March 27th, 2009

(no subject)

Enough With The Wife Worship

Elisabeth Eaves, 03.27.09, 12:00 AM ET

I wasn't a Michelle hater before the election. I thought her critics went over the top, with their charges of everything from race-related thought-crimes to terrorist-coddling tendencies. Now, however, I find myself on the verge of gagging at the Michelle-worship that has seized America.


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Aided by Safety Nets, Europe Resists Stimulus Push

VIENENBURG, Germany — Last month Frank Koppe gathered together all 50 of his employees at Koppe-Apparatebau for coffee, cake and the kind of bad news that has lately become all too familiar. He told them the small company’s business, designing and manufacturing custom equipment for industrial plants, had been sliced nearly in half.

But rather than resorting to layoffs, Mr. Koppe asked half his employees to come in every other week. The government would make up roughly two-thirds of their lost wages out of a fund filled in good times through payroll deductions and company contributions.

The program — known as “Kurzarbeit,” which translates as “short work” — and others like it lie at the heart of a heated debate that has erupted on the eve of next week’s Group of 20 meeting of industrialized and developing nations and the European Union, creating a rift between the Obama administration and European governments. The United States is pressing for a coordinated package of stimulus plans by member countries to encourage economic growth, something that Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, which holds the European Union presidency, has called “a way to hell.”

But virtually all European governments, led by budget-conscious Germany, are resisting the American pitch, saying the focus should be on stricter regulation of financial markets.

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UN body OKs call to curb religious criticism

UN body OKs call to curb religious criticism

The U.N.'s top human-rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations Thursday urging passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.

The proposal put forward by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic countries — with the backing of Belarus and Venezuela — had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.

A simple majority of 23 members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution. Eleven nations, mostly Western, opposed the resolution, and 13 countries abstained.

The resolution urges states to provide "protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general."
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John J. Mearsheimer: Please tell me, where is Israel headed?

Benjamin Netanyahu is in the final stages of putting together Israel's next government, which will be opposed to a two-state solution. Most importantly, the new prime minister and his Likud Party are firmly against a Palestinian state. The Labor Party, which will be part of the governing coalition and which has been identified with the two-state solution for the past two decades, did not insist that Likud support that policy as a condition for joining the government. Its leader, Ehud Barak, merely asked for and got a vague statement saying that Israel was committed to promoting regional peace. Avigdor Lieberman, who heads Yisrael Beiteinu, the other major party in the ruling coalition, is not likely to push to give the Palestinians a viable state of their own. His main concern is "transferring" the Palestinians out of Israel so that it can be an almost purely Jewish state.

So Israel will continue expanding its settlements in the West Bank. In fact, the Israeli press is reporting that Netanyahu and Lieberman agreed in their negotiations to form a government that Israel would build 3,000 housing units in an area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim (a huge settlement bloc) known as E-1. Once that is accomplished, Israel will have effectively cut the West Bank in half, making it almost impossible to create a viable Palestinian state. This deal was supposed to be secret, because the United States is opposed to Israel building in the E-1 area.

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Neo-Con Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group

WASHINGTON, Mar 25 (IPS) - A newly-formed and still obscure neo-conservative foreign policy organisation is giving some observers flashbacks to the 1990s, when its predecessor staked out the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy that came to fruition under the George W. Bush administration.

The blandly-named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) - the brainchild of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, neo-conservative foreign policy guru Robert Kagan, and former Bush administration official Dan Senor - has thus far kept a low profile; its only activity to this point has been to sponsor a conference pushing for a U.S. "surge" in Afghanistan.

But some see FPI as a likely successor to Kristol’s and Kagan’s previous organisation, the now-defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which they launched in 1997 and which became best known for leading the public campaign to oust former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein both before and after the Sep. 11 attacks.

PNAC’s charter members included many figures who later held top positions under Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, and his top deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.

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Justine Lai is an artist no one knows about, but she just might be in the news soon enough. Why? Because she's painting herself having sex with all of the presidents.


In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated.

I approach the spectacle of sex and politics with a certain playfulness. It would be easy to let the images slide into territory that's strictly pornographic—the lurid and hardcore, the predictably "controversial." One could also imagine a series preoccupied with wearing its "Fuck the Man" symbolism on its sleeve. But I wish to move beyond these things and make something playful and tender and maybe a little ambiguous, but exuberantly so. This, I feel, is the most humanizing act I can do.

March 2009

Shirley Animated

Senate refuses to legitimize "crisis pregnancy centers"

Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, hailed the Senate for resoundingly rejecting an amendment to a national-service bill that would have encouraged anti-choice organizations to apply for federal funding.

Last night's amendment offered by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), which failed by a vote of 41 to 56, would have made so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" explicitly eligible for federal funding for the first time ever. Many CPCs use deceptive, intimidating, and emotionally manipulative tactics to block women from learning the facts about, or choosing, legal abortion.

"We are pleased that the Senate opposed an anti-choice effort to turn a bill designed to encourage volunteerism and civic participation into a vehicle for anti-choice propaganda," Keenan said. "A majority of so-called 'crisis pregnancy centers' are not licensed medical facilities and do not have medically trained staff, although they purport to give comprehensive reproductive-health information. Instead, volunteers at CPCs often deprive women of the information necessary to make an informed decision about their health-care options. It would have been wrong for the Senate to legitimize these practices in any way."

The Senate's vote on a measure related to CPCs coincides with NARAL Pro-Choice America's efforts to urge Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who also serves as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to veto legislation in his state that would establish a "Choose Life" license plate that would direct funding to these organizations. Thus far, NARAL Pro-Choice America, in partnership with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, has channeled more than 14,000 messages from activists to the DNC urging Gov. Kaine to veto the measure.

"We hope the Senate vote against funding for organizations that use deceptive practices encourages Gov. Kaine to do the right thing for Virginia women and families," Keenan said. "During this time of economic crisis, when more and more of Virginia's women are losing health-care coverage, the Commonwealth should focus its efforts on supporting legitimate, comprehensive health-care options instead of CPCs whose missions have nothing to do with health care and everything to do with propaganda."

Gov. Kaine is considering the bill and is expected to act in a matter of days. For more information, please visit

Source: NARAL Pro-Choice America

I really hope Gov. Kaine vetoes that bill. And since when are blatant political statements allowed on license plates, even vanity ones?
Shirley Animated

Teen birthrate increases for second consecutive year

The rate at which teenage girls in the United States are having babies has risen for a second year in a row, government statistics show, putting one of the nation's most successful social and public health campaigns in jeopardy.

Teen births in the District, Maryland and Virginia mirror the national trend, the numbers show, and local health experts say they are alarmed by the shift.

Nationally, the birthrate among 15-to-19-year-olds rose 1.4 percent from 2006 to 2007, continuing a climb that began a year earlier. The rate jumped 3.4 percent from 2005 to 2006, reversing what had been a 14-year decline.

Although researchers will have to wait at least another year to see whether a clear trend emerges, the two consecutive increases signal that the long national campaign to reduce teen pregnancies may have stalled or even reversed.

"We've now had two years of increases," said Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, which issued the report yesterday. "We may have reached a tipping point. It's hard to know where it's going to go from here."

The reasons for the increase remain unclear, although experts speculated that it could be a result of growing complacency about AIDS and teen pregnancy, among other factors. The rise may also reflect a broader trend that affects all age groups, because birthrates have also increased among women in their 20s, 30s and 40s and older unmarried women.

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There really are no words. President Obama needs to cut ALL abstinence-only funding and fund reality-based sex education. I have several friends who are having kids left and right, and we're 19-20. It's really depressing. And as for the stats about 10-14 year-olds...dear god.
the burns! by lady_agrias
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Bachmann Blasts Obama's "Economic Marxism," Calls For "Orderly Revolution" To Save Freedom

Bachmann Blasts Obama's "Economic Marxism," Calls For "Orderly Revolution" To Save Freedom
By Eric Kleefeld - March 27, 2009, 11:59AM

Wow. Just plain wow. This past Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show, and sharply reiterated her calls for revolution in America, warning against the imminent dangers of tyranny under Barack Obama:

"We are headed down the lane of economic Marxism," said Bachmann. "More quickly, Sean, than anyone could have possibly imagined. It's difficult for us to even keep up with it day to day."

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good news everyone!
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'Honor Killings' Have Morphed Into 'Honor Suicides' in Turkey

When Elif's father told her she had to kill herself in order to spare him from a prison sentence for her murder, she considered it long and hard. "I loved my father so much, I was ready to commit suicide for him even though I hadn't done anything wrong," the 18-year-old said. "But I just couldn't go through with it. I love life too much."

All Elif had done was simply decline the offer of an arranged marriage with an older man, telling her parents she wanted to continue her education. That act of disobedience was seen as bringing dishonour on her whole family - a crime punishable by death. "I managed to escape. When I was at school, a few girls I knew were killed by their families in the name of honour - one of them for simply receiving a text message from a boy," Elif said.

So-called "honour killings" in Turkey have reached record levels. According to government figures, there are more than 200 a year - half of all the murders committed in the country. Now, in a sinister twist, comes the emergence of "honour suicides". The growing phenomenon has been linked to reforms to Turkey's penal code in 2005. That introduced mandatory life sentences for honour killers, whereas in the past, killers could receive a reduced sentence claiming provocation. Soon after the law was passed, the numbers of female suicides started to rocket.

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Know Your Place

Congressman Wants Michelle Obama To Shut Up And Look Pretty


California Congressman Darrell Issa (need I say he's a Republican?) has introduced a bill to restore honor to the White House by prohibiting Michelle Obama from doing any substantive work.

Issa's bill is required because, according to a 1993 federal appeals court ruling when a bunch of conservatives sued the Clinton Administration over Hillary Clinton's health care task force. Republicans had sued claiming that Hillary's participation in the White House Health Care Task Force — since she wasn't a federal employee — made the group an outside advisory panel to which federal laws requiring that its meetings be public and announced ages in advance applied. The appeals court ruled that the First Lady was functionally a government employee, meaning that she could participate in policy discussions and debates like any other member of the Administration without complying with the onerous requirements on outside advisory groups designed to limit the ability of lobbyists and special interests to influence policy.

And if you're wondering why this hasn't come up in more than 15 years, well, Issa technically did introduce the bill early last year (though he didn't push for its passage the way he is now). It probably wasn't aimed at Michelle at the time — and it strains credibility that Issa thought it was important to limit Laura Bush's role in policy debates. When Issa introduced his bill he was, of course, trying to go after Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton's ability to shape policy debates.

But why Michelle?

"We are trying actually to protect the historic role of the first lady," Issa insisted, repeatedly invoking the "transparency" mantra of the Obama administration. "I believe this is open government at its finest."

You know, the "historic" role of the First Lady in which she behaves like a proper lady, doesn't contribute to policy debates and hosts the White House East Egg roll. God forbid we have another Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt or Hillary Clinton in the White House when we could have a "traditional" First Lady.


(no subject)

Students protest after two men are bashed

by Anthony Glassman

Cincinnati--A major protest erupted after a gay man and his heterosexual friend were attacked near the University of Cincinnati campus.

The two men were walking back to campus on Clifton Avenue in the pre-dawn hours of March 6, when they ran into three other men that one of the victims knew from high school.

But when the trio found out that the other man is gay, they attacked him and their former classmate, who was protecting him.

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  • bispo


I know where White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs used to spend his childhood vacations. I know what he argued with his cousin about. I’m aware that he once helped a friend carry kegs down the National Mall for a Fourth of July beer party.

But why would he share this information?

He didn't.

The Facebook Group "I Knew Robert Gibbs Back When…" has, as of today, 151 members ranging from cousins and classmates to former colleagues. And all have tidbits to share about the spokesperson for the most powerful political office on Earth.

In his last radio address before inauguration, President Barack Obama promised Americans that he would "carry the voices of ordinary Americans to Washington."

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(no subject)

Vermont gay marriage push may not end with veto


Gay marriage supporters/opponents are counting heads in New Hampshire and Vermont as liberalizing marriage bills come close to final votes. The magic number isn't the tally it takes to pass, it's whether there are enough votes -- two thirds of each legislative chamber -- to override a veto. In the Boston Globe, Colin Manning, a spokesman for New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, hedged on Lynch's plans if the bill passes, saying:
He thinks the civil unions that he signed into law prevents discrimination and provides the same legal protections to all New Hampshire families to the extent that it's possible under federal law.
Yesterday, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas announced that he would veto the bill, up for house debate after passing the state senate.  According to the Associated Press, Douglas said he thought that Vermont's pioneering civil unions legislation provided sufficient rights and that by announcing his veto plan "we can move more quickly beyond this debate." What are the chances of that? Whichever way these votes or vetoes fall, do you think pro-or-anti same-sex-marriage forces will let this issue alone?

comedy | Canada: Model UN

Shenanigans Friday: March 27, 2009.

"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy." --Gen. LOLman Schwarzkopf
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by whatsgood

(no subject)

BUSTED: Sponsor Of TN Marriage Ban


Jeff Miller, the former Tennessee state senator who in 2005 successfully installed that state's ban on same-sex marriage, was arrested Wednesday for defrauding his home county in his position as tax collector.
A press release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says that Miller, 46, was indicted on one count of Official Misconduct, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Perjury. April Miles, 28, was charged with one count of Aggravated Perjury, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Perjury. Miles was Miller’s secretary. The TBI opened the investigation at the request of the District Attorney General on January 25, 2009 after there were allegations that Miller was overbilling the county while he served in the appointed position of Delinquent Tax Attorney for Bradley County. When Miller was removed from office, he was ordered to turn over title search records. He did not have the records that showed he performed the required title searches even though he received payment for these searches. TBI executed a search warrant on Miller’s office on January 28, 2009 as part of the investigation.
Local Tennessee LGBT paper Out & About notes:
Miller’s advocacy for the sanctity of marriage rang hollow at a time when his wife of 15 years sued him for divorce, citing behavior that suggested Miller was guilty of extramarital philandering. Bridgett Suzanne Miller filed divorce papers in Bradley County Circuit Court on February 25, 2005 and accused her husband of “inappropriate marital conduct.”

Jake G -  Moving beauty

Limbaugh: Hillary Is "Twice The Man" That Obama Is

It's Friday, so why not check out what's happening on talk radio? Oh, here's Rush Limbaugh, passing on the opportunity to offer any substantive critique of, say, the White House's Afghanistan policy or something, to instead offer up one of his patented dinner theatre routines: "Hillary Clinton is a Mannish Lesbian."

Ridiculing Clinton for the work she's undertaken thus far at State, Limbaugh bleats: "The scary thing is that she is TWICE the man OBAMA is."

This is all part of Michael Steele's secret hip-hop ninja inside-the-tent Pack Rat strategy, I'm sure, don't worry.

LISTEN HERE  (sorry can't embed it)


Rush needs to seriously STFU and STFD Limbaugh isn't even worth being on the bottom of Obama's shoe let alone being called a man.

illogical spock

Dail Mail: OMG German's might take over British throne.

 ANALYSIS: Changing the act of succession would put a question mark over the monarchy

By Steve Doughty


The Act of Settlement has long been a target of the political Left, who believe the 308-year-old pillar of the constitution is an offence against human rights. Primogeniture, the automatic precedence of men over women in line for the throne which goes back as long as history has been written, is even more offensive to the diversity and equality lobby.

Campaigning against what the Left see as the twin evils of the Act and primogeniture began seriously at the turn of the Millennium, when the Guardian newspaper led the cause. The Human Rights Act, which went into effect in 2000, gave a powerful boost to the idea.

Unhappiness has recently been shared by senior members of the Government. Justice Secretary Jack Straw launched a review of the Act of Settlement at the end of last year, calling it 'antiquated' and saying it discriminated against non-Protestants.

Leading Roman Catholics find the law irritating, although there has been no obvious sign of discontent among the millions of ordinary Catholics.

But the trouble with pulling down pillars of the constitution is that you never know what may fall with them.

Tinkering with either the 18th century law or the principle of primogeniture would put a question mark over the future of the monarchy, at a time when its popularity has been rocky.

The Act of Settlement was a law to ensure that the Roman Catholic Stuart dynasty, chased off the throne in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, could not return. It barred any Catholic monarch or any monarch from marrying a Catholic, and paved the way for the arrival in 1714 of the Hanoverian dynasty with George I, the monarch from whom the present Queen is descended.

Repeal of the Act might even call into question the right of the Queen to be monarch. 

The remnants of the Stuart dynasty now living in southern Germany might feel they had a better claim to the throne.

Removal of the Act of Settlement would threaten the position of the Church of England, England's state religion since 1534, when Henry VIII broke with Rome.

This would not worry some Church leaders. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said last year that disestablishment was 'by no means the end of the world'.

It would, however, be a further blow to Christianity and leave a major constitutional problem.

The role of the CofE is knotted deeply together with that of Parliament and the monarchy in centuries of constitutional law and practice. The Church crowns the monarch and the monarch is Supreme Governor of the Church. Neither role could continue were the Church to be disestablished.

An end to primogeniture would be seen as a blow to the hereditary principle, already eroded by the removal of hereditary peers from the House of Lords.

Daily FAIL

The Germans are coming, the Germans are coming...
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Noam Chomsky on Tim Geithner and bank bailout plan, democracy vs. corporations

My crappy summary: Chomsky says banks getting cash for trash, government technically owns stakes in many of them but won't utilize it, instead basically doling out public money to private industry heads; supports economist Dean Baker and James K. Galbraith's ideas to split up AIG (sever finance unit from rest of company), aggressively use FDIC to put more banks into receivership; public should insist in actual participatory role in institutions getting public money.

team science

Welcome to the Fail Boat: Police of Heilbronn, Germany!

Did I write in a former post that a German police department had learned the meaning of "Epic Fail" after the "school shooting announced on the web" affair? Well, THESE guys not only take the cake, but the whole bakery!

'DNA bungle' haunts German police

Police in Germany have admitted that a woman they have been hunting for more than 15 years may never have existed. Dubbed the "phantom of Heilbronn", the woman was described by police as the country's most dangerous woman.
Investigators had connected her to six murders and an unsolved death based on DNA traces found at the scene. Police are now acknowledging that swabs used to collect DNA samples may have been contaminated by an innocent woman - possibly during manufacture.

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The manufacturer of the cotton buds announced today that their products had never been certified for forensic DNA testing. They were sterile, but not DNA-free - big difference. One of the main principles in science: If your results don't match common sense, check your materials and methods for possible sources of error before you draw big conclusions from them. They should hire a few more scientists...

Edit: And I fail at html, sorry!
  • bispo

Sen. Chuck Grassley and "your wife"

How can you not love that rascally Chuck Grassley? And if you didn't love him before — you will now.

Check out this exchange from yesterday's Senate Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Markup.

Grassley laid it on thick to Sen. Kent Conrad, reminding the senator that he asked Grassley not to take a vote on something a few years ago and Grassley obliged. Then the Iowan continued to remind the senator that Conrad's reaction to this was, he said "it was a very statesman-like thing to do." But for good measure, Grassley, a senior member of the Budget Committee, ended with, "So I would hope you would return the favor."

Conrad looks shocked and laughingly replies, "I used to like you," before saying, "Oh, you are good."

Without missing a beat, Grassley responds: "Your wife said the same thing."

Upon which Conrad replied steadily and ignored what could have been an even more awkward moment by saying, "She said you were the biggest hit of all the speakers at the event."

Conservatives Embrace The Snuggie


"Never let it be said that conservatives and libertarians have no sense of humor," says Americans for Tax Reform's Derek Hunter, who's been doing his best to photograph fellow conservatives sporting the trend of the moment: the Snuggie.

And it's working: So far he's convinced Joe the Plumber, Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart to adorn the "blanket with sleeves" that has people mocking it while simultaneously wearing it. His boss, ATR President Grover Norquist, was the first "political celebrity" to put it on.

"I was plotting, trying to think of how to ask Grover," said Hunter. "But a friend of his grabbed him after a Wednesday meeting and said, 'You have to get your picture taken in this.' He knew what it was, thought it was funny and slid it on."

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Admit it ONTD_P, who owns one or who wants one? I certainly do because I want to be ~comfy~. By the way, I posted this for the giggles.

The warm, soft source
hp; deathly hallows; come to die

Miami sex offenders still living under bridge

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Associated Press Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- A sandy shoreline runs outside Patrick Wiese's front door. A white crane toes through gentle blue-green waters as the sun beams overhead. The view of downtown is spectacular, the fishing good and the rent free.

Yet he'd give it all up for a bed in a warehouse.

Wiese is among 52 sex offenders living under a busy bridge over Biscayne Bay that connects Miami to Miami Beach. The state insisted two years ago it would urge them to leave, but the community has only grown.

It has become a makeshift town of parolees and others who struggle to find affordable housing that doesn't violate strict local ordinances against sex offenders living too close to schools, parks and other places children congregate.

In the angled area where the bridge meets a concrete slope, residents have put up domed tents, a shack housing a makeshift kitchen, a camper, even a weight bench. They've spray painted the slope and the pillars supporting the bridge: "We 'R' Not Monsters." "They Treat Animals Better!!!" "Why?"

"They throw us under here and just hope that we can do something ourselves," said 47-year-old Wiese, standing in the doorway to a small shack made of collected wood scraps. "If I was a murderer, they would help me, they would find me a home, they would find me a job."

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barack eye

ShamPOW! Right in the kisser!

Vince Shlomi, ShamWOW Pitchman, arrested for battering hooker

ShamWow pitchman Vince Shlomi was arrested on felony battery charges in Miami last month following a violent encounter with a hooker, according to The Smoking Gun:

Shlomi told cops he paid [Sasha] Harris about $1000 in cash after she "propositioned him for straight sex." Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly "bit his tongue and would not let go." Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue. The affidavit...notes that during the 4 AM fight Harris sustained facial fractures and lacerations all over her face.... After freeing his tongue, a bleeding Shlomi ran to the [hotel] lobby, where security summoned cops. Harris refused to cooperate with officers, who recovered $930 from her purse.


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Me in Hawaii.

Czech PM says AC/DC behind "road to hell" comment

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Ousted Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek says he was inspired by the rock group AC/DC when he mocked U.S. President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plans as a "road to hell."

Topolanek criticized Washington's anti-crisis spending in a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday.

"AC/DC played here (in Prague) last week. And their cult song 'Highway to Hell' might have led me in that very improvised speech to use the phrase 'road to hell'," Topolanek was quoted by daily Lidovy Noviny as saying on Friday.

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Me in Hawaii.

Peta campaign comparing animal slaughterhouses to Nazi death camps banned in Germany

Germany's highest court has ruled that a PETA ad campaign comparing animal slaughterhouses to the Holocaust is an offense against human dignity.

The posters, sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), bear photographs of concentration camp inmates, both alive and dead, along with pictures of plates piled with meat and animals ready for slaughter, accompanied by the slogan: "The Holocaust on you plate".

The constitutional court said the campaign would have made "the fate of the victims of the Holocaust appear banal and trivial" and that it was not protected under freedom of speech laws.

PETA said the campaign - which was previously launched in the United States - was intended to persuade people that the suffering of humans and animals was comparable and that animal products should therefore not be used or consumed.

Paul Spiegel, former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, filed the suit against the ad campaign along with several other Jewish organizations.


Bill Moyers Journal on PBS Friday night!

Bill Moyers Journal is on tonight, Friday night. It is still probably the best, freely-available, old-school broadcast airwaves show on TV. As good as anything on MSNBC.

An earlier post on this forum was about the Bill Moyers PBS interview with Mike Davis.

Can we give some love to a show that isn't on MSNBC, but which still kicks over9000 tons of ass?

Even if you are not liberal, it is a great, political junkie-type of show.

MOAR about the bill bispo posted about yesterday


Blue-Ribbon Commission to Offer Reforms on Incarceration Rates, Sentencing Policies, Gang Violence, Prison Administration & Reintegration of Offenders

Washington, DC--Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to create a blue-ribbon commission charged with conducting an 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the nation's entire criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee, is the principal Republican cosponsor.

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Senator Webb's Act of Strength

Our criminal justice system is broken. The US represents 5 percent of the world's population but accounts for nearly 25 percent of its prison population. We are incarcerating at a record rate with one in 100 American adults now locked up--2.3 million people overall. As a New York Times editorial stated simply, "This country puts too many people behind bars for too long."

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Read the text of the legislation, and Jim Webb's article "What's Wrong With Our Prisons?" here.

GUYS I AM SO EXCITED. I really hope the bill passes, it is scurry that there are only two Republican co-sponsors (Specter and Graham, y'all are off my shitlist for the moment) but I can only hope that McCaskill and Warner on the co-sponsors means the Conservadems are OK with supporting it as well.

A non-angry potato thanks you for your time.


I thought there were no numbers in the GOP's little "Budget" they had there?

After the Laughter, Grim GOP Numbers
While reporters hooted at the comically simplistic charts and lack of details in the House Republican leadership’s budget plan, the green eyeshade types at Citizen’s for Tax Justice crunched the numbers (PDF). They conclude that a quarter of all households, most of them poor, would pay more taxes under the GOP plan, while the richest one percent would pay $100,000 less.


Here's the link to the pdf, if you want it

I'm waiting for President Obama to comment on this tomorrow. How could the Republicans actually mess up SO badly?
  • bispo

Obama’s Man on the Budget: Just 40 and Going Like 60

WASHINGTON — At 6 in the morning, Peter R. Orszag is racing: across wet pavement for a 35-minute run, into a shower and a suit, and through a living room that looks rather like an office, the walls painted presidential gold and hung with pictures of federal monuments.

As he heads to his job as White House budget director, he already seems to pulse with energy, but he asks his driver to stop at Starbucks for enormous doses of iced and hot tea. His epic caffeine intake concerned him until he solved the problem with typical Orszagian efficiency: he underwent genetic testing, confirmed that he could safely metabolize large amounts and happily moved on to the next worry.

Mr. Orszag is the youngest member of President Obama’s team holding cabinet rank, a 40-year-old with what colleagues call a graybeard’s knowledge of how the government spends money. But he has little interest in merely keeping fiscal house.

His animating passions are far grander — health care, energy policy and Social Security overhaul, for starters. Everything about the way he has interpreted his new job speaks of ambition: the policy heavyweights he has hired for the Office of Management and Budget, his efforts to persuade cabinet secretaries to let him help shape their plans, a public profile as high as that of any budget director since David A. Stockman’s polarizing tenure under Ronald Reagan a quarter-century ago.

“When people are saying this is not how O.M.B. has done things before, I’ve been shrugging my shoulders and saying this is not your father’s O.M.B.,” he said in a recent interview in his office, where a direct phone line to the president was just installed. (He has not yet dared press the little blue button.)

But though colleagues call Mr. Orszag something of a presidential favorite, his relative power among the gigantic personalities on the Obama economic team is still uncertain. Although the budget touches everything, he has no particular subject-area portfolio, and on the topics that most draw his interest, the administration is already well stocked, maybe even overstocked, with expertise and opinions.

A former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Mr. Orszag is what passes in the Democratic Party for a deficit hawk. But with the economy requiring a jolt from deficit spending, and with his boss determined to press ahead with expensive domestic initiatives while he has the weight to do so, Mr. Orszag embodies the administration’s awkward fiscal policy positioning: big spending now, with a promise to scrub the budget of waste and a bet that economic recovery and changes to health care will gradually reduce the deficit.

Mr. Orszag’s main job for now is to protect his budget’s journey through Congress, drawing on his years of experience on Capitol Hill, his warm relationships there and his ability to reach deep into detail to make a bargain.
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random - spinning lady

oh look... her again.

A short while ago I asked Larry Sabato if Michele Bachmann's comments about an "orderly revolution" against Barack Obama's Marxist tyranny would qualify as sedition. Here's his response:
I suppose the moderating element "orderly" saves her from the charge of sedition! Concern about the national debt is perfectly legitimate, but her comments are fringe--and not for the first time. Her phrase, "reporting from enemy lines," is inflammatory. We're all Americans, not enemies simply because we disagree about a president's budget. Bachmann doesn't have a clue what "economic Marxism" is; the Obama administration is not seizing the means of production. The Founders rebelled against "no taxation without representation". That's very different than having an argument about the proper levels of taxation in a representative democracy. Congresswoman Bachmann needs to take a deep breath, and maybe a tranquilizer, too.

Meanwhile, Bachmann went on Glenn Beck's radio show, to continue talking about the imminent danger of a one-world currency, and had this to say: "Well, Glenn, I have experienced that throughout my political career, being labeled a kook."

Seriously, just stop existing now.