Hurdler Lolo Jones ‘almost went Britney Spears’ after media criticism!/lolojones/status/233051563860566017

It’s been a rough few days for U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones. Not only does she have to deal with the disappointment of coming in fourth place in the women’s 100-meter hurdles final, she’s also dealing with a firestorm of negative media coverage on her performance in London. (A recent piece in the New York Times was particularly scathing.)

The stress of it all almost caused the athlete to have a Britney Spears-sized melt down. Luckily, supportive words from fans, including several celebrities, brought Lolo back from the brink of insanity.

@lolojones may not have won, but she is still a winner! Congrats on running your heart out girl. #TeamUSA

— Nick Lachey (@NickLachey) August 8, 2012

Stop it…. @lolojones is NO Anna Kournikova or Kim Kardashian…she's a winner & accomplished..just qualifying for the Olympics is WINNING

— Mike Hill (@ItsMikeHill) August 8, 2012

@lolojones He has you exactly where He wants you, so that He can bring you exactly where you’re meant to go.

— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) August 8, 2012

@lolojones proud of you Ms. Jones you are a fighter and survivor xoxoxo

— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) August 8, 2012

@lolojones keep your head up and keep going hard #Olympics #champion

— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) August 8, 2012

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” -Oprah @lolojones Listen to OW…and hold your head up!

— Star Jones (@StarJonesEsq) August 8, 2012

I just want to twitter hug @lolojones right now. Her story makes her a true champion I don't care what happened on the track.

— Tucker Hein (@thein14) August 8, 2012

@lolojones you rock lolo, you're an inspiration! i used to run hurdles in HS a VERY long time ago and you make it look so easy.

— Dru Chai (@DruChai) August 8, 2012

Lolo later appeared on “Today” to discuss the race and media criticism. Her hair is indeed still intact, but there are some breakdown tears. Watch:

Video: Lolo Jones responds to recent media criticism.

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 8, 2012

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Celebri-policy hypocrisy: Chris Rock heads to D.C. to push for gun control!/KatMcKinley/status/298895385806651393

Not just now; perhaps a better word is “again.” Vice President Biden and his “task force” already hypocritically met with noted experts from Hollyweird. No photo op, though!

Now, more B-listers, including comedian and actor Chris Rock, head to Capitol Hill.

RT @melmason: Chris Rock, Amanda Peet, Tony Bennett etc appear w Mayors Against Illegal Guns tmrw on Hill to push for Obama’s gun proposals

— Lisa Horowitz (@LAeditor) February 5, 2013

Tony Bennett, Chris Rock and some B-list celebs will be at the U.S. Capitol on Wed. morning to push for more gun laws.

— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) February 4, 2013

Dime to a dollar they all have bodyguards…. #TCOT #NRA Chris Rock to Hill for gun control plan…

— Chuck Nellis (@ChuckNellis) February 5, 2013

More from Politico:

Comedian Chris Rock, long outspoken about the issues of guns in American culture, is heading to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to support President Barack Obama’s new gun control package in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings.

Rock, along with singer Tony Bennett, actress Amanda Peet, actor Adam Scott and actress Anna Deavere Smith will join a coalition featuring Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Law Center to Prevent Violence at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol.

Oh, well. Long outspoken. Case closed! He’s totally fit to help shape freedom-grabbing policy!

RT @camedwards Chris Rock to stump for gun control on Capitol Hill.The debate gets less serious by the day.http…

— C_-_- G_-_-_-_ (@cg10036) February 5, 2013

Less serious, indeed. Not only is the whole celebri-policy idea patently absurd, but Chris Rock? Hey, why don’t they ask him about the time he shoved Jason Mattera’s camerawoman? Or about the time he shamefully celebrated Independence Day by slamming it as “Happy white peoples independence day”?

Less serious and even more hypocritical, as citizens on Twitter rightly point out.

@chrisrock U gonna use some of that violent gun movie money u made to try to help pass gun control legislation?Huh hypocrite?Molon Labe!

— Mike (@Mikedaddy1974) February 5, 2013

Chris Rock to Hill for gun control plan-speaks volumns. I always wonder what would Chris Rock think before I form an opinion or take a stand

— RM Woo (@WooliverM) February 5, 2013

Chris Rock is boarding a plane to DC to push the King’s gun agenda. Sources say the plane will feature Lethal Weapon 4, starring Chris Rock

— The Young Cons (@YoungCons) February 5, 2013

@barackobama Impressed with bringing your A team in Chris Rock on gun control.Almost as laughable as a Larry Flynt endorsement…oh, wait.

— The Mantuck (@TheMantuck) February 5, 2013

I remember that episode on MTV when Chris Rock bought a bunch of rap CDs that glorify guns and gangster shit.

— Killian(@killpundit) February 5, 2013

He specifically went back to the store to get the unedited versions because he had mistakenly bought the clean versions. Gangster for you!

— Killian(@killpundit) February 5, 2013

Chris Rock made a list of the best rap albums. I wonder if any of them glorify guns and gangster shit? Another fucking phony.

— Killian(@killpundit) February 5, 2013

Chris Rock’s Top 25 Hip Hop Albums…

— Killian(@killpundit) February 5, 2013

I assure you that not one of those albums glorifies guns or gangster shit AT ALL. Chris Rock’s character is beyond question.

— Killian(@killpundit) February 5, 2013

Even tho Chris Rock’s top rap album is an N.W.A. album that completely glorifies guns & gangster shit doesn’t make him a dishonest hypocrite

— Killian(@killpundit) February 5, 2013

No credibility. A joke and political theater, as always. That’s why President Obama always needs actors.


School a Hollywood lib: Energy industry responds to Chris Rock snark

Shameful: Aaron Sorkin, Left celebrate Independence Day by slamming America; Update: Chris Rock joins in: ‘Happy white peoples independence day’; Don Cheadle laughs along; Zach Braff piles on

Chris Rock freaks out, shoves Jason Mattera’s camerawoman

Oh, the hypocrisy! Biden to meet with noted gun experts: Hollyweird celebrities

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‘Terra Nova’ could land on Netflix!/hankscnn/status/177795446524231682

Just when it looked like fans of ‘Terra Nova’ had to find a way to live without their favorite show, Netflix flirts with the idea of swooping in and saving the day.

According to, Netflix seems to be getting on the right side of TV fans.

The company is already resuscitating cult favorite “Arrested Development,” and according to Entertainment Weekly, Netflix also has its eye on Steven Spielberg’s now canceled “Terra Nova.”

The series was canceled earlier this week after one season, but 20th Century Fox TV and Netflix are chatting about the possibility of bringing “Terra Nova” to life once again.

Read more:

Stompy-foot Keith Olbermann slams Mitt Romney for ignoring NFL controversy!/KeithOlbermann/status/251361797913845760

Keith Trollbermann is at it again. Today, he went after Mitt Romney for — gasp! — his failure to get worked up over the NFL referee controversy. Can you believe it? The nerve! After all, President Obama has weighed in on the fiasco on multiple occasions. And earlier today, the Lightbringer was even credited with ending the lockout! Is there anything he can’t do?

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, who, unlike Olbermann, was never axed from NFL coverage, hasn’t expressed much interest in the latest sports news. And, well, that just really sticks in Keith’s craw:

A lead story on NEWS since Noon yesterday RT @jimrl In Mitt's defense, he may not watch sports. What the f#@k is wr…

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 27, 2012

.@jagfan101 Bluntly, there is much more general interest in this country in the NFL than in Mitt Romney. His cluelessness is transcendent.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 27, 2012

@mikemulligan13 Mitt claimed many of his friends own NFL teams. He's cornered on this one.

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 27, 2012

@MshakG Concur. But POTUS didn't say he had friends who owned nfl teams

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 27, 2012

@Allux66 agreed. But he didn't boast that many of his friends owned teams

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 27, 2012

One Twitter user had the temerity to call Olbermann out for his warped priorities:

@KeithOlbermann @samyoungman The country's future is at stake and you are thinking about football? By the way, how is the taste of sand?

— Violinhunter (@violinhunter) September 27, 2012

Naturally, Keith responded with his trademark civility:

.@violinhunter Dear Moron:earlier this year Romney reminded us that several of his friends own NFL teams. HE made this relevant, no one else

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 27, 2012

Out: Reasoned debate. In: Foot-stomping. We always knew Keith was ahead of the curve.

So, what have we learned? While Obama’s too busy worrying about football to address important issues, Mitt Romney is too busy worrying about important issues to address football. Gee, Romney sure is a crappy leader, isn’t he?



D’oh: Olbermann, media fall for bungled Politico satire claiming Ryan calls Romney ‘The Stench’

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Could Running For President Destroy Ben Carson’s Legacy?

Long before Ben Carson was a champion to social conservatives and an anathema to liberals, he was a legendary neurosurgeon and an icon of black triumph. Will his turn to politics destroy his legacy?

Dr. Ben Carson (right) while director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, in 1987. Fred Kraft / AP Photo

Maranda Francisco, forever 4 years old on the pages of Gifted Hands, is a brown-haired girl who suffered from a rare condition that caused her to have more than 100 seizures per day.

Her parents took her to Dr. Ben Carson at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and allowed the young surgeon to perform a last-ditch, radical brain surgery that stopped the seizures and saved Maranda’s life. That was 1985.

“We kinda dropped off the face of the Earth,” her mother, Theresa Francisco, told BuzzFeed News. “She started to be known as the child with half a brain. We just didn’t want to do that anymore.”

Today, Maranda works at a Kroger grocery store in Big Lake, Minnesota — a town of 10,000 about 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis. She doesn’t have use of her right hand and walks with a limp, but she lives in her own apartment and is able to take care of herself. Now 33, Maranda is a triumph of both the human spirit and science.

A few weeks ago, her brother called to give her an update on Carson, whom Maranda hasn’t seen or spoken to in nearly 30 years.

“He was like, ‘I gotta tell you something. Your doctor is going to run for president,’” Maranda told BuzzFeed News. “I think that’s awesome. I think he’d do really good. All the things I have in life, I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for Ben Carson.”

This is the unblemished view of Carson, a “folk hero” — a title he earned in a lengthy feature in the New York Times in 1993 — turned White House contender.

Carson hasn’t changed much, though the people evangelizing his story have. For the past 20 years, teachers and parents pressed his inspirational autobiography, Gifted Hands, into the hands of black children; today, conservatives far away from D.C., people who are not campaign operatives, see Carson as their champion — an intellectual social conservative.

The source of this allure is the same: Carson is a great American success story, a rags-to-riches hero who embodied achievement against long odds. His achievement turned him into an icon of black triumph, a Horatio Alger figure in hospital scrubs.

He didn’t do this through sports, music, or any of the other typical avenues to celebrity. He did it in a profession where the barrier for entry is extremely high, even among our best and brightest minds. It isn’t brain surgery? Well, for Carson, it actually was.

But he’s now risking this previously unassailable legacy in national politics, where reputations are broken as often as made. He’s making a series of sharp-edged statements that undermine his previously universal appeal, particularly in communities he once sought to set an example for. He has traded one kind of national stature for another one, hotter but also faster burning.

“If you’re white and you oppose a progressive black person, you’re a racist,” Carson told the audience gathered for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. “If you’re black and you oppose the progressive agenda, you’re crazy.”

Carson has already seen elements of his legend fall away. In one of the most painful, in March 2013, he was forced to withdraw as the commencement speaker at Hopkins after comparing same-sex marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, setting off a round of protests at a place where he’d worked, with much distinction, over five decades. This was a new turn for those who have long known Carson as famously soft-spoken at the hospital and fiercely protective of his privacy and time with family away from it. His former colleagues — to a person — bemoan his loss to the field of neurosurgery.

“He has never pushed anybody, never told anybody else what to do,” said Dr. Henry Brem, director of Hopkins’ neurosurgery department and a friend of Carson’s who joined the hospital’s staff with him on the same day in 1984. “And then there he is telling people how to fix the country. I realized, when he’s out there giving these public speeches, it’s a very different side of his personality.”

“The tack he took in recent years was a surprise to everybody,” said Elaine Freeman, a former longtime spokesperson for Hopkins, noting that Carson and her late husband often debated political issues away from the hospital. “The tenor changed.”

But tracing the trail of sound bites and dispatches given by Carson, the doctor nicknamed “Gentle Ben,” over the past quarter-century suggests Carson’s political turn is less a shift than a revelation. His values, his views, his way of looking at the world — they haven’t changed much.

“We had to read his books, and listen[ed] to his speeches and other public utterances,” said Vernon Robinson, campaign director of the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. “It’s a pain in the behind to do that but that’s what you’ve got to do. It’s all there.”

Ben Carson at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 26, 2015. Carolyn Kaster AP Photo

In the rural community outside of Baltimore where Carson has lived for nearly 15 years, many of his neighbors claim to have never spoken to him. Some didn’t even know if Carson and his family still live in their seven-bedroom, $1.7-million house set on a 35-acre piece of pastureland between cornfields. They know, vaguely, that he bought another home in Florida (West Palm Beach) for retirement.

“I don’t even think he could win if he was running for mayor out here,” said one of his neighbors, who lives along the winding gravel road that leads to his palatial estate. “No one out here knows him. He tends to insulate himself.”

Carson and his staff didn’t respond to a number of interview requests. The youngest of his three sons, Murray, also declined comment when reached at the family home in Upperco, Maryland.

As he’s said in his book and in speeches, Carson was not bound for such a promising future.

His mother, Sonya, one of 24 children, was married at 13. Carson’s parents divorced when he was 8, leaving his mother — who was illiterate and had only a third-grade education — to raise him and his older brother Curtis. In inner-city Detroit, Carson said he was the worst student in his fifth-grade class.

But poor eyesight was responsible for many of his struggles. After he got glasses, Carson’s mother famously demanded that he read two books and watch no more than three TV shows per week. Carson went on to graduate third in his high school class and won an academic scholarship to Yale University, where he majored in psychology.

When Carson arrived at Johns Hopkins Hospital — ranked the top hospital in the country for two decades — as a neurosurgery resident in 1977, he said that he was sometimes mistaken for an orderly.

“It wasn’t deliberately racist,” he told the New York Times in 1993. “It’s just that orderlies were the only black hospital employees these people had ever seen before.”

Carson soon began collecting an impressive set of credentials: assistant professor of neurosurgery, assistant professor of oncology, and, at age 33, director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He was then the nation’s youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery, and one of only three black doctors in that position in the United States.

“He could walk into the patient’s room the evening before surgery, meet the parents for the first time, speak to them for a few minutes, and it was as if God had entered the room,” the late Dr. John Freeman, an internationally renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurologist, wrote in his self-published memoir Looking Back: A Career in Child Neurology.

“Many of the patients came to Hopkins because of Ben’s reputation, which was very well deserved. He is one of the very few individuals that I can honestly say ‘walks on water.’”

Because of this esteem, Carson often performed more than 400 operations a year — at the very high end of the caseload of a typical neurosurgeon. And his practice was particularly challenging: He dealt mostly with the most feeble patients (newborns and children) and the most severe conditions (tumors, traumatic brain injuries, congenital dwarfism, etc.).

Despite those difficulties, Carson appears to have maintained a very clean docket for a surgeon working in a specialty that ranks No. 1 for lawsuits, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011. Records show only one malpractice suit and one other suit naming him and Johns Hopkins as defendants, both dismissed — though an appeal is pending in the former suit. The NEJM study shows that a neurosurgeon faces a 19.1% chance of facing a claim annually; or they should expect to be sued roughly every five years.

His gift with a forceps enabled thousands of suffering children to lead normal — or at least more normal — lives. It also launched him to public prominence. Carson had a story to tell — and eventually, sell.

Carson signed with a Christian publishing company and wrote Gifted Hands, the inspirational and influential autobiography that was published in 1990. Clocking in at little more than 200 pages, it was Carson’s wide-eyed prescriptive for underachievers who needed only better role models — Michael Jordan and Dr. Dre need not apply — and regular trips to the library.

He talked about overcoming his anger, which once resulted in stabbing a playmate when he was 9, by praying away his temper. He spent a chapter recounting how joining ROTC altered the course of his high school career, even helping him to understand that obsessing over fashion — “the peer thing,” he calls it — was immature. He recalled using a series of connections to land summer jobs while in college, discovering “influence could get me inside the door, but my productivity and the quality of my work were the real tests.”

Carson goes on to detail the sweet and chaste college courtship of his eventual wife, Candy; his meteoric rise through the ranks of medicine; the challenges of making time for his career and growing family. He also sprinkled biblical verses among the anecdotes and closed with a chapter explaining his motto T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. (as in Talent/Time; Hope/Honesty; Insight; Nice; Knowledge; Books; In-Depth Learning; and God). The final paragraph reads: “Whatever direction we choose, if we can realize that every hurdle we jump strengthens and prepares us for the next one, we’re already on the way to success.”

It’s the kind of book Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air might have given Will as a present.

Zondervan Publishing

Gifted Hands went on to become a staple among aspirational black families seeking to inspire their children and turned Carson into something of a Black History Month dignitary.

“He was clearly developing a following, traveling all over the country and giving talks,” said Elaine Freeman.

Unlike most other doctors who published books on issues within their field, “Ben always intended for his books to be widely read. He had a different purpose,” Freeman said.

Carson’s message was virtually indistinguishable from the sermons many in the audience might’ve heard from the pulpit of a black church. Carson could talk about personal responsibility and self-reliance and turning tragedy into triumph because of his familiar biography, echoing homilies delivered by men ranging from Malcolm X to T.D. Jakes.

Carson quickly set about pitching a prescription for struggling kids everywhere, railing against the exalted status of athletes, celebrities, and the most superficial aspects of popular culture. That peer thing, again.

“We have to look at what models are being put in front of our children — Michael Jordan and Madonna,” Carson told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer in 1997, echoing the tutelage his mother had given him as a struggling young student. “But we know very little about people who use their brains to benefit society.”

The stakes were especially high for children who had upbringings similar to his, Carson said. In a speech to the Housing Authority of Pittsburgh in 2007, Carson told the audience he discovered during his 25th high school reunion that all the “cool” people from those years were now dead.

A devout Seventh-Day Adventist, Carson took up this cause with the fervor of a barnstorming preacher. (In Carson’s home in Maryland, there is a portrait of him sitting alongside a beaming, brown-haired Jesus hanging over the stairwell. Jesus extends his left hand, as if beckoning to someone. They look like old friends.)

“He would talk about Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson, how those guys when they talked and went into a place, people got excited,” said Dr. Ron Anderson, an ophthalmologist at the Washington Hospital Center.

“It didn’t take long. Especially after his book came out and people knew who he was. He reached Jackson and Jordan in terms of walking into a school or an auditorium.”

He released more books, including two — Think Big (1996) and The Big Picture (2000) — that rehashed his philosophies for success. “And who could better advise than a man who has transformed himself from a ghetto kid into the most celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon in the world?” reads a description of Think Big on Amazon. Staying on message, and mostly avoiding contentious political talk, Carson touted the merits of hard work and faith in God. Some of the chapters in those books included titles like “Books Are For Reading,” “Seeing Hardship as Advantage,” and “Moving Beyond a Victim Mentality.”

In those final chapters of The Big Picture, there are also glimpses of the side of Carson the world would see years later when he delivered the keynote at a South Carolina tea party convention, an old-fashioned conservatism on race and other social questions. Carson wrote that he opposed affirmative action and criticized the use of racial and ethnic labels such as Irish-Americans, African-Americans, or “some other brand-Americans,” warning “if we are not careful we may fragment and hyphenate ourselves into oblivion.” He called political correctness “a serious threat” and said “it discourages honesty. It places a higher value on making everyone feel good than on stating what we really believe.” Carson also wrote “homosexual behavior is wrong” but that he had gay co-workers and “as long as they do their jobs well, their sexual orientation is not an issue I concern myself with.”

Carson spends the last 40 pages of the book diagnosing problems with the country’s health care system and prescribing a dramatic solution that would have socialized some elements of medicine and privatized others, a politically hard-to-place plan he’s since distanced himself from.

His proposals included elements now embraced by Republicans — a “loser pay legal fees” approach to malpractice lawsuits and allowing people to own their own health care policies; and also some now seen as of the political left, like government funding for catastrophic cases and the sort of national guidelines for who should and should not receive end-of-life care that Sarah Palin caricatured as “death panels.”

He also subtly criticizes then-first-lady Hillary Clinton’s health care initiative, saying, “I am not surprised that recent attempts at health-care reform have not been successful.”

In 1997, Carson loudly denounced a decision by the Maryland chapter of the NAACP to protest any and all public appearances by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. “It’s pretty disgusting,” he told The Star-Ledger. “I think it’s time to move beyond that point. Slavery’s been over for a long time now.”

It wouldn’t really be until the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 that Carson would catapult himself into public consciousness as a conservative leader. The 27-minute speech denounced Obamacare and progressive taxation as the president sat just 10 feet away. Months later at the Values Voters Summit, Carson would call Obamacare “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

But even then, the Carson of old wasn’t so different. In 1997, at the very same event, he argued against affirmative action and the welfare state — standing in front of President Bill Clinton.

Brem, the Hopkins doctor, could hardly believe Carson, a man whom he described as “soft-spoken, mild-mannered, and incredibly polite,” was the same person who was challenging President Clinton in front of roughly 3,000 attendees.

“I almost fell out of my chair,” Brem said, recalling watching Carson open a chasm between himself and the president of the United States. “It was so shocking.”

Ben Carson speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on Feb. 26, 2015. Carolyn Kaster / AP

Those who read his earlier books also wouldn’t be too surprised that Carson seems poised to pursue a political career. In The Big Picture, Carson somewhat offhandedly mentions that government might benefit from an infusion of physicians, particularly on issues relating to health care.

“I can’t help believing our modern culture would be better served if more doctors were better public servants,” he wrote.

That time might yet come for Carson. But the work he is truly known for, a series of operations that are complicated, risky, and often lifesaving — is the kind of thing that most humans never do, let alone presidential candidates. (On Hopkins’ website, Carson has an 84-page resume that includes nearly 20 pages of honors and 68 honorary degrees from schools as diverse as Morgan State University in Baltimore and Medical University of Southern Africa.)

Carson’s more extreme comments in recent years — particularly those about gays and lesbians — have unsettled some former colleagues.

“The thing that’s crazy is that he’s trained more gay neurosurgeons than anybody in the country,” Brem said. “He works beautifully with people.”

Carson’s longtime friends and colleagues are concerned about how his turn to politics is affecting his legacy. In an email thread among Hopkins employees accidentally shared with BuzzFeed News, one former colleague recommend “speaking to [BuzzFeed News] without getting drawn into political discussion.”

It was Carson’s role in successfully separating conjoined twins in 1987 that first turned him into a national figure.

“This sorta nailed down the top of the box that said this guy is special,” said Dr. J. Alex Haller, the former director of pediatric surgery at Hopkins who helped bring Carson to Hopkins in the 1970s.

When the parents of the twins, Patrick and Benjamin Binder of Ulm, Germany, requested to have their boys operated on at Hopkins, “no one had successfully separated Siamese twins joined at the back of the cranium with both surviving,” Carson wrote in Gifted Hands. But the Binders “learned that if the boys remained attached they would never sit, crawl, turn over, or walk. The two beautiful children would remain bedridden and relegated to lying on their backs for as long as they lived. Not much of a prospect for them.”

The procedure lasted 22 hours and involved 70 physicians, nurses, and assistants, and at least that many staff members waiting to support the team outside the operating room.

“Once out of the operating room, exhaustion took over, and we wanted to collapse,” Carson wrote in Gifted Hands. “In the minutes after surgery, I couldn’t think of answering anybody’s questions or talking about what we had done.”

Carson wouldn’t be able to avoid questions for long. The waiting room had been filled with reporters; several local radio stations gave hourly updates on the surgery; and a press conference — “the room was wall-to-wall reporters with cameras and microphones,” Carson wrote in Gifted Hands — awaited him following a short rest.

Watching from home in Washington, D.C., a friend thought he saw a familiar face among the mostly homogenous crowd.

“It was white guys in white coats and then I see this black guy and said, ‘Oh, he must be an orderly,’” said Anderson, his longtime friend. “He had scrubs on. Then I realized it was Ben.”

Carson might not have been selected for the operation that made him famous had it not been for his groundbreaking surgery on Maranda in 1985.

When the Franciscos brought Maranda to Carson, they had run out of all other options. Maranda had been in and out of hospitals most of her young life, suffering from a rare brain disease called Rasmussen’s encephalitis. The disease “progressively leads to permanent paralysis on one side of the body, mental retardation, and then death,” Carson wrote in Gifted Hands.

“It was a gift that I found him actually. We had nowhere else to go,” Theresa Francisco told BuzzFeed News. “He said, ‘I would be willing to look at your daughter. But I can’t promise anything. When can you be here?’”

Once the family arrived in Baltimore, they discussed the only remaining option for Maranda: a procedure known as hemispherectomy, the removal of half the brain in a child who is plagued by seizures that do not respond to drugs.

The hemispherectomy, first developed in the 1930s, fell into disfavor by the 1970s because of the side effects, including permanent brain damage, and an extremely high mortality rate. The odds of failure with were high, if not likely, but Carson believed the procedure was worth reviving in this case. “We surely had nothing to lose with Maranda,” Carson said in Gifted Hands. “If we didn’t proceed with the hemispherectomy, death was inevitable. We were at least giving this pretty little girl a chance to live.”

Theresa Francisco handed over her little girl to Carson, by now convinced he was her only remaining option. First, she had been surprised by his youth. Soon she was soothed by his calm and confident rapport with the family and Maranda.

“He was very soft-spoken, very calm, just very believable,” Theresa Francisco said. “And as far as I know, he’s still like that to this day. Nothing seems to rattle him.”

In the footnotes of Gifted Hands’ chapter about Maranda, Carson explained why he believed he’d be successful with a procedure that offered only the dimmest hopes for success.

“I suggest two reasons for the high failure rate,” Carson wrote. “First, the surgeons selected many inappropriate patients for the operation who, consequently, did not do well afterward. Second, the surgeons lacked competence or effective skills.” Left unsaid, but generally understood: Those surgeons weren’t as gifted as him.

Maranda survived the procedure, even regaining her speech immediately after surgery. And though she needed years of physical therapy and other treatment, Maranda graduated from high school in 2000 and “moved out on my own and have pretty much been independent,” she said.

“I wanted to live a normal life and that’s what I have. That’s all thanks to Dr. Carson.”

“It’s funny to hear people say, ‘This guy Ben Carson; I really like him and he might run for president. Do you know him at all?’” Theresa Francisco said, laughing. “Actually I do. I know him personally.

“He’s the same old Dr. Carson.”

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Jennifer Granholm’s bizarre Howard Dean moment: Mockery, pics & video!/CarolCNN/status/244014099627905025

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm helped close out the last night of the Democratic National Convention with all the unhinged theatrics of Tom Cruise and the over-the-top screeching of Howard Dean. As Granholm might say, God has ways of shutting internal filters down.

I finally saw a clip of Granholm's speech. #TheHell?

— jon gabriel (@exjon) September 7, 2012

Hallucinogens rule. RT @mattklewis Wow. Jennifer Granholm blew the roof off. One of the best speeches of either convention.

— Matt Bramanti (@mattbramanti) September 7, 2012

LOL, she was *thisclose* to eating a live bat. RT @hilaryr: Congrats @JenGranholm! A great leader. #DNC2012

— Cuffé (@CuffyMeh) September 7, 2012

Granholm Power! #dnc2012

— Steve King (@steveking_) September 7, 2012

Drudge on Granholm's DNC speech: 'Flips her lid!'

— Eddie Scarry (@eScarry) September 7, 2012

This is Granholm Tap. #DNC #current2012

— DNC Brett (@DNCBrett) September 7, 2012

The mockery was swift.

It's like Granholm went back to overacting school with Al Pacino.

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) September 7, 2012

Jennifer Granholm is giving her convention speech in a WWE ring. #SNAPINTOASLIMJIM!

— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) September 7, 2012

Is Jennifer Granholm a real person? It looks like she's an actor, playing the role of a kooky pitchwoman. This speech is weird.

— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) September 7, 2012

is she drunk? #granholm

— Ryan (@alwaysonoffense) September 7, 2012

So…I hear Jennifer Granholm acted a lot like…Jennifer Granholm during her speech.

— This Will Kill You (@stephenkruiser) September 7, 2012

Jennifer Granholm goes crazy, or maybe just stays there:

— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) September 7, 2012

Watching Jennifer Granholm. Looks like a drunk toast at a wedding, nooooo good.

— Andrew Tomlinson (@drew_tomlinson) September 7, 2012

Award for best Howard Dean impersonation goes to fmr worst Governor in America Jennifer Granholm. #DNC2012

— Dan Proft (@DanProft) September 7, 2012

Looking forward to Tom Cruise playing Jennifer Granholm in the 2012 version of Game Change

— Ray Ghanbari (@rghanbari) September 7, 2012

You knew it was coming. The Granholm/Dean mash-up:

Everyone should watch this – Great entertainment – RT @FreeBeacon: Granholm gets the Howard Dean treatment

— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) September 7, 2012


Watch the actual speech here:

Somewhere Howard Dean is saying thank you. Via @BUZZFEED Jennifer Granholm, En Fuego At The DNC: via @youtube

— John Adams (@PresidentAdams) September 7, 2012

I see Jennifer Granholm has been introduced to Charlotte's booming meth industry. #CrayCray #DNC2012

— CynicOwl (@SthrnFriedYankE) September 7, 2012

Bless her precious heart. The former governor is hoping to inspire an Eastwooding-style trend with her antics: Granholming.

Is #Granholming starting to trend on Twitter? We hope so! Full speech transcript here: cc @JenGranholm #TheWarRoom

— The War Room (@TheWarRoomCTV) September 7, 2012

Of course, some lapdogs thought Granholm’s wild performance was the best thing ever.

Wow. Granholm's speech absolutely over-the-top crowd pleaser.

— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) September 7, 2012

Granholm is fantastic! Part union boss, part Tina Turner.

— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) September 7, 2012

CNN is playing Granholm's speech as tho her meltdown was a good thing.

— John Nolte (@NolteNC) September 7, 2012

All in all, a great close to the Dem convention.

Jennifer Granholm made a fool of herself and Obama flopped. Way to close, Dems.

— John Nolte (@NolteNC) September 7, 2012

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Adorable: Lip-syncing Team USA swimmers ask, ‘Call Me Maybe’?!/USA_Swimming/status/228844011685834753

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me, Maybe” is a lip sync favorite on YouTube. But how many of those videos feature Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte blowing a kiss at the camera, hmm?

The video also includes dancing from Team USA swimmers Missy Franklin, Brendan Hansen and of course, former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Natalie Coughlin.

My underwater dancing is much better than on land. Trust me #CallMeMaybe

— Brendan Hansen (@BrendanHansen) July 26, 2012

Many of the Olympic swimmers used their Twitter accounts to help the video go viral.

USA does Call Me Maybe?!! You've got to check this out! Most fun Ive ever had on a team trip! Make it viral!!!! #fb

— Dana Vollmer (@danavollmer) July 26, 2012

This is one of the best teams I've had the opportunity to be apart of! We are having so much fun! #CallMeMaybe?:)

— Missy Franklin (@FranklinMissy) July 26, 2012

"Call me maybe" USA Olympic swim team edition. Enjoy! Hope you guys like this it was a blast making it

— Brendan Hansen (@BrendanHansen) July 26, 2012

"Team USA does Call Me Maybe" – YOU NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT ASAP! Make it viral!!!!

— Jessica Hardy (@swimhardy) July 26, 2012

One way to pass the time at training camp: "Call Me Maybe" @USA_Swimming style.

— Natalie Coughlin (@NatalieCoughlin) July 26, 2012

Call Me Maybe…US Olympic Swim Team style #fb

— Rebecca Soni (@rebsoni) July 26, 2012

Check out the "Call Me Maybe" video our team made #GoUSA

— Conor Dwyer (@conorjdwyer) July 27, 2012

And the Twitterverse verdict is in: a lot of awesomeness, a little dorkiness and a bit of sexy all rolled into one.

Combining my two current obsessions.. #Olympics + Call Me Maybe? Awesome start to the day 🙂

— Stacy Miles (@SuprStace6) July 27, 2012

The US Olympic swim team's Call Me Maybe video is a) adorable, b) proof that world-class athletes can be giant dorks.

— Jason Pinter (@jasonpinter) July 27, 2012

Slightly dorky, totally awesome. #TeamUSA swimmers do "Call Me Maybe." Bring on the #Olympics!

— Olivia Dwyer (@0liviadwyer) July 27, 2012

I like this. Shows Olympians are regular people too & do dorky dances!

— Kristin Carringer (@klcarringer) July 27, 2012

Sexy, hyperfit dorks. RT @alexhern TIL: The US swim team are adorable dorks.

— Adam White (@adamawhite) July 27, 2012

Dear sexy men of #TeamUSA, you all can call me no maybe.

— courtney (@courtneyrava) July 26, 2012

Of course, there are always curmudgeons to rain on the parade.

C'mon, Team USA! Why are you using a CANADIAN singer's song?!? #AFY RT @billybush Tell @carlyraejepsen to click on this

— jay svoboda (@jaysvoboda) July 26, 2012

Nothing more American than lip syncing to a Canadian's song! Call Me Maybe – 2012 #USA #Olympic Swimming Team:

— sarahjane (@sarahjane047) July 27, 2012

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Destroying Jim Carrey with simple question: ‘Will you denounce “Kick Ass 2″?’!/DLoesch/status/316039714597662720

If you haven’t been paying attention to the epic fact-whoopin @dloesch has been putting on the Dumb & Dumber star you are missing out!

— Chris Loesch (@ChrisLoesch) March 25, 2013

Truth. As we reported, actor Jim Carrey continues to expose himself as an hypocritical gun control nut. Oh, and a jackass. He took to Twitter yesterday to use tragedies to promote himself by hawking the release of his song, “Cold Dead Hand.” He did so by calling gun owners “heartless motherf*ckers.” Ah, the tolerance! Twitter quickly reacted, and a hilarious video exposing Carrey’s hypocrisy was created: Must watch.

Fierce fighter Dana Loesch destroyed Carrey with a simple question: Will he denounce his violence-glorifying movie “Kick Ass 2″?

My only question to @jimcarrey is on consistency: will u, will u not denounce new film “Kick Ass 2″ for glorifying gun use, violence?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

The craven Carrey bravely ran away while tossing straw men.

No 1 is answering my suggestion of developing non-lethal self-defense! I guess that wouldn’t satisfy our national ad…

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 24, 2013

Gun folks are afraid that control won’t stop with large magazines. Their nervousness is far less important than the …

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 24, 2013

@dloesch Not at all. I’m suggesting compassionate compromise. A revolutionary concept, i know. ;^}

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 24, 2013

I’d like to respond to all the conservative bundits out there personally but I’m far too busy NOT stumping for the g…

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 24, 2013

Over a million ppl have been killed by guns in the US since John Lennon was shot. Look no further than your own back…

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 25, 2013

The important question is “Do we possess guns in America or do guns possess us?”

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 25, 2013

@dloesch So that means ppl need a hundred bullet magazine? Well,u don’t make sense but you cause confusion and that’s all u really want! ;^}

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 25, 2013

Confusion? Her question was quite simple, Mr. Carrey. She even kindly offered some teachable moments for you. Is reading as hard for you as reality appears to be?

Loesch and other happy warriors, including the always awesome actor Nick Searcy, destroyed Carrey with reason.

#answerthequestionjim MT @jchristensen73 I’m eagerly awaiting @jimcarrey to answer @dloesch questionDoes he have the courage??

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

. @jimcarrey Please educate yourself. Police have no obligation to protect your life. See Castle Rock v Gonzales.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Average response time for 911 call exceeds 12 minutes. I’m unwilling to allow @jimcarrey play roulette with my family’s safety in that span.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Must be easy to MySpace rant with no ref to court cases, demanding disarmament when you have your own armed bodyguard, @jimcarrey .

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Don’t tell @jimcarrey that Newtown parents voted for armed police in their schools. He might start calling them “m*therf*ckers,” too.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Sad because I really liked @jimcarrey growing up. I remember his Vera impression. Now he insults fans? Lame.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Is @jimcarrey volunteering to pay for all of us to have bodyguards, too? Well, are you Jim?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

@jimcarrey Can you tell me what’s compassionate about making our bodies and children less safe than yours?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Curious why certain people think their lives are more valuable than others. “Bodyguard! No problem! Too bad you can’t afford protection!”

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

@jimcarrey By your logic defending free speech is stumping for broadcast companies.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 24, 2013

Does @jimcarrey ‘s house have an “Armed Response” sign in front of it? Why does he not have a “Gun Free Zone” sign in front of it?

— nick searcy (@yesnicksearcy) March 25, 2013

Another question he won’t be answering.

.@jimcarrey bravely stands & says what 99% of the room he’s in agree with. Such courage! Until a maniac with a gun comes in that room.

— nick searcy (@yesnicksearcy) March 25, 2013


@jimcarrey @dloesch I notice you don’t deny having armed bodyguards, Mr. Carrey. How do you justify having armed bodyguards?

— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) March 24, 2013

Protection for me, but not for thee.

.@jimcarrey Not a question of “need”, it’s a question of rights. Also, it only takes 3-4 seconds to cycle 3 standard 30rnd mags. ~ @dloesch

— Adam Baldwin (@adamsbaldwin) March 25, 2013

. @jimcarrey And 2.1m use them for defense annually, via law enforcement reports. So why do you omit that?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

And @jimcarrey , of those 2.1m defensive uses per year, 10% are women defending against sexual attack. And you want to render them helpless?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

I’d like to know why @jimcarrey ignores the fact that 2.1m defenses with firearms occur annually. Is “compromise” to ignore truth?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

I think @jimcarrey should lead by example. He should drop his armed bodyguards and denounce “Kick Ass 2.”

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

Will @jimcarrey put his money where his mouth is? He hates guns, so will he denounce their use and his film “Kick Ass 2?”

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

@jimcarrey Pls answer my question: Will u denounce ur film “Kick Ass 2″ because it glorifies violence & guns? Or is your talk here hollow?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

I’m sure @jimcarrey ‘s feelings on guns are new as there is no way he’d sign up for “Kick Ass 2″ feeling the way he does now, right?

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

Do paychecks for sequels involving guns justify this exception to your earlier remarks, @jimcarrey ? I’m curious.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

RT if you want @jimcarrey to answer question posed by @dloesch Will u denounce ur film “Kick Ass 2″ because it glorifies violence & guns?

— Kate Kurtz (@BunnysDaughter) March 25, 2013

RT @cnservativepunk: I would really like to see @jimcarrey respond to @dloesch comments as she makes very good points here.

— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) March 25, 2013

Who thinks @dloesch deserves an answer from @jimcarrey: will he be consistent & denounce his movie Kick Ass 2? Or is he talking just 2 talk?

— Rorschach (@Modern_Right) March 25, 2013

@jimcarrey,@dloeschdeserves an answer if you have the fortitude.

— Mike Young (@MikeYou34) March 25, 2013

@jimcarrey Please answer @dloesch‘s questions. We’re all waiting.

— MichelleInCal(@MichelleInCAL) March 25, 2013

@jimcarrey could you please let @dloesch and all of us know what type of gun you are brandishing here for profit?…

— JoeySkins (@josepheach) March 25, 2013

And then the hashtag #AnswerTheQuestionJim was born.

After blasting culture and gun violence on Twitter, will @jimcarrey denounce his new film “Kick Ass 2″ for glorifying? #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

#AnswerTheQuestionJim RT @suziewilliams: @dloesch @jimcarrey Simple question. You need to answer.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

.@jimcarrey This isn’t going away…You should #AnswerTheQuestionJim .@dloesch

— Topher Carlton (@TopherCarlton) March 25, 2013

. @jimcarrey rants about guns. Promotes his own gun violent film. @dloesch asks him to denounce it. Silence from him? #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— Sherry Lucas (@PorchPhilosophy) March 25, 2013

Still waiting for @jimcarrey to #AnswerTheQuestionJim if he’ll denounce new film in light of his anti-gun remarks.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 25, 2013

Call @piersmorgan for help: @jimcarrey is ignoring @dloesch. #AnswertheQuestionJim

— ★♥ Harriet Baldwin(@HarrietBaldwin) March 25, 2013

Liberal men have such a fear of conservative women.It’s hilarious.@dloesch @jimcarrey #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— Bethany Bowra (@BethanyBowra) March 25, 2013

It’s at times like this that people like @jimcarrey prove their anti-gun arguments have no substance.#AnswerTheQuestionJim @dloesch

— Bethany Bowra (@BethanyBowra) March 25, 2013

So @jimcarrey finally responds to @dloesch, and it’s a straw man argument. Enjoy your “blood money”, Hypocrite.

— ArcherFan1776 (@AiPolitics) March 25, 2013

If @jimcarrey has any kind of integrity he’ll answer @dloesch and explain why he gets to vilify gun users but gets to be protected by them.

— Brandon Morse (@CnservativePunk) March 25, 2013

“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” ~Sigmund Freud *cough cough* @jimcarrey #answerthequestionjim

— Kemberlee Kaye (@red_red_head) March 25, 2013

“@laurenc_lux: What’s it like having your own armed security? #AnswerTheQuestionJim” @jimcarrey

— Chris Loesch (@ChrisLoesch) March 25, 2013

Hey remember when @jimcarreyexploited 9/11 with his “Go see The Majestic..It will make you feel better” Ad.. #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— S.M (@redsteeze) March 25, 2013

A pattern of gross exploitation for his own gain.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. #answerthequestionjim

— Eye on Politics (@EyeOnPolitics) March 25, 2013

I’m pretty sure @jimcarrey doesn’t want to debate, he wants to proselytize. #answerthequestionjim

— Brandon Morse (@CnservativePunk) March 25, 2013

Is this @jimcarrey ‘s solution for a women facing a rape assailant ?… #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— Karen Martin #TGDN (@karmartin) March 25, 2013

Suck it up, ladies!

What’s it like in the 1% with a security detail, but criticizing the 99% that need their own protection? #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— Lauren Luxenburg (@LaurenC_Lux) March 25, 2013

That awkward moment when you’re a movie star passed your prime being called out for being a hypocrite. #AnswerTheQuestionJim

— Justen Charters (@JustenCharters) March 25, 2013

#AnswertheQuestionJim How can you take money for something you find so immoral? @chrisloesch @dloesch

— Mari (@LupeColon) March 25, 2013

It’s trending. “@chrisloesch: Use this hashtag to @jimcarrey until he answers @dloesch‘s question about his film. #AnswertheQuestionJim

— Sara Marie Brenner (@saramarietweets) March 25, 2013

We’ve had enough of the hypocrisy and the intolerance coming from the Hollyweird Left.

One of the reasons I love twitter is that celebrities are finally having people that aren’t paid “yes” men reacting to their idiocy.

— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) March 25, 2013

The more I hear powerful people & celebrities (& a few whiny bloggers) poo-poo twitter as irrelevant, the more I know they’re scared of it.

— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) March 25, 2013

Indeed. And, Jim?

Thx 4 your input 2day.I don’t think i’ve ever felt so despised and so free at the same time. It’s been delightfully. ;^}

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 25, 2013

Answer the question. We aren’t going anywhere.

Update: He’s still avoiding, but is continuing to toss around straw men.

@jbird8 Newsflash jbird. Movies aren’t real. No classroom gets blown to bloody hell by a movie but your misdirection is noted. ;^]

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 25, 2013


Hollywood hypocrite: Video roasts gun control nut Jim Carrey over movie violence

Jim Carrey’s ‘Cold Dead Hand’: Hey, here’s a song for ‘heartless motherf*ckers unwilling to bend for the safety of our kids’; Update: Doubles down

Jim Carrey: Gun violence? That’s totally karma, bitter clingers

Jim Carrey: The lives of assault rifle owners aren’t really ‘worth protecting’

Ghouls: Jim Carrey wants to ‘revise’ Second Amendment; Other celebs politicize Empire State Building shooting

Read more: