April 6th, 2009

The Robama love affair - Still in full swing

Chief justice grants the Obama administration's court request

Chief Justice John Roberts has granted the Obama administration's request to the Supreme Court to block the release of certain sex offenders who have completed their federal prison terms.

The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., had earlier invalidated a law allowing the indefinite commitment of "sexually dangerous" prison inmates.

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  • turi

False. False. False. I do not love sex with men

For years, internet publisher Matt Drudge has responded to questions about his reported homosexuality by obfuscating and dodging. It would appear he's still at it.

Witness his email interview with Chris Rovzar of New York, who elicited (GASP!) a reaction from the tight-lipped protoblogger to an item in Out that said the Drudge Report proprietor "happens to love Chaka Khan, The Young and the Restless, and sex with men" but is homophobic and anti-abortion-rights. Drudge:

False. False. False. I do not love sex with men. My site is not anti-gay. I present both sides of the anti-choice-life issue... I liked Chaka in the eighties, and have not watched Young and the Restless in twenty years! But I do watch Judge Judy!”

The bit about not loving gay sex is a red herring: Drudge has never been said to particularly relish his homosexuality or embrace it; in fact his gay romantic/sexual side has been described (when alleged) as conflicted and awkward.

David Brock, the former right-wing writer, wrote in his memoir Blinded by the Right about a "scary" date in which Drudge, after bringing Brock flowers and navigating the Santa Monica gay strip "like a pro," stepped on a competing suitor's foot "really hard" (in Drudge's purported words) in a nightclub to scare him away from Brock. He also reproduced an overly blunt email in which Drudge wrote, "Laura [Ingraham] spreading stuff about you and me being fuck buddies. I should be so lucky."

Alec Baldwin stated that Drudge made an advance on him in an ABC Studios hallway that had "kind of a creepy quality to it."

Given his purported bumbling of the matter, it's entirely conceivable that Matt Drudge has gay sex without "loving" it, at least on a level he can admit to himself, or furtive gay relationships that stop well short of that sort of intimacy.

For his part, Drudge has historically sought to blur the issue of his sexuality, tending to portray himself in ambiguous or asexual terms. He once said on his radio show, "There is no secret life here. It is found literally on the website, because this is all I’ve been doing." Drudge denied he was gay to the Miami New Times in 2001, even as he launched into a disquisition on (as the New Times put it) "the reigning DJ king of gay circuit parties" and summarized his nightlife thusly: "I go to straight bars, I go to gay bars." That clears that right up.

Drudge has offered more straightforward denials. He once told the Times of London "I'm not gay — I was nearly married a few years ago." But he refused to discuss his personal life further, leaving people looking for details to find stories dished out by the likes of Brock and Baldwin.

None of which is to say Drudge's statement to Rovzar isn't useful: At the very least it shows that the troubled kid treated "like shit" in high school is decidedly unhappy and uncomfortable being placed on a list of gay people, powerful though they may be. Drudge may traffic (quite well) in labels, but "gay" is one he just can't stand. At least not for himself.

Shirley Animated

How PersonhoodUSA Will Hurt All Pregnant Women

Kristi Burton, the 21-year-old online law student who started Personhood in Colorado.

PersonhoodUSA apparently sees itself as the new, hipper, more effective incarnation of the anti-abortion movement. PersonhoodUSA hopes that by establishing the "pre-born, as legal persons with protection under the law" it will end the "injustice of abortion." Its attempt to do this last November through a "personhood" ballot measure in Colorado's failed miserably. Nevertheless, PersonhoodUSA, is committed to "working tirelessly to establish personhood in every State."

What supporters of this approach don't mention is that if the unborn have legal personhood rights, pregnant women won't. There is really no way around this. As National Advocates for Pregnant Women's video demonstrates, if successful, this strategy will mean that upon become pregnant, women will lose their civil and human rights.

As Angela Carder learned it is not just life vs. choice - but life vs. life. Angela Carder, 25 weeks pregnant, was critically ill. More than anything, she wanted to live. A court, however, ordered cesarean surgery based on claims of fetal rights. The surgery was performed over her objections as well as those of her physicians and family. Angela Carder died two days later - the cesarean surgery listed as a contributing factor. The fetus was born alive but died within two hours.

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Who else is hoping our new troll shows up to play?

Schindler's List found in Australia...?

Schindler's List found in Sydney

A list compiled by the German industrialist Oskar Schindler has been discovered by a researcher at a library in Australia.

Schindler's list helped hundreds of Jewish workers escape death in the Holocaust during World War II.

It was found in research notes which belonged to the Australian author of Schindler's Ark - the basis for the Oscar-winning film, Schindler's List.

The document was found at the New South Wales Library in Sydney.

It saved 801 men from the gas chambers - it's an incredibly moving piece of history
Library co-curator Olwen Pryke

There are 13 pages of fragile, yellowing paper, upon which are typed the names and nationalities of 801 Jewish people.

They are being described as some of the most powerful documents of the 20th Century.

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BBC News

ETA: According to these links, it's just a carbon copy but a pretty old and rare one...

' jules

insert your own "didn't see it coming" joke here (LOLOL I should work for SNL!!!!!!!)

Democrats Want Paterson to Be Awesome Again Soon or Go Away

He has a sad. A slew of news stories are making this yet another rough day for David Paterson. Elizabeth Benjamin reports that some state Democrats are privately setting a deadline of this November for the governor to improve on his atrocious approval numbers, or they'll push him to not run for reelection.

It'll be tough to regain New York's confidence, but people do love a good comeback story, right? Usually! But according to a Quinnipiac poll fresh off the presses this morning, over half of all New Yorkers would prefer if Paterson didn't even try to restore his reputation and instead simply announced right now that he won't run again in 2010, which is pretty ruthless. Meanwhile, Paterson's latest shot at jump-starting his turnaround — the state budget — has failed miserably, with 70 percent of voters disapproving.

And one of those voicing his disapproval is Paterson's potential usurper, the Boner- and Bonus-Busting Andrew Cuomo, who, in stark contrast to Paterson, is maintaining a gaudy 75 percent approval rating.




In general, the most noticeable fissure among politically conservative evangelical Christians is generational. In this dynamic, older evangelicals see themselves as an appendage of the Republican Party, and consider abortion and gay rights as the only "moral" issues that matter. Younger evangelicals are less partisan, and consider poverty and global warming important, too.

But there's another fissure, which in the short term, may be even more consequential. It's between leaders of the religious movement vs. those more inclined to take John 18:36 to heart (Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world").

The split first emerged, on a conceptual level, about a decade ago, when Cal Thomas, a far-right columnist and founding member of the Moral Majority, write a book called "Blinded by Might," arguing that conservative evangelical Christians have been going about their efforts all wrong. Religious right activists, Thomas said, should focus less on political power and influence -- having a seat at the proverbial GOP table -- and more on religion and family.
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Fund manager hit with civil charge in Madoff fraud

Fund manager hit with civil charge in Madoff fraud

New York's attorney general filed civil fraud charges Monday against a hedge fund manager who funneled $2.4 billion to Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff without telling clients where their money was going.

The complaint accuses J. Ezra Merkin, the former chairman of GMAC Financial Services, of concealing his links to Madoff and lying to investors about what he was doing with their money, telling most he was personally investing their cash in things like distressed debt.
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Oh, WND. Please never leave me.

Is Obama afraid of the 'J' word?

According to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press 10 percent of Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim. Seven percent of Democrats believe it. And nearly 20 percent of evangelicals do.

That is how people across the country responded to the question, "Do you happen to know what Barack Obama's religion is? Is he Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic or something else?"

What I find fascinating is that the same study showed only 55 percent of Democrats knew or believed Obama was a Christian, even after nearly two years on the political trail for president spouting his views and beliefs on everything under the sun.


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Bachmann...No More

Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has levied the most bizarre and outlandish critiques against President Obama since before he came into office, did not disappoint this weekend.

Appearing on Minnesota radio station KTLK-AM, (h/t Minnesota Independent) the Republican congresswoman expressed her concern that White House was trying to put in place "re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward." Furthering the Obama-as-autocrat theme, Bachmann said the youngsters would "then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."
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actor // bale // fuckity fucking fuck

Italy PM says more than 150 killed in Italy quake

L'AQUILA, Italy (AP) — Premier Silvio Berlusconi says more than 150 people have been killed in an earthquake in mountainous central Italy.

Berlusconi also says more than 1,500 people have been injured in the quake, which struck near the medieval town of L'Aquila before dawn Monday.

The Italian leader gave the update about the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades late Monday as he spoke by telephone with a TV program in one of the networks he owns.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

L'AQUILA, Italy (AP) — A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing more than 100 people in the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades. Tens of thousands were homeless and 1,500 were injured.

Civil protection official Roberto Forina said late Monday that authorities counted more than 100 bodies. But he could not confirm a report by the ANSA news agency that the death toll had reached 150. The Corriere Della Sera newspaper reported more than 250 people were missing.

The quake felled whole blocks of buildings the medieval city of L'Aquila and the surrounding area early Monday as residents slept. It was Italy's deadliest quake in nearly three decades.

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Simpsons--Ow! My ovaries!

oh, FFS...

Birth-Control Pill Lands Fairfax Girl 2-Week Suspension

When a Fairfax County mother got an urgent call from school last month reporting that her teenage daughter was caught popping a pill at lunchtime, she did not panic. "It was probably her birth-control pill," she thought. She was right.

Her heart dropped that afternoon in the assistant principal's office at Oakton High School when she and her daughter heard the mandatory punishment: A two-week suspension and recommendation for expulsion.

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This has got to be one of the STUPIDEST things I've seen lately. WTF...so you punish a girl for being responsible sexually by SUSPENDING HER FOR TWO WEEKS??? JFC...

You're An Asshole, Chris Brown.

Chris Brown Dissed In Rap Song
Posted Mon Apr 6, 2009 12:05pm PDT by Billy Johnson, Jr. in Hip-Hop Media Training

Will Chris Brown plead guilty of assaulting Rihanna?

The 19-year-old entertainer is scheduled in court Monday to respond to felony charges that he attacked and threatened his pop star girlfriend, AP reports.

Brown has only made one public statement since the February 8 incident that left Rihanna battered and bruised. Then, Brown only said he was "saddened" by what had transpired and was seeking the counseling of his pastor and mother.

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I'm just posting this article to see everyone's opinion on Rihanna/Chris Brown, the public's opinions and media's perception, and the on going acceptance of domestic abuse.

Bonus Question: What valuable lesson have you learned from this tragedy?

I have learned that it doesn't matter if your rich, famous, and talented and dating a squeaky clean teen heartthrob, you can get beaten by your boyfriend and blamed for it.

One guy manages to derail Bush's last act

Student is charged with obstructing Utah land auction
April 2, 2009

He says his false bids on oil and gas parcels were acts of civil disobedience against the exploitation of public sites. The two felony charges carry up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

Salt Lake City -- A college student was charged with two federal felonies Wednesday for what he contends were acts of civil disobedience -- making false bids to run up auction prices on oil and gas parcels on public land near Utah's national parks.

At the Dec. 19 lease sale, Tim DeChristopher grabbed a bidder's paddle, drove up prices and won 22,000 acres of land for $1.79 million, an amount he later said he didn't have the means or intention to pay.

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Godspeed dude.
Jake G -  Moving beauty

Bob Dylan on President Obama

Bill Flanagan: In that song Chicago After Dark were you thinking about the new President?

Bob Dylan: Not really. It’s more about State Street and the wind off Lake Michigan and how sometimes we know people and we are no longer what we used to be to them. I was trying to go with some old time feeling that I had.

BF: You liked Barack Obama early on. Why was that?

BD: I’d read his book and it intrigued me.

BF: Audacity of Hope?

BD: No it was called Dreams of My Father. (the book is actually called Dreams from My Father)

BF: What struck you about him?

BD: Well, a number of things. He’s got an interesting background. He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, Guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage - cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love. You kind of get past that though. And then you’re into his story. Like an odyssey except in reverse.

BF: In what way?

BD: First of all, Barack is born in Hawaii. Most of us think of Hawaii as paradise – so I guess you could say that he was born in paradise.

BF: And he was thrown out of the garden.

BD: Not exactly. His mom married some other guy named Lolo and then took Barack to Indonesia to live. Barack went to both a Muslim school and a Catholic school. His mom used to get up at 4:00 in the morning and teach him book lessons three hours before he even went to school. And then she would go to work. That tells you the type of woman she was. That’s just in the beginning of the story.

BF: What else did you find compelling about him?

BD: Well, mainly his take on things. His writing style hits you on more than one level. It makes you feel and think at the same time and that is hard to do. He says profoundly outrageous things. He’s looking at a shrunken head inside of a glass case in some museum with a bunch of other people and he’s wondering if any of these people realize that they could be looking at one of their ancestors.

BF: What in his book would make you think he’d be a good politician?

BD: Well nothing really. In some sense you would think being in the business of politics would be the last thing that this man would want to do. I think he had a job as an investment banker on Wall Street for a second - selling German bonds. But he probably could’ve done anything. If you read his book, you’ll know that the political world came to him. It was there to be had.

BF: Do you think he’ll make a good president?

BD: I have no idea. He’ll be the best president he can be. Most of those guys come into office with the best of intentions and leave as beaten men. Johnson would be a good example of that … Nixon, Clinton in a way, Truman, all the rest of them going back. You know, it’s like they all fly too close to the sun and get burned.

  • bispo

Associated Press Fights Web News Piracy

SAN DIEGO — The Associated Press and the newspaper industry plan an aggressive effort to track down copyright violators on the Internet and try to divert traffic from Web sites that don't properly license news content, the AP board announced Monday.

The not-for-profit news cooperative also said it will cut fees by $35 million for U.S. newspapers in 2010 _ on top of a $30 million reduction that took effect this year _ and loosen its long-standing requirement for two years' notice to cancel AP service.

The financial moves are part of an overhaul of the AP's policies in the face of extraordinary financial hardship for newspapers. The changes were announced at the AP's annual meeting in San Diego, along with the copyright initiative launched by the AP's board, which is made up largely of newspaper executives.

"We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under some very misguided, unfounded legal theories," said Dean Singleton, the AP's chairman and the chief executive of newspaper publisher MediaNews Group Inc.

"We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more," he added, prompting applause in the meeting.
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Nation-wide bank protests to be held April 11 in your town

The "A New Way Forward" protests on APRIL 11 will urge Obama to put the large banks that caused the current economic crisis into receivership ("nationalize" them) instead of treating them timidly & with kid gloves.

The 3 goals of the national action are HERE.

HuffPo columnist Mike Lux today endorsed the upcoming April 11 protests:

Paul Krugman, Dean Baker, Jamie Galbraith, Rob Johnson, George Soros, Leo Hindery, and a variety of other economists and business leaders, who in recent months and years more accurately predicted what was going to happen to the economy than anyone in the government, have convinced me that the Geithner/Summers plan for dealing with the banking and insurance industries is deeply flawed and will not work to help fix our economy. This plan goes to the heart of whether President Obama has a successful presidency. My belief is that Obama is a smart and progressive guy who will eventually figure out a better path, one that puts these big banks into receivership and break them apart. In the meantime, all of us troubled by the banking plan need to keep pushing him on these issues, for example by joining thousands of our fellow citizens at A New Way Forward rallies on April 11th, and will continue to work with progressive economists, and activists to get better ideas on what to do about our broken banking system into the public debate.

I hope all progressives will do everything they can to help pass the Obama budget, health care, climate change, immigration agendas, and the rest of his progressive transformational policies. But on this banking plan, let's join together to push President Obama in the right direction.

A New Way Forward FaceBook page LINK.

A New Way Forward MySpace group page.

List of cities and sign-up form at the A New Way Forward site: http://www.anewwayforward.org/demonstrations/

Palin tells Begich to resign; Begich responds with, "Bitch, please."

Sarah Palin wants rematch between Stevens and Begich

From CNN's Paul Courson

(CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday she believes voters deserve another chance to consider electing Ted Stevens to the U.S. Senate now that federal prosecutors have decided to drop their case against him, and supports a re-match between the former senator and Democrat Mark Begich.

Begich defeated Stevens last November soon after the incumbent was convicted on ethics charges.

"Many voters did not choose Stevens because they were told he was guilty, and now, after the election we see there was improper conduct in his trial, so how fair an election was that?" asked Palin, in an email to an Alaska Public Radio reporter. CNN has confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail.

"I agree with other Alaskans who would like to see an election that's free from improper influence, and I can't imagine how Mark Begich could argue that," she continued.

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Never thought I'd see the day where we would have to beg for Alaskan politics to be insignificant again. I think Palin should ask the people of Minnesota what they think of their CONTINUOUS ELECTION before she asks for this again. Oh, and by the way, during the election, didn't she demand that Teddy Stevens resign?

From the WaPo: "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, this afternoon also called upon Stevens to resign, arguing that he should not serve in Congress next year even if he wins re-election next week."

Very cold moose-flavored sauce

(no subject)

The New Debtors' Prisons


Here is a tale that sounds like it comes right from the pages of “Little Dorrit,” Charles Dickens’s scathing indictment of Victorian England’s debtors’ prisons. Unfortunately, it is happening in 21st-century America.

Edwina Nowlin, a poor Michigan resident, was ordered to reimburse a juvenile detention center $104 a month for holding her 16-year-old son. When she explained to the court that she could not afford to pay, Ms. Nowlin was sent to prison. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which helped get her out last week after she spent 28 days behind bars, says it is seeing more people being sent to jail because they cannot make various court-ordered payments. That is both barbaric and unconstitutional.

In 1970, the Supreme Court ruled that it violates equal protection to keep inmates in prison extra time because they are too poor to pay a fine or court costs. More recently, the court ruled that a state generally cannot revoke a defendant’s probation and imprison him for failing to pay a fine if he is unable to do so.

That has not stopped the practice. In Georgia, poor people who cannot pay off fines — plus a monthly fee to the private company that collects the payments — are often sent to jail for nonpayment, according to Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights. In 2006, the center sued on behalf of a woman who was locked up in Atlanta for eight months past her original sentence because she could not pay a $705 fine.

Until a few years ago, the police in Gulfport, Miss., regularly did sweeps of the city’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, identified people with unpaid fines, and put them in jail. Defendants who could not pay were forced to remain there until they “sat off” their fines. The city ended the practice after it was sued.

Prisoners’ rights advocates worry that in these hard times, when government budgets are under pressure, courts and prisons will get even tougher about forcing indigent defendants to pay costs and fees, and will imprison more of them if they cannot come up with the money. The government should be helping people on society’s margins build productive lives. Throwing them in jail for being poor makes that much more difficult.


Just one more reason jails shouldn't be private businesses.

ETA: Related to this, a story about how court fees put the squeeze on defendants.
¶ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/

Great headline, or greatest headline?

House GOP Leaders Leaking On Each Other?

You know there’s serious disarray afoot among a party’s Congressional leaders when the principals and their staffs start leaking damaging info about each other, and that now seems to be happening among House GOP leaders.

Check out this nugget from Ben Pershing’s piece on increasing tensions among House Republicans. It appears that someone is trying to pin the blame for the House GOP’s politically-disastrous, numbers-free budget on John Boehner:
Privately, Cantor and the lawmaker tasked with writing the GOP budget, Rep. Paul D. Ryan, had urged the party to hold off going public until it could produce a finished product. Both men wanted a more detailed proposal with dollar figures that would make it a more defensible document. Boehner and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence disagreed, hoping to counter as quickly as possible Democrats’ charge that Republicans are “the Party of No.” The result was a botched rollout and bad press.
And someone wants to shift the blame for the botched budget rollout away from Eric Cantor.

Why the leak now? Dems, of course, are elevating Cantor as the face of the obstructionist opposition in a way they aren’t doing with Boehner — recall the full-scale Dem on Cantor’s worry about pols “overreacting” to the crisis.

Cantor’s staff seems generally more attuned than some other House GOP staffers to the potential effectiveness of the Dem attacks on the GOP as the “party of No.” Indeed, Cantor seems wary of being wholly lumped in with the rest of the leadership, and seems to want to preserve a bit of independence, given his obvious ambitions and designs on a political promotion down the road.


moar like the Party of .
  • bispo

Authorities: Pilot of stolen plane captured after fleeing on foot

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The pilot of a small Cessna 172 aircraft reported stolen from a Canadian flight school has been captured, authorities said.

The pilot reportedly stole a small Cessna 172 aircraft from a Canadian flight school, flew hundreds of miles across the Midwest, landed on a dirt road in Missouri late Monday and took off on foot, federal officials said.

Federal, state and local authorities launched a manhunt for the pilot, who was identified by the FBI as Adam Leon, 31, a native of Turkey who became a Canadian citizen last year, according to FBI spokesman Richard Kolko. He was formerly known as Yavuz Berke, though officials did not indicate a reason for the name change.

He was taken into custody at an Ellsinore grocery story after a brief manhunt, according to Missouri state police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

A federal law enforcement source said the pilot parked the plane under what appeared to be a bridge or culvert, apparently in an attempt to hide it.

The plane had been intercepted and tracked by U.S. military aircraft as it flew from Canada into U.S. airspace and meandered southward for several hours before landing, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said.
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film // fight club // bruises from fight

Vt. governor vetoes same-sex marriage bill

MONTPELIER, Vt., April 6 (UPI) -- Gov. Jim Douglas Monday vetoed a bill to permit same-sex couples to marry in Vermont, citing his belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

The veto was announced shortly after the state Senate voted to concur with a same-sex marriage bill passed last week by the Vermont House, the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press reported.

In his veto message, Douglas said Vermont's civil union law "has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples."

"Our civil union law serves Vermont well and I would support congressional action to extend those benefits at the federal level to states that recognize same sex unions," he said.

Douglas also said even if the state were to sanction same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian couples in the state would still be denied federal benefits.

The House and Senate are expected to try to override the governor's veto Tuesday. The Free Press said the state Senate is expected to override the veto but it was unclear which way the House would vote.

The House voted 95-52 last week in favor of the legislation but it would take 100 votes to override a veto.


Ugh, this pisses me off so much. His "they still wouldn't receive federal benefits" reason is such bullshit. Getting same-sex marriage approved by the states is the first step in same-sex couples receiving federal benefits. I don't know much about vetoes... if the House doesn't override it but the Senate does, is that enough to override it, or do they need both groups to vote to override it?

Corrupt Pa. judge seeks dismissal of kids' lawsuit

Corrupt Pa. judge seeks dismissal of kids' lawsuit

A Pennsylvania judge who pleaded guilty to corruption is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of children who allege he violated their civil rights by taking money in exchange for sending them to private detention centers.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella (shiv-uh-REL'-uh) says he's entitled to judicial immunity for decisions he made from the bench, even if those decisions were corrupt.

Ciavarella and former judge Michael Conahan have pleaded guilty to fraud. Prosecutors say they took more than $2 million in kickbacks from private juvenile detention centers. They each face more than seven years in prison when they are sentenced.

The suit filed by the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center is one of three civil actions faced by Ciavarella, Conahan and others.

Oh, really?

North Korea Seeks Political Gain from Rocket Launch

Published: April 6, 2009

SEOUL, South Korea — Despite the failure of North Korea’s attempt to launch a satellite, Pyongyang’s adversaries voiced alarm on Monday over the extended range of the North’s latest rocket, while the United Nations tumbled into a disarray over how to respond to what President Obama called a “provocative act.”

Washington and Seoul said the North Korean rocket launched on Sunday failed to thrust a satellite into orbit. But on Monday, seeking to garner political gain from the test, the North Korean media praised Kim Jong-il’s leadership, insisting that a communications satellite was circling the Earth, broadcasting patriotic songs.

Officials and analysts in Seoul said the North’s rocket, identified by American officials as a Taepodong-2, flew at least 2,000 miles, doubling the range of an earlier rocket it tested in 1998 and boosting its potential to fire a long-range missile.

The impoverished country may be years away from building a truly intercontinental ballistic missile and tipping it with a nuclear warhead. But to governments grown increasingly concerned by the North’s military might, the launch was a sign that it was doggedly moving in that direction.

“North Korea’s reckless act of threatening regional and global security cannot have any justification,” said President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea in a radio speech on Monday.

Hours after North Korea’s missile test on Sunday, President Obama called for new United Nations sanctions and laid out a new approach to American nuclear disarmament policy — one intended to strengthen the United States and its allies in halting proliferation.

“In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up,” Mr. Obama told a huge crowd in Prague’s central square. “Black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear materials abound. The technology to build a bomb has spread.”

He said the North’s testing of “a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles” illustrated “the need for action, not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”

“Rules must be binding,” he said. “Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.”

THE REST here (The New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/world/asia/07korea.html?ref=global-home

Really? I thought the North Koreans just enjoyed the sparkly things that came outta them rockets. Sigh, ILU headlines. But otherwise - yeah, srs bizness artickel.
Julius Garfinkle (aka John Garfield)

about the "nice guy" who killed three police officers in pittsburgh

NOTE: Over the past few days, local news stations have spent way too much time interviewing high school classmates of this guy, talking about what a great guy he was, and how they can't figure out what went wrong. He's still alive, sitting in prison.

Shooter In Pittsburgh Cop Killings Held Strongly Anti-Semitic And Racist Beliefs

Cleveland, Ohio, April 6, 2009 … Richard Poplawski, the man charged with killing three Pittsburgh police officers during a standoff over the weekend, held virulently anti-Semitic and racist beliefs that he openly shared with others on white supremacist online discussion forums, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

"This was a troubled young man who was deeply infected with anti-Semitism and racism and who bought into conspiracy theories about Jews and other racial minorities and the government," said Shari Kochman, ADL Allegheny Regional Director, based in Cleveland. "He was able to obtain confirmation of his views by sharing them with like-minded white supremacist sites and joining their online community of haters."
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