August 25th, 2009

Randall Terry is keeping it crazy

Stabbing babies to fight healthcare reform

WASHINGTON -- This summer's town halls on healthcare reform have seen protesters calling President Obama a Nazi, yelling at members of Congress, and spouting all sorts of bogus "facts" mostly gleaned from listening to Glenn Beck. So you'd think it would be tough to turn them into even more of a farce than they already are.

Then again, that's what Randall Terry is for.

The deposed founder of Operation Rescue has decided to join the healthcare reform opponents' bandwagon, apparently figuring any movement that includes devotees of Lyndon LaRouche, Birthers and other extremists is too good to pass up. So he's been organizing protests outside town halls for the last few days, zipping around Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky to bring his own particular brand of crazy to the healthcare debate.

Terry, of course, last made national political news the week after an antiabortion zealot murdered Dr. George Tiller; Terry said Tiller was to blame for his own death, then invited reporters to buy him beer and chicken wings. His involvement in any right-wing cause is almost certain these days once the cause gets enough attention in the media. Earlier this spring, he was arrested at the University of Notre Dame, protesting Obama's speech there, and a few years ago, he glommed on to the sad tale of Terri Schiavo, popping up as the spokesman for her relatives who opposed taking her off life support.

So far, his healthcare protests are off to an equally classy start. In Chattanooga, Tenn., he was nearly arrested Saturday while standing outside a federal courthouse stabbing baby dolls, because he hadn't obtained the proper permits for the demonstration. In Nashville on Sunday, one of Terry's cronies put on an Obama mask and pretended to mug pedestrians walking by.

Collapse )



My favorite reaction to this from the crowd is in The Tennessean:
"I think this is a disgrace," said 13-year-old Jontrez London of Nashville. "Obama's trying to save people. He ain't gonna try to kill an old lady."

Another baby doll went flying and 14-year-old Malcolm Wells shook his head and sighed.

"These are adults acting like children," he said.

Four for you, guys.

Obama movement youth not showing up to health care debate

Summary: Health care reform increasingly viewed as an issue for seniors, which the GOP is using to its advantage.

Young Obama backers skip health care fight

By: The Associated Press | 24 Aug 2009 | 05:57 PM ET
Text Size

Twenty-somethings may see it as an old folks issue

NEW YORK - Add this to President Barack Obama's problems in selling his health care overhaul: A lot of the tech-savvy activists who helped put him in office are young, feeling indestructible and not all that into what they see as an old folks issue.

Collapse )

Source: AP article @ MSNBC


Is McDonald's Guilty of Stereotyping Online?

Though McDonald's has managed to largely buck the economic downturn, the sun doesn't always shine bright over the Golden Arches. The burger behemoth had a rough weekend online, after their website targeting the black community — — suddenly and unexpectedly went viral in all the wrong ways, attracting the scorn of bloggers and social networking users who saw the site as stereotyping, pandering and, in some cases, offensive. And as the criticism intensified Monday, it put the Golden Arches on the defensive in managing their reputation online — an effort they've struggled with in the past.

The website, launched in 2003, features stories about experiences at McDonald's, scholarship and job opportunities and news on various sponsored initiatives targeted specifically at the black community. All fine, but some questioned the site's tone and content: features only advertisements with exclusively black actors, and one page gives a bizarre analogy in which McDonald's likens their presence to the fruit-bearing African baobab tree, which, like McDonald's, is a "source of sustenance in the community."

Clumsy marketing? Almost certainly, but debate over the site ignited suddenly after a link to the site was posted to Fox Nation on August 20, where it attracted nearly unanimous vitriol from the 700+ comments. By August 23, 365Black was the second most-popular site on the social-networking site, Digg, and the link was being widely discussed on Twitter, where the effort quickly attracted the scorn of comedians Ze Frank and Aziz Ansari. Sharp-eyed commentators even noticed McDonald's had a second site targeted to the Asian community, one cringe-inducingly named MyInspirAsian.

McDonald's spokeswoman Julie Pottebaum said she was initially unaware of the controversy surrounding the site and did not offer an explanation for why the effort was suddenly attracting so much attention. In a statement to TIME, Neil Golden, McDonald's chief marketing officer, said the company was "proud to celebrate the diversity of our customers who reflect the diversity of our society" and that the website is a place where customers can "meet real people who's lives have been touched by McDonald's."

Social media consultant Muhammad Saleem says he wasn't surprised the site received a very different reception online. Saleem is the director of social media strategy for the Chicago Tribune's Chicago Now and was responsible for posting the McDonald's link to Digg. Saleem says McDonald's has never fared well in the social media space: While companies like Starbucks are constantly monitoring consumer feedback on outlets like Twitter, McDonald's remains largely invisible — and will likely continue to see its reputation suffer as a result.

"Even if the idea was a good one and truly was promoting black cultural heritage, it really does come off as manipulation and stereotyping," Saleem says. "It's part of a larger problem — McDonald's doesn't have the sort of brand loyalty and trust to be able to have this sort of campaign and have it be embraced."


wtf at the events page

Jim Cramer: Glenn Beck "A Nice Guy," Advertisers Will "All Come Back In The End"

Jim Cramer: Glenn Beck "A Nice Guy," Advertisers Will "All Come Back In The End" (VIDEO)

Jim Cramer defended Glenn Beck Monday, saying the controversial Fox News host is a "nice guy" and predicting that his boycotting advertisers "all come back in the end" (via TVNewser).

Beck's show has experienced an advertiser exodus over his comment on "Fox & Friends" that President Obama is "racist."

Cramer made his comments about Beck in a conversation with Erin Burnett about the advertising market for political talk shows.

Cramer added that Fox News parent News Corp won't be suffering as the advertisers have merely shifted their ad buys to other programs.
franklin sherman

Dont do this, we dont want her on OUR team. DEAR GOD NO.

In an interview with AM 1280 on Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann announced that she will have Rep. Ron Paul as her guest for a September town hall forum in St. Cloud.

“I’ll be doing another town hall up in the St. Cloud area in September and we’ll do that on monetary policy. Ron Paul is going to come in and we are going to host something on monetary policy,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann is a convert to the Ron Paul movement, sometimes attending the congressman’s weekly lunches.

“I especially want to speak to the 19- to 20-year olds so they can know what there future will be under this level of debt accumulation and spending,” she added about the forum. “They need to know their future. And so I’m bringing him in so we can have a discussion on monetary policy.”


Just, no. I know shes just trying to leverage the Campaign for Liberty to find some.. any support. But no. Just go away Bachmann. You do more to hurt us then to help us. I dont want you on my team, go away. Ew, I feel gross.

Democrats plan hundreds of reform rallies

Faced with a souring public mood on health care reform, Democrats and their supporters are launching a national grassroots push Wednesday to show lawmakers that the majority of Americans still support overhauling the system.

Reform supporters are planning to hold more than 500 events between Wednesday and when lawmakers return to Washington Sept. 8, ranging from neighborhood organized phone banks to professionally staffed rallies with hundreds of people.

The Democratic National Committee and its grassroots arm, Organizing for America, are helping to organize the effort along with the Health Care for America Now, a group pushing to create government-run insurance plan.

“In these last few weeks of recess we want to demonstrate the energy, passion and commitment that the American people have to health insurance reform so that when members return after Labor Day they know that they can turn their attention to getting this done because they have the backing of the American people,” said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

Supporters have their work cut out for them. Many lawmakers were thunderstruck over the August recess by the anger and outrage expressed by their constituents in town hall meetings across the country. And in poll after poll, support for reform has eroded throughout the month.

But Democrats and their allies insist that the majority of Americans still support reform and have organized the grassroots campaign to buck up lawmakers as they get ready to head back to Washington.

A health-insurance-reform-now bus will travel the country starting Wednesday and anchor events in 11 cities: Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, Des Moines, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Charlotte, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.

But the talk of broad health insurance reform does mean that progressives have backed off their push for a government-run insurance option.

“We want members of Congress to get back to work and pass reform that means something. We need affordable care. We need real insurance regulation. And we need a strong public health insurance option,” said HCAN spokeswoman Jacki Schechner. “It’s doable and we expect it to get done now.”

"But the talk of broad health insurance reform does mean that progressives have backed off their push for a government-run insurance option."

I'm sorry, but out of what orafice did they pull that little factoid? Frankly, if anything, we're seeing more of a push for a public health option from people, not less!


ETA:  For those who are interested in finding a local event, you can go here and search by zip code.

GOP says to Seniors: We're SO behind you, and we'll scare the hell out of you to prove it!

GOP Tees Up Medicare Manifesto

The Republican Party issued a new salvo in the health debate Monday with a "seniors' health care bill of rights" that opposed any moves to trim Medicare spending or limit end-of-life care to seniors.

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley yields the floor at a town-hall meeting Monday in Pocahontas, Iowa.
Douglas Belkin/The Wall Street Journal

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley yields the floor at a town-hall meeting Monday in Pocahontas, Iowa.

Intended as a political shot at President Barack Obama, the Republican National Committee manifesto marks a remarkable turnaround for a party that had once fought to trim the health program for the elderly and disabled, which last year cost taxpayers over $330 billion.

The Republican stance also underscores how tough it will be for Mr. Obama to find politically palatable savings to pay for new coverage while reining in spiraling health-care costs.

The Republicans said they aimed to "protect Medicare and not cut it in the name of health-care reform," in a statement and an accompanying op-ed written by RNC Chairman Michael Steele and published in Monday's Washington Post.

The party also vowed to oppose any Democratic effort to ration care or to insert the government between seniors and their doctors.
The Obama administration has repeatedly said it does not intend to ration care to seniors.

Congressional Democrats shot back at the Republican statement. "The Republicans are doing nothing but saying 'No' and spreading lies," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), on a conference call with reporters sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.
The Republicans are hoping to tap into unease among seniors. Recent polls have shown that support for sweeping health-care changes is ebbing most rapidly among Americans over the age of 65.

At the same time, voters are expressing disenchantment with Republican positions. In an NBC News poll released last week, 62% of respondents -- and 42% of Republicans -- disapproved of how congressional Republicans were handling the health-care issue.

Collapse )



I've just realized who the GOP reminds me of.  You know that movie, where this girl is being stalked by someone, and she's afraid to be alone so she she calls her boyfriend.....and then you find out it's been the boyfriend all along who was stalking her just so she'd cling to him out of fear of this unknown "stalker"?

So yeah, the GOP is basically the killer from the movie Scream, and Democrats are all of the red herring "suspects" that you are misled into thinking might be the killer instead.

(no subject)

Dutch bid to thwart young sailor

Sailor Laura Dekker says she wants to 'live freely'

Social workers in the Netherlands have taken legal action to try to stop a 13-year-old girl from sailing around the world on her own.

They want Laura Dekker to be made a ward of court, so that her parents, who support her plans, temporarily lose the right to make decisions about her.

Laura's father, Dick Dekker, has had a request for her to miss two years of school turned down.

Laura had a yacht by the age of six and began sailing solo when she was 10.

"Since I was 10 years old, I've known that I would like to sail around the world," she told Dutch television.

"I want simply to learn about the world and to live freely."

'More vulnerable'?

The current record is held by American Zac Sunderland, who completed the 45,000km (28,000-mile) voyage at the age of 17, after 13 months at sea.

Miss Dekker, who was reportedly born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a seven-year world trip, plans to break that record.

"My parents always knew it was a dream of mine to do this," she is reported to have told a children's TV programme.

"And I want to do it while I'm still young, so I can break the record."

The trip, on an 8.3m-long yacht called Guppy, would be paid for by sponsorship, AFP reports.

Local media report that the girl spent seven weeks sailing alone at the age of 11.

But Junior Education Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt-Vliegenthart recently told parliament: "A solo voyage around the world would not be in the best interests of the child."

Experienced sailors have also highlighted the risks Miss Dekker might face if she attempts to sail single-handedly around the globe.

"When she's got a broken mast on heavy seas, can a girl make herself safe again? I can't see it happening," Bernt Folmer, director of the Enkhuizen School of Seamanship, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

"You're much more vulnerable on your own than you are with other people," he added.

The court is due to make a ruling this week.


To a certain extent I understand what they're saying - a girl out by herself could run into all sorts of trouble of the unseemly sort - but this is also fierce and fantastic and I want her to do it. Maybe they can court order her some self defense lessons along the way. :)

McDonald's Japan angers NJs nationwide with "Mr. James"

Not Everyone Is Lovin' Japan's New McDonald's Mascot

By Coco Masters / Tokyo Monday, Aug. 24, 2009

Mr. James is lovin' being back in Japan. The exuberantly geeky American mascot of McDonald's Japan latest ad campaign oohs and aahs over fireworks. His smile beams from his cardboard cutouts outside McDonald's establishments across the country.

But a growing number of non-Japanese who live in Japan are decidedly not lovin' Mr. James. In a country known for its small foreign-born population — only 1.5% of 127 million — and restrictive immigration and naturalization policies, the new envoy for McDonald's Japan is creating a stir among non-Japanese residents. (See the Superbowl's best commercials.)

A doppelgänger of Steve Carell's 40-year-old virgin with glasses, Mr. James is a character invented by Japanese advertising behemoth Dentsu and McDonald's Japan for its new burger line — the "Nippon All Stars" — campaign. The purpose of the campaign, running Aug. 10 to Nov. 5, is to promote four burgers available only in Japan. On his blog, found on the McDonald's Japan website, Mr. James describes himself as a 43-year-old Japanophile born in Ohio with a penchant for travel, who, when particularly excited, generously treats people he doesn't even know. (That seems to be a plug for the $1,000 cash prizes for 1,000 people who submit photos of Mr. James or people imitating Mr. James.)

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Time Magazine and Debito's Blog

Bill Maher says Bill O'Reilly is a "Doody face" & Obama should stop "dicking around" on health care

Maher says of the birthers, "I will show you Barack Obama's birth certificate if you will show me Sarah Palin's high school diploma."  LOL!

Maher on Obama, "When the President speaks, English teachers don't cry now."

Maher on how Obama should marry his good ideas with Bush's attitude on getting his agenda passed, "He should wake up tomorrow and say, 'Jesus told me to fix health care.'"

Today is National "Go Topless" Day. Booty lovers dismayed and shunned.

A Topless Day Parade was held to celebrate National Go-Topless Day in Venice Beach. "Free your breast, Free your mind" was chanted as people marched from Navy St. down the Venice boardwalk to Muscle Beach. The demonstrators believe it is a woman's constitutional right to equality, to be topless. Women are free in other countries to make this choice without consequences, attention or humiliation.

Men joined in to show their support by wearing bras or bathing suit tops wanting women to have the same rights that they receive.

The demonstration was held at Venice Beach because during the mid-70's this was once the most popular "Bare it all Beaches" in Los Angeles County. Now Public nudity is illegal at all Los Angeles county beaches.

This peaceful parade and demonstration was supported by local law enforcement and fire department, who looked happy to be on duty! This falls into the "Only in California" category!

All women were totally covered-up by "pasties" that looked identical to the female anatomy they were covering! Clever but making for a most challenging report to cover .. .. editing was essential!


(no subject)

Stop Panicking About Obama

The verdict on President Obama is already in and it's not a pretty one: he's bungled health care. The economy is going nowhere. The Republicans are making a comeback. And it's all Obama's fault. If he had only made the case for fundamental change, as Paul Krugman argues in today's New York Times, the American people wouldn't be suspicious of big government. Obama is too passive, too read to compromise, naive, getting rolled by the right. In short, he's squandering the promise of his presidency.

Baloney. The idea seems to be that Obama can wave a magic wand and get Congress to cooperate and, in a flash, efface decades of anti-government rhetoric. He can't. What he can do is hew to a middle course, persuade the Democrats against their instincts for self-immolation that a compromise bill would be best, and watch as the radical right pushes the GOP even further into the breakdown lane.

By the end of this year, Obama will be in a very strong position. Congress will pass a health care bill -- not a perfect one, to put it mildly, but it will be the first step toward creating comprehensive coverage. Obama will be able to claim it as a big win, as will congressional Democrats.

Then there's the economy. Unemployment will remain high, but Obama will be able to point to a revival, not just in the stock market, but also in jobs creation. With a reviving economy, the Democrats will be in an impregnable position by the 2010 midterm elections. The Republicans who are counting on an off-year for the Democrats should think again.

What about foreign policy? Obama will have greatly curtailed the American presence in Iraq. Within a year, it will also become clear whether his approach to Afghanistan -- upping the number of troops -- is working. In addition, Pakistan seems to be stabilizing. Both would count as big wins for Obama.

Despite all the caterwauling about Obama, then, he remains firmly on course to become one of the most important Democratic presidents in history. It's always tempting to demand more, to see betrayal of the cause. It's what conservatives have been doing for decades, as they declared that even George W. Bush wasn't conservative enough.

There is no reason to panic about Obama. His sobriety and sound judgment are his greatest assets. So far, the most significant thing about Obama isn't that he hasn't accomplished more, but how successful his presidency has already been.

Politic ~ Atlas Fellates
  • mzflux

Little late but since we're now embracing our new Lolbertarian residents, I thought it appropriate

Daily Buzzkills: Ayn Rand (and Charlize Theron) will save us all

By Sean ONeal July 21, 2009

It’s almost quitting time, which means you’re mere moments away from shrugging off the working world and heading to hearth and home. But before you go whistling down the sunny side of the street, shoulders lightening under the lengthening shadows of another day well spent, we have some bad news for you, wrapped up in a last-minute memo we call Daily Buzzkills.

As our Most Exalted Leader Barack Obama tightens his sinister stranglehold on the nation’s economy, forcing America’s lashed and mewling innovators to bend like browbeaten willows before the all-encompassing might of his regulatory fist, and feeding ravenously on all of their hard-earned farthings only to poop out great lumps of communist coal to put in everyone’s stocking this Christmas, many conservatives have taken refuge in their scriptures. No, not that socialist screed The Bible. We're talking about the capitalist stroke-books of Ayn Rand, the thinking asshole’s author. In the wee hours of the morning, when they’re all chasing away nightmares of the federal boogeyman coming to take away their money and give it to heroin addicts who want to create government-subsidized drum circles, they hide under their goose down bedcovers with their rumpled photos of Rand—looking very “kitten with zero tolerance for charities” in her alluring dollar-sign pendant—and weep great, fat, Republican tears about the way no one listened to her when they had the chance. “If only someone had made Atlas Shrugged into a film,” they blubber, “the bailouts never would have happened.”

Weep no more, bruised and battered libertarians: After 37 years of being shot down by rational people who see the book as a stilted and masturbatory work suitable only for college freshmen who haven’t figured out that, if everyone did exactly what they wanted all the time, civilization would collapse on itself—and by the way, dudes, most ladies don’t enjoy being raped into submission, even by rugged industrialists—your sticky dreams of turning Rand’s rambling screed about the values of selfishness and laissez-fare capitalism into a brutally dull, unwatchable movie are about to become a reality! We know: You’ve heard all this before. In fact, not long ago, self-avowed Rand fanatic Angelina Jolie was attached to the film, but someone must have gently taken her aside and explained that it’s hard to be both an objectivist and staunch opponent of collectivism when you’re also asking people to give all their money to Third World countries or working closely with those evil cooperation-lovers at the UN— which basically amounts to criminal activity amongst the book’s more fervent fans. Thankfully those acolytes have a brand new, Teutonically ideal actress to provide the integrity-filled bodice of economically principled sexpot Dagny Taggart in Charlize Theron, and all will soon be right with the world.

Of course, there’s one thing that’s been standing in the way of an Atlas Shrugged film all these years: Its major themes are both reactionary and really fucking, like, insultingly stupid. Ha ha, no, just kidding. No, it’s the pervasive fear that all of Rand’s precious, life-changing, hippie-evaporating word-nuggets would never survive the transition to celluloid in the hands of those Hollywood jackals, who would most likely leave all of the weightier lessons on the cutting room floor in favor of a more facile, Fight Club-esque reading about individualism in the face of corporations and lots and lots of rough sex scenes—which is in there, yeah, but that’s not, like, the point. Fortunately, Theron is all over that one, already worrying aloud that a movie would lose the “nuances” of the novel—you know, like the scene where the book’s mythical hero of both engineering and “keeping it real” John Galt stands in a ditch and barfs out a 70-page speech about the awesomeness of objectivism—and making plans to develop Atlas not into a stultifying three-hour-plus feature film, but rather an epic miniseries on Lionsgate’s upcoming pay-cable network, Epix. Oh, yay. That should get every last drop of the nuance, all right.

Because hey, what better time than the Greatest Recession to sing an insufferably long hosanna to self-interest—to preach the gospel of laissez-fare capitalism, just when it was most recently proven to be so fucked in the head that even No. 1 Ayn Rand Fanboy Alan Greenspan seemed taken aback that he’d ever believed in it? And just because certain unscrupulous loose cannons took “rational self-interest” to its natural conclusion, and gave Rand’s beloved free markets a violent rogering worthy of one of her heroines, regardless of the cost to “looters,” “moochers,” and other “parasites,” it doesn’t mean that selfishness can’t work as a philosophy, right? Oh, except that Rand wrote in a weird, superficial bubble where every character was either a brilliantly creative, brazenly individualistic industrialist with a lean physique and strong jaw-line; an oily, vampiric, socialist-in-disguise; or a clueless sheep caught in the middle—and guess which one all the fans of Rand’s books tend to identify with? Unfortunately, you don’t see a whole lot of John Galts and Howard Roarks out there; just a bunch of fat, greedy corporate fucks chasing short-term profits to the detriment of everyone, then willingly getting in line for the very same big government intervention they used to bloviate about at frat parties when they were trying to get laid. (But, of course, somebody else is already making that movie.)

But whatever! It’s all totally prescient because Rand called this whole “government intervention” thing—and Charlize Theron is pretty, also; don’t forget that—and so unsuspecting people will be excited to see it, and then they’ll be all like, “Man, what if the smart people stopped creating things because the government keeps bailing the not-so-smart people out? That would totally suck. And what if someone created a magical energy-making machine, but then Al Gore wouldn’t let us use it because its carbon footprint was too big? That would suck as well. Who is John Galt??!” And then finally, everyone will come around to objectivism, and the government will shut its dollar-spewing piehole, and we can all finally get back to the business of making money again! Thank God (except don’t, because according to Rand, he’s not good for business either)!

Cheney Accuses Obama Of Politicizing Justice Department

In a statement Monday evening, former Vice President Dick Cheney accused the Obama White House of politicizing the Justice Department and insisted that a new report on interrogation policies by the CIA proved the efficacy of torture.

Neither statement was correct.


Collapse )

Indeed, as Spencer Ackerman notes at the Washington Independent, the information gathered from 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was largely historical in nature -- including names from his "rolodex." The terrorist plots that these detainees detailed while under interrogation were largely aspirational, not operational.

"This Review did not uncover any evidence that these plots were imminent," read the IG report.

Similar reports followed the waterboarding of two other detainees. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded "at least 83 times during August 2002." During the next eight months, "he provided information" for additional intelligence reports. But the IG report notes that "it is not possible to say definitively that the waterboard is the reason for Abu Zubaydah's increased production."

With respect to another detainee, Al-Nashiri, the IG report notes that he was subjected to "additional EITs but not the waterboard," after which he was determined to be "compliant."



Update on Caster Semenya

New twist in Semenya gender saga

By Gordon Farquhar
BBC sports news correspondent

Tests have revealed Caster Semenya's testosterone level to be three times higher than those normally expected in a female sample, BBC Sport understands.

Analysis prior to the World Athletics Championships and the 18-year-old's big improvement prompted calls for a gender test from the sport's governing body.

It was made public only hours before the South African, who has been backed by her nation, won the 800m in Berlin.

Collapse )

- More videos and quotes embedded at the source

Michael Steele: VA Encouraging Vets To Commit Suicide (VIDEO)

Michael Steele is running a bit late to the latest "Let's Frighten The Villagers With Lies" party, but, as TPM's Rachel Slajda points out, he's plunging in "feet first." At issue is the so-called "death book," which is actually a pamphlet called "Your Life, Your Choices: Planning for Future Medical Decisions." If the pamphlet very explicitly does NOT attempt to shepherd veterans in the direction of assisted suicide. Naturally, Steele was on Fox News this morning, intent on making everyone to think the opposite:
"And if you want an example of bad public policy, just look at the situation with our veterans, when you have a manual out there telling our veterans stuff like, 'are you really of value to your community,' you know, encouraging them to commit suicide. I mean, this is crazy coming from the government, and this is exactly what concerns people and puts them in fear of what the government control of health care will look like.'

Collapse )Source

(no subject)

They have dismissed him, attempted to silence him and threatened him with arrest.

But Iran's Islamic hardliners so far have failed to stifle opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi's claims that post-election detainees have been abused -- some even raped -- behind bars.

Actually, the 72-year-old cleric has grown increasingly defiant in recent weeks. His latest move: going public with a first-hand account from a detainee who says he was raped in a Tehran prison.

"I was in prison, blindfolded and tied down. They beat me almost to death and did the most despicable thing to me, which is rejected even by all infidels and idol worshipers and I only had the courage to make Mr. Karrubi aware of this," the unidentified male says in a statement posted Monday on Karrubi's party Web site.

Collapse )

  • dwer

Need a hanky?

South Carolina state house Republicans are meeting this weekend to discuss “what it would take to force the Republican governor out and how the process would work.” Ever since acknowledging his extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, Gov. Mark Sanford has been under fire for possibly violating state law by flying in expensive business-class seats. Sanford has thus far refused to resign from office, forcing state Republicans to consider alternative means:

House Speaker Pro Tempore Harry Cato of Travelers Rest said he expects impeachment to “dominate” discussion at this weekend’s annual House GOP Caucus retreat in Myrtle Beach. […]

“I think just because of the general nature of how this outing always works, it’s usually dominated by one or two issues and I think impeachment will be the dominant issue,” he said.

“He left the state without anyone knowing where he was,” state Rep. Greg Delleney said, adding, “That was a dereliction of duty as far as I was concerned.” The state Constitution allows officials to be impeached for “serious crimes or serious misconduct in office.”

Source wants to know where you put the receipts.
&#39; jules
  • schmiss

Good ol' Shep.

Fox's Smith suggests viewers better off Googling "reconciliation" than following his network's coverage of it

"Part of the discussion today was whether to use reconciliation, the Democrats might use reconciliation to push this through. You can get down in the weeds on this, but the truth is Republicans used it in 2001, 2003, and 2005 to pass the then-President George Bush's tax cuts, Democrats were all up in arms over it at the time, they called it trickery but Senator Judd Gregg got on the floor of the Senate and said the following: 'Reconciliation is a rule of the senate that has been used before for purposes exactly like this on numerous occasions.' He went on to say, 'Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don't think so. The point, of course, is this: if you have fifty-one votes for your position, you win.' And under reconciliation which is traditionally used in the budget process and for deficits and all the rest, if they were to take health care and put it under reconciliation, *shrugs* they could do that."

Shep Smith: "If you're interested in this matter of reconciliation, how it's been used in the past, where it fits into the constitution and all the rest - you should go to Google and Google it. There are a lot of quotes, probably from your senator or your representative."

Carl Cameron: "Or talk to us! :D"

Shep Smith: "Oh yeah, talk to us, but Google it! Do your own research! It's too important to... just sort of... listen to me about. That's for sure."

  • cirisse

Birthers Want To See Obama's Penis

Birthers have now decided that what makes a person a true, blue, red-blooded American is not the color of your complexion but how much foreskin you have. Commenters (and circumcised Americans) over at Free Republic struck on a revelation yesterday: if Barack Obama has not been circumcised, then he must not have been born in the United States. Why? Because all of their boys were circumcised.

Collapse )


Yeah show us your penis mylaptopisevil Obama!

Republicans: Guardians of Social Security and Medicare

The GOP and Rush Limbaugh are attacking projected effective Social Security benefit cuts (because the cost of living has supposedly gone down due to the recession - LOLOLOL 4ever) over the next two years and are also promising to buttress & safeguard Medicare. In other news, the world has turned upside down.

GOP Unveils Latest Salvo In Health Reform Battle: Seniors' Bill Of Rights

Aug 25, 2009

Republicans unveiled what they've termed the "Health Care Bill of Right for Seniors" Monday in an attempt to tailor their messages to the elderly, The Washington Post reports.

"The Republican National Committee's 'bill of rights' includes calls to 'protect Medicare,' 'prohibit efforts to ration health care based on age' and 'ensure seniors can keep their current coverage.' The list does not represent an actual reform proposal -- congressional GOP leaders have not introduced a plan of their own -- but rather a series of things Republicans think reform should not do."


RUSH LIMBAUGH: You seasoned citizens out there, in addition to the fact that the Obama administration has plans for you called Cash for Caskets, get this. "Millions of older people face shrinking Social Security checks next year. The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won't be a lost-of-living adjustment for the next two years.

Collapse )

Girls talk about sex? MAH GOD.

Those who still think young women's diaries are full of blushing and crushes will be shocked by Erika Moen's online journal. DAR! A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary (found at is a webcomic that can be raw, ribald, and revelatory. The strips are always insightful and funny, although firmly adult. Moen isn't afraid to cover sexuality, bodily functions, and all the complications of gender relations, often in hilarious ways. The nudity is unusual in that it's not prurient but realistic and unashamed. In the introduction to her recent book collection, she sums up her recent history as a lesbian who fell in love with a guy, but she prefers to self-identify as "queer" or, more amusingly, "an immature pervert."

Collapse )

Source. Yeah, it's not too political but hey, always good to see another strong writer/artist gal out there, and she deserves some acknowledgement!

Immigration reform lurks on the agenda.

Is Now the Right Time for Immigration Reform?
Anis Shivani says no.
Trying to reform immigration now, less than a year after the xenophobes in charge of Washington have been booted out, and while the racist rhetoric of Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh hasn't yet cooled down, is like trying to find a permanent fix to the "marriage crisis" by adopting some sort of comprehensive marriage legislation at the height of the gay marriage scare.
[Previous] proposals presumed that the immigrant, by having been present a substantial period of time in the U.S. (about four to five years) and having demonstrated his moral character, had already "earned" legalization. But now the idea of "earned" has been turned on its head; the new punitive approach would make even residents of 10, 20, or 30 years' standing begin all over again, as if they had just arrived and had no roots worth speaking of. They would be treated, in every respect, far worse than anyone without a day of presence on U.S. soil. Such an approach has never been part of our traditional approach to immigration.

I recommend this whole article. It's scary that Chuck "champion of the middle class" Schumer's going this way.
Christian Bale

UK Students Strive To Match Dumb US Students

GCSE pupils asked to name illegal drug: New dumbing-down row over this year's exams

Pupils taking this year's GCSE science exams were awarded marks for simply being able to name an illegal drug.

And those taking languages were allowed to take a cue card to prompt them in their oral tests.

The latest revelations are sure to intensify the debate over the 'dumbing down' of the exam system.

Collapse )

Thousands sign Downing St petition demanding apology for Alan Turing

More than 4,800 people have signed a petition calling on the government to apologise for the way in which gay computing genius Alan Turing was treated during his lifetime.

Professor Richard Dawkins has joined the calls for the government to apologise to Mr Turing, who committed suicide after being jailed for homosexuality.

In his 2008 work The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, Professor Dawkins paid tribute to the mathematician.

"Turing arguably made a greater contribution to defeating the Nazis than Eisenhower or Churchill," he wrote.

"Thanks to Turing and his 'Ultra' colleagues at Bletchley Park, Allied generals in the field were consistently, over long periods of the war, privy to detailed German plans before the German generals had time to implement them.

"After the war, when Turing's role was no longer top-secret, he should have been knighted and fêted as a saviour of his nation.

"Instead, this gentle, stammering, eccentric genius was destroyed, for a 'crime', committed in private, which harmed nobody."

Programmer John Graham-Cumming has set up an online petition to call for a government apology to Turing for his prosecution.

It reads:

"Alan Turing was the greatest computer scientist ever born in Britain.

"He laid the foundations of computing, helped break the Nazi Enigma code and told us how to tell whether a machine could think.

"He was also gay.

"He was prosecuted for being gay, chemically castrated as a 'cure', and took his own life, aged 41.

"The British Government should apologise to Alan Turing for his treatment and recognise that his work created much of the world we live in and saved us from Nazi Germany.

"An apology would recognise the tragic consequences of prejudice that ended this man's life and career."

The petition will be open for signatures until January.

Turing was awarded an OBE in 1945 for his wartime services to the Foreign Office. He has received many posthumous awards.

The computing world's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, given each year by the Association for Computing Machinery, has been called the Turing Award since 1966.

To sign the petition, click here.

Source: Pink News

It's a nice gesture and all, and Turing is one of my heroes, but I dunno... it seems pointless. The amount the guy did for computer science and the story behind his death are already well-known after all - a 55-years-too-late apology isn't going to change what was done to him. Anyway~


Rush Limbaugh + Penises = Vomit

Rush Limbaugh Disses Jay-Z, Warns That Obama Intends To Harm America's Penises

So, this happened: Jay-Z apparently name-checked Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly in a recently-leaked track, "Off That", from The Blueprint 3.

Feeling no remorse, feeling like his hand was forced, Rush responded on his old-timey radio show today, saying something about penises. Mad flow!


IMBAUGH: I have been mentioned in a rap song by the rapper Jay-Z. Got a new song out there, what's the name of the song? Don't know what the name of the song is, new song out mentions me and the moderate Bill O'Reilly.

JAY-Z [audio clip]: Black vs. white my nigga, we off that. Please tell Bill O'Reilly to fall back. Tell Rush Limbaugh to get off my balls, it's 2010 not 1864. Yeah we come so far. How's that for a mix, got a black president, got green presidents.

LIMBAUGH: Is this - Snerdly, mark a new development in my career, to be singled out in a rap song by the famous rapper Jay-Z? I guess it is, I guess it's - as far as I know, I've never been mentioned in a rap song by anybody. I guess it means I made it, I'm now in a rap tune by the famous rapper Jay-Z. "Tell Rush Limbaugh to get off my balls, tell Bill O'Reilly to fall back." I would remind the rapper Jay-Z, Mr. Z, it is President Obama that wants to mandate circumcision. We had that yesterday, and that means if anybody - if we need to save our penises from anybody, it's Obama. I did not know I was on anybody's balls either. I'm happy to know that they think I am though. But I didn't - I didn't actually know that I was.

How did Limbaugh not realize he was on people's balls? And what's this junk about Bill O'Reilly being a "moderate?" Anyway, Noel Gallagher came a lot harder than Limbaugh. That's just a fact.

O'Reilly also responded Monday night to Jay-Z's name-checking, playing the song during his "Reality Check" segment and snapping:

"A regular Otis Redding, isn't he?"
daria caterpillar

(no subject)

Gaddafi not welcome

Englewood - When Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi comes to the United Nations next month, he wants to pitch his special air-conditioned tent on a lawn in New Jersey, a proposal that has outraged neighbours and added insult to injury in a state that lost 33 residents in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Residents of the New York City suburb are riled by reports that Gaddafi may stay in a Bedouin tent on a Libyan-owned estate there and would prefer that he set up shop elsewhere, said Rep Steve Rothman, whose congressional district includes Englewood.

"Gaddafi is a dangerous dictator whose hands are covered with the blood of Americans and our allies," Rothman said, promising there would be "hell to pay" if the State Department violated a deal barring the dictator from staying at the Libyan estate.

Department officials said on Monday that no decision has been made on where Gaddafi will set up shop.

A bomb placed by Libyan intelligence blew Flight 103 out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing all 259 people aboard and another 11 on the ground. Gaddafi gave the cancer-stricken architect of that attack a hero's welcome last week after he was given compassionate release from a Scottish prison.

Security concerns

Rothman was mayor of Englewood 26 years ago when the city learned the Libyan mission to the United Nations had bought the estate. Local officials worked out a deal with the State Department limiting its use to the recreational activities by the ambassador and his family, Rothman said. The Libyans don't pay taxes on it.

Gaddafi's upcoming UN appearance culminates a years-long effort to rehabilitate the Libyan strongman's international image, which has included denouncing weapons of mass destruction. He has ruled the oil-rich North African nation since 1969.

"This is what happens when you have the path of appeasement," Susan Cohen, a resident of Cape May Court House whose 20-year-old daughter died in the Pan Am bombing. "He's getting everything he wants, and I guess that includes a trip to the state of New Jersey, which certainly doesn't need this."

In Washington, US officials said Englewood was one option the Libyans were looking at to pitch the tent after their request to set it up in New York's Central Park had been denied because of logistics and security concerns.

Possible site

"We have been talking to the UN about this issue, we've been talking to the New York City authorities about the issue of where Mr Gaddafi is going to stay, but no decisions have been made," State spokesperson Ian Kelly said on Monday. "No decision has been made about where anybody's going to pitch a tent."

Nicole DiCocco, spokesperson for the Libyan Embassy in Washington, confirmed that the Englewood estate is a possible site for Gaddafi to stay. She said he would use the tent for entertainment, not live in it, but that it hasn't been confirmed where he'll actually stay.

Sen Frank Lautenberg has asked the State Department to limit Gaddafi's travel in the US to the UN headquarters district.


Progressive Caucus Finds Itself In A Strange Place: Power

Progressive Caucus Finds Itself In A Strange Place: Power

The White House expressed surprise last week that the "left of the left" had clung so forcefully to the public insurance option as a must-have element of health care reform. Some old hands in the administration were more likely surprised by the simple fact that, at this late stage, they still have to deal with progressives in Congress.

And who can blame them?

"We're the group that speaks to the righteousness of an issue, [but] inevitably the decisions about how that issue's going to be addressed are conducted somewhere else," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), describing the traditional fecklessness of progressives in Congress. "The fact that we have stuck to our guns about the public option has surprised people."

A majority of the 81 Congressional Progressive Caucus members of the House have vowed to oppose any health care bill that does not include a "robust public option." That threat has kept it alive. With 256 seats in the House and 218 needed to pass a bill, Democrats simply can't move health care reform on their own without progressive caucus support.

The question facing the White House and congressional leadership: Just how serious are they? Interviews with CPC leaders and a look at the group's behavior suggest that leadership would be well advised to consider the threat real.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has repeatedly acknowledged the reality that the progressives can block the bill. In June, she was asked by HuffPost if she would allow health care reform without a public option to pass the House.

"It's not a question of allow. It wouldn't have the votes," she said. When the White House went squishy last week on the public option ("not essential"/"one sliver"/"a piece"), Pelosi returned to the basic calculus. "There's no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option," she said.

The strong House stand promises an end to the lower chamber's traditional role of Senate spectator - where the wise "centrists" in the august body craft compromise legislation and present it to the House as a fait accomplis.

Until recently, reporters on Capitol Hill almost never found themselves typing the words "Congressional Progressive Caucus."

Raúl Grijalva's honed his politics in the Arizona desert, where he organized on behalf of the creation of community health centers.

"A good community organizer develops a high degree of codependency," said Grijalva. "You're codependent on the people you're working with. You're codependent on other organizations to help you. You're codependent on other members of the leadership team to do their part and so you learn to work both in the background and in front."

In March, Grijalva did something unusual for the progressive caucus: he began organizing. Caucus leadership sent a questionnaire asking members if they would be willing to oppose any health care bill that didn't include a public option. A majority said they would.

Attendance at caucus meetings - which had dipped to just a handful of members - began rising as the group hashed out what message to deliver to House leadership.

"I really felt that we needed to be righteous about the things that we believe in, but we also needed to practice the craft a little better," said Grijalva. "As a bloc we were getting beaten to the punch all the time."
Collapse )

McCain Booed By Arizonans For Saying Obama Respects Constitution (VIDEO)

McCain Booed By Arizonans For Saying Obama Respects Constitution (VIDEO)

Senator John McCain, (R-Ariz.) found himself drowned out by boos and hisses on Tuesday after insisting to an otherwise friendly home-state crowd that President Barack Obama respects the Constitution.

In a scene reminiscent of a defining moment of the presidential campaign -- when the Arizona Republican painfully corrected a woman who insisted that Obama was a Muslim -- McCain told the hyper-partisan audience that the president deserved the nation's respect even if his policies had them scared.

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute," he told the crowd in Sun City, Airzona. "He is sincere in his beliefs, we just happen to disagree. And he is the president. And let's be respectful."

A questioner had asked whether Obama realized that the spending priorities his administration is pursuing are "against the Constitution."

"Doesn't he know that we still live under a Constitution?" the attendee asked.

"I'm sure that he does," McCain responded. The crowd, thinking the response was a joke, laughed along.

"No, no. I am serious. I am sure that he does and I'm sure he respects the Constitution," said McCain.

Shouts of "No" came from the crowd.

"I really do," McCain pleaded. "I am absolutely convinced of it. I just believe, my friends, that there is a fundamental difference in philosophy and about the role of government. That is why we have competition for public office and competition amongst parties, and competition about different ideas and vision for the future of America. I'm convinced the president is absolutely sincere in his beliefs."

Later in the question-and-answer session, McCain would again face moderately hostile receptions for insisting that Republicans couldn't just "nuke" health care reform, but actually had an obligation to get reform passed. He also was booed for insisting that the prison at Guantanamo Bay needed to be shut down.

Making Sense of the Birther-Mooslim-Socialized-Medicine-Death-Panels-Penis-Protector's Mind

Lies of Mass Destruction
The same skewed thinking that supports a Saddam-9/11 link explains the power of health-care myths.

Not being a complete idiot (contrary to the assertion of many readers I've been hearing from), I was not exactly surprised at the e-mails I got in response to my story analyzing why the myths about health-care reform—even the totally loony ones, like death panels—have gained such traction. One retired military officer called me "nothing more than an 'Obama Zombie' that has lost touch with reality," while a housewife sweetly suggested that I sign up for "socialistic medicine" and die, the sooner the better. (My kids get upset when people wish me dead, but hey, they'll survive.) But now I think I understand people who believe the health-care lies—and the Obama-was-born-in-Kenya lie—even better than when I wrote that piece.

Some people form and cling to false beliefs about health-care reform (or Obama's citizenship) despite overwhelming evidence thanks to a mental phenomenon called motivated reasoning, says sociologist Steven Hoffman, visiting assistant professor at the University at Buffalo. "Rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief," he says, "people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe." And God knows, in the Internet age there is no dearth of sources to confirm even the most ludicrous claims (my favorite being that the moon landings were faked). "For the most part," says Hoffman, "people completely ignore contrary information" and are able to "develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information."

His conclusions arise from a study he and six colleagues conducted. They were looking at the well-known phenomenon of Americans believing that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Some people, mostly liberals, have blamed that on false information and innuendo spread by the Bush administration and its GOP allies (by former members of the Bush White House, too, as recently as this past March). (As Dick Cheney said in June, suspicion of a link "turned out not to be true.") But the researchers think another force is at work. In a paper to be published in the September issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry (you have to subscribe to the journal to read the full paper, but the authors kindly posted it on their Web site here), they argue that some Americans believe the Saddam-9/11 link because it "made sense of the administration's decision to go to war against Iraq . . . [T]he fact of the war led to a search for a justification for it, which led them to infer the existence of ties between Iraq and 9/11," they write.
Collapse )

So in other words these idiots are hard core believers of "Truthiness"

East Africa: 'Kenya and Ethiopia Have Killed Cross Country'

Berlin — It is now emerging that the domination of cross country running by Kenya and Ethiopia is ultimately killing the sport.

At their council meeting held on the fringes of the World Championships in Athletics here, the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled that the World Cross Country Championships will now be held once every two years rather than annually.

The IAAF council members argued that this would allow the continents to organise continental championships on the alternate years.

But the Daily Nation established on Sunday that Kenya and Ethiopia have dominated the discipline so much that European television interest in the sport has taken a nosedive.

"The World Cross Country championships have become not only an African affair but an East African affair, and these days you don't even get athletes from West Africa competing," IAAF president Lamine Diack said when confronted by the Daily Nation at the Berlin Intercontinental Hotel. "Even the Kenyan delegates at our meeting agreed that East Africa's dominance was killing the sport."

Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat sits on the IAAF Council while AK secretary, David Okeyo, is in the IAAF's cross country commission.

Gianni Merlo, the Italian president of the International Sports Press Association, agreed with the IAAF supreme, saying European countries were no longer interested in competing for the minor positions at the World Cross Country Championships.

Collapse )