August 31st, 2009


GOP Rep. Behind "Great White Hope" Remark Voted For Bill With Same Phrase

GOP Rep. Behind "Great White Hope" Remark Voted For Bill With Same Phrase

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) took a bit of heat a few weeks ago for suggesting the GOP needed a "great white hope" to take on President Barack Obama in the next election.

The Kansas Republican backtracked from her remarks soon thereafter, insisting that she hadn't really understood the racial implications of the statement.

Alas, The Ottawa (Kans.) Herald finds one reason to doubt Jenkins's excuse. A month ago, the freshman lawmaker supported a resolution that included the very phrase "great white hope" in a historical context that made clear its origin.

In late July, the House of Representatives passed, by unanimous consent, a measure urging the president to pardon heavyweight champion boxer Jack Johnson, whose career brought him success in the ring and racist vitriol outside of it. Included in the resolution, which passed on July 29, was the following phrase:

"Whereas the victory by Jack Johnson over Tommy Burns prompted a search for a White boxer who could beat Jack Johnson, a recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the 'great white hope.'"

For sports historical junkies: Johnson had to wait years to get a shot at the heavyweight title, because the top-ranked white boxers refused to fight him. Once he got the chance and defeated Burns, the boxing world went on a frantic search to find the "great white hope" to take back the title.

As Media Matters Action Network points out, one of those "great white hopes" was a boxer named Jess Willard, who actually lived just 27 miles from Jenkins' hometown of Holton, Kansas.

Johnson's fall would ultimately come when he took the gloves off. The target of racist violence, he was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act against "transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes."

Blackwater Tapped Foreigners For Secret CIA Program. Shhh... Is a Sekret, Dont Tell Anyone...

Blackwater Tapped Foreigners For Secret CIA Program

When the CIA revived a plan to kill or capture terrorists in 2004, the agency turned to the well-connected security company then known as Blackwater USA.

With Blackwater's lucrative government security work and contacts arrayed in hot spots around the world, company officials offered the services of foreigners supposedly skilled at tracking terrorists in lawless regions and countries where the CIA had no working relationships with the government.

Blackwater told the CIA that it "could put people on the ground to provide the surveillance and support – all of the things you need to conduct an operation," a former senior CIA official familiar with the secret program told The Associated Press.

But the CIA's use of the private contractor as part of its now-abandoned plan to dispatch death squads skirted concerns now re-emerging with recent disclosures about Blackwater's role.

The former senior CIA official said he had doubts during his tenure about whether Blackwater's foreign recruits had mastered the necessary skills to pull off such a high-stakes operation. Blackwater's later hiring of several senior CIA officials who were involved in or aware of the secret program, including one of the men who ran the operation, showed the blurred lines of using a private contractor for such a highly classified and dangerous project.

While Blackwater won the government's confidence by handling security and training operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2004 decision by CIA officials to entrust the North Carolina-based company with such a sensitive overseas operation struck some former agency officials as highly unusual.

"The question remains: Why do we need Blackwater?" said Charles Faddis, a former department chief at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center who retired in 2008 and was not involved in the secret program. "I remain mystified. This is quintessential CIA work. You wonder what it means that the CIA has to rely on Blackwater? Why are we still funding the CIA?"

The former senior CIA official who had knowledge of the program explained that "you wouldn't want to have American fingerprints on it."
Collapse )

GOP Candidate is a Bastard. Yeah, I Know... Bear, woods, Pope... etc...

'89 Thesis A Different Side of McDonnell

Va. GOP Candidate Wrote on Women, Marriage and Gays

By Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 30, 2009

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

The 93-page document, which is publicly available at the Regent University library, culminates with a 15-point action plan that McDonnell said the Republican Party should follow to protect American families -- a vision that he started to put into action soon after he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.

In his run for governor, McDonnell, 55, makes little mention of his conservative beliefs and has said throughout his campaign that he should be judged by what he has done in office, including efforts to lower taxes, stiffen criminal penalties and reform mental health laws. He reiterated that position Saturday in a statement responding to questions about his thesis.

"Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and Attorney General and the specific plans I have laid out for our future -- not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years."

McDonnell added: "Like everybody, my views on many issues have changed as I have gotten older." He said that his views on family policy were best represented by his 1995 welfare reform legislation and that he "worked to include child day care in the bill so women would have greater freedom to work." What he wrote in the thesis on women in the workplace, he said, "was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views."

McDonnell also said that government should not discriminate based on sexual orientation or ban contraceptives and that "I am not advocating vouchers as there are legal questions regarding their constitutionality in Virginia."

The Washington Post learned of the thesis in a recent interview with McDonnell, who mentioned it in answering a question about his political roots. McDonnell brought up the paper in reference to a pair of Republican congressmen whom he interviewed as part of his research. McDonnell then offered: "I wrote my thesis on welfare policy."

McDonnell's opponent, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), and other Democrats have sought to highlight McDonnell's conservative record, saying he is obscuring a large part of his background to get elected. Deeds recently spoke to women's groups about McDonnell's record on abortion, saying that voters needed to know about his stances.

"There is a just a massive effort underway to rebrand Bob McDonnell, and his whole legislative career speaks otherwise," said former delegate Barnie K. Day (D-Patrick), who supports Deeds. "The voters have a right to know who these candidates really are."
Collapse )
Akuma River

...Disney buys out Marvel

I'm unsure what to feel about this.

DISNEY ACQUIRES MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT (August 31, 2009 - Comic Book Resources - Staff)

BURBANK, Calif. & NEW YORK, Aug 31, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Acquisition highlights Disney's strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.
Collapse )

What do you guys think? Good news? Bad news?

Activist Judge Scares the Sh*t out of Bankers

A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style

The judge waves you into his chambers in the State Supreme Court building in Brooklyn, past the caveat taped to his wall — “Be sure brain in gear before engaging mouth” — and into his inner office, where foreclosure motions are piled high enough to form a minor Alpine chain.

Every week, the nation’s mightiest banks come to his court seeking to take the homes of New Yorkers who cannot pay their mortgages. And nearly as often, the judge says, they file foreclosure papers speckled with errors.

He plucks out one motion and leafs through: a Deutsche Bank representative signed an affidavit claiming to be the vice president of two different banks. His office was in Kansas City, Mo., but the signature was notarized in Texas. And the bank did not even own the mortgage when it began to foreclose on the homeowner.

The judge’s lips pucker as if he had inhaled a pickle; he rejected this one.

“I’m a little guy in Brooklyn who doesn’t belong to their country clubs, what can I tell you?” he says, adding a shrug for punctuation. “I won’t accept their comedy of errors.”
Collapse )
Akuma River

Ex-NBA Player is kickass Solider in Iraq

I thought this was an interesting look at a Solider in Iraq.

Tim James: Former NBA Player Now With Army In Iraq (August 30, 2009 - Huffington Post - TIM REYNOLDS)


MIAMI — Tim James apologized for being late. A rough day at work, said the Miami Heat's 1999 first-round draft pick. Vehicles broke down, problems flared up, and he simply fell behind.

"It happens," James said. "Even here."

Even on the front line of the Iraq war.

A former NBA player who often wondered about his true calling, Tim James is now a U.S. Army soldier, a transformation that even many of the people closest to him never saw coming.

"I got my degree, lived the life I was able, have my freedom and became a professional athlete," James said last week from Iraq. "I'm the example of the American dream."

James is at Camp Speicher, the massive base near Tikrit, 85 miles north of Baghdad, not far from Saddam Hussein's hometown and where insurgents still are a perpetual threat. For Miami Northwestern High, the Miami Hurricanes, three NBA teams and some foreign clubs, he was forward Tim James. For the Army, he's Spc. Tim James of Task Force ODIN – short for Observe, Detect, Identify, Neutralize.

In layman's terms, he's part of the unit tasked with watching and catching the bad guys before they plant bombs.
Collapse )

A nice feel good story. It's rare to hear about people who come from money that go into the service. The vast majority are those who are poor and/or Latino. A good portion of people join up to help pay for college.
Iowa represent!

After Iowa Flood, Feeling Just a Bit Ignored

Published: August 27, 2009

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — It was more than a year ago that the core of this city was submerged to its rooftops, a result of record flooding on the Cedar River that caused an estimated $6 billion in damage — among the most costly natural disasters since Hurricane Katrina.

Some residents, like Sheila Roberston, 41, are still living in FEMA mobile homes. Ms. Roberston, center, puts her adopted son Ryan Jenney, 4, to sleep while her partner Joe Jenney, left, 44, and son Jordan Jenney, 18, watch TV behind her. More Photos »

The outpouring of attention toward New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, ratcheting up again now as the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, has not been seen here. In fact, the people of Cedar Rapids are feeling neglected.

Collapse )

Thought this would be interesting to post in the face of all the Katrina anniversary press. It is still bad in places here, the article doesn't exaggerate. I'd say ten years recovery is an underestimate...
  • Current Mood
lady gaga - JUST DANCE!!1

Critical elections may shift Japan-U.S. ties

Opposition party’s expected victory could frustrate Obama’s Asia plans

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A projected resounding victory for Japan's opposition party could cause headaches for the United States as it tries to confront both North Korea's nuclear ambitions and China's increasing military presence in Asia.

The Obama administration will be watching closely how the Democratic Party of Japan will govern should it gain power after Sunday's vote. All major media polls have forecast that the ruling, conservative Liberal Democratic Party will lose badly in balloting for the 480 seats in the powerful lower house of parliament.

Opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama, in line to become prime minister, has pushed for his country to be more independent from Washington and closer to Asia. His party has raised questions about a major realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, close ties with the United States and continuing Japan's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean in support of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

"As a result of the failure of the Iraq war and the financial crisis, the era of U.S.-led globalism is coming to an end," Hatoyama wrote this past week in The New York Times. But he also predicted that the United States, though declining in influence, "will remain the world's leading military and economic power for the next two to three decades."

Radical change not expected
A DPJ victory is unlikely to destroy the foundation of an alliance forged after Japan's defeat in World War II. Hatoyama has said that he would not seek radical change in Japan's foreign policy, and the U.S.-Japan alliance would "continue to be the cornerstone of Japanese diplomatic policy."

The U.S. is Japan's military protector in a dangerous region, with more than 50,000 troops stationed in the country, and its biggest trading partner. Also, the rhetoric of an opposition party fighting to oust an incumbent from power often changes when that party is faced with the realities of governing.

"It was one thing for the opposition party to take opportunistic partisan shots at the (current Japanese) government for supporting the United States in the war on terror or paying for U.S. bases, but it is quite another to put the alliance at risk when in power," Michael Green, a White House Asia adviser during the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview posted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, where he is an analyst.

But he said a DPJ victory could cause confusion in Washington and Tokyo "as the DPJ decides what it actually stands for in power." He said the Obama administration and others will, for the time being, be left in the dark about whether the DPJ will "fundamentally realign Japanese politics."

That could create problems for the Obama administration as it deals with China and North Korea.

Bruce Klingner, an Asia specialist at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, said in a recent essay that a DPJ victory could throw Japan's security policies into turmoil.

Even the DPJ's own lawmakers, he said, are uncertain about what direction Japan would take should their party win power. Some DPJ conservatives want close military ties with the United States; another faction wants a more independent role for Japanese forces.

Klingner said "the ascendancy of the DPJ may have significant and detrimental effects on the bilateral alliance and U.S. security objectives in Asia."

Support for Japan's governing party has plummeted because of the fragile economy, increasing unemployment, a perceived lack of leadership and its support of higher taxes.

teriyaki sauce

Lucha, lucha, lucha!

South American rift persists over U.S.-Colombia deal

BARILOCHE, Argentina (Reuters) - South American leaders failed Friday to ease diplomatic tensions set off by a Colombian plan giving U.S. troops more access to its military bases for joint operations against cocaine traffickers and leftist rebels.

The differences over Colombia's military alliance were on full display during a tense regional summit that lasted for more than six hours and was broadcast live across most of South America.

The agreement between Washington and its closest Latin American ally has strained relations between Andean nations and is testing efforts by U.S. President Barack Obama to improve ties with the region, where leaders openly criticized the Bush administration and have welcomed Obama's message of change.
Collapse )


I think they all just want Obama to give them a hug and say everything is gonna be fine. T
he heated exchanges were pretty hilarious. When Lula tells you to shut the hell up, you really know you crossed the line. To anyone who understands Spanish or likes watching fights discussions, enjoy the spirit of ontd_p in this video:

Collapse )
books | nancy drew
  • caitie

Sick and Wrong: How Washington Is Screwing Up Health Care Reform

I've gone ahead and scanned Matt Taibbi's typically scathing take on health care reform from the new issue of Rolling Stone.
America’s disastrous health care system is responsible for incalculable amounts of illness, death, lost productivity and federal deficit — not to mention anxiety, anger and disgrace. And it’s not going to get fixed, writes Matt Taibbi in the new issue of Rolling Stone, because it’s encased in another failed system: the U.S. government.

Taibbi breaks down the five steps Congress took to be sure no bill would pass: aiming low, gutting the public option, packing it with loopholes, providing no leadership and blowing the math.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge. You'll be able to zoom in again. If that's not big enough, you can download a zip file of all the pages here. [4 MB]

Collapse )

It's not just the Republicans who are screwing up health care reform.

  • de_wood

Two transgender women stabbed in broad daylight

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Vigil attendees pay their respects to Tyli’a Mack (formerly known as Joshua Mack)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. Police say a double stabbing in broad daylight left one person dead and another injured in Northwest Washington on Wednesday.

Police say two people were stabbed in the 200 block of Q Street Northwest around 2:30 p.m. Officers found two transgender women in front of the building when they arrived. One of the victims, identified as 21-year-old Joshua Mack-- who is also known as 'Nana Boo'-- from Clinton, Md., later died at a hospital.

The second victim remains hospitalized in stable condition.

The crime scene was an alarming sight for residents who live on Q Street. One neighbor told FOX 5 they saw the two victims running from their attacker, and that one of them collapsed on the sidewalk. That victim later died.

"He said he couldn't breathe, 'I can't breathe,'" said Frenzell Alexander, a neighbor. "He came down 4th street and was gasping for breath and was bleeding from his neck."

Late Wednesday, police announced Mack was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital just after 3 p.m. The second victim was taken to a local hospital and admitted in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. Police are withholding the identity of the second victim, who was a witness to the murder.

D.C. Police say the attacker is an unknown man in his early 30s. He was last seen wearing all black and running in the opposite direction on Q Street.

Neighbors say the street is normally a quiet one.

"It's still so unusual," said Michael Nine. "I've been here for 30 years. We've had our share of crime. Over the last 5 to 6 years, it's gotten much better."

"Any crime is dismaying," said Peter Katel, another resident. "I learned one person was killed. It was even more dismaying. This is the first time, I've lived here 7 years and the first time I've come home to this kind of scene."

Police don't know if gender played a role in the murder and stabbing, but the crime did take place two blocks from an agency that provides services to transgender people, including transgender youth.

"I'm a transgendered woman, too," said Warrena Earls, another resident. "I know a lot of people in this city. I'm born and raised on Q Street. Nothing like this ever happened."

Regardless of the victims' gender, the violent, daytime crime is alarming to all. Police and residents hope that those who have information will come forward to protect the neighborhood.

"When neighbors are involved in the neighborhood, it always makes it much safer," said Nine. "It's key. Police can only do so much."

Investigators are asking for any information from anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the stabbing.

Mary Cheney gave $1,000 to anti-gay Senate hopeful

Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and onetime gay outreach director for Coors Brewing Company, gave $1,000 to a Republican Senate hopeful who voted against same-sex marriage and allowing gay couples to adopt children in the District of Columbia.

Cheney, 40, has a two-year old son with her partner of 17 years, Heather Poe. The donation to former Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH) was made in May. Portman is seeking the Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) when he retires in 2011.

Cheney’s donation is remarkable considering her public comments on same-sex marriage and gay adoption. In 2004, she reportedly considered quitting her father’s re-election campaign after President Bush endorsed a federal marriage banning gay marriage. In 2007, she rebuked televangelist James Dobson for comments criticizing gay couples’ adoption.

“Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents,” Cheney said. “What matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment.”

“When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be the most popular decision,” Cheney added. “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child.”

As an Ohio congressman, Portman voted yes on banning gay adoptions in the District of Columbia in 1999. He also voted in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in 2004.

Cheney, however, appears to oppose banning gay marriage — at least if her donation to opponents of California’s Proposition 8 measure is any indication. Mary Cheney gave $3,000 to opponents of the measure banning same-sex marriage in June.

Portman’s opposition to same-sex marriage is particularly salient, because both of his potential Democratic challengers favor its legalization. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner reaffirmed her backing for gay marriage in a posting at The Huffington Post in June, and a spokesman for Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher announced that he’d reversed his opposition the same month.

Robert Paduchik, Portman’s campaign manager, told the Columbus Dispatch in June that the erstwhile congressman still opposes same-sex marriage.

“Rob Portman has always believed that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman,” Paduchik said.

Portman, 53, resigned from Congress in 2005 after being appointed the United States Trade Representative by President Bush in 2005. He was named director of the Office of Management and Budget under Bush after the organization’s director, Joshua Bolten, was appointed Bush’s chief of staff in 2006. He announced his candidacy for the Senate in January.

A copy of Portman’s FEC filing listing Cheney’s donation is available here.


Way to be a scumbag like your father, Mary.

interesting article on the Kennedys and their Catholicism.

The Believer
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

By Lisa Miller

As little children, they went to mass each week, and every day in the summertime. "We always had a rosary on our beds; and then, of course, [Mother would] hear our bedtime prayers and do our catechism with us," said Patricia, the sixth of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's nine children, in her mother's memoir, Times to Remember. They thanked God for the food on their table, and at Sunday dinner they discussed the sermon they'd heard that morning. Priests and nuns were regular guests at meals—and house-guests, too—in Hyannis, as caught up in the sailing and tennis as the children themselves. The Kennedys were sons and daughters of privilege; their milestones—baptisms, weddings, too many funerals—were marked in church by America's highest bishops. Teddy, the baby, received his first holy communion from Pope Pius XII in Rome, telling reporters afterward, "He patted my head and told me I was a smart little fellow." Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Richard Cushing performed Jack's wedding. That prelate, with his broad Boston-Irish accent, presided over Jack's funeral and helped with Bobby's, too. He barely kept his composure at the first; he wept openly at the second.
Collapse )

LOL after reading this I had a five second moment of "BRB BECOMING A CATHOLIC" haha.
Akuma River

Cali Fire ouside LA DOUBLES in Size

LA-area blaze size doubles, threatens 12,000 homes (August 31, 2009 - Huffington Post - JOHN ANTCZAK)

LOS ANGELES — A massive fire in the Angeles National Forest nearly doubled in size overnight, threatening 12,000 homes Monday in a 20-mile-long swath of flame and smoke and surging toward a mountaintop broadcasting complex and historic observatory.

The fire was the largest of at least eight burning up and down California after days of triple-digit temperatures and low humidity. The Los Angeles-area blaze had burned at least 21 homes and was moving north, south and east through the rugged foothills northeast of the city.
Collapse )

LA Times is an excellent place for up to the date news.
Hope this info can help you guys.

Fire moves west toward Santa Clarita, Sylmar; Mt. Wilson in peril
Schwarzenegger: State lost two heroes when firefighters died in Angeles National Forest
TV, cellphone signals from Mt. Wilson at risk
Big cat animal preserve in Acton readies for fire
Fire near Yucaipa threatening homes in San Bernardino County [Updated]
Owner of popular mountain cafe fears it has gone up in flames
Have you fled your home? Does the smoke get in your eyes? We want to know
Los Angeles fire map: Mount Wilson, La Cañada Flintridge, Altadena, La Crescenta, Acton
Los Angles Times Readers post photos of the fires here
LA County Fire Dept Website
LA Times Fires Twitter Page <- get updates on the fire
LA Times list of School Closures
LA Times list of Road Closures
Air quality at hazardous levels in foothill cities
Air Quality Maps of Califoria

Cali ontd_p'ers stay safe and listen to the warnings. *hugs*

Mods, do we need a Cali Fire tag or wildfire tag?
blue, the national

The Future of Reading - ‘Reading Workshop’ Approach Lets Students Pick the Books

A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like

Published: August 29, 2009
JONESBORO, Ga. — For years Lorrie McNeill loved teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harper Lee classic that many Americans regard as a literary rite of passage.

But last fall, for the first time in 15 years, Ms. McNeill, 42, did not assign “Mockingbird” — or any novel. Instead she turned over all the decisions about which books to read to the students in her seventh- and eighth-grade English classes at Jonesboro Middle School in this south Atlanta suburb.

Among their choices: James Patterson‘s adrenaline-fueled “Maximum Ride” books, plenty of young-adult chick-lit novels and even the “Captain Underpants” series of comic-book-style novels.

But then there were students like Jennae Arnold, a soft-spoken eighth grader who picked challenging titles like “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines and “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, of which she wrote, partly in text-message speak: “I would have N3V3R thought of or about something like that on my own.”

The approach Ms. McNeill uses, in which students choose their own books, discuss them individually with their teacher and one another, and keep detailed journals about their reading, is part of a movement to revolutionize the way literature is taught in America’s schools. While there is no clear consensus among English teachers, variations on the approach, known as reading workshop, are catching on.

Collapse )Collapse )


I tried bolding some parts, but the article is pretty fascinating so I suggest you read the whole thing.

Icon! Semi-relevant!

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has condemned the Nazi-Soviet pact signed a week before Germany's 1939 invasion of Poland as "immoral".

In a piece for the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza, he also expressed sorrow over the massacre of Polish army officers by Soviet forces at Katyn in 1940.

His words are seen as a bid to ease tensions with Poland over World War II.

But he also argued the Munich agreement signed by France and Britain wrecked efforts to build an anti-Nazi alliance.

Collapse )


Rep. Pete Olson Booed For Suggesting Baby Would Die Under Public Option (VIDEO)

At a recent town hall meeting, Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) was booed for suggesting a baby would have not been born if we had a government-run health care option.

Olson told the story of Britney, a pregnant woman who couldn't find a doctor who would treat her unborn child's heart defect. After being turned away by several, she hunted down a specialist in Detroit who was willing to perform the procedure. Britney is convinced that her son would not have been born if there was a public option then, and she wouldn't have had the choices to find the doctor that she wants.

Over applause, a number of audience members audibly groan. "Oh Jesus Crist, that's terrible," says one attendee. "That's not true," says another.

"For those of you who say it's not true, don't talk to me, talk to Britney," Olson responded.

"The insurance company turned her down, not the government," an audience member says. "The private insurance turned her down, not the government." Others shout back that if there was government-run insurance, she would have been turned away. As the meeting devolves into shouting back-and-forth, Olson just says, "I want to thank you all for coming."

Watch, via Crooks & Liars:



Glenn Beck Tells Listeners That 2008 Election Was A "Coup"

Oy. Here's your Monday edition of "What daffy nonsense is Glenn Beck cluelessly telling people, on the teevee and or radio." This morning, on his radio show, Beck told his listeners that "they" -- a word he'll use fourteen times inside a minute and a half -- have staged some sort of coup d'etat, that "they" have cleverly disguised as an election. It's only Monday!


BECK: If I could just -- if we could just be like Cuba. Let me give you the last piece of evidence that there is a revolution going on, and it is coming. It is -- there is a revolution, and they think they can get away with it quietly.

They think they -- and they -- they -- you know what? At this point, gang, I'm not sure, they may be able to because they are so far ahead of us. They know what they're dealing against; most of America does not yet. Most of America doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America, and the way it is done, it has been done through the -- the guise of an election, but they lied to us the entire time.

Some of us knew! Some of us we're shouting out, you were: "this guy's a Marxist!" "No, no, no, no, no, no." And they're gonna say, "we did it democratically," and they are going to grab power every way they can. And God help us in an emergency.


Actually, there was a legal election, which the whole world reported on and witnessed and scrutinized to the nth degree, as a matter of routine. Far from anyone "getting away" with something "quietly," it was well-documented, the way millions of Americans went through the quotidian process of registering their electoral preference, which, when tabulated through the electoral college, yielded a non-controversial result that all sides recognized as proper and legal. I don't know what "they" is out there trying to "grab power any way they can" -- at this point, "any way they can" seems to fail to outperform the legal means of getting elected.

And, of course, there will be other elections, which will serve as a referendum on this current presidency and Congress. There will be one in 2010, as a matter of fact. But Beck, like a baby bereft of his bottle, can't abide the wait. So: hysterical tantrum.

Which is all well and good, and vastly entertaining, obviously. My only constructive criticism is that he should really figure out a way to pace himself!

&#39; jules
  • schmiss

(no subject)

Innocent, but Executed

In his final hours on death row, Cameron Todd Willingham and his attorneys tried frantically to show the governor of Texas a new scientific report proving his innocence. The evidence was apparently ignored, and Willingham was executed on February 17, 2004.

During his trial, he refused prosecutors' offer to give him life in prison instead of the death penalty. He told them he was innocent, and he wouldn't agree to any deals. As he was strapped down in the execution chamber, just before the lethal injection began, he proclaimed his innocence one last time.

An extraordinary new investigative report in the New Yorker shows that Willingham was telling the truth. He was innocent. David Grann's report, in the September 7 issue, exhaustively deconstructs every aspect of the case and shows that none of the evidence used to convict Willingham was valid. Since the reinstatement of capital punishment in 1974, Grann's report constitutes the strongest case on record in this country that an innocent man was executed.

Collapse )

New Yorker article referenced available here.

Just another reason why the death penalty is immoral. How many so-called progressives would have said "normally I'm a pacifist but this asshole killed children and deserves everything he gets" etc etc? The state has no power to willingly take a life in this manner, ESPECIALLY when there is even a sliver of a margin of error, much less such a risk of faulty forensic analysis. :|
  • de_wood

Who thinks "no" means "yes"

“No means yes”: It’s not just for Yale frat guys, celebrity defense attorneys, and the citizens of opposite land. Nope, that line of reasoning is also a pretty common one among old, privileged ladies, and other groups you may expect to find sitting on the jury of your rape trial!

Last month, Dan Kahan of Yale University Law School released a study examining the cultural factors at play in popular reactions to rape cases. Kahan’s research question was straightforward: If a person voices “repeated verbal objections” to a sex act, is it rape?

In other words, who among us thinks that “no” really means “no,” and who thinks that “no” is just a handy excuse for loose women? As it turns out, knowing that “no” means “no” has little to do with your gender, and a lot to do with what you think about gender.

People Who Think “No” Means “No”: Men and women with an “egalitarian” worldview which “judges the character of men and women by a largely unitary measure, and treats female sexuality as a legitimate expression of individual autonomy.” Makes sense, right? Not to some:

People Who Think “No” Means “Maybe”: As it turns out, people who can’t tell the difference between “yes” and “no” are nevertheless very invested in maintaining differences between “men” and “women.” The people most likely to believe that a rape victim actually consented, even though she said “no”? Those with a “conservative, traditional, and hierarchical” worldview, marked by “highly differentiated and stratified gender roles.”

Among this group, older women were the most likely to pooh-pooh “no means no”: “Overall, women were no more or less likely to favor conviction than were men. However, women who subscribed to the hierarchical cultural style—particularly older women who did—were more inclined to form a pro-defendant view of the facts.”

Collapse )

I'm at a complete loss for words.....

High school marching band can’t wear evolutionary T-shirts

T-shirts worn by the Smith-Cotton High School band have evolved into an issue among parents.

The shirts, which were designed to promote the band’s fall program, are light gray and feature an image of a monkey progressing through stages and eventually emerging as a man. Each figure holds a brass instrument. Several instruments decorate the background, and the words “Smith-Cotton High School Tiger Pride Marching Band” and “Brass Evolutions 2009” are emblazoned above and below the image.

Assistant band director Brian Kloppenburg said the shirts were designed by him, band director Jordan Summers and Main Street Logo. Kloppenburg said the shirts were intended to portray how brass instruments have evolved in music from the 1960s to modern day. Summers said they chose the evolution of man because it was “recognizable.”

The band debuted the T-shirts when it marched in the Missouri State Fair parade. Summers said he was surprised when he received a direct complaint after the parade.

Although the shirts don’t directly violate the district’s dress code, Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt said complaints by parents made him take action.


Collapse )
&#39; jules
  • schmiss

"He's pretty dazzling when he walks into a room. That’s why it’s important he doesn’t fuck this up."

The Courtship
The story behind the Obama-Brooks bromance.

In the spring of 2005, New York Times columnist David Brooks arrived at then-Senator Barack Obama’s office for a chat. Brooks, a conservative writer who joined the Times in 2003 from The Weekly Standard, had never met Obama before. But, as they chewed over the finer points of Edmund Burke, it didn’t take long for the two men to click. “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging,” Brooks recently told me, “but usually when I talk to senators, while they may know a policy area better than me, they generally don’t know political philosophy better than me. I got the sense he knew both better than me.”

That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of--we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” In the fall of 2006, two days after Obama’s The Audacity of Hope hit bookstores, Brooks published a glowing Times column. The headline was “Run, Barack, Run.”

These days, the center-right Brooks frequently seems more sympathetic toward Obama than the liberal Paul Krugman. He has written columns praising Obama’s Afghanistan policy, education proposals, and economic team. Even on broad areas of disagreement--deficit spending, the sprawling stimulus bill, health care reform--Brooks tends to treat Obama and his administration with respect. “My overall view,” Brooks told me, “is ninety-five percent of the decisions they make are good and intelligent. Whether I agree with them specifically, I think they’re very serious and very good at what they do.” It is an odd situation to say the least: David Brooks, prominent conservative, has become the most visible journalistic ally of arguably the most liberal president of his lifetime.

Collapse )

David Brooks is going through a strange period, marked by increased interest in men's legs. Embrace it, bb. (The interest, that is, not men's legs.) You know you do not want to be like Kristol and Barnes... follow your heart. Follow what you know to be true. It's what Edmund Burke would want.

Also, Obama is ~dazzling~ and calls him Comrade Brooks, glad to know our president has a sense of humor about the socialism thing.
The Gang
  • acmeeoy

Military Coup Reverses Honduran Women’s Gains in Human Rights

By Margaret Thompson

In Honduras, the first military coup of the 21st Century is having a devastating effect on human rights, according to the author, a producer at FIRE (Feminist International Radio Endeavour), which was represented in an international delegation visiting the country this month.

August 28, 2009

 Warning: Contains descriptions of sexual assault.

Collapse )

GOP to Repeal Any Health Care Reform No Matter What...

Rep. Joe Barton: Republicans Will Repeal Health Care Reform If It Passes

On a conference call last month, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) hedged a little bit on the question of whether Republicans, if they won a congressional majority in 2010, would repeal a health care bill passed by the 111th Congress. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is not hedging.
If they somehow manage to get the votes and get enough Democrats to walk the plank and commit political suicide, in the next Congress, I’ll be chairman Joe Barton of the Energy and Commerce committee, and we’ll repeal it.
Of course, even the most optimistic strategists would call it extremely unlikely that Republicans could get a veto-proof majority in 2010, so this is bluster. But it speaks to Republican confidence that blocking any health care reform is a political winner.


Conservative College Students Tired of the Pesecution. Will Soon Post List of Libural Professors

College Republicans to identify liberal professors

UT College Republicans are compiling a list of liberal professors who they claimed have a bias against conservative students.

The list will include professors who students say have let their political views interfere with the way they interact with students in the classroom.

UT College Republicans President Matt Rubin, a junior majoring in political science and public administration, said the list is not an attempt to bash professors who have liberal ideas, but instead, it is an attempt to speak out for students who may have been victims of the bias, which was then reflected in their grade.

“We’ve been portrayed in the media, as well as comments from people in the community including College Democrats, saying that we’re creating a blacklist in order to smear the names of professors and that’s not true,”
Rubin said. “We’re giving a voice to the students that have been harassed because of their political beliefs. It’s the same thing as bashing a student because they’re gay.”

Rubin said the list of liberal professors is important because of the many complaints he received from students at UT College Republicans meetings, concerning professors who made unnecessary political comments, including anti-Bush statements.

“At our weekly meeting, something we like to do is take time out for students to tell stories of any bias they have had in classes. What we’re doing is representing students who have had that experience. We’re trying to expose professors who have liberal bias and go against everything UT stands for,” Rubin said. “How is saying ‘President Bush is the dumbest president this country has ever had and should be hanged’ improving the human condition?”

The students who submitted and reported incidents such as these will remain anonymous, Rubin said.
Collapse )

Government Deported Mentally Handicapped American 3 Times. ICE Claims he is a Mexican Retard

N.C. native wrongly deported to Mexico

The U.S. government admitted in April that it had wrongly deported an N.C. native, but newly released documents show that federal investigators ignored FBI records and other evidence showing that the man was a United States citizen.

At the time of Mark Lyttle's deportation, immigration officials had criminal record checks that said he was a U.S. citizen. They had his Social Security number and the names of his parents. They had Lyttle's own sworn statement that he had been born in Rowan County.

None of this stopped them from leaving Lyttle, a mentally ill American who speaks no Spanish, alone and penniless in Mexico, where he has no ties.

Lyttle's 350-page Department of Homeland Security file, released to The (Raleigh) News & Observer, shows that the government deported him based entirely on some of his own conflicting statements, even though agents knew that Lyttle is bipolar and has a learning disability.

“I tried to tell them I was a U.S. citizen born right here in Rowan County,” Lyttle says now. “But no one believed me.”

Lyttle is one of a growing number of people who have been swept up in the federal immigration detention system since 2001, when terrorist attacks prompted an unprecedented effort to find and deport illegal immigrants. The U.S. government deported 350,000 people in the fiscal year that ended in October 2008.

When The N&O first reported on Lyttle's case in April, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said that Lyttle had caused the mistake by declaring that he was from Mexico. They maintain that position now.

Collapse )

Dick Cheney a National Threat... Oh, Wait, That's Obama...

ABC News Exclusive: National Security Adviser Says President Obama Is Having Greater Success Taking Terrorists Out of Commission Than Bush Did

Responding to criticism from former Vice President Cheney that President Obama is making the nation more vulnerable to terrorism, the president’s National Security Adviser, Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.), told ABC News in an exclusive interview that actually the reverse is true: President Obama’s greater success with international relations has meant more terrorists put out of commission.
Collapse )

Heather has two mommies. Legally!

The news that lesbian couples in England and Wales who start a family through fertility treatment can now place both their names on the birth certificate has been welcomed by a gay couple with children.

Eve Carlile describes the move as "practically really helpful, and ideologically great".

The 33-year-old lives with her partner Rosalind Carlile, 34, in Scunthorpe with their two boys, aged four and one.

The two adults have been together for 12 years and in a civil partnership for the last three.

Both their children were conceived by Rosalind using an anonymous sperm donor.

"It's brilliant that women in our situation will have full legal rights for the co-parent from the beginning," Eve said. "It's fantastically good news.

Collapse )

tw: mumspiration

Polititian allegedly engages in legal hobby; female sexuality still terrifying

Right-Wing Lady's Erotica Scandal Could Be GOP's Final Nail

By Andrew Belonsky, 9:49 PM on Mon Aug 31 2009

(Edit, to draft, Slurp)
Copy this whole post to another site
sending request
Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford become a household name for his affair with an Argentine woman. Then, today, we heard that his Lieutenant Andre Bauer does dudes. Now the GOP may have a new, sexy, erotica-writing star: Kristin Maguire.

So, who's Kristin Maguire? She's South Carolina's former Board of Education Chairwoman and a big wig in the state's Republican party. She resigned from the board earlier today to deal with "family matters," a term that's long been a disgraced politico's go-to excuse. It used to work, but now people are hip to it and realize that something scintillating, perhaps even sinister, remains unseen. And, according to the admittedly unbiased FITNews, that's precisely the case with Maguire. They claim that the mother four home-schooled children vacated her seat because of her super-secret hobby: writing erotic fiction.
Collapse )