January 5th, 2009

  • sfdsock

Prop 8 protestors vandalize gay friendly church

San Francisco Castro District Prop Propostion 8 Protest Vandalism Church
Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Diamond Street is gay-friendly and parishioners who voted against Prop 8 are upset their church was targeted.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Vandals spray-painted swastikas on a Catholic church in San Francisco's Castro District Saturday night.


It appears the vandals are upset about the Catholic church's support of Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California.

But, the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Diamond Street is gay-friendly. Many parishioners voted against Prop 8 and they are upset their church was targeted.
"We're very disturbed by the hierarchy's support of the Yes on Eight Campaign. We've been in conversation with the bishop, which is the way I think we need to handle it. I think Catholic teaching shows us we're all a community and we all need to talk to one another about it even if we have disagreements," said Rob Hopckey.

San Francisco Police are investigating the vandalism.



  • sfdsock

Neff: Pastorgate II

By Lisa Neff
Collapse )

Obama was quoted as saying, “During the course of the entire inaugural festivities, there are going to be a wide range of viewpoints that are presented. And that’s how it should be, because that’s what America’s about. That’s part of the magic of this country.… We are diverse and noise and opinionated.”

Of course I welcome the president-elect’s calls for unity and inclusion, but I just don’t understand and certainly don’t find any magic in giving Rick Warren the honor of delivering the inaugural invocation.

I don’t know what Warren will say on Jan. 20, but I’ll remind you of what he said approaching a vote on Proposition 8: “About 2 percent of Americans are homosexual or gay, lesbian people. We should not let 2 percent of the population determine, to change a definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years. This is not even just a Christian issue, it’s a humanitarian, a human issue.”

Source. Also see " Has Obama Turned His Back on Gays?"

  • bispo

Obama’s OLC nominee: ‘We must regain our ability to feel outrage whenever our government acts lawles

President-elect Barack Obama announced today that Dawn Johnsen will serve as the next Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Salon’s Glenn Greenwald calls the pick “Obama’s best yet, perhaps by far.” As evidence, Greenwald highlights an article in Slate that Johnsen authored last year, in which she excoriated John Yoo’s infamous torture memo:


I want to second Dahlia’s frustration with those who don’t see the newly released Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) torture memo as a big deal. Where is the outrage, the public outcry?! The shockingly flawed content of this memo, the deficient processes that led to its issuance, the horrific acts it encouraged, the fact that it was kept secret for years and that the Bush administration continues to withhold other memos like it — all demand our outrage.

Yes, we’ve seen much of it before. And yes, we are counting down the remaining months. But we must regain our ability to feel outrage whenever our government acts lawlessly and devises bogus constitutional arguments for outlandishly expansive presidential power. Otherwise, our own deep cynicism, about the possibility for a President and presidential lawyers to respect legal constraints, itself will threaten the rule of law — and not just for the remaining nine months of this administration, but for years and administrations to come.

Johnsen also criticized the Democratic Congress for legalizing Bush’s surveillance program. She also wrote passionately about restoring our “nation’s honor” by condemning “our nation’s past transgressions” and rejecting “Bush’s corruption of our American ideals.”

  • sfdsock

Prop 8 #1: A Material or Moral Defeat?

            One of the things that has been bugging me is the pro-marriage gays and straights have been talking as though this were the same thing as the Dred Scott decision–a total loss of rights tantamount to second class citizenship, or no citizenship at all. But is this true? Though it is a setback, in terms of cementing heterosexist law on yet another state in the union, is it really the loss of “rights” as is being framed by the advocates?

Something to consider: California already has a domestic partnership law on the books, that was signed into law in 2003, and took effect in 2005. According to the California domestic partnership law, “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the sameresponsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

In essence, the benefits of domestic partnership are very similar to those given under civil marriage, which are pretty similar to straight married couples, with the exception of federal recognition to get the different benefits under federal law. The US government does NOT currently honor state marriages of gay couples.

Did the California Supreme Court decision which lead to default legal marriage for same-sex couples, end the domestic partner benefits already afforded under the 2003 law?

NO. According to the state website, “The Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriages did not invalidate or change any of the Family Code statutes relating to registered domestic partners. Until a Notice of Termination is filed with our office, a registered domestic partnership will remain active on California’s Domestic Partnership Registry. This office will continue to process Declarations of Domestic Partnership, Notices of Termination of Domestic Partnership and other related filings as permitted by the domestic partnership law.”

That would mean that same-sex couples could still get the domestic partnership benefits, even though there is now a ban on marriage, per se. Is there a qualitative difference between domestic partner benefits and marriage, if neither are recognized federally? I think not.


'Radical' Obama Acting Like He Won The Election

According to the Washington Post, right-wingers are angry with Obama
for...not being right-wing. It seems they're upset that Obama isn't
appointing the same people John McCain would have appointed if he had won.
As the Post put it, "conservatives fear that some of these Obama transition
advisers are too far left on the political spectrum and are a sign of
radical policies to come."

What are the signs of "radicalism" that Obama is showing? He's filling
regulatory positions with people who want regulate industry -- instead of
the industry-stooge-hack-lobbyists who have filled the positions during the
Bush years.

And in the area of civil rights, it's even worse -- Obama has people on his
transition advisory team who are, get this, gay and, gulp, non-white.

Collapse )
K-Box cartoon

A story to send a chill down the spine of any former military member

War Vet, 50, Stunned By New Deployment
Former Soldier Last Served During 1st Gulf War

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- A veteran who has been out of the military for 15 years and recently received his AARP card was stunned when he received notice he will be deployed to Iraq.

The last time Paul Bandel, 50, saw combat was in the early 1990s during the Gulf War.

"(I was) kind of shocked, not understanding what I was getting into," said Bandel, who lives in the Nashville, Tenn., area.

In 1993, Bandel took the option of leaving the Army without retirement and never thought he would be called back to action.

"Here he's 50 years old, getting his AARP card, and here he's being redeployed with all these 18-year-olds," said Paul's wife, Linda Bandel.

"I can understand, say, 'Here, we have this assignment for you stateside. Go do your training,'" said Paul Bandel. "But, 'Hey, here's a gun, go back to the desert.'"

Collapse )

Gaza By The Numbers

A snapshot of Gaza by the numbers:

Humanitarian Assistance
  • Movement in and out of Gaza is all but impossible and supplies of food, water, sewage treatment, basic health care have been drastically affected by the blockade of aid. Food prices are rising and wheat, flour, baby milk, and rose 34%, 30%, and 20.5% respectively during the period May-June 2007 alone.
  • Prior to the blockade (implemented after Hamas took over total adminstration over Gaza in June 2007), around 250 trucks carrying aid entered Gaza each day.
  • As of March 2008, that number was reduced to 45.
  • According to UN figures reported in the Guardian, that number dropped to just 5 in December.
  • Most recently, the Israeli government prevented a Libyan ship carrying 3000 tons of aid from entering Gaza.
Poverty and Dependency on Food Aid
  • Number of people living in absolute poverty in Gaza in 2008: 80%
  • Number of people living in absolute poverty in Gaza in 2006: 63%
  • In 2007, households were spending 62% of their income on food.
  • In 2004, households were spending 37% of their income on food.
  • As of March 2008, there were over 1.1 million people—three quarters of Gaza—who are dependent on food aid. In less than ten years, the numbers of families who depending on UNRWA food aid has increased ten-fold
  • In June 2005, there were 3,900 factories in Gaza employing 35,000 people.
  • In December 2007, there were just 195, employing only 1,700.
  • Unemployment is close to 40%.
  • 40,000 agriculture works who depend on cash crops now have no income.
  • In September 2000, 24,000 Gazans crossed into Israel to seek cheap labor. Now that number is zero.
Schools, Electricity, Medical Supplies
  • In January 2008, UNICEF reported that schools in Gaza had been cancelling classes that required high energy consumption like IT, science lab, and extra-curricular classes.
  • Hospitals cannot generate electricity to keep lifesaving equipment working or to generate oxygen, while 40-50 million liters of sewage continues to pour into the sea daily.
  • Hospitals are currently experiencing power cuts lasting for 8-12 hours a day.
  • There is currently a 60-70 percent shortage reported in the diesel required for hospital power generators.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the proportion of patients given permits to exit Gaza for medical care dropped from 89.3% in January 2007 to 64.3% in December 2007.
  • Many of those who are given permits are blocked at the crossing itself. In October 2007 alone, the WHO confirmed that 20 patients died because they were denied access to refereal services. Five of these deaths were children.
In speaking about the current wave of violence, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev pledged that Israel will “destroy completely” the “terrorist gang.”

But the facts show that much more than a “terrorist gang” is being destroyed in Gaza.

(Unless otherwise indicated, all facts in this post are from the report “The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian implosion” co-authored by Amnesty International, Oxfam, Medcins de Monde UK, CAFOD, Save the Children UK, TroCAIRE, CARE, and Christian Aid).

' jules
  • schmiss

Haters to the left of me, haters to the right

Conservatives Label Fitzgerald A Failure, Ignoring His Record Of Successful Terrorism Prosecutions

Since U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald investigated the Bush administration’s leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity — and successfully prosecuted Scooter Libby for perjury — conservatives have sought to discredit the prosecutor. Last month, Michelle Malkin insisted that Democrats would “turn on a dime” against Fitzgerald for going after a Democratic governor — despite the fact that President-elect Obama and top congressional Democrats have called for Fitzgerald to be reappointed as U.S. Attorney.

Continuing their assault on Fitzgerald, conservatives like to argue that Fitzgerald’s prosecution record is weak. Yesterday, Fox News’s Brit Hume decried Fitzgerald’s so-called “propensity” to make accusations “in news conferences” that he “is unable to prove in court.” This morning, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough slammed the prosecutor for bringing cases with “a lot of smoke” but “no fire,” and wondered, “Is Fitzgerald going to go 0 for 2 here in national investigations?”

Collapse )

To say Fitzgerald might go “0 for 2″ in national investigations not only ignores the fact that he won a conviction of a Bush aide in the Plame case but, more importantly, completely ignores Fitzgerald’s successful prosecution of the terrorists — including “the blind Shiek” Omar Abdul Rahman — who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. During the trial, Fitzgerald provided a passionate and forceful voice against what he called “a war of urban terrorism,” years before “the War on Terror” began:

Collapse )

Fitzgerald also indicted Osama bin Laden for terrorism years before he was on the national radar, after the 9/11 attacks. In addition, he secured the fraud conviction of Conrad Black, who had ties to the Bush White House. After successfully prosecuting terrorists, mobsters, governors, and White House officials, Fitzgerald is hardly in danger of going “0 for 2.”


They forgot about George Ryan but w/e, the point is, LEAVE PFITZ ALONE YOU JERKS

(no subject)

New York Times Censors 'Gay' From its Mobile Service


A bad word?

Text message someone an article with the word "gay" in the title from the New York Times' mobile website, and they may be a bit confused as to what you're sending them.

That's because the service replaces every instance of "gay" in a headline with the word "beep".

My friend Al sent a message to me on New Years Eve containing a link to Frank Rich's recent column about Rick Warren, and it arrived with the headline "You're Likable Enough, 'beep' People."

Subsequent attempts using different articles turned up the same results. Click image, as it appeared on my iPhone above, to enlarge. Now while I wouldn't be surprised if Rick Warren thought of me as a "beep" person, I'd expect better from the New York Times. I would demand that they change it. I've sent a feedback email to the paper. Will let you know what I hear.


Vatican newspaper: Pill causes infertility in men and is polluting the environment

VATICAN CITY (AFP) – The contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Saturday.

The pill "has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature" through female urine, said Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in the report.

"We have sufficient evidence to state that a non-negligible cause of male infertility in the West is the environmental pollution caused by the pill," he said, without elaborating further.

"We are faced with a clear anti-environmental effect which demands more explanation on the part of the manufacturers," added Castellvi.

The article was promptly dismissed by several organisations.

"Once metabolised, the hormones contained in oral contraceptives no longer have any of the characteristic effects of feminine hormones," said Gianbenedetto Melis, vice-president of a contraceptive research association, quoted by the ANSA news agency.

The hormones contained in the pill such as oestrogen "are present everywhere... in plastic, in disinfectants, in meat that we eat," added Flavia Franconi, of the Society of Italian Pharmacology.

Pope Benedict XVI in October reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's condemnation of artificial birth control.

Contraception "means negating the intimate truth of conjugal love, with which the divine gift (of life) is communicated," the leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics wrote on the 40th anniversary of a papal encyclical on the topic.

An encyclical is a letter usually treating some aspect of Catholic doctrine and issued occasionally by the pope.

The landmark document, whose title in English is "On the Regulation of Birth", was published at a time when the development of the Pill was giving new sexual freedom to women across the world.

Millions of Catholics distanced themselves from Rome as a result.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090103/hl_afp/vaticanreligioncontraception_090103212901

Fucking seriously?


  • sfdsock

Black Entertainment Television (BET) weighs in on gay rights

Why ‘Gay IS the New Black’



The issue of gay rights is all over the news these days from the outrage over Obama’s choice of pastor (and anti-gay marriage advocate) Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration, to the recent passage of Proposition 8 in California which outlaws gay marriage in the state. All of this has led some activists to parallel the struggle for gay rights to the Civil Rights Movement.

Also see the counter post.
tbx -> twins

various updates on Palestinian-Israeli conflict

ICRC: Israel, Hamas must stop targeting civilians

GENEVA—The international Red Cross says Israel and Hamas must stop killing and wounding civilians in the Gaza fighting.
Collapse )

Zahar promises victory over Israel

Mahmoud Zahar, a top Hamas strongman in Gaza, on Monday urged Hamas fighters to "crush" IDF forces who have invaded the territory. He also hinted at greater efforts to attack Israeli civilians.
Collapse )

Hamas to Israel: You began killing your children the day you started killing ours

Gaza – Ma’an – Addressing the public for the first time since the beginning of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar spoke out against Israel, and encouraged fighters to continue their resistance.
Collapse )

Hamas seeks truce but says lifting siege a must

Hamas is open to international initiatives for a truce in Gaza but insists any proposal must guarantee Israeli withdrawal and an end to the blockade on the besieged territory, an exiled Hamas leader said on Monday.
Collapse )
  • whale_s

Obama picks Leon Panetta to head the CIA

NBC: Obama picks Panetta for CIA director
Leon Panetta was Bill Clinton's chief of staff and Iraq Study Group member
NBC News has confirmed that President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the CIA.
Panetta was a surprise pick for the post, with no experience in the intelligence world. An Obama transition official and another Democrat disclosed his nomination on a condition of anonymity since it was not yet public.
Panetta was director of the Office of Management and Budget and a longtime congressman from California.
He served on the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that released a report at the end of 2006 with dozens of recommendations for the reversing course in the Iraq war.
Panetta currently directs with his wife Sylvia the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay a university he helped establish on the site of the former U.S. Army base, Fort Ord.


Congressmen sound off against SEC in Madoff affair

Congressmen sound off against SEC in Madoff affair

Republican and Democratic House members said Monday that the alleged $50 billion fraud involving Wall Street figure Bernard Madoff reflects deep, systemic problems at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Inspector General H. David Kotz said he is so concerned about the SEC's failure to uncover Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme that the IG is expanding the inquiry called for last month by SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. Cox had pushed the blame squarely onto the SEC's career staff for the failure to detect what Madoff was doing.
Collapse )

so for the republicans the problem was not that there was not enough rules and regulations, but people were lazy... i see...

Free Wiki!!!

Wikipedia users keep site free by reaching $6m fundraising target

Internet users around the world have reached into their pockets to prevent website Wikipedia from having to charge for access or carry advertisements.

The nonprofit foundation that runs the popular free encyclopedia said it has raised $6 million (£4.1m) in one of the most successful online fundraising campaigners ever organised.

A flood of donations came in after the site's founder, Jimmy Wales, posted an appeal for support in late December to avoid having to take money from advertising or subscriptions.

The Wikimedia CORR Foundation said about 50,000 contributors chipped in a total of $2 million in the space of eight days, bringing the total number of donors to more than 125,000.

The money will go toward improving the software Wikipedia runs on as well as upgrading the servers and Internet bandwidth that accommodate the site's traffic.

Wikipedia consistently ranks among the 10 most visited Web sites in the world.

The foundation operates the site without advertising as a matter of principle, making donations critical.

Since its founding in 2001, Wikipedia's fundraising prowess has expanded quickly. The foundation hauled in $1.3 million two years ago and $2.2 million last year.

In March 2008, the site received a $3 million gift from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to be dispensed in $1 million annual installments. Last month the Stanton Foundation gave $890,000 to make Wikipedia's editing process more user-friendly.

The Wikimedia Foundation hopes the growth in big-name donors will help improve the encyclopedia's uneven reputation for accuracy, both by showing that civic-minded institutions are willing to make an investment and by funding programs that encourage new contributors.

In a thank-you note posted on the site over the weekend, Wales told visitors to the site: "You have proven that Wikipedia matters to you, and that you support our mission: to bring free knowledge to the planet, free of charge and free of advertising."


(no subject)

Prop 8 Summit To Restrict Media

As has been documented here and on many other LGBT blogs, the decision making of the No On 8 campaign was largely done behind closed doors, much to the concern of many donors who questioned several critical strategies of the operation.

Later this month there will be a postmortem summit of No On 8 organizers and again, media access will be restricted. Unsurprisingly, some people are pretty pissed about that. Veteran reporter Rex Wockner sends us this report:
A Jan. 24 summit in Los Angeles to strategize about "winning back marriage rights" in California will be only partially open to media -- a decision that has led to the resignation of one member of the organizing committee and to complaints from California gay media figures.

The Equality Summit apparently will bring together some 150 activists to organize and strategize in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 ballot measure with which voters amended the state constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage.

But according to summit coordinator Anne Marks of Equality California, "the planning committee decided that at some portions of the summit where sensitive strategy discussions were to take place, it could only be advantageous to our opposition if those discussions and plans were
made public, so limiting press, or making these sessions off-the-record, would make sense."

That decision isn't sitting well with some folks, especially given that the failed No on 8 campaign, in which Equality California was the biggest force, has been widely criticized for its insularity.

"I resigned from the planning committee of the Equality Summit because I felt that the press should be allowed into the entire conference," said longtime activist Robin Tyler (pictured), who was a plaintiff in the California same-sex marriage case and, with her partner, Diane Olson, half of the first same-sex couple to marry in Southern California after the state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage took effect June 16.

"This issue was discussed on a telephone call last week, and by a majority vote, the organizing committee decided not to let the press into the entire conference," Tyler said in a Dec. 30 e-mail to reporters. "After the call, I ... felt very uncomfortable with this decision. I asked for it to be brought up again, as I think total media access is an extremely important issue. When I was told that the newly elected 'Executive Committee' had decided not to bring the issue up again, I resigned. ... It felt like the same old 'secretive' process that had happened during the No on 8 campaign."
Wockner quotes Frontiers editor Karen Ocamb: "Responsible journalists have a long history of respecting legitimate requests to go off the record when discussions turn to strategy or issues of a politically sensitive nature," Ocamb said. "LGBT journalists... represent the thousands of individuals who contributed to and volunteered for the No on Prop 8 campaign and if people are going to be asked to be engaged again, they have a right to know what happened, who will lead them, and (to have) at least a sense of what's coming next. And at this stage, that can only happen through us."

There's an interesting discussion on this issue going on in the comments at Pam's House Blend, including statements from folks that voted to bar media from some of the meetings. Some of them aren't too happy with Robin Tyler right now.



Sasha and Malia's Sidwell Friends Briefing


Obama girls start school with photographers in tow

President-elect Barack Obama's two daughters were whisked quietly past waiting photographers into their new schools Monday. If custom is any guide, the news media will keep their distance now that they have captured 10-year-old Malia in her puffy pink jacket and 7-year-old Sasha with her pigtails, pink camouflage backpack and turquoise Uglydoll.

Collapse )
Lovingly bolded for the tl;dr crowd.

Obama Plans "Neighborhood Inaugural Ball"

President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee announced today a new kind of inaugural ball – a "neighborhood" ball that incorporates interactive and Web-based elements.

According to the press release, tickets for the ball will be free or affordable, and a portion of the tickets will be set aside to residents of the Obamas' new neighborhood — Washington, D.C.

Collapse )
Queen Francoise

Biden to take last overseas congressional trip

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s office announced Monday that he’ll take a “fact-finding” trip to Southwest Asia – amid reports in Pakistan that Biden would travel there to discuss India-Pakistan relations.

What’s unusual about the trip is that Biden’s isn’t going as vice-president-elect, but as the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His office didn’t say why.

But it did allude to the unusual nature of Biden’s visit, saying, “The fact-finding delegation will make it clear to foreign leaders that they are not there to speak on behalf of the U.S. government, or convey policy positions for the incoming administration.”

"The purpose of this trip is fact-finding: in the coming months both the executive and legislative branches will carefully review U.S. policy toward this region, and the trip will allow its participants to bring current and first-hand information to these reviews,” the statement said.

A number of Pakistani media outlets have been reporting that Biden will visit there. A Pakistani television station and a couple of newspapers in the region have reported that Biden will meet with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to discuss the war on terror, India-Pakistan relations and a $15 billion aid package for Islamabad.

Biden’s office said members of the delegation who will join him include: incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry (D-MA) and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

A source close to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said there have been discussions recently about Biden visiting Pakistan, although the source was not familiar with the reasoning behind the trip.

Biden has pinpointed Pakistan and Afghanistan as top foreign policy concerns for the incoming Obama administration. There is no word whether Biden also would visit Afghanistan, which President-elect Barack Obama has said he will make a top priority.

“[W]e have a situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is urgent. It implicates India. It also implicates a whole lot of other very complicated issues,” Biden said in a recent interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

“And so first and foremost I think if you want to talk about immediacy, I think that the Afghanistan-Pakistan track is a very immediate concern where we are in the process of getting down clearly what our priorities are, what our policy need be, from the day we are sworn in,” Biden said.


he's looking tanner than usual

Gaza Hospital Fills Up, Mainly With Civilians

A missile hit their uncle’s house, which was made of concrete and so, the Basal family had thought in taking refuge there, safer than their more flimsy one. Fida Basal, 20, was not there when it struck. But her sister, Hanin, 18, was.

On Sunday, the day after Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza, Fida found Hanin at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. One of Hanin’s legs, her sister was told, had been amputated.

“I want her leg now!” Fida screamed at her mother, blaming her for moving them to the concrete house. “God has no mercy! You get me her leg now!”

Her uncle lost both legs in the missile strike on Sunday. Another woman found only half of the body of her 17-year-old daughter in the Shifa morgue. “May God exterminate Hamas!” she screamed in a curse rarely heard these days.

In this conflict, many Palestinians praise Hamas as resisters, but Israel contends the group has purposely endangered civilians by fighting in and around populated areas.

Collapse )


' jules
  • schmiss

Down to me, the change has come

Franken Declares Victory

At a press conference held just now outside his house, Al Franken declared victory in the Minnesota Senate race.

"After 62 days of careful and painstaking hand inspection of nearly 3 million ballots, after hours and hours of hard work by election officials and volunteers across this state, I am proud to stand before you as the next Senator from Minnesota," said Franken. "This victory is incredibly humbling, not just because it was so narrow, but because of the tremendous responsibilities it give me on behalf of the people of Minnesota."

"I know this isn't an easy day for Norm Coleman and his family," Franken added, "And I know that because Franni and I and our kids have had plenty of time over the last couple months to contemplate what this would be like if the election had turned out differently." But Franken applauded Coleman's hard work in public life, and hopes for a smooth transition. Good luck on that one.

Collapse )

If I was Franken I woulda busted out this again, right there on my front porch:

Yes, that is the Senator from Minnesota, in a leotard, on Solid Gold, impersonating Mick Jagger and performing "Under My Thumb". God bless America.
Reese Witherspoon
  • shibato

The Gub'ment Doin' Important Stuff!

As it turns out, there really may be a bug in your soup.

The Food and Drug Administration has finalized a rule that will require food companies to list cochineal extract and carmine on the label when they are used in food and cosmetics. But the new rule contains one glaring omission. It doesn’t require companies to tell you that the ingredients come from a bug.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Collapse )

I love strawberry yogurt
K-Box cartoon

Washington state politics: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Gregoire as Commerce Secretary?

Some tea leaves: The Governor of Washington State has disappeared. Her office, while very tight-lipped about her whereabouts, tells me there will be an announcement early tomorrow morning. Obama's transition team plans to announce the new Commerce Secretary nominee (replacing Bill Richardson) "very quickly."

From my interview just now with Gregoire spokesperson Laura Lockard:

Q: Is Governor Gregoire going to be Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary?

A: “We’re not able to speak to that so we’ll do a release in the morning.”

Q: Where is she?

A: “She’s out of state.”

Q: Is she in the country?

A: "I’m not allowed to say.”

Q: Is she going to continue as Governor of Washington State?

A: "I’m not allowed to say.”
Like everyone, I await tomorrow's announcement. But I will say—and again this is just tea leaves—that Lockard didn't sound like a staffer who was mourning some sort of personal tragedy in her boss's life.

And, not to get too far ahead of things, but: Governor Brad Owen?

Speaking as a Washington state liberal, let me just say that, if this actually happens, especially after Dino Rossi all but sacrificed newborn children to try and defeat Gregoire, TWICE, the outcry from our state's Republicans is going to be INSANE.

Seriously, on the Holy Fuck Nuclear Rage Scale, it's going to rank somewhere between Bill O'Reilly's "FUCK IT!!! WE'LL DO IT LIVE!!!" and Leonidas' "THIS!!! IS!!! SPAAAR-TAAA!!!"

In other words, it'll be roughly equivalent to Obidiah Stane:

Prosecutor: Madoff mailed off $1M in jewelry, assets to kin

Prosecutor: Madoff mailed off $1M in jewelry, assets to kin

Cuff links, a $200 pair of mittens and some very expensive antique jewelry might get accused Wall Street scammer Bernard Madoff tossed into a federal jail cell.

In a quickly arranged hearing Monday in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors charged that by mailing some personal property - some of it quite valuable - to his children and friends, Madoff had violated a judicial order freezing his assets and deserved to have his $10 million bail revoked.
Collapse )
' jules
  • schmiss

Obama is your supreme party master now, bwahahaha etc etc

Tim Kaine and the Future of Obama For America

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's installation at the head of the Democratic National Committee sends a strong signal that President-elect Barack Obama will seek to keep the massive grassroots organization built during his national campaign almost entirely under his control as he moves into the White House.

Kaine is considered one of Obama's closest friends among elected officials and is seen as a major figure within the party -- as evidenced by the fact that he was one of the three finalists in the vice presidential search.

Initially reluctant, Kaine was heavily courted by Obama in the final weeks of 2008; the president-elect along with his senior White House political team and campaign manager David Plouffe dined with Kaine in Washington in mid December and then Kaine flew out to Chicago right before Obama left for Hawaii to meet with the president-elect.

Kaine's appointment -- coupled with the installation of Jen O'Malley Dillon, who ran the battleground states for Obama in the general election, as executive director of the DNC -- is cast by Obama insiders as a clear sign that the massive email list and grassroots capacity (three million donors, 10 million supporters) built under the Obama for America umbrella will stay under the control of those who built it.

Collapse )


UN contradicts Israel over depth of crisis in Gaza

UN contradicts Israel over depth of crisis in Gaza

The United Nations said Monday there is an "increasingly alarming" humanitarian crisis in Gaza, directly contradicting Israeli denials that its offensive caused the growing problem.

U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told reporters Monday that U.N. officials believe as many as 25 percent of the 500 people killed in the fighting are civilians and that Gaza's health system is "increasingly precarious" due to the more than 2,500 injured.

He said Gaza is running low on clean water, power, food, medicine and other supplies since Israel began launching a heavy attack on the militant Islamic group Hamas that controls Gaza's government, first with airstrikes and then with troops and tanks.
Collapse )
Reese Witherspoon
  • shibato

Laura Bush to write her life story

Laura Bush has signed with Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, to write her memoirs for publication in the spring of 2010.

The first lady plans to write about her experiences in the White House and Texas governor’s mansion, and to touch on universally relevant themes like having a strong-willed mother-in-law, dealing with loss and raising children.

More specifically, she plans to describe what it’s like to have issues you’re passionate about described in the press as “pet projects,” what’s it’s like for your husband to be criticized, getting over the reluctance to speak publicly, and dealing with the world’s biggest spotlight.
Collapse )

I wonder if she'll discuss her pro-choice views in light of her husband's anti-choice crusade?


7 hospitals in NY accused of $50M Medicaid fraud

7 hospitals in NY accused of $50M Medicaid fraud

Four hospitals in New York state paid kickbacks to get more patients into their drug treatment programs, which billed Medicaid for services that weren't standard or necessary and lacked state certification, lawsuits allege.

Another hospital paid people to search homeless shelters and other places for patients to enter a three-day stay in detox in exchange for cigarettes, beer, food, and other items, according to the lawsuit brought by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell.

The lawsuits allege those five hospitals and two others fraudulently billed Medicaid for more than $50 million in more than 14,000 different claims.
Collapse )


Best of graphic
Myspace Glitter Graphics

Thanks to all who nominated & voted! Here are the final results!:


1) CNN calls election for Obama

2) VP Debate Live Thread

3) Election Day Live Threads

4) Obama/Biden rain pics

5) Ashley Todd fuckery

6) Keith Olbermann's Prop 8 Special Comment

7) Make your own "Joe the Plumber" signs

8) Palin baby mama drama

9) Ann Coulter's mouth wired shut

10) DNC Live Threads

Click here for the number breakdown & Go over here for links to all of the winners!

Now you can get all your sex ed through text message!

TRENTON, N.J. - "Hey baby, you OK?" Mike asks his girlfriend as she sits down next to him.

"Yeah, I'm OK," Toni says, and she puts her head on his shoulder. Mike thinks it's safe to move in for a kiss.

"Slow down," she says, pushing him back. "Just because I've decided to take you back, it doesn't erase the fact that you cheated on me." He looks away sheepishly.

"Look, we're going to be using condoms from now on," Toni says. "And tomorrow, we're getting tested. And that's that."

She kisses him, and Mike manages a little smile.

The scene is from a soap opera with a purpose: to use short videos to go beyond pamphlets on safe sex and deliver the message to women who might otherwise tune it out.

Nurse educator Rachel Jones developed the education campaign, using professional actors and scripts based on focus groups with women in Newark and Jersey City. Mike and Toni and the "other woman," Valerie, are in a pilot video available online.Collapse )

NOW WITH SOURCE! (sorry about that bbs. :[)