May 18th, 2009


Graham Heckled, Jeered For Supporting Open-Tent GOP (VIDEO)

Graham Heckled, Jeered For Supporting Open-Tent GOP (VIDEO)

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Saturday took his case for a more diverse, open-tent Republican Party to a tough venue -- the South Carolina Republican Party convention. And the reaction to his message wasn't entirely unsurprising.

In a "fiery speech that drew jeers from the crowd," The State newspaper reported, "Graham told the crowd there was nothing wrong with any conservative, and he wanted to build an open party that could win in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, as well as South Carolina."

"You're a hypocrite!" one man yelled.

"I'm a winner, pal," Graham shot back. "Winning matters to me. If it doesn't matter to you, there's the exit sign."

"Ron Paul is not the leader of this party," Graham said, prompting a few jeers. Some people yelled, "Yes, he is!"

"I'm not going to give this party over to people who can't win," Graham finished, drawing most of the crowd to its feet.

According to The State, fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint (who is far more beloved by conservatives in the state than Graham) claimed that he'd "rather have 30 senators who stand on principle than 60 who have none."

Here's a short video of one particularly heated exchange involving Graham. A longer video of Graham's speech is below.
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Jeffrey Goldberg, Willing Tool of Israel’s Perception Management Campaign for Iran War

Richard Silverstein writes:

Here and in Comment is Free I wrote, based on deep sources, about the Israeli ‘perception managementcampaign here in the U.S. to persuade us that war with Iran is both necessary, inevitable, and salutary for the world. This campaign takes many and varied forms. Even in some of its least unsavory forms, it involves monitoring perceived Congressional opponents of Israel’s interests, providing assistance to Congressional advocates promoting harsh policy against Iran, and penning op-ed columns warning of the Iran danger, passing them on to willing editors and slapping a promient local Jewish leader’s name on the resulting product.

Jeff Goldberg is too smart for that. He’s a talented enough writer to pen his own propaganda subtly advocating war with Iran. What I don’t get is that in this U.S. political climate in which a Democratic administration is ascendant and the foreign policy message is pragmatism, deliberation and negotiation, Goldberg has thrown his lot in with Netanyahu and the Jewish rejectionists. I guess he knows which side his bread is buttered on and he’s managed to find a publishing niche at The Atlantic and N.Y. Times as Bibi’s amanuensis.
Goldberg has a new Bibi profile in the Times Magazine which is utterly horrendous. He even goes so far as to call Iran Amalek, which is interesting in that Obama’s Jewish opponents in the last election likened HIM to Amalek and Haman, two of the Jewish people’s most potent existential bogeymen. This is suave and effective pro-war propaganda and therefore we must expose the noxious role Goldberg plays in the Israeli campaign.

Goldberg’s reporting is telling not only for what it INCLUDES, but for what it OMITS. Goldberg acknowledges Bibi’s reputation for cynically throwing over his allies when it’s expedient to him and concedes there are those who believe the politician is using such an approach on Iran (besides exploiting the issue in order to delay dealing with the Palestinian morass). But then he immediately dismisses this possibility by saying Bibi is firm and sincere (with no proof provided):
But this [theory of Bibi's cynicism] is to misread both the prime minister and this moment in Jewish history.
Note the invocation of “Jewish history,” which both elevates and distorts the true meaning of the Iranian threat. First, Iran’s alleged threat has little, if anything to do with JEWISH history, though perhaps a tad more to do with ISRAELI history. The conflation of the two is a deliberate misrepresentation on the part of pro-Israel writers like Goldberg. Second, it is arguable that Iran is little more than a chapter in Israel’s history and certainly arguable that Iran now or in the near future can play any role as an existential threat to Israel. To paraphrase Walter Mondale’s riposte to Ronald Reagan during a presidential debate: that’s what Jeff Goldberg won’t tell you. I just did.
“Amalek,” in essence, is Hebrew for “existential threat.” Tradition holds that the Amalekites are the undying enemy of the Jews. They appear in Deuteronomy, attacking the rear columns of the Israelites on their escape from Egypt. The rabbis teach that successive generations of Jews have been forced to confront the Amalekites: Nebuchadnezzar, the Crusaders, Torquemada, Hitler and Stalin are all manifestations of Amalek’s malevolent spirit.
If Iran’s nuclear program is, metaphorically, Amalek’s arsenal, then an Israeli prime minister is bound by Jewish history to seek its destruction, regardless of what his allies think.
Here, once again, Goldberg engages in a willful propaganda campaign demonizing Iran. When you invoke a religious injunction as he has done, you withdraw Israeli policy from a volitional, political space and transfer it to the realm of theological obligation. This is not far from the craziness of the settler movement, which divorces settlements from any political context and insulates them from debate, walling them off in a religious domain that can neither be questioned nor rationally analyzed. Collapse )

Abstinence counselor sexually assaults girl he was counseling

Also, what the hell re: this poster? I tried to find an appropriate image to go with this story, and this came up in Google images after I typed "sexual assault." It is a serious design made by some design students, apparently.

Bridgeport youth counselor faces sex assault charge

By Daniel Tepfer
Staff writer

Updated: 05/11/2009 11:15:50 PM EDT

TRUMBULL -- A former youth adviser at a Bridgeport church was arrested Monday after police said he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old Trumbull girl he was counseling about sexual abstinence.

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***EDIT: I just realized the acronym of this abstinence youth group is ... P.L.U.G. ....
Hello Marnie-pink/maroon

Huck calls on Fancy Nancy to resign via poem...

Huckabee calls on Pelosi to resign — in verse
@ 11:05 am by Michael O'Brien

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) penned a poem for his website in which the potential 2012 presidential candidate calls on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to resign.

In a poem entitled "Fancy Nancy," Huckabee calls the speaker "ruthless," and accuses her of "trashing" intelligence officials.

The poem might actually mark the most high-profile call for Pelosi's job in the wake of her accusation last week that the CIA had deliberately misled congressional officials the past eight years during routine intelligence briefings. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) had called for Pelosi to step down from her speakership, but no Republican has gone on the record to call for her outright resignation.

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I want a full investigation of every Valentine's Day card Huck ever sent.
Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

Future Boyfriends of Sasha & Malia Need to Step Back!


In an interview with Newsweek magazine President Barack Obama opened up about how his family deals with their new found fame, and his plans for his daughters' dating future.

"You know, the nice thing is that, partly because of temperament, partly because of Michelle's unbelievable parenting skills, I've just got some happy, normal kids," President Obama says about daughters Sasha and Malia. "And all that stuff that's going on around them, they just kind of miss. We have not seen any effects, any fishbowl effects, yet on them."

The President goes on to explain that his children's response to media attention may change as they get older and even jokes about his daughters' future when they begin dating!

"Now, I worry about them when they're teenagers where, you know, you're already embarrassed about your parents and even more embarrassed on TV all the time," he tells Newsweek. "And dating I think will be an issue because I have men with guns surrounding them at all times [laughter], which I'm perfectly happy with, but they may feel differently about it."

President Obama had a chance to see 'Star Trek' at the White House, and he reveals that growing up he was a big fan of the television show.

"So 'Star Trek', we saw this weekend, which I thought was good. Everybody was saying I was Spock, so I figured I should check it out," he says. "I used to love "Star Trek". You know, "Star Trek" was ahead of its time."

Newsweek has the complete interview here.

Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

Nigerian Children Believed to be 'Witches' Beaten and Tortured


In the African country of Nigeria, what most would call a teen's "rebellious phase," is sometimes labeled witchcraft. Many Nigerian children accused of being witches are often held responsible for causing illness, death and destruction resulting in tortuous punishment under the guise of "cleansing."

A pre-teen Nigerian boy, Christian Eshiett, was often in trouble with his grandfather, also his caretaker, for running away from home for days, skipping school and cavorting with friends. His grandfather recalled his measures of punishment and the day he decided his grandson was a witch.

"I beat him severely with canes until they broke, yet he never shed a tear," said 76-year-old Eshiett Nelson Eshiett. "One day, I took a broom to hit him and he started crying. Then I knew he was possessed by demons... Nigerian witches are terrified of brooms," the man stated in a report from CNN.

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Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

DCF investigates more cases involving teacher accused of kicking student

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Agents from the Department of Children and Families are meeting with Miami-Dade School investigators to discuss more potential victims, after police arrested a teacher last week for allegedly kicking a student in his class.

The accused teacher, 56-year-old Jean Dorvil, claims he is innocent, but now there may be new claims dating as far back as 2002. Dorvil was a teacher with the Head Start program operated out of Charles Drew Elementary School.

On Wednesday, DCF held a press conference to announce the joint investigation. Though Dorvil was arrested last week, DCF Regional Director Jacqui Colyer explained her department's delay in announcing the investigation as they worked to clarify conflicting reports. "At that time, the investigation had just started," she said. "We were trying to get some clarification about the exact charge and the extent of the allegations, and so we didn't come forward because we didn't really have anything to tell [the media]."

Miami-Dade Schools Police arrested him last Friday after a 5-year-old girl said he kicked her in the face. According to authorities, the incident happened on April 16. Authorities said three children, including the 5-year-old, came forward and said that their teacher, Dorvil, kicked them.

The 5-year-old said she was kicked in the mouth, which caused swelling to that area. Police said she has also suffered mentally from the ordeal. As he was lead away in handcuffs Dorvil said, "I'm innocent, I didn't kick that child."

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This is horrible, but I hope that the authorities go about interviewing the children the right way so that justice is served. I'd hate to hear later on that the police incorrectly interrogated the kids into giving them answers the children thought they were supposed to give and this man gets off scott-free (if he is, indeed, guilty). Getting credible testimony from children for criminal cases is very difficult, especially when they're young.
Lucy  - Durnk n Pitsy

Fatherhood in America

"I'll kill all y'all."

Imagine looking at the man whose DNA you carry standing in your home, telling you those chilling words, as he wields a shotgun.

The frightening image is a scary thought. But according to former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry, it was an actual scene, one that begins his book, "Straw: Finding My Way."

I vividly remember the towering home runs hit by the former star, who played for four big league teams, including the New York Mets and Yankees -- and of course, the many times he was in the news for failing drug tests, beating wives, getting cancer twice, going to prison. He was a man fighting enormous demons.

Yet as I read the book, there is one consistent theme that runs throughout and that sheds a spotlight on a figure that continues to plague neighborhoods all across the country: the missing-in-action father.

Strawberry makes a point repeatedly in "Straw" that he does not blame his dad for the trials and tribulations in his life; he says all decisions he made willingly. But he does speak to the issue of having a father who, by Strawberry's account, while technically in the house, was a raging drunk who spent his paycheck doing what he wanted, showing no love and affection towards his children, viciously beating Strawberry and his brother, all while telling them that they would be nothing in life.

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I'm on the fence with this article. On the one hand, yes I believe it's important for a child to have positive role models in their lives, but I don't like the emphasis on having two heterosexual parents. An absent parent, whether male or female, is an absent parent. On the other hand, I agree with him on the portrayal of fathers in the media as buffoons who cannot achieve anything without the mother (or other parent) present. Also, the paragraph about not dedicating a child unless the father is present seems more like it punishes the mother and child, not the absent father (he's not there anyway, why would he give a shit?).

Conciliatory Fighting Words [Not a contradiction, aksully]

Conciliatory Fighting Words

By E. J. Dionne
Monday, May 18, 2009

Facing down protesters who didn't want him at Notre Dame, President Obama fought back not with harsh words but with the most devastating weapons in his political arsenal: a call for "open hearts," "open minds," "fair-minded words" and a search for "common ground."

There were many messages sent from South Bend. Obama's opponents seek to reignite the culture wars. He doesn't. They would reduce religious faith to a narrow set of issues. He refused to join them. They often see theological arguments as leading to certainty. He opted for humility.

He did all this without skirting the abortion question and without flinching from the "controversy surrounding my visit here." The thunderous and repeated applause that greeted Obama and the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame's president who took enormous grief for asking him to appear, stood as a rebuke to those who said the president should not have been invited.

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The bestest paper evah (or just my personal fav)

Guess I'm making myself the de facto "Obama and the pro-life/pro-choice folks in the news" poster. Oops, and I like staying hidden on the internet. But oh man do I love this president. As a discussion starter, I am not sure I see this speech as all that conservative. Y/N, Why/why not?
' jules

Por qué no te GTFO?

Socialism v labour

Curbing opposition to chavismo

His government espouses “21st-century socialism” and claims to stand for the working class. Yet Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, has never been a fan of his country’s trade unions. He portrays them as corrupt vestiges of a capitalist past and of the previous political order. Ever since he was first elected, in 1998, he has sought ways to bring them to heel. Having first tried and failed to take over the main trade-union confederation, he encouraged a pro-government rival. Now he wants to bypass the unions altogether, by establishing in their place “workers’ councils” that amount to branches of the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

A bill in the government-controlled National Assembly would eliminate collective bargaining and give powers in labour matters to the new councils. “The government’s policy is the total elimination of the union movement,” says Orlando Chirino, a former chavista who is one of the architects of the Labour Solidarity Movement, a new group which embraces unions from both sides of the country’s political divide and which defends union autonomy.

The bill comes hand-in-hand with the slowdown in the economy and a government crackdown on opposition politicians. Its onslaught on the unions, and its refusal to negotiate collective contracts—or to respect them once signed—is meeting resistance. Labour disputes are increasing, from 46 in January, to 59 in February and 113 in March, according to figures compiled by Victorino Márquez, a labour specialist at the Catholic University in Caracas.

With budgets slashed following the fall in the oil price, the government can no longer buy industrial peace. It is starting to resort to force. A strike in the Caracas metro was averted by the threat of military intervention. Mr Chávez called the metro workers “corrupt” for insisting on the implementation of an agreement that had already been signed. According to press reports, dozens of trade unionists are being prosecuted. Their alleged crimes include “subversion” and holding demonstrations in “security zones” such as those around big factories. Scores have been murdered, in disputes over contracts that mainly involve pro-government unions.

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  • bispo

Rahm talks about slicing off his finger; Clinton White House demotion


WASHINGTON--White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel shared two painful episodes of his life during his Sunday commencement address to graduates of George Washington University.

Emanuel picked up an honorary doctorate at the ceremony. "Doctor," said Emanuel. "I just want you to know that you've made one Jewish mother happy in Chicago, who spent many a sleepless night wondering what would happen to her middle son."

The stories Emanuel told--how he sliced off half of one of his fingers--and getting fired from the Clinton White House as political director--are often related in Emanuel profiles. What's interesting in recounting is that Emanuel is talking about his personal traumas in his own words.

"As the President's Chief of Staff, I am humbled, a quality that does not come naturally, and amazed by the incredible array of problems that President Obama confronts on a daily basis, a day that will be filled with hard choices about our policies with regard to struggling automakers and unstable financial markets, rising health care costs, growing dependence on foreign oil, dangerous regions in the world, and a difficult job market here at home," Emanuel told the Class of 2009.


At age 17, working at an Arby's roast beef joint, Emanuel accidently sliced off the top portion of his middle finger. Emanuel made this joke on himself at the April 2007 Gridiron dinner. "Of all the fingers to lose! I could not express myself for months. I had to learn to talk with my left hand."

: "I want to start with a lesson that I learned the hard way. When I was in high school I was a pretty reckless guy. Let's just say I wasn't the staid and somber figure that stands before you now. I had lost -- I was working as a meatcutter and sliced my finger deeply and not being -- being 17, went swimming in Lake Michigan, ended up -- it was prom night; that's a legitimate thing to do -- ended up with five blood infections, two bone infections, gangrene, and a 105 fever, and in a hospital for two months, and for the first 96 hours I battled between life and death.

"But what started as a minor mishap turned into a life-threatening infection. There were several weeks in the hospital, sleepness nights in the intensive care unit, five roommates who died. It was a terrible time for me and worse for my parents. But to be honest, I'm glad I went through it, because a funny thing happened along the way back from the precipe: Nearly losing my life made me want to live my life.

"So the first lesson I'd impart is this: Don't be reckless with what you've been given. Take what you do and how you live your life seriously. It is that seriousness of purpose that I learned in that hospital bed for eight weeks, and I'm grateful for that lesson every day of my life, the things that didn't matter so much any more, the little things. And I knew I wanted to make something of myself and make a difference in this world.

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The High Cost of Poverty

The High Cost of Poverty

You have to be rich to be poor.

That's what some people who have never lived below the poverty line don't understand. Put it another way: The poorer you are, the more things cost. More in money, time, hassle, exhaustion, menace. This is a fact of life that reality television and magazines don't often explain.

So we'll explain it here. Consider this a primer on the economics of poverty.

"The poor pay more for a gallon of milk; they pay more on a capital basis for inferior housing," says Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). "The poor and 100 million who are struggling for the middle class actually end up paying more for transportation, for housing, for health care, for mortgages. They get steered to subprime lending. . . . The poor pay more for things middle-class America takes for granted."

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Those prices at the stores are insane but I've seen similar things at the corner stores near me. I'm lucky I'm within walking distance of a Save-A-Lot and an Aldi's.

(no subject)


Ethan McNAmee, a third-grader at Montclair Elementary School in Denver, organized a rally for marriage equality and delivered a speech at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday:

"He was concerned about the issue after hearing about anti-gay remarks on the playground and then learning about a same sex couple in his neighborhood that couldn't get married. 'Everybody is different in a good way,' he said. Ethan believes that if two people love each other that is the only issue to be considered. Ethan took it upon himself to arrange the rally and line up the guest speakers. He admitted it was more work then he thought it would be, but adds it was fun."

McNamee's permit was filed under the name of his school teacher Kyle Kimmal, because he's too young to apply for one himself.

According to Denver's ABC7, the conservatives are already on the attack, accusing adults of manipulation.


Aladdin owns you

Some say chocolate is better than sex ...

The Snickers bar has a new sibling, and it's a girl.

She's sexual, uninhibited — and only 85 calories. The "Fling" is the first new chocolate bar Mars has introduced in more than 20 years.

Wrapped in a shiny pink and sliver package, this delicate "chocolate finger" is intended for women. The word "finger" is an industry term for a long, slim confection, Mars spokesman Ryan Bowling says, but with ads that invite you to "Pleasure yourself" in pink lettering, consumers might come to other conclusions.

The tag line on the package is "Naughty, but not that naughty." A TV spot starts with what looks like strangers having sex in a store dressing room. Currently the candy bar can be bought only California and online, but if all goes well, Mars is hoping women will be having Flings all across the country. But is this hyper-feminine, hyper-sexualized marketing coming on too strong?

"The overall campaign feels weird," Lisa Johnson says. "It feels creepy." Johnson is the co-author of Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy — and How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market. She describes the marketing as a "full-frontal attack."

"The language of it has so much sexual innuendo, you could pack it into a trashy novel." Johnson says marketers are taking the connection women often make between chocolate and sensuality too literally. "There are other things you can do that can hit this note without banging on it."

Bowling says the campaign has been received well so far. Whether the Fling will keep calling itself a "finger," however, remains to be seen.

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I don't know what to think about this!


Make that money, make that money.

$111M For MA In 5 Years Of Gay Marriage


Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and a study released to coincide with the anniversary says that the state has reaped an additional $111M in revenue from gay weddings.

The average couple spends $7400 on their nuptials there and one in ten spends more than $20,000. "A second study by the same group found that young, highly educated people in same-sex relationships were 2.5 times more likely to move to Massachusetts after 2004 than before gay marriage became legal."


Netanyahu's Goal: Negotiations that Go Nowhere

Netanyahu's Goal: Negotiations that Go Nowhere

By M.J. Rosenberg - May 18, 2009, 3:53PM

You want to know what Prime Minister Netanyahu is up to? Here it is, from the New York Times on June 27, 1992. The Likud prime minister then was Yitzhak Shamir who had just been defeated by Yitzhak Rabin.

"Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was quoted in a published interview today as saying he wanted to drag out peace talks with the Palestinians for a decade while vastly increasing the number of Jewish settlers in Israeli-occupied territories.

"Had he held on to his office instead of being defeated this week in Israel's national election, Mr. Shamir reportedly said, 'I would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million people" in the West Bank.' "

Shamir, of course, is one of Netanyahu's heroes and mentors. Sixteen years later, he has the same strategy Shamir did. He says he will negotiate but he will not commit himself to Palestinian statehood.

The only questions are (1) why would the Palestinians negotiate on that basis and (2) why would an American President press them to participate in such a charade.

The answers. They won't. And he won't.

  • bispo

The Republican Party turns a corner

The Republican Party finds itself the minority party in America for the first time in more than 15 years. I’ll be the first to admit it has taken some adjustment. Republicans have engaged in some healthy soul-searching since Election Day, trying to come to grips with our minority status and debating the best way forward as we point out our differences with the Democrats and chart our return to the majority.

This has been an important debate within the Republican Party, particularly because of the place in history America currently finds itself. Last year the Democrats told voters they would bring “change” to Washington, but their version of change has been to push America to the left farther and faster than I think anyone could have imagined.

That is why I believe America needs the Republican Party now more than ever before. We may be America’s minority party at the moment, but Republicans represent the views and concerns of a majority of Americans. Republicans across America – from our national and state leaders down to our local activists and grassroots supporters – have to get about the business of telling families how Republican principles of less spending, lower taxes, responsive and responsible government, personal freedom and strong national defense stand in stark contrast to the reckless policies we’ve seen from the president and Congressional Democrats in four short months.

Republicans will not be afraid to agree with the president when we believe he is doing what is best for America, but neither will be afraid to disagree with him when we believe his actions are wrong for America.

To accomplish this goal Republicans are turning a corner in three important ways:

First, the Republican Party will be forward-looking – it is time to stop looking backward. Republicans have spent ample time re-examining the past. It has been a healthy and necessary task. But I believe it is now time for Republicans to focus all of our energies on winning the future by emerging as the party of new ideas. Republicans are emerging once again with the energy, the focus, and the determination to turn our timeless principles into new solutions for the future.

Second, the Republican Party will not shy away from voicing our opposition to the president’s policies. His honeymoon is over. As a candidate, President Obama sounded moderate in his views. But as president, he is presiding over the most massive top-down expansion of government bureaucracy and spending our country has ever seen.

Candidate Obama talked about fiscal responsibility, about government living within its means. But President Obama is spending with reckless abandon and saddling our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt. Candidate Obama boasted about cutting taxes. But President Obama will have to raise taxes to pay for his massive top-down government explosion. Candidate Obama talked a lot about being bipartisan, but he has yielded his legislative agenda almost entirely to Nancy Pelosi who has repeatedly shut Republicans out of negotiations on important legislation, from economic stimulus to the budget to health care.

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