June 5th, 2009

≈ bsg › lee | a thousand yards

Dutch far-right 'gain' in EU poll


Wouter Bos, leader of the PVDA - the biggest Dutch loser - doesn't look too good as the European Parliament election results come in

A right-wing Dutch lawmaker's party has made big gains in European Parliament elections, exit polls suggest.

They say Geert Wilders' Freedom party will win four of the 25 Dutch seats in the parliament, just one behind the country's Christian Democrats. Dutch and British voters were the first to go to the polls to elect the EU's most powerful legislative body. Some 375 million people in 27 member states are eligible to vote. Most will cast their ballots over the weekend.

(...)

'For the Netherlands'

Exit polls showed late on Thursday that Mr Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) was on course of winning just over 15% of votes in the Netherlands. If confirmed, the result is second only to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA), which dropped alsmost 5% to just under 20% of the vote. The polls showed that the party's governing coalition partner, the PvdA, was the biggest loser - down nearly 10% to about 14% of the Dutch vote.

"We dare to talk about sensitive subjects like Islamisation and we use plain and simple words that the voter can understand," Mr Wilders has said.

Mr Wilders was refused entry to Britain in February on the grounds that he had sought to incite hatred with a film he made last year that equated Islam with violence and likened the Koran to Mein Kampf. The controversial politician is also facing prosecution in the Netherlands for making anti-Islamic statements, following a court ruling the previous month.

Despite the charges many Dutch voters seem to like what Mr Wilders is saying, the BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague reports. His party was campaigning under the motto "For the Netherlands" and was extremely anti-EU, our correspondent says. Mr Wilders has said he will not take up his seat if elected as an MEP.

Polls show that Euroscepticism among Dutch voters has increased since the last European elections, with EU enlargement and integration the most unpopular issues, our correspondent adds. Across Europe, far-right parties are hoping to win at least 15 seats. However, the centre-right European People's Party bloc is expected to remain the main force, followed by the European Socialists.

Source: BBC.co.uk

Personally, I believe the Dutch vote means that the Dutch are fed-up with the EU, and doesn't necessarily mean we're anti-islamic. Geert Wilders' party is the most prominent anti-EU party, and his winning vote is a huge slap in the face of the current coalition partners who are pro-EU. Like the 2005 EU Constitution elections, I believe this is more a sign of general unhappiness of the Dutch with the current political state of being in the country and the EU. That's what I think though, not saying I'm an expert on the subject matter. The Dutch being a bunch of intolerant racists is probably just as likely.

If you voted, care to share who? I voted Newropeans which yes is a very lulztastic name and yes, they have a rubber duckie logo, but they're actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, they don't stand a chance to even get half a seat.
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GOP: To hell with national security! Discloses classified information to prove that torture works!

Intel firestorm: GOP reveals briefing info

Republicans ignited a firestorm of controversy on Thursday by revealing some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

Democrats immediately blasted the GOP lawmakers for publicly discussing classified information, while Republicans said Democrats are trying to hide the truth that enhanced interrogation of detainees is effective.


GOP members on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday told The Hill in on-the-record interviews that they were informed that the controversial methods have led to information that prevented terrorist attacks.

When told of the GOP claims, Democrats strongly criticized the members who revealed information that was provided at the closed House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing. Democrats on the panel said they could not respond substantively, pointing out that the hearing was closed.


In the bowels of the Capitol Visitor Center, members of the panel gathered behind locked doors on Thursday morning to begin a series of hearings on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

What began as a remarkably quiet and secretive hearing had, within a matter of hours, exploded into a political brawl over intelligence matters and national security.


Despite the weeks-long furor over how the Central Intelligence Agency came to use enhanced interrogation techniques, and what members of Congress were told about their development and implementation, the committee’s first hearing on the issue during the 111th Congress almost came and went without notice. The hearing was announced publicly but was not open to the public.

According to Republicans, that was by design.
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Senator

Sean Hannity: Uberdouche

On the June 4 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated that in his June 4 speech in Cairo, President Obama "decided to give 9-11 sympathizers a voice on the world stage," then aired a cropped video clip of Obama saying, "I am aware that there are still some that would question or even justify the events of 9-11." However, the context of Obama's comments makes clear that Obama was condemning those who would "justify the events of 9-11"; immediately following the clip Hannity showed, Obama stated:

But let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.

Media Matters for America has documented a pattern in which Fox News hosts and correspondents -- including Hannity -- have on dozens of occasions cropped comments by progressives and Democratic political figures in a manner that misrepresents them.



Source

Another Gay Penguin Couple Adopt, Hatch Egg



A pair of male penguins in a German zoo have taken in an egg that was rejected by its biological parents, hatched the egg, and now are rearing the chick, according to a June 3 article carried at BBC News.

Such behavior is not unknown. In many animal species, from fruit flies to birds to primates, same-gender sexual contact and social bonding (including long term pair bonding) have been observed.

In the case of Z and Vielpunkt, two penguins at the zoo in Bremerhaven, the pair had been observed attempting to hatch a stone. When a male-female pair of penguins at the zoo rejected their own egg, keepers gave it to Z and Vielpunkt, who tended and hatched the egg and now, a month after its hatching, continue to care for the chick.

The BBC article noted that four years ago the same zoo, which houses three pairs of male penguins exhibiting mating and bonding behavior, tried to coax the males into a heterosexual relationship by introducing four female penguins. The zoo made this attempt because the particular species of penguin in question is endangered.

However, those attempts were suspended when the male penguins showed no interest in the females. Meantime, GLBT activists protested that the zoo’s strategy constituted an attempt to force the birds into relationships they would not naturally have entered into on their own.

The article included a snippet from a statement made by the zoo. "Z and Vielpunkt, both males, gladly accepted their ’Easter gift’ and got straight down to raising it."

Added the statement, "Since the chick arrived, they have been behaving just as you would expect a heterosexual couple to do.

"The two happy fathers spend their days attentively protecting, caring for and feeding their adopted offspring."

In the United States, one celebrated penguin pairing, between Roy and Silo, male penguins living in New York’ Central Park Zoo, served as the basis for the children’s book "And Tango Makes Three."

The book, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, had its origins in a newspaper account of how the two male penguins were observed not only nesting together, but also caring for a small rock as though it were an egg.

Anti-gay sentiment has led to "And Tango Makes Three" being at the top of the "challenged books" list for three consecutive years.

Said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the deputy director of the American Library Association, which publishes an annual list of challenged books, of the title’s top spot on the most recent list of challenged books, "Books that address same-sex parenting, or same-sex relationships, are particularly prone to challenges in the U.S."

Added Caldwell-Stone, "In the case of ’And Tango Makes Three,’ there are many parents who believe it inappropriate to teach children anything at all about homosexual relationships, even in the form of a picture book about a true story."

 
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waiting
  • bispo

Baptist Minister Prays For Death of President Obama

Baptist Minister (and former second vice president of the Souther Baptist Convention) Wiley Drake reportedly said that he is offering an “imprecatory prayer” for the death of President Obama.


Drake reportedly said on June 2 on “The Alan Colmes Show” that, unless Obama repents, he is praying for God to kill him — referencing the killing of Dr. George Tiller as an example of such divine retribution. Drake has his own program, “The Wiley Drake Show” on Crusade Radio, where he has been holding forth on Tiller’s murder. With Colmes, Drake said “I’ve been a Baptist pastor for a long time, been in the pro-life fight, been face-to-face with Tiller, told him about Jesus, and I’ve seen many, many others tell him about Jesus over and over and over again. And I’ve seen horrific things that go on in those death abortuaries — and that’s what they are — and so my initial response to those people, they said, ‘Well what was your response,’ and I said, ‘Well, in all honesty I have to just respond directly and say I am glad that he’s dead.’”

Drake repeated the view that Obama (who he refers to as “B. Hussein Obama”) is not an American-born citizen and called him a “usurper.” Drake was praised in extremist websites after he filed to block Obama from taking the oath of office. He also said that Rev. Rick Warren would be punished by God for offering a prayer at the inauguration.

 

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source: Jonathan Turley

A nice does of Sarah Failin for your afternoon enjoyment


Palin: Government wants to 'control the people'



(CNN) – Alaska governor Sarah Palin let loose Wednesday on the Obama administration for enacting fiscal policies that "fly in the face of principles" and "defy Economics 101."

In a speech introducing Michael Reagan — the son of former President Ronald Reagan — to an audience in Anchorage, Palin warned that the government is planning to "bail out debt ridden states" so it can "get in there and control the people."

"Since when can you get out of huge national debt by creating trillions of dollars of new debt?" Palin asked. "It all really is so backwards and skewed as to sound like absolute nonsense when some of this economic policy is explained." (Yeah, it's nonsense, YA GOT THAT??? *facepalm*)

"We need to be aware of the creation of a fearful population (because we were all just la dee da totally fearless the last 8 years, amirite?), and fearful lawmakers, being led to believe that big government is the answer, to bail out the private sector, because then government gets to get in there and control it," she said. "And mark my words, this is going to be next, I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states. Then government gets to get in there and control the people."

"Some in Washington would approach our economic woes in ways that absolutely defy Economics 101, and they fly in the face of principles, providing opportunity for industrious Americans to succeed or to fail on their own accord," she said. "Those principles it makes you wonder what the heck some in Washington are trying to accomplish here."

Though the bulk of her remarks focused on government encroachment into the private sector, and praise for former President Reagan's views on limited government, the former vice presidential candidate briefly touched on national security. She told the crowd that "the terrorists are still dead set against us" and that her son Track is still deployed in Iraq.

 

"It is war over there, so it will not be war over here," she said. "And it had better still be our mission that we win, they lose."

She also pointed to the recent dismissal of another ethics complaint against her, one that accused the governor of having a conflict of interest for wearing a jacket to the opening of the Tesoro Iron Dog race in February that feautured the logo of the sponsor of her husband's team. Palin has been forced to set up a legal defense fund to help pay for fees related to an onslaught of ethic complaints.

Palin said of the people who have filed the complaints: "Those are the folks who want to tell me, they want to tell you, to sit down and shut up. We will not do that. I just can't, because I love my state. I love my country." (as I'm sure your secession lovin' hubby can attest to)

Source


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Tiller Murder Suspect Complains From Jail: I'm Being "Treated Like A Criminal"

Suspect in abortion provider death talks from jail

The man accused of killing Kansas abortion provider George Tiller said Thursday from the county jail where he is being held that he's "being treated as a criminal" even though he hasn't been convicted.


In a brief telephone conversation with The Associated Press, Scott Roeder also disputed what he called "broad brush" characterizations of him as being anti-government.

"I want people to stop and think: It is not anti-government, it is anti-corrupt government," Roeder, who called from the Sedgwick County Jail in response to a written request for an interview.
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LOLitics | BAMF

Shenanigans Friday: June 5, 2009.

"LOLitics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant." --LOLri Queuille

Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:



by sw_fangirl
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rightwing nuts ignore Obama's message for peace

Settlers build 'Oz Yehonatan' outpost

A day after US President Barack Obama reiterated his call to stop settlement activity during a speech in Cairo, defiant settlers continued to erect illegal structures in the West Bank, building a new outpost on Friday morning between Migron and Kohav Ya'akov.

At the outpost, named Oz Yehonatan, the settlers built a wooden structure they mockingly called the "Obama Hut," saying it was a sign of appreciation for the US president for his actions that had led to a dramatic rise in the number of outposts.

Overnight Thursday, settlers and right-wing activists once again rebuilt the illegal Maoz Esther outpost that was dismantled on Wednesday by security forces.

Among the structures erected was a synagogue in which activists placed a Torah scroll dedicated in the name of Yohonadav Hirschfield, who was killed in last year's terror attack at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.
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rightwingnut idiot discovers the Ethernet!

Norm Coleman: Key To Republican Success Lies In The "Ethernet"

Clearly, Norm Coleman isn't exactly tech-savvy. After a speaking engagement in St. Louis this week, he told a video-camera wielding supporter that the key to success for Republicans "lies in the ethernet."
Coleman, who was in Minnesota Supreme Court this week appealing the Senate election results, was in St. Louis to give a speech at the Conservative Heartland Leadership Conference.

WATCH:

you could cut ties with all the lies

Nice people take drugs!!!

The drugs do work – for a lot of people

One in three adults in the UK have taken them, as have the last three US presidents, so it's time to remove the stigma around drugs, and talk openly towards more effective, safer policy.



Nice People Take Drugs – it's not a controversial statement. We all know people who have. The last three US presidents have admitted to it. Much has been suggested about the likely next UK prime minister. Nowadays if a politician admitted to it, the tabloids would struggle to make a story stick let alone generate a scandal. The fact is, a lot of people from all walks of life have at some point taken drugs and it's time we got real about it.

 

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(no subject)

Tennessee: ACLU Wins Battle Over Blocked LGBT Websites In Public Schools

 

The ACLU has forced the Tennessee public school system to stop blocking educational LGBT websites.
Dozens of Tennessee schools have restored access to online information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, just over two weeks after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against two Tennessee school districts for unconstitutionally blocking student access to such sites. The company that provides Internet filtering software to as many as 107 Tennessee schools has adjusted the software to allow access to a variety of educational and political LGBT Web sites that were blocked before the lawsuit was filed. "All we ever wanted was to be able to get information out about LGBT issues, like what our legal rights are or what scholarships are available for LGBT students, so I'm really happy that the schools are finally making our Web access fair and balanced," said Bryanna Shelton, a 16-year-old student at Fulton High School in Knoxville and a plaintiff in the case. "These Web sites were never something dirty or inappropriate in any way and shouldn't ever have been treated like they were."
The ACLU reports that the company that makes the blocking software has also unblocked the public school systems of Indiana.

SourceSource

(no subject)

Radio Show Loses Sponsors After Hosts Suggest Beating Transgender Kids

 



Several major advertisers have pulled their support from Sacramento radio station KRXQ after its hosts suggested beating transgender behavior out of children. Via GLAAD, below is a partial transcript of the show.

 

ROB WILLIAMS [11:12]: This is a weird person who is demanding attention. And when it’s a child, all it takes is a hug, maybe some tough love or anything in between. When your little boy said, ‘Mommy, I want to walk around in a dress.’ You tell them no cause that’s not what boys do. But that’s not what we’re doing in this culture.

ARNIE STATES [13:27]: If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him. Because you know what? Boys don’t wear high heels. And in my house, they definitely don’t wear high heels.

ROB WILLIAMS [17:45]: Dawn, they are freaks. They are abnormal. Not because they’re girls trapped in boys bodies but because they have a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them. That’s where therapy could help them.

ROB WILLIAMS [18:15]: Or because they were molested. You know a lot of times these transgenders were molested. And you need to work with them on that. The point is you don’t allow the behavior. You cure the cause!

ARNIE STATES [21:30]:
You got a boy saying, ‘I wanna wear dresses.’ I’m going to look at him and go, ‘You know what? You’re a little idiot! You little dumbass! Look, you are a boy! Boys don’t wear dresses.’

ARNIE STATES [29:22]: You know, my favorite part about hearing these stories about the kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress. I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down. And they end up in therapy.

GLAAD reports that Snapple, Sonic, and Chipotle have all pulled their advertising from the show after being made aware of how offensive it was. Sonic released this statement:
Sonic wants to assure you that the views of this station are in no way related to the views of Sonic. Sonic was alerted to the May 28th segment only yesterday and immediately began researching the segment, show and Sonic’s planned advertising on the station. SONIC in no way condones violence toward children and does not wish to be associated with media content that condones or promotes such activity in any way. We have decided to immediately withdraw advertising from this station and have notified the station of our decision.

UPDATE: Verizon, Carl's Jr. and Bank of America have also pulled advertising from their show.

Source
& Source

This is a follow up to
this post

(no subject)

Poll: Prop 8 Repeal Will Be Tough In 2010



Although activists banned the media from their post-Meet In The Middle For Equality leadership summit so that new polling data didn't "provide ammunition to opponents of same-sex marriage", the results were published by the Bay Area Reporter yesterday. According to the latest survey, which was taken the first week of May, the "movable middle" on marriage equality is quite small and a Prop 8 repeal effort made in either 2010 or 2012 will be quite the battle.
Overall, the poll shows that California is split down the middle when it comes to same-sex marriage, with 47 percent in favor and 48 opposed. Those figures mirror other statewide polls that have been done since last fall's election, suggesting that many voters' minds are made up on the issue and the percentage of persuadable voters is very small, about 5 percent, Binder said Sunday during an informal news conference after the closed session.

The poll also shows the marriage equality side doing better in 2012 than in 2010. On a series of similar questions, the poll results show more support for reinstating the right of same-sex couples to marry (46 percent yes, 49 percent no in 2012, compared to 45 percent to 51 percent in 2010), or a constitutional amendment to end California's ban on same-sex marriage (47 percent yes, 47 percent no in 2012, compared to 47 percent yes, 48 percent no in 2010). However, Binder noted that a ballot measure in either year would be close. "It's a very close race regardless of whether it's 2010 or 2012," Binder said. "People's opinions are very strong on both sides."
Read Rex Wockner's coverage of the controversy over the media ban.

SourceSource
cookie monster

Yep, very liberal here, yet I find this research disgusting. Ironic?

Conservatives Are More Easily Disgusted

Buzz UpSendSharePrint
Robert Roy Britt

LiveScience.com – Fri Jun 5, 9:00 am ET
People who squirm at the sight of bugs or are grossed out by blood and guts are more likely to be politically conservative, new studies find.
In particular, the squeamish are more apt to have conservative attitudes about gays and lesbians.
Lots of other research has tied politics to biology and behavior. Some quick background:
A study last year found that when people feel physically clean, they are less judgmental.
Another study found that political conservatives tend to be tidy, with organized offices, but liberals favor colorful, more stylish but cluttered spaces.
Political views are driven by religion, culture and even biology, other research has shown.
A large, global study in 2007 concluded that political preference is 50 percent genetic.
The new studies:
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Let's Make an Abortion Deal

Today, President Obama gave an important speech in Cairo to try to bridge the gap between the United States and Muslims abroad. It's a huge, difficult, and brave undertaking.

Meanwhile, at the White House, Obama aides have convened meetings between pro-choicers and pro-lifers to seek "common ground" in the abortion debate. Already, the two sides are sniping in the press and refusing the simplest concessions.

Some of the people involved in the abortion meetings are my friends or acquaintances. They all mean well, and I'm glad they're participating. But they aren't trying hard enough. They should watch the president's Cairo speech. He's making serious concessions and taking real risks. They should do the same. Here are four recommendations to start with.

 

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Dear Ms. Barnes and other pro-choice participants in these meetings: Please give up this distinction. No ordinary person sees a difference between reducing abortions and reducing the need for abortions. You just look like you're refusing to admit that abortions are worth reducing. Yes, in theory, "reducing abortions" can be used as a rallying cry for restrictions you oppose, whereas "reducing the need for abortions" can't. I see your point, and I've argued it before. But most Americans and the politicians who represent them have been simultaneously uncomfortable with abortion and with government interference in abortion for a long time. A semantic concession won't change that. Furthermore, any "reduction" effort will be judged by abortion statistics, whether you like it or not. So let's focus on reduction through voluntary means and stop quibbling over how it's described.

2. Contraception. Richard Land, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, tells the Times that the common-ground talks may be doomed: "We are not going to support the providing of contraception to minors at government expense. That's an absolute nonstarter for us."

Dear Dr. Land and other pro-life participants: You say that life begins at conception and that millions of unborn lives are stake. Back up those statements. Decide whether you're going to be anti-abortion or anti-contraception. And please don't retreat into side arguments that you're just against "taxpayer-funded" contraception or that contraception somehow causes abortions. Next to abstinence, contraception is the surest way to prevent abortions, period. Save your scruples about taxpayers' rights for an issue where nobody's dying.

3. Extremism. The Times report includes this comment from a pro-choice participant:

Tiller's death is a "massive setback" in the search for common ground, said Cristina Page, a New York City author and abortion rights advocate. "It's sort of like having a family member murdered and then being asked to make nice with the assassin's family. It's unnatural."

Dear Ms. Page and other pro-choicers: Imagine some lunatic going to Kansas and murdering the head of a pro-life pregnancy center. Imagine reading in the newspaper that the pro-lifers you've been meeting with are now reluctant to "make nice" with you because, they say, the murderer is part of your "family." You would go ballistic, and rightly so. Please show the other side the same fairness you would expect.

Look at the president. Instead of portraying Muslims as family members of terrorists, he's reaching out to them so that they won't become or support extremists. You would do well to treat pro-lifers the same way.

4. Financial purism. According to the Times, "Already, those who oppose abortion say that Obama's rhetoric on compromise has been undercut by his actions, including the appointments of high-profile abortion supporters and moves that include restoring U.S. funds for foreign groups that do abortions."

Dear pro-lifers: A ban on funding reproductive health groups that perform abortions is too much to demand. If you want to fight direct funding of abortions, fine. But the indirect funding Obama restored is hardly radical. The ban he overturned blocked funding of any organization that even answered women's questions about how or where to get an abortion. You can't stop government funding of anybody who's connected to anybody who does abortions. It's impossible. Stop quarreling about indirect funding, and focus instead on the most direct question: preventing abortions. You might even discover that the most efficient way to prevent abortions in the long term is to fund the family planning organizations you keep trying to defund.

These four points won't settle the abortion debate, but they'd be a good start. Take a cue from the president, and give it a try.

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at least i&#39;m different

National Review's Wise Latina Caricature Inexplicably Asian



As part of a cover package called "The Wise Latina," the folks over at the conservative National Review--apparently flummoxed by the very idea of a "wise Latina"--have caricaturized the Puerto Rican-descended Sonia Sotomayor as an Asian Buddhist.

Good times.

Feministing's take (which is where I first saw this):

Some white men got very upset when Sonia Sotomayor expressed pride in the fact that she is a Puerto Rican Latina, and noted that her identity shapes her worldview. This was controversial to conservatives because "white man" is not an identity, and therefore white men are not influenced by identity. Only people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and women have "identities" -- which they must ignore, lest they be considered biased.
</p>

Conservatives apparently took Sotomayor's comment as license to consider her and every other woman of color as THE SAME. Politico compares her to an African American woman. The racist Oklahoman cartoon implies she's Mexican. Now the National Review portrays her as South Asian.(Can you blame them? I mean, how could they possibly portray a Latina as "wise"? Those things are antithetical! Gotta turn to a different stereotype. /sarcasm )



Apparently if you're not white or male, it really doesn't matter what your racial or ethnic identity is. They're all interchangeable. You're just Other.

Source (TPM)

Seriously you guys, the sheer amounts of FAIL surrounding conservatives' reaction to Sotomayor's nomination is almost too much for me to take. I've been avoiding talking about it because I can barely watch the news about it without a severe "flames on the side of my face" reaction.

the jumblies

damn. pull out the tissues.

Obama, Merkel, Wiesel visit Buchenwald



Friday 5 June 2009 19.31 BST

Barack Obama visited a former Nazi concentration camp which his great-uncle helped to liberate, laid a white rose at a memorial to its victims, and described the site where 56,000 people died as the "ultimate rebuke" to Holocaust deniers.

After seeing the crematoriums, guard towers and barbed-wire fences, and a clock set at 3:15 – when the camp was liberated on 11 April 1945 – Obama said: "These sites have not lost their horror with the passage of time. More than half a century later, our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished."

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Source

The White House has released the full remarks spoken by Merkel, Obama, and Wiesel. Worth reading.

ETA: See images of the visit at obama_daily here courtesy of ladypolitik.

Some 007 real-life spy news for your Friday evening.

FBI ARRESTS STATE DEPT. OFFICIAL AND WIFE,
ACCUSED OF SPYING ON U.S. FOR 30 YEARS



Walter Ken Myers, State Department Employee, Arrested By FBI Officials

First Posted: 06- 5-09 03:20 PM   |   Updated: 06- 5-09 03:51 PM

A  former State Department official and his wife have been arrested on charges of serving as illegal agents of the Cuban government for nearly 30 years and conspiring to provide classified U.S. information to the Cuban government.

The Myers, both residents of Washington, D.C., were arrested Thursday afternoon by FBI agents. They made their initial appearances Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while serving as an illegal agent of a foreign government carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

"The clandestine activity alleged in the charging documents, which spanned nearly three decades, is incredibly serious and should serve as a warning to any others in the U.S. government who would betray America's trust by serving as illegal agents of a foreign government. We remain vigilant in protecting our nation's secrets and in bringing to justice those who compromise them," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "These arrests are the culmination of an outstanding counterespionage effort by many agents, analysts and prosecutors who deserve special thanks for their extraordinary work."

The full press release from the Department of Justice:
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how the hell did they get away with this for 30 YEARS?! 


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As business slows, brothel seeking to add male prostitutes

As business slows, brothel seeking to add male prostitutes

Business is so slow at the Shady Lady Ranch that the owner of the Nye County brothel wants to add a few shady men to her roster.


Bobbi Davis, the owner of the bordello located about 150 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is set to start interviewing men who aspire to be prostitutes.

“We’ll start out with one or two,” Davis said, adding that she is “looking for men in their early 30s to mid-50s” who are in good shape and want to entertain women.


The applicants might soon even be able to shop their resumes around. George Flint, spokesman for the Nevada Brothel Association, said the ailing economy has four other bordellos considering the possibility of adding men.

But Flint doesn’t think the idea will work. Joe Conforte tried it 30 years ago when he owned the Mustang Ranch outside Reno “and found it was not a viable concept,” Flint said.

Flint said the concept also is “probably socially unacceptable.”
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Iran watches Fox News!

Iranian Media Picks Up Fake Fox News Story On Obama's Hacked Blackberry

The Iranian state-run press has taken a satirical Fox News post as real, re-reporting a story about President Obama's BlackBerry being hacked.

"Exclusive: Barack Obama's Sensitive Blackberry Messages To Be Released*," Wednesday's Fox News headline read, with the asterisk leading to the following disclaimer: "*All references to national secrets being released are not real, and supposed to be funny."

The article was about an upcoming book from Little Brown by comedy group Kasper Hauser about Obama's BlackBerry and fake text message exchanges between the President and Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Nuclear Command Control.

The next day, the following story appeared on Iranian state-run media:

American publisher Little Brown has decided to circulate President Barack Obama's private text messages after cyber hackers cracked into his Blackberry.


The publisher announced plans to expose the president's messages on June 8.


The messages, decoded by virtual reality 'terrorist' group Kasper Hauser, are said to disclose 'sensitive' data interchanged in presidential communications with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton amongst others, Fox News reported.


The far-right US television network went on to jocularly say that the 'Western Civilization' could be at risk, should Obama's Blackberry records be laid bare.

"Far-Right Russian party writes open letter to Susan Boyle" - Wait, wut?



http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE5534GW20090604?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews

Russia far-right party head wishes singer Boyle well
Thu Jun 4, 2009 9:56am EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian far-right party posted an open letter to British talent show singer Susan Boyle late on Tuesday, heaping praise on the 48-year-old Scot and wishing her well after she was admitted to a clinic for exhaustion.

"Susan! You have already gained popularity and many admirers and fans," leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said in an open letter on the party's website www.ldpr.ru.

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&#39; jules

It may shock and amaze you to learn that Glenn Greenwald has opinions on this matter

Are House Democrats about to block Obama's new secrecy law?



Earlier this week, I noted that the Senate had passed -- with Obama's support -- a pernicious amendment to the spending supplemental bill, jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, that empowers Obama and the Pentagon, at their sole discretion, to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." The amendment has no purpose other than to expressly allow the President to conceal evidence of war crimes (torture) and to block the Supreme Court from ruling (as two federal courts have already held) that the Freedom of Information Act compels disclosure of those photographs. For more on why this new secrecy law is so dangerous, see my post here; even The Washington Post Editorial Page excoriated the amendment and Obama's support for it.

When I wrote about this several days ago, the Senate had passed the Graham-Lieberman secrecy law as an amendment to the spending supplemental bill (which includes funding for Iraq and Afghanistan) without even bothering to take a formal roll call vote (on a voice vote). Although the House version of the supplemental bill did not contain this amendment, it was widely expected that it would simply be inserted in the House-Senate conference and then easily passed along with the final bill.

But passage of Graham-Lieberman now appears much less certain because of what appears to be the refusal of some key liberal House Democrats -- including Barney Frank -- to support it. The votes of liberal House Democrats actually matter (for once) because most House Republicans are refusing to support the overall supplemental bill due to their objections to a provision for $5 billion in funding to increase the IMF's lending capacity. To pass the supplemental spending bill, House leaders need the votes of numerous House Democrats who are currently refusing to vote for anything that contains the photo suppression amendment. If Congressional Democrats succeed in blocking enactment of this amendment, that would be a critical assertion for the first time of Congressional checks on Obama's desired powers and would, independently, prevent a truly odious new secrecy power from being enacted.

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hee

Anti-Choice Guide released

The "Pro-Life" Movement's Hot Rhetoric and All-Out Lies
By: Amanda Marcotte
Source: RH Reality Check

A couple of weeks ago, I got my hands on the training manual for the courses that anti-choice group Justice For All uses in its courses.  It’s 113 pages, so I only scanned in about a dozen, because there are only so many hours in the day, and most of the book is workbook stuff and scriptures....

 

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The 13 pages that are scanned here include such gems as:

Threats that are not threats: Preeclampsia, eclampsia, Placenta Previa, and Placental Abruption

Comparing Abortions to Tonsellictomy

Trot out the Tot [A tactic]

Abortion is Genocide

Oral contraceptives aren't just contraceptives- 
          "The pill deletes endrometrium so the child can't implant. It's as if the child entering the uterus is looking for his camping spot and finds "NO CAMPING!" signs placed all over the uterus. Not finding a place to implant, he dies from lack of nutrition and hydration and is purged from the uterus. The mother might not even know he existed."

Condoms and Birthcontrol don't solve the real problem-
        "We all want to curb teen pregnancy, but shouldn't we work to solve the underlying problem, not just the surface symptoms?"

"And if we say people can't be expected to be abstinent, haven't we bought into a very low view of human beings, that they are essentially animals who must follow their impulses? Whatever happened to free will and human dignity?"

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I have learnt two things: Free will only counts if you do what anti-choicers want you to do, and:

Many women have No camping! signs in their uterus.


 


Reporting

Declaration of Conscience

I know this post's a bit late for the anniversary, but I've just discovered this and I wanted to share this and better a bit late than very late.

For Release Upon Delivery
Statement of Senator Margaret Chase Smith
June 1, 1950

"Mr. President:

I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. It is a condition that comes from the lack of effective leadership in either the Legislative Branch or the Executive Branch of our Government.

That leadership is so lacking that serious and responsible proposals are being made that national advisory commissions be appointed to provide such critically needed leadership.

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Colleagues say Tiller knew something was coming. Rightwing extremism on the rise

Colleagues say Tiller knew something was coming

Two weeks before Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down in his church, he called colleague Susan Hill in North Carolina.

Tiller wanted her to send pictures of activists who'd recently been threatening Hill and her staff. He said he was seeing new anti-abortion protesters outside his clinic and wondered if they were traveling around.

"I said, 'I don't know, George. I think there's something coming.'," recalled Hill, who operates clinics in four states. "He said, 'I do, too.'

“We knew it. You smell it. Strange things were happening in our Mississippi clinic and in North Carolina. Strange people were coming around. And he admitted that for the first time, he really believed that something was going to go down.”

In the days since Tiller's death, abortion rights activists across the country say they sensed an uptick in incidents and threats before the shooting. That included more people at protests, more clinic vandalism and more protesters singling out certain clinic employees or physicians with threats.

Police and prosecutors are still trying to piece together everything that happened in Tiller's death. On Friday, the Justice Department launched an investigation into whether any federal laws had been violated.
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