June 9th, 2009


GOP's Greatest Regulatory Reform Idea: Would Create Board Of Regulators With No Enforcement Powers

Republicans to counter Dems' U.S. financial reforms

Congressional Republicans are close to offering financial regulation reforms that would rein in the Federal Reserve and expand the bankruptcy code, according to a draft staff document obtained by Reuters.

The five-page document,
still subject to change, could give political cover to lawmakers from both parties who are skeptical about some of the Obama administration's own reform proposals.

Democrats, in control of the White House and Congress, are setting the reform agenda, with a comprehensive package of reforms expected next week from the Treasury Department in response to the worst financial crisis in generations, according to sources familiar with discussions.

But the Republican package, likely to be unveiled on Thursday, according to congressional aides, may steal some of the Democrats' spotlight and undercut congressional support for the White House program.
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Israel's Arab Community Says Proposed Laws Threaten Their Rights

Israel's Arab Community Says Proposed Laws Threaten Their Rights

Three bills recently making the rounds in the Israeli parliament have caused outrage amongst Israel's Arab minority.

"They reveal an obscene and dangerous targeting of the individual and collective rights of Palestinian citizens," the independent BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in Israel said in a press release.

One bill sought to prohibit marking the day Israel declared its independence as a day of mourning. A second prohibits negating the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

The third bill would have required Israeli citizens, including Arabs of Palestinian descent, to sign oaths of loyalty to the state, its flag and national anthem, and to perform military or civil service.
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Oh Newt.

Newt Gingrich continues in his epic fight in the War on Sotomayor, by claiming that the Supreme Court Nominee is faking her broken ankle, and is merely wearing a cast to rack up sympathy votes.

Sotomayor claims she broke her ankle while trying to catch a flight, but Newt accuses her of political tricks. Newt has also said, "The minute she's confirmed, she'll whip it off and start dancing a jig."

Furthermore, Newt added that her attempts to garner empathy from the republican senators by pretending her ankle was broken, would fall on deaf ears. (Which is true, when have Republicans ever cared about minorities or women?)

Information, taken here:

'Obama proposed plan for peace deal within two years'

'Obama proposed plan for peace deal within two years'

United States President Barack Obama has presented to Egypt and Israel a plan for a two-state solution to be finalized within two years, the London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.

A source in Cairo told the newspaper that Obama raised the plan with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the latter's visit to Washington last month. According to the report, the plan envisions a Middle East peace deal by 2011 and would encompass an agreement for a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu is expected to respond to the proposal within six weeks, a deadline set after Obama's address in Cairo.

The Egyptian source said that Obama elaborated on the plan during his visit to Egypt last week in talks with Egyptian intelligence chief Omer Suleiman and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Egyptian officials were implored to respond as soon as possible.

The Sunday Times reported earlier this month that Obama had given himself a two-year deadline to reach a breakthrough on a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

The administration has been firm in its declarations that it would pursue a two-state solution and Obama has vowed to "change the conversation" with the Muslim world in order to widen the diplomatic circle involved in the peace process.

Netanyahu's confidants have said that the prime minister believes that Obama wants a confrontation with Israel, based on Obama's speech in Cairo last week.

In Netanyahu's opinion, the Americans believe an open controversy with Israel would serve the Obama administration's main objective of improving U.S. relations with the Arab world, the aides say.

In his speech, Obama called for a "new beginning" in relations between America and Islam, and spoke at length about the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Meanwhile, U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell was in Israel on Tuesday for talks with leaders in Jerusalem. The meetings were expected to focus on the U.S.' demand that Israel freeze construction in West Bank settlements. Mitchell was also likely to raise the issue of resuming peace negotiations with Syria.

Ahmadinejad Doubts Your Commitement to the Sparkle Motion


— A 2005 claim by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a "light" surrounded him during a U.N. address was mocked Monday by his main pro-reform opponents in the latest barrage against the president's competence and another sign of the bitter tone dominating the election campaign in its final days.

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Hmm...either he bathes in uranium or...

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Edit: Sorry about the cut screw up!

Murasaki Shikibu

Google is Anti-American!

Critics Say Google's Tetris Logo Was Unpatriotic

Google's limits

While President Obama joined European leaders to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day over the weekend, Google posted an icon to its popular search page to memorialize something else: Tetris, the video game where players configure various-sized blocks for points.

"Celebrating 25 years of the Tetris Effect - courtesy Holding LLC," it said.

"I have to say, though, that this is no departure for Google, a firm that finds it nearly impossible to post images celebrating any American holidays or important milestones in American history," wrote Warner Todd Huston of Newsbusters.org. "So what we have here is just one more example of Google's essentially anti-American policies."

Mr. Huston isn't the only one to have complained Google's icons have given American soldiers the short end of the stick. World Net Daily's Drew Zahn charged in a column that Google has repeatedly "snubbed" Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Google has brushed off previous complaints by saying its "special logos tend to be lighthearted and often scientific in nature."

Spokesman Sunny Gettinger said in a statement, "We do not believe we can convey the appropriate somber tone through this medium to mark holidays like Memorial Day."

Mr. Zahn has noted, however, that on Remembrance Day in 2006, a holiday to honor fallen heroes in Australia, Canada, Britain and Ireland, Google's logo incorporated three poppies - a nod to the Canadian poem "In Flanders Fields." In the poem, poppies are cemetery flowers for war heroes.


Here's another link to a shorter version, but this one has a cap of the logo.

All I have to say is, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, ok. Don't y'all have politicians not wearing a flag pin to go castigate?
asoneill - Yahoo Me

Gingrich: Obama's Already Failed. Plus, Random Jon Voight.

Gingrich at Republican Fundraiser Says Obama’s ‘Already Failed’

Heidi Przybyla – Tue Jun 9, 12:58 am ET
June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said President Barack Obama’s plan to fix the economy through stimulus spending and government intervention to boost companies like General Motors Corp. has "already failed."

Gingrich was the keynote speaker at a fundraising dinner for the Republican House and Senate campaign committees, filling a role President George W. Bush had served for the past eight years.

"Bureaucrats managing companies does not work, politicians dominating the economy does not work," Gingrich told about 2,000 Republicans who attended the event at the Washington Convention Center last night.

Some Republican leaders hailed Gingrich, the leader of the 1994 "Republican Revolution," as a de facto head of the party at a time when Republicans are looking for ideas to lead them back to the majority.

In introducing Gingrich, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin called him the “architect of the last reform movement” and “the man of ideas.”

Gingrich was preceded by a series of Republican leaders who also took aim at Democrats and the government bailout of Detroit-based GM, New York-based American International Group Inc. and other companies.

Congress in February passed a $787 billion stimulus measure that Republican lawmakers have criticized, saying it hasn’t lived up to administration promises.

Obama said yesterday there are signs the economy may be headed toward a recovery. "We're seeing a reduction in the fear that gripped the market just a few months ago," he said at the White House.

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Did Gingrich, or anyone for that matter, expect the economy to be magically fixed within, what, less than five months? Guarantee you if McCain were President and someone said that about him, Gingie would be whining that we need to give him more time because economic problems can't be fixed in so short a time.
Jake G -  Moving beauty

Stephen Colbert in Iraq, Obama orders him to have his head shaved!

Last night Stephen Colbert performed his first of four shows from Iraq in front of an audience of over four hundred troops. It included shout outs from President Obama and Senator John McCain, a cold open that detailed his journey to the Middle East, and Colbert's best haircut to date. Oh, yeah, and he declared victory saying, "By the power vested in me by basic cable, I officially declare we have won the Iraq war!"

Last week, Stephen Colbert deployed to Iraq for a USO tour entitled "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando," and if last night's opening holds any truth (it doesn't) the trip over was bumpy at best.

In it, Colbert showed pre-taped video of himself getting called "fatty" and kidnapped by the U.S. armed forces. He was put on a plane to the Persian Gulf without any idea which country he would end up in (good thing Iraq had a pre-built "Colbert Report" stage lying around!) and forced to endure non-Kosher meals. He was, however, able to cross "Margaritaville" off the list of his possible destinations when he was told his hotel was not allowed to serve liquor.

When Colbert finally arrived in Iraq, he was given a traditional greeting.

Full episode HERE:


Republican on Republican violence: GOP sick of Sarah Palin

Palin beginning to irritate some Senate GOPers

Sarah Palin has begun to get on the nerves of Republican senators who say the former GOP vice presidential nominee is taking her own White House aspirations entirely too seriously.

But those same senators may have their eye on a 2012 White House run or be friends with senators with presidential ambitions. And Palin, who does not have a lot of Washington connections, energized the party’s grass roots in 2008 while bucking the D.C. establishment, leaving much of the party’s elite grumbling about her appeal to the conservative base.

Several GOP senators offered searing criticism of the Alaska governor when asked in recent interviews whether she could pose a credible challenge to President Obama in 2012.

“She has to hunker down and govern and show she’s not a joke,” said a GOP lawmaker who represents one of the southern battlegrounds of the 2012 election.

Palin re-emerged in the national political spotlight this week, attending fundraisers in New York and sitting down for an interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity.

But her high-profile foray to the East Coast has not been without its stumbles — and a scheduling spat with the Senate and House Republican fundraising committees threatens to raise more questions about her viability as a national party leader.

“She’s had some struggles, saying yes and no to the invitation. Her PAC [political action committee] has stalled,” the GOP lawmaker noted.

Republicans are frustrated that Palin has wavered over whether to accept an invitation to appear as the headline guest at Monday’s fundraising bash for National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Only a few hours before its start time, The Washington Post reported Palin would attend the dinner.

She reportedly worried that she could overexpose herself on the national political stage. But several GOP senators said she has much graver problems to worry about than attending a private dinner to raise money for Republican candidates for Congress.
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Chabad rabbi: Jews should kill Arab men, women and children during war

Chabad rabbi: Jews should kill Arab men, women and children during war

Like the best Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis, Manis Friedman has won the hearts of many unaffiliated Jews with his charismatic talks about love and God; it was Friedman who helped lead Bob Dylan into a relationship with Chabad.

But Friedman, who today travels the country as a Chabad speaker, showed a less warm and cuddly side when he was asked how he thinks Jews should treat their Arab neighbors.

"The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle)," Friedman wrote in response to the question posed by Moment Magazine for its "Ask the Rabbis" feature.

Friedman argued that if Israel followed this wisdom, there would be "no civilian casualties, no children in the line of fire, no false sense of righteousness, in fact, no war."

"I don't believe in Western morality," he wrote. "Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disastrous morality of human invention."

Friedman's use of phrasing that might seem more familiar coming from an Islamic extremist has generated a swift backlash. The editor of Moment, Nadine Epstein, said that since the piece was printed in the current issue they "have received many letters and e-mails in response to Rabbi Friedman's comments - and almost none of them have been positive."

Friedman quickly went into damage control. He released a statement to the Forward, through a Chabad spokesman, saying that his answer in Moment was "misleading" and that he does believe that "any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion."
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Mark Sanford Asks For Stimulus Funds "Under Duress" (In other words "Uncle! Uncle!")

Mark Sanford Asks For Stimulus Funds "Under Duress"

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford requested stimulus cash for the state's schools Monday, telling the U.S. education secretary he's doing so under duress and the $700 million in bailout money will create more problems.

The request to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, sent by e-mail, caps months of Sanford's criticism of the $787 billion federal economic recovery law that raised the national political profile of the Republican Governors Association chairman and speculation of a 2012 White House bid. The state Supreme Court ordered him Thursday to follow a state budget law and request the money for the state's schools and colleges.
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' jules


Sen. Specter posts on Twitter that he hearts Joe Sestak, then immediately deletes it.

Sen. Arlen Specter’s official Twitter page had a post up yesterday at 4:42pm ET using the heart symbol — <3 — to express his affection for his Democratic primary challenger:

The Tweet was deleted after just a few minutes, but it can still be accessed via Tweleted. The next tweet from Sen. Specter simply noted that he, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) spoke at a labor rally in Pittsburgh. ThinkProgress contacted Specter’s Senate office about the deletion, but a spokesperson said that the campaign was responsible for the Twitter page. We have not yet received a response from the campaign staff.


y so ashamed, bb?

Jon Voight: Obama is a false prophet

<br/><a href="http://i43.tinypic.com/30k5d6s.jpg" target="_blank">View Raw Image</a>

Jon Voight blasted President Barack Obama at the Republican congressional fundraiser dinner at the Washington Convention Center on Monday (June 8) in Washington D.C. Here are snippets from the 70-year-old actor’s fiery speech:

“Are we supposed to sitting and waiting, watching for the possibility of a new Holocaust? Who’s going to take the responsibility to keep America, I mean Israel, safe. I’ll tell you why this really scares the hell out of me. Everything Obama has recommended has turned out to be disastrous.

“It saddens me greatly to think we were the great powerful good in the world. We as Americans knew America to be strong. We were the liberators of the entire world. We are becoming a weak nation.

Obama really thinks he is a soft-spoken Julius Caeser. He think he’s going to conquer the world with his soft-spoken sweet talk and really thiin he’s going to bring all of the enemies of the world into a little playground, where they’ll swing each other back and forth.
“We and we alone are the right frame of mind to free this nation from this Obama oppression. Let’s give thanks to [Republicans] for not giving up and staying the course to bring an end to this false prophet, Obama.”

jane mask
  • cindel

Tiller family: Clinic will close

George Tiller's clinic will close in the wake of the Wichita abortion provider's shooting death, lawyers for the Tiller family said today.

Lee Thompson and Dan Monnat, the family's lawyers, said in a statement that the clinic, Women's Health Care Services, will be permanently closed, effective immediately.

Tiller family members will not be involved in any other similar clinic, the statement said.

"We are proud of the service and courage shown by our husband and father and know that women's health care needs have been met because of his dedication and service," the family said, adding that they plan to honor Tiller's memory through private charitable activities.

Tiller was shot to death on May 31 while serving as an usher at his church.

Scott Roeder is being held in the Sedgwick County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in connection with the shooting.


Deadly Bomb Attack Reported at Luxury Hotel in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Officials says a huge bomb has exploded at a luxury hotel in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least five people and wounding 25 others.

Police official Liaqat Ali says gunmen stormed into the Pearl Continental Hotel in the northwestern city on Tuesday night just before ''a big bomb went off.''

Sahibzada Anis, a top government official in Peshawar, says at least five people were killed and 25 wounded.

The blast is the latest in a string of attacks in Pakistani cities in recent weeks that officials say are revenge for a military offensive against Taliban militants in the Swat Valley.


Is fascism on the march again?

Does the election of two BNP MEPs and the success of the far right elsewhere in Europe mean we are facing the threat of fascism? Or is this just a protest vote that will quickly fade? Leading historians give their verdicts.

Richard Overy

Professor of history at Exeter University and author of The Morbid Age: Britain Between the Wars

The BNP have been around for a long time and have never managed to make a serious breakthrough, so we have to get this into perspective. This should be seen as a protest vote at a difficult moment; it does not mean that the UK electorate is swinging in favour of fascism.

The Ukip vote is more interesting. That is a vote the BNP might have been expected to pick up, and if it had won 20% or more, that would have been worrying. With the loss of public confidence in parliament, growing nationalism and alarm at terrorism, this is a moment when you might have expected votes to flow to the BNP. A loss of confidence in parliamentary institutions is characteristic of all periods when fascists have come to power - in Italy and Germany, for example - but on this occasion the BNP has not done especially well. People have preferred to vote for Ukip. It is essentially a protest vote at a moment of crisis in the political system. Parliamentary politics will eventually be restored, but almost certainly not under Gordon Brown.

I am more worried about the drift to the right in the rest of Europe, where the mood is fearful, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam and deeply hostile to the left. Europe clearly feels embattled because of factors such as terrorism and the rise of China, and has been moving to the right for some time. But we shouldn't interpret this rightwing drift as a return to fascism.

Fascism with a capital F was a phenomenon of the 20s and 30s. It was a revolutionary movement asserting a violent imperialism and promising a new social order. There is nothing like that now. Far-right parties now are based on fear - fear of immigration, fear of aliens, fear of being Europeanised. They have no vision of a new social order, nor can they legally campaign for the replacement of a democratic government by an authoritarian regime. This is a protest vote by fearful people.

Kathleen Burk

Professor of modern and contemporary history at University College London

If we think about Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts, we shouldn't be too apprehensive about where the BNP might go in the future. Even at their height, the entire membership of the British Union of Fascists could barely raise a single marching column. It is unfortunate that the BNP have won seats and some will see it as alarming, but I can't see it spreading all over the country. The BNP did badly in east London, for instance, where they would surely have hoped to do well, especially at a time of economic recession.

I cannot imagine what cataclysm would have to happen for a far-right party not only to be able to grow but to win power in the UK. This is an extremely old country with old mores, and the great rump of the people are not going to be attracted by a far-right party. What we have seen is the sort of protest vote that often happens midterm, and it won't occur at the general election, when real power is at stake.

The only countries in Europe that I would be apprehensive about are Austria, which did, after all, welcome the Nazis back in 1938; Romania, which has a nasty rightwing party; and Hungary, where the Roma are a big issue. Poland is encouraging in the way it has taken to membership of the European Union, and the election there has been won by a mainstream centre-right party. In general, this is not at all like the 30s: some voters are supporting alternative fringe parties, but I would be astonished if they were able to consolidate their power.


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The BNP face legal challenges ahead, whee

BNP poll win brings cash and staff – and legal challenges over racism

The BNP will inevitably face a series of legal challenges on issues ranging from discrimination and employment law to possible criminal offences, lawyers say, following two candidates' election to the European parliament.

The party's constitution, which says membership is "strictly defined within the terms of … 'indigenous Caucasian' and defined ethnic groups emanating from that Race" is a breach of the law against discriminating in membership organisations, according to legal experts.

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It'll have the double effect of exposing BNP policies for what they are - there was another Guardian article about why Barnsley voted BNP and it was mostly about their EU policy - people didn't think or didn't know about their racism. How they managed not to know is another issue, maybe.

(no subject)

Fox & Friends Hosts Only Enjoy Hetero Sexuality on Television

Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson are about the biggest morning media d-bags. And we're including these jerk-offs in there. The trio's playdates with homophobia and gender stereotypes are well documented. (Fine, so are their same-sex crushes.) Whenever anything remotely gay comes up, the self-righteous trinity rely on a "fair and balanced" — and severely tinged — approach to the news. Just like they did when Sacha Baron Cohen landed ass-first in Eminem's face. The incident was just horrific, claimed the Fox & Friends host, with Carlson noting MTV felt "the absolute need to cross over the line." That's some interesting commentary coming from this gaggle of talking heads who have no problem "going to the n-th degree" when it comes to crossing over the line into showing women playing football in lingerie! Roll tape.


BNP Leader's Car 'Hit Protester'

Protesters who pelted BNP leader Nick Griffin with eggs have claimed his car hit a demostrator, who has been taken to hospital.
Mr Griffin was forced to abandon a news conference outside Parliament after disruption by Unite Against Facism.
The group claims a woman protester was knocked into a car by one of Mr Griffin's bodyguards and taken away by ambulance.
The newly-elected MEP for the North West of England, arrived for the news conference on College Green in front of Parliament with fellow BNP MEP Andrew Brons just after 2.30pm. 

Mr Griffin started by attacking articles from today's newspapers that criticised him and his party. He had only been speaking for a few minutes when the protesters appeared, chanting and waving banners reading: "Stop the fascist BNP." Eggs were thrown at Mr Griffin and his bodyguards bundled him away through the crowd.

Mr Griffin told Sky News it had been "a desperate display of mob violence".
"They are entitled to demonstrate, but not to use violence or stop me from talking to constituents. If we are so evil and bad, expose us, don't shut us up using violence."

Protest organiser Weyman Bennett, national secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said he believed it was important to stand up to the BNP. He said: "The majority of people did not vote for the BNP, they did not vote at all.
"The BNP was able to dupe them into saying that they had an answer to people's problems.

"They presented themselves as a mainstream party.

"The reality was because the turnout was so low, they actually got elected."

The BNP won two seats in the European elections - the first Parliamentary seats the party has ever held.
They took almost 10% of the vote in the Yorkshire and Humber region, up by 2% on the last election.
It achieved 16% of the vote in Barnsley, nearly 12% in Doncaster and 15% in Rotherham - all Labour strongholds.



ETA: Hopefully this video will load


(no subject)


Don't hold Obama to race agenda

-- It seems Tavis Smiley has been irritated with Barack Obama for a long time. Smiley is perhaps the most recognizable African-American journalist in the country. He is a fixture on radio and television, and has authored several books that are best-sellers among black readers.

One might suspect that Smiley would be enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by America's election of a black president.

Instead, Smiley seems annoyed.

In February 2008, Smiley denounced then-candidate Obama for failing to make a personal appearance at Smiley's annual State of the Black Union. His continuing criticism of Sen. Obama during the fall campaign produced substantial outcry from listeners of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a popular radio program where Smiley had been a well-liked regular.

After Obama's election, Smiley published a text titled "Accountable" and has repeatedly indicated his intention to hold President Obama "accountable" to an explicitly racial agenda.


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Joseph Stiglitz: "America's socialism for the rich"

Welfare for the wealthy, health care for the healthy.

Stiglitz is another Nobel-prizing winning economist, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and is currently some sort of economic adviser to the UN, among a host of other duties.

America's socialism for the rich: Corporate welfarism

Joseph E. Stiglitz
| Tue, 06/09/2009 10:47 AM | Headlines

With all the talk of "green shoots" of economic recovery, America's banks are pushing back on efforts to regulate them. While politicians talk about their commitment to regulatory reform to prevent a recurrence of the crisis, this is one area where the devil really is in the details - and the banks will muster what muscle they have left to ensure that they have ample room to continue as they have in the past.

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Article @ The Jakarta Post

Steele: God Help White Men Appearing Before A Sotomayor Court

Steele: God Help White Men Appearing Before A Sotomayor Court

RNC Chairman Michael Steele isn't shying away from highlighting race as a signifying issue of the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination hearings.

In an interview with CNN's Campbell Brown on Tuesday, the Republican Party leader insisted that white males would not be granted even-handed jurisprudence under a Court with Obama's nominee.

"God help you if you're a white male," said Steele. "If you're seeking justice, this may not be the bench you want to go before."

The remarks come at a time when Republican officials have attempted to remove any semblance of racial politics from their opposition to Sotomayor's nomination. Earlier on Tuesday, Sen. Mel Martinez, a Hispanic Republican from Florida, defended Sotomayor's now-infamous "wise Latina" remarks as sensible.

"For someone who is of Latin background, personally, I understand what she is trying to say," the Senator said after meeting with Sotomayor. "Which is, the richness of her experience forms who she is. It forms who I am."

Likewise on Tuesday, conservative New York Times' columnist David Brooks endorsed Sotomayor's temperament for the bench by highlighting the experiences in her background.

"If you look at the whole record," Brooks wrote, "you come away with the impression that Sotomayor is a hard-working, careful-though-unspectacular jurist whose primary commitment is to the law."

Steele, during his CNN interview, insisted that he was not being inflammatory in his assessment of Obama's Supreme Court pick.

"It's based off of... the inference that she left and what she said," he said, when asked about a similar, earlier critique. "You know, if you have a judge, where you have a situation where you have -- you're going before a trier of fact, and the trier of fact is on record as saying that this individual's background experience is better positioned to make a decision than someone else, that gives one pause. And so my view of it was, in looking at it, you're now segregating out white men by your comments."
&#39; jules

Country first

Lieberman, Graham Threaten To Shut Down Senate Over Detainee Photos

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lambasted transparency advocates at a press conference Tuesday, when they renewed their promise to bring Senate business to a halt until their bill blocking the release of detainee photographs becomes law.

"We're not going to do any more business in the Senate," Graham said, his face flushed red. "Nothing's going forward until we get this right."

The duo's bill, which would allow the Pentagon to exempt Bush-era photos from the Freedom of Information Act, was stripped from the conference version of the war supplemental Monday night. In anticipation of trouble, Lieberman and Graham had already inserted the bill into the tobacco-regulatory legislation currently on the floor of the Senate.

By turns sober and furious, the two senators vowed again Tuesday to vote against -- and, if possible, filibuster -- the troop-funding bill and all other legislation until they get their way. They equated the weapons supplied by the war supplemental spending bill with detainee photos that they said would serve as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida and a weapon against U.S. troops.

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Unbe-fricking-lievable, especially since Lieberman has been such a concern troll about his fellow Democrats refusing to vote for war funding before.

Sad news in closing of George Tiller's clinic

Who can blame George Tiller's family for declining to re-open his clinic? They understand that to do so would put more more physicians and staff at risk of harassment, threats and bodily harm.

But the clinic's closing means the killer has achieved his objective. That's a thought akin to an open wound. The decision also means, for Kansas women in crisis, a yawning gap between abortion clinics in the Kansas City area and Denver.

The only positive development that would come out of the tragedy would be the departure of Operation Rescue from Kansas.

"We have worked very hard for this day, but we wish it would have come through the peaceful, legal channels that we were pursuing," Troy Newman, the organization's president, said Tuesday. "We believe we were very close to seeing disciplinary action taken against Tiller's license that would have closed this clinic through due process."

Not all the group's channels were peaceful. Operation Rescue publicized the names and addresses of staffers who worked at Tiller's clinic. For a while, they went so far as to send residents postcards alerting them to the fact that a neighbor was involved with abortions. Read this 2004 piece from Rolling Stone for more about Operation Rescue's tactics.

As for the claim that the group was close to getting Tiller's license revoked by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, let's not forget that, time and time again, "evidence" of wrongdoing turned up by Operation Rescue was found to be baseless. I'll predict that whatever the Board of Healing Arts was examining was more of the same.

Scott Roeder, the Kansas City-area man accused of shooting Tiller to death in his church, apparently is already bored in jail, because he keeps encouraging interviews with the news media. He doesn't like the food and he finds his quarters a bit chilly.

WE Blog, the Wichita Eagle's opinion blog, shrewdly notes the irony of a guy who didn't think he needed to pay taxes now moaning about the kind of services he's receiving from the state.


London's Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding suspects. But is not torture, America said so!

London's Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding suspects

Metropolitan Police officers subjected suspects to waterboarding, according to allegations at the centre of a major anti-corruption inquiry, The Times has learnt.

The torture claims are part of a wide-ranging investigation which also includes accusations that officers fabricated evidence and stole suspects’ property. It has already led to the abandonment of a drug trial and the suspension of several police officers.

However, senior policing officials are most alarmed by the claim that officers in Enfield, North London, used the controversial CIA interrogation technique to simulate drowning. Scotland Yard is appointing a new borough commander in Enfield in a move that is being seen as an attempt by Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Commissioner, to enforce a regime of “intrusive supervision”.

The waterboarding claims will fuel the debate about police conduct that has raged in the wake of hundreds of public complaints of brutality at the anti-G20 protests in April.
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Is this our new healthcare?

The Senate HELP Committee Releases (Most of) Its Health Reform Bill

This is it.This is what health reform looks like. Embedded in that link is actual legislative language. More than 600 pages of it, in fact. It's the preliminary first draft of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee's bill (there are still some holes that will be filled in Friday or Monday). It's the work of Chris Dodd, but more properly understood, the product of his mentor, Ted Kennedy (and his staff), who has been grinding away at this issue for decades. The dream, it turns out, will never die: it will just be modified and re-released into each new Congress.

In the lower chamber, the Ways and Means Committee has released an outline of their coming health reform bill. And the Senate Finance Committee, of course, is looking to unveil its bill next week.

It's worth taking a step back for a second to consider the weight of the moment. It's been 15 years since Congress last tried, and failed, to reform the American health care system. Fifteen years in which everything has gotten worse. In which health care costs have risen and insurance coverage has contracted. In which individuals have lost their protection and businesses have lost their competitiveness.

It's easy, in the daily jockeying between committees and factions and caucuses, to forget that something pretty big is happening here: Congress is trying to solve, or at least improve, one of the most severe and enduring public policy problems confronting the country. A problem that has resisted the efforts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, but is pressing enough that for all its difficulty, it has never dropped from the agenda.

And here we are again. The bills are being written. The committees are holding their mark-ups. The president is laying down his markers. The industry is calling for consideration. It's worth remembering that the history of this issue is filled with moments of false optimism and dashed hopes. And maybe this time will be no different. Maybe we'll all be picking through the wreckage of the strategy and showing why it was really quite inevitable that health reform failed.

Or, maybe not.


Israeli Sanctions On US Proposed By Likud Minister Yossi Peled... wait WUT?

Peled proposes Israeli sanctions on US

In a sign of growing concern in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government over US President Barack Obama's Middle East policies, Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled proposed Israeli sanctions on the US in a letter to cabinet ministers on Sunday.

In the 11-page letter, obtained by The Jerusalem Post from a minister on Monday, Peled recommends steps Israel can take to compensate for the shift in American policy, which he believes has become hostile to Israel.

"Obama's ascendance represents a turning point in America's approach to the region, especially to Israel," he wrote in the letter. "The new administration believes that in order to fight terror, guarantee stability and withdraw from Iraq, a new diplomatic slant is needed involving drastic steps to pacify the Muslim world and the adoption of a more balanced approach to Israel, including intensive pressure to stop building in settlements, remove outposts and advance the formation of a Palestinian state."

Peled added that faced with an American government with an activist agenda that does not mesh with Israel's, traditional reactions are no longer relevant. He said he expected that Obama would eventually realize that appeasement and dialogue with countries that support terror would not have positive results.

But in the interim, the minister suggests reconsidering military and civilian purchases from the US, selling sensitive equipment that the Washington opposes distributing internationally, and allowing other countries that compete with the US to get involved with the peace process and be given a foothold for their military forces and intelligence agencies.

Peled said that shifting military acquisition to America's competition would make Israel less dependent on the US. For instance, he suggested buying planes from the France-based Airbus firm instead of the American Boeing.

In what may be his most controversial suggestion, Peled recommends intervening in American congressional races to weaken Obama and asking American Jewish donors not to contribute to Democratic congressional candidates. He predicted that this would result in Democratic candidates pressuring Obama to become more pro-Israel.

Peled called for the formation of a new body intended to influence American public opinion. The groups he suggests courting include Hispanic Americans and Labor unions in industries that benefit from Israeli military acquisitions.
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Spaced; Mike

Nationalist Omelette

BNP leader Nick Griffin has been pelted with eggs and forced to abandon a press conference outside Parliament.

Dozens of protesters disrupted the event, which follows the British National Party winning its first two seats in the European Parliament.

Chanting anti-Nazi slogans and holding placards they surrounded Mr Griffin as he was bundled into a car.

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To put it very bluntly: LOL

hp; bb harry; quidditch



Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose mother survived the death camp at Auschwitz, said yesterday that only Jews persecuted during the Nazi reign should be honored at a Holocaust memorial in Brooklyn.

Hikind said even though 5 million people from other groups -- including gays, the disabled and Jehovah's Witnesses -- were killed along with 6 million Jewish people during the Holocaust, the memorial in Sheepshead Bay should be for Jews only.

"To include these other groups diminishes their memory," said Hikind, as he stood next to his 89-year-old mother, Frieda. He said he is not against a memorial to honor the other groups -- as long as it is somewhere else.

"These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust," Hikind said following a press conference at the memorial. "It is so vastly different. You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims."

Hikind's fiery comments were the latest in an emotional debate over the wording of granite markers at the city-owned Holocaust Memorial Park at Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard.

He made his remarks after city officials approved a bid to have markers honoring homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, the disabled, political prisoners and Roma and Sinti Gypsies, who were also persecuted and killed by the Nazis.

A Parks Department spokeswoman said the city signed off on the recognition "to reinforce its educational purpose to remind us of the historical circumstances of the Holocaust."

"There's no doubt that most of the atrocities at the Holocaust were done upon Jewish people," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "But it goes against history and their memory to not commemorate all groups that were persecuted by the Nazis."

This morning, Mayor Bloomberg commented on the issues, saying, "It wasn't only the Jews that were massacred."

Bloomberg also said that "diversity [at the memorial] is something we want emphasized -- not deemphasized."

Although the memorial already recognizes five of the persecuted groups in the narrative inscribed at the base of its brick tower, advocates have pushed for a more prominent honor among the scores of granite stones that surround the main memorial.

"The Holocaust memorial means you memorialize anyone who died in the Holocaust," said Theresa Scavo, president of Community Board 15, who lobbied for the additional recognition. "It doesn't matter what color or sexual orientation you were."


oh ffs.
misc. | UNF

"Desirée Rogers’ Brand Obama".

Desirée Rogers—the former Mardi Gras queen who holds the keys to Brand Obama

Amy Chozick | Photographs by Marc Hom | Styling by David Farber

Desirée Glapion Rogers is the descendant of a Creole voodoo priestess named Marie Laveau Glapion. The first time I meet her, she welcomes me into her East Wing lair—a rhythm and blues tune plays on a white iPod, a potted white orchid perches between two windows, fresh flowers sit on a heavy wooden desk. This is a woman who never sees a wilted bloom. The 49-year-old turns on just enough Southern charm to camouflage an aura of self-assuredness typically reserved for runway models or first ladies. Wearing a crisp white shirt, black patent flats and high-waisted navy slacks that would look terrible on almost anyone else, Rogers talks about her job as White House social secretary.

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I had no idea she had and fought breast caner, oh my God. D: LOL @ the anecdotes about the Govenors' Dinner dance and Bobby Jindal. HBIC. A part part of me still resents the notion of Michelle Obama undergoing a "make-over" during the campaign, though Im fully cognisant of the nature of the political PR beast that fuels such agendas.

This is from well over a month ago, but who cares? It's Desirée Rogers, bitch.
Zen Tree

Seemed worth mentioning that they're not _all_ crazy.

Cautious at Heart

Sonia Sotomayor had bad timing. If she’d entered college in the late-1950s or early-1960s, she would have been surrounded by an ethos that encouraged smart young ethnic kids to assimilate. If she’d entered Princeton and Yale in the 1980s, her ethnicity and gender would have been mildly interesting traits among the many she might possibly possess.

But she happened to attend Princeton and then Yale Law School in the 1970s. These were the days when what we now call multiculturalism was just coming into its own. These were the days when the whole race, class and gender academic-industrial complex seemed fresh, exciting and just.

There was no way she was going to get out of that unscarred. And, in fact, in the years since she has given a series of speeches that have made her a poster child for identity politics. In these speeches, race and gender take center stage. It’s not only the one comment about a wise Latina making better decisions than a white male; it’s the whole litany. If you just read these speeches you might come away with the impression that she was a racial activist who is just using the judicial system as a vehicle for her social crusade.

And yet her history and conversations with her colleagues suggest this is not the main story. If you look at the whole record, you come away with the impression that Sotomayor is a hard-working, careful-though-unspectacular jurist whose primary commitment is to the law.

When Sotomayor left Yale, she didn’t take the route designed to reinforce her ideological dispositions. She became a prosecutor with District Attorney Robert Morgenthau in Manhattan. She told The Times in 1983 that in making this decision, she faced “a tremendous amount of pressure from my community, from the third-world community at Yale. They could not understand why I was taking this job.”

In the years since, she has not followed the easy course. More than any current member of the Supreme Court, she worked her way up through the furnace levels of the American legal system. And when she reached a position of authority, she did not turn herself into an Al Sharpton in robes.

She is quite liberal. But there’s little evidence that she is motivated by racialist thinking or an activist attitude.

Tom Goldstein of Scotusblog conducted a much-cited study of the 96 race-related cases that have come before her. Like almost all judges, she has rejected a vast majority of the claims of racial discrimination that came to her. She dissented from her colleagues in only four of those cases. And in only one of them did she find racial discrimination where they did not. Even with what she calls her “Latina soul,” she saw almost every case pretty much as they did.

When you read her opinions, race and gender are invisible. I’m obviously not qualified to judge the legal quality of her opinions. But when you read the documents merely as examples of persuasive writing, you find that they are almost entirely impersonal and deracinated.

My Times colleague Adam Liptak has reported that Sotomayor’s opinions reflect “diligence, depth and unflashy competence.” They are, as he noted, technical, incremental and exhaustive.

To my eye, they are the products of a clear and honest if unimaginative mind. She sticks close to precedent and the details of a case. There’s no personal flavor (in the boring parts one wishes there were). There’s no evidence of a grand ideological style or even much intellectual ambition. If you had to pick a word to describe them, it would be “restraint.”

Looked at in her totality, Sotomayor seems to be a smart, careful, hard-working judicial professional, who along the way picked up a patina of 1970s race-, class- and gender-consciousness.

It’s interesting to compare Sotomayor’s thinking with Barack Obama’s. On the grand matters of race in America, they are quite different. Sotomayor has given a series of speeches arguing that it is not possible or even desirable to transcend our racial or gender sympathies and prejudices. During the presidential campaign, Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia arguing for precisely that, calling on America to move beyond the old categories and arguments.

Sotomayor sometimes draws a straight line between ethnicity, gender and behavior. Obama emphasizes our multiple identities and the complex blend of influences on an individual life.

Yet in practice, they do have a lot in common. In practice, Sotomayor is a liberal incrementalist. Her careful opinions embody the sort of judicial minimalism that Obama and his aide Cass Sunstein admire most.

In short, Sotomayor’s career surpasses the crude categories she sometimes articulates. Despite the ideas she picked up while young, she has, over many years, chosen to submit herself to the discipline of the law, and she has not abused its institutions. I hope she’s confirmed.


Comment:  It's not really complimentary, but it's the closest thing to reasonable I've seen on the right so far.

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