September 9th, 2009

UK's no-go photo areas

All but one of Britain's police forces has made use of controversial new powers that allow them to stop and search any member of the public without the usual requirement of reasonable suspicion - powers that BJP has reported have been used to stop photographers shooting in public places on countless occasions.

With the exception of Derbyshire, BJP can reveal that all British police forces have been granted use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search individuals, including photographers. However, our survey of responses from chief constables shows that most are unwilling to reveal where specifically they are being used, claiming that releasing such information would play into terrorists' hands and could be used to plan attacks.

The answers came after BJP filed 46 Freedom of Information Act (FoI) requests to all the chief constables in Britain, asking if they had requested authorisation to use S44 in their own regions.

According to the Home Office, powers under S44 enable uniformed police officers to stop and search anyone within an authorised area for the purposes of searching for articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism. The powers do not require a reasonable suspicion that such articles will be found.

The powers last 28 days, forcing chief constables to ask for a new authorisation every month. They must also state in each case where exactly the powers will be applied.

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Source: The British Journal of Photography

Dead on the front lines in the name of health care.

Soldier Who Re-Enlisted For Health Care, Killed In Afghanistan
Army Spc. Gregory James Missman died in Afghanistan after suffering wounds from an improvised explosive device in July.

Missman, 36, re-enlisted in the military after being laid off from his job as a computer consultant. Missman served in the Army 11 years earlier.

According to Missman's father, health care is what pushed his son back into service. After losing his job, Missman's young family, a wife and son were no longer insured.

He was deployed to Afghanistan June 5 and mortally wounded July 8.

Missman was awarded the Purple Heart before he died.

(video at link)

This. This is the social bargain here in America. We don't give you health care because we want warm bodies for our wars. Cheap warm bodies.

Well, it's time we renegotiated that contract.
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    "Born in the U.S.A."

President talking to kids: 0. Taking kids across county lines on a school bus to get baptized: 1

Mother mad coach took players to church; School district says trip was voluntary

The head football coach at Breckinridge County High School took about 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them were baptized, school officials say.

The mother of one player said her 16-year-old son was baptized without her knowledge and consent, and she is upset that a public school bus was used to take players to a church service — and that the school district's superintendent was there and did not object.


But Superintendent Janet Meeks, who is a member of the church and witnessed the baptisms, said she thinks the trip was proper because attendance was not required, and another coach paid for the gas.

Meeks said parents weren't given permission slips to sign but knew the event would include a church service, if not specifically a baptism. She said eight or nine players came forward and were baptized.


Meeks said she would have sought the consent of parents for the baptism of students if they had been "7 or 8 or 9" years old. But she didn't think it was necessary for the players who are "16 or 17."

She said that if Robert's parents didn't know that the outing was going to include a revival service it was because "he apparently was not forthcoming with his parents."

The church's pastor, the Rev. Ron Davis, said that he requires minors to obtain their parents' consent to be baptized, but he added: "Sometimes 16 year olds look like 18 years. We did the best we could."

He said the event on Aug. 26 "was a great service" and that attendance by the players was strictly voluntary.

"I trust the coach 100 percent," he said of Mooney. "He is a fine young man and he is sure not going to manipulate anyone."



Also, no fair guessing how this same county reportedly dealt with Teh Hypnobama's speech yesterday...

Sarah Palin Saved us from Obama's Death Panels. To Replace Medicare with Vouchers!!

Palin WSJ Editorial Amplifies "Death Panel" Claim

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is again blasting the Democrats health care proposal, this time in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal.

Palin's opinion piece was posted Tuesday on the newspaper's Web site, a day ahead of President Barack Obama's address to Congress on health care.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate says "common sense tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy."

She also reiterated her claim that so-called death panels would make end-of-life decisions, a notion that has been widely discredited.

She suggests options including equalizing tax breaks for people who do or do not get benefits through employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers to buy their own coverage and reforming tort laws.

As Marc Amninder writes, the column seems timed to create an "Obama v. Palin" frame.

But Palin's existence in this debate does not (a) lend her voice any credibility and, beyond that, even if you believe that her experience as a state governor does give her at least a modicum of credibility, it does not follow that, because her voice is credible, it ought to be influential ... There are many Republican, conservative health care spokespeople who have earned the right to speak for their party's principals, and, truth be told, can recite the talking points (complete with Ronald Reagan quote) better than Palin and her writer can.

Tea Party Welcomed Real America's New Pastor of Hate. Now Pope of Tea Baggers.

Steven Anderson, Hate-Speech Pastor, Welcomed At Tea Party (VIDEO)

Pastor Steven Anderson, notorious for his hate-sermon against President Obama, gave a speech at a July 4th Tea Party event that a blogger on Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty website deemed "excellent."

"President Obama is the worst president in the history of the United States ... He's selling us into slavery and serfdom,"
Anderson said at the Gilbert, Arizona gathering. However, he added that the Republican Party was just as bad.

Describing an incident in April during which the pastor was tasered by border control officials, Anderson concluded: "I shed my blood in the fight for freedom. Somebody needs to stand up and do something about this."

Anderson has regularly resisted searches at checkpoints and gotten into other altercations with authorities.

The full speech:

Blogger Matt Jarfi posted the video on the "Campaign for Liberty" website, calling it an "EXCELLENT Tea Party Speech."

GOP Picks "Birther" to Rebut Obama's Health Care Speech... WUT??

GOP Picks One-Time "Birther" To Rebut Obama's Health Care Speech [UPDATED]

UPDATE: An eagle-eyed reader points out that Boustany, after espousing his "Birther" views on camera, below, caved and retracted his statement on a Louisiana KPEL radio show.
Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany will be delivering the GOP response to President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress tonight. The Washington Post says that it's a "somewhat surprising pick in that he is little-known nationally and not part of the Republican leadership in Congress."

What is known about Boustany is that he is a heart surgeon. Somewhat ironically, Boustany is also the co-sponsor of the "Life Sustaining Treatment Preferences Act of 2009" which would mandate that Medicare reimburse the cost of end-of-life counseling -- the so-called "death

But the most "surprising" aspect to the choice of Boustany is the fact that he is a Birther!

Back on July 27, guerilla videographer Mike Stark posted a video on this site in which he sought out the "Birthers on the Hill." As you will see, Charles Boustany shows up at about the 0.27 mark.


BOUSTANY: Well, it's certainly being looked at.

STARK: What do you personally believe, I mean -- do you think there's a question here?

BOUSTANY: I think there are questions, we'll have to see.
Those who have followed the ebb and flow of the "Birther" movement over the summer recognize that it is the most extreme product of the right-wing fringe, so much so that the lion's share of respectable conservatives eschew this idiocy as a matter of course. That's why it makes so little sense that the GOP would choose to rebut Obama's health care address flying under the Birther banner.

(no subject)

Florida Megachurch Dumps Pepsi Over its Positions on Gay Issues


The Bell Shoals Baptist megachurch in Brandon, Florida is making headlines for carting 10 Pepsi machines out of its premises and replacing them with machines from Coca-Cola, because, they say, Pepsi donated to Prop 8, sponsors Gay Pride parades, and runs ads that cater to homosexuals.

10 Connects reports:  "'We would like to send them a message,' said Terry Kemple, President of the Community Issues Council that is organizing a boycott of Pepsi products because he says it 'advocates the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.' ... 'They (have) begun to utilize the money we've helped them build up to trample on what we consider family values,' said Kemple of Pepsi. He said the company donated more than a million dollars to organizations that fought California's gay marriage-banning Proposition 8. He also says the Pepsi Corporation has sponsored gay pride events and commercials that accept cross-dressing and homosexuality. 'We're concerned about that diminishment of the ability of Christians to speak what the Bible says,' Kemple said. But Nadine Smith, the Executive Director of Equality Florida, called the boycott offensive to her and embarrassing to those who participate. 'The irony is that - in moving from Pepsi products to Coke products - they actually switched from one company that supports full-equality to another company that supports full-equality,' Smith said."

Watch a video report on the Coke-drinking Christians


franklin sherman

US actually increasing personnel in Iraq: More contractors, fewer troops

US forces are not withdrawing from Iraq.

Well, its soldiers are. But not civilian contractors. Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to withdraw US troops from the war-torn country, the US is planning to award contracts to protect US installations at a cost to taxpayers that could near $1 billion.

In fact, the Multi-National Force-Iraq just awarded $485 million in contracts just last week, while Congress enjoyed its summer recess. Five firms will handle private security deals to provide security for US bases. It's a neat rhetorical loophole that will allow US officials to say that the country has withdrawn from Iraq, while its contractors remain.

"Under a similar contract with five security contractors that began in September 2007, the MNF-I spent $253 million through March 2009, with needs growing over that 18-month period," the Washington Post's Walter Pincus wrote in Wednesday editions. "That contract, which was to run three years, had a spending limit of $450 million.

Pincus cites an Inspector General's report, whose fine print notes that these contracts could swell to a whopping $935 million. An earlier IG report documented manifold allegations of fraud and government waste (PDF here).

Victory Base Camp, one of the US' largest installations, will likely require "approximately 2,600 security personnel," the report said -- just by itself.

The Pentagon's "quarterly report on contracting showed a 19 percent increase from the three previous months in the number of security guards in Iraq hired by the Defense Department. The Central Command attributed the increase, from 10,743 at the end of March to 13,232 at the end of June, mainly to "an increased need for PSCs [private security companies] to provide security as the military begins to draw down forces."

Private guards replaced soldiers at 19 locations. Are taxpayers getting their money's worth by awarding contracts to more efficient private firms?

Nope: security companies are billing the US for more people to do what the military is able to do with less.

"Camp Bucca, primarily a detention facility, called for '417 personnel to free up approximately 350 soldiers for combat operations,'" Pincus notes. "At Forward Operating Base Hammer, the task order called for 124 private guards to allow 102 soldiers to take on combat activities."

At another installation, Camp Taji, about 900 private contractors replaced 400 soldiers.

-John Byrne

(no subject)

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, the student sentenced to death in Afghanistan for trying to promote women's rights, has been freed from prison. The Independent has learned that he is now living outside the country after being secretly pardoned by President Karzai.

The fate of the 24-year-old trainee journalist became an international cause célèbre after his plight was revealed by this newspaper. A petition to secure justice gathered more than 100,000 signatures and the Afghan government came under intense pressure from the international community to release him.

Mr Kambaksh was moved from his cell in Kabul's main prison a fortnight ago and kept at a secure location for a few days before being flown out of the country. Prior to his departure, he spoke of how his relief was mixed with deep regret at knowing he was unlikely to see his family or country again.

Only a handful of people were aware of the intensive diplomatic negotiations which took place behind the scenes to get Mr Kambaksh out of jail, details of which cannot be revealed to protect those, Afghans and foreigners, who were involved.

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(no subject)

Pro-Gay Religious Billboards Appear Along Texas Interstate

A series of billboards quoting scripture thought by some to be affirming of homosexuality have been erected along I-30 in the Dallas/Fort Work area by the Metropolitan Community Church.
Christine Lutz was traveling down Interstate-30, just east of Fort Worth, when she came face to face with a billboard containing a pro-gay message. "I cringed. I was disgusted at the same time," she said. The billboard angered Lutz so much, that she fired off a stern e-mail. "I said how dare you take the scriptures and twist it to fit your needs," she recalled. There are four billboards with similar pro-gay messages along I-30 that have started a debate among Christians in North Texas. Rev. Jon Haack, with Promise Metropolitan Community Church, said, "If we go back to the gospel readings, we don't find anything within those texts that discriminate or exclude against gay and lesbian people. Gay and lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people are part of God's creation too." Rev. Haack is with one of five local churches sponsoring the billboards that advocate gay acceptance by all Christians. One billboard reads, "The early church welcomed a gay man." Another one reads, "Jesus affirmed a gay couple."
The billboards will be up for the month of September. More examples here.


Ew @ Perez Hilton being the face of the latino gay community.

Gay Latino Americans are 'coming of age'

By John Blake

(CNN) -- Perez Hilton is a celebrity blogger who dishes out the latest Hollywood gossip, but there's something about his personal life you may not know.

Hilton is a Latino pioneer. He is one of the first Latino public figures in the U.S. to be openly gay. While Latinos have broken ground on the U.S. Supreme Court, in Hollywood and in professional sports, gay Latinos in the nation's public arena remain largely invisible.

Hilton says deep-seated homophobia within the Latino community has forced many gay Latinos to go underground, but attitudes are shifting.

"At the beginning, when I came out to my mom, she reacted with a sigh and said, 'You're my son and I have to love you,' " Hilton says. "But now she says, 'You're the best son in the world, and we need to find you a man.' "

Some gay Latino leaders are starting to share Hilton's optimism. The Latino community has long had a reputation for being notoriously homophobic. But some surprising developments within the Latino world -- in the United States and abroad -- suggest that may be changing, gay scholars and activists say.


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Frostburg State University Newspaper: Black People Are Secret Republicans!

Fabion Talks "Colored Folk"

Black Americans blindly vote democrat. Ideologically speaking, black people are more Republican than they are Democrat, and I have noticed several aspects of black culture that confirm this.

First, black Americans are emphatically religious. Second, black culture is homophobic. Lastly, black people believe in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Religious zeal, homophobia, and self-reliance all sound like the ingredients for a GOP dinner party to me.

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Walmart is Still Evil

Walmart's Latest Move to Crush the Competition.

Walmart loves to shock and awe. City-size stores, absurdly low prices ($8 jeans!) and everything from milk to Matchbox toys on its shelves. And with the recession forcing legions of stores into bankruptcy, the world's largest retailer now apparently wants to take out the remaining survivors.

Thus, the company is in the beginning stages of a massive store and strategy remodeling effort, which it has dubbed Project Impact.
. One goal of Project Impact is cleaner, less cluttered stores that will improve the shopping experience. Another is friendlier customer service. A third: home in on categories where the competition can be killed. "They've got Kmart ready to take a standing eight-count next year," says retail consultant Burt Flickinger III, managing director for Strategic Resources Group and a veteran Walmart watcher. "Same with Rite Aid. They've knocked out four of the top five toy retailers, and are now going after the last one standing, Toys "R" Us. Project Impact will be the catalyst to wipe out a second round of national and regional retailers."

Though that's bad news for many smaller businesses that can't compete, Walmart investors have clamored for this push. Despite the company's consistently strong financial performance, Wall Street hasn't cheered Walmart's growth rates. During the 1990s, the company's stock price jumped 1,173%. In this decade, it's down around 24% (Walmart's stock closed at $51.74 per share on Sept. 3). "Walmart is under excruciating pressure from employees and frustrated institutional investors to get the stock up," says Flickinger.

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So does anyone boycott Walmart? I can't say I think they're evil for expanding and growing as much as they can, but I do think it has an evil effect on our culture and the ability of other companies to do well. And for the friendly service? Maybe if they worried a little bit more about their employee's bank accounts and health rather than their own or their investors, perhaps they would see a few more smiles.

P.S. Please forgive any formatting errors, I'm not really used to it yet.

OH CRAP, YOU GUYS. The internet is here. AKA, "Web goes nuts for 'Crasher Squirrel'"

Melissa and Jackson Brandts knew right away that the photo from their recent trip to Canada was a good one.

However, it wasn't until the world -- and National Geographic -- took notice that they realized exactly how good.

Now, after submitting it to the magazine's online "Your Shot" contest, the Minnesota couple's photo is set to grace the pages of the magazine's November issue. It's appeared on the Web sites of news outlets around the world, and the squirrel -- now dubbed "Crasher Squirrel" -- even has its own Wikipedia entry of the same moniker.

Melissa Brandts and her husband Jackson were hiking in Banff National Park the last week in May when they decided to set up their camera and use their wireless remote shutter for a few shots of the two of them. They were getting situated on the rocky shore near Lake Minnewanka when the now-iconic critter stopped by for a visit.

"The little squirrel had been running around while we were getting the shot set up," Brandts said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I was joking with my husband that I hoped he was friendly because he was getting awful close and kind of scampering around our feet and stuff."

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A&F can now add 'persons with disabilities' to the heaping pile of things they discriminate against.

Abercrombie & Fitch Fined for Discriminating Against Autistic Shopper

A judge ordered retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch to pay $115,000 for discriminating against a 14-year-old autistic customer at its Mall of America store.
The civil penalty, the largest of its kind in at least two years, came four years after store employees refused to let the autistic teen join her older sister in a fitting room because of the clothing chain's anti-shoplifting policy. The store refused to relent even after the sister, and later the girls' mother, explained that the 14-year-old couldn't be alone because of her disability.

The confrontation humiliated the girl, who testified that the incident made her feel like a "misfit."

"She was singled out and required to hear her sister and mother repeatedly ask for accommodations based on her disability, in front of a long line of customers, at a store that markets itself to young people as a purveyor of a particularly desirable 'look' " administrative law judge Kathleen D. Sheehy declared in her ruling.
When several complaints to the company were ignored, the girl's mother, Elizabeth Maxson of Apple Valley, took the case to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The investigation encountered fierce resistance from Abercrombie & Fitch, a New Albany, Ohio-based company that posted $3.5 billion in revenues last year. The company even denied that the girl, identified only as M.M. in court documents, had a disability until the first day of the administrative law hearing in April. She was diagnosed as autistic at the age of 2.
In her ruling, Sheehy found that Abercrombie & Fitch violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act and ordered the company to pay the girl $25,000 for mental anguish and suffering. The company also was ordered to pay $25,000 to the state as a civil penalty, $41,069 in attorney's fees, $20,441 to the human rights department for its expenses and $3,753 in other expenses.
Abercrombie & Fitch also was ordered to post signs in its seven Minnesota store explaining that disabled individuals should seek out a sales associate to obtain an exception to the company's policy allowing only one person in the fitting room at a time. The company also must provide an hour of training for all employees in Minnesota who interact with the public to make sure they understand how to help disabled customers.
Abercrombie & Fitch has appealed the fine to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Sad face additional detail:
"The judge found that the girl, whose name has not been identified, suffered mental anguish as a result of the incident.  A psychologist who interviewed the autistic girl said she reported feeling "bad," "scared," and "nervous." The girl told the psychologist, "It's all my fault. I hate autism." She added, "I am a misfit at Abercrombie."

Under the cut, a follow-up to this post about the disabled law student who was banished to the Abercrombie stockroom.
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Woman with crossed arms

You know, my darling, I can't stand to sleep alone

Bed sharing may be bad for your health.

Couples should consider sleeping apart for the good of their health and relationship, say experts.

Sleep specialist Dr Neil Stanley told the British Science Festival how bed sharing can cause rows over snoring and duvet-hogging and robs precious sleep.

One study found that, on average, couples suffered 50% more sleep disturbances if they shared a bed.

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So what do you think, ONTD_pers? Do you sleep better on your own or with someone else?

(no subject)

Using leftovers from liposuction patients, scientists have turned human fat into stem cells, a new study says.

The new method is much more efficient than a previous practice that used skin cells, researchers say.

The discovery may also help avoid the controversy spawned by the use of stem cells from human embryos.

Human fat is "an abundant natural resource and a renewable one," said Stanford University plastic surgeon Michael Longaker, whose liposuction patients donated the fat for the study.

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So, new excuse for being chubby. "I'M SAVING LIVES, MA." Y/N? :DDD
  • rhyana

Yeah, the protest was all because of "trust" issues.

Arlington Pastor Questions Speech Double Standard

ARLINGTON (AP) ― A Baptist pastor in the Dallas suburb of Arlington is concerned about what he sees as one school district's double standard on presidential speeches.

The Arlington school district didn't allow students to watch President Barack Obama's webcast live in the classroom Tuesday. But on Sept. 21 the district is busing some students to Cowboys Stadium to hear former President George W. Bush speak on a school day.

Cornerstone Baptist Church's Pastor Dwight McKissic Sr. reportedly said he wants the "duplicity" explained.

The Cowboys Stadium event kicks off the North Texas Super Bowl committee's youth education program. Obama's back-to-school message encouraged students to stay in school and work hard.


Sorry about the lack of source.
TxVoodoo layout icon

GOP Lawmaker's Graphic Sex-Bragging Caught On Tape-With update: he's resigned!

We've all seen those stories where a careless politician gets a little too candid when speaking into a hot mic. But this one's really in a whole different league.

Michael Duvall is a conservative Republican state representative from Orange County, California. While waiting for the start of a legislative hearing in July, the 54-year-old married father of two and family values champion began describing, for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, his ongoing affairs with two different women. In very graphic detail.

For instance:

She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And so, we had made love Wednesday--a lot! And so she'll, she's all, 'I am going up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me!' So messy!

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source: TPM

OC Weekly's bit on the resignation

Yes, I know, the video was posted before - but it's here for context :D

(no subject)

Miriam Grossman is teaching my child what?!

Oh dear. Miriam Grossman - of Unprotected fame (the book that tells young women having sex will make them diseased drop outs) - has a yet another book out: You're Teaching My Child What?: A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Ed and How They Harm Your Child

I found out about Grossman's latest through this column at Townhall that - in the great tradition of unhinged moral panic - suggests that comprehensive sex education wants "to strip our little girls of their natural inclination toward modesty and replace it with an attitude of sexual dominance." Who, me? *bats eyelashes*


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Is She For Real?!

Melinda Katz, a candidate for NYC Comptroller has rolled out the most WTF ad in recent history:

Read this article for more background.

This is why NYC needs Republican leadership! Also, feel free to post other WTF worthy campaign ads.

ETA: To me it's WTF worthy because "stick it" isn't appropriate language for a political ad. She could have conveyed her point in a much classier manner. I also edited the subject line because I didn't intend to be sexist.

Speaking of Abortion: a personal story

As someone who works at a reproductive rights organization—in communications no less—I talk about abortion a lot. I talk about abortion as a “fundamental right of all women.” I talk about abortion as a “safe and legal medical procedure.” I talk about abortion as “a personal decision made by a woman and her doctor.”

So when I found out I was pregnant recently, I assumed I had not only the knowledge and resources to do what I needed to do with confidence and relative ease, but also the language to speak about it. But as I began to tell the relevant people in my life—my friends, my boyfriend, my family—I felt myself falling back on euphemisms. I was avoiding a word I say every day, and I didn’t like it. So I stopped. I made a conscious decision to talk frankly and directly about my abortion.

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Fanatic hijacked Mexican plane after 'revelation'

MEXICO CITY – A Bolivian religious fanatic briefly hijacked a jetliner from the beach resort of Cancun as it landed in Mexico City on Wednesday, police said. All passengers and the crew were released unharmed.

The Bible-carrying hijacker used a juice can he said was a bomb to hold the 103 passengers and crew on the tarmac for more than an hour. Masked police stormed the aircraft with their guns drawn and escorted several handcuffed men away without firing a shot. Police later said there was only one hijacker.

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Gee I can only wait for all the "revelations" that people will be making in 2012.

(no subject)

ACLU, O.C. school district settle lawsuit over 'Rent'

An Orange County school district where varsity athletes threatened to rape and kill the female lead actress of a student production of the musical “Rent” has agreed to provide harassment and discrimination prevention training to all Corona del Mar High School students, teachers and administrators and other district officials, according to a legal settlement announced this morning. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will also apologize to the former student.


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' if you want beef then bring the ruckus
  • schmiss


Obama heckled by GOP during speech to Congress

The nastiness of August reached from the nation's town halls into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as President Barack Obama tried to move his health care plan forward.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" after Obama had talked about illegal immigrants.

It wasn't the only interruption during Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives. Earlier, Republicans laughed when Obama acknowledged that there are still significant details to be worked out before a health overhaul can be passed.

Wilson's outburst caused Obama to pause briefly before he went on with his speech. Overhead in the visitors' gallery, first Lady Michelle Obama shook her head from side to side.



You stay classy, Representative Joe Wilson, who can be emailed here, reached at (803) 939-0041, (843) 521-2530, and (202) 225-2452, and whose Democratic opponent in 2010 can easily be donated to via ActBlue. You stay classy.

ETA2: Robert Miller, Wilson's Democratic opponent, has already received thousands of dollars. He's also jumping Twitter followers like woah. You can follow him here.

ETA3: Peddle moar backs, bb.
“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”

ETA4, A NEW HOPE: Miller blasts Wilson for his disrespect. "Representative Wilson's behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington," Democrat Rob Miller said in a statement provided to CNN. "Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our Commander-in-Chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian."

AP FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama used only-in-Washington accounting Wednesday when he promised to overhaul the nation's health care system without adding "one dime" to the deficit. By conventional arithmetic, Democratic plans would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.

The president's speech to Congress contained a variety of oversimplifications and omissions in laying out what he wants to do about health insurance.

A look at some of Obama's claims and how they square with the facts or the fuller story:Collapse )


Blue Cross Blue Shield Is So Awesome It Can Heal Imaginary People!

Blue Cross Blue Shield Execs Profited From Bogus Bonuses

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota used premium payments to fund $15 million in employee bonuses, cover $35,000 for a retirement party and pay for other questionable expenses, according to a state audit released Tuesday.

Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm said he ordered the company to make changes after insurance examiners found inappropriate or excessive expenses paid with policyholders' dollars. He said the nearly inch-thick report raised questions about compensation, travel policies, investments and severance packages.

Hamm said the report showed "a lack of judgment" by board members and senior management. It was the first audit of the nonprofit company since 2004.

"I expect and demand that those things won't happen again," Hamm said.
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the stone
  • gmth

Wilson apologizes: 'I let my emotions get the best of me'

WASHINGTON (CNN) — GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina issued a statement Wednesday night apologizing for his outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress:

Wilson Statement On President Obama’s Joint Address to Congress

WASHINGTON – Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) issued the following statement this evening regarding a comment he made during President Obama’s speech to Congress.

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”


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Text of letter to the President from Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy's final letter to Pres. Obama,  
referenced in tonight's address to a Joint Session of Congress.
May 12, 2009
Dear Mr. President,
I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.
On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.
You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.
When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me - and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.
There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.
And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family's health will never again depend on the amount of a family's wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.
In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign - and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America's behalf inspires the entire world.
So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend - and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.
At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.
And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.
With deep respect and abiding affection,

Lets all contact our Senators & Rep.'s TOMORROW and tell them we support the President's health care plan
Two easy ways:

Use the Organizing for America site to find your members of Congress & email them:

Contact their office directly via phone: