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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

The fountain in front of the White House flows with green water, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, in honor of St. Patrick's Day in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a yearly holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland’s culture.

It is a public holiday on the island of Ireland (both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) and widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat.

First Lady Michelle Obama brought a new tradition to the White House in 2009. She asked groundskeepers to dye the White House’s fountain water green for St. Patrick’s Day, paying homage to a long-time tradition in her home in Chicago. Each year the windy city’s Chicago River is dyed green for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

President Barack Obama (R) meets with the Taoiseach of Ireland Brian Cowen, in the Oval Office at the White House on March 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. Taoiseach Cowen is in Washington for St. Patrick's Day to meet with President Obama and later this afternoon will have lunch with members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

(AFP)~President Barack Obama on Wednesday thanked Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen for his support on “critical” global issues, and feted the Irish diaspora in America on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Obama welcomed the Irish leader to the Oval Office, in line with regular Saint Patrick’s Day tradition, and was also due to host a reception later in the evening to mark Ireland’s national celebration.

The president, wearing a green tie, thanked Cowen for Ireland’s assistance on “critical international issues,” noting that many US troops transited through Ireland on the way to Afghanistan.

He also praised the Irish government for the role its police were playing in training police forces in Afghanistan and said 36 million people who trace their lineage to Ireland had made a great contribution to American life.

Obama praised Cowen’s government for the role it was playing along with Britain and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in “reaffirming the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland.”

Cowen praised Obama’s sense of “mission” in the way he is positioning America around the world and praised the efforts the US leader had made since coming to office last year in repairing US banks and reviving the economy.

Read President Obama’s Transcript

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First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at an event sponsored by Newsweek at Washington's Newseum, where she spoke about her campaign to improve fitness and combat obesity in children. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite/March 17 2010)

Following her cover story for Newsweek, the First Lady talked with Newsweek’s Editor Jon Meacham about her Let’s Move campaign at the Newseum in Washington D.C. today. She discussed the magnitude of the problem of childhood obesity, especially during current times as a busier culture:

We’re also a culture and a society right now that snacks a lot more. Just some of the statistics I talked about in my speech yesterday was that the average snack amount when I was growing up was one snack a day, if you were lucky. And now it’s averaging two to three. They say the average school-age kid is getting six snacks a day. So we’re taking 200 more calories than we were 40 years ago, 30 years ago just from snacks alone.

She explained the importance of food manufacturing industries providing clear food labels so people can easily make decisions about what foods are healthy. “Parents have to understand what’s in the Twinkie; again, how does it fit into the overall diet. So we don’t need a warning, we need information. And we need information that’s easy to understand.”

The First Lady also talked about passing legislation that will set nutritional guidelines for school lunch programs and vending machines. President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the Council on Childhood Obesity that will review every program and policy regarding education and nutrition.

Visit LetsMove.gov to learn more about the initiative to address the growing health epidemic of childhood obesity.

Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Newsweek’s Newseum Event

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President Barack Obama (R) talks to U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) during a departure from the annual St. Patrick?s Day Capitol Hill luncheon March 17, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Obama will host Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen for a St. Patricks Day reception at the White House in the evening. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

ABC~At House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s annual Friends of Annual luncheon this afternoon, President Obama told the crowd that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., was paying attention to the health care reform battle as it reaches its final hours.

The president said that today “we all feel the heavy absence of one of our greatest Irish-Americans; a man who loved this day so much; a man who I believe is still watching this body closely, particularly this week — and that is our beloved Ted Kennedy.

Kennedy was a longtime advocate of expanding government-run health insurance and would have played a key role in the formation of the health care reform bill had he not taken ill.

At the luncheon, the president noted the presence of Kennedy’s widow Victoria Reggie and his son Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI.

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In the evening, the President and the First Lady hosted the Taoiseach and Mrs. Cowen at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Reception held in the East Room. The President and the Taoiseach delivered remarks and participated in a traditional Shamrock Ceremony. The Vice President introduced the President. Prior to their arrival, the Keltic Dreams, an after school Irish dancing troupe from Public School 59 in the Bronx, and the City of Washington Pipe Band performed.

President Barack Obama (R) receives a bowl of shamrocks from Prime Minister of Ireland Brian Cowen (L) during the annual St. Patrick's Day Reception in the East Room of the White House, March 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama and Cowen delivered remarks and participated in a traditional shamrock ceremony. Also in the picture is Mary Cowen (2nd L), wife of Prime Minister of Ireland Brian Cowen, and First Lady Michelle Obama (R).(Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

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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 (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi, First Lady Michelle Obama, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, St. Patrick's Day, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden, Video/YouTube

John Patrick Bedell: Following the Pentagon Shooter’s Trail On-line

Investigated by: Geot and Audiegrl

UPDATE:
Bedell Was Arrested in Reno Before the Shooting

John Patrick Bedell Reno booking shot (AP Photo/Washoe County jail via the Reno Gazette Journal)

This undated booking photo provided by the Washoe County jail via the Reno Gazette Journal on Friday, March 5, 2010 shows John Patrick Bedell. He was arrested about a month earlier in Reno for driving under the influence of marijuana and possessing the drug.

During that Feb. 1 arrest by Washoe sheriff’s deputies, John Patrick Bedell did not appear violent or have any weapons, according to a probable cause arrest report. He appeared so intoxicated that he nearly fell over during portions of the sobriety tests he was given. Inside Bedell’s car was a pink drug pipe with marijuana residue and three plastic containers with 2.6 ounches of marijuana, the report said.

On Feb. 5, Bedell posted $2,080 cash bail in Reno on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance, records show. He was given a March 2 arraignment date in Reno Justice Court and failed to appear.

Bedell’s arrest documents
source:

UPDATE:
Pentagon Shooter Had a History of Mental Illness

DMV photo of John Patrick Bedell

DMV photo of John Patrick Bedell

AP~The man who opened fire in front of the Pentagon had a history of mental illness and had become so erratic that his parents reached out to local authorities weeks ago with a warning that he was unstable and might have a gun, authorities said Friday.
John Patrick Bedell was diagnosed as bipolar, or manic depressive, and had been in and out of treatment programs for years. His psychiatrist, J. Michael Nelson, said Bedell tried to self-medicate with marijuana, inadvertently making his symptoms more pronounced.

Without the stabilizing medication, the symptoms of his dis-inhibition, agitation and fearfullness complicated the lack of treatment,” Nelson said.
source:

Pentagon Police Chief Richard Keevill speaks with reporters about a shooting at the Pentagon in Washington, Thursday, March 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Last evening started out pretty routine, until shortly after 6:40pm when we all heard the horrific news that an unidentified gunman had shot two police officers outside of the Pentagon. Shortly before 8 p.m. Pentagon Police Chief Richard Keevil held an impromptu press conference to answer some of the reporters and the countries questions. He explained to the anxious reporters that a gunman entered the subway entrance of the Pentagon complex and casually reached into his coat (as if reaching for his Pentagon pass), and calmly, with no words, began shooting. He explained that the gunman was attempting to enter the Pentagon complex, and was only stopped by the officers returning fire and gravely injuring the assailant. “The two officers suffered grazing wounds and were being treated in a hospital“, said Cheif Keevill.


UPDATE:
Police Say John Patrick Bedell Stayed Calm During Shooting

Keevill said Bedell was “dressed in a suit and gave no indication of hostile intent, a very well-dressed individual. He was very calm, no distress. Walked directly up to the officers and engaged them.”

He also said that he may have uttered something before opening fire, but what he said was unclear at this time.

Bedell drove to Washington, D.C., from California over the past few weeks, Keevill said, adding that police have been able to trace his movements as he made his way. He parked his vehicle in a local garage; it has since been impounded and is being processed.
source:


At 9pm the alleged shooter was identified as 36-year old John Patrick Bedell. That is the point when we decided to do some digital forensic investigating on our own. At 10 pm the Associated Press reported that Bedell had died of his wounds, and that his body had been delivered to Beverly Fields, Chief of Staff of the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office.

This article is a compilation of what we discovered about John Patrick Bedell, which we shared last night with the Associated Press office in Washington, D.C. In this new digital age, it is virtually impossible not to find some details about a person’s life on the Internet. Posting as J. Patrick Bedell or JPatrick Bedell he left quite a trail to follow…

John Patrick Bedell in custody 2006

John Patrick Bedell in custody 2006

I am determined to see that justice is served in the death of Colonel James Sabow, as a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions and institutions such as the coup regime of 1963 that maintains itself in power through the global drug trade, financial corruption, and murder, among other crimes. My work to develop information currency is an effort to create a framework for information management that uses financial markets to create the economic signals (prices) that will effect complex human actions in the real world based on specified information.

“My desire for justice led me to violate what I think is one of the most unjust laws, cannabis prohibition, by growing 16 cannabis plants on my balcony in Irvine, CA from March 2006 to June 2006. (see below)

John Patrick Bedell: Video Capture by GeoT

John Patrick Bedell: Video Capture by GeoT

One desired result of my effort is (will be) billions and billions of carefully cultivated, highly valuable cannabis plants growing throughout the United States with complete security of property. I have posted the image to the right in order to illustrate the use of cannabis as a monetary system using digital financial instruments.

Wikipedia: User:JPatrickBedell

The NYT/AP reports a California based, twice busted marijuana activist behind Pentagon shooting…


John Patrick Bedell: documents from 2006 arrest in Orange County CA for Marijuana cultivation with the intent to sell and resisting arrest

Bedell’s online postings railed against the government’s enforcement of marijuana laws and included links to the his 2006 court case in Orange County, Calif., for cultivating marijuana and resisting and obstructing a arrest. We found the following court records available online:

The People of the State of California vs. John Patrick Bedell
District Attorney Case @06F08252
June 8, 2006


Bedell Speaks on Investment Proposal

Introduction to Information Currency
Uploaded to his YouTube page on October 31, 2006

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Bedell’s Anti-Government Musings
Directions To Freedom, Part One
(click play to listen)

Recorded on November 20, 2006 ~ OPEN SOURCE

Just bragging 🙂 44-D is being used a resource for this story:
ABC News is using our screen capture of Burdell.

and this from Orange County News Network:

“According to law enforcement documents posted by the blog 44-Diaries… “

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Filed under Crime, Guns, News, Police, Politics, True Crime, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Violence

Citizens for Real Health Care Reform and a PUBLIC OPTION

Dear Supporters,

Moments ago, the Senate voted to begin its full debate on historic health care reform legislation instead of obstructing it with a filibuster.

Tonight’s vote marks the biggest victory to date for our grassroots effort to pass health care reform with a public option. We cannot give enough thanks to the over 100,000 signers of our petition at CitizensForAPublicOption.com for helping to fundamentally shift the momentum towards meaningful reform.

Not long ago, a few loud opponents of reform armed and organized by the insurance industry dominated this debate. Now the American people, the majority of whom support a public option, have spoken out and gained the upper hand.

Not long ago, the public option seemed like little more than a pipe dream. Now it’s part of health care bills in both the Senate and the House.

Not long ago, members of our own Democratic caucus weren’t sure they could even support an up-or-down vote on health care reform legislation. Tonight they voted to end the Republican filibuster.

But despite this good news, the fight for meaningful health care reform is not over. As we debate amendments to this legislation in the coming weeks, we will work with our colleagues to ensure it continues to address the “Three C’s” of meaningful reform: competition, choice, and cost reduction. And we will firmly oppose any effort to eliminate the public option.

Tonight we celebrate a milestone no one thought we could reach just months ago. Tomorrow the fight continues. We will not let up until the President signs a bill we can all be proud of.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Senator Dick Durban, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Chuck Schumer

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Health Care Reform, History, Politics, Public Option, Uncategorized, Washington, DC

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Meets the 21st Century

Posted by Audiegrl

It’s been 166 years since the publication of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ seasonal story of redemption wrapped up in a biting indictment of 19th-century capitalism.

Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and Tiny Tim (Gary Oldman) are prepared to get you into the holiday spirit.

Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and Tiny Tim (Gary Oldman) are prepared to get you into the holiday spirit.

Telegraph.co.uk/Paula Bustamante—Yet in the era of global financial crisis and multi-billion-dollar fraud, Jim Carrey believes Dickens’s tale about how the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge learns to change his ways remains as relevant today as ever.

I think it’s a very pressing story nowadays, too,” said Carrey, the star of Disney’s re-imagining of the classic, released in North America on November 6. “I think stories get told at times when they’re supposed to be told.”

a_christmas_carol_jim_carrey_photoScrooge is the first corporate scumbag. The unloved scumbag. So, in this time when all our constructs are breaking down because of greed, this story is so pressing,” Carrey added.

“Everybody loves a good transformational story. You know, somebody who sees the light, who finally finds out what’s important in life. And, this is one of the greatest ones ever written.”

Just like the character of Scrooge, Carrey was confronted with a vision of his future during the making of the film.

But while Scrooge’s insight came via the spooky Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Carrey’s own premonition was entirely due to his appearance after the 3D movie’s special effects wizards went to work.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Instead of the familiar 47-year-old face known to millions in hits such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Bruce Almighty, Carrey said he was left staring at the spitting image of his father.

When I saw the movie, one of the first things I said when I saw the first close up of Scrooge is, ‘my family is going to have a heart attack, because that is my father,'” he said.

It’s unbelievable. It’s really a look into the future for me. Not the long chin and the long nose, but the look is what I’m going to look like when I’m old,” Carrey added.

Disney’s new take on the classic is the latest in a long line of adaptations of the beloved 1843 novella, with the first screen version coming more than a century ago with in the 1901 British short Scrooge.

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More @ telegraph.co.uk

A Christmas Carol Tops Weekend Box Office with $31 Million

5926A Christmas Carol unsurprisingly topped the weekend box office with an estimated $31 million in receipts.

The latest foray by Robert Zemeckis into motion-capture filmmaking came in lower than initial expectations but easily bested the $23.3 million open by The Polar Express, his last holiday CGI film. With the holiday season only now ramping up, A Christmas Carol should continue to play strong for weeks to come.

A Christmas Carol starring Jim CarreyCharles Dickens’ timeless tale of an old miser who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, as they help to bring kindness to his otherwise cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if he does not strive to be a better man. Set around Christmas, the most joyous day of the year, Scrooge realizes the sharp contrast of his own personality.

Jim Carrey plays four separate roles in this updated version of A Christmas Carol. Carrey portrays Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts (Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come). His dynamic character roles keep the four characters as diverse as being played by four actors.

Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy) has his chance to dabble in telling a story through the windows of time, as he directs the long-awaited remake.

Our Favorite Versions

Each December my family and I watch our favorite versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. What’s your favorite?

A Christmas Carol starring Alastair SimA Christmas Carol starring George C. ScottA Christmas Carol starring Patrick StewartScrooged starring Bill MurrayEbbie starring Susan Lucci
Ms. Scrooge starring Cicely Tyson

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Christmas in the Age of Dickens

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Georgia Restaurant Owner Puts The ‘N‘ Word On A Sign About Obama’s Healthcare

Posted by Audiegrl

Patrick Lanzo, 53, says his family has been in the restaurant business for 50 years. He's seated in the bar, where a “Whites Only” swimming pool sign sits underneath a portrait of President Obama.

Patrick Lanzo, 53, says his family has been in the restaurant business for 50 years. He's seated in the bar, where a “Whites Only” swimming pool sign sits underneath a portrait of President Obama.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Alexis Stevens—People come from all over to eat the fresh, fried seafood and drink a cold beer at this small bar on a rural highway at the Paulding-Haralson county line.

But some people just drive by to read the sign outside. It says something different every once in a while, depending on what bar owner Patrick Lanzo has on his mind. Politics are frequent topics, and former President Bill Clinton and congresswoman Cynthia McKinney have been targeted in the past.

We’re strictly about free speech,” Lanzo says, “but we’re labeled racist.”

The current sign, which has been outside the Georgia Peach Museum and Restaurant for about six months, takes a critical stand against President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan.

But it’s not just a simple message. It contains an “n” word many see as a racial slur. Find that offensive? Well just keep on driving, says Lanzo, who has run the bar for 22 years. (Note: Just for clarity the sign reads, “Obamas plan for health-care: N****r rig it“)

Lanzo contends the word is only labeled “racist” when it’s uttered by a white person. Similarly, he says white people referring to themselves as “crackers” aren’t labeled racists.

Racist or not, it’s a word Lanzo uses often. Many of the statements on his signs have included the word.

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Alan Colmes on his radio show Liberaland, gave Lanzo a chance to explain why he chose to use the n-word on his sign.

alancolmesliberalandListen here, if you have the stomach for it, Lazlo really felt free enough on radio to let it all hang out, so to speak. Lazlo is the owner of the Georgia Peach Museum and Restaurant — which declares that it is “the original Klan bar” on its website.

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Massachusetts Appointment Bill Passed by Senate

Governor Deval PatrickThe Massachusetts special appointment bill to name Senator Ted Kennedy’s replacement has just passed the Senate. Now all we need is Governor Duvall Patrick‘s signature. The vote was by a 24-16 margin.

Gov. Patrick said he will name an appointee by Friday, and then the Democrats will be back to a 60 seat majority.

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Patrick Swayze has Died

Patrick Swayze in 2005

Patrick Swayze in 2005

AP–Patrick Swayze, the actor who danced his way into viewers’ hearts with “Dirty Dancing” and then broke them with “Ghost,” died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were given.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting “The Beast,” an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making “The Beast” because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was “considerably more optimistic” than that.

“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters in early 2009. “Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”

A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad-boy Johnny Castle in “Dirty Dancing.” As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theater, he seemed a natural to play the role.

Cont’d

RIP Patrick ‘Buddy’ Swayze, you will be missed…




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