May 21st, 2009

  • bispo

Vatican Newspaper: "Obama is Not a Pro-Abortion President"

First L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, ran an article giving Obama's first 100 days a tentative thumbs-up. Then, as conservative Catholics in the U.S. were wringing their hands about the horror of Barack Obama's scheduled appearance at Notre Dame, the newspaper--and the Vatican in general--was conspicuously silent. Then, when the paper did report on Obama's speech, its calm, fairly positive take was in stark contrast to the furious reaction of many conservative Catholics here.

But this takes the cake. In an interview with an Italian newspaper the day after Obama's speech, Giavonni Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of L'Osservatore Romano, seemed to forcefully push back against the view that Obama is a threat to Catholic values and religious freedom. “Obama has not upset the world,” said Vian. “His speech at Notre Dame has been respectful toward every position. He tried to engage the debate stepping out from every ideological position and outside every ‘confrontational mentality.' To this extent his speech is to be appreciated.”

After reaffirming that the Vatican newspaper shares the American bishops' staunch opposition to abortion, Vian went further. "What I want to stress is that yesterday, on this precise and very delicate issue, the President said that the approval of the new law on abortion is not a priority of his administration. The fact that he said that is very reassuring to me. It also underlines my own clear belief: Obama is not a pro-abortion president."

Uh, oh. It sounds like the Vatican newspaper "doesn't understand what it means to be Catholic."
source: Amy Sullivan @ Time

Ahh, the Daily Mail.

Such a surprise that such a stupid article would be posted in the Daily Mail!

Why bosses are right to distrust women who don't want children... by a VERY outspoken mother (and ex-boss).

Much as I like to trumpet the importance of a woman's right to choose all things at all times, there's one choice I simply cannot understand: the choice of an otherwise sane and healthy woman not to have children.

If a would-be mother is a singleton of 40 who decides to have a baby without a partner, I might wish she'd thought of it sooner and prepared for it better - but I understand.

If she's half of a lesbian couple who 'borrows' the wherewithal, I might cross my fingers that the child is not teased at school - but I understand. Even if she's a 66-year- old pregnant pensioner, threatening to turn motherhood into a freak show, I might (indeed, I do) think she's monstrously selfish and dangerously wrong - but again, more or less, I understand.

Yet if she says she hasn't a shred of maternal feeling in her, moreover, if she says she would prefer to concentrate on her career and that a child would only get in the way of it, then my head might acknowledge her right to do so. But my heart whispers: 'Lady, you're weird.'

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There is so much wrong in this article that I don't even know where to begin. When you start out with, "LOL I'm all for women making their choices except if those choices are LOL WEIRD," you're never going to get anywhere productive. And of course, a woman should only choose to be a mother, apparently if she's not in some "butch" job like the military, apparently. Oh, and women who are mothers NEVER party and get hungover, trufax.

What she's praising is discrimination equally as foul as the discrimination workplaces have shown toward mothers. WTF.
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CIA Interrogation Briefing List Contains More Errors. That cant be CIA NEVER makes mistakes!

CIA Interrogation Briefing List Contains More Errors

New questions surfaced Wednesday about the accuracy of a CIA document meant to settle who in Congress knew about severe interrogation methods approved by the Bush administration.

Three new errors appeared to emerge in the CIA's matrix of 40 congressional briefings on so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. Those techniques include waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, which President Barack Obama has called torture.

The CIA acknowledged one of the errors but continued to stand by its version of events in the other two cases.
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Michael Steele Exerts Modicum Of Authority! Will apologize to Rush Limbaugh tomorrow...

Michael Steele Exerts Modicum Of Authority!

The RNC resolutions committee has… what is this… gone to the brink of executing some majestically stupid national-embarrassment stunt and PULLED BACK? Why it appears that the liberal rapper, Michael Steele, is ruining everyone’s fun:

“Members of the Republican National Committee today have shelved a proposal to name the Democratic Party… the Democrat Socialist Party. In an agreement today, two RNC members who were sponsoring the resolution at a party assembly today said they had agreed to change the resolution’s language to urge Americans to oppose what the GOP is calling the Democrats’ ’socialist’ agenda.”

This came after Steele issued a memo opposing the renaming because it would “accomplish little than to give the media and our opponents the opportunity to mischaracterize Republicans.” Hey Michael, SSSSHHHH. Stop spilling secrets! We need the JOKES, baby. [The Swamp]


NYC Terror Plot Foiled!

Updates to this story will be posted in this entry or a new one. New posts without significant updates on this story will be rejected.

Four men arrested for an alleged plot to bomb a New York synagogue and Jewish community center are expected to appear in federal court Thursday, the U.S. attorney's office said

The men also wanted to use surface-to-air missiles to fire at U.S. military planes, said a criminal complaint filed this week in White Plains, New York.

"Four individuals were arrested for planting bombs in front of two [Jewish facilities] in the area," said Raymond Kelly, New York City police commissioner.

The charges are based on information from an FBI informant, with whom the men met as they plotted to carry out their attacks, authorities said.


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RNC Hits Obama For Criticizing Slavery. (I wish I was making this up)

RNC Hits Obama For Criticizing Slavery
On May 21, 2009, the RNC tweeted an out of context quote from Barack Obama regarding a flaw in the constitution. The "fundamental flaw" Barack Obama was referring to was slavery.

RNC: as he prepares to deliver remarks in hall that holds the constitution, flashback obama: "constitution flawed" #RNC [Twitter, 5/21/09]

FACT: Obama Explains The Constitution's "Fundamental Flaw" Was Slavery. The out of context video the RNC links to contains audio from a September 6, 2001 program called "Slavery and the Constitution" on WBEZ Chicago. On the show, Obama explained that the "fundamental flaw" was "Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the framers." In addition, the framers did not " as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth." [WBEZ Radio, accessed 5/21/09]

Others Who Have Made Similar Statements To Barack Obama:

George W. Bush: "Their [abolitionists] moral vision caused Americans to examine our hearts, to correct our Constitution, and to teach our children the dignity and equality of every person of every race. By a plan known only to Providence, the stolen sons and daughters of Africa helped to awaken the conscience of America. The very people traded into slavery helped to set America free. My nation's journey toward justice has not been easy and it is not over. The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times." [Remarks by President Bush on Goree Island, 7/8/03, emphasis added]

Condoleezza Rice: "In our first Constitution my ancestors were three-fifths of a man. What does that say about American democracy at its outset? I've said it's a great birth defect. And we've had to overcome a birth defect, and like any birth defect, it continues to have an impact on us. It's why we have such a hard time talking about race and dealing with race." [Council on Foreign Relations, 7/18/08, emphasis added]

Colin Powell: "It took us a while to recognize that we could not live our Constitution truly unless we eliminated slavery, and hundreds of thousands of young men fought a civil war to end slavery and then it took us a long time to get rid of the vestiges of slavery and we're still working on it to this very day." [CNN, 7/11/03, emphasis added]

–Media Matters Action Network


President Obama's remarks on National Security.

Live Post?

It's already in progress. Tune in to CNN or watch the live streaming here:


I doubt there'll be people actually around this early for real time commentary, but this could be a designated discussion post, along with the place to also discuss Cheney's speech, which will follow at around 10:45am EST.

Obama's speech - Pt I:

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Cheney's speech - Pt I:

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YouTube links
Obama - one | two | three | four | five
Cheney - one | two | three | four


Barack Obama | Dick Cheney

Swine Flu Reaction: Infomercials And Conspiracy Theories (VIDEO)

Swine Flu Reaction: Infomercials And Conspiracy Theories (VIDEO)

A couple of videos coming out of Iraq and Iran reveal a troubling reaction in the Middle East to the global H1N1 influenza epidemic, including anti-Western infomercials and conspiracy theories (Via The Hill)

This first video is an Iranian commercial that peddles a conspiracy theory that the virus was spread by a Jewish drug company and Donald Rumsfeld for profit.

The second video (un-embeddable) is a rather goofy Iraqi government infomercial centered on the message, "Dear citizen, you must take precautions to protect yourself from this disease." It then lists very basic preventative techniques such as covering one's face when coughing or avoiding hand shakes.

View the video here at MEMRI.


Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
'Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist'

Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future.

Intelligence gathered by informers is crucial to stopping further terror outrages, but the men's allegations raise concerns about the coercion of young Muslim men by the Security Service and the damage this does to the gathering of information in the future.

Three of the men say they were detained at foreign airports on the orders of MI5 after leaving Britain on family holidays last year.

After they were sent back to the UK, they were interviewed by MI5 officers who, they say, falsely accused them of links to Islamic extremism. On each occasion the agents said they would lift the travel restrictions and threat of detention in return for their co-operation. When the men refused some of them received what they say were intimidating phone calls and threats.

Two other Muslim men say they were approached by MI5 at their homes after police officers posed as postmen. Each of the five men, aged between 19 and 25, was warned that if he did not help the security services he would be considered a terror suspect. A sixth man was held by MI5 for three hours after returning from his honeymoon in Saudi Arabia. He too claims he was threatened with travel restrictions if he tried to leave the UK.

An agent who gave her name as Katherine is alleged to have made direct threats to Adydarus Elmi, a 25-year-old cinema worker from north London. In one telephone call she rang him at 7am to congratulate him on the birth of his baby girl. His wife was still seven months' pregnant and the couple had expressly told the hospital that they did not want to know the sex of their child.
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sexy lady

Spain uses universal jurisdition to try Bush-era officials.

LONDON — A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.Collapse )

FYI this is perfectly legal. as mentioned in the article, the US has practiced universal jurisdiction before, and the UN Security Council has upheld the concept in passing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1674. The Resolution uses rather vague language though, and no doubt these former officials will be protesting something fierce. I wonder what Obama's response will be?

Kerry: CIA Lied About Contra-Cocaine Connections.

Kerry: CIA Lied About Contra-Cocaine Connections

House Minority Leader John Boehner pushed on Thursday for a bipartisan panel of lawmakers to investigate the veracity of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim that the CIA lied to her about whether it was waterboarding detainees.

"Her allegation that the CIA lied to her and that they misled Congress ... is a very serious charge," said Boehner (R-Ohio). "The Speaker has had a full week to produce evidence to back up her allegations, and I'm frankly disappointed that she has not done so."

The Central Intelligence Agency would never lie to Congress about breaking the law, would it?

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) knows a little something about that. During the late 1980s, he led a two-and-a-half year investigation into the CIA, the Nicaraguan Contras and cocaine trafficking, and the senator was on the receiving end of CIA deception.

So, would the CIA ever lie?

"In the case of one person who was tried and convicted, they lied. He overtly lied and was prosecuted for it by the government of the United States," said Kerry just off the Senate floor. "He was the director of operations for the region."
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GOP Wants More Help From Cheney. Obama will win 2012!!!!

GOP Wants More Help From Cheney

Democrats and Republicans may have found an area of agreement: Dick Cheney should keep on campaigning for the GOP cause.

Cheney's apparently endless retirement speaking tour culminated Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, where he savaged Barack Obama and dismissed criticism of torture as "phony moralizing" and "feigned outrage." Republican poll numbers have continued to crater in the weeks since Cheney first took to the talk-show circuit, but GOP senators told the Huffington Post Thursday afternoon that they think the former vice president will rally voters to their cause.

"I'm sure he can help some," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. "I hope he helps where he can. I like the vice president."

Graham qualified that he doesn't see Cheney, 68, as the future of the Republican Party, leaving that role to "some young governor or somebody out there that will emerge over time." He noted that he and Cheney have not always agreed on policy, a caveat that John Thune was also quick to include amid his praise.

"He is at heart a Republican, and I think that like a lot of Republicans, he doesn't agree with everything sometimes that our candidates may stand for or perhaps the party's platform necessarily," Thune said. "But he's someone who has had a tremendous leadership role for our country and in the Republican Party."

And Thune went further than Graham in voicing a desire for Cheney's support, asserting that he would love Cheney to stump with him across South Dakota next year.

"I mean, I think anybody would welcome having a guy of his stature and that kind of respect," Thune said.

Reporting contributed by Ryan Grim.

Palin Says Thanks But Not Thanks To Stimulus Money

Palin Says Thanks But Not Thanks To Stimulus Money

Gov. Sarah Palin dropped the hammer today on $80 million from the state budget. Her cuts include the $28.6 million in federal stimulus money designated for energy relief. Even though Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage municipalities are already complying with the federal building codes, Palin turned money down for weatherization and energy assistance to avoid the building requirements statewide. The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, negotiated taking the money without a statewide code.

Alaska has the highest energy costs in the nation
. Alaska has two seasons; winter and construction. Now would be the best time for window replacement, weatherization, etc.

In a "bring it on" move, Palin dared the legislature to over-ride her veto. I just spoke to a state legislature about the chances of a special session being called. It is possible, if not, the next session is January 2010.

Last fall, Governor Palin allocated $740 million in one time "energy bail-out" checks to every citizen in Alaska.

This year, $28.6 million is turned down.

Alaska loses.
' jules

don't hate if you can't relate~

Obama 'Distracted' by Biden's 'Indiscipline,' Book Asserts

President Obama is so "distracted by his vice president's indiscipline" that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Joe Biden, according to a new book by Newsweek journalist Richard Wolffe, who interviewed Obama a dozen times.

"He can't keep his mouth shut," Wolffe quotes a "senior Obama aide" as saying of the gaffe-prone Biden in "Renegade: The Making of a President," set for release June 2.

As evidence, Wolffe reports that during the presidential transition period, Biden insulted Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's closest friends and confidantes. Jarrett had been considered Obama's top choice to fill his vacated Senate seat in Illinois, but took herself out of the running just hours after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly told a wiretapped conference call he would not heed any Obama recommendation without a payoff.

"Soon after Jarrett pulled out of consideration for the Senate seat, the senior transition team met to discuss Cabinet picks," Wolffe writes.

"Biden tried to compliment Jarrett after one contribution. 'You should be in the Senate,' he quipped. After the meeting, as everyone returned to their offices, Obama stopped Biden to warn him not to say anything like that again. 'It's not funny,' he told him."

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icu trying to start drama, Richard Wolffe. And I do not approve.


Federal stimulus opens door for Mansion repairs... who needs that extra $25 a week anyway?

AUSTIN — Guess the federal government isn’t telling Texas what color to paint the Governor’s Mansion.

Texas budget negotiators have set aside $11 million in federal stimulus dollars to help repair the fire-ravaged Governor’s Mansion — even as GOP Gov. Rick Perry rails against Washington for attaching strings to $555 million in stimulus dollars for unemployment insurance.

“I would not want to be a member voting to let Washington D.C. tell us how to run our business in Texas,” he said of Texas legislators trying to decide whether to take the half a billion from the government for jobless benefits.

House and Senate budget writers also have agreed to spend stimulus money on other projects favored by Perry: $40 million to help attract film projects, $20 million for the Enterprise Fund meant to spur economic development and $24 million for the Emerging Technology Fund.

Senate Finance Committee Vice Chairman Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, called the situation ironic — even as he has disagreed with Perry’s stand against the extra unemployment insurance money. But he added: “Under the circumstances that we find ourselves in, we had to use the money the best way we can.”

House Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, said expenditures like repairing the ruined Mansion were necessary.

“Funding that with stimulus dollars to me is just a non-issue ... have ‘X’ number of dollars. We did as good a job as we could to invest those dollars wisely.”

The proposal awaits a formal vote by negotiators and approval by the House and Senate before going to Perry.

Perry hasn’t blocked the bulk of stimulus dollars coming to Texas, but he has stood against the extra money for unemployment insurance because the state would have to expand its benefits to more people to get it.

the Chron again

For what it's worth, Texas taxpayers are currently paying the Governor's $10,000 monthly rent.

Stasi spy shot West German protester in inflammatory 1967 killing

New information indicates that the killer in the controversial shooting of student protester Benno Ohnesorg in Berlin in 1967 was a West German policeman who was also working for the East German Stasi secret police.

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If this turns out to be true, this is huge story for Germany's recent past. Ohnesorg's death is famous for it's shady circumstances. Not only is it still unclear how he got shot, but police officers also stopped a doctor from getting to him because of formalities. The charges against the officer who shot him were later dropped and it has kind of become an example case for well unclean police operations.
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