April 30th, 2009

flu mask

Hate crimes equality!

US House votes to expand 'hate-crime' protections to GLBT individuals

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to expand "hate crime" protections, including to homosexual victims of violence, overriding sharp objections from conservatives.

Lawmakers voted 249 to 175 in favor of the legislation, which was authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, a Democrat.
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Delicious sauce
  • bispo

Michael Steele Still Actin' a Fool

Appearing today on Morning Joe, Michael Steele provided an interesting metaphor for how different kinds of Republicans can co-exist. He asked Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan to imagine that they were all wearing hats that said "GOP," and that they hailed from different parts of the country:

"You (Brzezinski) wear your hat one way you like to wear it, you know, kind of cocked to the left, you know, 'cause that's cool out West," Steele said. "In the Midwest, you guys (Scarborough) like to wear it a little bit to the right. In the South, you guys (Buchanan) wear the brim straight ahead. Now the Northeast, I wear my hat backwards, you know, 'cause that's how we roll in the Northeast."

This gets into something I've observed before about Steele: He often sounds like a middle-aged man attempting to talk to his kids and sound cool, and not exactly being successful at it.

  • turi

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Outraged over Outrage

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Outraged over Outrage

KochEd Koch is steamed over the new Kirby Dick documentary Outrage, which exposes closeted politicians who work against gay rights. But he's not pissed because it says he's gay, but because he says the film defiles his record (the film claims his record on AIDS and gay rights was virtually nonexistent).

ED Koch is upset over a new documentary, "Outrage" -- not because it claims he had "a well-established affair with a man he subsequently ran out of town," as Variety reported yesterday, but because it claims "his record on AIDS and gay rights was virtually nonexistent."

The former mayor is proud of his record on AIDS and gay rights and accuses filmmaker Kirby Dick -- a proponent of outing closeted politicians -- of revising history.

"It's a [bleep]ing outrage," Koch told Page Six yesterday. "Bella Abzug and I, in the early '70s, introduced in Congress a bill that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation."

When he was elected mayor in 1977, one of his first acts was to ban such discrimination by city agencies. "And when we later said the law applied to contractors doing business with the city, the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army sued me," Koch said.

"In 1984, I was the first mayor to march in the Gay Pride Parade. I was the first mayor to appoint openly gay judges . . ." There was plenty more.

But what about the assertions of David Rotherberg, the first gay candidate for City Council, who claims in "Outrage" that Koch and a man named Dick Nathan were an established couple during Koch's years in Congress until Koch dumped him when he ran for mayor, often with former Miss America Beth Myerson by his side? Nathan died of AIDS in 1996.

"Dick Nathan was a fine guy. We were friends," Koch said. "He wanted to be a commissioner in my administration." But Koch decided to stick with a very capable woman he'd inherited from the previous administration of Abe Beame. "He [Nathan] got mad and left town," Koch said.

Koch won't ever answer when asked if he's gay. "Are you married?" he'll typically ask the questioner. If the answer is yes, he'll come back with, "When was the last time you committed oral sex on your spouse? Don't answer that. It's no one's business."

source1, source2
David Thewlis - Deer in headlights

Glenn Beck: The Fox News host takes Entertainment Weekly's Stupid Questions!

Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, watch your Beck! Glenn Beck's self-titled Fox News program (weekdays at 5 p.m. ET) debuted in January, and it's already the third-most-watched cable news program. Whether a guest is fainting or Beck is weeping, the polarizing host always makes headlines. (And jokes: The TV and talk-radio star will hit the road this June for his Common Sense Comedy Tour.) Let's see if we can make him cry with a few Stupid Questions.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Greetings. Should I call you a Republitarian or a Liberpublican?
GLENN BECK: I would just call me "King." Or "Your Highness." Or "Oh Grand Ruler." Any of those fascistic kind of titles will be fine with me. I have an evil plan that will have me placed at the head of this empire that I'm building within the next three to six weeks, eight at the top.

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    Girls Aloud - What You Crying For
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sexy lady

GOP set to launch rebranding effort

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Coming soon to a battleground state near you: a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama's characterization of Republicans as "the party of 'no.'"

CNN has learned that the new initiative, called the National Council for a New America, will be announced Thursday.

It will involve an outreach by an interesting mix of GOP officials, ranging from 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and the younger brother of the man many Republicans blame for the party's battered brand: former President George W. Bush.
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"While we will be guided by our principles of freedom and security, we will seek to include more than just our ideas."

As long as those ideas don't include minority rights, reproductive rights, environmental causes, or universal health care. Amirite?

(no subject)

Gay man says he was forced out of partner's room at OHSU

12:03 PM PDT on Thursday, April 23, 2009

PORTLAND -- A visit to Oregon Health and Science University hospital turned into a frustrating situation for a gay couple who said their rights as domestic partners were not honored until a lawyer got involved.

Video: Partner upset with OHSU

The domestic partner of a man who appeared to be near death was reportedly ordered to leave the room when it was time to make some major decisions about the patient.



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Black and Asian people targeted in stop and search surge

Black and Asian people were disproportionately targeted by police in a surge in the use of stop and search under counterterrorism laws in the wake of the failed 2007 London bomb attack, according to official figures published today.

The Justice Ministry statistics showed that the number of black people being stopped and searched under counterterrorism laws rose by 322%, compared with 277% for Asian people and 185% for white people.

Corinna Ferguson, a barrister at human rights charity Liberty, said: "A threefold increase in anti-terror stop and search is the clearest signal that these powers are being misused. Only six in 10,000 people stopped were arrested for terrorism, let alone charged or convicted.


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Paul Ryan: "Most Of Us Think" Norm Coleman Has Lost Senate Race

Paul Ryan: "Most Of Us Think" Norm Coleman Has Lost Senate Race (VIDEO)

In an interview with Katie Couric on the CBS News webcast after Obama's press conference Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said he doesn't hold out much hope for Norm Coleman in the protracted Senate race in Minnesota.

Discussing the significance of Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic party, Ryan said, "This is the 60th vote."

"If Al Franken wins," Couric offered.

"Yeah, and most of us think that that's gonna happen," Ryan said.

RNC Pulled Video Of Mock-Obama Criticizing Troops, Thanking Ayers

RNC Pulled Video Of Mock-Obama Criticizing Troops, Thanking Ayers

Marking Barack Obama's 100th day in office, the Republican National Committee published a video that uses an Obama impersonator to mock the president as beholden to a teleprompter and a hypocrite on a range of policy issues.

The web ad, which has an off-sounding Obama voice commenting over footage of the inaugural address, was briefly posted on the RNC's YouTube page on Wednesday. But shortly after its release, the spot was unceremoniously removed from the site.

After a request for comment, RNC spokesman Trevor Francis said the committee planned on releasing a new version of the video with better editing and citations. He said the updated version will likely come out later today.
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cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?

HuffPo: On why the GOP may not be as dead as we think :(

Buchanan Made The GOP a Heavily White Party
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

GOP hatchet man and media pundit Pat Buchanan recently quipped that the GOP is a "heavily white party." It's not a heavily white party, it's virtually an exclusively white party; Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele notwithstanding. And Buchanan did much to make sure that the GOP got that way and stays that way. The checklist of Buchanan's blunt speak racially charged barbs, insults and inflammatory pitches to unreconstruted bigots during the past two decades can fill up a book. In fact it fills up two books, the State of Emergency and Death of the West.

Buchanan damned multiculturalism, railed against affirmative action as blatant discrimination against whites, lambasted Republicans for pandering to the NAACP, applauded those who called Martin Luther King, Jr. a "fraud" and a "demogouge" and in 1969 he opposed the federal holiday for King. Three decades later he hadn't softened his take on King one bit. He's called him a "divisive" figure.

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Steele fights back against RNC 'scheme'

EXCLUSIVE: Steele fights back against RNC 'scheme'

The embattled Republican National Committee chairman angrily returned fire in his fight with current and former officers over control of the GOP's purse strings.

Under attack from conservatives since taking office on Jan. 30, Michael S. Steele on Wednesday blasted a group of members pushing for new checks and balances on the chairman's spending powers, accusing them of a power grab "scheme."

"I have just returned from an overseas trip to learn that the five of you have developed a scheme to transfer the RNC chairman's authority to the treasurer and the executive committee," Mr. Steele wrote in an e-mail he sent to Randy Pullen, the RNC's elected treasurer, and Blake Hall, the committee's general counsel, as well as to three former RNC officers.
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G.O.P. Debate: A Broader Party or a Purer One?

G.O.P. Debate: A Broader Party or a Purer One?

A fundamental debate broke out among Republicans on Wednesday over how to rebuild the party in the wake of Senator Arlen Specter’s departure: Should it purge moderate voices like Mr. Specter and embrace its conservative roots or seek to broaden its appeal to regain a competitive position against Democrats?

With consensus growing among Republicans that the party is in its worst political position in recent memory, some conservatives applauded Mr. Specter’s departure. They said it cleared the way for the party to distance itself from its record of expanding government during the Bush years and to re-emphasize the calls for tax cuts and reduced federal spending that have dominated Republican thought for more than 30 years.

“We strayed from our principles of limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom,”
said Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman who is head of Club for Growth, a group that has financed primary challenges against Republicans it considers insufficiently conservative. “We have to adhere to those principles to rebuild the party. Those are the brand of the Republican Party, and people feel that we betrayed the brand.”
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Condi Rice Pulls A Nixon: When the President Does It, That Means It is Not Illegal

Condi Rice Pulls A Nixon: When the President Does It, That Means It is Not Illegal

Condoleezza Rice was recently speaking at Stanford when students asked her an excellent question on waterboarding and torture. They have her answer on tape and it isn't pretty. Condi Rice absolutely pulls a Nixon.

Here are the relevant quotes:

"The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations under the Convention Against Torture."

Nothing we would do? Nothing? As I ask in the video above, what would happen if the president authorized you to murder someone, would it still not be illegal?

Next up, Condoleezza Rice denies any personal responsibility:

"I didn't authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency, that they had policy authorization, subject to the Justice Department's clearance. That's what I did."

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Caesar can do no wrong...

Taliban Holds Buner Hostage, Says Pakistan Military

Taliban Holds Buner Hostage, Says Pakistan Military

The Pakistan army says the Taliban are holding the population of one town near the capital hostage.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas says troops are encountering stiff resistance from militants in Buner as the troops fight their way toward insurgent strongholds. The district is 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the capital of Islamabad.

Abbas said security forces have killed another 14 militants in operations to reverse the spreading power of the Taliban.

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

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - A slew of gun attacks in Pakistan's biggest city killed at least 34 people, officials said Thursday, further rattling a country already tense over a military offensive against Taliban militants in a district near the capital.

The unrest came as President Barack Obama said he was "gravely concerned" about Pakistan's stability and described its government as "very fragile" - although he did express confidence that the country's nuclear arsenal was safe from militants.

Pakistan's president urged the public to support the army's offensive against Taliban fighters so that Pakistan would remain "a moderate, modern and democratic state."

Ethnic tension was the suspected spark for the gun attacks Wednesday in Karachi, a teeming southern port city with a volatile history. Much of the tension has been between the Pashtun population, who dominate the country's militant-infested northwest, and Urdu-speakers descended from migrants from India.

The latter are in large part represented by the political party that runs the city, the Muttahida Quami Movement.
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{default} this is how I roll

Michelle Obama as latest “Female Force” comic book star

The Female Force comic book biography of First Lady Michelle Obama hit the shelves yesterday – and already has sold out. The book will go into a second printing, reports the Detroit News.

The demand for the comic book, which details Obama’s life from her youth on the South Side of Chicago up through the 2008 presidential campaign and election day, “has exceeded our aggressive projections,” Bluewater Productions publisher Darren G. Davis said in a release.

Obama is not however, the first woman to star in a Female Force comic book. Previous issues featured the lives of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin. Those books also sold out.

Bluewater says more comic books about the lives of well known women are on their way. “Female Force: Caroline Kennedy,” “Female Force: Princess Diana,” and “Female Force: Condoleeza Rice” are already in production and scheduled for release in the coming months.

“I’m very encouraged over the buzz and reviews the books are getting. This opens the door to explore the lives of dozens and dozens of high profile, influential, and yes, in some cases, controversial women,” Davis says in a statement on the company’s website.


Who your money is going to: Facebook and Paypal guy is racist, sexist jerk

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Peter Thiel, early investor of Facebook and co-founder of Paypal, has some explaining to do concerning his controversial politics. Thiel sits on the board of the social networking site, which has grown to become one of the largest multi-cultural sites in the world. His views, however, are far from diverse.

Mr. Thiel, a widely known gay man, co-authored a controversial book entitled The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus. In this book, Thiel aggressively attacked the idea of multi-culturalism and affirmative action, arguing that diversity initiatives made the Stanford University population "less intelligent." Thiel was angered as a young white student at Stanford when the standard Western Civilization class was replaced with more multicultural friendly offerings. He exemplified further disdain when Stanford introduced a class about the history Black hairstyles. Thiel goes on to say in his book, "The university is also willing to tolerate excesses by members of the homosexual community that would never be tolerated in any other group" (p. 101), insinuating that homosexuals on campus faced greater prejudices than lower populated ethnic groups.

Last year, Thiel reportedly made a $1 million donation through a third party to NumbersUSA, an anti immigrant group. This month, Thiel wrote the following on a Cato Institute Blog about women voting rights:

The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women - two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians - have rendered the notion of "capitalist democracy" into an oxymoron.

Our editors checked, and Mr. Thiel's Facebook friend list includes one African American friend out of 337. Looks like we won't be poking him anytime soon.


House Republicans jump Obamahate videos bandwagon

Do You Feel Safer?

The House Republicans, meanwhile, released their own incendiary ad attacking the president. The spot, titled "Day 101," includes footage of the Pentagon burning on September 11th alongside clips of terrorist training videos and violent protests in the Middle East.

Complete with dreary background music, the video challenges Obama on his decision to close Guantanamo Bay and release memos detailing the Bush administration's policies on torture. The video also shows Obama's handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, airs a bunch of headlines and news clips about CIA interrogations and flashes of terrorist training videos.

maybe there is something in the water after all...

Air Force One Pictures: New York Daily News Invites Readers To Photoshop Their Own

Like the rest of America, I just can't wait to see the poster or the brochure or the diorama that's so super-important that New York City needed to be terrified and traumatized in the process of its creation. In the meantime, the New York Daily News is out to reclaim a little levity while proving a point -- an image of Air Force One buzzing the Statue of Liberty could have been created on the cheap using readily available software that maybe someone in the Most Internety Presidential Campaign Ever might have heard of:

So the White House wanted shots of the presidential plane with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Ground Zero? With some stock images, few minutes and a couple of clicks of a mouse, a White House staffer could've placed the jet in front of just about any New York landmark.

We should know. We did just that....

But we can't be the only ones with a flair for Photoshopping. Think you can do better? Be our guest.


And the results were, in a word, bad-ass. Look at this one:

Monkey Business

Of course, for maximum verisimilitude, you should photoshop your image and then set $200,000 on fire


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Most of the ones that have been posted so far are pretty ho-hum, but there are a few real gems I found that I posted beneath the cut.  :)

Kissing Parts

"Is Rape Serious?"

When a woman reports a rape, her body is a crime scene. She is typically asked to undress over a large sheet of white paper to collect hairs or fibers, and then her body is examined with an ultraviolet light, photographed and thoroughly swabbed for the rapist’s DNA.

It’s a grueling and invasive process that can last four to six hours and produces a “rape kit” — which, it turns out, often sits around for months or years, unopened and untested.

Stunningly often, the rape kit isn’t tested at all because it’s not deemed a priority. If it is tested, this happens at such a lackadaisical pace that it may be a year or more before there are results (if expedited, results are technically possible in a week).

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The fact this article even has to be written induces rage, IMO.


Car hits crowd during Dutch parade; TV says 2 dead

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APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) — A speeding car raced toward an open bus carrying Dutch Queen Beatrix and her family during a holiday parade Thursday and careened through spectators.

Dutch television said two people were killed and about a dozen injured, but police in Apeldoorn declined to confirm the casualty toll or comment further on the incident.

The small black car appeared to be heading at high speed toward the royal bus and passed within a few meters of it before plowing into a stone monument. The incident was witnessed by The Associated Press.

People were seen flying through the air after the car swerved across police railings, where the crowd was lined up five or six deep to see the immensely popular royal family pass on its way to the Het Loo palace on the Queen's Day national holiday.

It was not clear how the car managed enter the parade area, which police had sealed off hours before.

Police officers removed a man from the vehicle and put him into an ambulance. Other officers gave medical aid to spectators before they were taken to hospital.
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4 dead, 13 injured.
- A speeding car raced toward an open bus carrying Dutch Queen Beatrix and her family during a holiday parade Thursday and plowed into spectators, killing four people and injuring 13 others, authorities said.

- Prosecutors said they believe the incident was deliberate, but not an act of terrorism. They did not indicate a motive or say why the popular queen might have been a target. The driver was a 38-year-old white Dutch male with no police record or history of mental illness, police said. They would not give his name.
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{default} this is how I roll

Chrysler files for bankruptcy; signs Fiat deal

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chrysler LLC -- battered for the past two years by disappearing global auto sales and the credit crisis -- filed for bankruptcy on Thursday and announced an industry-changing deal with Fiat after talks to restructure its debt broke down.

Despite weeks of intense negotiations, Chrysler failed to gain the full support from its lenders to avoid the first-ever bankruptcy filing by a major U.S. automaker.

The move was hailed by President Barack Obama as a critical step in saving 30,000 jobs at Chrysler and hundreds of thousands more jobs in affiliated suppliers and dealers.

At the same time, Chrysler as expected entered into an alliance with Italian automaker Fiat SpA where it sold a stake starting at 20 percent and in which Fiat can become the majority owner once the government loans are repaid.

The Chapter 11 filing, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, sent shock waves through the entire industry -- including Chrysler's rivals, suppliers, dealers and the hundreds of thousands who rely on the industry for their livelihoods.

As part of the filing, the U.S. government will provide up to $3.5 billion in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and up to $4.5 billion in exit financing. Obama said he hopes the entire process will take only 30 to 60 days.

The legal proceedings will be overseen by Judge Arthur Gonzalez, the same jurist who oversaw the Enron Corp and WorldCom Inc bankruptcies.

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Specter Dr. Evil Comparison Made By Ohio Republican

CINCINNATI — An Ohio Republican leader is being criticized for a blog post that used a photo of Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, bald from chemotherapy, and one of the hairless Dr. Evil from the "Austin Powers" movies.

Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou (tree-an-tih-FEE'-loo) posted the photos above a commentary criticizing Specter's decision to switch from Republican to Democrat.

The photos drew charges of insensitivity from Tim Burke, the Democratic chairman in Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati. He sent a news release Wednesday with the headline "Republican Party Ridicules Cancer Patient." Specter has battled Hodgkin's disease.

Triantafilou at first said Burke needed to "lighten up." By Thursday morning, he had replaced the photos with one of a frowning child.


  • luno

PayPal's Thiel isn't the only hard-right conservative in that circle.

I posted this as a comment to another ontd_political post, but due to link density I'll repost here.

Thiel's not the only PayPal/eBay bigwig who's outspoken about his conservative views: Rod Martin, PayPal's special counsel, helped found what he claimed to be a "Conservative answer to moveon.org".


eBay's Ex-CEO, Meg Whitman, has dumped a ton of funds on the elephantine candidates:


She's also making a bid for the Governor's seat in California in 2010.

http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Meg_Whitman (This page fawns shamelessly).

Both organizations (eBay and PayPal) have donated pretty heavily to far-far-right conservative causes. Where can you go if you don't agree with their corporate donations?

http://Moneybookers.com is a good alternative to PayPal, but with the market share of eBay, it's difficult to find a qualified competitor in the field of online auctions. Amazon and Yahoo also donate quite a bit to the Republicans (I miss you, buyblue.org!), so those options are out for selling junk online too, unless you want a cut to go to the folks who think Palin is leadership material.

Conservative law firm warns of "the radical homosexual anarchist agenda"

Social Conservatives Blast Hate-Crime Bill, Saying It Will Limit Free Speech

Social conservatives say their right to free speech will be jeopardized
if hate crimes legislation now headed to the Senate becomes law.

By James Osborne
Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Senate hate crimes bill that would extend federal protection to gay
and transgender victims is rousing the ire of social conservatives who
say their right to free speech will be jeopardized if it becomes law.

"In and of itself this law can be applied to speech. The nature of
assault -- putting someone in fear of their safety -- what will that
mean for someone preaching against homosexuality?" said Mathew Staver,
founder of the Liberty Council, a law firm that works on religious
freedom cases.

"It elevates homosexuality to the same protective category as race. It's
all part of the radical homosexual anarchist agenda," Staver said.

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The full story is @ FOX News.com! :)
' jules

And I have such an appropriate icon, too!

Scientists see this flu strain as relatively mild

Genetic data indicate this outbreak won't be as deadly as that of 1918, or even the average winter.

As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

"Let's not lose track of the fact that the normal seasonal influenza is a huge public health problem that kills tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone and hundreds of thousands around the world," said Dr. Christopher Olsen, a molecular virologist who studies swine flu at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison.

His remarks Wednesday came the same day Texas authorities announced that a nearly 2-year-old boy with the virus had died in a Houston hospital Monday.

"Any time someone dies, it's heartbreaking for their families and friends," Olsen said. "But we do need to keep this in perspective."

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The CIA's $1,000 a Day Specialists on Waterboarding, Interrogations

The CIA's $1,000 a Day Specialists on Waterboarding, Interrogations

As the secrets about the CIA's interrogation techniques continue to come out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use, contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.

According to current and former government officials, the CIA's secret waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe by two well-paid psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane, Washington.

Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded Mitchell Jessen and Associates.

Both men declined to speak to ABC News citing non-disclosure agreements with the CIA. But sources say Jessen and Mitchell together designed and implemented the CIA's interrogation program.

Click here to see Jessen refusing to talk to ABC News.

"It's clear that these psychologists had an important role in developing what became the CIA's torture program," said Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Collapse )Former U.S. officials say the two men were essentially the architects of the CIA's 10-step interrogation plan that culminated in waterboarding.

Associates say the two made good money doing it, boasting of being paid a $1,000 a day by the CIA to oversee the use of the techniques on top al Qaeda suspects at CIA secret sites.

"The whole intense interrogation concept that we hear about, is essentially their concepts," according to Col. Steven Kleinman, an Air Force interrogator.

Both Mitchell and Jessen were previously involved in the U.S. military program to train pilots how to survive behind enemy lines and resist brutal tactics if captured.

But it turns out neither Mitchell nor Jessen had any experience in conducting actual interrogations before the CIA hired them.
"They went to two individuals who had no interrogation experience," said Col. Kleinman. "They are not interrogators."

The new documents show the CIA later came to learn that the two psychologists' waterboarding "expertise" was probably "misrepresented" and thus, there was no reason to believe it was "medically safe" or effective.
The waterboarding used on al Qaeda detainees was far more intense than the brief sessions used on U.S. military personnel in the training classes.

"The use of these tactics tends to increase resistance on the part of the detainee to cooperating with us. So they have the exact opposite effect of what you want," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich).

The new memos also show waterboarding was used "with far greater frequency than initially indicated" to even those in the CIA.

Abu Zubaydah was water boarded at least 83 times and Khalid Sheikh Mohamed at least 183 times.
That contradicts what former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who led the Zubaydah capture team, told ABC News in 2007 when he first revealed publicly that waterboarding had been used.

He said then, based on top secret reports he had access to, that Zubaydah had only been water boarded once and then freely talked.
Kiriakou now says he too was stunned to learn how often Zubaydah was waterboarded, in what Kiriakou says was clearly torture.

"When I spoke to ABC News in December 2007 I was aware of Abu Zubaydah being waterboarded on one occasion," said Kiriakou. "It was after this one occasion that he revealed information related to a planned terrorist attack. As I said in the original interview, my information was second-hand. I never participated in the use of enhanced techniques on Abu Zubaydah or on any other prisoner, nor did I witness the use of such techniques."

A federal judge in New York is currently considering whether or not to make public the written logs of the interrogation sessions.

The tapes were destroyed by the CIA, but the written logs still exist, although the CIA is fighting their release.

A CIA spokesperson declined to comment for this report, except to note that the agency's terrorist interrogation program was guided by legal opinions from the Department of Justice.

Matthew Cole is a freelance national security reporter. His book, about the CIA rendition program, will be published later this year by Simon & Schuster.</div>
&#39; jules


Utahns prefer Romney to Huntsman in new poll

Utahns would rather see Mitt Romney than Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in the White House, but they would support either Republican over President Barack Obama in 2012, a new Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.

A majority of Utahns, 55 percent, said they preferred Romney to their governor. But just 32 percent chose Huntsman over the former Salt Lake City Olympics leader who lost his bid for the GOP presidential nomination last year.

Both Romney and Huntsman would easily beat the Democratic president in Utah, the poll conducted Monday by Dan Jones & Associates found. The poll of 254 Utahns statewide has a margin of error of plus or minus 6.2 percent.

Asked about the results during an interview Wednesday with the Deseret News, Huntsman suggested they were little more than "fun reading."

"Republicans are pretty dominant," he said when pressed.

The governor had nothing but praise for Romney, who won Utah's GOP primary with 90 percent of the vote. Huntsman had backed the party's eventual nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Romney "is a good candidate. He's run once and will probably run again. And I probably won't," Huntsman said. "He's a good man and he's earned every bit of support he's gotten in the state. And I say that with all sincerity."

Huntsman has yet to say whether he's considering a run for president but has been attracting national attention as a potential candidate because of his push to make his party more moderate.

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Dear Utah: what. the. fuck.

y'all don't even know what you're messing with.

Swine Flu A Mexican Immigrant Conspiracy: Conservative Media (VIDEO)

Swine Flu A Mexican Immigrant Conspiracy: Conservative Media (VIDEO)

As near as anyone knows, the recent outbreaks of swine flu in the United States have been the result of Americans, returning to America, from Mexico, to where they live, in America. This makes a certain sense -- the larger outbreak is in Mexico, American tourists often travel to Mexico, most prefer to return home at some point. On the other hand, however, the swine flu might actually be THE NEXT WAVE OF THE RECONQUISTA, SOUND THE ALARMS!

Media Matters, has produced an entertaining little mashup, chronicling the swine flu angle from that point of view, where illegal immigrants are not just the "perfect mules" for influenza -- they are the "perfect mules" for terrorism! "What better way to sneak a virus in this country than to give it to Mexicans?" asks Neil Boortz, apparently unaware that the answer to his question is "Virtually all the other ways you can think of."

Anyway, this is compelling stuff, so long as you haven't even a passing understanding of how epidemiology and disease vectors work.


Oh Noes Mexico has WMDs!! Someone call Darth Cheney and invade Mexico!!

Gingrich Backs Steele In Developing RNC Civil War

Gingrich Backs Steele In Developing RNC Civil War

Only a few months into his tenure, Michael Steele has already been forced to do battle with some senior party insiders, with the latest show of no-confidence coming in the form of an RNC resolution that would limit Steele's hold on the party's purse strings.

On Thursday morning, however, the Chairman received a bit of a boost. Newt Gingrich, who will occasionally call out the old guard of his party, stuck up for Steele and called the RNC members orchestrating the resolution a group of stale, self-involved individuals.

"The Republican National Committee is this tiny group of people, some of whom have been there 20 years or more," the former Speaker told CSPAN. "And they all think they're precious. And they all think they should be taken care of. And they all think that the job of the chairman first of all is to make the RNC members happy."
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by &lt;lj_user=&quot;yellowbang&quot;&gt;

Survey: Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted April 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small.

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Leith Anderson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The survey asked: "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"

Roughly half of all respondents -- 49 percent -- said it is often or sometimes justified. A quarter said it never is.

The religious group most likely to say torture is never justified was Protestant denominations -- such as Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians -- categorized as "mainline" Protestants, in contrast to evangelicals. Just over three in 10 of them said torture is never justified. A quarter of the religiously unaffiliated said the same, compared with two in 10 white non-Hispanic Catholics and one in eight evangelicals.

Source @here

Iowa for Obama

brainwashed by the ebil LIBRULS!

Hansen: Right says it's brainwashing in backwaters

By MARC HANSEN • mahansen@dmreg.com • April 28, 2009

On the day same-sex couples were legally allowed to marry in Iowa, Jan Mickelson seemed to call off the dogs.

"There's nothing to protest at this level, friends," the radio host told his right-leaning audience on WHO-AM (1040) Radio.

Instead of rehashing the same old arguments with the same old angry guests and callers, Mickelson wanted to talk about how this happened, "piece by piece," starting 20 years ago.

It was all a plot, he said, masterminded by clever, propaganda-spewing, out-of-state brain-washers on a bunch of gullible rubes ready to be fleeced.

And we fell for it.

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It would be nice if more Republicans actually remembered the things on their website, huh?

Also, while I'm posting, you should check out this documentary: http://www.abusedthepostvilleraid.com/ I just saw part of it tonight, and it's quite amazing, they just need money to finish it. There's a trailer on there that is definitely worth checking out.
Janeway - Side

Commentary: Plan B risky for 17-year-old girls

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- In a matter of weeks, teenage girls, just 17 years old, will be able to get their hands on the "morning after pill" without ever talking to a doctor and without their parents ever knowing or being a part of this major decision.

Think of a 17-year-old girl. Most of the time she's a high school senior, still living at home with Mom and Dad. She still needs her parents in the tough times. But they will be cut out of a traumatic situation. All thanks to U.S. District Judge Edward Korman. Korman stated in his order, "The record shows that FDA officials and staff both agreed that 17-year-olds can use Plan B safely without a prescription."

Now keep in mind birth control pills require a doctor's prescription, but a drug that is more powerful doesn't? The effective ingredient in Plan B is the synthetic progestin levonorgestrel and this is also found in daily oral contraceptives. Some forms of birth control that require a prescription have levonorgestrel, while Plan B has significantly more of the synthetic hormone. Do we really want our daughters putting something like this in their bodies without a doctor? I still want Mom and Dad in on this.

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Teenage Sauce

I like how it pretends to be rational in the beginning. And then moves on to "BAWWWWWWWW MY 17 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER HAS PASSED PUBERTY BAWWWWW IT'S ALMOST LIKE SHE'S AN ADULT BAWWWWWWWWW PURITY/CONTROL/VIRGIN" masked in the typical fear mongering of teen sex and abortion. I think I may be using the "BAWWWW" incorrectly there, but I really like using it. That's a valid excuse.

BREAKING: Justice David Souter will retire

NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the court's current term.

The court has completed hearing oral arguments for the year and will be issuing rulings and opinions until the end of June.

Souter is expected to remain on the bench until a successor has been chosen and confirmed, which may or may not be accomplished before the court reconvenes in October.


(no subject)

WATCH: Not All of Congress Is As Dumb As Rep. Virginia Foxx

Just in case you were tricked into thinking yesterday's Congressional debate about The Matthew Shepard Act was limited to morons like Rep. Virginia Foxx, here's Democratic New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt delivering what will likely be the best soundbite to arise from the victorious passage of the hate crimes bill: "This is no more about criminalizing thought than the anti-lynching laws were about criminalizing knot-tying." BOO-YAH.

Adds Holt: "It is patently false to say we are criminalizing thought. … And to say that pedophilia somehow belongs in here represents such uniformed illogical and irrelevant thinking as to say kleptomania, drug abuse, school truancy, parking violation, and road rage belongs here. This bill is about hate crimes."

Louis Theroux in Hell

A blow against racism

A blow against racism

Student strikes back after being hit, taunted -- and finds himself charged with assault


KESWICK -- Hundreds of students at the local high school here rallied yesterday to support a 15-year-old Asian boy who was the only one charged in a high-school fight in which the other boy allegedly started the scrap after racially taunting him.

The Grade 9 student at Keswick High School, who can't be identified, is charged with assault causing bodily harm after breaking another student's nose in a gym class last Tuesday. He is also serving a suspension and could face expulsion.

The other boy, who required hospitalization, was also suspended but wasn't charged. Neither boy can be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

"I am confused and angry at the same time," said the Asian boy, who has a martial arts black belt and who maintains an average of 80s and 90s in his classes. He said that if he is facing a charge of assault, then the other boy "definitely" deserves to be charged as well.

The boy's parents said the other student's taunts were the first incident of racism experienced by the family since they moved to Canada from their native country in 2004.

York Regional Police couldn't comment yesterday afternoon as the investigating officer wasn't available.

According to the accused boy and several friends, the other student called the Asian boy a "f...ing Chinese" and after a shoving match broke out, punched the Asian boy in the mouth, causing him to bleed.

The Asian boy retaliated by punching the other boy and breaking his nose. He said he used his left hand in order to control his punch and aimed for his opponent's jaw. But because the other boy turned his face, the punch landed on his nose.

"I kind of feel bad for breaking his nose but I didn't start the fight," the boy said yesterday after school let out.

The boy, whose marks included 96% in science, 94% in French, and 90% in math, must now appear in a youth court on May 13.

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