January 28th, 2009

Blagojevich now comparing self to FDR

In his media appearances, Blagojevich has likened his struggle to that of historical figures dating back to World War II.

After comparing his arrest last week to the Pearl Harbor attacks, Blagojevich told Colmes that his efforts as governor to win on legislative priorities were not unlike former President Franklin Roosevelt's.

"Now that's using the powers of the executive branch to help people who need help, not unlike what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was president, and he helped Great Britain because Congress was not willing to allow the United States to shore up Britain in its fight against the Nazis," he said.


Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/27/blagojevich-hurting-image-media-blitz-pr-professionals-say/

Biden and Roberts make nice with each other



An aide to Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN he called Chief Justice John Roberts last week to apologize for a light-hearted remark he made over the flubbed Inauguration Day oath of office.

"My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts," Biden said last Wednesday, as he asked for a copy of the oath he was using to swear in senior members of the White House staff.

Several staffers reacted to the comment with groans and laughter, though President Obama, standing next to Biden, did not crack a smile.

An aide to the vice president said Tuesday the two men spoke privately after that comment. “They spoke and had a good conversation,” said the aide, who declined to give further details.

I suppose he has to get along with him now, seeing as he's carrying on a hot and heavy love affair with the Pres. Robama for life!

Source
K-Box cartoon

I LOVE MY NERD PRESIDENT

Obama Disappointed Cabinet Failed To Understand His Reference To 'Savage Sword Of Conan' #24

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama expressed frustration Wednesday after members of his cabinet failed to recognize his allusion to the 24th issue of the comic series Savage Sword Of Conan during their first major meeting together.

Obama, whose upcoming challenges include organizing a massive effort to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, was reportedly unprepared for the confused silence he received upon suggesting that his cabinet "team up with Taurus of Nemedia" to secure the necessary funding from Congress.

"If my inner circle of advisers can't even communicate about the most basic issues, how are we going to tackle the massive problems our nation faces?" Obama said during a press conference. "When I tell my cabinet that getting bipartisan support is exactly like the time Conan got Taurus to help him steal Yara's jewel, they need to understand what I mean."

After receiving no reaction from the assembled reporters, Obama added, "Because a giant spider is protecting this chamber full of precious jewels, just like Congress is protecting its…. Collapse )



Oddly enough, I stumbled upon this mix of EPIC WARRIOR and EPIC NERD references right after I found this:


Admit it; you want to see Frank Miller remake this movie, now.

Samuel L. Jackson could even play U.N. Jefferson. :)

Who Outed Jason Wu?

Jezebel reports that fashion designer Jason Wu, who designed Michelle Obama's inaugural gown, has been alleging that the New York Times outed him to his family in this profile published over the weekend:

Wu"Minutes before Jason Wu was to become famous as the 26-year-old designer of Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown, he ordered a pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Domino’s at his apartment in Midtown, then sat down with his boyfriend, Gustavo Rangel, and a neighbor to watch the festivities on television."

Dan Savage notes: "Reporters these days operate under the assumption that men with boyfriends—particularly men in New York City, particularly male fashion designers—are out of the closet. So the New York Times really shouldn't be faulted for 'outing' designer Jason Wu to his extended family, Jezebel. Wu outed himself to and through the New York Times. The lesson here: If you're making a secret of your homosexuality it's your responsibility to keep it secret. It's not the New York Times' responsibility."

And it's not Amanda Lepore's responsibility either.

Source

I'm with Dan Savage.  How was the New York Times supposed to know he was closeted unless he told them?  We used to live in a time where it was assumed you wanted that type of thing to stay under wraps.  Things are a bit different now.

EDIT: Completely off-topic, but did anyone read Dan's explanation for that awkward exchange he and Ashton Kutcher had on Real Time With Bill Maher a while ago?  Holy crap, how bizarre. o__O

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2008/11/17/ashton_kutcher_v_dan_savage

HP (Lupin) Clearly Unamused

O'Reilly and guest complain about the Hollywood left

FOX News Laments Sean Penn Can't Be Tried For Treason



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The guest wishes that Sean Penn would be tried for treason towards the end of the video. And more petty jealousy and bitchiness from O'Reilly (Springsteen and Rosie haven't paid the price for their outspokenness, unlike poor Bill). The same old stuff from O'Reilly, really.
cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?
  • biichan

Politico: PORN PORN PORN

Grassley launches porn inquiry



Chuck Grassley knows it when he sees it.

The “it,” of course, is pornography. And Grassley has seen it deep in a demurely titled section of a report from the National Science Foundation — a report that says NSF employees have been spending significant amounts of company time on smut sites and in other explicit pursuits.

Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, on Tuesday fired off a letter to the NSF’s inspector general requesting all documents related to the “numerous reports” and seven investigations into “Abuse of NSF IT Resources” cited in the foundation’s 68-page semiannual report.

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Pornsauce
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panda bear

(no subject)

Iran's Ahmadinejad Demands US Apology For "Crimes" Committed Against Iranian Nation



TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's president called Wednesday for "profound changes" in U.S. foreign policy including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds.

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also urged Washington to withdraw its troops stationed around the world. He said Iran would be closely watching what President Barack Obama's new administration does and would welcome a real shift in its approach.

"Change means giving up support for the rootless, uncivilized, fabricated, murdering ... Zionists and letting the Palestinian nation decide its own destiny," Ahmadinejad said. "Change means putting an end to U.S. military presence in (different parts of) the world."

His comments come as Obama was reaching out to Muslims. He has stressed the importance of engaging Iran, a country the Bush administration often singled out as the most dangerous in the Middle East. In his inaugural address, Obama addressed leaders of hostile nations by saying "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Without mentioning Obama by name, Ahmadinejad repeatedly referred to those who want "change," a buzzword of Obama's election campaign.

"When they say 'we want to bring changes', change may happen in two ways: First is profound, fundamental and effective change ... the second ... is a change of tactics," he told thousands of people in the western city of Kermanshah in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"We will wait patiently, listen to their words carefully, scrutinize their actions under a magnifier and if change happens truly and fundamentally, we will welcome that," he added. "The change will be to apologize to the Iranian nation and try to compensate for their dark records and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation."

Ahmadinejad cited the U.S.-backed coup that toppled the elected government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadegh in 1953, its support of the unpopular shah, its backing of Saddam Hussein during Iraq's war with Iran in the 1980s and the downing of an Iranian airliner in 1988 by a U.S. naval ship.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya news channel that aired Tuesday, Obama condemned Iran's threats to destroy Israel and its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, but added: "It is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress."

Later Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters the U.S. administration is undertaking a wide-ranging and comprehensive assessment of American foreign policy options toward Iran.

Clinton also said Iran had a "clear opportunity" to demonstrate some willingness to engage meaningfully with the international community.

Washington is at odds with Iran over its nuclear ambitions and its threats to destroy Israel as well as Tehran's support of the militant groups Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.

The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Iran after hardline students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

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Court: Christian Schools Permitted to Expel Lesbian Students

An appeals court has ruled in favor of a Los Angeles-area Lutheran school who expelled two girls for "having "a bond of intimacy...characteristic of a lesbian relationship," the L.A. Times reports:

Clhs_2"According to the principal, who called each girl out of class separately, both admitted they had hugged and kissed each other and told other students they were lesbians. The girls said they admitted only that they loved each other as friends. The principal 'just looked at me like I was a disease and I was so wrong,' one of the girls later said. They were identified in the legal proceedings only as Jane Doe and Mary Roe. In ruling in favor of the school, the appeals court cited a 1998 California Supreme Court decision that said the Boy Scouts of America was a social organization, not a business establishment, and therefore did not have to comply with the Unruh Civil Rights Act. That case also involved a discrimination complaint based on sexual orientation."

The Appeals court said that the school was not a business and therefore did not need to adhere to state non-discrimination statutes. The girls' attorney plans to call on the California Supreme Court to overturn the case:

"Kirk D. Hanson, who represented the girls, said the 'very troubling' ruling would permit private schools to discriminate against anyone, as long as the schools used their religious beliefs as justification. 'It is almost like it could roll back 20 to 30 years of progress we have made in this area,' said the San Diego attorney. 'Basically, this decision gives private schools the license to discriminate.'"

The school's attorney claimed the court was right in determining "[the school's purpose was to] teach Christian values in a Christian setting pursuant to a Christian code of conduct."

Watch a CBN report on the case

 

Source

Gays Die Early

Here's another lovely message from the Catholic Church, this one from Scotland.
"There is an overwhelming body of evidence showing that same-sex relationships are inherently unstable and reduce the life expectancy of those involved," claimed church spokesman Peter Kearney. He was commenting on the case of two children who have been adopted by a gay couple. Their grandparents wanted to adopt but were informed by Edinburgh City Council they are too old to do so.

Mr Kearney told the Daily Mail: "This is a devastating decision which will have a serious impact on the welfare of the children involved. With this in mind, the social work department has deliberately ignored evidence which undermines their decision and opted for politically correct posturing rather than providing stability and protection. It is impossible to see how this decision is in the best interests of the children."

In October the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland's Bishop’s Conference attacked the right of gay couples to adopt. "Catholic adoption agencies are now to be indifferent as to whether a child is to be placed with a married couple of a homosexual cohabiting couple; this is gravely wrong," the bishops said. Policies must help encourage family stability." The Bishop of Motherwell, Jim Devine, has been more outspoken. Last year he claimed that the "gay lobby" attends Holocaust memorials "to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution." The bishop said there is a "giant conspiracy" going on and claimed he is taking on the forces of secularism.
In the case in question, two gay men were allowed to adopt a young brother and sister over the objections of the children's biological grandparents, who were told by the court that at ages 46 and 59, they were too old to look after small children.

Source

panda bear

(no subject)

Dems launch anti-Limbaugh petition



In a bid to capitalize on Rush Limbaugh's recent comment that he hopes President Obama "fails," national Democrats launched a petition drive Wednesday targeting the conservative radio host.

"Jobs, health care, our place in the world — the stakes for our nation are high and every American needs President Obama to succeed," says the petition, sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Stand strong against Rush Limbaugh's Attacks — sign our petition, telling Rush what you think of his attacks on President Obama."

Limbaugh told listeners last week he sharply disagrees with Republicans who have said they hope Obama succeeds as president, and particularly expressed frustration over what he viewed as the "absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care."

"If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down," Limbaugh said. "I hope he fails."

The comment sparked outrage in Democratic circles, while defenders of the remark said it was made purely in the context of Obama's economic polices.

Still, the DCCC petition not only provides an outlet for Democratic anger at Limbaugh, but also serves as a vehicle to gain names and e-mail addresses, presumably for later use in fundraising and organizing efforts.

The petition follows reports Obama warned GOP congressional leaders last week that they should stop listening to the conservative talker, prompting Limbaugh’s response that the new president is "frightened of me."

“He’s obviously more frightened of me than he is [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell,” Limbaugh told listeners Monday. “He’s more frightened of me, then he is of say, [House Minority Leader] John Boehner, which doesn’t say much about our party.”

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I bet he's loving this. Ugh.
panda bear

(no subject)

Obama envoy arrives for talks with Israelis



President Obama's newly appointed envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, arrived in Israel on Wednesday as part of a new U.S. effort to work toward a broader peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed Mitchell arrived in Tel Aviv, and will head to Jerusalem shortly.

Hours before his arrival, Israeli missiles struck several smuggling tunnels along Gaza's southern border with Egypt in response to the killing of an Israeli soldier a day earlier near the Kissufim crossing, the Israeli military said.

One of Israel's key demands in peace talks has been international help shutting down tunnels into Gaza that Israel says Hamas fighters use to smuggle weapons into the territory. Hamas -- which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel -- controls Gaza.

On Tuesday, Palestinian militants from Gaza set off explosives targeting an Israeli military patrol near the border, killing an Israeli warrant officer and wounding three other soldiers, the Israeli military said.

A short time later, an Israeli aircraft fired on a "terror operative" outside Khan Yunis in southern Gaza who "was prominent in the organization responsible for the attack in Kissufim," according to the Israeli military. A Hamas security source said one Palestinian was killed in that strike.

Also Tuesday, Israeli forces fired warning shots near a convoy carrying France's general consul at the Israel-Gaza border, a French diplomatic source told CNN.

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Israel's highest Jewish body severs Vatican ties

Israel's chief rabbinate severed ties with the Vatican on Wednesday to protest a papal decision to reinstate a bishop who publicly denied 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

Israel's highest Jewish body sent a letter to the Holy See expressing "sorrow and pain" at the papal decision. "It will be very difficult for the chief rabbinate of Israel to continue its dialogue with the Vatican as before," the letter said. Chief rabbis of both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews were parties to the letter.

The rabbinate, which faxed a copy of the letter to The Associated Press, also canceled a meeting with the Vatican set for March. The rabbinate and the state of Israel have separate ties with the Vatican, and Wednesday's move does not affect state relations.

Pope Benedict XVI, faced with an uproar over the bishop, said Wednesday he feels "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews and warned against any denial of the full horror of the Nazi genocide.

The remarks were his first public comments on the issue since the controversy erupted Saturday.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Vatican hoped that in light of the pope's words, "the difficulties expressed by the Israeli Rabbinate can be subjected to further and deeper reflection."
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Man Assaulted Outside Tennessee Gay Club Dies

A man was so badly beaten outside a gay club in Tennessee that he later died in the hospital, according to media reports.

The victim, identified as 48-year-old James Lewis, had reportedly tried to intervene in a fight when he became the subject of violent assault himself. Police arriving at the scene found Lewis unconscious outside of New Beginnings, a gay club, and took him to Johnson City Medical Center.

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ljuser=recycle
  • crimps4

Obama in Opera Form--Si, possiamo!

Someone posted this to sf_drama  the other day, and I thought some people might enjoy it. If you love opera, Italian, or political drama, you'll appreciate this!

L’Obama, ossia L’Avvento del Messia
Opera in Tre Atti

Personaggi:

Barracco Obama, Il Messia, Redentore del Mondo.....................................Tenore Miracoloso
Santa Micaela della Revoluzione, sua sposa............................................Soprano Amaro
Giovanni Maccheno, Senatore, Avversario dello Obama..............................Basso Buffo
Sara Palino, Governatrice del Alaska e Reginetta di Bellezza........................Coloratura Buffa
Guglielmo Priapo, Ex-Presidente........................................................Tenore Mentitore
Hillaria, sua Sposa, altra Avversaria dello Obama....................................Soprano Ambizioso
Elena Tomasso, una strega..............................................................Contralto Venenoso
Giuseppe Bideno, “Piedimbocca”......................................................Tenore Buffo
Il Spirito di Giorgio Secondo, L‘Abominazione........................................Baritono Cattivo
Il Spirito di Ruscio Limbago, Bocca Grande............................................Basso Noioso
Jeremia Ritto, un uomo pazzo, pastore dello Obama.................................Basso Demagogico
Guglielmo Ayers, terroristo Americano, amico dello Obama.........................Tenore Anarchico
Un Sempliciotto...........................................................................Tenore Profetica

Il Popolo, La Media Elite, Il Mondo, Il Congresso, Terroristi.

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Pizza Sauce (as far as I can tell)
Cordy

Obama's First Week In Office

(CNN) -- President Obama stepped into office with big approval ratings met with high expectations as he faces a deteriorating economic situation, an unpopular war in Iraq and the Middle East conflict.

 

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President Clinton's showdown with Congress over the question of gays in the military and the withdrawal of his attorney general nominee overshadowed early efforts to move ahead with his agenda.

</div></div></div></div></div>www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/28/obama.first.week/index.html
&#39; jules
  • schmiss

Happy days are here again

Gallup: Only Five Significantly Republican States; Rhode Island and Massachusetts Most Democratic

PRINCETON, NJ -- An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from 2008 finds Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Hawaii to be the most Democratic states in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states.



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The accompanying map shows party strength by state for 2008, ranging from states that can be considered solidly Democratic (a Democratic advantage in party identification of 10 percentage points or more) to those that can be considered solidly Republican (a Republican advantage in party identification of 10 percentage points or more). States in which the partisan advantage is less than 5 points in either direction are considered "competitive." (The full data for all states appear at the end of the article.)



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In contrast, only five states had solid or leaning Republican orientations in 2008, with Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska in the former group, and Nebraska in the latter.

The most balanced political states in 2008 were Texas (+2 Democratic), South Dakota (+1), Mississippi (+1), North Dakota (+1), South Carolina (even), Arizona (even), Alabama (+1 Republican), and Kansas (+2 Republican).

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Nate Silver, as always, has more.

It'll be interesting to see if Obama and his team use this huge advantage for Democratic ideals in the next few years. They've done a rather poor job so far, letting Republicans frame the debate on stimulus, but I still have faith things are gonna look up.

What Sarah Palin Says About Feminism

What Sarah Palin Says About Feminism


From Jezebel: First of all, calm down: Sarah Palin didn't say anything about herself and feminism (yet). But the phenomenon of Sarah Palin does say some things about feminism to a lot of people (including me).

Although Palin later recanted after calling herself a feminist and conservative women cheered, I — like other feminists — thought that was sort of an amazing thing. As Kathy Spillar told me in our interview, "The fact that Sarah Palin felt it necessary to identify as a feminist, after so many years of feminism being disparaged by conservatives, that was a win for us."

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Don't worry, Sarah Palin hasn't done something new. I just thought it was an article that both her supporters and detractors would find interesting.

(no subject)

Hey Bam, that's not the door!

By LIISA O'NEILL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, January 28th 2009, 3:07 PM

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It looks like President Obama hasn't gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door -- located a few feet to his right.

Doors didn't open automatically for Obama’s predecessor either. While making a hasty exit from a 2005 press conference in Beijing, former President George W. Bush tugged on the handles of a door, only to find it locked.

Bush laughed off the blunder, but the pictures still live on as part of Bush's lame duck legacy. However, there was little note taken of Obama's rookie mistake.

Obama, who was returning from meeting with Congressional leaders, may have been distracted by Republicans' icy reception to his $825 billion stimulus package, which is poised to pass on Wednesday even without a groundswell of Republican support.

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[info]open_the_blinds)

Postmaster General: Mail Days may need to be cut

AP – In this Sept. 18, 2003, photo, Virginia Beach postman Paul Martin delivers maill in Virginia Beach, Va. …

WASHINGTON – Massive deficits could force the post office to cut out one day of mail delivery, the postmaster general told Congress on Wednesday, in asking lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week. If the change happens, that doesn't necessarily mean an end to Saturday mail delivery. Previous post office studies have looked at the possibility of skipping some other day when mail flow is light, such as Tuesday.

Faced with dwindling mail volume and rising costs, the post office was $2.8 billion in the red last year. "If current trends continue, we could experience a net loss of $6 billion or more this fiscal year," Potter said in testimony for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

Total mail volume was 202 billion items last year, over 9 billion less than the year before, the largest single volume drop in history.

And, despite annual rate increases, Potter said 2009 could be the first year since 1946 that the actual amount of money collected by the post office declines.

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Source won't go through rain, sleet and snow
waiting
  • bispo

REPORT: GOP Lawmakers Outnumber Democratic Lawmakers 2 To 1 In Stimulus Debate On Cable News»

As Media Matters has documented, during the Bush administration, the media consistently allowed conservatives to dominate their shows, booking them as guests far more often than progressives. The rationale was that Republicans were “in power.”

It appears that old habits die hard. Even though President Obama and his team are in control of the executive branch and Democrats are in the majority in Congress, the cable networks are still turning more often to Republicans and allowing them to set the agenda on major issues, most recently on the debate over the economic recovery package.

On Sunday, conservatives began an all-out assault on President Obama’s economic recovery plan, with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) both announcing that they would vote against the plan as it stood. Despite Obama’s efforts at good faith outreach, congressional conservatives have continued to attack the stimulus plan with a series of false and disingenuous arguments.

The media have been aiding their efforts. In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that the five cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week:

graph31.jpg

In total, from 6 AM on Monday to 4 PM on Wednesday, the networks have hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 24 times. Surprisingly, Fox News came the closest to offering balance, hosting 8 Republicans and 6 Democrats. CNN had only one Democrat compared to 7 Republicans.

The drastically unbalanced coverage isn’t the first time that the news networks have effectively supported attacks on the recovery plans. As ThinkProgress reported on Monday, the cable networks, the Sunday shows and the network newscasts promoted a controversial CBO non-report 81 times before the actual CBO analysis of the stimulus plan was released.

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Michelle Obama Immortalized in Wax




The first lady is already getting her first statue: Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C., will unveil a wax figure of Michelle Obama in March.

In this photo (released Wednesday), Madame Tussauds senior sculptor Colin Jackson touches up the clay mold of her figure's head. When complete, Michelle's figure will join her husband Barack Obama's wax figure, which was unveiled in February 2008, in a replica of the Oval Office. Obama is the third first lady to be immortalized in wax by Madame Tussauds Washington D.C., joining Jacqueline Kennedy and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Mmm welfare queens...

Child care loopholes lead to easy money
Sisters get $540,000 from state mostly for watching each other's kids, and it's perfectly legal

The two-story house on 17th St. looks typical of the working-class homes on Racine's west side. Three bedrooms, one bath. Assessed by the city at $122,000.

Yet inside, a young woman has tapped into a home-based money-making operation that netted her and her three sisters more than half a million in taxpayer dollars since 2006.

And they did it with the blessing of the state.

All four had been in-home child-care providers. Collectively they have 17 children. For years, the government has paid them to stay home and care for each other's children.

Nothing illegal about it under the rules of Wisconsin Shares, the decade-old child-care assistance program designed alongside Wisconsin's welfare-to-work program.

"It's a loophole," said Laurice Lincoln, administrative coordinator for child care with the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. "Do we have concerns about it? Yes, it can be a problem. But if it's allowed, it's allowed. We really can't dispute it."

The Journal Sentinel spent four months investigating the $340 million taxpayer-supported program and uncovered an array of costly problems - including fraud. But the investigation also revealed a system rife with lax regulations that have paved the way for abuse by parents and providers.

Consider:

• Sisters or other relatives can stay home, swap kids and receive taxpayer dollars. The four Racine sisters took in as much as $540,000 in taxpayer dollars in less than three years, mostly to watch each other's kids.

• Rules allow parents to be employed by child-care providers and enroll their children at the same place. At some centers, children of employees make up the majority of kids in day care. In one Milwaukee location, an employer and parents are accused of teaming up to bilk the system out of more than $360,000.

• Child-care subsidy recipients have been allowed to work for almost any type of business. Payments were made when moms claimed to work ironing a man's shirts, drying fruit and selling artwork they made during art class.

• The government pays for child care while parents sleep. Counties have no way to monitor whether parents are actually sleeping while their kids are in day care.

"We're not being good stewards of taxpayer dollars," said state Rep. Robin Vos (R-Racine) who introduced legislation in 2007 to try to crack down on child-care related fraud. "We have a system where there's a whole lot of finger-pointing going on and in between, a whole lot of fraud happens."

The state published new rules in November - a month after the Journal Sentinel began asking questions - yet three of the five counties with the majority of Wisconsin Shares cases were unaware of the new requirements until contacted by the newspaper.

Full source here

I'm shocked, really.
¤ darren aronofsky don&#39;t give a fuck
  • schmiss

Whose house? Nancy's house!

House OKs $819B stimulus bill with no GOP votes



In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night, filled with new spending and tax cuts at the core of the young adminstration's revival plan for the desperately ailing economy. The vote was 244-188.

"We don't have a moment to spare," Obama declared at the White House as congressional allies hastened to do his bidding in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The vote sent the bill to the Senate, where debate is expected to begin as early as this week on a companion measure already taking shape. Democratic leaders have pledged to have legislation ready for Obama's signature by mid-February.

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LOL @ the House GOP's irrelevance. YOU MAD BOEHNER?

ETA: Dems who voted against it --

1. Boyd
2. Bright
3. Cooper
4. Ellsworth
5. Griffith
6. Kanjorski
7. Kratovil
8. Minnick
9. Peterson
10. Shuler
11. Taylor

Source

Reader's Digest cuts 8% of its staff



NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Reader's Digest Association Inc is cutting about 8 percent of its staff as it tries to strengthen itself against the world financial crisis.

Reader's Digest, which publishes 50 editions of its namesake magazine around the world as well as other magazines, books and videos, also will force some employees to take time off without pay, it said in a statement released Wednesday.

It also will stop matching contributions to U.S. employees' 401(k) retirement plans.

 

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Source
squid

Conservapedia 'hit list' ....? NIIICE

Conservative Wiki Offers Helpful List of Senate Democrats To Assassinate, So Republican Governors Can Appoint GOP Replacements



Americans, are you still letting your idiot kids do all their “research” from the liberal-propaganda pit of vipers known as the “Wikipedia,” which is filthy with scientific facts and frighteningly detailed Buffy the Vampire Slayer trivia? Well stop it, now, and Porn Block every site that’s not Conservapedia, “The Trustworthy Encyclopedia.” For example, say your home-schooled-in-Christ kid needs to do a report on which states would benefit from Dem senators who, tragically, “were unable to complete their terms and were replaced by qualified Republicans by their Republican governors.” Where to go? That homosexual devil box “Wikipedia” surely would be of no assistance, to Patriots!

Source : Wonkette

I didn't want to give the link to the actual site it's disgusting. The original link is on Wonkette.
I guess this is legal because the threat isn't explicit..but for your average gun hugger, I think it's pretty clear

ETA : they took the page down. 'cause you know, once you delete it on the internetz its gone forever, right? hahaha foolish conservatards.
pac aretha
  • bispo

E-mail N.Y. reps. not sold on Gillibrand, could back McCarthy

New York lawmakers are so far unwilling to throw their support behind newly crowned Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), and several say they could support a potential primary challenge from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D).

Several of the state's 26 House Democrats made it clear this week that Gillibrand has something to prove to them — specifically on whether she’s going to stick to conservative positions on issues like guns, illegal immigration and economic issues — or take a more Democratic-held position.

Lawmakers in more liberal districts said their constituents were angry with Gillibrand’s selection and will need to be assuaged.

When asked what the message from his district was after the appointment last week, Rep. Jerrold Nadler said simply: “A lot of people are upset.”

Nadler said they see Gillibrand as too conservative for statewide office, noting her support for a balanced budget amendment and her stance on illegal immigration.

The liberal darling said he didn’t know whether he would support her in the general election.

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Border Closes, Israel Promises More Gaza Strikes

Credit for the roadside bombing which killed an Israeli soldier along the Gaza border earlier today has been claimed by the Jihad and Tawhid Brigades, an al-Qaeda linked group which has repeatedly clashed with Hamas. Still, the Israeli military says that even though Hamas didn’t carry out the attack, it is still responsible for it because they guess they may have given consent to the group.

In its early retaliation, the Israeli government killed a nearby farmer and launched an air-strike which killed a Hamas member and wounded another civilian. They also closed off the border crossings, preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the strip’s 1.5 million reisdents, “until further notice.” Indications are this is not the end of Israel’s attacks, which are threatening to derail the ceasefire.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said today that the killings so far were “not the response” and that more attacks were yet to come. The Israeli military has also reported been “given the green light” to respond harshly in the Gaza Strip. Defense official Amos Gilad said the response would not be limited to closing off the border.

source:antiwar.com

Superman that Legislation!



1,000 AZ Students Protest Education Budget Cuts
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I thought it was a pretty good protest and a great turnout for college kids. My school bused hundreds of kids in and we drove like two hours to get there, but what was sad was that there weren't so many ASU students and it was a protest in Phoenix. We did a very short march to the capitol building, there were cops on the roof and on bikes, and my school gave all the protesters Crustables which are like PB and J sandwich pies. Those were okay. The music was odd. There was like two songs that fit in with a protest environment and then they played stuff like Maroon 6, that Superman that ho song, and Rihanna. Right after we left, the Governor called in a special session to push the same proposal we were protesting against so the protest coordinators on our bus gave us the phone number of Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. Russel Pearce to call them to bitch. I informed Russel Pearce's message machine that I would actively work against him and that he had made a great enemy that day.

Source and the picture is one I took with my cellphone.
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Former Republican leader demonstrates upstanding conservative values.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) revealed more of himself than anyone cared to see, at the expense of Salon's Joan Walsh, this evening on "Hardball." In a debate with Walsh over tax policy, Armey let loose with this chauvinistic gem: "I am so damn glad that you can never be my wife cause I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day." Take a look:


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panda bear

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Revealed: the letter Obama team hope will heal Iran rift



Officials of Barack Obama's administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned.

The US state department has been working on drafts of the letter since Obama was elected on 4 November last year. It is in reply to a lengthy letter of congratulations sent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 6 November.

Diplomats said Obama's letter would be a symbolic gesture to mark a change in tone from the hostile one adopted by the Bush administration, which portrayed Iran as part of an "axis of evil".

It would be intended to allay the ­suspicions of Iran's leaders and pave the way for Obama to engage them directly, a break with past policy.

State department officials have composed at least three drafts of the letter, which gives assurances that Washington does not want to overthrow the Islamic regime, but merely seeks a change in its behaviour. The letter would be addressed to the Iranian people and sent directly to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or released as an open letter.

One draft proposal suggests that Iran should compare its relatively low standard of living with that of some of its more prosperous neighbours, and contemplate the benefits of losing its pariah status in the west. Although the tone is conciliatory, it also calls on Iran to end what the US calls state sponsorship of terrorism.

The letter is being considered by the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, as part of a sweeping review of US policy on Iran. A decision on sending it is not expected until the review is complete.

In an interview on Monday with the al-Arabiya television network, Obama hinted at a more friendly approach towards the Islamic Republic.

Ahmadinejad said yesterday that he was waiting patiently to see what the Obama administration would come up with. "We will listen to the statements closely, we will carefully study their actions, and, if there are real changes, we will welcome it," he said.

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panda bear

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O'Reilly Offers Rove Place To Hide From Congress' Subpoena



Karl Rove appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" tonight and addressed his outstanding subpoena to testify before Congress. Rep. John Conyers, who O'Reilly characterized as a "fanatic," has been after Rove to testify before his committee for some time. Rove said he'd been instructed by the previous administration to ignore any subpoena, and then got a bit literary, remarking that Conyers is "sort of like Captain Ahab and I'm the whale." O'Reilly, calling Rove a "stand-up guy," offered him a place to hide from Congress: "If you need a place to hide out, we have it here at the Factor. We have all kinds of tunnels and places we can put you." Rove demurred and said "I don't need to hide." (Hiding spot offer is at the end of the interview.)

Watch video here!

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carrie fisher

OH CANADA!

Obama coming to Ottawa on Feb. 19


U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Canada on Feb. 19 in his first official trip abroad, the White House announced Wednesday.

No details of the trip, including what city he would visit, were announced, but CBC News has learned that his destination will be Ottawa.

Although Parliament will not be sitting that week, it may be recalled so Obama can address a joint sitting, CBC's Paul Hunter reported.

Former presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman have addressed Parliament previously.

"This is a testament, not just to the size of our trading relationship and the closeness of our alliance, but also the strength of our friendship," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons.

"I look forward to an important and productive working visit."

Obama had already pledged his first official foreign trip would be to Canada but had not specified a date.

"Canada is a vitally important ally," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "The president looks forward to the opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Harper and visit our neighbour to the north."

The Obama administration also provided scant details about the visit, except to say that the flailing economy will be a top item of discussion.

"Without getting into what the bilateral agenda might be for that trip, it's safe to say that the health of each economy and the health of the global economy will be a large part of that agenda," Gibbs told the daily White House briefing.

"And I strongly anticipate, as was the case when the then president-elect met with the leader of Mexico, that trade will be part of that docket."

Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon earlier in January before taking office.

Former president George W. Bush made his first foreign visit to Mexico.

Last week, Harper spoke with Obama following his inauguration and congratulated him.

The Prime Minister's Office said Harper and Obama discussed the economy, his trip to Canada, energy, environment and the war in Afghanistan.

A recent poll, conducted before Obama took the oath of office Jan. 20, showed large support for the new president, with 81 per cent of Canadians holding a positive view of him.

David Biette, the director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told the Canadian Press he suspects Obama will likely forgo a lot of pomp and circumstance and concentrate on discussing common issues between the two countries, such as the economic crisis, trade, Afghanistan, energy and climate-change policy.

"I doubt very much he'll be staying overnight, or that there will be a big ceremonial dinner or any of that sort of thing," said Biette.

"The president will be in and out and simply want to get things done," he said. "Canada will see a very practical president, and it will pull a lot of Canadians out of the clouds. There won't be a lot of ceremony; he'll be there intending to get down to business."

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cookie monster
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Dean Baker is always worth a laugh

Do the Republicans Have Any Clue What "Stimulus" Means? Why Isn't the NYT Asking
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/beat_the_press
The NYT told readers that the Republicans objected to spending that they "ridiculed as having nothing to do with economic stimulus." It then listed the expansion of federal Medicaid coverage of family planning services as one example.

Actually, this program involves spending money, therefore it is stimulus. This money will employ people in the provision of family planning services, just as highway spending employs people in the constructing or repairing highways.

It's sort of like baseball being a type of sport. Some people may not like baseball, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a sport.

If the Republicans were to insist that baseball is not a sport then it would be reasonable to assume that they do not know what the word "sport" means. Similarly, if the Republicans do not understand that any spending that directly goes into the economy is stimulus, then it implies that they don't know what "stimulus" means.

If one of the major political parties doesn't even know what stimulus means then the media should be exposing their ignorance to the public. Presumably voters would like to know if their representatives in Congress don't understand very basic economic concepts.

--Dean Baker