July 20th, 2009

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Democrats Threatening GOP's Control Of Florida For First Time In Years

Florida fundraising shows Democratic threat to GOP rule

The Democrats' early success in fundraising could spell trouble for Republicans in the 2010 governor's race.


Republicans, beware.

For the first time since the GOP won control of state government in the mid 1990s, the Democratic Party and its leading candidate for governor together raised more money than their Republican counterparts at the start of a gubernatorial election season.

Alex Sink, the state's Democratic Chief Financial Officer, raised almost $1.3 million to Attorney General Bill McCollum's $1.04 million, since April 1. The Democratic Party raised nearly $2 million, while the Republican Party of Florida raised almost $1.2 million.

First, blame the bad economy for the turn of fortunes.
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Orszag: Republicans Trying To Kill Health Care Reform Through Delay

Orszag: Republicans Trying To Kill Health Care Reform Through Delay

President Obama's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, accused Senate Republicans on Sunday of trying to kill health care reform by dragging out the legislative process.

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Orszag labeled the attempts to push back the health care reform timeline as a "typical Washington bureaucratic game of if you don't have a better alternative just delay in hopes that that kills something."

"We want to get this done by August and we think we can," he added. "There are those that are advocating delay just as a desperation move to try and kill this."

Orszag stressed that not everyone calling for delay had sinister motives. The moderate Democrats in the Senate and Blue Dog Democrats in the House, he said, were "actively participating in the debate and that is great." This past week, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), along with Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins signed a letter asking to slow down the health care reform debate.

Nevertheless, from Orszag's CNN appearance, it seemed clear that the administration thinks pushing back the health care timeline amounts to a death sentence for reform. On Sunday, the OMB Director repeated that the White House's goal was to have legislation passed through both the House and the Senate by the time both chambers break for August recess.

"It's still the goal," he said. "We think we can make that. We are working towards that."

He added that the White House had been in discussion over the weekend with many of the recalcitrant House Democrats and Senate Finance Committee members to hammer out some sort of agreement.

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Steele: Obama is leader of powerful Cabal for New World Order! Is true!

Steele: Obama Is Part Of Health Care "Cabal"

The chairman of the Republican party is accusing President Barack Obama of conducting "risky experimentation" with his health care proposals, saying they will hurt the economy and force millions to drop their current coverage.

Michael Steele, in remarks prepared for delivery at the National Press Club, also said the president, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key congressional committee chairmen are part of a "cabal" that wants to implement government-run health care.

"Obama-Pelosi want to start building a colossal, closed health care system where Washington decides. Republicans want and support an open health care system where patients and doctors make the decisions," Steele said in excerpts of his speech made available in advance.

Obama has repeatedly said he does not favor a government-run health care system. Legislation taking shape in the House envisions private insurance companies selling coverage in competition with the government.

Even so, numerous Republicans in Congress continue to level the accusation at Obama and congressional Democrats, and Steele did so in sharply critical terms.

"Many Democrats outside of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Waxman cabal know that voters won't stand for these kinds of foolish prescriptions for our health care. We do too. That's why Republicans will stop at nothing to remind voters about the risky experimentation going on in Washington," the party chairman said in advance excerpts. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is Senate majority leader; Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Republican officials said they were supplementing Steele's speech with a round of television advertising designed to oppose government-run health care. No details were immediately available on the areas where the commercials would run or their cost.

In his speech, Steele broadened his attack beyond health care to question Obama's truthfulness.

The president "tells us he doesn't want to spend more than we have, he doesn't want the deficit to go up, he doesn't want to live off borrowed money. But he also told us he didn't want to run an auto company. President Obama justifies this spending by saying the devil made him do it. He doesn't want to spend trillions we can't afford, but he says he just can't help it," Steele said in the prepared excerpts.

The Republican chairman is making his speech at a time when Obama is struggling to advance his trademark health care proposal after a period of evident progress. Two of three House committees have approved their portions of the bill, while one of two Senate panels have acted.

But conservative Democrats have raised objections to some elements of the legislation, and efforts in the Senate to reach a bipartisan agreement have yet to bear fruit. Obama's attempt to impose an early August deadline on both the House and Senate for passage of legislation is in jeopardy.

OFFS, HIPSTERS

The only thing cooler than a pool party on a summer night in New York City is a secret pool party.

And the only thing cooler than that, as a few enterprising developers recently discovered, is a secret pool party in a pool made out of a Dumpster on the banks of the Gowanus Canal in industrial Brooklyn.



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Source, with pretty typical video of hipsters swimming in fucking dumpsters.
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pay your taxes, suckas

IRS Cracking Down on Tax Cheats

IRS Tentacles Reach Overseas

If you have any money stashed in an overseas account, the IRS wants to know about it.

The U.S. is launching a stiff crackdown on Americans who shield income from the tax man in foreign accounts. The new campaign could net tens of thousands of tax evaders, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal ($) Monday.

Taxpayers with $10,000 or more in offshore accounts at any point during the year will be required to file a tax form called the Foreign Bank Account Report, or FBAR. People who owe back taxes can expect some tough penalties. And for those who fail to file the form altogether, the penalties will be much greater.

The IRS has set a Sept. 23 deadline for voluntary disclosure of offshore accounts, a program announced in the spring. People who inadvertently failed to disclose foreign income, however minimal, could be slapped with a $10,000-a-year penalty.

Those who knowingly evaded paying taxes could pay $100,000 a year, or half of the offshore account's value ? whichever is higher.

The incentive for coming forward? People who disclose their accounts voluntarily before the deadline won't face criminal prosecution.

There were 386,000 FBAR forms filed last year but that number is expected to dramatically increase this year, according to the report. Tax lawyers and accountants are swamped by requests for help from those afraid of getting caught.

Not only does the IRS want its money, it also wants to know who else is involved in setting up Americans with offshore accounts in the first place. Those who come forward will face questions about how they're money ended up overseas.

The IRS will separate the voluntary filers into two groups, according to the report. One will be Americans who haven't been paying taxes at all on foreign income. The other will be those who have been paying taxes, but not filling out an FBAR form.

fuck yeah! I highly approve of this.
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Citadel

Feel good story time!

An 11-year-old Ohio boy is helping ease his family's financial burdens, one toy at a time.

Zach McGuire wants to do his part while his family goes through hard times, so he's selling his toys.

The youth said the idea came up during a conversation with his father.

"You can't live in toys, or eat toys," he told CNN television affiliate WNWO. "Even though they are fun, you don't need them."

Zach plans to use the proceeds for a good cause: helping his unemployed father.

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Awwwwwwww source

OMG FINALLY!!!

(From the New York TImes)The Senate has agreed to expand the definition of hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation and gender identity as part of a Pentagon policy measure that is becoming a magnet for tough social issues.

Senators added the anti-bias provisions to the bill Thursday night after voting 63 to 28 to shut off debate on the proposal by Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee. The measure would also allow the federal government to intervene in cases where the local authorities lacked the resources for such criminal investigations.

“We need a strong federal law to serve as a backstop to prevent hate-motivated violence in America,” Mr. Leahy said....

(GIMME MOAR!)


Caption: Matthew Shepard's Mother, a leading voice in passing hate crimes legislation.
bg-fieldtrip

The Hair is a Lie......


Palin Hairdresser: NYT Lied About Her Hair Thinning

The New York Times reported last week that Sarah Palin was forced to resign as Alaska governor because of overwhelming personal and political stress. One sign of Palin's turmoil was that, according to her hairdresser, her hair was thinning.
Friends worried that she appeared anxious and underweight. Her hair had thinned to the point where she needed emergency help from her hairdresser and close friend, Jessica Steele.

"Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart," Ms. Steele said in an interview at her beauty parlor in Wasilla, the Beehive.

Now, that stylist is saying it's not true. In a post on her Twitter account, Jessica Steele owner of the Beehive in Wasilla, wrote: "I am Sarah Palin's hairdresser in Alaska! The media is saying Sarah's hair is thinning this is a lie!!! I never said this and it's not true!"

She repeated the rebuttal and disparaged the media in subsequent posts, saying "I have never spoken 2 Inside Edition or told any reporter at the NYTs that Sarah Palin's hair was thinning to the point of emergency! Liers! [sic]" and "If u think about it saying Sarah's Palins hair is thinning is the dumbest lie the New York Times and inside Edition can come up with yet!"

Palin supporters have suggested Steele go to a different news organization with her case, but so far she has not said anything about doing so. Steele did tweet that "Inside Edition" contacted her for an interview, but she turned them down because "the whole 'story' was a lie."

Source
Freakazoid-TV

(no subject)


Holder’s Probe Has Its Critics

NEWSWEEK's disclosure that attorney General Eric Holder Jr. may appoint a prosecutor to investigate detainee abuse has revived tensions in the Obama administration about how to deal with Bush-era controversies. CIA Director Leon Panetta and other agency officials were blindsided, and say Holder is spinning his wheels: they argue that the CIA inspector general's report, which the A.G. told associates "shocked" him, was delivered to the Justice Department more than five years ago. "This has all been reviewed and dealt with before," says Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman.

After the IG report reached Justice, a task force was set up in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Va., that reviewed about 20 criminal referrals of detainee abuse sent over by the CIA and military criminal investigators. Officials familiar with the referrals have said they were horrific: one involves allegations that a naked prisoner in CIA custody in Afghanistan froze to death after being left in a prison known as the "salt pit."

But task-force prosecutors say they ran into a host of problems, including a lack of witnesses and forensic evidence, and declined to prosecute in all but one case. "We wanted to make these cases, but they just weren't there," says Rob Spencer, the former career Justice prosecutor who headed the task force until 2006. Ken Melson, who oversaw Spencer's work and was appointed by Holder as acting Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives director, says the cases were "looked at aggressively" and without political pressure. "I think we made the right decision on these cases," he says.

But a Holder aide, who didn't want to be named until the A.G. makes his decision, says the task force's work took place under the "Bush Justice Department" and merits a fresh "review" by a new prosecutor. (The aide hints that there may be new information that has influenced Holder's view on the subject.) Still, Justice officials say any review will not involve investigating senior Bush officials who ordered enhanced interrogation techniques. Such restrictions will infuriate human-rights groups. If that's what Holder orders, says Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch, he'll do "just what Bush did at Abu Ghraib"—go after a few "bad apples" and leave the policymakers ultimately responsible untouched.

Source

OMG, WUT?? BEARS get thier own summit but GUN VIOLENCE doesn't?

BEARS are important too!....(Arizona News)

A special summit on bears is planned for Monday night at the Prescott Valley Civic Center.

Game and Fish experts are scheduled to present information to the public about bears and human-wildlife conflicts.

There will be a time for questions and answers.  

State Game and Fish spokesman Zen Mocarski says the topics include why tranquilization and moving a bear is not always an option, the decision-making process for lethal removal, and those issues that often lead to human-wildlife conflicts.

Earlier this month, Game and Fish agents killed a bear in Prescott Valley after it showed no fear of humans.

(Source)

Ok...even if this is only a state level summit...dont states have better things to worry about? Bears sh*t in the forest....the end. you need not know anything more.
obama-trouble

New head of Indian affairs acknowledges big challenge



WASHINGTON — It's a neglected federal agency whose bureaucracy one chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee likened to having the efficiency of "walking through wet cement."

Putting his arms around that bureaucracy is "a daunting task," acknowledged Larry Echo Hawk, the former Idaho attorney general who took office June 1 as the assistant interior secretary in charge of Indian affairs.

"Sometimes I'm a bit frustrated because we have meetings, in conference rooms, and there's like 10 lawyers in the room, and we're talking about big issues," Echo Hawk said of his first few weeks on the job. "But I yearn to be able to see what the impact is, where the people are out in these isolated communities. So that's what I really care about."

He's set an ambitious agenda that zeros in on three key areas in Indian Country: economic development, education and, especially, law enforcement and policing.

"That perhaps is the one area that I feel I've got the most potential to contribute to, personally, because of my law enforcement background," said Echo Hawk, who was the first Native American ever to be elected as a state attorney general. "We're going to move ahead in that area, aggressively, in the next four years."

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Source

More "stimulus" Fail...

Nice comparison between how spending on public works projects during the New deal and and current attempts functioned in the Boston Globe.



No repeat of the New Deal jump-start

-Stimulus work slow at storied Oregon site


In less than four years, 17,000 around-the-clock workers tamed the roaring Columbia River, reshaping the economy of the Pacific Northwest by ensuring an abundant supply of cheap electricity. The New Deal even paid folk singer Woody Guthrie to pay homage to the dam that turned the region’s “darkness into dawn,’’ in the song “Roll On, Columbia.’’

Now, seven decades later, the Obama administration’s drive to spark another job-creating energy revolution through stimulus spending is off to a slower start - as reflected in the latest round of aid for the federal agency that runs the aging dam.

The Bonneville Power Administration received billions to expand its wind power grid. But only one of the envisioned transmission lines is underway, forecast to produce 700 jobs, and the others are years away from breaking ground.

In the end, the number of jobs created won’t come close to matching the army of impoverished loggers who signed on to mix concrete and install Bonneville’s massive turbines during the depths of the Depression.

The situation in Oregon, which has been hit hard by the recession and ranks third only to Michigan and Rhode Island in unemployment at 12.2 percent in June, is representative of larger concerns about Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan: that times have changed to the point where no president can funnel money into infrastructure spending quickly enough to provide the major economic jolt that stimulus supporters promised.



Link to the reat of the piece.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/07/20/no_repeat_of_the_new_deal_jump_start/
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Redheads do it best.

Short-Term Memory found in Fetuses

Memory probably begins during the prenatal period, but little is known about the exact timing or for how long memory lasts. Now in a new study from the Netherlands, scientists have found fetal short-term memory in fetuses at 30 weeks.

The study provides insights into fetal development and may help address and prevent abnormalities. Published in the July/August 2009 issue of the journal Child Development, it was conducted by researchers at Maastricht University Medical Centre and the University Medical Centre St. Radboud.

The scientists studied about 100 healthy pregnant Dutch women and their fetuses, measuring changes in how the fetus responds to repeated stimulation. After receiving a number of stimuli, the fetus no longer responds to the stimulus as observed by ultrasonography and the stimulus is then accepted as "safe." This change in response is called "habituation." In a second session, the fetus "remembers" the stimulus and the number of stimuli needed for the fetus to habituate is then much smaller.

Based on their research, the scientists found the presence of fetal short-term memory of 10 minutes at 30 weeks. They determined this because a significantly lower number of stimuli was needed to reach habituation in a second session, which was performed 10 minutes after the first session. They also found that 34-week-old fetuses can store information and retrieve it four weeks later. Fetuses were tested at 30, 32, 34, and 36 weeks, and again at 38 weeks. The 34- and 36-week-old fetuses habituated much faster than the 38-week-old fetuses that had not been tested before. This implies that these fetuses have a memory of at least 4 weeks—the interval between the test at 34 weeks and that at 38 weeks.

"A better understanding of the normal development of the fetal central nervous system will lead to more insight into abnormalities, allowing prevention or extra care in the first years of life and, as a consequence, fewer problems in later life," according to the study's authors.

Source

Things that also have short-term memory include: slugs, mice, worms, planaria.
Martha

GOP Is Too Old, Too White To Win

Republicans can engage in complicated studies to determine the standing of our brand. We (after all, I most certainly am a Republican) can search for policy positions that better connect us to the concerns of voters. We can do any number of things to try to change our fortunes. Until we come to grips with some fundamental math, however, the numbers simply do not add up to the GOP prevailing in a national election any time soon.

In 1976, 90 percent of the votes cast in the presidential election came from non-Hispanic whites. In 2008, John McCain won this vote by a 56-43 margin. Had John McCain run in 1976 instead of 2008, not only would he have won, but he would have won the popular vote before a single non-white vote was cast. So, despite all the chatter about the impact of Sarah Palin, despite the unpopularity of President Bush, despite the difficulty of the same party winning a third consecutive national election, despite the charisma of Barack Obama (and the love shown to him by the mainstream media), despite the financial meltdown of September, despite any other factor anyone can cite, if John McCain had been the candidate at a time when non-Hispanic whites were the overwhelming majority of the voters, he would be president now.

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ETA: SOURCE


I know this article seems like a no-brainer, but it's not that simple. Republicans want minorities in their party, but they are clueless on how to attract/maintain their support without diluting the basic principles. Minority Republicans like myself have a devil of a time convincing others to break away from the Democrats. I thought Steele would work to make this better, but that hasn't happened yet.
Redheads do it best.

Jimmy Carter leaves Baptist Church over Gender Discrimination

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

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Congressman tired of late night work.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra Complains About Late Night

Ahh, the life of a typical member of Congress is pretty sweet. You are well paid, you get your own nice office, a staff to do the heavy lifting, lobbyists who will not only tell you what to think but pay so that you can return to Capitol Hill again and again and continue not thinking. When so many Americans are going without health care, you've got a nice health care plan paid for by their sweat. And when the economy's in turmoil, you get to ride it out in a job that's extremely hard to lose -- though if you do, all that means is that you emerge from the cocoon of the legislative branch as a butterfly ready to drink the milkweed of corporate boards and special interest shops and think tanks and freebie print columns. It's nice work if you can get it, and for most of those that do, you can't imagine them doing any other job. Such is their incompetence.

But at the same time, every once in a while your elected officials find that GOVERNMENTING IS HARD! Luckily, they have Twitter at the ready, to bleat out 140 characters of bitching.




Hey, Pete! This job too tough for you, go ahead and resign, maybe? Nothing special or essential about you, son. I'm sure Michigan can scrounge up another Republican representative that's at least as good as you at whatever it is you are doing.

Same goes for the rest of you jerks.

UNITED FOR IRAN



July 25th, 2009. Most cities over the world are having another rally in support for the people of Iran. Check facebook for a event page in your city. It's been a while and that is why this is being done, one last time to show our support, and put pressure on our own world leaders to put pressure on the iranian government to release political prisoners and condemn the government's actions.

News out of Iran has been slow but as a fellow Iranian talking, trust me protesting is still going on. Especially at nights on rooftops, but less numbers on the streets because of the crackdown. Regardless, this is the start of a revolution and that is what truly matters. Revolutions take time but they work more efficiently when the people are united and know the world is behind them.

Spread the word (via facebook, twitter or just in person) and it would be great if you attend. I want to thank ontd_political for being so supportive and behind this issue every step of the way :)
' jules

This is why you're fat

XXXL
Why are we so fat?



One of the most comprehensive data sets available about Americans—how tall they are, when they last visited a dentist, what sort of cereal they eat for breakfast, whether they have to pee during the night, and, if so, how often—comes from a series of studies conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants are chosen at random, interviewed at length, and subjected to a battery of tests in special trailers that the C.D.C. hauls around the country. The studies, known as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, began during the Eisenhower Administration and have been carried out periodically ever since.

In the early nineteen-nineties, a researcher at the C.D.C. named Katherine Flegal was reviewing the results of the survey then under way when she came across figures that seemed incredible. According to the first National Health study, which was done in the early nineteen-sixties, 24.3 per cent of American adults were overweight—roughly defined as having a body-mass index greater than twenty-seven. (The metrics are slightly different for men and women; by the study’s definition, a woman who is five feet tall would count as overweight if she was more than a hundred and forty pounds, and a man who is six feet tall if he weighed more than two hundred and four pounds.) By the time of the second survey, conducted in the early nineteen-seventies, the proportion of overweight adults had increased by three-quarters of a per cent, to twenty-five per cent, and, by the third survey, in the late seventies, it had edged up to 25.4 per cent. The results that Flegal found so surprising came from the fourth survey. During the nineteen-eighties, the American gut, instead of expanding very gradually, had ballooned: 33.3 per cent of adults now qualified as overweight. Flegal began asking around at professional meetings. Had other researchers noticed a change in Americans’ waistlines? They had not. This left her feeling even more perplexed. She knew that errors could have sneaked into the data in a variety of ways, so she and her colleagues checked and rechecked the figures. There was no problem that they could identify. Finally, in 1994, they published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In just ten years, they showed, Americans had collectively gained more than a billion pounds. “If this was about tuberculosis, it would be called an epidemic,” another researcher wrote in an editorial accompanying the report.

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I haven't read any of the books in this review yet, but I find the ~issues~ raised interesting. It is amazing how much money we could save if people ate a little healthier. It pins down some of the things that I really dislike about the Fat Acceptance movement as well.
Akuma River

Week of July 20, 2009 Iran Update

I'm leaving town and won't be back til Wednesday or Thursday Friday. I'm not sure of internet service so I'll try to update this post daily if I can. If not, I will finish the updating on Thursday.

Btw, paypal has shut down Austin Heap's donation service on grounds of Patriot Act. They need documentation to prove it is in compliance with the Patriot Act but that will take months. There are 'threats' going on in cyberspace about boycotting paypal like Nokia has been.

Also, pictures of a rally on this Iraq website has appeared and it seems to be saying a rally took place in Iraq for Iran? Anyways there are several pictures of people wearing green, handing out green and giving the victory/peace symbol.

Itay runway show, Haute Couture, shows it's support for Iran


Update on the Green scrolls, 87 have been received in Paris so far and over a hundred are still in the process. Within the next few days we should see footage of the green scrolls coming down the Eiffel Tower.

Found this on Thursday, how many people are confirmed dead? 63 Watch the names, ages, and professions, they are mostly students. The last part, "last updated 7/22/2009" chills me.





July 18-19, 2009 post | July 17, 2009 post | July 16, 2009 post | July 15, 2009 post | July 14, 2009 post | 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


You guys can add links and vids that you find. I don't mind.

Updated: Wednesday 6:30pm, Thursday 3:30pm & 9:26pm

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brittanyintense

Some positive news; rare, I know...


The threat of a terrorist strike has been downgraded from severe to substantial, putting the risk of an attack at the lowest level since just before 7/7.

But Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, said that the country still faces a “real and serious” threat from terrorists.

Mr Johnson said: “The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has reduced the threat to the UK from international terrorism from Severe to Substantial.

“This means that an attack on the UK is a ‘strong possibility’. JTAC make their judgments based on a broad range of factors, including the intent and capabilities of international terrorist groups in the UK.
 

“We still face a real and serious threat from terrorists and the public will notice little difference in the security measures that are in place and I urge the public to remain vigilant.

“The police and security services are continuing in their thorough efforts to discover, track and disrupt terrorist activity.”

This month, the country’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, John Yates, hinted at the possibility of a change.

He told the Association of Chief Police Officers’ conference in Manchester: “I think there is a possibility the threat level may come down. It is logical because we cannot keep having it high unless the threat is there.”

Just after the attacks on the transport system in July 2005 the threat was raised to critical, as it was again after the Haymarket and Glasgow airport attacks in June 2007 before being downgraded back to severe where it has remained until today.

The decision to lower the threat level comes as the Metropolitan police, Britain’s biggest force, announced that it will limit its use of controversial stop-and-search powers amid claims of discrimination against minority groups.

Although all of London is still designated a stop-and-search area by the Home Secretary where Section 44 can be used, from today the areas where it will actually be used have been scaled back.

Officers can stop and search a person or a vehicle under Section 44 around specific and iconic sites, such as Buckingham Palace and Parliament, and during specific operations.

Scotland Yard says that stop-and-search is a vital tactic intended to “create a hostile environment for terrorists and provide a visible reassurance to the public”.

In other cases officers will be told to use Section 43 of the Act, which requires them to have reasonable suspicion that the person they are stopping and searching is a terrorist.

Officers from every borough today attended a Met-wide briefing outlining how the tactics will work.

Southwark, Brent, Tower Hamlets and Newham have been testing the new tactics since April.
 

Each borough will now have to identify the sites where they want Section 44 to be deployed and continue to brief and support officers through the process.

The decision to reduce the use of stop-and-search was taken by Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of the Met, earlier this summer after consulting with the Muslim Safety Forum, Liberty and other groups.

Commander Simon Bray, from Territorial Policing, said: “Stop and search under the Terrorism Act 2000 remains an important tactic in our counter-terrorism strategy. It can disrupt and deter terrorist activity by creating a hostile environment for terrorists as well as providing visible reassurance to the public.

“Our review of Section 44 and the tactics being launched today are designed to ensure we continue to protect Londoners while addressing the concerns that have been raised.

“We understand being stopped by police may cause an inconvenience. But it is our duty to protect the public and their patience and co-operation will certainly help keep London safe.”

Earlier this year Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the Met’s head of counter-terrorism, highlighted the concerns about the use of Section 44 in a report to the Metropolitan Police Authority.

He wrote: “Since October 2007 the MPS has conducted 154,293 Section 44 stop-and-searches. This is a significant increase over previous years. Whilst the threat level remains at ‘severe’, the MPS felt that it was now appropriate to review our use of this power.”

What the law says

— Section 44, Terrorism Act 2000

Authorises an officer to stop a vehicle in an area or at a place specified in the authorisation and to search it, as well as anyone in it, or anything carried in it An officer can also stop a pedestrian “in an area or at a place specified in the authorisation” and search him or her.

— Section 43, Terrorism Act 2000.

Authorises an officer to stop and search a person “whom he reasonably suspects to be a terrorist to discover whether he has in his possession anything which may constitute evidence that he is a terrorist” Anything then found that may be evidence that the person is a terrorist may be seized.



SOURCE


 


Biden-slap-a-bitch

WAT.


Fox News Guest Ralph Peters Suggests Taliban Should Kill U.S. Soldier If He Deserted

Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who has been captured by the Taliban and appears in a video released this weekend by his captors, “went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan on June 30.” The circumstances of his capture are still unknown. ABC News reports, “Defense officials said it appeared he somehow left his base in Paktika Province at night, likely accompanied by several Afghan soldiers.” On July 6, the Taliban claimed that “a drunken American soldier had come out of his garrison” and was captured by them.

On Fox News yesterday, guest Ralph Peters, a retired Army Lt. Col., urged against leaping to conclusions. “I was to stress first of all that we must wait until all of the facts are in until we make a final judgment,” Peters said, but quickly added, “He is an apparent deserter,” “he is collaborating with the enemy,” and “we know that this private is a liar.” Peters then suggested that if Bergdahl is a deserter, the Taliban should kill him:
I want to be clear. If, when the facts are in, we find out that through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban, I’m with him. But, if he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime, I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.

Fox News host Julie Banderas tried to soften Peters’ remark by concluding, “Regardless of what the situation is, we do not want to see any U.S. soldier in harm’s way. And we hope that this guy gets out of there safely. He’s an American – he’s one of ours.” Watch it:


Jonthan Turley comments that “Peters appears to view trials as something of an unnecessary expense.” Michelle Malkin applauds Peters’ “tough words.”

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Obama-wtf

UPDATE ADDED


Henry Louis Gates Jr. Arrested At Cambridge Home

BOSTON — Black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. is accusing a Massachusetts police department of racism after being arrested while trying to get into his locked home near Harvard University.

Police say they were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door.

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UPDATE:


SHOCK: Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., 58, one of the United States' pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested last Thursday afternoon at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. Was this a case of racial profiling? Some members of the Harvard faculty seems to think so. Police reportedly arrived at Gates's Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates said that he had locked himself out of his house and was trying to get inside. According to the Cambridge police log, he was booked for disorderly conduct after exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior. I wonder, if this were a white professor trying to get back into his home, would he have been arrested as well? Sorry, too many blacks in this country have been in this situation before and have been deliberately profiled.
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Oh, and here's the police report.  Worth reading for more context. 
UPDATE 2:  Thanks to [info]</a>pennywoods</a></div> here's the source for a statement issued on behalf of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  The full text is in the comments below.
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Drudge Report rants about feeding the hungry: "Another expensive Pork Project "

Republicans Now Furious About Dept. of Agriculture Buying Some Food For Starving Americans

You know who sucks? Poor jobless hungry people in America, that’s who! The famous wingnut blog “The Drudge Report” got some GOP people very, very excited because Drudge posted something suggesting the government spent $1.2 million to purchase “two pounds of ham.” TALK ABOUT PORK SPENDING, HEY-O! But, according to sad pooh-bear agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, “the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.19 million, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound.”

This food was purchased to feed people, while also “stimulating” the food industry by putting $1.19 million into this industry, in money. The Agriculture Department also bought 878,000 pounds of cheese, a form of dairy protein often distributed to the hungry people in America, as the Reagan Administration famously did throughout the awful endless recession and collapse of the working class during the 1980s.

Vilsack said the food was purchased for distribution to local groups, including food banks and soup kitchens, that support the needy. He said the purchases would help reduce hunger among those hardest hit by the recession.

Vilsack also said the purchases could provide “a modest economic benefit” for Americans working for food retailers, manufacturers and transportation companies, as well as ranchers and farmers.

That sounds awfully close to “Economic Stimulus,” Tom — in other words, MORE BUSH-REAGAN NWO COMMUNISM.

USDA: 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.2M


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GOP demands a sex tax... no, is not about Legalizing prostitution. They finally lost their minds.

Heard on the Hill: A Sex Surcharge?

And here we thought paying for sex was a no-no, especially for scandal-wary Members of Congress. But Rep. Steve Buyer thinks people who engage in the act (specifically, the kind that takes place sans protection) should have to pony up.

The Indiana Republican floated his unlikely cash-for-sex proposal Thursday during the markup of the health care bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Under the plan Buyer posited, those who engage in risky behavior, like smoking, not exercising and (ding, ding!) having unprotected sex, should have to pay a premium for their health care. After all, the reasoning goes, those people are more likely to incur higher health care costs than cigarette-eschewing, condom-wearing gym bunnies.

“Someone who smokes, drinks, participates in bad conduct and behavior, unprotected sex, maybe bad things happen to them, maybe they should pay higher premiums,” he mused. “That is a radical thought, isn’t it?”

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jonstewart-rave

Al Franken: A wounded veteran's best friend


A chance encounter inspires my first bill: Legislation making the service dog program more affordable for our troops.

By AL FRANKEN


In my first week as a U.S. senator, I had the privilege of participating in the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

The hearing was historic -- but as I prepare to introduce my first piece of legislation, I've been thinking about an encounter I had away from the lights and cameras.

This January, I met Luis Carlos Montalvan and his service dog named Tuesday, a beautiful golden retriever, at an inaugural event in Washington.

Luis had been an intelligence officer in Iraq, rooting out corruption in Anbar Province. In 2005, Capt. Montalvan was the target of an assassination attempt. Now he walks with a cane and suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

Luis explained that he couldn't have made it to the inauguration if it weren't for his dog.

As someone who's spent time with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on USO tours and met wounded warriors at Walter Reed and Bethesda, I feel a deep obligation to the men and women who have risked life and limb on our behalf.

After I met Luis, I did some research. Service dogs like Tuesday can be of immense benefit to vets suffering from physical and emotional wounds. Yes, they provide companionship. But they can also detect changes in a person's breathing, perspiration or scent to anticipate and ward off an impending panic attack with some well-timed nuzzling. They are trained to let their masters know when it's time to take their medication and to wake them from terrifying nightmares.

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I think this is an excellent idea, and really brings to the forefront the kind of care and help our vets are going to need as they come home.
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Sheriff's Deputy Used Stun Gun On 3 Children, Choked A Fourth Kid: It was Self Defense!!!

Sheriff's Deputy Used Stun Gun On 3 Children: Lawsuit

A sheriff's deputy zapped three children with a stun gun at an Illinois emergency youth shelter, threatening to sodomize one of them before choking a fourth child and throwing her in a closet, according to a federal civil-rights lawsuit.


The suit against Jefferson County sheriff's deputy David Bowers and another deputy claims they were unprovoked in the incident at the adolescent center in southern Illinois that houses youths ages 11 to 18, often with behavioral issues.

No charges have been filed in the case. Sheriff Roger Mulch, who also is named in the lawsuit, said Monday the deputies followed protocol and did "nothing out of the ordinary."

The suit, filed July 1, called the deputies' actions "extreme, outrageous and unjustified," and it does not release the names or ages of the three boys shot with the stun gun. The fourth kid was a foster child who did not live at the center, according to the lawsuit.

The suit claims that Bowers and sheriff's deputy Lonnie Lawler went to the center near Marion on July 4, 2008 in response to a report that three teenagers were acting unruly. But the young people suing the deputies were not those disruptive children, the lawsuit said.

Bowers allegedly pushed one boy toward his bed, and repeatedly shocked him with a stun gun. Bowers then held down a second boy, stunned him several times and threatened to sodomize him, ultimately causing the child to soil himself, the lawsuit claimed.

A third child complied with the deputies' demands that he sit on a couch, but Lawler handcuffed him before Bowers zapped him repeatedly, the lawsuit said.

The fourth child, a girl, pleaded with the deputies to stop but Lawler handcuffed her. Bowers lifted her off the ground, pressed her against a wall and choked her, the lawsuit alleges.

"Do you want to live or die (expletive)?" the lawsuit, filed July 1, claims Bowers asked the girl before she was thrown into a closet, vomiting.

Bowers did not immediately return messages left at his home, and Lawler does not have a listed home telephone number. It was not known whether either had an attorney.

Gene Svebakken, president and chief executive of Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, which runs the center, said Monday he had not seen a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment.

Mulch portrayed the center as a chronic hassle, this year accounting for more than 100 requests for his department's help.

He defended his deputies, saying separate investigations by his department and Illinois State Police determined Bowers and Lawler did nothing wrong.

Georgians Want U.S. on Their Border

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/world/europe/21georgia.html?_r=1

KIEV, Ukraine — Georgian leaders hope the United States will join the European Union’s monitoring effort along the boundary with two breakaway Georgian enclaves, a step they believe could deter aggression from Russian or separatist forces, a senior Georgian official said Monday.

The European Union’s 246 monitors in Georgia are unarmed civilians and are not allowed into the enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Russian forces wrested from Georgian control in a short war a year ago. Still, the official, Eka Tkeshelashvili, the secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, said broadening the monitoring mission to include the United States and other nonunion members would make it “politically very costly to Russia to do anything on the ground.”

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Thanks. Given a choice, I would prefer to run through a minefield wearing nothing but snowshoes...
&quot;Now you can&#39;t have any of my pot pie.&quot;
  • doop

Florida's Turtle Hunting Ban Goes Into Effect



A ban on commercial harvesting of Florida's freshwater turtles –the nation's strongest measure – takes effect Monday.

The historic ban was passed by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted last month in an attempt to protect more than two dozen species.

Florida is a hotspot for hunters reacting a worldwide appeal. Turtle meat is considered a delicacy in Asian markets; the shell is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The new rule prohibits the commercial harvest and sale of freshwater turtles in Florida and the collection of turtle eggs.

Critics say the ban goes too far but Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Pat Behnke disagrees. "I think that anytime you're protecting species in Florida, we have some of the most precious and unique and abundant species in Florida, and anytime you're taking measures to conserve them, you're not going too far."

The one exception to the law is Florida's turtle farms. They will be able to collect turtles for breeding for at least two years. The goal is to give farms the ability to become self-sufficient and develop their own stock.

The numbers collected by licensed turtle farms will be limited.

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Chibis - Default ChibiJess

Yeah, about that Corpse-Eating Robot....

A follow up to an article posted last week...

Rumors of Flesh Eating Robots Greatly Exaggerated



Cyclone Power Technologies has responded to a rumor that circulated last week about the firms EATR autonomous robot called EATR. EATR stands for Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot. The project is a Phase II SBIR project that is being sponsored by DARPA.

The platform is a long range autonomous robotic platform intended to perform long-range, long-endurance mission without needing to refuel conventionally. The patent pending robotic system gets the energy it needs form biomass that it finds in the environment.

Reports surfaced last week that this biomass also included human bodies. The company says that the robot is not designed to run on dead humans and only runs on organic matter like grass, twigs, wood chips, and clippings. Desecration of human bodies is against the Geneva Conventions says the company.

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Obama - Pie

Obama Honors First Men To Land On Moon

WASHINGTON — The same question that could have been asked 40 years ago moments after Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon is still being asked today: Now what?

On the 40th anniversary of man's first moon landing, the Apollo 11 crew met with President Barack Obama, who used the opportunity to talk about inspiration and science and math education. He didn't talk about going anywhere in space, not the moon or Mars.

 

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Body language

US student forced into ex-gay therapy

A gay pre-med student from Arkansas has been "forced" into therapy to cure him of homosexuality.

According to his friends, Bryce Faulkner, 23, was preparing to come out to deeply religious family when his mother discovered emails to his boyfriend, who lives in Wisconsin.

He was then given an ultimatum of being kicked out on the street or going into ex-gay therapy, a controversial "cure" for homosexuality through prayer.

Gay rights activists say it does not work and can be emotionally devastating.

Friends say the college student was left with no choice, as his parents took away his phone, his car and his money.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, his boyfriend Travis Swanson, 24, said he was "very worried".

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missanemone - Obama/That One

Twin Trouble for the Secret Service

Underage drinking, disregarding "strong suggestions" from the U.S. Embassy, regular appearances in Vogue fashion spreads — the Bush twins made more than their fair share of national headlines during their eight years in the White House. And it looks like they're not done.

According to the New York Post, a new book by former Washington Post reporter Ronald Kessler details how Jenna and Barbara gave the Secret Service "fits" during Bush's presidency. From an excerpt in the Post:

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(no subject)

Arkansas Pol: The Homeless Are Criminals And Homosexuals

 

Little Rock, Arkansas city director Erma Hendrix doesn't want a homeless shelter in her district. Because the homeless are criminals and homosexuals. And criminally homosexual. Or something.
City Director Erma Hendrix has long seemed a few bricks shy (memorably, she stooged for G.W. Bush in his road show to privatize Social Security), but she seemingly outdid herself this week by scapegoating gay people in her latest broadside against a day center for homeless in the former Job Corps building at I-30 and 21st. The city has the matter under study. Neighbors have objected. "A lot of them are homosexuals. They're criminals," Hendrix was quoted in the Democrat-Gazette in explaining her opposition to the homeless center in her ward.
Hendrix swears she was misquoted but the newspaper is standing by their story. A local LGBT rights group called the Center for Artistic Revolution has issued this statement:

It has come to our attention that in the city of Little Rock’s quest for a location for a homeless center city Board Director Erma Hendrix has weighed in with some extremely homophobic remarks regarding a proposed location. In response to the proposed location - the former Job Corps site, sandwiched between Interstates 30 and 630, Director Hendrix is quoted as saying, “A lot of them are homosexuals. They’re criminals.” This is an outrageous tactic to try and keep those most vulnerable in our society, the homeless, from having access to a center in a particular area of the city. Scapegoating the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community to support this agenda is inappropriate and inexcusable scare. We are asking our membership to POLITELY contact Mayor Stodola and Director Hendrix and ask that these remarks be retracted and that an apology is issued to our community. And finally urge the city to support the implementation of a homeless center as soon as possible.

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(no subject)

Anti-Gay Preachers Plan For Massive Protest At Charlotte Pride

 

Anti-gay preachers Lou Engle (left) and Michael Brown plan to bring a thousand protesters to Charlotte Pride this weekend to scream about at attendees about Jeebus.
This rally is a Spirit-birthed response to Charlotte's annual gay pride event. More than one thousand believers will be gathering to worship the Lord, intercede in prayer, and proclaim that "God Has a Better Way"! Nothing like this has ever been done in conjunction with a gay pride event in any city before, and those who join together on this day will be part of history in the making. Everyone can be involved! If you love Jesus and are walking with Him, then you qualify. We need worshipers, intercessors, musicians, soul-winners, walkers, talkers, and believers of every age, color, and size to stand together as a prophetic witness to our society. Everything we do will be law-abiding, safe, and honoring to the Lord in spirit and in word.
Engle and Brown plan for the Charlotte event to launch a new national movement to oppress gay people.
I believe that out of Charlotte, a house of prayer contending with the homosexual agenda and ideology could be birthed actually creating a nationwide movement, similar to what took place in Bound 4 Life, in Washington DC five years ago, and I believe it’s a word of the Lord, I believe it’s an invitation being given to Charlotte to raise up a contending house of prayer, that contends not with people, but with spiritual principalities and powers, and actually will resist and be the high watermark, so to speak, of the homosexual agenda. It stops here.
Matt Comer at Interstate Q and Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin have more.

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