March 20th, 2009

movies | Impish Fräulein2

Barack-etology: You-Know-Who's March Madness predictions.

Yeah, this would be the Obama appearance on ESPN that some Congressional republicans and career partisan obstructionists have been bitching over.
President Obama fills out his March Madness bracket for ESPN. The President trashes the Pac 10, says he's a "little concerned" about Tyson Lawson's toe, and likes Syracuse to upset Oklahoma. The President has Memphis, Louisville, UNC, and Pittsburgh in his Final Four with UNC winning it all.

Source: YouTube

Obama and Gossip Girl?

 "Is he on, like, Gossip Girl or something?"

President Obama reacting to the boisterous applause mysteriously awarded to one questioner at a town hall in Los Angeles today



  • bispo

McAuliffe's Campaign Junk-et


There is really no cleaning up the fact that Terry McAuliffe practices trash politics.

Campaign with him for a few hours and you feel as if you need to take a shower. In fact, the dirty little secret can now be told: McAuliffe, venture capitalist and Clinton moneyman, is the junkyard dog of the Virginia gubernatorial race.

"I love trash," he said yesterday. "I love chicken litter, cow manure, garbage. . . . This is the kind of thing that gets me excited."

And if his opponents were to accuse him of dirty tricks?

"They would probably be right," he admitted with a grin.

McAuliffe said these words -- shouted them, actually -- while standing on a steel grate overlooking a huge trash pit yesterday in Lorton. Claws dangling from cranes grabbed mounds of refuse. Dust flew everywhere. The pit was dark. The smell was bad.

"This is as good as it gets," McAuliffe said. "How exciting is this?" Nodding, grinning, he shouted above the mechanical groans: "Look at those claws!"

Actually, the place was a dump. And that's how McAuliffe likes it. Not since Oscar the Grouch has a creature so enjoyed his trash.

How do you turn a fast-talking, hard-partying Democratic Party apparatchik from New York who lives in McLean into a Virginia commoner? Evidently, you get him involved in solid waste. McAuliffe's campaign for governor is based in no small part on garbage.

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spike gone

AIG Decides it Hasn't Quite Reached Super Villian Status; Tries Harder

NYT Source

A.I.G. Sues U.S. for Return of $306 Million in Tax Payments

While the American International Group comes under fire from Congress over executive bonuses, it is quietly fighting the federal government for the return of $306 million in tax payments, some related to deals that were conducted through offshore tax havens.

A.I.G. sued the government last month in a bid to force it to return the payments, which stemmed in large part from its use of aggressive tax deals, some involving entities controlled by the company’s financial products unit in the Cayman Islands, Ireland, the Dutch Antilles and other offshore havens.

A.I.G. is effectively suing its majority owner, the government, which has an 80 percent stake and has poured nearly $200 billion into the insurer in a bid to avert its collapse and avoid troubling the global financial markets. The company is in effect asking for even more money, in the form of tax refunds. The suit also suggests that A.I.G. is spending taxpayer money to pursue its case, something it is legally entitled to do. Its initial claim was denied by the Internal Revenue Service last year.

The lawsuit, filed on Feb. 27 in Federal District Court in Manhattan, details, among other things, certain tax-related dealings of the financial products unit, the once high-flying division that has been singled out for its role in A.I.G.’s financial crisis last fall. Other deals involved A.I.G. offshore entities whose function centers on executive compensation and include C. V. Starr & Company, a closely held concern controlled by Maurice R. Greenberg, A.I.G.’s former chairman, and the Starr International Company, a privately held enterprise incorporated in Panama, and commonly known as SICO.

The lawsuit contends in part that the federal government owes A.I.G. nearly $62 million in foreign tax credits related to eight foreign entities, with names like Lumagrove, Laperouse and Foppingadreef, that were set up or controlled by financial products, often through a unit known as Pinestead Holdings.

United States tax law allows American companies to claim a credit for any taxes paid to a foreign government. But the I.R.S. denied A.I.G.’s refund claims in 2008, saying that it had improperly calculated the credits. The I.R.S. has identified so-called foreign tax-credit generators as an area of abuse that it is increasingly monitoring.

The remainder of A.I.G.’s claim, for $244 million, concerns net operating loss carry-backs, capital loss carry-backs, a general refund claim and claims for refunds of other tax-related payments that A.I.G. says it made to the I.R.S. but are now owed back. The claim also covers $119 million in penalties and interest that A.I.G. says it is due back from the government.

In part, A.I.G. says it overpaid its federal income taxes after a 2004 accounting scandal that caused it to restate its financial records. A.I.G. says in part that it is entitled to a refund of $33 million that SICO paid in 1997 as compensation to employees, which it now says should be characterized as a deductible expense.

A.I.G.’s lawyers in the case, at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, referred calls to the company. Asked about the lawsuit, Mark Herr, an A.I.G. spokesman, said Thursday that “A.I.G. is taking this action to ensure that it is not required to pay more than its fair share of taxes.”
AD . Self-Portrait

Obama vs. Adama

Didn't see this posted, but I thought it might be somewhat relevant on this day of days. *sniff*

In honor of the passing of Battlestar Galactica.

Having trouble telling the difference between Admiral Adama and President Obama? Here's a helpful guide.

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Although, Tigh = Biden, only crankier, Y/Y?
Jake G -  Moving beauty

Obama Apologizes For Special Olympics Joke

WASHINGTON — Bowling just isn't President Barack Obama's game.

Appearing on "The Tonight Show," the president told host Jay Leno he'd been practicing at the White House's bowling alley but wasn't happy with his score of 129. The he rolled a gutter ball by quipping: "It was like the Special Olympics or something."

The audience laughed, but the White House quickly recognized the blunder.

On his way back to Washington on Air Force One, Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver, to say he was sorry _ even before the taped program aired late Thursday night.

"He expressed his disappointed and he apologized in a way that was very moving. He expressed that he did not intend to humiliate this population," Shriver said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Obama, Shriver said, wants to have some Special Olympic athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.

Still, Shriver said, "I think it's important to see that words hurt and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seem as humiliating or a put down to people with special needs do cause pain and they do result in stereotypes."

Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters traveling with Obama that the president's offhand remark was not meant to disparage the Special Olympics, only to poke some fun at the commander-in-chief's bowling skills.

"He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world," Burton said.

Despite making fun of his score, the president appears to be getting better the more he visits the White House lanes, which President Truman installed in 1947. During a campaign photo op a year ago at a bowling alley in Altoona, Pa., he rolled only a 37 in seven frames. The clip of the disastrous game was replayed on late night television shows such as Leno's _ one of Obama's few campaign gaffes.


Honestly, seeing the whole interview it really did not seem that bad and overall the interview was great.  I wish more people listened to the other things he had to say and pay attention to that.



NJ Considers Ban on Bare-It-All 'Brazilian' Wax

Published: March 19, 2009
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey is drawing the line when it comes to bikini waxing. The state Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling is moving toward a ban on genital waxing after two women reported being injured in their quest for a smooth bikini line.

Both women were hospitalized for infections following so-called ''Brazilian'' bikini waxes; one of the women has filed a lawsuit, according to Jeff Lamm, a spokesman for New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the cosmetology board.

Technically, genital waxing has never been allowed -- only the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted -- but because bare-it-all ''Brazilians'' weren't specifically banned, state regulators haven't enforced the law.

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Reese Witherspoon

More fuel for the fire

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... continued outrage over AIG

US reporting on the $165m bonuses pledged to executives of bailed-out insurer AIG has focused on the anger felt by many Americans at what is widely seen as Wall Street looking after itself at taxpayers' expense.

President Barack Obama joined the chorus of condemnation on Monday, telling Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to "pursue every single legal avenue" to block the payouts.

The Washington Post reported a "tidal wave of public outrage" swamping the firm, to the extent that armed guards were posted outside the Connecticut offices of AIG's Financial Products division. "Inside, death threats and angry letters flooded e-mail inboxes. Irate callers lit up the phone lines. Senior managers submitted their resignations. Some employees didn't show up at all," the paper reports.

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Ire Source

LOLitics | \o/

Shenanigans Friday: March 20, 2009.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." --LOLan Greenspan
Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:

by fallingmallorn
psychotic / patrick bateman

Imam kicks door. Blames vandals. Gets caught. Flips out.

AUSTRALIA'S most controversial sheik, Taj Din al-Hilali, has been caught on videotape kicking in a door at his own mosque before calling police to report an act of vandalism.

The head imam at the Lakemba mosque, who caused outrage in 2006 by comparing scantily clad women to uncovered meat, was shown on a CCTV security tape kicking open the door just minutes before reporting the incident.

The Nine Network's A Current Affair last night broadcast the videotape from March 9, showing the incident, which Sheik Hilali initially denied.

"There is a trick in this camera. There is a trick in this film," he told ACA.

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Kirby Dick's "Outrage" on DC Gay Insider Hypocrisy and Protection Racket

Published: Monday, Mar 16 2009, 9:54PM
Kirby Dick, the Academy Award nominated film director for This Film Is Not Yet Rated, will soon be releasing a new film on the hypocrisy of in-the-closet gay politicians and the lengths Washington will go to help protect them even as they vote and legislate against equal rights and protections for gay and lesbian Americans.

The new film, Outrage will be released on May 8th but will be featured in the Tribeca Film Festival between April 22nd and May 3rd.

I haven't seen the film but understand that it is powerful and pulls ajar doors that some key Republican political personalities are trying to keep jammed shut. Gay activist, blogger, and gay Republican outing-machine Mike Rogers -- who nailed Senator Larry Craig (so to speak) -- features pretty heavily in the film, and I've been told today that yours truly appears in it as well.

Something for your calendars.

-- Steve Clemons

Reese Witherspoon

Michelle Obama and Famous Friends to Visit DC Schools

In another star-packed, White House-coordinated event, first lady Michelle Obama and a line-up of A-list stars -- including Alicia Keyes, Sheryl Crow, Debbie Allen and Alfre Woodard -- plan to fan out to Washington-area schools on Thursday, where they will speak with students about setting career goals and reaching their dreams.

The events are part of the first lady's celebration of Women's History Month.

Obama will go to Anacostia High School in Southeast Washington for "a roundtable discussion with students," while bevy of actresses, musicians and military women stop by schools in other parts of D.C., Montgomery County and Virginia.

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  • bispo

Arnold Loves Barack

Just a few minutes after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called the Special Olympics "a triumph of the human spirit" and said the president "understands that they deserve a lot better than the thoughtless joke that he made last night," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger defended the president after his controversial joke last night on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

"I didn’t see it," said the California Republican. "But I heard about it and I know because of conversations I had with the president about the Special Olympics, and I'm an international coach of the Special Olympics, I know where his heart is at. He loves the Special Olympics and he would do everything he can to help the Special Olympics. And every one of us sometimes makes a mistake by something comes out of your mouth and you say 'Oops I wish I wouldn't have said that.' I've had many of those."

cookie monster

Paul Krugman makes some good points.

March 20, 2009, 9:58 am

Our failure proves our point

Life is easy if you’re a conservative. Even if conservatives fail completely while in power, they can turn around and say, “See — that proves our point. Government doesn’t work!”

But this op-ed from Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy takes the failure as vindication line to new heights:

The focus on government solutions is particularly disappointing given its poor record in dealing with crises in the US and many other countries, such as the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and failure effectively to prosecute the war in Iraq [my emphasis].

May I suggest that Becker and Murphy read, say, this report, titled Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq.

[bangs head on table]

(no subject)

You Mean to Say There Are Poor Gay People?


Shhh, don't tell our advertisers, but maybe gay men and women aren't the affluent, loaded-with-disposable-income, immune-to-the-recession rich kids everyone assumed! A new study suggests the gay characters on Brothers & Sisters, Will & Grace, The L Word might — gasp! — misrepresent the financials of queers. Not even Suze Orman can save us.


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(no subject)

Gay Event at Yogurt Shop Canceled 'for the Safety of Everyone'

If a Gay-Straight Alliance can't hold a fundraiser at a yogurt shop, then where can they hold it?!?

Yogurtime "The Gay Straight Alliance of Upland High School was to hold its first yogurt fundraiser at Yogurtime to raise money for the club, but the event was canceled due to complaints from shop customers. Club members contacted Daniel Solis, the Southern California program director for the Gay Straight Alliance Network, after they were told about the cancellation. 'Legally the yogurt shop does have the right to do that. But it's unfortunate that they would cave in from negative pressure from the community and not stand up to help show the community what GSA is about instead of feeding into the pressure,' Solis said. The students were given some pointers on how to deal with this type of situation, Solis said. "

Said Yogurtime manager Crystal Cho: "It was canceled for the safety of everyone. It's good to bring awareness to the community but apparently a lot of people did not accept that. I didn't expect people to call and read the Bible to me."


(no subject)

Top Ten Conservative Sites


Here are the top ten knuckle-dragger sites, as ranked by Alexa's tally of monthly page views. Top ranked World Net Daily claims to have over 50M page views monthly.

1. WorldNetDaily
2. News
3. Free Republic
5. Infowars
6. National Review Online
7. Heritage Foundation
8. The Weekly Standard
9. Ann Coulter - Official Site


How depressing this news would be if I were a Republican. I had NO idea that site was that fucking popular.
  • war4l

Hijab debate in Norway

OSLO - Norway's biggest headache right now is not the financial crisis. Rather, the predominantly Christian nation is plagued by a religious dilemma over the right of a Muslim woman to wear a hijab as part of her police uniform.

As the controversy has escalated, the country has seen the physical collapse of the justice minister, the public burning of a hijab, and a substantial rise in the popularity of Norway's anti-immigrant opposition party just six months before general elections.

This is odd for a country known for religious tolerance, generous international development aid, and peace efforts worldwide. But the controversy highlights the latent fears of a nonpluralistic society, where 91 percent belong to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Norway.
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Reese Witherspoon

Some Bailout Money Is Set Aside to Pay Firms That Bet Housing Market Would Crater

"The money from the government is going out the back door from AIG straight off to these hedge funds via the credit default swap contracts." - In this video, hedge fund manager Patrick Morris of Hagin Investment Management explains to Dow Jones Newswires' Simon Constable how money to fund the beleaguered insurance giant found its way to unregulated money managers.

Some of the billions of dollars that the U.S. government paid to bail out American International Group Inc. stand to benefit hedge funds that bet on a falling housing market, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The documents show how Wall Street banks were middlemen in trades with hedge funds and AIG that left the giant insurer holding the bag on billions of dollars of assets tied to souring mortgages. AIG has put in escrow some money for at least one major bank, Deutsche Bank AG, whose hedge-fund clients made bets against the housing market, according to a person familiar with the matter. The money will be released to the bank if mortgage defaults rise above a certain level.

In essence, while the U.S. government is busy trying to prop up the housing market -- by trying to limit foreclosures, among other things -- it is simultaneously putting up cash that could be used to pay off investors who bet housing prices would tumble and many mortgage holders would default.

It's unclear how much government money might eventually flow to hedge-fund investors. Overall, the government has committed up to $173.3 billion to bail out AIG. Of that amount, AIG's housing-related bets have cost U.S. taxpayers some $52 billion.

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Joe The Plumber Tells Conservatives: "I'm Horny"

Image and video hosting by TinyPicgiggity giggity

Joe the Plumber -- real name Samuel Wurzelbacher -- told an crowd of conservatives Thursday night that their love was getting him all hot and bothered.
"God, all this love and everything in the room -- I'm horny," declared Joe.
Wurzelbacher had taken the stage to a standing ovation at the annual "DisHonors" Awards, presented by the Media Research Center, to poke fun liberal media groups. But the "horny" declaration didn't go over too well, according to the Washington Post.
Buzz immediately commenced.

"Did Joe the Plumber really just say he's horny?" "Did you hear Joe say 'horny'?" "Why is he horny and why is he telling us?" ...

After declaring he was horny, Joe mumbled a few other things about being the "token redneck" and the media loving him, and then sat back down in a sea of conservative luminaries that included G. Gordon Liddy, former Attorney General Ed Meese, radio talk show host Mark Levin, Fox News' Brit Hume and former House speaker (for half a minute) Bob Livingston.
Since debuting during the presidential campaign as the face of an "average Joe," Wurzelbacher has kept himself busy, talking strategy with conservative groups and doling out criticism for RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
"Unfortunately, we have a chairman up there who wants to redefine conservatism; he wants to make it hip hop, put it in a new package and sell it," Wurzelbacher said. "You can't sell principles; either you have them or you don't."


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' jules

Let the good times roll

Iraq War Turns Six

Happy Sixth Anniversary of the War in Iraq! Sort of! The war began on March 20, 2003, Baghdad time, so we're totally not late. Let's look back at the lies!

On March 8, George W. Bush told America "we are doing everything we can to avoid War in Iraq." Hah, the CIA's "special activities division" was already in Iraq, along with a couple Special Ops dudes, destabilizing things and generally "warring." That VERY SAME DAY Halliburton was awarded a $7 billion reconstruction contract. But hey, that bald-faced lie was actually one of the more harmless deceptions of that magical first Bush term.

The next day, Condi Rice, the dead-ender Bushite whom lots of otherwise reasonable people still "like," went on Face the Nation and cited faulty intelligence gleaned through torture that the C.I.A. already had doubts about.

Hey, let's all go back in time with this remarkable Washington Post story from the day before the war. It is about how Bush lied, all the time, about everything, and everyone who paid attention knew it. It ran on page A13! Page one of every major newspaper was for reprinting those lies and adding some new ones, of course. It was a golden era of journalism.

There are still a lot of people still taken semi-seriously who should be frog-marched out of public service, journalism, and/or commentary for either believing or pretending to believe the obvious bullshit of those terrible years. But, you know, Kissinger still attends journalists' parties and Peter Beinart is "a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations" and basically there is still nothing you can really do to be kicked out of the foreign policy "establishment" once you're in, in this country. Kinda like finance!

So happy birthday quagmire! Don't forget to Tweet about it!

Mother Jones: Iraq War Timeline

Bush did it for the lulz.


Sanford is a whiny crybaby, news at 11

Since he's now been told TWICE that he can't spend part of the stimulus to pay down state debt, he said he just won't accept it, then, so there President Obama. And then he adds that "If our General Assembly chooses to make use of this federal money ... We'd ask them to use existing state resources to begin paying down our state's sizable liabilities."

SOURCE - with bonus LOLtastic comments

The comment we'd been waiting for!

The Alaska governor tells The Daily Beast that she was none too pleased with the President’s gag line on The Tonight Show.


You knew this was coming.

In the wake of President Obama's gaffe on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno yesterday about Special Olympics athletes, Gov. Sarah Palin, whose son has Down syndrome, is blasting him for disparaging the special needs community.

“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics,” Palin said in a statement. “This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world."

She added:

“These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”

Obama's office has tried to clarify his remark since the initial blunder and the President apologized to Special Olympics chairman Timothy Shriver. Meanwhile, Palin has come under fire this week for refusing stimulus money slated to help special needs education programs. Her stance on funding for such programs as governor led to attacks during the campaign as well.

Special Sauce.

Ah, Mooselini, you never disappoint! Bless.

Kentucky Election Officials Arrested, Charged With 'Changing Votes at E-Voting Machines'

KY Election Officials Arrested, Charged With 'Changing Votes at E-Voting Machines'
Circuit court judge, county clerk, and election officials among eight indicted for gaming elections in 2002, 2004, 2006. County uses popular, unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting systems..

Collapse )The Kentucky officials arrested and indicted today, "including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers" of Clay County, have been charged with "chang[ing] votes at the voting machine" and showing others how to do it!

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    The Phantom of the Opera

Putin Stops Russian Baby-Seal Slaughter

The dewy-eyed innocence of baby harp seals has prompted a rare burst of environmental activism in Russia that has moved Vladimir Putin to end their slaughter.

The annual spring cull in the northern White Sea region has been scrapped after Putin condemned the clubbing of baby seals for their fur as a "bloody trade."

The Natural Resources and Ecology Ministry said that it was responding to public concern, but the Prime Minister's words appeared to have been decisive.

Yuri Trutnev, the Natural Resources Minister, reacted swiftly, outlawing the cull of harp seals younger than one year old after Putin told a Cabinet meeting that "it's clear that it should have been banned long ago."

The ministry said: "This is a serious step forward to protect Russia's biological diversity. This decision was made largely thanks to public environmental organizations which took an active position on this issue."

Conservation groups have staged protests in 20 Russian cities this week, demanding an end to the slaughter. Activists accused Norwegian companies of encouraging the killing because seal hunting was no longer allowed in their own country.


"How bitter the irony of those who promote abortion as a form of 'maternal' health care!"

LUANDA, Angola (CNS) -- Addressing Angolan political leaders and an international group of diplomats, Pope Benedict XVI appealed on behalf of African families struggling from the effects of poverty, disease and war.

The pope said women and girls in particular experience "crushing" discrimination and sexual exploitation. At the same time, he criticized agencies that, under the pretext of improving health care, try to promote abortion.

"How bitter the irony of those who promote abortion as a form of 'maternal' health care! How disconcerting the claim that the termination of life is a matter of reproductive health!" he said.

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Also, check out this article on the pope's visit. Just Ctrl-F "Igor Rivas."

Newt Gingritch Reaches Out To Religious Conservatives

At a time when many religious conservatives say the Republican Party is ignoring their issues and taking their support for granted, former House speaker and GOP idea man Newt Gingrich is turning his attention to the concerns of conservative Christians like never before.

Gingrich has launched an organization devoted to bringing conservative evangelicals and Catholics into the political process and to strengthening the frayed alliance between economic and religious conservatives. Called Renewing American Leadership, the group is led by Gingrich's longtime communications director and includes some of the country's top conservative Christian activists on its board.

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  • bispo

Is ABC’s Jake Tapper blocking journalists who criticize his Twitter updates?

ABC News’s Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper is a big fan of transparency. He has criticized the Obama administration for not allowing press during certain public appearances, and during a White House press briefing last month, Tapper went hard after Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the President’s commitment to transparency. Watch it:

But according to several journalists — including David Kurtz of TPM, Adam Serwer of the American Prospect, and at least four other people — Tapper is now blocking them from following his Twitter feed:


What did they do to deserve being blocked? Many of them apparently had the audacity to criticize some of Tapper’s tweets. (See update below)

UpdateThinkProgress contacted Tapper (via Twitter), who replied, "that story isn't true. People can criticize, just wld like twitter to remain civil. Tpm is unblocked." Others are saying they are still blocked.
UpdateThinkProgress received a statement from Jake Tapper, explaining that he is not trying to be less transparent, but rather trying to block users who are directing ad hominem attacks:


I'm trying to use twitter as a way to communicate with all sorts of people from all over the political spectrum, as a place for feedback, polite argument, and dialogue. I learned that the AP was taking Coach K's quote out of context from a tweet; it ended up on Good Morning America this morning. I want this way to talk to people. I don't want it to turn into what the comment section of my blog has become. The only people who have been blocked are people who make ad hominem attacks. They're still fully able to read my tweets -- I just don't care to read theirs.
Update: Sargent has more, including a further response from Serwer.

Sarah Palin says no to money for special needs children...

Sarah Palin to refuse stimulus funds for education

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced yesterday her intent to refuse nearly a third of the recently passed stimulus money allotted to the state of Alaska. The governor had said earlier she would refuse half the stimulus funding, but later admitted she would be more than willing to take the money allotted in the stimulus bill for Medicare, thus raising the total amount she would willingly take to about 70%.

Palin is not taking about $288 million of the $930.7 million that Alaska is due in the federal stimulus. Palin said she is accepting the federal stimulus money that would go for construction projects, but not funding directed at government operations.

"We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government," Palin said. "In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government."'

And here's the kicker:

The biggest single chunk of money that Palin is turning down is about $170 million for education, including money that would go for programs to help economically disadvantaged and special needs students. Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau said she is "shocked and very disappointed" that Palin would reject the schools money. She said it could be used for job preservation, teacher training, and helping kids who need it.

So, I wonder why, if the governor is so concerned about the size of government in Alaska, she would so eagerly accept the Medicare funds and refuse the funds for education. And particularly funds that would go to a cause Ms. Palin has expressed such passionate interest in; assisting special needs children. Perhaps the governor thinks the educational system in Alaska is just fine. Oh can't be that... From the Anchorage Daily News:

Here's another gloomy statistic at the other end of the public education system: Only about two-thirds of Alaska high school students graduate in four years, compared with the U.S. average of three-fourths graduating.

And of Alaska students who do graduate, only a third start college. Nationwide, nearly half of high school graduates are college-bound. So what's the plan to improve the odds for Alaska kids?

It's probably not a coincidence that each of the Republican governors who have showboated taken public stands on not accepting federal stimulus money are thought to be contenders for a future GOP presidential run. It's also true that the state legislatures in each of the states are able to overturn the governors decision.

Which, of course, would be the best of all worlds for these governors. They would get the Rush LImbaugh butt kissing bonus points for claiming they will refuse the funds and later be able to claim the state legislatures overruled them. And everything worked out happily ever after.
  • bispo

Michael Steele Doesn’t Know What The First Amendment Says


This morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele came out of isolation and guest-hosted Bill Bennett’s Morning in America. During the program, a caller asked Steele about the constitutionality of the 90 percent bonus tax passed by the House yesterday. The caller said that he believed that the tax was unconstitutional because “the first amendment…specifically states that a law cannot be passed to specifically target a person or a group of people.”
The caller was apparently trying to reference the ban on bills of attainder in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, not the first amendment. Apparently unfamiliar with the purpose of the first amendment, Steele responded, “That’s right!”:
CALLER: I noticed a couple people now talking about the Constitution and I’m told on the law they are currently trying to pass in order to tax all of the bonus pay. Well I believe, well, actually I know it is against the constitution. I believe it is the first amendment that specifically states that a law cannot be passed to specifically target a person or a group of people.
STEELE: That’s right!
CALLER: And we’ve got a president who is supposedly a constitutional scholar.
STEELE: Right. Right.
Listen here:
Here’s what the first amendment actually addresses:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Earlier this month, Ken Blackwell, a former candidate for the RNC chairmanship responded to Steele’s recent flip-flopping on abortion by suggesting that Steele “re-read the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and the 2008 GOP Platform.” Given Steele’s apparent lack of familiarity with the first amendment, it seems he may still be making his way through Blackwell’s reading list.

  • bispo

Rep. Sherman Squares Off With Pro-Wall Street CNBC Host

On CNBC this morning, host Mark Haines -- who is catching heat this morning for arguing that Wall Street can't "be run well" by anyone making under $250,000 -- was at it again defending the need for high executive bonuses in order to keep Wall Street running.
But Haines' interviewee, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), pushed right back at the host's conspicuously pro-Wall Street line.
When Sherman observed that "most people on Main Street do not" agree that AIG can't be put into government receivership (an assertion supported by recent polling on nationalization), Haines replied: "And what do the people on Main Street know about running a financial system?"
To which Sherman quipped: "What do AIG executives know about running a financial system? They only know how to destroy one."
Video of the exchange is below, and a full transcript is posted after the jump.
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OMG......the sky really IS falling.....

On a day where a Republican Governor pipes up to defend a Democratic President over an unfortunate mis-cracked joke.......and where MCCAIN tells everyone to "Leave Geithner Alone!".......this must be a sign of the apocalypse.

I must now retire to my fainting couch.......

Gov. Schwarzenegger Defends President's Special Olympics Comment

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters Friday afternoon that President Obama meant no harm by the comment he made about the Special Olympics during his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

"I know, because of conversations I've had with the president about Special Olympics ... I know where his heart is at," Schwarzenegger said. "He loves Special Olympics, he would do anything he can to help Special Olympics."

Schwarzenegger chalked up Obama's gaffe to a simple "oops" moment.

"Every one of us sometimes makes a mistake," Schwarzenegger said. "Sometimes something comes out of your mouth and you say 'Oops, I wish I wouldn't have said that.' I've had many of those."


McCain Defends Geithner: Give Him A Chance To Succeed

An unlikely figure has come to the defense of embattled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: Sen. John McCain.

Geithner "should be given a chance to succeed," McCain said on Friday, according to the Financial Times, which notes that the former presidential candidate was one of the few Republican senators to support Geithner's nomination, and likely the first to "speak up in Mr Geithner's defence amid growing calls for his resignation."

"Everyone acknowledges he needs help," said Mr McCain, in reference to the Obama administration's difficulty in recruiting nominees to the Treasury department, where Mr Geithner remains the only official to have been confirmed.
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