February 1st, 2009

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For Democrats, Best Choice May be a Republican
Saturday, January 31, 2009

There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus about just whom New Hampshire John Governor, a moderate Democrat, might appoint to replace Judd Gregg in the Senate if Gregg, as now appears somewhat likely, is chosen to be Barack Obama's Commerce Secretary. The Hill is reporting, however, that sources to Gregg claim that he would not vacate his Senate seat unless a Republican were to be named in his place.

If Gregg's replacement must be a Republican, there is one name that would allow Lynch to come as close as possible to splitting the difference between the parties. That name is that of former State Representative Liz Hager, who has admitted to her interest in the position.

Hager is a Republican and says she would caucus with the Senate Republicans. Beyond that, however, there is a lot for Democrats to like. Hager, after being primaried out by more conservative opponents for her State House seat, endorsed Barack Obama, citing his pro-choice position. She is also a proud moderate, as the Concord Monitor reports:

Hager said she sees the loss as a victory by the more conservative wing of the Republican Party over moderates. But, she said, she does not envision the primary winners prevailing in the general election. "Clearly, the people who are now in control of the Republican Party don't want people like me in it," Hager said. [...]

Hager describes herself as a moderate who is "proudly pro-choice, proudly pro-government." She sponsored a bill in 1999 that would have established an income tax to pay for education. She says her major interest was in "good government and efficient, well-run state government."

Hager described her opponents as Republicans who are "right-wing, anti-government and want to control social issues."

Hager said she's saddened by the low turnout, with the winner getting 395 votes. "I think a lot of people that have been associated with the Republican Party for years are no longer Republicans," she said.

Hager, a longtime veteran in state government, is a true Rockefeller Republican, the liberal/moderate wing of the party which, until recently, had a fairly strong presence in New England. As the Republican party has gravitated toward conservatives, however, and as the Rockefeller Republicans have simultaneously been co-opted by New Democrats, they have become a dying breed, their vestige only apparent in a few remaining legislators like Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine. Hager, who has become an active critic of the Republican establishment, would probably legislate to Collins's and Snowe's left, and quite possibly to the left of several Senate Democrats, probably doing the most to upset the symmetry between party and ideology of any Senator since Zell Miller (whom, like Hager, was a relic of an older political tradition).

Hager's appointment would furthermore deprive the Republicans the opportunity to claim that the Democrats had a filibuster-proof monopoly on power. And yet, at a time when their party is struggling to formulate anything resembling a majority coalition, they would seem to have little choice but to accept her, as her appointment would be the result of a Democratic President and Democratic Governor each having taken the unorthodox step of reaching across party lines to select a Republican. The Republicans could, of course, complain with ample justification that Hager was a RINO, but in so doing they would appear immoderate and intolerant at a time when the pretense of moderation and postpartisanship is the name of the game. They might also risk alienating Snowe and Collins, without whose votes the Republicans already lack the power to sustain a filibuster.

so much love for nate's tag :DDD

PBS Frontline promises to get to the bottom of this whole economic Armageddon

Nerdy, lefty ladies? You bring drinks, I will make dinner. Or vice-versa. Why?

One of my favorite news investigative shows, PBS's Frontline, has announced a new, major multi-part special on the causes and possible long-term consequences of our new, dark economic era: "INSIDE THE MELTDOWN."

Below is a commercial. Looks like they have Paul Krugman on board. You know it will be good:

Paul Krugman is about to throw down.

Calculated Risk says it will begin February 17. Check your local PBS station listings!

AP Investigation: Banks sought foreign workers

AP Investigation: Banks sought foreign workers

Banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. for high-paying jobs, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.

The dozen banks receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.
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Red Scribbly Heart

Obama pokes fun at Emanuel at Alfalfa Club dinner

President Barack Obama got to poke fun at his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and his penchant for cursing at the Alfalfa Club annual dinner.

The black-tie event is a free-for-all roasting of Washington's political and business leaders.

Obama said ``it was actually Rahm's idea to do the swearing-in ceremony again'' the day after the inauguration.

He joked, ``of course, for Rahm, every day is a swearing-in ceremony.''

He also said Emanuel likes to give back to the community, joking, ``just last week he was at a local school, teaching profanity to poor children.''

Obama also made fun of himself, calling the fight he waged to keep his BlackBerry the ``toughest diplomacy'' of his life.

Also attending the dinner were Senator John McCain and his former vice presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

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RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

Politics and soccer in my ONTD_P?! Heey, it's not my birthday!

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Buffon Wants To Receive Mail From Obama
It seems that Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon would like to speak to the new President of the USA, Barack Obama.

Buffon turned 31-years-old today, and he may be able to celebrate it in style tonight with a win against Udinese.

High flying Juventus are confident regarding their chances against strugglers Udinese at the Friuli Stadium. Juve have won six of their last seven league games and they face a side which has not tasted victory in the league since October 29.

The Turin Bianconeri face the Udine Bianconeri in a battle that would have been an incredibly anticipated match earlier in the season, but with the serious decline of form that Antonio Di Natale's side have suffered, Juve seem odds on favourites to take the points away from home.

The Bianconeri were recently boosted by the return from injury of goalkeeping sensation Buffon. The Juve keeper is back to full fitness after being out for three months with a muscle tear in his right leg.

Buffon launched his new official website today, and used the occasion to outline one of his birthday wishes to Sky Sport 24.

“Perhaps I am not being very humble when I say that I would like to receive a mail from Obama. He wish would say: Hi Buffon, you are my favourite goalkeeper in the world. This would please me, so that I could begin a dialogue and friendship with him,” said a smiling Buffon.


I would understand if this doesn't get approved :) But sure there are other soccer football fans here who would LOL/smile at this little bit!
' jules
  • schmiss

From ThinkProgress: a rather sobering reminder before the pre-game hysteria kicks in

The Arizona Cardinal who won’t be on the field tomorrow.

Marcy Wheeler reminds us that “the most famous [Arizona] Cardinal” won’t be playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow, when his team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers:
I speak, of course, of Corporal Pat Tillman, who left the NFL after 9/11 to serve in the Army Rangers. Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. For months after his death, he was used as a propaganda tool to glorify Bush’s failed wars. The exposure of the truth behind Tillman’s death has since turned him into a symbol of the duplicity of the Bush Administration, the fight for the truth, and the futility of the war itself.
The New York Times writes that Tillman will not be forgotten this weekend. Soldiers will watch the game “from a U.S.O. center in Afghanistan that bears Tillman’s name and was built with money donated by the N.F.L. in his memory.” Tillman’s jersey, emblazoned with his number 40, is the best selling item on the team’s website. “It’s great,” said former Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer, who was Tillman’s college and Cardinals teammate and a close friend. “But in the grand scheme of things, it all kind of stinks because he’s not around.”

God Bless
  • lanrek

Boy's wrapped birthday gift is...

Gabriel Hurles' sixth birthday party wasn't a surprise, but his present sure was. The kindergartner was so engrossed in the cupcakes his mother brought to his class on Wednesday that he didn't notice the enormous wrapped box off to the side.

"That's one big, giant present," a 6-year-old classmate told him. "See what you got, Gabriel."

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' jules
  • schmiss

Obama to continue Clinton/Bush policy of rendition

Obama lets CIA keep controversial renditions tool

The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these discredited programs, President Barack Obama left an equally controversial counterterrorism tool intact.

Under executive orders issued by Obama last week, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, or the secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the U.S.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said the rendition program is poised to play an expanded role because it is the main remaining mechanism—aside from Predator missile strikes—for taking suspected terrorists off the street.

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cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?
  • biichan

HufPo: In which Steele continues his cruise down that river in Egypt

Steele: GOP Does Not Have A Message Problem

RNC Chairman Michael Steele took to the Sunday talk show circuit for the first time since he was elected to the post. And while he pledged to help restore the Republican Party to a more powerful perch, he outlined a game plan that seemed reminiscent of years past.

Pressed by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, Steele diagnosed the GOP ills as a problem of the messenger but not the message -- he even suggested that the party should look back to New Gingrich's Contract With America for inspiration.

"We failed to lead," said the former Lt. Maryland Governor. "The principles we espoused [in 1994] are still true and good today and that's not what people moved away from us for. They moved away from us because we behaved badly. We came to Washington and we became like the people we were sent here to replace. And they replaced us."

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Videos at the SAUCE
' jules
  • schmiss

You won't have Howdy Doody to kick around anymore

Putnam set to give up seat

Rep. Adam Putnam, the third-ranking Republican in the House until he relinquished that post late last year, will give up his House seat to pursue a bid as the next agriculture commissioner of Florida.

His decision to make this run has been the source of much speculation since he gave up his post as chairman of the Republican Conference on election night last fall. Most Floridians view the commissioner’s job as a stepping stone to the governor's office.

But his announcement marks the departure of a rising star in the party who has decided to pursue a state office rather than remain in Washington, where Republicans face deeper minorities in the House and Senate.

Putnam, 34, was first elected to the Florida state house when he was 22 years old. He was the youngest member of the House when he was first elected in 2000.

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) took Putnam under his wing during the later years of Republican dominance, and House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) believed he would eventually turn the caucus over to Putnam and party Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) whenever he decided to leave the chamber.

But Putnam grew frustrated with the partisanship in the House and earned the scorn of colleagues for his strident support of a rescue plan for Wall Street last fall.


I think this could be a Dem pickup as this district went VERY narrowly for McCain in the election, but I'll wait for Nate to weigh in I guess.
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Obama has a crush on me

What is a racist to do?

Do I smell a 3rd Party?

To Hell with the Republican Party!

GOP traitors appoint Obama Junior as Chairman of the Republican Party

By David Duke, former Republican member of the House of Representatives in Louisiana, and former Chairman of the Largest Republican District in the state

The Republican Party leadership in its latest act of self-immolation appointed, Michael Steele, a radical Black racist as the leader of the Party.

Steele is a passionate supporter of affirmative action programs that racially discriminate against tens of millions of White Americans. He also supports increased discrimination against White owned businesses in the awarding of non-merit and non-bid minority contracts. He is opposed to the death penalty and thinks that it is disproportionately applied to Blacks even though it is applied to White murderers at 500 percent higher than it is to Black murderers. He is also an advocate of more gun control legislation as well as a draconian, massively increased enforcement of the current laws. He is a servile dog of Israel and has condemned Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorists and yet said not a word of compassion for the 5,000 (half of them women and children) who have been maimed and murdered in Gaza by Israel’s weapons of mass destruction. He says that he would still support the Iraq War and the loss of 50,000 maimed Americans, 4500 killed and trillions in cost, even though the reason for the war (Weapons of Mass Destruction) was proven to be a lie.


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Narcissa Malfoy Does Reykjavik

Iceland's political parties have reached an agreement that will give the country its first female prime minister and the world its first openly gay leader.

Johanna Sigurdardottir, 66, will lead the government when it is sworn in at 6 p.m. (1 p.m. Eastern) on Sunday, her political advisor Hrannar Arnarsson told CNN via e-mail.

A former flight attendant who entered politics via the union movement, Sigurdardottir was minister of social affairs and social security in the outgoing Cabinet, which resigned Monday.

Iceland has been in political turmoil since October, when its currency, stock market and leading banks collapsed amid the global financial crisis. The island nation's Nordic neighbors sent billions of dollars to prop up the economy, as did the International Monetary Fund in its first intervention to support a Western European democracy in decades.

But weekly demonstrations -- some verging on riots -- finally forced Prime Minister Geir Haarde and his coalition to resign en masse on January 26.

The country's president turned to the Social Democratic Alliance party to form a new government, and they selected Sigurdardottir to lead it.

She has been a member of Iceland's Parliament for 30 years, and was in her second stint as minister of social affairs. She started her career as a flight attendant for the airline that became IcelandAir. She was active in the flight attendants' labor union during her 11 years with the airline, according to her official resume.

She briefly led her own political party, which merged with other center-left parties to form the Alliance party.

Sigurdardottir would become Iceland's first female prime minister, although not the North Atlantic nation's first female head of state -- Vigdis Finnbogadottir became its fourth president in 1980.

Sigurdardottir lists author and playwright Jonina Leosdottir, 54, as her spouse on her ministry Web site. She has two children from an earlier marriage.

Her prime ministership may be short-lived. The government she is forming is only due to last until the next elections, which must take place by May and could be held in April.

But a leading British gay and lesbian rights group welcomed her appointment as a milestone.

"It really does matter. It is helpful" to have an openly gay prime minister, said Gary Nunn, a spokesperson for Stonewall UK. "We are trying to foster the ambition that young people can be anything they want to be."

Check Source for the picture

I never realized it was possible to have hair that ice blonde o-o. Also, totally off topic, today, for the first time in my life, I am baking completely by myself. I think the gingerbread is going to come out lumpy.
you could cut ties with all the lies

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Under Obama, `war on terror' catchphrase fading

The "War on Terror" is losing the war of words. The catchphrase burned into the American lexicon hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is fading away, slowly if not deliberately being replaced by a new administration bent on repairing the U.S. image among Muslim nations.

Since taking office less than two weeks ago, President Barack Obama has talked broadly of the "enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism." Another time it was an "ongoing struggle."

He has pledged to "go after" extremists and "win this fight." There even was an oblique reference to a "twilight struggle" as the U.S. relentlessly pursues those who threaten the country.

But only once since his Jan. 20 inauguration has Obama publicly strung those three words together into the explosive phrase that coalesced the country during its most terrifying time and eventually came to define the Bush administration.

Speaking at the State Department on Jan. 22, Obama told his diplomatic corps, "We are confronted by extraordinary, complex and interconnected global challenges: war on terror, sectarian division and the spread of deadly technology. We did not ask for the burden that history has asked us to bear, but Americans will bear it. We must bear it."


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edited to add: for lulz, check out wikipedia's list of wars on concepts. they list cancer, christmas, drugs, poverty, and terrorism. just checking: have we won any of these wars yet?

wooosh faraday


Female Bank of England Employees Must Wear Makeup and Heels

Well, this is appalling: Earlier this week, the Bank of England held "Dress for Success" day. On that day, they sent out a memo to female employees detailing just how they should dress for success, important now more than ever in These Economic Times, the worst financial crisis Britain's dealt with since the Depression. WWD obtained a copy of the memo:
“Look professional, not fashionable; be careful with perfume; always wear a heel of some sort — maximum 2 inches; always wear some sort of makeup — even if it’s just lipstick.” Shoes and skirt must be the same color. No-no’s include ankle chains — “professional, but not the one you want to be associated with;” white high heels; overstuffed handbags; an overload of rings, and double-pierced ears.

On behalf of all women at the BOE, excuse us? A woman can dress almost exactly opposite to these rules — in black flats, with gray trousers, no makeup, and a giant handbag — and still look professional and chic. We understand the need to enforce a dress code, but mandating heels of a certain color, makeup, and degree of handbag-filling is ridiculous. What about rules for the men? It wouldn't hurt BOE governor Mervyn King and deputy governor Sir John Gieve to wear ties that aren't so loud — set an example if you're so concerned about color-coordination, gentlemen. And while you're forcing women to wear two-inch heels, you should, too. Sarko does it, after all.


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Texas prison riot enters its 2nd day.

 Texas prison riot begins second day
Published: Feb. 1, 2009 at 7:03 AM
PECOS, Texas, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Thousands of inmates rioted for a second day at the Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos, Texas officials said Sunday.
CNN reported as many as 2,080 inmates from two of the facility's three buildings began fighting in the prison yard late Saturday afternoon.
Officials said they do not know what prompted the riots. Police said three inmates were hospitalized, including one with a severed finger.
"We do not have anything in control," one guard told KVIA-TV, El Paso, 
Texas. "Everything is out of control."
The officer said a medical dispute between inmates and staff may have sparked the riot, the second disturbance at the privately-run prison in two months.
The 2,400-bed, low-security facility is operated by Geo Group Inc. (
NYSE:GEO), CNN said. Many of the inmates are federal prisoners.
Source: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/02/01/Texas_prison_riot_begins_second_day/UPI-50591233489815/

A bit more info:

The riot is the second in less than two months at the facility, which includes three units. The first was at the prison's No. 3 unit. Saturday's disturbance was at the center where units No. 1 and No. 2 are housed.

Officers from various agencies, including the DPS, remained on the scene Sunday.

Officials at the prison could not be reached for comment. Calls to the GEO Group, which runs the lockup, were not immediately returned.

Matt Guerra, who works at Unit No. 3, said Saturday night that he could see smoke coming from the area of the riot.

In December, rioting inmates at the federal prison facility about 430 miles west of Dallas sought better medical treatment. Officials said there were minor injuries.

The GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, Fla., has run the lockup through contracts with Reeves County and the Federal Bureau of Prisons since 2003. The prison holds more than 2,400 inmates.

Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6241381.html

There's been a lot of commentary / discussion that because this is a privately-held and run prison, incidents like this happen more due to poor living conditions / prisoner abuse. One poster commented that privately-run prisons are outlawed in most states, but not in Texas.

Edit:  I have NO idea why the cut is there 5x.  Sorry guys! :)

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Commentary: A history lesson for Rush Limbaugh

Commentary: A history lesson for Rush Limbaugh

On Thursday, Rush Limbaugh, the moral and intellectual leader and most influential person in the Republican Party in the United States, wrote in the august op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, the acknowledged epicenter of right-wing thought, that President Obama should adopt a bipartisan solution to address the president's economic stimulus plan -- or as Limbaugh refers to it, "porkulus."

Limbaugh proposes that because the Democrats got roughly 54 percent of the votes to the Republicans' 46 percent, the stimulus package should be allocated along his definition of ideological lines, i.e. 54 percent towards infrastructure improvement and 46 percent toward tax breaks for Limbaugh and his friends.

He writes, "Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let's say the vote was 54% to 46%.
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dw | carbon prevails

J.Crew reveals how Sasha and Malia got those special coats

The First Family's unofficial endorsement of J.Crew threatened to backfire in the days after the inauguration—and not just because Barack Obama dared to wear a white bow tie, custom-made by the retailer, with a short jacket instead of a traditional tailcoat. (The audacity!)

A week later, history already is judging the decision to mix the mass brand with exclusive designer items, many from the now-famous Chicago boutique Ikram, as a stroke of fashion genius.

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Chicago Tribune

Set your tivos - Blagojevich to appear on David Letterman

CHICAGO - Five days after he was ousted from the Illinois governor's office, Rod Blagojevich will appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Tuesday.

CBS said Sunday that Blagojevich would appear on the New York-based late night talk show on Tuesday evening. It will be the former governor's first late-night interview since he was removed from office by a 59-0 vote of the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

Blagojevich faces federal corruption charges that include trying to auction off Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. Federal prosecutors are expected to indict him by April.

A call Sunday to Blagojevich's publicist (ed. note - !!!!!!) seeking comment was not immediately returned.


I mostly just wanted an excuse to show that this story has reduced old media to printing image macros, but it's also nice to see a former governor in the Spencer Pratt/Paris Hilton slot on Letterman