May 29th, 2009


In other news...HUGGING!

For Teenagers, Hello Means ‘How About a Hug?’

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There is so much hugging at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, N.J., that students have broken down the hugs by type:

There is the basic friend hug, probably the most popular, and the bear hug, of course. But now there is also the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out.

There is the hug that starts with a high-five, then moves into a fist bump, followed by a slap on the back and an embrace.

There’s the shake and lean; the hug from behind; and, the newest addition, the triple — any combination of three girls and boys hugging at once.

“We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,” said Danny Schneider, a junior at the school, where hallway hugging began shortly after 7 a.m. on a recent morning as students arrived. “The guy friends, we don’t care. You just get right in there and jump in.”

There are romantic hugs, too, but that is not what these teenagers are talking about.

Girls embracing girls, girls embracing boys, boys embracing each other — the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days. Teachers joke about “one hour” and “six hour” hugs, saying that students hug one another all day as if they were separated for the entire summer.

A measure of how rapidly the ritual is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in. And schools from Hillsdale, N.J., to Bend, Ore., wary in a litigious era about sexual harassment or improper touching — or citing hallway clogging and late arrivals to class — have banned hugging or imposed a three-second rule.

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I think this article over analyzes hugging a bit too much - IMO, young people just aren't as hung up about physical contact any more. I hug all of my friends - male and female - because handshakes are so cold and a high-five makes me feel like I'm twelve years old.

Iran Secretly Helped U.S. Bomb Taliban Units, Find Al Qaeda

Iran Secretly Helped U.S. Bomb Taliban Units, Find Al Qaeda

By Jeff Stein | May 28, 2009 9:39 PM

Iran supplied U.S. diplomats with the location of Taliban military units in Afghanistan after the initial bombing campaign in the fall of 2001 failed to rout them, according to former officials in the George W. Bush administration.
The Islamic regime also gave the Bush administration "really substantive cooperation" on al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, at one point providing Washington with a list of 220 suspects and their whereabouts, said one official, former White House National Security Council Iran expert Hillary Mann Leverett.
Leverett said that in December 2002, after the U.S. gave Tehran the names of five al Qaeda suspects it believed were in Iran, the regime found two, which they delivered to the U.S. air base at Baghram, in Afghanistan.
But the budding relationship died on the vine.
Hardliners in the Bush administration prohibited Mann and Ryan Crocker, two of the principal diplomats dealing with the Iranians, from building on the contacts to pursue al Qaeda.
And then a month later, President Bush labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil," lumping it with North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
But even then, Leverett said, Tehran continued to provide Washington with intelligence on al Qaeda and expel them from Iran.
"They deported hundreds of [al Qaeda] people," she said.
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Obama: Michigan

My boo, Sen. Levin, calls a muthafucka OUT

Levin Calls Cheney A Liar On Torture

By Eric Kleefeld - May 28, 2009, 6:39PM

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) spoke last night at a dinner of the Foreign Policy Association, where he lambasted former Vice President Dick Cheney's speech last week for dishonestly claiming that the interrogation techniques he approved were not torture, and were not connected to Abu Ghraib -- saying that Cheney "bore false witness" 

"I do so as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which recently completed an 18-month investigation into the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and produced a 200-page bipartisan report, which gives the lie to Mr. Cheney's claims," said Levin. "I do so because if the abusive interrogation techniques that he champions, the face of which were the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib, if they are once more seen as representative of America, our security will be severely set back."

Levin also went after Cheney for claiming that "enhanced interrogation" saved American lives, and that it was no different from what is done to our own people in SERE training.

Regarding Cheney's claim that classified documents will prove his case -- documents that Levin himself is also privy to -- Levin said: "But those classified documents say nothing about the numbers of lives saved, nor do the documents connect acquisition of valuable intelligence to the use of abusive techniques. I hope that the documents are declassified, so that people can judge for themselves what is fact, and what is fiction."

Source: TPM
There's video at the's not embedding correctly for me no matter what I try


GOP self destruction in 3... 2... 1...

Sotomayor Pick Sparks Race Divide In GOP

The nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court has intensified a long-simmering racial divide within the Republican Party.

African-American and Hispanic conservatives who have questioned her judicial philosophy also note the historic nature of the appointment and praise her triumph over economic hardship. White conservatives, on the other hand, have been far more personal and aggressive in their attacks on Sotomayor's record, repeatedly accusing her of "reverse racism" and questioning her intelligence.

"I'm excited that a Hispanic woman is in this position," said Michael Steele on Bill Bennett's radio show Friday. He added that instead of "slammin' and rammin'" on Sotomayor, Republicans should "acknowledge" the "historic aspect" of the selection and stick to a "cogent, articulate argument" against her.

Steele argued that the GOP should not "get painted as a party that's against the first Hispanic woman" picked for the Supreme Court.

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales echoed these views recently, telling CNN, "I have no questions in my mind about her qualifications in terms of education, experience. A president is not required to nominate the most qualified person to the court. I think he's obliged to nominate someone who is well-qualified, and I think by any measures, she is well-qualified. I think there are legitimate questions about her judicial philosophy."

White male conservatives, despite polling showing both the public and GOP insiders disagree, are maintaining that Sotomayor is an unqualified bigot.

Pat Buchanan described Sotomayor in a column Friday as an "anti-white liberal judicial activist" as well as a "lightweight" who "covers up her intellectual inadequacy by bullying from the bench."

John Derbyshire, at National Review Online, took admiration for Sotomayor's life story as an intentional insult to him and all other white people:
I get mighty annoyed by the unspoken implication in a lot of commentary that anyone not a member of a Protected Minority must have grown up in a twelve-bedroom lakeside mansion and been chauffered off to prep school with a silver spoon in his mouth. Judge Sotomayor was raised in public housing? So was I. Her mother was a nurse working late shifts? So was mine. When did white working poor people disappear off the face of the earth? Where are the eager listeners to their "compelling stories"?

On Bill Bennett's radio show Thursday, the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes suggested that Sotomayor got into Princeton through affirmative action, and went on to suggest that most students probably get "some kind of Cum Laude."
BARNES: I think you can make the case that she's one of those who has benefited from affirmative action over the years tremendously.

BENNETT: Yeah, well, maybe so. Did she get into Princeton on affirmative action, one wonders.

BARNES: One wonders.

BENNETT: Summa Cum Laude, I don't think you get on affirmative action. I don't know what her major was, but Summa Cum Laude's a pretty big deal.

BARNES: I guess it is, but you know, there's some schools and maybe Princeton's not one of them, where if you don't get Summa Cum Laude then or some kind of Cum Laude, you then, you're a D+ student.

Bill O'Reilly claimed Thursday night that "the left sees white men as a problem" and putting women and minorities in power is the solution.

And Rush Limbaugh recently described the GOP as the true "oppressed minority."

Netanyahu is confused with new president

Netanyahu: "What the hell do they want from me?"

Last night, shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told journalists that the Obama administration "wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a confidante. Referring to Clinton's call for a settlement freeze, Netanyahu groused, "What the hell do they want from me?" according to his associate, who added, "I gathered that he heard some bad vibes in his meetings with [U.S.] congressional delegations this week."

In the 10 days since Netanyahu and President Barack Obama held a meeting at the White House, the Obama administration has made clear in public and private meetings with Israeli officials that it intends to hold a firm line on Obama's call to stop Israeli settlements. According to many observers in Washington and Israel, the Israeli prime minister, looking for loopholes and hidden agreements that have often existed in the past with Washington, has been flummoxed by an unusually united line that has come not just from Obama White House and the secretary of state, but also from pro-Israel congressmen and women who have come through Israel for meetings with him over Memorial Day recess. To Netanyahu's dismay, Obama doesn't appear to have a hidden policy. It is what he said it was.

"This is a sea change for Netanyahu," a former senior Clinton administration official who worked on Middle East issues said. The official said that the basis of the Obama White House's resolve is the conviction that it is in the United States' as well as Israel's interest to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "We have significant, existential threats that Israel faces from Iran and that the U.S. faces from this region. It is in our mutual interest to end this conflict, and to begin to build new regional alliances."
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hands out potatoes to poor to buy presidential votes

Two weeks from today, Iran’s presidential election will determine whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying, Israel-hating, America-bashing incumbent, remains in office, whether his country continues its drive to become a nuclear power, and whether a state with a key role in Iraq, Afghanistan and other international flashpoints remains hostile to the West.

The stakes could scarcely be higher, but it is the lowly potato that has been grabbing attention.

The Government is handing out 400,000 tonnes of free spuds in rural towns. It says that it is merely distributing the surplus from a bumper crop, but Mr Ahmadinejad’s opponents accuse it of bribing the poor. “Death to potatoes,” they chant at rallies.

The spat is instructive. To much of the world, the election is about the nuclear ambitions of a pariah state. To most Iranians, the economy is the main issue. Mr Ahmadinejad’s rivals are savaging the record of a President who took office promising to give all Iranians a share of the oil wealth.

Iran has enjoyed revenues in excess of $300 billion, but the poor are worse off than before. By spending those revenues as if there were no tomorrow he has sent inflation, rents and property prices spiralling upwards while failing to tackle rampant unemployment.

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Oklahoma Pharmacist Charged With Murder for Coup de Grâce Killing of Robbery

1_61_052809_pharmacy02_320An Oklahoma jury will be asked to decided whether pharmacist Jerome Ersland, 57, is a hero or a murderer. A video camera captured Ersland pumping rounds into an unconscious and unarmed teenager who tried to rob his store on May 19th.

Gun rights advocates have rallied behind Ersland and his lawyer insists that the video shows an act of self-defense. The case has many of the disturbing elements as the Gonzalez case in Texas.

Ersland currently faces a first-degree murder charge in the killing of Antwun Parker, 16, and could face a possible death penalty. He shot Parker in the head and then chased another teen outside. When he returned, he delivered the coup de grâce by shooting Parker five more times. An autopsy showed that Parker was still alive before Esland returned and unloaded into this body.

Ersland was not being threatened at that time and was armed. He had already chased one suspect out of the store and shot Parker upon returning. For the video click here. The video shows Ersland walking to the back of the store after returning and then casually coming back to finish off Parker. I fail to see the justification for the final shots as opposed to the first shot.

On its face, it does not appear to be an act of self-defense. We discuss such situations often in torts. Self-defense (as opposed to protection of property) allows the use of lethal force to repel a commensurate and proportional threat. If you are threatened by serious bodily injury or death, you are privileged to use lethal force. However, this privilege does not include the right to retaliate and expires with the passage of the imminent threat.

For the full story, click here.

source: Jonathan Turley often on MSNBC has new blog

Obama Joins Group to Block Treaty for Blind and Other Reading Disabilities

I am attending a meeting in Geneva of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This evening the United States government, in combination with other high income countries in "Group B" is seeking to block an agreement to discuss a treaty for persons who are blind or have other reading disabilities.

The proposal for a treaty is supported by a large number of civil society NGOs, the World Blind Union, the National Federation of the Blind in the US, the International DAISY Consortium, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), Bookshare.Org, and groups representing persons with reading disabilities all around the world.

The main aim of the treaty is to allow the cross-border import and export of digital copies of books and other copyrighted works in formats that are accessible to persons who are blind, visually impaired, dyslexic or have other reading disabilities, using special devices that present text as refreshable braille, computer generated text to speech, or large type. These works, which are expensive to make, are typically created under national exceptions to copyright law that are specifically written to benefit persons with disabilities.

The number of accessible works is very small everywhere, relative to what "sighted" persons can read. However, in developing countries, the collections are super small, and even in the USA, access to works in languages other than English is practically non-existent.

Under the current international legal regime, there is almost no sharing of these works across borders. The treaty would change that, vastly expanding the availability of works to all persons who are blind or have other reading disabilities.

Every regional group in the developing world expressed support for advancing work on this proposal, as part of a broader agenda on access to knowledge and the protection of consumer interests.

The opposition from the United States and other high income countries is due to intense lobbying from a large group of publishers that oppose a "paradigm shift," where treaties would protect consumer interests, rather than expand rights for copyright owners.

The Obama Administration was lobbied heavily on this issue, including meetings with high level White House officials. Assurances coming into the negotiations this week that things were going in the right direction have turned out to be false, as the United States delegation has basically read from a script written by lobbyists for publishers, extolling the virtues of market based solutions, ignoring mountains of evidence of a "book famine" and the insane legal barriers to share works.

Last week Obama worked with PhRMA to kill a Medical R&D Treaty at the World Health Organization. This week he is trying to kill a treaty for blind and reading disabled persons. This is not encouraging.

Live tweets of the WIPO SCCR negotiations use the hash tag #sccr18. My live tweets are here:


GOP: We dont need the stinking Latino vote... we dont even need the menstrual women vote either!!

Limbaugh: Nominating Sotomayor Like Nominating David Duke

Rush Limbaugh, following a trend of conservatives depicting Sonia Sotomayor as a dangerous racist, suggested that President Obama's Supreme Court nomination had set back civil rights progress and compared Sotomayor to David Duke.
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G. Gordon Liddy On Sotomayor: ‘Let’s Hope That The Key Conferences Aren’t When She’s Menstruating’

Yesterday on his radio show, conservative host G. Gordon Liddy continued the right wing’s all-out assault on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. First, just like Tom Tancredo, Liddy slammed Sotomayor’s affiliation with the civil rights group La Raza — and referred to the Spanish language as “illegal alien“:

LIDDY: I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, “the race.” And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments.

Finished with the race-based attack, Liddy moved on to denigrate Sotomayor’s gender:

LIDDY: Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

Finally, Liddy disputed the entire idea that there’s anything wrong with the paucity of women and total lack of Hispanics on the Court:

LIDDY: And everybody is cheering because Hispanics and females have been, quote, underrepresented, unquote. And as you pointed out, which I thought was quite insightful, the Supreme Court is not designed to be and should not be a representative body.
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Police Tase and Kill 16-Year-Old Boy After He Runs From Traffic Stop

There is another controversy over police tasers leading to a death. Robert Mitchell, 16, died after being hit with a 50,000 volt taser shock after he ran from a traffic stop and allegedly resisted arrest. Mitchell had a learning disability and according to his family was merely scared.

Mitchell was killed on April 10th. His cousin, Chris Davis, was pulled over over an expired license plate when Mitchell ran into an abandoned house a couple blocks away. The police have cleared the officers and said that it was an appropriate use of the taser.
His family is pursuing a lawsuit against the police department.
We have seen a slew of such injurious or fatal uses of tasers recently, here and here and here.
For the full story, click here and here.
source: Jonathan Turley

Esquire Fails At Feminist Analysis.

Where Have All the Loose Women Gone?

The days of Sex and the City's influence are long gone. From Tina Fey's fake prude to Sarah Palin's real power play, here's why strong women just aren't that into having sex with you anymore.

The days of Sex and the City's influence are long gone. From Tina Fey's fake prude to Sarah Palin's real power play, here's why strong women just aren't that into having sex with you anymore.

Brilliant, funny, and powerful women are retreating from sex as never before, and if you don't believe it, take the curious case of Liz Lemon. The most complicated and intelligent woman in television comedy barely ever has sex. She doesn't sit on laps, either — "not a lap sitter," she tells one handsome date she brings home in the first season. (He turns out to be her cousin.) She admits to losing her virginity at twenty-five and accidentally reveals that she doesn't believe people can have intercourse standing up. Liz Lemon's low libido is one of 30 Rock's running gags, like the writers' obsession with junk food or Jack Donaghy's use of words like "upward-revenue-stream dynamics." When Jenna asks about sex with her beeper-salesman boyfriend, Liz replies, "Fast and only on Saturdays — it's perfect." That line is a dagger in the heart of every thinking heterosexual man in America, and for Liz and the like-minded career women in The Women, He's Just Not That Into You, Sandra Bullock's latest, The Proposal, or just about any other chick flick of late, it's become achingly clear that sex is usually the last thing on their minds.

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Hangar Outfit

(no subject)

Friendly Voices - Maya Angelou

“I would ask every man and every woman who’s had the blessing of having children, ‘Would you deny your son or your daughter the ecstasy of finding someone to love?' To love someone takes a lot of courage. So how much more is one challenged when the love is of the same sex and the laws say, ‘I forbid you from loving this person’?” - Maya Angelou, phoning New York state Sen. Shirley L. Huntley (D-Queens) and asking that she support marriage equality.

Sen. Huntley says that while she enjoys Angelou's poetry, her opinion on same-sex marriage is unchanged. “If they gave me a million dollars, tax free, I just wouldn’t vote for it.”

The last legislative session of the New York Senate is June 20th. Contact YOUR New York state Senator here and demand that they support the rights of ALL of their constituents. This Sunday there will be a rally in Athens Park, Astoria as Western Queens For Marriage Equality demands the vote of state Sen. George Onorato.

Bree Gun

This article is a little old, so not sure if it's been posted.


‘What Color Is That Baby?’

I remember as a young deputy city editor at The Daily News attending my first “sked meeting,” a large gathering of editors held every afternoon to consider which stories would go into the next morning’s paper and how they would be played.

I was sitting at the far end of a conference table from the editor who was conducting the meeting. The News had very seldom had a black person at those gatherings. Mine was the only black face in the room.


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farin: srsly?

"Let me just draw where we are in the sand, Stephen."

I just figured since there are so many Colbert fans here, I'd let y'alls know. Over the past couple of months Stephen Colbert has been really big on saying that he's heading out to the middle east to do a show for a week with the troops, but he's had to keep the lid on when and where it is; he made a ridiculous segment out of it.

Sarah Palin, our brightest, most shiningest star, let us know when and where in the world Colbert would be with one dumbass tweet:

Getting ready to tape shout-out for our awesome US troops serving overseas! Will be on ‘Colbert Report’ next month, broadcast from Iraq…


source: Palin's twitter

Excuse me. I'll be over here, fuming.


Wednesday May 27,2009
By Dana Gloger

NEITHER the Queen nor any senior member of the Royal Family has been invited to next week’s D-Day commem­orations, it was ­revealed last night.]


Buckingham Palace confirmed that it had not received an invitation from French officials for the Normandy events, which will mark the historic 65th anniversary.

It was reported last night that Royal aides were furious that the Queen had not been asked to join the ceremony, which is to be attended by the US head of state, President Barack Obama.

It has been claimed that French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to make it a Franco-American occasion with the main focus of services to be at the American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer and that there were never any plans to invite any British Royals.

But Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been invited and is expected to ­attend the events on June 6.

Last night there was growing anger amid claims that he had failed to also secure an invitation for the Queen.

Royal commentator Margaret Holder yesterday laid the blame at his door.

“It is a failing on his part,” she said. “He should have made sure that the Queen or Royal Family were honoured.

“He has not been on the ball enough to secure that invitation to her or to Prince Charles or his sons.

“At the very least, he has overlooked the matter. It seems quite a departure from the previous Labour policy of ­ensuring that the Queen was in a prominent position at public events.”

She added that the lack of a Royal invitation was “a question of perception” and likely to be seen as insulting.


Franco-American my ass. My great-uncle is buried in Normandy.

Coach on Glenn Beck: I was on welfare and the govt. never helped me

Watching FOX News is like studying quantum mechanics. There are remarkable & outrageous things happening on so many different levels and in so many different dimensions that it gets hard to keep track. So many wrong things.

Craig T. Nelson of the old TV show "Coach" and also star of the Poltergeist horror franchise announces he just might stop paying taxes to protest the government:

Craig T. Nelson: "I've been on food stamps and welfare. Did anybody help me out? No!"

Um, actually....

Nelson's gripe is that since education, firefighters, and other public goods are not getting enough tax money, he will stop paying taxes, which will help (?). Beck loves it, nods sagely in agreement, etc.

@ Huffington Post and also Gawker


Great article on Libertarians in, of all places, Forbes magazine. I'll hide most behind the cut in case you are not as fascinated by this topic as me.

Libertarians' views on social policy and national defense make them sympathetic to the Democrats, while their views on economic policy tend to align them with the Republicans.

If one views social, defense and economic policy as having roughly equal weight, it would seem, therefore, that most libertarians should be Democrats. In fact, almost none are. Those that don't belong to the dysfunctional Libertarian Party are, by and large, Republicans.

The reason for this is that most self-described libertarians are primarily motivated by economics. In particular, they don't like paying taxes.

They also tend to have an obsession with gold and a distrust of paper money. As a philosophy, their libertarianism doesn't extend much beyond not wanting to pay taxes, being paid in gold and being able to keep all the guns they want. Many are survivalists at heart and would be perfectly content to live in complete isolation on a mountain somewhere, neither taking anything from society nor giving anything.

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@ Forbes
arrow: felicity smoak

Southeast Mont. town offers to take Guantanamo prisoners


HARDIN, Mont. -- On Capitol Hill, politicians are dead-set against transferring some of the world's most feared terrorists from Guantanamo to prisons on U.S. soil. But at City Hall in this impoverished town on the Northern Plains, the attitude is: Bring 'em on.

Hardin -- a dusty town of 3,400 people about 4-1/2 hours from Rapid City and the Black Hills and so desperate that it built a $27 million jail a couple of years ago in the vain hope it would be a moneymaker -- is offering to house hundreds of Gitmo detainees at the empty, never-used institution.

The medium-security jail was conceived as a holding facility for drunks and other scofflaws, but town leaders said it could be fortified with a couple of guard towers and some more concertina wire. Apart from that, it is a turnkey operation, fully outfitted with everything from cafeteria trays and sweatsocks to 88 surveillance cameras.

"Holy smokes -- the amount of soldiers and attorneys it would bring here would be unbelievable," Clint Carleton said as he surveyed his mostly empty restaurant, Three Brothers Pizza. "I'm a lot more worried about some sex offender walking my streets than a guy that's a world-class terrorist. He's not going to escape, pop into the IGA (supermarket), grab a six-pack and go sit in the park."

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I thought this was pretty interesting, even though it feeds into some serious LOL WEST RIVER REDNECKS stereotypes.


GOP does not care for Hispanic voters...

GOP Hispanic Strategists Stunned, Outraged By Sotomayor Attacks

Top-ranking Republican strategists who specialize in Hispanic outreach say they are outraged, disturbed and concerned by the type of reception Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court has received from conservative activists.

In the days since the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, several prominent conservative voices have leveled unusually blunt attacks at her resume. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and radio host Rush Limbaugh both insisted that the court of appeals judge was a racist for saying that her Hispanic background allowed her to come to better judicial decisions. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, on Friday, called Sotomayor a member of the "Latino KKK."

The rhetoric has been enough to make Republican strategists in heavily Latino states cringe -- concerned that such slights could cement Democrats advantages among a growing and increasingly influential political constituency.

"Of course this disturbs me," said Lionel Sosa, one of the more influential Hispanic media advisers in the GOP
. "I'm not surprised at Rush Limbaugh but I'm very surprised at Speaker Gingrich because he is one of the key people who knows the importance of the Latino vote to the Republican Party. He must realize how his rhetoric, if it does influence any Hispanics, how damaging it could be. This [confirmation] is something that is going to happen anyway. For a senator to have strong opposition to her, they are either not aware of the impact Latinos will have on the next election or they don't care."
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Wilkerson: Cheney "Lonely, Paranoid, Frightened"...

Wilkerson: Cheney "Lonely, Paranoid, Frightened"

The night after Colin Powell delivered his infamous argument to the United Nations justifying the invasion of Iraq, Lawrence Wilkerson, his chief of staff, sat down and wrote a letter of resignation. It was, said Wilkerson Friday, " the lowest point in my professional and my personal life."

He stuffed the letter in his desk drawer. And left it there.

"If I have a regret when I go to my grave, it is that I did not resign," said Wilkerson, because of course Powell's speech turned out to be almost entirely false.

Wilkerson told the story during a Friday taping of a town hall debate on torture, filmed at the Newseum for Al Jazeera's "Fault Line" show in Washington, D.C. The show airs on Saturday.
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I will accept paranoid... and maybe lonely... but frightened?... now I wonder what he needs to be afraid of...

Newly Online Memos Reveal that President Reagan Ordered Strikes Against Iran If Hostages Were Killed

Newly Online Memos Reveal that President Reagan Ordered Strikes Against Iran If Hostages Were Killed

President Reagan ordered strikes against Iran if any of the American hostages held by the terrorist group Hezbollah were killed. The order, made during a January 18th, 1985 meeting of the National Security Planning Group, came on the heels of a threat by the terrorists to "try the American hostages as spies and then give them the punishment they deserve."

The document is posted online for the first time at the newly created website,, where many other recently released National Security Council and National Security Planning Group meetings from the Reagan Administration are also posted. Hundreds of other Reagan Administration documents are also posted at, including documents that President Obama ordered released on April 13th, 2009 that former President Bush had been withholding since 2001.

Hezbollah, at the time of the January 18th, 1985, NSPG meeting, was believed to be holding at least five American hostages, including Beirut CIA Station Chief William Buckley.

The proposed targets for an Iranian strike are still classified. Security of Defense Weinberger tells President Reagan in the January 18th meeting that the strike is designed to be carried out at night, "but could also be flown as daylight strikes."
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Episopal Church kicks out 61 anti-gay clergy

Hah =)


May 29, 2009

Church Ousts 61 Antigay Clergy
By Amita Parashar

The Episcopal Church has ousted 61 clergy over an ongoing dispute around LGBT issues in the church.

The members, the church said, had aligned with former bishop John-David Schofield, who was ousted from the church and stripped of his title in 2008. At the time, the church said he "repudiated the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church."

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LOL @ "Unusually high"


Poll: Obama Support Still Unusually High

After three months on the job, President Obama continues to be widely popular.

That is according to a new poll released today by Gallup that shows Obama's approval rating at 65%.

President Obama's approval rating has stayed relatively consistent -- and high -- since he was sworn into office in January. He started out with a 66% rating and dropped temporarily to 62% in March.

That puts Obama into a select group of presidents whose approval ratings have increased from February to May of their first year in office.

Since World War II, only three first-term presidents -- Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan -- have had a higher average approval rating in May of their first year.

In recent years, declining approval ratings have been the standard. George W. Bush's rating dropped four points from February to May, and Bill Clinton's dropped nine.


(no subject)

Obama Says Judge Regrets Wording
GOP Leaders Try to Rein In Reactions to Sotomayor's 2001 Speech

By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 30, 2009


President Obama said yesterday that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor regrets her choice of words in a 2001 speech in which she said a "wise Latina" judge would often make better decisions than a white male.


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