March 13th, 2009

one piece, nico robin

Rev. Jesse Jackson Joins Movement Against Crippling Rates on Student Loans. Democracy Now 1 of 3

Democracy Now!: Amid massive government bailouts of the nations banks, we speak to the Reverend Jesse Jackson about Reduce the Rate, his new campaign urging the Obama administration to slash the interest rates on crippling student loans. We also speak with Alan Collinge, founder of Student Loan Justice and author of The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History—and How We Can Fight Back.

Just passing the word on about something that sounds good because, dammit, it's not fair how easily student rates just rise.
  • bispo

Mark Sanford is a Prick

Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R-SC) decision to reject $700 million of stimulus funds could result in the firing of up to 7,500 teachers across the state, more than $500 million of which was slated to fill in the massive education budget deficit. Last night, CNN’s Jessica Yellin visited Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the South Carolina student who pleaded with Congress to save her crumbling school. Sanford’s decision, Yellin pointed out, means Bethea’s school will remain in disrepair. Watch it:

Pete Pillow, spokesman for the state’s education department told ThinkProgress yesterday that if Sanford’s decision holds up, “then we’re in a real world of hurt because of all the cuts that are going on. And it isn’t going to get any better. It’s not like the economy’s going to turn around in the next year. Not in this state anyway.”

Pollution Dimming Skies' Brightness

The skies are dimming, for most of the world. Increases in airborne pollution have dimmed the skies by blocking sunlight over the past 30 years, researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.


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It's a bit "NO DUH!" news, but I thought I would share anyways. Also, we need a ONTD_Science community y/n?

UPDATE: THERE IS NOW A ontd_science ! WOOT! Get your geek on!


Welcome to Chicago, home of the 'Watchu Talkin' Bout Willis Tower'.

The Sears Tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, will soon become the Willis Tower.

Come this summer, Chicago's iconic landmark known around the world is getting a new moniker: Willis Tower.

Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker, announced Thursday that it will consolidate its area offices to Sears Tower and as part of the deal, gets to put its own name on the 36-year-old skyscraper.

Willis will move nearly 500 associates into Willis Tower, at 233 S. Wacker, initially occupying more than 140,000 square feet on multiple floors. The company said the move to the new space, at $14.50 per square foot, will result in significant real estate cost savings, and that there is no additional cost to the company associated with renaming the building.

"It was part of our negotiations," said Willis spokesman Will Thoretz. "We are actually not having to pay anything for renaming the building."

"The details that have been disclosed are not a complete picture of the agreement," the spokesman said. "We view the economic terms to be proprietary information and do not reveal those for any of our transactions."

The move is a coup for Willis, which counts Aon Corp. as one of its main competitors. Come this summer, Willis' name will be on a tower taller than Aon Center.

"It's a tremendous boost for the Willis brand in North America," Thoretz said. "We're especially well known in the U.K., but we're relatively unknown in North America. We really feel this will make us a household name in the U.S."

A spokesman for Aon said, "Chicago is firmly established as a global financial center so we welcome their support for the city."

But what of any potential backlash, or the inability of Chicagoans to call the building anything but Sears Tower? "Old habits die hard but we feel that ultimately people will come to embrace the Willis name," Thoretz said.

That remains to be seen. For building tenants, the name change will cause them to re-evaluate how they refer to their workplaces and, more importantly, how they direct visitors to their offices.

"I'll suppose I'll tell them the structure formerly known as Sear Tower," said Ronald Safer, managing partner at Tower tenant Schiff Hardin LLP, in a nod to 'the artist formerly known as Prince.' "It is a sign of the times. These former institutions, the names will change as the bidding dictates."

The addition of Willis partially offsets the loss of Ernst & Young, which announced late last year that it would leave its 387,000 square feet in Sears Tower this summer and relocate to John Buck Co.'s new building at 155 N. Wacker.

Sears, Roebuck & Co., now based in Hoffman Estates, finished construction on the office building in 1973 but has not had offices in it since 1992. At the time it was the tallest building in the world and built for what was then the world's largest retailer. It was eclipsed in 1998 and is now the skyscraper is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.

A spokeswoman for Sears said the retailer was not approached about striking a deal to keep its name on the building. "We're saddened but we don't own the rights to the building."



"Yeah, nothing underscores your commitment to a city more than renaming one of its greatest landmarks to your company's name."

As a Chicagoan, this upsets me. It doesn't matter if Sear's ditched the city for a suburb it's the name of this building and what Chicago is known for.

I'm already betting the Water Tower Place will soon be Forever XXI Mall.
i want joe biden i need joe biden

Dems May Force Texas Governor To Take Stimulus Funds

Gov. Rick Perry's decision on Thursday to turn down $555 million for expanded unemployment benefits from the federal stimulus package became an instant issue in his re-election campaign and provoked a confrontation with Democratic lawmakers who vowed to try to overturn the decision.

But business groups and conservatives in the Legislature stood behind the Republican governor, saying that Perry's refusal spares Texas from paying a big tab later when the federal dollars run out.

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A TON more at the source.
team science

German police takes Online Culture 101 class, learns meaning of "EPIC FAIL"

I can't find an English source for this right now, but here's a summary of this article:

The message in which the school shooter of Winnenden supposedly announced his attack a few hours before it happened has been exposed as a fake. Some online news sources had been sceptical about it, but after Baden-Württemberg's secretary of the interior issued a formal statement confirming its authenticity, everyone thought "Well, weider shit has happened" and accepted it as fact.
The police claimed yesterday to have found evidence that the message originated from the shooter's computer, but now had to admit that there is no such evidence. The posting never existed on the messageboard - it was a photoshopped fake screencap.

Well, who could have seen THAT coming?
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'd like to present two carefully selected fingers to whoever made this, because it's really fucking tasteless. On the other, LOL at the police's idiocy. They seem to have some trouble adjusting to modern web culture, don't they?

BTW: One of the faked answers to the faked message was the German equivalent of "Pics or it didn't happen".

ETA: There's no real proof that it's a fake either (yet). The message definitely didn't originate from the shooter's home computer, but they still want to check out server data and two people who claim to have read the post before the event. Mr. Secretary still gets the Fail Award, though.

Commentary: Immigrants didn't cause your problems

Here's the good news: Authorities say that fewer illegal immigrants are crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last five months are down 24 percent from the same period last year.

At the current rate, the level of apprehension this year could be the lowest since 1975.

A big reason is the frightful U.S. economy. After all, you don't often see people trying to break into a house when the house is on fire. Some illegal immigrants are even going home to Mexico.


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Conservatives are miffed that Congress ignored their pleas to require employers who compete for stimulus funds to use the E-verify program. Run by the Department of Homeland Security, that program lets those employers who choose to participate verify the validity of Social Security numbers provided by new hires.

But the E-verify system needs to have its own accuracy verified. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2007, DHS commissioned an independent study of the program, which found that "the database used for verification is still not sufficiently up to date to meet the requirements for accurate verification." The error rate was almost 10 percent. Someone using a valid Social Security card that doesn't belong to him would go undetected. Oh, is that all?

I understand that there is a larger issue here. As I've said for the last 15 years of writing about immigration, those who hire illegal immigrants should be prosecuted and jailed. But, in those cases where illegal immigrants squeak by and wind up on the job, U.S. workers have to compete with them, like it or not.

And that brings me to what really bothers me about this controversy. It's a sad state of affairs when people who were born in this, the freest and most prosperous country on Earth -- instantly becoming U.S. citizens, no less -- with a free education and every other opportunity to improve their lives find themselves afraid to compete with a group of people who don't have legal status, often can't speak English, and usually have no more than a 6th-grade education.

My fellow Americans, stop your trembling. Show some dignity. If you don't like competing with illegal immigrants, try making better choices. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Turn off those TV shows that constantly bash globalization and immigration.

Go back to school. Get more training. Move out of the comfort zone of your hometown to take a job in another state, if necessary. Take responsibility for your own life. And stop thinking the world owes you a living.

That was the "tough love" message I shared with the construction worker who called into a Las Vegas, Nevada, radio show about a year ago to complain that construction firms on the Strip were paying the same wage they were 20 years earlier. The caller blamed illegal immigrants, who he said were keeping wages low.

It's interesting that he didn't blame the companies that employed the firms, or the firms themselves. And of course, he never thought to look in the mirror and blame himself for not taking steps to improve his skills in the last 20 years. Maybe he could have gone into a different line of work long ago. He decided not to.

I suppose illegal immigrants were to blame for that, too.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette.


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Reese Witherspoon

Forget Britney; Media Outrage Hits Big Spenders

Last month, Kenneth D. Lewis took a Bank of America jet from Charlotte, N.C., to New Jersey. ABC News captured the flight.

It could be called “To Catch a Rich Guy.”

The celebrity Web site TMZ and TV shows like “Extra” and “Inside Edition” are expanding their coverage of starlets and Hollywood break-ups to include billion-dollar business scandals and the economic collapse.

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After Cheering On Cramer, Morning Joe Is Silent About Daily Show Appearance

After Cheering On Cramer, Morning Joe Is Silent About Daily Show Appearance

Today on Morning Joe, they talked about Syracuse winning, and how the kids in Park Slope are having a "virtual life" and how "the stability of [General Electric] was good" and how Rahm Emanuel shouldn't have sounded so gleeful about crisis presenting opportunities and how Bernie Madoff's apology was "lame," and how the movie "The Tao Of Steve" explains Barack Obama's approach to discussing the economy, and how the economy is like watching the Knicks, and pills and flasks. And there was good, substantive stuff on Afghanistan policy, and Mexico, and Dexter Filkins new book and the lessons learned from the Rihanna/Chris Brown incident, too.

But despite having participated in Jim Cramer's charm defensive, and brashly egging him on, and suggesting that there's a structural unfairness to the way Jon Stewart uses "transcripts" and research, and all but labelling the Daily Show as an outpost of pure partisan hackery, the Morning Joe gang couldn't seem to find the time to utter a single blessed word about Cramer's Daily Show appearance.

Though perhaps one is forthcoming!

Late night? I wouldn't have thought going home after the taping, taking a mild sedative, and curling up in a fetal position would have been that taxing for Cramer.

But, okay. Look for Cramer, I guess, next week on MJ. Still, one would have thought the typically chatty MJ crew would have mentioned it, if only in passing. Just saying.

OH! Peggy Noonan did get asked about bongs this morning, so that was kind of awesome.
Reese Witherspoon

Lorraine Hansberry's Gay Politics

Why the 'Raisin in the Sun' playwright's homosexual ties have been straight-washed from black history.

When historians talk about her groundbreaking work and ideas, they still too often omit her contribution to feminist and gay politics. But the blatant straight-washing paints an incomplete picture of the artist and her evolving sense of humanity.

The thing about history is that you don’t get answers to questions you don’t ask. Sally Hemings was a forgotten slave until Annette Gordon-Reed came along. Black soldiers from the Revolutionary War forward were said to play no meaningful role until black scholars ferreted out the facts. And Lorraine Hansberry had nothing to do with the lesbian liberation movement until 1976, when an editor revealed the playwright’s surprisingly radical correspondence on the subject.

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Oh shit...

Racist Evil 5: Shoot Dem Negros!

For Better or Worse, 'Resident Evil 5' Exposes Racism

Video gamers hardly blink at virtual violence — but charges of racism can raise eyebrows. For instance, anticipation for the fan-favorite "Resident Evil" series turned to uncertainty for some journalists in 2007, when they saw a game trailer which featured a white protagonist battling crowds of enraged Africans in a Third-World setting.

Now cultural and media experts have weighed in as "Resident Evil 5," the game previewed in the trailer two years ago, rolls out on U.S. shelves this Friday. And their opinion suggests that video game players should not worry so much.

In fact, the survival horror game may actually focus needed attention on issues of race and how the United States and other industrialized nations view the developing world.

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Sources one and two

Interesting article, but I really don't know what the uproar is. They're zombies. In Africa. Of course they're going to be black. I'd be more offended if it were white zombies invading Africa and terrorizing the people there.

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MST3K--Brain Shutdown

what buffoonery is this???

Cartoon Characters Fall in Love with Senator McCoy

If State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) has his way, he could become quite an icon in Japan. Senator McCoy, a proud homosexual has introduced a bill that neuters Iowa’s marital laws by replacing the words “husband” and “wife” with “spouse” (Senate File 353). McCoy believes a bill to remove references to husbands and wives will help the Iowa economy. He just might have a point, especially if the changes are allowed to apply to Taichi Takashita and a thousand of his friends.
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OY VEY. Yeah. Because that's TOTALLY that same thing.

Found via
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    To Sir With Love on TCM
comedy | Richard Pryor

Shenanigans Friday: March 13, 2009.

"A LOLitician will do anything to keep his job - even become a patriot." --LOLLiam Randolph Hearst
Please exploit these resources:
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  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:

by scifijunkie

How Well Do You Know These Political Minds?

Think you know the political leaders of the 2009 Speakers Series? Test your knowledge and see how well you know John Ashcroft (Former U.S. Attorney General), Arianna Huffington (Founder of Huffington Post), Karl Rove (Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff), Mike Huckabee (Arkansas Governor), and James Carville (Political Consultant).

Learn about these famous political minds by taking the quiz here:



"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …

Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on.
Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths. Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us. It’s complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder. It’s a very complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special Forces. The Delta Forces you’ve heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly specialized. In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people."

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Glenn Beck says political correctness to blame for shooting rampages

BECK: But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children.


BECK: Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?

YouTube video HERE.

The most notable recent case of this was the church shooter in Knoxville, TN, who wrote out a detailed manifesto explaining why he went on his rampage:

This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It's the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence.

blog about this

(no subject)

China 'worried' about US Treasury holdings

BEIJING – China's premier didn't say it in so many words, but the implied warning to Washington was blunt: Don't devalue the dollar through reckless spending. Premier Wen Jiabao's message is unlikely to be misunderstood at the White House. It is counting on Beijing to help pay for its stimulus package by buying U.S. bonds. China already is Washington's biggest foreign creditor, with an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt. A weaker dollar would erode the value of those assets.

"Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I'm a little bit worried," Wen said at a news conference Friday after the closing of China's annual legislative session. "I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets."
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sweet and sour sauce

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ouch i <3 shep smith

Tonight, Glenn Beck is hosting a life special to assure his conservative followers, “You are not alone.” While purporting to promote the special, Fox’s Shep Smith repeatedly mocked Beck and the program, admitting that although he watches Beck’s show, he doesn’t listen to it. Smith also pointed to a giant satellite truck parked outside and wondered if it was for Beck’s “ego.” Chris Wallace told Smith he must be jealous:

SMITH: Do you even understand this Glenn Beck Friday? Because I really don’t.

WALLACE: Well, I do, and what pains me — and you know, Shep, how highly I respect you — is you seem upset by Glenn Beck Friday.

SMITH: Upset?!

WALLACE: I mean, Glenn is a meteor here at Fox News–

SMITH: He is the greatest star of all time!

WALLACE: And you should be happy for his success–

SMITH: I am here to worship him.

WALLACE: –and you seem to be begrudging — you’re begrudging him his success.

“We are here to celebrate, worship, and adore,” Smith told Wallace. Watch a compilation of Smith’s mockery:

Smith jokingly declared that Beck is “bigger than O’Reilly.” Wallace encouraged Smith to be more fawning of Beck: “I for one am on the Glenn Beck bandwagon and I advise you to join it as well.”

UpdateHuffington Post reports that, due to Beck's rating success, his show will be re-aired each night at 2AM EST.
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DNC Attacks Sanford On South Carolina TV

The Democratic National Committee is now going after South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, perhaps the most prominent anti-stimulus Republican in the country, with this new TV ad set to begin airing Monday in the Columbia media market:

The ad accuses Sanford, a vocal conservative, of playing politics in his refusal of stimulus money. "South Carolina is facing tough times - but Governor Sanford is playing politics instead of doing what's right," the announcer says. "Turning down millions in Recovery Act funds, putting politics ahead of health care, jobs and schools."

misc - microphone

He's truly the God of teh Interwebz

It was 20 years ago today: The Web
By Charles Cooper, CNET News
History in the making: Berners-Lee's original schematic for a client/server model for a distributed hypertext system.

Is it already 20 years since Tim Berners-Lee authored "Information Management: A proposal" and set the technology world on fire?

Back in 1989, Berners-Lee was a software consultant working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) outside of Geneva, Switzerland. On March 13 of that year, he submitted a plan to management on how to better monitor the flow of research at the labs. People were coming and going at such a clip that an increasingly frustrated Berners-Lee complained that CERN was losing track of valuable project information because of the rapid turnover of personnel. It did not help matters that the place was chockablock with incompatible computers that people brought with them to the office.

"When two years is a typical length of stay, information is constantly being lost. The introduction of the new people demands a fair amount of their time and that of others before they have any idea of what goes on. The technical details of past projects are sometimes lost forever, or only recovered after a detective investigation in an emergency. Often, the information has been recorded, it just cannot be found."

So he got to work on a document, which is amazing to read with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. But it would take Berners-Lee another couple of years before he could demo his idea. Even then, the realization of his theory had to wait until the middle of the 1990s when Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen popularized the notion of commercial Web browsing with Netscape.

And as prescient as the CERN document was, not even Berners-Lee could imagine where his basic design was about to lead. To wit, part of his very modest conclusions:

"We should work toward a universal linked information system, in which generality and portability are more important than fancy graphics techniques and complex extra facilities.

"The aim would be to allow a place to be found for any information or reference which one felt was important, and a way of finding it afterwards. The result should be sufficiently attractive to use that it the information contained would grow past a critical threshold, so that the usefulness the scheme would in turn encourage its increased use."

So it is that today, Berners-Lee and other personages involved in the development of the Web will congregated at the particle physics lab to celebrate. I couldn't make the event, but from one side of the pond to the other, here's a virtual toast to Sir Tim Berners-Lee on a job very well done.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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McCain Objects To Interior Nominee Because He Once Compared Ronald Reagan To George W. Bush

During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) threatened to oppose President Obama’s pick deputy secretary of Interior, David Hayes, over comments that Hayes had made about former President Ronald Reagan in a 2006 report for the Progressive Policy Institute. “I will be considering seriously whether I can support your nomination or not,” said McCain.

At the hearing, McCain read aloud from Hayes’ article:

“The conservative political agenda in the West is grounded in hoary stereotypes about the region and its people” and that “out of this conservative world view emerges the stereotypical Western man (and it is unquestionably a ‘he’)—a rugged, gun-toting individualist who fiercely guards every man’s right to drill, mine, log, or do whatever he damn well pleases on the land” and that “Like Ronald Reagan before him, President Bush has embraced the Western stereotype to the point of adopting some of its affectations—the boots, brush-clearing, and get-the-government-off-our-backs bravado.”

Though McCain did not defend Bush, he said that Hayes’ reference to Reagan was “highly offensive.” “You had to throw Reagan in there?” asked McCain after Hayes said he regretted the “overly florid” prose of the article.

McCain has long revered Reagan, even callling himself a “a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution.” But Will Bunch, who recently wrote a book debunking myths about Reagan, notes that “Reagan and much more so Bush really were urban cowboys with a strange obsession for brush clearing that seemed to evaporate the same hour their presidencies expired.” Bunch calls McCain’s threat against Hayes’ nomination both “chilling” and “anti-speech.”

But McCain’s clash with Hayes is more than just “chilling.” It also continues his move away from his early efforts to not needlessly hold up Obama’s qualified nominees. Just yesterday, McCain came out against another Obama nominee, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Chris Hill, who has been nominated to be ambassador to Iraq.

Update: Matt Yglesias writes:
That’s right, a member of one political party has, in the past, said something disparaging about a prominent member of the other party. This is McCain’s objection. Seriously. How on earth would you staff an administration of people who pass that test?

Justice Department Ends "Enemy Combatant" Definition For Gitmo Detainees

The Justice Department has issued the following press release announcing the end of the Bush era policy whereby Guantanamo detainees were held indefinitely, without habeas corpus, under the "enemy combatant" label:


In a filing today with the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice submitted a new standard for the government's authority to hold detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The definition does not rely on the President's authority as Commander-in-Chief independent of Congress's specific authorization. It draws on the international laws of war to inform the statutory authority conferred by Congress. It provides that individuals who supported al Qaeda or the Taliban are detainable only if the support was substantial. And it does not employ the phrase "enemy combatant."

The Department also submitted a declaration by Attorney General Eric Holder stating that, under executive orders issued by President Obama, the government is undertaking an interagency review of detention policy for individuals captured in armed conflicts or counterterrorism operations as well as a review of the status of each detainee held at Guantanamo. The outcome of those reviews may lead to further refinements of the government's position as it develops a comprehensive policy.

"As we work towards developing a new policy to govern detainees, it is essential that we operate in a manner that strengthens our national security, is consistent with our values, and is governed by law," said Attorney General Holder. "The change we've made today meets each of those standards and will make our nation stronger."

In its filing today, the government bases its authority to hold detainees at Guantanamo on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which Congress passed in September 2001, and which authorized the use of force against nations, organizations, or persons the president determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the September 11 attacks, or harbored such organizations or persons. The government's new standard relies on the international laws of war to inform the scope of the president's authority under this statute, and makes clear that the government does not claim authority to hold persons based on insignificant or insubstantial support of al Qaeda or the Taliban.

The brief was filed in habeas litigation brought by numerous detainees at Guantanamo who are challenging their detention under the Supreme Court's decision last summer in Boumediene v. Bush. A copy of the brief is attached.


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MSNBC producers told ‘not to incorporate’ Cramer’s Daily Show interview into their programming.

TVNewser reports that “MSNBC producers were asked not to incorporate the Jim Cramer/Jon Stewart interview into their shows today.” By TVNewser’s count, Cramer’s Daily Show interview was only mentioned once on MSNBC today and that was during the White House press conference when a reporter asked for Obama’s reaction. TVNewser explains further:

cramer_stewart.jpgGibbs wasn’t sure if the president had, but Gibbs did. “I enjoyed it thoroughly,” the Press Secretary said.

On Cramer’s network, CNBC, the subject has only come up twice today, including when master marketer/CNBC personality Donny Deutsch brought it up briefly around 1pm on “Power Lunch.” “I’m a huge Jon Stewart fan,” said Deutsch, “He does what he does he does his job. But I’m also a huge Jim Cramer fan.” […]

Cramer appeared on his regular “Stop Trading” segment during “Street Signs.” But the Daily Show did not come up.

TVNewser writes that “insiders” say that Cramer “will talk about Stewart tonight on Mad Money (6pmET & 11pmET).”

biggie aretha
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I don't know how Rachel didn't just punch him

Just when you thought you knew everything about Rachel Maddow, Vanity Fair's George Wayne (pictured at left) comes along to ask the important questions.

In the April 2009 issue, Wayne asks Maddow about bizarre sexual fetishes and questions her on whether MSNBC forced her to remove her "dyke-stache" (which she denies ever having):

GW: Anyway, Miss "Cable Queen," as Vogue calls you, do you suffer from any paraphilia? RM: Paraphilia?

GW: Listen to this saucy pedant. Paraphilia is having a rare erotic fetish. Perhaps you may indulge in eproctophilia?
RM: Duh?

GW: Darling! Eproctophiliacs are those sexually turned on by farts and farting!
RM: That word actually exists?

GW: It is the current rage of Mayfair high society in jolly, kinky London....

GW: By the way, before your Peacock Network makeover, didn't you have a dyke-stache?
RM: A what?

GW: Facial hair over your lip--a dyke-stache.
RM: I never had any facial hair in my life.

GW: Thank you for that clarification, darling. And thank you for such a wonderful meeting!

Read the full interview at or in the April 2009 issue of Vanity Fair.

Wayne, a celebrity journalist known for his probing, personal questions, is perhaps better known in media circles for going MIA in Russia in 2004 following a press junket. Vanity Fair took his name off the magazine's masthead "in a fit of pique" following his disappearance (via Lexis-Nexis).
source: huff post

(no subject)

Obama spokesman `enjoyed' lashing of CNBC host

1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House's chief spokesman on Friday said he enjoyed watching "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart give a lashing to CNBC's Jim Cramer over how he and the business network have covered the collapsing economy.

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guyz, can you walk and chew gum at teh same time?

Gov.: Economy Not Gay Marriage Should Be Priority No Time For Gay Marriage Debate

MONTPELIER, Vt. - With 20,000 citizens now out of a job, and unemployment at its highest level in 17 years, Vermont's Republican Gov. Jim Douglas urged state lawmakers to focus exclusively on job creation and economic growth in the final weeks of their session. Douglas said there is no time for "divisive issues" like same-sex marriage this spring.


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Is something happening to the Republican party? O___O

Wash. GOP Senator: Gay Is 'Genetic'

Wash. GOP Senator: Gay Is 'Genetic'

Embattled GOP chairman Michael Steele can find some support within his own party for his statement that homosexuality is not a choice. Washington state senator Dale Brandland, a Republican from Whatcom County, says his belief that people are born gay motivated him to vote in favor of expanded domestic-partnership rights for same-sex couples on Tuesday.

"I guess from my perspective, I've come to the conclusion that people are born gay,” Brandland told the Bellingham Herald. “I don't think this is something that they just pick up along the way.”

"Once I came up with that kind of conclusion,” he said, "it wasn't difficult for me to understand that gay people are going to develop feelings for people of the same sex and will want to get into meaningful relationships.”

Brandland, a former sheriff for Whatcom, a northern county adjacent to British Columbia, has previously voted in favor of gay rights. He supported the original 2007 legislation to create a domestic-partnership registry in the state, and he voted for the first expansion of the rights in 2008.

The statewide Faith and Freedom Network of conservatives chided Brandland for his vote in support of expanded domestic-partnership rights, calling him “a gay activist’s fantasy.”

cookie monster

What is all of this "China worried" B.S. ????

March 13, 2009

Since When Did China Get Worried About Losing Money on Its Dollar Investments?

The value of the dollar plunged by almost 50 percent against the euro in the years from 2002 to 2008 (it has since recovered part of these losses). China eagerly bought up U.S. government bonds during this period, even though it was consistently losing money on its investment.

This history makes its sudden expression of concern about losing money on its dollar holdings so peculiar. This public expression of concern presumably has a political motive rather than reflecting the actual views of Chinese leader, which would more typically be expressed privately to their counterparts in the United States.

The media should have pointed this history out to readers and noted how extraordinary it is that such a statement would be made in public. The public nature of the statement is the real news, not the supposed "worry" about the future value of their investments.

--Dean Baker

cookie monster

Gosh, I guess it's good we didn't blow them up like Bush and McCain wanted huh?

U.S., Israel Disagree on Iran Arms Threat

Senate Panel Told Tehran Has Not Made Decision to Pursue Nuclear Weapons

Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said the Islamic republic is keeping its options open on whether to try to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said the Islamic republic is keeping its options open on whether to try to produce weapons-grade uranium. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 11, 2009; Page A04
Iran has not produced the highly enriched uranium necessary for a nuclear weapon and has not decided to do so, U.S. intelligence officials told Congress yesterday, an assessment that contrasts with a stark Israeli warning days earlier that Iran has crossed the "technological threshold" in its pursuit of the bomb.

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d.gray wtf

so Malaysians aren't allowed to insult the government now

Malaysian fined over online insults to sultan
updated 2:58 a.m. ET March 13, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A man was fined almost $3,000 Friday for insulting a Malaysian sultan in an online posting, government officials said, the latest in a series of actions against Internet writers in this Southeast Asian country.

Five others were also charged for "improper use of facilities" by making comments deemed "obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive" on the Web site of the sultan of northern Perak state, representatives of the attorney general's office said on condition of anonymity citing protocol.

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Yeah. Um. Fail. Way to twist the law to suit your own purposes, BN. Also, for those with subscriptions, Malaysiakini has a pretty lengthy article here.
Murasaki Shikibu

Japan and N. Korea still hate each other, news at 11

Japan protests North Korea's satellite launch plan

SEOUL, South Korea – Japan strongly protested North Korea's planned satellite launch, warning Friday it could shoot down the rocket after Pyongyang said it would fly over Japan and designated a "danger" zone off the country's coast.

North Korea has given U.N. agencies coordinates forming two zones where parts of its multiple-stage rocket would fall, unveiling its plan to fire the projectile over Japan toward the Pacific Ocean in the launch set for sometime between April 4-8.

One of the "danger" zones where the rocket's first stage is expected to fall lies in waters less than 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Japan's northwestern shore, according to coordinates released by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization on Thursday.

The other zone lies in the middle of the Pacific between Japan and Hawaii.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told North Korea to abandon the rocket plan and said Japan was ready to defend itself.

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...Oh, swell.
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Jim Cramer, CNBC Ratings Down Since Stewart Attacks Began

Jim Cramer, CNBC Ratings Down Since Stewart Attacks Began

The Stewart Dip? Ratings Down for CNBC, Cramer

Yesterday, I idly wondered whether all the hullabaloo over CNBC and how very wrong and/or out of bounds its commentators have been on some occasions will affect the network's ratings, for good or ill.
I put the question to you, my loyal legions, and a pretty decisive 78 percent of you predicted that all the criticism will hurt CNBC's viewership.

And while it's too early to say if that prediction will be borne out -- The Daily Show's initial broadside was only nine days ago -- there is some very preliminary, very ambiguous evidence that perhaps the pummeling has begun to have an impact.

In the first three days of this week, CNBC's Business Day programming block was down 10 percent in the key demographic of adults 25-to-54 versus the same period the week before, and down 11 percent among total viewers. Meanwhile, Mad Money was also down 10 percent in the 25-to-54 demographic, but only 4 percent among all viewers -- suggesting that maybe some of those bored college kids who watch Jon Stewart did, in fact, tune in to find out exactly what is the deal with this Jim Cramer character.
normal CEO quits after Cramer’s TV flameout CEO quits after Cramer’s TV flameout
Thomas Clarke, longtime chief executive of the financial news Web site, abruptly leaves, “effective immediately.”

Friday brought more tumult for CNBC anchor Jim Cramer, when the chief executive of his online financial news site, The, resigned.

The company announced Friday that Thomas Clarke,’s CEO for the past decade, would be leaving, effective immediately. He’s been temporarily replaced by Daryl Otte, a longtime director on the company’s board, who will serve as chief until the search committee, which he is leading, finds a new CEO.

Outsized TV personality and chairman of the board Jim Cramer issued a boilerplate statement on Mr. Clarke’s departure, saying only, “I want to thank Tom for his long-time service to the Company and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
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Seriously, it seems everything is starting to crumble for this guy...

Cramer fakes out his viewers on Stewart appearance

Any viewers who might have decided to take in Jim Cramer's Mad Money on Friday in hopes of finding out how the CNBC host would react to the verbal thrashing he'd received from Comedy Central's Jon Stewart the night before were doomed to disappointment.

Cramer started promisingly enough. "Before we get started, I want to say something about what happened yesterday," he began soberly. "A lot of people are talking about what happened. ... Although I was clearly outside of my safety zone, I have the utmost respect for this person, for the work that they do, no matter how uncomfortable it was to be on. So I want you to take a look at this clip from yesterday of Cramer vs. Stewart!"

At that point, it was revealed that the come-on had been nothing but a tease, as the clip turned out to show Cramer helping Martha Stewart -- on whose program he had appeared earlier on Thursday -- prepare what appeared to be a banana cream pie.

"You're doing a very good job," Martha said encouragingly.

As the clip ended, Cramer sneered, "Now back to business as usual."

He never did mention Jon Stewart at all.
follow link for video
jesus &amp; the dinosaurs, philosopy in a tea cup


Rush Limbaugh Answers Me As Other Republicans Email Calling for Civil War
by Frank Schaeffer

My Huffington Post Open Letter to the Republican Traitors (From a Former Republican) (March 8/09) got Rush Limbaugh's attention. Here is part of the transcript of the Rush Limbaugh Show (March 11/09) wherein Limbaugh goes after me. (MSNBC had just interviewed me -- March 10/09 -- about my Huffington Post piece.)

Here is the clip:

Limbaugh's reaction:

RUSH: "Here is author Frank Schaeffer on MSNBC Live yesterday afternoon."


SCHAEFFER: "Republicans have become -- to our war against economic collapse -- what Jane Fonda was when she was in Vietnam rooting for the other side. We're in another war now. This is an economic war, and everybody who loves this country has to stand together and back our president."

RUSH: "Jeez! we're Jane Fonda, and whatever the president wants to do -- he's a king! Whatever he wants to do, we have to back him. No, we don't! We have the Constitution. We have separation of powers, and we do not have a king, Mr. Schaeffer... (laughs) Remember yesterday when I proclaimed, 'Look, if Obama is the general in this war, 'This war is lost.'"

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