July 14th, 2009


Senior KKK member goes to Israel in a cultural exchange program...

Senior KKK member arrested in Tel Aviv

A high-ranking white supremacist on the run from US federal authorities was arrested on Monday night in a south Tel Aviv hideout.

33-year-old Micky Louis Mayon, one of America's 100 Most Wanted criminals, and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, was arrested in a Florentine apartment by the National Immigration Authority's newly formed Oz enforcement unit.

Mayon is wanted in the US on charges of racist assaults, setting fire to vehicles belonging to federal agents, and a host of violence incidents.

The Oz unit was acting on intelligence relayed by Interpol, which informed authorities here that Mayon had entered Israel illegally.

He is said to have moved apartments often in order to evade police, but his efforts proved fruitless on Monday when a delicate operation by the Oz unit saw officers break into his hideout and arrest him.

Oz unit members have the powers of a police officer but can only use them in cases of illegal entry into the country.

Mayon was the subject of an American arrest operation in November 2007, but officers soon realized he had flown to Israel on a one-way ticket. Earlier that year, he reportedly fired his gun in the air repeatedly after being involved in an argument with an African-American. US authorities have described him as a dangerous fugitive.

Oz Unit head Tziki Sela said Mayon was surprised to be arrested, but cooperated with the officers. He has been transferred to a Holon jail facility, where he underwent an immigration hearing. He was then taken to an Israel Prison Authority jail facility.

GOP Representative Worried That Public Option Has Lower Costs, "Advantages"

GOP Representative Worried That Public Option Has Lower Costs, "Advantages"

The public option. Polls indicate that the American people are head over heels in love with the public option. And the preliminary scoring from the Congressional Budget Office gives some indication why: the early word is that a "strong public option--the kind that the House of Representatives is putting in its reform bill--should net somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion in savings over ten years. "

But, via Brian Beutler at TPM comes the news that at least one GOP opponent of the measure still has grave concerns. Minnesota Representative John Kline recently went on Minnesota Public Radio to despair over the way the public option would save his constituents money:

"There are some things in this legislation that I find particularly troublesome," Kline told Minnesota Public Radio. Specifically, he was thinking of the public option. "[O]ur fear is that if you actually get in there looking at the legislation that it's set up in a way that employers would increasingly opt to letting their employees move over to the public, to the public option. And because it is cheaper, it's designed to save money, which the government-run program has some very clear advantages, and the claims that it's gotta pay for itself that through the first three years of this there would be government subsidies."

[Listen to full clip here.]

Beutler adds: "I assume that public opinion polling must show overwhelmingly that Americans want to pay more for health care so that insurance companies don't have to contend with a superior, cheaper competitor. Otherwise it's hard to understand Kline's statements anything other than a call to subsidize insurance companies--and no elected official would ever stand for that." Well, if the conservadem coalition is successful at preventing the public option from taking advantage of Medicare's below market rates, it seems to me that the insurance companies may yet obtain their subsidy.


Spanish is Language of Ghetto and Drug Dealers

Gingrich Begins A Twitter Feed In Spanish, ‘The Language Of Living In A Ghetto’

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich is notorious for his active — and sometimes controversial — musings on Twitter. But not only does he have a Twitter feed in English, but he has also started one in Spanish.

He posted his first tweet in Spanish at 1:08 pm on July 9, noting that he would be on Neil Cavuto’s Fox show at 4:05 to discuss Pelosi’s $16 million “mouse” project. He also asked his readers what he should say about the subject. While some of his tweets on the Spanish-language feed are the same as on the English version, others are original content.

More importantly, why would Gingrich even want a Spanish-language Twitter feed? He has fiercely opposed bilingual education, even going so as far to call Spanish “the language of living in a ghetto“:

The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.

More recently, Gingrich has gone after Latina Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a “Latina women racist.”

Exorcism, the answer to Healthcare! Demon be gone!

John Ensign Linked To "Do-it-Yourself Exorcism" Movement

Beyond the obvious hypocrisy inherent in GOP Senator and Promise Keepers member John Ensign's recently disclosed extramarital sexual affair, there's another notable aspect to Ensign's religious affiliations that has so far escaped public notice: exorcism.

Senator John Ensign belongs to a Pentecostal denomination, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, that promotes a new health care paradigm in which both physical and psychological maladies can be cured through the casting out of demons. In the new approach, individuals can even heal themselves by exorcising their own demons, through a process that a 2003 Associated Press story characterized as "do it yourself exorcism".

From John Ensign's college introduction to the Promise Keepers movement, through the Senator's current membership in a Las Vegas church within the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel denomination, to his current residence in a house owned by Youth With a Mission, a parachurch evangelical organization founded in 1960 by Loren Cunningham -- who espouses a doctrine of Christian infiltration of key societal sectors, Senator Ensign has throughout his political career associated with charismatic Christian religious entities in the forefront of promoting a radical and new approach that is redefining Christian evangelism, which now includes a heavy emphasis on the exorcism of demons as a key to a healthy, productive, and moral life.

In the vanguard of the now international demon-deliverance movement is pastor Jack Hayford, who co-authored the 1997 book "Loving Your City Into the Kingdom" together with former National Association of Evangelicals head Ted Haggard. According to Journalist Max Blumenthal, writing for The Daily Beast, Ensign is a confident of Jack Hayford, and other evidence substantiates John Ensign's strong ties to the denomination, which Hayford has headed for five years.

In 2003 the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel paid for Senator Ensign to travel to Philadelphia, where Ensign addressed the Foursquare denomination's yearly convention. In 2006, Ensign addressed the Foursquare Gospel yearly convention via a videotaped speech.

Ensign's connection to Hayford is further underlined through the mutual involvement of the two men in The Promise Keepers, a movement that during the 1990's drew crowds of hundreds of thousands of men to Christian rallies. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ensign addressed a 2003 Las Vegas Promise Keepers rally, and Jack Hayford has played a substantial role in the Promise Keepers movement. GOP Senator Ensign's recent disclosure of an extramarital affair is particularly damaging because Ensign has campaigned on a family values platform, and the Promise Keepers seven vows include the following:

"A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical and sexual purity.
A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and Biblical values."

A lesser-known aspect of the Promise Keepers is the ministry's promotion of charismatic doctrines, as evidenced in its promotion of Dove Ministry founder Bill Subritzky, who teaches demon deliverance practices.

In late June 2009, a YouTube video from a Bridgeport, Connecticut black evangelical church, showing an attempt to exorcise a "homosexual demon" from a sixteen-year old teenager sparked national controversy, as well as condemnation from the left and from gay rights advocates.

But at least one report suggests that a program which seeks to exorcise gay demons was during the 1990's institutionalized at Ted Haggard's Colorado Springs New Life Church. Beyond promoting dubious attempts to banish homosexual demons, former head of the National Association of evangelicals Ted Haggard and current president of the 5-10 million member strong (estimates vary) International Church of the Foursquare Gospel Jack Hayford have each promoted exorcism, nationally and worldwide as well.

As reporter Richard N. Ostling described, in a May 9, 2003 Associated Press story, Cleansing Stream Ministries originated at Jack Hayford's Van Nuys, California Church on The Way, and Hayford still presides over the entity - which is part of a controversial but growing "demon deliverance" movement (sometimes just referred to as "deliverance"), that, according to Ostling, teaches "do-it-yourself exorcism" methods. Ostling's AP story described controversy within the American evangelical community that new "spiritual warfare" doctrines were provoking in the early part of the current decade:

"Evangelical Protestants, who generate many of American religion's notable innovations, are at war over one of them, known as "spiritual warfare."

This expanding movement believes that Christians regularly become captive to indwelling demons, which are often said to specialize in particular sins, geographic locations, objects or age groups.

The believer is taught to rebuke the demon and command its departure in Jesus' name, sort of a do-it-yourself exorcism....

Spiritual warfare proponents include the international Cleansing Stream Ministries, at the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif..."

Richard Ostling's story focused on criticism of the new demon-centric approach to health care from conservative evangelical Christian Hank Hanegraaff, a Christian Research Institute member popularly known as the "Bible Answer Man", who charged the new approach derived from secular pop-culture:

Hanegraaff charges that the "deliverance industry" mimics secular pop culture. He says major Christian emphasis on demons and deliverance emerged only after the 1973 movie "The Exorcist" and other entertainment vehicles."
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WHAT THE HELL? Are we sure Steele is black??

Steele: GOP woos blacks with "fried chicken and potato salad"

The Young Republicans convention was held in Indianapolis last weekend and their election of a racist, middle-aged woman as President isn't the only controversial item to come out of the GOP gathering.

Local Republican blog Hoosier Access was able to get RNC Chairman Michael Steele to sit down with a group of bloggers and they taped the conversation. The old gaffe-o-matic (or as I like to call him, the Republican Joe Biden!) answers a question from a gay person of color in this clip about the GOP's diversity outreach.

Yes, that's right. To lure African-Americans into the GOP, Steele is offering "fried chicken and potato salad." Since he mentions Republicans should also be reaching out to the LGBT community, I wonder what stereotype he's going to offer us? Buttplugs and Birkenstocks?

Wut? No watermelon or white wymin?

Glenn Beck Bloviates MOAR. No One Is Surprised.

Glenn Beck Slams Softball Questioning Of Sotomayor... But There Were No Questions Today

Glenn Beck is very upset with the softball questions that the Senators offered up to Judge Sonia Sotomayor during her first day of confirmation hearings. To prove his point, Beck played a video montage of Democratic senators praising Sotomayor, notably in statements and not questions.

Unfortunately for Beck, there were no questions today. The first day of the hearings is when Senators and the nominee make opening statements.

Beck did include one clip of a GOP senator, Lindsey Graham, telling Sotomayor "unless you have a complete meltdown, you're gonna get confirmed. And I don't think you will." Beck ridiculed Graham for this: "Does anybody remember when Lindsey Graham wasn't a worm?"


First, could Glenn Beck be any more of a horse's patoot?  Second, I was actually impressed by Graham's statement yesterday, and I think it's the first time I've heard him actually speak something resembling reality!

In comparison to this, the anti-Mermaid bill seems sane.......

Bachmann, Poe introduce bill to curb yearly Census survey

Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas) have introduced legislation that would curtail the extent of information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau in a yearly survey.

The bill comes after Bachmann came under fire, even by some Republicans, for vowing not to fill out the legally-mandated Census in 2010 over concerns about the nature of some of the information collected by the survey.

The legislation would make responding to the yearly "American Community Survey" voluntary, and dramatically scale down the extent of its questions posed annually to Americans.

The bill would reduce the response to the survey to four questions: Name, contact information, date of response, and number of people living or staying at the same address.

The survey, which is mandatory and administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, is sent to 3 million households every year.

The current Census asks questions about race, ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and a variety of other issues.

Bachmann said the Census may serve a legitimate purpose at its core, but has instead become excessively personal.

"Throughout the years, additional questions of a more personal nature were added so that the federal government could have more detailed information to make and implement its ever-expanding public policy," she said in a statement. "A lot of Americans — myself included — have real concerns about the ultimate protection of our sensitive personal information."


Just.....*facepalm*  Our ethnicity, gender, race, educational status are considered "sensitive personal information"??  Hell, we have to provide a lot more than that on a standard job application!! 

Governor Sanford to South Carolina: Please Leave a Message and I'll Get Back To You....Later

Sanford’s office couldn't locate missing governor

E-mails, phone calls outline efforts to contact, cover for AWOL leader

Gov. Mark Sanford’s chief of staff, Scott English, called the governor’s cell phones 15 times during the governor’s secret trip to Argentina to visit his lover last month. But the governor never picked up.

Meanwhile Sanford’s communications director, Joel Sawyer, worked to minimize the fact the governor had been out of touch with his staff for about four days.

Records released Monday show Sawyer juggled e-mails and media calls from around the nation, giving a consistent message that was later proven to be untrue.

Those records also show Sanford declined a dinner invitation from a company looking to expand its business in South Carolina because Sanford planned to be in Argentina that day.

Sanford has since said he intentionally misled Sawyer and other staff members to believe he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really with his Argentine lover.

First, Sawyer said the governor was taking a much needed break after the legislative session.

Later, after media pressure intensified, Sawyer refined the message: “The governor is hiking along the Appalachian Trail,” he repeatedly wrote to reporters June 22. “I apologize for taking so long to send this update, and was waiting to see if a more definitive idea of what part of the Trail he was on before we did so.”

Through the state’s open record laws, The State late Monday received nearly 600 pages of documents — e-mails and phone call exchanges — between the governor’s staff members.

The documents shed new light on a June 18-24 secret trip the governor took to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to visit his lover.

The governor was approached June 24 by a reporter from The State newspaper in the Atlanta airport as he exited a plane on his way back from Buenos Aires. He later confessed to the affair with Maria Belen Chapur, his Argentine lover, whom he called his soul mate, as well as other inappropriate contact with other unnamed women.

Critics who have called for the governor to step down said Sanford abandoned the state.

“It confirms what we had believed to be the case,” said Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, “that no one knew or had any idea how to get a hold of him. At the end of the day, there’s no excuse for that.”

The documents show:

Some lawmakers worried about the political ramifications of the missing governor.

Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Lexington, and a Sanford supporter, sent an e-mail June 22 to Sawyer, saying he planned to attend a question-and-answer-session with state Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, who first pointed out the governor was missing.

Ballentine said Knotts will “sure make issue with (the governor’s absence.”

“Pop him back if you can,” Sawyer responded.

-- Sanford’s state-issued cell phone made no calls from June 18, when he departed Columbia for Argentina, until June 25, a day after his public confession of his affair.

English got a call back from the governor the morning of June 23. It’s unclear what phone the governor used to call English.

-- At 8:45 a.m., English e-mailed Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, “I spoke to the boss. He’s safe and sound, as we expected. He will be back in the office tomorrow.”

Later that day, Sawyer sent an e-mail to reporters saying Sanford “called to check in with his chief of staff this morning. It would be fair to say the governor was somewhat taken aback by all of the interest this trip has gotten.”

-- The e-mails also show very little communication between staff members as to Sanford’s whereabouts.

-- The governor allowed some economic development initiatives to take a back seat during his secret trip. Sanford was invited to — but turned down — a dinner invitation June 24 with representatives from a company looking to expand its S.C. operation, according to e-mail records. The company’s name was redacted. Sanford also declined a June 25 celebration event for a plant expansion by a S.C. business because his schedule was “just absolutely jammed this summer,” wrote a staffer in an e-mail.

-- By June 22, four days after Sanford had left for his trip, dozens of media outlets were working to determine where he was.

Some outlets, hoping to outdo their competition, were volunteering to coordinate with the governor’s office to spin the story to Sanford’s advantage.

A staffer with The Washington Times wrote in an e-mail that “if you all want to speak on this publicly, you’re welcome to Washington Times Radio. You know that you will be on friendly ground here!”

On June 23, a Fox News Channel correspondent wrote to Sawyer, “Having known the Governor for years and even worked with him when he would host radio shows for me — I find this story and the media frenzy surrounding it to be absolutely ridiculous! Please give him my best.”


Btw, THIS is exactly why he should be stepping down.  I could care less about the affair.....that's between him, his wife, his family, and his "soul mate".  However, dodging 15 calls from his chief of staff is unacceptable.  There could have been any number of things happening that would have needed his attention.  To my mind, that's just negligence and job abandonment.

' jules

Mike Huckabee was right. It's hard not to laugh at Cantor...

Rep. Cantor Rumored To Be Planning Presidential Run. Who's Next?

Congressional Quarterly is reporting that two Republican congressmen, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Mike Pence of Indiana, could be looking to make a presidential run.

One of our favorite Cantor memories was when he missed one of President Obama's prime time press conferences on the economy. Where was the House minority whip? At a Britney Spears concert.

But Cantor's apparently fueling speculation by scheduling listening tours and raising money. He's added $637,000 to his PAC -- called Every Republican Is Crucial (or ERIC).

Just goes to show: In the new Republican Party, no one's too obscure or too weird to be considered presidential material.


LOL I figured he wouldn't run because he's almost certainly in line to become Minority Leader in 2010. But I guess Gingrich proves that for some Republicans, being on top in Congress just isn't enough~

CIA: We did! We didn't! Shut up! No, you shut up!

CIA Supervisor Claimed He Used Fire Ants On Detainee; Agency Says It Never Happened

A recently released legal memo describing interrogation techniques showed that Bush Administration lawyers had approved the use of "insects" in interrogations. "You would like to place [Abu] Zubaydeh in a cramped confinement box with an insect," Jay Bybee, then a Justice Department lawyer and now a federal judge, wrote in 2002. He opined that as long as the bug wasn't actually harmful, it would not violate the law to use one to scare a terrorist detainee.

That was the first mention of insects to become public. But the memo's release may make it worth looking back to a brouhaha that occurred in secret at the agency in 2005. A CIA supervisor involved in the "enhanced interrogation" program bragged to other CIA employees about using fire ants while during questioning of a top terror suspect, according to several sources formerly with the Agency. The official claimed to other Agency employees, the sources say, to have put the stinging ants on a detainee's head to help break him.

The CIA insists, however, that no matter what the man said, it never took place. In fact even though the Bush administration lawyers condoned the use of nonharmful insects, as the memo revealed, the technique wasn't employed, the agency says. "The CIA did not use insects as part of its terrorist interrogation program," said CIA Spokesman Paul Gimigliano. "That didn't happen, period."

The CIA supervisor who purportedly bragged of using insects was, and still is, a high-level official, working at the Senior Executive Service level. Because he is still in the CIA covert side, his name cannot be published. But he was in the field and oversaw to some degree, according to sources, the way "enhanced" interrogation techniques were used.

In fact, he was so close to the program that sources say he was caught on the CIA interrogation tapes made in Thailand inside the secret facility where Zubaydah and other terrorists were questioned. The tapes were later destroyed in circumstances currently under investigation.
"He was on the tapes," a former CIA source said. No one can know if that is true, since they were destroyed. But several sources say that although he may have been on the tapes, he actually had no direct role in interrogating anyone, but that he was present as a high-ranking supervisor. (And there were no reported insects or fireants on the videotape.)

The official is a storied veteran of covert operations who had just returned from Bagdhad. "He's a bullshitter," said one former officer, explaining that the man had a reputation for telling tall tales and embellishing.

So what is one to make of his bizarre claim to have used fireants to get a terrorist suspect to talk? When he made the boast, according to officials familiar with the events, he was at the CIA's bar at "The Farm," where the CIA trains case officer cadets, down at Camp Peary in Virginia. It's an old U-shaped bar, as officers decribe it, topped with cheap linoleum, and a couple of little booths like those found in an old cafeteria. The room opens up to a large lounge with a big open fireplace. Back in the old days, the area was decorated with photographs from Southeast Asia and other regions of CIA derring-do, but now it is a dreary place.

According to those who were told about the incident, the official was putting down drink after drink at the bar. "He was running his mouth," said one ex-officer, "carrying on." Sources say the supervisor bragged loudly that he had used fire ants to torment an al Qaeda suspect to get him to talk. As one version of the evening has it, he bragged of putting the stinging bugs in a helmet and then putting the helmet on the detainee.

Some officials say it should not be taken seriously. First, he was talking while people were drinking in a bar so his account was hardly reliable. Second, he'd just returned from one of the toughest war zones of recent memory: perhaps a bit of bizarre story-telling is to be expected in the privacy of the intelligence service's own bar. But it was all strange enough that complaints started quickly from CIA people who over heard the conversation.

The CIA launched its own review, the intelligence sources say. The agency concluded that there was no such torture and that the supervisor was simply making it up.

Still, that was before the release of the Bybee memo authorizing the use of insects. With new speculation that the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder might launch an investigation into the "enhanced interrogation," perhaps it is, at least worth recalling the in-house insect buzz at the CIA.

Meanwhile, there is already an open inquiry into the question of the destroyed tapes.


"Some officials say it should not be taken seriously. First, he was talking while people were drinking in a bar so his account was hardly reliable."

In my experience, I've generally seen drunks more apt to tell the truth, ad nauseum, than having the creativity to make shit up.  Just sayin'.

Michelle Obama's father buried at Lincoln NOT Burr Oak

First Lady Michelle Obama's father, Fraser Robinson III, is buried at Burr Oak Cemetery, the Alsip facility involved in a grave desecration scandal, according to a White House spokeswoman.

There was no indication whether Robinson's grave was among those disturbed.
Camille Johnston, the first lady's communications director, disclosed that Robinson was buried there but declined to comment further.

Fraser Robinson III was a pump operator for the water department in Chicago and a Democratic party precinct captain who battled multiple sclerosis. He died in 1991 from complications from multiple sclerosis.

Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, moved from the South Side to the White House when her son-in-law, Barack Obama, was inaugurated in January.



Michelle Obama's Father, Fraser Robinson III, NOT Buried At Burr Oak Cemetery: White House

CHICAGO (AP) -- The White House, correcting earlier reports, says Michelle Obama's father is not buried at a cemetery where workers are accused of digging up and dumping bodies but at a cemetery nearby.

Spokeswoman Camille Johnston in an e-mail message on Tuesday said Fraser Robinson III is buried in Lincoln Cemetery. Earlier in the day she was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying Robinson was buried at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip.

The Cook County Clerk's office also confirmed that Robinson was buried at Lincoln, which is located in Alsip less than two miles from Burr Oak.

Robinson died in 1991 of complications from multiple sclerosis.

Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, now lives in the White House with President Barack Obama, her daughter and two grandchildren.


(no subject)

Former President Bill Clinton has come out in support of same-sex marriage.

Michael Tracey: The former president's reversal is the highest-profile one to date. It may also have political implications for the future of the Defense of Marriage Act.

After speaking at the Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC, on July 8, the former president was asked if he supported same-sex marriage. Clinton, in a departure from past statements, replied in the affirmative.

Clinton opposed same-sex marriage during his presidency, and in 1996, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to one man and one woman. In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto's Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was "evolving."
Apparently, Clinton's thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, "I'm basically in support."

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, "I think all these states that do it should do it." The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is "a federal question."

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, "Yeah." "I personally support people doing what they want to do," Clinton said. "I think it's wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage]."

The former president joins a string of prominent Democrats who have recently switched their position on the issue, including former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd.

"Bill Clinton joins other important public figures in stepping solidly into the twenty-first century in support of same-sex marriage equality," said the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's executive director Rea Carey. "We certainly hope other elected officials, including President Obama, join him in clearly stating their support for equality in this country. Same-sex couples should not have to experience second-class citizenship."

Clinton's reversal is the highest-profile one to date. It may also have political implications for the future of the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama has pledged to repeal the law, but in June, the Justice Department filed a brief in federal court defending the law's constitutionality.

A recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Democrats favor same-sex marriage.



House Health Plan Released, Will Boost Taxes On Rich

WASHINGTON — House Democrats have unveiled sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Tuesday the bill is both a starting point and a path to success. She was joined by committee chairmen and other House leaders. They stood before a banner reading "Quality affordable health care for the middle class."

Pelosi and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the House would pass the bill before the August recess.

The legislation would impose penalties on employers who fail to provide health insurance for their workers and on individuals who refuse to buy it.

President Barack Obama is pushing the House and Senate to vote on bills before their vacation break.

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  • war4l

The Culture Wars' New Front: U.S. History Classes in Texas

The fight over school curriculum in Texas, recently focused on biology, has entered a new arena, with a brewing debate over how much faith belongs in American history classrooms.

The Texas Board of Education, which recently approved new science standards that made room for creationist critiques of evolution, is revising the state's social studies curriculum. In early recommendations from outside experts appointed by the board, a divide has opened over how central religious theology should be to the teaching of history.

Three reviewers, appointed by social conservatives, have recommended revamping the K-12 curriculum to emphasize the roles of the Bible, the Christian faith and the civic virtue of religion in the study of American history. Two of them want to remove or de-emphasize references to several historical figures who have become liberal icons, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.

"We're in an all-out moral and spiritual civil war for the soul of America, and the record of American history is right at the heart of it," said Rev. Peter Marshall, a Christian minister and one of the reviewers appointed by the conservative camp.

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source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124753078523935615.html

Daycare rejects invite back to pool

A largely minority day care center Monday refused an offer to return to a swim club in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid allegations of racism.

Swimming privileges for about 65 children from Creative Steps were revoked after one visit to the club, on June 29. Some black and Hispanic children said white club members made racist comments to them, asking why black children were there and raising concerns that "they might steal from us."

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After nearly 30 years in the field, archaeologist Leonardo López Luján may be on the verge of the discovery of a lifetime: the only known tomb of an Aztec king.

An air of excitement has been thickening around Mexico's Templo Mayor (Great Temple) since 2006, when excavations near the temple revealed a stone monolith with a carving of an Aztec goddess.

Recently the anticipation intensified with the discovery of a richly decorated canine skeleton near a sealed entrance.

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Okay, maybe it's not exciting to everyone, I DUN CARE, I DO WHUT AH WANT.
Akuma River

July 14, 2009 Update

Blame the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing for the lateness and thinness of this report.

Btw, Today's Nico report is under yesterday's link. He didn't open a new post and just used the last one.

Toronto July 11, 2009

July 13, 2009 post | July 12, 2009 post | July 11, 2009 post | July 10, 2009 post | July 9, 2009 posts | July 8, 2009 post | July 7, 2009 post | July 6, 2009 post | July 5, 2009 post | July 4, 2009 post

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WaPo's op-ed columnist Eugene Robinson puts it much more eloquently than me (and no bolding - it's short and worth it, lazies):

Whose Identity Politics?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The only real suspense in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is whether the Republican Party will persist in tying its fortunes to an anachronistic claim of white male exceptionalism and privilege.

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Being white and male is seen instead as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any "identity" -- black, brown, female, gay, whatever -- has to be judged against this supposedly "objective" standard.

Any "identity" -- black, brown, female, gay, whatever -- has to be judged against this supposedly "objective" standard.

has to be judged against this supposedly "objective" standard.

Also, I haven't watched TRMS in a while, and she is cracking me up tonight with her coverage of the hearings.
*betty draper reading

Dumbass Gov. of TX turned down stimulus, now asking for loans

Texas asks for federal help after rejected stimulus money
Updated: 7/14/2009 8:38:34 PM
By: Catie Beck

Texas has known for months that the funds to pay unemployed Texans were running dry.

"The balance is depleting faster than we expected," Texas Workforce Commission officer Ann Hatchitt said.

Texas is now asking the federal government for a $170 million loan so that benefits keep getting paid.

"This is nothing out of the ordinary. We're following protocol that we put in place," said Governor Rick Perry.

Texas has asked for this loan only one other time, in 2003. This year however, the decision is getting extra attention after Governor Rick Perry rejected federal stimulus money that would have replenished the fund. Perry said the stimulus would have expanded eligibility and cost more to business owners in the long run. Many are now questioning that decision.

"That $555 million would that would have come with the stimulus money wouldn't have to be paid back to the federal government and that would have saved business taxpayers money for the next 20 years," said Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin.

Despite the loan, Gov. Perry defended his decision to those who questioned it.

"They are shortsighted and probably criticizing for a political reason rather than a legitimate financial reason," Gov. Perry said.

Financial reasons highlight the fact that this loan would be one of many.

"We are expecting to need to borrow about $650 million from the federal government through October 1st, to pay for unemployment benefits", Hatchitt said.

The state is doing this to insure Texans who deserve help are able to get it.



Way to go, Governor Blow-dry.
Obama - Smoke

Obama Throws Out First Pitch At 2009 All-Star Game


Baseball legend Willie Mays says he was so proud the night Barack Obama was elected president that he "cried for most of the night."

The 78-year-old Hall of Fame centerfielder spoke with reporters as he flew with Obama from Michigan to St. Louis for Tuesday night's All-Star game.

Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Mays, who played much of his career with the San Francisco Giants, said he met Obama in Chicago on election night last November. He said he reminded Obama that he had dreamed about the day when someone of their race would be elected president.

Mays and many others began playing pro baseball when segregation was still widespread.

Filled with pride on the night of a historic election that made Obama the nation's first black president, Mays said he stayed up until 7 or 8 o'clock the next morning.

"I reminded him that I cried for most of the night in Chicago," said Mays, still emotional as he spoke about that night eight months ago.

"So that tells me all the things I went through, it was for good things," said Mays, who wore an orange-trimmed, black Giants baseball cap with his suit. "So I'm just proud of him, you know. He may be proud of something else. But I'm proud of him, what he stands for."

Mays said his one bit of advice to Obama for the night's pitch was: "Follow through."

President Obama will throw out the first pitch at this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 14 in St. Louis.

He will be only the fourth president to throw out the ball in the game - "joining John F. Kennedy (1962), Richard Nixon ('70) and Gerald Ford ('76 and '78), reports MLB.com.

In a statement, MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said:

"The central theme of the 2009 All-Star Game is community service, celebrating the extraordinary work being done by ordinary people. We are thrilled that we can come together with President Obama, who has encouraged a renewed spirit of national service, and illustrate a call to action in our communities. President Obama will continue a great tradition that joins our nation's leader and the national pastime."