May 16th, 2009

Cantor, Hoyer Forget to Take “AIPAC” Off Their Letter’s File Name

Cantor, Hoyer Forget to Take “AIPAC” Off Their Letter’s File Name


One reason I always try to talk up the virtues of Nancy Pelosi is that I know what the likely alternatives look like in terms of House leadership:

Speaking of Iran and that region, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sent out a “Dear Colleague” e-mail Tuesday asking for signatures “to the attached letter to President Obama regarding the Middle East peace process.”

The letter says the usual stuff, emphasizing that Washington “must be both a trusted mediator and a devoted friend to Israel” and noting: “Israel will be taking the greatest risks in any peace agreement.”

Curiously, when we opened the attachment, we noticed it was named “AIPAC Letter Hoyer Cantor May 2009.pdf.”

Seems as though someone forgot to change the name or something.

Of course at the end of the day it’s not as if Hoyer or Cantor actually have much to fear from being so unsubtle about who makes their Israel policy. It is worth noting, however, that while public talk at the AIPAC conference was about devotion to peace, the substance of this letter is to try to make people think there will be a domestic price to be paid for any serious effort to push for a solution. This is similar to how Israel’s land grabs in-and-around Jerusalem are at odds with the Israeli government’s public presentation of itself as interested in peace and disturbed by the lack of a credible partner.

Here’s Cantor and Hoyer teaming up in The Washington Times during the Gaza War, and here’s MJ Rosenberg on the substance of the latest Cantor/Hoyer letter.


girls aloud

New info on the soldier who killed five others in Iraq

Army 'broke' soldier held in killings, dad says
Feels military bears some responsibility: 'It shouldn't have happened'
updated 8:36 a.m. ET, Wed., May 13, 2009

Wilburn C. Russell, 73, wipes his eyes after talking to reporters in front of the house his son U.S. Army Sgt. John Russell purchased in Sherman, Texas.

SHERMAN, Texas - The father of a U.S. soldier accused of killing five fellow troops in Iraq said his son "forfeited his life" but the military bears some responsibility for the rampage.

Wilburn Russell said Tuesday that 44-year-old Army Sgt. John M. Russell wasn't typically a violent person, but counselors "broke" him before gunfire erupted in a military stress center Monday in Baghdad.
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:( for everyone involved.
Murasaki Shikibu

Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy

Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota judge has ruled that a 13-year-old cancer patient whose parents want to treat him with "alternative medicine" must seek conventional medical treatment for their son.

In a 58-page ruling Friday, Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg found that Daniel Hauser has been "medically neglected" and is in need of child protection services.

Rodenberg said Daniel will stay in the custody of his parents, but Colleen and Anthony Hauser have until May 19 to get an updated chest X-ray for their son and select an oncologist

The judge wrote that Daniel has only a "rudimentary understanding at best of the risks and benefits of chemotherapy. ... he does not believe he is ill currently. The fact is that he is very ill currently."

Daniel's court-appointed attorney, Philip Elbert, called the decision unfortunate.

"I feel it's a blow to families," he said. "It marginalizes the decisions that parents face every day in regard to their children's medical care. It really affirms the role that big government is better at making our decisions for us."

Elbert said he hadn't spoken to his client yet. The phone line at the Hauser home in Sleepy Eye in southwestern Minnesota had a busy signal Friday. The parents' attorney had no immediate comment but planned to issue a statement.

Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and stopped chemotherapy in February after a single treatment. He and his parents opted instead for "alternative medicines" based on their religious beliefs.

Child protection workers accused Daniel's parents of medical neglect; but in court, his mother insisted the boy wouldn't submit to chemotherapy for religious reasons and she said she wouldn't comply if the court orders it.

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How the heck is a thirteen-year-old an "elder" in anything? And also, oh gawd, there's appropriation in there, too. Hooboy.
  • Current Music
    Turandot - Act III, Scene I: [1] "Principessa divina!" [2] "Tanto amore segreto"

Washington Redskins Win Legal Battle to Be Racist

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A federal appeals court yesterday handed the Washington Redskins another victory in their long-running legal dispute with Native American activists over the team's name.

The appeals court did not address whether the name was offensive but upheld a federal judge's ruling last year that a Native American man had waited too long to challenge six Redskins trademarks.

An attorney for the activists, Philip J. Mause, said he was reviewing the opinion and had not decided whether to appeal.

His clients "are very frustrated that it has taken so long to get the legal system to come to grips with this and to come up with a definitive resolution," he said.

Attorneys for the National Football League franchise say the name is a sign of honor but are also fighting to protect millions of dollars' worth of sales of Redskins merchandise. If the team had lost in court, it could have continued to use the name on Redskins paraphernalia but would have faced a tougher time preventing merchants from infringing on its trademarks.

The dispute started in 1992, when seven Native American activists challenged the trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 1999, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sided with the activists, ruling that the team had no right to trademark the name. Pro-Football Inc., the team's corporate owner, appealed to federal court.

In 2003, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sided with the team, ruling that the activists had not produced enough evidence to show the name was so insulting that it could not be protected by a trademark. The judge also found that the activists had waited too long to file their challenge.
An appeals court in 2005 asked the judge to revisit the delay issue because one activist, Mateo Romero, might have legal standing. He was born in 1966.

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Bombs Destroy Cafe And Bus Carrying Handicapped Kids, Killing At Least 11

Bombs Destroy Cafe And Bus Carrying Handicapped Kids, Killing At Least 11

Bombs destroyed an Internet cafe, wrecked a bus carrying handicapped children and spread panic through Pakistan's main northwestern city on Saturday, killing at least 11 people in a day of carnage across the militancy-plagued region.

An apparent U.S. missile strike annihilated a Taliban raiding party mustering to cross into Afghanistan, officials said, while Pakistani troops claimed another 47 kills in their bid to retake the Swat Valley.

Violence is engulfing Pakistani territory along the Afghan border as American and allied forces crank up the pressure on al-Qaida and Taliban militants entrenched in the forbidding and barely governed mountains and valleys.

Washington and other nations are pouring in billions of dollars in aid and military assistance to prop up the pro-Western government in Islamabad, which on Saturday sought to allay concerns that its nuclear weapons could fall into extremist hands.

The first of two bombs to explode in Peshawar on Saturday was hidden in a car and devastated a street busy with traffic, shoppers and worshippers heading to mosques to pray.

Television images showed several vehicles burning fiercely and a stricken white-and-green bus that had been dropping handicapped children at their homes around the city.

All eight students still on board were injured, one seriously, along with the driver and an assistant, medics and police said. Four other children and seven adults were killed, and dozens more people injured, they said.

Ahmad Khan, a nine-year-old who had been on the bus, sat shaking on his mother's lap at the Lady Reading hospital as surgeons tried to save the life of a classmate.

He struggled to tell her what had happened to him, throwing up his arms to mimic the explosion, then burst into tears and buried his bandaged head in her arms.

"My child is mentally impaired, but we had hope for him and sent him to school. Now I am even more worried for his future," said his veiled mother, Gul Bibi. "How could any human being do this?"

Safwat Ghayur, a senior police official, said one of several buildings badly damaged by the blast was an Internet cafe, a favorite target for violent Islamist extremists in Pakistan who consider the Web a source of moral corruption.
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Moscow police violently break up gay pride rally

Moscow police violently dispersed a gay pride rally Saturday that was banned by city authorities, drawing attention to Russia's record on gay rights as it prepares to host a major international pop music competition.

About 30 activists gathered near a university in southwestern Moscow to protest discrimination against gays and lesbians in Russia.

The group, which included British gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell, waved flags and chanted slogans, including: "Homophobia is a disgrace of this country!" and "We are demanding equal rights!"
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After about a minute, riot police charged into the group and began to grab protesters, dragging them to waiting buses. Tatchell was talking with reporters when police started to haul him away. "This shows the Russian people are not free," he said.

Russian gay rights movement leader Nikolai Alexeyev was among those detained.

After the demonstration, riot police detained other gay activists who appeared after the protest and were speaking with the media. As they hauled away Ksenia Prilebskaya, police ripped off her shirt and bra and roughly pushed her into a police bus.

City authorities had barred Saturday's rally saying it was morally wrong. Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov has described homosexuality as "satanic."


I've always been surprised by the deep level of anti-gay bigotry that seems to pervade the Russian government and nation. Every year, whenever a gay rights rally is organized, inevitably the Russian authorities break it down and pretty much allow the participants to get the shit beat out of them.

Hey Russia -- how about looking to your European neighbors to your West for assistance on this issue.
Moonlit Waters

Sri Lanka army declares victory against the Tamil Tigers

The Sri Lankan president has declared a military victory over the Tamil Tigers after 26 years of bloody civil war.

Speaking on a visit to Jordan, Mahinda Rajapakse said he would return home to a nation totally free from the "barbaric acts" of the rebel group.

However, senior officials told the BBC fighting rages on in a tiny area of the north-east where the Tigers' leadership is said to be cornered.

More than 70,000 people have died in the bitter war for a Tamil homeland.

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Super Mario

Rand Paul announces entry into 2010 Senate run

Rand Paul Running for KY Senate Seat in 2010

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Dr. Rand Paul, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, announced Thursday night that he is forming an exploratory committee to to challenge Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning in a Republican primary.

Paul made the announcement Thursday night on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.

Paul had said previously that he would not throw his hat in the ring if Bunning decided to run for reelection. Bunning — seen as one of the weakest Republicans in the 2010 race — has said that he will run again, but Paul said he doesn't necessarily trust that the two-term Kentucky senator will follow through.

"I think the problem is that every time a reporter asks Jim Bunning, are you running, their follow up question is, Jim, are you really running," Paul said. He said Bunning has done some "unusual things" and said, "What I hate to see is a politician who might go all the way up to the deadline and pull their papers out an hour before and then you have one candidate and there's no real primary."

Since his announcement, Paul said he has raised over $12,000, according to his campaign Web site. Paul's conservative views are very similar to those of his father, who garnered a major grassroots following during his run for president last year.


as a legal resident of kentucky, i am fucking scared bbs.


Boom in tiny bedbugs is causing big trouble
By Barbara Barrett, McClatchy Newspapers Barbara Barrett, Mcclatchy Newspapers – Fri May 15, 5:50 pm ET

WASHINGTON — The biggest bedbug outbreak since World War II has sent a collective shudder among apartment dwellers, college students and business travelers across the nation.

The bugs — reddish brown, flat and about the size of a grain of rice — suck human blood. They resist many pesticides and spread quickly in certain mattress-heavy buildings, such as hotels, dormitories and apartment complexes.

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The name of the bill is hilarious, but OH MY GAWD. *shudders* I heard a piece on This American Life last year about people who had bedbugs. It was DISGUSTING. Yeesh.
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Michael Steele: Gay Marriage Is Bad For Small Businesses

Michael Steele: Gay Marriage Is Bad For Small Businesses

Republicans can reach a broader base by recasting gay marriage as an issue that could dent pocketbooks as small businesses spend more on health care and other benefits, GOP Chairman Michael Steele said Saturday.

Steele said that was just an example of how the party can retool its message to appeal to young voters and minorities without sacrificing core conservative principles. Steele said he used the argument weeks ago while chatting on a flight with a college student who described herself as fiscally conservative but socially liberal on issues like gay marriage.

"Now all of a sudden I've got someone who wasn't a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for," Steele told Republicans at the state convention in traditionally conservative Georgia. "So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money."

As Steele talked about ways the party could position itself, he also poked fun at his previous pledge to give the GOP a "hip-hop makeover."

"You don't have to wear your pants cut down here or the big bling," he said.

Vermont and Iowa have legalized gay marriage in recent weeks, and a Quinnipiac University poll released in April found that 57 percent of people questioned support civil unions that provide marriage-like rights. Although 55 percent said they opposed gay marriage, the poll indicated a shift toward more acceptance.

The chief of the Republican National Committee has been criticized by some social conservatives in recent weeks after GQ magazine quoted him as saying he opposed gay marriage but wasn't going to "beat people upside the head about it."

Steele, a Catholic and former Maryland lieutenant governor, was elected chairman of the committee earlier this year.
' jules


Axelrod, Obama: Close, not that close

David Axelrod and President Barack Obama are close, but not so close, Axelrod said tonight, that he can tell whether his boss has started smoking again.

"The president and I are close, but we don't get that close," the president's senior political adviser said tonight, in the taping of the National Public Radio news quiz show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me,'' a program that will air nationally this weekend.

Everyone knows how successful the president has been, host Peter Sagal asked the consultant before a packed house in an auditorium here, but is there anything they would have done differently in the campaign?

"The whole Barack Hussein Obama thing," Axelrod replied, joking. "We thought about changing that... Barry O, or something..."

Axelrod was seated in a gray suit, tie-less, on a stage at George Washington University, with a sold-out audience for an evening's taping of the weekly production of NPR and Chicago Public Radio in which well-known people are tossed questions in the category of: "Not My Job.'' That was his job tonight.

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Listen here!

Bob Graham's notebook of Justice

CIA said they told Nancy Pelosi about waterboarding. Pelosi says they didn't. But here's the kicker! Bob Graham, who was head of the Senate Intelligence committee, said the CIA didn't inform him about waterboarding either. Not only that, he went back to check dates of claimed CIA briefings when it turned out no briefings took place.

How does he know this? Bob Graham writes down everything in his notebook. And I mean everything. What times he wakes up. When he puts on his scalp medication. When he eats. What he eats. Every damn day.

"Spies 0, Nerds 1"