when Wicks opened fire in the lobby of the federal building in downtown Las Vegas around 8 a.m. Cooper is a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sergeant. A motorcade made up of dozens of police officers escorted his body from University Medical Center to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey said the shooting started in the main foyer and continued outside. The gunman was killed across the street from the federal building, which is located on Las Vegas Blvd. between Bridger and Bonneville Avenues. Seven U.S. Marshals and security officers were involved in the gunfire. Some witnesses say they heard between 50 to 100 shots fired.

Wicks filed a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration in early 2008. In a handwritten complaint, he said discrimination had followed him from California to Nevada. Wicks wrote this about one California agent, “Doesn’t try to hide the way he feels about black people so he reduced my benefits.”

Wicks explained he suffered a stroke some years back. He claimed his benefits dropped from $886 to $445 a month and then to $128 a month.

U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley reviewed the case and determined Wicks’ payments were reduced because Nevada, unlike California, does not provide a state supplement. When Wicks moved to Nevada he was no longer eligible for the supplement.

The case was ultimately dismissed in September of 2009.

Prior to Wicks’ arrival at the courthouse, investigators suspect he set his home on fire. He lived at Sunrise Senior Village on 30th Street in Las Vegas.


***UPDATE Marshals say they don’t know motive for shooting

***UPDATE U.S. Marshals Service Director John F. Clark said in a statement, “I can receive no news more grim or sobering than word of a line-of-duty death or injury to our U.S. Marshals personnel. … Rest assured, the brave and immediate actions of these two individuals saved lives by stopping the threat of a reckless and callous gunman who had no regard for who or how many victims were struck down by his senseless actions. They are heroes.”

***UPDATE 8 News Now has learned that the Deputy U.S. Marshal suffered buckshot wounds to his head and hand. At least five federal agents shot the gunman killing him. The gunman’s body is outside of the federal building. The court security officer is identified as being 65-year-old retired Metro Sgt.

***UPDATE (AP)~~Hospital official says a court officer in Las Vegas federal building shooting has died.

Suspected gunman is shot dead, FBI says

The Lloyd George Federal Building in Las Vegas

MSNBC—Two federal agents were shot Monday when a gunman opened fire in the lobby of a federal building in downtown Las Vegas, and the gunman was shot and killed, the FBI said.

We have two marshals down,” Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Roxanna Lea Irwin said after the shooting ended at about 8 a.m. local time.

The condition of the federal agents was not immediately known.

Police and other federal agents swarmed the multi-story building, and paramedics wheeled at least two people out and down a ramp to ambulances. There was no immediate word on the identity of the shooter.

Las Vegas police spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said the gunman had been shot in the head.

It looks like he went in there and just started unloading,” Morgan said.

The multi-story building houses federal courts and offices for federal officials including U.S. Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign.

Irwin said she saw shotgun casings on the floor of the lobby.

Two Shot at Las Vegas Courthouse

Police block off the area around the federal courthouse in Las Vegas on Monday.

CNN—Two people were shot Monday in the lobby of a federal courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada, police said.

The shooting suspect was shot and killed, FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey said.

The incident occurred about 8 a.m., said Barbara Morgan, spokeswoman for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

The two victims were a deputy U.S. marshal and a court security officer, according to U.S. Marshals spokesman Jeff Carter.

Authorities were in the process of evacuating the building, Dickey said.

One person was dead at the scene, and two others were transported to University Medical Center in unknown condition, according to Tim Szymanski, spokesman for the Las Vegas Fire Department.

No one else was in the lobby at the time of the incident, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said.

This report will be updated as information becomes available.

On YouTube, a man who claimed to have a jury summons captured audio of the shots (contains graphic language):
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Special agent Joseph Dickey confirms that two federal agents were shot in Las Vegas Monday. One suspect was shot and killed, according to Dickey.

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Filed under Crime, Guns, Las Vegas, NV, Law, Police, Uncategorized, Violence

Welcome to 44’D’s Happy Holiday’s Special

We here at The 44 Diaries would like to say Thank You for participating in our blog and we hope that you all have a happy holiday and a prosperous new year. We also hope that you get to spend plenty of time with the people you love the most…

Please note: We will be keeping this up all week in celebration, but will be posting political news in the top section next to ‘Home’.


History of Christmas




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Origins and Traditions of Hanukkah

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Celebrating Kwanzaa



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Santa Claus Through History



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Famous and Not-So Famous Christmas Movies List

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The History of Christmas at the White House 1789-2009

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Twenty-Five Days of Christmas Music Videos

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Christmas Around the World



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Fun Filled Christmas Facts



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Christmas in the Age of Dickens

Christmas in the Age of Dickens



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Amazing Christmas Truce of 1914



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Holiday Season at the White House with the Obama’s 2009




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