March 11th, 2009

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Jon Stewart Slams Jim Cramer, Whole NBC Family (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart Slams Jim Cramer, Whole NBC Family (follow link for video)

After Tuesday night's "Daily Show," Jim Cramer just may be regretting his sarcastic response - "A comedian's attacking me! Wow! He runs a variety show!" - to Jon Stewart's criticism.

Almost as biting as his original video montage critique of CNBC, Stewart unleashed an epic attack on Cramer and the whole NBC family for using their various networks as a platform for Cramer's rebuttal.

Stewart repeatedly showed Cramer making absurd and ridiculous noises while hosting his show, "Mad Money," highlighting the remarkable similarities between the program and a wacky variety show.
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Walter Kovacs could have kicked John Galt's ass



Rorschach Doesn't Shrug: The Watchmen's hero as Objectivist saint - Reason Magazine

Brian Doherty | March 6, 2009

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains significant plot and denouement revelations regarding the graphic novel and movie Watchmen.

The moral center of Watchmen, both the original graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and the new, much-discussed movie based on it premiering today, is a curious and prickly masked vigilante who goes by the name Rorschach.

The surface meaning of the name is visually obvious—his mask contains swirling black blots on white that remind one of the psychological testing mechanism. But applied to his character, the name is both appropriate and ironic.

It’s appropriate in that the character is obsessed with stark duality—black and white—and ironic in that the mushy “it’s whatever you see” vagueness opposes his very definite vision of what’s what in the world: There are good guys and bad guys, and the bad guys deserve to get it, good and hard. Rorschach’s mission, from which he will not diverge, is to give it to them, no matter what the demands of law, government, or social mores. He lives by his objective understanding of right and wrong.

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See, in spite of how much I hate Ayn Rand and Objectivism alike, THIS is why I find Rorschach to be such a compelling and worthwhile character.

Well, that, and the fact that he's a total bad-ass, who kicks all kinds of ass.

ETA: Again, I can't condone Objectivism, but I find it less objectionable in a character like Rorschach than in ones like John Galt or Howard Roark, because a) Rorschach actually suffers from the realistic consequences of never compromising his Objectivist ideals, unlike Randian Marty Stus like Galt and Roark, who are only hated by the sort of people that Rand desperately WANTED to have hating her, and both of whom are ultimately rewarded and vindicated for every single thing they've ever done, no matter how objectionable, and b) the only other people who truly suffer as a result of Rorschach's actions are those who arguably Had It Coming - as in, people who have, at the very least, committed ACTUAL crimes, as opposed to those characters who committed the mere THOUGHTcrime of disagreeing with Rand's worldview - characters whom Galt and Roark variously abuse, rape, bankrupt and murder without any remorse. I guess what I'm saying is, it's a lot easier for me as a reader to admire a character's strengths when the author has already openly and honestly acknowledged that same character's considerable flaws. Indeed, if I recall correctly, Moore himself wound up taking a bit of a shine to Rorschach, in spite of his own significant objections to the character's beliefs and actions (and especially to the fanbase that the character created).
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Boston Globe: Ready to act on healthcare

LAST WEEK, President Obama took a bold step on healthcare: He brought together a wide array of people who have a stake in the healthcare system with the people who have the ability to change it.

Some have suggested that we should put off fixing the system because times are tough; that we can't afford to tackle healthcare until we fix the economy. The reality is that if we want to fix the economy, we can't afford not to tackle healthcare.

As the president said in his opening remarks Thursday, "Healthcare reform is no longer just a moral imperative, it is a fiscal imperative. If we want to create jobs and rebuild our economy, then we must address the crushing cost of healthcare this year, in this administration."

Exploding costs are bankrupting families and burdening businesses, dragging down state and local budgets, and piling up our national debt. The time to act is now.

Reform won't be easy. Obama acknowledged that his predecessors - beginning with President Teddy Roosevelt - had tried unsuccessfully to tackle this issue. But he also offered his belief that this time it will be different: "This time, there is no debate about whether all Americans should have quality, affordable healthcare - the only question is how."

As a participant in the 1993-'94 health reform effort, I can say that this time, it feels different already.

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Nancy-Ann DeParle is director of the White House Office for Health Reform.
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Vitter went ‘ballistic on an airline worker,’ then ‘fled the scene’ before security arrived.

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Last week, scandal-plagued Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) went “ballistic on an airline worker after missing a flight from Washington’s Dulles airport to New Orleans.” After arriving just 20 minutes before the plane was scheduled to depart, Vitter gave the airline employee who denied him entrance to the already closed gate “an earful, employing the timeworn ‘do-you-know-who-I-am’ tirade that apparently grew quite heated.” But when the employee left to find a security guard, Vitter “simply fled the scene”:
Vitter, according to the witness, remained defiant, yelling that the employee could call the police if he wanted to and their supervisors, who, presumably, might be more impressed with his Senator’s pin.
But after talking a huffy big game, Vitter apparently thought better of pushing the confrontation any further. When the gate attendant left to find a security guard, Vitter turned tail and simply fled the scene.
(HT: Raw Story)
feminazi

Please Excuse Me While I Throw Up

Disabled forced to fight in Corpus Christi school

State officials ordered the immediate suspension of admissions to Corpus Christi State School on Tuesday after a police investigation revealed at least 11 employees had forced profoundly mentally-disabled men to engage in video “fight club”-like battles at the facility.

 

In the fights, filmed with a camera phone, male residents can be seen pushing, shoving and punching one another as employees encouraged them to continue. A mentally-disabled man in one scene can be seen raising his hands in victory after winning, said Corpus Christi Police Capt. Tim Wilson.

Wilson said the cell phone, turned in March 3 to an off-duty officer, contained images dating back to 2007.

 

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I really have no words for this. Time and time again I tell myself 'Okay, there has to be a limit to all the dumb, illegal, or just plain wrong shit that goes down in this state.' And time and time again, I am proven wrong.

Why am I even surprised? It's the perfect storm of a total lack of oversight, poorly trained and underpaid staff, and a state governemnt that has demonstrated time and again that they don't give a flying fuck about our most vulnerable citizens. It's like Texas Youth Commission Part II: Now Even More Shocking and Offensive.

 

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Jim Cramer Shorting Stocks, Manipulating Markets, Saying The SEC Doesn't Understand

Jim Cramer Shorting Stocks, Manipulating Markets, Saying The SEC Doesn't Understand

In light of the current economic crisis, and with the hullabaloo ignited recently by Jon Stewart over the accuracy of CNBC's reporting, we thought it might be useful to revisit this shocking 2006 interview Jim Cramer gave to TheStreet.com's Aaron Task.

In it, the host of Mad Money says he regularly manipulated the market when he ran his hedge fund. He calls it "a fun game, and it's a lucrative game." He suggests all hedge fund managers do the same. "No one else in the world would ever admit that, but I could care. I am not going to say it on TV," he quips in the video.

He also calls Wall Street Journal reporters "bozos" and says behaving illegally is okay because the SEC doesn't understand it anyway.
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cant wait for Jon to tear him a new one...

At least nine dead in gunman rampage in German school.


At least nine people have been killed in a school in southern Germany by a gunman wearing black combat clothing.

Police said the man opened fire at the secondary school in Winnenden near Stuttgart.

A spokeswoman said: "We have at least nine dead and numerous injured."

Police, rescue workers and fire fighters are at the scene and the school has been evacuated.

German television said the killer had fled in the direction of the centre of Winnenden town.

Several school shootings have shocked Germany over the past few years.

In 2006, a masked man wearing explosives and brandishing rifles opened fire at a school in the western German town of Emsdetten, wounding at least 11 people before committing suicide.

In April 2002, Germany suffered its worst school shooting when a gunman killed 17 people, including himself, at a high school in the eastern city of Erfurt.

<a href="http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090311/twl-nine-killed-in-german-school-shootin-41f21e0.html">Source</a>

Martha

Mugabe Refuses To Give Doctor Who Tapes Back To BBC

Photobucket


LONG-lost Doctor Who episodes thought to be hidden away in Zimbabwe may never be recovered because despot Robert Mugabe hates the UK.
BBC investigators believe the troubled nation holds some of the early episodes of the cult series which are still missing.

But tyrant President Mugabe has banned the Beeb from setting foot in his country. And diplomatic relations are also extremely tense — meaning researchers are unable to get into the nation’s TV vaults.

The BBC destroyed early episodes of the sci-fi series in the late Sixties and Seventies to make room in its film library for new programmes.

But Zimbabwe is understood to have bought the first season of the show when it was still a British colony known as Rhodesia. It starred William Hartnell and ran from 1963 to 1964. The Beeb suspects the historic series, together with later episodes not held anywhere else in the world, may still be locked away

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I'm pretty sure that Mugabe is a Slitheen, not a Dalek.


SOURCES: ONTD and here
RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

Already? But Christmas is 9 months away! Santa must really love me then.

Draft Palin Effort Begins In A Denny's In West Haven
March 11, 2009 09:33 AM

History will show that the starting point of the grassroots movement to draft Sarah Palin as president began at a Denny's Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut.

On Tuesday evening, the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee -- operating independent of any candidate or political organization -- held its first meeting to gin up support for the Alaska Governor's White House run.

The group, which is planning more events in the future, claims to be the first in the nation to fundraise on behalf of a theoretical Palin candidacy. That advocacy for the conservative Alaskan extends into firmly Democratic Connecticut underscores the political clout Palin earned among hard-core conservatives during the 2008 campaign. But it's hard to imagine that Palin plays well in broader New England.

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Wall Street loves the Employee Free Choice Act.

Today, Wall Street rallied behind news that the Employee Free Choice Act legislation was re-introduced to Congress by Rep. George Miller and Sen. Tom Harkin.

Buoyed by the prospects of greater unionization pumping billions of dollars into the hands of consumers and providing broad economic benefits, the Street swung sharply upwards, with the Dow closing up more than 379 points.

At least, by the logic of the financial prognosticators on cable news, this would be a reasonable conclusion to draw.

Lightly Crossposted, h/t to Think Progress
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Chuck Norris wants to lead a rebellion; Neverbeeneasy gets contact embarrassment

Source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-3580-0-21-21--.html

Chuck Norris claims thousands of right wing cell groups exist and will rebel against U.S. government

The call by some right wing leaders for rebellion and for the military to refuse the commander in chief’s orders is joined by Chuck Norris who claims that thousands of right wing cell groups have organized and are ready for a second American Revolution. During an appearance on the Glen Beck radio show he promised that if things get any worse from his point of view he may “run for president of Texas.” The martial artist/actor/activist claims that Texas was never formally a part of the United States in the first place and that if rebellion is to come through secession Texas would lead the way.

Today in his syndicated column on WorldNetDaily Norris reiterates the point: “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”

He continues; calling on a second American Revolution; “…we've bastardized the First Amendment, reinterpreted America's religious history and secularized our society until we ooze skepticism and circumvent religion on every level of public and private life.

How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution? We the people have the authority according to America's Declaration of Independence, which states: That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

Norris claims that; “Thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation.” The right wing cells will meet during a live telecast, "We Surround Them," on Friday March 13 at 5 p.m.

He closes with the words of Sam Houston followed by a plug for his next martial arts event.

“We view ourselves on the eve of battle."



I just

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&#39; jules

Almost heaven, West Virginia~

The Happiest States of America



Want to be live among the happiest Americans? Move to Utah.

People in Utah report the highest levels of well-being, according to recent survey results from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. West Virginia had the lowest score.

The index attempts to “measure what it is that people believe constitutes a good life, who is feeling good about life, and who is in need of a helping hand.” In general, the states where people reported feeling better about life were located primarily in the West, and lower well-being states were clustered in the Midwest and the South:



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The Full List:
1. Utah
2. Hawaii
3. Wyoming
4. Colorado
5. Minnesota
6. Maryland
7. Washington
8. Massachusetts
9. California
10. Arizona
11. Idaho
12. Montana
13. New Hampshire
14. Vermont
15. Virginia
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Minnesota in the top 5, ftw :D
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Racism: The Cancer that Slowly Consumes Our Very Souls

Filed by: Wyatt O'Brian Evans

March 10, 2009 2:00 PM

                      In the early 1990's, I viewed a fascinating PBS series on racism conducted by Frances Cress Welsing, the distinguished African-American behavioral scientist and general and child psychiatrist practicing in Washington, D.C. Famous for her "Cress Theory of Color Confrontation," which explores the practice of racism (white supremacy), she's the author of "The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors."

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Strolling through CNN's "Black in America"

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Gay Civil Rights, Black Civil Rights: Simpatico?

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Shirley Q. Liquor: That (Very) Cheap Shot of Cheaper Booze
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White Gay Racism: Taboo and too Hot to Handle?

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The (Near) Invisibility Of Us All--(I'm Talkin' About Blacks Here)

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McClurkin, "Liquor"--White GLBTIs Should Just Say "NO" to both Poisonous Concoctions.


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Can't We All--Black and White GLBTIs--Play Together?

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Source with some pictures and stuff.

 

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Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston Split Up: Tabloid

Gov. Sarah Palin's office on Wednesday refused to comment on a report that the Palin's daughter Bristol Palin had broken off her engagement with fiancé Levi Johnston.

According to Star magazine, 18-year-old Bristol Palin and Johnston are no longer together:

Now's Levi's sister, Mercede is telling all exclusively to Star and the picture she paints of life in Wasilla, Alaska is not a pretty one. Bristol, 18, has virtually cut Levi out of the life of their two-month-old son Tripp.


"Levi tries to visit Tripp every single day, but Bristol makes it nearly impossible. She tells him he can't take the baby to our house because she doesn't want him around 'white trash'!" Bristol won't even allow him to watch the baby for a few hours -- unless he's babysitting!

Mercede also told Star: "Bristol's just crazy. That's the nicest way I can put it. She and Levi actually broke up a while ago!"

"That's not state business," Abbey Bulawa, an aide to Gov. Palin, told the Huffington Post. "We don't comment on the governor's children."

In an interview last month with FOX's Greta Van Susteren, Bristol said Levi is "a hands-on dad" who sees his son every day. She also said they planned to get married once they were done with school.

Palin's son Tripp was born on December 29, 2008.

A breakup would be additionally unfortunate for Levi as he has "Bristol" tattooed on his ring finger.

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Ten die in Alabama shooting spree // Deadly shooting at German school

Ten die in Alabama shooting spree


A gunman has killed at least nine people in a series of shootings across two towns in the southern US state of Alabama before killing himself.

Officials say there were at least four separate shooting incidents.

The gunman fired on homes, a petrol station, shops and vehicles in Samson and Geneva near the Florida border.

Five people - including a child - were killed in one home. Several of the victims are believed to have been members of the gunman's family.

The gunman has not been formally identified, but was named in the local press as Michael McLendon.

The bloodshed began when the suspect is thought to have burned down a house where he lived with his mother in Kinston, near Samson, local coroner Robert Preachers told the Associated Press news agency.

Officials said they had not been able to get inside the house to determine a cause of death and determine whether the woman was the 10th victim of the killing spree.

More at the source

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Deadly shooting at German school


At least 11 people have been killed in a shooting at a school in south-west Germany, officials say.

Most of the dead are thought to have been pupils at the Albertville secondary school in Winnenden, north of Stuttgart.

The gunman, who was said to be wearing black combat gear, is thought to be a 17-year-old former pupil.

There are conflicting reports as to fate of the gunman, who fled the school into the centre of town.

There are unconfirmed reports that he has been shot and wounded, either by police or by himself. An earlier report said he had been arrested. Seems he's dead now. Source at the bottom.

State police chief Konrad Jelden in Stuttgart said the dead included 10 students and one adult, the Associated Press news agency reported. The chief reporter of the Stuttgart Journal newspaper, Kevin Latzel, told the BBC that there was a lot of confusion at the scene of the shooting.

"It's very horrible... the parents are crying, the pupils are crying and a lot of police is there and nobody knows really what happened," he said. "They are very afraid, the pupils are calling their parents and the parents they want to pick [them] up but they can't do this, the parents they are not allowed to get into the classrooms," he added.

The attack is reported to have begun at about 0945 (0845 GMT).

The gunman "went into the school with a weapon and carried out a bloodbath", regional police chief Erwin Hetger said, the Associated Press news agency reported.

"I've never seen anything like this in my life," he said.

Witnesses said students jumped from the windows of the school after the gunman opened fire.

About 1,000 children are thought to attend the school, in the town some 20km (12 miles) north-east of Stuttgart.

Source

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At break time a colleague asked me if I'd heard about the guy who'd shot 10 people this morning. I went "yeah, sure, heard it on the radio when I was getting up". And he said "no, not that one - the other one, at this German school".
WTF!

Apparently the German shooter is now dead as well.
Deadly German source
spike gone

"My Name is LadyPeyton and I'm an Atheist-a-holic..."

Atheist Sauce

The Silent Minority


Cenk Uygur

There is a minority group in America that is a bigger percentage of the country than blacks or Hispanics. But they are often ignored or derided in public. Almost no politician would ever admit to being one. And they are given no voice in the public arena.

They are the non-religious. A new comprehensive study by The Program on Public Values at Trinity College shows that this group is now a whopping 15% of the country. Mormons by comparison are a puny 1.4% of the population, and people can't shut up about the Mormons. The Senate Majority Leader is a Mormon, one of the top Republican presidential candidates was Mormon and even HBO has a whole show devoted to them.

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It'll be interesting to see if this statistic changes public discourse in politics, but 15% is nothing to sneeze at and it probably figures into why the uber-religious Republican Party is sinking into a quagmire.

Watch the Young Turks here.
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Obama calls out lawmakers who rail against earmarks but defend their own.

As ThinkProgress has observed, conservative lawmakers such as Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) have slammed the omnibus spending bill for including earmarks — despite the fact that many of those earmarks were their own. In a speech today on earmark reform, President Obama called out legislators for having this double standard:

OBAMA: Now, let me be clear: Done right, earmarks give legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their district, and that’s why I have opposed their outright elimination. I also find it ironic that some of those who railed the loudest against this bill because of earmarks actually inserted earmarks of their own – and will tout them in their own states and districts.

Watch it:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tweets his response to Obama’s speech: “No time is better than the present to undertake earmark reform Mr. President”

angry--o-rly

Oxfordshire PCT uses loopholes to deny gender reassignment surgery

A person in England is currently fighting a legal battle with Oxfordshire's primary healthcare trust, because they are denying them absolutely vital surgery they requires for their continued health. To explain slightly better: gender reassignment surgery is denied to the people of Oxfordshire unless they are in "extreme need" - that is, their gender dysphoria is causing them to be suicidally depressed.

The specialist clinic for the south of England is at Charing Cross Hospital, which will refuse to operate on people who are suicidally depressed for health reasons. In other words, Oxfordshire PCT's short-sighed, bigoted, profoundly illogical and transphobic policy denies treatment to gender dysphoric people for no reason.

There is a petition here to try and change Oxfordshire's policy.

SOURCE
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Obama says critics can't just 'say no'

party-of-no-jsh021809dAPC
Washington - Addressing his handling of the financial crisis, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that "the buck stops with me, and we're responsible" but challenged Republican critics to do more than "say no."

"Opposition is always easy. Saying no to something is easy. Saying yes to something and figuring out how to solve problems and govern, that's hard," Obama said in interview with a group of reporters from the Journal Sentinel and more than a dozen other newspapers Wednesday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

"I'm not impressed by just being able to say no," said Obama. "I think what will be interesting is the degree to which my Republican colleagues start putting forward an affirmative agenda that's not based on ideology but on the very real struggles and pain that people are feeling right now around the country and how do we get this economy back on its feet."

Asked whether he thought he had done a good enough job communicating his approach to fixing the financial mess, Obama said, "I think that we can always do a better job."

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jailbird

Beneficiaries of Sallie Mae, Nelnet fight Obama’s student-aid proposal

This may be of interest to anyone with a student loan

President Obama’s budget proposal to eliminate government subsidies for the student loan industry has run into stiff bipartisan resistance from lawmakers who have received thousands in campaign contributions from private lenders.

Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.), the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, received $20,000 in donations from private lenders Sallie Mae and Nelnet, the most of any lawmaker during the last campaign cycle.

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joeyb

I heart my feminist President

President Obama this afternoon signed an executive order to create a White House Council on Women and Girls.

The council is designed “to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families,” the White House said in a statement.

The president said that the council, which will be chaired by senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, was created to ensure that women and girls are treated fairly in all aspects of public policy.

First lady Michelle Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were among those who joined Jarrett and President Obama at an early afternoon ceremony announcing the creation of the council.

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Republican butthurt about evil Socialists with their ever grasping reach into all aspects of life in 5,4,3...

Eh, I can't even manage to care because I'm so warm and fuzzy over how much Obama clearly worships, adores, and best of all RESPECTS THE HELL out of his wife.

Texas Senate OK's the Voter ID bill in latest political stunt.

 
AUSTIN — Exhausted after an all-night debate but assured of victory, Republicans today rammed a bill requiring Texas voters to present identification papers through the first Senate vote on the bitterly partisan issue.

After emotional pleas to stop the bill, and expert and public testimony that begin Tuesday and didn’t end until shortly before 9 a.m.today, the so-called “Voter ID” bill passed a special Senate panel 20-12.

The “committee of the whole” includes all 31 senators and Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. While the bill must still get a final Senate vote, today’s action all but assures it will pass and be sent to the House as early as Monday.

The bill is being driven by Senate Republicans over fierce opposition from Democrats, who promised a legal challenge if the bill ultimately passes.

Today’s vote included a rare vote by Dewhurst, who presides over the Senate and pushed for the bill despite the threat it would anger Democrats and split the chamber along rigid party lines.

“Regrettably, it has been made a partisan issue by some of the hardcore Democrats and hardcore Republicans,” Dewhurst said.

All 12 Senate Democrats voted against the bill.

“I think they’re running over us,” quipped John Whitmire, D-Houston. “How does it feel?”

Democrats have compared the proposal to a modern-day poll tax. Republicans say the ID requirements, which would take effect in time for the pivotal 2010 elections, are necessary to stop voter fraud.

The author of the bill, Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, conjured up images of the old Daley political machine in Chicago and of Texas’ infamous Box 13 — stuffed with votes for Lyndon Johnson in a 1948 Senate race. He says the threat is still there — from non-citizen immigrants, crooks and dead people.

“Voter fraud not only is alive and well in the United States, it’s also alive in Texas,” Fraser said when debate started. “I believe the danger of voter fraud has threatened the entire electoral process.”

While Texans already must show either a voter registration card or other identification, Republicans want to add the requirement of a photo ID or alternatives that establish identity. If a voter doesn’t have a valid photo ID — including a driver’s license, passport or military ID — they would have to produce two additional documents, including bank statements, mail from a government entity, a marriage license and cards used for obtaining government benefits.

Democrats contend the bill will disenfranchise thousands of voters by erecting paperwork hurdles that will disproportionately impact minorities, the poor, the disabled and the elderly.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, leader of the Senate Democrats, said the measure is designed to shave about 3 to 4 percentage points off of Democratic vote totals in Texas just as the party begins to improve its statewide performance.

“This is voter suppression,” she said.

Both sides put on a series of expert witnesses during the a debate before the special “committee of the whole.” Republicans called in election officials from Georgia and Indiana, two states that require voters to produce a photo ID.

Witnesses testifying for the Democrats included civil rights experts and representatives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and AARP. Tova Wang, vice president of the citizen advocacy group Common Cause, said the poor would be negatively affected.

“Many poor people don’t have cars, fly or go to Blockbuster to rent the latest DVD every weekend,” Wang said. “So this whole notion that everybody’s got ID is just untrue. Many poor people don’t.”

Van de Putte complained about making members of the public wait 20 hours before being allowed to testify during the all-night affair.

“We should have treated them better,” she said.

Van de Putte called the vote a “foregone conclusion” but said Democrats wanted a record of the testimony so that it could be used in inevitable court challenges and a review by the U.S. Justice Department.

“The only thing we could do today was lose right,” she said.

Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6305054.html

Edit: to those of you who are saying this is 'no big deal,' you don't know Texas.  Every voting measure in TX has to be approved by the Federal Government because of the state's history with discrimination.

And then you have the practicalities of this bill:  though the TX DMV has said that a person can obtain an ID for purposes of voting free of charge, most workers aren't aware of it. So yes, this does result in a poll tax of sorts.

See this article, and I'll add my personal experience to it: I had the exact same troubles getting an ID in Texas a few months ago.  Every form of documentation (my birth cert., current DL license from another state, TX utility bill, and more), provided was rejected, and my story was very similar to this woman's story: www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1253127.html

 

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Steele: "I'm Sorta Old-School" On Rap -- And I Like Sinatra And The "Pack Rats"

Check out this line from Michael Steele, in an interview with GQ, discussing the rap artists that he's listened to over the years:

Who do you listen to?
I actually listen to a cross section, because I like to hear what the medium is saying, what the voice is.

But do you have a favorite?
P. Diddy I enjoy quite a bit.

Do you want to rethink that?
[laughs] I guess I'm sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age with the DJ and all this other stuff, so I'm also loving Grandmaster Flash, and that's not hip-hop, but... Um, you know, I like Chuck D. And I always thought Snoop Dogg was--he just reminded me of the fellas back home. So I've always thoroughly enjoyed him.

This is not to say he is any kind of poser -- maybe he does listen to those acts, and we should take him at his word.

But now take a look at his statement that he's a big fan of Frank Sinatra and the other guys in the "Pack Rats":

Who else?
I like Sinatra. I like old-school. You know, Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin. Love Dean Martin. He was one of these guys who just didn't give an F. He just didn't. Life was a party, and you either want to party or you don't. But yeah, I like those. I'm a big Pack Rat. I love the Pack Rats from the 1950s--Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, those guys.

You mean the Rat Pack.
The Rat Pack, yeah.

So Steele doesn't just sound like a middle-aged man trying to talk to his kids and failing to sound cool. He's also trying to talk to his parents and failing to sound cool.
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Prop 8 and the Fallacy of Single Issue Politics

So this past Saturday, Outfest Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival held its 6th Annual Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival’s Ignite the Fuse Conference.  I’m sorry to report  Agent No. 1 was a no show.  I wonder why–okay that’s a lie.  I don’t really care why, it was really just an observation, that’s all.

It was an interesting conversation to say the least. I’ll tell you this, I am now even more convinced that we are still  following behind the white gay community’s lead on Prop. 8 so much so that we can’t even speak for ourselves but would rather take talking points on how to talk to our own community from people outside our community.  Now what kind of sense that makes I just don’t know.

Kudos to Outfest for holding the discussion, but I’m really interested in the panel that features the Head Queens in Charge who fucked up the No on 8 campaign to begin with.  Let me know when that discussion is going down.  Not the panel where they send their colored deputies, no, the discussion where the Head Queens in Charge themselves come out of the closet where they’ve been hiding and answer the questions that colored girls like myself and others have on why they did what they did with the campaign.  Just a thought, that’s all.

Anyway, I am trying to post the video from the discussion.  I’ve broken it up into five parts all together.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1109511251503
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1108874755591
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1109007078899
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1109320166726
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1109750177476

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Same-Sex Education: The Separation Debate


An increasing number of public schools are experimenting with single-sex classrooms. Some critics worry it reinforces stereotypes, but is it worth it?

The New York Times profiles one school in the Bronx which, after experimenting with a number of different initiatives, has tried separating fifth-grade classes by sex. Anecdotally, the approach - which results in two very different classroom atmospheres - seems effective.

"Before it was all about showing the girls who was toughest, and roughing up and being cool," said Samell Little, whose son Gavin is in his second school year surrounded only by boys. "Now I never hear a word from teachers about behavior problems, and when he talks about school, he is actually talking about work."
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I miss this badass motherchucker.

Knitting Together An Unraveling World

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel Discusses Obama's Plans For Iraq And Afghanistan, And How Consensus Can Be Forged In Washington



After 12 years as a leading foreign policy voice in the Senate, Nebraska's Chuck Hagel now chairs the Atlantic Council of the United States, a think tank that advises on U.S.-European engagement with the rest of the world. Hagel is replacing retired Gen. James Jones, who left to serve as national security adviser to President Obama; other former council members who joined the administration include U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

NJ: What was your reaction to Obama's decision to add 17,000 more troops to the U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plea to NATO for more allied support?

Hagel: I don't think anyone was surprised by the decision of the president to send in additional American troops. Afghanistan is a huge problem. I think we are seeing a very dangerous unwinding in Afghanistan. By every measurement used, I think we are losing ground in Afghanistan. But at the same time, as the president said when he announced that he was sending 17,000 more troops, this is not the only way, policy or approach to find a solution to that complicated problem. We need a strong military force structure there, yes, mainly -- if for no other reason -- to help in every way we can the Afghan government to build its own force structure and police structure through training and enhancement and all the things we can do to help them, because in the long term, that will be the answer. It cannot be, it will not be more American troops -- the president said that. We are going to have to find more creative, strategic approaches on a regional basis that would include wiser and smarter diplomacy, economic development, working with the people as well as a strong military presence.

I think the president felt, and I agree -- and certainly he was also responding to his field commanders -- that we needed to bulk up our force structure there. The NATO allies need to do more.... I don't think anyone was particularly surprised by the president's decision, except maybe some thought he would announce a larger troop commitment. But I think he did the right thing; I think he put about the right number in there.


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British National Party fails at trolling

BNP shot down after it uses a POLISH Spitfire to front its anti-immigration campaign
04th March 2009

The British National Party was ridiculed last night for fronting its anti-immigration campaign with a picture of a Polish Spitfire.

Its poster for the European elections, for which its manifesto includes a ban on Eastern European migrant workers, shows the Second World War plane above the slogan ‘Battle for Britain’.

But Air Force history experts have identified that the aircraft was actually flown by the
RAF’s 303 Squadron – made up of expatriate Poles
rescued from France shortly before Nazi occupation.

BNP party chiefs defended their use of the image and insisted they knew all about
the background. But John Hemming, MP for Yardley, Birmingham, ridiculed this claim. He also condemned the far-Right party for using the image of Polish heroism in a campaign that includes stemming immigration from Poland.

He said: ‘The BNP often get confused and this happens because they haven’t done their research. This is just another example of them getting it wrong.
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  • bispo

How much longer do you think Steele lasts?

Did Michael Steele actually say he's pro-choice? In the GQ interview, Steele appears to agree that abortion is a right, despite his own moral opposition and desire for a state-based approach as an issue:

How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?
Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that--I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it... Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

Explain that.
The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.

This seems very odd, considering how Steele wasn't just pro-life in his Senate run in 2006 -- he compared stem-cell research to the Nazi medical experiments, while speaking to a Jewish audience, necessitating a public apology.

And he more or less accepts the scientific consensus on homosexuality:

Do you think homosexuality is a choice?
Oh, no. I don't think I've ever really subscribed to that view, that you can turn it on and off like a water tap. Um, you know, I think that there's a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can't simply say, oh, like, "Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being gay." It's like saying, "Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being black."

So your feeling would be that people are born one way or another.
I mean, I think that's the prevailing view at this point, and I know that there's some out there who think that you can absolutely make that choice. And maybe some people have. I don't know, I can't say. Until we can give a definitive answer one way or the other, I think we should respect that.

Of course, Steele also recently called civil unions "crazy," but here he says homosexuality is not a choice and should be respected.

How will the Family Research Council -- or dare we say it, Rush Limbaugh -- handle this one?
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Pelosi Travel Abuse? Case Not Proved

np
The treasure trove of documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Defense regarding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's use of military aircraft doesn't seem to prove the organization's allegation that Pelosi has made "unprecedented demands" for the flights.

In fact, it appears that Pelosi uses military aircraft less often than her predecessor, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

The documents cover the period from January 2007 to November 2008 and show that Pelosi made the equivalent of 20 round-trips between Washington (Andrews Air Force Base) and San Francisco. That's an average of less than one round-trip per month. In contrast, former Speaker Hastert traveled home to his Illinois district virtually every weekend and, his former aides tell ABC News, he would almost always travel on military aircraft. Like Hastert, Pelosi also occasionally leads Congressional delegations on foreign trips (the documents show six foreign trips: one to Asia, three to the Middle East and two to Europe).

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