January 22nd, 2009

Scientists Satisfied With New Administration

New York Times

WASHINGTON — When he vowed in his Inaugural Address to “restore science to its rightful place,” President Obama signaled an end to eight years of stark tension between science and government.

But many of the Bush administration’s restrictions on science, like those governing stem cell research, will take time to be removed. And whether the Obama administration entirely reverses its predecessor’s strict controls over the government’s main scientific agencies remains to be seen.

Still, many scientists were exuberant. Staff members throughout the government’s scientific agencies held inaugural parties on Tuesday, and many reported being teary-eyed with joy.

“If you look at the science world, you see a lot of happy faces,” said Frank Press, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences and former science adviser to President Jimmy Carter. “It’s not just getting money. It’s his recognition of what science can do to bring this country back in an innovative way.”


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  • war4l

Petition Obama to create a minister of culture/arts

A call for President-elect Barack Obama to give the arts and humanities a Cabinet-level post -- perhaps even create a secretary of culture -- is gaining momentum.

By yesterday, 76,000 people had signed an online petition, started by two New York musicians who were inspired by producer Quincy Jones. In a radio interview in November, Jones said the country needed a minister of culture, like France, Germany or Finland has. And he said he would "beg" Obama to establish the post.

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You can sign the online petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/esnyc/petition.html

I dunno about you, but I definitely feel we could benefit from a minister or arts/culture, don't you?
  • Current Music
    ultra milkmaids - pleure
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Dr. Dean passes the torch to Gov. Kaine

Posted: 04:12 PM ET

Kaine is Obama’s choice to head the DNC.
Kaine is Obama’s choice to head the DNC.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a four-year term that saw Democrats take control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, Howard Dean bid farewell to the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday, but not without offering a hearty endorsement of the incoming chairman, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

Addressing party members at the DNC’s annual Winter Meeting in Washington, Dean called Kaine “one of our party’s great leaders” and said he is “the right choice to lead the Democratic National Committee into this new era of American politics and to support President Obama’s agenda.”

Kaine, President Obama’s choice to succeed Dean, won the uncontested election for the chairmanship with a near-unanimous voice vote from party members (there was a single “nay” from the audience). His first order of business as chairman was to honor Dean, who leaves the committee with an extraordinary level of popularity among its members.


“Howard, I have no doubt that any future success that we have is going to be due in large party to your incredible work,” Kaine told Dean. “I feel like I am taking over for someone who just won three Super Bowls in a row.”

Much to the glee of the many state party chairs in the audience, the Virginia governor praised Dean’s sponsorship of the “50-state strategy,” which directed DNC resources to red and blue states alike.

“The 50-state strategy is now and forever what Democrats do,” Kaine said.

But speaking to reporters after his speech, Kaine provided few details on how the strategy will move forward in the new administration.

He pledged to “play strong in all 50 states” but would not commit to placing DNC staffers in every state, only promising to reveal an “intense strategic plan” in the next two months. Some states might need personnel, he said, but others might require “expertise and research.”

One state that does look promising for Democrats, Kaine said, is Texas.

“I will say this, the trends in Texas are very positive,” he told reporters after the topic of Texas came up in the general session. “Texas is a lot like Virginia. Strong Democratic majorities for a very long time, and there’s been wilderness years, just like Virginia.”

Dean’s final appearance before the committee was interrupted numerous times by standing ovations from party members. And although the closest he came to a position in the new administration was a seat on Barack Obama’s inaugural stage, the outgoing chairman betrayed no hint of bitterness as he bid farewell to the committee.

Instead, Dean spoke enthusiastically of Obama and said he was “humbled” by the progress the party has made over the last four years.

Among the party’s successes, Dean pointed to electoral victories in the West and the South, technological advancements that outpaced the GOP, outreach to young voters and people of faith, and the creation a national voter file. He noted, however, that Democrats must continue the hard work, especially in the West and the South.

“We cannot appear complacent,” he said. “We know the political landscape changes very quickly. We need to keep showing up, keep asking people for their vote, or we can lose those parts of the country just as quickly as we won them.”


Dr. Dean, you will be missed.  Kaine said that being the chair after Howie is like taking over after someone who won three Super Bowls in a row.
ETA: Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Neocon tears special edition: Rush Limbaugh!

Limbaugh says a few days before the inauguration on his radio show that he only wants to say four words in response to everyone who is hoping, even though they don't necessarily agree with everything he says, that Obama succeeds: "I hope he fails."

Rick Sanchez bitch slaps Limbaugh below:

This is mentioned (briefly) in Hardball as well (this is a shorter video for the TL;DW crowd):

Well, I think I need a drink.
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  • bispo

Some Questions Answered

In addition to being a beautifully-written speech, President Obama's Inaugural Address answered -- pretty definitively -- some questions people have been asking about his view of the world for a while now.

No Turning Inward. Speechwriters watch order and length of a speech to gauge priorities. Obama did domestic priorities first -- what you'd expect given the economic crisis -- but by my unscientific count there was more time given to international concerns, something unprecedented in a first Inaugural in recent times.

Leadership. Obama gave a thundering endorsement to the renewal of US global leadership and, while avoiding words like "indispensable," pledged that the US would "play its role," a role he suggested was unique and derived from our multicultural history.

A broadened view of what security and US interests entail. The seamless flow of the national security section from leadership to democracy to terrorism to poverty to the strength of multiculturalism was an eloquent expression of a worldview that sees the connections among those issues, in contrast to one that sees military security first. The speech put forward a comprehensive, integrated view without using catchphrases like "Toolbox" or (sorry, David) "integrated power" or "soft power." But every viewer understood that Obama was considering those issues together in an integrated framework.

Outreach to the Islamic world. My prediction that the Islamic world would not get more than a line in the speech stands -- it got exactly one. I have also predicted that it may not prove possible, especially given Gaza, to give a speech in the first 100 days focused specifically on the Islamic world. But the speech as a whole stands as a downpayment -- modest but not insignificant -- which is exactly what's wanted.

Forceful on terrorism. In case you were still thinking the Pakistan and other terrorism rhetoric was a campaign artifact, forget it. This is who Obama is.

Firm on human rights. In the same vein, there's been some anxiety about whether Obama would stick to his campaign rhetoric on human and civil rights. The "false choice" rhetoric was a clear signal here, too, that this is who the man is -- and this is what he thinks the struggle against terrorists looks like. Which doesn't mean the next phase is easy. but still.

Will He Use His Personal Story to Explain America to the World? Yes. Hallelujah.
Zen Tree

President directs closure of Guantanamo and all CIA prisons within one year.

Obama Issues Directive to Shut Guantánamo

WASHINGTON — President Obama signed executive orders Thursday directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, government officials said.

The orders, which are the first steps in undoing detention policies of former President George W. Bush, rewrite American rules for the detention of terrorism suspects. They require an immediate review of the 245 detainees still held at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to determine if they should be transferred, released or prosecuted.

And the orders bring to an end a Central Intelligence Agency program that kept terrorism suspects in secret custody for months or years, a practice that has brought fierce criticism from foreign governments and human rights activists. They will also prohibit the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects, government officials said.
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BRB, Dying of Cuteness Overdose

The Jonas Brothers Surprise the Obama Girls

By Joey Bartolomeo

UpdatePosted Wednesday January 21, 2009 03:00 PM EST

Originally posted Wednesday January 21, 2009 10:30 AM EST

Malia and Sasha Obama; Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas Photo by: Jae C. Hong / AP; Gary Lewis / Retna
The Jonas Brothers Surprise the Obama Girls | Jonas Brothers, Kevin Jonas, Nick Jonas,
On their first night in the White House, Malia and Sasha Obama quickly learned the perks of being first daughters.

While their parents were making their rounds at 10 inaugural balls, the girls entertained new pals from the Sidwell Friends school – and had a surprise visit from the Jonas Brothers.

In a scavenger hunt designed to help Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, get familiar with the White House, hiding at the end in the East Room was certainly an all-American treat: Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas!

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Awww, this is so sweet! Almost makes up for the fact that their music totally sucks. A sleepover, a White House scavenger hunt, and a private concert by their favorite boy band? Sounds like the Obama girls had a more exciting evening than their parents. And I read that they also got to miss school on Wednesday. Being the daughters of the leader of the free world has all kinds of perks. They totally earned it though, after behaving themselves during the never ending inauguration/parade festivities. I would have been squirming up a storm at their age.
  • aiema

Asia has fun with everything, once again

Japan-based blogger Matt Alt has made an extraordinary discovery about America's new president. Why isn't the MSM covering this? Yet another example of citizen journalists breaking news that cowards like CNN are afraid to report, blogging truth to power. Snip:

" This shot of our new Commander in Chief kickin' it under a kotatsu is only matched by the one where he's wielding a pair of gleaming katana blades. Check out the full photo set on the (Japanese language) Gamu Toys site. The doll is a 1/6 scale (roughly 12") figure produced by the Hong Kong based DID Corporation."

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If you're wondering, tt has been released already, apparently. The auction site at yahoo.co.jp has two listed, the most expensive being around 101USD(8890yen). I am so considering buying one it isn't even ridiculous.

Source: Boing Boing

Karl Rove attempts fellatio on Bush and self simultaneously, injures back.

Bush Was Right When It Mattered Most


Its call sign has always been Air Force One. But on Tuesday, it was Special Air Mission 28000, as former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura returned home to Texas on a plane full of family, friends, former staff and memories of eight years in the White House.
The former president and his wife thanked each passenger, showing the thoughtfulness and grace so characteristic of this wonderful American family.

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Sometimes we just gotta put the ONTD back in the P.


RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

The View: Sherri doesn't like Babs' Huxtables comparison

From yesterday's The View (1/21/2009):

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If you can't/don't want to watch, here's what I learned from The View yesterday?
1. Sherri and the Huxtables.
2. The Kennedy's didn't dance in his inauguration (and the Camelot was more "French Camelot").
3. Nancy Reagan's dresses were pricey.

Oh, and:
4. President Obama wears 33" waist, 40" long. (Babs is especially proud of her research that revealed this little info).

This Just in: John Cornyn is still a douchebag

Senate Republicans Delay Vote on Holder Nomination

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Republicans forced a one-week delay in the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Eric Holder’s nomination to be President Barack Obama’s attorney general.

Republicans complained that the nominee has yet to answer all their follow-up questions about his Jan. 15 testimony, particularly regarding his views on possible prosecution of intelligence agents who used harsh tactics to question suspected terrorists or Bush administration officials who authorized the methods.

Holder testified that waterboarding, a technique the CIA used to simulate drowning in questioning three suspected al- Qaeda operatives, is a form of torture. Texas Republican John Cornyn said Holder was ambiguous about whether he would seek to prosecute intelligence agents or those who sanctioned the interrogation methods.


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So, is Cornyn going to do to Holder what he did with Hillary Clinton's nomination: Whine and bitch and moan like a baby and then in the end vote for confirmation? Big John and his hard-on for the idiotic ticking clock scenario...I can't believe he's willing to stand up on the Senate floor and without a hint of irony announce to the world he's basically pro-torture. Also, all of these obstructionist theatrics are just a fundraising ploy since he's the chair of the Republican Senatorial Committee. I would love it if after all his bullshit the Republicans actually lose more seats in 2010!


' jules
  • schmiss

Where my MSNBC addicts at?

MSNBC Wants to Add a 3rd Prime-Time Show

Building on the momentum of its prime-time hours, MSNBC is developing a 10 p.m. program that would complement its left-leaning evening lineup, the cable news channel’s president said this week.

A new program could increase the competition between MSNBC, a unit of NBC Universal, and its two chief competitors, Fox News Channel and CNN, for news viewers in the time slot. Unlike most major networks, MSNBC’s original programming ends at 10 each weeknight. The 8 p.m. program “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” is rerun at 10 p.m., where it usually ranks third.

But Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, is making 10 p.m. a priority now. In an interview on Tuesday in a studio on the Mall, hours after the inauguration of President Obama, Mr. Griffin said that the channel needed a third original show in its lineup.

“We can’t let this momentum stop,” he said.

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Get Off My Lawn with Pat Buchanan?

Luke Russert's Fratboypalooza?

ooh, maybe they can bring back Dan Abrams
  • Current Mood
  • Tags

San Francisco Set to Tax Catholic Church Millions in Suspected Prop 8 Retaliation

Fundies going apeshit over decision blame the gars.

SAN FRANCISCO, January 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A San Francisco assessor has called for the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco to hand over $15 million in taxes because of an internal restructuring of the archdiocese, a move that some are describing as "retaliation" for the Church's opposition to Proposition 8.

Assessor Phil Ting concluded that the Catholic Church owed the city taxes after the archdiocese was restructured and its property, which is almost all used by parish facilities, was consolidated seven months ago.

"Because we knew the accusations (of unfair treatment) could be out there, we worked to look at every single document so we could totally and completely understand their argument," Ting said. "We looked at all the various exemptions that could have been applied, and we felt that none of them were applicable in this case. That meant it was our determination that this was a taxable event."

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Obama Takes Fries with His Air Force One Burger

All that was missing was the milkshake!

For President Barack Obama's inaugural flight on Air Force One – taken and filmed when he was still president-elect – he was greeted by a pilot he called "straight out of central casting" and treated to dinner from a select menu.

His meal for the Chicago to Washington, D.C., flight? A medium-well cheeseburger with the fixings, and some fries, of course!


RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

Democratic Government = High Taxes, High Budgets, High Fives

New Funny-Or-Die video including cameos from Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Howard Dean, Robert Gibbs, Sarah Silvermann, Jack Black, Arianna Huffington, Raven Simone, Wesley Clark, Newt Gingrich, John Legend, Obama Girl, Harold Ford, Soledad O'Brien, etc., etc.


Not really that funny but worth watching just to spot all of the random politicos/celebrities.

oh dear.

Canadian Polygamists Cite Gay Marriage In Their Defense


The legality of gay marriage is being cited as a defense in the case against Canadian polygamists.
Canada's decision to legalize gay marriage has paved the way for polygamy to be legal as well, a defense lawyer said Wednesday as the two leaders of rival polygamous communities made their first court appearance. The case is the first to test Canada's polygamy laws. Winston Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44, are each accused of being married to more than one woman at a time. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal said.

But Blackmore's lawyer, Blair Suffredine, said during a telephone interview that marriage standards in Canada have changed. "If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can't marry more than one person?" said Suffredine, a former provincial lawmaker. Canada's Parliament extended full marriage rights to same-sex couples in 2005. Suffredine said the case is also about religious persecution.
And the wingnuts of North America scream "We told you so!"


Obama Will Get Super-Secure Blackberry

The leader of the free world just may get to keep his beloved BlackBerry.

A report posted on the Internet Wednesday evening by Atlantic Magazine's Marc Ambinder cited an unnamed source as saying that President Obama was being given a super-encrypted version of the popular e-mailing smartphone.

It wasn't clear whether Obama's personal BlackBerry was being upgraded, or if he was getting an entirely new unit.

A call made by FoxNews.com to the Obama transition team -- a White House phone number did not pick up -- was not immediately returned.

All presidential e-mails are subject to disclosure laws, and it's nearly impossible to make any Internet-connected device or cell phone absolutely safe from hackers or spies.

Former President George W. Bush regretfully sent out a final e-mail to friends and family as he took office eight years ago. It's not clear whether he's able to use e-mail again now that he's a private citizen again.

But White House aides routinely carry BlackBerrys, which are presumably highly encrypted for security reasons.


K-Box cartoon


Barack Obama Brings Spider-Man And Superman Together … To Build Shelves

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hollywood studio system couldn’t make it happen, but President-elect Barack Obama pulled off a bit of movie-worthy magic today. No, he didn’t make the country’s trillions of dollars in debt disappear via high-tech FX overnight before he even moves into the White House; he brought Superman and Spider-Man together in the same room to fight for the good of the nation.

OK, so maybe it was actually actors Tobey Maguire and Brandon Routh. They were on hand at Abram Simon Elementary to perform some community service as part of the president-elect’s call to community action on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But the momentous meeting was the kind that comic geeks salivate over.

Maguire was hard at work with volunteers in a classroom at the school trying to figure out how to build the IKEA-style shelving units, when Routh walked by just behind him, but the superheroes-in-street-clothes barely acknowledged each other as they pitched in while wearing their civvies.

In fact, both seemed like they were purposely avoiding the other’s gaze so as not to encourage, well, stories like this, probably. Leave it to MTV producer extraordinaire Ryan Kroft to point out to correspondent Kim Stolz that the super-duo were in the room together for the first time ever.

“I see Tobey Maguire in the room as well — that means we have Superman and Spider-Man. What are your thoughts on that?” Kim asked Routh. “Is there a better team possible, really?”

“Probably not, you know?” Routh answered. “It’s pretty high-caliber. Tobey’s a great guy, and he gave a great speech today at a breakfast we had earlier for ServiceNation. … We’ll team up, and we’ll do good things.”

Though Maguire was kept busy screwing panels of the shelves together, a short time later, as Routh pulled books from boxes to stack them in the newly built cubbies, he happened across a — no joke — Spider-Man book, and walked it over to his super-brethren.

“I think this is yours,” he said, handing Maguire the book. The web-slinger laughed, and the actors shook hands and chatted for a few moments before Routh walked back across the room to shelve “I Can Read: Spider-Man 3, Meet the Heroes and the Villains.”

“I think I can probably beat them all up,” Routh said. “Just kidding.” Crisis averted.

Like jkcarrier, I'm counting down to the posting of Obama/Spidey/Superman OT3 crossover RPF slash in 5, 4, 3, 2 ...

(no subject)

Microsoft Plans to Lay Off 5,000 Workers

Microsoft stunned its investors on Thursday, announcing the first broad layoffs in its history and offering a pessimistic forecast for the second half of its fiscal year.

Rather than issuing its second-quarter results in the customary fashion after the market closed, Microsoft rushed out the news Thursday morning that it will lay off up to 5,000 of its 94,000 employees over the next 18 months, including 1,400 people Thursday. The layoffs span across research, sales, finance and technology roles, the company said.

“We will continue to manage expenses and invest in long-term opportunities to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and we will emerge an even stronger industry leader than we are today,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive.

Microsoft’s shares dropped $1.50, or 8 percent, to $17.88 in early trading.

For its second quarter, Microsoft posted net income of $4.17 billion – a figure 11 percent lower the $4.71 billion reported in the comparable period last year. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter rose 2 percent year-over-year to $16.63 billion.

Microsoft’s earnings of 47 cents during the quarter missed the forecast from Thomson Reuters by 2 cents.

The direct impact of falling personal-computer sales, which roiled Intel last week, were evident in Microsoft’s results, as sales of its PC operating-system software dove 8 percent to $3.98 billion from $4.33 billion last year.

Blaming market uncertainty, Microsoft declined to issue a revenue or earnings forecast for the rest of its fiscal year.

“We are planning for economic uncertainty to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year, almost certainly leading to lower revenue and earnings for the second half relative to the previous year,” said Christopher P. Liddell, the company’s chief financial officer.


Michelle at Fashion Week!?

 Now that the new administration has officially been installed in the White House, Fashion Week organizers will waste no time in reaching out to Michelle Obama with charitable initiatives. While the yearly Red Dress events promoting women’s heart health is Laura Bush’s program, IMG senior vice president Fern Mallis has ideas for Mrs. Obama. “We have several other great initiatives like that that I certainly think are perfect for her and her daughters,” Mallis told us at the New York Times inauguration celebration last night. “We intend to reach out in the next day or two — after everybody catches their breath — to some people on the staff,” Mallis added. “We would obviously be thrilled beyond belief if she would come to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and be at the tents and really show the world that support of the industry.”

Mallis declined to reveal which charitable causes they’ll put forth to the new First Lady, but says they will be for a future season, not next month’s shows. “I think it’s a little early to tie her into a quick, get on board a charitable initiative,” Mallis said. “But if she just showed up to show her support, we would happily cut the ribbon and welcome everybody to help. I mean, our industry needs all the help it can get, as does every industry, and there can be certainly no better cheerleader in this day and age than Michelle Obama. I mean, I couldn’t write a script for it better if I had to.”


Obama milkshake
  • melhime

Michelle Obama doesn't care about Black Designers

Black Designers Disappointed In First Lady's Fashion Choices

By Dodai, 11:00 AM on Thu Jan 22 2009, 9,087 views

While the response to Michelle Obama's Inauguration Day ensembles has been mostly positive, some are upset: The cofounder of the Black Artists Association, for one. Because Ms. Obama didn't wear anything by an African-American. Amnau Eele of the BAA says she plans to make a formal appeal to the First Lady's office:
"It’s fine and good if you want to be all ‘Kumbaya’ and ‘We Are the World’ by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Wu do the evening gown, why not have Kevan Hall, B Michael, Stephen Burrows or any of the other black designers do something too?”
Here's the thing: Of course there's pressure on Michelle Obama to be the ultimate, best, most amazing black woman ever, and lift up every black person in the world with her awesomeness, buying power and fashion sense. But. She is a Harvard-educated lawyer from Chicago who likes J. Crew. Can't she wear just whatever she wants? Yes, it's important to support black designers, who don't generally get a fair share of the market — in fact, usually there's only one black designer who shows at the tents during New York Fashion Week: Tracy Reese — but surely Ms. Obama has priorities. And perhaps seeking out black designers isn't one of them. And let's be honest: Is it even fair to create a world in which successful black people "had better" wear clothes by black people, listen to music by black people and hire black people, or else?
In any case, Michelle Obama has been First Lady for two days. Give her time, and surely she will wear something by an African-American designer. Perhaps in the next issue of Vogue, which could hit stands — with Ms. Obama on the cover — in a few weeks?

As for BAA's Eele, who was once a runway model (walking for YSL, Armani and Bill Blass), she was asked by WWD if maybe Ms. Obama is looking at the world colorlessly? Responded Eele: "It’s one thing to look at the world without color but she had seven slots to wear designer clothes. Why wasn’t she wearing the clothes of a black designer? That was our moment."

Source: Jezebel
The craziness...IT BURNS!!!!

(no subject)

Victim's House Burnt Down Due To Support Of Obama


CUMMING - In the unseasonable cold of a clear January morning, Forsyth County mother of three and ardent Barack Obama supporter Pam Graf was sifting through the charred, hellish remains of what was once her home on Lanier Drive.

Graf's home had been burned to the ground.
No one was in the home at the time of the blaze. Graf said her three children had been sent to stay with their father while she driving to attend the presidential inauguration.

Her trip to witness Obama make history taking the oath of office was cut short midway to Washington, D.C. Instead she returned to meet with county fire investigators and insurance providers. Now she's just trying to decide where to go from here.

In a time of jubilation for a large percentage of the country, Graf is stunned by the apparent hatred to which she has been subjected.

"I can't even make out the rooms," she said. "It's like everything collapsed into the basement. It looks like a bomb went off."

Graf's home burned down early Jan. 18 in what authorities are calling a "suspicious fire." Most shocking to Graf, and to some of the citizens of the county, state and nation at large, was graffiti the apparent arsonist left on scene.

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bjork purple

I wonder when we'll get a Beau Biden Beanie Baby!

Sasha and Malia Beanie Babies Made

CHICAGO — The company that makes the popular Beanie Babies is hoping for two more big winners with dolls named "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia."

But, no, the names do not refer to President Barack Obama's daughters, a Ty Inc. spokeswoman says. Honest!

Ty released the 12-inch dolls as part of the company's "TyGirlz Collection." The Sasha doll has pigtails and wears a white and pink dress with hearts. The Malia doll has a side ponytail and a long-sleeve shirt with capri pants.

The Oak Brook-based company chose the names because "they are beautiful names," not because of any resemblance to Malia and Sasha Obama, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen.

"There's nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls," Lundeen said. "It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not."

The dolls have bronze skin and "real doll hair," Lundeen said. They were introduced in early January and a limited supply has been shipped to retailers.

(read the rest of the article)

Apparently the Caroline Kennedy "lame excuses" trend is really popular right now. Also, this is extremely creepy.

  • dwer

Aw, how cute

Limbaugh: I Fear Obama’s Repeal Of Bush-Era Secrecy Rules ‘Make It Easier’ To Hold Bush To Account


Earlier today, President Obama issued his first set of executive orders. One of these orders instructs “federal agencies to handle requests for information from the public and press under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] with an eye toward disclosure, not refusal.” The order reportedly returns to “pre-Bush administration policies” regarding FOIA.

In response to the “new standard of openness,” conservative talker Rush Limbaugh said that he fears that the more open FOIA rules will make it easier for Bush to be held to account for any misdeeds he committed as president:

LIMBAUGH: What I’m afraid of is that what Obama did with this executive order is actually make it easier for the media to go get Bush documents. Because you know Pelosi and some of the guys over in congress are talking about war crimes trials and charges and so forth. […]

What I’m afraid of is what Obama’s done here is made the gathering of the information for this kind of stuff– This is not American. This is not America. This is not what America does. We don’t– This is Banana Republic kind of stuff.


There's a video at the link. Bwahahahahahahahahahha. This is not America? Yes it is, bitches!
  • bispo

Editorials worldwide pillory Bush one final time

BERLIN (Reuters) – Editorial writers around the world have been taking their final printed whacks at George W. Bush, accusing the president of tarnishing America's standing with what many saw as arrogant and incompetent leadership.

Some newspaper editorials, for all their criticism, suggested historians might just be kinder later on than those now writing first drafts of history. A success often cited by those seeking a silver lining was the United States' freedom from further homeland attacks following September 11.

Bush's successor, Barack Obama, will be sworn in as the 44th U.S. president on Tuesday.

"A weak leader, Bush was just overwhelmed in the job," said Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung under a headline: "The Failure." "He confused stubbornness with principles. America has become intolerant and it will take a long time to repair that damage."

Editorials hit out at Bush for two unfinished wars, for plunging the economy into recession, turning a budget surplus into a pile of debt, for his environment policies and tarnishing America's reputation with the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Bush was given credit in some editorials for defending the United States against terror attacks after September 11, 2001.

Israel was most complimentary, of his intentions if not necessarily of his achievements.

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' jules
  • schmiss


GOP pressures Bunning to quit

Some Republicans are privately urging Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) to step down at the end of his term amid growing concerns that he can’t win reelection in 2010.

According to two GOP sources, leading Republican fundraisers in Kentucky are hesitant to raise money for Bunning and have told him he should not seek a third term.

“They want him to realize he’s had a good run but that it’s time to move on. These people want to win, and they realize he could easily lose this seat,” said one leading Kentucky Republican operative who requested anonymity to speak candidly.

While national campaign officials usually urge their incumbents to remain in office — recognizing it’s tougher to defend an open seat — even leading Republicans seem unconvinced Bunning can win reelection.

Asked if Bunning was the best candidate to run or if there were better GOP candidates, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas demurred: “I don’t know. I think it’s really up to Sen. Bunning.”

“Sen. McConnell and I both tried to make clear that those folks who are not going to run again would do the rest of us a favor by letting us know early and letting other potential candidates who want to run — give them a chance to get prepared,” Cornyn added.

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It couldn't happer to a nicer racist, gay baiting asshole. I hope Daniel Mongiardo runs again and kicks the Republicans' asses for good this time.
cookie monster
  • capthek

I notice no small amount of irony in this article.

"But merely to ask the question is to imply that the 60 million Americans who did not vote for Obama are being unpatriotic if they do not wholeheartedly endorse his liberal agenda."

Can you find any other ironies here?


By Ann Coulter Ann Coulter – Thu Jan 22, 11:23 am ET

It will not be easy for President B. Hussein Obama. More than half the country voted for him, and yet our newspapers are brimming with snippy remarks at every little aspect of his inauguration.

Here's a small sampling of the churlishness in just The New York Times:

-- The American public is bemused by the tasteless show-biz extravaganza surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration today.

There is something to be said for some showiness in an inauguration. But one felt discomfited all the same.

This is an inauguration, not a coronation.

Is there a parallel between Mrs. Obama's jewel-toned outfit and somebody else's glass slippers? Why limousines and not shank's mare?

It is still unclear whether we are supposed to shout "Whoopee!" or "Shame!" about the new elegance the Obamas are bringing to Washington.

Boy, talk about raining on somebody's parade! These were not, of course, comments about the inauguration of the angel Obama; they are (slightly edited) comments about the inauguration of another historic president, Ronald Reagan, in January 1981.

Obama's inaugural address tracked much of Reagan's first inaugural address -- minus the substance -- the main difference being that Obama did not invoke God as stoutly or frequently, restricting his heavenly references to a few liberal focus-grouped phrases, such as "God-given" and "God's grace."

Obama was also not as fulsome in his praise of his predecessor as Reagan was. To appreciate how remarkable this is, recall that Reagan's predecessor was Jimmy Carter.

Under Carter, more than 50 Americans were held hostage by a two-bit terrorist Iranian regime for 444 days -- released the day of Reagan's inauguration. Under Bush, there has not been another terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001.
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Crisis-hit Iceland's ruling party sees early vote

* Iceland's main ruling party expects early election in 2009

* No comment from Prime Minister Haarde

* Anti-government protests grow increasingly violent

By Omar R. Valdimarsson and Kristin Arna Bragadottir

REYKJAVIK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Iceland's main ruling party, struggling to overcome a catastrophic economic crisis, said it expected early elections this year, after a day of violent anti-government protests.

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# what is that?
  • schmiss

Reliable or not? idk.

Confirmed: Kirsten Gillibrand Chosen to Fill Clinton's Senate Seat

PIX NEWS is being told that Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is the reported choice of Governor David Paterson to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Two Congressional sources say members of the New York delegation have been invited to join Governor Paterson for the announcement in Albany at noon tomorrow.

Two members of that delegation, agreeing to speak without attribution, confirmed to reporter Marvin Scott that the Governor has telephoned New York's Democratic members of Congress for their views after Caroline Kennedy withdrew herself from consideration. One of the contenders, longterm Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney canceled a scheduled appearance on "PIX News Closeup" tomorrow because of a "conflict," which she did not disclose. She too will be in Albany. According to the sources, Gillibrand, now in her second congressional term, was favored by Secretary of State Clinton herself. Paterson has been under pressure to select a woman.

With most Democratic leaders in Albany coming from the New York City area, one source said this would be an important move for the Governor to have a Senator from upstate. Sources say Gillibrand would be an asset to Paterson in any bid for election in 2010.

While some insist Gillibrand is the Governor's choice, another New York Congressman cautioned tonight that "It's not a done deal." He claims there is some political in-fighting and ongoing conversations with the Governor. There appears to be some challenge to Gillibrand's voting record. She's now serving her second term. Reached for comment, the Dean of New York's Congressional delegation, Charlie Rangel, would say nothing more than that he's been invited to join the governor for an announcement tomorrow morning.

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8-Year-Olds With Baseball Bats Stop Attacker

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Two 8-year-olds used baseball bats to stop an armed man who had threatened to kill a woman in Alachua County, according to sheriff's deputies.

Authorities said Charles Arby Bradley, 29, was trying to resume a relationship with the woman and threatened violence when she declined.

The woman told investigators that when she left her house with her son and his friend, Bradley hit her with a handgun, put the firearm in her face and threatened to kill her. Bradley left when the children attacked him with the bats.

Bradley is charged with battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and other charges. He is being held in the county jail on $225,000 bond.

source : http://www.news4jax.com/news/18518046/detail.html#


Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his tiny dog

Former French president Jacques Chirac was rushed to hospital after being mauled by his own 'clinically depressed' pet dog.

The 76-year-old statesman was savaged by his white Maltese dog - which suffers from frenzied fits and is being treated with anti-depressants. The animal, named Sumo, had become increasingly violent over the past years and was prone to making 'vicious, unprovoked attacks', Chirac's wife Bernadette said.

The former president, who ruled France for 12 years until 2007, was taken to hospital in Paris where he was treated as an outpatient and sent home, VSD magazine reported. Mrs Chirac said: 'The dog went for him for no apparent reason.

'We were already aware the animal was unpredictable and is actually being treated with pills for depression.

'My husband was bitten quite badly, but he is certain to make a full recovery over the coming weeks.'

The former French First Lady did not reveal where on his body Chirac was bitten.
The pet, named after the Japanese form of wrestling, was a gift to the Chiracs from their grandson Martin.

Sumo and Barney should become friends and plot together.


Roe v. Wade anniversary today

Tens of thousands of abortion opponents rallied Thursday on the National Mall to mark the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade amid concerns they could face political setbacks under the new president.

The rally and subsequent march to the Supreme Court comes two days after the swearing-in of Barack Obama, which many at the rally said emphasized their need to become more vocal with their message.

Among those attending the rally was Kirk Kramer of Cottage City, Md., who held up a sign reading: “The Audacity Of Hope: No More Roe.”

Kramer, a Democrat, said he has mixed feelings about Obama. He supports the president’s position on Iraq but said he was concerned about statements Obama made during the campaign indicating his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, which would overrule many state-level restrictions on access to abortion.

“Love always finds a way. There’s a way we can find for every pregnant woman to have a child or give it up for adoption,” he said.

In a letter posted on their Web site, organizers invited Obama to speak at Thursday’s rally, though there was no indication that he planned to attend.

“America needs your strong leadership as president of all the people to stop the intentional killing of an estimated 3,000 pre-born boys and girls each day and the brutalizing of mind, heart and body of pregnant mothers,” the letter states.

In a statement, Obama reiterated his support for Roe V. Wade. "We are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters," he said. "I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose."

In contrast, President George W. Bush regularly voiced support for those attending the rally. In audio remarks broadcast to demonstrators last year, he said biology confirms that from the start, each unborn child is a separate individual with his or her own genetic code.

American public opinion about abortion has been fairly stable in recent decades, with polls nearly always finding a narrow majority saying the procedure should be legal in all or most cases.

Lyn Williams, of State College, Pa., said she did not vote for Obama because she said he ran a left-wing ticket, but that she’s been pleased with his more moderate choices for his Cabinet.

“Maybe he’s going to surprise us, and I’m praying he will,” she said.

The rally stretched for about three blocks on the Mall and included many young people.


Pelosi sketches strategy on key issues

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a post-inauguration interview with Bay Area reporters Wednesday, said she will move far-reaching climate change legislation this year, but opposes - at least for now - the idea of Congress approving another costly bailout for troubled banks.

The San Francisco Democrat, arguably the second most powerful person in Washington, with immense power to shape the legislative agenda, sought to tamp down expectations about how quickly Congress and President Obama will address vexing problems, from a weak economy to an ailing health care system.

"We can't fix it all overnight," she said from her Capitol office overlooking the Mall, "but we have to begin."

Pelosi said one of her favorite moments from Inauguration Day was when Marine One lifted off the Capitol grounds, signifying former President George W. Bush's exit from Washington. "It felt like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head," she said.
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[bush] wuthering heights.
  • delleve

Student Decapitated at Virginia Tech

Police: Grad student knew suspected killer
Student from China was having coffee when decapitated at Virginia Tech

Mugshot of Haiyang Zhu.

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Alone and in a new country, graduate student Xin Yang reached out to other Chinese students at Virginia Tech when she arrived two weeks ago, trying to establish her life on campus.

She went to social events with international students, got in touch with the campus center that works to help them adjust and appeared to be making friends as she settled into her accounting program, those who had met her said.

But one of the friendships may have led to her death: Police say she was decapitated with a kitchen knife while having coffee with a Chinese doctoral student in a campus cafe Wednesday night.

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I fucking hate people, you guys... what the HELL.

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Putin blink

Germans buy up Nazi newspaper reprints

BERLIN - A headline proclaiming "Huge Fire in the Reichstag" greeted Germans at newsstands Thursday — and although the story is more than 70 years old, customers are snapping it up.

Dieter Grosse, who runs a newsstand at Berlin's busy Friedrichstrasse station, said he has sold about 600 copies of Zeitungszeugen — a new publication that reprints Nazi-era newspapers — since it first edition went on sale Jan. 8.

But the project has drawn criticism from Jewish organizations and officials in the German state of Bavaria, who fear the reproductions could be misused by neo-Nazis.
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Putin blink

Obama gives military's interrogation rules to CIA


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With the signing of an executive order Thursday, President Obama put the U.S. military and CIA on the same page when it comes to interrogating prisoners captured in the war on terrorism.
President Obama on Thursday signs several orders, one of which dealt with interrogating terror suspects.

President Obama on Thursday signs several orders, one of which dealt with interrogating terror suspects.

The order requires both U.S. military and paramilitary organizations to use the Army Field Manual as the guide on getting information from prisoners, moving away from the Bush administration tactics that were considered torture by many.

After abuse during detention and interrogation operations in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and accusations of abuse at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, new interrogation rules were drafted for the U.S. military to guide its interrogation operations.

The latest field manual interrogation procedures, issued in late 2006, clarified the rules approved by the Bush administration and other techniques that were available to interrogators and set a system of methods that would be uniformly understood and used.

The nearly 20 psychological techniques laid out in the manual include methods that stress incentives -- offering something for cooperating or taking away something when the prisoner is not being helpful -- and manipulating emotional states -- playing on fears or revenge or friendship.

The approaches steer clear of physical pain or severe mental anguish and do not involve touching a prisoner. The use of the techniques must be approved through proper channels.

The manual also lays out what is not allowed, including the technique of waterboarding, the use of military working dogs to scare or intimidate a prisoner, hooding, and depriving a detainee of food or water.

Other exclusions include forcing detainees to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner. Beatings, electric shock, burns or other forms of physical pain also are not allowed.
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