June 29th, 2009

Over 1 in 10 US kids thinks they will die young

Surprising number of teens think they'll die young
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
1 hr 10 mins ago

CHICAGO – A surprising number of teenagers — nearly 15 percent — think they're going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behavior, new research suggests.

The study, based on a survey of more than 20,000 kids, challenges conventional wisdom that says teens engage in risky behavior because they think they're invulnerable to harm. Instead, a sizable number of teens may take chances "because they feel hopeless and figure that not much is at stake," said study author Dr. Iris Borowsky, a researcher at the University of Minnesota.

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"Fatalistic teens" @ Yahoo! News

Widening generation gap between views of young, old

[Remember how the tea bagger tea parties were almost without exception middle aged or older white folks?]

Study finds widening generation gap in US
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jun 29, 3:50 am ET

WASHINGTON – From cell phones and texting to religion and manners, younger and older Americans see the world differently, creating the largest generation gap since the tumultuous years of the 1960s and the culture clashes over Vietnam, civil rights and women's liberation.

A new study released Monday by the Pew Research Center found Americans of different ages increasingly at odds over a range of social and technological issues.

It also highlights a widening age divide after last November's election, when 18- to 29-year-olds voted for Democrat Barack Obama by a 2-to-1 ratio.

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AP report @ CBS

Obama/Hitler comparisons becoming more common among conservatives

Heil, Obama?

hitler-cp-1322439.jpg Joyce E. Thomann is one of the latest people to discover that just because an idea occurs to you, it doesn't necessarily make that idea worth sharing with the world.

The president of Republican Women of Anne Arundel County learned that truism the hard way after she opined on her organization's Web site that "Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common in my view. Obama and Hitler use the 'blitzkrieg' method to overwhelm their enemies."

What followed was thoroughly predictable, as Thomann's words were denounced by fellow members of her group, local candidates to whom she had contributed money, and observers nationwide after the Obama-Hitler comparison was picked up by the Huffington Post.

The shame of it is, not only were Thomann's comments asinine and offensive, they didn't even score points for originality. Indeed, the Obama/Hitler nexus has been a staple of conservative debate for years now -- and not just on the fringes but deep in the mainstream.


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@ Baltimore Sun

God, I hate CNN SO MUCH.

This is truly one of the dumbest pieces of I've seen on CNN in a LONG time. And that's saying something, because my hatred for CNN runs deep. So I was at work this morning and they showed this piece of faux-populist drek, ever-so-irritatingly titled, "Just Sayin'." I can't embed the video, so click the link and let your mind be blown.

Feeling Over-Taxed? Just Sayin'...


Okay, so yeah, the cigarette tax was raised. You know the result for me? I quit smoking. And state and local governments have nothing to do with Obama. This entire piece is a stupid, stupid piece of bad journalism aimed squarely at a bunch of tight-fisted lolbertarians with victim complexes about the fact that having a nice country actually costs money. Here's the text from the attached article:

“No family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

But, what’s up with this?

February 5, 2009, President Barack Obama signed a health insurance bill for children funded almost entirely by boosting the federal tax on cigarettes by nearly 300 percent.

And this:

June 24, 2009, the president said he’d be open to the idea of taxing employee health care benefits.

Does this mean that President Obama has changed his mind?

Not necessarily. He did give middle-class Americans a break by making the Bush tax cuts permanent and by distributing millions in tax credits.

So why do some Americans feel over-taxed? Well, it turns out there’s more than one way to tax a taxpayer.Collapse )

Shockingly, the comments at the source aren't nearly as stupid as you'd think. Also, this comm needs a cnnfail tag.
panda bear

(no subject)

Ahmadinejad calls for Neda probe.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for an investigation into the death of a young woman who has become an icon of opposition protests.

He urged Iran's judicial authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the shooting of Neda Agha-Soltan.

Mr Ahmadinejad said there were many fabricated reports in the foreign media about the shooting of the 26-year-old during a protest earlier this month.

Eyewitnesses reportedly said a member of a government militia had shot her.

Video footage of the music student's dying moments was seen around the world after being posted on the internet.

She was shot on 20 June, when supporters of defeated election candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi clashed with riot police and Basij militiamen in the capital Tehran.

Some 17 people are thought to have died during the post-election street protests.

In a letter to judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, Mr Ahmadinejad described Neda's death as "suspicious," reported the official Irna news agency on Monday.

His letter added: "I request you to order the judicial system to seriously follow up the murder case... and identify elements behind the case and inform the people of the result," reported Irna.

Mr Ahmadinejad's letter also suggested that the opposition and Iran's enemies overseas had sought to exploit her death "for their own political aims and also to distort the pure and clean image of the Islamic Republic in the world".

President Ahmadinejad was declared the poll winner by a landslide, but his opponents said the victory was achieved by massive fraud.

The authorities reject the charge but Iran's top legislative body, the Guardians Council, has begun a partial recount of the poll - a move rejected by the defeated opposition candidate.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has demanded the release of British embassy staff detained by the Iranian authorities in Tehran.

Iranian officials say they have freed five of the nine staff and the rest are being interrogated.

Iran repeatedly accused foreign powers - especially Britain and the US - of meddling after the 12 June election

In the fallout from the crisis, Tehran has expelled two British diplomats and the UK has responded with a similar measure.

At least 1,000 opposition supporters are reported to have staged a noisy rally outside a mosque in Tehran on Sunday evening before it was broken up by police and militia.

The report could not be independently verified because of reporting restrictions on foreign media.

cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?


Pat Boone Joins the Birthers
By David Weigel 6/29/09 2:57 PM

The aging song stylist uses the latest edition of his Newsmax.com column to demand the president’s birth certificate (it’s here, by the way), repeating some rumors about the conspiracy theory that were debunked months ago.

[A] widely known and experienced investigator, Dr. Jerome Corsi, flew to Kenya in search of a certificate of birth he had reason to believe existed there. But he was detained and stonewalled by Kenyan officials. He couldn’t obtain confirmation but received no denial. He was just ordered to leave the country.

During that same time, some reported seeing a videotaped proclamation by his paternal step-grandmother that she was in the delivery room and saw Barack H. Obama born in Mombasa, in what is now Kenya!

Boone, unlike most people who repeat this myth, gets Sarah Obama’s relationship to the president correct, but the video in question doesn’t say anything like this. Also, this is somewhat new to me:

Many, who know more than I do about what actually happened, notably the United States Justice Foundation, have surmised that baby Obama’s mother, about to have her child in Kenya, had booked a flight to Hawaii but was prohibited from flying because delivery was so imminent. But soon after baby Barack was born, USJF theorizes she flew with him to Oahu and obtained some kind of “record of birth” as if he’d been born there.

There is no record or anecdote of Ann Dunham ever traveling to Kenya with her soon-to-be-estranged husband Barack Obama Sr., but the idea of a very pregnant 18-year-old woman taking a transatlantic flight makes perfect sense to Boone et al.


For those of you who don't know, Pat Boone's stardom comes from the fact that he spent most of the fifties doing horrible bland cover versions of R&B songs by black artists, because black music performed by actual black people was JUST SO THREATENING.
oz; dorothy blinking


Iraq Scandal Haunts Lynndie England
Reservist in Abu Ghraib Photos Explains Herself in Biography

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KEYSER, W.Va. (June 29) -- More than two years since leaving her prison cell, the woman who became the grinning face of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal spends most of her days confined to the four walls of her home.

Former Army reservist Lynndie England hasn't landed a job in numerous tries: When one restaurant manager considered hiring her, other employees threatened to quit.

She doesn't like to travel: Strangers point and whisper, "That's her!"

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Yeah, that looks reeeally democratic

Heavy military presence in Honduras after coup

(CNN)-- Honduras remained calm but tense Monday as military troops who removed President Jose Manuel Zelaya a day earlier ringed the presidential palace and demonstrations broke out nearby.

The Telesur TV network showed images of troops, tanks and other military assets deployed around the presidential grounds.

The station, a conglomerate formed by several Latin American countries and partially funded by the pro-Zelaya Venezuelan government, reported that the armed forces had set up roadblocks on major highways to inspect passengers on buses and trucks making their way to Tegucigalpa, the capital.

The new government declared an indefinite curfew and shut down media sources.

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Clinton says Honduras has "evolved into a coup"

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday the United States believes the unrest in Honduras "has evolved into a coup," but the U.S. is not demanding that deposed President Manuel Zelaya be restored to office.

She also said the military coup has not triggered an automatic cutoff of U.S. aid to Honduras.
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More reactions under the cut

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ETA:    Obama: Honduras coup "Not Legal"
ETA#2 (last one, I promise): There are words about a death and arrests. The death has been denied by the hospital. Few images, click for bigger version ...


So basically dozens of countries are not recognizing the new government, calling their ambassadors home etc. Chavez is threatening to send his military over there. Creepy to read when you have a military dictatorship as part of your history, I hope it's not as serious as it sounds to my ears and this better have a happy ending. I don't think I've ever heard such a serious tone in Lula's voice while speaking about a foreign government befor
' jules

South Carolina: America's Fail Whale.

#EmailFail: Lt. Gov. Hires Swift Boat Operative to Nudge Sanford From Office

All sex aside, the Sanford scandal offers plenty of political intrigue.

If Gov. Mark Sanford resigns, Lt. Gov. André Bauer would get to run as an incumbent in 2010 -- a definite leg up -- and his supporters have been pushing hard for Sanford's resignation. But some of them have been pushing the wrong people.

The NYT obtained an email from one of Bauer's political consultants, Chris LaCivita, a former media consultant for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He sent the email, which mentioned his efforts to oust Sanford, to fellow GOP operative Curt Anderson.

"André Bauer is my client; I've been working this since Monday," the email read. "I need to get this guy (Sanford) out."

Unfortunately, Anderson isn't exactly sympathetic to Bauer's ambitions, as he's a close friend of one of his likely opponents, Attorney General Henry McMaster.

"On this, I can't help you," Anderson replied. "Henry McMaster has been a friend of mine for almost 20 years." Anderson, by the way, is also one of Michael Steele's political consultants.

Note to LaCivita: Better check those email lists.


So this makes him Absalom, right?

Also: Possibly as a reaction, Bauer offers compromise; suggests that he will not run (in 2010) if Sanford resigns.
Jake G -  Moving beauty

"Still Thriving and Excelling Long After Helen Keller"

Another day at the White House, another chance for President Obama to make history for people with disabilities. And, he did just that. 
On Friday, June 26, 2009, President Barack Obama became one of the very few sitting American Presidents to personally greet and welcome persons who are deaf-blind to the White House Oval Office.

The group featured five young adults (Crystal Morales, Kelvin Crosby, Virginia Jordan, Divya Goel, and Jason Corning) affiliated with the Helen Keller National Center ("HKNC") including a musician with two CDs to her credit, a surfer and aspiring field goal kicker, a Cum Laude graduate who wants to start a school, an aspiring restaurant manager, and a winner of the Wisconsin Council for Exceptional Children "Yes I Can" award for Advocacy and Independent Living. Two staff members and 3 volunteers from the HKNC also joined the young adults. 
They were in D.C. to celebrate Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. This year’s theme for the week was Deaf-Blindness Didn’t Stop with Helen Keller. The focus of the week was to demonstrate that successful deaf-blind persons are still thriving and excelling long after Helen Keller. 
The week culminated with their visit to the White House. They visited the White House in the morning, where they received a tour of the public residence. From hanging out in the First Lady’s East Reception Room, to playing the same piano played by Stevie Wonder, to visiting the China Room, the tour was a major hit with the young adults. They returned in the afternoon for the icing on the already incredibly rich cake to take a photo with the President in the Oval Office. The President congratulated the young adults on their accomplishments and reminded them that we remain committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities.
This visit was not and should not be viewed as a sympathetic thing for the President to do. Rather, it reflects this President’s commitment to, and understanding of, the desire for all people with disabilities to be fully integrated into society. These young adults are proof that if provided with the necessary supports and services, people with disabilities can and will achieve anything they desire. Recognizing Deaf-Blind Awareness Week by inviting these young adults to the White House further solidifies the extraordinary commitment of this entire administration to all people with disabilities.




Candidate to confront deputies over raid

Host, guest arrested at Busby fundraiser

By Angela Lau, Union-Tribune Staff Writer
2:00 a.m. June 29, 2009

ENCINITAS — Francine Busby says she will demand an explanation from the Sheriff's Department about deputies breaking up a fundraising party held for her in Cardiff and arresting the host.

The party was Friday night in the 1300 block of Rubenstein Avenue, the home of Shari Barman, a Busby supporter.

It ended with Barman, 60, being arrested and jailed on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, and resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer.

Pam Morgan, 62, a Rancho Santa Fe resident and one of the guests, also was arrested and taken to the Encinitas Sheriff's Station, where she was cited for resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer.

Other partygoers were doused with pepper spray, and seven deputies, a sergeant and a helicopter were dispatched to the neighborhood of expensive homes.

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Each of this idiot's guy's fellow officers should mock him mercilessly.  What kind of moron can't handle a simple (and obviously bogus) noise complaint without calling out the frigging SWAT team?  And the idiot who lives behind them reminds me a lot of my friend's neighbor that lives behind her house, and calls county code enforcement every time her shrubberies set a single frakking leaf over his fence line. 

So much wank....so little time.

panda bear

(no subject)

In a Presidential First, Obama Marks Gay Pride at the White House

President Obama on Monday became the first Oval Office occupant to officially celebrate gay pride in the White House even as the gay community remains bitterly divided about the pace of Obama's efforts to turn words into action for their agenda.

In recognizing the march of progress since the protests outside New York's Stonewall Inn 40 years ago, Obama achieved a milestone for many gay and lesbian Americans who mark the day as the beginning of their modern rights movement.

But the excitement among the several hundred guests invited by the first couple to the East Wing Monday was tempered by frustration among many who believe that the president has moved too slowly to make good on his campaign promises.

Obama's refusal to take unilateral action to end the "don't-ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military and his administration's support for a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act even sparked a small protest outside a speech to gay activists by Vice
President Biden last week.

"There's been an awful lot of noise and criticism," said Steve Elmendorf, a top Democratic lobbyist who is openly gay. "For him to send a message to the entire country that this is an event worth celebrating is a big deal. But people expect beyond that to see some substance on a whole host of issues."

Obama confronted those expectations directly Monday, renewing his campaign promises to change the military's policy, repeal the marriage act and pass a federal hate crimes bill named for Matthew Shepherd, the student murdered in Wyoming in 1998.

"I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by word, but by the promises my administration keeps," Obama said to sustained applause from the crowd. "By the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration."


ETA: Video of Chuck Todd talking about it and some clips of the speech.
Jake G -  Moving beauty

New White House messenger? Ashton Kutcher

If you're a regular reader of Ashton Kutcher's Twitter feed (and you very well may be, as the actor and prankster has over 2.5 million followers), you may have done a double take when he tweeted on Sunday that the White House had asked him to help get the word out about National HIV Testing Day.


"I've been asked by the white house to twet this" wrote Kutcher, who provided a link to a White House blog post and accompanying video noting the 14th commemoration of National HIV Testing Day.


But did the White House really reach out to Kutcher and ask him to promote their initiative? Or was Kutcher just trying to "punk" us and make us think he's oh-so-cool because he's in touch with the White House?


Turns out: Kutcher wasn't lying. The White House confirmed that it did, in fact, seek Kutcher's help in promoting the blog post.


"As technology impacts how and where people are communicating online, we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with the public," said White House assistant press secretary Reid Cherlin. "Our efforts to promote National HIV Testing Day included participation from popular users of Twitter, as well as broad social media engagement by agencies across the government.”


Kutcher was one part of the strategy: The White House has also provided online and text message resources to help people find a local testing site, launched a Twitter hashtag on the subject (#NHTD09) and set up e-cards that individuals can use to encourage others to get tested for HIV/AIDS.


And this isn't the first time the Obama administration has gotten involved with Twitter. Earlier this month, the State Department asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled shutdown in order to aid anti-government protesters in Iran.


US musicians sing support for Iranian protesters

They wouldn't be allowed to perform in Iran, but singers Joan Baez and Jon Bon Jovi are showing their support for protesters.

In videos carried on YouTube, the artists perform songs - with a few lines in Farsi - that call for peace.

Bon Jovi sings "Stand By Me" alongside Armenian-Iranian pop star Andy Madadian. The New Jersey rocker adds, in surprisingly good Farsi, the line: "Hand in hand, with one voice, you and me, countryman, your pain, my pain, be with me."

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora provides the licks in the June 24-dated video, which opens with an image of Bon Jovi holding a sign that reads "We are all one" in Farsi.

A comment posted to Bon Jovi's Web site Saturday thanked him for the performance, adding hopes that Bon Jovi would "be the first legendary American singer who will perform in Iran ... one day in the near future."

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Andy is really popular in Iran and especially with Iranian Americans. He can't compare to my bb Googoosh though.