July 1st, 2009


<3 Rachel

Haven't seen this posted about, SO. 

Our BB (and I think it's safe to say ONTDP's Collective HBIC News-Girlfriend) Rachel Maddow's been involved in a lil' side gig with the Culture Project.

Bush, Rumsfeld, John Yoo, The War On Terror, Abu Ghraib, Geneva, and how to move forward.

Gates says he wants to soften gay expulsion rules

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he wants to make the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the armed forces "more humane" until Congress eventually repeals it. He said he has lawyers studying ways the law might be selectively enforced.

"One of the things we're looking at is, is there flexibility in how we apply this law?" Gates said.

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  • Current Music
    Anthonio - Annie

One of Beck's guests pleas for bin Laden to attack us

from Media Matters: Glenn Beck's guest says "The only chance we have as a country right now is" for bin Laden to "detonate a major weapon" in U.S.

I'm speechless

ETA: While this was in the queue, I looked up this loon. According to his Wiki page, he was a CIA agent. "He is currently a news analyst for CBS News and a terrorism analyst for The Jamestown Foundation's online publication Global Terrorism Analysis. He also makes radio and television appearances and teaches a graduate-level course on Al-Qaeda at Georgetown University. He also participates in conferences on terrorism and national security issues..."

They let him teach at Georgetown??!?!
spike gone

Paleontologist, "I laughed, I cried."

Paleontologists brought to tears, laughter by Creation Museum

by Britt Kennerly Britt Kennerly – Tue Jun 30, 9:40 am ET

Astronauts vs. Cavemen Sauce

PETERSBURG, Kentucky (AFP) – For a group of paleontologists, a tour of the Creation Museum seemed like a great tongue-in-cheek way to cap off a serious conference.

But while there were a few laughs and some clowning for the camera, most left more offended than amused by the frightening way in which evolution -- and their life's work -- was attacked.

"It's sort of a monument to scientific illiteracy, isn't it?" said Jerry Lipps, professor of geology, paleontology and evolution at University of California, Berkeley.

"Like Sunday school with statues... this is a special brand of religion here. I don't think even most mainstream Christians would believe in this interpretation of Earth's history."

The 27 million dollar, 70,000-square-foot (6,500-square-metre) museum which has been dubbed a "creationist Disneyland" has attracted 715,000 visitors since it opened in mid-2007 with a vow to "bring the pages of the Bible to life."

Its presents a literal interpretation of the Bible and argues that believing otherwise leads to moral relativism and the destruction of social values.

Creationism is a theory not supported by most mainstream Christian churches.

Lisa Park of the University of Akron cried at one point as she walked a hallway full of flashing images of war, famine and natural disasters which the museum blames on belief in evolution.

"I think it's very bad science and even worse theology -- and the theology is far more offensive to me," said Park, a professor of paleontology who is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

"I think there's a lot of focus on fear, and I don't think that's a very Christian message... I find it a malicious manipulation of the public."

Phil Jardine posed for a picture below a towering, toothy dinosaur display.

The museum argues that the fossil record has been misinterpreted and that Tyrannosaurus rex was a vegetarian before Adam and Eve bit into that sin-inducing apple.

Jardine, a palaeobiologist graduate student from the University of Birmingham, was having fun on the tour, but told a reporter that he was disturbed by the museum's cartoonish portrayal of scientists and teachers.

"I feel very sorry for teachers when the children who come here start guessing if what they're being taught is wrong," Jardine said.

Arnie Miller, a palentologist at the University of Cincinnati who was chairman of the convention, said he hoped the tour would introduce the scientists to "the lay of the land" and show them firsthand what's being put forth in a place that has elicited vehement criticism from the scientific community.

"I think in some cases, people were surprised by the physical quality of the exhibits, but needless to say, they were unhappy with things that are inaccurately portrayed," he said.

"And there was a feeling of unhappiness, too, about the extent to which mainstream scientists and evolutionists are demonized -- that if you don't accept the Answers in Genesis vision of the history of Earth and life, you're contributing to the ills of society and of the church."

Daryl Domning, professor of anatomy at Howard University, held his chin and shook his head at several points during the tour.

"This bothers me as a scientist and as a Christian, because it's just as much a distortion and misrepresentation of Christianity as it is of science," he said.

"It's not your old-time religion by any means."
MISC - moustache

Clerk expects domestic partnership rush after gov signs historic bill

MADISON, WI - If Dane County Clerk Bob Ohlsen's hunch is correct, the first Monday in August is going to be a hectic day at his office.

That's the day same-sex couples across the state, including an estimated 1,400 to 2,400 couples living in Dane County, will be able to take advantage of a historic piece of legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jim Doyle that for the first time recognizes domestic partnerships across the state. Along with the recognition come dozens of legal protections that previously were only granted to married couples, including the right to take family leave to care for a sick or dying partner, the ability to access a partner's medical records and the right to inherit a partner's property. In addition, Doyle approved granting health care benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.

"My sense is we are going to be swamped," Ohlsen says. "Even for those who already get benefits for their partner through their employer, there is a huge advantage to applying to the registry."

Applying for the registry is the same as applying for a marriage license. Couples must provide proof of residence, certified copies of their birth certificates and their Social Security numbers. For those who have been previously married, a certified death certificate or divorce judgment is required. The fee is also the same as a marriage license, $115 per couple in Dane County.

Madison resident Dan Ross, who has been in a committed relationship with his partner for 17 years, says the cost is a small price to pay for the assurances it will provide, particularly with inheritance issues.

"Now, if we forget to include something in a will, it wouldn't be an issue for debate," he says.

The law makes Wisconsin the first state with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to also legally recognize domestic partnerships. Voters in 2006 passed a state-wide referendum banning same sex marriage and civil unions.

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Yet another poll shows public support for public health plan option

New Poll: Majority Supports Government-Run Health Option
July 1, 2009, 10:04 a.m.

By David M. Drucker
Roll Call Staff

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gauging registered voters’ views of health care reform underscores the political complexity of the issue, with the results offering ammunition to both the supporters and opponents of President Barack Obama’s No. 1 legislative priority.

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LIVE POST! Obama's health care town hall today at 1:15 PM Eastern...


... on C-SPAN here [thanks ladypolitik ]. Can be watched live @ MSNBC's website.

It's in Virginia.


Obama to hold virtual town hall on health care

President Obama is asking for your health care policy questions over Youtube, Twitter and Facebook ahead of a virtual town hall airing July 1 at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Follow and participate in the discussion now, and come back Wednesday to watch the forum live and chime in.

AT: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31627689/ns/politics-white_house/

***ETA: This can be watched live, here: http://www.youtube.com/whitehouse?feature=ticker



but C-SPAN live feed is working best for me.

Arizona almost got away with this one...

Arizona Immigration Enforcement Bill Rejected By House

The Arizona House has defeated a bill that would have made it the only state in the nation to criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants by expanding its trespassing law.

The House voted 26-15 for the bill to expand Arizona's trespassing law Wednesday morning, but that was five votes short of the 31 needed for passage. The Senate approved the bill 16-11 earlier Wednesday.

Supporters say an expanded trespassing law would provide a second layer of enforcement to help local police catch immigrants who slip past federal agents.

Opponents predicted it would lead to racial profiling for thousands of Latinos who are U.S. citizens.

Illegal immigrants account for an estimated 500,000 people in Arizona's 6.5 million population.

Lieberman: Public Option Not Good On Politics Or Substance (VIDEO)

Lieberman: Public Option Not Good On Politics Or Substance (VIDEO)

Even with Al Franken finally seated, Democrats will have trouble getting their agenda through the Senate. Case in point: Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman, who told the New Haven Independent that public health care couldn't and shouldn't pass.

"I'm skeptical of it, both in substance and in the politics," Lieberman said to the paper. "And by the politics I mean I think we're not going to get the votes to pass the overall bill if that becomes a condition of it."

On the substance, Lieberman said: "Part of my concern is ... that inevitably if we create a public option, the public is going to end up pay for it and that's a cost we can't take on."


Lieberman has declined to back a public option in the past.

Independent Bernie Sanders has challenged Democrats to commit to opposing a filibuster on health care, even if they don't vote for the bill.

"I think the idea of going to conservative Republicans, who are essentially representing the insurance companies and the drug companies, and watering down this bill substantially, rather than demanding we get 60 votes to stop the filibuster, I think that is a very wrong political strategy," Sanders said.

Police stored DNA with ice cream

West Yorkshire Police have been storing DNA samples from suspects and car crash victims in a freezer also used for ice cream, a watchdogs' report has said.

The criticism comes in a report from the prisons watchdog and the chief inspector of constabulary.

The inspectors said the management of the samples needed urgent attention to avoid undermining prosecutions.

West Yorkshire Police said the samples found in the freezer were of "no value" and would not have been analysed.

The inspectors also said staff at police custody suites had been confused about which sample belonged to which suspect.

West Yorkshire Police have 13 blocks of cells legally approved to hold suspects following their arrest.

Inspectors from the two watchdogs visited a sample of these cells and accompanying facilities in Leeds and Bradford in October 2008.

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Todd Purdum Discusses His Vanity Fair Article On Palin

Todd Purdum Discusses His Vanity Fair Article On Palin: "Desperate" Decision That Revealed McCain's "Appalling Egotism" To His Staffers (VIDEO)

Todd Purdum was a guest on 'Hardball" tonight to discuss his mammoth 10,000-word Vanity Fair article on Sarah Palin  and her involvement in the McCain presidential campaign. The piece is filled with former McCain staffers making damaging statements (albeit anonymously) about Palin on a wide range of issues, from her lackluster efforts to prepare for debates to her diva-like behavior and strained relationships with the campaign staffers assigned to her.

Essentially, Purdum describes a "desperate" campaign which "took one of the great leaps of faith in American political history." However, the lack of deliberation and vetting behind the decision backfired on the campaign:

They needed something to shake up that race and she did shake up that race... In the short term, in the first 10 days it seemed to be working. What happened though was what the McCain campaign has not really taken the time to find out was there was a whole sort of counter-story about her in Alaska that was a lot less rosy than the one they sold of a governor... record-high approval ratings, 80 percent support in her state, who'd taken on big oil and so forth and so there were always a lot more problems with her than they knew.

Purdum explains the anonymity of the negative quotes about Palin to the staffers finding it painful, even privately, to reflect on the selection of Palin because:

There is ultimately no way to read [it] as reflecting anything but an appalling egotism, heedlessness and lack of judgment... They all know that if their candidate - a 72-year-old cancer survivor - had won the presidency, the vice presidency would be in the hands of a woman who lacked the knowledge, the preparation, the aptitude, and the temperament for the job.

Chuck Todd, filling in for Chris Matthews, pressed Purdum on these extremely harsh words, asking if Purdum actually had McCain staffers telling him this or if it was more of a read-between-the-lines of the staffers' statements. Purdum demurred, saying he didn't want to get into a discussion about sources, but he stated it's safe to say that he had people from the McCain campaign saying words extremely close to those words that he wrote.

Purdum also discusses her current, very popular, presence within the national Republican party base, and her future political prospects . The whole interview is worth watching.

Sarah Palin's Vanity article is creating a new blood bath among high-profile Republicans!!


A hard-hitting piece on Sarah Palin in the new Vanity Fair has touched off a blistering exchange of insults among high-profile Republicans over last year’s GOP ticket – tearing open fresh wounds about leaks surrounding Palin and revealing for the first time some of the internal wars that paralyzed the campaign in its final days.

Rival factions close to the McCain campaign have been feuding since last fall over Palin, usually waging the battle in the shadows with anonymous quotes. Now, however, some of the most well-known names in Republican politics are going on-the-record with personal attacks and blame-casting.

William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard and at times an informal adviser to Sen. John McCain, touched off the latest back-and-forth Tuesday morning with a post on his magazine’s blog criticizing the Todd Purdum-authored Palin story and pointing a finger at Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign manager.

Kristol cited a passage in Purdum’s piece in which “some top aides” were said to worry about the Alaska governor’s “mental state” and the prospect that the Alaska governor may be suffering from post-partum depression following the birth of her son Trig. “In fact, one aide who raised this possibility in the course of trashing Palin’s mental state to others in the McCain-Palin campaign was Steve Schmidt,” Kristol wrote.

Asked about the accusation, Schmidt fired back in an e-mail: “I'm sure John McCain would be president today if only Bill Kristol had been in charge of the campaign.”

“After all, his management of [former Vice President] Dan Quayle’s public image as his chief of staff is still something that takes your breath away,” Schmidt continued. “His attack on me is categorically false.”
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I think Sanford will be crying a lot today...

Revelations fuel calls for resignation; GOP petitioners grow

Twelve of the 27 members of the state Senate's Majority Caucus now have signed a petition, calling for Gov. Mark Sanford to resign.

The latest Republican to sign was state Sen. Wes Hayes, R-York, chairman of the Senate's ethics committee.

Pressure is mounting Sanford to step down after he disappeared to Argentina for a week without telling anyone where he would be, confessed to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman and acknowledged additional unspecified inappropriate relationships with a handful of other women.

Two additional senators considered among Sanford’s staunchest allies, also said they want him to resign though they did not sign the letter. Two other senior senators who spoke to the State said Tuesday’s revelations moved them closer to asking Sanford to step down.

The letter was crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, and was circulated among Senate Republicans on Tuesday.
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Republicans To Bachmann: End "Illogical, Illegal" Census Boycott. Even the GOP thinks she is crazy!

Michele Bachmann's Census Opposition Worries GOP

Three Republican congressman have publicly chastised fellow Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for declaring that she would not fill our her census form.

"Boycotting the constitutionally mandated Census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country," said Reps. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) and John Mica (Fla.), members of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives in a statement Wednesday.

Even conspiracy-theorist Fox News host Glenn Beck found Bachmann's anti-census stance baffling.

From the statement:

We share Ms. Bachmann's concerns about ACORN's involvement in the 2010 Census and will continue pressuring the Bureau to follow their own guidelines for partnering organizations and dump ACORN. However, we can not emphasize enough how important it is for every individual to fill out their census forms.

Every elected representative in this country should feel a responsibility to encourage full participation in the census. To do otherwise is to advocate for a smaller share of federal funding for our constituents. Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.

The unfortunate irony is that Ms. Bachmann's boycott only increases the likelihood that ACORN-recruited census takers will be dispatched to her constituents' homes. Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence.

Furthermore, a boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust census results. The partisan manipulation of census data would irreparably transform the census from being the baseline of our entire statistical system into a tool used to wield political power in Washington.

Roll Call reports that the three congressmen approached Bachmann privately and asked her to stop the boycott. They went public because Bachmann "appeared unfazed by their request."

Debbee Keller, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, told the paper: "Congresswoman Bachmann can not be reached, but we appreciate their views and hope to be able to work with them to keep ACORN -- which has earned public mistrust through its repeated voter registration fraud -- out of the Census."

quiff top

How Michael Jackson answered the Ayatollah's prayers...

Why we should be ashamed that the King of Pop's end upstaged two green revolutions

By David J. Rothkopf

Two men were overheard chatting at a Cosi restaurant in DC this weekend. One said, "You know, with the death of Ed McMahon, Farrah, and Michael Jackson, I think the 70s also died. They're over with once and for all." The other guy said, without hesitation, "I'd believe that if Jimmy Carter weren't still president."

Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I just overheard the conversation. (Please read on for my rather different view.) 

Personally, I found the obsessive retrospectives about Michael Jackson a little disgusting. His commercial success for a few years as a pop singer seemed to trump the dark and unsavory aspects of his life. But he was no hero. He was certainly no one to be celebrating. Unless of course, you were an ayatollah. Because one of the truly transcendental ironies of recent history has to be the fact that a symbol of the worst sort of Western spiritual and social corruption...celebrity worship, drug culture, financial excess, debauchery...ended up providing just the distraction that the keepers of the Islamic Revolution's flame in Tehran needed to direct the world's attention away from their abuses of their own people. 

In an instant, the really important story of tens of millions struggling to be heard in Iran was swept off the air by the death of a 50 year old accused pedophile in America. CNN, which had been congratulating itself daily for bringing the "green revolution" in Iran to the world as only it could in an instant tossed its news judgment out the window and started offering 24/7 retrospectives on how Michael Jackson chose the red leather jacket he wore in the "Thriller" video.

It was an appalling, cheap and cynical programming choice made worse by the fact that other major stories...from the Congress passing the landmark Waxman-Markey climate legislation to the coup in Honduras...were left to play the role only of journalistic spackle, filling in the cracks between paeans to a man who spent the last twenty years shocking the world with his unhinged depravity.

The sad reality is that none of the celebrities who died in the past week say much good about American culture or the state of hero worship in America. 

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I know this may seem wanktastic  But I do think it's funny how so many people (not here) are soooo emotional distraught over Jackson. While I do feel terrible about such a iconic figure passing, it was still sad seeing people's images of Green and Neda so quickly disappear for a popstar that some probably took part in bringing down/mocking.

Vitas: Bitch Please

Нигаз пожалуйста

Racism debate after Russian and Nigerian gas companies combine to form 'Nigaz'

By Mail Foreign Service

Russian energy giant Gazprom has walked blindly into a racism debate with the announcement of its new joint venture in Nigeria - Nigaz.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Nigerian counterpart last week agreed the $2.5billion venture to build refineries, pipelines and gas power stations in Africa's most populous nation.

The name is meant to be an amalgamation of 'Nigeria' and 'Gazprom', pronounced 'nye-gaz'.

However its phonetic reading has sparked offence.

'How more derogatory can it be ... let's join forces in making our government rename this JV,' said the creator of 'Nigerians No Nigaz', a group set up on social networking website Facebook.

Other bloggers took a more mocking approach.

One African-American blogger recommended a playlist of songs from U.S. hip-hop artists including 50 Cent and Tupac Shakur for the Nigaz launch party.

But many comments about the branding blunder on the Twitter and other social networking sites were from white bloggers.

'White people are making too much of this. As long as the Russians pay us, they can call it what they like,' said one Nigerian in the commercial hub, Lagos, asking not to be named. 

(h/t @chrislhayes)

gay issues

Federal Judge Tells Claimants in Prop 8 Case to Prove It

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Full text of the order.

This can only be good for our side. The defendants can't prove any of their claims about the ill effects of gay marriage, and in fact there's a shitload of evidence AGAINST them. The easiest part will be proving the immediate objective of Prop 8 was to discriminate against gay people. All we need to do there is show the pamphlets and other campaign materials Prop 8 people spread around. It's like the Scopes Trial Part Deux. I can't wait to see how it'll play out. :D
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Americans getting even more obese

Ironically on the day of Obama's new health care town hall, this study comes out showing obesity rates continue to climb.

American adults getting fatter

By Julie Steenhuysen
2 hrs 1 min ago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Obesity rates continued to climb in the past year with 23 U.S. states reporting adults in their states are fatter now than they were a year ago, two advocacy groups said on Wednesday.

Obesity rates did not decrease in a single state last year, and the groups warned that the U.S. obesity epidemic must be addressed as lawmakers reform the nation's health system.

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***ETA: Edited to include another picture of food to better illustrate the article's point about how bad too much food is for you, thx!
KUA - Onslow facepalms while recumbent

Whatever, we all know Rush blasted Billy Jean when he found out MJ died

Rush Limbaugh: Michael Jackson "flourished under Reagan," "languished under Clinton and Bush," "died under Obama"

And he hopes the parallel won't continue. Oh, and the country flourished under the 80s? That sure is news to me.


(Sorry, the embed works on my LJ but not on ONTD_P)

I know most people aren't feeling the MJ news but this involves Rush so I figure this'll be appropriate. Anyway, I think this is tasteless as hell. And he forgot one of the Bushes...

Haters wanna hate.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sanford FINALLY decides to shut up

Except this time he might have wanted to keep talking...

Sanford agreed this week to provide the AP with proof of his payment for trips to New York and Argentina to see her.

His staff first said the records might be made available Tuesday, and then the governor's spokesman said Wednesday Sanford would not release them.

SOURCE is never satisfied

Urban Outfitters Concern Trolling Once Again!

Here's their new "controversial" t-shirt:

Oh, hey, here is a hip T-shirt that basically guarantees the eventual retaking of Congress by the GOP in 2010. Much more subtle than previous efforts, Urban Outfitters!

Urban Outfitters founder and chairman Richard Hayne is, of course, an ultra-conservative billionaire who hates the gays and funnels millions to Republicans. But his money is probably less valuable to the party than his passion for "outfitting" America's worst young people in terrible shirts that make everyone hate liberal youths.

Ever since I found out Urban was owned by right wingers, I began shopping there much more often! I want to become rich funneling the money of stupid hipsters into GOP coffers too! Sure the shirt is rather fugly, but the more people that buy it, the more sucessful the RNC will be in 2010!


TWiB! Season 2 Ep#2 - BET doesn't Care About Black People

If you were paying any attention to the "This Week in Blackness" Live Blog you realize that we here at "TWiB!" We'rent exactly in love with the 2009 BET Awards. Well, if anything can get Elon off his ass to shoot another episode it would HAVE to be this. The Brooklyn Comedy Company is proud to present episode 2 of season 2 of "This Week in Blackness." Enjoy.

(Any subscriptions and ratings of the video would be So appreciated - Since, well, we won't be seeing this on BET anytime soon hehe, I will be a starving artist FOREVER)
Jasmine Sketch

Insured, but Bankrupted by Health Crises

Health insurance is supposed to offer protection — both medically and financially. But as it turns out, an estimated three-quarters of people who are pushed into personal bankruptcy by medical problems actually had insurance when they got sick or were injured.

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Also, since there's been an interest in previous healthcare posts about other healthcare in other countries, here's a link to watch Frontline's Sick Around the World Documentary from last year. It's about the healthcare systems in the UK, Taiwan, Germany, Japan and Switzerland and it is quite interesting. As a nurse, I'd love to have the Smart Card here!

Franken's victory will lead to horrible things like the metric system

Commentary: Franken victory is not funny

Editor's note: John Feehery worked as a staffer for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other Republicans in Congress. He is president of Feehery Group, a Washington-based advocacy firm that has represented clients including the News Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He formerly was a government relations executive vice president for the Motion Picture Association of America

The metric system is the kind of thing that you can expect from the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority Democrats now have in the United States Senate.

After the Watergate scandal in 1974, Democrats trounced Republicans in the mid-term elections, getting 61 seats in the Senate and 291 in the House.

In the Senate, they adjusted the rules to make it harder for Republicans to filibuster (reducing the magic number from 67 to 60 to invoke cloture, which ends debate). In the House, they passed all kinds of reforms to take power away from senior members and give it to junior members. And Congress mandated that the American people embrace the metric system.
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Walkman, at 30, a mystery to teen

What better way to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sony's iconic Walkman than to ask a teenager for some feedback on the device?

The BBC couldn't think of one, and neither can I.

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Kids today are all kinds of fail.  Last year I came across this teen who just couldn't comprehend what a record was.  I'm kind of glad I was born before people were total tech circle-jerkers.

No U Fish

The experience and wisdom of Ms. Meghan McCain

From:   The Daily Beast

Sex scandals like Governor Sanford’s and John Ensign’s are private matters that don’t affect public policy and shoot down rising political stars. It’s time to end hypocrisy in America.
When I first heard about Governor Sanford’s sex scandal, I was flooded with disappointment for many reasons. Particularly since his admission of an extramarital affair came so closely after Nevada Senator Ensign made a similar confession. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I am younger, or that just have a more open-minded view of politicians and sex, but it’s of very little concern to me who elected officials sleep with. Frankly, I think all of that is a private matter between a husband and wife, even if it is made public. Beyond that, life is complicated. And I can’t even imagine how complicated it must get after 20 years of marriage and four kids.

Of the times I have spent with Governor Sanford, I remember his family being absolutely beautiful in that way Southern families often are. I remember my dad describing his boys as “all looking just like Huckleberry Finn.” In other words, theirs was the very definition of a picture-perfect political family. It never crossed my mind that there would be any kind of scandal one day, but, especially in politics, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

The GOP is struggling right now to find anyone who looks to be our next leader. Going forward, I suggest that the party concentrate less on what goes on in the bedroom and more on what is going on in policy.
But what goes on in Governor Sanford’s personal life, I believe, just isn’t relevant to his role as a public official. The problem I see, like most problems I have with politics, goes back to the same thing—the hypocrisy of it all. One thing making everyone so mad, myself included, are the clips being played of Governor Sanford publicly blasting former President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. It looks horribly hypocritical. And it is. We have to stop requiring that our politicians live at such a high level of moral superiority, as if they are infallible creatures. Let me assure you, they are not. Because when these same politicians fall from grace—especially in the South—we demand that they leave office immediately. (Unlike, say, Eliot Spitzer, Governor Sanford didn’t do anything illegal. If he were to be convicted of misusing state funds for traveling to Argentina, then, of course, it is a different matter entirely and he should step down. )

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Well Meghan, at the end of the day he's not done his job.  But I am glad you are using the word schadenfreude!  I tried to hate her, yet I can't for some reason.

Some of the comments are fun:  
OT:  Does anyone have any links to CA State Legislators' Twitter accounts?  Someone's got to be twittering up in that mess, no?
  • Current Music
    Take Me With You / The Duke Spirit
  • Tags

Wingnuts Go After Openly Gay Obama Appointee Kevin Jennings


Tony Perkins' Family Research Council has launched a website in their campaign to depose Kevin Jennings, the former Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network president who was appointed by Obama to head the Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools. The campaign includes a full page ad in the Washington Examiner.
As the former president of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, Mr. Jennings worked tirelessly to bring the homosexual agenda into our nation's classrooms, even in grades as young as kindergarten. In addition, in his autobiography, Mr. Jennings expresses no regret about his past drug abuse or recognition of its risks. Instead, he seems amused. In his words, "[W]atching the planes take off and land is actually quite fun when you are drunk and stoned." Jennings has spoken publicly about a high school student he once counseled who was in a sexual relationship with an older man he met in a bus station - yet Jennings never reported this abuse to the authorities, the school, or the child's parents. Family Research Council is launching www.stopjennings.org, to educate the American people about how Jennings' dangerous views make him unfit to protect our nation's schoolchildren. The website will also serve as an action center for those who will join us in calling on the President Obama and Congress to stop this appointment and put someone in this office who truly cares about schoolchildren - someone who would work to protect them from the very influences he seems to promote.
Jennings has also been subject of ridicule and attack on numerous rightwing blogs and news sites.

(Via - Pam's House Blend)

Iowa--Extremely Attractive

Why aren't we taxing this shit?

A first for Iowa: Alcohol revenue tops $100 million

By WILLIAM PETROSKI • bpetroski@dmreg.com • July 1, 2009

Iowans are buying more liquor, beer and wine, bucking an economic trend that has seen sales of many retail products plunge over the past year.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division generated a record $104 million in revenue for state government operations over the past 12 months, the first time it has exceeded the $100 million mark.

Liquor sales rose 8.2 percent in terms of dollars, although total gallons of liquor sold were up 6.2 percent. Beer sales were up 1.4 percent, and wine sales increased 1.8 percent between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, state records show.

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You know, even with the taxes they did make, they could make so much more. And alcohol is taxed so much less than other vices. Ugh.
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    Pitchmen (RIP Billy Mays)

Murdered Sailor a Victim of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"?

The murder of a sailor at the Camp Pendleton Marine base near San Diego, CA, is increasingly looking like a hate crime. A local TV station is reporting that the sailor, August Provost of Houston, Texas, was killed during an argument with another sailor over his sexual orientation. Provost, 29, was found dead in a guard shack at 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday according to a Navy spokesman. Although investigators have not officially ruled the death a homicide, they have confirmed that an unnamed "person of interest" is under arrest and being held in the base brig.  

The head of the San Diego chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights, Ben Gomez, said he and other local activists believe Provost's death was a hate crime. On his MySpace page, Provost made references to same-sex dating and identified another Houston man as "the love of my life." 

This sailor's blood is on the hands of the Administration for refusing to repeal the crazy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which stigmatizes gay service members and fosters hostility and suspicion. The policy needs to go, and it needs to go now.


and another source that doesn't link it the murder to DADT; i would have posted this one but the one above was the first one i read.  fail on my part.
hp; bb harry; quidditch

Fort Worth Police Chief: That Faggot Had It Coming

Most residents of Fort Worth have never even seen the inside of a gay bar. Fort Worth's police chief Jeff Halstead is counting on that fact—counting on the average person's ignorance about gay bars and certain stereotypes about gay men—to get a half a dozen Forth Worth police officers off the hook for conducting a violent raid on a Forth Worth gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge, late last Saturday night. Seven men were arrested during the raid, which took place on the 40th anniversary of the raid on the Stonewall Inn that kick-started the modern gay rights movement, and one of those men—Chad Gibson—remains in intensive care with a brain injury. Gibson may not survive.

The officers who raided the Rainbow Lounge claim that the men in the bar made "advances" on them—and Forth Worth's police chief is backing them up:


Monday, police chief Jeff Halstead said the officers' actions are being investigated. However, he also said that officers that entered the bar during the scheduled inspection were touched inappropriately.


"You're touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive," he said. "I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."


Allow me to translate the chief's comments: "Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they're complainin' about some rough stuff and one little ol' faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they're alive."

This is a classic example of the Gay Panic Defense. In the very recent past all a straight man who brutally murdered a gay man had to say was, "He made a pass at me!", and the jury would ignore the evidence and let the murderer off. The Gay Panic Defense doesn't fly in many courts of law these days but it still has currency in the court of public opinion. And the chief of police in Forth Worth, a major U.S. city, is attempting to use the Gay Panic Defense to convince the citizens of Fort Worth to ignore the evidence—to ignore photographic evidence and credible eyewitness accounts—and let his officers off.

And you'll never guess who the police are accusing of being the groper: Chad Gibson, the one man arrested at the Rainbow Lounge who can't defend himself and may never be able to give his side of the story. But another person at the barwitnessed Gibson's arrest:


"They were hyped up. They were loaded for bear," said Todd Camp, a veteran journalist who was there celebrating his birthday with friends. "They were just randomly grabbing people, telling them they were drunk."


Camp told me he has been in bars during TABC/police "checks" before, "and it was never anything like this." Usually, he said, officers discreetly walk through, looking for anybody who has had too much. This was different. "They were shoving patrons," Camp said, "asking, 'How much have you had to drink?'"


"[Gibson] was taken down hard," said Camp, with "four or five" officers wrestling him to the floor inside the club. Cellphone photos shot by patrons and posted to blogs show a person being held facedown by officers in a short hallway inside the club, then show a dent in the wall where his head was apparently banged.


The police claim that Gibson wasn't injured when those four or five cops slammed him to the floor of the bar, but after his arrest, when, drunk and handcuffed, Gibson somehow fell and hit his head on the pavement outside the bar.

All of this is bullshit.

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Palin E-mails Show Infighting With Staff. The Bloodbath continues...

Palin E-mails Show Infighting With Staff
Exclusive: Spat Over Todd Palin's Membership In Secessionist Party Was Major Distraction On Critical Day In '08 Campaign

The tension between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and top McCain campaign aides in the closing days of last fall's presidential campaign is elucidated in a profile in the new issue of Vanity Fair. CBS News' Scott Conroy and special contributor Shushannah Walshe, who are writing a book about Palin, reveal just one example of how the mutual frustrations went even further than what has been disclosed so far.

Internal campaign e-mails exchanged three weeks before Election Day offer a rare look at just how frustrated then Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had become with the manner in which top McCain campaign aides were handling her candidacy. The e-mails, obtained exclusively, also highlight the power struggle and thinly veiled acrimony that pervaded the relationship between Palin and the campaign's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt.

The episode in question began when an investigative report published on the left-leaning Web site Salon.com raised questions about Palin's relationship with members of the Alaska Independence Party (AIP) when she was mayor of Wasilla. The AIP's platform calls for a vote giving Alaskans the option to secede from the United States. It had already been widely known that Todd Palin was a registered member of the AIP from 1995 to 2002 and that Governor Palin had taped a recorded greeting at the party's 2008 convention.

On the morning of Oct. 15, Palin was aboard her campaign jet and en route to New Hampshire when she happened to catch a disparaging CNN segment that touted the Salon.com story, complete with a provocative graphic at the bottom of the screen reading, "THE PALINS AND THE FRINGE."

While shaking hands after a rally later that afternoon, someone on the rope line shouted a remark at Palin about the AIP.

The comment set her off. She worried that the campaign was not sufficiently mitigating the issue of her alleged connection to the party, which despite a platform that harkens more to the Civil War than the 21st century, continued to play a serious role in Alaska politics.

Palin blasted out an e-mail with the subject line "Todd" to Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Nicolle Wallace, copying her husband on the message (all of the e-mails are reprinted below as written).

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&#39; jules


Spencer Pratt: 9/11 Was an "Inside Job"

Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag Pratt shared some controversial views on a radio show earlier this week.

In a Monday appearance on Alex Jones' radio show, Infowars, the couple revealed they feel 9/11 was an "inside job," say the idea that global warming exists is "mind boggling" and lament the "end of humanity."

The Pratts told Jones -- who is known for his conspiracy theories of a "New World Order" (or, as he feels, code for "totalitarian world government") -- they found out about him after a music producer gave them a copy of Jones' movie, The Obama Deception.

"I really do feel like we took the blue pill or whatever from The Matrix," Spencer says.

Since then, says Heidi: "We've been nonstop researching the Internet...for information for at least a month all day every day."

"How are we so famous when...there's been nothing about the biggest bill since the Patriot Act being passed, [the Cap-and-Trade bill, which regulates carbon output, among other environmental issues] and nobody reading it," Spencer questions. "It's mind-boggling trying to say there's global warming right now."

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They are officially the most perfect celebrities to exist. I'm in heaven. I finally have a reason to use this icon.

Joe The Plumber On Running For Office: "God ... Was Like, 'HELL NO!''"

Joe The Plumber On Running For Office: "God ... Was Like, 'No.'"

Joe the Plumber is planning a Tea Party tour for the Fourth of July holiday, World Net Daily reports.

Samuel Wurzelbacher first gained notoriety during the presidential campaign and quickly became one of the GOP's favorite mascots. But after an embarrassing turn at "war reporting and a slew of offensive public remarks," Joe's star has faded and he's been forced to settle for performing at ever more fringe events.

Over the July 4th weekend, Wurzelbacher is scheduled to make appearances at a number of Tea parties in Texas.

The anti-tax Tea Party fad began this spring and has led to events all over the country.
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Chaos is good for the GOP?

How Dysfunction Helps the GOP
The party says its own mistakes prove government can't work.

'Remember the $400 hammer? How 'bout that $600 toilet seat?" asks a Conservatives for Patients' Rights TV commercial criticizing President Barack Obama's health-care plan. "Seems when Congress gets involved, things just cost more."

As it happens, I do remember the incident of the $436 hammer, the one that made headlines back in 1984. And while it may "seem" in hazy retrospect as though it showed how "things just cost more" once those silly liberals in Congress get started, what the hammer episode actually illustrated was a very different sort of ripoff. The institution that paid so very much for that hammer was President Ronald Reagan's Pentagon. A private-sector contractor was the party that was pleased to take the Pentagon's money. And it was a liberal Democrat in the House of Representatives, also known as "Congress," who publicized the pricey hardware to the skies.

But so what? Myth is so much more satisfying than history, and with myth the competence of Washington actors from 25 years ago doesn't matter any more. Nor does it matter which arm of the federal colossus did what. Republican or Democrat, White House or Congress, they're all part of a monolithic, undifferentiated "government" that acts according to a money-burning logic all its own.

The myth has been getting a lot of play from conservatives in recent weeks as the debate over health care has heated up. The message, as always, is that government can't do anything right.

Where the conservative mythologists show their hand is when they use their own monumental screw-ups, committed during conservatism's long years in charge of the government, to prove that government in general is a futile proceeding, and that Democratic health-care plans, in particular, can't possibly succeed.
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Mierda, ¡el mamut se hizo mierda!

Here I am posting yet again about Honduras because, HOLLY SHIT:

Honduras restricts rights during curfew after coup

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' Congress approved a decree on Wednesday to crack down on opposition during a nightly curfew imposed after the recent coup.

The decree, covering the curfew period, allows security forces to hold suspects for more than 24 hours without charge, and formalizes the prohibition of people's right to free association at night.


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You can be arrested at home without a charge, you can't hang out with your friends, there's a curfew and a few TV/radio stations were closed down. But this is totally pro-democracy... not a coup, NOT A COUP, ARE YOU LISTENING? Pfff, Honduran military must literally GTFO.