January 24th, 2009

  • bispo

Conservatives’ 40-Minute Tribute To Bush On House Floor: Was A ‘Knowing Lion’ Who ‘Walked Among Us'

George W. Bush is gone from office…but he is not forgotten, at least not by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Steve King (R-IA). On Thursday, the three men spent almost 40 minutes delivering their final love letters to Bush. Some highlights:

– FRANKS: “President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. … [I]f those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us.”

– PENCE: “I truly believe that this nation owes a debt of gratitude to George W. Bush.”

– KING: “I’m here to say thank you to President Bush for the things that he has done when he’s had his steady hand on the till of leadership, and especially with our national defense.”

At one point, Franks began to tear up when talking about how Bush made the country “brighter” and “more hopeful” for his children. Throughout the 40 minutes, they also compared Bush to Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. Watch some highlights:

(HT: CSPAN Junkie)


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fleur de lis

Blagojevich on the ranch, herding cattle, roping steers

BLAGOJEVICH: "Now, I like old movies and I like old cowboy movies, and I want to explain how these rules work in a more understandable way. There was an old saying in the Old West: There was a cowboy who was charged with stealing a horse in town and some of the other cowboys, especially the guy whose horse was stolen, were very unhappy with that guy. One of the cowboys said "Let's hang him." And the other cowboys said, "Hold on. Before we hang him, let's first give him a fair trial, then we'll hang him."

Under these rules, I'm not even getting a fair trial; they're just hanging me. And when they hang me under these rules that prevent due process, they're hanging the 12 million people of Illinois who twice have elected a governor.

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source 1, source 2
  • bispo

Play Now: Inaugural Where's Waldo?

Photographer David Bergman made a massive composite 1,474 megapixel photograph of the Inaugural audience at the moment Barack Obama gave his address. This means that you can zoom in on any point in the crowd and see clear faces, the sort of technology that the CIA always seems to have in spy movies. It's quite fun.

To play the game, click here.

Extra points if you spot the following celebrities in the crowd: actor Denzel Washington, rap mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, New Yorker editor David Remnick, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, wheelchair-bound Dick Cheney and America's coolest married couple, Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z. (Hint: The Hova is wearing a big brown fir cap, and holding a gloved hand to his mouth.)


update on the jailed book woman

UPDATED: Police arrest woman for overdue library book

An overdue library book called “The Freedom Writers Diary” briefly cost an Independence woman her freedom Thursday.
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Woman embarrassed, angry over library book arrest

UPDATE: An Independence woman charged with theft for failing to return a library book said Friday she is both embarrassed and angered by the arrest.

“I do think it’s extreme going to jail over a library book,” Shelly Koontz, who underwent fingerprinting and mug-shooting during her booking Thursday night at the Buchanan County Jail, told The Gazette.
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Unfortunately, she speaks the truth about rural small towns...if you are an outsider, you can get stared out of town. :-(
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Futurama--Bunch of Idiots

E-mail with racial tone spurs probe of state trooper

An Iowa State Patrol sergeant with more than 20 years on the force has been placed on paid administrative leave while authorities investigate an e-mail sent under the officer's name that makes political statements and carries racial overtones.
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I love Rehka Basu! And having lived in Fort Dodge, it's the racist armpit of Iowa, IMHO. You couldn't pay me a billion dollars to live there again.
' jules
  • schmiss

Latest Republican outrage - and it's a good one.

Matthews questions if Palin can read

MSNBC host Chris Matthews suggested Friday that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) may not have the reading or writing ability needed to complete the book she is reportedly shopping.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Palin is seeking an $11 million advance for her memoir and has hired high-powered Washington attorney Robert Barnett to broker the deal.

Teasing a segment on the book during his show “Hardball,” Matthews said: “If she can read, if she can write, she’ll make some money.”

Matthews repeated his suggestion that Palin could not write the book later in the show. “The question is who actually will write the Palin book,” he said. “The only politician I know who can write is Barack Obama.”


To get an idea of how Republicans are reacting, read the sane post here and then read the frothing-at-the-mouth comments below it. HOW DARE HE HATE UPON THE SARAHCUDA GLORY BE UNTO HER NAME. I BET HE CALLED HER A PIG TOO. W/LIPSTICK. OH NO.
[the colbert report] :D
  • imti

Partisan, Playful and Profane, Obama Aide Tries to Hold It In, Remains Sexy While Doing So


WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, Barack Obama was meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers when Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, began nervously cracking a knuckle.

Mr. Obama then turned to complain to Mr. Emanuel about his noisy habit.

At which point, Mr. Emanuel held the offending knuckle up to Mr. Obama’s left ear and — like an annoying little brother — snapped off a few special cracks.

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I love the last few bits at the end of the article. Also, I used a different photo than the one in the article because this one is better.


Starbucks may cut 1,000 more jobs: report

Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:15pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Coffee chain Starbucks Corp could cut another 1,000 jobs in the coming weeks, according to a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday.

The latest cuts could include employees at its Seattle headquarters, district managers and field employees but not the so-called baristas, who serve customers, said the report, which cited a client note from an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen.

A Starbucks representative was not immediately available for comment.

The coffee chain, which has been fighting to revive growth in the United States, is closing 600 cafes and has already trimmed jobs in stores and at headquarters.

The company is scheduled to release its first-quarter financial results on Wednesday.

Starbucks said this week its top executives did not receive bonuses in 2008 and that Chief Executive Howard Schultz and other top managers will not get base salary raises in fiscal 2009.

Schultz also will not participate in Starbucks' executive management bonus plan in fiscal 2009.

The company recently told employees that it will not guarantee matching contributions to their 401(k) retirement plans this year.

cookie monster
  • capthek

Do people do the same thing on livejournal?

Fascinating article, go to the link for the entire thing. In societies where democratic activism or even participation is restricted, internet communities are giving people the kinds of freedom we take for granted. Obviously like any technology, this will cut both ways.

Revolution, Facebook-Style

Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: January 22, 2009

Only a few hours after Israel’s first air strike against Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip late last month, more than 2,000 protesters marched through the streets of downtown Cairo, carrying Palestinian flags. This began what would become weeks of protests, in which thousands of Egyptians of all different political leanings gathered in Egypt’s main cities, in public squares and at mosques and universities. Hundreds were arrested. In every city, the biggest presence at the protests was the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist political organization, active in many countries throughout the Middle East, that seeks to govern according to Islamic law. Other, smaller demonstrations were put together, sometimes spontaneously, by leftist groups and student organizations.

Anti-Israel demonstrations in Arab capitals are nothing new. From Amman to Riyadh, governments have long viewed protests against Israel as a useful safety valve to allow citizens to let off steam without addressing grievances closer to home. But in Egypt, this time, the protests were different: some of the anger was aimed directly at the government of President Hosni Mubarak. In defiance of threats from the police, and in contravention of a national taboo, some demonstrators chanted slogans against Mubarak, condemning his government for maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel, for exporting natural gas to the country and for restricting movement through Egypt’s border with Gaza.

As the street protests went on, young Egyptians also were mobilizing and venting their anger over Gaza on what would, until recently, have seemed an unlikely venue: Facebook, the social-networking site. In most countries in the Arab world, Facebook is now one of the 10 most-visited Web sites, and in Egypt it ranks third, after Google and Yahoo. About one in nine Egyptians has Internet access, and around 9 percent of that group are on Facebook — a total of almost 800,000 members. This month, hundreds of Egyptian Facebook members, in private homes and at Internet cafes, have set up Gaza-related “groups.” Most expressed hatred for Israel and the United States, but each one had its own focus. Some sought to coordinate humanitarian aid to Gaza, some criticized the Egyptian government, some criticized other Arab countries for blaming Egypt for the conflict and still others railed against Hamas. When I sat down in the middle of January with an Arabic-language translator to look through Facebook, we found one new group with almost 2,000 members called “I’m sure I can find 1,000,000 members who hate Israel!!!” and another called “With all due respect, Gaza, I don’t support you,” which blamed Palestinian suffering on Hamas and lamented the recent shooting of two Egyptian border guards, which had been attributed to Hamas fire. Another group implored God to “destroy and burn the hearts of the Zionists.” Some Egyptian Facebook users had joined all three groups.

Freedom of speech and the right to assemble are limited in Egypt, which since 1981 has been ruled by Mubarak’s National Democratic Party under a permanent state-of-emergency law. An estimated 18,000 Egyptians are imprisoned under the law, which allows the police to arrest people without charges, allows the government to ban political organizations and makes it illegal for more than five people to gather without a license from the government. Newspapers are monitored by the Ministry of Information and generally refrain from directly criticizing Mubarak. And so for young people in Egypt, Facebook, which allows users to speak freely to one another and encourages them to form groups, is irresistible as a platform not only for social interaction but also for dissent.
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Study Sees an Obama Effect as Lifting Black Test-Takers

Educators and policy makers, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have said in recent days that they hope President Obama’s example as a model student could inspire millions of American students, especially blacks, to higher academic performance.

Now researchers have documented what they call an Obama effect, showing that a performance gap between African-Americans and whites on a 20-question test administered before Mr. Obama’s nomination all but disappeared when the exam was administered after his acceptance speech and again after the presidential election.

The inspiring role model that Mr. Obama projected helped blacks overcome anxieties about racial stereotypes that had been shown, in earlier research, to lower the test-taking proficiency of African-Americans, the researchers conclude in a report summarizing their results.

“Obama is obviously inspirational, but we wondered whether he would contribute to an improvement in something as important as black test-taking,” said Ray Friedman, a management professor at Vanderbilt University, one of the study’s three authors. “We were skeptical that we would find any effect, but our results surprised us.”

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Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue

VATICAN CITY – Vatican officials said Saturday they were disappointed by President Barack Obama's decision to end a ban on federal funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on them.

Monsignor Rino Fisichella, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, urged Obama to listen to all voices in America without "the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death."

Fisichella said in an interview published Saturday in Corriere della Sera that "if this is one of President Obama's first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we're heading quickly toward disappointment."

Obama signed an executive order that ended the ban on Friday, reversing the policy of the Bush administration.

"This deals a harsh blow not only to us Catholics but to all the people across the world who fight against the slaughter of innocents that is carried out with the abortion," another top official with the Academy for Life, Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, told the ANSA news agency.

"Among the many good things that he could have done, Barack Obama instead chose the worst," he was quoted as saying Saturday.

Officials at the academy could not be reached Saturday.

Janet: I&#39;m better than you

Michelle Obama Votes Nay on Daughters' Dolls

Los Angeles (E! Online) – The maker of Beanie Babies can forget about getting a fist bump from the first lady.
Michelle Obama has issued a statement about Ty's newest dolls for their TyGirlz Collection, Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia. The plush pair are named after her and President Barack Obama's daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10.

"We believe it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes," said Michelle's spokeswoman in a statement.

Guess that's one purchase the trend-setting first family won't be making...

Jake G -  Moving beauty

Obama Staffing Justice Dept With Bush's Fiercest Legal Critics

Obama continues kicking ass and taking names!!

President Barack Obama is staffing his Justice Department with some of his predecessor's fiercest critics, among them lawyers who were fired by President Bush or who quit jobs working for his administration.

Now, the opposition is in charge, and lawyers who spent years defining the limits of executive power will be helping wield it.





lol just sharing the crazy

Video of what some speculate is a UFO flying over President Obama's inauguration has circulated over the Internet, The Sun has reported.

The video shows an unknown object flying past the Washington Monument, as nearly two million people gathered to watch the inauguration.

Click here to watch the video

Commentors on the video write that they aren't convinced the object was a bird, due to its flat appearance and lack of visible wings.

One blogger wrote, "Personally, I think the little green men rocked up to join the rest of the world in wishing Obama well."

some more ~in depth~ analysis

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    if you're into it - fotc
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Leading Geo-Political-Military Scholar Warns of Global Climate Wars


Analyst warns of looming global climate wars

Posted Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:14pm AEST
Updated Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:18pm AEST

The prospect of global wars driven by climate change is not something often discussed publicly by our political leaders.

But according to one of America's top military analysts, governments in the US and UK are already being briefed by their own military strategists about how to prepare for a world of mass famine, floods of refugees and even nuclear conflicts over resources

Gwynne Dyer is a military analyst and author who served in three navies and has held academic posts at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and at Oxford.

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old, but worth the read
+ retrace my steps my choice my plan +

(no subject)

(CNN) — More than two-thirds of Americans approve of President Obama's job performance during his initial days in the White House, an approval rating that significantly exceeds the early poll numbers of his two immediate predecessors.

The new survey by Gallup — the first conducted entirely after Obama took the oath of office Tuesday — found 68 percent of Americans approve of how the new president is handling the job. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama's job performance so far.


According to Gallup, Bush began his initial days as president with a 57 percent approval rating while Bill Clinton kicked off his first term with a 58 percent rating.

Meanwhile, Clinton faced an initial disapproval rating of 20 percent while Bush — who had only secured the presidency after a protracted and divisive recount in Florida — faced an initial disapproval rating of 25 percent.

But the percentage of Americans who approve of Obama's first days in office isn't unprecedented. John F. Kennedy began his term with a 72 percent approval rating while Jimmy Carter and Dwight Eisenhower had early approvals in the high sixties.

Still, Obama's 68 percent approval rating is lower than the 84 percent of Americans who, in a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, said they approved of how the then-president-elect was handling his transition.

While it's unclear how Obama's approval ratings will change in the initial months of his presidency, history suggests they will likely go up. Of the last eight presidents, six saw their approval numbers increase during the first 100 days of their presidency.



The margin of error is +/- 3. He's made me so happy this week, I hope he keeps this up. EDIT: MODS, I CHANGED THE PICTURE TO A SMALLER ONE, SORRY.
Real American Hero

One Nation, Under God (the Chrisitan one specifically, all the others apparently don't count)

Jan. 23) - Not everyone was happy with President Barack Obama's nod to nonbelievers and non-Christians in his inaugural address. And some of the stiff criticism about Obama’s religious inclusiveness is coming from African-American Christians who maintain that no, all faiths were actually not created equal.

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness," the new president said. "We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth," he also said. Nothing too controversial, proclaiming that America's strength lies in its diversity.

But between those two statements, the new president got specific: "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers."

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I guess they would rather he have said "We're a nation of Christians... and bunch of other people who are going straight to hell for not believing in Jesus. Screw that 'religious freedom' crap, this is AMERICA."