February 7th, 2009

soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Fred Phelps targets High School, Students Shout them Down.

There are a lot of times when you sink to your knees and think nothing will ever change, the fight is too hard and too long and the world is full of prejudice.
Then there's days like today.
Fred Phelps, known for his protests at the funerals of AIDS victims, and now extremely popular for his bizarre protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers, decided to grace Prairie Village, Kansas with the presence of his minions. The target for the picketers was Shawnee Mission East High School, a large suburban school in the Kansas City Metro area.

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garf tired

I've had it with the Rethugs today ya'll, I'ma shoot something

Collected Via Huffpo:


How do you think President Obama is doing so far?

"I think President Obama is off to a rocky start. The theme "Yes, we can" seems to have been replaced with "Well, maybe we can't." I believe that with all the challenges America faces, the simple solutions and the hope that were sold by the Obama team are inadequate to the task ahead.

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And LOL... Every Republican in America is throwing Dubya under the bus... lame excuse for your fail!
always stealing my heroin, That crazy Jesus
  • automat

There definitely is a god. This bus told me so.

Let there be adverts: Christians hit back at the atheist bus

Bus ads: created by three Christian groups. Photograph: PR

In the beginning, there was the atheist bus campaign. And it was good. Unless, that is, you were one of the many God-fearing folk who considered it blasphemy. They, however, are planning to get their own back.

A trinity of Christian groups have created their own series of advertisements to run across London buses, the medium of choice for the battle of beliefs, it seems.

The original ads from the British Humanist Association insisted: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

The new campaign is organsied by the Christian Party, the Trinitarian Bible Society and the Russian Orthodox Church. Their pro-God campaigns will run on 175 buses for two weeks from Monday.

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I wonder if the Christian party can party like a Communist party.

Complaints form to ask for proof of God.

Climate Change Doom!

Obama's expert warns of doom

  • Suzanne Goldenberg, Washington
  • February 6, 2009

UNLESS there is timely action on climate change, California's agricultural bounty could be reduced to a dust bowl and its cities disappear, President Barack Obama's Energy Secretary has warned.

The apocalyptic scenario sketched out by Steven Chu was the clearest sign to date of the greening of America's political class under the new President.

In blunt language, Dr Chu said Americans had yet to fully understand the urgency of dealing with climate change.

"We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California. I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going," he told the Los Angeles Times in his first interview since taking the post.

He said raising public awareness was crucial. "I'm hoping that the American people will wake up."

Dr Chu's doomsday descriptions were seen as further evidence that, after eight years of denial under President George Bush, the Obama Administration recognises the severity of climate change.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has blamed climate change for making forest fires a year-round threat in the state.

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Anyone who doesn't believe in Climate Change should look at the weather in Australia for the last week, the Southern States are suffering from the longest and hottest heat wave in recorded history (apparently today it might even break further records in Melbourne) and the North of my State is having floods, because of two tropical storms.  It just gets better and better.    I don't want to live in interesting times.
Obama--Election Night

he's everywhere! he's everywhere!

Obama Is Everywhere! But Is That A Good Thing?

by Linton Weeks

NPR.org, February 6, 2009 · President Barack Obama is everywhere!

He's here at one news conference on Friday. He's there at another news conference on Monday. Turn on the TV and you're liable to see him in one day addressing a prayer breakfast group in the morning, speaking at the Department of Energy in the afternoon and gabbing with House Democrats in Williamsburg in the evening.
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PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE someone tell me they get the Chickenman reference or I will be a sad panda. :-(
cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?
  • biichan

CQ: Tweet, tweet, tweet.

Congressman Twitters an Iraq Security Breach
By John M. Donnelly, CQ Staff

A congressional trip to Iraq this weekend was supposed to be a secret.

But the cat’s out of the bag now, thanks to a member of the House Intelligence Committee who broke an embargo via Twitter.

A delegation led by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner , R-Ohio, arrived in Iraq earlier today, and because of Rep. Peter Hoekstra , R-Mich., the entire world — or at least Twitter.com readers—now know they’re there.

“Just landed in Baghdad,” messaged Hoekstra, a former chairman of the Intelligence panel and now the ranking member, who is routinely entrusted to keep some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets.

Before the delegation left Washington, they were advised to keep the trip to themselves for security reasons. A few media outlets, including Congressional Quarterly, learned about it, but agreed not to disclose anything until the delegation had left Iraq.

Nobody expected, though, that a lawmaker with such an extensive national security background would be the first to break the silence. And in such a big way.

Not only did Hoekstra reveal the existence of the lawmakers’ trip, but included details about their itinerary in updates posted every few hours on his Twitter page, until he suddenly stopped, for some reason, on Friday morning.

Since it’s already a matter of public record, here are some of Hoekstra’s twitter dispatches, typos and all, delivered in just 140 characters or less:

“On the way to Andrews Air Force base.12 hour flight to mid east. Be back on Mon instead of tues. Votes mon. I’ll keep you posted,” he wrote on Feb. 4

In his last dispatch today, he wrote: “Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous here [sic].”

voldemort aretha

Paul Krugman agrees with ONTD_P

On the Edge

Published: February 5, 2009

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clichés about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts.

It’s as if the dismal economic failure of the last eight years never happened — yet Democrats have, incredibly, been on the defensive. Even if a major stimulus bill does pass the Senate, there’s a real risk that important parts of the original plan, especially aid to state and local governments, will have been emasculated.

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I agree 100% with those last 2 paragraphs especially. This is from 2 days ago but I don't think it's been posted yet and it's even more relevant in terms of last night's shenanigans. After reading the 7 pages of ontd_p comments/outrage about the reworking of the stimulus, this made me feel a little better - we're not the only ones!

Exposing Wall Street Corruption: Beware Of Severed Horse's Head

Exposing Wall Street Corruption: Beware Of Severed Horse's Head

Harry Markopolos, the unrequited whistle-blower of Bernard Madoff’s scam, stated that he was afraid to report Madoff to NASD Regulation and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority because of the influence of both Madoff and Peter Madoff, Bernie's brother.

Markopolos feared that NASD Regulation and FINRA would inform either Bernard Madoff or Peter Madoff that he was reporting the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Markopolos feared that he would be murdered.

I can relate to Markopolos's fears, based on my own experience as someone who tried to expose fraud on Wall Street when I was a trader many years ago.
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' jules
  • schmiss


Shepard Fairey Arrested In Boston

Police in Boston say the artist famous for his "Hope" posters of President Obama has been arrested on outstanding warrants.

Shepard Fairey was in Boston on Friday for his new exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Police Officer James Kenneally says the department had Jan. 24 warrants alleging the Los Angeles artist tagged property with graffiti.

Fairey's Obama image has been sold on thousands of stickers and posters. It is the subject of a copyright dispute with The Associated Press. Fairey argues that his use of the AP photo is protected by "fair use," which allows exceptions to copyright laws.

A California lawyer who has represented Fairey in the copyright case didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the arrest.

  • Current Music
    My senator on a C-SPAN rerun
  • Tags

What got cut from the stimulus bill

(CNN) -- A coalition of Democrats and some Republicans reached a compromise that trimmed billions in spending from an earlier version of the Senate economic stimulus bill.

Senators worked late into the night to trim billions from the original stimulus bill

Senators worked late into the night to trim billions from the original stimulus bill

CNN obtained, from a Democratic leadership aide, a list of some programs that have been cut -- either entirely or partially:

Partially cut:

• $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings (original bill $7 billion)

• $75 million from Smithsonian (original bill $150 million)

• $200 million from Environmental Protection Agency Superfund (original bill $800 million)

• $100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (original bill $427 million)

• $100 million from law enforcement wireless (original bill $200 million)

• $300 million from federal fleet of hybrid vehicles (original bill $600 million)

• $100 million from FBI construction (original bill $400 million)

• $150 million for the Violence Against Women Act (which provides funding for the investigation and prosecution of the violent crime perpetrated against women. This funding is specifically for Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors (STOP) state formula grants; out of which, $50 million will be allocated to the VAWA Transitional Housing program)

• $75 million for Rural Drug Enforcement Assistance

• $50 million for the Victims of Crime Act

• $25 million for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces

Fully eliminated

• $55 million for historic preservation

• $122 million for new Coast Guard polar icebreaker/cutters

• $100 million for Farm Service Agency modernization

• $ 100 million for a Department of Education Office of Science

• $50 million for CSERES research

• $65 million for watershed rehabilitation

• $30 million for SD salaries

• $100 million for distance learning

• $98 million for school nutrition

• $50 million for aquaculture

• $2 billion for broadband

• $100 million for NIST

• $50 million for detention trustee

• $25 million for Marshalls Construction

• $300 million for federal prisons

• $300 million for BYRNE Formula

• $140 million for BYRNE Competitive

• $10 million state and local law enforcement

• $50 million for NASA

• $50 million for aeronautics

• $50 million for exploration

• $50 million for Cross Agency Support

• $200 million for National Science Foundation

• $100 million for science

• $1 billion for Energy Loan Guarantees

• $4.5 billion for GSA

• $89 million GSA operations

• $50 million from DHS

• $200 million TSA

• $122 million for Coast Guard Cutters, modifies use

• $25 million for Fish and Wildlife

• $55 million for historic preservation

• $20 million for working capital fund

• $165 million for Forest Service capital improvement

• $90 million for State and Private Wildlife Fire Management

• $1 billion for Head Start/Early Start

• $5.8 billion for Health Prevention Activity

• $2 billion for HIT Grants

• $600 million for Title I (NCLB)

• $16 billion for school construction

• $3.5 billion for higher education construction

• $1.25 billion for project based rental

• $2.25 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization

• $1.2 billion for retrofitting Project 8 housing

• $40 billion for state fiscal stabilization (includes $7.5 billion of state incentive grants)

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Unrestrainable Negrosity

It's Offical! There Are Coons in the White House!

Raccoons invade White House grounds
By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post
Posted: Friday, Feb. 06, 2009

WASHINGTON The National Park Service is in pursuit of one very large raccoon and several medium-size ones that have been spotted roaming the grounds around the Executive Mansion and the West Wing.

So far, the raccoons have evaded capture in several “live traps,” cages with a one-way door to keep the animals inside.
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Coon Sauce!

Senate GOP says they were left out

Senate GOP says they were left out

Republicans took to the Senate floor today to launch an attack on the deal struck late Friday, which is expected to pass an approximately $800 billion stimulus through the upper chamber.

Republicans complained that the deal — which Democratic leaders struck with three moderate GOP senators — left them out of the legislative process.

"This bill was put together, this compromise, and it resembles nothing I see as bipartisan," said Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns.

"If you think about the dynamics of this, just less than four percent of the Congress participated in this on the Republican side," said Johanns.

"I think we've got some better ideas that could have been incorporated into this legislation if it had not been such a partisan exercise," added Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl in a floor speech.
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RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

Obama is not Mike Seaver

Obama's growing pains
Next week can't come soon enough as administration learns early lessons
By Chuck Todd
Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director
NBC News

WASHINGTON - By this time next week, the White House will have quite an accomplishment topping their list of early victories — passage of a massive economic stimulus package in less than a month.

And for the White House, next week can’t come soon enough.

They know they will figure out a way to pass this package. But more importantly, passing it will give them a chance at a fresh start. And it will teach them some important lessons about how to move forward when they present even tougher asks to Congress and the American people.

A couple of things have struck me while watching this White House attempt to pass this first big bill.

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Obama pushes stimulus plan while GOP pushes back

Obama pushes stimulus plan while GOP pushes back

President Barack Obama on Saturday championed his economic stimulus plan as "absolutely necessary" — if imperfect — while Senate Republicans dug in against an $827 billion measure they said hadn't even been written, let alone properly reviewed or sufficiently revised.

Obama aides worked to promote a slightly scaled-down version of the president's plan to energize a struggling economy and put people back to work. White House aides were not satisfied with the tenuous Senate-brokered compromise, but they tried to make sure that the administration's first legislative priority didn't collapse in public rebuke.

As senators met in a rare Saturday session, lawmakers and interest groups sorted out the impact of changes agreed on Friday by GOP moderates and the White House. The compromise purged Obama's plan of $108 billion in spending, some of which was likely to help the economy, yet it retained items that probably won't help the economy much at all.
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CNN: Steele questions if Democrats’ power ‘has gone to their heads’

(CNN) – Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, questioned whether Democrats’ power “has gone to their heads.”

In the weekly Republican address, Steele said of Congressional Democrats:

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.”

Steele said Republicans are ready to work with “reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America,” but he charged the Republican ideas have not been included.

"Good ideas — lots of them — all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress,” he said.

(Full text after the jump)



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music | sleigh anne.

Heck of a Job, Brownie!

We’re a little late to this party, but apparently Ben & Jerry’s renamed their butter pecan flavor to “Yes, Pecan!” in honor of President Obama: although Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream remains my runaway favorite (come on, chocolate cone pieces!), I approve.

As part of our national “healing,” you might approve, too, of this list of potential names for a George W. Bush-themed Ben & Jerry’s flavor! While I dearly wish I could take credit for this delicious snark, alas, I merely encountered it on a friend’s Facebook page. Enjoy:

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lmao, i can't decide which of those are my favourites. what other flavours would you guys suggest?
I'd rather be waterboarding.

Meanwhile, in Butthurt La-La Land...

Steele's Campaign Spending Questioned
Agents Contact Sister After Ex-Aide's Claims

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2009; A01

Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

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While this pales in comparison to Mix-TapeGate, I was surprised to see this hadn't been posted or more widely reported. Well, actually, I'm not that surprised. There's an economy to drive over the edge, and Biden gaffes to focus on, so who really cares if the Chairman of the RNC is a shady nepotistic motherfucker?

Special Sauce

LOLitics | BAMF

Biden visit to MD drives small business owner batshit butthurt?

By Mary Ann Akers aka The Sleuth | February 5, 2009; 5:23 PM ET

Vice President Biden's visit to a dilapidated train station in Laurel, Md., to promote the economic stimulus package sent at least one local business owner over the edge.

Tim Abell, co-owner of Security Vault Works, which is a stone's throw from the train station, was so irate about Biden's security detail shutting down the street in front of his firm that he threatened to barrel down the street in his Cadillac Escalade EXT truck until police stopped him.

"Can you believe this crap," Abell groused in an email to friends after local police advised him his street would be closed from 8:30 a.m. to noon. "I have called the Mayor of Laurel, the City Administrator, and the Chief of Police. I have informed them that if they do not resend [sic] this directive, that I have no choice but to perform an act of civil disobedience and drive my vehicle down the road until they arrest me." Collapse )


  • Holy Speshul Snowflake Complex™ Batman. The temporary security shut down of one street? Didn't actually obstruct capitalism throughout Laurel, MD, let alone the rest of the US. I do not think "irony" means what Mr. Abell thinks it means.

  • LOL @ "civil disobedience". Planning to barrel your Escalade down a secret service-secured street until you're arrested kinda takes the "civil" outta the disobedience. Get back to your free speech zone, hippy!

  • Needs moar passive aggressive butthurt and projection tbh.
¤ darren aronofsky don't give a fuck
  • schmiss


What the centrists have wrought

I’m still working on the numbers, but I’ve gotten a fair number of requests for comment on the Senate version of the stimulus.

The short answer: to appease the centrists, a plan that was already too small and too focused on ineffective tax cuts has been made significantly smaller, and even more focused on tax cuts.

According to the CBO’s estimates, we’re facing an output shortfall of almost 14% of GDP over the next two years, or around $2 trillion. Others, such as Goldman Sachs, are even more pessimistic. So the original $800 billion plan was too small, especially because a substantial share consisted of tax cuts that probably would have added little to demand. The plan should have been at least 50% larger.

Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

The real question now is whether Obama will be able to come back for more once it’s clear that the plan is way inadequate. My guess is no. This is really, really bad.


movies | Impish Fräulein2

"Biden reaches out to allies on first foreign trip".

Sat. Feb. 7 2009

Vice President Joe Biden says the current U.S. administration will strive to defend the principles of American democracy and will lean more heavily on its global peers as it approaches foreign policy challenges in the coming months and years.

"As hard as we try, I know, I know that we're likely to fall short of our ideals in the future, just as we have in the past," he told a group of world leaders and security experts in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.

"But I commit to you, this administration will strive every day, every day to honour the values that animate American democracy."

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garf tired

We are All Socialists Now

We Are All Socialists Now

In many ways our economy already resembles a European one. As boomers age and spending grows, we will become even more French.
Wall Street's problems have captured the attention of Congress, the White House and the media. But ordinary folks are wondering if anyone is paying attention to them. A look at how Americans are coping with the economic crisis.
By Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas | NEWSWEEK
Published Feb 7, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Feb 16, 2009
The interview was nearly over. on the Fox News Channel last Wednesday evening, Sean Hannity was coming to the end of a segment with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, the chair of the House Republican Conference and a vociferous foe of President Obama's nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill. How, Pence had asked rhetorically, was $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts going to put people back to work in Indiana? How would $20 million for "fish passage barriers" (a provision to pay for the removal of barriers in rivers and streams so that fish could migrate freely) help create jobs? Hannity could not have agreed more. "It is … the European Socialist Act of 2009," the host said, signing off. "We're counting on you to stop it. Thank you, congressman."

There it was, just before the commercial: the S word, a favorite among conservatives since John McCain began using it during the presidential campaign. (Remember Joe the Plumber? Sadly, so do we.) But it seems strangely beside the point. The U.S. government has already—under a conservative Republican administration—effectively nationalized the banking and mortgage industries. That seems a stronger sign of socialism than $50 million for art. Whether we want to admit it or not—and many, especially Congressman Pence and Hannity, do not—the America of 2009 is moving toward a modern European state.

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Nazi angel of death Josef Mengele 'created twin town in Brazil'

Nazi angel of death Josef Mengele 'created twin town in Brazil'
The Nazi doctor Josef Mengele is responsible for the astonishing number of twins in a small Brazilian town, an Argentine historian has claimed.

Auschwitz - Nazi angel of death Josef Mengele 'created twin town in Brazil'
Mengele was the resident medic at Auschwitz from May 1943 Photo: AP
Josef Mengele - Nazi angel of death Josef Mengele 'created twin town in Brazil'
Mengele fled Europe for South America in the face of the Red Army advance in January 1945 Photo: GETTY IMAGES

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EDIT: According to the wikipedia article, "Upon Mengele's arrival in 1963, the incidence of twins began to increase, leading to the current rate of twinning at 1 in 5, including over 100 pairs of identical twins."

...Yeah. I don't even know. It's questionable, anyway, see here (thanks, eternoq), but interesting.
soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Sarah Palin's husband, aides found in contempt

Todd and Sarah Palin ejoy snowmobile races. Which is probably the equivalent to enjoying NASCAR.

(CNN) -- Todd Palin and nine aides were found in contempt Friday by the Alaska Senate for failing to appear to testify in the Legislature's "troopergate" investigation of his wife, Gov. Sarah Palin, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Democratic Party said.

But a Senate resolution said no one should be punished, because the 10 did submit statements to the investigator, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The investigation concerns the governor's firing of the state's public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan.

A bipartisan commission in the state Legislature investigated allegations that Palin fired Monegan after he refused to sack her ex-brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten. The governor, first elected in 2006, has denied wrongdoing.

In court papers, Palin called her sister's ex-husband a "rogue trooper" who threatened the governor's family during a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Complaints from Palin's family led to a five-day suspension for the trooper in 2006 after his superiors found he had illegally shot a moose using his wife's permit, drove his patrol car while drinking beer and used a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson "in a training capacity."

In an interview last year, Wooten said, "I made mistakes. I 'fessed up to them. I was punished appropriately, and I'm moving on."

Palin was Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona's running mate in his unsuccessful campaign last year for U.S. president