February 11th, 2009

n o p e

The Dissonant Undertones of M.I.A. (NYT)

Published: February 10, 2009

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — To many Americans, Maya Arulpragasam, known as M.I.A., is the very pregnant rapper who gyrated across the stage at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.

Yet in Sri Lanka, where she spent her childhood years, M.I.A. remains virtually unknown. And some who do know her work say she is an apologist for the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels fighting in the country’s long-running civil war.

M.I.A. — who has been nominated for an Oscar for the song she co-wrote for the hit film “Slumdog Millionaire” — has branded herself through music videos and interviews as the voice of the country’s Tamil minority. In the video for her song “Bird Flu,” for instance, children dance in front of what looks like the rebels’ logo: a roaring tiger.
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Historic twist to stimulus bill: Senate votes to reward Filipino veterans

By Ken McLaughlin
Posted: 02/10/2009 04:55:26 PM PST

It looks as though it took the collapse of the American economy to get the Filipino veterans of World War II the recognition and compensation they have been seeking for more than six decades.

The stimulus bill approved by the U.S. Senate on Monday night authorized the release of $198 million to rectify Uncle Sam's postwar snub. About 18,000 Filipino vets who fought in the war under the American flag would now receive up to $15,000 for their service.

"I shed my blood for the sake of freedom and democracy, so I am very grateful to the Senate for acknowledging our sacrifice,'' said Dominador Valdez, 82, of San Jose, a former guerrilla who was shot and seriously wounded during the war.

Because they have been disappointed before, Valdez and other Filipino vets say they won't celebrate until the allocation survives the committee now trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the $838.2 billion stimulus bill. But key representatives say they feel confident that the vets' benefits will be in the final version of the bill, which President Barack Obama hopes to sign within days.

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Peanut Co. owner urged shipping tainted products

Peanut Co. owner urged shipping tainted products

The owner of a peanut company urged his workers to ship tainted products after receiving test results identifying salmonella, according to internal company e-mails disclosed Wednesday by a House committee.

The company e-mails obtained by the House panel showed that Peanut Corp. of America owner Stewart Parnell ordered the shipments tainted with the bacteria because he was worried about lost sales.

Parnell was ordered by subpoena to appear before Congress on Wednesday to discuss the outbreak that has led to 600 illnesses, eight deaths and one of the largest recalls in history, more than 1,800 products pulled. His Georgia plant is blamed for the outbreak.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., revealed the internal correspondence from the company during a House Energy and Commerce hearing.
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Does this mean we can hang him?...
community organizers ftw, his font got serifs goddam
  • biichan


Man of Steele
Is Michael Steele Barack Obama's evil twin?
By Christopher Beam

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, at 7:42 PM ET

Evil twin, nemesis, archenemy—whatever the term, every great protagonist has one. Superman had Bizarro, his alternate-universe self. Spock from Star Trek had the shady, goateed "mirror" Spock. Super Mario has the cackling Wario.

And Barack Obama has Michael Steele.

Evil twins have certain identifying characteristics. For one thing, they lead parallel existences. Obama and Steele are roughly the same age—Obama is 47, Steele is 50. They were both rising stars in their respective state parties. And they both now lead their respective national parties. But whereas Obama was blessed with supreme good fortune—he won his first state Senate race on a ballot technicality, and his opponent for U.S. Senate was Alan Keyes—Steele was less lucky. A Republican in a Democratic state, he chose the worst year possible to run for Senate: 2006. And while Obama cruised through the cesspool of Chicago politics with hardly an ethical blemish, Steele is now fighting accusations that he misspent campaign funds. (Steele called the allegations "not true.")

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Evil Sauce

This article is completely on crack, but I will laugh my ass off if Michael Steele really does grow his Evil Twin's Goatee.

DA: Lawrence King Killing 'a Premeditated Execution-Style Murder'

New documents containing the strongest official language we have yet heard in the Lawrence King case were filed by the Ventura County District Attorney's office in response to an appeal by teen killer Brandon McInerney's attorneys which said that prosecutors had "abused their discretion by charging him as an adult," the AP reports:

Mcinerney"McInerney is charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the February 2008 death of Larry King at E.O. Green School in Oxnard. King dressed in a feminine manner and told friends he was gay. McInerney was 14 at the time of the shooting and turned 15 last month. In the documents, prosecutors described the shooting of King as a premeditated execution-style murder carried out by a classmate who was a proponent of 'racist skinhead philosophy.' Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox said the facts of the case "speak volumes" for the decision to try McInerney in adult court. The court documents also give details about the alleged contentious relationship between King and McInerney, the teasing by some classmates because of King's effeminate demeanor and McInerney's unheeded threat to kill King."

KingIn January, McInerney's attorney said the Ventura County district attorney's office abused its power by failing to adequately weigh rising tensions between the two boys that came after King declared himself gay and was reportedly overt in his attempts to win McInerney's romantic affection, and other factors including McInerney's youth and his difficult upbringing. "Someone like Brandon, who was barely 14 and had no juvenile record, should have gone before a juvenile judge, who would look at certain factors to determine whether he is suitable for rehabilitation," Wippert said. "But the D.A. is saying, 'I don't have to explain myself to anyone.' That's too much power. We as a community should be able to make sure what they are doing is right."

A coalition of gay groups including Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Equality California, Gay Straight Alliance Network, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, have urged the court that McInerney be tried as a juvenile.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Lawrence King's murder. A vigil is being held tomorrow in King's memory in Ventura, California.


Long Island Gay Youth Center Vandalism Committed By Former Clients

Now we know why it wasn't classified a hate crime. According to David Kilminick, the executive director of the Long Island gay youth center, two of the men arrested for last week's vandalism are former clients of the center. From his email:
Over three years ago, two of the four people arrested were former clients of LIGALY. The individuals regularly displayed inappropriate and disruptive behavior toward staff and other clients. This behavior made many of our clients feel unsafe, and the organization responded appropriately by discharging them from our services. We are saddened to hear that the individuals arrested continued to act out in hatred and violence, as these attacks illustrate.

While the vandalism is no longer being investigated as a bias crime, we feel that the investigation and the attention paid to these crimes by public officials and media was appropriate. Vandalism of this magnitude is intended to send a message of fear. The Center stands as the most public declaration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender pride on Long Island. As the most visible symbol of GLBT presence and pride, the vandalism was indeed interpreted and felt as an attack on these already vulnerable communities.
Kilminick goes on to thank local law enforcement for their prompt and thorough investigation.


Please, please, please let this happen

Stimulus Deal Reached Tentatively

WASHINGTON — Negotiators for Congress and the White House have tentatively settled on a $790 billion price tag on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill and are working to narrow differences on individual elements of the bill.

After unofficial talks stretching into the late evening on Tuesday, officials announced a formal meeting of negotiators for mid-afternoon in the Capitol as they try to get a bill to Obama's desk for signing by week's end.

Democratic aides said that Obama's negotiating team had prevailed in restoring some lost funding for school construction projects during talks Tuesday, and had also increased aid to state governments above the $39 billion approved in a compromise with a handful of Senate GOP moderates.


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If they could restore some of the school and state aid (ya know, the stuff that would actually stimulate the economy) and cut out some of those BS Republican catnip tax credits, it would be amazing.

But I am so freaking terrified Spector is gonna douche things up.

Fingers crossed that Obama's reception at the town hall meetings and the news about Caterpillar hiring will hold the moderates feet to the fire.

  • cindel

Fidel Castro's Rahm Emanuel Editorial

Castro writes about Rahm Emanuel's name.

Reflections of Fidel

Rahm Emanuel

WHAT a strange surname! It appears Spanish, easy to pronounce, but it’s not. Never in my life have I heard or read about any student or compatriot with that name, among tens of thousands.

Where does it come from? I wondered. Over and over, the name came to mind of the brilliant German thinker, Immanuel Kant, who together with Aristotle and Plato, formed a trio of philosophers that have most influenced human thinking. Doubtless he was not very far, as I discovered later, from the philosophy of the man closest to the current president of the United States, Barack Obama.
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cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?
  • biichan

HuffPo: What is it they say about those who don't learn in US History...?

Ohio Republican Admits FDR Did Not Cause The Depression
by Jason Linkins

One of the talking points that the GOP has attempted to deploy in the battle over the stimulus package is, "Hey! Remember that New Deal dealie? Boy, howdy, wasn't that a massive failure!" Oooh, oooh! And what if the Nazis had gotten the bomb? Then we'd be in some serious doo-doo, tra-la-la!"

Anyway, freshman Representative Steve Austria heard that talking point and decided that it could be made way awesomer. And in an environment where his colleagues are playing fast and loose with the facts, who can blame him? Still, I think this revision took things a step too far with the editors of the Columbus Dispatch:

The day before, as Austria was explaining his opposition to the huge federal stimulus package backed by President Barack Obama, he told The Dispatch editorial board: "When Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression. ... He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That's just history."

Austria said he gave that message via telephone to constituents at a recent town-hall meeting.

Uhm, yeah. That led the Dispatch to point out that "Roosevelt took office in March 1933. Many historians date the Depression from the stock-market crash later dubbed Black Tuesday, which happened in 1929."

And so, Austria had to get back on point:

"I did not mean to imply in any way that President Roosevelt was responsible for putting us into the Depression, but rather was trying to make the point that Roosevelt's attempt to use significant spending to get us out of the Depression did not have the desired effect. Roosevelt did not put us into the Depression, but rather his policies could not pull the nation out of the recession."

I guess now is as good a time as any to offer Austria the chance to familiarize himself with what the New Deal accomplished, via the handy graph Rachel Maddow deployed Monday night:

That's just history!

Iowa represent!

Disabled men lived in unheated house, worked for next to nothing at chicken plant

This is a story that broke here in Iowa over the weekend. It isn't getting a lot of attention, not as much as the Postville raid last spring, but I think it's important for several reasons: (1) it focuses on issues of the mentally disabled (2) it focuses on issues of labor (3) it is a sobering look at where food really comes from.

Company admits to paying disabled men about $65 a month

By CLARK KAUFFMAN • ckauffman@dmreg.com • © 2009, Des Moines Register and Tribune Company • February 11, 2009

Henry's Turkey Service retained most of its mentally retarded workers' government disability checks and the company paid the men about $65 per month, a company official acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday.

The 21 workers, who for decades lived in a 106-year-old bunkhouse in rural Atalissa, were moved Tuesday by social workers to a fully licensed care facility in Waterloo. It's expected that the men will remain there unless they or their relatives express some other preference.

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I'm not real crazy about the Register's terminology, either. I don't think "mentally retarded" is the lexicon today. Is it? I don't know, since there was a vote to remove it from the state constitution last fall. Okay, it wasn't, it was to remove "idiot". The messed up thing? You can't say "retarded" if you comment to the story!! WTF double standard, Register.

More information can be found here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=NEWS&template=keywords&keyword=atalissa
For more info on the Postville raid, see here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=NEWS&theme=POSTVILLE_ICE_RAID&template=theme
And here's an article about their relocation: http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2009/02/11/news/local/11011612.txt
' jules
  • schmiss

As always, Wonkette says it best.

Happy 45th Birthday To Middle-Aged Anger Bear Sarah Palin!

Just a couple of years ago, Sarah Palin was a fresh young political personality. For battered and depressed Republicans who had just lost the House and Senate in an incredible pileup of corruption and perversion, it seemed like an impossible dream to have a happy, heterosexual family girl win a governorship — even if it was in some shoddy backwater like Juneau. Why, this Sarah Palin might just go all the way to the White House! Except she didn’t, and now she’s washed up.

Thanks to national idiot Bill Kristol, Palin was plucked from obscurity just 18 months after winning the Alaska governor’s race. And then she proceeded to make a fool out of John McCain, while simultaneously guaranteeing the election of America’s first black socialist president. God, she sucked!

And now she’s back home in the snowbilly trailer-trash burg of Wasilla, with her loser husband riding in circles around the house on a snowmobile, all night long, and her unmarried teen-aged daughter raising the grandchild of some random oxycontin dealer, and Trig dressed up like Shrek or something, who knows.

Oh and her top legal adviser resigned in disgrace today. Troopergate, etc. Her outrageous outfits, all $175,000 of ‘em, still rot in garbage bags at RNC headquarters in D.C.

Happy 45th birthday, Sarah Palin! Middle-aged people sometimes say “life begins at 40, or maybe 50,” or whatever, but not in your case. You’re done.

  • cindel

Octuplet Mom have website asking for donations.

Octuplet mom Nadya Suleman has launched a website asking for donations for her family of 14 children.

The site features pictures of the eight newborns, with their names and birth weights, drawings of a rainbow, bottle and pacifier, and has two options to donate.

She is accepting monetary donations payable by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, AmEx and Discover) and she also given an address to which one can send goods.

The website also contains a section to leave a comment and the following message:

"We thank you for the love and good wishes sent to us from around the world. The octuplets arrived on 1-26-09. They are all healthy and growing stronger by the day."

Suleman no doubt needs help. She has no income, is $50,000 in debt. She also receives $490 a month in food stamps and receives about $600 in disability payments a month for each of the three of her older six children with disabilities. One has ADHD, one had a speech impediment and one has autism, according to NBC's "Dateline" special.



LA Times

Suleman's octuplets qualify for Medi-Cal, California's healthcare program for the poor. Three sources told The Times that Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower had requested reimbursement for care of the eight premature infants.
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' jules
  • schmiss

Piyush it real good

La. Governor Picked for G.O.P. Spotlight

Considered one of the rising (and youngest) stars in the Republican party, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has just snared another coup. Republican leaders announced today that he’s been selected to deliver the G.O.P.’s response to President Obama’s speech before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24.

Mr. Jindal, whose name was floated as a possible vice-presidential partner for Senator John McCain during last year’s campaign, will speak from Baton Rouge.

Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, said in a statement: “Governor Jindal’s leadership during a time of recovery in Louisiana, his commitment to real government reform, and his protection of hardworking American families make him an excellent choice to offer Republican solutions for the challenges which lay ahead.”

The Louisiana governor has become one to watch among those in the next generation of leaders.


I know people's first response to Jindal is "lol token" but unlike Steele I think he's an actually formidable guy on his own merits, wingnutty exorcism tenancies aside.

That said I don't think he'll run in 2012 since he'll only be 41 years old. Better to wait for 2016 and he'll still be younger than Obama is now. Well, also he still has to legally change his first name, dunno why he hasn't done that yet.
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Obama Stimulus Already Resulting In One New Job

Communications student Julio Osegueda stole the show at Obama's stimulus package campaign in Fort Myers, Florida yesterday when he was picked from dozens to ask the President how the package might help him get more benefits out of his job at McDonald's.

Obama asked Osegueda what he was studying for, and the student replied he wanted to be a broadcaster or a DJ. Hours later, because of the exposure, Osegueda was offered a job by the Class A Fort Myers Miracle baseball team, the Twins' affiliate in the Florida State League.

Said Miracle promotions director Gary Sharp: "I contacted some people who I knew who were at the event, and said 'Find this guy, and get his phone number. I gave [Julio] a call, and he was as excited talking to me as he was talking to the President. I offered Julio the chance to do color commentary during our home opener [on April 10], and he was like 'This is incredible! This is great!' There was no negotiating."
It's that easy.

Watch the clip of Osegueda at the Town Hall, and an interview with Rick Sanchez on CNN...

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  • cindel

Cessna Fights Back On Private-Jet Trend

Orders for business jets nose-dived after lawmakers pilloried leaders of Detroit's Big Three auto makers for flying corporate planes to Washington to seek a government bailout. Now, one jet maker is striking back.

In a campaign to begin Wednesday, Cessna Aircraft Co. will run an ad that says, "Pity the poor executive who blinks," and gets rid of the company jet. "One thing is certain: true visionaries will continue to fly."

Across the industry, new orders for private jets have almost evaporated, and hundreds of existing customers have sought to defer or cancel orders that were placed in higher-flying days. In addition to layoffs, some jet makers have cut production by as much as 56%. Cessna, a unit of Textron Inc., is laying off more than 4,600 people, or roughly a third of its work force, to cope with the sudden drop in demand for private airplanes of all sizes.
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Journey - Separate Ways, Journey - Seperate Ways

Shut up.

Las Vegas mayor wants Obama to apologize

It was "outrageous" for President Obama to say that corporate executives from companies getting federal bailout funds shouldn't be going on corporate trips to Las Vegas or events such as the Super Bowl, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says.

"He owes us an apology," Goodman told KLAS-TV of Las Vegas. "He owes us a retraction."

The mayor's point: Cities such as Las Vegas depend on the travel and tourism industry, and the president could be driving business away. KLAS writes that:

Some high profile companies like Wells Fargo, Citibank and Goldman Sachs recently pulled out of meetings in Las Vegas. The businesses as well as the people who attend the meetings all spend money here. Canceling impacts the casinos and contractors who set up the sound systems and do other production work for the meetings.

The Associated Press reports that Goodman has written to the president, saying, "I understand the enormous burden you carry in dealing with the worst economy since the Great Depression. ... I also understand the need for accountability, but your comments are harmful to the meetings and convention industry as a whole and Las Vegas specifically."

...So, am I pressing "send" on the e-mail I have written to this idiot?  The Football commissioner should get right on this too. 

movies | Impish Fräulein2

"Because They Hate Shepard Smith and Want Him to Fail".

By: Tom Junod

Shep Smith leads the happy warriors of Fox News into a new political age.

Shepard Smith has a face made for television, a face seemingly created not just for the cameras but by them, a brand-name face that could be made into a mask and worn on Halloween. It's extreme, without being irregular; indeed, its extremity lies in its action-figure regularity, its plane-sawed proportions. Well, that and his eyes. His eyes are points of interest, both on television and in person. They look done, if you want to know the truth. He is the proverbial journalist who goes through life with a raised eyebrow, not out of temperament but rather because he can't get the damned thing down. His right eyebrow is steeply and permanently peaked, like a tattoo of skeptical interest. And his eyes themselves... well, you meet him and you don't even register what color they are. You register their shine. No matter what the light, he is the one guy in the room whose eyes always catch it and return it with a mineral gleam.

And yet his face is not nearly as recognizable as his voice. It's not simply that he has great pipes, mellowed by the cigarettes he smokes outside the building before and after most of his newscasts. It's that... well, listen to him as he tapes, in advance, the lead-in to his 3:00 P.M. show, Studio B. He's in someplace called the tracking room, which is closet-sized, with the acoustics of the inside of a drum. There's a script waiting for him by the microphone, and as soon as he sits down, he begins to read it. But he doesn't read the way most people read. He reads the way opera singers sing, in a voice whose sudden contrivance is matched only by its sudden force. He reads loud, in a great baritone honk. He reads insinuatingly. He reads with rhythm, he reads with speed, he reads with irony and skepticism and vehemence and maybe a little menace: "It's being called a political crime spree. The governor of Illinois arrested on federal corruption charges... " Yes, it's Day One for Blago. The Rod Blagojevich story has just broken, and all over the airwaves, professional newsreaders are reading the sordid details with a certain degree of relish. But Shep Smith is the only one who sounds like this, the only one whose voice is instantly recognizable, maybe not as the voice of a man but as the voice of an institution. Inside the institution, by his own insistence, his voice is the voice of "straight news." Outside the institution, however, his voice is the voice of Fox News, and that's something else entirely.

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Source: Esquire
Queen Francoise

sry layout

Leading Lady
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
From envisioning a more inclusive White House to embracing fearless fashion, Michelle Obama is poised to become the most transformative First Lady in history.

André Leon Talley reports. Portraits by Annie Leibovitz.

"Do you see our new house?" Michelle Obama asks, walking to a corner window of the reception suite at the Hay-Adams and drawing back the white curtains. It is a wet, chilly Tuesday afternoon in Washington, D.C., two weeks before the Inauguration, and the Obamas have just moved into the hotel so their daughters can begin the new semester at Sidwell Friends. Through the window we can see armed security men in black walking around on the White House roof.

"They tell me they do that a lot," she says.

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' jules
  • schmiss

You know you love me - xoxo, Gossip Girl

Blagojevich blasts hypocrisy, adultery & excessive drinking in Springfield

This might get real good real soon, folks.

Here's former Gov. Rod Blagojevich telling tales and starting to name names during an interview on WLS-AM this morning. (Warning, don't try to diagram his sentences, and don't assume that there's any truth to his anecdotal accusations. Just go with the flow; you can find the audio files here).

Here’s a little example, an insight I’d like to share, how the system works. They give these speeches and they act like they’re so moral.

There’s a prominent legislative leader, OK, you know, who was going to work with us on a couple of issues. But, you know, this is very common, he has a little laundry list of stuff he wants, and among these things—this is how the system in Springfield works, where a bunch of these lawmakers go down to Springfield, nobody even knows who they are, they’re away from their families, it’s a whole different world down there, a bunch of them are cheating on their spouses, a lot of them drink in excess, very few of them know what’s going on.

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Speaker Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown offered this response when I asked for one:
Sociopath Symptoms
Characteristics of people with antisocial personality disorder may include:

* Persistent lying or stealing
* Superficial charm
* Apparent lack of remorse or empathy; inability to care about hurting others
* Inability to keep jobs or stay in school
* Impulsivity and/or recklessness
* Lack of realistic, long-term goals -- an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals
* Inability to make or keep friends, or maintain relationships such as marriage
* Poor behavioral controls -- expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper
* Narcissism, elevated self-appraisal or a sense of extreme entitlement
* A persistent agitated or depressed feeling (dysphoria)
* A history of childhood conduct disorders
* Recurring difficulties with the law
* Tendency to violate the boundaries and "rights" of others
* Substance abuse
* Aggressive, often violent behavior; prone to getting involved in fights
* Inability to tolerate boredom
* Disregard for the safety of self or others
* People with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder often experience difficulties with authority figures.

Source by way of rahmbamarama

Blago, stirring the drama pot... I like it, I like it.


Missouri state lawmaker compares pro-choice bill to the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’

During the campaign, Barack Obama made clear that he supports the Freedom of Choice Act and would like to sign it into law as president. The pro-choice piece of legislation would essentially “repeal the Federal Abortion Ban and other federal restrictions on abortion care, as well as codify the protections of Roe nationwide.” Today on the floor of the Missouri House during debate on the legislation, state Rep. Bryan Stevenson (R) compared it to the Civil War:

What we are dealing with today is the greatest power grab by the federal government since the war of northern aggression,” Stevenson said, R-Webb City, referring what Southern states called the North’s attempt to end slavery in the 1860s.

The remark caused a sudden gasp heard throughout the House’s chamber.

Stevenson later apologized on the floor for any “offense” his comments caused. He was urged to do so by African-American Rep. Don Calloway (D), who pointed out that the Civil War helped abolish slavery and it was “inappropriate to refer to that war as the war of northern aggression.” (HT: Show Me Progress)

ETA: “I must respectfully disagree and refer to it as the war for freedom," Dixon said, noting he's a "card-carrying member" of the NAACP.


Stevenson said he's a "card carrying member of the Cherokee Nation" and that his ancestors walked the Trail of Tears from Virginia to Oklahoma.

more at source
  • bispo

Tenn. GOP denounces Kent Williams in hometown paper ad

The Tennessee Republican Party has run an advertisement in House Speaker Kent Williams' hometown newspaper to denounce the man they booted from the GOP earlier this week.

The ad in the Elizabethton Star says Williams betrayed the core values of the party when he allowed himself to be nominated and elected speaker of the House by the chamber's 49 Democrats.

The ad also complains that Williams assigned the best office space and staff to Democrats.

Williams' election staved off a comprehensive takeover by House Republicans, who had gained a one-vote majority in November's elections.

Since Williams' ouster from the party, Republicans and Democrats now each have 49 seats in the House, along with one independent.

The speaker divided committee assignments equally between the two parties.

previous ONTD_P entries on subject
' jules
  • schmiss

Stimulus update!

Congress Reaches Deal on Stimulus Plan

(very flattering pick from the NYT there)

House and Senate leaders on Wednesday struck a deal on a $789 billion economic stimulus bill after little more than 24 hours of rapid-fire negotiations with the Obama administration, clearing the way for final Congressional action later this week.

The package of spending increases and tax relief, intended to spur an economic recovery and create jobs by putting money back in the pockets of consumers and companies, ended up smaller than either the House or Senate had proposed.

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More -

Did Reid roll Pelosi? - "Reid went before the cameras Wednesday to announce a stimulus deal before Pelosi had agreed on all the details of school construction financing. ... 'He tried to roll her and she knew it.'"

Will Any Other Republicans Support the Stimulus Deal? - "In the Senate, possible GOP switchers include George Voinovich (Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Richard Lugar (Ind.) while in the House Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.), Mike Castle (Del.) and Jim Gerlach (Pa.) are potential switches"

Stimulus Support Edges Higher, Now 59% - +7 points bitches!

Source: Collins Strips Stim Bill Of Whistleblower Protections - "Collins... has been talking a good game about the need to avoid wasting taxpayer money. But it looks like Collins also worked today to strip from the final bill a measure that's crucial to exposing that waste."

Peanut Company Executives Take the 5th

Peanut Co. owner refuses to testify to Congress

See the jar, the congressman challenged Stewart Parnell, holding up a container of the peanut seller's products and asking if he'd dare eat them. Parnell pleaded the Fifth.

The owner of the peanut company at the heart of the massive salmonella recall refused to answer the lawmaker's questions — or any others — Wednesday about the bacteria-tainted products he defiantly told employees to ship to some 50 manufacturers of cookies, crackers and ice cream.

"Turn them loose," Parnell had told his plant manager in an internal e-mail disclosed at the House hearing.
The e-mail referred to products that once were deemed contaminated but were cleared in a second test last year.
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Obama: This doesn't work, I lose

FT. MYERS, Fla. – Three weeks after being sworn in, President Barack Obama acknowledged in plain terms Tuesday that his prospects for winning a second term may depend on the whether he can revive the nation’s plummeting economy.

“I’m not going to make any excuses,” Obama said at a town hall meeting here, in perhaps the most pivotal political state in America. “If stuff hasn’t worked, if people don’t feel like I’ve led the country in the right direction then you’ll have a new president.”

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Happy Darwin Day

Support grows to make Darwin Day a holiday
By Ian Dunt Skip

Support is growing in parliament for Darwin Day to be made a bank holiday.

An early day motion by Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has now received support from 65 MPs from all parties – although predominantly Labour and Liberal Democrats.

Talking to politics.co.uk Mr Kumar said he had tried to raise the matter during yesterday's prime minister's questions but the Speaker failed to pick him.

"There has been talk for a while about another bank holiday and the government is still deciding on a particular day," he said.

"We need a new bank holiday, especially if you compare us with our European counterparts. So this is a gentle push to say to the government 'how about celebrating Darwin?'"

The motion, EDM 377, reads: "That this House notes the extraordinary achievements of Charles Darwin; notes that 2009 marks both the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species; welcomes proposals for the creation of a Darwin Day in recognition of the ground-breaking work of the British scientist responsible for the theory of evolution by natural selection; and calls for Darwin's birthday, 12 February, to be designated a public holiday in honour of one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."

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Source is Yahoo News, UK

There's been a push for this in America. It may catch on in some cities or maybe even a state, but I don't see anything nationwide.

I hope in celebration of this event everyone is evolving new and exciting traits to occupy their niche.
David Thewlis - Deer in headlights

O'Reilly Defends Calling Helen Thomas "Wicked Witch Of The East"

Bill O'Reilly's top story tonight on his Fox News show was devoted to defending remarks he made calling legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas the "wicked witch of the east" and suggesting that if he were Obama, he "would've poured water on her, and she'd dissolve."

One group which criticized him was the Women's Media Center, and a representative for the organization, Courtney Martin, appeared on the "O'Reilly Factor" to explain her criticism.

O'Reilly defended himself by saying it was clear he was just joking and making fun of her voice, which he believes sounds like that of a wicked witch. Martin replied that he was using an old cliche, women as witches, to be funny, and that the sexist charge still applies because Thomas is about as serious a reporter as one can be, and her voice is irrelevant in any kind of criticism of her work.

The lengthy debate turned to Saturday Night Live and Sarah Palin, with O'Reilly accusing Martin and her organization of being hypocrites for coming to the aid of Thomas but not Palin. O'Reilly, who managed to restrain himself for most of the interview, let loose near the end, yelling that Martin and the Women's Media Center "are being used by the left to do this nonsense."