The Raffi Torres Illegal Hit Leads to His Indefinite Suspension by the NHL

UPDATE, APRIL 21, 2012: Raffi Torres has been suspended 25 games.

Last year, we ran a story about Raffi Torres' Game 1 heroics in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins. We shared his story of what it was like to be a Latino kid playing hockey in Canada and how he broke stereotypes to become an NHL player. Today, Torres, who is of Peruvian and Mexican descent, graces our pages, but for all the wrong reasons. Yes, Torres is a dirty player, and from the looks of his hit against the Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa in a playoff game between Chicago and the Phoenix Coyotes, Torres represents all that is wrong about this style of play in the NHL.

Here is what happened: 

The consequences of such a dirty hit has been the talk of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs this week. Everyone in the hockey world has weighed in, and everyone agrees: Torres' hit is bad for hockey. Sure, the level of play gets intense during the playoffs, but you can't jump off of the ice and go after a guy's head, when that guy has his head down. The following tweet, by the venerable Bob McKenzie reflects what people are saying about Torres' hit:

Tonight, Torres was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for his illegal hit. He will also have to visit the NHL offices in New York this Friday, and we think his suspension will last for the rest of the playoffs, and beyond. This type of play is not new to Torres, who only last year did a similar thing to Chicago's Brent Seabrook when Torres was a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Will he ever learn? The only way is for the NHL to send Torres a lesson: no more hockey for this year and for the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.

“Crossing the Line” PBS Segment Raises Troubling Questions About US Border Security

We are wondering what the nativists who have dehumanized those "goddamn illegals" will say about the following video at the end of this post.

From the PBS Need to Know YouTube channel:

In partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, Need to Know investigates whether U.S. border agents have been using excessive force in an effort to curb illegal immigration. Watch a preview. The full segment will air on Friday, April 20, 2012 | CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIMES AND CHANNELS

You can also find out more by clicking here. Here is the trailer of the segment's preview. Yes, all you patriotic Americans, real lives are at stake here.

In the meantime, a Presente.org petition addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder has already generated more than 10,000 signatures.

Latest CNN Poll Has Rice and Santorum As Top GOP VP Choices Among Republican Voters

This afternoon CNN released the results of a new poll that asked Republican voters whom they think Mitt Romney should choose as his running mate. Former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and former GOP candidate Rick Santorum topped the list, with Rice getting 26% of respondents' top choice, while Santorum got 21%. The poll has a +/-4.5% margin of error.

Besides the choices, the sampling of Republican voters were also asked about favorability for each of the names suggested. Rice came in with a whopping 80% favorability rate and Santorum got a 65% favorability rate. In fact, Santorum's favorability rating has been his highest in this poll series. According to the poll, in May 2011, Santorum's favorability was at 26%. However, even though Santorum is at 65% favorable, he also clocked in the highest unfavorable rate, which was 19%. The poll's major findings are posted here.

Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler Disqualifies Herself from Florida v. Zimmerman Case

This afternoon, the 18th Judicial District in Florida released the following media advisory to all outlets covering the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman:

Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler has executed an order disqualifying herself from further proceedings in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman.  In the three-page Order dated April 18, 2012, Judge Recksiedler made findings that each basis, in and of itself, were “legally insufficient” for disqualification.  In addition, the Order further states “[e]ven though this Court finds that neither of these, standing alone, is legally sufficient for disqualification, the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this Court to grant the Motion to Disqualify.” 

The Order directs the case to be returned to Chief Judge Alan Dickey for reassignment. Per the current court order, a copy of this document is not available at this time.

Chief Judge Dickey is in receipt of a Notice of Judicial Conflict from Judge John D. Galluzzo, certifying to Chief Judge Dickey that Judge Galluzzo has a conflict in performing his duties as a circuit judge in any matter in controversy where Mark M. O’Mara is the attorney of record because of their prior business and personal relationship and the requirements of Cannon 3E of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. Because Judge Galluzzo is the next judge in the normal rotation of the criminal division, the Chief Judge has directed Criminal Administrative Judge Debra Nelson to appoint the next judge in the criminal division rotation, Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr., to preside over the George Zimmerman case.

Chief Judge Dickey issued the following statement regarding the reassignment of this case, “Even though Judge Recksiedler had to grant the motion for disqualification in this case, she is very capable of presiding over this or any other criminal case and I have complete confidence in Judge Lester as well.”