Perhaps Strauss-Kahn Really WAS Set Up?

Dominque Strauss-Kahn

Lots of people questioned the convenient timing of the Strauss-Kahn arrest, and I pooh-poohed them. Now The New York Times is reporting that the woman who accused former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault is turning out to be a very different sort of person from the simple hotel maid she had originally appeared to be–so much so that the case against Strauss-Kahn is “on the verge of collapse.”

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said….Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.

Either the woman or her boyfriend, who is currently in jail for possession of 400 pounds of pot, has apparently been using her name to facilitate a drug dealing operation. She claims she didn’t know anything about all this, but she was recorded talking to the jailed man about how they could profit from the sexual assault charges against Strauss-Kahn.

They also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five different companies. The woman insisted she only had a single phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.

Could she have been paid to set Strauss-Kahn up and get him fired from the IMF as well as dropped from consideration as a candidate for President of France? If so, who set him up? Who had motive, means, and opportunity, and who benefited? I see a couple of possibilities:

1. The Brits and Americans wanted him off the IMF so they could really stick it to Greece. Strauss-Kahn is a socialist and was talking about trying to help struggling countries. Obviously the Obama administration or some rogue element in the government had means and opportunity.

2. Sarkozy wanted to get rid of a dangerous rival for the French presidency and also to install his Finance Minister as head of the IMF. He would probably need cooperation from the Obama administration or the aforementioned rogue government elements to get the NYPD on board. (Coincidentally (or not?), Sarkozy was attacked in France today).

Are there other possibilities I’ve overlooked?


Late Night Open Thread: BeBe Fly Girl…Women in Aviation

Good late night!  Here is an open thread for you all. With the recent news about women being pushed back and not forward, I thought we should have a post with some uplifting links about women that have broken through barriers and done some extraordinary things.

In honor of my little girl learning how to fly an ultralight airplane without any assistance, I would like to highlight Women Aviators…

(Isn’t is great to see her flying on her own? I am very proud of my daughter!)

This link has a history timeline listing special dates and descriptions of Women and Flight.  The timeline starts in 1784 through 2001. Women in Aviation – Timeline – Pilots – Flying

1910 - September 2 – Blanche Stuart Scott, without permission or knowledge of Glenn Curtiss, the airplane’s owner and builder, removes a small wood wedge and is able to get the airplane airborne — without any flying lessons — thus becoming the first American woman to pilot an airplane

1910 - October 13 – Bessica Raiche’s flight qualifies her, for some, as the first woman pilot in America — because some discount the flight of Scott as accidental and therefore deny her this credit

1910 - Baroness Raymonde de la Roche becomes the first woman in the world to earn her pilot’s license

1911 - August 11 – Harriet Quimby becomes the first American woman licensed pilot

1911 - September 4 – Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly at night

1912 - April 16 – Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to pilot her own aircraft across the English Channel

1913 - Alys McKey Bryant is the first woman pilot in Canada

1916 - Ruth Law sets two American records flying from Chicago to New York

1918 - The US postmaster general approves the appointment of Marjorie Stinson as the first female airmail pilot

1919 - Ruth Law becomes the first person to fly air mail in the Phillipines

1921 - Adrienne Bolland is the first woman to fly over the Andes

1921 - Bessie Coleman becomes the first African American, male or female, to earn a pilot’s license

1922 - Lillian Gatlin is the first woman to fly across America as a passenger

1928 - June 17 – Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic — Lou Gordon and Wilmer Stultz did most of the flying

1929 - August – first Women’s Air Derby is held, and Louise Thaden wins, Gladys O’Donnell takes second place and Amelia Earhart takes third

1929 - Florence Lowe Barnes – Pancho Barnes – becomes the first woman stunt pilot in motion pictures (in “Hell’s Angels”)

1929 - Amelia Earhart becomes the first president of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots.

1930 - May 5-24 – Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia

1930 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh becomes the first woman to earn a glider pilot license

1931 - Ruth Nichols fails in her attempt to fly solo across the Atlantic, but she breaks the world distance record flying from California to Kentucky

1931 - Katherine Cheung becomes the first woman of Chinese ancestry to earn a pilot’s license

1932 - May 20-21 – Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic

The Smithsonian has some more history about American Women in Flight, including some wonderful images.  Flying With America’s Most Famous Female Aviators | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

Flying With America’s Most Famous Female Aviators
Dozens of talented women preceded Amelia Earhart, and thousands have followed, and each has her own groundbreaking story to tell

Bessie Coleman

This is really a great place to start learning about historic aviatrix like Bessie Coleman (1892–1926)

Turned down by U.S. flight schools because she was black, Coleman went to France, where in 1921 she earned the first International Pilot’s License issued to an African-American woman. Returning to the U.S., where she was annointed “Queen Bess” by aviation enthusiasts, she flew at exhibitions and encouraged blacks of both sexes to take up flying. Before she could raise the money to open a flight school, she was thrown to her death in 1926 as her plane went into a spin while she was rehearsing for an airshow.

Please go to the Smithsonian link for other biographies and pictures of some brave fly girls.

Shorpy also has some cool images of Women in Aviation at this link here.

For more recent information on Women Pilots, check this online magazine out,  Woman Pilot magazine profiling women involved in aviation:

Aviatrix Publishing, Inc. founded Woman Pilot Magazine in 1993 with the goal of profiling the accomplishments of women in all aspects of aviation. Since 1993, we have published hundreds of articles featuring female aviators.

So, do you have any interesting stories or pictures or links you would like to share about amazing women?

Let’s see what you got in the comments below!


SDB Evening News Reads for 063011: Free Trade Abortions and Stupid Spectators

NARAL Pro-Choice America

Kansas Planned Parenthood Update below!

Anyone wonder if and when young women will realize just how bad these new PLUB laws are for their Reproductive Health.  Kansas no longer has on demand abortion services, I can’t believe it has come to this:  Kansas Denies Abortion License For Planned Parenthood : NPR

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas has been denied a state license to allow it to continue performing abortions as of Friday.

That means Kansas will become the only state without a clinic or doctor’s office performing abortions, at least temporarily.

There is more info at this link below, but since it is an AP article, I won’t quote from it…just go and read it yourself.

The Associated Press: Planned Parenthood denied Kan. abortion license

***Updated AP article*** I have a link to Atlanta Journal Constitution here:

APNewsBreak: Kan.: Abortion clinic to get license  | ajc.com

The Kansas health department now says that one of its three abortion providers will receive a license to continue performing abortions.

Joseph Kroll, right, director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment bureau that wrote new rules for abortion clinics, talks with Kathy Ostrowski, left, in white, the legislative director of Kansans for Life, Thursday, June 30, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. They are speaking after a state board allowed the rules to take effect, as of July 1, 2011. Planned Parenthood disclosed Thursday that its Kansas clinic had been denied a state license to continue performing abortions as the group filed its own lawsuit to block new state rules that will make Kansas the first state in the nation without an abortion provider. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor, left, and Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, listen to a presentation on new regulations for abortion clinics, Thursday, June 30, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Taylor and Kobach are members of the State Rules and Regulations Board, which is allowing the regulations to take effect on Friday, July 1, 2011. Planned Parenthood disclosed Thursday that its Kansas clinic had been denied a state license to continue performing abortions as the group filed its own lawsuit to block new state rules that will make Kansas the first state in the nation without an abortion provider. (AP Photo/JohnThe Kansas Department of Health and Environment did not name the provider Thursday.

But Planned Parenthood officials said that state inspectors returned to its Kansas City area clinic for a second visit Thursday after denying it a license previously.

The state’s two other clinics have not been inspected for licensing under a new law taking effect Friday, along with health regulations for the providers. If none of the clinics were to receive a license, Kansas would become the first state in the country without an abortion provider.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

And hey, check out what Senator Orrin Hatch (R) is trying to pull now:  Hatch Aims To Tack Abortion Ban on to Trade Pact | Mother Jones

What does the Korean free trade agreement have to do with abortion? You got me. But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) plans to offer an amendment in today’s markup of a handful of trade bills in the Senate Finance Committee that would bar Medicaid funding for abortions.

The amendment is described as seeking “to close the loophole that sends taxpayer dollars to fund operational costs for abortions.” It would block Medicaid dollars from being used at “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.” It’s hard to begin on how bad this would be. Basically, any facility that offered abortion for any reason—even a hospital providing it as life-saving emergency care for a woman—would not be able to accept Medicaid payment. The effect would be that hospitals and clinics that currently offer abortion would likely stop doing so in order to be able to continue accepting Medicaid money, and the low-income women who rely on Medicaid would be effectively denied abortion coverage entirely.

The article goes on to say it will more than likely not pass, but what the hell? The fact that it was even put into this Korean free trade agreement is proof enough that these PLUBs will try anything to get their anti-woman agenda passed.

Whitey Bulger was assigned a defense attorney today, and not just any suit in the Public Defender’s office:  Judge taps high-profile defender for mob boss Bulger | Reuters

Former Boston mob boss and accused murderer James “Whitey” Bulger will have a high-profile criminal defense attorney, J. W. Carney, represent him at public expense, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler rejected the prosecution’s argument that Bulger should not get publicly funded counsel in his pending trial for racketeering, 19 counts of murder and other crimes.

There was no evidence that Bulger had the means to pay for his defense, Bowler said, setting his arraignment for July 6.

As far as the $800,000 in cash they found on Bulger when he was taken into custody last week:  Bulger victim wins lien freezing mobster’s $800k – CBS News

In other criminal news, the Defense rest in the Casey Anthony trial.  Not much more to say about the trial, this headline pretty much does it…

Casey Anthony Won’t Testify – The Daily Beast

Since the defense rested today, closing arguments will probably be heard on Saturday…then comes the media’s jury watch that may rival the one when OJ was on trial. Back when the jury was deliberating whether OJ did it or not, social networks were not as prevalent or ingrained into our society as it is now.

I will end with this nugget of stupidity that was seen at the end of court today.  Matthew Bartlett, a 28-year-old waiter at TGIFriday’s flipped a bird at Prosecutor Ashton while the jury was in court…fortunately they did not see it!

Ashleigh Banfield

He has to also pay $223 court cost, so a total of $623 in fines and 6 days in the county jail…for this,

OSCaseyAnthony‎ Pix of spectator Matthew Bartlett busted for busting out middle finger to Ashton. #CaseyAnthony yfrog.com/hs3f8dbj

What a dumb ass…

Well, that is all I can say about that.

If you have any news links you want to post, please do so in the comment section below.


Mark Halperin lets it all hang out

I have never been a fan of Mark Halperin or watched Joe Scarborough so I can’t say that I particularly care about either of their careers or politics. I will say that I believe that all cable news pundits take themselves WAY too seriously.  This item gave me a great pre-coffee giggle so I have to pass on the collective villager on-line gasps!  We’re shocked!!! Shocked I tell you!!!  I’ll start out with Steven Benen of Washington Monthly.

It’s hard not to love that “liberal” media.On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the three-hour program co-hosted by a conservative Republican former congressman, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin was asked for his assessment of President Obama’s White House press conference. “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday,” Halperin said.

If you can watch the video, note how Halperin, ostensibly one of the nation’s most influential pundits, was smiling, with a smug satisfaction. It wasn’t a word he just blurted out in the heat of a larger discussion — Halperin thought about it, asked about whether the broadcast was on a seven-second delay, and then took his shot.

Not to be left out, Politico gives us this one.  Notice how quickly the ‘real’ press is running for the door.

Time issued a statement later Thursday calling Halperin’s comments “inappropriate and in no way reflective of TIME’s views.”

The magazine did not suspend Halperin but said, “We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable” and noted that he had “appropriately” apologized.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday afternoon that he called Halperin’s bosses at MSNBC.

“The comment that was made was inappropriate,” Carney told reporters in his daily briefing. “It would be inappropriate to say that about either president of either party.”

During the Morning Joe show, host Joe Scarborough asked Halperin what he thought of Obama’s press conference and Halperin asked if the seven-second delay were in effect so he could give his real opinion – apparently thinking it would be bleeped out before hitting the air. Scarborough told Halperin to go for it because they would use the delay to prevent whatever he said from being broadcast. “You fall down, I’m going to catch you,” Scarborough told Halperin.

Scarborough isn’t experiencing any fall out so far.  Here’s a fun one from WAPO’s Greg Sargent.  Go read beyond this quote.  The word sanctimonious comes to my mind, but I’ll let you dissect and see if you agree.

I’m sorry, but this is crazy. Halperin’s crack was crude and dumb, but it doesn’t deserve indefinite suspension. Halperin’s use of an expletive is trival when compared with the degradation of our political discourse we witness on a regular basis from Halperin and many others — degradation that is seen as perfectly acceptable because no curse words are employed. Suspending Halperin only reinforces a phony definition of “civility” in our discourse, in which it’s unacceptable to use foul language and be “uncivil,” but it’s perfectly acceptable for reporters and commentators to allow outright falsehoods to pass unrebutted; to traffic endlessly in false equivalences in the name of some bogus notion of objectivity; and to make confident assertions about public opinion without referring to polls which show them to be completely wrong.

It takes one to know one.

Salon‘s Alex Pareene published a pretty brutal capsule of Halperin’s poltical  analysis.

This is a great excuse for MSNBC to fire Halperin, though! I mean if they won’t fire him for being incompetent at understanding and explaining politics they now have an opportunity to fire him for being disrespectful and vulgar. (Ed Schultz was suspended over as much.)

Being a professional observer of the “horse race” is bad enough, but Halperin doesn’t even understand the horse-race element of politics. He fails at being a hack. He’s too dumb to correctly parrot conventional wisdom. He is pretty sure Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are 2012 front-runners. He thought “suspending his campaign” to fix the economy and not knowing how many houses he has were both huge messaging victories for John McCain. He wrote a book about how to win in 2008 that predicted everything Hillary did, but in his world it all worked. He thought Bush’s political comeback would come any day now throughout the entirety of the years 2006-2008. He can’t interpret polls or see through the spin of GOP consultants who are much smarter than he. If I were revising the Hack list I’d put him above No. 1.

So this indefinite suspension is a nice first step, but I bet it won’t be long before they allow him to come crawling back into Mika and Joe’s little parlor of inanity. (And will Joe get in trouble for egging him on? Does Joe get in trouble for anything?)

So, is this a case of it takes one to know one?  Go check out the huge list of reactions via memeorandum.  See the Village.  See the Village Gasp.  See the Village react in a predictably partisan pattern.


Thursday Reads: Fallen Idols, President Pushover, Worsening Weather, Rogue Federal Agency, and More

Good Morning!! I’ve got a variety of interesting reads for you today, so let’s get right to it. Imagine the guy who wrote these words:

“Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.”

Now imagine that he admired Ronald Reagan.

John Lennon, the long-haired British peacenik who was investigated by the FBI in 1972 after he allegedly contributed $75,000 to a group suspected of planning to disrupt the Republican National Convention later was a closet conservative….Fred Seaman, who was Lennon’s personal assistant from 1979 until the singer’s assassination in 1980, claims the former Beatle and anti-war activist favored Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter and would have voted for the Gipper if he could have.

“John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on Jimmy Carter,” Seaman told Seth Swirsky, who is making a film about the Fab Four.

Seaman said the guitarist “met Reagan back, I think, in the ’70s at some sporting event.”

“Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young [peace] demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that,” Seaman told Swirsky in excerpts published in the Toronto Sun. “He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.”

I don’t even know how to respond to this stunning news. Lennon was apparently a Reagan Democrat. If he’d lived he probably would have been an Obot too….

NYT: Violent Clashes in the Streets of Athens

Confrontations between the police and protesters reached a violent climax here on Wednesday as armored riot officers beat back demonstrators and fired volleys of tear gas into the crowds who had gathered outside Parliament. Inside, lawmakers approved a package of austerity measures aimed at helping Greece avoid a default.

On the second day of a two-day general strike called by unions, rogue protesters also attacked the Finance Ministry on Syntagma Square across from Parliament and set fire to a post office in the ground floor of the building. The King George Palace, a luxury hotel that faces the square, was evacuated in the afternoon.

A police spokeswoman said that 31 police officers were injured and that 30 people had been detained, leading to 11 arrests. Local news media reported that dozens of protesters were hospitalized, and video clips showed the police striking people with their batons.

Amnesty International released a statement on Wednesday condemning the “repeated use of excessive force by police in recent demonstrations, including the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of tear gas and other chemicals against largely peaceful protesters.”

Is this what’s coming for the U.S.? At a press conference today President Obama warned Republicans to wake up and smell the tax increases (aside: I’m not holding my breath for Obama to follow through).

President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt.

Declaring that an agreement is not possible without painful steps on both sides, Mr. Obama said that his party had already accepted the need for substantial spending cuts in programs it had long championed, and that Republicans must agree to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge funds and other corporate interests.

In a 67-minute news conference, Mr. Obama cast the budget battle as a tug of war between the interests of the rich — like owners of corporate jets, who he said get generous tax breaks — and those of the middle class, the elderly and children.

But Obama himself offered at best very weak tea:

Mr. Obama, under assault from Republicans on the campaign trail for an unemployment rate that remains above 9 percent, asked voters to understand that the economic recovery would take time but said that Washington, even in its current financial straits, could still do more to help. He expressed support for extending a reduction in payroll taxes for an extra year, providing loans for road and bridge-building and approving trade pacts that could help spur exports.

Big whoop. Why didn’t he fight to end the Bush tax cuts then?

Ezra Klein explains “How you know the negotiations have truly failed.”

The best advice I’ve gotten for assessing the debt-ceiling negotiations was to “watch for the day when the White House goes public.” As long as the Obama administration was refusing to attack Republicans publicly, my source said, they believed they could cut a deal. And that held true. They were quiet when the negotiations were going on. They were restrained after Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl walked out last week. Press Secretary Jay Carney simply said, “We are confident that we can continue to seek common ground and that we will achieve a balanced approach to deficit reduction.” But today they went public. The negotiations have failed.

“The primary goal of President Obama’s presser, which just wrapped up, was obvious,” writes Greg Sargent. “He was clearly out to pick a major public fight with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich.” That’s exactly right. But he didn’t want this fight. He wanted a deal. And he wasn’t able to get one that the White House considered even minimally acceptable. After putting more than $2 trillion of spending cuts on the table, they weren’t even able to get $400 billion — about a sixth of the total — in tax increases.

The conventional wisdom is that now this fight moves to the people. I’d put it differently. Now this fight moves to the consequences. Neither side is going to give in the face of purely rhetorical salvos. The White House is expecting Republicans to accuse them of wanting to raise taxes. The Republicans are expecting the White House to accuse them of putting the interests of large corporations and wealthy donors in front of the needs of seniors, children and the poor. Both parties have seen the poll numbers behind their positions. If a few news conferences were going to be sufficient to end this, it would never have started.

Climate experts warn that “epic weather” will continue because of climate change

Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather.

The human and economic toll over just the past few months has been staggering: hundreds of people have died, and thousands of homes and millions of acres have been lost at a cost estimated at more than $20 billion.

And the United States has not even entered peak hurricane season.

“This spring was one of the most extreme springs that we’ve seen in the last century since we’ve had good records,” said Deke Arndt, chief of climate monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While it’s not possible to tie a specific weather event or pattern to climate change, Arndt said this spring’s extreme weather is in line with what is forecast for the future.

The Boston Globe reveals that fishermen in Gloucester, MA and up and down the Atlantic coast were the victims of abuse of power by NOAA.

About a decade ago, the Commerce Department’s fish police started a fight with Larry Ciulla, who owns and operates the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction with three other family members. Claiming that the auction had exceeded the day’s catch limit by one 60-pound fish, the regulators levied a $120,000 fine and ordered a 90-day shutdown.

Outraged, Ciulla challenged the penalty. He turned to Gloucester lawyer Ann-Margaret Ferrante, who is now a state representative and whose grandfather, father, and uncle were fishermen. Together, they decided to take on the agency known as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In need of political backup, they went to US Representative John Tierney, whose district covers Gloucester. Eventually, their grass-roots effort drew in the mayors of Gloucester and New Bedford, the Bay State congressional delegation, and a bipartisan string of lawmakers from Maine to the Carolinas.

This year, federal officials finally acknowledged their own regulators had gone rogue. They were guilty of overzealous, abusive, and targeted enforcement, a series of independent investigations revealed. Regulators were levying crippling fines for invented or inflated offenses, as they relentlessly bullied an entire industry. They were using the fishermen’s money to finance a fleet of cars, a luxury boat, and assorted foreign junkets.

Please read the whole sordid story.

Twitter has released fascinating data on the number of tweets and direct messages during and after the Japan earthquake.

“On Twitter, we saw a 500% increase in Tweets from Japan as people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the March 2011 earthquake,” said the company on its blog.

Kirstin Powers interviewed Michele Bachmann, and learned that the Tea Party queen is no feminist.

Unlike Sarah Palin, who has brandished the feminist moniker and spoken of an “emerging conservative feminist identity,” Bachmann told me in an interview Tuesday that she wouldn’t call herself a feminist—instead, she simply described herself as “pro-woman and pro-man.” When I pressed her on the matter, the Minnesota congresswoman said she sees herself as an “empowered American.”

Bachmann seemed loath to engage in the kind of girl-power rhetoric utilized by Palin and Hillary Clinton, who both invoked the perennial—and so far unbreakable—presidential glass ceiling.

Said Bachmann: “I’m a woman comfortable in her own skin. I grew up with three brothers. My parents didn’t see us [as] limited [by gender]. I would mow the lawn and take out the trash; I was making my own fishing lures. I went along with everything the boys did.”

Bachmann is still doing everything the boys do, but as a female candidate she endures indignities that are foreign to your average male pol. Yet she takes it all in stride.

Don’t you just love it when smarmy, self-righteous people are brought low? I know I do. Despite the fact that I loathe pedophiles, I’ve always been turned off by Chris Hansen and his obnoxious TV show “To Catch a Predator.” Now Hansen himself has been caught on “candid camera.”

Chris Hansen has found himself on the receiving end of his own hidden camera tactics, after the married NBC anchor was secretly filmed on an illicit date with a blonde television reporter 20 years his junior.

Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida journalist, for the last four months.

ROFLOL!

Secret cameras filmed the couple as they arrived at the hotel for dinner and then drove back to her apartment – where the pair left, carrying luggage, at 8am the following day.
Hansen lives in Connecticut with his wife Mary, 53, but he has been spending more and more time in South Florida investigating the disappearance of James ‘Jimmy T’ Trindade – and allegedly sleeping with Miss Caddell.

The cameras belonged to The National Enquirer. Fortunately for Hansen, Miss Caddell is slightly beyond the age of consent.

"Agony," by Bert Adams

Finally, here’s a nice summery story to get you ready for the upcoming long weekend: Work’s a Day at the Beach for Sand-Castle Consultants

CANNON BEACH, Ore.—On a recent weekend, sand creatures were sprawled across this Pacific Coast beach. There were sea horses by a giant squid, with an “Attackin’ Kraken” sea monster nearby, along with several pigs, some giant mice and an amputee octopus.

Many of the sand sculptures had the same point of origin: They had been built by people who at one time or another were advised by Bert Adams, one of the nation’s handful of professional sand-castle consultants.

“They did well,” said Mr. Adams, a 51-year-old former electrical engineer, as he surveyed the array of creations made by his onetime students at Cannon Beach’s 47th annual sand sculpting tournament.

“He’s a great mentor,” says Amos Callender, an Olympia, Wash., architect who took a course—Sand 101—that Mr. Adams taught two years ago. Mr. Callender and his team took first place at Cannon Beach last year, while this year they built a sand sculpture depicting “the good life”—a wine lover sporting a beret; a mouse tucking into a giant wheel of cheese—that finished second.

What a great idea. Now if only I could find a niche that would pay me big bucks for something I love doing!

So what are you reading and blogging about today? Hit me with it!