July, 2012

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Exploding refrigerators?

Where is the Maytag repairman when you need him?


Officials say a Plainfield woman has suffered burns over more than half her body after her refrigerator exploded in the kitchen.

The woman’s two young children also suffered slight burns in the explosion which set their two-family house on fire just after 7 p.m. Tuesday. The mother was taken to a hospital in Livingston with burns covering up to 60 percent of her body and the children were taken to a local hospital.

The (Newark) Star-Ledger reports that authorities believe the explosion was triggered by a compressor in the refrigerator.

The fire lasted about 30 minutes and displaced nearly a dozen people.

An investigation is continuing.

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Jersey shore

It’s going to be close to 100 degrees, but today’s a good day for a trip to the shore.

Fishing the deep: Anglers enjoy the sea, pump up state’s economy

The bustle of the Atlantic City skyline a mere afterthought on the horizon, the focus of the 30-some people lining the gently rocking deck of the North Star is on the anticipated rod-bobbing tug of a catch from far below.

It is a calm, warm Friday morning and 10 miles off the coast, the patrons aboard this Ocean City party boat are enjoying one of the shore’s prized attractions — mile after mile after mile of saltwater fishing.

From avid anglers with their own gear, to youngsters and weak-kneed novices like this reporter, the vessel is filled with a mix of vacationers from Atlanta to New York.

The four-hour “deep sea” trip is one of three Captain Tim Barrus will make with the North Star on this day and is just one of a plethora of party and private boats making similar treks across the state’s coastline and peaceful inlets.

Whether from roadside piers, the ocean surf or casual trips like ours, hundreds of thousands of people will drop a fishing line in New Jersey’s salt waters this year — making the age-old sport among the most popular of all activities at shore points from Brigantine to Cape May.

“It’s one of the main attractions for people,” fishing enthusiast and columnist Nick Honachefsky said of the shore’s vast array of fishing options.

And although those in the business say increasingly stringent fishing regulations over the past decades have cut into the industry, New Jersey’s marine anglers continue to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the state’s economy.

“Fishing is a huge part of the economy for the entire state,” said Adam Nowalsky, chairman of the state’s chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration puts the total dollars spent by marine anglers in the state in 2006 at $1.6 billion.

From the summer flounder and black sea bass targeted by boats like the North Star to big-time game fish like tuna and marlin available to avid anglers in canyons farther off shore, Nowalsky and others entrenched in the industry brag that the fishing opportunities here are among the best in the nation.

“New Jersey offers an experience unlike you can find anywhere else in the country,” Nowalsky said.

Hoping for a taste of that experience myself, I board the North Star in Ocean City with a photographer on a slightly overcast Friday morning earlier this month. After paying our combined fare of $115 — which includes bait, rods, tackle and the service of two mates — we climb aboard and lay claim to one of the last remaining open spaces along the side of the boat.

Dan, one of two mates aboard for the trip, brings us each an outfitted rod and later gathers those around us to the bow of the boat for a brief tutorial on the best way to catch the sea bass and flounder we’ll be fishing for.

With the island of vacationers still asleep around us, the North Star rumbles to life shortly after 8 a.m. with sea gulls trailing behind. The one-hour ride out into the Atlantic Ocean has begun.

Barrus cuts the engines an hour later and those lining the side waste no time in dropping their lines to the ocean floor 60 feet below. Black sea bass are biting immediately and within minutes the lightweight fish are being hoisted up to hoots of acclamation.

The fishing is steady throughout the morning but the majority of the sea bass and the few flounder pulled in fall short of the state’s requirement for keepers.

Many, like myself, are happy to simply find something tugging at the other end of the line and two hours later when Barrus starts the North Star on its return trip to the marina, the boat has tallied about 25 keepers, nearly all black sea bass.

The two mates make quick work of filleting the fish and many of the groups aboard walk away with that night’s dinner tucked away in their coolers.

When it comes to catching dinner, Honachefsky said that summer flounder or “fluke” are the current top draw.

Honachefsky, who checks in regularly with captains and tackle shops along the shore, said the fluke fishing this summer has been stellar in both the back bays and ocean reefs, thanks in no small part to a slight reprieve on the size limit. After an earlier moratorium on the species, black sea bass populations are also said to be booming.

In a rare move, the regulations were decreased this year for keeper flounder from 18 to 17½ inches.

“They are catching the same kind of size fish but last year they were throwbacks,” Honachefsky said.

The requirement for flounder was once 14 inches.

Intended to help species populations, Honachefsky and others said the regulations have also hurt the industry, contributing to the closure of party boats as keepers in different species became harder to find.

While shore rentals make the summer the most popular fishing season, Honachefsky said the spring and fall are when New Jersey’s fishing opportunities really take off for striped bass, blue fish and tuna.

With more 30- to 40-pound striped bass being caught here than anywhere else, Honachefsky proclaims New Jersey as the “new Mecca” for the prized species.

“It’s like taking candy from a baby,” Honachefsky said.

Watching all the action below from his perch on the second deck, Barrows, the captain, describes our day aboard the North Star as a typical outing.

Barrows needs 15 adult fares to make the four-hour trip worthwhile. He had to cancel one trip this year because of a lack of interest.

“It depends on the day,” Barrows says of the crowd.

A lot of his customers are from the South Jersey and Philadelphia region. Some are regular anglers while many have little to no experience.

“A lot have aspirations of coming out with their family and catching dinner,” Barrows says. “It’s not something they can do in their normal lifestyle.”

During my morning aboard the North Star, I experience the long-dormant boyhood joy of reeling in one keeper sea bass and with a sense of seasickness beginning to grip my stomach, I set down my rod for my notepad and pen.

To my left, avid freshwater angler Jeremy Fanucci is using his own rod, while patiently coaching his son Nicolas on the art of resting his line on the ocean floor. The energetic 7-year-old eventually finds more interest in crossing back and forth across the boat yelling out the different fish being hauled in.

For Fanucci and his brother-in-law Phil Detwiler, whose families are vacationing at the shore, it is the second fishing trip of the week. Days earlier, they went on a party boat in the bay. Detwiler has brought his 7-year-old daughter Madison along on this trip.

“You can only sit at the beach so much,” Fanucci explains.

Throughout the morning Fanucci pulls in a steady stream of sea bass but nearly all fall short of the 12½-inch size limit.

“Dinner is served,” Fanucci yells after eventually landing a keeper.

Toward the back of the boat, Moorestown resident Steve Ungrady and his father Dennis are enjoying what has become a traditional outing during the family’s yearly vacations at the shore.

“My dad and I like to fish together, it’s a little family bonding experience,” says Ungrady, a 35-year-old attorney at Haddonfield’s Archer and Greiner law firm.

The pair have been out on the North Star several times before and chose it again this day after an attempt to go out on a party boat in Sea Isle City earlier in the week was foiled. The trip was canceled as only eight passengers had showed up by departure time.

“We have caught some good stuff out here,” Ungrady says of trips aboard the North Star.

Later, with his rod bent nearly in half, Ungrady lets out a whoop as he hoists up a sizable black sea bass.

But seconds later the elation turns to dejection as the catch squirms from his father’s hands and flops underneath the railing on the boat back into the water.

Ungrady jokes that at least now the fish can live among the stories of the one that got away.

“Oh yeah, it was at least 8 feet,” he says laughing.

All in all, it’s a good day for the pair as they take home several keepers.

But like others I talk to, it’s not just about the fish for Ungrady.

“How can you not like it out here,” he exclaims, gesturing toward the wide-open waters.

For Dean Bowser, the four-hour trip aboard the North Star has become a passionate routine.

The 26-year-old Bucks County native said he comes to his fiancee’s shore house each weekend and always goes out on the water, whether it’s aboard the North Star or by renting a boat.

This trip is his sixth on the boat this year.

“It’s too fun to pass up,” Bowser offers as way of explanation. “You come out here and talk to people and have a fun time.”



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Voorhees officer accused of using database to befriend driver


VOORHEES — A 14-year police veteran is accused of misusing a motor-vehicle database to identify a woman whom he later tried to befriend on Facebook.

Jeffrey M. Tyther, 44, has been charged with computer theft and violating the motor-vehicle-record law.

He was suspended without pay from the Voorhees Police Department over the weekend.

Authorities said Tyther was on duty in a marked police cruiser when the woman drove by in September. Tyther pulled up behind the woman, then pulled up next to her and waved, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

At no time did Tyther or the woman stop their vehicles or speak, authorities said.

“He attempted to ‘friend’ her within a few days of seeing her on the road,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “When she didn’t respond to the friend request, Tyther emailed her, identifying himself as the officer who waved at her earlier that week.”

According to the prosecutor’s office, Tyther used the New Jersey State Police motor-vehicle database to identify the woman, then found her on Facebook.

The database is specifically limited to law enforcement purposes, meaning it can only be used to further a criminal investigation.

Tyther did not stop the motorist, issue her a ticket or witness any criminal behavior that would have warranted accessing her personal information through the database, authorities said.

Authorities learned of the alleged conduct after the woman told a co-worker about the incident and the co-worker contacted police.

Tyther, of the 100 block of Paradise Drive in Voorhees, turned himself in to state police on Monday and was released on a court summons.

According to multiple online wedding registries, Tyther is engaged to a Voorhees woman.

The couple is planning to wed in November, according to the registries.

Tyther was also named in an excessive-force case brought in September 2002 by Ian Strassler, a motorist who had been stopped by the officer.

The parties resolved the case three years later, after a federal judge ruled that Strassler could take his complaint to a jury. Details of the resolution were not available.

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Gunman kills 12 at ‘Dark Knight Rises’ screening in Colorado

What makes a person do something like this?????


A suspect is in custody after opening fire at a midnight screening of the Batman filmThe Dark Knight Rises‘ in Aurora, Colorado, east of Denver. Fifty people are wounded. Witnesses say the gunman released a noxious gas before opening fire, making escape more difficult.

A lone 24-year-old masked gunman entered a Colorado movie theater playing the new Batman movie and opened fire early Friday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 50, according to police and local media. The suspect, a white male, was found in the parking lot and did not resist arrest, CNN said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene, telling television reporters that they were overcome by noxious gas unleashed by the suspect just before he started shooting, and that they had to decide between staying on the ground, helping wounded victims or running away before the gunman was able to reload his weapon. Survivors said they were forced to run past bodies in the aisles and theater.

The death toll was revised downward from an earlier figure of 14 dead given by police in Aurora, a suburb east of Denver.

Crowds of worried family members and friends were gathering at Denver-area hospitals, hoping to hear about their loved ones. According to images broadcast by local television,  some held their heads down, and rocked back and forth as they sat on the sidewalk, as the sun rose.

The shooting came minutes after the 12:05 a.m. premiere showing of the widely anticipated premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Eyewitnesses said the gunman entered the movie theater through the emergency exit door near the front of the screen in theater No. 9 at the Century 16 in Aurora. A witness, who declined to be identified, told The Times that the gunman then  “threw a canister across the theater,” unleashing gas, “then started shooting.”

The witness said he saw a man two seats over who was shot in the head. “I can’t get his image out of my head,” the witness wrote in a message. The victim was wearing a shirt bearing the face of the Joker from the Batman series; after he was shot, he slumped back in his chair, his face covered in blood.

Witnesses told Denver’s NBC affiliate, KUSA-TV 9News, that the tall, muscular gunman , wearing a riot helmet, gas mask and dressed all in black, said nothing as he entered the theater. Initially, spectators thought he was part of the show.

But witnesses  described seeing him toss two canisters to the ground, and once they exploded, spectators began ducking or running out of the theater, an escape made difficult by the blinding gas.

“He looked so calm when he did it,” a witness told 9News.

At one point, there was a pause in the shooting, when the gunman appeared to reload his weapon, and some spectators took that opportunity to flee, witnesses told the NBC affiliate. Witnesses described scenes of gunshot victims scrambling to escape the theater.

The Denver TV station played police dispatch audio of first-responders asking operators to ask for gas masks.

Some of the bullets pierced walls and traveled into the adjacent theater, No. 8, and injured people, 9News reported. A 3-month-old baby was taken to the hospital, but was not wounded by gunfire, 9News reported, quoting a hospital spokesperson. The TV station reported that the infant was checked and then released from the hospital.

“This is a horrific event,” Aurora police chief Daniel J. Oates told reporters during a news conference. There was no evidence of a second gunman, Oates said.

The shooting came just after hundreds of theater-goers had lined up for hours, eager to see “The Dark Knight Rises,” the third installment of director Christopher Nolan‘s Batman series.

Oates said 10 people were found dead in the theater.


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Facebook sucks

Facebook sucks

Facebook sucks

Does Michael Vick deserve this chance?

I’m a firm believer that most people deserve a second chance in life. It’s easy to derail off of the tracks and to make a mess of your life, but should society forgive everything? When it comes to issues such as rape, murder or extreme bodily harm, I say these violators do NOT deserve another chance. Michael Vick systematically trained and brutalized these dogs into fighting and killing each other. It’s disgusting and it’s not like he learned the errors of his ways and voluntarily stopped his participation,Vick only stopped because he was caught. Sure, he did his time and he paid he “debt to society,” but where I draw the line is how fans are openly embracing this moron. Besides being a career failure who’s prone to injuries and playoff game losses, he is older now and incapable of winning any big game. But it doesn’t stop the knuckleheads from wearing his jerseys and supporting him. He is not worthy of support and any organization that was willing to hire him had no respect for their fan base. The Eagles ownership clearly showed that when they signed him.

Dogs Get Revenge On Vick

Michael Vick Might Run Out Of Money Sometime Soon

Vick getting his work in

APBT pup vs Michael Vick Chew Toy

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Crocodile found on Ocean County street

Why don’t I ever come across crocodiles?????


OCEAN GATE— Authorities in Ocean County found a crocodile on the street.

Police discovered the 3-foot-long reptile on East Longport Avenue in Ocean Gate early Tuesday.

Police Chief Reece Fisher said the crocodile is still dangerous even though it isn’t fully grown.

The chief says a permit or license is needed for the exotic animal.

Berkeley Township Animal Control removed the crocodile.

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Shea Weber inks 14-year offer sheet with Philadelphia Flyers; will Predators match?

I think Shea Weber is 1000 x’s better than Ryan Suter, so this will be a great deal if the Predator’s don’t match the offer sheet.



The Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators star defenseman Shea Weber have agreed to a 14-year offer sheet “upwards of $100 million,” giving Nashville GM David Poile a week to match the contract terms. The news was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Weber, 26, made $7.5 million last season with the Predators.

Said Dreger: “Nashville was working on a trade and its believed several deadlines passed before Flyers grew tired of waiting. Weber signed offer sheet.”

Poile had said repeatedly that the Predators would match any offer for Weber; but if a trade was in the works with the Flyers or any other NHL team, does that indicate Nashville’s officially out on Weber?

Josh Cooper of the Tennessean lays it out:

The ‪Preds‬ have said they would match an offer sheet to Weber in the past. This depends on the up front money.

“Up front” as in signing bonuses. Keep in mind Ryan Suter received $25 million in bonuses over the first three years of his deal.

Depending on what Weber’s cap hit would be, the Predators should receive four first-round picks. The Flyers own their first-round picks for at least the next two drafts, with the 2014 NHL Draft scheduled for Philadelphia.

The Flyers currently have $28.42 million committed against the cap to eight defenseman, which includes Chris Pronger‘s $4,921,429 cap hit that will be relegated to long-term injured reserve.

Elliotte Friedman played the prophet about this in his CBC column on Wednesday:

Look, if you really believe getting Weber is going to mean giving up four 27th picks, he’s worth it. Now, I know the counter: what if he leaves you after just one year? This is the dicey part: you almost need a nudge-nudge, wink-wink “understanding” that he’s going to stay. And, if Gary Bettman finds out, he’s going to CRUSH the team that does it. Google “David Stern Joe Smith Timberwolves.”

So, if it does happen (and most GMs are skeptical), the more likely scenario is this: a team calls Poile and says, “We’re going to offer sheet him if you won’t make a deal.” (Phil Kessel to Toronto followed this path.)

And thus, the Flyers gave Weber an offer sheet that he signed. (Friedman indicated he thought the Vancouver Canucks might pull out the offer sheet for Weber instead.)

For Weber, it was an interesting call: Signing a deal now that could be susceptible to a salary rollback (his rather large signing bonuses would be protected), or waiting until a new CBA is settled, running the risk that term limits will be a part of the new rules.

So he opted for the term now, money lost in a rollback be damned.

For the Flyers, it’s another bit of creative accounting from GM Paul Holmgren, as this deal will have been signed before Weber turns 27, hence it takes him right up to 40 years of age. Remember: “The salary cap hit for any contract that is five years or more in length and takes a player to his 41st birthday or beyond will be determined by the average of the yearly salaries only until the year in which the player turns 40.”

It’s also a genius move for Holmgren.

Assuming Pronger’s done, the Flyers were looking at Kimmo Timonen with one year left on his deal at 37 years old; Braydon Coburn signed through 2016; Luke Schenn signed through 2016; and two more years of Andrej Meszaros.

(Speaking of Timonen: Wonder what kind of lobbying he and Scott Hartnell did with their former Nashville teammate?)

Weber is a game-changer if his deal goes through; an elite defenseman, a strong leader and an offensive force. The Eastern Conference has just witnessed a seismic shift in power.

Broad Street Buzz wondered this week what the Flyers would give up for Weber. They may have landed one of the best defensemen in hockey without surrendering a single player from their roster via trade.

As for the Predators fans … your heart goes out to them if they don’t match.

Ryan Suter leaves to play with Zach Parise and chase an incredible amount of money. Weber feels betrayed and disenchanted by the whole thing, and decides his time in Nashville is over.

Two of the reasons why that town transformed into hockey-mad ‘burgh, gone in a span of weeks. Brutal.

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Obama does not speak for me

Obama does not speak for me

Obama does not speak for me

Flyers Free Agency: Why Philly Should Be Thankful It Whiffed on Parise and Suter


The Philadelphia Flyers have had one of the more interesting, albeit not necessarily unsuccessful, free agency periods of any team in the National Hockey League thus far.

The team has made a few additions to deepen the bottom half of their lineup in the form of Ruslan Fedotenko, Bruno Gervais and Luke Schenn.

While they lost an underachieving James van Riemsdyk, and an overpaid Jamomir Jagr, there was still much skepticism that the Flyers were going to need to sign Zach Parise and Ryan Suter if they wanted to be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup in the 2012-13 NHL season.

This is simply not the case.

The positives for adding these two lineups are definitely very obvious. Parise is one of the best American-born players in the game today. He would bring a keen sense of intellect as well as an extra ounce of leadership that might have been the catalyst to get the Flyers into a position to win the Cup.

His presence on the wing would have more than compensated for what they lost when Jagr decided to ship himself off to Dallas, and a long term leader would set the foundation for a very skilled team up front in the future.

Ryan Suter, on the other hand, would help the Flyers with their defensive depth after acquiring Luke Schenn from the Maple Leafs. He would add a dynamic to the high end of the power play while still being able to contribute offensively at even strength.

Put these two guys together, who are buddies and would definitely bring a great attitude into the locker room, and it appears that the Flyers really are going to wish that they had made a harder run for these two guys.

Did I mention that both signed for the same contract of 13 years and $98 million?

Wait, What!?

You read that correctly. In order to land both of these guys, the Flyers would have had to basically put aside $200 million dollars over the next baker’s dozen seasons.

The chances of either of those guys being a factor in a decade is very slim, as most NHL players seem to hit the driftaway point around 33 or 34. Parise and Suter will be 39 years old during the final year of their contracts.

The biggest reason why these two guys were not worth this amount of money to the Flyers is that they are both unbelievably overrated.

This year’s free-agent class was one of the worst in recent memory, and both Suter and Parise were the recipients of that fact.

Parise was 24th among all skaters in points last season with 69, which was 24 points fewer than Flyers superstar Claude Giroux. The former Devils captain also had a minus-5 rating on the season.

Suter, on the other hand, was 11th in points, but only put up 7 goals and took just over 130 shots—just over one shot per game.

The fact of the matter is that the Flyers have much bigger fish to fry, and passing on these two guys was an absolute fantastic thing.

Claude Giroux is one of the best players in the league right now and, with the cap space that the Flyers have saved by avoiding both Parise and Suter, they should be able to land a long-term deal that will have him eating cheesesteaks for the rest of his career.

The Flyers will be just fine this year without the likes of the two guys who ran off to Minnesota. If goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov can play to the level that his contract says he should, they could very easily be finding themselves holding the Cup at year’s end.

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Obama transparency takes turn under the microscope after attacks on Romney

  • obama_austin_071712.jpg

    July 17, 2012: President Obama speaks at a fundraising event in Austin, Texas. (AP)

The Obama campaign has relentlessly questioned Mitt Romney‘s openness on most everything from his tenure at Bain Capital to tax records to offshore accounts — but when it comes to transparency, the president hasn’t exactly been an open book, critics say.

Though presidents must run the country beyond the public eye in some respects, several watchdog groups complain President Obama has not lived up to the open-government promises he made when he took office. Republican leaders in Congress have bellowed in recent months about the administration’s secrecy. While the president’s campaign is making hay out of his GOP opponent’s supposedly shrouded financial records, the tack has already opened up the president to similar criticism.

On Tuesday, the Romney campaign posted a list on its website citing nearly two dozen reports that call into question the administration’s transparency.

“President Obama has run one of the least transparent administrations in American history,” said campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “Whether hiding lobbyists in coffee shops, cutting back-room deals on ObamaCare, or concealing the records of Fast and Furious, President Obama’s pledge to be transparent has turned out to be just another broken promise.”

Those keeping scoring of the administration’s transparency shortcomings point to its alleged reluctance in responding to document requests; its pursuit of whistle-blowers and leakers; the decision to invoke executive privilege to deny congressional investigators access to documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious; and the failure to televise health care debate meetings per the president’s campaign promise.

The complaints against Obama, unlike those against Romney, have little to do with his financial records. But watchdogs say his record could stand a closer look.

“I don’t know if it’s apple to apples when you line up the candidates, but Obama does have to take account of himself,” said Joe Newman, of the nonpartisan Project of Government Oversight. “When it comes to transparency, he has a mixed record.”

Newman said the Washington, D.C.-based group is particularly concerned about the whistle-blower issue, including cases in which people have been charged under the Espionage Act in connection with leaks to the media — which follow the administration’s early promises to bolster whistle-blower laws.

In two of the most high-profile cases, former CIA officer John Kiriakou was charged in January in connection with information leaked to reporters about other agents and procedures, including the interrogation tactic known as waterboarding. And former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake was charged in 2010 under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information, which could have resulted in 35 years in prison. However, federal prosecutors last year dropped the original charges as part of a deal in which Drake accepted a separate, misdemeanor charge.

“We’re obviously concerned with the actions taken against whistle-blowers,” Newman said. “It’s very intimidating to know that if you speak up and do the right thing you’re going to get slapped with some serious charges.”

The Obama administration has defended the cases, disputing the notion that they are prosecuting whistle-blowers. The Justice Department describes them simply as a crackdown on classified information leaks. Ironically, the administration also has come under criticism for not cracking down hard enough on recent security leaks that supposedly led to news reports on an Al Qaeda affiliate’s bomb plot and efforts to counter Iran’s nuclear program.

The Obama campaign, meanwhile, has over the past several months launched a multi-pronged attack on Romney with the intent of portraying him as somebody perhaps concealing information about his personal finances and private-sector history.

Beyond calls for Romney to provide more information about overseas holdings and tax returns, the Obama campaign has most recently questioned when the GOP presidential candidate officially left the Bain Capital private equity firm.

The most severe attack came last week when Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggested Romney could have committed a felony by misrepresenting when he left Bain in his Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Romney’s call for an apology has gone unanswered, though Cutter later said she was not suggesting Romney committed a crime.

The president continues to press the transparency issue, saying, “I think that the issue here is simply for Mr. Romney to talk about his business background in a way that jibes with the facts and is clear.”

Defending the line of attack, campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that Obama has set a bar for transparency that “Romney has not met, cannot possibly meet, even on his tippy toes.”

Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt earlier told Fox News that Romney is “the most secretive candidate we’ve seen since Richard Nixon.”

Romney hasn’t been helped by the fact that several prominent conservatives, most recently his former GOP primary opponent Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have called on him to release his tax returns.

But as the Romney campaign holds its ground — with the former Massachusetts governor deflecting calls to release any more than two years’ worth of returns — it’s gotten some measure of support from fellow Republicans. Donald Trump, who toyed with and then abandoned the idea of running for president himself, has said Romney shouldn’t release his returns unless and until Obama releases his college transcripts.

White House spokesman Jay Carney recently responded to a question about the subject by saying in part the president has displayed “unprecedented transparency” but did not discuss the documents.

John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation, an advocacy group for open government, told FoxNews.com the back-and-forth over transparency “is a good thing because it keeps the issue alive.”

“The Obama administration’s record is mixed, but it is difficult to boil it down to a single grade,” he said.

Though a recent published analysis on FIOA.com suggests the Drug Enforcement Agency is finding more ways to deny requests under the Freedom of Information Act, Wonderlich said the administration has done good things with providing information on such sites about lobbying related to federal stimulus money and the Dodd-Frank financial industry overhaul.

Newman also said Obama has gone “well beyond” the Bush administration on other transparency issues, including greater public access through such websites as FIOA.gov and USAspending.gov.

Wonderlich said the administration opening the White House guest list, though, is a wash considering officials were facing several lawsuits.

Then there’s the treatment of the media. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who with the help of an ATF whistle-blower and others in Congress exposed problems with Operation Fast and Furious, on Tuesday asked Attorney General Eric Holder for an accounting of a recent incident in which a federal lawyer allegedly threatened a journalist about getting “on the Department of Justice’s bad side” if the reporter quoted the lawyer. The alleged incident occurred at a meeting advertised as a public event.

Grassley said such reports, if accurate, confirm “a complete disconnect between the president’s words about transparency and the actual conduct of his administration.”


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Karl Henry von Wiegand

Von Wiegand worked from 1911 until 1917 for the United Press and from 1917 for Hearst Newspapers.

Wiegand was the first United States reporter allowed to interview the German crown prince Wilhelm.That interview was also the first foreign interview given by a German noble since the outbreak of World War I.

William said this in English:

Undoubtedly this is the most stupid, senseless and unnecessary war of modern times. It is a war not wanted by Germany, I can assure you, but it was forced on us, and the fact that we were so effectually prepared to defend ourselves is now being used as an argument to convince the world that we desired conflict.
—Crown Prince Wilhelm, Wiegand

Karl von Wiegand was the father of journalist (also for Hearst‘s Newspapers) and abstract painter Charmion von Wiegand


He was one of the Hearst Press reporters on at least two of the Graf Zeppelin flights, usually accompanying fellow Hearst reporter Lady Hay Drummond-Hay.  Wiegand was the first American journalist to interview Hitler, having first met him in 1921 while he was only a minor malcontent in post-World War I Munich. He was one of the first journalists to take Hitler seriously, however, and his story was published on November 12, 1922, a year before the Beer Hall Putsch. As such, Wiegand provided the first introduction Americans had to Hitler. He referred to him as the “German Mussolini”, and expressed genuine concern about his popularity, writing “The shadow of the Fascisti is arising in Germany. Whether what is yet only a shadow will clothe itself in the flesh, blood and spirit of the German Mussolini, depends on a number of things.” He also emphasized his “man of the people” qualities, his charisma, and his electrifying speaking ability. He pegged him as a potentially great leader, saying “Hitler has the earmarks of a leader. Whether it be merely a band or a great movement, only the future will tell.”


A month after Germany invaded France in World War II, Karl secured an interview with Hitler and published his report “Europe for the Europeans : Adolf Hitler on the international situation during the war in France ; An interview granted to Karl v. Wiegand, Führer’s Headquarters, June 11, 1940″.

Later, Lady Drummond-Hay and Karl von Wiegand were interned in a Japanese camp in Manila, Philippines.When they were set free in 1945,she was very ill. They returned to the United States, but during their stay in New York Lady Grace Drummond-Hay died of coronary thrombosis in the Lexington Hotel.  After her cremation Karl brought her ashes back to the United Kingdom.

He died of pneumonia in Zurich at the age of 86.

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Wiegand surname

Wiegand is an old German surname. It originated from the Old High German verb wgan, meaning to fight, through the past participle form wgant, meaning the fighter. The word comes from wîg (battle/war). The name was in use by the Middle Ages, also as a first name.

People with the name Wiegand or von Wiegand:




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