July 31st, 2009


Dobb's Ratings Plummets after "Birther" Controversy. Maybe this wasnt such a good idea...

Dobbs' Ratings Take A Hit Over "Birther" Controversy

Backing the "Birthers" may be a good way to gain notoriety and attract criticism, but it's proving to be ratings poison for Lou Dobbs. The New York Observer's Felix Gillette crunches the numbers, and the bottom line is Dobbs is bottoming out:

Mr. Dobbs' first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs' 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.

By contrast, during the first two weeks of the month (July 1 to July 14) Mr. Dobbs averaged 771,000 total viewers and 218,000 in the 25-54 demo. In other words, Mr. Dobbs' audience has decreased 15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo since the start of the controversy.

Maybe this will get CNN President Jon Klein's attention. After initially attempting to put Dobbs' birther madness to bed in an email that read, "It seems this story is dead- because anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef," Klein has had to go on the defensive as Dobbs continued to merrily dig himself a hole. This past week, Klein, on a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association press tour, argued that Dobbs was beyond his control so long as he was using the forum of his radio show:

We have no control over what he says on his radio show. It's not a CNN radio program so he does what he does on the radio separate from what he does on our air. So we ask you and anyone writing about this, to look at what he says on CNN. It's the only thing we control.

Dobbs' radio ravings may be beyond Klein's reach, but now that CNN's ratings are trending ditchward, it's Klein's problem now.

At least someone is profiting from this bad economy and terrible health care...

Blue Dogs Receive Surge In Contributions From Health Industry, Insurance Companies

On June 19, Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas made clear that he and a group of other conservative Democrats known as the Blue Dogs were increasingly unhappy with the direction that health-care legislation was taking in the House.

"The committees' draft falls short," the former pharmacy owner said in a statement that day, citing, among other things, provisions that major health-care companies also strongly oppose.

Five days later, Ross was the guest of honor at a special "health-care industry reception," one of at least seven fundraisers for the Arkansas lawmaker held by health-care companies or their lobbyists this year, according to publicly available invitations.
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Calif. mom exposes abuses of exchange students. Gets sued by Industry.

Calif. mom exposes abuses of exchange students

In a few weeks, thousands of foreign exchange students will arrive in the United States for what they hope will be a rewarding time of study and cultural enrichment. Shortly after that, Danielle Grijalva's phone will start ringing, and her e-mail inbox will begin filling up. It happens every year.

While most of the 30,000 exchange students who come to the U.S. each year have positive experiences, some find themselves stuck in bad homes with little prospect of getting out — especially if the agency that placed them doesn't take their concerns seriously or even blames them for the problems.

These are Grijalva's kids.

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Extremist Settlers: Obama is Secret Arab!!!

West Bank Settlers Send Defiant Message To Obama, "That Arab They Call A President"

NERIA, West Bank — In this land of endless history and ethereal beauty, several thousand Jewish settlers gathered on a dozen West Bank hills with makeshift huts and Israeli flags over several days this week to mark an invented anniversary and defy the American president, conveying to his aides visiting Jerusalem what they thought of his demand for a settlement freeze.

Eleven tiny settler outposts were inaugurated, including one next to this settlement in the rugged Samarian hills. A clearing encompassing a generator and a hut with a corrugated metal roof and a ritual mezuza on its doorpost now bears the name Givat Egoz. This is how nearby Neria, with 180 families, got its start 18 years ago.

“We are rebuilding the land of Israel,” Rabbi Yigael Shandorfi, leader of a religious academy at the neighboring settlement outpost of Nahliel, said during the ceremony. “Our hope is that there will be roads, electricity and water.” The message to President Obama, he said, is that this is Jewish land. He did not use the president’s name, but an insulting Hebrew slang for a black man and the phrase “that Arab they call a president.”
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Germany's Pro-Hitler Party Plans Third Reich-Style 'Training Center'

German Third Reich-Style Training Center Planned By Pro-Hitler Party

Germany's far-right National Democratic party (NPD) has triggered outrage with plans for a Third Reich-style "training centre" in a small village.

The mastermind of the scheme is Jürgen Rieger, a lawyer and deputy leader of the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party that is steeped in pride for Adolf Hitler and the "achievements" of the Nazi regime. The idea is for the old Hotel Gerhus at Fassberg, near Hanover, to become a place of pilgrimage for NPD devotees, where they can learn about the "menace" of immigration, the "criminality" of Roma gypsies and the "innate decency of law-abiding German nationalists".

Mr Rieger, 61, has also tried to open Boys From Brazil-style "breeding centres" in other locations; the plan being for all white, Ayran racists like himself to produce offspring to people the Fourth Reich, which he believes is coming one day.

The abandoned hotel went into receivership 24 hours before Mr Rieger signed a 10-year lease on it with the debt-ridden owners. The receiver, Jens Wilhelm, had hoped to be granted an order this week to force the neo-Nazis off the property, but a court rejected his move. It means Mr Rieger and the NPD are there until another court hearing can be convened.

His refusal to give up his plan is likely to cause a furore in Fassberg. Left-wing, anti-Nazi groups are already promising marches that would inevitably lead to violence near the 80-room property.

A foretaste came at the weekend when shots were fired near the hotel and young people from the left and right faced off with pepper sprays and batons. Police have mobilised 24-hour patrols.

Mr Rieger is also trying to open a museum in Wolfsburg dedicated to the Nazi leisure organisation Strength Through Joy.

The NPD has about 7,000 members and lawmakers sitting in regional parliaments, but none in the Bundestag.

Chinese lawyer who helped poisoned milk victims is held by authorities

Chinese lawyer who helped poisoned milk victims is held by authorities

One of the lawyers who acted on behalf of the victims of last year’s poisoned milk scandal in China has been detained by the authorities in the latest clampdown on civil rights activists.

In an early morning raid yesterday, Xu Zhiyong was taken from his home by public security officials, according to a statement posted on the website of the Open Constitution Initiative, a group that Mr Xu helped to found in 2007 to push for the rule of law.

“According to the security guard of the residence area where Xu Zhiyong stays, at 5am of July 29, a policeman and five plainclothes took Xu Zhiyong away. Where to remains unknown,” said the statement, which was posted today by the group known as Gongmeng in Chinese.

Gongmeng made headlines last year when its lawyers volunteered to work on behalf of the victims of the Sanlu Group’s tainted milk powder, which killed at least six children and sickened hundreds of thousands more.

Gongmeng also angered Beijing with a report that criticised the Government’s handling of demonstrations across the Tibetan plateau last year.
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Schwarzenegger's Gonna Get His Ass Whooped By His Wife

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - making last minute cuts to the budget - eliminated all of the state funding for domestic violence shelters. That's right - all of it.
Although the state Legislature submitted a budget with a 20 percent reduction to the $20.4 million the state provides to agencies that offer domestic violence services, Schwarzenegger slashed the funding by 100 percent Tuesday.For Catalyst, which relies on state funding for nearly 35 percent of its operating budget, the affect will be "devastating," Executive Director Anastacia Snyder said.
"We're still in shock," Snyder said Wednesday afternoon. "We were bracing for the 20 percent cut, but did not believe the governor could, with a clear conscience, cut 100 percent of funding for services that keep women and children safe and alive."
If you're a resident of California, please click on Stop Family Violence's action alert to urge lawmakers to reinstate funding for the programs that save women's lives. If you're not in CA - pass this on to someone who is! You can also post the following message to your Facebook account, or tweet it: CA Gov Eliminates funding for Domestic Violence Programs. Lives will be lost. You can help! CA residents click http://bit.ly/3jKQSo

via ONTD

I hope everyone boos and hisses when his ass comes on the screen in The Expendables.


96 immigrants discovered inside refrigerated truck

NOGALES, Ariz. – Arizona authorities stopped a refrigerated truck hauling fruit and found almost 100 illegal immigrants — some as young as 9 — crammed inside the trailer in near-freezing temperatures, officials said Thursday.

A tip from federal agents led an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer to make the stop for an equipment violation Wednesday night on Interstate 19, north of the border city of Nogales.

During a search of the trailer, the officer discovered 96 immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala in the trailer, which had an inside temperature of 34 degrees and was also carrying 17 pallets of mangoes, authorities said. But the immigrants hadn't been in the trailer very long and no one was injured, the department said.

Another undocumented immigrant was discovered in the truck's cab. A breakdown of the number and children and adults was not immediately available. The children ranged in age from 9 to 12.

The undocumented immigrants will be sent back to their home countries, officials said.

Authorities said the driver of the trailer — Luis Antonio Mendoza, 26, of Fresno, Calif. — was arrested and charged Thursday with conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants for profit.


Who wants to bet that the news will focus on the idea that these "illegals" could have been getting our possible upcoming healthcare rather than the well being of these people?

Grow a Pair, Obama

President Obama:

You have proven to be a great campaigner. You have yet to demonstrate your ability to govern. Who needs the Republicans? They don’t know what compromise is. They’re just out to derail your presidency. Bitch slap ’em at every opportunity and put them in their place. They lost; you didn’t.

As for disloyal Democrats, you need to yank the carpet out from under them. Remind them that their survival is dependent upon yours. Don’t pull punches, Mr. President. You need some gonads, and if you don’t have any, as Hillary would say, you’d better grow some.

You have failed to keep many campaign promises. You’ve ignored civil-liberty violations such as warrantless wiretapping. You passed a stimulus package that is obviously full of pork for Democrats. You handed over billions more in taxpayer dollars to crooked bankers. You listened to the very people who created our economic meltdown, the Mutt and Jeff team of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. You’ve let the insurance lobbyists hijack health-care reform to the detriment of every man, woman, and child in America.

You must say what you mean and mean what you say. Closing Guantanamo means just that. You could do it right now, Mr. President. You don’t have to wait until January. You can place terrorist suspects in the federal correctional system without creating any risk to our citizens.

You’re a nice guy. Everybody likes nice guys. Sometimes they finish last. You don’t want that, and neither do those of us who voted you in.

The American people have placed their future in your hands. For heaven’s sake don’t let them down. Don’t let yourself down.

Larry Flynt
Publisher, Hustler magazine


Gay marriage will make Jon Gosselin not want to take care of his kids...riiiiight.

stumbled onto this lil' opinion letter to a local newspaper. at first i LOLd because it seemed like his wife was making him write this letter, but then i got mad.

An unmarried mother can be a good mother to her children. Nature provides her with hormones that become active when she conceives that urge her to feed and care for her children. In this sense she is no different than other life forms that otherwise would become extinct.

The male, however, has no such hormonal mechanism that urges him to care for the progeny he sires. His hormones only urge him to procreate. By the time his mate bears her young, he is usually far away and long forgotten.

The human tribe, having what we call a superior intellect, developed a tradition, or custom, we call marriage, for the purpose of enlisting the male in the support and protection of his progeny. Marriage didn't always work as intended, but by and large, it was sufficiently successful so that the human race thrived and multiplied prodigiously!

In order to make marriage attractive to the male, the tribe made it a big event and ceremony where by they pledged faithfulness to each other. She and their children took his family name, and he became the head, protector and provider for his family and his standing in the community depended largely on how well he performed this duty.

One can see that status and reward are the things that motivate us to do the necessary things that nature does not require us to do. This differentiates our species from the other animals.

Anything that downgrades or diminishes this status and reward has a negative effect on the willingness of young men to accept the responsibility of marrying their sexual partners and supporting and raising their children.

Since same-sex couples cannot produce children, the status and rewards of traditional marriage do not apply and gay marriage only serves to denigrate the acceptance of traditional marriage by young men.

The startling rise in single-parent families in our country (approaching 70 percent) leaves many children without fathers. Anything which denigrates traditional marriage cannot be helpful in this regard.

I can appreciate the desire of gay couples to gain status for themselves and to correct legal concerns - however, not at the expense of our children! Civil unions should satisfy their legal needs.


(You Must Not Know 'Bout Me)


Lobbyist Finds Innovative Way to Influence Politicians: Forged Letters!

Forged letters to congressman anger local groups

As U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello was considering how to vote on an important piece of climate change legislation in June, the freshman congressman’s office received at least six letters from two Charlottesville-based minority organizations voicing opposition to the measure.

The letters, as it turns out, were forgeries.

“They stole our name. They stole our logo. They created a position title and made up the name of someone to fill it. They forged a letter and sent it to our congressman without our authorization,” said Tim Freilich, who sits on the executive committee of Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit network that tackles issues related to Charlottesville’s Hispanic community. “It’s this type of activity that undermines Americans’ faith in democracy.”

The faked letter from Creciendo Juntos was signed by “Marisse K. Acevado, Asst Member Coordinator,” an identity and position at Creciendo Juntos that do not exist.

The person who sent the letter has not been identified, but he or she was employed by a Washington lobbying firm called Bonner & Associates.

Gwynn Geiger Hegyi, a partner with the company, traveled to Charlottesville to apologize to Creciendo Juntos’ chairwoman Dilcia Colindres and sent a letter to Freilich.

“As I shared with Dilcia when I travelled to Charlottesville last month to personally apologize for the mistake which we discovered and contacted you about, we immediately fired the person on our staff responsible for the error,” Hegyi wrote in the July 22 letter to Freilich.

Hegyi and others at Bonner & Associates did not return two phone calls Thursday seeking comment for this story.

More than a ‘mistake’

In a letter notifying Perriello’s office about the matter, Freilich said he was “offended” by Hegyi’s characterization of the forged letter as a “mistake.”

“This was not a ‘mistake,’” wrote Freilich, who is also legal director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. “This was a deliberately and carefully forged letter that used the logo, address and name of Creciendo Juntos without authorization. Additionally, I understand from Ms. Hegyi that our organization was not the only Charlottesville-area organization whose reputations were used in an unauthorized manner to try to influence Congressman Perriello on this particular vote.”

After being notified of the bogus Creciendo Juntos letter, staffers in Perriello’s office realized that the wording of the letter sounded familiar.

The staffers dug through the stacks of thousands of letters, e-mails and faxes Perriello received about the bill — the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 — and found five more forged letters, these purportedly from the Albemarle-Charlottesville branch of the NAACP.

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New Poll: Less Than Half Of Republicans Believe Obama Was Born In U.S.

New Poll: Less Than Half Of Republicans Believe Obama Was Born In U.S.

Less than half of Republicans believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America, a new public opinion poll finds.

Only 42 percent of Republican respondents in a Research 2000 survey, conducted for the liberal website Daily Kos, said they thought Obama was a natural born citizen; 28 percent said they did not believe Obama was born in the United States; 30 percent said they were not sure.

The responses, which were gathered after several prominent conservative media personalities fed suspicion that Obama was unconstitutionally holding office, show the extent to which the conspiracy has taken hold in the GOP.

That only a plurality of Republicans were willing to acknowledge the president was born in America is nothing short of astounding, considering the preponderance of evidence that confirms his Hawaiian birth.
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Theda Bara - Classic

Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd says he has been diagnosed with early state prostate cancer

Dodd says he has prostate cancer, feels fine
By SUSAN HAIGH (AP) – 49 minutes ago

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, (D-Conn) says he has been diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer and will have surgery early in August.

Dodd says he feels fine and is "confident we're going to come out of this well." He says he was diagnosed about six weeks ago, but the diagnosis will not affect his plans to seek a sixth term next year.

The 65-year-old Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and is playing a lead role in Congress' overhaul of the nation's health care system. He took that role while his close friend, Senate health committee Chairman Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts fights his own battle with brain cancer.

Dodd unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., has been diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer and intends to have surgery early in August, his office said Friday.

Dodd plans to be back at work when Congress reconvenes in September, according to an e-mail his office circulated to fellow senators. The AP obtained a copy.

Aides also said the diagnosis would not affect Dodd's plans to seek a sixth term in 2010.

Dodd planned to announce the diagnosis at a news conference in Hartford, Conn., Friday afternoon.

Dodd, 65, is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and also is playing a lead role in Congress' overhaul of the nation's health care system. He took that role while his close friend, Senate health committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., fights his own battle with brain cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease in men in the United States, affecting about 6.4 out of every 100 men in Dodd's age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The e-mail said that a routine test caught Dodd's cancer at an early stage and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Dodd is married to the former Jackie Clegg. They have two young daughters.

Dodd is facing what's expected to be a tough re-election campaign.

The Senate ethics committee is probing whether Dodd violated standards of conduct when he received mortgage discounts from the VIP program at Countrywide Financial Corp.

Dodd, whose committee oversees the banking and financial industries, insists he did not receive special deals. He produced a report showing other lenders would have offered the same rates. Dodd also said he thought the VIP program simply meant enhanced customer service and the ability to get a live person on the phone.

The senator ran unsuccessfully for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

source: AP
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Michele Bachmann has new unwanted BFF; will seek restraint order.

Birther Maven Orly Taitz Brags Of Friendship With Michele Bachmann

Last night, Orly Taitz, the lawyer who has positioned herself at the top of the "Birther movement" bragged on her blog that she had made a new friend on the Facebooks. Whoever could it be? Why, it's Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann! On the face of it, this should surprise no one.

But here's the curious thing! I have been out to Orly Taitz's Facebook page this morning and there's no evidence that they've become Facebook friends. What could be going on here? There are a few possibilities.

1. I am terrible at searching Facebook.

2. Michele Bachmann, or proxies on her behalf, befriended Taitz, and then thought better of it, which would be an unprecedented demonstration of cognitive thought from Bachmann, or her proxies.

3. Bachmann has merely joined some random Orly Taitz group or fanpage, which sort of isn't the same thing as becoming Facebook friends, but whatever, I'm not going to go leafing through every crackpot Facebook group to penetrate the mystery.

4. Orly Taitz and Michele Bachmann have attached two tin cans to a string and hung this apparatus in their respective domiciles, and are calling this arrangement "Facebook."

Full disclosure! Only a few days ago, I myself, passed on the opportunity to become Taitz's Facebook friend. Yes, I declined because she is, in a word, CRAZY, but also because she failed one of my other Facebook friending criteria -- no middle aged women named after Internet memes. I do have five mutual friends with Taitz, who I believe are all her "ironic" friends, including MSNBC host Ed Schultz.

Anyway, with Bachmann and Taitz, the standard "birds of a feather" saying applies and, like I said, that Bachmann and Taitz are on each other's radar is not something that shocks. If you want to be concerned with who is friending Taitz on Facebook, attention should be focused on mainstream GOP figures like House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and RNC Chair Michael Steele. Their names appear on Taitz's Facebook page where Bachmann's does not.

' jules

Shenanigans Friday: July 31, 2009.

"Good thing we've still got LOLitics in Texas - finest form of free entertainment ever invented." -- Molly LOLvins
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by eeriewhisper
Obama - Pie

White House Says ‘Clunkers’ Rebate Plan Will Go On

WASHINGTON — The White House said Friday that the “cash for clunkers” program was still alive even though new-car shoppers appear to have already snapped up all the $1 billion that Congress had appropriated for it.

Robert Gibbs, a White House spokesman, said the administration was looking for ways to continue the popular new program, which offers $3,500 to $4,500 for people who trade in an old car for a new one with higher fuel economy.

“If you were planning on going to buy a car this weekend using this program, the program continues to run,” he said. “If you meet the requirements of the program, the certificates will be honored.”

Mr. Gibbs said the administration planned to meet with Congressional leaders to find ways to save the program. He declined to say how long the program could continue without an infusion of funds.

“We feel confident that we’ll have a solution that people can agree on moving forward, and that the program continues,” he said.

But Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, underscored the uncertainty about the immediate prospects. “We don’t know how long it will last, so people should go to their car dealers now if they want to take advantage of the program,” he said. “We’re also going to seek additional funding to hopefully make the program last longer.”

As of noon, Democrats in the House were negotiating with Republicans for a “unanimous consent” agreement that would take $2 billion from the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program and give it to the rebate program. But it was not clear that the Senate would act on Friday.

It was also not clear how long the $2 billion would last. Representative Steve Israel, Democrat of New York, predicted it would be enough until Congress returns in September. But he added, “there’s going to be a lot of confusion among consumers. We need to wrap this up today.”

The program has proved a boon to the battered auto industry as it struggles to regain its footing, drawing crowds of customers to some showrooms as dealers aggressively promoted the rebates in ads over the last week.

Representatives of the nation’s car dealers said Thursday that they had been told by the Transportation Department to stop offering the rebates because the funds had been quickly exhausted.

But a White House official then said the program had not been suspended, creating confusion about its status.

There was wide support for an additional appropriation for “cash for clunkers,” with members of the Michigan delegation in the forefront. But support was not unanimous and some members of Congress thought the requirements should be tightened.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said in a joint statement that “we will insist that any extension of the program requires that the minimum fuel economy improvement for newly purchased vehicles be at least two miles per gallon higher than it is under the enacted Clunkers program.” For cars, the current minimum improvement is five miles a gallon. And, they said, to help low-income car owners take part, they would include vouchers for fuel-efficient used vehicles.

But Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts, one of the authors of the original bill, called for a simple extension. He declared Thursday night, “Cash for Clunkers may have run out of cash, but America’s consumers haven’t run out of clunkers.” He said it should be extended to cover 1 million vehicles, about four times the number covered so far.

Mr. Markey said so far participants in the program were getting a 69 percent improvement in fuel economy, with the trade-ins being mostly sport utility vehicles, trucks and vans with over 100,000 miles, being replaced with new passenger cars.

Others were outright opposed; Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who sits on the House Budget Committee, called the program “another example of the government picking winners and losers.” The program, he said, “enshrines us as a bailout nation.”


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Pakistan Court Rules Musharraf's Emergency Illegal

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state of emergency former President Pervez Musharraf imposed in 2007 was unconstitutional and declared invalid the appointments of judges he made during that period.

Pakistan's Supreme Court says former President Pervez Musharraf's moves were illegal.


The decision could lay the groundwork for treason charges against the ex-military ruler, and some fear it could cause political turmoil at a time when Pakistan is battling a Taliban insurgency. But the court said the ruling -- the most severe against a former military leader -- would strengthen democracy in a country plagued by repeated military dictatorships.

The 14-member bench that delivered the ruling was headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, whose attempted ouster by Musharraf spurred much of the political turmoil that ultimately led to the strongman's downfall.

''The constitution is supreme, and this decision will strengthen democracy and democratic institutions,'' Chaudhry said.

The court added that rulings made by the judges who were improperly appointed could still stand, and told Parliament to decide which of the laws that Musharraf pushed through during the unconstitutional emergency could remain on the books. Musharraf declared the emergency when it appeared the Supreme Court might challenge his eligibility for office. The measures -- which were accompanied by mass detentions and harsh media restrictions -- enraged an already emboldened opposition. Eventually, under domestic and international pressure, Musharraf allowed elections that brought his foes to power in February 2008. Under threat of impeachment, he stepped down in August 2008. Ever since, many opponents have demanded that he be held accountable.

Musharraf, who is living in London, ignored a summons to appear before the court or send a lawyer this week to explain his actions. A man who answered the phone at a number for Musharraf in Britain said the retired general had no comment. ''He's not commenting; he was not represented at the court,'' the man said. He declined to give his name and hung up when asked what Musharraf's plans were.

The court decision was eagerly awaited by many Pakistanis, especially lawyers who led a movement that helped push Musharraf from office. Many gathered across the country, dancing in the streets and cheering when the verdict was announced. ''Today we have to a great extent achieved our goal, that is independence of judiciary,'' Hamid Khan, one of the petitioners who brought the case to court, told The Associated Press. ''The purpose of this whole exercise is to block military dictators' intervention in future which we have been seeing again and again in past.''

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani welcomed the decision, describing as a good omen for the future of democracy in Pakistan, which has been run by the army for about half of its nearly 62-year existence. Farahnaz Ispahani, a spokeswoman for President Asif Ali Zardari, also hailed the decision, describing it as ''the last nail in the coffin of dictatorship.'' Because of a legal twist, one measure that could come up for review is an ordinance -- signed by Musharraf before the emergency -- that granted amnesty in corruption cases to Zardari and his wife, slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Zardari succeeded Bhutto as leader of the Pakistan People's Party after she was assassinated in December 2007. As president, he enjoys broad legal immunity for the duration of his term, even if Parliament overturns the amnesty deal. But prominent lawyer Athar MinAllah said the case paved the way for trying Musharraf on treason charges, which could carry the death penalty. ''It has made basis stronger to proceed against him if somebody wants to,'' he said, but noted that such charges can only be filed by the federal government.

Musharraf seized power in a 1999 military coup and became a key ally in the U.S.-led war against al-Qaida following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that sparked the American-led invasion of neighboring Afghanistan. In early 2007, he dismissed Chaudhry as the court was about to rule on the validity of Musharraf's holding two offices -- that of president and chief of army staff. Chaudhry's removal triggered mass lawyer-led protests that damaged Musharraf's popularity. The court managed to bring Chaudhry back, but faced with growing rancor and fearing he could be ousted, Musharraf declared the emergency, tossing out Chaudhry again along with around 60 other judges. The move deepened anger against Musharraf, who eventually lifted the emergency. He stepped down as army chief and allowed parliamentary elections the following February that brought his political foes to power. But even after his resignation, the fate of the judges caused fissures among those who came to power. A coalition government of Zardari's PPP and Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N fell apart over the slow pace of reinstating the jurists.

Ultimately, facing escalating lawyer-led protests, Zardari agreed to reinstate Chaudhry in March. Ever since, there have been rumblings about whether Musharraf would have to answer in court for his actions. Some argue that holding him accountable would deter military strongmen from trying to seize power in the future. Others fear pursuing Musharraf could shake the political establishment and reopen old wounds at a time when Pakistan is already saddled with reviving its economy and battling a Taliban militancy. Pakistan's army is winding down a three-month-old offensive against the Taliban in the northwestern Swat Valley, but sporadic violence continues.Six militants died in a recent clash, the military said in a statement Friday afternoon that covered the previous 24 hours. In Baluchistan to the southwest, police officials said a grenade attack against a paramilitary vehicle killed two paramilitary soldiers and one bystander.

SOURCE: www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/07/31/world/AP-AS-Pakistan.html   

(no subject)

Quakers back gay marriage and call for reform

The Quakers sanctioned gay marriage today and decided to call on the Government to give same-sex couples the same standing as married couples.

Other Christian churches and religious denominations have approved blessings for civil same-sex partnerships but the Quakers have now become Britain's first mainstream religious group to approve gay marriage. It will be welcomed by gay and lesbian Christian groups worldwide as a breakthrough in what they regard as a campaign for justice and equality.

More than 1,600 Quakers, meeting in York this week for their annual gathering, agreed "to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages, reaffirming our central insight that marriage is the Lord’s work and we are but witnesses".

But they also decided that "the question of legal recognition by the state is secondary" and will not be urging Quaker registrars to break the law and "marry" gay couples.

The Government allows couples to register their civil partnerships but stops short of counting them as married couples, even though the civil ceremony gives them almost exactly the same rights in law over property, pension and inheritance.

Quakers, officially the Religious Society of Friends, have acknowledged same-sex partnerships since the 1960s.

Michael Hutchinson, of Quakers in Britain, said: "We recognise that many homosexual people play a full part in the life of the Society of Friends. Many of our meetings have told us that there are homosexual couples who consider themselves to be married and believe this is as much a testimony of divine grace as a heterosexual marriage. They miss the public recognition of this in a religious ceremony.

"We hope our discussions this week will help us recognise, in love, the friend whose experience is not our own and will lead us forward in exploring what true equality means"

More at Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6734687.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1

On Hollywood's Strong Self-Hating Women

Lifted from the Mothership because this deserves less wanktastic discussion:

One of the tricky things about pop culture is that you never know for sure whether it'll be ahead of the times or behind them. African-American music, for example, was a trailblazing force — it helped make black culture part of the mainstream decades before anyone dreamed we might ever have a president named Obama.

You can see the flip side of this in our current movies' treatment of women. When Hollywood isn't ignoring them altogether, it's usually putting them down, even in romantic comedies supposedly aimed at the female audience.

Nobody gets ruder treatment than career women, who are routinely portrayed as bossy, uptight and utterly without personal lives. What they need, we're supposed to think, is a man. But before they can get one, they must have a mortifying comeuppance.

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What do you guys think of this? Personally, I'm wondering how much of this misogyny is a reflection of the culture overall and how much is a reflection of audience/fandom misogyny.

Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

A lot of people ask me what the "Buddhist take" on gay marriage is. Well, it depends on who you talk to. A few years back, in an interview with the CBC, the Dalai Lama rejected same-sex relationships to the surprise of many convert Buddhists, who sometimes too easily assume that Buddhist ethics are consistent with their typically progressive views.

As the Canadian interview bounced around the internet, some people were shocked and perplexed, but the Dalai Lama's position shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the issue. After all, he has been consistent. At a conference some 12 years ago, when gay leaders met with him in San Francisco to discuss the Tibetan Buddhist proscriptions against gay sex, he reiterated the traditional view that gay sex was "sexual misconduct."

This view was based on restrictions found in Tibetan texts that he could not and would not change. He did, however, advise gay Buddhist leaders to investigate further, discuss the issue, and suggested that change might come through some sort of theological consensus. But at a time when same-sex marriage has taken front-stage center in American politics, the Dalai Lama's more recent statements come as unwelcome news to proponents of civil rights.

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Old sauce is old, but I thought it was interesting. Any other thoughts? Also, no Buddhism tag? :(

Gay Ole' Israel

In a reality where Avigdor Lieberman is the gay community's only hope of legalizing gay marriage, the claim of Israel being a democracy, which upholds human rights, may make sense. It's true that not all is black and white, and I could have lived happily within the Ethnocratic bubble of Zionism, but I choose to have my eyes open. Indeed, you'll find that Hasbara comes in many different colors- all the colors of the rainbow.

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Ben Nelson On Ads Run Against Him: They Could Kill Health Care Reform

Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) lashed out Friday at the ads being run against his position on health care reform in his home state, saying they would backfire -- and might even derail the entire reform process.

In a statement issued late in the afternoon by Nelson's office, spokesman Jake Thompson warned that if the new series of ads calling out the Senator's "stalling" on reform were "an indication of the politics going into August, then health care reform may be dead by the end of August."

"Nebraskans don't need outside special interest groups telling them what to think. Senator Nelson has nothing but praise for Nebraska groups working toward health care reform. Unfortunately, he says, these outside groups undermine the sincere and dedicated efforts of people in our state," Thompson wrote. "Recently, similar ads have run in Nebraska. Those ads by other special interests prompted hundreds of Nebraskans to call our offices, with 9 to 1 urging Senator Nelson to do exactly the opposite of what the special interest group wanted. In short, the ads backfired."

The hard brush-back by Nelson's staff reflects just how heated the health care debate has become even within the Democratic Party. On Friday morning, two liberal groups, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and Democracy for America, launched a new ad using the testimony of a Nebraska businessman to call out Nelson for holding up health care legislation in the Senate. The spot was one in a series of television spots the groups have launched targeting the senator.

Asked if Thompson's warning would dissuade his organization from running the ad -- which is slated to air 200 times in Nebraska by next Wednesday -- Adam Green, founder of PCCC, responded: "Absolutely not. We're going to buy more ads in Nebraska on Monday."

"Ben Nelson just called a Nebraska small businessman whose health insurance costs went up 42%, an out-of-state special interest, while never disputing that he is bought and paid for by health and insurance interests who gave him millions to vote against his own constituents," Green continued. "If Ben Nelson stands behinds his spokesman's words, he just proved himself a fundamentally corrupt and out-of-touch politician who feels perfectly comfortable lying to his constituents and going to bat for private insurers who fear competition and want to rip off the people of Nebraska."


Fuck you, Nelson...ugh!!!!!

Obama - Pie

Obama Renominates U.S. Attorney Fired By Bush

A day after it was revealed that Bush administration strategist Karl Rove had played a greater role than previously acknowledged in the political purges of U.S. Attorneys, the Obama administration announced that it is nominating one of those Bush-era casualties back to his post.

On Friday, the White House announced the nomination of four U.S. Attorneys, including Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. Bogden's bio, as submitted by the White House, glossed over the controversial episode in which he lost his job several years ago. He was listed as "a partner in the Nevada law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson" who had "previously served as United States Attorney for the District of Nevada from 2001 to 2007."

But for those who followed the dismissal of U.S. attorneys in late 2006, Bogden's name is quite familiar. He was one of seven or eight U.S. attorneys who was dismissed by the Bush White House for what is widely believed to be political motivations, such as the unwillingness to investigate weak charges of voter fraud or political corruption.

Bogden, like his other fired colleagues, had initially been appointed by President Bush, which suggests that he is a Republican (there are no records of Bogden making political donations). That he would be reinstated by a Democratic administration to the position he lost is undoubtedly meant to be a message from the Obama White House that they are elevating law above politics, or at least removing partisanship from the Department of Justice.

His nomination was expected. Murray Waas wrote for the Atlantic in April about the White House's intentions to reinstate him. The Las Vegas Sun reported on Thursday that Bogden was being pushed for the U.S. Attorney position by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.), and that the nomination hadn't yet happened because of a lengthy vetting process.



' jules


Hutchison Campaign Site Contains Hidden Phrase 'Rick Perry Gay'

A web site for the gubernatorial campaign of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) included hidden phrases including "rick perry gay," a reporter from the Austin American-Statesman discovered today.

Hutchison officials said they used a tool that automatically generated keywords based on popular search terms. Such a tool could drive more web traffic to the site, StandByKay.com.

"We did not know these offensive word associations were being searched for by hundreds of thousands of Texans everyday nor do we condone the computer-generated existence on our Web site," Hutchison spokesman Jeff Sadosky told the Austin American-Statesman. He said the offending phrase will be removed.

Hutchison announced this week she will leave the Senate this fall in order to campaign against Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX). Rumors about Perry's sexuality have been circulated for years.


KBH is having the Best Week Ever! How can this race be this funny when it's only 2009? Could there be a new contender for the Best Pointless Political Feud (possibly even beating out Huckabee vs Romney or Barr vs RON PAUL)? I love the backhanded burn in their statement. "I'm sorry everyone thinks he's gay :("
you could cut ties with all the lies

Oy Tenenbaum! RIAA wins $675,000, or $22,500 per song

Oy Tenenbaum! RIAA wins $675,000, or $22,500 per song

After a brief deliberation, a federal jury has ruled that PhD student Joel Tenenbaum willfully infringed on the record labels' copyrights, awarding them $675,000 in damages, $22,500 for each of the 30 songs in question. Ars reports with reaction from Tenenbaum and his attorney, Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson.


A Boston federal jury has ordered Joel Tenenbaum to pay a total of $675,000—$22,500 per song—to the major record labels for willfully infringing 30 songs by downloading and distributing them over the KaZaA peer-to-peer network. The figure is closer to the $222,000 award in the first Jammie Thomas-Rasset trial than the $1.92 million figure from the second trial.

The verdict came down at late Friday afternoon after less than three hours of deliberation.


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you could cut ties with all the lies

Truce Reached in Cable News Feud

Truce Reached in Cable News Feud

It was a media cage fight, televised every weeknight at 8 p.m. But the match was halted when the blood started to spray executives in the high-priced seats.

For years Keith Olbermann of MSNBC had savaged his prime-time nemesis Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel and accused Fox of journalistic malpractice almost nightly. Mr. O’Reilly in turn criticized Mr. Olbermann’s bosses and led an exceptional campaign against General Electric, the parent company of MSNBC.

It was perhaps the fiercest media feud of the decade and by this year, their bosses had had enough. But it took a fellow television personality with a neutral perspective to bring it to an end.

At an off-the-record summit meeting for chief executives sponsored by Microsoft in May, the PBS interviewer Charlie Rose asked Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of G.E., and his counterpart at the News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, about the feud.

Both moguls expressed regret over the venomous culture between the two networks. Then, even though the feud had increased the viewing audience of both programs, they instructed lieutenants to arrange a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal.


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daniel mysterious
  • dbil

Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino dead at 76

(CNN) -- Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, whose "People Power" movement pushed out longtime strongman Ferdinand Marcos less than three years after her husband's assassination, has died at age 76, her family announced Saturday.

"She was the agent of change in Philippine democracy," said Ray Donato, the nation's consul-general in Atlanta.

Aquino, the first woman to lead the Philippines, had been battling colon cancer since March 2008 and died of cardio-respiratory arrest at 3:18 a.m. Saturday (3:18 p.m. Friday ET), said Mai Mislang, a spokeswoman for her son, Philippine Sen. Benigno Aquino III.

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Source: 1

I'm so sad right now that she died. She paved way for democracy in the Philippines. She was truly remarkable. RIP, Cory!

GOP Devious Plan backfires. Amendment will Allow States to set up Single-payer health care!

13 Republicans Voted To Allow Single-Payer Systems In States

In a largely unnoticed vote late last week, 13 small government-conservatives backed legislation that could facilitate the emergence of major government-run health care entities.

In an exquisite political irony, 13 Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee offered their support for an amendment that allowed states to set up single-payer health care systems.

The amendment to the committee's health care bill allows states to essentially opt out of a national public health insurance option if they set up a single-payer alternative that meets similar standards for coverage. Offered by one of Congress's foremost liberals, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the legislation enables a system progressives have long desired.

So why would 13 House Republicans, after bemoaning Democratic plans for public health care for months, attach their names to the provision? Depending on who you ask, it's either a philosophical belief in states' rights or childish political shenanigans.

According to those who followed the vote closely, Republicans on the committee were eager to put potentially vulnerable freshmen Democrats -- particularly those from traditionally conservative districts -- on the spot. One plugged-in aide said the GOP lawmakers were "laughing and giggling" throughout the voting process.

But the amendment actually passed, after a host of veteran Democrats on the committee sided with Kucinich. The final tally was 27 Representatives in favor and 19 opposed, with two lawmakers not voting at all. Just how screwy was the vote? Education and Labor Chairman Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) voted against the legislation despite being a co-sponsor of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) bill to set up a national single-payer health care system.

Since then, some of the supportive Republicans have spun their votes as being in support of a states' rights, even though Democrats on the committee insist that was never their intention.

The amendment has the potential to trip up the GOP as the health care debate continues. The text could end up being in the House's final product, once it is merged with the version produced by the Energy and Commerce Committee. And when Republicans claim government bureaucrats will infringe upon the rights of consumers, Democrats will have a solid retaliatory point: 13 GOP lawmakers voted to allow single-payer plans.

In a conference call on Friday, Rep. Miller made direct reference to the amendment as a means of asserting that Republicans weren't honest participants in the health care debate. As one high-ranking Democratic aide in the House put it: "This amendment would allow states to opt out of the exchange and set up their own single-payer plan. Even if they made the states' rights argument -- would that really trump Republicans' opposition to the 'government' run health plan they've been so adamant against through this entire debate?"

The 13 Republicans:

Rep. John Kline (Minnesota)
Rep. Tom Petri (Wisconsin)
Rep. Buck McKeon (California)
Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Michigan)
Rep. Mike Castle (Delaware)
Rep. Mark Souder (Indiana)
Rep. Vernon Ehlers (Michigan)
Rep. Judy Biggert (Illinois)
Rep. Todd Platts (Pennsylvania)
Rep. Joe Wilson (South Carolina)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington)
Rep. Tom Price (Georgia)
Rep. Brett Guthrie (Kentucky)
Obama - Smooth

Dems win approval of health bill in committee

WASHINGTON – In a triumph for President Barack Obama, Democrats narrowly pushed sweeping health care legislation through a key congressional committee Friday night and cleared the way for a September showdown in the House.

The 31-28 vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, along party lines, was weeks later than either the White House or Democratic leaders had hoped.

As part of a last-minute series of changes, the committee agreed to cap increases in the cost of insurance sold under the bill, and also to give the federal government authority to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices under Medicare.

The new provisions were part of an intensive effort Democrats made in recent days to satisfy the conflicting demands of liberals and conservatives on the panel, unity necessary to overcome a solid wall of Republican opposition.

"We have agreed we need to pull together," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the committee chairman who presided over hours of private negotiations and public committee meetings. Five Democrats opposed the bill.

The measure is designed to extend health insurance to millions who now lack it, at the same time it strives to slow the growth in medical costs nationwide — Obama's twin goals.

While the pace of action was slower than party leaders had hoped, it was speedier by far than the timetable in the Senate.

There, Democrats said a deadline of Sept. 15 had been imposed on marathon talks aimed at producing a bipartisan compromise. Several officials said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., had informed fellow senators he intends to convene his Finance Committee to begin voting by then.


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Eric Cantor: Birther Conspiracy is actually a libural conspiracy to destroy GOP!

Eric Cantor Rips Chris Matthews, MSNBC, HuffPo, Liberal Bloggers For Inflating Birther Story

GOP Rep. Eric Cantor says he’s no birther — he has no questions about Obama’s citizenship, his spokesman tells me. But Cantor is placing the blame for the spread of birtherism not on its authors or on those politicians playing along with it, but rather on Chris Matthews, MSNBC, lefty news outlets and bloggers.

Asked for Cantor’s views on birtherism, his spokesman, Brad Dayspring, emailed me this:

“Mr. Cantor doesn’t question the President’s citizenship, but he has serious questions about the President’s push for government controlled healthcare, taxes on small business job creators, and a huge energy tax on middle class families. He finds it ironic that those most eager to talk about the President’s citizenship are in fact some of his biggest cheerleaders–whether it’s Chris Matthews or others on MSNBC, the Huffington Post, or camera toting liberal bloggers chasing people through the streets of Washington.”

This is the first time Cantor has publicly declared his disagreement with birtherism. But that aside, this is actually a really interesting response. Cantor would rather pick a base-pleasing fight with those who are trying to knock down birtherism than denounce those who are promoting and playing footsie with the idea that Obama isn’t legitimately our president.

And that’s the number two in the House GOP leadership speaking…