May 12th, 2009


equal parts ONTD & political

Assemblyman Makes Gay Marriage Bill Personal

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Published: May 11, 2009

ALBANY — Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell wants desperately to persuade his colleagues to legalize gay marriage. Here is how he has pursued Republican Assemblyman Greg Ball’s vote:

He stopped Mr. Ball’s parents while they were visiting the Capitol, and asked them to urge their son to back the measure. He cornered Mr. Ball in a statehouse elevator, and taunted him: vote for same-sex marriage, or you won’t get invited to my engagement party.

Mr. O’Donnell has even told Mr. Ball, a square-jawed former Air Force captain, that he was “the best looking guy in the Assembly, and he owed it to the gays to vote yes.”

“Did I think that overt flirtation was going to get Greg Ball to vote yes?” Mr. O’Donnell recalled. “Didn’t know. But I was going to try.”

With the Legislature set to take up the bill to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, Mr. O’Donnell, the openly gay older brother of the comedian Rosie O’Donnell, has emerged as a tenacious, ingratiating, playful and sometimes prickly leader of the effort to pass the legislation.

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Karl Rove: Powell's "Vision For The Republican Party's Future Is For Rush Limbaugh To Shut Up"

Karl Rove: Powell's "Vision For The Republican Party's Future Is For Rush Limbaugh To Shut Up" (VIDEO)

Karl Rove has joined the conservative chorus assailing Colin Powell.

Last week, Rush Limbaugh called for Powell to leave the Republican party after the former Secretary of State gave a speech in which he suggested that the GOP was increasingly coming under the control of radicals. Limbaugh said that Powell should "become a Democrat instead of claiming to be a Republican interested in reforming the Republican Party."

Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney then took a very public dig at his former colleague, telling "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer that he would definitely side with Limbaugh over Powell about the future of the GOP.

Now Karl Rove has chimed in, voicing his own doubts about Powell's commitment to the Republican party on Fox News.

"Why get in a fight with Rush Limbaugh... It's not a very comforting vision to say my vision for the Republican Party's future is for Rush Limbaugh to shut up.... It's not the kind of thing that makes people stand up and say, 'Yeah that's the kind of Republican Party I want.'"



Liz Cheney Defends Dad On MSNBC (VIDEO)

My father "has an obligation to speak out," Liz Cheney told the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday. She compared his outspoken defense of harsh interrogation techniques to Al Gore's public role since leaving office. He would much rather be fishing, she said, but he felt it was his duty to defend the Bush Administration.

Cheney sparred with Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, who wrote in the day's paper that her father was a "crazy old coot" who should go back to Wyoming.

"I haven't seen similar columns from you or, frankly, anybody else saying things like Al Gore should go back to Tennessee and Al Gore somebody who is very vocal, very much out there," she said.

Cheney, like her father, argued that "enhanced interrogation techniques" TORTURE saved American lives. Robinson made the obvious but often overlooked point that if something is against the law, the government shouldn't be doing it.

The Cheney family argument that torture did save lives has been undermined by recently released memos.


'Say you weren't raped in jail and we'll let you live', pregnant British woman told in Laos prison

By Simon Walters
Last updated at 1:08 AM on 10th May 2009

A pregnant British woman arrested for heroin-smuggling in Laos has been told she must testify in court that she was not raped in prison in order to escape the firing squad.

Samantha Orobator, who is five months pregnant, was arrested in August at Wattay airport in the capital Vientiane for trying to smuggle 1.5lb of heroin.

The 20-year-old from South London goes on trial this week and will be asked to declare publicly that she was not raped in Phonthong prison, one of Asia’s most squalid jails.
samantha orobator is facing the death penalty

Samantha Orobator is facing the death penalty for heroin-smuggling

If Orobator co-operates, she will be transferred from Laos to a UK prison under a new treaty signed between the two countries on Thursday, but if not, her trial will be postponed and she will return to jail in Laos.

If she faces trial again after the birth of her child, she will not have the immunity from execution that pregnancy gives her under the Laos penal code.


* 'Drug-smuggling' Briton who became pregnant in Laos prison could spend any jail time in UK

A Laos government spokesman, Kenthong Nuanthasing, said: ‘She will tell the court, otherwise she will stay here. Nobody can guarantee that she will not face the firing squad.’

Laos’s leaders are sensitive to suggestions that Orobator might have been raped in jail and appear to be using her trial to try to quash the allegation.

‘We don’t want the outside world to blame us,’ Nuanthasing added.
the prison where samantha orobator is being held

Squalid: The prison where Samantha Orobator is being held

Asked who fathered the baby, Nuanthasing said: ‘It is a mystery – maybe it is a baby from the sky.’

Orobator has already written a letter declaring she was not raped and that she had not had sex while in prison, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

Although officials claim Phonthong prison is a women-only jail with female guards, staff there said it had male and female guards and separate male and female blocks.

A French former inmate who spent five months there in the Nineties said: ‘Female prisoners were coerced into sex with promises from guards that they would get them off the death penalty, get them a shorter sentence or make life inside more comfortable for them.’

Human rights lawyer Anna Morris flew to Vientiane last week to represent Orobator but has so far been refused permission to see her.

source: dailymail

the comments there disgusted me.
btw: she still is saying she is not guilty; & the 1 pound 1/2 of heroin was 'found' in her suitcase. if she is guilty of possession -- i'm not sure that even sounds like smuggling.
  • Current Mood
    dissapointed in humanity

Wonkette: Off-Roader Idiots Break Federal Law, Whine About Maybe Being Prosecuted

Off-Roader Idiots Break Federal Law, Whine About Maybe Being Prosecuted

What happens when a law-and-order wingnut encounters a law he doesn’t like? He breaks the law, while hollering about his “rights,” and then freaks out when there is a consequence for breaking said law. This is the dumb melodrama happening in southern Utah right now, where the very beautiful and unique Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was the backdrop for some fucktard OHV fatsos doing an illegal “protest ride” on their smoke-farting noisemakers through a wild river in a National Monument. And the BLM just let it happen, instead of shooting the miscreants, but everybody and their various pigmobiles got photographed by the feds, and now the U.S. Attorney has the stuff, and the off-road slobs are just losing their minds because oh noes, they are common criminals and they might get cited.

Egged on by local elected officials who proclaimed “We’re mad as hell,” more than 200 people rode motorcycles and off-road vehicles up and down the middle of the Paria River on Saturday, in flagrant violation of monument regulations.

Ever since the great Republican Ulysses S. Grant signed the law that made Yellowstone the first National Park, there have been greedy yokels who can’t stand the idea that we might have nice things in this country. These OHV dopes are just the latest version of the hillbilly grifters who would sneak in to log a couple of trees from Yosemite or shoot a grizzly in Glacier for the hell of it.

Yosemite was saved from rednecks and sheep grazers by the great Republican Theodore Roosevelt, who sent the U.S. Army Calvary to shoot the scumbags and disperse the sheep. (This is why park rangers still wear that peaked Calvary/Ranger Smokey Bear hat!)

Anyway, boo hoo, these clowns illegally rode their little bulldozers for the specific purpose of breaking the law, and didn’t even get shot or sent to socialist detention camps, but they might get prosecuted!

Kanab resident and protest organizer Shawna Cox said agents took pictures of the licence plates on the 300 or so all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles on the riverbed as well as the plates on vehicles parked near the old Paria town site.

“We felt like that was pretty low. We thought we were living in a communist country,” she said. “We weren’t [doing] anything dangerous. People should stand up for their rights.”

Indeed. It is 100% communist to have law enforcement.

Death penalty for ALL of them. And melt down their slob-cycles to make gay-marriage double-headed dildo vibrators. We must stand strong against criminals! Otherwise, the liberals win.

Pet Shop Boys on Obama: He's sexy

The Pet Shop Boys talk to Andrew Sullivan for the June/July issue of OUT magazine.

Tennant speaks of his fondness for Obama: “We’re crazy about Obama in Europe. Everyone thinks he’s sexy. Lovely teeth, as my mother would say. He’s brought back dignity, which is an amazing thing to put back on the cultural agenda. There’s a slightly corny song on our album called 'More Than a Dream,' which was written when Obama was slugging it out with Hillary in the primaries, and you could feel the potential for the world to change away from the sort of paranoia -- justified as it may be -- to something different. And that spirit is what we’re riding at the moment, although of course we wrote that before the economic crisis."

(via Out)

Iowa represent!

Postville: A hard year, a cloudy future

By Jens Manuel Krogstad,
First in a series

POSTVILLE --- People fill the sidewalk outside the food pantry every Wednesday as downtown Postville's businesses wake up and open their doors.

Since Agriprocessors, the town's kosher meatpacking plant, declared bankruptcy in November, it's one of the few reasons for people to congregate on main street. A mix of longtime residents and Latino immigrants arrive to grab numbers to ensure they walk the aisles first when the pantry opens in the afternoon.

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You can read parts two and three, as well as a whole lot of other Postville coverage here:

The Cedar Rapids Gazette also has coverage here:

And the Des Moines Register has coverage here:
and a special section here:

Warning: Don't read the comments to the articles if you want to retain some faith in humanity.

Edit: As long as I'm thinking of it, if you see coverage of the Postville raid wherever you are, can you send me a link? I'm doing my graduate research paper on media coverage of the raid, so it would be awesome if I could see how far it reached from people who are there.
  • Current Mood
Iowa--Blue Myself

let's keep the ONTD in ONTD_P

There's Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself, And Also Me, The Ghost Of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

By Franklin Delano Roosevelt
May 12, 2009

My fellow Americans, it is time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. We must not shrink from honestly facing the harsh economic conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. And so, I wish to reassert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

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Angry Former GOP Congressman Compares Cantor To Porn Star

Angry Former GOP Congressman Compares Cantor To Porn Star

Hey, kids! Remember how a couple weeks ago, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor was totally out of ideas, so he formed a new club with Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush called the National Council for a New America, and then went on a "listening tour" where the first and only stop was a restaurant called "Pie-Tanza" that wasn't even outside the Beltway? And there, they snacked on pizza and listened to each other say stuff that was basically indistinguishable from the stuff they had been saying all along, except this time, it was at a pizza place? Yeah. Those were good times. Like the movie Adventureland, only instead of sexy, disaffected college kids with sexy and disaffected hijinks at an amusement park, you have sad middle-aged men with sad middle-aged talking points at a pizza place.

Anyway, according to the American Spectator, not even the launch of this ambitious new experiment in soggy, third-rate rebranding succeeded in making Eric Cantor happy.

Cantor was most stung after last week's launch of what he termed a national "listening tour," when Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, announced at the same time her own "listening tour" as she mulls a run for the Senate in Louisiana.

"Apparently it's true: great minds do think alike," quipped a former colleague of Cantor who lost his seat last election cycle, he believes, for supporting the Bush bank bailout plan at Cantor's request.

So there you have it, Eric Cantor apparently has a sad because people would much rather listen to pornstars! Of course, there's still the mystery of the identity of Cantor's snarky former colleague! Of the fourteen Republicans who lost election last year, there were only four who voted for the bailout bill: Chris Shays of Connecticut, Joe Knollenberg of Michigan, Jon Porter of Nevada, and Randy Kuhl of New York. Care to guess?

' jules

Florida Florida Florida, amirite

Conservatives may buck Charlie Crist

The expected announcement Tuesday by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist that he’s running for the Senate would seem to be a rare bit of good news for beleaguered Republicans.

But while Crist is a brand-name recruit with sky-high approval ratings and bipartisan appeal, his path to keeping the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez in GOP hands has at least one significant roadblock: Sunshine State conservatives.

Despite Crist’s widespread popularity, he faces a primary in which he will have to make his case to a restless GOP base dissatisfied with his high-profile advocacy for President Barack Obama’s stimulus and his handling of the state’s budget woes.

And he will be facing a vigorous fight from former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a young, outspoken Hispanic conservative who is capturing the attention of activists in Florida and across the country.

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I actually agree with the more right-wing elements of the party that it's totally inappropriate for the party's Senate campaign committee to endorse a candidate, especially a non-incumbent. People got angry at Howard Dean for being so hands off in '06 but look what happened there. Let the people decide. On the other hand, I don't think Rubio is as great as his supporters think, and it's pretty shitty if Jeb Bush is trying to kneecap Crist.

45 Centrist Democrats Protest Secrecy of Health Care Talks

WASHINGTON — Forty-five House Democrats in the party’s moderate-to-conservative wing have protested the secretive process by which party leaders in their chamber are developing legislation to remake the health care system.

The lawmakers, members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said they were “increasingly troubled” by their exclusion from the bill-writing process.

They expressed their concerns in a letter delivered Monday to three House committee chairmen writing the bill, which House leaders hope to pass this summer.

Representative Mike Ross, an Arkansas Democrat who is chairman of the coalition’s health task force, said: “We don’t need a select group of members of Congress or staff members writing this legislation. We don’t want a briefing on the bill after it’s written. We want to help write it.”

Mr. Ross and eight other lawmakers who signed the letter are on the committees responsible for writing the legislation.

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    Edith Piaf - Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
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Killjoy Spin
  • arisma

Blind interpreter detained at Philly airport says he has nightmares from arrest

A BLIND INTERNATIONAL interpreter who says he was dragged off a Belgium-bound flight, arrested and held in custody in Philadelphia for hours without food or water faces an arraignment Thursday.

His crime: He questioned why his U.S. Airways flight was delayed nearly two hours.

Nicola Cantisani, 61, of Brussels, Belgium, a professional translator who has been blind since birth, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said.

"This is taking airplane security to a new and ridiculous level," said his attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr. "It's pretty crazy."

Cantisani and his wife, Paola, were returning to Brussels April 4 after visiting family in New York. The couple changed planes at Philadelphia International Airport and boarded the 8:32 p.m. flight.

After the plane sat on the tarmac for some time, passengers were told that the flight would be delayed - without explanation, according to Cantisani. They were unable to use phones, receive attendant service or move from their seats.


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  • Current Music
    We Are Smug, "Look What We've Started"

Irish student hoaxes world's media with fake quote

Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press Writer
On Monday May 11, 2009, 12:07 pm EDT

DUBLIN (AP) -- When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.

His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.

The sociology major's obituary-friendly quote -- which he added to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre hours after the French composer's death March 28 -- flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India. They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia twice caught the quote's lack of attribution and removed it.

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KEITH Olbermann gets paid by NBC -- and now so does his young, blond girlfriend. Katy Tur, who at 25 is half the age of the MSNBC uber-dork, has landed an on-air reporting job at the Weather Channel. Conveniently, both cable networks are owned by NBC Universal. Do we sense a little preferential treatment? Olbermann huffed to TV Newser: "Anybody who suggests so is misinformed, and/or sadly unaware that in this time when the industry is collapsing around us, nobody gets a job based on 'influence,' only talent."

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source one & source two
Super Mario

Prejean keeps her crown, Donald Trump is an attention whore.

Carrie Prejean keeps her crown

(CNN) -- Donald Trump will let Miss California USA Carrie Prejean keep her title despite controversy over seminude photos and charges by state pageant officials that she had abandoned her duties to devote time to opposition to same-sex marriage.

Trump, no apprentice at turning a negative into positive publicity, brought several weeks of controversy to a conclusion at his New York headquarters Tuesday with winners all around.

Trump said his Miss USA pageant stays "so relevant," unlike the rival Miss America pageant seen only on a small cable channel.

Prejean gained a national following that could help her post-pageant career.

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IDK, I vehemently disagree with her viewpoints, but I don't understand how this is such a big deal. Yeah, she's a dumbass and an ignorant one at that and has used really evil shit to defend what she said, but the controversy over what she said in the first place still has me wondering wtf. Having a certain viewpoint, dumb as it is, shouldn't mean being forced to forfeit shit you've already won. That's pretty low.

...of course, flagrantly breaking the rules and being able to keep said shit is equally as low. Reading is awesome, I should do it more. @_@


Amid mounting calls from think tanks, former military leaders, and current servicemembers to end the military's failed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy by executive order, White House Press Secretary said today that President Obama will not intervene.

Said Gibbs: "To get fundamental reform in this instance requires a legislative vehicle. The president made a promise to change this policy; he will work with the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the administration and with Congress to ensure that we have a policy that works for our national interests...There have been discussions about the best way to move forward, and the only sustainable way to do that is through -- sustainable and durable way -- is through legislation, which the president has promised and has continued to work for."

Yesterday, the Palm Center released the results of a study along with a blueprint that would allow the President to end the failed military gay ban via executive order. Lt. Dan Choi, a skilled Arabic linguist and the first gay soldier fired under Obama, published an open letter to the President and Congress pleading that the military not discharge him.
Reese Witherspoon

A Race Czar for Black Farmers

Can Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Dismantle the Last Plantation?

One hundred and forty-seven years ago this week, with the Civil War raging around him, President Lincoln signed into law a bill that created the United States Department of Agriculture. He called it the “People’s Department,” in a tribute to the wide-ranging ambitions he held for it. Almost a century and a half later, the USDA finds itself still battling the stubborn remnants of the racial discrimination and injustice that have become part of its day-to-day existence.

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