April 17th, 2009

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright to be on Craig Ferguson tonight.

Just wanted to let everyone know that former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright will be on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight, on CBS.  His show is just now coming on for the East coast. 

She might have some interesting comments in light of the torture memos that were released today.

Can we do these sorts of posts? If not, I'll soon find out.  :) I figured I'd post it because it may not end up on YouTube so this might be political junkies only chance to catch it. 

Source: www.cbs.com/late_late_show/

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  • bispo

Dean, Emanuel bury the hatchet - Bring Waring ONTD_P Factions Together

The feud between Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel appears to be over.

Dean told The Hill that he recently had lunch with the White House chief of staff, signaling a thaw in their once icy relationship.

Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Emanuel, the former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, clashed publicly in the 2005-’06 cycle over the best use of resources. At one point, Emanuel stormed out of a meeting with Dean while swearing.

“I think that (tension) was always somewhat exaggerated,” said Dean during an interview this week with The Hill. “Look, we’re both very fierce competitors and very strong-minded people. But I don’t think there’s a lot of ill will between myself and Rahm Emanuel.”

Dean says he has put that behind him. He now works for a Washington law and lobbying firm as a consultant and went to the White House two months ago to have lunch with Emanuel and David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Obama.

But Dean is not about to share the details of that discussion.

“If I discuss that in The Hill, I won’t have their ear for very long,” Dean said.

Since leaving the House to work for Obama, Emanuel has adopted a more conciliatory tone. Emanuel has noted that his new post requires a different approach and his lunch with Dean is an example of that shift.

The White House did not comment for this article by press time.

Dean is largely credited with devising a strategy to place Democratic staff in all 50 states that played a role in Obama’s triumph last November.

Yet Dean took the helm of the DNC in 2005 amid cries that he would embarrass the party, and Emanuel emerged as one of his most prominent critics.

Emanuel didn’t embrace Dean’s call to invest in states where Democrats had previously fared poorly, instead wanting to conserve the money so that Democratic House candidates could use it later in the cycle. Some say Dean’s 50-state vision proved essential to helping Obama lay the foundation for his own grassroots organization.

Dean also played a crucial role in the 2008 Democratic primary that Obama narrowly won by resisting pressure from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign to seat all the delegates from Michigan and Florida. The Clinton camp wanted the DNC to give those states their full votes at the party’s convention. But Dean stood by the national party’s decision to punish them for moving up their primaries. The DNC rules panel ultimately brokered a deal that awarded Obama 59 delegates in Michigan — even though he had removed his name from the primary ballot. That all but sealed the nomination for Obama.

Many considered Obama’s huge victory in the general election a moment of vindication for Dean, who had lost his own bid for the White House in 2004 and was largely viewed as the consummate outsider in his own party.

Dean, a medical doctor and former governor of Vermont, had expressed an interest in serving as Obama’s secretary of Health and Human Services. But he was not rewarded with an administration job even after Obama’s first choice, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), withdrew amid a scandal involving his failure to pay more than $140,000 in back taxes.

And when the time came for the announcement of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as his successor at the DNC, Dean was not invited to the news conference.

“That’s the way politics is,” he said. “It’s a contact sport. I don’t think you’re automatically owed a job.”
asoneill - Yahoo Me

Kiss Texas Goodbye, Folks- They Got Norris!

Norris Volunteers to Lead Texas Revolution

Martial-arts master Chuck Norris has his sights set on becoming more than a Texas Ranger - he has volunteered to run as the U.S. state's first president.

Norris, who played TV hardman Cordell Walker in hit series Walker, Texas Ranger, has put himself up for the job of running the region after discussing the possibility of the state seceding from U.S. control during a rant on CNN.com's political blog.

The actor, who is a staunch Republican, insists Texans want an independent state after being let down by the American government - and thinks he'd be the ideal candidate to lead the Lone Star state's revolution.

He says, "I may run for president of Texas. That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.

"Anyone who has been around Texas for any length of time knows exactly what we'd do if the going got rough in America."

Source, Texas Ranger

The Queen is most trusted Briton

The Queen has been named Britain's most trusted public figure, according to a new poll.

She topped a list including Sir Trevor McDonald, Stephen Fry and Sir Alan Sugar.

The study found that the public tend to distrust banks, politicians and large institutions, but three quarters said they trusted celebrities to keep their word.

Politicians were also seen as untrustworthy with a third of those questioned saying they do not trust any. Of those who did, more had faith in David Cameron than Gordon Brown.

The Queen topped the poll of most trusted members of the royal family with more than half of the British population. She was followed by Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

The YouGov study of 2,000 was commissioned by specialist insurer, Hiscox, to look at national feeling around the issue of trust in the credit crunch.

TV presenter Stephen Fry was voted the most trusted media personality, followed by money saving expert Martin Lewis and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Chris Moyles, the Radio One DJ was the least trusted.

In the world of sport, Gary Lineker and David Beckham were among the most trusted personalities, while Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar topped the poll of entrepreneurs.

As a whole, the majority of Brits do not trust each other - with three fifths of those asked saying they expected those around them to break their word. It also found almost half admitting lying in the work place.

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis, who worked on the study, said: "It is not surprising the Queen was voted most trustworthy. Compared to the rest of the royals she is greatly revered and is the figurehead of our country.

"But what is ironic is that while the importance of trust has increased in the current economic climate, Britons don't appear to be acting with any greater integrity in the office. This study shows trust is fundamental to economic life, but the real challenge is bringing this back to strength in the UK.

"In the old days, you used to trust people until they proved you wrong, but now people are generally distrusting of someone until they prove they can be trusted."


reasons why lawmakers rejected Ross; Palin cries foul

Lawmakers reject Ross as AG in historic vote

The Alaska Legislature voted 35 to 23 on Thursday to reject the confirmation of Wayne Anthony Ross, Gov. Sarah Palin's pick for attorney general.

According to Legislative Research Services, it was the first time in state history a head of a state agency has failed to be confirmed by the Legislature. All the Democrats in the Legislature voted against Ross and were joined by nine Republicans, including the Senate president and House speaker.

"I think he is too controversial for the state of Alaska. We've got in some people's mind a controversial governor, and I think that he just has too many controversies out there," said House Speaker Mike Chenault, a Nikiski Republican.

Even Ross' opponents in the Legislature had said just a few days ago that he had enough support to be confirmed despite widespread opposition from Alaska Native groups, his calling gays "degenerates" in the 1990s, and allegations that he made offensive comments about women. But a tipping point appeared to come this week when Ross gave what lawmakers called bad and politicized legal advice to Palin about a fight she's having with lawmakers over a state Senate appointment.
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i want joe biden i need joe biden

In Texas, 31% Say State Has Right to Secede From U.S., But 75% Opt To Stay

Thirty-one percent (31%) of Texas voters say that their state has the right to secede from the United States and form an independent country.

However, the latest Rasmussen Reports poll in the state finds that if the matter was put to a vote, it wouldn’t even be close. Three-fourths (75%) of Lone Star State voters would opt to remain in the United States. Only 18% would vote to secede, and seven percent (7%) are not sure what they'd choose.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, in response to a reporter’s question about secession at a protest "tea party," said Wednesday, "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that? But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." The comment was widely reported in the media.

The underlying views of Texans about government are generally similar to those in the rest of the nation. By a 73% to 11% margin, Texans trust the collective judgment of the American people more than the judgment of political leaders.

More here at Rasmussen.

I just wanted to point this out to those who think most Texans want to secede. Just give us a year to get that blowhard out of office and then you can get back to thinking we all riding horses to work or something.

"No flag, no country! Those are the rules.....that I just made up."

Tedisco asks to be declared winner

Murphy still holds lead

By Jamie Larson

COLUMBIA COUNTY — 20th Congressional District candidate Republican Jim Tedisco submitted a petition to the Dutchess County Supreme Court Thursday asking the judge to declare him the winner of the extremely close special election race, despite the numbers currently being in favor of his opponent, Democrat Scott Murphy.

According to The Associated Press, Murphy leads Tedisco by 178 votes district wide — 79,452 to 79,274. The only ballots that have not been counted are those challenged by each candidate’s lawyers, and while Tedisco’s office has said the challenges are roughly evenly split between the two camps, Columbia County lawyers for Murphy have only challenged 22 ballots, while Tedisco’s have challenged 258.

Tedisco is also asking the court to authorize recanvasing of all machine ballots to acquire the “proper” tallies. He would like them to reassess the validity of absentee votes already counted, and keep ballots challenged by Tedisco unopened. County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Virginia Martin said this new development could result in the election taking quite a bit more time to be decided. She would not venture a guess on how long it will be before the 20th District has a representative in congress.

Murphy’s office was not available for comment on the development before press time.

The last group of unchallenged Columbia County absentee ballots were counted Thursday as well. According to unofficial numbers provided Thursday by the BOE, Murphy accumulated 93 new votes and Tedisco gained another 49. This brings the total unchallenged absentee vote count to: Murphy 476, Tedisco 270.

The votes counted Thursday were military ballots, federal ballots from county residents overseas, affidavit votes from voters who experienced problems at the polls, and the 49 challenges overruled by the Dutchess County Supreme Court Wednesday.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s vote has now been counted.


Dear Tedisco,


No luv,


Chuck Norris is not invited to this party.

Stonewall Riots anniversary events kick off with dinner

A coalition of local LGBT organizations will kick off their commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a fundraising dinner on Monday, April 27 at the Round-Up Saloon.

The dinner will honor those who’ve dedicated their lives to the cause of LGBT equality, including some who experienced the riots firsthand in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, according to a press release.

“The Stonewall riots were a pivotal moment in the start of the gay rights movement. It is only fitting that on this 40th anniversary we honor those who were there and took a stand,” said Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

Stonewall Democrats is part of a coalition that’s organizing the Million Gay March of Texas, an event planned for June 28 in Dallas that will be part of a nationwide effort to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Proceeds from the April 27 dinner will go toward Million Gay March of Texas.

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Usually I don't defend Texas, but I figured there oughta be a post about liberal Texans every once and a while. Plus, it's the Million Gay March. It's awesome.

Bush Torture Memos: Commercial Diets Used As Justification; Guantanamo classified as a Fat Camp

Bush Torture Memos: Commercial Diets Used As Justification

In an effort to rationalize the use of dietary manipulation on detainees, Bush administration officials turned to Slim Fast and Jenny Craig.

In a footnote to a May 10, 2005, memorandum from the Office of Legal Council, the Bush attorney general's office argued that restricting the caloric intake of terrorist suspects to 1000 calories a day was medically safe because people in the United States were dieting along those lines voluntarily.

"While detainees subject to dietary manipulation are obviously situated differently from individuals who voluntarily engage in commercial weight-loss programs, we note that widely available commercial weight-loss programs in the United States employ diets of 1000 kcal/day for sustain periods of weeks or longer without requiring medical supervision," read the footnote. "While we do not equate commercial weight loss programs and this interrogation technique, the fact that these calorie levels are used in the weight-loss programs, in our view, is instructive in evaluating the medical safety of the interrogation technique."
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Tea Party Fallout: Independents Turned Off, Some GOPers Worried

Tea Party Fallout: Independents Turned Off, Some GOPers Worried

It's been two days now since angry conservatives hosted a series of tea parties across the country, and the fallout has some Republicans nervous.

While the anti-tax sentiment of the protests may have been sincere, the images pulled from the events have often been offensive, embarrassing, or politically problematic.

It is a development that has tripped up the GOP before. The rallies outside McCain-Palin events included some of the same bile that was seen at the tea parties: charges of fascism, terrorism and other malicious criticisms leveled at Barack Obama. And it did the Republican ticket little good in its efforts to bring moderate voters to the cause.
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Jindal Rebukes Cheney: "Don't ... Question Obama's Patriotism"

Jindal Rebukes Cheney: "Don't ... Question Obama's Patriotism" (VIDEO)

On ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was asked whether he agreed with former Vice President Dick Cheney that President Obama has made the country less safe.

"Democrat or Republican," Jindal responded, "we should all agree that our current President and our former President would obviously want to do everything they could to keep us safe. I don't think we should question President Obama's patriotism or his intentions."

"Let's give the new administration a chance. Let's not question their intentions, but let's have a real debate on their policies," Jindal added. "We should give the new administration a chance ... I don't think we should question Obama's patriotism. ... At the end of the day, I don't think we should be questioning the administration's intention, but I think it's good to have an honest debate."

It may be worth noting that when Dick Cheney named the "new generation of leaders" in the Republican Party during an interview last month, Jindal didn't make the list:

We've got a lot of good folks out there. I think a new generation of leaders is coming along, people like Rob Portman in Ohio, Mark Sanford in South Carolina, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan in the House. There are some really, really talented people in the Republican Party.

(no subject)

They are Marching in Peoria, Illinois Over Karaoke Bar's Anti-Gay Sign


This sign at The Elbo Room bar in Peoria, Illinois inspired local residents to take action:

"In a flurry of forwarded Facebook, MySpace and text messages, a coalition quickly mobilized and dozens of gay rights supporters lined up last weekend outside The Elbo Room to express their outrage. The sign, they said, might as well have read, 'Gays are not welcome here.' 'The sign was basically a sign of intolerance, and we're not going to stand for it anymore,' said Stephanie Worlow, 27, one of the organizers of the protest that drew nearly 40 people. 'It's time that we as a community stand up for ourselves. We're not going to stand for intolerance anymore.' The group held three protests last weekend, one of which drew the attention of paintballers, who fired on the crowd. Police had no suspects in that attack"

The bar owner apologized and said it would never happen again.


In what universe can this book be considered anti-family?

America Hates Gay Penguins


For the third year in a row, the book most complained about in public school libraries is And Tango Makes Three, which tells the story of two male penguins raising an orphaned chick. The American Library Association tracks the titles most demanded for removal by parents and educators, although they estimate that four or five times more books are removed than are reported.
"Tango" was cited for being anti-family, pro-gay and anti-religion. Also high on the list were Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy (complaints for being violent and anti-religious), Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girls" series (language, sexually explicit), Alvin Schwartz's "Scary Stories" (violence, occultism) and Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (drugs, suicide, nudity, language). ALA spokeswoman Macey Morales said that books were actually pulled at least 74 times last year. Those removed included Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" (refers to masturbation), Jodi Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper" (sexually explicit) and Mark Bowden's "Black Hawk Down" (profanity).
(Tipped by JMG reader Joe)


Yay for my home county!!

In Calvert County, Maryland near Washington, D.C. a mother requested that the book be removed from the children's section and placed in an area specifically for books about "alternative or non-traditional families." The library board of trustees denied the request, concluding that libraries should disseminate information fairly and without bias or judgment.


' jules

Motherfuckers act like they forgot about Tink

Tinklenberg v. Bachmann redux? DFLers already eyeing 2010

Michele Bachmann represents the most Republican-friendly congressional district in Minnesota. John McCain carried the area by eight percentage points in 2008 — the largest spread in the state. Two years earlier Gov. Tim Pawlenty swamped DFLer Mike Hatch by nearly 20 points in the 6th Congressional District. The Cook Partisan Voting Index gives the GOP a seven-point advantage in the area.

But despite this political makeup, Bachmann’s flamboyant personality and penchant for controversy make the race something of a political wild card.

In recent weeks Bachmann has continued to draw national headlines for her often daffy pronouncements. She derided a proposed expansion of Americorps as “politically correct re-education camps” and called on Minnesotans to become “armed and dangerous” in resisting President Obama’s energy policies. Her recent antics once again have Democrats salivating at the prospect of knocking off Bachmann.

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Tarryl Clark would be a dream candidate. She's much more Democratic than Tink and more charismatic too. The problem is that she has bigger ambitions and I don't know if she'd settle for the House of Reps.


Coleman: Media ‘could have waited’ until after Nov. 4 to ask about money-funneling

Norm Coleman told the Star Tribune editorial board Thursday that its reporters “could have waited” until after the Nov. 4 election to ask questions about charges that businessman Nasser Kazeminy funneled him money. Instead, Coleman charged, the reporters knowingly “inserted themselves” into a DFL Party TV ad by shouting questions to him as he left an Oct. 29 campaign event (video below).

Coleman’s statement that “it could have waited until afterwards” repeats a blame-the-messenger riff he first played in a Feb. 1 interview with WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy, when he implied the reporters’ questions cost him crucial votes:
They could have asked those questions quietly. … They could have gone back and had a quiet conversation if that was the purpose. … That could have been a quiet story. It could have been a story that came out the day after the election. … And it’s unfortunate that those last-minute, eleventh-hour charges can have an impact on the race.
The reporters, Tony Kennedy and Paul McEnroe, shot back that they had repeatedly sought an interview with Coleman on the subject. When the campaign rebuffed those requests, Kennedy and McEnroe warned Coleman they intended to raise the issue at his Oct. 29 campaign stop in St. Cloud.

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And the hits just keep on comin'......

ETA:  Oh, and you simply MUST watch the video of this exchange over here.

He gives a performance there that is eerily reminiscent of a certain former Illinois Governor we all know and mock.

Steve Schmidt, McCain Campaign Manager: Religion Could Kill The GOP

Steve Schmidt, McCain Campaign Manager: Religion Could Kill The GOP

Speaking publicly for one of the first times since the end of the presidential campaign, John McCain's campaign manager Steve Schmidt painted a dire portrait of the state of the Republican Party, arguing that the GOP has largely been co-opted by its religious elements.

"If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party," Schmidt declared. "And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party."
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Dumb State Laws Kept Joe Lieberman From Running As Republican VP Nominee

Dumb State Laws Kept Joe Lieberman From Running As Republican VP Nominee

Here is a Hot Scoop via our nation’s secret spy network, CSPAN: one of the main guys from John McCain’s VP vetting committee spilled salacious details on how and why Joe Lieberman did not get to be John McCain’s Sarah Palin.

Remember when Joe Lieberman gave his speech at the Republican National Convention, and it was supposed to be so awesome because here was a Democrat “speaking truth to power” or whatever but then it turned out that Republicans despised him as much as Democrats did? Your editor was nursing a delicious Boddington’s at the Liffey and watching the television screens as Lieberman gummed his way through his “Barack Obama is a fine young man” speech and no joke, you could feel the icy chill emanating from the convention floor a block away.

So, number one, John McCain could not make Lieberman his running mate because he and Lindsey Graham were the only two Republicans on the planet who actually liked Vinegar Joe.

But number two, according to A.B. Culvahouse, was the fact that many states wouldn’t allow it.

“Five states have sore loser statutes…[making] it very difficult for someone who’s not a member of the Republcian party to become the vice presidential nominee if they only switch parties to become a Republican shortly before the convention,’ Culvahouse said in public remarks at the Republican National Lawyers Association annual meeting aired on C-SPAN.

Institutional antisemitism is just so ugly.

Rather than risk a Supreme Court case over Lieberman’s eligibility to run as VP, McCain instead went with the unknown hillbilly glamazon Sarah Palin and, as we all remember so fondly, got elected in a landslide.

The Student Opposition to Day of Silence

I haven't noticed as much publicity around the 'Day of Silence' this year, and I'm not sure why. It's a subject that has recently made the MSM with the bullycide of Carl Walker-Hoover. Today, according to his mother, would have been his 12th birthday.

Bullies Today, ABC News published a story on how tone-deaf teachers, like the ones complicit in Walker-Hoover and Eric Mohat's suicides, perpetuate the violence against LGBT youth.

Jason Mannino, writing in the Huffington Post, drew my attention to this video which I hadn't seen before, which will just make you sick to your stomach. According to the post on Metacafe, it's an anti-Day of Silence protest by some young fundies, posted a year ago:

"This was a protest at San Juan High School, Sacramento, California. Students came to school wearing T-shirts that had Bible Verses on them (1 Corinthians, 6:9-10) The verses say that Homosexuality is sin. About 40 students that wore those T-shirts got suspended. Those students who got suspended refused to take the star test until the administrators remove the suspensions and let them wore those shirts. This is a clip were they are in the library because the administrators made them sit for 5 hours..."



(no subject)

Pawlenty calls DHS rightwing extremists report ‘absurd’


By Paul Schmelzer 4/17/09 2:46 PM

0_61_cavutoOn Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News Thursday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty called it “unfair” and “more candidly and bluntly… absurd” that a leaked Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremists should include “groups opposed to abortion,” as Cavuto put it. But both Pawlenty and Cavuto misrepresent the report: It includes mention of abortion a mere two times, including once in a footnote.

A section titled “Revisiting the 1990s,” references “white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion,” not mainstream abortion opponents. A footnote on page two defines the report’s key term (emphasis mine):

Right-wing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are  primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Pawlenty then goes on to say that there’s “a media perspective that, if you’re conservative, you’re somehow, you know, deranged, or you’re somehow deficient, that, if you were a rational, well-thought-of, intelligent person, that you — you couldn’t be a conservative.”

Like Pawlenty, right-wing groups are incensed, and one, the Thomas More Law Center, has filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for targeting conservatives “for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs.” (That’s a familiar talking point on the right, with heavy hitters Michele Malkin and Power Line leading the charge.)

But, according to a Fox News reporter, the study wasn’t an Obama administration project. Fox’s Catherine Herridge said the report, plus an earlier one about left-wing extremists, “were requested by the Bush administration but not finished until President Bush left office.”

One critic, Mississippi Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson, said he was “dumbfounded” by the report. By why would he be? As a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee in 2005 he put out a similar report (pdf) on rightwing extremists.

It referenced abortion not twice, but six times.


So, let's get this straight:

1. Conservatives are upset pitching a fit of histrionics by a report that was commissioned by their own party's Presidential administration. (which was reported on by a Fox News reporter, who has surely since been whisked off to an undisclosed location for deprogramming)

2. Certain fringe lunatic right-wingers have even gone so far as to file a lawsuit against the DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano.....
who only got confirmed two weeks ago.

3.  And just to spread some of teh crazy around, a Democratic Congressman from Mississippi has turned up his moral outrage just enough to get the spotlight about the report......except he issued a similar report himself back in 2005.

Yep, there's more than enough crazy for everyone.....no matter what your party, apparently.


Shirley Animated

Spotted: Fake Abortion Clinics in SoCal

Tina Dupuy shares her undercover investigation of Avenues Pregnancy Clinic located in Southern California which professes "to help teens and women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy situations."

Seems like a good idea, right?

Well, not really.

Check out this story from Tina's friend who went in for a pregnancy test, but instead, got subjected to an anti-abortion exorcism:

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This is really worrying me. How low can the antis get?

Activists paint graffiti letter on West Bank wall

Activists paint graffiti letter on West Bank wall

RAM, West Bank – Palestinian activists climbed wooden ladders leaning against Israeli's West Bank separation barrier Friday and carefully spraypainted in English "My dear Palestinian brothers" — the first words of what they say will turn into a letter stretching over 1.6 miles long.

The letter, composed by South African human rights activist Farid Esack, contends that Israel's treatment of Palestinians living under military rule is in some ways worse than what blacks suffered during the apartheid era in South Africa. Israel has vehemently rejected such comparisons.

The activists hope the words, sprayed on a stretch of the wall north of Jerusalem, will highlight opposition to the barrier.
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Italy outraged by crumbling of hospital in quake

Italy outraged by crumbling of hospital in quake

The hospital of San Salvatore should have been a sanctuary for the injured when this central Italian city and its surroundings were struck by an earthquake.

It was anything but.

Like many buildings in the area, its walls cracked and crumbled after the April 6 pre-dawn temblor, forcing the evacuation of the 250-bed hospital just as it was struggling to treat 1,500 more injured. Nobody inside the hospital was killed or injured in the quake.

Now, the failure of San Salvatore has turned into a source of public outrage and debate, with many people asking how the structure, whose construction began in the early 1970s, could have crumbled in the 6.3-magnitude quake. It also the focus of an investigation, with experts saying inferior building standards for an earthquake-prone area factored into the tragedy.

"Not only should a hospital not be damaged by an earthquake, but it should also keep working," said engineer Alessandro Martelli, who heads a six-member team of experts monitoring damaged buildings around L'Aquila. "Such a building would have been a disgrace even if it was built in the 1700s."

Investigators have collected samples from the hospital, and chief prosecutor Alfredo Rossini said the hospital is central to what he has pledged would be "the mother of all investigations" — both because it is a structure of great public importance and because it was one of the city's newer buildings and should have been built to resist a quake of this magnitude.

He said this week he expected the probe to lead to the arrests of anyone found responsible for substandard construction.
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Blind partisanship?

Republicans and Democrats Swap Views on Bernanke
Democrats’ confidence in Fed chairman has surged, while Republicans’ has faded

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ -- Despite Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's solid roots in the Bush administration, new Gallup polling finds 64% of Democrats nationwide feeling confident in Bernanke's input on the economy, compared with only 36% of Republicans. This is a complete reversal of the Fed chairman's image among partisans a year ago, under President Bush, when Republicans had the greater confidence in Bernanke, 61% vs. 40%.

SOURCE: http://www.gallup.com/poll/117700/Republicans-Democrats-Swap-Views-Bernanke.aspx

This same march-in-lockstep phenomenon exists with Tim Geithner, I think: Geithner was President of the New York Fed since 2003, while the Bush administration was in power. And Geithner did a smashing job then, right? So, Obama made him head of the main Fed bank, an appointment I opposed then [I am a lefty and like to think I'm a critical thinker/independently-minded] and still do oppose -- and suddenly Democrats defend Geithner, while the GOP hates him. Switcharooni, no one notices!

Wuddup, independent thinkers? :(
music | sleigh anne.

NY Senator Diaz Calls for Ousting of NY Governor Paterson: Says He Insulted All People of Faith

WNYC-FM is reporting… New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a Pentecostal minister and ardent foe of same-sex marriage, said that he plans to hold a rally in May and calls for the ousting of New York Governor David Paterson.

Senator Diaz says Paterson insulted all people of faith by introducing the bill so close to major holidays and the installation of a new catholic archbishop and plans a rally next month.

“You could put it down, during the month of May, we will bring out thousands and thousands of Hispanic evangelical Christians in the city of New York to ask Governor Paterson to step aside,” said Diaz.

Yesterday, Paterson announced that he would introduce legislation to legalize same-sex civil marriage in New York.

Diaz is also predicting the bill won’t make it past the state senate. Paterson and bill supporters think otherwise and say they believe they can find the votes, but acknowledged yesterday it was going to be an uphill fight.

Most observers expect the bill to pass the New York Assembly, but Paterson and other marriage equality advocates admit it faces a much tougher challenge in the senate, where Democrats only hold a 32-30 majority.

As evident by Diaz, who is also a Democrat, not everyone in that party supports the bill.

A statement on his official website said…

After the insistence of Governor David Paterson to introduce and impose homosexual marriage in the State of New York, the NY Hispanic Clergy Organization will convene a meeting to discuss the next steps to take.

According to Senator Diaz, “this meeting is being called to inform Ministers of Governor Paterson’s plans, the possibilities that marriage between men and men and women with women is approved or not, the options that we Hispanics, Catholics, Evangelicals and others have to revent it, and what we have to do”.

Senator Diaz also stated that:

“The Governor is also being disrespectful to the new Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and to every Catholic in New York City by pushing a gay marriage bill the same week that Catholics are celebrating welcoming ceremonies for his arrival; If I were Governor Paterson, I would abstain from going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the welcoming ceremony and to celebrate Mass.”

However, a major effort to persuade senators not committed or opposed to the bill into changing their position is scheduled for April 28, when thousands of gay and lesbian constituents say they will travel to the New York state capitol to lobby legislators.

If you like to see how Senator Diaz feels about that… you can call him at (718) 496-4793.


Ahhh, the Schadenfreude Fairy is generous today.....

Vandal throws eggs at Norm Coleman's St. Paul home

Police continue to investigate incident
Updated: 04/16/2009 11:09:01 PM CDT


St. Paul police are investigating after a young man threw eggs at former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's house.

Coleman told police he heard thumping on his Crocus Hill door about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday — the day after a three-judge panel ruled Al Franken had won last year's Senate race — and went outside to look, police spokesman Peter Panos said Thursday.

"He (the man) said something, some little obscenity, and then he threw another one," Coleman said Wednesday. "I kind of ducked. A George Bush move. ... I ran after him but I didn't get him." Coleman was referring to the former president dodging shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist in December.

The egg thrower, who was on a bicycle, looked to be in his late teens or early 20s and didn't say much, "other than foul things," Coleman said. The culprit uttered something to the effect of, "I (expletive) can't stand what you represent," Coleman said.

A police report recorded the incident in the 600 block of Osceola Avenue as misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

The number of eggs thrown wasn't in the report, Panos said. The egg thrower wasn't caught, he said.

After the 2002 election, Coleman said, someone threw eggs at his house. And an October graffiti incident at Coleman's home remains unsolved, Panos said.

Two weeks before Election Day, the homes of Coleman, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Reps. John Kline, Michele Bachmann, Jim Ramstad and Keith Ellison were vandalized with spray-painted messages.


Katherine + Bree

(no subject)

Does Calling Someone a 'Fag' Really Mean You Hate Gay People?


Did you know that being called a "fag" isn't actually an accusation that you take it up the rear from other dudes? It's true! When kids are called "fag" in school (or when rappers trade "fag" barbs with each other, or when the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship screams it), they aren't meaning to offend THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY, they're just ripping on their enemies' masculinity. "It’s really about showing any perceived weakness or femininity – by being emotional, seeming incompetent, caring too much about clothing, liking to dance or even having an interest in literature," explains the New York Times' Judith Warner, who evidently is on the newspaper's payroll to explain who Captain Obvious is. Throwing around the word "fag" is like what our parents' parents did when they threw around the word "girl"; so "fag" is no more homophobic than "girl," as an insult, is sexist.

 But before your attention span quits, realize the problem-solution equation doesn't end there. It isn't that simple. When kids call each other "fag" in school, they are indeed using a homophobic slur to demean somebody else. (When kids accuse each other of "Jewing" them, they are using an anti-Semitic slur to demean.) By definition, they are associating bad feelings toward entire cultural identities — and that belonging to one of these identities makes you less of a person.

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You may be a Canadian... THE HORROR!!!

Canada Issues a Wake-Up Call: You May Be a Citizen

Thanks to a new law, Canada will bestow citizenship Friday on what its government believes could be hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting foreigners, most of them Americans.

The April 17 amendment to Canada's Citizenship Act automatically restores Canadian nationality to many people forced to renounce it when they became citizens of another country. It also grants citizenship to their children.

The Canadian government doesn't know the precise number or location of individuals affected by the legislation. But it believes most are U.S. citizens, a spokeswoman for Canada's immigration office said. U.S. Department of Homeland Security records show 240,000 Canadians were naturalized in the U.S. from 1948 to 1977; the new law fixes problems that occurred during those years.
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Prof. Walt: Iran contrary

Here's what our Secretary of State had to say about a certain prominent "rogue state":
[Tehran's] present state of mind is a combination of aggressive arrogance and obsessions of its own making. There are doubtless many reasons, cultural, historical, political, for this state of mind. . . . I would be inclined, however, to advance the view that a country whose behavior is as violent, irascible, unyielding, and hostile as that of . . . [Iran] is led by leaders whose view of the world and of life itself is unreal."
Pretty scary, huh? No wonder some people think extreme measures are needed to prevent those mad mullahs from getting a nuclear capability, because people with such an "unreal view" could not be deterred from using them, either against Israel or against us.

But wait -- I misled you. Hillary Clinton never said that, it was Secretary of State Dean Rusk in 1966. Rusk wasn't talking about Iran, of course; he was talking about Communist China (I just switched the names).

One can understand why Rusk described China in this way: Mao Zedong's decisions during the "Great Leap Forward" killed millions of Chinese citizens; the leaders of the PRC were outspoken advocates of world revolution at the time; and Mao himself made some truly alarming statements about the acceptability of nuclear war in the years before China acquired its own bomb. On the whole, however, China's military and nuclear weapons policy was fairly restrained (indeed, more so than ours). And six years later, Nixon was on his way to Bejing and the U.S. and China were on their way to becoming tacit allies.

In fact, there is well-established tendency for Americans to view potential nuclear foes as irrational fanatics who cannot be deterred. In 1950, NSC-68 maintained that Soviet acquisition of a nuclear capability would encourage them to run greater risks. In the 1970s, a rather hysterical cottage industry later emerged claiming that Soviet leaders genuinely believed they could "fight and win" a nuclear war and thus might not be deterrable. Both Soviet and American leaders had similar worries about Mao, and both countries considered taking preventive action against China's nuclear forces at different moments during the 1960s.

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Gates hints at changes to ban on gays in military

Gates hints at changes to ban on gays in military
The Defense chief says Obama has been clear with the military about his stance. The president will move cautiously and deliberately, Gates said.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that the Obama administration would move cautiously in shifting policies on gays serving openly in the military, but he signaled that service members should prepare for possible changes.

In his most extensive remarks to date about the ongoing ban on gays who serve openly, Gates said he and other military leaders had "begun a dialogue" with President Obama about the issue.

Obama promised during last year's presidential campaign to end the ban on gays in the military, and the White House said recently that it was reviewing the issue. Gates said Obama had been clear with the military about his position.

"We will do what the president asks us to do," Gates said at the Army War College. "There is a law; we will uphold the law. If the law changes, so will our policies."
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Jim Cramer Flips Out At HuffPost Blogger Dan Solin On CNBC

Jim Cramer Flips Out At HuffPost Blogger Dan Solin On CNBC (VIDEO)

Dan Solin, regular HuffPost blogger and author of The Smartest 401k Book You'll Ever Read, appeared on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Friday and challenged the network for its "In Cramer We Trust" slogan.

When asked by CNBC's Brian Schactman about the best ways to save for retirement, Solin said , "One of the things that you could do instead is to give us more 'In Bogle we Trust' and much less 'In Cramer we Trust."

Cramer himself then stormed onto the show's set to defend himself and trash index funds, which Solin was advocating.

"In all due respect, the S&P is flat literally for ten years," Cramer said. "That's Jon Bogle's world. If you were to sell at 11,000 like I told you in September, 10,000 like I told you in December, and then get back in at 6,500, who wins? Is that so bad? Is that worth not trusting in?"

Cramer then got especially heated.

"I've had it with the people who tell me about the index fund," he screamed. "For ten years they've done nothing! For ten years! When do they get called on the carpet? When are they ever wrong? Do we have to wait another ten years? Enough of this! I've said my piece. Happy 20th!"

CNBC celebrated its 20th anniversary Friday by opening and closing the New York Stock Exchange.
purty tardis

Bad news for Texas's Teabagger-in-Chief

Texas House votes to slash Gov. Rick Perry's budget

06:46 PM CDT on Friday, April 17, 2009

AUSTIN — House members virtually wiped out Gov. Rick Perry’s office budget today, to help veterans and the mentally ill.

With little debate, the House on a voice vote approved erasing 96 percent of the nearly $24 million budget writers had recommended for Perry’s office operation over the next two years.

Some Democrats cast the House’s move as a rebuke of the governor’s recent comments about Texas seceding from the Union.

“That’s the headline: Two days after governor says we ought to secede, House zeroes out the governor's budget,” Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, told reporters.

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