January 14th, 2009

MISC - moustache

BART officer arrested in connection with New Year's Day shooting

The BART police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform and then refused to explain his actions to investigators was arrested Tuesday in Nevada in connection with the case, authorities said.

Johannes Mehserle, 27, of Lafayette, was taken into custody in Douglas County, Nevada, said Deputy Steve Velez of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The arrest was also confirmed by David Chai, chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.

Mehserle was arrested in connection with the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old supermarket worker from Hayward. An Alameda County judge signed an arrest warrant, and Mehserle surrendered without incident, authorities said.

The shooting, which was video recorded by passengers and widely circulated on the Internet and television, prompted public outrage, and some viewers said that the shooting appeared to be an execution.

Sources said Mesherle was in Nevada because he feared for his safety after death threats were made against him. Douglas County is 15 miles south of Carson City in northwestern Nevada and includes Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley.

Douglas County sheriff's officials refused to disclose what crime Mehserle was accused of committing in the arrest warrant. Deputy Velez said Sheriff Ron P. Pierini would make a statement on Wednesday.

Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff was expected to announce details of the arrest Wednesday. He could not be reached late Tuesday.

Efforts to reach attorneys for Mehserle were also unsuccessful late Tuesday.

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UN: IDF officers admitted there was no gunfire from Gaza school which was shelled

UN: IDF officers admitted there was no gunfire from Gaza school which was shelled

The United Nations is claiming Israeli military officers have admitted there was no Palestinian gunfire emanating from inside an UNRWA school in Gaza which was shelled by an IDF tank.

Dozens of Palestinians were killed in the shelling.

In addition, UNRWA Thursday announced it will cease activities in the Strip due to the death of an UNRWA staffer in an IDF shelling during Thursday morning's humanitarian hiatus.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told Haaretz yesterday that the army had conceded wrongdoing.
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Israel’s Re-Revised Story: Attack on UN School was a Malfunction

Israel’s Re-Revised Story: Attack on UN School was a Malfunction

Among the most significant stories in the past week of Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip was the attack on a United Nations girls’ school in the refugee camp of Jabalya. Though it was clearly marked by the United Nations and the coordinates were given to the IDF when the war first began, Israeli forces fired three mortars on the building, killing 46 and wounding 55 others.

The initial “official story” was that even though they knew the building was being used to house hundreds of displaced civilians, it was deliberately attacked, “according to procedures,” because it was being used as a hiding place for Hamas and because Hamas was firing rockets from the premises. The IDF even claimed to have video footage to back up its claims, though it turned out to be over a year old and from a different school in a different city. So outraged was the Israeli government at the furor it created that it considered formally complaining to the United Nations about letting Hamas use its school.
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Obama's Guantánamo challenge: a boy soldier's trial

Barack Obama has seven days after he enters the White House before the looming war crimes trial of a former child soldier will force the new president to demonstrate his resolve to swiftly shut the Guantánamo Bay detention camp.

Omar Khadr is among the handful of 240 or so detainees whose face and story are widely known. The Canadian was 15 when he was held in Afghanistan six years ago. Footage of Khadr weeping under interrogation and calling for his mother caused a sensation when it emerged last summer.

To allow his trial to go ahead on 26 January would be seen as endorsing the prosecution of a child soldier and the Bush administration's discredited system of military tribunals, human rights organisations said.

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  • bispo

Jole "I Simply Can Not Get Enough Of This" Cole

I linked to the Tennessee GOP debacle last night, now here is some video:
Here is a link to News Channel 5, which has more reaction and a different video. The words “traitor” and “Republican in Name Only” are thrown about, and I have to admit that maybe halfway through the video I got a little happy in my pants.
I can understand why Republicans are pissed, but again, these Republicans are the kind that have absolutely destroyed the party I used to love- arrogant, ignorant, intolerant, and foolish. The only reason this happened is because they were so vicious to one of their own- going after his business, attempting to destroy the guy. Harry Reid should be forced to watch these videos every morning, every lunch break, and before he goes to bed, and they should be streamed at all times in his office.

team science

Turn your anger into support for a good cause - join the Rick-A-Thon

Although the name "Rick Warren" is probably giving most of you nervous eye twitches by now, I think this deserves some attention:


The purpose of the Rick-A-Thon is to turn Rick Warren’s anti-equality stance into positive change for LGBT people. Every second that Warren stands at the podium, he will be raising money to advance LGBT civil rights.
The funds raised by the Rick-A-Thon will go to Driving Equality, a grassroots organization dedicated to achieving full LGBT equality across America.

A message about Driving Equality from its founder, Chris Mason:

Driving Equality is a trek across America to raise awareness of the various forms of discrimination faced by LGBT people in each state of the nation. Highlighting the differences in rights, laws, and amendments between the states will shed light on the current social standing of queer individuals today. I hope to create a dialogue about the disparities across the nation, and what can be done to end discrimination for all.
During the summer of 2009, I will be going on an 100-day, 16,000-mile road-trip, through all lower 48 states, to advance LGBT equality. Check out the About page to find out more about the project.

If this story about Obama is true, at least his younger self is probably applauding.
  • bispo

Inhofe: Browner Is A Secret Socialist Who Belongs To A Scary Group Called CAP

Appearing on Fox News this morning, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) peddled the emerging right-wing trope that Barack Obama’s White House energy and climate adviser Carol Browner is a secret socialist. The source of the right-wing paranoia is Browner’s brief participation in a group called the Socialist International’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society.
As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson explained in a thorough debunk, the Socialist International is a “worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties” from Albania to Zimbabwe, intended to foster global partnerships to confront issues like climate change. Its members include the center-left New Democratic Party of Canada, the center-left Israeli Labor Party, and the ruling Labour Party in Great Britain.
Nevertheless, following in the footsteps of the National Review, Glenn Beck, the Washington Times, and Drudge, Inhofe called Browner a “socialist.” But he delved even further into conspiracy-land:
I have other problems with Carol Browner. There’s another organization that a lot of people don’t realize — it’s called the Center for American Progress. This report that came out — this is the group that’s trying for the Fairness Doctrine. Trying to, I think, dramatically upend the First Amendment. And try to stop talk radio and talk TV from being conservative.
FOX: And she was a member of that group?
INHOFE: Yes, she was a member of that group. It’s called the Center for American Progress.
In one fell swoop, Inhofe characterized Browner, the Center for American Progress, and the authors of this blog as part of a grand socialist conspiracy. Watch it:
Inhofe was holding up a copy of a joint Center for American Progress and Free Press report on talk radio, entitled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.” Inhofe might want to open it up and read what it says about the Fairness Doctrine. The report specifically does not call for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
A key author of the report said, “There is no need to return to the Fairness Doctrine.” Instead, the report argues, “Increasing ownership diversity [of radio stations], both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners, as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more diverse programming.”
Hewing to the baseless concerns of Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing spends an inordinate amount of time mobilizing opposition on a matter that the left has expressed little interest in pursuing. But don’t believe us — we’re all part of a socialist conspiracy!
Source: Think Progress an off shoot of CAP

(Speaker, right?) KENT WILLIAMS, YOU'RE MY HERO!

An update on this lulzy situation here.

The Tennessee Republican Executive Committee is moving swiftly to boot the new Republican House Speaker Kent Williams from the party after he was elected to the House’s top post by Democrats over Republican Jason Mumpower on Tuesday.

Eighteen members of the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee have signed a document that was presented Tuesday night to state GOP Chairwoman Robin Smith. It challenges the “bona fide” status of Rep. Williams, R-Butler, GOP spokesman Bill Hobbs said in a news release.

The move prompts a review under party bylaws. Republicans maintain Rep. Williams broke his “signed oath” and “multiple verbal promise” to Republican lawmakers and party officials to vote for the House Republican Caucus nominee for speaker, Rep. Mumpower, R-Bristol.

“Williams put personal ambition ahead of honor and lied his way into the speaker’s chair,” said Mr. Hobbs.

If stripped of his status, Rep. Williams would not be permitted to run on the GOP ballot in 2010.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Rep. Williams said he still considers himself a Republican and would only reluctantly become an independent.

“I probably did violate my oath,” Rep. Williams said and then attacked Mrs. Smith, the party chair. “She makes the rules. She’s queen of the Republican Party and she’s the one that leads us around with the nose ring. Well, I’m not going to be led around by the nose ring. If they don’t want me in the Republican Party that’s fine. I’ll be an independent ... But in my heart I’ll always be a Republican.”


Nashville: in need of several GOP wahhhmbulances~

Goodbye Bush!

This is an entertaining opinion piece:

Dubya was in a league of his own
  • Boris Johnson
  • January 14, 2009

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

SO FAREWELL then, Dubya. It is with tears in our eyes that we watch you leave the stage after eight tumultuous years, though in my case they are tears of appreciative laughter. I defy anyone to watch one of those internet anthologies of Bushisms — the gaffes and bloopers of the outgoing President — without a sense of wonderment at his battles with the English language.

In his gift for surreal improvisation he resembles a linguistic dadaist, armed with nuclear weapons and a worrying sense that God is on his side. No longer will the White House be inhabited by a man who blissfully jumbles Slovakia and Slovenia, who fears for the fate of the "Kosovians", or who believes that the secret of Balkan stability is "to keep good relations with the Grecians", with their lustrous black locks.

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Boris Johnson is Mayor of London.

Black 47 flashy albums (oh_hushx - backs

NJ kids with Nazi-inspired names removed from home

As a follow-up to this entry: ONTD:Political: Cake request for 3-year-old Hitler namesake denied

NJ kids with Nazi-inspired names removed from home

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- Police say three New Jersey siblings whose names have Nazi connotations have been placed in the custody of the state.

Holland Township Police Sgt. John Harris says workers from the state Division of Youth and Family Services on Tuesday removed 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell and his younger sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell from their home Tuesday.

Harris says family services did not tell police the reason the children were removed. Agency spokeswoman Kate Bernyk says it does not comment on specific cases.

The children and their parents, Heath and Deborah Campbell, received attention last month when a supermarket bakery refused to put Adolf Hitler Campbell's name on a birthday cake.

  • bispo

Bush: ‘I Don’t Give A Darn’ What Americans Think Of Me»

The Bush administration has acquired a well-deserved reputation for ignoring the public’s will. Last March, for example, Vice President Cheney famously told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that he doesn’t care about the public’s views on the Iraq war.

In part because of this disregard for the public, President Bush leaves office with the lowest approval ratings in modern history — 34 percent. In an exit interview yesterday with Larry King, Bush made clear that he is quite happy ignoring the public, saying that he doesn’t “give a darn” that Americans simply disdain him:

KING: How do you feel personally when you — you see the ratings and the polls that — and have you at 25, 30 percent…

BUSH: I don’t give a darn. I feel the same way as when they had me at 90 plus.

KING: The same?

BUSH: Yes, look it — these opinion polls are nothing but a, you know, a shot of yesterday’s news.

Watch it:


Yesterday, in an interview with Bloomberg, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went a step further, arguing that the she doesn’t “care about perceptions” of the U.S. abroad:

Q: Why do you think we don’t get enough credit – you don’t get enough, he doesn’t get enough credit then? Because the perception is is that the U.S. has not smartly exercised its power around the world.

RICE: Oh, I don’t care about perceptions, Mike. I’ve learned in –

Q: But can you not (inaudible)?

RICE: No, of course, you can – you don’t – you shouldn’t.

According to Pew, “positive views of the United States declined in 26 of the 33 countries where the question was posed in both 2002 and 2007.” Curiously, in his recent press conference, Bush remarked, “I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged.”

Larry King asked Bush, “Don’t you want to be liked?” “Kind of,” admitted Bush, adding that “you really want to be liked on the day that really matters, when you are running for president, election day.” Apparently, on the other days, Bush can be as reckless as he wants.


Olmert Stands Behind Rice-Shaming Claim

Olmert Stands Behind Rice-Shaming Claim

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Monday comments, in which he claimed to have ordered President Bush to prevent an American vote in favor of the UN Security Council’s Gaza ceasefire resolution and publicly shamed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the process remains a hot story in the Israeli press, and has sparked a war of words between the prime minister’s office and the US State Department.

The State Department immediately contradicted Olmert’s claims, insisting that “the government of Israel does not make US policy.” Spokesman Sean McCormack also suggested that Israel might want to “clarify or correct the record” with respect to the comments. Rice has dismissed Olmert’s claims as “fiction.”

The comments have sparked no small concern in Israel, where the fear is that Olmert’s claims to be able to order the President of the United States around will only increase public opposition in America to Israel’s influence on its foreign policy. Yet spokesmen for Olmert say that the prime minister stands behind his version of events.
Real American Hero

Yes We Can' Profit off his popularity!

Image Comics has provided CBR with an exclusive first look at the cover of "Youngblood" #8, featuring U.S. President Elect Barack Obama. On sale in February, the issue contains a back-up story written and drawn by Rob Liefeld that depicts Obama putting together a new Youngblood team.

"Obama re-instating the program with his picks is a natural, with 'Savage Dragon' having featured Obama already," Liefeld told CBR. "And with 'Youngblood' having George H. W. Bush in its past, as well as a Saddam Hussein styled guy and Youngblood featured alongside Dan Quayle in 'Wildcats,' Bill Clinton in 'Supeme,' Image has a long history of involving presidential characters!"

This story leads into "Youngblood" #9, a story called "First Strike" wherein the White House is attacked and Obama is "a bit of an action hero."

When you're done checking out this exclusive first look, don't forget to visit CBR's Image Comics forum to discuss "Youngblood" with fellow readers.


Writer: Joe Casey, Rob Liefeld

Artist: Derec Donovan, Rob Liefeld

On sale: February

President Obama picks new Youngblood team! A new day has dawned in America and for Youngblood that means a brand new direction under the executive direction of the new Commander-In -Chief! Who stays, who goes? Only Obama knows for sure! Rob Liefeld returns to the helm on story and art as Youngblood prepares for an all new direction in 09!


So now we get to see a grossly deformed Obama with biceps as thick as trees, no neck, no feet, covered in belts and pouches, carrying guns the size of compact cars, and constantly gritting his teeth while he kicks terrorist ass!

K-Box cartoon

Obama's appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #583 ...

... All FIVE PAGES of it, posted by killerweasel on scans_daily (click the cover to read the story):

This way, none of you have to wait in hour-long lines to be told that the stores have already sold out of an issue whose only remotely worthwhile content is all linked above, and you can avoid paying Marvel any amount of money for a desperate sales stunt that doesn't do any real favors to either Barack Obama or Spider-Man.

Every time anyone tries to bring back the comic book speculator market of the 1990s, God kills a kitten Mephisto retcons a superhero's marriage.

Police crack China baby sale gang

Police in southern China have broken up a gang that abducted migrant workers' children to sell in distant provinces, state media reports.

The children, mostly toddlers aged two or three years old, were snatched in Hunan province's Yueyang city while they were playing or sleeping.
They were sold for between 860 yuan ($125, £86) and 26,000 yuan ($3,800), the Beijing News said.
Five children had been rescued and 13 suspects arrested, Xinhua said.
The children were snatched in broad daylight by gang members on motorbikes, it added.
Police said they did not know how many children had been abducted altogether. The abductions began in September 2008, Xinhua reported.

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Doctors call for halt to Gaza assault

Doctors call for halt to Gaza assault

International doctors called for an end to the violence in Gaza, saying hospitals were scenes of "nightmarish havoc" in articles published Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal. In a special report detailing the human toll of the Gaza offensive, the Lancet said Gaza City's Al Shifa hospital asked for extra refrigeration equipment before the bodies of patients with severe wounds began decomposing.

The hospital, Gaza's largest, reported its 585 beds were filled in the first week of the Israeli offensive.

The Lancet cited the Ministry of Health in Gaza as saying that as of Monday, 292 children and 75 women had been killed in the offensive, with 1,497 children and 626 women wounded.
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Sita Sings the Blues

South Carolina Seeking To Outlaw Profanity

"It looks like in an act that defies common sense, a bill has been introduced in the South Carolina State Senate that seeks to outlaw the use of profanity. According to the bill it would become a felony (punishable by a fine up to $5000 or up to 5 years in prison) to "publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature". I'm not sure if "in writing" could be applied to the internet, but in any event this is scary stuff."

Story from Slashdot.org.

Online copy of bill can be found HERE.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This will never go anywhere, but it's still important to pay attention when radical bills like this are bandied about.
empress i

rick sanchez really HATES sam-joe the not-plumber...

Rick Sanchez Dislikes Joe The Plumber

CNN’s Rick Sanchez and Joe the Wurzelbacher meet again! And this time Sanchez isn’t even talking to him in person, so he can just rant angrily like a blogger! (Fun!) It is most comical when he reads Joe’s war-babble like a third grader.

oh wonkette, how i love you


i love how the contempt is just dripping from his voice. he almost hit olbermann territory on this one.
  • sfdsock

Gay Hip Hop Inauguration Ball

Melange Lavonne, Deadlee, Last Offence, and Foxxjazell will be amongst those performing at an event billed as "President Barack Obama Gay Hip Hop Inauguration Party" in Los Angeles. Pam Jones will be the host. The event is listed as one of MoveOn.org's Inaugural bashes in L.A. and is being put on by community organizer Virsil Mitchell. It takes place on the night of the acutal inauguration, and the performances will take place during the party at the new club, Club New York West that is located at Plaza Salon in Hollywood. Admission is $10 and doors open at 9 PM. For more info, please go here.


Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's (mis)reading of Tennyson is awash in dramatic irony.

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"
by Stephen Burt

Until a few weeks ago the story of Rod Blagojevich—the foul-mouthed, thick-haired governor of Illinois accused of (among other corrupt activities) trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat—didn't seem to have much poetry in it: suspense, yes, and farce (How did he get elected?), but little of the dignity or verbal nuance we associate with serious poems. W.H. Auden defined poetry as "memorable speech"; the most memorable words from the disgraced governor were words most newspapers would never print.

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' jules
  • schmiss

In heaven, everything is fine, you've got your good thing and I've got mine

Geithner Hearing Scheduled for Jan. 21

President-elect Barack Obama offered strong support for Timothy F. Geithner at brief news conference with Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Lindsey Graham.

Mr. Geithner failed to pay more than $34,000 in federal taxes over several years early this decade, and also faces questions about the employment papers of a former household employee, suddenly complicating what had seemed to be an easy confirmation process in the Senate.

“Look is this an embarrassment for him? Yes. He said so himself,” Mr. Obama said. “But it was an innocent mistake. It is a mistake that is commonly made for people who are working internationally or for international institutions. It has been corrected. He paid the penalties.”

Senator Graham, who had just returned from a trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Kuwait with Vice President-elect Biden offfered some bipartisan support.

“Now’s not the time to think in small political terms,” Mr. Graham said. “I think he’s the right guy.”

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Gaza: ICC says they cant, ICJ says maybe...

ICC prosecutor says has no jurisdiction in Gaza

THE HAGUE, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court prosecutor in The Hague said on Wednesday it lacks jurisdiction to investigate possible war crimes recently committed in the Gaza Strip.
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Israel may face UN court ruling on legality of Gaza conflict

Israel faces the prospect of intervention by international courts amid growing calls that its actions in Gaza are a violation of world humanitarian and criminal law.

The UN general assembly, which is meeting this week to discuss the issue, will consider requesting an advisory opinion from the international court of justice, the Guardian reports.
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US Military Warns of Sudden Collapse of Mexico

US Military Warns of Sudden Collapse of Mexico

America’s Joint Forces Command issued their annual “Joint Operating Environment” report, which projects future wars and other potential global threats. This year, the report pointed to two nations which may undergo a “rapid and sudden collapse.” One, unsurprisingly, was Pakistan: a near-bankrupt nation with spiraling inflation, a huge domestic insurgency problem and growing military tension with neighboring India. The other was Mexico.

Is Mexico really on the cusp of turning into a failed state? It seems hard to imagine but the report cautions that “the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels.”
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