February 12th, 2009


It Couldn't Happen Here

PARIS--Most Americans don't care what happens in France. But the oldest country in "Old Europe" remains the Western world's intellectual capital and one of its primary originators of political trends. (Google "May+1968+Sorbonne.")

The French are reacting to a situation almost identical to ours--economic collapse, government impotence, corporate corruption--by turning hard left. National strikes and massive demonstrations are occurring every few weeks. How far left? This far: the late president François Mitterand's Socialist Party, the rough equivalent of America's Greens, is considered too conservative to solve the economic crisis.

A new poll by the Parisian daily Libération finds 53 percent of French voters (68 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds) favoring "radical social change." Fifty-seven percent want France to insulate itself from the global economic system. Does this mean revolution? It's certainly possible. Or maybe counter-revolution: Jean-Marie Le Pen's nativist (some would say neofascist) National Front is also picking up points.

One thing is certain: French politics are even more volatile than the financial markets these days. In yet another indication of How Far Left?, the Communist-aligned CGT labor union is on the defensive for not being militant enough. "We're not going to put out the blazing fires [of the economic crisis]," the CGT's secretary general said, trying to seize the initiative by calling for another strike on February 18th. "We're going to fan them."

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US 'lost track of Afghan weapons'

The Pentagon admits that there are failures tracking weaponry

The US military has failed to keep track of thousands of weapons shipped to Afghanistan, leaving them vulnerable to being lost or stolen, a report says.

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This isn't surprising, given the state of the Gitmo records, but it is disappointing that that the US government was kind of handing out guns to whoever like 'oh, that dude looks legit, let's give him a ak-47.' Honestly, why don't just they come out and say that the Iraq War was just a way to make money for Halliburton and the like and they were totally cool for it to go on for years. Lets not forget that Bush is amigos with all those folks who think a big war in the middle east + a shit ton of dead jews and muslims = Jesus comes back. I'm not a theologian, but wasn't Jesus like a big hippy?

I don't know. Either the Bush regime was allergic to paperwork... or this is all just part of Dick Cheney's incompetent master plan to take over the world. :(
Puppy chillin
  • 0405

1,694 days later.. Dad has ‘beautiful’ reunion with boy whose mother abducted him to Brazil.

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Choking back tears that had been building up for more than four and a half years, a New Jersey father tried to describe the emotions he felt at finally being able to hold and hug his son and tell the boy how much he loved him.

“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since his birth. It was incredible. Amazing. I got to see my son,” David Goldman told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira Tuesday by phone from Brazil.

The previous day, accompanied by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, Goldman had finally reached the end of a nightmare that began in June 2004 when his wife, Bruna, left with their son, Sean, for a two-week trip to visit family in her native Brazil. She never came back.

In all the years since, Goldman had traveled to Brazil numerous times hoping to see his son, but all the contact he was allowed to have consisted of a few brief phone calls.

International dispute
A New Jersey court ruled that Bruna had to return Sean to New Jersey for a custody hearing. But despite international law and treaties between the United States and Brazil that upheld the court ruling, Bruna refused to either return or to give up custody of the boy. Instead, she divorced Goldman in a legal proceeding that violated international law, and married an influential Brazilian attorney.

Then, last August, Bruna died while giving birth to a child by her new husband. After her death, that husband petitioned a Brazilian court to take Goldman’s name off his own son’s birth certificate.

Although the system seemed stacked against him, Goldman never gave up. Finally, with the help of Smith, the New Jersey congressman who accompanied Goldman to Brazil, father and son were reunited for a visit on Monday.

“After all this time I got to see him, walk over to him and hug him and tell him how much I love him and how much I miss him and how joyful it was to be with him,” Goldman said.

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NEW Details Emerge In Killing of Lawrence King

Today is the anniversary of gay teen Lawrence King's murder by fellow classmate Brandon McInerney. Yesterday the prosecutor in the case revealed that according to students, King was not, in fact, sexually harassing McInerney.
Lawrence "Larry" King wasn't sexually harassing fellow eighth-grade student Brandon McInerney in the weeks leading up to King's shooting death, prosecutors contend in court documents. McInerney was the aggressor, teasing the effeminate King for weeks and vowing to "get a gun and shoot" him, according to a prosecution brief. Multiple students provided accounts of a growing hostility between the two boys, the document shows. Witnesses said King was usually not the aggressor. But after months of teasing by McInerney and other male students who called him "faggot," he had began to retort, according to prosecutors.

The day before the shooting, the two boys were bickering during seventh period. When King left, a student witness said that McInerney commented, "I'm going to shoot him." Just after that class, another student heard King say "I love you" to McInerney as they passed in a hallway. The same student then heard McInerney say he was "going to get a gun and shoot" King, according to prosecutors. A few minutes later, prosecutors allege, McInerney told one of King's friends: "Say goodbye to your friend Larry because you're never going to see him again."

The prosecution brief also reveals for the first time that McInerney was familiar with firearms, and that he had used that particular weapon in the past during target shooting with his family. Investigators found a training video in his possession titled "Shooting in Realistic Environments," as well as skinhead and neo-Nazi books and similar writings from the Internet, prosecutors wrote. "I had to tell the court what we knew at the time the decision was made to file in adult court," Fox said. "So that's what I did."
Memorials for Lawrence King are planned for today. Brandon McInerney is scheduled to be tried as an adult, despite pleas from a broad coalition of LGBT and progressive groups that he be tried in juvenile court.

  • cindel

Banks Racing To Pay Back Bailout Funds After Congressional Lashing

Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley may decide after enduring yesterday’s congressional hearing that the old Troubled Asset Relief Program is more trouble than it’s worth.

Eight chief executive officers of the biggest U.S. banks heard lawmakers in Washington criticize their bonuses, underwriting fees and perks. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, read questions from angry constituents asking what banks did with money they’d taken from the $700 billion TARP fund, and Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he “cannot believe no one has prosecuted you.”
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hat lasso

Global Economic Crisis still not Universal

We all know the current economic mess has caused recession, if not depression, in the USA, Iceland, Germany, Russia, India, China, France, etc. But I'm trying to find the light.

So this morning I read that economists are wondering if Poland is immune to the market collapse.

I know I'm in Canada. We have 6 charter banks all in sound financial condition and said to be able to weather this storm. But who knows, as we're very dependent on America's economic health.
Still Mark Carney, seem to predict Canada to rebound later this year.

Randomly picking countries, looking for good economic news, I first picked Peru as it just seems isolated enough in my mind. Peru doesn't look so bad, as far as most reports go.

Encouraged I thought I would look up wealthy Kuwait, as I havn't heard much from there recently. I suppose it makes perfect sense that the low oil prices have to hit all oil producers. But I can't see oil demand (and therefore prices) being down for long. When world reserves dry up the Gulf states should bounce back rather quickly.

South Africa is predicting hard times ahead. Still It's taken a while for South Africa to feel it, which is a good thing.

Looking further, I found decently immune economies in Ukraine, Slovakia, some in Africa and South America. It seems that nations who are doing relatively well so far have in common is a highly regulated banking system and a previously (up to now) robust economy.

Time is running out

Obama 'must act now' on climate

The planet will be in "huge trouble" unless Barack Obama makes strides in tackling climate change, says a leading scientist.

Prof James McCarthy spoke on the eve of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which he heads.

The US president has just four years to save the planet, said Prof McCarthy.


If major policy changes do not happen within Mr Obama's term of office, they will not happen at all, he warned.

"We have a moment right now of extraordinary opportunity, with a new president, positioned with scientific leadership that has known no equal in recent times," the AAAS president told BBC News.

"The calibre of scientific advice that is close to this man is truly exceptional.

"If in his first term, in the next four years, we don't make significant progress in these areas, then I think the planet is in huge trouble.

"Without US leadership, which has been sorely lacking, we will not get to where we need to be."




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Stock ⇒ Heart
  • rose

Courts rule that vaccines do not cause Autism.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A special court ruled Thursday that evidence presented in three cases by parents of children with autism did not prove a link between autism and certain early childhood vaccines.
A second "special master" ruled that Yates Hazlehurst, pictured with his mother, is not entitled to compensation.

The ruling came from a panel of "special masters" who began hearing three test cases in 2007 involving children with autism -- a disorder that their parents contend was triggered by the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella combined with vaccines containing thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury.

Three families -- the Cedillos, the Hazelhursts and the Snyders -- sought compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, but the panel ruled that they had not presented sufficient evidence to prove that the childhood vaccines caused autism in their children.

"I feel deep sympathy and admiration for the Cedillo family," Special Master George L. Hastings Jr. wrote in his ruling in the case involving 14-year-old Michelle Cedillo, who cannot speak, wears a diaper and requires round-the-clock monitoring in case she has a seizure.

"And I have no doubt that the families of countless other autistic children, families that cope every day with the tremendous challenges of caring for autistic children, are similarly deserving of sympathy and admiration. However, I must decide this case not on sentiment, but by analyzing the evidence," Hastings wrote. "In this case the evidence advanced by the petitioners has fallen far short of demonstrating such a link."

In a statement shortly after the release of the decisions, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it continues to support research "to better understand the cause of autistic disorders and develop more effective methods of treatment."

However, "the medical and scientific communities ... have found no association between vaccines and autism."

"Hopefully, the determination by the Special Masters will help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism," the statement said.

Since 2001, thousands of parents of autistic children have filed petitions seeking compensation from the VICP at HHS.

By mid-2008, more than 5,300 cases had been filed in the program -- and 5,000 of those were still awaiting adjudication, according to the agency. Video Watch Dr. Gupta discuss how court reached its decision »

A litigation steering committee is representing thousands of families that fall into three categories: those that claim that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine can combine with thimerosal-containing vaccines to cause autism; those who claim thimerosal-containing vaccines alone can cause autism; and those who claim that MMR vaccines, without any link to thimerosal, can cause autism.

Prior to the release of Thursday's rulings, an attorney for the families, Thomas Powers, said the expected rulings would affect only the families that fall under the first category.



Although, Britney > Bitch

http://www.stopjenny.com/ - do it ladiessssss.
' jules
  • schmiss

*Law & Order CHUNG-CHUNG sound*

Poll: Most want inquiry into anti-terror tactics

Even as Americans struggle with two wars and an economy in tatters, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds majorities in favor of investigating some of the thorniest unfinished business from the Bush administration: Whether its tactics in the "war on terror" broke the law.

Close to two-thirds of those surveyed said there should be investigations into allegations that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants. Almost four in 10 favor criminal investigations and about a quarter want investigations without criminal charges. One-third said they want nothing to be done.

Even more people want action on alleged attempts by the Bush team to use the Justice Department for political purposes. Four in 10 favored a criminal probe, three in 10 an independent panel, and 25% neither.

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I know some people would oppose a non-criminal inquiry but it seems the best option to me. Something for Brent Scowcroft to do maybe?

M.I.A. writes about Sri Lankan conflict (1/09)

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Defeating terrorism must not be at cost of civilian killings - MIA

by Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam

While there is no room in the world for terrorist organizations, their defeat cannot come at the expense of thousands of innocent civilian lives.

The greatest failing of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” is not its inability to meet its prime objectives (e.g. capturing Osama Bin Laden, eradicating the threat of WMDS in Iraq, and removing Al Qaeda from Afghanistan). Rather, it is that America has given credibility to the act and the notion of pursuing terrorists at all costs.

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She openly condemns the LTTE in this article and yet she's still accused of being a Tiger sympathizer. Hmm.
' jules
  • schmiss



Citing stimulus package, census plan for withdrawl


More from HuffPo:

New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg has withdrawn his nomination to serve as President Obama's Commerce Secretary. His full statement:

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I feel bad for whatever sap thought s/he was getting to be NH's replacement Senator. HA HA. Also, Gregg: dead or most dead in 2010?

Palin pans fake Planned Parenthood e-mail campaign


(02/11/09 20:58:05)

Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday called an e-mail pitch in her name for Planned Parenthood that ran wild on the Internet during the presidential campaign "great theater." But she said it wouldn't change her view that "every life is precious."

Planned Parenthood wasn't behind the effort, but the e-mails asking for donations spread rapidly in September and October and ended up generating more than $1 million for the organization nationwide, said Clover Simon, Alaska vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.

During a press conference Wednesday, the governor was asked about the push for donations "in honor of Sarah Palin" last fall. Palin, who strongly opposes abortion, was running for vice president on the Republican ticket. The matter had remained dormant since the heat of the campaign, but a television reporter brought it up again.

"I have boxes of thank-you notes from people associated with Planned Parenthood thanking me for the donations. Same with some anti-hunting groups, they're doing the same thing right now. It's political theater -- it's great theater I guess for some," Palin said.

"But on the issue of Planned Parenthood and abortion, at least Planned Parenthood, officials there and, I, we agree on a mission here that we'd like to see fewer and fewer abortions. And I, embracing the culture of life, have perhaps a different approach in how I would like to see that goal reached," Palin said.

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I'm sad that she still hasn't learned English. :(

  • bispo

(no subject)

In recent days, several of President Bush’s closest advisers have been attacking President Obama. Vice Preisdent Cheney, for example, said that there was “a high probability” of a WMD attack if Bush’s policies were reversed, and former chief of staff Andy Card said that Obama has turned the White House into a “locker room” because he isn’t requiring staff to wear jackets at all times. Axelrod sharply responds to the “tasteless” criticisms in a new interview with the Washington Post:
I was disappointed in the Vice President’s comments, not because he said–stated the obvious which is that there are threats that are grave, but that he suggested that somehow the President’s decisions on torture in Guantanamo would increase the likelihood of that. […]
You know, the last thing that I think we’re looking for at this juncture is advice on fiscal integrity or ethics from Karl Rove., anyone who’s read the newspapers for the last eight years would laugh at that.
So, I appreciate that President Bush has been so classy during this period, and I’m disappointed that some of the folks who worked for him didn’t–don’t share that. […]

I mentioned Andy Card saying that we were somehow denigrating the Presidency because people were wearing short sleeves in the Oval Office. We’re wearing short sleeves because we have to roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess that we inherited.

What the eff, Florida?

A gay Key West man who adopted the child he had raised for years now faces a legal Catch 22 in trying to obtain financial benefits for the boy.

 Wayne Larue Smith, left, and partner Daniel Skahen hug their son. Smith wants an adoption subsidy from the state.
Wayne Larue Smith, left, and partner Daniel Skahen hug their son. Smith wants an adoption subsidy from the state.


Wayne LaRue Smith wanted to ensure that the foster child he was raising wouldn't be taken from him, so he sought permanent guardianship. He really wanted to adopt the boy, but under a 32-year-old Florida law that bans adoption by gay people, that seemed out of the question.

Now, two years later, Smith faces a legal Catch 22. In August, a Key West judge declared the state's gay adoption law unconstitutional, allowing Smith to adopt his foster son. But state child welfare administrators have declined to provide the boy a host of financial benefits available to foster kids who are adopted.

Their reason: Because the boy was already in a guardianship, he was no longer a foster child when he was adopted.

''We have never granted an adoption subsidy in a guardianship case,'' Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon said.

Smith suspects there's another reason: He was the first gay Florida man in almost two decades to legally adopt a child from state care. Though state officials did not oppose the adoption, they strongly contested a similar case that prompted a Miami judge to declare the 1977 adoption law unconstitutional in November.


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The comments on the article.

Minnesota School District Reverses Homophobic Policy

For more than a decade, the Anoka-Hennepin School Board had a policy that forbade teachers and students from speaking about homosexuality, except to describe it as abnormal or invalid. But the board Monday approved a more inclusive policy after years of work by community members to make the district more accepting of all students.

The old policy, enacted in 1995, read, “Homosexuality [will] not be taught/addressed as a normal, valid lifestyle.” The policy originally applied just to health classes but eventually came to pervade all aspects of class instruction and extracurricular activities. The board’s  vote to eliminate the policy earned praise from GLBT groups.


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&#39; jules
  • schmiss


Axelrod: This White House Won't Be Pushed Around By Market

In an interview with the Washington Post's Lois Romano, David Axelrod, President Obama's Senior Adviser, acknowledged the "bumpy" rollout of the financial rescue plan but defended the package itself.

"Well, I think it was a bumpy rollout because Wall Street was hoping for a complete answer to some really complex and expensive problems, and what Secretary Geithner laid out didn't meet those expectations, but he laid out a strategy that we think is going to work," Axelrod said. "In the coming weeks, he'll lay out tactics to support that strategy, and people will know exactly what's expected of them and what our role will be as a government."

Romano brought up the stock market drop that followed Geithner's announcement. "We can't set our clock according to reactions on the market, we take a long-range view" of what's necessary, Axelrod replied. Romano asked whether a "one day drop and a one day story" can drive the White House. "It can drive a White House. It may not drive ours," Axelrod answered.

  • schmiss


IA-Gov, IA-05: King Considers Gube Bid

Callin' out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?
Rep. Steve King (R) is looking at a bid for governor in 2010, according to multiple local news sources. On a weekly public TV show taping this week, King said he was not sure whether he would challenge Gov. Chet Culver (D) but was looking at his options. "There's a duty for me, I think. I've made no decisions," King said on the program, according to the Associated Press. "It would be constructive for me at this point to say that the most important job right now is to bring together and reunify the Republican Party in this state."
Summer's here and the time is right for dancin' in the streets!

Fun fact: John McCain carried King's 5th CD by a 54-44 margin last November.


For the ~uninitiated~ this is the man behind such gems as:

"I will tell you that, if [Obama] is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror."

"My wife lives here with me, and I can tell you… she’s at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C., than an average civilian in Iraq."

"I think that if Barbara Lee would read the history of Joe McCarthy, she would realize that he was a hero for America."

“What amounts to hazing [in Abu Ghraib] is not even in the same ballpark as mass murder.”

"Unicorns, leprechauns, gay marriages in Iowa — these are all things you will never find because they just don’t exist. But perhaps Judge Neary would grant divorces to unicorns and leprechauns, too."

To Win, The GOP Must Outsource Itself

To Win, The GOP Must Outsource Itself

It's not Obama's charisma, or past missteps that are keeping the Republican Party in the wilderness. To come back, the GOP needs to take a page from the Democratic ground game.

It seems like only yesterday. In 1994 Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, and retook the U.S. Senate after nearly a decade of Democratic control. Republicans were also riding high in governorships and state legislatures. Now, Democrats have an absolute lock on Washington for the foreseeable future, and the takeover in the states has been less publicized but just as dramatic. The GOP controls both state houses in just 14 states while the Democrats control both in 27. Governors are now tied at 25 apiece when just four years ago Republicans had a huge 32–18 margin.
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