July 24th, 2009

vagina <3

House Democrats Seek Moderate Ground on Abortion

Democratic House members from both sides of the abortion debate are introducing legislation aimed at trying to reduce the number of abortions around the country.

Introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is anti-abortion, and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, who is for abortion rights, the bill would, among other aspects, increase access to contraceptives for low-income women and expand adoption programs.

At a news conference announcing the bill, Mr. Ryan and Ms. DeLauro, flanked by leaders of advocacy groups, said the bill could help soften the partisan divide over abortion.

Ms. DeLauro said the bill could “broker a détente” and help “turn down the volume on the culture war.” This is an issue that has caused Democrats a great deal of trouble over the years, and one that presidential and congressional candidates have tried to navigate over time.

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And it just keeps going...

July 24, 2009
Professor’s Arrest Tests Beliefs on Racial Progress

CHICAGO — Ralph Medley, a retired professor of philosophy and English who is black, remembers the day he was arrested on his own property, a rental building here in Hyde Park where he was doing some repair work for tenants.

A concerned neighbor had called the police to report a suspicious character. And that was not the first time Mr. Medley said he had been wrongly apprehended. A call Mr. Medley placed to 911 several years ago about a burglary resulted with the police showing up to frisk him.

“But I’m the one who called you!” he said he remembers pleading with the officers.

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Susan Saulny reported from Chicago, and Robbie Brown from Atlanta.


Personally I think both sides could have handled better, however, looking at the bigger picture, this does open dialogue on race relations. OTOH, how many times have incidents "opened dialogue on race relations", but what ever changes?
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Attention hungry, fat racist Rush Limbaugh talking about health care on Greta Van Susteren

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Some highlights thanks to Newshounds:

Rush on Obama: “I think Obama is largely misunderstood by a lot of people… We’re finding out this guy has a chip on his shoulder. He’s angry at this country. He’s not proud of it… Let’s face it, President Obama’s black. And I think he’s got a chip on his shoulder. I think there are elements of this country he doesn’t like and he never has liked and he’s using the power of the presidency to remake the country.”

Rush on health care costs: “Health care, other than catastrophic… Health care’s got to be priced the same way a hotel room is, or a car is. You want to stay at the Ritz? You pay for it. You want to stay at a Motel 6? You pay for it. We don’t have insurance for hotels. We don’t have insurance for airplane travel. We have it for health care because the government’s been paying it, or (an) insurance company’s been paying it for 50 years – people have now assumed it’s their right to have it because they’re Americans.”

“I think there is a myth in this country about all the people that don’t get medical treatment. I think that’s part of the sales pitch here. I’ve talked to a number of doctors, surgeons, ER, the intensive care patient comes in – they get treated whether they can pay or not and they’re sent a bill if they don’t have insurance.” He added casually, “And they make arrangements with the hospital to pay it off over time and if they don’t, the car repossessers head out and take the car, what have you.”

source: this guy's youtube page
Newshounds' complete write-up.
Obama - Pie

Nate Silver says "Chill the fuck out about healthcare reform timeout"

The Healthcare Timeout is Fine.

by Nate Silver @ 7:39 PM

To hear the defeatism and paranoia on some liberal blogs this afternoon, the "timeout" that Harry Reid and the Senate called on health care today -- they won't vote on the measure before the August recess -- is just about the stupidest thing since Chris Webber, pictured at left, called a phantom timeout in the 1993 finals, costing his team a technical foul and the Michigan Wolverines the national championship.

It isn't. It is, first of all, inevitable, and second of all, about as likely to do the Democrats some good as some harm, although that may depend on certain exogenous factors that are relatively outside of their control.

Ten days ago, I wrote a piece entitled, "Why Democrats Have No Time to Waste", the thesis of which was basically that Obama's approval ratings were liable to decline over the near-to-medium term and so Democrats had better get busy on health care while they could.

But a couple of things have happened since then.

Firstly, the media environment has become very treacherous. There's been all sorts of piling on, for instance, about last night's satisfactory press conference -- this is almost certainly the most sustained stretch of bad coverage for Obama since back when Jeremiah Wright became a household name after the Ohio primary.

I don't think the media has a liberal bias or a conservative bias so much as it has a bias toward overreacting to short-term trends and a tendency toward groupthink. The fact is that there have been some pretty decent signals on health care. Yes, it has stalled in some committees, but it has advanced in others; yes, the Mayo Clinic expressed their skepticism but also the AMA -- surprisingly -- endorsed it; yes, the CBO's Doug Elmendorf got walked into a somewhat deceptive and undoubtedly damaging line of questioning about the measure's capacities on cost control, but also, the CBO's actual cost estimates have generally been lower than expected and also favorable to particular Democratic priorities like the public option. This all seems pretty par for the course, even if you wouldn't know it from reading Politico or Jake Tapper, who giddily report on each new poll telling us the exact same thing as though there's some sort of actual news value there.

The media likes to talk about "momentum". It usually talks about the momentum in the present tense -- as in, "health care has no momentum". But almost always, those observations are formulated based on events of the past and sloppily extrapolated to imply events of the future, often to embarrassing effect: see also, New Hampshire, the 15-day infatuation with Sarah Palin, the Straight Talk express being left for dead somewhere in the summer of 2007, the overreaction to "Bittergate" and the whole lot, and the naive assumption that Obama's high-60's approval ratings represented a paradigm shift and not a honeymoon period that new Presidents almost always experience.

I also believe that the media can, in the short term, amplify and sometimes even create waves of momentum. But almost always only in the short term. And that is reason #1 why it's not such a bad thing that the Democrats are getting a breather on health care. They're at, what I believe, may be something of a 'trough' or 'bottom' as far as this media-induced momentum goes. By some point in August, the media will at least have tired of the present storyline and may in fact be looking for excuses to declare a shift in momentum and report that some relatively ordinary moment is in fact the "game changer" that the Democrats needed. This is not to say that the real, underlying momentum on health care has especially good -- and the Democrats' selling of the measure certianly hasn't been. But it hasn't been especially poor either . As I've said before, the health care process has played out just about how an intelligent observer might have expected it to beforehand.

The second reason why the delay might be OK for the Democrats is because of the economy. Nobody much seems to have noticed, but the Dow is now over 9,000 and at its highest point of the Obama presidency; the S&P is nearing 1,000 and the NASDAQ has gained almost 55 percent since its bottom and has moved upward on 12 consecutive trading days. There are ample reasons to be skeptical about the rally -- it isn't supported by strong volumes, and it's almost entirely the result of surprisingly solid corporate earnings numbers rather than the sorts of figures that Main Street cares about. But, there are two big dates to watch out for. On July 31, an advance estimate of second quarter GDP growth will be released, and on August 7th, we'll get the monthly report on the unemployment situation. If either of those reports reflect the optimism elicited by the corporate earnings numbers -- in this context, a job loss number under ~250,000 or a 2Q GDP number somewhere close to zero -- there will be a lot of quite optimistic chatter about the end of the recession which might not penetrate to Main Street, but which will at least have some reverberations on Capitol Hill.

A few hours ago, I asked our readers what they expected Barack Obama's Gallup approval rating to be on August 31st, when the Senate's recess will be just about over and the health care sausage-making will begin again. The average guess was 55 percent, which is exactly where it is today (a new low for Obama, we should mention). I should caution that our readers lean probably 2:1 or 3:1 liberal, and so there might be some optimism bias in this unscientific sample. But that strikes me as about the right assessment. Obama's numbers don't have much more room to fall before they hit the 53 percent threshold that actually elected him last November. And I don't think they're liable to go too much below that mark unless something actually and tangibly bad happens -- a bad unemployment report (or a sharp reversal of the market rally), the actual collapse of health care, some bona fide major gaffe, etc. Any of those things, indeed, could happen. But just as likely Obama will benefit from some good economic numbers or simply some reversion to the mean as the media firing squad picks up and plays golf for a month.

The Democrats could find themselves in a better position after the August recess or they could find themselves in a worse one -- how's that for a bold prediction! But liberals' doom-and-gloom, conservatives' glee, and the media's nearsighted reporting are all equally uncalled for.



Jon Stewart: Still The Most Trusted Newscaster in America

Just last Friday we lost the most trusted man in America. This week we've anointed a fake journalist his replacement. Or so Time magazine would have us believe.


Nothing to get apoplectic about, even if you are Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow fans. This poll, based on a whopping 9409 votes, is a vox populi selection. Who would you rather have represent the voice of the people--Brian Williams (who's that?) or faux pop journalist Jon Stewart? For any liberal under 50 (Stewart is 46), the answer is clear.

To be fair, Brian Williams came in second place in the Time poll, but my Newhouse School and Cal State Fullerton students don't gush about Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News as they do about Jon Stewart and The Daily Show.

Time's poll is just reconstituted news. It's so 2004. Jon Stewart has been in this category of a most trusted newscaster for years. He didn't catapult to the top in the post-Cronkite era.

It was Stewart's appearance on CNN's Crossfire with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson on Friday, October 15, 2004 that cemented his reputation as the only honest broker about what was happening to the real news. Stewart had always maintained that Comedy Central's The Daily Show was shtick journalism. After all, fake puppets making crank calls preceded the program at the time.

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Are more women OK with watching porn?

Personally, I like my pizza deliveryman to do one thing: bring me my dinner. But mention this guy to a group of women, and, while most of us will think of cheesy pies with tomato sauce, a good number of us will conjure up that hilariously bad porn cliché, the randy fellow who's always ready to accept sex in exchange for a medium sausage and mushroom.

Notwithstanding how lame the cliché is, or how simply bad most porn is (and after ten years as a professional reviewer of the stuff, I can report that much of it is very bad), the fact is, millions of women use and enjoy "explicit sexual imagery."

What's perhaps more surprising, given the latest scientific research, is that more of us don't.

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Saucy source.

No, Henry Louis Gates Is Not a 'Railer,' a 'Brawler,' or a 'Common Street Walker'

Since Barack Obama weighed in on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, we thought it was worthwhile to do a close reading of the law and the arrest report to see just how stupid the Cambridge Police Department was.This account is based on the police report, a statement from Gates' lawyer, interviews by Gates given after the arrest, and a radio interview that the arresting officer gave this morning.

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FWIW, I'm glad Obama has stood by his comments on this.  He didn't criticize the police officers themselves, he criticized their *actions*.  And considering the fact that the charges were dropped almost immediately, I don't think that comment is out of line.

Should he have commented like that?  Probably not from the standpoint of it becoming a distraction, but he did, and he certainly was within his rights to do so.  I think it's one of the few non-political things I've seen him get this upset about.
comics, hug

Prosecutor: Juvenile sexual assault is 'heartrending'

With four Phoenix, Arizona, boys ages 9 to 14 charged with sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl, a prosecutor vowed Thursday his office will "seek justice for the young victim in this heartrending situation."

Police say a girl was lured to a storage shed at an apartment complex where she was sexually assaulted.

"This is a deeply disturbing case that has gripped our community," said Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas.

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LOLitics | Rahm and Colbert

Shenanigans Friday: July 24, 2009.

"A dipLOLmat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip."--Caskie Stinnett
Please exploit these resources:
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by schmiss
panda bear

(no subject)

Obama Dismisses GOP Senator DeMint's "Waterloo" Warning: "I'm From Chicago. I Don't Break"

President Obama left the Cleveland area and an afternoon of health care reform events for two Democratic National Committee fundraisers in Chicago, where he struck a defensive and at times defiant tone about his top priority.

After touching down in his home city for the third time since taking office, Obama first attended a $15,200-a-person dinner at the Lincoln Park home his campaign fundraiser Penny Pritzker, where he took a shot at the media for what he deemed its "lack of sustained focus on the facts" concerning health care reform, which he said "makes it very difficult" for him.

Then he moved on to an event at the Hyatt Regency, where he defiantly told a crowd of about 750 donors, "We are going to pass health care reform in 2009."

And he used the backdrop of the street-fighter politics that define his home city to fire back at his Republican critics — one of whom, Sen. Jim DeMint, he said has told the GOP that defeating health care reform would “break” Obama.

Let me tell you something," Obama said. "I'm from Chicago. I don't break."

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Sexually Harass to Win!

EA puts sexual bounty on the heads of its own booth babes

EA has a new way to annoy its own models: give out prizes for Comic Con attendees who commit acts of lust with their booth babes. Also, if you win, you get to take the lady out to dinner! This is going to end well for everyone involved.

I can't imagine what it's like to be a booth babe, especially not at a show like Comic Con. You're being pawed at by huge amounts of sweaty geeks, you have to smile and be pleasant to people who may or may not have showered... it always seems like a hellish existence. What doesn't help? Having your employer offer a bounty if people sexually harass you.

At Comic Con, if you commit "an act of lust" with an EA booth babe and take a picture, you could win dinner with said babes, as well as a great big pile of prizes related to the upcoming Dante's Inferno. That's right, the babes won't just get the standard behavior and awkward advances—if someone is really obnoxious, they get rewarded for it, and then you get to see them again socially!

Technically you're only supposed to take a picture to be entered, but I can't even start to imagine how people are going to get creative with this one. I hope they gave their models a can of mace or, better yet, an actual mace. Or maybe just a few sharpened sticks. Going into that throng, in a thong, with prizes being awarded for lustful actions being enacted upon you? Dear Lord.

This may fit in with the theme of the game, but those poor, poor women. *shudder*

Source and extra source with a little more on contest details.

EA has rather few games that I enjoy playing and, if they keep pulling off shit like this, it's going to go up there with UbiSoft for companies I will never, ever work for because of their misogynistic ways both in terms of game content and treatment of female employees.
panda bear

(no subject)

North Korea Executes Christian For Distributing Bible

A Christian woman accused of distributing the Bible, a book banned in communist North Korea, was publicly executed last month for the crime, South Korean activists said Friday.

The 33-year-old mother of three, Ri Hyon Ok, also was accused of spying for South Korea and the United States, and of organizing dissidents, a rights group said in Seoul, citing documents obtained from the North.

The Investigative Commission on Crime Against Humanity report included a copy of Ri's government-issued photo ID and said her husband, children and parents were sent to a political prison the day after her June 16 execution.

The claim could not be independently verified Friday, and there has been no mention by the North's official Korean Central News Agency of her case.

But it would mark a harsh turn in the crackdown on religion in North Korea, a country where Christianity once flourished and where the capital, Pyongyang, was known as the "Jerusalem of the East" for the predominance of the Christian faith.

According to its constitution, North Korea guarantees freedom of religion. But in reality, the regime severely restricts religious observance, with the cult of personality created by national founder Kim Il Sung and enjoyed by his son, current leader Kim Jong Il, serving as a virtual state religion. Those who violate religious restrictions are often accused of crimes such as spying or anti-government activities.

The government has authorized four state churches: one Catholic, two Protestant and one Russian Orthodox. However, they cater to foreigners only, and ordinary North Koreans cannot attend the services.

Still, more than 30,000 North Koreans are believed to practice Christianity in hiding – at great personal risk, defectors and activists say.

The U.S. State Department said in a report last year that "genuine religious freedom does not exist" in North Korea.

"What religious practice or venues exist ... (are) tightly controlled and used to advance the government's political or diplomatic agenda," the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said in a May report. "Other public and private religious activity is prohibited and anyone discovered engaging in clandestine religious practice faces official discrimination, arrest, imprisonment, and possibly execution."

The report cited indications that the North Korean government had taken "new steps" to stop the clandestine spread of Christianity, particularly in areas near the border with China, including infiltrating underground churches and setting up fake prayer meetings as a trap for Christian converts.

Ri, the North Korean Christian, reportedly was executed in the northwestern city of Ryongchon – near the border with China.

"North Korea appears to have judged that Christian forces could pose a threat to its regime," Do Hee-youn, a leading activist, told reporters Friday in Seoul.

The South Korean rights report also said North Korean security agents arrested and tortured another Christian, Seo Kum Ok, 30, near Ryongchon. She was accused of trying to spy on a nuclear site and hand the information over to South Korea and the United States.

It was unclear whether she survived, the report said. Her husband also was arrested and their two children have since disappeared, it said.

The U.S. government commission report cited defectors as saying an estimated 6,000 Christians are jailed in "Prison No. 15" in the north of the country, with religious prisoners facing worse treatment than other inmates.

In Seoul, the rights group said it would try to take North Korean leader Kim to the International Criminal Court over alleged crimes against humanity.

Activists say such alleged crimes – murder, kidnap, rape, extermination of individuals in prison camps – can't take place in North Korea without Kim's knowledge or direction since he wields absolute power over the population of 24 million.


If the media is reporting about Birthers, then it haz to be true!!

Charles Pierce Slams Mainstream Media For Promoting Liz Cheney, Obama 'Birthers' Movement (VIDEO)

David Shuster, guest-hosting for Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" last night, invited Boston Globe Magazine writer Charles Pierce on the program to discuss what, if any, political utility there is in Liz Cheney refusing to disown the conspiracy theory movement known as the Obama 'Birthers.'

The segment was quickly turned around, however, when Pierce started blaming the mainstream media for pumping up Ms. Cheney and giving the Obama 'Birthers' a forum in which to seriously discuss their conspiracy theory.

Referencing Chuck Todd's statement earlier on Hardball that the internet is the medium through these, Pierce argued that the political utility of advancing these kinds arguments is not that the internet will help to disseminate them, but that the mainstream media will pick up and debate them as if they were serious issues.

Shuster tried to steer the conversation back towards Liz Cheney and what strategic benefit she saw in not disowning the 'Birther' movement, but Pierce refused to let go:

Schuster: If liz cheney or anybody else is unwilling to acknowledge the facts in something as clear-cut as President Obama's birth, why should Liz Cheney be trusted on anything else she that she wants to talk about?

Pierce: I don't know. I'm not the one who books her. I mean, it's the folks on shows like this that book her... I don't know that she's a leader of any kind. What I would tell you is she's a prominent Republican because she's been made a prominent Republican on TV.


Bachmann: Socialized Medicine is like Fast Food. Is bad for you!

Bachmann, Other GOP 'Mother Bears' Decry Health Care Reform, Long Fast-Food Lines

Why offer more people health insurance, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) asked at a press conference Friday, if they might lengthen waits for doctors and otherwise increase the "hassle factor" for her?

"That's like having a mother bear protecting her little cubs, and she's seeing that she has to move heaven and earth to get her child what her child needs," Bachmann said, referring to the health care reforms being debated by Congress. "We'll do it if we have to, but why put ourselves in that situation?"

Near the end of a tumultuous week of delays for health care bills in both houses of Congress, Bachmann and a handful of other House Republican women said at a press conference that as far as they were concerned, any reform would just make things tougher for them.
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Rep. Virginia Foxx: ‘There Are No Americans Who Don’t Have Health Care’

Earlier today, several female Republican House members held a press conference today to attack President Obama’s push for health insurance reform. “The Democrat way is not reforming healthcare, it’s destroying it,” announced Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Perhaps the most attention-grabbing moment occurred when Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced that “there are no Americans who don’t have healthcare“:

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) disputes President Obama’s claim that 47 million Americans lack healthcare. “There are no Americans who don’t have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare,” she says. “We do have about 7.5 million Americans who want to purchase health insurance who can not afford it,” she says, urging Congress to adopt a new plan for healthcare reform that wouldn’t “destroy what is good about healthcare in this country” and “give the government control of our lives.”

Listen here:

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Bad News for GOP if they wanna be back for 2010, people actually supports Public Plan...

Internal RNC Poll Called For Health Care Slowdown, Found Public Plan Support

The Republican National Committee last month was handed a polling memo that laid out the issues and framing that would help the party gain the upper hand in the health care debate.

The study, put together by the Virginia-based On Message Inc., didn't sugarcoat the landscape. Listing the White House talking points -- that health care reform would be budget-neutral, that a public plan was necessary to stimulate competition, that consumers would be able to keep their coverage, and that Republicans are being obstructions -- the survey concluded: "If Obama Is Allowed To Sell This... He Wins."

Since then, the Republican Party has worked mightily to avoid that Obama victory. And many of their moves appear to have been derived from that OMI survey. Turning to time-tested rhetorical devices, the GOP has shifted the debate onto more friendly terrain.
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Major Civil Rights Group Demands CNN Remove Lou Dobbs From The Air - CNN President Says Story Is Now "Dead"

The Lou Dobbs "Birthers" saga may be coming to a close. This morning, the President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a major civil rights group, wrote a letter calling on CNN President Jon Klein to remove CNN host Lou Dobbs from the air. The request stems from a segment on Dobbs' radio show this past Tuesday where Dobbs did his part to keep alive the conspiracy theory that President Obama is not an American citizen (AKA the "birther" theory). On air, he speculated: "I'm starting to think we have a document issue. You suppose he's un... no, I won't even use the word undocumented, it wouldn't be right."

Dear Mr. Klein,

As an important and respected news organization, CNN has a special responsibility to ensure the accuracy of its reporting. We have written to you before about our concern that Lou Dobbs repeatedly fails to live up to this standard in his reporting on immigration. Now, Mr. Dobbs is again trading in falsehoods and racist conspiracy theories, questioning President Obama's American citizenship.

On the July 15 edition of "Lou Dobbs Tonight," Mr. Dobbs questioned the official certificate provided by the president and the State of Hawaii and complained that President Obama has not made public the "original document." On his radio program, Mr. Dobbs has repeatedly questioned the president's fitness for office, demanding he "show the documents" and, at one point, jokingly suggesting President Obama may be "undocumented."

The truth about the president's birth is not in dispute. It has been verified by Factcheck.org, among many other serious news organizations, and his official birth documents have been made public. CNN itself has repeatedly reported on the falsity of the claims of the "birthers," and the network's esteemed legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, recently called those claims "a joke." As you know, even Mr. Dobbs' frequent fill-in anchor, Kitty Pilgrim, debunked the birthers on the July 17 edition of Mr. Dobbs' own CNN show. The fact that Mr. Dobbs suggests otherwise on CNN -- while real CNN reporters tell the truth -- is both deplorable and an embarrassment to all serious journalists.

As he has in several other instances, Mr. Dobbs, in taking up the birthers' claims, is adopting an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that originated on the radical racist right. As Gawker.com has reported, this particular conspiracy theory was first developed by an open anti-Semite and circulated by right-wing extremists who cannot accept the fact that a black man has been elected president of the United States. Among its adherents was neo-Nazi James von Brunn, the alleged murderer of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., this June. Von Brunn had helped spread the birthers' claims on the Internet and attacked the "dishonest & conspiratorial Media" for not taking them up.

This is not the first time Mr. Dobbs has pushed racist conspiracy theories or defamatory falsehoods about immigrants. We wrote you in 2007 to bring to your attention his utterly false claim that 7,000 new cases of leprosy had appeared in the United States in a recent three-year period, due at least in part to immigrants. (The real number, according to official statistics, was about 400. Mr. Dobbs took his spurious information from the late right-wing extremist, Madeleine Cosman.) In addition, Mr. Dobbs has reported as fact the so-called Aztlan conspiracy, which claims that undocumented Mexican immigrants are part of a plot to "reconquer" the American Southwest. He has suggested there is something to a related conspiracy theory that claims the governments of Mexico, the United States and Canada are secretly planning to merge into the "North American Union." He has falsely claimed that "illegal aliens" fill one third of American prison and jail cells. And Mr. Dobbs has routinely disparaged, on CNN's air, those who have had the integrity to point out the falsity of these and similar claims.

Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda. It's time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from the airwaves.

J. Richard Cohen


The SPLC isn't the first group to have demanded the removal of Dobbs. Yesterday, the progressive watchdog group Media Matters blasted out a press release to reporters charging that "CNN has a very serious Lou Dobbs problem." Now, it seems the message may have started to seep through. TVNewser reported today that Jon Klein sent a memo to group of Dobbs' staffers explaining in no uncertain terms that the whole "birthers" story is "dead."

In part, Klein writes, "It seems this story is dead- because anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef." Klein asked CNN researchers to dig into the question of why Obama couldn't produce the original birth certificate. The researchers contacted the Hawaii Health Dept. and confirmed that paper documents were discarded in 2001 when the department went paperless. That reportedly includes Pres. Obama's original birth certificate.

Casting out demons

They’re here. They are on our shores. You thought this could happen only in America? Well you were wrong!

Exorcists – the type who think homosexuality is demonic – are alive and well and living in Blighty. Praise the Lord and get ready to dodge the green vomit.

The human-rights activist Peter Tatchell is organising protests against hardline Christian churches in Britain that perform these bizarre and dangerous practices on lesbian and gay people in an effort to purge them of their homosexuality.

“The exorcism rituals involve the casting out of alleged demons and witches that supposedly possess a gay person’s soul and turn them away from heterosexuality,” says Peter Tatchell, quoted in an Ekklesia bulletin.

You can see two videos on so-called gay exorcism, which Pink Triangle carried in late June. I’ve embedded the one featuring the actual disgusting ceremony beneath this post, too.

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Now for a moment of fun, lets just watch this mental train wreck...

Is This The Stupidest Person Ever? (VIDEO)

We're praying, really really hard, that this is a joke, because if it's not and this person has survived as long as she has it means that we've reversed the course of evolution and have no hope as a species.

At a 2008 city council meeting the politicians and citizens of Santa Cruz were treated to testimony from a young woman who may, in fact, be the stupidest person alive. She began by explaining that food is good:

I think that we should make a perfect pesticide for the crops but it's good for people and healthy and keeps the crops preserved too because we need the food because it's food and stuff.

That, while expressed poorly, is the smartest thing she says in the video. She goes on to say:

We can be rich in cotton and mining metals and silkworms and we can makes things, we can make things cars, the machine can make it for us...on the East Coast they have slaves and they believe in slavery and made in China, but on the West Coast, the new West Coast, we don't believe in that. We believe in the union and that's what we are.

Not knowing where to begin, I'm going to start with the whole slavery thing. It's hard to know whether she is talking about Antebellum America (is the union she refers to the Union?) and actually thinks we have slaves in New York City or does she mean unions that protect workers and thinks we believe in slavery because of outsourcing? Either way, she's crazypants, but I still hope she means the latter. Also, what is the "new West Coast"?

She goes on to state her support for the Bush administration (not surprising) and talk about vegetable trees, which she may see after the hefty doses of pro-psychotics she must be on.

Could this be The New Sarah Palin? Is this the result of conservative educashun? You tell me...
Magneto & Xavier.
  • doop

Beloved cat euthanized in Hernando shelter mixup

SPRING HILL — Maria Velez and her 11-year-old son, Austin, were looking forward to bringing home Buddy, their big, lovable orange tiger-stripe, when they went to Hernando County Animal Services on Friday.

But when workers tried to hand over the cat they thought was Buddy, it was obvious something was wrong.

The cat was an orange tiger-stripe, but its face was different. It was thin. It had no tail.

Then came the horrible news.

Buddy was dead, accidentally put down a day earlier when an Animal Services worker who thought she was calling Buddy's owner called the wrong person. That person didn't want the cat, which had been brought to the shelter, and gave permission to have it euthanized.

Buddy mistakenly received the lethal shot.

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Akuma River

July 24, 2009 Iran Update

Tomorrow is the Global Day of Action. I'm planning to travel to Austin (even though I just got back from College Station and Plano Texas and have been in the car every day for an average of four hours since Monday night) and I hope to get to the rally and get some pictures. We'll see how things go.

Ahmedi's VP pick was first rumored to have quit due to 'resistance' to the 'liberal's' (one who says that Iran has no problems with Israel is a pariah) appointment as the first vice-president, then he got resistance from Khamenei himself and the VP was 'fired' but still Ahmedi was resistant to getting rid of the man who was like "a pure source of water" and "one of the biggest favours from God to me is knowing" him. Finally it seems that either Ahmedi bent to all the opposition from the appointment or the VP himself quit. Either way, the guy is gone.

Big news on the Senate front of things.
Via Nico,
1:04 PM ET -- Senate passes Iran VOICE Act. Just emailed out by Sen. Joe Lieberman's office.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate voted unanimously last night to adopt bipartisan legislation that will help strengthen the ability of the Iranian people get access to news and information and overcome the electronic censorship and monitoring efforts of the Iranian regime.
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The Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act was introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Robert Casey (D-PA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Among the key features of the VOICE Act:

* Authorizes $30 million to the Broadcasting Board of Governors to expand Farsi language broadcasting into Iran by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty's Radio Farda and the Voice of America's Persian News Network. The funds may be used to develop additional transmission capability to counter Iranian government efforts to jam radio, satellite, and Internet-based transmissions; establish additional proxy server capability and anti-censorship software to counter efforts to block access to websites in Iran; develop technologies to counter efforts to block SMS text message exchange over cellular phone networks; and hire, on a permanent or short-term basis, additional staff for Radio Farda and the Persian News Network.

* Authorizes $20 million for a new "Iranian Electronic Education, Exchange, and Media Fund," which will support the development of technologies, including websites, that will aid the ability of the Iranian people to gain access to and share information; counter efforts to block, censor, or monitor the Internet in Iran; and engage in Internet-based education programs and other exchanges with Americans online.

* Requires a report by the President on non-Iranian companies, including corporations with U.S. subsidiaries, that have aided the Iranian government's Internet censorship efforts, including by providing deep packet inspection technology.

* Authorizes $5 million for the Secretary of State to document, collect, and dissemination information about human rights in Iran, including abuses of human rights that have taken place since the June 12 Iranian election.

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

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Gates (Bill Gates, that is) Faults U.S. on Data Privacy and Immigration

Gates Faults U.S. on Data Privacy and Immigration

In a far-ranging speech on Friday, Bill Gates criticized the American government’s policy on immigration and data privacy, predicted giant leaps in technology in the near future and explained why he had to shut down his Facebook page.

“Over the next decade, the entire way we interact” with computers will change, Mr. Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, told hundreds of government officials and information technology executives in New Delhi. Mr. Gates spoke of cellphones that would recognize people around them or be used to test for diseases, computers equipped with voice recognition and an Internet that was used for much more than Web pages.

While the recession has been a “big deal,” it has not slowed innovation, he said, in part because countries like India and companies like Microsoft are investing in education and research for a new generation of computer scientists.

Microsoft is angling to work on India’s national identity card project, Mr. Gates said, and he will be meeting with Nandan Nilekani, the minister in charge. Like Mr. Gates, Mr. Nilekani stopped running the technology company he helped to start, Infosys, after expanding it into one of the biggest players in the business. He is now tasked with providing identity cards for India’s 1.2 billion citizens starting in 2011. Right now in India, many records like births, deaths, immunizations and driving violations are kept on paper in local offices.


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you could cut ties with all the lies


Hot Dogs Should Carry Cancer Warning Labels Says US Non Profit Group

A US non-profit organization filed a lawsuit on Wednesday asking a New Jersey county court to force food companies to put labels warning of cancer risks on any hot dogs they sell in New Jersey.

Described by the Los Angeles Times (LAT) as a vegan advocacy group, Cancer Project, wants food companies like Oscar Mayer and Hebrew National, big names in the hot dog world, to put labels on their hot dogs warning that eating this product and other processed meats "increases the risk of cancer".

President of the Cancer Project, Neal Barnard, who is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University medical school in Washington, DC, told LAT that:

"Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer."

"Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information," he added.

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New York Times uses Wikipedia to check facts!!

Katie Couric Slams NY Times For Error-Filled Walter Cronkite Appraisal

Katie Couric slammed the New York Times for running an error-filled article about CBS News legend Walter Cronkite.

In her "Notebook" on CBSNews.com on Friday, Couric praised the "exuberant and heartfelt tributes" to Cronkite but sharply noted:

"But I had to smile, albeit a tad ruefully, and I think he would too, when I saw the New York Times correcting a piece that had appeared following his death. The article contained not one, not two but seven errors about [Cronkite's] life and career."

Couric went on to explain that Cronkite did not storm the beaches on D-Day and that Cronkite's famous coverage of the moon landing took place on July 20, 1969, not July 26.

"The paper issued a correction that seemed as long as the article itself. Walter Cronkite used to say 'Get it first, but get it right.' So as we say goodbye to the Dean of TV news, let's all remember as journalists when we say "That's the way it is" - it really is."
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