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Archive for June, 2012

Bring Forth the Anthropomorphic Space Raccoon!

There  were rumors for the better part of a year, and the appearance of “Thanos” at the finale of “The Avengers” earlier this summer seemed to imply Marvel Studios wanted to go cosmic.

And apparently they will.  Variety is reporting that next month at the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel will announce that for its May 2014 release — following the release of Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 next summer — will be “Guardians of the Galaxy,” with 2008 version of the team being the likeliest line-up to go with.

Captain America 2 will be released later on in late spring, possibly April of 2014.  Any sort of sequel to “The Avengers” would likely be released in late 2014 or summer of 2015.

Marvel Studios is ready to assemble its next group of superheroes for the bigscreen: The Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Disney division is expected to announce a “Guardians” film as its next tentpole that would launch a new set of characters on May 16, 2014. Studio had previously planted a flag on that date for an untitled Marvel pic.

The Guardians are aliens in the 31st century — each the last of their kind — who travel back in time to enlist help to battle the Badoon, an evil alien race that attempts to conquer Earth’s solar system. First introduced in 1969 and again in 2008, the newer set includes Star-Lord, Drax, gun-toting Rocket Raccoon and Groot, a tree. Characters were recently featured in an episode of the animated series “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

In the comicbooks, the characters have crossed over into the “The Avengers” universe, making them fit in easily with Marvel’s bigscreen plans to expand the superhero franchise — as would Ant-Man, another Avenger. And like its other Marvel properties, Disney can exploit the Guardians across all of the Mouse House’s divisions as TV shows, videogames, consumer products and possibly theme park attractions.

Nicole Perlman, who came out of Disney’s screenwriting program, penned a version of the script that Marvel has been high on.

While Marvel will focus much of its Comic-Con presentation on “Iron Man 3,” lensing now in North Carolina under the direction of Shane Black, the company will spend some time highlighting how it plans to introduce new characters to auds the way it did with Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America. Session wraps up Hollywood’s film panels on July 14.

The website Latino Review first reported Marvel’s plan to announce a Guardians pic at Comic-Con. Marvel declined to comment, although sources confirm to Variety that Disney and Marvel are zeroing in on the project, rather than a standalone Black Panther project at this point.

Marvel topper Kevin Feige has long discussed the possibility of a Guardians film, wanting to produce a big-budget space adventure. And Disney recently secured trademark rights to produce an array of consumer products tied to the pic and its characters.

I own three of the four trade paperbacks (working on getting the fourth, which is few and far between, even at comic book retailers) of the 2008 series which only lasted 25 issues.  Despite its short run, it was a fun read.

After all, when two of the main characters are a foul-mouthed, gun-totting space raccoon and a tree who can only say three words, what’s not to love?

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Sandusky Could Get $59,000 in Annual Pension in Prison

Let’s call a spade a spade here.  This isn’t the type of black eye government unions want right now.

Too bad.  They’re probably going to get one.

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will likely receive his $58,898-a-year state pension while in prison, unless a bill stalled in Pennsylvania’s senate finance committee is quickly passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

The bill would prevent employees convicted of sexual offenses related to their jobs from receiving their state pensions, said Cameron Kline, a spokesperson for State Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, who introduced the bill before Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing boys in his Second Mile program.

“This was introduced on Oct. 18, 2011, well before Sandusky’s crimes came to light,” Kline said. “It’s something we think would be very appropriate for a case such as this. Now that it’s over, we’re a little concerned, confused and angry it’s still stuck there. Apparently it’s not a priority so the legislation still stays in committee.”

Kline said passing the bill at this point would “be a tall order” given the process and the fact there are only a few days left in the senate.

Under current law, the pensions of public employees can be seized when a member is convicted of an Act 140 crime. That act includes crimes such as extortion, perjury and bribery but does not include sexual abuse, according to the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System website.

Pam Phile, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System, said she could not speculate on whether Sandusky will have to forfeit his pension under the existing law, which was passed in 1978.

“SERS reviews the sentencing documents in reaching a forfeiture determination and there has been no sentencing yet in this particular case,” Phile said.

The obvious question is something along the lines of “Why didn’t this guy work to get his bill on the fast-track once the Sandusky trial started going?”  The lawmaker himself dropped the ball.  His leadership — which is Democratic, which means it’s the bitch of the Pennsylvania public unions — let this bill die.

This embarrassment is as much this lawmaker’s as it’s about to be the state of Pennsylvania’s.

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Cartoon of the Day

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A Legal Victory, but a Likely Political Headache

Congratulation liberals. You have your health care law.

Too bad you had to lie to get it passed.

A tax is a tax, is a tax, is a tax after all.

While conservatives might not like the way the ruling came down, how the hell do Democrats now defend on the stump that what they just spent three years fighting and defending what may just end up being the grandest tax increase in the history of the republic.

In the meantime, the Romney campaign if having a moneybomb of Ron Paul proportions thanks to the ruling.

Am I disappointed in the way the chief justice ruled?  Yes but, like Charles Krauthammer, I think he’s also telling Congress and those opposed to the law that they have an avenue for repeal — New President, New Congress — and it’s not the court’s job to handle public policy.

(In a way, I feel today is a lot like when conservatives were shocked McCain-Feingold was upheld when it first went to the high court.  They have the right argument, just not the means or the avenue to get the job done until the opening Citizens United gave them.)

It’s now up to Republican and conservative candidates to campaign on full repeal, to highlight the Dems and Obama just jacked their taxes $1,200-plus person, and have the policy wizards actually have to come up with an alternative.  The “Hey, we’ll think of something once we have the Senate and the White House” idea is great in theory, but eventually you have to deliver.

Conservatives can win this debate against the liberal argument of “Health care is a right!,” because the left’s argument is weak when put past the emotions.

ObamaCare is a horrid law. The opinion polls confirm that.  So, it’s all about what happens next.

Conservatives have a real opportunity here and it is in November.  That’s because when people look at the American health care system now, they see that it is broken and that the same folks who gave us the IRS and the Post Office are not the same ones who ought to be running what their doctor tells to do when they get sick.  They must offer a real alternative, one that works, and one they can capitalize on in November.

Because the biggest political headache the White House now faces is that they’ve just reawaken the very giant which took down the Democratic House in 2010, and it looks like it might be open for a repeat performance in 2012.

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Cartoon of the Day

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SCOWI: Government Can’t Hide Behind Redacting Costs

My sincere snark-filled apologies to Democratic lawmakers like State Senator Jon Erpenbach and State Rep. Mark Pocan who have hid behind redacting costs as a way to get out of open-records requests.  No longer can they try to force a watchdog into bankruptcy because of what they’re afraid of might come forward.

Amazing that it was the Journal Sentinel going against the City of Milwaukee Police Department which will end the party of stonewalling for the two liberal icons of Madison.

Government entities can’t charge the public for time spent deleting confidential information from records, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a major victory for open government advocates.

The decision settles a dispute between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper and the Milwaukee Police Department. The newspaper sued the department after the agency charged it thousands of dollars to cover staff time spent redacting information from hundreds of reports the newspaper had requested.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Thomas R. Cooper sided with the city, authorizing it to charge the newspaper for all costs of complying with the requests, including time spent on redactions. The Journal Sentinel asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly without a stop at the appeals court level and the high court agreed.

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote in Wednesday’s ruling that Wisconsin’s open records law allows record custodians to charge for reproducing, photographing, locating and shipping records.

The city contended redactions equate to reproducing and locating records, but Abrahamson wrote that deletions don’t fit into any of those categories.

Don’t believe me?  Maybe the guys at MacIver can fill you in on the details about Erpenbach trying to stonewall and bankrupt them with an insane cost attached to an open records request regarding his office’s emails during the fleeing to Illinois.

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DCCC Nearing “Every Man for Himself!” Phase of Campaign

Fascinating find by the team at the Weekly Standard.  Seems the head of the DCCC, NY Congressman Steve Israel, whose job is to make sure that Barack Obama has control of the House of Representatives after November (not likely, but hey a man can dream) has pretty much acknowledged the president might not have the coattails they thought he might have.

In fact, he’s almost saying he approves with all these Democratic candidates announcing they won’t be in Charlotte for the DNC in early September.

“I don’t care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now,” he said. “I think (candidates) should be in their districts,” rather than spend time at the convention, which will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3-6.

“A trip to Charlotte may be interesting,” Israel said, “but why leave your districts?”

The Democratic convention, during which Obama will formally be nominated as the Democratic presidential choice, is viewed warily by some of the party’s candidates.

The gathering to fete Obama is a particularly sensitive issue for Democratic candidates who are in close races in states or districts where Obama trails Republican Mitt Romney in voter surveys.

Has anyone asked if Jaime Wall or Pat Kreitlow will be in North Carolina later this summer?  I’m fully expecting Tammy Baldwin to be there, if not have a speaking role at the convention.  She’s had such a role at previous DNC Conventions.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Today’s Sign the End is Nigh

A New Jersey couple is suing an 13 year old little leaguer (The boy was 11 at the time) for the wife getting hit by a errant throw.  Her husband has included a suing with his own count because…well…the injury denied him sex.

(I wish I were kidding on that last part, but I’m not.)

A New Jersey woman who was struck in the face with a baseball at a Little League game is suing the young catcher who threw it.

Elizabeth Lloyd is seeking more than $150,000 in damages to cover medical costs stemming from the incident at a Manchester Little League game two years ago. She’s also seeking an undefined amount for pain and suffering.

Lloyd was sitting at a picnic table near a fenced-in bullpen when she was hit with the ball.

Catcher Matthew Migliaccio was 11 years old at the time and was warming up a pitcher.

The lawsuit filed April 24 alleges Migliaccio’s errant throw was intentional and reckless, “assaulted and battered” Lloyd and caused “severe, painful and permanent” injuries.

A second count alleges Migliaccio’s actions were negligent and careless through “engaging in inappropriate physical and/or sporting activity” near Lloyd. She continues to suffer pain and anguish, incur medical expenses and has been unable to carry out her usual duties and activities, the lawsuit says.

And Lloyd’s husband, in a third count, is suing for the loss of “services, society and consortium” of his wife. They’ve demanded a jury trial.

Anthony Pagano, a lawyer for the Migliaccios, said the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit.

“I just think that it’s disgusting that you have people suing an 11-year-old kid for overthrowing his pitcher in the bullpen,” Pagano said. “It’s horrible this can actually happen and get this far. Ultimately, hopefully, justice will prevail.”

Who said tort law wasn’t full of interesting B.S?

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Obama Booed Over Red Sox Joke

Know your audience folks.  Know your audience.

(Though for an encore, I hear he cracks jokes about dead family members at the Kennedy Compound over the Fourth of July holiday.)

President Obama, speaking to what was supposed to be a crowd of avid supporters, elicited several seconds of loud boos.

At a fundraiser Monday in Boston, the president thanked the infamously sports-crazed city for trading Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis to his beloved Chicago White Sox.

“Finally, Boston I just want to say – Thank you for Youkilis,” he said. “I’m just saying. He’s going to have to change the color of his ‘sox’  —ha, ha.”

But as the audience outcry grew, he quickly added, “I didn’t think I’d get any “boos” out of here, but — I guess I shouldn’t have — I should not have brought up baseball. I understand.

“My mistake. My mistake,” he said. “You’ve got to know your crowd.”

Then, in the audience, a woman yelled, “We still love you!”

Of all my Boston-based friends, you learn fast you don’t make jokes about the Red Sox…or Tom Brady either.

That last one is rather depressing, since his post-marriage hair-style, male model look really calls for it.

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