June 17th, 2009

K-Box cartoon


... Okay, so a lot of his talking points are full of shit, but he's still making more sense than most conservative pundits nowadays, and that's just fucking sad:

Lonewolf Diaries: Republicans Need to Grow a Sense of Humor

by Steven Crowder

Yes, you’ve read correctly. To all of you GOP types playing the “offended” card on a daily basis… Prepare to have your feelings hurt, because according to my carefully calculated research… Republicans need to shut up and laugh a little.

Never has the GOP’s lack of funnybone been on sharper display than the last 5 months. For a party that claims to “shun political correctness,” we’ve certainly done a good job of embracing it. Over the past 150 days there have been three “media-worthy” politically incorrect moments related to this administration and Republicans have managed to jump on each one of them for political gain. All to no avail. Collapse )


Not news, exactly, but ...

Ahmadinejad sucks at Photoshop  (quick everyone, look shocked and appalled!)


The crowd in this pro-Ahmadinejad rally appears to have been clone-tool enhanced.

via BoingBoing, via اضافه شدن طرفداران محمود احمدي نژاد با فوتوشاپ روزنامه كيهان
Murasaki Shikibu

Iran's senior ayatollah slams election, confirming split

I know we've got the liveblog, but stuff is getting lost in there, so:

Iran's senior ayatollah slams election, confirming split

TEHRAN, Iran — Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country's most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad's re-election was rigged.

"No one in their right mind can believe" the official results from Friday's contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Montazeri accused the regime of handling Mousavi's charges of fraud and the massive protests of his backers "in the worst way possible."

"A government not respecting people's vote has no religious or political legitimacy," he declared in comments on his official Web site. "I ask the police and army personals (personnel) not to 'sell their religion,' and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God."

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EDIT! Christiane Amanpour's pictures of the violence
vulnerable may be the palace of sand;
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The Advocate Refers to Trans Woman as a Gay Man

The Advocate a premiere LGBT news magazine has come under pressure from trans activists and allies after it referred to a couple who were legally married in New York as a "same-sex" couple. In the article N.Y. Unwittingly Marries "Same-Sex" Couple, the couple Hakim Nelson and Jason Stenson were given a marriage license because the clerk was unaware of the birth gender of Nelson who now goes by Kimah.

The Advocate referred to this historic story as "New York's first legal same-sex marriage" but the problem is that neither Kimah nor Jason identify as gay. Jason identifies as straight and Kimah is a trans woman. Kimah hopes to undergo sex re-assignment surgery in the future, but regardless of her current status as pre, post or non-op we must be sensitive to the gender pronouns she chooses for herself.

Note: The Advocate has since made edits to this story to properly reflect the gender identity of Kimah.

Please tell The Advocate that it isn't enough to call yourself an LGBT magazine, in the future it must be inclusive of gender variant folks and know how to properly report on them.


Letters to the editor by regular mail
P.O. Box 4371
Los Angeles, CA 90078
Phone: (310) 943-5858
Fax: (310) 806-6350


This is a huge mistake that needs to be address. And the fact that it comes from The Advocate is really huge blow to the trans community. If you can spare the time, please help e-mailing The Advocate to correct the aforementioned article so it is right.

Here is an additional article from Questioning Transphobia about trans-ignorance being a form of transphobia. Please read if you are interested or don't know much about transsexuality.

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Thank you for your time.

(no subject)


Please watch, please help.

Iranian student in Esfehan is shot and killed by Basiji (hardliner Iranian militia) while other students try to help him. This occurred at one of the street protests yesterday. This is how brutal our regime is towards our OWN people. They treat us like animals, worse than animals. Pretty graphic.

Brave Iranian Girl kicks basiji militia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyy_vJJnUBc

What you can do to help, Open letter to the world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwKVLwckDYw
Help Iranians by urging your governments leaders NOT to recognize Ahmadenijead as the legitimate President of Iran

Help Iranians Cyberwar:

Many Iranians are asking for support by spreading their message and others are also asking people to help them w/ creating proxies so that they can go undetected under new IP addys

http://bit.ly/S8UpD just read the link, it will explain a lot

How to set up a proxy so Iranian web users can get around the censors: http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/06/15/how-to-setup-a-proxy-for-iran-citizens-for-windows/ Here's a mirror site if that one is slow: http://proxy4iran.googlepages.com/howtocreateproxy

Why the internet matters for Iranians, powerful video: http://www.vimeo.com/2232226

"If I sit silently, I have sinned" - Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Mosaddeq

Barney Frank rips prez’s ‘big mistake’

Fuming over anti-gay wed filing
By Dave Wedge
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, one of the nation’s leading gay rights champions, blasted President Obama yesterday over a controversial anti-gay marriage court filing and is calling on the commander in chief to explain himself.

“I think the administration made a big mistake. The wording they used was inappropriate,” Frank (D-Newton) said of a brief filed by Obama’s Department of Justice that supported the Defense of Marriage Act.

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Media Matters Calls out Eric Cantor on his Crap

President Obama: 1; Representative Cantor: 0

June 15, 2009 2:46 pm ET

On June 15, 2009, Rep. Eric Cantor released a statement rebutting President Obama's remarks to the AMA before the address was finished.  Evidently, the statement was written before the author had a chance to read the transcript.


Rep. Cantor: For His Own Choices, Against President Obama's Choices

Rep. Cantor Stated That, Unlike Democrats, House Republicans Were Dedicated To Increasing Choices And Access For Americans

Rep. Cantor: "The debate surrounding health reform in America has begun in earnest. House Republicans stand ready to work with the Administration and the Democrat Majorities in Congress to craft a common-sense solution that preserves flexibility and choice, increases access, and lowers the cost of care for working families and small businesses." [RepublicanWhip.House.gov, 6/15/09]

The President Outlined His Plan That Would Increase Choices And Access To Health Care For Americans

President Obama: "If you don't like your health coverage or don't have any insurance, you will have a chance to take part in what we're calling a Health Insurance Exchange. This Exchange will allow you to one-stop shop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices, and choose a plan that's best for you and your family - just as federal employees can do, from a postal worker to a Member of Congress. You will have your choice of a number of plans that offer a few different packages, but every plan would offer an affordable, basic package. And one of these options needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market so that force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest." [President Obama's Remarks to the AMA, 6/15/09]

Rep. Cantor: Next Time, Please Read The Remarks Before Responding

Rep. Cantor's Release Asserted That The Republican Health Care Reform Plan Would Be Better For American Patients

Rep. Cantor: "To be clear, Republicans are not satisfied with the status quo, and we will move forward with a vision to address the health care needs for both patients and doctors. Specifically, we believe there is a better way and our reform principles will outline an approach that increases coverage and maintains the doctor-patient relationship, while improving quality without breaking the bank." [RepublicanWhip.House.gov, 6/15/09]

President Obama's Speech Clearly Laid Out How Health Care Reform Will Help American Patients As Well As The American Economy

President Obama: "If we do that, we can build a health care system that allows you to be physicians instead of administrators and accountants; a system that gives Americans the best care at the lowest cost; a system that eases up the pressure on businesses and unleashes the promise of our economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, making take-home wages thousands of dollars higher, and growing our economy by tens of billions more every year. That's how we will stop spending tax dollars to prop up an unsustainable system, and start investing those dollars in innovations and advances that will make our health care system and our economy stronger." [President Obama's Remarks to the AMA, 6/15/09]

Rep. Cantor: Behaving Just The Way The GOP Would Have Him Behave

Rep. Cantor's Statement Included The Standard Republican Fear Mongering

Rep. Cantor: "Unfortunately, in what has become a Washington tradition, hope of bipartisanship has quickly evaporated in the summer sun. Democrats are touting a government-run health care option that creates an unlevel playing field leading to the destruction of the private market, reducing choice and putting Washington bureaucrats in charge of family health care decisions." [RepublicanWhip.House.gov, 6/15/09]

In The Speech, President Obama Remarked Upon The Very Tactics Rep. Cantor Used

President Obama: "We know the moment is right for health care reform.  We know this is an historic opportunity we've never seen before and may not see again.  But we also know that there are those who will try and scuttle this opportunity no matter what - who will use the same scare tactics and fear-mongering that's worked in the past.  They'll give dire warnings about socialized medicine and government takeovers; long lines and rationed care; decisions made by bureaucrats and not doctors.  We've heard it all before - and because these fear tactics have worked, things have kept getting worse." [President Obama's Remarks to the AMA, 6/15/09]

Not To Mention The Fact That President Obama Is Committed To Preserving Patient Choice

President Obama: "I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage - they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor.  And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise:  If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.  Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan.  Period. No one will take it away.  No matter what.  My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what's broken and build on what works." [President Obama's Remarks to the AMA, 6/15/09]

Rep. Cantor: In Need Of Math Tutoring

Rep. Cantor Questioned How The Obama Administration Would Pay For Health Care Reform

Rep. Cantor: "There is a growing chorus of concern about the Democrat's trillion dollar government health proposal. More campaign-style events and speeches do not give the American people the answers they need. Can Americans keep what they have if they want to? How will this Administration pay for it? Is it productive for government to restrict our doctors' ability to treat patients as they see fit? Serious questions remain unanswered, and it's time for the Administration to end the happy talk and get down to the difficult decisions ahead."  [RepublicanWhip.House.gov, 6/15/09]

In His Speech, President Obama Clearly Laid Out His Payment Plan For Health Care Reform

President Obama: "Altogether, these savings mean that we have put about $950 billion on the table - not counting some of the longer-term savings that will come about from reform - taking us almost all the way to covering the full cost of health care reform. In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to working with Congress to make up the difference so that health care reform is fully paid for - in a real, accountable way. And let me add that this does not count some of the longer-term savings that will come about from health care reform. By insisting that reform be deficit neutral over the next decade and by making the reforms that will help slow the growth rate of health care costs over coming decades, we can look forward to faster economic growth, higher living standards, and falling, not rising, budget deficits." [President Obama's Remarks to the AMA, 6/15/09]

Rep. Cantor: In The Market For A Reliable Clock

If The Misrepresentations In The Statement Weren't Enough, Rep. Cantor Released His Comments Before The President Was Finished Speaking

Rep. Cantor Statement: "Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today issued the following statement after President Obama addressed the American Medical Association in Chicago..." [RepublicanWhip.House.gov, 6/15/09; emphasis added]

False: The Statement Was Released Before The President Finished Speaking. 

Un-timely Tweet: Cantor Spokesman Badly Timed His Twitter Update.  Brad Dayspring, Rep. Cantor's Press Secretary, tweeted "Cantor on AMA Speech: 'Serious questions remain & it's time for the Administration to end the happy talk" at approximately 12:54 pm.  [Twitter.com/BDayspring, 6/15/09]

Note: President Obama finished speaking at the AMA Conference at approximately 1:10pm, EST.

–Media Matters Action Network


(a la Jon Stewart) Oh, GOP!  Is there *nothing* you can't be wrong about?

(no subject)

Group: Gay bias killings highest since 1999

By MARCUS FRANKLIN – 22 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people killed in bias-motivated incidents increased by 28 percent in 2008 compared to a year ago, according to a national coalition of advocacy groups.

Last year's 29 killings was the highest recorded by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs since 1999, when it documented the same number of slayings, according to a report released Tuesday by the coalition.


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(no subject)

Georgia Supreme Court Throws Out Judge's Homophobic Order

The Georgia Supreme Court threw out an order by Fayette County Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards which prohibited children in a divorce case from any exposure to their father's gay and lesbian friends:

Edwards "The ruling stems from the 2007 divorce of Eric Duane Mongerson and Sandy Kay Ehlers Mongerson, who had been married 21 years and had four children. The visitation order prohibited the three youngest children, whose ages ranged from 8 to 16 at the time, from being in contact with their father’s gay and lesbian friends. The oldest child was already an adult."

Said Justice Robert Benham: “Such an arbitrary classification based on sexual orientation flies in the face of our public policy that encourages divorced parents to participate in the raising of their children...[The Fayette County judge’s prohibition] assumes, without evidentiary support, that the children will suffer harm from any such contact.”

Bentham said there was no evidence that the children had been exposed to inappropriate contact or that they would be adversely affected by being in the presence of gay people.

And here's some disturbing news. According to The Citizen, Edwards has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court which threw out his order.


I think I remember posting about this before, but I can't find the original post.


DOMA Lawsuit Wins First Victory

DOMA Lawsuit Wins First Victory

A plaintiff in a lawsuit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act will be allowed to get a U.S. passport in his married name, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders announced on Wednesday. The victory is the result of a recent change in State Department policy for the issuance of passports to people who change their name after marrying someone of the same-sex.

GLAD filed its lawsuit, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, in March to challenge section 3 of DOMA on behalf of six married same-sex couples and three men whose same-sex spouses have died. Section 3 of the law concerns federal recognition of same-sex marriages. In addition to the passport issue, other plaintiffs’ claims in the lawsuit involve taxation, Social Security and federal employees’ benefits.

The passport complaint involved Keith Toney, who was able to change his last name from Fitzpatrick on his Massachusetts driver’s license after he married Al Toney III in 2004. However, the federal government denied his request to change his name on his passport, citing DOMA, which resulted in a frustrating discrepancy in his legal identification.

According to a letter sent to GLAD by the Department of Justice, the State Department will now issue passports to all married same-sex couples based on the name on their marriage certificates, provided the state issuing the certificate recognizes the name change in law.

Toney will apply for his new passport in Boston on Monday.




Iran: Washington Responsible For Post-Election Protests

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has accused the United States of "intolerable" meddling in its internal affairs, alleging for the first time that Washington has fueled a bitter post-election dispute.

A state television channel in Iran says the government summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in Iran, to complain about American interference. The two countries broke off diplomatic relations after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. An English-language state-run channel quoted the government as calling Western interference "intolerable."

An amateur video showed thousands marching Wednesday on an overpass in the capital in support of pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi's election campaign. Mousavi has accused the government of rigging the election in favor of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.



White House disputes meddling charge by Iran

WASHINGTON — The White House is shrugging off complaints from Iran that the United States has meddled in its affairs.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that President Barack Obama has struck the right tone in commenting about Iran's presidential election dispute in Iran. The Iranian government reportedly has summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in Iran, to complain about American interference.

Gibbs said Obama has been clear that there is "a vigorous debate in Iran, between Iranians, about their leadership." Gibbs said Obama stands by his defense of principles such as the right of people to demonstrate in peace.



GOP: Help, help! I'm bein' repressed!

House Republicans: Iranian Protesters Just Like Us

House Republicans want Iranian protesters to know that they feel their pain. After all, they've been there. According to Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and John Culberson (R-Tex.), the post-election uprising that has left at least 32 dead is just like when the GOP doesn't get its way on Capitol Hill.

Said Culberson, referencing last night's appropriations bill debate:

Good to see Iranian people move mountains w social media, shining sunlight on their repressive govt - Texans support their bid for freedom

Oppressed minorities includeHouseRepubs: We are using social media to expose repression such as last night's D clampdown shutting off amends


And Hoekstra:

Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.

Last August, Republicans refused to vacate the floor when the House adjourned without doing something about gas prices. They talked about it on Twitter.

As Spencer Ackerman points out, this analogy makes House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the Ahmadinejad of the legislative branch. Iranian protesters might not appreciate the link, but it's probably a better point of comparison for the House GOP than the Taliban.

There's no word on when Pelosi's militias are going to start beating up innocent Republicans. But for updates on the protests in Iran, go here.


WAHHHHHH!  Toshi Station!  Power Converters!  WAAAAHHHHHH!
Crazy-eyes cat

Sen. Ensign quits GOP post after admitting affair

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent David Espo, Ap Special Correspondent – 38 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Ensign of Nevada resigned his Republican leadership post Wednesday, one day after confessing marital infidelity. Aides refused to answer questions about records showing that a woman on his political payroll received a promotion and a pay raise around the time he said the affair began in late 2007. Nor would Ensign or aides respond to reports of an earlier affair, in 2002.

Ensign, 51, has said he intends to remain in the Senate.

The Nevada lawmaker is a member of the Christian ministry Promise Keepers and has championed causes pushed by the GOP's conservative religious base while seeking to raise his political profile for a possible presidential campaign.

He offered to resign as head of the Republican Policy Committee in a phone call with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the party leader.

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And the Republican downward spiral continues - at least an embarrassing and unbelievably hypocritical sex scandal is more amusing than obstructionist tendencies, butthurt whining, and racist emails!

  • Current Mood
Fairy Green

History of Iran: key figures, events and elections, 1900-2005

I posted a link to this in my own journal in the Iran Live Discussion thread but it was brought to my attention that not everyone will be able to view the entry. Also! There might be people in comm who missed the link and would be interested in the history.

If you've missed anything in the last few days, you need to read this Timeline and History of Protests in Iran by omgangiepants. This is a very detailed reconstruction of what's been going on since the election.

My post is more history, pre and post revolution so you can see how long Iran has been struggling for freedom from tyranny.

**Post last updated: June 16th, 2009, 10:41pm EST.--- sorry for typos and mis-spelled names and not perfectly proofread bullet points. I wrote this in an extreme hurry and will probably add more to it in the next few days if my brain doesn't melt out of my ears.

****Now with an external webpage !

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Oh, REALLY, now???

Michele Bachmann
Bachmann Boasts About Breaking The Law: I’m Refusing To Fill Out The Census

Next year, the 2010 Census will be sent to every American household, as required by the U.S. Constitution. The far right has issued dire warnings of the Census; on a May 29th episode of Bill Bennett’s radio show, RNC Chairman Michael Steele intoned, “Certainly the collection of this information is going to be part of an ongoing political campaign by this administration.”

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Too little, too late

Gay critics say 'too little, too late' from Obama
By Kristi Keck

(CNN) -- President Obama's decision to grant some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees is seen by some as his attempt to extend an olive branch to the gay and lesbian community, but critics say it's "too little, too late."

"It seems to me at least to be a nice gesture, but a disappointment," said Richard Kim, a senior editor at The Nation magazine.

The memorandum Obama is signing Thursday is not expected to grant health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners, as that is prohibited under the Defense of Marriage Act.

"It will absolutely be seen as something good -- but I think, for example, it not including full health insurance -- that is going to put a real microscope on that question. You know, why not?," Kim said, adding that memo applies only to federal employees, so most people will not be affected by it.

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While I get the "too little" complaint because there is a very legitimate belief that more could and should be done, I find the "too late" part to have little credence. He is little over 100 days into a FOUR YEAR term. How is it already too late?
arrow: felicity smoak

PETA continues to be made of CRAZY FAIL

President Obama swats a fly, gets a free flytrap

When President Obama granted an interview to CNBC's John Harwood, who could have guessed that the result would be a slap heard 'round the world and a gift from PETA?

Obama planned to tackle tough issues like the economy and healthcare, but a nagging fly made the interview difficult. Eventually the president managed a well-aimed swat, and the insect was history. As the camera panned to the dead bug on the floor, the president seemed pleased with his work. "That was pretty impressive, wasn't it? I got the sucker," he said. (His response was hardly Oscar Wilde-worthy; the Guardian's Adam Rutherford wrote: "My one criticism is that the prez failed to seize the opportunity to make a Schwarzeneggeresque pithy one-liner. Something like, 'This is a no-fly zone, sucker,' would have done quite adequately.")

Now, you know and we know that PETA loves a controversy, which is why we were a bit surprised at the animal rights group's subdued response. Although TMZ tried to stir up trouble, we were impressed by PETA blogger Alisa Mullins' post on the subject. "In a nutshell, our position is this," Mullins wrote. "He isn't the Buddha, he's a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act."

Of course, PETA didn't miss an opportunity to lobby for ethical bug treatment: They promptly sent Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a rather ingenious insect-transporting device with a trapdoor and a nice long handle so you don't have to get too close to your uninvited guest.


All right, ONTD_P, who called it?

obama swatting peta

Thank you for the awesome, ladypolitik!
  • bispo

Chairman Frank and Aravosis’s Misstatements

Rep. Barney Frank, who earlier today was with the President and Senator Chris Dodd to unveil the most significant financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression, issued a statement regarding the Obama DOJ’s filing in Smelt v. U.S.

Soon thereafter, John Aravosis published a piece that just went round the bound.  I have tried to keep my blog as forward-looking as possible, but it’s clear that Aravosis’s heavy popularity at his blog and media contacts have allowed his false statements about what the filing means to push the debate into the twisted, contorted view he is giving it.

The two main problems that I have with Aravosis’s coverage are:

  1. His continued misstatements regarding whether Justice should have filed a brief in this case.
  2. His “comparing us to incest and pedophilia” claim is overstated and does not withstand any serious, legal scrutiny.

First of all, it’s clear that his poisoning of the well most likely led to Chairman Frank’s misimpressions about the brief, which he said he had not read until today.  (I’ll admit that I too was surprised that he hadn’t read it yet, but I have noted before that Frank is wholly dedicated to the financial reform package that he’s been working on for the past several months.)  Frank said: “I made the mistake of relying on other people’s oral descriptions to me of what had been in the brief, rather than reading it first.”

So, then John falsely concludes that “Frank now thinks the brief is just super.”


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  • bispo

Copy Of Black’s ‘Strongly Worded Reprimand’ To Aide For Racist E-mail

Pressure has been building on Tennessee State Sen. Diane Black (R) to fire her aide, Sherri Goforth, who sent an e-mail with a racist image of President Obama. Today on CNN, for example, former Cheney aide Ron Christie said that “I think the appropriate course of action would be for this staffer to be dismissed.”

However, Black has dug in her heels. Yesterday, she told CNN that that although the e-mail “does not represent the beliefs or opinions of my office,” she decided to keep Goforth on:

When I did find out about the communication that was sent out, I immediately called the H.R. department and through their advice did what they told me needed to be done when there was a violation of an e-mail policy by the state. And so, therefore, as you have already stated, Miss Goforth did get a verbal reprimand as well as a very strongly worded reprimand written and it was put in her file that if this should ever occur again, that she should be immediately terminated.

As the Knoxville News Sentinel reports, the Tennessee Democratic Party has obtained a copy of this “strongly worded reprimand,” which is barely a slap on the wrist. Black advises Goforth not to send communications that are “derogatory regarding any minority” and adds, “I look forward to working together in the future within these guidelines.” The letter:


Goforth initially refused to apologize for the racist imagery, saying only that she sent it to the wrong list. (She eventually apologized for the “offensive nature” of her e-mail.)

Black has repeatedly insisted that Goforth’s e-mail did not “reflect any of my beliefs.” As proof she has cited her time as a nurse, “working with people with black skin who needed medical help” around the world.


Damn. Arguments on the The View over Obama's liberal base turning on him & racist Republicans

Bill Maher Thinks Obama Should Be More Like Bush (Joy agrees)

Elisabeth: Obama is scared of standing up for the people of Iran because he's afraid of ahmadinejad

Racism In The Republican Party (i.e. racist emails, comparing Michelle to a gorilla)

Elisabeth: I am embarrassed of our racist image--we're really about bringing people together

  • bispo

'Nice people take drugs' ads pulled from London buses

Nice People Take Drugs campaign for drugs policy reform

How the Release campaign appeared on the side of London buses

The chief executive of leading drugs and humans rights charity Release today accused advertising regulators of censorship after the body's ad campaign was withdrawn from London buses.

Release said it has been told its campaign, which incorporates posters on the sides of buses in the capital that read "Nice people take drugs", is to be removed and that the strapline needs to be altered to temper the message before the ads can be reinstated.

Sebastian Saville, the chief executive of Release added that the removal of the "Nice people take drugs" adverts from buses was an overreaction to a legitimate message.

The charity was told yesterday by CBS Outdoor, the billboard advertising company that booked the bus campaign on its behalf, that the inclusion of the words, "also" or "too" would make the ads less likely to be attract complaints and ensure they fit non-broadcast advertising codes of practice.

Saville said he found if difficult to understand why the campaign might be misconstrued.


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  • bispo

In the GOP Caucus, Prayers for the Sinner -- but Mostly Silence

As newly confessed adulterer John Ensign went to ground in Las Vegas yesterday, his Senate Republican colleagues here in Washington reprised a familiar ritual: averting their gaze.

"It would be intellectually dishonest for me to comment on it," declared Chuck Grassley of Iowa, pausing on his way to lunch with GOP colleagues.

"I'm late," announced David Vitter of Louisiana, brushing past a knot of reporters.

"I'm not going to say anything," vowed Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate Republican, pausing briefly beneath a portrait of John C. Calhoun. "Byyye!" he called, waving back at his questioners as he walked into lunch.

The party's 2008 presidential nominee, John McCain, pretended not even to hear the question about Ensign. "Whazzat?" he said sharply, sounding like the duck in the Aflac commercial.

"Senator --"

"Whazzat?" McCain repeated, still walking.

"Senator Ensign --"

"Whazzat?" McCain quacked for a third time before disappearing into the lunch room.

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garf tired

Many of us students may appreciate this)

(Warning: long article is long -  this is from The Nation, after all, so be prepared to read.)

Out of Reach


"Open the doors to all," declared City College founder Townsend Harris in 1847. "Let the children of the rich and poor take their seats together and know of no distinction save that of industry, good conduct and intellect." And indeed, all students attended City College free until 1976. Like the neo-Gothic campus--stunning, as if from the pages of a fairy tale, yet physically decaying from underfunding and neglect--Harris's vision has taken a beating over the years. Yet it is still alive among City College student activists--and perhaps its time has come again.

At 2 o'clock on a rainy late-April afternoon, City College students were scheduled to walk out of class to protest proposed tuition hikes. Two slender young men stood tentatively in front of the student union, wondering if anyone else was going to show up. They'd seen a poster about the walkout. One of them, Mohammed Ramin, a sophomore, had been laid off from his job at Circuit City a month earlier. He was worried he might lose some of his financial aid. Then, with a tuition hike, he'd be unable to afford to stay in school. His friend Stanley George, also on financial aid, said--in a sentiment being echoed by students all over the country--that even without a tuition increase, "people right now can't afford to go to school."

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My uni is reacting as well