August 24th, 2009

voluptuous in blue

If you think Obama is like the Nazis, you need a history lesson

I hope this column makes you sick.

See, we'll be talking about Nazis, something many of us are doing lately. Indeed, just this week a fellow named Joseph e-mailed me about a caller he heard on a radio show. The man, vexed over health-care reform, likened President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Asked why, he said, "Hitler took over the car companies, then health care and then he killed the Jews."

Said Joseph: "I almost swerved my vehicle off the road when I heard that."

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5 myths about health care around the world

5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

by By T.R. Reid
Commentary, Washington Post:

I've traveled the world ... to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as "socialist," we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

1. It's all socialized medicine out there.

Not so. ... In some ways, health care is less "socialized" overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet's purest examples of government-run health care....

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Full article @ Washington Post

Found by way of Economist's View
i want joe biden i need joe biden

It's 3 a.m. Do You Know Where Hillary Clinton Is?

She's not answering those crisis calls at the White House. But she's quietly revolutionizing American foreign policy.

By David Rothkopf
Sunday, August 23, 2009

When it comes to Hillary Rodham Clinton, we're missing the forest for the pantsuits.

Clinton is not the first celebrity to become the nation's top diplomat -- that honor goes to her most distant predecessor, Thomas Jefferson, who by the time he took office was one of the most famous and gossiped-about men in America -- but she may be the biggest. And during her first seven months in office, the former first lady, erstwhile presidential candidate and eternal lightning rod has drawn more attention for her moods, looks, outtakes and (of course) relationship with her husband than for, well, her work revamping the nation's foreign policy.

Even venerable publications -- such as one to which I regularly contribute, Foreign Policy -- have woven into their all-Hillary-all-the-time coverage odd discussions of Clinton's handbag and scarf choices. Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, while depicting herself as a Clinton supporter, has been scathing and small-minded in discussing such things as Clinton's weight and hair, while her "defense" of Hillary in her essay "Obama's Other Wife" was as sexist as the title suggests.

Indeed, sexism has followed Clinton from the campaign trail to Foggy Bottom, as seen most recently in the posturing outrage surrounding the exchange in Congo when Clinton reacted with understandable frustration to the now-infamous question regarding her husband's views. Major media outlets have joined the gossipfest, whether the New York Times, which covered Clinton's first big policy speech by discussing whether she was in or out with the White House, or The Washington Post, where a couple of reporters mused about whether a brew called Mad Bitch would be the beer of choice for the secretary of state.

Amid all the distractions, what is Clinton actually doing? Only overseeing what may be the most profound changes in U.S. foreign policy in two decades -- a transformation that may render the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush mere side notes in a long transition to a meaningful post-Cold War worldview.

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(no subject)

A Malaysian model, who was set to become the first woman to be caned in the southeast Asian country for drinking beer in public, had her sentence postponed Monday until the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Authorities had picked up Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, from her father's house Monday morning and were taking her to a prison in the eastern state of Pahang when the van turned around and brought her back.

"They sent her back to the house. They said the top official asked them not to bring her to Kuala Lumpur," said Kartika's father, Shukarno Abdul Muttalib.

Authorities in Pahang said the delay would run until the month of fasting ends. Monday was the third day of Ramadan.

An Islamic, or sharia, court in Pahang had fined Kartika -- a Muslim -- $1,400 (5,000 Malaysian ringgit) and sentenced her to six strokes with a rattan cane for drinking at a hotel bar two years ago.

Kartika, a 32-year-old part-time model and mother of two, was visiting Malaysia from Singapore at the time.

She pleaded guilty, paid the fine, and wanted her caning to be carried out in public.

She said she lost her job as a nurse in Singapore and took up part-time modeling to support her husband in raising their two children. Her son has cerebral palsy; her daughter a heart condition.

"I want to move on. This case has been hanging over me for a long time," she told CNN last week.

On Monday morning, Kartika hugged her children, bade a tearful goodbye to the throngs of people gathered at her father's house, and boarded the van.

She was to be taken to a prison on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The caning would have been carried out within seven days of that, making her the first woman to be caned in Malaysia under sharia law.

Kartika's punishment is unique in that she has opted to go through with it. Two other Malaysians sentenced to the same fate have filed appeals, the Syariah (Sharia) Lawyers' Association of Malaysia said.

The case drew widespread attention and condemnation, in and outside Malaysia.

The moderate Muslim country has a dual-track justice system, in which Islamic courts operate alongside civil courts.

Muslims -- who make up about 60 percent of the 28 million who populate the country -- are forbidden from consuming alcohol. Other religious groups are exempt.

Though caning is used as a supplementary punishment in Malaysia for at least 40 crimes, such as rape or immigration violations, it is not meted out by Malaysia's civil court for alcohol consumption.

But the country's civil system also cannot overrule a sharia court sentence.

In this respect, Kartika would have been the first woman to be caned for violating the country's religious laws.

"Regardless of whether or not such penalties fall under Syariah law or civil law, we believe that these should be repealed, as they go against the fundamental human right to be free from torture and violence," said Haslinah Yaacob, vice president for the All Women's Action Society.

Posh Zoom

GOP Senators Who Used Budget Reconciliation To Pass Bush Agenda Items Now Calling It ‘Chicago Style

GOP Senators Who Used Budget Reconciliation To Pass Bush Agenda Items Now Calling It ‘Chicago Style Politics’

Today, Politico reported that Republican senators are prepared to go “nuclear” — essentially shutting down the Senate through the use of parliamentary maneuvers — if President Obama attempts to use budget reconciliation to pass key parts of his legislative agenda, such as health care reform and cap-and-trade. Reconciliation allows some legislation to be protected from filibusters and passed by a simple majority. On NPR this morning, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) repeated a now familiar attack on budget reconciliation:
BOND: “In this post-partisan time of Barack Obama, we’re seeing a little Chicago politics. They steamroller those who disagree with them, then, I guess in Chicago, they coat them in cement and drop them in the river.” [NPR, 3/24/09]
Bond appears to be parroting his colleague Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who said any use of budget reconciliation by President Obama would be “regarded as an act of violence” against Republicans, and likened it to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.” Other GOP senators have chimed in against reconciliation, with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) calling it a “purely partisan exercise” and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) saying it “would be a mess.”
Despite their howls against Obama, Republicans employed the same procedure to pass major Bush agenda items (which were supported by all four aforementioned Senators):

– The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836, 3/26/01]
– The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2,
– Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [HR 4297,
– The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [H. Con Res. 95,

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This article is from March, but a lot of people wanted to know when Republicans used reconciliation, so I thought it might be interesting

(no subject)

UT College Republicans Host Joe the Plumber and Pledge to Reclaim Campus

*Joe the Plumber joins University of Toledo College Republicans as they
Pledge to Reclaim Campus*

The University of Toledo College Republicans will host theirfirst meeting Tuesday August 25th in the Student Union Room 2591. Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher will be in attendance as the UTCRs will lay out a plan to reclaim the university in the name of Conservative Values.

The UT College Republicans are the reigning chapter of the year in the state of Ohio. Last year their local business support programpicked up national headlines as did their efforts in the 2008 Election. This year the CRs will focus on creating a conservative campus atmosphere and changing the political climate of Lucas County. This summer they signed up over 300 conservative students at UT's orientation programs and expect apacked house at their first meeting. The CRs will also debut a Liberal Professor Directory to warn conservative students of liberal bias in the

"Our platform this year will really focus on developing future leaders for the Republican party by educating students on conservative core values and getting them active. Lucas county has suffered too long under Democrat Rule, and its time to take a step back from failed policies. This is where that process begins. We are building leaders, and winning every battle along the way," said '08-'09 Ohio Chairman of the year Matt Rubin.

The College Republicans will be working closely with Republican MayoralCandidate, Jim Moody and have several events planned for this year includinga Ronald Reagan documentary in the Glass Bowl Stadium, a National Rifle Association Presentation and a week long celebration of the fall of the communist, Soviet Union.


  • schmiss


Steele: Roy Blunt Should Be Cleaned Out Of The "Crapper"

Michael Steele has an interesting (and mostly bad) verbal habit of trying to defuse a situation by making bizarre and damaging statements: When someone vigorously insults him and the Republican Party, he agrees with the accusations, then tries to talk about what people can do together to fix the problems. And people remember the former rather than the later. For example, he just said that Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the party's likely nominee for Senate in a top-tier 2010 Senate race, is like a clog in a toilet that needs to be cleaned out: "When stuff gets in the crapper, you gotta clean it out."

As first reported by, Steele appeared this past Friday on the radio show of right-wing Missouri talker Vincent David Jericho, who had a lot to say about Roy Blunt and his son, former Gov. Matt Blunt:

"His [Matt Blunt's] daddy [Roy] screwed around with a tobacco lobbyist. Then slips language into the homeland security bill favorable to the tobacco lobbyist," said Jericho. "I mean here is a guy that has committed adultery multiple times. Yet he had a senior position, and still does, in the Republican Party. Guys like Papa Blunt make us sick to our stomach. They aren't conservatives, and they sure don't reflect moral absolutes the way that we expect the Republican Party to stand up."

Steele responded: "Look, now don't, don't sit - I mean, I agree with you. When, when, -- when stuff gets in the crapper, you gotta clean it out."

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Every time, every single time I think Michael Steele has found the last way to screw up... I'm actually starting to feel sorry for him.

(no subject)

Woman who posed as man to become judo champ finally gets gold - 50 years after being stripped of it

BY Jeff Wilkins and Christina Boyle

Rena Kanokogi displays judo gold medal she won in 1959 but only just received.

It took 50 years, but she finally got gold.

A Brooklyn judo champ stripped of her first place medal when judges realized she was a woman competing in a contest against men secured her place in the history books Friday.

It was a sweet moment for Rena (Rusty) Kanokogi, who became a pioneer for her sport - and a champion for equal rights - after her 1959 victory turned sour because she was the wrong gender.

"[The medal] should have never been taken away from me," the 74-year-old said.

"But we're righting a wrong, that's what counts."

Kanokogi is now frail, battling cancer, and walks with a cane. But she vividly recalls the moment she took on her opponent in the New York State YMCA judo championships.

She was an alternate, and had to step in when a male team member was injured.

Although women were not explicity barred from the YMCA contests, no female had ever tried to take part. Because her hair was as short as a boy's and she had an athletic build and tape around her breasts, Kanokogi's gender wasn't questioned until she won her fight - and her team won the contest.

She was pulled aside and forced to admit she was a woman or else her teammates would have been stripped of the title.

"It was very demeaning, painful," she said.

"It was a horrible feeling - like I did something wrong by being a woman."

The event changed Kanokogi's life.

She later mortgaged her home to fund the first female judo world championships in 1980 and almost single-handedly got women's judo into the 1988 Olympics after threatening to sue the International Olympic Committee.

The New York State YMCA presented Kanokogi with a gold medal Friday to honor her lifetime's work.

"She was like a mother to me," said 1983 Pan Am Games judo gold medalist Heidi Bauersachs-Trstensky, 55, who was trained by Kanokogi.

"She's the only one who pulled for us."


I found this article at Feministing, where Jessica makes the point that the issue might have been that Kanokogi beat the boys rather than that she was partaking in guys' sports. What do you think?
Bree Gun

Women and racial minorities still aren't getting their fair share in the movie industry

See Any Similarities in These Directors?



IF you are splashing around with a bunch of guys who are 93 percent white, an average of 45.62 years old and look as if they’ve done this before, you must be swimming in the studio directors’ pool.


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(no subject)

Cash for Clunkers is just about at the end of the road.

The government-funded rebate program, popular with consumers, comes to its official completion on Monday.

Dealers have until 8 p.m. to file claims for any deals.

Some dealers said they were participating in the Clunker program right up to the end. Others said they had stopped because they didn't want to risk giving a $4,500 discount on a car and not be reimbursed by the government.

AutoNation (AN, Fortune 500), the country's largest dealership chain, stopped doing Cash for Clunker transactions after Friday. AutoNation had completed over 12,000 deals, according to spokesman Mark Cannon.

"It's been a great run," Cannon said.

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Schoolgirls in Hamas-run Gaza told to wear Islamic dress

Schoolgirls in Hamas-run Gaza have been told to wear traditional full-length robes and headscarves in what is being seen as the latest move towards enforcing conservative Islam in the besieged enclave.

In numerous girls' schools in the Palestinian territory, which reopened their doors on Sunday following the summer recess, students were told they would be sent home if they do not conform with clothing regulations.

"We invite all schoolgirls to wear the jilbab," a senior official in the Hamas education ministry, Mahmud Abu Hassira, told AFP. The jilbab is a traditional, long, loose-fitting robe worn by women in some Muslim countries.

Yet, the Islamist movement insists it did not order girls to wear the jilbab but let school principals know they should no longer ask students to wear the old uniform that consisted of a long blue skirt and matching blouse.

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Hannity For President?!

(macro made by mercystars)

Talk-show host Sean Hannity, a vocal opponent of Barack Obama's policies, said today he would not rule out a bid for the presidency in 2012.

Egged on by radio colleague Bill Cunningham, Hannity said he would consider entering the front lines of the political fray if God directs him.

"I've never made a decision in my life without – whatever destiny God has you've got to fulfill it," he said. "I'm not sure that's my destiny."

Hannity would make a formidable candidate, with the likability of Reagan, good looks and strong convictions. He's also a polished communicator and knows the issues inside out.

And he can debate.

Hannity hosts the second-largest radio program in America, after Rush Limbaugh, and a highly rated nightly TV show on the Fox News Channel.

Wingnutty SOURCE

I hope he runs because it will generate a lot of lulz! I can't take him seriously as anything other than a pundit. Also, crazy icon is crazy!
Helena Cain and Gina Inviere
  • doop

"Beware of the, er... kitten: Terrified postmen threaten to boycott house after attack by baby cat"

Going postal: Elly the kitten is accused of attacking a postwoman 

Swiping playfully at the camera, it's hard to imagine she could be a danger to anything - except, perhaps, her favourite toy mouse.

But to postmen, Illy the kitten might as well be a snarling rottweiler.

They say that the six-month-old moggie once jumped up at the letterbox and delivered a painful scratch to a postwoman's hand.

So fearful are they of a repeat performance that they have sent a strongly worded letter to Illy's owners - warning them to discipline her or face a delivery ban.

Kenneth Ridge, 65, and his son Bradley, 30, yesterday spoke of their shock at receiving the note describing Illy's 'attack'.

'Reading this letter you'd think I had a rottweiler at home, it really was ridiculous', Mr Ridge Snr said.

'Illy is a kitten, she's very small and friendly and was just playing.

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There are more pictures at the source.

Nate Silver: Republicans Now More Likely To Gain Seats In 2010

FiveThirtyEight :

After a couple of relatively quiet months, the Senate race rankings have undergone a fairly major shakeup, with 15 distinct contests receiving an upgrade or a downgrade based on a combination of local and national circumstances. Most of these changes favor Republicans -- 7 of the 10 upgrades (meaning that a party switch is now more likely) were made to Democratic-held seats; 4 of the 5 downgrades were made to Republican-held seats. While there are still plenty of opportunities for the Democrats in the Senate, I believe that the Republicans are now slightly more likely to gain seats than to lose them, potentially threatening the Democrats' supposed filibuster-proof majority.
From Huffpo

More @ 538

' jules
  • schmiss


Holder to Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Terror Interrogations

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.

Durham's mandate, the sources added, will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees. Many of the harshest CIA interrogation techniques have not been employed against terrorism suspects for four years or more.

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I hope this is just a first step. And good luck mister, cuz you're gonna need it.
franklin sherman

Government shuts down affordable health care business (note: oi vey)

The state is trying to shut down a New York City doctor's ambitious plan to treat uninsured patients for around $1,000 a year.

Dr. John Muney offers his patients everything from mammograms to mole removal at his AMG Medical Group clinics, which operate in all five boroughs.

“I'm trying to help uninsured people here,” he said.

His patients agree to pay $79 a month for a year in return for unlimited office visits with a $10 co-pay.

But his plan landed him in the crosshairs of the state Insurance Department, which ordered him to drop his fixed-rate plan - which it claims is equivalent to an insurance policy.

Muney insists it is not insurance because it doesn't cover anything that he can't do in his offices, like complicated surgery. He points out his offices do not operate 24/7 so they can't function like emergency rooms.

“I'm not doing an insurance business,” he said. “I'm just providing my services at my place during certain hours.”

He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn't have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing.

“If they leave me alone, I can serve thousands of patients,” he said.

The state believes his plan runs afoul of the law because it promises to cover unplanned procedures - like treating a sudden ear infection - under a fixed rate. That's something only a licensed insurance company can do.

“The law is strict on how insurance is defined,” said an Insurance Department spokesman.

A possible solution that Muney's lawyer crafted would force patients to pay more than $10 for unplanned procedures.

They are waiting to see if the state will accept the compromise. Still, Muney is unhappy because, he said, “I really don't want to charge more. They're forcing me.”

One of his patients, Matthew Robinson, 52, was furious to learn the state was interfering with the plan.

“The whole point is, he [Muney] found a way of paying his rent, paying his workers, and getting to see patients for the price,” said Robinson.

“How can the state dictate you've got to charge more?”
Balthier - Not impressed

And another birther comes out of the wood work...

At a health care town hall this weekend, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said he might file a lawsuit to have the president release his birth certificate.

Franks said there was not enough evidence that Obama is not an American citizen. He did say there was a lot of conflicting evidence of Obama's citizenship and that he was considering filing a lawsuit, the only congressman to do so. Franks asked why the president did not simply produce a birth certificate.

The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel points out that Franks' bold move is particularly surprising given that Franks has previously made a clear statement to guerilla video-blogger Mike Stark that the president was born in the United States and had a valid birth certificate.

HUFFPO has your source

Loving the double negative in that second paragraph... *facepalm*
  • Current Mood

The 2004 CIA Inspector General Report on Torture

Classified for years — and still heavily redacted — here is former CIA Inspector General John Helgerson’s 2004 report into the CIA’s Bush-era interrogations operations. The ACLU sued to obtain the controversial report, which was so charged within the agency that former CIA Director Michael Hayden clashed with Helgerson over the inspector general’s independence and investigative authority.

Original docs are at the source.
[misc] your own sun
  • sarken

Gay Boise Air Force Pilot 'outed' by false accusation

Gay Boise Air Force Pilot 'outed' by false accusation
The Air Force found out the Boise airman was gay when he had to defend himself. The Pentagon chief says such cases may justify changing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'
Copyright: © 2009 Idaho Statesman
Published: 08/23/09

On April 3, 2003, Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach flew his F-15E toward an Iraqi ambush site about a mile from U.S. Army troops advancing on Baghdad airport.

Fehrenbach faced anti-aircraft fire, surface-to-air missiles and a mechanical problem on his wingman's plane. Still, he destroyed the enemy position and helped clear the way for the Army to take the airport that night. For his heroism, the Notre Dame grad won an Air Medal with a valor device, one of his nine Air Medals.

Five years later, Fehrenbach confronted a crisis in a very different setting. A Boise police detective sat across a conference table questioning him about an alleged crime.

Fehrenbach, stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base, was in a Catch-22. To clear himself of the claim he'd raped a man, Fehrenbach could tell police his side of the story. But admitting he'd had consensual sex could get him kicked out of the Air Force he loved after 18 years.

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Edit: From jesidres, the original interview from The Rachel Maddow Show is here.
  • ahtefeh

(no subject)

Alec Baldwin passing on challenge to Lieberman

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A spokesman for Alec Baldwin says the actor has no plans to challenge Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2012 election.

Matthew Hiltzik said Monday that Baldwin does not plan to move to Connecticut or to run. He says the "30 Rock" star wants Lieberman to stay in office because there are so few moderate Republicans in the Senate. Lieberman was re-elected in 2006 as an independent after he lost the Democratic primary.

Baldwin was quoted in Playboy magazine this summer as saying he would love to run against Lieberman. His brother, Stephen Baldwin, said last week that his older brother is serious about politics.

On CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Lieberman said he respects Baldwin as an actor but dared him to "make my day" with a Senate challenge.


Christian Bale

Common Sense 2009

By Larry Flynt, Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate

The American government -- which we once called our government -- has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called "economic royalists," who choose our elected officials -- indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.

This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment's hesitation, they took our money -- yours and mine -- to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don't care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as "useless eaters."

But, you say, we have elected a candidate of change. To which I respond: Do these words of President Obama sound like change?

"A culture of irresponsibility took root, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street."
There it is. Right there. We are Main Street. We must, according to our president, share the blame. He went on to say: "And a regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis -- the Great Depression -- was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy."

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  • cirisse

Breaking News: BNP still racist

Investigation reveals BNP golly trial

An undercover reporter at the BNP's 'family festival' has uncovered conclusive evidence of bitter racism and fascist chanting at the event.

The News of the World reporter found supporters at the Red White and Blue festival conducting a mock trial of a golly doll, and then burning it "for being black".

One man – said by the newspaper to be local council candidate John Coombes - shouts: "Let's get a real one… in the town we'll find one or two."


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The News of the World story


(no subject)

Tour of the Cat looks at home here in this prime patch of Kentucky bluegrass. Among about 50 fellow retirees are some of the most revered names in horse racing, like Sunshine Forever and Ogygian. These horses won tens of millions of dollars on the racetrack.

Tour of the Cat belongs with them. He is a multiple graded-stakes winner who earned more than $1.1 million over a nine-year career. Still, he is lucky to be here.

Just last month, Tour of the Cat, 11, was at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., competing at racing’s lowest levels. He had at least one sore ankle and raced for the 79th time, managing to beat only one other horse.

His odyssey from bottom-level horse to unlikely stakes champion and back again illustrates how many in the racing industry routinely overlook their responsibility to aging animals.

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Source is NOT singing My Little Pony. NOT.
Mark Gatiss

Obama backs interrogation revamp.

Iraqi detainee in Baquba, 2005

US President Barack Obama has approved a new elite team to question key terror suspects, the White House has said.

The unit will be housed at the FBI headquarters in Washington and be overseen by the White House. The announcement came hours before the publication of fuller details of the CIA's treatment of terrorism suspects.

Also on Monday US media said the justice department was to reopen about a dozen prisoner abuse cases that could lead to prosecution of CIA employees.


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you could cut ties with all the lies

Google Fights Street View Ban In Switzerland

Google Fights Street View Ban In Switzerland

The Swiss data commissioner worries that Google Maps Street View reveals too much and may force Google to blur or remove even more of its images.

Following Switzerland's acceptance of demands from U.S. tax authorities that Swiss banks provide less privacy to customers, the country's data protection agency has rejected Google Street View for failing to protect the privacy of Swiss citizens.

Hans-Peter Thur, Switzerland's federal data protection and information commissioner (FDPIC), issued a statement on Friday calling forGoogle (NSDQ: GOOG) to immediately remove the Street View feature in Google maps because it fails to sufficiently blur faces and license plates.

Street View became available in Switzerland less than a week ago.


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Even Dropping Public Option Not Enough For "Gang Of Six" Republicans

Even Dropping Public Option Not Enough For "Gang Of Six" Republicans

Senate Finance Committee negotiators are trying to bring down the cost of a broad health-care bill, but new splits are emerging on whether to reduce subsidies for people to buy insurance, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks.

The Finance Committee, led by three Democrats and three Republicans who make up the so-called Gang of Six negotiators, is the only committee in Congress seeking to produce a bipartisan bill.

Republicans are pressing to reduce the size of tax credits for families with incomes that are below three times the poverty rate. They would also like to trim back insurance coverage mandates in hopes of lowering premiums that would have to be subsidized.

But the three Democrats believe savings can be found without going to the heart of the bill. "There are not going to be significant changes to coverage," said one Democratic aide familiar with the talks. "We're finding other ways to bring down the cost."

The six negotiators are working against a Sept. 15 deadline to reach a deal before Democratic leaders give up and move ahead with a partisan bill. A conference call went until nearly midnight Thursday with no major breakthroughs.
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Blue Dog to be Roasted by Angry Constituents.

Jim Cooper's Constituents Not With Him On Health Reform

Blue Dog Democrats have defended their reluctance on health care legislation by saying their moderate constituents can't stomach a bill that's too far to the left. A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll, however, shows that at least one Blue Dog, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), is not representing his district's desires. Sixty percent of those polled disapprove of the lawmaker's actions on health care, and 61 percent favor a public option.

That's even higher than the 44 percent of Montanans polled that disapproved of Sen. Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) work on health care.

Cooper was instrumental in helping kill health care reform under President Clinton. Ezra Klein explained:

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America Kept us Safe from Moolim Children and Old Ladies.

CIA Interrogators Threatened To Kill Detainee's Children: Report

CIA interrogators threatened to kill the children of one detainee at the height of the Bush administration's war on terror and implied that another's mother would be sexually assaulted, newly declassified documents revealed Monday as the government launched a criminal investigation into the spy agency's "unauthorized, improvised, inhumane" practices.

At the same time, the Obama administration announced a new policy for future interrogations -- under White House supervision.

With the release of the five-year-old CIA documents, the Justice Department began a probe into the spy agency's tactics, under the direction of a veteran prosecutor who has been looking into other aspects of the interrogations.

The documents released by the CIA's inspector general said interrogators went too far -- even beyond what was authorized under Justice Department legal memos that have since been withdrawn and discredited.

"Ten years from now we're going to be sorry we're doing this (but) it has to be done," one unidentified CIA officer said in the report, predicting that interrogators would someday have to appear in court to answer for such tactics.

Monday's documents represent the largest single release of information about the Bush administration's once-secret system of capturing terrorism suspects and interrogating them in overseas prisons.
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  • ahtefeh

Obama to Reappoint Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday that he is nominating Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said.

Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Obama will make the announcement from Martha's Vineyard Tuesday. He said the president credits Mr. Bernanke for "pulling the economy back from the brink of depression."

Mr. Bernanke's term as Fed chairman expires in January. His renomination requires Senate confirmation.

Mr. Obama met with Mr. Bernanke last week in the Oval Office to offer him another stint as Fed chairman, a White House official said.


Dragon Age Inquisition

Nation, can you tell which one of us is the *real* Stephen Colbert?

Do You Really Think You're That Funny, Stephen Colbert?

Yes, I’m in on the joke. The Colbert Report fake news show is satire. He’s mocking Republicans, Christians, Pro-Lifers, those who believe in the sanctity of marriage and anyone else who doesn’t memorize Rahm Emmanuel’s daily talking points. He pretends to be a Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly all rolled into one muscled and charming package, while snickering like some mud-smeared child behind the schoolyard jungle gym with his fellow travelers– Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien and Tina Fey. News reader Keith Olbermann cries his way through the anarchist democrat worldview coherently enough for most common Americans to get a taste of how wrongheaded these proto-socialists of the left can be. But Stephen Colbert’s real danger is that he hides behind parody, never revealing his genuine intentions or emotions . The only thing he teaches is contempt. So journalists like me (let alone the rest of you) have a hard time understanding and rebutting his true values. To most, his parody is unimpeachable and no newsman has dared take down this sanctimonious, vile-tongued hairdo for what he really is.

Well, hold on to your keyboards America because today I’m going to do precisely that!

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LOLtastic Sauce can be found here.

The author pretty much highlighted all the hilarious bits himself, so I only underlined the stuff that he missed. You have to read the whole thing; it's just insane. I was laughing so hard I cried while trying to find the most LOLtastic parts.

EDIT: Attention, everyone! According to
this, we may have been played. But no matter, because some people take it seriously anyway. For the lulz!
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Giuliani, Seeing Opening, Mulls a Governor Bid

ALBANY — Nineteen months after ending his disastrous run for the presidency, Rudolph W. Giuliani is clearing a path for a possible race for governor in 2010, believing public anger at an ineffectual Albany and unease over the economy could create ideal conditions for a Republican to reclaim the governor’s mansion.

Mr. Giuliani has told associates that he will decide on a candidacy within 30 to 60 days, as he weighs whether he can be elected statewide and what impact another campaign would have on his business interests.

He is already laying the groundwork. On Friday he traveled to Long Island to encourage the state Republican Party chairman, Joseph N. Mondello, to step aside, a maneuver that party insiders viewed as the former mayor’s most concrete step yet toward a run.

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Hannity Guest Compares Obama Administration Policies

A guest on Sean Hannity's show on Monday night compared Obama administration policies to Nazism.

Ironically, disabled Marine veteran David Hedrick, who attended a town hall held by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), was on the show to discuss his anger that the congressman compared unruly town hall protesters to "brown shirts"

So, Hedrick threw out his own charge against the White House, despite the fact that the administration itself has not used such language to describe protesters:

"National Socialism is very much what we see today in this administration, it's a policy almost line for line. It's the same economic policy, it's the same political policy. And so if they want to talk about Nazis, they better be careful about that conversation because they might find that the swastika is on their own arm."

Hannity responded, "OK," and continued to ask Hedrick about his experience at the town hall, where the veteran claims that Baird refused to apologize to him.