June 25th, 2009

Rights only matter if you are Amurrikaan - Obama

Allegations of abuse and neglect at a US detention facility in Afghanistan have been uncovered by the BBC.

Former detainees have alleged they were beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at the Bagram military base.

The BBC interviewed 27 former inmates of Bagram around the country over a period of two months.

The Pentagon has denied the charges and insisted that all inmates in the facility are treated humanely.

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Barney Frank on GOP econ. philosophy: "Weaponized Keynesianism"

A pretty good burn from Barney Frank in the style of Obama's burn the other day against private health insurers:

BARNEY FRANK: These arguments [that defense spending creates jobs and is good for the economy] will come from the very people who denied that the economic recovery plan created any jobs. We have a very odd economic philosophy in Washington: It's called weaponized Keynesianism. It is the view that the government does not create jobs when it funds the building of bridges or important research or retrains workers, but when it builds airplanes that are never going to be used in combat [see below], that is of course economic salvation.

Backstory from Think Progress:

"On a press call hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund this afternoon, Frank pointed out Republicans' hypocrisy in railing against the deficit while simultaneously funding a $2 billion air force jet that has never once flown a mission in Afghanistan or Iraq.... Frank also dismissed concerns that eliminating the F-22 will cost jobs."
i want joe biden i need joe biden

In Nixon tapes, Billy Graham refers to 'synagogue of Satan'

A 1973 conversation between President Nixon and evangelist Billy Graham about Jews, laden with critical references including a Biblical verse on the "synagogue of Satan," has put the aging, frail Graham back in unwelcome headlines.

The conversation is part of newly-released secretly recorded tapes from the Nixon presidency, from the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Md., and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. A sampling of more than 150 hours of tape recordings and 30,000 pages of documents from two months in 1973 were made public Tuesday (download at Nixon.archives.gov/National Archives), culled from 4,000 hours of taped meetings and phone calls in a two-year period.

An earlier release of tapes in 2002 shocked fans of Graham, who is heard agreeing with Nixon as the president rails against liberal Jews' political activism and media clout. Graham tells Nixon how Jews befriend him but adds, "They don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country."

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From USA Today

Swedish parents keep 2-year-old's gender secret

A couple of Swedish parents have stirred up debate in the country by refusing to reveal whether their two-and-a-half-year-old child is a boy or a girl.

Pop’s parents [see footnote], both 24, made a decision when their baby was born to keep Pop’s sex a secret. Aside from a select few – those who have changed the child’s diaper – nobody knows Pop’s gender; if anyone enquires, Pop’s parents simply say they don’t disclose this information.

In an interview with newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in March, the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy that gender is a social construction.

“We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset,” Pop’s mother said. “It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”

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Thoughts? I think this is really awesome. It's not going to severely mess up the kid's sense of reality, like some of the people I've talked to. It sounds like Pop doesn't give a shit about gender norms, which is cool with me, especially as a two year old -- pink vs blue is stupid as hell. Nobody should have to give into that so early.

The part about "this won't work, the kid's identity blah blah blah" is stupid as hell. Of course the child is going to figure out his or her identity on his or her own, but that's leaving it up to the child instead of basing their gender off of what's in their pull-ups.

Emo Governor? Now I feel sorry for SC...

Is Mark Sanford America’s first emo governor?

If you’re a late-thirty-something like me, you’ve spent the last ten years bewildered by “emo,” a youth movement celebrating histrionic displays of emotion, skinny jeans, and hair that looks like it was put on backwards.

I’m no emo expert, but I’m pretty sure 49-year-old Republican governors from South Carolina are not its core demographic.

However, as a great man once said, the arc of history is long … but it bends towards Dashboard Confessional.

Emo’s moment has arrived.

If Barack Obama is America’s first nerd president, surely Mark Sanford is America’s first emo governor.

EXHIBIT 1: The scandal. Sanford had an affair with a “dear, dear friend” in Argentina with whom he emailed/texted about emotions and relationships. In his own words: “We swapped e-mails, whatever …” PURE EMO!

EXHIBIT 2: The press conference. In contrast to most politicians’ revelations of infidelity — which unfurl with a defensive, android predictability — Sanford explored the deepest emotional caves of his being with a teary-eyed grandeur. That he undertook this psychosexual spelunking on live television is pure emo. I raise my lighter to him.

EXHIBIT 3: His vocabulary. Listen to these lines from his press conference; they could only come from the mouth of a man deeply steeped in the proud institutions and noble traditions of emo:

“From a heart level, there was something real ….”
–This is basically the First Law of Emo. Sanford gets it. He lives it.

“The biggest self of self is, indeed, self …”
–My understanding is that this is what 90% of My Chemical Romance lyrics are like.

“The odyssey that we’re all on in life is with regard to heart …”
–I guarantee a suburban kid has already thought, “Hey, that would look pretty good carved into my arm.”

The emotional high/low/head-exploding-point of the press conference was when Sanford admitted to having spent five days crying in Argentina, which is the most emo thing anyone has ever done in all of history. (By the way, “Five Days Crying” is a great name for an emo band, as is another phrase from Sanford’s press conference: “Zone of Protectiveness.”)

EXHIBIT 4: His emails. Basic human decency prevents me from quoting Sanford’s private emails; rest assured they are more emo than Robert Smith’s eyeliner.

EXHIBIT 5: His band. During his press conference, Sanford referred to his participation in “C Street” with a “spiritual giant” named Cubby Culbertson. I assume C Street is Sanford’s emo band (he looks like a rhythm guitarist) and that Cubby Culbertson is the band’s roadie. (The Fifth Law of Rock states that it’s impossible for a “giant” named Cubby to not be a roadie.)

EXHIBIT 6: The subtext. Sanford’s entire press conference was basically a cover version of this proto-emo classic.

Face it: The man is a living, breathing preview of the Pete Wentz administration.

Wonkette: Very Politico-y Politico Article: Elitist Obama Is Too *Good* To Have Sex Affairs

Very Politico-y Politico Article: Elitist Obama Is Too *Good* To Have Sex Affairs

[LINK BAN OFF, their trolling has won this battle] Local Internet site The Politico has written “one of those stories they write,” oh boy. Barack Obama is terrible! “Call it the politics of personal perfection. The Barack Obama brand is as much about being a personal example to the nation as it is about being a political figure. But the danger of that frothy mix of glamour and domesticity is that President Obama could become in the public mind something he never sought to be: the Martha Stewart of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And political veterans say the fine line between what’s inspiring and what’s annoying can be difficult to spot in advance.” Here are their stories.
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Germany Has 1 Million More Muslims than Previously Thought

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A new Interior Ministry study has revealed that Muslims in Germany are much more integrated than previously thought: Around half are German citizens and 70 percent of women never wear a headscarf. There are also many more Muslims in the country than was previously estimated.

Poor, uneducated and living in a "parallel society" of headscarf-wearing women and criminal youth: The common stereotype of Muslims in Germany is not an all-too-positive one. But a new study reveals a surprisingly different picture of the reality -- including the fact that many more Muslims live in Germany than was previously believed.

The study, which was commissioned by the Interior Ministry together with Germany's Islam Conference, is the first country-wide study that gives a representative overview of Muslim life in Germany. Researchers from the Nuremberg-based Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) interviewed around 6,000 Muslims from 49 different countries about the role of religion in their everyday life and various aspects of integration. A summary of the study was published Tuesday and the full study will be presented Thursday at the last meeting of the Islam Conference, which Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble initiated in 2006 in a bid to launch a dialogue between the German state and the Muslim community.

The study, which was commissioned by the Interior Ministry together with Germany's Islam Conference, is the first country-wide study that gives a representative overview of Muslim life in Germany. Researchers from the Nuremberg-based Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) interviewed around 6,000 Muslims from 49 different countries about the role of religion in their everyday life and various aspects of integration. A summary of the study was published Tuesday and the full study will be presented Thursday at the last meeting of the Islam Conference, which Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble initiated in 2006 in a bid to launch a dialogue between the German state and the Muslim community.

Many More Muslims in Germany
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Bachmann Says ACORN Will Use Census For Internment Camps

Bachmann Says ACORN Will Use Census For Internment Camps

Something like that at least; she may have said these things before: “If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps.” Ha. We all know that if Michele Bachmann had been in power in the 1940s, she would’ve *loved* the idea of internment camps. [YouTube, Think Progress]

so Obama is going to start camp internment for whiteys?

Maryland Republican Group Takes Down Obama/Hitler Comparison then tosses racist author under the bus

Maryland Republican Group Takes Down Obama/Hitler Comparison

The Republican Women of Anne Arundel County, "one of Maryland's most prominent Republican organizations," recently posted on its website a comparison between President Obama and Adolf Hitler.

RWAAC President Joyce E. Thomann, explained, for those who don't see the similarities:

Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common in my view. Obama and Hitler use the "blitzkrieg" method to overwhelm their enemies. FAST, CARPET BOMBING intent on destruction. Hitler's blitzkrieg bombing destroyed many European cities - quickly and effectively. Obama is systematically destroying the American economy and with it AMERICA. First the banking/investment industry, next private enterprise (GM and Chrysler) and now HEALTH CARE. And he is working on grabbing more of the American economy with his environmental extremism!

The suggestion that our president resembled a fascist, genocidal dictator must have offended some people, because Thomann's missive has been taken down. In its place is this note:

"The article put on our web site by Joyce Thomann was done solely by her. Our Board of Directors never saw the article and would never have approved it.We are not in support of Mrs. Thomann's personal thoughts ot [sic] opinions."


Dana Perino: elect more women, they are sexless cretures to have an affair!!

Elect more women, but not because Dana Perino said so

I don’t normally pay much attention to what’s posted over at the National Review’s blog, The Corner. I mean, if I had to pick apart every lop-sided argument and pot-shot that Kathryn Lopez made, I wouldn’t have time to write posts on abortion rights or hang out with my gay married friends.

But this morning’s post by Lopez on her exchange with Dana Perino, former White House press secretary, made my jaw drop. In reference to the adultery of Gov. Mark Sanford, Perino writes bemoaning the philanderers in modern-day politics. And her solution to all this extra-marital sex in Washington? Elect more women.
While I am not able to explain, I do think I know the answer to all of this: Elect more women. No woman I know has the time for such trysts, nor do I know any who say the desire one. They’re too busy trying to keep all the plates spinning at home, at work, and at the gym to make sure none fall and break.
I mean, of course we should elect more women to office. But is Perino really suggesting (and is Lopez really agreeing!?) that the impetus to women in office is because they’re too busy (read: too sexless) to be having affairs?

That argument strikes me as awfully similar to that made by Richard Nixon, in his recently released tapes. “I don’t do it because I’m for women,” he said to then GOP Chairmen George H.W. Bush, about supporting women for election. “But I’m doing it because (a) woman might win some place where a man might not.” Doesn’t seem like the Republican backing of women in office is any less utilitarian now than it was then.

And let’s not forget that just a few years ago, people were making the exact opposite argument to that made by Perino and Lopez today — that women who had careers were more likely to be having affairs. To whit:
While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.
So which over-generalizing, mind-numbing, anachronistic stereo-type are we to believe? Perino and Lopez’s asexual Mother Mary politician? Or Forbes’s philandering professional feminist?

I’d like to suggest an option C : We elect more women to office because they’re qualified (well, most are), competent, and - oh yeah - representative of more than 50% of the population.

misc. | Michelle Obama

Interesting response from the FLOTUS when approached about DOMA.

From Michael Petrelis's blog:

Michelle O to SF Gay Photographer: 'Give Your Husband a Hug From Me'

[Hello visitors from Andrew Sullivan's site. Be sure to read this post about Human Rights Watch not keeping a promise to release a report on gay Iranians. Thanks, Andrew, for the great coverage on the Iranian democratic revolution and the link today.]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | My friend Bill Wilson, a veteran gay photographer of many decades, had the chance to get close to our First Lady during her visit to San Francisco yesterday. Bill not only snapped lots of pics, he also had a short exchange with her. Here's his report:
Thought you might be interested in an exchange I had with First Lady Michelle Obama this afternoon.

About a month ago I registered to volunteer at the playground build at Bret Harte Elementary School this morning. I found out Friday night that Mrs. Obama was going to be there.

I knew I had to say something to her about DOMA if I had the opportunity and this was the result, as I remember it:

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Good going, Bill! Thanks for making sure Michelle Obama heard the concerns of the gay community during her visit.

For more info on Bill and his husband Fernando, and to view more of his pics of the First Lady's time at the playground, click here.

And to reach Bill, send email to: wfwilson(at)sbcglobal(dot)net.

Here's a sweet pic of the photographer and his hubby getting married.

Y SO SWEET? And yes, hell yes, that *is* Mayor Gavin Newsom officiating.

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Source: Petrelis Files
LOLitics | Chibi Obama Family

"Obama Brings A Bit Of Hawaii To Washington".

It may be the most irresistible event in Washington since the Inauguration.

President Obama is bringing a bit of his Hawaii birthplace to the South Lawn of the White House this evening, staging a luau for members of Congress and their families.

The White House residence staff spent the day putting up Tiki huts and torches on the grounds of the executive mansion, pictured left.

But what will make the evening irresistible to a political crowd is the chance to drop White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel into a tank of water.

A spokesman says the luau will feature a dunk tank and Emanuel will be one of three senior presidential advisors to take a turn at getting a soaking. He'll be joined by press secretary Robert Gibbs and congressional liaison Phil Schilero.

Emanuel, known for his hardball approach to politics and profanity-laced rhetoric, is sure to draw a long line of would-be dunkers. Collapse )


Source: CBS News

ETA: From AMC's Twitter--

As reporters walked out to try to dunk Gibbs, Obama stuck his head out. "He won't let me take a shot," he said.


  • ~*Bow-chicka-wah-waaaaah*~ @ Barack flirting with Michelle in the vid.

  • LOL @ the euphemistic conclusion about taxpayers paying for the event. Stay tuned for angry tea parties that wont be directed at previous GOP presidents who hosted the same annual WH thematic devent (see: Dubya's Texas-themed BBQs), or at the Republican congressmen/women who will happily attend the luau!


  • ETA: Aaaaand FReepers deliver the fake ~taxpayer rage~, racism, Islamaphobia, and tinfoil hat "birther" chatter, as you predicted!
' jules

I am most jealous of your salad under the palm tree.

Exclusive: More e-mails between Sanford, Maria

E-mails, obtained by The State newspaper in December, between Gov. Mark Sanford and Maria, a woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

At the time, efforts to authenticate the e-mails were unsuccessful. However, Sanford’s office Wednesday did not dispute their authenticity.

The State has removed the woman’s full name and other personal details, including her street address, e-mail address and children’s names.

McClatchy special correspondent Angeles Mase on Wednesday visited the 14-story apartment building in Buenos Aires where the woman lives, according to the e-mails, which included her address. A woman at the address answered to the name in the e-mails and, at first, agreed to speak to a visitor, but she declined after the visitor identified herself as a reporter.

From: Mark Sanford
To: Maria
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2008 03:09:44 +0000


You are glorious and I hope you really understand that. You do not need a therapist to help you figure your place in the world. You are special and unique and fabulous in a whole host of ways that are worth a much longer conversation. To be continued ...

Have been having a few email problems as I am getting email through an aircard at the farm, where access to computer world is more than tough. Please let me know if you have gotten my last two eamils (sic) so I know it is working in getting to your part of the world ...

Another glorious day outside. Hope you are doing well, and am anxious to hear about your week. Know that I miss you. Unbeleivably (sic) hard to imagine it has been a week. Please also send your mailing address as I want to send you an insignificant something next week when I am back in civilization that I think you might find interesting given our conversation.

Want to write an indepth note with some thoughts on our visit when I know you are getting these emails. Hugs and much love. M

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I debated posting these because they really are very personal and kind of pathetic in the literal sense of the term, but one, it's pretty true to the ONTD in ontd_political, and two, everyone's too focused on omgwtfmichaeljackson to pay attention to this, really.

When a Republican does it is human error, when a democrat does it he is a sinner!!

Inglis to GOP: ‘Lose Stinking Rot of Self-Righteousness’

South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis made a name for himself in the late 1990s as one of Bill Clinton’s most zealous pursuers, an impeachment “manager” who attacked the moral failings of the president with a gusto that earned him a devoted following in the staunchly conservative “Upstate” of conservative South Carolina.

But with his governor now felled by similar temptations, Inglis sees an opening for the Republican Party, a chance to “lose the stinking rot of self-righteousness” and “to understand we are all in need of some grace.”

This is not “Bob Inglis 1.0,” the one that was a “self-righteous” expletive, he said in an interview with Washington Wire today. It is a Bob Inglis that is, if anything, more Christian, more attuned to the Gospels, he said.
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Video: Sanford Whacked Pol For Violating "Oath To His Wife"

In light of Mark Sanford's admission that he has been conducted a more-than-year-long affair with an Argentinean woman, a reader sends over some old footage of the South Carolina Republican disparaging a fellow politician for violating his marriage oath.

At the time, Sanford was one of the few congressional Republicans condemning the incoming Speaker of the House, Robert Livingston, for his own marital difficulties. And during an appearance on CNN's Crossfire, he was asked by one Bill Press (who hasn't aged a bit) whether the newly anointed GOP House leader should step down.

"I'm sure there will be a lot of legalistic explanations pointing out the president lied under oath, [Livingston's] situation was not under oath," replied Sanford. "But the bottom line is, he still lied. He lied under a different oath and that is the oath to his wife. so it has got to be taken very seriously."
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*betty draper reading

Mark Sanford's affair: It's Obama's fault!

SELF-PARODY WATCH.... I remember, when Enron and other corporate scandals first broke during Bush's first term, some conservatives argued that the scandals were Bill Clinton's fault -- not because of lax regulations, but because the Lewinsky scandal sent an "anything goes" signal to the nation, which in turn led business leaders to abandon their ethical standards.

It was a reminder that, when it comes to the right's drive to blame unrelated events on Democratic presidents, conservatives' creativity and imagination are practically limitless.

This occurred to me again today when Rush Limbaugh, without a hint of humor, argued that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) cheated on his wife, betrayed his family, and abandoned his professional responsibilities to fly off to Argentina ... and it's President Obama's fault.

"This is almost like, 'I don't give a damn, the country's going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,'" Limbaugh said. "[Sanford] had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it; he lost the battle. He said, 'What the hell. I mean, the federal government's taking over -- what the hell, I want to enjoy life.'"

Limbaugh added, "The point is, there are a lot of people whose spirit is just -- they're fed up, saying, 'To hell with it, I don't even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it.'"

A listener apparently sent Limbaugh an email during the program, asking if he was kidding about the White House's economic policies being responsible for Sanford's affair. "No!" he said, adding that the governor may have realized, "The Democrats are destroying the country; we can't do anything to stop it."

What's especially funny about this is the way in which Limbaugh's attempts to pass the buck and shift the blame -- Mark Sanford isn't responsible for his own behavior, Barack Obama is responsible for Sanford's behavior -- is that it can be applied to practically any situation. Any time anyone does anything wrong, following Limbaugh's logic, he/she could simply chalk it up to Obama-driven despair.

Remember when conservatives used to say that liberals were opposed to people taking responsibility for their own actions? Good times, good times.


full transcript here

The party of personal responsibility and moral values strikes again!

Glenn Beck's pretty doll house.


Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly are working together to expose the vast conspiracy that is the organization known as ACORN. Beck, who has a history of employing wacky antics on his own Fox News show, was a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" tonight so he could inform O'Reilly of very important news regarding the federal government's investigation of ACORN. Oh, and Beck brought dolls.

Beck used the dolls to illustrate that the federal government's probe of ACORN was too narrow, and that by focusing on one of their houses in New Orleans, they were letting the "villains" just drive away and set up shop elsewhere. We think.

It seems that such a relatively simple point could have been made without the dolls, but perhaps a visual aid was necessary to distract from the fact that Beck's not making much sense.

Taken from the Huffington Post.

Thoughts? I like how the dollhouse is pink.

Specter backs public option on health care. Suddenly I like this guy...

Specter backs public option on health care

Sen. Arlen Specter told a boisterous crowd of union activists today that he backs a public health insurance option as part of the health care overhaul Congress is debating.

"I know you are very interested in the public component and I think Senator Schumer has the right idea about having a public component," Specter said at a rally held at the Capitol City Brewery near Union Station.

The shift -- Specter opposed a public option only months ago -- comes as Specter faces a potential primary opponent next spring in U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and as a new poll shows his favorability rating at a 17-year low.

Here are all of his remarks, as provided by his staff...
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