August 6th, 2009

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Birthers to lead Angry Mob against Socialized Medicine, But They Love Medicare!

Extremist Outbursts At Town Halls Put GOP In Tough Spot

National conservative groups organizing angry protests on health care reform at congressional town halls this week are drafting behind the "birther" movement, claimed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) at a press conference on Wednesday.

The eruption of the extreme wing of the GOP -- the "more difficult people in that political party," as Brown gently put it -- is making compromise less likely, he added.

"One-third of that party still believes the President of the United States was not born in this country," Brown said, referring to a recent Research 2000 poll. "You know that Olympia Snowe and Chuck Grassley, when they would maybe like to move, are constrained by some of the more difficult people in that political party."

Although some protesters have told local reporters that they are genuinely upset about health care reform, conservative organizations like FreedomWorks and Conservatives for Patients Rights are said to be working covertly to recruit anyone willing to cause a scene. Brown and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said Wednesday that they don't think reform proposals are threatened by the protesters, but Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) took a more jaundiced view, arguing that health care reform is too important not to be concerned.

"We're utterly desperate and serious about it, we're trying to interpret it to the people we represent who in our states desperately need it, and we're precluded from doing so by these kinds of tactics. It's stunning to me," Rockefeller said. "It disrupts the message. The story becomes the disruption, not the message."

After an early barrage, Democrats are preparing to fight back. The Democratic National Committee and the White House are working to tar the protesters as representatives of a disaffected rump party, and House leaders laid out strategy on a caucus-wide conference call Wednesday morning.

"Health insurance reform opponents are trying to stop the debate. They are afraid of the facts," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office said in a statement Wednesday evening. "While the special interests and Congressional Republicans have been encouraging disruption of public events to try to stop the debate about health insurance reform, Democrats continue to use the August district work period to communicate with our constituents about the health insurance reform embodied by America's Affordable Health Choices Act."

One early success came on Monday, when Texas Democratic Rep. Gene Green's riposte to angry shouts against government-run health care forced many protesters to sheepishly confess that they themselves are on Medicare (around the 4:30 mark):

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Hey man. You interested in forged letters?

Rep. Perriello: Coal Fraudster Impersonated Women’s And Seniors’ Groups As Well

The stack of forged letters opposing clean energy reform on behalf of the coal industry is growing. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) has revealed that he not only received forgeries purporting to come from black and hispanic groups, but also senior citizen and women’s advocacy organizations as well.

Yesterday, Perriello’s office told reporters that in addition to the five NAACP letters and one Creciendo Juntos letter forged on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE),two other letters were forged to appear as if they had been sent by the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, a Charlottesville agency, and the American Association of University Women.” Perriello, who cast his vote in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act despite this fraud, discussed the scandal on Rachel Maddow:
Obviously, anything like this, where someone is claiming your letterhead and then claiming your position is just outrageous. They also did JABA, the Jefferson Area Board for the Aging, which is one of these great service organizations in our community that helps our seniors. And for them to get dragged into something like this really is, I think, a blow to folks in the area. But it’s also just a turn-off again to these sorts of corporate-lobbying tactics.

Neither JABA nor the American Association of University Women did any lobbying on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and both organizations first learned about the fraud today. Since the scandal broke last Friday, ACCCE has placed the blame on its contractors, the Astroturf specialists Hawthorn Group and Bonner & Associates. However, ACCCE has known and kept silent about the fraudulent campaign against the clean energy legislation since June, even as the two other members known to have received fraudulent letters, Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) and Chris Carney (D-PA), voted against the bill.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the chair of the Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, today sent a letter to ACCCE requesting information about its role in the affair, including the full details of all of the fraudulent letters sent on its behalf:

The deliberate inaction prior to the House vote and the extended silence after the vote — some 40 days after ACCCE knew what had happened — raises serious concerns.

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Angry Mobs: What could possibly go wrong?

Dem Congressman's Office: His Life Has Been Threatened Over Health Care Bill

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) will not be hosting any town hall events this August -- instead, he's making himself available to constituents for one-on-one meetings about health care reform -- and at least part of the reason is this: His offices have received threatening phone calls, including at least one direct threat against his life.

"We had no town hall events scheduled for the August recess anyway, but in light of everything that's happened -- we have received a threatening phone call in the D.C. office, there have been calls to the Raleigh office," said Miller communications director LuAnn Canipe, in an interview with TPM. The threatening call in question happened earlier this week.

"The call to the D.C. office was, 'Miller could lose his life over this,'" said Canipe. "Our staffer took it so seriously, he confirmed what the guy was saying. He said, 'Sir is that a threat?' and at that time
our staffer was getting the phone number off caller ID and turning it over to the Capitol Police."

They haven't heard anything back from the police yet, but they did get the caller's number. So this could develop into something soon enough.

Canipe explained that Miller had no plans for a town hall before and won't be holding any now, due to this event and the examples he's already seen from the around the country: "Our point is, we're not gonna be bullied into having a town hall so it can then be interrupted by the fake grassroots folks."

"We don't want to people to think we're shutting out our constituents," Canipe added.. "We're meeting with them one on one to discuss health care reform."
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Hey Guyz! Obama haz a Hit List!

Republicans Claim White House Tip Line An Obama Enemies List

Republican lawmakers are up in arms over the White House efforts to fight disinformation about the president's health care proposals. In a blog post, White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips asked people to report any stories floating around online that seemed "fishy" so they could rebut the false ones

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

GOP officials have taken the campaign personally. In a letter to the president, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote:

By requesting that citizens send "fishy" emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights.


I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House. I suspect that you would have been leading the charge in condemning such a program--and I would have been at your side denouncing such heavy-handed government action.

Of course, Cornyn was a staunch defender of President Bush's domestic spying program.

And Joe Pounder from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) office implied that they could be muzzled in an email: "This morning, the White House posted on their blog a note asking Americans to report anything they get or see about health care reform 'that seems fishy.' We'll keep sending stuff out but if we stop..."

However, RedState founder Erick Erickson claimed that "given the near certainty that no one will be stripping from e-mails the names of the people forwarding on the information, the White House is most likely engaged in illegal activity."

The White House says they are not compiling any email lists -- merely gathering the rumors so they know what's out there.

Murasaki Shikibu

Yesssssssssssssssssssss!

Psychologists repudiate gay-to-straight therapy

NEW YORK – The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

Instead, the APA urged therapists to consider multiple options — that could range from celibacy to switching churches — for helping clients whose sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

In a resolution adopted on a 125-to-4 vote by the APA's governing council, and in a comprehensive report based on two years of research, the 150,000-member association put itself firmly on record in opposition of so-called "reparative therapy" which seeks to change sexual orientation.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

The APA had criticized reparative therapy in the past, but a six-member task force added weight to this position by examining 83 studies on sexual orientation change conducted since 1960. Its comprehensive report was endorsed by the APA's governing council in Toronto, where the association's annual meeting is being held this weekend.

The report breaks new ground in its detailed and nuanced assessment of how therapists should deal with gay clients struggling to remain loyal to a religious faith that disapproves of homosexuality.

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Right wing crayzees promise to keep up the crazy


Conservative Activists Say No Letup For Health Protests

WASHINGTON — Conservative activists are vowing to keep up their fight against President Barack Obama's health care plans, even as the Democratic Party pushes back hard, accusing Republicans of organizing angry mobs.

Democrats and the White House are claiming that the sometimes rowdy protests that have disrupted Democratic lawmakers' meetings and health care events around the country are largely orchestrated from afar by insurers, lobbyists, Republican Party activists and others.

"This mob activity is straight from the playbook of high-level Republican political operatives," the Democratic National Committee says in a new Web video. "They have no plan for moving our country forward, so they've called out the mob."

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ETA:  As mentioned in the comments below by evilgmbethy , today the labor unions are getting involved to push back against these Bag-Birthers who are preventing meaningful discussion at these townhall events.

The full article is
here, but I wanted to include what the AFL-CIO sent out today, as I think it goes directly to why what these nut jobs are doing is so wrong:

UPDATE: AFL-CIO SECRETARY-TREASURER RICHARD TRUMKA ON CORPORATE
FUNDED 'MOB RULE' AT TOWN HALLS

August 6th, 2009

Every American has the inalienable right to participate in our democratic process. Our politics is passionate, heartfelt and often loud -- as was the founding of our nation. But that is not what the
corporate-funded mobs are engaging in when they show up to disrupt town halls held by members of Congress.

Major health care reform is closer than ever to passage and it is no secret that special interests want to weaken or block it. These mobs are not there to participate. As their own strategy memo states, they have been sent by their corporate and lobbyist bankrollers to disrupt, heckle and block meaningful debate. This is a desperation move, meant to slow the momentum for change.

Mob rule is not democracy. People have a democratic right to express themselves and our elected leaders have a right to hear from their constituents -- not organized thugs whose sole purpose is to shut down the conversation and attempt to scare our leaders into inaction.

We call on the insurance companies, the lobbyists and the Republican leaders who are cheering them on to halt these 'Brooks Brothers Riot' tactics. Health care is a crucial issue and everyone - on all sides of the issue - deserves to be heard.

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Keep Your Goddamn Government Hands Off My Medicare!


At the risk of bringing down the digital wrath of blog-savvy oldsters, I've noticed that a considerable number of the anti-reform Republican "hooligans," as Rachel Maddow describes them, who turn up at various town hall meetings to shout incomprehensible loud noises just happen to be senior citizens. And while the old people who turn up to protest health care reform are, to come extent, victims of the usual Republican lies and disinformation, they're still adults and therefore responsible for their opinions, their actions and their ziplock baggies filled with crazy.

Yes, they've been tricked by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh into believing that health care reform will somehow involve golden-grilled ACORN thugs showing up at bingo with a tray of syringes filled with black liberal death juice. Yes, they've been tricked by Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs into thinking that this "halfrican American" president with his terrorist pals and Kenyan birth certificate is trying to supplant God's U.S. government with a liberal fascist homocracy.

2009-08-05-oldladiesteapartysticker2.jpgBut failing to grasp the extraordinary contradiction evident in receiving Medicare benefits while simultaneously shouting nonsense about "government-run health care" is quite simply inexcusable.

President Obama at a town hall meeting last week described a letter he received from a Medicare recipient:
"I got a letter the other day from a woman. She said, 'I don't want government-run health care. I don't want socialized medicine. And don't touch my Medicare.'"
At a town hall meeting held by Rep. Robert Inglis (R-SC):
Someone reportedly told Inglis, "Keep your government hands off my Medicare."

"I had to politely explain that, 'Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,'" Inglis told the Post. "But he wasn't having any of it."
It's no wonder with "very serious" analysts like Arthur Laffer are appearing on CNN and saying things like this (and getting away with it unchallenged):
"If you like the post office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government."
Yeah, just wait until the government gets its mighty robot claws on Medicare and Medicaid -- snatching control away from, you know, the government. (Incidentally, the post office is amazing. As Maher said recently, anyone can drop a letter into a blue metal box on the sidewalk and in a couple of days it arrives at the place listed on the envelope. For 44 cents. Off the top of your head, can you name anything that costs 44 cents and actually functions exactly as advertised?)

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Sauciness

I've decided that this new hybrid of crazy people needs their own name.  I'm toying with either "Tea-Birthers", or "Birth-Baggers".....I'm leaning towards the latter.

After 34 years, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme to be released

The president she once pointed a gun at has been dead for nearly three years, and her longtime idol and leader, Charles Manson, remains in prison.

However, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is about to get her first taste of real freedom in more than three decades.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Fromme, now 60, is set to be released on parole August 16.

Fromme is housed at the Federal Medical Center at Carswell, Texas.

For years, she was one of Manson's few remaining followers, as many other "Manson Family" members have shunned him. A prison spokeswoman would not say whether Fromme continues to correspond with Manson.

Fromme was convicted in 1975 of pointing a gun at then-President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California. Secret Service agents prevented her from firing, but the gun was later found to have no bullet in the chamber, although it contained a clip of ammunition.

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This news calls for some Sondheim...
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(no subject)


U.S. to Reform Policy on Detention for Immigrants

By NINA BERNSTEIN

The Obama administration intends to announce an ambitious plan on Thursday to overhaul the much-criticized way the nation detains immigration violators, trying to transform it from a patchwork of jail and prison cells to what its new chief called a “truly civil detention system.”

Details are sketchy, and even the first steps will take months or years to complete. They include reviewing the federal government’s contracts with more than 350 local jails and private prisons, with an eye toward consolidating many detainees in places more suitable for noncriminals facing deportation — some possibly in centers built and run by the government.

The plan aims to establish more centralized authority over the system, which holds about 400,000 immigration detainees over the course of a year, and more direct oversight of detention centers that have come under fire for mistreatment of detainees and substandard — sometimes fatal — medical care.

One move starts immediately: the government will stop sending families to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a former state prison near Austin, Tex., that drew an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit and scathing news coverage for putting young children behind razor wire.

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Citadel

Paula Abdul abides.

Hundreds of excited music fans wait in line on the lookout for their favorite singers on a hit television show.

Instead of spending the time outside a New York venue or Hollywood soundstage though, these fans braved barbed wire and gun-toting guards in Kabul to attend Afghanistan's premier pop music event: the finals of "Afghan Star," the embattled country's answer to "American Idol."

In line, bright mod outfits have replaced Kabul's normally conservative dress code. Onstage, men sport the latest styles. And on TV screens, a country's new battle between traditional and pop culture plays out.

"For the young generation," says one fan in line, "it's very important to be cool, with a cool mind."

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dark humor, fun run

Public funds means YOU CAN'T DO THIS SHIT!

DART: Controversial Bus Ads Pulled

Officials Say Signs Never Approved In First Place


DES MOINES, Iowa --

Atheist advertising signs on Des Moines Area Regional Transit buses that created a storm of controversy when they first went up on Aug. 1 have been taken down.

Officials with DART said the signs were not supposed to be on the buses in the first place.

Rest of the article. If you're linkphobic, suck it up.

I'm part of IAF. I saw one of the news segments (Ch. 13/NBC, not Ch. 8/CBS). The woman was told DART accepted church ads, why not these. She couldn't answer.

You'd think, with DART being in hot water (with one hitting a pedestrian recently, and some of their drivers having...less than stellar backgrounds) they wouldn't want to open this can of worms.
jonstewart-rave

GOP LEMMINGS RUNNING OFF CLIFF SAY "WHEEEEE!"


39% of Republicans Want More Birther Coverage

A Pew poll finds that a plurality of Republicans are not embarrassed by the Obama birther conspiracy. In fact, they wish the media spent more time on it.

"Republicans are ... inclined to say that the allegations have received too little attention," the poll reports. "Nearly four-in-ten Republicans (39%) express this view, while 27% say they have received the right amount of attention and 26% say they have gotten too much attention.

"If anything surprised me, it's how many people have heard about this," Michael Dimock, an associate director at the Pew Research Center, told the Washington Independent. "When we put the question in, we said to ourselves, well, Lou Dobbs has covered it, and it's been discussed on the Internet. For 80 percent of people to have heard something about this is pretty high."

The White House expressed exasperation Thursday morning with the whole thing, after a poll found that only 53% of Virginians were sure President Obama was born in the U.S.

"You couldn't sell this script in Hollywood," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

"Tell me if you've heard one that's this totally crazy," Gibbs said. "A pregnant woman leaves her home to go overseas to have a child -- who there's not a passport for -- so is in cahoots with someone...to smuggle that child, that previously doesn't exist on a government roll somewhere back into the country and has the amazing foresight to place birth announcements in the Hawaii newspapers? All while this is transpiring in cahoots with those in the border, all so some kid named Barack Obama could run for President 46 and a half years later. You couldn't sell that to the WB."

Source

Wow.  Could they marginalize themselves any faster?  Let's watch, and find out......

jonstewart-rave

Why Town Meeting Protestors Are Astroturf, and Obama Isn't Trying to Kill Your Grandparents

From last night's Rachel Maddow show:

But, we begin with the latest attempt to convince Americans that health care reform is really just a big secret plot to kill old people. MSNBC's own Pat Buchanan making that case in a column published today. And now, the conservative organization Club for Growth has launched a nationwide ad campaign to try to mainstream the idea that reforming health care is a secret plot to kill your grandparents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: That's wrong for America. Life and death medical decisions should be made by patients and doctors, not politicians and bureaucrats. Tell your members of Congress to oppose government-run health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Like Medicare.

For the record, what's being proposed in Washington is not government-run health care. And for the record, the health care reform as a "secret plot to kill old people" conspiracy theory is based on the fact that health legislation being debated now would cover living wills. So, if you wanted a living will, the process of getting one would be covered. That provision was introduced into the health care debate by Republicans, including Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

And having a living will where you say how it is you'd like decisions to be handled at the end of your life, where you make your own decisions about that ahead of time-that is something the federal government has formally encouraged by legislation for at least 20 years, without controversy.

But politically, the facts don't really matter, right? Not if they can be distorted to scare people, particularly if they can be distorted to scare old people.

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Americans are showing up at these events to shout down the discussion and to chase their congressmen and they are enraged. And they're enraged at least in part because they're being riled up by over the top, fabricated conspiracy theories about health care. And they're being directed and orchestrated by the corporate interests that do this for a living and do it very well.

RecessRally.com is not some organic outgrowth of American anger. This is how corporate America creates the illusion of a grassroots movement to support their own interests. This is what they do. They are professionals. This is an industry.

To talk about these town hall events as some organic outpouring of average American folks who have concerns about health care is to be willfully blind as to what is really going on-which is professional P.R. operatives generating exploitive, manufactured, strategically deployed outrage in order to line their own pockets. These P.R. spinmeisters get paid a lot of money for doing it. The corporations they work for get to kill legislation that would hurt their profits.

And the real people who they launch into these town hall settings after they're told that health care reform is a secret commie plot to kill old people and to mandate sex changes-those real people get more and more and more angry, and more and more and more alienated. And ultimately, they get left, like the rest of us, with a health care system that is broken and doesn't work in the interests of the American people, but does work in the interests of the corporations that profit from the way the system is now.

This is professional, corporate-funded, Republican staffed P.R., and it should be reported as such.

Uncooperative-to-embedding MSNBC Video is here.

Transcript source is here.
Obama's - Love and fireworks

Sotomayor Confirmed By Full Senate For Supreme Court!!!!!!!!


 

WASHINGTON — The Senate pressed toward a history-making vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice Thursday, elevating the daughter of Puerto Rican parents after a summer-long debate filled with ethnic politics. She would be the first justice nominated by a Democratic president in a decade and a half.

The Democrats' heavy majority ensured confirmation of President Barack Obama's first nominee, though many Republican senators were voting against her. GOP senators typically praised her personal story but said they were concerned that she would be too liberal and would rely on personal sympathies rather than legal precedents in her votes on the nation's highest court.

The Senate's deep divisions over Sotomayor reflected partisan politics but also profound philosophical disagreements that will shape future battles over the court's makeup as Obama looks to another likely vacancy – perhaps more than one_ while he's in the White House.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., 91, the longest-serving senator, who has been in frail health, planned to make just his second return to the Senate since his release from the hospital in June to cast a historic vote for Sotomayor.

Democrats, who described the judge as a mainstream moderate, hailed the vote as a breakthrough achievement for the country on par with enactment of civil rights laws. They warned Republicans they risked having history pass them by in opposing Sotomayor's confirmation.

"Judge Sotomayor should not be chosen to serve on the court because of her Hispanic heritage, but those who oppose her for fear of her unique life experience do no justice to her or our nation. Their names will be listed in our nation's annals of elected officials one step behind America's historic march forward," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat.

Republicans argued Sotomayor would bring liberal bias and personal sympathies to her decisions, contending that background and experience should have no place in a judge's deliberations. They chose their words carefully, cognizant of the delicate task of opposing Sotomayor without seeming to denigrate her achievements or heritage.

"I hope that she actively defends her impartiality against subjective influences such as personal sympathies and prejudices. I hope that she sees the Constitution – both the words and its meaning – as something that she must follow, rather than something that she can change at will. ...(But) the record has not convinced me that she holds those views," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Obama named Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter, a liberal named by a Republican president, and she's not expected to alter the court's ideological balance. The court has turned increasingly conservative with recent Republican appointments. The last Democratic nomination was Stephen Breyer by President Bill Clinton in 1994.

Still, GOP senators argued Sotomayor's speeches and record made her unacceptable. They pointed to rulings in which they said she showed disregard for gun rights, property rights and job discrimination claims by white employees. And they repeatedly cited comments she's made about the role that a judge's background and perspective can play, especially a 2001 speech in which she said she hoped a "wise Latina" judge would usually make better decisions than a white man.

Republicans have been particularly critical of Sotomayor's position on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. She was part of a federal appeals court panel in New York that ruled this year that the amendment limits only the federal government – not states – a decision in keeping with previous Supreme Court precedent. Gun rights supporters said her panel shouldn't have called the issue "settled law," and they criticized her for refusing during her confirmation hearings to go beyond what the high court has said and declare that the Second Amendment applies to the states.

The National Rifle Association is strongly opposing her and has threatened to downgrade its ratings of any senator who votes to confirm Sotomayor. The warning has made little impact on Democrats, but it may have influenced some Republicans who were initially considered possible supporters but have since announced their opposition, citing gun rights as a key reason.

At least nine Republicans are backing Sotomayor, including the Senate's GOP moderates and its lone Hispanic Republican, retiring Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, as well as conservative Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the party's third-ranking leader. Most of them say that while they disagree with some of her views and rulings, they believe she's well-qualified.

"Judge Sotomayor's decisions, while not always the decision I would render, are not outside the legal mainstream and do not indicate an obvious desire to legislate from the bench," said Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, the last Republican to come out in her favor, just hours before the vote.

"I have confidence that the parties who appear before her will encounter a judge who is committed to recognizing and suppressing any personal bias she may have to reach a decision that is dictated by the rule of law," he said.

Source

YAY!!!!!!!!!!

ETA:  VIDEOS Obama reacting to the new Supreme Court Justice and Al Franken announcing the senate vote.  :D

Dinosaur Adventure Land sale, everything must go!

Judge clears way for dinosaur park to be seized

A federal judge has cleared the way for the government's seizure of a creationism theme park in Pensacola owned by a couple convicted of tax fraud.

A ruling by U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers states that the nine properties that make up Dinosaur Adventure Land as well as two bank accounts associated with the park will be used to satisfy $430,400 owed to the federal government.

Kent Hovind, who founded the park and a ministry, Creation Science Evangelism, is serving 10 years in federal prison for failing to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $470,000 in employee taxes.

He was found guilty in November 2006 on 58 counts, including failure to pay employee taxes and making threats against investigators.

The conviction culminated 17 years of Hovind sparring with the IRS. Saying he was employed by God and his ministers were not subject to payroll taxes, he claimed no income or property.

Hovind is incarcerated at the Edgefield Federal Correction Institution in South Carolina.

His wife, Jo, also was sentenced to a year in federal prison for her role in the tax fraud. She's currently jailed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Marianna.

Rodgers' 16-page order released late Thursday gives the government the green light to divide up the nine properties in and around the 5800 block of North Palafox Street and begin to sell them until the $430,400 forfeiture amount is satisfied.

The properties have a combined value of more than what the Hovinds owe, according to Rodgers' order, and any excess property available after the sales will be returned to the Hovinds.

The Hovinds' son, Eric, and business associate Glenn Stoll unsuccessfully tried to block the government's attempt to seize the properties. They said they are the legal owners.

Only Eric Hovind, who has managed the park since his father's incarceration, was successful in his claim, according to Rodgers' order.

Stoll said he owned nine of the 10 properties in question, according to a motion filed with the court. Eric Hovind claimed ownership of a single property, where he lives with his family. He will be allowed to keep the Cummings Road home.

Kent Hovind made a series of quick transfers to conceal his ownership of the properties at risk for seizure, according to documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Eric Hovind was not available for comment Friday. His secretary said he could not be reached until Monday.

Source

lol, just lol
jonstewart-rave

Denied Claims Placed At Health Insurance CEO's Doorstep (VIDEO)


A new video puts denied health insurance claims on United Health Care CEO Stephen Hemsley's doorstep.

The video, made by Brave News Films' Robert Greenwald, intercuts stories of people suffering because of denied claims with images Hemsley's fancy homes, along with details about how much money Hemsley's got ($744,232,068 in unexercised stock options, for example).

Holly Bailey says in the video that United Health Care refused to pay for medicine she couldn't live without.

"They kept telling my local pharmacy...'Oh we're just waiting for one more letter, or we're just waiting for one more script, and then we'll start paying," Bailey said. "This went on for six months, and December 4th both the pharmacy and I received a letter from United Health Care saying they deemed it medically unnecessary and that they were not going to pay any of it.

"I tried to explain to them that if I do not have this, I will die. And the only response she gave me was, 'OK.'"

Joanna Joshua, whose child's treatment was denied, asks, "Stephen Hemsley, how are you able to sleep at night?"

The piece aims to gin up the sort of pitchfork-style outrage against health insurance CEOs that so beset Wall Street executives after their industry was bailed out by the government.

"It's definitely similar and in some ways worse, because these are dollars are literally being taken away from you that could help save lives in order to build bigger mansions," said Greenwald in an interview with the Huffington Post. "We hope it will begin a part of the discussion that has not happened: Who is gaining from the current system, and why are they resisting?"

Along with the video, Greenwald's group unveiled a website detailing compensation for five other health insurance company CEOs.

United Health Care said in a statement that the company supports health reform and making coverage available to all Americans.

"Reforming and modernizing health care is serious, complex work not advanced by attack videos or rhetoric, so we will continue to focus productively on expanding coverage for all Americans," the statement reads. "Health companies, such as UnitedHealth Group and its peers, were among the first of the stakeholders to come to the table with a comprehensive proposal to reform our own sector. Our industry's proposal brings everyone into the system, guarantees coverage for all Americans, does away with pre-existing condition limitations, and ends rating based on health

WATCH:


 


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Well, that sucks.

John Hughes

Director John Hughes dies at 59

 
 
Associated Press
2:08 PM PDT, August 6, 2009
A spokeswoman for John Hughes says the director of 1980s coming-of-age films like "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club" has died in Manhattan.

Michelle Bega says the 59-year-old Hughes died of a heart attack during a morning walk. He was in Manhattan to visit family.

He made a teen star of Molly Ringwald with 1984's "Sixteen Candles" about a girl's nightmarish birthday on the eve of her sister's wedding.

Ringwald also starred in "The Breakfast Club," about a group of high school misfits during Saturday detention, and "Pretty in Pink."

Hughes also directed "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and wrote "Home Alone." He lived in Illinois and set many of his films in the Chicago area.

Source

Brat Pack Leader John Hughes Dead At 59

6 August 2009 3:16 PM, PDT | From wenn.com | See recent WENN news
Brat Pack director John Hughes has died after suffering a heart attack.
The man behind hit films like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink was 59 when he collapsed and died while walking in Manhattan, New York on Thursday.
The father of two stepped away from the limelight in the 1990s to run a farm in his native Illinois.
His last film as a director was Curly Sue in 1991 but he penned the screenplays for 2008's Drillbit Taylor, and Jennifer Lopez's Maid In Manhattan in 2002.
Hughes was also the man behind the Home Alone and Beethoven film franchises.
Source

I think pretty much anyone between the ages of 35 and 45 grew up with John Hughes films as a big part of our teenager-hood.

In addition to those mentioned above, he also did: Mr. Mom, Vacation, Weird Science, Some Kind of Wonderful, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Christmas Vacation (a personal holiday favorite), and She's Having a Baby.

Just....damn. :(
Dug

Obama Will Access Your Bank Account and Shut Down The Airports So You Cant Leave

 
 
 
RUSH: Scott in Los Angeles, hi, sir, great you're here.

CALLER: Hey, how are you doing? Listen, of all the scary things in this health care bill, Rush, the scariest thing is this: The government, if this passes, will be able to go into your bank account or anybody's bank account -- I just read this last night -- anybody's bank account, take the money out to fund this monstrosity. Did you know that?

RUSH: Yes. I have reported on it. Direct deposit access to every individual's bank account.

CALLER: If that happens, Rush, I'm leaving the country. That is the most egregious --

RUSH: Good luck getting out. Good luck getting out. They will shut the airports.

CALLER: That is the most egregious thing in this entire bill for me is to go into my account and take out my money.

RUSH: Well, theoretically it's to make sure you pay for whatever treatment they decide you deserve.

CALLER: I don't care. Why don't you come into my house? Why doesn't the government come into my house and take my jewelry and pay with that. It's the same thing.

RUSH: Shhh, shhh-shhh, shhh-shhh.

CALLER: Sorry.

RUSH: Bad enough as it is. Don't give them any more ideas.

CALLER: (laughing).

RUSH: He's right, folks, he's right. That is in the House bill. You think that's the worst thing in it. I'm not arguing with you, but there are things that are a greater abomination than that. I mean, this bill determines, the government's going to determine who lives and dies. They are going to fund abortions and they are going to be for euthanasia on the back end. Anyway, Scott, I appreciate the phone call.

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Obama Money Pictures, Images and Photos
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    annoyed
Redheads do it best.

California Courts Inform Orly Taitz That She is Fucking Done Professionally

On Saturday, Orly Taitz filed in federal court the forged Kenyan birth certificate for President Obama that she'd discovered. It lasted in the file for less than a week -- on Thursday, a judge ordered the motion that Taitz had submitted stricken from the court record.

There was no hearing on the merits of the motion, or of the purportedly Kenyan document; it was tossed on procedural grounds.


In the order, which can be downloaded in PDF form here, the judge says the motion was improperly filed "for the following reasons: Lacks proper notice; improper form and format; Counsel failed to identify her Cal. State Bar No.; description of motion conflicts or differs from that which counsel entered on Court's e-docket."

Taitz could file another motion, accompanied again by the forged birth certificate -- but she'll have to overcome the mistakes she made with this filing, and that might prove difficult. The electronic court record for the case, in which she's representing Alan Keyes, among others, is filled with similar procedural errors on her part.

Not that it would matter anyway -- the document is a proven fake, and the Australian birth certificate on which it was apparently based has already been discovered. Plus, on Thursday an anonymous person came forward claiming to be the source of the forgery, and with evidence to suggest that it was all a hoax, one designed to further discredit the Birthers.

The claim was posted to FearlessBlogging.com, an anonymous blogging site, under the headline "Birthers Punk'd! Hoax Kenyan Birth Certificate." Included in the post is this text:

  • Fine cotton business paper: $11
  • Inkjet printer: $35
  • 1940 Royal Model KMM manual typewriter: $10
  • 2 Shilling coin: $1
  • Pilot Varsity fountain pen: $3
  • Punkin' the Birthers: Priceless


Also included in the post are links to four images. One shows a document that looks like the one Taitz filed, accompanied by a typewriter, a box of paper and a coin apparently used to create an official-looking seal. Another shows the paper balled up, and the fourth shows the crinkled and torn document with writing in marker on top of it that reads: "You've been punk'd!"

All four images also contain a red striped blanket that appears similar to the one that served as backdrop for the photo Taitz filed. Salon has examined the images against each other, but has been unable to confirm or disprove their authenticity -- the background in the original photo is too small, and appears to be rotated differently than in the shots posted Thursday.

I believe this is the definition of...sauce.
Akuma River

Iran Update August 03-07, 2009

Still no word from Nico...what is going on? I see no new blog posts from him on Huffington Post not just Iran themed but nothing at all. Not since the 27th of July.

for now enjoy more of hijinks of Ahmadidn'tWin.

July 31-August 02, 2009 post | July 29-30, 2009 post | July 27-28 post | July 25-26, 2009 post | July 24, 2009 post | July 20-23, 2009 Week post | July 18-19, 2009 post | July 17, 2009 post | July 16, 2009 post | July 15, 2009 post | July 14, 2009 post | July 13, 2009 post | July 12, 2009 post | July 11, 2009 post | July 10, 2009 post | July 9, 2009 posts | July 8, 2009 post | July 7, 2009 post | July 6, 2009 post | July 5, 2009 post | July 4, 2009 post

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try again

Today marks the 64th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Bombing




Hiroshima mayor backs Obama's call for an end to nuclear weapons
The mayor of Hiroshima today backed Barack Obama's call for the abolition of nuclear weapons when he spoke at a ceremony to mark the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/06/hiroshima-mayor-nuclear-weapons-abolition


Japan pledges help for atom bomb survivors

TOKYO: Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso has opened the way for over 300 survivors of the atomic bombings to receive compensation.
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http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/447311/1/.html



Sixty-four years after Hiroshima, opinion of the bombings is mixed
Around the world today, people are commemorating the 64th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan.

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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/hiroshima-poll-atomic-bomb-.html



I was really surprised that no major news source seems to have mentioned this - not even on the ticker. BBC has a picture of a woman praying in their 'In Pictures' section. Not even the History Channel acknowledged it today. :(

Most of the articles I've found about it are from independent blogs or newspapers in Asia.

Has the world forgotten already?
Shirley Animated

Fetus fetishists of Colorado strike again

Advocates want abortion question back on ballot

DENVER - Abortion opponents are hoping Colorado voters will once again have the chance to decide when "personhood" begins in November 2010.

They have submitted language to the state for a possible ballot initiative defining the word person as applying "to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being" or at the moment of conception.

A similar plan, Amendment 48, which would have defined personhood at the moment of conception, was defeated by Colorado voters 73 percent to 27 percent last November.

"The question that I know is on most minds here today, 'Why are we doing this again?'" said Keith Mason, who runs Personhood USA, a national group that will support the Colorado initiative. "The basic reason we are doing this again is because we are right. All humans are persons and that's why we're doing this again."

Critics say the measure would preclude women from getting abortions even in cases of rape, incest or to protect the woman's life. Further, they say it would open doctors who distribute certain birth control measures to criminal prosecution.

"This new initiative could have far-reaching consequences on important life decisions that should be left to individuals, their families, their doctors, not be extremists who want to rewrite our Constitution," said Toni Panetta, who works for NARAL Pro Choice Colorado.

Supporters are at the beginning of the election process. If they are successful in getting to the petition distribution stage, they will need to gather the signatures of roughly 70,000 Colorado voters to make the 2010 ballot.

Since 1996, Colorado voters have weighed in on the topic of abortion five separate times. In 1998, voters approved a measure requiring parents be notified if their juvenile daughters wanted to get an abortion. In 2000, voters rejected a mandatory waiting period for an abortion and in 1998, they rejected an outright ban on the procedure.

The proposed language for the Colorado Personhood Constitutional Amendment Initiative reads as follows: "Section 1. Article II of the constitution of the state of Colorado is amended by the addition of a new section to read: Section 32. Person defined. As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

For more information on Personhood USA, visit http://www.personhoodusa.com/.

For more information on NARAL Pro Choice Colorado, visit http://www.prochoicecolorado.org/

I do work with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and we're already getting ready for another Amendment 48-esque battle. Personally, I hope screaming wingnuts get arrested for verbally abusing Governor Ritter again. It does wonders for their insane cause.

You'd think a THREE TO ONE defeat would deter these people, wouldn't you?
raptor, pirate

EPIC CNN WIN:Sanchez rips into Rick Scott

A CNN anchor today tore down Rick Scott, the founder of an organization that's been funding anti-health care reform protests and the former CEO of a hospital company that, as Sanchez pointed out, paid $1.7 billion to settle charges of overcharging Medicare and Medicaid.

It was brutal.

Sanchez started simply, asking Scott, the founder of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, if he takes credit for the recent disruptions at health care reform events. Scott responded, "It'd be nice to, right?" before saying he thought everyone should go to meetings, but "oughta be nicer about it."

Then Sanchez started in on him, describing the charges and fines against Scott's company, the Columbia Hospital Corporation.

"Some would argue, and it would be hard to say they're wrong, that you would be the poster child for everything that's wrong with the greed that has hurt our current health care system," Sanchez said.





Moar in teh Sauce

Akuma River

Iranian blogger tells of how he escaped Tehran with his life

I was going to post this up on my Iran Update post that I am working on but in lieu of twitter, facebook, livejournal and youtube being hit with DDoS attacks I think it needed to be on its own page.

We tend to forget as we post stories from the rest of the world and speak of the lulz of what is going on that there are real people being effected by these actions. I was reading on Huffington Post about how Twitter was DDoS'd and these comments were all about how work productivity went up and how people didn't have anything else better to do were left with nothing to do. I have to say it royally pissed me off because these sites that were hit with the DDoS attack are the main lines of communication for the Iranians and other people who are censored by their government.

In Iran today more protests were happening. Video was being streamed on liveleak.com and youtube about these protests.

Now with my rant over I present to you the story of one blogger from Tehran whose work we are all familar with in unfamiliar ways because he was one of the people who sent video and stories to cnn and other media websites and youtube and facebook. He is one of many who is being hunted down by this regime all because he is speaking his mind about what is happening in his country and to his people by its leaders.

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rachel maddow

Tampa Town Hall On Health Care Reform Disrupted By Violence

Police officers were called to calm down an unruly crowd outside a health care reform town hall meeting in downtown Tampa, Florida on Thursday evening, according to local news reports.

Angry protesters screamed, yelled and banged on windows as officers hurried to guard the entrances to the facility, where U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was trying to discuss the various health care reform proposals being debated in Congress. One photojournalist said that a fistfight broke out inside the building, reports WTSP.

Many of the hundreds of protesters said that they had been inspired by Fox News host Glenn Beck and a conservative activist group, according to the St. Petersburg Times:

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Source

normal

Glenn Beck's Obama "Racist" Comments Cost Him Advertisers. Dont worry He is still Rich...

Glenn Beck's Obama "Racist" Comments Cost Him Advertisers

Fox News' Glenn Beck is feeling the consequences of his controversial comments on the July 28 episode of "Fox and Friends," when he said that Barack Obama was a "racist" who had a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."

According to TVNewser, Beck advertisers Procter and Gamble, Lawyers.com and Progressive Insurance have all pulled their ads from Beck's 5PM ET show. This comes in the wake of groups like ColorOfChange.org's efforts to get companies to distance themselves from Beck.

Fox News told TVNewser that the advertisements were simply moved to other time slots on Fox News, and thus had no effect on the network's revenue (which, incidentally, was a bright spot in News Corp's otherwise dismal earnings).

Watch Beck's original comment's here.



Martha

Who We Are: A Conservative Manifesto

I didn't write this, but the author came pretty close to what I would have penned:

There seems to be a bit of confusion among Democrats about the nature of the opposition to their plans. Maybe I can help clear things up, by telling them a few things about us.

We’re not paid minions of any corporate interest or lobby. Most bloggers working to stop the Obama health-care disaster are like me, writing when they can find the time, because we care about the future of our country. The same is true of the people showing up at town hall meetings, and organizing rallies. Some of us are well-dressed in tailored suits. Others wear jeans and T-shirts. Most of us are dressed in what we wore to work.

Our support for a massive government program does not increase when you tell us we’re not allowed to ask questions about it.

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I agree with this piece so much! I love that the author focused on economic policy, not social policy. It's definitely a rallying cry that I can get behind!

ETA: After reading your criticism, I see that the piece definitely is wrong on a few key ideas (global warming, lack of attention to past policy, etc.). I still stand by the anti-socialist statements though because those to me ring the most true. Maybe I should write my own because then you guys wouldn't hate it so much.

ETA 2: The line about Democratic policy & hate is referring to the well documented hatred of Bush, Christian Conservatives, residents of red states and Corporate America.I hope this clears up any confusion!



Staunch Conservative SOURCE