June 19th, 2009

thebirds, que

"What's his cause, mom?" she pressed on.

Today, I present to you another perspective to one of the most sensitive on-going issues of our time and this time, it's from a four-year-old girl.

It started off like this...

On this busy downtown street, a young man with a clipboard approached us and, after hesitating for a moment, (we were already late--as usual-- for our playdate), I stopped and listened to his request.  Do you have a minute to help support gay marriage?, which of course, still not being over the sense of rage and shock I felt by the failing of California’s Proposition 8, I did. (*OP: Italics not mine)
Then the little girl said this:
“What did he want mom?” my daughter asked earnestly.

A few more questions from a naturally curious young child and eventually, her mom thought of something unusual:

For another moment I stopped myself. There are some abstract concepts that I don't have a problem explaining, but the "law" isn't once of them.
What the little girl eventually concluded was... On second thought, just read it for yourself.

Regardless of one's position in the issue of same-sex marriage, I was struck by the little girl's concern about the young man's cause - and also the way she came up with an answer that satisfied her.  It's so... simple to her.

Source: Salon - Kids Say the Darndest Things About Gay Marriage

*I'm sorry if this is a re-post. I did make an effort to search via the tag page, didn't find a post about this, but I could've missed it.  Back to my attempts of going to bed after getting used to staying up for Iran Election issues

(no subject)

Sen. Gillibrand Pledges To Sponsor DADT Repeal, Says "I Stand With Dan Choi"

Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) has published an opinion piece on Huffington Post in which she declares, "I stand with Lt. Dan Choi." Gillibrand goes on to pledge to cosponsor a repeal of DADT.
I am firmly committed to repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. To that end, I am working closely with Congressman Murphy and Senator Kennedy's offices to develop support for repeal legislation and will be among the original co-sponsors of the bill when it's introduced. In the weeks and months ahead, I plan to work with Lt. Choi to repair the damage that has been done to his career and spare thousands of innocent, brave men and women, from the same injustice.
RELATED: Gillibrand's Senate seat will be challenged in 2010 by my House member, the fabulous Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), who represents NYC's Upper East Side.
Manhattan Rep. Carolyn Maloney is thumbing her nose at the Democratic establishment, telling fellow pols she'll take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at the polls next year. The upper East Side Dem would be running head-long into an organized party effort - captained behind the scenes by Sen. Chuck Schumer - to clear the primary field for Gillibrand. Maloney is expected to make an official decision about her candidacy by July 4, but she's already alerting colleagues that she'll challenge Gov. Paterson's pick to replace Hillary Clinton.
When Gov. Paterson picked the relatively unknown Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton, some considered her to be a mere placeholder until the Dems could find a suitably powerful figure to run for the seat in 2010. That talk seems to have died down.


Americans trust doctors, academics, Dems more than GOP on health care

As far as who the public trusts, "Republican congressional leaders" come in behind even the health insurance industry. That is an impressive accomplishment, GOP.

On Health Care, Americans Trust Obama And Dems Far More Than GOP: Poll
Huffington Post | Sahil Kapur
First Posted: 06-17-09 04:31 PM | Updated: 06-17-09 05:35 PM

When it comes to reforming the U.S. health care system, Americans are more confident in Barack Obama (58%) and Congressional Democrats (42%) than Congressional Republicans (34%), according to a Gallup Poll released today.

Of the eight prominent health care actors, Republicans are least trusted, behind even insurance companies, who have garnered 35% of the nation's trust.

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Article @ Huffington Post, poll @ Gallup

Barack Obama: 'I Have Been an Imperfect Father'

President Barack Obama has written a heartfelt Father's Day message acknowledging his own shortcomings as a dad to daughters Malia, 10, Sasha, 8.

"I know I have been an imperfect father. I know I have made mistakes," Obama admits in a letter to be published in this week's Parade magazine.

"There were many days out on the campaign trail when I felt like my family was a million miles away," he writes, "and I knew I was missing moments of my daughters' lives that I'd never get back. It is a loss I will never fully accept."

Urging other fathers to become engaged in their children's lives, Obama says, "We need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one."

Reflecting on his own father's absence from his life (Obama's childhood was divided between living with his mother and and his grandparents), the president reflects on becoming a father to his elder daughter.

"I think back to the day I drove Michelle and a newborn Malia home from the hospital nearly 11 years ago," he writes. "I think about the pledge I made to her that day: that I would give her what I never had – that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father."

It was only in January that Obama penned a letter to his daughters in anticipation of his inauguration, in which he credited them as the reason why he ran for the White House.


I feel like he is saying this to the country as well.

Murasaki Shikibu

Montana City Wants Your Facebook Information

Montana City Wants Your Facebook Information

People applying for jobs with the city of Bozeman, Montana, are now being asked to list their memberships in online forums and social networks, and to provide all user names and passwords required to access their accounts.

Along with the usual paperwork, the city requires all job applicants to sign a waiver giving it permission to check "background, references, character, past employment, education, credit history, criminal or police records." Nothing terribly unusual about that, but it gets a bit sticky soon after.

"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.," the waiver reads. It also provides three lines so applicants can list URLs, user names and passwords for any social networks or similar sites they may belong to.

City attorney Greg Sullivan defended the demand for the information, saying that while Bozeman takes privacy rights "very seriously," it also has to ensure that its employees are men (and women) of high moral fiber. "We have positions ranging from fire and police, which require people of high integrity for those positions, all the way down to the lifeguards and the folks that work in city hall here," Sullivan said. "So we do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City."

He also offered assurances that the city wouldn't be looking at any information that it's not supposed to have access to and can't Constitutionally make use of. "One thing that's important for folks to understand about what we look for is none of the things that the federal Constitution lists as protected things, we don't use those," he explained. "We're not putting out this broad brush stroke of trying to find out all kinds of information about the person that we're not able to use or shouldn't use in the hiring process." He added that nobody had ever removed their name from consideration for a job because of the request.

Nothing to worry about, then. It's good to know that this isn't actually a gross invasion of privacy because for a minute there I was a little disturbed by the idea of handing over that sort of information to a faceless, powerful government entity. Silly me.


...WTF do they need your PASSWORDS for?!
KKBB--Captain *Fucking* Magic

Raw cookie dough discovered to contain E. coli

Nestle recalls cookie dough products for E. coli

66 reports of illness across 28 states since March; 28 people hospitalized

updated 1 hour, 16 minutes ago
SOLON, Ohio - Food maker Nestle USA on Friday voluntarily recalled its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products after a number of illnesses were reported by those who ate the dough raw.

The company said the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are investigating reported E. coli illnesses that might be related to the ingestion of raw cookie dough.

In a statement, the FDA said there have been 66 reports of illness across 28 states since March. About 25 people have been hospitalized, but no one has died.

The FDA advised consumers to throw away any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their homes. Retailers, restauranteurs and employees at other food-service operations should also not sell or serve any of the products.

Nestle spokeswoman Roz O'Hearn said "this has been a very quickly moving situation," adding the company took action less than 24 hours after hearing of the problem.

O'Hearn said the company will "cooperate fully" with the FDA's investigation.

The recall includes refrigerated cookie bar dough, cookie dough tub, cookie dough tubes, limited edition cookie dough items, seasonal cookie dough and Ultimates cookie bar dough. It does not affect any other Toll House products.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.


I'm amazed that so few people have gotten as sick as they did--I didn't think ANYONE bought raw cookie dough in order to bake it.

fierce riri

House expected to vote on Iranian resolution

House expected to vote on Iranian resolution
Posted: 09:04 AM ET

A new House resolution would decry 'ongoing violence against demonstrators' in Iran.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on a resolution that supports "all Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law."

The resolution also "condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators."

The supporters include Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman, a California Democrat, and Republicans Mike Pence and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

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House overwhelmingly approves Iranian resolution
Posted: 12:15 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday overwhelmingly approved a resolution that supports "all Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law."

The breakdown was 405 lawmakers in favor, one against, with two members voting "present."

The resolution, which also "condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators," was sponsored by Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman, a California Democrat, and Republicans Mike Pence and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.
LOLitics | Fuck My Life

"Smith gives Fox News even-tempered voice"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | By Mackenzie Carpenter

It's just minutes after the June 10 shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is on the air, and he is shaking his head.

Gone is the easygoing, good-natured anchor of "Studio B" of a few days earlier, when Smith deftly extracted the precise amount of information needed from an overexcited eyewitness to a tornado before easing him off the air, then teased the program's stage manager about a viewer's claim that he wanted to date her -- "Ed, her husband, wouldn't like that. She's great with child" -- and then had the cameras cut to a shot of a sheepish, pregnant stage manager, smiling.

Instead, on this day, in somber baritone, Smith is talking over live video of the chaotic post-shooting scene, about the e-mails he gets every day from the "fringe" -- the ones that declare President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, the ones that claim he's "a socialist Marxist who is at a fast rate destroying this country," the ones that, Smith says, have "become more and more frightening. It's not a new thing ... it's been happening to a degree since the election."

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Why do people still defend our current health care system? They read American newspapers

From a media criticism blog all of you ought to read daily: The Daily Howler

Let’s take a look at the record:
How much do developed nations spend, per person, on health care? Yesterday, at the New Republic web site, Jonathan Chait linked to this post at the Kaiser Foundation. It presents spending figures for various countries, for 2003. (For Chait’s post, just click this.)

Here are the per capita spending totals presented by the Kaiser Foundation. According to Chait, all these countries, except the US, have universal coverage. To be clear: This chart records US spending per person—not per person with health insurance. For obvious reasons, we’ll put the US at the top of the list. Does the term “American exceptionalism” pop into anyone’s mind?
Total health expenditures per capita, 2003

United States $5711
Australia $2886
Austria $2958
Belgium $3044
Canada $2998
Denmark $2743
Finland $2104
France $3048
Germany $2983
Iceland $3159
Ireland $2466
Italy $2314
Japan $2249
Luxembourg $4611
Netherlands $2909
Norway $3769
Sweden $2745
Switzerland $3847
United Kingdom $2317

Assuming those figures are basically accurate, something is rotten in the state of Luxembourg. But even the little grand duchy falls well behind the United States when it comes to per capita spending. France, Germany, Italy, Britain? They’re shown spending roughly half as much as the US—and they already have the full health coverage the US currently seeks.
(The WHO has stopped ranking the world’s health systems—too hard. When it last did so, in the year 2000, the systems of all the countries we’ve named were ranked ahead of ours.)
Today, we’ll largely repeat what we’ve already said, while looking ahead to tomorrow. These figures describe a truly remarkable state of affairs—a state of affairs which is almost never discussed within our major media. In fact, it’s a comical state of affairs—except that a deeply serious aspect of life is involved here.
Which leads again to the obvious question: Why is this remarkable situation so rarely discussed?
Why does the United States spend so much more for health care? Over the years, we think we’ve seen varying explanations, in the random tidbits of attention the question occasions. At one time, it seems that we would typically hear about the remarkable costs of paperwork, due to the blizzard of varying insurance forms created by our non-system system. In recent months, we seem to be hearing more about doctors performing unnecessary procedures. (As in one of these letters in last Wednesday’s New York Times.)
But we’ll ask you again: Have you ever seen a serious attempt in our major newspapers to tease out the answer to that question? A series of front-page reports in the Times, exploring various possible factors? Most issues are poorly discussed in the press, but we can’t think of another issue where the overall discussion has been so comically awful. Where the Big Major Basic Facts are so ruthlessly hidden. Where it’s so normal to see Major Pols spreading so much blatant disinformation—without little attempt by big news orgs to correct or challenge their statements. (We think of Rudy Giuliani, spewing spin in 2007 during the GOP primaries.)
Result? The debate now unfolding! Using those 2003 figures, we spend $5700 per person—while Finland spends only $2100. But in our current debate, we’re trying to figure how much more we’ll have to spend to get what Finland has!
Only a kooky, non-rational culture could tolerate such a discussion.
Yesterday, we looked on as the ladies Dormady discussed health care with John King (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/17/09). It was “a fun discussion,” King enthused at the end, “and great oatmeal with raisins at Junior's Diner.” (For the full transcript, click here.) Just a guess: The ladies Dormady, like most voters, have no idea how truly kooky the state of our health care spending is. You simply can’t run a sane discussion when such basic information has been airbrushed for so many years.
How the heck does Finland do it? We don’t have the slightest idea. But there may be a very good reason for that. You see, we read American newspapers. We spend a great deal of our time observing the American press.
Collapse )And this is just it: People (who don't have money in the game, so not health care or pharma lobbyists or executives/salespeople) who say that somehow a public health insurance option (or god forbid SINGLE PAYER) is some sort of terrible affront to everything we hold dear (on the grounds that OMG TAXES might factor into it) are delusional at best. YOU ALREADY PAY FOR SICK PEOPLE BY WAY OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND TAXES. Judging by the numbers at the top of this post, we could ALL save a lot of money AND continue to have "personal responsibility" AND cover every man, woman and child. That's PER CAPITA, dumbasses.

And you don't often see real examination of these numbers because, let's face it: Advertising revenues are falling anyway, why would a CNN or a Fox News or a Chicago Tribune devote massive resources to uncovering the racketeering scheme that is Big Pharma and the fraud that is our private health insurance sector? Wouldn't want to piss of Pfizer and make it so they don't buy ads for their latest pills! 

But by all means, if you aren't making millions of dollars selling drugs or insurance, continue to defend our broken system with half-truths and deceptive accounting. You're just helping raise the volume on this conversation.


  • bispo

McMenacing? Cop Accused Of Pulling Gun At McD's

A Denver police officer has been suspended after allegedly brandishing his gun at a McDonald's restaurant in Aurora after his order took too long to fill.

Aurora police confirmed the CBS4 investigation saying the incident occurred May 21 at the McDonald's at 18181 East Hampden Avenue.

A spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department said they plan to present the case -- now classified as a felony menacing incident -- to the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office Thursday for possible filing of criminal charges.

Sources familiar with the case, and the fast food worker's account of what happened, say two off-duty Denver police officers placed an order from their car in the early morning hours of May 21. But once at the drive through window, the employee said the men became agitated and angry at how long their food was taking. The men thought they were being ignored, according to contacts familiar with the worker's account. The male clerk then said one of the officer's flashed his police badge and pointed a pistol through the drive through window in a threatening manner, before driving off without paying.

Both officers are assigned to Denver International Airport although only one has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the case.
misc. | Hill Harper

Kucinich Rips Lewis For Duping Shareholders, Remains America's Favourite Woodland Creature Doing So.

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis took a pounding Thursday from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. One of the most damning exchanges occurred between Lewis and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), when Kucinich exposed Lewis' request for government cover from shareholder lawsuits stemming from BofA's troubled merger with Merrill Lynch.

Prior to the merger, according to Kucinich, Lewis requested a letter from New York Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson declaring that the government had ordered him to acquire Merrill's losses. Kucinich presented e-mails from Bernanke and his general counsel contradicting Lewis' own claim that his lawyers didn't think disclosure of Merrill losses to his shareholders before the merger was necessary. ( Full @ HuffPo )

Glorious video is glorious.
meredith [grey's anatomy]
  • germli

Unemployment rates....

Top 4 by State
Michigan 14.1
Oregon at 12.4%
Rhode Island and South Carolina: 12.1%.
California: 11.5%

Unemployment of 10% Spreads, Risking U.S. Recovery
By Shobhana Chandra

June 19 (Bloomberg) -- More than one-quarter of American states now have unemployment rates higher than 10 percent, and all but two saw a further job-market deterioration in May.

Tennessee and Indiana joined the rank of states, now 13, that have jobless rates exceeding 10 percent, and eight states - - including California, Florida and Georgia -- reached their highest level of joblessness in May since records began in 1976, the Labor Department reported today in Washington.

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Tampa jobless rate hits 10.6%; 140,000 unemployed.

good news everyone!
  • 7950

France Wants To Study Burqa Wear, May Ban It In Public

France wants to study the small but growing trend of burqa wear, with an eye to possibly banning the Islamic garment from being worn in public, the government's spokesman said Friday.

Luc Chatel told France-2 television that the government would seek to set up a parliamentary commission that could propose legislation aimed at barring Muslim women from wearing the burqa and other fully covering gowns outside the home.

"If we find that use of the burqa was very clearly imposed (on women) ... we would draw the appropriate conclusions," Chatel said. Asked whether that could mean legislation banning the burqa in France, he responded "why not?"

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Integration: you're doing it wrong

Photographer Gives Disney Princesses a "Real Women's Issues" Reality Check

"As a new mother I have been able to get a close up look at the phenomenon of young girls fascinated with Princesses and their desire to dress up like them... I began to imagine Disney's perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues. My intention was not to put the characters in 'dirty situations,' but to just make a statement about real life...."-- Dina Goldstein

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  • turi

Twitter Users Heckle Hoekstra En Masse

Twitter Users Heckle Hoekstra En Masse

Earlier today, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) put up this astonishing post on Twitter, likening the oppression of the Iranian people to the plight of House Republicans:
Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.

In the hours since, the Twitter community has responded -- with massive heckling. Here's just a small sample of some of the best ones:

ArjunJaikumar @petehoekstra i spilled some lukewarm coffee on myself just now, which is somewhat analogous to being boiled in oil
chrisbaskind @petehoekstra My neighbor stopped me to talk today. Now I know what it is like to be questioned by the Basij!
luckbfern @petehoekstra I stand in solidarity with the oppressed rich white men of Repub Party in the House. #GOPfail Allah Akbar!
aciolino @petehoekstra Today I poked my finger on a hanger. Now I know what all those aborted babies go through.
ceedub7 @petehoekstra I got a splinter in my hand today. Felt just like Jesus getting nailed to the cross.
netw3rk @petehoekstra Someone walked in on me while I was in the bathroom. Reminded me of Pearl Harbor.
MattOrtega Walked out onto Constitution Ave in D.C. and was almost hit by a taxi. Reminded me of Tienanmen Square.
tharodge @petehoekstra maybe now is a good time to reconsider whether you are ready for national politics?
TahirDuckett @petehoekstra ran through the sprinklers this morning, claimed solidarity with victims of Hurricane Katrina
paganmist @petehoekstra Had to move all my stuff to a new office w/o a corner view. Now i know what the Trail of Tears was like. #GOPfail

(edit: also see http://petehisameme.wordpress.com , thanks thebigbadbutch  )

  • nikoel

Fox caught with its pants down on ABC attacks

As Think Progress noted, despite Fox’s whining about ABC’s upcoming special on health care reform which will include a town hall conducted in the White House, it turns out that when George W. Bush was President, Fox did exactly what they are accusing ABC of.

Here’s a video mashup of what Fox is saying now — and what it reported then, including footage from its fawning specials on both Bush and Cheney.


parody | Iran Solidarity Fräulein

Iran Post-election LiveThread #5.

A lot has happened in the last 12 hours, judging by the last live thread; sorry for not throwing this up earlier. Time to play catch up. You know the drill.

LOLitics | Make-out City

Shenanigans Friday: June 19, 2009.

"LOLitics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." --AmLOLse Bierce

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

by thormonger

Crying toddler prompts Australia parliament re-think

An Australian senator whose crying toddler was ejected from parliament during a political vote has prompted a review of chamber rules and sparked a heated debate over child-friendly work practices.

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she was "humiliated" when Senate President John Hogg ordered her teary 2-year-old daughter removed from the parliamentary chamber before a vote, in accordance with parliamentary rules.

"It shows that parliament is still based on a very male model and I just think it's absolutely ridiculous," said Women's Electoral Lobby Chairwoman Eva Cox.


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Community: Abed - Christmas

Seattle to release names of gay and lesbian city workers

By 365gay Newswire
06.19.2009 5:00pm EDT

(Seattle) After a Seattle City Light employee filed for the release of the names of gay and lesbian city workers involved in a city-sponsored club earlier in the month, the city of Seattle reluctantly did the same. The city is claiming the state public-records act requires the names to be released.

Philip Irvin, a self-proclaimed civil rights leader who was thwarted in his attempts to create a city-sponsored group of ex-gay employees, asked earlier this month for the names of employees associated with the department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning and Friends Club. Members of the club sued to prevent their names from being released claiming it would violate their privacy.

“The city sympathizes with the concerns that plaintiffs have expressed,” Assistant City Attorney Gary T. Smith said in court documents. “Nonetheless, the city believes that the Public Records Act obligates it to disclose the records at issue.”


Here's a similar article w/ more info: Source Deux

DOJ: Jon Stewart and the likes are a threat to National Security...

DOJ: We Can't Release Cheney Records Because Of Late Night Comedy

Sarabeth at 1115.org has a piece up today explaining that the Obama administration's efforts to keep the goings-on of the Bush-Cheney White House away from scrutinizing eyes now extends to denying a federal judge notes from the FBI's interview with ex-Vice President Dick Cheney during the CIA leak investigation. But this pull from the original AP story, which captures the reasoning of Justice Department for attempting to deny the request, is simply mind-blowing:

Justice Department lawyers told the judge that future presidents and vice presidents may not cooperate with criminal investigations if they know what they say could become available to their political opponents and late-night comics who would ridicule them.

"If we become a fact-finder for political enemies, they aren't going to cooperate," Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith said during a 90-minute hearing. "I don't want a future vice president to say, 'I'm not going to cooperate with you because I don't want to be fodder for 'The Daily Show.'"

I hardly think that citing the need to shield public figures from satire as a justification for denying this request has got the public's interests properly balanced. But I also have a question for the DOJ: Uhm...have you met our last two vice presidents? Joe "OMGZ EVACUATE THE TRAINZ IT'S THE PIG FLU!" Biden and Dick "I thirst for a consomme of infant tears" Cheney? By comparison, I think future vice-presidents have a better than even shot at avoiding comic ridicule without the intervention of federal courts.


Steele: Health Care Reform Is "Easy!" "Am I Missing Something Here?"

Steele’s health plan: ‘Do the deal. It’s not that complicated.’ ‘Hello?! Am I missing something here?’

While hosting Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele fearmongered about a government-run “health police” that would force Americans to get their annual physicals. The way to solve the health care crisis, Steele said in another portion of the show, is “not that complicated”: All we have to do is “figure out who” doesn’t have access to health care, “and give them access!”

STEELE: So if it’s a cost problem, it’s easy: Get the people in a room who have the most and the most direct impact on cost, and do the deal. Do the deal. It’s not that complicated.

If it’s an access question, people don’t have access to health care, then figure out who they are, and give them access! Hello?! Am I missing something here? If my friend Trevor has access to health care, and I don’t, why do I need to overhaul the entire system so I can get access he already has? why don’t you just focus on me and get me access?

Who knew that, despite the years of delay and debate, all the president has to do is “do the deal” and “give [everyone] access!” Steele’s right — it’s not complicated! Steele should be supporting a public plan, which is the best path to ensuring increased access to health care for all.

Coleman can use campaign funds for some legal expenses

Coleman can use campaign funds for some legal expenses

It looks to be a split decision on former Sen. Norm Coleman's (R-Minn.) request to use campaign funds for a legal matter.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) will allow Coleman to use campaign funds for some, but not all,
of the expenses related to a federal investigation and lawsuits focusing on a top donor, according to drafts of the FEC's opinions issued Thursday.

The drafts are set to be taken up by the committee June 25. Both of them allow him to use campaign funds for some activities and not for others.

The FEC issued two draft advisory opinions responding to the Coleman campaign's April request to use the funds when dealing with the controversy over Nasser Kazeminy's alleged steering of $75,000 to a firm that employed Coleman's wife, Laurie.

Coleman has asked to use the funds in connection with lawsuits in Texas and Delaware, an FBI investigation, and Senate Ethics Committee complaints having to do with the matter.
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Twitter would have stopped Rwandan genocide, claims PM

The PM reckons the web and Twitter would have made the murder of millions of Rwandans in the 1990s impossible, according to The Guardian.

The online spread of information about the current unrest in Iran indicated a change "more tumultuous than any previous economic or social revolution", Gordon Brown said.

"This week's events in Iran are a reminder of the way that people are using new technology to come together in new ways to make their views known," he said.


Then, launching into utopian hyperbole, he mused: "You cannot have Rwanda again because information would come out far more quickly about what is actually going on and the public opinion would grow to the point where action would need to be taken."

We'd like to see him try Twittering that to people in Sudan, or Northern Sri Lanka, or Somalia.

Source: The Register

(no subject)

 White House fires back at Bush comments: 'We won'
The White House responded Thursday to recent comments by former President George W. Bush.
Posted: 08:06 PM ET


 WASHINGTON (CNN) – A day after former President George W. Bush seemed to criticize the Obama administration for departing from a number of his anti-terrorism policies, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fired back.

Asked about Bush's remarks during Thursday's press briefing Gibbs had a simple response. "We won," Gibbs told reporters.

In a vigorous defense of his own national security policies during a speech in Pennsylvania Wednesday, Bush appeared to take issue with the new administration's early decision to close the detention center in Guantanamo Bay and ban the use of aggressive interrogation techniques.

"I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor," Bush said, according to a report by the Washington Times. "I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don't believe that persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind."

Gibbs said Thursday that the American people had made their own decision about battling terror.

"I think we've had a debate about individual policies. We had that debate in particular – we kept score last November and we won," Gibbs said.

Gibbs also responded Thursday to the former president's remarks that appeared to be directed at the Obama administration's unprecedented involvement in the private sector in the middle of the financial and economic crisis that began last fall at the end of Bush's tenure.

"President Obama believes that the free market is what governs our economic principles, and looks forward to getting out of the business of being involved in banks and in auto companies," Gibbs said.

Murasaki Shikibu

Supreme leader: Iran vote was "definitive victory"

Supreme leader: Iran vote was "definitive victory"

EHRAN, Iran – Iran's supreme leader said Friday that there was "definitive victory" and no rigging in disputed presidential elections, offering no concession to protesters demanding the vote be canceled and held again.

In his first public address since demonstrators flooded the streets, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said protests should cease and the opposition must pursue its complaints within the confines of the cleric-led ruling system.

He said protesters would be "held responsible for chaos if they didn't end" days of massive demonstrations. The unrest has posed the greatest challenge to the system since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought it to power.

Khamenei said official results showing a landslide for hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were beyond question.

"There is 11 million votes difference, Khamenei said. "How one can rig 11 million votes?"

He blamed Great Britain and Iran's external enemies for trying to foment unrest but said Iran would not see a second revolution like those that transformed the countries of the former Soviet Union.

He remained staunch in his defense of Ahmadinejad, saying his views were closer to the president's than to those of Hashemi Rafsanjani, a powerful patron of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

He reiterated that he had ordered the country's highest electoral authority to pursue election complaints.


To quote Sam Beckett: Oh, boy.
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LOLitics | Trent Lott

Live Post: the 65th Annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner.

President Obama is the highlight speaker at the 65th Annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner. Additional speakers and entertainment include Dinner Chair Heather Dahl, Bill Plante, Sweet Honey in the Rock, a Jib Jab video and John Hodgman.

It's on, live, right now. Watch it on C-SPAN.

Also, have a Collapse )

ETA: For those who missed the live broadcast, here's the re-run @ C-SPAN.com.
garf tired


JibJab.com, the folks who brought you last election season's  Time For Some Campaigning, has just released a brand new funny video - about our favorite commander in chief.

He's Barack Obama


Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

The video was debuted to the president at tonight's Radio-TV Correspondent's dinner, where the prez is expected to give his own lulworthy remarks shortly.  


Kick some ass!


"And where is our president? Afraid of 'meddling'. Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world."
- Charles Krauthammer


Right on, boys, let's "kick some ass". The neo-con legion of volunteer warriors - up from their armchairs - are ready to attack Iran. General Limbaugh can lead a hemorrhoid gas attack on the Left flank. And Field Marshall Cheney can gun 'em down with birdshot. After all, It's not about defending Moussavi; we know there's not an ounce of difference between him and Ahmadinejad.

The students? It's obious they just want a good Christian nation, like all freedom lovin' people. But mainly, we just want say "kick some ass" again, because "kick some ass" feels good to say, and it's what international relations are all about.

Fox News: Obama breaks campaign pledge!! He really is a secret mooslim!!

If Barack Obama Still Hasn’t Picked A Church By August 1, He Is Automatically Muslim

Iran is on the cusp of something — who knows what, but everyone’s sure! — and health care reform is free-falling towards a centrist compromise to give the uninsured thirteen cents and a get-well-soon card, but here’s the pressing issue for the White House, if we are to believe Fox News’ Major Garrett and some other lady asking a follow-up: why haven’t you picked your new family church yet? It was a CAMPAIGN PLEDGE. [YouTube]

Iranian Protesters supports America's Rightwingnuts Tea Parties!

More Battle Cries From The Iranian Tea Party Twitter Revolution

Here’s the latest idiot, South Carolina state senator David Thomas (of Wendy’s fame!), who appears to have launched a 2010 congressional bid. His Twitter feed is loaded with goods: “Green tea (OK it’s Chi Comm stuff…shame, shame) is good sub every now and then for even MY fresh ground French roast… FRENCH,” “The Supreme Leader says I HAVE to get ready for work. Yes dear,” and, good god, “If anyone comes upon an article on the authority of the Fed, eg the Economist, please let me know.” Nice breeding, South Carolina. [Twitter via Indigo Journal]

John Hodgman: Obama is our 1st Nerd President

Author and comedian John Hodgman--also known as the PC Guy-- was the headliner of this year's 65th annual Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner, and he delivered a humorous speech in which he teased President Obama for being a "nerd," saying that he hoped Obama could finally heal the "age-old conflict" between nerds and jocks.