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Archive for January 13th, 2010

How long before this plays at the DPAC?

“Hope,” the Obama musical, opens on Jan. 17 at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt (actually Hoechst), Germany. This is the same hall where I saw John Mayall and the Blues Breakers and Ravi Shankar in 1969. Glad to see it’s still operating.

Actors playing Hillary and John McCain make an appearance in this video, but no sign of Sarah Palin.

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Religion of Peace update

A Muslim attorney in Detroit getting death threats for opposing terrorism:

Majed Moughni reported the call to Dearborn Police Department, which is now investigating the threat.

During the call, which Moughni recorded, the caller tells him how he is going to kill him.

Caller: “I will shoot you. I will put a bullet in your head.”

Last Friday, Moughni led 150 Muslims protesting the act of terrorism on Christmas Day. The protest was held outside of federal court in Downtown Detroit while Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, was being arraigned inside. Abdulmutallab is the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up Northwest Flight 253 bound for Detroit.

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“I’ve never had so much trouble getting in trouble.”

Chapel Hill hookah bar owner Adam Bliss continues his fight against the state’s smoking ban.

Concerned that his sales have plummeted during the first week of the statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, the owner of a Chapel Hill hookah bar is encouraging people to snitch to government officials that he’s defying the ban. Adam Bliss, owner of Hookah Bliss, says he needs an official violation notice from Orange County in order to proceed with his plan to fight the law in court.

Bliss hasn’t stopped selling hookahs and beer at his Franklin Street establishment that caters to the college crowd. Even so, he hasn’t received a notice from the county. Bliss may even file a complaint himself to speed the process. “I’ve never had so much trouble getting in trouble,” he says.

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For the Children? Hardly.

This LA Times story about a teacher who has been paid $68,000 a year for seven years — to do absolutely nothing while he is investigated for being unfit to teach — will leave you speechless. A judge wants him fired but the state Commission on Professional Competence simply refuses to do it. The teacher in question is Matthew Kim. From the Times: (emphasis is mine)

He was removed from the classroom in 2002 and required to report to a district office every workday as his case wound through the disciplinary system. Though he continued to receive up to $68,000 in annual pay plus benefits, he was given no duties.

He has been sidelined with pay longer than any other teacher disciplined by the district. L.A. Unified has spent more than $2 million on his salary and legal costs.

Kim was featured in a Times series last spring as an example of the district’s struggle to fire unfit teachers, even those accused of egregious or immoral acts. The newspaper found that about 160 employees had been “housed” in district offices — most of them fully paid — while investigations proceeded, sometimes for years.

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Conservatives Show Their Strength

Next week’s Senate election in Massachusetts is really getting interesting. Are the dynamics just a fluke? Hardly. Conservatives and moderates in this country are rightly alarmed by the disastrous fiscal policies endorsed by the current Congress and White House. From the Washington Post: (emphasis is mine)

Fueled by the energy of conservative activists, a solid debate performance and a 24-hour, $1.3 million Internet fundraising haul, Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown (R) has thrown a major scare into the Democratic establishment in his bid to win next Tuesday’s special Senate election over once heavily favored Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The intensified activity around the campaign to fill the seat of the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D) highlights the degree to which the race has taken on national significance. A victory, or even a narrow loss, by Brown in the competition for the symbolically important seat would be interpreted as another sign that voters have turned away from the Democrats at the start of the midterm election year.

So just how panicked are the liberals? Rick Henderson blogs about the inane, desperate media strategy here. And yep, Sarah Palin is a target.

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